With almost no knowledge about type 1 diabetes, we waited. It was a holiday after all – the doctor’s office wasn’t even open. We had just had such an amazing week. We celebrated Christmas and we were all home from work and school and everyone was getting along swimmingly. How could this be happening? Not us.
We started timing how often he went to the bathroom. At times it was in 20 minute intervals. I had been telling myself this was growth – he was always asking for “icy cold milk, please” and of course he had to go to the bathroom a lot with all that milk, right?
Okay, well he’ll get back into his routine when he goes back to school. It will be fine. We’re just out of sync.
So I pull into the school parking lot on January 2nd and as he climbs out of the van he says, “Mom, I want some icy, ice cold milk.” Oh, no. Please. You don’t. No way. Then I talk to his teacher. I ask her to look out to see if he’s going to the bathroom more often than normal and she says, “oh”. I say, “what?” Just hoping, my very last hope, that she knows something I don’t. That she will tell me about her friend or relative who went through this and the child grew out of it. That it’s a sign of this cold or that virus that is going around. But of course, she doesn’t say any of those things. She says that word again. She says, “diabetes”.
That’s when I knew.
I tried to control myself, but the tears overflowed. Nevertheless, not having a clue of the potential severity of the situation, I left Caleb at school and went to the DMV to renew my license. I have that license in my wallet and only I can see in the picture the puffiness around my eyes. It’s a constant reminder of when I was given Caleb’s diagnosis – by his preschool teacher.
We called the pediatrician early that afternoon when Caleb got home from school and told them our concerns and our desire to see a doctor. We told them that we believed he had type 1 diabetes. Knowing what I know now, I find it amazing that he was not seen immediately or sent to the ER, but given an appointment first thing the next morning. January 3rd is the official day of Caleb’s diagnosis.
But that was all a formality. I knew the day before.