Monday, September 1, 2014

Walk of Hope: Day 5

Hi Everyone!

Today is just a simple video of pictures of Bradley. This is just to remind that Bradley is just like any other little 2 year old little boy. Thanks again for watching and please help us support the JDRF by going to our walk page and making a small donation. Every little donation is going to add up! Thank you!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Walk of Hope: Day 4

Today is all about Bradley's continuous glucose monitor (CGM). This thing is amazing! I believe it has saved Bradley's life several times. I cannot imagine not having it. It really keeps my mind at ease and helps us manage his diabetes a lot more effectively and quickly.

Bradley wears a CGM 24 hours a day. It gives his blood sugar, it shows you if his sugar is steady, dropping, or climbing and how fast it's moving there. It also alarms if Bradley's blood sugar is low. It does not replace his meter, he still needs his finger pokes. There is a lag time with his CGM so we always have to give him a finger poke if we are going to have a meal, or if he needs a correction for being too low. 

He gets his CGM replaced once a week. Sometimes he is very discouraged to get it replaced and other times he is excited. It changes weekly- as you will see in the video, he did not want a new sensor this week.

These are the steps you will see in the video:

  • He gets a numbing cream on about an hour beforehand
  • Next we use alcohol to clean the area
  • Then, we apply SkinTac to help the bandage stay on (it has to stay on all week)
  •  Using the applicator, we insert the sensor, it uses a needle to insert the sensor under the skin
  • The applicator is taken off the sensor
  • We then attach the transmitter

Just this year CGMs have been approved for Bradley's age group. I am so thankful for the advancements that science makes every day. This is truly a lifesaving device!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Walk of Hope: Day 3

Today I am going to be sharing with you how we handle high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). High blood sugar is very tricky to manage since Bradley is so small. You have to be extremely careful about treating high blood sugar. His insulin takes three hours to work through his body. If you give him extra insulin too early, he is probably going to drop. Scheduling, recording, meal planning and looking for patterns plays a very important role in helping manage Bradley's high blood sugar. 

Here are some causes of high blood sugar:

  • Too much food (carbohydrates)
  • Too little insulin
  • Sickness/infection
  • Stress
  • Growth 
  • High elevation (in our experience)
How do we treat high blood sugar??
  • Give extra insulin
  • Fluids
How does high blood sugar effect Bradley??

When Bradley's sugars are high he usually is fussy and anxious. He also sometimes complains that he is hungry. 

It is an ongoing balancing-act to keep Bradley's sugar stable, especially since he is so young. The endocrinologist does not want to be too aggressive with his diabetes(giving him a strong does of insulin) because of his age. They rather have him a little high than too low. Whenever we get his A1C (his blood sugar report card), I always want it better. The doctor reminds me every time that it is too dangerous to do any better. Bradley's body changes really quickly. His blood sugar can be above 300, and 30 minutes late it can be at 100. He is extremely sensitive to sugar, and also extremely sensitive to insulin. Some days the numbers look perfect and you think "oh wow! I got this!". Then the next day, he is high, and then low and you can't seem to get it just right. AND you didn't do anything different than the day before! Sometimes it doesn't make any sense and it can can be so frustrating. 

Before the 1980s, Type 1 Diabetics were treated with animal insulin. For many years, drug companies used pancreases to extract insulin from slaughtered cows and pigs, which didn't need their organs anymore. Animal insulin saved many lives, but it had a few problems: many people were allergic and it did not work as quickly as human insulin. In 1978, they created the first DNA insulin, which is identical to what our pancreas produces. Breakthroughs would not be possible without research support. Please support the JDRF and thank you so much for reading my blog! I think it is so important to spread Type 1 Awareness. Thanks! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Day 2: Walk of Hope

Today I am going to be discussing low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). The scariest thing about low blood sugar, for Brad and many children with Type 1, is that it happens so incredibly fast. If you do not catch it and treat it quickly it can be extremely dangerous. In our experience, low blood sugars occur even when we are doing everything correctly.

 Here are some factors that cause low blood sugar:
  • Too much insulin
  • Extra activity/exercise
  • Giving an insulin shot in the muscle
  • Taking a hot shower or bath after an insulin shot
  • Not eating enough food at meal time
  • Late on schedule meal/snack
  • Hot weather
How do we know when his blood sugar is low?

We have to test his blood sugar and if it is below 80, we have to treat quickly with sugar. We usually give Bradley juice or chocolate milk to treat his lows. Then, we have to wait and retest his blood sugar to make sure his number is above 80. Sometimes we can tell if Bradley's blood sugar is low. He usually gets sweaty and his mood quickly changes. But not always, sometimes there are no warnings or symptoms. The lowest Bradley's sugar has gone is 48 and anything below 50 is extremely dangerous. 

If his low blood sugar goes untreated, he could go unconscious and/or have a seizure. If this happens, we have to treat him with an emergency glucagon shot and call 911. He would have to be put in the hospital for treatment. If a glucagon shot is not administered he could die. 

Some children have died in their sleep from low blood sugar. It is extremely dangerous and you have to be on alert all the time. Bradley's blood sugar frequently does drop in the middle of the night so I do check him every two hours at night to make sure his blood sugar is staying steady. 

We test Bradley's blood sugar with a glucose meter and a continuous glucose monitor. The glucose meter was invented in the 1960s. It was not until the 1980s that glucose meters were available for patients at home. I do not know how families were able to manage their children before this time. It would be impossible to manage Bradley without his meter. I am so thankful for scientists and the researchers that work on improving the management of Type 1 Diabetes. Again, that is why we continue to support the JDRF. Please consider making a donation (every little bit makes a difference). Thank you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Walk of Hope: Day 1

Today I am sharing with you how Bradley gets his insulin on a daily basis. Brad's body does not produce insulin on its own. In order for him to get insulin, we have to give him shots. He typically gets five shots a day: breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and bedtime. He gets them in his arm, leg or stomach area. He prefers getting them in his arm or stomach. He complains when he gets them in his legs.

The drops you see on this spoon is how much insulin Bradley gets after each meal. It is a half of unit of insulin. Not very much at all. I cannot get over how something so small can make such an impact on his body. As he grows, he will need more but right now this is plenty of insulin for most meals.

Half Unit of Insulin

This is what a half unit of insulin looks like in the needle when you draw it (this is usually what he gets after meals). It is as thin as a line on a paper. It is so important that you do not give him too much insulin.

One Unit of Insulin

 If you give him a smudge more insulin his blood sugar will drop and that it very dangerous. He could have seizures, pass out and/or go into a diabetic coma. 

I am so thankful for all the research that has happened for diabetics. 100 years ago Bradley would have not been expected to live because there was no fast-acting insulin. Now there is and it allows Bradley to lead a very normal, healthy life. His life span is just like everyone else. All this is because of research. 80 percent of money raised by the JDRF goes directly to support research. Please help me and support the JDRF so we can continue to make advances and better the lives of Type 1 Diabetics. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Walk to Cure Diabetes 2014

It's that time of year! On Saturday, October 18th, we will be walking with Bradley to support the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. We would love for you to support our team with a donation or if you would like to join our team on this special day for Bradley we would love to have you! 

I started writing this blog post and it was very lengthy and just too much information about why you should donate, how Type 1 Diabetes has affected our family, etc. I thought that it was too much information to take in all at once but everything was something that I wanted to share. So instead of giving you all the information in one big blog post, I decided to create smaller, individual posts instead.

I am going to be doing a 10 day blog series called "Walk of Hope".  During this series, I am hoping to give you a glimpse of what it is like every day for Bradley and our family. I am even going to try to do some videos! Come back tomorrow for day 1 of Walk of Hope!

If you would like to donate or join our team for the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes please visit this link below:

Thank you so much for making a difference for Bradley's life and everyone with Type 1 Diabetes!

Here are some pictures from last year's walk:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Lovin'

Wow! I cannot believe summer break is almost over for my little FIRST grader!  It has been a lot of fun having him home.  Hope we can get a few more hikes, a few camping trips, and a couple of trips to the bio parks before he goes back.  Here are a few pictures of our summer fun!  Sorry I have not posted in a while.  I have been mostly updating on Facebook. So a lot of these pictures will be repeats from Facebook- sorry.  I will try to get back to posting more often.  

 Los Conchas in Jemez Mountains 

 My three favorite people!

 We love hiking!!

 Silly Connor!

 Monkey see, monkey do!

 Best buds- most days.

 Visiting Jemez Falls

Love these boys so much!

 Had a blast with lots of friends!

Love bridge pictures! :)

My little explorer!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Connor's Story

I cannot believe I haven't posted anything since September!  I am going to try really, really hard to post a lot more.  I wanted to share a story that Connor created in his kindergarten class for his Author Party back in December.  He is very proud of his book and I thought I would share it with you.  He wanted to write a story about his brother's diabetes.  This is his interpretation of Bradley's diabetes and he created this all on his own.  It is such a sweet glimpse of what Bradley and our family go through every day.  When Connor was reading this story aloud at school, it brought tears to my eyes.  It is amazing how much he understands about diabetes.  I love how much he loves his brother and how it comes across in his story.    Enjoy!!