An excerpt from an assignment that I will be presenting to classmates (medical students) and physicians (still to be edited, but just wanted to share)
Lastly, I want to discuss my choice in background I made for this graphic. I pulled graphs of my data and manipulated their coloring and sizing. The literal ups and downs in my blood sugar play with the theme of running and overcoming barriers. The reality is that peaks and valleys will come no matter how much effort I put in to be careful and on top of my diabetes management. For me, that is something that is bittersweet. The unpredictability of my condition is often overwhelming and intimidating. I selected and manipulated the graphs to be different sizes and colors to resemble that each minute of each day is different and to acknowledge that I often have shifting views of my numbers and my condition. However overall, I’ve found comfort in the discovery that conquering each high blood sugar, each hill, brings a sense of pride in myself for continuing to fight on regardless of the challenges.
I think that it’s easy to focus on the brutality of disease and suffering, and that the beauty of determination and grit can be overlooked. I know have fallen into such a mentality for the majority of my years living with diabetes. So, for this graphic I wanted to show the reality of the struggle, depicting my own graphs, my own swings from high to low. But I more wanted to alter the graphs in a way that almost is pretty. I wanted to offer myself a fresh view of my data. I don’t want to lie and say that having diabetes and managing it is easy; it’s just not easy. Not for me right now, and not for the majority of patients living with it. However, I see these mountains we overcome as a beautiful struggle. As much as it hurts me to say, I am thankful for my disease for it pushing me to become this version of myself. And I hope that this piece helps future physicians better understand me and my condition this way.