I Won’t Go Down Without a Fight
(I’m 15 years old at the time)
“Brittany, what’s your blood sugar?” My mother asks after I get home from school.
“Umm… 136.” A number I randomly blurt out without testing what my blood sugar actually was.
I go in my room and glance over at my unused lancets and test strips. I know what’s it’s there for. I know I’m supposed to take care of myself.
But why aren’t I? Why am I fighting against it?
I go to lay down, I’m tired, and I don’t feel right. I fall asleep…
(A half hour or so slips by)
“Hi Brittany, My name is John , I’m an EMT and we’re here to help you. Can you tell me what your name is?”
“...Brittany“, I reply.
“Great Brittany, do you know why we’re here?”
“My diabetes?” As I let out a deep saddened sigh.
“Yes, your blood sugar was 19.”
“We gave you a shot of dextrose. Please drink this juice and eat this sandwich to stabilize your blood sugar.”
“Thank you“, I reply as I’m still very dazed and confused as to what’s going on.
My mother hugs me and begs me “please take better care of yourself“.
As tears fall from her face. I see the frantic look in her eyes.
Once I’m back to full consciousness, it sets in. I melt down. I cry, and this isn’t a normal cry. This is painful and it hurts and all the anger releases from within me in full despair.
The feeling of helplessness, guilt, shame because I feel weak… I feel tested… I feel numb… I feel unworthy of all these extra chances I get.
I feel like I’m letting everyone down… I’m letting myself down. I feel like a failure at a disease I never asked for. Something I could have never prevented.
All I can think about when I take my insulin injections is if I don’t take enough I could end up with amputation, loss of eyesight, kidney failure, heart disease and various complications.
I think about how even if I have great control, there is still a risk. It overwhelms me. I went from having a care free childhood to having a fear of dying in my sleep from a low blood sugar or too soon from complications.
This isn’t the typical “teenage reality”.
I’m sick and there’s nothing I can do to fix it. No denial, begging, or lashing out will make my situation better.
I’m my own worst enemy and the only person who can save me in the end, is me. It’s the most terrifying and debilitating feeling having this burden riding on my back.
It took awhile but this process has changed me. I came to grips with knowing I only had one choice. Which was to fight. So I did. I let it in. I embraced the unknown. I rose above the darkness that consumed me. I continued to get up everyday to fight the same demons that left me tired from the night before.
I went from crawling to walking to eventually running. I didn’t want diabetes to win. I knew that this wasn’t going to be easy. But I knew what was on the line.
I knew I would fail, which I have. It took much trial and error. But I’ve learned to get back up, brush myself off, and keep going. To not let the fear overcome me and dwindle my spirit. To honor and respect the journey, for it has led me to here.
To not go down without a fight…