Back to Kids' Voices Mackenzie

My daughter, Mackenzie, was diagnosed with diabetes May 4, 2005 a little over a month ago at 13 months old. She had been drinking a lot and wetting through her diapers. She was very fussy and wanted to be held a lot. She then started throwing up, loosing weight, and getting weak. She was so thirsty. I would give her something to drink and she would gulp it down and want more and eventually she would throw it all up. I tried giving her a Popsicle and she ate it in about 30 seconds. At first we thought maybe she had a bug but she started getting this look about her. I'll never forget the look in her eyes. She looked so sick. I later told the diabetes coordinator "she looked like she was dying" to my surprise her response was "she was." How scary!

We took her to the doctor and thank God he put her in the hospital immediately. She was severely dehydrated, her blood sugar level was almost 600, and she had severe DKA. She was in PICU for two days. No parent would ever want to see their baby like that. She had IVs in both arms, monitors all over her, and a catheter. She had to be held down so they could take blood every hour the first night. Every time they had to take blood out of her arm they would have to stick her at least 3 times because they couldn't find a vein because she was so dehydrated. I just wanted to trade places with her. Eventually, she was so scared they were going to stick her she wouldn't even go in the baby bed in her room.

After two days she was moved to a regular room. We then started learning how to do finger pricks, give shots, and count carbs. All the information was so overwhelming. They teach you all this in such a short time and on little to no sleep. I hated giving her shots. It is a lot easier now but at first I was scared I was going to do something wrong. They told me not to hit a muscle but they didn't tell me why, so I was scared of what would happen if I did. I haven't ever given a shot before. I am the kind of person that gets squeamish watching ER.

When we first got home it took about a week for her to get back to herself. I think the whole ordeal traumatized her to some extent. You would never know it now by looking at her, though. She is doing so much better! She runs and plays with her two brothers. She dances and sings to Barney. Kids bounce back so much quicker than adults. It took her father and I longer to feel better. It is hard looking at your child knowing that they are going to have to live with this for the rest of their life. No breaks, no time offs, forever. The future scares me, too. The threat of complications. I try not to dwell on that and focus on keeping her healthy now. I pray that by the time she gets older that they have had many outstanding new breakthroughs.

Mackenzie's blood sugar levels keep going up and down so her doctors are going to put her on the pump in a couple of weeks. I am very excited about that. No more shots! I'm a little nervous too, though.

If anyone has ANY advice or if you just want to talk please email me!

Thanks for listening,

Mackenzie and I accept email a Ccshewof5 AT

Published June 21, 2005

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Last Updated: Tuesday June 21, 2005 16:49:02
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