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.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Day in the Life

Today kicks off Diabetes Awareness Month and the JDRF has asked families affected by diabetes to take to the media to share their experiences with this disease. Unless you've spent some pretty serious time with us, most people don't really understand what goes into managing this beast. By "beast" I mean diabetes, of course:) I've lost count of the number of people, who, I'm sure, were well-intentioned, have said things like "Diabetes is a very manageable disease," or "Before you know it, you'll have the hang of this thing and life will get back to normal." I thought I would post a "day in the life" to give you a sense of what life with diabetes is like for us and Grace not so that you feel bad for us but, to get a sense of what families go through to give their kids any shot at "normalcy."

7am: I start making lunches. I count the carbohydrates in each item and place stickie notes on Grace's food so the school nurse knows how much insulin to give. Fruit is annoying because you need to weigh it and look up the carbs. I do but it slows me down trying to get breakfast on the table.

7:30am: Breakfast. Grace has a low carb b-fast b/c she runs high in the midmorning. I make an egg white omelet, toast, juice. Grace checks her blood sugar and we play a round of "guess what my sugar is!" I count the carbs and inject Grace with insulin. In the meantime the dog needs to go out. Luke can't find his socks, Tom lost his wallet and Grace is spazzing over the insulin. I let her know I hit her morning high sugar pretty hard with insulin-go right to the nurse if you feel low. I hope to myself I didn't hit it too hard.

8am: The kids head off to school and I head out for a run. I'm thankful for no call from the nurse while I ran. I was able to inhale, exhale, repeat for 45 minutes.

9am: Back at my desk I realize I haven't received paperwork from CHOP to complete our supplemental insurance application. Call CHOP and wait and wait and wait. Eventually decide email is easier.

10am: Look at supplies and realize I need to place an order for test strips and lancets. Call to place the order but have to wait 10 minutes on hold.

10:15am: School nurse calls. Grace is high again in the morning but tested negative for ketones. I'm relieved but annoyed. Can't get that number down but at least I didn't overdose on the insulin.

11:00am: Plug all Grace's blood sugar numbers into glucose buddy and attempt to figure out what doses need to be adjusted. Midmorning highs, lunchtime lows. Need to call the school nurse to discuss.

12:00 Nurse calls. Grace went low right before lunch. A low blood sugar is no good. No good at all. She at least took a juice from her desk while a teacher walked her to the office. She got scared because she was so shaky. Nurse lets me know she's ok but all I want to do is pick her up. Decide Grace would hate me forever for doing that so, instead, I fight back tears, take a deep breadth, and throw in a load of laundry. Curse diabetes under my breadth.

2:30 Walk up to school to pick the kids up. Relieved when Grace runs out happy to see me and no impromptu visit with the nurse to discuss the numbers.

3:30 Grace tests her blood sugar while I review her numbers for the day. We pick out a snack and I give a shot of insulin. I note the time because I can't get another "good number" before 5:30. Plan dinner for sometime after then.

4:00 Homework time. Grace is a crank, Is it because her sugar is low? High? Or she's just a crank. I go with a "crank."

5:30 Grace comes into the kitchen asking for a juice certain she is low. I always try and stay calm even when I see her pale, panicky face. Grab a chair for her, stop making dinner, grab a juice. At the last minute I remember to turn the burner down thus saving dinner. She settles on the sofa for a show. I can't see her face, only her back, so I check a few times to make sure she is alert and ok.

6:00 I count all the carbs in Grace's dinner and give her a dose of insulin. Grace only eats half of her dinner (not hungry on this night). I do a quick count and realize I have a deficit of 30 carbs I need to make up or her blood sugar will bottom out. I opt for another juice and fruit chewies.

7:30 Bath and bedtime. Before bed Grace checks her sugar. It needs to be over 100 before bed. We're at 100 on the nose. Rather than risk her going low in the night, we give a glucose tablet to bring it up some but not rocket it over 200.

8:00 Grace is in bed.

The day is over. Rest. Begin the same routine again tomorrow.

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