I always look forward to the New Year – and birthdays, to me they represent the chance at a clean slate and new possibilities.
For the last couple of weeks my older daughter S, who is always healthy, had been feeling a little under the weather. Kind of like she was fighting a bug. Tired, not really hungry. Saturday she mentioned that she was drinking a lot of water but still felt thirsty. I did some Googling and found Juvenile Diabetes as a possibility, but I was certain that couldn’t be what she had, there is no family history and she’s always been a healthy kid. Sunday I was downstairs and heard a loud thud. When I ran upstairs I found my daughter lying in the hall, she had passed out. The rest of day she felt normal and hung out with her friends, but I didn’t like the way things were adding up. We made an appointment with our pediatrician first thing Monday morning.
After our appointment our doctor asked if we could stay close while my daughter’s labs were being done. We were in Wholefoods grocery store about an hour later when she called us with the results. The words, “She has Juvenile Diabetes,” hit me in the gut and took my breath away. I’ve been through the medical process so many times with my youngest that I’ve developed a way of dealing with all of that, but this was new territory and I had no idea how to handle the news. The doctor continued, “You will need to take her directly to Children’s Hospital, where she’ll be spending the next few days. Karin? Are you OK?” “Yes, I understand,” I whispered, and hung up the phone. My daughter was right there, looking at me, and said, “Mom, what’s wrong with me?” Ugh! How was I going to tell her when I hadn’t processed this myself? I asked my daughter to get something for me then quickly called my husband. By the time he picked up the phone my daughter was back and the conversation could no longer be avoided. We walked to the car, I put my husband on speaker, and, in my bravest voice I shared the news.
We spent the rest of the day in Children’s ER, having tests, meeting doctors and waiting for a room. All the while really trying to wrap our minds around all of this. My husband came up for his 24 hour shift, as is our hospital routine with V. As he walked me out to the car with tears in his eyes he said, “We will not be angry. We will not blame each other, be mad at God, or bitter about the disease. We will stand together and we will win. This changes a lot, but we will win.”
I laid in bed last night, tossing and turning, thinking about things. It seemed on one side I was trying to understand why this happened, don’t we have enough going on? What did I do wrong, I’m sure I should have done something better. I am mom to two amazing girls and somehow I let both of them down. Why didn’t God stop this? I thought I was out of of tears years ago, but found I had many more.
I’d toss and turn more, landing on my other side and think about how blessed I am. I have my family. They are healthy. This is very treatable. Many people don’t leave Children’s Hospital as lucky. We will fight, we will win.
I just really could have used one less fight.
God still has a plan, and 2013 is still filled with new possibilities.