Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rough Weekend

One of the things I have been absolutely terrified about since we found out Julia has diabetes is a stomach bug.   I have also said if she started throwing up I would probably just take her back to the hospital because I felt they would know better what to do. 

Friday night, I was enjoying a Moms Night Out with some friends.  I looked down at my phone and saw the following text:

JP threw up but said she felt better after she did

My friends were willing to call it a night and I headed for home.  The whole way home I was hoping that it was just a one time thing and her dinner didn't agree with her.  Turns out it was more than that.

The hardest part of it all is that she already had been given her insulin.  Not only the fast acting insulin to cover her dinner but also her long acting insulin that keeps her regulated for up to 24 hours.  

Bubba called the doctor and our friends who have a boy with Type 1  that was diagnosed 4 years ago.  (On a side note...I am more grateful to have them in our lives than they will probably ever know!)  Both gave some tips on how to get her some sugar so she had a hard candy and icing and we started playing the waiting game.  

Her Blood Sugar Level (BSL) came up and she hadn't thrown up anymore so we sent her to bed.  Then she started to throw up and her BSL began to drop.  Oh and did I mention Bubba just left to go to the grocery store to get Jell-O, Ginger ale, etc? 

I called the doctor again and got his voicemail.  Since I am a worrier, my brain was spinning at this point.  I was scared that I was going to have to administer glucagon.  For those of you not familiar with glucagon, it is an emergency medication given that brings blood glucose up.  It is typically used when a person is so low that they are unconscious or cannot take glucose (sugar) orally.  I actually kept it together & called the doctor's office number, got the number for the on call doctor who I called right away.  Luckily she answered on the first ring and talked me through mixing apple juice with sugar and trying to give her a teaspoon of that every 5 minutes.  

As I was giving Julia her first sips, her primary endochrinologist called back.  He agreed with the plan and so there we were watching the clock and trying to get a sip in every 5 minutes.  Slowly but surely her BSL began creeping back up although she continued to throw up every 30 minutes or so.  The doctor wanted her to be over 100 before we let her go to sleep.  You can imagine how fun that was, trying to keep a sick 5 year old awake and sipping on overly sweet juice.

We were finally able to let her go to sleep around midnight but she woke up every 30 minutes or so to be sick.  Her BSL kept trending upward but now our worry was ketones.  High ketones and high BSL could lead to diabetic ketoacidosis a potentially fatal complication.   To be fair, this was highly unlikely due to our close interaction with the doctor and the fact that we were doing everything we could to keep her in a healthy range.  But like I said earlier my brain was spinning.  

The next morning, things started looking up, she stopped throwing up, her ketones came down and her BSL came into a normal range.  For Bubba and I it was still difficult trying to figure out what she wanted to eat, how much she would eat and if she needed insulin to balance it.  Late in the afternoon we got her to eat some food and last night was much more restful for all of us.  

Today she has been back to her normal self, Bubba headed to work, Joseph to the wii and I did some laundry.

We survived our first stomach bug with out having to go to the hospital.  I'm counting it as a win for us :)


  1. At least now this situation is not an unknown and it will be "easier" next time. And we enjoy being able to be there for you guys because we know how much type 1 can suck and be so isolating but a blessing in disguise at the same time. You guys are doing great.

  2. Hi Diane,
    I have a 4 year old son who was diagnosed with T1 at 15 months old. We have only had one tummy bug so far and we were on MDI at the time . We did end up in the ER for a fluid drip and had a very hard time keeping blood sugars up. One thing I always have around now is a prescription for zofran -an anti nausea medication. They gave it to Addison, my son when we were in the hospital and I asked our Endo for a prescription so we could always have some around in case of a stomach bug so we could hopefully avoid the hospital next time!

    Welcome to the DOC..I look forward to following you on your journey as a mama pancreas!