Ever wondered how a Type 1 Diabetic is diagnosed? I bet if you didn’t before, you do now. I have recently published a blog about my diagnosis story. This is Part 2.
We are now in the hospital. I’m in a little room with a bathroom, a couch, a hospital bed, and a TV. I don’t really remember what I thought of it, when I got there. I lost a lot of my memory, being so close to a coma. I do remember searching through the TV movie options and seeing nothing good. That was really our (My mom and I’s) only activity there in the hospital. They had dogs that came in, they had a children’s room with toys and games, they had much to do…when it was open. Literally everything entertaining was closed. The dogs came a few days before we got there. The children’s room was closed the entire stay and there wasn’t much else to do. We would typically just stay in the room watching movies, checking ketones, and eating sugar-free foods, between meals.
When it comes to eating sugar-free foods in a hospital, you get Sprite Zero and Tic Tacs. That. Is. It. Sprite Zero and Tic Tacs. I would be thirsty and ask the nurse for something. They would always act like they had so many options. They would perk up and go, “Oh! Would you like water…or Sprite Zero?? :D” I would kind of stare at them as if they spoke in Chinese for a few seconds. Now, if you ever mention Sprite Zero as a sugar-free option for me because I’m a diabetic…you will die. I got so sick of that.
I remember one of the days walking into my room and looking on my couch happily. I saw a 1½ foot, plush teddy bear plopped there, sitting next to a small bouquet of flowers in a pink vase. They were from my grandma. I named the bear Squishy and had him close to me almost the whole time. He still sits on my bed.
So once my mom and I were so sick of the hospital, we decided to go outside. Don’t worry, we weren’t running away or anything. We walked out to the doors and stepped outside. It was like one of those moments in Pocahontas where the hair was flying and your eyes close as the wind dances around you…but, it was actually like a 10 year-old in a patient outfit, standing on the sidewalk with her IV’s still in, who looked like a sad animal. We stood here, looking weird for about 1.2 seconds before we decided it was better inside.
I remember sleeping in the hospital bed, which I thought was a very comfortable bed situation because it was big enough for me to sit with mom in and it had fun buttons that lowered you down and raised you up. Very exciting for that age. (Not that I don’t like up and down beds now, but that’s besides the point.) I would be sleeping in that hospital bed all happy and sleepy…until I would hear my name or feel a tap. I would wake up and open my eyes to see…a nurse holding a needle. “Time for your Lantus shot!” (Lantus: A type of insulin that stables my blood sugars). You can probably imagine my face at this point. Not very happy. My mom remembers having to get up and hold my hand before anyone stabbed me with anything, even in the middle of the night.
When I was ready to leave, a lady came up to me. (WARNING: If you hate needles and cringe every time you hear a story like the one you’re about to hear, I would skip this next paragraph.) The lady came up to take out my IV’s. If you don’t know what those are, (quite frankly I don’t know what they do), but picture those tubes that go into your hand or arm. That’s an IV. So the lady comes up to me to take them out. I am SO ready to get them out of my hand and arm! I had two. So you would think that this being a children’s hospital, they would warn me. Nope. She grabs ahold of that tube, and with me looking, because I didn’t know she would take it out, she yanks on it and I see this extremely long tube get pulled out of my hand. It was the most disgusting thing I have seen come out of my arm. And that’s saying a lot, actually. It’s slimy and long… I’m trying to make you cringe right now, so just do it to make me feel better. They let me change and I went back to my dad and sister.
We traveled back home, which I don’t remember any of that. My mom and dad tell me that I was hungry, all the time. I had a little camo bag, that they gave me for my insulin and supplies. It was green, not even pink or something, green. It looked like a lunch box/bag you’d find at the Dollar Store, and I had to have it with me everywhere I went. I would be around a group of girls and they would all ask, “Why do you have a lunch box with you?” That got very old…very quickly.
But, I discovered that I had become braver than most girls my age. I remember, a few months after diagnosis, I was sitting at a table with some 11 year olds who were all talking about how they had their 12 year old shots and how it hurt so bad and blah blah blah. I would sit there, my arms crossed on the table, smiling, waiting for the perfect time to say it… “Yeah, I get seven shots a day, so…” They looked at me like I just ate a moth. “SEVEN?” Yes. Seven. Three meals a day, then snacks, which I had a lot of, (Fun fact: If you didn’t read part 1 of my diagnosis, you have to get a shot, insulin, whenever you eat.)
I always love breaking it to people that I have diabetes… There was one girl, about 7, she asked why I carry a lunch box or something like that and I said, “I have diabetes.” She sang something stupid about a McDonalds customer having diabetes and shortly after she said, “Wait, what’s diabetes?”. This was the start of many opportunities for me to teach people the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A lot of people are surprised to hear the things I tell them, and I like to help them learn. I didn’t eat too much sugar. My parents didn’t do something wrong raising me. I’m fine. I’m perfectly healthy. I just lost an organ. And it wasn’t my fault. And I can eat what I want. Just had to say that. Oh, and…can I check your blood sugar?
So, this ends my diagnosis story. I can’t wait to share more stories with you and what it’s like to be a type 1 diabetic. There are bad days and there are good days, but overall, I would have to say that I’m a stronger person and I know more about myself and how to take care of myself than most girls, my age.
In honor of my diagnosis, March 4th, 2016, I will be posting the 4th of every month. If I don’t, I’ll post a few days after. I may not able to do this every 4th, you know… Well, stay tuned! –