Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Double Digits

Cake, cake, and more cake.  What a difference a year makes!  This year I had Sugar Bear's birthday off as well as Sunday for his party.  And randomly I was given Monday off too!  A three day weekend, I should be more rested than I am.  Lol  but life and diabetes don't work that way.  No rest for the weary.

On Sugar Bear's actual birthday on Saturday, Drago had his final CyberPatriots competition.  They did well.  And in the evening we went to dinner with our friends.  Sugar Bear had a blast.  His little friend had made him a beautiful red velvet cake with blue in it and blue icing.  It was delicious.  I'd also brought over mini cupcakes from the grocery store, about 13 carbs a piece on those.  We had sketti, Sugar Bear's fave, and he was HUNGRY.  He ate two helpings of sketti as well as some cake.   He got a big shot of insulin and this time I didn't split it like I did at Thanksgiving. He made wishes and opened presents, watched videos with his friends and played hard.  He was having so much fun.  The adults played cards and we were equally entertained.  It was a nice evening until about 10:45pm. I could hear his anger from upstairs and as soon as I saw him and heard him I knew.  He was slurring his words and Drago and the other boy were making fun of it.  They didn't know.  If Sugar Bear had been in his 20s and not just 10 one would even assume he was drunk based on his behavior.  It was awful.  I sent the other boys out of the room and tested his BS.  98, not low but I knew it must be dropping and dropping fast.  I tried to calm him down.  He was on a loop.  Crying and anger, refusing to drink any juice or take a glucose tab or anything.  Saying he'd rather end up in the hospital.  Not rational at all.  He knocked the juice out of my hands numerous times.  After five minutes I was able to check again.  He'd dropped to 87.  At this point I yelled to the adults upstairs to bring me a mini cupcake hoping he'd be interested in that since nothing else was working.  My mind was already on the glucagon in the kit next to me.  The cupcake worked.  He started by licking the icing.  It was still a battle for another half hour.  I was just trying to get him high enough and stable enough that we could make the 20 minute drive home safely.  He'd bump up a little on the BS and then drop right back down.  The lowest he dropped was 81 so he was never "officially" low.  After a cupcake, a 27g juice, and another 15g juice he was 115 and we headed home.  Drago was devastated when he figured out what was going on and how he didn't know that symptom.  He was genuinely horrified to have treated his brother that way.  We checked the BS again when we got home at 11:40 and he was 119.  He should be good.  But I tested again at midnight and he'd dropped again.  It wasn't as big of a drop so I didn't treat and decided to wait a half an hour and test again.  This time he had dropped again and got his 100 for his birthday but that was too low for sleep, so he had 15 more grams.  I waited 15 more minutes and he was over 120.  I set my alarm for the 3 am check.  It was only two hours away.  At 3am he'd dropped again to 85.  It was another struggle to get him to drink 15g of juice but we did it and then tested 15 minutes later.  This time he was 110 but I felt that much of a jump in 15 minutes meant I could sleep some more, even if it wasn't very restful.  At 6:30am I was up, worried, so I checked, 131. I let him sleep but I couldn't go back to bed, it was time to bake a cake for his party.  When he got up at 8 for breakfast he was 136.  I have no idea how we put 112 uncovered carbs in him and he still woke in range.  I will be discussing this event with the endo at our next appointment, if not before.  I'm just thankful to have caught what could have been a sever persistent low before it happened or a hospital trip.  Mommy instincts can be amazing.  He didn't even remember any of this in the morning.  He woke excited for his party.

His Grandparents for his birthday paid for a LASERQUEST party.  One of the boys we invited is a classmate of Drago's and also a Type 1.  If you've never done laser tag let me just say they are a lot of fun and very physical.  After the evening he had I was a little worried, but I didn't need to be.  It was fantastic and in some ways he got to be "normal" for a bit.  He had an uncovered cupcake before the first round of tag.  And then pizza and cake without a shot before the second round.  At the end of the party it was close enough to snack time so we checked blood sugar and he was a little out of range so we corrected and headed to GameStop to spend some of his birthday money and then to drop off Drago's friend from school.  We left some of the cupcakes with him and his family. Sygar Bear never went low or had a huge drop or even went very high.  He was pretty steady and said it "was the best birthday party ever."  This is an activity he really enjoyed.

Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. day so we were all home.  It made me think of that Martin Luthor King Jr. day 10 years ago.  We had a beautiful and uncomplicated homebirth.  The midwife even arrived a little late as I had about half of Sugar Bear already out.  It was peaceful.  It was uncomplicated.  It was easy.  Diabetes isn't easy but I no longer feel like I'm drowning.  It's more like a feeling of sitting in a boat that periodically springs leaks that you typically can plug.   And sometimes the water is really choppy and sometimes there are storms and it can get scarey.  Of course you have paddles but don't always know where you're going.  But in that boat on that water when it is clear and sunny and beautiful, your skin feels the warmth and your heart is glad and tears of joy come to your eyes.  I am so thankful to have my baby and celebrate his life no matter the storms.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


So the snow days for Drago went from Tuesday to Thursday.  He had school on Friday and couldn't go to the Y with Sugar Bear on Saturday because he had a practice for his group's competition coming up.  During that week we had two days of straight highs.  I was worried that Sugar Bear was getting sick.  Have even had to give two shots at the 3am check in a week.  The most recent was two nights ago.  When we're not battling the highs we are battling the lows.  And in that same period of time we've had to treat lows twice at three am and twice at midnight. The most recent 3am low was last night. I'm exhausted.


Sugar Bear loved swim lessons.  After the lessons he refused to leave he was having so much fun.  Although he did tell me he "almost drowned" when he did a cannonball and the instructor saved him.  Wish I could've seen it.  Unfortunately I was at work so had to miss it all.  I'm just glad he enjoyed it.

Drago should have returned to school on Monday but they had another Plan E day due to icy conditions.  Then he had a migraine and missed Tuesday.  Luckily he went back today and everything looks good for tomorrow.  They have no school on Friday.  We're trying to get back into the swing of things but it is slow going.  Migraines and weather=too many missed days already.  We didn't even get to watch all of the Championship College Football Game monday night; we were dealing with Drago not feeling well and trying to get everything done while balancing Sugar Bear's crankiness of his roller coaster blood sugars.  Growth spurts=no sleep for me.

I had my 90 day review at work and it went very well.  I love my new job, now if I could just do it without causing myself to have blisters under my big toes I'd be happy.  (Bunched up socks + outside for hours= blisters).

Had an unexpected call from my brother informing me that my Dad had emergency surgery for a "widowmaker".  He was very lucky.  They caught it.  As luck would have it, I was already scheduled for a routine check with my cardiologist for today.  It went okay.  Heart doc wants to send me for an echocardiogram just as a precaution.  Will be doing that in less than two weeks.  I did a stress test two years ago because I thought I was having a heart attack but it turned out to be preventricular contractions.  They even showed up on the EKG at the hospital. Besides my Dad now, there is also a history of heart issues on my Mom's side of the family.  I have two Uncles and an Aunt that have had blockages. I'm not sure how to proceed with my Dad.  I'm leaning towards sending him a card.  We haven't spoken in years and at first he told my brother not to tell me what was going on.  But I'd like to try.  For me and for my boys and for my brother if not for my Dad.  We've had many issues but if we can get along adult level to adult level it's possible to have a relationship.  I know my Grandma would've wanted that.  I've always been told it takes two to tango, maybe it's time for me to sit this one out.  Maybe he'll join me.

And just as a reminder with Valentine's Day just around the corner, don't forget to Spare A Rose, Save A Child campaign.  It's one that is dear to my heart.  (wink wink)  This fundraising works towards getting insulin and supplies to children in countries that don't have the kind of access we do here.  It literally saves lives.  Spare a Rose, Save a Child  I will be talking more about this on future posts.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Snow day.  Typically I might be cranky about it, but it was nice to have a snow day today.  Sugar Bear had a low at midnight and then a "sticky" low at 3am.  Those sticky lows are ridiculous.  We tested at 3.  He was low so I have to wake him enough to get 15gms of fast acting carbs in him.  This is not easy.  Then we wait 15 and check again.  During that waiting time last night I fell back asleep with the headlamp on me.  Woke panicked when the fifteen minute alarm went off.  Tested again, still low.  He had only gone up 4 on his blood glucose.  Now here is where we debate about giving more carbs or waiting and testing again in fifteen.  Last night I chose to wait.  I fell asleep again.  Headlamp still solidly attached to me. Woke panicked again.  Tested and we were out of the danger zone, but not by much.  The rest of my three hours of sleep was not very restful.  I woke at 6 to snow.  Checked and Drago's school had called what they call a Plan E day.  (It stands for elluminate.  They don't have to go to school, essentially a snow day, but they have to get on the computor for part of the day and "have class" there).  I went back to sleep until 7:30.  Heaven.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Into Your Darkest Hour

Holiday break is over.  Drago went back to school this morning.  He was actually excited to return.  So back to the midnight and 3am checks and up at 6am to get Drago up and ready and take him to school.  The one saving grace right now is that I am part time at my job so I still have a little time, but I sure will miss sleeping "in" until 7:30/8am.  Only 6 months until I can do that again.  😄. The Mombie might need to up her coffee intake.

Sugar Bear was high all day yesterday and he has started the same today.  Lucy, our dog, has taken to watching over him.  High days are challenging.  He doesn't feel good and he is crabby.  Sometimes extra sleep helps.  I'm just hoping he's not getting sick.  We'll all keep a watchful eye.

So my ocd took over and I highlighted every entry in the log.  It was fascinating.  One thing I ended up doing was counting how many of the midnight and 3am checks (not the 4 or 6 am) resulted in needing a shot or carbs.  Drum roll please.....the total number of treatment nights were 88!  That is almost 3 months.  So I got curious.  How many of those were only the 3am checks?  18.  A little over two weeks where the dead of night had us giving juice 13 times and a shot 5 times.  I would really like a CGM.  It won't stop the need for finger pricks, but it might allow me to rest a little better with seeing how the blood glucose is trending.  If I could just convince Sugar Bear.  So we'll keep checking.  I'll keep stocking juice in the kit for just in case.  And I'll try not to miss too many of those 3am checks.  And I'll keep highlighting and looking for trends.  So that playlist I talked about yesterday, the first song on the list was one of my adds.  I added it for a number of reasons, but mainly because of these lyrics:

I'll stand by you
I'll stand by you
Won't let nobody hurt you
I'll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I'll never desert you
I'll stand by you

I know he'll have hurts, he already does, but it's that darkest hour and never deserting him that resonates with me.  I know what the dark 3am low does.  I'll always stand by him.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Mix

I picked up some highlighters to make looking at trends in Sugar Bear's logs easier.  We're doing green for exactly 100, yellow for in range, pink for out of range, orange for over 300s, and blue for lows.  It makes it so much simpler to glance at a five day page of numbers and automatically see what is going on.  I got a little crazy and have highlighted back to June so far.  But it gives me some semblance of control.

We have him signed up and starting swim lessons at the Y next Saturday.  Not New Year's resolutions, just some healthy changes we are trying.  It feels good.  Our goal is to try for high 6s on Sugar Bear's A1c, but more importantly to have fewer highs and lows.  And to slow the weight gain.  It's a balance.  We'll work on it.  He really wants to get more "right on the nose" 100s.  Last year he had at least one 100 each month except for three months.  Some months he got more than one.  We celebrate each 100 with a dollar.  It's incentive.  It's rewarding.  It's positive.  It's fun.

Not much in this disease is fun.  So we try to find things to make it fun.  Music is another fun thing we do.  We have a Sugar Bear playlist that each of us has contributed to. We call it Sugar Bear T1D.  So far we have these songs on it:
I'll Stand By You 1994 by The Pretenders
Candy by The Presidents of the United States
Bleeding in Holland by Nil Lara
Don't Let it Bring You Down by Neil Young
Burn it Down by Linkin Park
Waiting For the Miracle by Leonard Cohen
Hold On Hope by Guided By Voices
Born To Break by Eric Harvey
Anthem Live by Leonard Cohen
Gods Gonna Cut You Down by Johnny Cash
Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard
Like Humans Do by David Byrne
Big Shot by Billy Joel
Let in the Sun by Bill Fox
Merry Go Round by Antje Duvekot
Hurt by Johnny Cash
It's All Good by Bret Michaels
The Game Over Tinies by Brentalfloss
Chances by Athlete
Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith
I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow
Uncle John's Band by Grateful Dead
Enchanted by A Minecraft Music Video parody
Schism by Tool
Take Me To Church by Hozier
So Unfair by Korn

Each of these were added for different reasons and by different people.  Any suggestions are welcome but you have to have a reason why it would work for Type 1 or our little family.  You can see we are pretty eclectic in our musical tastes.  That's what happens when you have a family.  We mix.  And in the mix is fun.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The 3am Mombie

For 367 days we've been checking Sugar Bear's blood glucose (bs).  We've been checking before breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, bedtime snack, midnight and 3am.  We've never missed a daytime check.  Out of those 367 days we have missed 29 3am checks.  On some of those we checked at 4:30am or 6am but most we didn't check until 7 or 8am when we woke up.  That panic and guilt when you miss the 3am check is like a stone in the belly.  You immediately visibly check your child to make sure they are breathing.  Some in the diabetes community skip that middle of the night check altogether.  We (with our endo's advise)  just can't do that.  We can't imagine going 8 hours regularly without checking.  We don't do that during the day and daytime is easier to make sure he's okay because he is awake.  Those middle of the night checks have caught lows of 50s and highs in the 300s.  We've force fed juice and peanut butter crackers for lows and given an injection of insulin praying he doesn't jerk or rollover while we were doing it all while holding a little flashlight in my mouth.  I received a fantastic and practical gift for Christmas.  It's something that has already made those middle of the night checks and shots so much easier.  It may not make me pretty but it works and I love it!  (Please ignore the messy bed head and the dark circles and sleepy eyes--that is my normal 3am Mombie look.)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year

More Timehop story.

It doesn't tell the whole story.  But it does do a pretty good job of giving an impression, a picture.  It's why I am so passionate about working towards a cure.  It's why I'm adament there needs to be more education.  I've grown a lot and learned so very much in a year.  This year for New Year's Eve found me back at the hospital to deliver goodies, to make better memories.  Twenty kids got a bag with a sparkly hat, a light up ring, a noisemaker, and a plastic wineglass.  We had the same, so maybe, just maybe there were a few less tears at the hospital.  I know we had just smiles.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


A new year!  2015. What a difference a year makes.  Last year at the end of December/beginning of January we had a very sick little boy and a new disease.  I was so overwhelmed, and that is an understatement.  The app Timehop gave me a glimpse into how I was feeling.