September 28, 2008 was the worst day of our lives. We were the perfect family. I am a working mother and we are fortunate that my husband can be a stay at home father. We have a beautiful only child named Noah (in honor of my love of animals). Great life. Great home.
Noah began losing weight. We thought he was losing his “baby fat”. He was always a solid boy but very active and we thought he was growing into his own. I was concerned, not because he was getting taller and thinner but because the scale was showing a weight loss. 13 pounds to be exact. That’s a lot for a little boy.
He was extremely thirsty. He would take so long to urinate.
The final zinger was when we went to an animal farm with my family. We all went out to dinner. Noah had three Cokes. On the way home, he started begging for something to drink. We were an hour from home and we stopped at a rest stop. He ran in and drank at the water fountain for what seemed like an eternity. I also bought a bottled water and he downed the whole thing right there. I came home that night and cried to my husband that I feared he was diabetic.
My husband is a Type 2 diabetic. In the morning, we checked his fasting blood glucose. He was 276. That moment, my heart sank. I knew. I cried to my pediatrician all Sunday afternoon. He said he would have to be admitted, sooner rather than later because he would only get sicker. We were lucky that Noah never got really sick. We caught it fairly early.
It’s been a rough year. He had over 1,000 shots and tested at least three times a day. Imagine watching your sweet little boy pricking his finger and poking himself over and over. If I could take the pain away. Interestingly, he never complains or has self-pity. We have taught him to accept this as part of his life. (I still cry at night sometimes when all are asleep – I’m allowed). He’s is our hero. We tell him how proud we are of his courage and strength. He smiles and bows his head. We have taught him to count carbs, test himself, draw up his own insulin and give himself shots. Not bad for a 7 year old. He now is on the pump and things are better. Right now, we’re dealing with more lows; the control is so tight.
I said at the beginning that our perfect life was over. Really, it’s still perfect, just with a little help from our friend, insulin.
By Sherry Marlette