remember that when it came to taking shots, that my mother was much better
at giving them than my father who used way too much alcohol when he swabbed
my injection site so that it would run down my arm and he would sort of
quickly jab me with the needle. I guess the whole process was awkward
for him, but he would use a whet-stone to sharpen the metal needles for
my syringes to make the shots less painful.
was so young that having diabetes was for me, completely normal, other
than my parents followed a diet plan assiduously given to them by our
family doctor. It included a somewhat exotic diet of foods such as veal,
or others we would find in a special section of the supermarket such as
canned figs and special (dietetic) cookies. Every meal was measured carefully
and weighed on a scale specifically designed to measure food in ounces
I had started reading at an early age, my doctor gave me a paperback book,
that was sort of an "operating manual" for Juvenile Diabetes,
as I think of this now, this wouldn't be much different than giving an
eight year old an operating manual for flying an airplane, however I appreciate
the concept of giving the responsibility of taking care of my needs as
soon as possible. At the time however, I thought that it was all very
stupid, and something written for people who couldn't figure out the simplest
things for themselves. For example, it had a section emphasizing the need
to take care of one's feet, -so who needs to be told this? It explained
that diabetics who didn't take care of their condition might suffer serious
complications, but I knew that I would always take care of myself.
It said that diabetics could live "near normal" lives and even
get married and have children, and I thought, "so who's going to
stop us"? The same chapter warned that it might be hard for us to
get insurance and that it might be expensive. Since my parents were paying
for my medical needs, somehow, I felt that when the time came for me to
be on my own that I would just "work a little bit harder" than
the next person. Despite what I thought was a lot of needless negative
fretting about my condition I was determined to be a diabetic success
story -I wasn't about to let diabetes run my life!
day after I had come home from school, my parents showed me a newspaper
clipping, it was about a woman who had been diagnosed, when she was a
just like me and
that she had just celebrated her 62nd birthday! I thought, "so what"?
Looking at the excited expressions in my parents faces, was when I realized
that there was a lot about diabetes that I still didn't understand.