Just when you think it can’t get any worse

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It all started on June 9, 2005; but to understand this story to the fullest extent, we must go back a few months to March of 2005.

I was on a fifth grade field trip to Boston, searching the freedom trail for answers to various questions on the class worksheet. During this field trip, some unknown force made me constantly exhausted, but unnaturally so. Unlike other students who would sit for a minute or have a snack and be set, I just kept growing more and more tired, like a candle at the end of a wick, threatening to go out. I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before though, so I thought little of it.

Moving ahead a bit, to the beginning of April, I was experiencing the same exhaustion, but continued to grow weary until I entered the dark realm of an energy deprived world.

This exhaustion continued for weeks on end, with doctors claiming it only a virus. Months went by as I grew even more tired, until I was reduced to what appeared to be a lifeless husk attached to a living room chair, moving only for water or occasionally to sleep in my bed.

It got so bad that my mom insisted blood was drawn. On June 8, we went into Mercy Doctors’ Office for a blood test. The doctor made a slight mistake, and blood splattered everywhere, which was enough to make me lose my lunch.

My excitement for the test results grew, but it wasn’t until the next day that we learned the outcome.

On the uneventful day of June 9, 2005, something would happen that would change my life forever. That night at 9:42, while I was in bed, the phone rang. I thought nothing of it then, but that sound haunts me to this day.

My mom came upstairs and told me that the test results had come in – and they knew what was wrong. I would have to go to the hospital so the problem could be corrected. My mind was too clouded for me to think to question her, so I changed out of my PJs and followed her out the door.

My grandparents were waiting for me there, and I was taken into the ER. I weighed in at a terrifying 62.5 pounds. The nurses started inserting IVs, and rushed nine different liquids into me. I was severely confused, but said nothing, realizing the seriousness of the situation.

At 11:38, I learned that what was thought to be a virus was actually Type 1 Diabetes. My blood sugar was a near record-breaking 585. I was within hours of coma when we reached the hospital, and almost certainly would have been dead by morning. I was lucky, very lucky; but I wasn’t out yet.

The chance of my survival was very slim; and if I did survive, the chance of me getting out without brain damage or organ damage was about 1000 to one. Things just wouldn’t look up. I was in the ICU (intensive care unit) before midnight, and all the beeping monitors and screams coming from down the hall kept me awake. At least I had a TV.

For no fathomable reason, a miracle, a life saving miracle, happened that night. My blood sugar dropped to an acceptable rate, and I had more energy, more than ever before. My brain, which swelled non-stop, nearly to the point of brain damage, had returned to normal. Just like that.

Fortune smiled upon me that day. The one percent chance, the one percent chance that balanced my very existence, shot up to 101 percent within a few hours.

I was given a gift to be eternally grateful for, a gift that I would never forget. The gift of life, which I have now received twice. Most people don’t get that lucky.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. Before being diagnosed, I complained about little things, like they would cause the end of the world. I still complain about little things, but it took until June 9, 2005, for me to realize how little they are. I learned that there are much worse things than not having the new video game, or not going shopping when you planned to. I was stupid and ignorant not to see that before, and it took this experience to make me see it now.

So, before I conclude, I want you to try to realize how small the little things are. If you miss your party, no sweat. Be thankful anyway. You’re living, you’re breathing, and that’s all that matters.

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