Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Update on Tyler

Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, phone calls, and offers of help. This past week has been the hardest we have yet encountered, but it was made easier because of everyone's support.

A little background: Tyler started noticeably thinning out about the time that Dylan was born. We assumed he had hit a growth spurt, but when he began vomiting last weekend without running a fever, we grew concerned. I weighed him and was shocked to see that he'd lost 6 pounds in 3 months. We made an appointment with our family doctor for Wednesday, but he lost another pound on Tuesday and we took him to Urgent Care. There he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes with blood sugar over 400 (normal for him should be under 120) and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This can be fatal if left untreated, so he was taken by ambulance to Lucile Packard's Pediatric ICU. There he was slowly rehydrated and given insulin. Wednesday he was moved out of PICU and we began an intensive training course in caring for a type 1 diabetes patient.

We were discharged Thursday afternoon with a binder full of needed information. Over the next two weeks, we will be constantly adjusting Tyler's insulin dosages as we determine how his body responds to treatment. This is far from a one-size-fits-all regimen, and as he grows, we will adjust further. We've been told that even if we follow everything perfectly, he will still have good days and bad days. Viruses will be particularly hard on him, just as they are for Jon because of Jon's cerebro-spinal fluid leak.

Many have asked how we're holding up. The initial diagnosis was devastating, but each day gets a little better. Because of my phobia of sickness (vomiting in particular) and dislike of blood and needles (I've passed out at blood drives), all of this appeals to me as much as a pet tarantula would to an arachnophobiac. Despite my squeamishness, I sense the Lord's peace more than I have ever before. Jon is doing amazingly well, though he says he still feels very stressed. Tyler is taking everything in stride and is even doing his own blood sugar checks.

Tyler should not have any lasting health consequences from his weight loss or DKA. The doctors say that he will regain the weight in about a month and that his increased appetite will adjust back to normal in a few weeks. Likewise, his teeth will correct the decalcification that was taking place as his nutrient-starved body took minerals from anywhere it could.   Once we've gotten his insulin dose tailored to his specific needs, he should be able to participate in any activities he wants to and will not be limited in life (aside from not being able to join the military - can't have a pilot with bouncing blood sugar up in the air!).  We are grateful for this prognosis!

Our greatest need right now is for prayer: for Jon's coming layoff; for the rough days ahead; for finding better health coverage for the high cost of Tyler's ongoing care; and for our continued trust in the Lord's mercy. Time does not permit me to share the numerous ways in which we have clearly seen God's grace in all of this. There is too much to be thankful for.

As a final thought, we would like to make a photobook for Tyler with pictures of those who have been praying and with the many verses that everyone has shared with us. If you would like to be included, feel free to email me a picture. Also, if your church has been praying and you would like to include the name of your congregation, feel free to send that as well. Our goal is to have a tangible reminder of God's goodness. This will be especially comforting during the rough times we are bound to encounter.


  1. Julie, please know that your family is continually brought before the Lord. Love and hugs

  2. Hello Julie, & Jon. Bettie Griffith sent me the link to your blog. My name is Kathy Collins, Brad's wife. I remember you, Julie, from your early childhood days at First Baptist Church. (You may remember my Julie Collins ~ Cohea now.)Anyway... I wanted you to know that I'll be faithfully praying for you both, your son Tyler & your family.

    I can clearly remember the day when I took our son, Michael who was 10 yrs. old, to urgent care only to have him be admitted to Doctor's hospital with a blood sugar of 1052.(Yep, you never forget those #'s) Michael is almost 28 yrs. old now. ☺ A lot has changed, but if you Ever just need a listening ear...you've got one. My email is bradskathy@gmail.com & I'll give you my home phone # if you'd like it.

    The Lord Will be so faithful to do more than either of you could imagine. I'll be praying that his "honeymoon period" lasts a VERY long time, & that as you both learn so many new things that you will rest in knowing that the Lord has you all tightly hugged, so very close to Himself. With much love to all of you ~ Kathy