Our son Max, age 11, was diagnosed with Diabetes on March 6, 1997. We knew nothing about diabetes, no family members on either side are diabetic. Max's symptoms came on gradually. There were extreme emotional outbursts about nothing. Max is a very serious kid by nature, but he really flew off the handle at the littlest thing. Then we noticed that our A+ student was barely able to do his homework. A few assignments would literally take him hours. Then came the bad dreams about dying, the excessive thirst and the frequent urination. I (Bonnie) thought that Max had a bladder infection and called the doctor requesting a urinalysis. He tested high for sugar, but I still had no clue. Our doctor sent him for a fasting blood sugar the next morning,and bright and early the next day, March 6, we found out that Max had diabetes. We spent the whole day in the hospital with our new Endocrinologist, our educator, and the dietician. Wow! When we tested Max's bg at the hospital, it was 418. His first shot of Humulog was like a shot of adrenalin to him.
Needless to say we have learned alot in the past 8 months. Max had a very bad school adjustment because his teacher was afraid of his diabetes. She made the last few months of 4th grade almost unbearable. I don't know who was more relieved on the last day of school. Also, we found that the school nurses, who by the way said "no thank you" to a crash course in diabetes education from our educator, really don't know how to deal with "sick" diabetic kids. When Max got an upset stomach in school, which turned out to be the onset of a very nasty stomach virus, they threatened him with the hospital and IVs if he didn't eat his lunch! He was traumatized! I could go on and on, but you get the idea!
Max went to Camp Setebaid in July, and he made some friends and learned about diabetes. Camp was a great experience for the whole family, giving us a much needed break from our new routine, and instilling some much needed self-confidence in Max. He loved camp!
Anyway, Max is doing very well. New school, great teacher, excellent school nurse, and much wiser parents! Everyone involved with Max has watched the video supplied to us by the hospital and knows that he can usually tell if he is high or low or super. No one tries to second guess him, and if there is a real problem, they call me. Max's "honeymoon" is over, but we are optomistic that we are on top of things, that he is healthy and happy and has the best care that he can get. Max plans to become a scientist/researcher someday, and has told us that he will discover a cure for diabetes if there hasn't already been one.
I guess if I have to be thankful for something, it is the fact that Max has an illness that can be controlled. I am also thankful that I have quite a few more years with Max before he goes off to M.I.T. to help him learn how to take care of himself. There is so much involved. I know it will be hardest on me when he goes off to school. Moms are like that! And I can wait!
The Morneault's receive e-mail at email@example.com.
Original posting: 6 Dec 1997
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