Monday, February 06, 2006

Happy Anniversary Baby Got You On My Mind

Todays post is in honor of the Little River Band, their song Happy Anniversary as well as my 37th diabetic anniversary!

Yes, it was 37 years ago today that my Mom woke me up on that fateful morning and couldn't understand what I was saying. Not the bleary eyed grumblings of a sleepy pre-teen, but the honest to goodness "I can't understand what your saying!" because I think somethings wrong, kind of understand. Being the clean freak that I was (and still am), I was trying to tell her that I wanted to take a shower! But she just wouldn't listen... or maybe I just couldn't talk. If memory serves me correctly, I remember getting somewhat adamant (as adamant as I dared) somewhere in the discourse. Well, fortunately her prudence prevailed as she bundled me up in my bathrobe and slippers (the second thing that didn't make me happy that February morning-- not getting dressed) and shuffled me out to the car.

I remember a VERY brief sit in the waiting room and then back to an examinination room. I had barely gotten seated on the paper covered table when you guessed it ... I HAD and I mean HAAADD to go the bathroom. My Mom and the nurse were reluctant to let me go, but this time I prevailed. I can still remember them saying, "Don't lock the door!. Just shut it but DON'T lock the door!" They were emphatic. Best I can remember, I just closed the door to where it touched the jam. Both they and my youthfully shy bladder were appeased.

After that point things get really foggy. My memories are really just snapshots in time. I remember coming back in to the examining room and laying back on that 'wonderful' crinkley paper... ... ... ... I remember being on a stretcher and being carried down the large spiral staircase of my pediatricians second floor office building... ... ... ... I remember being in motion and hearing the muffled sound of a nearby siren... ... ... ... I remember rolling down a hospital corridor... ... ... ... and that was it.

That was it for about 36 hours and then I began to awaken. I remember my Mom sitting in the chair beside me, she was crying as she talked on the phone. When I was fully awake I remember a Doctor entering my room and telling me I had diabetes. My immediate answer was, "I know how I got it! Two weeks ago Bill breathed on me!"

Bill was a boy in my fifth grade class with diabetes. He was a nice enough guy. I knew he ate a mid-morning snack in the back of the classroom, but I hadn't paid much attention. I did know that he had passed out one day as we lined up to go to lunch. Later that year, in some pre-adolescent wrestling scuffle he had deliberately breathed on me.

Well, the Doctor set me straight. He told me a nurse would be in later that day with an orange and a syringe so I could practice giving injections. The orange never materialized but the syringe came the next morning loaded with insulin. The nurse was kind, appologised for the lack of orange training even though I'm pretty sure it wasn't her fault, gave me thorough instructions on how to perform the real thing and encouraged me to try. I did and in a miracle moment it didn't hurt... not at all! I got off to a beautiful start. Later I would find that all injections aren't that way, but for that day and several after, they were relatively painless.

I ended up staying in the hospital 7 days. I developed pneumonia while there and wasn't allowed to leave until I was better. In the day, at least for me, the prescription was penicillin by injection... in the rump. One in the morning, one in the evening-- it was terrible. This went on at the most 3, maybe 4 days max, but my skinny, emaciated little butt didn't have a place on it that wasn't sore. I sure did hate to see that nurse come down the hall.

My Mom, a school teacher from the old school who loved me dearly, let me lay out of school several days before going back. I remember napping in class many days after I returned. I had a very kind, compassionate fifth grade teacher who just let me sleep and get my strength back. Somehow I managed my studies... she helped me catch up and unbeknownest to me at the time, simply forgave several assignments. Bill and I became good friends for the rest of that year. The next year we were in different classes and naturally drifted apart.

Such was my onset. To the trained eye, it was readily apparent what had been happening over several months prior to my onset. You have to know the signs of hyperglycemia and most people didn't know the signs in that day, especially if diabetes didn't run in your family. It doesn't in ours. I've had and am having a great life. Yes, I have bends in the road like everyone, but I sit here 37 years later without complications, without seizures and without any hospital stays other than the inital onset. I look forward to the next 37 years for as John Avery Whittaker once said, "The best is yet to come!"


Blogger Megan said...

Thanks for sharing! This was a really interesting post.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Nicole P said...

Happy, Anniversary, Keith. You're one of my new heroes... 37 years seems like a very long year to a newer-bie like me (24 years)

Here's to the days to come.


9:09 AM  
Blogger Kassie said...

Happy Anniversary Keith!! Thanks for telling us - it's so awesome to know such successful diabetes vets.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Hoorah!!! Very happy anniversary to you!

Thanks for sharing on your blog, and thank you for your encouraging comments you take the time to write for the rest of us young folk in the OC. We appreciate it!

9:34 AM  
Blogger Sandra Miller said...

Thank you so much, Keith, for writing this wonderful, inspiring post.

And, congratulations on 37 complication-free years!

10:39 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

I have yet to read a diagnosis story that hasn't made me cry. Yours was no exception. The fact that you are still going stong so many years later is a real encouragement to me. Keep up the good work.

PS: I think it's cute that you thought you got D because Bill breathed on you. But, then if someone thought they could get it from Riley that way I wouldn't find it so cute.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Vivian said...

Wow! Happy D-aversary. Did you wear your star sun shades and jam out on the air guitar? I feel very blessed to know ya and am praying for another 37 complication free years.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Kerri. said...

Happy Anniversary, Keith. I raise my steaming mug of sugar free chai tea and Splenda to your good health and inspirational story.


5:24 PM  
Blogger mytime79 said...

Thanks for sharing your story. All you thought poor little Bill gave you the disease it's pretty cool you knew someone w/ D.

Happy Anniversary!

6:51 PM  
Anonymous DocMType1 said...

Congratulations Keith on D-Anniversary #37.........and without complications. We have a lot in common. I will be celebrating #39 on the day after Thanksgiving......with one minor complication, some peripheral neuropathy. I believe that regular exercise is a key component to good diabetes management and blood sugar control. I am hoping to join the OC to share my experiences and learn from all the T1 members.

8:44 AM  

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