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First entry! (Find a hat, because my goodness, hold onto your hats people)
Ok, so the title gave it away. This is my first ever blog post. I'll start with an introduction. My name is Charles Robin. Well, sort of. Ok, not really. My username is Charles Robin. Charles is my middle name. Robin is the animal that was on a Christmas card I happened to glance at when I was setting up my account. When I post on a forum, I prefer not to use my real name. That way, when someone looks at my business card and googles my real name, they don't have to sift through a whole load of stuff regarding my posts on random forums, before arriving at my website.
So, kind of introduction over! This is going well. Onto another introduction. My story, with particular reference to my diabetes. Today's entry: THE DIAGNOSIS! (Subtitle: DUN, DUN, DUN!)
I have been part of the diabetes club for a while now. I was diagnosed in 1990, at the ripe old age of 3.5 years of age (When you're 3, those half years are really, really significant). An important point; I did not get diabetes at this age. I may have had it since babyhood, if that's a word. My Mum tells tales of me drinking constantly, and weeing just as often as an infant. However, the fine healthcare team that dealt with me assured my parents that I was not a diabetic. No way. Don't be ridiculous. For about a year, as my weight reduced to half what it should be, the nurse my mum saw at the hospital dismissed her claims that something was up. 'He's got an infection, children get those. No, it's not diabetes. I checked. All them diabetics, they're different to your son, everyone knows that. He's just a child and he's light as a feather' Etc, etc. Readers wanting to unite their face with their palm at this point, I fully understand. I'm afraid I don't have the name of this fine healthcare professional, so the lynch mob will sadly need to be put on hold. Perhaps you could send some mean tweets to UKIP instead.
I look back fondly on the day I was diagnosed. It's one of my earliest memories. I was due to go and see my auntie. For a three year old (sorry, three and a half year old), this was momentous. I was going to be made a fuss of. Maybe there would be presents! I strongly remember standing in the hallway, waiting to go. Then, a long pause, as my mum fixed me with a lingering stare. She said 'I don't think we can go to see auntie today darling. I don't think you're very well'. I took this news poorly. As far as I was concerned, an unofficial christmas had just been cancelled. I tried to scream and cry, and throw the world's most convincing tantrum. Only I was tired. Very, very tired. The kind of tired that comes from sustained ketoacidosis. The kind of slipping into and out of a coma tired that repeatedly undiagnosed diabetes causes.
We went to the GP. He did a urine test. For anyone in the know, the dipstick should have been a light blue. Instead, it turned a bit darker. You know, the type of shade that a goth points to, and says 'Yeah, I'll paint everything I own, I'll paint it that colour.' My GP said 'Your son needs to be seen at the hospital'. Mum started asking how soon she should book an appointment. The GP wasn't listening, he was too busy calling an ambulance. Once I got to hospital, I was formally inducted into the type 1 diabetes club. I don't think there was a ceremony, or a rite of passage. I was probably too out of it to remember. My memory of being three pretty much stops here. According to reliable sources, I quickly became very practised at hide and seek. I decided to play this game every time one of those nasty people in white coats came at me with a needle. I didn't really understand I would be getting used to injections pretty quickly.
Now, the happy part! I got setup with insulin. Once my medication started, my weight gradually went up to what it should have been. Apparently, my main worry was that I would be in hospital over Christmas. That didn't happen. I was discharged, and my parents had christmas with a son who was healthier than they had ever seen him. Mum has since told me that she was relieved by my diagnosis more than anything. My condition had a name. It was a chronic condition, but it was manageable. I stopped wasting away, and everything was just peachy. Right up until the point I fell off a climbing frame and broke my arm at the age of 4. I still have a lovely scar on my left arm from that. I'm actually rather fond of it. My wife tells me it was one of the things that impressed her about me when we first met. (Never mind my grade 8 on the piano, I was a clumsy moron as a child. That's the thing for us to pass onto our kids).
So dear readers, that was the start of my journey with type 1 diabetes! I hope that you managed to hold onto your hats for long enough to read about it. If you don't own a hat, do yourself a favour and get one. I got bought a woolly hat for Christmas. My ears have never been less worried by the cold. But I digress. Part two of my blog will come soon. What will happen? Will there be villains? A dark castle? A valiant knight perhaps? Or just an account regarding further details of my journey with diabetes? Return and find out! Thanks for reading, and seriously, go and get a hat.
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