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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Diabetes A Full Week In

It's been just over one full week since we found out our son has diabetes and what a whirlwind it has been.  It feels like we have had a month worth of activity crammed in to a quarter of the time.  Yesterday we went for our first follow up appointment since leaving the hospital.  We had one of the first appointments at 8 in the morning and I fully expected to be there for a while as with any doctor's office.  However, being one of the pediatric out-patient facilities for Yale, we were actually whisked in within about 5 minutes of arriving.  We had to go through all the routine vitals checks, and within a few minutes after that, we had the nurse and dietician come to talk to us.  When we first met them, I could feel a distinct uncertainty in their demeanor towards us, a hesitation as to what kind of parent and patient team we would be.  Would we be the one's freaking out that they would have to talk down off the ledge or would we be the one's who weren't taking it seriously and they would have to lecture us on the seriousness of the entire situation and the life changes that would have to be made.  To their surprise, which quickly became apparent, we were actually on top of everything.  I had taken pictures his chart of blood sugar readings and his carbohydrate loads through the recent days.  Everything was where it needed to be for just getting out of the hospital.  Even with the dietician, we were already well on our way to providing our son what he needed and rather than lectures or discourses, we had a good conversation about foods and how with our healthy eating we were already on track to providing our son the proper diet.  By the end, we had stopped talking about diabetes and the dietician and nurse were actually taking down the name of the farm that we get our cow and pig from because they like the idea of local, grass fed, humanely treated meat.  I almost laughed, but didn't.  By the time they were walking out, they were impressed with where our family was already at in terms of adjusting our lifestyle and said that if only the majority of other parents were more like us, their job would be a whole lot easier.  I guess we are doing something right!

Perhaps the best news of all came near the end.  I could stop testing our son's blood sugar overnight and could actually sleep through the night for the first time in over a week.  I was elated to say the least.  I am used to occasionally surviving on a only a few hours of sleep, but that is only one night at a time, not a whole week's worth of relatively sleepless nights.  After dealing with that little sleep for a week, it makes me realize that I could never be in the military and deal with even less sleep during training.  I would be that guy who would completely ignore authority, sneak out of formation, and go take a nap in dark corner some where.  Lucky for me, I knew those cards were never in my hand.  I thought that perhaps I would feel well rested after a full night's sleep last night, however, I underestimated the toll that sleeplessness took on me, and I think I woke up more tired than normal.  There is of course the fact that I caught a cold while in the hospital and my body was probably starting get used to the interrupted sleep rhythm.  My hope now is not to return to normal immediately, but maybe within a week I could start sleeping a little better and actually feel rested.  It also doesn't help that I am on my feet all day working, but alas, at least I don't have to deal with a lot of people like my wife does as a high school teacher.  

While the full night sleep on my part was the best news for me, there is good news on all fronts from yesterday.  Our son went back to school yesterday, a late start since we had the doctor's appointment, and despite the fact that he didn't want to, he made it through the whole day and actually let the school nurse take his blood sugar without having to talk to me.  The nurse did call to let me know he had done it all by himself and I couldn't be more proud of him.  He came a long way in just a week.  Less than 5 days ago, he would still fight the blood sugar testing on his finger whereas now whenever asked he walks over and hands us his finger for testing.  We are also making great strides with the insulin shots.  It took us using an ice pack to numb his arm, but with my wife in school last night, I was able to have our son sit on my lap, nervous but not struggling, and let me give him his two shots without a peep of complaint.  His arm was numb enough where he flinched before the needle went in and actually questioned whether I had given him the shot or not.  These are big strides we are making here and the stress it takes off my wife and I is immense.  The worst thing was holding him down to administer shots while he was literally kicking and screaming.  The three of us would have tear filled eyes and have to go sobbing our separate ways to recover.  Last good piece of news, his blood sugar is starting to normalize and last night we actually had two readings in a row that were between 140 and 150.  We are getting there, one day at a time.  

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