Saturday, April 27, 2013


     Lowest number we've had so far.  She felt fine and was playing.  I did not expect to see this!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm not relaxing, I'm my daughter's pancreas

   I was sitting in the waiting area of my daughter's gymnastics class yesterday.  Before her diagnosis I would drop her off and then either run errands, make dinner, work out or get some stuff done around the house.  Since she was diagnosed with T1D I now has to stay at her gymnastics and dance classes to check BG and treat lows (M is starting to do her own BG checks but I'm not sure if she could do it if she were feeling low).   While I am waiting I will read a book.  As I was sitting there yesterday another mom stated, "Wow it must be nice to just be able to sit and relax with a book.  I'm so stressed.  I'm trying to get packed for a trip to Florida this weekend for a wedding and still need to find shoes for my daughter's flower girl dress."
     I did not reply (although next time I probably will) because just a few short months ago packing for a trip or might has been something I would have been stressed about.  Now I am stressed because I worry that my daughter may not wake up in the morning because her BG went low.  Or I am stressed if her readings are too high because of the damage that may occur in her future.  No, I am not sitting here relaxing, I am worrying about what gymnastics is doing to her BG, and if she will realize if she is low and come out for me to check her.  I am stressed because a have been fighting with the insurance company to get the supplies I need to keep her alive, I am not stressed about finding shoes!
    I did not wish on this mom to experience what I am, but next time I hope she thinks about why I am the only mom who stays at gymnastics with her daughter, that there just might be a reason.  And if I really wanted to relax I would not do it at the stinky gymnastic waiting room!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

one of the 80

     According to the JDRF website 80 people per day are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  On Wednesday of this week I knew one of those 80.   One of the ladies I take Zumba with found out that her 8 year old son has T1D.   I am keeping her and her family in my prayers as they adjust to their new life.  I was thinking of what she is going through (her son was at the same hospital M was).  This is what I would tell her.
      On a sleep deprived brain you get a crash course on how to keep your kid alive (they call it diabetes education).  Then you come home and cry.  Your kid is hungry and you are afraid to feed him because you don't know the carb counts in your food you have at home.   You spend the next day home filling prescriptions and learning a new way to grocery shop, reading all nutrition labels for carb counts.  This will take at least three times longer that it used to take you to go grocery shopping.  If you are lucky your child will not fight when you check his BG or give him his injections.   You will realize that you need glasses to see the tiny lines on the syringes.  You will not sleep for at least the next month as you worry about if what you are doing is right.  You may have to fight with the insurance company to get the supplies you need to keep your kid alive. 
     It does get easier.   We switched to the insulin pens at our next appointment (no need to squint at those little lines any more).  We hopefully will find out if M can go on a pump when we follow up at the end of  May.   We go out to restaurants, M has gone to birthday parties, she does dance and gymnastics, and runs and plays like any other kid.    I have realized  that diabetes is not  X + Y = Z.  There are many factors that play into it and what you do one day does not mean you get the same result if you do it again the next day.  We are still adjusting but at about 3 months into this I am starting to feel confident that we can do this!  You will get there too!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We're just here for the free shrimp

     Since M has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I find myself saying things to her that other people may misinterpret.  For example me asking her "You're cranky today are you high?"  This comment I made to her that now make me laugh the most when I think of it happened a few weeks ago.
      My husband's sister Julie invited us over on one of the first nice nights this spring.  She was having a fire in her fire pit and we would have drinks and something to eat.  I knew we would be there late so M ate her dinner and we would eat at Julies for M's 15g carb night time snack.   Now Julie's idea of a night by the fire is not the hotdogs and Smores that we have at our house.  No, Julie is the Martha Stewart of the family.  She had wine, cheese and crackers, oyster po-boys, steamed shrimp along with lots of other food.
     I was helping M figure out what she could eat when I saw the big bowl of chilled shrimp.  I said "M  eat as many shrimp as you want they are free!"   This is when I saw my brother in law look at us kind of  funny.  No I am not a cheapskate, I know you paid a lot of money for the shrimp.  Yes, I do buy my daughter shrimp.  I did not feel like explaining what "free"  means to a family with a kid with T1D, but now when I think of that night it makes me laugh.  I wonder if they'll have shrimp the next time we visit.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mom pancreas vs Dad pancreas

     I had to work this weekend, which meant the majority of M's D care went to my husband this weekend.  Let me start by saying that I may have a little control freak bordering on OCD personality.  My husband is a much more laid back, fly by the seat of your pants kind of person.
     Mom pancreas weighs and measures all food, schedules meals and snacks and is always thinking of what is coming next.  If going to a restaurant Mom pancreas asks M what she wants to eat befor we leave the house and finds the carb counts for what she wants.  Mom pancreas has memorized the carbs in M's favorite foods and looks to see how these foods affect her BG readings.
     Dad pancreas eyeballs serving sizes and doesn't worry about schedules.  He does not plan ahead what M is going to eat and lets her decide at the restaurant what she wants to eat.  He assumes that if  M's carb to insulin ration is 1:30 at breakfast it is that way all day.
    This weekend Dad pancreas was put to the test.  Guess what, perfect numbers when M was in Dad pancreas's care.  Not even the low after her hip hop class that mom usually gets.  When Mom pancreas came home and took back over--- a big fat 269.  Maybe mom pancreas needs to learn a little from Dad pancreas and sometimes just go with the flow.  Hopefully when M grows up and does her own D care she will take a little bit from both of our styles.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Our Diagnosis Story

     Looking back M's symptoms probably started about 2 months before she was diagnosed, but most of what was happening I could explain with something else.  In late November and December she started having trouble with schoolwork.  (I blamed in on being busy during the holidays and her Christmas dance recital.)  She also complained of stomach pain and was sick twice in December (half her class was out sick). She also said that her vision was blurry (my husband's family all wears glasses).
     Then in January things got worse.  It started with M wetting the bed.  The first time it happened she said she had a dream that she was going to the bathroom and just went (OK, I've had that dream, but luckily I've never found the bathroom in my dream).  Then a little over a week later it happened again.  Now I was starting to worry.  So I Googled bed wetting and came up with 3 possible explanations, psychological stress (no), UTI (maybe), and diabetes (uh-oh).  I started watching M more closely to see if she had any other symptoms.  My husband and I both work in the medical field so we are familiar with the symptoms, plus my husband is a Type 2 diabetic.  M was hungry all the time, she would just finish dinner and in 15 minutes say she was hungry.  I weighed her and discovered that despite eating constantly she had lost 5 lbs since fall (and she is skinny to begin with).  She was thirsty all the time and constantly needing to go to the bathroom, this from a girl who could "hold it" forever.
     The weekend before her diagnosis is when I knew.  As a mom I knew in my gut that she had diabetes.  It was Super Bowl Sunday.  M had a birthday party to go to and then we were having family over to watch the Super Bowl.  During the Birthday party she went to the bathroom twice, ate 3 slices of  Pizza, a cupcake and chips and drank 3 Capri Suns.  That night at home she ate non stop from our Super Bowl spread.  I just knew I had to make an appointment with the Dr as soon as possible.
     I called her Dr the next day.  We couldn't get it until Wednesday (2/6/13).  I almost called back to cancel because in those next few days all her symptoms seemed to disappear.  I am so glad we kept that appointment.  Knowing what I know now I should have taken her to the ER as soon as I suspected diabetes.
      The Dr had her give a urine sample.  M thought this was funny because she peed all over my hand while I was holding the cup.  I was hoping for a UTI but I just knew.  When the Dr came back in I could tell from the look on his face.  She had sugar in her urine.  He then did a finger stick.  Her BG was 476.  I was trying to hold it together for M as he was telling me she was in diabetic ketoacidosis.  Now I was scared, as I said I work in the medical field and know what this is.  He told us to go home and pack a bag and head to the Children's hospital about an hour away, our local children's hospital does not treat DKA and would just send her there.  He would direct admit her though the ER and she would probably be in intensive care.
     In the car I started to cry.  I called my husband and told him, and then my mom and mother in law.  I told M we had to take her to the hospital, sweet girl that she is she said "but mom, you'll miss your Zumba class"  (I told her she is more important than Zumba).  I don't know how long it took us to get on our way to the hospital once we got home, but it seemed like forever.  I packed bags, called work, had to find someone to take care of our puppy (we had just got him a week ago) and find directions to the hospital.
     Once at the hospital it was more urine check and finger sticks.  M wanted something to eat but couldn't have anything.   M did not have to go to intensive care but we finally got a room about 9 pm.  She got her insulin injection and was allowed to eat.  I think she was so hungry the shot didn't even bother her.
After a long sleepless night it was extensive diabetes training mixed in with a visit from a magician and a pony.  Yes a pony.  I know my mind was not taking in all I would need to know to care for M.  That night we went home.  I cried again in the car.  How was I going to care for her.  She can be very stubborn, will she let me give her shots and check her BG?
     The next day was filling prescriptions and picking up supplies and grocery shopping for food that we could easily carb count.  Surprisingly M did not give me a hard time about finger sticks or her insulin injections, maybe she felt so bad before and the insulin was making her feel better.  I don't know, but I am glad we did not have the experience of having to hold her down to give shots.  After a few days M even insisted on preparing her own shots. She said "Mom, I have to do it myself someday!"  I was very proud of her.  My little girl has grown up is such a short time.  How many six year olds go through your pantry cupboard or the grocery store reading food labels and telling you how many carbs are in them!  She is hoping to get a pump soon and we are learning to live with our new normal.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Here we go

I really didn't think I would ever have a blog, but then my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  In these first few months after her diagnosis, I have spent many sleepless nights reading other blogs of mom's and dad's with kids with T1D.  I felt I needed a place to tell M's story and to someday look back on how far we have come.