I don’t remember being diagnosed and I’ve never been good at the “what’s your first memory” thing – I’m sure what I think are my first memories are actually just stories I’ve been told by friends and family enough times that I’ve absorbed them into my brain via osmosis.
- First time I met another diabetic: at a Diabetes UK family weekend. Quietly watching a very grown up 5 year old boy do his own injection and thinking “freak!”. Then realising that I did that too.
- First time I was sick on a doctor: on a Diabetes UK children’s holiday aged 6. I think even the Dr was amazed by how much vomit a 6 year old can produce.
- First time diabetes made me look like a genius: when asked to name an organ of the body at school, my classmates went for the ever-so-dull heart, lungs, kidneys. I was the only one who knew what a pancreas was.
- First time I realised diabetes stops some people doing stuff: aged 9. I was gobsmacked. It had never even crossed my mind that diabetes could stop you doing anything.
- First time I had fish and chips: aged 10 when I got my first Novopen and could eat more than a miniscule number of carbs per meal.
- First time I realised Dr’s weren’t always that clued up about diabetes: hearing a Dr shout at a pancreatically challenged child on the ward who was running around “It’s no wonder your blood sugars are so high when you’re running around so much“.
- First time I realised quite how scary complications can be: when I got a slightly abnormal kidney test result and having discarded all sense of perspective and spent a short while with Dr Google had virtually signed myself up for dialysis by the end of the day.
- First time I realised the value in double checking stuff: when the second kidney result came back perfectly normal, just like every one since.
- First time I realised not everyone shares my expectations of my diabetes: when my optician told me that some retinopathy is to be expected after 25 years of diabetes. Factually correct, but a million miles away from the expectations I like to set for myself.
- First time I discovered the power of the internet and diabetes: when I was thinking about getting a pump and CGM and wanted some real life stories from people who’d used them both, rather than just the marketing spiel from the manufacturers. I got all that plus a huge wealth of diabetically useful stuff online.
- First time I realised what a shock diagnosis must be: when I started using my insulin pump after 23 years of diabetes and felt like I’d entered a whole new world.
- First diabetic blog post: taking a step into the great unknown of cyberspace to look back on 25 years of being pancreatically challenged
Any more interesting diabetic firsts out there?