On July 25, 2005, I sat in an ICU listening to machines beeping and buzzing while watching my unresponsive baby lying in a hospital crib. Her face was puffy and her eyes were swollen closed. Aside from breathing, she didn’t move very much.
The world hustled in to silence her alarms and prick her toes for blood drops every 30 minutes. They would come around again to draw arterial blood samples or attempt to restart a failed IV. All the while, I sat there, wondering how I would be able to keep her alive without a team of nurses and doctors waiting just outside the door.
She had three IVs in place: 1 for an insulin drip, 1 for a dextrose drip, and an extra for lab draws.
Poke – Beep – Push Buttons.
And so it continued…poke – beep – push buttons…poke – beep – push buttons…for the better part of 2 days. It was a delicate dance between an IV drip of insulin and an IV drip of glucose.
I will never forget the doctor’s words to me that night:
“This was the last day of your daughter’s life. If you had not gotten help when you did, you would have put her to bed and she would have been gone by morning…”
I don’t remember much else about our conversation after hearing those words. He said the road ahead would be tedious. Frustrating. Exhausting. He told me this race would be a marathon, not a sprint.
He also told me we had won our first victory, simply because she was alive.
We came so close.
On July 25, 2014, my daughter sleeps in a cabin at diabetes camp. There are still people who sneak in during the night to poke her fingertips for drops of blood. Once again, there’s a team of nurses and doctors waiting just outside the door.
Soon, she will trial the Bionic Pancreas: a continuous infusion of insulin and glucagon…and the dance will begin again.
We’ve come a long way in the last nine years. I’m excited to see where the next nine takes us.
There is HOPE.
This post is part of a series documenting Sugar’s experience in the 2014 Bionic Pancreas Summer Camp Study.