As I was speaking with a friend two days ago, I was able to reflect on all that my daughter Macey has been through in her short life this far.
Most people would never know just by looking at my daughter that she is a Type 1 Diabetic. And she is only 19 months old! Macey was born on June 30, 2011, a normal, healthy 5lb 13 oz little girl. We were exstatic to have her in our family! All was well and normal each month as she continued to grow and develop. Each coo and each sound and milestone was more excting than next. As Macey approached her 8th month here on this earth, it was a normal day at work for me and I received a call from Macey's Day Care provider shortly before it was time to pick her up. The call said that Macy didnt seem to be feeling well, and I should take her to the doctor and have her looked at.
Upon arriving to pick up Macey I too noticed she seemed a little out-of-it, and her breathing was a little off. I took her to Urgent Care as any mother would. Stats were taken, and she weighed in at close to 16 lbs, with a fever of 101 and oxygen levels at 100%. Once we were taken back to the room the doctor checked her over and told me she had pink eye and a yeast infection. While waiting for our prescprition she vomited and I again questioned the doctor when he came back and about her breathing.
I was assured that she was fine and just wasn't feeling well. Macey progressively got a little worse through the evening and was looking a little lethargic, so we put her to bed hoping she would be better in the morning. The next morning soon came, and at 4:30, I could hear a strnage noise coming from Macey's room. I went in to check on my baby and the sight I beheld was one I will never forget. Macey lay in her bed in a large puddle of her own urine with sunken eyes and a look that seemed as if she wasn't there any more, andshe was barely breathing. After waking my husband, we uttered a quick family prayer and off I went to work while being in denile about everything, and hoped the situation wasn't as bad as I thought.
As soon as I left my husband also left for the hospital knowing that something was terribly wrong. Macey was immediately rushed back, and was surrounded by ten doctors and nurses trying to figure out what was wrong. Her stats were again taken and this time her temp went from 101 down to 93, her weight from 16 lbs down to only 12lbs and her oxygen levels were at a mere 20-30%. The doctors continued to work on our little girl trying to warm her and put her on oxygen when her blood samples came back with a blood sugar of over 900! The docotor told my husband that our daughter was Type 1 diabetic given the extremely high blood sugar and that she was in Diabetic Ketoacidosis; basically, that she was in a diabetic coma. Most adults go into this state with a blood sugar over 400. The doctor told my husband that he was extremely concerned for our daughter's life, and that she would need to be flown to the nearest childrens hospital which was thirty miles away. Had we waited another hour to bring her in, she would have stopped breathing.
Upon my arrival to the hospital to wait for my baby all I could think of was how lucky we were that she had not died! How could I have not known how bad off she really was. Should I have done something differently? Seeing the helicopter land was the hardest moment in my life, seeing her little body wrapped up so only her face was showing and all the equipment she was hooked up to. My sweet little baby took up hardly any room on the large stretcher. I ran to her side as soon as I was allowed. We were told by the on-call doctor once we were inside, that her case was by far the worst he had ever seen and that Macey was still not out of the woods. Looking at my lifeless little baby laying in a crib moan and groan because she didn't know what was wrong was heart-wrenching.
To make the situation worse I was told I couldn't hold her, because of the fragile situation. The information we were giving next was also very hard to swallow. The doctor could only give her fluids to help lower her blood sugar, and if it dropped too quickly she could suffer brain swelling and possibly brain damage. After 24 hours and many visitors and prayers Macey's situation began to improve, and we then began our process of what is know a life-changing experience. My husband and I were then educated on how to take care of a Type 1 Diabetic. The whole process was taught to us over a course of five days, at which time we were released to go home.
I thank God each and every day that I still have my baby here on earth with us. Each day brings its share of challenges with Macey including developemental delays because of such a traumatic event in such a young persons life. We are constantly poking and checking her blood sugar, hoping she isnt too high or too low. Many times we have to wake her up twice a night to make sure she is safe and that her blood sugar is normal. Macey's life is anything but normal. But she is such an amazing strong little person, that she never complains. I know that this experience has helped us to become closer as a family and stronger as a whole unit. I couldn't imagine how life would have been had we lost her