i have to admit, starting this blog made me nervous. it felt good to get that first part out- the repressed memories of childhood trauma that floated into my consciousness every once in a while. but the next part of this story is a whole other can of worms. the next part of this story has to deal with me. with my own experience with this disease. and the more i think about it- what it did to my childhood, my family, my psyche and my body, the angrier i become. no, diabetes is not cancer. it is not something that makes people envision the pain and unfairness of chemo or mastectomies or any other number of terrifying medical procedures and treatments that come with that dreaded disease. diabetes typically brings to mind elderly or obese people with a "sugar allergy". not a six year old rail thin girl whose future is now filled with needles and blood work and doctors and ostracism. not that. diabeetus is the joke disease- the one that fat comedians warn you about by telling you "if you eat too many twinkies you gonna lose that foot." cause it's okay to make fun of a disease that's associated with being overweight, right? all the stereotypes and second hand information that you've heard from people with a friend/uncle/grandparent that have struggled with diabetes must be true. . .
i stayed in the hospital for a week after being diagnosed. i shared a large room with curtain partitions with about ten other kids ranging in age. i shared a television with a teenage girl that loved jason movies. i went to "school" in a room at the end of a long hallway on my floor. i made friends with kids that were suffering with all sorts of conditions- leukemia, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis. a nurse came into the room to poke my finger and give me a shot three times a day. it hurt. my body wasn't accustomed to the barrage of needles and the bruises added up and had me resembling a welch's grape within just a few days. it was lonely, even with all of my roommates, and it was difficult to sleep with everyone's iv's and other medical devices beeping and blipping. i got homesick, and i got upset when, seeing the girl across from me getting a special treat, being able to watch a disney movie, and asking for one of my own they brought me an informational video on my newly diagnosed illness. i got a card from my first grade classmates hoping that i get better soon, which put a smile on my face for a little while when i thought about coming back to school and telling them all kinds of stories about the hospital and basking in the glow of my curiosity inspired popularity.
mostly though, i still felt sick and my head felt foggy. this had all happened so fast and i wasn't sure what came next. it scared me that i could be fine and healthy one day and sick and diseased the next. i was miserable about the thought of no more sweets and being treated like a pincushion for the rest of my life. and if my dad was any example of what was to come down the road, i wasn't sure i wanted to grow up at all.
- I'm 28. I feel a lot older than I should be. I currently reside with two of the most beautiful children to ever grace God's green Earth (I may be slightly biased though), a strong, handsome, supportive man that lets me live with him in return for love and care and a couple of whack-jobs with four legs that have been crashing on the couch every night for the past five years.