It’s hard looking back to that time in your life where everything changed, even if it’s a good memory, reminiscing makes you miss that, so you tend to push it to the back of your mind, even though that moment, made you who you are today.
For me that moment was not a good or happy memory, it was a day I will never forget though, even if I tried.
This time I couldn’t control my tears, it hit me all at once, having the needle in my hand, I felt as though I was looking at what would be the rest of my life. That from now on, every day I would have to do this. I went over to my parents and cried into their shoulders, tears of sadness, depression, exhaustion and confusion. That was the first time I had ever seen my dad cry, right then I knew that the only way I could ever get through this, was with them.
So there I was sitting anxiously in the Emergency Room, with a slight expectation of what was going to happen, but still convinced it wouldn’t. We (my parents and I) were nowhere ready to face what was about to occur, and we never thought we would be ready.
The day started off just like any other, although I wasn’t feeling like myself, but that to me had become normal for the last couple of weeks. I had noticed a change, but I was trying so hard to get better myself I didn’t want to draw attention to it. I had lost 7 kilograms, was drinking excessively, and making more visits to the bathroom than normal; on top of that I had zero energy. My parents thought I had anorexia because I wasn’t eating, but filling up on fluids. I remember my mum stroking my back to feel my spine, it was the worst feeling ever. I had done nothing to bring on this weight loss and I did everything in my power to put weight back on, but I just couldn’t… it was out of my control. The GP did a few tests and tried covering her panicked expression with words, but her voice trembled. We were told to go in to hospital straight away, she tried to make it not seem urgent, but advised it was best to do so.
You know when your mind just goes blank, and you don’t think it is really happening and you feel like you can walk away and everything will be better, that you will get like a second chance to do things over, even though it wasn’t my fault. That drive to the hospital took forever, but when we arrived everything seemed to move faster, we presumed there would be a lot of waiting around, but we seemed to skip straight to the front of the line. It was late and all I wanted to do was go home, snuggle up in bed and watch a movie…. that wasn’t going to happen.
Before I knew it I was sitting on a wheelie bed in the Emergency room, surrounded by screaming children, being in a room with so many extremely sick children made me feel displaced.
I don’t have a phobia of needles, but I don’t particularly like them either (saying that I don’t think any one does), I had always had troubles for blood tests, because they could never find the vein. I always got myself into a little panic. This was by far the worst, a needle was injected into my hand and I was put on a drip, I had to tell the nurse to cover it up because I couldn’t look at it placed into my hand. Now things started moving fast, but my mind was moving in slow motion, I couldn’t fully register what was going on. My parents followed me with a worried look, you could tell they weren’t ready for this either.
I was wheeled to the Endocrine and Diabetes Department in the ‘Rose Ward’ ward, which would become my new home for the next week. It had a long hallway which seemed to never end, it smelled of a mix between detol, hand sanitiser and medicines. It took a while for my eyes to adjust to the light, and although it wasn’t cold, I had a shiver as soon as I entered. And then it all started to get out of control.
On the 5th of June 2008, I got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, to say it was a big adjustment was an understatement. I spent that week in hospital getting use to ‘living’ with it. I spoke to multiple Doctors, Nurses, Dieticians, I can’t remember them all.
I’m not going to explain word for word of what happened and in what order, I’ve repeated myself so many times, not that I mind. The things I remember most are having meals brought to me in the comfort of my bed, it reminded me a bit of room service, except the food wasn’t quite the same. I also remember going in to the ‘medicine’ room every time before a meal to draw up my injections. It wasn’t until the 3rd day I think, that I could inject myself. That’s one thing I can recall clearly, my hand was shaking, and I put the needle down and refused to do it. Since being in hospital I hadn’t broke down. Because I knew if I did, I felt I wouldn’t be able to pull myself back up again.
The injection stung as it entered my stomach, not from the needle itself, the hurt filled my heart, knowing this would be forever.
Leaving the hospital was a weird feeling, I had become comfortable and relied on the constant help of Doctors and Nurses. I wasn’t sure how I would cope at home, but I soon figured it out, and am still learning.
I never thought this would happen to me, you never do.