I will be interviewing author, Cherie Burbach tomorrow for an upcoming review/giveaway of “21 Simple Things You Can Do To Help Someone With Diabetes.” This got me thinking about how I was first introduced to diabetes. I’m going to share my experience and I’d love for you to do the same thing.
I went around the house on November 30th with my spirits pretty high, I mean who wouldn’t be excited about turning 18 right? It was strange though, while my brother and sister both wished me “happy birthday” my dad never came out. I got on the bus that morning without ever hearing from my dad.
Once at school everyone was wishing me “happy birthday” but it still felt strange but at the same time really good to be 18. The principal always calls the birthday people into the office for a candy bar and birthday wishes. Today I’d be sharing my time with a very good friend and neighbor, T. When T first saw me she asked how I could be so happy on a day like this. I was puzzled as she knew. I mean it was my birthday. She was still unsure but I asked anyways because of that gut feeling you get when you enter a room where everyone has just been talking and then it grows silent.
T. ended up telling me something happened to my dad but that was all she’d say, I immediately went to find my sister who had acted strange but I hadn’t figured it out. That’s when she told me…
Sometime between 10pm November 29 and 5 am November 30th my father and been rushed to ER. During the trip they lost his pulse (died) but they got it back. He went into a diabetic coma at that point, but that’s all she knew as she had been up at that time and didn’t want to tell me on my birthday. I felt guilt, I actually blamed myself for all of this. Why?
See a few nights before Nov.30th we had shared a beer (my first with my dad) and he told me it was a big deal me turning 18 and all. He also told me he never wanted to see me turn 18. Now connect the dots, at 18 and still young I took the blame because my dad went into a coma the day I turned 18. The same day he never wished to see.
I did visit him that day, he looked so strange with the IVs in him. He actually looked fragile, which wasn’t something I’d ever thought of for my dad. The doctor informed us (as my dad drifted in and out) that he’d be on a special diet and needs shots every couple of hours. We had to learn how to shoot needles into oranges, something I never felt comfortable with. I was scared that making meals for him would somehow kill him if I didn’t get it exact. He insisted we didn’t have to go on his diet, but I felt guilty going and eating anything he couldn’t have.
Today, he manages his diabetes and even has a few desserts now and then. From what I understand he no longer has to have the shots every few hours but he does have to watch it. The doctors that talked to me on that day had told me that I’d have diabetes by the time I was 25, I’m 32 years old and don’t have it. I am careful though, I do get the shakes every now and then and try keeping candy and crackers in my purse just in case. Doctors have told me that during pregnancy I was always border line but never one or the other. I’ve now learned that my aunt, uncle, grandparents and dad are all diabetic and I’ll most likely become. I’m now making it my mission to learn more that I can about this disease. Any advice or stories you’d like to share?