Type 1 Diabetes. Ugh! Not what you want to hear following the words "Your son has been diagnosed with..." But those were the words that we heard on November 30, 2013. As of today it has been 128 days since we learned that our lives have been altered forever. But here's the catch, Buddy may have Type 1 Diabetes, but it doesn't have him!
We were the lucky family. We were the Type 2 diabetic parents who knew the signs of our disease. In October, Buddy dealt with a respiratory virus. And again the Monday before Thanksgiving. I'd notice a drop in his weight but attributed it to a growth spurt. It's happened before, lose 5-10 pounds and *poof* grow about 3 inches taller. Even our extended family noticed it at our Thanksgiving dessert gathering. BY that time though, I had begun to notice that my ADD/Anxiety child had become more angry and less tolerant of his younger brother. I noticed that he couldn't get enough water to drink and along with that he couldn't pee it out fast enough. The puzzle pieces started to fall into place. After a large post Turkey day lunch, on a whim, using my husband's glucose meter we tested his blood. the reading came back and knocked me for a loop.... HIGH LEVELS. The monitor couldn't even give us a number. It meant that his blood glucose level was ABOVE 600 and was in the danger zone. Not wanting to panic, we decided to let it go until the next morning and do a fasting test. Knowing the level should have been any where from 90 to 120, I was shattered to see a reading of 268. Thanksgiving weekend, our doctor away on vacation, and our kid is seriously ill. What do we do?
Walking into our local hospital's ER was the start of a whirlwind weekend that will forever be ingrained in my mind. And that is coming from a woman who normally has a Swiss-cheese memory. The 572 reading on the blood glucose monitor at the hospital is tattooed on my brain. I'll never forget the super bumpy ride in the ambulance from one hospital to the Children's Hospital at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital. I'll never rid my mind of the tears and reddened face of my baby boy, asking why this had to happen to him. I can vividly remember every conversation had with EVERY SINGLE medical professional. I remember sitting, wide awake, and completely sleep deprived in the middle of the night, just watching my son sleep in his oversized hospital bed. Surprising the doctors, nurses, dieticians, nutritionist, diabetic nurse educators all by knowing as much about types 1 & 2 and how to test blood glucose and administer an insulin injection. (we were very quick studies indeed!)Walking the hospital hallways at 2 in the morning with tears and confusion in my eyes, being stopped by the night shift nurses who so lovingly hugged me and assured me that I am strong enough to be the best D Mom I can be. They said this wasn't going to be an easy life, but it could be a manageable one as long as I did my best.
And you know what? Those nurses were 100 percent dead on right! I am a damn good D Mom. I will take anyone down who tries to get in my way. My son's health and well being come first. I've jumped head first into Advocacy. I've read more articles about the latest advances than I have done pleasure reading. And I will continue to educate myself and others along the way. I will raise funds for research for a cure. I will shout from the mountain tops abut our life with T1. I will make life as normal as normal can be while dealing with an incurable disease. And all of it will be done with all of the love that my heart can hold! Why?
Because to paraphrase our favorite childhood book, "I'll love him forever, I'll like him for always. AS long as he's living, my D-baby, he'll be!"
Want to make a difference in Robert's life and in the lives of children and adults like him? Please consider making a donation to the JDRF. On April 15, 2014, I will be providing the link to our team's Walk for a Cure donor page. Any donation, no matter how big or how small, can and will make a difference for our D families.