Monday, July 2, 2012

Day 1 of Your Diabetic Journey

Dear Ty,
                Coming back from our trip Saturday, Dad and I noticed how different you looked.  I noticed it right away in your face.  You had lost weight.  A lot.  It scared me.  I had heard from Ashley and Jana that you wouldn’t eat, and drank and drank and drank water, only to never be quenched.  Everything was going straight through you.  They had to change your diapers every hour.  There was a time where you even filled a diaper in just 15 minutes.  I knew while we were on our trip that there was something wrong.  My heart told me, though I wanted to deny it.  I fasted for you yesterday and I knew again that there was something wrong.  I hoped it was insipidus, not diabetes, like Grandma Hillam (RN and ironically a juvenile diabetes educator) had suggested yesterday.  She came to our house last night with her meters.  When she said your blood glucose levels were over 500, I broke.  I knew what that meant and my greatest fears were confirmed.  You were also spilling ketones (3.1 level on her monitor).  We needed to take you to Primary Children’s Hospital right away.  Your life was at risk.  Daddy gave you and me both a priesthood blessing, the kids cried.  Kendra had a particularly difficult time.  We had just gotten home and now we needed to pack up for a few days and they didn’t understand what was going on or even what diabetes was.
                You were admitted, blood tested and you were so high that the hospital meters wouldn’t register it.  After sending it down to the labs, we learned your blood glucose level was 615.  You also had lost about 5 lbs. in a few weeks and were dehydrated, so they started you on an IV.  It killed me to watch them cause you so much pain and to see you so confused.  If I could take it all and bear the burden myself, I would do it without a second thought. 
                So in a day, Mommy and Daddy traded our comfy Sheraton beds in CA to the cold, stiff hospital beds.  We went from spending sunshiny hours walking the beach to being cooped up between four walls and medical equipment.  I never expected to come home to this sudden change.  But, in a way, I think I had been prepared.  I had a thought (inspiration from a merciful God) before we left that Dad and Mom needed this vacation together; that we needed the time away.  I had the impression that it would be our “calm before the storm” and that when we got back, we were going to have something serious to face.  I tried to suppress the thought.  How grateful I am for that gift from Him who shows so much mercy and allowing my body and spirit to rest and us to bond together in emotion and communication prior to this shock because we so need to be united on all fronts right now. 
I have cried so many tears, thought so many thoughts and to say I worry is an understatement.  I keep thinking about all the horror stories of having diabetes, all the lows that were so scary for Uncle Spencer, how my Grandmother couldn’t feel her feet and cut and burned herself all the time and ended up dying in her early 60s.  I’ve thought about the changes this will mean for you, that you will probably never serve a foreign mission, how I will have to tell preschool teachers, elementary teachers, playdate parents, etc. not to feed you certain foods, how your fingers will be sore and calloused, how this will affect your relationships, your emotional well-being, your confidence. The list really doesn’t end.
So at the end of today, I sit numb, puffy-eyed and still seeking answers, understanding.  Why?  Why you?  A 2-year old who doesn’t understand why Mommy and Daddy are putting him in a strange place with strange people who are poking you and making you bleed?  How could we have prevented this?  Did we not care for you enough?  Feed you the right foods?  Is it because you suffered with a severe case of RSV and dehydration over a year ago?  Or does it really come down to genetics?  That you were predisposed to diabetes no matter what.  Truth is we will never really know and I’ll just make myself crazy looking at every angle with questions.  I just know I feel completely helpless, unable to be the protector that I am supposed to be for you.  I can’t believe we are here.  I can’t believe this is real.  All I really need someone to do is to wake me up from this horrific nightmare so I can see light and learn to smile again.

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