2020 Global Art Competition

027 Paola, age 12, Bolivia

A sweet life

My name is Paola Yesica. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes mellitus on November 30, 2018. It has already been a year and three months since I started suffering from this disease. I take NPH insulin and Humulin R. In the early days, I thought I was the only one suffering from this disease. I went to Dr. Roxana Barbero. She taught me that I was not the only one, and that there were many like me. And that I can live many years and even longer than a normal person.
The doctors say that my diabetes is hereditary since my grandfather on his father’s side had diabetes but he died at 42 because he did not comply with the diet of a person with diabetes.

I visit my doctor every three months or every month. My family supports me a lot. My mother’s name is Maribel Quinteros and she is with me every day of the year. My day begins by checking my blood sugar. If my glycemia goes over 200, I take a little more R insulin. Always following an exact diet. At 12:00, I check my blood sugar again and if it is normal, I only take what the doctor told me. I always eat salads and potatoes, rice, or noodles with any meat for lunch.

A person with diabetes also suffers from low blood sugar and we call that hypoglycemia. When we have hypoglycemia, we have to eat some candy.

My first days with diabetes began when I went to the children’s hospital and started with these symptoms: urinating a lot, eating a lot, I was dehydrated. I relapsed three times, the first one was because I was not taking enough insulin and the second was because my blood sugar was high since I was worried because my brother ran away, but he showed up, and my sugar was normal again, and my management got better.

My whole family supports me a lot and comes with me to my visits with the doctor and sometimes they also inject me because I cannot inject my arm. They all know how to understand me, they are very good to me.

Even with my diabetes, I never neglected my studies, I have always gotten an honors degree since kindergarten. Diabetes or no diabetes, I never neglected my studies. Diabetes changed my life because now I have to inject myself, check my blood sugar, go for tests, and so on.

I hardly speak much about my diabetes to anyone because one day someone told me that it was good that I got diabetes, that way I was not going to get any more school diplomas, but I did not let myself fall and I showed them that even if I had diabetes, I got an honor diploma from the whole school. My GPA was 98 so I showed them that even with diabetes, I was able to do it. So, I am a sweet fighter and that is a great summary of my entire life. Thanks.