Monday, April 26, 2010




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Should I, or Shouldn't I?

Every time I see a child who has to use the bathroom constantly, I always think, "I bet she has diabetes, and they need to get her checked....." But I'm not bold enough to go up to the parent and scare the living daylights out of them.

Although, I would have appreciated it if someone would have said, "Your daughter is almost 6 years old and wearing a size 2T. And she's wetting the bed, when she's never done that, even when she was potty training. And she drinks constantly, and goes to the bathroom constantly. And her eyes are sort of sunken in. You should probably get her checked for diabetes."

There's a little girl on Reilly's soccer team that is 4 years old, and has to go to the bathroom probably every 10 minutes. I know this because my husband coaches the team, and she'll run off the field, mid game, and have to run to the port-a-john, leaving him wondering why they are 1 kid short on the field.

Last Saturday, as I watched her go back and forth and back and forth with her mom, I almost suggested that they get her checked for diabetes. Or better yet, say, "I've got a glucometer in my purse--let me check her blood sugar, and give you a heart attack at the same time!"

But, I didn't. And for the rest of the day, I couldn't help but wonder if she really does have it, and should I have suggested it to her parents.

I mean, come on--if anyone knows the signs of high blood sugar, it's the mother of a diabetic, right? I'm not sure what to do next Saturday. I wouldn't want this family to find out in an emergency room, or get a phone call that the little girl has passed out at school. But I also don't want to blurt out, "I'LL BET SHE HAS DIABETES--AN AWFUL DISEASE THAT SHE'LL HAVE FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE--AND ALSO ONE THAT WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE VERY DIFFICULT! YOU SHOULD HAVE HER CHECKED FOR IT!"

I'm always quick to tell my friends and acquaintances what Maddie's symptoms were, just in case their child may show symptoms, and maybe they should get them checked. The sooner the better is what I believe. It's better than getting a shocking phone call, right?

Hhmmm.....what to do....what to do.....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oh No--I'm Bleeding!!

I look tired all the time. This would be because I stay up until around 2 am, in order to check Maddie as late as I possible can, (hence the LATE night blog entries).

I do this for 2 reasons-- 1) I don't trust that the blood sugar reading before bed was on it's way up, or on it's way down, therefore causing her to crash in the middle of the night, and 2) I don't trust Maddie's pump. I spent 2 years controlling the insulin through shots, and now that I don't have to do that, I can't believe that a little $7,000 pump can figure out what my brain has been trained to do.

Anyway, every night, I go into her room and do the same routine. Every night. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I always scoot her skinny legs out of the way, set her meter on her little tummy, watching it rise and fall as she breathes, then I put the strip in the meter, get the lancet ready, get her ring finger (because that the one SHE uses the least throughout the day,) and then stick her and put her blood on the strip.

As I wait for the reading, which takes about 4 or 5 seconds, I'll wipe off her blood so that she doesn't accidentally get it on her bedding while she sleeps. Then I either correct her, or give her tablets, or hopefully do nothing, and leave her room.

At this point, I always go straight into my bathroom and wash my face and brush my teeth. But the funny thing is, that almost every night, I have blood on either my first finger, or my thumb, depending on which way I was balancing the meter while I was wiping off her finger. And almost every night seeing the dried blood on my hand startles me.

I don't know why I do this--I do it almost every night. I'm not afraid of blood, or anything like that, it's just that as an adult, if I'm ever bleeding, I usually know about it. But EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, it's there, and it always startles me. My first reaction is always, "Oh no! I've got blood on my hand! What have I done to myself?" Then almost immediately I realize that it's Maddie's blood, and I wash my hands.

It's become a habit that as I wash my hands, almost every night, at 2:00 in the morning, I think to myself that it's sad that I've got my daughter's blood on my hands almost every night. That should not be allowed. I shouldn't have to poke and prod my child to draw blood as she sleeps. No one should have to do that. It's just not fair. Just another reason that I hate diabetes.....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Dreaded Appointment

Every other month we see our endo, and on the way there, I dread finding out what Maddie's A1C is. This time was no different. Alas, the A1C machine (don't know what it's called) beeped, so I asked. She had gone from 8.5 to 8.7. Although I was glad she wasn't in the 9's, going UP was not the direction that I was hoping to have gone.

I allow Maddie to be a little higher at night, or I don't give her the complete correction, because I have this eminent fear that she will crash during the night, and not wake up. Because whatever the number is, I don't know if it's going up, or down at a rapid pace.  (We do not have the CGM at this point in time.) This is my problem--she's too high during the night and first thing in the morning. And it's all my fault. I've come to grips with this. I take full responsibility.


In addition to screwing up her A1C, her height and weight has gone from the 50th percentile, to the 25th percentile over the last year. Yeah, I know--I'm such a great mom.....not. My child is shrinking. Well, actually, she's not shrinking, she's just not growing.


"But she's picky!" and "She isn't hungry much of the time!" and "She eats healthy food MOST of the time, so she's probably not getting enough calories!" These were my ignorant and useless justifications for my reprimanding from the doctor. Basically, she's not eating ENOUGH, therefor, not getting enough insulin. Could this be any more difficult to grasp in my little blonde brain?

Everytime I read other type 1 moms' blogs, I learn something new--like how the humidity can alter blood sugars, or how allergies to pollen can send you through the roof. Will I ever get the hang of this? I mean, come on, people--you would think that after almost 5 years, I would have gotten the hang of this by now.

Nope. Did I mention that I hate this stupid disease?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pulling an All-Nighter

Maddie has been looking forward to her first soccer practice for weeks. Thursday April 1st was the sought after day. She's had her practice clothes out for weeks, which by the way, are coordinated with her socks, shin guards, and pink striped cleats. Incidentally, she also had decided that she would wear 2 low pony tails behind her ears, instead of the conventional 1 pony tail on the back of the head.

The pink and purple soccer ball from Justice has been in her hot pink adidas bag for a few days now, and the hot pink water bottle was washed and ready to go. I had informed Maddie and her brother to fill their water bottles and put them in the freezer a few hours before time to go. It was 80 degrees here today, so I knew they would need them frozen, in order for them to be cold at practice.

Well, 5:30 came and my 2 soccer players went, and the water bottles remained in the freezer. In my defense, there's only so much one person can handle at once, and I was furiously trying to feed them before they hit the road.

So, of course, I had forgotten to give the kids their water. Fortunately there was a Sheetz on the way to the field, so my husband stopped off and got each of them a big cold Aquafina.

Upon arriving at the field, both kids jumped out of the car, as if it were Christmas morning, and ran to the field. My husband, who was coerced into coaching the 5 year-olds, followed close behind, carrying all of his stuff.

Lo and behold, there was one important thing left in the car--Maddie's water. Not that of my husband, or my 5 year-old rough and tough soccer dude, but alas, it was Maddie's water.

Now, we all know the horrible cycle of dehydration for those of us who don't have diabetes, but for a diabetic, it's sooooo much worse. Dehydration leads to high blood sugars, ketones, and all kinds of other lovely things. The last time Maddie was severely dehydrated, we were instructed to take her to the ER, where she was hooked up to an IV all day. I will give anything in order to avoid that traumatic experience again.

When Maddie returned from practice, she was in the 500's. Because she had been active for an hour prior to that check, I took off 100, and corrected her for 400. I do take her pump off when she plays sports, because let's face it--I don't want to purchase another $7,000 pump, when I am barely able to pay for this one. She will usually go high because of adrenaline, but I can't always count on that, so I like her to be on the high side when she's going to be active.

Anyhoo, knowing there was no basil for an hour or so, I was expecting her to be high when she got home, but also expected her to go low quickly, once her adrenaline stopped, and she was able to cool down. All of this time, no one, except for Maddie was aware that she had had NO water the entire practice.

An hour after the initial post-practice check, she was in the high 400's, so I corrected her again, this time for the whole amount, but I set the pump alarm to go off in 1 hour so I could recheck and see where she was, thinking that she would be very low.

She got in the shower, messed around in her room for a bit, and when the hour was up, I checked her again. Still in the 400's. So I changed her site. No big deal. Then it was bedtime, and off to bed she went, with her meter in tow. I would be checking her again before I hit the hay.

At about 11:00, she came down the steps complaining that she was freezing and almost violently shivering. OK, this is one thing I had not seen her ever do, unless she was scared by a thunderstorm, or unless the heat was broken in our house. I checked her, and she had gone down to near her normal range. She felt warm, so I checked her temperature, and she was around 100, but that was while shivering, so I'm not really sure if that was even accurate.

We gave her Tylenol, a bottle of water in order to check ketones at a later time, wrapped her up in my Snuggie (leopard print--love it!!) and my husband carried her off to our bed, to snuggle her up and try to get her warm.

A while later, I checked on them, and she was wide awake watching Cory in the House, and Shawn was snoring like a jack hammer, as usual. She was still sipping on her water, and had checked her ketones, which turned out to be "small". I figured this was partly because of the whole water bottle situation that had gone down earlier in the evening.

I checked her temperature once again, and she was 104!!! She's my first of 3 children, and I've been fortunate enough to have healthy kids (other than diabetes), who catch the occasional bug, or cold, or every now and then get an ear infection, but I've NEVER had a child with a fever of 104. That's as high as my thermometer goes, and I didn't think it ever really went that high.

So after a call to the Endo at 1:30 a.m., who was out of town, then a call to the pediatrician, who wants to see her in the morning, we put her in a luke-warm bath, and put cooler pajamas on her.

Now, here I sit at my computer, which will be my companion for a while tonight, as I sit and wait for my opportunities to check her blood sugar every 2 hours, ketones as often as she has to use the bathroom, temperature, and administer Tylenol/Ibuprofen every 3 hours, and try to convince her to drink, drink, drink at any opportunity that she wakes up.

I'd rather not try to sleep, for fear that I will inadvertently turn off the alarm, not realizing that it's going off for a reason. Plus, I'm able to stay awake, with adequate TV shows and movies DVR'd, and Thursday night happens to be a good TV night. Not to mention that my only sleeping option is in Reilly's bunk bed, in which I will either be kicked in the face all night, or sleep with transformers, who happened to have gathered on the top bunk. Maddie's bed, which, while it is very comfortable, it is a day bed/trundle, and I happen to like to stick my feet out sometimes, and you know how day beds are--they're all tucked in. I know, I's really late, and I'm getting a little loopy.....

Anyhoo, I'm hoping the fever will go away, or go down to a normal 100 or so, and that there will be NO ketones, and normal blood sugars. Maybe this is, in fact, strep, as the pediatrician suggested, or maybe she's just really dehydrated, which is my intuition. You know what they say--a mother always knows, and my mom was always right about everything. At least that's what I've learned at the ripe old age of 35. We'll see....