Brentley Wade is a normal, active 2 and a half year old. In mid October, he started showing signs of sickness. He was drinking a lot and sleeping all the time. He didn’t want to eat or play with his normal go to trucks. He didn’t even want to get up out of bed. He didn’t have a fever so we thought maybe it was just a flu bug. A few days went by and he started to throw up.
On Tuesday, Oct. 23, Brentley was home with his dad alone while I went to work. He was walking into the living room and stumbled over. At this point his dad called the pediatrician, who told him to take Brentley to the ER ASAP.
I rushed home from Cleveland, and we rushed him to Akron Children’s ER. In line at the ER he managed to throw up all over me and himself. The people at the desk of the ER helped us get cleaned up and got us in very quickly.
Once in the ER everyone was very accommodating and helpful. They asked the symptoms and right away the nurse said “check his blood sugar.” His sugar was over 550! Within 15 minutes of us walking into the hospital they knew he had type 1 diabetes. They sent the blood to the lab, and we had confirmation right away.
Hearing that our child has type 1 diabetes was horrifying. What did we do wrong to give him this? Did we feed him to many cookies? I shouldn’t have given in when he was crying for a popsicle late at night. I am a horrible mother! Is our baby going to be okay? Is he going to be able to live a normal life? All the pumps and shots!
Just as all of these horrible thought are coming into our heads, a social worker walked in and told us it will all be okay. She gave Brentley a stuffed Mickey Mouse, and she gave us a notebook to write down any questions we think of. She explained that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, and we didn’t do anything wrong for him to get it. She started answering some of our questions and eased our minds.
After about an hour they moved him to the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit). A whole team of people was waiting to greet us. They nurses are the nicest people I have ever met. They accommodated every question and need that we had. Our night nurse, Erica, would spend as much time with us as needed. She brought Brentley a ton of presents and coloring items. She was detailed enough to show us everything she was doing to him and tell us why.
Day two was a stream of people from the hospital, showering Brentley with presents and gifts and making sure that we had everything we needed.
The fed us lunch and offered us to stay in the family room downstairs. They gave us parking passes and made sure that every expense was covered for us so that we could focus on our baby. The love and kindness we felt was overwhelming and a blessing.
We met Dr. (Alicia) Lowes from (Center for Diabetes and) Endocrinology. She explained more about type 1 diabetes. Her excitement about diabetes technology made the whole sad, dark, room light up with excitement. She explained how much diabetes median has changed and improved, and she told us that by the time he is a teen it will be a whole new ball game!
The next day they moved him out of PICU and to the 6th floor.
He was allowed to eat and the insulin and fluids had started to kick in. He started to look like our baby boy again!
Danielle from dietary started teaching us more about diabetes. I had no idea that diabetics have to watch carbs not just sugar! She taught us how to count carbs, how to monitor his sugar and how to give him insulin. Most of all, she taught us that he can and WILL have a normal life!
We continued learning the next few days. The nurses allowed us to give him his shot with their guidance. They showed us how to order his food and he became more and more hungry! They showed us what foods are carb free and how to tell!
Finally, by the weekend he was able to go home! We felt confident about providing care for him on our own. Someone from endocrinology calls us everyday. They also have a 24-hour hotline that we call often. The support is amazing and makes us feel so comfortable and normal!
Brentley received a monkey named Coco in the mail. Coco is friends with Mickey Mouse, and she had type 1 diabetes too! Brentley and his sister Auriah (10) read about Coco and how she still can play sports and have a normal life!
Brentley also received a diabetes arm band and a ton of supplies.
The Endocrinology Department has given us top rated care. They have even helped us with some insurance issues and applied us for a backup insurance. Because of the support we have gotten Brentley’s care and medication at no out of pocket cost. We are truly grateful!
We had a wonderful follow up visit on Monday. The team taught us even more and sent Brentley a diabetic bear that he can “give shots to” as well! They taught us about counting carbs for Thanksgiving and allowed us to ask as many questions as needed.
Brentley has gone back to his normal self, just with more structured meal times. He LOVES to eat now and always eats all of his food. He has gained weight and we are hoping for him to go from underweight to average before the end of the year. I have even lost 10 pounds since he was diagnosed because now I understand food and carbs better!
We are so grateful to our Akron Children’s family. We feel truly blessed. The Akron Children’s team took a horrible situation and turned it into a positive outcome. We look forward to the future, and we are excited to see what Brentley will become!
Follow Brentley’s life on Facebook at “Brentley’s type 1 life as a two year old“