Friday, April 5, 2013

Diabetes times two

The body is a complicated machine.  It does things that the layman can't even fathom.  Most of the time, our bodies do things naturally without us even having to think about it. 
A beating heart.
A growing nail.
The list seems endless.
But, there are times when you have to help your body do things that it's supposed to do naturally.  Like make insulin. 
For instance, my body makes zero (NONE) insulin.  Therefore, I have to exogenously give myself insulin - either through the insulin pump or through a syringe.  No big deal.  I've been doing it for a very long time. 
Now, there's Olivia. 
My 12 year old. 
She seems to have gotten sort of a raw deal.  When she was three, her throat looked as if there was an alien coming out of it, her thyroid goiter was so big.  She needed to take pills to slow it down, for it was working overtime.  Her cells had started to attack her thyroid in a process known as Grave's disease- an auto immune disease.
She has since taken her medication for years and years, and now while she still have the presence of Grave's disease, it seems to have gone into remission and for the time being no longer needs to take pills for it.
They say (when I say "they", I'm talking about scientists, researchers, doctors...) when you have one auto immune disease, you usually end up having another auto immune disease in your lifetime.  I don't know how true that is, but I know in this case, it seems to be true.
For two years, Olivia's been on the verge of having type 1 diabetes.  Her GAD 65 AB tests came back very positive and she also has a mom who is type 1 diabetic.  There were a few other tests that are on the cusp of becoming positive.  Like, she's teetering on that edge.
She is also at a real risk for developing type 2 diabetes.  Her semi-sedentary lifestyle (iPod gaming, TV watching) has not helped in this arena.  While we all eat with great portion control and limit the snacking to very low-carb, high protein snacks, her lack of physical activity is catching up to her.  She's also showing physical signs of insulin resistance. 
So, what did the doctor say? 
A lot.
For now, we are to control her diet as best we can.  From my accurate record keeping of what we eat, the doctor says what we're doing at home is great.  But, Olivia spends two of her meals at school.  I could go on and on about what to eat and how much to eat to try and stay healthy, but it sounds like total BS coming from "mom's mouth".  So, she is to start seeing a nutritionist.  Maybe having someone else do the talking will make her think before she reaches for that chocolate milk or plate of French fries.
So, with much hard work, we can certainly prevent her from actually developing type 2 diabetes.  And believe me, she ain't happy about it.  But, it's for her own good and I only hope she shows the same kind of conviction and will power when her own children need good parenting.
With all of that said, she is doing well with the news of her almost diagnosis.  The doctor warned me that she'll most definitely develop type 1 diabetes in the future.  How long into the future?  She couldn't tell me.  So, we'll just have to keep having her blood drawn from time to time and since I am very familiar with the disease, I kind of know what to look out for.  Olivia is also checking her blood glucose at home everyday, and any significant change in her numbers, we'll be able to see right away. 
John has already vowed to be taking her biking and hiking a lot this summer.  While there were times a couple of years ago I would've loved to join them, it seems like it won't be happening this year.  But, I can take her swimming.  Moving in the pool is so much easier for me than moving on land, and it doesn't bother me as much either.   So, I vowed to take Olivia swimming as much as humanly possible this summer.
As I type this post, Olivia is out in the living room playing the Wii.  I couldn't be happier hearing the familiar sound of the Wii fitness going on.  Anything to get her moving would help move her in the right direction of not developing type 2 diabetes. 
I know many people with that disease, and it's not a pleasant one.  And the heavier a person is, the harder it is to shed the necessary weight to help lose that initial diagnosis.  I plan on keeping Olivia on the right track, even if it annoys the "you-know-what" out of her.  She is not going to end up with a  disease that could've been prevented with better nutrition and more physical activity.  Like I said, I know many people with type 2 diabetes, and it's not a good disease to have.  I plan on trying my best in sparing Olivia from that hurt and depression.
She already has a piss poor self esteem.  I don't know why.  She's a very pretty young lady.  Beautiful hair, she's tall, great smile and very funny sense of humor.  But, she's often comparing herself to her friends or classmates, which I know is hard to keep from doing at her age.  I did it.  I know most girls did it. 
But, she doesn't see herself as pretty.  And I have to tell her every single day how wrong she is.  She's simply beautiful - inside and out. 
So, that's it.  She has a long road ahead of her.  But, I know she can beat it.
I know she can...


  1. If she hates you, you're doing the right thing--stay strong, sis, for both your's and her sake... You are both very beautiful woman with so much to offer the world!! <3 you both to pieces!!!!!

  2. awwww... Jason, Jason, Jason... I love you so much! And thank you! We love you too!

  3. Olivia is such a beautiful person! :) I tell her every time I see her....well, okay maybe not every time. But I DO TELL HER I LOVE HER EVERY TIME! :) And I kiss her forehead. I wonder if she's sick of that yet. hahaha.....

    And I can't believe John is sewing!!! how awesome! :)

    1. Aww Cindy... of course she isn't sick of the "aunt-ly" kisses from you... :)
      Thanks for commenting... I'll be sure to reiterate what you said about how beautiful she is...


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