I was very lucky in that I was not very ill. For a few months I had been more tired than usual, peeing a lot and drinking anything I could get my hands on. Being type one herself my mum suspected diabetes and so on the first of April 1997 I was taken down to the doctors (I detest April Fool’s day because of this. It wasn’t a joke for me. So, I get flashbacks). I can remember going to the loo not long before we went in and after the doctor heard what mum had to say, he agreed it might be D and asked for a urine sample. That was the first traumatic part. I didn’t need the loo. I was no longer allowed any juice with sugar in it so I was bought diet ribina, the only juice available in the shop near the doctor. I can remember hating the taste of it, screaming I didn’t want it, being forced to drink it and then being made to sit on the loo in the doctors till I needed a wee. It wasn’t a lot of fun. Quick test from the doc and he calmly said it looked like diabetes and I was to be taken into Sick Kids in Edinburgh. I was six.
We can’t have moved with a lot of urgency because there was time for my mum to call my father at his work and get him to come home so we could go together. Given they were seperated and things were rather bitter between them that was very odd to me and perhaps the first sign that something major was wrong.
I walked into the hospital under my own power and I’m pretty sure my blood was only 23 which, while not good, wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The only other traumatic moment of my diagnosis was, to be fair, pretty horendous. A student nurse was to take blood from my arms and on six occasions she failed to hit a vein. It was SO painful and I was screaming my head off and had to be pinned down by my parents. It is the only memory I have of them working together. I even remember the green jumper I was wearing. It had a Cat and A, B,C on it. After that I wasn’t all that bothered. In fact I was quite smug about knowing things about diabetes before I could be told. I don’t remember ever practicing injecting things but I can remember being led off the ward into a side room to be given my injections by a nurse. I was miffed I didn’t have the same insulin as my mum but I wasn’t afraid of my diagnosis as far as I can recall. I think I was only in a couple of days because mum knew what she was doing and I wasn’t very high blood sugar wise so…yeah while it had its traumatic moments I got off pretty lightly in comparison to some people.