Anna Zucker-Sandoval Speaks Out About Living With Type I Diabetes
Eighteen years ago, without my consent, I became part of a relationship that has consumed my life. Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 12 years old brought on fear that no child or parent should ever have to know. In my relationship with T1D, I have learned respect. Diabetes is relentless and unforgiving. I spent many days disrespecting it out of fear – only to lose. A handful of hospitalizations, weeks of IV lines and medications, 17 eye procedures… and the list could go on.
Here is my realization – my fears will always exist. I must use my fears as motivation. As much as I hate diabetes, I cannot disrespect it. Respect = Diligent blood sugar testing, insulin corrections, infusion set changes, etc. In return, respect for myself. Respect for the life I deserve. I am grateful for everything that diabetes has given me in 18 years. Four years of high school state swimming championships, a division 1 swimming scholarship, a college degree, a rewarding career, a loving and incredibly supportive family and my greatest accomplishment, my two beautiful and healthy children.
Because of my diabetes I have known strength in myself that many will never experience. I have a greater appreciation for life and everything I am given. My hope is to some day break out of this relationship when there is a cure, but until then I will give diabetes the respect that it is demanding. After all, the outcomes can be quite rewarding.