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

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My other SWEET (non-D) boys

After a wonderful weekend that included Thanksgiving and a #1 ranked Ducks football game, we are finally home. Since we were staying in a place with a very bad internet connection, I was able to read some blogs but not able to comment or post. :-(

Today was declared Special Sib of a D-kid Day. I didn't want to let this pass without honoring the other two SWEET (non-D) boys in my life....

Drew & Jaden

My oldest son. He will be turning 8 in just a few days. Boy how he has grown up so fast! He loves football (especially the Oregon Ducks) and basketball. He is extremely intelligent and loves to learn...I think he knows more than most adults!! When he is interested in something, he learns EVERYTHING there is to learn about it then moves on to something else. Because of this, I have learned a lot too! Jaden almost always has a book in his hands. We even had to make a rule that he can't read when we are eating or when he is walking! Jaden is a huge helper. He's even a great cook! Being the oldest brother is a hard job too. Not only do I count on him to help out, but his little brothers don't always make it easy. I wish there was more time to spend with Jaden one-on-one because he is such a cool kid and rarely gets this opportunity.
While sometimes it seems that all the boys do is fight (like right now!) mostly, they are the best of friends. I know Jaden will always look after his little brothers. Having him around, I know Bryce will be safe. He knows how to test blood sugars, what the range should be, how to treat a low (check out that story), how to use the remote for the pump to bolus for food or high bgs, and how to count carbs. He is truly an amazing boy! I am so proud of him...for who HE is and for him as a sib of a D-kid!!

Bryce & Jaden

My youngest son. He is 2 and a half years old (though if you ask, he will tell you he is 3, and sometimes 4) He thinks he is a big kid like his two brothers and tries to do all they do. He is such a fun little boy. He cracks us up all the time with the things that he says (and he is always talking!!). He makes my heart smile. He is snuggliscious! Being my 'baby', I can't help but let him climb into bed with me every night...I sleep better with him in my arms! He loves trains and construction trucks. He sings "I Love My Ducks" and "Return of the Quack" and dances so cute! He was only 6 months old when Bryce was diagnosed so D is just a part of his brother and our family. He knows all the vocab that goes with D and can name all the paraphernalia. He says he has diabetes too (usually when a low is being treated and he wants in on the sweets.) He even lets his brother actually prick his finger and test his blood sugars (check out that story) Drew loves his big brothers so much and is often tackling them so he can give them hugs and snuggles.

Bryce & Drew

I LOVE all my boys with all my heart and soul. I love one no more than I love the others. I do love them different because they are different....and I wouldn't have it any other way!!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

not sure I wanna go back...

A couple Fridays ago, Dex (Bryce's continuous glucose monitor), said farewell to us with a big exclamation mark and some weird error code. That jerk!

Dexcom FedEx'd a new one out to us that we received last Monday afternoon, after a weekend free of a cgm.

A week and a half later, we still have not put on a sensor and started up the new Dexx. I must say, I don't know if I want to. There is something freeing about not being able to look and see what his blood sugars are doing at any time. It is not like I really ever trusted the number Dex gave us anyhow. We ended up testing him more because of this and to me, that defied the point of having a cgm. Plus I hate having another device attached to my sweet little boy's body. And if I mention putting on a sensor, Bryce runs screaming from the room.

Does this mean I will never use it again? No. I actually am thinking it will be good to have over the holiday weekend with all the food and fun with his brothers and cousins. So I plan to put this new Dexx to the test starting tomorrow. We'll see if this new guy woos me enough to keep him around. He better not lie to me as much as his predecessor cuz I no longer have any qualms about boxing him.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

I am so excited to have been given this award, not just by one AWESOME Dmom blogger, but THREE (actually 5 now)! To accept this award, I will...

1. Thank the person who gave me this award

(I started this last night and this morning saw that the most awesome Alexis at Justice's Misbehaving Pancreas and Heather at Sweet to the Soul also listed me....THANKS!!)

2. Share 7 things about myself

*I find it hard to sleep unless my two year old is in my arms or sprawled on top of me.

*I LOVE COOKIES. I like all kinds of desserts but cookies are my favorite. Chewy ones are best, not too sweet (I usually cut the sugar in half when I bake them) I love oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, chocolate chip, oh forget it...I love them all!

* I like RAP and HIP HOP. I can't handle country or opera. ick!

*I always want to take on leadership positions and be involved in everything possible. I start off totally gung ho and have great ideas but in reality, I am not a very motivated or organized person so end up just getting overwhelmed and frustrated.

*This week I taught myself to crochet. I attempted it once, 8 years ago, when I was pregnant with my first son. Just when I thought I was an all-star crocheter, I held up the baby blanket I was making and saw it was becoming a triangle (I guess I was dropping a stitch or two with each row-doh!)

*I have red hair. When I was younger, I HATED it. The grown ups all LOVED it but kids would say things like "carrot top" "red" etc. In my "old age" I have come to accept it and actually like it now. Though I still don't understand why it is called "red" when it is really more of an orangish brown. Anyhow...

*I need a vacation!

(who knew coming up with 7 things would be so tough?)

3. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic
(all the Dmom blogger are fantastic! Here are a few that I don't think have done this yet...)

Reyna @ Beta Buddies
Lehann @ D-Mom Blog
Wendy @ Candy Hearts
Heidi @ D-Tales

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

sounds of night



"zzzzzzzzz. huh?, oh"

STOMP, STOMp, STOmp, STomp, Stomp, stomp

CLICK, snap
chicka, pop, beep

stomp, stomp, stomp
whoosh, clunk
stomp, stomp, stomp

"Bryce, wake up"
slurp, slurp, slurp

stomp, stomP, stoMP, stOMP, sTOMP, STOMP

For those not familiar with those sounds of night time blood sugar checks...
it is the buzz of Dex (the continuous glucose monitor) 3 buzzes means LOW or dropping fast. I wake up my husband who gets out of bed and heads down the hall to check Bryce's blood sugars. The click of the test strip vial, the cocking of the lancet, and pricking of his finger, the beeps of the meter. I know Bryce is low when I hear footsteps going to the kitchen and the fridge being opened. He tries to wake Bryce up to drink juice or milk or something...Bryce doesn't really wake up but slurps and falls right back into bed. My hubby comes back to our room where he quickly falls back to sleep.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

U wants to know ?? Meme

For informative purposes: Bryce, age 5 1/2yr, diagnosed 10/29/08

When did you guys start pumping? April 2009, 5 months after DX, Animas Ping

What do you use to change sites? Whats your "process"?
Bryce lays across my lap and watches a show or something on my laptop. I use unisolve to get the cgm sensor off, then alcohol to clean, IV prep for the pump set spot. I used to let him tell me when he was ready before I inserted the set or sensor. Now he is too anxious about it so I give him a countdown and if he hasn't said he is ready, I do it when he is less tense.

How often do you check ketones?
rarely. usually only if he is sick or over 300 for more than half the day (not including the am when he is always over 300). has only had small ketones once with a stomach bug so we have been really lucky there.

When do you do an unscheduled site change?
when there is blood in the cannula or the set looks bad. or it gets pulled out (getting pants down to go potty)

Whats your childs target?

What was your childs last A1C?

What kind of strips do you use?
One Touch

Which do you prefer?
Before he was on the pump, we liked AccuCheck

What kind of Peanut Butter do you use?
our grocery store has a peanut grinder so we use all natural freshly ground peanut butter...LOVE IT!! Sometimes we get Adams, mmmm salty! Can't handle JIF or Skippy cuz they just taste like sugar to us now.

Do you allow juice when not low?
On occasion but very rarely.

Do you still check your child at night?
Of course...probably more at night than during the day. (8pm his bedtime, 11pm our bedtime, 3am, 6:30ish hubby wake up, 7:30 his wake up. And of course more if he is too high and was corrected or battling lows or when Dex likes us to think there is a problem, etc)

What is your rule on sweets?
same as pre-D, moderation!

Regular pasta or whole wheat?
whole wheat

What about veggies and fruits?

White bread or whole wheat?
Don't think my boys have ever had white bread. Usually whole wheat, sometimes multigrain. Digging this whole grain flax bread lately.

Do you use glucose tabs?
Bryce didn't like them till recently. Have carried them in my purse for 2 years and he never would use them. Now his brothers want one too when he goes low.

What do you use to treat lows?
Usually a 15g Juicy Juice. Sometimes a spoonful of honey or caramel. Gogurt. Smarties, starburst, fruit roll ups.

What does your child use to hold their pump/cgm?
He prefers using a simple pump pack (two actually...one for his cgm and one for his pump) but we also have a Tallygear Tummitote that he wears sometimes (he feels they are too bulky though...maybe cuz he fills the third pocket with smarties and plastic animals!!).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nothin but the Blues!

BLUE for World Diabetes Day that is!!

I was hoping to light the house up in BLUE, wear all BLUE, and go to the Circle in the Square event in Downtown Portland.

I am instead laid up in bed (had a procedure done on my foot so have to keep it elevated). The PJ's I won from the Great WDD PJ Giveaway would be put to good use right now! Guess I will have to wait but I am soooo excited to have won! What a great company and way to contribute to JDRF, please check them out (PJs for the Cure) and order some pjs for you and your family.

Yesterday, I sent my hubby to the store and asked him to pick up some blue nailpolish for me. He thought I was silly but found me a great shade of blue (and asked that I never have him pick out nailpolish again) After I painted my nails, Bryce decided he wanted his painted too...and his toenails. Then his little brother wanted his painted blue too. Jaden, our almost 8 year old, said "girls paint their nails, not boys" so even though it was BLUE, we couldn't convince him to do it...oh well.

I have been wearing my "Cure Type 1" necklace I won over the summer from Wendy at Candy Hearts (Gets me a lot of comments, even met a mom with a type 1 daughter that is now 16.)

I also finally got around to using the gift certificate from Lauren's Hope that I won. Bryce picked out a robot medical ID necklace and I picked out a stainless steel water bottle for him (thinking I might save it for xmas) They have so many great things, it was hard to decide.

Friday, we got our box of KidStrong Hydration drinks we won from Our Diabetic Life. Today we did our taste testing...
Jaden (almost 8): likes orange best, then fruit punch, doesn't like grape
Bryce (5 1/2, T1): likes fruit punch best, then orange, doesn't like grape
Drew (2 1/2): likes all of them
John (hubby): likes grape, then orange, and doesn't like the fruit punch. Says they taste like watered down Kool-aid or Gatorade. Not too bad. Okay for the kids, not for him. Later said they were pretty gross.
Me: I liked the grape and fruit punch but not the orange. I think they are okay for the kids and like that they are low carb and fortified with vitamins, etc. Probably wouldn't buy them (granted they only sell them in the NE states right now but still)

FedEx did NOT deliver our new Dexcom receiver on Saturday like I expected. I assume it is coming on Monday. This mini Dex-free vacation has proved we CAN live without always seeing what Bryce's numbers are doing but we really miss those arrows!

So I will end my drug induced rambling for now and conclude that this was a great WDD. Hope you all had great numbers and got the awareness for our cause out there :-)


Wondering what other networks everyone is part of.
Juvenation, D-mom and D-dad connection, Circle of Moms, etc. ???
Notice a lot of people talking about each other's posts on Facebook, do you have a page for your blog/D-stuff, or just your own page?
Just trying to find the best way to be connected. You all are such a great support system. Want to make sure I am not missing out ;-)

you can find me on FB: Denise Dupre Hopkins

Friday, November 12, 2010

gone to Vegas...???

Last week, Joanne told us how Eileen (her daughter's continuous glucose monitor) decided to up and quit. I joked and said Eileen probably was going to elope with Dex (Bryce's cgm). Well this morning, Dex flashed us his giant exclamation mark with a crazy error code. Thanks man! Hope you and Eileen have a great relationship together! May your replacement be more reliable and trustworthy!

**Dexcom has Fedex'd a new one out that we should get tomorrow...ugh a day with bg 'pictures' and no 'movie'

Thursday, November 11, 2010

evidence of others...

With no school today, I took the boys to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). As we walked through the parking lot, my oldest spotted a test strip on the ground. Evidence others like us have come through here. Funny how we find those little buggers everywhere but finding one we KNOW we didn't drop is kind of exciting.

We were actually meeting up with another D family -they came an hour after us so we knew it wasn't their strip either ;-). The mom and I met at the JDRF coffee group and her little D man is also 5 years old. Bryce and him got along great! They tested at the same time (Bryce was low, he was high) they showed each other their pumps (Bryce's Ping, his OmniPod) Other than that, they were just a couple of boys running around playing at all the exhibits. :-)

Monday, November 8, 2010


Monday is set/sensor change day...

Once a week, Bryce needs to have a new sensor for his CGM (continuous glucose monitor) put in. I also change out his infusion set for his insulin pump. Usually this is no big deal, but lately he has been having a lot of anxiety before I put them on.


BIG FAT Crocodile Tears

His tears led to my tears and a lot of snuggles after. I HATE that we have to do this to keep my son alive and healthy. I HATE that he gets scared. I HATE that, after 2 years, it is not easy.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

just a drink to you, life saver to him

For those of you that don't live the D life, juice is not just something you drink when you are thirsty, it is a life saver for our sweet kiddos. When blood sugars go low, juice is the perfect way to bump them back into range FAST.
Rule of thumb is you want 15g of fast acting carbs to treat a low...Juicy Juice makes these awesome mini juice boxes with just that amount. Us D'rents, stock our houses, kid's classrooms, cars, bags, etc. with these little life savers.

And this week, Lora over at My Diabetic Child is giving away a bunch of these Juicy Juice boxes.
Get over there and check it out now!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Fun

Had a great night trick or treating. The weather here in Oregon was PERFECT!! Didn't need our jackets and the rain held out till we were back home and getting in bed. Couldn't have asked for a better night!

This year, Jaden (7) was a vampire, Bryce (5) was a ghost, and Drew (2) was a Jack o' Lantern.

Check out all that loot! MMMMMMM!

I realize that we don't do anything different with our Halloween candy than we had before D other than testing and bolusing. Mostly that is because we have never let our kids gorge on candy...EVER. So we let the boys pick out a treat a couple times on our walk through the neighborhood then one more when we were all done. So overall, Bryce had 3 pieces of candy all night and he was thrilled!! Surprisingly (or maybe not since we did sooo much walking) he was LOW. All. Night. Long!! Poor kiddo gets all his sweets while he is sleeping. How fair is that?
Anyhow, the downfall to all this great candy is that I keep wanting to raid their loot. Mmmmm, twix, peanut butter cups, hundred grand, kit kats....so yummy (and so small, and easy to eat many!)