Update on Little One’s Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis

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Many of you were aware from posts on my scenario sites and on facebook that we took Little One to the doctor in Tyler yesterday morning and were referred to Dallas Children’s Hospital ER for a diabetes intake. Here’s a look into our crazy last 2 days.

So, this morning about 10:30 she was sleeping and I had a few quiet moments to answer some of your questions…Then by 10:40 it was a madhouse until now…

About 3 weeks ago I noticed that she was asking for something to drink almost constantly. I mentioned to hubby that we needed to watch it. She had a 24 fever bug on NY’s eve and just hasn’t been her self since. Lots of moments where she’s irritable and snuggly – like when a child has a fever and hasn’t had any tylenol yet. By last week she was drinking about 64 oz a day and passing just as much. I finally said enough is enough and took her to the dr. So that’s how this all started – no major passing out etc.

The first test run in Tyler was a urinalysis to look for something called ketones that indicate she is passing sugars. There were none, but there was blood. Evidence would say infection instead of diabetes, but didn’t explain a nearly 3 lb. weight loss over the past 4 months. After he saw how much she was drinking and passing while we were there, he decided to go ahead and test blood sugar levels. They did the simple finger prick but after 4 tests the levels were too high for the meter to read them. They also took a vial for a more in depth test looking at her blood sugar levels over the past month but I never got those results. He recommended we pack and head for Dallas Children’s. His diagnosis was type 1 diabetes, but hoped for our sake that it would be ruled out by the endocrinologist.

We’ve seen a pediatric endocrinologist in Tyler for the past 3 years, but he moved and hasn’t been replaced. The other drs. in Tyler aren’t really trained to handle kids this little. She wasn’t comatose or otherwise at a dangerous position because we caught the symptoms so early so it didn’t make sense to admit her to the ER in Tyler and send her to Dallas via ambulance. I called hubby to come home from work, made plans for brother to stay with neighbors/friends and packed bags.

We registered, got through triage & were admitted to ER in about 30 mins. Typically when they see diabetic kids they are in ICU, so again we were thankful. Her starting blood sugar level in ER was 635, 5-6 times what they want for her age. She wasn’t able to eat or drink anything and by this time did have ketones. Only fluids for a couple of hours and then they started insulin. The ER staff was wonderful about checking on her and distracting her from all the IVs etc. Nothing phased her (as we suspected). Her blood sugar responded well to the fluids and eventually insulin, but every time they were about to move her to a hospital room her blood sugar dropped too quickly, had to be raised by glucose, then we’d have to stay in the ER for another hour. We got in her room between 10 and 11.

They were in her room every half hour through the night, so there was little sleep for any of us We had some back and forth on her blood sugar overnight, but it dropped to the 70s by morning. They raised it back up and started her on insulin shots first thing this morning. My husband had to drive back to Tyler to work today since there’s no job protection for medical emergencies when you’re a part time employee. We’re juggling 4 part time jobs between the two of us to make ends meet since he lost his job, but without insurance for Little One we absolutely cannot take any risks that we’ll be short income.

It’s been a whirlwind today of education on managing the diabetes with diet, dosing her insulin and learning how to administer it. There have been sessions with dieticians, endocinologists, resident doctors and nurses, diabetes educators and financial counseling. All alongside unplugging her from the machines and carrying her to/from the potty. It was enough to push me over the edge multiple times, especially since my anti-depressants got left at home :-(

Even though she’s beginning to fight all the finger pricks and insulin shots, she is physically doing sooooo much better. She’s smiling and laughing and is alert. My parents made the 8 hour drive to our house late last night and brought brother over to visit this afternoon at the hospital. My husband will be back to stay the night and get some training in the morning and head back to Tyler at noon. He’s bringing my meds, pillow and a fan for white noise so I can sleep to handle another day. It’s funny how much 3 little things can make a difference :-) Thank you all for your prayers and encouraging notes. It’s looking like she’ll be discharged by Tuesday morning and ready to be a normal child again with her new friend insulin.

This is probably the first weekend in 3 years that my mind hasn’t been filled with mathematical scenarios of how to best roll the deals at Walgreens and CVS. While I do miss it, it’s been kind of nice to not have deadlines to meet :-)

I miss all my online friends and will “see you” soon!

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