Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Broken Wrist....

After going so long without blogging, I feel like I have to purge everything major that’s been going on in my life for the last two years. One of those things is the story about my broken wrist.

I live really close to where I work. If I hit the one light at the right time, it only takes me literally 3 minutes. I love it. It allows me to make it home most days for lunch to spend time with my son. As I went back to work after only three months off, I take every spare minute with him that I can get.

Unfortunately, that didn’t work out so well for me last November.

I had just finished lunch and was driving back to work when another driver decided that he had enough time to turn towards me. Turns out that he didn’t. The air bag in my car inflated and somehow managed to hit my wrist, breaking it. was taken by ambulance to the hospital and the ride was extremely bumpy. My veins like to play hide and seek from needles so getting an IV in me is extremely difficult so this trip was made with oral medication that takes a while to kick in.

When we finally got to the hospital, I had to wait for about 4 hours to get into see someone in the emergency room. I then had an x-ray done and was told that one of the bones in my wrist had been broken and that there was a minor fracture in the other. They admitted me for surgery.

I ended up being in the hospital for about 4 days. My surgery kept getting pushed back as emergencies came in and took priority over me. Unfortunately this meant that my blood sugars were all over the place. Everytime they scheduled my surgery, I had to fast from midnight the night before. Then by the time the surgery was cancelled, was only able to one meal a day. Thankfully they allowed me to keep my insulin pump on so I was able to react to all of my wonky blood sugars from not eating.

On the third day, I finally had my surgery and woke up to the realisation that they had removed my infusion site. I had just changed the site that morning and had asked that they not touch it so that after surgery I could immediately put my insulin pump back on. I had to call my husband to deliver another infusion set, reservoir, and inserter as soon as possible. Thankfully my mom was in town to help with my son so my husband was able to get there pretty quickly.

The joys of dealing with the unexpected when you have diabetes…..

Monday, March 25, 2013

Connor's First Few Months

Connor was born on a Wednesday with an extremely low blood sugar; this caused quite a lot of issues with eating for him. It looked like we were finally getting his blood sugar under control by Friday, when the nurse in the NICU noticed a murmur while listening to his heart. His doctor referred him to the pediatric cardiologist at the children’s hospital. Thankfully we were able to get an appointment fairly quickly and on Monday, Connor and I were in an ambulance transport on our way to our appointment.

Connor was whisked into an echocardiogram. Unfortunately, it was found that Connor had what’s called Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) and Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD).

From Wikipedia:
Atrial septal defect (ASD) is a form of congenital heart defect that enables blood flow between two compartments of the heart called the left and right atria. Normally, the right and left atria are separated by a septum called the interatrial septum. If this septum is defective or absent, then oxygen-rich blood can flow directly from the left side of the heart to mix with the oxygen-poor blood in the right side of the heart, or vice versa.[1] This can lead to lower-than-normal oxygen levels in the arterial blood that supplies the brain, organs, and tissues.
A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a defect in the ventricular septum, the wall dividing the left and right ventricles of the heart.

This is what had been causing all of his issues with eating. His cardiologist informed us that the holes were relatively large and would probably require surgery at some point. In the meantime, he advised us that Connor needed to stay in the NICU until he reached at least 10 pounds as that was the minimum weight that was safe for surgery. Our main goal needed to be getting him to eat and gain weight. He prescribed a few different drugs that he thought might help and sent us back to the Grey Nun’s.

Over the next 4 weeks, the doctors played with his medications, trying to get the right mix and finally Connor managed to get up to just 10 pounds. Unfortunately his eating didn’t get any better. His cardiologist transferred us to the Children’s Hospital to the pediatric cardiology unit so they could monitor him more closely and he would be able to have immediate surgery when they decided it was time. We were there for about a week when they finally made the decision that Connor wasn’t thriving and it was time for him to have his surgery. Connor was 6 weeks old and he was going to have open heart surgery.

It went perfectly. The pediatric cardiac surgeon was able to close both the ASD and VSD and the other hole he found that wasn’t visible in the echocardiogram. Connor was finally able to come home a week later.

Even though they don’t know for sure, it’s very likely that that my being a diabetic contributed to Connor having this. I don’t think I mentioned it before, but when I was pregnant, I had two fetal echocardiograms. Both indicated that everything was normal with Connor’s heart. Of course they give you the spiel about the test not catching everything but at this point I was really looking to blame someone because I couldn’t deal with the thought that it was my fault. Connor’s cardiologist told us that 1 in every 1000 babies born are born with a congenital heart defect and having Diabetes only increases that chance by less than 0.5%. It took a long time for me though to stop blaming myself and realize that I had done everything in my power during pregnancy to ensure Connor was as healthy as possible. My A1C’s were all around 6 for 6 months prior to pregnancy and all during. I had eliminated most of my low’s and rarely had high’s. I saw my dietician regularly and was eating healthy. I took my prenatal vitamin religiously 2 years prior to conception and all through my pregnancy. I had to realize that this was just a fluke that we had to go through.

Thankfully, Connor will never have any issues with his heart due to the ASD and VSD as once the surgery was complete; it was like they no longer existed. The only reminder he’ll have is his scar; which when he’s a 10 year old little boy, will be something cool to show off to his friends.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Connor's First Few Days

The day my son was born was both the most amazing day and one of the worst days I’ve ever had. When they placed Connor in my arms, the feeling was indescribable. I know it’s a cliché but it’s so true. I don’t think I could ever love another person the way I love my child.

While they were sewing me up, the nurses and pediatrician brought Connor to a crib so they could do an initial assessment on him. This checks his blood sugar, Apgar score, etc. As with most diabetic mothers, the baby typically has a low blood sugar when born as their pancreas is overdrive from trying to process the high blood sugar of the mother. I don’t think I mentioned this in my last post but while waiting for my C-section, the hospital policy is to take me off of my insulin pump and put me on a solution of glucose and one of insulin through my IV. This is not effective at all. It probably wouldn’t have been bad if I would have had my C-section earlier in the day. Unfortunately I kept getting bumped by emergencies which caused me to be on these solutions for 12 hours. As a result my blood sugar was horrible by the time Connor was born. This caused his blood sugar to go extremely low. I found this out later that he should have been taken directly to the NICU.
After the C-section was complete, they rolled us into a waiting area so they could monitor me while I got back feeling in my upper body. I was able to have Connor lay on top of me skin to skin and enjoy being with him and my husband. As he was my first I was so unsure of what to do with him and so overwhelmed with everything that had happened that day. After about an hour, they moved us up to the maternity ward. As soon as we got there, the nurses did another assessment on him and found that his blood sugar had dipped even lower. They informed me that they needed to bring him to the NICU until his blood sugars moved up to an acceptable level.

I made sure that my husband went with Connor to the NICU so that he wouldn’t be alone. While they were gone, I had the nurses turn off the insulin and glucose solution so I could get my pump going again. While pregnant, I had been placed in the pregnancy clinic at the diabetic centre. This meant that I saw all different endocrinologists, nurses, and dieticians more frequently. One of the endocrinologists had written orders for what my new pump stats should be. Unfortunately she didn’t know what my settings were before I got pregnant and didn’t bother to look. As soon as I saw the orders, I started arguing with the nurses. They told me I had to follow the orders exactly. I didn’t agree so did what I wanted as none of them would even know as they had never worked with a pump before. It’s crazy how within hours of giving birth, my blood sugars and insulin sensitivity were almost back to pre-pregnancy levels.
Once I had secretly won that argument, I started working on when I would get to see my son. It was very important for me to breastfeed and I wanted to get started right away. Unfortunately (again) they wouldn’t let me go over there until I could walk to the bathroom and go pee. It took me until the next morning. I had sent my husband home once he had seen Connor settled in the NICU so he could get some rest but as soon as he came the next morning, I had him help me to the bathroom and then he wheeled me to the NICU.

I spent all day there except when they made me go eat. Due to Connor’s low blood sugar, he was extremely sleepy and not interested in eating. This made it extremely difficult for breastfeeding. He wasn’t even interested in feeding from a bottle. This then started a cycle ‘cause if he didn’t eat, his blood sugar wouldn’t go up. If he had a low blood sugar, he was sleepy and wouldn’t eat. It took three days before his blood sugar finally stayed at the right level.
Little did I know that this was just the beginning of our stay in the NICU. More next post.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My son turned 1 this week

I can't believe that my son turned 1 this past week.

I had recently started reading a blog from a friend of mine and thought that it was probably time that I start mine up again. I was amazed to see that the last time I had posted was when I found out I was pregnant. Now my son is 1 year old.

My life has certainly gone through a lot in the last year and a half. The 9 months that I was pregnant with my son were difficult. I didn't have tradition morning sickness, instead I had constant nausea for the first 4 months. As a diabetic, definitely better for my blood sugar as I was able to keep food down and therefor my blood sugar didn't go through the constant state of lows that the first trimester usually brings to us. I actually had the best blood sugars of my life during that period. Unfortunately my teeth suffered a bit as brushing made me gag, so i probably didn't do such a great job which brought on extreme bleeding gums for my second trimester.

That was probably the only issue that I had during the second trimester. My sugars were still pretty stable although my insulin usage definitely started to increase.

My third trimester was a roller coaster. Not only did I have to deal with the regular pregnancy symptoms like not sleeping, back aches, crankiness, extreme heart burn, etc but my diabetes went crazy. My insulin resistance doubled. I had gone from boluses of 4, 6, and 6 to 2, 4, and 4. My basal rates were just as extreme. I had ultrasounds every month, fetal non-stress tests every two weeks that eventually moved to every day, and endocrinologist and obstetrician appointments weekly.

My OB finally made the decision to induce me at 38 weeks. My OB used cyridil and was admitted to the hospital on the Monday. I didn't dilate at all. We did another round on Tuesday. I dilated 1cm. Definitely not enough to say that I was progressing. We finally made the decision on the Wednesday to do a c-section. Connor was born at 9:02 pm.

I'll continue the rest in the next post