Wednesday, December 26, 2012

White Christmas in Texas?

It snowed HARD yesterday. Reports vary as to how long it has been since we have had a white Christmas, but I honestly can't remember one. Ice, yes. Snow, no. But it snowed a large portion of the afternoon. Thankfully, we were prepared to spend the night with my parents. Plenty of extra insulin, a change of clothes, etc. Traveling with diabetics is almost like travelling with a baby again. We can't just pick up and leave spontaneously. The list of supplies has to be checked then checked again. It would be catastrophic to forget anything.
After 2 days of travel and eating with different parts of the family, I would classify the holiday as a success. Blood sugars stayed under 400 for both of my guys. I would have liked them to have been lower, but it was Christmas! No real restrictions on what they ate, so I expected them to run high, even with extra injections. Some foods are just hard to calculate, but we continue to learn.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It has been a year of challenges to be sure, but also a year of blessings. Here is it, good and bad:
1 kid home from college for a couple of semesters
2 diagnoses of diabetes...a type 1 and a type 1.5
3 worked as lifeguards this summer
4 days in the hospital for Seth and 4 years of teaching for Jason
5 k of swimming by Jason (at one time, not total)
6th year of DI by Seth, and a 2nd place finish at competition
7 years in our house
16th birthday for Seth
17 years of teaching for Cassie
19th birthday for Josh
21st anniversary for Jason and Cassie
62 miles swimming for Cassie (total, not at one time)
Much love and multiple blessings for our friends and family. They helped us through this very trying year of loss and pain. Merry Christmas to you all, and may 2013 bless you all year long.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Diabetes Doesn't Care

Diabetes doesn't care if your friend is leaving town for several weeks and you want to say goodbye before she leaves.

Diabetes doesn't care if you are tired and want to go to bed.

Diabetes doesn't care if you are tired of eating sugar.

Diabetes doesn't care if anything else is going on in your life.

Diabetes doesn't care about you in any way. But the kicker is, you have to care about it. You can't ignore it. Ever.

The last 2 nights we have battled lows that Would. Not. Budge. Even with massive amounts of carbs. Tonight was shorter than last night. We have done more insulin adjustments, so hopefully tomorrow night will be better. But who knows? Diabetes likes to keep it confusing. It doesn't follow any rules.

This is what's left behind after several hours of stubborn lows :

The food tally for that low: 2 graham crackers with peanut butter, 2 juice boxes, 2 packages of Skittles (fun size), 6 spoonfuls of cake frosting, and an entire regular Dr Pepper. It took all of that to get him over 100 so it was safe for him to go to bed. He was nauseous and exhausted. Imagine his frustration when the scene was repeated tonight. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the finger sticks yet. 10 last night and 9 tonight. He is out of fingers to test on. We need a break. HE needs a break, but diabetes doesn't care. 

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Another Diagnosis

Jason has struggled for several years to control his type 2 diabetes. Despite eating pretty well, exercising, following doctor's orders about medications, and even the type 2 last resort of Lantus (long lasting insulin), his A1c values continued to be too high. Comments about losing weight, eating better, exercising more, just getting it under control were not helpful. They often came from well meaning people, but the pressure it creates is not helpful. At. All.

After Seth was diagnosed with type 1, I began researching to learn all I could to help him. I stumbled across some new numbers. Type 3 diabetes is a nonmedical term used to describe caregivers of diabetics; that's me! I never dreamed I would have a diabetes number, but now I do. Then I saw type 1.5 diabetes. As I read more, I began to think it described Jason....diabetics that might be slightly overweight but having poor control. It's basically slow onset type 1 that is often misdiagnosed as type 2, the best I can understand. The ADA doesn't distinguish it from type 1.  I encouraged Jason to discuss it with his doctor at his next appointment. That appointment was today. The doctor agreed that he was misdiagnosed, and changed his diagnosis to type 1.5, also known as LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes in adults). Previous treatment plan scrapped completely, as it was a completely inappropriate treatment plan for a type 1. No wonder control has been unattainable! New plan is in place, and I am hopeful it will work fabulously. We are a family determined to KDA.

On a positive note, Seth's endo appointment was today also. A1c was 7.3. This was the first A1c that included a full 3 months of treatment. I was thrilled! I continue to be so proud of his attitude and proactive approach to living with type 1 diabetes. The only thing that worries me is his unawareness of lows. He was 58 in the endo's office, but didn't realize he was low until she asked how he felt. It was then he realized his hands were shaking. Type 1 peeps/parents -will he likely learn to recognize it?

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Random thoughts on diabetes and life

I haven't posted in a while. Life without diabetes was busy, but with it, it's relentless. Here are just some random thoughts and occurrences from the last couple of weeks.
*God is good. He didn't give my child diabetes; that's just part of our fallen world. But He had provided for us in countless ways, some even YEARS in advance. One example: several years ago, Jason was a bit of a job drifter. He was struggling to find his next career. He tried selling insurance for a while. Because of that, Seth has a life insurance policy that can be converted to an individual policy when he becomes an adult. No medical questions. Wow!
*Seth has an escape. When he is playing his drums, he isn't thinking about diabetes. So I let him drum away. It also helps with his blood sugar. It's always lower after he had been drumming a while. I don't have an escape yet; I am ALWAYS thinking about it. So I am a little jealous and that makes me feel guilty. He is the one that has to live with it every second of his life. He deserves a few minutes every day when he isn't thinking about it.

*People ask frequently how Seth is doing and if his numbers have stabilized. It's really hard to explain over and over that there's no such thing for a type 1. His numbers will ALWAYS fluctuate wildly. I really appreciate people asking how he is doing. Really. It shows they care. But there is no short answer to that question. I usually just say that his attitude about it is amazing and leave it at that unless it's someone who truly wants to know the whole answer.
*I have realized that the amount of insulin he needs isn't an indication of how good a job we are doing. His body needs what it needs. Period. No shame or anything negative in increasing his dose. It's literally life support.
*Sometimes there is a pattern in the numbers, sometimes there's not. I look for patterns almost obsessively, hoping to figure it out. I am learning from parents that have been doing this much longer than I have that there sometimes is no rhyme or reason to the numbers. Treat the number and move on.
*We got Team Seth awareness bracelets. I think it has really helped him to see how many people are standing behind him in this fight. If you have said you wanted one and haven't gotten it yet, I will send them as soon as I can. My intentions were to have them mailed already, but getting to the post office is hard when they are only open during school hours.

*Yes, every conversation I have these days revolves around diabetes. Be patient with me. I will eventually be able to have regular conversations again. I have been told that, so I am choosing to believe it. We were told to give everything 6 months; it has been just over 3.
Like I said, pretty random thoughts. That's how life has been recently. It will get better.

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