My cousin Leslie has one year old son who has type 1 diabetes. She is a finalists in a essay contest that could win her $2000 towards the purchase of an insulin pump. Please click on the VOTE link and vote for LESLIE HART. Voting ends tonight. Have your whole family vote. The more the better. Thanks everyone! Please vote now. Pass this onto your blog and sent it in emails if don't mind. It would hep her family a lot!
Here is her essay:
My doctor thought my 1 year old had the flu but I knew it was something more when his breathing was labored. I took him to the E.R. 4 hours later where he was diagnosed within 20 minutes of being there. My name is Leslie Hart and I am a mother of 5 children with my youngest (Hayden now 18 months) being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on the tenth of September of 2010, one week after his first birthday. This diagnosis rocked my world! Both my husband and I had decided that when we were done having kids that we would FINALLY take a big trip to Hawaii. We had it planned and booked. But it was about 3 weeks before my sons first birthday that he would wake up EVERY morning clothes and bed drenched from his FULL diaper. I thought his diapers were too small, I thought I gave him to much to drink...I bought bigger diapers and gave him less to drink. He looked like he was losing weight but I thought it was because he was starting to crawl and now he was l losing his baby fat. But then he became weak, I remember watching him crawl on the wood floor and the next thing I knew he was sleeping on the floor. He was weak, and I thought he had the flu.
The night before I took him to the doctor, he woke up EVERY hour wanting a bottle and he drank it as though he were dying of thirst. I still had know idea what was going on. That morning his breathing had changed as if he had just crawled up the stairs and was breathing hard. I took him to the doctor, and he said it was probably the flu. I told him he wasn't dehydrated because he was drinking so much. ( I never mentioned the diapers - I thought he just needed bigger or better diapers) but it was his labored breathing that I KNEW was not normal. The doctor told me that if I wanted peace of mind that I could go and have blood test done at the E.R. or urgent care. Four hours later I took him to the E.R. still thinking that something was wrong, and within 20 minutes he was diagnosed with type 1.
The Dr. told me he would be insulin dependent, I thought okay what's that one shot a day. I can do that. I was clueless! All the diabetic signs were there and I knew nothing about diabetes. I didn't even know that I had a first cousin who lived in Nampa, whose son had Type 1 (He was diagnosed almost 1 year to the exact day). Family History is so important to know, and to let other family members know what to look for. I could have lost my son over the weekend if I didn't listen to that motherly intuition.
We need to educate our society on diabetes and how to prevent and identify diabetic signs- even doctors. Later, my doctor (name withheld) told me he really didn't know a lot about diabetes and that they had to talk to their diabetic doctor about it. I know my doctor will not miss the next diabetic now because of my experience.
Diabetes effects the whole family. Hayden takes 6--8 shots a day, his finger is pricked 10-13 times a day. (his blood sugars are checked every 2 hours) Since Hayden is a toddler, he can't communicate with me whether he's feeling high sugars or low sugars which requires a lot of testing. My husband and I test him every night at 2 a.m. and sometimes every 2 hours through the night to make insulin adjustments or to feed him. We are tired but this little boy is so worth it. Hayden's needs also come first at meal time, the kids know it but they love their little brother and are patient. As for vacations, we will be vacationing together as a family, which is good. Dates with my husband usually involve our "third wheel" but he's a cute "third wheel!" We don't eat out as much either because carb counting can be difficult.
However, I've learned that doesn't have to control us we can control it with some work. Meeting and working with our Endocrinologist has been very educating when it comes to Diabetes. Hayden is our joy in life. He is a normal healthy boy who just needs insulin. He will live a normal life of activity and learning. He will soon be on a pump and we look forward to that as a family.
It's so important to know your family health history, and we need talk more openly about diabetes and how to prevent type2 as well to know what signs to look for in type1. I feel like I was introduced into another world that I didn't know existed. I now have a better understanding of other people's challenges and compassion for those who struggle with any physical health challenges.