Today, I have nothing to say about sewing. Sadface.
My boyfriend has agreed to help me take photos for my blog, and let you all be witness to this!! He owes me good-quality photos of my sewing ventures.
So, today, I will be leaning more towards the ‘poetry’ side of my nature. Here is a piece I wrote a few days after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It isn’t polished or wonderful, and my Professional Writing lecturer would be appalled that I am ‘publishing’ it in this state, but I have no time to polish it up right now. Besides, I kind of like the raw emotion that I poured into it, which is reflected in the half-hearted writing style.
Diabetes. Ugh! The word tastes bitter in my mouth. It sits on my tongue like a heavy food that doesn’t want to be chewed and swallowed.
You don’t think these things happen to you. Serious health problems are for the people you see on television and in newspapers. You hear about their condition and feel a small pang of sympathy before moving on with your life and never thinking of them again.
What I hate the most is how other people think of diabetes. A common preconception is that all people who have it are overweight or will become overweight. Okay, try telling that to me a week ago, a tiny 45kg girl curled up on a bleached hospital bed, feeling every bone protruding. Type 1 Diabetes made me lose heaps of weight. Thinking about it now, I am fairly certain it was intent on sucking the life out of me.
Honestly, I still feel like that a little. It has discovered it can no longer target my diminishing weight or my health, but now it is winding its way through my thoughts and my state of mind, sucking up every last drop of positivity. In this vacuum of diabetes-worry my mind is never far from what I am going to eat next, when my next injection will be, what my blood sugar levels are at, if I feel okay, or if I am starting to feel the hot itchy shivers of a hypo coming on…
I was really scared at first. I knew that this wasn’t life-threatening, but I could already sense some huge changes about to take place in my previously simple, happy life. The GP really didn’t help much, his brief diagnosis being, ‘you have diabetes. You have to go to the hospital. This means insulin for life. If not treated, a risk of your kidneys failing…..’ Thankyou for the encouragement, Doc. Way to keep a girl feeling optimistic!
I went through stages. Firstly it was absolute silence. While Mum chattered away about what I should pack, the arrangement we had to make and the possibilities of what would take place at hospital, I sat there stony-faced, unable to feel anything but blank emptiness.
Then came the unusual happiness. Joking with nurses, offering my arm up for blood tests with a smile on my face, talking and chatting and trying to forget about what I was actually being treated for.
This was all to be replaced after a couple of hours in hospital. It is impossible to remain even a little positive when you are prodded like an animal, hooked up to machines and not allowed to do anything for yourself. I was exposed, I felt violated and I was constantly being jabbed, syringed, forced to lie in unnatural positions.
So began the long period of depression. I would alternate between lying there still, gazing into nowhere, and sobbing uncontrollably. My eyes swelled up to the point at which I could barely open them, mascara-laced tears stinging into them. My mum, my dad and my boyfriend took turns holding my hand, consoling me, and kissing the top of my head. But how can you be cheered up when you have just been thrust into a seemingly never-ending world of pain? How can you even think about smiling when doctors are repeatedly syringing the tops of your hands, and even your delicate wrists, trying to find a vein unoccupied by plastic tubes?
It was hell.
I look at my bruised stomach now and know that I will never truly be the same. When I’m angry about it, I plunge the insulin in hard, not thinking about the ugly black bruises that will show up later on. I don’t want to have to do this four times a day. I don’t want to have to do this at all.
This is what I cried into my mum’s arms in the hospital as the doctors prepared me for another hand-stabbing session. I don’t want to do this. I don’t! I never asked for any of this. I didn’t bring it on myself. It just happened. Mum knew all of this as she clutched me tightly and tears streamed down her face. I hope she knows that she couldn’t have prevented it either.
Diabetes. Hmm. An ugly word, that carries with it a lot of painful memories and negative thoughts. But really, it’s what I have to thank for the even closer relationships I have with my parents and boyfriend now. Without Josh’s strength I would be nothing. Diabetes is what I have to thank for a somewhat miraculous recovery of my eyesight (yet to be determined if this is normal, or if I will soon appear in medical journals all over the globe). It is what I have to thank for this sudden reassessment of life, and the check I am currently doing to see if I am doing what I want to do in life. It is the reason I have such a solid trust in my God. More so than before.