Tuesday, January 8, 2019

My Youngest-PJ by Peter Reum

We had a beautiful daughter, Lola,in April 2008. She was a total surprise. Between my wife and I, we have six daughters and one son. My oldest, Kalinda Merrielle, is a bright, creative woman with two children, named Neve and Vesper. Chandra, my second with my first wife, is a friendly pleasant young woman. She was born with idiopathic cerebral palsy. She is a hard worker who has several years experience in a number of entry-level jobs. She graduated with a special education degree in her childhood home of Greeley, Colorado. Her birth was one of the most memorable days of my life. Her entry into this world was one of those times when I felt totally blessed. After my first wife and I divorced, I had summer visits from Chandra and Kalinda.

As time passed, I met a beautiful woman from Montana named Dorinda. She was a beautiful soul. She and I married in November 1995.  We relocated to New Mexico, and purchased a home in the Albuquerque Heights. I worked in developmental disabilities for awhile, and left after 18 months.My second wife and I moved to a small mountain town in Southern New Mexico, purchasing s small business there. We had a few years of solid
business, but our store went belly up in it's fourth year. Part of our failure was due to radical changes in the business sector we were trying to get involved with. In the fourth year of our marriage my second wife died from the rare and fatal disease she told me about before we were married. We had relocated to Montana, and here in Montana she died in October of 2000. On the night she was cremated I had a nightmare that I was being cremated. It was the most memorable dream of my life.

Realizing that I needed to find work, I got a few jobs on a short term basis. Things were like that for about two years until I got a job in mental health services. I was at that job for four years, when I was offered a job at an excellent Substance Abuse Center. After two years as an outpatient counselor. I was transferred to an innovative inpatient therapy position for inpatient pilot program as the first therapist. The program was designated as a model program for the state of Montana.  During that period of time I fell in love with Christina, my
third wife. We became engaged on my birthday on 2007, and married on Christina's birthday in that same year. After a honeymoon in Hawaii, we settled in Billings and Christina got a job after graduating from college.

We lived in Christina's apartment for a year, and moved to a house we rented in November 2008. While at the previous apartment, we had doubts that having children was possible. Christina's physician had told her that she was not able to have any babies. Lola, our daughter was born in April 2008. She was a whirlwind of a baby, learning to walk and talk months earlier than expected. She was able to verbalize her basic needs by eighteen months. She was a whirlwind as a toddler. Her energy was boundless. Christina had three
beautiful daughters in her first marriage, Sabrina Rose, Adriana Tennile, and Jenna Noel. The children were in 5th, 3rd and 2nd grades when Christina and I got together. Each of these girls had wonderful God given gifts . Sabrina a top notch singer in her choirs. Adriana had exceptional musical ability and wonderful spatial and perceptional reasoning ability. Jenna was
the most driven and best organized of the 3
sisters and is multitalented in the fine arts.
She is a practical down to earth person who understands what the things are that she does well and what things in life she needs help with.

When Lola was 13 months old, the subject of this article was born.  Just over 4 months after Lola was delivered, my wife told me she thought she might be with child again. We saw our doctor for the girls, and she confirmed my wife's condition. I was very happy, but I also wondered why my wife, who had been diagnosed as not able to have kids some 30 months before PJ's presence and 20  months prior to Lola's being discovered as a new arrival. For me, one of the true heartbreaks I had experienced was losing a son at 4 months along in a pregnancy with a previous wife. P.J. is a boy through and through. He had a happy temperment as a newborn and through his first two years. He is an affectionate boy, with all of the charm and kindness that little boys have. His sister and he are inseparable, enjoying videogames together, playing outdoors, and growing up together.

P.J. is a boy who was tall for his age before the onset of his juvenile diabetes. He was never an overweight son until the onset of the type 1 diabetes. He has always had an open stance toward kids at school. In head start, he was somewhat young when he began, but did well his next year before entering kindergarten. His kindness and supportive outlook to his classmates has made him well liked by his classmates. P.J.'s loyalty and kindness to his friends has been praised by every teacher he has had.

The onset of his Type 1 diabetes came roughly a few months into his third grade school year. My wife Christina has a well honed intuition toward all of our kids, our two and my delightful stepdaughters. P.J. exhibited the classic symptoms of Type 1 juvenile diabetes some two years ago. There was occasional confusion, a need to urinate unusually often, and excessive thirst to mention a few obvious symptoms. My wife noticed him become quite withdrawn. On one Friday  we decided to take him too the doctor. She diagnosed him with Type 1 diabetes and we hospitalized him to stabilize his levels of insulin. Because things smoothly carried on in the hospital and afterward, our physician recommended insulin injections until P.J. was used to his body's changing. It seemed that things went well for a year or so, but he began having problems with eliminating anything but protein.

We marked time, and he stabilized for almost a year. It became obvious that he has a sweettooth for carbohydrates. We upgraded his manner of putting insulin in his body, The State of Montana helped us obtain an insulin pump for him  Things seemed to be going well for about six months. As PJ used the pump, he tended to
inject the pump tube around his navel. Despite our best efforts, he developed some scar tissue around his stomach, having been told what would happen. The scar tissue made his effort to use the pump tubing to move the insulin into his body.. Other problems emerged, mostly ketoacidosis. He was hospitalized again, shaking us to our core.

He is a boy whose life has been made extremely complex. Throughout this whole
experience, his love of family, friends, and
relatives has grown. His approach to life with diabetes has been an amazing path to walk with him. As Neil Young once sang, slightly altered...long may P.J. run. 👦🤟!!

Copyright 2019 by Peter Reum
All rights reserved