Coffee County
Not Feature Story
My Courage
By Jesse Thompson

On June 23, 2002 my life changed forever. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I was only 3 and my 4th birthday was next month. I went to the local emergency room when my mom had a "mom feeling" that something was wrong after I had been up all night drinking and wetting my clothes and my bed. The doctors there were great, but I was scared. The nurses were the best. One of my nurses, Lisa, saw how frightened I was and she gave me a real Indian arrowhead she had in her pocket. I still have that arrowhead and when I feel scared or uncertain I hold it and it reminds me of what I have been through and what I can still overcome. Thank you, Lisa. The doctor told my mom and dad that I would have to go by ambulance to Children's Hospital in Birmingham immediately. My mom started to cry. My Pepa rode in the ambulance with me to Birmingham. I love my Pepa, he is my best friend. My brother stayed at home with my Mema. My mom, dad, Pepa and I stayed at Children's Hospital for almost a week. While my mom and dad were learning how to take care of me, my Pepa was riding me around the halls of the hospital in a little red wagon. That was fun!!!

Children's Hospital is a great place. When I got to Children's on the ambulance, the doctors and nurses took real good care of me and my family. They reassured my mom and dad that they would help us to understand type 1 diabetes and how to deal with what's ahead. And that's just what they did. The diabetes educators and dieticians were great in teaching my mom and dad how to give shots and count carbs and so much other stuff. They are still helping us as I grow. I go to Children's now for return visits and I am not that scared anymore. Thanks Children's.