2 years ago today….
I used to say that the only thing high maintenance about me was my Starbucks order. We had a three year old and a 3 month old and lived a “normal” life. On April 3, 2012, that all changed. We thought we were going to go to the Dr to be told that we were paranoid parents before going to the zoo as a family. TJ had been drinking A LOT of water every day (and night) for the past few weeks and we just wanted to rule out diabetes.
We were told that TJ popped for ketones immediately on the test strip (once he finally peed in a cup at the dr’s office) and then they tested his blood sugar and told us to go straight to the ER at MaryBridge Childrens hospital. That was the toughest day of my life and I still can’t think too much about it with out starting to cry.
We stopped at Starbucks and bought breakfast (including my high maintenance chai) because I didn’t know before hand if they wanted a fasting blood sugar for TJ and purposely didn’t feed him breakfast that morning.
We spent four days at Marybridge (the whole rest of my spring break) and learned how to take care of our son in a whole new way. We had to learn a new language including: carbs, bolus, unit, basal, calibrate…the list goes on. We learned how to give shots (4-6 a day for the first few months), we learned how to poke his finger and use a blood glucose meter and how to react to the numbers that read out on that screen.
TJ had fun and enjoyed the play room, he didn’t even feel sick (luckily we caught it early). Gabriel was his usual baby self, not sleeping much at night but mostly happy and entertaining during the day. We all stayed in the hospital room with TJ, that’s one area Marybridge was very accommodating (now if only they could have dosed the insulin closer to his actual meals so Tony and I could go get meals at a reasonable hour…).
We were lucky, we got TJ on a pump pretty quickly, which allowed us to give him the tiny doses of insulin that he needed for what he ate and his blood sugar levels (if he was high).
and just a few months after that we got him on a CGM to help us keep a better eye on his blood glucose levels and know how to deal with the numbers that popped up on his Glucose meter even better.
We’ve had our highs
and our lows and survived them all. We’ve enjoyed some days in range and we’ve faced our first illness with ketones (only once in the 2 years–Not bad!!) and got through it without a trip to the ER (by the grace of God).
Everything that we’ve gone through these last two years have helped us grow closer together as a family and become stronger together. Diabetes sucks, but we are doing more that surviving since TJs diagnosis, we’ve been thriving! We have fun and go on family outings and we spend time working together. Because of TJ we’ve had the opportunity to make new friends. We’ve gotten to experience T1 play dates (play dates with other kids who have T1 diabetes)
we’ve gotten to go to Diabetes Day camps (and he’ll get to go to over night diabetes camps when he’s older) and we’ve gone to Family Camp.
Diabetes doesn’t stop us! and it doesn’t define us. Its something we have to deal with on an hourly (or minutely) basis. Sometimes we wonder if that’s what causes mood swings and tantrums, or tiredness or a lack of focus, but we rule it out and move on or we deal with the blood sugar and move on.
Sometimes it means a jelly bean break, or maybe a time out, but this kid always amazes me. He is so sweet and loving toward not only his brother (there are exceptions) but to any baby or child. He has no fear of sharing his diabetes equipment with other kids or adults or talking about what he goes through. He is my hero! He is the strongest person I know. I love him more than words can say and I’m so glad God chose me to be his mom! (sleepless nights and all!) Happy 2 year Diaversary TJ! I hope you enjoyed your cake and ice cream tonight! 🙂