Well, life continues to be rich and full in the Miser Family Household, although this week the word "rich" perhaps should be replaced with an expletive that rhymes with, but does not mean the same thing as, "rich". We got some unwelcome news; summed up in six words: we learned that N-son has diabetes.
There's a longer-than-six-word version, which was a bit scarier for us all to live through. N-son had spent last week at L1's house, and she'd texted us to alert us that he was experiencing a bunch of health problems that were worrisome, and that we now know were symptoms of "Diabetic ketoacidosis": lethargy, loss of appetite, thirstiness, and nausea. He came home over the weekend and wasn't getting better; since he had his annual doctor's appointment scheduled for Monday, we spent much of Sunday wondering, "do we take him to urgent care today, or wait until his appointment tomorrow?". It turns out that the correct answer was "yesterday, or even a few days ago".
|Obligatory dog photo whenever we mention "L1"'s name|
Urgent care on Sunday sent him over to the Emergency room, where he was admitted to the hospital that has been his home for this whole last week. It took a day or two to get the blood sugar levels back down to where he could safely eat, and another day or so longer to get the acidity back in a decent range. N-son himself went from being confused (a typical symptom) to being very sleepy (a typical follow-up response) to being incredibly cheerful. It's hard to know whether it's good or bad when several different of his care providers tell his dad, "He seems so much better than his lab results".
We still don't know whether it's Type I or Type II diabetes, and the hospital is still working to help us set up doctors' visits, home nursing visits, equipment, education, etc. So we've got a slog ahead of us. Also, although he seems super cheerful, his blood sugar is still erratically high, and his potassium is still worryingly low, so he gets to spend another weekend palling around with his new friends and admirers in the hospital.
Given all this, I want to say that I'm so incredibly glad that our very diverse family -- with all their different strengths and skills -- has come together around this in our very individually perfect ways.
- L1 has always been fiercely loyal to and protective of N-son; she documented his symptoms so that we knew to watch him and eventually get him care when we hadn't seen him for a week.
- J-son played the big brother role by being completely un-disgusted when N-son threw up during a FaceTime chat ("it's all good, bro").
- My guy looks back fondly on his own most recent hospital stay (when he broke his arm in May), because in the hospital the various nurses and doctors can actually talk to you, so he had human contact mid-pandemic. This week, he got to be the guy to take N-son to the hospital and talk with all the nurses and doctors and Diabetes Education specialists.
- I-daughter, who has always played the role of confidant and communications go-between for people in our family, gave me advice on how to let N-son's brother and sisters know what was going on, and also delivered N-son a Calvin & Hobbes comic book.
- K-daughter, who specializes in getting worried, managed to be not quite as worried but still on alert: "Have we heard if he has his phone and if we are allowed to video chat him?"
- Y, our doctor-in-training, provided context and reassurance: "DKA patients usually feel miserable and exhausted from vomiting and the blood acidity so don't feel hurt if he doesn't want to talk much."
- L2 jumped right into working with N-son (and his parents) on dealing with lifestyle and diet post-hospital, "since someone gave me a PhD in the study of chronic disease behavior change". She does a bunch of phone and video chat meditation with him (as does L1)
- And I . . . um, stayed home and wrote a lot of emails and texts. Because that's apparently what I'm good at.
With that description of how wonderful it is to have a family come together (albeit virtually), let's move onto the Family Foto Collage, which this week is themed "Thanksgiving Together Apart".
Row 1 is dedicated to just how weird this year's celebrations are:
- the first two pictures are my SIL's contrast: "Getting ready to have dinner with friends pre-Covid vs the only acceptable dinner guest this year."
- Then L2's pair of photos shows "The first one is the driveway of the dairy farm where I did thanksgiving with my friends family; The second is the speed I was driving in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin (Only very momentarily don't worry)".
- And Y shows her thanksgiving venue appropriately annotated: "PPE storage corner", "residents slogging away with more than half our patients in for Covid pneumonia", and "hospital cafeteria pumpkin pie, not too shabby". As K-daughter says, "You're so amazing Y! Thank you for all you do!"
Prewash, what things were you doing a year ago that you're not doing now?
|"All by myself"|