Monday, January 16, 2012

Official Diagnosis

January 4, 2012

This morning dawned bright and early and COLD.  We were in the middle of a 40 below cold spell that just cuts through everything.  Have you ever had metal burn your bare skin because it's so cold...yeah, THAT kind of cold.  How perfectly fitting.

My alarm went off and I nudged my husband to wake him up.  We then proceeded to have a conversation about the doctors appointment that morning, in which hubby told me he wasn't going.  He needed to sleep because he had to work that night.  Yeah...he was still in denial.  I looked at him in disbelief and told we were ALL going to this appointment. If we had a false positive (seriously, I don't think so) then all that would happen is he missed an hour of sleep, if it was positive then we all need to be together.  I guess I should have gone for the shock factor at this point and told him I thought we would be going to the hospital, maybe my grief was numbing me because I didn't say a word about my suspicion.

The 4 of us go tromping into the Pediatrician's clinic.  They weigh Seth, 101 (24 pound loss) and take him for a urine test.  They return him to us and we sit and wait for a few minutes, at which point, our brand new (to us) pediatrician Dr. Banks throws the door open and comes in.  He has a bigger than life personality, really over the top.  Very nice, but super hard to take at 9:30 in the morning when you are waiting for this kind of news.  So he asks us all the same questions about thirst, sleep, weight loss, etc. and then says "well, I'm sorry I don't have good news for you.  I know last night at the clinic his BG was high, it's 286 this morning.  But what is even more concerning is that he has lots of ketones in his urine which means his body is breaking itself down for energy, so I have called the hospital and they have a bed ready for you.  Your son has Type 1 diabetes.  This is serious and you need to go right now."

I think the earth may have moved a little and I know the doctor's voice got farther away as my mind became filled with racing thoughts.  "So this is how it feels when a doctor gives you this kind of news".

The four of us stare at him and then my husband says...are you serious?  The grief stricken part of  me wanted to say "what kind of jerk would joke about something like this?  OF COURSE HE IS SERIOUS!!!"  So glad I put my filter on and said nothing.  Mark proceeded to ask if this was reversible (no), will it go away (no), is it temporary (no) and we got a crash course on diabetes which I will summarize in another post.  What the doctor did say that was interesting was he was extremely interested in the pathology of the cyst on Seth's arm (you knew there was a reason I wrote oodles about that, right?) because Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder caused by a virus that attacks the pancreas.

I asked if we could go home and get a bag (really, why didn't I have one ready, I KNEW this was going to happen...doh).  No, you really need to go straight to the hospital.  You can go home and get a bag once he is settled in.  Riiiight, like I am leaving him once he's at the hospital.

My next immediate thought was, this is manageable, we can do this, Seth will be okay.  This could have been so much worse.  So here we go, we have MUCH to be grateful for and I chose to be grateful for technology and medicine that will help my child.

Mark's way of dealing with uncomfortable situations is humor, sometimes it works, other times it  So when the doctor left the room, he started teasing Seth about the IV.  Great.  Let's tease the kiddo who has a huge (like run away, needs to be held down) fear of needles about an IV needle.  Thankfully, Mark got a phone call from work that he had to take so he left the room which gave Seth the opportunity to talk to me and ask me to not have Mark in the room for the IV.  I get it buddy, let me think for a minute.

When Mark came back, I told him that it would be best if he dropped us off at the hospital and went home to get the things we needed, that way we would know what room we were in by the time he came back and would be settled in.  He agreed and we proceeded to make a list of items we thought we would need.

We got to the hospital and checked in at the Emergency Room as directed.  Once they sent us upstairs Mark and Leah left to go home, let the dogs out, load the woodstove and pack our bags.  We got upstairs and they took forever, until I finally explained the IV situation.  Thankfully our nurse, Robin, was awesome.  It took 6 pokes to get the IV started.  Seth was such a trooper.  We worked out a system where we covered his head with this neon yellow/green hoodie we nicknamed Grellow (for its color) and I would hold his hand.

They then proceeded to hook up 3 IV's: Insulin, Dextrose and Saline:

Since he was hooked up to the IV, they needed to test his BG (Blood Glucose) every hour, and do lab draws to test his blood every 4 hours.  So Grellow made an appearance every 4 hours for the first 24 hours for his draws as they were unable to do them through the IV.  And yes, that was a finger prick every hour for the first 24 hours...24 finger pricks.  Not a lot of sleep was had the first night.  Thank goodness for my Kindle Fire and Amazon Prime so I could watch Gray's Anatomy and Seth was grateful for the xBox 360 he got to play on.

The real challenge is that while Seth was on the IV, he could not eat or drink.  So the poor kid had only eaten 1 meal in 2 days...he was starving.  Like on the verge of tears when he smelled the dinner food.  That was awful.  All I could do was get in his bed to snuggle and be the person NOT to talk about how much his life had changed that day, there would be plenty of time for that later.


  1. I am so glad you are posting your experiences here. Maybe it will help someone else, and hopefully it is therapeutic for you as well.

    I went to school with Nurse Robin and she was our nurse when my baby was sick and in the hospital (hopefully it's the same Robin). She is awesome!

    You are so brave Becky to be handling everything the way you are, chin up and prayers are coming your way. And again, thanks for being willing to share your experiences with this.

    1. Thank you Stephanie...Robin was awesome. Thank you for the prayers.

  2. Hi...I'm Tonya...Tamera's diabetic sister. She called me and told me what was going on and asked for info to pass on to you. I'm just getting started reading your blog. My heart goes out to Seth. I know EXACTLY how he feels. I also HATE needles (why diabetes seems to find those who hate needles, I don't know), and had many of the same problems with IVs in the hospital. But, keep your head up. No, this is not curable (yet), but it is very livable. Life does go on. It is very different. But, don't let it stop Seth from doing anything he wants to do. I hope Tamera passed on my contact info...if there's anything I can do, let me know!

    1. Hi Tonya...thanks for all of the information you kindly shared, it was so helpful in those first panicky moments and to refer back to as we get our feet under us. I have loved the blogs you passed on, they have helped alot. Tamera was the first person I thought of calling because I remembered your story and how you are living a full life, exactly what we want for Seth. :) Thank you for all of your help, you have been awesome and I am sure we our paths will continue to cross. I feel like a distant cousin to your family, lol.

  3. My son Seth (16) was diagnosed 2 months ago. Scariest day of my life, by far. Still trying to wrap my mind around how much life changed that day.

    1. Cassie, I am so sorry that you have joined our ranks. There is some wonderful support in the DOC. I have some links on my sidebar for Children with Diabetes and Type 1 Parents. Those forums have helped me immensly in this journey. As have the blogs that are linked at the top, they saved my sanity and still do on a daily basis. Thank you for stopping by, I am terribly sorry for the circumstances.