Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Red Flag {the day I realized Norah had diabetes}

It's winter in Colorado, it's dry, like 0% humidity.  So a few weeks ago when Norah was saying, "I'm thristy I need water, I was like, "Of course you do, I'm thirsty too, it's Colorado!"  Of course the more she drank the more she needed to pee.  At times it would even drive me a bit crazy, she would potty before we left for the store and then as soon as we got there she would need to potty again.  I'm just thinking "sheesh Nory, hold back on the water a bit."

And then there was the "I'm hungry mommy"  I'm still hungry mommy," "Mommy is it time for dinner yet?"  Well, basically ever since we have known Norah this has been a Normal and reoccurring statement, she is just always hungry. It maybe got a little bit more frequent and noticeable the past few weeks, but nothing to alarm me, especially when I knew she was being fed adequately.

But then this past Tuesday, February 18th when I picked up Norah from school her teacher said to me, "Norah kept asking for something to drink today, she seems to be very thirsty."  
This triggered a bit more of a concern for me, I knew that it wasn't just for attention to have a teacher notice it and say something to me!

A few minutes later Norah showed me this

And it wasn't until I saw this that everything came together.  
This was my "Red Flag"

You may think, what in the world, why would this cute little drawing of Norah learning about her body be a red flag?

It was when I saw her weight.  It was at only 37 lbs little pounds, and the last time Norah was weighed I remember her being right at 40 lbs, just enough to be in a booster seat.  Now, I had noticed Norah seemed thinner, but being age 4 I just figured she was growing tall and out of her "toddler chub," but when I saw that she only weighed 37 lbs, I knew 3 lbs weight loss for a child was A LOT!! 

All of this is going through my head in Norah's preschool classroom as I am picking her, I have all of my kids with me (Maya didn't go to school since she was sick).  I rushed my kids to the car and googled Norah's symptoms on my phone
-excessive thirst
-excessive pee
-ecessive hunger
-weight loss

And everything, everything said "Diabetes"  I knew at the instant that is what she had.  Everything compiled in my brain and made sense.  It had been happening for several weeks, but Norah had even been more noticeably tired (another symptom) and on occasion after a meal said she didn't feel good.  People had lately been saying, "wow, Norah has really thinned out."  It explained the thirst, the hunger, the peeing, everything.    My heart sank to the ground, I felt so sad for Norah and I felt like a terrible mother.  I just felt so bad for ever being irritated with her for having to go potty, or asking me to eat or drink.  Her little body just felt so sick and she couldn't help it.............

We went home, and I knew Brett was on his way home so I just wanted to talk to him before I did anything.  I will never forget our conversation as I was scrubbing vomit off the carpet and walls in our bedroom (yes, Maya had thrown up everywhere).  I told him I was very concerned about Norah, what her teacher had said about the thirst, the weight loss and all the other symptoms.  Brett just look at me and said "diabetes"  (he's way smarter than me and didn't need google). 

We called her Dr right away and said, "we think our daughter has diabetes" We told them the symptoms and they scheduled us for an appointment for the morning, Wednesday February 19th.

After talking with my mom, Brett's step mom Yami (who is a nurse), and a friend of mine who is a pediatric nurse we all knew what the Dr's were going to tell us Wednesday morning.  We were hopeful for the best, but wouldn't couldn't deny the facts. 

I went to bed that night in tears knowing how much Norah's life was about to change but feeling embraced by the Lord who already knew what was going on.

You see just a few days before at church, we had a guest speaker, one who had cancer as a child.  He faced the facts of his diagnosis but embraced the truth of God's love and sacrifice.  I didn't know it at the time, but that message, that day, God had already began to prepare me for what was to come.

On Wednesday, February 19th we had a normalish morning.  I gave the girls a bath, and blow dried and curled all of their hair. Maya was home sick from school again (a strange sort of blessing for the particular day/week) and then we met Brett at the Dr.s office.

We told the Dr her symptoms again, they weighed her (and she was only 36 lbs......gasp!), then took a pee sample and blood sugar test. Within 5 minutes the Dr. came in an told me she did in fact have diabetes type 1, insulin dependent.

A loss of breath and big embrace of Norah..... then silence

The Dr. looked at me and said, "you already knew didn't you?"

The tears came, I could not hold them back, it wasn't just a suspicion it was a fact now.  And a hard one to swallow.  Norah has Diabetes type 1, an autoimmune disease with no cure. 

 In an instant, yet again,  our life changed, and everything in Norah's life changed, forever.  She had no idea how much this day would throw her world upside down and forever effect her.

They then told us we needed to head to the ER and get Norah admitted to the hospital because her blood sugar was so high

To Be Continued.....


  1. Lifting you all up in prayer. God must have big plans for your life, Jen. You are a rock and your faith shines through, despite circumstances that would crumble most people. Blessings to you, my friend.

  2. Although this is a shock to us, it is amazing how pediatric diabetes is being approached these days. May the Lord God surround you each one, and place His healing hand on Norah.

  3. My uncle had Type 1 and the advances in just the last 5 years alone are incredible. I know it's still difficult, but it will be okay.

  4. My husband has diabetes and while very scary at first and a lot of lifestyle changes to get used to he is now doing very well. At one point his blood sugar was in the 600's when he first got diagnosed, but now with the right care, medication, and lifestyle changes he is doing very very well. I will be thinking about you guys and praying for you!

  5. Wow, praise the Lord that you were able to catch on to all her symptoms!


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