Browsed by
Month: November 2011

Caleb – Enjoying and Living Life

Caleb – Enjoying and Living Life

by Jenny Reifsteck, November 18, 2011

Hi, I am the mom of 4 year old Caleb. This May Caleb was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It was one of the worst days of our lives, but has in no way stopped us from enjoying and living life.

One week our son got a cold. Never did we think this would lead to discovering his condition. On a Friday night Caleb was sleeping on the floor when he woke up coughing, gagging and gasping for hair. I took him straight to the ER near our home. They checked him out, gave him steroids and sent us on our way saying it was just croup and he would fight through it. That weekend Caleb stopped eating. He acted more and more tired, looked sickly and started wetting the bed and himself during the day. Most apparent was his thirst. I have a little background in the medical field and thought diabetes, but was hoping UTI. As a mom of a usually very healthy and active 4 year old you don’t want to think of something as seriously as diabetes.

We let it slide for the weekend thinking maybe he’s just getting over being sick. That Monday though he spent the night with his aunt and cousins. Caleb’s aunt is a nurse and when she called me the next day saying that Caleb had gotten sick that night and asked if I planned on taking him to the doctor I knew she had the same fear as I did.

I made an appointment that day and am very glad I decided not to wait. We went in and I let the nurse know how he was acting and asked if they wanted a urine sample since he was going so often and still hoping maybe it was just an infection. When I heard the nurse and doctor talking outside our room my fear was realized. It’s never good when you’re doctor yells “damnit” when talking about what they found in his urine sample (sugars and ketones) We were sent down to lab for blood test. His blood sugar came back. 970. My heart completely left my body. I wanted to close my eyes and open them hoping it was all just a horrible dream, but the nightmare had just begun. We were sent to the hospital’s ER. I walked Caleb down in my arms as he begged me for something to drink and we walked past 3 pop machines. Caleb couldn’t focus his eyes anymore and could only get out yelps that he was thirsty. I felt like my little boy was loosing it. In the ER Caleb was so dehydrated that it took 4 tries and 3 nurses to get the IV in. Once fluids and insulin were started they put us in a ambulance and sent us to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. We went through their ER and then up to the intensive care. From there Caleb started his healing and Chris and I started our lessons on how to manage our sons diabetes. We were at the hospital for 5 days and were able to go home the day before Mother’s day which was the best gift ever. We went through a insurance scare from the pharmacy when they told us our insurance was terminated. It was the most intense and stressful weekend EVER. Our insurance was figured out on Monday finally and then on Tuesday we discovered be were expecting another baby. None the less the week of May 4th 2011 was the most emotional week of our small families life!!!! Caleb is doing fantastic now and his diabetes hasn’t slowed him down in the slightest. Our goal is to give Caleb the child he deserves. Camping, sports, trick-or-treating!!! Thank you so much for sharing your diagnosis and how far you’ve gone in your life! It gives me so much hope as a mom of a Type 1 diabetic. I’m sorry this was so long I just needed to get his story out and lift a little weight off my heart.

Your Story: Julie

Your Story: Julie

I am 27 years old, and i got diabetes in 2005. I have struggled with the fact that i have type 1 diabetes. Recently i had an eye opener. I was admitting into the ICU for the 2nd time with DKA. While i was laying there the only thing i could think about was my two young children, and how if anything happened to me, they would grow up with out a mom. From that time forward i made a promise to myself that i would not let my DIABETES win. Yes i am a type 1 diabetic, but i am in control of my heath, my diabetes doesn’t control me. In the past i used to skip taking my insulin and eat whatever i wanted. I have realized that if i want to be able to see my grandchildren, i need to take care of myself. Recently i have lost my job because of all the health problems that i suffer from, but to be honest will all of you reading this, i just applied for a job that i would have never thought i would apply for because i would have been worried about my blood sugars and the way i felt. but because i made the choice to control my diabetes, i applied at a mine! I am so happy to be alive and well! Its good to be a TYPE 1 DIABETIC

Your Story: Jason

Your Story: Jason

Well it was Jan 8 2011, my son Jason was in the ER, 48 hrs. prior with a dx with upper respitory infection and the flu, he was 18 months old.

We were instructed to bring him back in 24-48 hours if he didn’t get better. I will never forget as it was super bowl weekend, he was extremely lethargic and his eyes were rolling back into his head and throwing up. I told my wife we had to take him back in.

We took him to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, as I live right by Ft. Campbell after my disability separation from the Army. They tried to stick him with an IV on several occasions with no success. They called a female nurse (Michelle) over, who missed her first attempt, but noticed his breathing was irregular, so she had his blood sugar tested. She came back and told us their BG meter only went up to 500 and his was reading “HI”. Bottom line is, he was in DKA, with blood sugars above 1050. Nurse Michelle had explained to us that we were lucky we brought him in when we did because at that point he had less than an hour to live.

Because weather was so bad, the helicopter (med-flight) couldn’t fly that night, so he was transferred to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville TN, via ambulance, in critical condition, where he stayed in ICU for 2 days and an extra night for precautions. Seeing your child laying there in the hospital ICU, in a diabetic coma, hanging on for dear life, hooked up to tubes and wires is the most heart wrenching sight. Neither of us could sleep and were at his side reading to him, singing and praying he pulls through. During that time, my son had an angel watching over him; it was a miracle for what he had gone through, nothing else had happened.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride ever since then. He is now 2, and has become combative when it came to injections (4 xs daily) so we just recently started him on insulin pump therapy and so far it’s ok. His numbers are maintaining (100-200) and he is allowed to eat when he wants, not just breakfast, lunch, dinner and 1 snack. Try telling a toddler who doesn’t understand he is sick, looking in to his teary eyes and telling him “no you can’t have anything to eat; you have to wait until meal time”. (Because he was newly dx and on shots, it wasn’t recommended for me to try to give more insulin other than at meal time, he would go too low).

Because Jason’s BG had been going so low for a few weeks, a few days before his 2nd birthday, the result was him having a seizure, which is when his Dr. recommended pumping.

Jason is protective of his pump, and doesn’t want you to touch it, as he knows he needs it. However it makes for difficulty in site changes. My wife blames herself as type 2 runs in both of our families; I try to reassure her that it is not her fault. Some day’s we feel like giving up, but we know we have to be strong for our son. My wife holds this guilt with in and cries herself to sleep at night.

My son likes to play with other kids but it’s hard as other kids are freaked out by diabetes. I also found when he gets really active in play he goes low really quick so we try to limit his play a little, but he gets very upset with that.

One thing I noticed is that when you mention diabetes to people, they always assume you’re talking about type 2, and then they say well it’s your fault, and with proper exercise and eating healthy, it wouldn’t have happened….tell that to my 2 year old T1D.

T1D is different and is nobody’s fault, I just wish everyone else would get it, or when people are talking about diabetes in general, it needs to be clarified.

Your Story: Tammy and Isabelle Hargett

Your Story: Tammy and Isabelle Hargett

My name is Tammy; I am the mother of a type 1 diabetic. My daughter is Isabelle and was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 8 years old; she is now 14. I am a single mom caring for my daughter almost alone for the past ten years, six of which she had diabetes. It is stressful, worrisome, heart-warming at times, and it is the card we have been dealt. After returning to school as an adult, I still cannot secure decent employment. A wise, self-made man told me “if you can’t find a job, you need to create one for yourself, but be passionate about it.” The next day LIVEabetes Child Care was born; a mother/daughter diabetes care team that can be trusted to care for diabetic children so parents can by worry free when they cannot be home. In theory, I believe in our service. In reality, it is difficult to market to such a specific group of people. We are active in the diabetes community (just did the JDRF walk in Tempe) and I am planning to become a mentor through the ADA to help newly-diagnosed families adjust. My heart and soul is in this. I am hoping to find a connection to those who would benefit from our care.

Your Story: Edward Rodriguez

Your Story: Edward Rodriguez

I met Bret Michaels by chance at the half marathon in Philadelphia on September 18, 2011. I knew about Bret Michaels, because of his music and because we shared something in common, we both had a Cerebral Hemorrhage. I was very excited to meet with him! I looked up to Bret for the courage it took to pick right back up from where he left off and continue his work after his hemorrhage. After our meeting, I started to learn more and more about how Bret is making so much of a difference in the lives he is able to touch with his fame. Here is a man that has been dealt many challenges in his life and yet he chooses to take those challenges and affect the world in such a positive way! One of the things I didn’t know was that we also shared something else in common and that is Diabetes, in 2004 I learned that I have type 2 Diabetes and I have been fighting it ever since.

Your Story: Debbie Manning

Your Story: Debbie Manning

I’m Debbie, 44 years old from Texas. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2007 while in the hospital recovering from major abdominal surgery. I was completely shocked by the news, and it was very hard for me to accept. I was a mixture of emotions, and it’s been an up and down hill battle for me. I take only oral medication right now, but have needed insulin several times since being diagnosed. Diabetes is a constant battle, and I never know from one moment to the next how I’m going to feel. I get frustrated at times, especially when I feel like no one, (particularly my family) understands what I’m going through, but then I think how could they understand when they’ve never had to go through it. I do a lot of research about diabetes on-line, and Bret has been a big inspiration to me. I pray for a cure and will continue to fight.

Your Story: Dani Howard

Your Story: Dani Howard

Hello my name is Dani and I just want to tell you about my wonderful goddaughter Megan.She was diagnosed at age 4 with diabetes.Her mom had dropped her off to stay with my parents and me for the weekend and she was sick.At first we thought that it was just a flu bug she had and that it would pass in a couple of days.But she continued to get extremely worse during the first night she was with us so by morning we called her doctor and he said for us to bring her in immediately.We rushed her to the doctors and he said she was showing signs of diabetes and that he wanted us to take her to the hospital right away.We took her to University of Maryland hospital and they ran some test and tested her blood sugar which was over 800.The doctors and nurses were freaking out and we asked what was wrong and they flat out told us that they didn’t understand how she was still alive or even awake because by rights she should have been in a diabetic coma or dead.Needless to say many of tears and prayer were made that day.So she was in the hospital for a couple of weeks before they could get her blood sugars under control and me being the personal guinea pig to show and prove to her that getting the needles was okay.Now growing up Megan had some small complications here and there but nothing major.It wasn’t until she was all grown up and decided to have a family is where things went bad.Megan now has a beautiful little boy who is a miracle on a whole another level.But she had some complications when she was pregnant with her bloods sugars dropping real low.Now Megan is blind in one eye and partially in the other.She also just found out that she is going through kidney failure.Megan has gone through so much in her life but she never let her diabetes stop her from having a normal life and have no regrets.She is a wonderful mother and a wonderful person.I just wish there was something I could do as far as the kidney failure.She hates the thought of her dying and leaving her little boy without his mommy.The picture I am sending is of my goddaughter Megan and her son on his third birthday.

Colby’s Story

Colby’s Story

hello my name is coolly i am a 26 year old female. i have been a type 1 diabetic since the age of 2. i am a wife and a mother to a wonderful little boy. i have been having a really hard time, no one in my family is a diabetic and they have no idea how i feel. i would like to thank you bret for going on the doctors monday nov 7 because your speech really did help me a lot. you are right its like a ocean. thank you again i hope today to meet you and go to one of your concerts!!

Cindy’s Story

Cindy’s Story

My son Alexander was diagnosed at 12 with Type 1. In the beginning he really took control and cared about his disease. My husband and I have made him independent, but now that he is in college (he is in his second year of college) he seems to not care anymore. If he is high he just says oh well. He is turning 20 on Dec. 24 so he has lived with this disease for almost 8 years!!!My question is do you have any suggestions on how to make him care? He knows what the disease can do to him. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks, Cindy DeClerk

Chris Robb – His Story

Chris Robb – His Story

Do you think your job is stressful? I have no time off. I have no memory of what sleeping all night even means! A Monday is the same as any other day of the week to me. It makes no difference to me if the sun is shining or if it’s raining or snowing or blowing 50mph. I don’t eat right and by far do not get the exercise I should. I have no social life, because to make plans with anyone is nearly impossible to keep. The let down is worse than the not planning at all. I worry all of the time when I am away from my Mom. I left this a.m. at 10:45 to go to the bank and to place an Christmas gift order. Everything was the same this morning as all others. She was riding her bike when I left. I returned at 12:15. Mother’s blood sugar level was twenty two. If you know ANYTHING about diabetes at all, you know how bad that is. You would know how stressful that is on the diabetic and on the care giver. Why am I posting this? Because diabetes is a relentless disease; the diabetic person never gets a day off and always lives with the fear of their blood sugar dropping like Mom’s did today. And so does the care giver. And no matter how good I am at my job, I’m not going to beat her diabetes , nor is she. So the next time you are feeling ‘stressed’ about your life or job or money or time off or the weather, think about this post. And say a prayer for My Mom. Thanks. ~~~When I wrote this today, I was unaware that November is Diabetes Awareness Month. I posted it on my facebook page, which is something I would never do! I don’t know why I did, maybe to let friends and family know just how fragile life is. My Mom is 93 years old and has had diabetes for 28 years.I have been her care giver for 8 years. Her diabetes controls every day of our lives. Thank You, Thank You, THANK YOU, Mr. Michaels, for your work on promoting diabetes awareness.