Back to Parent' Voices Barbara Dougherty

My son Billy was diagnosed with diabetes on February 10, 1995 at the tender age of 22 months. It was a very difficult time for my husband and I, but we made it through. I knew all the signs of diabetes because my father was also a type 1 diabetic. At diagnosis, Billy's blood sugar was 600 and luckily he was not very ill. I have heard so may horror stories from parents who had no idea their child had diabetes, or their pediatrician did not pick up on it and their poor child ended up in the PICU. We spent 5 days in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and then the adventure at home began.

I won't say it wasn't a hard road, but we had a wonderful support system. Billy was in daycare full time for seven weeks after diagnosis with a wonderful teacher who learned as much as she could about diabetes. We also had family and other close friends reading and taking crash courses in diabetes care in case we ever need them to take care of Billy. Having support can make all the difference in the world.

As Billy gets older (he is now 9) life is much easier. He is a wonderful little boy who participates in everything. He plays soccer and baseball for our local Boys & Girls Club, he swims all summer and is a wonderful student. Last year he was student of the year and won the citizenship award for his class.

Billy will be starting up on the insulin pump September 2002. We are very excited but a little nervous. His A1C has always been good, but we would like to give him more freedom in his little life.

For those of you out there who have newly diagnosed children, please hang in there. Once both you and your child get used to the routine it does become a lot easier. You will still have your ups and down, but once you learn to trouble-shoot things will improve. Also, try to find a diabetic specialist who will really work well with you. Without the support of our wonderful nurse Andrea, I don't think I would have made it through the 1st month. Good luck to all of you.

You can e-mail me at Wdoughertyb[@]

Published August 4, 2002

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