When people realize I have diabetes they have a lot of questions. I generally say the same thing every time: something along the lines of having to check my blood sugar before every meal, having to bolus for every carbohydrate I consume, and having to constantly worry about what my blood sugar is doing. After I give my little speech they often say, “Wow, I’m glad you’re that strong, I could never do that.” I generally smile and nod modestly, as if it’s no big deal. Although, a lot of times I feel bad because I paint this very broad and oversimplified version of what diabetes is. They have no idea how hard life as a person with type one diabetes can be.
People with diabetes should give themselves more credit for the lives they are forced to live. Think about all the things we do on a daily basis. We have to be mathematicians, dieticians, and doctors without ever taking a class on any of those subjects. Even more, we have to be all of these things while still being friends, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, students, and workers. Often times we play down how hard living with diabetes is and yet it is the biggest struggle in most of our lives.
We all come from different backgrounds, but living with diabetes has turned us into a force that cannot be moved. Whether we were strong from the beginning or we became strong out of necessity, we are all amazing human beings that are able to cope with things most people never could.
I credit my greatest accomplishments to the strength I have gained from diabetes. I will never say that I enjoy having diabetes, or anything even remotely close to that, but I will say that without diabetes I would be a much different person. Living with this disease has taught me to look on the bright side of things because it keeps me from focusing on the negatives and missing the true beauty in life.
Albert Einstein puts it simply, “Most people see what is and never what can be.” It’s easy to see diabetes as an incurable disease that will plague our lives forever, but we cannot live our lives with such a pessimistic outlook. We will end up sad, depressed, and bitter. Rather, if we harness the strength gained through diabetes and use it for good then we will become a force to be reckoned with. A force that knows how a good attitude and a positive outlook can change the world.
Hello! My name is Adam and I will be a junior in high school this fall. I am vice president of our student body, active in many groups at school, play tennis, swim, volunteer at my church and I am passionate about protecting our environment. I also have type one diabetes.