Category Archives: diabetes clinic

A Monumental Day

Today is World Diabetes Day.  This day commemorates the birthday of one of the men responsible for my youngest son being alive today–Sir Frederick Banting.  This amazing Canadian was involved in providing us with an inject-able source of insulin–the first step on the journey to cure Type 1 diabetes.
Today is also the first time that my son is going to a diabetes clinic without his mother. Because of where he currently lives, it is not possible for me to travel to attend with him. He is going with his dad.  I received a text while he was in the office looking for some information. I had already been in contact with his new CDE and provided his basal rates and carb to insulin ratios.  The rest of the appointment is/was up to him.
While my son attending his first ever clinic appointment is a big deal for me, an even bigger deal is who my son will see today–on Sir Banting’s birthday.  He will sit and chat with the man who kept him alive on that March day many years ago when he was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
My son is returning to his first pediatrician.  This is the man who told me that the next 24 hours were critical and would tell if my son lived or died.  This is also the man who held my hand and kicked my butt to learn and gain confidence in dealing with this beast we call Type 1 diabetes.
I have said time and time again how hard it is having my children living far away from me. I have moaned and groaned about the challenges of having a teen living away and the many worries that come with that.  The best thing about his move however is this return to his doctor.
His doctor knows my son’s potential. He knows me. He has watched my son grow.  He has always encouraged my son’s independence.  He has also never been shy of telling either of us what he thought.
Today is World Diabetes Day.  Today marks the birth of the man who discovered insulin. Today also marks a full circle in my son’s diabetes care.  He began seeing this doctor as a toddler protected by his mother.  Today he sees him again as a growing young man stretching to find his way in an adult world.
world diabetes day

Its a BAD day for Da ‘Beetus

“Mom you should have warned me!”
What was he talking about?
“Mom you should have warned me that we have a clinic appointment tomorrow! I would have done a lot better. Today was a really bad day for da ‘beetus!”
He did know that he had a clinic appointment today. He simply chose to forget…like he forgot to test a number of key times throughout the day and like he forgot to bolus for his supper! It was a very bad day for “da beetus” alright!
I have downloaded his meter. I have written out his basal patterns and the result is that I don’t want to know what his A1c is because I know it will be bad.  I also wonder what I have been thinking in looking at his basal patterns on the weekend versus the weekdays.  The weekdays are a mess. My first guilty thought was “its time to do some serious basal testing and fix this!”  My second thought was “why?”  This is my son’s last full week of school.  Next week is an exam every morning and then slacking…I mean studying every afternoon. After that it is basically summer vacation, a time when we switch over to a permanent “weekend” basal pattern.
I hate the thought of our team looking at his readings. They are a mess but each one tells a story.  They say… “He didn’t weigh his cereal.”  “He eats constantly and there is no break to test basal patterns.”  “He is working out and we are working at learning how exercise impacts his insulin needs.”  “Mom has given up asking for data and works with the little information that she gets.”
My son said that I should just let our team do their job. That would be great but they have no data either! How do you say adjust that basal or bolus ratio based on a reading that was taken 20 minutes AFTER he ate? Hopefully they will simply be on board with helping to get us a CGM in the fall or whenever the DexCom comes to market.  Perhaps they they will remind him to test if he wants his licence.
I hate clinic appointments. Why do they always feel like you are going into the principal’s even though you know that you are doing your very best? Perhaps I will just go in, keep quiet and let my son handle all of this one…that would make things interesting! Wish us luck!
kid diabetes

June DSMA Blog Carnival

Today I decided it would be a great time to answer the DSMA Blog Carnival post before I start re-posting old blogs during my vacation.  I had long since forgotten what June’s topic was so imagine my surprise when I read “Do you get nervous or stressed when you have to go to your endo/doc appointment? Why or why not? Be honest.”

Today is our clinic appointment! Am I nervous? No.  Am I stressed? A little. I hate the waiting at the clinic. We had a great appointment last time we were there. We chatted with the doctor.  A nurse took my son’s blood for his A1c and we were out of there. We were two happy people! 


The other problem with this appointment is of course my son is having a high at night that I just can’t quite tweak. They may, or may not tell me to do the things that I am considering–adjust a carb to insulin ratio to cover the food he is eating. Look at upping a basal rate before he wakes to cut down on what looks like some growth hormones kicking his butt.  That is all well and fine but remember I said that I am going on vacation and so is he? 

My son’s activity level could go up as he rides his quad daily and catches up with old friends.  This will mean that the change is basal rates is unnecessary.  Add to that the fact that he isn’t “that” high, he has only woken up to two lows–in his life!, and he has had a few nights when the readings were okay.  I am thinking about adjusting the carb to insulin ratio, leaving the rest and texting from Ireland to see what’s what.  

Why don’t I get nervous? I don’t get nervous because I don’t look at them as the judge and jury.  I am.  I am my worst critic. I am much tougher on us than they are.  I know what I have to do. I know the A1c that I want to see. I have said time and time again, I was trained by the best.  Between an amazing doctor for the first 10 years of diabetes and the CWD Parents list, I have learned a lot and kept myself on top of the latest information. I am not intimidated because I often know as much as the staff. We are all the experts and when there is mutual respect there can be no need to be nervous. 

So what can they do for us? I am hoping that they will begin to work a lot more with my son.  We have had the alcohol discussion. I know that they have spoken about it at FFL teen sessions.  He needs to establish a relationship with his d-team and understand why its important for him to continue to be diligent with his care after he leaves their office. Our old doctor spoke directly to him, making him take charge. I am trying to step aside more often so that they can do this in our new setting as well. My son is quiet and private but this is not the place for that privacy.  

So are clinic appointments a source of stress for us? No.  They are a necessary evil but to date we are blessed by teams that respect us and work with us not against us. 

“This post is my June entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2012/june-dsma-blog-carnival-2/

A Grumbly Teen Day

I think I have seen the first signs of “I hate diabetes” from my son in a very long time. When he was first diagnosed, the new life of testing, injecting and specific eating was foreign to him and he rebelled by throwing up and refusing to eat.  It was his way of gaining control at two years old.
My son is much older now. He has lived with this disease for most of his life.  He has been great all things considered. He has done what he must for the most part. He has tried to ignore it as often as possible but he knows that he has his mother to rely on for help.  He tries to be just a normal kid who does not like to draw attention to himself or diabetes.
Recently his report card came home with less than stellar remarks. The marks were varied but most were not up to his standard.  The comments were not at all what I expected of my son.  I was terribly disappointed. He knew he had to do better. He had messed up. The discussion was very emotional for both of us. 
I reminded him that a full-time career in a dead-end job was not just beneath his potential but harmful to his health. He needed to focus on getting a good job that will allow him look after his health care needs.  Diabetes would partially dictate his career choices. For the first time, I think that sadly hit home. He was not happy.

Teen attitude…this picture really captures it!

Our latest diabetes clinic appointment occurred the day after the report card mayhem.  At the clinic he was very surly and not at all like himself.  We hate the long wait times and he was miserable.  While he was polite when they asked him questions, when we were alone he was seething. Any class in school was better than sitting and waiting. Going back to injections was preferable to seeing his team every quarter. How long did he have to do this for? A lifetime? That was insane.  He was having no part of this.
My heart broke. How do I help? How do I fix the attitude? Will it pass? Is this just a phase? What will happen later in life when he is fed up like this? Will he quit and negate his health? I have to believe not. I have to believe that he will fuss and complain but the results of non-compliance on his body will put him back on the straight and narrow.

I never liked adolescence when I went through it. I dreaded it when my oldest son began his journey and it has not improved for my youngest son. I know we will survive, but oh the bumps and bruises we may have along the way!