Tobias’ Story

My son, Tobias.
My son, Tobias.

September 11, 2014 is the day our lives changed. I was taking my 14-year-old son to his doctor for a regular checkup shadowed by a bit of worry. I had noticed that he had become very thirsty and was getting up into the night to go to the bathroom. It was summer, so I assumed the heat was causing this sudden change. But one night as he was walking into his bedroom I noticed he resembled those concentration camp men from the movies – you know – the ones who have been starved and worked near to death. In that moment, my mother heart knew something was very wrong.

Tobias’ doctor appointment was scheduled right on his first day of a new dance session. My son is an avid, talented and beautiful dancer. It is his passion, his joy and his identity and I was excited for him to jump back in after a long summer break.

I don’t love conventional doctor’s appointments. I try to gear up for all the blank faced vaccination sales pitches from the doctor and the eye roll I receive when I list the nutritional supplements our family uses to help us stay healthy. But this appointment was quite interesting. As we were leaving, the doctor decided to do a quick urine test, to test for Ketones. Thinking nothing of it, we left and went to dance.

Right as I was dropping him off, I got a call from the doctor to come back immediately to do a blood prick test – Tobias had Ketones in his urine and we needed to check his blood immediately because he could go into a coma. I grabbed my son and we hurried back to the doctor’s office to learn his blood sugar reading was over 600. Instantly, we were told he was a Type 1 Diabetic. We were given the name of a child endocrinologist in Sacramento as they made an appointment for him for first thing the following morning. We went home shocked and scared.

It happened that fast. In the time it took for me to take my son to dance and rush back to the doctor’s office, our life – Tobias’ life – completely changed.

Diabetes – how did this happen? I didn’t fully understand and was shocked and extremely reluctant to believe his pediatrician. I mean, I cook healthy and for a living as well! We believe in using organic and local as much as possible! Sure I’ve given in to the occasional coffee shop sugar drinks or run through Panda after dance. But we are foodies! We travel and eat at amazing restaurants! My son has always had a fabulous palette – loving Thai, Indian and Sushi. He is extremely active. Dancing competitively, basketball and loving PE. What did this mean?

The next day after a brief meeting with our new endocrinologist, finding out he also had Hashimoto’s, Tobias was then admitted to the hospital. They took a blood sample and launched into teaching Tobias and us how to test his blood and administer insulin. It was heartbreaking. There wasn’t any time to lose. All my questions were met with resistance. There was no other way – they said diet didn’t matter and he could die if we didn’t do what they said. So we did. For three weeks.

I knew there were alternatives to the hospital doctor’s and dietitian’s opinions about nutrition. They told him to eat whatever he wanted and just take more insulin. I didn’t agree. With the direction of a friend, I was put in touch with Virginia Irby DC, DABCO, ANC. She set us straight right away. Tobias was put on the Paleo diet and given many supplements to work on getting his body healthy. He was deficient in all his minerals, something his doctor failed to mention. He wasn’t digesting, possibly due to leaky gut. His body wasn’t working for him, but against him.Virginia jumped right on board and helped us deal with all of the sudden changes. We will always be eternally grateful to her.

As of today, Tobias is thriving. Through meticulous tracking, testing and documentation, he is healthfully living without insulin. We are constantly changing his supplements and trying out different health avenues. He has two chiropractors, an endocrinologist, we use essential oils, he has done a series of Rolfing, he gets massages, exercises regularly and still eats an organic, Paleo diet (free of pork).

Honestly, we’re still learning what it all means. In my journey as a mother of a Type 1 Diabetic, community has meant everything. I am constantly looking for resources and other parents going through the same thing that I am. The constant concern and struggle – both mentally and emotionally – to ensure that my child is offered the best care and health options possible. First and foremost, through his diet. In addition to my passion for healthy eating and lifestyle, I’m excited to share pieces of Tobias’ journey with you through this blog in the hopes that it will positively impact the lives of other families on a similar journey and help everyone see the power and importance of the food we put in our bodies.


{Disclaimer: As the author of this blog, I have based my writings upon my own experiences, beliefs and extensive research regarding the topics covered in my blog. However, I am not a medical doctor, nurse or professional nutritionist or otherwise formally qualified in this subject matter. The information contained in this blog is not intended to be construed in any manner as medical advice. Quotes are based upon the opinions of this author and others who contributed to this blog. All diet decisions should be made with approval of your health care provider. This blog is intended to motivate and encourage readers to make healthy decisions after consulting with a qualified health care professional. Therefore, please read my blog and use the information that you derive from it appropriately and at your own risk. If you wish to use original photographs and or text please contact the site administrator for permission.}


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