Sugar Bolus

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Friday, July 22, 2011


Today’s guest blogger is Wendy from Candy Hearts.

Wendy is not only my blogging friend, but she’s my friend in real life, and my kids are friends with her kids. Let me tell you she’s just as awesome in real life as she appears to be on Candy Hearts.

Regardless of whether I’m reading Wendy’s blog, we’re chatting over dinner or we’re spending time at the park, I can relate to Wendy. We find similar things humorous and we laugh together (I love that we laugh a lot together!). We commiserate with one another. We think alike and share similar sentiments.

The blog post below is no exception. I can so relate to the guilt she harbors, and the letter she's written to her eight-year-old daughter, Sugar, is one that I could have written to Jack.

Wendy, thanks so much for sharing here at D-Tales!



Not MY guilt.  Though I’m always fearful that my best efforts are letting down the people I love.  That somehow I’m not “measuring up” to be the wife my husband thought he was marrying…or the fact that I try to keep my house somewhat tidy means that I don’t love my kids because I’m not spending every waking moment indulging them…or the fact that we get by with (and are thankful for) “hand-me-down” clothes and toys means that I somehow don’t want the best for my girls…or the fact that my kids aren’t participating in every possible extracurricular activity means that I’m not allowing them to discover hidden talents…just a constant feeling that I’m not doing a “good enough” job at this game of LIFE…
Yeah, I’ve got Life Guilt.  But I’ve got Diabetes Guilt too.
When she’s 400 (or, ehum, higher), I immediately blame myself.  Did I miss something?  If she’s low, I immediately worry it's because I overdosed her.  When we’re having a roller coaster day, my mind spins and spins…because I must be doing SOMETHING wrong.
So I don’t sleep much.  I don’t read much.  I don’t sit and watch TV much.  I think…and think…and think…
And feel guiltier and guiltier and guiltier. 
Oh, but back to this post.  Like I said…it’s not about MY GUILT.  What about her?  I wonder what she must think while the meter ticks down and my face shows that it’s a number I’m not happy with.  I wonder what she must think when she hears her mommy and daddy talking about her numbers and shaking our heads.  I wonder what goes through her little mind when she knows it’s been a hard diabetes night and I’m tired.
So, I’d like to make myself feel better by telling Sugar a few things. 
FYI ... It’s nearly 1 am – I certainly can’t wake her at this hour.  I don’t know if she’ll ever read this, but it’ll be part of blog history…just in case…
Dear Sugar,
I am so proud of you.  I want you to know that I will always be proud of you – no matter what.  Even if you didn’t have diabetes, I would still be proud of you.
Diabetes does not define the wonderful person you are.  You are such a wonderful sister and an amazing daughter.  Mommy and Daddy are so blessed to have you for our little girl.  Your grandparents love you beyond measure – I’ll never forget the beautiful birth announcement Pink Grandma and Bob made to announce to the world that you had arrived!
You have a fighting spirit and an infectious smile.  Everyone who meets you, falls in love with you.  I can’t say that I blame them.  You are compassionate, giving, and loving to others.  You have a heart of gold that makes us so incredibly proud.
I know you don’t understand why Mommy and Daddy seem to work so hard at dealing with diabetes.  That’s okay, Baby.  I don’t want you to understand all that right now.  Right now, I just want you to be 8.  I want you to keep making funny observations about the world around you.  I want you to keep learning something new every day.  I want your imagination to keep flourishing.
I promise that I will never be angry with you because you have diabetes.  I might get upset when you don’t clean your room…but I’ll never be upset that we need to check your blood sugar.
We’re in this together…it’s our journey and we’re a team.  No matter what that meter says, I just want you know that I think you’re terrific.
I love you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

bOOOOolusiiiiiing with Meri

Today’s guest blogger is the one and only marvelous Meri from Our Diabetic Life
Meri has four sons, three of whom have type 1 diabetes, and she writes one of my favorite blogs.
Meri charms me, as she did in the post below. Meri inspires me. Meri amazes me.
Thank you for guest blogging on D-Tales, Meri!

It is summer, and you know what that means...basal tweaking time!
Nothing stays the same in the summer.  Do the boys sprout up like weeds because they spend their days in the sun?  Is the summer ice cream and pancakes for breakfast changing their metabolism?  Are the long bike rides and occasional roller coaster rides spiking their sugars with excitement?
Whatever it comes every year.  Tweak.  Tweak. Tweak.
Tweaking in itself can be rewarding...when you get results.  But when you have to do it X3, and one or two DO NOT respond..well then your reward is going to bed with a banging headache every night.
My 9-year-old was low for the first time in two months yesterday.  I guess we are finally getting somewhere!
But I digress...
Determined to get things right, I decided to change my 7-year-old’s basals last week.
"Can you hand me your pump...I need to change your basals."
"WHAT???  I have basals?  What the heck is basals?" 
I explained that his pump gives him insulin all day long.  We call that basal insulin.
"That is totally freaky.  You mean I've been getting insulin all this time without even knowing it?"
"Yes...your body needs it.  All the time."
"Even when I'm sitting here right now doing nothing?"
"Really, really, freaky." He says.
"And then there is another word that I use with your brothers all the time, 'Bolus.'  Every time you correct your sugar, or enter carbs into your pump...that is called a bolus."
"You mean that every time I gave myself carbs...I was giving myself a bolus without even knowing what it was?  I am totally awesome!"
I handed him back the pump and he went to the table to pour himself a bowl of cereal.
He looked at me, pump in hand, and asked how many carbs.  A quick scan and I gave him a number.
"I'm bOOOOolusiiiiiing!"  He says in the uber-cutest-uncanny-ghost-like voice.
"Why are we bolusing like a ghost?"
“Cause my pump is freaky like a works without anyone even noticing!   I think bolusing will be funner if I am a ghost too."
Why does something that makes no sense...make so much sense?
Regardless...he has been using his ghost voice all over the place around here.  
"I'm cheeeeecking my sUUUUUgaaaRRRR!"
"I'm bOOOOOOlusssssssing!"
"I am loOOOOOOOOooooW!"
"I'm watching TV and I'm getting BaaaaaAAAAAAAsaaaaLLLLL"
Leave it to a 7-year-old boy to make diabetes "funner."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ally's Type 1 Diagnosis Story

Today’s guest blogger is my friend and awesome D Mama Misty from Life is Like a Box of Chocolates.
Misty is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet, and she has an adorable daughter Ally, who has type 1 diabetes. Misty writes a terrific blog. Head on over to Life is Like a Box of Chocolates and check it out!
Below you’ll find Ally’s diagnosis story. In my humble opinion, it’s a poignant post with an important message, and I am honored to present it here. 
Thank you, Misty!

First of all, let me say that I am a HUGE fan of D-Tales blog.  Heidi was one of the first D Mamas I met in the DOC and she was so generous in sharing many of her “Back to School with Diabetes” organizational tips and cheat sheets with me.  I continue to follow D-Tales because I can relate to Heidi and her stories about raising a child with Type 1 Diabetes.  It is a privilege to be sharing a bit of our D-Tale with you today.
Ally was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in February of 2009.  I began blogging a little over a year later, in March of 2010.  Many of my favorite blogs, written by fellow D Mamas, included their “diagnosis story.”  I sat down back in March of 2010 with the intentions of writing our diagnosis story.  But I couldn’t.  It was still too raw for me.  I tried again this year as we approached Ally’s two year diaversary.  Still couldn’t do it.
But since then something has changed.
Ally and I met some new friends this week.  We met a mother and daughter who live a somewhat parallel life to us.  My new friend’s daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes one year ago.  As she and I were talking about each of our diagnosis stories, I got a sort of chill down my spine.
I still have not written Ally’s diagnosis story, but there is a part that I feel needs to be shared.  Just before Ally’s diagnosis I had noticed some changes in Ally.  I now realize that they were classic Warning Signs of Type 1 Diabetes. 

Ally was extremely thirsty.  Ally was urinating all the time.  She became tired, very tired.  She did not have enough energy to speak above a whisper.  She could not hold her head up off of the arm of the couch, and eventually fell to the ground when she tried to stand because she did not have enough energy to hold her body up.  I noticed that she seemed to have a funny smelling breath and I kept asking her if she had remembered to brush her teeth.  Her kindergarten teacher expressed concern that she was having trouble reading (even though she was reading chapter books upon entering kindergarten!) and that possibly we should have her eyes checked.  A few of these symptoms happened over a couple of weeks, but for the most part they all came to a head in one weekend.  
Now, the reason that I feel compelled to share this part of our diagnosis story is because of the response that I got when I called the pediatrician’s office early on the morning of February 10, 2009.  I asked to speak to a nurse because I was so concerned about Ally and was debating whether to just drive her to the ER.  I described ALL of the above symptoms to this nurse and she told me that I should bring Ally in to see the doctor and she could get me in at noon.  I said that wasn’t soon enough, I AM DEBATING TAKING HER TO THE HOSPITAL…SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT!  She told me to calm down.  She told me to give her some juice.  Let me repeat….give her some juice!  And bring her in at noon. 
I put Ally in the car immediately and drove to the pediatrician’s office (it is about 5 minutes from our house).  I said that I needed one of the doctors to see her immediately.  They did take me in.  And a few short minutes later, we were on our way to Children’s Hospital ER with a “99% sure” diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.  Since that day, I have replayed the conversation with the nurse over and over again.  I am shocked that she did not even have a suspicion that it could have been diabetes.  I am shocked.
And then when talking with my new friend about her daughter’s diagnosis, I heard a similar version of that conversation with our nurse.  She had taken her daughter to the doctor because she thought she had a UTI.  They took a urine sample.  They told her that she did not have a UTI, but she did appear to have all the symptoms of one, so they treated her for that.  Six days later this very persistent Mama went back and demanded another urine sample and blood work…the idea of type 1 diabetes had somehow (miraculously!) popped into her head one night while she laid awake worrying about her little girl.  This time the nurse told her that they had been meaning to call her because her daughter was spilling sugar into her urine…uh, this was 6 days later, folks!!
I am so concerned about the lack of awareness about Type 1 Diabetes.  And I’m not talking about what we go through on a day-to-day basis (that’s a D-tale for another day!).  I’m talking about the warning signs.  Yes, the signs can come on quickly and they also can look like many other illnesses.  But speaking for myself, as a parent and as a teacher of young children, I did not know about these warning signs.  And obviously, hearing of just these two accounts, we have more than one member of the medical field who also does not recognize these warning signs and symptoms.
Something needs to be done.  Warning Signs of Type 1 Diabetes need to be taught (or re-taught) to all those in the medical field, shared within schools, posted for parents.  Something needs to be done.  And if not us, then who?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sweet Treats

My kids love to try new snacks. So when I was offered the opportunity to sample and review the new Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom snack size vanilla ice cream cones and vanilla and chocolate ice cream sandwiches, I went for it.
Both the cones and sandwiches are small in size and low in carbs, calories and fat with no sugar added. 
My kids really enjoyed them. Here’s what they had to say.

The ice cream was shipped to us in a cooler filled with dry ice. For fun, we dumped the dry ice into our pool. Check it out! 

(A few words about the video...A massive dust storm rolled through our area the night before we did this, so both the pool and the deck were very dirty. They’ve since been cleaned. Also, Madeline was the videographer, using her iPod Touch. Please excuse her shakiness and the narrow frame.) 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Missing You

I’m going through withdrawals. From the DOC, that is. It’s been too long since I last wrote or read a post. I miss my blog friends!
I had big summer plans for D-Tales. I was going to write about traveling with diabetes. I was going to share some recipes. I was going to... 
But the events of the summer have consumed me. The kids have been home. My dad fell and landed in the hospital; he’s now in rehab to regain strength. We've enjoyed barbecues with friends. We've entertained guests from out of town. We celebrated Max’s sixth birthday.  
That doesn't sound like much, but it's been overwhelming. I’ve been calling this summer "the summer of cRaZy!"
The kids have been staying up late, and by the time they’ve hit the sack at night, I’ve been too wiped out from the heat and the day’s activities to write or read.
We’re leaving on Saturday for a much-needed vacation. I’m hoping to get back into the bloggy swing of things after we turn, and I’m hoping to publish a couple posts before we leave.
Just thought I’d check in today and simply say I miss you!!!