When I think of September 21, 2010, there are a few words that come immediately to my mind. Fear, Anxiety, Anger, Desperation, Helplessness. Our little girl just shy of her third birthday had been battling her body right before our eyes. It had gone unnoticed for the most part, her irritable whining was attributed to lingering cold symptoms, her seemingly slender build we deduced was from her getting taller, and excessive trips to the potty were dismissed because she was just learning and we thought she was showing off. Then we witnessed an excessive thirst. Lydia was just tall enough to reach the water dispenser in the refrigerator door. Four to Five times a night, immediately after being tucked in and lights out she would come bounding down the hall with a thirst that could not be put out. We assumed, like most parents would have, it was a play for attention, but that was before a quick search on WEB MD.
Extreme thirst is a symptom of High Blood Sugar related to Diabetes. It all made sense, the symptoms seemed textbook, and anyway Diabetes is not such a big deal, right? The one thing I was sure of was that it would only take a simple test to confirm or deny what I already knew deep down in my gut. We took Lydia to our Pediatrician and explained our observations and asked her to rule out Diabetes. Lydia was not happy with the finger pricks, that she would all too soon accept as routine. I remember the first result was inconclusive and it seemed as if the nurse was confused. I began to think, "How can this be?". Kristee and I wanted an up or down answer. The nurse came back in and took another sample, this time with a different meter. The first one was not capable of reading extraordinary blood sugars. The Doctor came in and told us, "You have a very sick girl." and confirmed her Blood Sugar as eight times the normal count for a little girl with a fully functioning pancreas. For me there was a mixture of anxiety and relief. Anxiety in, "What do we do now?" and Relief in an absolute diagnosis with a course of action. Kristee and I shared a few tears but were becoming bound together around Lydia.
Over the course of the next few days, Kristee and I were wracked with emotions, sleepless nights, short fuses and in the middle of that immersing ourselves in Diabetes Education. When I reflect on this anniversary, it is not a celebration but a time of Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the wisdom of the Medical Professionals, the unwavering support of family and friends, but especially for Lydia's courage and spirit. Our family has grown closer. Kristee and I have drawn closer together than I thought possible before Diabetes. Even Dantzler is quick to defend Lydia and practices "Pretend Diabetes Management". It is truly a family affair. It makes me ask, "Is Diabetes the diagnosis? Or the prescription?". Just a thought.