Hello Everyone, and Good Morning.
This past week has been one of the most chaotic in recent history for us here in the McCormick household. Monday, I took my son Marcus to the doctor because he hadn’t been feeling well. After they performed a urine test and finger poke test, it was confirmed he was a full blown diabetic. I was in shock. I suppose I shouldn’t have been, because he has been drinking over a gallon of water a day, peeing constantly, dropping weight and more for at least a few weeks now, and sleeping almost constantly. Granted, I really did believe the sleeping portion was age related but nonetheless.
They immediately sent us over to the children’s hospital because his numbers were quite literally off the charts. The glucose meter was reading HHH, which apparently means his sugar was over 300, and the urine test was showing large amounts of sugar and ketones in the urine. I made a quick stop at home, grabbed a couple things and flew to the hospital.
We got there and he was evaluated in the ER, and after more testing (blood work) was done, the ER doctor told us he would be admitted to the PICU – Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. He was in Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) and essentially, his body was eating itself and attacking itself. This is the end biggest emergency for diabetics, and can lead to coma and death of not treated immediately.
His sugar was over 500, and he had a level of 150 with his ketones. A normal person has a blood sugar that ranges anywhere from 80-120, before meals. At the time where he had his testing done, he hadn’t even eaten for 8 hours or so.
He was extremely sick. He needed immediate intervention, and that’s exactly what he got. When we were taken to the ICU and he was settled into his bed, there were no less than 4 medical professionals buzzing around the room, getting him hooked up to IV’s and drawing more blood, and the head doctor came over, introduced herself, and told us what we could expect and what exactly was going on.
She said there was a slight risk that in treating the DKA, that he could develop cerebral edema, or swelling of the brain, due to the large amounts of fluids they were pumping him with alongside insulin. That terrified me. But she did reiterate that the risk was small, and that she had only seen this happen 3 times in the past.
He made it through those scary 12 hours okay, and past the 12 hour point we would be in the clear for that risk.
He was in the PICU for over 24 hours, until the ketones were at a safe enough level for him to be transferred to the regular floor.
Over those next few days, my husband and I learned to become medical professionals to some degree. We learned to give and dose injections based off of carb ratios and blood correction sliding scales. We learned to test for ketones and what to do if he were to have a hypoglycemic event. We learned different ways to help him bring his sugar up and how to bring his levels down if they were too high. My husband spent every night with him in the hospital so I could be here with the baby and other kids. I spent all day there with the baby. It’s been a nightmare.
I was grateful that he was at Golisano Childrens Hospital, though, because I knew hwoulde be in the best of hands. I have unfortunately had a lot of experience with the hospital due to Ambers heart condition, and Richi’sNICU stay.
Wednesday night he came home, and since then, nearly every moment has been spent getting used to our new normal.
So, now, I am the mother of a Type 1 Diabetic.
I never saw this coming.
I will be taking at least the next couple weeks to get used to all of this, get the hang of it, and learn as much as I can. I want to find a way to connect with other diabetes moms in my area and learn from them. I’m a mess. But I’m getting by.
It’s a serious struggle. You guys, I could never have imagined how difficult it is to care for a child with an illness like this. It’s so emotionally taxing. I can only pray it gets easier.
I appreciate the friends who were there to offer support and encouragement during this time. And to all of you, I will be around as I can. I do have some fun blogs planned for the near future, so don’t go anywhere! This hiatus is only temporary.