Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A few days at the hospital...

That first night, the hospital staff worked to stablize my daughter who was in DKA Diabetic Keto Acidosis- a life threatening condition that affects people who don't know they have diabetes as well as anyone with type 1 diabetes whose blood sugar goes high enough for long enough to get ketones in the blood. We didn't stay terribly long that first night because the two little ones were with me and were very active, but we stayed long enough to drop off the clothes, and reasssure my daughter without making her sad with a long stay and tears and such. My husband was great with her and said we have things under control here. When I left they were smiling.
The next day I had an appointment with a diabetes educator. I was looking forward to that because if anyone needed diabetes education it was certainly me. She would teach me to count carbs and give my daughter blood sugar tests and injections, something I couldn't yet picture myself doing.
All went well the next day, they said her blood sugar was still high but it had come down from the 800 plus it initially was and was hovering around 300 if my memory serves me correctly. She had eaten regular hospital food including pizza for breakfast because hey it was offered and it was yummy. The juice box on her night stand didn't worry me at the time. She had always drank juice.
The diabetes educator was awesome because she was able to cut through everything, my worries, my guilty feelings, and the background antics of my 1 and 2 year old and explain exactly what diabetes is and exactly what I needed to learn before my daughter's release.
When it was time to test my daughter's blood sugar for the first time she prevented me from falling apart in tears by repeating patiently what it was I needed to gather up before I begin. the test strips, the lancing device, a fresh needle, and of course the meter. I couldn't find anything, and felt panicky. Then I got it all together and had to prick her fingers twice before I could get blood and she said ow.
I don't remember what her number was at that time and I wouldn't have been sure if it was a good number or a bad one.
Either me or my husband would be responsible for counting carbs and checking her blood sugar day and night until she was old enough to do it , then she would have to do it herself for the rest of her life. I immediately felt more sorry for her than for me. I would only have to manage her diabetes for a few years, she was stuck with it for life.

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