Stephanie is a type two diabetic. After feeling crummy for a few days, last night she woke up several times vomiting. She got dehydrated. Imagine boiling a pot of salt water. The salt-to-water ratio gets higher. Blood sugar is like that. The more dehydrated she got, the higher her blood sugar went. For a while I was telling her she just had the flu, which may have been the case. But when her blood sugar hit the 450s, when it was in the 470s after I gave her insulin, and when she became delirious and incoherent, I decided we needed to get her to the ER.
By the time we got to that point, Stephanie could no longer stand. She was basically dead weight. I got her out the front door and nearly to my car, but in the sunlight I could see just how pale she was. I could see the look in her eyes and realized that I needed to call 911.
She is in the Critical Care Unit. Her blood sugars have normalized. She thought it was the year 2015 and at one point didn’t realize I was in the room standing right next to her, but she is more coherent. Right now she is sleeping a lot. She was stabilized by the time I left to get the kids and take them home (we have a good neighbor). I want to keep their routine as normal as possible. My job as a dad is to minimize the anxiety.
I had a few “moments” today. I knew, rationally, that Steph was going to be okay, but for the first time I had to answer questions about ventilators, CPR, and feeding tubes. It made me realize we need to have a clear set of directives in place, if for no other reason than that I do not want to have to make those decisions on my own. I found myself asking a lot, “What would Stephanie want me to do?” I was not entirely certain.
I am probably going to out-live her. I know that from the data. She is diabetic. Her life-expectancy is less than mine. Today is case in point. She felt crummy, and then she got septic. She had some kind of infection, and then her body started to eat itself. Today felt too much like a future I have not wanted to think about.
I also need to keep a cleaner house. People were volunteering to stay overnight with the kids if I needed them to, and my only thought was, “Oh Gawd no! Anything but that!”
Can I digress for a moment and say the timing of this sucks? I recently found out that over the next three paychecks I will be paying a paycheck’s worth of fringe benefits taxes. I am glad I have good insurance, but this hospital bill is still going to hurt. To my friends and family, I love you all, and this Christmas that may be all you get from me—love. For the kids, there’s always Dollar Tree.
Stephanie will be in the hospital for a few days. I am off work. I have things that are important that I need to get done, but none are as important as my family. I have been keeping my priorities straight. My kids are here and calm. George did his homework. Kyla earned some phone privileges. Connor just took a bath. Tomorrow morning, I will get them up and keep them on their routine. Things will be the same as they have been. Life will go on.