Kortnie at the 2011 JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, Tempe Town Lake, Tempe, AZ

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin time 2009 vs. 2010

This year 2010
2010, she looks like a healthy normal girl doesn't she?

Last year 2009, look at that skinny neck and arms, they make her head look big, see how pale she is and the bags under her eyes, they are kind of sunk back in her head too.

This picture her face doesn't look too sick but from her arms and neck I can tell how sick she was. She never let me take pictures in the hospital, so these Halloween pictures are the only ones I have to show how she looked. My Kortnie used to be a pretty solid girl, not fat, but she had meat on her bones, in fact in Spring of 2009 according to the chart they use at headstart prep-school she was obese. (She never looked obese, she was just taller and meatier than the government says kids her age should be). These pictures show a sickly, skinny girl, not my Korky.

Last year around Halloween time is when we really started noticing just how sick our Korky was. She was finally diagnosed on November 8th. Last year, we had 3 kids, full time jobs for both the husband and I and the family that babysat our kids was out of town for a month for a family emergency as well, so needless to say we were busy, frazzled and at our wits end. And on top of that it was Halloween time, pumpkin carving, parties, costumes and trick or treating was all afoot. Kortnie had been sick off and on, she was always sick so we thought nothing of it, the seasons were changing, we thought she had a cold, we thought maybe she was growing and it was making her tired, we'd noticed she seemed to be getting longer and losing some of her baby fat, we thought she was just growing into herself. After Halloween was over, I was uploading the pumpkin carving pictures and the costume pictures onto the computer. I looked thru them and realized how much weight Kortnie actually had lost. She just got sicker and sicker, finally we took her to the ER instead of waiting for a Monday morning DR appointment we had scheduled. We didn't have a scale at our house, so I didn't know how much actual weight she had lost, but when they weighed her at the ER, she'd lost something like 13 or 17 pounds since her last DR visit back in August. Something like 20% of her body weight. We're coming up on our 1 year D-aversary. Lately I am tired of this stupid disease. I am tired of checking BG's, tired of worrying all the time, tired of lows that make her droopy or fainty and scare the crap out of me, I am tired of the highs that make her mean. I am tired of ordering supplies and going to the pharmacy, tired of the endo appointments and blood tests, tired of saying no you can't have that right now, or no you can't go until we make sure your BG is back to normal, I am tired of waking up in the middle of the night, tired of reading about kids that die from this disease or kids that get other complications from it, I am tired of the strain this stupid disease has put on our marriage, tired of living in fear that one of my other kids will develop it. There is so much more I am tired of too. I want to say, "Okay, Heavenly Father we've lived with this for a year now, we know its hard, we've gained perspective and respect for T1D, we'll never take life for granted again, we've learned lots of lessons, you can take it away now, we want to be normal again." In fact I have said this many times, but I know he won't just take it away, so I try, I try so hard to change my pleas to asking for a cure, to asking for more awareness, try to change my selfish pleas to thanks, thanks that my child lives and I try to ask for help, help me to keep her alive, help me to let go of the anger and maybe a little of the fear too. Some days are good, some days not so good. I met a lady last weekend, she has a 15 year old son with T1D he was diagnosed at age 3, her husband has it too, so she's lived 12 years as a mom of T1D and I'm not sure how long as a wife of T1D. If she can do it, I know I can too, I just don't want to. How do you get past the anger, does it ever happen? It seems like I get past it, but then something happens and it comes back. I'll keep trying, I guess, it's all I can do really, keep trying and keep praying. People tell me that God never gives you more than you can handle so I guess if HE thinks we can handle this, then we can and will. I just hope HE doesn't give us any more.
I'd like to take the time right here, right now and say how thankful I am for the D-Online Community, mostly the mom's. I do so love reading your posts and finding that I am not alone. I don't comment much and I don't do such a good job of keeping my blog up to date, but I'm out here lurking and feeling comforted by you all. For this week's sugar bolus click the link, this is a good one people. Good luck!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Brownie's are 419 Carbs

This morning my 3 year old son asked me if we could make brownie's. I thought about it and we decieded that we'd make a batch of brownie's then we'd use cookie cutters to cut them into fun Halloween shapes. So, we get all the stuff out. Here we are at the counter we have our box of mix, veg oil, eggs, measuring cups, bowl and spoon. We pour the mix in the bowl and I pick up the box to see what to do next. My sweet 3 year old (non-D) is standing on a chair right next to me. He takes that brownie mix box out of my hand and puts his face right up next to the box and says to me "It says 4-19 carbs mom". He doesn't read, he just likes to pretend.

The point I am trying to make is that I find it amazing how much my 3 year old boy knows about "diabetes stuff". It's a "good" feeling to know that Kortnie's Diabetes is a family affair around our house and not just something for she and I to deal with.

But on the flip side, I also find it a little sad. Sad that my 3 year old knows that we "worry" about carbs, sad that he also comes up to me and says "Korky's being mean, you make her check her blood", sad that he knows he can't just have the random juice box he finds in the car because it's Korky's medicine. I find it sad and scary that my older daughter (almost 8) came running in the door one afternoon and told me, "Kortnie's low I need to take her a snack!", and she grabs a slim jim and a water bottle and then runs off again before I had the time to tell her that slim jim's and water are free snacks and what she really needs is a juice box and why the heck don't they just give her the glucose tabs that are in her backpack! They were on their way home from school, Kortnie was sitting on the curb about 6 houses away and of course I followed Anastasia right out the door, juice box and car keys in hand, she was 135 when she left school and in the 15 minutes they had been walking and messing around (it's only a 10 minute walk, but you know kids they have to stop and visit with every dog or friend they see) she dropped down to a 67. Anyways, I just find it a little sad that not only does Diabetes affect Kortnie's life, but it affects the lives of my 2 other kids in big ways too. I am also proud of my 2 non-D kids for taking it all in stride, loving and supporting their sister, learning about her disease and making efforts to help her.

We are about 3 weeks away from our first D-aversary. We've come a long way baby, and I'm not too sure I'm happy about it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Great Sleepover Debacle

Well, it's reared it's ugly head, "Mom can I sleep over at Andre's house tonight?" First of all you might think I'd say no because girls just don't sleep over at boy's houses right? Well, my daughter Korky and Andre are best friends. Our family and his family are best friends.

We met each other in June of 2008 when I went back to work after having a year off when my last baby was born. The S family is a mom and dad, a 22 year old daughter, a 16 year old daughter and a 7 year old boy. The S family (mom and oldest daughter) had an add in a local grocery store for their home based day care. This was pre-diabetes mind you. Anyways, I called them up, interviewed them, looked around their property and decieded that they would be a good fit for our family. They quickly became our friends and more like family than our babysitters. They love us and we love them. Our babysitter relationship with them went on for a few months over a year, before the big D hit.

The S family was on vacation when Korky was dx'd. Their Grandpa had been ill so they were off visiting him, my kids had been going to a different babysitter (also a good friend of ours) and ironically enough on the first day the S family was back in town is when I took Korky to the ER and got her diagnosis. I took a 3 month leave of absence from my full-time job at Walmart so that we would have time to adjust to our new way of life, also so that we'd have what we thought was alot of time to train the S family on how to take care of Korky. I ended up not ever going back to work. The S family was more than willing to learn how to take care of Korky, they read books, they came over at lunchtime and practiced drawing up the insulin in the syringe, they learned how to check blood sugar, how to calculate how much insulin to give, they gave us love and support. That was all well and good, but I just couldn't bring myself to hand over my 5 year old daughter to someone else for 8-10 hours a day and have them give her shots! So, I left work and they lost us as full-time customers at their day care. We still agreed to stay friends of course. We still are close friends, we see each other a few times a week, sometimes their little boy comes home to our house with Kortnie after school and they have play dates. We spend quite a few of our Saturday's over at their house, and their 16 year old daughter, K, has become our "date night" babysitter. K suffers from hypoglycemia, so she has a grasp on what low blood sugar feels like, she also has mastered most of Kortnie's pump functions, she can check Kortnie's blood sugar, figure out carbs and give a bolus using the EzCarb or EzBg functions on the pump. And, if she has any questions we are only a text or cell phone call away, she never hesitates to call us if she needs us. Her high school is only 2 blocks away from Kortnie's elementary school and she's even on Kortnie's emergency list. It might seem crazy to you, but K, a 16 year old girl, is the number one person I would trust Kortnie with besides my husband and I. Her older sister and parents are a close second.

So, this past Saturday we were over at the S familie's home, we were visiting, and making multiple batches of bannana bread, the Kortnie and Andre were riding horses, running around all over the place, sword fighting, climbing in the tree house, chasing bugs and horney toads, playing with the dogs, and swinging on the swing set. They were having a wonderful time, the weather was nice and we were all enjoying ourselves. That morning we had been to our town's Harvest Festival and the Pumpkin Patch. While ate a late lunch of chicken sandwiches and chips while at the S home and nobody was really in the mood for dinner. About 530pm I was getting ready to head home, and Kortnie asked that fateful question, "Can I sleep over here?" Oh man, what do you say, the kids are having fun, this family is my "go to" family, all 5 of them were planning on spending the night at home, the young ladies didn't have Saturday night plans so I knew that Kortnie would be in good hands. So, I said okay, but told her I was scared because it would be the first time she would be away from me since she got T1D. She told me she would be okay, I made it clear to her that if her numbers got weird than I would be coming to get her. So it was around 5:30, we checked her BG (she was 195 a little high, but not too bad for her), gave her some bannana bread and a bolus and I left to come home with my 2 other kids. I called her at 8:00pm, told her to check her BG, it was 307! Oh no, I said I don't like it being that high, you need to come home, she started crying and got all sad, so I said, okay, get a bolus and I'll call you back in an hour. So, they gave her a bolus using EzBg and I called back at 9pm, check your BG I said, she did and now it's 334! Oh no, now I told her she has to come home because I will have to check her all night long, she was crying, but Mrs S was able to talk her into coming home, told her it had been a crazy day and none of us had been eating right and that was why she was all messed up (very true). So, Mrs S brought her home to us, checked her again at 10, she was down to 310 gave her another bolus and sent her to bed, check again at 130am she was still 318, another bolus and finnally at 630am she was down, but too low now she was down to a 72. We got that under control and for the rest of Sunday she was right on target.

So, I tried, I tried to let my daughter be a regular 6 year old and spend the night with a friend, I tried to be brave and I falied, or D got in the way, or both. I feel bad for my baby, her heart was broken at having to come home and the next morning when her sister asked, "how come you came home?" she cried and said her BG's were too high. This sucks, stupid D! Oh well, I guess we are gonna try again this weekend. We are going to eat normal and more on scheduale this Saturday and see if we can make this work again. I am scared, I am nervous, but I also trust the S family with my baby, I know they love her and will watch over her. I am thankful for them, but I'm still gonna worry. Wish us luck.