Monday, September 28, 2009

Plan if you can!

Best. Weekend. Ever!

It was relaxing, fun and exciting all rolled into one! My husband and I haven’t laughed so much in months. We went to North Shore and gambled just a little, we went to South Shore and rode the gondola to the top of a mountain; we stopped at every turn off to enjoy the view, took small hikes and took A MILLION pictures. And I don’t want to go into any gory details or anything, but one night…we stayed up past midnight!

The best part of all…when I checked in with my fam to see how the boys were…

DRUM ROLL PLEASE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

They were awesome! Great numbers, no broken pumps, no ripped out sets…all was well! (Hello! Prayer works!)

I came home, and believe it or not, they were all alive!

Let this be a lesson to you! (You out there in Mommy D-Blog Land…) If I can get away and my children live…you are THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY to have an equally positive result.

So plan if you can! Because it is well worth it! Yes, you will have a meltdown before you leave, and yes, the first 24 hours won’t 100% count because you’ll be filled with guilt and anxiety…but after that, you will find a peace that will fortify your soul.

One last thing…

If you do get away…

And you feel relaxed and happy…

When you come home…Don’t think that you’ll have this whole new appreciation for your life, and that diabetes will suck less…because that just doesn’t happen. You will come home and everything will return to pretty much the same ol’ same ol’ as when you left. Sure, the first few days you will have a tad more patience and understanding…but the afterglow doesn’t last long. This is a lesson I have learned over the years and I feel as though I should pass it along. I have come home from many a trip expecting that I would look at things through rose colored glasses, but after reality sets in, this is often not the case.

I’m not saying this to be a downer, I am just sayin’…if you get away…enjoy the moment, EVERY SWEET MOMENT! If you spend your entire trip worried and filled with anxiety then it will all have been for not.

I let diabetes go for four wonderful, glorious days…and I appreciated ever single last second of it. I feel like I’m Bragity McBragton. For those of you who can’t get away right now...I feel for you…I’ve been there… Ryan and I spent a good 10 years without a break. But your time will come…and when it does…NIRVANA!

(Okay, I am totally aware of the fact that I overuse these…, (dot, dot, dot.) I can’t stop using them…and I am starting to annoy myself with it…in fact I am certain I don’t even use them properly…sorry…It’s a bad habit. I would say I am going to try to stop using (…) But, I have no idea how to even begin to stop using them…I think I love them…)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Panic Attack

I'm losing it.

I am so overwhelmed with my life that I think I could cry for weeks. This kind of thing happens when you are writing out instructions about the boys schedules for the next four days.

"What? Writing out your schedule?" you ask.

My husband and I are SUPPOSED to leave this afternoon for a relaxing/romantic/much needed vacation to a cabin in Lake Tahoe. Four days of quiet. Four days of regrouping. I have family staying with the boys, and they are totally smart about what the boys need...but I'm having a panic attack.

Two field trips tomorrow, soccer, birthday parties, HOMECOMING parades, games and dances. This is just a sampling of what is going on this weekend. A daunting schedule for any 4 children, but 4 children that include 3's lunacy!

And I'm leaving.

I have to pack now. I want to rant and worry out loud more, but if I don't get off my behind and get out of here before the kids get home from school, I might not get out of here at all until the morning...and no one wants that...not even the boys. They can't wait to PARTY with out me and my husband around.

Anyway, if you are the praying type,could you throw some prayers our way for safe boys, safe parents and a smooth weekend diabetes wise? We could use the help. Thanks. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Diabetes Elevator

We have frequent flyer miles on the Diabetes Roller Coaster. Some days our blood sugar numbers fly all over the place with no rhyme or reason. Up, down, around and through tunnels of confusion we ride the coaster until one, or even all of us, just wants to throw up! Generally, we hold on tight and try to control the ride as much as possible. We try to make the steep ride up not too chilling and the drops not too frightening. We try to mold it into more of baby roller coaster. Like the kinds that they have at the county fair or at Toon Town in Disney Land.

But lately, our little L has been riding the Diabetes Elevator. His blood sugars will slowly begin to go up and, even with a correction, he’ll continue to creep up more. Kind of like, you pushed the button and now it has to go up, no matter how much you want it to go down! Slow and steady, annoying elevator music in my brain included.

When we finally get his numbers to start to go down it takes FOREVER! The elevator doors open and close painfully slow; it lets other people on, AND THEN...slowly... floor by floor, it makes its descent. It’s been a few days now and all I can say is “Get us off this elevator from hell!” I can only assume his correction ratio needs tweaking and I’ll be calling my endo and working out a plan today. But the reason I haven’t jumped on this sooner is that B has been having the same problem at night too. Between 9 and 1am they both rise, corrections and all. (After 1:00am, B’s sugars will sweetly obey the correction while L patiently rides that elevator down.) We first had to go through all the different scenarios:
Is the insulin bad?
Were the sets inserted wonky?
Have we been feeding them foods that won’t cooperate with bedtime basals?
We’ve been using the recalled sets for so long, now that we are using the new ones do they operate differently?

No, after 4 days of this, and many set changes, it seems that they are BOTH undergoing growth sprits, or some kind of change requiring basal changes and so forth. J has been my constant. His blood sugars have been a-ok.

When you have one child who is REALLY high and the other two are in range it takes the sting out a little. You can put feelings of despair aside and help the high child as much as possible. It sucks for sure, but you can’t get down too much because, look, the two others are ok...I’m not a COMPLETE failure or anything.

But when TWO are high…and one of the nights ALL THREE WERE SUPER HIGH…It makes me feel, well, I can’t really write it without swearing, but I’m sure you can just imagine.

Anyway, we’ll figure it out. We always do. I’m just sucking at being a pancreas this week and wanted to put out there that I officially hate elevators now…and roller coasters for that matter.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Give it a looksie!

Just a quick post about this FANTASTIC blog I just found.

For those of you who don't know, (which is probably everyone other than my immediate family,) I am OBSESSED with my slow cooker lately.

Throw things in it in the morning. The house smells great all day and PRESTO! Dinner is magically ready in the evening and I can still help the kids with their homework! AWESOME!

The blog is:
A Year of Slow Cooking
(Much like Julie and Julia.)

But let me tell ya the best part. Every one of her recipes are gluten free! AND she has a cookbook coming out in October. No, we are not a gluten free family, (fingers crossed, praying as I write this...) But I know many diabetic families are. So ENJOY!

Disclaimer: My apologies if this site and book are already totally blog-world-wide -known, and the fact that I have been living under a rock in my super self absorbed diabetic world kept me from the already extremely old information.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Swimming in happy. :)

I was really close to taking “happy mommy pills” once.

So. Close.

I was at the ob/gyn and I was sitting on the table in my gown, tears puddling in the corner of my eyes. I told her everything. I told her that I never felt normal, (whatever that is.) I told her that I cried at everything. That my life was uber-diabetic and that I wasn’t suicidal or anything, but my kids deserved more than they were getting. I didn’t want to be a robot mom. I didn’t want to have “bad days” anymore. I was in such a sorry state. She, in her own sweet way, told me I SO needed happy pills… but I fought it. “Maybe,” I pleaded, “maybe my hormones are off and some birth control pills would even things out.” She agreed it could be a possibility, but contended, no one would fault me if I needed a little “help.” We ultimately decided on the birth control pills and I promised I would call her if they didn’t help. I remember our conversation like it was yesterday. She so understood. She hugged me in the end and gave me a measure of empathy that just made me feel really validated.

A little catch up… I don’t NEED birth control pills for actual birth control. My husband took one for the team on that one. Another thing is we were losing our Kaiser insurance the next month and I knew I wouldn’t be able to return to this sweet doctor even if I wanted to. Also, anti-depressants scare me. I know they can help me; I absolutely, positively know it! But, I also know that SOMETIMES they make you feel worse before they make you feel better. And I am too much of a wimp to even fathom that.

So, I started the birth control pills…and vomited for a month. They made me so sick, which is so weird, because I had taken them many times before. But, by the forth week, I had to stop. And I had no doctor. So I just endured the sadness.

And it’s been a long two years since then. And I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I DID have a “little help.”

Why the TMI? A lot of information you don’t need to hear me say? Because today…for the first time in a VERY, VERY, VERY long time…



Not like I haven’t felt good or happy EVER, but it’s just really hard to explain.

I’m singing today. I’m so full of happiness and gratitude, and the weights that sit stubbornly on my shoulder have lightened. I FEEL different. I can’t stop talking. I am sincerely, positively, super Okay today. If I had to pick one word it would be, “light.”

I wanted to over share with you all because I think part of this happiness has to do with my connections with all of you. Yes, YOU! You, who read this. And you, who’s blogs I read. Like the sweet ob/gyn, your comments and your blogs make me feel validated. They make me understand that my feelings, my fears, and my confusion are not unfounded. Writing this blog has also helped me tremendously. It feels good to get it all down, and it forces me to look on the bright side of things.

Tomorrow? We will have to see. But I wanted to acknowledge to the world, to the heavens, that I feel amazing, and I appreciate it…even if it is for a little while.

I don’t want you to think I don’t have a good life. Au contraire mon frere, I have a GREAT life! And I have happy all around me. It’s just nice, for once, to be immersed in the happy.

Literally…swimming in happy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

This just in…Aliens hate us!

What the heck!? What is happening to this world?

NO…What HAS happened to this world?

I often wonder what would happen if an alien spaceship landed on earth to observe the culture of the human race. Would they be fascinated or just utterly disgusted?

I’m pretty sure the expression on their faces would be remarkably similar to the horror struck look I had while I was watching the MTV music awards last night. (Hello, Kanye West catastrophe!)

I am also convinced that they would have echoed my, ”Oh no she didn’t!”, while watching Serena Williams threaten to shove the tennis ball down the line judges throat in the US Open yesterday. And moreover, I am most certain they would think tennis is a sport only for those with God Complex’s if they watched John Federer, hours ago, swearing to the judge that he won’t shut up and will ask a F-ing question whenever he wants to.

Why the anger people?

While driving today, I came to a four way stop, twice. Both times someone went before it was their turn. BOTH times they looked angry…muttering quiet annoyances out of the side of their mouths, hunched over, as if channeling Lemony Snicket.

The last straw was the mail man FLINGING our three packages of test strips onto the porch. I ran out and said thank you…he grunted. He didn’t look back! He didn’t even respond! Okay, I do concede that we have a history. He gave me a disheveled, ripped, almost unrecognizable package at Christmas that was filled with postage stickers. (Not the Nintendo game that I had ordered.) So yes, I hunted him down and asked him as nicely as possible to tell me what he was thinking, giving that package to me. It could have been a bomb…Well it could have! Two weeks later he didn’t take my letters out of my mailbox. The flag was up. He just shoved in my new mail and walked away. I had to hunt him down again. (I fully acknowledge that I was probably very rude to this man, will the madness ever end?!) To be fair, that is probably why he doesn’t talk to me. But rude is rude. And there was just too much of it the last 24 hours!

I am going to go out on a limb and declare that Aliens would hate us! But unfortunately, they probably wouldn’t get much of a chance to show us their disdain. We would surely shoot them down before they ever got a chance to show us their lighted fingers and ask us to phone home. We’re totally rude that way.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Friendly Fire

So the other day I yelled to the boys to check their sugars. What? You don’t do this? Sit on the couch and yell, “So and so, check your sugar!” This is a regular occurrence in our house. The dog alerts and I call in the troops. “The dog alerted, Check your sugar!” Usually the kids jump up and do it. The only complaints I get is when I ask one to check L for me sometimes. Even then it’s usually not much of a complaint, just a gentle grunt or sigh. L can check his sugar himself, but he is still shaky and doesn’t reliably clean his finger well enough for me to trust the number.

So, again, the other day I did my yell and the kids filed into their bedroom to do their checks. J was first. He came out and announced some blood sugar and then ran off to finish his video game. B did the same and began to run off when I stopped him…”B! Will you check L for me?” (Grunt…sigh…) “Okay Mom.” (They totally know better than to complain, it doesn’t get them anywhere.)

So B goes back to the bedroom where I hear this conversation take place.

B- “Give me your finger.”


B-“NO! This one!”

L- “NO! That’s the ouchie one, do this one.”

B-“Look at me L! I HAVE to use this one.”

L-“I told you B, that is the ouchie one!”

B-“You have no choice. I HAVE to check your sugar, and it HAS to be that one!”

This is when I heard struggling and a small shriek. I walked in to B holding L down with his pinky in his hand and L yelling, “Not he ouchie one, not the ouchie one!”

Me- “B! What on earth are you doing? Get off your brother!”

B- “Mom it’s his fault he wouldn’t let me poke his pinky!”

Me- “For cryin’ out loud B, Why do you have to use his pinky?”

B- “Because the pinky is the cleanest one, it always is.”

Me-“Why couldn’t you use an alcohol swab here and use the finger he wanted?”

B- “Mom, I know the pinky hurts, but it just hurts for ONE SECOND and I want to play my video game!”

The whole thing seemed so crazy because usually my kids are pretty mellow. I do understand that brothers will have their fights and disagreements, but to see them in combat over THIS was…I don’t know...another testament to our diabetic life. In any other household, a brother holding down a diabetic brother forcing him to let him use his pinky would be cruel and heart breaking. In our house it takes on an entire other connotation. To them, there was nothing out of the ordinary about it what so ever. I think that may be a blessing. My boys are growing up in a home where dealing with their diabetes is a normal way of life. There is no feeling “different.” There is no inclination to hide their condition. There is no poor me. We have a built in support group, for better or for worse, and that is, in my own twisted way, something I am thankful for.

P.S. B did get a little lecture of the golden rule, and I have been sure to ask B to check L only when I REALLY need him to. He is 7 after all. And also, just because M isn’t diabetic doesn’t mean he is exempt from helping out with L too. He checks L’s sugars for me as well, but not surprisingly, L prefers B or J to do it instead.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Proud Meri

Kudos to Wendy for pointing out that having three little boys with Juvenile Diabetes qualifies me as having an "Underlying Condition." I totally love that.

My little diabetics have had such a great week, I had to give a quick shout out to their wonderfulness.

In L's kindergarten class I did a little spiel about Luke's diabetes and our medical alert dog Lawton. Okay, so 90% of it was about the dog, but 5 year olds can't concentrate on words like "insulin" and "blood sugar numbers" when an adorable yellow lab is smiling right in front of them. L was amazing though. When I told them about his pump he spontaneously jumped up, took out his pump and proceeded to go up and down each line of seated children to give them an up close and personal look at his hardware. He also did this with his blood sugar monitor and with the "doggie licence" that Lawton carries around that gives us permission to take him into stores and restaurants.

J has surprisingly been very accommodating when I asked him to check L's blood sugar for me during snack recess. I asked him to do it twice so far in a week and he each time he said, "Sure Mama, consider it done." Huh? Usually he wants some kind of reward, an allowance or assurance that sometime in the future he'll be repaid in kind. Not this week though. The best part of all is I think he is really sincere about it. He genuinely seems happy to help.

B. Oh my sweet sweet B knocked it out of the park this week. I was volunteering in L's class and realized about 10:45 that B hadn't called me before snack recess with his number and carb amount for his snack. I was able to sneak out of L's class just before 11 and ran into B's class on their way to get their school pictures taken. "You forgot to call me..." I said. "Nope, I called." said Ben. His teacher backed him up. "I was witness to it, he couldn't get hold of you." (Turns out he called my home number and not my cell, but that's neither here nor there...) "Well what was your sugar?" I inquired. "I was 146, I corrected my self and gave myself 15 carbs for my pringles."

Hold the phone here!
My 7 year old son figured on 15 carbs for his snack. Was the carb number on the packaging...NO!

"How did you know how many carbs to give?" I gawked.

"It just seemed like the right amount."
He was so nonchalant about was ridiculously surreal.

Now Lawton. He has been an alerting machine. He alerted me in L's kindergarten classroom while I was volunteering. "He's all the way across the room," his teacher wondered. "He can smell that far away?" He also alerted us to J's 49 after school yesterday, (which J said he didn't even feel,) AND he woke me up this morning to alert me to B's 55.

Brag Brag Brag...My boys rock.

Wait a minute...did I just do a Thankful Thursday post with out even meaning to? Wow Shamae, I had no idea you were such a big influence on me! :)

Have a wonderful holiday weekend everyone!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

If life is like a box of chocolates, why do we always get the coconuts.

Sometimes our family feels like the Forest Gump of diabetes. Everything happens to us. Having a diabetic dilemma? We’ve most likely gone through it. Feeling a new emotion about diabetes? We’ve probably felt it. So it should come as no surprise that our family was visited by the much publicized and dreaded swine flu this summer. We were struck near the end of June, so we are far enough away from the outbreak that I can write about it now. Right after we finished up with treatment I made the mistake of telling a few people that we had it, and let’s just say I didn’t get the warm fuzzies I was hoping for. I know there is a lot of angst in the diabetic community over this flu, so I’m throwing my family under the bus and announcing…WE HAD THE SWINE FLU!

Some of you might have read that J went to scout camp in June with my son M. My husband tagged along for the first few days to settle J in and then returned home on a Wednesday. Friday we picked up the boys, Sunday J and my husband were showing symptoms. Ryan’s stomach was off and J was coughing and also had no interest in eating. By Monday morning they both were in full force. Coughing, sick to their stomachs and fevers of 102. Monday night J complained of a sore throat. It wasn’t until then that I thought it might be THE flu. I looked online for a list of symptoms and sure enough, J had them all! Most people have just one or two of the symptoms, but not my little diabetic.

I called the doctor the next morning. I read that you have 2-3 days from the onset of symptoms to begin the Tamiflu or you are on your own. My doctor and I have a pretty good understanding. He believes everything I tell him and I believe he always has the best interest of my children in mind. (He went to med school with our Endo, so we’re tight.) He said, “If it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.” The only problem was he was not authorized to prescribe Tamiflu. He needed permission from the head of infectious diseases, and that man was holding onto their supply with an iron fist. He hung up not hopeful we would get any, but promised to call me back. It wasn’t 15 minutes later that he called back with the news…Tamiflu for J! And the cherry on top…Tamiflu for B and L who hadn’t shown any symptoms yet. (Only because they were diabetic. M and my husband and I were left to fend for ourselves.) We picked up the prescriptions and J went in for his swab to see if it in fact was the same kind of flu as the H1N1. By this time he was puking. I cannot tell you how sad a sight it is to see your son in the doctor’s office wrenching over a garbage can. J’s test result came back positive as Influenza A, the same TYPE of flu as the swine flu. They did not go further to send our sample out to confirm it. As the swine flu was so prevalent in our community, if it was deemed Influenza A, then they were 95% sure that is was in fact the swine flu.

J got better just 3 days after he began his Tamiflu. The doctor also gave him anti nausea meds that you put under your tongue which really helped. L and B took their Tamiflu and never got the flu at all. M never got it either. My husband got better in 4 days without meds. I got it right when everyone else started feeling better, and I do not feel melodramatic when I say I almost died from the thing. For some reason I got it 10 times worse than J and my husband.

The first couple days it was just a cough and fever. Totally manageable. But on the forth night I began to go downhill. High fever, constant coughing and the worst part, nausea. I spent the weekend getting worse by the minute and by Monday I was in the most pathetic shape of my life. “Shoot me,” I begged my husband. “Smother me with a pillow…something!” I went to the doctor that morning. It was all a blur. I could barely walk and I was in that place where you feel so miserable it is hard to concentrate on the world around you, kind of’ like a cocoon of misery. Fortunately I have a different health plan than the boys, and this doctor threw the Tamiflu at me even though I had had symptoms for 6 days. (Along with anti-nausea meds, antibiotics for my ear infection and drops for the pain in my ear.) I think I was allergic to one of the meds because my nausea became worse that week. I called the doctor begging him to let me stop taking them, but he insisted I finish my 5 day course. Once I finished it took a couple days, but I began to feel a little better day by day.

The first day I dared venture out of the house to my parents; there was news of a 38 year old man in our county that had died from the flu. He just didn’t wake up one morning. He had asthma when he was a kid and the news touted that as an UNDERLYING condition. I think they just say that to make everyone feel better… everyone but families that do deal with underlying conditions. These families are just left to worry. I really feel like that could have been my name in the headline. I have no UNDERLYING conditions. I think the complications just need the right conditions and that could be anyone. A young teenager died last week in our county. She had surgery on her heart when she was 3 days old, and since has been declared at every doctor appointment to be in perfect health. But when she passed away, the newspapers again shouted, UNDERLYING CONDITIONS. Her family spoke up and said they didn’t think that was fair to say that, and I am thankful to them for doing so.

I always try to end on a positive note. So, on the bright side, we were told that J will probably be immune from the other strains of swine flu that will be coming this fall. Also, because M, B, and L were exposed to it, they may be immune as well. B and L will still be first in line for the vaccine, but there are no promises they will be able to get it. Maybe it was a blessing that we got it in the summer. Maybe we will be spared from the worst of it. I have to feel like we dodged a bullet and just got it over with already. J had 2 really bad days and the rest were no big deal to him. He got through it, and if your diabetic gets it, you will too. It is like any illness; just take it a day at a time.
We will survive!!!!!!