It's kind of crazy how illnesses affect our lives. A simple cold can play such havoc on blood sugars. An ear infection can cause out of control ketones and send us straight to the emergency room trying to get them under control before ketoacidosis occurs. Headaches can have us giving extra corrrections until our fingers are tired from pushing the buttons on the insulin pump. However there is one particular illness that strikes fear into the hearts of every single parent of a diabetic....the tummy bug. When a diabetic child is sick vomiting or with diarrhea, they are unable to keep any food down...let alone any fluids to prevent them from getting dehydrated. The lack of food on top of everything can and will send their blood sugar plummeting to the dangerously low levels...flirting with passing out...seizures...coma...death. The illness in itself causes them to have ketones. The only way to get rid of ketones is to get food into them to be able to give them extra insulin...and force them to drink water to try and help flush them out. I have written about the ketone party before actually and I like to describe it as trying to juggle a chainsaw and a feather....sure it is "possible" for some to do....but it is beyond difficult...you are always walking a fine line between causing even lower blood sugars...or causing them to go into diabetic ketoacidosis. It's madness...I don't know how D-parents do it year after year, illness after illness...and still come out on the other end sane...with a healthy child again.
For the past couple of days Emma has been fighting a tummy bug. We juggled, we fought, I barely slept, we camped out on the living room floor and I kept vigil over her sleeping weak and ill body...wrapped in a cocoon of danger. She was chalky pale, quiet, lethargic, and battling nausea like the prize fighter she is. I am in awe of her strength really. Throughout it all she helped me. She told me how she felt, what was hurting, what she needed. She was on the team with me...fighting this...and we won. We came out on the other side today. She awoke this morning with a smile on her face, pink cheeks, and asking for something to eat. She chattered all day long seeming to make up for all the words missed over the past two days. She ran around the living room chasing the cat and playing with a balloon. She danced, she asked a million questions, she colored, she played....and she ate...and kept everything down. Sure we had one low BG and a couple of highs tonight...but we fixed them...we are falling back into place...rejoining the land of the healthy and getting dressed instead of spending hours on end in our jammies.
After all is said and done, I have learned one thing in particular that I hope will stick in my brain from now on as opposed to slipping away with time. I have realized that I need to not get frustrated with the endless questions...the endless chatter...the boundless energy...the constant go go go. I need to remember that in the depths of the tummy bug times...the wee hours of the morning when I am sitting there beyond exhausted...watching her little sleeping body to make sure she is still breathing...praying for the illness to leave...the vomiting to stop...the ketones to disappear...the frightening lows to end....I need to remember that in a heart beat I would take the healthy days...the happy days...the busy days full of chatter. I would take them over seeing her unwell any day.
Happy to be back to normal and lesson learned.