The morning of Thursday, February 23, 2017 will forever be etched in my mind as it was the day our lives were completely rocked. I had stayed home the night before to ensure Jamee a good night’s rest in her own bed. I began my morning with a quick shower, got dressed and headed to Jamee’s room to wake her. As I reached her room, I stood for a moment looking at her as she was peacefully resting, the gravity of our situation hit me and I broke down crying. She had no idea that her sister’s life would be forever altered, that big changes were about to happen to our tight family unit and nothing would be as it was before. Hell, at that point I had no idea how it was all going to play out and whether we could survive it in one piece. Almost instinctively Jamee woke up and asked me if I was okay, I wiped my tears and reached down and gave her a hug, “yes baby.” I replied. After breakfast I dropped her off at school and then called Andy to see what the game plan was. He told me to not even bother heading to the hospital.
He explained further that Dr. R came in and gave Abbie the first dose of Levemir (her new Long Acting insulin) that morning and her blood sugar was finally coming down. Once her blood sugar was at a level they were comfortable with they were going to pack her up with 2 meters (one for school and one for home), 2 vials of insulin (or liquid gold as we now call it) tons of prescriptions, a book of do’s and don’ts, a number for JDRF, some emergency numbers, and the Rufus Doll. I hung up the phone, looked around the kitchen and panicked. My immediate thoughts were; Where were we going to store insulin? Alcohol pads? Gauze Pads? How were we going to keep up with appointments? What you will learn quickly about me is that I’m an extremely organized person, everything has its place and function. The overwhelming lists I began to prepare mentally made me hyperventilate. There’s just so much to factor…
So I got busy…..
I assessed my options and realized that in my kitchen there is a large blank wall. SCORE! “This is perfect!” as we’ll use it as our hub for all inbound and outbound information. I went to Walmart, picked up a dry erase wall calendar, a couple of magnetic boards, a hanging sorting mail bin, a few picture frames, and hooks. Once home I began to organize the ideas in my head and transposed them onto the wall. It looked a little something like this….
I won’t lie, it’s been an ever evolving system over the past two years but all in all it has worked beautifully for our needs. I even I incorporated some inspirational pictures (that I printed off) in picture frames as my driving force was to ensure that Abbie and Jamee both to know that they’re both warriors, they’re both strong, and they both could do anything they set their minds to.
My next task in “Operation Organization” Was to tackle the hall closet. That is where I decided we’d store Abbie’s alcohol and gauze stock, as well as anything else Diabetes related. Again an ever evolving process especially in the last six months as she is now on an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor. The supplies pictured far surpass what we originally started out with and can appear a bit overwhelming to any random person waking into the home. The beauty of this closet though, is that it’s so organized now that either my husband, a family member or visitor could call me and I could explain exactly where an item is down to the very position and location on any given shelf. Talk about satisfaction.. oh and more importantly peace of mind.
I’m going to take us back to February 23rd, 2017 again as I’d like to finish my story. After picking Jamee up from school we decided to stop and get Abbie some balloons and flowers as Andy and Abbie were on their way home from the hospital. We beat them home and waited almost 45 minutes before Andy’s car finally pulled into the driveway. Jamee bolted out the door to greet them as I followed behind. I’ll admit, I was petrified. On one hand I was so happy to have her home and on the other I was scared to death.
We were basically sent home with a child that needed a lifesaving medicine BUT if given too much of it, it could kill her while on the flip side, if she didn’t get enough of the medicine it could send her into Diabetic Ketoacidosis and also kill her. Did I mention all we received was 4-5 hours of training? Talk about a scaring daylights out of someone. We could do this right? I organized enough right? I remember thinking, “Oh god, I am never going to sleep again and my kid is never going back to school again!”