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Emergency Room, so Trista could be transported to a Sioux Falls hospital, not yet giving her the details. Michelle and the girls picked up Chad to find out that Dr. Larson had already called him with some details upon his request. Dr. Larson believed Trista was Type 1 diabetic. Her blood sugar level which should be between 80-110 was reading a dangerously high level of 589. Trista remembers the incident clearly and listening to her parents retell the story to me brought forth an emotional reaction from her and sister Tori. Michelle explained that when the family arrived at the Emergency Room, they were told that Trista would be flown to Sanford Children’s Hospital, the hospital her parents chose. Chad would ride with Trista during the flight while Michelle dropped Tori off with family and packed an overnight bag from home. Because of strong winds, the medical helicopter couldn’t fly that day, so Trista was taken to Sanford in a twin-engine plane. Chad praises the amazing service of the medics during the rough flight. Michelle had already arrived at Sanford and met the others as their flight landed. Trista was immediately started on saline drip and an insulin drip, receiving the fluids very slowly due to her young age. The young girl was so dehydrated that her veins had collapsed. Chad explained Trista’s situation as it was explained to him: the insulin in the body acts as a key for the cells to open and let the sugars in, which is where your energy comes from. With no insulin in Trista’s body, those sugars in her system had no place to go, forcing her to drink more fluids to flush the sugars through her system. With blood sugars as high as hers were, her body started to consume itself in a desperate search for energy. Her body first looked to fat, then to muscle for this energy source, explaining her rapid weight loss. Trista was put in the Intensive Care Unit where she spent the next 24 hours. She was then transported to a hospital room while still on a slow saline drip to hydrate her and drop her blood sugar. During the next three days in the hospital, the family met with diabetic specialists, nutritionists and dieticians. They had to learn about counting calories, carbohydrates (carbs), what and when to eat, what “free foods” were and how much insulin Trista needed to take. They had to learn how to test Trista’s blood sugar and how to give her insulin shots. She is on two types of insulin per day, Lantus and NovoLog. Lantus lasts through the night, but she is still required to check her blood sugar levels at 2:00 AM every day. NovoLog is a fast-acting insulin that she takes with every meal, helping the cells to open and take in the energy. The family is currently trying to get Trista’s blood sugar in a consistent and stable range. Chad explains that Trista’s pancreas quit working during this process, a result from the diabetes. She is currently in the “honeymoon phase,” where the pancreas could still produce a bit of insulin but not enough for her to go off insulin. She will need to stay on insulin throughout her life as her pancreas will no longer fully function. Chad explains that her diagnosis, previously known as juvenile diabetes, is now recognized as an auto-immune disease; the condition ran in his family with his father’s mom and grandma both Type 1 diabetics. He explains his first reaction to the diabetes diagnosis. “What scared me right away is I remember seeing my friends or seeing my family members taking insulin and I’m thinking there’s this great big syringe and vial.” He quickly found out how advanced the treatment had become and showed me her insulin pen, which appears to be very efficient, with a built-in insulin dial and small needle. Trista confidently explained where her insulin shots need to be given, either on the backside of the upper arm, the upper thigh or the waist, rotating injection sites. “Before, I had Mom or Dad give me the shots because I didn’t know to do it. Then I had Dad teach me and thought, ‘that doesn’t look so bad after all!’” She started by giving herself the shots in her leg and then her arm and easily demonstrated the process for me. Her dad smiled, “We are about 7 weeks into this and she’s doing everything on her own. She figures her own carbs, her own serving sizes, it’s amazing.” Being very good in math has greatly helped her in this routine. During the learning phase of this new process, Chad and Michelle credit the staff at the Sanford Children’s Hospital for being remarkably helpful. They started off by calling the hospital with Trista’s blood sugar levels every morning at 2:00 and at each meal. The staff would help them calculate how much insulin to give her. In the beginning, Trista would take one unit of insulin for 15 grams of carbs. She is progressively feeling better, has gained most of her weight back and can now consume more carbs before taking insulin. She quickly rattled off her insulin schedule: one unit of insulin for 25 grams of carbs in the morning, one unit of insulin per 23 grams of carbs for lunch and supper is the same routine as breakfast. Her dosage in Lantus, the 24hour slow-release insulin, has also been reduced. vTRISTA continued on page 27 Let Your Home Reflect Your Style! FREE In-Home Design Consultation With Our Professional Designers 2401 Broadway, Yankton • 605-665-3719 • slumberland.com Monday-Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday Noon-6pm HERVOICEvSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018v17

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