Eight-Year Old Tells Her Story


By: Erin Mawdsley

If you don’t know what diabetes is, I’ll explain to you what it is. Hi, my name is Erin. I’m eight years old, and I have diabetes. I can tell you what I have to do every day to keep myself healthy. Now I have to check my blood sugar four times a day, every day. And I also have to take shots. No, it’s not fun, but I have to.

I also can’t eat certain things with sugar in them, like doughnuts, brownies, cakes, cupcakes, fudge, and cookies, and I can’t have soda unless it’s diet. All the things I just named off, I would have to take a shot for.

Some things don’t have a lot of sugar. But it doesn’t really matter about the amount of sugar. What it really matters about is the amount of carbs. Okay, now for every 25 carbs I eat, I would have to take one unit of insulin. And if you don’t know what that is, I’ll put it this way: I would have to take a shot for it. And if my blood sugar is higher than 180, I would have to go take a shot.

At the beginning, you have to go to the doctor a lot. I did – one time I went to the doctor one week after the other. When you find out you have this chronic disease, go to the doctor right away. You will have to do a lot of tests. I’m not trying to scare you, but you would have to do a blood test. A blood test is where you lay your arm out flat, hold still, and they will draw blood. I know from experience it will hurt, but it will just hurt for a minute. And if you hold really still, it won’t hurt hardly at all.

There is something called a dietitian. You’ll have to go there at least once. When I went there, there was a special bag. She only had one left. When she was looking in her cabinet for something, she found it and gave it to me. It had lots of children’s books in it that were all about diabetes. And it even had a big stuffed teddy bear. They made it look like it had diabetes. Well, that’s what you have to do with diabetes.



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