Hi. I am Peggy and my 5 year old son Dillon was diagnosed with Diabetes on November 11, 1996. I think that date will live on very vividly in my memory forever - it was certainly one of those turning points that you read about in books.
I guess our story begins around Halloween when I noticed Dillon was always asking for something to drink in the evening. We also noticed him getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, which he hadn't done since he was much younger. One morning, I woke up to him crying because he had wet his bed in the middle of the night. I thought this was fairly strange, but just chalked it up to him being 4 1/2 and didn't think much more about it. Then, one afternoon, his pre-school teacher called me and said that Dillon had had an accident that morning and needed some clean clothes to put on. I found this very strange, and so did they.
For the two weeks after Halloween he was relentless about getting something to drink, all the time. To be honest, I was getting rather annoyed and thought he was just doing it to get attention. Then on a Saturday night, Nov. 9, he spent the night with a very good friend of ours who happens to be in the medical field. She noticed that he drank a lot during the course of the evening and also got up about three times during the night to go to the bathroom. On Sunday, I decided to call the pediatrician the next morning to get Dillon checked out. I figured that he had some sort of bladder infection or was just going through a stage of some sort.
Upon calling the pediatrician on Monday morning, I relayed to them all of his symptoms and they wanted to see him that morning. I can remember going to pick him up at the pre-school and asking his teachers if they had noticed him drinking excessively or going to the bathroom a lot. They said they had not noticed anything out of the ordinary. This made me feel better and I had pretty much convinced myself that he was fine. He was very concerned as to why he had to go to the doctor and I told him it was just to make mommy happy and that everything was fine.
Once at the pediatrician's office, the nurse asked about his symptoms and said that they would do a urine test just to rule out Diabetes. Dr. Griffin came in and said that it was probabley nothing. Then the nurse came back, and I will never forget the look on her face or the look on Dr. Griffin's face when they told me that the results from the urine test were positive for Diabetes. I think at that moment, I was in shock or just didn't understand the implications of what had just been told to me. They instructed me to take Dillon down to the lab in the hospital and have a blood test run.
As I walked to the lab, I just kept thinking that this must be a mistake. Then it hit me that I had better call my husband. As I called him to tell him that Dillon had Diabetes, I heard myself say that word and it hit me. All at once, I did not feel very strong and needed him very much. He said he would be right there.
Well, from the doctor's office we were wisked to St. Louis Children's Hospital and were met by Dr. Santiago. The next several days were filled with finger pokes, blood glucose numbers, injections, insulin, etc. All of this was very foreign to me and I was completely overwhelmed. How could I care for this child? How could I ensure that he would have a happy and healthy life?
I was also very angry that because of all the information they were filling our heads with, no one was giving me time to grieve for my son. It was as though I was not allowed to cry or to feel any kind of sadness. Thank God, my mother-in-law came to visit and Dillon asked if his Granny could spend the night with him in the hospital. My husband and I had time to go home and spend the night in our own bed. Ken just held me that night and let me cry and be angry - that helped a lot. I felt much better the following morning and was much more prepared to learn how to care for my little boy.
Well, it has been 4 months now and I think we are adjusting very well. I have had the most difficult time. Dillon is great! What a trooper. He gets mad about the injections, but I just tell him that he should be mad and that it is OK to feel that way. But he still has to get the shots and the finger pokes. He did his own finger poke last night for the first time and he was VERY proud of himself - his first step toward independence! I don't think that Dillon is going to let Diabetes stop him from accomplishing anything. He is a very bright, energetic, sweet little boy and he is what keeps me going!
Peggy receives e-mail at [email protected].
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