Children’s Hospital, Disneyland and Parker

September 1st, 2011

Parker at Disneyland on Wyatt's Birthday

I’m pretty sure that Children’s Hospital Orange County (CHOC) is NOT the happiest place on Earth.  Having had plenty of experience with hospitals over the course of being a father, I can say that this one is fairly decent.  But it sure as hell ain’t Disneyland.

We were packing our car, getting ready to take our annual trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA to commemorate Wyatt’s birthday (he would’ve been four-years-old on Friday the 2nd).  We’ve been coming to Disneyland every year at this time, including the year he passed.  This go around, however, we felt almost immediately that this would be a very different trip.  Wyatt’s older brother, Parker who just turned six a couple months ago, was clearly under the weather.  We already had concerns about his health and even had an appointment set with his doctor to test him because we were concerned about him potentially having diabetes.  But as we prepped for our trip, he began to really show signs of being sick (vomiting, lethargy, unquenchable thirst, etc.).  By the time we reached our destination, we new that it was very likely we would be spending far more time with hospital staff than we would with Mickey Mouse and friends.

Anyone who follows the Wyatt Leamon Foundation knows of Wyatt’s Story and since the events of that tragedy has taken place, our family has undergone a massive shift away from traditional Allopathic medicine and more towards a Hollistic lifestyle.  This basically consists of better nutrition, more exercise and preventative care such as Chiropractic.  It’s taken several years, and while our shift has been a positive one, its situations like this that really put it to the test.

As you can imagine, given the massive failures of the medical system that failed Wyatt, we don’t subscribe to rushing ourselves or our children to the doctor.  We believe that given the dangers (one of the leading causes of death in the United States is our medical system including drug reactions, hospital errors and misdiagnosis), going to the doctor and/or taking drugs should be a last resort.  And while we believe we’ve found a good balance between a more natural, healthy lifestyle and less reliance on Western medicine, I’m thankful to report that our parental instincts kicked in at the right time and we prevented what could’ve been another devastating blow to our family.

Parker was taken to the ER at CHOC around 9pm on Wednesday, August 31st.  He had been throwing up most of the day, was asking for water constantly and by the time we reached our hotel room, was weak and we were concerned with him becoming dehydrated.  After a few phone calls and seeing his condition worsen (his eyes literally rolled back into his head), we brought him in, ironic really given we were in Anaheim to celebrate Wyatt’s birth yet 30 days before he passed, we had gone through a similar experience.

Turns out, my beautiful little boy is going to have to manage a life-long disease.  He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and when we brought him in, he was in a state called “ketoacidosis”.  This is essentially a spiked blood sugar level that can happen to diabetics where if it isn’t treated, could lead to severe injury including coma. I cannot tell you how freaked out I am as I sit here and write at the thought of what could’ve happened to my son, only three years after we lost Wyatt.  Needless to say, the words “deep end” and “over the edge” come to mind.

But what happens now?  Well, Parker is slowly stabilizing and meeting all expectations for his treatment.  We do expect him to recover and return home soon.  Unfortunately, our Disney celebration of Wyatt’s birthday will not get a chance to take place and instead, we’ll have the pleasure of spending our vacation time in the hospital learning how this life-long disease will impact our family.  Unfortunately, just like Wyatt, he is suffering from an autoimmune disease where his immune system is prohibiting his organs from functioning properly (in this case, his Pancreas from properly regulating insulin in his bloodstream).  Ultimately, this means that he will need to manage this disease the rest of his life and if he falters, the consequences could be deadly.

Parker and Wyatt

So once again, just like after the loss of our son Wyatt, we are left with the lingering questions of, why?  Why us?  Why our children?  Why do these issues continue to haunt our family?  And of course, what of the twins, could they be next?

I am sure that one day, we’ll look back on this and realize we’ve made it past, just like we did with Wyatt.  We’ll know what it’s like to be happy again, I am positive of that.  But for now, this is a very, very sad time for our family as we experience more heartache for what is happening to our children.  It’s just so unfair, so uncalled for and to be frank, I’m so damn tired of this shit.

I do appreciate the fact that the WLF was something we pursued after Wyatt passed.  The research and education we’ve experienced since creating the WLF has taught this family that a healthy lifestyle is a better lifestyle.  And given the nature of the choices we’re already making regarding nutrition and more specifically, sugar, I’m hopeful that our family moving forward is properly equipped to handle the changes we’re going to have to make.  My plan is to document those changes here on our blog and hopefully, they will continue to help and inspire others.

In the meantime, as with Wyatt, we are being inundated with questions for how we can be helped.  I think the best thing you could do is tell Wyatt’s Story and donate to his foundation to help us support this website.  There are even no-cost things you can do to help the WLF and perhaps we will have to expand our article topics into the diabetes realm.

–Corey

5 Responses to “Children’s Hospital, Disneyland and Parker”

  1. Scot says:

    Oh man… My heart goes out to you and your family Corey. It saddens me to read this. Stay strong brother!

  2. Andrea says:

    Dear Corey,

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Our son was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 2 weeks before his 1st birthday, so in some way I can relate to what you’re going through. We’re also very holistic and therefore also waited for 3 days until we went to the pediatrician, thinking that our son was just getting over a bad cold, but then had to go straight to the ER and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. He was very sick (Ketoacidosis, same as Parker, with a BG over 800). I pray for your son that he’ll be back to his normal self soon and that you’ll get into your “new normal” soon. It may seem unlikely at the moment, but it’ll all be routine at some point. Your story of Wyatt brought tears to my eyes but was also an inspiration by reinforcing our conviction to resist antibiotics for our son and ourselves unless they’re used to treat a life-threatening disease. Having to deal with the medical establishment for our son’s diabetes has made me wonder, however, if it’s the Universe’s/God’s/Higher Power’s way to teach us to work with and not against what we resist the most. Which is probably one of the hardest things for you to do, given your background. I wish you and your family the best of luck and hope that you’ll be able to find peace again soon.

    Sincerely,
    Andrea

    • leamonade says:

      Hey Andrea, thanks so much for your comment, it was good to hear your story and the reassurance that one day soon, things will be back to “normal”. If you have any great tips about raising a “diabetic” (feels weird to say that), please comment or e-mail them to us.

      Thank you!

      –Corey

      • Andrea says:

        Hey Corey, I wish there were any great tips to pass on, but we’re still taking it a day at a time. Since our son Jordan is still in the honeymoon period where his pancreas is still producing insulin, we’re still only “supplementing” with insulin (long-acting and fast-acting), but we keep going up on the dosages every couple weeks. It’s also difficult that our son can’t really communicate any feelings of discomfort to us other than by crying, but we’ve learned to recognize the signs better. I hope that things will be a little easier for you given that Parker is a little older and able to tell you when he’s not feeling well. Maybe they’ve also given him an insulin pump right away? We’re still doing shots, but are considering the pump despite his young age.

        I encourage you to check out these two websites for more info and forums/support groups for parents of children with type 1 diabetes – they’ve proven very helpful for us: http://www.type1parents.org and http://www.jdrf.org. The JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) also does youth camps for kids with diabetes, which is a great opportunity for kids to bond since they all go through the same thing. We will definitely look into this when Jordan is older.

        We haven’t looked into any specific alternative methods for supplementing insulin therapy yet, but both my husband and I practice Reiki, so he gets regular Reiki treatments, as well as chiropractic adjustments from our chiropractor. We took Jordan to a naturopath once, and she felt that researching and treating food allergies (such as a milk allergy she suspected in him) would possibly help reverse his diabetes. But we haven’t pursued that yet since we didn’t feel comfortable substituting artificial formula for milk. I’m curious to hear if you can find any alternative approaches.

        Good luck and all the best to you!

        Andrea