The end of 2009.

As 2009 comes to a close I just wanted to thank you all for joining me on this blog-writing adventure. I hope some of my posts provided you with whatever you needed: support, information, knowledge, fuel for the fire, or a safe place to fall.

As there still is no cure (patiently tapping my fingers waiting) and my beautiful son is still living life to the fullest with this crappy disease otherwise known as Type 1 diabetes, you can be sure Type 1 Demystified will be full of new posts, new adventures, and of course, trial and tribulations for 2010.

Thank you again, for without you dear subscribers, this blog would not exist. You know the old adage, if someone writes a blog and there is no one to read it, then is there really a blog at all…or something like that.


Letting loose (a bit).

I am not what I consider a control freak (others may disagree, feel free to comment). However, when it comes to keeping my son with Type 1 diabetes the healthiest he can be, I do have to control some elements of his care. While my son is never denied any food of any kind, we are adamant that his blood sugar must be checked before meals and the proper amount of insulin must be given for all carbs eaten. My son gets his sugar checked before breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and evening snack as well as any time he feels that his sugar may be off. We do give insulin for all of those snacks unless he chooses a carb free snack like pepperoni and cheese.

These are the normal days.

Now we add in special days like school parties, birthday parties, holidays and Christmas cookie baking day in our home, and it is made clear to me that if I want my son to have as normal life as possible, I need to let loose, just  a little, for his sanity. On special days we do our best to keep my son’s sugar as in range as possible, but there will be some ups and downs with the extra snacks or treats along the day.

Baking cookies is a prime example. It’s practically an American right that you taste the cookie dough before it is cooked. I have no idea how many carbs are in a small spoonful of raw cookie dough and I have no desire to know. I simply dole out the spoonfuls to both of my children. That’s it. No glucose test. No carb count. That’s it. Just continuing the glorious tradition of tasting the raw cookie dough.

Letting loose. We can always check my son’s sugar later and correct with insulin if need be. Most times the excitement of the holidays runs his sugar a little on the lower side, so a spoonful of cookie dough doesn’t have much impact. But letting loose (just a bit) has all the impact in the world.

For a brief moment in time, my son is exactly like his sister, just enjoying a holiday tradition without carb counting or glucose check. Yes, Type 1 diabetes takes a great deal of management and consistency, and that is a necessary life saving practice needed for everyday. It’s the special days, where along with management and consistency, you add in a little spontaneity and loosen the grip just a bit, and you realize you can do this. We can do this. Type 1 diabetes is always there, holidays and all, but we don’t have to let it take center stage.

No excuses.

My son has been living with Type 1 diabetes for almost 2 and 1/2 years. I think he is doing an exceptional job dealing with this relentless disease day in and day out. He rarely complains, he takes all his finger checks and site changes in stride, and he even takes on the role of diabetes educator when it comes to his care at school and away from home. He knows a great deal about what Type 1 diabetes is, how to best care for his needs, and what makes him feel at his best. He is a hero in my eyes.

He never makes excuses for anything when it comes to diabetes. He does not miss school because he has Type 1. He does not miss gym class because he has Type 1. He does not miss any obligations because of diabetes. There are times, however, when the Mama Bear in me comes out in full force and I must step in and demand that we make an exception because of diabetes.

Every night I check my son’s sugar while he sleeps. His sugar usually gets checked around midnight and 3:00 am, just to ensure that his numbers are staying steady, and if not some intervention can take place before it becomes a serious problem. These nightly checks usually have no impact on my son’s sleep. He sleeps through finger checks as  well as site changes. He is a real trooper.

It is the nights where his sleep is severely altered that I must step in give my son the opportunity to acknowledge that sometimes diabetes does affect our day to day. Some nights when I check my son’s sugar it is too low. In order to get the number back in range I have to feed him some type of sugar. That can be anything from a glucose drink (our favorite) to a juice box, or yogurt drink, or a small piece of candy. One time a night of this is disruptive enough, but sometimes for whatever reason, my son may dip low 2 or 3 times in one night. So that is 2 or 3 times when I am giving him juice to drink, or a snack to eat instead of him counting sheep like most kids.

Sometimes when my son dips low he gets very very hungry. So along with getting glucose checks and sugar in the middle of the night he also needs a snack.

Do you have the picture in your head yet?

2:30am…Mama sneaks in to the bedroom, puts the tiny flash light in her mouth, and checks the sugar. Meter reads 62. Mama runs to get the glucose drink, places the drink in the sleeping boy’s mouth. He slowly starts to wake up because he is starving from the 62. He drinks the drink, and then realizes he is hungry. We both go into the kitchen for the boy to eat salami and cheese for a 2:30am snack. Definitely not like most homes.

This is where Mama steps in. Yes, we have no excuses when it comes to diabetes, but this is serious. A six year old boy cannot go to school and function properly on such terribly interrupted sleep. He needs sleep to learn, grow and stay healthy. Diabetes doesn’t understand that, but his Mama does. That is when we shut off the wake up alarm and let the boy sleep in until he wakes up on his own, rested and ready for the day.

We have no excuses when it comes to diabetes, but some days enough is enough.