Back to Kids' Voices Rachel and Sarah

Rachel's Photo

Rachel's View (with help from Dad)

I had been sick for a couple of weeks with a really bad flu virus, but so had the rest of the family. It seemed strange that everyone else got better but I seemed to just not quite recover. It started with a little loss of appetite, but then, I was just getting over the flu. My ballet teacher said I was slimming out nicely. My baby-sitter said I was a thirsty fish. Mom and Dad kept a close eye on me hoping the flu wasn't going to come back. My sister had it for about three weeks with a few days off in the middle. Then I guess I just went over the edge....

It was Thursday and I just couldn't get enough to drink and I didn't really want to eat. The bathroom became my best friend. Mom and Dad had a chat and I would likely see the doctor in the morning. If I thought I was thirsty on Thursday, boy that was nothing like Friday. I think Mom and Dad knew even before I went to the doctors. Dad phoned the doctor and said that he thought I should be seen immediately because I had all the classic symptoms of diabetes.

At the doctors, I filled a little cup in the bathroom and soon the doctor was in the room telling us he was making an appointment at McMaster University Medical Center where there is great Diabetes Clinic. I wasn't too worried about going to the hospital because Mommy works there in the Neonatal unit and I like to go see her work with the babies. This was going to be different. The worst part was when the nurses came to take my blood. I think they could hear me at home. When you are four you can cry if you need to. Dr. Van Der Muellen came after lots of nurses and other doctors had seen me. He was very nice. I think he must be since he sees a lot of kids like me. They took me up to the pediatric ward for only one night. Daddy stayed with me on a little cot beside my bed and Mommy took good care of my sister Sarah and my little brother Myles at home. The next day I felt a whole lot better and I didn't need to go to the bathroom as much. Wheeww!! That was the beginning of life for me as a diabetic.

Things have changed for me, but not too much. I don't like people giving me needles so I learned to give my own just before my fifth birthday. I still hate doing my finger pokes for my blood tests so I let someone else do those for me. They happen too quick and I can't do them slowly like my needles. I still do my ballet and take my swimming lessons and even went wilderness camping for six days last summer. Mom's pretty handy with IVs and stuff so we just take along some extra equipment. I just need to be prepared ( so do Mom and Dad) for whatever might happen. I follow more of a schedule than before but even a schedule can fit my life if I prepare for it.

Diabetes may think I have to live with it but I think that it has to live with me. It is still my life such as God has given me and even though I may have to pay attention to what the diabetes says, it doesn't have to have the last say in everything. Thanks to all the doctors and many others that devote much of their lives to helping out, someday the voice that was a shout when first heard will be no more than a whisper remembered from the past.

Sarah's Photo

Sarah's View

When I found out that my sister had diabetes, I thought she was going to die. My mom told me that it was going to be o.k. and there was nothing to worry about. I cried. I wanted my sister to come home to be with me. When Rachel came home I found out there was going to be lots I would need to learn.

My sister has had diabetes for less than one year. If I go shopping and I want some candy, sometimes I can have it and sometimes I can't. I don't really like watching Rachel give her needles because it feels like I am getting a needle too! I don't like getting needles!

Lots of things have changed in my life, like I try not to eat candies in front of Rachel and we don't have as much candy in the house anymore. But that is O.K.

Rachel is in kindergarten and I am in grade 3 so at lunch time I go to her class and do her blood test for her. She doesn't like to poke her finger. If I am away, my friend Stephanie does Rachel's poke for her. We are a team!

At Easter and Halloween we have to collect the candy, then we put the candy away in the cupboard. We can't have to many to eat. Rachel gets to trade some of hers for movies and stuff. I get to put some in my lunchbag sometimes. On her birthday she gets a small piece of cake and mom makes special icing with cream cheese and stuff. It's really good. Rachel gets treats on special occasions. She can sometimes have a candy if she trades a fruit for it or if she is starting to get low.

The good thing about having a sister with diabetes is that we don't eat a lot of candy. The bad thing is I still want to. It has also been great to learn to do new things like take Rachel's blood tests. I even tried one on me and I am learning to help with her injections. She does all her needles by herself but needs help drawing up the insulin.

I am going to go for some tests with mom and dad soon that may help in some new research. They are going to take some blood for testing so I guess I get to find out what Rachel has to go through too. I hope we can find a cure soon.

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Last Updated: Sunday December 05, 2004 11:15:54
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