Toby and the Unfolding Insulin Saga

Posted on Posted in Family, Kids, Prayer Update

Toby in the Hospital

Well, even though school’s out for summer we still got quite an education this week:  After an emergency visit to the hospital on Tuesday, we found out that Toby (just turned 6 last month) has Type 1 Diabetes. Wow is right.

Although there are no surprises for the Lord, this pretty much came out of nowhere for all of us.  Toby has always been very healthy.  A good eater too – he actually loves his vegetables.

A couple weeks ago we started noticing Toby was drinking water like a fish.  He was thirsty all the time. Earlier this week, he became extremely lethargic too.  Not complaining too much but he was not a normal 6yr old running around everywhere. He would get up in the morning, eat breakfast and then was totally zapped – just would lay down on the floor and not want to move.

Finally we decided to call his pediatrician and she suggested we bring him in for a look that same afternoon.  By this time, Toby really wasn’t feeling well at all and he even looked chalky white – kinda like the boy Elliot in the movie E.T. when E.T. got sick and was on life support.  Later in the ER, Toby was wearing one of those pulse-O2 meters on his finger – it glows with red light. Then he really looked like E.T. and Elliot together!

Oh, so how did we get to the ER? In the ambulance! Toby actually enjoyed seeing the fire truck and ambulance both show up at his pediatrician’s office. After she did a quick couple of tests, Toby’s doctor realized that there was a strong possibility that he was having a serious diabetic induced condition or possibly something worse. His blood sugar levels at the ped’s office were more than 7X what a normal kid should have. “I’ve never seen a kid with it that high,” she said. “I don’t feel comfortable letting you drive him to the hospital so let me call the ambulance and not waste any time.”

The ER doctors at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital confirmed what our pediatrician had said:  His body was basically shutting down because of absolutely no insulin in his system.

Insulin: We’re learning lots about that!

Insulin Fact One:   Your pancreas manufactures it to help your cells unlock sugar energy from the food you eat. Without it, you will eventually die.

Insulin Fact Two:   People with Type 1 Diabetes (including Toby) do not produce insulin.

Insulin Fact Three:  A large majority of diabetes cases (about 90%) are Type 2. In this case their bodies do still produce some insulin.

Insulin Fact Four:   Daily injections of insulin are needed. Yep, Toby gets to have 3 or 5 shots a day. For the rest of his life. I write this almost fesiciously because it really hasn’t sunk in yet. I mean what 6yr old (or 60yr old for that matter) enjoys getting needle stuck every day forever?

Insulin Fact Five: If he takes his shots as prescribed, Toby will lead a quite normal life. Some dietary rules will need to be watched very closely but he can eat all the same foods, play sports, bother his sisters, etc. The ER doc reminded me NFL quarterback Jay Cutler is type1 diabetic.  So Toby’s future NFL career is not in jeopardy. 🙂

Toby actually spent the night in the ICU.  But the doctors there were able to stabilize him soon with IV insulin. So many of you have been praying for him and definitely the Lord has been carrying all of us.  We’ve felt a lot of peace and Toby started looking better after a few hours.  Praise the Lord, he’s definitely going to be OK!

After what seemed like weeks to Toby, they allowed him to eat again. Even hospital pizza brought a big smile to his face:
Food for the Patient

Prayer Requests:

^  Thank the Lord for extending Toby’s life. Thank Him for insulin, the peace He’s brought us, Toby’s great attitude, and for all of this to happen during the summer – when we’re not in as rushed of a schedule.  Also, thank you God that this did not happen during one of our long road trips.

^  Pray for “the shots.” Toby doesn’t look forward to them. Neither do his parents, who’ll be giving them to him 3 or 5 times a day.  The Lord may not make this enjoyable for us.  At this point we look forward to a day when we “get used to it” but it may never be enjoyed.  But DO pray for us to be very aware of the grace God gives us.  Ask the Lord to open even more avenues of grace and peace to us.

^  Pray against discouragement and against the train of thought that leads down the “I can’t” or “what if” dark, doubtful path.

^  Ask the Lord to help me and Shannon learn more about all the tons of details of caring for a diabetic child:  Diet, preparing meals correctly, giving the shots, testing his blood sugar, preparing the insulin, keeping a good routine, etc.

See more photos here:

  • Kristie Munsey

    He is such a happy kid. I'll definitely be praying for you all. Thanks for the update.

  • Joanne Hand

    Thank you so much David for writing and sending all this with the update details and pictures, and specific prayer requests. It helps me to pray a lot more specifically. My heart goes out to Toby and to you and Shannon. Y'all are in my prayers all day long, and when I wake up in the middle of the night.
    Love, Mom

  • Thanks so much. We really welcome, need and appreciate your prayers. What would we do without so much encouragement and people offering such great help?

    Already we've heard from a couple of our friends who we did not realize had kids with diabetes. Their advice and understanding has been super.

    Grace and power made perfect in weakness is a tremendous thing right now.