“It’s My Son”. Last Nite.

Police carsSaturday (tomorrow) was to be special.  I guess, it still will be.

I took two vacation days to arrange finishing touches for Rob’s High School graduation party to take place this weekend.  Much activity as we planned for those who will be attending.  Many of Rob’s friends and other family members and neighborhood friends in a day of celebration.  We love to host these and this is a VERY SPECIAL day. I was outside working on the lights when Jill came outside.

“Tom, you need to come in.”

“Everything alright?”  I said it with that half I-know-everything-is-okay-but-am-asking-anyway.

“No.  Rob was in a car accident.”

I got the location where he called from; at least he called so I knew he was alive.  Jill got in my car and Kaitlyn was grabbing her keys.  I said to Jill, you better ride with Kaitlyn.  Jill knew not to ask any questions and she went to Kaitlyn’s car.

My tone reflected that I was going to get there in a speed that she probably would not want to be in the car with me.  Great thing about training in theatre, stunt driving came with some of my training.  I have relied on that training before and I was about to do it again. 

I did not say it was smart, I just said I was going to use it. 

You can stick knives in me, but if my family member is hurt, NOTHING will get in my way. Period.

As I pulled up to the scene there were police cars everywhere.  The streets were closed off.  Rob’s car was a wreck.  The other car was smashed also.  The police raised his hand stopping from getting any closer.

“It’s my son.”  He allowed me through.

I went over to Rob and he was wavering, I told him to lean on the car. 

He sat down on the passenger side. 

Kaitlyn pulled up right after me.  I told Kaitlyn what I observed.  Two things in our favor;  Kaitlyn is a very good EMT and she also has diabetes.  I knew she was better to deal with Rob, and she went right over.  I intercepted Jill.

“Look, he is banged up pretty bad.  He has chest pains and his leg is in a lot of pain.  DO not look at the car; just go to him.”

Kaitlyn was already down on one knee going over everything with him.  She stepped aside as the Emergency Response pulled up from TJ’s fire Department.  I knew Rob was in good hands.  They placed Rob on a board and placed a collar on his neck to immobilize him.  Within seconds he was on his way to Stony Brook Hospital, with his mother by his side in the ambulance.

TJ works at the hospital and he had already called ahead.  They would be waiting for him.

I stayed with Kaitlyn, we cleared his stuff out of his car.  It’s just metal.  I really did not care about it; but I am sure it is the last time he would see the car.

A very nice couple stayed at the scene and gave a report as witnesses.  The other driver made an illegal left hand turn out of a parking lot attempting to go through 3 lanes of traffic and crossing a cross hatched yellow divider.  They told us Rob had no chance to avoid it, none.

At the hospital was our family.  Rob was there, TJ was there and Joelle and already come and gone, Kaitlyn, her boyfriend Andre; and us.  All of us.  Family. When needed most.  I was emotionally hurting but proud of how TJ reached out to who he needed to; Kaitlyn was tending to her brother before the other EMT’s arrived; and everyone, although deeply concerned, operated like clock-work in getting everything done.  As a father, I was deeply moved.  As a father, I was still in shock seeing my son in so much pain and so much twisted metal.  How anyone was not more seriously hurt, is beyond me.

After six hours at the hospital; keeping a close watch on Rob’s diabetes, and a diagnosis of severe muscle trauma/strain; we were on our way home.  Rob will, hopefully, sleep most of today.  I finally got to bed at 3:30 am.  A long night.

As we were having coffee this morning, Jill sighed and whispered; “Enough is Enough”.

It should be shouldn’t it?

I had just written that we are always tested.  “Diabetes does not care.” I recently wrote; well neither does life.  Rob is banged up but okay and that is what matters.  It could have been worse. 

But still, it’s not fair, you know.  It’s just not fair.

“Enough is Enough”.

I am a diabetes dad.

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All I Can Say is………..Whew!!!!!!!!

Two weeks. 

The most important lesson I have learned recently is that so much can happen in two weeks.  To the hundreds of people who wrote to me and wanted to know how we were doing I both; thank you for caring, and apologize for not getting back to you sooner.

I will not go into every detail here but to say we are all okay, although for a while we hadn’t heard from the kids out in the storm working with the fire department and ambulance–that was some of the worst times.   Some of their colleagues were not so lucky and one, in particular, we pray for who stopped to help people in one car and was hit by another; we await word of that recuperation. 

Damage is at a minimum for us and all trees fell all around the house and not on it.  Our neighbors were not so lucky.  It was a two weeks that we will remember for a lifetime; where the second worst storm to hit the United States fell upon us, an election was held, gas is being rationed, power is still out for many, 30 million gallons of water had to be pumped from NYC’s midtown tunnel, power was lost, there was an attempt to steal our generator in the middle of the night, many friends are cleaning up all around the tri-state area, we visited some incredible people in the UK for the CWD UK conference, stopped for a little bit to visit some places new to us, and our return trip that was supposed to be nonstop from London to New York had to emergency land in Halifax, Nova Scotia for a passenger who had a severe hypoglycemic reaction (more on that in a later article).  A very long two weeks.

Much to write about as we move forward but today is just to say 3 quick points; 1).thank you to so many who sent good wishes; 2.)I have been in close contact with many people who have boots-on-the-ground and have heard of no dire need of assistance pertaining to diabetes supplies in our hard-hit area (still monitoring) and 3.) Remember a Veteran this week…..we have so much for they gave their all. 

I am a diabetesdad.

Who Needs a Medical Alert I.D. Bracelet? They’ll find it.

Medical I.D. alert bracelets.  What to do with them on kids and do you wear one as an adult?   First of all, not to bash any sort of industry but a medical I.D. alert bracelet is not jewelry.  It has a purpose.  It has a huge purpose.  It is, as it states in the name, to alert.   Should it ever be needed that a medical team needs to know that there is a medical condition needing attention, the bracelet becomes a lifeline of information.

And yet, I find it amazing that so many do not wear one and I also observe some of these bracelets so ‘pretty’ or so ‘cool’ that one cannot even tell a child is wearing one.  Why would anyone take a chance like that? 

I get it.  No one wants to be branded or ‘stamped’.  But if we were in a building, would one not find it odd that the fire extinguishers were so decorated along the walls that you cannot even find them?  Of course it would be odd.  And yet, sometimes, the chances people take with the child’s welfare astounds me.  As my friend Joe Solowijczyk says, “Some things are non-negotiable”.  Wearing one of these, so that it can be easily seen, is such a case.  Not having one could be too costly.

When an EMS is called, they will assess the situation and treat the patient.  They will not fumble all around looking through ‘pretty jewelry’ to make sure it is not a medical alert bracelet.  Now some designs are nice but some are so decorative who would know that it is for what it is intended.

Now to be clear, EMS usually will check fairly thoroughly to see what someone is wearing and in some cases (if the patient is alert) they will ask if they are wearing anything.  But my point is to make sure that something is clearly identifiable as what it is meant to be……..a medical I.D. alert bracelet.

There are many companies out there that sell them.  There was a time, in Canada that there was a program where every school-aged child got one for free; I do not know if it is still in existence.  Perhaps we need to look at that possibility….yes? 

I’m a Diabetesdad.