Thursday, February 28, 2013
A lot can happen in 3 years.... In years you go from thinking you have a healthy 6 year old little boy, to being told he has Type 1 diabetes, to watching him suffer in DKA unconscious all the while you think he is slipping away. Just when you think you are starting to learn the ins and outs of this new "Type 1 Diabetes World" he passes out from a low blood sugar and bumps his head, only to be rushed off once again via ambulance to Children's hospital. And when again you think you've got it covered he suffers the scariest seizure you've ever witnessed in front of you to be flown by helicopter back again to Children's hospital. This trip though was bittersweet, it was in April of 2010, and a new D mom like myself and I had connected on Facebook, and she helped keep me company while sitting in the hospital with Clifford and waiting for Chad to come. That mom has moved on to become family to me. (Diane, you know it's you ;) ). Moving forward from my initial contact with Diane, she helped to introduce me to many more wonderful people that knew what was going on, and we were welcomed into the DOC (Diabetic online community). If you are reading this and still are unsure what the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes are, take a look here, it could very well save someones life! Knowledge is power!
These events haven't even covered the first year of living with Diabetes for Clifford. These events both happened within 2-6 months of being dx'd. Finally though after that was all said and done, his doctors got his 'sliding scale' which I've come to detest figured out better. A sliding scale is basically to me a guess of how much insulin to give them based on their blood sugar at the time. It doesn't take into account the carbs they are eating, or anything. So as you can see it's basically just a 'start' into learning the diabetes lingo, and treatment plans, and honestly it sucked.
In three years, not only did we get handed a diabetes diagnosis, we found out we were expecting (at first we thought just one baby), then we moved, then found out surprise (it's two!). That first year of D is not something I'm proud of, but I tried my hardest and did what I was told to do, all the while suffering from morning sickness. Many times I gave injections, and tested blood sugar from the couch because well it just felt better there, instead of getting up and having the room spin around me.
Finally after questioning it over and over again, Clifford got to start "Carb Counting" in August of 2011. He was on that dreaded 'sliding scale' for a year and a half. I have to admit though as horrible as the sliding scale was we haven't had an a1c over 7.5%, except for Dx which was 10%) In fact in the last three years ( 7.5%, 7.4%, 7.3%, 7.1%, 7%(twice), 6.9% , 6.8% (twice), 6.5%, 6.4% and 6.3%. We moved forward into our carb counting journey with one goal in mind, pumping... I was told multiple times by those at Children's hospital that Clifford wouldn't get approved for a pump, his a1c was too 'good' and that injections were fine for him because he was doing 'good'. Well wouldn't it be better to move from doing 'good' to doing 'great'?? In fact that's exactly what happened after pumping, but we'll get there later. It took some time but I pushed for the pump, fought the insurance a bit, had an appeal, but low and behold in March of 2012 he started pumping (all paid for by the way and approved by the insurance) ;) . Within 3 months, just 3 months of pumping his a1c went from 7.0% down to 6.5%!! Then in September it was 6.3% and 6.4% in December. Before pumping the lowest we saw was 6.8% (which is rocking also btw, but as you can tell he went from 'good' to 'better').
It's been three years and he's gone from not knowing what to do, or how to care for himself to testing his own blood sugar 15 times a day (sometimes more, he's more obsessive about it than I am), to bolusing (giving insulin) for meals, counting carbs, correcting high numbers through the pump, and has even tried changing an infusion set. Today's a day of celebration in that he's made it another year and lived it happy and healthy all while having Diabetes with him. As I said in 3 years a lot can happen!