Friday, June 29, 2012

Where to find Hope for Aly

 Hope for Aly is dedicated to educating the general public about Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. Our commitment is to provide quality information, support and guidance for parents of diabetic children, especially to those new to managing diabetes and also educate the community about Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes so there is a better understanding in the community about this disease.

To strive toward our mission you can find Hope for Aly at the following events spreading diabetes awareness. Stop by and say HI :)

Midwest Kids Fest
Date: July 28-29, 2012
Time: 10am-5pm
Location: Overland Park International Trade Center

Shopping for Hope
Date: August 25, 2012
Time: 10am - 4pm
Location: Elks Lodge, Grandview MO

Carolyn's County Cousins Pumpkin Patch
Date: October 20th and 21st
Time: 10:00am - 7:00pm
Location: 17607 Northeast 52nd Street  Liberty, MO 64068

Wholistic Health Fair
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2012 
Time: 11AM-6PM
Location: UMKC Student Union, Multipurpose Rm. #401, 5100 Cherry, KCMO 64111

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The D.O.C.

Oh my god, the D.O.C.!! The Diabetes Online Community whether you use twitter, facebook, or many of the other avenues of online social media just ROCKS!!! There is ALWAYS someone there no matter what time of day/night it is, no matter where in the world you are located to listen and talk to you about everything d/or non d related.

I found the D.O.C. within the last 2 years and man has it changed the direction that my life has gone with managing Aly's diabetes, how I feel about diabetes, and it helped me find my true passion in life. I never would have known how many other parents of children with diabetes, PWD, or other caregivers there were out there without the D.O.C. and social media outlets. Once you find the Diabetes Online Community it is kinda like crack ... it is hard to leave because you feel like you may miss out on something important but it is SO helpful and knowledgeable. I know so much more about T1 and T2 then I think I ever would have by meeting all these AMAZING people online. Without the D.O.C. we never would have heard about The Diabetes Dude where Aly has become a diabetes advocate for their amazing organization. I never would have met the over 800 plus other people that I have on facebook Katrina's Facebook, I never would have met the 100's of people that I have on Twitter Katrina's Twitter, these people I have never met in real life but they all live in my computer. The D.O.C. is almost like a 24 hour convenience store where you can go in at any time day / night and get anything you need whether it be something big or just something small.

I can not speak highly enough of finding the Diabetes Online Community. Don't get me wrong the D.O.C. is not perfect, most of them are not medical professionals, there are tiffs that happen and people get upset but the overall feel is just helpful, accepting, and life changing.

Thank you D.O.C. friends!!

Hope for Aly

Diabetes is a potentially life threatening disease.

It strikes our most prized possessions, our children.

Hope for Aly is dedicated to educating the general public about Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. Our commitment is to provide quality information, support and guidance for parents of diabetic children, especially to those new to managing diabetes and also educate the community about Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes so there is a better understanding in the community about this disease

Help us to spread the word that help is here for parents of diabetics and their families.

We are commited to connecting diabetics and their families with other Diabetics and their families to provide the emotional, educational and social support they need.

If you are the parent of a diabetic child, or know someone that is, please join us in our mission to bring awareness to the community so we can better educate them as well as support other diagnosed families.

Find us online:


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Note, this is an actual nutrition label from a 2 pound Mega Kit-Kat bar - CAN YOU IMAGINE!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Jail and Bail Pizza Fundraiser

Minsky’s Pizza
632 NE MO-291 Hwy
Lee's Summit, MO 64086

Come out and support Making Tracks for Celiacs KC. Proceeds will be used to make the 1st annual Making Tracks for Celiacs 5k Walk on September 29th at Arrowhead Stadium a huge success

Saturday July 14th
11:00am to Midnight

A portion of proceeds will go to Making Tracks to help spread the word about Celiac Disease.

We will also have people arrested and placed in the Making Tracks for Celiacs Jail, anyone attending has the possibility of being "arrested" and must make bail before they can be released :)


One great thing

One great thing that Aly does well in regards to her diabetes is testing her blood sugar with out even caring. She does not care if she is at the park around other kids, she does not care if she has to do it at school, before breakfast, before snack, before lunch, before another snack, before dinner, well pretty much all the gosh darn time; but Aly is great at it ... No complaints ... No crying ... Just a get it done and move on attitude

Monday, June 25, 2012

Who am I?

Who am I? Well that is a very good question. I am Katrina, I am a 28 year old mother of 2 amazing children, a wife of 8 years, a daycare provider, and diabetes educator.

I started my adult life off being a mother and wife at the young age of 20. I got married to my highschool sweetheart on March 20, 2004 and 3 months later our daughter Aly was born 6 weeks premature due to me developing pre-eclampsia. This would be the 1st of many hurdles that would be sent into my life. Aly was born weighing 4lbs 9.6oz and was immediately taken into the NICU where she stayed for 13 very long days. Being a new young mom was made even harder knowing that your child for the 1st time in her life is fighting to stay alive.

For Aly she beat that hurdle and got to come home with us a strong little precious girl, unfortunately for Aly this would not be the last time in her life that she has had to fight to stay alive. 2 years passed and Aly was doing great, she was starting potty training, and all the fun things that 2 years old enjoy ... then IT hit! My precious little girl started off by drinking way more than usual, being through complete outfits even she she had a diapers on, then started the random throwing up and massive diaper rash that would not go away. With this information we took Aly to the pediatrician to see what was going on (we did not know anything about type 1 diabetes at this point) and her pediatricians dismissed it as a bad virus, dismissing all the "signs" as being related to this virus. THEY NEVER ONCE EVEN MENTIONED TYPE 1 DIABETES!!! 2 weeks later and my baby was getting even sicker!! She now was lethargic almost to the post of unresponsiveness. She was no longer the energetic 2 year old that she used to be. I spoke to my mother in law and she mentioned Juvenile Diabetes, as soon as I heard those 2 words I did what all doctors tell you not to do and hit up Google. I wanted to know what this disease was ... I sat there in disbelief reading the symptoms (while at work mind you) thinking THIS IS MY CHILD! MY CHILD HAS DIABETES! I immediately let my supervisor know that I had an emergency and had to leave (This was in January during the largest snow storm we have had in Kansas City for a while), went and picked Aly up from my moms house and drove her directly to the nearest children hospital. When we got to the emergency room I walked up to the check out window and said I think my daughter has type 1 diabetes, please check her. After what seemed like hours waiting in the waiting room we were finally taken back into the intake area, they did the usual checking on temp, weight, meds, ect ... and then they check her blood sugar ... the hospital meter greeted us by saying HI. HI is never a greeting that you want from your child's or anyone for that matters blood glucose machine. On Jan 20th, 2007 we began our life with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, this changed mine and my husbands life at 22 upside down as well as Aly's young life was changed forever.

When Aly was diagnosed at the children's hospital her blood sugar was 682 (normal blood sugar is 80-140). The children's hospital that we took Aly too was not set up for this type of inpatient stay so we were transferred via  ambulance to a larger children's hospital where we started the rigorous training/learning about how to take care of Aly, how to check her blood sugar, how to administer insulin shots, how to read a nutritional label to know how much insulin to give her for her food, how to weigh and measure food properly to know how much insulin to give Aly for her food, learned about the different types of insulin and how they worked in the body, learned how exercise and stress affects blood sugars, and so much more. All of this information is given to you in a 3 day crash course and you hope that you retained it all to be able to keep your child alive and healthy. We went home and started our "new" life.

In 2009 we were blessed with Aly's little brother Joel who was born 4 weeks early weighing 5lbs .5oz.

He was a special little man because on 8/8/08 I suffered a miscarriage at the 8th week of pregnancy and found out that I had a bicornuate uterus (heart shaped uterus). 

Pregnancies in a bicornuate uterus are usually considered high-risk and require extra monitoring because of association with poor reproduction potential.

A bicornuate uterus is associated with increased adverse reproductive outcomes like:
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss: the reproductive potential of a bicornuate uterus is usually measured by live birth rate (also called fetal survival rate).
  • Preterm birth: with a 15 to 25% rate of preterm delivery. The reason that a pregnancy may not reach full-term in a bicornuate uterus often happens when the baby begins to grow in either of the protrusions at the top. A short cervical length seems to be a good predicter of preterm delivery in women with a bicornuate uterus.
  • Malpresentation (breech birth or transverse presentation): a breech presentation occurs in 40-50% pregnancies with a partial bicornuate uterus and not at all (0%) in a complete bicornuate uterus
In June 2010 with my best friend Maria we decided to open up a small in-home child care and we called it Lil' Munchkins Childcare, unfortunately after about a year of being open together we decided that we were better friends than business partners and decided to split the daycare. In May 2011 I reopened with the name Kreative Kare by Katrina and have been rocking the daycare ever since

In June 2011 I decided to became a diabetes educator to my community and to Facebook users. After 4 years of Aly being diagnosed I saw that there was a missing piece in the diabetes community locally. JDRF and ADA raised money to help fund research to find a cure but I never saw them out in the community doing diabetes education, making people aware of what Type 1 Diabetes was or the symptoms, this is how Hope for Aly was founded. I decided that I was going to make a difference! I was going to get out there and educate people. I started with doing a vendor fair and had a booth there with Type 1 Diabetes information in June 2011 and have since done many many more events in the Kansas City community and will continue to do even more as well as growing my D.O.C. friends on Facebook and educating on my Type 1 Diabetes Facts and Information page on Facebook.

So this is me  a 28 year old mother of 2 amazing children, a wife of 8 years, a daycare provider, and diabetes educator.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Diabetes Glossary

Words to know related to diabetes

Antibodies are specialized proteins that are part of the immune system. They are created when an antigen (such as a virus or bacteria) is detected in the body. The antibodies bond with the specific antigen that triggered their production, and that action neutralizes the antigen, which is a threat to the body. Antibodies are created to fight off whatever has invaded the body.

An antigen is a foreign substance (such as a virus or bacteria) that invades the body. When the body detects it, it produces specific antibodies to fight off the antigen.

Autoantibodies are a group of antibodies that “go bad” and mistakenly attack and damage the body’s tissues and organs. In the case of type 1 diabetes, autoantibodies attack the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. 

Autoimmune disorder
If you have an autoimmune disorder (also called an autoimmune disease), your body’s immune system turns against itself and starts to attack its own tissues.

Basal secretion (basal insulin)
We all should have a small amount of insulin that’s constantly present in the blood; that is the basal secretion. People with type 1 diabetes must take a form of insulin that replicates the basal secretion throughout the day; that’s basal insulin.

Beta cells
Beta cells are located in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. They are responsible for making insulin.

Blood glucose level
The blood glucose level is how much glucose is in your blood at a given time. This level is very important for people with diabetes, and they must monitor their blood glucose level throughout the day. If the blood glucose level is too high (hyperglycemia), that means that there isn’t enough insulin in the blood. If it’s too low (hypoglycemia), that means that there’s too much insulin.

Bolus secretion (bolus insulin)
After we eat, the pancreas releases the right amount of the hormone insulin to process the carbohydrates in the meal; that’s the bolus secretion. People with type 1 diabetes must take a form of insulin that replicates the bolus secretion; that’s bolus insulin.

Carbohydrates are one of the three main energy sources for the body (the others are fat and protein). Your body breaks down carbohydrates to get glucose, which then provides energy to the body.

Diabetes mellitus
Diabetes mellitus is the full name for diabetes, but most people refer to it as just diabetes.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
Diabetic ketoacidosis (abbreviated to DKA) is a very serious condition. It occurs when there is no insulin to help the body use glucose for energy. Glucose builds up in the blood, and the body turns to fat for energy. As the body breaks down the fat, ketones are released, and when too many of those build up in the blood, it makes the blood acidic. If you don’t get immediate treatment for DKA, it can lead to a coma or even death.

One of the possible long-term complications of diabetes is kidney disease and failure. If your kidneys aren’t working well, they can’t clean the blood. Dialysis is a treatment option for people with kidney failure. It’s a process that artificially cleans the blood.

Endocrine system
Your endocrine system produces hormones that control bodily function. Diabetes is an endocrine disorder because insulin is a hormone. In type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the body either produces too little insulin or doesn’t use it correctly.

Fasting blood glucose
The fasting blood glucose is one of the ways that diabetes is diagnosed. It measures the blood glucose level after fasting overnight.

Fat is an energy source for your body (the other two energy sources are carbohydrates and protein).

Gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. Women with gestational diabetes have unusually high blood glucose levels while pregnant. The symptoms usually dissipate after delivery, but women who have gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later on.

Glucagon is a hormone made by the pancreas. It raises the blood glucose level, so it counteracts the effects of the hormone insulin. If someone with diabetes has very low blood glucose (hypoglycemia), then a glucagon injection may help raise the blood glucose level.

Glucose is a sugar that the body uses for energy. In order to use it properly, your body must have enough of the hormone insulin.

Glucose intolerance
See pre-diabetes.

Hemoglobin A1c
The hemoglobin A1c measures the blood glucose level over 90 days. It helps you and your doctor doctor see how well you’ve done controlling your blood glucose level on average.

Hyperglycemia is when you have too much glucose in the blood.

Hypoglycemia is when you have too little glucose in the blood.

Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use glucose. Insulin allows glucose to enter the cells that need it, especially the muscles. Without insulin, glucose can’t get to where it needs to go. People with type 1 diabetes don’t have this hormone; people with type 2 diabetes either don’t have it or their bodies aren’t able to use it.

Insulin resistance
Insulin resistance is when the body doesn’t respond as well as it should to insulin. It’s an early sign of type 2 diabetes.

When the body starts to break down fat in order to get energy, ketones are a byproduct. When too many of those build up in the blood, it makes the blood acidic and can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis.

Lipohyertrophy occurs when an injection site is overused. The skin swells and a node can develop. The skin swells and may become tough. Injected insulin may not be absorbed very well from a site that has been overused.

Macrovascular complications
Over time, poor blood glucose control can lead to serious complications, including damage to major blood vessels—to the macrovascular system. Macrovascular complications cause plaque to build up in the arteries, which can lead to a heart attack, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Microvascular complications
Over time, poor blood glucose control can lead to serious complications, including damage to tiny blood vessels—to the microvascular system. These microvascular complications of diabetes can lead to problems with the eyes (retinopathy or cataracts), kidneys (nephropathy), and nerves (neuropathy).
Nephropathy is damage to the kidneys. It is a possible long-term complication of diabetes. Nephr- is a Greek root that means kidney, and –pathy is a Greek root meaning damage.

Neuropathy is damage to the nerves. It is a possible long-term complication of diabetes. Neuro- is a Greek root that means nerves, and –pathy is a Greek root meaning damage.

Oral glucose tolerance test
The oral glucose tolerance test is one way that diabetes is diagnosed. It measures the blood glucose level five times over a period of three hours after you drink a high glucose mixture. 

The pancreas is an organ of the endocrine system. A specific area of the pancreas, the islets of Langerhans, produces the hormone insulin.

Pre-diabetes, also called glucose intolerance, is when a person has high blood glucose levels, but they aren’t high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. Pre-diabetes is an early sign of type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance (when the body doesn’t use insulin as well as it should) is another pre-diabetes sign.

Protein is a source of energy (as are carbohydrates and fat). Protein is found mainly in meat and beans.

Retinopathy is damage to the retina. It is a possible long-term complication of diabetes. The retina is the part of the eye that senses light, and –pathy is a Greek root meaning damage.

Target range
Blood glucose levels need to stay within a certain range, and when you have diabetes, you must regulate your blood glucose levels with diet, exercise, and (perhaps) insulin. Before meals, the target range is 70 to 130mg/dL, and one to two hours after a meal, the target range is below 180mg/dL.

Fear of more

So you have a child diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, where does that leave you with wanting future children? Do you go on with family planning and hope for the best? Do you not have any more children, and be blessed with the 1 that you have? What if your child already has siblings, do we as parents overreact to normal, kid like symptoms, because we are always in high alert for the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes?

For me, this was a particularly hard subject to face. I had my daughter at the young age of 20 years old, and then we got the diabetes diagnosis when she was 2.5 years old, I was 22. This threw my already crazy world into an even crazier roller coaster. We embraced the diagnosis though, and have ran with it ever since, doing all we can to help educate other families and the general community about Type 1 Diabetes. It made me slow down and think about any future children that my husband and I may choose to have. I knew that I wanted Aly to have at least 1 sibling, I always knew that I wanted 2 children, but Aly’s diagnosis really made me reconsider this “want”, because I did not know if I could deal with another child’s diagnosis. It took us 5 years to finally make the decision that we will leave it in God’s hands, if he had it in my deck of cards to be the mother of more than 1 diabetic child, then bring it!! I CAN DO THIS!!!

My son is now 2.5 years old, the same age Aly was when she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and the emotions that surround Joel being 2.5 hit me more than I ever thought it would. I look at him, and remember my little princess being SO sick, frail, and all the other crap that goes along with a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes, but also praying to God that we do not get another diagnosis. I know many parents out there in the D.O.C. who have multiple children diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and they manage to do it every day and kick diabetes tooshie.  I fear every time that he drinks more than he normally does, every time he may pee more often than usual, when he doesn’t want to eat, I pretty much fear all the time, of my son having to be on this crazy roller coaster ride that his strong bigger sister is on. I know that we would rock it just like we do daily with Aly, but selfishly for him and I, I do not want to deal with diabetes anymore than I already do.

We had Joel tested in November 2011 with the Trial Net study, and thank the Lord it came back negative, but he will continue to be tested yearly as we all know that the antibodies can show up at any time. I truly believe that we will be watched over, and just continue to take each day for the blessing that it is with Joel not being diagnosed, and should that day ever come (fingers crossed it never does) we will do the same thing as we did with Aly, and roll with it.

I do have to say that the D.O.C. has been a life saver while making the decision to continue with family planning, and having more children. It was amazing to see these other families that had 2-5 children all diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and them managing just like the rest of the diabetes community. They helped me realize that I could do it too, and that Aly’s life would be even more blessed because she will always have her brother right there to back her up, catch her when she falls, and help her fight kicking diabetes tooshie!!

I advise any and all of you, that if you have not found the diabetes community to do so! You can contact me at our website and I can get you in contact with thousands of other parents, people with diabetes, caregivers around the world. You can also get in touch with the Blue Heel Society and they will gladly take your hand and walk you through this journey as well.
Just don’t forget to remember that “I CAN DO THIS!!”

Just FYI:

Type 1 diabetes tends to have less tendency to have other family members affected with diabetes than type 2 diabetes. In the first large family study of diabetes, less than 4% of parents and 6% of siblings of a person with diabetes also had diabetes.

In studies with identical twins, less than 50% of the siblings of a person with diabetes also had diabetes versus almost 100% of siblings of people with type 2 diabetes. Children of fathers with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than children of mothers with type 1 diabetes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Who needs sleep?

So who needs sleep right? Well apparently not me :/.

I do not know what is going on with me lately. I know that I always have a fear when I go to sleep that my daughter will not be alive when I wake up in the morning. I wake up with a sick feeling in my stomach and so I get up and go check in on her and check her blood sugar. We are 5 years into diabetes management and some days are better than others. Aly is always positive about it (thank god!!) but the more and more that I get into diabetes education and the more I learn it freaks me out more and more. I absolutely LOVE doing diabetes education!! I would NOT change it for the world but it really shows me more and more the nasty side of the disease. It also shows me some positives and learning about the upcoming sciences and products is awesome but there is still that motherly side that is just scared. Scared of my daughter not waking up the next morning, dropping too low and not recognizing it, she is only 8 years old.

The last several weeks I have been going on about 5 hours of sleep a night, I know some people can do it (like my husband) but wow, ya I am not really one of them. I am so tired by the mid day that it isnt funny but some how I will get a 2nd wind and still stay up until midnight or 1am facebooking and checking Aly's blood sugars every 2 hours until I go to bed.

I sometimes wonder if it is because I always put so much on my plate, organizing a Making Tracks for Celiacs 5K Walk, Acoustics for a Cure, Shopping for Hope, Sizzle and Shop, Diabetes Education, My daycare business, and being a mom/wife. I love everything I have on my plate but sometimes I just need more  time in the day.

I just don't know :/ I know it will all work out in the end, my princess will live a long fabulous life, I will get to educate others about diabetes, and we will see what I choose to do with the daycare.

Sorry for my rambling I think I need sleep :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We reached 500 "likes"

9 short months ago I decided to start a facebook page called Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes Facts and Information because I wanted to be able to educate others on Type 1 Diabetes. Today we reached 500 "likes"! This is just fantastic in my opinion. I never expected many people to join the page and listen to the information that I share on a daily basis, but guess what. They came, they stayed, and they continue to listen.

I am so stoked. Now on to my next goal of 1000!! :)

Have a great night everyone!!

Aly says good night to everyone also

Acoustics for a Cure

We want to thank everyone who helped Hope for Aly make the 3rd annual Acoustics for a Cure benefit concert all that it was and the best one we have had yet. We all had a blast and had about 100 people in attendance within the 6 hours that we had the concerts.

We could not have done it without our AMAZING bands. We want to thank River Cow Orchestra, Red Velvet Crush, Band 13, Josey Milner, For The Broken, and The Green Music Brothers.

We want to thank Jeff Woods with 360 Photography for his time and beautiful pictures that he took at Acoustics for a Cure. 360 Photography is the official photographer for Hope for Aly so watch for his work even more with us

We could not have done it without our venue who was amazing with our needs. Thank you Todd Spurck and Bullfrogs for the venue, we had a blast!!

All together we raised almost $1000 and were able to give a portion of the money raised to Kids With Courage to help them continue their mission of supporting local families with Type 1 Diabetes.

We hope to see you there next year.