June 2009; as soon as I went up to the Children's ward one of the first things the nurses said to me was "Don't worry, pretty soon all of this will become routine to you" and I thought "what? how?" I wondered how all of the injections and the finger pricking, along with the constant worry and 24/ commitment could ever be considered normal. How could it ever become a regular part of my daily routine? But soon enough, it did.
I walked into that Hospital a normal 11 year old girl, I came out with a bag-load of supplies and an in-curable chronic illness. I didn't realise how much my life could change in the blink of an eye. I remember once, a few weeks after my diagnosis and I was talking to my mum and I said:
''I never even imagined that I would ever have an in-curable condition, you see it on the TV and in films happening to other people; but you don't imagine it to ever be yourself" and it's true. People walk around feeling invincible to everything, just taking life for granted and on the unfortunate chance something does happen; it hits you like a ton of bricks. Then again, there is no way anyone could prepare themselves for something like that anyway.
When I was diagnosed with Type One, the quote "you never know what you've got until it's gone" couldn't of had any more of a meaning to me. My life was normal, I was just a normal girl, doing regular stuff and cruising through my life with out a care in the world. Then Type One Diabetes came along and took my carefree childhood away. And at that moment, nothing was normal. The needles were alien to me, I had to learn how to test my blood sugar and give insulin, I didn't know the symptoms of a high or low blood sugar, how would I?
On the day that I left the hospital I was quizzed one more time on all things diabetes. I just about knew them and I had absolutely no idea how I was going to look after myself with Type One Diabetes. Everything was so different. My life just felt, weird. It was like I was caught in a bubble momentarily and everyone was getting on with their lives around me and I literally felt like my world had stopped temporarily. Only because the diagnosis was such massive thing to try and take in.
When I went back to school even my friends seemed different to me, I felt distant from them even though I had only been away for about a week. But because my life wasn't quite the same it all just felt a bit strange. I walked into school for the first time after being diagnosed along side my mum and I walked past my friends as they all sat on the floor, eating their lunch as they normally would.
And I wasn't? I was on the way to the school office to give in my supplies that were going to be the very thing keeping me alive every single day.
But now, nearly four years on, I have realised that what the nurses told me on the very first day I was diagnosed was right. Strangely enough, all the needles and the pricking and the worry and 24/7 commitment has become the new "normal" It is my life now and there unfortunately is nothing I can do to change it. Diabetes has become my new regularity, it is something I have learnt to live with.
However, just because I have learnt to deal with it, and it may be "normal" it isn't the same normal as a non-diabetic person. it is a weird, mucked up normal and it is a normal, as I know it, with Type One Diabetes.