July 12, 2010, is a date forever ingrained in our hearts. This is our 12-year-old son Marty’s dia-versary. Marty was a very thin and moody 5-year-old when we decided to take him to the pediatrician to be checked for type 1 diabetes (T1D). Although we had our suspicions, his diagnosis still came as a complete shock. We have no family history.
We went directly from the pediatrician’s office to Children’s Hospital emergency room. His blood sugar level was so dangerously high it did not register a number at the pediatrician’s office. Marty was admitted immediately. Four days in the hospital did not really allow the shock to wear off. Marty’s blood sugars needed to stabilize, and we needed to learn how to take care of our son, which meant learning how to finger poke, dose insulin, give shots, count carbs and treat high and low sugars. When we were discharged, we honestly felt like we were bringing home a baby bird that we had no idea how to take care of. We were scared, sad and overwhelmed. Some days, we are still scared. Most people do not realize the deadly consequences of high and low blood sugars. Everyday is a balancing act for our family.
If it were not for JDRF’s support immediately upon our discharge, we would still be in a state of sadness. They have connected us with other families affected by T1D, who have become lifelong friends. Not only has JDRF been a source of comfort, but also a wealth of information. As we continue to pray daily for a cure for our son, JDRF is working tirelessly to help that dream come true through their research efforts. We are forever grateful and indebted to these amazing people who find it just as important as we do to find a CURE!