Wednesday, November 20, 2013

(Nov Awareness Month) Trying to eat

See Days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

My youngest child is 6 years old now.  I would think it would be easy to get everyone settled down to a meal and actually eat.  But being diagnosed with diabetes complicates everything!  First I have to settle the younger three kids down.  Second I have to help my oldest daughter (type 1 diabetic) to calculate carbs and dose insulin through her pump.  Third I have to take my blood sugar, calculate my carbs and dose my insulin pen (which all of the kids cringe at me getting a shot whether it hurts that time or not).  Then I have to keep everyone away from my food because I bolused for all of that!!  I need to apologize to God because sometimes I forget to pray or don't remember until I'm halfway done.  :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

(Nov Awareness Month) Tip for insulin pens

See Days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Sorry I've missed a few days.

We figured this out but it was confirmed by a diabetes educator.  When inserting insulin pens, hold the pen in your skin for at least 10 seconds.  The plunger needs 10 seconds to release completely.  I usually try to add 10 seconds plus the amount of the shot if 10 units or less, so a total of 11-20 seconds.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

(Nov Awareness Month) So many questions

See Days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Questions I get tired of answering (my daughter has had type 1 diabetes for 5 years)

Q: Did your daughter get diabetes because she ate too much sugar?
A: NO.  She has an autoimmune disease and her pancreas doesn't work right (their eyes glaze over b/c they pretty much don't understand what I'm saying).

Q: Your daughter will grow out of it right?
A: NO.  Until there's a cure, her situation won't change.  Take insulin, take blood sugar, repeat.

Q: Can she eat that (donut, cake, ice cream, whatever)??
A: YES.  As long as she boluses insulin, we estimate the carbs, and (our personal choice) her blood sugar at this moment isn't over 400.

Q: Have you tried ___ or ___ or ___ (natural remedy), because that cured so and so's diabetes?
A: Um no, until her pediatric endocrinologist or someone completely reputable recommends ___ we're going to keep dosing insulin thank you very much.

I know I'm not alone in these questions or the answers.  :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

(Nov Awareness Month) Concerns of type 1 diabetics

See Days 1, 2, 3, 4

Every diabetic faces certain concerns: a1c measurements, daily blood sugar levels, low blood sugars, future complications, etc.  When my daughter was diagnosed we faced an immediate concern, slow healing.  You can read my original post here, she had surgery to remove the "boil" and so we had to take care of her wound at home.  Due to high blood sugar, her healing was even slower than normal.

When I was diagnosed last year, I cut my ankle shaving.  I intentionally didn't put any ointment on it and waited to see how long it would heal - one month.  One month for a shaving cut!  I really do worry about healing and illnesses.

Monday, November 4, 2013

(Nov Awareness Month) What do you leave at home?

See Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
As a type 1 diabetic I am to check my blood sugar when I get up in the morning (or right before breakfast), possibly 2 hours after, before I eat a snack, before lunch, possibly 2 hours after, before I eat a snack, before dinner, possibly 2 hours after, before I drive, before I eat a snack, if I feel "funny" or low, before exercising, after exercising, before bedtime.  Whew!  That's a lot!!  That could be at least 14 test strips in one day plus if you get an error there's more test strips!

I've been out at Wal-Mart, turn to check my blood sugar and realize I left my meter at home, uh oh!!  I've walked to my kids' swim lessons, been low and only brought one pack of gummy fruit snacks with me then wondered if it was enough to keep me up for the walk home.  We went on an overnight trip, were two hours from home and stopped for lunch when I realized I left my insulin pens at home, UH OH!  That was one time I'm thankful my oldest daughter is also diabetic and I could use her pens (shh!  don't tell the insurance company).

I try to be a good diabetic, always carry your supplies - meter, strips, pens, and snacks.  I'm thankful I can carry a purse.  I'm not sure what adult men do with all of their supplies, I would think college-age would be easy with a backpack.  What would you be in trouble without if you left it at home today?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

(Nov Awareness Month) Tom Hanks

See Day 1, Day 2
Media and celebrities can help diabetes awareness and sometimes they can hurt it.  We're all confused by Halle Barry, does she have type 1 diabetes or type 2?  She says she has cured her diabetes but who really knows*?  Nick Jonas has probably done more for type 1 diabetes in the last 8 years than any celebrity in the 20 years before.

I like Tom Hanks as an actor, we own several of his movies (even That Thing You Do!).  Personally, I think he helped the public know that type 1 diabetes is different and more serious than type 2.  Was it a little insulting when he said type 1 is SERIOUS and he doesn't have it**?  Yes, of course it was insulting.  But trying to explain to others that I have type 1 diabetes is hard.  He just helped my explanation by 50%.  He just announced to the world that type 1 is different and requires to be on insulin.  I wish Tom well with his diagnosis and treatment.

*The only cure I know of right now for type 1 diabetes is pancreas islet cell transplant but it is very serious and isn't practical for most type 1 diabetics.  Perhaps Halle Barry eats no carbs and so she doesn't need insulin?

**in case you didn't hear, Tom Hanks was on Late Night with David Letterman
"Hey, I don't have Type 1 diabetes! Type 1 diabetes is a really, really serious thing. I don't have that. I have high blood sugars and Type 2 diabetes is not going to kill me," explained Hanks. "But I just have to eat right, and exercise, and lose weight, and watch what I eat, and I will be fine for the rest of my life.
"Part of it's hereditary, without a doubt. I guess I just got it in me. But it's really about a lifestyle, man. ...I'm 57 years old and for the last 20 years I've been carrying around probably 15 or 20 extra pounds in my regular life. When I work, a lot of times I have to lose weight and I do that, but in my regular life I was not eating right, and I was not getting enough exercise. But by the nature of my diet and that lifestyle — boom!
"The end result was high blood sugars that reach the levels where it becomes Type 2 diabetes. I share that with a gajillion other people. The best thing you can do that for that and the thing that will completely negate its effects is eat right and lose weight. So that's all I'm doing."

Diabetes Awareness Day 2

see day 1

Yesterday, I wrote mostly about 5 years ago.  Today I want to tell you about where we are now.  Our oldest has had her Medtronic Minimed Paradigm pump for 4 years (the link isn't for her exact pump but the company, we didn't know about the new Low Suspend pump when we ordered the t:slim but I don't think it would have made a difference).  We decided it was time for a new pump (we've had just a few small issues w/ the Minimed).   Though I think she ultimately would like the OmniPod, she has some reservations about it and insurance doesn't cover it so she picked Tandem's t:slim (yes, the pump with the Touch Screen).  We are supposed to have training this week and are very excited about this "new" (to us) technology.  Now she's trying to decide if she wants to ditch her One Touch UltraLink meter (it really is AMAZING that we've kept up with this thing for 4 years!) or change to a different meter, partly the decision will depend upon insurance.

I am still using pens to control my type 1 diabetes.  I take Lantus in the morning and have been using Apidra for mealtimes/corrections (sample from my doctor, I've also used mostly Humalog).  At my last appointment, he agreed to bring my carbohydrate to insulin ratio down (up?) a lot from what it was to 1:10 for every meal, nice and simple that it's the same amount at every meal.  I still struggle with fatigue issues and will talk to my doctor about that since my hormone levels checked out okay.  I would eventually like to switch to a pump and wouldn't be surprised if 2014 is the year but (again!) it depends on insurance.  :)

Our 2nd oldest daughter is continuing with TrialNet and is showing antibodies but so far hasn't developed into diabetes.  When/IF she does, that will be half of our family with type 1.  That's scary!  Though I'm thankful for other blogs that have multiple children with type 1, I know it will be a big struggle with this child. 

When our oldest was diagnosed, my husband and I agreed that she was probably the best to handle it of our children.  She was already compliant and a little type A.  Our 2nd oldest is very sensitive and doesn't like being poked, prodded, or eating weird things.  I still am surprised she's making it through the oral glucose tests for TrialNet!  Our son was sneaking candy and didn't listen very well when our oldest was diagnosed, I think it would be really hard for him if he was diagnosed but I think he's at a better age now than he was then.  Our youngest daughter was only 1 when our oldest was diagnosed, I can't imagine having a child that young and what they would go through.  Now she is a mix of our 2nd oldest and our son so I don't think she would handle the needle pokes and diet issues very well either.

So, that's where we're at: excited about new pump technology, awaiting the day I also become "bionic", playing the wait-and-see game with out 2nd oldest, praying that our other children don't get diabetes, and waiting for a CURE.  (To me cure is no outside medical intervention, just like cancer is cured when you have no effects and no more treatments.  So nothing hooked up to you (pump or artificial pancreas) and not having to check blood sugars at all.  I know that's big but to me that's a cure, other things are advances in treatment and I know insulin/pumps/CGMs/artificial pancreas are huge advancements.)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  If you try to think about diabetes overall it is very overwhelming and stressful.  I wanted to write a little about what diabetes means to me, in a little bit of sporadic flashbacks.

Crying - lots of crying.  At my daughter's diagnosis, my own tears at the thought of a lifelong disease and how seriously sick she was.  My daughter's tears.  Crying at every shot.  Crying at infusion set changes (pump).  Crying because she's tired of it all.  Crying because she's hungry and she's tired of the zero carb foods she can have or crying because she has to eat the food she bolused for and she's not hungry.

My nephew running from every blood sugar check and shot.

The smell of glucose tablets.  The smell of insulin (our 2nd oldest still absolutely hates the smell).

...more tomorrow?  and the rest of the month?