I was 7 years old, I was unwell not that I can remember. I was in Leongatha with my mother (a nurse) while she was caring for my Nanna who was dying of stomach cancer, I began sleeping alot and I lost my appetite. I didnt drink anymore than usual and I wasnt urinating all that much. My mum had a slight suspision that I wasnt well so she took me to the local doctor who diagnosed me as having gastro. My Mum at first believed this but when I wasnt better a week later she took me to another Doctor. This time I was just “stressed with the situation I was in” ( I was 7, I didnt know the situation I was in).
After several weeks of my mum taking me back and forth to the doctors all concluded those 2 diagnoses -stress or gastro. I soon turned 8 and my Nanna died a few days after. I still wasn’t well and my mother was still unhappy about the diagnosis the doctors had given.
We soon headed back home to Mildura, it was a long very hot trip and I slept all the way with my feet hanging out the window because it was so hot. I remember arriving home and the first thing my Mum did was ring our GP to arrange an appointment. She explained to them it was an emergency but the only appointment she could give us was for the following afternoon. That night I went to bed in my knickers and a singlet. I recall getting up during the night for a drink where I fell asleep in front of the wide open fridge. My Dad woke me and placed me back to bed. This is all I recall….
Several days later I woke from a coma. My Mum told me that she woke up during the middle of the night thinking something wasnt right. My mum was the first to find me. She called my Dad whom called an ambulance but since we lived 10 or so houses from the hospital, they said it would be quicker for my parents to bring me to the hospital. They left my 12 year old brother at home but let him know they wouldnt be too long. Once at the hospital my parents carried my lifeless body into A&E. My mum has explained to me its like watching something out of All Saints or ER. Tthe doctors sat my parents in a cubicle while they worked on me.
My mum remained calm, being a nurse helped she has told me, but my Dad broke. After about an hour the doctor went to speak to my parents and they explained I had diabetes.
My dad asked the most sensible and frighening question any parent could ask “will she be ok?” Then came the words from the doctor that basically shattered my Dad “If she makes it through the night we will be very lucky”. My dad broke, started crying, my mum had to remain strong for him. While my mum stayed with me my dad went home to collect my brother and drop him off at my Aunties place, my dad remained there for a while just sobbing. During my time in my coma I can recall events that happened like my brother drinking coke with my cousin. My mum didnt leave my bedside until the third day. While she was gone I woke. I recall looking at the ceiling wondering where I was. I started to cry a little I guess to let whoever know I was there and that I was awake. This all came unconsciously. The nurse quickly came over and explained to me I was in the ICU at the Mildura Base Hospital and that I was a diabetic. I didnt know what that meant and I guess I really didnt want to know.
I was sitting up when my Mum and Dad returned I still remember their faces, the biggest smile I have ever seen on them. I remained in the ICU for about a week where I remained on several IV lines, then I was taken to kids ward where I met some of the greatest nurses. They took care of me and I even developed a friendship with one of the nurses. I would only let him do my injections. He would come in on days of to give it to me and I am so thankful for the support the nurses gave me. I remained in Hospital for about a month where my parents learnt to give me injections and how to do my BSL’s. Mum was a breeze at it. Dad it took some getting used to and well my brother, I think was that excited he was learning to inject me, should have been locked up and moved as far away from me as possible (hehehe).
After I returned home I started grade 4 and it took some getting used to. I began counselling as I wouldnt accept I had diabetes. After several yeras I started to accept. Today I am full of acceptance. Two years ago I went and got the symbol for juvenile diabetes the Jelly Baby tattooed on my leg and today I am a nurse and am begining my career as a diabetes manager and I couldnt think of a better job.