Blog Post - The Day

It began just as any other summer day would have. The kids were out of school enjoying a day with Nonni (Grandma), while Sarah and I were both at work. Conor and his sister were enjoying a visit to the Butterfly House, but something started to seem a bit off. As the afternoon wore on, the fun was accompanied by a noticeably increasing amount thirst and subsequent trips to the bathroom. Summer in St. Louis tends to be rather hot and humid, and one could have easily written it off as just that. Although, as I've come to realize since having kids, a mother's (and grandmother's for that matter) intuition is typically spot on.

By the time Sarah picked the kids up at the end of the day, Nonni was keeping count of how many bathroom breaks there had been. I don't recall the exact number, but it was well into the twenties between roughly noon at 4PM. As Sarah brought the kids back home for dinner, what we noticed right away was the extreme level of thirst. Conor quickly went through three bottles of water during dinner. After seeing for ourselves what Nonni had noticed earlier in the day, we made the decision to take Conor in. His pediatrician's office was closed for the day and urgent care had an extensive wait, so Sarah drove him to the ER, while I watched his big sister back home. By that time, the writing was on the wall. You hate to become Dr. Google, but I will say that there's pretty much only one result that pops up when your search terms include "extreme thirst", "frequent bathroom trips", etc.

Upon arriving to the ER, we found out that Conor's blood glucose was well into the 800's (normal range for a non-diabetic is around 100). His little body was doing all that it could to flush out the excess glucose that, as we would come to find out, his pancreas was no longer able to. It didn't take long for a Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis to hit as close to home as possible. Our five-year-old's life would forever be changed.

The next couple of days at the hospital were met with many visits from in-house pediatricians, endocrinologists and diabetes educators. We were on a crash course to learn as much as we could about this disease in two to three days. As we came to find out, this is standard procedure, as the hospital won't let you go home until they're confident enough in your ability "manage" the disease (in other words, keep yourself out of the hospital).

Upon being discharged, we felt that we had just enough education and tools to keep Conor's glucose levels somewhat steady. However, the days, weeks and months ahead would undoubtedly do their best to challenge that initial perspective...