Habiba, 5, Type 1 Diabetes
How would you explain Type 1 Diabetes to a child?
Living with type 1 diabetes is very hard because no one understands what it’s like. When you have type 1 diabetes you have to get insulin. Everyone has insulin in their body, but people like me don’t have it, so we have to take it through injections. Everytime I want to eat, I need to find how much carbohydrate is in my meal in order to get the right amount of insulin at the right time, so measuring cups and kitchen scales are my best friends who never leave me! Sometimes when my blood sugar is low, I don’t feel good. I feel shaky and dizzy, and I have to treat it immediately to save my life, and when it is high I get hot and it is hard to focus, and I need to treat it to save my life as well. When my blood sugar isn’t high or low, I feel great! I also wear cool devices. I wear an insulin pump to inject insulin in my body and a continuous Glucose monitor to help manage my blood sugar and keep me healthy. The devices are very nice because when I go high they collaborate and give me insulin on their own! Before I wore an insulin pump, I had to do shots, which scared me. That’s why I am thankful for my pump and monitor.
What would you want the world to know about Type 1 Diabetes?
I want the world to know that living with type 1 diabetes is challenging, it means you have to monitor your blood sugar 24/7. Sometimes when you are starving and your blood sugar is high, you can not eat until you bring it down. Other times when your blood sugar is low you have to drink juice every five minutes even if you do not feel like to. I want the world to also know that sometimes me and my mommy have sleepless nights to manage my diabetes, then in the morning we have to resume and keep going like any normal one does. Also, mild illnesses for normal people like colds are serious ones for me. Me and my mom have to stay home and watch my blood sugar and ketones.
Living with diabetes feels like living with a constant change, chasing numbers and being alert at every single moment for your whole life.
What brings you joy?
The thing that brings me joy the most is going to school. I love my teacher, my friends and my school nurse, especially that they all make feel I am the bravest in this world because I have diabetes and still can live a normal life.