It’s hard to believe that a few weeks from today will mark the 19th anniversary of that crazy day when my parents and I got the life-changing news. I was only nine but I still remember the day very clearly. It was a Monday, December 20th to be exact. My dad took me to my pediatric physician for an annual checkup. I don’t remember the details of that appointment but I remember being rushed out of the office and taken to the hospital immediately. I overheard the doctor talking about a number that was high without knowing what he was talking about. Today, I can’t remember the exact number but I believe my blood sugar was in the 400’s, not yet to 500.
It was a scary day and I had no idea what was happening but I remember not being able to eat for over 24 hours as they monitored my blood sugars to figure out how much insulin I would need on a daily basis. I remember being very hungry and upset that they wouldn’t let me eat. I remember crying hysterically as the nurses held me down to put my first ever IV in my hand. The emotions I felt are still very vivid in my mind. I was very confused and had no idea what was going on.
It was five days before Christmas and the doctors were telling me they didn’t know if I would be out for Christmas day. Since I was only 9, the thought of not being home on Christmas morning terrified me because how would Santa know where to find me. In between visits from my parents’ friends, I made a lot of Christmas ornaments, ones that I still have today. It was a surreal week.
It’s crazy to think that the Friday before I went into the hospital, my fourth grade class was making gingerbread houses and I chose to eat the majority of the icing instead of building my house. Fast forward a few days and the idea of eating icing would become extremely foreign. It was a scary, life-changing week but I was able to get out of the hospital on Christmas Eve and I woke up the next day with a ton of sugar-free candy and thought how did Santa know? He must really be magic!