Our first few days are kind of a blur but I will try to recall the important stuff. If you are facing a new on set of type one in your family, this stuff does become routine and you do adjust to your new life. You have to look at it as a new normal though and not try to look back at what life used to be like. That is how I got through the first week and still get through. I know that our life will never go back to the normal we knew before the diagnosis of T1D. We are making the best of our new normal that we can.
Tuesday morning Bekah was moved in to a room on the regular pediatric floor. They had brought her BG level down from 856 when we were first admitted, to around 300 (a normal healthy BG is around 100). We had some fairly good nurses and overall felt like we were well taken care of. We were given two options for our insulin regimen. The one we chose is Novalog and Lantus. Novalog is a fast acting insulin to be given with meals and Lantus is given once a day as a base line working with the sugars produced by the liver and stays in the system for approximately 24 hrs. That is 4 shots a day. The other option was less shots but also less flexibility as to when and amounts that Bekah could eat. I wanted to make sure Bekah didn't feel a total loss of control in all of this so more shots seemed to be a better option for us. We can switch at any time so I figured it's best to start with the most shots and switch if the shots are a big problem. So far it seems to be a good option and allows Bekah the control of eating when she wants and pretty much what ever she wants. We have a goal of about 60 carbs (grams of carbohydrate) per meal and 2 snacks of 15 carbs each, but she has a lot of flexibility with in those goals.
Tuesday afternoon Jason began to feel dizzy. I thought it was from lack of sleep and stress. It probably was but instead of getting better he continued to get worse until my father-in-law came and wheeled him out in a wheel chair and took him to the clinic on Wed morning. He was diagnosed with vertigo. He was really sick. I never knew someone could get vertigo that bad. I have had small bouts with it before a migraine but never as bad as he had it. He ended up being sick for over a week. Wednesday also, our 14 year old son began having chest pains. Again I'm sure it was stress (it tuned out to be stomach problems and as I am writing this, almost 8 weeks later, he is doing much better) Monday we had been notified that our bank acct number had been stolen and someone had charged a bunch of stuff totaling over $900. We had the added challenge of trying to figure out how to eat at the hospital with no money. I couldn't worry about all that was going on around me I just had to look to Christ as my rock. I kept singing "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand..." (mostly in my head but at times would blurt it out loud).
My sisters and my mom were my unsung heroes the whole week. My mom took care of Josh and Megan, making sure they were at school on time and had all that they needed. She knew that Josh didn't need to go to the ER when he had chest pains, that he just needed to rest so she made the necessary arrangements for him. My sister, Tammi, was able to drop everything and come to Vancouver from Puyallup. She took care of David. My job had to be to concentrate on Bekah's needs because Jason was sick so David had to settle for second best. Tammi makes a pretty awesome second best! My other sister, Polli had to work so she couldn't come. She is a nurse and knew exactly what we needed. She sent a gift to Bekah and then called the hospital and paid for a food card for us. I am so blessed to have such an awesome supportive family.
Education, education, education....that was what was on the agenda. I needed to know how to manage Bekah's diabetes and the educators needed to know I knew what I was doing. I can't say enough about the wonderful diabetes staff at Emanuel. We have a Pediatric Endocrinologist along with a myriad of educators, many of whom are people with T1D themselves. When I told Dr. Hunter of all that was happening with my family and how I felt like I needed to get home ASAP she was awesome to schedule a ton of stuff for us in one day and released Bekah as soon as we got through it all. I dove in with both feet and became a sponge, soaking in as much knowledge as I could cram in my head. I couldn't believe I was giving shots with a huge fear of needles. Again I had to rely on Christ's strength to get me through because I had nothing.
During the day while I was learning, my sister brought my niece up to visit with Bekah. Makaila is not just Bekah's favorite cousin, she is her best friend. I watched some of the sweetest interactions in between stuffing knowledge in my head. Makaila was Bekah's silent (well not so silent if you know Mak) strength. She let her squeeze her hand until it practically turned blue every time Bekah had to get a poke. She chimed in to our "peanut butter and jelly sandwiches" every time too. The girls played DS. Bekah got one from Jason's mom on Tuesday morning. It was supposed to be her birthday gift but Grandma decided that she needed it early. (4 months early) They colored and played Bingo. They had a great time even though they were confined to the walls of a hospital room.
Wednesday night we got home around 10:00 PM. I made a bed for Bekah on the floor in our room where she was surrounded by all of the stuffies that she got in the hospital. She took a bath and said she felt so much better. It was hard to watch her in the tub because she had sticker marks from all of the tubes that she had hooked up and she still looked like a starving child from a 3rd world country. Her spine was sticking out and her bones in her ribs and hips stuck out too. I was so thankful to have her home in her own tub! We checked her BG level and gave her a snack. I whispered a prayer of thanksgiving and protection for my little girl before we fell asleep. I felt like I was bringing home a new born baby for the first time and had little clue how to care for her.
Thus began our new normal....