Jackson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on July 2, 2012, 2 weeks before his 2nd birthday. He had all of the symptoms but didn't know it at the time. One week before his diagnosis, he had his yearly check up with his pediatrician and everything seemed fine. Over the following week I noticed he was looking thinner, his shorts were falling off of him, but I just figured he was maybe thinning out some, running around with his brothers. He woke up on July 1st, ate breakfast and played for a little bit with his brothers then went to lay down, on his own. I just thought he didn't feel good, he wasn't running a fever so I wasn't really concerned. I didn't get concerned until I went to change his shirt and saw he was breathing funny. I called the on call nurse who had me count his breathes and said everything seemed ok. He slept most of the day then, around dinner time, began to vomit. I called the on call nurse again who told me to try giving him small sips of Pedialyte, gradually increasing. That didn't work so we decided to take him to the ER at an Army hospital. They gave him some Zofran to help with the nausea and he started drinking. The ER doctor ordered some labs and wanted a stomach xray because his stomach was severly distended. After waiting about 30 minutes, the ER doctor came in and told me that my baby was diabetic and in DKA, diabetic ketoacidosis, meaning his body could not use sugar as a fuel source because there was no insulin or not enough insulin. Fat was being used for fuel instead, creating ketones. High levels of ketones are posinous. My heart sank. My first thought was if I was going to bring my baby home, but I never verbalized that. I then started asking questions...could this have been prevented-no, how did he get it-best guess was he got a virus that attacked and virtually killed off his pancreas, but because type 1 diabetes is and autoimmune disease, he would probably had developed it at some point in his life. What a shock. Here I was thinking he had a bad stomach virus, they would give him some IV fluids to keep him from getting dehydrated, and we would be sent home. Instead, the doctor was arranging transportation via ambulance to the children's hospital and he was admitted into the PICU. I felt so helpless as a parent, seeing my baby with an IV in each arm going into 3 different pumps and him hooked up to a heart monitor. I got more sleep the first night home from the hospital after he was born than that first night in the hospital after his diagnosis, just watching him and the monitor, to scared to go to sleep. Finally, after 2 days in the PICU, my happy baby was back. He spent 2 more days in a general admission room then was sent home to a world of unknowns.
Now a year and a half later, he is doing wonderfully...most days. In March, my 2 older boys, Kyle - 11 and Brandon - 6, participated in TrialNet, which detects the auto antibodies that cause type 1 diabetes through a simple blood draw. They both tested negative for the auto antibodies and will be be tested annually until they turn 18 years old. Jackson started preschool in September and we have been blessed to find a school where the director is also a mother of a type 1 diabetic. Also in September, he started on an insulin pump and it has made a world of difference...he has even had a few "perfect" blood sugar days, meaning he was in his blood sugar range (90-150) for an entire day, which is a feat in itself. Here's hoping for another uneventful year and another year closer to a cure.
We are taking steps to help JDRF achieve its goal of improving the lives of all people affected by type 1 diabetes (T1D) by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. By joining our Walk Team and making a donation, you will be helping us to raise funds to directly support research with the greatest potential to conquer this disease.
We are motivated by the courage and perseverance of those facing the everyday challenges of type 1 diabetes - they are the reason we challenge ourselves to give more, to do more, to achieve more. We challenge ourselves to make a real difference in the lives of those with T1D.
Will you accept the challenge to make a difference by walking with us? All we need you to do is click on the "Join this Team" button, make a donation, and begin fundraising. It’s simple, fast, and fun!
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