As I alluded to in a recent post, taking 3 kids 5 and under to Friends For Life was not easy. Especially when one of the three is a breast-fed 7 month old, who is partial to his naps and wants at least three of them a day. And let's not forget Mattias (or Senor Crankypants as he was dubbed on this trip); our whirling dervish of crazy who is rocking the terrible twos. Anyway, if you saw me at the conference and I looked like I was on the verge of "loosing my shit", it's because I probably was. So let me apologize. It probably could have been a lot worse if not for Shannon. Have you ever met someone and in that instant you knew you were supposed to be friends? That's Shannon. At least for me. Hopefully she got the same vibe or else this post is turning into something creepy and stalker-like. The first morning of the conference, I was running behind. I had just finished nursing Lucas and was rushing to get him into childcare so I could get to the opening on time. I had also missed breakfast, was starving, and couldn't find Fred with the other two kids. I was working myself up into a tizzy. I saw Shannon and she asked what she could do to help. I don't remember my response, but she put together a plate of food and accompanied me to childcare... holding the plate as I stood in line and ate. And she was there the rest of the conference. Helping with the kids. Getting food. Saving tables. Helping me with my sanity. Her husband and daughter are just as cool as she is. Fred and John (who is so, so funny) hit it off and Elise became L's little shadow. Something that shows me that Shannon and her family are good peeps is how L would make sure to spend time with Elise, even when she could have been hanging out with her same-age friends. Did I mention that she's a teenager? She was so great and Elise still talks about her. Shannon and I have been friends in the computer for awhile now... we have a lot in common. Meeting her in person was just like seeing an old friend. I'm thankful that FFL gave me the opportunity to meet one more sister from another mister.
Okay, maybe not dangerous. But it was really, really... not good.
It happened recently at Romano's Macaroni Grill, Elise's favourite place to eat. Right after we sat down, I checked her BG. It was 107 and holding steady on the dex. We ordered and as soon as the bread came, I bolused her for about half of what I thought she was going to eat. She always gets the same thing, but since it was pasta, I usually hold off and bolus her a bit later, sometimes extending it.
We ate some bread, and we waited. Then we waited some more. We finished the bread and waited. I watched as the dex kept showing a steady arrow, but each update was lower than the last. We asked about our food. And asked again. And waited. We played the "D" card. Nothing was done.
At one point, Fred went up front to talk to the manager. He received nothing but "I'm sorry" from the manager. Unfortunately there are zero carbs in apologies.
So far Elise had eaten less than half of the carbs I had bolused her for. And was showing 72 on the dex. I was about to break out the smarties when our food finally arrived... A full 50 minutes after we had ordered it.
Normally we love eating there, but I was appalled not only by how long it took to get our food, but also the total disregard when we explained WHY it was so important that we get our food ASAP. They were not busy. Our order was not difficult. And we had actually asked that the kids' food come out with our appetizer (it came out about 35 minutes after we received the appetizer). Maybe I shouldn't have bolused her ahead of time, but I am a huge believer in the pre-bolus and we did have some bread. The final kick in the teeth came when we got the bill and went to leave. Would you believe we received NO discount on the bill, and no manager came to apologize to us? Will this change how we bolus Elise at restaurants? Probably not... this is how we've always done it and never had a problem before. But I'm guessing I should have thrown down the "D" card a lot earlier and been more vocal when we didn't get a response. Just another thing to think about when dining out with "D".
1.The act of crying and vomiting at the same time; usually brought on by stressful events. School starts in a week and a half, and there is still so much to do and think about... the whole thing makes me want to cromit.
***drawn in about 2 minutes because I'm supposed to be working on school stuff, plus my kids have been fighting with each other all morning. Also, I suck at drawing.
You lasted two and a half times longer than what they say you should. Your accuracy was impeccable... maybe off by about 30 once or twice. Mostly within 10 and often bang on, much to my child's delight. "Same same!" The adhesive that surrounded you lacked your tenacity, so we just kept adding layer after layer of tape, hoping that you would give out before we ran out of tape. No one likes to lose a perfectly good sensor to an adhesive malfunction. No hourglasses or ??? until your final two days. Even then, you kept gasping back to life. And always on target. Every time I would think you were done, you would surprise me. Yesterday, I let you retire with full honours. Or maybe I just threw you in the garbage, I can't quite remember. I'm hoping your replacement is going to be just like you. Goodbye old friend. You really were the very best sensor that ever there was.
Holy schnikies... it's August! Although you can't see me, I'm hyperventilating a bit. School starts in 2 1/2 weeks. I haven't done the 504 plan yet. Fred will be travelling more than usual this month, including THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL! The kids' birthdays are in less than a month and I haven't planned the party yet. And, to top it off, I still need to post July's "Things diabetes..." Breeeeeeathe! Here we go... -FFL... go. That's about it. I almost went last year but couldn't because of pregnancy complications and surgery. I almost didn't go this year because my life is insane. Just. Go. -I love watching how Elise reacts when kids look at her pod or CGM sensor. Even if they don't ask, if she catches them looking, she'll go right up to them and say, "that's my pod/CGM... I have type 1 diabetes! Wanna play?" She's cool like that. -FFL made Elise want to be more active in her care. She's already pretty good; she checks her own BG, helps weigh her carbs, boluses herself (under supervision), gets everything ready for a pod change... but now she wants to know the "why" behind certain things. Why do we do temp basals? Why do we rotate sites for her pod? Why do I do extended boluses? -Oh, and she checked her own BG in the middle of the night when she got up to go to the bathroom because, "she felt high". She was... in the 300s. Thankfully she didn't do anything about it (we had been fighting highs all night), and we had to have a talk about asking us before EVER bolusing, but I love the initiative! -One of my favourite sessions at FFL was the 504 plan one, because the presenter from the American Diabetes Association had so much great info. For example:
Did you know that most camps must provide care for your type 1? They cannot be turned away because they have diabetes. And it doesn't have to be federally funded either. The same goes for daycare. The only exclusion is for religious organizations. I know too many families who have been told, flat-out that, "we cannot accommodate your child with type 1". If you want to read more click here for the ADA's information. My comfort level with leaving Elise at such a place wouldn't be high, but I always thought they were allowed to refuse.
So many people who run into roadblocks at school are not turning to the ADA for help. Some of the people that were in the session had horror stories when it came to their kids and care at school. Please, please, please... if you feel your child's school is not following the law, you need to call 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383) to speak to an ADA legal advocate.
There are some cities in the U.S. that have been forming "diabetes schools", where they are forcing all the kids in the district with type 1 to attend the same school. I can't imagine how that would affect a newly dx'd child; already facing so many huge changes in their life, but also being told they can't go back to the same school they've always attended.
-And finally, apparently Elise hears EVERYTHING Fred and I talk about. As we were leaving FFL, I asked Elise if she enjoyed it and did she want to come back. She told me she had so much fun, and really wanted to come back, but... After a long pause I was able to get it out of her that she worried about how much money it was.
I laughed and hugged her, letting her know that some things are just worth spending a lot of money on. We're already saving for next year!
Her name was Hannah, and I heard her before I ever saw her. I came around the corner and discovered what I thought was music playing over the speakers was actually coming from the girl who was cleaning the bathroom. I remarked that she had a wonderful voice, and somehow we started talking about the upcoming Friends For Life banquet and how Elise was going to dress as Belle. She then wished me "a magical day", and I left smiling at her good cheer. Later that day, as Elise and I were making our way to the banquet, we ran into Hannah from the bathroom. She gasped and remarked that she had never seen a lovelier Belle. She bowed and asked Elise for her autograph. After a sidelong glance at me to confirm just what the heck Hannah was talking about, Elise obliged... A tiny smile playing about her lips. Hannah thanked Elise and bowed again, and Elise curtsied; her eyes sparkling with delight at the whole exchange. Why do I tell this story? Because I've been thinking a lot about the energy I put out there when it comes to diabetes care. Sometimes, diabetes can be like cleaning the bathroom... Or the whole house for that matter. There will always toys to pick up, clothes to put away, dog fur to vacuum, floors to mop, and toilets to scrub. And there are always BGs to check, carbs to count, basals to adjust, supplies to order, and pods to change. There are a million other things I'd rather be doing. But if I don't take care of it, things can turn nasty pretty quickly. But then there was Hannah, cleaning the bathroom all the while smiling and singing. Greeting our kids and making them feel like royalty while sweeping the floor. She was making magic out of the mundane. And it's all in the attitude, isn't it? These days I'm trying to "sing", even when all the D care has become tiring. When I count carbs, I am grateful for those who took the time to explain carb factors, making my life a lot easier. When I check her BG, I am thankful we have access to what we need to take care of Elise. When I adjust basals, I am amazed by technology that allows me to fine-tune Elise's insulin needs, right down to .05 of a unit. I'm not talking about faking it until you're making it. I'm just saying there is so much to be thankful for. And I want Elise to see that too. And since there will always be a toilet to clean or a BG to check, you might as well sing while you do it.
I woke up; my heart pounding and sweat just pouring off of me. As my eyes adjusted to the dim light of the bedroom, I realized that it had just been a dream; the shakiness, feeling dizzy, my CGM buzzing a low blood sugar and the number on the monitor coming in at 29. This had happened before; dreams where I was the one with diabetes and I was experiencing a low blood sugar. It always amazes me how vivid and real the symptoms are. In my dream I was at work, and I was struggling to tell my co-workers what was wrong. I was on the verge of passing out and I managed to spit the words, "my blood sugar..." out, when they all came running. That's when I awoke to the dexcom screaming about a LOW that my daughter was experiencing right at that moment. I ran into her room, and the check turned up a 56. This is also not the first time I've had dreams about being low, only to awake and find that Elise actually is.
I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I am just a Mom whose little girl has Type 1 Diabetes. On this blog you will find tips and advice, but it should NEVER be a substitute for your doctor's wisdom. If your child has diabetes, or you suspect that your child has diabetes, please seek the attention of a healthcare professional, and not some crazy, over-worked, frazzled, sleep-deprived nutjob who has staked out her corner of the world-wide-web-information-super-highway and is espousing her viewpoints from it.
But I think that's good advice when it comes to anything, don't you?