Back to Kids' Voices Emmanuel

My name is Emmanuel and I was diagnosed on September 28, 2004, one week after my second birthday. It was at a well check-up and we had no idea our world was about to be changed forever. Dad took me to see my pediatrician and, even though my mom in an RN, she did not suspect anything. I had been drinking a lot of water, but so were my brother and sister because we are from Miami and we were swimming every day.

The doctor always takes a urine sample and this one showed ketones. He asked my dad what I had eaten for breakfast and dad told him cereal, like every day. They then checked my blood glucose level and it was in the 600s. My dad immediately called my mom who said, "Oh my God, he's diabetic" and rushed over to the pediatrician's office. Immediately, they started giving me water and the doctor said he couldn't believe how good I looked; I was laughing and playing with my brother. We were referred to an endocrinologist just a block away and he saw us right away. We were then sent to the hospital where my mom worked for the last seven years and everyone recognized us. The staff sent me a stuffed animal and balloons. I never even needed an I.V. We stayed hospitalized for two days until my dad could show the doctor he could inject me as well as my mom. The doctor gave my dad great advice, "Even though your wife is a nurse, Emmanuel has to see that you are both involved in his care." Since then, we are a diabetic family. My seven year old sister, Diana, knows how to check me and my five year old brother, Alfonso, can tell when I am low because I become difficult to deal with. I have hit him and, once, even bit him when I was really low, so he tells my parents. I am lucky because my family is always looking out for me.

My parents tried to put me in day care, but it was really hard for my mom to leave me in the care of a teacher who has 12 other children to look after, so mom started a part time job and she works opposite shifts from my dad. I am always with one of them and, even with that, I have been as low as 24 and as high as 500. I have fainted twice and I have needed glucose gel. My parents say they are glad they have not had to use glucagon and that they have not seen me seize. They have practiced in case this ever happens, but they pray every day that they never have to.

After my mom started reading as much as possible about this disease, she decided she wanted to try the pump and she convinced our endocrinologist who, at first, was a little reluctant. I have been on the pump for three months and I have seen a decrease in the number of lows. I also have more freedom, which has been especially nice at birthday parties and holidays! It is not a cure and it takes a lot of work. I have not gone swimming since the pump, but I hope to as soon as summer starts.

We pray for all children with diabetes, especially for children from other countries. This summer, we went to Colombia, South America where my uncle, who is a pediatrician, told us children with diabetes donít usually check themselves often because the machines and strips are so expensive. Most children end up hospitalized often because there is such little access to supplies.

If you wish to write to me or my family, you can write to tatianarn AT

Published January 21, 2006


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Last Updated: Saturday January 21, 2006 17:09:08
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