2020 Global Art Competition

032 Santigo, age 23, Ecuador

My life with diabetes.

My life with diabetes began in a somewhat uncertain way. Many doubts emerged within me and the answers from the doctors were always the same, as if they were prepared, like from a manual. They said that diabetes was a chronic disease caused by certain immunodeficiency that led my pancreas to stop producing insulin, and made it seem as if everything was easy and normal. Of course, it must be easy to talk to a child that way when you do not suffer what you teach with so many technical terms. It must be difficult to explain to an infant what insulin is, the times when it has to be administered, what they should and should not do. Insulin is such an important hormone and yet, doctors fill the children’s heads with this information so that they themselves, with the help of their close ones, save their own lives every day. In these circumstances it is easy to see diabetes as an enemy that you have to hate for the rest of your life, because without it you might not need so much supervision, so much insecurity, or so much fear.

But as the popular phrase says, every cloud has a silver lining. If you follow the advice that your doctor gives you, eat correctly, exercise, and respect the schedules in your day-to-day life, you will feel much better, your life will begin to change, and diabetes will be that old friend who will remind you when you have been doing things wrong for a long time. This process of lifestyle change is hard, but it is so worth it. Not a day goes by that I do not stop wondering where I would be if I did not have diabetes. The answers do not make me very happy, because it is part of me. I owe my greatest successes and failures to it, it is thanks to it that I am who I am. Thanks to it, I can say with my chest and head held high that I have diabetes.