I will never forget Sunday, October 23, 2011 the day my sweet girl was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. The following is a quick version of the 3 days that changed our life forever!
It started off like a normal Sunday morning Nevaeh felt good when she woke up and we were going to get ready and head to church. We had breakfast (a high in sugar breakfast) and soon after Nevaeh was feeling sick at her tummy. I thought she just was having another tummy ache like we had seen over the last few weeks and even visited the doctor about but was told it was just constipation. So after about 30 minutes of letting her sit down and relax and watch some cartoons she was feeling better! So much better that she wanted to run by CVS dressed in her Halloween costume before we went to church because they were giving out treat bags to all kids who came dressed up that morning! Since she seemed to be recovered and was so excited I decided to go ahead and take her. When we got back home to slip on her different clothes and head to church she asked if she could have a piece of candy from her bag of treats. I decided to let her have one piece and by the time we drove to church (a 5 minute drive) Nevaeh was again feeling bad (hint: I had just allowed her to have more sugar) and I at the time had no idea why! I decided to let her go in big church with me because she didn't want to go in her class and play, even though her best friend was there who she had not seen in a few weeks (another big sign to me that she was feeling really bad)! On our way over I was talking to one of my best friends(her best friend's mother)and she said that she didn't want to scare me but she recognized some of the symptoms that Nevaeh was having as signs of diabetes (extreme thirst, frequent urination, breathing heavy, pale, weight loss, and drowsiness)!!! I immediately felt as a mom that she was right and this was not good. Justin and I both began to feel quite emotional because we had not put all of these things together until hearing this from our friend! Before we finished singing the first song in church my sweet girl was already asleep on my shoulder and slept through the entire service!!! Looking back it was literally like she was in a sugar coma (I had no idea about hypo or hyperglycemia at the time)!!! When we got home that day Nevaeh was lethargic and slept most of the day as I looked for more confirmation on medical websites of Nevaeh's symptoms. Around 6pm we called her pediatric doctor because we were so concerned and were quickly advised that with the symptoms she was experiencing that we needed to go on to the local children's hospital. My husband immediately came home from work and we went straight on. By this time my baby girl looked so pale and weak and was breathing extremely heavy. When we got to talk to the ER nurse in the children's hospital she told us that before we even told her Nevaeh's symptoms she could already tell what was wrong! After that it was a whirlwind of testing and emotions! Justin and I, although we had expected this earlier that day, were in extreme shock to find out Nevaeh did in fact have type 1 diabetes! Nevaeh had so many pokes(IV's, finger pricks, and blood drawn) in 4-5 hours time that I saw my little girl go from extremely afraid of needles to not crying at all and watching them insert the needles and search for veins with out flinching. As a mom I would not wish this or any part of type 1 diabetes on anyone! I cried inside as I watched my baby girl be poked and prodded wishing I could take her place and having no idea what to expect next! As I listened to each new doctor I met I felt like I couldn't concentrate as hard as I was trying it was too much to consume! She had to be transferred to the ICU for the night mainly because of the low CO levels in her blood because of her labored breathing. Of course, when I hear ICU as a mom inside I freaked out! Again as parents a wave of emotions rushed over us! During the course of the night we met more doctors, had many more pokes, were educated on DKA which was why we landed our selves in the hospital(diabetic ketoacidosis), and got very little rest. The next morning when the doctor finally got to our room we were told something that no parent ever wants to hear. The doctor told us that the 2nd day is when Nevaeh would be under even a closer watch because if her brain were to swell (cerebral edema), due to the intense treatment of fluids and insulin to get her back where her body needed to be, it would happen during the second day and if it did there was not much they could do! Even though the doctor said that this was very rare I was devastated and at that point I don't know if reality hit or I just couldn't handle any more so I had to leave the room and have a break down! I was so thankful to have family and our closest friends there to console me as I cried! Once I got myself together I went back to see my little girl who was starting to feel better because of the fluids but was really hungry because she had not had anything to eat since lunch on Sunday and it was around 10:30am on Monday! We then began to play card games with friends and family as they came in to visit one and at time to take Nevaeh's mind off her hunger. We were all extremely excited when we found out she could eat lunch at around 1pm and if she finished at least half of her lunch she would be transferred to a regular room in the children's hospital for the 2nd night stay! She got her lunch and ate well over half of it! After lunch we met with a diabetes educator who was AMAZING! She has diabetes type 1 as well so it was comforting to hear from her for both us as parents and to Nevaeh. She came bearing much info about type 1 diabetes as well as gifts for Nevaeh and tools for us to use! Nevaeh received Rufus, the diabetes bear and a book about him and one of the most important tools we received was our first glucose meter. We learned so much in that 2 hour time span and were so thankful for it! Later that afternoon we were told we could move to our new room! Once we reached our next destination we continued to be educated at an extremely fast rate. By this time Nevaeh still looked weak but was walking around and sitting up acting more like her sweet little self! It was amazing to see how in that short time she could change and that she was clear from cerebral edema! Now that I look back I know God was there protecting her through every step of the way but at the time I was hurt, asking why, and to be honest extremely mad that this was happening to my baby! After visiting with friends and family that evening we tried to get some rest because we were told as long as things stayed on course we were headed to the Pediatric Endocrinology Office first thing in the morning. Since I was in the bed with Nevaeh I got very little sleep since her BS had to be checked every hour through the night. As I layed there sobbing beside her I poured out my frustration and anger to God! Nevaeh slept soundly through the night which was a blessing since she got rest and I got that time to let out my feelings (although the poor nurse had to think I was having a mental break down each time she came in)! The morning came and we were given our release papers, told where to go, and given Nevaeh's breakfast that she had to eat once we were at the Endo Office because we would now be giving the injections of insulin and the staff there would be there to support us and direct us the first time! We were thrown right into it without a choice! Not that we would have chosen differently but it was just so much at the time and I guess that's probably why they do things that way! Because diabetes doesn't just go away and I am still in emotional distress and overwhelmed on certain days even now! After meeting the doctor and the team we felt supported and confident that we could do this! We gave her the first injections and stayed for about two hours worth of training and were sent home! Were we ready....well yes we had everything we needed and were equipped with knowledge and a handbook but no emotional, physically, and mentally I don't think you are ever ready to go home with your child who has a chronic disease that three days earlier you had no knowledge about whatsoever! Our life is now changed until a cure is found!
Although, this is the most crucial part this is just a small part of our 3 month journey with type 1 diabetes! Hopefully, this will help others who have children who are recently diagnosed or parents who are questioning if their child has diabetes!