Our journey begun on a hot summer day July 17, 2013. Jack complained of a stomach ache, being thirsty and peeing a lot all evening after we got home from work. I was thinking he might have been too hot that day due to the 100 plus temperatures. So I called his grandma, as she is a nurse, and asked her medical opinion – hoping diabetes wasn’t even a possibility. As we talked Jack became worse and we knew he need medical attention. So we decided to go to the hospital. When we were back in the emergency room they took his blood sugar. I sat there and prayed that it was going to be a good number. I glanced over at the meter and it said “greater than 500”. At that moment I felt like his life was over. I thought all the dreams and hopes I had for him were shattered.
Jack spent 5 days in the Toledo Children’s Hospital and we learned a lot of things about how to care for him. Jack’s new doctor, Dr. Mark Watkins, gave him a bear name Rufus and the Bag of Hope from JDRF. They gave us useful tools and information to care for him and resources to help us cope with the type 1 diagnosis. I still felt so overwhelmed by all of the things going on. I felt like I did something make him have this. At the time, I felt like no one understood what I am going through as a parent.
All this changed one day not long after he was diagnosed. We had to go to Build-a-Bear at the mall because Jack said Rufus needed new clothes. Jack and Rufus are best friends and he treats Rufus like he is part of the family. So we packed Jack’s bag of hope backpack(including Rufus) up with all the things Jack would need just in case. Then we were off to the mall to Build-a-Bear. When we were finished shopping, we were walking out to the car to go home and I heard this little voice say “I have a backpack just like that”. I took a few more steps and I turned around. It was a mother with two little boys. It took me a few more moments to realize what the little boy said. Then I asked her if her son was diabetic, and she said “Yes, my son Jacob is diabetic” . We stood there and talked for a few minutes. After we talked I realized in that moment there is hope. I went from feeling alone to feeling supported, hopeful and knowing that having a child with type 1 diabetes is not the end of the world. Jack will and can do anything. We are not alone and someday there will be a cure for type 1 diabetes – until then we have each other.