Archive for Diahysteria

A rant on modern medicine

I’m sorry I’ve been a little slack in keeping everyone up to date here on Kate and Lance’s blog, but I’ve been a little caught up in a few other things and have just found some time to sit down.

Things have not been going well for my sister-in-law in the north. She and Lance have been racing around trying to find an answer… any answer for Lance’s pain, which no doctor seems willing to believe is Peripheral Neuropathy. It’s at times like this we wish that modern medicine would stop thinking that every person fits into the categories written about in their textbooks.

Life is not identical for each of us. We are not exposed to exactly the same conditions as any other person every day, and even then our bodies respond to things differently. Allergies and intolerances are a prime example of this, and the varying degrees people may be afflicted with such debilitating illnesses as Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia, as well as even things such as stress, anxiety, and depression, means that no doctor can just look in a book, point to a word and say “You have this!”.

It is imperative that Western Medicine remembers to think laterally and logically, combine all factors, and think about the exact conditions that the person is presenting with. If a child is crying every night and requiring 24 hour care to try to ease his pain; if a child can’t feel a pin being forced into his foot; if a child has continual burning sensations in his legs, then that child is probably not making it up and attention seeking.

As you can tell, I am seething from the news Kate has been telling me. It is disgraceful and disgusting some of the medical advice she has been given, including “just ignore it”, “it’s growing pains”, and “it can’t be neuropathy, he’s too young”.

It is good advice for all persons to remember, don’t just take your doctor’s word each time. Ask for a second opinion if you don’t believe what they’ve said is the case. Go to another doctor in your town, or, if you have to, travel. Find out who is the best person for your symptoms who might be able to help, and demand to see them. Do not just accept defeat and that you’ll just have to put up with anything.

Be bold, be strong, and be well.

Janek xx


Comments (1) »

Neuropathic Night WatchChick.

I have had a hiatus from writing for a while.


Lance has some very disturbing symptoms, which I feel could be linked to peripheral neuropathy.

I know a seven  year old who has just experienced a hellish winter, due to numbness and terribly cold and  painful hands and feet.

For the past week, he has taken up to three hours at night to actually fall asleep, because his “feet are hot, they’re burning, from 1-10, it’s so horrible it’s a 10”. Massage, ibuprofen gives minimal relief. He finally falls asleep, but only out of sheer exhaustion.

His sixth year anniversary since diagnosis is ten days away.

I cringe as I think of all the wild fluctuations in his blood sugar levels when he was a baby/toddler.

I have an appointment for him tomorrow with his GP. I will be requesting further tests, as this is too real to be just a coincidence.

(I foolishly googled ‘type 1 diabetes hot feet night’ and landed on a site that made my heart sink.)

When I am massaging Lance’s feet, they are cool to touch. Tonight he had his feet up parallel to the fan, in an attempt to get some relief. His feet are spotless-he has no cuts or scratches. However, he frequently has pins and needles, at least once a day.

Some people knit or watch tv in their down time. I inspect every part of my son’s feet.

I am REALLY hoping for the best, but there’s a part of me that just “knows” that my boy is in trouble.


In the meantime, could you all keep him in your thoughts and prayers?

He’s 8 years old next month. It just hit me that he is still so young, yet he has been through SO much. He never complains, he remains upbeat and positive about having type 1 diabetes and he is so proud of his pump.

Anyway, I guess I just had to vent my fears.

I’ll provide updates as they unfold regarding his appointment tomorrow.

Comments (7) »

Crazy Days And Mondays Always Get Me Down.

This is the first time today I have been able to stop and do anything else, other than deal with hyperglycaemia symptoms.


You see, every September, when the air starts to get a little bit sticky, and the sun begins to bite your skin, I KNOW we are going to have three months of pandemonium.

Lance is like me, he has skin of milk, that gets a light blush even from the smallest amount of direct sunlight. Unlike my mum, who wouldn’t have been aware 30 years ago of just how dangerous the Australian sun is, I have always been pedantic with sunblock application, floppy hats, and avoiding the sun during 11am and 3pm. I have suffered from some terrible sunburn as a schoolgirl, and as a result, I have horrible freckles on my forearms. (One of my fave actresses, Julianne Moore, a fellow redhead has them too, which has made me feel less self-conscious of the fact that I have deformed skin pigmentation times two thousand.)

Julianne Moore Made Freckles Look HOT!

Julianne Moore Made Freckles Look HOT!

 I have managed to maintain a good skincare regime since I was 14-ish, and unlike many Aussie redheads, I have escaped the nightmare of a freckled-dotted face.( I happen to think freckles are gorgeous-just not on me.)

Anyway, back to the weather. We have been waking up at 6am lately, our linen dishevelled, and a slimy layer of perspiration covering our bodies. Yep, it’s that time. The time when glucose drinks and jellybabies live beside the bed, and it’s simply too hot to stay asleep.

Which brings us to this morning.

I drifted off into a light trance-like sleep around 4am. I did one final test on Lance; he was 4.2mmol/L.  I slammed my head into my hand, out of sheer rage. I gave Lance a few gentle shakes, and brushed a straw against his lips that would filter a pure glucose mixture into his mouth. Naturally, he was resistant to drink it, he thrashed about the bed for a minute or two, whimpering. I don’t think he was feeling hypo, I think it was the fact that he woke to find it almost impossible to breathe, and that his bedclothes were glued to his skin.

Finally, he drank, and I felt content that he had consumed enough to get him through ’til morning.

I turned up the fan, pointed it in his direction, and he rolled over and went back to sleep.

I woke to my alarm bleeping, and the early morning sun blaring through a space between the window and the wooden slat blinds. I was sticky, annoyed and after listening to Lance’s breathing pattern for about twenty seconds, I was so furious that I knew I would find him hypo.

I rolled over to find him fast asleep, his hair matted to his forehead, and his skin a ghostly white.

I fumbled with the glucometer, waited for the countdown, and felt immediate nausea when I saw a 1.9mmol/L greeting me. I jumped up, grabbed his glucose gel, sat him up, and squeezed myself behind him. His head dangled forward like a sad puppet, and I felt a few seconds of “Help Me”, directed at no one in particular, I just didn’t want to be alone in this situation.

Lance began to groan, which was a good sign, because it meant that I just might be able to get some glucose gel past his lips, and not sprayed back into my face. Fortunately, he was quite compliant, and sucked the sticky, thick paste straight from the tube. He actually had the entire dose, which was quite an achievement.

We haven’t had too many “one-ers” since Lance has been on his pump, and when he is really low, his hypo symptoms have become far less severe. The pump is such a blessing-Lance’s hypos were something that used to really worry me-I used to shudder imagining me holding him down as a 16 year old, copping a fat lip and a black eye-his strength is a force to be reckoned with now, let alone as a strapping young teen!

I would have looked like a victim of Battered Mother’s Syndrome.

His blood sugar had climbed up to 8.6mmol/L. He was crying, unable to get out of bed, due to the blinding headache that always follows an incident such as this. I administered a dose of ibuprofen (much better than panadol for post-hypo pain). He was just nailed to the bed, despite the glucose now surging through his blood, he was flattened, an insidious combination of the humidity and the hypo.

I lay beside him and he put his hand in mine, I could see the beautiful pink roses returning to his cheeks, however, he was beginning to sport some sinister black circles under his eyes. So poetic, really. Everything related to Diabetes seems to have a compromise involved. You can eat this, as long as you have this…You can go here, as long as you test at x o’clock. You can play outside, as long as you have your shoes on. Nothing’s ever simple…easy…okay or without the cause and effect phenomenon.

When Lance finally woke, he looked much better, but he was very flat, the chatter that usually fills my house was absent. He smiled and nodded when asked a question, but he wasn’t himself at all.

BSL: 5.1mmol/L.

I gave him a glass of juice, which he was happy to drink. I then suggested that he would feel better after a cool shower. He said he didn’t feel like he could stand up, so I took in a plastic chair for his to sit on while the water refreshed him.

I had just managed to get the water temperature at a perfect level, when I saw it.

Lance had taken his shirt off, and was just about to continue undressing when I discovered that his site had come unstuck from his tummy. All of that squirming around and moisture in the air had obviously attributed to this-something that I have yet to encounter since Lance began pump therapy.

I calmly ( innardly, I was madly panicking) put Lance into the shower. I only changed his site yesterday. “Oh well,”I thought,”at least we can start the day fresh, with a new site, and move on.”

Lance was rejuvenated after his shower. He felt much better, and even requested some breakfast.

BSL: 5.8mmol/L.

He had two slices of wholemeal toast, a mango and a bowl of yogurt, all washed down with two tumblers of water.

Site change was successful, I put some antibiotic cream on the old site, just-in-case.

Two hours later, Lance commented that he was hungry and needed a rest.

BSL: 18.5mmol/L.

Ha! So, we are going to have a “Nothing Makes Any Sense” Day, are we?

That’s okay, I’m ready for it. Bring it on.

I gave a correction on his pump, made a low carb snack and presented Lance’s filled water bottle to him. He asked if he could do some reading whilst lying down. Naturally, I agreed.

Should I ring the Diabetes Clinic? I should. Better to nip this in the bud, even if they tell me what I already know.

I bought the phone into Lance’s room, and rubbed his aching legs whilst making the phonecall.

Hmm. No answer. I gave it another shot.

I was a nanosecond away from saying, “Hel..” when I realised I was listening to a recorded message. I left my details, a brief description of the problem and hung up.

I smiled at Lance. “You’ll be feeling great soon, honey. The wizard in your pump has given you the perfect amount of insulin to come back down to the healthy range.”

“I hope you’re right, Mum.” he replied.

I wheeled the air cooler in Lance’s room. After hanging out a small amount of washing, I had a wet face cloth wrapped around my own neck. The heat was just frightful.

BSL: 7.7mmol/L.

“You were right, Mum!” Lance called from his room.

“Hey! That’s fantastic news! How do you feel inside of your body?”

“Ergh. My legs really hurt and I have some tummy pains, too.”

“Maybe you are hungry and you could do with some food?”

“Actually, I AM really hungry!” he laughed. He requested some fruit salad and ice cream.

He had two bowls of FS and IC, and then asked if we could make pikelets.

It was the last thing I felt like doing, but I was happy for him to want to eat.

We whipped up a batch in no time, and Lamce demolished four pikelets. He appeared with our trusty carbohydrate book, and asked how much he should bolus for them. The recipe I used already has the carb values worked out per serve, so after completing some quick maths in my head, I gave him the number, doubled checked as he pressed it into his pump, and he pressed ACT.

“Do you feel full now?”

“No, not really.”

“Well. we’ll do a test in an hour, and we’ll see what your bsl is. Maybe I can make some noodles with vegetables or something like that?”

He eagerly nodded his head.

Half an hour later, Lance appeared in front of me.

“Mum, I wasn’t feeling well, and so I did a test.”


I quickly handed him his water bottle, and got out a blood ketone strip.

Oh fantastic!!! Ketones had decided to join the madness!

The blood test showed 0.3% of ketones were present. Lance, ever the perfect diabetic, also did a urine test, “just for backup.” It showed 3+++ and 4++++ of glucose in his urine.

I picked up the phone and rang the doctor’s surgery.

No appointments. Okay.

I asked if I could speak to my doctor. This is an arrangement that he has given all of his staff permission to follow. If I call in an emergency situation, I am to be transferred through to his phone line. I’ve done it dozens of times.

“Look, I’m sorry Kate, Dr Dutch has gone overseas for two weeks. Therefore, Dr Congo is taking over all his patients. He’s really much too busy to speak to you at the moment. He has a difficult patient with him right now.”

“Well, Carol, I have a difficult problem that I need to speak to Dr about. What do you suggest I do?”

“At this stage, I could only suggest you present him to Emergency at the hospital.”

“That won’t be happening, could you please ask Dr Congo to contact me in between patients? I know he won’t mind.”

“Well, it’s Monday, and he hasn’t had a break, no lunch-nothing. So I beg to differ, he WILL mind.”

Haughty, miserable cow.

Lance corrected himself again. I investigated every part of his tubing, looking for air bubbles, making sure that the site looked as if it had “taken”…that was the only thing that I could think of. Or he had a virus of some description. My inner D voice told me that it was just “one of those horrorshow days” that come to haunt us every now and again, just to keep us on our toes.

5pm passed…Diabetes clinic didn’t call back. GRRRRRR.

At 6pm, BSL was 28.8mmol/L. I suspended the pump, and gave an injection of Novorapid. Lance was making frequent visits to the bathroom and guzzling back water. His legs ached terribly, he placed a pillow between them and rocked backwards and forwards to allieviate the pain. I changed the site. I could smell insulin the moment it was removed from his tummy. The cannula looked perfect-no kinks, no bends…

So, here I had my son, insulin dependent, receiving continuous insulin infusion, but blood sugar skyrocketing.  Temperature:normal. Ketones present. Limited medical help available.


I rang his endocrinologist’s mobile number, but another endo answered. We had met before, so he did know a little about Lance and his Hypos.

“Well, Kate, it sounds like you have it all under control. You are doing all the right things-I can’t fault what actions you are taking.”

Thanks a lot, Doc, I appreciate the compliment, but, !!!!!!!!!!!!

“Keep up the Novorapid. Call back if you are worried.”

Did that REALLY just happen??

I hung up the phone and calmly strolled into my bedroom. I buried my head deep into a pillow and screamed to release the fury and frustration I felt.

I packed up a bag of emergency items, and accepted that we were off to the Emergency Ward.

I asked Lance for one more blood test.

“Mum, I’m 13.6!!!!”

I couldn’t help but laugh-we were both so hot,we had been tormented all day by crazy blood sugar numbers, had ridiculous encounters with our trusted medical team, and now-his blood sugar had dropped over 20mmol/L in 40 really was quite comical, in a manic, crazed way.

So, now, it is 10.37pm.

Lance is 8.2mmol/L.

No ketones in sight.

Ravenous appetite present.

Leg pain is no longer present.

I have all of this documented, and I have an appointment with Dr Congo tomorrow. I want to show him just how crazy things can get. As much as I adore him,  he has bothered to learn more about Type 1, and has treated Lance very deftly and appropriately in emergencies-I NEED him to see the rollercoaster numbers and just how quickly situations can turn around.

For now, though, Lance is ready to rest his body. Afterall, his entire body went through quite a workout today, yet he barely moved a muscle.

This day has shaken me considerably, but pump or no pump, this is how Lance’s Diabetes responds to the change in season.

We are fortunate enough that we can spend the majority of the summer in air conditioned luxury this year.

 (Thanks, Pat. You’re still looking out for us.)

Comments (1) »

Pump Wars.


(Not only is this word appropriate to describe today’s events, but it is also two years ago since the world lost “our” Steve Irwin.)

I do try to keep expletives out of my posts, but I really felt that today they were necessary.

It’s The Pump.

 Lance complained that his site was “uncomfortable.” As I only changed his set yesterday, I had a peek to see if there was any redness or inflammation. Nothing. I decided to leave it for half an hour, just to see if it really was bothering him.

Fifteen minutes later, I heard an unfamiliar alarm.

“Sweetie, what’s your pump saying?” I called.

Um..Mum, it’s saying “No Delivery.” he replied anxiously.

I remained calm, and outruled all possible problems that could be causing this urgent message.

Finger Prick. That would tell me if his basal rate was being delivered.


$*#@ !!!!!!!!!

The pump was telling me that I need to “disconnect from body and change set.”

Okay, okay.

I got another set ready and attached it to Lance’s belly. He said that it felt comfortable.

I corrected for that frightful hyper. The pump told me it wanted to give 3.5u of insulin. Sounded perfect to me.

Tested for ketones. Phew. None to be found.

I served afternoon tea, and told Lance the amount of carbs he needed to bolus for. I double checked his entry, and gave him the go ahead to press ACT.

I was just about to sit down and flick through my mail..

No Delivery.”

This wasn’t funny.

BSL- HI. Blood ketones-0.1.

$#*@ !!!!!!

Again, I removed the set, and applied a fresh one. As ketones were now on the scene, (even in miniscule amounts), I administered an injection of Novorapid, via our old friend the NovoNordisk Flexpen.

It felt very strange to administer an injection again.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had to have a needle, hasn’t it?” I mentioned.

“Oh, I KNOW. It felt sooo good to have a needle again!”

My seven year old boy-with a wide smile on his face, as a result of an injection. It was such an odd concept to fathom. I did feel incredibly sad and confused that the familiarity of a needle entering his stomach eased the anxiety he was feeling regarding the pump and its out-of-character behaviour. I understood that the prick was a feeling that Lance associated with trust and feeling safe. Still, it was difficult to see him so pleased, considering the reason behind it.

An hour passed, and his blood sugar had slipped down to a still concerning 18.6mmol/L.

Now I didn’t know the drop was from the pen, the pump, or both.

My gut feeling said it was from the injection.

Despite his hyperglycaemia, Lance still requested food. I told him to bolus for 44 grams of carbs. He did just that.

Sure enough, ten minutes later….


$&*! $&*! $&*! !!!!!!

By this stage, Lance had a blood ketone reading of .4. I began to feel fluttery and panicky.

I sat down with my list of emergency phone numbers.

Firstly, I decided to call the 24 hour Medtronic Helpline.

Despite being 2.20am somewhere in the US, a happy and chipper customer service consultant took my call. We went through some trouble shooting processes together, all seemed fine.
He apologised for the waste of sets, and kindly organised three replacements to be sent express post all the way to Australia.

Nice gesture, Medtronic.

My next call was to the 24 hour emergency endocrinologist. We had never had the pleasure of meeting, so he was totally unfamiliar with Lance’s history.

He advised that I pack the pump away, call Medtronic Australia first thing tomorrow and recommence on Lance’s old insulin regime along with hourly testing throughout the night.

I decided to take the advice of the Medtronic Consultant. I changed the site yet again, and it’s been one hour since I’ve heard any nonsense from the pump.

Blood sugar is falling. Still high, but much better than off-the-meter.

Ketones are gone. 🙂

Giving my son that emergency injection was like giving a reformed heroin addict a jab of pethidine. He got a taste of what it felt like to be back on injections, and he liked the sensation of feeling safe and not knowing the fear of the unknown. He was disappointed when I went against the endo’s advice. He sighed as he saw me preparing a new set.

For the meantime, we just have to get through the night without that evil message causing undue stress for both of us.

$&*! What a vile day!!!!!!!!

Spending the day worrying about diabetes, ketones and blood sugar levels has left me exhausted and dreading the next 12 hours.

Meanwhile, Lance has forgotten all about the drama of the day, and is creating a helicopter out of Lego.

I wish I could switch off like he can.

Thankfully, I was able to vent my frustrations to my most amazing confidante, Janek. He understood exactly how Lance felt, and how I felt. I now feel slightly better that I have spoken to someone who knows OUR situation.

It’s now 2.22am. No alarms. Lance is settled and sound asleep on a perfect 6.6mmol/L.

Beauty, mate!

Comments (2) »

A Reader Seeks Advice For A Common Yet Dangerous Mistake.

“Today i forgot to give my daughter her daily morning insulin doze.  She has been high all day and I am very concern.  What should I do until dinner time?  I have been giving her all day a lots of water but she still not feeling normal.  any suggestion what to do until dinner time.  I feel horrible.”

Thank you so  much for contacting me. I will try to put myself in your shoes and think of everything possible to make today’s error corrected quickly. I hope that I have replied with enough time sparing to help you make a smart decision.

If your daughter is on insulin injections, there is no rule that says she can only have injections at breakfast and dinnertime. I have given my son up to 15 injections a day when he has been ill, just miniscule amounts of rapid acting insulin; enough to keep his blood sugar level out of the danger zone.

If your daughter is feeling terrible, it’s almost guaranteed she feels this way from high blood sugar levels. You have been smart by only giving her water. However, even if your child is sick in hospital, if they are unconscious, if they are hyperglycaemic and sleeping, no matter what- INSULIN MUST BE GIVEN EVERYDAY. As your child doesn’t make any of her own, then she is relying on her insulin injections to continue with good health, and to LIVE.

If you cannot get in touch with her doctor or diabetes educator, try calling your town’s hospital. Don’t feel embarrassed about telling them exactly what happened, it only takes something small to take your mind off track when preparing food, answering questions…..  Many parents AND people living with diabetes have spoken of how they feel when they forget  injections. You are certainly not the first person to forget about giving a morning insulin shot!

 You should do a blood sugar reading with your daughter’s glucometer before you speak to a health professional, so that they can calculate a safe amount of insulin to give her, as well as reduce her blood sugar level and the threat of DKA. (It is a good idea if you can take her temperature as well.)

Do you have ketone strips? ( If you don’t, make it your first job to collect some on Monday morning.) If you do, get your daughter to provide a urine sample in a sterile container or a clean bottle or jar, so that you can test for ketones. The most dangerous thing about this situation is that we don’t want ketones that are going beserk in her blood to spill over into her urine. If she has ketones-the squares on the strip will change colour, and there will be a corresponding match up box underneath. It will have the word, “Trace”, or the numbers: 1+, 2+.3+or 4+. If there is a colour change, you will need to tell the doctor or hospital what level of ketones she has, as well as how much sugar she has in her blood. Take the urine sample along to the hospital with you. (The doctors’ will be grateful that you have thought ahead and they will be able to get an accurate pathology result as quickly as possible.)

I cannot tell you how much insulin to give your daughter.

 I don’t know how old she is, I don’t know her body weight, I don’t know what insulin she is taking, I don’t know if she takes a rapid acting and a long acting dose together before her morning and evening meal. I don’t know what time you realised  that your daughter didn’t receive her morning insulin.

You need to contact the hospital immediately.

You may like to call an ambulance so that they will take her straight to Emergency.

If not, tell the admin staff at the hospital that your daughter has Type 1 Diabetes and is suffering from hyperglycaemia, even before you tell them her name. Let them know that she did not have her morning insulin.

After obtaining some initial information, the doctor will want to know her exact insulin dosages. Take her glucometer and/or record book along with you so that the doctor on duty can see what her levels have been doing in recent times.

The hospital staff will organise an injection of insulin to get her blood sugar level down, and so that she will be safe to take home and not have problems when she has her evening dosage.

Just a quick check list…

  1. Do a fingerprick and write down the result to report to the ambulance/hospital.
  2.  Collect a urine sample in a sterile container or a clean jar or bottle. Check for ketones with strips-if there is any colour change, report what number is underneath the box. If you don’t know, put the strip in a clip seal bag.
  3. Take your glucometer and Daily Record Book for the doctors’ to peruse.
  4. Take your GP/specialist’s name and phone number. Record her temperature to pass on to the doctor as well.
  5. DON’T PANIC!!

I can imagine how horrible you must be feeling, however you don’t have a computer chip inserted into your neck, therefore, as a human,  you are expected to make the occasional mistake! Most parents of a child with Diabetes learn so much from their mistakes, many which end up on blogs like this one!!

You were obviously aware enough to realise that something was askew. Your daughter is very lucky that you picked up that there was a problem early. Once you seek medical advice, a huge weight will be lifted off your shoulders. You won’t have time to feel horrible for too long, as you will have to plan your and your daughter’s meal for this evening!

You acted and asked for advice regarding a life-threatening problem.

That takes real courage.

You don’t need to feel horrible anymore; by the time your daughter enters slumberland this evening, all will be well. Put today down to experience. Tomorrow is a brand new day and I can promise you that after today’s scare, you will ensure that insulin is administered before any food is consumed by your daughter in the future. 😉

Good Luck!

It’d be great to hear back from you to see how things eventuated!!! 😀

Comments (3) »

Found!Sugary Goodness In Australia!

Everytime I walk past an NDSS pharmacy, I can’t help but saunter by and investigate the Diabetes shelves, in case they just happen to have something new and different. (Believe it or not, Lance and I actually get excited when we find a new product on the market..)

I ran my eye down the shelves dedicated to Diabetes.





Electrode Strips.

Sharps Bins.

Glucose Tablets.

Ketone Stri…

Wait a second? Glucose Tablets? In a tube? That look identical to those that Liz ordered from the States!

And on closer inspection,  OH MY STARS, THEY ARE!!!!!

FInally, Australia now has a distributor for the BEST glucose tablets thatLance ever used for treating severe hypos.

Previously, we were jumping up and down when we found out that Fifty50 Pharmacy in America had a variety of appealing flavours of glucose tablets, that really gave a pesky hypo a swift kick back up to Safe Mmol/L Land by the time the tablet had been absorbed! 

Liz and I agreed that we would take it turns to order them from America, as it turned out to be an expensive exercise, with postage and currency conversion.

However…A  Distributor in South Australia now has them stocked in NDSS pharmacies! gets better! They are only $4.95 for a tube of 10!!!

I am currently trying to contact the distributor to see if other flavours can be ordered, because the day I clamped my eyes on that tube,  I knew I needed to spread the word!!

Dex 4 Glucose Tablets are distributed by :

P.La Haybe Agency

5 Renown Ave, Seacliff Park

South Australia 5049.

Dex4 -10 Glucose Tabs (ct 10)


Comments (1) »

A Complete Day In My Life-From Beginning to Blessed End.

8.00am: I am shaken awake by Lance. I have to literally pry my eyes open with my fingers to prevent myself lapsing back into slumberland.

8.05am: Fingerprick number 1 of the day. This will determine how much insulin I need to give Lance to keep him safely scooting along. It’s 9.5 mmol/L, which I was pleased with.

8.10am:  I shuffle to the kitchen, where I pass a yawning Luna. When he knows I am headed for “food room” he bounds ahead of me, and begins horrible tom cat meowing. Then I hear “pat pat pat pat” behind me, it is Chino. He has just had a morning tussle with Lance, but is now urgently looking at the front door. I scurry to the door, let him out to do his business, wait for him to come in again and shut the door. I get two bowls and dispense Luna’s food, Lance dispenses Chino’s and I take Luna out of the room to eat behind a sliding door. Chino inhales his food, and then is taken outside as he enjoys a quick bask in the morning sun.

8.30am: The pets are always best to feed first. With full bellies, they are much more docile and pleasant to be around. However, now the debate with Lance begins. He must take oral medication daily for his newly diagnosed gastro reflux disorder, and he still finds a reason every day as to why he should not have it. (Granted, it is repugnant to the tastebuds, in flavour and texture.) We decide on toast with peanut butter. Half way through making it, he asks if he can have one slice with jam. I pour a glass of pure fruit juice, grab 1 multivitamin, 1 fluoride tablet and 2 calcium capsules and place them on his breakfast tray. I note that his medication is still sitting untouched. AGAIN, I explain that he will have pain and discomfort whilst eating if he does not comply with the doctor’s directions. He huffs and puffs and throws it down his throat, slamming the medicine cup on the table in disgust. I know it’s not directed at me. It’s just one more unpleasant thing for him to have to endure everyday. During the consumption of breakfast, I dial up the correct amounts of insulin and hand them to him. He gives himself two injections without a wince or a blink, and lets me know when he has finished with them. I dispense of the sharps, and replace the insulin. He takes his plates to the kitchen sink. I often have to stand and watch him drink ALL of his juice. It is the the key ingredient in getting him to morning tea without any glitches.

9.00am: We both undress from our pyjamas. Lance asks if he can stay in his pyjamas because his shirt has Optimus Prime on the front, therefore, making him feel more “powerful.” He then looks for his beloved karate pants. and upon discovering that they are in the washing basket, he looks through his closet, and grabs something that will match his shirt. His metrosexual tendencies have been handed down from his Dad. Colour co-ordination is a must.

9.10am: We bring Chino in and let him know it’s time for school.

9.15am: We begin official school procedings. We start with a fingerprick, and then recite the words to Advance Australia Fair. (It’s in the curriculum..sigh.) We then begin our addition and subtraction tables. I throw random questions at him to catch him off guard, he never skips a beat.

9.45am: We commence four pages of Word Building in which compound words, silent letters and Capital letters are discussed. He makes my heart melt as I see that huge pencil in his little hand, the concentration etched into his face.

10.15am: Morning Tea. I have prepared a gluten free slice the evening before, and we both sit together and enjoy a piece. I ensure that Lance has a big glass of water as his blood sugar level is 14.5mmol/L.

10.30am: We go outside and learn about primary colours. Lance doesn’t like his hands to be dirty, so he isn’t the biggest fan of paint. We then practise throwing the ball to each other to improve his hand and eye coordination. The ball lands on Lance’s Favourite Neighbour’s roof. Sigh.

 10.45am: Reading. Lance is a whiz at reading. The only words that trip him up are “through”, “though” and “thorough.” He is expected to sit on the floor and listen to one chapter of an unillustrated book. We then have comprehension questions and discuss the characters in the story. He will then draw a picture of his representation of what I read. It is then his turn to read aloud to me. He is aware of punctuation, and I adore that he doesn’t read in a monotonal, deadpan voice, he prefers to give animated voices to each character, complete with body language. He learns that he must be a  lion when reading, not a mouse. Project, project, project that voice!!!

11.30am: Lance is looking restless and pale. I stop everything and reach for the glucometer. We need an early lunch, as Lance had a rapid decline to 3.2mmol/L.

11.31am: 6 Jelly Babies are given to get sugar levels up quickly. I then heat up earlier-prepared gluten free pasta with tomato based sauce and a chunk of gluten free sour dough bread. Both of these items are low GI so I hope that this will pull him through to at least 2pm.

12.00pm: Lunchtime. We already did that, so we do some yoga and bicep curls instead. Let Chino out for a frolic and a chicken wing.

12.45pm: Let Chino back in and let him know that it’s back to work. I look at him with envy as he curls up in his cushy bed and twitches whilst in the deepest of sleep. Lance is bored with the workbook we are doing, and wants to skip to the next step. I tell him that he needs to finish the test to send in to his school. He flies through the work and finishes the test. I realise I have to order more workbooks.

12.50pm: Indian telemarketer calls telling me that I have won a mobile phone. “I’m sorry, I don’t have the time…”beep beep beep beep.

12.52pm: Take Lance to the computer desk for a change of scenery. I get him to show me step by step how to turn on the monitor, the computer, and sit comfortably in the chair. He is able to get to “Favourites” and find our “Learn to type” program. I gently remind him that he needs to place his fingers on the home row. He snaps, “I know! I was just about to do it. Um, sorry, Mum.” He practises typing ‘Dear Mr Rudd (enter enter enter) We need a cure.  (enter enter enter) From Lance.(enter) JDRF Youth Ambasserder. I don’t even attempt to destroy how well he has done by telling him that he spelt a word wrong in his very prestigious title. He shows me how to exit the program, and turn off the computer safely. We collect his printed letter and place it with his other work to be sent off to school.

1.30pm: We learn about the country of Sudan. We find it on the map, and practice writing it and spelling it out aloud. “Soodan.” The English Language is so ridiculous. He is given activity sheets that show how to identify their cultural dress, what a typical family looks like, what food and drinkable water is available, and the physical characteristics of a Sudanese person. Lance dresses up as an Sudanese boy, and looks in amazement of the mystery that is Arabic script.  I read a story borrowed from the library about a Sudanese grandfather sharing a story about the beauty and wonder of Africa with his grandchildren. Lance asks possibly 20 questions as to how they survive with no electricity in some homes.

2pm: Spelling test. Lance sharpens his pencil and lines up his collection of erasers. He has 20 words to spell correctly, write neatly, and in the lines in order to get 1 mark per answer. He gets 19 out of 20. “Cook” is the word that trips him up. He explains that Kookaburra is not spelt with a “C” so why shouldn’t “Cook” be spelt with a “K”? Again, the English language. Tough to explain to kids of his age who are brimming over with questions.

2.20pm:Finger prick test. 7.2mmol/L. I pat myself on the back for doing well with lunch.

2.25pm: We practice drawing in straight lines, and then cutting along them. Lance makes a woven mat with strips of coloured paper. He asks why I got him to do such a “babyish” activity. I explain that it was an activity to show how well he can follow instructions.

2.45pm:I ask him how to spell Sudan. I ask him how to spell Cook. We finish with a fast game of Simon Says. He is tough to trip up.

2.58pm-The “bell” goes off. Lance helps me tidy the “learning centre” so that it is ready for tomorrow.

3.10pm:BSL-4.2mmol/L. Lance refuses to believe that the glucometer is correct. I am astounded when he actually insists on setting up his other glucometer to see if it is actually a correct reading. It says 3.7mmol/L. He looks dejected and disappointed.  He has 2 peaches, 2 plums and a home made muesli bar. I insist he has his second big glass of water for the day. He applies sunscreen and hat, and races straight for the trampoline. Chino is at my feet, staring up at me with his sad brown eyes. I spend some time reviewing general obedience with him in order to earn his afternoon treat. After much praise and a hug, Chino bounds out the to the backyard to engage in tug-of-war and races up the driveway with Lance. I put a fresh bowl of water at the front and the back of the house for the dog and the cat.

 3.30pm: Lance has a very recognisable and loud voice, and I hear him chattering at the front gate with two boys on their bikes. One of them says, “Do you go to school?” Lance replies,”Yeah, I’m in Year 2 at Home School.” I smirk to myself as the boy asks where Home School is.

3.35pm:I start making a batch of lemon and poppyseed muffins. I quickly whip up the mixture and put them in the oven. I then disect a cob of corn, some carrots, sweet potato, beans and place them in a sealproof container for easy preparation for dinner. I discovered today that Chino likes raw beans.

3.50pm– Lance is gossiping with His Favourite Neighbour. He tells her about the ball incident. More disturbingly, I discover that he has learnt to read incoming messages on my mobile phone, and he recalls word-for-word a message from “Steve.” His Favourite Neighbour asks who Steve is, and Lance replies, “I don’t know, but I’ll be sure to let you know when I find out.”

4.00pm:Lance is called inside and given a talk about reading other people’s private information. He instantly understands and replies “Whoops…” very quietly. “Sorry Mum.” I give him permission to leave. I give Chino permission to leave too.

4.05pm:I order some new workbooks for Lance over the internet. Look over some received emails. Look up how to put a lock on my mobile phone.

4.15pm:I make my daily call to my parents to ensure that everything is ok. It is.

4.30pm:I get a call from Ophelia, asking me if I would like to have coffee with her that night. I am so envious that despite also being a single mother, she is able to leave her children with their Dad at anytime. I explain that I haven’t had much notice, so I couldn’t get a babysitter. She suggests bringing Lance along too. I briefly consider and then quickly decline. Ophelia has some adventures that aren’t suitable for little curious ears.

4.45pm:I check the mail box. Nothing exciting, except a copy of Lance’s latest health report from his doctor. I have to send it to his School. I shudder when I read the detailed description that is given of Lance’s recent gastrocopy findings and decide that it is best for me not to continue reading. I put it in a envelope and ask Lance to accompany me to the post box before 5pm.

4.50pm: We show Chino his coat and lead, and he immediately runs and waits for us at the gate. I do a double check that I have enough hypo supplies. I grab the letter, the hypo bag, and Lance gets Chino ready for his outing. The walk to the postbox is peppered with homes with highly territorial dogs, all that know us only too well, but continue to bark ferociously anyway. Lance drops the letter in the postbox and we cross the road and call in at the NDSS pharmacy to get some more insulin pen needles and lancets. I am asked if I am “stockpiling” lancets and pen needles, as the computer says that I shouldn’t have run out yet. I have to sign a declaration form acknowledging that we perform 10 fingerpricks a day, and sometimes up to 7 injections a day. Sigh.

5.25pm: Chino heads straight to his water bowl as soon as he is de-coated and de-leashed. I have 30 minutes to make dinner. Chino and Luna feast on chicken breast.

6.06pm- I serve a vegetable medley, potatoes au gratin with a pan cooked chicken breast for us both. We have a muffin each for dessert. I take a bite and discover that they are positively vile. Lance is picking the top off his. I tell him to do the best he can with it, and endure the hideous taste of whatever ingredient is used to disguise the blandness of some coeliac packet mix products. We are still adjusting to a gluten free diet. Food tastes SO much better with wheat…

6.20pm: I realise that Lance did not consume enough carbs in his evening meal. I go much lighter on his long acting insulin and 1 unit less on his rapid acting insulin. I serve low fat ice cream with fruit salad. Lance is doubled over with stomach pains. He cannot bear to touch his dessert. I prepare his dose of medicine-he surprisingly drinks it, which lets me know that it actually must help. I sit beside him, and massage his legs until the cramps subside. I am expecting a hypo soon. I give him a glucose tablet and praise him for having his medicine without creating a huge deal.

7.00pm: I help Lance with washing his hair. He tells me that the hot water feels good on his tummy. I can’t help but feel angry that he has to endure pain. He is starting to associate food with pain- a thought that terrifies me immensely.

7.30pm: Lance is dressed in his pyjamas, and I let him watch a DVD of his choice. Chino knows that Lance is down in spirits. He sits beside him and rests his head on Lance’s knee. Lance begs me to come and see how cute they look together. He asks for a photo, I oblige, only to discover flat batteries. I quickly slip them out and place them on charge.  I have two students from 7.30 until 9pm. They are both late. I hear Lance whimpering during the tutorial. I allow 10 minutes extra to each student for the inconvenience of me popping in and out of the room.

9.30pm: I make Lance some popcorn with gluten free icing sugar. He washes it down with a glass of Apple and Pear Juice, as he is 2.1 mmol/L.  He refuses every suggestion I offer him. We settle on vege chips, he is allowed 10 of them which equates to 1.5 serves of carbohydrates.

9.45pm: DVD is turned off. Lance is yawning up a storm. I prepare his toothbrush, and he does a very ordinary job of cleaning his teeth. I cannot allow him to go to bed with half-brushed teeth, so I ask him very gently if he will let me do it for him. He nods his head, and I realise that he is still only a baby, living in a world that is full of restrictions and regiment. He opens his mouth as I thoroughly clean his new teeth, back teeth and check for mouth ulcers etc. I then floss his teeth for him.

10.00pm: Lance chooses 2 books. I read one to him, he reads one to me. I find my eyes struggling to stay open as I listen to his sentences. I then drag some energy from somewhere and read him two chapters of “Captain Underpants.” I conclude with a bsl-17.6mmol/L. This is what happens when I tinker with insulin, even if it is to prevent a hypo. Lance ends up with a hyper instead. His body is used to the same dose, and reacts to extremes if  I change the routine. I give 1 unit of Novorapid, in the hope that his 2am test is less that 12mmol/L. He dozes off, and then is suddenly fast asleep.

10.20pm: I let Chino out for his pre-bedtime eliminations, he feels the bite of  cold wind and quickly runs up the stairs, curls up in his nest and gives a loud groan that almost suggests relief to be in a soft, warm bed.

 10.30pm: I check to see if anyone is on MSN Messenger and is willing to chat. The only people other than Lance I have spoken to today were the Indian telemarketer, my parents and Ophelia. Fortunately, some friends who live without Diabetes are online. I get my second wind and engage in cyber chat for a while. I usually stay up until 2am to do Lance’s final blood test. If I go to sleep, 90% of the time I turn off the alarm without even knowing it.

Midnight: I begin the lesson plan for the next day. I search the internet for creative ideas. I make up some cardboard signs to put on our world map. I plot Lance’s readings for the day into

1am: I sweep and polish the floorboards, and clean the kitchen thoroughly. I usually do my washing at this time also. It is actually peaceful and calming to hang out clothes on the washing line in the night .My cat rubs up against my legs and we spend some time together.

1.3oam:I contemplate having a shower. I decide to do it.

1.32pm:I hear footsteps. Are they human or canine…they are both.

1.33pm: I jump into a robe and help my son find the toilet. I ask him to wee on a ketone strip. He has a small amount of ketones. His breath smells like Fruit Tingles soaked in Nail Polish Remover. He tells me he has no saliva in his mouth. I give him a bottle of water, and prepare an injection of insulin. He needs it desperately, because he is 22.3mmol/L. I want to sit on the floor and cry.

1.45am: I carry him back to bed and contemplate how much insulin I should give. I decide upon 3 units of Novorapid and 2 units of Levemir. Lance’s legs are aching-a sure sign that he is hyper. I ask him if he wants a warm shower, however he can barely stand. I turn the electric blanket on and rub his legs whilst I study his face. He is staring straight ahead, looking at nothing in particular. The water is going down like he has been bushwalking in 35 degree heat. I give a children’s Nurofen tablet which really helps with the leg pains.

2.00am:I realise I am still in my bathrobe. I got a bum deal in the shower tonight…I get into my pyjamas.

2.05am:Lance is chattering loudly, and I remind him of the time. I read him a few more chapters of Captain Underpants.

2.30am:I try to find a finger that isn’t covered in fresh dots. Lance tells me that finger pricks don’t really hurt like they used to. I don’t know how to feel about that. He grabs the lancet device and does the “click” for me.

2.31am: Hmm. A drop of a whole 3mmol/L. I want to scream at the glucometer as it flashes “Check Ketones.” Lance needs to use the toilet again. I can smell ketones on the sheets and pillow cases.

2.40am: We are both giggling at Chino, who is “running” in his sleep. He has dreams where he sounds traumatised-as if he is in a brawl with a Great Dane. He audibly whimpers in his sleep. Lance roars with laughter. I give him a gentle shake, it’s no use the three of us being trapped in a nightmare.

3.00am:BSL: 16.6mmol/L. Lance is yawning. I do a blood test to check for ketones and they have cleared. Lance has to be up for swimming in 6 hours. I have to be up to get ready for swimming in 5 hours.

3.10am: I turn off the last burning light in the house. Lance is talking about spiders on a single strand of web, pole dancing down onto our faces. I remind him that we have just recently had the pest man spray our home for spiders..little does he know but we have had a redback plague. I found dead spiders everywhere for days after the pest man did his job. My mind wandered off, hoping that the fumes he is exposed to everyday don’t cause any problems with his health. My memory jolts back to a statement he made about his 2 year old suffering from a rare neurological disease, and an eye problem. Why does my mind go to these places? I think it’s commonly referred to as hysteria.

3.2opm:There has been silence and no movement for 10 minutes. “Mum, do you know how many attack points Blue Eyes White Dragon has? Mum? Ohhhhhh.” I had to let him know through silence that I was beyond the point of exhaustion. He was soon breathing heavily after 5 minutes. That’s the last thing I remember.


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