Saturday, May 12, 2012

Type 1 Diabetes

My son was diagnosed at age 11 with Type 1 Diabetes. 
Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disorder.  It was not caused by anything he ate.
He is insulin dependent and pricks his fingers to test his blood sugar at least 8 times a day.
Every time he eats or drinks he has to calculate how much insulin to give himself.
He has to know the carbohydrate content of everything he eats.
He has to know what his insulin to carb ratio is - and it can and does change.
He has to give himself more insulin if his blood sugar is too high.
If he makes a mistake and gives himself too much insulin he could die.
Among other things, his blood sugar is affected by food, stress, exercise, and hormones.
Managing his blood sugar is more of an art than a science.

Even if he does everything right, things can go very wrong.

I support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation because insulin is not a cure.

This layout is about his diagnosis:

I used some wonderful gray and off-white papers from My Mind's Eye (Miss Caroline and Love Me collections).  It was based on a National Scrapbook Day challenge I found on the Scrapbook & Cards Today blog.  Becky Fleck challenged us to use this 8.5"x11" double PageMap sketch:
 http://scrapbookandcardstodaymag.typepad.com/.a/6a0105349d6b3d970c0168eb26824e970c-pi
Another part of the challenge was that I was supposed to scrapbook myself.  I am not averse to scrapping about me, but from the moment I saw this sketch, I immediately thought of an event I had not been able to scrap for more than 5 years...my son's diagnosis with Juvenile Diabetes...and I just knew that this sketch was going to make it work.  I turned it into a 12"x12" layout and I will probably add a second page with more pictures of his hospital stay. (Since it wasn't about me, I couldn't enter it in the challenge.)

As the journaling says, managing diabetes is really all about numbers so that was an element that needed to be included on the page.  I will never forget his blood sugar number that first day, 463, so that had to be documented, too.
The subtitle area is anchored by some washi tape I picked up at Target.  The bright red polka dots remind me of the blood droplets from his finger sticks.  He has to test a minimum of 8 times a day, and since he is an athlete it can easily be double that during a sports season, or when he is basal testing.

The picture is of the very first time Paul pricked a finger and tested his own blood sugar.  I took it into PhotoShop and used a filter on it (Stamp) to make it a very stark black and white image. Life is so different before and after diagnosis, as different as black and white.                                    
My Dymo label maker was loaded with red tape to add the date element along the right edge.

I love the black and white shirt he happened to be wearing  proclaiming,

"I do all my own stunts."

Yes, he does!
I wanted to print the journaling on vellum so I pulled out The Perfect Crafting Pouch from ScraPerfect.  I wiped it across the vellum before I fed it into the printer.  When it came out I trimmed it down, added the Thickers title, and adhered it to the page with the washi tape.

It is easy to scrapbook the happy memories.  The challenging times are a little more difficult, but I think they may be even more important.  The grace and good humor my son shows handling the 24/7/365 challenges of this disease should be remembered.

He is my hero.

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