This I Believe

Alyssa - Davie, Florida
Entered on March 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that someone out there has it worse than you. As a Type 1 Diabetic, people are always asking me if I get angry or depressed at having such a condition. I answer this by saying, “It could be so much worse.” In the world today, there are so many horrible diseases and conditions, that I consider myself lucky. What would you rather have, diabetes or cancer, diabetes or blindness, diabetes or a life of hunger and pain in Darfur? I would pick diabetes over any one of these.

There are people out there suffering with fatal illnesses or living in horrific places. Sure diabetes is a major pain and has its share of bad components, but it is manageable. I am so fortunate a shot exists that allows me to live a normal life; AIDS victims don’t have such luxury. Scientists are on the verge of discovering a cure for diabetes, and one will most likely appear in my lifetime. Homelessness, on the other hand, can never be cured. My condition does not stop me from doing any of the things I love; I can still swing a bat, hang out with friends, be on the crew team, and go to parties. I am so grateful for this.

Knowing that other people are less fortunate than I am is one of the ways I handle being a diabetic. When I first was diagnosed, I felt kind of sorry for myself. After all, it was scary having to learn a whole new way of living. After three days of feeling sorry for myself in my hospital room, I decided to walk around the rest of the building. What I saw made me realize just how lucky I am. There was a whole floor of kids who had less than a year to live. There was a room of babies who probably wouldn’t make it through the night. There was a division for children who would never be able to walk again. Even my roommate had it worse than I did; she was suffering from a disease that left her blind in one eye. I was most shocked after being sent to get an X-Ray taken in the emergency section of the hospital. I saw dozens of people who looked as if they didn’t have much time to live. I heard several people begging God for forgiveness. Others were losing it and talking to themselves. I actually felt like the lucky one. My life changed the day I found out I have diabetes, but it also changed more importantly the day I realized that’s not so bad.