It's been a long and draining weekend for us- we spent it in the hospital with DD, age 5. We're home now and she should be able to return to school in a few days.
I'm sharing here most of a letter I just sent out to family and friends via email-- names and minor details changed for internet privacy. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.
Dear Family & Friends,
As some of you know, we have spent the last 48 hours in the hospital with DD. Over the last few weeks we had noticed an increase in her thirst, frequent trips the the restroom, and weight loss. On Friday afternoon our fears were confirmed when she was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. She was immediately hospitalized. (For those of you with some diabetes knowledge- her blood glucose was over 500, she was throwing ketones in her urine, and she was treated for ketoacidosis.)
Type I means that her body produces no insulin-- it has nothing to do with anything she ate or anything that we did. There was nothing we could have done to prevent it. DD will require four or more insulin shots a day for the rest of her life, plus 5 or 6 daily AccuChecks (DD calls these "finger pokes"). She will continue to eat normal foods, but now we have to balance everything she eats with the proper dose of insulin after each meal. Each dose of insulin is measured based on how many carbohydrates she has eaten, so you will notice that our conversations are suddenly full of carb counts.
It is our desire to continue life as normal as much as possible. We ask that you not refer to DD as "sick" or "poor DD"... for her, this is simply a change in lifestyle. Soccer, school, birthday parties, trick or treating... it will all go on as usual after these first few weeks. If we are going to be eating with you, rest assured that she can eat anything she likes- you don't need to make special foods- we will just need to control her portion sizes & give her a routine injection afterwards.
Your prayers as we all adjust to this new challenge are appreciated. We are exhausted and overwhelmed, but confident that we will soon learn to take this as just another part of everyday life.
Amy & Randy
P.S. Please feel free to pass this information along to any family or friends we might have missed.