Kycie Needs Prayers

Kycie was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes this year. Her blood sugar at diagnosis was over 1000! Normal is around 70. She recently came home from the hospital.. Unfortunately she is back in the hospital and very ill. Please, please pray for her, her mom, her dad, and her 4 brothers.

This is her Facebook page: Kisses for Kycie

A Diabetes Break

The thing with diabetes is it never gives you a break. It is constant and you always have to TRY to be one step ahead of it . Some days you will succeed and others you will fail miserably. Every day you have to get right back on the horse, or the bike, or your motorcycle and try, try again, because giving up is not an option. My husband will never ever get a break from diabetes. It will go wherever he goes. It’s a constant companion. No matter where he goes or what he does, he will have to consider diabetes. It’s almost like a girlfriend that turns into  a stalker when you try to make it go away.

My husband will be going on a business trip soon. He will take his diabetes with him. He will take a box full of goodies, hopefully enough for his time away. He will need some carb-y snacks and some low carb snacks. I’ll probably stick some peanut butter, crackers, glucose tablets, etc in there. I will also probably worry the entire time he is gone. Especially at night. He sleeps soundly, but I get up at least once per night. No matter what wakes me up, I make it a habit to check on him. Depending on what his activity level and/ or blood sugar was before or at bedtime, I might check his blood sugar.

These are the things that worry me when he is away for any length of time. It hasn’t happened very often. I can probably count on one hand how many times it has. When he went to Reno 16 years ago, I don’t remember worrying. He was diabetic then, but it hadn’t infiltrated my life as much as it does now. We are constantly checking in with each other on his blood sugars, his insulin doses and how he is feeling. He CAN count carbs, but typically he relies on me to tell him what they are, because I prepare most of his meals. (he’s generally on his own for breakfast and takes leftovers for lunch)

So he won’t get a break…. ever, but I will. He will be gone and I won’t be able to count his carbs or prepare his meals. I won’t have to meal plan with him in mind, while he is gone. The kids and I can graze if we want, we can have ice cream, sandwiches, cereal. I won’t have to make sure that the meal I am providing is well rounded.

It sounds almost delightful, but I am sure that when the time comes, I won’t think so. I will probably worry too much to really enjoy it. He HAS promised to keep in touch morning and night with his blood sugar readings. It sounds awful, like he has to check in with a mom, but he knows that it gives me peace of mind.

And as a side note, have you seen this? http://www.wral.com/news/national_world/national/video/14722595/

Do you think a cure for diabetes is possible? I’ve seen many hopeful “cures” that haven’t panned out, so i am a bit hesitant to get excited about anything that seems possible.

I’ll check back in at a later date and let you know how the time apart went. eeeek.

So What is Diabetes?

I’m going to go all Texan for a minute and say y’all! You have been so encouraging and excited and it makes ME excited! I have been stumbling for words for a few years. They used to flow through my finger tips and then they stopped coming. Much of my life is spent talking about, thinking about, reading about, learning about diabetes. Well, hello? Why don’t I WRITE about it?

I have a lot of stories floating around in my head about diabetes. I don’t even know where to start, because I want to start with them all! When I told my kids I was starting this blog, they started throwing out stories to tell. “Remember when daddy had a low blood sugar and he thought his feet were stuck to the floor?” Or from my husband “Remember when I belched in your mom’s face?”

So I’ll start with the obvious, what diabetes is, and what a person has to do to get it. (it’s not what you think)

So what is diabetes? Well, did you know that there are two types of diabetes? Many people don’t. There is a lot of information out there about Type 2 Diabetes and it is assumed that this is the type everyone has. You know the one where you are overweight, don’t exercise and don’t eat well, so this is your punishment? Yes, this is the actual attitude that a lot of diabetics are subjected to! I know a boy who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 18 months old. People have asked his mom if it’s because she gave him too much juice in his bottle.

Eh, no.

Type 1 Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. The receiver of this diagnosis is as culpable for it, as I am for my hearing loss. I did not do anything to cause my hearing loss, my ears are damaged. Type 1 diabetes is the same way. It does not happen to you because you have made poor choices. Your pancreas is as broken as my ears. (maybe a little more! I can still hear)

So with Type 1 Diabetes, your pancreas stops producing insulin. Insulin is a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. “Each year, 15,000 children and 15,000 adults are diagnosed with T1D in the United States.” (source) There is nothing you can do to prevent it. It is not caused by diet or life style choices.

Treatment for T1D includes diet, exercise, INSULIN (the most important part of managing T1D), and frequent blood sugar testing. Not only do you have to treat T1D with all these, you have to balance them. It may sound easy, but imagine someone hands you four playground balls and tells you to hold them without dropping them. Sound doable? Now balance those four balls, at one time, without dropping them. Oh, is that a little more challenging? Balancing all the components of diabetes care is a little like that. However if you drop one of those balls, you’re not risking your health and well being. A diabetic would be.

No matter how great a person with type 1 diabetes is with balancing all the components of their care, they run the risk every day of too high or too low blood sugars. Diabetes is constantly changing. What affects you one day will affect you differently the next day. A diabetic must constantly be alert and flexible in order to manage their disease.

There isn’t a cure for T1D. Even with treatment, those with T1D are at risk for nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness, heart attack, stroke and complications in pregnancy.

The most important thing to remember is the difference. Type 1 Diabetes IS NOT Type 2 Diabetes. Do not ask a Type 1 diabetic what they did to cause their disease. In fact, don’t even ask a Type 2 diabetic that question. It’s insulting and rude and if you are not one of the key people in their life, you don’t really need this information.

My husband was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 45 years ago. The treatment then pales in comparison to the treatment now. Doctors told his parents that statistically he would only live to 35 years of age. That was 15 years ago! You might think that with 45 years of diabetic knowledge, he would know everything there is to know, but we are learning new things every day!

Here are some symptoms of diabetes:

  • extreme thirst
  • frequent urination
  • drowsiness/ lethargy
  • increased appetite
  • sudden weight loss
  • sudden vision changes
  • fruity smelling breath

Did you learn anything new? Did you know that there are two different kinds of diabetes? Do you have any questions? (I know how to Google) Did I get something wrong or not quite right? (Let me know!)