Alena L

Thursday, the twenty-first of January two thousand and sixteen changed not only my perspective of my education and goals; it changed the essence of my entire well-being. I had been sick for weeks, experiencing excessive thirst, only able to breathe out of my mouth, lost over twenty pounds, but paid close to no attention to it because all of my focus was solely on school. This spring semester I decided to take on 19 units, I knew it would be tough, but I also knew I could do it. Ever since I started at the University of Arizona, I have dedicated my life to my studies; school is all I ever think about. So when my body started to act abnormally I did not think much of it until Thursday, the twenty-first of January two thousand and sixteen.

On this day, I woke up with my heart beating outside of my chest, my lips cracked like a broken road, my ribs bulging out, and my eyes sunken into my cheekbones. Nonetheless, I road the shuttle to school, but when I got there I was breathing so deeply that I took four breaks before I arrived to my class. As I walked through my classroom doors I saw eight students in the room even though there were only four. Looking like a walking dead man, my instructor advised me to go home. Although I was bitter about the idea of going home, my instructor saved my life. That day I was admitted into the emergency room and after hours of ultra sounds, blood tests, and x-rays the doctors diagnosed me with type-one diabetes. The doctors stated that if I would have waited any longer to go without medical attention I would have went into a diabetic coma.

As I heard the doctors give me my diagnosis I was in denial, all I could think about was that they must be wrong, but unfortunately they were not. Throughout the day nutritionists kept telling me how I now have to live a healthy lifestyle and the endocrinologist told me to be happy that it is only diabetes, not cancer. Those three days I laid in the hospital bed I knew my life would forever be different. I had kept thinking about all the things I needed to do to make me happy and fulfill all the things I wish to accomplish in life, every thought I had revolved around teaching children. I want to make kids work hard, accomplish more than they knew they could, and have confidence in them even when they have none for themselves. I have forever changed my lifestyle, but making exercising my friend and carbohydrates my enemy.

As if being a college student and struggling with an ongoing disease is not hard enough, I deal with medical bills, talking to insurance companies about covering my medicine, and trying to find ways to pay my school. All of which are extremely costly. I look to insurance companies to help me live with this disease because without them I could not survive. Insurance allows me to look for hope and happiness living with a disease. There are many innovative ways to help living with diabetes with some ease such as; insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors. An insulin pump allows insulin to be inserted in the fatty tissue through a small pod attached to the skin and continuous glucose monitors read blood sugar levels all day long and give warnings when the sugar drops too low or spikes too high. As you can imagine these devices are outrageously expensive and are entirely unaffordable without medical insurance. Although I have yet to gain access to one of these devices I will look to an insurance company to aid me in the process of attaining one. For those reasons alone, insurance is such a vital part of my everyday life.

In summary, I rely on having insurance in order to live a long and healthy life. Insurance is undoubtedly one of the most important parts of my life. For most people having insurance is just a mandatory bill each month, but for me it’s a silver lining through my disease. Insurance gives me hope and confidence to tackle this disease one day at a time. In the aid of insurance I will preserver, I will teach, I will inspire, I will make a difference, and for anyone who asks, I am not defined as a diabetic, diabetes does not have me; I am a future educator with diabetes.

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