One patient’s story: my Type 2 diabetes

by Boston Children's Hospital staff on December 18, 2009

Mirna “Minnie” Ortiz is a lot like most 16-year-olds. She likes hanging out with her friends, watching television and has dreams for her future. Unlike other teens her age, Minnie is the only person she knows that has Type 2 diabetes. Minnie recently shared her story with PBS in an online video series. Here is Minnie’s introductory video in the series, and below she shares her story about being diagnosed with Type 2 and how it’s changed her life.

Minnie’s story

I was getting really sick towards the end of August 2005. I was throwing up, really thirsty all of the time and felt like I could sleep all day. I was constantly asking for sugary drinks and foods. That’s what my mom would give me. She had no idea at the time that I had diabetes.

On my first day of 6th grade, I was sitting on the couch at home and then out of nowhere I fell into a diabetic coma. My family took me to the hospital and the doctors told my mom I had ketones and that my sugar level was 1,200, which is incredibly high and potentially dangerous.

I was in a diabetic coma for week. I was fed through IVs because I wasn’t allowed to eat. When I finally woke up, I was really disoriented because I didn’t remember anything that had happened to me. I thought, Why am I in the hospital?

The doctors told me that I have diabetes. Before that moment, I had never even heard the word diabetes before. I had no idea what it was. While the doctors were explaining it to me, all I heard was that there would be needles and a lot of tests. I was going to have to stay in the hospital longer for them to figure everything out. I was only 12 at the time and didn’t really understand it all.

type2pullquoteMy life has changed a lot since then. I never had to worry about my blood sugar. Now I take medicine twice a day to help control it and I have to keep track of my sugar levels in a log book three times a day.

The doctors talked to me about my diet and said I couldn’t eat candy anymore. I used to love candy. Twizzlers were my favorite. But sugar is bad for me now, so I don’t eat them anymore, except maybe on Halloween. I’ll eat one Twizzler. I used to drink a lot of Pepsi and Sierra Mist, but now if I drink soda it has to be diet. I mostly drink juice or flavored water like Crystal Light. I used to not pay attention to what I ate, but I have to be responsible for myself now.

I was also told that I had to lose weight. If I didn’t, my diabetes would get worse. I hate to exercise, but know that it’s important that I do. I get most of my exercise in gym class and I actually like to play basketball and walk around the track. I have lost some weight thanks to exercise and a change in my diet. I eat smaller portions, three meals a day and always have fruits and vegetables.

Life with Type 2 can be hard, especially since I don’t know anyone else my age who has it. So, I just write in my journal when I need to vent. It’s been really helpful.

My family is the real reason I have survived this. They motivate me, and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t feel pushed to control my diabetes. They’ve even started eating healthier too.

I want other kids with Type 2 to know that they’re not alone. That’s why I did the project with PBS. I know how it feels when you first find out you have diabetes. You feel shut out and really confused. I hope that when people see my video diaries they see someone they can look up to. I want other kids with diabetes to be more open about expressing themselves and to not get stressed out about it. I just don’t want anyone to feel like they’re alone.

Here’s another interesting story about how diabetic kids may focus too much on carb counting.

Are you dealing with diabetes in your home? What’s the hardest part about it? What have you learned about yourself as a result?

8 comments

  • http://www.seizethefacts.com Ginny Miller

    Minnie, Thank you so very much for sharing your story! You have helped so many other kids with Type 2 who think they are alone! My dad had Type 1 Diabetes and I grew up hearing about it and watching him take his insulin and test his sugar so it was “normal” to me. We were not allowed to junk food because of dad’s diabetes.

    You have done so well learning to take care of yourself! I was so sad to hear that your mom passed so soon after your diagnosis. You are really inspiring to hear your story! Your family has done a great job supporting you. I am certain that other kids will be helped hearing how well you are doing, even though you have hard times too. I am so glad you have the journal to write in when you have rough days.

    Have you read in the “Experience Journal” that Children’s Hospital of Boston has for Diabetes> it has stories about other kids with diabetes. These might help you feel less alone.

    You are a very special young lady. Thanks so much for telling your story on PBS ..

    Ginny

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the powerful story on diabetes. It was a very personal and loving story. Do not fear you can live a normal life and some even reverse diabetes. Your story will help a lot of people who also have this illness and are feeling sad. When the diabetes levels were lowered many were labeled borderline diabetic http://ezinearticles.com/?Borderline-Diabetes?-Why-You-Must-Know-the-New-Normal-Blood-Sugar-Levels&id=3610925
    This story will help the many new cases of those who are now diabetic. All the best to you and i send you love.

  • davee44

    Thank you for the powerful story on diabetes. It was a very personal and loving story. Do not fear you can live a normal life and some even reverse diabetes. Your story will help a lot of people who also have this illness and are feeling sad. When the diabetes levels were lowered many were labeled borderline diabetic http://ezinearticles.com/?Borderline-Diabetes?-
    This story will help the many new cases of those who are now diabetic. All the best to you and i send you love.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your message. I will have limited e-mail access through Tuesday, February 23 and will get back to you as soon as possible.

  • http://ezinearticles.com/?Pre-Diabetes-Diet---Why-Your-Pre-Diabetes-Diet-is-Probably-Not-Working-For-You&id=3773285 pre diabetes diet

    Wow ..very personal . There is something about kids that real bring the truth of a story through, thanks!

  • http://ezinearticles.com/?Pre-Diabetes-Diet---Why-Your-Pre-Diabetes-Diet-is-Probably-Not-Working-For-You&id=3773285 pre diabetes diet

    Wow ..very personal . There is something about kids that real bring the truth of a story through, thanks!

  • childrenshospitalblog

    Thanks for your message. I will have limited e-mail access through Tuesday, February 23 and will get back to you as soon as possible.

  • Henry

    Diabetes 2 is now reclassified as an Autoimmune disease.
    See article below
     http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/222766.php 
     
      It means there are antibodies to Insulin.
    Insulin resistance is also part of the problem with antibodies to insulin.  The insulin is there but the antibodies bind to it and it is not free to act as insulin.  Even when more insulin is produced, again the antibodies bind to the extra insulin.  It is therefore important to remove these  Insulin antibodies.
     
    Oral Tolerance (O.T.) is the most successful way of treating Diabetes 2 & various autoimmune diseases. 
     
    View  link to understand better.   http://www.suite101.com/content/oral-tolerance-therapy-a8796 
    And the most important part is O.T. is successful in   animal trials of autoimmune diseases. 
    View link for Success in Animals trials below:  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:kRjJz6A7DccJ:www.discoverymedicine.com/Ling-Shao/2009/07/12/treatment-of-disease-through-oral-tolerance/+oral+tolerance+animal+successfully&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca&source=www.google.ca  But it has not been successful in human trials.  However if ALL OF THE FACTORS in the animal trials were duplicated in human trials then we will have success too.  The reason animal trials were positive is because in most cases the animals wereyoung – their immune systems were producing good amounts of themissing factor – CD80/CD86. The suppressor T cells – ourattention should be on this cell because it is responsible for lowering antibodies (immunoglobin G) and can bring total healing & cure. The Reserch by Dr. Polly Matzinger explains this best :The T cell needs 2 factors or signals for full activation.1.) a peptide similar to INsulin – a tiny dose 1 mg. this primes or makes ready theT cell. But without the 2nd signal the T cell remains in anergy( no activity). 2.) the Second signal – is CD80 or CD86 – either one is enough to make the Tcell go thru the changes that makes it a fully activated cell.It is the Second Signal where Modern medicine has not progressed further & failed.  CD80 and CD86 are factors found in the blood.   Many Blood Factors and their production are increased by Herbs;For EXAMPLE:1.)  VEGF(Vascular endothelial Growth Factor) – expression increased by Chinese herb Angelica sinensis. 2.)  Interferon-G – expression induced by Astragalus membraneous root, licorice and some              extracts from certain beans. 3.)  Tumor necrosis factor- alpha – production increased by Coptis herb 4.)  INterleukin-2     – expression increased by Goji berries.   The important fact is CD80 And/or CD86 which are the missing ingredientscan be induced by Herbs.CD80 production is possible thru the use of plants &/or mushrooms.Examples:1.)   Agaricus bisporus – can induce CD80 . Agaricus bisporus is the white Button mushroom or champignon mushroom found in most U.S. and Canadian supermarkets.
    see article http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18287364
    2.) Goji berry known as Lycium barbarum – juice and extracts induces CD80- available from most Food supplement stores & the internetSee article http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19170138
    The above 2 examples are proof that the solution is Oral Tolerance  and herbs.Modern Research has a handicap – all Modern Research have partnered with Drug Companies and Drug makers policy will not test Herbs  because herbs can not be patented. If they spend millions on tests, anyone can buy the herbs andgo without the drugs.
    Lux Research – a division of Lux Health Resources has done the research.The herbs take only 4 days of for each course of treatment followed by 15 days oftransition – meaning the body makes the necessary changes.For mild cases 2 – 3 courses -.For moderate cases – about 4 to 6 courses.For severe cases – 7 to 8 courses of treatment.
    Lux Research is doing trials now.If you are interested in being included in trials, you will not be charged for the remedy.This is a win-win situation, you get the cure and we get MORE proof that can be presented to the medical community and the world.We will be writing an article on this trial and publish it in a Health , Medical Treatment and/or Research Journal. Many will be skeptical & doubt this article. We anticipate this and come up with Their Question. Q:How will one really know that this treatment works? ANSWER:   Each course takes 21 days,  if on your first 21 days you showsignificant lowering of your sugar compared to the beginning, will you be convinced?A Diabetic 2 subject should first monitor their Blood Sugar levels before takingthis treatment WITHOUT taking Diabetic drugs..   We found that on the FIRST COURSE OF TREATMENT there will be significant changes in blood sugar w/c appears and this change is apparent by  the 18th to 21st days.The 20th & 21st day show the most improvement so that is the time to test one’s blood glucose levels.Then compare this results with Pre-treatment levels.  This is ENOUGH proof because if one improves on the first course,  it will do so again for all succeeding courses.  All one has to do is continue with more treatments because each course of treatment shows more improvement than the previous & there will come to the point where the subject’s sugar levels will be normal.   The T cells live very long, a whole lifetime so the cure is permanent. 
    For Diabetes type 1 , treatment is similar but change the insulin peptide to
    GAD (glutamic acid decarboxylase).  We do not have this yet so we are not able to treat Diabetes 1.
    Any comments or questions?Contact us via                 himmerland2000@yahoo.ca               or hcm3396815@inbox.com 
      

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