In which we suddenly become a juvenile diabetes family

Yesterday, we took our ten-year-old to the ER because she couldn’t stop throwing up. Within a few hours, they diagnosed her with type 1 diabetes. That night, they transported her to a bigger hospital and hour away (the same one where my dad had his bypass surgery recently), and that’s where we are now.

She is okay, thanks be to God. It is a good hospital. Things are going to change for our family. I know almost nothing about diabetes, so now we start to learn. She is resting now, and we are waiting to meet with a team of doctors at some point this morning. Got very little sleep last night, and Damien and several of the other kids have a bad stomach bug, SO THAT’S GOOD.

We ask for your prayers to get through the next few days and whatever comes next. From today’s Magnificat reading for the Feast of St. Joseph:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

46 thoughts on “In which we suddenly become a juvenile diabetes family”

  1. Sending love, prayers, and solidarity. Our son’s T1D journey began 13 years ago this July. It’s definitely not fun, but like anything not fun it has graces attached.

  2. My then 10 year old was diagnosed 9 months ago. I am a physician so I was a little ahead of the 8 ball in the learning curve but it is still a big diagnosis! There are so many great Facebook pages and you can learn so much from them. BUT, as a mom with 8 kids, I found that life with a T1 is not as traumatic as some make it sound. You can do this! Your daughter will soon do it better than you. Further bonus for any kid in your house who isinterested in medicine — the chance to learn how to give shots! (Seriously some days they fight over it when our T1 gives in and lets them do it.). As others have said I am happy to chat/discuss//encourage/talk about the next greatest thing (oh so many GREAT things) anytime!

  3. I’m so sorry to hear this. I’ll pray for Lucy and for her long-suffering parents.

    Please know that this won’t stop Lucy from having an active life – I have a friend who was diagnosed with T1 around her age; he’s now in his 30s and has a successful career as a paramedic.

  4. Sorry for all you all are going through. I just read the book, The Plant Paradox, this weekend. It may or may not have some info that is helpful for your daughter!

    1. Praying for you now! My 10 yr old has been type 1 since 19 months old. It’s wonderful that 10 year olds can tell you how they feel!
      We’re having Zuppa toscana tonight (Thank you for posting tummy recipes! ) for his birthday dinner. It’s 12.9 carbs per cup. We write the carbs down on all our favorite recipes.

  5. Praying for you and your family, Simcha! My son was diagnosed at age 8. One of my first thoughts was, “He’s not going to be able to have yogurt anymore!” Silly, I know, but he loved yogurt. It’s not true, though! Lucy will be able to have anything she wants, within reason, of course. (ie, she shouldn’t eat an entire cake.) She’s still growing, she needs carbs. You just dose for the carbs. Ignore the people who want to tell you about their cat’s diabetes or their grandma’s (type 2) diabetes. And most importantly, ignore the people who tell you it could be worse. They’re insensitive morons. Anyway, welcome to the exclusive club of Parents of Kids with Diabetes. I’m sorry you had to join! You’ll find a lot of great information at http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com. It’s the best! I don’t know how I would have done without the wonderful parents who made this site! Please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you, whether it’s answering questions, listening to you vent, whatever! You’ll find your new normal. It’s going to be ok! Sending you hugs!

    1. My sister is a diabetic. The insulin injections aren’t the hardest part; it’s trying to keep the blood sugar somewhat stable by monitoring the diet. You don’t want to have to get too crazy with the insulin just so a child can eat whatever they want (I’m sure you know this.) The sooner they learn they can’t eat and drink like everybody else, the better (because, teenage years). The best diet she found for that was something like Whole30. She was having a lot of midnight hypos (so scary) until she cut out the “forbidden foods.”

      1. I have two T1 children, one is a teen, and they do in fact eat and drink just like everyone else. We calculate the insulin dose and they do just fine. They have excellent A1Cs and are very healthy and active.

  6. Hugs from Michigan to your family. We are a year and a half in to our little guy’s dx and I remember very well the feelings: fear, exhaustion, relief that things were under control and insulin exists, frustration that so few of the docs and nurses live with T1D and that we actually got conflicting advice in the hospital. Become a member of a great Catholic T1D group asap- Devra knows one! Moms are hands down your best resource and they will tell you what you need right off the bat. Devra herself is an amazing resource, as you already know. I am so sorry your little sweetheart has this- but a cure is right around the corner (I’m talking Phase 3 trials) so our kids will be the last of the pokers. So. Many. Pokes. So sorry. 🙁

    1. One more thing: I was terrified I was going to misunderstand something and kill my son in my ignorance. I didn’t. Haven’t even come close. Your little girl is old enough to be a great reporter as to how she’s feeling/doing, which keeps things safe during the day. At night, I don’t let Paul go to sleep until he is above 150; his bg meanders around and drifts down towards 100 during the night. The night checks end pretty quickly, and when you get on a continuous glucose monitor (not the same as a pump), it’s a thing of beauty because you can set it up to make your phone alarm if your child is getting low, or even low-ish. Right now everything is so new, but each day that passes makes you a veteran, and you will nail this to the wall without having a coronary. God bless you all with health and peace.

  7. I’m so sorry Simcha. Prayers for your sweet one, and the whole family. This time next year it will all be integrated into the rhythm of your family life. Thank God she was born in the 21st century.

    This happened to a really good friend in H.S. He was out from school for longer than usual. His parents thought he had the flu, and his Mom kept on giving him 7Up to keep him hydrated. It was a scary situation. What floored us was the fact that his Dad is a *doctor*! I guess it can be really hard to spot.

  8. Praying for Lucy and for all of you!!

    We have type1 diabetes in both of our families, so I’m often holding my breath, waiting for this diagnosis for one of our children.

  9. I’m so sorry to hear your news. Sympathy and prayers for you all. Thank goodness you’re at a good hospital. And as others have mentioned, treatment of this disease is much improved these days.

    1. Hi…been T1 for 31 years.
      A few resources for you:
      Joslin (Boston) for an endocrinologist…
      *they have a 4 day program called DO IT (the kids version is during the summer…nice refresher after you’ve settled in a bit)
      Clara Barton is a sleepaway Camp for T1s- great to have T1 peers
      JDRF is a great resource (they have a welcome kit)
      FB has a few groups: for parents & general T1- so you have peers
      (I’m a friend of Paul Bowman’s)…
      If you have any questions, or need another T1 to chat with, I’m here.
      -Aly

  10. One of my former students in Russia got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 14 or 15 over 20 years ago.

    She’s come over to the US to see specialists a couple times, but 90% of her treatment has been in Russia, often with very poor resources.

    And yet her family pulled together to get her what she needed, she finally got control of her sugars with real-time monitoring a few years ago, and she even got married and had a baby boy–in Russia!

    This is going to be a real trial for your family, but there’s never been a better time to be a Type 1 diabetic.

    Best wishes!

  11. And they overlooked her furry ears and tails in the diagnosis???? You might need a better medical team. (I kid, I kid!)

    Prayers for your peace as you navigate this diagnosis and learn to manage it.

  12. My friend who has 6 kids went through this with her second-oldest when the child was 11. So, yeah, 6 kids, she had to change how she cooked for her family pretty much overnight, learn all about testing blood sugar and administering insulin, AND (because there’s always something else, right?) they were moving house in 2 weeks. It felt overwhelming at first, but now the food thing and the blood-test thing has become second nature for her. You can do this. And luckily, 10-year-olds are pretty teachable – she should have all this down before she hits her teens. Good luck and hang in there!

    1. I have 6 children as well and my son came down with this at 9 years old (he is now 25). I know exactly what you are going through right now. I was traumatized for awhile but things get better and with the grace of God it becomes just and everyday thing. I really is not that difficult and can fit into almost any diet. You need to really understand carbs and how they affect your sugars. I will pray that your family gets comfortable with this quickly. There is so much research being done on this all the time. You can text and ask me anytime if you have any questions.

  13. I am glad your daughter is receiving good care but so sorry she and your whole family are going through this. I will be praying for all of you as your family adjusts to this new diagnosis.

  14. One of my childhood friends had a similar experience with her son at age 11 — turned their world upside down. Today he’s a thriving athlete; many kudos to Mom & Dad who spring into action on behalf of their babies in these moments. We’ll say a prayer.

  15. Simcha, my son was diagnosed T1D at age 11. I am so sorry to hear this. Please do feel free to contact me when you have a moment to breathe. If I can share knowledge and experience or just listen and pray, I’m willing to do whatever you need. I’m glad you are at a good hospital and praying that your next few boot-camp days will go well.

    1. I had thought of connecting you two when I read the news about little Lucy…you would be a great resource!

  16. Love and prayers for you all! It will be a life change, but you, Damien and Lucy will come out of it stronger and better, and the other children will learn more compassion and wisdom.

  17. As a Type 1 myself, this is an overwhelming and scary diagnosis to go through. But thanks be to God we live today, when there are medicines and machines that make living as a type 1 nearly normal. Your Lucy and the rest of your family will be in my prayers that you are able to see God’s grace through this. Happy to help you in anyway I can.

  18. Praying for your girl and your family!

    My son was diagnosed 11 years ago next week. It was overwhelming at first – so much information to absorb! – but eventually it just became our normal.

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