Sunday, April 25, 2010

Our new normal...

In this blog entry I will take you through a day in the life of Bekah (a six year old little girl with T1D) from her mom's perspective. Bekah was diagnosed with T1D on March 8, 2010. (look in the blog archive for her diagnosis story) Daily at 9:00ish AM Bekah gets up. She usually comes down stairs and gives me a hug and snuggles me for a few minutes while I sip my coffee. "Ok time to check you blood sugar." We go upstairs and retrieve all of the contents of her diabetes bag that lay strewn across my dresser from the night time checks and bring them down to the kitchen table to begin our morning regimen. She takes her lancing device which she affectionately calls "Hokey Pokey" and pricks her finger then squeezes to get a small puddle of blood. I put a strip in the glucometer and put it up to the blood. It beeps and Bekah grabs a tissue to blot the rest of the blood while we wait for the number appear. If the number is in the range (80-180) we don't need to do anything extra but if it's lower than 80 she drinks 4oz of juice or eats 4 Starburst candies or 15 jelly beans and we test again in 15 min. If it's higher than 200 I add and extra unit to the number of units of insulin I give her that morning with her breakfast. Bekah then picks out her breakfast. I measure and add up the number of grams of carbohydrate and do the math to figure out how much insulin to give her. (the ratio is constantly changing because her body is changing how it processes the sugar) Right now we are on a 1:15 ratio for breakfast and lunch and a 1:20 for dinner. Her breakfast usually consists of fruit and cereal. I measure the cereal (1 cup and 1/4 of rice crisps) and 8 oz of milk. That is usually 45 g of carbs and then if she has a cutie orange that is 8 or grapes are 1 carb each. For a 60g carb breakfast she gets 4 units of Novalog. I set the pen and give the injection. Sometimes she wants to even put the needle on the pen herself and other times she doesn't want much to do with it. It is so strange to think that one day she will be giving her self shots. After she has been given her insulin, Bekah can eat her breakfast. After breakfast we find a 15 carb snack to pack for school and walk to the bus stop.

At the bus stop I give her a hug and tell her to have a great day and as she is running to get on the bus I add "listen to your body". While she is at school my cell phone stays on my person. There is only a nurse at Bekah's school one day a week, so my phone is my life line to her if her BG gets weird. So far she has had no problems. I hope it stays that way! At 3:00 David and I go back to get Bekah at the bus stop. I always make a big sigh of relief as I watch her de-board the bus. We talk about her day, the letter of the week and who she played with at recess as we walk home. Once home, we unpack her back pack, taking care of papers and get her diabetes bag and put it on the table. She likes to pick out her lunch before we check her BG. After her lunch is picked out and placed nicely on a plate in front of her, we begin the same routine as we did for breakfast. She gets out "Hokey Pokey" and does the test mostly on her own while I do the math and get the pen ready with her bolus. She eats her lunch and goes out to play while I get dinner started.

Dinner is around 6:30. Bekah comes in from playing, washes her hands and goes right to doing a BG check. I get her plate ready, count carbs and get the pen ready. Usually at dinner she wants Daddy to do the injection so she climbs up on his lap and he gives her the insulin. (One thing we do in our home is we don't use the words "shot" or "injection" we call it "giving" or "getting" insulin just like any other medicine we just don't put an emphasis on the fact that this medicine is given through a shot that hurts) During dinner Bekah will remind me that she gets so many stickers (we do a sticker for each poke) and so many prizes (she gets a prize for each time she is extra brave and gives herself a poke, so far it's just for BG checks but eventually for insulin injections). After dinner we get out the sticker charts and the prize box.

We wait at least an hour after her dinner insulin to give her a bath. Getting ready for bed includes a BG check yet again, then a 15 carb snack. I have found Ritz Crackerfuls to be my favorite bed time snack. Bekah loves them and they have a really good protein, fat, carb, fiber content to keep her BG at a nice even place. (that's the theory anyway). Before bed she gets her Lantus. I draw that up in a syringe and she picks where she wants the shot. I giver her the shot, kiss her on the head and tell her that she is the bravest little girl in the world, then it's off to bed. At night we check Bekah's BG at least once at 2AM and sometimes a second time at 6 AM. Then the day begins again...

Some things that are part of our "new normal" are Bekah's Diabetes bag which includes, glucometer, test strips, lancing device, extra pen needles, extra lancets, extra syringes, glucogon (an injection for emergencies when she becomes unresponsive, we are hoping to never have to use it but she has to keep it with her), 15 carb snacks, juice boxes and other fast acting carbs and her insulin if we are going anywhere for a long period of time.

The photo at the top is of my counter top. I keep it organized to the T. I even threaten "off with their head" to anyone who dares to put anything that doesn't belong there or messes it up in any way. =)

I think the next blog will be a photo blog of all of the things that are part of our "new normal"

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