A few weeks ago, I blogged about my daughter being so much like me with regards to her drive in school and her desire for a "perfect" report card. I always thought it was my daughter, Molly, who was just like her mom....this weekend...I learned, with much pain and sadness, that it is my son, Brady, who is just like his mommy.
Saturday, my 3 1/2 year old son, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. For regular readers of this blog, you are aware that the complicated disease of Type 1 diabetes, is the last thing my little guy needs in his challenging life. One more roadblock, one more bump in the road....something we never expected...but something we probably should not have been surprised by. I was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic on my tenth birthday, almost 28 years ago. On February 4, 2012, my son starts on the same journey. A journey filled with numbers. So many numbers. Type 1 diabetes is a disease of numbers. There are blood sugar readings, carbohydrate counting, correction factors and insulin shots to figure out. Diabetes has always been a game of numbers for me. A way of life. Unfortunately, now, my precious little boy, who has already been diagnosed with an extremely rare chromosome disorder, had a very serious choking incident where he almost lost his life and struggles daily with his inability to communicate....is diagnosed with this difficult disease. A friend of my husband called it "the curse."
On Saturday morning, I really started to pay attention to how much juice my son was drinking..actually guzzling. I had noticed a little earlier in the week that Brady was doing more drinking than eating and soaking his bed at night. He was a little cranky, and on Friday morning, he cried, a hard, desperate cry, when it was time to go outside and wait for the bus. Brady never fusses for the bus. Brady loves getting on the bus and going to school. I should have picked up on what my little boy was trying to tell me. I should have known he was telling me something was wrong. When you do not have the ability to use words...the only way you can tell your parents that something is wrong is by crying. But I sent him to school. Friday afternoon, Brady came home from school and seemed ok, except he drank about 4 or 5 cups of juice within an hour. By Saturday morning, the drinking was almost an obsession for Brady. He would not step away from the fridge. There was a desperation in his cries. So I did something that I hoped and prayed I would never, ever have to do...I pulled out my glucometer and tested my son's blood sugar. I closed my eyes and waited for the numbers to flash across the screen...I held my breath and couldn't make eye contact with my scared husband...600 flashed across the screen. A normal blood sugar for a non diabetic would be under 100. The only thing I could think to say...it must be a mistake. So, I tested my son again, pricked his finger and waited for that little drop of blood to tell me I was wrong....but I wasn't. The meter read 600 again and our lives instantly changed. After hours in the ER...the diagnosis was official...Brady is a Type 1 diabetic. We spent 2 days on the peds floor at Royal Oak Beaumont. We saw our son's eyes start to shine again. His spirits changed, he smiled, he ran around, he ate more and drank less. The insulin started to work and we got our son back.
Now that we are home, the reality of what is happening to my son is starting to hit us. My husband is sad and scared as he gives his little boy shots, but ever the steady rock. I feel guilty and overwhelmed with everything that is happening to Brady, and our family...and his big sister Molly...who spent the whole weekend with her Aunt Becky and cousin Rachel...well, she has so much concern, love and compassion for her baby brother. Last night, after Brady was finally in his own bed and we sat down to watch the Super Bowl....Molly looked at us and started to cry...we asked her what was wrong...her answer broke my heart. Molly looked at me through her tears and said...."Darn it, it's true, Brady has diabetes just like you mom. If anyone should get the diabetes...it should be me...not Brady...he has already been through so much." Her desire to care for her brother made me cry with sadness over our situation, but also swell with pride. We are a family of fighters. We are strong. We can handle the challenges put before us. I know my son's journey just got a little more difficult...but I also know, that just like his mommy...Brady has an amazing team behind him. More importantly, Brady is the strongest little boy I know...my hero really... and I hope to learn as much from him, as he will learn from me, as we fight the "curse" together.