Monthly Archives: February 2009

Samantha Is Back Home

Again, sorry for the lack of update but today was a whirlwind. Cynthia and I had a bunch to do to bring Samantha home. We met with the endocrinologist in the morning and had some lunch with Samantha. Then, I left to pick up Matthew from school and have a shower at home before going back to the hospital. There, we got the prescriptions and I headed out alone to fill them so we had all we needed to care for Samantha at home. I brought back some dinner for us and after dinner, we headed home with Samantha. She was very happy to be in the car and by the time we got home, she went straight to bed. I think she would have rather stayed up a bit but we want her to get back into her routine as soon as possible. Life in the hospital really made it difficult to keep her eating and sleeping schedule.

Cynthia and I did our first blood test on our own at home an hour ago and also administered a bit of insulin as a correction according to our instructions from the endocrinologist. It took some time but it will get easier in the future. Daily, we will contact the endocrinologist to update her on the blood sugar results and the injections we have administered and she will adjust the treatment plan. On Wednesday afternoon, we have a busy day meeting with the endocrinologist team and a diabetes support group.

So, life isn’t exactly back to normal but we are slowly adjusting to the new normal. Thanks everyone for your support this past week. Even though we are far away from our family and friends in Canada, your kind words, concern and offers to help out have meant a lot to us.

Thursday evening

Sorry for the delay in updates. Today was a bit of a rough day for me and I was either too busy or napping to do an update. Regardless, Samantha is doing very well. Her sugar is still variable and gets pretty high every once in a while but they are still adjusting the dosages and schedule and that will confine after she is discharged.

Today, Cynthia and I both did our first blood sugar tests and both of us administered insulin. We aren’t that comfortable with it yet but we are getting there. I will try to do more updates tomorrow.

Samantha Much Better

IMG_0005.JPGThis photo is from yesterday when Samantha was still very tired and was hooked up to her IV’s. But, this afternoon, she has returned to her usual self for the most part. She is eating and awake. We took her for a short walk down the hall to a play room and she had some fun there also. Cynthia and I have spent most of the day talking to a dietician and an endocrinologist assistant (the endocrinologist will be in to see us later).

I left Cynthia with Samantha at the hospital so I could pick up Matthew and get cleaned up a bit at home. Then, Matthew and I will bring dinner with us to the hospital so we can enjoy a family meal and Samantha will be very excited to see Matthew again. I will likely spend the night with Samantha again and Cynthia will go home with Matthew.

So, Samantha is doing much better and we can imagine her at home with us this weekend. We just have to be ready for the responsibility.

Wednesday morning

Samantha slept pretty well last night even with the semi-frequent interruptions for blood tests. This morning, they removed the IV and Samantha is eating a couple of graham crackers and drinking milk for breakfast. She also got her first shot of insulin in the thigh and she didn’t like that much. She will probably move from the pediatric ICU today also now that she is no longer in DKA.

Cynthia is awake and getting Matthew ready for school. She will join me here after that.

Tuesday night

Samantha’s blood sugar is still varying quite a bit. She was down in a normal range but she has gotten back up to the 200’s and higher. But they are focusing on bringing her CO2 levels back to normal which is the priority right now. When she was admitted, she was around 4 or so (not sure what the units are for this blood test) and apparently 18-20 is normal. She is up to 15 so is well on her way to being normal again on that test. They expect normal results by tomorrow morning and then she will be off the IV and eating and drinking and getting insulin shots. She is likely here until Friday and much of that time is dependent on Cynthia and I getting familiar with caring for Samantha’s diabetes.

I am spending the night at the hospital while Cynthia stays home with Matthew. She will get him to school tomorrow and then join me here. I will post again then.

Samantha this afternoon

I am at the hospital now, updating the site from my phone. This morning they started giving her some sugar by IV. Her blood sugar had come down to 85 and they were concerned that it would continue to drop. The next tests came back at 110 and now 190. So they are still having some problems getting her blood sugar normalized. But she is improving.

Cynthia and I have a stack of DVD’s to watch about living with diabetes. Matthew is at his friend’s house this afternoon and thanks to Craig and Tami for helping us out. I will keep everyone informed as things evolve.

Tuesday Morning

Samantha’s blood sugar is down to 200 mg/dL which is much improved but the target is 80-120 so still have a ways to go. Cynthia and I will start being trained today by the staff on managing her diabetes. I must leave for the hospital now. I will update again soon.

Samantha Update

We took Samantha to the doctor today because she has been acting very lethargic for a couple of days. Also, she has been drinking lots of milk and water but her appetite seemed to be down. We scheduled a doctor’s appointment and they weighed her first. Our last visit to the doctor was only three weeks ago and we learned that she had lost three pounds, dropping from 19 and a bit to 16 and a bit (I don’t have the specific measurements handy). Given that she has always been fairly small, that was very worrisome. Cynthia and I have remarked recently that she seemed heavier this past week but now we realize that this was likely because she wasn’t helping to support her own weight while we held her so she seemed heavier to us.

They scheduled a blood test, urine test and an xray of her chest and stomach. The xray was to look for issues because her breathing seemed laboured also. After the tests were done and we were awaiting results, we took the opportunity to get home and prepare for a visit to the hospital. The doctor said it was very likely she would be admitted.

Shortly thereafter, we got the results from the doctor. The diagnosis was that she had type 1 juvenile diabetes. The blood sugar level I heard was 500 and now that I have a chance to do some research, I guess that was 500 mg/dL and according to, anything over 200 suggests either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Our family doctor then contacted a doctor at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center to arrange for her to be admitted. Unfortunately, they didn’t think they had a bed immediately so that doctor called us at home and told us to call 911 and tell them that our daughter was in “DKA” due to type 1 diabetes. They would take us to El Camino Hospital for immediate attention. So, after doing that, our living room was very shortly filled with paramedics and fire fighters and shortly thereafter, Samantha was in the ambulance, an IV in her arm providing fluids and on her way to the hospital with Cynthia while Matthew and I followed.

When Matthew and I arrived, they were working on getting a second IV setup to start treating with insulin. A more recent blood sugar test came back 350 mg/dL so her condition was starting to improve. But she was still very dehydrated and tired. A medical transport was on its way from the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and Samantha would be moved there as soon as they started administering insulin. A bed was available and they were better able to treat infants like Samantha. But, Matthew needed to get to bed, so we said our good byes and returned home.

Now that I am home, I can also do some research about DKA which is apparently Diabetic Ketoacidosis and the symptoms exactly match what we were seeing.

So, Matthew and I will be staying at home tonight and Cynthia will be with Samantha. I will take Matthew to school tomorrow morning and then probably relieve Cynthia for a bit. Everyone says that once they can bring her blood sugar down to normal levels, Samantha will recover but then Cynthia and I will have to learn about the ongoing treatment and dietary requirements for Samantha. I will keep everyone up to date as we learn more.