Tag Archives: Carbohydrate counting

Big Brother

19 Feb

It has come to my attention that it is not unusual in my house that we all pull together. This is incredibly noticeable with my elder son Meical, aged 8. Since Jac was diagnosed with his Diabetes 21 months ago (I can’t quite believe we are nearly at the 2 year mark…..what a lot we have learnt in that time!) Meical has been amazing right from the word go. He very quickly learnt how to check Jac’s blood glucose, under supervision of course, and would also be a third pair of eyes in watching Jac to look out for hypo signs. He has cleverly learnt how to count carbohydrates (it is necessary to count all carbs to  be able to dose insulin for food) He also has had to put up with various different behaviors from Jac, as when his blood is high or low he can get a little ‘temperamental’ shall we say!

It is very apparent how much we rely on him sometimes as often when we are driving in the car a mournful little voice will pop up from the back and say “Mum, I don’t feel well” This is our cue to test him there and then as it could be an indicator that Jac’s glucose may be high or low and he could need glucose or insulin immediately. Not such an easy feat to do the test and administer what you need when you are doing 70 mph on the motorway with no service station in sight! So then we pass over the medicine bag to Amazing Big Brother who tests, tells us the number and either sorts the jelly babies out or gives the correction insulin dose via Jac’s clever insulin pump. What a star! I often tell him how brilliant he is and I hope he knows it!

Enjoying the recent snow

My attention was also drawn this week as to how much Jac must be always conscious about his Diabetes. Last night when I went in to do one of his night glucose tests his blood was very high, so his glucose machine did it’s warning alarm to alert to the high reading. Jac stirred a little in his sleep, and murmured sleepily “Am I high or low Mummy?”

I replied ” You’re a bit high”

He responded  “Would you sort out the insulin Mum? I’m tired.”

“Of course I will darling, you go to sleep”

“Thank you Mummy, love you”

All this and he is still only 4 years old.

My gorgeous boys…..

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Support and the Education Board (It’s a shame they are not related!)

5 Aug

Well, so much for my uneventful couple of weeks! So far Jac has had random high numbers with blood in his cannula a few times, he has had massive mood changes due to the high bloods, with tearfulness and rages, mixed in with a desperate need for cuddles with me his mum. His big brother Meical has also been diagnosed with shingles near and in his eyes and has 5 different medications for this. Now we have to watch for all the complications for Meical that could come from shingles, and be aware in case Jac gets chicken pox from Meical’s shingles. It never seems to be easy! Just when you think you have things on an even level something always happens to throw a spanner in the works.

He loves his t-shirt from the Diabetes Uk Cymru family day in Bangor!

We have also just heard that Jac’s appeal for extra funding at school has been turned down by our local council. It would seem that they expect him at 3 years old to deal with his own diabetes, check his own glucose level and deal with possibly incredibly debilitating low blood sugar levels. I know that the school would never let this happen, and are going to do their best to learn how to care for Jac, but how on earth can someone who is uneducated in Type 1 Diabetes possibly make the decision that Jac is unentitled to extra help? The education board that made this decision must be crazy! I would love to meet them in person and give them a lecture of how our lives are now structured. My family life is amazing and I love my boys so much, but if people realised that everything we do is based around Jac’s health needs they might realise that it is not easy, and every minute of every day is a challenge. We have to judge Jac’s glucose levels, if he is high we give extra insulin and because of the high levels he may feel moody and irritable, if he is low we give glucose and he may feel tired,  groggy and poorly. We also need to make sure Meical is involved and has his own special time without him feeling left out. Wherever we are and whatever we do, we are always watching for signs of strange behaviour from Jac, to alert us to fluctuating blood glucose levels. But how can the council say he doesn’t need help is beyond me! I now have to mentally prepare myself to fight them to help Jac when I’m not feeling particularly boisterous at the moment.

Which brings me to another subject of support. I come from a relatively small family, and only have my mum living close by. My husband is also from a small family, and his parents both passed away when he was a teenager. So that leaves us in the position of only having my mum to care for the 2 boys when I need to go to work , or to sometimes  have a rare night off! But I would like to give thanks for my mum, because she understands how much pressure we are under, and she also knows how important it is for myself and Michael to have a night to ourselves to have a chance to catch up on some sleep! She has learnt how to carbohydrate count and to programme Jac’s pump with his insulin needs, so that for once a month (or more sometimes!) she has the boys sleep over at her house, and myself and Michael go for dinner, drink too much wine and sleeeeeeep! (albeit with the phone next to the bed for any problems that might happen,)So, I would like to say a big thank you to my mum for being there for us. We have no one else to help and appreciate the effort she makes for us.

We have a big trip down south planned for a couple of weeks time, so lets hope we manage to deal with that and everybody is healthy by then……

Support for the family from my mum

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