Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Past

Halloween is a fun holiday.  The kids get to dress up, carve pumpkins, go on hayrides and oh yeah trick or treat and get candy.... lots of it.  As a mom with daughter who has Type 1 Diabetes, I try really hard to make sure that Brianna has a "normal" childhood.  I never want her to miss out on anything because of diabetes.  So will she trick or treat?  Absolutely.

Trick or treat is a holiday that can be a little hard on the BG (blood glucose.)  There is excitement, exercise and candy all in one magical night.  Throw in pizza, that is what we usually have before tricker or treat and the numbers that night can be a disaster.  But you know what last year they were not.  SHOCKED!!

Our first year for tricker or treating since D entered our lives was two years ago.  I really don't remember much about it.  Brianna was still on shots.  I was really into the moment, wanting to make sure Courtney had the best first Halloween!  I know all the kids had a lot of fun, and that is all that really matters.
Brianna 8 weeks after diagnosis - 2009
  My ABC's  Austin, Brianna and Courtney.  2009
Brianna and her BFF, GiGi- riding in style.  Sitting perfect for a quick exit.

Last year's goal was the same as every other year, make sure the kids have a great time but try keep Brianna as close to in range as possible.  Last year we had pizza before we went out.  Really the only thing we did different last year then the previous year was she was on a pump and CGM - so we got to see about what her numbers were.  While trick or treating we usually don't let the kids eat candy,  just for the safety reason so we can check all the candy when we get home.  This also works out really nice, for diabetes so I don't have to think of the carb count while walking.  While we are out we try to check Brianna about every 30 minutes or so unless the pump is beeping low or low predicted.  We do make the exception if she is low she can pick if she wants glucose tab or a piece of candy. 

Austin, Brianna and Courtney about to go out.

Brianna Tinkerbell

Yes she does get A LOT of candy!!

When we get back they dump all their candy.  We let Brianna pick out all the candy she wants to eat- usually 4-5 pieces.  Remember it is Halloween and I don't want her to think that just because of diabetes she can't have candy! Plus her brother is eating it so it is only fair to let her- right?  :)  And we all know that just because she has diabetes does not mean she can't have candy, cake, ice cream or anything.  She eats it all.  We pre-bolus 10-15 minutes more if she is a little high- this give the insulin a head start.  Insulin does not work right when administered it usually takes 10-30 minutes to start to work.  It lasts around 3 hours.  And then she eats away.   For me then the real job starts, I worry will she go low from all the running around, will she go high from the candy?  As you can see from the graph that she did spike a little 199, not an awful number, after eating candy and the rest of the night she was low. 


This was the night after trick or treating  So from 8:30 pm to 8:30 am.  Do you see anything wrong?  Nope it was a PERFECT night
Sunday we are going to BooFest, sponsored by our local JDRF chapter.  I can't wait!  Brianna has several friends with diabetes that will be attending- some of them you might know and read about all the time  :).  I will post and take lots of pictures!

Then Monday is Halloween, with Trick or Treating from 6-8pm.   For this year, I don't see things changing that much.  Pizza before, candy after, and great time to be had by all.  I want her to have memories of all the fun she had on Halloween NOT that she worked so hard to get that candy and we won't let her eat it.  The worst part for us was figuring all the carb count for all that candy.  Because they are the little size they don't have them written on them- really wish they would!!  I did find this so it is a great reference page that will help Click here.  It gives candy with their carb count.

Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween and remember just because they have diabetes doesn't mean they can't participate. And diabetes, we know you will be there, but you can take a backseat because Brianna will be the star of the night not you!

I LOVE reading your comments so please post!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Brianna's Diagnosis

It was summer time so many of the classic symptoms you see with Type One Diabetes, we brushed off.  Courtney, Brianna's little sister, was born at end of July, 2009. Brianna, who was 5, was having some accidents at night, but we thought it was regression, because of the new baby.  The accidents didn't make sense because she was potty trained when she was 2 and had very few accidents since, but so much was changing in her world, we didn't think much of it.  Water, she was drinking lots of water!  Again, we were not really worried she had just started taking so new seizure medication, more about that later, and she was told to drink lots of water. I always have a cup of water at my bedside so for her to request one was not that odd.   It was really HOT, the temperatures were 90-100 most days.  Looking back something we also found weird was she was actually asking for candy.  This was really unlike her, she is our healthiest eater, she usually ate carrots and ranch for snack.  Maybe her body was feeling low and she needed sugar? 

The rest of the summer went the same way, her drinking lots of water and having an accident here and there. I can say this looking back, I really didn't think much of it when it was happening, remember new baby??  We were just enjoying the new baby and life.  Brianna started Kindergarten at the end of August.  She was so excited, she went in the afternoon, Monday-Friday.  Friday morning's she did gymnastics, as well.

As August went on and into September the accidents were getting more frequent, but only at night.  During the day she would pee more but no accidents.  We tried everything, cut liquids down, made her pee more, NOTHING was working.  I was embarrassed was I doing something wrong?  I could not figure out why she was having them.  I kept thinking I hope she doesn't start having them at school too.  Seriously diabetes did not even come into my mind.  Why would it?  We have no family history of diabetes.  Most kids/adults that are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes have no family history. 

Finally I called the doctor on September 10, and told them something odd was going on she is peeing more and having accidents.  What do you think could be wrong with her??  They were thinking UTI and wanted me to bring her in the next day.  I was hoping that she would not have an accident that night and I would cancel the appointment in the morning.  But that night she had another accident.

So Friday, September 11, 2009, she got up had pancakes and syrup for breakfast, got ready and went to gymnastics.  She had a great time at gymnastics, but was upset we had to go to the doctor she wanted to go to Skyline and then school.  It was library day and she was so excited to get a new book-  funny some of the details I remember from that day.  I told her we would be in and out a really quick appointment, then off to lunch.

That is not what happened.  We walk back they checked her out, she looked fine.  They ask for a urine sample, not a problem for her.  We are in talking with the Nurse Practitioner when the nurse comes back in with the results from the urine sample.  I will never forget the look on her face, she was in complete shock and almost panic.  She said excuse me I am going to talk with the doctor that is here today.  Okay...  couldn't figure out what the big deal was UTI right?  Give us medication and we will be on our way.  She comes back in WITH the doctor, they said there is a large amount of ketones in her urine.  Tells me they would like to do a finger stick.  Mmm, okay....  The number pops up on the screen 364!  I start crying immediately!!  Normal blood glucose is 80-120.  I ask do they think she has diabetes????  She can't have diabetes can she?!?!?    They say they are unsure but RIGHT NOW you have to go down to Children's Hospital and they will  waiting for you.  They said be prepared to stay a few day.  I asked if I could go home and get a few things first.  They recommend I went right away.  I called hubby, he left work and met us at home and we went down together.  There was no way I could take Brianna and a new baby down there by myself, I was a mess!

When we got there her numbers had come down she was almost back in range.  Really weird.  We sat in the ER for what seemed like forever, with them asking for urine samples, doing blood work and trying to get an IVs- yes two, started.  After a few hours in the ER,  I could not wait to get out of the ER this was when H1N1 was going around like crazy and I had the new baby with me, they took us up to our room.  By this time Brianna was starving she had not eaten since breakfast.  They did a finger stick and let her eat.  They didn't give her insulin, she didn't require anything via IV, they were there just in case.  Her numbers were in the 100-200's, not super high like you think of when you hear of Type 1 diabetes diagnosis stories.  So most of Friday night it was a waiting game.  After food they did go up, but again not extremely high.  They thought that she had Type 1 Diabetes, but wanted to rule everything else out.  The next morning they came back and said all her other blood work came back normal, and yes she did have Type 1 Diabetes.  They said her A1C was 7.9 and we had caught diabetes really early. 

This picture was taken 2-3 weeks before diagnosis.
Brianna loving her baby sister 

This one is just a few days before diagnosis

You would never think anything was wrong with her. 
I do regret not taking any pictures when she was in the hospital but I really was overwhelmed.
What happens when you are first diagnosed?  What is the hospital like? Stay tuned for the next post.  :)

I love reading all the comments!  So please feel free to leave your thoughts.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tubing and Beeping!

Last night we went to a Fall Festival at Brianna and Austin's school.  Brianna had a great time with her friend, G.  Austin, I think, had a great time, but then again he is WAY to old to be hanging out with his parents.  Courtney, she was just happy to be sitting in the stroller eating suckers- anything to keep her quiet and happy!!

Brianna and G had fun time running from room to room playing games and seeing all their friends.  This is a big deal at the school tons of kids go to this festival.  While doing a sand art project I was helping Brianna put the lid on and saw the girl next to her with tubing hanging out!!  Brianna says, "yeah, that is ... "  Brianna talks about her all the time, she is an older girl that goes to the same school.  I love/hate seeing other people with pumps.  Hate it because I would not wish this on anyone, but love it because it reminds me that yes there are other people that know what Brianna is going through and other parents that know what I feel like.  So for a few minutes they did sand art together and we went on our way.

The festival was almost over and Brianna and G had a few tickets left and wanted to play two more games.  While playing  a game I heard Brianna's pump beep.  Brianna checked it and said, "nope, it wasn't me!"  Okay... maybe my ears are off.   They played the other game in the room.  While they were playing that and I heard the beeping again.  Brianna checked, really mom it is not me!!  Look around, must be loosing my mind!  So we sit down to count the tickets and there it is again...TUBING hanging out of a boy's pocket!  Not even thinking, I ask do you have diabetes?  He looks a little surprised with the question, but says yes.  I ask if it was his pump beeping and he laughs a little and says yes.  I tell him Brianna has the same pump.   I have a really hard time when I see that tubing not saying anything to the person. 

Over all great night.  Brianna loved seeing two kids with diabetes and pumps just like hers.  She even said did you notice the boys pump was clear mom and he just puts it in his pocket?   Brianna loves to know the color and how they where their pump.

And of course once the night was over from all the running around and excitement her pump was beeping low!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


My blog is finally up and ready for me to write.  Special thanks to my BFF for designing it.  Now the problem is what do I write about??  Where do I start?? I have so many thoughts and ideas swarming in my head.

I decided to write a blog after reading and relating so many different diabetes blogs. I am writing for Brianna, so one day she will know what was going on in her life at the time and how we cared for her diabetes.   I am writing for myself so I will have a place to put all my thoughts.  I am writing also in hopes that someone might get something out of it. Although the focus will be on diabetes, I am going to try to write a few times a month about other things in my life.  I have two other kids that do not have diabetes and they are just as special as Brianna.

I always want you to remember when reading that I know Brianna and HER diabetes.  Things that work for us might not work for you.  So please always talk with your doctor before you make any changes.  

Comments are ALWAYS welcomes.  I know people will not always agree with things I do, but that is life.  I always want you to be honest.  Sometimes other people's ideas makes me think and really helps. 

With all that said, I am excited to start writing and hope you will enjoy reading.  Remember we are all in it together until a CURE is found for diabetes.