Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice…..

My family and I sat in the family room watching After Earth together. It was after church, and there was an eerie feeling in the room.  It almost felt forced that we were all acting “normal”.  I know for sure that I was forcing myself to stay engaged, laugh, and act completely normal.

Then my cell phone rang, it was the kids pediatrician.  I darted out of the family room, into the dining room, and explained why I need an emergency call back on a Sunday afternoon.  I’m known for blowing things out of proportion, so as I casually explained the issue, I tried to laugh it off.

“So, is this just something that I can bring her in at your office sometime next week?”

“No, this is serious.  Take her to the emergency right away. I will call ahead and let them know you guys are coming.  She’ll probably need to stay a few days.”

He said some other things, but I didn’t hear them.  I banged on the refrigerator to get my mom and husbands attention and mouthed “We need to go to the ER”.  Everyone hopped to it.  No one seemed surprised, or shouted in disbelief.  My husband rubbed his head at the top of the stairwell, I knew that look.  He was scared and upset.  I couldn’t go their just yet.  So, I just got her stuff together, called our in laws and we all walked out the door.

Courtney kept asking what was going on, and why did we need to take her to the hospital.  My husband and I just brushed it off and gave her vague answers.  On our way to drop our other two girls, tears trickled down my face.  **MAN UP CRYSTAL**  Okay, okay, I wiped the tears and proceeded to my destination.

My mom followed in her car behind us.  The ride seemed to be soooo long.  I mean, it’s a 13 miles short ride to Children’s Hospital, but this time it seemed especially long.  It didn’t help that when I was no more than 1 mile from the hospital, some lady hit the back of my car.  So of course I had to deal with that, and I swear she must be a praying woman, because God held my tongue.  I knew she must have been texting or something because I noticed her earlier on 395.  I wanted to cuss her out so bad, but I exchanged information and jumped back in the car so we could finish on our way to the hospital.

We got to the ER, and the triage nurse took down our information.  She commended me for “knowing the signs” and calling the pediatrician.  She told us that the doctor had called ahead and they were basically ready to take us back.  I had joked with my father in law earlier that we may get seen right away because it was Super Bowl Sunday, and parents may let their kids bleed to death just so they could avoid the ER and stay home and watch the game.

So they took us back and I swear it seemed like 4 or 5 doctors or nurses came to that room at different points in the evening.  They all said the same thing “well we can’t confirm until all the test results come back, but we are 99.99% sure it’s…..she’s going to have to stay over night so we can monitor her. Then you guys are going to have to take a class tomorrow to learn how to deal with this condition.  Then there will be subsequent clinic visits. And there is a research study funded by the NIH that we’d like to talk to you about.”

My mom walked out the room a few times.  Her eyes glassy with tears.  Again, I couldn’t go there.  I need to concentrate.  Focus on all this information they are spouting at me.  I need to not be rude to the two individuals that barged into ER room, discussing their research study while the “non official” diagnosis was still ringing in my ear.  **GET OUTTA HERE NOW!!!!**

Eventually we were brought up to our room. Not more than 1 year ago, Courtney’s older sister was on the same floor for a week recovering from complications with asthma.   Courtney was impressed!  She was being waited on hand and foot since we entered the hospital. They brought her food, movies, games, books.  I think she thought her hospital room made up for the IV she had in her hand.  She absolutely hated that thing!

Oh wait….I don’t think I ever told you guys why we were here in the first place….the doctors confirmed that night that she has Type 1 Diabetes.  No surprise here.

I knew something was wrong a few weeks ago, when we traveled to NYC.  We took the bus up for my oldest daughters 13th birthday.  Courtney drank so much water, juice, soda, everything that weekend.  Then she would subsequently go to the bathroom.  During dinner she went to the bathroom 3 times.  On the way back from NYC, she went to the bathroom 3 times.  I was a bit annoyed.  What in the world is going on!?  I figured it was a UTI, and made it up in my mind to make a doctors appointment that following week.

When I got home that Sunday, I google her symptoms and T1D kept popping up.  I didn’t want to claim it, and I never mentioned it to my husband.  I didn’t want him thinking I was being ridiculous.  So I kept my suspicions at bay for that whole week, and when my mom came over after church I had her test Courtney’s blood sugar level (my mom is a Type 2 Diabetic).  The meter read 451, which led to the call to the pediatrician which lead to me here now.

To say I am overwhelmed is an understatement.  My husband and I had to learn how to inject our baby with needles 4 times a day insulin injections, 5 times a day finger pricks to check blood sugar.  Courtney seems so normal about it.  She was initially shocked at the thought that she would have to get stuck so many times a day, but then it’s like she got over it.  I’ve spoken with her, and told her it was OK to cry and be sad (although I hadn’t allowed myself to completely do the same).

Daddy let Courtney give him a shot (of saline) so he could feel the needle.

After 6 hours of training on how to properly take care of Courtney, we went home.  Tired and exhausted.  I fumbled with needles and had to prick Courtney’s finger 3 times because I didn’t do it right.  She just stared at me and then said, “mommy, no you do it like this”.  Ha!!

The next day we had to pick up the prescriptions from the pharmacy.  I’m not going to go into that. Let the picture below marinate.  Ummm, yea.  *sigh*

I went back to work on Thursday where I began to have an anxiety attack as I walked down the hallway.   Everyone was so cordial, and smiling, and I have never faked “being OK” so hard in my life. I didn’t want to say hi to anyone.  By the time I reached my desk, I had tears streaming down my face.  I couldn’t do this. It was too soon! I had to leave.  I talked to my supervisor, and she completely understood my anxiety and told me to go home.

I felt so much better when I reached her. I don’t even need to be next to her once we are in the same house. It just feels good for now to be in control of something so new, so fresh.  I’m going to give myself time to come to grips with this. I’m not going to force it. I know eventually it will be very routine, and that I will be running to someone’s happy hour because I need a break.  But for now, I am just going to enjoy her company.

Funny thing, she wrote this song last week (before her diagnosis) and whenever I hear it now I get tears in my eyes.  How did she know I would need to hear this?  I swear I love this girl!!

Do you know anyone with Type 1 diabetes?  We’ve been searching for kid support groups in our area so she can talk to others.  It’s been a dead end.  Most support groups are in VA or Montgomery County.  I’m considering starting my own.

Thanks for listening!!


28 thoughts on “Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice…..

  1. Anonymous says:

    IM COMING TO HUG YOU RIGHT NOW! i will definitely find out of any groups in the area… i know first hand because diabetes runs in my family… You probably have a lot of questions, but stay in FAITH. He is always in the Midst! Nice song Courtney


  2. < brother is a misdiagnosed T1D (since he was nearly 25 when he was diagnosed -they keep trying to treat him like he's T2D -but that's a different story for a different day) . He too has to take insulin 4 times a day and take his reading 4-5 times daily. He had all of the symptoms your baby girl has...but don't worry because GOD will take care of y'all. Kids are so resilient and she will adapt way to life as normal. For some reason, it affects us (moms and family) more than them -they just roll with the punches :-). Prayers for the family!!


  3. God Bless You and Your family! This took great courage to capture for all of us to get a glimps of what you and your family went through and are still going through. Be bold and start your own support group! You have my support!


  4. Hey Crystal.. my sister was diagnosed with Type 1 at the age of 12.. she had the same symptoms.. when my mom took her to the doctors.. her blood sugar was extremely high.. so high doctors said she was suppose to be in a coma… it was a battle to fight with her to get her sugar under control.. she started with getting 4 insulin shots daily.. now she is down to twice a day. once in the morning and then at dinner. I felt the same way you felt. I remember when i rushed to the ER to see her.. i had to put on a brave face for her.. but that ride home.. i had to pull over. cause that's when everything started registering in mind.. i just broke down.. she was too young to have such a mature condition… and to really understand that her life has changed.. my sister is now 17 yrs old.. she had to learn the hard way that she is not like her friends.. where they can eat as much carbs and sugar that they want.. she has to make sure to have her blood sugar under control. But the same God that helped my family through is the same one that will give you and your family the strength..


  5. WOW!! I know that had to be hard to see your sister like that. It's never easy to see a loved one in that way. Yes, I will definitely trust in God to help us get through this. Thanks for your comments!!


  6. Hey Crystal, you are amazing. Your blog captures so much that would be essential to other parents/kids going through similiar experiences as well as healthcare providers. Your story reminds me of just how amazing kids are and how much a mommy's intuition really matters. Perhaps a lesson learned from your experience is that if possible the best time to talk to families about research studies (as promising as they maybe) is not when they are initially faced with a new diagnosis…maybe waiting even a day later after you've learned more about how you will CONCUR this new challenge you'd be more apt to actually “hear” about research options. I hope that you share this feedback with the hospital team. I have a friend who's son is a Type 1 diabetic and I'm sure that she would love to chat with you. She, like you, has an advocate's heart. I will connect you guys via FB messaging.


  7. michellle peake says:

    God has you Crystal you have overcome the worst of it with so much poise and strength you may not see it but we all do your girls were chosen to be with you because there where no better hands for GOD to pt them in but yours, I believe everything happens for a reason it's all a part of his plan your baby will be fine because he has already put the will to fight and persevere in you, ok yeah you have to give her daily treatments a few times a day but just think of all those mini mommy and me conversations you will have during that time and that little bit of her day will shape her into the woman she will grow to be. As I was reading I started to tear up and actually wanted to cry and I got this feeling of '”don't cry Courtney and her mom don't need your tears” lol so with being said I will continue to pray that GOD keeps you and the family covered and reminds you just how WONDERFUL YOU ARE.. XOXOXO…PS. I throw a mean happy hour so I got you on that 😉


  8. Michelle that was soooo sweet of you. And you know I think you are Queen of the moms the way you adore your darling children!! It means a lot, and I will continue to pray. I know God will keep us close.


  9. Yes, the research discussions were a HUGE lessons learned for me. My mother was just as upset as I was. We said we would write a letter to the hospital. They did the same thing to me when my oldest child was admitted to the hospital last year with complications from asthma.

    Thank you for your message!!


  10. Jackie says:

    What a story. Moms know when something just isn’t right. I’ll ask around at work about some children’s groups. Thanks for sharing.


  11. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.
    I will make sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come
    back sometime soon. I want to encourage you
    continue your great writing, have a nice afternoon!


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