I don't think that I will ever forget the events leading up to and the couple months after my 18 month old daughter, Alicia, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It was two days before my 32nd birthday when my husband and I took Alicia to a walk-in clinic because she was broke out all over, was wetting through disposable diapers, and had drank 8 bottles that day (normal intake had been three). At that time she was diagnosed with a bad case of the coxsackie virus and we were told that all of the fluid intake was her natural way of "flushing out" her system.
Five days later she started throwing up quite extensively. By the time I got her to the doctor's office, she was rushed to the hospital for severe dehydration. I remember watching the doctors hooking up IVs and monitors to my baby and then admitting her to the ICU (a mother's worst nightmare is watching her baby with heart monitors, IVs, etc.). Due to the severity of the dehydration, it took a couple of days for the doctors to diagnose her with DKA.
I guess I can only compare the thoughts that went through my heart and head are the same as those with a death in the family. First came denial (not our baby!), then anger (why our baby?!), then you have to come to grips and find out how to deal with it. After three days in the ICU and another three in Pediatrics, Alicia and I were released to go home to daddy and big brother Ryan.
It has been three months for all of us and we can finally see some hope for control of her glucose levels. Alicia is getting used to the finger sticks, but still fights injections. I don't know if things ever become normal. Sure, we go on family outings and things together and try to make it as normal as possible. But you always have to remember the glucose montior, insulin, "low sugar" snacks, etc., and you are always thinking about possible future health complications.
Laura and Mike Gregus receive e-mail at [email protected].
Alicia in her holiday best
Original posting: 15 Feb 98
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