October 29, 2012

The Sugar (Part 1)

Moo has Type I Diabetes.  I'm not sure how this fact has eluded the Confessions thus far, but I guess I don't have a whole lot to say on the topic in general.  It is very much ingrained in our daily lives, of course, and yet life just rolls along without much incident as far as the disease goes.  I can't figure out how something that drives me nuts multiple times a day and has a good bit of "control" over some of the function of our days has become sort of ho-hum and so mundane.

Our "journey"  (that sounds so euphemistic, but "nightmare" might be a little extreme) began exactly three years ago today.  Moo had been symptomatic (unbeknownst to us) for probably about a year--hindsight is so enlightening.  The problem was (aside from the fact that I pretty much don't worry about anything--to a fault sometimes) Moo would complain of symptoms that were isolated, seemingly "normal" and I felt always had a reasonable explanation.  Sometimes she would come home from school with a  headache (I would think she had a long day, or just needed a snack), or she would be moody (7 going on 17, anyone?).  Occasionally she would complain about her vision, but she was literally sitting in the dining room 20 feet away from the counter telling me she couldn't read the microwave clock while she was chewing her dinner.  (I tried it--the 1/2-inch high numbers on the LED clock on the microwave are not too smooth at 20 paces while jawing a mouthful of mac 'n cheese.)

Anyway, the big tell was when she started getting up to use the bathroom EVERY night.  Sometimes twice.  Sometimes THREE times.  We refused water before bed and still she got up.  I was still pretty much clueless, but The Sarge's spidey senses were tingling.  His brother is a Type I diabetic diagnosed thirty years ago when he was four years old.

Now, just a brief education for you:  Type I diabetes is not considered to be hereditary, so we did not immediately jump to that conclusion.  And one might think that having someone in the family with it would have given us a leg-up on the recognition factor, but The Sugar is quite a bi-polar animal.  The Sarge remembers being drilled on what to look for if his little brother started acting funny or looked unwell.  He remembers him passing out quite a few times.  In general, low blood sugar is a pretty serious concern for a lot of Type I diabetics.  What we were unknowingly dealing with was the opposite end of the spectrum--and not uncommon for undiagnosed Type I's.  Moo's blood sugar was through the roof.  (Now about those spidey senses....)

October 27, 2009.  The Sarge was insistent that something was wrong.  I felt that whatever it was could be dealt with at Moo's annual well-check, scheduled a few weeks from then.  I actually said, "If you really think there is something wrong, then you call and get her an appointment sooner."  He actually did.  It was for the 29th.

I was less than thrilled because for starters, it was Trick or Treat night in our town.  Also, the appointment was for 2:00 pm so I had to take Moo out of school early for it.  We got to our family physician's office and went over the issues (symptoms), she asked a lot of questions, drew some blood and had Moo pee in a cup.  Then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  for about 45 minutes.  I was not particularly thrilled about the wait and I was starting to get a little weirded out.  What the hell could be taking so long?

Never in a million years would I have guessed that the doctor would come back in the room and say "I suspect your daughter has Type I diabetes."  The Sugar.  Seriously, I thought we were going to get a pamphlet, go home, and maybe come back in a few days for a follow-up visit.  I had no idea.  I think it took some time for the shock to wear off.  Neither of us started crying until we were in the car on the way to the Emergency Room.  And I think we were both mostly crying because it was then--on our way to the hospital and some scary unknown new normal--solidly sure that she wouldn't be trick-or-treating that night.

~Part 2~

1 comment:

  1. Scary and sad. ((Hugs)) I have friends who are in the same boat. Tis not easy by a long shot, but it is do-able, or so they tell me. Best of luck with things.


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