Juanita Harris

Rookie (Philadelphia)

November Thirteenth - Poem by Juanita Harris

On November thirteenth
Two thousand six
I took my child to see the doctor
I thought she was just sick.

Blood was taken for a test
I never asked, “why? ”
Within minutes I was told,
“Your child’s glucose level is too high.”

“You must go to the main hospital
Quickly, for tests.
Take these referrals with you
And I wish you the best.”

I drove to the emergency room
With the referrals on my lap.
Smiled at my daughter through the rearview mirror
She was bobbing her head and eating a snack.

The radio was playing
And I had no idea what lie ahead
Endocrinologists, nutritionists
And a one-week stay in the hospital bed.

When handed a syringe I asked,
“How long will this last? ”
The nurse replied sorrowfully,
“This isn’t something that will pass.”

Insulin injections and finger pricks
Would become a part of everyday life.
Hyperglycemia, Hypoglycemia
Mood swings and strife.

All this fell upon my little girl
Within one night.
Four years old with a “boo-boo”
That Mommy can’t make right.

I can’t take it away
Or even take her place,
And I can’t explain the way it felt
Seeing tears on her face

As she cried, “No more needles Mommy
No more after this, ”
And I had to be strong and tell her,
“I know it hurts but its what’s best.”

On November thirteenth I was told,
“Your child has Diabetes Type One.”
But there are some great organizations out there
And a lot of research is being done.

We are not the only family going through this.
There are many, many more
And we’re all taking it one day at a time
All hoping for a cure.

A cure to take away the needles
And the tubing and finger pricks.
A cure to free us of ketones
When our children are sick.

In one class a parent told me,
Not to think of this as a curse.
At least its just Diabetes
It could have been much worse.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 2, 2010

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