living. loving. changing. learning. growing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 15, 1996

Me and the siblings  after i was diagnosed. i need to find my "before" pictures..drastic difference a little insulin can make...
on august 15th i celebrated my 15th diabetes diagnosis anniversary. 15 years. 
the days leading up to my diaversary were great. i was excited to be celebrating such a monumental achievement.
 i had wanted to have this blog post done on my anniversary but to be honest, it hit me like a ton of bricks. 
 i had the chance to talk with my mom about that hot august day when we headed to 
Breckenridge Children's Hospital 
and also about the days and weeks leading up to that decision.
..and it was tough. 
i remembered a lot of things leading up to my diagnosis but talking about it and reliving them in my head was much harder than i expected. 
i like lists..lots and lots of lists. 
here is a list of some things i remember about my hospital stay and my summer as an 8 year old 
  • i remember none of my clothes fitting. i was a beanpole with skeleton arms and legs..
  • i remember eating and eating and eating. like the time mom made a tamale? pie in a flan pan and i ate half of it by myself. i felt sooo sick afterwards, but still hungry (i have never liked those flan pans since)
  • i remember driving to my grandparents house and having to stop almost every 15 minutes so i could use the bathroom...even pulling over on the side of the road to go in the bushes. 
  • i remember wanting to nap a lot. what 8 year old wants to nap during the summer? a sick one...
  • i remember drinking constantly. milk, water, juice..anything. 
  • i remember being at brownie girl scout camp and feeling sick, thirsty, tired, but wanting to play with my friends. i remember practically living in front of the water fountain and juice bar ( juice constantly! i am surprised i didn't keel over right then!), i remember asking for seconds and thirds of food or eating the other girls food at my table, i remember wetting the bed at camp 2 or 3 times a night. it was one of the most embarrassing things ever, but thankfully i remember my friend amy helping me and the other girls never making fun. i remember drinking the pool water when we had swim time because i was SO thirsty but didn't want to get out and miss the fun. 
  • i remember walking to a friends house and my legs giving out. i sat in her yard for few minutes till she came out and found me. 
  • i remember going to my piano teachers house (pwd for many years) and my mom asking her to test my blood sugar. (it was 370 something) 
  • i remember going to the doctor and having tests run. i think that was the first time i had ever peed in a cup or had my blood drawn. if only i would have known how many more times those things would happen in my life...
  • i remember going back home after a long day at the doctors and my mom listening to message after message after message of them telling us to come back that night to be admitted. 
  • i remember my mom sending me to a friends house while she and dad talked about what to do. 
  • i remember packing that night and feeling awful. 
  • i remember i packed my favorite barbie doll and my mickey mouse sheets... ( i still have those sheets btw)
  • i remember arriving at the hospital and being whisked into the IV room..
  • i remember nearly passing out.
  • i remember my first finger stick and my mom giving me my first shot.
  • i remember learning about exchanges and testing, ketones and insulin..
  • i remember wonderful nurses and a great child's life center. 
  • i remember walking down the hall with my iv pole and a hideous nightgown that i thought was awesome.  
  • i remember giving my first shot. 
  • i remember my mom and mimi crying
  • i remember crying too
  • i remember some of the worlds greatest friends coming to visit me. they boys let me give them a saline shot and test their finger. 
  • i remember getting goodies, flowers, cards and balloons from people who loved me. 
  • i remember going home and learning how to wait 30 minutes after a shot to eat. 
  • i remember my first really low low..29...
  • i remember the day i couldn't get my bgs to come up or even stay at a safe low level and using glucagon. 
  • i remember having to eat when i wasn't hungry or not getting to eat when i was.
  • free foods
  • i remember glucose meters the size of bricks.
  • i remember long needles. 
  • i remember my granddad not being able to come see me at the hospital (also a pwd-1 for almost 40 years) 
  • i remember carrying a jump rope with me EVERYWHERE! a little on the high side? start jumping..
  • i remember not wanting to eat, take a shot, check etc and my parents being so matter of fact with me that i didn't have a choice but that they wished i didn't have to either. (thanks mom and dad. that was the foundation to my care all these years)
i remember bits and pieces of lots other things but those are the early memories of life with type 1 diabetes.
to be honest, writing this out was a lot more difficult than i thought it would be. 
i was only 8 when i was diagnosed so i have now had diabetes longer than i didn't. with being so young when all of these life changing events took place i have never really processed it or even grieved. i know my parents did a lot of that for me. they have done so much in making sure i was able to live life normally, in spite of diabetes. they carried the burden for many years, and i am so thankful for them.
but it was my turn to work through some emotions that i didn't even know i had buried. 
i am glad i did. 
i can do this. i can live life to the fullest most tip top. i have done this and i have done it well. 
i am ready for the next 15 years of life with my ever present side-kick. 


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Shae, thanks for sharing. You've gone through so much and you are a great face for the diabetic community. Celebrate the milestone! You're kicking diabetes in the tail!