Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Type 1 Diabetes

A little update, then on to the real subject of this post...

Sorry I haven't been on in a bit. I'm feeling deflated because my serger is broken, trying to ignore the CPSIA, and just overall busy with other important things in my life. :)

The baby is growing and getting stronger every day. It's getting harder to bend over. Mitch has felt her kick, and Micah would like to. I'm sure it won't be long before they've all had a turn to get kicked. :) My next appointment, and my gestational diabetes test, is in two weeks. I've never had gestational diabetes, nor am I really at risk, so this post is not about that.

I have to admit that before now I knew very, very little about diabetes. About a year ago I had a friend diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and I still didn't know anything. Then Hope and Selena moved in. Selena is 10 and just beautiful. Selena is technically Hope's "ward," however we all love her as if she had been born into our family. Selena also has type 1 diabetes.

At first I thought I would just let Hope and Selena deal with it and figured I was too busy to learn. It became apparent pretty quickly that either 1) I would HAVE to learn just so I could help care for Selena or 2) I would have to learn because I love to learn and I'm so dang nosy anyways. So I set about learning from Hope and Selena. I'm a busy person. I already have to do a lot. Now think that I am also figuring out what a BSL is and what it should be, how to count carbohydrates and what carb choices are, how to manage a sliding scale, when to give insulin, when to give extra carbs, when to freak out. Oh wait, we never do that. :) On Monday I went along with Hope and Selena to a meeting with a care team at the Center for Diabetes in town. We spent almost 3 hours at the place. It was WONDERFUL. We met with a nurse and a dietician. I timidly brought in our monthly menus and cringed inside at the thought of having the food pyramid brought out. (Our montly menus are already regulated by the Child & Adult Care Food Program, so we already have *some* level of accountability, at least during daycare hours). It went much, much better than that. My menus are fine (whew!).

Now that we are home with a wealth of information, Hope and I have teamed up and made a fairly strict schedule to follow. We are documenting EVERYTHING, so that when we go back we'll have a comprehensive list of data. This is especially important because after 3 days of being really focused there are still times of the day that we can't seem to control Selena's blood-sugar levels. If we can show a 3-week pattern of this, then our nurse can better help us fix what might be wrong in our methods.

I am a snacker...a handful of chips here, 3 cookies there, no problem! Wow, this has really changed our thinking on a lot of things. Now suddenly every carb counts, serving sizes and portions stand out at us, we can't possibly be lazy about what we eat any longer. Accountability is the name of the diabetes game. It would be plain old mean to require Selena to follow one diet, while the rest of the family just does "whatever." Now, we can still do "whatever," the nurse gave us permission to eat carbs. The point, however, is that we have to record "whatever" Selena eats. Therefore, we have accountability. It stares right back at us. And I'm just more thoughtful of it. Certainly I can enjoy a cookie whenever I want, but I'm also thinking with a little more guilt than I used to.

Selena is amazing. I was making her plate for lunch today and I had counted out her carrots and celery (no, they are not totally "free" and since we are counting every single carb at the moment, it adds up). She pointed to the plate and said, "I'll eat more of those!" LOL. I wish she would rub off on my kids!!!

I'm struggling with my own emotions at the moment. I never expected to feel this way. I mean, I know myself pretty well. But I love this little girl so much. How can adding someone to your family with special needs end up being such a huge blessing and not a burden??? How can I fall in love with a child so quickly when she isn't my own? It's amazing what has happened here.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Selena is in 4th grade and she is homeschooling right alongside Eden. Eden is in love, too.

So there. That's where I am at the moment. Now I'm going to go crack open the pink panther diabetes book and get some more studying done!!

1 comment:

  1. Stephanie,
    I never knew you felt this way, nor did I have the emotional strength to pay attention or read any of your posts until recently. I am sorry I didn't read them earlier, but as I read them I am crying that you felt this way. I love you so much and sometimes I wish we talked or "chatted" more. Either way you have a heart of gold and it's the size of Alaska! I love you and I know I never said this before but thank you for rescuing my family when I couldn't! Thank you for being my hero! You and Mitch did and still do more for me then I could ever dream of repaying! Again I love you!