Not A Weakness

Growing up, I thought it was a weakness to have to worry about one’s weight; I thought it was the person’s own fault for not being trim.  Everyone should have been able to overcome that “weakness” in one way or another.  At least that’s what I thought until something very unexpected happened.  Two months before I left for my freshman year at Furman University, I was forced to welcome this “weakness” with open arms, whether I liked it or not.  I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  On Wednesday 18 June 2008, I went to the doctor for a check up so that she could sign papers saying that I was healthy and could live in on-campus housing.  After getting blood drawn and getting a couple of shots, I left the appointment to get my usual reward for putting up with needles: ice cream.  But this time, I didn’t go for a small ice cream cone or frozen yogurt; I wanted to try out something my friends had been talking about recently, a Chick-Fil-A milkshake.  I think I got strawberry.  I came home and started practicing my violin (my plan was to major in music) and got a call from the doctor at about 5 or 6pm saying my blood sugar was so high that the meter couldn’t read it (which meant it was over 500), my A1c was 16.5%, and there were way too many ketones in my urine.  All the numbers she threw at me over the phone made absolutely no sense whatsoever.  Was 500 a bad number?  I guessed so, since she was suggesting I go to the Emergency Room immediately.  How on earth was the random number 16.5 related to all of this?  And what were ketones?  (Actually, to tell you the truth, even now I can’t tell you what they are.  Time to look it up myself.)  And what did urine have to do with blood and the sugar that was in my blood?

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