My daughter Rachelle is 12 years old and in 6th grade. Just one week or so before she turned 12 on Friday, August 27, 2004 she was at a Girl Scout Sleepover and as a co-leader I was also there. I noticed that she was drinking a lot and running frequently to the restroom and not having much time to have fun with her friends. I continued to watch her closely over the rest of the weekend. Since she stayed the same (no better, no worse) I was worried that she was showing signs either a urinary tract infection or diabetes. She was also extra tired and hungry all of the time. Since I have been around family and friends that have diabetes (but type 2) I was very aware of the symptoms. I took her to the pediatrician on Monday, August 30, 2004, and they tested her urine. Instead of infection.....they found it very high in sugar. I started crying.....then they tested her blood sugar on the doctor's meter. The reading was 592! I cried some more and called my husband and my sister. Since Rachelle was not yet spilling ketones....the doctor's office arranged for us to go to Texas Children's Hospital here in Houston the next morning. That night after lots of crying and shock I resolved to pull myself together and do everything possible to learn how to best help Rachelle.
The next morning the doctors at Texas Children's Hospital checked her over and since she still only had a trace of ketones we were blessed to not have to be admitted to the hospital. Thankfully, we had caught it quickly. She received her first insulin shot and then we spent the entire afternoon learning about testing, giving shots, eating correctly, etc. The hospital staff was wonderful! I just can't say enough about them and our assigned nurse, Charlexia! We had two more mandatory classes, one a week after diagnosis (on her actual 12th Birthday!) and then another a month after. We have also taken the optional flex class to learn about flexible eating vs. additional insulin for "extras". They have certainly made a difficult situation bearable.
Right now Rachelle is still a very active 12 year old. She has the support and help from her family, friends, Girl Scout troop, classmates, teachers, counselor, etc. We are blessed to have a full time RN and an assistant in her school. There are also three other diabetics. They are very good about sending her with a buddy to the nurse when she feels low and she has selected one in each class. She still does pretty much what still wants.....gymnastics, skating, bike riding, camping with the family, walking our dog, etc. At first I was terrified when I was not with her. Now she is very comfortable with her meal plan, testing and giving all of her shots. We had so many lows in the beginning and still have a few now and then. We are preparing to take classes for "intensive management" with Lantus and Humalog in order to prepare for a pump and the class for that in the next few months. She has also signed up to attend her first diabetic camp in July.
We would love to hear from others who want to talk or share their experiences.
Camille (Rachelle's mom)
Havelka AT sbcglobal.net.
Published February 3, 2005
Last Updated: Friday February 04, 2005 20:16:28
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