Type 1 Diabetes

On November 10, 2008 Sugar Boy was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. He was 27 months old.  It was a Monday. That morning I had gone in to get him up and once again had found him laying in a puddle of his own urine.  He had blown out another overnight diaper.  It was the 4th one in as many days.  I felt my stomach clench... I knew something was wrong.  His twin sister was not waking up in such a way... in fact her diapers were practically dry every morning.  That morning as he stood up and said good morning to me in his sweet baby voice I noticed that his breath smelled sweet.  I quickly stripped him out of his jammies as he was standing there and picked him up.  His urine on his legs was sticky.  It felt like it had sugar in it.  I handed him over to my mom who was living with us at the time and she took him to put him in a bath and clean him up.  I went to the computer.  I looked up the symptoms of Diabetes in children.  Many of the symptoms listed I had just experienced in the 5 minutes I was in Sugar Boys room that morning.  I made a Dr's appointment for him. 

Sugar Daddy and I took him to the Dr. that day and his blood sugar was so high that the meter at the Dr.'s office couldn't even read it. The Dr. immediately sent us to a Pediatric Endocrinologist who gave him some insulin and then sent us over to the hospital. We spent the next two days there - learning more than we ever wanted to know about carbohydrates and insulin syringes, and what to do to when his blood sugar gets too high or too low. We learned a ton about the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes... My dad was a Type 2 diabetic, so I came into this situation thinking, "its okay - we can control this with diet!" Of course the very patient nurses and staff taught us just how wrong I was in that assumption. Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disease, triggered by a virus. (This was a bit of a relief because my worse fear was that he had gotten diabetes because of something WE had done). Anyway, it cannot be controlled by diet and exercise as Type 2 Diabetes can. The upswing to that is that Sugar Boy can eat whatever he wants - there are no restrictions to his diet as long as we can dose him for what he eats. Its sort of like "insulin replacement therapy".  Insulin was now to be his life support... but it is certainly NOT a cure.

He was such a little trooper... he has always handled this whole thing better than Sugar Daddy and I have. The picture above is of Sugar Boy and his cousin T who came to visit him while we were in the hospital.

When it was time to leave, Sugar Boy led us out - he was so ready to go home. We put his blue backpack on him that had all of the materials and tools that we would need to take care of him. He waited anxiously at the door of the room for us to hurry up and get him out of there! I will never forget how he looked standing there with his beloved Blue poking her head out of the top of his backpack.  When we got him home we were so overwhelmed. I mean - how do we do this?? How do we take care of our little boy now? I remember saying to Sugar Daddy, "We will never again be able to go out to eat as a family, will we?" How were we supposed to go to a restaurant and know exactly how they prepared the food and what ingredients they used and how much of those ingredients so that we could calculate the carbs in that food and convert that to how much insulin we needed to give him. And God forbid we were wrong! He could die if we made a serious mistake!!

But we learned, and we leaned on each other and we made mistakes and we learned some more. As we will continue to... for every day for the rest of our lives... until a cure is found.