556 is the magical number that forever changed my life the moment I heard it. Fourth grade was definately a hectic year with several changes. My mom married my step dad, we moved to a new home, I started a new school, my dad started dating someone new, and I was also diagnosed with type one diabetes.
I still remember the day of my diagnosis like it was yesterday. For a couple of months prior to my official diagnosis I was experiencing sypmtoms that I didn’t know were actually sypmtoms at all. I felt exhausted at all times, I experienced extreme thirst, and due to my frequent intake of water I was going to the bathroom constantly. I had also lost eight pounds in one week. It became so bad that I remember carrying around a huge jug of water with me and drinking it as I was peeing. It was a terrible feeling. After a while my mom became worried and set up an appointment with my pediatrician.
When we went to his office and I told him what was happening, he instantly had a worried look on his face and said “Oh, that really does not sound good.” My doctor is the kind of doctor that was always smiling and telling jokes, so the fact that his smile was absent really frightened me. A nurse came in with a meter and poked my finger to test my blood sugar, and it was so high that the meter could not read it. That was when my doctor told my mom that he believed that I was diabetic. I just remember my mom crying hystarically and I just felt so confused. Now, just as a sidenote, I have this weird habit where if I am in an uncomfortable situation I laugh. Hard. So when I saw my mom crying I just fell apart in laughter. We were then told that we had to go to the hospital immediately, and that was when I was rushed to the nearest hospital.
While in the ER, they were able to determine what my blood sugar was, which was 556. It was official. I was a type one diabetic. I was then hooked up to an IV, and they admitted me and transferred me to a room. My mom had contacted my dad while we were on our way to the hospital, but for reasons that escape me he was unable to come right away. However, a couple of hours later when he did come, he had a worried look on his face. My dad came over to me immediately and hugged me and told me that he loved me, and I instantly felt relieved that he was there. (I am a daddy’s girl.)
I remember speaking to a couple of different doctors and not really understanding what was happening to me. The same day that I was admitted, a nutrionist came in to discuss how my diet was going to have to change. Sugar was definately out of the diet plan, and my carbohydrate intake was minimal. Mind you I am also a vegetarian, so getting enough protein and actually feeling full was quite a challenge. The nutrionist did make me try turkey while I was in the hospital, but I ate one bite and said that I was not going to eat meat. I spent countless hours practicing how to give myself shots, how to check my own blood sugar with my own meter, and speaking with doctors. After a couple of days in the hosiptal, I no longer wanted to see another doctor for the rest of my life, but then one doctor came to visit me that made me feel so special. My pediatrician came to my room unexpectedley to make sure I was doing alright. He gave me a huge hug, and he also gave me a new teddy bear. It was so sweet. When he found out that my blood sugar was starting to come down he even started smiling again. I was diagnosed with diabetes twelves years ago, but the fact that my doctor came to the hospital to check up on me still makes me want to cry. It was just so sweet and kind of him.
I still had a few days in the hospital ahead of me, and during those days it was still constant learning and adjusting, but on the ninth day of being in the hospital I was finally discharged. Being a new diabetic in the hospital is one thing, but when you are out and back in reality without doctors and nurses taking care of you that’s when it gets tricky.
I will continue with my story another time. Stay tuned!