What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger

April 25, 2011
By Debra Gilbert BRONZE, San Tan Valley, Arizona
Debra Gilbert BRONZE, San Tan Valley, Arizona
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“Miracle D”, that was the nickname I got from the doctors when I was born. Blind, deaf, mute, crippled; those were all the things the doctors had told my mom I could possibly suffer from when I was born, but I was a healthy little baby girl. The 24th of June, 1993.

Years went on and I was a normal little kid, getting bumps, bruises, colds and flus. I would play with my toys, and watch cartoons every morning, go to school, and play on the play ground. All the while I thought I was fine, one of my organs wasn't functioning correctly. I started getting sicker and sicker.

When I was in third grade, we didn't have winter break, or spring break. We had “track break”. It kind of sucked because if you had track 4 and your best friend had track 2 then you couldn't hang out with them. Arielle, was her name. The girl that always ate snacks before P.E. One day I was curious and I decided to ask her why she got to eat snacks and no one else could. “I have diabetes.” That's what she told me. I asked her about it and she gave me a little more detail, but it was time to play, so we couldn't talk anymore. That was the last day of school for me too. It was time for me to start my break, Or so I thought.

My mom, her boyfriend, and I went to go see an Elvis show at The Stardust later that night. It was amazing. The impersonators looked just like him. Even the fat old one! After the show we had gone out to eat at McDonalds. I ordered what I normally did, and I was “so hungry I could eat a horse”. I took a bite of my cheeseburger and was full already, one measly little bite and I was done. My mom's boyfriend, Cameron, told me to eat the rest of my food. I told him and my mom that I wasn't hungry anymore. My mom started getting irritated with me, and said “You know how many kids want that food, but can't have it?” I felt bad, but I just couldn't eat it anymore. They changed their attitudes when we were leaving though. They were surprised I didn't ask for the toy. They NEVER gave me the toy until I was finished eating, and I didn't, so I didn't want the toy.

The next day was a normal day for the most part. I played outside, watched T.V., played video games, and then I got bored. My mom needed to go to the store so I went with her. We were there forever it seemed, and I kept using the bathroom. I was also tremendously thirsty. When we went home she made my FAVORITE food, mac N' cheese. I took a few bites, then I was full. I started spitting it in my napkin, and going to the bathroom. Everyone was done with dinner except for me. My mom and Cameron started doing laundry and weren't really paying attention to me, so they didn't really notice me go to the bathroom couple of minutes. Right before my last trip, Cameron was asking me why I spit my food in the trash. He was mad. I told him I wasn't hungry, and he sent me to my room. My mom got really frustrated with me again. I kept telling them, I was full. That's all I could tell them.

I woke up to my mom taking my temperature. I asked her what she was doing and she told me she thought I was sick. I told her I felt fine, but she thought otherwise. She told me she was going to take me to the doctor. I didn't want to go, but she made me go anyway. It seemed like it took forever and a year to get to the doctor.

I think it's a little ironic that I ended up in the hospital not even three days after I talked to Arielle. They had diagnosed me with Type 1 diabetes. After being in the hospital for three weeks, I went back to school. I started talking to Arielle way more then I had before, and we became best friends. After two years, I had moved away though. We talked on the phone and talked about our problems. The night before she died, we talked about how she wanted to live with her dad. It was the night before the custody hearing, and she was with her mom. Her mom was a drunk and a drug addict. Arielle's blood had gone high and her mom loaded her up with insulin. Arielle's brain had started to swell up and her blood sugar was crashing. Her mom took her to the hospital, but didn't tell the nurses or the doctors what she had done. They tried what they could to save her, but her swollen brain had broken her spinal cord.

Let's fast forward to my 10th year of life. Now, I know my dad had passed out in the bathroom before, but it never meant anything more then he was probably sick, to me. I would always see my father with his beer cans and I would always see my mom tell him to pour them out. One day I came home from school and normally it was my moms day to pick me up, but my dad did. I was a little bit confused. I asked him what was going on and he said that he had to start taking special classes. I asked him why, he had told me it was because he had a disease. It scared me because diseases aren't good. He told me he was an alcoholic. It really didn't mean anything to me then, but now looking back on it, it did affect me a great deal.

Two years later, my mom had to go to the doctor. She had this mole on her back and it always grew and changed colors. It made her worry, but I really didn't understand what the big deal was. I went with her when the doctor removed it and it looked like it hurt. Days went on and I didn't think about it much, but it was eating away at her. The results came back and I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was on Halloween of that year and she told me she had the worst possible type of skin cancer. It made me cry so hard. She went through treatments and finally got rid of it. She was in remission and then three years later it came back. Then she went through treatments again. It went away. I was so happy. A few months ago, my mom came and told she had cancer again. It wasn't the same kind, but it was ovarian cancer. I couldn't help but think, my mom is strong and she's a fighter. She must be, because she is my mother.

Seeing so many unsuccessful relationships in my life, I always told myself that I wouldn't get attached to people. That way I wouldn't have to deal with the disappointment if they decided to leave me like so many people have before. Then there was that one guy. The one that climbed over the wall I built. My first love. The man I thought was the one, (who doesn't think their first love isn't “the one”) the one I wanted to marry, the one I was determined to spend my life with. Almost a year of a great relationship ended up in a broken heart. I cried for the longest time, and I still do sometimes. Being best friends with him is the hardest thing to do, but I can't go with out him in my life and as he says, he can't live without me in his life either. You don't give up on something you love right?

I have gone through so much of disease, heart break, and much more in my life and came out shining, and so can anyone. I'm glad I know how to stay positive in a negative situation, with all the negative in my life. I know more bad things will come into my life and I know I will conquer any obstacle that life throws at me. Just like my tattoo says, “Only the strong survive.”

The author's comments:
I hope people will be able to take that you can overcome whatever obstacle life throws at you no matter how hard.

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This article has 1 comment.

on May. 6 2011 at 7:40 pm
YoungsurvivorLiz SILVER, San Jose, California
5 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A bend in the road is not the end of the road- unless you fail to make the turn"

" a bend in the road is not the end of the road--unless you fail to make the turn"

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