My mom babysat the boys the next day and asked me why Rocco’s diapers were so full. She changed three wet packed diapers in two hours of watching him. She said she looked it up online and it only came up with diabetes. "No", I thought, and blew it off. But, thinking back, I did change a lot of diapers for the next several days, and Rocco was also constantly thirsty.
A week later Rocco had an ear infection. Probably from the splash park. So I took him to the doctor.
|This is him waiting for the urine test|
I noticed her mood and I shuttered. "What do we do now?", I asked with trepidation.
"You go to the hospital," she said.
"Can we go tomorrow?" I asked
. "No, you have to go now."
I needed someone to look after Zeke. The doctor suggested that I reach out to a family member to take care of him,
since I would be there for up to three days."
Right when she said this I started to get tears in my eyes. I suddenly understood this was going to be life-changing. However, I still had no idea how life-changing.
Michael and I called my sister to come stay with Zeke. For the next three days she and mom handled my little 22 month old "other" angel. Thank you guys for dropping everything for him.
Then, the three of us drove to the major hospital in our city. My doctor wouldn't let us go to the private hospital closest to our house. Just having gone through six years of infertility, a high risk pregnancy, an emergency C-section and heart failure, I understood the power of being five (not forty) minutes from our house. But, now, looking back, I am very glad we went to a major medical center. Plus I love Rocco's endocrinologist although I didn’t realize then that it would be such a life-long commitment to Rocco’s medical care.
We entered the ER and the nurse was a total bitch! We waited about 45 minutes behind the curtain of a triage room before she came in and told us they were going to give Rocco an insulin shot. She told us that his blood sugar level was probably through the roof, so we would have to first hold him down to get a reading. Imagine for a moment holding a 22 month old baby down to do anything. It wasn't pretty. I just remember looking into his eyes as he was laying back screaming "Mommy, no!! Mommy, no!!" and trying to tell him it was ok. God! That will be burned in my mind forever.
She told me his blood sugar was 526 with an "I told you so" look. She was pleased that she was right. Nasty! I suddenly felt guilty for getting him that orange juice and rice crispy treat at Starbucks on the way to the doctor’s office just a couple of hours ago. Man that seemed like a century ago now.
The next three days, I cared for my little angel in the baby cage (hospital crib) while my husband studied diabetes like it was a board exam. The hospital staff kept telling me "It wasn't the end of the world". I wanted to scream at them all and say "Yes! This is! YOU poke your 22 month old 10-14 times a day with a needle! YOU try to watch your baby like a hawk for the rest of his life and count every carb that he puts into his mouth! YOU try making your baby understand not to eat anything until mommy sees it first. YOU have your baby understand that while he is still wearing a diaper!" How was I going to do this? I sat there glazing over for three days while they tried to teach me these things. I just held him. Stunned. Amazed at the daunting future we had a head of us. How? Why? I was in a sort of shock.
When we got home Michael started posting papers dealing with diabetes , throwing away every piece of sugar in our house, reading everything he could get his hands on. I sat with the twins on the floor, holding Rocco and staring into space just as I had done for the past three days. Finally, Michael looked at me bewildered and finally lost it. He yelled, "What are you doing? Why are you just sitting there? Come over here and help me through this! You are worthless!"
I know this seems shocking and hurtful but guess what? These were the words I needed to hear. I had to hear. At that moment I looked around, snapped myself out of my shock and denial. At that moment, something happened to me and I became hell on wheels.
I dove into every piece of information I could get my hands on. I went to every meeting, support group, and convention I could find. Those three little words sparked something in me that still, as I write this blog to unite parents caring for Type 1 children, carries me through every day of caring for my guy Rocco. My guy who is on a permanent diet. My guy who will have to be aware of every feeling he feels both physically and mentally. Also, my other guy Zeke, who gets overshadowed by the urgency of his brother's welfare. My other guy who will probably needs to come up with crafty excuses to get some equal attention from his father and I.
Those three shocking words sparked the over-protective, proud card-carrying "helicopter" mother bear in me. Thank you Michael for getting mad enough at me to spit them out. I will now raise our children better than I ever thought I was capible of doing.
This blog is one more way that being a parent of child who has Type 1 diabetes inspires me to make lemonade out of lemons( with Splenda, of course!). I hope that my sharing and my story can inspire you to log on and feel understood even if just for moment.