The next step in properly seeing and diagnosing me with Diabetes Insipidus was a 12 hour deprivation test in Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital. So, my Mom, Dad, and sister brought me to check in to the hospital for the test, but my mom was the one who stayed with me during the duration of the test and time there.
Believe it or not, I have very vivid memories to this day of my time in the Children’s Hospital. I remember how I felt as a three old there.
I arrived to my room I would be staying in and as a three year old, I didn’t really know why I was there, but I remember getting into the room and seeing Mickey Mouse on the TV and sitting on the bed, getting excited. It breaks my heart looking back on that memory knowing that all I was about to endure and I had no idea.
Before the 12 hour deprivation test, they had to put a catheter in me and an IV. My mom said it took about 4-5 nurses to hold me down. I do remember fighting the nurses and crying very much. I was only three years old and I had no idea why they were touching me where I go to the bathroom and I was scared.
It was very uncomfortable and I couldn’t go to the bathroom “normally” until they would take it out.
During the deprivation test, I was not allowed to eat anything or drink anything, so before it started, I remember the nurse bringing me chocolate milk and food. I did not know how difficult this test was truly going to be…
During the 12 hours, I remember it felt like torture.
I was laying in my hospital bed, crying, because I was so thirsty. My mom said that after I get through this long test, that she would give me a coca cola. So, she bought it already and it was sitting on the table next to me.
That is one of my most vivid memories.
I remember looking at that coke bottle and so confused on why I couldn’t drink it. I thought I had done something wrong and I was being punished. My mom took the coke bottle, put it in the closet and shut the door so I didn’t have to stare at it for another 11 hours.
I also remember going to the play room in the Childrens hospital and there were so many toys and books. A kids dream room.
I remember how awful I felt and I didn’t even feel like playing with any of the toys. As a three year old, I couldn’t comprehend why I was there, why I didn’t feel good, and why I didn’t feel like playing.
I think it is amazing to look back on these memories and remember how I thought as a 3 year old versus my adult self now. I think a lot of people can’t say that they remember how they thought as a toddler.
After the duration of the 12 hours passed, I was finally able to drink and eat again. The nurse walked in the room, and said she can drink now.
They brought a tray of food in and my mom got the coke out of the closet next to my bed.
I didn’t even care about the food. All I wanted was that drink.
The nurse said, “Give me a minute, I will go get a straw for her”.
I grabbed the coke from my moms hand, opened it myself and chugged it down. I didn’t wait for that straw haha..
My mom was amazed that her toddler just opened that bottle by herself.
After the test, I had to come back again for a kidney scan and a MRI for my brain.
During an MRI, you need to stay completely still.
The nurses told my mom they were going to have to put an IV in and put me under, because it was basically impossible for a 3 year old to stay still.
My mom said I turned to her and said, “ No more needles Mommy”.
She cared and listened to me and told the nurses not to put me under.
The doctor said, we will probably have to repeat it if she doesn’t stay still.
My mom said, “ Steph, you need to stay very still hunny.”
My mom tells me that everyone was shocked how still I stayed and I didn’t have to repeat it.
After those tests, the results came back and surely I was diagnosed with Diabetes Insipidus.
To control my thirst, I was put on medicine that was the replacement hormone that I was lacking in my pituitary gland. I would have to take that medicine morning and night for the rest of my life.
Through all the trauma, hospital stays, doctor appointments, and needles, I was a brave little girl.
My Mom, Dad, and sister all were there for me during this trying time. And I am grateful for each of them.
But my Mom really was there for me in a way I feel a mother is for her child.
She didn’t just bring me to my appointments and procedures, she lived it with me.
She felt every needle prick, the torture/confusion during that 12 hour deprivation test, and saw/felt the sad look on my face after my accident while I was on my bike, thinking, something is not right.
And I might not even be here today if it weren’t for her and her persistence to find what was wrong with me, when the doctors told her I was a normal, healthy child.
I am very thankful for my mom and all the nights she endured with me.
Going through this myself, I feel like you never know what someone has been through and you never know the story behind someone’s physical scars.
So, be gentle and kind and do not judge that “imperfection” on them.
As I grew up and endured other difficulties with my condition, I thought, all I wanted was to be normal.
I just wanted to feel for one day what it was like to not have a lifelong disease.
But as I have grown, especially in my faith, I am so thankful that my accident didn’t kill me.
I am here today, getting to live a beautiful life and I know that circumstances could be a lot worse. So many other children in that Children’s Hospital that I was staying 24 years ago, were not so lucky…
My heart aches for them and their families. And every person, especially children, that have to endure worse diagnoses.
I feel I have a unique compassion for children that are sick and in hospitals because of what I went through as a toddler.
I also feel, God could have only gave me that compassion and the unique perspective that has come from my diagnosis and all I went through.
Without it, I wouldn’t be the same person today.
Five years ago, I truly witnessed the hand of God and how He works everything for our good, even what was meant to hurt us.
I needed to have a tonsillectomy.
My doctor said that it will be pretty painful after and to heal your throat you need to drink a lot of water.
I thought, that isn’t hard for me, haha…
And if my throat wasn’t looking good at my two week follow up appointment, then I had to wait to eat solids still.
So, after the two weeks, at my appointment, the nurse looked at my throat and she said, “Oh, Steph, your throat looks amazing!”
She said she never saw a patient after two weeks, that it looked that good..
I told her I drank, a lot! Haha
She said she could definitely tell.
I feel that is a small example but I thought after that surgery and recovery time, that thing I always viewed as a flaw about myself, my Diabetes Insipidus, was used for my advantage.
I feel like my perspective changed after that.
That God can truly use your scars as your strength.
Beauty can come from trauma.
I also remember, when I was about to go through this surgery, I was scared and nervous because I never had been “under” before for a surgery and I was also going through a heartbreak at that time as well. It was a difficult season I was in.
My mom stood with me in my room, as I was expressing my fears to her, and reminded me of that little girl.
The one that was brave during that deprivation test.
The one that was brave when they were putting that catheter in me.
The one that was brave when I underwent loads of blood work.
The one that was brave and looked to her mom and said, “No more needles mommy, I can do it.”
My mom said to always remember that if I am going through a difficult time and facing something scary.
To remember that little girl because I am her.
To remember that if that little girl faced it all with such bravery and a smile, I could too.
I am honestly amazed at that little girl and can’t believe that was me.
I am thankful for her and to say I have learned so much from her, is the greatest understatement.
I look to her when I am down or going through difficult circumstances, especially with my health.
Who knew God would use a time in my life that was meant to harm me, for so much goodness.
I am thankful for my scar and always will be.
It’s unique, and yeah it gave me a rare, lifelong disorder, but the story behind it shaped me into the woman I am today.
I didn’t always think that way though. I have had a lot of self pity parties and wished I were someone else, for at least a day.
Because it is hard. Even sometimes still I deep think it, and I always just cover it up with humor, because If I do that, then people can’t use it against me and it makes it seem like its not a big deal to me. But of course I have struggled with it in more ways than one.
But I always remind myself, that God wouldn’t have allowed it in my life, unless something beautiful would be born from it and I have seen that, so I truly accept it.
Without God, I don’t think I would ever see all the good that “scar” has brought to my life and what it has taught me.
I believe Jesus views our scars as steps to amazing testimonies and stories we will tell.
What you may view as a setback or imperfection, He views as beautiful.
And if you believe it, He will start to unravel an even deeper story and show you truly how good He is.
He can use your deepest scars for your greatest strengths.
If you have a scar and have been viewing it as an imperfection, as I once did, I hope this encourages you to shift your perspective and pray to God to show you how He can use them for your good.
You are loved so dearly by a man that has the deepest scars of us all.
Jesus could have had his scars healed and come back without them when He met the disciples after He rose again..
But those scars tell the greatest love story for us all and are so significant to Him and His life.
Jesus paid the ultimate price and the scars are a reminder that God can use those scars for a grand purpose.
God will also use your scars for a greater purpose.
I believe all my scars are a story He will use..
And I hope you believe that too about your own.
Thank you to all who read my whole story and I pray that it encourages you!!
All for Jesus,