**I think it’s important to make the disclaimer that I am NOT a medical professional. Everything I share here is told through the lens and experience of a parent, and parent only. PLEASE consult your own medical professional if you have any concerns regarding your own child or yourself.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I know, it’s funny to say that because my child was just diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the young age of 4-years-old. But I am lucky. Why? Because we caught it early enough that he didn’t need an extended hospital stay, due to DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis), which is a life-threatening problem that affects people with diabetes. It occurs when the body starts breaking down fat at a rate that is much too fast. The liver processes the fat into a fuel called ketones, which causes the blood to become acidic. (medlineplus.gov) The only treatment for that is an insulin IV drip, and it requires a longer hospital stay. When a child is in DKA they are VERY ill, and that wasn’t what happened in our case.
But let’s start from the beginning.
I think this requires a little bit of a backstory. My husband also has Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). No, T1D is not genetic because I know you’re asking. Anyway, my husband was diagnosed when he was 10 years old. I’ve heard him tell his story, so I know what signs and symptoms to watch out for in the very slim chance that one of our children would have T1D in their lifetime. Well, knowing these saved my son and probably spared us some really scary times.
One of the major signs of Type 1 Diabetes is unquenchable thirst and bedwetting.
So over winter break, when I started noticing Azi drinking upwards of 80 oz of water a day and peeing to follow suit, my helicopter mom antennas went on high alert. I brought it up to my husband, who also started noticing this. But we both knew that there is such an unlikely chance that the son of a T1D will also have T1D, so neither of us actually thought it could be T1D.
But after 2 weeks of this happening, I figured I should just bring him into the pediatrician just to be safe, since Dr. Google told us it was a possible brain tumor (note to self: never google anything). They first tested his urine which came back with ketones and sugar. So they pricked his finger, and his Blood Glucose (BG) level was 510, which is exorbitantly high. A normal BG range averages somewhere in the range of 80-200. So we went straight from the pediatrician to the ER, where he underwent several blood tests, IV fluids and got his first dose of insulin under monitoring by the doctors.
Fortunately, my helicopter mom-ness caught this early enough that Azi didn’t get really sick. After finding out he has T1D, some of the other signs of T1D made themselves more apparent than just the very apparent drinking and peeing.
Another sign of T1D is less energy or excess tiredness.
All of Azi’s car naps made much more sense after his diagnosis. Now that his BG levels are more normal, his car naps are less frequent.
- Unquenchable thirst
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained bedwetting
- Unwanted or unexplained weight loss
- Less energy
- Fruity smelling breath
- Blurry vision
- Stomach pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of conciousness
- Rapid, heavy breathing
I love this poster from Beyond Type 1:
So that’s our story. If by sharing our story, I can help even one other family, then that is my reason. Together we can raise awareness for Type One Diabetes, and one day we WILL find a cure.