Life for a Child

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tumbling: Power Through the Extraordinary

Welcome to post #2 of my series on Powering Through the Extraordinary created by! (See post one HERE)  Power Through the Extraordinary is a program created by Roche and Duracell to empower people living with diabetes to follow their dreams and go after their passions.

Where did we leave off last time?

Tumbling.

Low.

Ah, yes.  I really did not expect tumbling to have such a dramatically different effect on Sweetpea's blood sugar compared to tumbling.  But it did!

We tried different strategies to keep her blood sugar in range and as steady as possible during class.  We did things like lower her basal rate, turn her pump off, and give an uncovered snack prior to class.

It didn't take long to realize the problem.

After school snack.

Sweets gets home from school about 4:00.  Tumbling starts at 5:00 and lasts for an hour.  She is STARVING when she gets home from school.  She can not wait to eat something until after 6pm.

So give her snack uncovered?  Is that what you're thinking?

That makes sense, right?  We thought so....

The thing is... she is STARVING.

 You see, she eats lunch at 10:50 AM!!!  She does have an afternoon snack at school.  That snack is uncovered because after lunch, she has recess, a special class like PE or Music where there is activity and dancing, and another recess before the end of the day.  SERIOUS activity.

I do not like uncovered snacks.  I feel like (and this is just me - our Endo even told us that it's ok) if her basal was set correctly there should be no need for uncovered snacks.  However, it was the ONLY way we keep her in range and not dropping 100 points (I kid you not - I am not exaggerating) in the span of 15 minutes each and every day.

So she's already on the low side.  And she's STARVING.  (Have I mentioned this before?  At our house it is mentioned A LOT.  And it sounds like, "Mooooooooom. Daaaaaaaaaaad.  I'm Huuuuuuuuungry.") So she eats.

A nice little 15g snack should be ok - right?

If only.  She is seriously hungry.  She wants more than that.  And she's going to strenuous exercise for an hour.  So we let her eat.  We try to include protein.  Food that will help keep her bg up and steady.

It doesn't matter.

Because this is what we see...

If we give her a snack of over 15g and do not bolus for it....






That did not work out well, did it?  At least she is FINALLY coming down from the exercise... Still.  Yuk.

If we bolus for part of the snack, the insulin is peaking during class.  And that's when we see....


And then....



Hello Rock!  Meet Hard Place!

It's so frustrating.

Every week we would try something else and tweak things a bit.  Some weeks we did well.  Others.... notsomuch.

What we found was KEY was her blood sugar going into class AND having no active insulin.  The weeks that this happened were the weeks when we saw the best, most steady numbers.  The thing is... that just could not happen every week.

Thank Goodness for all the tools in our Diabetes Arsenal that we have to keep her safe (like the ACCU-Chek Nano meter that I trust to be right on the money).  And Thank Goodness for a place to tumble where the teachers know her, love her, and look out for her.  They are so good about noticing if she's not quite right.  They notice if her strength is off.  Or her balance.  Or if she's clammy.  And they give us the "sign"... and we can decide what to do.

We try our best.

That's all we can do.

(And trust me... it KILLS me to see those numbers and it KILLS me to post them online so you can all see them.  BUT... this is truth.  It isn't all perfect.  We have lots of good numbers and great A1c in spite of tumbling!  But we have ugly numbers, too.  So don't hate on me.  I'm just keepin' it real.)

She's going to tumble again.  So we are going to have lots more practice!  Of course, next year her school schedule will be different and so it won't be the same.  But then again, when is diabetes EVER the same?!?

We will just keep trying to figure it out.

Because SHE is going power through no matter what.  And so are WE.

Quitting is not an option.  Giving up is not an option.  As long as she WANTS to do this, we are going to keep trying and make it work.

And you know what?  She has no idea how hard it is to manage her blood sugar during tumbling.  She knows it is important to eat something healthy before.  She knows the activity can make her drop and she should tell her teacher if she feels off.  But that's it.  We deal with the numbers.  She deals with the stunts.

Sure - it's just a tumbling class for a seven year old.

But it's more than that.  It's an example we are setting that diabetes is not going to hold her back.  It's not a reason to say no or quit or give up.  It's not a reason to not do something she wants do.  It's not even part of the equation.


**Disclosure: By participating in the Power Through the Extraordinary program, Accu-Chek has provided us with an Accu-Chek Nano meter and Accu-Check Smart View test strips for a month.  P&G/Duracell has also covered our cost of tumbling lessons.  I have agreed to blog about our experiences.**


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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Powering Through The Extraordinary... with Diabetes

Sometimes it can feel like a struggle just get through an ordinary day when you (or your child) live with diabetes.

That's why the story of Steve Richert and Living Vertical is unbelievably amazing and inspiring.  Steve was diagnosed with Type 1 when he was 16 years old.  But instead of letting diabetes ruin his life, he used it as motivation to do incredible things.  Steve is a climber - of mountains and lots of other things too!  And he created Living Vertical as a way to empower people living with diabetes.

Of course, I can't help but think of his Mama.  I know if Sweets wanted to climb a mountain, I would be both crazy proud and crazy scared!  And I would hope she had the right tools that would enable her to keep her diabetes in check.

That's where Roche and Durcell enter this story!  Roche and Duracell have joined forces to create a program called Power Through the Extraordinary.  They are also working with Steve Richert.  Their goal is to inspire people with diabetes to follow their dreams and go after their passions -- without letting diabetes hold them back.  But that's not where this partnership ends.  Roche and Duracell have worked together to create a Durcell battery powered ACCU-Chek Nano blood glucose meter!

I am thrilled for Sweets and I to have the opportunity to participate in this program!  We love the philosophy of Power Through the Extraordinary and we also love the ACCU-Chek Nano meter.  We started with an ACCU-Chek meter at diagnosis and have been using a Nano for the past year or so.  We trust it's reliability and find it easy to use - for Sweets, us, the school nurse, or anyone!

No, she's not climbing any mountains!  But what she IS doing is taking tumbling lessons.

Sweets has done gymnastics for a few years.  She's done the bars and beam and floor exercises.  And she has really enjoyed it.  But she also really likes cheerleading.  And so she decided that a class focused on tumbling would really help her with her cheer moves.

Honestly, I didn't expect tumbling to be any different than gymnastics.

The first class was all it took to know I was wrong!

Instead of being one of ten or so girls, she was one of three or four.  There wasn't much wait time for the equipment.  There really wasn't equipment.  It was all cartwheels, round offs, hand stands, walkovers, and back handsprings.

Flip.  Flip.  Flip.  Flip.
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.

Think an hour of bounce house time.
With after school snack insulin peaking.

Down. Down. Down.




Did we say, "I don't think this is going to work."  "This is too dangerous."  "It's just going to be too hard to keep her blood sugar up."  "She's not going to be able to do this."

NO WAY.

Jason and I looked at each other the first night and said, "Well, THIS is going to be a challenge!"

And it was!




I will be posting more this week about just what we did to make this work.  We had some successes.  And we had some.... learning experiences!

But what is most important is that we have a little girl going for her dreams and doing what she loves.

And she just so happens to be powering through with Type 1 Diabetes.



**Disclosure: By participating in the Power Through the Extraordinary program, Accu-Chek has provided us with an Accu-Chek Nano meter and Accu-Check Smart View test strips for a month.  P&G/Duracell has also covered our cost of tumbling lessons.  I have agreed to blog about our experiences.**

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Whirlwind

So what happened to May?  And June?

Life has been running along at warp speed here for the past month or so.

Since I've been MIA... here's what we've been up to!

Sweets had field day towards the end of May.  Most people hear "field day" and they think, "Oh wow! Fun!"  I hear "field day" and I think, "Oh wow!  Fun!  Oh wow!  I wonder how her blood sugar is going to react to THAT!?!"

I went along with her class because they were walking to the high school football field and their nurse was staying at the school.  I had no idea what Field Day would be like - so I really couldn't put a plan in place.  I decided it was best just to go help - and Sweets wanted me there anyway!

It was a BLAST!  They had so much fun!  It was super hot that day and they were SOAKED by the time it was over (a lot of that was because they were dumping water on their heads!).  They did soccer, relay races, egg races, hurdles, a fast dash run, sack races, limbo, scooters, corn hole, and more!  Sweets was super thrilled to come in second in the Limbo and second in the fast dash run!  She was even more happy to have run faster than the boys in her class!  That's my girl!






Blood sugar wasn't too bad.  She was really high at first due to the excitement so I corrected and then, of course, she crashed with the activity.  Luckily, I was there to catch it before she went low and stop that drop in it's tracks with a juice!  They got Popsicles for the walk back and that was just perfect to keep her in range.  A success for sure!

Sweets had her art and music show in May.  She was so excited to show us her artistic creations on display.  And she was a super cute singer!  She takes it very seriously!  Of course, right before I was to leave her with her teacher before the performance, she beeped low.  I was only in the 70's so I gave her two packs of Smarties (which should have been more than enough) and left her with instructions to tell her teacher if she felt low or off or beeped.  I also told her awesome teacher and she said she would flag me if needed.  All went swimmingly until the very end when she beeped low again!  She was fine - and it was pretty cute to see the look on her face!  She knew where we were sitting and so she looks at us and mouths, "I'M BEEPING!"



Also in May, my dad got a brand new hip!  We spent some time helping out, bringing food, and "taking care of Gaga".  We went to visit him in the hospital.  Sweets always likes when its someone ELSE in the hospital.  When he had heart surgery and Jason had his heart attack she was not at all afraid because she's been there and knows what everything is.  In fact, she was talking about the hospital and said, "Oh yeah.  We are at the hospital all the time.  You know, for diabetes and heart attacks and stuff."  Nice.  Gotta love her tough spirit!

Sweets is going to be cheering for Pee Wee Football in the Fall.  I have also agreed to be an ASSISTANT coach.  Oh boy!  We have already been getting ready with two different nights of fittings for uniforms and meetings and prepping for "camp" and more.  This is going to be an adventure!  She is SO excited about it!  And she looks so darling in her "big girl" cheer uniform!

We started off June with a Dance Recital!  I'm not sure I have EVER seen Sweets as excited as she was to perform on the stage!  They were SO CUTE and did such a great job!  Of course, this was a new and tricky thing to manage when you add D into the mix.  The night of the show, she wanted to go back stage and be with her friends.  I needed to stay in the audience and save seats.  My girl is getting older... so I just told her to put Dex in her pocket and come find me if she beeped.  This was a big step for us.  Again, she was running high due to her MASSIVE level of excitement.  I didn't want to fully correct until she was done because I knew she would be out of my care - with no one who knew anything about D - for a period of time during the show.  She couldn't wear her cgm with her costume.  And it didn't reach from backstage to the audience.  So - we made it work.  She did her thing.  Diabetes wasn't really even in the picture that night.  At least not to her or anyone else.  I kept an eye on things and corrected when she was done.  Also worth noting, I love her dance studio because for her class - they are so laid back!  No one cared that you could see her cgm on her arm.  No one cared that she was wearing her alert bracelet.  And no one cared that she REFUSED to wear makeup!  The best I could do was a little blush and tinted lip gloss!




Due to my babysitters being unable to chase after a very active 7 year old, Sweets had to go to school with me after her school was out for the summer and I still had a week left.  She was a trooper, though, and enjoyed reading to my class!  She has really inspired them to want to read "chapter books"!  I can't believe she's going to be in SECOND GRADE!  Holy cow.

We've also been busy with JDRF getting ready for our Gala.  A bunch of the Youth Ambassadors did a photo shoot.  If you live in my neck of the woods, check out Pictures by Tracy!  She did an incredible job working with our kiddos.




We also had the kids make special canvas prints that we are going to auction off!  How cute are they!?! I SO want to buy that!  Or maybe make one of my own...




We have also been busy prepping for JDRF's Children's Congress - which is in less than a month!  More on that later!  We have a news interview this week and are excited to be able to spread awareness about T1D!

We have a bunch of other stuff going on, too!  I'm excited to tell you about it over  the next few days/weeks!  We have been a very busy family lately!  Good thing we like it that way!  So stay tuned for some super cool stuff, announcements, and giveaways coming up this summer!

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