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Sweet blood, part I

I have spent much of this weekend napping and pulling dead skin off my arm. So this should make for a good entry.

Instead of boring y'all with my stupid woes, I'm going to print a bit of the piece I wrote for the Web Writer's Weekend Writing Workshop.

I had been sick for months, but subtly so. I was really thirsty all the time, losing weight, looking pale. But then again, I had always preferred liquids to solids, and had always been a pasty, skinny kid. But I was peeing a lot. A lot. In fact, I was wetting the bed.

If it weren't for the bedwetting, I probably would have been diagnosed earlier. But bedwetting is a particularly intense embarrassment. I was horrified. It didn't occur to me that I might be sick. I just knew that I shouldn't leave the house for more than an hour unless I knew where the bathrooms were. So I stopped going places. I thought everyone could tell, so I stopped talking to people. I guess Mom thought I was just growing up and learning to do my own laundry, but really I was going through three sheet changes a night. I would keep myself up at night just to pee, which only made me sleep deeper and pee longer.

Mom found out on our cross-state thanksgiving trip to my aunt's house. I was sharing a bed with my 13 year old sister, and I tried desperately to stay up all night, to spare the bed and myself. It didn't work. Every couple of hours I would wake up in a soggy mess, chafed and embarrassed. I would go to the closet and get a towel, a dishrag, a pillow, whatever I could find, and pile it under my ass so I could sleep for another 45 minutes before starting the exercise all over again. By the time morning came, I was sleeping on a foot-high pile of wet, stinky linen closet items. To my dismay, this did not escape the notice of my sister.

Shortly thereafter I was whisked from school into the doctor's office, where my status as a type I diabetic was confirmed. I weighed 48 pounds when they admitted me. It was one of only two instances in which I can remember my mother crying, but all I could think of was “So, no more Oreos then?”

5:42 p.m. - 2003-10-26


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