On the morning of March 5, 2022, my 16-year-old son woke early throwing up. He had not been feeling well. He had been getting worse. I unfortunately had no idea how sick he was. I went into his room to check on him. He was lying in bed. He said to me “I need to go to the hospital.” Never in all my life had I heard words that frightened me so. I rushed to help him into my car and drove him to the ER. When we checked in the nurse asked what his symptoms were. We said he was tired, and thirsty all the time. The nurse asked if he was diabetic, and we told her we had no idea. When they tested his blood sugar levels, it was like out of a movie. All of the sudden there were doctors and nurses surrounding us. He was admitted into the ICU. He was suffering from DKA. Something I had never heard of in my life. Mom guilt immediately kicked in. Why hadn’t I noticed? Why hadn’t I noticed his weight loss (he had lost 15 pounds), his sunken eyes and cheeks, the dark circles under his eyes, how tired he was, his stomach aches, and the millions of empty bottles all around his room? I laid eyes on my son every single day and I missed it. The next few days were a blur. Education classes, leaning “Diabetes Math”, Dexcoms, pumps, highs, lows, glucagon. It was like learning a foreign language. I had so many questions. Where to start? It was so scary, not understanding. Not knowing what to do. When I tell you I cried, I cried. When we came home from the hospital, we were shell shocked. This new normal was difficult to get out heads around. He was scared to eat. I was scared to feed him. I didn’t sleep those first months. Constantly listening for alarms. Constantly looking at my phone. Constantly checking on him. However, I’m here to help the people that new to this disease understand that there is life after the diagnosis. My son will graduate high school in June, and he has been accepted into Rutgers University. He goes out with his friend; he is involved in afterschool activities. He is living his best life. While this disease is awful, frightening, complicated, and infuriating, there is life after the diagnosis. And as much as we my wish deep in our bones that this never happened, it’s best to not look backwards. It’s perfectly fine to grieve the life that was lost, but we must continue to look forwards. Of course, I worry every day about him. We still have bad days. Yes, of course he gets frustrated, and would love not to have it. But I’m so proud of him and how serious he takes it and how well he has managed it from the get-go. Yes, there is life after the diagnosis, and I am looking forward to the days ahead.
Hello @AngelaR370 welcome to the forum. Many of us are painfully aware of what it was like at the time we were diagnosed, and I am happy that you guys are ok and did so well your first year. Worry, in my opinion, never did any amount of good, and so we are right here with you and are all rooting for you and your son. I’m working on 40+ years with type 1, and still going strong, and with the improvements in technology today, control and blood sugar monitoring are the best it has ever been. Hope to see you around the forum.
Hi @AngelaR370 and welcome to the forum. I just wanted to say thank you for your beautifully written piece. Looking forward to what you have to share in the future.
Congratulations on your son’s acceptance to Rutgers!
Congrats on surviving the first year (affectionately-not-so-affectionately known as the whiplash)!
As a mom of a now 14 year old son diagnosed two years this April 8th, your words brought tears to my eyes. I totally understand and lived every word myself. We were also diagnosed in DKA. I am so proud of you, your son, and all the others like us who have learned this “foreign language”, and encourage all newly diagnosed, as you have in your message - Yes you will get through, it will get easier, and there is life after the diagnosis. Thank you and God bless.
I hope you have also lost any guilt you felt for missing the illness. I was admitted to ICU last year with DKA. I was extremely sick because I had been in bed days thinking I had a virus! I’m in my 60s and know my own body - yet I had no idea I was T1d. No signs or symptoms before in my life.
When I couldn’t breathe I told my husband we needed to go to the hospital. The diagnosis was a shock.
The good news is we got help and I’m so thankful we have so much technology to help make living with T1 more manageable.
I can’t imagine having a child diagnosed and going through this, but it seems you are all moving through it successfully! Such a wonderful story end. Best wishes. You will be in my thoughts