Did you know that World Diabetes Day is on November 14? I didn’t either… until this past November, that is. You see, I was sitting in a hospital room with my oldest on November 14. He was resting and I was scrolling through social media and saw a friend’s post about it. Normally, I would see a post like that and think how sad it is that they have to deal with a horrible disease, maybe say a quick prayer for them, hit like or leave a short comment, and then scroll on. That day was different. I stopped when I saw her post. I couldn’t scroll on past because we were awaiting the confirmation of what I had suspected when I called to make an appointment for B to see his pediatrician… that he had Type 1 Diabetes.
Shortly after seeing that post, the medical staff came in and confirmed that our suspicions were correct. Not only that, but B was in diabetic ketoacidosis. So we packed up our things and they wheeled his bed out of the regular peds unit and into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
He had an IV in one arm for the insulin drip, potassium, and other fluids going in. There was one in the other arm, as well, for all of the blood draws needed (every 2 hours the first day). He was also connected to a heart rate monitor, a pulse oximeter, and a blood pressure cuff. For only being 12, B was amazingly brave through the entire ordeal. His biggest complaints were that they wouldn’t let him eat for the entire first day and that the regular peds rooms had an X-Box One in them, but the PICU rooms did not.
We spent three days in the PICU getting educated on all things diabetes-related while the medical staff stabilized all of his levels. We had meetings with the pediatric endocrinologist, the diabetic educator, the dietitian, and the child life staff. We received a big bag of information from JDRF. It was all great information; it was just so much information. B spent time studying the Calorie King book that they gave him and looking up the carb counts of his favorite foods. He understood the ratios and how to calculate his insulin bolus. However, the one thing that no one thought to explain was that Type One Diabetes isn’t like the flu or a cold. It doesn’t go away in a week or two. He has never been sick with anything other than a minor illness, so he thought that he’d have to count carbs and take insulin for a little bit and then he’d get better and that would be the end of it. It’s understandable; the only time he had ever been exposed to the word diabetes before then was to hear it on prescription drug commercials. It broke my heart. We believe in a God who heals, though, and do believe that B can be healed from this. Until that day, we are learning how to manage it.
It has only been about 3.5 months since his diagnosis. It’s crazy, though, because it seems like we’ve been dealing with this for so much longer than that now. I am thankful that we live in a time with advanced knowledge of the disease and amazing technology to help us navigate it.
I’m going to leave you with some warning signs of Type 1 Diabetes. Honestly, many of them can easily be explained away by other common childhood issues and illnesses and sometimes all the dots don’t connect right away. If your child has any of these symptoms, get them in quickly for a check-up.