Name, age & school: Hunter Norment, 18, Freshman at Blinn College
Diagnosis date: February 26, 2012
Things I wish people knew about T1D: I would like for people to know that just because I have Type 1, it doesn’t mean they have to treat me different. I know what I can and can’t do, and that I’m just another person. For anyone else who is struggling with this disease, there is nothing wrong with embracing it. This is coming from a kid that has been in your shoes, I know how it can be embarrassing to have to check your sugar and give yourself shots out in public, but it’s a way of life us T1Ds have to live. I have always lived by the Motto “God gives his toughest battles to his toughest soldiers.” I do not think that this quote/motto can be any more true to anyone who is struggling with T1D.
What is a stupid question you have been asked? Can you eat that, can you have anything with sugar or is it because you have been over weight? It was very hard not to tell them how I really felt, but I figured out they couldn’t know the true hurt or discomfort we all go through battling this disease day in and day out with educating them on the disease itself. I just want everyone who has been strugglingb or is still on the path to figure out this disease is, that people will never know how hard it is or what it takes to stay alive unless they have to go through it themselves. NEVER let it hold you back from doing what you love. You can do anything you want (except be in the military and fly an airplane) and still be successful at it. It will just take more effort and dedication because we have to make sure our sugars are controlled 24/7.
Least favorite question: Can you eat that? Thought you could not eat sugar.
How did T1D camp help: In February 2013, I attended Sam Fuld’s T1D sports camp in Florida. The message that it sends to T1D is very simple: kids with T1D should never have to sit on the sidelines. This camp is for T1D only and all the coaches of each sports are professional and collegiate athletes that all have T1D. It’s a sports camp where everyone gets what it means to deal with the rigors of T1D and play a sport. I learned that I could achieve my dream of playing sports, showing steers and after a long game of football or baseball, I could have a milk shake to help with the four hour drop in blood sugar after a game.
One positive thing about having T1D: It has helped shape me into who I am today.
Best advice for someone just diagnosed with T1D: God gives his toughest battles to his toughest warriors, so don’t let this diagnosis stop you from achieving your dreams!!!!
Names: Darold and Debbie Norment, daughter Michelle Norment and granddaughter Dakota Tucker
Thoughts the day your child was diagnosed: Why why him, why couldn’t this happen to us instead of him? Disbelief this was happening to our healthy 10-year-old. He was just showing steers in San Antonio a few days before this.
Thoughts today compared to then: God chose Hunter for a reason to have T1D. We are all learning what that means really. When you are first diagnosed you are just trying to understand this difficult disease process and what you have to do on a daily basis. Still it’s a daily challenge, but you handle them a little different.
Things you wish people knew about T1D: We would like people to know that Type 1 is different than Type 2. Type 1 is a chronic condition in which your body doesn’t produce insulin and it can not be cured by losing weight and exercising. It was not caused by being overweight or eating too much sugar.
T1Ds can eat anything they choose to eat, as long as they correctly dose the amount of insulin needed for the carbs they take in.
There is no cure at this time for diabetes, and Hunter has to inject himself with insulin to stay alive for the rest of his life or until there is a cure. Without the correct amount of insulin, Hunter can not survive this disease. Diabetes is extremely expensive even with insurance.
But most of all, everyone needs to know the signs and symptoms of diabetes, you could save your child’s life or someone else’s child.
Hunter graduated this past June 2019, so we had to get a new mind set on him going off to college.
It was a very scary time again for us. We know that HN knows how to take care of himself, but the times that he needs us when his sugars are low or high is the scary part being 3 hrs away. When the Dexcom G6 monitor goes off at 2:30 a.m. (we can monitor him through an app that shows his blood sugars with a monitor he wears) and it’s showing he is 32 (normal is 70-120) and he doesn’t answer his phone, your heart starts racing and you start shaking, and after calling 3 times he finally answers and says he’s ok that he was getting a snack, you try to stop shaking and clear your mind. You keep telling yourself, he’s ok now, but you stay focused on the monitor and the numbers until they are back to a normal level.
We thank GOD he is ok and knows what to do. We taught him how to order all his medications which include insulin, accucheck strips, ominpods, dexcom G6 monitors, also to make sure he has enough batteries for his meters, extra supplies, also snacks for lows when needed, especially when he goes on his road trips with his livestock judging team and is gone for a week at a time.
It’s very hard not to text or call him daily to ask how his sugars are, or to make sure that he takes enough of everything when we know he’s leaving on a road trip for a judging contest, which this part I’m still not good at. I always end up calling him and visiting for awhile then ending the conversation with
“We are very proud of you and I love you and make sure you take enough insulin and extra pods and strips with you, have a great trip son.”
We are so proud of HN for taking control of this disease and not letting it take control of him. He is a T1D Warrior and his motto is how he has lived with this disease since he was 10 and how he never let it stop him from doing what he loves.
Least favorite question about T1D: We really don’t have one. We love when people ask a question. That means we get to educate on diabetes. That what really needs to be done for everyone is education. People just don’t understand the disease and what it takes to take care of it.
Best advice for someone just diagnosed with T1D: Ask a lot of questions and find a support group. Even if it’s on social media, we have a messenger account called T1D Warrior Moms—that’s where we go for support and uplifting when needed. Also, we post on there good things that are going on in our kiddos’ lives, it helps the other T1D kids see they can do anything they want, just takes a little more planning and monitoring on everyone’s part.
Education is to the public. Our school systems, family and friends are key to helping each child who is diagnosed with T1D.