The beginning of the journey

There was a moment that had changed our lives forever. The moment of initial denial, confusion, blame and “i-want-to-wake-up” state of mind. That moment was when my oldest daughter was diagnosed with  Type 1 diabetes.

They say if you don’t know where to start, start from the beginning. The beginning was quite common (as I know know) for all newly diagnosed diabetics. Albi was 4 years old. She was well potty trained and did perfect without wetting at night incidents. She was an active child, who liked taekwondo, dancing, and never sat in one place for more than 1.5 second. She always liked to drink water and milk. In comparison to me, I dont like to drink water. I prefer 3, 4, 5 or ect cups of coffee per day. So not healthy of me.

I need to say that during day time her drinking needs were the same, it was nights when she was thirsty. And then she would wet her bed. Also she was complaining on stomach and head ache. Also I struggled to feed her, Albi claimed she was never hungry.

I took her to the doctor. I knew there was a disease called diabetes and in my mind, lacking of valuable knowledge at that time, diabetes was a life style disease that was privileged to adults or mature people, who eat unhealthy. Could I imagine that there was type 1? No.

Why you didn’t google it?? – some of you may ask. Because I don’t trust google, I trust real doctors, and as I said earlier, I took her to one.

Unfortunately, as I know now, a lot of new diabetics are misdiagnosed initially. I heard of kids that had been treated with flue instead of diabetes. In our case doc thought  wetting bed was developmental regression and drinking… well, she didnt drink the whole day, right, do this symptom was brushed off unfortunately. Drinking more water was blamed on her growing needs. The doctor was concerned with headaches, and I got instructions to time all headaches Albi had. Stomach ache…well, things happen. Now I know, that when blood sugar goes quickly up, it causes stomach ache, at least this is true with my diabetic child.

P.S. I haven’t heard a headache to be one of the symptoms of impending diabetes, so, in our case it might be a coincidence.

And one more thing. My daughter was loosing weight. And I had hard time feeding her. I heard of stories when kids ate a lot and were still loosing weight. Albi just didn’t eat and I would jump out of my skin to make her eat one decent meal per day.

It was summer time and my husband could take some time off from his work. We had planned earlier a trip to Mexico, and after doctor’s reassurance that everything was ok with Albi, we took off.

Everything was just fine at the beginning. Albina didn’t have great appetite, as per usual. Everything was “yuck” to her. Even ice-cream was not tasty enough. She would play by the pool and attend to kids disco at night. Her water intake increased a lot, and so did night time accidents, by dinner time I could tell she was tired, despite her extensive day naps.

Does this sound like type 1 diabetic symptoms to you? Yes, now they sound diabetic to me too. But that time I thought that she was tired because it was really hot in Mexico (it was end of June), because she was running, swimming and dancing the whole day and because she was a young kid and kids tend to get tired to the end of their energetic days. But my daughter’s tiredness and exhaustion was growing each day, she started to ask to stay in the room, she would lay on the bed and she would spend the good portion in the room. We literally had to push her to go out. Meanwhile my other daughter was in the same emotional and physical state as always. The difference between them health-wise was growing hourly, not even daily. Albi never vomited though. Anyways, we knew that something was going on and I knew I was taking her to see a doctor first thing we land in Toronto.

Albi was quiet on the plane, she didn’t want to talk, all she wanted was to sleep. And drink. And pee. She was thinner than she was when we had got to Mexico.

We landed early morning. My dad, the minute he saw Albina, realized that something was very very wrong. And then she threw up. In the airport washroom. This gave me and idea that may be she did got a stomach flew, but I was (and still am) not a doctor and was anxious to wait till the morning to get her medical help.

I got to a walk in clinic, since I didn’t want to waste time on waiting for an appointment with Albina’s pediatrician. And the kaleidoscope of so many things had begun. First urine stick, first finger poke, me, asking “how long does diabetes last? A week or so?” and “but kids cant have diabetes, it comes with age”, and other stupid question.

Our lives had changed immediately, but realization and acceptance came some time later. The new journey had started…


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