Diabetes is no stranger to Sydney's family. Mom's sister and brother have T1D. Dad's cousin, and another cousin's son have T1D. Even dealing with this disease as a family doesn't prepare you for the diagnosis of another family member. A child. YOUR child.
Late January 2015: Sydney doesn't feel good. It seems like she has a flu bug, but no fever. She misses school. When she does go to school, she is so exhausted when she gets home she sleeps until dinnertime. She is up at night all the time for drinks and bathroom breaks. She loses so much weight her new clothes from Christmas don't fit. Mom and Dad start thinking of a visit to the doctor.
Friday, February 13th: It's Valentine's Day parties at school! Going to visit Grama and Poppa Johnson in Utah. Woo hoo!
Saturday, February 14th: Mom and Dad have an errand and then the family meets at the farm for a hot dog roast. Sydney has an accident. Grama, being in tune and experienced after 2 diagnoses of her own children, takes aunt's BG meter and tests Sydney's BG. It's a fancy meter, because it tell us to take her to the emergency room IMMEDIATELY!!! In the ER at the little local hospital, Sydney's BG is over 800. She is given insulin and Mom and Dad are told if they leave right now,they can drive her to SLC. Primary Children's Medical Center is waiting for them. Sydney is admitted. PCMC has no special stuffed animal, no special blankie to give her. They can't even spare a waffle-weave blankie, which is Sydney's favorite texture. The hospital is overflowing with little ones struggling with a respiratory flu.
Sunday, February 15th: So much information. Because it's the weekend, the diabetes education team isn't available. Thank goodness for a wonderful child psychologist that appears with syringes, saline solution, bandaids, lancet devices, and all sorts of other T1D supplies along with a sock doll. She and Sydney talk about care, watch some videos. Sydney is so pleased with the little bendable figure with a smiley face that comes on her lunch tray. She is smiling.The Ronald McDonald house provides lunch for Mom and Dad. Tomato soup and grilled cheese are comfort food. We talk with a dietitian, the doctor, the pharmacy. We are released. They must think we can handle this. Here's a phone number to call with questions.
We go home. We deal with honeymooning. We deal with BG checks every 2 hours, even though we don't have enough test strips to test that often. We battle the insurance. We dry the tears. We hug away the fear. We face the challenge of going to school. We battle PCMC. Guess Idaho is the lone and dreary wilderness? We play pharmacy games. We have small emergencies, and the medical care team lets us down. We pray. We take a leap of faith and switch to a different doctor. Everything mom has researched has told her to stay with a pediatric endocrinologist. This means traveling every 3 months. The basic supplies needed just to keep Sydney alive cost more than Dad's paycheck. It's summertime, and all Sydney wants is an insulin pump. More insurance battles. More pharmacy games. More medical care team let downs. What is it about long distance communication glitches? More tears to dry. FINALLY!!!! Everything is approved! Pump arrives! More drama, only this time, Mom takes matters into her own hands and calls people non-stop until she finds someone willing to figure out where the broken communication link is. This is a child's life here, people! MY CHILD'S LIFE!!!!! YOU'VE DONE THIS BEFORE!!! I KNOW WE AREN'T THE FIRST!!!
Today: Sydney is 7 years old. She likes to play basketball, ride her bike, and make anyone around her laugh with her amazing giggle! She makes the best french toast. She can test her own BG, she can give her own shots. She is a pro at calculating carbs. She and "Pumper" are best buddies. She is strong. So very, very strong. We call it #SydStrong.