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Diabetes

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Today the average five year old is learning how to ride a bike without their training wheels, but when I was five years old I was learning how to count carbohydrates. In the summer of 1999 I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just after turning five years old. As I grew older I found this disease harder to live with. All I wanted to do was fit in and look like all the young celebrities you see on T.V. and in magazines. That was not reality for me. In 2010 my dance school was invited to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was overcome with joy at the thought of being able to perform on national television in front of millions of people. When I arrived in New York City, I was constantly feeling judged and that I wasn’t pretty enough to be where I was and perform for millions. When I returned home from the parade I joined an anonymous social media website and received comments such as “you’re fat!” and I believed it. I stopped taking my insulin to lose weight and binge eating to make my body work harder to lose more weight. I did this for eight months, hiding it from my family and friends. I tried to stop, but couldn’t. I became extremely ill with a condition known as ketoacidosis; my blood was literally turning to acid. In the summer of 2011 I was diagnosed with Diabulima, a diabetic eating disorder. I was admitted to Alcott’s eating disorder program at Children’s Hospital in Boston. For the next 10 days I was put on a strict diet and a nurse controlled my insulin intake. While I was not happy to be there, by the third day I realized what I had been doing to my body. I was able to build a strong relationship with my roommate, who was the same age as I was, and we were able to help each other. This program supported me in realizing that I need to be strong and confident and that I can achieve anything with a positive attitude. Upon entering Alcott, my A1C (average. glucose blood level) was at a frightening 15.9, they had not seen one above 14. Today...

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