I can say that when Henry was born I never thought I would be a T1 Mombie. The thought had very honestly never even occurred to me since there is no family history. So when he started wetting through his diapers (we cloth diapered at the time) we chalked it up to if you drink a lot of course you will wet a lot. It made logical sense in our brains! Then he started breathing funny, but it was in such a way we thought he was playing around. Just before diagnosis that breathing got stranger, but we had just been at a friends house who had carpeting so maybe it was allergies? When we figured out something was really wrong, our sweet boy was so darn tired for no apparent reason. We called the pediatrician and he told us run do not walk to the hospital immediately. There was no thought as to what it might be in that moment.
Henry was diagnosed on March 28th, 2015 when he was just 19 months old in full blown DKA. When we arrived at the hospital they did blood work and while we waited on the results they took him for a chest x-ray to see if the breathing was due to a lung issue. By the time we got back to the ER room the words came out of the doctor’s mouth and I immediately started to cry. They whisked him away to get a central line put in and then we were in the PICU for 3 days and on the pediatric floor another 2 after that.
That much time in a hospital gives you so much time to think. How did I not notice the signs? Why did I not know sooner something was very wrong? Could I have done something to prevent this?
I spent so much time blaming myself for something that no one could have prevented. My guilt took over in those moments and I spent every waking moment when Henry was resting to research what our new normal would look like. I threw myself into every support group, signed up with the JDRF, and looked into SSI all in the 5 days we were in the hospital. All the while we were learning about carb counting and how to calculate insulin and keep our boy alive. That was when the mombie life first started for me. Sleep was not something that came easy and I was up every few hours to make sure Henry was still breathing. 6 months at that pace is when I finally hit my first wall of major depression as a parent.
Anti-depressants gave me some of my life back, but T1D has stolen so much from us and Henry. Now, 5 years later, I still cannot sleep well. I live in constant fear of him not waking up one morning. This experience triggered such PTSD that I cannot even so much as read storied of other kids being injured or severely ill. In this last year (2020… the year of WTAF??) the anxiety has increased, but T1 parenting in the time of COVID will be a post for another day.