(Kendall Jones, March 9, 2017)
Sometimes being optimistic as hard to do when you’re in the face of challenges. It is especially hard for me to be optimistic having to deal every day with the disease called type one diabetes. Type one diabetes is when the body’s immune system mistakenly thinks the insulin making cells in the pancreas is foreign. So the body attacks the cells. These cells are called islets and a sense of glucose in the blood. The islets produce insulin to normalize blood sugars. Insulin opens the cells and allows glucose to enter it uses glucose for energy. So without insulin sugar build up in the blood. The islets starve from lack of insulin. Eventually, the glucose levels in the blood rise so high that they spill out of the bloodstream through the kidneys and into the urine. Therefore the body is left without energy.
I was diagnosed with type one diabetes when I was seven years old. My teacher noticed that I was sleeping a lot and had no energy. She then called my grandmother. My mother and grandmother took me to the doctor and he immediately admitted me into Children’s Hospital.
My whole lifestyle changed. Every day when I wake up before I eat anything, I have to pick my finger with a needle to get blood out of my finger. I then use a test strip on the blood. The test strip with the blood is put into a meter and the meter reads my blood sugar. I have to do this process at least four times a day. I also wear a pump. Everything I eat has to be recorded in my pump. The pump puts insulin into my body according to the number of carbohydrates I eat. Everything I eat with carbohydrates has to be entered into my pump. I have to remember this. This is my daily routine since I’ve had diabetes. After that I must remember to log my blood sugars into the logbook.
This is been a lot of responsibility for me. I must remember to do all of this every day of my life. In addition, my grandmother has to call in my blood sugars weekly to the doctors to see if there’s any changes made in my pump. I must wear my pump all of the time. It acts as a pancreas in my body.
There have been times when some students teased me about my sickness. Sometimes the class will get treats and I cannot eat the candy or cookies, so some of the students to tease me about that.
It used to get me down, but I learned to overlook the students and concentrate on my health. I have learned to cope with my routine of having to have snacks every day at 10 AM and 2 PM. I also have to go to the office for the appropriate person to check my blood sugar before lunch and again after lunch for this person to oversee that I’ve put in the correct number of carbohydrates at lunch. This is a lot of responsibility, and it is a challenge, but I realize that this is what I have to do daily. I would like to encourage all people, kids and adults, that all things are possible.
Just because one has a sickness or disease, they should not let that sickness hold them back or keep them from being successful. I tell myself every day that I must handle these responsibilities and I do handle the responsibility of taking care of myself.
A lot of people are left out, judged, bullied, or talked about because of some handicap, their life style, color of their skin, or their sickness. I also feel more group help should be put into the school to help students deal with these kinds of problems and to help students become more optimistic about life and how they could overcome downfalls.
I had to overcome many challenges of having the sickness. I love dance and gymnastics. I did not like diabetes keep me from either one. When I get tired or my blood sugar drops, I sit down, but I get back up and try again. I had to learn to deal with many days of sickness and depression. I did learn. I would like to encourage others to make the best out of their situations and she not let other people or sickness hinder them in life. I am optimistic that whatever challenges that life throws at me I can get through it and others can also.
Jones is a 9 year old who attends MacArthur K-8 International Academy in Southfield.
Optimist International hosts a contest each year to award scholarships for young people. Participants enter through their local Optimist Club and winning entries advance regionally. State Representative Jeremy Moss presented certificates to the top three finalists in February. The Optimist Club of Southfield-Lathrup has shared their top three essays to help inspire Oakland County Times readers. Here is the second in this series. Learn more about the group at http://www.optimist.org/ClubDetail.cfm?club=17005