May 20, 2012

My Girl, My Hero

Diabetes Hero -DBlog Week - Day 7

Let’s end our week on a high note and blog about our “Diabetes Hero”. It can be anyone you’d like to recognize or admire, someone you know personally or not, someone with diabetes or maybe a Type 3. It might be a fabulous endo or CDE. It could be a d-celebrity or role-model. It could be another DOC member. It’s up to you – who is your Diabetes Hero?? 

Click for the Diabetes Hero- Sunday 5/20 Link List.

She is smart.  She is strong.  She is beautiful. 
She has Type 1 Diabetes.  She is my first born. 
She is my HERO!

Ally was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 5 years old.  At that age, you don't fully understand what is happening.  (Not that I did either!)  She heard the nurse in the pediatrician's office say that she had "diabetes" and that we needed to go straight to the hospital.  She sat quietly in the car as we drove to the hospital - with a somber face, but without any tears.  She did not let me know that she was scared.  

(Meanwhile, my brain was racing...Where is Keith working today?  Who can I call to pick Jessi up from pre-school?)  She tried to keep a conversation going with me.  "Mom, Uncle Bill is in heaven right?"  Yes, he is honey.  (Brain still racing...Don't cry.  Don't cry.  Which stupid exit am I supposed to take to Children's Hospital?)  "Mom, do you think Uncle Bill was scared when he became an angel?"  Well, I'm sure that Jesus was there to help him to not be scared.  (Brain racing...Why is she asking so many questions about Uncle Bill?  Should I call her rheumatologist?  Call my mom, she can pick up Jessi.)  "Ok, Mom."  and she was quiet.  She never cried, never complained.  We went on to spend the next 4 days in ICU.

Months later, Ally told me that when she heard the nurse say that she had "die-a-betes", she thought that meant she was going to die.  My brain instantly went back to the conversation in the car on the way to the hospital about my uncle who had recently passed away.  I asked her why she didn't tell me that she had thought that!  She said,

"I didn't want you to be scared."

Ally is my hero for so many reasons.  But her character is my #1!


May 19, 2012

Diabetes Snapshots

Saturday Snapshots -DBlog Week - Day 6

Back for the third year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like! With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures. Post as many or as few as you’d like. Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Click for the Saturday Snapshots - Saturday 5/19 Link List.

Diabetes in a Snapshot


May 18, 2012

"Its' True, I Should Tell Them"

What They Should Know - DBlog Week - Day 5

Today let’s borrow a topic from a #dsma chat held last September. The tweet asked “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.

Click for the What They Should Know- Friday 5/18 Link List.

"One thing" I would tell someone about living with diabetes?  Uh Oh.

There are so many different ways to go with this post.  There are things I want people to understand about Type 1 Diabetes, so they may be more compassionate towards Ally regarding the day in and day out struggles of diabetes.  She handles A LOT every single day whether she looks like it or not. 

There are things that I want people to know so they don't make Ally feel bad about her diabetes...She did nothing to cause it.  No amount of candy bars can cause type 1 diabetes!

There are things that I want every parent, grandparent, pediatrician, and child caregiver to recognize as possible signs of type 1 diabetes, so that not one child ever goes undiagnosed again.

And then there is the one thing that Ally wants people without diabetes to know..."Diabetes stinks!" 

"It's true, I really should tell them, Mom.  Some kids say, 'you're lucky'...and I look at them like 'Are you crazy?'  It's annoying.  People are always asking about my pump and my sites.  It's really, yeah, I'd tell them diabetes stinks - they should know that."

(And I thought diabetes stunk because of all the shots, finger pricks, carb counting, highs and lows, etc.)

Thanks again to Karen at Bitter~Sweet for organizing this Diabetes Blog Week.  I find it interesting, not only reading other people's blogs and their take on these topics, but also I'm amazed that I look at a topic with one plan in mind and then I learn something else about it along the way.  This topic gave Ally and I yet another opportunity for communicating about how she feels about diabetes.  I love it when she can "vent" her feelings about D.  So, thank you Karen, for that too!


May 17, 2012

The Magic Belt

Fantasy Diabetes Device- DBlog Week - Day 4

Today let’s tackle an idea inspired by Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary. 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?

Click here for the Fantasy Diabetes Device - Thursday 5/17 Link List.

As the caregiver of a young person with diabetes, I could fantasize all day long about diabetes devices that would make Ally's life easier.  But this was too much fun for Ally to dream about, so I let her take the Diabetes Blog Week prompt for today.

My Fantasy Diabetes Device
by Ally, age 9

My Fantasy Diabetes Device would be like a magic wand, but its a belt instead.  It would have different buttons on it and when I push a specific button, it would do whatever I want it to do.  You know, like "Give Me Insulin" button.  All I would have to do is hold my finger on the "Check My Sugar" button and it would read my blood sugar - without even pricking my finger!  Of course, I'd still have to have a site for the insulin to get into my body, but it would be smaller and have no tubing.  It would be small enough to cover with a band aid.  And , I wouldn't even need to take it off...NO SITE CHANGES!!  Oh, you know those iPhones that talk to you?  It would have that too.  I could just push the "MIC" button and speak into it and say what it needs to do.  Like, "What's my sugar?"  and it would tell me.  I wouldn't even need to go down to the nurse!  Except there would have to be a special charger for it...that may be the hard part!

(So in summary, she would like to morph me, the school nurse, her pump and blood glucose meter - oh yeah, and Siri - all into a magic belt.  Cool!)


May 16, 2012

Who Needs An Adjustment?

One Thing to Improve - DBlog Week - Day 3

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!

Click for the One Thing to Improve - Wednesday 5/16 Link List.

Insulin Adjustments.  Ugh.  The very words make my face do a funny little cringe thingy.  As I told you yesterday, I am a rule follower.  So, I am very capable of following the insulin adjustment guidelines provided by Ally's endocrinologist.  If she is running high or low consistently, for period of time, I can look at the numbers and make a pretty good judgement about whether to change basal or carb ratio.  And the truth is, when I do it, I do it pretty well.  The part where the "One Thing to Improve" comes in, well that's in actually following through with what my brain is telling me to do.

The place where I get hung up (AGAIN!) is all of the uncertainty that diabetes throws in the mix.  My brain says that Ally is running high overnight because she is growing and I know that I need to increase her overnight basal.  But what if it's actually because we are making mistakes in her carb counting.  But what if it is because we tried to squeeze an extra day out of that site or bottle of insulin?   And what if she is running high because she is getting sick?  The what ifs could actually go on and on.

I KNOW that I have seen a pattern over a period of time and I KNOW what I need to do...adjust the insulin!  But it is so hard for me to do.  What if my adjustment is wrong, or I adjust too much, and cause her to go low overnight? 

I'm sure that you can clearly see why this is an area that needs some improvement.  I need to trust myself when it comes to Ally's diabetes care. 

So, I guess the question is, does the insulin need an adjustment?  Or do I?

Thanks to Karen at Bitter-Sweet for organizing yet another fabulous Diabetes Blog Week!


May 15, 2012

Teamwork, Our Great Thing

One Great Thing - DBlog Week - Day 2

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!

(Check out the DBlog Week One Great Thing - Tuesday 5/15 Link List.)

I started out this post by asking Ally if she could tell me One Great Thing that she does regarding her diabetes.  She said, "Well, Mom, I really shouldn't toot my own horn!"  Love that girl!!

For me, giving Ally credit is so easy to do! She handles most things diabetes spectacularly!  She is my hero...but you'll have to wait until Sunday to hear about that!

I think that as parents of a child with diabetes, we are generally hard on ourselves.  Day in and day out I am looking at Ally's blood glucose numbers and wondering what we did wrong or what we could have done better.  My husband and I take most of the credit for the blips in the road...and we probably deserve that credit!  There was the time that I forgot to do a site change when I knew that Ally's insulin was old and most likely ineffective.  And then another time when Keith forgot her D bag at the soccer field.  There may have been an occasion or two where Keith or I forgot to give Ally her breakfast bolus.  The good news is that we each do different things in our own spectacular way too!

Me, I am a rule follower.  I like guidelines and I typically stick to them.  If you know anything about diabetes, I bet you are shaking your head and thinking that I could not possibly be spectacular at diabetes management!  Diabetes balks at rules and guidelines.  In fact, diabetes makes its own rules...and they are subject to change at any time, without notice!  Despite all that, I am spectacular at measuring out and weighing food.  My carb counting is very precise!  I know exactly what day Ally's site change should be on, how many days old her insulin is and what day of the month our insurance will allow me to refill her test strips.  I am also a worrier.  So, I remember every single move that Ally has made in a day and try to take that into account when making decisions about dosing her insulin.

Keith is a risk-taker and, well, let's just say that he likes to challenge the rules!  He would prefer to think that guidelines are very general and that much is left to interpretation.  You might guess that he is spectacular at SWAGging (Scientific Wild A** Guessing).  He does not worry that she may have a little less or a little more than half a cup of macaroni and cheese on her plate...if it looks like half a cup, he'll bolus for half a cup.  (I would carry a measuring cup around with me everywhere if he didn't make fun of me for doing so!!)  He is great at setting dual wave and square wave boluses on the pump, where some insulin is delivered up front and/or some insulin is delivered over a period of time.  He also has a fantastic memory...for things that he chooses anyway ;)  He can remember the carb count for the most random food that Ally may have eaten one time, three years ago!

Together, we make a spectacular team in managing Ally's diabetes.

Ally did finally answer my question too..."Mommy, you are great at site changes. I will always let you do them, ok?"  :)

Thanks to Karen at Bitter-Sweet for organizing yet another fabulous Diabetes Blog Week!


May 14, 2012

Finding a Friend, and Myself!

Find a Friend - DBlog Week - Day 1

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. 

(Check out the DBlog Week Find A Friend - Monday 5/14 Link List.)

Well, before I introduce you to one of my favorite blogs, let me introduce myself to you!  Ha!  It seems that lately I have been quite absent from my blog and also from reading the other wonderful D blogs out there. Life is busy as usual, my computer has been less than cooperative and I'm terrible at blogging from the iPad (which is why this will be a short post!).  Beyond that, I have actually been making time for myself, exercising even!  It is something that I have needed to do for myself for a long time.  Blogging is good for me too though, so I'm hoping that this Diabetes Blog Week will help me to find a way back to the blogging world.

And now, I could blog all night long about the awesome D bloggers out there.  But for today, I would like to make sure that you know my friend Shamae's blog Welcome To Our Crazy, Happy Life! .  Maybe I'm drawn to Shamae's blog because she has three girls like me.  Maybe it's because her oldest daughter Sydney, also living with Type 1, is close in age to Ally.  Whichever the draw is for me, I know that you will find something special there as well.  So now you just have to head over to Welcome To Our Crazy, Happy Life! and see 8 year old Sydney singing "Please Remember Me". I promise that you will not soon forget it!

Thanks to Karen at Bitter-Sweet for organizing yet another fabulous Diabetes Blog Week!


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