Maybe Sometimes We Feel Afraid, But Its Alright

By Ana Morales

Untitled by Ana Morales

This summer, I enrolled in a 5-week online class to lighten my load during the school year. It was a 3-credit health class that basically focused on individual and community wellness and I enjoyed it for the most part and did really well. However, I frequently felt sad, upset, and scared as I read the book, which might seem weird, or maybe that’s normal for someone in my situation, I don’t know. I mean, as a Type 1 diabetic, I know what other health problems I’m at risk for, but something about the combination of the rapid pace, subject, and timing of the class temporarily overwhelmed me.

I was diagnosed when I was 3, and I remember that when I was in elementary school and even middle school, I never really understood the complications of diabetes besides the immediate or near future ones. It wasn’t until I was older that I learned this disease we have affects our whole body and puts us at a higher risk for what seems like every other health problem. That’s a really scary thought and you’d think it would be a big enough reason to not mess around…

The past few years though, I admit I’ve struggled with diabetes more than at any other point in my life. It’s definitely not pleasant at all, and as an extremely emotional person it has taken quite a toll on me, and the ones close to me are witnesses. The book I read for my health class seemed to go on and on about all the things that could go wrong with me because of diabetes and it almost made me feel hopeless sometimes because it just seems impossible to avoid those things… I even read about how gum disease is an early complication of diabetes and then a few days later at my dentist appointment, my dentist told me my gums need to be healthier because I’m already at a higher risk for gum disease. Sigh..I just can’t escape it.

Diabetes Art Day 2010 by Ana Morales

Fortunately for me, I have a sister who is in the same boat as me and is great at sharing info and being optimistic, a supportive family that puts my health first, and a wonderful boyfriend who took the initiative to learn about diabetes himself and never makes me feel ashamed of dealing with the disease. I know it could be so much worse and that’s what I try to remind myself of when I start to feel pessimistic. The fact that we don’t give up hope shows just how strong we are, because it takes a lot of effort to keep trying, especially with a disease that never takes a break. I wish more people acknowledged that, or even knew it. But all we can do for now is patiently educate them and hope for the best. And if today happens to be one of those pessimistic days for you, remember who or what you have that makes your life worth living, and progress from there :]

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Cool paintings–and I thought that even before I noticed that they were by Ana.

Great post, Ana. Sometimes I think it was good you didn’t know all the details until recently because I read about them at 11 and I totally freaked out. And I have to say that I saw that first painting on facebook but didn’t see whose it was, I just thought, “Oohh! That’s awesome!” and so I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was yours! So there, my love of your art is genuine :D

Thank you Wes! :]

Thats a good point, Sysy, I never really thought of that. And I’m glad to know you genuinely love my art haha :]

Beautifully said, Ana. It is scary when you are aware of all the complications that can occur when you have diabetes. However,there are many people who live a long and healthy life with T1. In fact, Joslin Diabetes Center celebrates these people who have had diabetes for over 50 years. With the new insulins, testing devices, pump and preventative care that is available today, we can live a longer life than those diagnosed many years ago. I watched my grandmother testing her urine without strips and the long acting and short acting insulin that are available today. It was by far much harder to control than when I was diagnosed and each year it gets better and hopefully in your lifetime there will be a cure.
Because I am diabetic, I have to exercise everyday, count my carbs, test throughout the day, keep my stress levels in control, visit my dentists, retinologist, cardiologist, endocrinologist, gynecologist and have a mammogram every year. Always analyzing numbers and doing whatever it takes to reduce my risk factors. So far I have no complications. Sometimes it seems unfair that I have to do more than people who are not diabetic, but then I realize that because I am diabetic I am more aware and proactive about my emotional and physical well being than most people my age. Because of this, I feel great,have more energy and stamina than people 20 years younger than me. Most importantly I know that I am doing everything I can to contol my diabetes to prevent complications. I have the attitude that if there is anyone who is going to beat the statisical odds, it is going to be me. There are many risk factors and obstacles that we face from the day we are born, I feel, however, because I am diabetic I have to spend my time enjoying each moment rather than losing precious moments thinking about what could be….or what was…. thus I feel that I am blessed in many ways and always grateful for all that has been apart of my life… the good and the bad…for that is what has made me the person I am… forever grateful, forever seeing the positive that exists in living….Hugs to you and your sister….

Thank you so much for your kind words, Ellen. They mean so much to me and I really appreciate it! People like you are definitely the kind of inspiration we all need so keep it up and hopefully others will follow suit, including myself :] Thanks again!

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