Stronger than I Believe - Sofia Castriotta '18

It’s not what happened to you, it's what you do with what happens to you. One major accomplishment I have faced would be learning at the young age of four and a half is how to manage to live with being a Type 1 Diabetic. I was strapped down to a stretcher as the sirens blared while the men frantically attempted to talk to me. I was four and a half years old lying on that stretcher. At that moment I was getting rushed to the emergency room. No one knew what was wrong with me. I was very parched and I had lost so much weight you could see the outline of my bones. I barely could speak; I had no clue what was going on. When the ambulance men tried asking me questions I wasn't capable of answering them; I could not focus on what they were saying to me. The only thing I said was "You guys, did you get me a coolatta guys?". I was very sick; I had almost died. The doctors diagnosed me with Type 1 Diabetes on September 15th 2003. Having diabetes has changed my life and shaped me into the person I am today.

When I was first diagnosed with Diabetes, I had to adapt to a new lifestyle. At first everything was overwhelming, but I got the hang of it. I had to eat during scheduled times, but this was easy to adjust to because I already ate meals around the same time every day. I have to regularly see my doctors every three months. I quickly learned how to count carbs and read food labels. I had to watch what I ate at first and, bolus after every snack or meal, by giving myself insulin through a needle, but that changed four years later.

When I was eight, my doctors changed the way I gave myself insulin. Instead of through needles every time I ate, I could wear a sight and change it every two to three days. By having the pump I was given free range of what I could eat, and by having a pump it meant less needles. Having a pump has given me more freedom and independence.

Diabetes has affected me through playing sports, school, and my social life. Before I go on the ice for practice or a game I have to check my blood sugar and make sure it’s at a good range. If it’s not I get very distracted and am not capable of focusing while playing. At school I have to check my sugar and bolus before I eat in the cafeteria. The only time I go to the nurse’s office is if my blood sugar is low. Lastly, diabetes has had an impact on my social life. Unlike my friends I have to check my sugar and bolus for what I’m going to eat. Wherever I go I have to wear my insulin pump and bring my kit. Checking my sugar and bolusing has become a daily routine.

Diabetes has changed my life for the better; if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change what has happened to me. Being diagnosed with diabetes has put me through many challenges and obstacles in my life. Learning to live with diabetes has been a major accomplishment for me because if it was not for diabetes, I would not be the strong, independent person that I am today. It’s not what happens to you, it's what you do with what happened to you.