She told me her name was Barbie. That was something that always stuck with me. For many generations, Barbie has been the pinnacle of perfection, but now, I was facing one of the biggest imperfections of all. She made me feel hopeful. I knew I was going to have to grow up very quickly within the next few days, but I was only fourteen, I still longed to be a kid. She represented the classic childhood toy, so I was optimistic that I could still hold onto my childhood and have a normal adolescence.
Perfection is something everyone strives for. It is an unattainable trait that is in the back of our minds at all times, whether we like to admit it or not. Perfect means different things to different people. People endeavor to have the perfect grades, the perfect job, the perfect family, or the perfect shade of lip gloss. Every little girl has played with a Barbie doll at one point or another. I used to sit cross legged in my orange-painted basement discovering all sorts of talents, abilities, and perfections that every Barbie doll possesses. Barbie dolls represent confidence. I knew I couldn't be passive about my new challenge; I had to stand up for what I needed. Barbie dolls are beautiful. Although my fingers are marked with scars and my stomach has residue of previous infusion sites, they show my beauty; they show my strength.
This woman, Barbie, was my nurse for three nights at Boston Children's Hospital. On February 9th 2011, I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes. My nurse’s name was Barbie. Barbie! The name, the symbol, the ultimate image of perfection was now telling my fourteen-year-old-self that I had one of the biggest imperfections of all. It was my freshman year. It was the day that changed my life.
I never never asked to learn how to give myself shots, prick my fingers to check my glucose, or gulp down a Capri Sun to raise my blood sugar from 36 to the normal 120. I never even imagined doing any of that. With that being said, I am not bitter that this happened to me. I was at first, and I even used to ask myself the ultimate cliché question, "why me?" But I don’t do that anymore. This disease has given me several disguised blessings. I have learned that with the right perspective, I can tackle the highs and lows of my blood sugar levels, as well as the highs and lows of life. Diabetes has brought out qualities in myself that I am very proud to possess. It has even helped me decide what I want to do with my future. I would love for there to be a cure for Type 1 Diabetes someday. I want to be a nurse so I can help others see that they are beautiful and they are strong, even in rough times. I want to make contributions that could lead to the cure to this disease.
Ninety nine percent of the time I actually feel perfect. Not the kind of perfect where my hair has the perfect banana curl or my shoes look extra white; the kind of perfect where I can be happy with the person I have become because of my illness. The kind of perfect where I know I am strong. I know I will not break. I have overcome things that have made me proud, positive, and confident. I have discovered a new kind of perfect, where my imperfection is actually my story of strength, optimism, determination, and inner beauty.