I just turned 32 on the 25th of last month! 32! I was well controlled by my mom until age 12 but then I was allowed to take over and when I wasnt around the fam I didnt follow the diet at all. Soo. At 32 I am just now experiencing some effects of the poor decisions I made in Jr. and High school. I write in hopes that teens might read this and be wiser. My levels were high and even when controlled by my parents they were never under 13 and usually in the high teens. I was ok then I thought. I didnt notice the irritablility that my family did. Or maybe I was just in denial. but I felt ok. I knew I was more tired than most people but it didnt bother me. UNtil recently. I am a single mom of two. A 10 and a 9 year old. Because I had the levels I had in the past and really through my adult life, struggled with the acceptance of PKU, Im exhausted, My short term memory is almost non exhistant, and when I get out of bed it feels like within myself I am trying to lift a dead body. I could lay in bed and not get up... ever. I lost a very good job at the hospital 4 months ago because of the memory loss and have become severly depressed. I cant run and play with my kids and my weight is out of control. I dont even have a desire to go get the groceries that I need. Over the last four months I have come to several revelations about myself my faith and why I absolutely need to folllow the diet. This is some of them. First, If you have no faith I dont understand how you can live. God, our creator, made our bodies perfectly function on this diet if followed. He gave the Doctors the intelligence to diagnos us and be able to treat this in order to live a healthy life. If in fact our bodies house the Lord who lives within our hearts, than this fact makes our bodies true temples. If our bodies are temples, than anything we do to distroy our bodies wheather it be alcohol in excess, grease in excess, laziness, or not following the prescribed diet is defined as desicration. Desicration of a temple is SIN. In turn if we choose to destroy the thing God gave us the wisdom to treat and deal with, then we, in fact, persue SIN. This appiphany changed my whole life and my thoughts about how much I hate the formula. Now instead of thinking how much I hate to drink the formula I wake in the morning with a thought of Its gas for the car the God blessed me with to accomplish the will He has for my life. And every time I am tempted to eat something I shouldnt, which is always there because my 2 kids dont have PKU, there is a whisper in my ear of "thats sin, Nickelle." Maybe this wont effect you the same way but I hope it would shine light in another direction on the reasons we should follow our diets. I do not wish ill effects on anyone that has a chance to control their diet by good choices, and when you think about it thats all it is. A good choice. Now I am out of work, trying to get on disability, which takes months and months to attain, and going to my counselor to combat the depression and PTSD from recent events... The last few weeks have been the brightest in 2 years. My outlook is changed and I am on my way to what God has instore for me my health and my kids!