What Saved My Son’s Life

Bedwetting. Yes – it’s what saved my son’s life. It was the first sign that I knew something with my, then, four year old was wrong.

Skylar started wetting the bed in April 2015, and as a four year old boy who had, up to that point, only wet the bed twice, I knew something was up. At first I thought he was acting up, holding it in, because sometimes that’s just what kids do (it’s what he would do, at least). We announced to him that we were expecting a new family member a week prior. I thought, “Oh, this must be the reason,” but after a weeklong span of nightly bedwetting, I knew something was wrong. I made the closest appointment I could to get him checked out, but we never did make it to that appointment before it got very serious.

Skylar started complaining about tummy aches and had slight vomiting. He had a slight fever as well, and his throat seemed to be dry as he kept asking for water. He didn’t feel hungry and my husband and I thought he had the flu. His fever didn’t last long, but his stomach cramps got worse. He was very lethargic, drowsy, and was drinking water like a fish. He would wail in pain, was breathing heavily and rapidly, was at the point where he wasn’t consuming any nutrients, and lost 10 pounds in three days – about one-third of his body weight. I could see the bones in his back, shoulders, and hips, and his legs looked so thin and unhealthy. We probably should’ve taken him in before it got this bad. On Sunday, Mother’s Day morning, the day before his scheduled appointment, we decided to take him into the emergency room. My husband carried him into the emergency room because Skylar couldn’t walk. When the nurse tried to weigh him, he crumbled to the ground, as he couldn’t stand. I just kept thinking, “I’ve never seen my baby this sick before.”

When we were admitted, another nurse came to look at him. She smelled something fruity. She smelled Skylar, then Saffron (my husband), and then me. The fruity odor came from Skylar’s breath. Neither Saffron or I could smell this, but I remember Skylar saying, “What’s that smell?” over and over again in his bed at home. This is caused by diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes within being at the ER for two minutes. If not treated immediately, DKA can lead to diabetic coma and death. We were transferred to a room close to the nurse’s station and the doctor came to see us immediately. I’m so very thankful for that nurse who took such serious action… she helped save my son’s life.

Just a little background on Type 1 Diabetes for those who aren’t familiar with the disease… Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disease where the pancreas does not produce enough of the hormone insulin. Insulin is a hormone that takes sugars (glucose) and move it from the bloodstream into the body’s cells for energy. Without sufficient insulin, the body is unable to process and use glucose to produce the energy that the body needs.

When Skylar was diagnosed, I kept thinking, “I should’ve known.” I soon found out, though, that children who are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes are often admitted to the ER with DKA symptoms as bad as Skylar’s. Symptoms like: Abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, fruity sweet odor in breath, vomiting, drowsiness, and almost to a coma.

Because there are no endocrinologists or diabetes specialists in Alaska (weird, huh?), we were medevac’d to Seattle Children’s Hospital and admitted into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). All of the staff we came across during our transport were simply amazing and so supportive, as were the nurses and doctors we encountered at Seattle Childrens. As hard as it was for both Saffron and I to watch Skylar go through this and feel helpless, we knew he was in the right care. Within a day at the PICU, we noticed an immediate change in Skylar. He was eating. His color was coming back. He was awake and showed interest again. We were out of the PICU on Monday afternoon and into a new hospital room. Saffron and I received intensive training – three long and grueling days of nutrition classes, diabetes information, and learning how to inject insulin into Skylar’s little arms. Skylar’s favorite thing to watch, though, was his mommy and daddy both poking each others fingers and giving each other shots of saline. We spent five days total in Seattle before we headed back to Juneau and were left on our own to care for our little man. We were scared, but I had the endo team on speed-dial and we were in constant communication with them. And we still are because it’s an on-going process.

Upon returning to Juneau, our friends and family were incredibly supportive. We came home to balloons, a clean house, and big hugs. Skylar’s classmates, teachers, and friends had all missed him as well. Before Skylar was sent back to pre-school, though, we needed to sit with the school staff to give them the training we received in Seattle. This was a long and ongoing process as well, but now he’s attending kindergarten in a new school with new friends and such wonderful, supportive nurse, teacher, and staff.

Since then, we’ve gone back to Seattle once (and will again in early October) for Skylar’s clinical visits. Skylar has turned 5 and has finished his first season of outdoor soccer. He still attends birthday parties for friends, and as much as we try to cut sugar, we let him eat cake still. Diabetes is not about giving up sugars, but monitoring them and making sure he’s getting insulin with what carbs he does consume. We don’t let him go crazy, but will occasionally allow him chocolate milk with his lunch or a scoop of ice cream for dessert. I firmly believe that kids should be allowed to be kids, and diabetes shouldn’t put a damper on it. We make sure our family eats healthy and stays healthy with activity and a balanced diet. A little sugar every now and then won’t hurt.

Soccer

Life has completely changed for our family. Saffron coached soccer and when I didn’t have energy to keep up with Skylar, he’d be there to make sure he gets the physical activity he needs. He’s been there for every teacher and nurse meeting, assisted the pre-school’s assistants with monitoring blood sugars and insulin doses, working full-time, and still makes time for the family. I’m waking up every night to check blood sugar while Skylar sleeps, packing lunches and managing food requirements, in constant communication with the school nurse, and focusing on a full-time career, all while pregnant. Being a parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes is exhausting.

We’re super-parents, and I’m not ashamed to say it.

There are still a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to Type 1 Diabetes. While currently there is no cure, research is ongoing and I really feel they are getting close.

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Oh Happy Day!

Even if you aren’t big on holidays, today is a day I hope you will celebrate. It’s International Day of Happiness! It’s also the first day of spring (well, here in northern hemisphere anyway) and it’s a Friday! Plus, if you are a book and movie nerd like I am, you’ll also know its the first day that Insurgent is playing in theaters. Can this day get any better?

In honor of this day, I “challenge” you to practice this list below (and encourage you to do them more often in your daily life, as well):

  • Call up a friend or a loved one that you haven’t heard from in awhile.
  • Share a smile with a stranger.
  • Donate to a good cause or volunteer at a local shelter/food bank/nonprofit.
  • Tell your loved ones how much you love and appreciate them.
  • Surprise someone.
  • Send a card or a letter to someone who has made a significant impact in your life and tell them how much you appreciate their support.
  • Count your blessings – at the end of the day, reflect on the things you are grateful for.
  • Be a good friend to someone who is having a hard time.
  • Have a good laugh.
  • Meditate for five minutes.
  • Move your body – go for a run, join a yoga class, go swimming, etc.
  • Enjoy nature.
  • Pay someone a compliment.

The above are just a few small things you can do to boost your happiness and to spread happiness. Remember: Happiness is by choice, not by chance.

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Have a very HAPPY day. #HAPPYDAY

– Traci

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Be healthy. Be fit. Just be.

Want to live a healthier lifestyle? Need to boost that metabolism or increase your energy? Need guidance from a celebrity trainer? Don’t forget to sign up for the FREE Automatic Body program, which is available on the web through www.automaticbody.com OR through their new and improved app for iPhone and Android! Automatic Body is a program designed by celebrity trainer, Kim Lyons, to create easy, healthy habits and implement one small change per week to make it work!

Oh right… the FREE part…. just follow the simple instructions in the photo below and start today!

promo

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Automatic Body Promo Code = FREE ACCESS!!!!

I am extremely excited to share my fit “secret” with all of you! Within the past year, I’ve lost 38 pounds by not only staying active and attempting to eat healthier, but by increasing my healthy habits one week at a time through the Automatic Body program through Nutrie.

I’d like to tell you a little bit more about my experience with Nutrie and the Automatic Body program.

I heard about the Automatic Body program last November from my friend, Carrie, who was as excited to share the information as I currently am. She told me a little bit about the products and the website, and I thought it was just another one of the weight loss gimmicks. I tried a sample of the Skinne shot and instantly noticed a difference in my energy and my metabolism. At that point, Nutrie hadn’t come out with the Automatic Body app for iPhone and Android, but I browsed the website and noticed that a lot of people were having amazing results – losing 40, 50, even 100 pounds by simply following this program, which allows people to create healthy habits by incorporating one new healthy habit per week. I’ve lost 38 pounds within the past year and I feel so much more fit and energetic than I have in over 4 years.

I have an amazing and exciting announcement for those who may want to lose a little weight, gain energy, or maybe just focus on your health overall. I got off the phone earlier today with the Founder of Nutrie, Aaron Parkinson, who gave me my own promo code to give out to people who would like to try the Automatic Body program for FREE! All you have to do is visit www.automaticbody.com, click the green “Promo Code” button and Enter: TRACIJOY

Then get started! It’s THAT easy!

This promo code will give you access to all of the resources that Automatic Body has to offer – the program that focuses on one small healthy change per week, nutrition and recipes, motivation from others going through the same program on the Buzz posting board, website access, access to the app for Android or iPhone, and so so SO much more!

​www.tracihayes.automaticbody.com

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Tuesday Challenge

Today, I challenge myself and YOU to read for 30 minutes today. You can read whatever you like, preferably something of your choice for pleasure (not work related). I challenge you to find a book that you’ve been putting off or have been wanting to read, and start today. 30 minutes is not very long and is very beneficial to you. Here are a few benefits that I see in myself when I read on a daily basis:

  1. Reading reduces stress: I’ve taken the time to pick-up a book that I enjoy or that I’ve been looking forward to reading, and my thoughts and stresses from the day tend to drift away. It’s an easy distraction from a hectic day.
  2. Increases tranquility: I always tend to feel more calm when I’m reading for pleasure.
  3. The more I read, the more my son wants to read. It’s so important to encourage children to read, and when they see their parents read, it influences them to do so, as well. Take time to read together as a family, or set aside a period of time to each read your own books.
  4. Reading can help ease depression: I always feel a little happier when I read.
  5. Reading enhances your social life: I can always go into a party and ask, “Have you read any good books lately?” Then it opens up the conversation to allow me to describe what I’ve been reading.
  6. Reading is sexy. I shouldn’t even have to explain this one.
  7. Reading increases vocabulary: Especially important for winning Scrabble games
  8. Reading strengthens the brain, sharpens the memory, and makes the mind stronger.
  9. Reading improves my writing skills.
  10. Reading helps me sleep better.

read!

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I Refuse to Complain!

Every wonderful blog posting starts off with “I found this on Facebook!” right? Well, in this case, it’s true. I did find this on Facebook, but it inspired me to take a better look at myself, my actions, and how it affects the people around me. I found this from ‘Like’-ing a page called SimpleReminders.com. The first thing that came into my newsfeed from them was this:

Refuse to complain. Complaining is just a way of not taking responsibility, justifying doing nothing, and programming yourself to fail. Complaining creates the illusion that you have done something. Instead, pour your energy into improving your situation. When you find ways to be productive and maintain a sense of optimism, you demonstrate that you are in control of your own life.

Complainers focus on what has happened, and give up their power. Winners focus on making things happen, and using their power to find solutions to their challenges. You were born to create something magnificent with your life! Solution-based thinking gives you that power. You Deserve!

—Les Brown

I thought long and hard about how my complaining is affecting my life. Where could I be now if I just complained a little less each day or each week? Ever heard the saying, “Small steps lead to big results.” You can take this saying and apply it to almost anything you want to change in your life. My complaining affects my son, my husband, my friends, family, coworkers….. everyone that I choose to be around.

Secondly, I thought about how I usually feel when others complain to me or in my direction. Maybe they are just letting off steam or need someone to listen to (I’m a really good listener most of the time). It really doesn’t feel good to be complained to, especially if the someone that is doing the complaining has the tendency to complain a lot of the time you’re around them. When people complain to me, I find that they slowly suck all of my optimism out until I have their sympathy, until I’m at their level…. until I’m the one complaining.

So, what should I do about it? What should we all do about it? Refuse to complain.

When I start to complain, I’m going to remind myself of my bad habit. I’m going to try to look around me and find the happiness in the little things. I’m going to remind myself to take a step back, reflect on the situation, and remember that my complaints are not only affecting myself, but they affect those I interact with. To keep myself on track, I challenge myself to start a journal. Every time I feel I need to complain, I write down my complaint followed by a positive comment. I challenge you to do the same.

Happiness

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Monday Motivation!

Here’s a little bit of motivation to start your Monday (and week) out right.

Today, I’d like you to do these three things…

1. Smile! (You never know who might be watching)

2. Drink one more glass of water (because it’s good for you)

3. Do one thing that gets you one step closer towards your current goal.

Enjoy your day! Don’t forget to be amazing!

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Hump Day Encouragement #1

Happy Hump Day! I guess we’ll see how far Hump Day Encouragement goes. It could be one post for today. I could have a weekly hump day encouragement post (hey, that might be fun!). Let’s just start with today and see where life takes us, shall we?

Empower
Nurture
C
reativity
Opportunity
Unique
Respect
Appreciation
Goals
Endurance

May these words motivate you throughout your day today.

And remember…..

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