Monday, May 3, 2010
Our oldest son is Diabetic. It was the summer before he would start middle school as a 6th grader. I remember well the realization that something was wrong. I sent him shopping for school clothes with a friend. He came home with a size smaller jeans than he wore the year before. By the end of the summer Spencer had lost 20 pounds, and was so lathargic, spending all his days and nights in bed...too tired to play with his friends, too tired to do anything but eat and sleep. He was always starving and thirsty. He ate 5 hotdogs and was still hungry. He drank 2 1/2 gallons of water in one day. My sweet boy was dying. I was scared and desperate. Everyone kept reassuring me that he was going through a growth spurt and that is what teenagers do...sleep and eat. I knew in my heart that something was terribly wrong. Jeff and I decided to fast and pray for an answer.
That same day my husband Jeff heard the still, small whisperings of the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father had answered our prayers. While driving home from church my husband said, " I know what is wrong with Spencer. He has Juvenile Diabetes." This prompting from the Holy Ghost led us to the Internet when we got home. We read everything we could about the disease. My husband then gave my son a blessing. In that blessing I remember Spencer being told that Heavenly Father loved him, that he gives us trials so we may become stronger and closer to him. Spencer was told that Heavenly Father will bless him with the ability and strength to manage and live with this illness."
Tears were pouring down my face as I silently cried; Silent because I did not want Spencer to know or see how scared and sad I was. The blessing confirmed to me the fact that this illness was a lifetime disease, which meant a lifetime of struggles and suffering. I mourned for my son, for the quality of life he had just lost. For his youth, and freedom.
Diabetes is an all consuming disease. Once you are diagnosed, you life becomes subject to numbers; highs and lows. Peaks and Valleys. You are governed by time, food, calories. The freedom that was lost that day was immeasurable, not only for Spencer...but for our entire family. I jokingly would tell people I am now his Pancreas. I took over the roll of his ailing body, planning...preparing and measuring everything he ate. I learned how to administer shots, and gave them up to 4 times a day.
Spencer went into shock. He missed his first week of middle school. Because of this he had no idea how to transition from elementary school with one home room to now 6 classes a day. At lunch instead of eating with his friends, he was in the nurses office...checking his blood and treating his new disease. It was so traumatising for him; I remember offering to pay him a dollar a shot to give him something to work towards. He said "No way, it's not worth it." We ended up agreeing on two dollars a shot. Times that by up to 4 shots a day. I paid him a lot of cash that fall. His grades slipped and it didn't matter to me. I told him, just focus on your health this year, you get a free pass for school work and stress this year. We will refocus in 7th grade. And we did.
Spencer was 12 when he was diagnosed. There is no cure. They are getting close...which is sooo exciting. Every year we walk and raise awareness and funds to cure this lifelong disease. If you have the means please donate to our team. My daughter Kylee is the team captain and I couldn't be prouder.