Our Special Day
by Alison Gordon
Need to share, today is Ozzie's 'Diabetic Birthday.' I am remembering the day, hour-by-hour, remembering everything. Nothing leaves my mind, even the little blue coat he wore.
It had been a difficult start to 2001; I had left the children's dad just before Christmas. Our dog was going wild, biting, so he too had to go! I now think that he started to bite because he could smell Ozzie's breath. I was feeling so low and had been to the doctors twice already that week. All over Christmas and New Year Ozzie was drink, drink, drinking. It was Christmas, the house was full of chocolate and fizzy drinks and Ozzie was just climbing the cupboards to reach it all! I remember having my friend round, when Ozzie opened the fridge and knocked back a litre of milk! How we laughed at a three year old doing that. Because Ozzie had a speech delay and would scream, instead of talking, we thought that the screaming was just normal for Ozzie. Then came the wet beds and wet trousers during the day! Our downstairs toilet was dark and uninviting and I thought to myself, he does not like going in there. All three year olds wet beds, so why worry! As I changed his pyjamas for the third time in an hour, I noticed that Ozzie seemed to have lost weight. My reasoning was, well he had just turned three years old, and his baby shape/fat was going. To think that I had had six children before Ozzie and none of them had really been like that, but my Ozzie was different in all ways to my other children.
Then, on the morning of Thursday 11th January 2001, I got the kids up, washed, dressed, into car for school run. I carried Ozzie to the car as he was so sleepy. He lay down on the back seat. I dropped the kids at school and drove home trying to look at Ozzie in the driver's mirror, but again he was asleep on the back seat
Ozzie was attending Language Group (a nursery school for 8 children with language delay). Ozzie had been referred there by the speech therapist. At home I got him ready for language group, my heart in my mouth; I felt that something was not quite right. I drove him there. "I'm sleepy", he tried to say, "Wanna drink." Dropping him off, (I feel so guilty now that I still took him) I told the staff he was not right and I was not sure what to make of it. They told me that the day before he had just curled up on beanbags, not taking part. I looked over to him sitting at the computer with his head in his arms at the table, and I STILL LEFT him!
I went to my friend's house and told her about Ozzie and how I could not go to the doctors, as I had already been a couple of times that week, I spoke of my fears of bladder cancer. My friend picked up her phone and rang the surgery for a 12.30 pm appointment. I went to pick Ozzie up at 12 noon, took him to the toilet. Five minutes later in the car he was screaming for the toilet! I pulled over; he had a wee in the hedge. I drove on to the doctors. I told my friend not to leave me! I needed someone there. At the surgery, waiting, another wee was needed. I got a bottle from reception and took him to the toilet. Back in the waiting room I showed my friend the bottle of wee, it was clear, colourless, I could see straight through it. By now Ozzie is screaming under the coffee table and I am crying he has bladder cancer. The doctor calls us in and I explain everything. She puts a Diastix strip in the urine and turns and says, "I think Ozzie has diabetes, he will need to go to hospital." She telephones the children's ward, leaving me with my friend and screaming Ozzie in the room. I telephone his dad from my mobile phone, sobbing, needing support and he says "Don't worry, tablets will sort it! What! He is only 3yrs old, tablets! My friend drives me to hospital with the letter to admit us. The Paediatrician was asking me questions, me crying, telling him I was worried about bladder cancer. He said that he would bet his next week's wages on it being diabetes. I was still not convinced. Ozzie had tummy pains and was sick. We are then left in the playroom while they changed over staff. While we are there, Ozzie says that he needs a drink! I am hungry too, so I send my friend to the cafe and she buys him a can of Fanta. I give him it to drink! It's only because he is screaming for a straw and I ask for one, that the Fanta gets taken away from us. Sugar free squash is given to Ozzie instead. A bed is found and my friend leaves to do the school run. Ozzie started vomiting and was then attached to drips, but he continued to vomit.
The following day the DSN visited us. We are given a ring binder with information and photos of the staff involved, pages about diabetes and when clinics are held etc. She showed us the insulin pen, how to load the cartridge, how to give injections. Ozzie screamed; it took two people to hold him down, one on the body, one holding his legs, while the other does his insulin in bottom. They explain that the insulin is to be given 20 minutes before breakfast and then again at teatime, but after a couple of days they realise this is not going to work with Ozzie, as he will not eat a "proper" meal, so Insulatard is given. On the Monday the dietician arrives and goes through which food he will eat and a meal plan. The after diagnosis care we received was very good. On the first night home, ready for that first injection, we had two Diabetes Specialist Nurses from the children's ward and a Paediatric Community nurse and District Nurse. Every morning, at 9 am the Paediatric community nurse would call, then at 7pm the district nurse would call. We were never alone. A list of "what ifs" was given to us on leaving the ward - if he doesn't wake up, do this, if over 25 mmol, do this, if vomiting, do this. All went well until the beginning of April when I had spent the night sleeping next to Ozzie and woke at around 6 am to a noise a bit like a horse "neighing." I carried him downstairs, still asleep, low blood sugar, arm sticking out in front of him still rigid, even after Lucozade. I phoned the ward and was told that because his blood sugars were OK to ignore it and they could not understand why I was saying his arm was rigid and stuck out. I called our surgery out- of- hours doctor, who told me they would phone another doctor who lived nearby; he arrived, just as mystified about why this arm was stuck out. Ozzie was still asleep and it was not until the District nurse came out at 9 am and saw him that we were told us to go straight to children's ward. We were told that Ozzie had had a seizure, due to the severe hypo. This alerted me to nighttime testing and I have caught many a low, he has had more seizures but nothing as major as that.
Ozzie had some blood glucose meters, I forget the make, but they counted down from 20 seconds. The testing strips were wrapped in foil and the meters came in colours: red; yellow; white; green; blue; just a simple machine. Ozzie was given a red one, which we named after the red Teletubby called Po, then a few months later Ozzie's favourite colour was yellow, and he asked for Laa Laa, the name of the yellow Teletubby, then we got all of them and I used to ask him every day which Teletubby he wanted to do his blood glucose that day. Now he has a silver Life Scan called Molly! Don't ask why!
Talking of kids funny sayings, I have 7 kids and whenever anyone says to me how many kids do you have I always say "Seven, like the Von Trapp family." Well we have got 'The Sound of Music' DVD, Ozzie is glued to it. He watches it over and over again. The second time he watched it I said to him," you are in this" Ozzie's ears pricked up. "Seven children, like you and your brothers and sisters. Watch it and see." The Von Trapp children are all lined up, being introduced to Maria. "Where am I?" Ozzie asks, "The little one at the end I reply", "But... but" says Ozzie, with tears in his eyes, "but I'm wearing a skirt!"
I think back to 5 years ago today and what I have learnt. My GP says to me when I am panicking about things, 'Alison, remember when you brought Ozzie to me with diabetes. Your world was falling apart; you never thought that you'd manage. Now look at you, you could treat diabetes standing on your head....' Yes we, Ozzie and I, have come a long way in 5 years. Things have improved. Some days I feel as if I've spent the whole day standing on my head, but I am so proud of my diabetic boy. He has taught me many things and it's thanks to him I have made a new family in everyone here on the UK parents support list. Here's to the next "diabetic year" and all the hurdles it brings, because I'm ready for it.!
Alison & Ozzie 8yrs DX @ 3yrs 3months 5yrs ago today (mum to 6 others)
February 12, 2006
Last Updated: Sunday February 12, 2006 11:03:55
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