Sunday, February 24, 2013

6 months

6 months ago today, we were in Children's ICU. I wasn't sure anything in life would ever be ok again. 6 months later, I'm still not 100% sure, but it's getting better. Here's what I've learned in the past 6 months:

1. Doctors make mistakes. I knew this already,  but now I know it on a very personal level.  We went from a diagnosis of mono to the ICU in DKA in less than 48 hours.  No hard feelings, doctors are human and they make mistakes just like the rest of us. But there has GOT to be a push for doctors to do a simple blood or urine test for kids that come in with those symptoms....tired, dehydrated, weight loss, thirsty. A simple test would have started my child on insulin 2 days earlier.

2. I CAN do this. God gives me strength to fight this battle every day.

3. My child is amazing.  Another thing I already knew, but now I know it on a whole new level. He calculates carbs and insulin at every meal and snack,  pokes his fingers to test his blood 4 or more times a day, injects insulin at least 4 times a day, and pays attention to his body every second in case he starts feeling low. He carries a bag of supplies everywhere he goes. He is my hero.

At least 4 finger sticks per day.

4. There are some really amazing people in this world. In the last 6 months I have been introduced to the DOC (diabetes online community).  Facebook, Twitter,  forums,  blogs, etc. These people ROCK! They have helped me learn so much. I had no clue that I could meet people online and feel so CONNECTED! They are my daily support in all things diabetes. 

5. Carb counting. A can of Rotel has 10 grams of carbs. An average sandwich has 25.  Tortilla chips are about 2 grams of carbs each. That's just the beginning of all the numbers I have floating around in my head, and I know more are to come.

6. New vocabulary.  Basal, bolus, insulin-carb ratio, glucagon, DKA to name a few.  Plus some others that have taken on new meaning - high, low, low treatment, d bag (gotta keep that sense of humor!), shots, pokes, giving the finger, shooting up. On and on that list goes.

7. My son can still enjoy all the activities he has always enjoyed. He needs to test his blood sugar more often during some activities, but no activities are off limits!

Lead snare for marching band
8. No foods are off limits either, much to the shock of many people. Obviously, he can't eat sugar all day every day. No one should do that. A healthy diet with occasional treats is the plan he follows.

9. Candy isn't bad. Sometimes it's a lifesaver. Literally. Skittles are his favorite low treatment.

10.  Stomach viruses can cause carb absorption problems.  Very little insulin was needed for DAYS after the virus was over.

11. There is no "right" amount of insulin. The body needs what it needs.  The dosage amounts are different for every person, and can even be different for the same person on different days.  There is no rhyme or reason to it.

12. The expected life span of a type 1 diabetic is equal (or near equal) their non-diabetic peers. Complications can be prevented or at least delayed by keeping blood sugar in range as much as possible.

13. There is no such thing as stability or control. We can simply learn how to manage it.

14. Other illnesses are no more likely than they were before, but the effects of those illnesses can be greatly magnified. Some illnesses that can normally be treated at home can put a type 1 in the hospital.

15. There is much left to learn so that we can KDA every day.  Until a cure is found, the ultimate way to KDA!  

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  1. I just stumbled upon your blog after doing a little research on various subjects pertaining to Type 1. My little girl was recently diagnosed (only 4 yrs-old) about a week ago. I've never struggled with anything like I'm struggling with this. My little girl is my whole world and I'm barely holding it together. Your blog has been a source of relief. I'm sorry you're going through this, too, but it helps to know we're not alone in this. I'm a very thorough, organized and somewhat obsessive type, so not having a handle on things has been especially difficult for me, particularly knowing that Gabriella's life is in my hands.

    1. I'm so very sorry to hear about your daughter's diagnosis. It's just so scary, and it can't be organized. As much as I try, it keeps throwing me curve balls. I'm just a few months ahead of you, but it does get better. I still have fears, and times that I cry, but it does get better. Hang in there, and let me know if there is anything I can do for you!

  2. Thank you for your words...Gabriella is slowly adjusting but there are still moments where she tells us "she doesn't want the shot". I almost lose it at those moments and find myself praying that we just find a damn cure for this so she can have a more normal life that doesn't consist of blood tests and injections and carbs. Impossible to make a 4-year-old understand why something like this is happening to her. No adult, let alone child, should go through this. Just so incredibly sad that our children have to endure this disease. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to post to this blog.