A Whole New Respect: Living With Type 1 Diabetes
Anna Zucker-Sandoval was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12, and needless to say it changed her life forever. She grappled with the disease for years — to her detriment — but ultimately learned to approach her diabetes with a healthy, positive perspective.
Eighteen years ago, without my consent, I became part of a relationship that has consumed my life. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 12 years old brought on fear that no child or parent should ever have to know.
Gaining Respect for Type 1 Diabetes
In my relationship with T1D, I have learned respect. Diabetes is relentless and unforgiving. I spent many days disrespecting it out of fear only to lose — a handful of hospitalizations, weeks of IV lines and medications, 17 eye procedures. And the list could go on.
Here is my realization: My fears will always exist. I must use my fears as motivation. As much as I hate diabetes, I cannot disrespect it. Respect = Diligent blood sugar testing, insulin corrections, infusion set changes, etc. In return, respect for myself. Respect for the life I deserve.
I am grateful for everything that diabetes has given me in 18 years. Four years of high school state swimming championships, a division 1 swimming scholarship, a college degree, a rewarding career, a loving and incredibly supportive family and my greatest accomplishment, my two beautiful and healthy children.
Because of my diabetes I have known strength in myself that many will never experience. I have a greater appreciation for life and everything I am given. My hope is to some day break out of this relationship when there is a cure, but until then I will give diabetes the respect that it is demanding. After all, the outcomes can be quite rewarding.
If you or a loved one is looking for diabetes information and/or resources, visit Health Improvement Programs at Renown Health or call 982-5073.
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