Thursday, December 8, 2011

Failing Nate



Today was Nate's 3 month endocrinologist visit otherwise known as my diabetes report card.
I am perfectly aware that I should not feel as if it is my report card but please be honest here, folks.  Who of us does not feel this way?  Raise you hand?  Yep, that's what I thought.

Nate's a1c this summer was 6.6, in the fall it crept up to 7.2 and today it was up to 8.3.  It hasn't been that high in well over a year. To say that I was devastated would be an understatement. I left the office in tears barely able to hold myself together to drive Nate and myself home before having a full on breakdown in the privacy of my room.

Yes, I fell apart.

And Yes, I read this article today by Dr. Ponder . . . Diabetes is more than about test results, numbers

It didn't help.

It doesn't matter the reason ---

Yes, Nate is going through a growth spurt, and he has been sick for 3 weeks and we run him higher at school, and he's a pod remover and a food sneaker.  Our nurse practitioner listed off all of the reasons. He told me we really didn't need to make any changes --- he's just a growing boy and this is what happens to growing boys.  I'm sure he hated seeing the tears roll down my face but I couldn't help it! None of those things matter to me.  I feel that I am failing him.  I've had a few days of diabetes burn out and now those days are seared in my brain as the worst mommy days ever.

Failing Nate is not an option.  This is serious business.  He will have this stupid disease his entire life minus14-months.


Complications

By Mayo Clinic staff
Type 1 diabetes can affect nearly every major organ in your child's body, including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. The good news is that keeping your child's blood sugar level close to normal most of the time can dramatically reduce the risk of these complications.
Long-term complications of type 1 diabetes develop gradually. Eventually, if blood sugar levels aren't well controlled, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening.
  • Heart and blood vessel disease. Diabetes dramatically increases your child's risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke, narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure, later in life.
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy). Excess sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish your child's nerves, especially in the legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain. Nerve damage usually happens gradually, over a long period of time.
  • Kidney damage (nephropathy). Diabetes can damage the numerous tiny blood vessel clusters that filter waste from your child's blood. Severe damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.
  • Eye damage. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy). Diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. Diabetes can also lead to cataracts and a greater risk of glaucoma.
  • Foot damage. Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can become serious infections.
  • Skin conditions. Diabetes may leave your child more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial infections, fungal infections and itching.
  • Osteoporosis. Diabetes may lead to lower than normal bone mineral density, increasing your child's risk of osteoporosis as an adult.
  • Brain problems. Although the exact reason for the link isn't clear, people with diabetes have an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

All of that is on me right now.

Failing Nate is not an option ---- his life depends on me.

That is such a huge weight to carry ---- I can't screw this up.  There are no re-dos here, Laura!

15 comments:

Nicole said...

My dear dear SW,

I just wanted to let you know that I sooo understand the hurt and pain a A1C can do. You are doing a wonderful job for Nate and NEVER EVER EVER doubt that!!

Love ya lady!!

Kelly said...

I know nothing anyone says can change how you feel....just remember Nate IS such a young little boy, and for all the chaos raising a little one with Diabetes that A1c is AMAZING!!! ((HUGS)) I just wish you felt the same!!

We just had our highest A1c's EVER in 5 years....both Maddison and I, so I know how you feel. I cried too. Ours is because of pure "laziness" or "burnout" on my part...but if you are doing your best and everything right most days then that is really all that matters. Dont listen to that number! It isnt even close to the 9's and it isnt too low.......you are amazing!!!!

Alexis Nicole said...

Check texts for my thoughts. You did NOT fail.

Love you so much.

Nikki of Our Diabetic Warrior said...

Laura,
You are doing everything that you possibly can to take care of your son. You keep reminding yourself of that.

Nate is such a cutie!

Sometimes it takes a good cry to get ourselves back up and continue on the journey.

HUGS!!!!!!!!

Meri said...

I promise with everything in my entire soul...I promise on everything I hold holy...you are not...nor will you ever be failing Nate.

Children are protected from the damage of highs. I was told that by the head Pediatric Endo at UCSF/Stanford Medical Center. And you know what...I believe him. I think fighting constant lows is much more dangereous. I also thinking you are doing a wonderful job. You are an amazing mother. Nate is blessed to have you as a mother, and I am blessed to have you as a friend! Love you!

Stephanie said...

There is no way in hell you are failing Nate. I know it doesn't make it any easier, because we all definitely do feel like it is a "report card." But you and I and all the other d=moms are dealing with growing children. There is no way on God's green earth that we can be a perfect pancreas for them as they grow. This stuff happens, and I agree with Meri - preventing those lows is much more important than running a bit high as a child. HUGS, hugs and more hugs.

Princess LadyBug said...

You can never nor will you ever fail Nate. It's just not possible. You are taking this so hard because you love him. That right there is the win. That's what counts. That's what lasts.

Like I tell Lexi, I can't tell you what it's like to be a parent of a PWD or parent at all. But I can tell you what it's like to be a PWD. The hardest thing to accept is that no matter how much we try, no matter how much blood, sweat, & tears we put into it, diabetes is a roller coaster. I don't care if you have control so strict that your carbs don't even vary by a single digit from day to day. Your numbers are still going to go up & down. Why? Mostly because the Beetus is a b word I won't say. But also because everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about the human body is an ever-changing variable.

YOU are NOT failing Nate. Diabetes is failing him. His pancreas is failing him. You are keeping him alive & healthy until he can do it all by himself. You are loving him with a force so strong that this one single A1C is devastating to you.

I've had diabetes for 20 years. I've had A1C's a lot higher than that and I'm still here. Relatively, complication free. None of this is an exact science. You do the best you can with the tools that you have.

And I say Nate is damn lucky to have you. So are we. :)

((((((Laura))))))

Leigh said...

I so get you, Laura. I always feel like I am failing Aiden too and I know we always comment on other people's A1C's "don't worry!! It's just a number" but I feel exactly the same way when I hear our number and even if it's "good" I know it was just because there were a few too many 50's or a 30 to jack up my satisfaction. But God Bless Meri to remind us about children being protected from the highs. Nate is an awesome little boy because of you and they will all will have a strong awesome lives because you are a rockstar of a mom who completely puts them first. So many of us come to you when we need to "keep calm and carry on". I am so thankful for you. So you are a rockstar and that is all. Many HUGS!! Love ya!!

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

I have been wondering and am so glad to hear the NPs response and guidance to you. I absolutely LOVE it. You respect him - you know he knows his stuff and would be truthful with you. I know this is not what you expected or wanted or is even reflective of your efforts, but you trust this man and he's telling you it's okay. I believe him, Laura. My wish is that you do too.

Penny said...

Hello sweet Laura. You are most certainly not failing Nate. Diabetes is a wicked taskmaster and we are just humans, trying to replicate an organ in the body. You are a wonderful, caring mother to your little boy and your girls. You are doing the same same as all of us, your best. Hold your head high my friend, it will all be well.

Cindy said...

Laura, I'm sending you big hugs and saying a few prayers for you and Nate tonight. Not because you're failing Nate though, because you most definitely are not failing him! I know it probably won't make much difference for you to know this, but those complications aren't something you have to worry about until after puberty. Until then, you just have to help Nate grow and learn and be a happy, active little boy. And you're doing freaking amazing with that! Hang in there, Laura. You really are doing an amazing job!

Denise aka 'Mom of Bean' said...

I hear you! That silly little (or not so little!) number can make it seem like we are the worst pancreases in the world.
But we know that we do what we can and sometimes it just doesn't work out like we want. Sure, it sucks...really, really sucks to know that sometimes our kids have to go through crap because we aren't perfect, but to beat ourselves up over it doesn't do a damn bit of good. (Totally talking to myself here, too!!!)
Sending you love and hugs!!

Anna said...

Laura-I didn't think there were any other moms harder on themselves than I am…not happy to be wrong about that! Honestly, I was going to call you to find out how you got his A1c's so low in the first place. I remember you telling me a while ago that you had gotten it under 7.5 and I didn't even know about the 6.6! We've only gotten down to a 7.8 so far and I feel like I've done everything humanly possible to get there! So, there are ups and downs. And yes the endo visit makes you feel like crap if the number isn't what you hoped. But, if you've gotten under 7 before, you can do it again. Just be sure to fill me in on how you did it.

Garidan said...

My daughter Maddalena is 3 years old now, and D took her at 14 months, as Nate.
You know, I feel you.
Sometimes we have to forgive ourself.
We would like to be mighty and perfect and have super powers for our childs, but we are humans and we not have enough means to "solve" diabetes as we would like.
Rest a little, and stand up again then.
A father

k2 said...

You didn't fail Nate, not at all!
Life isn't perfect, neither is life with diabetes. Growth spurts happen, life gets crazy and through it all, you pick yourself up by your boot straps and try again!
Also, if he had a 5ish a1c, he'd be blowing serious lows.
That's not good either. 8.3 isn't terrible, but it is DAMN frustrating!
Please remember all you've done right by Nate and his sisters - And please remember that YOU ROCK!