2020 Global Art Competition

035 Yanira, age 11, Bolivia

MY LIFE BEFORE AND AFTER

I was born in Cochabamba. My mom was always a single mother, and we lived in a rented house with my aunts, my uncle, and my cousin Erika. She and I were always together. I often stayed alone with one of my aunts or my uncle since my mother was still studying, but shortly after we moved to Mizque, a small town in Cochabamba, with my grandparents. My mother and I were apart for most of my life, and that made me very sad. Since I was little, I had problems and pains in my stomach, but when we went to the doctor, they only told me that I had parasites. When I went again, they told me that I had gastritis and even though they gave me syrups, pills, and they even injected me, my pain did not go away. My mom would sometimes visit, and we would go to the doctor with her, but I was never diagnosed with diabetes. There was a time when I got fat and it seemed fine even though I was very hungry. I ate a lot but I would vomit and I became very thin. My grandparents wanted to take me to Cochabamba to go to the doctor, but at that time the country was in trouble due to the elections and people blocked all the roads to Cochabamba and they did not let anyone pass. My whole family was worried since I became extremely thin, and even though I was drinking a lot of water, I was dehydrated, my tongue looked cracked and white, it was even hard for me to walk. When the problems in the country began to calm down, they unblocked the roads for a day, and we took the opportunity to travel to Cochabamba. When we arrived, it was almost dark so we decided to go to the hospital in the morning. That night I was fine, but at dawn I began vomiting, and I could not hold it in. They took me to the emergency hospital, and I was in intensive care. They injected me and connected many things to my arms, but I arrived on time as they were able to help me. My whole family was sad, everyone was crying with worry and that is when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. When they took me out of intensive care, they took me to a common room. Everything they connected to me and injected hurt a lot, but I had to get used to it. I was so hungry but could not eat what I wanted. I was very sad, but I am gradually getting used to it, although it is a bit difficult. Now I live with my mother, she takes care of me and injects me with insulin daily and also takes care of my diet.