Tuesday, April 14, 2009
What I did over the first weekend of Spring Break
Jared & I got to go away from home this weekend, the first weekend of his Spring Break. We had room service, well, Jared did, I had to go to the cafeteria. And we had maid service. I got to sleep somewhere other than home, which is something I've wanted to do lately. But the real estate agents are right. What matters really is location, location, location. Because while where we went took care of our needs, it certainly wasn't the vacation I've longed for.
See, to enjoy such things, I've realized that you have to be in good health, which just wasn't the case.
After watching Jared's dark circles around his eyes get darker and darker, and listening to him get up for the last couple of weeks and pee during the night, and listening to him tell stories of how sometimes he can see the teacher's whiteboard clearly, but other times it seemed blurry, and how his friends have taken to slapping his hands that turn purplish during school time because sometimes that makes them go back to a normal color, I finally realized what was going on and took his blood sugar level on Saturday morning before he had a chance to eat. And I found that his blood sugar level was 282. While I was calling the doctor's office, he ate sausage gravy on homemade whole wheat bread and his levels went up to 383.
So we took him into the doc on call and he had Jared pee in a cup. Sure enough, there was sugar in his pee. After getting the results, the doc came in and told us that my boy has Type 1 Diabetes.
So over the weekend Jared & I stayed at the hospital and learned about managing diabetes. It isn't as bad as it once was. They taught us that damage isn't done to the body unless high blood sugars are sustained. So we'll keep his blood sugars down in a certain level with insulin and he should be just fine.
So, I'm learning to count carbs. For instance, did you know that a 1 oz. cookie and 1 oz. of bread have about 15 carbs? I didn't. But a 1 oz piece of bread is bigger than the 1 oz cookie. And for every 15 carbs he has to have unit of insulin. Carbs are found in lots of things, even sugar free candy as we found out on Easter Sunday.
I am a person who likes to see the silver lining. "It could be worse" is my mantra. So for me, discovering that most poor kids are lethargic when they finally discover they have diabetes, and Jared just looked like he was sick with some unknown flu bug makes me feel thankful that I had a glucometer around to check him with and catch his early in the game. The fact that he was diagnosed in 2009, instead of in some past decade when they had less knowledge and diabetes seemed like a death sentence, makes me feel thankful. That we were only there for Saturday, Sunday, and through to Monday afternoon is wonderful. That we get to learn how to manage diabetes this week during Spring Break instead of my kids missing a ton of school is amazing luck. That we had such knowledgeable people surrounding us with love, good wishes, and a vast amount of information to make Jared's life more enjoyable makes me humbled and oh so grateful. And they gave me their cell phone numbers to call anytime, which relieves me. And knowing that we'll come home and be helped through life by such wonderful family and friends is tremendously comforting.
And he is thankful that he feels so much better. Better than he has in months, so he tells me. So he just couldn't quit smiling for the pictures I snapped for his scrapbook.
It could have been worse. So much worse. So while it was tiring to have to wake up with him at 3 am last night to make sure his blood sugar levels hadn't plummeted, how glad I am that he woke up. And he was glad that he had a reason to eat some of that dried pineapple that we bought yesterday for when his blood sugars were low. He wasn't very low, but after reaching up to 403, 80 seems low to his body for now. He was a bit shaky and feeling funny, which is what a low feels like, so he ate some pineapple and came right back up.
And I got to sleep in my own bed without having to dash out of the house at 6 to make sure I can talk with the doc when he comes around for rounds like I did Monday morning. Or sleep on a fold out chair that I can feel all of the springs and bars and wake up every 3 hours to check on Jared like on Saturday night.
Managing Jared's diabetes will become routine and normal and second nature. And for that I am truly grateful.