Refusing to Let Type 1 Diabetes Call the Shots: A Mother and Son Share Their Story

This article was written exclusively for Information About Diabetes by Jada Christy-Vasquez and her 14-year-old son, Javier, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 6.

I look back and there were so many signs something was not right months before my son, Javier, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 6. He would get so cranky after lunch, drink a lot, and always needed to use the restroom. It was not until a large weight loss and his complaining of stomach pain after eating that I started to take notice.

We had just moved to Ohio from Florida, and we drove. Oh my, that was a long drive. He had to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes and wanted to drink non-stop. Still not knowing anything was medically wrong, his father and I got so upset with him and limited his water. Looking back, we feel very bad about that.

A week after arriving in Ohio, he seemed to be very tired and getting upset quickly. Again we chalked this up to moving, driving from Florida, and life changes. On July 18, 2006, he was throwing up and complaining of a headache and upset stomach. I took him to an urgent care station I had seen that week, thinking he had some kind of flu. The nurse came in and wanted to check his blood sugar after hearing his story. Welp, it was over 600 – off to Children’s Hospital we went. Let me tell you, that was one long week! We thought our lives would never be the same.

Fast forward to today: Javier is a healthy, athletic, 14-year-old boy who just happens to be insulin-dependent. He refuses to let it limit him. If he wants to do something, he does it. He plays baseball, football, and track, and he does weight-lifting. Sure, all of this takes a little more planning, but it is just a part of life now.

A Few Words from Javier

The first few years, I felt very different from the other kids in my classes. I hated when I would check my sugar and everyone asked me what I was doing and why I had to do it. I hated explaining why I had a juice on the bus when no one else was allowed to drink or eat on the bus. I was angry that I had this. I was sick of being the kid who had to go to the office five minutes before lunch and always being last in the lunch line because I had to go check my sugar.

My parents never let me use my diabetes as an excuse, though. They never told me not to do something because I am diabetic. I love my sports, hanging with my friends, and gaming.

I am 14 years old, and I have diabetes. It sucks, but it is a small pothole in my road. I will not stop doing everything that I want to do, playing my sports, or working toward my goal to play college football. Hey, maybe you’ll see me in the NFL.

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