Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pulling the site

I think it's a bad site. I think I should pull it.

You should know that these thoughts above NEVER run through my head. I NEVER think the Pod is malfunctioning or not delivering insulin or not doing it's job. I truly believe it just works, all the time. Maybe I am just naive. But I honestly never think it's the mechanical device that screws up, I just think it's ME.

The last two days have been nothing short of messed up. And if I could curse a lot on my blog (I guess I can, I mean, it's my blog, right?! But I will spare you) there would be a heck of a lot of curse words before the 'messed up' part of that previous sentence.

And this is what went down. I think I lost my mind somewhere over the course of the last two days. I don't even know right from left, bolus from basal. Ever get lost in the game, my friends? I was lost.

Thanksgiving was fine. Bolused, a little too much I think, for the pumpkin pie, which she ended up not eating. Fine, substituted a cookie for it and all was well. Ever since then, the diabetes gods have laughed at me.

Dexcom. Up and down. Up and down. Living on a merry-go-round.
Yeah, nice little waves of food eaten, then back to 'in-range' on the Dexcom - yeah, not.
No highs or lows - yeah, not.

Penny, you should totally pull the site.

This thought again did not enter my head. Not at all. I am thinking I am screwing up big time, and maybe I am. There is something definitely wrong. I always run a 50/50 basal/bolus split, and sometimes even a 60/40. Grace uses, on average, about 31 units a day.

OK, ready to see what she used yesterday?
45.70 units!

Penny, please, for the love of all that is holy, PULL THE SITE!!!!

Nope, still gonna ignore the fact that I should pull it. I will be damned if I will pull something that I think is working. Even though it's not. Sometimes, my thinking goes south.


You know, what if I just temp basaled the crap out of every meal? I mean, like +75% for 3 hours? Hmmm, still not budging from a 245 BG with a straight constant arrow. Even with 1.85 IOB and the increased temp basal. What else could it be, Penny? What else could it possible be???

Penny wracks her head. Bangs it on the floor. Curses the diabetes gods.

Penny, honestly, I am starting to question your thoughts processes. It is THE SITE. 

I know! Maybe I will change the site. Maybe that will help.

I pulled the site. It is pink and oozing something. One of the first times I have ever seen something like this on Grace.

OK, so I should have listened to my little diabetes-voice.

Next time, 45.70 units into the game, I will pull the site.

Carry on, folks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WDD 2012

Even Scotties tissues celebrate World Diabetes Day 2012!

I noticed as we were putting on a new Dexcom sensor this evening. 
I want to go buy every box of Scotties now!!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Blood Draw

Grace has an annual blood draw, usually in November. Her endo orders it to check on her thyroid function, screen for celiac, check her cholesterol, and other things that only diabetes brings. It's sobering every November. It's when it hits the hardest, when you realize that they are checking for the complications, and she's only 10 years old. They are checking because it happens.

It always feels to me as if I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.

My attitude with Grace for the annual blood draw is the ole 'Just Do It.' We just do it cause we take care of ourselves, we follow what the doctor wants us to do to stay healthy, we do it cause we want to live long and healthy lives. We don't like it, but we can do it.

And every year, we rise early, set off without breakfast, and drive on over to the Lab. And we celebrate afterwards with a McDonald's breakfast. She looks forward to it every year. It's what gets us through, knowing when we are done, we get to eat together. I fast too, in solidarity with her. She shouldn't be hungry alone.

This time at the Lab went a little differently than the previous three years. Here's what went down.

We are sitting in the waiting room at 7:45 AM. It's a fasting blood draw, as usual. We brought the median age down in the waiting room by about 60 years. Not even my pleas about a fasting child with Type 1 diabetes got us a 'fast pass' to the front of the line. They are hardliners in this Lab.

The more time she sits, the more time she has for thinking about the blood draw, how it will hurt, remembering the past times. If we could just jump the freaking line, get in and get out, all will be good. But we are left to sit and contemplate the many ways we all don't want to be here. Grace starts to cry, silently. I hold her hand, and tell her how brave, strong and super she is.

The nurse/lab tech calls her name from the waiting room.


Grace gets up, from our 25 minute wait to get her blood drawn.

Grace walks back to the cubicle, takes off her coat and sits down in the chair. She pats the wide seat next to her, and I sit beside her, with my arm around her. She dutifully lays her arm on the fold down arm of the chair. She stretches it out, nice and straight.

She starts to cry, again.

I know, it's OK, we will get this done and be out of here.

I smile at the lab tech, who up until now, could really give a crap, that one, Grace is a young child, two, that she is crying, three, that she is wearing two devices on her. The lab ignores it all. Like it's not happening. Then, she sees Grace crying and says:

Why are you crying? This is nothing to cry about. You should not cry.

She proceeds to open the needle package and cap it into the syringe, right in front of her. I look up, hoping to meet the lab tech's eyes. I want to scream via x-ray vision with my eyes - REALLY? This is NOT helping, you actually showing her the freaking needle! Could you do that over by your lab station, with your back to us? Cause if you had an ounce of compassion, you would.

She tightens the rubber tie-band on Grace's arm. She gets the needle out and taps for a vein. Grace tries to look at her arm. I use my left hand to create a horse blinder on her, and turn her head into my chest, shielding her from looking. I tell her, remember, just don't look. 

Feels like a pinch sweetie, and then it's done.

Grace is crying and saying to me 'No, Mama. Please. Please.' and she switches her little behind in the seat, thus moving her arm.

That was enough for the lab tech. I guess that's what broke the camel's back.

I need some help in here right now! She's pulling her arm back!

I say out loud - Please, just give her a minute. There's no need for anyone else to come.

The other lab tech comes quickly over. She straightens Grace's arm out straight, and sees Grace. Really sees her for the first time in all this time.

It's OK sweetie, it will be over in a minute, I know you are scared, but let's just get it done. 

The lab tech is swift. She gets her three vials and pulls the needle out. Slaps on a cotton pad and covers it with the extra sticky tape, as one last act of cruelty I suppose.

And she hands Grace a cup to urinate in.

Grace looks at me, and I can see the thought in her head, almost like a bubble over her head 'What am I supposed to do with this?'

Let's go to the potty honey, you pee in the cup. Mama will help, I will hold it for you.

And we go in, but Grace is so frightened, that like girl, she cannot pee. She has herself frozen. We have a good chuckle about this, and the laughter frees my Grace again. She feels bad about being so upset. I assure her that no one likes getting their blood draw and that is was perfectly OK to cry. No shame honey, no shame.

I catch what I can, and there is pee all over the cup, my hand, the seat. I do my best to clean up.

I wrap the cup in a paper towel and hand it back to the lab tech.

She says Have a good day.

I say nothing. There is nothing to say. We are done. We got it done.
And it will never, ever, happen like this again.

I assure Grace that it will never be like this again. That next time, we don't like the way it's going, we are going to stop it, say something and get someone who will be nice and compassionate. I explain that today, it was all happening so fast, that by the time I was going to say something, the moment was gone. We would have spent even more time there, and not got it done. I try and tell her that Mama will always protect her and say when something is wrong, and she should too. She nods. I feel like I have failed in showing her that today. That I acquiesced to get it done, and it feels awful.

I say one last thing.

You know Grace, every time we have a new situation, I always tell you it's a learning experience, right? Well, today was a learning experience. Mama learned. I always tell you we should learn, right? 

Mama learned today.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Diabetes at Halloween

Halloween baby, it's all about the candy, right? That and trick or treating and of course, the annual hospital 'Diabetes Candy Exchange' for Type 1 kiddos. We did it all. With some bumps in the road of course, cause you need a few bumps in the road to keep it interesting, right? Right.

Grace has an annual Halloween parade around her school, culminating in a classroom party. Of course I had to go, this is her last year of Elementary school! Her last parade. Bittersweet? Nah, it's all good. After about 13 years of this parades and continuous kids through this school and parades, I am done. Toasted. Cooked. Been there and done that for a looooong time. All good things must end, and the memories are great, but if I never attend another Halloween parade and classroom party until I have grandbabies, it will be alright.

Grace was a candy corn gal. Which I found extremely funny.

Long parade. 600 kids. It's endless.
Yeah, there's Grace!

Then back to the classroom party. There was a lot of food. Yes, some of it's healthy, and some of it is not. You know what? I have completely surrendered the battle. Honestly. I started to battle the foods at Elementary parties two years ago, and it went nowhere. I will let others who come behind me take on the cause. It is what it is, and we bolus the heck out of it.

Oh, but what's that? The shriek of an alarming pod as she is line to get her food at the party? Of course it is! Right there in the line - EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKK! And Grace uses her hands to cover her Pod on her tummy, to quiet the sound. So, thank goodness I was there and she didn't have to call the nurse down to help her change it, which would have been 10-15 minutes, as opposed to our Mommy-Grace change rate of about 3 minutes, tops. We can get a Pod off and a new one on in record time. There should be an Olympic medal event for it. We would totally take bronze or silver.

The remnants of the Pod change. Encased in plastic, to take home.
3 minutes, tops. Rock on.

Halloween night. Trick or treating with the neighbors. We all go around in a group with all our girls. Fun times. Bolus on the run. That's me, shooting a .80 bolus for a piece of candy she ate while walking. 

A scary bunch.

Juggling a flashlight, D kit, PDM and a candy bag.
I win!

Last but not least, the Diabetes Candy Exchange, run by our local hospital. Its an annual event where they invite all the Type 1 kiddos to come and drop off any unwanted candy, and get prizes instead. They create cute gift bags for each kid, have food and games, face painting, music, Zoo on Wheels and raflles. You can read about our other years of attending here in 2010 and here in 2011.

Lo and behold, who was there? My Twitter and Facebook friend, Jen, with her daughter Grace. This was the first time we met in real life and it was fabulous. Jen also blogs over at Grace's Courage, check her out. A good time was had by all, and we even had a little D-Mama meetup too!

Bins full of candy that kids turned in.
Yes, Grace did reach in later when she had a low and snatched a Hershey bar.
The nutritionist looked at us funny.
Hey honey, this is real life with D, quit looking!

The Phillie Phanatic came too! He was a hit.

OK, they serve pizza! Every parent says 'UGH' when they see it.
There is a nutritionist right there and every year, PIZZA!
At least this year they had some salad, veggies and chicken fingers too.
45g a slice, with a 40/60 bolus split and extend bolus for 3 hours.
3 hours later - 108.
I won.

And that, my cyber friends, is our latest Halloween update. 
I'm tired.