Monday, January 14, 2013

Why We Do This Part II

My son was sick. Really sick. And I didn't know it or...maybe I just didn't want to believe it. This picture was taken just a few days before we were sent to the hospital to have him diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic.
Grayson (left) and Simon (dirty face)

I knew something was wrong. I don't remember exactly when, but Grayson began drinking anything and everything like he was being timed at a frat party. Milk. Soda. Water. Lemonade. He had the glass drained before I could shut the refrigerator door. Then the bathroom trips were just as frequent, and he was having trouble holding it long enough to make it to the toilet. He would, but I could tell it hurt him to make the effort.

I knew enough about diabetes to recognize these symptoms--Charlotte had the same symptoms just a few years before. I remember trying to stay calm about it, nonchalant even. Yes, Grayson was showing the symptoms, but since no one in a medical coat had given me a definitive diagnosis, I could stay in control.

I made the appointment for Grayson's well-check, and October 12, 2010 my husband (who normally didn't go to these appointments anymore because our kids were healthy), Grayson, and I went to the doctor's office.  As soon as the nurse started the exam, I let her know about my concerns. She asked Grayson if he needed to go to bathroom, of course he did. He always had to go to the bathroom. She got her sample. Next, she drew some blood and said they would test it with their glucose meter. We waited.

Less than 5 minutes later, the doctor came. I knew. She looked at me and said, "His blood sugar is 436 and he has ketones." My husband, having not spent a lot of time with Charlotte, didn't register the new vocabulary, but I knew. Grayson was indeed diabetic.

"But, that doesn't mean for sure that he is diabetic, right?" I asked the doctor. She pulled me into a hug, patted my back, and held me tight.

"Yes. It does mean exactly that. You need to get in your car and go to Cook's. We will call them now and let them know you are coming."
After that, I can't even tell you all the things that happened. It is a blur of people, doctors, visitors, reading, learning, counting, and shots. Giving my son a shot just so he could eat. If you thought making your kid choke down "the pink stuff" when they had an ear infection was bad, I'd give anything to have Grayson be able to take the antibiotic for 14 days and cure this stupid disease.

Thankfully, and by the grace of God, we had so much support as we learned to tackle the daily grind of measuring food, calculating insulin doses, and helping Grayson cope. Grayson had, not only Charlotte, but his best friend at school, who was diagnosed in 1st grade. Grayson became her friend two months before he was diagnosed because he recognized E's insulin pump. "That's for a diabetic, like Charlotte."

This disease is so unrelenting.
This disease is so exhausting.
This disease is so unpredictable.
This disease is so stupid, but it can be managed. Not cured...yet. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is one of the foremost organizations working to help find better ways to manage, prevent, and ultimately cure this disease. Everything we do to organize this craft show is for one purpose and one purpose only: to raise funds that will move JDRF and their researchers a step closer to stopping the shots. 

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