*Operation Get Healthy · *Uncategorized

Spread the word, or no?

I am a Type 1 Diabetic and have been for 20 years. I use a Medtronic Paradigm insulin pump and have a Dexcom G5 Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). In 20 years, I have only experienced one major, negative affect: a low blood sugar seizure in the middle of the night in February 2017.

I am Roman Catholic, a little “crunchy” and uninterested in chemical contraception. So, in addition to our Religious beliefs, for personal beliefs as well, we are open to life.

Lowell and I have been married for nearly 12 years and are expecting our 7th baby. I end up delivering large babies, but never due to uncontrolled diabetes. I have maintained a1C’s of 6.0-6.5 during my pregnancies, and all our babies are healthy as can be. When I delivered our 4th, all 10 pounds 10 ounces of him, my OB shook my hand and said he believed I was built to build and deliver big babies!

I want to share my diabetic story, including my having more than 1 or 2 kids, as a Type 1 Diabetic. I don’t know any T1D women who have had more than 2 kids, but I know a handful of T1D men who have 3+ kids with their wives and are open to having more.

In all my internet searches over the years, all I can find is mostly info for Gestational Diabetes. And discouragement for T1D mothers to have more than one or two kids and for no clear reasons why. 

Is this something that would be followed? Do you know diabetics, or folks in general, who would benefit from my story? I realize I am probably going to have to dig up some scientific facts or information from time to time, which I can and will do!, but this will mostly be about my experiences and journey as a Diabetic mom.

Based on the kind of response I get, I may start a different blog specifically for that. If there is only a little interest, I will probably just post here and tag it in it’s own category.

So, talk to your friends and your friends friends. Maybe share this post via your fav social media outlets to help me get feelers out there? And comment, comment, comment here. Please. Let me know what sort of things are of interest based on what I have been through.

I have been praying about this for some time, and woke up this morning thinking I should put it out there to see if maybe 2018 will include a new mission for me to shine some actual light on child bearing possibilities for diabetics.

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*Operation Get Healthy

Angels Among Us

We have been so blessed since my seizure. 

Family has flown and driven from out of state to be with us and help. Family, friends, and total strangers have donated so generously to our gofundme

But, what or who has my eyes shining with joy in particular today is all the love and support we have received from our friends the Gomez family.

Paula came with her oldest [at home] son, Jason, when I was taken by ambulence to the emergency room the night I seized to sit with Anastasia and the older sleeping kids. And that whole week, they graciously took on our kids so Lowell could focus his attention on me as we started this journey into the unknown of our new life of post-seizure-arms and Lowell’s PTSD.

They have taken and picked up the school kids, they have cleaned my house and taken care of our yard, they have brought us groceries, Genevieve coordinated the “secret bake sale” a few weeks ago, and they have made themselves available for whatever our needs may be come hell and high water.

And then, this morning, Paula showed up with pork and veggies to set us up a crockpot dinner to eat with rice, that she also made. She said she wanted us to be able to smell it cooking away throughout the day. And, while she was here, she tidied my kitchen, fed the kids lunch, changed the baby, and visited with me for a few hours before loading up the kids and taking them to peruse the Dollar Tree.

I mean… I just… it may seem not a big deal to some, but what they have brought to our family during this time will never be forgotten! 

I thank God for all our gifts and help, but I most especially thank Him for the Gomez’s and all they’ve selflessly done for us in giving of their help. But, not just their help, but also for Tom’s and Paula’s time talking to us and praying for us as we venture down this new path. It’s been stressful and emotional, but the support they continue to give is such a gift!

And, for the record, dinner smells uh. maze. ing.! 

Hug the angels in your life, friends. They are everywhere around us, some just jump out and grab ya more obviously than others. Sometimes when you least expect it and sometimes when you need it more than you realize. 

*Operation Get Healthy

Diabetic Alert Dog here we come!

I have an exciting update!

We are on the list for my dog and are going through Diabetic Alert Dogs of America :) 

God willing, they’ll find a match for me soon and begin the training process. We probably won’t get him until after Christmas, but that’s a good thing as we want him to be well trained.

None of this would be remotely possible without the generosity of our family and friends. We still have about half the funds more to raise, but atleast things are in forward motion now! :)

I’ve said thank you many times already, but I really and truly thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping our family in this way. 

I got my EEG results earlier this week and all was clear without the slightest abnormalities. She said I wouldn’t need to go on meds or return to see her for any follow ups down the road.

Now, we are working with the orthopedic doctor’s office in getting approval for shoulder surgery from our insurance company as they denied the first request that was submitted. Apparently, shattered, stretched, and torn shoulders aren’t deemed medically necessary. Who knew? 

Seriously!

And, I am going to get my Dexcom continuous glucose monitor in the next few weeks. The Dexcom is one that fellow T1D’s have been telling me about for a long time now. I chose it because it can communicate with other devices. This means Lowell will be able to keep tabs on how I am doing while he is at work. 

I am looking at getting a Pebble Time Steel Smartwatch for myself so I can easily track what’s happening without having to stare at my phone all the time. But! One purchase at a time.

Have a great weekend, everybody! Thanks for reading along with me on this newness of our life’s adventures.

*Operation Get Healthy

Is this preventable?

We find that folks who can’t seem to wrap their mind around our current situation ask us, or more so Lowell, “Isn’t this preventable?”

First of all, I think it may be a bit of ignorance that brings this question up. I mean, most people’s understanding of diabetes is of Type 2 Diabetes. You control your blood sugars with diet, exercise, and maybe some pills or an occasional insulin injection. 

But, the reason why it is maintained in that way is due to the fact that a person who has T2D still has an operating pancreas. It doesn’t work as well as it should be for one reason or another, but it still works just the same. And, the diet with exercise maintenance that is done with a functioning pancreas leaves room for very little error or negative effects. 

I am a Type 1 Diabetic. My pancreas does not produce one drop of insulin. My health, my whole life!, depends on artificial insulin. In addition to insulin, that I receive via an insulin pump, I also need to eat well and exercise often.

Now, because I use an external pump, when my body under goes any type of physical stress, my blood sugar raises; when I eat more than I should, my blood sugar raises; when I get sick, my blood sugar raises; when I go through hormonal changes in pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding, and weaning, I go through blood sugars spikes.

I also go through periodic extreme lows. Usually, in my day to day activities, I can sense a low coming on, check my blood sugar, and fix it accordingly. But, much like the hormonal changes that cause spikes, they also play a part in serious drops.

These drops are unpredictable. As are spikes, which are dangerous in their own regard, but they happen. These situations of low, and high, blood sugars don’t happen on any type of schedule, they just happen.

My pancreas doesn’t work, so when my body has too little, or too much, insulin there is nothing to fix it besides my checking my blood and drinking some juice for a low, or administer more insulin for a high.

When I am extremely low, I become “checked out” and say or do things I wouldn’t normally say or do. But! If you don’t know me well, I can convince you I am well.

The night I had my seizure, we think I must’ve already been low and instead of getting up in the middle of the night to eat to fix it, I gave myself MORE insulin.

Isn’t this preventable?

Sure. During the day, when I am aware of what is happening. I can make sure I don’t exercise too much after taking some insulin because exercise assists in lowering blood sugar. I can make sure I take enough insulin at meal time, stay hydrated, and stay away from processed food in order to avoid high blood sugars.

But, in the middle of the night? When I probably was experiencing a hormonal change or … something? When that change sent me so low that I was “checked out” and made a bad problem worse because I took insulin instead of eating?

No. 

That is not preventable. 

It is not preventable in the sense that I can’t control my actions when my blood sugar is too low.

And, it is not preventable when internal changes happen and my brain can’t tell my pancreas to adjust because I basically have an external pancreas on autopilot. It’s waiting for me to adjust it according to my findings, when I am aware of them on their rare occasions. 

It is preventable when I am still aware and can make good decisions about correcting an extreme low blood sugar. Or, when someone who is with me and knows me well can read into my not being myself and take action.

So, isn’t this all preventable? 

My answer is technically yes, but in reality, no. 

This is why my sister-in-law started a gofundme for us to get a DAD, and why we are looking into getting a Continuous Glucose Monitor. We want to avoid such a tragic incident from happening to our family ever again.