Awareness & advocacy · family · The beginning

It’s bittersweet.

I love that Facebook shows “Memories” every day. It’s fun to look back and see what happened a year ago, two years ago, five years ago. Lately, though, it’s been bittersweet.

The past week or so Facebook has reminded me of Luke’s last elementary activities as a 5th grader…

08 05 orch concert

his spring orchestra concert…


end-of-year celebrations at the bowling alley…

14 01 istep snack

ISTEP testing…

15 11 indy

surprise trip to Indy (yep, we all skipped school!)…

20 12 5th nd

field trip to Notre Dame…

21 01 picnic

last Model school picnic…

01 01 science fair

fifth grade science fair…


graduating fifth grade with track, orchestra, leadership, and the Presidential Outstanding Academic Excellence Gold awards…

01 03 last day of school

last day of fifth grade and his elementary career at Model…

03 02 sb cubs

and celebration South Bend Cubs game to say goodbye to the school year.

While it may be bittersweet because I soon realized that I wouldn’t be able to see my boy several times throughout the school day, or that he’s growing up way too fast;  it’s really bittersweet because exactly one week after that celebratory baseball game, our life took a 180 and changed forever.

It was after this baseball game, when we got home, I said to Joel,

I think Luke might be diabetic.

Three particular scenarios still stick out in my brain prior to my realization that night.

First, we were standing in line, waiting for our food and drink at the concession stand. The guy was literally pouring our drinks as Luke said, “I’m going to go to the drinking fountain and get a drink.” I told him our drinks would be there in 15 seconds.

I can’t wait that long. I am so thirsty, mom.”

He couldn’t wait fifteen seconds to get his soda. (Which, by the way, was regular soda, which only made things worse… but who knew at that time??)

The second scenario was after we had gotten our food. Luke was so hungry, but after just a couple of bites, he didn’t want to eat anymore. He just wanted to drink. Eating made his stomach upset. You can tell in the photo from the baseball game (above), that he just was not feeling well.

And he was tired. So tired.

I chalked the sleepiness up to the busy month of being a fifth grader.

And the last scenario happened after the game. Luke had visited the restroom at least twice during the game, which is very unusual for him. He almost always waits until he’s home.

“I need to go to the bathroom, again.”

This is when my red flags went up. Thirst, exhaustion, frequent bathroom breaks? That night after Luke went to bed and Joel and I were heading there, as well, I told Joel my hunch. He definitely didn’t dismiss it. I think we were both a little bit in denial.

And we had no idea that, if left untreated, diabetes could go so wrong.

But we would find that out a week later…


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