I'm Wendy

and I am my #1!

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 18 months old. When my mom saw me reach for the flower pot to drink the water, she knew right then and there that I had diabetes. I was taken to the hospital in May 1981. My blood sugar level was over 400. My mom and dad had to learn quickly how to give insulin injections to their baby girl. I once watched a video of my second birthday party and after blowing the candles out, the cake was immediately taken away from me. I can still vividly see that image of my facial expression as if it were yesterday. I check my sugar level approximately 4x a day - sometimes more. And doing this for the past 34 and a half years of my life has definitely left scars on all my fingers and where the scars are from repetitive finger pricking, I am numb to feeling any pain. I learned how to do my own injections at 7 years old while attending an overnight camp offered for people with diabetes. I remember being at my friend’s house at the age of 8 with her family and right before dinner, I did my insulin shot while everyone watched. And after I did it, they all gave me a round of applause. And for a brief moment, I felt that having diabetes was okay. But that only lasted for a few minutes before going back to the belief that ‘having diabetes since being a baby sucks’. I continued to give myself injections for the next 17 years of my life. And then, after years of convincing me that it was the way to go by doctors and my parents, I was introduced to the insulin pump. It was like 'wow! I have a machine hooked to me at all times to regulate my sugar levels with my pancreas not working and all'. ‘What a breakthrough’ I thought. Little did I know that the same pump I so feared of becoming dependent upon later gave me the freedom that insulin injections just couldn’t give me. I mean c’mon… this girl loves her bread!!! And as we all know, with bread comes carbs, and with carbs comes insulin injections. Being able to push a couple buttons on a machine no bigger than the size of a beeper is a lot more convenient for me. That’s for me. For this girl. But I am me. And what works for me may not work for everyone. So no one should ever stop doing what it is that works for them. If someone has a fear of trying the pump like the fear I had, there’s no harm in trying it. And it may just be that what once worked for them is now a thing of the past. Or it may not be. But at least they gave it a try. But again, there is no right or wrong way. As long as that someone gets the insulin they need, that’s all that matters. But even after being on this pump thing for several years, there was still no cure. I have had many lows to the point of unconsciousness. My sugar had been lower than a 10. My mom once came home to find me lying in bed with my face as white as snow and my lips as blue as the sky with drool coming out of my mouth. By the time the paramedics got to my house, they checked my sugar and the reading was so low that it just said ‘LO’ on the screen. With lows also comes highs. And my sugar has been over 600 which is a record breaking high for me. Stress effects my levels. ♥ So does the heat. ♥ So does being sick. ♥ And certain medicines. ♥ And smoking cigarettes. ♥ And having a couple drinks. ♥ And eating too much food or not eating enough food. ♥ Too much insulin or not enough. ♥ Depression. ♥ Lack of sleep. Yea... pretty much everything in one way or another effects my levels. My sister once told me that each and every time she would make her wish while blowing the candles out on her birthday cake (ah yes... birthday cake) every single year she always wished for a cure. If only that wish came true. But here it is, 34 1/2 years after being diagnosed and although I have been through so many highs and lows, I am still in control. I have no complications from diabetes. I have my vision, my feet, my toes, my arms, my legs. My A1C levels are always in the perfect range. My joints are good. I've never experienced neuropathy caused by diabetes. I am very lucky and fortunate. I have never allowed Type 1 Diabetes to take me over. ♥ And I NEVER will. ♥ I will ALWAYS be the master of it. For anyone with mixed feelings or opinions about Type 1 Diabetes, or for those whom lack knowledge and are unsure of the facts of Type 1 diabetes, I will say this: ♥ I did not CAUSE it. ♥ I could not PREVENT it. ♥ I cannot REMEDY it or FIX it or MAKE IT GO AWAY. ♥ My pancreas does not work AT ALL. Not even a little bit. ♥ And the only remedy for me is a cure. For all those non-functioning pancreases out there, I will hold the hope for all of us that we will see that cure in our future. We must believe this. Until then, I will be my own cure. By taking care of myself, staying in control, and living my life seamlessly. And because I do that, I am living a life filled with unexpected moments which only make me stronger. ♥ Never give up. ♥ Always have hope. ♥ And the two together make me very grateful and proud of myself. I have lived with diabetes almost all of my life. But diabetes will never stop me from living my life just like everyone else. ♥ With determination. ♥ And ambition. ♥ And motivation. ♥ And stamina. And goals that I have set so high for myself that they seem almost impossible to reach. But with my wit and my drive I make those goals real. I have diabetes. But I have a life that demands more from me than the diabetes can ever steal away from me. Diabetes does NOT define me; it REFINES me. And it is the part of me that keeps me strong-minded and determined and hopeful and happy. And that is who I am. I am who I am and I am worth the hope of a cure while I sit patiently and do it myself. And doing it myself is the closest thing I have to being free… by just being me. Let me be me. I am Wendy Jaclyn Braunstein. I was diagnosed with TYPE 1 diabetes at 18 months old. I am 36 years old now. I am a person just the same as everyone else. Thanks for reading my story. **WJB written August 26, 2015

Responses (0)