My Horrible Diagnosis Story

Every diabetic has one: the story of how he or she came to be acquainted with the terrible pet known as diabetes.

After a while, the tale becomes rehearsed. Formulaic — like the “How We Met” story you might tell about your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend.

“I started feeling [tired/nauseated/dizzy/blind], and I couldn’t stop [eating/drinking/sleeping/peeing]. So I went to the doctor, and was diagnosed with [mononucleosis/the flu/the wrong kind of diabetes/pancreatitis]. A few weeks later, I noticed I’d lost [20/30/50] pounds and still felt [bad/terrible/downright shitty], so I went to the doctor again. They tested my blood sugar and it was [400/700/don’t ask], and I found out I had diabetes.”

One size may not fit all, but I feel like most of the stories I’ve heard followed a similar time line — give or take an episode of DKA or unconsciousness — and mine’s no different. I was twelve. I was falling asleep in class and dropping weight like it was my job. I was skin and bones by the time my parents took me to the ER, which may or may not be related to the fact that I’d probably just polished off the contents of my giant plastic Jack O’Lantern.

This November 11, it’ll be 20 years since the date of my diagnosis. I’d always assumed I had an unremarkable diagnosis story, but recently, I remembered what I was doing right before my parents ushered me into the car to take me to the ER — I was watching Little Shop of Horrors with one of my best friends.

Yes, I spent my last pre-diagnosis hours watching a movie about a man who adopts a fantastical plant, keeps it alive with drops of blood from his fingers, eventually becomes a slave to its voracious appetite, and then dedicates himself to defeating it and keeping it from taking over the world.

Foreshadowing, anyone?

I’ve been trying to decide how to spend my 20-year diaversary. I thought about throwing myself a big fat party, but then I decided I didn’t want to flatter my diabetes too much. I considered a nice dinner, maybe buying myself a piece of jewelry. But now, I think I might have to sit down and watch Little Shop of Horrors all the way through for the first time since November 11, 1990.

It’ll be a good chance to reflect on the blood-sucking, flesh-eating alien menace in my life — and get inspired by the vocal stylings of Rick Moranis, while I’m at it.

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10 comments on “My Horrible Diagnosis Story

  1. I love the way you are going to celebrate your D-anniversary (my movie would be Gidget Goes Hawaiian )!!! I’m like you – never thought of celebrating it (I’m still 21 LOL) – but have been asked to drive to Boston to celebrate a friends D-anniversary of 35 years. She’s a low carb Dr. B gal – and you know – I’m a beer guzzling / chip / peanut chomping / belching gal / fill in blanks HERE – so not sure how well that will work out. Just trying to find the courage to drive the 6 hours alone to Boston in my little Smart (not asking hubby – he’ll be bored to tears with us D-gals).

    Psst, don’t forget the popcorn when you watch the movie!

  2. Auntly H says:

    Lots of us celebrating 20 years this year it seems (3 DOCers seems a lot to me, ok?). Perhaps a virtual shared movie night? We could all watch with you, in the comfort of our own homes. Then, you get some solidarity without having to feed a bunch of people.

    And, I get to finally get off the fence and sign up for Netflix! win-win 🙂

  3. Kerry says:

    I think you should tape a sign to your meter that says “Feed me Seymour” for the day.
    I like to read stories from young adult diabetics that are doing well and successful and healthy, like you. It helps me to stay positive for my daughter. Thanks!

  4. sisiay says:

    This reminds of an (unfortunately) very sad memory along a similar vein. Visiting an uncle with terminal cancer, my mother and I decided renting a comedy would be a great way to spend an evening. This was about 20 years ago as well, and we settled on the recently released Joe vs. the Volcano, which of course [spoiler alert] ends up being about a person who receives a terminal diagnosis and has several months to live, only to find out at the end that it was all a lie.

  5. k2 says:

    Dude- Celebrate your diaversary, BIG TIME!
    I celebrate my mine every Halloween – and my 33rd diaversary is just around the corner!
    I say celebrate all the fabulousness and “diabetesaliciousness” that make you, you.
    You are here and you are living your life – and both are wonderful things!
    Wave your diabetes freak flag high and proud girl!
    kelly k

  6. Shannon says:

    I had never made the Little Shop of Horrors connection! It’s brilliant, in a terrible sort of way. For some reason the title of this post made me think you would mention Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, but I probably just have that on my mind since my kid performed one of the songs at a talent show last week. Anyway, I think it’s a great way to mark the occasion!

  7. Beth says:

    No one remembers the exact date of my D-diagnosis, but we all agree it was “some time in November”, before Thanksgiving….so maybe I’ll adopt 11/11/68 as my diaversary too! Forty-two years doesn’t seem possible, but I’m going strong and relatively free of complications so I should definitely celebrate. Congratulations Jacquie – I’ll drink a toast (Sam Adams Boston Ale of course)to you!

  8. I was able to plug my diagnosis into the formula perfectly! Nicely done! The part of mine that still makes me laugh is that I got the call in the evening, while I was on the way to a party…knowing nothing about diabetes when my doc told me to turn around and get to the hospital because my bg was over 600, my instinct was to grab some food before spending the evening in the hospital. Taco Bell. Hahaha.

    I like your idea for celebrating! Cheers to another 20 (err, or a cure)!

  9. Donika says:

    I had no idea Adam and I got married on your 10 year diversary. If I had known I would of had our pill popping DJ play a special song for you. However, nothing could of topped him dedicating “Brick House” to me. Such a special moment!

    Cousin, I say you do something BIG for your 20 year diversary. Not to celebrate your diabetes, but to celebrate you and how well you have taken care of yourself, how you have never let it define you and for how much you seem to be helping others thru your wonderful blog.

    I love you, and will be raising a glass to you on Nov. 11th!

  10. Kassie says:

    Little Shop of Horrors. Genius.

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