Thursday, June 28, 2012

How to prevent summertime “Lows”



With summer time here, and an increase in outside activity, one thing is certain with diabetes. LOWS. Kids tend to need less insulin in the summer than they do in the winter season. This is because activity/exercise, whatever you refer to it as helps to drop that blood sugar. Preventing summer time lows can be difficult. And it’s important to remember not to view yourself as failure because you or your child is still experiencing lows. It’s going to happen, it’s diabetes, and it’s inevitable! But from my experience in having an active summertime child with Type 1 diabetes, I have figured out a few tips and tricks to help prevent lows from occurring.

Check more frequently

(when they are active it helps to check before they begin, during, and after, and even more if you feel the urge to)

Checking more frequently can help you get an idea of where your, or their blood sugar is and what you can do about it. As an example, Clifford is on the insulin pump, and one of the benefits of an insulin pump is knowing how much Insulin is on board (IOB), or active. This is a useful tool for us at least in helping to prevent lows from occurring. If he tests and he’s 100 or less with IOB, we make a decision to treat, and with how many carbs. In doing this, we’ve helped to prevent some lows from occurring.

Temp basals

If you are on an insulin pump, or your child is, temp basals can be your best friend. We typically set a temp basal anywhere from 30-50% for an hours time. The percentage basically is reflecting off of what his numbers were like during the day, if he ran lower, then we run it lower.

Frequent snacks

For those on an insulin pump or MDI’s frequent small snacks after checking your blood sugar can help to give you the little boost you need to keep your blood sugar up without dropping low during activities.


Well water will not exactly help prevent lows, but for anyone it’s beneficial to make sure you stay hydrated during activity, and for those with diabetes it’s even more important.

It’s really not a huge list, but these are the few tricks / tools we pull out of our hat during the summer time to help prevent lows from occurring.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

There’s no “particular” number

The one thing about Diabetes is there is no certainty. There is no consistency. There is no “ONE” number to let you know when things will go bad, either High or Low.

Take this morning for example, tested Clifford before he woke up to find him at 55. Woke him up, he drank a juice box, however something didn’t seem right, something was just “off”. His eyes were as if he was not really with me. He was only talking to me intermittently. Answering a question here and there, and between pauses just looking “not there”. Something told me to go grab more sugar, more something, I grabbed the icing and the glucagon, yes it was that “not there” that I thought we were going to need gluc.

I kept asking him questions, trying to get him to talk to me. The stupid icing didn’t have a hole poked into it, so I ran as fast as I could downstairs to stick a knife in it and back up to give it to him. In that short period of time he had crawled himself to our playroom and was just laying there. I ran in grabbed him up and had to hold him and pour icing into his mouth. Thankfully he was with me enough he was instinctively taking it in. But still something was “off”

I got in front of him and this is when the “twitching” started. I thought for certain we were on the verge of a seizure but he was 55! He has been lower with nothing like this ever happening. He would twitch with that crazed not there look in his eyes, then answer me. Then he just collapsed into my arms, he was still “with me” The icing was starting to take affect and he was coming back around, he was again answering me. I walked with him to his room and I could tell he had come to even more when he started crying at the sight of the glucagon needle in my hand ready to go.

No seizures, but on the verge of something bad. Thankfully I caught the low at 8am, and got him moving along in the right direction. He doesn’t remember it. He doesn’t remember me shaking as I was holding him and pouring icing into his mouth, fearing that something “BAD” was about to happen. He doesn’t remember just not being “with me”… He’s off playing and happy as can be. A bit high but that’s given from the treating that needed done to bring him back around. Good news, he doesn’t remember.

Bad news… I do.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Welcome back to D Care!



Clifford is back home now, and Diabetes decided to welcome me back into day to day D care by throwing a 67 at me at 3:45 am. He wasn’t scheduled to be checked at this time, so thankfully his sister woke up which prompted me to test him. In the darkness of his room however I thought the meter said ‘37’. Which means I ran like a crazy lady through the house to get a juice box.

Not really the way I’d like to be welcomed back, but we all know how welcoming Diabetes can be :/

Monday, June 25, 2012

Signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in children



I know I have posted this a few times in the past, but it’s always nice to give a refresher, especially to those who may be new to my blog. It’s always a good thing to have the correct information out there and helping others to recognize the signs and symptoms. Instead of writing it all out here this time. I would love to link you to my recent article on Signs and Symptoms of Type 1 on ALL Parents Talk. A new parenting site with a lot of useful and great information plus, I’m helping to add content there so I would love if my readers took a look over there as well. I had my first article be something that is near and dear to my heart. I’m so excited to get the signs and symptoms out there and help spread the word about type 1.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The cost of living with diabetes



We all know the ultimate cost that living with Diabetes places on the PWD and their families. The mental burden of living with D and caring for someone that lives with D can become overwhelming, if you let it.


The one thing that has always bugged me about this disease other than the most common reasons, is the financial cost it takes to keep someone with D alive!  Thankfully we have insurance that pays for the majority of this, but I know there are others out there that are not so lucky. It’s important to get the word out of what it really costs for someone with Diabetes just to stay alive. As an example I will use Clifford’s costs for a month.


  • 650 Testing Strips = $650.00
  • 10 Infusion sets & reservoirs = $178.00
  • Alcohol wipes, IV 3000,IV prep, and Uni Solve= $60.00
  • 600 Lancets= $70.00
  • 4 vials humalog insulin =$480.00
  • 1 vial Lantus insulin (just in case) =$120.00
  • Batteries, Juice boxes, glucose tablets= $50.00

Now we also have his supplies that we get 2x a year

  • Blood Ketone Strips 350 a year = $1750.00

Every month it roughly costs $1754.00 just to keep Clifford alive. If we look at it yearly the cost is $21,046.. You need a full time job just to be able to afford your supplies that keep you alive YEARLY without insurance. This is a bit ridiculous, and the one thing that has bothered me. In addition Clifford also takes Synthroid to help regulate his thyroid levels because of Hashimotos. There are many other PWD’s living with other conditions that cost even more $$ as well. This is why we push so hard for a cure! It’s way to expensive to have diabetes!

Friday, June 22, 2012

D Mom without a D child in the house…..

Clifford’s been away now on summer visitation since last Friday… I feel the need oddly to test someone’s blood sugar, count carbs still, etc, etc, etc. As bad as it is I get to sleep in and not wake up in the middle of the night to test him (although the twins are still keeping me on my regular sleep schedule), however for some reason I feel guilty that I’m not doing it.

I’m still doing the day to day up keep of living with D. I have been communicating with his doctors and educators to schedule bloodwork to test his thyroid levels because he’s complaining of being more sleepy than normal. I have been keeping up to date with the schedule of getting prescripts shipped out to us on time. I even took a few about 40 minutes yesterday to reorganize the D shelf of supplies (main shelf), and the other shelves that are around the house, and restocked them.

Point to this all is even though he’s not here it’s still hardwired in my brain on how we live with Diabetes. And I do catch myself counting carbs, and trying to weigh out food. Even though I’m not doing the day to day upkeep right now I’m still doing the behind the scenes work that I always do.

And honestly it doesn’t differ too much from our day to day. Since Clifford is on the verge of turning 9, he’s been giving a bit more responsibility with his D  care. He tests himself, he puts in the carbs that I tell him, and confirms the bolus with me before bolusing himself. There are days I just monitor and watch, count carbs, and confirm boluses without touching the pump. However nighttime is still on me. I get up, test, bolus if needed, etc, etc.

I am getting a “small” glimpse of what it will be like when he’s old enough to be out on his own. I will still worry, I will still keep updated (as much as he’ll want me to), and I will still always revert to counting carbs, and weighing food, it’s just the new “norm”…

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hi! It’s me… Diabetes

Hi it’s me, the incurable disease located on the inside of your or your loved ones body. I’m sure you think you got me all figured out. But I’m like a ninja and when you least expect it I’m on to something new! Just when you think you have a handle on me and have me under control in my little cage, I break out and let loose and reek havoc all over. HA! And you thought you could control me. There is something here that you need to learn about me, I don’t take orders from anyone. I do what I want, when I want and there is nothing you can do about it. You’re definitely NOT the boss of me.

I don’t play games fairly, in fact when I can I make sure to cheat to get my own way. I am also a very sore loser, so when you think you’re winning and have everything under control, I will get my revenge. I don’t let you sleep at night, because I don’t need sleep so why should you. I don’t really care if you are going to a birthday party today or have plans to go swimming, I’m going to do my best to mix things up and rock your world. Oh that’s so cute that you think I’m no big deal… Because sorry about your luck I’m a big “F’ing” Deal and I’m making sure you know it and everyone else knows it to! I really cannot sit still too long either. I have to get up and move around and see just what trouble I can get myself into. Sorry if that disrupts your work, or that big game, or even your SATs, don’t care it’s fun to me to take control and be in charge. Yeah there are times I seem to play nice, but those times I’m pretty much sitting and plotting revenge and how to kick things up a notch. Don’t get too comfortable for too long, you might want to stay on your toes, and invest in numerous amounts of caffeine because I’m not going anywhere.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Only time will tell……

I’ve pretty much given up on the idea of a full night’s sleep. It’s not that I don’t like to sleep, or that I don’t want to sleep. It’s that sleep has become pretty much an unknown to me at this point. Pretty much since around the time Clifford was born 8+ years ago sleep has been a thing of the past, just as one child would start to sleep through the night, another was born. And then there’s a whole different type of “no sleep” when it refers to diabetes. I’m going to be open and honest in the fact that in the beginning they wanted us testing nightly at 12 and 3 am, for about the first 2 to 3 weeks after diagnosis. I was beat, a zombie you might say and looking forward to any bit of relief. Then we were told you only had to test 2 nights a week. PHEW what a relief. And that’s what we did… I think back now. OMG I cannot believe we only tested 2 nights a week, what in the hell were we thinking. But it’s what the endo told us to do, you know a trained professional, a doctor who went to school for quite sometime to get where they are today, so I trusted them. We are very lucky that thankfully those nights, God took over and was watching over Clifford as he slept, there’s not other reasoning for nothing bad happening overnight.

But now, I test before I go to bed at night, I have to, it’s my little reassurance. If he’s good, I say thank you, and set my alarm for midnight, or 2 hrs after the testing time, whatever that might be. Then here is the tricky part, if he’s good still and in range and not too lower on the “in range” side, then I make a decision whether or not I’m going to get up 2 hrs later and test, or let him go. However if a correction is made that is a no brainer, I get back up and test to make sure he didn’t drop too low.  Now tonight as I sit here on the crazy time we’re having, I miss those nights where I still slept some in between testing. He’s high 440 at last check, 476 the one before that. Ketones are pretty much none at all 01., 0.2, but he’s high! I’m correcting like crazy and he’s not budging. So I made the decision that I was going to switch out the insulin, I just had this feeling it was the insulin. I corrected, and set a temp basal of 115% for an hr. Now was that the right decision. I don’t know, only time will tell. Will I be able to go to sleep at 1:30am, I don’t know only time will tell.

The best question in all of this is will there be a cure for this damned disease in the future? I don’t know only time will tell. But I “HOPE” so hard that I don’t think I can hope anymore that there will be. Or a better way of treating it then we have now. Only time will tell if sometime I will revisit sleep once again. I do definitely miss it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

It’s always there… The fear….

What can I say, it’s always in the back of my head, the fear that one of my other children will have to get dealt the same cards that Clifford has. And while I tell myself, we’re better prepared, we’ll catch it earlier, we’ll be able to handle this all so much better, it doesn’t really make things easier, it doesn’t make the fear go away.

Something as simple as a growth spurt and out of the blue flu scares the crap outta me. I may not show it on the outside but on the inside I’m screaming. Abby became sick on Monday night, and Tuesday she couldn’t keep anything down. At one point I decided to test her, and test ketones to see just how much a non D can spill, and you know just to check. Well the ketone meter beeped before the BG meter and it read 6.2… Thankfully the BG meter only read 84. But then there’s the growth spurt. It’s made her look soo much skinner than before and well when Clifford was dx’d he lost some weight and look so skinny.100_8048

So unfortunately she got a brief look into the testing like he goes through tested and got a number much higher than I’d like a 239, retested thinking food was still in there working around and still higher than I’d like 2 hrs post meal of 155. But the fasting number revealed a 93! That doesn’t mean the fear will go away it’s always going to be there, and more than likely she’ll be tested again in the future. It’s just part of the territory I guess, having one child with T1, you just get concerned another dx will be around the corner… Nothing can prepare you for that, no matter how much you think you will be prepared or better prepared than the first time around… nothing.