Day 10 – HAWMC Dear 16 Year Old Me…

 
 

The prompt today was to write a letter to 16 year old me.  This was the easiest one yet for me. 🙂

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Dear 16 year old me,

You are starting high school this year. Don’t be nervous about how big the school is, it’s not so bad once you get used to it. Have patience with your mom and dad when they try to teach you how to drive, and you’d better learn how to drive a stick shift pretty quickly, because your first car is going to be a 5 speed VW Rabbit. And heads up that one day you’re going to be practicing driving through the neighborhood with your mom — and some stupid teenage boys are going to get frustrated at you because you keep stalling out. They are going to yell and honk at you and don’t be embarassed when your mom gets out of the car in the middle of the road, and yells at them to kiss her …. well, you get the idea. She means well. :)

You know those headaches you’ve been getting?  It’s because your eyesight is starting to get blurry, and you’re having to squint more at school.  You’re going to get glasses soon. You’ll hate wearing them, but your dr is going to tell you they won’t do you any good if you keep them in the drawer.  Listen to him.

In the next few months, you are going to start feeling differently. 

You are going to start getting tired a lot, sometimes almost falling asleep in class.  You’ll assume it’s because you’ve started working a lot of hours at the BBQ restaurant, on top of going to school full-time.  And you’re going to be very very thirsty.  And you’ll make a lot of trips to the bathroom.  You’re going to be moody, and your mom is going to think that it’s because you’re a teenager.  But there’s going to be another reason. You’ll find out what it is in about 6 months.

You need to enjoy every single second of being 16.

Because your life is going to change forever when you turn 17.  For the rest of your life, you are going to be saying the phrase “I was diagnosed when I was 17.”  It’s going to be scary at first, but it will all be ok. I promise.

Twenty years from now, you are going to be on the Internet (do you even know what that is yet?) and writing a blog — it’s sort of a diary of sorts, that you share with the whole world.  Yes, far fetched idea, I know. But trust me.  It’ll be one of the best things you’ve ever done, because you will have a chance to meet and talk to other people that are living through the same things you are. And you’ll know you’re normal.

So, embrace being 16. 

Have fun.

Eat sweets.  One day soon you will have to learn to eat them in moderation.

Sleep late on the weekends.   I know you are not a breakfast eater, but soon you will have to wake up at the same time every day to give yourself a shot, and you will have to eat breakfast. Don’t fight it, just do it. You can go back to bed after breakfast.

Oh, and don’t listen to the dr that is going to tell you that you will never have children.  You proved him wrong. In 2008, you will give birth to a beautiful, perfectly healthy baby boy.  🙂

Love,

Me

PS – Do your homework.

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I am a firm believer that I am who I am today because of every single thing I’ve gone through in my life – both good and bad.  It’s shaped me and molded me into the person I’ve become.  That includes good and bad relationships, as well as being diagnosed with Diabetes when I was 17 years old.  If it hadn’t been for that, then I wouldn’t have the appreciation for life that I have.  I wouldn’t know some of the people that I know.  And I wouldn’t be sitting at my computer writing this blog right now. 🙂

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About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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5 Responses to Day 10 – HAWMC Dear 16 Year Old Me…

  1. Scott E says:

    Wow! This is such a beautiful and insightful post. I never thought about what I would do if I had known I would be diagnosed with diabetes before it happened, and still don’t know what I would do if I had known (I was diagnosed soon after I turned 7, so I wasn’t exactly making life choices then). This letter is both honest and reassuring.

  2. Mike Hoskins says:

    Great post, Shannon. Thanks for sharing that perspective.

  3. Mom says:

    I enjoyed this one. So very true! And hey! Those teenage boys didn’t expect a ticked off Mom to jump out of the car and start walking towards them. Hopefully they learned a lesson in manners that day. You don’t yell at my baby!:)

  4. Keiran says:

    Dear Shannon’s 16-year-old self:

    You will get a crash course in driving a stick shift when your friend & carpool driver suddenly learns, following having her wisdom teeth extracted, that she can’t take hydrocodone without food and still be able to drive. She may fuss at you some as you’re struggling to manage stops & starts without making the car jump; but she appreciated your help & willingness to try more than she likely said back then. She also tried to be as patient as possible, even if the jostling made her feel sicker. 😉

    Love,

    Your friend & high school carpool driver

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