Tuesday, November 9, 2010

6 Things

For D blog day, this years topic is: 6 things you want people to know about Diabetes. I have more like 600 things I'd like you to know, but I guess I can narrow it down......maybe.....

1) Type 1 Diabetes is an Autoimmune disease, meaning the body turns against itself. In T1 Diabetes the body's immune system continually attacks and destroys the Beta cells in the Pancreas which produce Insulin. Again, Maddison's white blood cells recognized the insulin producing cells in her pancreas as "foreign"; the white blood cells launched an attack and decimated the beta cells; the insulin producing cells. Insulin is a hormone that you cannot live without. It allows your body to derive energy from carbohydrate containing foods. Insulin is the ONLY treatment for Type 1 Diabetes. (Stolen from Reyna's blog)

2) The question "Is Maddison's Diabetes controlled?" is one that makes Parents with Diabetic kids SCREAM inside. Technically speaking, if my child is alive, then YES, her Diabetes is "controlled" because it hasn't killed her. Your "control" of blood sugars isn't always based on your efforts, or knowledge of the Disease. "Control" doesn't come from eating "the right" foods or "exercising" enough. Control comes from matching insulin needs to BODY requirements, and that is always changing!!

3)Oh yeah...let me say it again.....Diabetes/Insulin needs for kids IS ALWAYS CHANGING!!! Sure, we may go through a time where predictability happens and things are "controlled" without much thought and management just becomes routine without insulin adjustments being needed. BUT, That never lasts for long. Kids are growing which means their little bodies have lots of growth hormones swimming around. Add in a growth spurt and insulin needs can SKYROCKET, even overnight because Insulin becomes RESISTANT to these hormones. Blood sugar rises, and us PARENTS need to figure out AGAIN, just the right insulin dose to "control" blood sugars. Blood sugars are NOT always about food!!! (I also should mention that changing weather, illness, location of pump sites or shots, different combinations of food, exercise, and even stress effects Diabetes control!!)

4)EVERYONE's insulin needs are different. There isnt a magic dose. Some people need more insulin in the mornings, some need more insulin at night. One unit that Maddison takes to fix a high blood sugar might kill someone else. Or, maybe that one unit needs to be tripled to lower someone elses high. What HE needs isnt what I need, and what SHE needs isnt what I need either. An insulin dose is MY dose, and ONLY mine. WE the Patient must figure out what that dose is. When you figure it out it usually works right, but not always. THIS my friend, is why Diabetes is a DEADLY DISEASE. It does NOT come with dosing instructions like the pill you get from the Pharmacy!!!

5)My child is just like your child, with a little added work. She CAN eat that, she just has to take insulin to eat it. She doesn't need "special" food or a DIET.

6)Complications ARE NOT THE DIABETICS FAULT!!!! Diabetes is a CONSTANT disease that is exhausting and always changing. You can do everything right in managing your disease but Diabetes is still a disease that harms your every single cell and organ in your body without PERFECTION of blood sugars. PERFECTION is impossible!! You can follow the perfect diet, be a Triathlete, take the right insulin, check your sugars 20 times a day and STILL fall victim to complications. Abnormal blood sugars are ABNORMAL no matter how close to "perfect" control you may be. I want you to know that Diabetes took TOO MUCH from my Father. Amputations, blindness, Kidney failure, Neuropathy, Gastroparesis, Stroke, Charcot's foot.....I want you to know this because he did NOT fail to manage his Disease!! He did EVERYTHING he knew to do. He did everything "right" and STILL ended up with complications. Education CAN be the key to better management, but it is not a promise.

So, there are my 6 things. Funny how I can always manage about 60 into 6!! :)


Reyna said...

You did a great job getting a lot of information in your SIX Kelly!!! Love the comment on people asking if you have Maddison's diabetes controlled...LOL. Such a hard statement to address, especially when you are strung out on minimal sleep after battling shitty night time numbers for weeks on end.

And the last point you made...hits the nail on the head. Love it.

Thanks for educating!!! and spreading awareness!!!

Wendy said...


I love the tribute to your dad especially.


Nope. Still not stable, even after all these years!

Kassie said...

ah, if only the key *were* a promise! The mysterious future of a PWD is definitely mentally draining!

Heidi / D-Tales said...

The whole business of "controlled" diabetes is so annoying! It works on the assumption that diabetes is easy to control. If only those who asked about it being under control understood what that really means or doesn't mean...

Alexis of Justices Misbehaving Pancreas said...

i was told about your blog by the awesome Wendy so glad i did! I love how you explain MY dose is MY dose I wish ppl would get that!