Once upon a time, in the faraway country of Ignorance, there lived a mouse. A very cute mouse, who owned humongous ears and a cheesy little grin that would make even the biggest car lover grant a pardon to the little guy and find another meal for Fido.
But this isn't about a mouse.(although he will reappear)
No, this is about a teenage girl, a rich socialite snob who lived in a NYC penthouse with her workaholic CEO parents and a bratty little brother who most definatly should have been in a military boarding school somewhere. But I'm getting ahead of myself...this is her story, and she should be telling it.
I chug down yet another cherry pepsi, attempting to put stop breaks on my unquenchable thirst.
"Give it a rest, wontcha? " my 10-year-old-brat of a brother says, unceremoniously dumping his backpack on the living room carpet. "The toilets are going to go on strike."
"Haha, very funny.Where's my mouse?"
"Still at school-we're gonna dissect him and you'll never see him again. Say, isn't that number six?" he asks incredulously, as I chuck the can toward the recycling bin and head toward the fridge for another one. "Leave me one, can't you?"
Brothers-such a HUGE pain. I'd argue, but I'm so tired I'd much rather sleep. I slam my bedroom door, set my ipod to shuffle "A Little Bit Longer," ad nauesum and drift off to sleep, intent on catching a few ZZ's before starting my homework.
There's a siren in my dreams, piercing and loud but I can't seem to wake up. Soooo
"Wake up, Jenny, wake up," my mom is crying, and that's really not like her. So I oblige, to find tubes and wires crisscrossing my body like one of my brother's mutant science experiments.
"Oh hon- you have diabetes!"
"No, I do not," I croak from the depths of my drier-then-dirt voicebox. "What happened, why am I here?"
"You got diabetes, your blood sugar was 1400 and you've been in here for two days..."
To make a long story short, I'm kept in for another week and taught to be a good little diabetic. Except I'm not. The best pediatric endocrinology team in the country cannot make me that.
And a insulin pump? Well, of course I have one, my parents practically donated the medical center into existance and every administrator/doc in that place fell all over themselves to provide me with only the best. President-elect Obama doesn't get all the perks that we do.
But it doesn't change the fact that I dislike all the rules of diabetes, and no one at all understands what I have to do on a daily basis just to keep tickin'. Sometimes I get so tired of it, like the night I decided not to reconnect to my pump(post shower),I was still in honeymoon phase anyway so nothing would happen. Drift off to LaLa land again.
"Wake up, Jennifer."
Whaaa? Not again. I silently groan, and open my eyes, expecting my doctor will be there to harp at me about my recent lack-of-stellar-control.
Instead, there's a young, cheery-faced nurse who hands me a piece of brick like bread. Or rather, half a piece.
"What is this?"I sputter, shocked.
"Supper. You're spilling quite a bit of sugar in your urine and Dr. Allen is reducing your calorie intake."
"Dr. Who? He's not MY doctor. Where's my doctor?"
"Quiet, hon, you're not feeling well. This new diet will help your diabetes get under control." she moves off, to hand someone their hunk o' hardtack.
I look at the other kids in the ward, most living skeletons who barely move, let alone speak. Like a cancer ward at Halloween. Freeeeaky.
"You know John died last night," my nearest roommate pipes up, out of the blue.
"Diabetes, of course. Like we all might only no one talks about it. It's fatal."
"It's not fatal, there's in...."
Suddenly, a tall man enters the room and all the kids flock around him like he'll be handing out candy, momentarily. (but of course, he won't)
"I think," he says very slowly,"that I may have something for you."
Something? I watch as he and the nurse administer whopping horse-sized doses of a murky brown liquid that I normally wouldn't water my lawn with, let alone have injected, into my body. But there is something else being injected.
Hope. Eyes brighten, cheeks glow, and flesh soon reappears on once skinny bones. And I, like many others, cherish those painful injections because they represent life.
"Wake up, Jennifer."
I sigh, turn over, and mumble "in my thigh" bracing myself against the expectant paralyzing jolt of the humongous syringe. But it doesn't come.
I open my eyes.
"Hey Jen-are you ok? You went into DKA again," my doctor asks, concerned.
"Yeah. It won't happen again, because I had a weird dream and I think I know what it means now."
Once upon a time, there lived a rich, not-so-snobbish teenage girl who discovered a richness not bestowed by her parent's millions. The richness of being alive.
And her mouse? Well,it survived her brother's classmates, and she named the mouse Banting, deciding that someday, she'd become a diabetes researcher and find a cure for both humans AND mice. Because they are both, really, really cute.
(go watch the Tale of Despereaux)