I couldn’t put out the fire in my body. No matter how much liquid I drank, I couldn’t quench my thirst. I was living in New Jersey, about an hour west of NYC, and I couldn’t take the bus to the city for work. I couldn’t go without a men’s room that long and, in those days, there was no facility on the bus. A nurse who lived in my neighborhood suggested I might have diabetes and recommended I see my doctor.

I didn’t have a doctor. I was 39 and in the peak of health, at least I thought I was. I made an appointment with my son’s pediatrician.

The doctor examined me and then did a test for blood glucose. This was before the days of the fast BG meters we have today, and it took time to get the results. He asked me to sit in the waiting room until he had my test results. After a few minutes, his head appeared at his examining room door. He looked at me and in a loud voice said, “YOU HAVE DIABETES!”

Everyone in the crowed waiting room, filled with mothers and children, was startled by the announcement. They looked around to see who the doctor was speaking to. Needless to say, I was shocked and embarrassed. I wanted a hole to open in the floor to suck me in. Although I was stunned at the doctor’s poor behavior, I managed to get up and leave his office, never to return.