Friday, February 13, 2009
Happy 6th D-Day India My Love
Jeremiah 29:11-13 says "For I know the plans I have for you'" declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
This is India's favorite verse. Her "Life Verse". And I do mean "Life".
Today is the 6th anniversary of the beginning of India's new life. Up until Feb. 11, 2003, India had been a relatively carefree, extremely healthy and gifted girl, completely trusting that God and her parents would protect her from anything. But on this day, 6 years ago, India was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She had stayed home with Nana from school after having a stomach ache for a few days and some other symptoms. Nana took her to a clinic in town where they drew blood and then told my terrifed girl that she was "deathly ill". My mother-in-law came to the furniture store where I worked and picked me up so we could take India to the hospital. Sadly for India, the clinic had drawn the blood incorrectly so all 6 vials had to be disposed of, and redrawn. It took 5 people to hold down my girl! But then we were told that she needed to be taken to Sutter Memorial hospital in Sacramento as our local hospital had no idea what to do. When India realized that she would get to ride in an ambulance, she was thrilled!!!!! She perked up right away and asked if she could sit in front and work the lights! She was allowed to do this and I thank God for those ambulance drivers deciding to give a scared little girl such a treat!
Other than that first time in the local hospital, India never expressed any fear about her diagnosis. We had no diabetes in our family so we had never worried this would happen to one of ours. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, unlike type 2. Type 1 does not happen because someone eats poorly, or doesn't exercise. There is no way you can tell a child that they brought it on themselves, as people often think of type 2 diabetes. So this was such a shock to us.
One of the immediate goals of a young diabetes patient is that the learn to care for themselves as soon as possible. India started to give herself her shots that first day in the hospital. It gave her a sense of control when she was so ill. She set herself to the task of learning everything she could about her disease, so that it did not take over her life. She never acted sad or afraid, nor did she get angry at us or God. The only time she was a bit sad when she was in the hospital, was when her school principal from Mount Saint Marys school came to visit her with a huge box of letters, notes, pictures, valentine cards, candy and presents from the students of the school. He came on Valentines day, and she was not allowed to eat any of the candy that was sent. Oh, and they were not allowed to bring the balloons she had been given into the hospital as it was a "latex free zone".
Don and I struggled, cried, screamed and then settled in to learn about the illness. It took us a lot longer than it took India. She made us promise that we would not give up on adopting a little sister for her because we were fearful for her life and the care she required. Don felt very strongly that somehow, God's plan for India could only be accomplished with her being so dependent on Him because of this illness, that somehow He would be glorified through her condition.
And India accepted this.
Over the past 6 years, India has learned a lot about herself and her illness. She has not let her illness interfere with her dreams. She has incorporated her challenges into life goals. I will share more about this soon but for now, I will just say that I am so very, very proud of who my beautiful daughter is becoming. She is amazing!
And I do believe that even in the face of diabetes, we can say that God's plans are for her good.