Imagine living your entire life without having to think twice about what you ate. Now, imagine living this way, and then being diagnosed with type two diabetes. Suddenly, your life’s focus is on what you do and what you do not eat.
“There were days when all I wanted was to get in my car, drive to Krispy Kreme, and buy a box of donuts,” said Grace Gordon. “I just wanted to be like all the other normal teenagers, but I couldn’t.”
Grace is a tall, athletic teenager who has spent her senior year like all the rest, applying for colleges, working, and maintaining her social life. There is one difference though; Grace was diagnosed with diabetes three days before her 16th birthday. Needless to say, she’s been adjusting ever since.
“It’s hard when I’m talking to my parents about my plans next year and I can see in their faces that they are totally freaked out to let me go,” Grace said. “Like once I leave, I’m not going to be able to prick my finger or maintain my blood sugar, like I’m totally going to go off the grid, but it’s my life we’re talking about, I’m not going to mess around with that.”
Grace was one of those girls that could eat an entire pint of ice cream or five slices of pizza and burn it off immediately. Her thin physique revealed no signs of any extra sugar or carbohydrates. However, diabetes runs in her family, and the genetic disease was passed down to her. She is constantly monitoring her blood glucose levels and exercises almost every day. She is adjusting to her new lifestyle, but it has not been an easy journey.
“I lost a lot of weight at first, which was weird because I was pretty skinny to begin with,” she says. “It is one of those things where there is no point in dwelling on it because I know it won’t change, but I definitely resent the disease sometimes,” she says. “I just want to be normal.”
She is deciding between two colleges relatively near to home, and is looking forward to her future. Although her diabetes have been a major bump in the road, she has come to terms with her diagnosis and has decided to have the most positive attitude she can. To say the least, she is a fighter and will continue to fight and stay healthy. She is an inspiration to us all.
“I try not to let it consume me. I have a lot going for me, and I have been fortunate enough to have great family and friends. Things could always be worse, and there isn’t enough time in life to dwell on all the bad stuff, so I’m doing what I can.”