Today is my 21-year diaversary. I've written a blog post to mark this occasion.
I remember my diagnosis, vaguely. Wisps of memories, like a dream, that have merged and shifted so much over time I'm no longer sure what's real and what's just made up from bits and pieces my parents have told me.
Before diagnosis, I remember only the thirst. Truly unquenchable, it was all I could think about. It crept into my thoughts at home, at school, in sleep. I read problems in my math textbook about selling jugs and milk and all I could think of was how much I wanted a glass of milk. At friend's houses, a denial of liquid from their parents felt like a denial of air, ensuring I'd spend the remainder of the afternoon wishing my mom would come so I could go home and get water. At night I awoke multiple times to make my way to the bathroom, moving as quietly as possible through the darkened house, scared I'd wake my parents. I'd use the toilet and, after washing my hands, would keep the water running and stand on my tiptoes, craning my neck until I could catch the stream of water in my mouth. I'd drink and drink until my stomach felt like it couldn't hold any more, and then creep back to bed for another few hours.
For an adult, the thirst prior to diagnosis is inconvenient. For a child, who doesn't have independent access to water, it feels almost like torture. Of course, from my parents' perspective I was drinking plenty. Too much, in fact. Sitting down to dinner and drinking four glasses of water! But from my perspective, it was never enough.