An Open Letter To My Pancreas
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Dear Pancreas,

You had one job.

Actually, you had several jobs, since you are both an endocrine and an exocrine organ (thank you nursing school), but you failed. You failed epically at what I consider to be your most important job: helping to keep me alive! We had 11 great years together and then all of a sudden you decide to disagree with my immune system. Well, see where that got the both of us? You don't function right and I have type 1 diabetes!

...Thank you.

There was a time that I thought absolutely nothing good could come from having diabetes. I was forced to grow up and mature quickly, and take over your job myself. I haven't been doing that great of a job, but I've had a lot of help along the way from a lot of amazing people. I wouldn't have met those people if it weren't for you, my non-functioning organ. If I had never been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I probably wouldn't have chosen nursing as a career path, which means I probably wouldn't be here at Salve. I wouldn't have met all of my amazing friends here, I wouldn't have realized the passion I have for helping other kids with diabetes take back their lives with better management of their disease.

I thought I had my whole life planned out at 11 years old (queue snort of laughter at how naive I was). I was going to be an equine veterinarian, or a singer; at one point I was convinced I was going to be both (Singing equine vet?), but then I was so confused about how this had happened to me, and why it happened to me. I had always loved science, but thanks to you pancreas, I discovered a love for pathophysiology, and for caring for others. Nursing school is definitely NOT the easiest route I could have taken, but now I couldn't imagine my life any other way.

Someday when they find a cure and we finally see a world without diabetes in it, I know I will feel a great weight lifted off my shoulders. But I won’t regret the decisions I have made that were influenced greatly by my diabetes. Diabetes isn’t the sole factor behind all of the big life choices I have made in the last nine years, but it has been a big influence and I don’t know where I’d be today if I had a normal, properly functioning pancreas. Maybe I would have become a singing equine vet, who knows? But I do know that I am happy with where my life has taken me so far, and I’m excited to see where it leads me.

I have you to thank for all this, my pancreas. Thank you for being such a crappy organ and not doing your job. My insulin pump and other diabetes gadgets look much cooler than you anyway! I mean, have you ever seen a purple pancreas? I really hope not!

Sincerely,

Caitlin

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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