Monday, January 28, 2013

How Not to Embarass Your 7th Grader

Yes, you read that right...your 7th grader! Alex is in fact a 4th grader. But she has a 7th grade brother who happens to be one awesome kid who takes most things in stride. But he is in middle school...

So, Friday was Alex's FIRST day carrying her pump meter to school along with her FIRST day testing in the classroom. Woo Hoo! She came home after school and everything seemed A-Okay. Dexie was happy. Alex was happy. The nurse was happy.

Fast forward about 2 hours and it was time to drop of Alex's older brother to his second junior high dance. I was running late because I was on the phone with a mom I've never talked to before about a possibly play date for Alex. My son was anxiously pacing the floor as I finished up on the phone. I knew we were late too so I hurriedly grabbed my purse and keys and told Alex to grab her meter and get in the car.

This is where things took a new turn...Alex couldn't find her pump meter. Apparently she left it at school in her desk on the first day she took it to school. (Insert Big Sigh). So, we grabbed the backup meter and got in the car with Alex near tears and a very annoyed big brother who just wanted to get to his dance and meet his "friend" (I'm not even going there.)

We parked instead of doing drop off. I thought it seemed rather odd that my son was extra quiet and "rushed" as we parked. He is never rushed. I was distracted though with the teary eyed girl and the thought of an expensive meter sitting somewhere in the school over the weekend. I tried to match my son's pace as we got to the front door of the school where lots of middle school kids were entering. I scanned for an adult and explained "I'm Ben's mom and this is my daughter and I need to get into her classroom because she left an important glucose meter in her desk".

Do you see where I'm going? If you've been to junior high, you do! At this point I'm yelling "Bye Ben!" and I can barely make him out down the hall.

The principal walks us to Alex's class and Alex gets the meter (whew!) and we walk back to the car...where we notice Ben's door was wide open - he never even shut it.

That's how big of a hurry he was in to get away from his old mother and little sister and our drama. Yes, in my much distracted concerned state, it didn't occur to me that it's NOT COOL for mom and little sister to walk us into our junior high dance, let alone announce ourselves and yell goodbye.

Oops.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Those Pesky Sleepovers

I swear...some weeks are just totally drama filled turmoil when it comes to making decisions that diabetes factors into. As if I wasn't dealing with enough between all the issues/changes for school and then some other typical 10 year old tween friend drama (where part of the drama centers on some girls accusing Alex of using her diabetes to gain attention and friends)...I get a sleepover invitation...for tonight...given out yesterday...

Our last sleepover went great as far as diabetes was concerned. Alex was hugely responsible and her numbers stayed within a safe range. But I also knew the parents at least casually and I had some time to prepare myself and Alex.

This time, I don't know the parents. I don't even know the friend other than her name mentioned then and again. And...it's pretty short notice.

So my first reaction was a no - it's not enough notice; I don't know the mom; Alex has a game Saturday morning; the sleepover is about 10 miles away so it isn't in the neighborhood. Alex started giving me crocodile tears and crying that she used to do sleepovers and now she never does. I decided to take a few steps back and I told her to let me have a time out.

I started to think about the fact that here I am accusing her school of not building wings and what am I doing? Alex has been HUGELY AWESOME when it comes to managing her pump and bolusing for carbs. She texted me EVERY SINGLE TIME at the last sleepover for her BGs and carb counts - even the 2 AM check! What am I teaching my 10 year old if I say no? She isn't 5 years old. She has Dexie too.

So...I decided to put on my big girl panties and give the mom a call and so long as the other mom seemed okay with helping out with a low blood sugar and learning how to use Glucagon...well we should do this.  So I called the mom and she was indeed on board with helping out with a low blood sugar and using Glucagon if it was needed. She even offered to set her alarm for 2:30 and make sure Alex tested (I originally told Alex to set her phone alarm and test herself as she has done this a couple times on her own without my knowing beforehand when I was sick and she was trying to be thoughtful...awww).

So it seemed like this sleepover despite the late notice was going to be a go. Except...the mom mentioned she was sick...came home from work sick and aches and fatigue and her girls had been feverish and sick the week before.  Right then I knew the answer would go back to a no :-( I cannot willingly send Alex to a house with most likely a mom with flu symptoms. The mom actually agreed and in fact said she was going to move the sleepover to 2 weekends from now because she thought she was getting sicker and her girl really wanted Alex to come.

So the sleepover is to be continued...but as much as I hate this whole sleepover thing...I know in my heart it's just wrong for me to deny her things I would not be denying her if diabetes had not entered the picture. I can't expect responsibility from her if I don't reward her when she is responsible.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

School Update

So we had an IHP meeting yesterday at the school and since I took the time to vent in my previous school post, it seemed only fair to post an update. I think it would be fair to say it was a positive meeting. Most importantly, I think we cleared up 2 key points - a lot of missed class time and punishments for diabetes care.

Alex will now test in the classroom except at lunch and the end of the day. This is a big deal because I don't get the impression the other 4 kids with diabetes do much testing outside the health room or care to (and as an aside they all have classrooms close to the healthroom. Alex's classroom is about as far as one could get from the healthroom).

The nurse seemed completely on board with making this happen. That was probably my saving grace. The teacher didn't seem opposed - just scared. She has never seen a blood glucose test. So I happened to have a meter and pulled it out to show her what it involved. Though I think they were both taken aback at me testing right there and then I thought it was the most effective way to demonstrate that testing wasn't about big giant needles and gobs of blood. In fact no one would ever really see any needles in the classroom. Alex will dispose of used strips/lancets in the healthroom at lunch and the end of the day (and transport them in a pouch in her meter case). I really think it helped to show the teacher that what sounds complex and scary isn't all that much so.

So the plan is that Alex will test and bolus and correct in the classroom for snacks, before/after PE and recess and whenever necessary. She will have to call the nurse the first week to report her numbers. She will have to write her numbers in a paper log in her meter case and carry that to the healthroom. After a week the nurse will not make her call each time she tests - and just use the log and report her numbers at lunch and end of day. I'm good with this plan. Alex will be allowed to test and bolus as long as her numbers fall between 81-280. If it's below or above that, she will visit the health room. I'm good with that too. My hope is this will prevent a lot of 10-15 minute walks to the health room each day. For some time, Alex has been visiting the healthroom 4-5 times per day at an average of 10-15 minutes out of the classroom. That's A LOT of time! That should also help with missed classwork.

As far as standing at the wall for recess due to missing agendas (because she was in the health-room)....the teacher says she had no idea Alex was losing recess. Honestly, this doesn't make a ton of sense. How could you not know? She has over 30 kids. I get that. But...if it's a punishment, don't you know about it? She says she has said if kids aren't responsible, they lose recess. Another child marks them as missing their agenda. She says many kids don't even follow the rule when they go on the playground. But Alex has followed it. I asked why it wasn't marked on a school behavior card and the teacher said because the card didn't have to do with agendas. I reviewed that behavior card today. It sure looks like it would be the place to record any type of disciplinary action. So if you're telling me that Alex shouldn't have stood against the wall and yet Alex says her name was on the board as one who should stand at recess....something isn't adding up. So...I told Alex from now she isn't to stand against the wall unless the behavior card is marked AND the teacher specifically tells HER to do it. If another child tells her to do it...she doesn't do it. Period. And if she stands against the wall again and there is no mark on her behavior card or message to me...I'm going to the administration. 30 kids or 10 kids you should know who is losing recess and be able to mark it somewhere as a disciplinary action. And if it is just a "threatened" punishment where some adhere and some do not, that's pretty confusing. You're teaching kids to get away with breaking rules. Something didn't sit well with me there.

At any rate, the teacher agreed 100% that Alex shouldn't have been marked for missing her agenda or receiving bad grades for work missed due to diabetes care. From now on, Alex will write "at nurse" if she doesn't finish something or doesn't write her agenda. The point was made that Alex hasn't communicated to the teacher any of these concerns about not finishing work and she has 30 kids and doesn't catch when something isn't done because of a valid reason. If she writes she was at the nurse, the teacher will not give her a 0 but allow make up time. The teacher also suggested Alex will write her agenda in the beginning of the day instead of end  of day but the rest of the class would stick to end of day. Alex won't have to do morning drill work so she can do her agenda. I'm again not sure this was my favorite outcome but better than no agenda coming home to me at all I suppose if the teacher was not willing to just have the whole class do agenda another time of day besides 2:45 PM. 

One of the last big concerns we discussed was the buddy system. If Alex is low, she is walked to the health room by another 9 or 10 year old. All the doors are locked in the school now due to security. I asked how would a 9 or 10 year old know what to do if Alex went down in the hallway. Has anyone really discussed it? They suggested the buddy would run to the office...and leave Alex down in the hallway. But I still don't think anyone has specifically talked to these buddies about why they are Alex's buddy and the specific procedure for a bad incident. So this morning, the nurse is visiting the classroom and going over that as well as Alex testing in the classroom. Additionally, if Alex is below 55, the nurse will come to her instead of walking to the health room. And above 55, she will take her tablets and walk to the health room with her buddy. I hope this will help.

So there are the outcomes and a new IHP is being completed. I think we got what was needed. I think the teacher and the nurse were receptive to making things better for Alex. I really do think we have a great school nurse who has always been easy to talk to and has a lot of background with type 1 diabetes. I think the teacher honestly means well and cares about Alex. I think she has a large class and has absolutely zero background with a child with T1. I think it's a matter of talking to her repeatedly as needed. And I guess a matter of me keeping an even closer eye on Alex's school work before it gets out of hand again.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

1 Click? 2 Click?

So last night was Dexcom sensor change #2. Don't think I didn't stress about it since say Wednesday. We had a GREAT week on sensor #1. I was very much impressed with Dexie. She let us know about highs and lows before they got out of hand and I can very much see how this will help us with some tighter control and get Alex to realize when she is getting low since in the past several months, she has either been hypo unaware or unwilling (at school).

So the good news was that we got sensor #2 in and I must have improved with my technique of applying the numbing cream because she didn't feel a thing this time. The bad news is I wasn't paying attend to clicks. I thought I did okay. Again, it just feels like the clicking in of the transmitter is unnatural or awkward or something.

All night, Dexie did her job and seemed okay. Then this morning we were up early for a volleyball game. Alex had to shower. When she got out of the shower Dexie started hollering about "high" and pointing above 400. This was odd since Dexie was reading in the low 100s before the shower (and was right). Alex tested and was 131. We entered the BG and Dexie gave this funky screen (to me) with two hourglasses and a blood drop and asked us to enter blood in 1 hour. Just in time for the volleyball game...great.

So fast forward to the game. Dexie alternated between showing the hourglass and blood drop and 3 question marks (???). WTH does that mean? I didn't have the manual with us. Of course Alex had an incident during the game of feeling low (and wasn't) and I entered BGs into Dexie even though it said ??? hoping Dexie would wake up or something.

When we returned home I asked to look at the sensor. Alex  noticed as we looked at it one side of the transmitter was not snapped in. Score one for Alex! So being the rash person I am I snapped it in and heard a click. Then I read the book (of course after the fact) and it mentioned if the transmitter isn't in, fluid can get under the transmitter and cause bad readings...recall shower and high 400s??? Now that Dexie was all snapped in, the hourglasses and blood drop returned. I was really thinking we would have to insert a new sensor and mighty annoyed at myself for it. But I finally did something right...I called the 24 hour tech support line. The support person suggested entering blood again now that the transmitter was secure so we did. Lo and behold Dexie asked for a second drop of blood by getting rid of the hourglasses and showing us one single blood drop on the screen. That was new! So we did it. Within about 10 minutes, Dexie was online and has been doing her job all day. So here is to hoping we saved the sensor for the week.

Now I know what the clicks are for...

Friday, January 18, 2013

Building Wings

Let me preface this post by stating I feel really blessed that we just happened to move about 6 months before Alex was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and that move meant a new school. Alex is fortunate to be in a school with an extremely competent and compassionate school nurse who has a good background in diabetes care AND in a school where there just happens to be 4 other children with type 1 diabetes. She is not alone. We are indeed having issues right now at school but I honestly don't think they are unique to her school or the staff and I'm looking through my rose colored glasses that we will resolve whatever issues there are. I have had so many positive interactions with Alex's school staff and teachers that I believe we will indeed figure out solutions to the problems. But...I need a place to pour my thoughts out into. So here I am...

This is our first full year in school with diabetes. This is our first year in school with an insulin pump and Alex's ability to self-manage her blood glucose checks and administer insulin through her pump. It's new territory, and for a while, all seemed well with management and Alex's performance at school. Slowly but surely though we've hit some bumps. Alex's grades are falling and the fact that her reading grade has fallen when she has always been a strong avid reader sends my alarm bells in my head sounding off at full blast. Alex has also resorted to "waiting out" a low...because she doesn't want to miss something - be it work in the classroom or time on the playground...to the point that she is in the 50s when she hits the health room...and she KNEW she was low before then. Houston...we have a problem...

I started noticing a few things in late fall/early winter...like papers Alex suddenly would have half done and she's be scrambling to complete 10 minutes before the bus in the morning...papers I didn't know she had because she assured me she had no homework outside her normal homework packet the afternoon before. Apparently these papers were work she missed while in the health room. We've also been struggling since the beginning of school over her daily agenda - the notebook where they write down all the objectives for the day and then I sign it each afternoon noting I read it. Well...I'd say 3 out of 5 days Alex comes home with a blank agenda. She says it's because they complete at the end of the day...when she is in the health room. She says she doesn't have time before then to write it down. I've tried to work with her. I've contacted the teacher twice to mention that this is a problem and to please try to work with her. But it gets better briefly and then resorts back to missing agendas. I write notes sometimes in the agenda and get no replies.

I didn't realize until this past week that apparently a student in the class checks the agenda and marks if a student didn't complete it. Then that list is given to the teacher and the students lose recess (stand against a wall). Well...Alex has apparently stood at the wall several times. She NEVER told me. The school nurse called me early this week to tell me she was frustrated because Alex had a particularly bad day with lows. At the end of the day she didn't show up until 5 minutes before departure (instead of 15 minutes before departure) and was 60. She said it was because she had to get her agenda done so she didn't lose recess again. Then she RAN from the nurse and got on her bus...at 60! The nurse ran after her and she refused to listen. The nurse managed to get her a Quick Stick...when the episode ended, I got a call. And that was the first I heard of the recess issue.

With that information things really started clicking - this missing Agendas; the 0s and bad grades on assignments because they weren't done or weren't  complete (and I only know this because of the online grade system - I'm not getting papers back in enough time to see them before something can be done). My girl has been struggling to keep up between missing class time and getting in trouble for not doing things when she is taking care of her diabetes. Now wonder the last few weeks when something is half done and I explain she'll get a bad grade if she doesn't finish it, she says "I don't care."...I know she is exhausted and stressed out. It all makes sense.

I really don't think the teacher is purposefully penalizing her for diabetes care. I think she's a teacher with a full classroom of kids (30?) and not paying attention to trends. Alex isn't failing. She's gone from a high 90 percentage in most classes to a low 80 percentage. Alex has told the students marking her for missing agenda it's because she is in the health room but she has NOT gone to the teacher. That doesn't mean I think it's Alex's fault or responsibility. I'm just saying I don't think the teacher is bad or trying to purposefully penalize Alex for her diabetes care. It's just a consequence of NOT paying attention to Alex. And I don't set the district rules for crazy 30-40 kid classroom sizes....so unfortunately even if you have a ridiculously large class...you need to be aware of my kid. And...I don't think 9 and 10 year olds should be in charge of making lists of kids who lose recess privileges...I'm hoping there is more to that procedure and Alex didn't give me the full story of how grading/discipline is dished out...I'll be asking for clarification for sure.

So after obsessing for a few days over this problem and contacting the school for a meeting now scheduled for next week, I've come to a few conclusions:
  1.  Alex needs to spend less time walking across the entire school to the health room (opposite end of the school!!!)  for every single morsel of food she comes in contact with. That means she should self test/bolus for snacks and before recess/PE. She should STILL go to the nurse for lunch and 15 minutes before the bus ride home. If she is having a great day, that means she only visit the nurse twice a day. I can live with that.
  2. Alex needs to be reassured and given more opportunities to get work done that she misses when in the health room or at appointments
  3. Alex should never be given a poor grade when an assignment is not complete until the teacher has verified she blew it off. If she was not in the classroom, she should be handed back the assignment to complete in a reasonable amount of time. 
  4. The teacher needs to make an alternative time of day for Agenda copying. End of day is NOT working.
So we meet next week and review her IEP. I'm hoping we'll work out everything. The one thing that seems to be of concern is the blood glucose testing in the classroom. I know that testing in the classroom is fully allowed legally and plenty of kids do...so even if my school isn't accustomed to it, perhaps we can sort out what fears exist and get moving on this new plan. I think Alex losing 10+ minutes each time there is a snack or a party treat AND each time she has recess (twice a day) is ridiculous. If her number is in range, why not let her take care of herself? There seems to be fear she won't test on her own or she'll have trouble with carb counting. I say give her the benefit of the doubt. She gets her own snacks and boluses at home without checking with me unless she has questions about the carbs and she makes efforts to get my help when she needs it!  They are seeing an issue at school with more severe hypos and hiding them because she is frustrated at missing class time. Let her test herself and prove she is responsible. It isn't like we can't check her meter.  I know my girl...she is asking to test herself at school. She is able to bolus appropriately. She is angry she is being made to be dependent on the health room and lose out on time with friends and class work. Let her fly...I KNOW she can do it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dexie is cool!

This is kind of a redundant yet longer post from my last one. 

 So I finally bit the bullet and started up Alex's new Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor. We received it back during Christmas week. I immediately unwrapped it, looked at that BIG package the sensors come in and decided Christmas week wasn't a good time to start it up. Then, Alex and I decided to take a last minute trip to Los Angeles to do everything American Girl and, again, I decided traveling/New Years was not a good time to start it up.

Random cute picture from The Grove Los Angeles
It didn't take much to convince me that reasons x, y, and z were all good reasons it was not a good time to start it up! That sensor insertion thing looked SCARY.

This is what it looks like when you pull it out of the box.
This is what is "left" after you detach pieces from the body when leaving in the sensor.
 I'm not a nurse. I have NO medical background whatsoever. I have always HATED anything medical. It's been quite a year to conquer fears and become a diabetes nurse basically. So the longer we had it, the longer I put off putting that thing in Alex's body. I mean - if I look scared of it how the hell am I going to convince her to go through with it???

Alas, there comes a time you just have to buck up and face your fears. So, I watched the online video training...4 times. Did I mention I am totally an OCD person (at least according to my friends and family)? I then watched some YouTube videos including this one. (Thank you Wendy). Okay seriously...if that little cute kid can sit there and basically talk me through this with his mom without batting and eye, then we CAN do this!

So first I gathered up all the stuff. Then I decided it would be a perfect time for bribery and pulled out an online code to a game Alex's been begging me to get.  Alex came home from school and we talked. She was scared but I reassured it that was completely normal and that we needed to give it a try. I promised her I would talk her through it. I hugged her and reminded her how proud I am of her. I reasoned with her and explained she was scared of the pump sites too and now she prefers them over injections. It was WORTH trying. She agreed albeit it reluctantly.

I then asked her to please talk to me while we did it and tell me in words if something hurts a lot or if something doesn't feel right. I asked her to try NOT to scream and shout and pull away so we could get this done successfully. There are a few steps and if she was screaming and pulling from me it could cause us to damage the sensor.  This is something we've tried working on with her about all diabetes things - it's totally fine to cry and explain when something is hurtful. But communicate what exactly is wrong. Then we can work with that. But screaming/crying/yelling "I hate you" doesn't help any of us. She has really come a long way from last year because that rarely happens now. Sometimes she cries when a pump site hurts. We've learned certain spots hurt. We've learned certain spots "sting". We've learned she likes certain angles. She likes ways we hold her skin, etc. Talk to us. We can make it as comfortable as we can if she talks to us.

Anyway, we ordered some EMLA for this. I'm not sure if it's necessary but what could it hurt? The thing is I have no stinking idea if I used it right. I really need some education on prep stuff. Anyway, I rubbed some on the area and waited 40 minutes. When I came back it was clear looking. But then the instructions say to clean the area. Does that ruin the EMLA? No clue. I cleaned the area. I used an IV Prep wipe. Then I pulled out that big scary inserter thing and stuck it on her all the while assuring her I would push it until we counted together so calm down so I get it stuck right! She was as calm as one could expect her to be. Then it was time to remove the safety and push down on the plunger. So I did. She yelped a bit and said it hurt. I pulled the lip thing back and kept telling her that was the worst part and it shouldn't hurt anymore. I removed the big inserter thing. So far so good. Alex was back to being calm and agreeing it pinched but it wasn't awful. Then it was time to clip in the transmitter. Yeah right! That was actually the hard part to me. I put it in. I tried to pull up the latch thing. It was hard. I wasn't sure I did it right. It didn't snap in. I looked down at the picture instructions and reminded myself I needed to be firmer. I held it down with one hand and moved up the latch with the other hand. Snap! It was in. I twisted off the latch.


Now it was time to "start up" Dexie. I guess in 2 hours we would know if it worked. That 2 hours took forever and of course being Friday night, we ordered some take out food (typical Friday night for us). Alex wanted teriyaki chicken and rice...rice...always a bad choice for her blood sugar. But after being so brave...that girl was getting rice. That prompted a crazy night of highs. Didn't consider that...

However the thing works! It sometimes was within like 2 points of her number on her meter. At most it was 25 points off (either direction). And the best part...it alarmed at about 3:30 AM for a low blood sugar and woke her up. She tested, treated her low, and came to wake me up about it. That is EXACTLY why I wanted this thing!

Needless to say that first 24 hour graph was quite scary looking. What a roller coaster ride!

So Alex has been using Dexie for about 3 days. I am in love with it. She can be in her bedroom and I can hold Dexie in the living room and it stays connected. She always tests when she goes to bed but when I go to bed an hour or so later, I test her again. With Dexie, I can determine if it's necessary to retest her when I go to bed or not. She will always test with her blood meter when she is supposed to. And the most important thing is night time alarms. I mean, perfect example would be that I tested Alex that first night around midnight and all was well. Normally if all is well, I test Alex once between midnight - 2 AM. I would NOT have caught that 3:30 AM alarm.

The other thing that excites me is Alex's readings from school and Dexie. Alex runs sky high in the mornings between about 8 AM - 11:30 AM. Then she drops like a rock and inevitably ends up in the health room in the afternoons several times. We've adjusted basals. We've done all sorts of things. Maybe Dexie can show us the patterns and we will have better insight into those adjustments? We seem to not catch her highs/lows at school until she is way high or low. I just love that this can be a new tool to better adjust Alex's insulin to avoid some of those roller coasters. Maybe? Please?

Issues Thus Far:
Stickiness
I don't know what it is but the adhesives don't stick to Alex's skin. I make sure it's dry. Usually withing 1-2 days the adhesive pulls away from her skin. I've been using some tape to tape the adhesive down but the tape usually comes up. And after 24 hours, the sides of the adhesive on the sensor were already coming up! I got clever yesterday and cut an opening in an IV 3000 clear patch and put that down around the sensor. I've read about Skin Tac? I'm wondering if that works better than IV Prep which seems to do nothing. But I'm utterly confused and I'll be calling the educator's office later today. I've read people who use the wipes; people who use some liquid. I've read people wipe it on the skin and other wipe it on the adhesive itself. I'm really confused about this tape stuff. Did I actually read that some people put a clear tape patch on their skin and push the infusion sites through that? It sounded like it yet other people mention putting it OVER the site.  Totally confused about the IV 3000 things which we never use because it's huge and how do you put it over the infusion sites when you need to be able to unclip? I guess cut holes in it like I did with the dexcom sensor? Not a clue. Suggestions more than welcome.

Carrying DexieI'm a little nervous about Alex carrying Dexie to school. What if she loses it? I put labels on it using a label maker that noted it being a medical device with her name and my cell phone number. It looks like an iPod so I went to school with her and talked to her teachers about it and assured them it's not an iPod. But I could see it getting stolen by someone thinking it was an iPod or something. Yikes! Also, how the heck do you "wear" this thing? Alex doesn't wear jeans a lot and doesn't have pockets. I think if she holds it, it will get misplaced. For now, I used her pump band and had her wear it and put it in one of the band pockets. She doesn't wear her pump band much - she prefers to clip her pump to her skirt/pants. This would mean she wears the band now every day. I despise the black leather case it came with - it's bulky and the clip is awful.  Not sure how this will end up...hopefully not lost!

Friday, January 11, 2013

We did it!

After weeks of delaying, I watched the online tutorial. I watched several YouTube videos (and it doesn't escape my mind that it's more than a little wacked to learn how to put needles in your kid from watching YouTube). And we did it!

Hoping it starts up the way it is supposed to and the little transmitter will be happy. I felt confident with the procedure overall. The trickiest part was putting the transmitter on. I thought for some reason it would click in the back part way before you pulled the latch up? I don't know. I held it down with one hand per the instructions and used the other hand to pull up on the latch. Seemed to snap in. I did hear a couple clicks. Now we wait about another 1.5 hours for start up.

Alex said it hurt "a little" going in. I did use EMLA but don't know if I did that right. I rubbed some on the area. But then you wash the area right? I rubbed it in. I waited 30 minutes. I wiped with an alcohol wipe. Then I wiped with an IV prep wipe. Then I inserted it. She yelped when I pushed in the inserter slightly. No big screams. She said it pinched going in. But she didn't cry afterwards so I don't think it was too bad. When we have bad site changes that hurt, she cries afterwards for a bit so I know they hurt sometimes in some places.

So...we'll see what comes next I guess!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Belated 1 Year Obligatory Post

I'm not sure if secretly there was some part of me that just did NOT want write a 1 year post. I can't believe it's been 1 year. I can't believe we have made it through 1 year. I can't believe it's been 1 year. I feel like there will be some "end" point. It's not logical but sometimes I still think this will all just go away. She has diabetes. No! Just kidding! She's fine! Crazy thinking but sometimes it still feels like this isn't really our lives. She just has it a "little bit". Not like other T1s we meet, right?

In all seriousness, it's amazing to think about how much has changed in 1 year.
  • Last year, on January 8th, we were home from the hospital scared out of our minds. 
  • Last year, we were all sick with ear infections, bronchitis, strep, and Alex had mono (though we didn't know that yet at the time). 
  • Last year, every single finger stick was an exercise in pain and patience as Alex screamed through EACH AND EVERY ONE. And we sucked at it too. Sometimes it could take multiple pokes to get blood.
  • Last year, we fumbled through shots and struggled to count the carbs.
  • Last year, the minute we saw 90 on the meter we started to panic.
  • Last year, I thought we'd never eat out again.
  • Last year, I thought we'd never sleep again. Alex woke up for every blood sugar check at night crying.
It's a new year.
  • This year my daughter does all of her own finger pokes and doesn't bat an eye over it. 
  • This year we've been thankful enough to have few illnesses and none that have stuck around for very long or had a terrible impact on her diabetes (scared to write that one and jinx us!)
  • This year her blood work was normal at her annual check. No high cholesterol. No problems with Vitamin D levels. No celiac. All normal.
  • This year, we have an insulin pump and it has been an absolute miracle to us as far as making life as normal as it could possibly be living with diabetes. No more syringes and insulin vials to tote everywhere and then inject out at restaurants, etc. where you get strange stares.
  • This year, we panic when we see something under 60 on the meter and I wouldn't call it panic really - just high alert. 40s are more like panic. Thankful that doesn't happen a ton!
  • This year, I sent an email to Alex's new volleyball coach emphasizing snacks at games are fine and there is nothing special that needs to be prepared for her. Homemade snacks are fine too. We can wing it with the carbs. We've gotten decent at that! Eating out is more cumbersome than before diabetes but we don't shy away from it.
  • This year, we are sleeping again. It probably won't ever be as peaceful as it was before diabetes. But it isn't terrible. We get up once a night to check her and I usually can go back to sleep quickly unless she is low and I've been up for a bit fighting a low. And, Alex almost never wakes up when I check her at night.  I can poke her in the pitch black dark of the house and use the meter light only to draw the blood. She never even moves usually.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Get it together!

So I had all these lofty goals of posting all of November for that blog challenge. And, then I was going to be really really thoughtful and insightful and post all kinds of wondrous stuff in December...Alex's first diaversary. But yeah, so here it is January and well let's just say life intervenes! Onward and upward...

This is a selfish post lecture to myself...

I spent months whining like a baby about getting a Continuous Glucose Monitor to everyone and anyone! I groaned about paying out of pocket for the thing because of my plan's high deductible. I lamented about having some semblance of peace of mind at night for blood sugar checks. And then came November...when the King family sadly enough met all their deductible and coinsurance requirements for the 2012 year. That's never happened before! Needless to say, the time was hot to be sure I had everything I needed in the diabetes world before 2013 - prescriptions filled; insulin pump supplies ordered; and the discussion of a CGM with the endocrinologist.

The endocrinologist whole-heartedly agreed that a CGM was appropriate and sent over the prescription for a Dexcom G4. After several weeks of paperwork and jumping through hoops insurance approval the shiny blue G4 arrived a few days after Christmas! Merry Christmas to me and to Alex (well I'm not sure she would see it as a Christmas gift like I would).

And...after all that whining and wrangling, you'd think I'd be sitting here gushing over the technology of it and it's readings. Alas, it sits in a box in my kitchen staring at me to do something about it. I've read the book. I've examined the boxes of inserters/sensors/etc. I have the tutorial for my computer sitting on my desk. I've watched a few YouTube videos. I've reached out to friends. And it still sits in a box.

I don't know what I"m afraid of exactly. I guess just sticking her with unfamiliar needles is not exactly enticing? I mean, I stick her with needles almost on a daily basis. This shouldn't be unfamiliar here. But...at least everything I've stuck her with so far someone has shown me how to do it first...this...I'm kinda just supposed to do.

Anyway it's time to go for it. I'm doing this. I promise. Because my alternative is to call her doctor's office, drive way the heck down to PCH with a ticked off kid who is missing school (and does NOT need to miss school with the way her grades have been the last few months), and for what? To do the same thing I should be able to do here where she is more comfortable?

So I need to get this together and get it done. Quit blogging and stick that tutorial in the computer's CD ROM drive.  Order some EMLA tomorrow through the doctor as recommended by a friend and go for it...