Thursday, October 21, 2010

This crazy thing called life.

This will have to be a picture-less post for now as I can't seem to find the cord for our camera. But that's kind of how life has been for our house lately. A little lost. Trying to stay afloat but somehow we seem to have misplaced the paddle. We've got our heads above water but can't seem to get anywhere. The cosmic game of one step forward two steps back.

Our sweet Connor had his 9th birthday on September 17th. For him it was an amazing day. It was a half day at school. It was a Friday and it was the beginning of fall break. He had an awesome party with his friends. We played lots of silly games and they stuffed themselves full of pizza and cupcakes. It couldn't have been a better night. We had a wonderful family party the next day. Connor got lots of great presents. Turning 9 for Connor was just as cool as it could be. Family, friends, fun, food, and presents. How could it be any better than that?

Our family motto recently has been "adjusting to our new normal." I was recently called into the Young Women's presidency as the 1st counselor. Which meant a big time commitment. Presidency meetings, mutual, youth conference, camp, etc. Brent has been extremely busy at work and has been traveling a lot so it is a little bit of a juggling act.  I was really nervous at first. Well terrified actually. I just didn't want to mess anything up. But now I see it as such an amazing incredible opportunity. The women I serve with are so wonderful and everything seems to flow so easily. That being said the young women in our ward are equally amazing. They are so loving and accepting of each other and have such sweet spirits. I am so blessed to be apart of young womens and to have each of them in my life.

Back to that "adjusting to our new normal" thing. Well there had been some odd things going on with Connor recently. A little more than a month ago it started with him wetting the bed. My Connor never wet the bed. Not even when we were potty training did he wet the bed. There were a few times he had wet the bed several times in one night. (I'm sure later he is going to hate that I put this on here) I was concerned about that so I turned to my trusty computer and my right hand man Mr. Google and started looking up what could cause this. Well one thing could have been stress or anxiety. I thought OK, well we just found out that his best friend Tony would be moving soon. So we decided to watch him and see how things went. Then we started noticing he was constantly getting up to go to the bathroom. I feel horrible now because he got in trouble for this. We would say to him, there is no way you need to go to the bathroom again you just went 30 minutes ago. We thought he was just like every other kid getting up all the time to go to the bathroom and get drinks to delay going to bed. He started talking about school and how he had to go to the bathroom all the time but didn't because he didn't want to change his card to yellow (behavior cards) or loose his recess. This still wasn't a cause for concern yet because who really knows how often their child goes to the bathroom when they are in school all day or in the middle of the night when everyone is sleeping? (In hindsight I now feel so incredibly guilty because we also started restricting him from drinking water at night to try and help with the bed wetting. I now know that he was so extremely thirsty. As my mom says you'll spend most of your adult life feeling guilty about things you didn't know or wish you could have done differently with your children. Can I get an AMEN to that one?!) Nothing really struck me as there was something wrong until two weeks ago when we decided to spend Saturday doing something together as a family. We decided to go to Cabela's which is this amazing sporting goods store out in Glendale. My poor kid had to go to the bathroom almost every 30 minutes to an hour even if he wasn't drinking something. I remember thinking this is crazy. There's got to be something wrong. Well I once again turned to my close friend Mr. Google and put in these new symptoms. Of course the search turned up diabetes but I also found it could have been a urinary tract infection. Neither of which mentioned anything about bed wetting. Again we just thought we'd wait and see what happened. Jump forward to Tuesday night (Oct. 12) I was taking Bryan to scouts (mutual had been canceled that night for fall break) and the car started acting very strange. Then the engine/transmission light came on. Great another thing I have to deal with, my luck Brent had just gone out of town that morning and wouldn't be home until Friday evening. I went to pick up Bryan and the car wouldn't shift out of second gear. I called Brent, told him what was going on, and he called to see if his dad could come out and look at the car. Wednesday comes. I walk the kids to and from school. No big deal. (Our Durango is also out of commission so we are with out a working vehicle.) Brent's dad starts looking under the hood and we can't even find a place to check the transmission fluid. It has to be taken to a shop. Ugh, stupid car! Brent's mom came too and was enjoying seeing the kids. We had been talking about some of the things that were going on with Connor and she made the comment about how skinny he looked. Connor had been skin and bones since birth so I just kind of shrugged it off. We made arrangements to take the car to a nearby shop Thursday morning. I took the kids to school and my cute friend Debra followed me to the shop. The shop called later that morning. I answered it still praying it was something simple. We are broke, don't have credit cards, and I just needed one working vehicle. They told me it was the shift control module and it would be $480+ to fix it. Ugh STUPID car! The rest of the day was spent trying to come up with a way to pay for it. The car wouldn't be ready til Friday morning. Walked home with the kids and started thinking about my cute Connor again. He really did look thin and he looked so tired. I figured it was because he hadn't slept thru the night in over a month because he'd wake up to use the bathroom. So I looked up growth charts on Mr. Google and then measured and weighed each of my kids as not to single Connor out. Both Heidi and Bryan are pretty much where they were before school started in July. Connor came in and told me he was 68 pounds. I thought NO WAY! You probably did it wrong let's go do it again. (The last time we weighed Connor he was around 78-80 pounds and the kid eats like a man!!!) Sure enough the scale said 68.6. Holy cow! I got the kids to bed and turned once again to the computer. The weight loss completely freaked me out. He ate like crazy and hadn't been sick. There was no way he could have lost 10 lbs and there not be something wrong with him. It wasn't until I had this new symptom that the search pulled up a site for children with diabetes. There it was. ALL of his symptoms including bed wetting staring me in the face. It can't be. It's gotta be something else. ANYTHING else. Watching my dad live most of my life with diabetes and it's complications has been horrible and I couldn't even think of my sweet son dealing with the same things. He's just a baby! It's Friday morning (Oct 15 a day I probably won't forget) It starts like any other day. Feed the kids breakfast and get them ready for school. I asked Connor to go weigh himself again just to see. 67 pounds.  Connor looks exhausted. We walk to school and about half way there he tells me he is so tired and his backpack is making his shoulders hurt. He took off his backpack and I carried it the rest of the way. As I walked home I could see him thru the fence. He was playing soccer with his friends. Man he looked so thin. Can he really be that sick if he's running around and playing like everyone else? I got home and made an appointment with the doctor. No harm in checking it out. The appointment wasn't until Monday afternoon. Three extremely long days away. What am I supposed to do? I don't have a car! Ugh stupid CAR! I can't take him today. How am I supposed to get there? I just had this nagging feeling that wouldn't go away. Am I just being a paranoid over protective mother? So, I prayed about it. I begged please let me know what to do to help my son. There is something wrong with him and I'm not sure what to do. Is three days TOO long? I got a hold of my friemd Kristin. She has been a type 1 diabetic since she was a teenager. I told her everything that was going on and it was almost scary how similar our two stories were. What do I do??? She had the brilliant idea to see if the school nurse could test his blood sugar! This was totally inspired. It might just be that she's a diabetic and they pound it into you TEST YOUR BLOOD SUGAR but this to me was heaven sent. I figured if the nurse could test it and it came back normal then it was something else and we would just wait till Monday. I called the school and spoke with the nurse. I told her about what had been going on and that I don't have a way to get him to the doctor because of our car being in the shop. She agreed to test it for me and call me back. Thirty minutes later the shop calls. My car is done. Hallelujah! I called the school. She hadn't tested it yet. She was waiting for Connor to get back to class. Kristin drove me to pick up my car and I went straight to the school. I walked into the nurses office and told her who I was. She hadn't tested him yet and called him straight back to the nurses office. "Please make sure he brings all of his things. He might be going home for the day." She pricks his finger and does the test. I heard her gasp. I looked down to see the number. 525. A person with out diabetes has a normal range of 70-120. I started crying. I couldn't help it. I KNEW what was wrong with him. You couldn't deny it at this point. She also did a urine test to check for ketones which is sugar in your urine. You shouldn't have any. Connor's test came out the highest the test could go which was a 160 of what ever the measurement was. Both of these numbers were dangerously high. The nurse told me I have to take Connor to the emergency room right away and that they would probably admit him to the hospital. Ahhh! What do I do? Brent was headed home thank goodness but was still a good 5-6 hours away. Bryan has a scout camp out at 4:30. I was completely stressed out. Thankfully my mom was able to get off of work and pick up my kids from school. She also took Bryan to the church so he could still go on his camp out. Connor and I headed to Banner Gateway Hospital. They took him into a room where they started all kinds of blood tests. I was also informed our copay was $150.  A few hours later they told us what I already knew. Connor has type 1 juvenile diabetes. We had to wait a while longer for them to find a bed over at Cardon Children's hospital. This meant an ambulance ride (for transport purposes only) over to our next hospital. Brent made it to the E.R. just before we were sent to the children's hospital. We spent the next 3 nights and 4 days there. The hospital and it's staff were simply amazing. I can't even begin to tell you how awesome they are. They were trying to get Connor better regulated but it was mostly teaching us all about type 1 diabetes and how to take care of Connor. We had so many people friends and family come visit or offer their support. I can't put into words how wonderful it is to be so abundantly reassured that there are people who care about and love you. I don't know what I would have done with out all of them. We had to fill Connor's prescriptions before we could leave so they made sure we knew how to use everything. Monthly cost $110.  Our "new normal" now consists of a minimum of 4 insulin injections a day, more if Connor wants a snack and a minimum of 7 finger pricks to test his blood sugars EVERY DAY for the REST OF HIS LIFE. We have to count every carb he eats and be on the alert for high/low blood sugars and their symptoms. Our day is full of math and calculations. Adding, dividing, measuring, and weighing. It's a little overwhelming at times. Connor, however is simply amazing. I don't know how he can handle it all so well. By the end of the first night he was testing his blood by himself and by the next day giving himself most of his injections. I haven't heard him complain. Not even once. I hope this attitude lasts for a long time. Honestly that's the only thing that helps me cope with all of this. That my child isn't having a melt down at every injection time. The nurses and doctors all told me our moment of melt down will come for each of us. So far we've been good but I think that's because we haven't slowed down enough to really think about it. It did hit me a little yesterday when I looked at the bottle filled with needles and finger prickers. I couldn't believe how many had accumulated in just 3 1/2 days. No one, especially a little boy should have to poke themselves that many times a day. It really made me sad. But I have to stay strong for my other children who are really struggling with this as they don't really understand diabetes yet. It will all come in time. Connor will be going back to school on Monday which is a huge fear for me because I have to turn over his care to someone else. I know he will be fine but that doesn't make it any easier. I am just so thankful at the timing of everything. Had we waited much longer Connor would have been very sick. In fact most newly diagnosed children spend their first few days in intensive care because they are extremely ill. I'm grateful that our car was finished in time to take him to the hospital on the day Brent was coming home. I'm thankful for my mom who was able to take care of everything at home while I was with Connor and the doctors. I'm thankful Brent made it to the hospital before we were moved to the next one. I'm grateful for all the love and support for our family. I'm extremely thankful for my sweet friend Kristin who suggested the nurse test Connor and that Heavenly Father blessed me by bringing her into my life at the right time to help me with my son. I know financially everything will work out. It has too and for that I'm also thankful. It's all an amazing reminder that life is a complicated dance that is choreographed down to the second by a knowing and loving Father in Heaven.

1 comment:

The Greer Family said...

My heart goes out to you! I know that dealing with diabetes is tough. You will get the hang of it. I enjoyed reading your post, you did a wonderful job documenting. Your family is in my prayers!