So as I mentioned a week ago, I have tried many times to put this horrible day into words, but it was not until I read a friends blog that I realized I should not be looking at this day as a negative thing. I should be thankful and I think with that in mind I may be able to make it through. I also can not believe how even though it was five years ago it is so fresh on the mind and in the heart. I actually want to thank her for giving me the strength to post about it. Ironically, I am finding it kind of therapeutic to put my feelings in black and white, so hang with me. This posting is definitely more for me than anyone, for the first time as I post I don't feel like I have to be the strong one, I don't have to be in control and diabetes reminds me I AM NOT!
The Beginning of journey called - - - - - TYPE 1 DIABETES!
AUGUST 1, 2005
Lord, thank you for these little fingers. The battle scars are hard to spot, but without them I wouldn’t have these precious hands to hold.
Lord, thank you for this little smile. Life hurts sometimes. This little smile is a quick reminder that life is good...even when it’s hard.
Lord, thank you for this strong courage. When it feels like I can’t face another day, his courage motivates me to keep fighting.
I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN . . . .
Just to set this up a little, I remember a month prior to his diagnosis, I commented to several people about how skinny he had gotten. Many of the answers were the same, I was worrying to much, he was an active boy, it was summer time, and he never sits still what do you expect, I was his mommy I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. As I sat in the hospital the first night I recalled a day when we traveled from Stockton, to Spanish Fork, to Ogden and back to Stockton, I remember because he asked to go to the bathroom like every half hour, I swear we stopped at every exit on I-15 to find a potty for him. Finally, in Bountiful I remember asking his dad, is he really going every time or has this become a game for him and his reply was he is really going, I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN something was not right.
FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2005
He was having his first cavity filled. The dentist told me after his cleaning that his teeth were very brittle and not very healthy and he had more cavities than the normal 5 year old. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN something was wrong, he drank plenty of milk, water, we had brushed them daily since the first little white popped through his little gums. So anyhow we scheduled his appointment, we decided because of his age, the amount of cavities and condition of his teeth, it would be best to sedate him for the fillings and we would have to do it in two appointments. So I followed the instructions, no food or drink, other than the medicine the doctor instructed me to give him before arriving. Once we were there they took him back and done the work we had scheduled. I remember picking up his tired little body and putting him in his car seat. He slept all the way home, I stopped to pick up his sisters and he slept and slept. After arriving home I made a bed on the couch for him and he slept and slept and slept. I was worried that he would be up all night because of how much he slept that day. I was wrong, he slept through the night and I had a hard time waking him up early the next morning.
SATURDAY, JULY 30, 2005
I woke him up early because we were going to go to Ophir Days we had gone every year since me and his dad had been married. They have a big breakfast and his dad helps cook for everyone, so he left earlier than us and I got the 3 kiddos ready and headed up. Dalton was usually so excited to go up the canyon and always wanted to go to Ophir and never wanted to leave once we were there. This morning was different, I would wake him and he would look at me and just say mommy I am tired, I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. I kept telling him it was just because of the medicine he had yesterday and once he got up moving around he would feel better. I forced him to get up and get ready. Once we were there he just wanted to sit and usually I would have a hard time to get him to sit. I got the kids food and I remember telling him, just eat look they have sausage which was his favorite. I remember him being pale and not the usual full of life he always was. He tried to so hard to eat for me, after he even tried to play on the jump houses and play the games they had, but he just kept saying mom I am so tired. I remember thinking something was wrong, more than the medicine, more than a flu bug there was something more and I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. Well I debated taking him to insta care that afternoon, but I was told I was overprotective and that he was just having a reaction to everything that he had undergone the day before.
That afternoon we cut Ophir Day short. I took him home out of the heat and watched as my little boy slipped in and out of sleep. I remember he kept asking for a drink when he woke up and I convinced him to eat his favorite scrambled egg sandwich. I remember he began to perk up a little about an hour after eating, so I thought he was coming out of it, but it lasted for short periods of time and I did not take him to just any doctor and his doctor would not be in until Monday.
SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2005
He woke up pale, skinny and lifeless, but seemed to be more active and awake for longer periods of time. Still no fever, no complaints of sore throat, in fact drank more than usual. I decided I would keep him as comfortable as I could throughout the rest of the day and then call his pediatrician first thing in the morning. I would rather wait and see a doctor I liked and trusted rather than take my chances with on-call insta care doctor.
AUGUST 1, 2005
I KNEW . . . I remember I was up and dressed and began calling the office 5 minutes prior to their opening until someone answered. I explained to the nurse and she said I am positive the doctor will want to see you, so just come in and we will fit you in.
I KNEW . . . that something was wrong. Something more than just the flu or a reaction to the dentist. I had already made arrangements with my mom to keep the girls, she came and picked them up as I loaded my little 5 year old, lifeless boy into his car seat. He did not even wake to see his grandma, so I KNEW something was wrong. I remember looking in the rear view mirror watching him sleep, I remember not even having the radio on because I was trying to listen to his breathing. After arriving to the office, I remember trying to get him to wake up and he could not even open his eyes, there was only a little lip movement as he tried to respond. I know you are thinking why did I not go right to the ER, it is a question I ask myself every time I recall this day. He just kept telling me mommy I am tired. As I scooped him into my arms I carried him into the office, up the elevator and to the front desk. The receptionist told me I could fill out the paper work once I got him in a room, I KNEW . . . something then was wrong, they never let you do that. I barely sat and got him situated into my lap and Nurse Lori came out, she didn't wait by the door for us as usual. I remember she came over to help me up and carried my purse as we followed her into the room. She didn't ask me about his history or symptoms I KNEW something was wrong, she did not even leave the room and Dr. Havlick came in, I KNEW it was bad, I never see him that quick without waiting. He asked if I thought I could get a urine sample. I remember scooping Dalton into my arms, juggling the urine cup and heading around the corner to the bathroom. As I squatted, I leaned him up against my body fo support as I got prepared to capture the urine, he just kept saying. "Mommy I am tired".
As I walked back through the doorway, Nurse Lori was still in the room, she said Dr. Havlick would be right back. It didn't even seem like 1 minute and he opened the door. He said Annette, Dalton's urine is full of large Ketones. I remember thinking okay what is that? He said I can't be for certain and I don't want to scare you, but Dalton could be diabetic. I remember saying "what do I do?" He told me he could draw blood for certain, but if he was he would be sending me to Primary Childrens Hospital, at which point they would have to do their own tests, so instead of putting him through it twice, he recommended that I take him there and they could help me more than he could. The tears began, I didn't want to cry, I tried to stop the tears, but they came and they came as I gathered up my things and my little boy in my arms once again. Dr. Havlick kept asking are you going to be ok? Do you want someone to drive you? Do you want us to call an ambulance? I remember I got very defensive, almost angry. I chose to drive him myself it was only 10 minutes away. Dr. Havlick said he would call ahead and inform them of his findings so I would not have to wait.
Everything from there happened so fast, I remember putting him in the seat next to me. Yes, I know he was not old enough to sit up front and not in his car seat, but at the time I wanted him close to me. I wanted to talk to him and try to keep him awake. I had a friend in high school who was diabetic, I knew what could happen or would happen if he fell asleep and I couldn't wake him up. Thank God for cell phones, I called my husband at work first so he could begin the hour long drive, I then called my parents to let them know I would not be home for awhile. They met up with my husband and drove in together. After hanging up the phone I don't remember a thing until I walked in the ER. I don't remember parking or the drive there, but I remember walking in the automatic doors with Dalton cradled in my arms. A nurse met me at the double doors, she asked if that was Dalton Morgan, when I confirmed it was we walked right past the registration desk, through another set of double doors and right into the first room on the right. I laid him on the bed and she began taking vitals, hooking up machines and telling me everything would be fine. I remember her drawing tube after tube of blood and Dalton not even moving as they tied the wrap around his arm and then poked the needle in and drew tube after tube of blood. Before they were even finished getting the blood they needed another nurse was in there prepping the other arm for a liquid IV. He just laid there, I KNEW, something more was wrong. The questions started why did I wait, why didn't I bring him sooner, what kind of mother am I?
After what felt like an eternity, Dalton began responding to my voice again, the needle in his arm was making him uncomfortable, I remember being so happy that he was in pain, because it meant he felt something and he was opening his eyes more. By the time his dad and grandparents arrived, he was actually starting to ask for food, he was hungry. He wanted to watch tv which I gladly let him anything to keep his eyes open. The doctor came in and told us the final diagnoses and that is was confirmed he had TYPE 1 Diabetes.
As he explained we would be in the hospital for almost a week learning, what it was, how to take care of it and so forth, I remember thinking why me, I can't do this. My parents waited patiently until they got us settled into our room. I walked out to the parking lot with them and I remember sobbing uncontrollably, telling my mom I can't do this. She calmly said "you don't have a choice, we will be here to help in any way we can." She also reminded me "Sis, God don't give you anything you can't handle". My mom has always had a way of making me believe I can do anything, and when in doubt bluntly reminding me I don't have a choice. I love her for that and am very thankful for her love, support and help. I had never left my kids overnight before and now I had to leave my 19 month old and my 3 year old for a week.
As I walked back to the room, where Dalton and my husband were, I remember thinking I was so out of control, when I am so used to being in control of everything. Literally in control of everything, me, my kids, my husband, my house, everything and now Diabetes was in control. It was telling me I had to leave my girls for a week, I had to stay in the hospital for a week, I had to learn things I had no desire to learn. I went from the parking lot of thinking poor me to a hospital room thinking this is BS. I was angry as I watched my boy get is finger poked every hour to test, I was angry that we had to learn new things. I was angry that I brought a 5 year old through the hospital doors and he had to grow up beyond his years in one week.
I read, listened and did more in that one week than I cared to do. I remember my attitude was if I would have wanted to be a nurse I would have went to school for it. I was an angry mom, I was tired of hearing how lucky I was that we caught it as early as we did, I was angry every time I heard it could be worse, at least once you get him home it is treatable at home. I remember agreeing but thinking easy for you to say, if it is so easy why is it happening to me and not them. I met with more doctors, counselors, dietitians and so forth than I cared to meet and talk with. I was mad and very angry, putting on a strong front when visitors would stop by or call. In reality I hated it, I hated every minute of it.
The day we were to go home, I went from angry at the world, to angry at myself. Did I learn enough? Can I take care of him? What am I going to do an hour away from his doctor or hospital? Will I remember everything? Why did I waste so much of the week being angry, did I learn what I needed to? As we got discharged, my little boy had grown, he was handling diabetes much easier than I was. I remember on the drive home I watched him, just as I had 5 years ago on the way home from the hospital when he was born.
We arrived home and his sisters were there waiting with grandma and grandpa. He told them story after story about the hospital, about how much fun he had, how cool this was and that was. He made it sound like he had just returned from Disney Land. Then it happened, it was time to test. The first testing experience at home, the look on his face melted my heart. Because he was so young he had believed once we were out of the hospital he was fine. He had not realized that the testing and shots came home with us as well. As we explained to him this was a life change, he cried, he didn't want to do it. I wanted to cry, I didn't want to do it either. I felt like we were starting all over again.
It has been five years and six days to date and I can remember it like it was yesterday. Life is hard, it is not fun at times, but because Dalton is still full of life it makes it all worth it. He is a trooper, he is much older than a 10 year old in spirit. It has changed our life, our family and the way we do things but as long as I wake up each day and I am able to share it with him I will "TRY"not to complain, because it could be worse a lot worse.
I LOVE YOU DALTON