Sunday, December 19, 2010

These pants can tell the story

These pants can tell the story of Grace since her diagnosis in January 2009. As she slid them on the other night, she realized they are getting small for her. And it made both of us a wee bit sad. Because the pants do tell the story of it all and we both remember.

Grace was taken to our local hospital by me on a cold Thursday night in January, almost 2 years ago. I had called her pediatrician that night with my suspicions about her drinking tons of water, urinating almost constantly and always being hungry. I had Googled the symptoms and I knew. Well, I pushed it to the back of mind, but I knew. Her 1st grade teacher happened to call and ask me if something was wrong, Grace kept going to the bathroom in class and asking to get water. She wondered if there was something wrong. It prompted my phone call to her doctor.

But you see, Grace was already in bed for the night. She was in her jammies, sound asleep. Her pediatrician, God bless his heart to this day, told me to trust my Mommy gut and take her to the hospital to check her out. He said I probably wouldn't sleep any way, so why not wake her up and take her. So I did just that. Changed back from my own pajamas into some old clothes. Woke up my 6 year old daughter and left her in her jammies, bundled her up tight in her coat and hat and gloves, and drove to the hospital at 9:30 at night. I remember the drive.

I remember pulling into the parking lot in front of the emergency room and actually thinking the thought in my head 'It could be that nothing will ever be the same' as I locked the door and we walked in. Can you believe I actually thought it? I did, as strange as that may sound.

I told the admitting nurse my suspicions. They sent us quickly back through the ER doors and into a room. Nurses came. They checked her blood sugar via a huge meter. The lancing hurt her. And as I said my suspicions to the nurse, the meter beeped and to my dying day I will remember what she said as she laid down the meter:

"Mom, I think you may be right."

And she left the room and ran to the desk. From that moment on, it was a blur. They called two doctors to the room and four nurses. Two held her down as they inserted IV lines into each arm, placed heart monitors on her chest and did another complete blood draw.

All the while Grace is screaming 'Don't let me die! I don't wanna die!'
She screamed this because less than a year before, her beloved grandmother passed away in this hospital. This very hospital. She knows what hospitals do, in her 6 year old mind, they do not let people leave alive. The nurses are looking at me as if Grace has gonna crazy and I don't have the heart at this very moment to explain it all to them - why she is yelling this and why she thinks this. And all the while my head is spinning and my heart is breaking and I am sobbing.

"No, you are not gonna die honey. Mommy will not let you die."
And I wished it and I wished it and I wished it with my very soul.

She is so upset with all that is happening and being done to her that she wets herself. She wets through her jammies, her underwear, the bed, everything. And she is embarrassed because she knows she is a big girl and has not done this in so very long. As the lines are inserted and she begins to stop screaming, I ask if they have some underwear she could have, some pajama bottoms around that she could have. Surely they have something, they have a pediatric floor here.

And one nurse brings a red plaid pair of pajama bottoms. They are too big for Grace, for she has lost weight in the past weeks - 6 lbs. That's a lot when you only weight 50 pounds. They have a  string tie in the front and I roll up the legs, but they make her feel some semblance of order has returned. She has pajama bottoms on and she is dry.

The days proceed and we stay for 5 days. And they are filled with moments of clarity, of reality, of sadness, of guilt, of everything. They are just filled with everything that Type 1 brings.

And she wears the pants every day in that hospital. She changes her top and we bath her and we wash the pants, but she wears them. I offer her her own clothes and she declines. She prefers the plaid pajama pants to everything else.

And when we return home from the hospital and begin to carry on with our new life, they are in her pajama stash. And she wears them, a lot.  And every time she pulls them out, she starts with the same thing to me - "Mom, do you remember when I got these pants?, then the conversation takes various turns, always coming back to remembrances from the hospital :

"Yes honey, in the hospital. I remember them."
"I remember you helped take the leads off my heart monitor on my chest. Do you remember that?"
"Yes, I do sweetie."
"And do you remember when you gave me a bath in the big tub and dried me and snuggled me and pulled me back to my room in the wagon? That was fun, the wagon."
"Yep, I do remember the wagon."
"I remember the shots. And you cried Mom. And Dad came. And he cried."
"Yes, we did sweetie. We love you and didn't like that you were sick."

Soon, it's time to retire the pants. They are too small now.
I think I'll turn them into  pillow for her.
It's always good to have someone and something that remembers your story.


Unknown said...

AWWW...the pillow is a great idea Penny. Thank you for sharing that well written, poignant story of Grace's diagnosis and the plaid pants. Joe rode in a wagon too...when he was in the hospital at diagnosis...UGH.

Love ya girl...(((HUGS)))

Misty said...

Oh Penny, your story made me cry. Maybe because it was so sweet. Maybe because it ws so sad. And just maybe because it is all too familiar. I love the idea of turning the pants into a pillow :) Ally received a really soft blanket during her dx hospital stay...she always asks me if I remember where she got it too.

Alexis Nicole said...

Thank you for sharing your story. And I agree the pillow is a beautiful idea. Grace is one lucky girl to have you!

Denise said...

everything Misty said...sweet, sad, familiar!

Silver Charm Bracelet  said...

Sweet! Thanks for sharing your little story. I really love your blog and I'm looking forward to have some silver charm bracelet with some pants.

Hallie Addington said...

Oh goodness.... Penny, I'm a sobbing mess. I remember clearly the outfit Sweetpea had on that day. I thought many of the same things that you did. Ironcially. I knew too.

The pillow is a great idea. I so get the attachment.

Love to you both and big hugs!

Amanda said...

Penny, your story made me cry and I got chills all over. Good for you for listening to your mom gut! Your Grace sounds like an absolute angel. Emma still sleeps every single night with a stuffed animal she got in the hospital...

k2 said...

Penny -
OK, now I'm crying, like sobbing and the tears are running down my face and the snot ( I know, lovely visual) is running out of my nose.
And I love you and Gracie very much.
kelly k

Leighann of D-Mom Blog said...

Kudos to that teacher!

When the other D-mom at school and I gave an inservice, she stressed to the teachers that they might notice symptoms more quickly than parents because kids have to ask to go to the bathroom or get a drink.

I bet those pants would make a very soft pillow.

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

Pillow! Yes!