Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Public Service Announcement

Two of my favorite people are ladies I've known since they were two years old. Identical twins, I watched them grow up yet rarely could tell them apart! Today they are mothers with children of their own. As we all know raising children is no easy task. But for these friends it is especially difficult. Janie has two sons with Juvenile Diabetes and Jamie has a son with a form of Autism. Like cancer, mental illness, and alcoholism Type I diabetes and Autism are family diseases. Moms, dads, and sisters soon learn that the disease runs the show. Every day is challenge that those of with "normal" kids can't even imagine.

Recently I got an email from Janie with this article: "Things I wish you knew about Type I diabetes. " I'm posting it here for others to read because I think it's really valuable information.

"Things I wish you knew about Type 1 diabetes…"

1. I wish you knew that there really is no controlling blood glucose. Blood glucose is affected by weather, emotions including but not limited to fear, excitement, and worry, illness, growing, hormones, sleep, activity or lackethereof, severe change of schedule, and absorption of insulin. I’m sure there are more but those are the biggies for us. Until I am able to miraculously control each and every one of those variables then I might be able to control my son’s blood glucose numbers. For now I have to be happy with managing those numbers to the best of my ability among the plethora of variables that seemingly conspire against me day in and day out.

2. I wish you knew that things can turn on a dime when dealing with Type 1 diabetes. We can be trucking along with blood glucose numbers in the low 100s (good range) and then Wham! Blammo! out of know where a site pops out somewhere between the last BG check at 1:00pm and the next one at 4:00pm and we can have a blood glucose reading of 495 with 1.1 blood ketones. We go from enjoying our day to emergency triage. Got to get that glucose number DOWN. NOW. Got to get rid of those ketones. NOW. We go from enjoying our day to checking blood glucose and ketones every 15 minutes. Pushing water and insulin like they are one in the same. Ketones are dangerous and deadly and come hell or high water you have to get rid of them. Turn on a dime, life or death, a day in the life…

3. I wish you knew that dealing with Type 1 diabetes is both proactive and reactive. Yes, I am proactive that all my son’s pump settings are in a good place right now, all his other ratios seem to be working and helping to keep his number in range. We eat right. We rest. We exercise. We live our lives to the fullest. Then there is the reactive. I have to decide on a moments notice what to do with a blood glucose reading of 46, or 446. I have to know exactly what to do when his POD starts whistling and giving an error message that there is NO delivery of insulin. I have to react as quickly as if my son’s life depended on it. Oh wait, it does.

4. I wish you knew that when my son is not under my care, the variables are multiplied as to what can negatively affect his blood glucose. An adult or teacher that doesn’t quite “get” his diabetes will cause my son stress and will make it harder for me to pinpoint how to keep his number in range. A cafeteria menu that keeps changing without notice makes me tell my son the wrong carb count for lunch which will either cause his glucose to go sky high or drop like a brick. A cafeteria worker who won’t tell us the alternate lunch until she looks in the freezer each morning which leaves my son scrambling moments before lunch to find out what his carb count is before he sits down to eat so he can at least finish his meal in the 20 minutes the school gives them to eat.

5. I wish you knew that I live in the moment because I absolutely have to. We have high blood glucose reading and low blood glucose readings every single day. See above. A number is just that to me, a number. I have to see it, evaluate it, and move on. We check my son’s sugar over 10 times a day. Could you imagine if I got stuck on every too high or too low blood glucose reading. I’d be stuck somewhere in August of 2007. So when you ask me, “How is your son? His number was high yesterday.” I am not looking at you in a deer in headlights because you are wrong for asking, but because I honestly do not remember or even know about which number you could be talking about. If I chose to dwell on every number of every day I’d be in big trouble. It’s nice to be asked, but in most cases I won’t have an answer other than, “He is fine.” Until there is a cure, “He is fine,” is the way it has to be or we have no where else to go.

If you know someone with either of these diseases, offer to help when/where you can. Consider donating for continued research. As with any chronic disease finding a cure is the goal to help these kids live long, healthy lives.



Wishing for you a pogo stick to jump over all your life's hurdles.

Merry ME

* http://type1parents.org/type1demystified/?p=298

P.S. Cutting and pasting really screwed up the font size of this post and I can't figure out how to change it

1 comment:

jeanne hewell-chambers said...

as the mother of a son with type 1 diabetes, thank you.