There are few things I remember about that day, 20 years ago. I had been nauseous and exhausted for weeks. The thirst was unquenchable and the fatigue unbearable. I literally fell asleep in class, but this was chalked up to my rigorous soccer schedule.
I remember the doctor getting ready to let me leave my annual check-up and the nurse running in and whispering in his ear. I remember the haze that then enveloped me and that didn’t break for a few weeks. That life then, before, seems like a dream, as though living without having to think about carb counts or when I ate happened to someone else.
I remember watching “Steel Magnolias” the day after I was released from the hospital. Newly diagnosed, I was sure I could handle this tear-jerker. Having been forewarned of Julia Roberts’ character’s demise, I felt like I was tough and would be able to watch it without shedding a single tear. All my friends had seen it and I couldn’t wait. Boy, was I wrong. The fear that gripped me after that movie lived inside me for years. My subconscious would whisper, “You’ll never have kids! You’re going to die young!” when I least expected it. I thought I would never have a “normal” life.
I remember feeling like I would have to put my life on hold, that there would be things I wouldn’t be able to do. So I set out to prove them all wrong. I played, and still play, sports. I have two beautiful children. I wear my pump proudly and serve to live each day as a model of what a person living with this disease can be.
In another 20 years I look forward to being able to say, “I remember what life was like when I was a diabetic.” I hope, I pray, and I raise awareness and money for that day.