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Lot 8

When I got home from work yesterday, a box from UPS was waiting. It was from Minimed, the company that makes J’s insulin pump and supplies.

Inside the box was a new box of ten infusion/tubing sets along with a prepaid shipping label and a notice that any infusion sets from lots beginning with 8 need to be returned.

Guess how many boxes from lot 8 we have?

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Four.

Today, I’ll go by the UPS store and send them back. The mailman just came by and picked up our outgoing mail, which included the notice to Minimed that we had four boxes and will need replacement boxes.

I appreciate Minimed’s quick response to the problem they’ve discovered with some of the infusion sets from lot 8.

Click here to read the official news release about the reacall from Minimed.

one week down, two to go

J. has been at Camp Sweeney for one week today. She’s been able to email several times and is having a wonderful time. They’ve been to a drive-in movie, she’s caught her first fish and a turtle, she’s broken her sandals and I’ve had to mail more to her. She’s taken a canoeing class and has spent lots of time at the pool. She’s had lots of low blood sugars (40, 47, 62, etc.) because she’s so much more active at camp than she typically is at home. They’ve adjusted her basal rate from midnight to 8am (0.15 unit less insulin per hour) and are going to see how she does with that. They’ll adjust it more if needed. I’m relieved that a full medical staff are on site and that her counselors either have type I diabetes or are well-trained before the campers arrive.

she’s at camp

This morning, we took J. to Camp Sweeney, diabetes camp. We’ll pick her up on June 26. She’s been looking forward to camp all year and was so excited when today had finally arrived.

As soon as we walked into her cabin, little girls started squealing and running over to hug her. They were all so excited to see each other again. She’s going to have a great time!

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Natalie and J at Camp Sweeney, 07 June 2009

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B and J, 07 June 2009

Can you tell that it was very sunny when we got there this morning? I used my phone camera instead of my regular camera. I sort of like that they’re different than my normal photos.

flowers and dancing

Day 79 I spotted this lovely tree at the edge of a playground as I was driving home Friday after work, so I stopped to get a few photos.

Day 78
Dobby stopped to listen for a second while I whistled a song to him. Then he started pacing/walking up and down the branches in his cage again. I think it looks like dancing when he does that. 🙂

visit with the endocrinologist

Day 62

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This photo was taken this morning at the clinic where J sees her endocrinologist. Since December of 2006, I have been in this clinic many, many times.  I have wondered why those two parts of the ceiling that are hanging down have leaves stenciled on them and no other parts of the ceiling do. I thought they must have started stenciling leaves, then got busy and didn’t ever finish. Today, I realized that the pillar thing in the middle of the room that’s painted brown was supposed to represent a tree trunk and those stencils are supposed to be leaves. Leaves on the tree. Duh.

I’m not sure why I didn’t “see” it before today.

So, this morning was J’s appointment with her endocrinologist. She’s got appointments every 30 days for the next 90 days because her A1C was not very good last month at her quarterly visit.

Today’s visit was so much better than last month’s visit. J had her log book filled out, had her blood sugar meter, had better readings, and had been doing the things Dr. K had asked her to do.

I’m really happy that Dr. K is J’s doctor.  The thing I love most about Dr. K is that she visits with J, not with me. She talks with her on her level, explains things, only asks me questions if J says that I know the answer.

J likes Dr. K a lot and relates well to her.  She left the visit beaming.  She is proud of herself for making improvements and for working hard to reach her goal.  This month, her goal is to continue to do the same things (checking her blood sugar at least 3 times each day, logging her blood sugar readings and bolusing -giving herself insulin- each time she eats).  I’m proud of her for working so hard and for having such great determination.  She definitely has strength of character.  It’s one of the things about her that I like most.

Also, we got her paperwork for diabetes camp this summer completed.  Dr. K filled out the part that the physician has to complete and I’ll fax it this week to secure J’s spot.

evidence

Day 35

This is the mess I found on top of a piece of paper lying on the kitchen table a few minutes ago (looks like someone had chips or something on the paper before J. left her trash there).  I think it perfectly illustrates the underlying focus of daily life around here.

Remnants of the site change:  QuickSerter, tubing, cannula cover, needle, alcohol swab.

Maybe she’ll get the habit of cleaning up after herself figured out soon!  🙂

to the doctor

Day 29

Today was J-Dawg’s J’s 3-month appointment with her endocrinologist. Her A1C was over 14 again.  Ack!

The doctor spoke directly with J., set goals with her, talked to her about why it’s important to learn good habits for her diabetes care now and not wait until she’s older.  J. will see the doctor each month until 90 days have passed and it’s time for her next A1C.  They’ll then evaluate whether J. has improved/met her goals and whether she’ll be able to keep her insulin pump or not.

This month, J’s goals are:

  • Check blood sugar 3 times a day
  • Bolus for every meal/snack
  • Write down blood sugar readings in log book each Sunday afternoon/evening for the previous week’s readings.

J’s basal rate was increased a bit.  We have an updated plan for an increased temporary basal rate for that special week of the month when J’s blood sugar is haywire from hormones, and a plan for how to tweak her basal/bolus rates if her afternoon blood sugars are consistently high (after school snacking).

Fun times at Sugarmont High

A better title for this post might be No Sleep (so no nightmares)  on Elm Street or Lifestyles of the High and Sugary.

If I lived in a different place, I could make the title similar to a movie about someone who doesn’t sleep well in the northwestern part of America.  The title could be Drowsy in Denver or Insomnia in IllinoisYawning in Yakima. If I lived by my youngest sister, I could name this post Weary near Waxahachie High in Hawaii would be a fun title, but who knows what kind of readers would come by looking for news of a high that does not involve sugar in the blood.

OK.  Enough of that.  Obviously, I’m Goofy in Grapevine from a lack of sleep, as I am cracking myself up with titles that are probably not funny at all if you’re the slightest bit Rested in Richmond.

Yesterday, I woke up to find a huge pitcher of water with straws in it on the kitchen table.  This is a sure sign that J. has been up during the night drinking water because her blood sugar was high.  She didn’t wake me, probably thinking she could drink water, bolus and be fine by morning.  Well, she thought wrong.

When she checked her blood sugar around seven o’clock, it was 578 and she had large ketones. I thought it had to do with the nine peanut butter cookies with Hershey’s Kisses that she ate when she was up in the wee hours of the morning, but now I’m not sure that was the whole reason.  Normally, when she eats and doesn’t bolus, we can bring her blood sugar down to normal range fairly quickly.

Since yesterday morning, some of her blood sugar readings have been:  HI, 494, 436, 511, 389, 305, 283.  She’s checked her blood sugar every 2 hours, we’ve corrected with injections, we’ve increased her basal rate and she’s checked for ketones about 8 times. She’s forced down liters of water and Diet Sprite, but didn’t have an appetite until around ten o’clock  last night.

She vomited and had a fever yesterday afternoon/evening.  This morning she was finally below 300. Through the night when I came in every two hours with the lancing device (is that what the pricker is officially called?) and blood sugar meter, she’d dutifully roll over and prick her finger.  We should probably be glad that we weren’t in Forks sleeping over with the Cullens  with all the pricking she was doing yesterday and through the night. Their self control would likely have been wearing thin by the time this morning rolled around.  What?  They’re fictional characters? Quit raining on my parade and play nice.

During the night, I scooped her blood onto the test strip and gave injections in whichever arm she left out of the blanket for me.  That way she could roll over and get back to sleep more quickly.

We’ve found that she comes down faster (usually) with injections rather than a bolus.  I’m not sure why that is so.  It was not the case these past 24 hours, but seems to finally be working now.  We shall see how the rest of the day pans out.

This is the first fever she’s had since she was diagnosed in December 2006.  I had to get out our manual from the diabetes team at Children’s Hospital to make sure I knew what to do.   Good news.  I did.  🙂

Second diabetes anniversary

Two years ago, J. was diagnosed with type I diabetes at age ten.  She had been feeling icky for a couple of days before that Monday.  I thought she had a stomach virus.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget seeing her gasping for air, fighting to live as her body tried to rid itself of the excess sugar floating around in her bloodstream.   After a day or so  in ICU and then in the hospital,  and loads of diabetes education, she was able to leave the hospital and begin the rest of her life managing and succeeding in spite of a  disease instead of letting a chronic illness run her life.

It’s amazing that it’s only been two years.  It seems so much longer.  Diabetes has become so much a part of our daily lives around here, that I cannot remember what it was like to not know exactly how many carbohydrates are in each serving of each food I prepare.  I do not remember how it felt to have J. go to a friend’s house and not worry about her blood sugar and the possibility of ketones.  I cannot count how many nights I’ve woken up around 2 a.m. to check J’s blood sugar while she was sleeping or to just look at her to make sure, again, that she’s there breathing evenly and peacefully.

Learning to let go and let her learn to navigate her life with this disease has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced.  I’m still here, still counting carbs in everything I cook and writing it down for J. to see when she gets something to eat.   I still sometimes remind her to write blood sugar readings in the log book and help when I’m needed or asked, but I’m not hovering.  I don’t think I hovered much before, but she was pushing back a lot so I stepped WAY back to give her some control in an attempt to avoid rebellion – against both me and diabetes.  I’m constantly working to push all the horrifying possibilities of health problems (resulting from poor control or heredity) out of my mind and try to keep J.’s life as normal as possible.  And yes, I know it’s not all about me.  J. is the one who has to live with a chronic disease.  But my life  includes loving and parenting my children, one of whom is alive because she always has insulin pumping into her body.

All year, J. has been saying that she wanted me to check my blood sugar all day today like she does – upon waking, before meals, at bedtime.   Last night, she didn’t feel like getting an extra blood sugar meter from the closet for me to use.  This morning, she said she didn’t want me to check my blood sugar.  She said she just wanted it to be a normal day.  So we didn’t make a big deal of it.  We just had a regular day.

Well, I’ve appeared to have had just a regular ol’ day.  I’ve privately celebrated all day that my youngest child is healthy, that medicine has advanced by leaps and bounds since insulin was first injected into a patient with diabetes in 1922 , that J. will have the opportunity to live a long life and to continue to thrive.

new ornament for the Christmas tree

Last November, I went to Canada for a few days with Mom and Chrissie.  I had completely forgotten that when we were at Niagara Falls for a visit, we bought Christmas ornaments. Chrissie found them when she was decorating her tree last week.  When I decorate my tree – sometime during the next week – this will be the newest addition:

What can you do for World Diabetes Day?

Manny, founder of tudiabetes.com has some ideas.  Check out his video here.

Blue for Diabetes

Do you know the warning signs of diabetes?

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Lack of interest and concentration
  • Blurred vision
  • Vomiting and stomach pain (often mistaken as the flu)


I didn’t know that these were warning signs when my youngest child was diagnosed with type I diabetes.  I thought she had a really bad stomach virus that was causing her to vomit, feel very thirsty, feel progressively weaker and more exhausted for several days.  I had no idea that she’d been having frequent urination- that’s not something she wanted to discuss with me (she was age 10 at the time).  When she began having stomach pains and trouble breathing, I thought she had appendicitis.  I had no idea that she had all the classic symptoms of ketoacidosis.

Go to the World Diabetes Day website to learn more about diabetes, the warning signs, and possible complications if diabetes is not diagnosed and treated.  Sharing this with others may help another family get a quicker diagnosis and avoid the fear J and my entire family felt as she lay in the bathroom floor and then in ICU, as well as the pain J suffered through (unnecessarily).

Light a blue candle, put on a blue shirt, turn on a blue light – go blue for diabetes and talk to someone about the warning signs of diabetes today!

World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetets Day.  I’m posting my words in blue in an attempt to bring blue to light (blue is the color of the World Diabetes Day symbol, the blue circle above).

<<< See the candle in the left sidebar? <<< When you move your cursor over it, you can light the candle and go to the World Diabetes Day website to see what you can do to promote diabetes awareness today (and all 364 other days of the year).

Today, wear a blue shirt, light a blue candle, light your home in blue lights, or tell someone you know about the warning signs of undiagnosed diabetes.

Symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Lack of interest and concentration
  • Blurred vision
  • Vomiting and stomach pain (often mistaken as the flu)

If you’ve read about when J. was diagnosed with type I diabetes, you know that she had all of these symptoms.  I thought she had a stomach virus or the flu.  When she had pain in her side and stomach, I thought she had appendicitis.  The stomach pain is what prompted me to rush her to the emergency room instead of waiting for the appointment we had scheduled with our family doctor the next morning.

Had I known the warning signs of diabetes, we could have avoided diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), we could have avoided rushing to the emergency room and a stay in ICU worrying whether she’d pull through, I could have gotten her to the doctor sooner and could have avoided so much of her pain and fear.

What’s done is done, but I’d love to think that sharing the warning signs could help a family avoid what we went through with J’s diagnosis.

D-Blog

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Today is D-Blog Day 2008.   My blog is not only about diabetes, but I often blog about diabetes.  My 12 year old daughter has type I diabtetes and I write about helping her learn to manage her life and her health.

These past 23 months, I’ve learned more about the pancreas, insulin and carbohydrates than I ever thought I’d know, but if it helps save my daughter’s life, I’m all about it.

December 18, 2008 will be the 2 year anniversary of J’s diagnosis. Last year, she asked me to check my blood sugar throughout the day like she does every day. Not sure what we’ll do this year to commemorate the day.

I’m thankful that the online diabetes community is active and growing. It’s nice to get to know others who are also living with this, to see how it impacts others, to know we’re not alone.

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appt. with endocrinologist

Yesterday, we went to J.’s follow-up visit after her really high A1C a month ago.  How ironic to see the diabetes doctor on Halloween, right? At the last visit, her A1C was over 14.  Higher than the machine could read.

This time it was 11.4.  Since that’s an average of the past 3 months, I’m thinking the past month must have been pretty good to bring it down that much.  The endocrinologist, PA, diabetes educator and counselor (yes, they were all in the appointment with us – that little room was CROWDED!) were all so proud of J.   She was beaming and completely encouraged.

She worked with the team to set goals for the next 3 months and feels positive about them.  They spoke with J. about eating without bolusing.  J. said that she thinks I’m mean to her when she doesn’t bolus or check her blood sugar (because I ask and expect her to bolus when she realizes she’s forgotten).  The doctors reminded J. that when she thinks I’m nagging, I’m really just worrying about her because I love her.  I told them how hard I’m working to back off and let J. learn to manage and live with this disease and they said this is the best way to handle diabetes with teens.  I was ahead of the game because of the advice I got over at tudiabetes.com and from my friends on twitter.com who have diabetes.

J. met with the counselor after the appointment and had a good visit.  I don’t know what all they spoke about, as that is confidential, but judging from J’s huge smile and the fact that J. entered the counselor’s cell number into her phone as we were leaving, I think it was a good visit.   J. will be visiting with the counselor (which is surprisingly free of charge – part of the services offered by the diabetes team) every other week for a while and she’ll see the endocrinologist again in 3 months.

It was nice to have such a positive visit this time.  I’m relieved.  Ready to face another week of helping J. with whatever she needs to succeed with and in spite of diabetes.