Feature Friday: Denise & Judea
This week we are learning about a family from Seattle, Washington who lives with diabetes everyday. Judea is a 10 year old boy who loves sports and staying active with his family! He uses a CGM (Dexcom) to help himself and his family monitor his blood sugar throughout the day and night. Through prayers with God, an active lifestyle, and plenty of insulin- this family is thriving. Enjoy their story!
I am a wife and mother of 4. My passion is to be home with our kids while teaching them to love God and others. I enjoy fitness, food, and gardening. Judea is 10 years old and loves football, soccer, and basketball. He is easygoing and works hard at everything he does.
He was diagnosed with T1D on 2/18/21.
We noticed Judea lost a lot of weight in a couple of weeks (10 lbs to be exact). He was fatigued, emotional, using the bathroom so much, drinking like he was in a desert, taking breaks to walk halfway up the stairs, bothered by his 3 siblings, & struggling to eat. We set up an appointment for the following week for his well-child check that we missed in 2020 due to the pandemic. On Wednesday night my husband looked at me and said, “I think you should call in the morning & get him seen tomorrow.” So I did.
After examining Judea, his pediatrician sent us to Children’s for blood work & a covid test (just to rule it out). We gave the doctor a urine sample before we left for Children’s. My husband called from work, about 45 minutes away, and said he was on his way to the ER to meet us. I was so confused because I was just going to get blood work done. He told me the doctor called him and wants us to go to the ER because Judea’s blood sugar level was so high and there were ketones in his urine.
I took a deep breath to hold it together the best that I could and told him we were on our way. I hung up with my husband and the doctor called. “I’m so sorry that I didn’t catch you before you left the clinic. I wish I could have told you this in person. His urine sample is showing me it is very likely Judea has type 1 diabetes. Please just go straight to the ER to get him stable.” I took even deeper breaths. I have no idea what any of this means, but I gotta get my son to Children’s without losing it. I gotta stay strong so that I don’t worry Judea.
On the way, I told Judea the doctor said he is pretty sure he knows why he hasn’t been feeling well & that he wants us to go to the ER. I told him Daddy is already on his way and that all the doctors and nurses are going to take care of him very well. I’m telling him all this as my eyes are filling up and I’m trying to blink the tears away, so I can get us to Children’s safely. We arrive and immediately amazing doctors, nurses, & social workers are taking care of us with smiles on their faces and eyes & genuine care in their hearts. The doctor confirmed t1d.
After receiving the diagnosis I had no idea what to expect because I didn’t know any families with young children who had it.
How did you explain diabetes to your child?
We told Judea that his pancreas, an organ in his body isn’t producing insulin, which is needed to turn sugar into energy. He will need insulin for the rest of his life in order to change the glucose in his blood into energy.
Remembering that insulin is not bad and injecting it is just like being a pancreas for him.
Share what the word thrive means to you!
Thrive means to never give up, to always persevere, do your best, and growth will come. I am able to thrive when I remain in prayer. Praying helps me be confident in what I’m doing to care for Judea and to trust that God is directing us and protecting him. Judea thrives by remembering to do his best in drinking lots of water, getting insulin, and exercising regularly.
What do you wish someone told you earlier as a caregiver for someone with diabetes?
There is a huge social media T1D family that can help you in EVERY situation.
Words of Encouragement or Hope
Keep learning as much as you can.
Judea gets to be just as active as he was before T1D. He may even be more active! He is probably the healthiest eater in our family. Food is not bad, it just needs insulin. Moderation is good for everyone, but we don’t deprive him of fun kid treats. Insulin injections are not bad, just annoying. Judea drinks water like it’s his job during the warm months and Dexcom has saved us on a regular basis. Everyone who wants a CGM should be able to have a CGM without worrying about the cost. Dexcom has saved Judea from serious lows in the night that we wouldn’t have known about. Judea said if your blood sugar is high, exercise, play soccer, do some scooter, skate, just do some exercise (HAHAHA).