Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life Changes In An Instant

"Drinking and peeing, drinking and peeing," I said to our friend Carol. Theo had forced the halting of our caravan destined for the beach in order to make a restroom stop, and something told me to make small talk about it.

"You might want to get that checked out," she said. "Could be diabetes." Our yearly checkup was scheduled for the end of the month, so I figured I'd just bring it up then. But Carol's words stuck with me the next day, and I called the pediatrician. They fit Theo in immediately.

High blood sugar. Numbers like we only see in diabetes patients. The endocrinologist downtown is expecting you shortly.

Monday, 3:09pm: life as we knew it. 3:10: everything changed.

Theo has juvenile diabetes. Type 1 is not like type 2, which makes the headlines because the average American diet can bring it on. Type 1 isn't caused by diet and can't be controlled by diet; Theo's body simply will never produce insulin on its own. The boy whose greatest fear is getting shots now needs at least 8 pokes a day for the rest of his life.

Needles and numbers now comprise a significant part of our day. Did you know that a tiny twist pretzel has .7916666 carb grams? It shocks me that my child's health comes down to such major math. And when you're so drained that you're picking up the phone to calculate the carbs, and the stockpot lid to close up your teapot, it's frightening to know that you're the one responsible for this math.

We're grateful we caught this early (thanks, Carol). Many people land in the ER before they recognize their symptoms as something worth getting checked out.

And we're grateful for the progress made today. Today, Theo willingly stood for 3 of his 4 shots. We went to the library as usual. Read books and made jokes about them. A bit of normalcy is returning, but just as we settle into it, we're reminded that normal now has a new definition.

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