A Lush New Discovery

You’ve heard it here before and it probably won’t be the last time either, A and I spend some significant time on her hair. I’m on the hunt again for organic products for my sweet one’s hair and skin.  Since diagnosis it seems like  her hair has gone through a ton of changes, but so has her skin.  The start of the winter months here haven’t helped. Both her hair and skin need some TLC and I am always on the look out for great natural products to meet that need.  To recap, some of our biggest issues have been, extremely dry scalp, skin and hair.  She seems to have also developed a sensitivity to certain products within the last six months or so. Continue reading “A Lush New Discovery”

Glitter for Emotional Wellness?

Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 8.56.28 PM.png

Outside of my parenting and blogging life I am also an educator who is super passionate about social emotional wellness in children and adults.  Take a moment to think, you adults out there reading this.  When you were growing up, who taught you about your emotions?  Who in your life, whether you parents, teachers or other important people in your life, discussed emotions and their importance? Continue reading “Glitter for Emotional Wellness?”

A Sweet Book Review: T1D Superheroes

A book review of ‘Even Superheroes Get Diabetes’

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 8.52.13 PM

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 8.54.17 PMAsays “Mom, do you think I have Fly-A-Betes?”  I respond, “I don’t know.  We will need to test it out.”  She gets out of bed, climbs up on the side of the bed posts, puts both arms out and jumps.  Boom.  She looks at me.  “I didn’t fly, mom.”  She checks her insulin pump and tell me that her blood sugar is 136.  We look at each other and smile.  Tonight we read Even Superheroes Get Diabetes written by Sue Ganz-Schmitt. Continue reading “A Sweet Book Review: T1D Superheroes”

The Sugar Free Gang Is Never Sugar Free. Shout Out To You, JDRF!

Our experiences with the JDRF Sugar Free Gang monthly meetings and what it has meant to our sweet brown child and our family.

One Wednesday each month, regardless of the weather conditions (hey, we live in a part of the country known for epic winters) or what else we’ve got going on in our personal family life, we head out to the Sugar Free Gang. We rely on the support and education that comes from the monthly JDRF Sugar Free Gang meetings. During these sessions the sweet ones go with educators who do activities with them and the parents stay with guest speakers.  However, there’s more to these ‘meeting of the minds’ than just education.  It’s not without a little sweetness. Continue reading “The Sugar Free Gang Is Never Sugar Free. Shout Out To You, JDRF!”

Not The Dawn Phenomenon At All

Screen Shot 2017-11-12 at 2.00.35 PM

You can feel, almost touch, the anticipation that a new day brings. The glorious early morning orange glow signaling a new beginning. As an early bird I’m somewhat biased but I feel that dawn is the most beautiful time of the day. It will beat out dusk for me any day of the week. At the end of the day there is little to look forward to leaving only the reflections of what went well, or not so well during the prior hours.  The early morning marks another opportunity, a new chance to do something meaningful. In our home most of us are early risers. Now that her honeymoon period (a period of time shortly after diagnosis when blood sugars remain fairly level) is over we’ve noticed that A’s blood sugar is an early riser as well.

We usually notice this rise in BG (blood glucose) levels around breakfast.  After some research and discussion I thought it might be the product of what is known as the Dawn Phenomenon.  My understanding of this phenomenon is that there are often hormone surges early in the morning that lead to increases in BGs.   These surges then impact the insulin required to counter the highs and, in A, may be showing up as highs following breakfast. She typically does not have BG spikes after lunch or dinner, just breakfast.  After doing some reading, speaking with medical care providers and other parents of children with T1D it seems that this is common.  However, this is not due to the Dawn Phenomenon at all because when she immediately wakes up her blood sugar is not elevated.

There is some psychology involved in these early morning blood glucose rises, like most other things.  A doesn’t want to manage highs first thing in the morning (or at any other time of the day I guess).  I can’t blame her.  Who wants to start their day like that? The other part of the psychology here, she’s got other things that she would like to keep their attention on as she starts the day like her upcoming birthday,  having lunch with a friend or what to look forward to in school that day.    We’ve started to consider her routine that may impact these early morning spikes.  Here are some things we’ve found that sometimes work to counter the early morning high:

  • Exercising before breakfast — This is not one we typically turn to.  Given that A is still fairly new in her diagnosis we don’t want her to feel like to eat she needs to do 20 jump and jacks.
  • Bolus 15-20 minutes before eating (this is called pre-bolus)- Normally when we give her a bolus before a meal it is as she is sitting down at the table.  For breakfast we start a little bit earlier.
  • Bring on the dairy — I’ve heard that adding dairy in the morning can counter the effects by increasing absorption.
  • Lower carbs in the a.m.- I don’t like the idea of limiting what my daughter can eat.  When she wants pancakes she should have them.  We are fortunate, however, that she loves hard-boiled eggs and other lower carb options to eat for breakfast.  We go for that win!

The blog ‘A Sweet Life’ does a nice job of breaking down some of the other reasons for highs BGs in their post ‘High Blood Sugars After Meals and What To Do About Them’ https://asweetlife.org/high-blood-sugar-after-meals-and-what-to-do-about-them/.

The Morning After…

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 4.58.40 PMSay cheese!  It is holiday picture time (we’re serious Christmas celebrating people… like Christmas music and decorating on November 1st kind of people).  If this blog were set to a sound track, it would be to Mariah Carey’s very first Christmas album with the opening number being ‘All I want for Christmas is You’, but I digress.  It may look like A is striking her fiercest pose on Mr. Snowman here, but in fact, she’s so tired she doesn’t want to sit up straight.  Mr. Snowman’s face looks like even he knows that something is up. Continue reading “The Morning After…”

A Deceptive Honeymoon

A honeymoon… the time of calm, sweet, and easy days.  There are seldom major challenges during a honeymoon.  It marks a major life change that has taken place and its time to settle in to a new life with a new partner.  Ahhh.  Bliss.  Right?

After my sweet ones diagnosis we heard the term “honeymoon” phase a lot.  A’s blood sugars were so good for so long I swore she had the wrong diagnosis.  Her insulin dosages were so minimal they seemed insignificant.  One unit here or there.  No corrections needed.  I’ll admit I even forgot her correction formula and had to look it up to remind myself.  I sometimes thought that the doctors got it wrong.  In some part of my mind I was waiting for her body to go on auto pilot without insulin like it did before her diagnosis.  If diabetes was her new partner and they were on a honeymoon her partner was seldom showing up.  It’s deceptive, this invisible condition.  A part of me thought “If this is diabetes we will be A okay!”

In comes the real diabetes.  Here’s a view of my sweet one’s blood sugar over the past 24 hours. (Shout Out to Dexcom for their G5 Continuous Glucose Monitoring system)

img_4530All of that orange shows the times that A experienced high blood sugars.  You may be asking, did we bolus her insulin correctly? Yes!  Had her insulin expired?  No! Did she properly count her carbohydrate intake? Yes! This is what diabetes looks like outside of the “honeymoon” period. Unpredictable. Then some days when she will stay on her target range all day.  There’s no rhyme or reason to it.  When Anabel has days like this she’s chronically tired, gets very quiet and has less energy.   But.. she always has a smile on her face!

So, as she’s going through this day of highs my mind goes to her A1C and her upcoming Endocrinologist appointment.  What’s going to come during that appointment and what will the doctor ask about our management of her care?  As much as I start to think that I know about this condition, the more I realize how much I don’t know.  Diabetes education needs to continue for our family so that we gain an intimate knowledge of it.  I guess if we look at her diabetes as a marriage, we’ve got to continue to get to know her partner.  We didn’t choose it, but it’s here for the long haul and although the honeymoon is definitely over we’re looking forward to great days ahead.