Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Calling all Carbies!

When J was first diagnosed I really had no clue the extensive list of foods that contained carbohydrates, so much so that if I would have had to take a test on that subject I would have failed it MISERABLY! We are talking a 20%....F-.......completely and utterly bombing the subject completely LOL. Obviously that quickly changed with T1D barging into our lives.

To make it simple for those not living in our world, pretty much everything that goes into your mouth has carbohydrates in it! What is the significance of a carbohydrate and diabetes? Well the easiest way to explain it would be that carbs are broken down by the body, converted into sugar and used as a fuel to power the body or stored for future use. A more technical explanation can be found here Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar

For a diabetic or a person that is managing diabetes your head is constantly swirling with carb counts, thinking about the glycemic index, fiber counts and figuring out the amount of insulin that is needed to counter act those carbs.

When a food is not pre-packaged and labeled with nutritional information then you are left to measure, weigh or count your foods. We use a book and smart phone app called Calorie King. This allows us to see the carbohydrate counts when you have to measure or weigh your foods and also helps us in the times that we are somewhere with no access to measuring cups/spoons or scales and we have to guess. We look at the average count for that item and the serving size options so we are as educated as possible in our guess, then we just have to pray that we made the right decision and wait to see what happens.

When J is not home I often find myself in a panic because I forgot to measure or weigh the food that I gave to E, and then I remember that I don't have to do that for him. You become such a robot, reading labels and measuring/counting foods. I am now even building a memory bank of the carb counts to the foods that he eats on a regular basis.

When we are out to eat at a restaurant we have to count every chip that he puts in his mouth, every fry that he steals off of your plate, every taste of your food that he wants. It completely consumes your life and yet becomes so second nature. My husband and myself are so much more aware of how careless we were with eating and just how many carbs we were eating pre-diabetes.

*For those who don't live with T1D themselves or manage it, I challenge you to start reading your labels and counting your carbs for one day. I promise that you will be shocked and probably start to make healthier food and drink choices with that knowledge. (for example: if you eat a PB&J- You count the bread and the amount of PB and J you put on the bread which are usually calculated by the tablespoon or if you are eating a Hamburger- you count the bun, the toppings, your fries and every tablespoon of ketchup that you dip your fries into)

*For those newly diagnosed, the carb counting does get easier and it will become less fearful when you have to guess. Just keep staying strong and using your resources like Calorie King (there are also a lot of other carb counting apps available).

*For those veteran carbies, what are some of the tricks and short cuts that you use when measuring, counting or guessing your foods??

Friday, July 18, 2014


The reason that I blog is not for attention nor pity to our situation and J's condition. It is simply a way for me to share our story and for people to get a glimpse of what it is like to live with and manage this disease on a daily basis. I also find that networking and sharing my story with the D-Community can be beneficial. I have gained knowledge from others, so I feel in a way that I am obligated to pay it forward. I am blessed to have amazing response and support behind my blog and other social media accounts but I am sad to say that some adult T1's don't have that same support. They are often criticized and put down for "complaining" about their condition and told to get over it and just be glad it isn't cancer!

I will never understand the people who feel the need to pass judgment onto those who are fighting a battle. Who are they to compare one condition to another? Who are they to tell someone with a life long chronic disease that they should "get over it"?

It is down right disgusting, offensive and it makes me sad that Joseph might have to face this type of treatment when he is older. This is where I feel the lack of knowledge surrounding Type 1 Diabetes skews people's perception of the disease. Although Type 2 is a very different and often self inflicted disease, I have seen first hand how devastating it can be to a person's life. Diabetes as a whole is nothing to be taken lightly.

This is why all of those Diabetes Memes talking about eating sugar and getting diabetes makes me crazy.
This is why when I say the word "diabetes" people think that my son just needs to exercise and eat healthy.
This is why I  am blamed for my son's AUTO IMMUNE disease.

This is why the ignorance needs to STOP!

Please help us spread awareness and education. If you see or hear someone posting or saying ignorant or insensitive things about diabetes PLEASE correct and educate them. Diabetics as a whole need more support and less criticism. Let's all work together and put an end to these stereotypes. 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Do you have "The Itch"?

J is very sensitive to the adhesive on the OmniPod and DexcomG4. Shortly after we put either device onto his skin he begins to complain that they are itching him, then once the sites come off he immediately gets a terrible rash and itches it like crazy for days! We have tried everything we can think of to stop this from happening, but just haven't found a solution......until now :)

Recently one of my favorite Dblogs six until me posted her personal experience with this same problem and how she solved it.

You simply apply this to the skin where you want your site and then you place the Dexcom or OmniPod directly on top as you normally would and you insert directly through the pad!

I figured if it worked for her, it was worth testing out on J. So, we first tried it out with the Dexcom site and amazingly enough not only did the site not itch him but it stayed adhered to the Tough Pad and his skin for the duration that the Dexcom was worn with, wait for it........NO tape needed at all! As if that wasn't amazing enough, when we changed the site....NO rash, NO itching!

We also decided to test it out under his OmniPod. I was more nervous for this one since the cannula inserts automatically. I was worried it might kink the cannula during insertion through the Tough Pad but thankfully it has had no issues at all in the three or so pod changes since testing out this method. Just like the Dexcom it stays adhered amazingly well, we have only had to use a small amount of tape (Opsite Flexifix) one time.

You can see from the picture above that the Tough Pads are the perfect size for both of these sites ensuring that no adhesive is touching the skin!

This is a total game changer for us and one less discomfort for J to endure! I am so thankful for the online diabetes community! This just proves that we can learn so much from each other, all we have to do is share our story!

*Nothing on this site should be taken as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor before making any changes to your medical care.

Monday, July 14, 2014

I'm Back!

Sorry I have been MIA from my blog for the past few weeks. The lack of posts weren't from there not being enough Diabetes related topics, believe me I wish that were the case. We have just been busy with family, battling illnesses and my stress level has just been at such an extreme, I just couldn't muster the energy and brain power to write posts.

Over the past few weeks we have actually attended a few Diabetes events with both JDRF and the American Diabetes Association. These are always fun and I love for Joseph to get to meet other diabetic children and for us to be able to talk and connect with people who "get" it!

I have also been gearing up for our JDRF One Walk . As our team captain I have to start recruiting walkers, and spreading the word about our mission to cure T1D and the fact that we need others help in accomplishing that goal. Every single dollar donated helps put us one inch closer to a life without T1D, but also a better easier life for Joseph with other medical advancements. While we all ultimately want a CURE, we have to be realistic that it isn't going to happen over night. The most important thing is that we are making strides to advance the medical care while we wait for that cure. These medical advancements will help to ensure that Joseph will be in the best medical condition and minimize his complication risks, so that when that cure comes he will be able to seize that opportunity!

T1D is giving us a run for our money this past month. If he is not running High he is running Low. It seems like hitting that happy medium is damn near impossible, no matter what we do. We have had pump failures, adhesive issues and to be honest it is just downright mentally draining! I try not to stress out and remind myself that we are doing the best we can. This is our first summer on a pump and CGM so we are still on a learning curve but when I download that data and see what the week has been like, I can't help to feel as though I am failing him. It is a tough high wire balancing act between managing T1D and letting a 5 year old, be a 5 year old! Plus, the icing on the cake are his impossible questions coming almost daily about why E doesn't have diabetes.......I wish that I could just freeze time, breathe and re-boot...No, wait better yet while I am wishing I'd like to add the little zapper from Men In Black ( I think I just really aged myself LOL) and someone could erase all memories BEFORE T1D!!!! Unfortunately, these aren't an option so I just have to keep pressing on, adapting to this new normal and doing the best that I can.

I have a new D-Life hack that I will be sharing tomorrow for all of those wearing OmniPod and Dexcom, so stay tuned!

Happy Monday :)