Here is my now-13 year-old's diagnosis story, a version of which I originally posted on the Parents of Children with Diabetes Forum:
My 11 year-old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on January 24, 2014, exactly one-half year to the day after her 11th birthday. We were quite fortunate that she didn't develop DKA before diagnosis. Two factors came into play that resulted in her early diagnosis. Firstly, I am a physician (not specializing in Endocrinology, however) and recognized the signs, and second, my daughter was bed- and wheelchair-bound after having had major orthopedic surgery on December 18, 2013 (shout out to Dennis Roy, MD, the best pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Shriners Hospital in Portland, Oregon!). Because my daughter was not able to walk at the time, she depended on me and her father to bring her food and water, so I noticed early on that she was drinking ginormous amounts of water and asking for the bedside commode frequently. By the third day or so, I told my then-husband that I suspected our daughter had developed T1D. He took her to see her pediatrician that morning (as he was [and still is] unemployed) while I went to work. While my then-husband and daughter were on their way home from the appointment, her pediatrician telephoned me to let me know that, although my daughter was not in DKA, a direct admission to Doernbecher's Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon, was being arranged. If memory serves, her BG was 600-something and her A1c was 12.7 at diagnosis. During the hour-long drive to Portland, I had time to answer my daughter's questions about diabetes. I explained to her what T1D is, and what this meant for her. She handled this reasonably well, I think in part because one of her close friends at school, who also has a physician parent, has three siblings with T1D, so my daughter was familiar with some of what having Type 1 diabetes involves. By hospital day two, she was doing all her own injections. She only cried once, when we were being discharged and reality struck hard that her T1D was coming home with us as a permanent "family member".