Monday, February 9, 2009

As a father of a type 1 son, I find that there aren't too many bloggers out there with similar circumstances. When I read blogs about diabetes, they're usually someone that actually has diabetes, or the mother of someone with diabetes. And there are some really good ones out there! And as a fairly typical male, I find it really hard to share my feelings. But here goes anyway...

When our Son, Aaron, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 11 months of age, my Wife, Gloria, and I knew nothing about this disease. The only thing I really knew was that when I was in high school, a friend had it, and she passed away at a very young age from complications. In fact, me and a couple of other high school friends had gone to visit her after I had been discharged from the Air Force in 1981, and she was blind and could barely walk. Needless to say, it was a very moving visit, and when she passed away soon after our visit, it was heartbreaking. When I had enlisted in the Air Force but prior to actually going on active duty, this friend had made me a photo album with the title "Man of the Hour". Little did I know then how diabetes would touch my life. Of course, things have changed tremendously since then, with the advent of simple blood testing meters, insulin pumps, and such. I can't imagine what my friend and her family went through.

Back in 2000, Aaron was a typical 11 month old, on the verge of walking and discovering the world. He had the typical illnesses, ear infections, colds, etc. But the ear infections he had this time were different in some way. I can't really explain it, but he was acting like there was something else wrong. Of course, we took him to the doctor, who prescribed antibiotics. But Aaron wasn't getting better. I remember we went to get a family picture taken, but there was nothing anybody could do to make Aaron smile. He was a happy, fun-loving baby before this. Looking at that picture now, I can kind of tell that Aaron was sick with more than an ear infection. We took Aaron back to the doctor, and the doctor said that sometimes ear infections are like that, that it sometimes takes a while to recover. But Aaron is our 3rd born, and we had been through many ear infections. We left the doctor and trusted what he told us. I know that we couldn't have prevented Aaron from getting diabetes, and I certainly don't blame the doctors or myself. If I remember right, Gloria had gone to a candle party one evening, and that's when I knew something definitely wasn't right. Aaron kept drinking water but he couldn't hold it down. His diaper was soaked every couple of hours. For some reason, diabetes didn't even cross my mind, even with having a friend with it, and I knew the symptoms. I called Gloria and told her that she needed to come home right away. She did. We waited a night, trusting what the doctor had said about ear infections. I don't remember if she took Aaron to the doctor or just called him the next day, but I do remember getting a call at work from her saying to meet her at the hospital, Aaron was being admitted. I had no idea what was wrong, and I don't remember the drive from work to the hospital. I do remember going up to the pediatric ward and she and Aaron were just walking in at the same time. We gave our baby to the doctors and waited. I have no recollection of how long we waited, but I do remember the doctor coming in and telling us the diagnosis. The only thing that I could ask was "what's the prognosis?" I remember the doctor telling us that there was no cure, that Aaron would have this for the rest of his life. I remember the doctors telling us that it was very, very hard to get a needle in to Aaron's tiny veins. We then went on a comrehensive 3-day training session about diabetes, which is now all a blur to me. I do remember that Aaron was in the pediatric intensive care unit for 3 days. Either Gloria or myself stayed with him the whole time, sleeping in an uncomfortable (for sleeping) recliner at night. Aaron got better, and I remember having to get all the diabetes supplies and having to show them to the doctors and nurses at the hospital before they would release Aaron. Needless to say, it was a very scary time in our lives.

Well, in proofreading this, I see that I really still haven't shared my feelings with you! More or less just a story about Aaron's diagnosis. Going to have to work on that still...


  1. Hi. My son was diagnosed with Type 1, 3 1/2 years ago when he was 3. I don't know if you have ever read Carey's blog, but wanted to give you the link just in case you haven't. He's a dad that writes a blog about his son, Charlie, who has Type 1. The link is:

    He hasn't written much there lately, but also has a blog on Dlife's Blogabetes that he writes in much more frequently.

    I look forward to reading your "feelings".

  2. Thanks for that info! I added Carey's blog to my blog, and also subscribed via Google Reader to his d-life blog. Great writing!


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