Letters to Ocean: Suffering


Ocean my son. How we have grieved for your suffering and loss of joy with the onset of your diabetes. I have tried to help in anyway that I can, through comforting you,  admonishing providers I thought to be careless, cruel or ill fit; smiling to soothe you and praying for you. However, my efforts have been a complete failure and it is agonizing to watch you kick, scream and cry - rightfully for what has been inflicted upon you. I have never seen someone poked with needles so many times, or screamed until they passed out and I wish I never had. Like all parents who are actually normal, I would trade places with you to spare you - though the suffering most likely would have killed me. I watched your bones be drilled for direct IVs to get you fluids, and I assure you were a friend, ever a close friend of deaths and sat upon her knee, tottering between the doors of worlds. The cruelty of many humans is only surpassed by their stupidity and ultimately, maybe briefly understood when they are in the position I am, and watched helplessly as an uncaring attendant vandalizes and rapes the joy from their loved ones – inflicted much pain, of course claiming it to be necessary and in the name of health.

You now rest safely with your mother. It is 2 AM, and we have been in the hospital cresting our third day. How can you, my son ever know joy again? How can I am unhear your screams?  The drilling upon your bones, eradicate the anguish, anger, powerlessness and despair. These have been transformed into shame. Soon, if we are lucky we will take you far from this place and put you back into your home, with your toys, your dog, your cat and the other staples of your life. How I feel I have failed you! To watch you suffer in the name of what? Now you must suffer forever, as we have to administer shots and blood test multiple times a day – to an infant who can barely speak? How can you not hate me, the author of your physical being, for cursing you with the vampirish disorder that will never leave you? Even now, and again I shake as I write with the echoes of your cries, hearing more from the other children in the hall – feeling they are you and that I have to standby and watch them scream to no end. Many have no parents to comfort them – May I always try to give comfort to you, my only son and joy! I am so sorry and love you more than life itself,


~Scott Sandvig 3.23.16~



I hate ambulances

I hate ambulances. I mean, I guess that's kind of a silly statement. Who actually sees an ambulance and says, "oh my gosh! An ambulance! Don't you just love those!" Since that fateful day when the word diabetes was heard, many seemingly simple things give me flashes of fear and painful memories. I suppose realistically it would be considered PTSD. I see an ambulance passing me on the street and I picture the way Ocean looked in my arms as we were driven from the local hospital up to Dornbecker's children's hospital. They let me lay on the strecher and hold him in my arms. Well I don't know if they so much let me as I demanded and assumed it. They had spent three hours trying to get a IV line started. Poke after poke, scream after scream. They kept saying oh we will bring in this person and she is great at IVs. And each time they couldn't make it happen. Scott told me to wait outside the room since I was obviously freaking out. I then hear a drill. A drill? Seriously?!? I peak around the door and see the ER Doctor literally using a little drill in his fibula, trying to reach his bone marrow to administer the fluids and insulin. My sweet husband was holding Ocean in his lap and he repeated passed out from the pain, threw up from the pain and screamed from the pain. The worst sound in the world. A sound that now visits me in my nightmares. By the time they loaded us into ambulance to rush us up to Portland, Ocean honestly looked dead from exhaustion, pain and obviously DKA. I don't even like typing those words it's so horrifying. Especially since we did almost lose him. His eyes were half open as he slept in my arms. Half open and practically rolled back in his head.

The EMT in the ambulance was trying to pretend that everything was OK. He was saying we weren't even going to put the sirens on, just drive on up to the hospital. But then he kept looking at Ocean and shaking him awake like he thought maybe he wouldn't wake up. Every 5 minutes he would say, "hey buddy you OK there?" Finally he went up to the driver and must've told him to pick it up a notch because they turned on the sirens and busted through the Portland traffic. I don't remember much of the drive but I remember the panic. I remember being afraid of looking away from his face as it lay against my chest. I remember feeling guilt and regret that I wasn't the one holding him while he screamed as they tried to get an IV in. I remember my heart aching in a way it had never ached before but in a way that I am now familiar with daily.

Every time I seen an ambulance I see the way my son looked in my arms. Completely limp as he lay against my breast. Mouth half open with cracked bleeding lips, sores and scales on his tounge from dehydration and thrush. Eyes roll back in his head with his lids half open. God, I hate ambulances.

 ........Diabetes sucks..........