Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hannah's Update

First of all, we could not be more thankful for such advanced healthcare that we can and have received. The ER staff was amazing, informative, and reassuring. 

Hannah came down with a stomach ache yesterday at school. From the moment it really hit- it went downhill quickly. She started throwing up at school, so my mom went ahead and took her home. 

Now before I go on, this is why this has all ruptured into a fairly intense and problematic situation. Due the fact we get to constantly fight this relentless disease, two major problems surfaced within hours. 

Hypoglycemia and DKA

The first of these came faster than we expected. By the time they got Hannah home, she was still vomiting. After testing her BG she was 71. (The one thing I am thankful for- is that we have dealt with lows and vomiting before)

This is when the glucagon shines. 

We went ahead and gave her her first injection of glucagon and within 15 minutes she was up to 121- the only problem is that this made her vomit again. By this point, we're concerned with dehydration, ketones, blood sugar stability, and another low. Sure enough, the next low came in at 90*. After a glucagon dose- most often we have seen blood sugars in the 300s due to the effectiveness of the shot. Seeing she is 90 and still vomiting, we went ahead and injected a second dose to prevent the ever-so-close low BG.

(*Tip: If you inject glucagon, the most common side affect is super high blood sugars! Glucagon is a hormone that triggers the pancreas to release sugar. It is the fastest way to address critical lows and is highly effective... life-savingly effective)

So this is when we went ahead and called our Endocrinologist. She ordered Zofran to counteract the nausea and vomiting. She asked that once Hannah quit throwing up, we should probably test for ketones and see if the Zofran does any good. If she threw up again, the advice was to take her to the ER so they can start IV fluids and keep her hydrated.

Of course, the zofran did little to nothing and she was vomiting again. After a urine test, Hannah was burning moderate-severe ketones. (Possible sign of DKA)

 We went ahead and took her in and they were able to hook her up to fluids and more anti-nausea meds. Blood sugars were about 200s so they weren't too concerned with the DKA side of this. After a few hours in the ER, they discharged her and want us to be sure to push fluids.

So ALL of that to say, Hannah had an okay night. 
She has thrown up only once since the ER. The best she can do for fluids, is suck on ice chips. We are praying that this will tide her over till she can muster enough strength to not vomit after sipping on water. Hopefully, after her resting- she will turn the corner. Blood sugars are nicely hovering in the 200s (pretty much where we want her for now), and she is sleeping soundly.

I know I have typed an awful lot... I usually don't like breaking it down so much. However, I felt it important to see just a glimpse of what a simple flu virus can do when combined with T1D. We are very fortunate that she didn't pass out and also that she didn't go into DKA. I think we have weathered the worst of it... I sure hope so...

Please keep her in your prayers-

Thanks much!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Dealing with the Mis-Informed

I don't understand where some people feel they are obligated to express their opinions in an unthoughtful manner. I don't understand if the issue is that they simply don't understand, or perhaps they think they understand something they really don't understand. 

So what do I mean? 

In the 5 years our family has dealt with Type One Diabetes, we have experienced and talked to people who have experienced this ever-so-common thinking:

"Type One Diabetes? Well, you know it could be much worse. You're so fortunate it wasn't cancer!"

So, whats the point? That's what I keep thinking...

Now before we delve into this sensitive subject - cancer is an extremely BIG deal! My mom had cancer, and that journey was not easy. We have friends and loved ones who have battled the heartless disease - and my point is not at all to minimize cancer.

Rather, my point is to break down the thinking behind the statement. In a way, it helps me to work out why they would say it - and in turn I think it will help other T1Ds that I have talked to about this subject. 

Two possible but different approaches could be used for this mentality:

1) It is a statement of coping. It's trying to help relieve the pain of your problem by putting it into perspective. Honestly, I think this is a great approach. Perspective is what makes almost any hardship in life bearable.

With this approach, the person who states "It could be much worse" is genuinely concerned with the pain that your or others is/are experiencing. Even through our diagnoses, our "Perspective Phrase" was,  "At least we are alive - 100 years ago and our parents would have buried their three youngest children."

2) It is a statement of ignorance. This approach can come across as extremely heartless at times. Now, I always have to remind myself that the people who are saying it are probably misinformed, and would never want to hurt us or any other diabetic. . . but they do. 

These are the kind of statements where "It could be much worse" translates to "This isn't as big as a deal as you're making it." I'm not here to open this up and shred the people who say things like this. For me, this states nothing but the lack of education of the speaker.

My solution to this bluntly arrogant and most likely misinformed statement is this - it's time to stop being silent. I am going to post just five simple facts about Type One Diabetes that make T1 a big deal. That prove this disease is not a "hyped up show but rather a deadly reality that we get to fight every single day. 

"5 Fast Facts for the Mis-Informed"

1) 20 Minutes Is All It Takes
Low blood sugar is the immediate and potentially fatal danger of Type 1. Blood glucose levels around 30 can cause a person to become unresponsive, resulting in a rapid succession of seizures, and ultimately followed by a coma. Any blood sugar below 70 should be taken seriously and immediately treated with fast-acting sugar.

2) There is NO Prevention
Nothing a person did or did not do could have prevented the onset of Type One. No amount of healthy eating or exercise could stop the unknown trigger that causes the body to attack the islet cells within the pancreas. 

3) There Is No Such thing as "Stable"
 Despite the rigorous effort with which a Type One works, blood glucose levels may not "stabilize." Life with Type One means daily highs, lows, constant monitoring, insulin dosing, carb counting, and adjusting.

4) Insulin or Die
Before the discovery of insulin in the 1920s, those diagnosed with Type One simply died. The few "fortunate" were kept alive for a few extra months through a starvation diet treatment. Type One diabetics must take insulin every day or they will die. Healthy eating, exercise, or herbal remedies will never eliminate the need for insulin.
5) There is No Cure
Type One is a lifelong (chronic) disease that requires 24 hour care and treatment. Children will not outgrow Type One Diabetes or insulin dependence. Every day, for the rest of our lives, those with Type One must take insulin. It's that simple. It's that scary.
This information incredibly stated by "Get Diabetes Right."
I think this is one of my weaknesses in life: I'm a naturally defensive person. Whether stories from camps we've attended, the DOC (Diabetes Online Community), or my own siblings, I feel it is necessary to stand up and support any diabetic I meet. It's part of that mutual bond created through a disease we all fight.

That is why I felt it necessary to take the time to address this issue. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to ask! I would love to help in any way possible.