Today, I will be a good girl and use my snow day(!) to do homework and copious amounts of writing. I cannot tell you how excited I was for this snow day…I’m like a kid right now, seriously. A kid who has upper level college class homework to do. Anyways, here’s the talk story tuesday!
I remember sitting on the hospital bed in a big t-shirt and purple pajama pants. The shirt’s size made it drafty and cold, reminding me of the hospital gown I had been wearing for the last night and day. The day before I had gone on a twelve hour fast as my blood sugar slowly crept downward, helped by the insulin drip hanging by my bed. That first meal of wonderful-smelling hospital food had been glorious. For the first time in weeks I had felt hungry enough to actually crave what was sitting on the bedside table. Now, a day later I felt content, content enough to no longer want hospital food. I wanted McDonalds. My endocrinologist entered the room as I was telling my parents of my desire. They glanced at her apprehensively, all the talk from the last day and a half running through the heads as they tried to figure out whether this was something their newly diagnosed diabetic daughter could have. I remember liking Dr. Fenton, her calm, practical attitude was a welcome balm after the diagnosing doctor came and dropped the D-bomb on our heads with little concern and then walked out. She came and provided answers, advice, wisdom, and most importantly, a plan that would transition a headstrong girl and her overwhelmed parents from the hospital to everyday life. This was the first challenge, my request for a meal from the place diabetics rarely venture. She smiled and said there was no problem. My mom protested slightly, but Dr. Fenton simply said, “If she’s willing to count the carbs and take the shot, there’s nothing she can’t have diabetes-wise.” Those chicken selects, greasy fries, and chocolate milkshake were the best meal I’d had in a long time.
That experience in the hospital really set the stage for the rest of my diabetes career. Dr. Fenton understood the disease in such a practical way. Everything she ever told me has stood the test of time, and much of how I view my diabetes is directly influenced by her. Her attitude towards food helped me take control of my diabetes from the very start. She told me what I needed to do to eat the foods I wanted to eat and she put the power in my hands. All I had to do was take a shot. My parents still struggled to make sure their growing daughter was eating healthy, but thanks to Dr. Fenton, that struggle was only slightly impacted by me having diabetes.
Upcoming post about the struggle of diabetes homonymy regarding carbs and sugar. Stay tuned!