Tonight as I watched The Bachelor and got lost on the #actuallydiabetic tag on tumblr, I stumbled upon this article – “What The Baby-Sitters Club Taught Me About My Disease”
For those of you that aren’t Gen Y and weren’t obsessed with The Baby-Sitters Club as a child (i.e. 99% of you), there is a character in there called Stacey, and Stacey had type 1 diabetes.
In primary school, I was obsessed with these books. My frenemy in Grade 1 had every single one, and I was seething with jealousy. I would go over to her house and instead of playing, I would sit in a corner and devour each one. Looking back, that may be a reason I wasn’t the most popular seven year old – what a bore!
Anyway, Stacey was my favourite. I was entranced by her perm (she had a PERM guys, I didn’t even know what that was but I knew it must be cool), she was POPULAR and FASHIONABLE and from NEW YORK but she had a SECRET. Stacey kept her diabetes secret from her friends in the first few books, and I remember being fascinated by this disease. I distinctly remember taking a safety pin from Mum’s sewing box and poking myself with it, wondering how Stacey must feel having to inject herself all the time. She was always my favourite, even though I knew I was (like the author of the article) much more of a quiet Mary Anne or a bossy Kristy.
How’s that for foreshadowing? Ten years later, at seventeen years old, I sat in a hospital bed in the ER and was told that I had type 1 diabetes. I think it’s a real reflection on the true loser I am that one of my first thoughts as soon as I was left alone was “Oh my god, I’m just like Stacey”