On Sunday May 29th 2011 I discovered I was pregnant. I will never forget that day, Dylan was away for the weekend and I eagerly awaited his arrival so that we could do the pregnancy test together. It was to be one of the happiest days of my life. I did everything right, I had taken folic acid for 3 months prior to conceiving, I hadn't drunk any alcohol, I didn't smoke, I avoided shellfish, blue cheese etc, I attended the antenatal classes, had the most amazing pregnancy ever. I went into labour on Friday 3rd February 2012. My waters broke at around 10:00hrs (you can read my birth story here) I had a normal birth with only gas and air as pain relief and Fletcher came into the world at 19.57hrs - THE happiest day of my life. I breastfed my baby for 12 months, determined to give him the best start in life. Life was pretty sweet.
On Thursday 3rd July 2014 at approximately 11:50am our lives changed forever........Fletcher was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the ripe age of 2 years and 5 months.
I knew something was up. He had been drinking the sea dry and couldn't get the toilet quick enough. He had been with my mum the days leading up to the diagnosis whilst I was at work and she had also noticed the amount he was drinking/weeing. She actually text me on the Wednesday whilst I was in work to say he was weeing every hour. My mum has diabetes herself and I knew what she was thinking. I rather conveniently work in the Paediatric Department as a medical secretary so had a word with the Paediatric Endocrinologist just to ask what they class as excessive fluid intake/urination. He asked me if Fletcher was unwell at all (which he wasn't in the slightest). I explained that he's always liked to drink a lot. The consultant gave me a couple of sample pots and told me to get a urine sample checked, if it was diabetes it would be throwing out sugar all over the place but he suspected that I just had a toddler that liked the taste of juice, because other than the thirst/weeing he was completely well in himself, apart from his behavior which had been extra bad over the last 2 weeks, we put it down to terrible twos.
Thursday morning we woke up as if it was any other day. I sat down had my breakfast, Fletcher watched CBeebies and when he asked to have a wee wee I stuck him on the potty and got my urine sample. I then called the surgery to see if I could bring the sample in to be checked. Fortunately they had a cancellation for an appointment at 11:40am and I was able to see a doctor. So we went about our every day business, I cleaned my bathroom as I do every Thursday, Fletcher played with his cars and at 11.30am we set off for the surgery.
We were called in, I explained Fletcher's symptoms and the GP dipped his urine to which she informed me he had a lot of sugar in it (I knew what this meant) she then checked his blood glucose with a finger prick test which came up as high, it didn't give a number it just said high, the doctor informed me that this meant it was over 25 (It should be around 4 - 6 in a normal healthy person) my poor baby must have felt like total crap. After a call to the hospital we were admitted to the Children's Unit at the hospital urgently. They checked his blood glucose on admission and it was 29.1!! So Fletcher had a cannula inserted in case he needed an IV, which thankfully he never did. We were given the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, I can't remember my reaction, to be honest I don't think there was much of a reaction as my suspicions were right all along, it was like they were telling me something I already knew. Nothing prepares you for the aftermath though, the anger, the feeling of sadness, the hurt, anguish, emptiness, sorrow, the dull ache in your heart. I don't think there is a word for the emotion that I felt.
The days are ok, but when he sleeps and he's so innocent and peaceful, that's when it hits me. I made a child with crappy pancreas that don't work properly, is it my fault? Why him? What did he do at 2 years of age to deserve this? And then I see happy families out and about with their children and all I can think of is 'my kid has diabetes' and I can't help but feel jealous of them......you know, that was me a couple of weeks ago, enjoying life without a care in the world with a completely normal toddler and now that's been robbed from me, in the blink of an eye.
If you know me personally or have read my blog for long enough you will know I'm not one for negativity. I like to keep positive and I know that when life throws a curve ball at you it nearly always brings people closer, makes you stronger, more capable, more able to cope under the pressure. I know for a fact that Fletcher is going to have the most amazing brilliant fulfilling life, because Dylan and I will make damn sure of it. We won't let anything hold him back, especially not a stupid autoimmune disorder. The Paed Endocrinologist is convinced that there will be a cure for diabetes within Fletcher's life time and where there is life there is hope.
Keep Smiling (no matter what)