Living with Diabetes
through the use of Community Advocacy, Social Media, & BLUE Flamingos!
It was a Monday. She wore a little purple dress with a little purple bow in her hair. She was barely 2 years old and I knew something was wrong.
On the way home from work the day before, I stopped into the local ER and asked for a U-bag. Sugar was still in diapers and I knew they would need to collect a urine sample when I brought her to the office the following day.
Her appointment wasn’t until noon, but I decided to take her in early. We just showed up…I didn’t care if the office was upset about it. I walked in carrying her in my arms. She was so weak. Breathing fast. Pale. Mostly asleep, but waking periodically and moaning that her tummy hurt.
In my heart, I knew what was wrong, but I didn’t want to accept it. I wanted to put off hearing the truth – I didn’t know how to face reality. I had been a R.N. for over 10 years, but I didn’t feel at all prepared for this. My heart sunk as I struggled to accept what was happening to my baby. I felt suspended in time. The doctor called 911 and, all of the sudden, the paramedics were there poking her finger for the first time.
HI-I knew what that meant. Her blood sugar was over 500. Is this really happening? Oh, Wendy, this is bad. I struggled to catch my breath as I stared at the reality of panic that surrounded us. We were taken to a local ER and, eventually, a helicopter transported her to a PICU.
They let me go with her to the heli-pad and then I had to say good-bye. My mother and I headed to her truck. And then I stopped. The helicopter began winding. It got louder and louder. My baby is in there but I can still get to her if something happens. She's just up that little grassy hill and I can be there if she needs me.
The helicopter began to lift off. I can still get to her. Higher. If I had to jump, I could reach the helicopter. She's still within my reach. Higher. Higher
My knees buckled, and I felt myself fall. She's gone. The helicopter is too high-it's leaving too fast. I can't get to her now. Is she calling for me? What if I never see her alive again?
My mother and I departed into rush hour traffic to make the long drive to the hospital. Along the way, my cell phone rang. “Mrs. Rose, I’m the doctor taking care of your daughter. I wanted to let you know that she arrived safely and we’re taking very good care of her. She’s very sick and we have alot to talk about when you get here. Please drive safely and we will call you if anything changes. By the way, she has the most beautiful head of curls. We love her purple bow.” At that moment, I knew he was talking to me about the right child.
Later that night, the doctor told me that she couldn’t have waited another minute for help. “You would have put her to bed tonight, and she would have been gone by morning.”
On 7/25/05, we set off on this journey. This journey called Type 1 Diabetes.