Help Me, I'm Sick

Any other parents out there raising a child on the spectrum and also living with their own chronic illness? It presents an extra tough challenge. What do you do when you're sick? There's no time off from parenting when you are sick. When your child has autism, it's kind of scary. You have to be watching closely all the time. There's one unpredictable danger after the next. You can hardly get a chance for a shower, much less lay down and not feel good. 

As many of you know I am a type 1 diabetic. I'm fine most of the time. I've had an insulin pump for almost 20 years. That's me holding it in the picture. The insulin pump is my lifeline. It's with me 24/7, providing me a constant stream of insulin that I need to live, because my pancreas no longer produces it. Last weekend I had an episode of DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). I had a bad site, meaning my infusion set, a little plastic cannula that is inserted into my skin with a needle, hit scar tissue in my abdomen and the insulin wasn't absorbing into my bloodstream. Within a few hours, my blood sugar shot up to 400 and I was down - could hardly move and was vomiting. The only way I was able to recognize what was happening was when I started to feel very bad. I was very lucky my mom was here visiting and was watching Liam for me and ready to call 911. Type 1 diabetes is manageable, but crisis can hit rapidly and without warning, and it can be deadly.

 Not to worry. I'm fine now. It took me about 10 hours to turn it around and get my blood sugar back to normal. But I'm always a little unnerved after an episode like that. I'm so caught up in Liam's care, it's easy to forget about myself.

Lilah was away a couple of times this summer and I was pretty nervous. I just hate to think what would happen if I had a diabetic crisis and was home alone with Liam. Hopefully he would call a family member, but I don't really know. He's not developmentally far along enough yet to understand what is happening. I rely a lot on Lilah. Thank goodness she's healthy, and very good at looking out for Liam, and me too.




Alison Peterson
Alison Peterson

Author



4 Responses

Jim Josupait
Jim Josupait

November 03, 2015

Alison- Type I Diabetes is a challenge in itself. I have been Type I for almost 29 years. I absolutely applaud the fact that you are open about your diabetes as there are so many fantastic people willing to offer support. One thing that I wanted to mention (which may be available with the pump you have- it looks like a Minimed) is using a CGMS (Continuous Glucose Monitoring System). I use what is called a Dexcom G5 which actually integrates via Bluetooth to my SmartPhone. A CGMS is not a replacement for Finger Sticks- you probably have callouses that would rival Tom’s :) That being said- it is a great tool especially as it does a fantastic job of showing trends that may be happening quickly- ups and downs. Also, since it can integrate with a Smartphone, people can see how your blood is trending on their smartphones (if you allow it)- that way, family could check on you and get you help even if they are far away. My wife had the ability to help me long-distance one time when I was traveling for work. You may want to check this out if you have not already looked at it. Feel free to message me if you have any questions or need some diabetic support.

I love what you are doing with Rock Your Speech- my wife worked as a Physical Therapist in a School District and she is a big supporter of Music Therapy:) Also, been a HUGE fan of your husband’s bass playing with CT since I first started liking music:)

Stephanie Stewart-Morgan
Stephanie Stewart-Morgan

August 04, 2015

Thankfully I don’t have any major medical issues to deal with, but even when the kids bring home a cold from school, I am super careful not to pick it up. Sometimes the younger one will come over to me and, without being aware of what she’s doing, cough or sneeze right in my face. With both kids on the spectrum, ain’t nobody got time for that! I think I’ve developed an iron clad immunity system.
When I read your posts I always think “I wish I had a Lilah in the house!” You were truly blessed when you were given her. With all you have on your plate – Liam’s autism, your diabetes, Tom away touring – she was a true gift to you.

Stacy
Stacy

August 04, 2015

Part 2: My tablet is far too touchy. I also wanted to say I’ve shown the RYS site to a couple teachers and they were interested in it. I am going to also mention it to our resorce teachers, they always appreciate new and different ways to help our kids learn.

Keep up the good work and thank you so much.

Stacy
Stacy

August 04, 2015

While I don’t have children I do have Diabetes and even though I’m type2, I had DKA once and ended up in the hospital ICU for several days. I was wondering if you’d looked into a service like Life alert or something similar? It might be easier, at this point i time to get Liam to use that if needed and teach him 911 whe he is ready for it.

Also, I love Rock Your Speech. I work as an elementary school library tech, and our province has inclusion,so I interact with all our kids on a regular basis, including special needs.

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