Here’s Wednesday’s topic: Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.
I have many. I’ve been a T1 for 30+ years. I’ve had my share of epic highs, dramatic lows and hospital trips, “home remedy” suggestions, doctor visits, and so forth. So, rather than pick one, I’ll sum up my top ten below. Here is my highlight reel.
1) My earliest T1 memory was actually when I was quite little. I simply remember doctors standing over me after waking up from some sort of haze (either another high or another low) that somehow left me unconscious. Wires everywhere. Somewhere later down the line (I don’t know if it was this same trip as I spent most of my early childhood in the hospital), I remember clutching on to my dad in my hospital room late at night whining and crying that I just wanted to go home. Such began my T1 journey.
2) Sometime in high school, I was perusing my baby book (kind of like a scrapbook for the first year) and found a letter my mom had written to me sometime after my 1 millionth hospital stay. My parents were warriors of their time. This letter proved it.
3) As a second grader, a friend of a friend knew the producers of the Dr. Dean Edell Show, which was kind of like the Dr. Oz of the 80s. (Except… maybe a bit less crazy and with way funnier hair.) Since 80s technology and T1 technology were a hot thing back then, I was sought out for a segment on children with T1. Camera crews spent the day at my house following me around to prove to the world that I was “normal” but had to take shots all the time. My parents were interviewed on what it was like try and give shots to a seven year old who just wanted to play with her My Little Ponies.
4) Passing out in a grocery store in Rocklin and waking up in my mother’s arms 20 FEET AWAY from where I last remembered standing. (In front of the juice aisle, of course.)
5) This conversation with my then boyfriend:
Me: “I hate that I can’t get my blood sugars to do anything right and everyone says I should just get on an insulin pump, but I can’t afford it.”
Him: “Can I buy it for you?”
Me: “Can that be my engagement ring?”
6 months later, I had the pump… and an engagement ring.
6) This blood sugar reading.
7) Meeting a slew of other T1 kids as a summer camp junkie. For about 4 years, I spent a week away in the Santa Cruz mountains with lots of other T1s my age. We each had two counselors and a designated nurse. We put on skits at camp fire time, went boating, ziplining, played softball, didn’t shower for a week, but still somehow managed to all sit down collectively and check our blood sugars and take our insulin. Oddly enough – I hate camping now.
8) At said camp, I met two of my best camp friends. Iria and Tris. We did everything together during that week. We continued to write letters (yes, LETTERS people!) long into our high school years. We just got to be girls, even though we all shared the same ailment. Tris sadly passed away in a car accident during my senior year of high school. She was smart and was headed off to Stanford, and became an unfortunate reminder of how short life is. Iria and I lost touch shortly after.
9) Speaking to my 6th grade class about how to give insulin to a stuffed rabbit during a class demonstration project. Answering questions about my life with diabetes for an additional half hour.
10) Starting this blog. It started out as a silent journal for the unknown internet, but soon, many of my friends IRL began to follow it and it has brought them closer and more intimate with my struggles and successes.