When it all changed

Caleb the day after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Caleb the day after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

He had been thirsty and frequently going to the bathroom for weeks. A quick internet search by my husband on New Year’s Eve, just hours before guests were to arrive, and we had the first hint of what was about to change our lives.

We now know these are telltale signs. We did not know it then. He was thinner, but we just thought that was part of his growth – he was no longer a baby after all.

On January 3rd, it was confirmed. We visited his pediatrician suspecting type 1 diabetes. After a urine and blood test, we were directed to the ER of Yale-New Haven’s Children’s Hospital. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

We were told little: that his blood sugar was in the high 200s, and that someone without diabetes could eat an entire chocolate cake and still not go much above 140. But the bloodwork was being done to see for sure.

Before we ever got those results, Caleb was admitted. He was in a room with a 6 year old girl going through the exact same thing, just a day ahead of Caleb.

Caleb endured the IV. He endured the lancet and the injections. He was still three years old.

The mom of the girl next to us tried to console me within minutes of getting to the room. She showed me the needle. It was thin. It was flexible. She told me it could be so much worse. She had a friend whose daughter was dying of cancer. I know she was trying to help. But this did not help. I didn’t care that the needle was small and thin. It was still a needle. I didn’t care about that little girl or anyone else at that moment in time. All that mattered to me was that my little Caleb’s life was now changed. He didn’t deserve this.

I told my husband all I wanted was for him to grow. To grow normally. To be the tall, muscular young man I knew he would one day become before this diagnosis. I wanted him to be smart. That’s all I wanted then – for his body and brain to beat this disease.

I spent the night with Caleb in his bed that night. Brought him to the bathroom with his IV pole. Protected him from insensitive nurses. I slept little.

The following day we met with nurses, social workers, nutritionists, oh and the doctor who finally came to tell us that Caleb had type 1 diabetes.

7 Replies to “When it all changed”

  1. 3 years later, you and Caleb are doing great! Caleb will be the young man you’d wish he would be but with a pump and counting carbs. Big hugs! Caleb is BLESSED to have a family and community that rallies around him and gives him the support he needs. Caleb will be the man you want him to be but he’ll be a stronger, smarter and a fighter. Happy diaversary, Caleb!

  2. Congrats Caleb! You are three years stronger, three years smarter, and there are people with diabetes all over the world who think that you are AWESOME!!!

    Enjoy this day and give your family a BIG hug!

  3. wow, Lo…Caleb’s and Claire’s d-versary are so close (December 29 and Jan. 3)…bittersweet time of year, huh?!

    3 years…he is doing great!! YOU are doing great! You are truly a superhero mom in my book! He is thriving and growing and doing wonderful things. Keep up the good fight! Diabetes will not win! {{hugs}}

  4. Hi! I got the link to this blog from your post about your son and the pump from tudiabetes.org. Looking at his picture brings an errie feeling- I was dx’ed when I was 11 and in a picture right before my diagnosis I had the same dark circles under my eyes and the same ghastly complexion.

    Hes such a fighter! Best of good health to your family

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