Diabetes Type 1

Written by: JLee08

September 3, 2017 is a day my family and I will never forget. My 8yr old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  Prior to September 3, she came home after school and told me that she had a couple of accidents (wetting her clothes). I thought that she was just like any other child that didn’t want to stop playing, but I was wrong. A day or two later she started to complain about having a sore throat, I did what any other parent would do and that was to buy some over the counter medicine but this time nothing worked so I decided to take her into the doctor’s office.

I was then told that she had strep throat and antibiotics would be given. Afterwards the doctor asked me about the dark spots on the back of her neck, and he was very concerned because that could be a sign of diabetes.  About a year ago, my daughter had been tested for diabetes and everything came back negative. I just thought that we needed to work on cleaning her neck more or that it was something related to her eczema.

Her doctor went on to explain that he had some concerns and he would like for her to be tested again. Her appointment for her bloodwork had been scheduled for September 9. The week of August 28 through September 3, my baby started to act a little strange, she became very fussy, not finishing up her food, urinating a lot, drinking more fluids than normal especially asking for cold milk, and was always falling asleep. I just didn’t understand what was going on….

I called her doctor to make an appointment for that Monday morning. I decided that I couldn’t wait any longer and that I was going to take her to the emergency room because everything I was doing for her at home wasn’t working. Once we arrived to the emergency room the nurse began to asked my daughter some questions an then asked me if she has diabetes because she could “smell ketoacidosis on her breath”. Afterwards she tested her blood sugar and it was over 500. At that moment I didn’t understand what that meant, I just knew that my baby was really sick and needed some help. I asked the nurse what did that mean and she told me that my daughter would need to be admitted into the hospital for further testing because she tested positive for diabetes and they were not sure if she had type 1 or type 2. The only thing I knew to do was to make my baby comfortable and not cry in front of her.

Once we were transferred to Wolfson’s children hospital there we were greeted by at least four people including the doctor.  They begin to ask my daughter questions and I could see that she was very confused.  She could not even remember at the time who the president of the United States was. I really wanted to tell them to stop asking her questions and to let her rest but I knew at the time they wanted to know what state she was in.  

My child was admitted to the ICU for closer monitoring. She was doing very good until she became hungry and thirsty and was told that she could not eat or drink anything else at that time because her numbers could jump back up, yes- that included water and ice chips. That became very frustrating for the both of us because I felt like my child was suffering and no one was helping her and I didn’t like to see her cry. The only time she was calm was when she fell asleep. This felt like the longest day and night of our lives…..

After spending a day in the ICU she was then transferred to a regular room. She was able to eat and drink as much as she wanted but we had to start learning how to count carbs and also give insulin shots before each meal. While we spent almost a week in the hospital we met different doctors that we would be seeing for education purposes and also met new doctors from Nemours Children’s Hospital. Everyone was very helpful! Especially knowing that this was our first time dealing with this entire situation.

Once she was released from the hospital, I still had a million things to do, such as finding food she could eat that would not significantly raise her blood sugar levels. It was a little frustrating because she was just released two days before a hurricane hit and just about everyone bought all of the food. After that passed, I still had to check on if there was a nurse at her school.   There was not a full time nurse so she ended up having to transfer schools, waking up extra early to count carbs for breakfast and lunch, and check bloodwork at 2am for a couple of weeks. About a month into her being diagnosed, it is not as bad.  I just have to remember to take her bag with all of her medical supplies in it everywhere we go. Now that she has been diagnosed for a month and a half, I can tell my now 9yr old has been doing so much better. She has not allowed this to bring her down. She is now at a school where a full time nurse is available.  Her teachers know all the signs to be aware of for children with diabetes. I know there are other children dealing with the same thing. My daughter has made me proud during these past couple of months. She now is very involved in checking her own blood levels, giving herself insulin shots, and counting her carbs.

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