Archive | June, 2012

Amazing kids!

23 Jun

Right from the start Jac’s brother Meical was amazing. When we had to stay in hospital Meical had to stay at his Nana’s house for the week but he knew how ill Jac was and he was very concerned. Once we had learnt to carbohydrate count the contents of meals and snacks  it wasn’t long before Meical also started to join in. He was able to calculate the carbs quicker than me a lot of the time! I had good maths at school (many years ago!) but these days it was all forgotten! However over the last year I have now developed a ‘Carbohydrate calculator’ in my brain. I can look at a meal/ snack and normally be very accurate on the carb content of it. Will I win an award for that? Probably not! I reckon myself and Meical deserve it though! Carbohydrate content is needed to calculate the insulin given for that particular snack/ meal so Jac can be dosed accordingly.

Meical is also very good at spotting Jac’s hypos, where he goes too low. He is able to check Jac’s glucose level and knows how to help him (he checks with us first obviously!) He has also taken a fair bit of hitting from Jac when his levels are too high and he is extremely grumpy. He has never once retaliated although it must be a pain for him. Jac does get told off and he does need to learn to control his temper, but it must be hard for him also feeling so high and irritable. They have an amazing bond together which I hope will remain that way for life.

It is now one year ago that Jac was diagnosed. What a year it’s been! It’s so hard to believe its been a year and how far we have come over that time. Jac was a very sick little boy, and now he’s a crazy kid who takes life with a good helping of positivity (along with the usual 3 years old tantrums, that boy has a big temper!)

In april of this year we attended a weekend run by Diabetes Uk. It is meant to help families deal with every aspect of diabetes. They run activities for the children, and workshops for the parents. The siblings are also included in all activities. It’s great for them to see other brothers and sisters with diabetes, and great for the children with diabetes to see others injecting and checking bloods.  I thought it was a fantastic weekend, although very emotional! It was so reassuring to meet other families and know that other people knew what you were talking about and how you were feeling. The children were looked after with mostly one to one care. Jac a little trouble settling in, but his helper was brilliant with him, even letting him play with his expensive phone to help cheer him up! Nothing seemed too much trouble for the staff and everybody seemed to enjoy doing their part. We hope to go again one day!

Our lives have changed over the last year, but for the last 2 weeks things have been looking great! Jac now has an insulin pump which is attached to him 24 hours a day with a cannula. It’s a great piece of technology which has transformed his quality of life. It has given him near perfect glucose levels for the last 2 weeks, so here’s hoping it will stay that way! More on that next time….

Have a good weekend everyone, I’m off out for a posh dinner, can’t wait!

Emma

Sadness

19 Jun

That period after Jac’s diagnosis was tough. I did the initial survival techniques and was coping brilliantly! But after that rise came a massive fall. I felt tired. And unmotivated. And ostracised from everyone. No one can possibly know what you are going through unless something major has also happened to them (which is not something I would wish for anyone). The cloud that descended on me was huge. I wanted to be able to deal with everything as I normally would, but I was incapable. It was even too much to hoover. Some might say it was depression, and I wouldn’t disagree, but I also wouldn’t say it was. I was just down and unable to cope with anything other than the health of my family.

I don’t want to bring up this part of my journey apart from to say that my true friends came forward! And for that I’m very grateful. I did admittedly become a diabetes bore, but only because that was all I could cope with at that time in my life. Sorry friends! But other parents in the same position? It was bad for a while. It’s only now nearly to the day that I feel back to normal.

Which brings me to my other point. Prior to Jac’s diagnosis I was reasonably fit. I went to the gym 5 times a week and worked part time. We also have another son aged 7 (more on his story on another blog!) and we had also had a new litter of springer spaniel puppies to add to our house. We now have 2 Springer spaniel dogs, 2 boys, my husband works full time and I work part time. Unfortunately, with a small family, my gym has hit the dust. I no longer have a gym bunny body, and have a little more wobbly bits than I would like! I’ve recently started training on my new bike in the hopes that I would tone up again, I’ve done 40 miles in the last 3 days so fingers crossed my flabby bits will bu**er off soon!

On my next post I hope to touch on the support from Diabetes Uk  family events and what happened after my dark time….

Release From Hospital!

18 Jun

After being inmates, whoops I mean inpatients, for a week it was decided that we were ready to face the world with all that diabetes would throw at us. We left armed with insulin, insulin pens, spare insulin, spare insulin pens, blood meter, spare blood meter, finger pricking devices, spare finger pricker device, you get the picture! Basically half of the pharmacy. I felt very scared and nervous leaving hospital, as we were going from a nice little protected bubble surrounded by doctors and nurses to the big wide world! I had all this medical equipment, had injected Jac 2 times and had now graduated to his stand in pancreas with the mammoth job of keeping him alive by injecting him with insulin. I felt a little inadequate to say the least. Overwhelmed probably is a good description.

As we drove out of the hospital car park, with a carton of orange juice on the seat next to me (in case of a hypo on the way home) and Jacs diabetic specialist nurses mobile number ready on speed dial, Jac piped up from the back seat “Mummy! We are going home! I’m all better now and no more leg medicine (his term for the injections)” My heart broke for at least the second time that crazy week.

I’ve brushed over the injection part of Jacs diabetes. But, believe me, it certainly was not nice. On the one hand I was so grateful for this miracle drug, which a few decades ago would not have even existed. On the other hand it is not easy to explain to a 2-year-old that we are giving him injections to keep him alive. He screamed, he ran away from me, he would sob in the corner shouting “No Mummy, no!” I would have to just steel myself, be very matter of fact and do it quickly and give him lots of cuddles after as well as a funky sticker chart where he got to pick a sticker after each injection. Funnily enough the blood checking did not bother him so much. For anyone who is not sure, to check glucose levels you have to prick the finger with a lancet to get a drop of blood which then goes onto a clever little machine which then gives a blood level. Generally Jacs levels would range from 2-25mmols, a non diabetic person is between 4-8mmols. His tiny little fingers with baby soft skin soon became very hard on the edges from all the lancet pricking.

So, our first day home involved pricking his finger every hour or so, and injecting him after he ate. If he was high, I was clueless as I had not yet figured out how to adjust insulin to carbohydrate (it was my first day home I had a lot to learn!) and if he was low I knew I had to give fast acting glucose. Also started the alarm settings for the night. Every 2 hours. I was so very tired, but also so happy that we had these tools to help Jac survive. Yes, it was a heck of a shock going through his diagnosis, but, we were lucky enough to live in 2011 when all these medicines could help him survive. I also knew we were very lucky to still have him. I was very determined that over the time I would do everything I could to keep positive and not let this change who he was. I also set on a massive learning curve and became a little addicted to finding out everything I could about type 1 diabetes…….

Till next time!

Emma

 

Hello World!

17 Jun

Hello! Well, this is something that ive wanted to do for a while as my fingers were starting  to get itchy and needing to write……

Just to get started, I’m Emma. I’m 31 years old ( to my horror! Mentally I’m still 18 I’m sure!) I’m wife to Micheal and mother to Meical aged nearly 8 and Jac aged 3. We have a good family life and I love them all so much. On the 24th June 2011 nearly 1 year ago our lives were changed quite drastically when Jac (aged 2 at the time) got very poorly. Within the space of 2 weeks he went from being a relatively healthy toddler, to drinking loads, peeing everywhere(!!!) and being a totally grumpy little boy. I had thought maybe he had a bladder infection and luckily managed to catch a sample of urine (not an easy feat from a 2 year old as lots of you will know!) and proceeded to take the sample to the doctors. She dip sticked his wee and looked shocked (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a doctor look shocked, she tried very hard to cover it up, but I immiedietly was a little worried!)

We were blue lighted to the hospital, and the children’s ward couldn’t have been better. From what I’ve learnt over the the last year we were lucky in this respect. They very quickly diagnosed and dealt with Jacs diabetes. I say dealt, but for me that was the biggest journey I’ve ever been on in that week. We were told he would  have been dead in another 12 hours or so, and that he now had diabetes, and we would need to inject him at least 4 times a day(which in reality ended up being about 8 times a day to try and gain some sort of control over blood sugar numbers) plus the glucose checks every 2 hours through the day and also through the night while we tried to get used to things.

That week was pretty sh**e to be honest, and it didn’t help that on children’s ward (where we stayed for 7 days, that they did not allow the parents to eat!so, if your baby had to be there like Jac, you had to leave him on his own if you wanted to eat. Needless to say I lost 7 lbs (not a bad thing!) but was very hungry!

I would like to blog about our year since diagnosis, and hope to continue over the next few days/months to  help anyone  in our position.

All the best!

Emma