Jessica Stayshich was diagnosed with diabetes hen she was 13. In this video she shares her story.
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Jessica Stayshich: I was in the eight grade and my school counselor had called my mom, concerned that I was anorexic or bulimic, because I had lost over thirty pounds within a eight week period. I was very frail, very thin and I am an average size girl, always have been, probably will be, and doesn't bother me. But I was very very skinny and you could tell by looking at me, something wasn't right. My mom called the paediatrician and they said get her in now. They checked my weight, they checked my blood levels. Less than an hour or later they said, she is diabetic. You need to get her to the hospital. So we went to the hospital. My blood sugar was over 600. I was in the hospital for intensive training and education for four days. Then I was released basically on to my own with the care of my doctor of course on a regular basis. But I just wanted, I was 13, it was a week before Halloween. I just wanted to be normal. And I thought if I just ignored it, it go away, kind of like a bad rash. Forgot about, it's really not going to affect you. Not diabetes. You really have to pay attention to it Starting a family: A turning point in living with the disease. Jessica Stayshich: And my husband who helped saved my life. He got involved in educating himself on diabetes. Two years later I found out I was pregnant. I got scared, because women with diabetes if they get pregnant, there can be severe complications and that's when I really took charge of my diabetes and didn't let it ruin my life. Then I have been able to really take care of myself and focus on my health. My health was in the best control ever has been when I was pregnant with son. He is the reason I am here today. My husband is the reason I am here today. The support that they gave me. I look at Aden and he makes me want to take care of myself, because I wanted to be here for him. I want to be able to see him get married and have children of his own and knowing that if don't take care of myself, I am not going to be able to do that one. Question: How had diabetes affected your health? Jessica Stayshich: Shamefully to admit, I was a very non-complaint diabetic. I didn't want to admit I had the disease for a very, very long time. At least nine years. Right before I met my husband, I started having complications, at that point not knowing it was from diabetes. I had what called gastroparesis where basically my stomach shut down. For a period of time, it would not digest any food. It's very painful. I lost extreme amount of weight. Doctors couldn't figure what was wrong with me. I was very scary. They thought it was due to my diabetes. I had neuropathy, my legs would feel very painful when I walk and sleep at night. I lost vision like, I walk home in my right eye. I don't want to experience anything else like that and because I didn't listen to doctors and my parents for so long, that's what caused it. Advice for other people diagnosed with diabetes. Jessica Stayshich: Listen to your doctors. Educate your family. Don't ask them for support. But don't take their support as them trying to tell you how to run your life or run your diabetes. They want you to live to the fullest and if you don't do what it takes to care yourself, you don't monitor your sugars, check in with doctor regularly, you are not going to be there for them. And they are willing to be there for you. So its like that support system is just that's prime. Of course, insulin and medical attention, that's prime too, but that support system means the world.
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