Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dr. Jeklow and Mr. High

Have you ever lost your temper because you were hungry?  Ever feel super sleepy from overeating?  How about your brain having trouble functioning because you haven't eaten in hours?  What about your arms, have they ever felt like they were weighted down when you were super exhausted?  Well, I have a little story for you.  It's about Dr. Jeklow and Mr. High.  

When Dr. Jeklow is around it's pretty scary.  He can show up completely unnoticed and startle the wits right out of you.  He might be weepy when he arrives.  Sometimes it seems like he might have had a bit of alcohol because he'll even be slurring his words and not making a lot of sense. He might appear pale and his hands can be ice cold.  He just needs to be treated sweetly and then he'll go away but give him too much and he turns into Mr. High.  Hopefully Dr. Jeklow doesn't pass out because you might need outside help if that happens.  Sometimes he doesn't like being treated sweetly and won't understand what you are doing.  You just have to persevere.  Otherwise he could knock you out or even cause you to die.

Mr. High can be rude, demanding, and angry.  He's sweaty and warm to the touch.  He might be weepy too.  He doesn't really care how you feel.  He is also typically ravenous and occasionally lethargic.  His brain doesn't seem to be engaged when he visits, and you can't wait for him to leave.  Don't take anything he says or does to heart.  He doesn't really mean it.  It's just his nature.  He is always super thirsty and sometimes drinks so much he has an accident.  It must be pretty embarrassing for him to always feel and act this way.  Unfortunately the only way to get rid of him is by artificial medicine you have to inject carefully.  If you let Mr. High hang around indefinitely he might just kill you.

Lookout for these two killers and respond appropriately.  Continue to fight them off and live!  But don't live in fear because then Mr. Jeklow and Mr. High's mutual friend, Mr. Typ-e-one Diabetes will have succeeded.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I have wanted to write and wanted to write since Monday but haven't known where to start.  I know it's been said in many different ways and so many places but Robin Williams' death effected me immensely.  I remember watching him on Mork and Mindy when I was just my Sugar Bear's age.  My younger brother and I would act out scenes from the show.  I had rainbow colored suspender's.  I grew up on Robin Williams.  He influenced my life with his shows and movies and comedy. In my own naieve way I loved him.   I married my own version of Robin Williams in my husband who is hairy and funny too.  Anyway, with all the loss we've had this year, Robin Williams suicide was the straw in many ways.  We took time this week to rewatch a kid appropriate favorite, Hook.  And then the constant barrage of information started happening on FB and Twitter about choice and suicide and depression.  It took me back to my teenage days.  After my parent's divorce.  I called the suicide hotline many times during high school on into college.  They saved my life.  In college I got counseling.  It helped too.  I still have bouts with depression but not as many in recent years.  It  lurks in the far corners of my mind.  It's the negative voice.  But I'm better.
My brother and I as children at Halloween.

Speaking of high school, the Teenager returned to school as a Freshman on Wednesday!  Where did the time go.  I do believe his high school experience will be better than mine was.  He does seem to stress himself out about grades and classes.  He was so nervous and excited.  A few more headaches again but better.
First Day of School
On His Way

Sugar Bear started having high BS about a week and a half ago.  We called the endo but got the automated machine and left the numbers.  We didn't hear back from them.  The numbers were much higher than we've dealt with.  Lot's of ketone testing this week too.  Luckily we didn't really
have those (just trace and small).  Finally called the endo on call on Thursday and it just happened to be our doc.  She said she never got the numbers!  It'd been about 3 days!  Uuggh.  Anyway, changed the evening dose, the insulin to carb ratios for all meals, and the bedtime corrections (now we start at 200 again).  So far it's a bit better.  He hasn't been as high, unfortunately he also hasn't been completely in range and we've dealt with some lows. One being today at 3pm (normal snack time) and he was 57 with no awareness of it. The worst low was the one that happened Friday night after visiting friends.  He was in range at midnight and I felt like I needed to check him at 2am instead of 3.  I'm glad I did; he was 62 and it took awhile to get him in range to sleep.  I didn't sleep much that night.  Of course I ended up reading about a drive-in in NJ where a teenage boy was kicked out due to the food he had in his kit. Food that keeps him from having a low while his family drives to that drive in.  Food that allows him and his family to feel normal.  To worry less.  Not only the incident but the comments completely disheartened me.  Of course that started me down the rabbit hole where I found out about type 1 adults that have been beaten by cops who thought a hypoglycemic episode was drunkenness or drugs.  Made me absolutely speechless. Made me nervous for what my son could experience in his life.  If it can happen to a former Mr. Universe at a movie theater with his family while he's headed to the concession stand because he knows he needs (not wants) some sugar to raise his blood glucose then it could happen to my son as a grown up.  I know what avenue I'd like to take my advocacy.  Education is badly needed!  

We did get to see Guardians of the Galaxy at the Drive In before school started.  And our type 1 was safe with his snacks!  Of course we visited the concession stand too for the rest of us. 

Our Fantastic Drive In

Protein (helps stabilize blood sugar and typically has no carbs)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Remember to Smell the Flowers

 Sugar Bear is homeschooled and because of that we do an assessment for the end of our year.  This year that happened in the middle of July.  After assessment we always go out for ice cream and this year was no different.  Well, it was a little different.  First, he wanted to wear his Team Sugar Bear shirt for his assessment.  Second, he was nervous because this year was very different for our schooling.  We've focused so much on diabetes, carb counting, etc...that he was worried he wouldn't be allowed to move forward.  And finally, that was one big ice cream cone!  The carbs were a meal all by itself.  And we SWAGged it (Scientific Wild A## Guess).  And we got it right!!!  And he had to make sure we would do this every year.  You bet, buddy.  As long as you are homeschooled, this will be the tradition. 

 It's been almost a month since I wrote anything on here.  It's been a pretty hard month emotionally.  We ended up only going to our out of state friend's funeral.  We couldn't do both since they both basically happened at the same time.  It's the longest trip we've taken since diagnosis.  Sugar Bear did great.  His BS stayed pretty much in range even with the late night and long days. On the way up we stopped at a rest stop where we got to smell some wonderful flowers.  The hotel was basic.  It's idea of continental breakfast was some bread you could toast, 4 cinamon bages (no cream cheese) and weak coffee.  We did the best we could with what we had.   At the wake after the service and gravesite ceremony we had some lunch.  It was the first moment he's seemed uncomfortable with his diabetes.  He didn't want to do his insulin at the table so we went out to the van.  When we came back, hubby was explaining to our tablemates that Sugar Bear has type 1.  Wonderfully beautiful people that didn't blink an eye or ask any uncomfortable questions.

The following weekend was my family reunion.  Another long drive.  This time his BS seemed to run high.

This made things a bit more difficult as he was more irritable and more anti-social.  By the end of the reunion on the way to hang out a little longer with family at my Grandmother's he wasn't feeling so great so we decided to head back to Mom's.  My Mom had her own vehicle and was taking one of her brother's home and then would meet us back at her house where her boyfriend was.  Unfortunately things didn't go so well with him when we got there and we ended up leaving to drive four hours back to our home.  That was not a fun drive.  High BS and stress and exhaustion are not good mixes.   
Sunday we rested.  Tuesday I was supposed to be back at work from my vacation.  On that Monday, while vacuuming I herniated four discs in my lower back.  I went to the ER where I had a CAT scan and was given some shots and sent home to rest with an appointment with my family doc for tuesday.  Tuesday I was still in awful pain and was given more shots at my family doc's office as well as a precript for pain pills, muscle releaxers, steroid anti inflammatories,  PT and pain management.  And no work.  I'm hoping to be able to return to work on the 20th.  Back seems to be feeling a bit better.  PT and drugs are definitely helping.  The week I messed my back up one of my husband's friend's lost his son to suicide.  More funerals.  More grieving.  

Grief has been a huge part of this year for us.  It seems just when we are getting our legs back under us something else happens.  So many tears have been shed over too many losses.  The Teenager goes back to school on Wednesday and I hope that will help to maybe make things feel more normal.  That maybe we can get back on track.  But I know that grief is a companion with us right now.  At this point, I'm very familiar with the stages.  In the meantime, we take it one day at a time, one moment at a time.