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  1. Jem and his mummy were sitting in the car in the doctor's car park. Jem's mummy was crying and Jem was feeling a little unsure about what was going on.

    The doctor had said that Jem had something wrong with him and that he wasn't allowed to eat sugar any more. Even worse, he was going to have to have some injections and make his finger bleed all the time too. Jem had had a go at the finger thing in the doctor's office and it really hurt quite a lot. He hoped he wouldn't have to do it for too much longer and hoped he'd get better soon.

    The doctor had also said that Jem would have to go to the hospital for a few days. Jem didn't know why. He thought hospital was for poorly people and he didn't really feel poorly at all. But Jem's mummy had also said that he should go to the hospital - and she was crying - so Jem thought it was probably best to do what she said. He didn't want to make her even more upset than she already was, and suspected it might be his fault she was crying which made him feel bad and guilty.

    Jem's mummy had managed to stop crying after he had given her a bit of a cuddle and they set off for the hospital. Jem's mummy said that Jem's daddy would meet them there and Jem was looking forward to that: Jem's daddy normally worked a lot so it would be fun to see him in the daytime. During the drive Jem tried to find out from his mummy what would happen next but she didn't seem to know and it made her start crying again, so he stopped asking. Instead, he looked out of the window and remembered about the ancient Egyptians project. He thought this probably wasn't the ideal time to tell his mummy about it so he planned to tell her about it after the hospital.

    The hospital was big and white and smelled a bit like a swimming pool. There were lots of people who were walking around and looking very busy. There were also lots of other people in coats sitting around. They looked like they were all waiting for something and Jem wondered what that might be. He didn't have time to work it out before they got to a big colourful door with some jungle animals on it. Jem's mummy pushed a button next to the door and a nice-looking lady in a blue uniform came to let them in.

    She was called Sarah and she explained that this was a special area for children. Jem liked the look of it. There were lots of comfy-looking beds and things to play with and tellys on the walls. Jem also liked the look of Sarah. She was round and smiley and had an upside-down watch on her uniform.

    Sarah took Jem over to a big comfy-looking bed and told him that he would be staying here for a while until they got everything sorted. Jem hoped it wouldn't take too long as The Simpsons was going to be on soon. Jem got up on the bed and laid down to test it. He thought it was actually quite comfy. Jem's mummy took off his shoes and coat and he laid back while she pulled up a chair beside him. Jem thought his mummy didn't look very well (she had very red eyes and a runny nose) and thought maybe she should be in the bed. Jem's daddy arrived and he cuddled Jem's mummy for a long time. Jem noticed he had red eyes too and wondered if it was catching.

    Over the next few hours Jem met lots of nice people who told him lots of things about diabetes and insulin and carbohydrates and blood and all sorts. They showed him strange machines that he would have to learn to use and took lots of blood out of his arm with a big needle (this was his least favourite part). It started to get very late, and after Jem had been given some food and another injection he was told that he was allowed to go to sleep, so he did.

    Jem didn't sleep well: people kept standing next to his bed and talking too loudly to his mummy and daddy. The even did the thing where they made his finger bleed. He was very cross about this but went back to sleep straight away every time.

    After a few days of similar treatment Jem got quite fed up of being in hospital. His mummy and daddy weren't always there and he felt a bit lonely. He was bored of the food and the toys and being poked and prodded by doctors. Finally, on the fifth day, the doctors said that Jem could go home.

    Jem was very glad that he was all better and didn't have to do the injections and make his fingers bleed any more. He was very glad that he wouldn't have to go to the hospital any more. He was glad too that his mummy would stop crying. In fact, he was extremely glad that the whole sorry mess was behind him. At last, he'd be able to tell his mummy all about the Ancient Egyptians project at school.

    When they got home and Jem went to the fridge for a snack his mummy stopped him and made him sit on the sofa. She opened a small black bag and took out the thing that had made his finger bleed in the hospital. Jem didn't understand. He looked at his mummy quizzically, and when she took the lid off and held it to his finger he began to cry.

    To be continued...
  2. Once upon a time, a small boy called Jem was feeling unwell. At night he would toss and turn in his bed and in the daytime he would mope around, feeling rather grumpy and drinking an awful lot of water. His head hurt and he was getting more than a little bit annoyed of going to the toilet all the time. He didn't understand what was happening, and certainly didn't think to speak to anyone about it. He decided to just ignore it and carry on with his sad little life.

    But Jem was only five and three quarters. He didn't know it, but he wasn't really the best person to be making these kind of decisions.

    Fortunately Jem's mummy was quite the observant owl. On a chilly Tuesday morning in February she watched from her perch at the breakfast table as Jeremy came back from his fifth wee that morning. She watched as he clambered back onto his chair and finished the rest of his second glass of juice. She watched as he pushed away the bowl of Cheerios and got down again to refill his glass. She watched him finish that glass too, and noticed how baggy his eyes had become, how skinny his little arms were and how slowly he was moving.

    Jem's mummy thought back a bit and thought about the changes she'd seen in him recently. She couldn't remember the last time he had been up in the mornings before her. She couldn't remember the last time he'd laughed or giggled or smiled. Furthermore, he sure did look a lot thinner than he used to, and it really wasn't like him not to finish his breakfast.

    Jem's mummy began to worry.

    Was he ill? What could it be? As a mother, she thought she'd read about everything under the sun that could go wrong with her precious little pumpkin. She thought she'd heard all the horror stories that had happened to people who knew someone's cousin's friend. She'd never heard of anything like this though.

    She decided to do something about it.

    When Jem got back from school that day (Timothy's mummy had dropped him off) he found his mummy in the kitchen. She was sitting at the table with very red eyes. On the table in front of her was a leaflet with a long word on the front that started with 'D'. Jem looked from the book to his mummy and asked her what was happening. At school they'd just finished their Ancient Egyptians project and he wanted to tell her all about it, but he felt that perhaps something important was about to happen.

    Jem's mummy sniffed and gathered him up in her arms (remarking internally how light he felt). She explained in a very calm and simple manner that they were going to go to the surgery to have a chat with nice Dr. Williams. Jem knew Dr. Williams quite well (although he thought of him as Nick) because Dr. Williams was one of mummy and daddy's friends who liked to come to their house to play cards and drink wine.

    While Jem's daddy stayed at home to look after Jem's little brother, Jem and his mummy got into the car and drove to the doctors' surgery. It wasn't far, but it seemed like quite a long way to Jem, because he was feeling a little bit nervous and quite a lot scared. You see, he knew something was wrong and he knew it had something to do with him, but no-one had told him the slightest bit about it yet. He hoped he would find out soon.

    Jem looked out of the window at the bare trees and damp grass. He remembered about the Ancient Egyptians project (in ancient Egypt there was not very much grass at all) and decided he'd tell his mummy all about it after the doctors.

    To be continued...
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