Before I Was Diabetic

I have a memory of being 7 or 8, in elementary school, and seeing a girl in my class– her name was Brittany– standing in the hallway with a teacher. She was pale, shaky, clutching a bottle of Sprite.  I knew she had diabetes, and intuitively I knew she had the Sprite because of the diabetes. But I didn’t actually know why. I didn’t actually know what diabetes was, how it worked, why her disease allowed her to consume such a delicious carbonated beverage.

I remember being confused, I remember wanting the Sprite. I do not remember wanting the diabetes.

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I had a friend named Athina in elementary school, and her younger sister, Alex, had type 1 diabetes. Diagnosed very young. I remember, in 4th or 5th grade, going to the nurse’s office once with a nosebleed.

I got nosebleeds quite often as a child, I was used to them. I had a friend, Tara, who’d never had one before, and she asked me once if they hurt. I thought it was a strange, silly question and I told her no. I said that she would probably have one one day, and could then understand and see for herself.

I was sitting in the nurse’s office in a plastic chair, holding a paper towel to my nose,  head slightly tilted back, while I watched Alex draw blood from her own little fingertip and give herself a shot. I wanted to ask her if it hurt, but I didn’t. Maybe she would have said no. I doubt she would have said that I would probably have to do it one day, too, and that I could then understand and see for myself.

But if she had said it, she would have been right.

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On Homesickness and 100 Days In Europe

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I’ve been homesick lately. Actually, I’ve been homesick for 6 months.

Until this year, moving to Amsterdam and becoming an au pair, I’d never been homesick before in my life. Not when I went to summer camp for 2 weeks when I was 12. Not when I moved away to college on my 18th birthday. Not when I moved to France for 10 months to study abroad. This year has been different.

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Diagnosis Pt. 3: The Days That Follow

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*Note– This is a story in parts, so before reading this one, make sure to read Part 1 and Part 2

The night we got home from the hospital after my 4-day stay, I was starving.

I was tired, confused. I went to the kitchen, kneeled down to the corner cabinet, and grabbed the fresh jar of creamy peanut butter off of the shelf. With spoon in hand, I sat down right there in the middle of the cold kitchen floor and started piling spoonfuls into my mouth, not even registering what I was doing. My mom walked in, but I didn’t look at her. I just kept swallowing.

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