3rd Grade pic - the year I was diagnosed. I'm wearing a cow neck neck turtle neck (my mom's words & ideal, not mine) because I was SO skinny and she wanted to add some bulk to my frame.
So, while my mom was having Defibrillator replacement surgery on Wednesday,(and I was freaking out big time) I decided to calm myself and get out dodge, otherwise known as the Family Waiting Room for Cardiac patients families and take a walk. I realized that I was next to CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) and thought- why not bite the bullet and apply to have all my medical records sent to me.
CHOP has changed- BIG TIME since I was a patient- It takes up several city blocks now and even has a Food Court. The entrance (which used to house an atrium) is still multi levels with sculptures and mobiles hanging from the ceiling & a life size abacus/plaything that kids can actually play with stands in the middle of it it all. Where the Gift Shop used to be is now restrooms.
I went to the Information Desk and asked where the Admissions Records Office was. I was told to take an elevator one level down and follow the signs.
When I finally found the Admissions Records Office, I went in and started talking to the clerk.
Me: Hi, my names Kelly and I'm here to get both my admissions and patient records from when I was diagnosed with Diabetes. I want to apply for my 30 Year Certificate from Joslin and I need the paperwork.
Clerk: What year are we starting with?
Me: 1977 - October.
Clerk: Wow - you must have been a baby- you still look like a little kid!
Me: Thanks ( I saw no need to correct the woman) - I owe my youthful looks to all the saccharin I ingested as a child- it's a preservative you know.
Clerk: HA - that's funny. Fill out the paper work and call this number in 5 days. This office is for Admission records- you'll have to go up to Endocrinology for your Patient records.
Me: OK- thanks for your help.
So off I went to another building and another wing and filled out more paperwork and was told the same thing. Now I wait until next week and will keep you posted.
I've been thinking about getting my records for a long time I'm curious about the little girl who was Kelly , and the lady (and I use that term loosely) called Kelly she's become.
Will I find any clues to who she was and will I recognize any remnants of me?
While I remember many things about my diagnoses there's so many gaps in my mind.
Last time I asked my mom about what she remembered about my diagnoses - she just said "I don't know." When I pressed her she said: Kelly, I had six kids, you where the 3rd to be diagnosed. Your dad had had a heart attack 3 years earlier and had lost his business three years before that. Right before you were diagnosed, Debbie was getting sicker. I just remember being scared and sad for my little girl.
And the moment those words crossed her lips- I felt sad and scared for that little girls mother.
My dad's dead, and so is my sister- so I can't ask them.
My two oldest siblings had already moved out of the house when I was diagnosed. One had started her own family and the other had moved to California.
The two siblings that were still in High School at the time, described the house as being in CHAOS - and not just because of my Diabetes. My sister Cathy told me that she blocked a lot of that time out.
When I told my friend what I was doing and why she said: Listen Kelly, if you don't find what and who your looking for, don't be upset- it was a long time ago.
Yes, it was a long time ago- but so many moments seem like yesterday...And so many moments are still missing.