Here are some interesting facts about diabetes as well as some personal facts about our daughters diabetes care. Don’t forget the JDRF One Walk coming up October 3. Help sponsor us for the walk by donating to our team and let’s work together to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes
In a recent Twitter battle between pop star Nick Jonas and CrossFit owner Greg Glassman over a post about diabetes I was once again reminded of the lack of knowledge many people have about the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Glassman posted an image of a Coke bottle with a caption “Open Diabetes” and #Sugar Kills. Along with the image he posted: “Make sure you pour some out for your dead homies.” Jonas, a type 1 diabetic, took offense to the post and let Glassman know. The whole thing turned into quite a battle for a couple of weeks.
Over the years, it has amazed me how many people have argued with us about type 1 diabetes. I remember speaking with an insurance agent who told me that my daughter would eventually grow out of it. I proceeded to let her know that she has type 1 diabetes and that it was a disease that, unless there is a cure, she will always have. I was floored when she began to try to inform me about diabetes, that I was wrong and that our daughter would grow out of it. Her ignorance was more than I could take and I tried my best to let her know that she was wrong and really needed to know what she was talking about before she started trying to educate people who are dealing with the disease every day.
The truth is, type 2 diabetes is a much more common form of diabetes making up about 95% of diabetics, so it is understandable why people would have a wrong understanding of type 1. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is an organization that is dedicated to providing education, research and advocacy for type 1 diabetes. JDRF is helping to get the word out about type 1 and is focused on turning “type one into type none.”
We support JDRF and participate in an annual fundraiser called One Walk taking place October 3, 2015. Their work helps to provide funding for research on type 1 diabetes which is so needed for people dealing with this disease. These funds help to improve the lives of type 1 diabetics and could one day find a cure. You can help with finding a cure by sponsoring us in this walk. We have a team page set up on the JDRF site where you can learn more about our daughter’s fight with diabetes and also make a donation which will all go to JDRF to help support their efforts.
Visit the links below to find out more about JDRF and type 1 diabetes
This is a picture of Julia the day she came home from the hospital after being diagnosed with diabetes. Our awesome neighbors made the welcome home sign which really made Julia feel good. A lot has change in her life since that day. From what she eats and drinks to insulin injections and finger pricks to check her blood sugar. We are hoping to change this. That is what this walk is all about. Changing her life so she doesn’t have to worry about these things.
Help us find a cure for Julia by clicking the link below
Diabetes is a disease that is somewhat misunderstood by most people. They know it has something to do with sugar and insulin but not much beyond that. What most people think of when they hear diabetes is Type 2 diabetes which is the more common form of diabetes in the US. Type 2 can often be treated with diet and pills. Type 1 diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes, is a life long disease where the individual is insulin dependent for the rest of their life. There is no cure and there is nothing you can do to reverse it.
Our daughter was diagnosed with T1D 8 months ago and it has rocked our world. I asked Julia to write about her experience with diabetes and here is what she wrote:
“I found out that I had type 1 diabetes on September 26, 2012. It was a huge shock for my family. A lot of people think that all you have to do to take care of yourself is to just check your blood sugar once in awhile, but it is actually much more than that. Before I eat anything, meals or snacks, I have to check my blood sugar and take an insulin shot. To figure out how much insulin I need I have to add up how many carbs I am eating then divide it by a certain number that my nurse gives me. After that, I check my sugar. If it is over 120 then I need a corrective dose. But if it is below that then I don’t need to do anything. Even though I am different than all of my friends I can still do all of the things that I did before.( except eat pixie sticks!) All of my friends and family are super supportive. My family and I are going to walk for a cure for diabetes. If someone could find a cure it would change my life drastically. If you want to help change my life and other kids then please give to help us find a cure.”
Once she figures out how many units she needs she injects the insulin rotating her injections from her arms, legs, hips, or stomach. This is done at least 5 times a day. Every night at 9:00 Julia also has to inject a long lasting shot of insulin which stays in her system for 24 hours. Caring for diabetes is a lot of work.
Along with the constant monitoring and care required to be a healthy diabetic, there is also the concern of the long term effects diabetes can have on Julia if she has high blood sugars. Diabetes can cause blindness, neuropathy, organ damage and loss of limbs and can even cause her to go into a diabetic coma. Low blood sugars can cause her to become unresponsive, loose her ability to swallow and can cause unconsciousness. As a parent, these are things that cause great concern for us. If a cure could be found for Julia it would radically change her way of life. New research and technology have made dealing with diabetes a little easier and until a cure is found, we can only hope for more improved ways of dealing with this disease.
There is a lot of help offered for type 2 diabetes because it is much more common. This is not the case for type 1. The reason we are participating in this walk for JDRF is because JDRF is the only worldwide organization that provides financing for type 1 diabetes research and advocacy in Washington DC. JDRF has been a tremendous help to us in dealing with diabetes especially with education and support. We are asking everyone we know to help support JDRF. Your support is helping Julia and millions of others who deal with type 1 diabetes every day. Please take a moment to consider what you can do to help. No amount is too small. If you would like to help, you can go to www.walk.jdrf.org and click on the “Donate to a walker” button. Search the team name “Keating Krushers” and then simply follow the prompts. You can also send a check made out to JDRF.
Our family thanks you for your support and prayers for Julia. She has been doing very well with her care and we are extremely proud of how she is handling this. We have set a family goal of $1500.00 and we will all be participating in the walk. If you live in Indiana and would like to participate in the walk with us please let us know so we can add you to our team. I know your presence there would mean a lot to Julia. The walk takes place on October 5, 2013, 10:00am at Military Park in Indianapolis.
Thank you for your support!
Tim, Becky Alec & Julia
About 6 months ago our daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and at the time of her diagnoses the hospital told us about JDRF and their annual Walk For a Cure event. We’ve been looking forward to doing the walk ever since. Finding a cure is something that would change so many lives and JDRF does so much to raise awareness and funding for type 1 diabetes.
Our family will be participating in the walk this year hope to raise $1500.00 for JDRF. If you or someone you know has type 1 diabetes you are aware of how much work is involved to properly care for T1D not to mention the long term effects diabetes can have on someone.
Our daughter is so precious to us and we are very proud of the way she has been dealing with diabetes. I was talking with her today and asked her what would be the number one thing you would want people to know about diabetes. She said she wants people to be more knowledgeable about diabetes. In her opinion, people seem to think diabetes isn’t a very serious disease you just have to watch what you eat and give yourself a shot and you’ll be ok. There are a lot of great resources out there for people to learn about diabetes and I encourage you to take a look at some of the ones I have found to be helpful.
As parents, we want to give our kid’s the best life possible. One of the things we were concerned about is addressed in this video which has to do with giving our daughter more attention than our son. It is a balance and something we have tried to keep in our family. We have tried to make diabetes something we are all a part of. We include our son with our daughter’s care and take him to her appointments so he can hear and understand what she is dealing with. I’m really proud of him as he has tried to be a support to her and express understanding as to why we don’t have certain food’s anymore and have to stay away from certain restaurants because it causes our daughter’s sugar to go too high. They’re still brother and sister and have their arguments and fights but so far we’ve seen a good response from our son concerning his sister’s diabetes.
Families with Type 1 diabetes deal with a lot of difficulties. It’s a lot of work to take care of diabetes. In this video from the diabetes site, families share their emotional struggles with Type 1 Diabetes. I can certainly relate to many of these stories. We do worry about our daughter and her health and there are a lot of emotional struggles we have and and I am sure we will still have. All we can do is continue to support her and help her to learn good habits. She is amazing and has done so well which makes me very proud.
I came across a website that asks you to click on a button on their site and it will help raise money for Diabetes research. It’s called The Diabetes Site. I get A picture from them in my Facebook and click on the picture and then there is a link that will take me to the site. You can click on the site everyday.
Finding a cure for diabetes is of great importance to us as it would change our daughter’s life forever. She is strong and doing well but for her not to have to worry about diabetes would be amazing. Sites like The Diabetes Site are making a difference. I hope people will take advantage of this free and easy way to raise funds for diabetes.
Along with raising funds, we need to raise awareness. No one I know is doing more to help with diabetes advocacy then JDRF. Their efforts are making a difference from local governments to Washington. I intend to find a way to help out with diabetes advocacy in my local area.
If someone you care about has Type One Diabetes help out by visiting the Diabetes Site and get the word out about this disease that effects millions of people around the world.
Today we attended the JDRF Diabetes Today and Tomorrow Educational Conference. It was great to hear from professionals about treatment for type one diabetes and new developments on the horizon. Along with education, the time spent with other families dealing with the same thing we are was of great value.
One of the new innovative products that we came across was the iBG Star. It is a glucose monitor that connects to your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. The monitor uploads the results into your apple device through the iBG Star app. Not only does the app track blood sugar readings but it can also track carb. intake and insulin doses. The data can then be displayed in a graph so you can easily see trends in your blood sugar. The information can easily be shared with family members so that caretakers are always abreast of their child’s diabetes care.
The seminars were great as well. Dr. Jill Weissberg-Benchell was the keynote speaker who was very helpful in giving parents insight into dealing with diabetic children at various age levels. The information she shared was encouraging and hopeful. Dealing with highs and lows on a daily basis starts making you wonder if you are doing things right. Dr. Weissberg-Benchell’s insightful remarks helped everyone there remember that diabetes is a something that effects everyone differently and it is constantly changing. As care takers we need to be careful how we respond to our children when they have highs or lows. Accusing and blaming them for these things is the wrong way to help them.
The next session was a panel of teens who have T1D. They fielded questions from parents and were very articulate in sharing their thoughts with the group. It gave parents a little insight into the mind of a teen and how they deal with diabetes. I think it was also very helpful to the kids in the audience to hear from older peers who have dealt with diabetes for several years and find out that they can do anything they want. All of the kids on the panel were excellent in sharing about their experiences.
A few things we came with from the conference:
- Remember that your child is more then a person with diabetes. Sometimes as parents we can become obsessed with caring for our child’s diabetes and we always make that the first thing we talk about. “Did you check your blood?” “what was your sugar at lunch?” This should not be the first thing we talk to our children about. There is so much more to our kids than diabetes but we send the wrong message to our kids when the first thing we ask them about is their diabetes.
- Highs and lows are a normal part of diabetes. This is something that we’ve been told before but when you do everything the way you are supposed to and you still have highs or lows it is frustrating. Obviously consistently being high or low is not healthy and poor management of diabetes is not a good thing but, accepting the fact that blood sugars can change for any number of reasons and there is nothing you can do to change this helps to keep us a little more sane when it comes to dealing with type one diabetes.
- No matter how old our daughter is, as long as she is under our roof we need to always be willing to give her a break from having to manage her diabetes. I can’t imagine how it feels to have to prick my finger and give myself a shot every time I eat. Figuring out carbs. and doses and rotating my injection spots are things that I don’t have to worry about for myself. There are going to be times in our child’s life, whether they are 6 or 16, where they are sick and tired of dealing with all of this and they need a break. We can’t give them a break from having diabetes but we can give them a break from managing it. Figuring out their carbs, determining their doses, giving them their injections are all ways we can help them when the feel fed up and tired. I think this is especially important to remember when our children get older because we my start thinking they are old enough to manage their diabetes by themselves and shouldn’t need our help with those things. But, it’s not really that they need our help its just that they are tired of dealing with it and sometimes having someone else take care of it is all they need to get them through those times.
Well thanks to JDRF, Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincents, and the Lilly foundation for putting this conference on. It was inspiring and helpful to our family.
What an incredible breakthrough this type 2 & type 1 diabetes artificial pancreas would be. The doctor at the hospital was talking about this when we were there for our initial diabetes training. I don’t think most people understand how much work treating diabetes is. You can tell by the young ladies excitement in this video that this artificial pancreas would be life changing for her. The reason is not only that it would keep her insulin levels regulated but it would also allow her to live life without constantly having think about treatment.
The big question is how will people afford this. Treating diabetes is so expensive, especially for people who have no insurance or high deductible insurance and don’t qualify for assistance programs. For people in these situations, this incredible breakthrough is cost prohibitive. There are many people who have diabetes who’s workplace does not carry insurance for them so they have to get their own. Because of their income level, they make too much to get assistance yet they struggle to pay for the tremendous cost of diabetes.
I hope this breakthrough development in diabetes soon becomes available to the public as it will give people with diabetes a better quality of life. I also hope that by the time this comes out we have fixed the health care crisis in this country so that people can actually afford to have this.