October 24. That was a Saturday in 2008. I got an ear infection on that Saturday.
I remember being sick, waking up and my ear exploded. Getting medicine, home from school for a week. What I don’t remember, but what I wish I do, is how things changed in those next few weeks. My body must have been completely hectic inside, but what I was worried about was a C on a math test or something small like that. What I imagine now is a scene from a movie- immune system fights pancreas and it’s all blood and gore. I know I have a weak immune system, but I just never thought it was that big of a deal.
November 10 was the first recorded date of a symptom. We were at a friend’s house and I remember going to the bathroom 3 or 4 times in two hours, drinking their pitcher of water alone.
From there on, I was tired. I was a wreck, really. You know the story, I don’t have to repeat it. I remember on one occasion close to my diagnosis, I got up for orchestra, but then I just sort of slumped on the kitchen table. Keeping my mouth shut was all I could do to keep my self from puking.
I looked up those symptoms, because I’m always curious. Because I was noticing the drinking the most, I searched “drinking a lot of water”. Diabetes insipidus, a somewhat rare disease popped up. I clicked it, and to me it sounded right. My mom looked at it, but she said that I was a healthy eater and I couldn’t have diabetes (diabetes insipidus has nothing to do with sugar). We were a classic stereotype. I didn’t know there was a type one and a type two.
I don’t have to repeat the diagnosis story, you know how it goes. I just have to think back and realize how many things can be happening that you don’t think to see. Both in your body, and around you. I take any chance to educate myself now, about things I don’t know. You don’t know how it will affect you in the future. I also think about how many small things I freak out about. They don’t even compare to something like this- which is smaller than many other things that could happen.
School this year is going great now, and I seem to have my pump figured out. Sitting in the hallway and testing has become a nice break from class, and the kids who see me everyday say hi, and some even ask about my number. They know what glucose tabs are, what a bad number is, why I leave. They can sing the pump alarm jingle.
November 14 is World Diabetes Day, and I’m gearing up! I’m going to talk to a 6th grade class during their small unit on Diabetes, and definitely wear blue!
Since last October, I’ve learned so many things. I can’t tell you half of everything I’ve learned. Not just about diabetes, but about life, people… It’s actually better rather than worse. I like my life with diabetes more than without. I like appreciating life, too.