A Diabetes Blog to Stay Connected with Us

I'm going to use this blog to keep family, friends, and the occasional visitor up to date on how we are doing managing Grace's new diabetes diagnosis.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

This was one busy week for us at CHOP. On Monday we had our visit with Grace's therapist and on Thursday we had an appointment with Dr. G. Both appointments went so well. I swear I'm sleeping much better.

On Monday, we continued discussing how we can best help Grace accept her diagnosis. Grace played with a social worker while Tom and I talked strategy. We struggle the most in two areas: Grace's grumpiness and cranky behavior when she has a high blood sugar and taking an insulin shot in a reasonable amount of time. When Grace's sugar runs high, she is very emotional and irritable. In the past, I've treated this as a strictly behavioral issue. Simply put, it's behavior I find unacceptable. When discussing this, our therapist suggested a different approach. If Grace wants to crawl into my arms and have me hold her, I should do it. If Grace needs me to drop everything I'm doing to give her the attention she is demanding, I should do it. Some behaviors though, are just unacceptable. Hitting, being mean, rudeness, nastiness-not to be tolerated. We should also be sure we are using these moments to help her figure out how she feels when she is high, so she can tell us.

The other strategy we discussed was how to make insulin go more smoothly. Grace had been creating increasingly complicated rituals to put off getting her insulin. She needed her blanket, something to squeeze, a dog, a cat, another cat, Luke to make a funny face. It was taking upwards of 10 minutes to get her settled for a shot. Of course prolonging the inevitable was making her more and more anxious and were caught in a vicious cycle. Our therapist suggested a sticker reward chart. If she sits down and takes a shot quickly, she gets a sticker for her chart. Insulin should be like flossing--a little uncomfortable but something we need to do. I was floored how quickly Grace took the system. I'm looking at a wall of stickers in my kitchen. For now, problem solved.

On Thursday we got great news at the doctors. Grace's A1C blood test was fantastic. The test monitors progress overs a 3-month period in how we are managing the diabetes. The doctor *hopes* for around a 7. We came in at 6.1. The doctor's smile was HUGE--he was positively giddy with that number. The only thing we need to do differently is deal with Grace's lows. Recently, Grace has had a lot of lows. Practically every afternoon and before bed she goes low. So we're going to adjust her long-last insulin (levemir) and see if that helps.

Grace told me she likes Dr. G because he's so nice to kids. I like Dr. G because he's so nice to kids and freakin' smart. He and his practice took us from an A1C test score of over 14 to a 6.1. He commented that we've reached the part where we are controlling the diabetes rather than it controlling us. I do feel we've made that transition and while all the bumps have not nearly gone away, we are settling into some sense of normalcy.

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