‘She’s my lifesaver’

Blades pupil nominates his mom for Call’s Mother of the Year honor

Shes my lifesaver

By BILL MILLIGAN

Aware that his Type I Juvenile Diabetes prevents his mother, Karen, from taking a day off, Blake Tribout nominated her for the Call’s annual Mother of the Year honor.

“My mom is responsible for more than 1,200 of the 1,800 shots I get every year,” Blake wrote in his nomination letter. “Winning this contest would be one thing I could give back to her.”

Blake, a pupil at Blades Elementary School in the Mehlville School District, didn’t always suffer from diabetes. It came “out of the blue” just two years ago, said his father, Mark. “It doesn’t run in the family.”

Blake nominated his mother for the Mother of the Year honor nearly two years to the day after learning he had the disease.

“I didn’t know what it was,” Blake said, recalling the day doctors told him he had the disease. “Then I just felt scared. When we went to the doctor my sugar was 600 and he said: ‘Go to the hospital.’ By the time we got there, my blood sugar was 1,050. Normal is 80 to 140. You feel dizzy, tired, and shaky.”

His mother recalled him going to the bathroom a lot.

“He couldn’t get enough water to drink,” she said. “It was going right through him. He dehydrated. People don’t understand how complicated the disease is.”

The Tribouts were about to get a crash course in coping with diabetes.

“We spent three days at Cardinal Glennon,” his father said.

“I had never given a shot in my whole life,” Karen recalled. “I had to learn in three days. It was pretty overwhelming. I practiced giving shots to an orange.”

A server at Klipper’s Pub & Grill, Karen said diabetes is so common it surprised her how much she didn’t know about the disease.

She gives Blake a shot of insulin before meals, measuring carbohydrates and dos-ages. Besides his shots, Blake gets more than 4,000 blood tests each year.

“We consult nutrition charts and measure the dosage,” his father said. “Every little once in a while he gets a Ted Drewes.”

But many of his former favorite foods are off limits now.

“I used to love to eat cake, chocolate milk, powdered doughnuts and Fritos,” Blake said.

“He’s adapted to it really well,” Mark said.

“Sometimes he’ll ask if he can have just two potato chips and it breaks my heart to say no,” Karen said. “He can eat all the meat he wants.”

“But a baked potato is loaded with sugar,” Mark said.

Blake will play 35 baseball games this summer. He also plays soccer, hockey and basketball. One of his goals is to play center field for Oakville Senior High, but professionally he wants to be a hockey player.

After baseball concludes this summer, the family plans a trip to Disney World.

“We’re making sure with the airlines and Disney he can get his shots and test strips if he needs them,” Mark said. “Disney said they may even give him some line passes, so he doesn’t have to stand in the sun so long.”

“This will be our first trip anywhere since the diabetes thing,” Karen said.

“There are no vacations with diabetes,” Blake said. “She’s not just a great mom, she’s my lifesaver.”