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Photo Hi! I am Caleb Darr. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on July 8, 1999, the day after my first birthday. I was wetting diapers like crazy, and drinking my Mom and Dad out of house and home before I got diagnosed! We don't have anybody else in our family with diabetes, so my Mom and Dad didn't know the symptoms. I was really cranky in the days before I got diagnosed. I crawled after my Mommy crying all day on my first birthday. Mommy finally called the pediatrician, but they thought I was getting a new tooth!! She called them again on that day, but they said to wait for my checkup that was scheduled for two days away to come in!! Thankfully Mommy didn't wait that long. When I got up the next day, I started throwing up and I wasn't cranky at all. I was really sleepy and all I wanted to do was go back to my crib! I didn't even hold on to Mommy when she carried me to put me down for my nap. I just laid on her. I was so tired! So Mommy took me in to the pediatrician. The pediatrician almost didn't catch that I had diabetes. She still thought I was getting a new tooth, but she knew I wasn't acting like I normally do when I come to see her. (My Mommy and Daddy think an angel was in the room with us that day!) The pediatrician checked me for strep throat and while she was waiting for the results to come back she sent the nurse in to give me a Popsicle. I gobbled that Popsicle in about 10 seconds flat because I was so thirsty! My pediatrician came in just about that time and I threw the wrapper down and grabbed for the bottle of bubbles she was bringing in to blow to me as I was leaving. I wanted to drink the bubbles I was so thirsty! My pediatrician knew then that something was wrong. She asked my Mommy what my diapers were like and Mommy told her they were great! Mommy told her that she had even changed my crib sheets three times the day before because I had wet so much!

The pediatrician pricked my finger for the first time ever that day. She told the nurse to do it again before she told my Mommy. When the pediatrician came in to tell my Mommy and I that I was diabetic, she started crying. And then my Mommy started crying too. My Mommy asked her, "What does that mean?" The pediatrician said it meant we had to get over to the emergency room really quick. My mommy just kept saying, "For what?" My pediatrician walked with us over to the emergency room of the local hospital. Fortunately it was right next door! When we got to the emergency room, all these nurses started working on me. I was so sleepy I didn't even care or cry! One of the nurses came over and told my Mommy that they might have to send me by helicopter to another hospital. My Mommy just kept saying, "For what?" They said that my blood sugar level was 975 and my potassium was almost seven. They were worried that I was going to go into a coma with my blood sugar so high or cardiac arrest because my potassium was so high. Finally they sent me to Duke University Medical Center about an hour away. They got me stabilized so I got to ride in the Duke Life Flight Ground Unit. They said it was like "ICU on wheels." I stayed in ICU for two days and spent four days total in the hospital. The food was awful and I wouldn't eat so they let me come home early!

My Mommy and Daddy learned how to take care of me really quick. They didn't have a choice! I get four injections of insulin a day now, but I am getting ready to go on an insulin pump. My Mommy and Daddy check my blood at least five times a day, a lot of times more. My Mommy and Daddy take really good care of me, but they didn't know anything about diabetes before I got was diagnosed or how people with diabetes had to live every day. They want to help as many people as they can and raise awareness of this disease that might shorten my life one day. They want you to know that you are not alone and they would love to talk to you! They don't feel as bad now as they did in the beginning and they don't want anybody else to feel as alone as they did to begin with! If you want to talk to my Mommy or Daddy, e-mail them at

Published April 23, 2000

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