Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My road not taken

I've been thinking a lot about paths lately. How different paths can take you to different places. Some you choose and some you don't. You come to a fork and you go either left or right. You can choose to take the bridge over the river, or just walk alongside it. In some cases, you can even turn around and go back the way you came.

Sometimes the way you choose to go seems inconsequential at the time. I think about when Fred and I had to decide which pediatrician we were going to take Elise to when she was born. A doctor is a doctor is a doctor, right? Unless they graduated from an on-line medical school in Guadalajara or something; as long as they mesh with your personality, are willing to work with you on personal choices (i.e. vaccinations), and are competent, then you're set.

We made our choice based on a recommendation from somebody in our child birth class. We met the doctor a few weeks before I was set to deliver, and that was that. I never thought much about the choice again.

Until Elise was 12 months old and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was only through her pedi's thoroughness did we catch it early on. What brings to mind this particular path we chose is a story I just heard. About a 15 month old girl who died from undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. Her parents twice had taken her to the ER, and twice were sent home. One with a diagnoses of teething, and the other with an ear infection (if you know anything about diabetes then you realize how incompetent these doctors must have been).

This story is such a punch to my gut. But for a pathway we chose over two years ago, that could have been us. How could something so simple as choosing a doctor lead to something so huge?

Sometimes we are forced to walk pathways we don't want to be on, not realizing with each step we are slowly becoming who we were meant to be. It is so with diabetes. It is a rough pathway, rocky, and full of ups and downs. Sometimes it takes us through the darkest, most mournful of forests. Other times we can feel the warm sun gently kissing our faces while a cool breeze plays with our hair. It is lonely, heart-breaking, wonderful, isolating, amazing, sobering and exhausting all at the same time. I have never learned so much about myself as I have since I stepped foot on this pathway.

It is not one I would have ever chosen for myself, but I am glad to be walking it hand in hand with my beautiful daughter, rather than trudging along another path; arms empty and aching for my little girl.


phonelady said...

amen yes so true . thanks for sharing and posting this . it really makes you think .

Meri said...

Beautifully put. I look back on the past 15 years, and they were so much harder than I would have ever dreamed. But I am thankful for most of the paths I have chosen, and most thankful I have my husband and my boys to walk along side me.

Thanks Joanne...it's nice to reflect and appreciate how far we've come.

Wym said...

She IS beautiful. We walk over fire for our children don't we? I didn't know a person could love another person so much it hurts. Blessings that you found her disease early and are proactive in meeting her needs. Good Mom.