Saturday, January 7, 2017

Evelyn and Type 1

I've been dwelling over how I am going to talk about this.  It has been 3 months since Evelyn's diagnosis and I still haven't had the words to explain and express all that has been happening.  So I am just going to start and see how this all ends up.  
I think I need to start a few months before her diagnosis.  It was about 6 months ago that we started to notice changes in her.  Her attitude was the first sign.  We thought it was food related, more so dyes in foods.  We ended up cutting all food dyes but her behavior was still really out of control.  She would have these complete inconsolable moments.  Full tantrums over really nothing. I thought she needed more discipline so I bought some books and started being harder on her.  More timeouts, more loss of privileges and oh so much yelling. I was losing it and I was so worried I was making it worse.  I was constantly yelling, raising my voice and I just didn't know what else to do.  Everything was a battle.  
School was great for her and she loved going but the mornings were terrible.  She woke up angry and I was frustrated and felt like I was just shoving her out the door.  The nights were the worst though.  She constantly complained about aches and pains, headaches and her stomach hurt.  Nearly every night it was a battle to get her to bed.  She struggled to sleep and most nights ended with a tantrum of throwing pillows and us yelling and taking away privileges.  
Then I started to notice that she was drinking a lot of water.  She was so thirsty she just couldn't quench it. One day she drank over 150 ounces.  One weekend she woke up 3 times to go to the bathroom. 
She looked thin but she has always been thin and now with school and more activities she was moving all the time.  Her eating had increased so I thought she was going through a growth spurt and maybe that is why she had these aches and pains.  All the symptoms were explained away.  I mean I never thought something was seriously wrong, probably just a virus.  
I made a doctor appointment for Thursday.  I was thinking maybe I will just have her checked to be safe.  Then on Tuesday I waited for her to get off the bus.  The driver said she didn't get on so I stepped onto the bus and she was sleeping.  I knew something was wrong so Mike and I decided I would take to urgent care that night.  
We waited in the office and she was starving.  I told her if she listened to the doctor when we left we would get McDonalds.  Mike called and asked me if they were admitting her.  I quickly responded with a no.  I was sure she was just getting sick. 
The doctor took blood work and did a urine sample.  We waited for the results.  
Then the doctor came back, pulled her chair up close to me and said Evelyn had Type 1 diabetes.  Her blood sugar was 778 and should be 80.  They were admitting her right away because she was close to going into a diabetic coma.  I was stunned, speechless and I looked at Evelyn and I immediately felt so so sad.  I had missed every sign.  I spent days so many moments yelling at her when it wasn't her fault.  This poor girl was really sick and I as her mom, I had missed it.  The guilt over took me.  
I called Mike and he called a neighbor to watch Jack so he could come and be with us at the hospital.  
In the hospital they hooked her up with an IV, started fluids to hydrate her and got her stable.  I stayed until she was settled and then headed home at 2:00 in the morning and stayed with Jack while Mike stayed with Evelyn.  The next afternoon Evelyn was discharged and we headed to the cities to start our education and meet with our new Pediatric Endocrinologist team.  We spent the next 3 days learning how to give Evelyn insulin shots, how to check her blood sugar, how to feed her, count carbs and to start our new normal.  Sometimes 12 finger checks a day multiple shots and constant monitoring, just to keep her alive.  
Type 1 Diabetes is an Auto Immune Disorder.  It effects 1 in 400 children.  It is not genetic, not preventable and not curable.  Evelyn needs insulin every single day in order to live. If not controlled properly future complications occur such as blindness, heart disease, nerve damage and the list goes on.    
I mean think about that, if you really think about it, it can overwhelm you, consume you.  So many changes ahead for her, for us.  No more mindlessly grabbing a some goldfish when she's hungry.  No more just having ice cream for fun on a sunny afternoon.  No more just leaving her with a babysitter.  She needs to be monitored and checked all the time.  She needs carbs to be counted at each and every meal and snack. Her insulin needs to be adjusted for activity.  So many shots.  So many pokes.  
This girl, this girl of ours.  She's a rockstar and she has taken these changes better than I could have ever hoped for.  
I am still struggling and trying to accept all of this.  I am physically going through the process and doing what needs to be done but mentally I really am not where I need to be yet.  I just haven't fully accepted that all of this is our new life.  
It has been almost 3 months and she is better.  She has gained back the weight she had lost and she has adjusted to the shots and new process of eating.  
I feel thankful that we caught this when we did and that we are helping her feel better.  Her attitude it back to normal.  She is a joy to be around.  
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us with good thoughts and words of encouragement.  
I will be doing updates and keeping you all informed on how her progress is going.  
Thanks for reading!   

Evelyn the day she was admitted to the hospital.  

Evelyn today.  Happy and much healthier!