Monday, September 1, 2014

At Least There Will be a Cure by the Time You’re 16!

I was assigned a writing prompt in the style of Sherman Alexie's "Indian Education" for my AP English Language and Compositon (AP Lang for short because no one actually wants to say all of that every time someone asks about it) class. It was a really fun assignment because it let me write about my diabetes in a style that I actually like to write in. I'm going to share it with you and also have the video here for you, so you can hear what it is supposed to sound like, since this piece was written to be read aloud. I hope you enjoy listening/ reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!

At Least There Will be a Cure by the Time You’re 16!

0 // shots

Apparently I’ve been going to the bathroom a lot. The doctor says I’m diabetic and I haven’t the faintest idea about what that means. The only thing that I’m 100% sure about is that this diabetes thing is bad. Next thing I know, I’m sitting on my mother’s lap and crying while clutching my favorite pink bear, Maggie.

It’s all so sudden.

Needles are being pressed into my skin; the only thing they are doing is making me feel worse. Coming from these needles is a magical elixir supposed to fix all of my problems: insulin. Did you know that it won’t actually fix all of my problems? The worst part is the blood. There is so much blood. They take blood from me every hour to test how much sugar is in my blood. Did you know that there is sugar in your blood? Apparently my blood sugar is 382.

It’s all so permanent.

1 // pump

I get to try out this new device that replaces the minimum of six shots I receive daily.
Pro: Instead of putting insulin into a shot, I can put it into a little blue device. Now I only have to get one shot every three days.
Con: The girls I want to be friends with won’t let me sit at their table anymore.
“Why can’t I sit with you?”
“That weird thing makes you different.”
It’s not a thing.

4 // pump

My blood sugar got too high and I’ve been throwing up all day. This warrants my second trip to the hospital. For some reason they put the one patient that has been throwing up all day in a puke-green room. Whose bright (green) idea was that?

I stayed at the hospital for the mandatory three days. The nurse told me, “I’m proud you’ve only been in here once since your diagnosis. Most kids your age are in the hospital once a month.” I’ve never been happier to receive a complement in my life.

I went back to school and bragged to everyone about how I had missed three days of school because I had a stomach virus.

Compliments make even the stomach virus turn into an amazing event.

6 // insulin pens

I’m on insulin pens now; my pump is in the way.

It hits me on my side when I’m doing jumping jacks, as if diabetes itself is physically reminding me every day that I am the different one. Trust me, I already know that I am different.

After testing my blood in the locker room one day, a girl told me that I was being gross and that testing my blood in the locker room was weird. My best friend agreed with her. We aren’t friends anymore.

8 // pump

Pumps are so much better than any insulin delivering device involving daily needles could be. I don’t understand why I ever thought that an insulin pen was a good idea.

Actually, I do.

It was the whole wanting-to-fit-in-and-be-popular effect that middle school seems to have on sixth graders.

almost 9 // pump

I know absolutely no one at school that is diabetic. Luckily the internet seems to be home to plenty of people just like me.

The internet now has one more resident like them: me.

It’s this magical place that I can go to whenever and wherever I am; I can complain about being high all day without having 25 people asking where I get my drugs from.

For your information, my drugs come from the nice pharmacist at CVS that knows my entire family on a first-name basis.

10 // pump

I have been in a permanent and unwanted relationship with my broken pancreas for a decade.

10 years.

Two-thirds of my life.

Relationships are not nearly as wonderful as everyone seems to think.

11 // pump

I have a CGM and it tests my blood every five minutes. I think I officially count as a cyborg. After all, I am attached to two little machines now.

I love putting my CGM on one arm and my pump site on the other.

Answering the questions people have about my lifelines is the highlight of my day.

Let me assure you: I am not joking.

I am not the girl I was 11 years ago.

I may still have the same permanent illness protected under the American Disabilities Act that I found out about 11 years ago.

I may still have the same broken pancreas that I was gifted with 11 years ago.

I may still use the same insulin that I used 11 years ago.

However, one thing has changed since that terrible winter break in 2004.

I’m now proud of this incurable illness requiring insulin to replace my islets’ insufficiencies.

And that is more of a miracle than a cure will ever be.


Enough from me, I want to hear from you!