6 months ago today, we were in Children's ICU. I wasn't sure anything in life would ever be ok again. 6 months later, I'm still not 100% sure, but it's getting better. Here's what I've learned in the past 6 months:
1. Doctors make mistakes. I knew this already, but now I know it on a very personal level. We went from a diagnosis of mono to the ICU in DKA in less than 48 hours. No hard feelings, doctors are human and they make mistakes just like the rest of us. But there has GOT to be a push for doctors to do a simple blood or urine test for kids that come in with those symptoms....tired, dehydrated, weight loss, thirsty. A simple test would have started my child on insulin 2 days earlier.
2. I CAN do this. God gives me strength to fight this battle every day.
3. My child is amazing. Another thing I already knew, but now I know it on a whole new level. He calculates carbs and insulin at every meal and snack, pokes his fingers to test his blood 4 or more times a day, injects insulin at least 4 times a day, and pays attention to his body every second in case he starts feeling low. He carries a bag of supplies everywhere he goes. He is my hero.
|At least 4 finger sticks per day.|
4. There are some really amazing people in this world. In the last 6 months I have been introduced to the DOC (diabetes online community). Facebook, Twitter, forums, blogs, etc. These people ROCK! They have helped me learn so much. I had no clue that I could meet people online and feel so CONNECTED! They are my daily support in all things diabetes.
5. Carb counting. A can of Rotel has 10 grams of carbs. An average sandwich has 25. Tortilla chips are about 2 grams of carbs each. That's just the beginning of all the numbers I have floating around in my head, and I know more are to come.
6. New vocabulary. Basal, bolus, insulin-carb ratio, glucagon, DKA to name a few. Plus some others that have taken on new meaning - high, low, low treatment, d bag (gotta keep that sense of humor!), shots, pokes, giving the finger, shooting up. On and on that list goes.
7. My son can still enjoy all the activities he has always enjoyed. He needs to test his blood sugar more often during some activities, but no activities are off limits!
|Lead snare for marching band|
9. Candy isn't bad. Sometimes it's a lifesaver. Literally. Skittles are his favorite low treatment.
10. Stomach viruses can cause carb absorption problems. Very little insulin was needed for DAYS after the virus was over.
11. There is no "right" amount of insulin. The body needs what it needs. The dosage amounts are different for every person, and can even be different for the same person on different days. There is no rhyme or reason to it.
12. The expected life span of a type 1 diabetic is equal (or near equal) their non-diabetic peers. Complications can be prevented or at least delayed by keeping blood sugar in range as much as possible.
13. There is no such thing as stability or control. We can simply learn how to manage it.
14. Other illnesses are no more likely than they were before, but the effects of those illnesses can be greatly magnified. Some illnesses that can normally be treated at home can put a type 1 in the hospital.
15. There is much left to learn so that we can KDA every day. Until a cure is found, the ultimate way to KDA!