Motherly Intuition: Type One Diabetes Story
Have you ever had that feeling in the pit of your stomach that something just wasn’t right? Being a mom of three crazy, beautiful, amazing kids I have gotten this feeling a lot but this time was different. On November 5th, 2013 while I was at a school meeting for my daughter, my 9 month old son Cruz while being watched by his dad fell over while playing with toys and bumped his head. When I got home and his dad told me about this, I checked him right away. He seemed ok so I laid him back down and went to bed myself. This would be the last day before our lives changed forever.
On November 6th, 2013 I started the day as any normal day, got my daughter up and off to school, then got my twin boys up and started to get their breakfast. I put them in their walkers as I got their bottles and cereal ready. After I came back into the living room, I noticed Cruz could not hold his head up and was acting lethargic. So, just to be on the safe side I called his pediatrician and got him in to see her. I told her what happened the night before and she looked him over, said he must just have a headache, gave him Tylenol and sent us home. We no sooner walked in the door, Cruz drank a bottle so fast then threw up twice, turned very grey in color and[emaillocker] went very limp. I called his dad told him to get home! He got home and we headed to Akron Children’s hospital. I was in the back seat with Cruz. I had him in his car seat at first but then what was already a scary situation became an emergency, I noticed my son became unresponsive! In that moment being in the medical for almost 10 years I started infant CPR and told his dad to hurry! As much training as I had, it still did not prepare me enough to watch my son die right in front me. I did CPR until we arrived at the hospital. I flung open the door, did not waste time speaking to anyone, I ran immediately back to the ER screaming for a doctor! In 5 seconds he was in a room and surrounded by doctors and nurses. My head was spinning and I felt myself getting faint and eventually I passed out. I heard the nurse say his breath smells fruity, they didn’t even bother testing him, she screamed get insulin STAT! Then it all clicked, he is diabetic! Having “gestational diabetes” myself with my first pregnancy I knew what all this meant… So I thought. When you have diabetes you do have a sweeter smell to you, if you get injured you take longer to heal, you’re constantly thirsty, pee excessively and much more. That’s why I was so confused. My son was not born with this and I saw no warning signs before this day.
After things settled down a bit, it all started to set in while I watched my lifeless child lay there on that bed not able to open his eyes or respond to my voice. The doctors ended up testing him and they said he would have been dead in a matter of hours because his Blood Glucose or blood sugar was over 1200 and all his organs were beginning to shut down. My heart dropped and I started to feel hot all over and my head started spinning again. Yep, you guessed it, I passed out again. I had just lost my father 7 months prior and I think almost losing my son was not something I was prepared to handle. The doctor told me they have him stabilized but he will have to remain in ICU because he was still in critical condition. He was in what is known as diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA for short.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life-threatening complication in patients with diabetes mellitus. It happens predominantly in those with type 1 diabetes, but it can occur in those with type 2 diabetes under certain circumstances. DKA results from a shortage of insulin; in response the body switches to burning fatty acids and producing acidic ketone bodies that cause most of the symptoms and complications. DKA is a medical emergency, and without treatment it can lead to death. DKA was first described in 1886; until the introduction of insulin therapy in the 1920s it was almost universally fatal. It now carries a mortality of less than 1% with adequate and timely treatment. (per Wikipedia )
Cruz spent 4 days in ICU before getting downgraded to a regular room. After two days in ICU and weighing all his options he was fitted with an insulin pump, his pancreas (what produces insulin for our bodies) did not work at all, meaning it was not producing any insulin. Just to give a brief background about me my two biggest fears came together the day he was diagnosed, something wrong with one of my kids and needles. I honestly thought I was not going to be able to do this. From being scared of needles and being afraid that my two other children wouldn’t understand what was going on and that mommy has to spend extra time with Cruz because at this point I have already been away from them for 5 days, I really thought I was going to have a nervous break down. After seeing how strong my son was made me realize we were going to get through this together and I was going to take care of him and be strong for him and my family! I got over my fear of needles fairly quick and Cruz became my hero! The day finally came where we were discharged from ICU all the nurses and doctors lined the hallway and cheered and clapped for him and also gave him his nickname that we still use today “Cruzman” kind of like superman lol! They gave him that for being so strong and also being the youngest person diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes that they’ve had. As Cruzman got stronger and his levels started to come down more, he was finally allowed to eat and have a bottle for the first time in 5 days. Him and I both cried and it was also the first sound he made since being in the hospital. A lot of times we take for granted the sound of our children’s voice or watching them play. Since that day I have not told my kids to be quiet or stop doing this or that because we never know what tomorrow holds and I want to soak up every minute I have with them.
[sociallocker]On November 15th, 2013 Cruzman was released from the hospital for good and we came out completely different people then before we went in. This was a new life long chapter in our lives. We live each and everyday to the fullest, take nothing for granted, do lots of charities and try to raise as much awareness as we can on Juvenile Diabetes. His pediatrician also made it a point to personally call me and apologize for missing this diagnosis and since has educated herself on his condition to better help him and give him the best care possible. I could not ask for a better team of doctors for him. Cruz now sees Dr. Martin at the Diabetes Center at Akron children’s along with his pediatrician and dietician. Since being diagnosed and being one of the youngest children with Type 1 diabetes that they’ve treated at Akron Children’s hospital, they have used Cruzmans situation as a guide to help other young children being diagnosed each year. I also have the best support system my mother who has learned so much to be able to help me with him along with friends and other family members. It has been a long two years, lots of ups and downs, trials and tribulations but Cruzman is as a happy, healthy, normal, rambunctious, full of life two year old and I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about him. I will never say I have not had my moments of breaking down and being frustrated but at the end of the day he’s here and that’s all that matters. I really hope in telling Cruzmans story it lets other mothers of diabetic children know they’re not alone and hopefully our story helps others tell theirs.[/sociallocker]
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to A Wise Way for asking us to be apart of such an amazing project. A wise way is full of so much information and advice, and I recommend anyone to check it out! Thanks to all for reading our story.
Cruzman and family[/emaillocker]