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

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Diabetes Month Photo-A-Day Days 5-11

Here are our Photo-A-Day posts 5-11.

Day 5 was Advocate
The CDE at our local hospital does a training for nurses about the many types of diabetes every few months. Kortnie and I are always guest speakers and we give them an inside look on the everyday life of the person with T1D.
The New Face of Type 1 Diabetes is a new advocacy campaign being started in our local region. Kortnie was the first "New Face", thus campaign is still in the beginning stages, but we're excited to be a part of it, especially since it's happening right here on our mountain.

Day 6 was Relationship
On top, we took this picture last year on Kortnie's 3rd D-Aversary, diabetes affects the whole family, Kortnie's brother and sister are onboard and know how to look out for their sister. Below, Kortnie's friends are all onboard too, they know the signs of a low, they wait for Kortnie when she needs to stop whatever they're doing and have a BG check, and they sit with her if she needs a break. She's a lucky kid to have so many understanding friends and family!

Day 7 was Blue.  
The World Diabetes Day (November 14) campaign uses a Blue Circle as their Symbol.  Blue has become the color for Type 1 Diabetes, while a gray ribbon with a red blood drop on one of the tails is the symbol for all types of Diabetes.

Kortnie's 4th D-Aversary was on Day 8 so we made "Blue" Rice Krispie treat cupcakes for her on Day 7 to take to school. We put blue food coloring in them but they turned out kinda green. I was going to make regular cupcakes but she pointed out to me that she has a Gluten Free friend in her class so we opted for Rice Krispies instead. 

Day 8 was Organization
Some of Kortnie's stuff
Insulin in the butter compartment of the garage fridge
Pump Supplies, lancets, and a ketone meter
Test strips, glucagon, and other stuff
More lancets and syringes
We have enough to last us 6-9 months comfortably, and that makes me happy.

Day 8 Orgnaization picture two
I thought organization could mean how we organize our stuff or an organization we support. JDRF is the leader in research for a cure, we're proud to support them

Day 9 was Support
V and her parents came by the morning of Day 9, they took Kortnie and Stasia to get Blue hair extensions for Diabetes Awareness Month. V's family is one of my daycare families. I've never figured out if my families are my clients or my bosses, but either way, they've become our friends, and it's so good to have the support of friends.

Day 10 was Exercise
Exercise requires more BG checks, less insulin, more snacks...extra diligence.
A growing kid needs exercise, everyone needs it.
Trampoline, hiking, soccer, swimming, dancing, just being a kid, exercise is part of life. It means extra effort for Kortnie, but I'm ok with that.

Day 11 was Play
Even play time takes work as far as Diabetes goes. During Fall Break I took the kids swimming. Here is Kortnie waiting out a LOW in the shallow end of the pool.

Friday, November 8, 2013

4 Years

It's been 4 years since Type 1 Diabetes came into our lives.

Yesterday I read thru the tab on this blog that tells Korky's Diagnosis Story.  I think it is just a post from over on my family blog that I wrote back in the beginning.  It's not really the whole story.  So, now that I've had 4 years to reflect on it, I'd like to try and re-tell it.

In the Spring of 2009, Kortnie graduated from the pre-school Headstart program.  It's a free program for low income kids that the county or state funds.  Besides pre-school it also focuses on health.  When she graduated her final report had in it that she was obese.  I was mildly offended, yes she was a chubby kid, but I didn't think she was fat, I thought she looked just fine and I said so.  The teacher agreed with me and told me that they are required to weigh and measure the kids and follow the guidelines that they were given.  She told me not to worry about it, she knew that Kortnie was healthy and would be just fine.  She was only 4 after all and had years and years of growing ahead of her.  Soon after she turned 5, we had a great summer.

In the Fall of 2009, she got her 5 year old shots so she could start Kindergarten.  She had a terrible reaction to her shots, her arm got so swollen at the shot site, she had a fever, and was just kind of yucky for a few days.  Kindergarten started and she went to school.  She loved everything about Kindergarten.  But, we noticed she was tired when she got home from school.  She hadn't taken naps in awhile, and Kindergarten was actually a shorter day for her than Headstart had been.  We were perplexed, but just figured she was growing.  She started eating more, and she started slimming down too.  Again, we figured she was going thru a growth spurt, and I was relieved that she was slimming down and would hopefully no longer be categorized as obese.

May 2009

I was working full time, my husband was working full time.  We had 2 daughters in school and a 2 year old son.  Our babysitter also made note that Kortnie was sleeping more, eating more, and that she was dizzy and falling down more, and running into things.  We still didn't really put it together.  Halloween was on a Saturday, we all had fun trick or treating, on Sunday she was sickly, she had a mild fever, she was thirsty, she was going to the bathroom a lot, she was sleeping on the couch, we thought she just had eaten too much candy, had too much junk food, etc. By Monday she was feeling better, we sent her to school, our regular babysitter was on a vacation, so our backup babysitter kept her.  She told us that Kortnie came home from school everyday and would sleep for 3 hours, that she'd ask for something to eat and act like she was starving, she'd eat one or two bites and be done though.  I said she was like that at home too, we were all frustrated with her weird appetite.  We got thru the week.  Friday night she wet the bed, we thought that was very strange.  On Saturday we went shopping at Walmart, all 5 of us.  She had to pee about 3 times in an hour, she was exhausted and crying, not her normal self.  Her daddy picked her up and said that she didn't feel heavy enough.  I told him that I'd seen her in the shower that morning and that she looked like skin and bones, and that when I'd downloaded the Halloween pictures, looking at them made me see that she'd really lost a lot of weight.  Maybe too much...

Oct 2009

Rockstar Halloween 2009
We agreed that we'd take her to the doctor on Monday morning.  When we got home that night, I actually got on Web MD and put in her symptoms.  

Dry Gray Skin
Extreme Thirst
Frequent Urination
Weight Loss
Change in Attitude

Web MD said she had Tuberculosis or Diabetes.  I though, "yeah right", and shrugged it off, Swine Flu was the IT thing during this time, I really thought if she had anything, that would be what it was.

On Sunday, we went to church.  Brian and I were Sunbeam teachers, the 3 year olds, the Primary (3-12 year old Sunday School) was putting on a program, Brian and I were supposed to sit up with our class during the program.  I'd arranged for Graham to sit with a friend since both girls, Brian, and I were participating in the program.  Kortnie was excited for the program, but just too out of it to participate, so she and Brian ended up sitting with my friend and watching the program instead of participating.  The program lasted about an hour.  I was sitting up in front of the church with my little class and I kept looking down to where Brian was sitting with Kortnie.  She seemed to be in and out of consciousness and I kept hearing this voice "get up and take her to the hospital" and I kept thinking "I will, I will, after the program is over, I can't just get up and leave in the middle of it".  Finally, the program got over and that voice was saying "now, take her now!", so I did, I got up and went to her and Brian and said "I'm taking her to the ER, you stay and teach our class, you can walk home after church" Brian quickly agreed which I kind of thought was strange, that he didn't argue or anything.  I picked her up and carried her to the car, we came home and changed clothes and headed over to Show Low to the hospital (20 miles or so).  Our regular babysitter called while we were driving to tell me they were home, I told her what was going on.  When we got the ER there was no waiting, thank goodness, we were brought right back to triage.  When they weighed Kortnie I realized that she'd lost 14 pounds since August, I told the triage nurse this and she got us right back.

From there on, everything happened so fast.  The doctor came and other medical people came back, they poked her finger and did a blood draw too, they took temperature, blood pressure and heartbeat, and all that stuff they do.  They didn't tell me anything at first, but after a little bit someone came and gave her an IV, and told me that they were testing her for Leukemia and Diabetes.  Needless to say, I was FREAKED out by now, and so was she because of the IV, she didn't know what the words Leukemia or Diabetes meant.  In fact, I didn't even really know what Diabetes meant either, but I did know what Leukemia meant.  Just a short while later, they came back and told me her diagnosis.  Type 1 Diabetes, Strep Throat, and a Bladder Infection.  They would give her IV antibiotics for the Strep and Bladder Infection.  Then, they started talking about her Potassium and Magnesium levels and her blood turning into Acid, Heart Attacks, Insulin, and Glucose, they told me that if we'd have waited until tomorrow and let her go to bed that night, that she probably wouldn't have woken up the next morning.  They said that we were going to be in the hospital for a few days.  And, then they all left the room.  Kortnie was dozing off so I called my Mother in Law.  Don't ask me why I called her first, I'm not really sure.  I cried and told her that I was at the hospital with Kortnie, that she has diabetes, that she's really sick, that Brian was at church and didn't have his cell phone so I couldn't even call him, and that we should cancel all family dinners from now on.  Brian has a food allergy, his Grandma had 2 different food allergies, and here I was thinking Kortnie couldn't have sugar now.

After I called her and talked to her, this is where my memories start to blur together.  She must have calmed me down and started letting our family know what was going on.  I must have called my parents too.  I do remember watching the clock, waiting for the time when I knew Brian would be home and I could call him.  It never occurred to me to call the church building.  Meanwhile, the hospital decided to move us from the ER to a room and they called our family doctor in Snowflake, they also said we'd be in the hospital for 4 or 5 days.  I finally was able to call Brian, and I had a plan.  I told him to pack a bag for Kortnie and I, to bring us some clothes, toothbrushes, etc, and to bring me my book and my laptop.  I told him I'd call our neighbors and ask them to watch Stasia and Graham since the hospital said they couldn't come in.  I called my neighbor and she said, yes of course she'd watch the kids.   My mother in law must have gotten ahold of our family, and she sent Brian's brother Brandon over to help give Kortnie a blessing.  I can't remember who got their first, Brian or Brandon, maybe Brian.

Brandon gave Kortnie a blessing and I remember him saying something about how sick she was and how it was going to be a long hard road, but that she had lots of people who loved her and she needed to stay here for us and we'd help her with everything she had facing her.

Then the hospital people came again with the on-call doctor from our family practice.  They did this awful blood gas test on her, they held her down and put a needle deep into the vein on her wrist.  They came back and said that the results from the test were bad and they had to send us by helicopter to Phoenix.  Then, everything started happening really fast.  They hooked her up to heart monitors, they had a million things going into her IV, they strapped her down on a different bed, they asked me how much I weighed so they could figure out if I could go on the helicopter with her.  Thank goodness I was able to go!  They took us out to the helicopter pad, Brian, Brandon, and Erin gave me a hug and then Kortnie and I got in the helicopter.  They let me take a few things, so I took my purse, laptop, underwear, and toothbrush.  I took jammies and a stuffed animal for Kortnie.  As we took off, I saw Brian crying.  The helicopter ride was something like 45 minutes, Kortnie fell right to sleep, and I had headphones on so I couldn't hear anything.  I had my phone so I texted people to tell them what was going on.  Halfway thru the ride the doctors started shining lights on Kortnie and I freaked out but they said that she was ok, they were just doing routine vitals.  We landed at the Phoenix Children's Hospital and everything started happening fast again, they put us in an ICU unit and started checking her and running tests all over again.  We had family in Phoenix, Jason, Magen, and Marc, they showed up and brought me some pillows and a blanket.  Magen stayed with Kortnie while Jason and Marc took me to the cafeteria to get some food, by now it was 9 or 10 at night.  Magen said that Kortnie slept while I was gone.  After they left, I called my mom and since she doesn't use text on her phone she didn't know what was happening so I filled her in, I spent the rest of the night sitting by her bed, crying and praying that she'd be okay.  She'd been asleep since before the helicopter took off.  She'd been poked and prodded and never woke up or made a sound.  I was scared and I felt alone.

The next morning the nurses told me to have a shower and go fill out paperwork so I did that, when I look back now, I wonder how I could have left her side at all, I think I was in shock.  Back at home Brian was getting ready to come to Phoenix to be with Kortnie and I.  I think his mom came over and helped him pack and took our dog back to her house.  Our neighbors, the Pearce's kept our turtles for us.  Brian went to school and told them what was going on and got all of Kortnie and Anastasia's homework for the week.  Again, maybe he and I were both in shock, because I can't imagine why I even thought of making him get Kortnie's homework.  Brian's mom said she'd watch Graham and Stasia, but we decided we wanted them in Phoenix with us, Jason and Magen volunteered to keep them.  They came and moved us to a regular room on the Diabetes floor and said that Kortnie was stable and they let her eat.  I got on my computer and saw tons of messages from our family and friends on Facebook, Korntie's Grandma's had been posting and keeping people up to date for us.  Finally, Brian got there, and I melted.  I guess I'd been holding it all in.

We stayed in the hospital for 3 more days.  We were given a big binder full of stuff we needed to learn.  They showed us how to count carbs, how to give shots of insulin, and how to check Kortnie's blood sugar. We crammed tons of information into our heads.  They told us that we were fast learners, they made sure we knew that we didn't cause her to get T1D, and they told us that we could do this, that we could take care of her, and that she could live a long, happy life.  

They wouldn't let us take her home until we both were able to calculate how much insulin she would need in different situations and until we both gave her a shot.  Brian gave her a shot first, I almost threw up.  He gave her the first 3 shots actually.  Finally he and the nurse made me do it.  I cried and cried.  She cried a lot too, but sooner than me she got brave.  The girl in the bed next to us was a newly diagnosed T1D too and she was a bit older, she had both of her parents with her too, but she was so brave and independent, and doing her own shots.  Kortnie and her hit it off and Kortnie wanted to be brave too.  Her name was Jocelyn and I think she was from Tucson.  I wish we'd have exchanged phone numbers.  She left a day before us.

When they let us out of the hospital we were scared to take her home and scared to take care of her by ourselves.  We stayed one night at Jason and Magen's and then headed home on a Friday.  We were greeted by friends and neighbors and welcomed back.  They brought us dinners and they had a welcome home banner on our house.

We went to the hospital on Sunday, November 8th, 2009.  We left the hospital on Thursday afternoon the 12th, we got home on Friday the 13th, she was back to school on Tuesday the 17th.  Anastasia's birthday was the 18th.  A sucky birthday for her that year, but I remember telling everyone that I wasn't going to forget her birthday and I didn't, but I can't remember what I got her or how we celebrated.  I took a leave from my job at Walmart, I tried to go back part-time in January, but it just didn't work, so I ended up quitting.

2 Weeks after she got home, looking much better

Our friends, family, neighbors, Kortnie's teachers, everyone has rallied around us, they've always been here for us.  We are grateful for everyone. We've learned so much over these 4 years and we've come a long way.  I am so grateful her life was saved, and I'm so grateful for how well she's done with everything, and I'm so grateful that we have access to the things we need to take care of her properly.

I still have my angry days and so does she.  We still have struggles, but we have lots of triumphs too.  

Blood Sugar was 60 at 2:18. I had a glocose tables. (glucose tablet)
Rechecked at 2:35 blood suger was 86 I looked at IOB 
(insulin on board-her pump tells her if there is active insulin in her system)
and it was 0.00 I think I was fine.

Just this morning she handed me this note.  Apparently I'd slept thru my 2am alarm.  Heavenly Father and her Guardian Angels were watching over her and/or she is just getting to where she can feel her lows, even while sleeping.  I can't explain how awesome this is.  If you are the parent or family member of a PWD (person with Diabetes) then you know how awesome this is.  If you're not a caretaker of a PWD...just trust me...this is Awesome and a Blessing.

I think Heavenly Father was looking over her and woke her, just like 4 years ago He prompted me to take her to the ER.  I'm so glad that I listened then and she listened last night.

Today, to celebrate her 4 year D-Aversary, I took blue Rice Krispie treats to her class at school.  Then I let her pick our dinner, hamburgers and homemade Mac & Cheese.  After dinner the whole family went to the ice cream counter at our grocery store and got big ice cream cones.  It's been a good day!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Diabetes Awareness Month Photo-A-Day

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  Last year, I wrote a blog post every day.  This year I've decided to participate in Kerri's Photo-A-Day Challenge.

I'm posting them daily over on Facebook in an album, but every few days I'll post them over here too.

Day 1, the prompt was Past.

Kortnie a week before diagnosis, my normally chubby girl was skin and bones, the caption for this picture was "look how skinny she's getting" a week later she was in DKA, knocking on heavens gate, she'd lost something like 14 or 17 pounds.

Day 2, the prompt was Check.

Kortnie checks her Blood Sugar 8-10 times per day.  To do this she needs to poke her finger and make it bleed. She has poked her finger over 14,570 times.  OVER.14.THOUSAND.TIMES!

Day 3, the prompt was Snacks

On the left, snacks are life saving medicines. On the right, a bowl of fruit, most acceptable snack for kids, right? Kortnie still has to poke her finger, find out what her BG is, weigh the apple, calculate carbs and dose insulin accordingly. The formula for that...
Y+Z= insulin dosage 
(Those constants, 120, 60, 12...those change about every 60-90 days, in fact that 12 is sometimes a 10 depending on what time of day it is, and that 120 changes to 150 8pm-5am)

Day 4, (today), the prompt is Proud.

This summer when I picked Kortnie up from camp AZDA she said to me, "Look! Something new!" She had put her pump site in her leg and she had done it all by herself. Just above her knee is a tattoo but further up her leg the pink thing is her site, the cannula inserted under her skin which delivers her insulin via her pump.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Difficult Conversations

Over the summer, I got an email from JDRF telling me about a free diabetes weekend camp that was coming up in October.  The camp would pick 20 T1 (ages 8-12 I think) kids from Arizona and host them for a weekend with full medical staff, etc.  They were going to pick the kids lottery style, fill out all the paperwork, get it returned by the deadline and they'd draw names and let us know who got picked.  I didn't even tell Kortnie that I was going to put her paperwork in, no sense in getting her hopes up just in case she didn't get picked.  Well, last week, I got an email, and she did get picked to go.  I was excited for her and told her about it.

Me:  Kork!  You got picked to go to a FREE diabetes camp, for a weekend in October, in Sedona!!

Kork:  What camp?  Where is Sedona, how come I can't go to my regular camp in Payson?

Me:  It's just like your regular camp, but only 3 days, and in October, and FREE!

Kork:  Will I know anyone there?  I read her the names of the other campers picked, she unfortunatly didn't recognize any of them.  Um, I don't know, I don't know if I should go, who will take care of me?

Me:  Kork, it's a camp that has special camping weekends for kids with illness, they have doctors and nurses and JDRF will be there too, it'll be fun, they have horses and archery.....I get on the website....Camp Soaring Eagle.....and read her this description....."Camp Soaring Eagle provides year round, medically supervised, camping programs to children and family members from across Arizona with chronic and life threatening illnesses."


Kork:  What does Chronic and Life Threatening illness mean?

Me:  Um, well, Chronic means forever, you will have diabetes forever or until they get a cure, so diabetes is a Chronic Illness.

Kork: What is life threatening?

Me:  Um, well, ya know, um, well, like, uh....like I'm always telling you to take care of yourself and listen to your body and take care of your blood sugars and stuff?

Kork:  Yeeeeeeessssssssss......

Me:  Well, you know how I say we need to take care of your diabetes so that you don't get sick.

Kork:  Yeeeeeeeeessssssss...........

Me:  Well, if you don't take care of it, you can get sick, and if you get too much sick, you could die, that is what life threatening means.

Kork:  So, I could die from diabetes?

Me:  Well, I guess.....but, we won't let that happen....we will always make sure you are taken care of.

That's it folks, that is it right there.  She could die because of stupid diabetes.  It is Chronic and it is Life Threatening.  

No parent ever imagines having this kind of a conversation with their kids.

When she was first diagnosed almost 4 years ago, we were in the hospital, and she was confused about what was happening to her.  We were trying to tell her that she had this disease and a part of her body didn't work right, so she had to have shots every day to help her body  do the things it needed to do.  She was just barely 5 and she just didn't understand completely.  She kept asking us over and over, "I will have to do this until I die?" and I kept answering back with "for the rest of your life, you will have to do this".  I was too shocked and devastated and I couldn't bear to hear her say "until I die" so I kept correcting it to "for the rest of your life".

Somehow, we must have glossed over the fact that diabetes can kill.  And, that's okay, she didn't really need to know at age 5, 6, 7, 8, or even now, did she?  Somehow, I let the cat out of the bag.  I felt pretty crappy about it, but I made sure to let her know that I would never let that happen.  She went off to school and seemed fine with that new information, but there have been little things here and there that make me think that while she's "okay" she's also thinking about it.

Over the weekend, she showed me that she had put a bottle of glucose tabs, a juice box, a glucagon, and 2 vials of test strips next to her bed.

She's been asking me every morning what her blood sugar was overnight.  "What were my numbers last night, mom?"

Yesterday, on the way to her music theater class I had her check her blood sugar in the car.  She was 59.  I told her "have a juice, and lower your basal -90% for one hour", she says to me.  "I guess I should do better about checking myself right when I feel low, sometimes I'm just playing and having fun, and I feel low, but I don't feel like checking, and I just think 'oh, it's almost lunch' or 'oh, we are going to music theater in a minute and mom will tell me to check' so I keep playing because it's fun, I guess I should check when I feel low". 

 She had been jumping on the trampoline with her sister right before we left for her class.  I figured she must have felt low on the trampoline but didn't want to stop jumping.  So, I just said to her, "yeah, you should check when you feel low, you know, you can check whenever you need to, you don't have to wait for lunch or when I tell you to check"  We've always told her that she can check her BG whenever she wants.

Somehow, I guess, that conversation was a turning point, I'm sure there'll be many turning points over the years.  Bittersweet is the only way to describe it.  

She's thinking about her T1 and she's thinking about how she feels and what she needs to do to take care of herself, and that is good.

No 9 year old kid should have to think about how to keep themselves alive.
No kid at any age should have to think about how to keep themselves alive.
No one at all should have to put so much thought into not dying.

This kid,especially, shouldn't have to think about dying.

Screw You Diabetes, Screw You.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Kortnie!

Today Kortnie turns 9!
Time flies by and all of a sudden my crazy blonde baby girl is 9 years old. 
Holy Cow!
What an amazing ride it's been, and we all look forward to 100 more years of amazing.
Kortnie has had T1D for 3 years and 7 months, over a third of her short life.
Kortnie has been pumping insulin for 3 years and 2 weeks, still over a third of her life.
Despite all the craziness in her personal life she keeps on keeping on.
She likes to play Soccer, she likes to Dance, she loves to go fishing and camping.  She loves to play with her friends, she loves her little brother and big sister, and she likes to help me with my daycare kids.  She likes to go on bike rides and she likes to go to the driving range to hit some balls. She likes jumping on the trampoline.  She loves all animals and knows many off the wall facts about them. She likes school and does well in it.  She is kind, loving, caring, compassionate, smart, pretty, talented, witty, funny, silly, and the best middle kid that Brian and I ever had!
She has Type 1 Diabetes but it doesn't have her. 
We've come a long way baby.  At one point I wasn't so sure we'd ever make it, but we are making it, one day at a time.
Here is a post on our family blog about her first birthday after diagnosis.
Here are a few pictures of my girl throughout the years.
Kortnie around 1

Kork at her 3rd birthday

5 years old-just months before diagnosis

Kork at 6 in Denver!
Korky at 7

Almost 4 years old in Hawaii

Korky at 8 shopping for new clothes in Phoenix
Everyone Loves You Kortnie!  Hope you have a fantastic birthday!
In honor of Kortnie's 9th birthday we are asking if anyone is willing to donate towards her JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes fundraising page.  How about $9 for her 9th birthday, or $3 for living 1/3rd of her life with pumping with an insulin pump, or how about $3.70 for living 3 years 7 months with D.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Recital Night

It's Kortnie's recital night tonight.  I just dropped her off at her show (my family and I are going to tomorrow's show, we couldn't get tickets for both nights).  I dropped her off with her test kit, a few snacks, some glucose tabs and juice box, and a couple water bottles and her cell phone.  She goes on as performance #26 so she'll be hanging out backstage with her pals for a good while.  I could have stayed backstage with her, but she wanted to do it on her own, so I let her.  I will be going down to check on her a few times, and once my husband gets home from work, I may just go sit there with her.  Usually at dance practice she drops low and I put her pump on a  -50% basal rate, but tonight she was high when I dropped her off 386, probably because she was excited and nervous.  I told her to check her BG again and call me in an hour.  By then Brian will be home and I'll be headed down there to check on her.  Check on her BG, check on her hair and makeup. 
Here she is all ready to go, looking all grown up with her stage makeup.  Sweet and Sassy, I can't wait to see her dance tomorrow night!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mom Goes a Little Crazy

This past weekend, the kids and I took a trip to Utah.  The reason for the trip was a baby blessing (like a christening...sorta) on our new niece.  My parents don't live far from where we were going to be, so they came up for a day to see us too.  So we spent one day with my side of the family, and one day with my husband's side of the family.
We left Friday after school.  Usually when we travel long distances Kortnie's BG is higher than normal, I guess it's all that sitting.  So, I checked her when I picked her up, she was in range, I let her have a cookie and a cheese stick, bolused for the cookie, and upped her basal rate 50%, that is pretty standard for us to do on road trips.
We drove nine hours, the kids did great, we only stopped twice, Kortnie's blood sugar stayed in range with the help of that +50% basal increase.  We got to our hotel at midnight, I checked her BG and she was good, so I didn't set a 2:30am alarm, I just set the alarm for 6:30am.  She woke up with good numbers and I was happy.
Saturday we ate breakfast at the hotel, which is very carby, waffles, bagels, Danish, muffins, etc.  She had 2 mini waffles, 1/2 a bagel with peanut butter, a mini muffin, some eggs, and bacon.  That is a lot of food and a lot of carbs, but we were on vacation, so I let her have it.  Bolused and set a basal increase.  We headed over to meet my parents and go to the zoo, all was well, her numbers were doing okay.  Then she got a little pissy, so I had her check, she was 318, okay, so that is why she is a little irritated, no biggie though, she had all those carbs for breakfast, gave her a bolus and a bottle of water.  All is well, around 45 minutes later we went for lunch and this is where everything went to hell.
She was in range, like 120's.  I should have known something was up.  We had a sandwich and a small bag of chips, I bolused her for that, she still had IOB from the 318 a little earlier, we had been walking and walking, and I still decided to give her the whole lunch bolus.  I guess I wasn't thinking. After I bolused her my mom brings out cookies.  Kortnie picks a tub of Nutter Butters.
Then my son tells me he doesn't want the crust on his sandwich so I tell him he doesn't have to eat it, well she says she doesn't want her crust either, so I said to her "I guess, you don't have to eat it, the cookies will make up for it, but eat all of the meat and cheese", well she threw away 1/2 of her bread, ate the meat and cheese and started on the cookies slowly, and then later I found out she didn't eat her chips either.  We were walking back into the zoo, and she started stumbling and grabbing at my arm.  We were there with just 3 adults and 6 kids, so I was kind of like "what are you doing?" and then I turned and looked at her and realized she was LOW, I mean by now I can tell just by looking, but she was F'd up and drunkard stumbling and just a mess.  Right then my mom who doesn't know what is going on says "oh look a bird show, lets go sit and watch", I'm like "YES, let's do it!" I'm searching in my backpack for a juice, get the juice out, dad is parking the stroller, mom is corralling 4 kids, I'm trying to get Kortnie a juice and corral my youngest, can't find the freaking straw for the juice, somehow we get sat down and I find a Quickstick in my bag, I'm ripping it open and pouring it in her mouth, getting her checker out and it says 42, but she has a lot of insulin on board.  She's crying and saying that she was walking and everything went black and her stomach hurts.  This one scared her and me too.
Behind Kortnie is her sister, her cousin, my dad, my nephew, and my mom, nobody knows our dilemma.
I found some skittles and smarties in my backpack, she wanted skittles, so I was handing her a few, the birds started flying and skimming our heads, it was pretty cool, she liked it and perked right up.  Phew!  We sat for half an hour or so, she loved the bird show, she ate a few more skittles and asked me why this low was worse than another low of 29 (twenty nine and doing just fine!) she'd had once.  I told her because I think this one came on fast, she was dropping fast and still dropping and excited about the zoo and in a different place and we'd been walking around all day and were still tired from travelling the night before.  Who knows, really, Diabetes is just crazy like that. 
After the bird show we go up to leave and my mom was remarking how it was nice to sit and watch the show and rest for a little bit and I said, "yes, we were having some issues and I'm glad we had a show to watch because we needed to sit and fix Kortnie up"  so mom and dad were like "what we didn't even realize!"  I said it was okay, that if I would have needed help I know they would have helped, that they don't live near us so they wouldn't catch what was going on unless it got too crazy, that they were hanging out with the other kids and that was just what I needed.  I told them what had happened and my dad says "you are a great mom, you know just what to do", and I said "no I am not a great mom, I should have made sure she ate her lunch, and I shouldn't have given her a full lunch bolus, I should have known she'd drop"  they assured me that that wasn't the case.  I got out of my bad mom slump and fed her skittles throughout the day.  Her BG was holding steady and we were doing good.   We stopped off at a gas station after the zoo and got an ice cream cone for the kids and cold drink for me.  Kortnie's BG was in the low 200's, so we bolused for the ice cream, and went to the hotel for swimming.  I checked her after ice cream, before swimming and she was 175 with IOB, so we took the pump off for swimming.  After swimming she was 125, so we put the pump back on and went to Cracker Barrel for dinner.  She ordered mac and cheese, she ate it, she was still hungry, so I gave her some of my mac and cheese and a biscuit and some of my chicken.  We ordered dessert, a double chocolate fudge coke a cola cake with ice cream.  She shared it with her 3 year old cousin.  I gave her more and more insulin for all the extra food and then after dinner set a temp basal increase because that was a lot of carbs.  By 2am she was 101 and I was happy with that. 
Sunday we got up, went to Ihop for breakfast, she had pancakes with banana and sugary strawberries and yogurt, carb, carb, carb.  From then on out she was High all day, I set temp basals, I changed site, I opened new insulin, I gave her an actual shot, and she just stayed high.  We went to church for the baby blessing, we went to a park after for a picnic, we walked and played, she still stayed high, no ketones but HIGH, never came below 250 at one point she was in the high 400's. 
This is where I went a little crazy.  The picnic had lots of desserts, I told her just one dessert, but all the other kids were having a bunch, so I let her have another.  Then I think she snuck something else.  I spend so much time telling her and everyone else that she can eat whatever she wants, she just needs insulin.  This day that came back to bite me.
After the picnic we went over to my brother in laws, they kept talking about ice cream in the freezer, I kept saying, no we don't want any, they kept talking about it more and more, my older daughter wanted some, I said no, Kortnie never asked for any, I know it was because she knew she was high.  She was hungry, I said we'd leave and go find dinner soon, they said they had bananas and brownies and ice cream she could have that.  I said, "no, she can't have that right now" the other kids were getting hungry, I said we'd leave soon to go find some dinner I was hoping Kort's BG would come down so I was stalling them. Again, the freakin' ice cream came up, I said no, we can't have ice cream.  It kept freaking coming up!  I finally said "let's go" say goodbye, since we are leaving early tomorrow morning."  They said, "really we have tons of ice cream take some back to your hotel"  I said, "NO, I really don't want it, I am done, we are going!" 
We left, we went and got some dinner, we got microwave dinners at Walmart and salads.  We went back to our hotel, we ate, I gave Kortnie a shot, I increased her temp basal, finally around 3 am she was under 200, but still 175 at breakfast.  We ate hotel breakfast, I didn't let her have as much junk as she wanted, she didn't argue.  We said goodbye to my MIL who was leaving a little after us, she asked if Kortnie's BG had come down, I said yes, but not as much as it should have, she asked why it was so high.  I told her I didn't know for sure, but probably because we'd been eating like crap all weekend.  We don't normally eat this way at home.  Cookies, waffles, bagels, brownies, dessert at every meal, biscuits, mac and cheese, etc.  I told her I was beyond irritated about the freakin' ice cream everybody kept mentioning and I was sorry I got so irritated but I was tired and PMS'ing too. 
On the way home it took us a little less than 9 hours, Kortnie ran high all the way home, I even gave her a +200% basal increase all day, since we've been back she's still running high, I've increased basals and have been sending her to school with a +30% basal increase, finally last night she hit a low with a 52.  I hated the low, but was glad to see something other than 200 or 300.  She took her site out last night for a change and said it bled a lot, so I guess it was a not so good site.  Hopefully we are the up and up now. 
It was a tough weekend and tough last few D-days.
I am still irritated about all the ice cream nonsense and it brings up other irritants about past dessert issues.  My husband's family seems to live for dessert, whenever we go to a family function or dinner at his mom's there are always 2 or more desserts (a lot of times there are MANY more) and I feel bad telling Kortnie that no she can't have all of it, she can only have one thing, or a little tiny bit of two things, so I let her go overboard and then we pay for it for days afterward.  No matter what we do, whenever we go to these family things she ends up high.  I guess I need to get better at putting my foot down and not only telling her no, but telling the other kids no, and telling the rest of the family, "no we can't have all of that!"
If you are reading this and think I'm talking about you, then I probably am.  Sorry, these are my issues, and I am working them out and trying how to say no without hurting feelings and without making my kids upset, maybe if you see this you can remember the issues I have and try not to encourage or push so many desserts next time you see us.  Yes, Kortnie can have dessert, she just can't have a crapload of it, she can have one piece of one thing, not a piece of everything, nobody needs a piece of everything.  No more saying, "oh we're on vacation, let her have it", or "oh, it's a special occasion, let her have it".  When I as the mom say no, respect it, don't push it or me.  I am about to my breaking point, someday soon I'm gonna blow and I'm going to hurt feelings and I'm going to make people mad and then I'm going to feel like an a-hole for doing it.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How T1 makes me bend my parenting rules

Today has been a crazy D-day. 
First, this morning, my kids woke up late, they were slacking in getting their chores done.  The rabbit was out of its cage.  Normally, before D, I would have insisted that the chores be done and the rabbit be put back in his cage before breakfast.  If you ran out of time to eat before school starts, then too bad, so sad!  You go to school without breakfast.
Well, a T1D kid can't really skip a meal, so I had them all come in and eat and let the rabbit roam the back yard all day.
Then, Kortnie called me from school at 11:25am, "I forgot my lunch".  I was out running errands, I came home and guess what?  No lunch in the fridge.  These kids are supposed to make their lunch for the next day as soon as they get home from school the previous day.  Sigh....  I didn't have time to even think about what I could grab her from home, I was in the middle of errands, I had Graham and 2 daycare kids in the car.  Normally, I would say again "too bad, so sad, you didn't make a lunch last night, you didn't make one this morning, you don't get lunch today"
Again,  a T1D kid can't really skip a meal, I picked her up from the nurses office, and took her over to McD's for a happy meal.
On the way to McD's I told her to check her BG and pre-bolus for her lunch-we were in a hurry, because I wanted her to get the food, get back to school, eat it and have time to run around the playground some.  Midday exercise is important for kids, and even more important I think for a T1D kid.  She opens her test kit, and guess what?  No test strips.  Are you freaking kidding me?  You used the last one this morning at breakfast and didn't get some more!?!!  Normally I would say again, "too bad, so sad, you were not prepared!"

But....NO, we need to check, it's 11:25 and she hasn't checked since 7:30, she needs a check, and she needs to eat.  So I tell her, "check the blue bag" (a bag of D-stuff we keep in the car for times like this)  I had just re-stocked the blue bag for our upcoming road trip.  She got the test strips out, tested, and put the vial of strips in her test kit, and bloused for her meal.  I told her "after school today, you better remember to replace those strips in the blue bag!"  We got her lunch, and I dropped her back off at school with 30 minutes still left of her lunch/recess time.
Around 2:10pm (school is out at 2:20) I get a call from the nurse.  "Kortnie is 58, we gave her a juice, but she says she still feels really shakey, I don't think she should ride her bike home today."  Normally, I would say....no just kidding in this situation when my kid is not feeling good, I would go get them...
Of course she can't walk home!  And, of course, I have one sleeping daycare kid, and Graham and the other daycare kid are playing nice.  Sigh.... I load up all 3 kids in the car, drive the 1/2 mile to pick her up, get there and she's in the office with out her stuff.  I walk her to class, get her stuff and remember that I am supposed to get her friend too.  So I get her friend and we head home. 
I get home and remember that she rode her bike to school and the bike is still at school. 
Oh well!

Fast forward to dinner tonight.  I made lasagna and garlic bread, she loves lasagna, she asked for a big piece.  I got her a big piece, and we bloused for 85 carbs (that is a lot of insulin!)  She was eating her food an said she didn't really like it and asked could she not finish it.  Normally, I would say, "no you asked for it, you eat it, or you don't get anything else!"
I told her to try to eat it.  She picked at it and picked at it for 45 minutes.  The sauce was spicy tonight, I didn't really like it either.  Finally she sighed and told me "I ate all the noodles out of it and finished the bread, can I not finish the sauce parts?" 
I guess so.  I'll just keep a close eye on her blood sugar tonight.
Then she asked me if she could have some chocolate almonds.  Normally I would say "no, you didn't finish dinner, you don't get a treat"  But... I figured the chocolate almonds would help the blood sugar not to drop, as she was 99 when she asked me if she could have them.  So I said yes and she got her treat. 
Dang it, stinkin' Diabetes, you got the best of me today, tomorrow I will get the best of you!

I wrote this last night as I was waiting out the blood sugars. 
At 8pm she was 99, she had the chocolate almonds with no insulin.
At 10pm she was 69 with 1.76 units of insulin in her system, and out like a light.  I got a juice box and coaxed her to sit up and drink it.
"Come on Kortnie, drink, you're low" I put the straw to her lips, she kept batting it away, finally she drank it.  I suspended her basal insulin for 30 minutes. I laid down and set my alarm for 11:15pm.

At 11:15pm she was 150 with  .59 units of insulin on board.  Just right.
I went back to bed and set my alarm for the normal 2:30am.
At 2:30am I apparently turned off my alarm and fell back to sleep.
At 4:29am I woke up having to use the restroom and realized I missed my 2:30am check.  I rushed into her room thinking, "please be breathing, please be breathing", I poked her and she moved.  Phew, thank goodness!  I checked her blood sugar and she was 89-a little lower than I like for sleeping.  I reduced her basal insulin by 40% for 1.5 hours, went potty, and went back to bed. 
At 6:05am my alarm went off to wake up for the day.  I went to the girls room and told them to wake up, they both wiggled around and made some noises, I went back to my room and snuggled up with Brian for a little bit.
At 6:15am my 2nd alarm went off, the girls were up and Graham was in my room snuggling with me.
I finally got up around 6:30am.
At 7am Kortnie's blood sugar was 147-not bad, not bad at all, although I do prefer her to be a bit lower first thing in the morning, but considering the day we had yesterday, I'll take a 147.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Aims testing and T1D

Last week Kortnie's school did AIMS testing, these are the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards testing.  They are apparently a big deal, the schools and school districts get funding based on the children's grades on these tests.  I believe that next year the kids will have to pass these tests in order to advance to the next grade levels.

So, Kortnie's school is pretty pro active in getting parents on board and encouraging us to get them good dinners and breakfasts before testing as well as reminding us that the kids need lots of rest.

Kortnie usually wakes up and has breakfast around 7, school starts at 7:50, so she does have a bit of a post-breakfast spike in blood sugar in the mornings.  Testing was going to start at 8:05am.  I was worried about the blood sugar spike. 

I got her up right on time, but had her eat before she got dressed.  I also prepared breakfast for them.  I don't usually cook every morning, we eat a lot of cereal and oatmeal.  The kids like it, and generally we don't buy the super sugary stuff. 

Also, the kids would be having a snack at school before the test.  This I guess the school does so that kids aren't hungry during testing-sadly there are some kids who don't get breakfast at home in the mornings.  I didn't want Kortnie to be left out, but I wasn't too keen on the snacks they were giving the kids.  Oh, the snacks were just fine, but not really what I wanted for Kortnie.  They had juice and crackers mostly I think. 

We don't have a 504 in place for Kortnie, (we are doing one next year when she moves up to the big kids school) but her teachers and the other school staff have always been open with us and worked around our needs.

Our plan for Kortnie went this way...

-The night before we tried to have good dinners, no carby pasta or pizza that makes her spike throughout the night
-To bed at 8pm, read until 8:15pm and then lights out, I was diligent about her nighttime checks, to make sure she woke up at a good number in the morning
-Wake up at 6:15am,  eat at 6:30am, made them eggs, strawberries, and peanut butter toast one day, and the other day we had egg sandwiches and strawberries, both days they had milk (Vanilla Almond Milk for Kortnie)
-I sent in snacks for her, 3 peanut butter crackers, 1 slim jim, and Healthy Balance Juice. 15 carbs
-I made her a chart to follow on taking BG and snacks
     1. Check BG
     2. If number is over 150, eat snack and bolus for 15 carbs
     3. If number is 105-150, eat snack and bolus 10 carbs
     4. If number is 85-105, eat snack and bolus 7 carbs

     5. If number is lower than 85 or higher than 250 call mom
-I also made sure that the basket we keep in Kortnie's classroom had plenty of low snacks and other supplies, because they technically were not allowed to leave the classroom during the test.  Most of the time Kortnie tests and treats in class, in extreme or stubborn low and highs she goes to the health office, with an escort of course. 
-I clarified with Nurse, Principal, and Teacher that if Kortnie had any extreme lows or highs during testing she would be able to leave the classroom, they were fine with that, but said in lieu of an escort (usually a classmate or teacher), the teacher would have to call the nurse or office staff to come get her. I also clarified that if she needed to use the bathroom then she would be able to.  I did advise Kortnie that she needed to use the bathroom before class and that she should only use her bathroom privileges if she REALLY needed to go.
-Her second sets of testing were in the afternoon after lunch.  I made sure we packed her lunch without excessive carbs and with protein.  I didn't limit her, I just paid better attention to what she was taking and helped her to make good choices.  I told her and the nurse to call me if she was High or Low at lunchtime, like above 250 or lower than 80.  I also told her at recess to run around a little, not to sit on the steps and talk with her friends.  Basically I told her to get her wiggles out, figured that might help the spike.  And then after lunch I had her follow the above plan for snacks before the test. 

Overall, she did really good.  She was responsible (with the help of her wonderful teacher), I never got a phone call about crazy numbers.  She said the tests were easy, but it wasn't any fun to have to sit still and quiet while the other kids finished (they had to sit and read books if they finished early).  I looked thru her meter and her numbers were all good, I can't remember what they were exactly, but I do remember thinking they were good numbers and I wished we could have numbers like that all the time. 

It does go to show that with planning, diligence, good cooking, rest, and hard work from both Kortnie and I we can keep better numbers.  I'm not going to lie though, it was exhausting, the planning, a few extra checks, making sure our "team" was all on the same page.  And luckily Kortnie's body was cooperating and not growing or trying to get sick or anything.  I am all on board with doing the extra work to keep her healthy, but sometimes a kids gotta be a kid and sometimes, a mom has to let them.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Spare A Rose, Save a Child

Today is Valentines Day.
A day for love, kisses, hearts, flowers, candy, unicorns, and glitter.
On this day in 2001 my Brian asked me to marry him, and from then on we have grown a beautiful family, full of love and fun. 
On this day and everyday I am thankful to live in a land where I am able to provide for my children.  Provide them easily with all of the things they need to grow; food, shelter, water, clean air to breathe, clothing, shoes, education,  LOVE, hugs, kisses, fun, and most importantly, in Kortnie's case, INSULIN!
There are children and adults in some countries who do not have access to insulin, it is just not available or they can't afford it.  With out insulin, a Type 1 Diabetic will die, we all need insulin to live, most of us produce our own, but Type 1's do not.
I don't even want to imagine what it would be like to live in an under-developed country, much less what it would be like to live there, have my child diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and have to watch them die, because I can't get the life saving medication that they need. 
Life For A Child.  is an International Diabetes Federation program that provides life saving insulin, education, and tools to children and their families in developing countries. 
Just $1 a day provides a child with regular insulin, blood sugar monitoring equipment, clinical care, diabetes education materials, and diabetes trained medical staff.
Spare a Rose, Save a Child is a campaign within the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) to help raise funds for Life For A Child.  The idea is that on this Valentines Day, if you planned on buying roses or even chocolate covered strawberries for your sweetie, you buy your 11 roses and take the money you'd spend on the 12th rose and donate to the Life For A Child campaign.
I donated $5 yesterday, can you spare a dollar or two, or five?  Even if you can't today, I hope you remember this programme and maybe you will have a few bucks to spare at some other time.
Happy Valentines Day from Kortnie's D-Life.

Kortnie is happy to have access to the tools and medications she needs to stay alive.