Thursday, March 10, 2011


Today was our 3 month endo appt. The last three months have rolled by pretty smoothly I thought.  I was able to adjust when needed, we made it through a stomach bug in January and basically were just rolling along, doing the D.

Until the last two nights... which left Grace with lows of 36 and 49, and me, up for hours trying to bring them up. Temp basaling my heart out. Suspending insulin for hours at a time. And each of them began with me adjusting an out of range BG number. The adjustment left her crashing. I had already changed her correction factor at night from 1:250 to 1:300, and it was time today to ask her endo about upping it even further, showing her this in her log book from two nights ago:

6 pm - dinner 130, carbs guessed and dosed
8 pm - bedtime check 205 (adjust with .35) - I think I SWAG bolused dinner there, resulting in the high
9 pm - 102 (with .30 IOB) - that means .05 dropped her 100 points. Uh oh...
10 pm - 39 (here's where I curse correction factors)
blah blah blah, a night of staying awake and suspending insulin, 3 juices and waiting... you don't want to know. it was a long night.

Yeah, we seriously needed to change correction factors. Like 1:350 or even 1:400 at night now. And just 6-9 months ago, she was 1:80 during the day and 1:90 at night. Dr. seems to think it's a phase and after a month or so, will end up right back to her old correction factors. We shall see, for now, 1:350 it is for the night. (Everyone cross their fingers in unison now.)

You see, even from these two nights, these HARD two nights, where I posted on Facebook my failures, as I saw them, I felt bad about myself. I felt guilty. I felt like here she was, Grace, low and I couldn't get her up. I felt guilty that she ended up there in the first place. 39 for God's sake. I am hard on myself and I walked in there knowing the past three months had been pretty good. I knew the numbers in the meter - roughly 60% of her friggin numbers were in range for pete's sake! Roughly 30% were above range and a stinking 10% were below range.

And you know how I felt? Like crap.
Because of two lousy days.

But for everything, there is a flip side.
The darkness and the light.
The yin and the yang.
The up and the down.
And a lid for every pot (but that's just what my mother said when she saw two people who belonged together in life)

There was a new CDE at the endo today. She was new to seeing us in the practice, but not a new CDE, she's been at it 22 years with this same doctor. Karen started off asking me about this basal rate, that carb ratio, trying to get a feel for how much I knew about D. She asked how much care Grace had for herself - and frankly, the girl can count carbs, dose herself, temp basal extend a bolus and completely change her own Pod by herself (except she needs help drawing up the insulin from the vial). I told her everything and apparently, I talk fast. I saw her eyes glaze over once, but if you know me, I love a good talk about diabetes with people who get it. I could tell Karen got it. She kept up with me, going straight for the meat - pouring over logbook numbers, basal adjustment, basal testing, testing carb ratios and oh yeah, insulin sensitivity.

(It may seem my life has shrunken to this, I get excited about a good conversation about my daughter's diabetes. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.)

The nurse stops in and opens the door. 'Her A1C is 6.4' she announces.

As we are talking, she looks up at me and stops talking.

'You are amazing. Grace is lucky to have you. How do you know all this?' she asks.

'I mean, I read a lot, a lot, a lot about diabetes, I like data. I try things out. I have a specific goal in mind, an A1C hovering around 6.5%. I know my goal. I read blogs and research sites, I have a great endo, Dr. B., and a great CDE, Gary, who teach me a lot. I get with other PWD to learn how they grew up and what they know, they have so much to teach us parents of kids with diabetes. I hang out with other kiddos with diabetes and their moms. I mean, you know, in my heart I am a teacher and I like to learn and well, this stuff is good to me. If I can learn it, then I can teach it to Grace, and isn't that who we intend to learn it? I'm not the one with diabetes, she is. So, the more I know, the more she knows and the more I learn, the more she learns, that's better, right?'

I think I said that all in one breath. Yes, I talk fast. I'm from Philly. (And I say 'wudder' for water.)
And I had tears welling in my eyes. Cause I saw myself in a new light.
I was amazing?

Maybe if I harbored the 'amazing' part in my heart instead of the 'crap' part, I would feel better huh?! Some lessons come hard to me. But this one hit home. Here I was, managing D for three months (well, two years + now) and rockin it,  and I brought myself down with two nights. Two nights. What was I thinking? It's like the two stinkin nights erased 90 flippin days of hard damn work.

I decided to take the compliment, instead of trying to deflect it, as I normally would.
The light bulb went on.

'Thank you, I mean, really, thank you. I'm the one lucky enough to have Grace, but thank you for that, I put a lot of time and work into all this managing diabetes and keeping her healthy.' I responded.

I accepted it.
That what I do, what YOU all do, is amazing.

To all the mamas in the DOC, I want to pass it on to you.
That's what we need to do with each other. Pick each other up after the hard days and tell each other.
Remember, some lessons are hard to learn. It has taken me two years and I'm just starting to learn it.
Accept the compliment. Don't deflect it.

YOU are amazing in the care of your child with Type 1 diabetes.


Unknown said...

I WANT TO JUMP UP AND DO A BELLY BUMP! So proud of you...and something I really needed to hear today.


I mean really thank you :)

Anonymous said...

You are so smart! You truly do know EVERYTHING there is to know about diabetes. I am not even kidding. I am so happy that you help Gracie every day with her diabetes and manage those out-of-control numbers! WOOHO! And for that, I am proud to call you my mother.

Joanne said...

Awesome job! Grace is so blessed.

I'll never forget the time a manager at the chick-fil-a we frequent came up to me and said how amazed she was at the job I do with Elise. She pointed at the scale and continued to tell me how much she admired the work I put into taking care of Elise and she knew it couldn't be easy. She then said what an awesome job I was doing as Elise's Mom.

Her words blew me away, and I'll never forget the feeling I had when instead of pooh-pooing her, I owned it. Man, it felt good!

Great post and a great reminder that we all need to hear from time to time.

Alexis Nicole said...

Flipping awesome A1C!!

Yes. You are amazing. I knew that already...duh!!

;) love to you and G!

Unknown said...

Ah.YEAH.DUH!!!! I already knew you were frickin' amazing Penny. Why do you think I am always linking to your blog for good tips girl!!!?

We HEART you and your uber-awesome-pancreating ways. You are a D Mama ROCK STAR in my eyes. Always will be AND I am so glad to have your love and support always. I means so much to me.

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

I could not agree more! WE ARE FREAKIN' AMAZING!!!! :)

Way to go Penny. I know lows like that hit hard, but looking at everything on balance is what we all really need to do. I'm so happy for you that you had such a wonderful CDE to tell you how great you are doing. You deserve it.

Valerie said...

You are amazing! :) It's easy to let even ONE bad number get you down. It's not going to be perfect every time, but what matters is you put the effort into understanding and wanting to do your best for your kiddo.

Anonymous said...

Is your daughter still on the Omnipod? I read that she swims a lot. Any advice on how to keep the Pod on when she swims (dives, jumps off the board, etc.) We are knew to the Pod. Thank you

Jules said...

You are so very amazing. Hold onto that thought lots and lots. I love how terrier-like you are and how you won't let it go. I learn something every time I read a post from you.

k2 said...

Yes my friend - YOU ARE AMAZING!