Monday, January 31, 2011

Ring my bell, Dex.

After being woken up all.night.long for the last two nights from Dexcom's annoying "," that evil-sounding LOW alarm (to which I stumble out of bed, shove my glasses on my face, test Adam, only to find him sitting happily at 134 mg/dl), I am so over it.

(but I still won't give it up. You'd have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands.)

My baby monitor (thanks, Heather!) picks up Dex's sounds very nicely.

But...wouldn't it be nice to not be woken up to what sounds like an industrial-strength smoke alarm?

I'm thinking ringtones for the Dex. You when you're dropping 3 mg/dl per minute and it hear the "Jaws" theme instead. A warning that danger is coming. :)

Or when you're high, the ringtone could be that song by the Archies from the 60's, "Sugar, Sugar."

We have enough serious stuff to deal with. Let's make it fun.

Or at least not make me think that my house is on fire when the Dex is alarming.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

In the span of an hour, a "high" and a LOW

Diabetes is humbling.

Extremely humbling. I'm not sure when I'll realize that.

I've been seeing a lot of beautiful Dexcom lines....lovely lines, swaying perfectly between high and low.

Since Apidra, we've seen A LOT more of these gorgeous (only to D-moms!) lines.

Take today, for example. We had a beautiful afternoon at the park with good friends. Adam was running like crazy, and I avoided a low by checking Dex and seeing he was 101 with double arrows down. A couple of glucose tabs later and he was sitting pretty at 110 15 minutes later.

I was feeling pretty darn good about myself. I bolused him correctly for dinner, even though he changed his mind on what he ate at the last minute. **pats self on back**

Bedtime...his Dexcom shows a steady 150. Finger check shows 142.

"I rock," I think to myself. "I'm going to take a picture later of his Dex just so I can show everyone how awesome I am as a mama pancreas." (Did anyone guess that I was about to eat a slice of humble pie?)

I just went upstairs 10 minutes ago to grab the Dex so I could take a picture of my achievement for the day.

And then I'm stunned. And sad. I feel like I want to cry. And then I thank God that his liver kicked in when it needed to, because I didn't hear the alarms.

This is what I saw:

A closer look? What happened in the last hour?

My boy went low, and I had no idea. I was downstairs and didn't hear the alarm. Didn't know that his liver was possibly saving his life by pushing out extra glucose to cover his busy day.

I'm getting a baby monitor ASAP. And never again assuming that I've got this diabetes thing figured out.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Feeling nostalgic tonight

I had forgotten that I made this video of Adam's first year of life. I haven't watched it in so long...watching it again made me cry. Big, fat, blubbery tears.*

Because when I made that video, it was because all of Adam's issues were "over." I was documenting his rough first year...and celebrating how well everything turned out.

Now I feel as though I need to add to this video - to document yet another thing my boy has to go through. I guess it just makes me realize just how AMAZING my son is. I had chosen the song for the video because it really expressed just how he came blazing into our lives and changed it all...for the better. Because no matter what he has to go through, I will take care of him forever. I made that promise before I ever realized what was to come.

He is such a blessing and I love him so much.

Make video montages at

*I may have cried just a few of those tears because while watching that video, I realized JUST HOW MUCH I'VE AGED in 4 years. Adam had better get a good job when he's older, because he's paying for my Botox. :)

Dexcom issues...some FYI

It seems like a few of us are having Dexcom issues lately! My neighbor came over today (she works for Dexcom & also has T1) to help me figure out what could be going on.

As far as the ??? on the receiver, she said that could be a few things. Often it could be because the transmitter is not snapped into the sensor all the way, and then when you shower or bathe, water gets in the way and produces the ???. I think this may have been our problem, as I've been having trouble snapping in the transmitter lately.

She also said that the ??? could be related to placement of the sensor and lack of oxygen and interstitial fluid. I think with our latest sensor error last night, it was due to placement, since the wire was bent a bit and there was some dried blood when I took it out. Our readings were WAY off, and I think that's why our sensor failed. She told me that when the sensor fails, and you think the placement is okay and everything, you CAN restart the same sensor and try again.

We've also had an issue once where the receiver re-initialized without warning, and she said that that is often due to static electricity (it's so dry here in AZ, so that makes sense.)

She helped me place a new one today (I just wanted to go over everything to make sure I was doing it right!) and I'm crossing my fingers for this one to last! I also called Dexcom customer service, and while they did ask me a lot of questions, they are sending a replacement sensor right away, so yay!

Monday, January 24, 2011

This is our life

Every day, I walk into Adam's room and this is what I see.

No longer is his dresser covered with Matchbox cars and Legos.

It's covered with used test strips, empty glucose bottles and various diabetes paraphernalia.

Ducking Fiabetes
(stolen from Laura, and I just could not wait to use it!)

We've had a few long nights. Time for some basal rate changes, as right now it seems that he's running pretty low all night.

And I'm ready to throw the Dexcom out the fricking, fracking window.

If I see ??? one more time, I'm going to scream. WTF does that mean, anyway??

Adam just says, "Mommy, Dexcom says I'm a mystery." (He calls question marks "mysteries.")

Yes, my love. Diabetes is a complete mystery. But we will solve it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I'm here to report my first impressions of Apidra.

Granted, looking back a few days, I really should NOT have switched to Apidra so soon after starting the pump. I didn't take the time to think about the fact that Apidra may behave differently than Novolog, and therefore, may affect our basal rates...which weren't set in stone and we were still tweaking.

That said...I think I like it.

I'm no expert on insulin, and there is still SO much that I don't know, but I feel like Adam's numbers are more even...the majority of the time, his Dex didn't register above 260 (which right now is our "high" setting) the last few days.

The times we are having a problem with are breakfast and dinner...seems like these are typical times for issues. His post-breakfast BG continues to spike to over 300 (even though it is less with Apidra) so my next step is to try lowering his I:C ratios for breakfast from 1:25 to 1:20. I have been getting good at pre-bolusing at least 5-10 minutes for meals with him (I find it very hard to hold him off any longer in the morning).

Overnight, his numbers have been great with Apidra and throughout the middle of the day. This afternoon, he spiked to 465, but he was grazing like crazy and I suspect he nabbed something without me knowing. But, I bolused him for dinner at 5pm, and just right now at 7:30, he was sitting pretty at I'm liking the "short tail" on the Apidra. I feel like he settles down into a steady patter quicker than with Novolog.

In other news, we had our first site get pulled out! Of course it was last night, about 5 minutes before I was going to leave for our neighborhood Bunko night. Jason and Adam were wrestling....and, got pulled. But it was all good, because I was going to change his site in the morning anyway. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How many carbs are in a cake pop?

This weekend we hosted my wonderful brother-in-law and his girlfriend (whom I already consider my sister-in-law!) and we had a grand time. Especially since my momma kept my kiddos overnight and for the great majority of the next day so we could have a nice dinner out and have some quiet time.

I received the most awesome book from my sister for Christmas - Cake Pops, by the amazing Bakerella. I've been enthralled with her blog since she started it. So naturally, I was excited to check out her book and try some cake pops!

We had lots of fun making them, even if they didn't look as pretty as the ones in the book. :)

So, how many carbs are in a cake pop? According to my fancy figuring and dandy math skillz, I figure about 30 carbs per pop.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Endo appointment today, lots of new stuff

Gosh, has it really been a week again? I need to catch up.

So, the pump. Wonderful. Thank you ALL who have been so supportive and helping me while I get my bearings with the pump. We've adjusted basals a few times, and right now I *think* we're good, but I'll need to do another good test here soon. We've got about 5 basal rates set up now! But I need a few more nights of sleep first - I ended up getting super sick last week and I think I'm finally over it.

We had our endo appointment today. I have to say, we sure lucked out in the endo department. He is so awesome, and I can tell that he really trusts the parents to know their kids well, and basically whatever I asked for, he said 'yes' to without hesitation. Makes me feel more empowered with Adam's care - I wish all D 'rents had this same experience!

Anyway, first off, I was totally expecting his A1C to be higher because of his surgery, illnesses and switching to the pump, but it was 7.3, which is down from 7.4. Moving in the right direction is what I say!

And thanks to Reyna's awesome post about blood ketone meters, we are now the proud owners of a new meter, 2 free boxes of test strips and a prescription for 10 a month. Which in reality, if they fill it (I'm assuming we won't have a problem with insurance), we'll get 30 at a time which should be PLENTY to have on hand to use if he gets sick or if we need them. So, yay for Reyna! Thanks for keeping us newbies informed on all the latest things to manage diabetes better. :)

In even more exciting news, we are pumping with Apidra today! I was chatting with his endo about how hard it is to see those highs after he eats with the Dexcom, and how I wish Novolog was a FASTER fast-acting insulin. He'd asked if I'd heard of Apidra (which, thanks to my D-mamas, I HAVE!) and he said that if I wanted to I could try it. So I said sure! Worst thing that happens is that it doesn't make much of a difference and we go back to Novolog. I'll keep you all posted on how it goes.

I have quickly become adept at site changes. It's not so hard to me anymore. We had one bad site - we put it in the top of his thigh and it was okay for a day or so, but then we saw a 465 blood sugar that wouldn't come down, and so I pulled it. I couldn't tell what was up with it, so we put it back in his belly. I think it will be a challenge for him to try new spots - he's not thrilled with any place but the belly.

We also moved his Dex from his arms to his belly. Not loving that at all - the readings are SO off and I can't wait until this one falls off and I can put it back on his arm.

That's our news for now....I'm off to catch up on the rest of the DOC!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Crazy, tired mom alert

I'm tired.

So, so tired.

My kids are giving me a run for my money. Adam's numbers are off in la-la-land and I'm up for another night of every 2 hour checks.

I guess I did the basal testing too soon...Levemir was still in his system, because for the last 2 nights he's been in the high 100's all night long, waking in the 200's. And high all day. ZOMG. Which comes with major attitude, hyperness, craziness....little dude was in his room many, many times today. I LOVE the pump...just wasn't quite prepared for all the confusing changes, etc. I mean I was, but I just hate the thought of him having all these high BGs and having to suffer while I figure it out. His A1C is going to suck next week at our endo appt.

I'm getting sick, too. Well, I think I'm holding it off okay, but I feel all achy and only feel good when I pop the ibuprofen.

I just got back from walking to the mailbox. Reaallllyyy slooooowwwllly. That was my quiet time for today. My plan of getting up early for my quiet time has been thwarted my my sickness and this basal testing. Maybe next week.

Monday, January 10, 2011

First site change

OMG, I feel so awful right now. I just did my first site change. Alone. (hubby is out of town). And what did I forget to do? Take the tape off of the set! So I injected it WITH THE TAPE ON! And was surprised when it didn't stick! So I had to do it again. And he cried...oh well. This will become second nature at some point, right? ;)

He's happily eating a popsicle now. I feel so bad for hurting him. He cried and I kept apologizing and he finally was like, "Mom. It's OK. Stop saying that." But it's still not fair that I have to do it to him in the first place.

So far so good with the pump! I just love the freedom we have. We did basal testing on Saturday night and I think his basal rate is good. My little carb-a-holic refused to eat anything without carbs on Sunday morning, so he fasted until noon! But...then he wound up with a 101.5 fever. He ate...I bolused...and 2 hours later we ended up with a 465 blood sugar. I corrected and brought it down, but he's still not feeling well and his BG was in the 200's all night long.

I kept him home from school today and I'm still trying to get his BG down. Maybe the site change will help? Who knows.

I do know that I am so glad we are pumping. I know that for *us* and our busy, on-the-go lifestyle it was the right thing to do now. He is THRILLED that he can eat without a shot. I can leave the house without being afraid that we forgot needles or insulin...because he's got everything on board already! I love that I'm not afraid of stacking his insulin anymore with the lovely IOB feature. Especially since we're dealing with some stubborn highs right now.

He has taken to wearing the pump without missing a beat. I have a variety of pump packs for him to wear and sleeping with it hasn't been an issue at all.

So far, so good!

** Edited to say that the site change HAS helped. He was laying by the fireplace a lot this weekend...I wonder if the heat from that made the insulin in his pump bad? Because he hasn't had a fever all day so far. And now his numbers are totally normal, 1 hour after the site change. Hmmm.

Friday, January 7, 2011

We are pumping!

Just a quick post to say....we are pumping!!

Here's a pic of Adam right after we got him all hooked up and bolused him for his "bribery Starbursts." :)

I first want to thank ALL of you who have commented the last few days. You have given me the strength to know that WE CAN DO THIS, even if we are flying by the seat of our pants. Every comment means so much to me and I am so, so lucky to have the DOC.

Adam did awesome. We had a 3 hour appointment with our CDE and he was a trooper. I got an infusion set inserted and didn't hurt at all! Then Adam wanted to try one on Jason and "push the button" so he got to do that. Then it was Adam's turn. He cried...was scared of the unknown and wanted to see the needle. In the middle of his crying on and on (I think most of it was kind of fake) I inserted the Inset and he stopped mid-cry and said, "Oh. Dat didn't hurt at all." Then he smiled.

I was so worried about the pain and I agonized over getting some EMLA, but in the end, I'm glad I didn't - he didn't need it (I think a lot of it has to do with his personality type) and when we bolused him for his "bribery Starburst" he was so excited! And then before we knew it, he was telling everyone we saw that he doesn't need needles anymore, Mommy just pushes buttons and I get my insulin!

I am relieved. I still don't know everything about the pump, and I still don't know everything about diabetes (will I ever??) but I am happy to have this hurdle past us. We are moving on with our "new" life as PUMPERS!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Top 10 things I WON'T miss about MDI

1. Piercing my son's skin upwards of 6 times a day. (in addition to the 8 or so times we prick his finger).

2. The teeny-tiny little marks on the insulin syringe, trying my best to estimate a 1.75 unit dose.

3. Finding syringes and syringe parts And then feeling like a biohazard when a friend's kid finds one laying around.

4. Stabbing myself with a needle when cleaning out the diabetes bag.

5. Stabbing myself with a needle when trying to dose insulin on a moving target (the 4 year old that never sits still). Damn, that little needle hurts when it goes into the wrong place!

6. Drawing up insulin in a dark movie theater. Or restaurant. Or the backseat of a car. Rinse, lather, repeat.

7. Guessing at how much insulin he has on board.

8. Trying to find a place on his body to inject him where there isn't a current bruise.

9. Having him choose no food vs. a needle.

10. Giving 3 shots in an hour because of his continuous grazing.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pump start...t-minus 4 days and counting

I'm a bad blogger.

Probably because I don't want to acknowledge that we are getting Adam's pump on Friday.

Yes, I should be excited. But I'm scared.

The "attached" thing is getting to me. The tubes. Sleeping with it. Getting it pulled out.

And another little confession....

I cannot bear to read any more of Pumping Insulin. It is boring me to tears.

See? Horrible T1D mom.

I'm afraid that I don't know enough to figure out the pump. We've been flying by the seat of our pants the last few weeks and I feel like I'm just guessing at his insulin ratios these days. I'm not keeping track well.

I'm excited for the freedom. Nervous about the fact that he will have to wear yet another thing. We had a bad Dexcom site last week and I didn't put another one on until yesterday. It was kinda nice, living in ignorance.

But now that I know that I can use these tools to his advantage, I can't just ignore them.

So the countdown begins. Wish us luck.