How Bedwetting Saved My Child’s Life

Seven-year-old suddenly started wetting the bed a few weeks ago after not having done so for many years. The first night, I thought it was odd, the second, I was annoyed. The third, I figured she must have a urinary tract infection so I hauled her in the doctor’s office. She very cautiously peed into the obligatory cup and the urine sample results came back. No sign of infection, glucose was present, but no ketones. The doctor asked, “Is there any history of diabetes in your family?” “No,” I replied, as my heart sank. “Any history of kidney or liver problems?” “No,” I said again. “Well, we’ll send her for some labs.”
Since we went in the day after Christmas, labs couldn’t come until the following Monday. They showed everything was good. At least it was if they didn’t know my child was fasting, which I had told the technician and the doctor’s office but somehow that wasn’t communicated. When the results finally came on Wednesday, they told us to make a follow-up appointment for after the New Year.
On Monday, I checked seven-year-old out of school for her appointment. She nervously peed into a cup again. The results were the same. High glucose, no ketones. This time a doctor whom I don’t normally see greeted us and said,”I just want to call endocrinology. And, I think I’ll do a rapid blood glucose here.” So she did. And the result were 411. For those of you who aren’t blood glucose savvy, a normal range is 80-150. “I’m so sorry”, the doctor said, who happens to have my same first name so I felt an instant connection, “but it looks like your daughter has type 1 diabetes. I am going to call the children’s hospital and see what they want me to do.” After another half hour of waiting for someone to get back to her from the hospital, they told us to come, now, for a direct admit.
That was two days ago. I walked into the doctor’s office with a perfectly healthy child who just wanted to get back to school for PE. I walked out of the doctor’s office with a the same, sweet wonderful child who, I was told, has a chronic disease— one that will affect her, and our whole family, for the rest of her life.
I was shocked, but I wasn’t devastated. How can I be when I feel so blessed? We caught her juvenile or insulin dependent or type 1–whatever you want to call it–diabetes before she had any major issues or life-threatening episodes. How many parents can say that? She was still fine until New Year’s, so we got to enjoy our holiday and start the treatment with the beginning of a new deductible instead of having half of it in December.
I have felt so many angels supporting me these past forty-eight hours. I know people have been praying for me. I could feel heaven close around my “bed” as I tried and failed to get some sleep in the hospital. And I could feel the army of angels around my little girl. They stood as sentinels, watching her bedside, making sure she was safe and sound.

Seven-year-old is being such a trooper. She got out of the hospital last night and wanted to go back to school today. So, I got my first try at being her pancreas at school. I forgot the pen needle cap for her insulin pen, had to go home and come back. Score 1, Diabetes, 0, Mom. But still, I am going to get this. I have so many people offering help, meals, advice, love. Everything is falling into place for my sweet little angel.
So, if your child ever starts wetting the bed after not having done it for a long time, don’t ignore it. Take them in, immediately.

And ask your doctor to check for type 1 diabetes. Maybe bedwetting could save your child’s life


Our “Pay It Forward” Pay Day

pay it forward We had a remarkable and unexpected experience on our trip. After driving from Anaheim, we decided to stop for lunch on our way to Vegas. We planned to go to Victorville, but our five-year-old’s tiny bladder made us stop a bit sooner, in Hesperia, CA. Her tiny bladder actually made our day.
I had been looking forward to the Chinese food that I knew we could get in Victorville, so I was disappointed when we pulled into the Denny’s instead. Plus, I had a huge headache, and I knew we still had many hours of driving to go. We told the kids that chicken nuggets, burgers or fries were not an option since we’d had too much of them in Mickey’s paradise. So my eleven-year-old says, “I’ll have the t-bone steak and shrimp.” What? I don’t think so.
I thought of many reasons why he couldn’t have it. It was lunch time, not dinner; he is only eleven, after all; that is too much food for one person. The list goes on. But, since I didn’t want to elucidate all those reasons right then, I just fell back on the standard.
“I’m sorry, bugs, but it’s too expensive.” True. And that was a main reason. But all the other reasons factored in, too. So he starts saying, “But it’s the only thing I like that isn’t a burger!” After a slight meltdown, he finally ordered a Lumberjack Slam (and ate every bite but the biscuit, oink oink), and we got the other kid’s food ordered as well. As we were waiting for our food, a woman in a booth right next to our table kept looking over at us. I assumed that she was annoyed with our large and boisterous family. I know I was, as was evidenced by my two Dr. Pepper refills. Four hungry kids who had been cooped up in the car don’t make for a quiet bunch.
The woman and her party left. Sometime later we finished our meal. I told my hubby to go fill up the gas tank while I stayed with the two who were still eating and paid the bill. The waitress, a sweet lady named Bridget, saw me get out the credit card, and she bustled over to surprise us with the last thing we thought we’d hear that day.
Bridget said, “Do you remember that woman in the booth over there?” We both nodded our assent. I was secretly thinking she was going to lecture us for ruining that woman’s lunch. And I wouldn’t have blamed her in the least. But she went on, “Well, she bought a $100 gift card for you. She said I should use it to pay for your meal and give you the balance to spend another time.”
Our jaws dropped open. We couldn’t believe that we had been the recipient of such kindness from a complete and total stranger. A hundred dollars is a lot of money to just give to a random family. We don’t know her name. We don’t know if she lives in Hesperia or if she was just passing through like us.
She only knew what she saw. A large family whose parents looked completely tired and done in with kids who were in need of a good meal. And she provided that for us.
We are already planning our own pay it forward moment. My son suggested that we pick a young couple and treat them anonymously . He’s heard us speak many times about how we were too poor to buy both ketchup and mayonnaise when we first got married and had a ten minute existential dilemma in the grocery store trying to decide which was more important. But wherever we do it, I can only hope that the recipients are as grateful, and as surprised, as we were. A great big thank you to the woman in Hesperia, CA who made our day. You were our angel in disguise. I can only hope this post gets back to you somehow.