Monday, January 9, 2012

A little bit about me...

Tonight I finished up my ambassador profile for the American Diabetes Association. I thought I might post it here so my friends can learn a little more about my life with diabetes.

This isn't in the profile, but diabetes is an autoimmune disease. That basically means that the cells in my own body attacked the cells that produce insulin in my pancreas. Everyone needs insulin to live. You might not even know what insulin is, but, unless you have diabetes like me, your body produces it as you need it, and insulin is constantly being moved into your bloodstream. Well, my pancreas is defective, so I don't produce my own insulin. That's why I wear an insulin pump, which you've probably seen on my pants. It kind of looks like an ipod or something, but it's not. When I eat I program my insulin pump to deliver the right amount of insulin for my meal. I do this to keep my blood sugar in a healthy range. You'd probably have to google blood sugar to find out more. Before I was diagnosed, I didn't know what it was either.

Anyway, here's a little more about me...

My name is Sarah Gonzalez, and I am 12 years old. I live with my mom and dad, and have a 20 year old sister, and a 22 year old brother in the Marine Corps. I also have a dog; a Pug named Belle. I am very busy. I have a passion for theater, and have been in many local plays including Cinderella, White Christmas, Sweeney Todd, Mulan, and many more. I also love to do crafts. This year my mom and I made Christmas cards and I sent about 20 to kids with diabetes all around the country and in Canada.

My Diagnosis
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on March 18th, 2010, when I was 10 years old – so I have had diabetes for almost two years. My mom had noticed that I was getting very thin, and I hadn’t been feeling well for awhile. She took me to the doctor, and they thought I had a virus, but when the tests came back found that I had large ketones – which means that my body was being poisoned. I spent three days in the hospital. I was really scared, especially when they told me I would have to take shots several times every single day.

What it's Like Living with Diabetes
Diabetes hasn’t changed my life too much. I got an insulin pump about five months after I was diagnosed and that has helped me to be more independent. I am so used to pricking my finger to check my blood sugar that it is just part of my routine. When I’m in a show or in an activity where I might have a low, my mom helps me to plan the right combination of insulin and food. I have had a couple of scary moments. I passed out in a salon about a year ago and scared my whole family a lot. My mom also found me with a very scary low blood sugar a few months ago in the middle of the night; I think she was more scared than I was. I have learned that as long as I watch what I eat, count my carbohydrates correctly, and listen to my body when I don’t feel well, I can almost always keep my blood sugar in a reasonably healthy range.

What I Want Others to Understand
Diabetes is a lot of work. I prick my finger to check my blood sugar at least 6-10 times every day. My mom changes my insulin pump site (which involves a pretty big needle) about twice a week. I have to pay attention to every single thing I eat, because if I estimate my carbohydrates incorrectly I can have a serious low or high blood sugar very quickly. Diabetes is a disease that never lets you take a break, it stays with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I can’t just decide to eat a banana without planning for it in advance. I know that if I don’t keep on top of my diabetes I can end up very sick and in the hospital, and I won’t be able to have fun with my friends or enjoy my activities.

Why I am Involved
I am involved with the ADA because I want to help find a cure for diabetes. I also enjoy public speaking and being a mentor to other kids with diabetes who might be newly diagnosed and need someone to talk to. I want to be one of the faces of diabetes, to show people that diabetes isn’t a disease caused by eating too much sugar. There are many myths around diabetes, and I want to help people to learn what diabetes is really all about so they don’t spread misinformation.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Merry Christmas Seymour!

Hi. I'm sorry I haven't posted anything in awhile. I have been so busy. I have been going Christmas shopping and having so much fun with my friend Karen. Karen is a great theater friend. Today we went to the mall with our moms and my awesome sister Amanda. Last month I was in two musicals; White Christmas and Annie. It was so fun.

Last week was a really terrible week for my blood sugar. All of a sudden my blood sugar was high high high!!! My mom had to slap my CGM on. A CGM is a Continuous Glucose Monitor. I don't really like to wear it because it itches and leaves an ugly rash. But it does a good job of helping my mom figure out how to make adjustments to my insulin pump. Now I am taking a lot more insulin, but my blood sugar is back in range. Whew! My mom says she thinks my honeymoon period is finally over.

Now I'm doing much better, and today (FINALLY!) the CGM is off. I hope my numbers stay good because I'd like to keep it off for awhile.

I hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A happy day! : )

It's just one of those days. You take your CGM off, and you end up with a low blood sugar. Sheesh! Even though I only went down to 59, I still felt horrible. My head hurt and I felt dizzy. My stomach hurt, and I started shaking. When I got home from my theater class I was 113, so I ate dinner (a basil quesadilla - yum!) - 19 grams. Then I had a french cake from Starbucks - 11 grams. I bolused correctly, but soon I felt really low. But when I tested I was 71, which isn't really all that low. So I ate a bag of chex mix - 11 grams. I tested again a few minutes later - 63. How did that happen! So I ate a bag of pirate booty - 19 grams. And now I'm waiting and hoping that my stupid bg will behave!

I had a lot of fun today. I spent the day with my best friend. We went to art camp, where we made collages. Then we went roller skating. It was a lot of fun. Almost like I didn't have diabetes for a change. I wasn't thinking about it, I was just having fun. We even had Taco Bell for lunch, and when my mom saw my numbers for the day, she was super impressed because I stayed between 80-150 all day! All by myself!

Then I went to theater and home. My mom took off my CGM to put a new sensor on. We checked my blood sugar and I was perfect - 113. I took a nice hot shower, and ended up in the 70's. Thank you hot water.

But overall it was still a good day.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Movie night

Tonight was movie night and you know what that means ... Popcorn! I love popcorn I just hope we did it right this time!!! I am so lucky to have a mom like mine!! It's two hours past popcorn and my blood sugar is... 126!!! Wahooo! Perfect!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Yes, I can have cupcakes...Really!

You know what I LOVE? Cupcakes. You know what makes me so mad? When people say I can't have cupcakes or sweets. Well, the truth is - I can! It's just really annoying to hear people say or ask "can you have sweets?". It drives me UP THE WALL!

During one school day, someone brought cupcakes for my class. And guess what? There was one cupcake missing. Yep, that was the one that would have been for me. The parent knew I had type 1 diabetes, and just assumed I wouldn't be able to eat the cupcake. So she brought enough for everyone...except me! I was really upset watching my whole class eat cupcakes while I was doing homework. So unfair!

This is why me and my mom are going to educate my school about type 1 diabetes. So this doesn't happen to any other kids. I want the teachers and staff to understand that people with type 1 diabetes CAN have sweets, we just have to test our blood sugar and take insulin for the treat. I might have to call my mom to help me estimate the carbs - but that's okay, she doesn't mind.

Even when they do give me a cupcake (now that my teacher knows I can have one), it's still pretty annoying that they don't let me know enough in advance so I can test my blood sugar and take my insulin. By the time I am ready to eat my cupcake - everyone else is finished eating theirs! Gee whiz! I feel so left out!

But luckily I have my best friend to wait for me. Kelsey is so awesome because she will hold on to her cupcake until I am done testing and taking insulin, so we can eat our cupcakes together.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sarah's story!

I love to eat eat eat, apples and bananas... I like to eat eat eat, apples and bananas... I like to take take take, insulin for my carbs... I like to take take take, insulin for my carbs...

Man, am I a weirdo or what! Singing that kinder song. But it's fun.

Anyway, today's topic is talking about how I got diagnosed with diabetes (definitely not dia-beat-us, which is a totally different disease that happens when you get beaten by your diet...).

No more sillies. When I was diagnosed, I was in the emergency room for hours. And I'm not kidding. They wouldn't let me eat anything. I had been on my way to a delicious dinner, when suddenly (dramatic pause effect) suddenly my mom got a call from my Pediatrician. I was so sad because I didn't get to eat my delicious dinner. Instead I had to go to the Hospital, while my big sister and dad left me and my mom... and they went and ate a delicious dinner without us!

I was so scared! And I think my mom was pretty worried. I had to go through so much pain those days. First, they pricked my finger with a giant needle (which totally sliced my finger). My blood sugar was 375! Which now I know really isn't all that high for a diagnosis. They put an IV in my arm, which really hurt. Then we had to wait for a long, long time for an ambulance to take me to Roseville. But some nice lady, a volunteer at the hospital, brought me a teddy bear to hug. I still have that bear.

The ambulance finally arrived at around three o'clock in the morning to pick me up and take me to the childrens hospital in Roseville. Although that part was kind of fun.

The next morning they finally agreed to let me have breakfast, and we found out a lot more about diabetes - like I would have to take shots whenever I wanted to eat something. The food was not very good. They served me waffles and grapes (which I don't like), eggs, and sausage. They gave my mom and I lots of books and paperwork to read about living with diabetes.

I still look back at that day (cue flashback moment here) because it was really important to me and my family. Sometimes me and my mom even laugh about it because we were scared and confused, and now we're so used to my new life.

And by the way, I just wanted to review - it's really not dia-beat-us... please don't say that. No offense, but it's kind of annoying.

Here's a video my mom took. If you're interested in learning more: