This is something my sister emailed me yesterday. She asked if I would post it today. So here it is:
Being the good sister that I am/try to be, I was reading Jillian’s blog today and clicked on a few of the other blogs she has links for. I came across an article mentioning Inspired By Diabetes and I thought to myself, maybe I should write something about how Jillian’s diabetes has affected me. So here goes.
These are things I remember about when Jillian was initially diagnosed with Type 1 (I was turning 12 in 2 weeks):
- How scared I was when the school nurse buzzed my classroom and told me to come to the office for early dismissal
- The look of dread on my parents’ faces when Jillian and I met them in the hall
- Going to the dietician and learning about carbs and practicing putting air into insulin vials and drawing it into syringes
- Getting fat because I tried to be supportive and ate everything Jillian was eating for breakfast: eggs, toast, juice, milk, cereal
- Trying diet soda and hating it
These are things I don’t remember about that time:
- My 12th birthday
- Christmas that year
There are things I’ll never forget:
- Jillian screaming while my parents held her down in order to give her her shots. That look of fear was just too much.
- Feeling horrible when I had to help hold her down
- How proud I was of Jillian when she started to give herself her shots
- How proud I am of Jillian for taking control and deciding to choose an insulin pump
- How special it made me feel to be included in her process of researching and choosing which pump to go with (I guess that’s what big sisters are for though)
Now for something I don’t like talking about very much. I used to be very jealous of Jillian. In my eyes, my parents were so consumed with taking care of her, that they didn’t have time for me. It was a lonely time for me. Probably the first time I ever felt depressed. Many times I wished it was me that was the diabetic not her. I wish I could say it was an altruistic thought—that I wanted to spare her from the pain and protect her. But it wasn’t. I wanted someone to pay attention to me, to go out of his or her way for me, to forget everything else for me.
I could never be a diabetic. I pass out almost every time I have my blood drawn. I hate pricking my finger, the few times I’ve actually done it. It hurts sooooooo much. Also, diet soda is gross. (For those of you who don’t know, while I didn’t get my “wish” for Type I, I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus at age 15, all though it is not the same.). But really, the point I’m trying to make is that diabetes touches more than just the person receiving the diagnosis—it touches siblings, parents, friends, and lovers. On this World Diabetes Day, I’d like to say to my sister and to all diabetics (Type I’s especially) that I’m so proud of you. For dealing with everything you go though in your daily lives with diabetes. You are not alone, you are not the only ones who are aware, and there are others who are just as ready for a cure.