I worked the night before and was reminded several times over the weekend by Sugar Bug that we had to leave at 10:15 to be to the doctor’s on time. It was now almost 8:30 AM. I was awake, but not out of bed yet; Peakie would be coming soon. She was coming four days this week while her mom finished a project that had a deadline for next week. I didn’t want to get out of bed; it was going to be a long day. I had no idea how right I was.
We make it to the doctor’s about 5 minutes late—not bad for me, for a Monday morning. I made the appointment because we wanted a doctors opinion on how to help a 10 year-old manager her weight. Actually, I wanted the doctor to be the “bad guy” who had to say the usual things like: less sugars, more fruit and veggies, more exercise and play outside. She asked about losing weight, so this wasn’t my idea. I have to clarify this right now. She’s not overweight, really, just carrying extra baby fat still, and has a very solid frame just like her Dad. She’s also taller than most girls her age and is becoming more aware physical appearance thanks to her 13 year-old sister, Sweet Pea.
What I deliberately failed—avoided actually— telling her was that I was also a little worried something might be wrong. I didn’t want to scare her for no reason, as she tends to over react and become hysterical with little effort. I told the scheduler I was a little worried about her blood sugar: she was drinking a lot of water and went to the bathroom a lot. I didn’t tell them she had lost about 10 pounds since Thanksgiving. Something else I learned later that day that I should have been paying attention to: the frequent stomach aches and vomiting for no apparent reason; as in she had no other tell-tale signs of illness, flu or food poisoning.
Our Pediatrician asked for a routine urine sample. They do a dip analysis to test for sugar levels. They must have been off the chart because Dr. was back in the exam room in no time flat. Sugar Bug hears the word DIABETES and tunes out most of the rest, I’m sure. I heard it and my first thoughts were: O Lord, she’s only 10, and this is the rest of her life we’re talking about.
The exam is finished, she gets a flu shot because some doctor she’s never met said it would be best to do that right away, and Dr calls a Pediatric Endocrinologist to make a referral. We get to go there next, as in leave this office and go straight there. Sugar Bug is in tears. She’s confused, scared and sore from the shot. I have not yet mentioned that she hates—HATES—needles. “Go to JAIL, go directly to jail. Do not pass GO; do not collect $200.”
I called home to say we were going to go to another doctor’s office, but didn’t say exactly why. I mean, how do you tell your teenage son that his little sister went in for a routine exam and left with a life-altering disease? And do it on your cell phone? I said we’d be gone until after lunch for sure. I promise her we’ll get McDonald’s after we were done over there. It was 11:58 AM. We should have stopped for food on the way.