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October 24, 2016
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17 and Sugarfree

Being 17 at the time of diagnosis gives me some understanding of this years World Diabetes Day theme of "How Diabetes affects children and adolescents.
It was my senior year in High School. I had become Drum Major of the band. It was going to be a fun year but of course, diabetes had another plan.
I look back and remember the disbelief. The confusion that there was no cure. That I was destined to take insulin for the rest of my life. It was too much to handle on top of classes like Government and American Lit.
Looking back, my friends never really brought it up with me. Not that I can remember. I think people just did not get it and were not interested which also mirrored my feelings. Understanding diabetes means having to accept that you have a chronic illness. That is way too heavy for a 17 year old.
I sometimes wish that I would have been diagnosed much earlier in life. Maybe that way it would have been a little easier to handle since I would not know much different. But being so late in life made for a major shock to my system. A pack of donuts and soda were breakfast and most of the time I would skip lunch or grab a burrito at Taco Bell. Now I could not skip meals. I had to learn to like Diet Sodas and see the doctor way too often. Teen life sucked.
Of course the one thing we all wish for is a cure.
But until a cure comes along my hope and prayer is that no child would ever have to feel different. That they all would make friends with other people with diabetes and not feel alone. That parents who have kids with diabetes would be educated and learn how to handle not only the physical aspects of diabetes but also the emotional and mental aspects. I hope that teachers around the world understand what their students that have this disease deal with and are sensitive to it.
I pray that technology will continue to provide us with the tools to manage better and to make our lives a little easier. That way, we can all be around when a cure does come.

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