My Paddle Board by Morgan Burgard

A life diagnosed with a chronic illness is like standing on a paddle board in the ocean. You must stand tall and use your strength to paddle through the waves; the infinite power of a force like the ocean against your muscle. The waves push you in the wrong directions, they overcome the muscles you have, and they make you feel like you can never relax because you are always working.

Standing in the ocean with what feels like never ending stress, fear, and frustration, while you see everyone else standing strong on land. Type 1 diabetes is something that changed my life from being on a sturdy surface to permanently struggling on an unbalanced and unpredictable one.

Shortly after being diagnosed with T1D, more health complications followed, both mental and physical.

It’s been my muscle that has been getting stronger because I work on it every day. My family and friends have allowed me to take a break while they stabilize the paddle board, and even though there are support systems, medications, and other types of treatment, it’s never cured.

Manageable doesn’t mean easy, medication doesn’t mean fixed, and being tired doesn’t mean lazy.

I am proud to be as strong as I am. Chronic illness or not, everybody has their own version of their paddle board in the ocean. One of the most effective and beautiful ways to help each other and our society become stronger is this; sharing our experiences and thoughts and learning from others.

Submitted by Morgan Burgard