Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Am I Alone?

Since Nate's dx I have felt isolated. alone. sad. Did I already say alone? It's not everyday that you run across another family with a type 1 child that can understand what we are going through and can speak our new language.  I am so thankful for the 2 families I have met and formed friendships with through this crazy roller coaster ride.  I would be totally lost without my local D-mom friends Joanne and Jessica. Not to mention all of my other online D-Mom buddies that live inside of my computer!!

Still something my husband said this last weekend has stuck with me and I cannot seem to shake it. He just mentioned in passing that he had noticed I was not chatting or hanging out with any of my close friends anymore.  He then asked me if I thought it was because of diabetes.  Hmmmm . . . after some thought I decided that yes, it is most likely because of diabetes.  He shook his head and said that he thought so too.

You see diabetes is overwhelming.  It comes in uninvited and takes over your entire life. I eat, sleep, think and breathe diabetes.  Oh and let me just clear up the sleep part - - - I mean the lack of sleep!!

So, here I am missing my friends but not really reaching out to them because I feel like they don't get my New Normal Life. I feel like they just do not understand this new Crazy Good Life of a Mommy Going Crazy! All of this talk about Chasing Numbers, Finding Our Balance, Being A Pancreas and Death of a Pancreas is more than they want to hear. I mean really, who wants to hear about The Life & Times of our Diabetes and Then Some and our crazy Type 1 Game or how we are always trying to Stick It To Diabetes?  Do they even care about all of that?

I feel like people think I must be insane as I am screaming at My Diabetic Child . . . FORGET THE CHICKEN NUGGETS - YOU CAN'T PLAY ON THE PLAYGROUND UNTIL YOU EAT ALL YOUR FRIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do they really want to hear the Ramblings of a Tired Mom's  Life with Diabetes on the Ride of our Lives with Type 1The Bittersweet Window to My World is closed because Our Diabetic Life is like the Candy Hearts that you get on Valentine's Day each one is different from the next.  This new Crazy Happy Life with our Beautiful Diabetic often feels like we are all alone on an Autoimmune Island so I am left with the people that understand me and my family best . . . the ones that live in my computer.  My friends with names like The Ripley Mommy, Diabetes Sweeties, 2 Green Eyed Girls, A Sweet Grace, This is Caleb, Diary of a Diabetic Princess, and the Older Side of Life.

I truly miss my friends and need to make an effort to reach out to them.  It is hard but if they are truly my friends then they will try to understand and love me and my family Diabetes and All.

My Son has Diabetes . . . Such Is Life . . . Sweet, Sassy and Sugar Free!!

Ok, so this really is a serious post but I thought I would make it fun with all of the blogs that I read.  If I left anyone out, please do not take it personally - - - it's the lack of sleep thing!!  I promise. That being said - it is time for a BG check and then my 2 hour nap before my next BG check.
Monday, March 29, 2010

OmniPod Tips and Tricks

Ok, so we have only been using the OmniPod for a month so I really do not have that many tips and tricks but my last post received a lot of questions that I will attempt to answer here.

* We do decorate Nate's pods or as we like to call it "Pimp the Pod" with stickers but they often come off in the tub.  So, we just add another sticker after bath time.  Stickers are fun anytime!! The stickers that last the longest are the clear plastic kind or the non-paper type.  

* We always change Nate's pod after bath time so it has a chance to soak before site change.  We then use Uni-Solve (Smith&Nephew) to help remove the rest of the adhesive before we pull it off.  We tried baby oil and it did nothing for us but I know that it does work for others.

* Nate has super sensitive skin so currently before we place the pod we clean his skin with Skin-Prep (Smith&Nephew).  It helps keep the pod in place and also protects his skin from all of the adhesive.  Some people use an alcohol wipe but Nate's skin is too sensitive for that. 

* Nate's correction factor on the OmniPod is 1:300.  We started him at 1:200 but increased it to 1:300 about 2 weeks ago.  It is totally an option on the OmniPod. 

* OmniPod does have an Insulin On Board (IOB) feature but it calculates the IOB differently than other pumps.  The OmniPod calculates the IOB from the correction insulin instead of from correction and bolus insulin.  This totally works for us but does not work for everybody so I am not going to debate the IOB issue on my blog.  We love it.  Some people hate it. Some people just don't know anything about it!  :-)
My suggestion would be to speak with an Insulet representative to get the true facts about IOB and if it will work for your needs.

Insulet's definition:
Insulin on board (active insulin)
The amount of insulin that is still active in the body from a previous correction bolus dose. The amount of time insulin remains “on board” or active depends on each individual’s duration of insulin action. Talk with your healthcare provider to determine your duration of insulin action. The OmniPod System continually calculates the IOB to help prevent stacking of correction bolus doses, which is a major cause of hypoglycemia. 

* We currently have Nate's PDM set so that his IOB stays active for 5 hours. 

* The Reverse Correction is turned on for Nate's pod.  This is a feature that I love and feel like really keeps Nate from dropping to low. 

Reverse correction (negative correction)
Using an individual’s correction factor (sensitivity factor), the reverse correction is a calculation that reduces a portion of a meal bolus dose when the patient’s blood glucose level is below their blood glucose target. This feature is an option of the PDM, which should be turned on or off according to the advice of a healthcare provider.

*  Nate is only 21-months so he does not have huge insulin needs.  His basal rates change throughout the day and the night so we love all of the different basal rates available. Here are his current settings:

* My most important tip is for site changes!  I actually got the idea from Tracy and her brave boy, Zane. We give Nate a Dum-Dum lollipop during site change and it makes the entire ordeal almost a non-issue.  Nice!

I know there are many out there that have been pumping and podding longer than we have that can offer more advice, tips and tricks but I just wanted to answer some of the questions that I received via email, comments and Facebook.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

OmniPod, OmniPod - Oh How I Love Thee!

Nate has been pumping or podding since March 1st and I now cannot imagine handling his diabetes any other way.  Multiple Daily Injections (MDI) are a thing of our past.  Podding has made our lives so much easier, so much more flexible and made Nate's bg numbers so much better.  Diabetes is still here and is still difficult. We still count carbs, measure food, and check Nate's blood sugar 12 to 14 times per day.  We still get up with him 3 times per night to check his bg but the OmniPod is making everything easier.

We still keep Nate on a pretty tight schedule but if we get delayed or held up or just run late it's ok.  No more NPH to cause terrible lows when we run a few minutes behind.  No more rigid schedule in fear that we may not get Nate's meal prepared before the NPH peaks and he crashes.

To date there are 2 major things we have now done with Nate that I cannot imagine doing since his diagnosis and before he started pumping.

The 1st is our trip to Iowa.  We obviously would have gone with or without diabetes but the pod made the trip so much easier.  The day that we left, Nate was recovering from a horrific stomach bug that had kept us up most of the night due to his vomiting.  The days that followed were not easy.  He had NO appetite, would not eat, and was still suffering from a few other symptoms that I will not go into here.  Let's just say if we did get him to eat, he was losing a lot of the carbs pretty quickly.  We were stressed to the max with an all night drive on no sleep, driving non-stop in fear we would not make it to Iowa in time, then once we arrived we spent most of our days and evenings in the hospital with Jim's mom and the rest of his family.  Certainly not ideal conditions for a little one with diabetes.  The crazy good thing is that Nate was ok. We were able to set some temp basals, reduce his boluses and he did great!!  We did great!!  Hey, I'm just going to go ahead and say it - - - I rocked it!

The last time Nate had a tummy bug was just weeks after his dx and we ended up back in the hospital for 3 days.  Tummy bugs and diabetics are not a good combination but with the pod it is certainly more manageable.

The 2nd thing is not quite as big but since Nate's dx I have not wanted to spend any time at our lake house.  It is about 90 miles away from our house and about 60 miles away from civilization.  If anything were to happen there we would have a long drive back to Dallas because there in no one out there that would be able to help with Nate's diabetes.  The closest hospital is the one I went to when I had my miscarriage and there was no one that could even do a sonogram to confirm the miscarriage.  I'm going to go ahead and guess that they do not have a pediatric endocrinologist on staff and they probably don't even have anyone that would have a clue what to do with such a tiny person with Type1.

Well, we packed up our bags this weekend and headed 90 miles south and spent some time at the lake and it was great!  No shots, no worry about the rigid schedule, we didn't have to plan the drive at a certain time so that we could feed Nate at a certain time and all that blah, blah, blah that came with the NPH and the MDI.  It was awesome.  It was fun. It was relaxing.

Nate does always get his own suitcase for all D supplies everywhere we go but even that has become easier with the pod.  The funny thing about this trip is that I packed Nate's D bag with all of his supplies, Emma's bag full of clothes, Sophie's bag full of clothes and my bag with all of my clothes but I forgot to pack any clothes for Nate!!  The good news is that we had all of his D supplies but the bad news was he had to wear his sister's pretty, pretty princess nightgown for night-night!

The hard parts of D are still with us.  That will never change.  We roll with it and do the best that we can to care for him and keep his blood glucose in check but we have days were the meter says HIGH and we have days where the meter says LOW.  We have days where I cry and we have days where he cries.  We have days where we both cry.  Diabetes is not an easy disease.  It is hard on his body and it is hard on my mind.

The pod is making the management easier and his numbers better but with the pod has come more bg checks.  We check Nate's bg all day --- before meals, after meals, before and after snacks, before he goes to bed and as soon as he wakes up and anytime in between where we feel he may be high or low.  We also check him at 10:00 PM, 12:00 AM and 3:00 AM and if one of those number is low we stay up until it is up, if one of those numbers is high, we stay up until it is down.  I've had a lot of people ask me when we will be able to stop checking him at night and the simple answer is NEVER.  The risk it too great.  In the last 2 months there have been 2 young boys in the DOC (diabetes online community) that have passed away due to type 1 complications.  I cannot begin to imagine the heartbreak.  These are families that know diabetes, that do what we do and yet sometimes this silent killer takes our children even when we do everything right.  Therefor, as I pray for comfort for the families that have lost their precious children I will also continue to check my precious son throughout the day and all through the night and thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity to get up and check him even at 3:00 in the morning.

* This post was originally written to be a super positive tribute to the OmniPod but my heart is heavy tonight as I think about the families that have lost their children so my post made a slight detour.
Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gone From My Sight

Geraldine Blanche Houston
'Grandma Geri'
April 17, 1937 - March 13, 2010

I do not yet have the ability to write what needs to be said about my amazing mother-in-law but we were given this poem & I think it is all that needs to be said at this time.

Gone From My Sight

I am standing upon a seashore. A Ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"

Gone from my sight.  That is all.  She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear the load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not her.  And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"   There are eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"

And that is dying.

--- Henry Van Dyke

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Save the Date to Walk with Nate

Hello Friends,

As you know our son, Nate was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in September of 2009. As we approach the 6-month mark of his diagnosis we are gearing up for the annual JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Walk for a Cure. We would love to have 100 of our closest friends and family walk to support Nate in his journey with Type 1.

If you would like to walk with Nate, please email me at HoustonWeHaveAProblem@verizon.net and I will add you to our growing list. The walk is a lot of fun for the entire family. They have food, balloons, bounce houses and then there is the 5K walk that will be so much more fun if you are there.

It would be amazing if we could get 100 people to walk with Nate and raise money for finding a cure.

Please help us support Nate and find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes –

With love,

The Houston Family

Jim, Laura, Emma, Sophie and Nate

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pumping, Good Grief & HOPE

Well, we did it.  Nate is now officially on the OmniPod Insulin pump. Yea Nate!

He wore the the OmniPod all weekend filled with saline so that I could get comfortable bolusing for all his meals and he could get used to wearing the device.  Personally, I think we both did great!  

Yesterday we met Jessica and family downtown at CMC to get this pumping started.  Nate and Liam both tolerated their site changes and Jessica and I both passed the pump test with flying colors.  Can I just say 1 more time how awesome it is to be going through this with Jessica and Liam? AWESOME. 

Good Grief.
I decided to place Nate's pod on his bum and cover it with IV3000.  Unfortunately, the major blow out that he has after dinner required a bio-hazard suit and a site change! Good Grief!  So, lesson learned - - - Wait for bum sites until after potty training or invest in a lot more IV3000.  After the blow out I moved the pod to his arm and he is doing quite well with it there.


All in all Day 1 went pretty well (except for the bio-hazard incident).  Nate's basal rate is set at 0.15 units from 12a-12a so he experienced some highs yesterday but no ketones.  We noted the high times and will make the necessary modifications today. 

I stayed up most of the night to check his bg and watch him breathe.  He was high at midnight so I made a correction, he was in good range at 3:00 AM but was low by 6:00 AM so we definitely have some tweaking to do.  We will get there.  One day at a time.

I am hoping that pumping makes things better for Nate.  I am hoping that we made the right decision. I am hoping that this will help Nate live a very long life. Most of all I am hoping for a cure! 

Emma and Sophie are also hoping for a cure for their sweet baby brother!

Just a Mom

I am NOT a doctor, nor do I play one on this blog.

I AM a wife.
I AM the mom of 3 wonderful children.
I AM my son's pancreas.

The information provided on this blog is from our personal experiences with Type 1 diabetes. Because something works for us does not mean it will work for you.

Please consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your health care options.

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