Some people say that we are tested when we undergo challenges that make life not quite so easy. And when we go through them, some of us ask “why me?” And we wonder if there is going to be a time-limit and get nervous with worry as we wonder how to handle the situations that face us.
Then there are those individuals who experience hardship and don’t question it. They stay focused on what needs to be done and get it done. Denise is one of those kind of women. She is a single mother of four and the main caretaker for her elderly mother. Two of her children have lifetime medical issues. Denise used one of our favorite terms “unstoppable.” Read her story below.
Denise, what do you do for a living?
I am a certified home health aide.
Full time, part-time?
Part-time because I have to be available in case my daughter has a medical emergency.
What kind of medical emergency might your daughter have?
She’s got type 1 diabetes and is on insulin. She was diagnosed as a diabetic when she was eight years old. She’s eleven now, on the pump and is fairly stable, but there are still times when her blood sugar and the insulin can get out of control.
For someone on insulin, you constantly have to check blood sugar, be injected with insulin at the right times and eat a certain kind of diet. She can’t eat candy and cakes and stuff that other kids eat.
When she was going to school after she had been diagnosed, the nurse wasn’t monitoring her properly so I had to go into the school and really assert myself and stay on top of what was going on with her. I also had to be available at the drop of a hat in case I needed to go get her or get her to the hospital.
She also has severe headaches on occasion…she has a problem with her nervous system and they can’t figure out what the cause of it is nor how to cure it. That results in her being exhausted, having severe headaches and just needing to lay down often. She had no energy and no stamina. And because there was no known cause or cure, she had to go to pain management classes. — Can you imagine? A little girl having to learn pain management. That kind of stuff just blew my mind. She had to be home schooled for two years because she just couldn’t go to school. She didn’t have the energy and she was in pain constantly.
The doctors don’t know what this is and what causes it?
No. And, I’ve been to every kind of doctor imaginable – neurologists, pediatricians, natural doctors who suggested supplements and dietary changes – for years I’ve been to everyone – every specialist possible. I did not stop and have not stopped with trying to find out how to help my child to be healthy. It is so painful for me to watch my baby be in pain and to hear her expressing how much pain she is in and not be able to do anything about it. I am not leaving any stone unturned. I’m on the internet researching every single day about this problem with her neurological system and her diabetes. I keep praying that something turns up.
Right now she’s doing well and is in school, correct?
Yes and I am so proud of her. She extremely bright. She gets high A’s on everything – absolutely everything.
What was the medical situation with your older daughter?
I was so very angry. Since she was born she had a problem with her right shoulder. For years and years the doctors had me taking her to various kinds of therapy treatment and nothing worked. She still held her shoulder funny and was always in pain with it. As she got older her spine was starting to curve as if she had scoliosis. By this time she was eight years old. I finally took her to a chiropractor. After a couple of weeks of treatment, they realized that something was wrong. The spine was not being corrected, wasn’t being straightened. They took an x-ray and lo and behold, her shoulder was deformed. What happened was during the delivery, when she was being born, her shoulder was dislocated and that’s how it stayed for her entire life.
I can’t believe with all of the different doctors and therapists that I had taken her to that no one discovered this. No one ever took an x-ray. I am so very angry about this and the statute of limitations had run out so I couldn’t go back and sue the doctors or the hospital. Plus, a lot of attorneys were hesitant to take my case. I guess everyone is part of the good old boys’ network or something. But, I was so very angry.
So what happened then?
Once I was made aware of what the problem was, I got connected with a children’s hospital in Boston. The doctors there did reconstructive surgery on all the bones of her shoulder, the joint, blades and her arm. Everything was totally reconstructed. They said that when she turns 21 she will have to have reconstructive surgery again simply because the bones were never allowed to grow properly in the beginning. So, they will have to reconstruct the shoulder and the joint again after she finishes growing.