Growing up, my number one fear was being sick and in an environment around people who were ill. No joke. You can ask any of my elementary school friends. I used to be afraid of their germs when they would come back to school after being sick. I let this fear grow over me so much so that when it came time to go to the hospital so that I could visit loved ones who were sick, I would have a panic attack. Every. Single. Time. This happened after a culmination of events that included watching one of my friend’s grandpa’s pass away, seeing my grandma suffer after her quadruple heart bypass surgery, and observing my grandpa struggle with appendicitis surgery. It was very difficult for me to stay more than 15 minutes for each visit. This obviously took a toll on my relationships, as well as my ability to overcome fear. So, life had a funny way of throwing me in the deep end of the pool to overcome this fear of illness. After visiting my grandpa in the hospital, my step-grandma told me that I need to be in the hospital in order to get over my fear. Two weeks after she said this to me, I ended up in the ICU for a week due to my pancreas failing, and I found out that I had unknowingly been living with ketoacidosis for several months. I had been dying for months and had no idea that soon I would have to face the journey of a lifetime in overcoming my childhood fear of illness.
From the moment I got diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 2012, the hospital and doctor’s offices have become like a second home to me. I had to grieve my life beforehand, let it go, and learn how to adapt and live with illness. My family and I have researched and educated ourselves in every diagnosis that I have gotten. I had to take time off from college to pursue full time treatment and healing. This meant daily doctor visits for months. Daily IV’s, daily medications, daily interaction with other people who were sick, and the daily chance to overcome the fear of all of it. Through this process of being a patient, I have learned more about myself than I could ever have imagined. I’ve learned that my calling and passion lies within becoming a doctor to bring healing to the sick community. Through this revelation, God has opened doors for me to learn everything I can about healing from the Bible, from pastors around the world, from doctors around the world, and from all the experiences with medicines and treatments that my mom and I have had to endure. The thing that was once my fear has transformed into the strongest passion to pursue medicine. Because I am currently still the patient undergoing treatment, it is harder to transition to the other side now. I already know this is God’s calling for my live, but because of this truth, it is on God’s timing. I know that when I am supposed to be accepted into medical school is when I am supposed to be there. Not a day sooner, nor a day later. It is in His perfect timing that my calling will play out. Because becoming a doctor takes years of intensive work and effort, however, I have begun to pursue this path, even though I am still a patient. I feel this an advantage for me because not only am I more knowledgeable about my own health options, but I can also apply what I learn to my academic and professional journey. I used to believe that I would never heal because none of my diseases that I have been diagnosed with has a cure. Also, almost every Scripps doctor has told me I would be stuck with these illnesses the rest of my life. I took what they said and let it fuel me rather than discourage me from pursuing my dreams. Even though I am going at a slower pace, I am moving forward. Each day is closer to the day where I receive my white coat and can say “through hell I have overcome the impossible with God, and through hell I will continue to overcome the impossible with God.” The current steps I have taken to further my advancement in my career in medicine are: going back to school to finish my Bachelor’s of Science in Integrative Health with a Pre-Medicine track, and enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program to earn my certification as a CMA to be able to start working full time again, once treatment is over. These two steps are propelling me forward into my bright and blessed future. I am so thankful that God has taken what was a tragic event that took place in my life and turned it around into an opportunity to thrive and impact other’s lives.