@Katie5 We live on the west coast. As for feeling alone, my kids were diagnosed exactly one week apart back in late November 2017, so they really didn’t get to experience being alone in the sense you’re talking about. Sometimes I’n not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse to have both them diagnosed so close together, but it is what it is I guess.
My daughter (6) went into DKA and was hospitalized for a week after her diagnosis. We then noticed my son (4) was displaying a lot of the same signs (excessive thirst, constantly going to the bathroom). We thought we were just being overly sensitive having just been through the terrifying situation with my daughter, but my wife insisted (and thank god she did), that we get him checked. Sure enough, back in the hospital again…Luckily he wasn’t in DKA and having just gone through all of the training with my daughter, we only had to stay a couple days at the hospital with him.
Having said that, they both went through, and continue to go through, different phases of grief we’ll call them. At their ages, I think it’s difficult to really articulate what their feeling, but they’ll make comments from time to time about “remember when I didn’t used to get pokes? I liked that”, or my daughter once told me, “I wish I didn’t go to the hospital that time so I wouldn’t have diabetes”. As a father, it rips my heart out every time they say stuff like that. But I believe it’s their way of saying that they’re angry, scared, a sense of loss etc. and they have every right to feel that way. We as parents, have every right to feel that way. We’ve been dealing with this as a family for only 7-8 months even though it feels like a lifetime ago. With your son being diagnosed even more recently than that, he may just need more time to try to process everything. His anger may be more about fear, and just manifest itself as anger.
I think as parents, all you can do is love your kids and continually reassure them as much as you can. Even though they’re so young, it’s important to validate their feelings. When my kids make those types of comments, I always try validate what their saying, but not dwell on it. I’ll tell my son, “I do remember when you didn’t have to get pokes, and I liked that too. But we’re still going to go swimming all summer like we usually do, or get your favorite chocolate cake for your birthday” (basically things along those lines to try to reassure them things are going to be ok). I try to remember that they’re also going through a very big change, just like we are as parents, and more than anything I need to make them feel as secure as possible (even if inside I’m terrified at times). Just keep loving him and let him work through those feelings with your help and support and I’m confident he’ll be fine. It just takes time, and it’s different for everyone. Also don’t be discouraged if he backslides a little. I’ll think we’ve got everything under control and we’re past it, and then my son/daughter will have a meltdown because they don’t want to get their “poke” for dinner or something. We just try to show them some patience, give them a big hug, and keep moving forward.
Lastly, I would highly recommend getting in touch with your local JDRF chapter, if you haven’t already. We just recently attended our first event (a BBQ at a park nearby), and it helped a lot with the feeling alone aspect. It was a little awkward at first, not knowing anybody there, but you soon realize that everyone is there for the same reason: to meet and network with other families with type 1. And the kids had a blast! They couldn’t care less about the diabetes aspect of it, it was just a whole new group of playmates and seeing who could build the biggest sandcastle or who was brave enough to go down “the big slide” first. In the long run, it will hopefully develop into some solid friendships as they get older, and in the short term, it gives us parents a chance to talk/vent with others who truly understand what it’s like.
Anyway, I’ve rambled long enough. I don’t know if any of this helps or not, but just keep being a loving and supportive mom and I’m sure your son will do great. I’m on these forums fairly often, even if I don’t post much, reading and learning from everyone on here so hit me up if you ever need to talk.