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!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Every 3 days

Diabetes is always here.

Every day.

I wake up to diabetes before I wake up to my children.  The 1st thing I do with my sleepy eyes and groggy head is check Nate's blood sugar then bolus for breakfast.  Obviously I eat, breathe and sleep diabetes but it's all routine.

It's become part of our lives.

Eat. Sleep. Bolus.

Routine.

It's just become pretty routine.

Not always an easy routine but after 2 years it's become routine nonetheless.

But every 3rd day . . .

I dread the 3rd day.

Pod change day.

We have to change Nate's pod every 3 days.  It's not hard.
You take it out, fill it up, prime it, stick it on and POP it.  Sounds easy enough right?

I dread pod change day.

It has nothing to do with the OmniPod.  I think I would hate site change day even more if we didn't have the OP but I really just dread the 3rd day.

I usually change Nate's pod at night when he is sleeping (see videos below for why).  Maybe because it is the end of the day, I'm tired and it's just one more thing I have to do. Or maybe it's because I can't stand the smell of insulin, or looking at the big giant syringe that fills the pod.  It could be because I know how much Nate hates this day.  He screams, he cries, he begs and pleads.  I take it in stride but I think maybe that could be what makes me dread it so much.  Even when he is sleeping and he barely stirs --- I know.  I know how much he hates it.

Every 3rd day I also give thanks for the wonderfulness of the OmniPod.  This wonderful little medical device makes the days in between pod change days so much more bearable.

Bittersweet loving something so much that keeps my son alive yet causes him such anguish.

Warning:  This video is hard to watch.  We had to do 2 pod changes in 1 day (Nate and Pancake were playing a little too rough and we lost a pod).  Nate was tired and absolutely did not want to have his pod put on him.  I've worn the pod on numerous occasions and although there is a loud pod when the needle inserts the cannula for me the pain in more like a small (very bearable) pinch. Granted --- I am a 38 year old woman and he is a 3 year old little boy.




Afterwards I asked him a few questions:




Keep calm and OmniPod on . . .