My sweet 3.5 year old son, Jericho, has been increasing more and more thirsty the last few weeks and was going to the bathroom constantly. He also had some accidents and considering he has been potty trained for a year, my husband and I considered limiting his fluid intake. The night before I took Jericho into his doctor, the word diabetes popped in my head and I quickly looked up the symptoms. Although he had quite a few of the symptoms and I wanted to get him checked, I think there's always the hope in your mind that there's no way he could be diabetic. From what we knew, there was no history of diabetes on either side of the family.
The next morning, after a breakfast of french toast (completed with syrup of course), we made our way to the doctor. I told Jericho that he wasn't getting any shots because the best I knew, he would just be taking a urine test (boy did I have a lot to learn). After his urine test, they came back for a blood test and although he was only poked one time, they came back two times after that to continue to get samples. By then I was suspecting that there was a good chance he had diabetes. On the third time they came back to get more blood, they asked him and his brother Judah if they wanted a sugar free sucker. That was another sign to me that things weren't looking good. The doctor finally came back in and told me that Jericho's glucose levels were in the 300's and that it looked like "early onset diabetes" and that they were securing us a bed at the Children's Hospital and needed to go right now. At that point, I cried and mostly because I couldn't figure out why it was serious enough to go to the hospital and the other reason was because my husband was a couple of hours away and I had 3 children that were 3 and under to care for. I called a couple of friends and got their voicemail. One friend called back fairly quickly and came to the hospital to be with my younger two boys while I attended to Jericho.
The hospital stay was rough at the beginning as they drew more blood and put an IV in. Both of those were very difficult on a child who hates needles (I don't know anyone who loves needles I guess). They diagnosed him with Type 1 Diabetes and his levels were in the 600's from the blood they took at the hospital. His levels were that high because the pediatric nurse assigned to our room told us that Jericho could eat what he wanted and that we would just correct it with insulin. He had a few bites of an apple but then our friend came back with my other son who picked out orange juice so he also had juice before his blood draw. So basically, that day, Jericho had two of the foods/liquids that drive the blood sugar up the highest, juice and syrup. Oh, and I also forgot the ice cream social that was going on in the lobby of the floor of the hospital we were on. My friend also took him to that. Guess if he were going to be diagnosed as diabetic, he was going to go out with a bang!
We spent 1 night at the hospital while Jericho was rehydrated and while my husband and I learned the most we could in a 24 hour time period about diabetes. There was a lot they expected us to self learn through DVD's and books. That's the last thing we were wanting to do as we attended to our children's needs as well as tried to inform friends and family.
We have learned a lot this last week and feel a lot more comfortable with the blood draws, counting carbs and giving insulin. Although Jericho is still having a hard time with it all. He doesn't understand why we need to poke him and at one point during this past week, he said, "I don't like this game" and continued to say that as we take blood and give insulin. Oh Jericho, how we wished this were just a game.
While I'm so grateful that insulin exists and that Jericho can live a long and healthy life, I can't help but grieve our life as I knew it. No more just giving a sandwich at lunch and when the boys are hungry again, giving them some fruit snacks. I'd have to say that the biggest adjustment (other than all the pokes/shots and counting carbs) is that our meals must be planned, well balanced, and he must eat everything he wants at one sitting. That last one is tough for a toddler! We are learning our new normal for now. We do believe Jericho can be healed since we serve a God that we have seen heal of many diseases and aliments. Until we see the healing that we know God can give, we will treat with insulin and through diet.