Well I suppose it’s around the time of Ben’s second anniversary of living with Diabetes. This is the last time I’m going to acknowledge it. As I suspected last year, at the time of his first anniversary, the day or month of diagnosis would become less and less crystallized in my mind. Also, an accounting of years lived with Diabetes doesn’t really apply to Ben as he was diagnosed before he was even a year old. Maybe for some people the time of diagnosis was when everything changed. But for a baby, every new stage is metamorphosis. I’d have to say, for Ben, everything changed when he started using the potty- or the pee-pee bush outside my front door. (Sorry, neighbors!)
As this is the last anniversary I’m going to observe, I need to get a lot of thank-you’s out.
Thanks to those of you who have thrown Ben up on your shoulders so he can go farther, higher, longer (not because he has Diabetes but because he’s just a little guy but still wants to see it all and do it all). Thank you to the intrepid souls who have agreed to watch Ben on your own and be in charge of managing blood sugar levels. It’s a daunting task to the beginner. Thank you to my boss who knew what he was getting into when he hired me and is continually accepting when I need to re-arrange my schedule or work from home to cover times of child-care challenges. And there are many.
Thank you to Dr. Shalla Khan with San Jose Medical Group Urgent Care. You lousy excuse for a doctor, thank you for nearly killing my baby with a diagnosis of asthma based on almost nothing. Luckily I didn’t give him that second dose of steroids you sent home with me, or he might not have made it till morning when we ended up in the Emergency Room. When the Chief Medical Officer of San Jose Medical Group called me, ostensibly to find out how Ben was doing but more likely to find out how litigious I was feeling, he claimed he would do some staff training or other and make sure something like this would never happen again. Hey, Dr. Khan, maybe next time do a REVIEW OF SYSTEMS. Unfortunately, additional training will not do a thing to minimize your hubris. But again, thank you. That whole nearly-dead-baby experience made the diabetes thing easier to swallow.
Thank you, awesome ER doc at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, for acting quickly and diagnosing and somewhat stabilizing Ben before sending him by ambulance over to Stanford. And thanks especially for putting in that central line. They don’t do that at Stanford because of the dehydration in DKA and increased risk of clots, but after seeing those countless blood draws off his line- instead of tearing up both his arms and traumatizing him in the process- I know it saved me from going over the edge. Yes, he eventually got a blood clot and needed shots of heparin for a month, but what’s one more injection?
And thanks to everyone at Stanford. Ben’s dad had gotten to town just in time to meet me at the ER and follow the ambulance to Stanford. Upon arrival to the PICU, I felt…calm. After that shit show at Urgent Care, a long night alone with an increasingly ill baby, and the drama at the ER, it was reassuring to know that we were finally in the right place working with the right diagnosis, and there was nothing else I should be doing. Then, enter The Wizard and Boy Wonder. The Wizard was a bit on the short side and had to step up on a bedside chair to aim his little light down into Ben’s eyes. This guy up on a chair shining his light was in such stark contrast to that Three Stooges scene at Urgent Care. No more gadgets giving that crap doctor more non-information, no more useless x-rays, just a few guys quietly and confidently assessing the situation and knowing exactly what to do…. Leaving the room, Boy Wonder turned to me and said, “Don’t worry; I’m the best.” Um…what?? The nurse looked up sharply, “Did he just say that?” Yep. But I needed to hear it. Loved it. And turns out he was the best. Or one of them anyway. Then Dr. B. showed up on the scene. This guy was everywhere all the time. At the hospital. In clinic. At every single Diabetes walk or function or advocacy event. And always flying out east to preach the gospel of the artificial pancreas project and low-glucose-suspend to the FDA. And he was full of sensible advice- like this tidbit to parents nervous about their kids going off to college and not having anyone to look over them at night: “No one should be sleeping alone at college.”
And, most of all, thank you to Benny for being such a tough little guy. And you have so many gifts- you really make me believe Diabetes ain’t no thing. I couldn’t be more proud of you. Happy last stupid anniversary, baby. But don’t say “stupid” because it’s a bad word.