Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What's been going on lately...

It's been a busy couple of weeks with Thanksgiving and Halloween preparations, battling more bugs (I'm currently recovering from a little cold virus that, up to this point, I've managed to keep to myself~ fingers crossed), and other assorted tasks of managing the daily operations of our busy household. I've wanted to blog for several days now but the need for rest won out every time I had the urge.

However, today Jenna had a check-up with her endocrinologist and we were "graded" on how well we've been managing Jenna's diabetes so far. Her HgbA1C is... drum roll please... 8.1! Yes, we were quite the hit at the clinic today with that little beauty of a lab value! So with such good news to brag about, I was extra motivated to snuggle up in bed with the ol' lap top and get to typing.

And while I'm here, I may as well mention a couple of other items that have been praying on my mind and are relevant this time of year.

First, I had an experience a few nights back that had me quite puzzled and somewhat concerned. We usually check Jenna's blood sugar around 10pm before retiring for the night. From this reading we make our judgement call as to weather we need to check her again in the night or if we are safe to assume she'll be fine till morning. Usually this is done with little or no problem. More often than not Jenna cooperates and sometimes she sleeps right through it! This night, I'm not sure if we just woke her at the absolute wrong time or what, but she just came unhinged. Crying turned into full on screaming. No amount of consoling would comfort her. In fact, the more we (her Daddy and I) tried to comfort her, the more upset she became. Jenna would tolerate no physical contact from us and adamantly demanded that her Daddy leave the room. She wanted me to stay but to keep my distance. So I sat a few feet away on the floor feeling quite helpless while she screamed and cried and curled herself up into a ball in her pile of stuffies next to her bed.

If this had happened with Diabetes out of the equation, I would have chalked it up to waking a sleeping toddler up in the middle of some pretty intense dreaming. But with diabetes being part of the picture, I couldn't help but wonder if perhaps Jenna was feeling a little off at the time (her blood sugar was slightly high at about 12)and this, coupled with being awakened yet again for another finger stick, which has got to get somewhat annoying after a while, brought her to a breaking point.

Over all it took nearly an hour to finally get Jenna settled and back to sleep again.

The whole episode had me reliving moments of my childhood when I would be suffering with severe asthmatic episodes and had absolutely no patience for anyone trying to offer words of comfort. The intense physical discomfort and sheer terror of being unable to breath would make anyone trying to calm me down seem like they were patronizing me and trivializing my urgent need for medical intervention, adding to my anxiety. Although I know Jenna wasn't in that kind of crisis, I sensed a similar impatience from her with our attempts to calm her distressed state. This is why I can't help but wonder if she was experiencing some kind of physical distress. I don't know but I can certainly imagine that having a high blood sugar would make one feel pretty icky. Or perhaps it was just a strange sleeping state we were unfortunate enough to catch her in which caused her a similar amount of mental stress.

I guess I'll never know, because by morning it seemed all but forgotten by Jenna and any attempts to discuss it with her were more or less ignored. And I don't imagine she would have been able to express how she was feeling at the time anyway, given her age. So we just let it go. I did, however, mention to Jenna the next evening at bedtime that I would be in to check her in the night like always to make sure she is safe. Jenna agreed to cooperate and I think I detected a little bit of embarrassment from her for her actions the night before. The expression on her face was almost apologetic.

It hasn't been repeated (thank goodness) and I hope I'm not speaking too soon when I say that I think it was an isolated incident.

The next topic I want to mention is HALLOWEEN, that dreaded anti-diabetic holiday that has all us parents of type 1's trying to figure out new and creative ways to allow our pancreatically-challenged little ones to enjoy the festivities without sending them into DKA!

I know it should be as simple as allowing Jenna to do what all the other kids will be doing and just bolus her for treats consumed. But even before the big 'D' I was hard pressed to allow my kids to eat candy at all.

So last Halloween, before diabetes became a part of our lives, I started a little tradition I call the "Candy Swap". After trick-or-treating my girls return home with their candy at which time I reveal a stash of pre-wrapped, new books that they can swap their candy for, auction style. It was a hit last year, but Jenna wasn't even two yet. So she was oblivious to what was going on and just happy to be included, following her big sister's lead.

Having spent another year with Jenna getting to know her spicy little personality, I anticipate that it will be a chore just keeping her from sampling the candy before we even return home. I've already started creating rules to govern the evening:

Rule #1. No eating candy until we get home.
Rule #2. Any candy sampling before we return home will result in an immediate termination of the trick-or-treating portion of the program.

OK. So that's all the rules I have up to this point. And now that I look at them, I'm pretty sure these were the rules that governed my trick-or-treating and are likely the same rules that most kids have to follow each October 31st. It's probably sufficient since I don't really want to suck all the fun out of the evening. But I also don't want to spend the whole night doing blood sugar and ketone checks and bolusing the bu-jeezus out of Jenna in an effort to regain the upper hand.

Maybe I shouldn't stress too much about this crazy Halloween business after all. I'm sure my little candy swap scheme will take care of a good portion of the junk food and what ever is left I can confiscate and hide away to ration it out slowly until it is a dim memory, at which point I can pitch the remnants wiping the slate clean for that other occasion of over-indulgence~ CHRISTMAS!

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