Back to Parents' Voices Shelly Tyler
My name is Shelly Tyler and I am a Mom to a boy who is 3 1/2 and diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed at 2 years old after several trips to the family doctor. We were sent away 3 times with the explaination that he was drinking so much water because he was "active."

I wrote this poem after he was diagnosed as a way of dealing with everything. It tells basically our tale.

Yes, A 2 Year Old Can Get Diabetes

My 2 year old son has diabetes...
Yes it's true
No I didn't think a 2 year old COULD get diabetes
Yes I DID think he was drinking a lot of water
No I didn't feed him a lot of sugar
Yes he was BEGGING for water all day and night
No I didn't think about diabetes at first, I thought it was a habit
Yes I went to the Doctor with my concerns
No not another ear infection, isn't that 9 or 10 now?
Yes the medicine must be making him so thirsty
Yes he does eat a lot at once, always has what a good boy
No he didn't test him, "just monitor his water consumption"
Yes he is drinking 70-80oz a day
Yes he is an active boy, that must be the problem
Yes I hear your son/daughter drinks a lot of water too
Yes I hear they have wet diapers a lot too
No they DON'T soak their bed through 2 diapers every night?
Yes I should switch him to the bigger size now
Yes that must be the problem
No you can;t have more water unless you go on the potty!
Yes that's a good boy!
Yes you can have a little more water, but that's all...
No you can't have anymore water and don't forget to go potty!
Yes let's go again...
Yes again...
Yes OK again...What a good boy put another star on your chart!
Yes he's learning really fast
No that can't be right - 17 stars in 4 hours??
No that's too much...
Yes I will call the Doctor in the city
Yes we can wait...
No don't worry it's nothing
Yes he has an ear infection, oh and by the way...
Yes Doctor that IS a lot of water
No there are no cases of diabetes in either family
Yes it IS probably nothing then
No problem let's test him today
Yes he can give a urine sample, he goes in the potty!
Yes that is amazing for such a little boy
No it looks fine to me too
Yes we'll wait to hear
No there won't be anything wrong
Yes it is taking awhile
Yes we'll come in
Yes normal blood sugar range for him is 6...
His can't be 43!
Yes it's true...
Yes a 2 year old can get diabetes
Yes he can (and will!) lead a normal life
No he can't take pills for it
Yes he will have needles for the rest of his life
No he doesn't like the needles
No he doesn't like the pokes
Yes he will grow up only knowing this way of life
No he will never "get used to it"
No don't feel sorry for him/us
No your child can't catch it
Yes we are so grateful we found out in time
Yes we are relieved it was not fatal
No he will not outgrow it
Yes there WILL be a cure...

Shelly Tyler

Altona, Manitoba Canada

Published September 24, 1999

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