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As a young girl, I remember watching my grandfather live with a disease called diabetes. My grandfather dealt not only with diabetes, but the complications of diabetes. So you can imagine my fear and dismay when 16 years later the Doctor explained to me that I had diabetes. My head almost exploded with this information. I was scared, and visions of grandpa came to mind. Little did I know it, but I was now on a journey that would totally change my life.

The first thing I had to do was go to the hospital for a bunch tests, then get started on insulin. The first shot of insulin the nurse gave me was my first lesson. Then came the time I had to give myself my first insulin shot. You can not imagine the agony I was experiencing. I could not do it! I never knew her name, but to this day, I believe God sent that nurse to me. She left, but soon came back with a new syringe, a vial of sterile water, and a look of determination. She told me, "You are going to give me a shot with the sterile water." She did not move, she did not even grimace.

As time went on, I became more knowledgable with what I would have to do to just exist. I would like to say that I could end the story here, and that I lived happily ever after. But I can't. For you see, diabetes invades and permeates your life. There is not a decision that I make that is not affected by this disease.

You might ask, can anything good come out of living life with such a horrible disease that permeates everything and just won't go away? I can today answer that question with a resounding yes! It has made me compassionate for others! So when you see me don't ask me how my diabetes is doing, ask me how I am doing. For if you know me at all, you will know that I refuse to allow diabetes to define my life.

Judy Morris
Odessa, TX

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