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CHAOS, DESPAIR & NUMBNESS

This spells exactly how I felt when my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. How did a hospital visit turn so ghastly?

A lingering urinary tract infection, water calls at dawn, weight loss, excessive thirst, bags under the eyes, loose fitting clothes.  The diagnosis was like many puzzle pieces falling into place.

My daughter, Kukie had always guzzled water and I found that actually remarkable and was super proud of her. I mean drinking lots of water was a good thing? Right! She carried as many as three bottles of water to school and we never stepped out of the house without ice. I always kept bottled water in the car. We both have our bottles filled with ice, slot it in the car cup holders and drink away on the road.

The water calls at dawn was a new normal. A few weeks before the diagnosis, she would wake up in the middle of the night, barge into my room and ask to be accompanied to the kitchen to drink water. On a rare evening when I let her in my bed, she woke up in the middle of the night, sat at the edge of the bed with dry looking lips and was literally begging for water!!!!! That was super unusual! It reminded me of Ishmael thirsty in the desert with his mother Hagar and God sending help. The next day after the midnight water plea was our Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis L.

Beginning of the year 2020, I was heckling Kukie that she had gained weight and actually tried to recruit her on my erratic morning work out routine. We went on a morning walk twice and I think I must have overworked her on the miles and she refused to come along any more. I streamed work out videos, PE with Joe on you tube but the child ran a commentary with her mouth and just wouldn’t budge to any sort of workout structure I tried to set up. Imagine my horror mid year to notice she was getting skinny for no reason.  Kukie had a pretty well fitted fuchsia dress she loved to wear. That was my major signal. I had started mentioning Kukie was losing weight and mildly teased her she was being starved by her father. Plain jokes. Kukie was the kid who will grab the food herself. We have never had any diet issues right from her infancy. She got teased often that she had the appetite of a boy! She wore the fuschia dress to her cousin’s birthday party and the well-fitted dress was now super loose at the sides! I had no idea what was happening to my baby but I knew something was wrong. Plus, Kukie kept asking to see the doctor.

Kukie rarely fell ill. We had regular child wellness checks in the year plus dental assessments. Since she had been born and we exited the hospital, we have never spent a night in the hospital after that. Our first critical illness was aboard a British Airways flight en route Dulles International Airport. She caught a stomach bug, which gave the flight crew and I quite the scare. The flight crew was phenomenal. By the time we touched down in London, which was our transit point to catch another flight to Washington, there was an ambulance waiting and we were whisked off to Hillingdon Hospital. Kukie recovered the same day and off we were to catch our connecting flight.

When the UTI didn’t resolve after two bouts of antibiotics and she was still peeing very frequently, I knew it was time to see her Paediatrician but I knew my Kukie always pulled through. I actually booked the appointment and asked my little brother who was working from home to pop in with her to see the Paediatrician as I was working full time. I did a detour to the hospital after seeing a business client in the hopes of being with her whilst the doctor examined her. The plan was to head back to work after that. After overcoming critical illness aboard a flight with no medical personnel in sight, nothing frazzled me any longer. We’ve always trusted God to step in when human intervention failed. This was no exception.

However, absolutely nothing prepared me for this. From the doctor’s suspicion to the laboratory tests, eventual diagnosis and hospitalization, I was numb! All I had ever known about Type 1 Diabetes was from a book character in The Baby Sitters Club who needed insulin shots.

July 8 is our diaversary. Type 1 Diabetes shook me to the core.

Meg Benson
I live and work in Accra, Ghana. Banker since 2005; also a Photographer, Interior decorator, and food blogger since I started turning my hobbies into businesses. I am passionate about Ghana as a great tourist destination and very interested in nation-building. I was born again Christian and live in Accra with my daughter, Kukie. You can check out my food blog on Instagram , roaming_ambassador. Since my daughter’s Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis I have a dedicated Instagram page, Kukie Benson where I mostly talk about the journey with Type 1 Diabetes in between other fun stuff. A total people’s person and a hard lover.

💕

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