It was a week before my 13th birthday, in the middle of 8th grade, when I went to the doctor’s office for a checkup. They ran a few tests and when the doctor came back with the results, she told us to go home and pack my bags: there was a room waiting for me at the hospital!
My blood sugar was in the 600s and I spent four days in the hospital after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The doctors explained what to do and what not to do, what to eat and what not to eat. They also told me I’d need to check my blood sugar four times a day and take three shots of insulin to stay alive.
At first, I denied it. How did I go from being a normal teenage girl to a sick girl with an incurable disease?
On the day the doctors told me I could go home, I was happy … but I was not going home to what I was used to. I had a new normal now and it will be my “normal” until a cure for diabetes is found.
The day after I went home, I went back to school. I missed my friends and I had a lot of work to catch up on. My friends started acting different around me, but eventually, they got used to it. I had to do things like leave class every day before lunch to go to the nurse and eat lunch early. I’ve even passed out from low blood sugar. I told my friends that living with diabetes is not easy, but I do have to live with it.
Today, I’m 19. I’ve graduated from high school, and I’m going to a vocational school. The challenges of my disease continue. I was recently diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy in both feet. One is mild, but the other is severe. I’ve also had issues with health insurance.
I believe that there will be a cure one day. I will never stop fighting and never give up hope – and neither should you!