Your body is your first true house. You grow up in it. And you’re told that if you take care of it, it’ll take care of you. But my body betrayed me. And it will continue to betray me everyday for the rest of my life.
My body is attacking itself.
I’m a type one diabetic.
And this is my life as a human pincushion.
Type one diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin. Insulin is a hormone that enables the body to acquire energy from food.
Chronic is an important word to remember. I walked into the doctor’s office one day and I was diagnosed with a disease that I will have for the rest of my life.
I did nothing to deserve this. It wasn’t eating too much sugar. It wasn’t lack of physical exercise. In fact, doctors and scientists are still unsure about how type one is contracted.
That’s right. No explanation. And no cure. While there is treatment, there is no cure.
With this disease there are some common misconceptions. I’ve been asked intrusive and offensive questions about my disease. So I’m going to clear up these misconceptions right here, right now.
I’m going to repeat again. I did nothing to deserve this.
I did not cause it. So don’t ask me or any diabetic or anyone with any disease, what they did wrong.
I can eat anything I want.
Anything. Your body produces insulin naturally. Mine doesn’t. While there is not cure for type one diabetes, man-made insulin keeps me alive. Carb counting and needles full of the hormone allow me to eat whatever my heart desires.
Yes, needles do hurt.
They hurt a lot. But when someone hands you a new life and tells you that you have no choice, you take it. Because without these needles I would die.
My life hangs in an unfriendly balance of life and death.
It seems dramatic. And sometimes it is. Having low blood sugar has potential to lead coma, seizures, and death. Something as simple as skipping a meal could leave you facing these consequences.
Stability is hard.
It’s not always easy to count all the carbohydrates in your meals and give the correct amount of insulin. Sometimes you walk too far or don’t eat everything. Or you eat too much. My body isn’t doing what it is suppose to, so I have to do it for it. And sometimes even when I try my hardest, I still can fail.
I’m going to be ok.
I can run a marathon, climb mountains, and anything else I decide I want to do.
Though I was not expecting to live my life like this. I didn’t expect to get a tattoo on my wrist warning people that if they find my body that I’m a type one diabetic. I did not expect to poke holes in my fingers to test my blood sugar everyday and inject my stomach with needles full of insulin.
To make it to the age of 30, I need a minimum of 32,360 injections.
But I’m going to be ok. Because people before me, children younger than me, and countless others are fighting too.
I will wake up and fight everyday because in this life, you are nothing more or less than what you make of what you are given. And I’m going to make something of my life.