i am diabetic.
i have type one, or insulin dependent, or juvenile diabetes (depending on what you want to call it). this month, i will have had diabetes for 16 years. it is just a part of my life, seems normal to me now. it is hard to remember life before finger pricks, insulin pumps, carb counting, doctor's appointments and blood work. but is used to be different.
in october of 1994 there was a traumatic experience that literally would change my life forever. i was in 8th grade and as active as ever. (i think i was leaving my awkward phase of life, but that still is debatable.) i remember starting to get tired all the time, very easily. which you know is anything but normal for this girl. i would get in from softball practice and head to my bed to sleep. i was thirsty all of the time, which of course meant i was going to the bathroom all of the time. i lost a lot of weight, fast, and i lost some hair. i wasn't feeling right but we couldn't quite figure out what was wrong. we went to the doctor several times, but none of my symptoms were ever picked up on.
i don't really remember what happened over the following weeks (probably because i was so sick) but unfortunately, its something my parents will never forget. so i asked my mom to write up what she remembers happening. after all she was coherent through it all. so here is the story of my diagnosis...
"I made an appointment to take you to the doctor to remove several warts that had come up rather quickly. Not much was made of them. Dr. Payne froze them and we expected them to drop off. However, they did not. On Monday, October 24, 1994, I took you back in and they were a little baffled as to why they were not coming off. You were not feeling very well and I let you stay home. Later that evening you began to throw up. It was intermittent but persistent. I took you back to the doctor the next morning. They gave you some meds and told me to give you All Sport to keep you hydrated. Little did I know that would only make you worse.
As the day went on you only became more lethargic and the vomiting did not get any better. Late in the evening you became delusional. I had taken a rest for a couple of hours and your dad was up, You evidently went downstairs and talked to him about Mexican Wallpaper. When your dad headed to bed the plan was to wake me to sit with you. I was sitting in your bed with you when you began to talk about International bankers. I knew something was not right. I began to really pray. Not sure how long that went on but around 1 AM I was on my knees at your bedside praying when I heard a voice tell me to go get your dad. Your dad did not wake up well and I was like uh what but again I heard the voice. I went immediately to get your dad and he woke up clear headed (and not grumpy). God thing!! I went downstairs to call the doctor when your dad yelled that we needed to just take you. In the minute or two since I left you your eyes had rolled into the back of your head, and your hands were drawn up. I ran upstairs and as I got Jon up dad carried you to the car. I was getting in the back seat with you when Jon said no mom please let me watch her. He placed his head on your chest as you lay in his lap and he listened for your heartbeat the whole way to the hospital.
At the hospital I jumped out of the car and ran in and asked for help. When they came to the car you were alert again and talking. It took some convincing that you were not ok. Thankfully they took you back quickly and God blessed us with a nurse and doctor very familiar with diabetes.
Your heart rate was racing and you began to act unusual again. They asked me lots of questions when the nurse asked about diabetes. She began trying to get blood out of you and none would come. She immediately went to your big toe and managed to get a drop of blood from there. Your blood sugar level was 680.
They immediately began trying to get an IV in for the insulin drip but you were so dehydrated that your veins were collapsing. Your organs were all close to failure. We actually had to restrain you because when they were trying to do the IV because you were really wild. I was letting you suck on a wash cloth because you were so thirsty and you actually tried to bite me. They had to put you in restraints after that one.
After probably 10 attempts to get and IV in the nurse looked at me and said we would lose you within the hour if they could not get a vein. I just prayed out loud. I asked God to spare your life but that if He was going to take you to not let you suffer anymore. I told Him I knew you were His and I was letting go of my claim on you.
It was at that moment that the needle slipped in and stayed put. I guess I have known from that day that you were only on loan to me and that your life and heart were God’s. Anyway, God gave us grace and allowed us to keep you. You went into a deep, deep sleep almost comatose for about 16 hours. When you were stable enough they moved you to ICU and kept you there for a couple of days.
When you awoke I had gone out to the waiting room to talk to Brad Nelson who was there to check on you. They came and got me and when I went into the room the first thing you said to me was “I will never have babies”. My heart sank. We had watched Steel Magnolias that weekend before. I promised you that we would do whatever it took to help you be healthy but that required you to do the same. I told you that I felt God would allow you the desires of your heart and would not fail you. I still believe that!
You were discharged too early because we wanted you transferred to Houston to a clinic there. The doctor was an idiot but again God took care of you. I remember being so scared. For months I would go into your room at night and check on you several times. Even still every night before I close my eyes to sleep I pray God will watch over you and that He will let nothing happen to you,"
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10 ESV)
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10 ESV)