The most common question we have been asked this week is, “What was wrong? How did you know to take him in?”
For our situation, insatiable thirst and frequent urination were the red flags. From what I have read, this is a common indicator of Type 1 Diabetes.
The boy is always a drinker, so it took a while for us to catch it. It actually took some bed-wetting incidents, which were completely abnormal, to really bring it to light. Even when we were potty training, we never had trouble with accidents in the night. The first time? We thought it was a fluke, maybe he was sleeping too hard after the football game. The second time? I was googling “my five year old is extremely thirsty” in the middle of the night. The results from the google search definitely scared me a little. I woke Mr. Gray up at midnight and expressed my concern. He reminded me we had all started taking vitamins (a plain multi-vitamin, everyone taking their own type and dose) and that he came home from work thinking he had diabetes just a few days before. I consulted Dr. Google (good thing he’s 24/7), found some plausible explanations, we prayed together, and went back to sleep.
Another day or two went on, and the drinking wasn’t stopping. Our water-only child was drinking anything he could get his hands on (juice, milk, completely abnormal for him) because he was so thirsty. We were counting the days trying to recall how long it took for the vitamins to completely stop having strange effects on Mr. Gray, but I was continuing to worry. On Monday, the 21st, I called and set up an appointment for Wednesday, September 23rd. After a slightly lethargic soccer practice and a phone call with a pedi friend, though, we decided we needed to take him in sooner than later. We got him in to the local pediatrician first thing Tuesday morning. Honestly, we completely believed that we were taking him in just to rule diabetes out and have it be deemed a stage, growth spurt, or unexplained weird thing kids do. Even the doctor told us before the testing that sometimes those things just happen with kids. He didn’t look or act sick. He wasn’t feeling bad. He was just thirsty.
Looking back, hindsight is definitely 20-20, we can also see spots of irritability and extra car naps in our recent past. They weren’t all together enough to be clear indicators in and of themselves, but they were definitely present in small doses.
The bottom line is, you know your child better than anyone, and if you suspect anything–anything at all–is off, call your doctor. If your doctor can’t get you in soon enough to make you comfortable, call another doctor. Get things checked out as early as you start to notice they’re awry.