Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bean's Diagnosis, part two

...and the story continues...if you haven't read the first part, click here

We arrive at the hospital and check in through the ER.

Bean has gotten over, mostly, the fact that we are not going to be going to the birthday party and since she's feeling fine, she's eager to start watching a movie on her little DVD player.  She tolerated them putting in an IV to start fluids and insisted on a bandaid for her finger when they poked it.  (She was in the 300s on their meter. Don't remember the exact number and honestly don't care because it was less than what we had seen at home.)

Ubergeek and I start the process of explaining to person after person after person "what brought us in today" and try to wrap our heads around what is going on.  After being in the ER for about four hours, we're told that Bean will be headed up to a Children's Hospital room for the night and that a Nurse Practitioner would be there in the morning to go over all the information we needed.  Um, OK...we had already figured out what was going on, but none of the nurses or doctors had actually said the words.  So, Ubergeek asked point blank, "so this is diabetes?" and the reply was "there's nothing else it could be."  And there you have it.

So, up a few floors and into a room and the calm before the storm settles over us for a few minutes.

A lot of the first few hours in the room are a blur...I know they gave Been insulin, I know they brought her food, I know she had a bandaid on several fingers.

What I do remember is our night-shift nurse.  He was a short, solid Russian fellow (think gymnast) who had the most amazing bedside manner with Bean and with us.  He was quiet when he came in, as gentle as possible with finger pokes, and closed the door quietly when he left.  He talked to Bean to let her know what he was doing; talked to us to help us process a bit of what was going on; and said something to us in the wee hours of the morning that echoes in my head often.  He told us that we were beginning a life long journey with diabetes and the sooner we made friends with it, the easier it would be because is much easier to carry a friend than an enemy.

Then and there, that's what I did.  I knew I didn't like it, in fact I hated it, but I couldn't go into this journey like that.  It wouldn't do me any good, surely wouldn't do Bean any good.  I could fight it, but wouldn't win; I could curse it, but it wouldn't go away; I could scream and yell and ask 'why' a thousand times, but D can't hear and the 'why' will never be answered.

Sunday was insane.  The Nurse Practitioner came in just after 8am....hello?!?! we haven't slept all night and you think we're up for some serious learning that early in the morning?  We had barely started eating breakfast.  But, in she came with her wagon full of D stuff.

Almost three hours later, we take a break.  Seriously, three hours.

Bean got to ride around on some of the bikes they had available on the floor and hung out in the craft room for a while.  It being Sunday, and there only being one or two other patients that were toddlers, she had the run of the place.

Back came the wagon and NP for more.  We practiced shots, heard about Glucagon, went over how much insulin to give for what amount of carbs and blood sugar range.  It was mind-numbing, but we listened and did our best to take it all in.

Bean was so not happy about the shots.  She pulled her 'I'm not ready.  I need a break' crap that she does when she has to take any medication.  It just about broke me when I had to explain to her that it makes no difference if she's 'ready' and there's no time for 'breaks' with this.  If she wants to eat, she has to have the shot.  Ugh!

The NP scheduled an appointment for later in the week at her clinic and went on her merry way.  She would have one of the hospital nutritionist come in and then we would be free to go.
So, the waiting began.  I curled up on the 'bed' in the room and tried to dose for a bit while Ubergeek took Bean back to the craft room.  He came back in, by himself, a little while later, looking broken.  He told me that Bean had asked him if she had diabetes.  Hello?!  She had been in the room with us the whole time, hearing what the NP had to say; she had had finger pokes to test her blood sugar and insulin shots.  But somehow it hadn't registered to her almost six and a half year old brain what was going on.  He explained to her that yes, she did and she cried.  Not a lot, but she cried.  Then she moved on.

Armed with a backpack full of D stuff and a chart of insulin doses, we headed home.

Brains foggy, eyes blurry, emotions all over the place starting on this lifelong journey with our new 'friend.'


  1. My husband described it, the learning process, as "drinking from a fire hose"...it was so much...and I am a nurse!

    I would have liked the "gymnast" nurse guy. He sounded wonderful.

  2. i love the Russian nurse's words of advice for you! I wish I had someone tell me that the first night Emma was diagnosed. It took me about a year to figure that out on my own...hating something like diabetes takes a lot more energy than not hating it. There are still days though that i strongly DISLIKE it...lolol

  3. Oh my, that nighttime nurse was a gift:
    "He told us that we were beginning a life long journey with diabetes and the sooner we made friends with it, the easier it would be because is much easier to carry a friend than an enemy"

    What a beautiful way to say something so aweful, but it IS an answer to how to go about it. So many people say unpurposeful words . . . he spoke truth laced with guidance.

    Nice to have you join all of wacky, insufficient pancreases here in the diabetic online community (DOC). Wish you didn't have the credentials to become a member . . . but since you do we all welcome you with a great big ((hug)).

    Writing the diagnosis stories are so hard, yet so therapeutic. Every one of the stories serve a bigger purpose when told - to raise awareness so no more lives are lost to DKA from too late of a diagnosis.

    Wonderful website you have started here!

  4. Just wanted to say Hi and welcome to the DOC. It is just the best thing ever. Everyone is so supportive and awesome and always there for you during all the HIGHs and LOWs that come with diabetes (literally and figuratively!) I mostly just blog about family with just a touch a diabetes thrown in here and there for good measure, so I probably won't be much help, but everyone else provides so much info and "sameness" that it is just priceless. I also have an almost 6.5 year old (although she isn't the one with T1D). Our littly boy, Aiden was diagnosed this summer as well. He is 4. I'm glad I found your blog! Thanks for sharing!! :)

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  6. Just found you from Joanne's blog. (Sorry about the above deleted comment. I hate leaving spelling errors. lol)

    Every single diagnosis story I hear breaks my heart. I know how they are all going to end, but I end up in tears anyway. It just kills me each time I hear of another one.

    I love your nurse's wonderful words of advice. That is so true. It IS easier to carry a friend than an enemy, even if it is SO hard to make friends with this disease most of the time.

    Welcome to the DOC! I will be sure to keep reading your blog. :)

  7. Wow, what a great nurse! It's those special health care providers that make ALL the difference. We were in the hospital for 3 days and we had the same awesome nurse with us each day. She hugged me as I cried, told me that "I could do this" and made me feel so confident about caring for Adam.

    On another note - that is so crazy that your Bean and Adam had such similar clefts! I'm looking forward to hearing about it if you ever feel like blogging about it. Makes you wonder - about all the "issues" our kiddos have, I wonder if somehow these issues are related. Hmmm.

  8. Your post reminded me of my daughter wanting a bandaid on each finger every time they checked her in the hospital. I had completely forgotten about that! What a gift your nurse was to you all.

  9. I just found your blog & I am so glad I did! Love the words from the night nurse. It really hit me. My daughter(5) was diagnosed 11/8/10. Looking forward to getting to know you :)

  10. Hi, welcome to the DOC. My girl was dx'd November 2009 and has been pumping since May 2010. She is 6 now.

  11. My mum described it as drinking from the toilet after my younger brother was diagnosed about 15 years after I had been. He was in his late 20s.

  12. Hi! Thank you sooo much for your blog and kind words. My son was just diagnosed about a month ago (right before he turned 7.) I'm grateful he did not show signs of DKA, but during the initial blood test the meter read high (over 600) so he was on his way there.

    I happen to have 3 boys, all very jumpy and active. Your blog touched me because my youngest we call "The Bean" or "Beaner" for short was the one diagnosed. I plan on pouring over your blog, but any info you can send my way I would really appreciate.

    Thanks again,

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