Our fifth child Tom is a insulin dependant diabetic. He was diagnosed when he was 14 months old. At the end of that year I wrote an article about it for our parish magazine. I keep on loosing my copy of it so thought if I posted it on here I would have it for a long time. When I wrote the article I really tried to look at what good had come out of the situation. It was hard to find good especially when you feel so down about something but it has been a valuable lesson to me. I think of the words of St. Therese. God doesn't send a trial until we are strong enough to deal with it. We also need to see trials as a compliment. It shows that God thinks we have a strong faith.
Seeing God in our trials.
Our son Tom was diagnosed with diabetes early this year. This was a time of great trial for both Steven and I, but also a time when we were able to see God working miracles in our lives. In January of this year we moved to Millicent from Adelaide. Not long after our move, Tom became sick. At first we thought he had the flu. It wasn’t until he was admitted to hospital that we realized that the problem was more serious. He had become seriously dehydrated even though we had been maintaining his fluids. His body had started to shut down with blood being directed to his vital organs. His hands and feet were blue and always cold.In the hospital they had to establish a drip for Tom to re hydrate and to get some blood to test. As he was so dehydrated they had trouble finding a vein. Tom was in a lot of pain and I felt totally out of control with the situation. Once the drip was in and they had collected some blood, I left Steven with Tom at the hospital and went home to the rest of our family. I went back to the hospital at 3pm. The blood test results were back and we knew that Tom had diabetes. I was told that he would need to go to Adelaide for treatment and that the flying doctors would be taking Tom with a team from the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. When the team arrived from Adelaide to retrieve us, they had some test to do before we could leave. I felt both frightened and overwhelmed at all that was going on around me. Most of all I felt totally helpless and unable to do anything to help Tom who was very distressed. Once all the tests had been done we were flown to Adelaide. We arrived at the hospital late in the evening. I was very tired at this stage but still needed to talk to doctors. I wanted to get Tom settled for the night before I went to bed. The doctor on duty came and talked to me about Tom and what symptoms he had had in the lead up to being admitted. She also explained what treatment they would be giving him and what tests they would be doing.The first thing they had to do was establish another drip line to get fluids into him. They were still having trouble finding his veins. I held his arm still while they tried to find a vein and prayed like I have never prayed before. All the while Tom was looking at me and screaming out in agony. I can still remember the way he looked at me and seemed to ask me why I, his protector was helping these people do this. He couldn’t see the whole picture. He could only feel the pain that he was in. He didn’t realize that if they didn’t get a drip into him that he would die. I felt as if I had betrayed his trust. After trying to get the drip in the arm several times and failing they decided to call in another doctor who decided to put the drip into a vein in his head.Tom was kept in intensive care for 48 hours. He was monitored by a nurse at all times and received treatment to bring his sugar levels back to normal. We were then moved onto a ward for the rest of the week. Over that week I received training on how to treat Tom’s diabetes.Through out the week that I was in hospital with Tom, I had a lot of time to both pray and reflect on life. The most important thing God revealed to me was that when we are in pain and it seems like he is not there, he is with us but cannot stop the pain, just as I was unable to stop the pain for Tom. When it feels like God is betraying us, he isn’t, but we cannot see the whole picture, just like Tom couldn’t God also makes these times easier by looking after the little things. It happened that my brother was down for the weekend. It couldn’t have happened at a better time. He was able to look after the other children while Steve and I were at the hospital with Tom. Also Fr John was at the hospital before we left and was able to anoint Tom. As my brother was down for the weekend he was able to take Brigette back to Adelaide so that my parents could look after her. Steven was very supported in Millicent with several people looking after the boys and Madeline and others having them out for tea. After I got home with Tom, people were still bringing around meals and helping out with general household chores.When we have trials in our life, it makes us pause and reflect on the more important things. It also made me realize that I cannot do thing on my own. Steve and I were both very grateful for the support that we received from the parish and school community. We felt very glad that we were a part of it and that people were so willing to help and make the load we had to carry lighter. Tom will have diabetes until they find a cure. This is a big thing for a little boy to live with. Just as Steven and I help him with it, so God does with big things in our life too. Whenever trials come our way it is always easy to see the things that God is not doing. The challenge for us all is to see the things he is doing.