About one month ago, my precious little Lovebug, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It has been a life changing event for the whole family. Through all the struggles and emotions, I have been blessed. Here is our story, up to now.
On March 26th, we started noticing that Lovebug was a bit more thirsty then usual. (which isn't uncommon for her to be once and a while) She was also leaking out of her diapers more often then normal. She did this on Friday and Saturday too. On Sunday and Monday mornings, she woke up just drenched, her sheets and blankets just soaked. We thought it was a little unusual for it to happen two mornings in a row but again, didn't think too much of it. We started to get a little worried she might be getting sick on Monday when she wouldn't eat anything for breakfast or lunch. All she wanted to do was drink. She was very grouchy and irritable that day too. We felt a little better when she ate a huge dinner that night. After she went to bed we decided to call the Doctor, just to be safe. We were more irritated with all the super wet diapers. We thought maybe it was just a phase she was going through. Anyway, the Doctor suggested it might be a urinary tract infection or possibly the onset of diabetes. We didn't think that either because she wasn't running a fever and hadn't at all, and diabetes don't run in my family. (that young anyway. Type 2 do later in life in both our families.) He suggested we bring her in the next day and get her urine tested. We said we would call in the morning and make an appointment.
When she woke up Tuesday morning, she was drenched, again. But this time her eyes looked sunken and she did not look well at all. We knew at that point something was wrong with her, but we still didn't think it was anything serious. (we didn't think it serious because Lovebug has been a VERY healthy kid, she has had colds and allergies but has never been on antibiotics.) We (I) called the doctor and got an appointment for later that afternoon. In the meantime, Tim had taken a comp day at work so he offered to stay home with her while I went to bible study. It gave him a change to have some one on one time with her. (Tim loves to do that) By the time I returned she didn't look much better. She wouldn't touch even her favorite foods. She would tell us that she didn't like it. When I got to the Doctors office with her she was a little lethargic. I wasn't sure what the Doctor was going to say at that point. While we were there he decided to test her blood sugar just to be on the safe side. When they did, it was so high the meter wouldn't read it. I was told to take her to the emergency room so she could be admitted to DeVos Children's Hospital. The Doctor said to expect to be there for a few days. By this time was a freaking inside but holding it together on the outside. There was a relief that we knew what was wrong but a fear that she was going to be in the hospital and she just doesn't do well with other people touching her. I pictured them having to sedate her to get an IV in and it was just a horrible feeling.
When we got to the hospital they got us in right away and got and IV and going and gave her some insulin. They also took blood for labs. She did surprisingly well for the Doctors. I think she was too sick to realize what was going on. She just whimpered a little when they put the IV in and gave her the shots. No weeping and gnashing of teeth like I had pictured there to be! I could tell when she started feeling a little better that night because she all the sudden wanted her IV out. (she had one of those splints on to keep her arm straight and a shield over her IV so she couldn't pull it out) She would tell me that it hurt and to take it off please, mommy. After Tim and I told her it had to stay on she, of course, did what any three year old would do and started screaming at us and crying. We had a big ordeal for an hour and a half but finally got her settled down. After that she slept most of the night.
The Doctors came back with the official diagnosis that it was Type 1 Diabetes. Her blood sugar was around 669 when we got to the hospital. The hospital told us Audrey had been assigned a Pediatric Endocrinologist and he would be in to see her the next day. Throughout the night they monitored her blood sugar and gave insulin shots. They also did more blood work as they tried to come up with the right dosages that Audrey would need when she got to go home. On Wednesday morning, with her blood sugar a bit more close to normal, (243) the Endocrinologist said we would be able to take her home once she was discharged and we got our training. It was all a bit overwhelming at first. When the Endocrinologist was talking to me saying four shots a day, plus blood sugar testing, plus carb counting and having to determine how much insulin she would need before each meal; I thought I was going to loose my mind. First of all, I HATE needles! Then the thought of all the other stuff I (we) were going to have to do to keep her healthy was just plain exhausting to think about. I was really doubting whether I could handle it or not. Well, Praise the Lord for diabetes educators because ours made it sound a WHOLE lot more simple then I thought it was going to be! Even the dietician was great at explaining stuff! By the time we left the Endocrinologists office I was pretty confident I could handle it at home. NERVOUS, but confident. It helps a lot that the shots we give her are with pens and not syringes. I think I would cringe a lot more if it was a syringe.
Now we have to check her blood sugar and give her a shot of insulin before every meal and before bed. At first we had to call the Endocrinologists office every night. We are down to calling or faxing in her blood sugars and insulin dosages once a week. It is getting easier. We have taken a few diabetes education classes and they have put Love Bug on an intensive therapy plan so our schedules can be a little more flexible. I can also manage it a little better myself, rather then relying on the doctors office all the time.
There will be more classes to take and I am constantly reading about and learning more about diabetes and ways to treat it. I am praying the we will be able to put her on a insulin pump sooner or later. Hopefully sooner. It would mean less pokes for Lovebug, I am for anything that makes her life a little easier right now. I am getting more comfortable with the shots. Lovebug is adjusting amazingly well. I am so proud of my little girl. She just seemed to grow up really fast as soon as we found out. It makes it all a little bitter sweet. Now if mommy could just get a little more used to it, we would be all set.
So now I feel like I am becoming a advotcate for Type 1 diabetes. I guess that is my way of coping, to some extent. I want to learn everything there is to know and keep up with the latest treatments available. I sometimes feel that is all I talk about, but now, it is life. Love Bug will have to have these shots for the rest of her life, and in a sense, so will I.
I am so thankful that through all of this, God is here watching over us. He has blessed us with so many wonderful friends and family. I know there will be bumps along the way yet but we are trusting God to get us through.