by Jenny Reifsteck, November 18, 2011
Hi, I am the mom of 4 year old Caleb. This May Caleb was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It was one of the worst days of our lives, but has in no way stopped us from enjoying and living life.
One week our son got a cold. Never did we think this would lead to discovering his condition. On a Friday night Caleb was sleeping on the floor when he woke up coughing, gagging and gasping for hair. I took him straight to the ER near our home. They checked him out, gave him steroids and sent us on our way saying it was just croup and he would fight through it. That weekend Caleb stopped eating. He acted more and more tired, looked sickly and started wetting the bed and himself during the day. Most apparent was his thirst. I have a little background in the medical field and thought diabetes, but was hoping UTI. As a mom of a usually very healthy and active 4 year old you don’t want to think of something as seriously as diabetes.
We let it slide for the weekend thinking maybe he’s just getting over being sick. That Monday though he spent the night with his aunt and cousins. Caleb’s aunt is a nurse and when she called me the next day saying that Caleb had gotten sick that night and asked if I planned on taking him to the doctor I knew she had the same fear as I did.
I made an appointment that day and am very glad I decided not to wait. We went in and I let the nurse know how he was acting and asked if they wanted a urine sample since he was going so often and still hoping maybe it was just an infection. When I heard the nurse and doctor talking outside our room my fear was realized. It’s never good when you’re doctor yells “damnit” when talking about what they found in his urine sample (sugars and ketones) We were sent down to lab for blood test. His blood sugar came back. 970. My heart completely left my body. I wanted to close my eyes and open them hoping it was all just a horrible dream, but the nightmare had just begun. We were sent to the hospital’s ER. I walked Caleb down in my arms as he begged me for something to drink and we walked past 3 pop machines. Caleb couldn’t focus his eyes anymore and could only get out yelps that he was thirsty. I felt like my little boy was loosing it. In the ER Caleb was so dehydrated that it took 4 tries and 3 nurses to get the IV in. Once fluids and insulin were started they put us in a ambulance and sent us to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. We went through their ER and then up to the intensive care. From there Caleb started his healing and Chris and I started our lessons on how to manage our sons diabetes. We were at the hospital for 5 days and were able to go home the day before Mother’s day which was the best gift ever. We went through a insurance scare from the pharmacy when they told us our insurance was terminated. It was the most intense and stressful weekend EVER. Our insurance was figured out on Monday finally and then on Tuesday we discovered be were expecting another baby. None the less the week of May 4th 2011 was the most emotional week of our small families life!!!! Caleb is doing fantastic now and his diabetes hasn’t slowed him down in the slightest. Our goal is to give Caleb the child he deserves. Camping, sports, trick-or-treating!!! Thank you so much for sharing your diagnosis and how far you’ve gone in your life! It gives me so much hope as a mom of a Type 1 diabetic. I’m sorry this was so long I just needed to get his story out and lift a little weight off my heart.