From what my mom tells me, my kindergarten teacher first noticed the symptoms. (Random blurb: what I remember the most about my teacher is her telling me one day while I was working on something that I said I, "can't do," that the word 'can't' was not allowed in her classroom. She told me to say that what I was doing was challenging, but could be done. This little blurb of a memory has stuck with me since then. I digress.) My teacher noticed that I was going to the bathroom. A lot. I would raise my hand while she was reading and have to go, I would go to the bathroom, then five minutes later I would raise my hand and ask to go to the bathroom again. After she noticed this, she called my mom and told her what was happening. My mom has told me that she never really noticed any symptoms and that she just thought I was drinking a lot of water because I was growing. (Or something along the lines of that.) Thinking I had an UTI, my mom called the pediatrician and made an appointment.
The doctor ran a few tests then walked into our room. He told my mom that I had diabetes; I cried and hugged my stuffed bear, Maggie while I was sitting in my mom's lap once we heard the news. I'm pretty sure I had no idea what diabetes was at that point: I just knew it was bad. We were told that we had to go to the hospital. At the time that hospital was known as Scottish Rite, but now it is better known as Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
At the hospital, I got one of the 'old-school' fancy Rufus the bears. She had one of those white bear-sized JDRF shirts on over her dress. I remember laying in my hospital bed and watching George of the Jungle one night and Anne of Green Gables the next day. The most vivid memory I have from my stay at the hospital was of the first time I had to get a shot. The syringe was just one of your typical BD 30 unit syringes; I refused to let the doctor give me that first shot, demanding that my mother give me my very first shot. She pinched some skin on my arm and the needle went into my skin. It hurt. A blood tester was lying on the table in the corner of my room. This first blood tester in the saga of its many successors was the OneTouch Ultra Smart.
|This is metaphorical or something, right?|
In middle school, I decided I wanted to try going off of the pump. (Probably because I felt like the odd one out.) What I told my parents was that my pump was getting in the way of exercising during gym. (This was true. It would bounce up and down while I was jumping and hit me because I was still using a Pump Pak. This one, to be exact. I used a Pump Pak because when I was in first grade I tried to clip my pump to my pink sweatpants, but they kept falling down. Now I can wear pump clips without any worries of that happening, thankfully.) We went to the doctor and I was trained on how to use insulin pens. The first time that I wanted to switch back to my pump, it was right before seventh grade. That did not work very well. (Random seventh grade memory: this girl that I thought was really cool told me that testing my blood was gross in the locker room and then I proceeded to dislike her a lot, and I got mad at my best friend at the time for being friends with her. Sorry for the sidetracking again.) Soon after, I went back to pens, since we didn't have enough sites. I switched back to my pump permanently before 8th grade since I felt left out at camp, being the only one on a pen, and I've been on a pump since then.
And that's where this version of my blog begins, and my life is chronicled in much more detail, at least diabetes-wise, here. You guys know all about me waiting forever to get my CGM. (And CGM sites.) You guys also know all about Camp Kudzu and the weird stuff that happens at school. This probably sounds super weird, but I never knew how amazing it would be to share all of my ups and downs with diabetes with (former) complete strangers on the internet. You are the best.
Moral of the Story: Having fond memories of pump sites is truly an experience that only diabetics will have... (Is that a good thing or a bad thing?)