I cannot believe I missed the exact date maybe 2 weeks ago, but it was 40 years ago in late October I was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic.
The story is a good one.
One day, out of the blue, I woke up and told my Mom I did not want to go to school, that I had a stomach ache. This alone was odd, since I was a school loving geek. I cannot even remember what compelled me to lie, but it may have been the last one I tried.
She scared me because she said, “Oh if you are sick, we are going to see Doctor Kramer.”
And I was scared cause I was sure they would unveil my deception. What I did not know was that Mam had been tracking some symptoms- excessive thirst, strange eating patterns, some bed wetting, irritability (my sisters would say, “well he always was a brat”), but Mom’s radar was on alert.
I do not remember what tests they did, but at some point I sat out in the hall while Dr Kramer conferred with Mom. I was sure they were smiling and figuring out what my punishment would be.
So it was with some surprise when i was called in, and, not catching all the words, but something about “going to the hospital” and “disease”. I started bawling and trying to confess, but it was to no avail.
I was admitted to Sinai Hospital and was subjected to injections and strict diet (and here it was a few days before halloween and I was being told I could not eat candy?!!!! I would have said WTF if I knew the term).
And I was there for 10 days (you can tell it was a long time ago!) as they got my blood sugars under control and started my education of urine testing for glucose levels and daily injections.
I got my first practice on an orgage, which honestly, does not much to prepare you for popping a needle into your own skin. I got my first practice on an orange, which honestly, does not much to prepare you for popping a needle into your own skin
What did make the difference was the burly nurse who sternly told me I could not go home til I gave myself my own shot, and then that day when she more or less “guided” my hand into pushing needle into my thigh.
It’s 40 years later, and I am still on insulin, though now it is genetically derived from human DNA rather than harvested from slain cows, I test my blood sugar with an electronic device rather then doing urine tests in a test tube with fizzy pills, and I wear an insulin pump which manages my doses much better than daily injections.
So I am glad to be here 40 years later– and my way of celebrating has been to train to run a half marathon on January to raise money for the American Diabetes Association (and I HATE running). You can support my cause, and the millions of people affected by the disease (and the many more family members affected by the affection) — see dommy.com/ihaterunning