Thursday, May 15, 2014

D blog week day 4

Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day.  Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day.  Is there something positive you tell yourself?  Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through?  Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost?  Maybe we've done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)

After writing yesterday's post and reading many other blogs, I admit I was feeling a little down.  So today its time to look at the other side of the coin. There are many things I do to get though a hard day.  The one time I seem to be able to forget about diabetes is when I am exercising.  I go to a Dance Fit class (think Zumba on steroids, with planks, burpees, jacks, free weights, jump squats and more).  I think my brain doesn't have time to think about anything else during that hour. 
  But the one thing that gets me through a hard day more than anything is when I hear M say "I love you Mama!"

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

D blog day three. What brings me down

Our topic for today is What Brings Me Down.  May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)

  Diabetes has been in our house for a little over a year know.  I am much better emotionally now than I was a year ago.  However there are still those times when diabetes brings me down. Here are a few.

When I think that less than 100 years ago T1D was a death sentence.

When I think what life would be like without my sweet girl.

When I think that in some parts of the world T1D is still a death sentence.

 When my daughter has to come out of dance class because she feels low.

 When I have to explain to my daughter that right now is not a good time to eat a certain treat because
     her blood sugar is too high.
When I am looking up carb counts on my phone at a restaurant and people assume I am being rude.

When I look at pictures of her before diagnosis.  (In fact I haven't gotten back to scrapbooking because of  

When I think of future complications.

When my 8 year old is already worried about leaving home to go to college because of her diabetes.

When I realize that in 10 years or so I will not longer be dealing with T1D, but my sweet girl will have to
    deal with it the rest of her life.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

D-blog week day 2...Wild Card, Tell me a story

   Today's original prompt was to write a piece of poetry about Diabetes.  I decided instead to use one of the wild card topics. I know it says to write about a supply you use every day, but I chose to write about a supply that I hope I never have to use.

Write a short story personifying a diabetes tool you use on a daily basis. A meter, syringe, pump, pill, etc. Give it a personality and a name and let it speak through you. What would it be happy about, upset about, mad about?  (Thank you Heather of Unexpected Blues for this topic.)

   Hello.  Let me introduce myself.  I am one of  my girls many diabetes supplies.  I am the one thing in her bag that she if afraid of.  She simply calls me "the Big Red Shot"  My real name is Glucagon.  Out of every thing that she carries I am the one she has never used.  That does not mean that I am not important.  I know Insulin is the main superhero that she uses, but I consider myself to be a superhero also.  She just hasn't needed me.

   I sit at the ready watching her dance and swim and play.  I get carried in lunch boxes, and purses and backpacks.  I go everywhere that my girl goes.  I have been to school, on field trips, camping and to amusement parks to name a few.  Every once in a while my girl's mom pulls me out of the bag to show me to someone and tell them how to use me in an emergency. 

   Two times this year I was taken out of the bag, ready to assist my girl.  Once was at a swim party when her blood sugar dropped to 33 and the other when when she had a stomach bug.  Both times the every day heroes juice box and glucose tabs saved the day.  But I was ready.   I will always be here watching and ready for my turn to save the day.




Monday, May 12, 2014

D-blog week day 1. Change the world

 This is my second year participating in Diabetes Blog week.  Last year I enjoyed reading everyone's blogs and seeing different opinions and statement on the same topic.  Can't wait to see what is written this year. 

 Day one's prompt is Change the World
   Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)

  Anyone who knows me knows that I am not very outspoken.  I am not one to get "fired up" about things.  But having a daughter, especially a daughter with Type 1 Diabetes has change things.  I will advocate and fight for her and speak up for her, because at this point she cannot do it for herself.

   I fight the insurance company to get the supplies she needs to stay alive and healty.  I am her advocate with the school, making sure she is safe at school, on the bus and at any after school activities.  I educate teachers at school, daycare, dance and Sunday school about Type 1 diabetes so that she will be safe when in their care.  I educate her friend's parent and family members so that they will feel comfortable when she is at their home.   I participate in JDRF fundraisers so hopefully someday there will be a cure.

   I teach my daughter that diabetes cannot stop her.  I teach her to care for herself so that she can be independent.  I teach her that she can do anything and eat anything that she did before diabetes .  I teach her that diabetes is not her fault or my fault or anyone's fault. 

   I may not formally advocate for diabetes, but I feel I advocate and educate every day.  Just on a smaller scale.

Friday, April 11, 2014


     As for most people weekday morning are usually a rush here.  Getting ready for work and school, packing lunches, making sure M has all her diabetes supplies in her purse for school...   M usually likes to sleep as long as possible so that only leaves her time for a breakfast that she can eat fairly quickly.  Most mornings this means a bowl of cereal.  The problem with this breakfast is that about 2 to 3 hours later her blood sugar spikes to almost 300, followed by a rapid drop to the point of being low before lunch.  This is a big chunk of her school day where she is not in range and probably not feeling her best or able to learn as well as if she were in range.  We have tried different basal settings and different insulin to carb ratios and nothing works...until now!

     I read this week about the superbolus and thought this is something that might help M.  Basically I take the next 2 hours of basal, and that to the suggested bolus for her breakfast and then turn off her basal for 2 hours.  This is how the superbolus works.  In the morning M's basal rate is 0.35 units/hour.  To make thing easy lets say that her breakfast bouls for her cereal is 2.00 units.   Instead of 2 units I add the next 2 hours of basal and give her 2.70 units instead.  Then I turn off her basal for the next 2 hrs. 

   We did this today with great results.  Her breakfast spike was only 40 points and she was a happy 102 before lunch.  I will continue to try this and see if it keeps working for her!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lesson Learned

     There has been much on the news lately about the weather.  The sub-zero temps, the snow in the south and the ice in between.  Every time I hear about people that are stranded in their cars I can't help but think if any of them have T1D, or are with their children with T1D.  What do they do if stuck for a long period of time?  Do they have enough with them to treat a low? This weekend I found out exactly what it is like to be stuck in the car with a kid with T1D and limited food supplies. 

   I was taking M and her best friend KP snow tubing.  The roads were a little snow covered, but we live near the snow belt so a little snow doesn't bother me.  We were on the interstate when a saw a police car and flares, with the officer signaling to people to slow down. We slowed to a crawl and then a complete stop.  We hadn't eaten lunch yet because we were planning to eat when we got to the snow tubing place.  At this point M says, "Mom I feel low."  She checks 58.  I grab my purse which is usually stocked with snacks, only to realize that I have not replaced snacks in my purse for a while.  I have 8 glucose tabs and 2 granola bars.  We have a half  bottle of water in the car.  I give M 2 glucose tabs. I should have given her 3 but I was rationing.  I check the traffic report on my phone as find out that there is a multi-vehicle crash ahead of us.  We are going to be here for a while.

   40 minutes later, M says she feels low again. She is 78.  Also both girls are saying they are hungry.  At this point KP tells me she didn't eat breakfast this morning.  I have 2 hungry girls, one with T1D and 2 smooshed granola bars.  Do I save them both for M, or do I give one to each girl assuming we won't be stuck long?  I give one to each girl and they share the water. 

   Over all we were stuck for close to 2 hours.  I know this wasn't a long time.  But with a kid with T1D in the car and limited supplies it felt like forever.  I can't imagine being stuck much longer.  We made it to the snow tubing place and had a great time, complete with a hot chocolate break.  I also stopped and got some snacks to have in the car for the trip back!  I learned my lesson.  I will always keep plenty of snacks a glucose tabs in the car at all times!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

One Year

     One year ago today M was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  In that year she has poked her fingers at least 3,285 times to check her blood sugar.  She had 1,256 shots of insulin before switching to the pod.  Since starting on Omnipod, she had had 18 pod changes.  A pod change is not simply sticking the pod on her skin.  A needle pierces her skin and a soft cannula is left in her that the insulin goes through.

    Today is an ordinary day for M.  She went to school like any ordinary 7 year old, she is doing her homework right now like any ordinary 7 year old, and she will go to her dance class later and dance just like the other 7 year olds in her class. We will go to Panera oour after dance class tradition and she will eat soup and a cookie just like any other kid. (Yes, she can eat cookies!)

     Less than 100 years ago Type 1 Diabetes was a death sentence.  Most kids with T1D did not live a year from diagnosis.  Even though there is no cure for T1D, I am thankful for the insulin and technology that keeps my daughter alive and lets her have these ordinary days.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

This Time Last Year

   We are soon approaching 1 year since M was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  February 6th to be exact.  There were many times in this past year that I couldn't help but compare this, M's first year with diabetes, to the previous year, her last year without diabetes.  These are just a few of the times my thoughts started with, this time last year....

     Easter:  This time last year I didn't have to worry about what was in her Easter basket.  I didn't have to worry about what candy she would get at the egg hunt.

     Her Birthday:  This time last year I didn't have to pull her aside, while all of her friends continued to play and have a good time to check her blood sugar and give her an injection of insulin.

     Her Dance Recital:  This time last year I was able to watch her dance on stage without thinking, does she look low... does she seem high?  I didn't have to worry about the 3 plus hours she would be backstage without me
    The Summer:  This time last year was carefree.  She could swim for hours or run on the playground with no worries of treating a low blood sugar. Snacks after soccer games were not a cause for stress as I didn't have to tell her that she could not eat right now because her blood sugar was too high.

   Back to School:  This time last year my back to school list did not include diabetes supplies.  I didn't have to meet with the nurse and teacher before the start of school.  This time last year I didn't even know the school nurse's name.

    Christmas:   This time last year I didn't have to give her her shot of Lantus while we were on the Polar express train ride.  This time last year I didn't have to figure out the carbs in the cookies I was making.  This time last year I didn't have to guess the carbs in foods at holiday parties.

  This time last year I didn't know how an insulin pump works, I didn't know what a CGM was, I didn't know how to carb count.  This time last year my daughter didn't have to poke her fingers up to 12 times a day or inject herself with insulin.  This time last year I didn't have to watch my daughter cry because the sight where we put her pod on hurt.

   As we approach this last week of January and into February, I think of this time last year.  This is when I first saw the signs of diabetes.  M was constantly thirsty, she would take two drinks in her lunch.  She was also going to the bathroom it seemed like every hour.  She was always hungry, and when I weighed her I was shocked at how much weight she had lost. This time last year is when I knew.  I knew she had Type 1 Diabetes before I even made the phone call to her doctor. 

  The most frightening thought is that this time last year, my daughter could have died.  If I hadn't recognized the signs of diabetes or made that appointment with her doctor, I hate to think of what would have happened.   So when February 6th come along, I will try not to think that this time last year my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  Instead I will try to think that this time last year I saved my daughter's life. 


Friday, January 24, 2014

Ice Cream

  Just had to laugh at what M asked me for the other night. 

  Instead of a bowl of ice cream she asked if she could have a BOLUS of ice cream. 

   If only I could bolus her with ice cream instead of insulin!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Omnipod.. One month in

   M has been on the Omnipod insulin pump for a little over a month now.  For the most part we love it.  It has given her more freedom with when she eats.  We see less spikes in her blood sugar because we are now giving insulin for snacks.  And it is super easy to use!  M has been able to go to her friends house, call me with what she is going to eat, and is able to check her blood sugar and bolus on her own for the carbs that I tell her to enter in. 
    The only thing she doesn't like is pod change days.  She says it hurts more than a shot but does say it is better to only have to do it once every three days.  We haven't tried and numbing cream yet, but I offered it to her and she did not want to use it.  As long as she gets to push the button herself to insert the cannula it goes fairly well.

   We are having trouble getting her basal rate set right.  She started on the pump over Christmas break when she wasn't as active and her blood sugar reading were great.  Since M has gone back to school, and dance, and gymnastics she has been having a lot of low. (I actually just had to get her juice for a low as I was writing this!)  I have decreased her basal and set temp basal decreased for activity.  But she still is going low
    On the other end, I have  noticed that her blood sugar tends to rise near the middle to end of the third day of the pod.  I asked around why this could be.  Some people said that Humalog is more sensitive to heat and if she is active and hot may not work as well by the third day.  We have to switch to Novalog next time I refill prescriptions (our insurance no longer covers Humalog) so I will see if this makes a difference.

   I did have to give her a shot on Sunday (third day of pod).  He blood sugar kept rising, when it was close to 500 I told that I needed to giver her a shot because I thought something was wrong with the pod and then I would change the pod.  Well to put it in her words she "freaked out".  It's amazing how after just one month she does not want shots anymore.   When I pointed this out to her she decided that changing a pod every three days was not so bad after all.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thirty Seven

   It has been a rocky 2 weeks blood sugar wise since M started on the Omnipod.  In retrospect the week before Christmas was probably not the best time to start on a pump, but I thought it would be good that she would be off school to get adjusted to it. 
     The first three days were beautiful. In range blood sugar numbers.  Then it was pod change day.  I don't know if it was something I did wrong or if there is just a learning curve but M had two pod fails within three days.   She was not a happy girl. (Since then we have had no more pod fails -- knock on wood)
    We were seeing numbers near 400.  Those kind of numbers scare me.  M's doctor had us make some changes to her settings on Christmas Eve.  Then the day after Christmas, M had a blood sugar number that scares me even more than the 400's.

     We were having a " 'Jammie day".  Just staying at home staying in our PJ's all day and were watching movies and playing with her new toys from Christmas.  She had just eaten a snack and we were snuggled on the couch watching a movie when she fell asleep.  In the back of my mind I thought maybe she is low, but I also knew she was tired from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  About an hour and a half later I finally woke her up.  She seemed confused.  She wanted to eat the snack that she had just eaten before she fell asleep.  She also didn't know what I was talking about when I asked her what she wanted for dinner.  She wasn't making sense with questions she was asking me.   Before diabetes I would have thought she is just still tired, but not anymore.  I checked her blood sugar 37.  This is the lowest she has been.  Physically she was functioning fine, but not mentally.  I have seen her fingers shake when she is in the upper 60's.  But there was no shaking this time.  Just the confusion.  What would have happened if I had let her sleep longer.  I hate to even think about it.  What caused her to go low?  I will probably never know.  Since the low none of her pump setting have been changed and she has had no other lows (knock on wood again!)