Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Diagnosis: Part 3

Kevin made it to the hospital just before the endocrinologist came to talk with us. He asked us a million questions about my pregnancy, Matthew's health, our family history. You name it, we answered it.

He reassured us several times that we did nothing to cause this. It was nothing that I did or did not do during pregnancy. Nothing that I fed or did not feed Matthew. It was a virus. Who knew such a thing could happen? The short version is that the virus mimics your beta cells in the pancreas, which produce insulin, and tricks your body into killing off your own cells. The end result is that Matthew no longer makes insulin and will be 100% dependent on insulin until there is a cure.

Okay, back to the story. The doctor explains that he's going to admit Matthew to the hospital to stay for 5 days. (Turns out it was only 3. Yea!) Matthew was so upset at having to stay in the hospital. He cried and cried.

Until he got to his room. This child LOVED the children's hospital. TV, movies, video games. All that stuff that I never let him have. He was in heaven. And that was before he found the gift shop. Oh. My. Word. There was a little library at the hospital. An aquarium with an eel. Plus, they had different activities and visitors every day. Matthew got to meet some therapy dogs while we were there.

A couple weeks ago, when we took Matthew for his check-up, he was seriously hoping they would admit him. Great.

The actual hospital stay was relatively uneventful. Most of the time, Kevin and I spent with a diabetes educator getting a crash course in how to care for Matthew. All I thought I had to do was simply give him a shot. Boy, was I wrong.

We learned about all sorts of things. How to check his sugar with a lancing device. How to change that needle. When to check his sugar. Keeping him in range. How to treat when he goes low. How to correct when he goes high. Teaching us to count carbs. Learning what his carb-to-insulin ratio is. Learning how that ratio changes throughout the day. How to draw up the insulin. How to give the insulin. Where to give the shots. How to rotate sight injections. How to dispose of the syringes. We learned what ketones are. And how to get rid of them. What to do before exercise. What to do during exercise. We learned what to do if we find him passed out. Sigh. It was completely overwhelming.

But you know what? God got us through and He will continue to do so. There is one truly amazing thing God did that first night in the hospital. I will share that story soon and that'll wrap up this long diagnosis story.

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