Looking back M's symptoms probably started about 2 months before she was diagnosed, but most of what was happening I could explain with something else. In late November and December she started having trouble with schoolwork. (I blamed in on being busy during the holidays and her Christmas dance recital.) She also complained of stomach pain and was sick twice in December (half her class was out sick). She also said that her vision was blurry (my husband's family all wears glasses).
Then in January things got worse. It started with M wetting the bed. The first time it happened she said she had a dream that she was going to the bathroom and just went (OK, I've had that dream, but luckily I've never found the bathroom in my dream). Then a little over a week later it happened again. Now I was starting to worry. So I Googled bed wetting and came up with 3 possible explanations, psychological stress (no), UTI (maybe), and diabetes (uh-oh). I started watching M more closely to see if she had any other symptoms. My husband and I both work in the medical field so we are familiar with the symptoms, plus my husband is a Type 2 diabetic. M was hungry all the time, she would just finish dinner and in 15 minutes say she was hungry. I weighed her and discovered that despite eating constantly she had lost 5 lbs since fall (and she is skinny to begin with). She was thirsty all the time and constantly needing to go to the bathroom, this from a girl who could "hold it" forever.
The weekend before her diagnosis is when I knew. As a mom I knew in my gut that she had diabetes. It was Super Bowl Sunday. M had a birthday party to go to and then we were having family over to watch the Super Bowl. During the Birthday party she went to the bathroom twice, ate 3 slices of Pizza, a cupcake and chips and drank 3 Capri Suns. That night at home she ate non stop from our Super Bowl spread. I just knew I had to make an appointment with the Dr as soon as possible.
I called her Dr the next day. We couldn't get it until Wednesday (2/6/13). I almost called back to cancel because in those next few days all her symptoms seemed to disappear. I am so glad we kept that appointment. Knowing what I know now I should have taken her to the ER as soon as I suspected diabetes.
The Dr had her give a urine sample. M thought this was funny because she peed all over my hand while I was holding the cup. I was hoping for a UTI but I just knew. When the Dr came back in I could tell from the look on his face. She had sugar in her urine. He then did a finger stick. Her BG was 476. I was trying to hold it together for M as he was telling me she was in diabetic ketoacidosis. Now I was scared, as I said I work in the medical field and know what this is. He told us to go home and pack a bag and head to the Children's hospital about an hour away, our local children's hospital does not treat DKA and would just send her there. He would direct admit her though the ER and she would probably be in intensive care.
In the car I started to cry. I called my husband and told him, and then my mom and mother in law. I told M we had to take her to the hospital, sweet girl that she is she said "but mom, you'll miss your Zumba class" (I told her she is more important than Zumba). I don't know how long it took us to get on our way to the hospital once we got home, but it seemed like forever. I packed bags, called work, had to find someone to take care of our puppy (we had just got him a week ago) and find directions to the hospital.
Once at the hospital it was more urine check and finger sticks. M wanted something to eat but couldn't have anything. M did not have to go to intensive care but we finally got a room about 9 pm. She got her insulin injection and was allowed to eat. I think she was so hungry the shot didn't even bother her.
After a long sleepless night it was extensive diabetes training mixed in with a visit from a magician and a pony. Yes a pony. I know my mind was not taking in all I would need to know to care for M. That night we went home. I cried again in the car. How was I going to care for her. She can be very stubborn, will she let me give her shots and check her BG?
The next day was filling prescriptions and picking up supplies and grocery shopping for food that we could easily carb count. Surprisingly M did not give me a hard time about finger sticks or her insulin injections, maybe she felt so bad before and the insulin was making her feel better. I don't know, but I am glad we did not have the experience of having to hold her down to give shots. After a few days M even insisted on preparing her own shots. She said "Mom, I have to do it myself someday!" I was very proud of her. My little girl has grown up is such a short time. How many six year olds go through your pantry cupboard or the grocery store reading food labels and telling you how many carbs are in them! She is hoping to get a pump soon and we are learning to live with our new normal.