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Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Freddie!

We've had a crazy few weeks here at Le Maison de Death of a Pancreas, but I need to say Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband/partner in crime/best Papa in the world, Fred. 

Thanks for being born Freddie, life would sure be dull without you!  I love you and love you.

More cake!  This time with Fred's parents.  Also pictured: the best cake in the world

P.S. Also Happy Birthday to my Mom.  Sorry you missed the cake.

Friday, April 27, 2012

To check or not to check?

I know there are so many different viewpoints on many things when it comes to raising your t1 child;
  • real sugar vs. sugar free
  • pumps vs. MDI
  • Giving your child the choice when it comes to pumps, CGMs, etc.
  • weighing/measuring vs. SWAG-ing
No two parents do things the same, and I think that's great.  Diabetes, after all, is not a one-size-fits-all disease.

One of the biggies that can sometimes cause a lot of tension between us D-Parents is overnight checks.  Fred and I were never taught to check Elise overnight by the CDEs, except when we made any changes to her bedtime insulin.  About two months in, I read about Dead in Bed Syndrome and discovered that a lot of parents do check overnight.  Every night.

And so have we.  Every night since she was about 14 months old.  That's a lot of lost sleep, my friends.  But those nights when you catch a 40 with two hours to go before the NPH peaks, or a 95 with .20 IOB (which would drop Elise by 50), makes all that lost sleep so worthwhile.

For the longest time we were mostly worried about catching lows.  When Elise was on MDI, we seldom corrected at night because even if she was 300 at midnight, she would almost always come down by morning.  Once we started pumping, we would just correct a high and move on. Consequent checks that night were usually done to make sure we weren't over-correcting.  Again, she would almost always come down.

Until this past Wednesday night.  I had checked Elise at 11:00 pm before I went to bed.  She was 123, which I felt comfortable with because I knew she had been running a little high during the overnight.  I set my alarm for 2:00am.

My alarm went off and I stumbled into Elise's room.  As I grabbed one of her feet to poke her toe, she rolled over and I saw the pod that we had just put on 12 hours earlier was hanging by a thread.  I took a closer look, hoping the cannula was still inserted so I could MacGuyver it up until morning.  No such luck.

At this point I might have muttered something that sounded a little like "seal" in French. 

A quick check showed her at 298.  I woke her up and with the help of my Mom (mostly to keep her calm), Elise had to endure a shot and pod change.  Sucktastic.

Afterwards, all I could think about was, "what if we didn't do overnight checks?  How high would she have been by morning?"  Thursday was a school day for Elise, and her class was participating in "Suessical the Musical" along with the rest of her school.  Most likely she would have had to stay home so I could get her safely back into range.  And she would have been so disapointed and mad at diabetes.

So to check or not to check?  I believe it is YOUR question. My viewpoint is, "your kid, your choice."  But for this family, night checks will always be a part of the diabetic life we lead.

This photo has nothing to do with the post... just a fun shot celebrating Fred's and my Mom's birthday.  The 104 is for the total number of years we were celebrating.  They didn't think it was so funny.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our week with Dex

Well hello!  Long time, no blog... which for me usually means something craptastic is happening.  Not so much this time around.  We've just been busy.  My Mom has been in town and our activities have been non-stop.  In two weeks we have:
  • Re-done my downstairs half bath, including; stripping U-G-L-Y wallpaper, patching, priming (walls, vanity and baseboards), painting said vanity and baseboards, applying 3+ coats of venetian plaster to the walls, sanding and polishing the plaster, sealing the plaster, and hanging 2 paintings, a mirror and a light fixture. And by we, I mostly mean my Mom.
  • Cleaned out and organized my garage.
  • Put together a bookshelf for the master bedroom.
  • Had a photo session with our photograper from Inspiration Through Art
  • Started a garden.
As well as all the other day to day things that involve running a household and caring for two kids.  Did I mention that Fred has been gone pretty much the whole time?  Yeah, it's going to suck when she leaves.

But this post isn't about that, it's about our brief and somewhat lovely interlude with our dexcom.  We are back to being dex-free, which was Elise's choice and I fully support it. 

The 7 days gave us some great information.  I was worried that her graph would mostly consist of huge peaks and valleys, but I was happy to see that she stays pretty steady between meals.  That has given me HUGE peace of mind.

Do I wish she would still wear it?  Yeah... I do.  Not having to worry so much about the night time was great.  Knowing which way she was headed was wonderful. And I loved being able to bolus more aggressively when she was high.

But once again, the negatives were just not worth it.  The itching it caused.  And the rash that turned so red and angry (like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli).  Plus she quickly remembered how much she hates to carry the receiver around.

While I am thankful for technology like CGMs, I just wish the technology was better.  Less intrusive, and easier to make a part of your every day life. 

So once again we have laid dex to rest in a little drawer, along with his little buddy, Mr. Transmitter, until the next time they're needed.  Sleep well, guys... until we meet again!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Princess and her ball

If you remember, last year around this time, Fred and I were able to attend the JDRF Gala.  We were invited again this year, but not able to go due to not having child care (hmmmm, sound familiar... anyone?).  Fred and I were pretty disappointed until an idea struck me... who better to take to a fancy gala, than our own princess-in-her-own-mind, Elise?

To say she was excited was an understatement.  It was all she could talk about in the days leading up to the event.  The dress.  Her hair.  Dancing with her prince.  It was all I could do to not laugh.

She was practicing her "princess poses"
I was happy to let her go in my place with Fred.  After all, she's always wanted to go to a "ball", and she's a whole lot cuter than me.  Plus I wore my one and only fancy dress last year, and in Dallas, you do not show up to an event wearing the same thing you did the year before (heck, that's probably a rule no matter where you live).

Twirling... always twirling.
I got to go out on a date with my own sweet little man.  We ate burgers and fries.  Rather, he ate about 3/4 of the fries.  Still, it beats wearing heels any day in my book.

How on earth are we related???
Elise was so excited to see her Papa all dressed up in his "smoking" (that's what a tuxedo is called in Portuguese... it's the English word smoking.  No... I don't know why).  I wish I had captured her face as she saw Fred come out the door all dressed up.  She was in love.  Just as it should be.

Adorable.  Both of them
Unfortunately, I forgot  to tell Fred to do a temp basal to combat the sitting in a car for 30 minutes and all the excitement.  She ended up in the 300s by dinner.  Oh well... I don't think she'll remember the high BG... just the fun night she had with her prince.  Due to a full day of soccer, lunch with friends, and an Easter egg hunt, their night was over by about 9:00 and she fell asleep during the car ride home.  Dreaming of glass slippers and castles, no doubt.

This princess wants a CURE!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Who am I???


Remember back a few months ago when Elise decided she no longer wanted to wear the Dexcom?  I was beside myself with worry... we had just started pumping and were so used to the constant stream of numbers.

Well, a couple of days ago, Elise started bugging me to wear it again.  When asked why, she said, "so you won't have to check my blood sugar if I'm not eating... you can just check my monitor!"

I managed to distract her for a couple of days, but she started asking again.  Today, she just wouldn't take no for an answer.  So I dusted off the dex, and put my rusty insertion skills to the test.  The result:



One happy girl!  I'm still scratching my head about this, but I've always said it's HER body and she can decide what she does and doesn't want to wear.

So, we're dex-ing again!  I am so interested to see how long it lasts!

***I just want to add that I have nothing against the dex.  In fact, I love it.  It helped us so much when Elise was on MDI and when she started pumping.  I just got used to not being at its beck and call.  I loved seeing her bare, rash-free skin.  It made me happy not to see her lugging the receiver around.  We got to a point where we felt that her settings were great, and she was feeling her lows, so the dex wasn't necessary anymore.  Just wanted to make sure we're clear that I have no bad feelings towards the dexcom.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Me: an update

Thanks to all of you who have been praying, sending positive vibes etc. for me. I went to the doc on Monday, and as well as my thyroid being out of whack, I'm also anemic. They did another test to find out which type, but hopefully we'll get it figured out soon.

My thyroid was the culprit of all the really scary symptoms, and though I've been dealing with thyroid stuff since I was 13, Ive never experienced symptoms this bad. I just switched back to armor thyroid after being off of it since my pregnancy with Mattias, and it's been a little difficult to figure out the correct dosage. I still like it waaaaaaaay better than synthroid. Just my little opinion, though.

So that's what was up with me! Looking forward to getting my mo jo(anne) back!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Things I learned from diabetes this month: March edition

-This month featured another stomach bug for Elise... I should have seen it coming since we were experiencing lows out of nowhere starting two days prior. That makes two lowpuketonefests (low BGs, puking and ketones) since we started the pump and I've figured out that I need to cut all carb ratios in half automatically. I don't touch her basals, but just manually adjust the amount of insulin by taking the suggested dose and cutting it it half. As soon as I see the numbers creep up, I adjust it to about 40%... and so on. I don't bother to change the settings because I know she'll be back to normal within a few weeks and manually adjusting it ain't no big thing.

-Did you know that on the pod you can only have 4 insulin to carb ratio settings? I found this out by trying to add a fifth, and it wouldn't let me. This was confirmed by a call to customer service (even they had to check to make sure). It seems silly to me, and I had to combine two daytime settings, so I could add a snack setting at night. It just means that her afternoon snack ratio is off. I don't get why we can't add more.


-I knew this from when we were on NPH, but had sort of gotten lazy about making sure Elise got a healthy amount of protein in her bedtime snack. It makes all the difference in the world when it comes to Elise's overnight numbers. When we make sure she has a high protein bedtime snack, her numbers are super steady. Lately she has a glass of chocolate milk (20% chocolate and 80% white) and some banana. Works like a charm.

-I have discovered a great method for making sure we have no bubbles when filling the pod. I have a post already to go, just need to add pictures for the visual.

-Thank you for all the sweet comments on my post yesterday... they really make me feel loved!