TJ’s Diaversary 4-3-12
I can’t believe it’s been a year, the hardest and sleepiest year of my life!
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 was supposed to be a normal, fun, family day at the zoo. We had an early appointment at the pediatrician to alleviate my fears but I fully expected to be told I was crazy.
TJ had been drinking TONS of water and peeing about 5 times a night (or more). I didn’t realize it at the time but he had other symptoms too: complaining of stomach aches and moments of lethargy. So I scheduled an appointment to rule out diabetes.
That was the one morning he didn’t down 2 full sippy cups of water, so he ended up being bribed with juice to get him to pee in the cup at the Drs. office. The dr came back and said it popped right away (for ketones) and they were going to do a finger poke to check blood sugar levels. That was TJs first finger poke (of many). I was crushed. I knew our lives were changed, but I had no idea what all it would entail. I was not educated at all about diabetes, I knew some of the symptoms, had heard of insulin, and knew they had to do finger pokes to check BGs (though I didn’t know they were called BGs). The Dr sent us to Marybridge Children’s hospital in Tacoma. (I really wish he’d sent us home to pack a bag first)
Marybridge was very nice and helpful, giving TJ toys and arts and crafts to keep him busy and happy, filling our heads with info about how to take care of TJ now, they even got us a bigger room and bed for baby Gabriel (then only 3 months old) so we could all stay with TJ. As great as they were we were very happy to go home the following Friday. (My entire spring break last year–minus 1 day–was spent in the hospital)
So, today is TJs Diaversary, the anniversary of his diabetes diagnosis. You may ask why we would celebrate this day the worst day of our lives. Here’s why: TJ is ALIVE! He’s healthy (thanks to our efforts, new technology, and his own ability to adapt to all these tough changes in his life).
We have been so blessed this last year! My parents came to many if TJs hospital visits to learn how to continue watching him for us while we work. My sister in law coincidentally had just gone through a diabetes training so she could help take care of another child with diabetes at the school where she works (which means she knew how to take care of TJ!). We got TJ on a pump and a CGM (covered 100% by insurance) making it much easier to monitor his sugars and dose him, and TJ has been amazing! He really doesn’t fight us much about all the pokes and the insertions (and my poor boy gets poked a lot!). We also had some wonderful friends who came out to our house and brought us meals right after his diagnosis, thank you!
Today we celebrate TJ! His strength, his life, and his ability to fight this disease and live a normal childhood.
Sadly this is not something he can grow out of and this disease does not play by any rules (we can do everything right and still get crazy numbers) so many things can affect his BGs: hormones, stress, growth spurts, foods, activity, the lists goes on and on. But we manage and keep his numbers as stable as we can and he’s doing really well. It is not easy, there’s a LOT of work that Tony and I do to keep our boy alive every day (including many sleepless nights) and its not going to get easier until a cure is found.
So please pray for a cure (and for us) and if you would like to make a donation, Tony and I are walking in a JDRF walk for a cure on May 11th.
http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR?px=3254630&pg=personal&fr_id=2154 Tony’s Page
http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR/Walk-WA/Branch-SouthSound4706?px=3254645&pg=personal&fr_id=2154 Mary’s Page
More importantly please share the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes with everyone you know. Too many children’s lives are lost because they weren’t diagnosed in time. Even Drs miss the symptoms and tell parents it’s the flu. Luckily we caught TJ early and he didn’t go into DKA but not every child shows the symptom of thirst like he did and not every parent knows the symptoms. The symptoms vary and every child is different.
The symptoms may occur suddenly, and include one or more of the following:
•Sugar in urine
•Sudden vision changes
•Sudden weight loss
•Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
•Heavy, labored breathing
If you think you or your child has diabetes, call a doctor immediately, and drink fluids WITHOUT SUGAR, if able to swallow, to prevent dehydration.
Happy Diaversary TJ! We love you and can’t imagine life without you! You are my superhero! We are so proud of you!