Monday, February 28, 2011

Our Year with Diabetes

One year ago today was one of the worst possible days of my life. I watched as my then 6 year old son laid in a hospital bed fighting for his life. He was unresponsive, and in what I found out was DKA, Diabetic ketoacidosis.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a state of absolute or relative insulin deficiency aggravated by ensuing hyperglycemia, dehydration, and acidosis-producing derangements in intermediary metabolism. The most common causes are underlying infection, disruption of insulin treatment, and new onset of diabetes.

As I watched him laying there that day, I couldn't help but start to think, "How am I going to do this, and more importantly, "How is he going to do this"...I really had no understanding at that time what exactly was going on, and what exactly Type 1 diabetes was. I was ignorant to the two types, and had no knowledge of the disease other then a few facts about Type 2. I couldn't fathom the idea of having to give my son a shot, (Let alone 6 a day). I was at the time deathly afraid of needles for myself. How was I going to manage to give my son a shot. I had so many questions that needed answered but couldn't seem to get the words out of my mouth.

I watched as the nurses showed me how to draw up his insulin, and administer the injections. During the first day Cliffy really didn't know what was going on as he was in and out of sleep. It wasn't until the second day that he started to come around after having his insulin injections. You could see how much better he was starting to look. It wasn't until this time that the idea of him having diabetes became a reality. Until then I think I was in denial thinking they had it wrong. The thought of his pancreas only functioning at 20% like they stated didn't make any sense to me what so ever. He had what I thought was only the flu. To me all he needed was to get some fluids in him and get back to eating... Well that was not the case. And it wasn't until he started to look a lot healthier with the insulin injections that I realized they were right.

It has definitely been a crazy but prosperous year with D. We have had 3 hospitalizations in addition to diagnosis, 2 from hypo episodes causing a seizure and Cliffy passing out, and one from the Flu. But in all the amount of knowledge I have absorbed since diagnosis is crazy. And unlike a year ago, we are now connected with a great support system known as the DOC (Diabetic Online Community.). Without them I may have completely lost my mind by now.

For everything that has happened Cliffy has come out on top, he is the same boy I remember but only stronger, and much more grown up. The is the one downside of Diabetes. Diabetes has forced him to grown up much faster then he should have to. But despite of it all he is a happy boy, he loves life, and his family, especially his siblings. And for it all I commend him for all he has had to endure this year, and for all he's overcome!

I also must commend Chad for everything he has done as well. For what it's worth to him I appreciate everything he has done, and couldn't have made it through it all without him as well. He stuck by our sides and went through the same things Cliffy and I did, and learned how to take care of him as well.

In ending, this may not be one anniversary I wish to celebrate one year in, but I am very happy we have made it this far. I am more happy that my son is alive to celebrate this anniversary as well. I'm sure in time I will learn not to be as bitter to D as I might be now, because I have definitely have become less and less over the course of our year with Diabetes.

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