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I am Maddie. I’m 11. I’m a sports head, a guitar player, a chef, an animal lover and a “diabedian.” I call myself that because I like that it sounds like I come from the planet “Diabetes,” where everyone has to check their blood sugar all the time and use an insulin pump or take shots. It’s only here on Earth that diabedians like me are not the majority. None of my friends are diabedians; they are all just regular earthlings.

I got diabetes when I was 4, I don’t really remember what it was like before.

Most people don’t understand type 1. They think I ate too much sugar when I was really little, or that I can’t eat sugar now. I get really tired of explaining it to people, but sometimes you just have to.

People think the worst thing about having diabetes is getting shots or getting my pump site put in. But I think the worst thing about having diabetes is having to think about it all the time. I have to think about what I’m eating and how many carbs it has and remembering to check my sugar and to bolus and hearing my mom ask, “ Did you bolus?” like 6 times a day. When I get invited to a sleepover or a pool party we have to “think about it” before I can accept, and sometimes I can’t go because it wouldn’t be safe. And I really wish I could go out of the house and not have to bring my “D” bag – but I need it in case I need to check my blood sugar or have a juice box or tabs. It would be nice to just not have to carry stuff around all the time. Maybe the other worst thing about having diabetes is seeing my mom thinking about it all the time. Sometimes I wish she could just hang out with me – Maddie the kid, not Maddie the diabedian.