Archive for February, 2007
Comments work, but I’ve gone into the code and changed things to make it clear where you can post them (adding an “Add Yours!” below each post). I keep my own blog with my geeky stuff here, but family stuff will show up on this one from now on. I might actually cross-post some things since my friends visit the other one a lot. Needless to say I haven’t posted to it a lot lately since we’ve been a bit busier than usual. I’m sure everyone understands.
Okay, so after mentioning it to several of you, I’m going to start sharing this page address. Knowing people will be viewing it gives us more incentive to finish it! Lol… The next steps are to add photo albums and information specific to Shealyn’s care (such as signs of low blood sugar, how to give injections, and her latest dosage ratios).
There are ‘categories’ in the right column to take you to the posts on each one of us. I’m sure Louie will be adding his soon. Feel free to browse around and add comments as you’d like. At least I think you can add comments already… That would mean I’d have to have technical knowledge and I leave that to my dear husband. =) Oh Louie?
So am I a bad mother if I bribe Kaitrinn with going to a birthday party so we don’t have to take her 45 minutes away to a ‘parade clinic’ this Saturday for her new dance class? Lol… She started a HipHop dance class a few weeks ago and has really enjoyed it. Apparently, some of the members are going to join in for the St. Patrick’s Day parade in a few weeks. We would have to order a t-shirt and pay for the clinic in order to march along. I showed her the calendar and explained that we also had a party we had been invited to and that I would honor whatever her choice was.
After further discussion with her, it became obvious that the sole reason she wanted to do the parade was to get the medal the coach said everyone would receive. Well that’s easy enough to fix! I pulled out our welcome papers and showed her the paragraph about the Dance Showcase in May where everyone gets a trophy for participation. A trophy trumps a medal any day in her book!
I got the call today from my OB nurse saying I passed the 3 hour glucose test. Yahoo!!! I soooooo needed to hear that right now. Adding Gestational Diabetes to my plate right now would just be too much. I have enough going on with trying to remember to sleep and eat enough for baby (and myself) right now while dealing with Shealyn’s insulin and sugars.
I go back on Tuesday, March 6th, for my 30 week appointment. I will also get another ultrasound done that day as well. They want to check on baby’s growth to make sure the high blood pressure hasn’t stunted his growth at all. Apparently, that can be a common complication. Cross your fingers for us.
Most visiting here will have already at least heard the short version of Shealyn’s diagnosis. I’m going to type out the long version here just to get it off my mind. *chuckle* I know some were interested in details so this will be the central place to send you to so I don’t have to keep reliving it in the meantime.
We (including Papa) noticed that Shealyn’s thirst had recently increased. However, she had gone on jags before where she varied the amount of food and drink she consumed so we didn’t think much of it. Excessive urination soon followed and things got interesting. She is currently potty training and would get upset because she would have an accident just ten minutes after going potty. That’s just not right! However, it still just really fit in with the fact that she WAS consuming more liquids than normal and we let it go. On Thursday, 2/8, she got more and more upset if you tried to distract her away from having more to drink. She didn’t care if it was juice, milk, or water. She just HAD to have something to drink. She isn’t usually that sensitive with something like that. She then woke up at least four times in the night with bad foot and leg cramps. I pulled back her comforter when she screamed there was something on her foot and found her foot literally bent in half. That’s when my stomach dropped. I knew muscle cramping could be from dehydration, but how could she have that when she going more, not less, than often??
I called the Pediatrician as soon as the office opened the next morning and got an appt. for 10:00. I left Louie a message to let him know I got in and headed off to pick up Papa so he could watch Vee for me while at the Ped. office. I could tell the nurse and Dr. took my concern seriously, but of course they assumed there was a simple explanation like some type of infection. I can still picture Dr. Bell’s face when he got the results back from the urine test. He just slowly shook his head and said he had to immediately send us downstairs to the lab for a blood panel because her Ketones and Glucose were much more elevated than normal. I totally knew at that point… it was going to be confirmed Diabetes. I just felt it in my gut.
I left Louie another message saying it wasn’t looking good and impatiently waited our turn for the blood draw. I started planning ahead and decided to call Ginger (my MIL) to let her know this was a possibility and we may need her help soon. After holding Shealyn in a full body-lock with the help of another nurse, we finally got the blood drawn that they needed. Shealyn actually had one of the nurses in tears because she was _pleading_ “Please stop” and “Please don’t” the entire time. We then headed back upstairs to wait for the results. It seemed like an eternity, but was probably only about 20 minutes.
I suddenly understood that she could be in current danger when I overheard Dr. Bell in the hall telling the nurse, “I don’t care if they are backed up! I may need to get this girl to the hospital immediately. I need the results NOW!” I looked at Shealyn, happily reading a book and talking away, and my heart just broke. She had no idea that her life was about to change dramatically. Life was now going to be different for everyone in the family and those differences were going to last a lifetime. Dr. Bell soon returned and said that her glucose was too high to even measure accurately at their lab. That meant it was over 600 (and normal is about 150 apparently). I calmly said, “Is there another possible cause for this or are you telling me that I’m now the parent of a diabetic?” His reply was simply a comforting hand on my shoulder and “You are the parent of a diabetic”. He then said she was not in immediate danger of Ketoacidosis (body burning fat for energy and can easily land one in ICU) though, but she would have to be admitted for monitoring and glucose regulation for a while.
I called Louie, fighting back tears for Shealyn’s sake, and barely managed to squeak out the words to say he needed to come home. I called Ginger again and got her on her way. I wanted someone to take Vee in the meantime and be home in a few hours to meet Kaitrinn when she returned from school. I didn’t know if Papa (my father, Jack, who has been an insulin-dependent diabetic for 50 yrs) would want to join us at the hospital or not, so I needed a backup plan. I brought him back from the waiting room and we waited while Dr. Bell struggled to find us a hospital bed. By the time we we got a Dr.’s name and hospital location, the entire family was waiting at home for us. I called my mom in WI on the way home and dropped the total bombshell on her as well to let her know what was going on. I walked in our house to find Stan, Amy, James, and Ginger there while Louie was packing our suitcase.
We were to let her eat some lunch and then get on our way to Duke Children’s hospital in Durham. We all just stood in the kitchen and I felt like it was a dream. A short 24 hours earlier, none of this had been imaginable and now it was our new reality.
Papa and I took Shealyn and Vee to a friend’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s today. I have now officially had my first ‘battle’ as the parent of a diabetic and it took less than a week. *laugh* The server appeared at the table with a stack of cups and two pitchers of Sprite. I put my arm in front of Shealyn and simply explained, “She can’t have Sprite. I will take care of her.” She looked at me, nodded, and then promptly picked up Shealyn’s cup to fill it with Sprite. Ummm..excuse me? “Miss? No thank you. She can’t have Sprite. I will get something else for her over there.” The server then walked to the other side of the table to continue filling cups. I figured it was over and picked up Shealyn’s cup to go fill it with Diet Coke instead (Let her have the treat of soda like everyone else, but without any carbs). I turn to see the woman get a NEW cup for her, fill it, and place it in front of her. Oh Good Lord now! What part of “She can’t have Sprite” is difficult to understand!?? I had to tell one of my friends to watch and make sure she wasn’t served it while I hustled over to get her something else. It was such a simple thing, yet so ridiculous at the same time. Would the Sprite hurt her? No, but with the amount of carbs that are in it, I definitely need to know if she has consumed it in order to properly measure her insulin.
It isn’t until you seriously start looking at carbohydrates and portion sizes that you notice it is TOUGH to measure some things even at home! (I won’t even get into going out just yet.)
Take grapes as an example. We have a book on carb counting handy. When you look up grapes you get a couple of main groups: American, and European.
Which one would you pick? If you picked American you’d be wrong in our house. American grapes are slip-skin, which means that you usually slide the thick skin off and eat the inside. European grapes are the green or red variety you commonly find in grocery stores or restaurants around here.
So now you know you have European grapes. How many carbs are in a given portion size? The book says it’s 28 in a cup, or a certain amount by weight. We don’t have a scale yet so the weight measurement is out. The volume measurement seems bad to me because there could be a huge variance in the amount in a cup based on their size or shape. From 20-50 percent of that cup could be nothing but air. What to do?
I went online and found that the ADA says that there are 9 carbs in 10 green or red European grapes. OK… but what size are the grapes? It doesn’t say.
I ended up measuring out “a cup” of grapes and compared the number of grapes in that against the carbs listed on the ADA web site. Things appeared to work out alright. I went with the 9 carbs in 10 grapes formula and kept a count of what Shealyn ate. That was easy! She’ll eat as many grapes as I give her.
We’ve done this work for Jack before so it didn’t come as much of a surprise. However, he usually does all of his own counting and I know he has to fudge it some. Jack has had decades to learn how to do that. We’re amateurs! I think we’ll eventually need a scale to get this right.
Though we may also use it to share other things, the main purpose of this site is to share information with friends and family about our daughter Shealyn, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on February 9th, 2007. She’s handling things wonderfully (even better than Kaycee and I!) and continues to amaze us with her patience and ability to accept plenty of unwelcome additions to her daily routine.
I’m considering a way to easily track Shealyn’s glucose levels here along with sharing/updating information on her daily regimen. Paper versions of things always get outdated, so the web makes a wonderful place to keep things current. What I create may come in the form of a WordPress plugin which is something other people could use for the same purposes if they find it helpful.
All of this is just beginning. I appreciate you all bearing with us as we work through it!
Thanks and love,