My daughter constantly complained of stomach aches. I remember her breath being so strong when she woke up in the mornings…and I used to think to myself, she has really strong breath for a child… She had a lot of sore throats and seemed to be sick all the time. It was getting to the point where she was seldom feeling well, she picked up every virus or flu going around. One day I pulled into the parking lot of her school and again she said I can’t do it, my stomach hurts so bad. Sick again and throwing up in the car and at the pediatricians office, I told the doctor, we have to do something, her stomach hurts all the time…I need to get some further tests. I tried looking at her diet, she didn’t do well with milk and sometimes thought her stomach aches were from too much bread or pasta… I thought perhaps she intolerant to milk products or gluten…I started watching her diet and gave her a gluten free no milk diet. It seemed to be working. In the meantime I was waiting to see a specialist for her stomach aches. We went to that appt. and I told the doctor about the diet I had her on and she seemed a little better. He told me I had to add all of those things back to her diet. They would check her for Celiac, an allergy to gluten that destroys the silia on the intestine wall that helps us absorb nutrients. Reluctantly, I added all the foods back to her diet…they performed the endoscopy but the only result was acid reflux. They gave me a very expensive prescription and we tried that and many other antacids…a few weeks later Olivia began getting up at night to pee like five times in one night. She got a yeast infection and kept needing to pee. One dinner she kept drinking and asking for more to drink…later that night she said, Mommy, my whole body hurts. At this point, my husband and I were so frustrated. He started looking for her symptoms on the Internet. He printed off diabetes and called a relative that has type I and he asked her what she thought. She told me to go get ketosis strips and test her urine. I got the strips and tested her, the color was not on the bottle so I called her back and told her…the color should be a dark mauve for positive result. Olivia’s was a black purple…my sister-n-law said to me in a serious tone, you get that baby to the emergency room. We immediately took her in and they took her right away by that time her sugar was 700 and she was feeling really bad. We didn’t have a clue what diabetes was. I thought they would send me to the pediatrician the next day and we would get some medicine to clear it up. The nurse said, oh no your going to be transported to the University of Maryland and you will be there for a few days. I was shocked. A mother always knows when something is wrong with her child. Its like something tells you deep down, something isnt right. It took a while to figure out but we found the problem and began the very difficult early journey of Type I diabetes…the honeymoon…pricking, pen needles, crying, testing in the middle of the night…afraid when she went to sleep if she would be okay…fearing I won’t be there if she goes too high or too low…then we got the pump and although exciting, a whole new thing to learn after just learning one way we had to learn another. Adjusting to diabetes in the beginning is very difficult. It is the stage I believe families with children need the most sensitive, caring and patient care from a medical team. Those first few days in a a hospital are the toughest. I wish I could say my experience was all that. It wasn’t my husband and I argued in the hospital, it was stressful and frustrating and then they hand you the needle and you have to give your child the shot…not an easy time…But like many hard things in life time goes by, and after a while, it gets a bit better to deal with…Overall, our daughter is doing well and we are so proud of her. She has handled her diabetes like a champ. And I remember her being angry about her diabetes…she wrote in her journal how some kids at school would only want to be her friend because of her diabetes. They wanted to seeker lunch and what I had written down for carbs. At first she was the only one in her school with diabetes…she felt so different and it hurt her feelings. A party would be held in her class and the teacher would withhold the treats from her. There are a lot of difficult days in the beginning…you have to educate those around you. Just like I was clueless about diabetes, so are many teachers and friends. It is our job to help people understand and make our Childs world a safe and nurturing place. The upside of diabetes is they can do and be anything they want, there is nothing holding them back…just pack the snacks!
For Eric, it was the thirst & urination. He was only a baby, not quite 18 months, but he was absolutely flooding his diapers. He’d go through 2 a night and still soak the bed. From that, I knew that something was very, very wrong. He was so cranky and fussy, which was just unlike him, even when he was teething. In fact, I even suspected the diagnosis, but I thought I was overreacting, being a “worry wart” or “paranoid” – my internet search said that symptom could be diabetes, or a UTI, or just an offshoot of being dehydrated and overcompensating. It wasn’t till his daycare provider said she saw the same problem during the day that I knew for sure – about 2 weeks after my suspicions started to crystallize – and I called the pediatrician for an appointment the minute we got off the phone. He, thankfully, is a very smart and caring man who took my concerns seriously, and put us into the hands of the best pediatric endocrinologist in the state the minute he saw the test results. And so it goes.
I am not a parent. But I was diagnosed at 14, sort of late, from what I have heard. I remember my diagnosis vividly. I started highschool on september 9th 2005, and was of course terrified. To add to this, I began feeling weak, and thirsty, I was also going to the washroom constantly. I drank every possible fluid I could get my hands on, and yet still felt a horrible thirst no matter what. I remeber one day in gym class we were running outside, and I could not for the life of me keep up with the rest of my class, I kept falling behind. This made me so angry because up until that point I had always been a really good runner, and always won ribbons in elementary track. I also began to lose weight, I went from 120 lbs. to about 110 in about a week at this point. I remeber walking to the car after school one day and getting in the car and breaking down crying telling my mom that I couldn’t do it anymore. I felt like my body was slowly giving up on me. At around this time my mom started noticing crystals in the sides of the toilet bowl, and from that point she knew, we had once had a diabetic cat, and this was a symptom the vet told us about. I went to the doctors the next day, and he sent me right away for blood work. On October 5th 2005, we got a call from the doctors office saying that my sugar was 33.9 or 610 after a 12 hour fast! As we drove to the doctors office my mom and I were both silent. I did not know everything that came with diabetes, but I knew it was not good. When I got to the hospital we went straight to the childrens ward, where I was admitted. I was in the hospital for 8 days. My weight upon admission was 87 lbs. The doctor told me that had I had gone on without medical care for even a day more I would have suffered a massive seizure that could have killed me. When I had my first dose of insulin, within about 15 minutes, I felt amazing! I was walking down the hall, and I could lift my feet up when I walked, I could see the sign at the end
Club 1 knows no limits. Nothing about childhood diabetes from me, nope. I was dx’ed at 52.
I just read your blog and the tears of rolling down my face. I know exactly how you feel, how you felt, etc…Being scared, worried constantly. No One Gets this Illness… Until you walk the walk, people don’t understand that it is an autoimmune disorder. It is not from something you eat, or what you eat etc…I have so much to share and still soooo much to learn. Even with a medical background, it still is difficult…especially to poke your own child…