Friday, April 23, 2010

Two Years, Two Little Girls

This week marked the two year anniversary of Miss E's diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, just a few weeks earlier Lil Miss C's one year anniversary of her type 1 diabetes diagnosis passed. This month I have felt the weight of D sitting on my shoulders, we don't do anything to "celebrate" the date of their fact, we don't even tell the girls when that date is upon us. That is why what happened the other night with Miss E was so upsetting to me.

It was just before bedtime and I was about to give the girls their Lantus. As I was getting ready to give Miss E her shot she looked at me with the saddest eyes, sat on the kitchen floor and began to cry. She started to tell me that she didn't want diabetes anymore, she wanted to be "regular" like her daddy and mommy. She said that she wanted to go back to the way she used to be when she was remember, she is only 4 years old and she is talking about her life before diabetes. It broke my heart, this wasn't the first time she has done this. Almost a year ago we had a similar conversation with her... I will save that story for another post. But it felt like I had stepped back in time and was reliving that awful night with her. She rarely complains about diabetes, which is why it caught me off guard that evening.

My husband and I make a strong effort to never speak badly about diabetes in front of her or her sister, we don't want them to feel ashamed, different, sick or broken...we try to lift them up, give the girls a positive image about themselves. I know that even with the efforts that we make, Miss E will still see the differences in herself from others. Like how she says she wants to be like me and her daddy, she knows we don't take insulin, we don't check our blood sugar... she does.

It took all of my strength not to break down and cry with her on that kitchen floor, all I could do was hold her, tell her how much I loved her and give her hugs. I saved my tears for after she was asleep. I asked her to always tell me what she was feeling and that mommy would be there for her. She then asked me if her diabetes would go away when she grew diabetes sucks!

So that night as I was sitting in Lil Miss C's rocking chair, waiting for her to drift off to sleep I realized that it was Miss E's 2 year anniversary with had almost passed and I hadn't even thought about it until I was sitting there reflecting on Miss E's conversation with me earlier. It amazes me how quickly time passes, in that same sentence I will dare to say that it has also been the longest two years of my life.

So...two years down, and many, many more to go...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spin To Cure Diabetes

So this weekend I did something I have never done before...spinning! Our local gym and JDRF partnered together and held their first ever "Spin To Cure Diabetes". It was a blast!!! I have to say that at first I was feeling a little nervous about the whole thing, I've never tried spinning, and to be honest...I haven't stepped foot in an actual gym in almost 10 years! YIKES! :) Now I do workout at home, but nothing too intense.

They had four different 1 hour sessions that you could choose from to participate in with 30 spots available in each class. The idea was that each person would try to raise a minimum of $50.00 or more, show up for the class and work your tush off with some serious spinning! They had prizes available for the top three men and the top three woman from the entire day who logged the most miles in a 1 hour session.

I decided as soon as I sat up on that spin bike that I was going to place in the top three...crazy right?! A stay-at-home mom who's biggest workout of the day is lugging laundry to and from the laundry room and the occasional workout in my living room. Well, I had my mind set that I was going to push myself as hard as I could and give it my all. The instructors were amazing, they had this energy that was so intense and made every minute of that hour fun and exciting. I will say that about 20 minutes into our session I started to wonder if I could keep up the intensity, but then I would picture my girls and their beautiful little faces and I would get this burst of energy that would push me through my slump.

By the time our one hour session was over I had logged in at...drum roll please...26.4 MILES!!! Woo Hoo!!! I couldn't believe it! I have never, ever, done anything like that before and it felt amazing. The best part was, I placed 3rd for the woman!!! If you can't tell from all of the exclamation points, I am still really excited about this. More then that, I am proud. I set a goal and I did it, my husband and my girls were there waiting for me when I finished with their arms open wide to hug me...sweat and all :) Really I did it for my kids, they were my inspiration and they carried me through it. I can't wait to do it again!

For me this was another great opportunity to raise money and awareness for a disease that has changed my families life forever. I was sporting our t-shirt that we had made for last years Walk to Cure Diabetes, it had a picture of my daughters on the back of it...reminding everyone there that day why we were there.

So, the prize I won...a t-shirt, water bottle, towel and a free one month membership to the gym. Oh yeah, and a whole lot of pride :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mommy Guilt

So today I am dealing with a little bit of mommy guilt...

Last night Lil Miss C woke up around midnight, not unusual for her, I had just went to sleep and was exhausted. I was so tired that I really didn't want to sit up with her in her room trying to get her to go back to sleep, so to make things easier for myself I decided to let her sleep with me...I know, I kinda took the easy way out on that one. The problem was this, it wasn't the easy way out after all. She kept tossing and turning all over the place, I couldn't sleep because every time I rolled over I found her hanging off the side of the bed about to fall out!

I couldn't sleep for NOTHING, I had my alarm set for 3:00am because I check my girls every night at that time and by 2:00am Lil Miss C was still keeping me up with her constant rolling around and I was at the end of my rope. I was starting to get so frustrated...then it happened...

"Mommy, I want some water." When Lil Miss C said this my heart sank, I thought oh my gosh, maybe it's her blood sugar that's causing her to be so restless!!! I checked her and...354...tears instantly filled my eyes because I felt like I should have known that's why she was so restless!!! Why didn't I think of that?! Instead I was so tired that all I could think about was me trying to get a few hours of sleep before my alarm goes off at 3:00am and here she is suffering with a really high blood sugar.

I am so mad at myself right now...anyone who knows me knows that I am almost obsessed with keeping track of the girls numbers, trying to keep them in check. And I am very intuitive...usually, when something is wrong with them. I don't know why I let that slip by me last night, it's hard for me to know that Lil Miss C was suffering right next to me and she wasn't able to tell me what she was feeling. She is only two years old and it's hard to communicate what is going on with her, I'm the one who tries to figure it out for her. Needless to say I was giving her insulin with a quickness and a big cup of water to try to help her feel better and bring down that number. Not a moment of glory for me, but a moment none the less.

I wanted to share with you all what it feels like to have a high blood sugar, (for those who don't know) I took this information off of the JDRF website:

High blood sugar generally does not immediately put the person with type 1 diabetes in danger. However, high blood sugar levels over long periods of time can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and amputation.

Very high blood sugar levels can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), or a "diabetic coma." DKA occurs when the cells can't get the energy they need from glucose, and the body begins to burn fat and body tissue for energy. This causes the release of byproducts called ketones, which are dangerous when released at high levels. Ketones become like poison to the body and are passed in the urine as they build up in the blood.

A person with type 1 diabetes and high blood sugar may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Thirst (dehydration)
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurry vision
  • Stomach pain
  • Increased hunger
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness, lethargy, exhaustion
  • Confusion
  • Sweating
  • Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Weight loss (a longer term symptom) that eventually leads to coma you know why I feel like a crummy mommy today. Don't get me wrong, this is not the first time we have had a high number like this, I'm more upset at myself for not picking up on what was happening to her as she slept. I really didn't think her restlessness had anything to do with diabetes last night. Before bedtime she had a blood glucose of 77, the girls wanted some popcorn for their snack and they both were a bit low so I thought what better time to give them some. I measured out 10 grams of carbs worth of popcorn and gave that to Lil Miss C, an hour later I checked her and her blood sugar was at 99...I don't get it. I was wondering if anyone else has had a bad experience with popcorn? I'm thinking after last nights episode I may have to rid my home of that snack from now on!

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Wonderful Welcome!

All I can say right now is WOW!!! I had no idea how much support I was going to receive from this amazing blogging world when I first decided to reach out and start telling my story to others. I have been accepted into this wonderful family of bloggers with wide open arms and I have to say that it is like medicine for my soul.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by to say hello and tell me alittle bit about your stories, one thing that I am realizing is that we all are truly connected...type 1 diabetes connects us in a way that many don't fully understand, reading some of the other diagnosis stories was at times like reading my own. We all had similar experiences, the same symptoms, those nagging feelings of fear in the back of our minds, dismissing it, thinking that we are overreacting. And then the awful diagnosis...I am thankful that there are people out there who understand, I look forward to what the future holds for my family, and I also look forward to building friendships with people I may have never even crossed paths with had it not been for this outlet.

It is amazing how something so simple as...((Hugs))..."We are here for you"..."Welcome"...can warm my heart and give me the lift that I so desperately needed.

It was a wonderful welcome!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Beginning- Part 2

Miss E was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April of 2008, she was just two years old and it was the most difficult time our family had ever been through. I can tell you that I felt I was tested in each and everyway possible, I remember grieving for my daughter in a way that was so intense and so painful it is difficult to put into words. I realize that alot of people hear that your child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and they think.."Hey, no big deal right? Just feed her right and make sure she is active and she'll be okay."


Unfortunately most people know very little if anything about type 1 diabetes...I sadly, was one of those people before my daughters diagnosis. One comment that still rings in my ear, "She will grow out of it some day, won't she?" Oh how I wish this were the truth, no, she won't grow out of it. She will have this for the rest of her life until there is a cure, that is a hard pill to swallow. I remember right after she was diagnosed, Lil Miss C was just six months old and I was still up with her every few hours and up all hours of the night...this worked out great for me because I felt like I could monitor Miss E in the evening hours and feel comfortable that she was safe. I had been looking forward to the day when Lil Miss C would finally sleep through the night and I could finally get some real sleep, the problem with this was that when that time came...I couldn't sleep through the night because I needed to check Miss E at 3:00 am every night! And even on those rare nights when her blood sugars had been great, I couldn't sleep anyways because I was terrified of what might happen to my daughter if I didn't check in on her!

About the only peace I had was when I would lay Lil Miss C down to sleep at night, I remember putting her in her crib, kissing her cheek and saying "night, night baby girl. Mommy loves you." Turning off her light and knowing that at least I didn't have to worry about her tonight.

Those comforting thoughts were short lived because 11 months and two weeks after type 1 diabetes entered our lives, we were confronted with what I thought was the impossible...Lil Miss C was admitted to the hospital at 18 months old and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it was in April of 2009. Not even one year later!!! Curse you diabetes!!! To say that I was utterly and completely devestated is the understatement of the year, I was knocked off my feet, kicked in the gut, rip my heart out and stomp on the ground crushed! I was numb with sorrow...I can say that now, almost one year later because looking back on that time I realize that most of it was and is a complete blur. I still don't sleep much, I am still terrified everynight that I lay my head down on my pillow because my worst fear is that I will go into one of my babies rooms and find them unresponsive...or worse. Sometimes I feel that I am being overprotective, but I cannot imagine what would happen to me if the worst were to happen to them. I love my kids more than anything in the world and I will do everything in my power to protect them and keep them healthy, even at my own expense. My girls are very young, they will have alot of years ahead of them, that gives diabetes a good head start to wreak havoc on their tiny bodies.

Writing these words down is incredibly difficult for me, they are thoughts that are with me often, but I don't speak them. On the rare occasion that I voice my deepest fears to my closest loved ones, I become a puddle of tears and I cannot take the pain that comes with that. I want to be strong, but diabetes is a tough opponent, I will not be defeated no matter how hard the battle is...I will always rise up against this disease with the gloves laced up and my fighting face on.

My biggest challenge lately is accepting diabetes for what it is. I don't ever want my girls to feel like they are in a fight for their lives...I want to do it for them right now. I'm not trying to be dramatic, but complications from diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, it is serious. When they are older I hope to share with them the reality of this disease without putting the fear of God in them, but right now, I just want them to be kids.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Beginning

Diabetes entered our lives with a huge bang...tears, anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, guilt, and almost every other bad feeling you can add to that. When Miss E was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I remember thinking "WTH is that?!!" I had heard of type 2 diabetes, I had heard of gestational diabetes...but type 1, nooooo.

Wow, was I in for a lesson.

Miss E was two years old, we had a beautiful new baby in the house (Lil Miss C) who was just six months old. I remember noticing changes in Miss E, she was constantly thirsty and soaking through her diapers. We noticed that she was starting to look alot thinner than normal, we thought that she was just stretching out...but my gut was starting to tell me that something wasn't quite right. I will never forget the day that my mommy instincts stopped whispering in my ear and started shouting at me. I had taken the girls to visit their daddy for lunch at his work, afterwards as I was driving home she started rubbing her eyes and telling me that her eyes were crying and she didn't know why. I asked her if she was sad and she said "no, they just keep crying mommy and I can't make them stop."

I looked in my rear view mirror and I saw fear in her eyes, that made my stomach turn. We got home and she immediately asked for milk, I filled her sippy cup and she chugged it as if she hadn't had a drink in days. I remember watching her down this milk like it was nothing, she wiped her mouth and immediately asked for more. I gave her more and again she downed it like it was nothing, not more than a minute later and I heard her crying out to me, she had SOAKED through her diaper. Her face looked pale and exhausted, my stomach dropped.

I knew then that something was terribly wrong so I got on the phone and called her doctor, they didn't have any appointments available until the next week but I begged them to see her sooner. Luckily they agreed to see her right at closing time, I called my husband and asked him to meet us at the doctors office, I am so thankful that I did. I told the nurse that I thought it could be a urinary infection so they decided to take a urine sample. The nurse came back in our room and told me they wanted to do a blood glucose test on her because she had alot of sugar in her urine, I watched as she poked Miss E's finger and touched it to her meter...all it said was "HIGH". The nurse didn't even look at me, she just said "I'll be right back, I think there is something wrong with this meter." She came back with a new meter and the doctor and they retested..."HIGH".

That's when the doctor left the room, a few minutes later she came back and began to tell us that she thought Miss E had diabetes and we needed to take her to the hospital immediately. She had already called and spoke with a doctor at the ER and they would be waiting for us, we were in total shock.

I will never forget when we walked into the Emergency was packed!!! I thought we were in for a long wait, boy was I wrong. My husband signed us in, came to sit back down with us and then we were immediately called back. That scared me...there were at least 20 people waiting and we went to the front of the line...not a good feeling at all, I think that's when I knew this was very serious. Again, they tested her blood glucose and again it said "HIGH", she was rushed to a room, hooked up to an IV and that was the beginning of our new life with diabetes. Traumatic, scary, exhausting, and overwhelming. We spent four days in the hospital learning about type 1 diabetes, everything and anything that we could cram into our stressed out brains and then some!

I knew that we were about to embark on a crazy journey, one that would be filled with alot of pain and alot of challenges but one that I was ready to take head on! Little did I know, this was just the tip of the iceberg for our family and this new beginning was barely getting started.