When one in a million really does happen--when our son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes

By Nicole

For each new morning with its light, 
For rest and shelter of the night, 
For health and food, for love and friends, 
For everything Thy goodness sends. 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wrote the entry below on 4/24/2008 on a piece of scrap paper in the Boston Children's Hospital ER.
I spent the night awake there on a cot with my nursing baby. Pat stayed with 5 year old Ryan in his room on a pediatric floor..
Back home we had a 3 year old who was in the care of my parents during this period.
Ryan was pricked and prodded all night. He was so young that he didn't understand what was happening and resisted every needle. This made accepting his condition so much harder. To figure out his proper insulin dose he needed constant blood testing.
His blood sugar was around 900 upon admit to the ER. (People without diabetes have blood sugar around 100.)
Until this illness struck, we had a healthy, active pre-schooler. No one in either of our families has Type 1 Diabetes and we never thought this could happen to our child.
I painfully had to stay separate at night during his hospitalization since I had a baby and siblings weren't allowed to stay overnight in the room. I anxiously waited all night until early the next morning when I could return to be with my child. Ryan was diagnosed the day before with type 1 diabetes and I was in a state of total shock.

Tomorrow, for the 6th year, we walk in support of JDRF in hope for a cure.

April 24, 2008

My precious Ryan-

You were diagnosed yesterday with Type 1 Diabetes, I still can't believe it. 

I lie here awake with your 5 month old brother sleeping on my body waiting, one last 1/2 hour, so I can be with you. 
You are upstairs on the 7th floor and your Daddy is with you. He loves you so much.
The nurses were kind to let me have a bed in the ER but I want so much to be close to you right now, to hold you and love you. 
You were strong yesterday, it was so hard what you had to do. So many needles... so many tests.

I've been crying a lot, but I don't let you see me cry. I want to be strong for you. I know that we (your Dad and I) can do this. We can learn everything we need to know to take care of you. But, I do feel scared that it will be hard for me to give you needles when I know it hurts you. It will be hard for me to prick your finger over and over and over. 
But I will, I know I have to. 

I hate it that you will have to have all this pain, it's so hard for me to see you in pain. 
I wish so much that I could do it all for you, but I can't. 
I wish I could have this awful disease instead of you. 
I can't stop the tears, but I won't let you see me this way. 
I want this to all go away but I know that it won't.

We can do this, we will, we have to. 

I will be brave for you. 
I love you so much. 

Love, Mom


What is type 1 or juvenile diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children with type 1 diabetes can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy, happy lives. If you have or know a child who was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you may also be interested in our book, Guide to Raising a Child with Diabetes, 3rd Edition.

Ryan's team, Boston Walk


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