Our D-history:

My daughter, *Rosie, was five years old when she was diagnosed on September 19, 2008, with Type I Diabetes. We started out on MDI, but in October 2010 we switched to a pump. We also added a Dexcom CGM in May of 2011. In February 2014 we changed to the Medtronic Enlite system- a pump and CGM all in one.

*Rosie is not her real name... I let her pick her own pseudonym for the blog!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Five Years

It was five years ago this week- 9/19/08-  that Rosie was diagnosed.

Every year, the date has kind of weighed on me.  I'd replay things in my mind and think about all the ways our lives have been changed due to this disease.  This year?  Other than a vague feeling that I was forgetting to do something all day, the day came and went without any fanfare.

Five years of finger pokes, carb counting, and sleepless nights.  That's a lot, yet just a drop in the bucket compared to the many years Rosie has ahead of her.  A cure can't come soon enough.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

5th grade: So far, so good!

Rosie has been back in school for nine days now.  I have only received one call from the Clinic Aide, and that was about some missing paperwork that the endo's office hasn't faxed yet. I think it's a record-- usually by this time I've been in to "chat" with the Clinic Aide about some kind of problem at least once!

Rosie has a plastic shoe box with supplies in her homeroom.  She tests in the classroom as needed.  When she changes classrooms for various subjects, she carries glucose with her in her pump belt, and generally can rely on her Dexcom to see if she's going low.  If needed, she can leave the other classrooms and go to the clinic to test.  

She's run a little on the low side nearly every day, which tends to happen at the start of every school year with the changes in routine.  She's been able to treat/test herself and has done really well.  I'm so proud of her!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Good Day + Bad Site = Bad Night

On Saturday I took four kids to the local splashpad, two of whom are Type 1.   My daughter Rosie, my son (non-d), and our two neighbors-- a girl Rosie's age, and a boy my son's age-- and who is also Type 1.  

It was nice, having another d-kid and sibling with us... not to mention that these kids are all good friends.   Nobody batted an eye when we pulled out two meters and did two finger pokes.  None of the four kids complained when they needed to sit after their snack for a few minutes and allow the d-kids to come up a little (from 84 and 83) before they ran off to play some more.  Any time we go places with non-d kids we have to explain and make a big deal out of testing and waiting... with these four, it was just a normal thing.   It was great!

Unfortunately, last night was not so nice.  I changed Rosie's site after supper, and apparently a wrinkle in the adhesive kept the catheter  from going all the way in.   Coincidentally, we also got ice cream last night, something we rarely do.   Around 11pm she spiked up to 537, complete with vomiting and headache.  A site change, a couple of hours on the couch,  and a 200% basal finally brought her down-- around 3am she was down to 194, and we finally went to bed.   Then, at her 6am check, she was low-- 49.  I don't know if that was from over-correcting the high, or if it was just normal, because the last two days she had also been low around that time.   At any rate, it was a long night that was very short on sleep!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Back to School Blues

My kids start back to school on Tuesday.  I know it's cliche, but where did the summer go?  Ugh.

This summer has been good in terms of diabetes-- Rosie's A1C is the lowest it's been in two years.   Rosie has taken charge of counting carbs and doing her own bolus at lunch (with supervision).  She hasn't had any sites ripped out or any pump issues for quite a while now.

School.  ::sigh::  We love the Catholic school that our kids attend, and the only issues we've ever had there involve extra care-- both with Rosie's diabetes and her brother's learning disability.  Both conditions require extra services (read: paperwork and meetings) that the school is required by law to provide, but getting them to provide those services isn't always easy.  My mama bear side tends to come out, and the clinic aide tends to look like a deer in headlights if I bump into her when she wasn't expecting to see me.  Oh well!

I feel like I'm gearing up to do battle again.   I know that going back to the school routine will throw her numbers off for a week or two- it always does.  I also know that every year we have issues with the clinic aide, and every year I can count on multiple phone calls before things are straightened out.  The first month of school is, basically, exhausting for all of us.

So, yeah...the thought of summer ending and sending Rosie back to school makes me kind of sad. Anyone else wishing for a few more weeks of summer?


Friday, August 9, 2013


I have always assumed that at some point my kids will need glasses.  I'm nearly blind, myself-- I can only see a few inches in front of my face without glasses or contacts.  Everyone on my side of the family wears contacts or glasses.  My husband has been blessed with much better vision, but even he sometimes needs to wear glasses at night.  So... I figured it was inevitable.

I took both kids to the ophthalmologist today.  Rosie's vision was "on the fence", with the Dr. stating that he won't be surprised if she starts complaining of vision problems within the next six months or so.  If not then, by the time we go back next year, he expects her to need glasses.

The Dr. reminded me how important it is for diabetics to see an ophthalmologist every year.  He compared it to a leaky hose-- he said that diabetes can keep poking tiny holes in a person's eye health  that aren't really noticable until all of the sudden you have a big flood of problems.  He encouraged us to keep up with our visits so that we can catch any issues in the "leak" phase, before they become big problems.

All in all, it was a good visit, and a good reminder: diabetes is always there, always working in the background, and we have to do our best to stay on top of it.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Just Call Me MacGyver

Last night we spent the night at my sister and brother-in-law's house.  We keep a small insulated bag stocked with d-supplies for trips like this-- we just have to add in the chilled insulin right before we leave the house and we're {usually} good to go.

I thought we were good until I went to change Rosie's site this morning and discovered that the bag was out of the blue plunger/ reservoir sets.  (OK, well, that's not their real name, but I can't think of it-- the blue thing we use to suck the insulin out of the bottle and put it into a new reservoir.  I'm a little more sleep deprived that usual...did I mention that I was up all night with my new baby niece and with Rosie being low? Seriously, it was pretty much once an hour either the baby was fussing or else Rosie's Dex was beeping!)

After checking the insulin left in her pump (nowhere near enough to make it back home) and weighing my options, I finally decided to try and use a syringe to refill her current reservoir as a temporary fix.  Slowly but surely, it worked-- I got enough insulin in it to last until we could get home and do a proper site change with a fresh reservoir.

I'm not recommending this by any means, but sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do!  ;)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Glucagon App

Ever worried that you might not remember how to use Glucagon in an emergency?  Do you tend to forget to fill your prescription and find expired Glucagons in your cabinet?  (Yeah, me too.)

There's a new app out from Lilly called, appropriately, Glucagon App.  It shows you how to use it in an emergency, allows you to virtually practice, reminds you to refill your prescrption, and more.

It looks like a great app to have, and I'd love to download it myself.  Unfortunately, it appears that it's only available for iPhones right now.  I'm hoping there's an Android version out soon.

I am in no way connected to this product and receive nothing for telling you about it... other than the satisfaction of passing along useful information.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another Gray Ribbon

Not just a diabetes ribbon... it's also a brain cancer ribbon.  It turns out that they're both gray.  (I know, I know, diabetes also has a blue/gray one and the blue circle.)    

My sister was diagnosed last week with a large brain tumor/ cancer.  Surgery to remove the tumor went well, and the next step will be six months of chemo and radiation.  This was all very sudden and unexpected.

I usually keep this blog specifically about diabetes, but I had to take a moment to ask for your prayers for my sister.  My family has had a rough year-- my dad survived a heart attack, my mom survived kidney cancer, and now this... on top of our daily battle with Rosie's diabetes.   We appreciate any prayers you'd care to offer up--  thank you!

No Curveballs this Season

image source: The Principal's Posts

Has it really been a couple of months since I've posted?  Wow, time flies when you're counting carbs... or something like that.

We made it through another softball season with diabetes, and Rosie's team even won their league.  There were only a few games where Rosie had to sit out a bit and get some extra carbs.

It helps that Rosie has played on the same team for the past few years, so nobody pays much attention when she messes with her pump or sits down to gulp down a juice box.  Her coach is aware that if she wanders off the field to rummage in her bag, she's not just playing around, she needs carbs. We're comfortable enough there that she's even gone to a few practices without us sitting on the sidelines, and all was well.

I think we're finally feeling confident in the art balancing diabetes and softball season.  And yes, I realize that by putting that in writing, diabetes is sure to throw us some curveballs the next time Rosie sets foot on a field!


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It finally happened: our ER visit

Ever since Rosie has been diagnosed (nearly five years ago now), I have lived in fear of the day that we would have to make a hospital visit for a simple virus.  I somehow felt like that would mean I hadn't done things right, or we had let things get out of control.   I know, I know... that's just that silly d-mom guilt thing.

Last weekend, Rosie's younger brother had a bad case of the flu.  He came home from school early on Friday vomiting, and pretty much spent the whole weekend being sick and laying on the couch.  Rosie and I were gone over night on a Girl Scout trip, so Little Brother was home with Dad.   I had hoped that Rosie might not catch it since we were gone.

Monday, Rosie was fine.  We even commented on how great her numbers had been all day that day-- a so-called "no hitter" on the Dex screen.   (In hindsight, I should have known better than to voice this out loud, right?)   

Well, you know how this goes.... yep, that night she was up through the night being sick.  By 6am she had a bg of 600 and large ketones.  DH tried giving her a Zofran, and she couldn't even keep that down.   I called the endo's office, expecting the standard issue instructions: sips of Gatorade, more Zofran, etc.   Nope.  The nurse immediately told us that we needed to bring Rosie to the ER.   Since Little Brother had also been sick that morning, he was staying home.  I packed up Rosie and DH stayed home with Little Brother.

The hospital-- which is also where our endo's office is-- is only about ten minutes from our house.  Poor Rosie got sick as soon as we got there-- she ran to the trash can in the parking lot.  A security guard saw us and kindly went inside to get a basin for Rosie.  They had a room ready and set to work on her IV, drawing blood, giving her Zofran in the IV, and hooking her up to various monitors.   By this time my normally happy girl was downright grumpy... she was getting mad about trivial things, like having a band-aid on her finger, and she was just not acting herself at all.

One thing surprised me: after we'd been there an hour or so, we were told to disconnect Rosie's pump.  They were not giving her any insulin at that time.  This worried me, so I stopped the ER doctor (stereotypical ER doc, who didn't want to slow down for questions-- grrr-- but actually was very nice) and asked about this.  He explained that the theory is that if there's something wrong with the pump, they won't know it, so to dose by pump might mean that she is not getting the correct amount of insulin.   They prefer to inject insulin.   That made sense to me, but there was still a good hour or so when she was sky-high and completely without insulin.   The whole process was hard for this mama bear to watch! 

After a couple of hours of waiting around and more bloodwork, Rosie was allowed to eat.  She ordered a cheese omelet (one of her favorite foods) and oatmeal.  Once she ate, she was like a whole new kid-- back to her normal personality and much more calm.  

An hour or so later, we were cleared to go home.  Her bg was down around 400, and evidently her ketones were down-- I don't recall them actually telling me what they were.   Rosie spent that evening and part of the next day sleeping, and by Thursday, she was back to normal, with blood sugars only spiking around 300 on occasion.

Whew.   All in all, it turned out that going to the hospital wasn't as bad as I'd feared.  It was kind of nice to be there and feel safe in knowing that there were plenty of people who could help her when she was so sick.  It's not something I'd want to repeat if we can avoid it, but if we have to go, I think I'll be much more comfortable with the idea next time.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weather related lows?

Here's an interesting theory: very cold weather may cause low blood sugars.

 I have nothing scientific to back this up... just conversations with two local Type 1's, both of whom, like Rosie, experienced a lot of unexplained lows last week during Ohio's bitter cold weather.

It kind of makes sense to me.  After all, if Rosie is sky-high, we put her in a warm bath, and that helps bring her down.  So I suppose that it's not too far-fetched to think that cold might have the opposite affect.

I haven't researched this yet, I'm just thinking out loud.   Does anyone else experience a difference when there's a drastic change in temperature?


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Low, low, low.

Last night was one of those nights.  Rosie went to bed low and stayed low all night.   We were both up a lot last night, and we're both tired and a little grumpy this morning.

We're out of juice, in both boxed and bottled form.  That never happens, but last night, it did.  So my treatment options were glucose tablets or fruit snacks.  I chose glucose.

When Rosie is really out of it, whether it's from the low or from being asleep, she fights.  She clamps her mouth shut and literally pushes me away when I try to get some sugar into her.  At one point she was keeping her arm held straight up in the air, for no apparent reason.  It strikes me as funny this morning, but in my sleep-deprived fog, it was just one more thing to contend with.  She was really out of it.   That hasn't happened for a couple of months now.

Temporary basals, several rounds of glucose, and lots of prayers got us through the night.

My new flavor of coffee (buttery caramel) is getting me through this morning.

I hope God understands why we didn't go to church this morning.   The idea of dragging us there to sit through mass just didn't seem feasible- Rosie and I are exhausted, and her little brother is always a challenge at mass anyway.   Resting quietly at home seemed like a better plan. 

Note to self:  buy juice on the way to work this evening.