Friday, May 11, 2012

Diabetes Tourettes

When Addison was first diagnosed, I developed a horrible case of what I like to call Diabetes Tourettes. Instead of opening my mouth and spilling out an uncontrollable stream of epithets and swear words, I would start spewing all things diabetes. A simple inquiry of "How have you been?" was answered with complicated information about Addison's diagnosis, what his blood sugar was at that moment, a bit about calculating insulin doses and maybe some carb counting. I couldn't help myself. Things just came out of my mouth. As time wore on and this whole diabetes thing became more of a "normal" part of our lives, my Diabetes Tourettes wore off. Now when people ask me "How have you been" I hardly ever mention diabetes.

Something happened though a couple of weeks ago and I still keep thinking about it. Mostly because I feel embarrassed. It was a return of the DT and even though I tried to stop myself,it forced its way out of my mouth. I had a parent meeting with a new group of families for the 5's program Addison is enrolled in for next fall. If there is one thing I hate about parent meetings, it is the "icebreaker" exercise imposed by the parent educator. I like it in theory but I get extremely anxious when I am in a group circle waiting for my turn to speak. Speaking in front of large groups makes me nervous and waiting a turn knowing I have to do so makes me even more nervous. Anyway, our icebreaker question of the night was to tell the group one thing you never expected you would do as a parent. The first thing that popped into my mind was having to force feed my kid candy or bacon. I would have to explain why and that it was related to diabetes. Then I thought "I don't want to say that! I don't want to talk about diabetes at all! Think of something else!" But the more I tried to come up with something else to say, the more I couldn't think of anything else to say and by the time my turn came around that is what I said and I felt ridiculous. Like some alien force had taken over my brain and mouth and made me say it. As soon as it came out, I felt completely disappointed in myself and I had a thought "Videos! I never thought I would put my son in front of a video so I could get something done." Nice. Now I think of it.  I had that same feeling I had back in the early days when I would ramble on about diabetes while an acquaintance gave me a pitying look. Afterwards I would wonder why on earth I said what I said. Diabetes Tourettes.

Like everything with diabetes, sometimes you feel the master of it and other times you feel completely at its mercy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

365:302 Sitting Idle

I sat idle today reading a book. It was Young Adult fiction mind you, about all I can wrap my fuzzy brain around nowadays. I sat idle reading said book while my son was across the hall in another room. I handed over his supplies to another parent at the Co-op and let her know when to give him a check. As I sat reading my book a text popped up on my phone. 168. Nice.
I was only in the other room but it felt like a huge victory. I gave up the supplies, told Addison that the other parent would check his blood sugar and that he should go to her if anything was buzzing or beeping from Dexie or the pump or if he felt funny.

About a month ago, I trained several parents at the co-op on how to check Addison's blood sugars, treat a low and use glucagon if necessary. I made a binder with all the info about his equipment, his target range of blood sugars, treating lows, using glucagon, etc. We met during school and I started with the glucagon figuring if they could get through the worse case scenario, the rest is slightly less daunting? I am not sure that was the case but they were awesome for sticking with it. I am so grateful for all the parents who volunteered and for others who are still offering to learn. The goal for me at school is to have a day where, after snack, I can step out of school and go have a coffee down the street. Such a normal thing for most but for me a great luxury. Since the training a month ago we have been sick or others at school have been sick and I filled in as a working parent . The training happened but then we didn't move forward. Today though we moved forward and it felt good. Coffee shop here I come....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

365:301 Wednesday Bloody Wednesday

We have yet to experience a true "gusher" but last nights site change was an unusual bleeder. My intention was to only change Dexie had been 14 days and the ol' triple question marks were starting to appear. When I removed Dexie and looked at Addison's bottom, it seemed like it might be a good time to switch sides. His pump site was just about due to be changed out anyway. So I removed his pump site  and was completely surprised. The site looked bruised and bloody. The canula was filled with blood. Addison made me take a picture of it so he could see it. I chose not to put that photo looked pretty awful. And it wouldn't stop oozing blood. In these moments, I really have to buck up and play up my curiosity. My first instinct is to look away, repulsed. Instead, I probably over-talk the situation. I play up how interesting it is, what color it is, how it looks like a big hole, how I wonder how that may have happened. I never want Addison to be worried or feel scared about looking after himself. After applying pressure for a while, it finally stopped and we soldiered on, inserting two new sites. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

365:300 I Am A Scientist

There are always things that you don't plan for/expect with D. It is just how things go. While in the midst of our good friends "Weird Science Party" there was a moment where I thought Addison might have to opt out of a really exciting experiment thanks to to D. Our science guide Mike was talking about electricity and called for volunteers to stand up and put their hands on the metal orb above to get charged up with electrical current. Addison is not shy and is often the first one to put up a hand and volunteer and this time was no exception. I was ready to send him up there and my friend questioned if it was ok for him to be in contact with the electricity because of his pump and CGM. Ah..crap! Why wasn't I the first one to think of that?! When I asked Mike, he said they don't allow people with pacemakers to do this so doing it with the pump on seemed out of the question. "I can just take it off!"  I told Addison. Then it occurred to me that the CGM had the metal wire under his skin plus the transmitter attached. I hesitated. We let another child go ahead while we sorted out our business. I wasn't expecting this. It took my brain a few seconds to problem solve. In the end, we took off the pump, CGM and the transmitter. I sat with his pile of equipment while he thoroughly enjoyed getting charged up...It all worked out in the end. It just took a little extra sorting out time...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Going Viral

Before this winter, I walked around with a smug sense of satisfaction. I had chosen not to send my son to preschool. I watched all my neighbors and friends go through rounds and rounds of colds and viruses while we would have a only a few here and there. It was pretty great. But this year, Addison is in preschool, I am in the classroom and we have never been more sick. I wouldn't have it any other way, mind you. Preschool has been wonderful. But man, I long to feel healthy again! Addison has had cold after cold after cold. He was sick all winter break with an ear infection and just when I thought the worst was over, a 24 hour bug touched down. There was a fever and an upset tummy. Addison asked to go lie down in bed in the middle of the day and that is when I knew he was really feeling sick! I had my phone nearby and my glucagon handy but he managed to keep everything down and had juice and ice cream sandwiches and popcorn during the day to keep his blood sugars from plummeting. The next day he woke up and sprang into action. No fever, no belly trouble..back to normal. Well, all except his blood sugars. After a bowl of instant oats, which usually results in a large post breakfast spike, Dexie was 124 arrow slightly down. A finger check showed 54. He hasn't had a blood sugar below 65 in a very long time. 20 uncovered carbs later, he was hovering at 100. The rest of the day was spent chasing lows and hardly bolusing for food. This was the first time we had seen what many of you have talked about..a post- virus reduction in insulin needs. I have heard mention that that the body has a harder time absorbing carbs after a stomach virus and it can take up to 3 weeks to return back to normal. I don't know if this is what has happened to Addison but it sure seems like it might be the case. It is kind of wacky!

The past few nights have been extremely grumpy ones. Grumpy for me that is.  Addison sleeping between my husband and I, the CGM beeping us awake every half an hour, alerting us that Addison is teetering on the edge of a low. It is kind of like having a newborn all over again. No one tells you that when your soon to be toddler is diagnosed with T1D that the light just went out at the end of tunnel of full nights of sleep. For the parents anyway. Addison sleeps through pretty much everything. I remember when I came to the realization that I wouldn't be sleeping through the night for years to come and tears just streamed down my face. Now I just get grumpy. You know how that is right? Middle of the night, feeling all around under the pillows and sheets to find the CGM, fumbling with the test strips and the meter, prying a little hand out from under a head to get a drop of blood. Having to use your critical thinking skills in the wee-bleary-eyed-hours of the morning.  We have resorted to "rage temporary basals" the past couple of nights and that never ends up well either but at least we get in a couple of hours of sleep without low alerts! The CGM graph, as a result, looks like a crazy roller coaster ride.

We will spend the next few days checking and calculating and tweaking and I hope we get the night time issues sorted out sooner rather than later. I need some sleep. My husband was surprised when I drank almost a whole large french press of coffee myself before he got up a couple of mornings ago.  It isn't really the best idea to be strung out on no sleep AND coffee. Good parenting goes out the out window and fast. Spring, good weather and health...I hope you land on our doorstep soon!