This Type is No Joke

January 2002 my boys had turned 5 and 3. For some reason I kept forgetting to make their yearly check up appointment with their pediatrician (maybe it was because I was working part-time, acting as the co-president of the pre-school, upholding home and household  and mom responsibilities?) and when I finally remembered I wasn’t able to get them in until March.  Within these two months my 5 year old, Griffin began wetting the bed at night and on occasion twice in one night.  Griffin was potty trained pretty early (age 2 1/2 which I think is early, especially for a boy!) and had never had any accidents or bed wetting issues.  At one point during this time I distinctly remember him looking down at our dog and I thought that my slim boy looked even slimmer.  By March and before his appointment, T-ball had started.  Griffin would be at practice or in a game and he could not make it from the plate to second base without waving me down for some water because he was so thirsty.

Finally in the third week of March we went to their yearly check-up appointment.  Keep in mind our pediatrician knew our family well because my younger son Conner came out of the womb suffering from asthma.  In fact, his doctor referred to him as the “happy wheezer” and had said he was the youngest she has ever had diagnosed with asthma.  Because it was so severe she had him tested for cystic fibrosis (negative, thank god), he had inhalers, he had to use nebulizers, during the cold months he was prescribed amoxicillin  (at the time he could only take in a liquid form and it was known as the worst tasting medicine which only made it that much harder to force a toddler to swallow and  would alleviate his cough only to return when he was done taking it), pneumonia, etc.  As a mother, it is very difficult to see your child coughing until his little face was so red or coughing until he vomited. 

Anyway…..so here we are at the doctor’s office and I was telling her about Griffin wetting the bed, being thirsty, etc.  I remember the look on her face, she had a slight frown and said, “lets check his urine.”  She came back and said Griffin had a lot of sugar in his urine and then wanted to check his blood.  

Griffin’s blood sugar came back with a reading of 429. Keep in mind that a normal blood sugar level is between 80 and 120.  She mentioned the word diabetes.  I asked if his the high blood sugar could be the symptom of anything else. She said no and immediately sent us to Emanuel Hospital.  I was in shock.  We left the doctor’s office, I piled the boys in the car and drove to the hospital. On the way there I called their dad and explained what was happening. By this point the gravity of it all had set it and I was in tears but trying to keep it together because I didn’t want to scare Griffin.  My ex (at that time still current husband) was in denial, he couldn’t believe it, it was almost as if I had to convince him that his son had diabetes.

We spent the weekend in the hospital, not only for them to stabilize Griffin’s blood sugar but also to educate and teach us about diabetes, how to check blood sugar levels, how to know how much insulin to give and how to give Griffin a shot. It was a lot to learn, it was scary and we knew that our day to day lives would have a different focus.  

A little 101 on Type I diabetes:

     1. It is not caused by anything like eating too much sugar, etc. but the onset of it can be triggered by an illness like a cold or the flu.

     2. The pancreas has stopped working therefore does not produce insulin.  

     3. You cannot control it with diet and exercise like you can with Type II diabetes. You will always need insulin. The commercials you see on TV regarding diabetes are for Type II diabetics.

     4. There are many factors that you cannot control that affect blood sugar, ie illness, sun, worry, stress.

Griffin returned to preschool the following Wednesday and we were so blessed because his preschool teacher also had a child with Type I diabetes.  As a new parent to a diabetic child, I was so thankful. And when Griffin moved on to grade school we continued to be blessed with the BEST school and nurse and staff who adored Griffin and took such good care of him. I also want to make note less then two weeks into this Griffin decided that he did not like the way his Dad and I were giving him his shots so at the age of 5 and from that day forward he gave himself his own shots.  

So now Griffin is almost 22 years old and has dealt with this disease for the majority of his life. It hasn’t been easy.  He has always fought “being different” and today he struggles with the idea that we can put a man on the moon, we have so many advances in science and technology but we have not been able to find a cure for diabetes?  I get it.  We are closing in on curing this disease and have made great advancements in the last sixteen years that Griffin has had this disease.  I have always said to Griffin that I know their will be a cure in his lifetime but until that time comes it is still a daily grind of poking his finger, figuring out how much insulin he needs, giving himself shots and always being cognizant of what time he eats in relation to his workday and when to do his shot and what time of the day it is in relation to his insulin (sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?), picking up his prescriptions, going to doctor’s appointments, etc. He is tired of it and quite often his diabetes maintenance suffers from it BUT despite this he plugs along with doing it all and when he is ready he will fine tune his management of this disease and take control.  As his mother I will always be concerned about his health and if he is taking care of his diabetes (I still can’t help telling him to check his blood before he eats). Even when he is 40 I will want to know about his A1c (the overall blood to sugar ratio) because what I see is my sweet, intelligent, good looking, funny (he cracks me up!) boy having to deal with this everyday  and the profound effect it has on his life.

November is diabetes awareness month so I wanted to share my story.  For more information on Type 1 diabetes please go to http://www.jdrf.org.  

THANK YOU!

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A Text With My Mom

I was feeling particularly blah this day. On my way home from work while on the bus the following texts ensued:

Me: Mom-my menopausal weight gain is driving me crazy! I hate it!

I think I have gained weight since the party!

Mom: Is it around your middle?

Me: Yes!

I can’t stand it.

Granted I have been drinking more then usual this summer (which still isn’t a lot                because I have a low tolerance) but still I don’t think I eat unhealthy.

Chips and crackers are my weaknesses.

Mom: There is nothing you can do about it except starve. Your body will change when                  menopausal event is over.

Me: Will it change back?

Mom: As long as you eat healthy and exercise and I know its hard. You never again have a skinny waist but you are a curvy girl. I think you look great( side note-God love our moms!). Just don’t develop the sagging stomach down to my knees like I have (another side note-it isnot down to her knees-just a little exaggeration, lol).

These last few weeks I have definitely noticed the weight gain and it has not been fun. My clothes don’t fit the same so I am always a little uncomfortable (especially at work) and the clothes that I have that would cover up my mid-section are limited, so finding something to wear to work in the morning has been a struggle! Ugh.

I guess I will continue being active and try to cut back on carbs a little (less crackers and chips).  I always appreciate this kind of advice from my mom and she has two more daughters that will seek her menopause advice eventually. Thanks Mom!!!!

(That’s me in the black dress, my mom and my sisters)

 

Fifty is Fabulous and This is Why……

I can’t believe it. I just turned 50.  I definitely don’t feel fifty and I hope I don’t look fifty (at least what fifty look liked back in the day).  Birthdays have always been a little depressing for me because it just means I am getting older ( and that much closer to the end of my life. I know, a little morbid. Can’t help it) but I am working hard on having a different outlook on birthdays and aging.  One defining moment that helped me in this process was in graduate school several years ago when one of my professors said  he felt life really begins at 50.  When he said this I felt a wave of relief and inspiration.  He explained that by 50 you are reaping the rewards spent being a parent,  your career is well established and you are still young enough to live an active and full life.  Now that I have hit this milestone, I totally agree.  My children are young adults living their lives, I enjoy my job and I am earning the most I ever have (social worker so not rich, but thats okay) and aside from a few weird age-related aches on occasion I feel like I am not a day over thirty.  And as a bonus, I have the best, supportive, good looking and loving boyfriend.  Life is good :).

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As I enter this new decade I have vowed to myself that I am going to enjoy every minute of it and do things that I would not have normally been able to do ten years ago when I was in full blown parent mode, lack of funds and time.  Along with one of my bff’s (I know, 50 and still using that acronym. I did say I still feel like I am in my 20’s, right?) we made a list of just fun things to do, so I wanted to share this list in hopes it inspires you to go out an enjoy life.  It’s good to be 50 🙂

  1. Pine Street Market
  2. Hike through Forest Park
  3. Beach
  4. Walk the waterfront
  5. Electric bike rental
  6. Movie
  7. Visit museum
  8. Segway
  9. Sauvie’s Island
  10. Top Golf
  11. Farmington Garden-Unger Farms
  12. Zoo
  13. Speedboats
  14. Stern Wheeler-80’s dancing
  15. Hood River
  16. Go see Hit Machine and Big Yellow Taxi
  17. Harvey’s Comedy Club
  18. Train to Seattle
  19. Line dancing lessons
  20. Edgefield Ruby’s Spa

Just for fun I added a few photos I have title, “Since turning 50emoticons-01-512.”

 

 image  Top Golf with family

And a little bit of this…….

So much fun at my 50th bday dance party!

 

 

15th Annual Girls Weekend. Love my Tribeheart-ngsversion-1396531395268

 

One of my favorite things to do……spending time with this one!

 

Ilani Casino, Amy Shumer show and jello shots that we snuck in!

 

Party at Cook Park with the band Hit Machine and my hot bfheart-ngsversion-1396531395268.

 

ENJOY 50 BECAUSE IT IS FABULOUS!!!!!