Tag: pregnancy

The Little Girl With The Sugar Diabetes

The Little Girl With The “Sugar Diabetes”

The Little Girl With The “Sugar Diabetes”

By: April Langston

Hi, my name is April and I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was only 11 months old! Yes, you read that right 11 months! It was winter at the time and I was sick, the doctors kept telling my mom that it was just and ear infection, or just normal flu things that little kids get. They told her she was just an overly worrisome first time mother. Time passed and I continued to get more sick by the day until eventually, I wasn’t able to even recognize my own family.

At that point my parents rushed me to the doctor, my mom said that when the doctor was checking me over he immediately smelled a sweet odor from my diaper.. aka ketones. From there I was rushed to the hospital and then life flighted to KU Med. At KU I spent 11 days in ICU where my family learned how to check blood sugars, give shots, and count points (now known as carb counting). SCARY times!

Throughout my whole life there have been several people that don’t understand what diabetes is and to them I have been known as the little girl with the “sugar diabetes“. You know that kind that doesn’t make you fat, but the kind that you can’t have any sugar. Those of you with diabetes can relate to this I’m sure.

I am now a healthy 26 year old type 1 diabetic! I have gotten married, had two successful pregnancies with diabetes and have had the opportunity to work with other children going through the same struggles. I just celebrated my 25th diaversary!

There has been many ups and downs along the way. Teenage years were especially hard with diabetes. But I made it through. It’s a continuous battle daily, a battle that not everyone understands. Battling the shaky lows, the high blood sugars that make you irritated, the endless needles, and supplies, and blood sugar checks.

The battle is never ending. But we do it anyway. I fight not only for myself but also for my kids, my husband, my family, and friends. This disease may be part of my life, but it will never beat me. I will continue to fight day after day until there is a cure!

I think it is extremely important to raise awareness and to get the facts out about Type 1 diabetes. I also think it is important to know there are others going through what you are going through and that you have support!

With that being said….

To the worried mother or father of a diabetic not old enough to manage the disease themselves, THANK YOU. Thank you for being the rock that gets us through the day. Thank you for the sleepless nights and the endless worrying. Your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.

To the fed up teenager that is just over it.. hang in there, I promise you one day it will get better. Do what you’re supposed to do to take care of yourself and embrace the fact that you are a little different than others around you. It will only make you a stronger person.

To the pregnant type 1 diabetic, constantly worrying about your blood sugars and worrying that you are going to do something wrong. I promise you that checking your blood sugar 10 times a day and constantly adjusting your insulin will soon pay off and you will be more blessed than you ever thought possible. Do the best you can do and know that it is all worth it.

To the diabetic just trying to get through the day. You got this! You will make it, you will kick diabetes butt and you have so much love and support in the T1D community!

Sincerely,
“The little girl with the sugar diabetes”


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Phoenix Rising Out Of The Ashes

Phoenix Rising Out Of The Ashes

By: Colleen Mattson-Goos

A few years ago a friend of mine referred to me as a “Phoenix Rising Out of the Ashes” and after thinking about this for some time I have come to the conclusion that he is right. I have a quiet strength that many people do not see until I feel the need to call upon it. Some have even mistaken this sense of quiet calm as weakness. They are wrong.

Unlike many others who have submitted their stories, I did not have a happy or healthy early childhood. I was often sick with ear infections or viral infections. I did not physically or emotionally grow the way most children do and I wet the bed constantly. I did not talk to people, especially at school, and was held back a grade due to a failure to interact. I did not feel safe anywhere and I just wanted to disappear. I was lonely, scared, and felt worthless.

By the time I was 9 years old I had had already testified in court due to abuse that had occurred in my home at the hands of people who I should have been able to trust. My dad and stepmom gained custody of me at this time and my overall health started to improve. I finally had a sense of security and felt that I was an accepted member of my family. I started to live like a child should, even if still very quiet.

Three years later my sense of security and health came crashing down, and my family was thrown into yet another crisis because of me. Or what I incorrectly perceived as my fault.

It was about January of 1984 that I started to feel like something was very wrong but I could not describe it. I was tired all of the time and started sleeping throughout the day, even in classrooms. I went home and slept, I fell asleep watching T.V., or playing with my younger sisters. I was constantly drinking water and was going to the bathroom every 10 minutes. I had always been so tiny that clothing never fit right, so my rapid weight loss went unnoticed by myself and my parents.

I smelled death and even had thoughts about dying, but I still could not put into words what I felt like. How do you tell your parents that everything stinks like decaying matter and that you think it is you? How do you tell them you think you are dying when you cannot even describe what you are feeling to begin with?

On February 22nd I came home from school like normal and went into my room to practice playing my flute. I recall sitting down and putting my flute together, but after that I have no memory. I have no memory of my parents taking me to the hospital, or being in the emergency room. My stepmom later told me that when the nurses put a gown on me I was so thin I looked translucent; I weighed 50lbs and I was 12 years old.

What I do recall is waking up and being told that I am now a diabetic. In the 1980’s they still referred to this as “juvenile diabetes” and they knew it had to do with the immune system but not exactly how. I was told that I now have to take shots every day to live, and I need to test my blood sugar several times a day. I was also to follow a “diabetic diet”. I practiced injecting insulin into an orange and by the second day I was injecting myself and seemingly moving forward.

My early childhood had already set me up for emotional difficulties including eating disorders and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. When I was taught to care for my diabetes what the educators and doctors unknowingly taught me was that I now had the ability to gain weight, lose weight, and even easily kill myself if I wanted to. In my mind this became a covert power and something to cherish. The beast that emerged was my secret friend. Unfortunately by the time I was 19 this friend, in combination of lack of access to care, caused the loss of a baby who would now be 26.

In 1992, after years of quietly abusing myself the way that I did and suffering loss, I discovered that I was pregnant with my daughter. I started to care for myself because I wanted her more than anything one could imagine, and in July of 1993 she was born. She was a perfect, beautiful, redheaded baby. Unfortunately, complications from my diabetes, C-section, and emotions arose and I was placed in ICU for some time.

My daughter went home two weeks before I did, even though she was born early. I had severe postpartum depression from this separation, and such a horrific fear of harming my child that I regressed. I left the hospital under 70lbs after her birth and the Beast was back with a vengeance. I was hospitalized numerous times over the next few years, and once I was placed in psychiatric care. One day when my daughter was about 3 years old, she asked: “Mommy are you dying?” I looked into her face and saw so much fear it shattered my heart. I swore to myself, and silently promised her that I would harness the beast that is Type 1 Diabetes, Diabulimia, and Mental Illnesses.

With the support of my husband and our families, I have seen our daughter up, and I have maintained a healthy weight for over 20 years. I am almost finished earning a Master’s in Library and Information Science with a GPA of 3.972, and I am a Teaching Assistant at the university level. My A1C’s are no longer 12+ and with my CGM, and pump we sleep better at night. Sometimes the beast breaks its chains but the Phoenix always rises to the challenge and my story is not over.


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Pregnancy Week 15 with Type 1 Diabetes - Perfectionism vs. Sanity

Pregnancy Week 15 with Type 1 Diabetes – Perfectionism vs. Sanity

Pregnancy Week 15 with Type 1 Diabetes- Perfectionism vs. Sanity

By: Grace Wall

Follow: Type 1 Pace Blog

There have been studies that show girls and women with type 1 diabetes have a stronger chance of developing an eating disorder. Type 1 diabetics are constantly counting and measuring food, and measuring their level of success at managing diabetes (which is impossible to get right all the time) multiple times a day through a number on their blood glucose meter. Constant cognizance of being evaluated and judged on how vigilant we are with food, with exercise and with diabetes management is not always best.

I think it was around the time I was diagnosed that I developed perfectionist tendencies and the need to control any situation. I was ten years-old and diabetes honestly didn’t seem like a big deal to me. Adults were always telling me new things I had to do: you need to brush your teeth, you need to set the table, you need to go to summer running camp, you need to come home when the streetlights come on, and now you need to check your blood sugars and take insulin through a syringe. It didn’t phase me.

That is, until I saw when my blood sugars were out of range, worry would appear on my parents faces. When my blood sugars were good, they would proudly pat me on the back. I saw what grief I caused them when my blood sugars were out of range and I made it my goal to get as close to range as I could.

But how could I? I didn’t have the technology we have now. It took my meter 45 seconds to register a blood sugar! I began to feel lots of shame when my parents would look at my sugar log and ask about different patterns. They were only concerned and I took it as something I had done wrong. But I did nothing wrong. I did not cause my diabetes. As an adult, nineteen years later, that sentence feels cathartic to type.

Fast forward to present day. I am in my 15th week of pregnancy with my first child and I have never tried so hard to manage my diabetes. In the beginning every time my blood sugar would go over 140 I would feel guilty, but I have learned to use the reading as a tool that indicates I need to adjust my insulin needs for tomorrow. I have found it helpful to take a walk when my blood sugar is high and have already given insulin to correct it. It speeds up the absorption rate, and my dog doesn’t mind all the extra walks he’s getting!

I did have one scary day last week where I was 240 for 4 hours and I could not figure out why. The day before I had spoke with my High Risk OB/GYN about some high blood sugars which he believed just meant the placenta was doing it’s job and (here’s the fun part) starting to work against me by creating insulin resistance.

But this particular high event was not coming down with insulin or walking. I was freaking out to say the least and feeling more guilty I was hurting the baby with each passing minute. Of course it was a busy work day too so that did not help. I had a pounding headache, had to go to the bathroom close to every 5 minutes and felt nauseous.

Finally I realized my insulin pump infusion site had disconnected. Not fallen out, just unhooked the quarter of a turn it took for me to get none of the insulin I had been pumping the last few hours. I immediately reconnected and bolused for 7 units. I felt more guilty for being so stupid. In my 17 years of using an insulin pump, I hadn’t had this happen once. I have had my site completely rip out, but this was inexcusable in my perfectionist book.

As I began to reframe the situation, my guilt and anxiety tapered. I rarely wear my site on my stomach, which is where it was at the time, and as my stomach has gotten larger with a growing baby the last few weeks, it has created a variable I have not encountered before. I am getting used to my new body and I may have accidentally bumped my site.

I have also been wearing maternity pants and the waistband on those are great for growing bellies, bad for holding up pumps. Going to the bathroom throughout the day creates multiple opportunities while pulling down and pulling up those pants, where I could have knocked something loose.

The guilt of that high day registered through the roof for me. I remember feeling so defeated. However, I also recognize that I am only human and I am doing my absolute best for this baby. I think it’s truly impossible for me to try any harder (I have given up chips and salsa, pizza, diet Coke and beer for God’s sake!), and that is why I am letting it go. My husband calls it “clearing the mechanism” and it’s what we do when we come home and need to just forget about what happened at work that day. I am “clearing the mechanism” on this hyperglycemic episode and starting fresh tomorrow.

My team of High Risk OB/GYN’s have told me that I don’t need to see my regular OB/GYN any more. I ignored that and have kept seeing her. I like her – A LOT. She helped me through my first and second miscarriages and always has great things to say. She is a realist, which I appreciate.

On my last visit with her she told me I’m doing a great job with the pregnancy, the diabetes, running while pregnant, and everything and told me I need to stress less and start enjoying the pregnancy, because it’s going to be over before I know it.

I will continue to be diligent with my blood sugars but she’s right, I plan to start enjoying the pregnancy more. I plan to be value my sanity over my guilt and stop being so hard on myself. I’ve lasted almost 19 years with diabetes and if this baby is anything like it’s parents, it’s a fighter and it will be healthy and happy.


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gestational diabetes

My Journey From Gestational Diabetes to Type 1 Diabetes

My Journey From Gestational Diabetes to Type 1 Diabetes

By: Carrie Haislip 


Being a mother has truly given my life meaning, in more ways than one! On my journey through my first pregnancy, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, the one that goes away right? Well in many cases, I had believed this as so.

When my daughter was 18 months old I was just getting used to being a new mom. But life as I knew it completely changed.

I was tired, the kind of tired where your arms and legs feel like lead weights and you struggle to get out of bed and walk up a flight of stairs. My already petite frame became shriveled and gaunt. I couldn’t get enough coffee (most days I still can’t). I was so tired and thirsty… coffee would do the trick right?

After all, it’s normal to be tired as a new mother. I started to stare at some sorta weird lump on my foot…OMG a lump! It wasn’t the tiredness or thirst or running to the bathroom every 30 min that sent me into my doctor’s office. It was the lump on my foot and sudden weight loss. Did I have cancer? Seriously I thought the worst! The absolute worst and I was scared for my life.

No, it wasn’t cancer…phew! After a long week in and out of the hospital came an official diagnosis: Type 1 Diabetes. What a relief! And suddenly there I was, testing blood sugars 8x/day, injecting insulin 5x daily and counting carbohydrates of everything I ate in aims to avoid the highs and lows that accompany life with Type 1 diabetes. Oh and all while changing diapers and running after a very mobile and energetic toddler!

I have been blessed with a wonderful supportive family, loving husband. I’m thankful for everything life has handed me, even diabetes and the life lessons it has taught me. I know, I know… that sounds ridiculous! Thankful for having a chronic disease?!

I won’t “sugar coat” it…no pun intended. Life with diabetes is NOT always easy.

I often need an outlet to vent my frustrations about an unexpected low blood sugar, an insulin pump failure that awakens me at 3am, that Starbucks “sugar-free” mocha coffee that sends my blood glucose skyrocketing to 300! Yeah, it’s a true pain to have to live with really.

It has shown me that human life is a precious and fragile thing. That staying healthy and taking care of oneself goes far beyond just eating well and exercise and monitoring my blood sugar. It has taught me what is truly important in life and to embrace it!

I began a blog at 10 weeks pregnant with my son (now age 2) as a therapeutic diary in hopes to offer others support and insights into family life, motherhood, gestational diabetes, and Type 1 diabetes….the ups and downs, highs and lows. The emotional roller coaster that one living with diabetes and just being a mother encounters on a daily basis. Enjoy reading more about me if interested!

Pumped To Be A Mother


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Motherhood and Diabetes – Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

Motherhood and Diabetes

Becoming a mother has changed all our lives. We appreciate each day more than before. Every hug, every kiss, every “I love you mom“. Even though we make it look easy, it’s a constant struggle. We fight to be here, we fight for our health, for our future, and most importantly for our babies. Not a moment is taken for granted.

 

Not all superheroes wear capes. We often wear spit up, food, blood, tears, sweat, and even an insulin pump. 

 

There’s never a dull moment being a diabetic mother. With all the difficulties that motherhood brings, we face diabetes on top of it all. But we continue to set the bar high, to do better, to challenge ourselves, and make our children proud.

 

They keep us going after all. Our children are our saviors, and we are blessed to be their mothers.

***

Happy Mothers Day

To the whole diabetes community for your strength, courage, and perseverance (you are all true diabetic superheroes).

Amanda

Being a type 1 Diabetic mom has made me realize how tough it is to raise a child that has diabetes…my poor mom and what I put her through….I only hope my daughters will not get diagnosed with it, but it is a worry that I have every day of my life…on the other hand, it never lets me forget how precious every minute of the day is and how much more I want to be in control of my sugars for the sake of my two daughters…I want to see them grow up, and they deserve to have a happy, healthy, mommy!

 

Katharine (Kathy)

Motherhood and diabetes has made me realize just how much of a miracle my son is and how much you can accomplish no matter what cards you have been dealt. On August 16, 2007, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, just 2 months before getting married at the age of 26. I thought I would never forget that day because of my life changing diagnosis. For the following 5 anniversaries, I pondered on my new life while remembering with grief the life I lost. But on my 6th anniversary of diagnosis, my son was born. August 16th became the best day of my life instead of the worst. I had a rough pregnancy and even harder birth experience. And learning to care for a newborn while managing this disease was something I didn’t think I would find strength for. But then I realized my reason to go on, my reason for fighting this disease every day, was right in front of me. My son is now the reason I push through on the hard days. I do it for him. And I am thankful he gave me a reason to celebrate August 16th instead of mourning it. I am a diabetic mommy. And I am stronger person because of it.

  

Becky

Becoming a mom made me realize that I had to focus & start taking care of myself once and for all as I now had another person relying on me to be the best mum I could be. The hardest thing about being a diabetic mum is the niggling thought that my child could also develop the disease like me. I get terribly paranoid and often prick her finger in her sleep.   

  

Crystal

Being a mom with diabetes had made me realize that not only do I need to stay healthy for myself but also my child who depends on me to take care of her. It’s gets stressful especially when your suffering from a high or low blood sugar and trying to take care of a little one at the same time and you get frustrated because you don’t feel good but at the end of the day you have that cute little face and slobbery kisses reminding you that it’s all gonna be okay and to stay strong. Some women don’t think they can do it. I know I didn’t but trust me you can and the outcome is definitely worth it!

 

Michele

Being a diabetic mom has made me…..stronger! I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since my son was 6 months and he is now 9…I also have a 4-year-old daughter. I am so blessed to have children who love me and watch out for me with my diabetes. They are trained on when I am high and when I am low…I have a Dexcom so they hear it go off and ask me if I am ok and if I need something. It has made me appreciate my family so much more because they care and do whatever they need to do for me. I have learned even though I am the only one with diabetes that it affects my family just as much as it does me. Some days are amazing…no issues…no highs or lows..great energy….and then there are the bad days…Where I’m unable to get the sugars to act right…moody…tired…but then I know I have to fight through those days to get to the great days ahead of me with my family!!! I HAVE DIABETES IT DOES NOT HAVE ME!!   

 

Melissa

I think life as a diabetic Mom can be messy and unpredictable. The daily focus on T1D has shifted to taking care of another tiny human being. Both are so very important and seem to take over my world. Decisions often need to be made quick for both and without hesitation. Do I need to set my crying baby down while I treat a low or try to bring him with me in my arms while I can barely focus on unwrapping my fruit snacks. Do I need to leave Mommy and Me Yoga early while I am talking to a new Mom friend to grab a spare snack in my car? It has enabled me to become more aware, more empathetic, more cautious, and more scared. It has also taught me to live in the moment and really savor the small seconds with my son.

Beth

Being a mother is hard. Being a diabetic mom adds a level of complexity and stress that few other moms deal with on a daily basis. As a mother, with diabetes, of two children under the age of 3, I have learned a few things. I’ve learned that the adage of making sure you take care of yourself before you take care of your kids is important. Especially when your blood sugar is bottoming out, you’ve got two cranky & hungry kids clamoring for your attention and you don’t have enough brain power to parent, let alone treat the low sugar without going overboard and stuffing your face with half the pantry. Being diabetic & a parent has given me a darn good reason or two to take care of myself as best as I can so that those first & special moments my children will have as they grow up I will be able to enjoy them with my children and not observing from afar because it’s time for my dialysis treatment due to not taking care of myself as best as possible.

      

Jenni

Being a mother with diabetes has its highs and lows for sure. My daughter’s spunk, positive attitude, and kindness are worth all the struggles that come with battling a high blood sugar and just wanting to be alone or having to chug a juice box (or two) because we are in the middle of playing baby house. It’s not always easy but in the end, it’s always worth it!

   

Osob

Motherhood has its ups and downs and when combined with diabetes, the ups and downs come with a lot of highs and lows. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 2 years old, I am now 31 with two daughters both under the age of 5. I love being a mother but the hardest thing for me as a diabetic mum has to be the loneliness. It’s just me and the girls most days, the same chores and the same worries day in day out. Am I good enough for them? Are they missing out because of me being diabetic? What if I hypo? Who will help my girls? Diabetes is a lonely disease in its own right and having children has made me even more lonely. People tend to forget about you, the kids and the extra struggles you might be dealing with. I overcome this loneliness because my daughters need me. I love hearing their laughter, I enjoy the enormous smiles on their faces when they do something new. The innocence that I witness on a daily basis makes me feel appreciative to have them in my life. I can’t forget the hugs, kisses, and support that my daughter shows me when I am hypo. She gets me something to drink and is always aware of where my supplies are. Diabetes has made me a strong, independent mother. I plan in advance, make sure my daughters have a routine and in turn, this has made all of us happy and content. I’ve learnt that I am strong enough to carry children, to ignore the restrictions that people put on me and that at times, I need support and encouragement from family, friends, and professionals. My future is bright, even though I have type 1 diabetes, my children will be limitless to achieve whatever their hearts desires.

   

Karly

I have had diabetes for 15 years, I have one son, he just turned 2. Being a diabetic mom is an amazing challenge. Having diabetes has helped me to be a patient mother, a mother who knows that life is precious. Without my son, I can’t say how much longer I would’ve survived, but he saved me. He is why I test!

 

***Thank you to all the amazing ladies from the diabetes community for sharing their story*** 


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