“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.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.



Time to Say Good-Bye!!! And Thanks……..

GoodbyeI think back to that day, that September 26th, 1992 day; so very often.

The trip up to Stony Brook Hospital.  The day Kaitlyn was diagnosed.

Perhaps my observation training as an actor, perhaps that observation training as a parent.  The smell of the hospital.  The scenery as you drive up to the hospital at least four times a year always bought me back to that fateful day each and every time.  It probably will never leave my mind.

Recently, it was time for Kaitlyn to leave the pediatric-endo unit at Stony Brook Hospital…..time to find someone who she was comfortable with into adulthood.

I do no know if I ever thanked Dr. Thomas Wilson and his team.  His direct and incredibly patient personality is a key reason we got through the early years.  I will never forget our first meeting after we left the hospital upon diagnosis and how Kaitlyn clung to Jill’s leg while in Dr. Wilson’s office.

She wanted no part of going near him.

As he spoke to us, he began clicking a pen.  He asked if Kaitlyn wanted to see it.  She slowly nodded in the affirmative and he showed her the pen.  She slowly warmed up to him and he examined her, and years later, working with many in that practice, it was time to move on.

Of course Rob will still be there and they certainly have our full confidence, but I would be lying if I did not tell you that I became a bit sad.  Realizing that this part of the long roadway ends and yet her roadway continues.

I still remember our first conversation with Dr. Wilson on that day over 20 years ago; he guided us through a storm and we came out the other side.  And now Kaitlyn will continue. 

So, for Kaitlyn at least, we say good-bye to this wonderful team.

There is nothing, NOTHING, like having a great practice as team leaders in the world of our diabetes, is there?  Do you love your team?  Let us know.  Dr. Wilson and his team at Stony Brook have proved to us since September 26th 1992, that they’re one of the best out there.

For that, we thank all of them.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.