Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Bryce has such an amazing imagination. He will take things and use them in ways we would never think of. For instance, this summer at the Farmer's Market he watched a lady wearing a mask make kettle corn in a big pot. Later that week, he had a tupperware container over his face and was stirring up legos, 'popcorn', and selling them in cups. Now his imaginative play usually involves diabetes management. He makes 'metiters' (meters) out of empty gum blister packs and uses medicine syringes as the lancer to poke our fingers and check our blood sugars, and to give us insulin. The other day, he asked me for some tape so he could make a glucagon (this is an injection to be used if his blood sugars were to go so low that he goes unconscious...it makes the liver release its store of sugars) He was going to tape a straw "the needle" to a cup. He told me how he will poke it in my leg and it will hurt but I won't feel it cuz I will be passed out (yeah, sounds right!) Hopefully we will never really need to use the glucagon but it is funny how he knows so much about it. One thing that I have heard is that kids with diabetes sound very mature for their age because they can talk the talk of diabetes but it doesn't mean they really understand it nor are ready to take on the responsibility of managing it on their own. I can already see how that can be a problem as he already talks the talk! His "playing diabetes" has really helped him with us taking care of him. It is much easier to give him shots and pokes when he can "give" us one too.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
We woke up Sunday morning to snow and it continued to snow all day long. The boys went out to play but it didn't last long as the winds were strong and super cold. Later in the afternoon, we did bundle everyone up and head out to the grocery store. Well we actually went to the dollar store first for craft supplies...that walk seemed so long in the blustery weather!! John had Drew in the Baby Bjorn and his jacket zipped up, all you could see was Drew's little nose peeking out. It was dark by the time we left the grocery store. We warmed up in fuzzy blankets and watched a christmas movie.
Because of the snow, there was no school on Monday. I was looking forward to doing projects with the kids and not having to be a shuttle service!! We relaxed, played, walked to JoAnn Fabrics (another really cold walk), and made candy cane cookies. John came home from work a little early. The boys performed some magic tricks their daddy taught them.
Since it is freezing cold and the snow has not melted, just packed into sheets of ice, there is no school again today, Tuesday. More craft projects...ornaments for teacher gifts. The boys have burnt out on that project so they are running around and playing. I am looking forward to the snow melting and getting back to our crazy routine!
Friday, December 12, 2008
If you have three kids, at least one of them will need you in the middle of the night.
Usually this is the baby for obvious reasons. He really isn't liking the idea of sleeping alone in his crib, much better to be in mommy's arms! On those rare occasions that he does "sleep", one of the other boys will take his place in needing us. Bryce often will call out for us or come running down the hallway. This of course sends John and I into a panic because what if he is low? We will bust out the meter and check his sugar levels, stumbling through the dark in a sleepy fog. He usually just crawls into bed with us, cuddles up, and fall asleep. I don't really mind this too much :-) Jaden doesn't usually get up but if the other two are sleeping perfectly, he will do his job to abide by the rule of threes and get up. He may just call out in the middle of a bad dream. Last night however, he ended up throwing up. I had to clean him up and his bed, etc. Luckily it was from too much mucus in his throat from this cold and not a stomach bug! Of course, the other two kids were sleeping peacefully. Someday, maybe all three can sleep simultaneously so that I can get some sleep too!!! I can only hope it will be soon.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Anyone who knows me, knows I am always late. It used to be no more than 5 mins. With each kid, that number has grown to like 5-10 mins. Throw in diabetes management and keeping a 7 month old out of the plants and other things he shouldn't be getting into, and it can be up to 20 mins...if I even make it at all!! I try really hard to make sure I can get out the door when I need to. Especially since I am having to shuttle the boys so many places...Bryce to preschool in the morning (or swim lessons on non-preschool days) then home for a quick lunch then to drop Jaden off for afternoon kindergarten.
Lunch has become more insane with Bryce's diabetes. It is so important that he eats all his carbs (30g) That means I need to have the amounts calculated and that he eats them before we leave. Usually I have about 45 mins to accomplish this and I can usually do it, though it is tight. The other day however, we got home and I needed to change Drew's diaper first. He ended up peeing all over my leg and foot. After cleaning him and the floor up, I had to change my clothes of course. I finally got lunch together and it was already about time to leave. Of course the boys are not fast eaters so the time ticked on (and they actually ate reasonably fast this time)! So I quickly got the kids to get their shoes on and that is when Drew decided it was time to blow out his diaper. Oh his timing is always great! Needless to say, we were about half and hour late to kindergarten that day! But he got there! Now that wasn't the only set back of that day....when we went to pick Jaden up after school, I put Drew in his seat then went back to the house to get Bryce out. Then the van beeped. I looked in the window and Drew was looking back at me with his big blue eyes and goofy smile as he slobbered all over my door opener and keys. Each time he chomped on the lock button the van beeped. Bryce of course thought this was hilarious. I was freaking out though cuz we were going to be late to get Jaden and I had no idea how to get into our van plus who knew how long Drew would stay happy in there. I called John, half crying , half laughing. Luckily he knew where the spare opener was so I was able to get into the van and to kindergarten. Only 10 mins late this time!!! Woohoo!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
We spent three days at Legacy Emanuel Children's Hospital. John spent the first night with Bryce in the hospital (we shared a room and I didn't want to be there alone with another child's dad) John's parents came up the next morning to help us out with the boys so we could meet with the diabetes team to learn all we needed to before being sent home. We first met with a Diabetes Educator to learn about diabetes and how to manage it. She has Type 1 diabetes also so it was great getting her personal take on what we would encounter. We learned how to test blood sugar levels and give insulin shots. John and I practiced on each other. My finger was sore for 2 days after John tested my blood....great, now how could I do this to Bryce? I hoped he would be braver than me! The second night, the other family had been discharged so I stayed the night at the hospital with Bryce. Of course, Drew was with me as well. At one point, I had both boys in bed with me...mind you, this was a little hospital cot! I am sure the three of us in that little bed was quite the sight! Anyhow, the next day we met with a Dietician to go over the nutrition/food aspect of diabetes management. I feel fortunate that John and I understood nutrition and how to read food labels already. Basically, Bryce needs to be on a meal schedule where he has to eat a set number of carbs for each meal and snack. Who knew that some things had so many carbs in them? This seemed like it was going to be impossible to feed him and we would need to find low-carb alternatives. There was so much to learn in these two days and we were still in shock from the diagnosis. I wasn't sure I ever wanted to leave the hospital and have to take on the responsibility ourselves.
Overall, we were very impressed with our hospital experience. I think Bryce really enjoyed himself (when he wasn't getting poked and prodded!) There was a toy room where we could get toys, books, games, and movies to bring back to our room. There was also a big playroom that during the day would have activities like craft projects (Bryce made a Halloween mask) and music time (the boys love to make noise). The day before Halloween, they even came around each room and let the kids pick out Halloween costumes to keep. Bryce choose a Buzz Lightyear costume and ran up and down the halls with it on. So it seems he had a blast, though I am sure he was glad when we were able to leave...especially since we were out in time to still trick or treat for Halloween (and yes, he was able to have a few pieces of candy...we made sure we went over that before discharge)!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
We had no idea that our son could have diabetes. No one in our family, our extended family, or even any friends we knew had it. So when Bryce started wetting the bed (something he didn't even do while potty training), we thought something wasn't right. We tried to limit his drinks at night but he was so thirsty he cried. We then realized he was drinking so much milk and water all day long and running to the bathroom constantly. I called the advice nurse thinking maybe he had a bladder infection or something. The nurse wanted me to bring him in right away.
With my crazy schedule, I brought him in the following afternoon to find out his glucose levels were in the 400s (normal is 70-200). Bryce had diabetes. I was devastated. My poor little boy. How could this happen to him? How was our life going to be? Needles, insulin, blood testing??? What exactly is diabetes anyways? I was in tears and barely heard anything my dear pediatrician was saying to me. I heard "Bryce has diabetes and you need to go to the children's hospital right away" and all else was a blur. I rushed to my oldest son's school and pulled him out of class then rushed downtown and picked my husband up from work and we all headed to the hospital.
After what seems like hours waiting, we were brought to a room. Why was there a bed there? I thought we were just going to be there for a couple hours at most to figure out what we were to do. So when they told us we would be there for 3 days, I was in shock. Halloween was two days away...the boys had parties to go to...trick or treating to do. I wanted to just come back later and deal with this. I hadn't packed a bag. We were not prepared.
While I was a wreck, Bryce was a trouper. He was so brave while nurses drew blood, inserted the IV, gave him insulin, and drew more blood. He just watched and didn't move. It wasn't until the next day when they started teaching us how to check his blood sugar levels that it became much harder. At this point, Bryce was done. He cried "I've had enough!", "no more shots!", "why do you want to hurt little people?" My heart broke...this wasn't something that was just going to last for a short time. I couldn't say "just one more day or just 2 more shots" I had to tell him "this is for the rest of your life" And with that, more of my tears fell...
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
It has been just over a month since Bryce, our 3 year old, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. So much has happened in that time. Our world had been turned upside down but we are riding the roller coaster the best we can. We have learned a lot and I am sure no amount of information will ever cover the ups and downs and the unpredictability that is diabetes. I plan to use this blog as a way to inform others about diabetes, what life is like to raise a boy with diabetes along with two other non-diabetic boys. I hope to share some humorous moments along with the challenging ones. This will also be a way to vent my frustrations and show off my successes. This is from my heart about my sweet boy (while they are not all are diabetic, all three are truly sweet!)