Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Teenage Guessing Games

Hello Blogosphere, I am still around.....and yes I still have five daughters, 2 of which have Type 1.

My Awesome Teen Type 1 - Whom I worry about

My teen Type 1 is currenlty flooded with pubescent homronal surges that threaten her daily diabetes life more frequently then I would like. However I strive to  be a mature (Ha, ya right) father and I must gently pursuade or encourage her to be responsible with her diabetes. In other words I try to lead by example, and yes.....I constantly remind her to test before; eating, moving, sleeping, skate-boarding, breathing, blinking, you get my point.

I worry....who doesn't, but here are my biggest worry's:

Me "What's your suger?"

Her: "It's fine, I can tell" - As she injects a huge amount to chase the carb she ate 30 minutes ago


Me "Did you test" - Before she is about to leave with her friends to go long boarding

Her "No, but it was good before"

Me "When? Before....!"

Her "This Morning" 8 hrs ago

Me "Test or you don't go" My thoughts - I wish she didn't have diabetes.....but I want her safe and alive.


Her "My stomach hurts"

Me "What's your sugar"

Her "Don't know"

Me "why?

Her "Haven't checked today"

The list goes on and on....

I try not to nag but man, I worry about her safety, the blind injections, the not testing, the guessing, the everything.....then I remember that when I was a 15 yr old Type one they didn't even have meters, and I took 2 shots per day, I survived, and I know she will too.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Diabetes - Scrambled Brain Issues

I have this nagging suspicion that having diabetes and extra large glucose molecules floating around my vascular system may in all likelihood have a potential impact on my BRAIN. Why you ask.........

Well, for one there are definite links to dementia and vascular disease. It is also becoming obvious to me that mood and diabetes are intricately linked.  I mean I not only notice this in my own actions and moods, but now in those of my two other D kids under my direct care. 

Of course the obsessive part of me, or my brain, asks questions like; how early does the small vessel damage in the brain occur? Is it inevitable? And am I turning into this monster as I go about my day-to-day activities? Or, is it simply normal responses to everyday stresses causing my temper to flare, and my words to fly, often inappropriately, and almost always too quick for me to control.

Then there are my Kids. The ones with Diabetes of course. They are notoriously more temperamental then the other siblings. My teen is, lets just say, unbearable some days, and linked to poorly controlled sugar levels, sleep patterns, and the typical hormonal fluctuations she is unfortunately afflicted with solely based on her pubescent phase of life. Undoubtedly annoying to me nonetheless.

Back to my brain. I admit I have insurmountable domestic responsibilities. We moved again, and have just recently started a new school year at differemt schools. Sounds a lot like typical life. Changes, the ebb and flow, the usual. But is my mood, behavior, and my ability to handle stress some how worse and more difficult to manage because my small brain  (not my size, he he) vessels are being ravaged over time by the occasional elevated sugar levels?  So really, has diabetes and high sugar levels "Scrambled My Brain"

Anyone else out there in the D-sphere find that concentration, temperament, memory is effected from having diabetes for many years or at the very least when your diabetes is completely messed up.

I wrote this post a few months ago, and have since found out my thyroid was really, really low, and since taking synthroid, my memory and concentration has improved, but I still pose the above question.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Turning a Woe into a Win

I know my titles kill me too!

So after I wrote the last post I was feeling the need to pay a visit to the school to touch base post traumatic letter writing warfare.

I feel it is imperative for Rowan`s sake to have a cohesive team with good morale. I went into the office and said hello, and proceeded to ask to speak to the principal.

I am fully aware of office politics and am 99% certain everyone in the school office was somewhat aware of the little quarrel from a week ago. Oh well.

I  was permitted to enter Mr P`s  (Name is changed) office. I shook his hand and asked him how things were going now with Rowan. I then said that I wanted to make peace as I now felt that Rowan`s team is strained. He denied feeling the same way, and assured me that everything was fine on their end.

I tried to convey empathy for his position and his need to take a formal stance when he feels that a students safety is paramount, but I also encouraged him to please call me next time with anything, small to prevent a cascade of letter writing warfare that invariably leaves all parties feeling segregated and awkward.

We shook hands and decided to move forward in a positive direction. On the way out I bumped in to the TA in charge of Rowan`s care. ``Awkward`` But nevertheless, I asked her if ``our team`` was still good and intact. Sometimes I think I am far to sensitive but I feel it is important to maintain good relations with those responsible for keeping my baby safe. I thanked her for learning about diabetes and taking good care of Rowan. She said ``Go Team Rowan``

I hope all is well.


Monday, November 26, 2012

School Woes

I need to share our recent experience with our daughters new school.
But first a little back ground info.

We recently moved locations, in the same town, but far enough to consider changing schools. After deep thought we decided to change schools.

As anyone knows change is hard enough, new people, new schedules, but we thought what the heck it`ll work out just fine. Wrong.....

I went to the school to do a mini presentation on diabetes management 101 to all the school officials involved directly and indirectly in Rowan`s care. All went smooth, or so I thought.

School started, routines were becoming entrenched, and more comfortable each day. Communication was multiple times daily via text, cell phone and the occasional email.

Until the dreaded formal letter.

To my surprise we were delivered a letter from the Principal CC`d to his boss pointing out three issues that they failed to call me to discuss or text me during our daily interactions. My blood instantly boiled.

WTF. They create a paper trail as opposed to a simple phone call.

Okay, I know you are asking, what were the issues. Well they were 1. Her glucose levels were fluctuating - duh, that is because we have her on a crap insulin to accomidate school life, the dreaded NPH.....2. They need ample supplies to care for her diabetes, well we once forgot to send the right glucometer, at which time they called me and I immediately dropped another off, and 3.  We are not easy to get a hold of - that one I simply disputed by showing the principal my cell phone and all the daily texts from the teachers aide.

We felt like we were being attacked from our so called team members.  I guess the purpose of this post is a bit selfish, yes I am venting to the DOC.

We refuted the letter by writing our own to the principal, hand delivered and discussed with him, even though it went in one ear and out the other. We also CC`d the letter to his boss, following suit with his paper trailing methods.

I am still, sitting here shaking my head thinking, what the hell is wrong with picking up the phone and dealing with people face to face directly.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ED phone Home - Diabetes, Depression and Sexual Health

It's time to talk about this topic. I am by no means making fun of E.D. (Erectile Dysfunction) as we all know it is prevalent with 40% of all men over 40,  or something like that.  But like the movie E.T. we all want our E.D. to phone home or connect and work again.

What about Libido and its relationship to depression or using antidepressants? These are also topics that need to be hashed out, talked about, and openly discussed.

The odds are even worse for men with Diabetes. Glucose is a huge molecule, jamming up blood flow and damaging our penile highways, effecting erectile strength, sensation, and over all drive.

As I have mentioned in past posts, E.D. doesn't get talked about enough during clinic visits. My health care providers dodge it. Asking things like; "So.....how are things working down there?" or they don't ask about E.D. at all.

I hear that if you have diabetes then you have a 50% likelihood of developing depression.  What that means to me is that there are a lot of diabetics taking SSRI's which are an  anti depressant medication that may make you feel happier but not happy "down there" as they are notorious for decreasing sensation during intercourse and  libido. Shitty deal really for the person taking them and their partner.

What are the options?.......let's see......

Adding another med. Like Wellbutrin - an antidepressant that minimizes the sexual side effects but can increase agitation and anxiety in some individuals. Not good if frustrated over the above ED and lack of libido issue.

The blue pill, well those are good for ED in some cases,  but not so good to increase ease of ejaculation, sensation due and abating the effects caused by the SSRI. 

The stress that ensues when a man in his prime can't "climax" or in some cases"can't stay hard enough" to please his partner and or himself. Yes, you got it, major feelings flood the brain, like, "I suck in the sack" or "I am useless, whats wrong with me" thus leading to performance anxiety the next time around, and if you are the avoident type a mere lack of all around initiative and libido ensues. The partner in this case is often left feeling "unattractive" because all of the sudden the man can't "climax"   This effects the sexual intimacy in the relationship in some cases. No libido, performance anxiety, less flirting, less connecting, greater distance, and then the inevitable both parties give up. Okay not in all cases but you get my point.

Once again diabetes effects all areas, Mood, Depression, libido, decreased sensation, E.D.

What do we do about it?

 Well, I am hoping my readers can contribute. I have no clue.



Friday, October 19, 2012

Life vs Diabetes

"Oldest and Youngest, Beautiful......"
We all know that "good" diabetes management takes a lot of effort and devotion to be effective. But we also know that all life's successes also require our devotion, our mental energy and basically our time. The trick lies in balancing the two areas successfully.

Life is full of change, un-imposed and imposed.  Diabetes is inevitable and also full of change. We can't turn our mind off when it comes to managing diabetes. Life is similar, we have to pay attention or life spirals out of control, we miss appointments, fall behind in the daily chores of life. The trick is balance, we know this, but my god this is not an easy task and I notice that when life gets crazy, out of control and overwhelming, my diabetes tends to loose its place in the balance of things. Basically diabetes fails to be my priority compared to life's commitments.

I see this in my self and most diabetics I meet. My 15 year old Type one would rather fit in socially at lunch then test and take insulin. I would rather just grab some take out, eat it, then take my shot of insulin after the fact. Why, because life, the social pressures, the time constraints take precedent over this thing called diabetes.

If I am happy, positive and feeling good about life, then I am highly motivated to take care of my body. This includes exercise, sleep, food, and diabetes management. If I'm in a low mood; the opposite effect occurs. For this post I guess I'm just "thinking" out loud, venting, so to speak.

I was on a flight to visit my home town a few weeks back. During the safety video, when the oxygen mask falls and the passenger places it on them selves first then the child I thought of this post. We need to make diabetes the first choice, as difficult as this is. Otherwise we get sick;  we damage our bodies, and life spirals even quicker out of control like a plane loosing altitude. If  we don't take care of our health, then we are useless to everyone else in our life.



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sure I Can Handle It! - NOT

"To School........"
Today I was left with the simple objective of getting my five kids off to their 3 different schools. Easy enough I thought. Some good strong coffee, a positive attitude, and easy peasy, no problemo! Bloody hell am I exhausted.

First off; I was on my own, no Mrs, just myself, she opted out to earn some dough instead, important yes, but boy did I miss the team today.

Now generally my house is chaotic, five girls, bathrooms, brush fighting, hair bret and attire comparisons, mirror gazing, and texting.  Now throw diabetes into the mix and add not having a clue who's teacher belongs to whom - You've got yourself a recipe for chaos. Oh and did I mention I forgot to register our youngest, minor oversite. Anyway moving along....

As I sit here pondering over the days events I think; I don't know quite how I pulled it off. Teen was pretty good, got up wwwwaaayyyyy to early to ensure a stellar look for her first day of high school, eagerly awaiting for her friend to show at our door as god forbid they be seen walking to high school alone, like oh my god, that would spell social disaster on day one, only the most important day of the year!  She tested her sugar, I think, well she didn't die at school as I personal witnessed her arriving home. Not sure how the diabetes went, but socially she seemed bright.

Upper two middle kids, if that order makes sense, going off to junior high. No diabetes = easy. Backpack; check, lunches; check, ride to school;  checks, slow down just enough for them to jump out the door; check. I'll let ya know how their day went later. But I didn't get any calls from the school.

Younger two, second youngest being the little Type 1.  Now this is where it gets time consuming and importantly so!  I arrive, they have reno'd the entire school so everyone meets in the Gymnasium with all the teachers semi-holding up signs like at an airport when the driver is seeking out his passenger after a flight. We ask around, all the while dragging the 4 yr old in a crowded gym full of screaming kids and finally track down her grade 2 teacher.  Who I might add was eerily calm in the midst of chaos;  I would have needed a heavy dose of some form of sedating anti-anxiety medication to remain calm in what I percieved as pretty much the scariest environment imaginable.

"Summer has ceased to exist"
We find her, I introduce myself and da kids, and we follow her back to the class room. She informs me that she is aware Rowan has Type 1 Diabetes and we will need to talk. During a quiet moment where the assistant reads the class a book, I give her the "Crash Course in Diabetes Management for Kids at School Presentation" She nods, and says would you be able to repeat that again to the assistant. I hand her my notes and state, sure thing. I leave, toddler in tote, return 1 hour later, repeat, test, leave, return and repeat, test, inject, ensured they understood.  Peering at the teacher, I could sense the apprehension, or fear, of "You are leaving this precious child with me to care for with this poerilous chronic illness called type 1 diabetes look, you know the one....if they don't have that look on their face then be concerned. 

I peered calmly at her and said, "I've had type one diabetes for 30 years; before the good insulin's, before glucometers, and back when they assessed your health and development on how much weigh you were gaining. I survived, not blind, no damage done. She'll be okay and you can always, I mean always text, email or call..........Anytime."

Wow what a day!