Monday, August 31, 2009

Mom, Dad, and Hayden's Pancreas

For those of you who don't know, our sweet Hayden was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on July 11, 2009. The past 2 months have been a learning process as well as a big adjustment for our family.

A simplified explanation of Type 1 Diabetes courtesy of
"A healthy pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that the body uses to change glucose in the blood into energy. Glucose in the blood comes from the food and drink a person consumes. A person with type 1 diabetes doesn't produce any insulin. Without insulin, the glucose builds up in the blood, causing high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia. Blood sugar levels that are too high and untreated for long periods of time can lead to ketoacidosis, a very serious condition. Very high blood sugars for an extended period of time can eventually lead to coma and death."

"Although the causes of type 1 diabetes are not entirely known, scientists believe the body's own immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. It is not caused by obesity or by eating excessive sugar, which are two common myths about type 1."

Hayden hadn't been feeling well all week leading up to that Saturday. He was lethargic, wanting to be held, not wanting to eat, and was breathing very hard on Friday and Saturday. Also, he had been wetting through diapers left and right and had been extremely thirsty for the past couple of weeks, but when it is over 100 degrees outside, you attribute thirst to the heat (this, obviously, ended up being one of his key symptoms along with the rapid breathing). David and I finally decided late that afternoon to take him to Cook Children's Emergency Room. We didn't even sit down in the waiting room - we got taken right back when we mentioned breathing issues. They did a finger prick almost right away, and his blood sugar was over 300. For a child his age, a normal range is 80-200. They started an IV and did a serum, and it was over 500. We had our answer. They immediately started him on an insulin drip and rushed us up to the pediatric intensive care unit. He was in DKA, diabetic ketoacidosis, which is an emergency.

While we were devastated to learn of his disease, we are thankful that it is a treatable one. The downside is that Hayden will be insulin-dependent for the rest of his life. He gets 4 insulin injections a day. One basal insulin to last throughout the day, and 3 insulin injections after each meal. He also gets his blood sugar tested at least 6 times a day: before each meal, and a couple of times in the night. Hayden spent 24 hours in the PICU, and then was moved to a regular room on Sunday afternoon. They exchanged the crib in his room for a regular bed so I could sleep with him. David slept on a couch for 3 nights. We finally got to go home the following Wednesday night.

Hayden is doing remarkably well, considering that this 16-month-old gets 4 injections a day. He doesn't fuss when we prick his fingers to check his blood sugar, but he is starting to fight the injections. He knows what's coming when we start rubbing him with alcohol. :( It was NOT easy giving him those first few injections. What parent wants to cause their child pain? It's not like you can tell him, "Baby, I have to give you this shot to make you feel better." But we are all doing a lot better, and we continue to get better everyday. Lucky for us, Hayden doesn't know any different- and is as normal as any child his age. He is part monkey. The major change is that David and I are now effectively Hayden's pancreas! As long as we do our job, Hayden will be just fine.

On a positive note: my family and I are walking in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation walk on Saturday, October 24th in Fort Worth. Anyone is welcome to join our team and come walk with us to raise money for this great foundation. We are asking for donations from anyone who wants to help us out. We appreciate any help! To find out more, you can go to Under the column that says "Get Involved," click on "Register" or "Donate." Both will take you to the same place. Where it says "Donate to a Walker," type in Blair Smith. The team name is "Team Hayden." Click on "Find Walker," then click on my name. Then you can click on either "Donate to this walker," or "Join this team." It is free to walk and you absolutely DO NOT have to donate or raise any money, not a dime. However, anybody who raises at least $100 will get a t-shirt from jdrf! :)

Here are a few pictures of our precious baby while in the hospital.

This picture has got to be the saddest picture I have ever taken. It makes me want to cry just looking at it. It was taken after Hayden and I had been up all night, and after a lot of crying (mommy and baby). I don't know if you can tell, but his eyes were so swollen and puffy. We were moving him up to the floor from PICU. He had just had is IV and central line in his jugular taken out. I kid you not, worst 24 hours of my life. And obviously Hayden's. I spent the whole night begging God to take Hayden's pain and put it in me.

Hayden and Harper looking out the 4th floor window of Hayden's new room with Papa.

Playing with GiGi.

Obviously, with it being a children's hospital, there was a play room! Hayden loved it. It was the coolest place! Games, toys, books, cars, video games, aquariums, computers, and fortunately for my baby, every kind of ball you could imagine!!!

Getting a ride with Poppa Smith around the unit.

Loved this closet.

We're going home! Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

July 4th

For the 4th, Hayley, Justin, David, the babies, and I went to Abilene. That morning, the Highland neighborhood was having a parade. Mom decorated a wagon so the babies could be in the parade! It was hot, but they loved it! They would even wave to all the people from their "float."

The babies playin with Gigi's perfume bottles.

We had a cookout at Nana and Grandaddy's house.

Mom, Paul, and Hayden waiting for the "Fireworks." Apparently the show got cancelled because of wind, but nobody was notified! Fortunately, some people next to us were setting off their own fireworks and set the field on fire! Atleast we didn't go out there for nuthin!

Hayden loves playin in daddy's truck.

Smith Summer Staycation

In June, Tom, Marilyn, and Paul came to Ft. Worth and the Smith family spent the weekend together. Friday morning we went to the Zoo. I took my camera but forgot I left the battery at home charging, so I don't have any pictures from the first part of the day. The zoo was hot, but we had fun. Micah was so good, he just snoozed and hung out in his stroller! Hayden got sick of being held, as always, and just wanted to walk around. After the zoo, we had a quick bite to eat at The Purple Cow before heading to the Omni. It felt so good to be in air-conditioning! Hayden slept on me the whole movie. We all took a break after the movie to let the babies nap, and then went to dinner at Joe T. Garcia's.

Neeny and her grandbabies.

The 4 Smith boys: Tom, David, Paul, and Mark.

The kiddos playin after dinner.

Sunday afternoon, Neeny took us all to my favorite place in the whole world, the Ballpark. We had great seats in the shade.

Hayden loves his Makenna. She is so sweet and good with him.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Harper and Hayden turn 1

On May 8th and May 12th, Harper and Hayden turned 1! We had a joint birthday party for them on Saturday, May 16th.

This is Hayden Blair Smith on his first birthday. Isn't he handsome?

David and I took him to The Purple Cow for lunch. He got purple vanilla ice cream and loved it!

I got him a horse for Christmas, but since he was only 7 months old, I decided to save it for his birthday. He was a little unsure of riding it at first, but now he loves it! A baby cowboy in the making!

Hayley and Justin hosted the birthday party at their house. Our dear friend Lynn, who is obviously blessed with amazing cake-making abilities, made the birthday cakes. She also made mine and Hayley's wedding cakes. The pink and turquoise cupcake cakes on the sides are Hayden and Harper's cakes. The real cupcakes around the big cake were for all the kids at the party.

Uncle Mark pushin the kiddos.

Ryan, Hayden, and Gabe.

This picture is kinda blurry, but I love it. Those 2 are gonna be great friends!

This picture explains it all...Chaos!! Hayley and I were opening the presents because Hayden and Harper had no interest. They even wandered off to different rooms a couple of times! I think there was a total of 8 kids at the party, not including the birthday babies!

This picture cracks me up. Papa and Gigi got Hayden a riding Firetruck, and all of the babies loved it! Even Harper's princess car was a hit!

Hayden had no problem digging right into his cake. After this picture was taken, he started to get upset. We took him straight to the bathtub and there was cake and icing in his nose, ears, eyelashes...!