Memories of a Mom – 5.
I hung up, slumped in my chair, and began to cry. My husband looked at me with tears in his eyes in astonishment, realizing that something was very wrong since I cried. He waited for me to tell him. What should I tell him? What is wrong with the child?
I whispered, “He has diabetes. He will not die. Rebro(hospital). He is located there. He will not die. Insulin. He’s already taking insulin. I do not understand. Our child has diabetes. Isn’t that for old, sick people? Who is crazy here? Our child really needs us. Marko needs us. We need our dear child. Let’s go. Let’s go already. We must.”
A pile of paperwork and questions were already waiting for us at the ground floor of infirmary. Diabetes, who has diabetes in the family? Nobody. At least I don’t know anyone. History of diseases? Nothing. What do grandparents, uncles, aunts, moms, dads, brothers suffer from? Never ending questions .
And where is Marko?
In the department on the fourth floor, lots of stairs, one door, hallway, other door, long hallway, glass boxes with cots. And finally one familiar, adorable head laughs behind the door through the glass and with an expectant, questioning look shows the attached infusion on his arm.
“Great, how big and brave you are! You have a buttoned needle in your hand and you smile at Mom and Dad. You’re such a good boy! What a beautiful little lad you are! They put you in the nicest bed. I see you have friends too! Matija also came today? And Alan? You’re having a blast! Everyone has sugar? And the others in the department also? Well that’s something great then, you’re all sweet! If I had sugar too, would you give me a bed? Only children, you say?! What did you say we could bring you? Mineral water. What? Both blue and green! Now Dad will run for water right away! How about two? Deal!”
Dad goes to the kiosk with eyes full of tears. It is a bit harder for Dad to pretend in front of the child. He has to go outside to light a cigarette to chase the tears out of his throat. He brings Marko three different mineral waters. And just in case, one car in a box.
They called us to the doctor’s room. We sat down, answered few questions and Dr. Ana Radica, doctor on duty said to us: “Today, like all parents of newly discovered children, you are stressed and in-capable for conversations. When you leave, stop by the green building and buy a blue book by prof. Dumic’s “Diabetes in children”. Read. The more you learn, the easier it will be to acquire the necessary knowledge about diabetes. Marko, as you can see, is already well, he will be great until the morning, and he will stay at the department for at least 14 days. He will be discharged home when you pass the exam and show enough knowledge to take care of Marko’s illness. You will be his second doctor until he is old enough to take care of himself, which will take years to come. You can be in the ward as much as you want. Every morning you will have education according to the schedule and agreement with the nurses and doctors. See you tomorrow around 10am, and now you can stay until dinner. We will work together for many more years. Goodbye.”
We found a counter in a green building and bought two booklets right away.
And so began our new life. Family life with diabetes.
Other texts from the series can be found here
In memory of Zdenko Kukec (70)