Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share. (Thanks to Jasmine of Silver-Lined for this topic suggestion.)
I know it’s cliché, but I think one of my most memorable diabetes day moments is when I was first diagnosed. You know when something major happens in life, you always remember where you were, how you were feeling, what you were wearing, what you ate etc? Like, on September 11, I remember going to primary school, and sitting on the benches in the undercover area and someone telling me what happened. I didn’t really understand what had happened until later that day, I couldn’t fathom it. I remember where I was when my mum told me my grandad died. I remember where I was when I found out I got my job.
I remember the day I was diagnosed like it was yesterday. Leading up to my diagnosis, I hadn’t really taken notice of the symptoms. That’s to say, they had become such a part of me, gradually that I took the symptoms as normal. I’d lost a lot of weight, I was drinking water like it was going out of fashion and I was peeing every hour. At the time, I was in my gap year. So I was 18, working my first real office job and we were about to head into company training for two days. Looking back now, I realise that planning how I was going to make it through 2-3 hours of seminars before I was allowed to use the bathroom is totally ludicrous.
A few weeks or so before my diagnosis, I’d had a nasty fall from my horse in which I visited the doctor because I’d hurt my neck and finger and needed to get checked out. After the appointment, I remembered that I should have mentioned the other symptoms I had, and I really regretted it because I was embarrassed to have to book in to see the doctor again so soon.
I took my mum with me to my appointment, because she almost always came to my appointments, and also because I was pretty worried. When I was younger, I’d read a Baby Sitters Club book and it was when one of the characters got diagnosed with diabetes. So I knew the signs. The appointment was on a Friday and I remember explaining to the doctor (still, to this day one of the best doctors I’ve ever met) the symptoms and he looked at me and said very calmly ‘you’ve got the classic symptoms of Diabetes mellitus’. He explained that I’d get tested that day, and I’d find out early next week. He would call me.
That weekend, I remember buying a packet of a recently discovered amazing biscuit (it was a chocolate and honeycomb crunch), and thinking to myself, this might be the last weekend I can eat this.
The two day work training started on the Tuesday. About halfway through the first session, so midmorning, there was a call from me. It was the doctors surgery, and they told me to come in straight away. I knew then that it wasn’t going to be good. I met my mum at the surgery, and the doctor saw me straight away. The funny thing is, I don’t remember exactly what it was the doctor said, but obviously it wasn’t good. I didn’t really know anything about diabetes beyond what I’d read in the Baby Sitters Club book. I remember my mum asking if I could take insulin orally or if I’d have to do injections. I walked out of the doctors surgery, crying, and my mum ushered me outside while she fixed up the bill and I just sat in the car and cried. She took me home, rang my work to tell them what had happened and that I wouldn’t be in for a few hours.
We still lived on the farm at this point, and I remember sitting on the mat at the back doors and just cuddling my dogs and crying.
I did end up going back to work that day, I’m not sure how. About 3 days later I started on insulin and testing my blood sugar levels. The doctors say I was pretty lucky, because I didn’t get a lot of the symptoms that others get, I didn’t ever (and still have never) have to stay in hospital.