Tuesday, November 6, 2018

#DAM Drinking Plan

#practicalJoe #adrinkingplan?

A couple of weeks ago, in the car, on our way to hockey...

'Well I don't like carbonation, so no beer.'

'Joe, there are other types of alcohol.'

'I don't see any point in drinking, it seems dumb ... and it costs money.'

While I appreciate his 15 year old views on alcohol consumption and his aversion to all things carbonated, this is a conversation that will need to be re-visited over the years.

'Joe, you may change your mind. I know how things go.... You may try drinking at some point. The important thing is that you have a plan.'

He was looking down at his phone...I think I lost him😔.

But, I kept going. This topic...is another anxiety inducing topic for me. You see, the liver is not a great multi-tasker. The liver can be helpful if you are having a low blood sugar, it helps release glucose into the bloodstream. But, if alcohol enters the picture, the liver moves detoxifying the alcohol to priority number 1. This can cause severe hypoglycemia ... add in that you might be passed out drunk...in the early morning hours; this is an extremely dangerous situation.

'If you do decide to drink, you will need a "plan". It is something we should talk to your doctor about. The plan may be as simple as eating an extra snack before going to bed, or checking your number more often, or not drinking on an empty stomach....'

(I think I talk too much)🤔

As the "drinking plan" discussion came to a quiet end, I realized "the drinking plan" sounds like way too much responsibility for a partying, possibly inebriated college-aged male.

Who am I kidding!? I'm humbled.

#makediabetesvisable #t1d

Monday, November 5, 2018

#DAM D' Drama

#d'rama on day 5 of DAM ...one would think having a month dedicated to awareness should be enough.


11:30-something last night...while I was sleeping...

I hear a 'I've been low for hours...had 4 juices...stomach doesn't feel good'...my eyes snap open👀. Joe has a death ate a cracker look to him. His number is hovering in the 50s and 60s. The only thing I can do here, is to turn his pump off for a couple of hours and pray to all that is good and holy that he doesn't have a GI Bug.

2:17 a.m. - The retching sounds let me know that the good and holy unleashed the bad and evil. 🤮
Since, we have checked blood sugars every 2 hours, ketone checks every 4 hours, hydrated and bolused insulin as aggressively as his BG allows.

A GI illness can (and has) meant a trip to the ER for Joe. For a person with t1d, GI illnesses, common colds, and influenza can be dangerous and can lead to hospitalization and even death.  

#getaflushot #washyourhands #stayhomewhenyouaresick
#makediabetesvisable #t1d

Sunday, November 4, 2018

#DAM Fall Back

#theoneeye 👁️

Many nights, that's all it requires; one eye. There's an internal 2-ish a.m. alarm in me. I wake. Eyes closed, I fumble for the phone on my nightstand. My right eye reluctantly opens. It scans the Dexcom app to make sure he is at an ok number.

The app will alarm if he goes below 70 or above 300. I don't have it on for other deviances, like if it loses signal or rapid drops and climbs...if I did, it would alarm all.the.time.

Last night was a good night to sleep. #thankful
#makediabetesvisible #t1d #needtotweakbasalrate

T1d people change time on your pumps! 🕑🔄

Saturday, November 3, 2018

#DAM The 9 Lives of Joe

I have many fears re: Joe and diabetes. One of them is he goes into an empty locker room while low. I worry he'll lose consciousness and no one will find him for awhile.

A week, or so, ago...

At the end of hockey practice, Joe headed into the locker room. His Dexcom picked up his signal. The CGM app alarmed 43 and arrow diagonal down.

I sat on a bench in the rink's warm room, my eyes glued to the locker room door ....hoping, wishing I'd see him any moment ..how long should I wait? Another 2, 4, 5 minutes? Then what? Send in some random guy to see if he's still conscious?

😩*Joe would KILL me* 😬

So, I waited some more. Then, finally, I saw him lumbering out of the locker room. My heart.

#makediabetesvisable #t1d

Friday, November 2, 2018

#DAM Broom Closet Bolusing

While I admired his initiative, a broken insulin pump, mid-vacation, at 7:30pm, on a weekend is not a time for amateur hour.

This past summer...during vacation...while we were eating dinner with family...

Joe's pump failed. He excused himself from the dinner table to replace the pump. He's been independently changing pump sites since he was 9. So, when I heard the 'Mom, I need help!' yelled down the stairs, I was surprised 😳.

As I entered the bedroom, Joe gave me the lowdown. He apparently tried to change his pump, but the pump had malfunctioned, gave an error message requiring a call to the company. Joe apparently looked up the pump company's number on his phone. He called the pump company where he and the representative attempted to revive the pump to no avail. 😳 I guess it was at this point the pump company rep realized Joe was a minor...🙄

'Mom, you need to call them back...they need to talk to someone over 18 to ship out a new pump.' 😑
🤐(*#$ #@$& $@&#)🤐

The abbreviated version of what transpired after: I called Omnipod. Pump was broken. 😑 They overnighted one to us on vacation. Which was actually two days.. because late hour on a weekend day😢. Luckily (or maybe not) I brought a 9 year old, discontinued "back-up" pump. 😟 PROBLEM...pump LED light could only be barely seen in pitch-black broom closets🤬...and piston sounded bogged down (by sand?)😵. Anyways, I decide to go the shot route for basal insulin and plug him into pump for boluses. PROBLEM...we didn't have basal insulin. Called on-call MD for Lantus order. Ran to pharmacy to get Lantus and syringes. Next two days consisted of broom closet bolusing 🤓and a shot of Lantus.
#omnipod #animas #makediabetesvisible #t1d #travelingw/t1d

Thursday, November 1, 2018

#DAM It Is Not

12 long years ago Diabetes Awareness month became a 'thing' I think about on November 1st. He's living well. He's strong. He's grown up ahead of his years. I don't say much about it these days, in part because everyone has their 'thing'...know this, we are still here doing fingersticks, counting carbs, dosing insulin, battling highs and lows day in and out. We make it look easy. It is not.


Reyna Tosta Maher's photo.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Mirror

As we walked side-by-side through the parking garage into the hospital yesterday, his 6' frame towering over me...he said 'I don't really even think about having diabetes except on Endo days and sometimes when I have to check a number.'



He then went onto say something that briefly caused my eyes to sting.  He said, 'it's weird, but when I look in the mirror...I don't see my POD anymore.  I don't see the CGM.  I just see me.' 

When Joe thinks of himself, he says diabetes doesn't even enter his definition of who he is.

The Endo appointment went well.  Joe continues to do the majority of his care.  He is an active high school freshman and manages to juggle school, being an athlete, and managing diabetes successfully.  His A1C was 7.  A fine number considering his growth and his independence.

He turns 15 at the end of April.  We discussed his drivers permit with his endocrinologist.  You see, driving with diabetes adds another element of risk to just the act of driving.  People with t1d need Medical Clearance Paperwork, in order to get their driver's permit or license.  When Joe starts to drive, he should check a blood glucose prior to driving and every hour if he is driving for more than an hour's time.  He should not drive unless his blood glucose is 90mg/dL, or higher.  Driving low is more dangerous than driving inebriated.

I'm not sure how I am doing with all of this.  Actually, that's a lie.  I do know how I've been doing.  I've been fairly anxious.  High school has been more of an adjustment for me...than for him; I think.  I have had to back off as a hands-on pancreas and trust that I have taught him well.  I have.  Can I just say, at this age, sometimes having that damn Dexcom is a blessing and a curse all in one.  Watching his blood sugar remotely can cause my mascara-fringed eyeballs to bulge outta their orbits when his number is tanking to the 40's, while he is at school or at a hockey practice.  There isn't a darn thing I can do to help him.  I watch.  I wait.  I worry, then I hope and I trust things will be OK.

A day-in-the-life update.