Sunday, March 4, 2012

How the Journey with Type 1 Diabetes Began- Day1

I can't believe I missed the signs!  Of course I wasn't really looking at them for my 2.5 year old.  I figured the behavior issues, incredible amount of peeing and drinking water were part of the age and possibly a gluten intolerance.  It made sense since my family has a history of it, so I put Marian on a gluten free diet.  It sort of worked but she was drinking like crazy, once she even filled a cup out of the toilet.  Completely embarrassing mom moment, didn't I teach her anything?  But also a very sad moment looking back at how desperately thirsty she must have been.  Finally I took her to the pediatrician.  She agreed that the signs I saw sounded like gluten and dairy problems.  She also asked to test her urine just before we left the office.  When she came back and said she found ketones, I knew that wasn't good.  I have been pregnant and have friends who have experienced gestational diabetes I knew what ketones meant: diabetes.  Three nurses proceeded to try and attempt to test Marian's blood sugar.  Marian was a champ!  This brave little girl did not even cry until the 8th time they pricked her.  Yes, it took three nurses not because my daughter was a raging toddler but because they couldn't figure out how to work the machine.  The doctor came back in and said what I already knew.  Marian has diabetes.  I was totally cool up to this point.  Then she said I need to go straight to the hospital so she can be admitted.  That's were I lost it, I started to cry.  I called my husband and told him.  He'd decided to work a bit late so he was still an hour and a half commute home.  Then got the information for which hospital and walked out crying the whole way.  Marian kept asking why I was crying and Sofia just wanted to give me hugs.  It was amazing at the moment to see Marian's compassion because its not always been her strongest trait.  Sofia tends to be the compassionate one.   God has used being in the hospital and having diabetes to grow Marian in compassion.  I'm grateful that this hardship is producing righteousness instead of selfishness. 

That night we were supposed to have our small group Bible study over for dinner.  Mark sent an email to everyone telling them what happened and that we had to cancel dinner.  I am so grateful for this group.  Our friend Julie called and said "how can I help."  "How soon can you come to our house?"  was all I said.  I was supposed to be at the hospital within the hour.  She came over right away and Sofia was thrilled to spend time with her which made leaving easier.  As I drove to the hospital I called a friend, Lauren, who is a nephrology doctor at Johns Hopkins.  I figured she could answer some of my hospital expectation questions.  I have never been in a hospital nor spent much time in them...they give me the hebe gebees (we just watch Madagascar for those who also enjoy this movie).  I have enough sense to know I want the nurse on my side!  So I asked her what to expect when I arrive at the emergency room, what can I expect doctors and nurses to do for us, how not to be a crazy parent, who will I be meeting (doctors, residents, etc.) and how to tell the difference.  She was amazing.  She walked me through what to expect and she told me its okay to ask questions repeatedly until I was satisfied. 

Marian and I arrived at the emergency room to be admitted and get her iv and blood work done.  I kept thinking why am I here there are SICK people everywhere in here!  I just kept praying  for protection  from getting sick and told Marian not to touch ANYTHING.  I had had enough foresight to pack a boatload of activities since I figured I'd be sitting in an emergency room waiting room for a while.  Gratefully we were called back within 5 minutes of getting to the pediatric waiting area, which was kind-of embarrassing since the place was practically standing room only. 

The emergency room nurses were wonderful at talking with Marian as they took blood put in an iv and ran various tests.  Marian was a trooper!  She barely cried and didn't fight when they took blood or put the iv in.  It broke my heart to see the fear in her eyes though.  Mark arrived with our computer and a movie after we'd been in the emergency room about an hour and a half.  We broke our no movies for the kids rule and allowed her to watch Madagascar.  It got us through the next hour and a half until they were ready for us on the peds floor.  It was now around 8:30pm, an hour and a half past Marian's bedtime.  The residents that came to pick her up, asked her to sit on my lap in the wheelchair.  She looked me and said "I want to sit by myself."  At least diabetes hasn't broken this girl's spunk! 

We arrived in our room and began to get settled in.  Around 10pm we met our endocrinologist.  He came in from vacation to give us our first instruction session.  I can't remember a whole lot of what he said other than "just dive in and give her her first injection, you'll sleep better tonight."  He was right although I think my heart was pounding through my chest.  I was relieved to see the needle was so small!  I was expecting a much larger and longer needle.  My only experience giving injections was with horses so I guess my perspective was a bit skewed;)  I still hate giving shots.  Marian has not ever been horrible about her injections, most of the time she has sat and taken them well, but it breaks my heart to have to do something to her 6-10 times daily that causes her pain.  I remind myself that I need to be grateful this helps keep her alive!  100 years ago we'd be in a whole different battle.  After our initial injection and training session Marian finally was able to get something to eat.  I think her hunger was worse than the shot at this point.  Mark went home since only one parent could stay with her and I couldn't stand the though of leaving her at this point.  She was all ready for bed and in come the residents on rounds.  They wanted to hear the whole story again and check her out.  It's about 4 hours after her bedtime and she's pooped (so is her momma).  Finally my girl can fall asleep, unfortunately we had to wake her up 45 minutes later to test her blood sugar.  I finally got to bed at 1am.  A cool moment among all the doctor visits was looking out at the Baltimore night scape and talking about what we saw.  She still remembers that scene and loves going into Baltimore and pointing out things she could see from her hospital window. 

Well that's the end of Day 1.  I'll post about the rest of our hospital stay in the next few days.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Laura, I'm so sorry I wasn't there when all this happened!