Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Gorgeous Cousin and Diabetes

Facebook makes it so easy to put up a short sentence about things that are happening in your life that I sometimes forget I haven't mentioned things here at the blog.

On that note, C2 get thee back to your blog!

My gorgeous cousin (24years old) was just diagnosed with Type II diabetes - that's the juvenile one where she needs to take insulin. Pancreas is shot from what the docs presume was an untreated infection - she works with children and the doc asked her if she had had strep recently. Uh, yeah, check, check and check!

She's been having problems for over a year - can you believe her family doc never had her sugar tested in all that time? Luckily the people she worked with noticed how thirsty she was and how tired she looked. At one point her boss told her she was going to call her mother. Funny that, but I guess they were looking to the family and asking 'aren't you seeing this?!' and none of us did. Aunt N knew the call was going to come as GC had told her so the day her boss sent her home and told her to get to a doc she also called Aunt N.

Meanwhile, for months GC had been going to her family doc and a vitamin D deficiency was diagnosed which had me scratching my head. Then GC fell and sprained her ankle - hospital visit and still, no tests even though GC was clear about the fact that she remembered nothing about the fall or why she was even up walking around. We all noticed her hair was no longer lustrous and was now very thin. There were signs but in January GC's long time boyfriend left and I have to say I thought she was in a depression.

So it was no wonder she was at emergency levels when she went to a walk in clinic where the doc told her she had chronic fatigue syndrome. GC said her eyes rolled so hard she had to pick them up at the side of the room. Luckily that same doc had ordered blood tests and at 11pm at night the phone started ringing off the hook. My Aunt picked up and was told to get GC to the hospital immediately and when they got there the ER peeps were waiting for her.

Scary stuff but oh so glad they finally figured it out! Her sugar was at like 50 (normal range is between 4 and 6) - a few days later they let her go home and whenever I talk to her now she says she feels so alert. That she had felt like she was walking around in a fog for months. Yikes!

She's an ECE (early childcare educator) and works for little money and no benefits and this stuff is expensive. So the family is trying to help her out without getting my Aunt's ire up ;) Aunt N is protective and tries to get us not to spoil GC.

But we do so love to spoil her.

So I'm working on ways to buy the needles and strips and my mom mentioned the other night that she would talk to Aunt N about buying GC her insulin. Last we heard it was 300 a month. GC doesn't have that kind of spare coin laying around at the end of every month. GC is very thrifty and knows how to save money but in January she started an online course to teach kids with Autism. She's hoping to get in at that school level and we're all hoping that will come with a raise and benefits.

Childcare is such a hard thing to wrap my head around. My cousin says she could change diapers in her sleep and she is the most patient young women I've ever met. I, of course, think she should be earning 6 figures but then how would the people who need daycare for the kids so they can go to work, ever afford it.

That's the pure definition of a Catch 22. She is there with people's kids when they cry and want their parents, she's there to teach them shapes and colours, she's there to clean them up and feed them, in the end, she does much more than a teacher (although trust me, I have a healthy respect for teachers) as she also deals with kids with Autism, Down Syndrome, and learning disabilities. There is no division between kids with special needs and those who need less help but just as much nurturing.

Obviously you can tell I love her so much. I told her once that she saved my life and I meant it. She was born when I was 15 and at the height of my panic attacks. GC was born and the family's attention was no longer on me and I was able to settle down. She's the youngest on our side of the family so spoiling her seemed like a right for me. But Aunt N is scary although she is the quietest person on the planet. You know, quiet person, ginormous stick to beat you with. Just saying. Even Bob knows not to wake the peaceful Aunt cause she'll take no prisoners!

Course, that doesn't stop the rest of us from figuring out ways to get GC stuff.

So I'm looking at Canadian Diabetic Cookbooks (American cookbooks measure everything differently than up here - GC's blood meter gives her the reading and no math is needed. Apparently the meters in US read differently and math is a skill set required to figure things out) anyways she showed me the one Canadian cookbook she liked while shopping the other night. Aunt N was looking over my shoulder so grabbing it and running to the cash was not an option. However, ordering the books and having them here when they come for Bob's b-day on Saturday - I mean really, they just showed up and how can she kill me with witnesses?

She can't right?

Hee, hee. I think this is why I get monkeys for gifts, cause I'm always monkeying around with the rules the family tries to get me to live by.

Okay, off to order a couple of books for GC. One is a slow cooker recipe book which I think will be right up my Aunt's cooking aisle.

See, win, win.

If you don't hear from me by Sunday, you'll know she got me.


nath said...

Awww, Cindy. I'm so sorry to hear about your cousin being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes :( But at least, you guys know now!!

And there's a difference between spoiling and taking care of.

Mary G said...

You & Bob have such good hearts.

C2 said...

Aww, sorry about your Gorgeous Cousin. :( And there have been huge strides in treatments that I'm sure will continue.

Also, I blogged twice last week. So there. :-p I haz teh slump so I haven't had much to blog about. I'll try harder, I promise.

CindyS said...

Nath - thanks sweets! I'll drop that nugget of wisdom on my Aunt and see if I can scamper away with everything in tack ;)

Mary G - we don't have kids so we look to the family to see who we can spo- take care of ;)

C2 - off to look at your posts! And hey, you can tell from my blog that it doesn't have to be about reading all the time ;) Cause ah, yeah. Haven't been reading.


~ames~ said...

I'm sorry to hear about your cousin, but glad they discovered why she's been so low. How is she doing now?

CindyS said...

Ames - she's much better but managing the insulin is tough - her sugar spikes at night even when she does everything right. Bob is not on insulin but he has adult onset diabetes and his also spikes at night so it might be just how the body works. I think it's pretty intense but she's in great spirits.

Too bad she showed up with her 'ex' boyfriend who I think is now her 'current' boyfriend yet again. Blergh!