Trying to think of my most 'memorable' day with diabetes has proved itself to be a challenge. I reckon this is probably because when you've lived with it for 16 years, it begins to feel like every day blends into the next. Diabetes feels like the norm and nothing more than a tedious concoction of highs, lows, prescriptions, appointments, blood tests, injections and so on and so forth. Still there are times when diabetes surprises me, for the better and otherwise.
A few years ago I went to stay with a friend who lived almost 80 miles away from me. Things were different then and I was at a stage with my diabetes where I tried to act as though it didn't exist. I rarely tested my blood sugars (unless I thought I was dying), attempted to delay telling anyone I was diabetic and make up my blood sugars to write in my log book before an appointment with my clinician. I remember absentmindedly taking an injection on the train, completely guesstimating how much insulin to administer, and not giving my diabetes another thought for the rest of the journey. In all honesty I probably wouldn't have let it cross my mind for the rest of the weekend, had it not been for what happened that same night.
It was exciting! I hadn't seen my friend for a couple of months or so and had really been looking forward to it. We'd had a really nice evening, catching up and spending time. There had barely been a moment of silence since we'd been reunited, until duty called and my friend nipped to the toilet. I recall feeling tired and weak all of a sudden, although somehow it felt like I was barely even there at all, and decided to lay down.
The next thing I knew I was in a dream, at least it felt that way. It was like something pulling me between two states of being and that 'something' was the person frantically rubbing my feet. They were shouting "Daisy!" and, every now and then, I'd open my eyes a little and I'd catch a glimpse of unfamiliar faces. I remember obediently sipping the orange juice from the glass that was being held to my lips and chewing jam on toast but forgetting to swallow.
When I came back to the waking world, I was told that I had a hypo which caused me to become unconscious. My friend had called their grandfather, who just happened to be a type 1 diabetic and a doctor and luckily lived only next door, and he gave me a glucagon shot. Not only did it put a complete downer on the rest of the weekend, but it was also one of the most terrifying and not to mention embarrassing evenings of my life (being fifteen years old and waking up surrounded by strangers with your socks off and strawberry jam all over your face is not fun!)
It's perhaps a little bit ironic that I don't actually remember the majority of one of my most memorable days with diabetes, but I do know that it changed my attitude towards my diabetes and made me more responsible for it. That was the first time I have ever become unconscious because of my diabetes and I hope it will be the only time. I genuinely owe my life to those who helped me that night and it's them I remember.