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Archive for the ‘Type 1 Diabetes’ Category

I have to brag about my son a little.

My son went from being an honor roll or solid B student to barely passing when he went to Junior High. After spending most of his 7th grade year, trying to make him do what he was supposed to and failing because there was a lacking response from teachers; I decided to call the superintendent this year when it seemed that the 8th grade was going to be a repeat of last year.

This seemed to get the ball rolling. Teachers are cooperating. Jacob is doing what he is supposed to in class and he is actually doing his homework. My sister-in-law is involved trying to give Jacob a little boost. I think this has helped him more than anything, because he likes the attention he is getting from someone else other than me. My sister-in-law even made him sign a contract with goals and all. Kudos to my sis-in-law!!!

Yesterday was Pi Day at school. Pi Day is officially March 14th, but that is on a Saturday this year and it falls during Spring Break. I didn’t even know that there was actually a Pi Day.

They had a party during his math class with fun Pi Day activities that count for extra credit. Jacob desperately needed extra credit.

He created a Pi shirt. It said “I Eat π” and the back had 3.14 below his name. The shirt was simple to do. I went to Walmart and bought some ink jet printer iron-on transfers. We created the design, my sis-in-law printed it off for us since our printer is out of commission, and then I ironed it on–easy as Pi.

Jacob also memorized the following Pi digits: 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510.

He memorized those numbers in just two 30-minute memorization sessions.

Somehow, he can memorize all these numbers and regurgitate them without any problem, but he can’t remember to check his blood sugar before he eats or do his shot after eats and he has been a Type 1 Diabetic for almost 10 years.

There was also a Pi song that I gave him orders to sing. I don’t care how embarrassing it is for a 13 y/o to stand up and sing the Pi song–it was extra credit and he was doing it.

Anyway, I just wanted to brag on my son a bit. He deserves it after singing the following song in front of the class.

The Pi Song

(to the tune of “Oh, Christmas Tree”)

Oh, number Pi

Oh, number Pi

Your digits are unending.

Oh, number Pi

Oh, number Pi

No pattern are you sending.

You’re three point one four one five nine,

And even more if we had time,

Oh, number Pi

Oh, number Pi

For circle lengths unbending.

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Jacob went to his endocrinologist last Thursday. After having an hA1c of 8.5 for the last two visits, I was ecstatic that the endo decided to go along with my idea of splitting his Lantus into 2 different doses 12 hours apart: 23 units in the morning and 23 units at night. I have been wanting to try this for a while.

Last Friday was the first day of splitting the insulin into two doses. I am very pleased with the results.

As of this morning, he has not had a blood sugar test over 200.

Also, he has only experienced a couple of lows (not extreme lows) that were easily brought up without overdoing it.

I know that the highs will come, but to have 5 whole days of less than 200 numbers is something that other parents of Type 1 Diabetic children will appreciate.

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We had three doctor appointments yesterday.  The appointments were a two hour drive away from each other. It was just a very long day. We were all couped up in the car together way too long. I heard “Are we there, yet?” and “How much longer is it going to be?” more times than I can count.

Sebastian had a sore throat, but it wasn’t strep. He didn’t feel too bad though. He fought with Jacob all day long. I couldn’t even separate them because they were not even sitting in the same row in the vehicle (Jacob was all the way in the back and Sebastian was in the middle row).

Samuel went for his 2 month checkup. He weighed 10 lbs 12 oz and he was 21 1/2 inches long. He is definitely growing. Makes me sad that he is not the tiny little baby anymore that I brought home from the hospital, but I get excited every time he hits a milestone. For example, he is smiling quite often now. It is the greatest feeling in the world to see your little one look at you and smile real big (for no apparent reason other than they love your face).

Then, he gets his vaccines. I hate those things. Here is my helpless baby having to get a shot and I am the one that is helping to hold his arms to keep him from squirming too much. I try to comfort him, but the crying was over as soon as I picked him up. I can’t just not do the shots like some folks do. My kid would be the one to come down with measles, mumps, or some other awful thing they get vaccinated against. Samuel was not happy yesterday afternoon. I don’t know if it was the shots or if it was a belly ache, but something was wrong. Thankfully, it did not last long…just while we were at Cracker Barrel eating lunch. 

 Jacob is 13 years old and I promise I have taught him manners, but I declare…the child eats like he has been in the wilderness without any food for a month. I told him before we went in that “we are at a restaurant so please remember your manners.” He made the biggest mess. Next time, I think I will try reverse psychology and tell him to “have at it.” Kids think parents are embarrassing so I wonder if I could embarrass him enough by showing him what he looks like when he eats like that so that he will use his manners? It’s just a thought.

Jacob’s endo appointment went well. His hA1c was 8.5, which is a blood glucose average of 195 over the last 3 months. The doctor decided to split his Lantus dose into two doses. I am really hoping that this works. I am tired of seeing higher numbers in the morning. 

My sis n law came over and helped Jacob with his homework last night. I think this is really going to be a good thing for Jacob. It seems to be working so far. I had to make Emily and Sebastian stay out of the kitchen. This seems to help Jacob stay focused. Hopefully, the teachers will have their web pages updated. It is much nicer when we (parent, teacher, kid, and sis n law) all work together. 

Now, I am sick with some kind of sinus thing. I hate going to the doctor; I have more important things to do with my time. So, I will probably battle it for a couple of weeks before finally going to the doctor.

I am so glad it is Friday. After this week, I thought the weekend would never get here.

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I am really glad to see an article out there trying to raise awareness about the cost of having “diabetes” and I use that word loosely. You will understand why in a minute.  With that said, I am going to apologize for the following vent/rant. The following is a pet peeve of mine and for many other parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes or people living with Type 1 Diabetes.

The thing that bothers me (and many others) is that they barely mention the fact that Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are really completely different diseases. Most people are completely unaware of how the TWO separate diseases work, thus they tend to lump both together.

For example, most people think that Type 1 Diabetes (insulin dependent diabetes) is the really bad diabetes. Oh, they must have really severe diabetes. These same people believe that Type 2 is somehow not as bad because they just have to take a pill and they don’t have to do shots.

Type 1 Diabetes is Type 1 Diabetes. Period. It is not somehow “worse” than Type 2 Diabetes. It is mainly genetic. It is not developed because of poor eating habits or from not exercising. People do not develop Type 1 Diabetes because they eat 5 lbs of sugar a day. They have to have a shot. They can-not-out-grow-it. Ever.

A cure is the only way to rid the body of Type 1 Diabetes. And contrary to popular belief–insulin is not a cure.

Type 2 Diabetes is Type 2 Diabetes. Sometimes it is hereditary. Sometimes it is poor eating habits combined with no exercise. The point is this–Type 2 Diabetes is generally brought on by poor lifestyle choices. When you eat nothing but Twinkies and drink cokes 24/7, then you are probably a good candidate for developing the disease. Of course, some eat like that and never develop it at all. Kind of like how someone who has never smoked a day in there life can develop lung cancer, while someone who has smoked for 60 years dies from natural causes at the age of 100. Type 2 folks can try to manage it with proper diet and exercise. Sometimes they need a pill to help their body absorb the insulin that their body does make and sometimes, if it is bad enough then they might have to have a little insulin.

Honestly, I don’t mean to lecture. I just want to inform the few that read my post to understand the difference without going into a 1000 word essay about the differences in the diseases.

Now, what brought this on?

The following article, Cost of Diabetes Totals $218 Billion in U.S. Alone, is a bit misleading. I feel that it does not do enough toward distinguishing between the two diseases.

“Diabetes has not seen a decline or even a plateauing, and the death rate from diabetes continues to rise,” said Dana Haza, senior director of the National Changing Diabetes Program, an effort Novo Nordisk began in 2005 to improve diabetes care and prevention in the U.S.

“The numbers just keep going higher and higher, and what we want to say is, ‘It’s time for government and businesses to focus on it,'” said Haza, who believes diabetes will be the country’s biggest health problem in the future, worsened by the obesity epidemic.

And then there is the “oops…I almost missed it because I wasn’t really paying attention” mention that there could be a difference in the Type 1 and Type 2. 

Among people known to have diabetes, the new study estimated $10.5 billion in medical costs and $4.4 billion in indirect costs, or a total of $14.9 billion, for people with Type 1 diabetes, which generally begins in youth and can have a genetic link. Nearly 6 percent of the 17.5 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes have Type 1.

The study estimated $105.7 billion in medical costs and $53.8 billion in indirect costs, totaling $159.5 billion, for people with Type 2 diabetes, previously called adult-onset diabetes because of its link to the bigger waistlines and sedentary lifestyles.

Would you have caught it?

Hint: Diabetes should never stand alone. It should always specify the Type of diabetes it is referencing. Always.

Don’t just take my word for it…read this thread, “Just curious… why is it so important to us that “outsiders” understand our kids’ D?”

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Today was World Diabetes Day.

Bet you didn’t know that.

My oldest son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on May 8, 1999. He was three, almost four. That day everything changed.

Shots had to be given. Carbs had to be counted. Blood sugar had to be tested. Food had to be measured out. Log books had to be kept that recorded blood sugar, carbs, and units of insulin.

Since his diagnosis, we have taken trips to his endocrinologist every three months. They keep track of everything from growth charts, cholesterol, thyroid levels, to his hA1c. An hA1c is an average blood sugar reading of three months.

We have dealt with highs and with lows. There have been times that he has had ketones. We have been in the emergency room because of a stomach virus that would not allow him to keep anything down, therefore, I couldn’t keep his blood sugar up.

So far, we have been fortunate enough to not have any real emergencies and I hope it continues that way.

Sometimes, I feel guilty because I feel like my other children may not always get the attention that they should, but at other times I feel guilty because I wish I could have one day that I did not have to worry about him and what he was eating, how much he was eating, if he was checking himself like he should, or if he was doing his shots. Then, I feel guilty because it is not me that has to do it endure the sticks and shots–he is the one that suffers through that.

I have tried to make his life as normal as possible. Diabetes is not an excuse and he will never use it as such. As he gets older, he wishes that he could just be like other kids. I always remind him that everyone has something that they have to deal with in their lives–his something just occurred early in life.

As a mom of a child with Type 1 Diabetes, I have to say that it is always on my mind. I bet an hour does not go by that I don’t wonder how his blood sugar is doing, if he went low after gym at school, if he is running high or has ketones, how that insulin dose change is going, or if he is doing what he is supposed to on his weekend with his dad.

I wonder how four slices of pizza is going to affect his blood sugar after his short acting insulin wears off in 2 1/2 hours. I struggle with counting the carbs at a restaurant that does not have any nutrition facts listed.

I hate having to sound like a broken record. I hate that most of my conversations with my son involve his diabetes. I hate that I have to ask him if he has his bag and everything he needs before we leave the house.

I hate that Type 1 Diabetes does not get much attention from researchers. I hate that Type 1 Diabetes does not get the money for research that it deserves.

Because Insulin is not a cure.

I want to imagine a day when my son does not have to worry about every bite that he eats and does not have to worry about what his hA1c happens to be.

Think about it…

Imagine always having to read lables.

Imagine always having to count every carb that goes in your mouth…down to every little ketchup packet.

Imagine always having to check your blood sugar before you eat a meal.

Imagine always having to count up all the carbs you have eaten and doing a shot after each meal.

Imagine always having to stop your favorite thing to do just to check your blood sugar.

Imagine always having to carry around insulin, meters, and all your diabetes supplies everywhere you go.

Imagine always having to be prepared with glucose tabs or crackers for a low.

Imagine in ten years having to do the following:

Checking your blood sugar 21,900 times. Imagine  21,900 finger sticks.

Doing 18,250 short acting shots after eating at least four times a day.

Doing 5465 long acting shots.

Now, I can’t imagine a day without having to think about finger sticks, shots, counting carbs, or carrying around a bag of supplies. I am not even the one that has Type 1 Diabetes.

I am just the mom of a child with Type 1 Diabetes.

Imagine that…

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Today was No. 1’s visit to his endocrinologist. It went fairly well.

His hA1c was 8.8. This basically means that his blood glucose average was 204. It could have been better, but a 13 y/o teenage boy that is a bottomless pit when it comes to eating and has raging hormones coursing through his rapidly growing body is going to have blood sugar readings that are all over the place.

Most of the time, I know why his blood sugar is high. Usually, it is because he miscalculated carbs or just conveniently forgot that he ate that fruit roll up an hour ago.

Lows are a little less predictable. Sometimes we miscalculate his carbs and he gets more insulin than he needs or he plays out in the yard a little hard.

He had one weekend that he was with his father and he was really high with large ketones. He was sick and he couldn’t keep anything down.

We also had out of town company for about a week and a half that kind of disrupted our routine. I enjoyed having them here, but diabetes is difficult to control on a normal day, much less when schedules are erratic. Most nights it was 8:00 pm before we ate when they were here, but normally we eat by 6:30 pm. You wouldn’t think that kind of stuff would matter, but it does.

Anyway, just a few changes. His Lantus (his long acting, once a day insulin) was raised by two units. Basically, No. 1 likes to have a bedtime snack. In order to keep his bedtime snack, he has to have more insulin so that he will not wake up high in the mornings. His snack is only supposed to be about 10 carbs. Not much of a snack, but any more than that and he would have to have a shot of novalog (short acting insulin that he gets after he eats). His novalog ratios did not change unless he starts having lows during the day.

I have to call the insurance company tomorrow to find out about pump coverage.

I really hate to deal with insurance companies.

But not as much as I hate Type 1 Diabetes.

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