Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Same Old Fears Different Day

Most days I can forget how dangerous Type 1 diabetes is.   I can forget the havoc it wreaks on the body and on the mind.  I can forget that it kills.  I guess it’s a defense mechanism.  If it was at the forefront of my mind all the time I would go insane.  I have to convince myself that if we just check sugars and dose with insulin all will be well.

But, then something like night before last happens and it all comes crashing down.  All the fears I keep tucked safely in the back of my mind come tumbling out of my head and fill up my heart. 

It started out like every other night with a quick check of the sugar before he went to bed.  All seemed well.  Every check thereafter was higher than the next.  He would get a dose of insulin and 1-2 hours later his sugar was the same or higher.  And, let me stop right here and say:  I know I should have dosed him with a syringe.  I know, I know.  I have no excuse.  But, I am human and sleep-deprived.  My plan was to get him through the night and change his needle first thing in the morning.

Fast forward a couple of hours.  His sugar was 466.  I could not tell you how long it’s been since I’ve seen a sugar that high.  I knew I had to do something.   As tired as I was I knew I had to change his needle.   He awoke and said he needed to use the restroom.  Of course with a sugar that high I expected nothing less.  But then he said his stomach hurt and he felt like he was going to be sick.  He heaved but nothing ever came up.  And I knew with guilt only a mother can feel that he had ketones. 

I had him gulp water to try to flush them out.  I changed his needle. When I removed the old one the cannula was completely bent and flat.  He had not been receiving any insulin.   He hung off the bed feeling horrible.  Usually when I have to change his needle in the middle of the night he puts up a lot of resistance.  Not this time.  He just felt too bad. 

An hour later I was up and checking his sugar again.  It was coming down nicely, thank God.  I leaned over and kissed his cheek and smelled that familiar smell that parents of kids with Type 1 know anywhere, the sickly sweet smell of ketones.  I haven’t smelled it in years and years, but you never forget that smell.

And, then there was more guilt.  I should have changed his needle sooner.  I should have given him a dose of insulin with a syringe.  I should have not been worried about sleep.  I should have….

Then the “what ifs” started.   What if I’d not checked his sugar all night?  What if it was too late when I finally changed his needle and he went into DKA?  He could have ended up in the hospital.  He could have died.  What had those sustained highs done to his eyes, his heart, his kidneys? 

November is National Diabetes Month.  I haven’t been as vocal about it is as I should have been.  To say I’ve had a lot going on is an understatement.  Still, I have to remember what’s most important and that’s the health and well-being of my child. 

I’m not being dramatic, he could have died.  If I hadn’t of caught it early enough and done something about it, he could have slipped into a coma and died. 

So, my friends, I’m asking for your help.  Please donate today in honor of my little man.  Dr. Faustman is doing awesome research that I believe will one day lead to a cure for Riley and all the others who deal with the needle sticks, the restrictions, the fears every single day. 

If you would like to help go here and donate.  Every little bit helps.  Also, Saturday is my birthday.  Want to get me something?  Well, I’ll take a cure for Riley please.  Your donation can help make that possible. 

One day he will sleep through the night without worry.  He will run and not have to check his sugar.  He will see a cupcake and just eat it without figuring carbs and debating whether it’s a good idea for him to even eat it.  Would you like to be a part of making that happen?