The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

Tag: diabetes (page 1 of 2)

Type 1 and Type 2 are Different!

My father-in-law was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes. I think you can see why they stopped calling it that. Dad Rumley is NOT OLD by any means, but early 50s isn’t exactly “juvenile” either, is it?

Most of you know that my awesome hubby {Luke} and our firstborn {Grace} are also both Type 1 diabetics. Luke was diagnosed at age 10, and Grace at age 4.

Gracie girl at the endocrinologists’ office, the day after diagnosis. February 2009.

Our dear friends also have a little guy who was diagnosed a little over a year ago, at the age of 1 (just a few days before his 2nd birthday).

Grace and Zachy, the diabetic duo

So, I write this post in honor of these, my dear loved ones who deal with diabetes every day…and every meal.

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Let’s get our facts straight.

You might not realize it, but there are many common misconceptions about diabetes, and I would love help clear them up.

First important point: There is a big difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

  • Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease (where the body attacks itself). Type 2 is probably a metabolic condition that may be rooted in an auto-immune reaction. (It’s being debated.)
  • In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas no longer produces insulin (a hormone that deals with sugar in the blood). In Type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin, but doesn’t USE it correctly.
  • Type 1 diabetes is ALWAYS treated with insulin shots (or an insulin pump) – with insulin that mimics a “healthy” person’s body. Type 2 diabetes is treated with diet/exercise/pills…and occasionally insulin shots.

Most people are more familiar with Type 2 diabetes, so let me say this…

You canNOT get Type 1 diabetes from eating too much sugar.

You can also NOT get Type 1 diabetes from being overweight. Have you ever seen our family? Our two diabetics are the thinnest in the bunch.

Grace with her awesome Daddy on her 7th birthday

And that brings me to the next important point: while a Type 1 diabetic should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, they cannot control their diabetes with their diet. They eat whatever they need/want to eat, and count how many carbohydrates are in the food. Then they administer insulin depending on how many carbohydrates are to be eaten.

I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked me, “Can Grace eat this?” And I so appreciate people’s sensitivity to our little girl…but I can tell you the answer every time: YES! She can eat anything (within reason, of course), as long as I can calculate how many carbs are in it and give her some insulin to cover it.

I wouldn’t call myself a diabetes education advocate in the strictest sense of the term…but I am a wife and mama who deals with finger pokes, insulin doses, carb counting, site changes, high blood sugars, and low blood sugars ALL THE TIME. I want you to be able to understand what’s really happening in our world.

Sickies

Grace with her awesome Daddy on her 7th birthday

9:25pm update: The throwing up stopped long ago, but both sickies still have fevers and stomach pains. Grace’s blood sugar and ketones have both come down – praise the Lord! Praying that they’ll have a restful night and be completely healed by morning. Oh, and really really selfishly praying that no one else gets it – no sign of that yet.

10:30am update: Grace’s blood sugar has come down, but her ketones have gotten larger. Both she and Luke are still feeling really miserable. If G’s ketones continue to rise, we will have to abandon the pump and give shots with syringes – hoping to avoid that!

Having the stomach bug is no fun for anyone, and it gets a little more complicated when a Type 1 diabetic gets it. Sadly for us, both Luke and Grace woke up in the night throwing up.

Luke was low and had to keep some juice down long enough for his body to use the sugar to bring him back to the land of the living. He’s kind of teetering on the edge of low, so if you’d pray for his sugars to regulate, that would be great.

Gracie’s blood sugar was actually high (corrected via her pump), and she has no ketones for now, which is good.

They’re both resting for now. Will you pray with me for a quick recovery without complication?

And I’m praying, too, that this illness doesn’t make its rounds through the four of us who are left. 🙂

Always Praising God

Isn’t Grace beautiful? I just can’t believe I have a daughter that truly isn’t a baby or toddler or preschooler anymore. She’s growing into a lovely young lady.

God has chosen her to carry the weight of a diabetes diagnosis since February 2009. And He might be giving her even more…but we will still ALWAYS praise Him!

I’ll stop being cryptic and just copy an email here that I sent to our families…

Since Grace’s Type 1 diabetes diagnosis in 2009, she has had bloodwork done annually. One of the numbers they test is TTG (Tissue Transglutaminase). It is the indicator for Celiac Disease, which is an autoimmune disease (as is diabetes). Since diagnosis, her TTG number has been high. You might remember that our endocrinologist (i.e. diabetes doc) was initially concerned about it and then not so concerned after a different type of test came back negative. Well, after the TTG levels have stayed consistently high over the last two (almost three) years, our endocrinologist has become more concerned. So, they contacted the Pediatric Gastroenterology office at DeVos. (Can I interject and say PRAISE THE LORD for our awesome medical people here in GR? Seriously, we are SO SO SO blessed to live here with such brilliant people and beautiful facilities.)

We had the gastroenterology appointment this morning [Dec.12], and I’m going to try to summarize what the doctor said.

Basically the only way to officially diagnose Celiac Disease is through a biopsy. So, on January 11, they will put Grace under sedation and put a scope down her throat to look at her stomach and part of her small intestine, and also to take a tiny piece of tissue to biopsy. The actual procedure will take about 15 minutes (though the whole ordeal will be longer with prep and recovery).

Here’s the thing, though. Celiac Disease is what he called a “patchy” disease. So, some parts of her intestines could be affected, while others could be unaffected. And he can only put the scope part of the way down her small intestine, so he can’t get a look at everything in there. So, the biopsy could come back negative right now, and we would monitor her TTG numbers with the endocrinologist, and come back for another scope/biopsy if or when symptoms occurred.

Let me interject here – Grace has no symptoms of this disease (diarrhea, stomach pain, rashes, etc, etc). The doctor said some kids present with no symptoms and high TTG levels, some present with no TTG levels and some symptoms, and some have both. Grace has the high TTG levels with no symptoms, which the doctor said is better for her.

If, however, the biopsy comes back positive for Celiac Disease, the only treatment is a gluten-free diet. That means no wheat, barley, or rye products. Grace is pretty bummed about this, since we really do love our breads, pastas, cakes, donuts, etc, etc, etc. BUT we can still have oats, rice, corn, fruits, veggies, meat, potatoes, etc, etc. Remember, this diet is IF her biopsy comes back positive.

The kicker is that the doctor pretty much made it sound like our girl is going to have Celiac Disease, if she doesn’t already. The TTG numbers are pretty good indicators of that. So, she might have it now, or she might have it down the road a little bit, but either way, it sounds like God is allowing more change in our lives.

But we will still ALWAYS praise Him for His amazing goodness and faithfulness to us. He surely would not allow Grace to have diabetes OR Celiac Disease if it wasn’t for His glory and good, and for Grace’s good, too. We are fully trusting in His provision and strength to adjust in whatever way we need to. He is the One who fearfully and wonderfully created our girl, and He’s the One who will sustain us.

So, I just wanted you all to know what’s going on with her. Prayers would be appreciated! We’ll keep you updated, but shouldn’t know of any results until 7-10 business days after her biopsy on January 11.

And just in case anyone feels bad for us amidst all the yummy treats this Christmas season…don’t! The doctor actually told us to load up on gluten products for now, in hopes of having a better chance of a positive biopsy (if there is something to be found). 🙂

The Diabetic Duo

If you’ve been reading here long, you know that Luke and Grace both live with Type 1 diabetes. Thankfully, things are going well for both of them. They’re both on insulin pumps, and Luke also has a continuous glucose monitor, which is pretty cool.

Well, a little over 5 weeks ago, we were at a celebration for some friends. Our dear friends, the Perrys, were also there. Kathy mentioned that she had recently noticed Zach (their youngest) drinking a LOT and wetting his diapers a LOT. Like, he was desperate for his sippy cup. And he was wetting through his diapers in the middle of the night AND in the morning. So, she wondered about using our blood tester (glucometer) to check his sugar. Just to ease her mind.

I think both of us expected the numbers to be normal. I mean, he’s only 2, right?

Long story short, his numbers weren’t normal. He went to after-hours pediatric care in town that night (a Saturday evening – when the endocrinology office was closed), and then back to the endocrinologists’ office the next morning.

Our sweet little Zachy is also a Type 1 diabetic.

Thankfully, his mom (Kathy) is a nurse, so she has a leg up on this. But it has been an adjustment for their family, of course. They are still adjusting as his sugars are still being regulated. I’m sure they would appreciate any prayers as they continue to figure out all the details of his diagnosis.

He’s such a champ. He didn’t cry once when I had to poke his fingers the first night. And still, the crying for finger pokes and shots is minimal. (Correct me if I’m wrong, Kath!) 🙂

Anyway, while we had the Perry kiddos overnight recently (more pics to come), I took some cute pictures of Grace and Zachy with their JDRF Rufus bears, which they both received from their endocrinologists’ office. I wanted to share them here. Aren’t these kiddos precious?!



Remembering


I took Grace (and the other kiddos) to a doctor appointment today, because her ears hurt. Turns out she has an ear infection, poor girl.

As I was driving, I realized the date. February 25. Two years ago today, I was driving to a different doctor appointment. One that changed our lives. It was the one where we found out our Gracie has Type 1 diabetes.

And now, after two years, I’m still going to praise God for His goodness. He Has a plan for my girl, and I’m so thankful to know that “all the days ordained for [her] were written in [His] book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).

Grace is a stellar diabetic. She tests her blood without complaint. She’s on a {pink} insulin pump, and has to have that site changed about once every three days – so much better than the twelve shots she used to have every three days! She’s still doing well with her A1C, and her 3-month check-ups have continued to go well.

I look forward to the appointments, because pretty much every time we go, she has grown! When she was diagnosed two years ago, I believe she was 32 pounds and 32 inches. In the first year after diagnosis, she gained 10 pounds and 10 inches. And at her appointment earlier this month, she was 55-1/2 pounds and 49-1/2 inches. She, that’s another 13-1/2 pounds and 7-1/2 inches in the past year. She’s definitely going to be tall like her daddy!

We have seen God’s provision in so many ways these past two years – including Children’s Special Health Care Services, really great pharmacy insurance, and GREAT doctors/nurses at Spectrum.

What was a very scary, overwhelming diagnosis two years ago has turned our eyes toward the One who created Grace (and all of us). I just have to praise Him!!!

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