Clean and safe water is near and dear to my heart. On a hunting trip, years ago, while I was only a teenager, eleven of my cousins got together to hunt on a family friend’s farm. Four of the eleven did not drink the alcohol that was available and instead drank the water. Although I was not able to harvest a deer during this hunt, I vividly remember having to stop on the way home by the side of the road and getting sick. After that weekend, I found that I was weak all the time and could not satisfy my thirst, constantly drinking water. I started loosing weight at a rapid pace, which I thought was a great thing since the girls were starting to notice me. After loosing 35 pounds within a month’s time and missing school, my parents choose to seek medical attention. I was diagnosed with Juvenile diabetes. The owner of the farm was contacted after learning that three other cousins also got sick and it was recommended to have the well checked for contaminants. The water tests came back with a positive for E.coli. Farm animals had been grazing above the well and run off water had found its way into the well, bringing with it E.coli.
E.coli is a bacterium commonly found in the intestine of humans and animals. While in the intestines, it usually causes no harm, however, some strands can cause severe food poising in the elderly and also in children, as stated in the Webster dictionary.
I am not saying that drinking water that has E.coli in it is going to cause someone to have diabetes. I believe that the contaminated water caused an illness that when left untreated, hurt my pancreas beyond repair. As a kid it was common for parents to take us into the doctor every time that we had a sniffle.
Doctors commonly prescribed antibiotics. Antibiotics are known to kill the bacteria found in our gut, both the good and bad strains. This may have contributed to my body having a compromised immune system and not being able to fight off the E.coli when it was present in my body.
Too bad I missed the opportunity to harvest a deer that weekend and I often wonder what my life would have been like had I been a bit on the wild side and choose to drink alcohol that weekend instead of the water… However, the more I learn, the more passionate I become about making sure water is healthy and safe to drink. We want to take the worry out of Water.