Thursday, December 8, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Hi my name is Brenden and I am 9 years old. I have type 1 diabetes. I have an older brother that has it too. It is not fun having diabetes but it is not horrible. My life hasn't changed a bit since I got diabetes. It is like I never got it. But unfortunately I did. I would love it if you have diabetes to send a comment of how you feel about having it. If you don't have diabetes can you comment what you think it would feel like to have it? Thank you for reading this.
Last year ~ November 30, 2010 I declared it Diabetes Siblings Day!! I'm going to make this a yearly event and really have fun with it! We had a super fun day! I did a post on my other blog last year! Again, a big THANK YOU to all of my kiddos for being so AMAZING!!
(Can you figure out who the gymnast is? haha)
Friday, December 2, 2011
To see empathy and compassion develop in my children way beyond their years.
Seeing Christ-like love between my family members.
To meet so many new, incredible people because of this disease.
We have come to love our endocrinologist (who is also Type 1) and his wife (our diabetes care nurse).
We have had an amazing school nurse who has become a very dear friend.
We have amazing doctors and hospitals here.
To feel the love and to be the recipient of service from our family, friends and neighbors.
Boys that are very good at math and measuring.
A HUGE pantry (18' x 6') room that is plenty big enough to hold food and all of their diabetes supplies (there's a lot)!!
Living in the United States where we have access to good doctors, hospitals and medication.
The insulin pump...LIFE-CHANGING. Both of my boys are one the Medtronic mini-med.
My boys have each other - they don't have to feel alone in this.
A faith in my Father in Heaven and His plan for each of us. I don't know how you go through the day-to-day without knowing you are a child of God and the He knows us each individually and will never give us more than we can handle.
(although I think he has me confused with someone else) :)
The internet and blogs...I have turned to these resources too many times to count.
Prayer~I know that during those times that I have had enough and feel like I can't do this anymore, I can get on my knees and turn this over to the Lord.
Watching my boys live without letting diabetes stop them.
Nutrition labels on food...life is so much simpler knowing exact carbs.
Measuring cups...I have a whole drawer dedicated to them.
Friends that listen (even though they probably don't want to).
Mostly...I am so thankful that I have my family (all 8 of us)!
Here is a video that I saw on someone else's blog and which inspired this post. I couldn't make it through without crying. The words are so appropriate and a wonderful reminder to all of us, because we all deal with hard things!
"What if your blessings come through raindrops? What if your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near..?"
I've cried too many tears to count.
I've had 2,176 sleepless nights. Maybe not totally sleepless - but it hasn't been the same since the boys were diagnosed.
I know that blessings HAVE come through raindrops and healings HAVE come through tears and because of 2, 176 sleepless nights...I HAVE felt Him near!
Christopher and Brenden
Walk For a Cure - Nov. 2011
What are your blessings?
Thursday, December 1, 2011
These symptoms may be the first signs of type 1 diabetes, or may occur when the blood sugar is high:
- Being very thirsty
- Feeling hungry
- Feeling tired or fatigued
- Having blurry eyesight
- Losing weight without trying
- Urinating more often (we noticed the middle of the night potty trips)
- Losing the feeling or feeling tingling in your feet
For other people, these warning symptoms may be the first signs of type 1 diabetes, or they may happen when the blood sugar is very high (see: diabetic ketoacidosis):
- Deep, rapid breathing
- Dry skin and mouth
- Flushed face
- Fruity breath odor
- Nausea or vomiting, inability to keep down fluids
- Stomach pain
If you or someone you love exhibits one or more of these symptoms, call a doctor immediately.
Knowing the symptoms of type 1 diabetes can save a life. Please share what you've learned with everyone--family, friends, teachers, doctors. Until a cure is found, the more who know, the more lives will be saved.
~November 1, 2010~
Brenden was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes!
Here is his story:
Last Thursday, Brenden wet his bed in the middle of the night. He has never had a bed-wetting problem (even when he was a toddler). I didn't think anything about it other than he must have had a lot to drink before bed and didn't go potty either. Then on Saturday, Brenden told Rich that he was really tired because he has to keep getting up in the middle of the night and peeing all of the time. Rich told me that night and it sent up a little red flag but...I still thought no way!
Then, Sunday night...
Rich and I had just gotten into bed and had turned of the lights and we heard the kids bathroom door shut. I asked Rich to please go see who that was...it was Brenden. I told Rich that we needed to check his blood sugar. After he came out of the bathroom (it's around midnight), we brought him into our room and sat him on our bed. We got Christopher's meter and proceeded to check his blood sugar. When it beeped and I looked at the meter with the result staring me in the face, I felt like I couldn't breathe. It was registering HI...that means his blood sugar was over 600. The meter will only register to 600. I told Rich to check his blood sugar just to make sure the meter was ok. Rich tested and he was ok. We checked Brenden again and the result was the same...HI. i went downstairs with my heart pounding out of my chest and got a different meter. We tested him for a 3rd time, but with the new meter...same result!
We knew we had to take him to the ER. I went downstairs to call my mom and ask her to come sit with the kiddos. In my brief walk down my stairs, the floodgates opened and I couldn't control the tears! Was this really happening to our family AGAIN?? How could this disease ravish another one of my childrens bodies? My poor mother probably could not even understand me through my crying. I wasn't crying due to panic or fear this time...it was pure heartbreak! I knew what we were headed for...what Brenden would have to go through!
My mom came and we left for the hospital. Christopher had woken up during this time and wanted to come with us to support Brenden so we let him. We got to the hospital and our worst fears were confirmed...
Brenden has Type 1 Diabetes too!
Brenden in the ambulance
They transferred him to Riley Children's hospital in an ambulance! He thought it was pretty cool that he got to ride in one. They took care of him so well there. They gave us lots of wonderful goodies (diabetes supplies) to take home with us. One blessing is that we got to come home on Monday night. They normally keep new diabetic patients for 3 days to go through all of the education and training, but since we already had a child with diabetes and knew things, they let us come home! I was so grateful because we had just spent 3 days in the PICU there exactly 3 weeks before with Christopher. He had a complication with his insulin pump and wound up in DKA and in the hospital. It was nice to see the nurses again, but none of us could believe that we were back and that it was for Brenden this time. Needless to say, we have not had the best month!
Brenden has checked his blood sugar approximately 28 times.
He has had 18 shots.
He has told me he is scared that he is going to die once!
This is something no little boy (or girl) should ever have to go through or worry about! No mom should ever have to hear her baby express that fear! The first set of shots he got, the nurse and Rich had to hold him down while I did it...he cried and was so scared, but he tried to be so brave! Each shot has gotten better! Another hard thing for Brenden is that this little boy has no fat on him. He is a gymnast and has abs, thighs and buns of steel. Usually, the stomach is the best place to give shots, but the nurses told us not to touch his stomach because there is absolutely nothing there to pinch. That really limits the surface area we have to work with now. We use his thighs, the top of his bum, and the back of his arms. We will use his legs and bum at home and the nurse will use his arms to give his shots at school. He hasn't gone back to school yet. He will go back on Monday. I think he is pretty nervous about that and I KNOW I am. It is hard to turn my baby's life over to another person. It amazes me that none of the school nurses we have dealt with have ever dealt with a child with diabetes before. There is a learning curve and there will be LOTS of phone calls and emails in the beginning. I appreciated that the nurse was honest and asked if she could call every day before doing anything just to have me double check things. I am so thankful that I literally live 1 minute from the school.
This morning when Brenden came downstairs, he had his meter in his hand and he said, "Don't worry Mom, you don't have to tell me to check my BS, I already did it by myself." I have to admit, it made me cry! I was so proud of him. He is being such a trooper and he is so brave! The strength that my boys have shown me through all of this is simply AMAZING!
We have wonderful friends and family that have been here for us and have helped us get through this. To everyone for everything each of you have done...
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!
We have our emotional ups and downs!
I try to remember the things we have to be grateful for such as:
1. We have already been through this before, so it isn't as scary this time.
2. We have great insurance.
3. We have wonderful hospitals here for my boys.
4. My boys now have each other and will NEVER feel like they are going through this alone.
5. Heavenly Father knows what we are going through.
7. My boys are AMAZING, STRONG and soooo BRAVE!!
8. Priesthood blessings
9. Prayers offered on behalf of my family
10. Our great endocrinologist~ Dr. Cagle
Well, it is late and I need to go (my thoughts are all jumbled up right now too) so I will finish this tomorrow!
We love each of you and are so thankful for everyone's love and prayers!
Here is his story:
It began on Friday afternoon when Christopher came home from school (December 16, 2005). He told me that he wasn't feeling very good. He didn't have a fever and he couldn't exactly tell me what was wrong. He just said that he didn't feel right. So, I told him that he could just go lay down and rest. We went through the rest of the evening with no incident.
Saturday morning Rich and I were redoing our bathroom floor. When Christopher got up he said he wasn't feeling well. Soon the vomiting started. He was not running a fever, though. I asked him if he was achy all over and he said no. As the morning progressed so did the vomiting. We tried crackers, ginger ale, popsicles, and water. He could keep nothing down. It got progressively worse throughout the afternoon. Then, Rich had to leave for work.
After Rich left, we went about our evening and I tucked the kids in bed. Christopher was vomiting multiple times an hour at this point. I really thought he just had a really bad case of the flu. I gave him the option of staying downstairs or going to his bed. He said he just wanted to go get in his bed. I stayed downstairs and cleaned up from the night. I checked on Christopher a couple of times too. However, a short time after I had checked on him last, he came downstairs because he had vomited everywhere (he missed the bucket) BUT here is where it got SCARY!! His breathing was crazy. He sounded like he had just finished running a marathon. He was breathing so hard and loud and fast. He was a pale/ashy color. He looked so sick...and his mouth was bone dry. His tongue felt like sand paper and he could barely open it. It really scared me so I called my wonderful brother-in-law (he is a PA-Physician's assistant) and asked him what could be wrong and what to do. He asked me a couple of questions and one of those was does his breath smell fruity? I smelled Christopher's breath and to my amazement there was no "sick smell". You know the smell...when people are sick there is just a "sick smell" to their breath. He told me I needed to get him to the ER right away. He even offered to come and pick us up. I told him that wasn't necessary that I could call my mom to come help me get him there. She only lived 5 minutes away. He was very firm that I needed to get him there right away and that he could come get us if I needed him too. But, I called my mom and she was here pronto. I called Rich and told him what was going on and that we were headed to the ER and he said he would meet me there. Christopher could barely walk at this point so I needed help getting him into the hospital. Luckily, we literally live less than 5 minutes from the hospital. I woke up Brittaney and told her what was going on and that I needed her to stay with the kids. We left with Christopher and rushed to the ER!!
When we got to the ER we had to wait in triage...STUPID people!! I asked them if he could ahve some water because he was sooooooo dry! They said NO! However, I went into a little room right there that had a sink in it and scooped water into my hands and went out and poured it into his mouth. I felt like a momma bird feeding her little baby bird! :) I felt like my son might be dying while I was waiting for the triage nurse so I got a "little upset"!! Needless to say they got us right in and they called the Dr. in immediately once they saw him. Considering we had to carry my son into the room, I think they finally got it! The Dr. took us right into an exam room. I think Bill had called ahead and told them we were coming (he works in this ER so he has connections)!! :) Anyway, the Dr. took his blood sugar immediately and it registered HI which means his blood sugar was over 600. He drew some blood and told us we would have to wait for the blood work to find out exactly how high it was. Now mind you...his blood sugars are suppose to range between 80-120 so this was EXTREMELY high!! The Dr. told us immediately that Christopher had TYPE 1 DIABETES. I still remember that exact moment. My heart stopped and the tears started to flow...but then immediately I thought...STOP, you have to be strong for Christopher!! I wanted to make sure that I heard and understood EVERYTHING the Dr. was saying.
The Dr. got the bloodwork back and his Blood sugars were almost 800! He had large ketones and the Dr. told us he was in DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) which is life-threatening!! He told us that they needed to get his blood sugars down, but that they had to do it carefully and slowly. He also told us that Christopher was too sick to stay at this hospital so they were going to transfer him by ambulance to Riley Hospital for Children (downtown)!! I am so thankful that we live here and had this facility available to us! They told us that he would be in the hospital for 3 days because we (Rich, and I) would have to go through a 3-day course on how to take care of him and give shots and everything.
The Dr. asked me how much Christopher weighed and I told him and he said ok, but let's check just to make sure. They weighed him and they told me his weight...he had lost 20 lbs in less than 2 weeks. I told him that was wrong and that they needed to weigh him again. They did and got the same result. I thought to myself...how did I miss him losing 20 lbs. so quickly? But, he is a 9 yr old boy (during winter) wearing big sweatshirts and I don't watch my son get dressed so I didn't notice. I felt soooo bad!! They had asked me if he had been going to the bathroom alot or drinking alot. I thought to myself...I don't pay attention to every time he has gotten a drink or when he goes to the bathroom. However, Rich and I had noticed that he was getting up a lot in the middle of the night to pee, but we didn't think anything of it! I just thought maybe he was drinking a lot before bed. The weight loss, the excessive thirst and drinking and the excessive peeing are all signs of diabetes. How could I not have known???? Maybe because there is NO family history of type 1 diabetes on either side of our families.
They began his IV immediately and started the insulin and IV fluids. Finally, the ambulance team arrived. Christopher was a little more coherant by this time. He said he needed to go to the bathroom but they didn't want him getting out of bed so they gave him a jug and I left the room while Rich helped him. I was gone all of 2 minutes, but when I went back in the room, Christopher grabbed his head and said that his head was really hurting. I went and got the Dr. and he came in and checked him out. Then, they sent us on our way.
I rode in the ambulance with Christopher and Rich drove our car behind us. The paramedic checked him as we were leaving. It was a VERY long ride (or so it seemed)! The paramedic and I were talking and then he told Christopher that he needed to check his blood sugar. Christopher didn't respond...he was asleep (or so I thought). The paramedic shook his shoulder and tried to wake him up, but nothing. He started shaking harder, touched his face and then started pinching his chest....I started to PANIC!! Christopher was not moving...what was wrong with my baby??
He kept trying to wake him up and talk to him, but NOTHING! He yelled something up to the driver and that's when we picked up speed! Luckily, we were only a couple minutes away from Riley. When we got there, they rushed him in and stuff started being yelled throughout the ER. A whole bunch of Dr's and nurses came running and before we knew what had happened, Rich and I were in a corner of a big room watching all of these people work on our baby! I have never been so scared in all of my life! Finally, a nurse came over and told us what was going on. Christopher had slipped into a coma, his brain was swelling, and they were giving him manitol and they were doing everything that they could! They told us we could stay in the room as long as we stayed out of the way...so we did! There were so many people around him working on him, that I couldn't see him except for a piece here and there. I just wanted to scoop him up in my arms and hold him, but I couldn't! Rich and I both just stood there, Rich put his arm around me and just held me! I don't know how long all of that lasted...it seemed like an eternity!
Eventually, the Dr. came over and talked to us! Most everything at this point is just a blur to me now. Most of the Dr.'s and nurses left the room. My first instinct was...he needs a blessing. So, Rich called a good friend of ours, Bryan Roach. He was a member of our bishopric and is also a cop. At the time, he was also doing security for the Indianapolis Colts...he was Peyton Manning's security (cool, I know)! :) Luckily, when Rich called he was downtown with the Colts and so he came right over. We asked the nurse if we could have a moment and she said sure and closed the door and curtain to the room. (she said she had to stay because someone had to be in the room at all times). We were fine with that and she was VERY respectful. Rich and Bryan gave him a blessing and I felt the spirit so strongly! I wish I could remember what was said, but I don't. I just remember the feelings that I had! How thankful I am for friends that dropped everything to come to our aid!
We were waiting to be moved up to the critical care ICU!! Richard looked at me and said, "Why don't you go home and get a shower and get changed." I thought..."Are you CRAZY?" What I then realized was Rich didn't get the seriousness of this. He looked over at the nurse and said, "He's ok now, right? She can go home and shower and get changed?" I will never forget the nurses face when she looked at me, and then she turned to Rich and said he is stable but he is still in critical condition!" That is when it seemed to hit Rich! The blood drained out of his face and he became white as a ghost! It registered...! Needless to say, I didn't go home that day for a shower! My best friend, Angie and her 2 boys (Christopher's best friends) came up to the ER to see us! Christopher was still unconscious, but he did wake up for the first time while they were there. It didn't last very long, but that was great that he had woken up! I don't think Angie will ever know how much that meant to me that she was there for me during all of that! She is the BEST friend I have ever had! I love her to pieces and she will forever be my BEST FRIEND!! (whether she likes it or not...haha)
Anyway, we waited a long time in the ER before being transferred upstairs. It is Sunday afternoon now. We finally got upstairs and it was nice because we were right in front of the nurse's station. It was soooo quiet! Luckily we have some wonderful friends. One of those being Marc Duerden. He is a Dr. and our old Bishop. He came up to the hospital to sit with Rich and I. Also, my mom talked to Jodi Smith (a woman in our ward) who is one of the best pediatric neurosurgeons in the country. She called me and then she came up to the hospital. She is the head pediatric neurosurgeon at Riley! Also, our old stake president (who is now Elder Chipman) came up to the hospital. He was the head of something that had to do with diabetes before he retired. Needless to say, we were surrounded with wonderful people who had medical backgrounds and were there to see that Christopher received the BEST treatment and were there to explain things to us. We felt soooo blessed! A BIG thank you to everyone who was there for us!
My mom and dad came up to the hospital after church (my parents had our kids) and they brought them with them. They were allowed to go in and see Christopher for a brief period. It was good for them to see him, especially Brittaney, because she saw the condition he was in when we left for the hospital the night before and she was very scared. Everyone stayed for a little while and then everyone left and went home. Rich took the kids home because only one of us could stay in the room with Christopher overnight.
This is when it all physically hit me. I was sitting in this tiny room staring at my son in a bed hooked up to all sorts of stuff and he was sleeping. It was just me and my thoughts in this room. How was I going to do this? What if I didn't know how to take care of him or what to do? He is my kid who hates shots, so what now? How do I give my kid 5-6 shots a day or even ask him to do it to himself? What if I calculate wrong and give him too much or too little insulin? Mostly...how did I miss the signs? I could have lost him! About that time, I started to feel sick to my stomach and very nauceous. Unfortunately, the bathroom was at the other end of the hall. I felt like I was going to be sick, but I didn't want to leave the room. What if he woke up and I wasn't there? What if he got scared and didn't know where he was? Note: the first couple of times he woke up he was combative and didn't know where he was or what was happening. Needless to say, I wound up running to the bathroom a couple of times that night! The nurses felt so bad and were so nice to me. If they saw me running they went straight into his room to sit with him. They told me this happens all the time, especially in the evenings once friends and family leave. That is when a lot of it tends to hit people...in the quiet of the evening hours when you are alone. Luckily, it didn't last very long and Christopher didn't wake up while I was gone. I didn't sleep at all that night (or Saturday night either). I was too afraid that he would wake up and I would miss him. I wanted to tell him that I loved him and that I was right there if he needed me! I couldn't do that if I fell asleep. I think I sang every primary song and hymn I knew that night. I paced the floor when I started to doze off. I think I probably spent half of the night praying too! I wished so badly that Rich could have been there with me, but I knew that our other kids needed someone with them too! Thanks Rich for being there for them!
The next morning he woke up and stayed awake! :) YAY!! They were able to move him down to another ward. All of the kids with diabetes were on this ward. This is where all of the classes began. Rich got sick at home and so he couldn't come up to the hospital. I was going to have to do this alone. However, my wonderful mom came up and went through the classes with me that day. To say that all of the information was overwhelming is an understatement. There was so much information...hours of classes over the next 3 days! We had to practice drawing up saline into syringes and then administering the shots. Christopher got to practice giving injections on us! I think he liked it! :) Rich got better and then was able to come up to the hospital! :) So, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were mainly spent in classes. Thursday, I had to completely take care of Christopher and administer all of his shots myself. You have to be able to properly care for your child (on your own) for 24 hours before they let you leave the hospital. We got the good news Thursday night that they were going to try and get us home by Friday evening (the day before Christmas)!! It happened and that was the BEST Christmas present EVER!! :) We got to go home and have Christmas Eve dinner with everyone!
There were so many special moments that happened to me during that week, but there is one that I would like to share!
Once Christopher woke up and we were transferred down to the other ward on Monday, we went to the play room and he picked out a book. Every night when he went to bed I read to him from this book until he fell asleep. The first night, I started to read and he looked over at me and said, "Mom, will come sleep with me?" Yes, you can imagine...the tears started welling up in my eyes. How many 9 yr old boys ask their moms to come get in bed with them? Needless to say, I gladly moved the chair and climbed into bed with him and held him in my arms while I read him to sleep. This special time happened every night we were there. I slept in the bed with him and got to hold my baby all night! What a special blessing! :) One night his nurse came in and with tears in her eyes said, "I have never seen anything so sweet! I love that you sleep with your little boy every night AND that he wants you to!" I LOVED it too!
Now I sit here 6 years later...much more educated about diabetes. I'm no longer afraid on a regular basis. I would love to say that I have had this great epiphany and that I am so thankful for this trial in our lives, but I can't do that! I would be lying if I didn't tell you that this absolutely stinks or that I HATE diabetes!! Diabetes does not only affect the person with the disease, it affects the whole family! I wish that I could take this trial from my son, but I know that I can't. However, I do know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves each of us and is mindful of our situations. I also know that he doesn't give us anything we can't handle. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us and that through trials, such as these, we are strengthened and he is able to teach us lessons and to help bring us closer to Him!
This Christmas, I am again reminded how thankful I am for my family and to have my WHOLE family here with me this Christmas! I hope that we can each remember not to take our family members/loved ones for granted! Our lives can change in an instant and I know that I don't want to have any regrets!