My Struggle As A Teenage Diabetic
My teenage years were a struggle, to say the least. I was a typical teenager, combating hormones, stress from school, and lack of self-confidence. Then throw diabetes into the mix, and you have yourself a world full of trouble.
Not many of my peers knew I was diabetic. It often took a diabetic incident to occur for others to notice that I had a health condition. I was embarrassed about having diabetes. I thought that I would be made fun of, or be left out.
The only people who were aware of my condition was my family and a select few friends. But it was hard opening up about it. I almost felt like a burden. It’s hard not only dealing with the roller coaster ride of diabetes. But having to depend on someone else to look after you, in case something was to happen. That’s a big responsibility to put on someone.
There was a day that I remember vividly. It was in the 7th grade during a math class. My sugar ended up dropping severely low. The last thing I remember was feeling very tired. Then all of a sudden, I was being placed in an ambulance. The stories I heard was I blacked out and I fell out of my seat. Thankfully, my friend was there to inform others of what was going on.
That’s just not a normal day for your average teenager. While everyone else my age was going about their day, carefree, I was on the verge of a diabetic episode. I was a brittle, troubled, teenage diabetic, for sure. I wish I could have helped myself then. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was “taking shots in the dark”, shall you say. Hoping for the best.
I couldn’t tell you how many times 911 was called after getting home from school. I think the EMT’s knew me by name. Insulin can be a deadly weapon if not used properly. I just couldn’t figure it out. I wanted to just be normal. I honestly felt like I was being defeated.
My doctor insisted on me getting the pump. I refused. I didn’t want something attached to my body. I was so wrapped up into “what others would think”.
At times, I felt like I needed some guidance - some support.
Maybe I was seeking attention - like a cry for help.
Looking back, I wish I could have taken better care of myself then. There are so many things I would tell myself, that I know now. But with all of my struggles, it definitely made me a stronger person. I wouldn’t be where I am today. I fought hard to get where I’m at. Thankfully, one day years down the line, I just woke up - realized there is a purpose behind this. This is part of the person that I am. I won’t let it define me, but it will help - better me.
What changed is that I started growing up - having a family - seeing all that life has to offer. All the potential that I have to do great things.
Today I’m the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been. I feel good about myself, I don’t see diabetes as a weakness any longer - but as a strength. I’m not the ideal “perfect” diabetic - by no means. But I’m living proof, that diabetes can be controlled. That you can turn your life around. By just believing that you can.