Hurray! I am so happy to announce that my fellow D-blogger and D-friend-in-real-life is featured on Kerri’s blog Six Until Me today! While we have different “diagnosis” stories (I was diagnosed at 11, and she was diagnosed at 22), we share many of the same feelings regarding this “thing”, as she calls it.
I thought it might be fun to share my diagnosis story today, as a tribute to Holly’s new blog and to share a very important piece of the Diabetes journey!
It might not be a surprise that Christmas is my favorite time of year, a virtue passed down from mother to daughter. Christmas always means lots of church activities, more family, plenty of Christmas trees, nativities, angels, lights, and my personal favorite: mom’s peanut butter bon-bons. Waahhhooooo! I looked forward to helping her mix all that peanut butter and sneaking a couple little peanut butter balls late at night before she dipped them in chocolate the next day. [It is making my mouth water just thinking about it!]
This year, 1998, was different. I started to feel sluggish shortly after school let out for winter break. It wasn’t anything abnormal…maybe just a cold with a little associated fatigue…no big. Grandma and Grandpa came into town, which always means late night cards! And for an 11-year-old, staying up late was like the coolest thing evvaaaaa!!!! But this year, I just didn’t feel like staying up late.
The first thing I really noticed (as I look back, one of the major warning signs of Diabetes), was my constant need to pee. Ugghhh….it was horrible. Even when I had just gone it felt like I needed to go again….and again….and again. Being the Dr. Mom she was, mom bought me a special drink to fix the problem she thought it was: a bladder infection. And what did she buy? Cranberry Juice. You know, that stuff that has about 5 million carbohydrates per serving. Needless to say, I kept feeling worse. I needed to pee all day long, and I had an absolutely insatiable thirst. So, I continued to drink the CB-juice hoping it would help.
Then Christmas came. We got a go-cart that year. It was one of the coolest presents Heather and I ever got…and we had so much fun!!! I remember taking it down to the local elementary school to practice our driving, and the moment we got there I needed to pee. “Mom, I really have to go to the bathroom.”
“April, are you sure that you need to? This isn’t just you know…one of those weird things kids do sometimes?” Bless her heart, I always did weird things, so I can totally understand where she was coming from. “No mom, I really, really need to go.”
She ended up taking me home, and then eventually to the doctor. It took about a week of doctors visits, plenty of “pee in a cup”s and too many blood samples. And then it came, December 30, 1998. “We think she has Diabetes.”
I remember my mom being more quiet than usual, and my dad asking the obvious question, “Could it be anything else?” I remember the doctor telling us that they were sure it was Diabetes and that I needed to go to the hospital. I remember having absolutely no idea what the hell Diabetes was [and that was probably for the best].
It sorta became a blur of doctor visits (I didn’t have to stay in the hospital, thank goodness!), diabetes education and lots of shots and finger pokes. I didn’t know what I was doing, and my parents barely knew what they were doing (not to be mean, it’s just a lot to learn). We got through, and look, I am still here today to blog about it!
The bottom line is, just like Holly said: Type 1 Diabetes is not my fault, it’s not my parents fault, it’s not anyone’s fault. It just happens. I feel really lucky to have great parents to take care of me, friends to support me, a boyfriend to listen to me complain, and now Holly, an awesome Huntsville based fellow D-sista (as we like to call ourselves)! Be sure to check out her blog, Arnold and Me, and her post on Six Until Me today!