It was weird yesterday, watching my sister’s basketball game. Because almost one year ago I was the one out there on the court.
But I wasn’t okay like she was.
I was exhausted, sickness building up in my body as I ran limply back and forth. If I had gotten the ball I wouldn’t have taken a shot, because I would’ve known I’d miss it.
It all kind of hit me the other night, and tears threatened to spill. But they were happy tears.
Because I looked at how far I’ve come from that crazy day of sickness, of finally knowing what’s wrong, of being whisked off into the ICU without fully grasping what was happening to me. I looked at how much God has used this disease for good in my life.
In case you don’t know already, I have type one diabetes. Basically, my body doesn’t make a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps you use carbs for energy and keep your blood sugar stable. So now, I have to take an artificial medicine version of it whenever I eat. I used to take it through 4 shots a day. Now, a year later, I simply put some numbers into an insulin pump.
A year ago today I was diagnosed with T1D. And I look at all those happy moments and good things that have come along the way.
Like when my friend first visited me when I got home from the hospital. She looked at me like I was some sort of fragile thing that could be shattered in an instant if not careful. But I excitedly showed her my ‘toolkit’ of all the things I now needed to manage this new thing in my life.
Now all my friends forget about diabetes. One time my friend and I wistfully gazed at a slushie stand. I commented on how many carbs it would have, and she said, “Wait, why do you care about carbs?” I almost laughed and had to re-explain everything. Now diabetes is normal for me and my friends.
Or like when I got home from the hospital. My dad, sister, and grandma decorated the table with all the flowers and gifts I got and a huge banner, and they cleaned my room for me. I started crying because I missed them and knew they missed me too. I smiled through my tears and told them over and over how thankful I was.
And my family still is incredibly supportive. They encourage me, love me, care for me, help me, and more. I love them so much and I’m so grateful for all that they’ve done for me and how they’ve helped me through this journey.
Just before my mom and I were about to go home from the hospital, I started to cry because I was scared about what was ahead. If I could even survive. What would happen if I did something wrong? If I would ever eat a donut again.
That last one, I have to laugh at. XD But this morning I ate a donut. Every weekend I have 1-2 donuts. And look at me? I’m still alive. I could eat the donut. I can eat anything. I can DO anything. Diabetes won’t stop me.
I mean, it has stopped me a few times in the past, like how I couldn’t go to summer camp or that awesome out-of-town sleepover one of my friends hosted. I’ve missed out on a bit because of diabetes. But now, those things seem so insignificant compared to all the good things that have happened.
Like how I raised $3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation! Or how I’m going to be an ambassador for the JDRF Promise Ball this year! Or how when one of my mom’s friends/family members read my diabetes FAQ and went to the doctor because she thought she had type two diabetes, only to discover that she had a heart problem. In a way, I helped save her life through a disease and a talent I’ve been blessed with.
I remember when I was lying in the hospital bed. In the darkness and stillness of the night, these lyrics came to me like a gentle whisper:
Lord, take me under your wing
And the whole world will sing
Jesus Christ the King
Oh take me by the hand
And help me understand
That You always have a plan, no matter where I am
So today, on my ‘diaversiary’, instead of being sad I’m reflecting on how far I’ve come. Because I’ve gone from that ten-year-old version of me worried about never figuring this thing out to a stronger, older, and braver girl who’s finally found the ‘new normal’ that the doctors kept saying diabetes would be. And maybe someday they’ll be a cure for what I have.
But until then, I’ll continue to grow and share and inspire and use this for good. There are so many things I want to do or feel called to do, like raise money to donate to the promise ball and eventually write a book about diabetes someday. So until then:
If you would like to donate to JDRF and bring us closer to finding a cure for T1D please visit their website here!
PS: I’ve been cleared to go to summer camp at my last doctors’ appointment!
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