I think I felt a mix of all these emotions as I have over the last nine months. But I do know that this week our family has felt excited and hopeful. On Tuesday, Hudson received his first insulin pump, a device that he will wear 24/7 that will inject insulin into his arm based on the information we program into it: his blood glucose number and the number of carbs he will consume for a meal/snack. Diabetes has not gone away nor most of the everyday worries that come along with it. But this does mean 1,084 fewer traditional shots in the next 9 months.
|Hudson sporting his new insulin pump on his arm.|
The story of Hudson's diabetes started roughly twenty years ago. Strange to say that this is where his story started since he's only seven, but we will call this the foreshadowing part of our story. As a preteen/teen girl in the 90s, I loved to read. My favorite series, without a doubt, was Sweet Valley Twins (more foreshadowing, eh?). But I did try out a few other series: Goosebumps (too scary), Nancy Drew (too predictable), and The Baby-Sitters Club (too many characters). I would be hard pressed to tell you any of the plotlines of these books today. But there was one story that always stuck with me. In the lone Baby-Sitters Club book that I read, Stacy, one of the characters, started going to the bathroom all the time, drinking water constantly, and dealing with unexplained lethargy. Come to find out, she had Type 1 Diabetes.
Fast forward twenty years past awkward braces, prom, college, a wedding, and the birth of three babies. What seemed like overnight, my spunky six year old started constantly begging for water. He would wake during the night to pee--three, four, five times. Hudson started feeling lethargic and moody, and he began squinting while he read, even though his eyed had just been checked a few months prior with no issue. And I kept thinking: The Baby-Sitters Club. This is how Stacy acted like before her diagnosis. I tried to talk myself out of it for a week or two. Ben and I chalked it up to a bladder issue or a behavior issue. But in late April, I couldn't reconcile with my gut any longer. I took him to the pediatrician for a few quick tests. A few hours later we found ourselves in a hospital with Hudson hooked up to an IV, and Ben and myself prepping for a two-day crash course in Type One Diabetes.
From that spring day until today, my understanding of diabetes has increased tenfold. Nine months ago I thought Hudson could just take a daily dose of medicine or an injection, and we would call it a day. I had no idea that nearly every carb that he consumed would have to be accounted for. I didn't realize that we would have to figure out his insulin intake every day not only based on the carbs but based on his exercise, growth spurts, and illnesses. It never occurred to me that we would often have to wake him up at night to give him milk because his blood sugar was dropping too low or that we would have to inject him with insulin while he slept because it was climbing too high. It has been hard. It has been a steep learning curve. It has been a new, unwanted normal.
And yet. Nine months ago when I checked Hudson into the hospital after first getting diagnosed, there was another mom in the lobby. She was wheeling her frail, bald daughter. I remember thinking in the moment how that mom would have done just about anything to trade places with me. Yes, diabetes is a disease. Yes, it has no cure. But it can be managed. And in 2018 America, it can be managed miraculously well. My first grader can still run, eat normal food, and live to be an old man if God wills it.
And so we have grieved over his diagnosis, but grieved with perspective. Diabetes does suck. I can't think of a more eloquent way to put that. But it's part of our routine now, part of our family now, but just a small part. It doesn't define Hudson and for the most part, it doesn't limit him.
Seven years ago when we baptized our baby boys, Ben chose verses to bless each of them with. For Hudson he chose Joshua 1:9: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Our prayer then was that whatever trials were laid before him, Hudson would go forward with faith and courage. We never expected such a large trial before him at six years of age. But he has indeed handled each day with more strength than I ever dreamed he would have. I have no idea what other trials lay before him or anyone else in our family. Diabetes may just be a tiny blip of a trial for what is to come. But my prayer is that whatever trials may come our way, we would walk with the same strength that Hudson has demonstrated for us this last past year.