On what would be my last morning in hospital after being diagnosed with diabetes, part of me couldn’t wait to go home. Even though I’d only been there for 5 days, it felt like an ordeal that had dragged on for weeks and weeks. The problem was, I could barely remember what home actually felt like. I could barely remember my life beyond those long corridors buzzing with doctors, nurses, visitors and patients at all hours of the day. Life beyond the hospital cafeteria, auxiliary shop, vending machines and coffee carts. That a world actually existed beyond that campus filled with traffic, cranes, helicopters and portable fences.
I had forgotten what life was like without having a nurse walking in every hour to check my blood sugar levels. Without having the trolley come past at breakfast, lunch and dinner time to take our orders. Having the doctors come past every morning to do their rounds. Having visitors come to see me every day. Being able to stay in pyjamas all day. Being able to sit in bed at 3pm and read the magazines people had brought me. Sneaking downstairs to explore those long corridors once the nurses disappeared. Being delivered a white-bread ham and cheese sandwich at bedtime, just in case I went hypo through the night. Hearing old Mr. Giglia across from me coughing, groaning and spluttering every 5 minutes. And laughing at some of those difficult patients I could hear from across the hallway!
In the short 5 days that I was there, I had formed a strange attachment to my hospital surroundings that had began to feel somewhat like home. Part of me felt quite comfortable sitting in that hospital bed at 9.30am on that Thursday morning watching Bones. That part of me didn’t quite feel ready to step outside into that cold, cloudy May morning and return to everyday life. Which for me, would be a new life. A life with type 1 diabetes.
When I was told I could go home, I wasn’t excited. I was hesitant. Uncertain. Nervous and scared at the same time. All of those medical ‘elves’ were about to fade into thin air and I would be left to deal with this diabetes thing all on my own. They wouldn’t let me wait for Mum to come, they were ready to force me into a wheelchair and send me to the outpatient lounge. They didn’t even leave me with enough supplies to see the rest of the day out.
As I sat there at the bus stop on that blustery, grey May morning waiting for my ride home, I didn’t know what the future would hold. I only wish I could go and sit next to that innocent, nervous 17 year old boy and tell him that everything was going to be okay.