Genesis: My Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis
I will never forget that Friday afternoon when my life was changed forever. 23 years later and I can still recall how tired, sluggish and thirsty I was. The average six year old is normally bursting with energy and they grasp every opportunity to go outside and play with friends. Running around was the furthest thought from my mind. I was conserving what energy I had for my frequent bathroom trips. At this stage I was exhibiting all the symptoms of diabetes.
Lunchtime was about to end and after another bathroom visit, I went to the vendor. I needed something cold to drink to quench this never ending thirst. The first thing that caught my eye was a Plus. However, to my dismay, I did not have enough money to buy it. The vendor looked at me and I guess she could tell that I was in desperate need. She said “I know your granny well so you can bring back the rest of money on Monday”.
This went against everything I was taught by my parents “If you don’t have enough money for something do without it”. But I felt like I was dying from thirst and I had already drank so much water throughout the day. I hoped that the Plus would do the trick and make me feel a bit better. However, I was disappointed yet again. The only thing that happened was another bathroom visit.
The rest of the day passed and I finally arrived home to tell my grandmother and my mother about my awful day at school. I could see them trying to hold back the tears while trying to reassure me that I will feel better soon. With my rapid weight loss, frequent urination and constant thirst they knew what the issue was.
I had Diabetes or what my grandmother would call “Sugah”! That night was one of the worst and longest nights I could remember of my life. I was restless, extremely thirsty, always in the bathroom and I could remember begging my mom for a Lucozade I had in the fridge. My mother was reluctant to oblige. She feared it contained too much sugar for my already glucose saturated blood. I did the next best thing. I ask my grandmother. Granny came to the rescue and gave me a couple sips and told me that is the most she can give me. I went back to bed to try to get some sleep. There was the impending doctor’s visit in the morning.
The Doctor’s Visit
Fast forward a couple hours to the next day and I’m sitting in the doctor’s office with my mom. The only words that jumped out at me after my examination and the doctor’s diagnosis were Diabetes and hospital. This was the scariest day in my 6 years on earth. I would have to stay in a strange place where some people never came back from without my mom, my grandmother and my toys.
The next couple of days were very challenging. Blood test after blood test and 2 injections every day. I had to adjust to this new way of life. The other kids in the hospital ward would often get cookies or cake with their dinner. But not me. My meals were always as health as possible and to be honest quite tasteless. Before being discharged I was thought how to correctly administer insulin injections and check my blood sugar levels.
Returning to school was the next major task. All of my teachers had to be informed about my diagnosis and what to do in case of emergencies. My friends were also involved and would often remind our teacher about my snack times. Having this support system really helped me to cope and adjust to this new lifestyle.