One year ago. It was a beautiful day. It was the first warm, really warm, day of the season. We decided to go to the zoo!
We got up and got dressed and headed off. We stopped at Tim Horton's to get a "special" treat for the road. Oj and donuts. What a combo. We had no idea that this was the probably the WORST thing we could have chosen.
Sweetpea was so excited!
But once we got there, she got grumpy. She hardly had any interest in looking at animals. She would want to go see one and then once there decide she wanted to look at something else.
She wanted to be carried. She had a minor meltdown on the train.
She was hungry. We got pizza. GOOD pizza. She refused to eat.
She was hot and sweaty. She wanted to go home. She cried.
Later that night, she threw up.
But in the morning, she seemed better. No fever. More energy.
It was another beautiful day! We went to the park. She wanted to be carried. She refused to play. She said she just wanted to go home.
Odd. We thought it was just some bug she had caught.
J and I went to bible study that night. My parents had just gotten home from Florida the day before. They came over to stay with her. She seemed happier. She seemed fine.
We were enjoying a relaxing evening with friends. Sitting out on the back deck, enjoying the warmth of the evening and the company of good fellowship.
The phone rang. It was my Mom. "You need to come home" she said. "Something's not right. Sweetpea's in pain. She's crying. She's saying her tummy hurts. She doesn't want us to touch her."
Home we went.
We found Sweetpea and my parents in her room. Mom said she had been playing and was really thirsty. She had wanted orange juice. She had drank A LOT. She was laying in her toddler bed, moaning.
Finally, she threw up. And then she seemed better. No fever. I decided we'd go to the doctor the next day. It was just the excuse I needed. She was exhausted and she went back to sleep.
I remember asking J if throwing up was a symptom of diabetes. He looked it up and said yes. Along with irritability and excessive thirst and excessive urination.
There was that sinking feeling again.
In the midst of everything else that had been going on, we discovered our A/C was not working. It was getting HOT upstairs. Around 11 pm, I finally decided I was going to take Sweetpea to my parents house for the night. She was sweaty and although she was sleeping peacefully I was worried she would be uncomfortable during the night.
She woke up on our way there and was in a great mood! She was excited to go to their house. We arrived and I got her in bed. Then I finally went to bed myself.
My last night without D. My last night without the fear that D would take her life in the middle of the night.
We got up bright and early. I made an appointment for her at the pediatrician. I took her with me to school so I could get things ready for the day. She had refused to eat that morning. I was going to try to stop by McDonald's before the doctor but we didn't have time.
J met us at the doctor. As soon as they weighed her, I knew. She was 25 pounds. At her 3 year well check, only a couple weeks earlier, she was 29 pounds. There was that sinking feeling again.
The doctor came in and we told him her symptoms. I also told him about her thirst and the going to the bathroom all the time. He said that the weight loss could be due to the throwing up. He checked her out and wanted us to go get a bowel x-ray. I mentioned that we had just had all kinds of blood work done and wouldn't diabetes have shown up then? He said that if she had diabetes then, she would be really sick now. Then he said they could do the test. It was quick and easy.
The nurses came in. They tested her toes. A few minutes later, they came back. Said there something was wrong with the meter and they wanted to test again. (I met this nurse again, just a few weeks ago. She remembered us. You can read about it in Flashbacks.) There's that sinking feeling again.
The doctor came back in. He said that the meter had read HI (a fasting bg, mind you). He told us that she had diabetes.
I started to cry. I said, "See? Sometimes when I worry about something, I'm right."
The rest of the visit is a blur. We started talking about hospitals and stuff. We asked to go to Cincinnati. He said he'd go call. He came back and said that they were waiting for us. He told us to go home and pack a bag for a few days. He told us to go right to admitting and skip the ER - they would be ready for us. This did not sound good. I wrote in depth about this day in the post Dx Day.
We were lucky. She was in DKA. Had we waited.... Had I not asked.... She could have died. That's how serious D is. We can never forget it.
And our lives changed. In that instant, everything - EVERYTHING - changed! Our lives were forever divided into BEFORE and AFTER.
And so here I sit. One year later. It's cold out today. And rainy.
But just like the weather, life is very different than it was a year ago. We've come a long, long way. It's been HELL. Plain and simple. Watching your child suffer through high and low blood sugar, pain and fear from injections, and the shock of a new way of life is heartbreaking. There are no words that could possibly do it justice. There is no way I can explain it to you, unless you've been there yourself.
And my wish is that you NEVER have to go through this. I hope that you NEVER have this disease enter your life. I pray that it NEVER takes over your body or your child's body.
But we HAVE come so far in the past year. Diabetes really is our new normal. That makes me sad. And yet, it also makes me happy. Because I know that D is not going away. And so, if it's not going anywhere, then the best we can do is learn how to live with it. And we have - we've learned to live - and THRIVE - with it.
Despite everything that D does and takes away, we are STRONGER. We are CLOSER. We are living our LIVES.
And on this day, one year later, I am not really sad. I am HOPEFUL. And I am GRATEFUL. And I am HAPPY.
HOPEFUL that advances in medicine will continue and that they will enrich Sweetpea's life. HOPEFUL that cure will be found - one day. GRATEFUL and HAPPY that we have our darling little girl. GRATEFUL and HAPPY that she is alive.