Andy’s Story: Part II : The Hospital
It is late tonight and I have just come to the end of three very exciting days where I have seen great improvement in Andy’s behavior and communication. But that won’t make sense if I don’t tell the rest of his story so I guess I better fill in the blanks.
After the doctor in the ER told me about his blood sugar being high and pH being low, they transferred my very fragile little boy up to the NICU at the hospital. The doctor were still not convinced that he was really diabetic. They just kept saying, “babies this young just don’t get diabetes!” But apparently, they were wrong. I called my father to tell him because I knew Dan and I would need more than just the support of each other. He told me they would be there as soon as they could.
It’s amazing that I don’t even remember what happened for the next few hours. I do remember them taking Andy to PICU and I had to wait outside while they hooked him up to monitors and a catheter. When we were finally able to go in and see our tiny baby boy, he was unrecognizable! There were so many wires coming off of his body that it was hard to hold him. Even now as I write this it brings tears to my eyes. The doctors told us that he was within hours of dying. We were lucky they finally caught it when they did.
The next few days were a whirlwind of learning about diabetes and insulin. My parents, Dan, Andy’s babysitter and I all sat around learning about symptoms of lows and sticking each other with saline to learn how to give a shot. By the second night, the doctors decided to move him to the step-down unit, still hooked up to monitors, but I was able to sleep in the room with him that night so it was at least a little better. On Thursday night, Dan sent me home to get some rest while he took the night shift. The doctors again moved him that night to the pediatric ward so he had a bigger bed and Dan was able to sleep in the bed with him. That night, Dan said Andy finally “woke up” from his coma. I put in quotations because, while Andy was waking and sleeping for those three days, there was no life in his eyes. Our son was not there. There are no words to describe this. It is only understandable if you have been through it yourself. His body breathing, waking, eating and sleeping, but he was lifeless, almost catatonic. The night he “woke up” Dan was overwhelmed. He started laughing again and playing with Dan, reaching for him, touching him. Our son was starting to live again!
We stayed in the hospital for two more days. When the doctors were satisfied that Andy’s blood sugars were more stable and that we could handle it (whatever that means!), they discharged us on Saturday and we went home to live the life of a pancreas. We were destined to be the pancreas for our son. Or so we thought at the time.