a fellow diabetic once asked me if i could remember life before i was diagnosed and how it felt. i do remember small things - asking for pieces of candy without having to worry about how it would effect my blood sugar, things like that. mostly though, i remember not being afraid of food. after i came home from the hospital a little voice in the back of my mind started speaking up, sure to alert me every time i took a bite that i was going to have to take another injection. i worried about the impact that the carbohydrates, proteins, and mostly sugar would have on my little broken body and if they would end up hurting me like they hurt my dad.
school became pretty tough. it was apparent that i was different than the other kids and some of them had no problem letting me know they were well aware of this. i was told because of my disease i was not going to live as long as everyone else and that my dad would probably end up dying at 40. i was teased mercilessly some days and came home broken hearted. my parents were still trying to adjust to life with or as an amputee on top of caring for me and my newly defective pancreas, and though they both tried cheering me up and giving me ways to deal with the situation i couldn't help but feel lost and alone.
there was one boy in particular that tried very hard to make life difficult for me, although more often than not i would end up laughing at his attempted taunts. he clearly had no idea was diabetes was, so his tactic was simply to give me the facts. "you have dia-bee-tees," he would sing song to me when he passed me in the hallway at school or on the playground at recess. at first his tone stung a little but his words weren't exactly hurtful. i did have diabetes. "you can't eat su-gar" he informed me. not exactly true, but this was the overall impression that most people had of diabetics so i really wasn't phased. i kept waiting for the sucker punch- the day when he would pull out his secret weapon and i would be left with a bruised ego and a broken heart. but it never came. i actually began to smile when i saw him coming my way, which infuriated him, but since he had nothing more to go on than 'that girl has diabetes' he would make mean, nasty faces while teasing. this added a lot to his comedic performance when combined with the sing song tone and the insults-that-weren't-really-insults. i remember one time trying to hold in a giggle and failing as he passed me doing his routine. he wasn't pleased. apparently his job was to make people laugh at me, not for me to laugh at him.