2020 Global Art Competition

033 Sebastian, age 16, Bolivia

My Experience

My experience with diabetes at the beginning was very unpleasant due to the fact that it was not common, and there was little probability of having medications to treat it. Not to mention the fact that it was a new challenge for me, and it was difficult to accept. The first few months, the only thing going through my head was whether there could be a cure, but I could only deal with this gradually. I did not know other people with the same condition as me.

Thanks to the program, I met many more people who perhaps went through the same and even worse things than what I went through, children even as young as 1 year of age. Also, thanks to the program I was able to improve my condition by teaching us to self-manage and live in a healthy way. The supplies that they provided us also helped a lot because it can be said that diabetes is a rather expensive disease, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have them.

Throughout these 11 years of diabetes in which I lived through many ups and downs, I had to be checked into the hospital, but thank God I was able to get out under control. I also had good moments with diabetes, for example now I can eat healthier. Also, since I am a young person, there were times that made me angry to have to inject myself and even to have to deprive myself of some things that I could not do, especially when I was among friends.

Diabetes helped me a lot to recognize who my friends really were as I saw the way they took care of me and cared about how I was doing. It does not bother me that the people around me know about the condition I have, rather I see it as an advantage since I know that they will be there to help me when I need it.

Finally, after so many years living with this, I learned to adapt and that you can have a totally normal life, but it takes a lot of discipline and effort. In the end I think there are worse situations than diabetes.