jade in the parke

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

D has Diabetes, Part 2

I want to talk more today about what we had to learn in the hospital before we were released & D's reaction to these things. Click here if you want to know what I am talking about!
I seem to do better if I write it out chronologically.
  • During her first night here (Friday, June 22nd) in the quiet hospital room after everyone left, I spoke with her about people we know with Type 1 and mentioned Miss Elaine with whom she had just spent a week at Upwards Basketball camp. She paused and said with incredulity, "I am going to have this for the rest of my life?  She paused and said, "Well, Abby has Arthrogryposis and now I have this, so I guess there are two people in our family with things". Wow. Love my girl!
Ernie and Elaine

  • So this Elaine, a dear sweet woman who was my housemate prior to my marriage to Dad of JADE came over yesterday with her husband, Ernie. Elaine was so sweet to share stories of what it was like for her as a kid. The highlight: When she did a finger stick and tested herself and showed how she used her continuous pump. D promptly remarked at the next testing time, "I am SO getting the pump!"
This is a sample of a pump

  • The nurses & doctors want us to do all of the finger pricks to test her blood glucose and give the insulin shots while in the hospital to train us. Pricks and testing-we're not so good at. The glucose monitor and I don't have a good relationship. I guess unlike anything else I do, I must read the manual first. So the nurse is still doing the Lion's share there.  Shots we are getting down pat. (UPDATE: Since we are home it has been about 65% better. I don't know how I came up with that number!).
  • Between the finger prick/testing hubbub and the shots, comes math.
    • Math, I tell you! She is going to be an expert in multiplication and division before long!
    • The nurse has to have another nurse sign off on the amount of insulin to be safe and catch mistakes. It is VERY CONFUSING.  There are two formulas: One for the blood sugar being high and the other for the carbs consumed. This little Theatre major feels good about her quick math skills, but a little afraid at how easy it is to make a mistake. What will happen at home there are not three adults checking my math?
  • We are cuddling a lot and I am trying to get her to share her feelings. She asks when it hits her, "Will I be getting shots my whole life?" Gulp. It is sinking in for both of us.
  • Here's how the day rolls:
    • Before each meal, we test blood sugar, then look at the meal in front of her. Now mind you, this takes us 10 minutes as we have to look up servings & carbs. She can't eat until we finish (according to the nurses). We give her the food and she DIVES in while we add it up.
    • Then, to figure out the insulin, I look at the chart which shows the units of insulin she receives based on her blood sugar.  Then, I separately have a ratio set by the docs that spells out per 10 grams of carbs, how many units of insulin she will need. Then we add these 2 units of insulin needed together.
    • Units of Insulin (based on blood sugar testing) + Units of insulin to cover her meal (based on the carbs in the meal itself)=Unit of Insulin in her shot
    • After her meal, then she receives her shot.
Yesterday morning, her long awaited visit from her siblings arrived. She was so happy to see them.

The nurse sat down with them and taught them the signs of hypo and hyper glycemia and what to do. Give her sugar/juice for hypo, etc and if she's passed out, give her a shot from her glucagon (and we all practiced with fake and realy syringes and vials of saline.

  • This bear and book series has been invaluable.  She cries but does not fight the sticks and shots. She is such a trooper. 

Patches on parts of his body where he gets his insulin and red paws for blood  finger test.

Rufus, the bear, has a medic alert bracelet with "Juvenile Diabetes"  on the underside

  •  I was lying down at 8 pm last night for a little rest time before her endocrinologist, Dr. R was coming at 11PM. He observes Sabbath which ends at sundown and yesterday was one of the longest Sabbath days of the year! She read this to me struggling to read the words pancreas and juvenile.  After she was done, she said, "Oh, I now understand Diabetes better" in her sweet little voice.

From Top Left (Clockwise): Sweet D, Rufus the  bear, Rufus the book, Pink Lilly Camo bag for insulin, Green peace glucometer and testing strip holder and pink jelly "I have Type 1 Diabetes" bracelet.
She loves her swag!
 From now on, she will carry her Pink Camo purse (With Lilly tag inside). I told her that her buddies, Faith & Hope will be jealous of her Lilly Pulitzer bag. Later, I realized it was Eli Lilly based in Indianapolis, Indiana where I will be traveling today! More details to follow....

And, finally breaking out on Sunday afternoon!
PS-The second day home she went to the mail box and looked inside and wondered when her get well cards were coming. I think having a sister with a significant surgery half a year ago is in her mind.  SO...if you know our address and you would like to send her a little card, I am sure she would appreciate it!


  1. Lita, thanks for sharing the details of your new way of life. Praying for you all as you do daily math and learn how to manage this newest challenge. Still praying for you all daily...

  2. Thank you Amy for your kindness when we came home. I so appreciate the yummy soups too! Most importantly, thank you for praying for us!