Monday, July 13, 2015

For Kycie, David, and all the other kids who didn't make it.

I could have been them. Taken from this earth far too young, before I'd even hit double-digits in age.

I can only remember bits and pieces of the day I was diagnosed. I'm not even sure what the exact day was, but it was in July of 1990. I couldn't breathe. My mom and dad rushed me to my pediatrician right away, where I started throwing up bile. I remember being hurried from the pediatrician's office to the hospital, right across the street. I can recall being a little scared, and a lot uncomfortable.

I was eight years old. All I knew was that I wanted someone to fix me, and the whole thing felt very surreal. I learned I was in something called diabetic ketoacidosis. (Maybe it was all the Sesame Street I watched when I was even smaller, but I first thought they were saying something that sounded like Spanish: quequitoacidosis. Pretty sure that is not a thing.)

Yet, it's what I found out later in life that rings true to this day, and brings pain to the hearts and minds of parents, caregivers and healthcare workers alike. Diabetes wasn't anyone's first thought when I first got sick. 

My pediatrician was deeply bothered by the fact that he missed it--my mom had talked to him a couple of weeks before about how I seemed to have the flu in the summertime. Some nasty virus was spreading around kids that summer, so nobody really thought anything of it. It was unusually warm, and I spent a lot of time outside at Girl Scout day camp, so no wonder I was drinking all the time, right?

So there I was, in the hospital, sicker than I'd ever been. Knock on wood, I will never end up that sick again.

Twenty-five years ago, I was one of the lucky kids. Even today, with all the technology we didn't yet have when I was growing up, not all kids are so lucky. What a bittersweet way to realize it's my diaversary.

Don't ever hesitate to ask for a glucose test for your kids. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Take This Diabetes and Shove It

An Ad, to Be Placed on Freecycle or the Giveaway Section of Craigslist

Free to a Good [or Bad] Home - Type 1 Diabetes (Philadelphia or Anywhere)

The beta cells in my pancreas quit working after 8 short years. My immune system attacked them, and instead of going back to doing their f**king job, they decided to just sit and panhandle around the Islets of Langerhans, like that's some kind of vacation for them. I've tried to give diabetes a chance for 25 years, but you know what? I'm done.

Surely there is some soul out there who would like to adopt my diabetes and give it a good home. Or maybe you know an unsuspecting Men's Rights Activist right-wing homophobic politician asshat that you want to teach a lesson. Either way, please come to this address [Hannah's House or Place of Employment] and help yourself.

Type 1 Diabetes has been a challenge to love. Most recently, an insulin pump site of mine got pulled off in the middle of the night, so I woke up around 6:30am with a raging "HI" staring deep into my soul from my glucose meter. Through gritted teeth I said, "Hello yourself" to the screen and injected a buttload of Novolog as I replaced my infusion set, drank two giant cups of water and went back to sleep, nauseous. A few hours later, at work, that buttload of Novolog kicked in all at once, so while my blood glucose clocked in at 200, my body was trying to tell me I was a solid 65 with shakiness and a case of the woozies.

Diabetes is sometimes a gentle nuisance, and other times it makes me want to cry, scream, and throw things across the room. That's not a terribly healthy behavior, so obvious my Diabetes would do much better if it were rehomed.

Please stop by this weekend. Type 1 Diabetes can be yours for the exclusive price of FREE-NINETY-NINE! I will even throw in all the fancy gadgets and tropical fruit punch glucose tabs!

I can also just leave it on the curb. Come grab it, as I only have this one case of Type 1 Diabetes to give away. If you're also interested, I will set out some plantar fasciitis, macular edema (right eye only), and arthritis of the lower back, also free.

It's a whole new kind of summer fun!