5 years ago today was a day we will never forget, ever. It changed our lives forever……
Jeremiah was 3 years old and had been going to the restroom a lot. Each time it was an emergency where he would barely make it to the bathroom in time. I remember many times having to dramatically pull over while saying over and over “Hold it one more minute, hold it one more minute! We’re almost there!” It was pretty funny at the time, but not for long. After Jeremiah wet the bed a couple times I knew something wasn’t right and made an appointment to take him in to his pediatrician’s office.
It was a day of doctors visits. We stopped by the dentist’s office that morning and I remember specifically thinking what a great job he did. I am a child at the dentists and gag when they take pictures of my molars. Jeremiah had his pictures done and was a champ. He was so little and only 3 years old and was too cute in the big dentists chair. Later that afternoon, even though Jeremiah had his friend Brandon over for the day to play, we made another quick stop at Jeremiah’s pediatrician’s office. I figured he had some sort of infection, maybe a UTI. We would get some meds and head out to enjoy the rest of the day. Boy, were we in for a rude awakening.
I knew nothing about diabetes so when the doctor checked his sugar and had him pee in a cup I didn’t think twice about it. When he told me to get to the hospital I still wasn’t sure what was going on. I even gave the kids a lollipop on the way out of the office, big no-no, but I had no idea! In an attempt to not scare me the doctor didn’t tell me that he believed Jeremiah had diabetes and didn’t tell me what his blood sugar was. I had no idea that his sugar was over 1000.
We took Jeremiah’s friend home and ran to the hospital. And hell began. It was a rough night. A night I will never forget. Jeremiah was immediately diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I will never forget my son screaming and crying and asking me to take him home. His poor little 3 year old body was being through so much pain it was gut wrenching to watch, knowing I couldn’t take it away. By God’s grace he doesn’t remember that night and I am so thankful that he doesn’t.
We stayed in the hospital for 5 days and were overwhelmed to say the least. We learned about diabetes, how to count carbs, how to check sugar, and how to give shots. We went from a normal, carefree childhood to poking Jeremiah’s finger until it bled 10 to 15 times a day and 4 shots a day of insulin that made him scream and kick and cry every time. We prayed a lot during those days and have never felt God’s presence more.
Thankfully, we have moved from this season into a season of strength and courage. Jeremiah has been through more than any child should be expected to go through. Over the course of these 5 years Jeremiah has endured over 6,000 shots and over 24,000 finger pokes, regular visits to the hospital, and a constant watch over what he is eating, what he is doing, where he is going, and how he is feeling. It’s a constant balance and even when we’re doing everything right it can still not be under control.
But God. Jeremiah has an unshakeable faith in God and knows that He has orchestrated all of this for his good. For his good? Yes, absolutely. Nothing comes to us that wasn’t filtered through the hand of God first. Jeremiah has learned this and has joy in it, more than I do honestly. Jeremiah is the strongest kid I know and deals with all of this with amazing grace. Not only that, he has a compassion for others that he would not have if it weren’t for what he has had to deal with himself. He is responsible beyond his years and is a great example to all of us. If I could take diabetes away I certainly would, in a heartbeat. But I can’t. I cry over the pain my child must endure, I pray for healing for my sweet boy, I wish I could protect him from the people who say hurtful things to him without thinking. What do we do? We handle diabetes day by day, we take on each challenge as it comes, we eat healthy and stay active, we trust in God, and we don’t let diabetes take over our lives.
Jeremiah has diabetes, diabetes doesn’t have him. There is nothing Jeremiah wants to do that diabetes keeps him from. He plays basketball, he swims, he serves at church, he camps, he hangs out with his friends, he does everything any other kids does. I wouldn’t say he is a normal kid though. Why? Haha, not because of diabetes, but because of who he is. He is more kind, more sensitive to others, more loving, more compassionate, more aware, more responsible, more strong, more courageous, more resilient, and more open to God’s will in his life than I believe he would have been without this “thorn” in his life. Diabetes hasn’t made Jeremiah’s life depressing or sad or bitter, it has made Jeremiah (and all of us) thankful, and proud, and full of joy.
Can you tell I’m proud of my son? I am. We are. And I know many of you are. Thank you all for the support and care you have shown my son over his lifetime and especially these past 5 years. He is an amazing child of God and we are on pins and needles to see what God has in store for him. Believe me, it’s going to be big. Today, we celebrate! We celebrate Jeremiah the Warrior.
We love you Jeremiah.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11