It was the Summer of 2010 – 4th of July weekend – and we were on a family camping trip to Napa for Eden’s sister Ally’s 10th birthday celebration. Ally had it all planned out – it was supposed to be SO special – she was turning double digits!
We stopped at the Jelly Belly factory on the way to Napa. Looking back, Eden was not really herself and didn’t enjoy it like we expected her to. She was continually asking for drinks and we had to make a few bathroom stops we wouldn’t normally need to make on the way to set up camp and continually throughout the evening.
The next day we went to Discovery Kingdom for Ally’s actual birthday. It was HOT and I was putting sunscreen on Eden. I noticed that she was skin and bones. We had been swimming the weekend before and I hadn’t noticed anything the week before? strange… The day was fun, we all enjoyed the rides, animals and junk food. What kind of birthday would it be without a few treats, right? (little did we know that the added sugar was causing her to become sicker, faster – elevating her blood sugar)
We got back to camp after a fun day, Eden got to the point where she was begging me for water. And I mean, crying and BEGGING…
After the kids went to bed – my mind started reeling… All of the red flag warnings were going crazy in my head and I started to put the pieces together. I was aware of the extreme thirst symptom thanks to the girls’ friend, Emmeline (who I will be FOREVER grateful to), who had been diagnosed many years prior. I started scouring the internet and what I found scared me to death.
First thing in the morning (4th of July day) Eden and I headed back towards home so I could take her to Urgent Care. I told them I wanted her tested for “Juvenile Diabetes” – which is what I knew it to be called at the time. They looked at me like I was crazy and said they could NOT do it there and to go to the hospital. Did I mention it was the 4th of July? The ER is NOT really the place you want to be with all of the crazies out. Once again, I told them I wanted her tested, again I was looked at like I was a complete lunatic. When she was finally seen needless to say I got a completely different kind of look (pity) from everyone when the blood glucose meter read “HI” – meaning that her blood glucose level was so high the meter couldn’t even register the number. If it wasn’t for Emmeline – Eden could have been a VERY sick little girl – we had caught it early before her body started to shut down.
That started our Type 1 Diabetes journey. She was transferred to another hospital who was more equipped to care for her and was admitted for 4 days while they stabilized her and taught us what we needed to know to keep our child alive. They would NOT release her until we had seen a nutritionist, social worker and had hours upon hours of basic training. It all seems a bit of a blur now – we had absolutely NO idea what we had in store for us and how it would turn our lives completely upside down.