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.