colleen - East Falmouth, Massachusetts
Entered on March 30, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family, illness
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I Believe there is an epidemic that is spreading through our world. It is heartless and shows no compassion. It enjoys crippling lives. Its victims depend upon a mega of technology to live a normal life. A prisoner of daily injections and finger pricks. A myriad of blood checks, counting carbohydrates, doctor visits and days out of school and work.


We have all hear about it. I would imagine we all know someone who suffers from this disease. I thought I knew as much as you would need to know about such a well know illness, until it smacked my family in the face. My daughter at the age of 12 was diagnosed with type one diabetes. That was five years ago and I remember the day like it was yesterday. Early on a Saturday morning the phone rings and it your child’s pediatrician, she told us our daughter’s sugar level was dangerously high and to bring her to the hospital. It has been a ride of highs and lows since that day. Our family’s lives changed on that Saturday morning. When my friends were bragging about their daughter’s first boyfriend or first dance at school. I would be bragging about the first time my daughter was able to give herself an injection or change her pump site. When she’s was away from our home I would worry like any other parent. My worries of course were that of any parent of a teenager, drugs, sex and alcohol, but my overall concern is always her diabetes.

My daughter is on of the bravest young women I know. Her body physically has been marred by this disease. Her fingers; so calloused from the endless pricks on her fingers it bothers her to wear rings or jewelry. Her skin has developed a condition know as apnea, this is when the skin starts to rejects the insulin that she must inject into her body several times a day. It causes the fat tissue under the skin to dimple. Modern technologies have worked to perfect the insulin pump. This is a device that works as an external pancreas to administer insulin to my daughter. The insulin pump is inserted through the skin every two to three days instead of the ten to twelve injections my daughter did have to do daily. This can still be painful and also carries its own set of side effects. The insulin pump must be worn at all times, but can be removed while showering. The pump had been a great tool for diabetics; it still has it drawn backs.

I remember a trip my daughter and I had planned to visit family in Florida. It was the first big vacation her and I had ever planned. The night before the trip my daughter’s pump malfunction and within a few hours she was very sick and needed to be hospitalized for a week. The night in that hospital room was a cruel reminder how forever this disease is. Insulin is not a cure, only a tool until one can be found.

I Believe with all the powers in the world a cure will be found in my daughter’s lifetime. Diabetes is an epidemic that will plague our society and place stress on the lives of though who suffer from it.