About three years ago, one week after my son was diagnosed with diabetes, I was sitting and talking on the hospital bed with another dad about what he had read the night before. “Every time I leave the hospital I go search the Internet and stay awake all night long…”. The man was sad, but he had passed over that feeling of resignation and was very determined not to let the tragedy that had just hit his family destroy them. He was, so to say, in the “combat” mode already. “Well, there is this big company in America – he said – that makes some kind of devices that measure blood sugar every five minutes. So, you don’t have to pierce the child so many times a day, you see what I mean? This is the least we can do for her, spare her the finger stung!” (his little girl is insulin-dependent). I smiled, thinking that America is pretty close to Canada, where my aunt lives, and that we might have a chance to get that miraculous device for my son. It’s funny how the most incredible solutions surface from the depth of your brain in moments like this!
„I’ve also found out that there is an insulin pump, that is completely wireless, which you control by means of some kind of gadget, like a phone, so you don’t have to stick needles into your child to inject the insulin. It costs 15,000 USD, but I’m determined to make every effort to buy it for her!!! I’ll sell my car, I’ll find a way…”
At that time my understanding was that a bigger doze of insulin means a more advanced stage of the diabetes and that, if the doctor prescribes a smaller doze and fewer insulin injections it means we are dealing with a milder form of the disease. But that is not so, I’m afraid…
„Well, – I said to the man – fifteen thousand US dollars is a lot of money, though. But, anyway, fact is that there’s hope out there, with all these new devices being invented. It’s good to know that eventually our children will get the chance to live a normal life.” And I realized then and there that my wife and I had nothing to sell and did not have that kind of money, so we could not afford to buy Vlad, our son, a pump like that. Situations like this make you feel abandoned and hopeless. Moreover if it is not you that is ill, the adult, who needs support, medicines and medical devices, because you can deal with any illness, you learn to live with it and move ahead; you think you’re invincible. But now it is your CHILD’s life at stake, it is your child that needs this kind of support!!!
I had never imagined before that I’ll feel my heart skip a beat hearing my son saying “ Mommy / daddy, I want an ice cream” or asking me “Daddy, what are you eating there?”. But, alas, that happened inevitably and I realized I should not lie to him and that I should explain that he’s not allowed to eat just then, but that I’ll let him have a little piece of cake when the time is right for him. Imagine what it’s like to try to explain to a 3-year old child that he’s not allowed to eat candies, ice cream or fruit, because his blood sugar is high. To have him wait for three or four hours, just to offer him or her a cake crumb or 20 grams of banana! 20 grams, no more!!! Imagine how it feels like to tell a toddler, who likes to eat and never refuses food, that he has to wait three or four hours before he can have a tiny piece of whatever it is he craves for.
And I’m only the father. Of course, Vlad is the apple of my eye, I love him like I love no other, but my love for him is nothing compared to his mother’s. That’s a fact! So, I’m amazed to see the strength and determination with which his mother moves on and copes with our family life, which is completely upside down now. To her, happiness is when she manages to get to sleep a few hours a night. One night she slept four hours in a row (the first night in one and a half year when she had the chance to sleep that much), because Vlad’s blood sugar level was ok. That morning she woke up feeling terribly guilty and scared that she overslept and probably did not hear the DexCom’s alarm ringing. And this “happiness” has dawned on us only recently, I mean one and a half year after the diagnosis. Now, after all this time, we’ve got the wireless pump and we don’t have to needle Vlad ten times a day. And we’ve also got the DexCom – whose alarms go off almost every night and wake us up, because no night is like the night before and no day is like the day before, and Vlad’s blood sugar levels seem to have a mind of their own… But it’s good we have all these devices, because we can help Vlad live a normal life, a life healthy children are given for granted, but not to him. And we have all these thanks to you, who struggled for all of us and got us out of Hell, really! We have all these thanks to Vodafone Foundation Romania, which does a good job and literally saves lives! We thank Vodafone Foundation to have chosen to give back to the society and to do the best it can for people! Congratulations, Vodafone!