On the night I launched the Kickstarter Campaign. our daughter (13 at the time) came home from a dinner she'd attended. She was very ill. I stayed up with her all night as she continued being violently ill until the following morning. Poor sweetheart. We assumed it may have been food poisoning or a bout of gastro. She came down fast but as kids do, we thought she'd bounce back quickly. She didn't.
Still thinking it was the same as any old bug our other kiddos have had over the past 21 years of parenting, we made sure she was well hydrated and all day Saturday she rested. She was sad to miss out on attending a festival our town holds annually. Instead of attending, I stayed with her and wound up her blinds so she would watch the fireworks from her bed. She slept all night. The next morning I had hoped we'd see a noticeable change in her. She was still very flat. I gave her some dry toast. She still didn't pick up. Plain white rice. Nothing. In fact, after both of those she looked more drowsy.
I decided to take her up to the hospital to be checked over. Being a Sunday afternoon attending a small rural hospital, I expected her to be checked, me be reassured and then head home with the standard leaflet on how to look after someone with a gastro bug. Her sugars were checked and were incredibly high. Her ketones were checked and were off the charts. At that point, everything went a little blurry. The dr was called urgently, Some questions were asked...had she been more thirsty lately, had she lost weight, had she been going to the bathroom more frequently (these are the signs of diabetes that in our case were not obvious to notice). She was hooked up to IVs, video conferencing commenced, phone calls made and I could hear the word 'diabetes' mentioned. I messaged Brett and told him what was happening. I told him he needed to come and he did straight away. Our poor Zip was in a bad way. The Dr came to see Brett and me as and began explaining that Zippi was in DKA - diabetic ketoacidosis. He explained this was because she was a Type1 diabetic (obviously previously undiagnosed). He also told us that this was an autoimmune disease. Another one. He said he was glad that we had brought her up when we did and that the nursing staff had been so attentive to check her sugars. He said he didn't want to think about what would have happened had we either not come to hospital that day or had been sent home.
Not long later an ambulance was called to transport us to Orange Base Hospital. I had about 30 mins to slip home, pack our bags, my own medications etc and tell the other kiddos. We gathered in the loungeroom and I told them. Another autoimmune disease?! Type 1 diabetes? Does this mean she'll need insulin for the rest of her life? How long will she be in hospital for? They were shocked and worried of course. We laughed at the hilarity of yet another autoimmune disease (our 12th!) diagnosed and then laughter gave way to tears. I think we prayed together but to be honest it's all a bit of a blur now. I remember hugging each one of them and each of them telling me to tell Poppet we love her, before I drove away back to hospital.
There's much more that I could share about this story but I'm including it here because although it felt like the weirdest of timings, when I think about launching Intertwined, this is also part of the story. Greta Gerwig said something that resonated with me. She said that when she was directing, she learned that, "when things came up that were problems, or difficulties or something went awry, that that was not a deviation from the path - that was the path...the problems are the road". Our faither tells us the same thing. I come to challenges like this being able to hold things together: the truth on one hand is that this is scary and I don't want to be going through it. And in the other hand I hold the truth that I know God is with me and that He will help us get through this just as He has with every other situation in our life. Yeshua (Jesus) Himself held these two thoughts before going to the cross. In the Garden of Gethsemane He said, "Father, take this cup of suffering away from me - but not my will, your will be done". We are human and in our humanness, our good God meets us on the path of suffering, brokenness and challenge. He was with me in the hug of the nurse who was waiting for me in ED when the ambulance arrived: a nurse who's own son had been diagnosed at 14. He was with me in the loving messages and prayers, in the call from my beautiful friend in Germany. He was with me as I walked the corridors that I've walked before with other children diagnosed with other diseases - my memories reminding me that He was faithful then and He will be faithful now. And with all that happening, and the Kickstarter already out in the world, the encouragement I received from the notifications coming in that people were supporting it, really helped to keep me buoyant. The Kickstarter campaign was set to last 60 days. Would we make the goal?