It feels like it’s been so long since we had a Stacey book, and this one does not look like it’s going to turn out well for my queen. As we know from the heavy-handed foreshadowing in, like, the past eight books, Stacey’s been having a hard time managing her diabetes lately – she’s tired and gets light-headed easily. Now she tells us she’s also been getting blood sugar readings that aren’t quite right, and that she’s hungrier and thirstier than usual. Doctor Johanssen tells her to get this checked out ASAP because Stacey is a brittle diabetic and she’s under a lot of stress, so she can’t let her health get out of control.
At a BSC meeting, Stacey sneaks some Ring Dings out of Claud’s room – gasp! She’s just so hungry and the smell of chocolate was driving her crazy. She also has a chocolate bar stashed in her room, which she eats later that night – partly because she’s hungry and partly because she’s stress-eating, since her parents continue to use her as a pawn in their divorce antics. It’s like they’re trying to spy on each other and Queen Stacey is always in the middle. She hasn’t told her mom about her new health issues because her mom is already stressed about the divorce stuff and Stacey doesn’t want to add to that. Sophisticated and considerate; what can’t Stacey do?
When Stacey is sitting for Charlotte, Char and Becca Ramsey want to pretend to be chefs and make their “specialty” – chocolate fudge. Stacey says okay. And, of course, she ends up stashing a few pieces of fudge in her purse for later… Now Stacey’s off to New York to visit her dad for the weekend, and she is so tired that she falls asleep for an hour on the train, and so thirsty that she has to keep going to the bathroom and drinking faucet water (ew) since the train doesn’t have a snack car. When she meets her dad at Grand Central, she finally admits she’s not feeling well. When he hears her get up a million times in the night for water, he decides the time is now – the next morning they go to the hospital.
Claudia is sitting for Charlotte when Mrs. McGill calls and tells her that Stacey’s been hospitalized. Charlotte and Claudia both think that Stacey has been stabbed or murdered (because New York City) until Mrs. McGill explains about the diabetes. They are very worried. So is Mrs. McGill, who rushes to Stacey’s side the next day. Stacey is glad to have her parents with her but hates how awkward they are and that her mom is staying with Laine’s family and not at Mr. McGill’s apartment. (Speaking of Laine, she comes to visit Stacey and brings her gifts and messages from the BSC.)
Stacey’s a bit bored with hospital life, but she’s managing to catch up on her homework, and she gets a call from the BSC and a care package delivered from Charlotte. She calls Char to say thank you and gets peppered with a buuuunch of diabetes questions. Stacey can tell Charlotte is really worried about her. Dawn finds out the next day when she sits at the Johanssens’ that Charlotte has become a hypochondriac, listing a bunch of things she thinks she has and assuming that she’ll end up in the hospital like Stacey. According to Charlotte, she’s afflicted with a pinched nerve, an ulcer, diabetes, and anemia. Literally no one believes any of this.
Meanwhile, Stacey’s starting to feel awful again. One day she can’t even get out of bed and has to – ew – use a bedpan. She’s also annoyed that her parents can’t be in the same room together, so she doesn’t get to see her dad as much as she’d like. At least she gets visits from Laine, though… but then a bit of a bombshell from the doctor at the hospital. They’re going to try hooking Stacey up to an insulin IV and seeing how she does with it on a constant drip. Ugh, this is so unfair – Stacey is the glamorous and sophisticated one, and she has to be hooked up to an IV? Wouldn’t this be better suited for, say, Mary Anne or Mallory?
On Saturday morning, Stacey wakes up to the sounds of the elder statesmen of the BSC (Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Dawn) waltzing into her room with mail and presents. They inform her that Alan Gray got suspended and that Cokie got a nose job (seems totally natural for a thirteen-year-old…) and that Ross Brown (on whom Stacey has a crush) likes her. They’re having a fab time, but all of a sudden Stacey’s blood sugar starts dropping (even with the IV drip) and a nurse runs into the room and the doctor is paged and her mom runs in. The BSC is forced to leave. Finally the doctor decides Stacey will have to start injecting a mixture of two types of insulin. And Stacey begs her parents to stay in the same room with her for just one night.
They agree to both sit and talk with her, but it goes downhill fast. They bicker about everything, even with their daughter between them in a hospital bed. Eventually she kicks them both out because she can’t deal with their bullshit and she needs to put herself first. (You do you, girl.) Luckily, the BSC and Laine are able to come back the next day and visit. It’s a fun visit, and then Stacey finds out she can go home the next weekend – which suddenly cures Charlotte of all her “illnesses.” Charlotte has an idea to have a small “We’re glad you’re home, Stacey” gathering, so when Stacey arrives in her driveway in Stoneybrook there’s a big banner, the BSC, and some favorite charges. And lemonade, if that kind of thing is important to you. That night, Stacey finally tells her mother (and later, her father on the phone) that she is not going to be in the middle of their shit anymore. HUZZAH! #TeamStacey