Twelve years ago today, on August 9th, 2004, 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 couple of days. He was so frail and bony that I was 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 a week and a half. By the time we were sitting there in Isaac's doctor's presence, we had no eloquent descriptive words to say about what had been going on. All I could think was, "Please, FIX him!" Every time the doctor would touch him on the abdomen Isaac 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 the doctor left the room, he said a reassuring, "We will not stop until we figure out what is wrong." We had waited a week to hear those words we needed to hear! We went back to the clinic after we were finished with everything at the hospital. When the doctor came into the exam room we were waiting in he 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 did not burst into tears. In a weird sort of way those words were a huge relief! We were so thankful to know that there was a solution. Isaac spent 3 days in PICU as they slowly brought his blood sugar down and 6 more days in a regular room while his parents learned how to take care of him. Those first three days were truly miraculous!! When we took him home, it was still another couple of weeks before he could walk again and there were a lot of things that he had memorized before the age of three (words to songs, for instance) that he had to be retaught. All in all though, his recovery was quick.
It would be several days before I could cry. When the tears finally did come they weren't so much about the disease diagnosis itself, but for how bad my child had to get before he got what he needed. What was heart wrenching for me as a parent was that I didn't feel like I stood up for my child the way that I should. This is part of the reason why I try to write something every year on his diagnosis anniversary. We may not have done the things that we should have in the days leading up to his diagnosis, but because of that we know what diabetic ketoacidosis looks like! Sadly, there are other parents out there who have experienced loss of a child due to the same thing. Many times those losses at the onset of type I diabetes are due to a misdiagnosis experience similar to ours. This link is to a story we followed last summer. Kycie's diagnosing blood sugar was lower than Isaac's. We were not far from this being our story at all and I struggled through this family's journey a lot because I just don't understand why it wasn't ours. These things do NOT have to happen! If you notice any of the following symptoms all it takes is one drop:
Before I close, we always try to do a little something special on August 9th every year because Isaac's life was saved that day twelve years ago. Isaac we celebrate YOU today, so I can't just leave this post only telling about the past. You were a fighter at age three and you are still one tough kid!
The day we got Isaac's first insulin pump.
First insertion of his Continuous Glucose Monitor about 5 years ago.
|at Texas Lions Camp this year|
We are so proud of you, Isaac!