Well, since you’ve had diabetes over 20 years, I could write a book. But for this entry I will start at the beginning. It was Fourth of July week-end and you were very lethargic and cranky. Initially daddy and I thought we needed to be stricter with you, as you were an only child, we thought all the whining was because you were, well, a spoiled three year old. I brought you to the doctor’s office and was told to bring you immediately to the hospital. There you stayed for 5 days. The long stay was so that Dad and I could learn how to take care of you. As there is no history of diabetes in either of our families this was all new to us. Once you received some insulin, you bounced back to your usual fun loving self. By the next day when Grammy and Grampa Dea came to visit, you were riding a tricycle around the corridors of
, smiling and waving. That insulin was like a happy pill for you. Elliot Hospital
Every night either Daddy or I stayed in the room with you. Of course when it was me, your hair was pulled back in braids and you wore a cute little outfit. When daddy stayed, there you sat for breakfast with his baseball hat on, hair sticking out all over the place. Your outfit would be such a surprise. I guess he thought it better to pick a shirt, shorts, socks etc from different piles, not the ones that matched. I think you two conspired against me just to see my reaction.
I remember several key things from that hospital stay. Daddy and I reacted the same way to your diagnosis. We both wanted to learn everything we needed to know to take care of you. The insulin ratios, how to use a needle, mix regular and NPH insulins, how to rotate your sites, the diet of starches, vegetables, dairy, meat, vegetables, etc. No carbohydrate counting back then. 14 goldfish equaled 1 starch. A meat serving is the size of my palm. But most importantly your pediatrician told us to not feel sorry for you. He told us not to dwell on how or why you had diabetes, but to move forward. He told us you would be able to do anything with your life as long as you respected diabetes and took care of yourself. In our hearts, daddy and I wish you did not have diabetes, but if not you, then who? No one of course, so therefore, we have lived with diabetes too. We look at your diagnosis as we were driving on one road, and had to take a right.
While you were in the hospital, Uncle Brian and Uncle Dan, came over to help daddy clean the house and mow the lawn. While they worked around the house, daddy took stock of our kitchen cabinets and went to the grocery store. What was I thinking?!!!! O how he loves those little cans of peas! Our entire extended family stepped up and helped us in so many ways. Your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends. They all visited and sent you so many balloons that you were handing them out to other children in the hospital.
Diabetes is just one part of who you are. Everybody has something, and diabetes is yours. Mine is that I have a child with diabetes. And everyday I am thankful for that little girl with blue eyes and thick brown hair who also has to test her blood and take insulin every day. It has been my pleasure to care for you since that day so long ago.