Thursday, April 29, 2010

Slowly letting go

I have been volunteering at my kids school for years now.  One of the things that we do is parents prepare meals for the students. Today was one of those days.  

First thing this morning I packed up my car with all of the goodies.  We had eggs, bacon, hash browns and fruit.  The smell in my house of  warm bacon was a killer. 

I got to school and hauled all of the food up to the kitchen.  Two other parents met me and we began getting everything cooked. As noon approached, food was flying and everyone had pitched in to ensure that the students had a nice hot meal to eat.  I was in charge of scrambling eggs and rarely came up for breath until all of my mixture was cooked. We had a wonderful system in place and everyone seemed to really enjoy the food they were given. 

After everyone was fed, I sat down for a few minutes to catch a breath before we started on the clean up.  We chatted amongst ourselves and then dug into the washing.  Dishes were piled up but slowly we got through them all. There were very few leftovers and one staff member complimented me on the my ability to get just the right quantity.  I was secretly rather impressed as well! 

Soon everything was back to normal and people returned to their routine.  As I was picking up my stuff and heading towards my car it hit me...I never ran down to Liam's classroom!

I have been helping out with meals for years as I said. When Liam started school I made sure that I was almost always there so that he would have an accurate carb count on his meal. I would tell him how much for the fruit.  I would have looked at all of the ingredients and told him what to bolus for the portion he received.  Today I didn't do that.  Today I left him to count his own carbs. Today he didn't have his mother hovering over him.  Today his mother never entered his classroom to "check" and see if he had the carbs right. Today Mom let go that little bit. Today Mom left him to make his own mistakes or better yet, his own accurate decisions.    

I was proud of me.  Everyone says that I hover too much.  They think that he needs to learn to do more on his own.  Its a slow process. The consequences of errors are too much for me to let go completely but this is a wonderful first step. He is filling out his log book now so soon I will see how close today's calculations really were!  

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My teacher tried to take away my pump!

"Mom! My teacher tried to take my pump away today."
"Yeah, I was in class and my pump went off. I had a low battery so I took it out to turn off the alarm. She walked by and said I'll take that!"
"What did you do?"
"I said, No problem but its kind of attached!"
"What did she do?" 
"She looked at the tubing and then turned around and said Oh."
"Hasn't she seen your pump before?"
"Nope, I usually have her right after lunch and don't need to take out my pump."

Well I guess we know who gets a "Bad Mom" award this week. School is almost over and I never did get around to having the in-service for my son's school.  It was to be done at the beginning of the year because we were getting three new teachers on a staff of about seven.  The teacher that would be handling my son's class however was not hired until almost Christmas.  We were going to do it just before Christmas.  We were going to do it just after Christmas.  I guess we will do it next year! 

It is all my fault.  I have only two children to worry about.  The principal has entire school to deal with.  He has other issues to deal with...okay so do I but diabetes is pretty high up there on my list.  In my defense, I was having a lot of difficulties with my son's academic behavior at the beginning of school this year and his diabetes care was a battle between the two of us.  I really didn't have the extra energy to keep fighting to educate everyone else. 

Yep, bad, bad Mom.  This same bad, bad mom has to do a presentation this week to a class of students wishing to be teachers' aids.  I have my work cut out for me.  I supposedly did a great presentation last year.  I know we took up a lot of time, no one was bored and they seemed to learn a lot.  You would think that I would have kept a presentation like that since it went so well.  Well you can think it but I have taken apart my computer and found log books from six years ago but no presentation from last year on dealing with a child with diabetes in school.  Darn!

Tomorrow its back to the drawing board.  I have to remember what they should know, what they are required, what they may want to know, and what they should ask about. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Have you ever had one of those weeks?

Have you ever just had one of those weeks? You know, a week that just seems like a never-ending rollercoaster? 

Monday started a fresh and busy week. I had one day to recover from being away for two weeks and try to get work sorted out that had been left to pile up.  It turns out the laundry had also piled up in that time but being me, it didn't manage to get finished until Thursday.  Besides web work and housework, there was also getting prepared for our regular diabetes clinic appointment. Like so many others, I dread those days.  They feel worse than report card days.  As much as I may like our team, you always go in not sure if you will pass or fail this time around. 

Before we could go in I had to write down four days worth of food consumption and blood glucose readings.  Remember I said that I had been away?  Well those four days reflect more junk food than we normally have in a year.  It showed desserts for breakfast and blood glucose levels inflated by high fat meals and inactivity due to extended periods of travel.  In other words, the nutritional values and the readings that followed were horrid.  I knew exactly what the problem was and two days after those logged days, readings were back in range. In fact they were going from sky high to basement nightmares. 

The nightmares began on Monday night.  All of that catching up caught up with me and I was good and tired when I hit the pillow. I had to be up bright and early in the morning so of course sleep was not easy to find. To add insult to injury, I would only sleep for two hours maximum before waking up.  At one o'clock I refused to get up.  I knew I would wake at three. I would get up and test my son then. Two more hours would make all of the difference to me and I was confident that all would be fine. As if I had an alarm set, at 3am I was back up and off to grab a kit and test a child.  I stumbled up the stairs, dug for a finger and waited the five seconds for the results. 2.9 (52)! What the???????? Okay this was going to be a long night! I grabbed a glass of juice, fed it to him and waited.  They tell you 15 and 15 but we are of the old school and at nights waiting 20 minutes usually results in a reading in range and no high afterwards from over treating the low. 

Fifteen minutes became twenty and I went to retest.  He had gone up but it was only to 3.2 (58).  Glucose tablets would work better I decided so up I went again, bottle in hand to try and feed tablets to a sleeping young man.  He eventually ate and I watched the clock once again.  I had already changed his low insulin cartridge and done some tidying up while waiting for the last retest so this time I decided to try reading without my glasses.  That was a challenge that I would not recommend doing again. My eyesight is terrible and fighting to see the fine print of a novel at what was quickly becoming 4am was not a lot of fun. Finally it was time to test again and he was in range.  I could breathe and more importantly sleep...or so I thought. Because I had to be up in the morning, I tossed and turned until well after five before sleep finally arrived. 

Tuesday did not get any brighter.  We had a wonderful, sunny day for our drive into the diabetes clinic.  There were a few other errands to be run that day including getting my oldest child access to his bank account and get him to the Motor Vehicle Department to try for his learners permit.  The banking was a snap.  In no time I was teaching him how to deposit his pay cheque and we were off to head to the next town to see our diabetes team.  The permit would be dealt with after the doctor's.  

When planning my day I had forgot to allow time for lunch so I resorted to racing through a McDonald's drive-thru. I had just read a blog about a happy meal one year later and was very nervous about eating there but I needed to eat now!  This McDonald's did not care.  They took my money and then had me park beside three other cars.  This was not a good sign.  By the time they brought us our food I had ten minutes to eat, get to the hospital and find a parking place.  Our hospital has horrible parking.  That could take ten minutes in itself on a good day! I told my kids to eat as I drove.  I hoped that I would get to nibble something so that the growling in my stomach would be down to a dull roar before we went in to meet everyone. 

We made it into the office on time and of course were left waiting for them.  The good news was his A1c was down. It was not exactly where I would have liked and higher than I had expected because his readings had been pretty good before the blood draw (yes we still have to have a venous blood draw for A1c testing) but I was okay with it.  I have a rule that as long as we are under 7% I will not be upset.  It may change as puberty advances but so far we have been able to live by this rule without much of a problem. I freak out at the appropriate times and am okay for the rest. 

After all of the sessions with nurse, dietitian and doctor, we headed over to the Motor Vehicles Branch.  It had a lovely sign that said "Written Tests only done on Fridays". What? Who comes up with this? This is the big office. Its where stuff from our little local office goes. What gives with this? My son wanted to register his off-road vehicle at the same time but we decided instead to hightail it back to the next town to try and get a learners test in before the office closed. As we headed down the highway, my son called a number of his friends who confirmed what he should have already known...the tests are Monday through Thursday, 9am until 2:30pm.  In other words we should have done it after the bank not after the doctor's.  No permit.  No registration. No happiness felt in the car and we still had to wait six more hours before we could go home because drivers education classes were held on Tuesday nights and my oldest had a class.  

We shopped.  We sat.  I read. One child slept.  Finally the night ended and we collapsed at home.  This night I was going to enjoy some real sleep! Wrong.  Once again, I woke up.  This time it was a little earlier in the night.  I wanted to go back to sleep and test him a little later but static on my baby monitor would not let me fall asleep.  Whenever I thought of going back to sleep it would get louder. I decided that I would take the hint and headed up the stairs to test once again.  Once again I saw the dreaded number.  He was again 2.9(52).  I had another basal rate to change.  I went through the same routine as the night before but thankfully this one responded a little quicker and I was able to get to sleep before 5am.  

That was a good thing because in the morning I had to bring a urine sample to the hospital because my son had been living with diabetes for over ten years now. This meant it was time for his kidneys to be checked. We had also decided to get the learners test over with and do that right after stopping at the hospital.

Wednesday night would be my reprieve.  I had reduced all of the basals and with my children at their father's for the night, I would be able to sleep. Yeah right.  I was sucked into a tv show that had me up later than I had planned.  I then foolishly opened a novel that I had to finish because just past the 3/4s mark I was positive I had read it before and now had to be sure.  It was 1:30am before I killed the lights and put the book down.  At  seven I was awake and waiting for my son  to return home before he headed off to school.  That had become his routine and today was no different. 

Thursday I waited to find out how the night readings had been. Their father will test at night but the recheck of a low usually does not happen and scares the crap out of me.  As he was writing down readings, my son turned to me and said "Do you notice that when I am at Dad's I don't have the highs or lows at night that you are always fighting with?"  I responded that there was a reason for that. "I do what I can to "fix it" before you go there because I don't want those problems when you are there."  He responded that it was a good thing because his father would be too tired and he had to go to work in the morning.  I said what about me? Do you think I lay in bed all day?  The response was "No but he has to leave the house to work.  You know? He goes out to work and its hard work."  Okay that is not the thing to say to a sleep deprived mother who has been running around all week as the personal chauffeur to two young men. He cut his losses and the conversation quickly died. 

Since I didn't have to worry about the pressures of a 9-5 job, I returned to my lax job of working online that I had began at 8am and was still working on well after 8pm.  As I was reading, researching, and wading through information, I came across reference to the Ning network.  This was a social networking platform that I had recently begun to use.  Rather than worry about restarting my online support list, I had decided that this would be a much better venue..and its free! Well, it was. Until today! It seems that new management as come in and my great new avenue of social networking has been closed as fast as it opened! I have no idea what I am going to do and after this week? Well it might be a few days before a final decision is made.  Grrr. I hope next week is filled with a few more highs...and not high blood glucose levels. 

Friday, April 9, 2010

My ideal glucometer

I am quickly going out of my mind. I know its a very short trip but I have been going through an ongoing battle with my son and I am losing it.  I am the logging queen. I must see numbers, readings, activity and food written down.  I want to get a visual with a pen. I want to be able to make marks and notes all over the page.  I want to look, calculate, examine and make decisions based on what I can see on pages of paper.  

My son is not a logger.  He is fine with testing, bolusing and will most likely grow up making changes based on what he knows or remembers.  He is much more relaxed and casual about such things.  This means that when Mom requires data to be written down its a battle of wills. He will put things off for days and days.  When he does finally sit down and start to copy information down he tends to miss a lot and take hours and hours to do.  My nerves get fried.  Life goes downhill fast. 

I have decided that maybe a great meter would be my answer.  I am getting bored of the meters we have.  We have a Contour but I don't like using it at night because there is no backlight.  My son likes it because there is no coding and I admit that is a great selling feature for me as well.  I loved our Freestyle meters but they went through batteries so quickly.  The Nano allowed us to mark readings as post-meal or pre-meal readings but their awesome lighting also is a drain on battery power.  There is the Ultra Minis.  They come in awesome colors but again I have problems testing at night with them and hate how they suck up blood.  Someone suggested going back to the Ultra Smart.  I am thinking about it. It allowed us to input all sorts of great stuff. It had cool graphs that might work with my son. You could put in carbs and exercise.  The downside was it does not allow for the extra small bolusing that smart pumps now do.  I don't know. I think someone should create a wonderful new meter for control freak moms and lax teens. 

The meter would have the "cool" features that make teens text day and night. Instead of texting they would be engaged enough to note bolus amounts and food intake.  It would let moms see trending and make basal or carb to insulin changes.  We would all be happy. The backlight and 3am testing would be a cinch. Batteries would not die after two months of real use.  It would not be the size of a suitcase.  It would not require coding.  Blood would be attracted to it and a small drop of blood would be all that was required. The meter would have great colors to further attract the kids and make parents smile.  They would be unique enough that you would want to take it with you everywhere. You would not lose it because you would just have to bring it along. 

Yep a meter with the appeal of an iPod or a cell phone.  Ah the wonderful dreams! Too bad we don't have any of these things. Back to fighting over logging and grumbling about meters at 3am.