Back to Kids' Voices Kristina

Photo Hi, my name is Kristina and I am eight years old. I found out I had diabetes the day after Christmas 1998. I was very sick. My mom had no idea what was going on. Since about the end of September 1998, I had been seen by many doctors for bladder infections and urinary track infections because of the water and liquids I was drinking, which was making me go to the bathroom. The doctors continued to ask if anyone in my family was diabetic and at that time we did not know My mom is divorced and we did not think about my father's family.

Anyway, my mom left me with my granddad on Christmas Eve so she could travel to North Carolina to go with her fiancÚ to get his son for his Christmas visitation. I was feeling sick, very sick, but I didn't say anything because I knew how much my mom's fiancÚ wanted her to go with him so he did not have to travel by himself. You should know he is my step dad now and is a lot of help to me. So they left me with my granddad.

Then on Christmas morning we woke up to open presents and I felt terrible. But I did not want to spoil the day. I was able to eat a little breakfast and was so thirsty I drank a whole 2-liter of Sprite by myself. About an hour later I felt myself breathing funny and my legs did not want to work. I cried I had to go to the bathroom but my legs would not take so my mom carried me. She became very worried about me and we decided to go to the emergency room about 5:45. By the time we got there I was no longer awake. I had gone into what they call ketoacidosis coma.

When I did wake up a few days later, I wasn't sure what my name was but I did know who my mom was. I began to realize I was in the hospital and I was told I had to be rushed to the children's hospital in Savannah, Georgia. I spent about two weeks in the hospital, then I was able to go home.

My life had changed though and I couldn't get used to the change. I hated everything. I was an apple and pear and carrot eater and now I had to watch how much I eat. It's okay now though, I have learned a lot about what I have and that I share a specialness that most kids don't have. We did find out though research that I have a cousin who is 26 years old who has diabetes and has had it since he was 7 years old, just like me. His mom, my dad's sister, had always thought it was just bad luck. It seems though that the first born of the children have all had diabetes about the age of 7. My cousin Heath and I are close now and we talk on the Internet all the time because he lives in Iowa.

I just want to say to all those who just found out they have diabetes, it gets easier and your friends at school will soon forget and treat you the same as before. I am in the third grade and my teacher is wonderful. She really makes me feel normal and special at the same time. I still have a lot to learn about my diabetes and hope to be able to do it all myself soon. I just wish I could eat when I want to eat and eat what I want to eat. But I am learning to like foods I didn't like before.

Published April 29, 2000

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