Sofie talks about her experience being diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 12 and how it affected her and her family. She discusses how it inspired her to pursue her future career and the importance of empathy in the medical field.
So even at a young age, I think that I have overcome a lot in my life. What comes to mind for me is my struggle with being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In the 6th grade when I was 11 years old I was diagnosed with diabetes. And, it's kind of just become my new normal but that does not take away from the fact that it's a very hard thing to deal with. Not only did it affect me, it affected my family. We kind of had to learn how to take care of my body because I did not have full control over it anymore. We had to learn these calculations to eat and I had to learn how to test my blood sugar and take shots every day. Eating wasn’t normal for me anymore I had to take an insulin shot to eat.
But most of all, I think that it's taught me to be empathetic and to be more curious about the human body which is why I want to go into nursing school. But I think that knowing about a health issue such as diabetes firsthand, really really translates into your career. So my endocrinologist, which is my diabetes doctor, is a type 1 diabetic herself and it’s had such a huge impact on my life because not only does she have empathy for me and can, you know, understand my struggles but she relates firsthand because they are struggles that she’s gone through every day of her life.
I want to have that impact on my patients, I want them to see me, and see me being successful and healthy and say to them you know you can do it I know that in the moment it doesn’t feel like you are going to get through this but you are. And that's another thing that you know as a nurse you have to be aware of people’s circumstances and do those little things for other people like you know, it's not just about treating them it's about making them feel that comfort that you know they’re cared about and they’re loved. And that's something that my parents both taught me and it's something that I think you know they definitely had a huge impact on my choice to become a nurse for sure. So I think that just because I’m young, I don’t think there’s an age on wisdom. I don’t think that wisdom has any age I think that I’ve been able to become a lot wiser because of my experiences.
I think that you know, being a young person that has overcome a lot of health issues, it’s has taught me to be thankful for all of the little things. I want other people to be able to feel that as well. I think that even though again I’m young, this has totally shaped me into the person I am today in every single way and I think that being a young voice for other diabetics or other people in public health has allowed me to share personal experiences with my classmates, with my professors and its allowed me to have this voice that other people don’t necessarily have. I also think it's important to show people like that if we view our struggles as growing experiences, learning experiences, they can open up so much opportunity. And I’ve learned a lot about myself, about public health, and about everything just because of diabetes and I’m super thankful for that. So that’s why I feel that it's important to share my story.