Michael's Story (with help from Mom and Dad)
My name is Michael. I was 3.5 years old when first diagnosed with diabetes and have had it for two years now. It happened just before Christmas. I'd had several colds throughout the fall, and had become increasingly thirsty. My Mom and Dad were starting to get concerned, not only because of the increased thirst, but also the weight loss, increased appetite, and tiredness. I wasn't responding well for my age. My Mom knows another boy who was diagnosed with diabetes when he was four... and these symptoms sounded frighteningly similar. When she found me desperately trying to suck water out of a dripping tap, she called the doctor and got me an appointment right away.
It started out easy, the nurse wanted to test my urine.... when she came back, everyone got real upset! She then had to do a blood test (three times to get enough blood!) I just screamed. I thought my Mom was crying because I had to get my finger picked... little did I know. We went to St. Josephs Hospital and it seemed like all they did was give me needles. I thought I'd really done something bad because everyone was hurting me, but Mom and Dad kept telling me I was really good, and so very brave! I was in the hospital for eight days, and things gradually got better. When Mom & Dad had to learn about diabetes, I got to go play Captain Novolin on Supernintendo. (When are they going to come up with a computer version??) The Child Life workers had all kinds of fun games like painting with syringes, giving needles to their dolls, and lots of great stories.
I now go to see Dr. Vandermuellen at McMaster University Medical Centre and besides overcoming many day-to-day challenges with this disease, I am starting to give my own needles (with lots of help from Mom and Dad). I also go to play with Beth, the Child Life worker at McMaster (who is the absolute most awesome person alive), and can now beat Peggy (who does my blood work) at Captain Novolin. I have an older brother (Bryan), and a younger brother (Evan), and love playing hockey, baseball, soccer, reading, and going swimming. I especially love e-mailing all my new penpals. It's great talking to other kids with diabetes (I'm the only one in my school!)
Diabetes is a way of life for my entire family, as we all eat the same, snack the same and as a result, have never been healthier. Most importantly, we've met some wonderful people, have a new love and appreciation for life, and through our many visits to the hospital, have come to realize that it could have been much worse!! Keep smiling... (I sure do!) and please if you need a friend, or want to talk about diabetes, just e-mail me at michaelh[@]childrenwithdiabetes.com.
Last Updated: Sunday December 05, 2004 11:15:56
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