Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dammit Jim, I'm a library assistant, not a Doctor. . .

Before I knew what type 1 diabetes was I was a concerned Mom surfing the internet because my daughter was peeing like a racehorse. All I wanted to know is "Is she peeing too much?" and "What does the medical community consider too much?" "Do I really have to measure it?" Every thing I ran into on the web with excessive drinking & excessive urination points to diabetes. My kids have stopped having conversations at the fridge while waiting their turn to fill up( the weather was 105+ for a week and all 3 hung out at the fridge) but Brenna was still chugging water after the heat died down and the boys had stopped. I don't read further into diabetes websites because I figure my daughter doesn't have it she's just peeing alot-- handy for potty training -- not so good when it comes to paying for diapers. Still, I was worried and searching for answers on the internet and not finding them.

My Mom & Dad call me all worried on Friday night and tell me I need to take her in to the doctors office because the number of diapers Mom changed that day worried her-- o.k. validation, I'm not a psycho overprotective parent. That night I changed 3 near exploding diapers and she still leaked through and wet the bed @ 2 a.m.

Around about 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, tired and cranky from my lovely evening, I call the advise nurse to see if I need to count diapers or weigh them or try and track how much she's drinking and make an appointment for Monday. She says that there was enough information to bring her in and get her tested for diabetes can I be there in 20 minutes or 30 minutes? Brenna and I hurry up and get there for the 9 a.m. appointment just to wait, and wait, and wait. I described the symptoms to the nurse while we were weighing her & checking blood pressure 24lbs doesn't sound right but I haven't weighed any of my children in awhile so I don't know if she's lost weight. Don't they have that info in her medical record? We were there in May. The nurse asks me why we're there and I say:
"She has been peeing more than when I fed my boys salty snacks & tons of water to help the potty training process along. I changed 3 FULL diapers last night and she still leaked through one. This has been going on since the heat wave 2 weeks ago" She looked at me and said "Sounds like diabetes".

When the doctor came in I had been telling my story alot that morning so I may have truncated bits of it. I know I said that she was peeing and drinking a lot and I am sure I added that I looked up her symptoms on the internet and it pointed to diabetes, and you don't mess with diabetes, so here we are.

Now, I'm not a stupid person (most of the time) so I'm not going to Mary-jo-sue-bob's fight Diabetes with Lemon Juice website to look up information. I search the Mayo Clinic website, American Pediatrics, and others that were recommended to me by my personal Reference Librarians (working in a library does have it's perks). I am a library assistant in the Children's Department and I field reference questions all the time but I know where to go and who to ask when I am out of my depth. Hence the DOCTOR'S OFFICE. I think he dismissed me and that I lost all credibility when I uttered the word "internet". (not that he asked me my credentials or asked me, personally, to elaborate why I felt her drinking or peeing was out of the ordinary). Brenna gets a bag taped to her to catch her pee and we're sent on our merry way to wait for her to fill the baggie. She won't drink for me while we're waiting so I call my Mom and the 3 of us go to Starbucks and have a Chai Latte. She fills her baggie and we go back to the doctors office and wait another 20 minutes after I told the nurse that we're back and she needs to be checked. We finally get back in and the bag has leaked so there is just a tiny amount left in the bag to test. Just enough -- thank goodness we didn't have to do the baggie thing again. By now it's getting close to noon we're tired of being at the doctors office. No sugar in her urine but she has {moderate} ketones. The doctor tells us she is dehydrated and she needs to drink more. Drink MORE! My jaw drops she has been drinking so much already the only reason she hasn't been drinking all morning is because we've been at a doctor's office. . . all morning! We ask him why dehydrated? What could cause this when she's drinking so much? He said things happen sometimes. The weather is still in the 90's.

The doctor didn't really give us an explanation but -- he said no diabetes. This was the answer I wanted. So I left.

Five days later I fly with my baby to a hospital in Santa Clara, she has DKA - Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

Had I known what I know now I would have asked for more tests. Had I known then what I know now I would have asked for him to test her blood glucose level, heck, I would have asked to borrow my father-in-law's glucose meter and tested her myself. Luckily, she got sick and we did a follow up with her regular pediatritian who noticed within 2 minutes of walking in the door that things weren't right with Brenna and within 10 minutes had her hooked up to an IV. What I don't understand is why that first doctor DID NOT POKE HER! I came in suggesting DIABETES. I don't care if I had gotten my information from the worst internet website if I had the intelligence to allow the professional to make sure he should have done his absolute damndest to make sure it was not diabetes before turning us away! HE SHOULD HAVE DONE A BLOOD TEST!

My suggestion to him or other doctors: Don't judge a patient by their sources and if they mention diabetes TEST THE BLOOD!

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