November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. I am sharing my son’s diagnosis story to raise awareness about Type 1 Diabetes in hopes it helps others recognize the signs.
In looking back, the signs were there for a couple of weeks before we recognized it. I missed them all until I didn’t. It was one of those flashback moments that pieced themselves together in my brain all at once. He looked thinner, he was not growing, he wet the bed even though he was potty trained, his teacher mentioned he was thirsty more than usual. My sister in-law has Type 1 Diabetes. Some of these symptoms sounded familiar from what she shared when she was first diagnosed. I thought “It can’t be, can it?”.
It was super bowl Sunday in 2018. He was 2 weeks shy of his 4th birthday. My sister in-law came over to watch the game, we asked her if we could use her glucose meter because I had a feeling things were not entirely normal with him. Sure enough, we used her meter, and his blood glucose levels were at 525mg/dL (29.1 mmol/L). as a T1D, she immediately knew what that meant. His dad and I on the other hand, were in shock and not entirely sure what it all meant.
I took him to his pediatrician and they did a urine test. It came back 620mg/dL. The doctor looked very apologetic, she had a very sympathetic look on her face that I did not understand at the time. She told me to immediately take him to the hospital, get him checked in and have overnight bags because we were definitely going to spend the night at the hospital. We spent the next 4 days at the hospital getting his blood sugar numbers back to normal. We received training on how to manage Type 1 Diabetes all while trying to wrap our heads around it (Which we eventually did).
Type 1 Diabetes is never easy but it is manageable. We are always grateful for all the tech available to us that allows us to monitor him. We were lucky to find out he had Type 1 Diabetes before he went into Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). We were lucky that my sister-in-law shared her experience and signs with us.
A big shout out goes to my little warrior, who has been so strong through it all. He is our inspiration for strength and resilience even when things get hard (and they certainly do).
*Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system start attacking the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas until there is little or none left. There is no cure, and people with T1D need to take synthetic insulin through injections or a pump for the rest of their lives. They are Insulin dependent. Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use sugar (glucose) in the cells to produce energy. It regulates blood sugar levels in the body*
Know the signs!
- Excessive thirst
- Unexplained weight loss
- Flu like symptoms
- Breath smells fruity
- Excessive urination
- Increased hunger
Please note that I am not a medical professional and you should always consult your physician for any of your health related questions and concerns.