Monthly Archives: July 2011

Public Service Announcement

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Every year at the end of July I think back to 1991 and what I was feeling before I was officially diagnosed with Type One.  So, today is my public service announcement.  I wish everyone knew the signs of high blood sugar!  Do your part to please share them, know them and be aware of them!  Type One Diabetes is diagnosed in children as young as 2 months and even adults can be diagnosed, but usually it is kids or teenagers.  It is not hereditary!  There is nothing you can do to avoid having Type One/ Insulin Dependent Diabetes.  So many people confuse Type One and Type Two Diabetes.  Please don’t be one of them!  If your pancreas is not making enough insulin to keep your blood sugars at a normal level, you have Type One.  If you have health problems or weight issues and a chance to lower your blood sugar with exercise and diet and it works, you have Type Two.

There is nothing like seeing a 2-year-old with an insulin pump and a pump tube (that take the insulin from the pump into the body) taller than he is to KNOW we must continue working towards a cure!  There are stories every week of children whose lives are taken much too early simply because their blood sugar went too low or too high at the worst time possible.  When a child is diagnosed, their blood sugar could be anywhere from 200-500, or higher.  As a normal person with a working pancreas, your blood sugar is always between 80 and 130 no matter if you just consumed a bottle of water or a strawberry shake.  The goal of someone with Type One is to maintain the most normal blood sugars, without going too low or too high.  Ahh, it sounds so easy!

Warning signs of Insulin Dependent Diabetes* includes, but is not limited to:  Excessive thirst, frequent urination, exhaustion, inability to regulate body temperature, odor in breath, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision.  A simple blood test can tell you what your blood glucose/blood sugar is at this exact moment and an A1C test will tell you what your average blood sugar has been during the past three months.

*For more complete information and all medical references, please visit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation website

As we approach my Type One Anniversary date I look forward to sharing more of my story.  Until then, here’s to all those newly diagnosed patients and parents and their worries and fears.  Here’s to all those who are living happy, healthy lives thanks to insulin!  Here’s to you and the life you might be able to save knowing the warning signs!

Summer Time Lows

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So, I was completely overwhelmed by your kind comments after my first published post yesterday.  Thank you.  I am so grateful for the memories and advice you shared and your kind & encouraging words.  Please know how much I appreciate your time to read!  I doubt The Pioneer Woman will be commenting soon, but to know that you read it and that a few of you shared my blog with someone in my situation means the world to me!

Summer is always a difficult time to manage Type One Diabetes at any age, so I have found.  You are out of your routine, hours of sleep are different, meal time is off and it is just plain HOT!  For all you parents of Type Ones…hang in there.  Next summer will be easier!  As a teenager, the biggest pain of the summer was having to get up at my normal time to check my blood sugar, take a shot and eat breakfast.  While I was in college, every week of summer was different so there was never a routine.  In the game of survival, this is what you do.   Hopefully, today, most children and teenagers wear an insulin pump which allows them so much more flexibility in their timing.  As a Mom of two, my pump provided for my miracle babies and the chaotic schedule to follow, yet still affected by the seasons and changing weather.

So, the Summer Troubles for Type One Diabetics are schedules (6am for a finger prick, insulin shot and real breakfast sound appealing to any summer kid?), well-balanced meals (who wants to really eat when it feels like over 100′ ten days in a row?), normal exercise routines (I could have used every single fan in the gym today) and staying cool enough to realize what your body is telling you.  Thus, brining us to today’s diabetic curve ball.  It is hot, that is all there is to it. It has been terribly hot since early June and we feel like it is never going to cool off.  95′ on Monday felt lovely!  After a trip to the gym and perfect blood sugar to follow, lunch and then getting the boys in and out of the car a couple of times, taking care of the recycling and ten minutes of other household chores I came inside for my afternoon chugging of water.  Once I consumed the water, I realized that I was not just “hot”, but I was sweating and clammy and my tongue was going numb.  Mendy’s low blood sugar indicators: the shakes, numb tongue, sensitive to temperatures, focus on accomplishing any task besides checking blood sugar, including, but not limited to, saving the world.  A quick check on the glucometer and I am LOW….42!  Low, like, get the juice and a granola bar and sit down, don’t worry that the boys have seen Curious George a zillion times.  Thirty minutes later my blood sugar and my mind is back to normal (and I have retired, once again, from saving the world) and I am reminded today that I have to pay attention to my body, not think that I am SuperWoman or Shera or any other comic book character, but a lady with a chronic illness that must be monitored no matter what the season.

I would love to hear how you deal with the Summer Time Lows and what you do on a daily basis to stay cool and healthy!  Here’s to the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer and the promise of Fall!

My First Post

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So, here I go.  Ready to let the world in on my struggles with Type One Diabetes.  In August I will celebrate 20 years with this disease.  Twenty years of waking up every single morning with the prayer of “Thank you, God for not letting my blood sugar go too low or too high.  Thank you for letting me wake up.” Twenty years of counting on my parents, my sister, my friends, my roommates, my husband, my co-workers and now my children for always keeping an eye out for dropping or rising blood sugars.   Twenty years of couting meal choices, carbohydrates.  Twenty years of measuring insulin with activity level with food intake at every single meal.  Twenty years of finger sticks and pump problems and needles that just plain hurt.

Up until the birth of my second son, three years ago, I was a model diabetic patient.  Never rebelled, never skipped a shot, always checked, always tested, always was on top of things.  Then, I made it through two pregnancies with two miracles and all of a sudden taking care of myself was not even on my list of things to do.  I love my boys and am blessed to be their Mama.  I had wanted them, prayed for them, prepared my body for them for 15 years.  My “third child”, however, Type One Diabetes, became a pain to take care of.  The post partum depression never went away.  The blood sugars weren’t being checked.   My pump wasn’t being changed as often as it needed to.  I was slacking in everyway possible.  My thyroid levels were out of control, but medication wasn’t working.  I was more tired than ever before.  My A1C was higher than ever before.  It was time for professional intervention for the girl who knew how to fake her way through a doctor’s appointment.

So, this blog is the story of overcoming this horrible chronic illness that never gives you a break, an easy day.  This blog is for all of you who are a parent or a spouse or a sibling or a friend of a Type One Diabetic who want to know more of what your Type One is thinking.  This blog is for all of you managing this disease beautifully, or in the shadows.  This blog is for me too, as I come to terms with how to treat this condition for the next twenty years.  So, thanks for coming with me as I avoid the highs and lows.