It all started last Thursday. Mike came home from work complaining that his stomach hurt. He ended up vomitting all night long which made him very weak and dehydrated. In addition, he stopped taking his insulin (bad mistake) since he wasn't eating anything. Mike is a type 2 diabetic and for the last year has been taking a fast acting insulin to maintain his blood sugar levels.
By Friday morning, he was also experiencing severe abdominal pain. The pain seemed to "wrap" all the way around to his back. At 9:00 he drove himself to our family physician while I waited at home with the kids. Soon after he arrived, a nurse from our doctor's office called me at home and said, "You have one sick husband here. You need to come and pick him up and take him to the emergency room now or we will call an ambulance." I jumped into action (thankfully I was already dressed and ready!). My mom rushed over to watch the kids and then I sped over to pick Mike up and take him to Mercy Hospital's emergency room.
By 10:30 Mike had checked in to the ER, and they had begun a series of tests to determine what was wrong. His blood sugar was in the 500's (dangerously high). They drew blood, did an ultrasound and a ct scan. Finally, a doctor came in and gave us the diagnosis. Mike had pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and diabetic ketoacidosis (acid in the blood due to sugar levels being too high). The pancreatits was causing all the incredible pain while the acidosis was making him feel so sick. It was a bad combination and he was to be admitted immediately to the intensive care unit.
We waited in the ER until 8:00 that night when a room in the ICU was finally available. Once there, Mike was finally able to rest, and he received some powerful pain medication and anti nausea medication as well. For the next two days, he was out of it. He barely opened his eyes and could only speak in a whisper. Finally, by Monday he seemed more alert and in less pain. The concern at that point was getting him to eat and actually keep the food down. Tuesday Mike felt even better, so he was moved out of ICU and into a regular hospital room. And by Thursday he was finally ready to go home. He is still tired and weak, but is able to eat a little and he is getting lots of rest.
The treatment for pancreatitis is simply letting the pancreas rest while it heals itself. Mike has to stay away from high fat and high sugar foods while it heals. The treatment for the ketoacidosis is simply learning to manage his blood sugar! We have met with a dietician and a diabetes nurse educator to go over a new way of eating (low carb meals). And once he is feeling better, Mike is going to get back into the exercise routine he was keeping before he got sick.
During this week, we have been absolutley humbled by the generosity and support of our family and our friends. My parents stepped up big time by keeping all three kids overnight for three nights in a row. This helped me stay at the hospital until late in the evening, and I was able to come home to a quiet house and get a good night's sleep (I've been sick lately too!). Mike's parents had just left Oklahoma City and were vacationing in California, but they both changed their plans and came back to help out. They have been entertaining our kids and were up at the hospital with Mike for several days. Our life group immediately started brining food. Every single night since Mike has been in the hospital we have had a warm, comforting meal waiting for us. What a blessing! And so many friends have been babysitting my kids during the day (BIG thanks to Jemma, Nikki, Jacquelyn, & Kali!!!!). And of course a lot of people have been supporting us through prayer. That is invaluable and we are so very grateful.
So thanks for sticking with me through this very long blog post! I thought it was important to keep all of my readers up to date. It feels great to be back! :)