What It’s Like to Watch People Die From Your Disease
My immune system attacked my body when I was 10, resulting in a loss of ability to make a crucial hormone called insulin, which turns the food you eat into fuel for your body. Without insulin, the sugar from your food compounds in your blood stream, quickly poisoning you from within.
Before 1921, this event was a death sentence. The only “treatment” was harsh diets that sometimes led to starvation. Even over the last few decades, being diagnosed with this autoimmune disease meant shorter lifespans and drastic changes in what life could look like. Outcomes weren’t great. Complications were inevitable.
Technological advancements have made it so that I, by being born at the right time and into privileged circumstances, can not only live, but can live the life healthy me would’ve lived too.
But the reality is, people still die from complications of type 1 diabetes all the time. And whenever I hear stories of it, I break down.
When people die from this disease, it’s rarely from their own negligence. It’s mostly from simple things – not realizing that what felt like the flu was actually diabetic ketoacidosis. Not waking up from a low blood sugar and dying in your sleep. Not realizing how much medicine or food you would need when you’re out and about. Or, also common, from not having the money or resources to afford what you need to survive.
I, like the rest of the world, am obsessed with “Hamilton.” There’s a lyric repeated throughout the show, “…if there’s a reason I’m still alive when so many have died…”
I’m aware that a large part of my lega Continue reading