Thomas Fallon was 13 years old when he began to be very lethargic. He was drinking a lot of water, but I was thrilled because I had been nagging him for years to drink more water! Because he was a teenager and slept downstairs, I didn't notice how frequently he was urinating. He began looking thinner & thinner, but he was a teenage boy AND a runner.
In January 2010, he was with his scout group on a Klondike Campout. Thomas was usually in the lead on any hike. He was always eager to participate in any part of a campout. But this time he was lathargic, couldn't get warm, and was up peeing all throughout the night. When he came home, he was very pale with dark sunken eyes. He slept for about 13 hours, got up, had a popcicle, and went back to bed for another 12-13 hours, woke up and ate a waffle....drinking tons of water when he was awake. We were very worried, and made an appointment with the doctor...thinking maybe it would be mono. When the doctor tested his blood his number was over 1000.
Type 1 Diabetes! What???? We couldn't even wrap our minds around this! We had NO family history of T1D (although a few days later I found out that MY cousin was diagnosed a few months earlier while in his early 30s). All we ever heard about was Type 2 Diabetes!!
By this time Thomas was delirious; barely coherent. I know now, however, that it was only by God's tender mercy that he didn't go into a coma. Thomas has too much work to do in his life on Earth.
Thomas spent the next 3 days in Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City. It took 2 1/2 days just to get his number below 300. He was incredibly depressed, scared, angry, alone and confused. He saw no miracles or mercy in any of this.
He was terrified and completely uncertain about how to move forward...and so were we. Although he had to deal with a few kids at school assuming his new disease was contagious, he had several great friends who were very kind and willing to help him by giving him shots in the back of his arm.
He soon became dependant on just wearing gym shorts every day to make it easier to give himself shots in his rear...one of the few places with any fat on him.
After he began to meet more and more kids his age with T1D, his anger began to calm. He began to realize that he could still be a "normal" kid just like the others.
He continued to develop friendships with very loyal people who learned to recognize the symptoms of Thomas's highs and lows....grouchy with high numbers, loopy with low numbers.
He found great strength in being very self-reliant in managing his symptoms and his numbers and calculations...thank goodness he has always has strong mental math skills!
Once Thomas got his pump, just 11 months later, it presented a few new challenging learning curves, but overall - a much simpler way of living with T1D.
Thomas is now an active and happy 19 year old young man. He is joyful. He is working hard to eat healthy (teenage years of junk food have been a constant battle) and exercise daily; he continues to run regularly. He has made many great friendships with others with T1D. He still loves camping. He has had a full time job in sales that he is really great at! He is currently serving a full-time mission as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His current A1C is 8.0 ...and falling! :)