It’s been a relaxing holiday recess. No running around for the normal activities. Just hanging out, playing, enjoying each other’s company and watching movies.
Among the movies we watched was one of my favorites that we hadn’t watched in a while.
Four years to be precise.
Four years ago Caleb was three and was a huge fan of The Incredibles. More specifically, a huge fan of Dash.
As we watched the movie, I realized Caleb was going through his Dash phase at the time he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It all starting coming back to me.
I remembered being told by the pediatrician that we needed to go home and do nothing other than pack a bag and get to Yale New Haven Hospital as quickly as we could. I went home, packed the essentials and ran downstairs to my “stash”. It was after Christmas, but before Caleb’s birthday and I had some things collected for him. I pulled out a few. I remembered presenting him with the storybook featuring The Incredibles in the ER in an attempt to distract him while what seemed like ten people tried to hold him down to place an IV in his arm. I remembered being in his hospital room with him the following day, just the two of us, and giving him The Incredibles LeapPad game in an attempt to cheer him up. It didn’t work all that well.
I remembered how only weeks after being diagnosed Caleb had his fourth birthday party. The theme was Disney’s Cars, but many of his gifts were Dash related, like…
…the lamp that also holds his medical ID bracelets…
…and Dash himself.
I remembered not caring how many gifts Caleb got that year when normally I try to be careful not to overdo it and spoil the kids. That year he couldn’t be spoiled enough.
I remembered him wearing the jersey that Grandma and Grandpa had given him for Christmas. He wore it during his hospital stay and also at his birthday party.
Wearing his favorite jersey at his 4th birthday party.
Then I remembered the doll Caleb made. He was given a plain, muslin doll in the hospital to practice giving injections. He made his doll “Dash”.
I remembered how we used to tell him that Dash was so fast at checking his sugar and giving himself injections that you couldn’t even see him do it. I also remembered Caleb completely not believing us, but playing along nevertheless.
I remembered the picture we took of Caleb days after diagnosis, smiling, getting a shot in his arm, to show his grandparents who had just left for their winter in Florida that he was okay. He was wearing an Incredibles hat.
There are a couple of “classic” pictures of Caleb with signs of Dash in them. The day he started pumping with his OmniPod–
And his wink picture which has been featured in our local JDRF golf fundraiser pamphlet –
It only occurred to me as we were watching The Incredibles the other day, that this movie will forever be associated with Caleb’s diagnosis. There’s no separating the two.
Today is Caleb’s four year diaversary. During the last couple of weeks he passed the mark in his life where he has now lived with diabetes longer than without it.
We’re not ignoring this day, but we’re not exactly celebrating it either. We talked about it this morning. I asked Caleb if he knew what today is and he replied, “Yeah, it’s the day we go back to school.” I asked if he knew what else it is. He said, “Oh yeah. It’s the day we went to the hospital – cool.” I wrote him a special note for his lunch box. He’s bringing his muslin Dash into school to share with his classmates. He gets to pick what we’re eating for dinner. He got some extra hugs and kisses this morning. But for the most part it’s just any other day.