Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Month FULL of Awareness

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

This month, I posted a new fact about Type 1 Diabetes to my Facebook status each day (ok, I missed a couple around Thanksgiving, but close to EVERY day) I then compiled them into this list that I posted to my 'notes' and thought I would post here as well. The more people know and understand Type 1 Diabetes, the more likely they are to help us in our fight to find a cure!!

Here are some facts and other things you may not know about TYPE 1 Diabetes and what it is like to care for a child with Type 1...

TYPE ONEs no longer produce insulin needed to turn food into energy. They must get insulin via multiple shots or infusion EVERY DAY for THE REST OF THEIR LIFE. TYPE TWOs make insulin but their body is unable to use it efficiently. They can manage their blood sugars with diet, exercise, oral pills, and sometimes insulin.

A person with diabetes can eat anything everyone else eats...even sugar. It is the carbs that matter. In fact, a cheeseburger wrecks more havoc on Bryce's blood sugars than a cookie or candy bar. Did you know many sugar-free products have just as many carbs in them as their with sugar counterparts? Bring on the real stuff!

Eating too much sugar does NOT cause Type 1 Diabetes. It is an autoimmune disease. For unknown reasons, the body's immune system begins attacking the islet cells of the pancreas that produce insulin therefore requiring the person to need insulin via injections or infusion to survive.

Most parents of children with diabetes test their child's blood sugars multiple times throughout the night.

We sacrifice our sleep because our fear of "dead in bed syndrome" is too real for us.

Most of what you hear in the media about diabetes refers to TYPE 2.

Signs/symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, frequent urination, increased appetite, sudden weight loss, fruity smell on breath, fatigue/lethargy, vision change, & confusion. If you or your child experience any of these, contact the doctor ASAP.

Diabetes kills more than breast cancer and AIDS combined...it IS serious!!!

Having a support group of others that "get it" is priceless...thanks to the ladies in the JDRF coffee group- you make this journey more bearable. For those of you lucky enough to not have to "get it", I just want you to become aware. I hope you are learning a little bit about Type 1. Thanks!

Insulin is necessary to survive, without it, a person would starve to death. Insulin is also deadly, just a little bit too much can cause low blood sugars that can lead to seizures, unconsciousness, and even death. Scary stuff to be injecting into my child to keep him alive!

40 children a DAY are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the US alone. Oct 29, 2008 was our day. If today or tomorrow happens to be 'your' day, I will be there for you!

We have more sweets in our house now that Bryce has Type 1 Diabetes. Juice, honey, candy, etc. is considered medicine in our family and used to treat low blood sugars.

People with type one diabetes need insulin to survive. However INSULIN IS NOT A CURE...think of it more like a band-aid.

Today is World Diabetes Day. We will be wearing blue for diabetes awareness today...please join us. November 14

So many things effect blood sugar levels besides just carbs eaten and insulin given. Stress, growth hormones, exercise, and illness all have an impact making diabetes management anything but simple.

TYPE 1 DIABETES does not care if you eat well, exercise, or have no family history...ANYONE can get it and there is NO way to prevent it (and no way to reverse it). It is an AUTOIMMUNE disease (unlike the more common Type 2 diabetes)

Diabetes is expensive... insulin, syringes, pump supplies, cgm supplies, test strips, meters, doctor visits, etc. These are things a person with Type 1 must have. Without insurance, ONE test strip costs about $1. We test 10-15 times a day! Luckily we have decent insurance but many don't....

Diabetes is all consuming. 24/7/365. There is NO time off. Even when my son is not around, I am still thinking about what his blood sugars are doing and what adjustments to his insulin need to be made. I am always worrying about him. ALWAYS!

Diabetes affects not just the child with diabetes but their parents and siblings as well.

Normal blood sugars range from 70-120. If Bryce drops below 70, we need to treat this LOW with quick sugars. We consider him HIGH if he is over 200 and he gets extra insulin to bring that down.

You can't fake an illness with Type 1...blood sugars tell the truth! I know Bryce really isn't feeling well because he was so HIGH yesterday and this morning, not cuz it may snow today.

While an insulin pump does all the calculations and figures out how much insulin is needed based on blood sugar levels and carbs to be eaten, WE are the ones who input the Insulin to Carb ratios, basal rates, and insulin sensitivity factors for those equations. *and guess what...these change constantly!

So much to be thankful for....family, friends, health to start. Most thankful for INSULIN keeping my son alive, for the DOC keeping me sane, for my AMAZING HUBBY-my partner in this craziness, my wild and wonderful SONS

When blood sugars are out of range, it really affects mood and behavior. Bryce can be quite a bear when he is high almost to the point of being MEAN. Can't imagine it feels too good to his little body :-(

Insulin smells like a box of band-aids.

Today being the last day of November and of Diabetes Awareness Month, I want to thank everyone who has read my diabetes facts each day, I hope you have learned something about Type 1 diabetes, what it is like to care for a child w/diabetes, and the difference between type 1 and type 2


  1. wonderful facts, the last one made me laugh :) thanks for sharing!!

  2. Terrific facts! Thanks for all you do in spreading awareness. Joe, Bridget, Dave, and I appreciate it!

  3. Awesome list! You took the true meaning of this month to heart! Awareness is huge!