I was young. The signs began to appear when I was 10. I remember being thirsty…ALL the time. It seemed the more I drank, the thirstier I was. And, of course the frequent trips to the loo began too. A constant back and forth of peeing and drinking. I thought there was something wrong with me…maybe I was being silly. I started to tiptoe quietly during my 2/3 nightly trips to the loo because I started to think that I would get in trouble. I was hungry. ALL the time.
The more I ate, the hungrier I was.
I was eating so much , that it didn’t make sense for why I was still getting slimmer and slimmer. I was getting very thin. Everyone was worried. I know my mum took me to the doctor at least once before. I remember the doctor saying “She has always been skinny. The frequent drinking could be a habit she’s picked up.”
I don’t blame my doctor. In fact, she was the best doctor I had ever had. This was just a slip up. My mum said she did in fact test my urine that day. She even sent it off to the labs for further testing. It came back fine. There was nothing she could have done.
So things, got worse. I got skinnier. Thirstier. Hungrier. I thought I was fine. I kept on going. I turned 11. My mum took me to see the doctor again. She said she’d had enough and wanted further tests. She said something wasn’t right. I looked like I was wasting away. Nobody really knew that it's because I was. So she took me. I peed in a bottle again, like I did all those months ago, and we sat down with my doctor.
This time was different. She told my mum to take me to hospital right away. There would be people waiting for me. And there was.
They put me in a wheelchair. I thought this was overly dramatic because I felt fine. I remember that my first finger prick, was that day. I was in hospital for a week. I was on a drip due to severe dehydration. I don’t remember the “you have type 1 diabetes” revelation. It’s probably just as well. The specialist told my parents that my life, and consequently their's, was about to change forever. I know that he told them that if they hadn’t brought me in when they had, that I wouldn’t have made it to the end of the week. That’s real. That’s hard-hitting.
Life changed that day.
The novelty of all the playstation games I could play and all the movies I could watch soon wore off, but I wasn’t allowed home until one of us could administer my injections. My dad was the one to take it for the team. I couldn’t do it. I don’t remember the first time I gave my own injection. It seems second nature to me now...I wonder if I was just too young, or if my mind has chosen to forget this?
Diagnosis is scary. We have no photos. My mum kept no memories. She said it was the worst time, so we don't even know the exact date. That's why my birthday month always reminds me of the day my life changed forever. The 11th birthday party that I never got to have. But I got through it. I survived.
It made me realise that not enough people know about Type 1 Diabetes. I didn't either. I remember someone telling me that I would probably just have to "eat less sweets". Can you imagine I thought this was a horrific notion in itself. I had such a sweet tooth...how can I not be allowed sweets anymore?! If only it was that easy!