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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Diabetes Dx Journey Part 2

***If you haven't read Part 1, then this post might not make sense. To read it, click here.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing when Elise's doc told us we needed to take her to Children's Hospital that night. I am so thankful that we were surrounded by some wonderful friends that were at our house for Elise's birthday party. They stayed with us until we had packed our bags, and even cleaned up our house.

We had also called some friends to see if they could look after our dog Seven while we were at the hospital. Pam and Michael live all the way in Richardson, but *just happened* to be in Irving at an event. If you don't know DFW geography, Irving is right on the way to the hospital from our house. Pam and Michael took wonderful care of Seven, even keeping her for a few days after we got home so we could get settled.

On the way to the hospital, all sorts of thoughts ran through my mind, mostly ones where I blamed myself for Elise being sick. It was hard to believe that my daughter, who looked as healthy as any other baby, had this horrible disease raging inside of her. I was also so scared of the unknown. I didn't know what this meant for Elise right now and in her future. And was praying hard, that somewhere, someone had made a mistake.

We checked into the hospital Saturday night and didn't leave until Tuesday afternoon. Those days were a whirlwind of doctors, nurses, information, education and lots and lots of tears. We learned what diabetes
is and isn't, how to test blood sugar, how to give insulin shots, how to count carbs and monitor Elise's diet so her blood sugar wouldn't get too high or too low, and what to do if it did.

I've made a lot of progress since we were released from the hospital a week ago. I can now give Elise her insulin without any help; something that would have sent me into hysterics before (I have a teeny-tiny aversion to needles. Actually, make that an incredibly huge phobia). I can more-or-less figure out her carb intake without getting a headache, although I still have a lot to learn in that department. Who knew algebra would EVER come in handy? Thank God I have a husband that uses that part of his brain... solving for x makes me cry.

And thankfully, I can look at my baby girl without the word "broken" tarnishing her beautiful face. I hate that I felt this way, but I'm beginning to see she's a little girl who happens to have diabetes.

Just like like I'm a girl (okay, woman), who has chronic back pain, or you're a person that suffers from migraines, or you might know someone with arthritis, or your brother who is autistic, or that girl you went to school with who had epilepsy. You get my point? We all have our stuff, and it sucks. But it shouldn't define us. We're not broken, the world we live in is. And one day my back won't hurt, and my little girl will never need to be poked with another needle, ever again.

6 comments:

  1. Wow that's such a sad story. I think it must be much worse to be a parent of a child with diabetes than the child (I was that child, T1, 22yrs), but all I can offer is that there is absolutely no reason why your little girl can't live a wonderful exciting life, should she choose :D

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  2. all the way from Australia and from a Portuguese background as well...
    Having a sister (older sister) with T1 diabetes for many years now, I know it to well what you must be going through... however, it is possible these days to leave a "normal" life, with all the help of medicine, doctors and mainly what we eat (as most of people with diabetes will need to go on some sort of dietary and exercise life style. I have prayed alot for my sister, and I can say that I owe alot to God for looking after her. God bless you all.

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  3. i know this is an old post Joanne...but i just wanted to say i LOVE your wording of "we're not broken, the world we live in is." That really hit home for me and i love how you worded it.

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  4. I found this blog because I googled the fatal error code for Dex. This was the only result. RIP Dex 7/31/11.

    After reading, I was surprised because my oldest, now three, was diagnosed not too long after yours was. Mine was diagnosed in April 2009, bg 876 in full DKA at children's in Houston. He was fine 24 hours before, crashed overnight, but made it through fine. You can see our first walk video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16N7H-cPdYM&feature=related

    The second reason I was surprised is that I grew up about quarter mile from Children's in Plano. Lived there from 1989 until I moved out after college. Charlie, my type 1, celebrated his first and second Christmases there.

    Small world, I guess.

    My email is amis29@hotmail.com if you want to talk.

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  5. It seems like similar stories are being repeated with greater frequency every year! Our granddaughter was diagnosed with T1D at 13 months old. She had the classic signs--very excessive thirst, heavy urination (flooding diapers), weight loss, craving carbs, and even yeast infections. So, a family member in the medical field brought over a BG meter. Her BG was in the mid-500s, and the rest is history. Thankfully, although there is NO history of T1D in our family, we were aware of the symptoms of T1D, so we actually caught it kind of early. My granddaughter only stayed in the hospital for about 3 days (no PICU needed, which is unusual). Today, she is a happy, healthy almost-3-year-old. She wears a CGM and pump, and her A1C is usually around 7.0-7.1 (very good for her young age). One not-so-great bit of news was discovering she also has Celiac Disease now, so that complicates life even further. But in spite of the challenges, she is thriving because of her wonderful parents. My daughter can relate to the videos you've posted. We've had some very....interesting conversations with people. Just last week, a co-worker asked me if my granddaughter had the high or low kind of diabetes. It was a sincere question, and of course, this gave me an opportunity to help her learn more about T1D. And last week when my daughter and granddaughter were on the local TV morning program to promote JDRF Walk for a Cure, the intro showed obese children swimming in a pool. (sigh) Hang in there fellow-D-Mom. You are not alone. God bless you!

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  6. My son was 11 months old when dx in 2010. He was in DKA and was very unwell. Emotionally it was hell, for me and the family but now, 3 years later, I've pretty much got over the shock. Luckily he went on a pump straight away, and with a few issues, we're doing ok. Nobody can quite understand how awful it is to have a baby dx'd. It was hell the first 6 months too as he was growing so quickly and blood sugars were all over the place. Anyway, saying hi from the UK.

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