Erin L. was 8 years old when she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
Updated: Apr 30, 2020
Erin L., 16, Saugus CA.
As many of us can imagine, being an 8 year old means doing whatever you want, and getting shots 7 times a day was not something on my to-do list. In quarantine however, I definitely find it more difficult to manage my diabetes; lacking a defined schedule and struggling to exercise daily make it noticeably harder to manage my blood sugar. Once quarantine ends, I definitely plan to continue most protective measures such as wearing masks and following a strict sanitization policy to lessen the chance of illness. A lesser known part of having diabetes is that it doesn’t just attack the pancreas, but the body overall, lessening the immune system and making it more difficult to recover from injuries and illnesses. This fact is what comes to mind every time I see people in the news, protesting the stay-at-home orders, demanding that businesses open and people to return to their jobs. When people begin to assume that this incredibly dangerous virus is a hoax, it sends the message to me that they don’t care about the impact their actions have on others. Their lack of consideration for those that aren’t as fortunate to feel safe going outside without a mask, seeing friends, spending time in close proximity to others. As a result of their carelessness, in addition to our own caution, my family and I wear masks whenever any of us are in public, never wear shoes in the house and constantly sanitize our household, among other precautions.
For me personally, my parents have decided that I am not to go out in public at all, being at a higher risk than the other members in my family. As a diabetic, I have to get blood tests quarterly, and report to my endocrinologist to discuss care and how to improve my treatment; during the stay-at-home order, we have been limited to phone calls. In social distancing, we have been forced to get creative, with many facetimes, car picnics, and even a zoom family talent show. While these have all been very fun and provide a relief in being able to talk to family, I find that the alternative of staying home and waiting until we can meet in person sounds much more promising to me. Being a young person with an autoimmune disease, unless I explain my condition, people definitely are confused when I say I am more at risk and don’t want to chance going out if I am more likely to get the virus, and be more affected by it. While I am very eager to be able to go outside and spend time doing what I love, being inside has allowed me to appreciate things that I didn’t have time for previously, like baking and gardening. Once this is all over, I want to go to the beach, and spend more time with my friends.