Thursday, July 17, 2008

Diabetes Update

Well 4 1/2 months into our diabetes battle things are going well. We still struggle to keep Sydney's blood sugars in the normal range though. She will be doing well for a few days and then it is like something turns off in her body and her sugars will shoot up again...or visa will seem that something turns on in her body and she is dropping low all the time. It can be very frustrating. Right now we have been fighting with high blood sugars. I know that it is very important to control her sugar levels because the long term side effects of having out-of-whack sugars are terribly scary. I just wish there were a magic number--a certain amount of insulin units to give her that would make everything OK. Unfortunately it is trial and error.

As for how Sydney is handling things, she is doing great most of the time. She takes her shots like a champ! She can check her own blood sugar completely on her own! We obviously supervise but she does it. Before each meal she checks it and tells us the number. Most of the time she knows if it is high or low or just right. Another huge improvement, something that we were working toward, is she can tell when her sugars drop too low. Right after she was diagnosed, whenever her sugars were low, I would ask her to think about how she is feeling and then she started realizing when her sugars were low she felt a certain way. Now 95% of the time she tells us when she is low before we notice the symptoms (tired, shaky, clammy skin). This has been a blessing because it makes me worry less about her dropping too low and passing out. We still get up most nights to check her sugar. She obviously can't tell if she is dropping low while she is sleeping so we would rather be safe and just check it. Sometimes, if her sugar is above 130 or so at bedtime, then we won't check it during the night. The only time Sydney cries for shots is when one is unexpected. Sydney knows that everyday she gets 2 shots with breakfast, a shot with lunch, and a shot with dinner. However if her sugars spike sometime during the day or if she is really high at night and we tell her she needs a shot, she gets really upset. I think having a pump would be nice for this because you just push some buttons and it goes through the port that is attached to her skin (or something like that. We don't have any experience with pumps yet.) Syd has a doctor appointment on the 23rd and I am anxious to see what her doc says and if he thinks she is getting closer to getting a pump.

Sydney's whole outlook on nutrition has amazed me. She is so observant with foods. She has actually become quite the health nut. She is always asking how many carbs are in something. For example, last night we went to Cold Stone for some ice cream after dinner. Sydney asked the lady behind the counter which ice cream was the healthiest and had low carbs. The lady gave her a sample of this new "tart and tangy" frozen yogurt stuff. Sydney said she would take that kind. This was while her sister ordered cotton candy flavored ice cream with sprinkles and the rest of us had our ice cream riddled with Oreo cookies or something. As we were eating she made a point to tell us that she was the healthiest. We agreed with her. Sometimes she tells me she wants to pretend that she doesn't have diabetes anymore. She often asks me if it will go away. I tell her that it won't. Then she asks if it will go away after she dies. I tell her yes it will but her saying that always bothers me...not sure why. But I just let her ask what she needs to ask. Sydney will often pretend one of her barbies has diabetes and she will pretend to give shots and talk to her about healthy eating. I actually enjoy watching her play so I can see how she now views her world. Sometimes she will tell me her barbie is sad because she has diabetes and nobody will play with her. That hurts me a lot. This has never happened to her. Her little friends are so great and they don't even seem to care or notice about her shots. But it just lets me know that this is something she does worry about. As a mom, I hope and pray she never deals with this.

Morgan is a trooper too. She hears words and obviously doesn't know what they mean. The other day she asked me how many carbs were in her shirt! LOL It was funny.

One of the most...well one of the many....frustrating things to deal with is the fact that most people don't know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They are so different. My friend Wendy said they really need to have different names because they are completely different diseases. I agree. Sometimes people still assume that she contracted this because of a poor diet. That is something that is related to Type 2 diabetes, not Type 1. I get people who like to compare the two different diseases, which you can't do because they are so incredibly different. I still talk to people who think healthy eating and exercise will make it go away. While that can be the case with Type 2, it isn't with Type 1. Currently there is no cure for Type 1 diabetes. Because the names are so similar, people seem to think that they are related when they aren't. I wish there was more public awareness about Type 1 diabetes just so people can realize the two diseases are so different. Unfortunately Type 1 diabetes only accounts for about 10% of the entire diabetic population, that is why we hear so much about Type 2 but not 1.

Overall though, things are going really well. Even though this disease has its challenges and can be overwhelming, I am thankful everyday that her disease is controllable and treatable. Sydney can live a full and healthy life. We are grateful she doesn't have something so much more serious.

Thanks for everyone's support as well. I have attached two pictures. One from when she was in the hospital after she was diagnosed and one from last week. She actually has put on some weight (about 5 lbs) which is good. She had lost several pounds before she was diagnosed and after a month or so started gaining again. She is back on the chart in a normal weight range.


Shauna Lyon said...

She looks great and sounds like she is doing better than I would. She looks great with the added 5 and looks very healthy, what a little trooper. Tell her we love her and she is so strong. I work with a lady that was diagniosed type 1 when she was 8 and she is doing great and is in her thirties with none of the issues. Porbably because like Sydney's she watches her carbs and eats healthy. Great job Sydney!!!

The Bartschi's said...

I am so glad to hear that she is doing better! She is such a sweet kid and so darn cute! I wish I was a health nut like her, it would do me a world of good! :)

Cram Corner said...

Hang in there you are doing great!! Please feel free to email me anytime if you have any questions! I am happy to help in anyway! I also wanted to mention the pump is one single shot every 3 days. I forgot to tell you that in the email!!

Jill said...

That is so cute that she was asking the lady behind the ice cream counter about carbs...I bet the girl was wondering why a little girl was so concerned about it! Too funny! my new goal is to try and be as healthy as sydney! I can't believe how fast your girls are growing up, they are adorable!

TeamBennett said...

Wow, what a challenge for you as a parent Shamae. I can't imagine it. You are so strong. As is Sydney. She is so adorable. She looks just like you!!

periwinkle4 said...

Okay, so I teared up reading about her questions about if it will go away. . . She's such a cutie and definatly a trooper and so smart! You and Loren are awesome parents - your kids are so lucky to have you! I'm glad she's doing so well with all of this and how cute that she's a health nut!

LsuFan said...

Oh I am so glad she is doing so well Shamae!! It amazes me at how smart she is at her age!! She looks great!!