Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hospitals & Birthdays Don't Mix

She was diagnosed with diabetes this weekend. It was her birthday. ~Maha's Cell

This weekend was this little girls birthday. My family gets together once a year for it. Not for my niece's birthday, not for my nephew's birthday. No, her birthday. Why? It's convenient. My Aunt and Uncle's house lies conveniently between Los Angeles and Baja. We never did venture out much farther than Los Angeles and my Mom, Sister and I are the only ones that live here. My Riverside family came out early this January for my nephew's b-day. I wish I could have invited a few people, but apparently my sister invited so many we weren't sure how they would all fit into her home. She just moved there and everyone wanted to see it so it was kind of a B-Day party/Housewarming. The house was flooded with people, but not too many kids. Just my nephew, niece, Dyana and a little boy. She looked so healthy then. So beautiful and healthy. Like nothing was wrong at all.

Not long after that she began having problems. She began drinking too much water and began having "accidents" on herself. She just turned 4 last week. The entire family was prepared to go to her birthday party. There were well over 100 people expected to attend. Saturday morning while Rigid and I are still in bed trying to ignore the fact that we have to get up soon to go to this party my mother knocked. She asked what time we would be leaving so I called out around 12 or so. Around 12 or so means 2 or so with us. She then told me, that was fine, but (by this time I opened the door...she didn't sound right) I should stay calm, that everything was alright and she was fine. I didn't know what the hell she was going on about so I asked what was up.

My aunt had been trying to reach us all morning to tell us that the party had been cancelled. Dyana was in the hospital and it didn't look like they were going to let her out. She's been diagnosed with Diabetes. I news took me by surprise, but I didn't panic. Kids get sick, kids get better - everything will be okay. Needless to say that we were out of the house faster than you could blink. Before I left I stared at my camera. I never leave my house without it, especially on family trips, but I couldn't get myself to bring it. I just couldn't. Me... I could take a picture of a corps and not think twice. I like to stop and photograph road kills and dead bugs... Of course no one lets me. Still, I just couldn't do it. Knowing I'd regret it I left it behind and didn't look back.

On our way to Riverside I called my cousin for more details. Yes, she was definitely diagnosed with Diabetes. They just weren't sure what type yet. She'd been in the hospital the whole week and didn't have the head to call the countless number of people that were going to the party. No matter, I told her, her family was going and that was that. If people go to the Pizza Place so be it. They'll figure it out eventually. I think they were hoping she'd be out of the hospital and they'd be able to celebrate her birthday anyway. It was not to be.

When I saw my aunt she was a bit frantic but happy to see all of us. Some of my family members had already arrived. We all caught up but there were moments of silence that could send a chill up your spine. Inevitably someone would break it with a fun or silly story. No one could stand to feel that way for too long and no one wanted to let on how worried each and every one of us were. It was pretty shit.

Eventually we all made our way to the hospital. We didn't really think about how many people were there. It was only 5 family's but already we filled up the waiting room with bodies. Did it seem that many at my aunts house? The hospital policy was that only two people were allowed in to see Dyana. Eventually we gave up because the nurses kept kicking people out and just sat in the waiting room. They let us know that we could all visit in the play area. The nurses may have been a little shocked that there were so many of us, but they never said anything. It was after all her birthday and they understood.

It was unfortunate that they weren't so understanding the next day. Dyana was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. Usually children who are diagnosed with Diabetes are. I didn't know this, guess I do now. She will never live another day without having to take an insulin shot or having to monitor her blood sugar level. She will never be able to attend another child's birthday party without wondering why she can't have their candies. She'll be poked and prodded on a daily basis for the rest of her life and if she's not she'll die. Of course upon finding out this news the rest of the family showed up in droves.

That day the nurses and the hospital staff decided not to let ANY children under age 12 on to the 2nd floor of the hospital. WTF? You think the staff or security could keep us from seeing our cousin's baby? We snuck everyone in from all corners of the hospital. Very Mission Impossiblesque style. It didn't work of course and the Pediatrics Ward was alerted right away. They refused to let anymore people up unless some of the visitors went back down and eventually they began following some of the family members. Namely my cousin Sally and I. At least it felt that way. They even had security running around with a dog up and down the halls. Overreact much? There had been no security with dogs the ENTIRE FUCKING WEEK that this little girl had been in the hospital. THE ENTIRE FUCKING WEEK. Now suddenly they were patrolling the halls with fucking dogs? Eat fucking shit. Whatfuckingever!

Thing is that sneaking the kids up wasn't what cause the problem. Some of my uncle's relatives were in Pediatrics while my aunts side of the family was patiently waiting with all the kids in a waiting room. I couldn't believe how quiet we all actually were. We had no idea what had been going on in Pediatrics. Apparently people were sneaking in to see Dyana over and over again in groups of 3, 4 or 5. Needless to say the nurses were none too happy. Security was called to pull these people out and that's when the proverbial shit hit the fan and the guards were up our asses.

It was sad. That was my cousins kids birthday. She loved the present I got her and after I held her little legs down for one of her insulin shots she kept repeating over and over again that she wanted to play with it. All she wanted to do was go home and play with her little scooter. It made me feel better and it was definitely better than the screaming. I'll take begging for a scooter between sobs any day over screaming and sobbing, "I WANT MY DADDY!! DADDYYYYY!!!! AAAAH AAH AAAAAAAAAAAAAH" while trying to give her a shot. I don't want to get into detail, but there was a lot of squirming going on. Kicking, screaming and squirming. It took three of us to hold her down. Mostly because the nurse was a moron. If she had let me hold her down in the first place it would have been done in 5 seconds. Instead she dragged it out to 6 minutes and terrorized Dyana. Fucking moron nurse. Fucking moron hospital....Fucking diabetes dude....diabetes. She's fucking 4.

She's still in the hospital with fever....

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