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Type 1 Diabetes Mom

Living Positively: D-mom Of 4 Children With Type 1 Diabetes

Living Positively: D-mom Of 4 Children With Type 1 Diabetes

On the surface, Elissa Renouf looks like your typical mother of five beautiful, happy, healthy, well-loved children, four boys and one girl, ages 13 to 21. Digging further, you’ll learn their family’s life is a little more complicated than others – four children with type 1 diabetes (two with celiac disease), and one child with epilepsy and suspected brain tumor. Even with the constant on going management of the health issues they’ve been handed, they’ve never lost determination to live as positive as possible. Q. Tell us what it’s like being a D-Mom to four children with diabetes, and one without? A. It’s a full time job, but having five kids in general is a full time job. Charlie was my first child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2002, at the age of three. My responsibility helping manage my children’s diabetes was a general progression, and every eight months, it seemed like another child had a diagnosis. I wanted a positive, stress-free life for myself and children, so had no other way but to learn to manage and accept it. Q. How do you help each of them manage their diabetes? How does it differ from the next child? A. It is important for my children to manage their diabetes self-sufficiently, so I had each of them involved in their management from day one. The more they understood how to manage their diabetes, the better control they could have so they could grow into happier, healthier adults. I taught them how to count their carbs and the glycemic index in food, and that if they wanted food, they would also need insulin. Empowering them to manage their diabetes gave them the confidence to make sound diabetes management decisions the rest of their lives. Q. With four children with diabetes, how do you keep track of their blood sugar trends and di Continue reading >>

A Day In The Life Of A Type 1 Diabetes Mom - Leaf & Love

A Day In The Life Of A Type 1 Diabetes Mom - Leaf & Love

Its that time again. Classrooms around the country are filled with excitement and anticipation for what the year will bring. Teachers dressed in crisp outfits present to eager parents and we all feel the excitement in the air. Im talking about Back-to-School night. At our big night, after our lovely new teacher spoke to the attentive parents, she turned to me and asked me to give a brief explanation of my daughters circumstances to the group. You see, my daughter has Type 1 diabetes. I had already come in earlier that day to explain her disease and devices to her first grade class. I talked in simple terms about checking blood sugar, needles, and the devices she wears on her body. The children were amazingly receptive and calm during the presentation. So was I. But here I was, suddenly tongue-tied to share a few sentences about Type 1 diabetes to a group of adults. It seems silly that I would be paralyzed by talking to parents. I had been a teacher and school administrator for years before becoming a mom. I always loved speaking to hundreds of parents and felt very comfortable in the role. But last night felt different. I barely remember what I said. It was something short and upbeat like, My daughter has Type 1 diabetes. You will see her pump and her continuous glucose monitor inserted on different parts of her body and she has a 1:1 aide with her at all times. Parents nodded and smiled. That was it. In retrospect, Im not really sure how or why I kept it short, sweet and free of emotion. I think its partly because I never want to be seen as a complainer or a drama queen. It is also likely that I didnt want to melt into a pool of blubbering tears in front of everyone on their own childs Back-to-School Night! If I could do it again, and there were no time constraints, t Continue reading >>

What You Should Know About Being A Mom To A T1d Teen

What You Should Know About Being A Mom To A T1d Teen

What you should know about being a mom to a T1D Teen Its 3:00 a.m. and Im staring at my 15-year-old son sitting at our kitchen table. Its the hour when most families are in that deep REM stage, but when youre dealing with Type 1 diabetes, you may be up for any number of reasons. Theres a joke you might have heard ifyoure in the Type 1 community. It goes something like this: I went to bed at 9p.m. and slept a full 10hours straight, said no diabetes mom ever. When you have Type 1 you might wake up because your blood sugar is too low or high. Or by chance the batteries have died in your insulin pump, or your insulin cartridge could be low, or the tubing could be clogged, or the pump may simply stop working which was the case with us. That night my son, Sam, tried repeatedly to prime the pump. We put in a brand new cartridge, new tubing, all to no avail. I listened to it rewind and heard the vibrating beeps, followed by the ugly warning ding that sounded off when something was not right. I knew then that it was going to be a long night. When you have Type 1 diabetes you need insulin to survive. When youre a 15-year-old growing boy you need lots of it. Sam was diagnosed when he was 4 years oldwe bought an insulin pump the following year so we are no pump rookies, and yet, this was a curve ball. The walls of the kitchen closed in on me. I started thinking of how unfair this was; we needed our sleep! We both had busy days ahead me at work, him at school with make-up tests and a basketball game later that evening. Thus, adding to my ever-growing panic was the realization that he could not survive without his pump. Sure, I could keep him home from school and give him shots, babysitting his blood sugar every two hours, but that was not conducive to our busy lives. I began hyperv Continue reading >>

To The Mothers Of Type 1 Diabetics - Diabetes Blog

To The Mothers Of Type 1 Diabetics - Diabetes Blog

To the Mothers of Type 1 Diabetics (A Mothers Day Post) Its often that we hear how heroic people with Type 1 Diabetes are, but its not very often that we give thanks to the ones behind the scenes that help us get to where we are todaywhich include the t1d mothers and fathers. This disease takes a team of people to manage it, and when it all seems to be falling apart around us, its thanks to you for holding us together. We couldnt do it without the people who love and support us. So this is for all themothers of type 1 diabetics: To all the mothers whos hearts were shattered into pieces the day you heard the news of diagnosis but told us everything was going to be okay. The mothers who have found and continue to find the strength every day to fight this disease along with usespecially on the days we feel weak. The ones who get up throughout the night and instinctively check our blood sugars to make sure we make it through to the morning. Mothers who advocate for us and give all of us a voice in this world.The mothers who get up every day exhausted and take on whatever the day brings, just hoping that our day is a little better than the last. The ones who encourage us to reach for the stars and never let diabetes stand in our way. Mothers that are always checking up on us and letting us know that you care. The mothers who have to be prepared at all times on how to handle life threatening situations if and when they occur.The ones who try to stay as calm as possible during difficult moments when deep down youre breaking. Mothers who have to fight tooth and nail for authorizations and approvals through insurances; forprescriptions, doctor visits, medical devices, and insulin. The ones who have to fight back tears when administering insulin, knowing that its the only thing Continue reading >>

Top 10 Things Never To Say To A T1d Parent

Top 10 Things Never To Say To A T1d Parent

They mean well. They really do. But many people just don’t realize that the seemingly “helpful,” reassuring, or casual, off-hand remarks they make upon learning that your child has type 1 diabetes just…aren’t. And who can blame them? They probably know as much about type 1 as you did before your son or daughter was diagnosed. Still, some of the comments T1D parents hear can be supremely frustrating or even downright hurtful. So here’s your chance to set these well-intentioned friends, family members and acquaintances straight — by sharing this list as a public service announcement or by picking up some ideas for clever, tactful ways to respond when you hear one of these doozies, courtesy of Jeniece Trast, R.N., C.D.E., M.A., clinical research nurse manager and certified diabetes educator at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. 1. “Well, at least it’s not fatal.” This type of statement minimizes all the work parents do to manage their child’s diabetes — and ignores the fact that many parents do worry very much about their child’s long-term health and safety. “Diabetes is a challenging disease to manage because it involves food, insulin, blood sugar monitoring, exercise and so much more,” says Trast. “People who are able to manage their diabetes well are usually healthy individuals who lead long successful lives. However, there is always the risk of low and high blood sugars no matter how well controlled a person’s diabetes is, and both of these things can be life-threatening if not properly treated.” Parents, consider responding: “I am so glad that my child is happy and healthy right now. However, diabetes unfortunately can cause medical emergencies that can be very dangerous, so we work hard every day to try to prevent those. Continue reading >>

Children Get Help For Mom With Type 1 During Low

Children Get Help For Mom With Type 1 During Low

Read more: 3 tips for talking to children about your Type 1 diabetes They then let the paramedics in and informed them about their mothers condition before turning their attention once again to getting ready for school. The responding paramedic said Kieran had been so diligent in testing his mothers glucose levels that he had used up all the fingers on one of his mothers hands. Brittain was treated and her children were taken to school by ambulance. No one with Type 1 diabetes likes to imagine suffering severe hypoglycemia, and parents with Type 1 diabetes might be particularly reluctant to discuss the possibility of such a low with their children. However, this incident underlines the importance of making a plan. Every parent must decide what they feel their child is capable of handling, but giving children the information they need to help if a low strikes might reduce their anxiety around Type 1 diabetes. Here are some suggestions to make sure children are prepared: Give children a basic understanding of what is happening during a bout of hypoglycemia Keep a list of basic medical info on the fridge or in another easy-to-find place Make sure children know how to call 911 and when to do it, as well as what information to give to the dispatcher Show children where you keep low snacks (unless that means you will no longer have low snacks) Have children learn how to test your glucose levels Have your children ever helped when you were suffering from a bout of hypoglycemia? You can send your stories to me at [email protected] . Thanks for reading this Insulin Nation article. Want more Type 1 news? Subscribe here . Have Type 2 diabetes or know someone who does? Try Type 2 Nation , our sister publication. Continue reading >>

The Life Of A Mom With Type 1 Diabetes

The Life Of A Mom With Type 1 Diabetes

Editor’s note: This post is not intended as medical advice. Always consult a medical professional or physician before treatment of any kind. I see them, standing outside the school in a circle at pickup time, sunglasses perched and covering their dark under-eye circles. I can hear the familiar conversation as I approach the sidewalk, my toddler on my hip, arching his back and trying to scramble away from me. Mom #1: “I’m so tired. Last night we went from violin lessons, to basketball practice, to picking up some dinner, to home. We didn’t even start homework until 8:30 pm. And the homework! I don’t understand how to do this new math. I need to get my son a tutor.” Mom #2: “I hear you! I’m exhausted! This PTA gig is killing me! I have to bake about one million cookies for the fundraiser this weekend. My daughter just came home and reminded me that picture day is tomorrow. John needs new gym shoes … like yesterday. And I have a huge presentation at work next week. I just don’t know how I will get this all done! I guess I’ll pull another all-nighter.” Mom #3: “Speaking of all-nighters, Grayson is teething and has been up every two hours for six nights straight. And now Madison is just begging me to take gymnastics, so I agreed. The problem is, she’s also in Spanish Club, the school band, and ballet. We really don’t have the money … but I just can’t say no to her. What if gymnastics is her gift? Her ballet teacher said she’s so coordinated for her age. Of course, this means I have to let her older brother choose a fourth activity too. We have to keep it fair or the kids argue. Aren’t school pictures tomorrow?” I listen to these conversations, seemingly on repeat, every weekday and am grateful I can’t relate to the insane busyness of Continue reading >>

Mother Of A Type 1 Diabetic (my Mother's Perspective) - The Diabetic Journey

Mother Of A Type 1 Diabetic (my Mother's Perspective) - The Diabetic Journey

I asked my mother to write about my diagnosis and theyears following. Ive always wanted to get her perspective as being a mother of a Type 1 Diabetic. Now that Im a mother, I can empathizewith a mothers love and how far it will go. I wanted her to share her thoughts, fears, and doubts. Now that Im older and wiser Ive been able to mourn the loss of the life that didnt consist of diabetesand close that chapter in my life. Finding out that diabetes has made me who I am. That when I thought I was handed the wrong card, it actually led me to where I was meant to be. Its made every success, achievement, or victory just that much sweeter. Mother Of a Type 1 Diabetic: (My Mothers Perspective) As a mother your first instinct is to love and protect, that is what I sought out to do. From the day she was born, I felt an overwhelming sense of obligation to fulfill. But nothing prepared me for what life had in store. In 2002 when she was at the age of 12, I woke in the middle of the night to my child rocking in our recliner. I found it quite odd and I asked: Brittany whats wrong? She replied, mom I have no saliva and Im very thirsty. I knew then something was terribly wrong. I took her of course to the emergency room. We sat there for what seemed like an eternity. I was told she had to be transported to All Childrens Hospital. Her blood sugar was over 900! By the grace of GOD, she didnt slip into a coma. That was the day that changed our lives as we know iteven more so for hers. It felt like someone ran me over. Type 1 diabetic? I asked in disbelief. For how long? Forever I was told. I didnt know what to do. I was now a mother of a Type 1 Diabetic, and trying to process all of this at once. I knew nothing about this disease, for this was all new to me. This child that I vowed to pro Continue reading >>

Surviving The Teen Years With Type 1 This Mothers Secret

Surviving The Teen Years With Type 1 This Mothers Secret

What are the skillsthat developing teens typically dont have? Ability to appreciate future consequences At that point, my 8-year-old was displaying signs of being the perfect diabetic. So one voice was saying: You dont have to listen to this. Tia is never going to be a Diabetes Rebel. While the pessimist in me was saying: You better listen carefully, so you dont become the Diabetes Police. What I realized, though, was that diabetes had the potential to put a very significant strain on our relationship during the teen years. I knew that without education, practice and opportunities to connect and nurture our relationship, diabetes could rule and ruin our relationship. The second goal of the Mother Daughter Weekend is to give mothers and daughters the space to work on, nurture and recalibrate their relationship. To take time out of their hectic lives to evaluate how they are communicating around diabetes. Are they being respectful of each others needs and wishes? Do they understand what motivates them to communicate the way they do? Are they feeling connected to each other and to the community? At the Mother Daughter Weekend, we practice our communication skills, we laugh at our communication mishaps, and we have fun together so that when we leave the weekend we are connected not only to our own daughters, but to other mother-daughter duos as well, so that we have a strong network of support to turn to when things get rough. Five weeks after Tia was diagnosed we met Katie Craft who was diagnosed with T1D at age 12. We met her because we needed a babysitter, but she quickly became an integral part of our family. She is the reason we Seize Diabetes. She told us about celebrating Dia-Birthdays. And when at first I didnt understand the concept she whispered to me: Imagine if Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes For Mom And Son

Type 1 Diabetes For Mom And Son

Bonding over a disease isn't what Debbie would wish for any parent and child. But she's comforted that Brady has her to help him navigate his illness. Coping with a lifetime of type I diabetes is one thing. Learning that your child has the disease, too, is way harder to handle. Just ask Debbie Bonney, 37, a mom of two who lives in Manchester, Maryland. She learned three years ago that her son Brady, now eight, has diabetes, too. Scott and Debbie with their children Brady and Ella.When Debbie thinks back to Bradys diagnosis day, she admits that there was one big silver lining: When Brady started exhibiting symptoms, such as excessive thirst and peeing, she knew exactly what to do. That day we were sitting in the mall after I took Brady and my 10-year-old daughter, Ella, to the movies and something told me to test Bradys blood sugar, she says. I had noticed Brady was drinking a lot and he had to go to the bathroom several times during the movie and, while I think I did it more to ease my mind, I was still shocked to see that his levels were high. She called her pediatrician right away. And though Brady spent five days in the hospital right after that appointment, luckily, his type 1 diabetes was caught in its early stages. An added bonus: Brady jumped right in and learned as much about diabetes as a five-year-old can, including quickly learning how to do a finger stick. Ever since he got out of the hospital, Brady tests his blood sugar himself, Debbie says. And while he can draw up his injections, he cant give them to himself just yet, but I know the day he learns how to do that is right around the corner. The family has learned their share of advocating for themselves as well. For example, after a year of using larger needles, they decided to try the smaller ones on Bra Continue reading >>

What It’s Really Like To Have A Child With Type 1 Diabetes

What It’s Really Like To Have A Child With Type 1 Diabetes

I have two daughters with Type 1 diabetes, and in my experience there’s a disconnect between what people think it’s like to have Type 1 diabetes and what it actually is like. Many people are not aware of all the variables that come into play to control blood sugars. Some people think you take your medicine and you get a steady blood glucose of 120. In reality, you have to guess what the dose of your insulin is based on your guess of what the carbs in the food are based on what your guess is of the portion of food that will be eaten. Plus, you must take into account your guess of the amount of fat and protein in the food, and whether one has just exercised or is about to exercise (and how much exertion that exercise will involve). If you are about to go to sleep that must be taken into account, or if you’re going to be somewhere difficult to treat a low (such as a child on a school bus) keep that in mind as well. And don’t forget to pray that your pump infusion set is working and that your insulin didn’t fry in the heat. Now push go on your pump, or poke your arm with a needle and, voilà, you’re done! A diabetes disconnect also results from confusing headlines, such as Cure for Type 1 Discovered (it’s in mice) or New Drug for Diabetes (it’s for Type 2). Many book titles are misleading as well, often using language like ‘Reversing Diabetes’ or ‘Preventing Diabetes’ while meaning Type 2 diabetes and not Type 1. Even medical journals often don’t distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in their titles. Recently, I saw a friend whom I hadn’t seen for a long time. When I pulled out my daughters’ meters and lancets to check blood sugars, she said “I didn’t think you still had to do that.” This is not the first time I’ve heard someon Continue reading >>

Letter To A Type 1 Mom

Letter To A Type 1 Mom

As a woman with Type 1 diabetes , Im often asked for advice from moms who have teenage daughters with Type 1. Im always conflicted about giving advice, because I know what its like to live with Type 1, but I dont know what its like to parent a child with Type 1. So I try to think about what my parents did for me and my sister when we were teenagers, and I try to think about what I would do if one of my three sons were diagnosed. Recently, a friend of a friend e-mailed me because her daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 several months ago. She said her daughter was adjusting, but she was still struggling. She was trying not to let her daughter see that she was struggling, but I could sense the fear and anxiety in her words. I wrote back that its terrible to see our children suffer and to feel helpless. Theres nothing worse. I wrote that it was OK to feel scared and helpless and that I know a lot of parents who feel the same way. Ive heard so many stories about parents waking up throughout the night to monitor their childs blood sugar, parents who stand on the sidelines of soccer games with a backpack full or supplies, parents who give themselves injections so they can understand their childs pain, parents whose kitchens are transformed into science labs, and parents who are always on guard. Its scary and exhausting and the job is never done. Diabetes is tricky, too, because it can fool you into thinking you can control it with food and exercise and technology, but we are never fully in control of our bodies. I say this because I see so many parents of Type 1s who try hard to feel like they are in control, and this mission takes over their lives. My parents went in the complete opposite direction and gave me too much freedom, but Id like to believe theres a middle ground. Continue reading >>

To The Parents Of Children With Type 1

To The Parents Of Children With Type 1

Whatever your worst fears are for your child with Type 1 diabetes, I guarantee my parents had (and have) them, too; the only difference is that I lived out each and every one of them.I was an awful child in general (moody, tantrum-prone, stubborn) which made me an even worse child with diabetes. I rejected any and every activity my parents suggested related to my disease; camps and fundraisers, seminars and play dates. I would lie about blood sugar readings and refuse to give insulin. I yelled at doctors and shunned my parents from annual appointments. If they dared to mention my diabetes in public, I would pout and brood for days. Unfortunately, this rejection of my diabetes stayed with me through my teens and college years. As a result, I spent the early part of my 20s battling severe diabetic eye complications. It was a terrible period in my life, and an even worse time for my poor parents who were powerless in the wake of my defiance. Perhaps thats why we were all equal parts shocked and amused when, at the age of 23, I was offered a job at JDRF. 23was a turning point for me both professionally and personally; Id ignored my diabetes for the better part of a decade and was certainly reaping the consequences. Yet the year prior, Id made a quiet but stern decision to do better. Id been working hard to relearn how to live healthily with diabetes and trying desperately to heal the damaged parts of myself still capable of healing. I reasoned that part of that healing process meant I had no choice but to accept that job offer. During my first week at JDRF, I came across some historical donation data and, for fun, decided to look up my mothers name. What I saw not only shocked me, but instantly brought tears to my eyes. Listed neatly in chronological order were dozens of s Continue reading >>

What Life Is Like Being A Mom With Type 1 Diabetes

What Life Is Like Being A Mom With Type 1 Diabetes

What Life is Like Being a Mom With Type 1 Diabetes What Life is Like Being a Mom With Type 1 Diabetes Just like diabetesmotherhood is a lot of work. Not one is more important than the other. For me being a mom with Type 1 Diabetes, they both go hand in hand. I get asked often how do you manage?The kidsthey mean. Of course, thats only half of the equation in my life. The half that I have to continuously battle every day. Nobody understands how complex and intertwined diabetes is in every aspect of my life. Its certainly made me the strong mother that I am today. But its also made me unlike other mothers as well. Im the mother who pricks her finger several times a day, and those numbers determining whether its safe to attend to my children. The one who packs for an army to leave the house for a quick errandbut never being fully prepared enough. The mother who has to take breaks constantly and has to eat the snack that my child wants desperately. Knowing that sometimes I have to come first. The one who has to go to as many doctorappointmentsif not more than my children. Im the mother who wants to vent to an open earbut doesnt think they would understand. The mother trying to lose weight, only to have a difficult time due to having to treat lows. Im one who carries guilt, wanting to be the best mother and not wanting diabetes to inhibit that in any way. Having to steal a part of my childrens innocence by teaching them about this disease that I wish I could keep from them. Im the mother who worries about going to sleep at nighthaving the fear of not waking up in the morning. Waking up some days feeling like Ive been run over by a truck and just continuing to push through. The mother who is constantly attached to devices, and always setting off alarms. The one with erratic m Continue reading >>

My Favorite Type 1 Diabetes Blogs

My Favorite Type 1 Diabetes Blogs

I live in a bubble most of the time. I get along all right knowing what I know, living how I know how to live and plugging along day after day with my eyes right in front of me. It’s deceptively comfortable having blinders up, dealing with things on my own. But sometimes, I desperately need a different viewpoint, to see what other people experience. Blogs are a perfect way to get that extra dose of perspective! There are so many amazing type 1 diabetes blogs out there, but here are three of my favorites. Deathofapancreas.com Joanne writes a fantastic blog about her little girl Elise. I immediately was drawn to Joanne’s writing because I felt like I could relate well with her. Seeing her sweet little Elise pictured on the blog reminds me so much of my Kaitlyn. Another reason I love this blog is that Joanne talks a lot about different technology options. They’ve tried all kinds of different meters, pumps and CGM systems — some they’ve stuck with, and some they have not. As a mom who looks forward to using more of these kinds of systems, I find reading about her experiences with them invaluable! Ourdiabeticlife.com Meri is a mom of four boys, and three of them have type 1 diabetes. Three! That alone was enough to pull me in to find out about her story. As if that’s not enough for her to handle, her husband is also battling cancer. It brings me close to tears when I read it. She talks about how she copes and where she turns for hope and peace. She’s truly an inspiration. Theprincessandthepump.com First of all, how cute is that? Princess and the Pump… darling! Hallie writes about her dear little Sweetpea. She’s a 6-year-old girl who recently had her third “diaversary.” Once again, I’m drawn to Hallie’s writing because it mirrors my own roller coaste Continue reading >>

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