Alyssa's Journey with Type 1 Diabetes

An outlet, a diary of sorts, a place for thoughts, a place to connect,
an expression of feelings about Juvenile Diabetes......

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Schedule

I remember when I was a kid, the thing I looked forward to most during summer vacation was staying up late and not having to get up early in the morning. But when you have diabetes, its important to stay on a schedule. I have to admit, over the past several weeks we have slept a little later each morning so that now we get up between 7:30-8 as apposed to the 6:00 am alarm when school was in. And Alyssa is going to bed around 10:30-11 pm, when her school year bed time is 8:30-9... well she usually falls asleep somewhere around that time and we put her in her bed :)

I knew last night Alyssa had stayed up later than usual watching a movie. I woke up at 7:40 this morning, pricked her finger (she slept through it) blood glucose level was 147. I made her breakfast (3 little pancakes, sugar free syrup & a cup of milk is exactly 60 grams of carbohydrates), walked her sleepily into the kitchen and she started eating as I made her injections. I gave her her Lantus and Novolog and then proceeded with making coffee and cleaning up the kitchen. When I turned around, I noticed that Alyssa wasn't at the breakfast bar, so I went looking for her and this is where I found her.......

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sneaky Sneaky

Having diabetes stinks and I think it does even more so for a kid.  For the most part Alyssa manages her diabetes very well, knowing that she needs to check if she can have something before she puts it in her mouth.  I try not to keep the joys of sweets from her, my theory is anything in moderation.  She knows that even if she can't have a sweet at the moment she asks, she can save it for later when she can.  This decision is based on her glucose level, how soon it is to a mealtime, her activity level, and the amount of time before she goes to bed.

Yesterday with dinner she asked if she could have a low-sugar Klondike ice cream bar.  The dessert has 25 grams of carbohydrates and so I said that she could have it for desert after she ate her dinner.  With the ice cream, her dinner total came to 75 grams of carbohydrates (Normally 60).  Before dinner her blood glucose level was 144 (good).  Her insulin ratio is 1 unit for every 20 grams of carbohydrates, and because her bg's were good, no correction was needed.  So I gave her 3 1/2 units of Novolog.  All was good. 

At her bedtime glucose check her level was 166 and if they are under 200, she has a night time snack that is 15 grams of carbohydrates to balance her blood sugar level through the night.  She normally handles this on her own, and I'll call out to her, "What's your sugar?" she usually tells me what it is and I tell her if she needs a snack or not.  Well, I told her to get herself a snack (she has her own cabinet full of snacks all that are 15 grams of carbs or less)  However, miss flossy decided that she wanted to have another ice cream bar.  So, I'm in my room on my laptop and I hear my husband ask Alyssa if mom said she could have this ice cream?  "Alyssa!!" She had taken one bite.  Anyway, I had her wrap it up, promising she could have it the next day.  Diabetes is tricky and nights can produce dangerous lows or highs depending on her level of activity and pattern of bg's for the day.  That is why I choose to give her 15 grams of complex carbohydrate snacks that include protein before bedtime instead of sugary treats that can cause spikes and morning highs.  

I know it's tough to not be able to eat what she wants anytime she wants, and trust me, she didn't forget what I told her as she had her ice cream bar with her lunch this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What is insulin?

Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreatic inlets of Langerhans.  Insulin is secreted into the blood in response to the elevation of blood sugar levels.  Insulin then causes an individuals cells to absorb glucose from the blood and store it in the liver and muscles of the body so that it can be used as energy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

More than diabetes....

Alyssa is a beautiful, active, silly, sassy 9 year old girl who just so happens to have type 1 diabetes. She is so much more than a diabetic....Alyssa loves to cheer, tumble, dance, swim, sing, read, give make-overs to her girlfriends, paint nails, and play with her cat, Cookie, and Chihuahua, Poppy. She would rather be outside than in... loves riding her bike and her brother's four-wheeler. If she must stay in, she loves watching music videos on YouTube and playing on Her favorite color is green and she loves all things that glitter.....

"Hey I'm a wildflower, growin' in the sunshine
Soakin' up the way of life I was raised in
Runnin' barefoot bloomin' in a summer shower
Ponytail dancin' I can't help it, I'm a wildflower"
(Jane Dear Girls)


Monday, July 9, 2012


Just an update on Alyssa's bg's.... This was her first tumble practice in 12 days. Before practice, her bg was 200.... She had a 15g carb snack prior to practice and drank a low sugar Gatorade throughout. At the end of 30 minutes of tumbling, blood glucose level was 83. Good bye high sugars from last week!! Still on summer schedule for cheer practice, so she's resting up for 3 hrs tomorrow. Happy that competitive cheer is year round :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Diabetes doesn't define who you are....

Today was our church's Memorial Day Service.  This is a service where family and friends honor those who have passed on during the last year and a special guest speaker talks to the congregation about life and death and how we, as Christians, should not take for granted the time we have before we go on to glory.  This year's  guest speaker's subject was "Who are you?"  He believes when most people are asked this question, their first response is their name and then their profession when describing who they are.  His hope was that the congregation would see they should define themselves as how they live their life through acts and service for a child of God.  A person is more than their name; more than what they do for a living; more than some one's spouse or some one's parent or child. 

This question got me to thinking about my daughter and how many may think her disease defines who she is.  My daughter has type 1 diabetes, but that is not who she is.  Diabetes is just one part of her life.  Although, the disease can be overwhelming and attribute to how she feels, it is important to remember that this does not decide who Alyssa is or who she is going to be..... if anything, diabetes will make her stronger.