Friday, September 26, 2014

Running Scared

I have been really scared only a few times in my life. I mean REALLY scared. You know, the random waist-high dog charging you in the dark while you run, that creepy guy that tells you no matter what you say he just "knows" that you love him, and the high speed wreck on the highway.....

Don't get me wrong. I have been scared. I am scared often but that clutching fear, hair on the back of your neck standing up, if I don't run I will die scared...not often. Then I had kids.

I have 3 beautiful children. 3 boys. And we have had our cup run over with health problems. 


RSV at 4 months old and when I close my eyes I can still hear that horrible noise he made with every breath he drew. Nebulizing him every two hour around the clock during Christmas. Yeah, that was some heart squeezing fear. I got so used to the labored sound of his breathing that if I didn't hear it I was suddenly bolt awake in bed. Still has asthma as a result.


Born in distress. In labor and watching more people enter the room every few seconds is unnerving at best when trying to concentrate. Begging my wonderful doctor to let me try...she agreed but said if he wasn't born soon I was looking at emergency C-section. He still has a terrible cough every time he is sick.

And then there is Riley. I thought that I had been afraid for my children until I experienced fear of watching my child in the Pediatric ICU with DKA. Diabetic Ketoacidosis. At 12 my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. His pediatrician missed the initial diagnosis even with excessive water consumption, peeing and weight loss. He was also breathing like he was gasping for his last breath. I don't like to think very long about how close he might have been to that being the case. He was unconscious in the hospital for two days. I listened to him rasp. I had never seen ashen skin before. All I could remember was that beautiful baby and how did this happen. I was totally helpless. I could do nothing but wait for his blood sugar to come down. I remember one of the doctor's bringing a group of students by to just listen to him breathe. He said it was because it was not a common symptom to see and wanted the students to hear it so they would recognize it in the future.

We were sent to the hospital for pneumonia.  

He remembers almost nothing from those two days. But it has been burned into my psyche. I have wanted to do something even since his diagnosis but what? I'm not famous. I'm not important. How can I raise awareness. How can I be supportive? 
I know that I am supportive everyday helping him cope with this the best I can but there has got to be more I can do.....right?

I run. I am no elite. I am not really fast or have super endurance but I keep lacing my shoes. I run in support of him. I have, even if just in my mind, when I go to do a race, say "This is Riley's Run.

Still not sure how I can help with this but I felt this was something I needed to do and see where it goes. So I run to be supportive. I run so others will understand that so many children suffer from this because their own bodies starting destroying their pancreas. I run for awareness. I run for all my boys but I they are all Riley's Runs. No one should have to be scared of this. Not one more child.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation