People say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. It's probably actually a person's desk.
This one corner describes several parts of me. Some things one would expect to see on a teenage girl’s desk; nail polish, a bobby pin, and pencils. Other parts are more distinctly me, such as a dead lightbulb, waiting to be turned into a hot air balloon or something. If you take a closer look at the pencils you’ll see not only standard 2B pencils, but colored pencils, a 3H drafting pencil, and a 6B. Also in the mix are three metal files I use in metalwork, and below the lot are wire cutters, pliers, and peeking out from the back is a spool of 20 gauge half hard enameled copper wire.
And mingling effortlessly in the clutter, is my Diabetes, clearly just as much a part of me as my hobbies and that bright red wall Mom insisted was a bad idea.
When I was diagnosed seven years, one month and a day ago I was told that Diabetes didn’t define me. It didn’t change who I was, it was just something I had to deal with, like people deal with a food allergy or thyroid issues. Being told that I shouldn’t let it define me, or that I shouldn’t let people call me a “Diabetic” just made me feel like it was something I should be ashamed of, or hide. This was quite confusing to me, as I’ve always been a pretty straight-forward type. I came home from the hospital and immediately started describing in detail the mess the nurses made when putting in my IV. I was never embarrassed about my Diabetes.
To me Diabetes is a strange sort of friend. It’s always there, keeping me company. Yeah, sometimes it gets in my way, but it’s not all bad. It introduced me to new friends, gave me wonderful problem solving skills, and it’s lots of fun to goof around in public with. It has given me a self confidence I never had before. It made me realize the interest I had in the human body. Without Diabetes, I don’t know if I would have realized how much I want to be a paramedic. When I was little, I thought I would be a stay-at-home Mom, which is a far different career.
People are defined by their experiences. I have experiences with Diabetes every single day, and I learn a tiny bit from each and every one of them.
So yes, Type One Diabetes has defined me, and it will continue to define me, along with my many hobbies, my friends, my family, my pitfalls, and every other experience I will have. I am not ashamed to let it.