Monday, March 12, 2012

How Our Journey with Type 1 Diabetes Began- Day 2 and 3

Good morning sunshine! With a child that typically doesn't sleep past 6:30am I was thrilled that she slept until 8am after being up until after midnight. Of course breakfast wasn't served until 9:30 which caused some issues, but oh well. The food service was by far my main complaint with the hospital (you'll hear more about this later). 

Mark arrived around 9:30am and our training began again around 10:30am when the endocrinologist arrived.  Although at each meal the nurses would walk us through the carb counting injection giving routine.  He loaded us with information, but was kind enough to not get into the "what-ifs" or emergency situations until the next day.  Our Endo kept it easy by giving us an acronym DIET.  D = diet I=insulin E=exercise T=testing.  He said focus on getting these things down.  During this training we met in the playroom so Marian was happy as can be to play in a huge room full of toys.  We spent a lot of time in that room during our stay. 

Next was the dietitian.  She went over a book that gave serving sizes.  I can't say she was very helpful at all, but in her defense I didn't get the feeling she works with many parents who believe in feeding their kids whole, healthy foods cooked from scratch.  The book was useful to give portion sizes for 15 carbs so that I could get an idea as I cooked at home.  We had a lot of super simple meals for a while and I've done a lot of estimating and guessing.  I'm sure there will be more posts about cooking since I do it frequently. :) 

My mom stopped by around this time on her way relieve my in-laws whom were caring for Sofia.  Marian was thrilled to have a visitor.  Mom came equipped with pumpkins to decorate which kept her busy until lunch came.  Our pastor arrived soon after my mom.  He was such an encouragement to talk too.  He was even more sympathetic than the average person because he's had type 2 diabetes for 20 years.  As a side note, his endocrinologist has now said his A1cs have been low enough for over a year that there is no way he can consider him a diabetic (he was controlling it through diet and exercise alone).  What a praise for God's healing in his body as well as giving him incredible self-control.  Okay back to Marian.  So within all this commotion lunch arrived for Marian.  I'm pretty laid back, but I went through the roof when I saw it!  A healthy lunch for a recently diagnosed diabetic (and every kid on the peds floor) was chicken nuggets (the gross compressed kind), french fries, fruit cup, two huge cookies, and juice.  I couldn't believe what I saw  Obviously we couldn't get Marian another lunch since they'd already set it down in front of her, but I made sure that no other meal was served without me determining what she as being fed. When I brought up the concern to the nurses, they said its standard to feed kids a meal they are sure to eat.  My question was how were we supposed to understand how her body reacts to insulin to make sure her dosages are correct if we feed her junk all the meals she's here (breakfast wasn't much better, but I figured it was a fluke).  I did take one of the cookies and the juice from Marian.  I appreciated the nurses respect in going out of their way to make sure I could choose the next few meals.  The other favorite snack at the hospital for a diabetic kid is sugar free jello.  Marian probably ate 4-5 things of it.  I cringed every time.  The amount of fake cancer causing sugars combined with red-food dye made me want to cry.  By the last day, I had almonds on hand for snacks and made sure she was eating those instead.   

With lunch done and a super late night, Marian finally was ready to nap.  We put on a movie so Mark and I could get some reading done and help her calm down a bit.  She ended up falling asleep for a decent nap considering where we were.

The next few hours after nap were spent playing in the playroom, going over a few details about how to count carbs, prepare an insulin pen and practicing testing blood sugar.  We also had a little visit from Mark's parents who kept Marian entertained until dinner.  I was beginning to get frustrated because I was having a lot of trouble focusing on all the information and processing what people were saying quickly.  I was looking forward to seeing Sofia and getting a good nights rest after dinner!  Around this time they removed the iv line in Marian's hand.  To this day she asks why they taped her hand to a board.  It's funny what kids remember.

Marian was healthy enough to be super active.  I felt bad at the amount of times she ran or moved quickly up and down the hallway between her room and the playroom while so many other children were obviously quite physically sick.  I spent many trips praying for those kids and their parents while thanking God for my kids healthy state.

Our last day's training was emergency stuff.  A bit overwhelming and scary but I think I was too naive to be really scared.  I was so overloaded with information causing little of it to sink in and I was bone tired.  Our Endocarb counting and injection instruction or not.  We ended up choosing to leave before dinner.  We arrived home to a meal of chicken and veggie stir fry with rice on the side thanks to my mom.  Mom and Sofia had decorated the living room with streamers, balloons, and a happy birthday sign for Marian.  It was wonderful!  She was so excited and it was nice to get the focus off diabetes for just a a moment.  Her 3rd birthday was a week away.  My dad also came down to celebrate Marian's return home.  She was so excited to see everyone.  It was a great way to off set some of the "you still have to get shots at home" issue.  She was proud to show off how brave she was for Papa and Grammy. 

We survived our first night at home with Marian with only one call to the doctor at 2 am about whether or not to correct a high or not. 

The next morning we woke up to begin adjusting to life at home with a diabetic.  We said good-bye to my mom.  Another piece of grace was Mark's boss allowing him to work from home for the rest of the week.  His boss's wife had been a Type 1 Diabetic, yet another bit of grace God gave us during this new beginning.  On a side note: I woke up longing for spaghetti that suspicions that had started at the hospital about pregnancy were confirmed.  The inability to follow simple math (I once taught math) and extreme exhaustion had given me some suspicions.  Should I tell Mark or give him some time to adjust?  I gave him a whole 12 hours before I told him that night I thought there was a good chance I was pregnant.  God certainly has blessed us greatly!  Not to say we weren't TOTALLY overwhelmed:) 

I'm writing all this 5 months afterwards, but I remember the panic that threatened to consume me the entire time like it was yesterday, sometimes it still rears its ugly head.  I can see God's hand in so much of our experience from having friends with diabetes to call, family and friends that cared for us and our kids well, including visiting Marian in the hospital, Mark's boss being over the top generous with time off and working from home, doctors and nurses that took the time to educate us, and an unnatural calm (at least on the outside) the entire time which allowed us to get the information and skills we needed quickly.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Laura,

    It was nice to read about your experiance on your blog. It seems that our paths have have to count carbs, we have to count fat...and both can take a lot of mental power...and change the way you have to cook! Food in the hospital is such a challenge! We love to cook using whole foods too. When Christopher started eating in the hospital we struggled to find him foods from their menu that he could eat. I tried to get him just a baked potato...and they told me that they couldn't do special orders until they realized that one serving of their mashed potatoes were 7grms of fat (more than Christopher can have in a day!). Please don't take this as I was not grateful for all of the people that helped is just you find challenges in surprising places at times!