"Evil will triumph if good men...and women do nothing."

my adaptation of a quote by Edmund Burke.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tadpole Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes

Sven was diagnosed with Type 1 Insulin Dependent Diabetes yesterday, Monday the 29th of March.

Let me recap the events. 

Sven had been under the weather for nearly two weeks since having a baby tooth removed at the dentist office. His lip was cut at the time and he got an infection at the site. He was placed on a steroid paste to help facilitate quick healing of the lesion.  He was unable to eat for a couple of days and was on a liquid diet. He started complaining of headaches, a stomach ache, and started urinating much more frequently within a couple days of starting on the steroids. We helped him to get plenty of rest and kept up with the fluids and did all that we knew to do. He was on Ensure and extra vitamins.    

Well, nearly 5 days ago, Sven's weight started to decrease at a rapid pace. He was always slender...but he lost a total of nearly 10 pounds and he was tired all the time. He went to school on Monday morning and within an hour the school nurse called. Sven was in her office. I told her I had a call in to the doctor and was waiting to hear back. As she knew, it is difficult to get a same day appointment. She asked that I come to the school and discuss some things in regards to Sven.

Upon my arrival at the school, she let me know that while taking Sven's temperature, she smelled a fruity sweet smell on his breath. We then checked his blood glucose level and it was high. Very high. She helped me contact my doctor direct and we made the decision to head to the ER. Sven was immediately administered insulin and saline solutions through an IV. He was pale, gaunt and very tired.

We were in the ER and ICU nearly 12 hours when another decision was made...Sven was going to be transported to SLC Primary Children's Hospital. He would go via a lifeflight airplane and he wanted me to fly with him.

Arrangements were made in SLC and we were on our way. He was in his new room by midnight and a new staff of wonderful doctors, nurses and techs started going to work on him. Within 7 hours, he no longer was in DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) and his ketone levels were beginning to drop in his urine. An hour later, his IV's were removed and an insulin injection regiment had begun. He started eating. 

Our son looked more like himself and he was smiling! Praise the Lord. He answered many prayers. 

By 10 am, Bryson and 4 of the siblings had arrived at the hospital, and Sven was excited to see his family. 

The day was filled with diabetic schooling! We were all taught how to help manage Sven's diabetes and even were allowed to practice injecting an orange with saline solution! How fun.
Sven did one better than that...he 'shot'  me with saline so that I could feel how the needle felt. Now, I am terrified of needles, so this was no fun for me...but I did learn that I was not hurting him by giving him his shots. He needs them and he only feels a small pinch!
Sven even has a favorite nurse. Marielle. She was not only fun, energetic and full of wonderful information...but he thought she was pretty! Thank you for helping all of us and teaching us what we need to know about diabetes and letting us know it is okay to grieve and be very sad that our son/brother is so sick!

Some have asked that I post our address for get well cards. Sven would love to have mail I am certain.

Sven Pickens
HC 33 Box 33358
Ely Nevada 89301

Thank you all for the prayers and well wishes. I will be posting more about Sven and his diabetes as his condition improves.

He is in for a life changing experience...and he says he is ready for the challenge! He is a great student and will handle this with the best of them.  

Sven...you are much loved. Love you Son!


  1. So glad to see he is doing better. We've been praying for him, and all of you. Hope you get home soon and can get into a routine again! Give him our love! xoxo

  2. I will certainly give him your loves. xoxo back at ya my dearest friend!

  3. Kristina, so very glad to see your son is doing better--read about him on the APQS forum. I will keep you and family in my thoughts and prayers. Janna

  4. What a relief! It sounds like Sven received excellent care. We will continue to pray for you all as you adjust to this new way of life. We are so proud of Sven!

  5. Kristina, my prayers go out to Sven and all the family. You'll all be fine. I can't imagine what it's like from your side but I do understand Sven's. It does seem overwhelming but it's really not something you and Sven will be able to handle. Once you double check the dose, Sven will probably prefer to give his own injections. I know I sure did. I've had Type 1 diabetes for decades, (okay, I'm now retired), and still going strong. Lots of love being sent.
    (aka quiltingshirley)

  6. Camille says:
    I hope you feel better.
    From, Your cousin-Camille.

  7. Kristina, I read about Sven on the APQS forum. I am so sorry you all have to go through this, while it's a very treatable disease, it does alter your lives in big ways. I thought you'd mentioned that you home school your children, which will make it SO much easier for Sven to learn to cope with shots and food.

    My heart goes out to you both, my son was diagnosed at age 12 with type 1 diabetes, so I understand what you are going through. If you ever need an ear to cry in, just holler.

  8. I'm so glad Sven is feeling better. It is always such a worry when our little guys/gals are sick and we can't make them better.

  9. CJ...I do not homeschool my kids. We will be working directly with the school nurse for lunch, snacks, etc.

    Thanks for the continued prayers. Looks like we will be going home tomorrow if all continues in this positive direction.

  10. I'm bawling with tears of joy that he getting better!! You know, I feel like I know you anyway, and this episode makes it more so!!
    I'm just soo relieved they found out what the problem was/is. It is a terrible disease, but thank you God, treatable!
    Continues prayers and thought coming your way!!
    Love you all!!

  11. Dearet B Pickens family:

    You have all been in my heart and prayers these last few days. I'm so glad Sven has had his angels of mercy surround him during just the right times....like the teacher, the school nurse, the people who decided to airlift him, the receiving medical workers....and his parents and siblings.

    Sven....Uncle Dennis and I love you and are much happier to hear you have the medicine needed to keep you healthy. While I would drive to work and walk on my breaks, I talked about you to Jesus. Keep on getting better and better.

    Much love to Sven and all,

    Aunt San