Michael was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, in April 2011, at the age of 6. It came as a complete shock to our whole family who had no prior knowledge of, or experience with this disease. Since then, there is not an hour that goes by without it occupying our thoughts and actions. Managing diabetes is a 24/7 job, and one which Michael does with such responsibility. I remember, on the night that he was admitted to hospital, my heart breaking as I watched needle after needle being poked into his delicate skin. He was and is the bravest boy I know. Never once has he cried over yet another jab; very, very seldom does he ever complain. He is a warrior, aptly named after the Archangel, Michael, who leads armies of angels, while wielding a flaming sword. He is courageous in this battle and is never defeated by the disease. On day two in the hospital, I was still crying uncontrollably, devastated by what Michael would have to face in his life. He looked at me at said: “It’s ok Mom. God is going to use this diabetes for good in my life.” Out of the mouths of babes…
Last week in school, Michael had to write an essay on a topic that he knew a lot about, but which his class mates might not be aware of. This is what he wrote…
Diabetes. By: Michael Mara, 7 November 2014
“I have type one diabetes. Living beings can have two types of diabetes. Type two diabetes is when your body still produces insulin but your body can’t use it. Type one diabetes is when your pancreas stops producing insulin. Usually Type one diabetes occurs in little children. Anybody can get diabetes, at any age or anywhere. There’s no reason why you get type one diabetes. I got type one diabetes when I was 6.
Diabetics must take care of their disease. I have to check my blood sugar about 10 times a day! I check my blood sugar by poking a needle into my finger and putting it on a strip that’s inside an electronic device. This tells me how much sugar is in my blood. My body can’t produce insulin on it’s own. I had to have 4 shots a day (snacks not included) for a year after my diagnosis. Now I have a pump, which gives me insulin. It’s only 1 shot every three days.
Diabetics have to control their blood sugar. I can’t have too much or too little sugar in my blood. If I have too much sugar in my blood, I get really thirsty because water breaks down sugar. When I have too little sugar, I get really dizzy. It feels like you’re about to go on stage, or you feel really embarrassed. Sometimes you can forget your name or faint or forget where you are. When this happens I need too take 4 pure sugar tablets.
Diabetes is a life long disease. There’s no cure yet. I can still have every food there is, I just need to manage my blood sugar levels. I can also do every sport. My hope for diabetes is that researchers would find a good cure.”