Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Thankful for Strep Throat?

Wow.  As I sit here tonight, I don't even know how to start this post.  A week ago on Wednesday, Allie was feeling unwell.  She was very upset and had a headache and a stomachache before school.  I convinced her that since she didn't have a fever she needed to try to go to school.
She agreed to go and give it a shot.  She felt so badly, though, that she was home by 10AM.  She spent the afternoon lying on the couch feeling poorly but seemed better by evening.  She felt alright all of Thursday and Friday.  On Saturday, I noticed that  her face looked thin and she was pretty emotional. Sunday she was very not feeling well again.  Her head and her stomach again.  Sunday night she threw up a couple of times.  I don't know how you know that your kids have strep throat, but in my house -- when they complain of stomachache and headache, I think strep!
So, yesterday morning, I called and made an appointment to get her in to see her doctor.  I told Ken that while we were there I was going to mention to the doctor that Allie seemed to have lost some weight along with the fact that Allie was having trouble sleeping at night.

We arrived at the doctor's office at about 1:40PM.  I shared my list of symptoms with the nurse, who mentioned a stomach bug.  I told her that I wanted Allie to be tested for strep so before she left the room, she went ahead and did the swab.

The doctor came in shortly and I shared with her my list again.  I even pulled up a picture of Allie from when we were in Georgia after Easter.

And it was in that moment that things began to get concerning.  The doctor recommended doing blood tests, a urinalysis and a finger prick.  As she left the room, the nurse told us that the strep was positive.  The doctor turned around and shared this news with me but said that isn't all that is going on here. That weight loss is concerning.  Allie has lost about 10 lbs since we left my mother's house at the end of Spring Break.  

In a few short minutes, I was ushered into a different room, where the doctor asked if there was anyone I could call to be with me during this time.  I started to panic even more.  I had already been praying all the way to the doctors office because I knew there was something going on with her.  I was praying that God would be with her and let her be okay since the day before when I realized that my daughter now looked like skin and bones.  

The doctor told me that Allie's blood sugar was really high and we needed to go directly to the ER. That she was not stable and was very sick. She had called them and they were expecting us.  I got in my car and drove to the ER, praying as I went.  Allie was so sick. Her condition had deteriorated rapidly.  She was very agitated, lethargic, breathing hard, slurring her words and could barely stand much less walk.  

In the ER of the local hospital was the first time I heard the words Ketoacidosis.  That is what was wrong with my girl.  She was in Ketoacidosis and her blood sugar was up over 700.  My husband finally made it to the ER to meet us and spent some time in that room getting more stable before they transferred us to the pediatric ICU in a children's hospital about an hour from home for to be treated for this and to get things where they should be. They told us that Allie probably had type 1 diabetes.

We spent the night with an insulin drip, fluids and antibiotics for the strep throat.  I learned that when you go into Ketoacidosis, your body throws a lot of things out a whack.  Your blood sugar being way too high is what causes it, but then several other things get out of whack due to it.  It took until lunch time today, but they finally got Allie's ketoacidosis under control.   
We also saw the endocrinologist who gave us some more information and was the 4th person (at least) to answer the question I had. "Are you sure it is type 1 diabetes?"  She explained that she has no doubt.  Allie's HCN-1 (I think?) level was 11.8 and it should have been at about 6 and that was an indicator.  With that and all the other 'classic' symptoms Allie has been having -- weight loss, getting up to go to the bathroom at night, less hungry than usual (due to the food not breaking down in her stomach and her feeling nauseous), and the ketoacidosis -- she has no doubt. 

This morning was spent working to get Allie completely stable. She began to get hungry and had a hard morning because she couldn't eat until her 'bi-carb' level was back up to where it needed to be.  Our friend, Dawn, came and visited which put a little smile on Allie's face. The first one I've seen in a while.  Her Nana and Grandpap also came to see her.  

She was so very happy when she finally got to eat some lunch this afternoon.

Once she finally got to eat, she was comfortable enough to take a good nap.

We've  all (Allie, her Dad , and I) spent the day learning about Type 1 Diabetes.  It has been a pretty overwhelming day for Allie and for me too if I'm honest. She will have to take insulin injections for the rest of her life.  It was explained to us that Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder and that something, probably a virus at some point, made her body think that the insulin producing cells in her pancreas were an infection.  So,  her body attacked and her now can no longer produce insulin.  I even had to give my girl a shot of insulin tonight.  ME!!! If you know me and my fear of needles --- that is HUGE.

Tonight Allie had more visitors. Some of her sweet friends from school came to see her.  

Thank you so much girls for coming to see Allie. I know she didn't talk much but please know, she appreciated seeing you all!

To say that when I look back over the last 30+ hours, and even the days leading up those hours seem very surreal.  

I prayed that God would take care of my girl.  I prayed that she would be alright.  He has done both of those things.  While I probably would have taken Allie to the doctor for the weight loss, I possibly wouldn't have insisted it be yesterday if not for the throwing up and strep throat.  She and we have a LOT of learning to do.  Life style changes are coming for our whole family but especially my sugar loving Allie  -- who can no longer have any sugar.  We will learn to count carbs, take blood sugar readings, and give insulin shots. We will learn what to do when Allie's sugar is high (as it still is tonight - 298 at last check) and what to do when it is low.  

I sit here and wonder how we got here.  I am worried about my girl. About the 10 lbs that she's lost and will need to regain. About new ways of life.  Will she take this seriously? Will she understand the significance of taking care of her self, exercising and eating correctly? I sit here and thank God that I didn't realize the seriousness of ketoacidosis as we were in the think of it. And that I didn't have time to google it.  I am praying and working trust God in all this. TO know that HE is God and that HE is taking care of us all......especially Allie.

I sit here tonight being thankful. Thankful that HE is with me and my girl. Thankful that he is always with me.  And thankful for strep throat. The reason we went to the doctor in the first place yesterday. In order, that we could find out about this before things got any worse.

I ask that you will pray for my whole family in the days to come. As I said, things are going to change for us!!  Especially pray for Allie. She won't let on, but I know this is very overwhelming for her! 

We will likely be in the hospital for the rest of the week balancing blood sugars and learning.  
Thank you to everyone who continues to check on Allie throughout the day.  I'm sorry if I didn't write you back.  Please know it wasn't intentional.....It was a very busy day and many more to come.  We love you all and covet your prayers! 


mimisworkshop said...

Please tell Allie I am praying for her and I know God will get all of you through this.

Jennifer conlin said...

Thinking & praying for Allie & you and your family. Will think of you all daily & pray each day will get better.

Peggy Gay said...

Praying for your family!