Back to Kids' Voices Nathan

My son was 10 months old when we found out he has diabetes. It was February 14, 2001. We had spent two days in Palos Hospital where they had misdiagnosed him with bronchitis. They were treating him with steroids and nothing seemed to make his breathing better he was fighting for every breath, the same symptoms his father showed when he was in DKA. His father was diagnosed when he was five years old, so we were aware that our son may become diabetic. We were assured that he was not diabetic because he is was too young and it skips a generation, and even if they ran tests they could not get accurate results because of the steroids they were giving him. Finally the doctors there realized they had no idea how to help him. They called for a team from RUSH Hospital to come from Chicago and get him.

We arrived at RUSH at 5am. The Doctors there ran all kinds of test because the acid in his blood was so high they were not sure of the cause. Sure enough, the cause was DKA. They were not sure if he could be saved. I have never been so scared in my entire life. It was the worst feeling to see my lifeless son in PICU and feeling so helpless. When he finally was diagnosed, I felt relived because they knew now why he could not breath.

After he was stable reality started to sink in. Now I started to think about what this meant for him and the rest of his life and I felt helpless again. Now we had to prick his finger sometimes 10 times a day. He needs 2 shots a day. A strict routine. I had so many questions. Will he be able to live like a "normal kid"? Will I be able to care for him properly? So many more. Of course I know he is a normal kid, and of course I can take care of him. It was just so scary at first, well it still is.

It has only been two months. Since our whole life has changed, and while his blood sugar levels are not quite regulated, we are coping. He is really great about the blood tests he never cries in fact he claps because we make such a big deal about making it like a game. The shots he hardly notices at all.

His father has been a great support, even though we are not living together, or are we a couple. I could not have gotten through this whole experience without his support. We also consider ourselves very lucky to have such a caring family between his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins on both sides. I never feel like I'm facing this alone. I have full faith that Mommy and Nathan are going to be O.K. With all the new breakthroughs, I don't feel so helpless when I think of the future.

Jennifer, Nathan's mom

Published April 18, 2001


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Last Updated: Sunday December 05, 2004 11:16:42
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