T-One-D: fallicies, facts, flexibility, (& floats?)

I thought it was time to lighten things up a little, so I give you all a little "pancreas humor."

In conversations with friends over the past couple of weeks, one topic that seems to come up over and over when discussing diabetes, is Type 1 vs. Type 2. Maybe I'm bringing it up, because I'm wanting others to understand there is a difference. I was only vaguely aware of the differences myself before Leah's diagnosis, but have since been learning a lot (like I said before, "knowledge is power").  So here is your Diabetes mini-lesson (taken straight from our many books and handouts).

First, let's abolish the Type 1 myths: These are NOT the FACTS:

  • Type 1 Diabetes (Let's call it T1D, 'cause acronyms are more fun, right?) can be treated by diet alone.

  • Kids with T1D will have T2D (uhhh, for you slow learners, that's Type 2 Diabetes) when they grow up.

  • People with T1D got it from pigging out on sugary foods and drinking pop (I'll save the real causes for a future post).

  • Kids with T1D can never have sugar again (oh, that would be bad...really bad).

  • Those who have T1D can take a pill to control their blood sugar.

Here are some REAL FACTS, and DIFFERENCES between T1D and T2D:

T1D (a.k.a. Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus)

  • occurs more often in children

  • can occur in adults under age 40

  • happens when the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin

  • is associated with a thin body type

  • is often discovered due to weight loss

  • is a life-long condition

  • treatment includes: insulin injections, blood sugar testing, meal/snack plan, exercise

T2D (a.k.a. Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes)

  • occurs most often in adults over 40 years of age, but has become more prevalent in younger people lately

  • has a working pancreas (producing insulin), but the insulin is not used effectively by the body

  • is associated with a larger body type

  • accounts for 90-95% of all cases of diabetes

  • treatment includes: losing weight, eating healthy foods, exercise, pills, and possibly insulin injections

Since I don't want to overload (i.e. bore) you with medical facts, I'll end the lesson there, and tell you how our week has gone since my last post. I hope I didn't depress you all with the "sobbing in the shower" story...I just needed to share, I guess. I have appreciated all the kind words and encouragement from several of you. But things have been much better the rest of the week. For starters, I spoke to the nurse practitioner at the pediatric specialty clinic where Leah will be seen later next month. I asked her if Leah needed to stick to her strict diet of 60 grams of carbs at breakfast & lunch, 75 at dinner, and two 30-carb snacks, or if she could be more flexible. (Right now Leah takes a unit of insulin for every 15 grams of carbs.) The NP said that Leah could be flexible, and really eat whatever carbs she wanted, as long as she covered them with insulin (1 unit/15 grams). Boy, did that bring a smile to Leah's face!

Leah doesn't really need that many more carbs in her day, but having the limit (essentially being on a diet), made her feel deprived, and hungry, and therefore she wanted them even more. Having been on many diets myself, I can relate to that "I can't have it so I want it even more" feeling. Leah's blood sugars continue to come down, and have been in the "normal" range several times. Although she's still a bit moody and gloomy in the late afternoon, we're starting to link it to lower blood sugars which her body has not been experiencing for some time.  Our family doctor and his office staff have been great at helping us monitor everything from blood sugars to moods, and giving us helpful suggestions.

This evening, Leah and Chloe are both out float-building. Edwardsburg High School will have a great homecoming celebration next Friday, and the classes compete to design and build the best float. Lucky me...I signed up to chaperon the Juniors from 10 p.m. until midnight tonight and tomorrow night...hope I can stay awake!