Thursday, September 20, 2012

Let The Adventure Begin... has been a crazy couple of days to say the least. For those of you that don't know, Luke was diagnosed yesterday with Type 1 diabetes. We have learned a lot over the last 24 hours and I am sure we still have so much more to learn. But for now, the Dietician and the Diabetes Educator have taught us all that they can teach us today. I thought I would answer a few of the questions that we are most often getting from our friends and family while I have a few minutes.

What Happened? I noticed that around the time when the girls started school this year, Luke began to ask for more food and more drinks (in particular) than normal. He was crankier than usual and just all around not the same kid. I accredited this to the fact that his sisters were gone all day, he was bored, and just wanted entertainment. Over the last two weeks, his sleeping has been awful, his naps were getting shorter, his bedtime routine was becoming a problem (whereas he used to just go to bed and fall asleep with no fuss), and he wasn't staying asleep (he'd wake up and whine and need a drink; and even then it wasn't just a matter of him going right back to sleep like he used to do).

Last weekend, we took a surprise trip to Disney World with the kids and Grandma. We drove on Thursday night and into Friday morning. When he should have been sleeping he was waking up and pitching a fit for a drink every 20 minutes; which were then followed by bathroom breaks 20 minutes later. If we tried to tell him no drinks, he just screamed hysterically (no calming him down). This is very unusual for my little Luke. His mood became more irritable and liquid dependent throughout that Friday. Friday night was even worse and we got only a few hours of sleep. On Saturday while in the parks, he again just wanted to drink constantly! Even if we distracted him and didn't give him a drink, we stopped at a bathroom every 20 minutes and he peed a gallon. Finally we figured, if we are stopping anyway, we'll just give him the drinks to keep him happy. And by this point, he wasn't getting sodas or anything sugary. We were only giving him water because of how much he was drinking. This in itself is unusual. A few weeks ago, he wouldn't touch water. Now he was drinking 12 to 15 glasses a day plus three or four glasses of milk. Grandma mentioned that maybe we should just mention it to the doctor because those are the symptoms that her doctors ask her about regarding diabetes. And again, it was obvious that this was not his normal behavior. This started me thinking ( be honest, worrying) about my days as a gestational diabetic and that if he was having high or low blood sugars, it was no wonder he was so cranky. Will's words were, "Mom, don't tell her that stuff, just tell her that everything is fine." Amazing how men want to exaggerate everything until it comes to the health of their children.
Tuesday, Will talked with Robbi at the church and she mentioned that some of those symptoms were the same as what her grandson had when he had some kidney issues. The drinking and peeing continued Tuesday and then Tuesday night was so bad that he ended up in the bed with us and that never happens. So, we decided that we just needed to have our fears addressed so that if nothing was wrong we could do the tough love parenting and not feel bad about it. We really thought that we'd have a quick trip to the doctor and she would say we were overreacting and send us on our merry way. Of course, though, after peeing constantly for five days, when we need Luke to give us a urine sample at the doctors office it was about near impossible. 45 minutes later, after we get him to oblige, the doctor comes in and says, "well there was glucose in his urine and some keytones evidenced. I am waiting on a call from the Pediatric Endocrinologist to see what to do next. So, just make yourselves comfortable we could be a while." They did a finger stick to get a blood glucose reading. The doctor came back in and said, "It was 377, I just want to prepare you that usually when we diagnose new onset diabetes in children, we admit them to the hospital for a few days."

Let the phone calls begin.... Called my mom to come take care of the girls for a few days (she then had her own phone calls to make to prepare her household). Called the church to let them know that Will would be out a few days and we would not make it to AWANA (Bill then had phone calls to make to cover Wednesday service and AWANA stuff for us). Called Will's mom (she then made phone calls to let that side of the family know). Called Robbi to arrange pick-up for the kids from school.

Now for Sacred Heart....we walk right in and were put immediately into a room (better than checking into a hotel; no wait!) After the blood gas was drawn (which he still has a big cut from) we moved onto the IV. After three different tries and two nurses attempting the sticks in the wrists, we moved on to a third nurse and another stick in the inside of his elbow. This time she got it! Oh, but wait, she didn't tape it, so it came out. So, now, we have a fifth stick with an IV needle. Needless to say, by this time, he was crying, I was crying, and Will was in the corner trying not to pass out. Uncle Mike had shown up and he was there discussing the Vein Finder machine with the other nurses in the room. (For those of you that know him, you'll find that amusing.) Once that was over we went back to the room to work with the diabetes educator in figuring out how to manage and control his diabetes.


After the first finger stick and the first insulin shot, Luke learned that every time someone wheels something into the room, it usually means something not nice is coming. At some point last night, when Will was checking for keytones and had something in his hand, Luke looked at him and said, "Are you gonna cut me daddy? Please don't cut me." If that doesn't break your heart, then you don't have a soul!

During our education portion of the days, we learned that Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease and for some reason, the body decides to attack the cells that are producing insulin. After it destroys all of those cells the body doesn't have a way to produce insulin and there is no correction for this. This means insulin shots for the rest of his life.


They don't have any idea why this happens, there is no rhyme or reason for it. Nothing we did could have prevented it, caused it, or slowed it down. Nothing he ate or didn't eat could have helped. It is random and unexplainable. In Type 2 diabetes, the body still makes insulin, it just can't get the insulin to the cells that need it. This type is preventable, curable and can be controlled with diet. Type 1 can not be. Type 1 diabetes is NOT caused by a family history of Type 2 diabetes. It is no one's fault.


Our goals to get out of the hospital are to get the keytones out of the urine, go through all of the education classes, and get Luke's sugars regulated so that we will have a starting point for going home. The keytones are out of the urine, the education classes have been completed, and now we are just trying to get the sugars regulated so that we can go home. They are still swinging from the 120's to the 3 and 400's after he eats. We need them to stay between 80 and 180 most of the time.

Thank you all for your prayers and concerns! Thank you to everyone that is helping out with the girls and church. Please pray for the girls. They know that he has diabetes, but they are not sure why he has to be in the hospital and they want him home. They are worriers like their Mama.

Thanks again for the prayers, we hope to be home tomorrow.
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