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thehighslowsandinbetweens

Freelancing fears

As I dive into the world of freelance writing and illustrating, I find myself questioning any talents I might have. It is easy to look at my competitions expirence and expertise and become intimidated. But I don’t want to wait tables for the rest of my life. I want to do work that I’m passionate about. Something that would make Lacey and Eli proud. I want them to know they can do anything, they do not have to follow the “safe”,”normal” route. (Unless something they are passionate about is, in fact, safe and normal!)

Since I started my blogs, I’ve ignited a passion for creative writing. The high school days of last minute essay cramming are long in the past and I can finally enjoy writing. I feel like my brain is scattered in a million places most of the time but when I sit down to write a post it helps me turn fluid thought into something that makes sense. It’s nice. 

I’ve always enjoyed drawing. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I’m always doodling on something. When I was in high school I wanted to go to art school. I didn’t. But I haven’t lost a single speck of love for art. I might not ever be able to create a hyper realistic 3D animated short film but I have my own, cutesy character style. As long as I’m perfecting my own style and not copying or comparing my work to someone else’s, I might actually be successful. 

If I am able to make a living off of any creative work-whether it be writing an article, blog, or manuscript. Or creating a logo, picture book, or advertisement, I know that my right brain can finally call a truce with my left brain and we can pay the bills while fulfilling my artistic need. 

Just a little peptalk for myself. 

Until next time, 

Me. 

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Dear friend,

We haven’t spoken in a long time. I mean, really talked to each other. We have been Facebook friends for years but that is nothing but a sharing of pictures here and there. A political rant. A complaint about the weather. That’s not a real relationship. Not like the relationship we had as children.

You were my first friend. The first time I used the term “BFF” it was about you. When I moved cities in 3rd grade, you lived right down the street from me. We were together every day. We would ride our bikes around the block and scoot our razors to the school playground. Remember those long summer days when we’d play hide n’seek with the neighborhood boys? Or that time we had a watermelon fight in your living room and your grandma got SO MAD at us? With you I had my first sleepovers. We told each other our secrets. We would play out in your yard singing Hit Me Baby One More Time teasing our little brothers. We were going to be a singing duo when we grew up. I smile every time I think of us singing Leann Rimes songs in my bedroom. A lot of my childhood memories were made with you.

You took your life yesterday. 

I don’t know the details and I really don’t care to. The details don’t matter. There is no going back. I’m shocked and heartbroken but I’m not confused. You made a big mistake and got into some trouble recently and maybe you didn’t think your life could move past it. I get it. Sometimes life can seem so utterly overwhelming that it’s almost too much to bare. I understand…but I wish you would’ve known that mistakes are not who you are. They are stepping stones. They are meant to be learned from. Oh, how I wish you would’ve seen this.

Now your sweet young daughters will not have a life with their mother or know the amazing woman you could have been. Your children will not have their mommy, much like you didn’t have yours. You grew up being raised by your grandparents, only seeing your mother periodically. Maybe this is because your mom made a mistake, or a few. I don’t know. Maybe you never figured out that being alive doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, you just have to be. Just accept, move forward, learn.  

I hope and pray that your daughters learn from this permanent solution to a temporary problem. I hope they learn that it’s ok to make mistakes. We are only humans. We are made of flaws. Some sins are heavier than others. But we can always move past them. Always. 

My dear old friend,

You will truly be missed. But what your children will be missing is what’s really weighing on me tonight. 

R.I.P.

The struggle is real.

Today I am struggling with being a good friend. I am struggling with being accepting and patient. I want to be nonjudgmental so badly but I feel like humans are just made to judge and it’s a constant battle to always be accepting and loving. I am made of flaws myself but it’s much easier to accept my own imperfections. 

I tend to over analyze people(who doesn’t?!). Which leads me to pushing away/not putting in effort to continue relationships with people. I need effortless friendships. Which is why many of my friendships have dwindled away over the years. That doesn’t fly with everyone. 

The things I’ve needed from friendships have changed throughout the years as I’ve grown into the person I am today. 

As a child I needed a purely playful companion. Someone who would sing my favorite songs with me and scooter around our neighborhood playing hide ‘n seek with the boys. She also needed to have cool toys that I didn’t have. 

When I got a little older I wanted someone who would be fun. Not a “let’s play babies” fun. But a “let’s sneak out” and “let’s smoke Dill Weed” fun. Yes, that really happened. No, it didn’t work. But it didn’t matter. I drifted from BFF to BFF looking for someone I really clicked with. I wanted to try things. Experience life. I didn’t want to feel like a kid anymore. I wanted a friend that would make growing up a little easier.

As a young adult I wanted to freakin’ party. And I got that. I needed girls that really understood me and what I was going through and how insanely confusing it is to be a teenager. I needed to feel wanted and loved in that time of my life because I didn’t quite have that for myself yet. I wanted to get high and drunk and sing and dance and talk about my feelings and the boys I liked and how much school sucked. I was learning who I was and how to love me. I had friends that were going through the same things and that really kept the loneliness that is teenagerhood at bay.

Today I do love myself. I don’t need friends to fill that hole for me. I’m still learning about who I am but the confusion and emotional instability I felt when I was younger has subsided. Mostly because my hormones aren’t always going haywire but also because I’m a little smarter than I was as a teen. At least just a little. What I need now from my friends is this: kindness. Everything else will fall into place. 

As I’m writing what I need in a friend I am also reminding myself to practice what I preach. Be kind. Love. 

Adulting is hard.

A high and a tantrum.

Today I got really irritated with Lacey and super pissed at diabetes.

  
Lacey had her first ballet class yesterday and really enjoyed herself. The class was from 9-12 and I stayed at the glass door outside of the room watching her the entire time. All of the other parents left to go run errands or take a break from their 4 year olds. But leaving her with teachers who have no idea how to care for a diabetic child was just not an option. She was running a bit high (mid 200s) at snack time around 10:30. She finished the class at noon and couldn’t wait to tell Daddy and Grandma about it! 

Naturally I assumed today would go the same way. Running high but still having a great time. Jon and Eli came with us today and we watched the first 15 minutes of class before Jon and I convinced ourselves that there was no way she could have a low between breakfast and snack time, and that it was perfectly ok for us to run and get some breakfast. We did not account for a high and a tantrum. When we walked back into the dance acadamy I didn’t see lacey with her classmates. My stomach turned. I saw the teacher’s assistant over in the corner with Lacey hugging her. Not a good sign! Miss Alaina, the assistant, noticed me and walked over to hand her off. She was in classic tantrum mode, something we often see when Lacey has a high BG. I checked her and she was 220. Lower than she had been the day before. It really makes no sense. She can be in the low 300s and perfectly happy and cheerful. Other times she can be 203 and so irritable and clingy that it’s suffocating. 

After much convincing, a snack, a bathroom break, and a little bribery, she reluctantly walked back into the classroom just in time for tap. She was doing well, smiling and participating and then came another symptom of high BG…frequent urination. All of the sudden she looked over at me and tried to tell me that she had to pee. I didn’t understand what she was saying so she got upset all over again. I knew it was over after that. I know that she has to learn to be independent and follow through with things. I don’t want her to be so quick to give up. But how do I balance pushing her to keep going while also being patient with mood swings and making sure she knows it’s not her fault she feels like crud because of this awful disease. 

I was upset with her. And I shouldn’t have been. I know this. And now I am upset with myself for not knowing the right way to handle the situation and more importantly, not being more patient. I really need to work on that. 

I know today did not go well because of diabetes. If she had been in range she wouldn’t have been cranky and irritable. I wanted to pull her teacher aside and explain this to her but that wouldn’t change anything. Every child has issues to deal with. Lacey might be the only type 1 child in the class but I doubt she’s the only one that has thrown a fit. All we can do is learn from this try again tomorrow. 

lipstick makes everything better

Motherhood. For me…at this moment. (Sort of)

  

It’s near impossible to really put into words what being a parent and specifically a mother is like. A couple weeks ago was Mother’s Day and, coincidentally, Lacey’s 6 month anniversary of being diagnosed with type one diabetes. At times I feel like we are barely treading water trying to keep up with this disease but I feel like this anniversary is a major milestone for everyone. This disease has pushed us to be more patient, understanding, and to have more personal discipline than we, as parents, thought we’d need. 

  

It is, in a way, a good thing that Lacey was diagnosed so early in her life. No bad habits to break, no reminiscing on the time before type one. At the same time, she is three. She acts like a three year old. Imagine giving your toddler multiple shots a day, dealing with the mood swings and anger associated with high and low blood sugar, and having to count and calculate every single thing they eat and drink. It was really tough in the beginning. I didn’t know how anyone expected us to live like that, how other families did it. But we did and we have. It is our life now. And if anything, it has thought me how resilient Lacey is and how strong Jon and I are as a team. But this disease is just one aspect of our lives.   

 

Disease or no disease, motherhood is made up of many things: having so many questions you feel like you can’t possibly be doing it right while dodging unwarranted advice because how dare they question your parenting skills! Making so many sacrifices that you don’t even feel like your own person anymore while also wanting to spend all of your time with your offspring. Feeling like you reach your boiling point way too often (is that just me?) while also being injected with a criminal amount of love and compassion for those little boogers. It’s confusing

 

When I think of how my perception of motherhood changed once I joined the club, it’s hard not to reflect on my own mother. As a child I never thought of my mom as her own person. She was just…my mama. I didn’t consider her own needs or feelings. I never stopped to think about what she gave up or went through to become my mother at the age of 19. She went through 3 marriages trying to find my siblings and I a father and her a partner. Ultimately they did not work out and it has felt like I’ve had a single mom my entire life. I’d always anticipate her coming home from work or having a day off. I even loved going into work with her, making up our own “take your child to work” days. She was a very special creature to me, not like my sister or brother or stepdads or stepsiblings. She was her own breed of human. Powerful and all knowing. She could fix anything for me and make me feel like I was on top of the world. And even when she was angry with me I wanted to be around her. I often wonder if that’s how my children will feel about me. Is that how my mama felt about my granny?

 

 At any given time throughout the day I might give you a different answer to the “what does motherhood mean to you” question. Right now both kids are soundly sleeping and I could just gush on and on about them. Lacey is hilarious and brilliant. She loves telling jokes, singing and dancing and is so super sweet to her baby brother. She is going to do amazing things in her life. Eli is the cutest freaking thing that it is hard to believe I get to keep him for myself. He’s taking steps and babbling. I could get high from his giggles and open mouthed kisses. I love them beyond words. Motherhood is magical and beautiful. 

 

If you asked me 3 hours ago while I was trying to get a diaper on a screaming Eli and Lacey was crying because I wasn’t helping her put on jammies right at that exact moment my answer would be a tad different. I’d say: motherhood is fucking hard. I’m always tired and questioning myself. Lacey is so moody and can have such a bad attitude. Is that because I’m doing something wrong? Why did she pitch a fit earlier? Was it because her BG was high or because she’s 3? And Jesus, why won’t she leave the damn dog alone?! Eli is just a baby and can’t help that he needs everyone to do everything for him but he is EXHAUSTING. Whhhhhhy can’t I just set him down for 5 minutes so I can get his sister a snack? Why must he fight naps? Naps are awesome! I’d pay good money to take two naps a day. He has no idea how good he has it. Motherhood is magical and beautiful. Motherhood is magical and beautiful. Motherhood is magical and beautiful.

 

Even though sometimes it’s hard to remember that you’re a person as well as a parent, being a mom has taught me infinitely about myself. Being a parent puts your good and bad qualities right out on display for all to see. You learn what you want your children to inherit from you while also realizing what you need to change in yourself. You see things a little more clearly. You learn what is truly important. I am eternally grateful for the lessons they teach. But do those lessons have to come with stretch marks??

  

On turning 26.

Today is my 26th birthday.

 Am I where I thought I’d be at this point in my life? That’s sort of a loaded question so I’ll go with: kind of. 
 

just a babe hangin’ out in a bucket.
 
If I was asked 10 years ago, “where will you be in 10 years?” I’d probably give you an answer along the lines of, “traveling around Africa, volunteering for the Peace Corps” or “living in NYC like Carrie Bradshaw only instead of a writer, I’ll be a well known-but not famous-artist.” 

 

im gonna say i was about 5 in this picture. my dream was to grow up and be a country singer.
 
That’s what I dreamed I’d be doing. If I thought realistically I’d probably describe my life right now. I’d say, “living with my the love of my life and two children, doing something I love. My bffs would still be my bffs, of course. I’d be covered in tattoos and wouldn’t be one bit apologetic about it. I’d talk to my mom everyday. Life would get tough sometimes but we would all get through it. I won’t live in a huge mansion or have 6 cars because that’s just not my style. I won’t need all that. I’ll be happy just taking my son to his music lessons and being the troop leader at my daughter’s Girl Scout meetings once a week.”

   

this is angela and i at 16 or 17. i believe we were at a football game, paying zero attention to football.

I am still very young and maybe that’s why aging doesn’t terrify me. I enjoy my life now, as a twenty something mom, and I wouldn’t want to relive my teenage years. Sure, I have a lot more on my shoulders now and I do sometimes miss the freedom and simplicity life had when I was younger, but I am finally starting to see what is true important in life. I am finally choosing things for myself and my family. I am a better judge of character while also being more empathetic. I am much more conservative while having more of an open mind. I’m still learning who I am as a person and a lover and a mother but it is an enjoyable journey. Not a daily struggle like is has been in the past. I embrace my emotions and feelings. I think things through. I don’t take things personally. (Although last night I dreamt that I caught all of my friends going out sans birthday girl and I got royally pissed at them.)

My relationship with my friends is more connected and deeper than before. By this point we’ve all been through hundreds (kidding) of boyfriends and breakups, move ins and move outs, deaths, and births. We’ve grown up together. We’ve fought and made up. We know each other like never before. We don’t see each other as often as we’d like but distance makes the heart grow fonder. We truly cherish our time spent together. 

 

18. at our white trash bash. we made pyramids out of beer cans and i got duct taped to a wall.
 
My relationship with Jon is better than I thought one could be. A lot of that has to do with who he is as a person but it also has to do with how I’ve matured. I am not jealous and suspicious. I try to be understanding and caring. Our relationship is about the two of us, not just me. We started dating when I was 21 and have had normal bumps in the road but we have really come to know and love each other. We are supportive and genuine. He is a lot of why I love my life. 

camille and i at 17, maybe? how very…sultry of us.

 I have recently tried my hand at being my own boss with online shops. I have always loved creating and through the years I’ve been able to try new creative outlets that could end up becoming a new career. It’s fun to feel a little more in control of my life and future. Now work is exciting, not dreadful. I am proud of using my skills to take care of my family. I hope my children see my dedication and learn from it. 
  

the usual. this is us as teenagers. this couldve been any age, any occasion. camille, me, amanda, & amanda.
 
I look forward to the future and what it holds for me.  This year Lacey will be 4 and Eli will be 1. Jon and I will be spending our fifth year together and starting the process of buying our first home. Happiness is motivating force for me. I’m starting to learn what makes me genuinely happy and I’m adding more of that stuff in my life. I’m continually more about myself and my beliefs and I’m finally comfortable with who I am. It’s a wonderful feeling.

 

at my baby shower for lacey belle. i turned 22 the same week. granny, steph, me, mama, & nate.
 
So even though life is not exactly what I thought it’d be, and it’s far from perfect, I think what I ended up with is even better. 10 years from now? I have no idea where I will be. But I can’t wait to find out.

   

today.
 
P.s. This is the very first year I had no phone calls or texts at midnight from my friends demanding a happy birthday from me. This is either because they all knew was already asleep or because they were already asleep. But, like I said, I don’t take things personally anymore. ­čśë

Diapering a baby boy for dummies 

Eli is 7 months old. It’s hard to believe because it felt like my pregnancy lasted a decade and relief would never come. For months I dreamed of the day my sweet baby boy would be laughing and crawling and pooping all over the place. ANYTHING that meant I didn’t have to be pregnant any longer. 

´╗┐´╗┐

He’s just starting to crawl and has been giggling for a month or so now. But he has been pooping all over the place since day one. Boys have a special gift. It’s possible that Lacey also had this gift but evolution has taken specific memories away from parents for the purpose of being insane enough to reproduce multiple times. Though I’ve heard from many mommy friends that boys, do indeed, posses this special ability to poop and pee on everything and everyone. I’m still trying to perfect the art of diapering a boy, as it is MUCH different than diapering a girl, but I’ve compiled a short list of tips for parents-to-be and for people who just want to laugh at my parental nievity. 

Cover the wiener. You should probably be warned that no matter how cautious you are, you will get peed on. At least a few times. Think of it as an initiation if you will. A welcoming into the world of bouncing baby boys. But covering his privates will save you tremendously from the fountains of pee. I usually just use a baby wipe but there is such a thing called pee pee tee pees. They are hilarious and brilliant and hopefully you get some at your baby shower. You can also buy them online or make your own. Here is a DIY tutorial by peek a boo pages.

At this point I’ve gotten pretty good at speed changing so if it’s just a number one I can usually get away with not covering. It’s also important to let that area breath a bit so don’t be afraid to clean up a little puddle every now and then.

Avoid leaks and blowouts. Every baby is different and some babies are heavy wetters. The best and easiest ways to avoid leaks is to change his diaper often. Keeping him in a clean, dry diaper will also help with diaper rashes and help prevent infections whether or not you choose to circumsize your son.* When leaks or blowouts happen (and they will happen) it is uncomfortable and upsetting. For everyone. It seems that a simple look at a baby boys anatomy will explain why they are front wetters and back blowers. Let me explain: Boy’s diapers work overtime in the front to absorb urine. For lack of better wording, his penis points outward so the pee is absorbed right upfront. ´╗┐

Boys-at least my boy-also have a crap ton of blowouts. Pun intended. A friend told me that she thinks this ´╗┐is because there is a bit of a road block (his testicles) in the front so there’s only one other way out. Not sure if that is the scientific explanation for this phenomenon but it makes sense to me! I’ve also been told that their butts are at more of an angle so the sheer force they use pushes it right up and out. Either way, it happens. My daughter also had her share of blowouts but hers were minuscule compared to my son’s. I have found that spending the extra money on the better diapers helps a lot with this. When Eli was wearing the store brand diapers it seemed like every poop was a blowout. Now he wears Huggies and we don’t have nearly as many. You can also try one of these or these if you’re having a severe blowout problem. Don’t worry, I will not post a blowout picture. You’re welcome. 

Distract! In the first few months it’s difficult to use distraction to ease diaper changes. Newborns are nearsighted and might not be able to see that mobile hanging from the ceiling. But playing music, singing, or rattling a toy might help the teeny tinies. Once your baby is a few months old he will be much easier to distract with toys and by making a total fool out of yourself. So practice your derp faces and crazy squeaky voices. They eat that stuff up.

Make him comfortable. Do what you can to make your baby feel warm and secur during changes. Hopefully your baby will not hate diaper changes but more often than not, babies go through different stages of totally freaking out and loving every minute of the wipe down. Make sure to warm up the wipe if it’s cold out. Imagine putting a wet, freezing towel on your bum to clean up when you’re already cold and being held against your will. Poor guy! You can buy a wipes warmer just about anywhere or warm it up in your hand for half a minute for free. 

Try different diapers and wipes. I can’t say this enough: every baby is different. What works for mine might not work for yours. Trying different products is important. In the hospital we were supplied with Pampers Swaddlers. I loved them for newborns. They have the neat little mesh liner which is great for catching that weird newborn poop. Both of my babies were/are breastfed so they had that yellowish, seedy, runny poop. And they pooped a lot. 

While I was pregnant I loaded up on cloth diapers and was bound and determined for Eli to be a cloth baby. I’ve tried numerous times to make the switch but it hasn’t stuck yet. Yes, it is extra laundry but that’s not really what’s stopping me. They seem too big and bulky for him. His pants don’t fit over them and he has trouble sitting unsupported. I haven’t given up yet, though. When it gets warm out I look forward to letting him run around in his super cute, earth friendly dipes sans pants. I like being able to add more or less liners depending on his needs. You can double up in front and/or use more absorbent liners for front/heavy wetters. There are lots of different options making it easy to customize for your special little man. 

Store brand or value diapers save a lot of money but are usually lacking quality. We’ve tried Target brand, Kroger brand, and Luvs, among various other cheap diapers. They’re not horrible but you get what you pay for. We were constantly dealing with leaks and blowouts. You just gotta weigh your options. 

Now we primarily put Eli in Huggies. They work the best for him and his needs so it’s worth the extra money. 

Be safe. Obviously safety is a priority for every aspect of infant care. Don’t leave your baby on the changing table unsupervised. Too many parents know that you won’t know your baby can roll over until he tumbles to the floor when you aren’t looking. Make sure you buy a changing table pad with straps or be sure to keep a close eye on him. Babies are the wiggliest little suckers.

Just know that every parent was once a first time parent. We all started at the same place. Experience will be your greatest teacher and you will aquire a lot of diaper changing experience quickly. You will learn along the way and come up with your own tips and tricks. I know this might seem like the most daunting part of having your first baby but your parental intuition will kick in when you need it most so have confidence. YOU GOT THIS! 

Please comment if you have anything to add!

*we did not circumsize our son so I don’t have any tips on how to care for a newborn after that procedure. If you did not circumsize please make sure not to retract the foreskin while wiping or cleaning your baby. Tissue development is not complete at birth so retracting too soon can be painful and damaging. By age 3 most boy’s foreskin is retractable. Until then, simply wipe on and around the penis and carry on!

To change her diet or not to change her diet? That is the question.

Since Lacey’s diagnosis I’ve made myself familiar with a good handful of  parents who have children with type one. I follow them on instagram and read their blogs. I try to imagine how they felt when they were in my shoes, when their child was first diagnosed. Did they feel as lost as I do? Did they make the same mistakes that I have? Surely they did. It takes a good minute to learn an entirely new lifestyle.

I have noticed a trend among these successful type one veterans. They all have a carb free or low carb diet. Which might make you think, “Well, DUH!” but only once I realized that these families have been thriving with a low carb diet did I even really consider making changes. When they post pictures of their kid’s BGs at 1o7 and 113 saying, “another great day with great numbers!” I wondered if I would ever see those consistent numbers with Lacey. Up until this point it didn’t seem promising.

With anything in life, different people have different opinions. Different advice is given about different things and sometimes you just wish you didn’t have to differentiate what is the right answer and what is not. Have I lost you yet?

While we had our 3 day stay at the hospital, we were pumped full of information and facts about type one diabetes. It was nearly impossible to obtain all of the info due to our total shock from what was happening. Which is probably why they tried to reinforce the idea of not changing her diet too much, to keep things as simple as possible for us. Of course, we learned about nutrition and carbs and sugars and fiber and proteins and-you get it, but overall we were told that we should still let her eat the same things she was eating last week and the week before that. Don’t make any big changes. And yes, technically she can still eat whatever she wants. She just has to balance her carb intake with insulin. She already had a good, balanced diet so we did what we were told and stuck with our normal meals and snacks.

But it just seemed like her numbers were out of control. Up and down and up and down. We were (and still are, always will be) chasing the numbers and correcting as best we could but the spikes and dips are just unreachable sometimes. Time to switch things up a bit. Why not try a diet rich in protein and fiber? A diet that doesn’t cause her BG to spike out of control? Lots of people do well on a Paleo diet! I know carbohydrates are important for energy and growth and I do not plan on cutting them out entirely. Plenty of healthy, whole foods are high in carbs. Lots of her favorites fruits give her a good burst of energy with those yummy carbs. But as far as breads and oats and sweets, does she really need those carbs? Would it be a bad thing if she didnt need those 4 insulin shots a day?

This past week I’ve tried to make low carb, well-rounded meals and I’ve gotta say, her numbers have been much more stable. Lots of lean meats like chicken breast and salmon. Tons of fruits and veggies. I’ve even made a few goodies with coconut flour so she can still have sweets without the BG spikes.

IMG_1608
Dark chocolate chip coconut cookies. Less that 5g each.

I have not noticed any lack of energy from her since we’ve reduced her carb intake. So far it’s been a positive experiment-with the exception of two lows in the morning-that I look forward to continuing. Since her BG has (somewhat) stabilized, her mood swings have lessened and she doesn’t feel so crummy riding the BG waves.

I’m not a nutrition expert, nor am I an endocrinologist but I do know that each diabetic is different and a little trial and error is needed to be successful and know what is right for them.

Stay tuned.

Our DexCom trial.

This past week we had a trial for a DexCom sensor. It’s a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that checks her blood sugar every 5 minutes and shows us on a reciever. It is an extremely useful tool in managing diabetes and now that we don’t have it, I want it back. Bad.

Typically Lacey’s blood sugars are all over the place. In the 3 months since she’s been diagnosed she’s had one full day in range. A person without diabetes will see their blood sugars anywhere between 80-180 at any given time.

IMG_1554-1
Lacey often has high blood sugar which is because she has type 1 diabetes. It is an auto-immune disease in which her pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, a hormone needed to help cells use sugar to produce energy. ┬áWithout insulin, sugar builds up in the blood stream causing a whole mess of just about everything. High blood sugar can result in:

Dehydration

Weightloss

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

Damage to the body

All of which can lead to severe long term problems and death. To prevent her blood sugar from getting too high every time she eats we have to give her insulin through a shot. Not eating enough food throughout the day to balance the insulin can result in low blood sugar. Low blood sugar can cause:

Confusion

Dizziness

Anxiety

Irritability

Loss of consciousness

Coma

Among other things. So it’s very important to know what her blood sugar is at all times. Life or death, really.

She was pretty resistant to the idea of getting the DexCom. She was a little scared because it’s something new and nothing new that has been introduced into our lives because of diabetes has been super pleasant. But we knew this was something we wanted to try. She eventually came around and didn’t totally freak when I talked to her about it.

We told her that it was a little thing that the doctors stuck to her butt so we could see what her sugars were like all day. And that she got to have this cool little computer that her butt talked to. She loves carrying her old glucose meter around using it as a “phone” so I knew that would strike her fancy. I also might have mentioned a special treat and a new toy after the appointment

It took some convincing once the nurse was ready to put the sensor on. There was some crying and backing into a corner, a little toddler behavior if you will. Once it was on she calmed down and said, “I want my treat now.” So I’m gonna guess it wasn’t so horrible pain wise

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Throughout the day she was terrified of going to the bathroom. Both because she didn’t want to pull her pants down and yank it off and because she thought she would get poop or pee on it. Bath time was also an emotional disaster. I felt bad for her. Every day I feel bad for her. But constantly reminding her that diabetes sucks will do nothing positive. I wanted her to see how excited I was to have the Dex so I kept talking about how great it was and showing her where her sugar was and letting her press the button to turn it on. She’s more inclined to like something if she has a little control. Just like mommy.

The next few days were much easier for her. Luckily the next day she said she didn’t even feel it. She even wanted to show her Mimi the “thing on her butt”.

It didn’t seem to be very accurate as far as specific blood sugar numbers, at least at first. You have to enter in BGs (blood glucose) every 12 hours to calibrate it. I ended up doing it more often to close the gaps in the numbers. But it did show trends in her BGs and let us know when she was getting high or low. And you can set alarms to go off if she gets out of range. AMAZING. Of course Jon and I both checked the reciever every 3-4 minutes, obsessively wanting to know what her BG was doing.

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On the last night we had it, it detected a low around 2 a.m. and sounded the alarm. We checked her and sure enough, we had to wake her up and give her a juice box. We wouldn’t have checked her otherwise so I’m very grateful we had the Dex. There’s no telling how many other nights she had a low that brought itself back up. Middle of the night lows can be incredibly dangerous.

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Taking it off was a pain (literally) because we had medical grade tape over it to insure it didn’t fall off before the trial was over. It was like trying to take off the stickiest freaking bandaid you’ve ever dealt with. That said, I’m sure if you’re not just in a 4 day trial you’d end up keeping the sensor on for much longer, making the tape much easier to take off for site changes.

Overall I’d say that the Dex is far from perfect, mostly I’m far from perfect when it comes to T1, but it is an ever evolving and improving device that is a life saving tool for people with diabetes. Next month they’re even coming out with a receiver that communicates with iPhones!

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