Wednesday, September 26, 2012

He's cured! (But just at lunchtime, apparently...)


We have been battling lows. CONSTANTLY for the past 3 weeks or so. I kept thinking they would go away, but I finally started changing some things and he's still been going low.

I suppose there is one constant thing about diabetes. It is never constant.

No matter how hard you try.

I had Adam having perfectly wonderful numbers for the first month of school. The second month? Poor kid is low every single afternoon. While this may mean his A1c will be fantastic in December, I do not like all of the lows that have contributed to it.

He started out the school year with an insulin to carb ratio of 1:19 for lunchtime. That's what worked this summer. Over the past 3 weeks, I have decreased it every few days, and tonight, after another 64 this afternoon at school (causing him to miss PE again because after 15 minutes he was 61...) I changed his I:C ratio for lunch to 1:27. If that doesn't do it....well then I give.


He's also on a completely different basal pattern. During the school day he was getting about .40 units per hour. Now? I have him at .25 units per hour.

I have people every single day ask me, "Why does this happen?" Why? Why is he going low?

And I'm at a loss for words. I don't even know how to begin to explain it, so I just don't. I just say that diabetes is unpredictable. But that kind of makes me feel like a failure, that I can't "fix" my kid like it seems like everyone wants to.

If I hear the phrase, "Is he stable now?" I think I may scream. I know you all know what I mean. 

We have only had one small issue this year so far. With the increasing amount of lows (that I am desperately trying to get under control), he has been waiting in class while feeling low because he doesn't want to interrupt his teacher.

Now, I LOVE and adore his teacher. As does Adam.  I respect her immensely and I hand-picked her to be Adam's teacher.  He is super comfortable with her! But there are quite a few...uh..."troublemakers" in Adam's class and he seems to feel this responsibility to NOT bother his teacher. She has repeatedly told him that it is FINE to interrupt her, but that is just not his in his character, no matter how much I drill into him that he must go to the nurse if he feels low. As a result, he's ended up in the health office with some lows in the 40's.

Our wonderful nurse has brought it up to me a few times that Adam will say that he doesn't want to interrupt, so she suggested that we develop a special "signal" with the teacher vs. just having Adam hold up his hand while she is teaching.

We ended up having Adam decorate 3 green cards with his favorite Ninjago stickers that I laminated. When he is feeling low during class time, all he has to do is raise his card in the air and his teacher will automatically send him and his buddy to the health office. Also, this will help when she is speaking to another adult (he won't interrupt) so all he has to do is hand her the card and she will immediately know that he needs to go to the nurse immediately.

He is happy with this arrangement, so I hope it helps! I've realized that despite the fact that we've already had one school year under our belt, each year will be very different, and we'll need to find new strategies to make diabetes run as smooth as possible.

Now, if we could just figure out these afternoon lows, I'd be a happy camper!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2012 JDRF Walk Video!

Well, this year I got my act together and created a JDRF Walk video for the first time. I'm not sure what prompted me to do it...but at 9pm one night I got a bug up my a$$ and finished it by 1am. When I go, I go hard. :) Anyway, Adam is excited for the walk this year and I thought it might help garner some extra donations by creating a video. I've already had a few of my friends tell me that it was SO unfair to make them cry by posting videos of my kid on Facebook. :)

In other news, Adam's blood sugars have been WHACKADOODLE. Yes, I used that word again. We had such a great first month at school, now his blowing 40's left and right for no reason (thanks, T1D).

I'm hesitant to make across-the-board changes, so I set up a separate basal profile to see if that would help, but it seems like he's still low before lunch and after lunch. So tonight I'll be changing those I:C ratios, because there is nothing sadder than walking into the health office to see your kiddo in tears because he's low and he's missing P.E. on ROPES DAY. Sigh. Apparently ropes day is a very big deal to a 1st grader. :)

He could be sick. I just had the nastiest case of strep throat this past weekend, and I noticed that he had a bit of a rash, but a negative rapid strep test. So he was put on antibiotics anyway.

Other than that, the school year is going great! Both kids are thriving and having a blast in school, which makes me so happy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Best Time of the Year!

It's that time of year again...back to school!

We have been back in school since August 8th, and life has just blasted forward at warp speed. School, soccer, karate, orchestra, homework, volunteering, play dates, birthday parties...I love this time of year! We are back in a routine, we all feel productive and life is good. My Fourth and First graders:
Adam's transition to 1st grade diabetes-wise has been seamless. What a change from last year and all of my anxiety! This year we walked into the health office for yearly "training" and ended up chatting for an hour. Adam's 1st grade teacher is phenomenal (Sydney had her for 1st grade) and came to our house (!!) this summer to learn all about Adam's diabetes. She is the most organized teacher I have ever known, and it also helps that she thinks Adam is pretty cool, so we are going to have a great year. His numbers so far have been wonderful (with the exception of yesterday when he woke up at 370, I corrected and dosed for breakfast and by the time we got to school the meter read HIGH). So, I just took him home, changed the pod, gave an injection and once he was feeling better and I saw that his number was coming down, I sent him back to school. He was 155 by lunch! I feel so much more confident this year on what school will do to his numbers and how to handle them. It's a good feeling to be able to make these good "guesses" while aiming at the moving target that is diabetes.

I went in and read Adam's book to his class like I did last year, and the kids had a lot of good questions. Interestingly enough, he hasn't been bugged by kids about his diabetes...but, he was kind of "bullied" a bit about his cleft lip scar!

For some reason this shocked me, because last year it was a non-issue. I don't recall anyone ever asking about it. But this year within the first week, he had a not-so-nice girl get in his face and say over and over, "What's wrong with your weird lip?" and "Why is your lip so weird and ugly?"

Sigh. Luckily, these things don't bother Adam too terribly (although it had to a bit since he told me about it) and I asked him what he did. He said he first ignored her, then when she kept pressing him, he did what he learned in karate: He looked at her in the eye and said, "Stop! Leave me alone!" and walked away. That's my boy. :)

He's in a new class with lots of kids he doesn't know (although he has his best friend Kate, so that makes the world perfect for him!) so I imagine it will take some time for everyone to settle in.

Adam also had his endo appointment last week (oops, I need to still get his blood work done!) and his A1c is holding steady at 7.7% for the past 3 visits! I was thinking he'd be higher since this summer he ate me out of house and home and was higher than normal. I'd love him to be around 7.0%, but I am happy that he is STEADY. It must mean we are doing something right, right? :)

So, life is busy and good. I am able to volunteer my little heart out at school - I am room mom for Adam's class and I help out quite a bit in the library. I am the official school "laminator," lol. Although Adam likes to tell people that I am the RAMINATOR. Which is just hilarious when he says it out loud. I will hopefully be in Sydney's class too, once her teacher gets her volunteer schedule out.

Yay for school!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Growing Pains

Every six months or so, I'm tempted to post a "What the heck? His insulin is like water" post.

And then I remember I've already done that a few times.

Each time I forget that we are dealing with a growing boy here, and his insulin needs are constantly going to change.

Here's a pic of Adam's I:C ratios for June:

These were set after our last Endo appointment in May and were working great!

Until they weren't. For a good part of July, I couldn't get Adam out of the 300's some days. And I continued to be befuddled (really, Steph? Have we not been through this before??) Yet it took me a few weeks to catch on to the fact that I might need to change some of his I:C ratios. It took looking at his 30-day meter average and seeing a 190 staring back at me to get serious.

So I rage-I:C-ratio'ed. Is that even in the D-dictionary?

I ignored all the great advice about making small changes every 3 days. Instead of dropping his I:C ratio by one every few days, I did this:

Yeah, I like to live life on the edge.

But to my surprise, it worked. I haven't seen a number in the 300's in 3 days.

And, um, yeah...we've been testing a lot lately. As you can see by his PDM. But look at those purty numbers!

For some reason it still pains me to see that he continues to need more and more insulin as time goes on. I know it's part of the deal.

I am positive I will be upping some of those once school starts and adding in some different patterns depending on his school schedule. But for now, I'm happy to not have a cranky boy who is sick of being high all the time!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

D-Peeps are Everywhere!

This just totally makes me smile. Especially after all the excitement of Friends for Life, and everyone getting to hang out. I love knowing we are all not alone in our journey!

We went on a little vacation last week - well, the kids and I tagged along on Jason's business trip so WE got to play while he worked. Don't feel too sorry for him though, he was in Vegas last week with his brother for some fun. :)

We hit San Francisco and got to see some relatives I hadn't seen in a long time, and our kids got to meet! Nothing like second cousins having a blast. And Adam discovered snails. We don't have those here in the desert...and now I know that if I want to keep him busy for a few hours, I'd just need to import a bucket of them.

Love my weird kid.

So then we headed down to the good ol' O.C., and hit Huntington Beach for some surf and sand.

While the kids are beaching, I took some time to do a little Facebooking. I tagged ourselves in Huntington and I get a message back from none other than Heidi, saying, "Will you be there tomorrow? We are going to be there!"

Of course I say, "Heck YES!" Sure, we live in the same state....a mere one city apart, but real life does not lend a lot of time to get together. So the next best thing is for two D-families to meet up in Cali!

And what a lovely lunch we had! Heidi and her hubby are just two of the nicest, most genuine people you could ever meet and after a little warming up, our kids were acting like little crazy people in the restaurant, having a blast together. It really warmed my heart to see Adam bonding with Jack. And I think Adam is jonesing for a play date with Max one of these days! They showed off their pods, they both had numbers in the 300's pre-lunch (LOL! - I think we were both laughing at how hard it is to maintain fairly normal BG's while on vacation!)

This is our favorite picture. They were just walking along the pier, chatting. Love!

What a blessing it is to have all of these D-mamas in my life. And I know that as Adam gets older, this will be more and more important to him - when he's old enough to go to camp, he'll already have friends there to help him enjoy it even more. Thanks to the DOC, our circle of "family" is bigger than before.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Where's the strangest place YOU'VE found a test strip?

I think this morning takes the cake. I put the pan on the stove to make some eggs for Adam, and I saw something peeking out underneath. I moved the pan and saw this:
No clue how it got there, but safe to say that so far in our diabetes journey, this is the strangest place I have found one!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

So proud!

So, I know I'm kind of biased, but hey...this is my blog, so I'm allowed to be proud of my 6 year-old. :)

On Saturday, Adam had a play date with a friend from kindergarten. We've had his little buddy over quite a few times, but this was the very first time he was going to his friend's house to play. And admittedly, I don't know the mom *that* well, but we've had quite a few great conversations and she was so open to learning about what she needed to do for Adam to hang out over there. I had a good feeling about it, so I dropped him off and gave a few instructions and I am proud to say that it went so well!

We have his Dexcom in this week, so that helped. :) When I dropped him off, his BG was 195, and I was good with that, because I knew they were going to do the slip-n-slide in the backyard. I got one text from the mom about an hour and a half into it, and she said that he was 209 and they were having snacks. I didn't ask what they were eating...but I knew Adam was going to be just fine. She texted me again and said that Adam asked for the carb counts for everything they ate and bolused himself for everything! She was impressed he knew so much. :) When I looked at his PDM, I saw there were 3 boluses...and he obviously did a great job because when he got home, his BG was 167.

I told him how I was so proud of him for doing such a great job and for knowing exactly what to do. And he looked at me and said, "Well, taught me how to do it....duh!!"

Well, I guess I did! I know we do this every day, but honestly at 6 years old, I do 95% of his care, because I don't want to burden him. But knowing that he is moving towards being able to care for himself? Amazing. Sad in a way that I feel like it is A LOT for a 6 year old to have to deal with, but I'm so proud that he can do it and doesn't seem to feel like it is a burden at this point.

I am enjoying having the Dexcom back - I think I will be using it more this summer. When it is working well, I notice we aren't having to test him as much and since we have been running out of our allotted 300 test strips each month, that is a blessing.

Last night we went on a night hike - scorpion hunting! It was so much fun (even though it was still blasted hot out!) and I didn't worry one bit since Adam had his Dex on. We saw lots of these little critters:

I am also loving the fact that our cat likes to catch scorpions. The other night I was on the couch and I saw Macy playing with...something...right by Jason's chair. I looked a bit closer and saw she was tangling with a scorpion! I told my barefoot husband to go get a big shoe...and we took care of it. Just a few "perks" of living in the desert, lol!

I am so proud of my boy. Sure, he drives me cuh-ray-zay sometimes, but in a way, having diabetes makes him a much more mature kid at times (AT TIMES...the kid can fart on command like nobody's business) I hope that I can keep a good balance for him of teaching him how to care for himself....while still letting him be a kid.

It's a hard balance, but at this point, I'm feeling good about it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Our 1st Trip to the Water Park...

There are plenty of things that scare me about diabetes. But the day-to-day stuff? I can pretty much handle it. Except....

...for the water park.

I have been dreading this day for a long time. The day when we'd head to a water park for the day with friends and deal with a spastic enthusiastic 6 year-old AND diabetes. The last time we went to a water park was when Sydney was like 2 years old or something, and it was for a company event. I'm not a huge water park fan in general, but I knew the day was coming when they'd be old enough to want to go...and who am I to say no? :)

I actually felt sick to my stomach this morning. And really, I don't get too rattled about blood sugars anymore. I just had no idea what the day would turn out like. Would it be like last night? Adam swam in the late afternoon/evening, out of the pool his BG was 129, Jason took the kids out for ice cream, I did an extended bolus for 40 carbs, 2 hours later he was 129, 1 hour after that he was 160 and 1 hour after that he was 145. Take THAT swimming and ice cream!

Or would it be like last Friday when he had lunch, swam and one hour into it his BG was 44?

That's the problem. You just never know.

So today went well overall. I bought some of the Dex4 glucose drinks and I tucked one in the pocket of his swim trunks. That way if we were away from our stuff and he said he felt low, he could just down that real fast.

Adam had lunch before we left and when we got there his BG was 157. The level of excitement on his face led me to believe he'd be fairly spastic ENTHUSIASTIC in the wave pool. I suspended his insulin (he still had well over an hour's worth of IOB) and gave him a juice box.

I followed him into the wave pool and he was just ALL OVER THE PLACE. I must have looked like a maniac yelling, "ADAM, SLOW DOWN!" "ADAM, STOP FLAILING AROUND!" " it..." He's a good swimmer, but this was his first time in a wave pool, so I was worried about him drowning AND low blood sugar. :)

He was so crazy that when we got out of the wave pool and were waiting for our friends, I got them ice cream. I didn't bolus him because....hey...water park. I figured the fat would help keep some carbs in his system.

After about an hour of swimming, sliding and jumping across lily pads, I tested him and got a whopping 407. Whoops. Guess I screwed that one up. I started up his basal again at about 50% and let him swim some more.

Can you spot his pod??

Then I tested him again half an hour later...527. FUD. Apparently I overdid the carbs. But really....I'm thinking some of this was adrenaline because I really didn't give him THAT much extra. Weird.

So I bolused him up real good and we went on our merry way. Is it awful to say that I had more fun after that, because I knew he wasn't going to go low?

I have to share a funny story. Sydney was off with her friend and I was watching Adam jump across those lily pad things. I told him that I had to go to the bathroom, so he had to come with me. This is what he tells me,

"MOM. There are LIFEGUARDS here. If I'm low I will tell them. Go to the bathroom and when you come back you will see that I'm not dead."

Well, okie dokie then. 

At first I thought this was hilarious, but then I realized that it's actually kinda sad that he knows I worry something bad is going to happen just because he's swimming. Luckily, he said it in a joking way, and he really, truly had a BLAST today, which was the goal. Even though I was a bit freakish about it, I'm not going to tell him that he can't do anything because of dumb ol' diabetes.

On that note...I am TIRED. Like dog tired. I am thinking we will all sleep good tonight.

Unless all that activity decides to start catching up with him's almost bedtime and he's 117.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's always there...

Lately it seems like I haven't complained much about diabetes on my blog. I really, really try not to make it the focus of our lives, but lately I'm finding the irritation and anxiety about it all creeping back in.

Adam's numbers haven't been so great since school got out and I'm not sure what it is....basal? Change in activity? Too much grazing? Just your basic unpredictability.

And I like predictability.

Which is pretty hilarious, since diabetes is the one disease that is anything BUT predictable, right?

I need to buckle down and do some logging. Some basal testing. Some changing of what goes in that kid's mouth. But I'm tired. I want a break. I don't want to think about it.

People ask if we want to go spend a day at the waterpark and they see me's not because I don't want to go...I do! But the WORK involved in keeping Adam safe there is just too exhausting to me to think about. I know he will have a blast, but he will resent my hovering, the juice-pushing, and constant finger-pricking.

It's not even just that....its EVERYTHING. I read Hallie's post yesterday and as I read it I kept thinking, "yes...yes...YES!" That is how I am feeling.

"Diabetes is like throwing a pebble into a pond.  The ripples go on and on and on...

And it's hard because most of the people who were in your life BEFORE don't see all those ripples.  They can't comprehend how those ripples end up touching every part of your life.

Those ripples push you out into the middle of the pond.  And it's lonely there. 

You had a life back on the shore but when you look back that seems like so long ago you really can't remember it.  And you're different now anyway."

There are so many things I'd love to do. School, perhaps a job, a vacation with my husband...things that before diabetes would not have been a problem. I mean, if the idea of planning for a waterpark visit makes me exhausted, how in the world would I do any of those other things?

I think a lot of people don't realize what a huge responsibility it is to be the parent of a child with diabetes. You are not only responsible for guiding, teaching and nurturing them into good people...but you have the added pressure of keeping them alive every single day.  And it's all up to you to make sure he goes into adulthood with a healthy body and able to go on the rest of his life taking care of himself.

I am blessed that I do have a wonderful circle of friends that understand (or most definitely try to understand) what we go through. Even two years into this, I have friends who will sometimes stop and say, "dang...this is a lot of work!" But as I was explaining how Adam's pump works in detail to a new-ish friend the other day...I just got tired. I didn't want to explain it anymore. After 2 years of it, I am done.

So while yes...things are going well, sometimes I start to wallow again and get really, really, really irritated by diabetes' presence in our lives. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Life is good...

Podding makes summer with diabetes just a bit easier...

There's time for relaxing and is my sweet 8 (almost 9!) year old girl. Her goal for the summer is for us to read the first 4 Harry Potter books together (I am the last avid reader on earth to read the series, I think!) She finished book one the other day and we watched the movie together as a family. She's moved on to book 2 (I catch up to her by reading at night after she is in bed. :)

I am so excited to hear about all of our D-friends heading to camp for the first time. I cannot wait until Adam is old enough to go and find that sense of understanding and community for himself. Just a few more years!

Summer is good.*

*Ask me again in mid-July, when it's 115 degrees out and my kids are bored beyond belief with no vacation in sight. I'll be the one in the corner, counting the days until school starts... :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Just when you think you have it all together...

...diabetes kicks you in the a$$.

Today was one of our first "fun" days planned for summer. A trip to Pump it Up (indoor bounce place) and a day with some wonderful friends.

We arrive at the bounce place at 10am, and I do a pre-bounce BG check. And what do I see?


Oh yeah. I have no idea what happened this morning, but being 42 BEFORE even bouncing was not good. Since I didn't expect to have an issue today, all I had with me was glucose tabs, cookies, fruit snacks and a Balance bar.

Of course, the boy child wanted none of this. So I hit the vending machine, looking for some juice.

Ooops...I don't have any cash.

I frantically butt in line and ask the cashier lady if there is any way I can get a son is diabetic, very low..blah, blah, blah. She graciously uses the key to open the vending machine and gets me a 72 carb Minute Maid fruit punch. And then I use my debit card to pay her for the $1.25. :)

So he drinks half...eats the fruit snacks AND a glucose tab and he runs off to bounce. I figure he's got about 50 carbs at least rushing into his body AND I turned his basal down to minus 85%.

Twenty minutes later, he's 97. Whew. He drinks the rest of the fruit punch (about 30 more carbs).

I test him AGAIN in 20 minutes. He's 67.

Oy vey!! I felt like a rookie today...I was pretty much out of sugar and I had no idea what was going to happen from here on out. Luckily, the kiddos were already exhausted so we headed off to lunch.

So what does any sane diabetic mom do in the afternoon? When the kids beg to swim, I say SURE!!!

And then Adam's pod promptly falls off.

Some days you just have to laugh. We were about a half an hour from home, and OF COURSE I had no extra pod with me. Since it was happy hour at Sonic, I gave him an injection and we got our half-price slushies, with my resolve to put a pod on as soon as we got home.

His BG was 189 when we got home, so I felt I could wait a bit and put numbing cream on because Adam asked (sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn't. He was tired, and I obliged.)

But THEN....Jason comes downstairs and says, "It's five minutes until karate...Adam do you want to go???" Of course he's desperate to go...and I have no time to put a pod on. I take a chance and let him go without a pod (the class is a half an hour long, and is literally 2 minutes from our house.)

Today was so weird. :) So he got home from karate...BG is 250 and I get a pod on him finally.

Then hubby wants to go to Costco for shopping and dinner. And ya'll know that means PIZZA.

Who knows what will happen tonight with his BG!! But I just have to laugh. And my buddy keeps me laughing because today, he put on ALL of his diabetes bracelets because....well, just because, I guess.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

First year of school with D - complete!

We did it!

We survived the first year at school with diabetes. Adam is now a happy, healthy 1st grader!

I cannot believe kindergarten is over. I have to admit, I am a bit sad. I *love* having a kindergartener - so many exciting firsts, you know? This year, Adam learned to read, learned how to add and subtract and lost his 1st tooth!

Last summer, I was consumed with worry about how school was all going to shake down. Do I regret all the worry? was productive, and while I may have over-planned a bit, it was appreciated by everyone at the school. The first 2 months of school were pretty nerve-wracking. And while I loved helping out at school, I felt like I was there ALL THE TIME.

BUT...that was all worth it. Because I essentially got to train them in person each day on all of Adam's diabetes "quirks." As the year went on, the calls got less and less and I trusted them whole-heartedly with Adam's care. They learned that when Adam's BG was 100 or so in the afternoon...not to trust it! I made lots of changes, and he'd still always go low. So they would automatically give him a little snack. Things like that - or they'd recognize an odd BG pattern and let me know. His teacher recognized his "low face" and would send him down when he was exceptionally quiet ('cause Mr. Social Butterfly was never quiet!) Here's a pic of him at the end of the school year pool party - that kid had no less than 5 kindergarten friends surrounding him at all times, lol!

I love the relationship we have developed with our school and health office. We are very lucky and it is so nice to know that next year will be even better! Even with the pump switch to OmniPod in the middle of the year - they were fully on board with it and learned a whole new system after just learning the Ping a few months before.

So the Pod? We've officially been podding for almost 6 months now and I can honestly say it has been the BEST thing we have ever done for him. He LOVES podding and so do we. Now that we have our "make the pod stick" routine down, we rarely lose pods and we've had only one official "pod failure" (knock on wood!!) But best of all, nothing gets in his way now. No tubes, nothing stuck in his pocket or clipped to his waist, nothing getting pulled on the playground. And no one can see it, which he loves. I don't even care when we get the new smaller pods...because these work so well for us. In the beginning, it took me a few months to love it, but the ease of pod changes has made things so much easier and streamlined for us. And as a bonus, my husband has done more and more pod changes and I have stopped being a control-freak and worrying about him doing it "right." Because you can't really screw up putting on the pod! And I promise I'm not throwing my hubby under the bus...he was perfectly capable of doing Animas Ping site changes, but again...control-freak mama thought she could do it best. At least I can admit it. Love you, honey!!!

We had Adam's Endo appointment a few weeks ago, and his A1c remained the same as last time, 7.7. While I would have loved for it to be lower, I was actually thrilled because in the last 3 months, he grew an inch, broke a bone and had strep throat twice. I'm cool with 7.7! 

Now we have the long, hot summer ahead of us. Already the benefits of swimming with the pod are evident - so much easier to manage than disconnecting all the time and replacing missed basal. I just turn down his basal a bit and he's good to go!

Hopefully I'll be a better blogger this summer....but no promises. :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A little time to update

Here I sit...empty house, quiet (finally!) so I thought I'd do a rambling, random blog update. :)

We had Adam's 6th birthday 2 weeks ago. I have to say, it was a FANTASTIC day and my favorite birthday party to date. We had a "reptile guy" come to our house to do a presentation for the kids and they were enthralled for an entire hour.

Let's just say it was a 6 year old boy's dream. :) He had a great day and I can't believe my boy is SIX!

I also cannot believe we only have one month left of school. I'm sad...I like my little boy being a kindergartener. He had had a fabulous year - he's made lots of friends, learned a lot (I still can't get over how well he can read! I just love this age.) And while I was nervous at the beginning of the year diabetes-wise, this second half of the year has been really smooth. We have a great routine in place and the nurse and health assistant know Adam well enough now to know all of his diabetic "quirks" so to speak...for example, in the afternoon, if his BG is a "perfect" 100...they know that likely he will drop and will give him a little boost. That kind of stuff is priceless to me that they know him so well now. Next year should be even better since the teacher he will have is wonderful, already knows him well (she taught Sydney for 1st grade) and is ready for the challenge.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Coming up for air

It seems as though a lot of us are feeling this way lately - beaten down by life and seemingly unable to catch a break. The last few months have left me feeling a bit depressed and defeated. Whenever I have one thing licked, something else rears it's ugly head.

I'm a worrier. Stone-cold fact. I'm not going to change that about myself, but I feel like lately I have SO much to worry about! It has been a bit overwhelming. The last 6 months have not been a terribly good place for me.

We've had illnesses, spring break, more illnesses, a broken bone and a broken down car. Both kids tested positive for strep right before we left on our spring break trip to Disneyland, so that was lots of fun. Liquid antibiotics are a messy thing to travel with. :) We had a good time, despite exhausting ourselves. Both kids rode their first roller coasters and loved it. Sydney even progressed to Space Mountain. Tower of Terror did her in, though. :)

We came home to a few days of rest, then Adam came home with this:
He broke his wrist falling off the monkey bars at school. It's not a terrible break, thankfully, but enough to be totally annoying! He is SO BUMMED to be out of PE for a month.

Sydney has been sick and had some issues as well, that have taken up a great deal of my mental energy. Both kids came down with one of those random childhood illnesses last week - Fifth's Disease. It was a game of "what rash is this?" until Adam showed up with the "slapped cheek" look that was a dead giveaway.

I'm tired. I'm oh-so-tired. Which is why I haven't been blogging.

I'm slowly starting to come back to life, but it has taken some time. In all honesty, diabetes has been on the back-burner for a few months, which in a way I think is healthy. I take the with it...and move on. But it's always there - like tonight when Adam was having fun outside with the neighbor kids and I took it for granted that he was okay. He came in at my insistence, and his BG was 43. It's always there, lurking in the background, no matter how much I try to ignore it. Or in the middle of the night when he calls for me at 2am...asking me to check his blood sugar because he feels funny. It's always there.

This week is a busy one - my sweet, awesome, wonderful little boy turns 6 years old on Friday. Yep, the 13th! Sure, he has his moments sometimes, but he has a genuine heart of gold. This week is all about him, and I am super excited for his party on Saturday!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Roller Coaster

Y'all know what the D-Coaster is like. Sometimes you just feel like you've been up and down, up and down so much that you don't even know which end is up anymore.

That's how we've been the last few weeks with diabetes. Adam had a stomach bug two weeks ago - lots of low blood sugars, ketones, vomiting. It was a blast! But, I managed to keep him out of the ER, so I was proud of that. It took him about 5 days to recover enough to where I was reasonably sure his BG wasn't going to drop randomly after eating. That lack of carb absorption is tricky!

This week has brought a new set of problems. Two pods were "knocked off" at school this week. One was on slide (a kid accidentally kicked it right off of him) and then yesterday a little girl in his class came up behind him and gave him an apparently vigorous bear hug - so much so that the cannula came out. Good thing she's cute. :)

Yesterday (was it yesterday? I've lost track of time) he went to the health office for his 9:30 am check and his BG was 33. THIRTY THREE! The nurse was stunned that he had bounded into the office with his friend. No clue. 

Today, I changed his pod at 6 am because he was high all night long. Then this morning at 10 am I get a call that his pod is letting out a continuous high-pitched beep (and there is a hilarious story that goes along with this that involves his kindergarten teacher and the whole class trying to figure out where the noise was coming from. Including Adam who had no idea that the noise was coming from his own rear end!)

Turns out I hit a vein this morning and we had our first occluded pod - the cannula was filled with blood, so no insulin delivery. Changed it AGAIN. And at 2pm today after school? He was 47.

I had made an appointment with the pediatrician this morning just because I had a gut feeling he was sick (and one of his little friends had been diagnosed with strep this week). Adam HATES, hates, HATES getting his throat swabbed for strep. And I equally hate restraining a 60 lb. kindergartener. His throat wasn't really red, and I was ***this close*** to having her not swab him, but I'm sure glad I did, because he DOES have a raging case of Strep!

Like I said....roller coaster. When can we get off this crazy thing?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A D-Mom's Shopping Cart

This is what a D-Mama does at midnight while waiting for a BG to come up:

Shop on Amazon.

For what, you ask?

Skin Tac and Ninjago, of course. Something to try to keep the pods on, and a little, teensy-weensy bit of bribery.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Let's just say I have a very active imagination. Especially when it comes to my children. And I can get overdramatic VERY quickly...

Recently, I've been allowing Adam to have some playdates NOT at our house (with folks that aren't schooled on diabetes) and I was feeling pretty okay with it. Adam can recognize how he feels (most) of the time and he's pretty darn good at bolusing himself with his PDM. The 2 other times I've allowed this, the mom has called me on the phone when he's hungry, she puts us on speaker and he tests and boluses for whatever snack he's going to have. Perfect, right?

Yesterday after school I tested Adam (124!) and sent him on his merry way with his friend and told the mom to call me when he's hungry and we'll do the test/bolus thing over the phone.

So, I'm busy with Sydney and her playdate and then Sydney ends up going over to another friend's house to play and I'm alone. I look at the clock and realize that almost 2 hours has passed and I have not heard from Adam. I quickly call over to the house to check on him and there's no answer. Then I call her cell phone. No answer.

Okay. I'll just wait a few minutes. I know they had to go pick up the boy's older sister at school.

So I wait a whole 4 minutes before I start dialing again.

And nothing. No answer anywhere.

As the minutes click by, I start to panic and pace the house. I start re-dialing like a certified lunatic. I even called her husband to see if he'd heard from her (but thankfully he didn't answer!) A half an hour goes buy and the thoughts that are racing through my head are ridiculous, but at that moment totally plausible to me.  

What if they got in a car accident? The mom can't one knows Adam is diabetic. No one can see his OmniPod...he doesn't wear a bracelet...OMG, he's probably crashing because he's been playing and his BG before was 124...what if he's passed out already...what if.....

Then my husband walks in the door and I start bawling. Like SOBBING because I can't find Adam. And of course, something terrible has happened to him.

Luckily, not 2 minutes later, the mom calls and says, "Sorry, we stopped at Sonic...was that you calling my cell phone over and over??"

****cue huge sigh of relief as a try to sound like I haven't been crying****

So I said, "yes that was me and can you program my number into your phone??" LOL. Adam's BG was 156 and we bolused for his Sonic slushie and corn dog (minus the corn, of course. Because really, only my child would order a corn dog and peel the breading off.)

Moral of the story? Moms of diabetic kids panic WAY more than normal when their kids are out of their sight. I cannot tell you how awful and out of control I felt. I love letting him have that freedom...but I'm obviously not ready for more than that yet.

We'll be having a lot of playdates over here from now on.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Well, today was Endo day around these parts! I have to admit, I had no idea what the visit would bring. No clue what his A1c was going to be.

That's where the "ooof" comes in.

This time his A1c was 7.7%. Which, if you may recall, is almost a point higher than he was last time (oh, that lovely 6.9. How I miss you!)

So, that's a bummer. But, I knew it wasn't going to be as good as last time. You've got the holidays thrown in there plus an entirely new insulin delivery system, going from Ping to Pod. Plus? He grew an entire inch in the last 3 months. Needless to say, I'm not surprised with our result.

Still, I said "Ooof" out loud when Dr. H told me his A1c. He laughed and said, "Really, that bad, huh?" His Dexcom graph from last week was a HOT MESS, I tell you. I said that out loud, too. :) I even had little red arrows on it, explaining all of our HIGHS and LOWS. Just so he doesn't think I'm a totally inept D-mom, you know.

We made LOTS of changes. Basal and I:C ratios. He is now at 1:14 for the morning mealtime hours and 1:16 for the afternoon/evening hours. Which is a pretty big jump, so I am going to have to be on his numbers like white on rice these next few days.

And for those interested (I always am!) here are his new basal rates (for my 60 lb., 4 foot 1 inch 5 year old!):

12am: 0.30
4am:   0.35
7am:   0.40
12pm: 0.45
6pm:   0.40

So there you have it. Our report card for the last few months. It certainly wasn't pretty, but I'm confident (sorta?) that we can get better from here.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mom's Gold Star*

This has been an interesting diabetes week in the Drew household. We've had low lows and high highs. But things have gone swimmingly thanks to my new buddy.

For those of you who have followed our journey, you know of my intense love/hate relationship with Dexcom. It just never worked well for us. We'd get 2 or 3 good days out of a sensor, then ??? or a sensor error.

This little wonder? Has been SPOT ON. I mean, numbers matching EXACTLY what his PDM says. For an entire week! So this is what y'all rave about!! We've finally experienced Dexcom nirvana after a year and a half. Usually we lose control with Dex after a fast drop or a fast rise:


Not this time, baby! Dexcom actually did what it is supposed to do. It helped me see this wicked fast drop, then allowed me to treat before he dumped further than 94 and he leveled off in the 140's for the night.

This week Dex was much needed. Adam had to go under anesthesia on Tuesday for an eye procedure, and Dex was right there, which the anesthesiologist loved. I was able to see that he was dropping before the procedure, so I could effectively temp basal (no food/drink after midnight) and I saw a slight rise in BG from his anxiety right before and after. We also had a cannula pop out yesterday (hence, that HIGH on the Dex above!) and while I rage-injected...I was able to head off the impending low.

The planets aligned for us this week. No, D didn't behave (it never does) but at least this week I had an extra friend to help me out with it.

Dex, won't you please be good forever? I promise I'll give you lots of gold stars. :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New D-Mama Alert!

I just found Melissa's blog - Shots for Sugars - and wanted to have y'all go over and give her a big DOC welcome! Her 3 year old daughter, Sierra, was just diagnosed late last year.

Welcome, Melissa! I think you will find the diabetes online community to be a wonderful place full of great people, stories and advice. Having a little one with diabetes is tough - us d-mamas have to stick together!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

OmniPod Update!

You know how it's been a long time since you've blogged...and you keep meaning to do it, but then you can't think of anything to say...even though you have a lot to say?

I guess that's what they call "writer's block," eh?

Anyway, I was reminded that "I really need to blog about OmniPod" after reading Kristen's post today about their switch from Ping to Pod.

So, it has been exactly 1 month since we started podding. Dang, it seems like it's been A LOT longer than that! Because I think I totally grew some grey hairs during this past month. The good news is that podding is finally going really well. Really well. Aside from those pesky post-pod-change highs (I'm still too squeamish to go full blast on the temp basal, but it bites me in the ass every time) things are evening out.

We had quite a few pods rip off for various reasons - I swear, my kid just has a knack for pulling out insulin pump sites. But, now we've realized that tape is a must (Hypafix seems to be working well for now) and if we do that - we're golden for the full 3 days. I also bought an arm band from Bands 4 Life, but he doesn't love it so much. His favorite site is still his belly. The 2 times we've tried his rear end, we've gotten blood in the cannula, so I think we may have a "clencher" on our hands. :)

There were plenty of times I was ready to drive over the pods with my car, and slap his Ping back on him, but I'm glad we stuck it out, because Adam loves the OmniPod. In fact, he has become so much more involved in his own care than I ever thought he'd be at 5 years old. Last week, I was upstairs and he asked for a snack. I was busy, and I said, "Not now - just wait until I can come down and bolus you." And he says, "No ma....I can do it!" I hesitated for a split second and then I thought, what the heck? So he yelled to me that he was going to have a granola bar and told him to bolus for 17 carbs. And he did it!! Of course, I ran right down to check, and I saw that it was delivering the appropriate amount of insulin. He was so proud of himself! He liked it so much, the nurses at school have had to practically wrestle the PDM away from him so THEY can practice bolusing him! It has given him great independence and a sense of ownership over his diabetes that I think he didn't have before.

I was also able to let him go to a playdate at a friend's house the other day - I know the mom fairly well, but she had never cared for Adam before. She called me when Adam wanted a snack and he tested himself while I was on the phone with him, and then bolused for the snack! I had done the calculation in my head, and double-checked with the mom that it was delivering the right amount. It was another great milestone for us.

So, I have to say that now, I do love OmniPod, mostly because it has given Adam a lot more confidence in handling his diabetes. Now, granted, I do 98% of the finger sticks and bolusing, but it is great that he has an interest and CAN DO IT if he needs/wants to!

In December, we realized our transmitter was NOT working well on the Dexcom. Fortunately insurance paid for a new system, so we are using Dex again. And it has been spot on for the most part, which has been a comfort during this transition period.

Adam sees the endo here in a couple of weeks and I'll be curious to see what his A1C is. If I had to guess, I think it will be up a bit, since we had a rough go the last few months.

So, that is our update. Hopefully it won't be another month before I blog again... :)