Thursday, August 9, 2012

Big Brave Boy Day!

On August 9th, 2004, at 9:00 in the morning, we took Isaac to see his doctor.  When we took his frail body out of his car seat, we put him back on the pillow that we had been carrying him around on for the last few days.  He was like a "bag of bones" and we were seriously afraid he would break.  He could no longer walk, no longer would talk, slept almost constantly, and only woke to let out pitiful screams.  He was just over 3 years old, but he weighed a frightening 19 pounds.  He was small to begin with so maybe it's just better to say he had lost 1/3 of his body weight in just a few days.  In the appointment, I no longer even knew what to say.  We had been to an ER on our Montana trip, that did not result in any other diagnosis but "stomach bug."  We could not have said to that physician, "Our child has diabetes" any more clearly without saying those words themselves.  We told him about the drinking and the peeing.  Told him that Isaac had been potty-trained but couldn't make it to the bathroom, and instead was soaking diapers quickly.  We even told him that he was wetting out of his diapers at night.  We told him that one day we were outside in the heat and had given him gatorade that he almost immediately vomited.  A PEE test could have given a clue, but instead we left with no iv (even though he needed one) and no urinalysis or blood tests.  I even felt dumb about mentioning the drinking and peeing.  Over the years as I have thought about that hospital experience, at times I have been very angry.  Medical professionals should be the ones who diagnose and treat, right?  We could have done a lot of things after that, but instead made lots of poor decisions based on this thought, "It's a stomach virus... it'll go away."  This "virus" got stranger and stranger to us though because eventually he stopped throwing up, but was withering away and looking even more dehydrated than before.  There were a thousand hospitals we could have stopped at between Montana and home, but I wanted a familiar face who knew our kid!  I thought about urging Whitley to stop at the first hospital possible once we got to Texas.  That would have been a really good decision in hindsight, but my feminine intuition had been put through the ringer!  So by the time we were sitting there in Isaac's doctor's presence, we had no eloquent words to say about what had been going on, and all I could think was, "Please, FIX him!"  I seriously thought he was going to die.  Every time Dr. Rakov would touch him on the abdomen he would scream, so he wrote orders for an x-ray of his stomach, a sonogram of his appendix, a urinalysis, and Isaac had the "famous" blood draw.  As he left the room, he said a reassuring, "We will not stop until we figure out what is wrong."  He wanted us to come back to the clinic after everything was done at the hospital.  At just after 12, Dr. Rakov came into the room we were waiting in and said, "Mystery solved!  Isaac has Type I diabetes and we need to get him to UMC in Lubbock as soon as possible.  A non-diabetic person usually has a blood sugar number of about 100.  Your son's is 1,260."  I remember him also saying that usually kids who were that high were in a coma already.  We were sure glad he wasn't.  I did not burst into tears.  In a weird sort of way those words were a huge relief!  We were TOO thankful to know that there was a solution.  It would be several days before I could cry the tears that I needed to.

A hundred years ago, death of a three year old would have been the only result.  Instead, we received a blessing to be able to take him out of that hospital in Lubbock completely different from the way he came in.  Maybe the blessing came with dealing with pokes and blood and carb-counting every day, but we are thankful NO DOUBT!  What a learning curve we had to go through, but there was lots of help along the way.  We've had some frightening moments, but nothing God hasn't helped us through!  I am so thankful for Isaac's life, and for all the developments that have allowed this type of life to be more manageable!

Every August 9th, we celebrate Big Brave Boy Day.  Hmmmm... trying to decide how we will make it special today.

The day we got Isaac's first insulin pump.

First insertion of his Continuous Glucose Monitor earlier this year.

The device that receives transmitted info from his body.  Lookin' Good!