Diabetes or Just a Thirsty Child?


Yesterday I took Tom and Guy, my two older sons,  to their judo practice. Usually when I take them I sit outside and work or read during the practice, but yesterday was special. Once a year Michael, the instructor, has the parents participate in the practice. Since most of the parents do not have any judo training, it’s mostly games and running around the mat, but we also learned a few judo moves and practiced them with the kids. It was a lot of fun and I think the kids enjoyed it, too.

There was one thing that I did not enjoy during the practice. I noticed that twice during practice Guy ran over to the side to drink some water. The practice is only 45 minutes long and the kids are not supposed to take drinking breaks during that time. Most people probably wouldn’t think twice about it, but I couldn’t help but think “is it diabetes?”.  I tried to calm myself thinking that maybe he hadn’t had enough to drink after soccer practice (which is an hour before his judo practice). But I couldn’t shake it, and for the rest of the day I kept an eye on his drinking and eating (and urinating). There actually wasn’t anything out of the usual, but that feeling you get when you think something may be wrong with your child is very hard to get over.

To make things worse, after calming myself I told Jessica about the drinking incident, and her reaction was “don’t tell me that. He was begging for chocolate this morning…”.

I know the drinking was probably caused by normal post soccer thirst and the sudden chocolate craving was triggered by the fact that we had left a bag with some Hanukkah chocolate coins on the kitchen counter – a temptation too great for any normal 7-year-old boy.

I’m sure most parents with type 1 diabetes have these moments. Jessica and I try as hard as we can to keep our worries to ourselves (and to the few people who read our blogs) and not to let our sons be aware of them, lest we drive them crazy.

We know that the boys worry about us, mostly about me, since they’ve witnessed some scary lows. And they also wonder if the fact that both of their parents have diabetes means that they will too.

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Catherine Price

He doesn’t want to be checked with the glucometer – we’ve tried. But when he had some blood work done a few weeks ago I asked he have an A1c test added and it was fine.


We have not had the genetic testing done for our daughter (2) after our son (5) was diagnosed in May 09. For the reasons given by Evan’s mom. However, I do occasionally check her BG whenever I feel like she’s drinking a lot. (Which I should add, even though she sometimes seems to be really thirsty, that has never been joined with lots of extra trips to the bathroom). She does not mind the occasional finger poke because she gets to be just like her big brother. If it makes you feel better to do a post meal check on your… Read more »

Catherine Price

Jessica and I have thought about it a lot and decided not to test our children. We also don’t test them at home. we just keep our eyes open for symptoms.
Since there isn’t much we can do to keep them from getting diabetes, we decided to do our best to let them live without worrying about it.

Evan's Mom
Evan's Mom

As a mother of a son with Type 1 diabetes, we were very concerned at the time of our son’s diagnosis at age 7 that his younger sister would also develop diabetes.   Our endocrinology team advised not to start testing our daughter “just in case” commenting that now that we are fully aware of the signs, to monitor behavior as you would any child, but stressing out over our youngest child was not going to be healthy for any of us, including our daughter (now 7) who could become stressed with the thought that she would develop diabetes .  They reinforced that we… Read more »

Richard Vaughn
Richard Vaughn

Michael, I certainly understand your concern, but I feel you should test your children periodically. Once or twice per month would be fine. Their fasting and two hours after a meal would be good times to do that. Perhaps you already do this?

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