Monday, November 17, 2008

Bricks falling

Well, it's been some time, hasn't it? But here's the rest of the story...

So, reality hit my family like a big brick falling on our heads. We were crushed and in pain.
So many emotions and thoughts ran through our minds. Anger, despair, disbelief, guilt and overwhelming sadness. We knew nothing of the road we were about to take, nothing about its twists and turns...we were just standing there, facing the road, without a GPS...

So, my son stayed 2 days in the ICU, and then the nurses moved him to the intensive care pediatric ward. He was finally receiving what he needed so desperately...INSULIN. His small body hooked up to the big insulin pump was a scary sight for us. But we knew, he was out of danger.

We met the endocrinologists and were surprised to see that they were friendly. The nurses were also so kind, asking me if I needed anything, and very warm to my son.

Then they hit us with another son would be wearing an insulin pump hooked up with a cannula on his behind. And WE would have to learn how to change the cannula ourselves at home, and WE would have to test him several times a day, by poking his fingers, and WE would have to learn how to administer Glucagon ourselves, in case of severe hypoglycemia. WE WOULD HAVE TO LEARN all We were not nurses, we had no idea how to do this...

We listened and watched as the nurses taught us things we never saw before, things we never imagined before, things we never wanted to know...and all, in front of my boy, whose eyes watched as his protective parents suddenly became the ones poking his little fingers, changing the cannula while he screamed...his parents who are not supposed to hurt him, suddenly had to, to keep him do find peace with this? Our hearts were aching, but the automatic pilot started setting in, and we learned slowly.

We also learned we would have to know more about nutrition than we ever thought...counting carbohydrates and learning how much units of insulin to give for them. Two years on, it's become a habit, but at the time, we never, ever imagined we would get the hang of it.

So, one week later, we were allowed to go home...with the bricks following us...

Monday, August 4, 2008

The stillness of time

October 3, 2006

My mom had left the previous weekend. My boys love her and kept asking about her. I missed her too. She allowed me to have some time to breathe.
My oldest boy, 2 at the time, had been drinking a lot for the previous week, but it was late summer and very warm, so I just assumed it was because of the heat. He had always drank a lot of water, because of another physical anomaly he had, so I was not suspicious.
Anyway, I found it strange that he had too have his diapers changed more often than his younger brother. I even commented to my husband 'With all the water he's drinking and how much he pees, you woul think he was diabetic.' But neither of us thought anything further...
Morning comes around, and I prepare both boys and myself to go with the oldest to kids' gym class. But he wasn't well, his eyes so drawn back, and his face a sick coulour...I asked him if he was ok, and he replied he was not, and didn't want to go to the class.
I tried to play with him, sitting down next to him, and playing with the trains and the wooden blocks. He just sat on the floor, not moving. His movements were slow, and it looked like he would have fallen asleep at any second. Poor kid, I thought, maybe he's catching the flu and has a fever. ..
No fever...
Shall I call the pediatrician? I wondered...I decided to wait until the evening. I even called my husband to let him know, and he agreed wait-and-see.
Forward to that evening...both kids in bed, sleeping. At 10:30pm, the oldest calls me. I heard him on the babyphone...'Mommy, I'm not well, come give me a hug.' His faint frail voice made me shiver at the time...
Tic, tic, tic, tic....countdown to heartbreak...
I go to his room, and find him sitting, looking lalmost lifeless...he says he's thirsty again, and I tell him how that that be possible, he just drank 1/2 hour before. I give him water, and he complains his mouth hurts. I thought 'Oh no, a throat infection.'.
I check his mouth, and I panic...his gums are dry, his tongue is dry and he smells funny....
Tic, tic, tic, tic....can't stop time
I scream for my husband, and he comes running upstairs. I tell him to take our boy to the ER, something is very wrong.
My husband leaves immediately, with our boy still in his pjs. news news
I keep calling my husband's cell-phone, but I know at the hospital it has to stay off.
I wait nervously by the phone.
Tic, tic, tic, tic...
12:30am, phone rings:
'Hi, it's me.' says my husband
'Tell me what's wrong. Something bad I just know it.' I say.
'He has diabetes...our baby has diabetes.' he says
' now? Is he going to die...' I ask.
'No. But he's very sick, severely dehydrated and his blood sugar is extremely high.' he says.
'Ok, but how, he's so thin...' I say.
'I have to go...we're going to the Children's Hospital. The doctor called an ambulance already. I'll call you back.'

I let the phone fall down, and I sat on the couch, million of thoughts running through my mind.
Then I picked up the phone and called my mom to tell her. I cried, and felt so guilty for no having known sooner. I wanted my mom to hold me and tell me everything would be ok. I wanted to go to the hospital and see my boy, and promise him everything would be ok. But I couldn't. My youngest was still in bed sleeping, unaware of all that was going on.
I then hung up and stared at the place on the floor where he had been sitting, lethargic for the whole day.
I started crying so hard I couldn't breathe. I started walking from room to room, wishing to find something to help me focus on the reality I knew I had to face.
I saw his sleeping toy...he needed to have it, he needed it...
I screamed from the pain. My heart was aching from the shock of the news. I felt like my whole being was slowly sinking into quick-sand. I held the toy and smelled it, and called upon all the gods of the universe to make the nightmare stop.
2:30am, phone rings. My husband tells me they've arrived at the Children's Hospital, and that our boy wants mommy to be with him. I said ok, come home, tell him he needs to stay a bit with the nurses, and that you come home, so I can leave and be with him.
My husband comes home. I leave, holding the sleeping toy. I don't know how I drove, but I got there.
I ran to the ER, and a nurse was already holding the door for me. 'Your son will be alright. He wants you and the toy.'
I saw him, hooked up to the big insulin pump, so heart stopped beating, everything stopped existing. It was just him boy.
I went to him, and he looked at me without saying a word. I gave him his toy, and he held it tightly against his nose, and sucked his thumb, and fell asleep.

The nurses came in very often to test his blood sugar levels.
The pediatric doctor on duty said we were lucky. He would not have made it through the morning, had we not taken him in that evening. 'He's very dehydrated, and very thin for his age. He has Type 1 diabetes. He will need insulin for the rest of his life. You will meet with the pediatric endocrinologists in the morning.'

That was the end of my life as I knew it....

(More to follow)

New things

Today is my first day on the blog.
Never done this, so not sure where it's headed.

So, about me.
I'm a mom to boys, 4 and 2.
Oldest has Type 1 diabetes, diagnosed at 2.

Guess that's where I'll start...about that day.
But not today, too tired.