Our personal D-Day. October 31,2016. Halloween. The day our little one was diagnosed with type one diabetes.
My husband called me at work with the number I didn’t want to hear. He had taken our almost 3 year old daughter to the pediatrician to get checked for diabetes. I’m a nurse and the insatiable thirst, excessive urination, and increasing appetite had set off red flags for me that I could only ignore for so long. He called and only said “It’s over 500.” I instantly started crying, full tears right there at the nurse’s station. My co-workers, couldn’t have been more supportive, hugs and boxes of kleenex came flying my way. Since our daughter, Frankie, was acting ok and not having any change in her level of consciousness the pediatrician let us drive ourselves to the hospital. I met Jason at home to get our stuff together. On the way home I called my mom to see if she could come down from the mountains and stay with our dogs since we had no idea when we’d be back.
An hour later, we were on our way to Children’s Hospital of Colorado ER with our bags packed. Here they checked Frankie for DKA — luckily she wasn’t in it; however, her blood sugar was now over 600. The beauty of being a nurse, my daughter isn’t scared of hospitals at all. And luckily my daughter used to visit me at work regularly when I worked at Children’s. It was also good, to keep me distracted, to have the support of two of my former co-workers and friends to come hang with us while we were waiting for a room upstairs. Our little munchkin was a trooper, not even a single tear with the IV start, blood draws, etc.. It helped that the child life specialist was amazing and since it was Halloween all of the nurses and techs were dressed up. Frankie’s main ER nurse was a kick ass ninja turtle. We finally got to our room on the 8th floor around 10:30pm and then we were discharged before 7:30am, so we could head to the Barbara Davis Center (BDC) for a full day of diabetes education. Damn, that night was a whirlwind. It was full of tears, both of sadness and anger.
I am so thankful for the BDC. If it was our lot in life to get this diagnosis, then it was fate that we were in Denver at the time. BDC is one of the top juvenile diabetes centers in the United States and it’s easy to see why. From that very first, information filled day, we’ve been supported immensely. November 1st we were assigned an entire team of medical professionals. A social worker, a registered dietitian, a registered nurse, a nurse practitioner, and a pediatric endocrinologist. Sounds like I just introduced The Breakfast Club. There were confessions and lunch, but no dancing montage. (“Don’t you, forget about me…” Insert air fist here)
Everyone did a great job explaining everything to my husband and me. Giving us plenty of time to ask questions, practice blood sugar checks and injections, and just giving us reassurance. Near the end of the day, I realized we had been paired with the correct endocrinologist for us. We were talking baseball and great World Series games. He apologized to my husband for speaking so much to the RN in the room as he was writing down websites and we were talking research. I looked at him and said “Since I apparently can’t treat this with essential oils, can I at least get some vegan insulin?” He looked at me, smirked and laughed. At that moment I knew he was the right endocrinologist for us, and that this was going to be okay.
And that is the day, ironically a day that revolves around strangers giving candy to children, that we found out that our daughter was just too freaking sweet (literally).
And of note: Our beloved Cubbies would go on to win the World Series in the best ever game 7, 1 day later on November 2.