Perhaps that last blog entry was my very first Cliff Hanger?!! It was not intended that way – I just got tired of typing last night, and it seemed like a good break point.
Y’all know I’m here blogging, so y’all know I didn’t expire that horrible night in the hospital. I do appreciate the comments asking for the rest of the story though. : )
That first night in the hospital really was horrible. Every cell in my body was screaming with pain. Every muscle, every organ, every joint and bone. The worst part was my mouth, which was so dry and dehydrated that my tongue was stiff. I remember feeling it with my fingers … it was like sand paper, scratchy, bumpy, dry. I pleaded for water, but for some reason water was barred. One nurse said she would bring me ice chips, and I waited and waited and waited. The ice chips never arrived, and I passed in and out of consciousness. I was too sick to know my situation; I did not know that I was close to dying. I was in too much pain to realize anything. One doctor joked with me that he always got the ‘cute patients’. Good lord. I was thirteen, with a big nose and buck teeth. I had lost 14 pounds, was rail like, and incoherent. His joking made me both blush and think maybe my situation wasn’t so good.
Some time that night the doctors started giving me insulin.
After a couple days I was moved from intensive care to a regular room in the children’s ward, where I was still somewhat incoherent. The first night I peed in my bed. I remember the next morning clearly, because the nurse was perturbed that I had wet my bed … she had to change the sheets. She clearly had no idea what diabetic ketoacidosis was like. I was aware enough at that point to know that her job description probably did include sheet changes, and that she was not actually supposed to get angry at patients for incontinence.
I regained strength. Mid week my mom came rushing into my room with the news that dad would be okay!!! the tumor was benign!!! which never happens in the duodenum!!! Okay mom, great, but I thought he just had an ulcer. My brother, Bobby, did not have rheumatic fever. The cats stopped throwing up.
Next on my agenda was a crash course — Diabetes 101 — complete with injecting an orange with saline solution to practice, before injecting my thigh with insulin for the first time. At age thirteen I was old enough to take on the full burden of diabetes. Which I did, when I left the hospital after a total of 7 days.
My first big bounce back.