Monday, April 23, 2012

Life with Type 1 diabetes...

YES, it has been forever since I posted and so much has happened.  BUT, I will have to update you on the past 3 months later.

I wanted to give you a glimpse into the day to day with type 1 diabetes.  It probably all started with spring break (the 1st week of April).  I did a lot of reading about spending the day in the hot sun at Disney World and did all I could to prepare for the possible low blood sugars we would encounter.  Well, funny thing is, she was actually running high the 1st day and then fairly normal the rest of the days.  I thought, phew, that's a relief!  The only snag we had was Abby's just placed new pod came off when she got into the pool and then 5 min after putting on another one our 2 yr old ripped the new one off of her!  But, with all that, everything still stayed pretty normal.  We continued to enjoy our spring break, visiting with friends, etc.  Well, the day we left to drive back home her blood sugars started spiking up to 360+ , with small ketones and refused to come down.  We were trying to correct her all day, then discovered we had a bent cannula (never thought it could be the pod as she would dip down a little and then shoot back up), so we put on a new pod.  Still her blood sugars continued to be stubborn and stay between 250-350.  I started making some small changes to her basal insulin rate (the insulin she receives hourly throughout the day), then I made changes to her insulin:carb ratios and finally her correction factor.  VICTORY!!  Finally after 10 days of crazy numbers we were back into the somewhat normal club!!

Well, until now.  So she had 1 or 2 low blood sugars over the weekend (in the 60's)  but otherwise looked good.  She had been quite active with gymnastics and then helping with yard work.  Then last night at bed 375!!  And to top it off she had small ketones.  So we gave her insulin for the ketones, but couldn't correct for the high as it had only been 2 hours since dinner.  I checked her again at midnight and she was 262 so I gave her a correction.  This morning...60...hmmm, don't like that.  She had a bowl of oatmeal and milk, we gave her only part of her insulin to get her up over 100 as she has P.E. on Mondays.  Lunch time she was 91..perfect!  Then at recess she felt low, so she checked and she was 42!!  They gave her juice and walked her to the nurse.  20 minutes later she was back to 97.  The scary part is what she told me this afternoon.  "Mom, when I felt low at recess I thought I was going to pass out."  The thought of coming that close to needing a glucagon injection makes you scared and angry all at once.  This disease is just so not fair.  See this is what you do, you play with numbers, wait, hope it works, treat the highs, treat the lows, check blood sugar 7-10 times per day/24 hours a day and then you pray that everything works out, you pray they wake up in the morning, you pray they can function at their best at school, you pray for a cure.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

You know your the mother of a diabetic child when...

I've wanted to write this post for quite some time!
  •  even if you aren't checking blood sugar, you still wake up at midnight and 3am.
  • your child is really crabby and your 1st response is "go check your blood sugar!"
  • you look at your dishwasher, which says it has 63 minutes left of the cycle and your 1st thought is.."Oh, that's a low blood sugar."
  • your vacuuming your van and find used glucose test strips, alcohol swabs and a stray syringe under your back seat.
  • when your non-diabetic child is really thirsty your red flag goes up and says, "do you think they have it too?"
  • You can rattle off the total carbohydrate count in just about any food of any proportion.
  • You find yourself "educating" restaurants on why your child is asking for sugar free drink options and why you really would like to see the nutrition facts for their menu items. (they are often surprised)
  • when you have an entire cabinet, pantry shelf and compartment in the fridge stocked with supplies that last you a month or so.

  • When you look in your child's book bag and read a poem assignment that the teacher gave the students that starts with "So much depends upon..." and you find this.

And this is why I will raise money, research and learn everything I can about this disease. In hopes that my daughter will see THE CURE, or that she will at least have the best medical device that makes this disease more manageable.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Year's Resolutions...

I hope everyone had a joyous Christmas and wonderful New Years.  We certainly did, as we got to spend time with all of our family in MN.  But, our trip had to be cut a few days short as we needed to get back to OH for a dr. appt for Abby.  Yep, diabetes got in the way again!  However, this was one interruption we were happy to have.  This was the 1st appt in a series of 3 to get Abby on an insulin pump.  The 1st step is a class to learn about how life will change, yet again, when you switch from injections to a pump.  Lots of info, but we are ready!! 

Actually the pump journey began back in November when we went to our "Pump Options" class.  This is a class where you are supposed to get an unbiased look at what type of pumps are available and all their bells and wistles, taught by one of the Nurse Educators and not by sales reps.  Well as it turns out it was quite biased.  However, we had done our research and had a vague idea of the 3 major pumps and what they could do or not do so the class was not very informative for us.  Abby had already made her decision to go with the Omnipod, a tubeless pump.  She said "It's the omnipod or nothing."  Well o.k.then.  We were very irritated when the Nurse Educator, glazed over the details of the omnipod and then threw the booklets aside saying, "no one's interested?"  She just told us Abby was too skinny for that pump (which is not true as other's her size wear the omnipod).  I found out later that this lady has a daughter who is using a Medtronic pump (the pump she raved about in the class).  Makes me suspicious????

So, now we have jumped the hoops of paperwork, 3rd pary suppliers and our 1st education class.  We have the pump and most of the necessary supplies.  But you see, that's not the 2nd class (which was taught by a very nice almost unbiased lady) she just kind of threw out this, "Oh, and I'm sure you know that there is an issue with getting FDA approval for the blood glucose test strips with the Omnipod so you will just have to carry an extra meter."  What???  After doing some research, she is right, however I also learned that people are using the "unapproved" strip in their Omnipod and getting great results.  I have however obtained via ebay several hundred of the "old" not produced anymore test strips.

You see, this is the way diabetes is....NEVER EASY!  It seems that everything is difficult, counting carbs, trying to get the right insulin to carb ratio, adjusting basal rates, worrying about low blood sugar, waking at 3am to check blood sugars, obtaining supplies and of course making sure the child has as much emotional stability from you as you can muster!  

Which leads me to the title of my post...NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS.  Anyone who is a mother or has cared for a child knows how much work it is and how we sometimes forget about ourselves.  Having a child with diabetes multiplies that ten-fold.  So this year I've decided that I must take the time to take care of myself.  I got a haircut, changed my diet and added exercise.  I already feel more in control and able to get things done.  I spent the last 9 months trying to deal with this whole diabetes thing and ignoring my own needs.  Well, diabetes is not going away, ever, so I better prepare myself for the long haul. 

So here's a cheer's to all my fellow diabetes moms who wish for a full nights sleep, who worry endlessly about low blood sugars, who are the best mathmatician's around and who spend countless hours learning and researching about the best possible care for their diabetic child.  Take time for yourself, just 10 or 15 minutes, to read, to pray or just sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while thinking about what you can do for you!