Monday, November 22, 2010

The "D" Word

No, not that word, but in all honesty, I wish that were what this post was about. These last few days have been quite the whirlwind at our house. We found out on Wednesday that Blake has Type 1 Diabetes. To say we are shocked would be an understatement.

So, here's how it all came about. Last Monday Blake was getting ready to leave for school and said he felt like he was going to be sick. Within seconds, he was puking all over my bedroom floor. Without even hesitating, I just told him to go ahead and go back to bed and I would call the school. He spent most of the day in bed but was feeling better by early afternoon. He was able to eat and drink with no problems and actually seemed to feel a little better after he ate. I just chalked it up as being a "bug."

Tuesday he seemed fine and went to school but just after lunch he called and said he wasn't feeling well again. I talked to the nurse and she said he didn't look so good so she suggested he come home. As soon as he walked in the door, he grabbed a bottle of water and went up to his room where he slept until the other kids came home from school.

By dinner time he seemed to be feeling better so again, I thought it was just a "bug." By the time Matt came home, Blake was feeling much better so of course Matt thought maybe Blake was trying to get out of something at school (normally Blake does not like to miss school) or was just overly tired from being up all night long going to the bathroom because he was drinking so much water lately. I did explain to Matt that the nurse called and sent him home and that I didn't think Blake was faking it.

Later that night after the kids went to bed Matt came in and told me to read something adn that we needed to get Blake to the doctor right away. He had googled insulin which took him to a site all about diabetes. As soon as I saw the symptoms, I thought of everything that was going on with Blake or things that he has complained about recently.

Increased thirst and frequent urination
Weight loss (Matt had just mentioned how skinny Blake was looking)
Blurred vision (the week before last Blake was complaining about not being able to see)
Extreme hunger

Even though he had all they symptoms, I still didn't think that is what he had so by morning I had actually forgotten about it until Blake came down looking yellow and saying he had really bad stomach cramps. I left him here to take Mylee to school and called the doctor who said they could get him in around 9. So I came home, picked him up and off we went for what I thought was just going to be a "he just a a virus, give it a couple of days and he will be fine" visit.

We explained to the doctor what was going on and he went ahead and sent us to the lab. While we waited for the results, I could hear the nurses on the phone talking with someone about extremely high levels. Then, the doctor walked in, shut the door, and asked that Drew turn off the game he was playing. I knew this was not going to be good news. The diagnosis, Type 1 Diabetes. He started off by saying that he didn't know how Blake was able to walk into the -office because his blood sugar was so high. A normal level is between 70-120, Blake's were over 500! He said that usually when a kid comes in with numbers that high, they are being carried in or are immediately admitted to the hospital.

At this point we were told to drop everything because we were being sent to an Endroconologist and he would start insulin that day. So, I called Matt, he left work, came home made arrangements for our kids, had the daycare kids picked up and Blake, Matt and I were off to the hospital here in town. Blake had more labs done and then we sat for over 4 house listening to a nurse tell us about Diabetes, and how we were going to manage this. Basically until Blake gets leveled out, he is checking his blood sugar at least 4 times a day by pricking his finger. He also has to have insulin shots 4 times a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime). The biggest change is going to be his diet. Protein is going to be his new best friend and he is only allowed to have at least 330 grams of carbohydrates in a day. What he eats and how much is very important. Everything has to be measured and counted if it has any carbs in it. He can have as much protein as he wants, but he also has to balance his proteins and carbs out throughout the day. For now we are keeping a record of his blood sugar, carb intake, and how much insulin he gets (his insulin amount depends on what his blood sugar is) and then we have to call that into the doctor every morning so they can decide what needs to be upped or lowered.

This is what Blake uses to check his blood sugar.

These are his insulin pens. The blue one is used throughout the day and the gray one is the long lasting one that he takes before bed.

For now we are still trying to come to terms with all of this. For the most part Blake is doing really well. At first he was upset because he didn't think he was going to be able to play football or eat anything "good" ever again. Luckily, he can and will continue to do anything he wants. He can also eat anything as long as he stays within his allotted carbs for that meal or snack. We have been told that he will probably go through some depression and grieving as he tried to understand everything. I think right now the biggest thing is all the attention he is getting. He wanted to hang out with his friends this weekend, but as soon as he hear there were going to be girls there, he declined. He said he didn't want to deal with the girls so he would rather not go. Apparently the girls may have felt sorry for him and he said he just didn't want to deal with it (we will see if that is how he feels in a couple of years).

I think school is going to be his biggest adjustment for now. He has to really watch what he eats at school, and pay attention to his body and how he feels. He also has to take his blood sugar and give himself an insulin shot at lunch everyday. I am anxious for him to get home today so I can see how everything went.

We have had an enormous amount of information given to us and now we are trying to sort through it all and learn as much as we can about Diabetes so Blake can live as normal a life as possible. We would appreciate any and all prayers for Blake right now and his transition to his new lifestyle.


Sher said...

I have Type 1 Diabetes as well. It is an adjustment but he will get used to it. I always tell people I can still have a piece of cake just can't eat the whole thing! It's all about balance and staying on top of how youfeel.

TanyaLea said...

Mandi ~ I'm so sorry about Blake. I've been thinking of you guys since you posted about it on FB. Will certainly be lifting you all up in prayer, but especially Blake right now. He will adjust's just a matter of learning new discipline. Praising God that you caught it before something went terribly wrong! Be claiming scriptures over him and his body, and taking authority over any spirits of depression that may try to creap in. Feeling down is one thing, but depression is a whole 'nother, and you don't need it. Will be agreeing in prayer with you.

And I must say...he sure is HANDSOME in that photo! I love his hair grown out like that on him. So cute!! :)

God bless you all, Mandi! Enjoy your Thanksgiving as a family... we know there will be some really tastey PROTEIN on the table this Thursday! ;)


Lori said...

Wow, what a roller coaster! I'm so glad you got him to the doctor when you did. My gosh, 500?!! Yikes. God was protecting him, big time!

This is life-altering, no doubt. But once you all get it figured out, managing it will be *easy*, I'm sure. Well, maybe not easy...but doable.

Love you, friend!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mandy--so sorry to hear about Blake! Our oldest daughter, Jen was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1982--she was 11. She has done very well and has 2 very healthy kids--Jaden and Brienna. It was a shock for us too but God has given us the strength to deal with it(Jen also) I'd be happy to talk with you anytime!!We will keep all of you in your prayers--there have been lots of improvements since 1982!!Our My phone # is 348-4133, Love, Manna Bruckner(Tara's Mom

Tara Anderson said...

Praying for you as you process this and try to get used to your "new" normal.

Anonymous said...

Praying for your family as it will be a family lifestyle change. My husband was diagnosed in March. he was over 400 and had no clue it was diabetes. Our 17 year old was diagnosed in July. They both seem to have things figured out and under control. It took me about a month to work out meals but it all worked out. Sorry he has to deal with this but God has a plan. It will be ok

Chris said...

You also want to carry a form of quick sugar with you/him...low blood sugar kills you much faster...I'm sure they told you that.
Yes God was watching over your son...500 is very high.
So glad you knew to get to the Dr.

Jean said...

I was a school nurse for many years. It is adjustment and a ton of information. It is hard on the kids at first- they have lots of feeling to sort through.

I was always amazed that after a couple months they handled it so well.

God bless him and his journey. He will do well but it is a bit of a shock at first.
Saying prayers for Blake! (and for his parents)

Joanna said...

What an adjustment--for all of you! We will pray for you and Blake. As far as football goes, does he know Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears' quarterback, has Type 1 diabetes?

Anonymous said...

I have been a type 1 diabetic since I was ten (now 27) and while it is tough at first it really isnt that big of a deal. You live and you learn. Once he starts getting into the swing of things you can look into an insulin pump and a continous glucose monitor (I use both) and that will help with him feeling embarrassed in fron of his friends. I would be happy to help answer any questions you might have vforth at gmail dot com

Kristi said...

Praying for all of you as you learn how to best manage Blake's diabetes.

Anonymous said...

First I just want to introduce myself- I'm Grace. I was a volunteer at New Day back in 2007 so I had the pleasure of spending time with Drew- such a great kid!

I'm so sorry to hear about Blake getting Diabetes- It's such an overwhelming diagnosis. I was diagnosed when I was 10. My blood sugar was close to 1000 and I was in a coma, my brain was swelling- the works. But 13.5 years later, I'm doing well. I'm living a great, exciting life and Diabetes isn't stopping me. I'm 7 months from graduating with my MA in Clinical Counseling, I've traveled to 7 countries (soon to be 8), I've played sports. Life won't stop for Blake just because he's Diabetic. While it may feel like his life is so drastically different now, he'll adjust to this new lifestyle in time. And you will, too. He'll be able to do whatever he wants. He may need to get creative or plan more than others in order to make things work, but he can still do what other kids his age are doing. He can definitely play football- have him check out Jay Cutler, the QB of the Chicago Bears. He was diagnosed 2 or 3 years ago.

I would suggest finding a support group for him and for you. I feel like most endo's have support groups for newly diagnosed diabetics so if you can find one, see if Blake is open to going. I really value my diabetic friends because we can support and understand each other in ways that only other diabetics can. There are also lots of great discussion boards online where you can get support and advice from other diabetics or parents of diabetics. Even of he doesn't want to go, try do something for yourself. It can help you deal with your thoughts/feelings (I can only imagine how you're feeling as his mother) and it can also help you learn how to better support Blake.

Again, I'm so sorry you guys have to go through this! You'll be in my prayers for sure. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

The Ferrill's said...

wow- I can imagine what a shock and how you must still be trying to re-group and re-focus.
Mandi I am praying for your family as you adjust to the news and to a new normal...praying praying praying!

Michelle said...

I follow your blog all the time and I will pray for Blake and your family. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your beautiful family!

Learning Together at Home said...

Mandi, I'm sorry to hear about your son's diagnosis. Sounds like a big (understatement) learning curve for all of you. I am so thankful that it was caught before it got any worse though. I don't knwo a whole lot about diabetes, but I appreciate your explanation. Truly praying for you all.

Wife of the Pres. said...

I have been so out of the blogging loop.

I am just now reading this.

I am so sorry. I am also so thankful for God's protection over him. And for Matt finding the info. That had to be God's leading.

Praying he finds his way through this. One of our pastors has Type I diabetes and he has to have a pump on his waist I think. But you would never know it. He is very active, healthy and has a beautiful family. He just has to do what you say: check sugar levels, be careful with his diet and sometimes he has to be reminded "you are turning yellow" by his lovely wife.

Anyway, I am so sorry but so thankful too you found out without him having a diabetic event.