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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

When the Unthinkable Happens and Your Child is Sick

If you're stopping by because you heard me on STAR 105.7...welcome!

Another in the Real Moms of West Michigan series heard Tuesday mornings on STAR 105.7...

Seven years ago my life was thrown into a whirlwind of hospitals, doctors, insulin, injections and ketones. I had no idea what ketones were but I learned quickly when my 13 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 juvenille diabetes. No one in our family was diabetic so I was shocked to learn that my son could have diabetes and need insulin for the rest of his life.

I didn’t know the symptoms of diabetes so by the time I realized that he was sick, he was VERY sick. His blood sugar was over 800 (normal is 80-100) and he was lethargic, dangerously close to going into a coma. Oh and did I mention that my husband was on the other side of the world walking the hills of Israel with Ed and Kent Dobson? Yes, unreachable. I had to be the strong one, and I don’t always do strong real well. Thankfully my brother and some wonderful friends were there by my side.

The hospital was amazing. The staff was incredibly helpful and patient with this overwhelmed and under knowledged mom. One nurse in particular touched me in a precious way, her name was Becky.

It was day 2 in the ICU and she was teaching me about insulin and the how, when, where and why’s of giving my son injections as I practiced on a towel. I was still processing the fact that he was diabetic while learning how to handle emergencies that could arise after we took him home. This nurse understood my grief and confusion, she shared with me that her son was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as an older child.

As you can imagine, I asked her a million questions. But there was one question I was terrified to ask but she knew was plaguing me. In the middle of my injection class, she looked at me, put her hand on mine and said, “This is not your fault.”

I burst into tears.

Becky knew that at the core of all my angst was the gripping fear that I had caused this to happen, that somehow if I had been a better mom I could have prevented this. She had experienced the same feelings when her son was diagnosed. My tears brought her to tears and we both sat there and cried. I needed that and I’m so-so thankful that she was there to share it with me.

My son is now 21 years old and a healthy strong young man.

This week on the Real Moms of West Michigan on STAR 105.7 I shared this story in hopes of encouraging moms who might be in the middle of a difficult situation with a special needs, sick, hospitalized or emotionally challenged child.

When the unthinkable happens and our child is sick or born with a special need, our lives can turn upside-down and as Moms we face all kinds of challenges, physically and emotionally.

My heart goes out to you and though I can’t change it, I pray that God would bring the comfort and encouragement into your life through those around you. And I pray you know that it is not because you were a bad mom or did something wrong, this is the difficult side of life that gives us a depth and compassion that only a mother can understand.

I’m so thankful to the hospitals and the doctors who have supported and helped us over the years, which is why I wanted to share this-this week when Tommy and Brook on STAR 105.7 are doing their TOY (Think Outside Yourself) radiothon to help raise money for the Helen Devos Children’s hospital.
Click on the link if you would like to learn more about it.

And here is a video by Brook's son about his stay at the hospital.

The "Real Moms of West Michigan" airs Tuesday mornings at 7:05 AM EST.

If you are not in the West Michigan area, you can listen online at iHeart Radio: STAR 105.7

A great place to hear full time Christmas music right now!

And visit Tommy and Brook at:
STAR 105.7
STAR 105.7 on Facebook
@TommyAndBrook on Twitter

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