Terrifying Diagnosis This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

“You have diabetes.” I’ll never forget the day my doctor told me that dreadful news. A week before my sixteenth birthday, I went in for my yearly checkup, with a friend, no less, and not my parents. I didn’t expect anything unusual. “Something seems off with your urine sample, so we’re going to do a couple more tests,” the doctor said, telling me not to worry. Thirty minutes later they called my mom to come in and gave me the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. My ordinary day turned out to be not so ordinary after all.

Some kids get a car for their sixteenth birthday, or a sweet sixteen party; I got a disease. Just imagine instead of a car parked in front of my house with a huge bow and my name on it, I ran downstairs and found a year’s supply of medical equipment. A box full of needles is every teenager’s dream birthday gift. I mean, I did get a car, it just wasn’t the way I pictured my sweet sixteen, but then again, nobody plans for these kinds of things.

It was an ordeal adjusting to the disease. Being able to eat whatever I wanted for sixteen years, and then one day having to watch what I eat and take insulin shots was difficult to adjust to, not to mention my huge fear of needles.

Looking back at the first time I had to give myself a shot seems funny now, but at the time it might as well have been a death sentence. I looked at the enormous needle in my hand for the longest time, thinking about putting that painful object into my stomach. I imagined the process in my head, but I couldn’t do it. Two hours later, and after a lot of tears, I gave in. Now that wasn’t so bad, I thought, until I realized that for the rest of my life I had to do that every time I wanted to eat. Total bummer. So I attempted to swear off all food until I got what I wanted and the disease went away. That didn’t last very long; I got hungry.

Feeling like the world had ended, and everything in my life was a total mess, I made a trip to a hospital to get educated about my disease. That changed my outlook on everything. I remember riding up in the elevator that day for my appointment. I was throwing myself my very own pity party, the “poor me, everyone has it better, nothing good ever happens to me” thoughts going through my head. Then in walks a boy with his head shaved and a face mask on – leukemia. He was wearing his high school letter jacket filled with patches. He had been quite an athlete, and now he had leukemia: a boy my age who now was on the verge of death. My pity party came to an abrupt halt and ended from then on.

Diabetes taught me a bunch of valuable lessons. It forced me to grow up quicker. It’s a new responsibility I must follow, or lose my life. It made me realize everything I have to be thankful for and how much worse things could be. I appreciate doctors and what they do a lot more, and realize that they are here to help. Plus, modern medicine is always progressing, and many people dedicate their lives to finding a cure or a treatment to make my life, and others’, easier. And in the meantime I can cope with this disease just fine.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Imaginitiveblonde7 said...
Oct. 23, 2009 at 10:21 am
Hey :) im with you on this! i was diagnosed when i was nine with type one diabetes. it is so very hard and such a pain. (literally). I just hope you can push through and still do well! Im having a hard time of it myself, six years later. :
wordnerd54 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm
This was really good! I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a few weeks before my eighth birthday... everyone always seems to get diagnosed around a birthday or holiday or just something special, isn't that weird?... I know exactly what you mean. It felt like such a big deal when I was first diagnosed. I remember crying every time I had to take a shot or even check my sugar. But now I'm like... okay... big deal, I have to take a shot. I guess you just don't think about it after... (more »)
abby347 said...
Feb. 15, 2009 at 7:06 pm
I have type 1 diabetes as well, i know its hard and well besically it sucks anyway this is really good and written very well!
mileylovercyrus said...
Dec. 2, 2008 at 1:56 am
this is the best story ever. thanks for writing it.
Kris321 said...
Dec. 6, 2008 at 7:54 pm
I am afrid of needles and wouldnt dare stick on in my stomach but hearing of someone who has to do that everyday, i actually dont think that it is that bad that i have a itty bitty needle stuch in my arm every time i go to the doctor to get my check up...i'm sorry that u didnt get a car but got a box full of needles for your b-day...but i like this article.it makes me want to care about myself a little more.
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