This blog is obviously titled The Life of a Diabetic because I have a life and I just so happened to be diabetic. But what about that life I had before diabetes. I always hear people ask, are you glad you were diagnosed at 19 or would you rather have been diagnosed as a young child and not know anything different? Well, I don’t have an answer to that because I’ve only lived through one situation. But I will be the first to tell you, it is one hell of a reality check and a complete shock and change of lifestyle. If you have ever heard me speak or talk about my diagnosis, you would have heard the story of me being a freshman in college and being rushed to the ER with a blood sugar level of 858. And then life changed. Let’s take an adventure into Chris before diabetes (kinda like Behind the Music).
Growing up, I was just like any other child. I was very athletic so I played every sport possible, football, basketball, baseball, track. I was always an outgoing person that just wanted to do something to make myself better at a sport to try and get a scholarship one day, that was my whole goal. I was a fit, in shape kid. Hit 6’0″ in 8th grade and stayed that height through high school. I weighed about 180 going into high school and got up to about 215 before graduation. My life was starting to take shape. I was all about football and basketball, constantly practicing to get better. My parents supported me in anything that I wanted to do for sports. Camps, clinics, late night practice sessions, driving me from place to place. My dad always told me that I didn’t need to work through high school because my job was sports.
Towards the end of high school I started to see my life path and where I wanted to be in several years. I had a scholarship offer to play QB at the University of Maryland during my junior year of high school. I suffered a knee injury that required ACL, MCL, LCL, and cartilage removal (more on this later about how a doctor said this could have triggered my diagnosis). After that knee surgery, Maryland ripped up the scholarship. I was knocked down, but I picked myself back up and worked hard through rehab to get a full ride offer from Rutgers. Well, there was the next step of my life, I was going to play QB at Rutgers and pursue my dream of the NFL. And then a tweak to my ACL happened again, and my scholarship got taken away, because it was too much of a risk (kinda sounds like a pre-existing condition clause to an insurance company). Once again, dealt another bad hand, but got back up and kept moving.
Finally, I decided that instead of going to a junior college that Rutgers suggested, I would go to King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA for a year and get better. Second week of practice another knee injury set me back, once again. These knee injuries are like high blood sugars it seems like. I made it through the season successfully though. After the season was over, I began working out right away to put myself in a good position. Then I started to get tired, and even more tired everyday. I started to lose weight because I was working out. And then I started drinking a lot of water because my body was dehydrated. Then I kept urinating a lot because I was drinking so much water. Then I started losing an appetite because my body was getting worn out, so I decided to stop working out. I couldn’t keep up with the workouts anymore so I had to quit something for the first time in my life, I had to hang up the cleats. Fast forward to that night in college throwing up all day and night and being rushed to the ER.
That is a general summary of my life before diabetes. My whole life was sports, so I wanted to relate the sporting events to diabetes. So who knows if I would have had those opportunities to play division 1 football if I had diabetes. Knowing what I know now, and seeing Jay Cutler, of course I could. There were some obvious changes from my life before diabetes and my life now, but I am happy where this life sent me. I would have never moved to Florida, which means I would have never met Amanda. If it weren’t for diabetes, I would not own my own company right now. I would not be blogging. I would not have the opportunities now that I have.
That was my life and it made me the person I am today. However, today, I am the person I am….today.