Hi everyone. I am so tired and I have a lot of homework to finish but I need to keep up this routine. Therefore, here I am publishing my final from my English class last year. Just for background information this is about the different emotions I went through during critical parts of my diabetes lifetime.
At 9 years old…
I sit in the waiting room, rocking back and forth on one of the horses at the doctor’s office. I am too focused to notice my mother’s nervous gesture, or her hunched over figure sitting on the bench next to me. The doctor calls to my mother saying that I have to go to Cooley Dick. I don’t know why. I feel fine. My doctor takes my mother into a room so they can talk. And I am left outside.
They take me inside of a room. I sit on the big seat with cushions. My legs dangle. They put bandages on the inside of my arms. The nurse begins to tell me that it’s so the shots don’t hurt. I don’t understand why. They say big words that I can’t understand. My mother is next to me trying to make me smile. I think she thinks I’m scared. But, I’m not scared. The bandages feel weird. They said that it was supposed to numb my arm. I don’t think it’s working. I don’t think they did it right.
I’m holding my mom’s hand. We are at a hospital. We walk by a statue of a woman with a round stomach. She is just outside of the door. My mother is crying. I don’t know why, I hope that she is okay.
“Why am I going to the hospital?” I ask. I look at my mom. She is still crying.
“You’re going to be just like Nick Jonas.” She says. She looks scared.
“So I’m going to have rabies?” I’m confused. I don’t understand.
“Oh I’m going to have diabetes” I shrug. That doesn’t seem that bad. I don’t even know what that means. I don’t really feel sad about it. I walk past the statue.
My mom went to go talk to the lady at the desk. I sit on a couch. I sit in silence. I kick my feet back and forth. My mom sits down next to me. She is now crying. She is crying really hard. I wonder why she is so sad.
A stranger comes up to my mother and asks if she is okay. He offers to get my mom tissues and a cup of water. My mom accepts and the stranger walks away. He comes back moments later with a cup of water and a new box of tissues. He gives my mother a look, I think he feels sorry for her.
The nurse calls me in. I follow. So does my mom. They take the weird bandages off. The ones that are inside my elbow. The stuff that is supposed to numb my arm doesn’t work. I feel them take my blood. It hurts. They leave. My mom stays with me.
They tell my mother that I have to go to Baystate. We leave. My mom holds my hand as we walk past the statue. We drive. My mom calls my neighbor. She’s a nurse. My neighbor asks my mom to turn around and to pick her up. So we do. Then we drive.
We get to a new hospital. It seems plain. There is no statue. We walk in. We talk to another lady. She is sitting at a big desk. She tells us to go to the third floor. So we take the elevator. We take a left. We open a door and talk to another lady. We follow her, we take a left. They prick my finger. It kind of hurts. They begin talking to my mom and my neighbor.
“Erin” The doctor says to me.
“You have diabetes.”
At 12 years old…
I am late to lunch, again. This meaning that I won’t be able to sit with my friends, and I will have to pretend to be having a good time with whoever I am sitting with. I check my blood sugar, and it is high again. I write it down and slide the paper over to the school nurse. I try to get away without her being able to talk to me and tell me to come back. I don’t want to leave class again.
“Erin, sweetie,” she says. I try to not be annoyed because I know she cares, but I am so annoyed.
“Can you come back in two hours just to recheck to make sure that you are coming down?”
I turn around and walk back into her office and look at her before responding with a “Yes, of course.” I walk down the hallway with my head hanging low. I don’t want to be here.
The time has slipped away from me. I didn’t realize that the time was now 2:15. I am 15 minutes late to rechecking my blood sugar. Of course, I do not realize this until over the intercom I hear Mthe nurse’s booming voice: “Hi Mr. Q, is Erin with you?”
I hang my head in shame, I do not want to go, I hate this embarrassment.
“Yes, she is,” Mr. Q says while looking at me, while all the other eyes are looking at me. 40 eyes on me. I hate this and I just don’t want to go.
“Can you send her my way please?” I get up from my chair and hang my head. The eyes of my classmates still watching me as I walk out the door.
I am embarrassed, I hate this. This sucks!
I turn into the nurse’s office and I go to my station. I slump my shoulders and try to give as much attitude as I can. She comes over and rubs my back. I appreciate this, more than she will know. But I am frustrated. Not with her, but with myself. I hate that my body attacked itself. I hate that I wasn’t strong enough to fight off whatever caused this. I hate that I can’t just be “normal.” I hate that there are only a few moments in my life that I will feel like I fit in.
I give a weak smile, and she gives me a hug. I appreciate moments like this, moments where people try to understand.
But no one really understands.
I come home. I sit and take of my shoes. I check my blood sugar and look at the number, 158. I go upstairs to my mom and I cry. I scream. I feel so much anger rushing out of me.
“Why did God do this to me? Why did He have to pick me out of everyone to have diabetes? I DON’T WANT THIS.” I scream and sob at the same time.
My mother is trying to calm me down but she can’t. All of the frustrations and the sadness that I have been feeling rush out of me, and I can no longer handle this.
“Why couldn’t (insert classmates name) have diabetes? Why does she get to lead a normal life and I don’t?”
Why am I diabetic? What did I do to deserve this?
At age 17…
There are five of us. And there is 5 minutes until the game is supposed to begin. I don’t feel good. I feel anxious, shaky, hungry. I can’t think straight. I sit down on the bench and test. 52. I’m low, I can’t play. I get Gatorade as my mom begins to walk over. I eat glucose tablets and she begins to do the standard procedure of asking me how I am, what my number is, what I have been doing to treat it, and if I have enough Gatorade.
I sit with my head hanging low, I feel as though I let my team down. They are now playing with 4 people, 1 less than basketball is normally played with. I am disappointed in myself. The other team has been gracious enough to only have 4 people too. But, this isn’t right. This is all my fault.
Why do I have diabetes? In a scientific sense it is because my body attacked itself. My immune system destroyed all of my beta cells in my pancreas. Beta cells are what create insulin, which breaks down the glucose that we ingest into our body. But, that is the scientific way. That is the actual reason that I have diabetes.
The question that was hardest to come to terms with was, “what did I do to deserve this?”
I spent years contemplating this unanswered question. I eventually came to realize that there was nothing that I did wrong to deserve diabetes. That it can happen to anyone at any point in their life. And that it does suck.
I began to learn that you can’t pity yourself for the rest of your life. You have to suck it up, and own it. This is my body, and I am in control.
Diabetes doesn’t define me.