day 3 – Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day.
It has to be the day that I was diagnosed. The other big days diabetes wise were days in DKA so I don’t really remember them so they are not memorable to me if that makes sense. The day I was diagnosed was weird. I didn’t have a dramatic collapse and rush to hospital that many type 1 diabetics experience. My mother is diabetic and my grandmother raised two diabetics so they saw the signs of my drinking like a fish. I hadn’t actually lost all that much weight. The only symptom I was showing was the drinking drinking drinking drinking and drinking some more. I wasn’t worried when I was taken to the doctor’s. I didn’t understand why I was going cause I didn’t think I was sick. I was only six years old so the drinking didn’t seem like a big deal.
I went in and obviously my mum explained things but I don’t remember that. The first thing I remember is being told the doctor needed a urine sample and me not needing a wee. I was taken to the corner shop for a drink and I wasn’t allowed normal ribena; it had to be sugar free and I remember it tasted utterly horrific. I can remember saying I didn’t like it, I didn’t want it, and crying and being told I had to drink it. My mum didn’t have a lot of money so she couldn’t get me something else. I remember a lot of being adamant I didn’t need a wee and getting strange looks from passers by and then I finally went to the toilet and there was more trauma of trying to pee into one of those cardboard cup things. Hauled back into the doctor’s and he did a stick in the pee thing and then demanded my mother take me to Sick Kids Children’s hospital in Edinburgh because he suspected I was diabetic. No one was in that great of a hurry. That is one thing that sticks out and reminds me how lucky I was. I wasn’t that deep into things because my mum caught on.
I remember being told we had to go to hospital because I might be diabetic but that we had to wait on my dad. That stood out a lot. My parents didn’t talk or get on well after their divorce. The fact that my mother would voluntarily deal with my dad was strange. He got the bus home from his work and then my mum drove us to hospital and it was during the journey I started to realise things must be serious because both parents were there and talking and not fighting and stuff.
I don’t remember arriving but I remember when the blood tests were to happen. Some genius decided to let a student nurse practice her needlework on a six year old. I was injected 6 times with her failing to find a vein. The needles were huge; I was scared. It sticks out vividly for the pain but also because my parents worked together for the only time I remember. They didn’t fight, were civil, and all their focus were on me as they pinned me to the bed for the nurse to stab m again. Eventually a more experienced nurse stepped in and took the blood first time. Now at all other times in hospital and all other times since nurses have had no issues getting blood out of my arm. Trauma for no reason I say.
I don’t remember being told I was diabetic. I don’t remember my first injection. I have vague memories of stabbing an orange but being very ‘yeah yeah mum does this she can show me’ and stuff. I thought it was kind of cool. I was going to be like mum and now I’d get a fancy compartment in the fridge all to myself for my diabetic stuff. My biggest upset upon diagnosis was when I realised I wasn’t going to be taking the same insulins as my mum. She had blue and yellow bottles (actrapid was yellow but I don’t know what the blue was anymore) and I was given green and red and I thought hers were cooler. (insulartard and something). A doctor came to explain diabetes to me and I spent a lot of time saying I know that and being told not be rude by my mother. So yeah, that is my most memorable diabetes day and though I still shudder at the memory of all those stabs I realise I was very lucky in the end to not actually end up in DKA before I was diagnosed. I think I was only in a couple of days cause obviously mum knew what she was doing. I was a rebel before we even left the hospital. Doc said I wasn’t allowed strawberry yogurts anymore as they were too sweet and mum said that was rubbish and we’d pick some up on the way home. 😛