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I was invincible until I found myself in a dimly lit, white-walled hospital room in the endocrinology department of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. February 19, 2013 will be engraved in the deepest part of my brain forever; I underwent a life-changing experience at the tender age of fifteen. Type-1 Diabetes? It couldn’t be! How could my pancreas fail me now? I grieved over an organ that had just given up on me. I was powerless and paralyzed with crippling fear that arose from disbelief.
I made it to the emergency room just on time. If I had waited one more day, I would have fallen to the depths of a diabetic coma or into the darkness of death. An extra day meant I wouldn’t have had to face my worst fear – continuously being sick and dependent on man-made insulin. The thought of a syringe’s sharp tongue hissing at me constantly gave me nightmares. The anxiety that flooded my body made me feel like couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it. But I had to do it.
The multiple doctors I saw that day sent my mind into an everlasting whirl of apprehensions and inquiries that hastily made their way to my tear ducts. There, they formed into vast oceans that slowly drained down my cheeks and pooled into the emptiness I felt in my chest. It came down to facing my fate, or running away. Fate equated to pricking my finger for a drop of blood eight times a day, and poking myself every time I wanted to digest even the smallest portion of carbohydrates. Today, that syringe’s sharp tongue no longer hisses; it’s proudly crowned my lifeline. The positivity that would derive from my defective pancreas was neither clear nor tangible at the time of my diagnosis. But now, looking in the rear view mirror, the fogginess has faded away alongside the anxiety, and diabetes is no longer a daunting specter that petrifies me.
It wasn’t until I came to face death itself that I came to terms with my belief that God’s power never fails. He uses it to paint my life with different colors; blues of sadness that strengthen me, reds of anger that furnish passion, and all shades of yellow that enlighten my path towards success. On the morning of February 19, my life was still a blank canvas. God, the supreme artist, chose to show His miracles through diabetes – the brush He chose to use in the process of painting me. He granted me a blessing that pushed me to prevail through everything in my way. I am proud to say I could conquer diabetes with its arsenal of sharp objects, and I know I can conquer so much more. Nothing will get in the way of my desire to live, at least not for a while.
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