Thursday, December 15, 2011

Our Newest Superhero- Part Five

I woke around 7 the next morning. I was a bit irritated at a nurse who condescendingly told me I should wake Aidan up (poor little man, who was so exhausted) because "he is a diabetic, and diabetics shouldn't sleep in". I think I will trust the nurse who specializes in kids with diabetes, whom I'd specifically asked the day prior. She said that it was fine for him to sleep in.

His levels looked a little better throughout the night. We got another visit from a team of residents, and met a new shift of nurses. I later figured out that the total number of different medical personnel (between nurses, doctors, child life specialists, etc) that he was expected to interact with was around 40, not counting all the medical students on their rounds. And we were only there for a day and a half!

The endriconologist came by around 10AM and said she felt confident releasing us, so the discharge process began. I played with Aidan a bit in a cool play room they had on the floor, and we chose some games to play in our room. They had to take his last IV out, which was NOT fun, again. It was especially not fun when about a minute later the site started bleeding pretty rapidly, and there was blood all over the floor and his hand. Freaked the poor kid out even more. Weston arrived right about then to pick us up, with Quinn, who'd been missing Aidan terribly. (when he awoke he always asked for mommy first, and then Aidan)

So we were off. 36 hours after being admitted, and with a whole new level of burden for our son's life in our hands. For now, he would require 4 insulin shots a day, and at least as many finger pokes. We had to learn how to read food labels diligently, and to perform calculations to determine the amount of insulin needed in each shot based on his food intake and based on how high over his target range his blood sugar was. I kept thinking that this would be a whole lot more manageable if he were our only child. Adding all this into the normal chaos of our lives has been the tricky part.

But it still felt so good to walk out of there and load in the van. We quickly had the realization that we needed stop and get lunch, since waiting until we made it home would be putting lunch pretty late for him. We pulled out the guide they gave us, and remembered a Culvers nearby, and that restaraunt was on the guide. So we nervously added up the carbs in his corn dog and drink, and did our first shot right there in the van, completely on our own. Easy peasey. Ha!

The hardest moment of this day came when Aidan was struggling with why he had to still have this shot, because, "I'm all done with the hospital, so I am all better right?". We'd attempted to be very diligent in explaining everything about the disease to him in the hospital, but it is a lot for a 5 year old to comprehend. And to see him just wrestling with the fact that this was a 'rest of his life' type thing, was incredibly heart-wrenching.

Another moment that illustrated his comprehension of things came over the next weekend, when he started to grill me about what would happen if we ran out of medicine? What if all the stores and hospitals in the world ran out? Gulp, imagine being only 5 years old and trying to grapple with the fact that you need this medicine (insulin) or you would die. I reassured him as best I could, but yikes, that was tough.

And last night, when we got home from church, he made a quick little comment to me. "Mom, I sure hope they find the medicine to make diabetes go away real soon." Gulp. Me too, buddy, me too.

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