Four years in September Hannah was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Four years we have battled colds and illness, I've held my breath through flu season after flu season, terrified she would get it. I vaccinate, but is it enough?
I've sat by her side through multiple stomach bugs, holding her hair while she would heave everything in her tiny body into a bucket. Stomach bugs are the most terrifying simply because of how quickly they can land you in the ER. I knew it was only a matter of time before it happened to us, and last night was that time.
She was in a lot of pain. A LOT. She was incoherent, didn't know her name, where she was, or what was happening. She had blurry vision, which started all of this around 5:30 last night, but we first thought it was a low blood sugar. Something felt really off though and I couldn't put my mind at ease. I dialed her endo's after hours number and after speaking with him, I still felt uneasy. He said to just watch her and not to go to the ER just yet. It felt like the wrong answer.
Mother's intuition is a thing. It's real. I knew that was the wrong answer and less than an hour after hanging up the phone with him, I was in the car speeding to the hospital. She couldn't hold her head up, she was breathing fast and shallow, and in my head I heard myself berating my choice to not immediately head to the ER in the first damn place.
We got to the hospital around 9:40 and I yelled for help. A security guard and valet were there at my side as Hannah continued to heave into a bucket, unaware of what was happening. They pulled her back immediately despite the waiting room being filled to the brim with people. There was nowhere to sit, I was holding a bucket of vomit, and Hannah could barely sit up straight. I was terrified.
The room we were placed in was quiet and she was moaning and writhing in pain. I knew she was dehydrated but how bad? It seemed like it took forever for the doctor to come in, and it wasn't until 11 that she got her IV placed and fluids going. They gave her two bags quickly, along with Zofran and morphine...that one surprised me. I think the doctor thought it was her appendix, as he did a check 3 times before we had been discharged at 2:30 a.m.
I knew it wasn't her appendix but figured it couldn't hurt to explore that. No, she was dehydrated, and the labs came back saying just that. She became more aware of her surroundings as the second bag of fluids emptied into her vein. I was getting a glimpse of my baby as she was in and out of sleep. I felt more peaceful when we were able to leave...expensive bags of fluid right there.
I didn't sleep when we got home. I laid next to her in bed and listened to her snore. Porter was anxious and not happy. I didn't know why. Ketones...I'd later figure that out...but I let her sleep. She woke up and felt better but soon had that familiar stomach pain come back, so we have been working our ass off today, in contact with her endo, making sure we are two steps ahead this time.
Dehydration is serious for anyone. People die from it. Dehydration with type 1 diabetes is even more complicated because DKA can happen quickly. I knew if I didn't get her to that ER last night, that she'd end up in DKA by morning.
I made the call to take her in despite medical advice that all was fine. I knew in my heart the situation wasn't good, but, I for some reason needed that confirmation from her endo.
So many times in my life I've let authority make decisions for me. As I get older and more aware, I realize that I don't have to have anyone's okay to do a fucking thing for myself or my family.
I've lived a life of constant worry and anxiety since Hannah was diagnosed, and I used to be terrified of the idea of having to bring her to the ER for extra help. I'm not scared anymore. I'll do it again and again and again, because that bag of IV fluids saved her life.
It's not a matter of if you'll end up in the hospital with diabetes, but when. Don't be scared of it. Be the advocate that only YOU can be for your child or yourself. Doctors are not God, and you have a better idea of what your sugar baby needs than anyone else does. Don't be scared. You've got this; I promise.
We are doing better today. It's been stressful making sure she stays hydrated...whether this was severe dehydration brought on by lack of drinking yesterday, or a tummy bug that exasperated the dehydration, it doesn't matter. The end result is the same...we weren't going to be able to do what needed to be done at home, and the ER was where she was supposed to be.
Here's to better days ahead, as we learn from this mistake. Drink your water folks. It's life giving. Your body needs it.