Thursday, October 8, 2009

Diabetes Clinic

Today is Diabetes Clinic Day.  Two times a year we have appointments scheduled in the Diabetes Clinic.   Kidlet Three has Type 1 diabetes and was diagnosed four years ago. 

Speaking from the mother's perspective, it is an extremely emotional day.  Already this morning we've been to the Clinic for fasting bloodwork.  At 7 a.m. the other five children sitting in the lobby with us all have diabetes and they are all waiting for their bloodwork.  A little bit of sadness settles in on me when I look at those kids and families and know that we share a common diagnosis.  A diagnosis that affects the child and the entire family with no chance of remission or "healing"...yet. 

After bloodwork we always take Kidlet Three out for breakfast.  It is our Diabetes Day tradition.  He usuallys gets lunch with us today, too.  A real treat, ha! ha!  At 9:30 we meet with a diabetes nurse.  During that visit the record book that we record the five fingerprick blood test results in will be reviewed like under a microscope.  The nurse is looking for patterns of blood sugar readings that are too high or too low.  There are a ton of questions asked of Kidlet Three and us as parents.  There will be weight and height checks.  Verification that we have his eyes checked every year since diabetes likes to affect eyesight.  Then the social worker comes in.  Then the psychologist or pyschiatrist comes in.  How is Kidlet Three handling diabetes.  Has he been able to give himself his shots yet (still a no on that one and if any of you are the praying type...he needs prayer in this area).  Today I know there will be a lot of talk about giving himself his shots.  There will be more freedom for him when he can start doing this but oh the thought of sticking a needle in his skin is just oh so overwhelming.  There is a lot of fear on his part and I have to admit, I don't blame him. 

We'll also meet with the diabetes doctor and the dietitian.  It is definitely a day of teamwork.  A well-designed day of covering all the bases of life with diabetes for a kid and the family.  I am so very appreciative of this day.  We leave this day with many answers to our questions, always new information and a new set of goals for Kidlet Three.  This team of Diabetes care providers are like cheerleaders that bring encouragement but also are life coaches asking us to work even harder at getting normal blood sugars all the time. 

So as I get ready to leave the house again for the poo-pah appointments, I was contemplating the pros and cons of life with diabetes. 

Pros:  None except if it causes you to make good food choices (which we do)
Cons:  Insulin shots; expenses for all the supplies needed; eating at specific times; measuring food; managing blood sugars for an active 11-year-old that is involved in baseball and hockey; emotions affect blood sugars; this week hockey tryouts and surges of adrenaline affect blood sugars; every night The Husband or I check Kidlet Three's blood sugar at 2 a.m. because of the insulin regimen he is on can cause a blood sugar drop at 2 a.m.; blah blah blah.  There just isn't a whole lot to like about this diagnosis. 

Yet, our family has changed because of this.  We pay attention to what each other is doing; we evaluate our commitments; we are commited to giving Kidlet Three the best care we can while he still lives at home so he can be healthier in his adult life.  God has given us such grace to deal with this diagnosis.  This lifestyle. 

We have quite a team:  God and the wisdom and knowledge from the Diabetes Clinic care team.  Cheering us on!  I'm thankful.  And I'm late so off we go.....

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