DBlog Week #3 – Memories

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After living with type 1 diabetes for twenty-six years, five months and twenty-six days, (that’s the first time I’ve ever figured out exactly how long, by the way) I have collated so many memories. The spectrum of emotions these memories are linked to stretch as far as the eye can see. It was a struggle to pick just one to write about, but I finally decided to go with a funny one. The one that makes me laugh out loud every time I think back…

When I was eight years old, (not long after I my diagnosis,) I went through a phase where I thought I could sing like Cindy Lauper and breakdance like Ice T.  All I wanted to wear were clothes that made a statement; mostly very poorly composed statements. I swung from denim overalls and baseball caps to broderie anglaise sun dresses.

Being the carefully calculating little adult that I was, I made up excuses to ensure that I could sport the outfit of my desire.  This included being “very” interested in attending Sunday School with my neighbour across the road.  She and her family attended Church every Sunday and they were more than happy to let me tag along.  Little did they know that I was just in it to wear my gorgeous party dresses; you know, the ones my Mum wouldn’t let me wear unless it was a super special occasion.  So by going to Sunday School, I could finally wear them.  Each and every Sunday.  Without fail.  Whoop whoop!

One part of the equation I forgot to take into account was that since my pancreas stopped working and I started having two mixed-insulin injections a day, I had to eat approximately every two hours.  This meant that morning tea happened right in the middle of Sunday School.  No one else had to eat and at that stage I was still not confident in being different to all the other kids.  Nor were diabetes management strategies flexible enough back then to allow for adjustments to meal times.

So I initiated “operation drop my pencil”… over and over again.  I would pretend to drop my pencil under the table when we were working in small groups, because this happened at the same time morning tea was scheduled.  Whilst crawling under the table to retrieve the “dropped” pencil, I would scoff down as much of my snack as humanly possible.  I considered myself quite the achiever at the time.  I ate my morning tea as instructed with no one noticing.  I didn’t have to talk to anyone about my diabetes. And most importantly, I wore a very pretty dress every single Sunday.

To this day, I don’t know how long I persevered with that plan.  I’m almost certain that I wasn’t as stealth as I thought I was at the time.  There would have been crumbs everywhere, including on my face!  What makes me laugh is that my caper was humoured by the adults around me.  And eventually I got brave enough to start managing my diabetes in public, and talking about… and I haven’t stopped to take a breath since!

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16 thoughts on “DBlog Week #3 – Memories

  1. Mike Hoskins says:

    What a great memory! Love it, especially “Operation Dropped Pencil!” – HA! Reminds me of my little kid ploy to sneak those white square BD glucose tabs, that I liked so much I thought they were candy. We kept them in a bathroom drawer and I would sneak one every so often during the day, thinking “no one will notice” just one… until I’d snagged several. And yes, my mom told me years later that she knew. Especially since the white chalky sugar was all over me! Oh, the minds of kids… 🙂

  2. Reva says:

    Haha what a smart kid you were and so sneaky! I understand that feeling to not want to draw attention to yourself. When I was newly diagnosed in middle school, I had to have a mid morning snack too, usually a juice box. The teacher obviously knew why but I hadn’t explained my diabetes to my classmates. I remember one kid complaining, “why does she get to eat during class?” I remember feeling so embarrassed.

    • 1type1 says:

      Thank, Reva! Moments like that were so challenging; I don’t think my parents anticipated that sort of thing happening… So many “surprises” with diabetes in the picture.

  3. nachoblog311 says:

    That story had my howling. Thanks for sharing!

  4. ABCanet says:

    Nice memory, Kim! Thank you for sharing it. I’m sure ‘IT’ was worth a decent sized WHOOP! Reading these posts brings back memories of certain trip to Dorovitch Pathology at Knox Private (at least I think it was Dorovitch, either that or Melbourne Pathology. It was January 1989). In a little converted weatherboard house that has long since gone to make way for carpark spaces at the front of the hospital. Coming after the visit to the GP and before the initial visit to the endocrinologist I still see today. Anyway to cut a long story short, the time it took to re-decorate the floor (and walls) of the waiting room in this little house after taking the sickly-sweet, lime green GTT solution and waiting for the first interval BSL test could have been clocked with an egg timer. Not the most pleasant memory, but certainly one of the more indelible and colourful memories I have.

    • 1type1 says:

      Wow! I remember that little old weatherboard box to 🙂 I used to see Dr J Taft at Knox Private many moons ago… What a coincidence!

  5. Scott E says:

    A great memory and a great story! I will confess that, to this day, I still try to sometimes “discreetly” shove food in my mouth. Nobody ever sees the food, but the puffy cheeks and the muffled voice tend to give it away…

  6. I tried something like this last week, except I was in a business meeting, I was “secretly” eating Spree, and my outfit was not at all exciting.

    • 1type1 says:

      LOL! I’ve got very funny images of adults diving under conference room tables all over the globe 🙂

      • Breanna Penny says:

        Oh my goodness! I’m your sister and laughed myself silly at this for a) now sneaky you were and b) that I had no idea you did that! Great read, thanks Kim xxxx

      • 1type1 says:

        My pleasure, BreBre… pretty sure you were too young to be worried about what I was getting up to on a Sunday morning! 😉

  7. Erin says:

    I love this post! What a great memory and so genius. I can tell you must have been a mischievous kid.

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