Monday, July 19, 2010

Unexpected Hospital Day

"Mom, Shiloh's sick."  Upon hearing these words in the wee hours of the morning, Keith and I made a world's record for getting out of bed.  We rushed to Shiloh's and Skyler's room to find Shiloh making strange noises, saliva flowing out of his mouth, and his jaw locked tight.  With Shiloh's diabetes, we have been told not to take the time to test his blood glucose if he is showing unusual symptoms, but to immediately give him raw sugar.  Trying to pry his teeth apart got my fingers bit, but I finally managed to get about 1/2 teaspoon into his mouth and then grabbed the glucometer.  We were in disbelief to see that his glucose was only at 70, which is fine as we were told to keep it between 80 - 120.  He has never shown unusual symptoms at a 70 reading, and here he was confused, unable to pronounce his words, and unaware of what was going on.  We moved him to the couch (the top bunk isn't the easiest place to treat someone) and tried to give him sips of water while going through possible diagnoses.  He had no fever or chills and complained only of his head and stomach hurting.  I tried giving him some ibuprofen for his headache, but he could swallow only half a dose. Keith then suggested we test his ketones which were so high that they didn't even register on the deciphering code.  We began giving him sips of rehydration drink, and although he vomitted after every other drink, he started to show signs of improvement.  After an hour, he hadn't improved as much as I thought he should, so we decided to take him to the hospital and ask for him to be put on a drip.  Upon arrival, I spoke with the pediatrician who had treated him in January and expressed my concern for his potassium level.  He agreed with me and sent us to town for the potassium test.  However, the clinic was out of the reactor used in testing and wouldn't be getting any for about 2 days.  (This is the only place in Masaka that tests potassium.)  So...back at the hospital I requested the doctor to put him on the drip, and if Shiloh didn't show any signs of improvement then we would take him to Kampala (2-1/2 hour drive).  The children's ward doesn't have private rooms, but there was one little room through three doors that looked like it was used for storage or maybe a place for the nurses to sneak off to and rest.  We covered the one-inch mattress with the sheets I had brought, and Shiloh bravely faced the I.V. again.  His blood count was normal, and he tested negative for malaria. Before 500 ml of ringer's lactate had entered his system, he was asking to eat and was pestering Keith.  After one litre, Shiloh was released leaving a baffled doctor as to why the ketones could be high and not the blood sugar and a puzzlement of what could bring this on so suddenly with seemingly no cause.  We are rejoicing over the rapid improvement, but ask your prayers in helping us determine what brought these symptoms on.  The rest of the children did very well in our all-day-absence and had plenty of notes and colored pictures awaiting Shiloh's arrival.  We lavished much praise upon Skyler for alerting us to his brother's condition.  "When I got up to go the bathroom, I heard him make crying noises, so I got you." 
Thank you for your prayers for us today!


  1. Be assured we are praying for you all and specifically Shiloh.

  2. Sally, give Shiloh a big hug from us and let him know we are praying for him!

    Love the Reece's

  3. Sally, I have been praying and wondering how Shiloh's health has been. I hope you can find some answers. We will keep praying. Love to you all.