Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When You Know You've Done Enough

As a parent of a type 1 diabetic child, I struggle with the issue of, "Have I done enough as a parent to prepare her for handling things on her own?"
How do you REALLY know you've done enough?

Until you're put into a situation, then you really don't know. But a few days ago, I got my validation that as a parent, I've prepared Kacey to handle an "emergency" situation on her own.

So let me tell you how things happened.....

I love my Blackberry. It's 3 years old and it was past time for an upgrade but I was hanging on to it til I absolutely HAD to upgrade. The last 2 months, it's been causing me more stress than any Momma should have to deal with! It's been powering down on it's own and then taking 10-15 minutes to power back up. Those of you that have children with diabetes know how important having a phone is. That being said....on Tuesday afternoon, I picked Kacey up from school at 2:30pm and the conversation went something like this:

Kacey: Mom! Why didn't you answer your phone when I called?
Me: It never rang?!?! What's wrong?
Kacey: You gave me a heart spell today!! (her version of "heart attack")
Me: What happened?!?!
Kacey: I called you at 1:00 and your phone went to voicemail.
***insert my mind racing as to where I was at 1pm? Ahhhh....yes in the kitchen with Kayleigh and the phone had powered down...AGAIN!***
Me: My phone was acting funky again. Whats wrong?
Kacey: My pump ran out of insulin!!!
**insert a gasp and a gulp! You can imagine the paranoia that I went into because it was now 2:30pm**
Me: Why didn't you call me back? You should have kept trying!
Kacey: Mom!
Me: You should have let the nurse fill it!
Kacey: MOM!
Me: Get your stuff out and we will fill it now!
Me: **quiets down** What?
Kacey: It's already done. I did it on my own.
Me: You did WHAT?!?!
Kacey: When you didn't answer, I started to panic and then I sat quiet and cleared my head and knew what I had to do. I opened my case in my purse and I paniced again because I didn't have a new cartridge set. We forgot to put another one in there. But I got my spare kit in the nurses office and that didn't have a set either. It only had the old set. So I disconnected my pump. Took out the old cartridge. Unhooked the tubing. Put the needle from my Cozmo cartridge on my Ping cartridge and then I used tweezers and filled my pump to 70 units. I knew it would give me enough til I got home and we could refill a new one. Then I carefully got the airbubbles out, filled new tubing and reconnected. Please don't be mad at me for using my old cartridge.
Me: ***sitting mouth wide open** So you filled your pump and you've been reconnected since then?
Kacey: Yes! ***smiling*** I did what I needed to do to get the job done! Nurse J kept asking me if that was ok to do and I told her I gotta do what I gotta do because I need my insulin!

At this point I didn't know whether to scream and yell at my phone or cry tears of joy because she did what she did. She did it! She handled an emergency situation in an adult manner. She got the job done and she did a darn good job at it! I smiled all the way home through my tears. I knew in my heart that I'd done what I needed to prepare her to handle diabetes in a pinch.

Getting a new pump is always a scary thing. She's helped with site changes before but never unsupervised. So this was a BIG deal for us! And the most important thing is...she calmed herself enough to work through the process to keep her safe until she got home.

One word....AMAZING!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Letting Go

My head hurts. Not just my brain feels like it's ready to explode. My life isn't consumed with a normal 9am-5pm job. My life is consumed with the job of being a mother and there are days it's overwhelming and all I want to do is crawl in bed and pull a blanket up and SLEEP!

Of course, my lack of sleep lately is probably why I'm so emotional but I need to get these feelings out before I explode....blech!

I have so many things swirling through my head making it hard for me to just REST at night. For one night, I'd like to lay down and not think about anything else. But when I lay down....

Did Kacey check her sugar?
Did the girls get their homework done?
Oh yeah, that load of clothes needs to be put in the dryer.
Crap! I forgot to give the dog water.
Did I let the dog out before I layed down?
I need to write that note for Kacey being sick.
I forgot to sign those permission slips.
What do I have on the calendar for the rest of the week?
Ugh! I need to get some groceries before the cubbards look like Mother Hubbard's
Graduation is getting close, have to start planning the party!
Crap again! I forgot to order those yearbooks!
Speaking of graduation...still have to order cap and gown too! Dang it!

This is just a glimpse of what runs through my head. The girls have so much going on with school now, that I work more now than when I worked full time getting paid for it. Geesh!

So what's going on? Part of my worry is Kacey isn't back on Dexcom yet. I worry because I don't know what her blood sugars are doing. Is she headed up? Is she dropping? And when shes sleeping it's a nightmare. I do a 11pm check and I'm back up again at 2am and then again at 6am. She's not interested in putting it back on and I'm a wreck. I don't let her know I'm a wreck because I don't want her to feel like she HAS to wear something she's really not wanting to right now just to make me happy. My biggest question is, "Why doesn't she want to wear it?" And out of my 11 year old, all I can get is, "I just don't want to wear another box on the front of my tummy." It bothers me....yes it bothers me REALLY bad. I try an explain how useful the information is but she's insisting that it's HER body and she doesn't NEED Dexcom.


Yeah, she's right! She doesn't NEED it but I DO! I need to learn to let go. I need to learn to just pick my battles and be a Mom some days...not a SUPER Mom. I have to make myself understand that there are some days that I really can't do it all. I know I should be deligating my responsiblities but there are some days that it doesn't seem fair to. But then...what is fair? I remember going to school, riding the school bus to my afterschool job from 3pm-6pm, Mom picking me up and driving me to night college classes from 7pm-10pm, and then coming home and getting homework done and chores. I made it. I turned out fine. So why do I fnd it so hard to hand out those chores like laundry, dishes and floors?

To compact all this, Kayleigh is having problems with blood sugars again. Next month will be a year since hr diagnosis of Hypoglycemia. Over the past year, she's had several occasions where she's dropped low and most of them were from not eating every 2-3 hours. All that being said, about two months ago, she got really sick. She has a cough, bad head cold and the all around crappy feeling. She was home from school and didn't bounce back as fast as she normally would. And then about 3 weeks ago...the grumpies and sick stomach after eating came. I shoved aside those Momma-gut feelings that started to flood my brain. No...Nope....NO! I will NOT let those thoughts flood my brain! The more I shoved them out, the more they came. She was thirsty and water bottles were disappearing at lightening speed. I heard her getting up in the middle of the night to pee. She was tired all the time. She slept REALLY sound (something she NEVER does). More thoughts....NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! And then....the meter readings. She checked her blood sugar to find a 160. She was feeling crappy and by chance thought she'd check and see. She hadn't eaten in a few hours and she was feeling sweaty and sick at her stomach again. REALLY?!?!

So here I sit, tears streaming down my face, all this time my Momma gut keeps saying the "D" word but my brain shoves it out. Her sugars have not been above 180 yet and her highest fasting was 110. I know I shouldn't worry but when you have a child that shows those symptoms that you ignored the first time, you know your child had that nasty illness prior to this and now you have meter readings higher than can't help but think about it!

Seven months before Kacey was diagnosed, she had a double ear infection, sinus infection and bronchitits. About three months before she was diagnosed, she had the sick stomach after eating, thirsty, pottybreaks at night, and grumpies all day long. The week before she was diagnosed, she was wetting the bed at night and throwing up along with diarrhea. We didn't know it was diabetes so we had no way of testing to see what her blood sugars were.

So what do we do? Sit and wait. Journal. Test. Write down symptoms. Test more. Wait. Wait. Wait. It's nerveracking!

I need to learn to LET GO! I need to give it to God and let him take care of it instead of trying to be Super Mom. I need to pray and have peace knowing that if God brings me to it then He will bring me through it. I need to step out of the quickstand and stand on solid ground.

OK.... *breathe* ....I feel like I just had diarrhea of the mouth and my thoughts are jumbled but at least they're out of my head...for now!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dexcom Downtime

Dexcom has been our saving grace for about a year now. Kacey has worn it nonstop since we got it and if it was left up to me she'd never take it off. BUT...something happened last week that made me rethink things a little.

Kacey came down with another cold. Stuffy nose. Cough. Sore throat. Sneezing. Just the miserable sicky junk. As I approached the pharmacy, I felt my throat tighten. I hate going there! HATE IT! I told the pharmacist her symptoms and he nicely walked from behind the counter, over to the OTC meds and handed me a bottle of Triaminic. Ummmm...usually I wouldn't second guess them but I asked him if she should be taking it since she's 154 pounds now. He looked at me in shock "Oh! Well I guess we need something stronger, huh?" ...."Well...DUH!" So he slid down to the adult OTC meds and handed me a box of Tylenol Cold. "This should do the trick!" I looked at him and again I questioned.... "This has acetaminophen in it, right?" ...."Yes mam! That will help her feel better." At this point I felt like I could vomit. "Well sir, you see, she's a type 1 diabetic and she is on a continual glucose monitor and she can't take anything with acetaminophen in it because it messes up her readings on it." And with a puzzled look he said "Acetaminophen shouldn't have anything to do with the readings on her blood sugar meter."

***insert banging my head against the wall***

"Sir, it's a continual glucose monitor in her arm, not her blood sugar meter." ...."Oh! Ummm...ok!" You could tell her had no clue what the hell I was talking about. So I asked him what I could give her that would help her get better that didn't have any Tylenol in it. He walked back and forth and picked up a few things and put them back and then turned to me and said "Maybe you should call her doctor and see what they recommend." GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! How in the world do these pharmacists get their license? Ugh! By this point, Kacey just felt so rotten that I needed to get her something that would help her even if it meant Dexcom going wonky. So I grabbed the box of Tylenol Cold and checked out up front. I gave her a dose and about 3 hours later we see "???". Yep I knew it was gonna happen. It came time for her next dose and she still had "???" And we made the decision to take the Dexcom site out since it was time for a new sensor anyway. This was last Wednesday....Thursday....Friday.....Saturday.....Sunday....Monday....Tuesday....and today is Wednesday! ONE WEEK with NO DEXCOM! How did we ever manage...ugh! Anyway, last night Kacey said something to me that really struck me wrong. She said "Mom, please don't get mad if I tell you something." ***sigh*** "I've kind of liked not having Dexcom on for a week." (I gulped!) "I have to wear 4 things on my body....Dexcom, my pump, Dexcom site and my pump site...and I liked only having 2 things." She caught me so off guard but once I sat and thought about it. It's HER body but I'm the selfish one that wants her wearing Dexcom all the time. Don't get me wrong, she loves it so she knows what her arrow is all the time but since she was home for Christmas break, she liked having the break from it. Who am I to tell her she has to wear it all the time? Who am I to make her wear 4 things instead of 2? It's her body so she should be able to choose, right?

So I sat down with her and we had a long talk. I agreed with her that sometimes she just needs a break. She can't take a pump break unless she goes back to shots but if she ever wants another Dexcom break then all she needs to do is tell me and as long as she doesn't have anything busy going on then we can take that break. She smiled and said "Mommy, thats why I love you so much! You let me make my own diabetes choices." ***sigh*** I tried to hold back tears and sometimes its difficult to let them make their own decisions but when it comes to "optional" things, she should be allowed to choose what is right for her!"

How much freedom do you give your child to help make diabetes decisions? Have they ever asked for Decom breaks? If you are on Dexcom, do you ever get burnt out and want a Dexcom break?

By the way...sorry for being a little MIA for December. It was a BUSY month! I have lots to share and now that the new year is here, the girls are back to school after being out for 2 weeks and I can get back to writing some more. I have so much to update....lots of good things happening in the West house! :) Happy New Year 2012!