My Life Section

I 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.1960's poster with caption "diabetes is not healthy for children or other living things.
I 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 and grams.
Since 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!

One 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 little kid 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.