I’m 7 years old, sitting in a doctor’s office for the umpteenth time, and I’m desperately thirsty. That’s what I remember clearly before officially being diagnosed, but most of the rest is what I’ve been told. For almost a year, I had been sick and losing weight. I was on medication after medication; problems with my kidney, problems with my liver, you name it- that was the problem. Most of the time, my parents were told they were overreacting. “She’s your only child- you’re overreacting. It is nothing.” But my parents didn’t stop. Something didn’t feel right. I had never been this sick before in my young life.
One day, I decided I wanted glasses because I saw other people getting them. I began “complaining” about my eyesight. We go to the eye doctor in Buford. He looks at my eyes- and apparently, he tells my mom he thinks I have Diabetes because of the blood vessels in my eyes. He cannot make a for sure call. We go home. The next day I traded my favorite food, mac n’ cheese, for lemonade. That was the final straw. My dad had a talent for being on a business trip when something major happened. This was also before the internet was a big deal and instead of Web MD- my mom had to flip through a medical book.
The next morning, we go to the doctor. They try to turn her away again, and she says no- I think it’s Diabetes. They actually check my blood sugar.
I’m 589. No ketones though.
I’m really just very thirsty. They won’t give me anything.
Phone calls are made. Tears are shed. My dad is making plans to come home. He can’t until tomorrow.
And then- the beginning of my life with Emory and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta began.
Since I had no ketones. I was allowed to be an outpatient.
We drive to Atlanta. Originally they were located in a strip mall of sorts (they moved a few other times).
That’s where I met Dr. Hansen, Maureen, Jane, and Courtney. I was with them until I was 20 years old.
Then, I got my first shot, and BOY they were in for a surprise. Took most of the office and mom to hold me down. I have a fear of needles– it was worse then. Now I just jump a little when I do it, but if someone else touches me with a needle- be ready for it.
I don’t remember much after that besides the facts that- my mom was terrified to go home (she hates needles).
and Dr. Hansen said times were changing- Don’t deny me sweets. THANK YOU!
and on March 8- I will celebrate my 14th Dia-birthday- in BOSTON!
Love, words, inspiration, and insulin. -Until Next Time, and Until There’s a Cure!
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