When Kerri first emailed us the questions for the hope vs. fear video, I wasn’t sure I could do it. When I hear fear associated with diabetes, I jump to a place. A horrible place.
After we finished the roundtable discussion on Tuesday, we had an awesome lunch break where we talked more about diabetes. Not that two hours isn’t enough, it’s just that some things don’t need to go on camera. Part of this was Kerri explaining what the one on one interviews were going to be like, and what we were going to be talking about. I was going first so that I wouldn’t be late for the kids and Kerri asked “Do you have anything to say about fear?”
Do I ever. Do I like talking about fear & diabetes. Hell no. If I talk about it too much I start to get overwhelmed by the details and I stop living my life. So I don’t like to think about it. I was an impressionable kid. I loved camp and I didn’t know how anyone could not love camp. I knew there were people who didn’t, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Once you went to camp there was no way I’d ever not be there (HA!) So imagine the shock of a lifetime when we got to camp one summer and one of the counselor’s was no longer there. We knew that counselors came & went, but she wasn’t that kind of counselor. We asked where she was. During the course of those 50 weeks since we last saw each other, Jill had passed away. I don’t even know how old I was when this happened, but this is the story I remember. It may not be 100% accurate since it was so long ago, but this is how it made an impression on me. She was a college student and she was sick. It was a holiday weekend, but she didn’t go home. Since the insulin therapy was different then, you HAD to eat if you had insulin. She was so sick that she couldn’t eat and/or couldn’t take her insulin. Over the course of that weekend she passed away because she couldn’t get that insulin. Her roommates found her when they came back.
When I get sick, she is the first person I think of. I immediately want to go home to Mom & Dad because then that won’t happen. I know that insulin & diabetes is different now, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t scare the living shit out of me. Those hospital stays, guess who I was thinking of. Coming out of them, I felt guilty. But would I have taken it as seriously as I do if it weren’t for Jill? I will never know.