Sunday, April 7, 2013

Long Overdue

Back in June our oldest daughter Rylie, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Early on, and several times since then, people have asked me "How did you know to take her in?" "What was happening that made you realize something was wrong?". I decided I should record it. Who knows, maybe it will be helpful for someone else.

First off, there were several things that in hindsight were actually symptoms but of course we did not learn this until later.

In late May she started complaining about her mouth being dry in the morning after waking up and she was positive she hadn't slept with her mouth open. I didn't know what to say other than, "I'm sorry, go get a drink of water, that should help." (A little more on the dry mouth in a bit)

She began drinking water like it was about to run out, which actually went back several weeks, but I didn't think anything of it. We live in Arizona and it starts getting pretty hot near the end of April/beginning of May so I figured that was the reason. I personally drink lots of water.

She was getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom which I only knew about because the kids' bathroom is right next to my bedroom and her closing the bathroom door always woke me up. Again, didn't think too much about this; I have to get up to use the restroom in the middle of the night from time to time. I wasn't keeping track of when she went to the bathroom any other time, so nothing seemed out of the ordinary to me.

She was slimming down (Rylie isn't fat but as a mom, you do notice these things...) which I just figured hormones were changing etc, she was 13 was bound to happen, right?

Around the 1st of June, my younger daughter Alyssa had come down with some cold like symptoms. To avoid it getting too bad, I started applying some essential oils to her throat and the bottoms of her feet in the morning and at night. The symptoms subsided pretty quickly. A couple days later Rylie started showing the same symptoms but refused to let me apply the oils because of the smell. She won't take any medicine orally either, so all that was left for her to do was suffer through it.

As that week progressed the cold symptoms became worse. It mad me sad to see her suffering, but I knew there was nothing I could do without her being less stubborn.

That Wednesday evening Rylie and I were out at a youth activity for our church. We were practicing a skit for girls camp that was just a few weeks away. As I was watching Rylie perform, I really noticed just how slim she was getting. It also occurred to me that she had dark circles around her eyes and they appeared to be sunken in a bit. This concerned me a little bit more than just the typical cold symptoms, but I still assumed it was related. Thursday she slept almost the entire day. Friday I took the kids to a public pool with water slides which they had been dying to go to. Rylie stayed with me most of the time, except for when she decided she just wanted to go lay down on one of the chairs to rest.

Back to the dry mouth. At one point during these few days, I decided to google dry mouth to see if I could find any answers for her. Such a silly thing to look up, but it was actually very insightful. One of the links that it brought up was about type 1 Diabetes. I read through the list of symptoms and every single one was Rylie. I didn't want to believe it though, so I just told myself it was a coincidence and closed the page.

The next day I was out at lunch with my sister who happens to be a pediatric nurse. The concern about Diabetes was still lingering in my head and I was curious what my sister thought. I was very vague however. I mentioned her constant drinking of water and waking up with a dry mouth. My sister agreed those things were fairly normal for the time of year and when I asked if I should be concerned that it might be Diabetes she gave the answer I was hoping for. "Nah." (Keep in mind I didn't mention her weight loss or anything else, and she hadn't seen Rylie in several weeks so she had no clue... Terrible, I know, but I was in denial.)

The next day was Friday and again, Rylie slept most of the day. That evening I really started worrying and I told her that we should probably take her into the doctor so see what was going on. She begged for me to not take her.

Saturday morning my girls were supposed to play their violins in a small musical group for our stake baptisms. Rylie had no energy to go. I had her step on the scale that morning and I could not believe the #. I did not know her weight previously, but I knew about where it was and that she had obviously lost about 15-20 lbs in the past few weeks. This suddenly had me very concerned. Even though I could tell she had slimmed down, until she stood on the scale and that # appeared, it didn't hit me just how much she had. I decided right then that we would take her into Urgent Care that day.

I took Alyssa so she could be a part of the musical #. While I was there I sat next to my sister-in-law and started expressing my concerns about Rylie. After hearing some of the symptoms she suggested maybe it was Diabetes. (She has a cousin with type 1 Diabetes) She suggested having her mom come by our house after the musical # to check Rylie's blood sugar.

As soon as we got home I started googling to try and determine which would be better to take her to, Urgent Care or the ER. I knew Urgent Care wouldn't give us the kind of answers we were looking for. While I was sitting at my computer there was a knock on the door. It was my sil's mom. She checked Rylie's blood sugar. It was over 500. Normal is between 80 & 120. She told us we needed to take her to the Children's hospital immediately. 

We had a quick family prayer and then we called a friend from our ward and asked if we could stop by so he could help Josiah give Rylie a Priesthood Blessing.

When we arrived at the hospital, we told them about her blood sugar and they got her into a room right away. After getting some insulin into her system they admitted her and eventually sent her up to a room in the picu where she stayed over night. The next afternoon they moved her into a room in regular pediatrics where she stayed one more night. Over those couple of days we learned sooo much. Mostly that Rylie would have to be on insulin for the rest of her life.

That weekend was very mentally and emotionally draining. We were blessed to have discovered so early on that there was something wrong.

At first, every. single. meal. was a whole process. We literally weighed everything so we would know exactly how many carbs she was eating so that she could know how much insulin to take. A lot of stuff we had to look up in a book (The Calorie King, Calorie, Fat & Carb counter saver!) that the hospital sent us home with.

Rylie felt very overwhelmed. She didn't think she could eat anything. I think mostly for the fear of having to give herself a shot. (In the beginning it was really Josiah and I giving the shots...she has since gotten used to doing them herself.)

Eventually, as with most everything, it just all became part of the normal. We pretty much just eyeball everything now.

Her bloodsugar levels have been pretty well controlled. The endocronologist used words like "nirvana" and "stellar" to describe her. She is still in what is called the "Honeymoon" phase and we understand that it could end at anytime. It makes me a little nervous, not knowing when it will happen, but for now we are happy that the Dr. is happy.


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