Thursday, June 26, 2008

17 years ago today....

I had turned 11 years old a month prior, and was falling asleep on a cot in the back room of my mom and aunt's rural feed store. The day before, I had had my blood drawn at my family Dr's office. As I was dozing off, the phone rang. It was my Dr, telling my mom that my BG the day before was 660, and to get me to a hospital within the hour.

I arrived at the hospital in the late afternoon, admitted to the ER. They drew more blood and inserted an IV. A normally hefty child, I had dwindled to 67 lb, was in severe DKA and severely dehydrated. If there had been a PICU in that hospital, I'm sure I would have been in it. After they got things all squared away, I was moved up to a room upstairs. I was starving, and remember asking, "what can I eat for dinner?" The nurse kind of chuckled and said, "here's your dinner, honey," as she shook my IV bag. I think they may have given me half a sandwich later on.

My parents (divorced almost 3 years then) had known for a few days that I had type 1 diabetes, but the doctor my dad & step-mom had taken me to did not put me on insulin. He said I wasn't 'bad enough' to be treated yet, even though at his office my fasting AM BG was 183. He gave the advice to not eat sugar, to drink diet drinks, and he would recheck me in one to three months. I shudder to think what would have happened if my mom had not followed her gut instinct.

When I got back to mom's, she read all the pamphlets the doctor had sent home with me. Mom called many other doctors in the city nearest us and told them my symptoms and what my BG had been, and every one of them said I'd be put on insulin immediately. She even called the ADA, which I didn't know until talking about it with her in recent months. So she decided to take me to our family doctor, who wasted no time drawing blood and reassured mom he would call her as soon as he knew anything. In the meantime, she didn't let me out of her sight.

Later we believed that if I had fallen asleep that next day at the feed store, I may have well slipped into a coma. At the hospital, they were surprised I was coherent.

I remember having a low blood sugar that night during the night, but not knowing what it was at the time. I was scared, and didn't know I could call the nurse for help. I don't think that I would have known to ask for help! Thank God it musn't have been too bad. I don't even remember anyone coming to check my BG during the night. It amazes me how archaic treatment was even that short of a time ago. How can they load up a kid on an insulin drip and not be checking BG every hour or two??

The next week was very trying... I won't go into all the gory details, but my parents got bad enough that I was kept in the hospital longer than necessary so CPS could sort it out. I don't remember a lot of that. I do remember family coming to visit me, learning how to care for myself, check my BG, and give injections. They let me check any family member who was willing to undergo a finger poke, that was fun!

After leaving the hospital, we went to education classes on nutrition and D care. Looking back, I know these were geared more toward type 2, but they were still a wealth of knowledge for us. My mother pretty much handed me the reins of my D care and as a result, I feel that I matured much faster than I would have if she had handled everything for me. She did help me hold up the back of my arm occasionally for shots, but even that stopped after a while (she was still shaken by needles, and I soon figured out how to prop the back of my arm on the kitchen chair).

After a few years of struggling, we decided I needed a new Endocrinologist, as the one I saw wasn't a Ped. We found an awesome doctor about 45 miles from us, worth every mile of the drive! He always pushed me to try new treatments. When I first saw him, my A1C had been over 10. It improved drastically within the first year with him. He became like family, along with all the office staff. When I got my driver's license, my mom let my drive there alone (I'm still amazed she let her 16yo drive on I-94 alone!).

He worked on me for years about starting on a pump. I just never knew if I would like it or what it would be like. He never pushed me, just kept asking. Finally, at 19 years old, about 6 months after dh and I married, I agreed to do it. By the time I got my pump and started, it was February 2000. It was so awesome to finally be able to wake up with a good BG in the morning! I have the dawn phenomenon, and for over 6 years I woke up with BG over 300, no matter what we tried. In mid-April, we found out we were expecting Grace. What perfect timing that was!

Within a couple of months after my dx, mom told me a song she knew made her think of what we'd gone through. It was "Angel Flying Too Close to The Ground" by Willie Nelson.

If you had not have fallen
Then I would not have found you
Angel flying too close to the ground
And I patched up your broken wing
And hung around a while
Tried to keep your spirits up
And your fever down
I knew someday that you would fly away
For love's the greatest healer to be found
So leave me if you need to
I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground
Fly on, fly on past the speed of sound
I'd rather see you up
Than see you down
Leave me if you need to
I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground

I just wanted to share my experience with all of you. Hope it encourages you.


Anonymous said...

((( Iana ))) So glad you are still with us!


Thehotrod5 said...

WOW Iana! What a story!I can't imagine what that would be like. So glad your mom followed her instincts!


Paula said...

Iana, you've come a long way!
I wish you all the best.

StillMamamia ;)

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