Those 3 words describe the next few days while coming to terms with A's diagnosis. My husband met us in the parking lot at the pediatrician's office and we raced down to the ER at Children's Hospital. We had no idea what to expect. I tried to hide my tears from A who was still crying about missing her school Christmas party.
Triage already had papers and a room for A when we arrived at the ER entrance. They were fast and their looks didn't make us feel any better about her condition. They immediately began drawing blood and starting IV lines. A was so dehydrated it took several tries on both arms to get a line in. She screamed the entire time, "I want to go back to school! Mommy they are hurting me!"
We were in the ER for a few hours and then told they were moving her to the pediatric ICU because she was in moderate DKA and had large ketones. Her blood sugar was not that bad relatively speaking but the labs and the readings from her urine were very concerning. The doctor said he was surprised she was awake and conscious.
When they said "ICU" I was very afraid. I had no idea she was sick enough for the "ICU". I figured they would give her some insulin and teach us about diabetes and that would be that. Once in the ICU, she was hooked up to 5 different IV bags and 2 lines into her right arm. They continued to take blood pokes in her left arm too because they kept second guessing the readings from blood drawn from her right arm. We were so frustrated because they kept telling her no more blood pokes and then they would poke her again. I could see in her eyes she didn't believe any of them anymore. Neither did I.
The would not give her anything for pain because they said her brain could swell from too rapid a change in her blood sugar and she needed to be mentally alert. They came in every 15-30 minutes over a 24 hour period to take blood, change IV bags, test her urine and other tests. A screamed most of the time. She told us she wanted to go home. She asked me why I took her there. She told us she hated us. She screamed that the IV medication burned and hurt. And I could not give her anything to ease the pain. It was the worst 24 hours of my life. All the while, I was trying to grasp the understanding this wasn't something we could just fix with a few IV bags and go back to normal life.
They transferred A to a regular room late Wednesday evening. She still didn't know she had diabetes. She didn't know what that would mean. She was still on a saline drip for the ketones which were still coming up at a +2. She got to eat her first meal. They began to give her the insulin shots. The nurse brought me a binder about diabetes. She brought me some syringes and saline to "play" with. I pretended it wasn't there. I wanted to hit someone or something. I wanted to go home and pretend I never took her to the pediatrician's office. But I knew I couldn't. And I knew I had to come to grips with this. I just wasn't ready yet.