Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Resident Ketones

Gracie had some higher blood sugars through the night. Not through the roof holy shit high, but in the 180's, which for us is pretty high. Gracie complained of an upset tummy starting at around midnight, but I just told her to lay down and rest. She did on the floor by my bed, and then at 4:30 this morning she ran to the potty and puked all over the floor (at least it wasn't on carpet). I checked her blood sugar and she was 140. I checked her ketones when I got her to pee, and moderate ketones. Damn. My peanut is sick.

So today I have been feeding her ginger ale, testing her blood sugar every two hours (thankfully fairly normal) and testing her ketones (still at small). I called her endocrinologists office just to make sure I'm doing the right thing and discuss other sick day stuff with them. They told me to call back later this evening as well with an update.

I then asked them to mail me a letter stating that I must monitor Gracie's diabetes when she is ill and that I consulted with them today concerning her diabetes. Here she hesitated. I explained to her that I needed this for FMLA at work. I don't have any sick time, and anyways, any day care I know of willing to take in sick children isn't versed in type 1 diabetes sick day care. I also can't see taking her in for a doctor's appointment solely to get a note, you know, copay be damned? I pay 20 bucks to get off work? I shouldn't have had to explain this to her. She should have responded with an
"Absolutely! I can't imagine what it is like negotiating chronic illness, normal illness, AND a full time job (not to mention how your job chooses to interpret FMLA law!)! I'd be so happy to help you with this letter which takes so little of my time to scrawl on a prescription pad or letterhead! It was my pleasure to help make your day today and your next day at work a little easier!"

Fortunately, she acquiesced, and I will be receiving that letter. It is super stressful to have no sick time at work and have to fight for everything possible to count as FMLA. Especially considering I need a doctor's note indicating diabetes or orthopaedic problems to have the FMLA apply. Every single illness Gracie has from the date of her diagnosis will require extra diabetes management. It is just how it goes. It sucks to have to beg for a letter every time this comes up. It isnt that I am abusing the system, it is just I have no other choice. I've used up all my options. And THAT is why we have federal FMLA protection in the first place. So why are these doctors and nurses so freaked out to help me use it?

Anyhow, wish us well on the ketones dropping front. Last I checked they were small, no longer moderate, so that is progress eh? All that gingerale must really be working....Although it seems so backwards to push sugar when their blood sugars are resistant from ketones....Here I am diabetic 15 years and I STILL don't get the ins and outs....


Sandra Miller said...

Sarah, I'm sorry to hear that Gracie is sick.

I'm sending positive thoughts your way, and hoping those ketones keep dropping...

Hang in there.

Penny Ratzlaff said...

I'm so sorry Gracie is sick.

I'm wishing you well on the ketones dropping.

Minnesota Nice said...

Sarah, I hope Gracie is feeling better by now. I did not know you were going to Children's in SP - thought it was Children's in Mpls, I have a nurse friend who worked there for a time and she still raves about the quality of care, so I'm glad you're there. Great news on the AlC and the growth spurt. Also, sounds like the pediatric endo is a good fit.
When are you going on your date?

Chrissie in Belgium said...

I think that doc's response was terrible! Don't they get it at all? Here is a hug to you and Gracie. Hope the ketones disappear completely and quickly. It is great that Gracie has a mom that understands!

KC's Blog said...

Feel better soon Gracie!

Darn doctors, you would think they would be more helpful!

Major Bedhead said...

Sarah, do you have a Precision Xtra ketone meter? Those are a lot more accurate at checking ketones - the pee strips can be up to 12 hours behind. I think I have an extra one, if you want it. You'll have to get a prescription for strips, which can be a pain in the butt, but it's worth it, especially if Gracie seems like the kind of kid who throws ketones every time she gets the sniffles. Some kids do.

That FMLA thing is a hassle. I hate companies that are resentful of time you need to take with your kids. And shame on the nurse for not immediately agreeing to give you the note.