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Douglas Hi! My name is Douglas. I'm 6 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 2.5 years old, the day before Mother's day 1996. I had gotten chicken pox in January. (My mom stopped counting using calamine lotion and a q-tip at 325!)

In March I got the Cox-Sackie virus from a friend at my baby-sitters. In April, every day at dinner time, I'd start misbehaving in a way that I never had before. Mom and Dad says it was like I'd turn into a different child. I got a of time-outs because it looked like I was having temper tantrums. Then I was having to go to the bathroom a lot. When I was at my baby-sitter's, I just wanted to lay on the couch and watch my friends play. My pediatrician thought that I was coming down with the flu.

The week before I was diagnosed, by dinner time, I couldn't walk across the floor without stumbling and sometimes falling down, and I was so sleepy. Sometimes I'd go to sleep. My mom kept calling the doctor, (who was an hour away), asking if she should bring me in. On Friday, more things were happening. Saturday morning I couldn't get enough to drink. From 7:30-11:00 I had drank almost 34oz., but had stopped having to go to the bathroom.

I had to go to the emergency room to have some blood work done because my doctor now thought I may have diabetes. My blood sugar level was 1195 and I had ketoacidiosis. I was having fun running up and down the sidewalk in a little area outside the hospital.They had to put an I. V. in my hand so that I could get some insulin.I didn't like it at first, but after awhile it was okay.I had to go to the intensive care unit. Right after I got in there, doctors and nurses came running back to my bed. My blood sugar had dropped from nearly 1,200 to 300 in only 30 minutes! I am very sensitive to insulin.

My mom called Grandma,and a prayer line was started that night. The doctor told my mom and dad that in the next 24 hours, they would know more.They had never seen a child with such a high blood sugar level. They said they would have expected me to be in a coma. I was in the hospital for six days. The hospital let my dad bring my motor cycle, and they let me ride it in the halls! THAT was so much fun!

I have brittle diabetes. It's like a roller coaster. My pancreas is still producing insulin. I have a lot of lows. Sometimes my number will be 300, I'll get 0.5 units of Humalog, and in 45 minutes I'll bottom out to 30 or 40. That doesn't feel good. This always happens at my P.M. dosage. I can stick to my A.M. sliding scale. It doesn't bottom me out like that.

I feel bad a lot of the time. I can have a good blood sugar level, (135-175), but I still have symptoms of hypoglycemia. One time I was really sleepy and I wanted to go to sleep. It was almost dinner time, so we checked my numbers and they were 173. Mom said that I could go to sleep for a few minutes. I was feeling fine. When she tried to wake me up 20 minutes later, I wouldn't wake up.When she finally got me to respond, I was having trouble walking. I was dizzy. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I started crying and screaming because she kept asking me where I was feeling bad. (I had been telling her that I didn't feel good). Mom knew by the way I was acting, and the way that I looked, that my blood sugar may be going low. She checked it again...169. Mom called the hospital to ask them what to do. They told her to call 911 because my monitor wasn't working. She had been trying to give me juice and finally got some into me. By the time that the ambulance came, I had already started to feel better. They did another blood sugar check, and we did another at the same time. Their monitor said 154, and mine said 159. Have you ever had this happen with you?

By the way, I have a grown up Sissy. Her real name is Nichole. She has a baby. His name is Jacob, and he is one year old. I'm his uncle! I live on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. (It's that little piece of land sticking out from Va.into the Atlantic Ocean!) I like to ride my jeep all over the yard, play with my trucks and cars, play station, and play baseball. I also like to help my mom with whatever she is doing...I don't mind working. One of my best friends, Tyler, came over Friday and spent the night. That was so much fun! There are no other kids where I live because we live in the country.

My mom says that Mother's Day 1996 was the best one ever because I was alive and getting better!

I'd like to talk with you if you'd like to talk to me. I don't know any other kids who have diabetes, and sometimes I feel different.

Douglas and his family receive e-mail at

Published January 16, 2000

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