Dennis Burton's Develop Using .NET

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Tags: diabetes

On October 4th and October 10th, my family will be participating in fund raising walks to raise money for research into better management, and someday a cure, for diabetes. Similar to many of the technical conferences I attend, these events provide a great place to get tips and tricks, and to share stories of shared experiences. As parents, we walk away from these events refreshed with new ideas and comforted that our struggles are shared. It is also a good place for my son Drew to be around other kids who have diabetes--a place where it is not unusual to do a blood sugar test before lunch.

Since last year, Drew has now moved on to first grade. He has become a voracious reader, loves launching model rockets, riding his bike, and of course, pestering his little brother. He lives a very full life, just like any other 6 year old boy, with a bit more ceremony around eating, exercise, and bedtime. One of his favorite activities is driving, whether it is Power Wheels, the lawn tractor, or popping dad’s car out of gear and releasing the emergency brake for a fun-filled ride into the ditch; he relishes every minute behind the wheel. As any 6 year old should, he now knows the tune to The Victors and most of the words. In short, this little guy does not let anything keep him from enjoying being a kid.

Through all of the cake and ice cream ridden birthday parties, hormone changes, and marathon play sessions, control has been pretty good so far this year. The last three A1c readings have been at 7.1%. The goal that we have been given by the endocrinologist is 8%. We try very hard, as parents, to learn and teach how to deal with life with diabetes so that Drew will have all the knowledge he needs to significantly reduce the risk of common complications. Through events like this walk, my hope is that in my lifetime, management of this disease will not be a 24/7 activity. If you would like to help support us in this endeavor, you can sponsor our team here:

JDRF Team Donation Page

Tags: diabetes
I thought a long time about whether or not to put this blog entry on my tech blog. This is by no means a technical post, but it relates to a very important issue for my family.

The Event
On October 12, 2008 American Diabetes Association will be having a fundraiser walk to raise money for "research, information and advocacy efforts and its mission: to prevent and cure diabetes". This year my family will be participating in the walk and could use your support.

I have set up a team named after my oldest son who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Nov 26, 2007. There are two ways to help. From this link click on Join Team to walk with us in Ann Arbor or click on a member of the team to sponsor that walker. Note that any donations are going directly to ADA. ADA will send out the necessary information for the tax deduction.

Our Story
On Nov 26, 2007 the lives of our family were changed significantly. On that date, our oldest son (4 years old at the time) was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The result of this is that blood sugar levels are checked around 8 times a day. Every carbohydrate consumed is counted. There is a set of ever changing ratios to determine how much insulin is required to try to ensure that the carbs just eaten do not make the blood sugar levels too high and that the insulin levels do not make the blood sugar levels go to low. It is a very delicate balance given the ever changing metabolism, hormones, and activity levels of a boy that age. 

Prior to August, every day included 2 shots of long term insulin as well as 3 shots of short term insulin that went with meals and usually 1 shot for correcting things that did not go according to plan. So our brave little boy had 6 shots a day for nearly a year. In August we became eligible for insulin pump therapy. So rather than 6 shots a day, he now has an infusion set every 3 days that stays attached 24/7. Hard to believe that a 5 year old would be excited about having something stuck under his skin perpetually, but one injection vs 18 shots works out to be a good deal. As it turns out, the pump also has much finer grained dosages that enable much better control.

As of today, my son has started kindergarten and has an A1c of 6.9%. An A1c of below 7% reduces risk of complications by 40%, and they only hope to get to 8% in a child of that age. So in spite of all of the challenges facing this little guy, he is doing very well. I am very excited to see where life takes him. Through events like this, diabetes management technology has come a very long way in a short period of time. I hope that in my lifetime I can see a day where constant 24/7 management of this disease is a thing of the past.

Dennis Burton

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