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Diabetes and Me
I heard the informative voice of my doctor say, “You are a type 1 diabetic.” My heart sank and pounded at top speed. I turned my eyes away from her. No! No! I thought to myself. How could this happen to me? As the doctor explained what I would have to go through, I felt the tears starting to emerge. Hold them back, I thought. It didn’t work. Tears drifted slowly down the sides of my cheeks, full of fury. The doctor left to get my grandma, and I lost it. Tears slid down my face at full force and splattered on my clothes. Pull yourself together before your grandmother comes in. I removed my glasses and wiped my eyes quickly. As I placed my glasses back into place, the doctor knocked on the door. She came in and was followed by my grandma.
As my grandma looked at me, I knew she could tell that I had been crying. She sat in a chair and looked over at me. The doctor eased the diagnosis out of her lips. My grandma expression changed quickly.
I couldn’t contain it any longer. The tears started pouring out again, and this time, there was no way I could stop it.
“She needs to be taken to the emergency room immediately.”
“We’re going to have to get in touch with her father first before we do anything.”
“You don’t understand. This child is very sick. I can get in touch with her father. You need to take her to the emergency room.”
By this time, I had already lost control of my nerves with tears flowing like two rivers down my face. My grandma came over and held me in a tight hug as the doctor told us about going to the emergency room and staying at Baptist Hospital. She gave the doctor my dad’s work number, and we left for the emergency room next door.
I felt like my heart had been torn out of my chest as I walked through the sliding doors of the emergency room. We checked in and sat down in the waiting room. Grandma had to fill out some papers and kept assuring me that everything was going to be alright. About that time, a woman nurse came into the waiting room.
“Amanda, we’re going to go ahead and get started while your grandma fills out those papers.”
I didn’t want to go, but I did. She walked me back to a big room with two hospital beds and all their medical equipment. She handed me a hospital gown and showed me the restroom. I put the gown on, but kept my pants and shoes on. I walked back into the room where the nurse waited for me. I sat on the bed. I knew what was going to happen next. I laid back as she explained what she was going to do.
“Now, I’m going to have to stick an IV in your arm so we can hook you up to a bag of fluids. Pick a spot on the ceiling.”
I was still crying a little, but I was whimpering more than crying. I trembled as she counted down to the time of inserting the needle.
“One, two, three… now.”
I grabbed the side bars of the bed and looked up at the ceiling. The two second pain seemed like a lifetime. This was a nightmare, and I wanted out. I closed my eyes hoping that when I opened them, I would be out of this mess. I opened them, but it wasn’t so. I looked over to find an IV stuck in my arm with a clear tube attached to it. I looked up and saw that it was connected to a bag of fluids hanging on what looked like a metal coat rack. I looked back at the ceiling as the nurse explained the next objective.
“We’re going to do a blood test. We’ll stick you in an area of your wrist. I’ll count it down. Pick a spot on the ceiling again.”
I couldn’t take anymore. I wanted to run out of the emergency room and never come back, but it wasn’t possible. I waited for the countdown.
“Bend your wrist backwards. One, two, three… now. Keep the wrist bent backward.”
The pain was intense. I stared at the ceiling, raising a portion of my back from the bed, wishing I could scream. The nurse got the blood she wanted and taped a cotton swab to my wrist.
“You can relax now.”
How can I relax right now? As the nurse walked out, my grandma came in.
“Where’s Dad at?”
“He’ll be here in a few minutes. I’m trying to get in touch with your papa.”
She walked out for a few minutes, and then I heard his voice. The voice I had been dying to hear had arrived, my dad. He came into the room, and my eyes swelled up with tears as I stretched my hand out to him. He came over and gave me the “Everything’s going to be alright” hug. I needed that. For the next few minutes, we talked about what happened. I could tell my dad didn’t like what the doctor had to say. I had to throw this out in the open. This person was important to me.
“Dad, can we call Mom?”
“Yeah, I’ll call her.”
Dad called Mama and informed her of what had happened. Dad handed the cell phone to me, and I placed the phone to my ear.
“Amanda, are you alright.”
“I’m going to try to come up to the emergency room before you have to go.”
“I love you.”
‘I love you too.”
I gave the phone back to my dad. He explained all the details and ended the call.
“She’ll be here as soon as she can.”
Time passed, and my papa came in. My dad went to talk to the doctor, and my grandparents kept me company. The pained had eased. I didn’t feel like crying or acting scared. Dad came back with two prescriptions, and Papa took them to the pharmacy.
It was almost 1:00, I believe, when the nurse was making the arrangements for me to transfer to Baptist. My mom, my other grandma, and my half-brother came in before I would have to be transferred. My little brother came up to me. He looked like he could cry, just like my mom. It tore me up inside. We all talked for a little bit until the nurse came in.
“You need to leave for Baptist now.”
My mom helped me change out of my gown and back into my normal clothes. My dad, I, and my grandparents left for my house. My mom said she would keep in touch. We quickly grabbed some clothes and hygiene materials and drove my grandparents’ car to Baptist Medical Center. I started to relax and let everything soak in. I thought about it. Now things didn’t seem as bad as I thought they were.
We arrived at the Brenner’s Children Center where I would stay for the next two days. My dad checked me in, and we were taken back to answer some questions and get my blood pressure checked. Then, they took us to an examination room in the emergency room. They performed more tests, and I met my doctor, Dr. Brown. She told my family about what had happened to my pancreas and how I may never come off of the insulin they would put me on. We think otherwise. After all the tests were finished, I met my nurse for the night, Hannah, and another nice lady. They wheeled me up to my room in a wheelchair, exactly nine floors up. I stayed there with Hannah while my dad and grandparents ate their supper. They checked my sugar and brought my food. Hannah taught me how to count my carbohydrates and how to figure up my insulin based on my sugar and how many carbohydrates I was eating. After I finished eating, we all took turns calling people to pray for us and that everything would be okay.
The night was long, and it was hard to sleep. I wasn’t used to the room. In the middle of the night, they would wake me up to check my sugar and blood pressure. I would wake up just in time for a doctor and his student-in-training to come in at seven in the morning to check on me. I started to adapt the next day when I met my next nurse, Alicia. She was nice just like Hannah. She checked my sugar, helped me figure up the carbohydrates and insulin, and let me do the insulin shot. Dr. Brown came in to check on me while I ate breakfast. My family explained how I wasn’t big on breakfast as she watched me devour a waffle with syrup, cereal, apple juice, and bacon. She smiled at me.
“I thought you weren’t big on breakfast.”
“I’m not, but this food is so good.”
She laughed and informed us about the diabetes educators that would pay us a visit. They were the best, David and Bobbi. Bobbi taught me how to use my meter and lancing device. She gave me a stuffed bear and books on diabetes. David showed us how to use a glucagon medical kit and the insulin pens. People called us from back home to check up on how we were doing. It was nice to know we had some support.
Later on, the nutritionist came in and talked to us about what I could eat and how I could find out how many carbohydrates were in it. I filled out a daily menu for her to pick up in the morning. She was very informative, and she helped me out a lot. I owe credit to these educators for teaching me everything I know.
The second night wasn’t as bad as the first. I slept better, and waking up in the middle of the night didn’t bother me at all. The next morning, the doctor and his trainee came in at seven o’clock again. Dr. Brown came in and explained why my sugar had been high, but she informed us that everything was fixed the way it should be now. She told me that I would have a new doctor when I would start going to the Joslin Center. David and the nutritionist came by one more time and said their good-byes. I never got to say good-bye to Hannah, but I got to see Alicia. She had to give me a vaccine shot before I could leave. My arm was sore for the next few days. Around two o’clock, we left the hospital and drove home.
Now, I’m involved in a continuing battle with diabetes. We are praying for a miracle, and I believe that I can be healed. This is me with diabetes.