Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How I'm feeling

I'm sure you will all get tired of me talking about Diabetes, but it is kind of my life now, so deal with it. :) I've just been thinking a lot today about how the last week has impacted my life and how to describe it. I'm not sure there is an accurate description, but here's what I came up with.

An easy life is like a brisk walk on a beautiful day, something you want to do and look forward to.

Life before all of this, just regular life with three small kids, tough but not too hard. Like maybe a tough jog on a beautfiul day. The scenery is still great, the sun is still shining, but sometimes you are too tired to run, but you can make it through.

The last week has felt like a tough jog through mud up to your waist. Its exhausting. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Sometimes you feel like you can't go another step. But, then you do. One step at a time until your strong enough to run through the mud. All along the sun is still shining and the scenery is still amazing, but its hard to notice it because you are too overwhelmed with the mud. You know? Does any of this make sense?

And its not really that bad, I guess this makes it sound pretty awful. For the most part we are doing amazingly well considering. James is still adjusting pretty well, Ryan and I are getting the hang of the insulin routine and I'm even getting better at counting carbs, making real dinners and everything. But in the back of mind I'm still always a little overwhelmed with my new responsibilities. I've always felt like I didn't have a strong grasp on the responsibilities I had just being a mom to young kids, so now there is just that much more to try to deal with. I've had to let a lot of other things slide in my life for a while until I feel like I can at least walk through the mud and not end up crawling. But considering its only been 1 week (wow, it feels like so much longer than that) I think we are doing pretty well.

The hardest thing right now is teaching James that he can't eat all the time. He's always been a grazer, snacking his way through the day. Well, he can't do that now. I've tried to make the transition as easy as I can, but its tricky and yesterday we had a bad day. He was sad and cranky all day because he didn't understand why he couldn't have what he always has. Ryan sat him down today and tried to explain and he's done a little better, but its still tough. I'm sure he'll grasp it eventually and get used to the new routine, but until then, I just have to be strong. I've been a pushover with him all week because I feel bad and i'm tired, so now he's getting used to that and I've got to stand my ground and do what's best for him. Being a mom is hard sometimes. But, like I said, we will make it. I'll learn how to run in the mud and it'll make me a stronger person. Eventually I might not even notice the mud so much and be able to appreciate the scenery again. I will. I know I will.

But for now, if I fall in the mud occasionally, just pick me back up and tell me to keep walking.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

About Diabetes

Obviously we have learned a LOT about Diabetes in the last few days. I thought I would share a few of the things to help you all understand a little more.

Type I is completely unpreventable. It is an autoimmune response where the body attacks the Pancreas until it can longer produce the hormones necessary to process Glucose. Science is unsure what causes it, but it cannot be cured or prevented as of now.

Type I has nothing to do with diet and exercise. Unlike Type II which can often be caused by poor diet and exercise and controlled by improving those things.

In the last several years treatments have improved so much that Diabetics no longer have to be on a strict diet. James will be able to eat anything that he wants, as long as we adjust his insulin accordingly. We will make some changes obviously, because the less sugar he eats the less medicine we have to inject, but for the most part he can eat his normal diet. We just have to consolidate his meals and snacks so he doesn't have to get as many injections.

There are several treatment options that will be available to James once we have stabilized him more, but all include injecting Insulin. There are insulin pumps he will probably be able to use that make it so we don't have to poke him every meal and stuff, but he will be insulin dependent for the rest of his life...unless they find a cure before then!

We have to check James' glucose level by pricking his finger at least 4 times a day.

We calculate his insulin dosage based on the number of carbs he is about to eat. Carbs are what turn to glucose in our bloodstream. That means we will be counting carbs in EVERYTHING.

It is best for James to get insulin before he eats, which means we have to try and estimate how much he is going to eat in advance. Tricky business with a 4-year-old! So far he is doing great, but we are feeding him what he wants to make that easier. Once I go back to making what I want, it might be a different story!

High blood sugar is what is dangerous in the long term, so as long as it is controlled he should not have to deal with the circulatory or vision problems that are the horror stories of diabetes.

Low blood sugar is more dangerous in the short term. If his sugar gets too low he could be unresponsive, unconscious and have seizures. We have something that is the equivalent of an epi-pen for if his sugar is that dangerously low. But that is an extreme thing, most diabetics do not experience that these days. Luckily, since we keep a close eye on the numbers usually a cup of juice or fruit snacks is all we will need.

So basically our job is to try and keep his sugar somewhere in the middle as best we can. Its tricky but we are slowly figuring it out. If any of you have questions, feel free to ask! I would love for lots of people to understand.

And by the way, he can lead a normal life. Play sports, go to friends houses all that stuff. You don't need to be afraid of him. ;)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Poor Boy

Today James was supposed to start his last year of preschool. Instead he spent the day at Primary Children's learning how to live with diabetes. Its not fair. No 4-year-old boy should have to try and understand why he has to get shots multiple times a day, or why he has to wait to eat until he's been poked two or three times. No one should have to be his parents practice pin-cushion. Its not fair. Its a life long disease. And he's only 4. It will be part of every memory for him. I know there is nothing I could do to prevent it, but I can't help but feel responsible when I see my boy in the hospital. Did I mention its not fair? I know that it is much easier to control these days, and that maybe a cure could be found at some point. I know there are worse things to be diagnosed with. But, none of this knowledge makes it easier. I just feel so upset. But, I also know that I am so lucky. I have the most amazing support system. I have 3 close friends/family members with children with diabetes who are open books for our questions and insecurities, as well as innumerable other people just there for me for any reason. I had 40+ email/facebook responses and many texts and phone calls today from people looking out for me. That's love. I know we will be ok. I know we will get the hang of it. I know we will be stronger for it all. But right now I'm upset, overwhelmed and sad. I'm just sad. My poor boy. Its not fair.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fun Mom

Sometimes I'm a fun mom, note often enough, but sometimes!

Making cupcakes! The way life should be, covered in cake batter.

Waterballoon fight!! I wish these pictures did justice to how wet we are and how much fun we had! It was fun to let loose and be one of the kids for a while!