Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Here come the tears

After a few x rays for who knows what I was wheeled in a hospital bed up the the endocrinology and geryatrics floor at the SLU hospital. It felt weird being forced to sort of half lay down half sit up in the hospital bed. I wasn't bleeding profusely, so I'd imagined i would just walk on up. But nope. By the time I made it up to the room, I had already gone through 2 full IV bags- and not even the slightest impulse to use the bathroom. I was diagnosed on a Tuesday morning, and didn't use the restroom until Thursday afternoon.

My hemoglobin A1C, by the way, was 18%. (For anyone unaware of this number you can check the link to the left about diabetic dictionary use, but in layman's terms this number is about 4 times as high as a normal healthy person.)

My Dad stayed pretty much all day, going in and out. I met my PA (Physician's Assistant) fairly quickly after going upstairs. She was a lovely lady, very kind and attentive. She was very clear with me as well, almost like she knew what I was thinking behind every answer to her questions. This made me feel pretty comfortable. She had done a preliminary meet and greet and right when she walked out of the room the tornado of my Mom came into the room. It was very touching because I knew she loved me, but I also saw the pain in her face of knowing she could do nothing for me. She had a certain heaviness on her face as if she had been crying so hard the tears had wiped away any trace of dark circles from under her eyes. It was hard for me to not cry when she came in the room, but I didn't. I actually got really upset with her once when she started crying. But I was really glad she wanted to be there all the time. Love definitely made things easier.

At this point I was so in and out of sleep, I guess my body was in a sort of shock, that I don't remember a lot of conversation, except that I told my mom it probably wouldn't be OK for her to stay the night. I remember seeing Charlie, my twin. Some of my friends and family visited me that day, but I was so in and out.

My primary doctor came in at some point, Dr. Albert. My Dad knew him, apparently he was the best. I thought he was an asshole. Always talked to me and treated me like an insignificant 5 year old. Every now and then he would come in and do a routine check up with a throng of med student or residents following in a flock behind him. Every time it was like he was showing me off.

"Hey come look at this perfectly healthy, fit, 21 year old male who I now have the burden of taking care of." is just what I thought his attitude was. But as I thought about it over and over, I was the anomaly. Diabetes, not even type 2, does not have a history in my family, even extended family. I didn't have a sweet tooth. I was very athletically active. But yet here I was, completely restrained by the on set of Juvenile Diabetes- something that 4 year olds were supposed to get, not me.

It wasn't the big picture that bothered me. I can't remember ever being negative in the hospital, not even sarcastically negative when groups of friends visited me over the three days. This might make you laugh, but here is a list of what bothered me.

1.) I would now have to count carbs and look at the nutritional info on food
- Charlie was obbsessive about this, I used to always make fun of him
2.) I could no longer drink soda
- I have since fallen in love with Diet Pepsi
3.) I would have to rely on Healthcare. I hate the idea of Medical Insurance.
4.) I was going to have to be in the hospital for another day or two.
- The stay was soooooooo boring, driving me crazy.
5.) I was now a part of the Liberty Mutual commercials that I hated.

All five of those are sort of selfish, but I thought only of diabetes as an inconvenience that I would have to overcome. I never took it as hard as my mom. I've even been criticized for being to nonchalant about it. But, I consider myself an intelligent person of sorts. When I was finally instructed how to eat, how to count insulin and doses and carbohydrates I was ready to go. I'm still explaining things to my mom today. I guess since I live with it every day and she doesn't I need to share things with her.

My last day in the hospital was great actually. I was so antsy when I woke up in the morning. I wasn't attached to the IV anymore. I wasn't dizzy anymore, and I was feeling stronger. But I was SO BORED. I had been waiting for two days to talk to the nutritionist, which I finally did before I was discharged on March 14th. I wandered around the hallway until I found a coffee machine. For some reason I really liked coffee all of a sudden. Maybe because it had no carbs in it was one factor, but I liked it. (I also had this strange craving for cottage cheese.) So I sat down in a waiting room by the elevator because I couldn't stand my room anymore. There was an older man there whose name was Stanley. After introducing myself he said.

"You look like you been through hell."

"You don't want to know." I said.

"Type 1?" he asked.

I was shocked. So I started blabbing on with him for a while. He said when he was diagnosed he was at 682. Yeah, he knew all about my little experience of hell. Finally a few of the girls on the frisbee team came and lifted my boredom for a while. Once the nutritionist and my parents came I was out of the hospital as quick as I had entered three days earlier.

March 14, 2008: The day of my formal relationship with type 1 diabetes. Only thing was that breaking up was not an option.

1 comment:

  1. This is crazy man. I can't believe it just came out of nowhere. That's gotta be an awful experience and it sucks that you had to change your life so much.