Friends & Family

Even a Smile Helps

This smile, especially.
This smile, especially.

Sometimes, I want to stop and tell all the mothers out there who have healthy children how blessed they are. Sometimes, I want to go to them one by one and punch them each in the face. Then my son is admitted to the children’s hospital and I see how much worse it could be, and I kind of want to invite all the sick kids’ mothers to come around and punch me. Not that I’m a huge advocate of violence, but I really think it would make them feel better.

My son’s life has been a roller coaster ride, and he’s not even two years old. Not only was he blessed with an impatient and emotionally immature mother, but he was born with an ectopic posterior pituitary gland, which means the lobes of his pituitary (a very important gland, if you don’t know, responsible for the production of cortisol and growth hormones) are separate, instead of cozied up to each other as they should be. This has caused blood sugar problems, which went undiagnosed for a long time because he also has (or is thought to have–it’s no longer clear if the seizures have to do with blood sugar or are unrelated) epilepsy, and the low blood sugar symptoms were attributed to that. So far, the reason for his sugar issues are not 100% clear; he’s going to have a test tomorrow to determine if he has a growth hormone deficiency, which would explain it. If he does, we’ll have to start nightly hormone injections and he should start to get better. If not, we’ll have to see a metabolic specialist and the mystery will continue. He’s currently on anti-seizure medication and we’ve been checking his blood sugar each morning. Due to some low numbers, we’ve also added a nighttime feeding to his schedule and another blood sugar check. If his numbers continue be low or he has more alarming symptoms, then we’ll take him back to the hospital because it won’t be safe for him to stay at home.

Right now, Sam is in the process of bringing me his shoes because he wants to go outside. His development is a little behind–at sixteen months, he doesn’t say much and he’s not yet walking–but he tends to make his needs and desires fairly clear. This is one of the most heartbreaking things for us about his diagnosis: he couldn’t tell us what was happening, but we should have known. The doctors should have known. He had a blood sugar incident at three days old and was hospitalized, but he was so tiny then and not nursing well and no one thought it was symptomatic of something greater. When we brought up blood sugar with doctors at later appointments, we were brushed off because it was so unlikely. At our last appointment with the pediatrician, we decided that in Sam’s case, we ought to expect the unlikely. When we hear hoof beats, we’ll look for zebras as well as horses.

So here’s why I’m writing this post: I need you. I need your thoughts, hopes, prayers, good vibrations. I need your support. (No, I don’t mean financially–we hit Sam’s yearly insurance maximum a while ago now and everything else he needs for the rest of the year is free.) I’m standing on a street corner and this is my cardboard sign. Even a smile helps.


13 thoughts on “Even a Smile Helps”

  1. I have no comforting words for you other than mother’s of any sick child (no matter how “severe” or “mild”) are in my thoughts. I can’t imagine having a sick child or fearing for my child on a daily basis. The strength that you have (even when it doesn’t feel like it) is beyond what I could even imagine.


  2. Hi Laura… My name is Jennifer and I’m a friend of your Mom & Dad’s and I get updates on occasion about Sam when I ask. I’m glad I read this and I’ve now signed up as a follower. Sam is adorable and my thoughts and prayers are always with you and your family! Good vibes coming your way and smiles every day to Sam!!


  3. Hi Laura, I’m so sorry you have to go through all of this. It’s so heartbreaking when children are sick and even worse when you don’t know what’s wrong and when they can’t tell you. I have no experience with this level of illness personally but I’ve heard about it from other moms so I know how horrible is. We are praying for you and Ian and Sam! Hopefully the doctors can figure it out quickly! He is so adorable!!!


  4. Hi Laura I am Sarah your aunt Elsie’s daughter. I just wanted to say that I am so sorry to hear that Sam is having these problems. My son has epelepsy and no medications are helping. I have felt everything you are feeling. Anger toward people for not seeing how lucky they are to be healthy and have healthy children because I would give anything to take this from my son. I have also been humbled when at the doctors and I see parents in there with children that are even more sick then my son. I have thanked God that my son “only” has epelepsy at the same time so frustrated that he has epelepsy. It controls your life everything and everyone in your life is affected and people who don’t have a sick child can not even begin to understand the depths that the sickness takes. I hope I am making sence I have so much I could say to you I am trying to keep it under 10 pages lol. I just want you to know if you ever need someone to talk to that understands I am here. And my advise is simply taking on day at a time sometes it is all I can do to get through today. My prayers are with you and your family.


    1. Hi Sarah! My mom told my about your son. I hope and pray that you will find something that helps him soon. The one thing I will say about having a sick kid is that I get little surges of joy I don’t think other moms get–every morning we have without a seizure of a blood sugar incident is greatly appreciated. It’s joy tempered with pain, but I think it’s so important to appreciate what we have. I don’t think a lot of moms of healthy kids walk into their kids’ rooms to see them standing in the crib at six a.m. and think, ‘Hallelujah! He’s okay!’


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