Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Roller Coaster continues

After Selah's diagnosis - the hospital originally decided to admit her to be sure we kept her blood sugars lowered but not too low.

Minutes after Techno left (he had decided to drive home and sleep so he could work the next morning until time to pick us up from the hospital), the ER doctor returned to inform me that the hospital pediatrician would rather us go to Denver Children's Hospital and be admitted.  The local hospital wasn't quite equipped to deal with a pediatric diabetic.

Frantically, I called Techno to return -- hoping to catch him before he got too far out of town.  A not-so perk of living 30+ miles from the hospital.  Once he arrived, we began discussing arrangements to get us to Denver Children's.  Not long after, the ER doctor conveyed that the endocrinology doc at Children's felt there was no need for us to be admitted, but to come to the diabetic center first thing in the morning for training and a treatment plan with a diabetic team.  (We're certain the reasoning was our own knowledge of diabetes from Techno being a diabetic and the fact Selah was caught early. She had not gone into diabetic ketoacidosis.)  Blessings for sure.

Finally discharged, we headed to Techno's sister's house for a short hour or so of sleep before needing to awaken for our long drive to Denver.

Arriving right on time, we parked and registered.

Immediately we were taken to a check in room where Selah's sugars were tested and insulin was administered.

Next we were escorted to a room where we'd meet her endocrinologist, a nurse, a dietician, and a social worker -- our diabetic team -- that will be guiding us through this journey of managing Selah's diabetes during her childhood years.

They were all wonderful.

They acknowledged that we had 'better than average knowledge' compared to most parents of 'newly diagnosed children with diabetes'.  However, they wanted to be sure we were all on the same page with the 'new ways' of treating diabetes versus some of what Techno had been taught as a Type 1 diabetic when he was first diagnosed 30+ years ago.  They also understood that it's a bit different to treat your CHILD vs yourself or spouse.  Therefore, we got all the basic information, but we moved along at a faster pace than the typical family just getting this devastating news.

They taught ME - especially - how to check sugars (doing a finger stick, being sure to get the blood properly 'loaded' on the test strip, etc.) and how to administer her insulin pen shots.  They had me administer a small unit of saline to Techno-Genius to see 'how it feels' to put a needle through someone's skin.

I will say, even having done this 'trial run' with Techo, giving Selah her first 'shot' of insulin was quite heart wrenching.  She had been given several shots, an IV, and numerous finger sticks by nursing staff up to this point (all of which were painful and scary), but... she cried SO HARD when I had to give her the shot, it made my heart break.

Tears flooded my own eyes as I held her after the fact.  Emotions.  Fear.  Sadness.

After a VERY long day -- arriving at 7:45am, leaving at 3:15pm -- we headed out to purchase Selah a 'special bag' to carry all her diabetic supplies.

Part of our 'training' included receiving a lot of supplies and materials we'll need to manage and understand her care.  Books.  Pamphlets.  Insulin and pen.  A blood glucose monitor.  Test strips.  Ketone strips.  They also gave her a bracelet to identify that she has diabetes in case there's ever an emergency.  Of course, she chose a pink one.

As we left they also gave her a special little teddy bear that she named Brown Rose (b/c she is brown, after all.)

Driving home a friend texted and asked how Selah was doing.  I responded that she was doing pretty well, considering.  She seemed to understand the gist of what was going on (for a 6 year old). However, I felt that she appeared to think each finger stick or shot would be the 'last one'... until we told her we had to do it all over.... again.... and again.  Such a heavy feeling to see the fear in her little face.

Then my friend asked how I was doing.  My response?  'Depends on the moment.  Overwhelmed; scared: afraid of messing up; fearful I won't be able to figure out the carb/correction ratios of her insulin;  flabbergasted by how our life is needing too change; flustered by how difficult simply planning and making dinner will now become; afraid of her long term future; knowing much of the stage I set now will impact her health as an adult; thankful for the advances in medicine and the fact we knew the warning signs and caught this early; hating that this is a lifelong journey she has to travel - one I wish I could 'take for her'.  In a nutshell?

I'm.    all.    over.     the.    place!

We grabbed dinner out.  I successfully tested her blood sugar; calculated her correction factor; figured out the carb ratio to determine the amount of insulin to give; and administered her insulin.  All while IN a restaurant.  Selah cried less this time -- which made it a bit easier.

Then we made our way home.

The older kids were up and had lots of questions.  We had to prepare for her evening dose of long lasting insulin so the kids were able to watch and learn.

Techno gave them some basic information about diabetes; about all we'd learned that day for Selah specifically; and I started demonstrating checking her sugar and giving her insulin.  All was going well.... her sugar was quite high so we called the on-call fellow for further instructions. While awaiting her return call, I got set to give her the night time insulin.

In 'teaching' the kids what and how to do this, I prepped her pen then got the injection site ready.  I placed the pen and needle and pushed.  Nothing was happening.  In all the talking and 'demonstrating' I had forgotten to actually fill the pen with her set dose.

She was already crying from the poke.  Yet, I had to stick her again. This time WITH insulin on board.

She cried.  I cried.  Some of my fears realized.  I. had. messed. up!

Techno-Genius reminded me it probably wouldn't be the last time.  We are, after all, human.

This really is a process. There's a lot to learn.  There's a lot to digest.  There's a LONG road ahead.

Tomorrow will be a new day with successes and failures.  With trials and triumphs.  With tears and laughter.

Here's praying for tomorrow.

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