My first blog post on here will be an introduction about our day to day triumphs in our family. We don't have an ordinary family but I look at us as being extraordinary. The children are doing things by leaps and bounds. And we just sit back and take it all within stride.
Judge and I married in November of 1995. Mutually deciding that we wanted to wait to have children, I started on the depo shot. I took only 2 shots (6 months worth) and thought that I was not healthy. I started out being only 100lbs. Granted some more meat on my bones would not have hurt me but gaining 65lbs within the first 1 1/2 months was not the way to do this. I did not realize that this form of birth control would cause me to put on that much weight so fast!! With the rapid onset of extra padding I acquired came Type 2 diabetes. My mom has diabetes too, and my grandmother, and my dad, and my aunt and who knows who else?? They all are Type 2 too.
It took us another 3 years to get pregnant with our first son, Jacob. The pregnancy started out ok, then came the shots and all the doctor appointments. I remember going to 3-4 doctor offices within one appointment day. I was later put on bedrest due to pre-term labor and was soon taking nearly 1200 units of insulin a day due to the insulin resistancy I was experiencing. Jacob came into this wonderful world at 35 weeks in February of 1999. I remember just a few hours before he was born we were watching the news and it was the same day that President Clinton was acquitted. He was such a delightful baby, good natured and neat! He didn't like to be dirty at all!! :)
We thought we would wait until he was in Kindergarten before trying for another baby. 11 months after Jacob was born we welcomed in our home Emily Rose. During Emily's pregnancy we started using an insulin pump to help keep up with the growing insulin needs that occurred in Jacob's pregnancy. Emily was born nearly 8 weeks early. The pre-term labor came upon us around week 13. Her whole pregnancy was very hectic. We used an at home uterine monitor to help us know when we should "really" be heading down to the hospital. It was neat because as I was laying down with the belt monitors around my stomach for a bit I then transmitted the results to a company called Matria in Atlanta. Shortly after a nurse would call me and let me know what to do or not to do. They were also contracted to take care of my diabetes too. I started out pumping with a Minimed 507c. The insurance company rented it for me on a daily basis at $100/day. After about a month they decided to buy it for me but got the 508 model instead. Life was good...and it kept getting easier. Two babies!! Emily was born in January of 2000 (my Millenium baby!!). She was nearly 8 weeks early. I had the fantasy that everything would work out great! After all, girls potty train earlier than boys. So, when Jacob turns 2 and Emily is 1 we will potty train them at the same time! LOL I couldn't laugh any harder as I think about this now! The reality was that they potty trained at different times but they trained all in one day and on their own. Jacob was 3 years and 2 months old and Emily was 2 months before turning 3. These two did alot together and were each others best friends! They looked just like twins and were/are often mistaken and such. Later in the year 2000 we experienced a miscarriage of twins. We were about 9 weeks along. As this happened we were devastated but felt that some things are just meant to be. We were waiting in these curtained holding areas at the hospital awaiting surgery and could overhear other patients talking. One such patient was about 21 years old and was having a complete hysterectomy due to an abundance of cysts in her reproductive areas. We knew that we would still be able to have children some day and felt badly for this unmarried woman who would never experience such joy as childbirth. Kind of put things in perspective for us. Later the next year we were expecting again. Another boy that we named Jesse (pronounced "Jess"). Jesse was born in April of 2002, at 36 weeks, and came a few days before daddy's 40th birthday. We often joke that Jesse was his birthday present!!
And yes, soon after this Elizabeth Anne was born in December of 2003! Her pregnancy was pretty difficult. I went to L&D at the beginning of December and was told I would have to stay there until she was born. I went into labor several times over the next few weeks. I kept busy though with crocheting and scrapbooking. I have a page that I made for my hospital door that has a tag with a number on it. The number corresponded with the gestation week I made it to. The last tag that is on the page is 35. I was allowed to go home for Christmas but to be back on the 29th for my amniocentesis to see if she had lung maturity for an early induction. The morning of the 29th I went into labor again and instead of stopping it they let me go ahead and have her. Shortly after 7 in the evening in a room full of family and friends Elizabeth Anne was born weighing 8lbs! The biggest baby yet! Jacob and Emily were 7 1/2 lbs and Jesse was 7lbs 15oz. After Elizabeth Anne was born we were told not to have any more children...to count our many healthy blessings. As hard as that was, we agreed.
Now that we have all of the children's pregnancies covered we can move on to other events that occured which led up to where we are now. All the children were relatively healthy. Jacob and Emily had RAD or asthma. Emily outgrew this but Jacob's stayed.
When Elizabeth Anne was 8 weeks old she was hit hard by the rotovirus bug. She was weighing nearly 12lbs I believe. She went into the hospital with bad bouts of diarrhea and throwing up. She lost weight to below her birth weight in no time. We stayed in the hospital several days and then were released as she was doing much better!! A few days passed and we were readmitted again for the same issues.
Fast forward a few years and I was really sick. I wasn't taking care of my diabetes like I should have been. I felt busy and overwhelmed with 4 children and not able to find the time I needed to take care my health. I had some seizures and high blood sugar that was not budging. I was transferred to a specialized hospital and was told I had Todd's Paralysis and it would subside in a few days. In the mean time they said I did not have a stroke b/c my MRI came back clear. I was transferred back home again to a rehabilitation floor to help me regain motion on my right side. The only affected side. I could walk with help from someone who had a belt around my waist at first until I started to gain more strength. Right now I can't remember how long I was there but I think it was about 2 weeks. I went and saw a new neurologist who repeated the MRI, which came back clear. Without explanation as to what happened. This neurologist said the first one was probably done too soon and the second done after a stroke had cleared up. She said by definition I had a left CVA stroke. My primary care doctor said the same thing and that I had moved from being a Type 2 diabetic to a Type 1. My levels dropped for my c-peptide. Funny as they tend to change alot. I say I am a Type 1.5 though. And I think Vanderbilt has me down for this too. As I have the traits of Type 1 but I have the insulin resistance of a Type 2. Things did improve over time. I think it was 6-9 months before everything returned to normal for me. To this day though, my right side gets a little weak when my blood sugars go haywire.
When Elizabeth Anne was 2 1/2 , she woke up one morning and about 20 minutes later fell right back to sleep. Odd for her to do this. I let her sleep but she was hard to wake up. I got her up by getting her in the bath. I knew she must have been hungry so we gave her a biscuit to eat while she was in the bath and she just shook like a leaf! For whatever reason, I decided to check her blood sugar and it was pretty high. Waited a bit and it kept climbing higher. I called the pediatrician's office and soon we were on our way. While the doctor was on hold with Vanderbilt she said if she has ketones she is going. Well, she did. And again we were on our way. We had an endo team meet us in the ER. They had a room set up for her and she was to start on insulin right away. Then out of nowhere her blood sugar dropped to 50 and she was shaking again! They said that we would wait to start her on insulin for fears that she would drop too low. We took her home that night and kept an eye on her. She had 6 month appointments with the pedi endo at Vanderbilt. Seems that for a few weeks she would display symptoms and then they would go away. When she was 5, the diabetes popped its ugly head in again. She kept climbing higher and higher one night in the 400s. She started on insulin in the early morning of July 29th of 2009. Had an appointment that morning and the rest is history. She took 4 shots a day for a few months and then was on an insulin pump by October. Now at nearly 7 years old, she is still on the slender side but she is doing incredibly well!! No problems, we just take things as they come!! And over this past year, boy did they come! Jesse (who I always knew would have diabetes, call it intuition...I don't know!) was sick with the croup, pneumonia and strep within 2 weeks last spring. In May his blood sugar was doing the same thing, it kept climbing. He was diagnosed on May 7th of this year. On the 3rd day after diagnosis he was doing all of his shots on his own!! He was taking the 4 shots that Elizabeth did (3 Novolog and 1 Lantus). As of 2 weeks ago, he is now pumping his insulin!! Jesse has come along pretty fast and is doing his bolus of meal insulin on his own too! So proud of him.
So there you have it!! There are THREE of us with diabetes in our house!! How do we do it?? We just deal with it and move on. We don't let it hold us back at all. Jesse has taken up cycling in the past year and has taken this sport by storm. He has a professional children's bicycle. He rode in the 2010 Middle Tennessee ADA's Tour de Cure for 30 miles! 30 miles at the age of 8!! Then this past Labor Day he rode 60 miles!! This was his first metric century ride! He is training to ride 100 miles in next year's Tour de Cure....which, by the way, Jesse and Elizabeth Anne are the Youth Ambassadors for the ride. We are just getting are team up and going for the May 21st ride...if you would like join us and ride for a cure please do!! Tour de Cure 2011 Pedal Pumpers
Tomorrow is Jesse's first day going to school with his insulin pump on his side. He wears his infusion set in his belly, so does Elizabeth Anne. They are so slim that this placement seems to work well for them. We could use their backside but as experimented on Elizabeth Anne, they come out easily when ripping down your pants when you are in a hurry to go potty! To me it just isn't very sanitary. As they get older and get some more meat on their bones I am sure we will be able to rotate them even more.