Jacob's father, Jeff, writes:
When we first learned of his diabetes we were in total shock, but we were also relieved. When we first took him to the emergency room at midnight, the nurse on duty said there was nothing wrong. Jacob is our first baby; the nurse said we were over reacting. We should have insisted on seeing a doctor.
We took him home and his condition worsened. He was breathing real hard and throwing up every time we fed him. At 6:00 A.M. the next morning, I rushed him to another hospital and insisted on seeing a doctor right away. The doctor wasn't a pediatrician, but he did some test on him until the pediatrician came in. At first he thought it was a reaction to an ear infection, but he was waiting to get the blood test back.
When his blood work came back, his sugar level was 809. The rushed him to the ICU. When my wife and I went up there the nurse told us he was in very bad shape and didn't think he was going to make it. We both broke down in tears. It was total shock to us that he might not make it.
The doctor on duty had never seen or heard of an infant this young being diabetic. She contacted the NICU at U.C.L.A. Medical Hospital. They had never heard of an infant that young either. The endocrinologist and doctor were in constant contact until they got Jacob stabilized. Once he was stabilized, the U.C.L.A. Medical Center sent an ambulance up to take him to their facility where they were better equipped to handle his situation.
He was in there for five days, being monitored and treated with insulin. Being so little, they had to dilute his insulin. In those five days, my wife and I had extensive training from the U.C.L.A. medical team so we could handle him at home.
It's been a very difficult time for us. When I look back at when the nurse told us he wasn't going to make it, and to now, I feel a lot of relief. Knowing that diabetes is treatable and that someone with diabetes can live a pretty normal life helps. I don't know what we would have done if he didn't make it.
I worry about insulin reactions during the night. At first, we were testing him eight time a day. We have reduced the testing to five to six times a day. Being so young we have to test his blood by sticking a lancet on the side of his right foot below the ankle. We will have to keep doing that until he gets bigger. We give him three injections a day in his thighs. He reacts to insulin so differently that in order to keep his levels in line, we had to do that.
The first picture shows Jacob at 19 days, four days before he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. The second shows Jacob at about eight weeks, doing much better.
Jacob's father, Jeff Haddad, welcomes e-mail from others with very young children with diabetes. His e-mail address is [email protected]
Jacob, 19 days old, very sick
Jacob, 8 weeks old, doing much better
Jacob in early 1997
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