Tag Archive | type 1

The Countdown to Summer Begins

Only 3 more days until summer break.  This year has flown by.

This was our first school year since my little guy’s diagnosis and it went WAY better than I initially expected.

He was diagnosed in July and school began only one month later in August.   I was so incredibly freaked out.

How in the world could I let him out of my sight for 8 hours during the school day.  We weren’t on the pump when the school year started.  We were still brand new to the world of 24 hour diabetes care for a child.

How could we possibly trust another person to care for him when I didn’t even feel confident in my own abilities?  I considered homeschooling him, but that would mean quitting my job.

When I called the school to discuss his care, I had a long conversation with the nurse.

“He has one of the few conditions the school board considers to be life threatening”, she said to me on the phone.

My heart stopped.  I knew this already.  Hearing it out loud made me want to throw up.

But, we took it one day at a time.  One phone call at a time, three times each day…and we survived.

This is a major milestone for us.  I think now we can look forward to the next school year without a feeling of dread….and I’m thanking goodness for kind people who are willing to take such careful care of a child who isn’t their own.

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Wild Card – Diabetes Blog Week Day 6

Diabetes Blog Week Day 6 – Wild Card

Today we were instructed to post diabetes related pictures.  Instead, I’m going to use the wild card option and do my own thing 🙂

Nick Jonas is one example of a celebrity with Type 1 diabetes.  My little guy is really into music and while the Jonas Brothers might not be on the top of a little boy’s idol list, there is no questioning that he demonstrates you can “do anything” with diabetes.

So today, I’m sharing a video of a song Nick wrote about life with Type 1.

If you’ve never heard it before, I hope you enjoy…

(note:  This is a fan-made video from you tube.  I do not own a bit of it…clips, music or lyrics)

What They Should Know – Diabetes Blog Week Day 5

Diabetes Blog Week – Day 5

Our instructions:  “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”.  Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes.  Have more than one thing you wish people knew?  Go ahead and tell us everything.

Oh boy.  This topic immediately caused a nasty rant in my brain.  So much so that I had to put it aside and come back to it later, which means I didn’t get it posted yesterday on Day 5 of Diabetes Blog Week.

I don’t think the misinformation about Type 1 diabetes bothered me quite as much when it was just my husband.  After all, he’s an adult.  He can defend himself.  He can tell people to go climb a tree when they direct a ridiculous comment towards him.  But now, there’s a child involved.  And let me tell you, I can feel the steam coming out of my ears when someone says something stupid to him.  (i.e., random lady in store who says “maybe if he eats more healthy, diabetes will go away…”)

I know.  I shouldn’t expect every person to perfectly understand diabetes.  But that’s the thing, I don’t.  I just kindly wish people would keep their mouths shut when they don’t know what they are talking about.

I’m good if you want to ask questions.  That’s cool.  That means you want more information.  That means you care to learn.

I’m not good with inaccuracies stated as facts.

I guess if I had to choose one thing for people to understand, it would be that high and low blood sugar numbers are normal.  They can’t completely be avoided.  Their presence doesn’t mean mismanagement or poor care.

There are many factors that impact blood sugar.  Exercise may bring it down, but in some cases could bring it up.  Stress can bring it up.  Wrong carb count on restaurant website can lead to a major low.  Even if you perfectly count carbs and manage insulin intake, the resulting blood sugar may not be perfect.

I consider diabetes to be a “do the best you can” disease.  It will never go exactly as planned, but hopefully over time, there will be mostly good results and less of the bad stuff.

Fantasy Diabetes Device – Diabetes Blog Week Day 4

Diabetes Blog Week – Day 4

Our instructions:  Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be?  Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc.  The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

I’m not going to be creative here.  I would really like it if my child and husband didn’t have to bleed so much.  My diabetes dream device would be a non-invasive method for checking blood sugar accurately.  Even better, it updates continuously.  No action required on your part to get the info.

I can’t lie.  The Medtronic CGM felt like a miracle when my son started on it.  However, the needle is better described as a harpoon.  I loathe stabbing my kid with it, numbing cream aside.  Once it is in, we can usually forget about it for 6 days.   But still,  I find the insertion very traumatic.  (kiddo doesn’t complain, but it really disturbs me personally).  Also, the transmitter is huge, so my husband won’t even wear his.  He cannot get past that part, even with all of the info it provides.

On a positive note, the CGM is pretty darn accurate, despite what you will read about Medtronic vs. Dexcom (note:  we have no means to compare against the Dex, because we’ve never used it).  It has saved us so many times from a low.  It definitely knows what direction blood sugar is moving and how fast.

So for now, I’ll take it and be happy about it.  In my dreams though, knowing blood sugar numbers involves no blood, no stabbing and is dead on right!

One Thing to Improve – Diabetes Blog Week Day 3

Diabetes Blog Week Day 3

Our instructions:  Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at.  Today let’s look at the flip-side.  We probably all have one thing we could try to do better.  Why not make today the day we start working on it.  No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!

This one was easy for me to pick.  One thing I would like to do better is help my guys dose their insulin BEFORE eating.  We do try to do this, but it is REALLY REALLY hard.  Partly because it requires planning.  Mostly because it is almost impossible to convince a hungry  person he should wait 10-15 minutes after calculating carbs and dosing insulin to eat.

When the little guy was diagnosed, we were given these instructions:

1.  Check blood sugar

2.  Dose insulin for food based on carb count, including any correction dose for high sugar

3.  Take the first two numbers of the blood sugar reading.  This is how many minutes after taking insulin you should wait to eat your food.  (for example, if blood sugar is 130, you would take insulin and then wait 13 minutes to eat)

The reason for doing this is that insulin takes 30-90 minutes to get working and even reach its peak in your system.  Taking the insulin before eating avoids blood sugar spikes after your meal or snack.  Ultimately, doing just this one thing can  help lower the A1C result, a definite goal for us.

Sounds great.  Simple to calculate.  Easy to recognize the benefit.  Difficult to implement in real life.  Especially with a kiddo who’s convinced he is “starving” and is watching his brother and sister scarf down their food while he waits.

So, this is what I’d like to improve for us.   I know with a little work we can get much better at this.

I’d really love to hear how this goes for others.  I’m sure we aren’t the only families struggling with this issue.

One Great Thing – Diabetes Blog Week Day 2

Day two of  Diabetes Blog Week.

Our Instructions:   “Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”.  But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit.  Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly!  Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes.  Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!”

Oh boy, isn’t the “hard on ourselves” part true?  Maybe it is a personality thing, but I doubt it.  I’m sure we all beat ourselves up when things don’t go perfectly.  But when I really stopped to think about it, there are some things my guys do amazingly well.

To start with, my son is awesomely brave.  At the endo office last week, we were filling out a research study questionnaire and it asked how often he felt stress as a result of having diabetes.  He shrugged his shoulders and chose “rarely” like it was no sweat off his back.  Now that’s one brave little boy.

Also, he works very hard to be self-sufficient with his own care.  It helps that he’s super-responsible and mature to begin with.  He checks his own sugar, weighs his own food (sometimes), knows how to read the carb count and serving size on a package of food, calibrates his CGM sensor and inputs carb count and correction boluses into his pump.  Cool stuff when you consider he’s only 9.  At his own request, he was even giving himself occasional insulin injections before he went on the pump.  (Yes, of course we oversee all of this activity).   This is great because first, it allows him to feel some control over these crappy circumstances.  Second, it has enabled him to do things that are normal for his age.  For example, go to “kids night out” at the rec center or stay overnight at a good friend’s house (I’m so blessed with a parent who is willing to text with me non-stop info about blood sugar numbers and carb intake).

My husband is skilled at estimating carb counts when we adventure into the unknown world of restaurants, carnival food, family get-togethers and the like.  After 16 years with diabetes, he just has this uncanny gut feeling.  Its funny, because I’m always frantically looking carb counts up on an iPhone app or the Calorie King book and if we are not in sync with our estimations, then I seriously reconsider what I was going to give my son.   His years of experience are usually right.

I most admire my husband’s positive attitude.  I guess I’m a bit of a hypochondriac complainer.  If I get a headache or I’m tired, I definitely let it be known.  If I had diabetes, I imagine myself to be quite the whiner.  With all of the ups and downs diabetes creates, it is really rare that you will every hear my husband say he doesn’t feel good.  He could have 350 blood sugar and still wrestle with the kids or tackle a project.

Oh..and my husband is also really good at using low blood sugar as an opportunity to eat something yummy.  (Sorry honey, I had to throw that in there..hehehehehe!!)

Find A Friend – Diabetes Blog Week Day 1

This week is the 3rd annual Diabetes Blog Week.  I’ve only been blogging about this stuff for a couple of months, but what the heck, I’m going to “go for it”.

Each day of the week, there is a chosen topic for everyone participating.  Day 1 is “Find a Friend”.

Our instructions:   “It seems the most popular thing about Diabetes Blog Week is that it helps us find blogs we weren’t reading yet and connect with some new blog friends.  With that in mind, let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by making some new connections.  Think about the d-blogs you read that you think we may not know about and introduce us to one that you love!!  Let’s all find a new friend today! “

Wow.  Can you say impossible task?  There are so many amazing blogs out there.   Immediate decision made to change the word “one” in the above instructions to “a few”.

I’ve been a lurker in the DOC since right after my little guy was diagnosed.   (For those of you wondering, DOC is short for the Diabetes Online Community…it took me a while to figure this out).  More recently, I’ve become a regular follower of quite a few blogs, always looking forward to the next post delivered to my inbox.

I’m particularly  obsessed with the blogs written by parents of children with Type 1.   There is something oddly addictive about reading stories from others whilst nodding my head and saying to myself, “OMG..Yes, I know!  I’ve been there too.”  Aside from my husband and family, reading blogs written by other parents was my single most comforting activity after the little guy’s diagnosis.  I knew I wasn’t alone and for that, I was beyond grateful.

So, here it is.  A few of my favorites.

1.  Bigfoot Child Have Diabetes – So funny.   Makes me laugh every time.   Love the writing style and our kiddos are almost identical in age, gender and diagnosis date, so there is heavy head nodding in agreement.  Reminds me that a sense of humor is required when it comes to getting through each day.

2.  Arden’s Day – From a dad’s perspective.  Love the latest info on diabetes and am inspired by his desire to get involved by creating a new charity to provide insulin pumps and CGM’s to those less fortunate.

3.  Dog Goes to College – So inspirational to read about a successful young lady in college with Type 1.  Awesome place to learn about diabetic service dogs.  Amelia is a great role model for young people with Type 1.

Hope you’ll check these out, if you haven’t seen them already.  I’m looking forward to discovering a few new blogs myself this week!