My 2yr 8month old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on July 1st, 2011. We were on our 4th of July vacation in Southern California. We knew something was wrong with Elyssa's tummy because it was very distended and she complained it hurt every once in a while since June 26th. We thought it was constipation, I called a 24hr nurse and she advised us to give her lots of juice & fruits. We had the same problem a year ago so that's what we did and it worked but not this time. On Weds. June 29th before our trip we decided to take her to Urgent Care. They took x-rays and said it was just constipation, give her a suppository, give her Miralax daily, tons of juice & sent us on our way.
Since Elyssa was checked by a Dr. and only had constipation I thought it would be ok to go on our vacation. She seemed a little tired and had a big tummy but like the Urgent Care Dr said maybe a change of scenery would boost her spirits and walking on the beach & swimming would help her constipation. Friday July 1st we drove 5hrs to Simi Valley, CA for a wedding. Elyssa slept the whole way. She would only wake to drink water or juice then would overload her diaper with pee. When we got there she couldn't stay awake for more than 30 mins. She only wanted to drink & drink & drink. She had no energy, didn't want to walk, couldn't hold her arms up and all I could think about is what have I done. Should we drive back home or should we take her to the ER? Well I didn't want to be on the road and have something happen and I couldn't stand seeing her like this anymore so we took her to the ER.
They almost told us constipation again and tried to send us away but I knew something else was wrong with her. I started crying, I told the Dr. that this isn't like my daughter to be so weak and that I wanted blood tests, urine test or whatever to find out what was going on. He said she looked like any toddler would at night tired and not talkative. I said no not my kid you could wake her up at 3am and she would talk your ear off and usually she would never sleep till 11pm or 12midnight so for her to be non-responsive at 9pm is unheard of. The Dr. admitted he didn't know my child's behavior and he would trust that I know whats best. He asked me again "are you sure you want to put your child through x-rays and blood being drawn". I was worried about more x-rays because she had asthma problems before and this was going to be her 8th time getting x-rays but I said YES do it. That's when our world came crashing down. She was in Ketoacidosis state due to the onset of Type 1 Diabetes and she was severely dehydrated. How could she be dehydrated if she is drinking tons of water & tons of juice, well the Dr. explained it and all I could say is OMG. The dr. asked if I knew anything about diabetes. All I knew about Diabetes was that as long as you watched what you ate you didn't need insulin. The Dr. stated that Elyssa had Type 1 so she would need multiple injections daily for the rest of her life. At first I was so in denial, not my daughter, this had to be a dream or wrong diagnosis. I mean come on she had asthma already wasn't that enuff for one toddler to handle and the Urgent Care Dr. didn't seemed to be worried. I asked the Dr. if we could wait til we got home to get a 2nd opinion. He said there are no questions about it she definitely has it. He said to get ready for the bumpy road ahead and that we needed to be transferred to a hospital with a PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit).
We were taken by ambulance to a hospital in Tarzana, CA for a 5 day stay in the PICU unit. We cried, we were exhausted, she screamed every time they took her blood for testing. The 1st night she fought when they took her blood but she didn't have too much energy. The 2nd night it took 3-4 people to hold her down. On the what seemed to me to be the 2nd day I asked when we would go home because we live out of state. Well the Dr. replied wow you already want to go home you've only been her 12hrs. Then I thought wow really I must be exhausted I didn't know what day or time it was. Well we were at ER for 6 hrs then got transferred to that hospital & arrived at 3:30am after that they checked her blood every hour, took samples every 4 hrs so when I asked if we could go home it felt like we had been there forever already. I realized that it was all getting to be too much for me and she hadn't even been diagnosed for 24hrs. Saturday night Elyssa was able to eat and she looked alot better but her Blood Glucose levels were still high. We met with a Diabetes Counselor Sat., Sun. Mon., for 4 hrs each day. There was so much information, so little sleep, so much anxiety of wether we were going to be able to actually do this so we all just wanted to go home Monday. We had to stay one more day because she was still really high. So Tues. July 5th we were discharged after learning about blood sugar levels, how to give injections, carb. counting and how to administer emergency glucagon. We got all her prescriptions and headed home. Until I got home it didn't really hit me everything that we would have to do and change to keep our daughter healthy.