Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Date Was June 28, 2006

The first week of June in 2006, our family went to Disney World. Yes, we went in June. Yes, it was 150 degrees outside in the sun all day. And yes, we went to the parks as soon as they opened, and we were there until the parks closed. Maddie was 5 and Reilly was 18 months old. We had lots of snacks, and we ate every meal at the park restaurants, and at the different fast food stands. The kids had every slushy flavor that existed, every cotton candy color that they sold, and ate at every snack food stand that they saw. We were just living it up. That was our vacation, and we hadn't been on one like that ever, and probably won't again for a long time.

For quite some time before that trip, I had noticed that Maddie had terrible dark circles under her eyes. I just thought it was from being tired, or maybe her glasses prescription had changed and she was straining her eyes, or maybe she needed to drink more milk, or eat more vegetables.

She had also started wetting the bed every night. Here is my daughter, who at 2, decided that she wanted to use the potty, and never, I repeat, NEVER, wet her pants again. No pull-ups, no accidents, and no changing the sheets in the middle of the night. This girl had a camel bladder. I went twice as many times as she went during the day.

Maddie had begun to use the bathroom all the time during the day. She would go every 15 minutes. She would go as soon as she woke up. She would go whenever and wherever she was. When she went, it was as if she hadn't been in hours. She also began drinking everything in sight. If you had any beverage, she would walk up to it and down it in a matter of seconds. She would drink the whole glass if you didn't take it away from her. She didn't even care whose it was. If it was liquid, she would drink it.

Instead of buying her summer clothes that spring, I went digging through her old clothes because not only was she not fitting into her shorts that were 4's and 5's, but some of her 3's were falling off of her waist. She had started wearing size 2 and 3 shorts (normally a 2 and 3 year old size) with her size 4 and 5 tops.

All of these things mentioned were strange things that I had noticed over the spring months, but I never put them all together. I just thought she was acting weird, or she was just going through a growth spurt and maybe she was leaving her "baby-ness" behind and turning into a "big kid". I started getting a bad feeling about all of these things when we got home from our vacation because it seemed as if everything was magnified from that point on. All of these "symptoms" seemed to get worse. I realized I had to do something about it, or at least talk to a doctor.

I remember June 27th, 2006, sitting in my driveway, calling my sister, who at the time, was the only diabetic person I knew. She told me things like, "She doesn't have diabetes--you're crazy" and "save your copay, and I'll check her blood sugar next time I'm in town" but something inside of me was making me feel uneasy about the way Maddie looked and the way she was acting. So I hung up with my sister, and still sitting in the driveway, I called the pediatrician and asked to speak with the nurse.

As of right now, 3 years later, I can remember sitting in the driver’s seat, the car running, it was 5:00, and Maddie and Reilly were both asleep in the back seat. The nurse’s name was Susan, and all I remember is her saying, “Well, if you think she has diabetes, we need to get her in first thing in the morning.” There was no appointment made, there were no instructions, just get up, and bring her in! So, as directed, the next morning, my mom and I took Maddie up to the pediatrician’s office. Mom waited in the waiting room, and Maddie and I went down the hall, where we had gone so many times before. All the way, I’m telling Maddie that it’s going to be fine, but they would have to prick her finger, but I would get her a prize if she didn’t cry. At this point, my main concern was whether or not she would let the nurse have her finger.

That was the longest walk down that hallway that I can ever remember.

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