Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jenna's Journey

I spoke to my niece this morning. She is preparing a speech to present to her class and has decided to speak about diabetes. I answered a few of her questions but found myself delivering somewhat of an impromptu speech to her over the phone. I think I view this as an opportunity to educate some young minds and dispel some myths and misconceptions regarding type 1 diabetes. I may have rambled a little. But she listened, took notes and followed up my answers to her questions with still more excellent questions.

I offered her the use of a video I put together about one year ago. It's a video that had been rattling around in my head since not long after Jenna's diagnosis.

For some strange reason, amid the emotional anguish and uncertainty on that fateful day of Jenna's diagnosis, it occurred to me to take my camera with me to the hospital when we took Jenna in. To this day I'm not entirely sure why or how I thought to do this given the situation. But I'm so glad I did. It enabled me to document in pictures Jenna's initial days as a person with type 1 diabetes. I decided to attempt to compose a video with those photos, mixed with a few others I had on my hard drive to mark 'before and 'after' diagnosis. I just needed the perfect song.

Then one day, as I was loading the kids in the car to take my oldest daughter to school, I popped in a Cd. It was the sound track to the movie "Into The Wild". The first song I skipped to was "Rise". The lyrics went straight to my core and made me say out loud, that's the song.

I'm not certain if my niece will be able to use the video but I thought I'd provide her with as much information as possible to cover both the physical and emotional aspects of this disease.

I hope she knows how very proud I am that she chose diabetes for her speech topic. I know she will deliver a beautiful speech. I know she will do us all proud!

Friday, January 22, 2010

There goes my hero

I'm just not the kind of person who can commit to blogging everyday, apparently. It's just not going to happen, no matter how much I want to. I wish I could, but motherhood and the many demands of my daily life trump my desire to blog on a regular basis right now. So for now I'm going to have to forgive myself for my infrequent, sporadic blog posts. I'll write when the mood strikes me.

And tonight the mood has indeed struck.

It's been a crazy day, blood sugar wise. Jenna started the day with an eleven before her breakfast of Special K, milk, poached egg on toast and a dish of blueberries. Eleven is certainly higher than I like to see her waking number but not outrageous. I promptly bolused her for the high and for her breakfast prior to her eating it and assumed when I checked her again before her gymnastics class two hours later that she would be closer to her target of seven.

Morning snack. A half a banana. A pre-meal check revealed a jaw-dropping 22. I wiped her finger with a wet cloth and retested thinking something must be wrong; some sugar on her finger must have spoiled the test. The second reading came in at a solid 20~ two points lower, but at that level WHAT DOES IT MATTER? She was still screaming high. Why?

Off we went to her hour long gymnastics class and I told Jenna that if she doesn't feel well she can tell her instructor that she wants to take a break. With 15 minutes left of the class I watched Jenna as she ran out of steam and slumped over a mat then looked up at me in the observation area and mouthed that she was tired. I ran down to the floor and asked her if she was OK. She said she was tired and needed a break. I took her back upstairs to sit with me and do another check. Again I assumed she was likely still high but must be coming down by now, especially after 45 minutes of activity. Another 20 slapped me across the face and made me want to yell, WHAT THE F#@*! I didn't though. Instead I slipped into quiet despair and decided that a site change must be done prior to lunch.

The remainder of the day consisted of more mid-teen blood sugars and of me asking like a broken record if she was feeling okay. She never once lost patience with me though. Often she becomes annoyed with me when I repeatedly ask for an update of her physical status. But today she simply answered, "I feel good, Mom." No annoyance or exasperation.

Finally at bedtime Jenna's blood sugar does an about-face and comes in at three. While I was relieved to see it return from its lunar escapade, I was frustrated with its sudden drop.

I feel so toyed with. So taunted. And yet what has me the most irate is imagining what this does to Jenna's little body. What must such erratic blood sugars do to a person? And yet she just forges ahead, like most kids do. She just adapts with no real conscious awareness of the physical effects this glycemic-mania has on her. She pushes through. She is a survivor...tough as nails.

She is my hero.