Tag Archive for Type I diabetes

diabetes Has struck Again!

It is true, since becoming a Domestic Goddess a few years ago I have discovered a fondness for writing and sharing my life stories with the world.  On April 30th, 2014 my own life path took a bit of a drastic curve as I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes.  To say I was stunned and overwhelmed is a major understatement.  I was feeling both of these things plus a whole lot more.  Words like seriously (!!), unreal, unbelievable, and dumbfounded all came to mind.

diabetic-testing-meter_GyHdoLO_This is one of those stories that I have hemmed and hawed about telling because it’s very personal, and concerns my own health, not one of my family members.  However, it is important to me to share this with all of you just in case you have had or are having a similar experience.  I am 54 years old and last year I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes (ugh).  If you have been a follower of my family stories you know that my youngest son is a Type I diabetic.  He has been diabetic since he was 6 and he just turned 24.  Diabetes is not a new issue or challenge for me, except now I also have Diabetes of the Type II variety (ugh).  The story of how that diagnosis came about is a rather interesting one and it’s the main reason I feel compelled to share this discovery with all of you.

In the summer of 2013 I had gotten what I thought was a cut or scrape on my right ankle. It was taking some time to heal, and then it started to get a little itchy.  It took me awhile to decide to go to the doctor to get this checked out.  What I thought was a simple scrape had turned into a circular sore that was simply not healing 100%.  I had been applying Neosporin to this ugly little spot (about the circumference of a small coffee cup), and the first reaction from the doctor was , “Well you must be allergic to the Neosporin”,  because of the way it had spread.  At that point it was determined that my boo-boo was of the fungal variety (aka ringworm), and that I needed to apply some anti-fungal cream.  So I did, and shortly after that visit I saw a dermatologist who also confirmed ringworm, via a biopsy. (ugh-not fun)   The spot on my ankle continued to heal so slowly, the itching subsided, and I just “let it go” for a few months.  Now we’re into November of 2013, my Mom went to a dermatologist for an annual visit, and she really liked the doctor.  She encouraged me to make an appointment to see him since my ankle had still not healed 100%.  Of course being the fathead that I am I put off doing anything about it until after the holidays and then some.  

Now roll around to 2014, and in February of 2014 I finally go to the dermatologist my Mom had seen.  He was great.  As soon as he saw my ankle he said to me, “That looks like a skin tag.” I reply, “A what?”.  A skin tag in my case was a discoloration of the skin where I had the open sore.  It was still quite red, and had some occasional itchiness.  The dermatologist ordered the necessary blood tests and a second biopsy on the boo-boo site, and it was confirmed that I did indeed have Type II diabetes.  (ugh!)  I got a referral to a wonderful endocrinologist, and was thankful to know I would be on the road to finally feeling better.    

At this point knowing that there was something physically “off” for me gave me a sense of relief.  I know that may sound strange, but it’s because there was a definitive issue I was dealing with, and I would have continued to fight an uphill battle if I had waited any longer to get my boo-boo checked out.  This explained some things for me too.  I had been having trouble dropping those extra “holiday pounds” in January of 2014.  I was so, so tired all of the time.  I blamed the stress and tiredness on the loss of my Dad.  Now I know it was diabetes rearing it’s ugly head, and in my case it is genetically manifested.  At some point in time diabetes was going to be in my life for a very long time.  After my diagnosis the urge to run home and tell my other kids to get tested for any indicators of diabetes was overwhelming.  

Pre-diagnosis

Pre-diagnosis

Feeling Great-40 pounds lighter!!

Feeling Great-40 pounds lighter!!

I don’t really remember when I started to actually feel better and more energetic again, but it didn’t take long.  All in all so far I’ve dropped about 40 pounds from diet, exercise and getting my metabolism in order. I feel so much better.  No sluggishness, not dealing with weight gain, and feeling so much better.  Did I say that already?

Discovering my diabetes and finding my way towards a healthier lifestyle was an incredibly easy path once I knew what was going on.  I wanted to feel better.  And I will admit to you all that I was not really paying attention to me, and how I was truly feeling.  I was feeling pretty crappy.  No energy, could not lose a pound to save my life, and oh so moody which was totally not my character.  My life lesson here is do not wait to go the doctor if you’re not feeling right, or if you have a boo-boo that’s taking forever to heal. Listen to your mother (love you Mom!) and take good care of yourself.

This post linked to the BlogShareLearn linky party.

Madness, Miracles, Millions Review

book review_1_edited-002The opportunity to read and review a book  about Type I diabetes came along and I knew I had to sign up right away.  My family is no stranger to the in’s and out’s of diabetes and I could not pass up this chance.  I am so glad I did not.

Madness, Miracles, Millions is the story of a family and their never-ending journey of obstacles, circumstances, and the adversity that they overcame in their every day lives. When their young son is handed a diagnosis of diabetes the Semprevivo’s do not back down. They face the deadly fear of diabetes head on.  This is a story so poignantly told by the father and son team of Larry and Joseph  Semprevivo.  Their family’s road has been filled with peaks and valleys, road blocks, and smooth sailing.  The never give up attitude of this entire family and their ability to hit a home run from every curve-ball thrown their way is inspiring.

We have lots of experience with Type I diabetes as our youngest son was diagnosed at age 6 in 1997.  It is always intriguing to read about how another family has handled a diagnosis of this magnitude.  It lets us know that we are not the only ones who have gone through all of this “stuff”.  The Semprevivo’s are a unique family, and their love and compassion for one another shines through in each chapter of the story.

If you are looking or need  to read a feel good story this is a book you will not want to pass up.  Madness, Miracles, Millions is a well-edited, easy read.  It will leave you with a sense of positivity from beginning to end.

When I Stopped Sweating the Small Stuff

There are moments in all of our lives when we realize, maybe not in the moment, but at some point surrounding a moment, we realize that our life path has taken a drastic turn.  My family had it’s fair share of those moments.  It has taken alot of thought and contemplation for me to tell you my family’s story of our challenges over the years.  I never wanted to be a part of a pity party, or have people say, “poor thing”.

I feel compelled to tell you our story because it’s unique to us, and we overcame all of the obstacles thrown in our path and are much stronger today because we learned to adapt and move on.  I see this life story as a two or three parter.  The blog post would just become much too long if I told you our story in one single post.  And by the way these stories do have the consent of my kids.  We talked about this at length before I knew I could go ahead and share what we have conquered.  So here we go…………………………..

My husband, Tom, and I have 5 kids together.  Four of mine from a previous marriage; two girls and two boys, and Tom’s son.  Three of the kids still live at home and are working full-time, and going to school.  All very responsible young adults, and all in the process of finding their life paths.  This part of our story is about our youngest son, Zachary.   Zach will be turning 21 this year, and we will be celebrating his footsteps into adulthood.  We are ever so thankful that this celebration is coming, it will truly be a milestone for Zach.

Zach at age 6.

Zachary has diabetes, Type I, you may know this as “juvenile diabetes”.  He was diagnosed with diabetes at age 6-1/2 in December of 1997, in the middle of his first grade year.  He is totally insulin dependent, and relies on a pump system, The Omnipod, to deliver the insulin into his blood stream.  There are so many stories I can share surrounding Zach’s diagnosis, and his integration back into his classroom in school.  For the moment I just want to say that I am ever so thankful for the staff and adminstrators at his elementary school at that time.  They were amazing partners with me in helping Zach to gain the confidence to learn to take care of his diabetic needs at school.  I am forever grateful for their patience and understanding.

Zach’s diagnosis was an indescribable life path curve.  Of course the majority of the change affected Zach, but it also caused changes for the rest of the family.  We incorporated some eating changes, mostly for the healthier.  We had to learn how to help Zach take care of himself.  Everyone learned how to do an injection, and how to treat a low blood sugar.  We all had to be aware.  The main thing I remember about this time in our family’s life path is the emotion of it all.  It was such an exasperating time for a six year old to take shots four times a day, and deal with testing his blood sugar.  How could we help him get through his daily medical needs, and still learn to have fun and just be a six year old boy?  There were many upsetting days an nights for us all, and most especially for Zach.  He was angry about his diabetes for such a long time, and resisted learning how to take good care of himself.  I just remember being so incredibly thankful that we had the medications and tools available to us to be good caretakers, and in turn teach Zach to do the same for himself.

Zach’s diabetes diagnosis was my first lesson as a parent in learning to stop sweating the small stuff.  I was much less irritated when things weren’t perfect around the house, ie. cleaned up and picked up all of the time.  I became much more focused on the importance of patience, listening, and showing compassion to all of the kids.  We were all in this together, and we were going to get through it together.  Little did we know where the next curve in our lives would take us.  That’s a story for next time though, so stay tuned.

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