T1D Can Stickittodamaneosis – learning to live with T1D

Well with the shock-n-awe out of the way, next up was learning to live with T1D training classes, where you get to try to remember as much as you can in 3 days. You learn about ketones and sugar levels and what happens when you are sick. It is a whirlwind of information that is vitally important, but with all the stress and sleepless nights, you will need to revisit much of the information at a later date. The real fun starts, though, when you get to inject your selves and/or one another. Now most people have an innate sense to not hurt themselves, so how do you get a 16 year old girl to bridge that gap and stick needles in her arm, stomach and buttocks? That is where I come in! With life weighing heavy on my daughter and her road ahead, I offered up my arm as a sacrifice where shots were practiced “repeatedly!”  The entire time this test dummy could only smile and say how easy that was and how I could barely feel it. No flinching, cowering or anticipating was allowed, in this case I had to take one for the team, but I was rather glad that it was not N-EOSIS!

I must say though, looking back at the training, Seattle Children’s Hospital did a pretty good job of getting us ready for life with T1D, but training was pretty much during business hours and if you happen to fall on a holiday weekend, get ready for a little longer stay. In our case, Happy 2013 everybody! Remember that cliché of a new year’s resolution you were thinking about, well throw that fodder out the window, because now you had some serious concerns to address. With that holiday weekend we took a full 5 days to get our 3 days of training, but in retrospect, I think we needed that time to adjust, get her body leveled and inadvertently see how she reacted when her sugar started going low. Up to now we had only experienced sugar highs, which are dangerous, but have a little range to go up and come back down, whereas the new lows that can come from too much insulin can be acutely dangerous and even a slight overdose, if not addressed, can put you in a comma or worse. Looking back at these times, she was also experiencing a sort of withdrawal from the sugar high. My daughter had elevated sugar levels for such a long time that getting into the normal range was making her feel out of it, and in one instance when she was dosed with too much insulin, and dipped into the 40’s, we had some real issues, but going through that with an experienced nursing staff was way better than experiencing it on your own.

So what do you do in the hospital when you are not getting T1D training, that right, you go back to plan “A” and divert attention to something fun. If you remember from my previous post, my daughter was promised a new pup, so she had been spending hours researching, emailing breeders, thinking up names and looking into training techniques for diabetes alert dogs, but you can’t do this forever so when she put the computer down I decided to introduce her to a movie that I consider a classic, but silly movie. Now a movie like this cannot be enjoyed all the time, in my opinion, but when you are punch-drunk with the assault on your mind and body, Monty Python and the Holy Grail will fit the bill. We had to watch the swallow scene over and over, and when the Black Knight was chopped into pieces, we were laughing so hard we could barely breathe. We instantly related to the quote “Come on you pansy!” because even though neither of us said it, we felt a little like the Black Knight.

Over the next few days we finished our training got our new supplies, woohoo!, and it was now time go home.

It was a brave new world out there and we had to face the road ahead – ready or not!