Diabetic Adventures: week 1

First week is over and I think I’ll start posting regular updates, if only for my sanity. These are, of course, going to be a mothers perspective on the effects of JD on a family. As only a mother can do.

Week 1: We started the week out at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. We met with his doctor and nurse. They gave us some information and asked if we had any questions. The doctor seems to have trouble looking me in the eyes and that, for some reason, irritates me. He’s efficient but nervous and I wonder if it’s me or just the way he is. I’ll keep an eye on him and assess him more as we go along. I DO like him, it’s just the eye thing that bothers me.

Dans nurse, Cindy, has called every day which makes me feel good because she asks about his day, gets his sugar readings, adjusts the doses that I give him and has started allowing me to “feel out” what I give him. It’s helped me by allowing me to not feel so damned helpless.

I have to admit, I’ve adjusted his meds already. When it was 3 AM and his sugar was almost 500, I gave him his insulin and made him go back to bed. I spent the next 4 hours watching him, in the darkness, sleeping. I even took his blood sugar, while he slept, just to make sure it didn’t go too low. A little trick I learned while he was in the ICU was to rub alcohol over the previous spot and the blood would come out, with a little coaxing.

We met with the nutritionist and learned, somewhat, what he can and can’t eat, how many carbs he can have and what he can have as much as he wants of. He’s being really good with it, with only a couple slips this week. We have discovered he cannot have oranges, at all, because they spike his sugar. I think we’ll leave those for when he’s having a serious low.

We met the “vampire” as Dan calls her because she took his blood again.The vampire’s a silly sort of woman, always calling him “little Bro” and “Lil man”. She’s told him she has had diabetes since she was ten too so he knows at least one grownup that’s been handling it for thirty years. He said that it makes him feel good knowing that people CAN live with this disease and DO things! I like her even though Sean said “she creeps me out” Yes, I let Sean skip school Monday and go with us, just so he could see what’s going on and be a part of this as well. He even ASKED to come!

Sean has really been a trooper this week. Asking about Dan, playing with him, watching while he takes his shots and checks his blood sugars. I’ve taught the family what to do if Dan has a crisis and collapses or has a seizure. We have special medication that he has in a red case just in case of this problem.

Sean is a bit jealous though because Dan got a new belt-pack and has so many new things. He said that he wished HE was the one sick and Dan just looked at him, smiled a sweet smile and said “Be careful what you wish for, Sean. Remember, I said the same thing back when you got asthma and look at me now. Keep saying that and you’ll get CANCER or something WORSE!”

Mike is doing his best to drive me completely insane, it seems. This week he’s done NONE of the cooking even though I’ve asked him to because it hurts me so much to stand that long. I’ve started using the crock pot more and that’s helping. Thank GOD I have a cookbook with a zillion crock pot recipes in it.

Last weekend my house was filled with my family and friends. My old friend Bobbie brought over six bags of food and two gallons of milk! Thank you Bobbie!! Lisa, whom I hadn’t seen in almost a year drove halfway across the state in the snowstorm just to take me to get some minor things from the store and, when Mike called me in a panic from the hospital, was able to give me a ride. She will never know how much I truly appreciate her and her friendship. She’s the oldest friend I have that even calls.

My mom and older brother were here as well, mom giving me support and even some much-needed cash. Thank you mom!! James, my older brother, actually came across town on the last bus, the night Dan went to the ICU and has been here since. He’s been a Godsend and I’m so blessed to have him in the position of being able to help us. One of the fantastic things about being a freelance writer, he can work from ANYWHERE!

Mike asked me, late last night, a question. He asked me:

“if the doctors had told us, with complete certainty, that Dan was going to have diabetes or any other major health issue while he was a child, would you have still given birth or would you have aborted him?”

My response, without thinking for even a moment: “Of course! Look at the incredible things we would have missed if that was the criteria for abortion! We would never have known such a wonderful, loving, little man. We would have lost out on being PARENTS for heaven’s sake! God gave us Danyl for a reason and who am I to deny GOD? Even if we HAD known, I would have given birth. I would have been ready for this eventuality and it wouldn’t have hit me so hard but I wonder if I’d been able to enjoy him as much… Perhaps I would have been too overprotective had I known. I dunno but I’m glad he’s here, aren’t you?”

He smiled and kissed me before rolling over to go to sleep “Yeah, I’m glad…. Glad he’s here and that YOU are his mother. You’re awesome and I’m so glad we’re together.”

Thank you God for my family and friends. Even with all the hardships, I couldn’t ask you for better family. Just do me a favor. Ease off on the hard stuff.

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