Home > Composition Book > [November, 1989] Sugar Problems

[November, 1989] Sugar Problems


Dear Journal,

Chen-chi is back in school and is doing just fine. I geusse that pill stuff was just rumors.


what's your problem?

Chen-chi told me a very big secret.

She has diabetes. That’s why she was in the hospital.

She had sugar problems.

I won’t tell a soul.

Last weekend I went to my cusins bar-mitzva and it was really awesome.

Up to that point, everything I knew about diabetes I learned from Stacey McGill, treasurer of The Baby-sitters Club. She was my favorite character in The Baby-sitters Club series of books by Ann M. Martin (and also had my favorite 80’s name). Poor Stacey also had “sugar problems” and had to give herself injections of insulin and carefully monitor her diet. She was even hospitalized a few times, just like Chen-chi.

The only “sugar problems” I could conceive of was eating too much of it, but I probably counted myself something of an expert on diabetes having read a bunch of children’s books that mention the condition. I felt terrible for Chen-chi because she couldn’t eat any chocolate or candy and had to spend time in the hospital. In retrospect, I also feel bad that there was so much gossip circulating around her, which–let’s be honest here–I helped spread. And yet despite my rumor-mongering ways (and despite being a snitch), Chen-chi was trusting enough to share her health secret with me. This time I learned my lesson and kept my mouth shut.

  1. November 16, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    My brother was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes when he was five, about 1986. So many people, especially fellow classmates, were so ignorant of the disease, it was crazy. I know I got into many fights, mainly pushing matches, with kids who wouldn’t sit next to my brother on the bus or play with him on the playground because they might catch it. I really appreciate you posting this. I’m guessing now it might seem so silly how big of a deal being diagnosed with diabetes was but there are probably kids going through the same sort of thing today.

    • damiella
      November 16, 2009 at 8:09 pm

      I can’t imagine what your brother had to go through. Good health is something most of us take for granted, especially at such a young age, and kids are quick to pick on anybody who is different. Personally, I liked (and still like) people who are different. 🙂

  2. Liz
    November 17, 2009 at 4:14 am

    I was a big Babysitters Club fan, btw. Stacey was the coolest. She was from New York! She and Claudia became friends because they both had equally cool 80s outfits.
    It’s amazing to think that diabetes was such a stigma. I guess children can be really ignorant, especially when their parents don’t teach them the truth.
    I also know that diabetes is often accompanied by serious depression in kids and teens…a few years ago, part of my internship at Mount Sinai was in the pediatric diabetes clinic.
    Side note: my most interesting patient there was a 14-year-old gay/trans kid named Anthony. He was beautiful, had been left back twice, and had beaten the living crap out of a threatening homophobic teen at a party. With a folding chair. While dressed as Xena.
    But he was referred to me at least initially for not maintaining diabetes treatments!

  3. November 20, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Sarah! That’s horrible! Kids suck!!

    I knew more than most on the subject as a kid too, as my dad was diagnosed with it when I was a toddler. Still worried I might suddenly have it one day…ugh.

  4. January 8, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Thank you for contribute this helpful information. Wish that you would maintain doing good article similar to this. I would be one of your loyal reader.

  5. May 13, 2011 at 5:35 am

    I love to read The Baby-Sitters Club series too, and I have to say I also love reading all of your entries!

    • May 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. 🙂

  1. November 16, 2009 at 6:19 pm
  2. November 16, 2009 at 9:29 pm
  3. November 17, 2009 at 1:04 pm

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