October has always been an odd month for me; I’ve had some of the best things in my life happen in October (married Kent for example) and some not so good (flooded in Boston). Hands down for worst is my son getting diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
This week on FaceBook, a friend of mine posted something about her car and boom—I remembered that day in October.
My son was 12 and just entering those awkward teen years. He’d grown more modest and so always wore a baggy T-shirt and baggy shorts; that’s why I hadn’t noticed his weight loss. Well I did notice it but I didn’t realize he’d lost 20 pounds. After all, he was also growing like a weed so between the baggy clothes and his increased height, it was no wonder he looked thinner.
The night before, he’d had his best friend spend the night. They pigged out on candy and soda (what can I say? Sometimes I was a nice mom!), but he woke up in the middle of the night throwing up. And that’s when I realized that he had lost so much weight—I was helping him in the bathroom and he wasn’t wearing anything but his tighty whiteys. You could count his ribs on the front and the back, he was so thin. I was appalled, so the next morning I called and got a late afternoon appointment that day with his doctor.
Once we got there—and I don’t know how I knew this with certainty, maybe I’d finally pieced together his symptoms—but I knew what the doctor was going to say even before he came back with a glucometer to check my son’s glucose level (which was 456, I’ll probably never forget that number). He was sick enough that we needed to go to a hospital right away, and we agreed that Children’s Mercy in Kansas City was the best place for him to go, rather than Lawrence Memorial (we lived in Lawrence). Because of how high his blood sugar was, he needed to go by ambulance and that meant I would need to follow by car.
But I didn’t have any cash, my husband at the time was out of town on business and my car was out of gas. I reached out to my friend, the one I mentioned earlier, and she came by while I was still at the doctor’s office, and put gas in my car. Only I drove a Honda Civic and she drove some great big honking van that had like a 30 gallon gas tank and she overfilled my car by a lot. She told me later that she couldn’t believe the car was full already because she’d only put like eight gallons in there!
My friend had also reached out to some of our other friends who swung into action. One came and got my younger son, another brought me some cash so I could get something to eat at the hospital. That cash ended up being hilariously unusable. He only had a $100 bill, which obviously couldn’t be used in any vending machines and nothing else was open so for a while I felt rich if hungry.
But yeah, October is a mixed bag for me.