Firstly I do apologise that my blogs aren’t in chronological order, my last blog would have been old news if I had posted it any later though. To be honest though, none of these will be in any sort of order, because diabetes doesn’t do organisation. It doesn’t play ball, no matter how much you want/need it to.
I think of it as trying to push to ends of a magnet together….you push to connect to it, and it moves in the opposite direction. You push harder holding the other magnet and you do eventually connect, but it’s not a perfect match. I sound terribly negative there but there’s no denying that it’s a bloody pain! However one day the wrong end will turn around and everything will fall into place. You’ll see….
So this is the story of my diagnosis day, the day that changed me. It changed my family, my habits, my behaviour, my attitude and my whole outlook on life. This day weakened me on the inside but toughened me up on the outside, this day broke an unbreakable bond and taught me how to build barriers, it changed me physically and changed me emotionally but most importantly….it has made me the person that I am today and I’m proud of that! Please don't think that I'm being negative because I'm really not. Diabetes makes people strong and realise what is really important in life.
If I could talk to my 16 year old self now I would say “hang on in there and don’t give up, fight it and win.” If I could send a message to anyone who is newly diagnosed it would be exactly that.
June 2002 –
Disney Land Paris
I had been looking forward to this holiday for months! I was going to Disney Land Paris with my mum step dad and younger brother after weeks of stressful GCSE exams and months of revision! However this holiday did not go to plan. Memories would be made, but they wouldn’t be magical. I would also be put off cabbage for a very long time.
It was so hot there and the heat was dehydrating me so much! I could not quench my thirst and all I wanted to do was to go home, lie in a cool room with some ice cold water and sleep. I had barely eaten a thing all week and was loosing weight very rapidly. I had no energy at all and was making any excuse I could to miss the rides and parades so that I could go back to my hotel room. Little did I know that every sip of coke that I thought was quenching my thirst was making it 100 times worse. That my body had been slowly giving up for weeks and now was the time for it to finally let go.
That’s all I remember….the thirst, the heat, the tiredness, the confusion and the pain, all on repeat, all day every day. I’ve seen holiday photos since and none of it jogs my memory. I was there in body (just about) but not in mind. I do however remember the last day very well. Four hours before we were due to get on the Euro Star to make our way home I passed out in my hotel room. A doctor was called and he told me that I had food poisoning and that I would feel slightly under the weather for a day or two. Two hours after that and I was begging my mum to take me down to the bar so that I could get a bottle of water. She was almost carrying me because I was so weak I couldn’t walk. She said later that people were staring at me because I looked so ill skinny and gaunt, with big dark circles under my eyes.
It was as soon as I reached the bar that the pains started….Excruciating pains shot through my stomach and I was doubled over in agony. I couldn’t breathe or cry, I just collapsed and when I woke up I was surrounded by hotel staff. I had no idea what was happening and all I could think was that I wanted the pain to end, and if that meant that I ended all together then so be it. It was horribly selfish of me to think like this but I had never felt anything like it, like something was ripping its way out of my stomach….and then suddenly everything was still again, silent and calm. Like a calm ocean after a storm, but everything was spinning in slow motion. I don’t remember seeing or hearing my mum at all, I was off in my own little world and it was nice.
I woke up lying in bed feeling relaxed rested and peaceful, though still slightly numb. Looking around me I saw that I was covered in wires, there were tubes coming out of me and were attached to what looked like a giant syringe (sliding scale), machines were bleeping, drips were hanging and I was in a room with a huge glass wall.
My time in hospital was a blur, a nice blur though. I spent a few days in intensive care and then a week on a ward. I was told by my mum that with one prick of my finger everything had been solved, the mystery illness and weight loss, the mood swings and excessive tiredness had all been accounted for. After the hotel I’d been airlifted to a private hospital just outside of Paris where, unknown to me, battles with insurance companies were taking place, money was being demanded and bills were being racked up. My only concern was that the hospital overlooked a huge cabbage field and every single meal somehow incorporated cabbage! I swear I had cabbage for breakfast one day!
Despite the menu I was happy again, because I had been saved and there was hope. As far as I was concerned the worst was over, nothing could beat that pain….
So that’s D-Day. Remember new type 1’s - hang on in there and don’t give up, fight it and win. I cannot express that enough. You will recieve help from so many different sources but you just need to let it happen and go with it.