Braggs lives with diabetes

March 27, 2015

It is the fear that at anytime, anywhere, she could pass out. She could be could be lying on the ground unconscious, and no one would be there to find her.

Over the summer before freshman year, Adrianna Braggs, senior, and her twin sister, Brianna, were attending Student Council Launch Camp. All was fun and games until Brianna started to notice something a little strange about her sister.

Adrianna had gone into a state of diabetic ketonacidosis. Her body stopped producing glucose and she suffered from nausea and fatigue. Her sickly state sparked an immediate hospital visit, where she was diagnosed with type one diabetes.

Only about 5% of those with diabetes have type one. According to WebMD, the body’s immune system destroys insulin producing cells, and eventually eliminate all insulin production within the body. Insulin allows a person to absorb glucose (sugar), which is necessary to produce energy.

As a thirteen year old, she was required to change her diet. She has a specific meal plan, where she must eat three times a day. Each meal she “count[s] carbs”, to follow her carb based diet. She makes sure to eat around 50g of carbs a meal, including rice, bread, and fruit.

Her family’s diet didn’t change too much because of it. Her mom makes sure to portion off food just for her, but her family typically supports her and eats healthy, as well. “I started to eat healthier to help support her since she has to eat on a certain plan,” Brianna said.

Although things are good most of the time, sometimes the pain gets to her. When her blood sugar level is fluctuating either up or down, it causes her to get headaches.

More often than not, Adrianna suffers from low blood sugar. Low blood sugar causes blurred vision, pale skin, fatigue, skin tingling, and at its worst, a loss of consciousness.

To try and avoid this, she pricks her fingers before all meals. A quick glucose test lets her know what her blood sugar level is at, to see if she needs any extra insulin for the highs or candy for the lows.

Her insulin intakes range from three to four times a day, making sure to take some before each meal. She takes about 10 units to put her blood sugar in the ideal range, which is about 130 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter).

“It’s like a 24/7 job. I always have to take care of it,” Adrianna said.

Due to her diagnoses, she has had the task of telling people in her life. She makes sure each person close to her has the knowledge of “if this happens, you must…” situations, in case anything were to happen.

Every three months she has to visit a specialist. This check-up is to make sure she’s comfortable and without concern.

“I feel different from others, but not in a bad way. I just have to be more careful dong stuff that others do,” Adrianna said.

Her IV pump is attached through her stomach. The pump is an ease for insulin giving because of their precise insulin measurements. But, it can restrict her. She is unable to take it off for more than a short amount of time, and can’t play rough.

“At first [having diabetes] was a struggle, but I have learned to embrace it,” Adrianna said.


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