Welcome to the Adventures of Injectagirl!

Our daughter was diagnosed as Type 1 on May 16, 2016. She is the only Type 1 Diabetic child in about a 50 mile radius of our home. As her mom, I began to scour the internet for resources and encouraging things to help her not to feel alone. I discovered that most things on the internet were geared toward parents/adults. Then Diabetes Awareness Month came around, and Katie was more “out there” on the internet, answering questions and things. As part of celebrating November 14, her older sister did a special superhero makeup look for her…and Injectagirl was born.  We began a YouTube channel, and today we have begun our blog.

If you have questions you’d like to ask, or videos/demonstrations you’d like to see, let us know in the comments!  You can see our YouTube page here, and the Facebook page here.  We are glad you are joining us!

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Glucagon-Calm Your Jitters!

Of course, the Glucagon kit is only used in case of emergency (as we mention in the video), so it isn’t something folks are very familiar with…but education is a good idea in the event of a situation where you may need to use it.

Katie demonstrates how to use the kit in this video, and we also show the free Glucagon emergency app from Lilly. Hopefully this will help ease the anxiety for our diabuddies!

Injectagirl’s Big Dexcom Adventure!

Dexcom flew Katie and I to Atlanta to do a video/photo shoot for the upcoming Dexcom Warrior ad campaign for the Dexcom G6 CGM.  What an exciting time! She got to wear a mock up sensor for the shoot, and it’s got a much trimmer profile! She also got to learn how the inserter works…push the button, and it’s done! Quick and easy! 🙂

Here are a few photos from our trip. We had a little down time, so she got to see the Georgia Aquarium too. Her numbers were fabulous, in spite of all the extra activity and excitement…and our “Dex” allowed us to watch what was happening with her numbers the entire time and make sure she was in range. She dropped a bit during the photo shoot, had a juice bag and was ready to roll again. It was so fun to walk into the studio and hear someone exclaim, “Injectagirl is here!” She was so happy that several said they had even watched her videos and subscribed. I was very proud of her. She handled direction well, took her cues like a pro, and in the end it really didn’t go to her head at all.  During the voiceover recording, she told the lady interviewing her that her faith in God and prayer was what helped her at the time of her diagnosis more than anything else. We plan to hopefully do a little “de-briefing” video on the YouTube channel this week!

 

Medtronic i-Port On Its Way!

iportWe talked with our endo about trying out the Medtronic i-Port device for Katie. One reason is we’ve had some bad issues with injecting into scar tissue which ended up getting trapped and releasing at random times…not good, if you can imagine. Another reason is while we don’t think we are quite “there” and on board with the idea of a pump yet, this would give a bit of transition. A feel for having one site change every three days where all insulin is injected, instead of 15+ injections for that same span of time. You use the same port for both short and long acting insulins…you just need at least an hour between injections if you are doing both in close proximity.

So I went to their official site and registered for a free trial, which is 2 ports for a span of 6 days.  We’ll see how we like it.

We will do an “open me” and insert video and then a follow up either on the Injectagirl YouTube channel or here on the blog.

Stay tuned! 🙂

Type 1 Tag with Katie and “Stitch”!

We did a “Type 1 Tag” video the other day, after viewing Diabetic Danica’s video. Danica read her questions in a “Stitch” voice, and since Katie can do that voice as well…so she decided to try it too. 🙂 These are just answers to some basic questions about how daily T1D life looks for Katie.

Upcoming (after I get a new SD card) will be a video on Glucagon, including the Glucagon app from Lilly, as well as one featuring Katie’s new American Girl Type 1 Care Kit.  In addition, we’ll do an announcement video featuring some news which has already been posted here on the blog as well as on the FB page…we’ll have more details on the Dexcom Warrior game plan by then!

Stay tuned!

Terrible Number, Great Appointment? (and a couple of exciting announcements!)

drramanandkatieDo you dread your regular Endocrinologist appointments? I’m grateful to say, we never have.  Our doctor, Dr. Vandana Raman at Primary Children’s Diabetes Clinic, is top notch. We love her! Very knowledgeable, practical, always goes the extra mile for her patients.  We feel we are very blessed, knowing not everyone has this kind of experience.

Our appointment yesterday was just a standard check-up. They used the numbers from Katie’s Dex and meter, plus a finger poke, to gauge her current A1C. We were shocked to hear that it had elevated to 9.0. UGH.  That’s higher than her first follow-up visit after her diagnosis.  But here’s the blessing…our doctor is reasonable and balanced. She realizes that Katie is growing and on the brink of puberty and that this alone can wreak havoc on BG levels. She said she’s honestly not worried about it and we tweaked Katie’s insulin level/carb ratio to see if it improves things, at least temporarily (as MODS know, we manage this disease, pretty much moment by moment).

I still felt badly that the number had so radically increased, but that was lessened by something very encouraging.  There is a booklet which is published by the Diabetes Clinic at Children’s Primary, and they are about to do a reprint. They wanted some new children to feature in it, and Dr. Raman asked if we might consider allowing Katie to be included, because she believes her to be a “good example”!  It made Katie feel so good, on the heels of this negative result.  So, be encouraged, MODS and DODS…even though the numbers may seem to be screaming something contrary, you are doing your best with what you’ve got. Type 1 Diabetes is relentless, evasive, and merciless. You keep on pluggin’!

Another exciting piece of news which was posted on our FB page, is that back in November we had submitted Katie’s story to the folks at Dexcom in answer to a request put out for their Dexcom Warrior campaign.  A couple weeks ago we got an email confirmation that Katie has been approved as an Ambassador for Dexcom Warriors, and they will be flying us to Atlanta to do a photo/video shoot for their first ad promo for 2018!  Exciting days, and we are looking for opportunities for how God wants to use this for His glory.  Pray with us!

Getting a Diagnosis: Gratitude is Good Medicine

Please don’t throw a shoe at me. This is not going to be a Pollyanna “Glad Game” post. But I have some things to say that I think are important for everyone’s heart health when you receive a diagnosis.

I’ve read posts by parents of T1 children who were devastated by their diagnosis. I can’t say that was true of me. I noticed some of the signs, confirmed with research what I believed was going on, and our wonderful doctor at our local clinic verified what we suspected. No real surprises. No, I wasn’t happy about it. Those words have made us face fears and have stretched our faith. Katie’s diagnosis changed our lives that day, and continues to do so; but we believe that God is sovereign and loving. He does not allow things to happen in our lives without a purpose, and He never wastes time. Even in the hard things, He is still good. His fingerprints are all over this, and we are safely held in the palm of His hand. So from May 17, 2016 on, it was up to us to discover what God wanted to do in and through this new life.  I’ll write more on the purposes we’ve discovered at another time. 🙂

So, why should the parent of a T1 be thankful? First, you have a name for the condition. There are parents whose child fights for life and breath today, doing battle with something elusive and unidentified. Every day is hit or miss. You and I have the blessing of calling this thing something, and knowing that because we were able to get a diagnosis, we can also get treatment. No cure yet. We pray for that; however, we can treat it. There are parents sitting in hospitals today whose child did indeed receive a “name tag” for the condition…but there is no treatment. It is terminal.  I’m not trying to be morbid, only real.  Be thankful that you can call this thing “Type 1 Diabetes” and you can learn how to manage it from day to day.

Second, we are living in an age of medical advances never thought possible before. When we got our diagnosis, I told our daughter that “If there was ever a time to be diabetic, it is now.” Think of all the amazing things that are available now, which were unheard of only 50-100 years ago. Frederick Banting discovered insulin as we know it in 1921, the year my mother was born. Today we have pumps, CGMs, all sorts of medications and helps ranging from Zofran to ketone strips, many avenues for support and help…and fabulous, ongoing research.

Third, I want to give you my list of things I’m grateful for…perhaps someone reading this will need this encouragement or has been searching for one or more of these resources:

  • Dr. Jake Johnson and the nurses at  Big Sandy Health Clinic were great.
  • Primary Children’s Hospital was a fabulous experience. The nurses in the Diabetes Clinic were all top notch. Honestly, the only negative recollection our daughter has of our time there (nearly a week–she was DKA) is the number of blood draws that were required. She describes her experience in glowing terms. What a great facility and staff!
  • Dr. Vandana Raman, our endocrinologist. She is fabulous. Very down-to-earth, knowledgeable and encouraging. Katie has never been afraid of her appointments.
  • Support groups on Facebook like T1D MOD Squad, Beyond Type 1, PEP Squad, the Dexcom FB page(what would we do without our Dex?!?) and Christian Type 1 Diabetics Prayer and Support Group. How invaluable, especially early on in our journey, to know these groups existed and that help and advice and prayer support was available to me, literally 24/7. With no other MODs in our area back then, it helped me so much not to feel alone.
  • Beyond Type 1 blog has been a great resource for us, including their Snail Mail program which connects T1 kids with a pen pal and even provides a cute stationery set to get them started.
  • Daniel’s Jewelry in Rock Springs, WY, has been very supportive to us. They began the KD Foundation when their own daughter was diagnosed at about Katie’s age. They conduct an annual Color Rush for Diabetes Awareness, and support kids who want to go to diabetes camp and college with scholarships. They even provided us with our first T1 medical alert jewelry at no cost (local customers only). So great!
  • Diabetic Danica has been Katie’s hero from day one. Danica has a very active YouTube channel, and provides great information and encouragement, reviews, and demo/instructional videos…always with such a positive outlook.  We love her!
  • Country Burgers Cafe (and Dawn & Tom!) in our home town has been wonderfully supportive of Katie. They posted things in the restaurant for Diabetes Awareness Month, and (unknown to us) even did a little fund raiser. With the proceeds, Katie was able to get something she’d wanted for a long time–a Type 1 Care Kit for her American Girl doll.
  • Palace Pharmacy has been amazing in providing friendly, reliable help to us in obtaining Katie’s prescriptions. They even have a program for local customers on Medicaid/Medicare which supplies us with 150 free test strips for our meter each month!
  • Debbie Rolfe at Clever Creations donated a gorgeous T1 bracelet for Katie, complete with “HOPE” ribbon and unicorn!
  • Of course, our family, friends, and church have been invaluable to us along this whole way, showing love and support, and praying so faithfully for us.

I’m sure I’m forgetting things, but the point is, cultivate a grateful heart. It will do as much for your spirit as the insulin does for the body. Strengthening, health-giving.

I’d love to hear what you are grateful for…share in the comments or email me at injectagirl10@gmail.com !