It was 1964 and I was a 15 year old junior in High School, riding home on the subway on a beautiful November day in New York. Looking for something to occupy my mind I began to read the subway posters. My eyes caught one poster that read in bold red letters, “IF YOU HAVE THESE SYMPTOMS, YOU MAY HAVE DIABETES.” I continued to read down the checklist on the poster: Excessive thirst, frequent urination, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue. I silently checked each symptom.
That past summer, my mother had been bugging me about going to the doctor because she was concerned about my drinking too much water. I brushed off her concerns citing the hot weather. I had excuses for my weight loss as well. In fact, I had excuses for all of her concerns, claiming in my assertive teenage voice that, “I was the expert on my own body.”
When I arrived home, I told my mother about the subway poster and that I thought I had diabetes. We were at the doctor’s office the next day. This November marks 56 years of living with T1.