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......

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Treating Lows

When I ask Alyssa what it feels like when her blood sugar is low, she says that she feels like she's shaking and her heart feels like its going to beat out of it's chest.  What I notice when she's low is that her face pales and although she's cool to the touch, she breaks into a sweat.  Also, her pupils dilate and her speech is appears as though she's drunk.  Last night, just before bed she came to me and said she was low.  She was already treating herself with a juice box, as she had checked her sugar and it was 34!!  I sat her down and retrieved the Smarties from our supply cabinet and gave her a few of those after she finished the juice box.  This is always a touchy time because there is always the chance she'll lose consciousness.  The 15 minutes before re-check seems to last forever.  Then just as quick as the low came on, the color starts to return to her cheeks, her words become clearer and she says she feels better.  Re-check 92.  I gave her 4 peanut butter crackers.  At about 2:30 a.m., I checked of 187. 

She had an 1 1/2 hour cheer practice earlier that evening, but her bg's were good before and after.  And what was crazy, was that at this time she was just playing on the laptop, nothing physical. She had a normal bg before dinner and ate really well.  Ughh....unpredictable!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The D-O-C

When your child is first diagnosed with diabetes your world is set into a spin, especially if you have no previous exposure to the disease.  In my case, my step dad was diagnosed when I was in my early teens and I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with one of my children.  So, I had a little understanding of the physiological aspect of type 1 diabetes.  However, when my daughter was diagnosed I still felt like a steam roller had flattened me.  My new job was going to be her artificial pancreas.  I was going to have to measure and calculate what she ate.  I was going to need to determine the amount of insulin she needed based on her blood sugar levels and consumption of food; all while being sure to account for her physical activity.  I wasn't sure if I was the best person for this job.  What if I messed up?  What if I made a mistake?  And then there was the fact that our entire lives were flipped upside down.  This disease affects the entire family.

We were and are very fortunate to have a supportive "village" that immediately jumped in to help us make sense of this situation.  But what we needed too were other families who lived with this disease, who had been where we were.  I began to search the Internet for more information about living with this disease and stumbled across a mother's blog, D-Mom, The Sweet Life with a Diabetic Child.  I read her current and older posts.  Her blog led me to another d-mom's blog, and so and and so on.  Their blogs also led me to Facebook groups and Twitter events.  This is the Diabetes Online Community (#DOC).

Connecting with the DOC helped me know what to expect when my daughter returned to school after her diagnosis, helped me figure out what a 504 plan was, and led me to volunteering and advocating...they led me to start this blog.  From the DOC I've gotten advice, support, and understanding from other parents who live similar lives.  From the DOC, Alyssa has built relationships with other children who are like her....who have to prick their fingers and take injections and who feel bad when there sugar levels aren't just right.  (And they've helped us choose what pump we will get)

If you or your child is newly diagnosed, my advice to you is to connect through blogs and social media with others who have been where you are.  I'm sure glad I did!