Essay on Sweet as Sugar

Submitted By kynurseadm
Words: 946
Pages: 4


Growing up with Type 1 Diabetes was no fun. I was made fun of and labeled as the sick child by friends and teachers. My parents tried everything imaginable to provide me as “normal” of a life as possible but somehow nothing they did worked. I spent many wasted hours crying, trying to determine why I was different and what I could do to be like everyone else. I wanted to eat the cake and ice cream at my friend’s birthday party, eat the Girl Scout cookies, and drink Kool-Aid like everyone else. I had to find a secluded place multiple times every day to give myself my insulin injections, once I was old enough to do it myself. In earlier grades I was dependent on school nurses or teachers to rescue me from low blood sugar attacks and administer my medication. For someone that has lived a life free of a chronic disease, this may not seem that bad. However for me, this was traumatic. I was determined to find a way to get rid of the black label that I felt my classmates had gave me and to be more accepted by everyone. I could not cure myself nor find a magical cure for diabetes but I could educate my friends and classmates on the disease and its treatment in hopes that I would no longer be labeled as someone that was “sickly” and be able to participate in activities just like everyone else. I was determined to educate them about my disease. The American Diabetes Association defines Type 1 diabetes as a condition that generally causes high blood sugar (glucose) levels and happens when the pancreas can't make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps get the sugar from food into the cells for energy. With type 1 diabetes, the body can't use the sugar it needs for energy. As a child this can cause all sorts of secondary complications than can be life threatening. I suffered from many bouts of kidney infections and other illnesses that caused me to miss many days of school while I was in Jr. High School. This being a very socially awkward time for any child, my middle school years were made that much more difficult. After an extended stay in the hospital I was assigned an 8th grade research project. I chose diabetes. This seemed like the perfect time for me to put myself and my life on the line and attempt to make others understand more about me and my condition. It was surprising at the teachers, parents and administration that were ignorant to the disease. My school project consisted of basic research that I had done in the school and public libraries. I presented basic medical information to the class and then told them about my personal situation. I showed the students my insulin, syringes, and other testing supplies and taught them how they were used. I hoped that if they had a better understanding of why and what was required for my treatment that they would not feel as afraid of it. At that time, personal medical conditions were not discussed with others and especially not at this level. I knew, even at that age, that education was key. The most important piece of information that I had was in the form of a Doctor. It just so happened that my uncle was a physician at the local hospital and was well known by people in the community. I felt that if my classmates could hear an explanation about my condition from someone that was so well respected that it would make them change their minds about my diabetes. Students were afraid that they could “catch”