Friday, April 12, 2013

Another Life Changing Moment Called T1D

I just noticed that the last time I posted (before today) was only two days before my life changed once again.  It had already been a busy week with Chelsey leaving for her mission.  Then, Thursday, Amanda lost a close friend to the darkness of suicide that rocked our community.  If that wasn't enough, I was busy trying to prepare to vendor my first overnight crop that took place Friday and Saturday (March 8-9) and Sadie wasn't feeling well.

She had been "off" that week...not eating or sleeping well and somewhat fussy (this baby rarely fusses).  I could explain it a multitude of ways...growing, teething, the fact that I was busy and not my normal self....yet, on Thursday, I did mention it to the doctor when I took her in for immunizations and he assured me that "off" days were normal and not to worry.  He was right...but NOT at all.

On Friday, her fussing became worse.  I started working the crop and Greg was watching Sadie and kept calling me because he couldn't settle her down.  This was unusual because she is such a daddy's girl and loves to be with him, so I just thought he was being tired and impatient.  Really?  I was working!  I take care of her so he can work, why can't he do the same for me? It's not like I work away from home very often.  UGH!  As the night progressed, his calls became more urgent and frequent.  I decided to pack it up for the night and go home.  Sadie finally settled and we all slept through the night.

The next day, I went back to the crop but Sadie wasn't any better.  Greg brought her by early afternoon and she looked terrible. You could tell she was exhausted but wouldn't sleep or eat.  We decided that Greg would take her to the doctor just to see if there was something that could help her.  The next thing I knew is Greg is calling me and very incoherent about her status.  All I knew is that he was telling me I needed to meet him at the hospital...but he wasn't sure which hospital. Did I have time to break down my booth?  NO!!!  I had to come immediately.  WHAT????  What was going on????  He kept hanging up and calling me with bits of info but he was a confused crazy man.  So, I told Amanda and Kaitlyn (my superstar assistants) to start packing up and I would find someone to pick them up and my stuff.

Oh...and did I mention I was in the middle of a class that I had to abandon? No worries, the girls were amazing and took over for me without a hiccup.  On my way out, I realized I didn't know where I was going, so I sat in the foyer and started making calls to find someone who could get the girls.  No luck. Finally, Greg called and said he was at the American Fork hospital. Finally, something I could work with and I was off.

The next three days were a blur.  Let me explain what happened...even I didn't get the whole story until the next day.  So, Saturday afternoon, Greg took Sadie into the doctor. The nurse practitioner on duty did the usual checks and found nothing wrong.  It was a bug and there was nothing that could be done so she told him to take her home and let it pass.  Being the papa bear that he is, he refused to leave. The conversation went something like this...

"Something is wrong with my baby and I'm not leaving till you figure it out!"

"Sir, there's nothing I can do.  Babies fuss."

"Not this one."

"Well, you have to give me something else to work with."

"How about this...shes' had 5 full diapers in 3 hours and won't take a bottle."

He could see a light bulb go off and she tested her glucose levels and it was off the charts.  With tears in her eyes she apologized for trying to send him home and told him that Sadie had Type 1 diabetes and that she had to get to Primary Children's Hospital (which is an hour away) right away.  She called for an ambulance and called PCM to let them know we were coming.

While she was on the phone, Sadie's eyes rolled back into her head and she went limp.  Greg screamed down the hall for the nurse.  The ambulance was only 5 minutes away but wouldn't get there in time.  Sadie was slipping into a coma.  With no time to spare, he threw her in her car seat and drove her two blocks to the local emergency room.  They met him at the entrance, grabbed her and proceeded to stabilize her.

Turns out her glucose was dangerously high at 898 (normal is 80-120) and her body was filled with dangerous toxins that were eating away at her insides and killing her (Diabetic ketoacidosis). The ER Doc told Greg that if he had taken her home, we would have thought she was sleeping and she would have died within an hour or two.
This is when I got there.

She was crying, but conscious (I didn't find out about her going unconscious till the next day). They stabilized her and transported her to PCM by ambulance.

There, I stayed for the next three days learning more than I ever wanted to know about carb counting and insulin shots and blood testing.

I'm so proud of Greg for standing up and listening to his gut.  I baffle that he even thought to mention diapers.  Not that he won't change a diaper, but he really doesn't change that many so I have no idea how he would know that was out of the ordinary.  I have guilt that I didn't catch that. I asked him later what made him think to tell the nurse about her diapers.  He had no just came to him.  I call that inspiration from God and a down right tender mercy!...Don't you? Good job Papa for listening!!!

Looking back, I should have seen it.  For the previous week, she had been drinking one bottle after another, but I thought she was growing and since she's not eating a ton of solid food, it made sense.  And since she was drinking a lot, it made sense that she peed a lot.  In fact, I had been using cloth diapers but they kept leaking.  I thought it was the diapers. That morning, I had changed her overnight diaper and it looked like someone dipped her in a pool.  It was that full!  But I had no clue.  I didn't know the signs or anything about diabetes. I do now!

So now, this is our life. It's a cruel irony to make the needle-phobic girl who in 9th grade cried and had to go to the nurse that day in biology when you prick your finger to test your blood give her baby shots.  I have always been so needle-phobic my whole life and now this is my strengthening moment. I am proud to say that I put my big girl panties on and can now give a shot without making the "ugly face". 

Here are some pics of our crazy journey. These aren't the best quality as they are cell phone pics, but oh know I will be scrapping them anyway.

Arriving to the ER at PMC

Getting settled into our room.

Finally, her BG is down and she can have ice chips.  She made those moaning sounds you make when you are REALLY enjoying your meal. 
Feeling better and resting.

Her first bottle in a long time. She gulped it down!

Hanging with dad. He's our HERO!!!

Feeling good enough to play with some toys in her bed.
They brought in a mat for her.  She loved to sit at the door and wave to all the nurses passing by.
Speaking of nurses...our favorite NICU nurse stopped by.  I know Sadie remembered her because after a couple of days of getting poked and prodded, she really didn't want anyone touching her...but not Lynette!  She crawled right over to her and cuddled up.  It was an amazing moment.
I was framed, I tell ya!  Framed!!!
Hey!  I don't know how to carb count leads! Silly girl...just munching away.

One of Sadie's favorite things to do was to ride around the hospital in a wagon.  I was especially grateful for our nurse who took her for a ride at 4:30 am so I could finally sleep.  The first couple of nights there were pretty rough to say it mildly.
Going home!
I want to add a couple more pics to show you that things are back to "normal" and we are doing fabulous.  I have a lot to learn still and a whole new lingo to embrace.  There will be lots of challenges, but I can't help but be grateful for all of the tender mercies God has bestowed on us. We have our Sadie and she is AMAZING!!!!

Exploring her world just like a "normal" baby and keeping me busy!

Thanks everyone!  LOVE YOU!!!


  1. Thank you for sharing your story. You guys are amazing and that little angel is just so precious. Big mommy hugs, M

  2. I cried reading this Michelle just like I did with every Facebook update that you and Greg posted while it was happening. God is awesome and I am so thankful that He is using sweet Sadie to show His mercy and grace. I will continue to keep you, Greg, and your beautiful little angel in my prayers! xoxo

  3. My dear friend, even though I knew all of this already, I am still sitting here in tears. While they were not from the same situations as yours I have experienced the mind-numbing terror, the overwhelming confusion and the constant reminders that we are not in control of ANYthing! Sadie was blessed with the perfect parents to help her through life's challenges. You and Greg were blessed with Sadie to experience the EXTRAordinary that most people will never know.
    Smiles, Caron

  4. Thank goodness for Dads! Such a life changing experience! I am glad you caught that early in her life. Much love to you all, I know you have the strength for this although I have a knot in my throat! Prayers!

  5. Wow! Like everyone else, I followed your posts on FB, but having it here with all of the little details makes the journey and the outcome even more amazing! You and Greg have become stronger, more grateful, and even more devoted to God and His plan since this little Angel has come into your lives. May the grace of God, His Love, and Blessings continue to fill your days!

  6. Such an inspiring story! You are stronger than you could ever imagine! Your daughter is beautiful and has amazing parents. Thank you for sharing your story.. you never know who you help. I will keep your family in my prayers!!

  7. So I've heard this story more then once and I choke up every time. So scary and so happy Leighty still has her BFF Sadie around.

  8. Being the mother and a grandmother of a child with Special Needs, I have learned that we know our kids better than the experts. Bravo to you and your husband for being such strong advocates for your lovely daughter.

  9. Michelle, thank you for opening up your heart and sharing your story. Others will learn from you and both you and Greg will save other sweet babies from this horrible disease. Praise God for working through Greg and giving him that gut instinct that only a daddy and mommy know. You are both such amazing parents and I learn from you both every time I read a post on Facebook. Keep sharing and keep learning...

  10. Thank you for sharing and sending hugs and prayers.

  11. Wow, Michelle, what a story you have to tell. I don't know why I am amazed when I hear again and again how God meets us in our deepest needs and intervenes for us. He is all knowing and with us every step of the way! Love how you shared that Greg just knew he needed to share with the nurse about Sadie's diapers. You are a great mom and Sadie is such a sweetie. I will be sure to keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you take this next step in your journey :)

  12. Michelle,
    What a journey you have taken since leaving Del Rio. I can totally relate to the terror of having an ill child. I remember being there with Marion. Blessings come from unexpected places. Listen to the spirit and help will come. You never know where the journey will take you. You were blessed to be the parent of a special girl. Enjoy the ride each day. Love you and miss you my friend.

  13. wow! what a story! I am so happy that she is doing well...hugs and prayers going to you and your family!

  14. Michelle, I am a fellow consultant and have had the pleasure of getting to know you a little at several conventions over the last 10 years. I have a son who is type 1. He was diagnosed when he was 4 years old. I can not imagine what it is like having a baby who can't tell you how she is feeling. I wish you and your family the best and will be praying for you.
    Laurie Varner in Louisiana