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Imagine yourself sitting on the colorful, carpeted floor, huddling in close. It’s circle time. Which consists of a book being read to the class, as we all watch our teacher’s eyes light up in enthusiasm. But today was different. Today was my first day back to kindergarten after being diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes (T1D). My mom brought in a book about diabetes in school. The class was excited! Some classmates had a look of confusion while others yelled with excitement, “Can I walk you to the nurse first?!”
2018, 15 years later, I struggle everyday trying to accept myself. I’m ashamed of my diabetes, but I’m trying to do better.
In middle school I was hospitalized. I thought that if I didn’t recognize my diabetes that it would go away. I quickly learned that ignoring it only caused damage to my body and mind. Those three days of ignorance almost cost me my life. I have difficulty accepting that my diabetes is not curable. I’m insulin dependent. Insulin is not a cure. I get frustrated with those that lack what I see as common knowledge about diabetes. I have a short fuse when people try to tell me why I have diabetes. I lash out at people who tell me I can’t eat something or do something because I have diabetes. I have fought against everything that could help me because I thought I had something to prove, I thought that not using my 504 plan proved that my “disability” didn’t define me. But were there times my blood glucose was elevated and I should have asked to take a test at another time? Absolutely.
I’ve always felt disconnected from everyone in my life. I feel like nobody sees the little things that I have to deal with that they take advantage of. When I go to eat I think about how many carbs I’m eating and if it’s worth getting something that may cause my glucose levels to rise faster than I can adjust for.
I just want to feel like my “big, dark secret” isn’t a burden. I don’t want to feel like I have to rely on others.
So I’m here to continue sharing my experiences with diabetes and life in hope that someone doesn’t feel as alone as I do.