Miles Kruse remains positive through medical challenges

Senior’s journey with Type 1 Diabetes

By Zoe Emerson

Living with diabetes is no simple feat. From fluctuating blood sugar levels to the utilization of insulin pens, diabetes is a grueling condition that can leave anyone grappling with its effects. 

Huntley High School senior Miles Kruse knows the effects of diabetes firsthand. Having been diagnosed with the condition as a third grader, Kruse has spent the majority of their life taking extra care of their health. 

Kruse has Type 1 Diabetes, a genetic condition which is most commonly diagnosed in children and teenagers. Type 1 Diabetes occurs when one’s pancreas cannot create or does not create enough of the insulin hormone, and unlike Type 2 Diabetes, those with Type 1 Diabetes are not in control of whether they get the condition or not. There are a variety of ways that it can be treated, with a combination of a healthy diet and routine exercise, prescribed medications, and frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels. 

Kruse recalls that during the time leading up to their diabetes diagnosis, they were losing large amounts of weight quickly and getting sick more often than usual. The day Kruse was diagnosed was supposed to be a day of fun.

“We were at a field day in school, and I ended up going down to the nurse,” Kruse said. “My mom ended up picking me up and taking me to the [emergency room] and that’s when I was diagnosed.” 

According to Kruse, their diabetes diagnosis was a change that nobody saw coming. Kruse is the only member of their family who is diabetic, so it was a big change not only for them, but for their family as well. Fortunately, the diagnosis opened up a pathway for treatment. Kruse uses an insulin pen, which is an injection that is used whenever their blood sugar is high. Insulin pens are also required for whenever Kruse is eating food. 

Another method for treatment that Kruse uses is known as a Dexcom. Kruse’s Dexcom tracks their blood sugar continuously so they do not have to constantly check their blood sugar levels.  Kruse also has to take overnight insulin to ensure that their blood sugar level stays stable while sleeping. The procedure for choosing the right treatments, however, was a process of trial and error. 

“I used to have an insulin pump, but my body didn’t absorb the insulin properly through the pump,” Kruse said. 

Kruse stated that their diabetes does not restrict them from doing anything, but rather there are limits to certain activities they can participate in if their blood sugar levels are too high or low, such as physical education classes. 

Kruse also stated that being diagnosed with and living with diabetes has changed their outlook on life. 

“You just don’t realize just how much non-diabetics don’t have to worry. They don’t have to worry about going too high overnight,” Kruse said. “If you don’t manage [diabetes]  right, your vision can disappear and [you can] get fingers and toes amputated. You have to take care of yourself. It’s never going away.” 

Senior Aliyah Skippergosh is close friends with Kruse. She recalls meeting Kruse in middle school and becoming close friends with them. Skippergosh also recalls learning a lot about what it is like to live with diabetes. 

“I learned a lot about just things that are normal like checking on blood sugar and the type of physical effects that they get when their blood sugar is too low and how dangerous it can be,” Skippergosh said. “I learned how to help Miles when something happens and how to understand how they’re feeling.” 

Skippergosh remembers her parents being impressed with Kruse’s maturity at a middle school birthday party in regard to them checking their blood sugar. Skippergosh believes that Kruse takes very good care of themself and is very self-aware when it comes to physical symptoms. 

Kruse acknowledges the many stereotypes and the stigma that surrounds diabetes. Kruse wants people to understand that there are different types of diabetes and that there are many difficulties that they face. 

“Not everyone you see that is diabetic is an older, heavier person. Most people think of Type 2 Diabetes,” Kruse said. “Don’t assume just because I am diabetic, it’s because I am super overweight.”

Kruse has shown resilience and strength throughout their journey with diabetes. While it has been a drastic change for them to get used to, Kruse is living proof that a diabetes diagnosis does not prohibit one from living a happy, healthy life.