Lily Scott is a diabetic getting the most out of life
By Lamees Tanveer
Drenched. She stands under the pouring rain simmering in the cold. A sudden bout of nausea and she runs towards the first building she sees. Crouched over a toilet seat in a bathroom at Swarthmore college, she asks herself. “What the hell went wrong?”
Lily Scott, 19, isn’t new to these sudden bouts –bouts of nausea, bouts of numbness or bouts of pain. She has lived through them all.
Like the 800,000 others who suffer from Juvenile, Type-1 Diabetes in the United States, Lily’s ordinary life is extraordinary, constantly monitoring her supply of insulin, that comes from a pump embedded inside her. Being wary of the symptoms of diabetes — excessive thirst, frequent urination, sudden unexplained weight loss and numbness of the feet Moving along day to day with the reality of the disease sitting on her shoulder.
On the way, back from the party to Bryn Mawr College, she retraces her steps for the millionth time. “The blood sugar level was high to begin with, but I only had one drink. Maybe I was too conservative with the insulin intake. But it was only one drink. Maybe I drank more than I should have. No. It-was-only-one-drink.”
This one drink, a mixture of Vodka and Country Time Lemonade powder is what she would later call, “Death on a stick for a diabetic.”
As she answers the plethora of questions in her head, checking off the mental check-list , she feels it coming back. Like a rolling thunder, her blood gushes and the nausea sets in again. She gets off the bus and by that time is “horribly sick.”
At 1:00 p.m. she finds herself being rushed to the health centre. Panic. Residents of Rockefeller dorm come out of their rooms, Text messages are forwarded like ricocheting bullets, “Lily Scott collapsed.”
At the Health Centre, Lily’s friend, Sarina Dane talks to the nurse. The doctor is called and within seconds she is sent to the emergency room.
“I thought she had had too much to drink. Then I found out it was dehydration so I decided to stay all night,” says Sarina.
Triple Dehydration. When you drink alcohol, you get dehydrated. When you have a high blood sugar content, you get dehydrated. When you vomit, you get dehydrated.
The staff at the Health centre prepared to inject IV-fluids before things turned from bad to worse. It took them longer than usual and it hurt more than usual since her veins had shriveled.
“It wasn’t a fun experience” says Lily. “Normal people don’t have to throw up after one drink. I don’t need alcohol to have fun but I should be able to have one drink. It shouldn’t have to be this way.”