Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Diabetes is...

Diabetes is facing your own mortality on a daily basis, looking it in the eye, and saying not today! How can you stomach hearing a 9 year old, who just brought home straight A's for another semester say "As long as I live to find the cure". Not until a cure is found, as long as he lives to find a cure for everyone else.

If diabetes has succeeded to accomplish anything in my son's life, it is this. We now have a determined, SMART young man, out there wanting to be the one who finds a cure. We will have a doctor who will stop at nothing but to have no more fighting diabetes for his patients. How can you hate a disease that has created this individual.

Before diabetes he was still destined to save others, he was still going to make a difference. That was because he wanted to serve his country. But since Diabetes has taken that option away from him, he is now destined to serve others just like him, and make their lives better.

Have you stopped and thought about your own mortality and what it would be like for those around you? Chances are you may have from time to time, chances are you have even come to terms with dying. But try being a child who has come to terms with dying. A child who hasn't even really lived yet. I can as an adult living 30 healthy years so far, come to terms with my own mortality. But I cannot fathom or even consider coming to terms with my son's mortality. Some people may think I'm strong, and from time to time I consider myself to have gone through hell, and bounced back looking forward to what's ahead, and for that I am strong. But I have no where the amount of strength that my 9 year old boy has. He lays his head on a pillow every night, knowing full well he may not wake up in the morning. That is hard for me to swallow, but imagine being a child and having to swallow that.

I write this not for those that have diabetes, because they have lived this, some of them as children, and are still living it. I write this for others who do NOT understand just what diabetes is, and what it does. Take a moment to think about everything. Try living your life from this moment forward like someone with diabetes does. Go to bed thinking you may not wake up in the morning, so it is your duty to live your life to the fullest, not to let any opportunity pass, and fill your day with nothing short of pure awesomeness, and make a difference in the lives of others.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No Winning - With the Numbers

It goes without saying that Diabetes is one of those things that has to be in control at all times. Otherwise, well it would be a piece of cake, right? You can battle it daily, think you have it figured out, think that the same meal that gave you that nice 100 the day before will do the same again, same bg (same carbs),etc, etc. But instead you end up with a 205 ?

There's really no explaining it other than, that's diabetes for you. Before diabetes life was care free, do what you want when you want, no stop to think about carbs, no weighing food, no thinking, "Is he just acting up, or is he low, or high?", none of that. But with diabetes you have a new found responsibility. Whether you are a PWD, or a D Parent, you now have the responsibility of helping to do the job of an internal organ that decided they were done, outta there, tired of working (Whatever you like to refer to it as).

So in being that organ (the pancreas by the way, for those unfamiliar) you have to figure out all the "what ifs". So if the bg number is 100 and you're giving 50 grams of carbs, you know to give a certain amount of insulin based on various math, however can you take into account the exercise you may experience chasing after your dog an hour from now, or the fact that you are getting the flu, but you just don't know it yet, or how about puberty?

Nothing much to learn from this posting other than the numbers are never consistent no matter what we try. And that's diabetes.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Why Is Nighttime So Scary

This was one of my most viewed blog posts at over 5K views, so I felt like it's something that should be shared once again.

You may hear many parents of Type 1 kids talk about how they don't sleep much and how scary night time is. But why is night time so scary? Let's look at it this way as a person without diabetes, your pancreas is still fully working properly, you can go to bed and not have to worry about anything going wrong with your blood sugar, that's because your pancreas is working around the clock to ensure you are stable all though the night with insulin and glucagon (if you happen to get low). However with Type 1 diabetes Clifford's pancreas gave up and quit it's job. Now it's our job to function as his pancreas. Unlike a pancreas who really doesn't require sleep, we as human beings do. There are a few things I've learned about night time. 1. I dislike it, but also love my sleep. 2. It's so unpredictable with diabetes. 

I've had an endo tell me once to stop testing overnight so much, that really all he needed was tested 2 nights a week. Well that didn't sit too well with me, but overworked, and sleep deprived I decided to give it a shot one time, and go to bed without testing him. Yes that might shock pretty much all of you, but we were new to this and I decided to listen to the medical professional. Well what happened you might ask? Clifford woke up at 3am and was "dizzy", after testing him he was low with a blood sugar of 50! I knew that feeling in the pit of my stomach was something to listen to when I went to bed.

So as we move on in this game I learned something else just last night. Last week before Clifford's dental surgery I talked with his diabetes educator, she wanted to get his numbers and see where to change his Lantus to before the surgery and the fasting he had to do. Well that night he was below target at 111 at 11pm, his target for bedtime is 120. So I decided to treat and give him 15g's to help get him above target. He happened to wake up a little higher at 240. The educator said with him being so close to target that he didn't need treated to help get him up. Okay well last night rolls around, I again tested him before I went to bed at 11, and he was 112, I decided NOT to treat, and went to bed, 2:30 he was tested again and he was 130, not bad. However 6:30 came around and Clifford woke up feeling "dizzy". After we tested him he was 68.

The lesson I've learned from these two experiences is one I've always knew 1. Diabetes is unstable. He could have been 112 another night and not got boosted up by juice, and still woken up high, or he could have dive bombed as he did last night. What I've learned is if I do not feel comfortable with the number prior to going to bed as I didn't last night (but listened to the educator) I will go with what I feel is best. I mean I understand that his diabetes team is very smart and educated in their field. They are however not experts at Clifford's body. Unfortunately I am no expert at his body either, but I have more of an inside look than they do in caring for him 24/7.

I think I may have sidetracked from the topic of this post, but you can probably guess as to why night time is so scary. Non -working pancreas can lead to many problems during the night, including fatal ones that cannot be undone. So every morning we Thank God that Clifford woke up alive and awake, and for that we are truly blessed.