Posted in Type-1

At The Beach by Paloma Gensollen

“The Beach” Photograph By: Paloma Gensollen

Introduction: This entry is the first in a series from Paloma Gensollen who grew up a happy little girl (in the past) before Almost Dorothy struck her up for some of her writing. By Almost Dorothy, I don’t mean me. I mean diabetes. Paloma’s world was cute pink perfect which means she had everything any seven year old girl wanted–toys, parents, a big sister, chewing gum. She even went to one of the best schools in Lima, which is the capital of Peru, not a lima bean. Paloma had a healthy life (but she smokes now). I often almost never wonder what a healthy life really means when we are all turned by the same wheel? Life has a funny way of turning someone’s stupid little blue world upside down. Though. Whether it was God, destiny, or DNA, someone or something made Paloma sign a life-contract when she was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 1, Juvenile Diabetes a few months after she turned 7. Paloma is not 7 anymore. Paloma, which means dove, says diabetes is like a “stick-shift. I need to do manually what others do in automatic mode.” Over the course of the next few months and maybe for almost forever, Paloma will document her life as a diabetic,which sounds like a drag but she is not a drag queen. I just want to make that queer. In the end, we don’t know what’s going to happen with Paloma because the future does not exist. She’ll write for now until she gets there. Enjoy. (Love ya, Almost Dorothy)

At The Beach by Paloma Gensollen

It’s summer here in Peru, February 3rd 1995. We are here at my aunt’s beach house, spending the weekend. I came with my mommy; my sister went somewhere else with some friends and my daddy stayed in the city for work.

The day is beautiful; the sun is shining bright, the sky looks like a big pool filled with water. The ocean is having a party; waves dancing along with the wind, rising up and down, crushing against the seashore, hugging the sand.

I’m playing on the sand not too close to the water, making sand balls, digging holes and filling them with some water. I’m pretending I’m a chef making fudge for the delicious chocolate cake I pretended to bake with the sand. I like the beach, makes me feel free like a seagull flying aimlessly across the sky.

It’s hot and I want to get in the ocean but I can’t go on my own, the waves are big and it is kind of scary. I’m also parched. I’ve been drinking tons of water but somehow I still want more and more. I’ve been peeing on myself a lot too. Mommy says I’m already a big girl and I should learn how to hold my pee, I try to hold it but it just comes out. My body is burning, like if it’s on fire. The sun’s rays are hitting my eyes and it’s hard to see. I want water; I’m going where my mommy and aunts are for some more.

I tiptoe quickly on the dry sand so I won’t burn my little feet. “Ma I’m thirsty” I tell her. She hands me a bottle of icy-cold water from a cooler. I gulped the water. “Mommy, is there anymore?” I ask her unsatisfied with the .5L of water I just drank. “Yes”, she says, not paying much attention to me.

I finish what was left of the second bottle mommy gave me 2 minutes ago. My mouth is dry. “Ma, I want more water”, I tell her, while poking her back with my tiny finger covered with sand. “More?!, you just drank two bottles!, don’t you want an ice-cream instead? Let’s go get you one”. She goes, while I stay under the tent with my aunts.

I ask one of them for water and she gives me her big-cooler-type bottle. The cold water is running through my mouth and going down my throat like a waterfall. I feel good; my body is getting rid of the heat. I keep drinking, I don’t want to stop. Mommy is coming towards me, she’s worried. The water is almost gone…I want more!!!! The heat is wrapping my body again. Now I need to pee, but it itches and hurts down there every time I do. I can’t hold it, I’m trying to be a big girl and not pee on myself bu I can’. It’s wet between my leg. I’m still holding up the bottle, hoping some water will fall onto my tongue, but nothing, the water is gone.

Mommy is nervous. We’re back at the house. She’s calling daddy I think. I can’t really hear what she’s saying. I’m on the floor playing with some toys; I wish I could have more water…

Now we’re in the car, leaving the beach and heading back to Lima. Mommy gives a big bottle of water for the trip. She says to drink it slowly.

We’re home, Mommy and Daddy are in their room, whispering, I know they’re talking about me. Mommy walks in my room and tells me to go to bed because tomorrow she’s taking me to the doctor. She kisses my forehead, draws a cross on it with her finger, tells me “I love you” and closes the door.

–Paloma Gensollen