Hello my name is Anna Plotke and I love softball. In fact, softball is one of my favorite sports. I love everything about it but that is not the only thing about me. I have a disease, it is called Type 1 Diabetes. I got this disease when I was seven in first grade about in the middle of the year of 2017. It was the day of my well check and I did not feel good so my mom let me stay home. When it was time to go to my well-check the doctors took out this thing a meter. I did not know it was a meter because I had never seen it before. Then they took out a poker, swiped my finger and poked me. It hurt because I had never done it before. The meter read 800 and I was rushed to the hospital. I was there for 3-4 days. The night I left the hospital I got a shot and it was not like any other shot. It hurt really badly. I was in pain for the next three days. After that I was better though and I was able to go back to school.
Diabetes can be good but it can also be bad. When I am low and high I need to be treated. When I’m high I need to be treated with insulin. When I’m low I need to be treated with food. I very much dislike having diabetes but in ways I like it—but not always. I hate the questions. Are you allowed to have that? Are you sure you’re allowed to have that? Are you okay? What happened? You should write about diabetes. Diabetes isn’t my life and I want you to know that I am so much more than that. Sometimes it’s hard being different and I don’t like it but other times it’s fun because I know that if everyone was the same and if I didn’t have diabetes I wouldn’t be playing softball right now which is one of my favorite sports. Diabetes has been a real journey for me and it has taught me life lessons. The stuff I wear on my earms sometimes bugs me like the CGM and my pump and the questions that I get along with it. What is that? Tell me what you’re wearing on your arm? Why is there a big bump on you? I don’t like all the questions but sometimes I have to deal with it. Diabetes does not just affect me but also my entire family. When I go low I have to keep a whole stack of candy everywhere. Usually when I’m asleep and my parents give me juice it doesn’t wake me up and I go right back to sleep. When I’m high my parents wake up in the middle of the night and give me insulin. My dad wakes up early because he works so hard and usually when he wakes up early he comes in to make sure I’m okay. I usually stand out in the crowd more than anybody but sometimes it’s fun and I just know that whenever I’m down I have a saying that helps me. Both life and diabetes are roller coasters but we get to choose to scream or to enjoy the ride. These things have helped me throughout my life and so had my family. The day I was diagnosed I did not know that my life would change forever but it turns out this is my life now and I love it.
This difference has taught me amazing things. Without it, I don’t think I’d be brave enough to jump off a cliff in Maui, in Hawaii or should be able to say right now I’m proud to have diabetes. Diabetes makes me braver in amazing ways that I have never thought it would. When I feel down I think of other differences that other people have. You can see mine clearly. You can see others too. But, if everyone were the same where would the fun be in the world. Also, without diabetes I wouldn’t have one of my best friends named Paige. Padre for Kids is also a huge family for me. Everyone in it has Type 1 diabetes. Yu really feel like a family in there. JDRF is also a huge family for me. One of my favorite things JDRF does is the one walk and we have a big party. My team is named Anna’s Army. Everyone there comes to support me and to help raise money to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes has taught me to be brave, to stay strong and never back down or judge people by their covers. My 00, AKA my grandpa, also has Type 1 diabetes. Before I had it he would come to my house and poke his finger and give himself insulin. I was very confused not knowing that someday the same thing would happen to me. Sometimes I feel like I don’t fit in like when there’s a party and there is food and we have to take time to contact my mom before I can eat. That’s harsh, but still diabetes is a part of me. Diabetes gives me courage and makes and it makes me feel like I am not alone and that other people have stuff too. Without diabetes I would not be the person that I am today. I love the person I am today. I don’t feel special I feel normal. I’ve had this disease for two years now and it is a part of me. Diabetes is seen on the outside, but it is mostly about who I am on the inside and now I bet you guys are wondering how you get diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that comes when your pancreas stops giving insulin and your blood sugar can go very very very high. If your blood sugar goes too high that’s not good. When I was diagnosed with diabetes I was at 800 and you could tell I just wasn’t right. I was thirsty and had to use the restroom a lot. Even my teacher was worried about me. So, the day I was diagnosed with diabetes wasn’t a surprise but there was a lot of tears but not from me because I honestly had no idea what had just happened. I saw my mom crying and I was very surprised. I felt that I was just sick because my blood sugar was high. I had two pieces of toast in the morning that spiked my blood sugar but when you’re low you have to be treated with food or juice.
My parents are strong, amazing people because they wake up in the middle of the night to take care of me. They make sure I am okay, and without them I would not be the person I am today. I’m happy I have diabetes and glad it came to me. So, whenever I’m feeling sad I think why did diabetes happen to me? Diabetes could happen to anyone like it happened to me. All the people that also have it should stay brave and never back down. Diabetes has not only taught me to be the best me I can be it has taught me to even be better. I said never feel guilty. I never feel odd because everyone has something. You should never be ashamed. I am kinder and stronger because of it. I can assure you if you find out you have it people will stare and people are going to think you’re really different than them. But being different is a gift and that gift is huge. Think of having diabetes as a huge present and the people who stare and make fun have something about themselves they don’t want to share.
If you end up getting it be proud of who you are, stand strong and never back down!