A bittersweet day

January 2, 2007 at 3:16 am | Posted in The Sweet Life | 11 Comments

All around the blogosphere, the screen is thick with year-end posts.  Resolutions & predictions, predicaments & promises… 

New Year’s is always kind of a mixed-up day for me. It’s a time when I often feel like I should be having a more exciting life than I have, although passing over the 3-ooooh-crap hump has diminished that feeling substantially.  But what happened to the me who was going to be the life of every party and have six invitations to decide between? Ah yes, she only ever existed in my teenage fantasies. 

New Year’s also marks an anniversary for me.  Not the kind of anniversary that you celebrate with cake and candles.

Twenty-one years ago today I was admitted to the pediatric endocrinology unit at Mount S1nai hospital.

That New Year’s Eve was very subdued at Casa de Art’s Family.  We were waiting for a bed to open up and knew that I was going into the hospital the next day, with strict orders to go the ER if anything about my condition changed.  Instead of sharing sips of champagne, my parents and I huddled around the tv and watched the ball drop as I gulped diet ginger ale. 

The next day, I was in the hospital, learning what it meant to be a diabetic, jabbing myself with this beauty:

guilletine, aka autolet

I used visual read chemstrips. Apply “hanging drop” of blood. Wait 60 seconds. Wipe off blood. Wait 60 seconds more. Compare to color chart. Argue over whether that shade of beige is a 110 beige or a 140 beige. I still instinctually milk my finger for that big juicy drop even though the new meters need just a wee spot of blood (and take five seconds instead of 120).I was on NPH and regular. I ate a fruit, a milk, two breads, one fat, and one lean meat exchange for breakfast. And I memorized this:

shot chart

Is it any wonder that I’m always a little relieved once we’re firmly into January?


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  1. “I still instinctually milk my finger for that big juicy drop”

    So does Greg…

  2. Those pictures are an incredible reminder of how far diabetes care has come!

    I won’t say happy anniversary, but I will say I’m glad to have your voice in the blogosphere.

  3. I had forgotten all about the autolet. It used to travel with my accucheck (which was the size of a hardcover book).

    Art – say a little prayer for massachusetts marriage today. We’re back in the state house again! And belated congrats on the thesis.

  4. I clearly remember the chemstrips, that weird lancing device and the 2 minute wait for results (if you were using the machine)……………..I even went through a phase where I cut the chemstrips into 1/4’s to get more mileage. (And I was certainly not a star at matching colors.)
    Happy New Year to you and P, Art. May the coming year bring you many blessings.

  5. PS Hey, I can now comment here without going through a maze.

  6. Oh man – the guillotine… I mean, talk about being nervous about a finger stick! “Ok guys, this won’t hurt a bit” as they cock that thing back a clear mile, then THWAP!

    Really now – does it have to cock that far back?! Well, they do say a “HANGING” drop of blood!

    I remember back when we started sticking those same strips into the machine so it could spit out a number, rather than having to match the colors.

    If mine started turning real dark, because I was high, I would scratch away at the colored pad before sticking it into the machine – so that the machine would record a lower number into it’s memory.

    That was back in the good old days of teenage denial and games. It’s much harder to “cheat” these days.

    Fond memories.

  7. I love the new site.
    Anyhoo, yeah, it’s not real tough to understand why New Year’s is not more rockin’ for you. All I could think when you were describing the impending doom of waiting to go to the hospital and your parents feeling nervous was what it’s felt like to deal with my boys’ medical issues. Oh the fear. You and your parents have had to get through some tough times, clearly. May you all have a wonderful, low-worry kind of 2007.

  8. I second what In Search of Balance said-glad to have your voice both for diabetes and Guat. adoption.

    My aunt and grandfather are both insulin dependent (she’s 50 and he’s 72) and I can remember them both wincin during the finger sticks and the insulin shots-the thought of it now makes me shudder. Now my aunt is so discrete when she tests and injects- that alone makes me just marvel at how far things have come.

    And yet, how far things still need to go.

  9. Wow, that machine looks like something that could take your head off! (boy am I glad that things have progressed….)

    Looking forward to reading much more about you. Pili and Guatebaby. I wish you lots of hapiness and joy for 2007

  10. Wow, that machine looks like something that could take your head off! (boy am I glad that things have progressed….)

    Looking forward to reading much more about you. Pili and Guatebaby. I wish you lots of hapiness and joy for 2007!

  11. Oh the autolet. I want one of those again, they would be considered vintage now wouldn’t they???? And I too milk my finger, everytime. Thanks goodness at 24 it is a LOT less painful than milking my poor little 3-year-old finger. Good luck on the Guatebaby front and keep pushing. I know you’ll be a Mom soon.

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