Sunday, November 7, 2010

Is this as good as it gets?

Summer 2010 is long gone. I’m not sure where it went, but suddenly it was Halloween. The fall season brings cool temps, less daylight, less time on the bike and more time online. Which means that hopefully the blog won’t get neglected as much. Often, I would have time to update, but don’t unless I have something relevant to say. Today, the voice inside my head is inspired, so here goes…

The last few weeks have come with a lot of ups and downs. A Type 1 gaming strategy that had been working quite well for weeks wasn’t cutting it anymore. I can’t explain it. One day would be chasing lows, the next would be full of corrections trying to bring down highs and the next would be both combined. I cannot seem to find a pattern in it all and cannot pinpoint the cause. One day Adele would have Phys. Ed which would cause her blood glucose to drastically drop, the next day, the exact same routine and same foods wouldn’t be enough to bring down a high even after a correction.

We’re already using all of the best technology tools available with the pump, continuous glucose monitor (CGM), latest meters and fast-acting insulin. We can’t really be more vigilant than we already are with 12 or more blood glucose tests per day. Adele is an active child. She swims, dances, played soccer and seems to be constantly running around when she’s home instead of being glued to the TV or her video games, so we’re pretty good in the exercise department.

During periods like these, I always get quite discouraged. What if this is as good as it gets? The doctors keep telling us that we’re doing a great job, but are they missing something? Should we expect more? I have been warned many times that puberty is a difficult time in regards to blood glucose control with all of the raging hormones. Adele is 10 and a half, so this may be the culprit? Or maybe not? The only other controllable variable that I haven’t mentioned above is diet. Our stand on this has been trying to eat as much healthy whole food as possible and allowing the occasional “treat” like we would if she didn’t have Diabetes. I’m really trying to live more in the NOW, but I still can’t help to think about the future. “Is this it? Are we just supposed to accept it as such and ‘hope’ for a delayed onset of eventual complications?” Even with a "good" A1C, her blood sugar is still often out of the normal range. Adele is still my baby. As a parent, I want to do the very best that I can for her. Is there anything else that we can do NOW to help her live as long and healthy as possible?

Diet is very tricky. Restrict too much and it may trigger sneaking food, while adopting a standard North American diet filled with processed carbs would certainly isn’t the answer in my opinion. I have often thought that if it were me who had Type 1 that I would adopt a strict whole food low-carb diet. It just makes so much sense. Highs often happen after a high carb meal or snack and lows often happen when a huge insulin bolus to cover a high carb meal peaks. Small boluses to cover fewer carbs can only reduce these spikes and crashes. Again, it just makes so much sense!!

Talk is indeed cheap and I have a healthy pancreas so who am I to make a statement like this and never have to follow through with it? As an amateur competitive cyclist constantly trying to improve myself, I’ve already tried to limit carbs in the past (the "Zone" diet) to re-train my body to burn fat as fuel instead of relying mostly on carbs and have failed miserably. After a long bike ride, the craving for carbs is so strong that I just end up giving into it. I am very disciplined and yet I still could not follow through. Is it a built-in human flaw that causes so many people (not just Type 1s) to give into the temptation of highly processed carbs? Are we doomed to fail? But then again, why can some people stick with it? Dr. Richard Berstein has proven with his strict Type 1 management plan including restricting carbs that it can indeed be done. He’s over 75 years old with close to 65 years of Type 1 gaming. He not only talks the talk but also walks the walk. How does he do it?


Meri said...

We can only do what is right for our children at each stage of their life. You ARE doing a wonderful job! These ups and downs are par for the course. They are discouraging, but thankfully, they don't last forever. Soon things will be back on track! Game on!

Sarah said...

I think it helps to see, meet, and talk with adults that have grown up with type 1 diabetes. I know that having my husband here reminding me that some days "just don't make sense" allow me to keep moving without too much beating up of the self. I definitely think there's always room for improvement, but I know that perfection can't be our goal...just healthy, balance, and the ability to live the life that our child wants. I see my husband whom has had his HbA1C in the 6's and even in the teens as a teenager with no complications live a happy life. I know that whatever event in our life we're facing makes us thing "Is this as good as it gets", but the answer is always can always be better, we can always to something more, we can always strive for more thanksgiving in our hearts, joy in the simple things, truly knowing that there is no "good as" for it just keeps getting better.
I dont know if that makes sense, but I want you to know that you've been spoken about in this house frequently with a grateful heart for all you've done to raise awareness and funds for t1d. I also hope you know that you're doing great in caring for your daughter and keeping on that d monster. Enjoy today.