It was summer and Sydney was 5. She was always tired, drinking a lot of water and eating a lot, oh and dark circles under her eyes. I had everything explained though. The tiredness was our schedule, which was never the same because it was summer time. The drinking a lot of water we thought was manipulation on her part because we particularly noticed it at bedtime. She seemed to drink a lot and then she would go to the bathroom a lot so she could stay up later. Sounded like manipulation to us. Because she was happy, healthy, eating, drinking, sleeping, and absolutely nothing else was or had been wrong with her. Still as a Mom, I thought something was wrong. I kept bringing it up to my husband and he’d say, “Look at her, she’s fine, leave it alone.”

I could not excuse the feeling anymore, so I took her to the Doctor and told him about the eating, the tiredness and the dark circles. She also has allergies, so the dark circles were explained. And the eating was of course probably a growth spurt, in my mind. And, I was anemic as a child so that was the tiredness. Everything checked out, but no test for diabetes, because that was not routine. I didn’t mention the drinking because it did not seem abnormal, and at that time my husband nor I knew ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the beast of type 1 diabetes.

The symptoms persisted and I just could not shake the feeling. I kept bringing it up to my husband and he would get angry with me. After all, Sydney was carrying on as normal, playing, eating like a horse, drinking like crazy, happy, healthy (or so we thought). But something was wrong and I knew it inside.

One night I was giving the girls their bath instead of their Dad, and I about fainted. Sydney was never fat, but she always had meat on her bones, well I saw a collar bone, and her rib cage on her back side. I had her go to her father and I had him look at her. Oh, he was so upset. He brought her to me and said to go to the doctor that nothing was wrong, get it settled once and for all and to please do not mention it ever again.

The next afternoon at the doctor, who has taken care of her since she was a baby, I revisited the symptoms from the month before. Then I took her shirt off and showed him the collar bone, the rib cage. I said, “Dr. Jeff, something is wrong with my baby.” He immediately took out a little black carrying case and poked her finger. Then he said that he needed to draw some blood and take it to the lab and we needed to wait about half an hour. He had an idea, but he needed to know for sure.

Dr. Jeff returned to us with tears in his eyes. You see his meter in his office could not read her blood sugar because it was so high. The lab in his building confirmed the diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes. He was beside himself, because he cared for Sydney as his own. We were sent to our local hospital, and on the way he called All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete.

He met us at our hospital and the Doctors at All Children’s said that since she was not throwing up, we were to go home and come and see them first thing the following morning. We did and were given a crash course in how to survive with Type 1. We left about 1:30 that afternoon, after learning how to administer a shot. Sydney’s sugar was over 600. No we were not admitted to the hospital, which I wish we would have been so that she could have been regulated. But we have survived.

After a year of shots, 4-5 shots a day, we went to the pump. We began with Animas and they were absolutely fabulous. We then switched to Minimed and love them too. Our loves of Minimed are the slowness of the insulin delivery and their continuous glucose sensors.

Financially it has been a struggle this past year with the economy. Our insurance turned us down last year for the continuous glucose sensors and I sent up 6 months of documented low blood sugar logs. Finally, a month ago they have approved us and we are in our new learning curve with them.

Through our struggle, we have chosen private school so as not to battle with 504 plans and the school systems. To our dismay, Sydney was diagnosed at 5 and the 2nd day of Kindergarten, after meeting with everyone at the school ahead of time, the school told my husband they could not take care of her. Since a private school is not federally funded they do not have to provide care if they do not want to. So we immediately had to find another school. The Lord provided another private school and we have been there ever since. They do whatever we want and make any and every change and have truly been a blessing.

Our daughter is our hero. She has overcome so much with this disease and she does not let it stop her. We want the best for her and are forever learning about new technology, new information, new doctors, etc. The Children With Diabetes world and Friends for Life conferences have been a GodSend and we are so thankful for them. They are our forever learning venues – we would not be this far without them!

Thank you!

ADW Diabetes

ADW Diabetes is a diabetic supply mail order company that is dedicated to keeping diabetes management affordable. ADW takes a leading role in offering free diabetic education through Destination Diabetes, an informational component of the ADW website featuring tips and advice from diabetes and nutrition experts, diabetic recipes and more.