My name is Katie and I have been a type 1 diabetic for 9 years. Here’s a touch on my diabetic journey! I was two days into high school when I got the call that my blood work just wasn’t right. My parents and I made a trip to the emergency room where I was admitted into the pediatric ICU, which would be my home for the next week. I kept hearing them say it’s type 1 diabetes but 14-year-old me didn’t fully understand what that meant; everyone was talking at me but I wasn’t hearing it. After I left the ICU I visited my new pediatric endocrinologist. Little did I know this office would become a place of understanding and knowledge for me for 6 years (my adult endocrinologist rocks socks just as much). Here I learned how to count carbs, give myself insulin shots, how to prick my finger in a prime spot, how to do the math with sliding scales for boluses, and eventually move into the world of insulin pumps! What I didn’t learn in this office was how to cope with being diabetic, honestly, I still don’t know how to cope some days. Thankfully, I consider myself very blessed to be surrounded by a huge support system since day 1. My parents are AMAZING and have always been there every step of the way. My sassy sister gives me words of encouragement, has given a lot of stank faces to the people staring while I gave myself insulin shots, and would later be my midnight blood sugar checker when we became roomies in college. The staff within my high school was always very supportive and made sure that I was okay on a daily basis (my mom also taught at my school which was a huge god send). After graduation, I went off to college feeling like my little safety net was gone but I slowly learned how to be independent! Don’t get me wrong college wasn’t easy. Being away from home for the first time is already hard enough but add being diabetic on top of that was even more challenging. But having the beautiful support system that I’ve been graced with allowed me to graduate college successfully, land a fabulous 4th grade math teaching job, and stay healthy in the process! Being a type 1 diabetic isn’t easy by any means and somedays I feel like I’m drowning but good gracious did it teach me how strong I am. I learned that just because my fingers are shredded from checking my blood sugar all the time and that always having an insulin pump attached to my body doesn’t mean I’m any less of a person than the next. I hope that sharing pieces of my story brings someone some form of strength in knowing that you aren’t alone within your type 1 diabetes struggle.