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Tips and tricks to challenge adversity January 22, 2010

Posted by aydensmom in Uncategorized.
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The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus said, “You don’t develop courage by being happy … every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

Issue: We use tegaderm (a clear plastic sticky piece to secure Ayden’s inserts), but he finds them quite painful to take off. We have tried using a wipe called ‘remove’ to take them off, but it just melts the plastic. In the end you have a real mess.
Tip: Use a blow dryer to heat the tegaderm until some of the glue loosens up off the skin. Only remove it up to the beginning of the insert and then use the remove wipe to take off the rest of the insert.
Tip 2: When using the remove wipe on the other parts of the insert, let it soak in for 15 minutes before taking the insert off.

Issue: Over the last few weeks we have seen fluctuations in Ayden’s levels.
Tip: Track everything in your daily schedule from how your child was acting (normal, sick, hyper) to anything special you did that night (ate out or went shopping).
Tip 2: Let your health care team in. Use them as the resource they are to analyse patterns you may not have seen. Remember the absence of a pattern is a pattern in itself.

Issue: Ayden is an incredibly active three-year-old. I have struggled from day one to figure out what extra activity means. A diabetic that participates in extra activity needs to be treated with extra carbs. This has caused us to start relying on activity snacks to manage lows instead of extra activity.
Tip: If your child is on the pump, and you are using activity snacks on a daily basis, you may be over using them. Try limiting activity snacks for a few days to get unbiased readings. These numbers can then be used to adjust basal levels so you won’t be feeding his insulin instead of activity.

If you have any tips or tricks, please share. I’m always looking for new things to try to make the process easier for Ayden.

I also recommend reading this blog post, it’s a nice summary of the courage of moms. I can’t help but compare it to the courage of all parents of a diabetic and how their efforts are helping to better the world one child at a time.  The Secret of a Mother’s Courage

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A1Cs and what do they mean??? January 14, 2010

Posted by aydensmom in Uncategorized.
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disillusioned: to cause to lose naïve faith and trust.
disappointed: defeated in expectation or hope
dissatisfied: expressing or showing lack of satisfaction / not pleased or satisfied
A1C: A test used primarily to show the average plasma glucose concentration (blood sugar level) over prolonged periods of time.

The three top words that sum up our last appointment at the diabetes clinic and Ayden’s progress on the insulin pump. Although it has had some benefits, such as enabling us to feed our growing three-year old what he wants when he wants it. Ayden’s A1C has shot up to 9.3 from 8.7 in the last three months.

An A1C test is a measurement of blood sugar control over a two to three month period. An ideal number for Ayden at his age would be 8.5, and while he was on needles we managed to consistently reach this target, but now that he is on the pump we have shot up.

We were hoping the pump would give us better control of his levels and continue to keep his A1C at an ideal level. When we were taking our pump training we learned that lowering the A1c from 9% to 7% reduced complications by 34-76%! Studies have also shown that lower A1c values also reduced the risk for heart disease by whopping 50%! I’m hoping that at Ayden’s age this isn’t as much of a concern, but I’m always worried about the long-term effects his fluctuating numbers are having on his developing body.

I know there are many benefits to pump therapy including eliminating multiple daily injections and the ability to flex carbohydrates in order for Ayden to eat more or less depending on how he feels. I’m disappointed that this one long-term benefit has escaped us so far.

We are going to work closely with our clinic over the next few weeks to try to narrow the problem down, but it is going to take some time as Ayden has a lot of unexplainable fluctuations at the moment.

Overall, it comes down to what is best for Ayden, so I will do a little extra work tracking numbers, and we will go back to the basics of pump therapy to try to figure out where we went wrong in the last few months. In the midst of all this, I have to try to resolve some of my feelings about being the mom of a diabetic.

I recently read a diabetes mom describe her experience as a lonely and sometimes depressing one. It made me think about how I feel sometimes. I can get so caught up in how Ayden feels, what his numbers are and what his challenges are that I don’t think or talk about how it all affects me.

The word lonely really affected me. I am lucky to have a very strong support system, my husband, my parents and our daycare are so in tune to Ayden that they can spot a low from a mile away. They are also fantastic resources when we are having a problem. But can anyone other than another mom of a diabetic really understand the constant worry and underlying sense of panic that something awful is going to occur at any moment.

I guess if I had to really focus on how I feel; I wouldn’t describe it as lonely, but it can certainly be isolating. I started this blog to link other parents and tell Ayden’s story, but it has also been a vehicle through the isolating journey of raising a toddler with diabetes.

A time for new successes and challenges January 5, 2010

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Happy new year everyone!

Our new year started yesterday with Ayden going into “the big boy room” at daycare otherwise known as the preschool room. What this means is he will be in a room that is not protected from the outside world with anything other than one small door. His other room had a separate door to keep the munchkins restrained.

But more importantly, this also means a new team of people taking care of Ayden – monitoring him, calculating his food, and caring for him. While we have only had one change like this since Ayden was diagnosed, my thoughts have always been – the more people who know and understand Ayden’s diabetes the better. So each time a change like this is made Phil and I will meet the new team to go over things like small signs to watch for to head off a sever low or high and what needs to happen when Ayden’s numbers are not on target.

Because of the time of year, setting up a meeting was not possible until today, so I had to cross my fingers and trust everything to go smoothly yesterday. It was a bit stressful, but I know there are several people in the daycare that care for Ayden and kept half an eye on him to ensure a smooth transition.

In the mean time I put my lesson plan together, and so far have included topics on:

I know many parents deal with this on a yearly basis when their child moves classrooms in the fall, so my lesson plan and my approach aren’t nearly as refined as a veteran parent. So if you have any advice or insights for additions or revisions, please let me know.

In addition, I came across a new resource today that is helping to link and highlight all the moms that have diabetic children – D-Mom Blog.