By Ann M. Martin. Published April 1991.
So, Stacey’s not doing so well. She’s tired, hungry and thirsty a lot, and has been getting funny numbers on her blood sugar checks. But she doesn’t want to worry her mom, so she hasn’t said anything. Stacey. Not so mature. This is also the first time she’s been referred to as a brittle diabetic. Apparently, three in every 1000 people with type 1 diabetes are brittle diabetics. So Stacey’s supa special, y’all.
She’s also currently feeling put in the middle with her parents. So that sucks.
She does at least talk to Dr. Johanssen at the end of her sitting job with Charlotte. She recommends checking with her New York doctor, and Stacey agrees to that. So that’s good. But then she “conveniently” forgets to call her.
And THEN, she steals some Ring Dings from Claudia’s room. Stacey. Honestly.
One night, Stacey’s home alone when her dad calls. He’s confirming their plans for the weekend, which is a New York one for Stacey. He’s got a shit ton of plans. Stacey’s not really feeling up to it all, but she doesn’t really have a choice. Then her dad asks where her mom is. Stacey tells him she’s over at the Pikes’, and he gets really fucking weird about it, wanting to know why she left Stacey alone, and what she’s doing. Umm, not really your business, there, Ed.
Later, Stacey eats an entire chocolate bar.
Stacey sits for Charlotte again, and she invites Becca over to make fudge. They pretend they’re galaxy-famous chefs, and they’re cooking in space. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s pretty cute. And it matches the cover! Yay! When they’re done, Stacey sneaks a couple of pieces into her purse.
That night, Stacey hears her parents arguing on the phone. Her mom tells him to stop spoiling Stacey so much, and she needs a quiet weekend. He doesn’t listen though, and says she’s just jealous he can do all that for Stacey.
Stacey is looking forward to all the time she’ll have on the train. She’s majorly behind with her schoolwork, and she’s hoping to get caught up with it. But, she falls asleep. And then she’s so thirsty, she goes to the bathroom and drinks from the faucet six times. And she needs a large soda as soon as she gets to New York. Her dad fortunately sees that she’s not feeling great, and decides they’ll stay in for dinner. She goes to bed early, but keeps getting up during the night for more water. By the next morning, her dad’s worried, and they go to the hospital.
Claudia is sitting for Charlotte, when Stacey’s mom calls here there to tell her that Stacey’s in the hospital. Which is kinda weird, ok. Then Claudia has to tell Charlotte, who falls apart, of course. But then they make a care package for Stacey, and that’s sweet.
Stacey’s mom arrives at the hospital the next day (there were no more trains the night before) and she and Stacey’s dad can’t stand to be in the same room together. It’s a bit ridiculous. But later on, Laine shows up, bearing gifts, and she cheers Stacey up.
Stacey gets in to a sort of routine at the hospital. She gets up early everyday, gets dressed in regular clothes, and works on her schoolwork. With lots of interruptions from nurses and doctors. She’s feeling better, but they’re still working to stabilize her. On the fourth day, she gets a call from the whole BSC. Then she calls Charlotte, who is super excited to hear from her, but has about a thousand worries.
And she’s become a hypochondriac. When Dawn sits for Charlotte, she thinks she has a pinched nerve, an ulcer, diabetes, and possibly anemia. Her parents aren’t too worried though. They’re just being patient with her, letting her be in contact with Stacey as much as she wants.
One day, Stacey wakes up feeling like shit again, so she stays in bed. Her mom comes, and Stacey wonders why her dad is rarely there. Her mom says he has a hard time seeing her sick. Stacey calls him selfish, and gets in trouble for that. Then her mom explains they have a hard time being in the same room together. So Stacey just feels worse. But Laine shows up after school, and brings Stacey a mirror that laughs when you look into it. And that night, her doctor tells her they’re going to hook her up to an IV, so she’ll have constant insulin.
On Saturday, the older BSC girls turn up as a surprise. They have cards, presents, and gossip (including Cokie Mason’s nose job) for Stacey. But soon enough, Stacey starts feeling funny, and a nurse comes in and shuts off her insulin IV. She tells her her blood sugar is dropping. Her mother and her doctor come in, and kick her friends out. They’re really scared. So after a frantic day, the doctor finally settles on a mixture of her old insulin and a new kind. Stacey asks if her friends can come back, but they had to get back to Stoneybrook. Then Stacey asks if her mom can stay while her dad’s there that evening. It’s really important to her.
So they’re there together. And it’s a disaster. It takes about fifteen minutes for them to get into a fight. It pisses me off, and Stacey, too. She eventually yells at them to shut up, and asks them to leave, and to not come back the next day. She says she needs time to think. Her parents agree that they do too. So they leave, but not without saying something about her talking to them that way.
Then Stacey calls Claudia, and asks if they can all come back the next day. So they do, along with Laine, and they have fun, opening all the presents. It keeps Stacey’s mind off her parents.
Later than week, Mary Anne is sitting for Charlotte (seriously, I like her parents, but are they ever home?), and her litany of complaints this time include Lyme disease, arthritis, a kidney infection, and strep throat. Claudia calls, with great news. Stacey will be home that weekend. All of a sudden Charlotte is feeling better, and they start planning a small, quiet party to welcome her home.
Of course, for the BSC, small and quiet means the entire club plus about ten kids. Whatever, Stacey’s happy to see them, of course. But she gets tired pretty quickly, so they break it up. Claudia stays for a while though, and they talk on Stacey’s bed.
Later, she has a serious talk with her mother. She apologizes for the way she’s been acting, but tells her she’s not going to be acting as the monkey in the middle between her and her father anymore. Her mom says that’s fair. Then Stacey admits to sneaking so many snacks, and starts to cry. But her mom assures her that that didn’t do it; she was feeling badly before that. So it’s all good. And then she goes to call her father, to have a talk with him, as well. Lay the smackdown, Stacey.
o Mal and Jessi are making Cootie Catchers during a meeting. Stacey tries to explain it, but gives up; it’s too difficult. Now I kinda want to make one.
o So this is the conclusion of a buildup through MANY prior books, with all of them hinting that Stacey’s been tired and looking badly lately. It’s about damn time we got a payoff.