Stories: Celebrating 40 Years

I remember when...

Do you remember your parents or grandparents saying 'you young people have it so easy. When I was young we had to walk to school rain or shine and uphill both ways."

Well I have been a diabetic for 34 years and it was much different back in 1979. There were no blood machines, insulin pumps or sugar free pop. The best we had was keto sticks that told you that your blood sugars were already too high. I found myself in hospital with blood sugars of 32.  They handed me an orange, a bottle of saline and some syringes. I was pretty sure this was not my snack. They showed me how to inject the orange just like I would do to myself shortly. 

The next shock was that your diet would have to change, no concentrated sugar in foods. So here I am lying in bed being told all these new things about being a diabetic, which a lot of people did not talk about at that time. I am thinking, 'can I handle this'.

When this nice lady came in the room with a refreshment cart. She looked at my chart and says there is not much on her cat that I can have except for some apple juice. I said 'great, that is what I will have.'

As she was bringing it to the bedside, she tripped on the chair and dumped the juice all over the bed and me. So now I had to get out of the bed so they could change the sheets. When they finally got me back into bed, she came back and said how sorry she was and would I like my juice now. I said 'no, I'm not going to try that again.' But I asked for a can of pop. She tells me how much sugar is in a can of pop. No pop. This I cannot deal with. I love my soda. But she has a great idea. There was a Canada Dry ginger ale that was sugar free. Well, what she meant was that they took the regular ginger ale and just removed the sugar. I opened the can of ginger ale and took a big drink. It tasted like Varsol. I think you could strip paint with this drink. Not wanting to spit it out cause of a mess on the bed again, I forced it down. I told her it was terrible. She had another great idea. There was a new artificial sugar now on the market. Comes in a little packet. Try putting some in the can of pop to give it some taste. I thought, finally, something to drink. 

When ripped open the little package and dumped it in the can you would think it was a mini volcano. The pop burst out of the top of the can drenching me and the bed. 

So I laid there thinking if I can get through this being a diabetic will is going to be much easier. I got out of the hospital in a week and started my life as a diabetic. 

There have been a lot of changes for us diabetics but I guess the moral of the story is that while will all have some down times there is also a lot more good times to come. Put a little work into controlling your diabetes and do not let it control you. 

Submitted by
Michael George

Last updated: Wed, 2013-11-20 16:25