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In the middle of Ms. Imura’s lectures on geometry, I rested my head on my palms, with my elbows on the desk, and tried not to fall asleep. My eyelids felt like elephants. I got home from school and curled up on the couch. The room was spinning. My vision was double. And then I fell asleep.

“Do you feel okay?” my mother asked.

“Are you getting enough sleep?” my father wanted to know.

At school the next day, I threw up on my clothes. The teacher stopped class and said, “Sophia, you should go to the nurse.”

Shortly after that, the nurse asked me, “How do you feel?”

“Not well,” I told her, so she sent me home. That day, I climbed the stairs and curled up in my bed again and slept through the whole day.

On Saturday, I took more naps. My parents looked at me as if I were going to die at any moment and suddenly decided to speed me off to the hospital, where doctors and nurses put me in a bed and gave me a little, white teddy bear. It was a decently big room with giant machines and tubes and computers. There was a small table beside the bed where I put my stuff. There was even a TV in the room, so I could watch Bunk’d and Mickey Mouse . Also, there was a bathroom with a shower in the room. Out the window, I could see trees and the Stanford Shopping Mall. I had a needle poked in my skin and a tube connecting it to the IV. When I went to the bathroom, the nurse had to roll the “little metal tower” with me.

Finally, the doctor said, “You have type 1 diabetes.” That meant my pancreas didn’t make enough insulin to let the sugar go to the cells and make energy. She explained that I would have to check my blood sugar before every meal and take shots. When I heard that I had to take shots, I felt frustrated. I didn’t want to take three or four shots every day before I ate! I imagined myself covered with dots. And even more, needles pricking my fingers just so I would know if my blood sugar was stable.

Three weeks later, I have gotten used to pricking my fingers to check my blood sugar and counting carbs, so I’ll know how much insulin I need. At lunch, I miss sharing snacks with my friends, like potato chips and fruit roll-ups. Now I just eat rice, vegetables, fruit, and milk. Ten minutes before I eat, I have to check my blood sugar to make sure that my insulin is at the right level.

If I could go back and change anything, I would not have diabetes. However, I can’t change that. Instead, I just have to get used to it and pay more attention to my health.

A Trip to the Hospital Sophia Fu
Sophia Fu, 9
Belmont, CA

Storing Up Sage Millen
Sage Millen, 10
Vancouver, BC, Canada