First things first - here's a hearty Type One Warrior "Happy New Year!" to you and your wonderful families!
We hope that 2020 is going to be a great year despite all the highs and lows that accompany life with Type One Diabetes! Sorry (not sorry) about the delay but we've been living it up in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains for the past week with very little cell reception!
In our family, at the start of every year we pick a word or theme to live by for the upcoming year. We've never really exercised this for our little Type One Warrior endeavours but this year we decided we should give it a bash and perhaps provide ourselves a platform that has more direction... We mulled over this for a few days and decided on a theme that might sound simple, but in actuality is all encompassing and can mean so many things.
Our theme for 2020 is "pursuing normalcy".
You might be sitting there thinking we've gone out of our way and over extended ourselves by choosing a goal that is far too easy and simple but if you really have a good think about it, normal can mean so many different things and needs a bit of decision making in a way - deciding what is normal for us?
Rowan and I discussed ten goals, each with their own set of micro goals that will ultimately serve as our measure in our pursuit of normalcy this year. We've listed them below.
Pursuing normalcy : 10 goals for 2020
Normal for us, this year, is all encompassing. We want to spend more time outdoors, we want to have tighter control over Harrison's blood glucose trends, we want to focus on creating more Type One Warrior friendly meals, we want Type One Warrior to grow as a community, we'd love to meet more Type 1 kids, and help more families affected by Type 1... there is just so much - and we want this all to be our normal!
This is in no particular order but here is our list of 10 goals we'd like to achieve this year!
Goal 1 : Improving Harrison's time-in-range and ultimately achieving an HBA1C of 6.5% or lower. Last year was all about the pump for us, and getting used to using this amazing device in the day-to-day management of Harrison's levels. For those who are not sure what a pump is, in brief, it is a small insulin-delivery device that is attached to Harrison's body and delivers the insulin that his body needs. We use it in tandem with a constant-glucose-monitor device so the full set up is like a replacement pancreas - since his no longer works. We have Harrison hooked up to the Medtronic Minimed 640G. It is an incredible system and is quite a change from having to have given 6 to 7 injections daily to now only having to change the pump site every 3 days.
Ok, back to the goal. The HBA1C is an indicator of how well you manage your Type 1 Diabetes, involving everything from what you eat, what your corresponding boluses (insulin doses) are, sick treatment, activity levels, stress levels, even the weather. We speak about time-in-range and this really refers to the healthy blood glucose level range we would like to keep Harrison in for as much time as possible. In our family this range is between 4 and 10 mmol/L.
Harrison is only 4 years old and this range will become narrower as he gets older. Because he couldn't possibly manage this all by himself, we, as his parents, are laying the foundation for a tighter control that is only going to benefit him and the decisions he makes as he grows older.
Goal 2 : Contributing more to our Type One Warrior Pantry. I seemed to achieve a lot of things during my maternity leave last year including collaborating with Fran Steart, a registered dietitian with a keen interest in Type 1 Diabetes and creating our Type One Warrior Pantry. When I headed back to work it all but fizzled out and this year we plan to get it up and running again - this time with more direction and purpose. My goal is to contribute at least 2 Type One Warrior friendly recipes a month.
Goal 3 : Getting outdoors. Along with wanting to spend more time outdoors this year, we want to become more active outdoors. So - while we would love to laze the day away in a garden chair as much as the next set of parents with two busy kids, we want to be more present with them outdoors. So more family walks and learning about nature together. In the pipeline here are lists and lists of cool outdoor activities which we will definitely be sharing because let's be honest - we could all do with a little inspiration, especially after a long week at work.
Goal 4, 5 and 6 : (4) We would like to grow Type One Warrior as a community and as a by-product hopefully (5) meet more families with Type 1 kids, and (6) be able to help more families affected by Type 1 Diabetes.
Part and parcel with goals 4, 5 and 6 is goal 7 : We would love to organise a camping trip with a few Type One Warrior families.
Goal 8 : More adventure. This year we are all about getting our camping game on again. Now that our youngest son is a year old (next week), we are feeling a bit more confident to venture out into the great unknown and experience more of the wild terrain our country has to offer. Camping is definitely going to be a norm in our family - Rowan and I were both raised loving camping and with our kids it will not differ - we hope. Our goal this year is to go on at least 6 camping trips, even if they're very local. The point is to escape from all the tech and gadgets and expose our kids to the outdoors and another way of life outside of working and living just for the weekends. We're very keen to share just how we travel and cope with Type 1 Diabetes as well - to show other Type One Warrior families that it actually is possible!
Goal 9 : Less hypos, and less treating with sweets. I suppose this could be lumped in under our first goal of tighter control over Harrison's time-in-range but I think with hypoglycaemia being the more immediately dangerous blood glucose trend requiring fast acting sugar to get his levels back up, it warrants a spot on the list. We tend to reach for sweeties as our go-to pick me up for Harrison when he is going low. Sometimes it's an available fruit or juice box, but more often than not we use wine gums or jelly babies.
Goal 10 : Type One Warrior Veggie Patch. Most of you know that we have a veggie patch at home. We have had it for the past 3 years and every year our yield improves a little more. The soil has never been 100% so we have had to make the decision now to actually work this little patch of land a little better in order for it to work better for us. We're dubbing it the Type One Warrior Veggie Patch because this is where we love spending a lot of our time as a family, and where we are trying to make a point of having much more available to Harrison to enjoy as a snack on a whim: like pulling up a carrot, or picking off some sugar snap peas or white currant tomatoes to snack on.
Have you set some goals this year...?