Wednesday, November 21, 2007


** IV Free Josh, spent the rainy days pre-occupied with Origami

I know most of us have children and God forbid any of your kids have Diabetes, but it plays to be safe. So please indulge me as I relay my story and perhaps you may pick up a thing or two :-)

I had feelings of guilt, how I could have not detected Josh's condition early. But my doctor reminded me, that Josh must have had Diabetes in his genes but there were no symptoms so I should not feel bad. A virus or infection could have triggered his Diabetes to come out this early; there were instances where a healthy, non-diabetic child had German Measles and shortly after that had symptoms of diabetes. Incidentally, Josh had hand, foot and mouth disease earlier this year. History wise, there is only one Type 1 diabetic in our family and it's my lola's nephew while josh's paternal side, had Type 2. I read in Diabetic books referring to possible causes such as protein found in cow's milk and even medicine administered for Pneumonia, which J0sh was confined for at the age of 2. Either way, diabetes is here to stay.

Around a month ago, Josh had began to wet his bed. He was 6 years old at that time and way past the bed wetting stage, at first we thought it was the stress of school (Maybs, you know what i'm talking about :-) because he began waking up with a wet bed around exam week. Josh is in first grade, and I could only assume how overwhelming it was they would have 2 or more quizzes in a day and the things they have to memorize was crazy! Anyway, we had consulted the doctor in time for the sem break and the doc mentioned that since we're on vacation to observe if josh would still wet his bed, after all he should be more relaxed. Sure enough he never wet his bed the whole 5 days we were away and seemed normal.

But soon as we got back to Manila, his frequent urination was suspicious. Often urinating more in the evenings, he would go to the bathroom before going to sleep, he would wake up at midnight and even around 2am to pee and STILL woke up with a wet bed. And we noticed that he began to lose weight, not to mention he could chug down a small bottle of mineral water and still be thirsty afterwards. So we went back to the doctor 6 days before his 7th birthday (Nov. 16th). The doc asked for a urinalysis and to my Tita's insistence also a blood test (thank goodness!) and that's when his sugar was +4, when the normal sugar if i'm not mistaken should be in the negatives (tama ba dra. Rita?). I called my doctor and he said to rush josh to the ER thank God talaga he was doing his rounds on a sunday! When they got josh's blood sugar it was a shocking 373 (normal I believe is 80-110)! He was also Ketoacidotic as well, which meant he had high ketones that could lead to a diabetic coma. So the doctors had to rush and administer IV and insulin.

As a friend of mine said, in times like these how often that we as parents want to take our childs place. It couldn't be more true.

As I was told, being diabetic can also constrict the veins, that's why it was so difficult for them to insert an IV on Josh. Can you believe they tried 7, count them, SEVEN times! He was good about it, didn't cry but got fed up on the 7th try. They ended up having the IV on his left foot and a second line (just in case they needed it) waiting on the right hand.

By that evening, his sugar level went down but through the course of our stay in Makati Med we experienced low blood sugar of 54 which wasn't good either. How many times have I wished that as he lay down on his hospital bed, it was me instead of him going through all those nasty pricks and shots.

Makati Medical had a Diabetic Center, which oriented patients and family members about the illness, footcare, how to administer insulin and nutrition as well. During our first day of the orientation as I was overwhelmed by all the information, the supervisor of the center said a Type 1 will be sitting in with us. I assumed it was a parent of another child much like mine, when I saw a pretty twentysomething. Apparently she's had Type 1 at around the age of 6. The day after, I met a doctor who was a Type 1 since age 11. I take it as God's way of saying "Don't worry. You see? All these people are happy and healthy, and Josh can be just like them." Even now, I keep that vision in mind that Josh can live with his Diabetes and still enjoy life if not better.

We are very fortunate to be able to have a nurse round the clock now to help us watch over josh, just yesterday he had a bout of hypoglycemia his sugar level was down to 52 when he was in school. Good thing our nurse reacted quickly and gave him some fruit juice which quickly raised his blood sugar, thank God that he never had symptoms.

When you see Josh now he's not the usual chubby ball (as we love to call him), but still healthy, kulit and super talkative. No one would suspect that Josh was diabetic, he's just like any hyperactive 7 year old boy.

It's a totally different lifestyle now, especially in the food department. Josh was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon, that morning I rushed to the grocery to stock up after all, we removed every sinful thing in our kitchen.

I hardly felt depressed when Josh was confined, not until that moment when I was walking down the aisles of Landmark. I love to cook and bake, and Josh is my constant baking apprentice and avid food fan. Seeing all the food he loved and that he could not have any of it not for a while anyway, really got to me. I know, it's weird isn't it? And of all places to feel depressed was on aisle 20 amid the Chips Ahoy and Oreos! So now my pantry is stocked with sugar free treats given only during the prescribed time and counted per piece.

And so as I type this post, I have bought every book I can find about Diabetes, gone to every site I can Google about Type 1 Diabetes, have made josh's meal plan (counting the calories, fat, etc.), have constantly checked his feet daily since footcare is important for diabetics, administered insulin (which is twice a day), have to coax him to have his fingers pricked to test for his blood sugar 5 times a day, have arranged with Josh's school for his care, and all the while burden wasn't in the picture.

My tita says that its as simple as a mother's love for her child. All the pressure is thrown out the window, because all we have in our minds is for our children tot be fine.

To those who sent text messages, dropped by to visit Josh, who posted at the SE and PS groups and gave their words of encouragements and prayers . . . thank you from the bottom of our hearts.