I’m new here. A short bio:
Mom of a 7 year old girl, Elizabeth, dx’d Type 1 right after Memorial Day in full DKA. She was in intensive care at a top-notch children’s hospital for 3 days, 4 days in the hospital altogether.
We’re a family of 9. Yes, NINE. Hubby, Me, and seven offspring, ages 13 down to 7 weeks. And also a rather large and wonderful dog =o).
Elizabeth is doing great. Her 3month post-diagnosis A1C was 8.9, and we’ve tightened up her target range goals to 80-150. She does all her own testing (except for any needed middle of the night tests) and does most of her own injections (with parental dosing and oversight of course). She’s a trooper and as spunky as they come =o).
Anyway, I’ve been reading through here and even though I’m not the one with Type 1, I feel like a proxy, walking through things with Elizabeth, helping her to guard her heart, mind and body. I don’t have to experience the sticks and the needles, but hurt along with her when a bolus is a little on the large side or when the Lantus stings =o( . And of course there are the highs and the lows . . .
Folks we know have been really wonderful and supportive throughout the last several months. I subscribe to a mom’s digest for moms of many children, and of course, there are some there who think that they can help with the latest alternative whatever to “cure” diabetes.
Many of you have noted frustration with the ignorance of such sharing (I hear ya!), and I thought I’d post a response I sent to one who “shared” with me. The woman who emailed me is of the mindset that all pharmaceuticals are evil (not just bad, but evil), and that given the proper nutrition/herbs, the body will always heal itself. So you get the idea . . .
Here’s what I wrote to her:
Thanks for your prayers =o). We’ve been doing really well. Elizabeth is a trooper and as spunky as they come, doing most of her testing (not the middle of the night, if needed) and most of her injections (with parental dosing and oversight). We’re learning the ups and downs, the ins and outs of her condition. Flexibility is key . . . the only constants are testing and dosing and counting. The rest is an art of sorts, constantly tuning the food intake and insulin dosage to how her body is responding on any particular day. I called her blood glucose numbers into Vandy yesterday (I had a few questions for the diabetes team) and they said her numbers are “fabulous”. Yay! It’s hard work staying on top of it, and it’s good to know that it’s not in vain. Our Pastor’s wife was joking around with me a couple of months ago and said that some people take years to find what part of the Body of Christ they are - and that we know now that at least in part, we’re a PANCREAS! She’s too funny =o).
I appreciate the resource suggestions. Diet is an important part of managing Diabetes, and some Type 2’s can get along without being on meds. I have a good friend that is Type 2 who manages her Diabetes well with diet and exercise.
Type 1 Diabetes is a bit different, though, and is insulin dependent. No matter what/how much one eats (low carbs), a Type 1 diabetic will slowly and painfully starve to death without insulin, the hormone a fully-functioning pancreas produces. (The pancreas also produces enzymes - Type 1 diabetics’ pancreases cease insulin production.) Insulin “opens the door” of our cells so that the cells “know what to do” with the carbohydrates that are in the foods we eat (carbs go to glucose —> energy and growth). Click HERE for a simple video illustrating the process.
Carbs are in many of the foods we eat - veggies, fruits, grains, nuts, and yes, sugar =o). Carbs (glucose), fats, and proteins feed the brain and fuel the vital functions of the body (including organs, motion and heat), and are crucial to the growing body of a child. Extra glucose is stored in the body in fat stores. Children (and adults) who have Type 1 Diabetes that are treated only with diet and go without insulin slowly starve to death, dying eventually of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), where the body simply cannot carry on chemically as it tries to dump the glucose it is not capable of using but desperately needs. Life expectancy for those on such a diet is very short. Before DKA, the body “eats” all the fat stores and wastes away muscle to fuel itself, resulting in significant weight loss. Elizabeth was in full DKA and had lost 20% of her weight at her diagnosis and was in intensive care for 3 days. Without insulin Elizabeth would be dead today.
Here’s a 3 part video (25 min. TTL) with a bit of the history of diabetes and about the discovery and development of insulin: http://www.dlife.com/dLife/do/ShowContent/dlife_media/tv/video_story_of_insulin.html
I’ve looked at a lot of resources about Type 1, including what you sent. Thanks. Insulin is a necessity for life for Elizabeth (as it is for you and me) short of a cure or a healing. Diet is an important part of her treatment and we are paying close attention to that as well. The link to [link removed] you sent has only anecdotal info . . . no hard science - read proof - (which can be demonstrated if something really works - whether it be herbal or conventional medicine). I understand you were not recommending the site, just passing it along =o). I just wanted you to know that I did take a look at it. =o).
Gotta go. Thanks again! Hope this finds you all well!
So there's my 2 cents. Many of you have stated that education is so important. I agree. Thanks for all your informative posts, and also for sharing your hearts here. You're helping this mom of a Type 1 to consider the broader aspects of what Elizabeth is going through beyond the physical. - Lizzy's Mom