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Another Type 1

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This week, Sweets got another Type 1 diagnosis.

Except this time it has nothing to do with the pancreas or blood sugar or diabetes.

This time it has to do with bones and fractures.

On Friday, Sweetpea was outside at recess enjoying the beautiful, mild weather.  Until she fell off the playground equipment.

Luckily, I'm right there in the same building.  So it was only a few minutes later that she was brought to my room.  I knew something was wrong as soon as I saw her.  She was in tears.

Sweets is usually pretty tough.  She usually just hops right up and says, "I'm fine!".  She hates bandaids.  Never wants to stop long enough to get looked at.

But not this time.

This time she had tears streaming down her face.  Her face was as white as a ghost.  We asked her to move her arms and she could - but she couldn't make a muscle with her right arm.  And when I touched it, she screamed.

I knew.  I grabbed our stuff and we took off for Urgent Care.

Of course, Sweets wanted nothing to do with this.  As soon as she realized that something was wrong, she kept saying that it didn't hurt anymore and she was fine.  Yeah, right....

At Urgent Care, they took an x-ray of her arm.

This was not fun. 

It wasn't as bad as the day she was diagnosed and it took 5 adults to hold her down and get the IV's and lines and ports inserted into her little arms.  When she was crying and screaming for us to stop and quit hurting her. 

But I'd say it was second place.  And that's something from a Mama who has lost of count of times she's had to hold her child down for shots and IV insertions and blood draws and such while she cried and screamed. 

It HURT.  And it was just me and the nurse so I had hold her arm down in the right place so they could get the picture. 

The screams were ugly.  I was crying by the time we left that room.

Sure enough - it was a broken elbow.  She managed to break BOTH of the major bones in her arm right at the elbow. 

That night they put on a temporary cast and gave her sling and we made an appointment for Monday to get her "real" cast on. 

Right away, her blood sugar took a hit.  She started to climb and just kept going...  At first, I'm sure it was trauma.  Then it was the Motrin.  And the fact that her activity level suddenly decreased quite a bit.  We are still working with things... trying to figure out just how much we are going to need to increase basal and when.  The Urgent Care doc told me it shouldn't affect her diabetes.  Yeah... I guess not technically but we all know how activity affects things...  Just another piece of the puzzle!

You might be wondering... did diabetes play any part in this accident?

I don't THINK so.  HOWEVER....  The first thing Sweets said to me when she came into my classroom that day was that she felt low.  I looked at Dex.  It said 200.  She had about an hour of active insulin left so I knew she should have been fine.  But not more than a minute later, Dex beeped double down.  I tested and she was 150.  A few minutes after that she was 120.  I gave her juice and that stopped the drop and she held steady at 120.  So....  was she dropping and did that make her more unsteady and caused the fall?  I don't know.  I guess it's possible.  But it's not like she was actually LOW. 

We spent the weekend sleeping on the couch with Sweets.  She was not comfortable in her bed so I moved her into the corner of the couch and was able to prop her up with pillows and give her some support.  She spent the day Saturday taking it pretty easy.  But by Sunday she was ready to move!

J and I were SO NERVOUS about Monday.  The Urgent Care doctor had told me that the break was in a very tricky place and that it would be important for it to get set and heal properly the first time so she was sending us to a specialist.  J's nephew just broke his wrist a few weeks ago and they had to knock him out to set it.  That's great - but we all know that it's a lot more difficult when you've got T1 in the mix.

We decided that we would be prepared.  We didn't let her eat after midnight and we watched her bg all night so that it didn't drop too far and needed to be treated.  Monday morning, I thought I was going to throw up.  I had to hide it, of course, because I didn't want to scare Sweets.  But the memory of that x-ray and not knowing what was going to happen had me scared.

Luckily, it did not need set or adjusted!  The doctor told us that it was a type 1 fracture and that meant she didn't need pins or surgery.  THANK GOODNESS!  We laughed - the first time type 1 was a good thing to hear! 

Off came the splint and on went the "real" cast!  Sweets chose pink, of course!  She really wanted purple but it wasn't pretty.  And she really liked the blue... but it was so dark that no one would have been able to write on it.  So pink it is!  Four weeks in that pretty pink cast.  She will get it off the day after her birthday!

She was such a trooper!  What is upsetting her the most is that she can't do gymnastics and we had just scheduled a gymnastics birthday party that we had to cancel.  We've got something else planned now - but that's still a little disappointing.  She's worried about cheer... she can't jump or tumble.  She can still do the cheers and she went and did that tonight.  She was upset because she can't wear anything with long sleeves - and so her turtleneck that goes under her uniform won't work.  Luckily, her BFF is such a sweetie that she told Sweets that she would wear her uniform however Sweets had to wears hers.  Is that not the sweetest thing? 

But she's determined to figure this out and make it work.  She picked up a pen and just started writing with her left hand.  She suggested taping her paper down since not being able to hold it was making it harder.  She did her cheers with one hand.  I still have to help a lot - she needs help with going to the bathroom, getting dressed, putting on her coat, fastening her seat belt, opening things...  But she's TRYING!  She told me the other day, "No, Mom.  I got this."

What really got to me was Friday night when she started crying out of the blue.  "What's wrong?" I asked her.  "I'm scared I won't be able to hug you!" she said.  We're making it work!

The strength and courage and determination of our T1 kiddos just amazes me!  I really don't know if she would have handled this with as much grace and strength and perseverance as she has if she didn't have T1. 

So, that's what WE did this weekend!  What about you?!?



  1. Shoot! That is the first time Type 1 was relieving to hear! I felt relief just reading it in your story!
    Sorry to hear about the break. My 5 year old T1 daughter and I love to read about your family. Thanks for sharing with all of us. It's nice not to be alone!

  2. Ahhhhh....she is such a strong girl! Most kids would take the opportunity to be pampered, but she is just ready to get back in there isnt she? HOW AMAZING!!

  3. That Sweets is a tough, sweet, strong and resilient girl!! T1 kids learn to be all of the afore mentioned and they ROCK! And I love that she said: No mom, I got this!!! GO GURL.
    Tell Sweets I broke my left wrist 9 years ago (I'm left handed) & my cast was black!
    And then give her a big hug and a kiss from me!!

  4. I fractured my elbow when I was 12.

    I remember that the X-ray was TORTURE because they had me lay my arm down right on the place where I broke it (I broke the inner part, where, if you have your hand facing up, it's closest to your body). I remember that no one knew what to do with me, because in adults that break doesn't get a cast (because they might never be able to move their elbow again) and in children it did. And I was 12, so I was totally borderline. And I ended up getting a cast for two weeks.

    I remember that my cast was HUGE and purple. The only reason for both of these things is because they didn't have any colored casts left, except for a purple one that was five inches wide. So they used the huge purple one. Sweets made a good choice with the pink--we had to use paint pens on my cast because it was too dark to sign otherwise.

    I also remember that nothing, not even adult doses of Motrin (given on orders from the doctor), made the pain go away. It barely took the edge off.

    I also wasn't comfortable in my bed. We ended up having me sleep with my arm laying on my stomach, and a stuffed animal propping up my elbow. It worked pretty well.

    I also remember the size 18 winter coat I had to wear, because it was the beginning of March and it was freezing and that cast didn't fit into ANYTHING. I also wore really, really short sleeves to school because the cast was so big and went up so high.

    And, BTW, I also didn't need to have it set; technically, I broke off the ending of a bone, so it was just free floating. I also could move my arm, but it HURT. I was told initially that I'd probbaly need surgery, but they changed their minds afterwards.

    I hope she feels better soon! And, if the orthopedist lets, knitting needles work VERY well for itchy casts...(with me, they actually told me to do that, and with my sister, who broke her wrist, they told her not to.)

  5. A Trooper, indeed!! Her 'can do' attitude will knock this broken arm into submission, for sure! ;)
    I broke my arm, right above my elbow, in first grade...falling off of a playground flip bar. I feel for her!
    So glad all went well, over all...those procedures that hurt our kiddos are so hard on us as parents.
    HUGS to all of you!!

  6. Oh my goodness, Sweets is so brave and strong. (And so are you, by the way!) The pink cast is very pretty - even if it is a big pain in the bottom.

  7. I have just found your blog ( through friend on FB). I am a mom of a 41 year old son who speaks from the other side of a child with T1. He truly LIVES with diabetes and always has since the diagnosis at age 13. At that time, metrers and test strips had just become available. He has always done anything and everything that he wanted to do. Of course, now, he has a pump and an automatic blood monitor. He also has had a very serious heart condition not at all related to his diabetes. He was on a very high dose of predinosone for three months and had to balance his blood surgars with all that going on. Even though there have been obstacles along the way, he has taken care of himself and truly LIVES! He is the father of six children and a wonderful husband.

    I look forward to reading your complete blog and thank you for the positive attitude!

  8. (((HUGS))) to you and J and Sweets. How are things going? Is she adjusted to the cast? Knowing her she has already adapted and is as active as ever.

  9. Yes she is a trooper. And so is her mom!


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