Monday, March 10, 2014

Houston! We Have a Bleeder!

I'd been warned. I've read about "gushers" when pulling a pump site. We've thankfully never had one. 

So, yesterday was Sunday. Sunday is a Dex site change day in our world. Changing a Dex site used to be a miserable experience for all. It went something like this:

Chase Alex around the house with numbing cream while she screams "no!" and "I don't want a Dex!". Finally pin her down and apply cream. Make an annoyed tween sit in her room without a shirt for 15 minutes or so (so that the cream doesn't rub off onto the shirt). Come in with all Dex supplies and listen to her scream some more about it hurting despite the numbing cream. Clean site and try to reassure screaming child. Insert Dex and listen to even louder screams that the numbing cream never works. 

Back over the holidays while visiting family, my type 1 cousin mentioned that she leaves her numbing cream on for an hour. An hour? I asked her how she did that. I mean, Alex hates sitting shirtless for 15 minutes let alone an hour. And then an hour after numbing up, you wait 2 more hours (at least with a shirt) for the transmitter to start up. A 3 hour process including one hour shirtless? Yuck! My cousin chuckled and said she didn't need to be shirtless. She suggested applying the cream and then covering the cream with the IV 3000 dressing/adhesive. Then, she can have a shirt on. I was intrigued. We tried it. And, it worked! AND...she didn't feel any pain!!!!

So my problem was I was not letting the numbing cream do it's job. We've had about 4 site changes since then and all went off without a hitch and ended with a smiling girl who no longer runs away for a Dex change. Yay...until yesterday...

So, we numbed Alex's site up and waited the hour. Alex was laying on my bed watching TV as I prepped her skin. I inserted the site and she smiled and said she didn't feel it. I looked at it...a small drop of red appeared under the plastic. Suddenly, more blood started gushing out like crazy. The entire area under the plastic filled with blood. For a few moments, I was sure the blood was going to start spilling out under the adhesive. I went to grab cotton balls and bandages and Alex started screaming once she realized there were blood. 

I had no idea what to do. I knew about gushers with pump sites. I knew pump sites don't work with blood in the cannula or tubing. What the heck do I do about a newly inserted Dex site (we had not snapped the transmitter on yet)? And to make matters worse, I knew I only had ONE more Dex site left (I wait to reorder because they are SO expensive. I just paid $700 for 3 months worth not so long ago). 

My husband started searching the Internet and I got the number for Dex tech support. The wait for support was long (6 people ahead of us). Most Internet searches suggested starting up the site even with the blood as long as it stopped bleeding (it seemed to).

The yuckiest part was pushing in the transmitter. I pushed it in and blood spurted out into the adhesive area from the pooled area under the plastic. Alex was still sobbing and I was trying hard to reassure her that a gusher happens and she was going to be fine. She was really upset about the idea of having to put in a second site so she was happier with bloody adhesive as opposed to a second site. 

Dex called us back and told us the same thing - start it up and if it works then all is well. If it fails, call them back and they would ship a replacement site at no cost. 

After 2 hours, the site started up beautifully and worked like a charm (so far). The site itself looks rather gruesome and I don't relish pulling it up in a week or so. But what can you do? 

To add insult to injury we had to change her pump site last night too. Thankfully, there was no bleeding involved. 

These are the times I despise diabetes. Everything can be going as normal as can be possible with diabetes involved...and then you're thrown a curve ball to deal with. I guess all you can do is swing for the fences every time whether you want to or not and hope for the best. And, when you get a crap night with diabetes...all that can be left to do is hug your sobbing child and agree that it is indeed a good night for a 38 carb mini milkshake from Sonic. Why not!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Is there a Carrots and Cheesestick Truck that can do a school fundraiser?

Why is it that every fundraiser at school is for food? Starting this week, there will be a Kona Ice truck on Wednesday and Jamba Juice on Fridays. Seriously? Every week? So Alex has been asking for money for the Kona truck for about 2 weeks. I kept hoping she would forget. Yeah right!

Wednesday morning she reminded me and said it was $5. What? $5 for one slush drink thing? I asked her if she was SURE there was only one size/price. I asked Ben if he knew any details (he was oblivious and could care less about slush drinks at school - I wish we could all be like him and prefer cauliflower over french fries by nature!)

So, I handed Alex $5 and told her while I understood she wanted a slush drink, it wouldn't be an every week thing. I don't have $5 to spend every Wednesday and Friday (and I didn't add to her that she doesn't need the sugar at school every Wednesday and Friday - I just thought it.)

3:04 phone rings and it's the (very awesome) school nurse calling to tell me how her day went. I knew this couldn't be good. Apparently, she hasn't bolused for Kona before and didn't know what to do for it. Alex just appeared in the health room with a very large drink in hand asking for the carbs. I wish they would have called me but bless her heart she tried to handle it. She went online to google for nutritional information. She found it confusing and wasn't sure how many ounces of the syrup/juice was used and so forth in the drink and Alex and the Kona person couldn't tell her either. She calculated 96 carbs and told Alex to bolus for it. Since Alex's ratio is 1:8 that is a LOT of insulin especially for the nurse to see at school since on average, Alex's packed lunch is about 50 carbs a day total. 

Something didn't sit right with the nurse so she went back and was doing more calculating only to realize she probably should have bolused more around 35 carbs. So, she went running to find Alex in the classroom and bring her back to the health room. Alex dropped down into the 50s and arrows down. She gave her juice and tablets and crackers. She crept back up to 73 but she pretty much spent her entire afternoon in the health room. 

We then spent the evening trying to deal with a persistent low. I fed her spaghetti for dinner and she still dropped to 62 after dinner and while at the park playing. She hovered between 55 - 95 all evening. And, for good measure, we then suddenly fought a high blood sugar all night. 

I wish I was rich! I'd donate the money to the school to forgo the slush trucks visiting every week in a heartbeat.

Friday, January 31, 2014


This is just a quick update that I now have confirmation that I have celiac disease. Yesterday, I went for an endoscopy. It sounds a lot more complex than it was (for the person who has been hospitalized 3 times - twice for childbirth and once for a tubal). Basically, they gowned me up, gave me an IV, and off we went to the procedure room. Just after they started the IV sedation medication, they asked me to lay on my side and put a thing in my mouth to keep it open after I fell asleep. I don't remember a thing after that until a nurse was asking me to wake up.

The IV meds wear off very quickly and the gastroenterologist came in with lots of not-so-gorgeous photos of my esophagus, stomach and duodenum area of the small intestine. He confirmed that I have grade 1 esophagitis from GERD (reflux). I knew I had GERD since I was diagnosed with it about a year or so ago. Then he showed me area of the duodenum that were "scalloped" and "compatible with Celiac Disease". They took a biopsy which gets sent off to a lab for a final result but based on the bloodwork and the photos he took he is 100% confident I have celiac.

By the time I got home, I was feeling pretty much like my normal self - maybe a tad more tired the rest of the evening but as if nothing really ever happened!

I am going in for a follow up in 2 weeks to go over the lab results and blood work I also had done and being referred out to a dietitian.'s a gluten free life for me I guess! It could be a lot worse. I'm not a huge bread eater anyway - never have been. I do like sweet breads but I shouldn't be having a lot of those anyway given all the type 2 diabetes in my family. I see there are a lot of options for gluten free pasta, etc. out there. And the world is all okay because my all time favorite restaurant, Pei Wei/PF Changs, has a gluten free menu. I can live with out breadsticks and pasta. I'm not sure I could live without  a treat of Pei Wei once in a while!!!

I have a lot of supportive family and friends. This just is additional confirmation for me that I CAN AND WILL conquer my unhealthy eating habits and maybe without gluten in my diet, I won't be so darn tired all the time.

Friday, January 17, 2014

How do you like THEM apples?

The kids came home with report cards this month. For the second quarter, Alex received straight As!!! It was so awesome to see her excited little face. And, for me, it illustrates just how much difference a teacher can make when it comes to handling a child with diabetes in the classroom. 

Last year...
  • Alex was struggling in almost all of her classes, even her usually "easy" A in reading (she reads about 2 grade levels ahead).
  • Alex was receiving a LOT of zero papers - for missing or incomplete work. She said she was in the health room for a lot of it and didn't get a chance to make work up. 
  • We had to meet with Alex's teacher several times to review her IEP and discuss the challenges with little improvement.
  • I had a child who started to "hate" school.
  • Alex was punished multiple times for not having her agenda filled out (because she was in the health room when the rest of the class was filling it out) and for having trash under her desk (kicked there by her neighbor after she left class for the health room at the end of the day).
  • I had to play nice but feel frustrated at the teacher's excuses that there are too many kids in the classroom (indeed 38 kids is a lot) AND that she couldn't possibly always catch Alex's missing work as being excusable - it was Alex's responsibility to speak up AND that it's okay for kids to grade Alex's papers which is where a lot of zeros came from because kids didn't care that she was in the health room!
 This year...
  • I've met with Alex's teacher THREE times total and all were for normal conferences, etc. - no necessary meetings because of a problem with her IEP being followed.
  • Alex LOVES school again.
  • Alex has not received a negative in her binder since day one - she had never had a negative before last year either. So were back to what I knew to be true about Alex's good behavior in school.
  • Alex received 1 B and the rest A's for first quarter and ALL A's for 2nd quarter! 
I am thankful for an understanding teacher and an awesome school nurse. I'm also thankful to have a daughter that genuinely cares about doing well in school. Her dad had promised her a new American Girl doll if she came home with straight A's about a year ago - trying to encourage her especially in math where she was getting a C for a while. This week...she got her doll. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An Autoimmune Disaster

I've decided that is what we are around here. 

I haven't written in a long time. Honestly? I haven't wanted to? I think year 2 with diabetes has been a year best defined as wanting to NOT think about diabetes as much as possible. And since diabetes HAS to be thought of all the time around here when it comes to site changes, BG checks, dex changes, exercise, parties, sleepovers, stress, sleep, eating in, eating out, etc.? That doesn't leave me a lot of room to NOT think about it. So me taking time out of my precious day to blog about it? Yeah, forget it!

I think we are at a point now where sometimes it seems like there was never a time Type 1 wasn't a part of our everyday life. That can be good. I don't spent crazy amounts of time figuring out how to handle carb counting. I don't obsess over measuring every item down to the last morsel. I don't completely go batshit crazy when Alex gets a party invitation. We try to deal with it and move on. can be bad. When I'm not policing the kitchen, I find Dex alarming that Alex is 350 and she SWEARS she hasn't eaten anything. Yet...I find the remnants of wrappers in her room behind dressers and such. I sometimes sleep through a Dex alarm screaming that Alex is 250 and instead of racing to bolus..I roll over and go back to sleep and kick myself in the morning for letting her run high longer than I should. I'm just being honest. 

It is what it is. I hate that I have to battle with my daughter who has gotten to a point in the d-world of growing weary and resistant. I too am weary and resistant. But I KNOW she can't have a box of Mike and Ikes and "forget" to bolus. I KNOW she can't reach into a potato chip bag and not count the chips...or at least try to bolus for an estimated amount. I KNOW she herself can't make educated guesses on dinners or snacks out with friends. "But mom...YOU GUESS," she says. Yes, I do sometimes...but based on the fact that I've become a damn good carb counter in 2 years. She hasn't. She wants to bolus 30 grams for a popsicle or 2 cups of rice. She figures 30 is good all the time, right? NO!!!

So here I am weary and tired. Not so much resistant...just weary I guess. I've been really really tired lately. I chalk it up to crappy sleep patterns - after all, I don't roll over and ignore Dex all the time you know! I was diagnosed with GERD last winter. You see, I was doing super awesome on my diet last year. I lost over 30 pounds. I was walking and even running daily. I was feeling GREAT. I was eating alot more whole grains, fruits and veggies and a lot less refiner sugars. I especially latched onto fruits. When I had a sweet craving, I ate fruit. Pineapple was one of my favorites. It was working. And then...I started getting some awful stomach pains. Heartburn. Indigestion. It got to a point that I decided something was wrong. Maybe I had gallstones? I went to the doctor. After running tests for h.pylori, gallstones, ulcers, etc. I came back positive for acid reflux disease. The first 2 weeks I was on prescription meds I threw up almost every night in the middle of the night - mostly stomach acid. It wasn't pleasant. I was told to refrain from lots of the foods I had clung to on my diet plan.

I started eating lots more yogurt and breads. In my head I thought, bread would be helpful and "soak up" the acid. It seemed to help in my mind. In my icky feeling state, my annoyance at giving up my favorite fruits and "go to" foods, I fell of my diet wagon. 

While the acid reflux got better, I continued to have some stomach problems of which I don't really care to detail. I chalked it up to my lot in life - I'm stressed. I was eating more sugar again and breads. I gained some weight back (dammit!). I felt defeated.

Back when Alex was diagnosed with Type 1, we started going to support groups. It was then I think the first time I'd heard of "celiac". I'm sure the kiss of death for me was thinking "man, I hope we never get that shit!". I mean I'm exhausted as it is counting carbs and making sure we steer clear of non-whole grains.

Alex gets a blood test every year for celiac. Twice's been negative! Whew, right?

Everything I read about it talks about malnutrition and weight loss as a symptom. So I laughed and thought well that's not MY problem then! Then someone sent me an article about a link between celiac and obesity. What are the odds, right? I mean how fucking unlucky can I be that I get all the shitty symptoms (no pun intended) of celiac except weight loss???? Could I at least have that "symptom"? I mean, I'll take that one over "blood bowel movements", right???

Anyway I had to go to my doctor for a med check for ADD and he asked me about my stomach issues which I confirmed weren't much improved but as long as I stay away from my precious pineapples and tomatoes, it isn't unlivable. After some discussion he decides to run a celiac panel. 

2 days later, I receive a call that the lab work is positive. I most likely have celiac disease. I'm scheduled to go for a biopsy in 2 weeks for confirmation but from what he said and what I've read based on the type of blood work they did, it's all but a given. 

I'm a bit over the initial shock. I've been reading alot and I understand it's manageable. And, I'm sure it will help me feel a lot better. I'm sick of being tired all the time and just figuring I am a lazy person who has no willpower for anything. I don't WANT to get type 2 diabetes. I don't WANT to have an increased risk of cancer. I WANT to feel better. I want to figure out a way to eat that I can live with and is healthy - whatever that is.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Yesterday, Alex had a birthday party - her first party since being diagnosed (last year she chose to have a family dinner and larger gift in lieu of a party).

I tried to limit our guests this year because
  1. I have a small house.
  2. I have a limited budget.
  3. There are less conflicts.
  4. I don't lose my sanity (completely anyway).
So with a number set at 8 guests, Alex was having lots of agony over deciding who to invite (and so was I actually). She has friends at school; cousins; friends from our diabetes world; friends from the neighborhood; etc.

Finally we came up with a list and it included one other friend with T1. After all was said and done we sent out 8 invites and all 8 RSVP'd yes.

This is actually the first time I've been left to watch another child with T1 alone. And are you ready to laugh? I was rather terrified!!!! I know how my daughter's T1 behaves (for the most part)! I know how she handles party food, counting carbs, etc. Now I was going to be responsible for someone else's T1! I wanted to do my best AND not allow her to feel singled out at the party. I wanted to make sure the decisions I make about carbs for those sketchy foods (a piece of cake; tortilla chips, etc.) would be okay decisions and not send the poor kid home with a BG of 500 or be screaming for the glucagon because I over bolused her.

My rational self KNOWS this is ridiculous. I handle Alex all the time. What difference does another child make?

All in all the event went awesome for the other girl at the party. She is such a mature, social, cheerful young lady. I was happy to have her (and her parents drove all the way from the other side of town!) I was happy her parents were confident with my ability to care for their child so much so they went to a movie and a mini date while their child was in my care (a big deal to me because we rarely go to a movie when Alex is in someone else's care because of the no texting/phone policy at the theatre!) I could tell they were excited to have some time alone and feel confident in my ability to take care of their girl.

I will say that whole YDMV phrase applies (Your Diabetes May Vary)! I had made up carb count cheat sheets for both girls and also labelled some of the foods. I tried to discreetly help them count carbs throughout the event.


Before cake, I asked both girls to test. Alex was 170. Her friend was 109. I chose to bolus them for 25 grams because they were doing lots of running around. I found her friend munching out of the fish cracker bowl a few times without counting. Instead of trying to stop her and make her test, count, etc. I just asked her and Alex to test a few other times during the party and keep an eye on the numbers. I believe the whole time, her friend stayed between 100 and 170 despite the uncovered munching. On a side note, the friend couldn't find her poking device. How cool is it that she was here and I went to the cabinet and found one of like a dozen pokers in the brand she uses and gave it to her with a new lancet and told her to keep it (Alex doesn't even use that brand). No phone calls needed to her parents!

The most interesting part of the whole thing to me is, the very even keeled friend stayed in a good range despite lots of party food and commotion. My child? The one who counted every carb (at least as far as I could see) was reading HIGH on the dex by the time the party ended despite many attempts to correct and set higher basals, etc. She was in the 400s until around 6 PM and started coming down finally after that. My child who doesn't have an even-keel bone in her body! You have to laugh because what else can you do?

At any rate, all the girls had fun! Diabetes didn't get in the way and Alex and her friend I think loved having a friend together at this party that "got it". Awesome!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Night Check Ramblings

Last night Dexie was beeping at me around 3 AM - High - 352! I wasn't terribly shocked. We had a rice and chicken dinner and my combo bolus was an epic fail. Then, unbeknownst to me until later, Alex grabbed 3 oatmeal cookies for a snack as Dexie was soaring upward in the high 300s about 2 hours after dinner. Even my homemade whole wheat oatmeal cookies made with just 1/2 cup of Splenda brown sugar mix wouldn't be a good choice at that particular moment. 

At any rate, I bolused her at 8 PM and 11 PM (as I went to bed) and set her a temp basal of 40% for a couple hours. Nothing says "get out of bed" like the beep beep beeping of Dexie at 3 AM!

I stumbled down the hall and turned on the hall light, leaving Alex's room dark but getting some hall light to see and set up her meter. I inserted a strip and poked her finger. The blood was watery and  couldn't get it to adhere to the strip (why does this happen sometimes???) I poked another finger. I got a nice big fat blood drop. Yes! As I held her hand with one of mine, I grabbed the meter with the other hand. Just as I went to siphon the blood, she yanked her hand away in her sleep, smearing the big fat drop of blood across her comforter and ruining my chance to get a reading. Ugh!!!!

I happened to say "Noooooo" as she yanked away which startled her awake (barely). Since I had 2 epic failures and she was semi-awake I handed her the poker. She is better at it than me at this point (sadly). She poked a third finger and stuck it up at me. Success! Dexie was actually dead on as the meter also read 352!

I bolused and she whispered "I love you! See you in the morning mom!". I kissed her and told her I loved her too and went back to bed.

This morning Dex was showing a nice downward line and an in range number of 130. 

Now to figure out how to wash her bedding...or just consider getting new bedding at this point...her blood stained sheets and comforter are starting to really show their wear and tear since December 20, 2011...maybe black bedding would be a good choice...