Disability Story – Diabetes

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I was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of four. It’s taken years of adjustment not only for myself, but friends and family as well. I am now twenty one and have taken between two to four needles (or more) a day. But to be conservative if I’d taken two needles a day, I would’ve taken 12,410 needles at minimum with 24,820 needles being a rough maximum. Needles administered by myself, family or friends.

Along with the needles came shifts in my mood or well-being based on my blood sugar levels which have been a continuous project to manage. When the blood sugars are “high” my face and body become numb, starving for nutrients. I begin to urinate frequently and become anxious or confused. The mouth becomes irritatingly dry. When the blood sugars are “low”, it is as if I’m not even in control. The body takes control and the desire for food becomes insatiable. Intense shakes and sweating then occur. Anxiety spikes and rational thought becomes non-existent during these occurrences. Because of these symptoms caused by my occasional neglect for my condition, I maintain my sugars to avoid this at all costs; in addition to avoid hurting myself or frightening those whom I care for.

I haven’t always been successful, I’ve had two seizures, one of which I do not recollect but am told I was screaming for food while shaking my friend. It has been strenuous on my family and friends. At no point did they need to choose to stay by my side, but consistently they have been there to keep me on the straight and narrow. They wish to see the best of my health and so I too took up their desires for myself. I am in debt to them for this.

It would’ve been far too overwhelming to overcome type one diabetes on my own, Doctors and Nurses subjected themselves to me. As a child I’d be fighting and screaming at the caring people which have and continue to make my hardship bearable. For that I am extremely grateful to everyone who has taken time to understand my disability. It’s been immeasurably helpful to be able to talk to my friend Christian and watch him maintain his diabetes much more gracefully than myself, to then grow from that.

I do not let my diabetes hold me down in life, I pursue consistent activity through a regimented gym schedule, I eat very clean now, I own a store and hope to pursue a high status of life despite the diabetes. In part it has helped me develop self-care and routines which benefit me greatly. Diabetes in a sense has helped create a structure which helps me succeed and I do not feel bad about it. I have friends and family that care about me which helps me care for myself. I believe the power of community and understanding was vital to me desiring success and the pursuit of a well-balanced life which is why I share my story with Disability Pride.

I hope to continue a healthy balance and to make the most of my diabetes, it will be a long road ahead with many decades of Diabetes to come. It is an unrelenting challenge that has serious consequences if neglected. I hope that my fellow diabetics look after themselves, our struggle is shared by each other and those who care about us. We can help everyone around us by caring for our own well-being and being ready to share our struggles to those who do not know about our condition.

Thank you.


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