Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sometimes you just have to laugh!

Jenna is a going concern for me every single day. And I'm not even talking about her diabetes management. Jenna is a very BUSY little girl. A constant source of exasperation as well as tremendous joy. Today we decided to take a long road trip to visit family. Jenna had packed her little puppy dog back pack with a few board books and some other little trinkets. About a half hour into our journey I became conscious of a ripping sound emanating from the back seat. I look back to find Jenna tearing sheets of paper from her book and chewing on them.

"What are you doing?!" I yell. It never ceases to amaze me what no good deeds I find her up to. I became enraged as this was one in a long list of impish acts Jenna had performed today. I reach back to confiscate the hopelessly marred book and remove the wad of saliva soaked paper from her mouth and begin my rant.

"Please don't rip up your books and for goodness sake don't eat them!! I don't have a carb count for book!" Next thing I knew Jenna broke into a fit of genuine laughter and the rest of the family quickly followed. Jenna got the diabetic humour I inadvertently spouted out in my fit of frustration. I was actually proud of her at that moment. Proud that she could see the humour in her disease. At such a young age she was able to see past the daily drudgery and laugh about things. It was a moment of levity that we all needed. Take THAT diabetes!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Something else to worry about...

OK. So ice cream cake is something to be avoided like the plague. Jenna's blood sugar went through the roof last night and once again I found myself setting my alarm to do wee hour checks. Needless to say I'm a tad punchy today due to sleep deprivation.

I hate these highs as they make me wonder what kind of lasting damage they are doing to my little girl.

A couple of days ago we were out running some errands. A fair bit of walking was involved but the girls seemed to be tolerating it well. Then, as we were walking back to the car after a short stint in the mall, suddenly Jenna began crying in pain with some degree of urgency. I picked her up as she was complaining about pain in her foot. I got her seated in her car seat and she promptly ripped off her shoe and sock all the while whimpering and crying in pain.

I examined the sole of her foot as she indicated that that was where the problem was. I saw nothing remarkable. I examined her sock but again found nothing. I felt around inside her shoe- nothing. All the while Jenna continued to be distressed by obvious discomfort on the sole of her foot. All I kept thinking is that she is developing diabetic neuropathy.

I know that it seems pretty unlikely as Jenna has only been diagnosed with diabetes for not quite six months now and we have had relatively good control in that time. But I just couldn't understand what this pain or discomfort could be and that seemed like the only possibility.

Luckily, I still keep her stroller in the back of the car, even though she seldom uses it anymore. We still had a couple of stops to make and she was agreeable to sitting in her stroller while we finished our errands. Jenna usually wants to walk and is at the stage of toddlerhood where she adamantly refuses to sit in a stroller " a baby." So I knew that what ever the problem was, it was causing her a considerable amount of discomfort.

By the time we completed our errands and were headed home, the problem seemed to have resolved. She hasn't complained of this same pain since. But I am still quite preoccupied with trying to decide on any other possible explanation besides diabetic neuropathy.

So if anyone has ever experienced this or has a child with diabetes who has had a similar experience and can share your experience and knowledge with me, I'd be very grateful. I'd love to believe it was completely unrelated... perhaps some kind of growing pains... anything non-diabetic related. But for the life of me, I can't seem to come up with another explanation.

At any rate, it will most definitely be brought up at our next pediatrician and endocrinologist appointment. I'm just terrified by what I might be told.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I survived my first Halloween as the parent of a child with diabetes! ...t-shirt, please.

WOW!! What a weekend! I definitely feel that I've grown and learned a great deal this weekend. It's been stressful and I've had to work at remaining calm but I made it through our first Halloween. My girls had a great time trick or treating at a local mall. Jazmine went as a fairy and Jenna, a lady bug. We spent close to an hour there, hitting all the stores, then back to the car to do a quick blood sugar check and have one treat before going home for supper. Jenna was pretty low key during the last leg of the trick-or-treating and wanted to be carried out of the mall and through the parking lot to the car. It wasn't surprising, then, to find her blood sugar low at 3.3. Perfect timing!! We rummaged around her treat bag for some sweet-tarts and let her have at it. Then she ripped into a peanut butter cup for good measure.

We spent the rest of the evening in our jammies handing out treats to all the neighbourhood kids willing to brave the wind and rain. Then my girls approved the candy stash we were going to leave for The Great Pumpkin to come in the night and swap for toys (thank you Charlie Brown!) The whole candy swap was a huge hit with both my girls! They have spent most of the weekend playing with their new Barbies together and have watched the Tinkerbell movie left for them at least two times already. Eating treats hasn't really been an issue.

The weekend wrapped up today with a birthday party complete with a buffet table full of treats (mostly healthy) and an ice cream cake with a thick fudge centre, of which Jenna partook like all the other party goers, and enjoyed every last gooey drop!! Thankfully, this birthday party was held at a recreation centre and a huge gymnasium was rented for the little ones to rip it up in for a good hour. Jenna and Jazmine ran their little tushes off! It was a glorious sight to see our little toddler run and play with a seemingly endless supply of energy. I bolused for the cake but had to guess at a carb count. I must have been close because her levels have been pretty good, all things considered. I'm sure the activity helped quite a bit.

In spite of having to chase that high Saturday night due to my inaccurate carb counting, I feel really proud of myself for the way I handled things. I deliberately steered us into situations where I would have to allow Jenna freedom to indulge, all the while quietly monitoring her intake and bolusing as she ate. I don't want food to be an issue for Jenna. I don't want her to feel restricted and treated unfairly. I'm taking to heart all of the advice and wisdom of other people with type 1 in an effort to avoid as much as possible the repercussions and pit-falls of restricting Jenna and blaming it on her diabetes. I figure, if I can get incredibly good at handling situations with ease like guessing carb counts, knowing how to utilize activity to assist in keeping blood sugars in check and anticipating how certain foods will behave once Jenna's eaten them, I can pass on this knowledge to Jenna when she starts to take over her own diabetes management. My mastery of her diabetes will become hers one day. And hopefully Jenna will have a healthy relationship with food and have fond memories of a childhood filled with fun, laughter and a plethora of gastronomic experiences and diabetes will only have been a minor consideration instead of taking center stage. That is my goal.


Once again I find myself up in the night due to mandatory O.T. as issued by that hard assed Big 'D'! I wish I could blame Halloween candy for this but I fear it is my poor carb counting from last night's supper that is mainly to blame. We had homemade waffles, back bacon (lower fat!), and fruit salad.

The trouble arose, I believe, with the carb counts for the waffles. The mix states that, when making pancakes, 1/4 cup of the mix which translates to approximately 2 average sized pancakes is equal to 26 carbs. I thought that same count would carry over to 2 waffles. I fear this may have been a gross under estimation on my part.

Jenna was already 16 mmol/l at bedtime but when we tried to correct, her pump informed us that no bolus was necessary as she still had close to 2 units on board from her supper bolus. This gave me a false sense of security thinking everything was going in the right direction~ DOWN! Nothing was further from the truth.

At 10pm we do what we hoped to be our last check of the night and discover a jaw-dropping 23 blood sugar!! Jenna grabs her water bottle at the side of her bed while I fiddle with her pump and downs almost half it's contents! And the guilt hits me like a ton of bricks! A correction is given and I reluctantly crawl into bed with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and the alarm set for two hours later to do a follow-up check.

At a quarter to one in the morning, 45 minutes past the time my husband's alarm was SUPPOSED to go off, I awake with a start. Somehow his phone's alarm didn't sound. I leap out of bed, grab the glucometer and head for Jenna's room. Still high at 16.3 but at least we are now headed in the right direction. I give another correction of 0.35 units with 0.17 still on board and once again set an alarm for two hours later.

And now here I am. Sitting in front of my PC with my fuzzy pink bathrobe on, eyes dry and scratchy, and, ironically, having just stuffed three bite sized chocolates in my mouth. Yes, yes... Halloween candy left overs. I've had more chocolate today than my girls, for crying out loud!

The guilt is my real enemy here. It's what gnaws away and prevents me from getting adequate sleep. Not that I struggle with guilt that often, but when I do it's a real battle.

Well, I'm having trouble composing sentences and holding onto a thought. This could be a sign that I should conclude this entry and get my sorry hiney to bed. I'm feeling chilled here in the lower level of the house and my eyes really are stinging from a desperate need for sleep. Besides, experience has shown me that guilt only magnifies with sleep deprivation. I need sleep.