My Sisters Story Part 1 This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 25, 2010
I'm in this room. It has no windows and the walls are closing in. I feel like this is my fault. I put myself here because I wasn't doing things right. I'm laying in a bed with a gown that's opened in the back. Nurses keep walking in and out, checking my vitals, and registering me into the hospital. The one doctor tells my step-dad they might have to send me to Pittsburgh because they don't normally admit juvenile diabetics to the ICU. I'm laying there thinking to myself. "The ICU? Great!" I know what's wrong with myself. I woke up this morning at 7 a.m. feeling great, and happy. I don't normally get up then, so I was surprised I did. I took my sugar, and it was high. Not un-normal lately. Because of stress, and illness, I just continued taking care of myself like normal. (Which wasn't really the same as before we all later found out.) I go into the kitchen and get my breakfast, which is cinnamon crunch cereal, which happened to be my favorite cereal. I then took some insulin, (my medicine that keeps me alive). After I was done eating, I returned to my room to lay down. I felt very, very tired. I fell into a half-sleep, and listened as my younger sister Kara, and younger brother A.J. got up for school. (Because I'm home schooled, I wake up a little later.) Then listened as my step-dad got up for work. I fell asleep until they left which was about 7:45 a.m. Then my stomach started this weird rampage against me. It didn't hurt at all. It just felt very weird. Then I close my eyes and lean over my bed.

I open my eyes to my breakfast laying on my floor in front of my bed. My body was filled with a sheen layer of sweat, my heart was pounding faster than normal, my head felt dizzy, and I was shaking. I ran to the bathroom just in time to lose the last of my breakfast. I brushed my teeth, and soaked my face on a cold wash rag. I happened to glance in the mirror. I was pale. The only color coming from my rosy cheeks. I had dark circles under my eyes. I looked lifeless. I went upstairs to let my mom know that I had gotten sick. She told me to lay on the couch, since that's what we do when we're sick in the house. She also told me to drink some water. So I returned downstairs. Now by this time, I'm back to normal. I'm feeling a lot better. So I grab my blanket and pillow and lay down on the couch. Just to be safe, I grab the bucket also. As I grab my water, and gulp it down, I lay down, and slowly doze off again. I awake at 9:35 a.m. to the same weird feeling in my stomach. I slowly roll onto the floor, just as the water I drank comes right back up. Again I'm sweating, shaking, and dizzy. 'Do I have the flu?' I think to myself. I called my step-dad and let him know that I was getting sick, and asked for him to pick up some saltine crackers, thinking maybe I could eat those. The reason I was worried about food, is because of me being diabetic, I need food in my body, even being sick. When he said we had some upstairs, I went to let my mom know that I wasn't able to keep anything down. We both returned downstairs, to where I emptied my bucket, and returned to the couch. Mom started her day off by getting breakfast, then booting up her laptop. She was watching the weather reports. I'm laying there, and I doze off again. It's 10:17 a.m.

I wake up slowly, as if coming out of a bubble. This is weird. I feel completely worthless. My arms hurt, my head hurts, and my stomach is weird again. My mom looks at me. "What's wrong Stephanie?" She asks. "I'm going to throw up." I say. Sure enough I'm on the floor in seconds. My body is shaking, I'm once again full of sweat, and dizzy. I start to dry heave. There's nothing left for my body to get rid of. My stomach is clenching as I continue to dry heave. I feel terrible. My mom leaves the room because the sight is making her sick. Once I'm done with the dry heave spell, she comes back into the room, and automatically goes for the phone. She calls my doctors office, and tells the nurse what's going on. "Hi, my daughter Stephanie has been getting sick since this morning. She can't keep food or liquids down, and she's even dry heaving. It's every hour she either throws up or dry heaves. Plus she's diabetic, and I'm not sure what to do." She listens and goes, "Right. It might be a stomach bug, something we definitely don't need. She hasn't had the flu since she was young." She listens even more. Then she says, "Okay, and if she isn't better by then should I call back, or take her to the ER?" Then she hangs up after the reply. She goes, "Steph, they want me to give you water in four hours, and if you're not better, they said to call back." I'm laying there thinking, "Four hours? No! I'm thirsty!!" Then she goes, "Your doctor isn't even in town, so they can't ask her about it." I fall back asleep, and wake up once again to dry heave around 12:15 p.m. I lay back down and fall asleep.

I wake up to my step-dad coming home from work to eat lunch. It's going on 12:45 p.m. He's actually a little early. He asks me how I'm feeling, and I reply, "Crappy." Mom and him go into the kitchen to start making their lunches, and mom gives him the updates on how I'm doing, and what the nurse said to do. He asks how my sugars are, and my mom had a thought. "Hey, Steph, can you check your ketones for me please?"

For those of you who don't know,


Ketones are produced when your body starts burning fat for energy instead of glucose.

Dangerously high levels of ketones can lead to diabetic coma or death.

Know the warning signs and check urine for ketones, especially when sick.





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