Repeat for 5 days, then have 2 days off.
Do this for a 10 week period, whilst adding in tennis training on one of these weeknights, Piano lessons on another, and then other after school and weekend activities.
It all seems pretty safe, pretty secure, and pretty normal for an 8 year old.
And this is exactly how the majority of my Grade 3 (Victoria, Australia schooling system) life was.
I’d been at school and my mum and dad came to pick me up, pretty strange I thought given that mum was pretty much the only one that would come and get me and my brother. Though i
t was during the day, maybe dad had the day off for some reason.
Previously they told me I was going to the doctor, that’s fine, I was never scared of the doctor and never had a bad experience so I was also ok with this.
We sat in the waiting room, who knows for how long; it could have been minutes, it could have been hours, it was so long ago and to be honest, the waiting room is never a memorable experience am I right?
Here’s what I do remember….
The room felt dark, don’t ask me why, perhaps it the dark moment of my memory that has cast a shadow upon that moment, but it was like the blinds had been pulled down and the room was only illuminated by a table lamp. It wasn’t winter, but it wasn’t a warm summer’s day. Maybe that’s why it was dark? It was later in the day?
The adults spoke about why I was there. My parents were concerned with the amount of water I was drinking, the number of times I was waking up at night to go to the bathroom, the bottomless pit of a stomach I had.
One test… That’s all it took, who would have thought that one simple test would be able to tell that there was wrong with me?
The best part? I didn’t have to have a needle!
I was given a plastic cup, clear with a yellow lid… you know the one, and I was told to go and wee in it. So off I went with my little cup and wee’d in it, then came back into this dark doctors room and waited with my parents.
The doctor got a strip with some absorbent patches on it, stuck this into my wee for a few moments and then pulled it out, dabbed off the excess wee and held it against the container with different colours on it.
What was this?
What did it mean?
My wee could determine things? This is odd….
Well, it wasn’t a matter of being questioned, the doctor advised, no wait, he told my parents to take me straight to hospital.
Do not pass go
Do not collect $200
He was calling ahead to let them know I was on my way.
What on earth is going on? I was so confused… Hospital? But I’m feeling fine… Why am I going to hospital?
Bless my mum and dad though, they bought me a scratchie (Don’t ask what it was but mum was a fan of buying us kids scratchies) so this was a little gesture she could give me to get my mind off things.
Safe to say I didn’t win any great money, as far as I remember I didn’t even win $2. Must have had a dodgy scratchie.
I was taken to hospital and there the news came out in more detail. The wee test I had done at the doctors had shown that there was an excessive amount of sugar in my system. So much higher than normal and at a risky level.
Along with this was another thing called ‘Ketones’. What are ketones? Ketones are a side effect of when the body is unable to release insulin (Or does not have insulin) to convert sugars/ carbohydrate’s into energy. Firstly, this is why there was the presence of sugar in my urine, because this was not being converted into an energy source that my cells could absorb and use.
Secondly, as my body was unable to convert my consumed foods into energy it had to resort to another method of giving my body energy. Because of this, my body was now using my fat and then turned to my muscle stores (why I was a ‘bag of bones’ in my last post) to break these down to use as energy. The leftover product of this is an acid known by the form of ‘Ketones’ and are left in the bloodstream.
Now, some health and fitness people run by a keto diet, and this works for them. However in a diabetic this is so dangerous as the body turns toxic and there are so many side effects as to this high amount of ketones in the blood stream. I’ll go into these in a later post.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes
Moving forward from this very moment, I would learn that the way I treated food, exercise, and many other things would change.
Moving forward it would be shown that I was no longer ‘normal’, but this didn’t mean I couldn’t do ‘normal’ things.
Moving forward this was going to present me with many unforeseen challenges, but also some amazing times and experiences.
On the 26th of August, 1995 I had officially been diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic with no history of it in the family, no idea why it had happened, it just did…