Back to Kids' Voices Brook

Brook (left) and Leah, a friend from diabetes camp
Hi! My name is Brook. I live in Alabama and I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on October 12, 2000. I was 11 years old and in the 6th grade.

The first symptom to hit me was very blurry vision. I simply thought I needed glasses or contacts, and my parents just thought it was some new fad I was into and was making all of it up.

It all really started one day at school when I realized at lunch that I was thirstier than I usual was. I didn't really think anything of it because I had always been known to drink a lot of fluids and my dad was the same way so I didn't pay much attention. Instead, I went back and got two more cartons of chocolate milk. As soon as I got back into the classroom I had such a bad headache that I had to call my mom and tell her to come and get me and take me home.

I wasn't one to get sick much, so I just took it easy, thinking I could rest it out. By the end of the 2nd day of being sick, all I had done was sleep, pee, and drink....literally. Still, I didn't take it that seriously....I mean I hadn't thrown up at all, but I had lost about 12 pounds in 3 days.

On the 3rd day, I had missed so much school, and I hated missing, so I thought I would get up and try to go to school. My mom asked me what I wanted for breakfast and I replied with a simple, "Pancakes." Now, if you're diabetic you know that pancakes with syrup is the last thing you should be eating. My mom made the pancakes but I was so weak I couldn't get up, so I just slept in, again.

I woke up at about 9:00 and went into the kitchen thinking I would try to eat some breakfast. Well, I buttered up the pancake and covered it in regular syrup; took one bite, spit it back out, and went back to bed. My mom came back downstairs and saw that I had tried to eat. She was worried and wasn't sure what was wrong, so she called the doctor's office and told them that she was bringing me in. She told me to get up and get ready to go to the doctor; I barely woke up enough to walk outside and get in the car.

We arrived at the doctor's....they took me back into the lab, checked my sugar, and made me take to a urine sample. Finally, they came out and told my mom that I definitely had diabetes and I needed to be admitted into the hospital ASAP; my blood sugar was already over 800 and I had large ketones.

I didn't even know what diabetes was and didn't know what to expect, until I had about 3 different nurses around me trying to stick about 3 different needles in me at the same time, while 3 more nurses were trying to hold me down. I was in the hospital for almost 3 full days while I had diabetes educators coming in teaching me how to care of myself. Still, I was young; I had no clue what kind of journey was ahead of me.

Today, I'm 16 years old and have been living with juvenile diabetes for almost 5 years now. I have great doctors who give me room to grow and are very open to different options. I have been on the Animas Insulin pump for over 2 years now and it is the best thing that has ever happened to my diabetes; although it can be dangerous at times.

In the summer of 2001, I was admitted into the Special Care Unit at Birmingham Children's Hospital for diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. I'm proud to say, I haven't been back since.

There are many things and people that have helped my cope with my diabetes and learn to take better care of myself. I've been going to a diabetes camp in Jackson's Gap, Alabama; Camp Seale Harris. I've been going there for as long as I was able to (5 years) and this year I won't be only a camper, but also a Counselor-In-Training....learning how to take care of other children with diabetes, so I can help them learn. As soon, as you learn that diabetes is not a disability, but more of a chance for you to learn won't seem that bad. I promise.

If you would like to talk to me, I would love it! I love talking with other people who have diabetes and sharing experiences. You can e-mail me/add me on MSN at brooklynb_14 AT or add me to AIM: screen name - cshchick04.

Published April 24, 2005

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Last Updated: Tuesday April 26, 2005 14:08:46
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