There are many different stories I could tell. Some don't end as well as ours but these are the details that led up to my son’s diagnosis and our experience with the hope that spreading awareness can save lives! That’s right, save LIVES! Type 1 is deadly and if left untreated for too long result in something that would haunt you for the rest of your life.
Hayden was in kindergarten at the time and was always getting sick. Cold after cold, sinus infections, stomach issues. We took him to the doctor countless times and would be given antibiotics and he’d start to get a little better and then relapse. To say he was using the restroom constantly is an understatement. This kid would go 13 times before bed! I would stand by the door and listen to make sure he was actually going and I seriously couldn’t believe he was! We thought he had figured out some kind of parlor trick so he could have an excuse to get out of bed! lol. I had to start carrying empty water bottles in the car because I would pick him up from school and he could hardly make it down the street without having to go urgently.
He became extremely thirsty ALL the time. Especially at night which I thought was just his attempt at staying up later. Some nights his toe hurt, he was scared or his eyelashes were aching! So you can see that he would regularly use any excuse for more snuggles with mom. But this thirst was different. He would wake through the night begging for more water, which frustrated me because HELLO! that meant more peeing and getting out of bed!
Hayden was extremely thin but he’d always been that way, so there were no alarm bells for me with that. He complained a couple times of being dizzy but it would subside and he’d go back to running around like a crazy 5 year old. The final straw that prompted me to really take him in again and see what was going on was in the middle of the night I woke up to hear him guzzling down the water on my nightstand and then running to my husbands nightstand and doing the same with his. That morning I made an appointment.
His normal Dr was busy that day and couldn’t see him so we saw another one in his group. I told them I suspected a bladder infection and explained some of the symptoms. Even as we were checking in he was doing the ‘potty dance’ so I had to ask if we could use the restroom. They asked us to get a sample and I lightheartedly joked that there would be no problem doing that! The look on the woman's face just stayed somber. It was like she knew what was coming and I was completely oblivious. We were called back to the exam room a few minutes later and I could tell something was wrong. She asked a few very pointed questions,”how frequently is he urinating, did his urine have an odor, has he complained of being dizzy, has he recently had a virus, has he been irritable???.” The answer was yes to every single one. Another nurse stepped in and asked Hayden to hold his finger out and she had this device to poke him for a blood drop. He bravely let her as a tear ran down his face. I watched the meters readout screen, not knowing what to look for, and saw the word HI. What was going on? Was it broken? The Dr asked me to step out of the room and talk to her in the hall. My heart pounded and the floor seemed to drop out from under me as I slowly followed her, taking a glance back at my little boy staring at me with questioning and frightened eyes. I think I mouthed to him “it’s ok” and closed the door while the nurse assistant stayed with him.
The Dr’s eyes looked so incredibly sad and she said something about staying calm and that it would be ok but that my son was very sick and needed to be treated immediately for Type 1 diabetes. Huh? Diabetes? What do you mean? I think he just has a bladder infection. Can we retest? Are you sure?………She paused and said Yes. She explained that his blood sugar was too high to even read on the meter and that he was in risk of coma or death if I did not get him treated right then. She also said she was sorry and that our lives would never be the same but that we would be ok. She gave me a hug and let’s be honest..Dr’s don’t usually give hugs so this must be pretty bad.
That day was a whirlwind. Our lives changed forever. We took Hayden immediately to the endocrinologist where he received his very first insulin shot. He cried and kept asking if he was going to have this forever. It literally broke our hearts. The whole family. We were given SO much information it was like drinking water from a firehose! And try retaining that info when you are still in a fog and shock from what you’ve just learned. But we listened and tried to absorb as much as we could because we knew that it was OUR job to keep him alive.
So if any of this sounds like something either going on with your self or your child or someone else’s child, I hope this story and list of symptoms below will pop into your brain and sound the alarms! It can happen to anyone, at any age! Be someone with knowledge than can prevent an unnecessary loss of life. Trust your gut when you feel like something is off and ask for the 2 second test to check their blood sugar! You are now GREATER THAN you were before reading this.
Extreme Thirst Frequent and Urgent Urination Tired
Extra Hungry Flu like symptoms Losing Weight
Blurry Vision Dizziness Fighting infections
Bed wetting Irritable
Flu Like Symptoms