Saturday, October 31, 2009

I LOVE Halloween!!!!

Halloween is SO awesome and SO fun!


(Did I trick you? Come totally thought I changed my tune!)

Have a great day with your families!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Happy Place

I was really inspired today by a post at Six Until Me. She writes of guilt and the perception that complications from this disease lay in our hands alone. I want to write everything she has written, but they are her words and she puts it so eloquently. It is REALLY worth your time to jump over and read what Kerri had to say.

Because, it really hit a chord with me.

If you read our story, you would know that our family used to own a bakery. My in laws opened it when my husband was 8 years old. My husband had a job to do there from day 1 and eventually took over the business with his sister after his father’s stroke.

J and L were diagnosed while we owned the bakery. This little fact didn’t help the perception of diabetes. I guarantee, many people thought it was the donuts doing that my children were cursed with diabetes. Many people assumed that Type 1 and Type 2 came from the same roots, and assumed that their diagnosis were a result of our poor judgment. Never mind my kids were never chubby. Never mind they got to go to the bakery once a week. We owned a bakery, my husband and I were not small and thin, so naturally they were struck with horror when they found out we had two children with diabetes. B was diagnosed just a couple months after we closed the bakery. It was just more of the same. ‘Good thing you closed the bakery, it’s best for the boy’s health.’

It is for that very reason that whenever I tell someone we have three diabetics…they also get a long lecture of what Type 1 is, and the many reasons that I am not responsible for it. (Well other then maybe passing along something genetically wonky.) I take it to heart that it is a sensitive subject for me, so when people make insensitive remarks I try not to take them personally. I try to educate instead of defend. Sadly, it always feels good to say that my oldest is not diabetic. He is my save. People that are stupid seem to take solace in the fact that one is not diabetic. For some reason they are more understanding because of it. (Yes…I am totally knocking on every piece of wood in the house now!)

The problem is…it really hurts me. I already have enough guilt as it is, to have someone think less of me, and even further BLAME ME for my children’s unrelenting heartbreaking condition…it’s just too much. It is just way way too much. The saddest part is, usually the worst comments come from people you really respect, or a family member…or people who should know better, like doctors or pharmacists.

But it’s different here. Here in bloggy world. Here, you guys see it totally differently. It is such a breath of fresh air. There is no guilt here. There is no blaming here. I am doing the best I can. I am not judged harshly for my son running high or running low. You all so’s my special place. My safe haven. We might not all agree on everything. My boys got the H1N1 vaccine today, and many of you are passing…but that’s ok. We all see both sides of it and that is what matters. We are all making decisions that fit best within our lifestyle. We get that diabetes is personal. That it isn’t a one size fits all disease…that although we can give advice and try to help, we are not offended if what we did, doesn’t work for another.

I love that we are all different. I love that we are people that may not have given each other a second glance otherwise. I love that I get to see the heart of people from all walks of life, and to know that we are all connected in purpose.

This is my happy place.

And I am so thankful for it…and for you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's Not Too Late!

Last chance! If you want to be uber cool and wear a custom made World Diabetes Day T-Shirt, you have mere hours to order! Jump to Joannes blog and make your order....TONIGHT! We're hoping to put together a montage of pics showing everyone around the globe wearing the shirts...united in purpose. :) So quick! If you wanted to order...and you have put it off...go to Death of a Pancreas and order tonight...because tomorrow it will be to late. :(

Monday, October 26, 2009

Diabetically Overwhelmed.

I consider myself a very strong person.

Hell…look at my life! I live it…I endure it…I celebrate it…I am happy! I stand up for things I believe in. I’m not afraid to speak my mind.

I am no wimp!

Unless…I am at the pharmacy. It seems as though I am a different person when I go there. I feel extremely vulnerable. It is always very emotional for me and for some reason I leave my backbone at the door. (Please see previous post.)

Today was no exception. I walked in needing insulin and needles. Not a tall order…just one child’s worth of insulin and a box of needles to use as back up when a pump is malfunctioning. Seriously…is that too much to ask for?

As I stepped up to the counter I handed the gentleman 3 insurance ID cards.
“I need insulin…It doesn’t matter who’s prescription you fill, they all use the same stuff…please just fill one and mail me the others.”

Then I got the look. The look that I have told myself a million times I am just imagining. The look that burns my heart…and it is always followed by the same question…

“ALL three are diabetic?”

“Yup,” I say. “All three.”

“Well, this one is 60 days too early…and this one is out of refills. Call back in a couple days to see if they will refill it.” He printed something out and handed it to me. (Which I assume meant that J was OK for insulin.) “Next,” He says.

“OK, thank you. But I also need needles.”

He types. He types and types and types and mumbles…”Sorry, there are no needle prescriptions here.”

“Well, I have gotten them here before…”

“No,” he says…”It’s not in here. Are you sure you've gotten needles before?”

I don't even qualify that question with an answer. I just raise my eyebrows and give him a look that says...obviously yes, I have gotten needles before.

And then he gives ME a look. A look like…what do you want me to do about it?

“Well, I need needles. Don’t you have a protocol for something like this? Can’t you call a doctor or something. I am out and I need just one box.”

Without a word he walks away and prints something off his computer. Which I can only assume means he is taking care of it. No…”Here you go.” No…”It’ll be ready in a few minutes.” No…”The name will be on the board when it is ready.” He just walked away and then walked back, looked over my head, and said, “Next.”

As I went to sit down I wondered why they hired such jerks to work here. Are these people trained to have no emotion? Maybe I’m just sensitive. I talk myself down. I think I’m blowing it all out of proportion.

But then I watch him…and what do you know…he’s smiling at people. He is laughing…he is nice. With me he was a complete jack a**…but with everyone else…a ray of sunshine. I examine my behavior. Was I a bitch in any way? No, in fact, I was very nice and sweet. Hey…I can be nice and sweet people…I do it all the time!

So I wait. And B’s name pops up…which is weird…because the tag I have is for J. So I am left to assume that the needles were put under B’s name. And then I wait for J’s name. 30 minutes I wait. Finally I wait in line for the counter to see if there is a problem.

I’m with a lady now. I politely explain my situation and she goes off to look. She returns with a box of needles…and ONE box of insulin.

“He is supposed to get four bottles.” I say.

“Oh, well this is all we have.”

My insides are on fire…tears begin to burn the corner of my eyes…

“I’m sorry miss…but I have THREE Type 1 Diabetics at home. This bottle of insulin will last me less than five days. I am completely out of insulin at home. I need more.”

“Umm, sorry that is all we have.”

TIME OUT! We all know that this is a lie. There is more…they just want to hold onto it. There is NO WAY they are out.

“Please, I just need one more bottle…and you can mail me the rest.”

“Listen MAAM! I am trying to help you here, but you are not listening to me! Obviously mailing won’t help you because it takes 7-10 days to get it by mail There is no more today…you’ll have to come back in 2 days when more comes in.”

This is where I stop fighting. This is where I am using all the power in me not to cry.

You should have seen her face…like I was some unruly freak begging for a hit.

So I left with one vile of insulin and was able to make it out the door before I began to hyper ventilate in tears. WHY!!! WHY is it so emotional for me? WHY am I so insecure in there? Why do I let them get to me? No one else gets to me….only them. It’s like they have this power over me. This power to control whether my boys get their medication or not. This power to make me feel like some unreasonable homeless person, begging for two dollars when somebody gives her one.

It’s just always a bad experience all around. I guess I should note that all of this took place after a very unsettling conversation with our school principal. I asked her this morning if I could sell cookies after school the day before World Diabetes Day. They would be round shortbread cookies with a blue circle on them. Attached would be a card explaining Type 1 on one side and Type 2 on the other.

After asking, the principal laughed. She l-a-u-g-h-e-d…She. Threw. Her. Head. Back. And. LAUGHED! And then said…”Isn’t it counterproductive to sell cookies when educating about diabetes?”

“Well actually,” I countered, “that is the point. I want to educate people that Type 1’s CAN eat cookies, and dispel some of the myths about our disease.”

“Oh, well yes,” she says….”I’ll check and see with the main office if it’s ok.”

She is new. She doesn’t really know anything yet…but seriously woman…

I totally accept the fact that maybe I’m a bit more sensitive today after the ignorant letters and blog comments that have been flying around the web lately…

But, I don’t know…I feel diabetically overwhelmed today.

And I needed to vent. If you made it through this entire post, God bless you. You have a heart. Its people like you that restore my faith in mankind.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


This sad and grossly discriminating letter was posted in a newspaper in Shamae's neighborhood. BOO! BOO! I'm sadly going to reprint this letter and underneath you will find my response, of which I have sent into the newspaper. If you would like to add your voice to all the Momma's and Poppa's who have already written in...PLEASE DO! The more voices the better! Contact Shamae, and she will let you know how to contact the paper.


On Oct. 3, myself and my girlfriend were eating lunch at Burger King. A family came in and sat across the aisle from us. While the father was ordering food, we were shocked and appalled to see a boy inject himself with whatever medication, in front of God and everybody all while sitting at the table. We found this extremely offensive. That sort of business should be done in private. How about a little respect for those around you. Other than the obvious fact that it's not sanitary for those who use the table next, you have no idea how something like that can affect people. People go through a lot in their life and things like that may bring up certain feelings and memories best forgotten. I would like to thank those that day for totally ruining my meal.


To Whom it May Concern,

I was just made aware of your letter dated October 25th in regards to a young boy giving himself a shot at a Burger King. Let’s just assume that this young boy was NOT protected by the American’s with Disability Act…and let’s continue to assume that we live in an age where hiding and being ashamed of a disease or illness was in vogue. Even if these barbaric circumstances were true…I feel sorry for the gentleman who wrote that letter. He is surely grossly uneducated and has no clue what the word EMPATHY means. While Mr. Barber was busy being DISGUSTED by this boy’s courage and self sufficiency, did he for even one minute think about what kind of life that this young boy must lead? Did he know that if this boy was a Type 1 Diabetic that he must inject himself with insulin immediately before his meal to stay alive and healthy? I would also like to say that a young child who picks his nose or puts his fingers in his mouth is incredibly more unsanitary than this young man giving himself a shot. Were bodily fluids spread? Was blood squirting all over the table? And for this writer to even insinuate that this young man must think of other’s past experiences over the awful experiences that THIS BOY must go through, many times a day, to keep himself moving and living…it is so incredibly sad. The man complaining writes, “People go through a lot in their life…” What about this boy’s life?!!!!!!! Is it of no consequence? No, sir who wrote this awful letter…THANK YOU! Thank you for totally ruining my day with your ignorance and selfishness.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wheels in motion...

We're really excited to unite as a blogging community and purchase these shirts to all wear on November 14th, World Diabetes Day. Joanne has moved full steam ahead to put together this shirt for all to order.

If you live in the US, the cost will be only $15.00 each- TOTAL- That includes shipping. If you live in Canada it will be $20.00 total. Joanne's not doing this to make money, she is doing this to help make a difference. I want to thank her and her husband for going forward and making her idea a reality.

So, jump over to her blog to get all the details! Order soon...we can't drag our feet on this one. This all needs to be done in one printing, so the sooner we all order, the better chance we will all have them in our little hands before November 14th!

So what will you be doing in your super cool shirt on World Diabetes Day? I see a lot of frustration throughout the blogging community with the worlds perception of Type 1 Diabetes. We can change the perception of our disease in our own communities!

Here's a couple ideas...

*Every year I hold a fundraiser at our Elementary School. Some years it is Caps for Canines, (To raise money for diabetic service dogs,) and some years I do Caps for a Cure, to benefit JDRF. It's a really simple fundraiser. If a student brings in $1 they can wear their favorite hat or cap to school all day. It's a great way for the kids here to wear all those Disney ears and favorite baseball team hats. I send home a flyer announcing the big day and include information on what Juvenile Diabetes is. Easy, successful and FUN!

*Have a bake sale. After school on the 13th, or in front of your house on the 14th. "Cookies for a Cure." We've done that before and people would say, "Isn't it weird to sell cookies to raise money for diabetes?" and I would say, "Well actually, my kids have Type 1 Diabetes...and they CAN eat cookies!" Then I would hand them an informational flyer.

*You don't need to sell anything. Hand out informational flyers to your neighbors. Email people. Let them know what day it is...tell them you want to get the word out...this is one of those invisible diseases...our lives are not what they seem!

*Make a video! I think this idea was put out there already around the blogging community. Make a video showing how diabetes affects your families lives. Pictures set to music can be VERY powerful. Put it on your blog, your facebook page, email it to all you know!

*Buy shirts for your whole family and go out! To Costco. You'll for sure be a spectacle and people WILL ask questions.

*Light up your house in blue! Write your community leaders, ask to light up the city hall in blue!

*Write a letter to the Editor, explaining the day and educate!

*Host a BLUE party for your friends and family!

I'm sure you all have some great ideas...and I would love to hear about them!

AND DON'T FORGET to pop over to Death of a Pancreas if you would like to order a shirt, (or shirts.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our Detour to Holland

Our friend Shamae challenged us to show off pictures from our trip to Holland. I was initially very disappointed in the change of flight plan, but it turns out, the people in Holland are some of the most beautiful people in the world...

Welcome to Holland
By Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

So, without further ado...Welcome to OUR Holland...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We've got to let it go.

The kids had Monday off.


We had a wonderful lazy morning together at home and planned to go to my Sister In Law’s for lunch. Before leaving, I checked the boy’s sugar, two hours after they had eaten. J was 149, B was 128, L was 559…what the….!!!!

A million scenarios went through my head. Did I bolus him for breakfast? (Yes, yes I did.) Is his pump tubing broken? (No, no it wasn’t.) Is his pump out of insulin? (Nope, plenty on board.) So I did what any mom would do, I corrected him and checked again in a ½ hour. 402. Nice! Insulin is working, pump is working, all is well.

Except…where in the world did that number come from? As I thought about it for a couple minutes, it dawned on me that it was a lost cause. There was no figuring it out. It would remain one of those diabetes enigmas, and it was clear to me that I would have to move on. Sure I filed it away in my brain, and knew that if it happened again the next day I would have a pattern, and then that would be worth worrying about. But one stupid number randomly popping up…I had to let it go. GONE.

Guilt? Nope.

Wonder? Nope.

Worry? Nope.


Because tomorrow another child may have a random number pop up that I don’t understand. And if I let that one get to me, then I need to let them ALL get to me…and that just leads to depression and self loathing.

There is very little we can control with this disease. We can only do the best we can. Many families are dealing with a pattern of lows or highs right now. That deserves attention and the famous Diabetic Family Detective Work. But for those random numbers…those are par for the course.

Let it go.

Correct, recheck, move on.

I know we often feel guilty…it’s a syndrome that comes with our children’s diagnosis. I was weighed down with guilt about numbers for years. (I’m talking hundreds of pounds of weights on my shoulders.) I made mistakes and I would beat myself up so badly there was barely a life left to take care of my family. They had a shell of a parent, a shell of a wife for so many years…it was harder than it needed to be.

I still struggle with guilt. I have a long way to go to be the person I want to be. I mess up all the time and I let the guilt linger for sure…but when it comes to things I have no control over…ala a random 559…then I have learned to let it go. It hasn’t been easy, and sure I question myself, wondering if I should care more…but I see the picture clearer now and I understand there is only so much I can do.

So the moral of the story today is…choose your guilt wisely. If you forget to bolus your kid for dinner…correct and move on. There is nothing you can do to go back and fix it. It is over! Guilt will not help you; it will only drag you down. Sure, if you forget every night for a week, then one needs to take stock in their routine, but otherwise-

Forget about it!

I think all of us need to see this therapist when it comes to our guilt. I have my excuses, I try to validate my depression…but in the end, it’s MY choice how I handle things.

Friday, October 16, 2009

There’s a Storm a Comin’…

SHHHHHH……Can you hear it? Can you feel it? It’s the winds of change.

The Diabetic community is quietly beginning a movement. A movement that will change the way the world views Diabetes.

It is an uprising that has been a long time coming. No longer will we be the WHO's down in Whoville, screaming to be heard. (See Dr. Seuss’s book, Horton Hears a Who.)

We are moving. We are planning. We will bring World Diabetes Day into the spotlight! And like the Who’s in Whoville, we will yell, “We are here! We are here! We are here!” We will educate the ignorant, we will move the indifferent.

We will make a difference!

Even if it is only in our own little communities.

Our great friend Joanne is looking into having shirts made for EVERYONE to wear on November 14th. (Or any day for that matter.) It will be white with a blue circle. Simple and to the point. I’m tempted to get one for everyone in the family, and on the back of one write, “NO, I won’t grow out of it.” And another, “Yes, I can eat cookies.” And another one, “ T1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disease.” And another, “Insulin is not a cure.” But one thing at a time…The shirts…

If you are interested in ordering one, jump over to Joanne’s blog, Death of a Pancreas, and let her know. No commitment yet, she is just getting a quote from the printer and then we can go from there.

It may not be the Eiffel Tower lit up in blue…but it is a start…

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Conspiracy

This morning B came out to me in tears. J told him something that upset him and it took a little prodding for B to spill what it was.

I wasn’t too concerned; J likes to get B all riled up about things. I think it might be his way of showing he is older and wiser. (J is just a few inches taller than B, but he is an entire 4 years older.)

So apparently J told B that they have found a cure for diabetes. BUT, the “insulin companies” bought the cure and won’t let anyone use it. He said they are hiding it because they make too much money selling insulin.

When I confronted J with what he said, he was fully convinced that what he was saying was true. After all, so and so at school told him.

“Well,” I said, “So and so is wrong.”

There was a long conversation after, where I had to admit that MAYBE pharmaceutical companies aren’t TRYING to find a cure, because yes, they are making a lot of money off us. But then I promised both the boys, that somewhere in the world, right that minute, there were scientists looking for a cure. I told them I didn’t know how close they were. Maybe next year, maybe in 100 years, but they were trying none the less.

Both the boys seemed satisfied with my answer. I, on the other hand, am not.

I didn’t lie; I do believe there is someone out there tirelessly working to find the cure. But honestly, I wonder how a cure will ever be found when a majority of the world’s population doesn’t even know what Type 1 Diabetes is. The majority of the world has no idea what my/your days are like. NO IDEA.

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I just read an article on my Yahoo home page stating that there is a movement from Breast Cancer Survivors to get the pink merchandise to go away. They are tired of the commercialization of Breast Cancer. And although I do see how they feel, I can’t help but wonder what the world would be like with Blue everywhere. Blue cleats on football players, blue Pyrex mixing bowls, blue circles on half of the products at the grocery store. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that people took our disease seriously? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that people were educated on the symptoms and auto-immune causes of Type 1? Wouldn’t it be nice to say, “My child has Juvenile Diabetes,” without having to explain what it is?

Yes, it would be nice. We need to up our game. World Diabetes Day needs to be put in the spotlight. There needs to be a campaign educating the public on what Type 1 Diabetes is. Once people stop confusing Type 1 and Type 2, maybe they will have more empathy for our cause. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll open their pocket books, and we’ll be able to get some serious curing accomplished within our children’s lifetime.

Anyway, my brain is working tirelessly today thinking of what I can do to make a difference...

I have a headache.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Here I go again...

I HATE the news.

I don’t watch it anymore, and I am officially banned from getting the newspaper home delivered. All because I get so worked up over everything…

And is it any wonder? The news totally blows every stupid little thing out of proportion.

Take the rain…

We got our first rain here in the Bay Area, and it was pretty good too…even cats and dogs at times…but the news…THE NEWS… dubbed it “The Biggest Storm Since 1956!” Which made no sense to me, because I have been here for many floods and tragedies because of the rain, and it totally boggled my mind that the biggest storm since before I was born was coming…until I found out it was really the biggest storm since 1956 to take place on October 14th. What ever!

My husband sells bakery ingredients and supplies. His territory is everything north of the Golden Gate, and he has just convinced his company to let him expand his area all the way up to Eureka California, which is a good 4 hours north of us. (Hello, our family of 6 might finally get out of this 3 bedroom house next year!) Since they have given their final Okay, my husband was planning his first trip up to Eureka yesterday…the day of the fargen tsunami…if you listened to the news…which I did…and I am sooooo angry about it I could, I don’t know, spit!

"The NEWS" said it was the remnants of a typhoon and showed city after city sandbagging and crying that they would close their businesses just in case. They warned of flooding and predicted a dangerous commute. The way they told it, one would think they’d be driving to work through a sea of banged up cars and dead bodies, drowned from sinkholes and flooding embankments. (Sorry, that was graphic, but it’s their picture, not mine.)

And I fell for it, hook line and sinker. My husband had to go to bed early because he was getting up at 3:30 for his long trip. So, I did what any good wife would do, I woke him up and begged him not to go. There is oil on the streets from the first rain,” I said. “This is the remnants of a TYPHOON!!,” I said. The news said the storm is BULLSEYEING the bay area AND Eureka!” I said.

And he said, “No worries, I’ll drive carefully.” And he rolled over and went to sleep.

Oh, I was SO angry…I went to sleep on the couch. I slept there for an hour and woke up realizing, if he got hurt tomorrow, I would feel awful not sleeping next to him. So I went and dug out his winter jacket and ALMOST wrote a note saying, “If you’re going to be an idiot, and go out in this storm anyway…at least wear a jacket.” But I didn’t, again, just in case he got hurt.

So he left. And it was a typical rainy day. And it cleared up, and even was sunny in Eureka, and he came home alive.

So what does this all have to do with diabetes. Why must I vent on my diabetes support network?

Well, nothing really and I’m not sure…

EXCEPT! This "NEWS" caused me a lot of unnecessary stress. And seriously people, do I or any of you need more stress in our lives? Seriously.

"The News" is dead to me. And I officially declare that I don’t give a hoot about the swine flu anymore...

There news…TAKE THAT!!!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Saturday Schlepping

Saturday was a doozy. Not diabetes wise…just busy family wise.

Soccer game #1 with end of the year soccer party to follow. Soccer game #2. The big football game between the two rival high schools in town, with my oldest playing in the marching band…and to top it off it was the 5 year birthday party for Dogs4Diabetics. So we split all the fun between us, the grandparents, and my super sis in law. After our busy morning, my husband and I headed out with the boys for the long drive to the D4D party. (Without M, he needed to be at the game, which we won by the way:)

We had a REALLY nice time catching up with everyone at D4D. It was a BIG surprise to learn that the program is completely different than when we attended. It only makes sense though; we got in when the program was only a few years old. They have streamlined things and I am very proud of the direction they are going. D4D is taking their actions and their growth VERY seriously. They want to do everything right. They are nationally accredited now just like guide dogs for the blind and they are participating in medical studies that will show how awesome the dogs really are. Each step brings them closer to expanding!

They have also changed the process of getting a dog. When we attended, we had to participate for over a year. We went to weekly meetings and one never knew when they would be partnered up with a dog. Now the program is streamlined to 2 weeks. The dogs go to training, and then they are put into finishing school, (with a family with a D4D dog already. This family makes sure the dog alerts properly and knows the ins and outs of his/her responsibility.) The participants go to classes 5 days a week for two weeks and are actually paired with their dog on day 4. When this process is over the new partnership is mentored by a family that has already graduated the program. I also heard from someone that they have opened up applications to those living in Southern California.

While we were there, I mentioned to someone we still needed to chip Lawton…and before we knew what was going on, we were in an office holding Lawton down for his big shot. He winced, but recovered quickly. It was a total relief to mark this off our To-Do list.

Other then dealing with the tables covered with lollipops, cookies and cake, it really was a lovely afternoon. After partaking of the bounty, the boys all bolused themselves at the same time.

And I snapped this picture…

It is so incredibly sweet and so incredibly sad at the same time. When I look at it, it stirs up all kinds of feelings. Love for my beautiful boys, pride in their accomplishments and diabetic independence, sadness in all they endure, anger at this stupid disease, and relief that they are healthy and happy.

They really are incredible boys.

But then, I have seriously NEVER met a diabetic that was not incredible.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Halloween Honesty

Do I need therapy because I HATE Halloween?

I know, HATE is a strong word, and I tell my boys to never use it…I tell them to say “not like”, or “REALLY don’t like”…because HATE is so strong, and awful and mean…

But, if I’m being totally honest here…I HATE Halloween!

I’ve been contemplating over the last week WHY I hate it so much, and I really couldn’t wrap my head around it. So I decided to come here…to my therapy place/blog and write it out. You know, try to come to terms with the whole thing, and maybe even make peace with it.

I like to start with the obvious, so let’s start with the candy. Usually the boys don’t like half of the candy they get, so they toss it. (Or give it away to an adult who might want it…case and point…Me and their Snickers…) My philosophy has always been, if we’re going to do it, let’s do it big and get it over with. So I have them eat a butt-load of candy on Halloween night. Then I give them an enormous amount of insulin...and then they always go low. The next thing we do is ration. So many pieces a day…and for the week after, they get one piece in their lunch every day…and then I try to make it disappear. But, now that they are older, this is becoming more difficult. Boys count their stash, they weigh it…they KNOW when something is missing. Sure, my diabetics understand that it is a temporary luxury, but it sucks none the less. I think I would be able to cope if it were JUST Halloween night…but unfortunately for the rest of the world, Halloween night is not enough of a celebration. There must be more parties and candy almost every day leading up to the big night.

That is my second problem. School parties, friend parties, and church parties. It’s like they NEVER end! Candy EVERYWHERE! Costumes daily…Washing them, fixing them…

COSTUMES! I am very competitive people. But, cheap (When it comes to Halloween, because I hate it)…so I try to give the boys the best costume for my money. But if my kid is going to be Spiderman, (and he’s not, because I won’t allow it,) But IF he was, I don’t want him to be the lamest Spidey in school. So costumes always suck up a lot of money whether I like it or not. To compensate, I try to have them be things that are more original…like a nerd…or something. I got SUCKED IN this year though, L and his little friend have decided they want to be Mario and Luigi. L being Luigi. So I have to BUY the costume, and it’s SOLD OUT everywhere, so I bought the LAST ONE that is WAY TOO BIG, and if I can’t find another one smaller I’m going to have to dust off the sewing machine and somehow tailor it to his little body…and that dear friends, makes me cringe just thinking about it.

I think a lot of it also has to do with the month of October. IT is always SO busy and overwhelming, celebrations aside. Soccer winding down, (with parties of course,) volunteering at school, scouts, music, homework, FIELDTRIPS….blah….blah…blah…

Maybe writing out what I DO like will help.

I like the weather and the leaves changing…yup, that’s it.

If I REALLY think about it…Halloween night isn’t SO bad. If it was all JUST Halloween night, and no other parties, no other costume parades, no other expectations…I would totally be ok with it. At this point I wonder if you might be thinking, "OK Meri, if you hate it sooooo much, why don’t you just NOT participate in the other stuff and only do Halloween?"

Well ladies, first, and sadly enough, it’s not about me. If I stop the madness the kids will think I did it BECAUSE of their diabetes, and that is just awful. And second, and most importantly, the boys don’t know my….you know…"feelings"…on the subject. I would NEVER tell them I hate it. That would make it less fun for them and that has bad mom written all over it.

Huh…I wrote it all out, and surprise surprise...I feel no peace. Maybe it’s not instant. Maybe it will come later when I’m not feeling so dang selfish, and realize it’s not about me, it’s about the boys and their happiness…maybe.

So there you go. I’m airing out my dirty laundry for all to see.

Everyone now knows I have a BAD ATTITUDE when it comes to Halloween.

And since I’m in confession mode, you should know…I’m not a big fan of the Easter Bunny either.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Our Shedding CGM

It was at a Halloween party two years ago this month that we met a family that we absolutely love. They had a two year old at the time who had just recently been diagnosed and they had some questions about insulin pumps and toddlers. We got along so famously that it wasn’t a month later we were invited to their son’s birthday party. They live in the city, so we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like, but we get together every 3-6 months.

When their son was diagnosed, the Father in this family took the lead on their baby’s diabetes. We all know that men look at things differently than woman. Not betternot worsejust totally differently. It was a hard thing for this loving father to learn that diabetes makes NO SENSE AT ALL. Men just want to fix things. And finding that there was no way to fix his son’s insulin levels to have even numbers, all the time, has been a big frustration. (We have all been there, heck, we are all still there, right?) Their little boy has been on two CGM’s. They found that one is more accurate than the other, but unfortunately it has constant sensor problems. So, at this time, he isn’t using either. Of course, his/our insurance doesn’t cover it, and he has spent a lot out of pocket to try to give his son the best possible life.

Now, OUR family doesn’t use CGM’s…yet. 1) It is not covered…and 2) We have a big, hairy CGM roaming our house that goes by the name of Lawton.
So where am I going with all this?

This last Sunday we had the chance to get together with this wonderful family and had a nice dinner together at my sweet mother in laws. After the meal, we sat at the table and talked shop. (Diabetes this, diabetes that, with a sprinkling of school and cancer related subjects.) As we were sitting there, Lawton came in and walked up to the mother; he did a little dance and walked away. (Repeat 3 times.) Finally he came in; walked up to the mother, and then left her and walked up to the father. There, he sat, and alerted him. We were all in shock. It was definitely an alert. A very intense alert. But not to Ryan and me, it was FOR SURE meant for him.

“Maybe he just recognizes that your son is diabetic, maybe he just smells the insulin.” (That was me making excuses, because we just ate dinner and JUST had bloused the kids, so the chances were slim.) But Lawton, he would not budge, so we did the obvious. We tested his son…and sure enough…HE. WAS. LOW!

I don’t know why it always shocks me. He alerted us that day twice, and the day before five times, but to go out and alert on another child is amazing to me. AND It’s not the first time he’s done this, he has alerted on my brother in the past, who is T1 and lives in Washington. AND, he has even alerted on my mother who is Type 2.

He is absolutely super fantastically awesome! (Is that English?)

We are so enormously blessed to have this dog be part of our family.

My husband asked J the other day if he would trade Lawton for a cure…

J didn’t hesitate…

He said no.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Certifiably Something...

Yesterday, a fellow soccer mom asked me, “So, how are you doing these days?”
And I paused for a second, because even though I was going to say the obligatory “good,” I was a little overcome with the fact that yes, at this point in time, I AM good.

Because usually…I lie.

I always say, “Good.”

But what I REALLY want to say is, “Overwhelmed, tired, confused, angry, sad…you know general mom feelings.” Because lately, well the past few years or so, September and October have been “bad months” for me. I know it has a lot to do with the new school year and introducing diabetes to three new classrooms, as well as the worry, anxiety and guilt over blood sugar numbers at school and at home. It’s a funk that I thought I would never shake…but yet here I am…being good.

And that, dear blogger peeps, freaks me out!

All I can think about is, “What’s coming? Why aren’t I on the verge of tears? Whose basals are going to go all catty wonkus this week? What horrible thing is on the horizon?” And after a whole day of analyzing things I have finally come to some kind of answer.

Somehow, in some amazing supernatural way…I am COPING better than I used to. I’m not sure that means I have grown so much as person or anything…I think it has a lot to do with the boys being older and handling their diabetes like champs. I also think it is because I have a great support group now, and maybe also a teensy bit because I just had a swa-eet vacation...

But, I think the most important change of all is that I have come to realize that my nighttime worrying ritual… is a waste of time.

(I KNOW!!!! It totally goes against the grain of who I am as a person!)

But lately, when the worry comes, and the pictures flash in my head, and the guilt storms into my bed after dark…I am able to say, “Meri, when you wake up, all of this won’t seem so bad. When you wake up, you will see all of this differently and your life WILL go on. Just because M missed marching practice it does NOT mean he will fail band…he just has to deal with the consequences! And just because you messed up copying the material for L’s teacher doesn’t mean she thinks you are a complete idiot! And just because you forgot to bring snack to B’s soccer game doesn’t mean people are talking behind your back! And just because J’s blood sugars mysteriously rise between 2 and 4am DOES NOT mean this will last forever…we’ll figure it out! And just because you have 2 children in speech, (with each requiring IEP meetings,) doesn’t mean anything more than they need help saying certain letters! It will be better tomorrow. For goodness sake…GO TO SLEEP!”

And I do.


Nope, I don’t have it all together…I can fall apart at the drop of a hat, and I do…but lately I have been recovering faster. All these blogs I have been writing lately, of happiness and feeling goodness seem so selfish. Like I’m bragging…LOOK who is happy! But the reason I need to write it down is for SO LONG I was a wet mess! So overwhelmed. And it BOGGLES my mind that I am here, in this place…where I am beginning to look at life in regards to the grand scheme of things and not by each minute, superficial detail.

Diabetes fog can be so maddening. Cancer fog can be so maddening. 4 boy responsibility fog can be so maddening. Hormone imbalance fog can be so maddening. The world’s fog can be so maddening.

And maybe I am certifiably MAD, as in Mad Hatter mad…

But more than that…right now…I am certifiably coping.

And that, my friends, is progress.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Getting To Know You

Well, really...Getting to know ME :)

20 Things I Can't Live Without

1) My family (Thought I’d start with a no-brainer.)

2) Advil (I was just diagnosed with TMJ, grinding my teeth from stress...go figure.)

3) Natures Seasoning (I use it in every meal.)

4) Mary Kay Timewise Face Cleanser (It’s the only Mary Kay product I use. I break out with ANYTHING else.)

5) Target (Too bad the city I live in thinks it’s too special for one.)

6) Costco (4 boys…you do the math. And again, my city…too special.)

7) Our DVR (We just got it and honestly I don’t know how we survived a day without it.)

8) My faith (I couldn’t have gotten through this year, heck the past 10 years, without believing in Him.)

9) My computer (Because I love you…nuff said.)

10) The fog (Sorry hot states…I can never live within your boarders.)

11) Mexican food (If I had to choose just one kind, it would be you…sweet Mexican food.)

12) Flip flops (I am totally aware they are ruining my back and feet, but at least my feet can breathe!)

13) My 8 seater car (Yes, I get dirty looks here in my special city for driving a big SUV, and not a Prius. But, I have a family of 6 PLUS a dog AND a sister in law that go with us everywhere!)

14) My cell phone. (A mommy like me needs to be reachable AT ALL TIMES!)

15) Our dog (Well, he does save lives and all.)

16) Air conditioning in the car (I use it ALL YEAR LONG. I need air people!)

17) Date night, at least once a month (Selfish? Or GENIUS!)

18) I love yous (My kids have a habit of saying this to me all the time, and it gets me through.)

19) Sleep (I miss babies, but I don’t miss being up all night.)

20) AND LASTLY…………………… 5 year old’s fat toes. I love baby feet and his are all I have left to cling to. (Too much information?)