On this day I posted on Facebook: "Well hello 2012...what wonderful things do you have in store for me? I am looking forward to finding out!"
I had no idea that 2 days later, on January 3, 2012 I would be posting this:
"It is frightening how quickly life can change. Prayers please. I will post once we know more."
On October 31, 2011 Seth had come to me with what looked like a pimple on his arm. He said it had been there for a little while but he couldn't get it to go away. I messed with it and it felt hard to me. I told him to leave it alone for a bit to fester and we would let dad work on it when he got home from doing his annual check ride to Anchorage. And honestly...I forgot about it...(hanging my head in shame)...until his dad saw it a week later. Mark didn't know if it was a pimple or a boil, but he knew that it needed to be popped. EXCEPT, Seth wouldn't let us anywhere near it once he saw us sterilize the needle. We begged and pleaded and negotiated and even threatened for an hour...he wasn't budging. So we did what any good parent does, of course. Told him to leave it alone and let it fester. Except it didn't fester it just kept getting bigger. Finally, right after Thanksgiving, I took him into the PA clinic. The PA looked at it and said it was a cyst that needed to be removed. No, sorry, he couldn't do it, we needed to go to a dermatologist. No, he didn't think it needed antibiotics. He asked if I had any other concerns. I said that I was concerned with the growth on his arm and the fact that he had lost about 15 pounds, I wasn't overly concerned but I didn't want to ignore a potential problem either. We discussed cancer and he set my mind at ease. He agreed that Seth was at an age where a lot of boys start to loose their spare tire and we left the clinic.
I went home and called the two dermatologists in the phone book and neither of them were able to see Seth until February. And then it occurred to me that Tanana Valley Clinic (TVC) has a department there for almost everything, maybe they have a dermatologist there too. So I called and they did. They were able to make us an appointment for December 22.
A week later, Seth took a hot shower and came down afterwords in a towel and asked me to look at his arm again cause he'd gotten a little something out of it in the shower. TMI ALERT: I gave it a light squeeze and all of a sudden a ton of neon green fluid starts coming out, followed by brown fluid, followed by blood. My immediate thought was...we finally got it. I put some bacitracin on it along with a band aid and sent him to bed.
Well, the next day Seth goes to wrestling practice and his coach sees the (ahem) bruised angry looking welt on his arm and sends him home with orders to go to the doctor and not return to the mats until it's been looked at...SIGH, so back to the clinic we go.
At the clinic, a different PA looks at Seth's arm and says the cyst has popped, still can't give antibiotics and we still need to go to our dermatologist appointment to make sure this is completely cleared up. She writes him a note to clear him for wrestling and we are on our way. BLERGH!
As I stated Seth had joined the wrestling team. At his first practice on November 1, 2011 he weighed 125 pounds. When he had his weigh in for his first tournament on December 16, 2011 he weighed 108 pounds. I was a little concerned when I heard that number, but we had so much going on with the end of the semester wrapping up for the kids and for my work, Ashlyn coming home from college, not to mention that I still had to get everything ready for Christmas, that I pushed that to the back of my mind.
Seth had his Dermatologist appointment on 12/22/11. I was glad we had kept the appointment, because the growth had come back. It ended up taking a 6mm cookie cutter punch to remove the cyst, which was sent off for biopsy. I am happy to report it came back benign. Here is a lovely picture of his frankenarm:
Once Christmas was over and I had a chance to catch my breath, I noticed that I was constantly re-filling , or telling the kids to fill, our mondo big Brita water pitcher in our fridge. I actually got a little irritated that I could never get a cold glass of water, and might have yelled at Seth for always drinking all the water in the fridge. He just looked at me and said "but mom, I am SO THIRSTY". It was at this point a little alarm started going off in my head. That night, I couldn't sleep and noticed that someone was up wandering around the house 2 times that night, it was Seth. When I talked to him in the morning and asked what he was doing, he said he had to go to the bathroom and refill his water bottle. WHAT.
Big weight loss, super thirsty, really tired. Could he possibly have diabetes? I talked to my husband about it that Sunday evening (1/1). At first I got a blank stare and then...denial. Nah. It was easy to focus on it NOT being diabetes, but I was starting to suspect that we needed to get this checked out. Mark's parents were up visiting for the holidays and I mentioned it to them in front of my husband to see what they thought. They thought it would be worth having him tested.
Mark had to go to the PA clinic on Tuesday 1/3, so we agreed that we would take Seth at the same time. On Monday night we told him no food after 10:00 pm. He could still drink water, but no food.
Seth ended up falling asleep on the 20 minute drive to the clinic and by the time they saw him it was about 2:30 in the afternoon. The PA said for a 12 hour fast his Blood Glucose (BG) should be under 100. If it was over that, they would do further tests. They did a finger prick and we all anxiously watched the display countdown: 18.104.22.168.1
The technician went ahead and drew blood. Poor Seth has such a fear of needles and his poor veins were not cooperating. She finally got it and left the room. Almost immediately the PA came in.
I locked eyes with the PA and she gently nodded her head...and in my mothers heart, I knew. I knew in that moment, our lives had changed forever. I was just waiting to hear if it was Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. I glanced over at my husband and he was still smiling. I kind of nudged him and said "are you okay". Still smiling he looks at me and says "Yeah, there's just something wrong with their machine, you'll see when the test comes back".
The PA told us she had made an appointment with a Pediatrician at TVC at 9:30 the next morning. Seth could go home and eat as usual, but probably not a lot of sugar. Sorry she didn't have better news and we were on our way out the door. What did all this mean, why, how? There were no answers to be had that night.
As I was thinking about it that night, I felt in my heart that we would be admitted to the hospital the next day. It was the only thing that made sense to me. How else would we learn how to manage this, how would they know what he needed to be healthy? I am so grateful that Heavenly Father was helping me, because my husband was still living firmly in denial.