It was 5 years ago in August but I remember it like it was yesterday.  Our youngest was only 6 months, so life was moving pretty quickly.   Our oldest, 7 at the time, was drinking  A LOT (like pass me that giant bottle of Gatorade, so I can chug the whole thing A LOT), going to the bathroom A LOT (like every hour between Illinois and Disney in Florida A LOT).   In fact I could tell you every bathroom in all of Disneyland.  Boy was that a long trip!  

But I was the kind of mom who tried to live by my mom’s biggest piece of mom advice…”wait and see, it will get better or it will get worse”.  Mostly this paid off, and “it” usually did get better, at least the minor fevers, coughs and colds we’d faced so far.   This time was different.   Something was off.  I called the doctor’s office.  For the first time ever they told me “don’t bring her in”.    “It’s summer” they said.  “That’s normal” they said.   More precious days went by, more drinking, but she was eating fine.  In fact, she was eating double what she used to!   Another call to the doctor –“wait and see”  they said.  But my mom-gut was telling me something else this time – “Figure this out.  This isn’t right.”

The baby had her regularly scheduled appointment, and I took our 7 year old who had been put off at least twice now.   I demanded some answers.  “We don’t really need to run any tests.  She seems fine”.   But I pushed, and they relented, to appease this crazy mom.  The next morning we found the answer we never wanted.   Our 7 year old had Type 1 Diabetes, an incurable autoimmune disease that would make her dependent on artificial insulin for the rest of her life.   The part that still haunts me is that when she was admitted to the Iowa City PICU for 5 days, they said she likely wouldn’t have made it if we’d brought her in later that day.   She was in a dangerous condition known as DKA where your body is starving itself (thus the “good appetite”), and breaking down muscle into toxins.   A few hours and our outcome could have been tragically different.    My mom instinct had kicked in just in time.   I could kick myself that it hadn’t kicked in earlier, or I could be thankful  that she is alive and with us today.   I choose to be thankful.  

Trust your mom-gut.  You know when something is off.  You know when something isn’t right.  Sometimes we feel  like we are being paranoid, or alarmist.  Medical professionals, or teachers, or others who are supposed to know better, can shake our confidence in our instincts.   But deep down we know.  You know.  It could be your child’s health, or a social situation at school.   But moms always know, and we don’t back down until we get to the bottom of it.   That’s our job, and we are the best at it.  

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13 Responses to TRUST YOUR MOM GUT

  1. Kristin October 23, 2017 at 9:36 am #

    So glad you were assertive and pushed for tests. It’s scary that Type 1 Diabetes can be so dangerous but symptoms are easily dismissed to be flu or just kid dehydration. Checking to rule out T1D is just a quick finger stick or urine test. Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. Erin Burke October 23, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    💙💙 keep on your keeping on. Thank you for sharing your story and raising awareness of type 1 diabetes.

  3. Keri October 23, 2017 at 9:55 am #

    Mom gut, usually better than the Dr. Gut. We have a similar story. Could have saved a lot of time, pain and money had he just done something the week before. Glad you caught it in time.

  4. Leah October 23, 2017 at 10:43 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story! Mama’s instinct should always be trusted!

  5. Crystal October 23, 2017 at 11:49 am #

    My mom gut is what diagnosed my T1D at 4 years old. Has also come in handy many other times as well!

  6. Kait October 23, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

    When I noticed an increase in bathroom usage, my first thought was UTI. Urine test came back negative for infections but had high amounts of glucose and small keytones. The doctor wanted to wait a month and check her again, because she wasn’t exhibiting any other signs. Mom gut said “nope, bg and a1c now please” and that’s how my daughter got an early diagnosis without dka. Always trust mom gut!! Who knows what would have happened if we had waited for a month!

  7. Patricia October 23, 2017 at 6:35 pm #

    My mommy instincts kicked in for my nephew 3 years ago and again for my son last year. Trust your instincts!

  8. Franca October 23, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your story! So important to raise awareness. My daughter’s BG was 995 when she went to the ER that dreaded night. It was just incredible to me at the time because I had NO idea at all that this was a possibility.

  9. Barb Friedhoff October 23, 2017 at 8:37 pm #

    I’m a native IA girl…..I was diagnosed with T1D at age 45. Two years later, I tested my 10 and 8 year old and the 10-yr-old’s BS was 250+….got a couple more high readings and headed to the pediatrician. He said it was “hormones” and I should relax..ummm, I don’t think so! Long story short, I took him to my endo (who also did peds) and got him diagnosed. Glad to have caught it early so we could ease into shots and a new routine. “Mom” upside down is “Wow”!

    Beautiful children…best wishes for a healthy journey forward.

    • Rachel October 31, 2017 at 9:26 am #

      Thanks. Wow, interesting story you have too. Hormones? Really? So glad you pushed. And doubly hard being T1 and helping your child through. Best wishes to you all too!

  10. Farah October 24, 2017 at 11:02 am #

    Trust the mom gut. I mentioned my 3 year olds symptoms to 5 sibling drs and got rxns similar to you. My mom pushed me to take him in. The pediatrician immediately tested blood and urine BUT I did not get results for 6 days. Once results were in we were told to get a toothbrush and go to the hospital.
    Those initial days are a nightmare. But mom strength kicks in to absorb and normalize life for our kids. It would be interesting to hear about your experience after diagnosis and coping strategies and making space for diabetes care so it becomes routine. I look forward to reading more of your blogs!

  11. Angie Bienias October 24, 2017 at 7:36 pm #

    I have two T1Ds 10 years old and 3 diagnosed at 6 and 2….mom gut saved both of their lives! Keep raising awareness for T1D!!

  12. Jane Zimmerman October 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm #

    It is wonderful that you can share your inspirational story here. You may have saved some lives too! Look forward to reading more from you.

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