Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Diabetes: The guy who lives in the crawl space in the attic of my brain.

Today is the last day of Diabetes Awareness Month. I have blogged for 30 days straight and everyone must wonder, “What could Meri possibly have left to say?”

I wonder the same thing. But deep down I feel a small nudge. Something inside of me says there is something important left to say…and right now I am struggling to find the words.

I think it is so hard, because it is so personal.

The thing is…I don’t think about diabetes much.

Say huh? I know you are staring laser eye darts at the screen right now wondering what the hell I am talking about, but let me tell you…

I don’t think about DIABETES much.

I think about blood sugars. I think about carb counts and food. I think about trends and the safety of my boys. Yes, I think about those things all day long.

But what I don’t think about is what the word Diabetes really does mean to our life.

* How Diabetes affects my boys.

* How it will affect their futures.

* What it means to have this disease branded on to everything they do.

I just think about the day to day. The big picture, well…that is WAY too much for my psyche to handle.

I used to think about Diabetes as a whole. I used to think about it all the time, and that got me into a mess of a depression that took many many months to shake. But I know better now. Obsessing about diabetes and how unfair it is was only toxic to my well being. Thinking about how the highs are messing with my sons’ insides in ways I don’t want to even comprehend…well that is stuff I can’t think about anymore. ‘Cause if I did…I would really be mad. Not angry mad…more like psycho mad.

That is why I’m all cheery and sappy and counting blessings all the time and stuff.

The dark side of diabetes is no good to dwell on.

I have to FORCE myself to look at the bright side of it all. And you know what…there truly is a bright side. I have found that it is SO bright…you can snuff out the darkness if you stay positive and know you are doing your best.

I have always said: You can’t do better than your best.


So as I end this month, I want my readers to know that just because I dwell on the positive, doesn’t mean I am not 100% aware of all the negatives this disease has to throw at me and my sweet boys. Woe is me has gotten me nowhere…it dug me deeper into the abyss of misery and despair, and despite what anyone else says, negativity does not motivate a parent who has a child with Type 1 Diabetes. Sure, sometimes you need to tell people about the negatives to educate properly. That is part of why the “walk to cure” season is so hard for many of us. We are forced to write a letter that makes us look smack into the face of the reality of this disease. The sucky reality, I might add.

It isn’t easy to look diabetes in the face and say, “I know you. I know what you can do, and you scare me.” It isn’t easy, and it isn’t necessary to do every day of the year. Sure, we need to face reality once in awhile to keep us on our toes, but other than that…I choose to stay in my happy place. The place where I love my very best. Do my very best. And hope my very best.

That is where I need to be.

That is where my blog is right now.

So if it seems I’m too blasé about diabetes and how it affects our family…know that deep in the recesses of my swelly brain, I DO know the realities of all of this. But I choose to stuff it, and will continue to…until one day it all comes to the surface and I have to cleanse it off with my tears.

On my bad days, I’ll be here counting my blessings.

On my good days, I’ll be here dripping in happy thoughts.

Because that is truly what “Our Diabetic Life” is all about.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Out with the old, and in with the new!

It has been a rocky Thanksgiving holiday…blood sugar wise.

Since the first night the boys had no school…wonky city.

No rhyme or reason to nothing. Blood sugars went where they wanted to go without any mind to the boluses I threw at them.

A couple days in I was bolusing the boys 40% more insulin for their meals.

I thought, WOW! They must really get a lot more exercise at school.

I upped B’s and L’s basals too.

It was getting to be too much. I’ve been so overwhelmed with it, I even haven’t had it in me to read blogs this week. Shameful! I totally know!

Every day one of the boys would have an out of the stratosphere kinda number, (or two...or three.) Totally from left field, you know? And no…none of those numbers were low.

I was feeling defeated.

Until Saturday afternoon after we changed out the boys pump sets yet again…

And BAM! Just like it all began…it ended.

We have only achieved blood sugar nirvana since those set changes.

The boys’ numbers have been brilliant…with a few lows in between.

What changed?

We had done a couple set changes last week with no change in numbers…but this set change made all the difference in the world!

Yes…a new bottle of insulin.

The old insulin sucked lemons.

BOOO! to bad old insulin that made me half mad with guilt and wracked me with the feeling of total ineptitude.



Hooray for a fresh batch! I can feel my sanity slowly entering back into my swelly brain…slowly, like sand in an hour glass…

But regardless of the sanity's snail like pace…it is coming.

The boys are going back to school today…AND I found a couple of my marbles.

I’m back baby!

I’m reading blogs today! It feels good to come out of the fog!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Did someone say it was 'Special Sib to a D Kid Day?'

Today has been dubbed Special Sib to a D kid day.

And as it so happens…I have one of those.

M. :)

M has always been just a good kid. His first grade teacher actually wrote on his report card that M was going to be a good father. All his teachers would write of his kind heart and his sweet nature. They would try to credit us…but honestly, the truth is M was born that way.

That is why watching him grow up has been so hard…

M is 15 and a half now. That pretty much sums it up. He is finding his way to independence and for the most part, he doesn’t look to me for emotional or academic support anymore.

It seems to have happened over night. But here he is, growing and maturing.

I have resorted to writing letters to tell him how amazing I think he is. He doesn’t really want to hear me gushing over him anymore. He spends more and more time in his room, on the computer looking up computer game strategies or talking/texting his friends.

Don’t get me wrong, he is still a sweetheart. He just is withdrawing from the kid life, and finding his way into adulthood. He is even taking a driving permit on line course right now…scary on so many levels!

I don’t know. I’m a little sad as I write this. I miss the child that he was. He still laughs and plays and jokes around with his brothers. He still hugs me and says I love you, even if it IS mumbled. :)

But what M has always been…what has never wavered…what he excels at, is his support of his brothers in their struggle with diabetes.

He worries for them. He tries to take the sting out if it on hard days. He understands when life needs to stop for his brothers. He gets when they need to eat the first piece of toast out of the toaster. He doesn’t complain when one of them gets a treat and he doesn’t. He totally gets diabetes, and he holds no bad feelings towards the attention it gets.

He honestly is just glad he doesn’t have to deal with it. He is sure that he wouldn’t be as strong as his brothers. He sees what they endure, and he is thankful beyond measure that he doesn’t have to be poked and feel the effects of the highs and the lows.

This post isn't what I imagined it to be. He is just changing, and growing up so fast. Regardless...don't let my sad undertone fool you...M is an awesome brother. I am so proud of who he is. I look ahead and only see an amazing life for him. It is exciting to be a part of it. I love him so much, and I am so very thankful of his empathy and understanding of Our Diabetic Life.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Christmas Pickle.

One of the traditions we have in the family has to do with this little guy:

Every year my husband hides the pickle on the tree. We aren't sure where this tradition started, but it began somewhere within my husbands German heritage. The first to find the pickle wins a prize. Usually a present of some sort, this year a cash prize. B has won the prize three years in a row. Today...the streak was broken!

It was especially a tough find this year. They spent almost 30 minutes looking for it. :)

Congrats M!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Feelin' the season.

Hope: One of the most powerful words in existence.

And here we are entering the foyer of the season of hope.

Step into the season and look around. Hope is everywhere; it is riding in on the frost laden breeze. It is encompassed in the dew droplets on the window sill. It sparkles on the holiday lights…it is burning in the hearts of so many.

It is a profound thing to have a deep belief in happiness…in joy. It is beautiful to hope and to believe in something positive.

Hope changes us this time of year. Maybe the holiday season starts in October for the bottom line of the economy…but we the people also cling to the season with such fervor…that millions of us have already began decorating for the holidays.

We yearn for that feeling. It is a light inside of us that says, “Good things are coming.” Family is put into the forefront of our thoughts. Reunions, tokens of love and presents wrapped with eager anticipation…it’s all part of the magic.

It is an amazing time that we can’t take for granted. We need to embrace the hope…and share the light inside us with all of those that are around us. If you have hope, there is always some to spare…share the feeling…it is the best part of the season.

I’m excited to jump into the holidays with all of you. I hope I keep the right perspective throughout this next month and take the time to count my blessings. I need to take things slow and absorb all of the joy that is out there for the taking. The boys are growing so much faster than I ever dreamed, if I don’t slow down…I’ll be missing out on some of their joy.

I have so much hope friends. Enough to share with you, if you find yourself lacking. If life has taught me anything, it’s that our situation can change in a heartbeat. We need to enjoy today…we need to cling to our hope. Despite our circumstance, despite all that diabetes and life has planned to throw at us this month…we can find joy.

I know we can.

I hope we can.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Four children who call me mom and love me more than I deserve.

One husband who calls me wife and promises to be mine forever.

17 years of marriage, of which I wouldn’t change a day.

Two in-laws who welcome us into their home day or night.

One sister in law who loves our boys as her own, and is a wonderful friend.

Two parents who we know will be there if ever a need.

100’s of friends in the DOC who get me. Know me. Accept me for who I am.

Eleven bottles of insulin sitting in the butter compartment.

Fourteen boxes of test strips, so I can test my children whenever I feel the need.

Three insulin pumps working day and night to keep my boys alive.

One home we only dreamed of when we were young and newly wed.

New friends who have shown me how to belly laugh again.

A Heavenly Father who knows me, who is aware of my needs and wants me to find joy.

A beautiful Thanksgiving Day. The sun is shining bright, and the leaves are red and orange.

One 20lb. turkey in the oven.

One happy D mama who is blessed beyond measure!

A blessed and happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Being thankful vs. being grateful

I'm knee deep in being 'grateful' today. So I'm throwing out this post from last year at this time...it's a short one, but one I that helped me through the craziness.

I am thankful for a lot of things. I can list all day what I am thankful for…Everything from Family to fingernail clippers. I have so much to be thankful for it is almost embarrassing. But, I learned a hard lesson this week, and wanted to pass it on.

Thankfulness mostly consists of words.

Gratitude is putting your thankfulness into action.

I’m all about words people. You all know that. I write for many reasons…to help others, but mostly to help me. If I am honest, my blog is mostly for me. Sometimes I feel selfish about the amount of time I spend nurturing it. It’s a place I can accomplish something…a place to be thankful. But am I really showing how grateful I am for my blessings by just sitting here? Surly the world/my family would benefit from me getting off my butt and making a difference.

So I made a list of what I am thankful for…a very very long list. And then I went back and found a way to turn my thankfulness into action.

So today…I get up. I show my house the gratitude I have for it by vacuuming its floors. I will lovingly hang up the clothes to show my gratitude that we have so many of them; I can fill up ten loads. I will wash the breakfast dishes to show my gratitude that I had the means to feed my children. I will clean my toilet to show my gratitude for indoor plumbing. (Seriously…there are those in the world that don’t have this!) I will take a shower to show my gratitude for my body. I will do these things and then go help at the school Thanksgiving parties to show my gratitude for public education.

So here I go. Putting it all into action!


Gratitude kinda' bites. :)

And this just in: My sweet facebook friend Kimberly just put this quote on her status. Brilliant!

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Abe saves the day!

Holy late entry Batman! I almost didn't post today! Where did the day go????? It is minutes before midnight, and I am here! (With nothing to say really.) So I leave you with some of my favorite Abraham Lincoln quotes of all time:

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

"Whatever you are, be a good one."

"Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing."

And my favorite...

"How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

True dat Mr. Lincoln...true dat.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bubble Trouble?

When my boys first started pumping, we were obsessed with bubbles. OBSESSED. We constantly checked the line and more often than not, there would be an epic airline within the tubing. We would prime it out, and BAM another huge bubble would be just waiting to totally mess with the boys blood sugars.

We spoke to our endo many many times about it. She was stumped. She didn’t think it should have been as big a problem as it was. But…it was.

Those bubbles made our life miserable…especially our little diabetic boy who had to deal with the wonky numbers and the constant set changes.

We finally resorted to reading the pump manual from beginning to end. Step by step we followed the instructions. We finally found the problem. It seemed like such a little step, but it made ALL the difference in the world…

Since then, we have watched many videos of people doing set changes and noticed that many miss this simple step too. If you miss this step, try giving it a shot. If you already do this step…my apologies for dragging this all out. :) This step is important for Medronic pumps as well as Animas. Actually, it is even MORE important with the Animas, because of its reservoir design.

Here you go:

After you fill the reservoir with insulin…usually people take off the plunger and then screw on the cap that is attached to the tubing.

Don’t do this. Leave the plunger on and screw on the cap. Then flick the bottle and push the plunger up ever so slightly to get rid of the extra bubbles and get the insulin started up into the tubing. Just couple inches of insulin in the tubing will do. THEN take off the plunger and continue with your other steps.

Easy, right?

Makes a HUGE difference. We have never had bubble problems after doing this step. In fact, I can’t remember the last time we even looked at the boys tubing for bubbles.

I also know…that cold insulin makes more bubbles too. We always use room temperature insulin inside pumps. Besides the fact that injecting cold insulin hurts like a mother…it also is prone to bubbles. Some people take this as an old wives tale, but following this rule has never steered us wrong.

A couple ever so little, ever so important tips from Our Diabetic Life to yours.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

J's Day.

J turns 13 today…and if you haven’t noticed from my previous “twelvish” comments…I’m not having an easy time accepting it all.

You see in my eyes, J is still that little scrawny baby boy who was just diagnosed. Yes, he has grown. Yes, he is smart and funny and amazing. But, despite all that…he is still my child.

Well, WAS still my child.

Now he is my teenager.

I had a hard time adjusting with him taking over his diabetes care. It was a long process, but he is now pretty independent in almost all he does. I finally agreed to give up counting his carbs for him…but how in the heck can I agree to let him give up his childhood?

He is sitting on the couch next to me right now, and I am marveling how he became this young man. I spent so many years taking care of him, attending closely to his every need…and now, he doesn’t need me as much anymore. He is independent with his school work and with his diabetes care. He can bathe himself, make his own breakfast and pick out his own clothes in the morning. He doesn’t need the help my other little boys do.

He is growing up. I can’t stop it…and like I said, I am surprisingly conflicted about the whole thing.

When M turned 13 I thought it was the coolest thing. But J turning 13 just seems like he has jumped into a portal that will take him to adulthood.

Ummm…nope, not ready for that.

I know a lot of mothers who read this wonder how you will ever give some of the D care over to your child. You wonder how you will let go. It isn’t easy…but somehow life goes on, and these things inevitably happen. Even if you are not cognizant of the immediate changes…change happens anyway.

J went on a campout last weekend with the scouts. As I was schooling him on all the things he has to do for his care he stopped me in my tracks…

He took me by the shoulders and said, “Mom! Mom! I can handle this. I’ve grown up. I know what to do.”

And he was right. He did handle it. He did know what to do.

I’m proud of who he has become. I’m thankful that he is here with us. When he was diagnosed at 8 months old, we almost lost him. Every birthday is a blessing…

There are just so darn many of them, you know?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Been feeling edgy lately?

A few days ago my husband got out the calendar and his computer. He asked me to confirm the dates he was taking for vacation next year.

No big deal right? Except we already did that over a week ago. We sat and confirmed dates and he typed things up in his computer like he was sending it to his boss toot sweet.

Apparently he didn't, and as a result I got pretty annoyed. We already did this. Doing things twice messes with my tolerance levels. We went over this and I was figuratively able to take that weight off my shoulders. It was done. Finding out that it actually wasn't done...puts that load back on my shoulders. Yeah...me no likey.

Why do I get annoyed over the smallest of things sometimes? Usually things roll off my back no problem, but sometimes...it is the littlest of things that make the tears flow. My mind wandered back to a post I did in February. It was true then...and it is oh so true now:

Feeling Edgy?

The other day we were leaving to go to my in-laws for a nice dinner. As I was grabbing the keys to go out the door, my husband says,

“Oh yeah, I forgot, the bench in your car is broken, we’ll have to take 2 cars.”


“Oh yeah? Oh yeah? That is how you tell me…’by the way, the bench is broken’??”

“It’s not a big deal,” he says…”It is still under warranty.’

“No big deal? No big deal? (Yeah, I repeat myself when I am in disbelief.) Do you have any idea how that is going to affect my life for the next week?? It means HOURS at a dealership, of which I’m not sure even exists, (we have a Saturn,) where they will tell me they have to “order” a part, which means a return trip to the dealership for hours of waiting! Not to forget, I NEED those seats to carpool kids!”

My husband looked at me like I was nuts. I don’t blame him. I was on the verge of a breakdown.

This is where I looked down at a spoon that was in my hand that must have magically appeared, because I don’t remember how it got there…

And I threw it into the sink.

Where it made a HUGE KERPLUNK because our sink is stainless steel.

My husband was baffled…(wherein lies the proof that men are COMPLETELY different than women.)

As we sat in silence driving to my in-laws I turned to my husband.

“You know why I’m crazy? You want to know why little things like a broken bench throw me for a loop? I live on the edge of a cliff. My toes are hanging over the edge of that cliff. The broken bench didn’t put me there…I’m ALREADY there. You could throw a feather at me, and that is all it would take to fling me over that edge. The LITTLEST of things can tip me over. So that broken bench, was like a Karate chop to my back. A girl can only stay stable for so long. A girl can only keep her balance on the edge if she doesn’t have things belting her on the back of the head to throw her over. I’ve spent my life on this ledge. Sometimes it’s sunny and calm, but most days it’s windy, and I have a hard time keeping my footing. Do not throw things at me while I am on the ledge! Okay?”

My husband nodded. He made a comment that let me know he understood what I was saying. He winked at me and gave me the smile. The smile that always puts me right again.

And when we got to my in laws, my sweet husband fixed the bench on his own. And he saved me from a week of “extra stress.”

Sometimes I close my eyes, and live my life pretending I don’t live on that ledge. I pretend all is fine and my life is as normal as all get out. But then something small happens and I lose it. And I’m forced to open my eyes and see where I live emotionally.

That is why little things break us. We are like sticks, bent to the breaking point. We live everyday with tension on each end. All it takes is a small amount of pressure to break that stick.

SO ya, I WILL throw a spoon when the bench breaks.

I will cry when I read posts about Oprah and Dr. Oz fricking up the worlds view on Diabetes.

(I will get annoyed when I have to do things twice.)

I will crumble when small things get thrown my way.

Because I am there…on the cliff…living every day on the edge. It is a perilous place to be, but if I’m able to keep my footing, and dare to look up from my toes that cling to the rocky cliff…I can actually take in the view…

And it is breathtaking.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The 2010 DOC Awards! Spread the love!

I follow a ton of amazing blogs. I love love love the DOC! So I was really excited to find out about The DOC awards!

The DOC Awards are a fun way to give a nod to your favorite blogs in the Diabetic Online Community. This year they mixed up the categories to make it even more fun:

Best Blog Design
Most Creative
Blogger Who We Wish Would Blog More
Funniest Blogger
Most Likely to Put You in a Good Mood
Best Commenter
Best Twitterer
Blogger with the Best Hair
Blogger You’d Share a Drink With
Best Photographer
Best Use of Bad Language
Best Vlogger
Blogger Most in Need of Comment Love
Blogger I Most Want to Meet Offline

Nominations for each category are now being accepted! You have until December 8th to send in your nomination. I already have a host of amazing bloggers in mind. Pop on over to this website and find out how you can nominate too. Once the nominations are in, you will be able to officially vote on the site until December 31st.

So go on! Check it out! And spread some love to those that make you laugh, cry and even scratch your head. :) Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A method to the madness...

Driving to the big city with a couple of D Mama's today I found out something very interesting about myself, and I thought I would share.

It was an epiphany of sorts brought thoughtfully to my attention by an amazing D Mama in her own right.

It all started with us hitting traffic on the freeway. We were a bit concerned we were going to be late for an appointment...but at the same time, we were not enough concerned to ruin the moment. We were three mothers...alone...on the road to the city. We were on a mini four hour vacation and we were happy as all get out. So what if we were late! We were going to enjoy ourselves!

As the traffic snailed along I glanced at the clock and let my friends know...it runs seven minutes fast. (5 minutes by my boys elementary school clock.)

Turns out they both do the same thing. They also set the clocks in their cars ahead.

"What the heck is wrong with us?" I asked. "We already spend our life calculating equations in our head! Why would we purposefully add one more?!"

Why DO we do this to ourselves? We wondered.

Then my amazing D mama friend made it all clear. We are Relief Junkies. We panic at the time...and then we get high off the fact that we are not late at all.

Maybe it is a D Mama thing.

We LOVE the feeling of relief. We LOVE the wave of emotion that wafts over us when we realize everything is just fine.

Only another D Mama could look deep into my soul and pull out that little gem.

Food for thought anyway.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cuz Alexis wants to know!

Alexis from Justice's Misbehaving Pancreas posted that she just wants to know! So here you go!

For informative purposes: J is going to be twelvish (I refuse to say 13!) on Sunday, and was diagnosed at 8 months old. B is 9, and was diagnosed at 5 years old. L is 7 and was diagnosed at 2 years old. We also have a 15 year old son, M. He does not have diabetes.

When did you guys start pumping?
J started pumping 5 years after diagnosis, at 5 years old. B started pumping two months after his “official” diagnosis, he was 5. L started pumping 3-4 months after his diagnosis, at age 2.

What do you use to change sites? What’s your "process"?
We peel off the old site, have the boys take showers and then insert the new. No tapes, no adhesives, no nothing extra.

How often do you check ketones?
When a child has a fever or is throwing up. Around here…we only test for blood ketones on sick days or if there are some seriously unexplainable wonky numbers.

When do you do an unscheduled site change?
If a site falls off. OR if we JUST did a site change and there are a couple unexplained highs in a row that won’t come down. And then obviously if the tubing breaks or if there is an error message.

What’s your child’s target?
90-120 during the day. 150 at night. My endo insists on this so that I will sleep. She doesn’t want me to have to correct anything under 150.

What was your child’s last A1C?
6.6, 6.8, 7.1

What kind of strips do you use?
One Touch

Which do you prefer?
One Touch…it’s all we know.

What kind of Peanut Butter do you use?
Hello! Random! Jiff extra smooth.

Do you allow juice when not low?

Do you still check your child at night?
Heck yeah. When you have three…9 times out of 10, someone needs something. It is a necessary evil of Our Diabetic Life. Plus, it is like half the battle. If I can get them good at night…that is 50% of the work done for a better A1C.

What is your rule on sweets?
We have dessert a couple times a week. Usually Sugar free jello or pudding with whip cream. Sometimes something more fun like brownies or cookies. They get special occasion treats at school ALL the time! Seriously, I think I get a call almost every day. They know they can have the treat, and not the juice that is usually there with it. Every wed. after school the school sells ice cream, and the boys get a juice bar.

What about veggies and fruits?
My boys are FRUIT-Ivors. They could probably live on fruit. They prefer Honey Crisp apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, all kinds of berries and any kind of melon. They will also eat the occasional grapefruit, pomegranate or peach, plum or apricot. Veggies are big with my older guys…J will eat salad before anything else. But it is a bit of a battle with the two little guys. Rule is, you have to try a few bites of it before you say you won’t eat it.

White bread or whole wheat?
This has been an issue. My boys will only eat white. When we owned the bakery, we made our own and the boys lived on it. When we closed, I went to the store and bought all different kinds of white and wheat. They refused to eat any of them. They threw away their sandwiches and wouldn’t eat their toast. Hello! Bread Snobs!! We finally found bread they will eat from a bakery an hour away. We buy it in bulk and freeze it. But it is not good for them and the slices are 25 carbs each, at least. So they get half sandwiches in their lunches now, with extra fruit. It is what it is.

Do you use glucose tabs?
This is going to sound bad…but my boys would rather go into a coma than eat glucose tabs. Period.

What do you use to treat lows?
The go to’s right now are Yogos, bananas, apple juice or pudding at night. If we give the boys apple juice in the middle of the night…there is no fat in there to keep their sugars up. So if we treat them with juice…we usually have to treat again. Pudding has been our godsend. Brings them up. Keeps them up. Win win.

What does your child use to hold their pump/cgm?
J puts it in his pocket. B and L use Spibelts.

Alexis also mentioned we should put up a pic of our heroes. Below is a picture of the boys 3 1/2 years ago. It was in the newspaper when we got our Medical Alert Dod Lawton. They look so little! They are HUGE now!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A super short, super smart, synopsis of blood sugar patterns.

I’ve got it ALL figured out!

B has been high before bed quite a lot lately. So last night I threw down the gauntlet and changed his insulin sensitivity between the hours of 5 and 9pm. When a high number popped up at 7:00pm, I gave him the higher ratio correction and he rocked awesome numbers all night long.

In fact he was 123 at 1:00am. And woke up 109 this morning. Nice.

But here is the deal.

My husband told me that the night before B was 169 at 1am, and he was too lazy to correct him. He woke up 105 that morning. That means he dropped 64 points in 6 hours.

But this morning he only dropped 14.

THEN, the day before the day before…he woke up 203. And that was with a correction at 1:00am when he had a blood sugar reading of 220.

And the day before THAT? He was 172 at 1:00am. He got a correction and woke up 82.

So with all of this information…I can finally announce I have figured it ALL out!

It is so obvious. Why did it take me so long to get this?

People, it’s all dumb luck!


Easy peasy. I totally know you are jealous of my mad deducing skills!

I too, am in awe of my brilliance. You can always count on my innovative thinking from my practical real life experiences to solve even the most complicated of problems!


Monday, November 15, 2010

It is funny to us anyway...

It is kinda’ a running joke in this house...

If you do something to tick me off, or something especially embarrassing or funny, I threaten to blog it.

An example of this came this morning when J and B were brushing their teeth in the bathroom. I was walking down the hall and I heard J grunting.

“What’s goin’ on in there J? Are you going #2 with B in there?”

J: (horrified) “No mom!” Which was immediately followed by, “Great! You’re going to blog this, aren’t you?!”

Me: (Matter of factly,) “Why yes I am son. Yes I am.”

And I always live up to my word. :)

More often than not, my threats are empty ones. Well, lets be honest...99% of the time my threats are empty ones...but it is fun to see them squirm nonetheless.

Another running joke around here is dealt out by none other than our littlest guy, L.

Everyday B and L call me after they eat their lunch. L tells me what he ate for lunch and how much of it he ate, and then I give him my very best scientific will a** guess on how many carbs to enter into his pump. After I give him a number, he precedes to hand the phone to B…but not before he deals out this little nugget of pure hilariousness…

He lowers his voice as much as he can, (Pretending he is B,) and then says in a super fast, super dopey kinda’ way, “Hello, this is B. How many carbs for that meat??”

And then he hands the phone to B laughing hysterically.

He does this EVERY. DAY.

When my husband is home early from work, he has me put it on speaker phone so he can hear L say it too. It never gets old. A pretty good dig if you ask me. He knows meat doesn’t have carbs, and yet he pretends he is B asking how many carbs are in his lunchtime meat. Get it? I probably didn’t have to explain…but I’m feeling very explainy today. I have lofty plans of taping our lunchtime call one day, and posting said dig on the blog. I hope I can pull it off. It would be so worth your time.

So there you go…another little peek into Our Diabetic Life. NaBloPoMo will get all of our secrets out yet!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Leigh! You won Our Diabetic Life's Great PJ Giveaway!

The winner of The Our Diabetic Life Great PJ World Diabetes Day Giveaway is:

Leigh from The Evans Kiddos!!!
Please email me at ourdiabeticlife (at) yahoo (dot) com within 48 hours, so that we can get your cutie pa tootie PJ's to you ASAP! A new winner will be selected if the prize has not been claimed within the 48 hour window.

Thank you Komar and PJs for the Cure for sponsoring this Super Sugar Bolus!

If you didn't win, make sure you pop over to PJs for the Cure and buy yourself some! 100% of all sales go directly to JDRF!

The following blogs will be rolling out winners from the Great World Diabetes Day PJ Giveaway hourly throughout the day. Be sure to check back and claim your PJs!

Beta Buddies: Congrats Karen K! (9am EST)
Candy Hearts: Congrats Rachael! (10am EST)
D-Tales: Congrats Lisa! (11am EST)

Houston Family We Have a Problem: Congrats Chasiti! (12pm EST)
I am Your Pancreas: Congrats Marilyn Hull! (1pm EST)
Life is Like a Box of Chocolates: Congrats Heather! (2pm EST)
My Diabetic Child: Congrats Denise! (3pm EST)

My Sugar Bugs: Congrats Brian! (4pm EST)
Our Diabetic Life: Congrats Leigh! (5pm EST)
The Princess and The Pump: To be announced! (6pm EST)
The Sugar Kids Blog: To be announced! (7pm EST)
The Superhero and The Princess: To be announced! (8pm EST)

The We CARA Lot Blog: To be announced! (9pm EST)

Fellow D- bloggers don't forget to submit your blog for the Blogger Basal by next Friday, November 19th to Misty at Life Is A Box Of Chocolates! You can submit your blog by emailing Misty at BoxOfChocolatesBlog (at) hotmail (dot) com. This is a great way to get to know other bloggers in the D-OC. I know that personally, I have connected with many other D' Rents and PWDs via the Blogger Basal.



Saturday, November 13, 2010

My perfectly lovely, perfectly true, angel story.

It is no secret that I believe in miracles. And I'm not embarrassed to announce that I believe in angels too. In the spirit of the approaching holiday season, I wanted to share with you a very special, very true story of hope. A story that helped me through one of the darkest times.

I originally posted this over a year ago. No one was really reading my blog then, so this story will probably be new to you...

It was less than two months after J was diagnosed and I was a complete Zombie. Tired, worried, scared. It was such a hard time. J was on a “long acting” insulin, (I'm pretty sure it it was Lente,) of which we had to give him a “light” ½ unit twice a day. Measuring a “light” ½ unit is almost impossible in a needle, and who knows how much of it he actually got. His short acting was an insulin called Regular. It was diluted in a bottle 5 parts saline to one part insulin. He also would get very tiny amounts of this. Needless to say, we never knew what his blood sugars were going to do. His long acting did not peak in adults, but it peaked in J. His short acting would peak 2 hours after we gave it to him, so we would have to predict what he was going to eat. (Which, of course, was impossible with a 9 month old.) We were never sure when a low would occur at night, so I would check every couple hours to be sure.

There was one night in particular that was extra rough. He needed food, then extra insulin, then more food. He was extra restless and he and I cried most the night together. Each time I tried to sleep I would say a silent prayer, a prayer I had said a hundred times before, “Lord, please have the angels watch out for J while I sleep, and have them wake me if I am needed. “ That night I couldn’t help but wonder if angels were real, or a wonderful fantasy I simply hoped for. I prayed for an answer, but was left to wonder. Between my alarms and J’s crying I was woken plenty that night. I must have sung him his lullaby a dozen times. (Each of my boys had their own lullaby. J’s happened to be one I learned from a college roommate.) It goes like this:

You came from a land where all is bright

To a world half day and a world half night

To guide you by day, you have my love

To guard you by night, your friends above.

So sleep…sleep…till the darkness ends, guarded by your angel friends.

Yes sleep…sleep…till the darkness ends, guarded by your angel friends.

There is one stands softly by your bed,

and another sits close, with her hand on your head.

There’s one at the window watching for the dawn,

and one waits to wake you when the night is gone.

By morning I was exhausted and too tired to make breakfast. All I could think about was downing one of my husband’s lovely donuts. I packed up the boys and headed for our bakery. Before I could make it to my husband’s arms, or a doughnut for that matter, I was stopped by Alice, (Not her real name.) She was so happy to see me; she wasn’t expecting I’d be in that day. She had a dream, a vivid dream, and she knew she had to share it with me.

Alice had a brother who had passed away somewhat recently. He was a young husband and father and of course very missed. In her dream she was working the counter at the bakery as usual when she noticed that it was pitch black outside. She was confused at how she could have worked so far into the night and went into the back to get her sweater and purse and close up. While in the back she heard the bell on the bakery door ring. She ran out to tell the customer she had closed. Lo and behold it was her brother, with his finger to his lip, shushing her. In his arms was a baby, and as he got closer she realized it was J sleeping soundly. “Would you walk home with me?” She asked her brother. “Sorry sis,” he said pointing to J. “I’m on duty until morning.” And with that he gave her a wink and walked out.

Well there you go…my perfectly lovely, and perfectly true, angel story. I know it is sometimes so lonely to be the mother of a diabetic. We aim for perfection and feel as though the world is on our shoulders. The thing is, I feel really strongly that if we try to be perfect we will always fail. We weren’t made to be perfect, just human. All we can do is TRY our very best, LOVE our very best, HOPE our very best, and ENDURE our very best. God will make up the rest.

Friday, November 12, 2010

OUR DIABETIC LIFE'S Great PJ World Diabetes Day Giveaway!


Welcome to
Our Diabetic Life's
Great PJ World Diabetes Day
Brought to you by PJ's for a Cure!

PJs for the Cure are specially designed women's and children's pajama sets from Komar, the #1 sleepwear manufacturer in the country.

Komar donates 100% of money from the sales of these special PJs to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

100% = AWESOMENESS! If you spend $25.00 on a pair of PJ's, JDRF gets $25.00 of that $25.oo. Generosity at its finest!

Liz, the wife of Komar CEO Charles Komar was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and thus, Mr. Komar founded PJs for the Cure in an effort to raise $1 million for JDRF.

I SO know you want your very own set of PJs for the Cure!

Well, it just so happens that Komar contacted several of us bloggin' D mamas with an opportunity to give away free PJs, and we united for a mega giveaway to celebrate World Diabetes Day! Each of us are going to give away one pair of PJ's. And guess what? You can pick out ANY pair of PJ's you want!

It's a Super Sugar Bolus Extravaganza!

(FYI...My fellow D mama bloggers and I are neither getting paid by Komar nor are we receiving free PJs for hosting our giveaway contests. This is simply a fantastic opportunity to spread the word about the great work that Komar is doing to support the research for a cure!)

How cute are these?

I know you totally want a pair of these!

These could be yours!


You can view the entire collection of PJs for the Cure at http://www.pjsforthecure.org/
Here's how to enter the contest:

Leave a comment on this blog post before Saturday, November 13th at noon EST. (That is 9am PST time.) Please include your name.

Only one entry is allowed per person.

The winner will be chosen randomly at www.random.org and announced on Sunday, November 14th.

Don't forget that I'm not the only D mama celebrating and holding a contest! Komar generously donated 13 pairs of PJs for this World Diabetes Day Super Sugar Bolus!

So, visit my fellow D mama bloggers listed below and increase your chances of winning! You can enter to win on all 13 blogs!

(But you can only win one pair of PJs. Once you win on one blog, you are disqualified from winning on another blog. We gotta be fair and spread the PJ love!)

Beta Buddies
Candy Hearts
Houston Family We Have a Problem
I am Your Pancreas
Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
My Diabetic Child
My Sugar Bugs
D Tales
The Princess and The Pump
The Sugar Kids Blog
The Superhero and The Princess
The We CARA Lot Blog

Remember, you only have until tomorrow, Saturday, November 13th at noon EST (9am PST!) to enter The Great PJ World Diabetes Day Giveaway on all of these blogs.

That gives you only 24 HOURS! So, start clicking and commenting!

We D mama bloggers will announce one winner per hour, starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m., on World Diabetes Day, Sunday, November 14th.

Good luck!

And, if you don't win, won't you please consider purchasing a pair...or two...or three...of PJs for the Cure? It's for a wonderful cause, and 100% of the money you spend will go toward the cure! What more can you ask for! Hello, BEST. CHRISTMAS. PRESENT. EVER.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

My son J: the 80 year old overweight woman.

J had is ophthalmology appointment yesterday. They took a picture of the back of his eye to make sure his eyes are healthy and strong.

That is what I told him anyway.

But J is older now, and he wanted to know exactly why he was there. He asked the nurse who was taking the photos, and she happily gave him this brochure that would explain "EVERYTHING."

J took the pamphlet and looked at the front pictures. This is what he saw.

He studied it for a minute and then looked up and gave me a raised eyebrow, "are you kidding me? This isn't for real, right?" kinda' look.

I told him people with diabetes have to keep close tabs on their eyes. If they do they are rewarded because most complications can be fixed up no problem at all. The problems usually come to those who wait until it is too late to fix something.

Then the nurse chimed in...

"Yes, if the doctor sees any problems he will talk to you about your diabetes and change your diet and exercise regime to make your diabetes more stable."

J and I were gobsmacked.

J made a fast break for the door, I followed. I wanted to yell at her. I wanted to educate, but J's cue told me...He wanted out of there...and NOW.

So I turned to her and said..."J is the most stable kid I know."

And we walked out. So what if I was talking about the mental aspect and not the diabetes aspect. I didn't have it in me, and J wasn't having any of it...so we left.

While in the car, J flipped through the pamphlet.

I told him they gave him the wrong one. This one was meant for Type 2 Diabetics. (A little fib, but I could see the look of dismay on his face as he was eyeing the pages.)

"So you have to be an overweight woman or a grandparent to be a type 2 Diabetic?" J asked.

"No." I said.

"Well according to this you do."

He held up the pages for me to see. He pointed to these pictures.

"It is going to always be like this J. The world just doesn't understand Type 1. We have to educate, or they will never know."

"I guess I should have said something to the nurse." J said. "But I felt really uncomfortable. I just wanted to go home."

"That is OK. I'll try to take care of the adults. You educate your friends. We'll do the best we can."

So then J goes on to tell me that kids at school often think his pump is his cell phone. And that the tubing is some fancy device to make sure he doesn't lose his phone. When I asked him what his reply is, he told me he tells them it is his insulin pump. Apparently almost every kid says, "Oh, you have diabetes! Cool." J said it seems like everyone at his school knows what Type 1 Diabetes is.

Music to a mama's ears.

Maybe...just MAYBE...this next generation will be more empathetic. Maybe J and his brothers will grow up in a world where Type 1 Diabetes isn't such a mystery. Maybe the education is working! Maybe these young people today won't grow up to be as ignorant as the nurse was yesterday.

Maybe there is hope for global understanding yet.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Random Meri Musings

* I can now type without looking at the keyboard or the screen. This comes in handy when I am in the middle of writing a thought and a boy comes in demanding my attention.

* I like saying "awkward." To make others feel awkward. Especially when it comes to my parents. They will say something to me, and I will randomly say, "I wish you didn't tell me that. Really awkward." Then they automatically feel awkward. True story.

* I just made the announcement that no more teenagers are allowed. J turns 13 next week. Sucks for him. Wonder how he's going to work that one out.

* I like pumpkin pie. Just thought I would throw that one out there.

* I started three diets last month. Two of them lasted less than a day. My husband THREW AWAY all the Halloween candy because he and I couldn't keep our hands out of it. I'm pretty sure there was at least 5 pounds of candy. He regretted it that night, but couldn't retrieve it because he purposely threw it away with gross food we just cleaned out of the fridge.

* My birthday is in January. Just in case, you know, you wanted to knit me something.

* The trees are finally turning gold and orange and red and all the brilliant colors of fall. Brings peace and happiness to an old D Mama's soul.

* Last week, I had two birthday parties in a three day period. L's was on a Wednesday. B's was on a Friday. Note to self. Don't invite extra kids, expecting that some won't be able to come. EVERY single child I invited to BOTH parties showed up. You bet I'm going to file that away for next year. Oh, and PS Meri, having two parties in the same week wasn't such a bright idea either.

* My favorite show this year, and sadly it seems as though there are slim pickin's these days...my favorite show is Castle. I originally mixed up the star of the show, Nathan Fillion, with Jason Bateman. Come on...the two have never been seen in the same place. Are they one person?

* Lastly, I was SO opposed to the whole Silly Bandz epidemic. But now that my boys got some for their birthdays...I LOVE THEM! It has especially helped little L make more friends. He trades them at recess and is SO happy because of it. (Actually, he gives away more than he trades, but what ev...if he is making friends...win win! So what if I have to buy these kids off!)

* And this just in...(really, this is the last one,) I can no longer type BECAUSE correctly. I type it becUAse. What the heck is wrong with me?? My fingers WILL NOT type the A before the U. No kidding.

So that's it. Another day of NaBloPoMo...done and done!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Us against them? And my 6 things...

Type 1’s against Type 2’s?


Whoever assumes that Type 1’s feel ANY animosity towards Type 2’s is dead wrong.

Sure I can’t speak for everybody, but I can speak for myself…and I betcha I'm not too off base from the majority of people who read this blog.

I’m going to say this loud and clear. It is not US vs. THEM. It never has been.

Unless the THEM that you are referring to is the media.

It is the media that gets its facts wrong.

And that makes “US” very angry.

The stereotype about diabetes as a whole is wrong.

Sugar and poor diet alone do not diabetes make. Not Type 1. Not even Type 2.

Other factors come into play. MANY other factors.

Sure, for the Type 2 community poor diet can contribute to getting Type 2, but it is rarely the entire story. There is more to the puzzle. One person’s story does not tell the story of the masses.

Take my mother for example.

She was diagnosed a Type 2 a few years ago. At the time she was quite slim and walked regularly with her friend. She also worked almost full time in the Elementary schools. I think the biggest factor that led to her type 2 diagnosis was that she had gestational diabetes when she was pregnant.

I would say my mom has it pretty hard. Limited diet. Crappy old style insulin. (Regular and NPH…come on! That combo is SO yesterday!) And in the beginning, she had no support from her doctor.

I think type 2’s get shoved to the side.

I once saw an elderly woman at the pharmacy get pills for her newly diagnosed type 2 condition. The pharmacist said, “Make sure you check your sugar for awhile to see if these combo of pills work for you.” The lady said, “What is checking your sugar?” The pharmacist said, “Didn’t your doctor tell you about the blood sugar monitor?” “No, what is that?”

How the hell can a doctor give out pills to a Type 2, for her to take the first time in her life, and NOT give her a blood sugar monitor?

How the hell will they know if those pills are working?

How the hell will they know if those pills are too strong?

Being Type 2 sucks. Period.

I do not have anger towards the Type 2’s.

I have anger over those that mix up Type 2 causes…with our causes.

Autoimmune vs. Metabolic.

I mean, I’m not that bright and it is an easy concept even for me.

But before I get too cocky, I am the first to admit that even Autoimmune vs. Metabolic doesn’t always tell the whole story.

With our family history, my endo is wondering if my mother may even have Lada. Adults with Lada have a VERY slow onset of Type 1. It is usually wrongly diagnosed as Type 2 because Lada patients can sometimes survive years on pills. Unfortunately, this wrong diagnosis can be disastrous.

No, I am not angry at the Type 2’s. And I'd venture to say, you aren't either. They have a ton on their plate.

ALL WE WANT…all we super duper really want…is for the media…the WORLD …for everyone!...to get these facts straight.

In honor of D Blog Day...here are 6 things I want the world to know:

1) Type 1 is an autoimmune disease. This means our children didn’t do anything OR eat anything, to cause this disease. It is a complete crap shoot. You are born with the disposition to get the disease. Period. There is an unknown trigger…probably a flu or a virus…but otherwise there was nothing we could do to prevent it.

2) Yes, Type 1’s can eat that.

3) No, that won’t make it go away. There is NO CURE. Insulin is life support. Period.

4) Don't question my judgement. I know better than my endo what is best for my boys. Sure she knows the ins and outs of diabetes, but I live and breathe my boys blood sugars, so let me do my thing!

5)There are no good or bad numbers in this house. They all are good. They tell us what to do next and that is it.

6) And lastly, comments to my child about your great uncle losing his foot to Type 2 diabetes, are not OK.

That is it.

Is that hate mail to Type 2’s? I don’t think so. In fact I'm sure type 2’s have their own list to send out to the world. I’d be interested in seeing those lists as I bet we have a few items in common.

Regardless…I hope for a cure for the Type 2 community, as much as I do for the Type 1. Alright…mostly as much. I really want a cure for my babies…If I’m being totally honest…

The only Type 2 people I don’t get along with are those who say stupid things.

And that goes for Type 1’s too.

AND for rest of the world too.

See…I’m totally not a diseasist! And I’m guessing, neither are you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

All about J’s day.

I wrote a big long blog today, and realized it was perfect for D Blog day tomorrow. That blog is going to have to wait.

I am stumped.

So J is right in front of me right now.

I’m going to ask him to tell me about his day.


“The extra hour of sleep this morning was great, I was able to run faster and better in PE today. I didn’t feel tired at all! I felt awesome!”

“This is the second to last track day we have…so that makes me VERY happy.”

“Ummmm…Spanish, my substitute teacher was very very very mean. He yelled a lot. He yelled at me for sharpening my pencil. My pencil broke! I had to write! But we did watch a video. And videos are always cool.”

“I found a dollar on the ground, walking to lunch. I thought that was way cool.”

“Science, we did more stuff on genetics. And we talked about why marrying your cousin is NOT good. And we did this thing…we put this really special weird paper on our tongue, to see if we could taste it. People who could taste it said it was disgusting. I didn’t taste it though. It had no flavor. It tasted like nothing.”

“I feel stupid doing this.”

“Are you writing what I said?” (He's looking at the computer screen now...)

Giggle Giggle.

“Wow mom.”

“Wait! Giggle Giggle! NO WAY!! Write LAUGH!”

(I tell him I will not compromise my writing integrity. And then ask him to continue on with how is day went...)

“My blood sugars were good, I was 139 at lunch. I texted you.”

“When we picked up M I thought it was hilarious that he was carrying a paper bag instead of his backpack today!”

(Side note: M left his backpack in my mother in laws car on Friday…and he didn’t have it as he was heading out to zero hour this morning, so he grabbed a bag. I asked him if it was embarrassing…he said, 'Not as embarrassing as you’d think it would be.')

“Nothing else really happened today. Ummmm. Now you are typing up this blog. And that is the end.”

“Giggle Giggle? Really Mom?”

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Be part of the bigger picture.

I know this video has been all over the DOC this week. But I don't want you to forget about it...it is that important.

57,258...that is how many times this video has been viewed. We need 100,000. EVERY time this video is viewed, Roche will make a donation of insulin to a child in need. If you have watched this, please watch again. If you haven't watched this...please watch it as many times as you can. It is 1 minute and 49 seconds of video. Watching it can save a life. Aren't you up to saving a life today?

And then later...on November 14th, participate in the Big Blue Test. Check your or your loved one's sugar. Exercise for 14 minutes. And then check your or your loved one's sugar again. Once you do...you can enter the information from your numbers HERE. Easy peasy! See if the exercise made a difference! Everything you need to know about the Big Blue Test is HERE.

If you have Type 1 or Type 2, please participate! Belonging to something bigger is one of the best things about the DOC!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

November 6th...a story worth retelling.

This is a post I wrote last year. Since I have a few new followers on the block, I thought re-posting it would be a good idea. It is a little window into the personal side of our family. I didn't want to spend too much time on the computer today...too much celebrating to do! :) Have a wonderful weekend friends!

A little interesting fact about our family is that I gave birth to my two youngest on the same day of the year. B and L were both born on November 6th exactly two years apart. November 6th is also my father in laws birthday AND most importantly…it is also the day my husband asked me to marry him.

We were really young…I was 19 at the time and he was 21. He was my best friend and our relationship was easy. I was used to drama and guys ignoring me while we dated, but Ryan was different. He was always thoughtful. He was always kind and polite, and he only treated me with respect.

He called me at Macy’s on November 6th, 1992 and asked for me to stop by after work. I didn’t get off until 9:00 that night but he insisted. I reluctantly agreed and continued on with my day. It didn’t even faze me that my Mom and my sisters came by to say hello. (My Mom wasn’t a big mall shopper.) They had silly grins, but I was clueless. (Ryan had asked for my hand earlier from my father, and of course my father practically THREW me at him. My parents LOVE Ryan.)

His proposal was simple. He changed out of his life and bakery uniform of jean shorts and white shirt into a shirt and tie. He asked me immediately and I (obviously) said yes.

I couldn’t wait to be married to him. We would have a great life. We would be adults. We would make our own decisions. Life was going to be all smiles and adventures. We had love, what more did anyone need?

And as I look back on the past 17 years…WOW!!!!!!!....it has been hard. Really, really hard. With 5 pregnancies, (one that didn’t work out, and one that was especially worrisome,) and the bakery, (that he worked 15 hours a day in,) and diabetes diagnosis, (Four, if you include my brothers,) and cancer, (My husband’s mother survived breast cancer and my husband had a serious Melanoma that required chemo this year,) and everything else that life threw at us…man, it’s been REALLY REALLY hard.

But even through the pain and the stress and the uncertainty of life…love has remained. And as hard as life has been, I still have my best friend beside me. He still wears his jean shorts and white T-shirts and he still dotes over me like when we were first married. And we have 4 beautiful boys…who relish every minute of their lives…and who, because of diabetes, appreciate the little things…like brownies with M&M’s on top for their classes on Friday.

Looking back, would I change anything? Mostly I would change things about me. IF I could relive it all…I would worry less...I would take my frustration out on my husband less…I wouldn’t try so hard to be perfect…or to impress those around me. I would have accepted that my best was good enough and I probably would have let my kids have friends over in a house that was not as neat as a pin.

I would tell myself everyday…that hard times don’t last forever…that there will be good times around the corner…and that life is too precious to waste with constant worry and self loathing.

I would appreciate the little moments more…and I would appreciate all the wonderfullness that I've always had right in front of me...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Autoimmune freak-out.

You probably think that my boys’ immune systems were satisfied with killing off the beta cells in the pancreas.

Not so.

Their immune systems had other ideas and thought it would be fun to plague my cuties with other auto immune ailments.

Even though these ailments are harmless and cause no pain…they still tick me off.

Can’t autoimmune jerk face stop causing issues for our family??

J was the first one to encounter said issues.

It started four years ago with a spot on his leg, about the size of a quarter. That spot grew and grew and grew until it became the size of a jam jar lid. (A wide jam jar lid.)

Then more spots came.

Then more.

We brought him to the doc a few times. Brought up the subject at endo appointments. Everyone was stumped. It was when J refused to wear shorts to school I took him to the dermatologist to do a biopsy and put a name on this sucker.

Granuloma annulare.

Here is what it looks like on the outside. He only has them on his legs. The leg with the smaller spots used to be his bad leg. It gives us hope that one day they will just go away.

A granuloma is a medical term for a spherical mass of immune cells that forms when the immune system attempts to wall off substances that it perceives as foreign but is unable to eliminate. In J’s case the substance that the immune system finds to be foreign is keratin. Keratin is the key structural material making up the outer layer of human skin.

Here is what it looks like on the inside.

Anyway…his immune system is attacking something that it shouldn’t be…sounds familiar, right?

These spots do not hurt. These spots do not itch. They are just there. We tried topical lotions to no avail, and even had the spots injected with something to lessen the redness. The shots helped a bit, but not enough for J to go back for a second round. The pain of the shots was just too much for him.

Fortunately they are smaller and less red than they were. J isn’t embarrassed to wear shorts anymore, mostly because he knows what they are now.

Knowledge is power I guess.

L was the next to be blessed with yet another immune system freak-out.

It was after eating pizza one day that L was asking me quite a lengthy question. As he was speaking I caught a glimpse of his tongue and almost fell off my chair. I had him open wide and this is what I saw.

So of course I think he has tongue cancer or ring worm, or something. I Googled “funny looking tongue” and searched like a mad woman for the answer.

Luckily the answer came quickly.

Geographic Tongue.

This is another harmless auto immune thing…much like what J has, but on the tongue. It gets worse, (or more funny looking,) when he eats spicy foods. Luckily it is completely harmless. The rings on the tongue move around and often disappear too. Actually, it is kinda cool.

A little freaky. But thankfully…nothing to worry about.

So, I’m going to take this opportunity to publicly ask the boys’ immune systems to please stop the madness.

Enough is enough.

Don’t make me come and kick your arse. I have friends all around the world! Strong, sleep deprived friends! And I’m NOT afraid to use them!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

An homage to the nighttime check.


The house is still.

Parents peacefully sleeping. Children gleefully dreaming.

Respite from a long busy day.

The dog sighs happily in his bed. The heater hums, the faucet silently drips.

The alarm waits.

It’s black plastic, hard and distantly cold against the softness of the bedroom.

Seconds tick by. Soon it will be time.

Tick Tick Tick.


The scream of the alarm echoes against the still walls of the sanctuary.

A mother’s eyes open.

She turns fluidly towards the snooze button.

The check can wait.

Three more minutes of sleep. Much needed precious sleep.


A violent throwing of the blanket. She is up.

Cautiously she navigates the dark corners of the house. Stealth-like in her movements.

Her hand fumbling for the light. A small stream of brightness piercing the dark…her eyes squint, adjusting to the soft beam.

A monitor, a pricker, three test strips…she begins the rounds.

Each child in a dream like escape from diabetes. Each child at peace.

She longs to keep the peace. Her fear of disturbing her boys is tangible. She wants them to indulge in the calm within the storm.

She works quickly and quietly.

The countdown. Three. Two. One.


Her eyes bright now with victory. Her heart beating strongly against her chest…she is alive with hope.

The next countdown. Three. Two. One.


A small curve at the corner of her mouth. A shy smile of smugness. A sigh of relief.

The final countdown of the night.

Three. Two. One.


Her eyes close now. She holds in a tear. Sleep will have to wait.

Her mind begins to race. Information begins passing through at lightning speed. Processing what this child’s body needs.

She leaves the room and returns like a ghostlike figure. The silence of the house is deafening.

She gently presses the straw to her handsome son’s lips. He sips resolutely. His sleepy eyes see her for a moment, but he is lost in his dream before a memory is formed.

He is safe. For now.

As the mother sets her dark, cold alarm for an hour later, she sighs a deep knowing sigh.

She knows that there are others. Mothers and fathers quietly…tenderly… walking the halls of their homes. They are the guardian angels of their children.

She is not alone. And for a moment, that is enough. Enough to get her through to the next check. And the next. And the next.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The clock waits to scream. And the mother waits to sleep. Her mind alive with information.

She pushes back the madness. She WILLS herself to close her eyes. She will not question herself tonight. She WILL sleep until the next check.

Her eyes finally give in to the exhaustion and as they begin to finally flutter closed…


The nighttime checks continue. An eternal round of deafening silence and breathless countdowns.

The sleeplessness, a necessary evil and a willing sacrifice for the safety of the children she loves more than her own life. They are her everything. She will do anything and everything to keep them safe...

Even the nighttime check.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween and some tough love.

It was the best Halloween ever!

(Scratch that.)

It was the best Halloween FOR ME ever!

We skipped the school Harvest Party.

We skipped the church Trunk or Treat.

Instead, my husband took the older boys to Six Flags Fright Fest, and I took the younger boys out to dinner and then home to make pumpkin muffins.

Then Halloween we trick or treated and that was the end of it.

SO NICE! Admittedly a little selfish on my part, but it was so dreamy I can’t even bring myself to feel guilty.

I think I mentioned last week that I was planning to have the boys sell me their candy this year for gifts. I did put that plan into action with mixed results.

I bought stuff that I thought they would truly want. ITunes gift cards, Baukugan and Pokémon cards. I was willing to sell each present for 100 pieces of candy. I would let them each keep 10 pieces of candy and if there was any leftover, they could give me the rest for “How to Train Your Dragon.”

I was ready!!

L JUMPED at the chance to give away his candy for the Baukugan.

J was very much into the iTunes gift card. He negotiated for 20 pieces of candy and then happily handed the rest over.

M reluctantly gave up most of his candy for the iTunes card, he didn’t fight it, but he wasn’t over the moon over it either. (Do you blame him? He’s 15 and does not have diabetes.)

But B. My dear boy B, didn’t want anything to do with it. He wanted his candy, and there was nothing he was willing to trade for it.

Talk about my plan backfiring.

So I had to pull out the tough love. It eventually came down to me telling him he was only going to be able to keep (J's negotiation of) 20 pieces…"So here are the gifts, now pick out your favorites and hand me over the bag. "

B had some tears as he handed it over, but weirdly enough less than 2 minutes later he was laughing and happy as all get out. He was opening his Pokémon cards and had a huge smile. He gave me a kiss and a hug and it was like all the tough love I handed out didn’t happen.

Another reason Halloween rocked for me?

L wore a costume that M, J and B had worn in the past.

B wore a costume that M and J had worn in the past.

M was a secret agent and wore his suit, sunglasses and an earpiece. (All things we had on hand.)

J and Lawton were the only two I bought for. They wore matching Hot Dog costumes.
Easy peesy lemon squeezy.

I know I sound like a lazy mom right now…but when you are caught up in the October blahs…which haunt me EVERY YEAR…simplifying seems to make everything better.

Halloween was awesome!

My sister in law thinks this Halloween was amazing for me because I finally decorated for the holiday, which pushed me to get into the spirit of things. But I know better.

I wasn’t overwhelmed. I wasn’t running around like a chicken with my head cut off…I was able to just enjoy.

Which every mom knows…is a blessing for sure.

(A pic of the three youngest in front of my inlaws house. Sorry, I didn't get a pic of M this year. Sad! I totally know!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The World Series. It reminds me of...

Around our household…we have been glued to the TV the past few weeks. We have been cheering. We have been wincing. We have been clutching onto each other with dear life.

Reminds me of the Diabetes roller coaster we ride every day.

We have watched a group of characters capture our hearts. Each team member with a distinct personality. Each player uniquely important to the game. Each one contributed to the win.

Reminds me of some of the Type 1 Players in my family.

Lincecum, AKA the freak! Brian Wilson, FEAR THE BEARD! The curve balls, the strikes, the foul balls. The wild pitches!

Reminds me of the twists and turns of our life as we bolus the boys and check their blood sugars throughout the day.

Four wins and one loss. It was close. Each game had its good plays and its bad plays. There were saves and there were errors, but the Giants…they buckled down and pulled through.

Reminds me of the ups and downs with D. We win some blood sugar battles and we lose some. BUT we win more than we lose, and that keeps us going.

Cody Ross batting average: .294 Buster Posey’s on base percentage: .354 Juan Uribe’s Slugging Percentage: .167

Reminds me of an interesting blood sugar night we had after some pizza last week.

MVP. Edger Renteria. He sat on the bench because of injuries for 4 months this season. He was counted out by so many. But when it counted…when he was needed the most…he shined!

Reminds me of each one of my boys. They may have to sit out sometimes, but when they are needed the most they contribute, and their contributions are always momentous!

The San Francisco crowd! They cheered until they were blue in the face. With one voice they howled for the victories, cried in the defeats…but NEVER lost faith in their team. They believed in every one of the players. They were loyal to the end, and will continue to be loyal as long as there are Giants to cheer for!

Reminds me of the DOC. We will always have each other’s backs. We will support each other, and believe in each other, and cheer on each other until the game is won.

If a cure comes along…I hope there are hours and hours of play by play interviews with the people that worked so hard for it, and with the people who have sat in the seats of Diabetes Stadium…and LIVED through the craziness of the game.

P.S. Speaking of gamers, here is a list of all the other T1 Mamas that I know of, who are participating along with me in NoBloPoMo. It would be great if you could cheer them on too!

Kris, Hallie, Jen, Nicole, Lora, Wendy, Tracy, Heather & Sweet Momma.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I’ve got something to SAE.

To kick off NaBloPoMo I am joining with other DOC bloggers and speaking out for the cause. Sarah came up with this brilliant idea for SAE Day! And I'm sure it's no surprise to all my readers, that I have something to SAE!

So I am dedicating this post to people who don’t understand Type 1 Diabetes. Especially for those who figuratively roll their eyes at Type 1 Diabetes and for those who have uttered, “How is it that big of a deal?” or have lectured, “At least it’s not cancer!”

Well, for you my dear friends, I am putting you in charge of bolusing my son for lunch today. (Bolusing means giving my son insulin. There is a whole new language that comes with this disease.) Come on…it is ONE time. Fix my son up for lunch. It’s no big deal, right? Give it a whirl!

Here is your scenario: (and I promise this is a VERY typical one.I picked the boy with the easiest ratios too, because I don't want to be mean.)

My son calls you at 12:15pm. He has just eaten his lunch and wants to know how much insulin to give himself.

Some information you will need to know:

His blood sugar number was 130 before he ate lunch at 11:50am.

He ate ½ an apple…most of his pretzels, his yogurt and his entire sandwich. He also ate an Oreo that his friend gave him.

He gets 1 unit of insulin for every 20 grams of carbs he eats.

One unit of insulin brings his blood sugar, (or BG) down 100 points. His blood sugar goal for this time of day is 110.

Ready to calculate?

Correction= .2 units. To bring his sugar down the twenty points needed.

Carb bolus= 10g for the ½ apple, 10g for the mostly eaten 15 carbs of pretzels I packed him, 40g for the sandwich, 15g for the yogurt and 5g for the cookie. That is 80g of carbs. 80g Carbs is 4 units of insulin.

So what would you give him? 4.2 units of insulin?

You would be totally wrong.

You don’t have all the information! Yes, his pre lunch BG was 130. But he had snack 1 hour and 40 minutes before that. He had a banana for snack, which was 30g of carbs. So at 10:15 he got 1.5 units of insulin. Insulin stays in your system for 3 hours, the body absorbing about 1/3 of that insulin every hour. So my boy had approximately 0.7 units still on board.

Better subtract that 0.7 units that is still in his system from the 4.2 units you were planning on giving him.

That means you are now going to give him 3.5 units…

STOP! Don’t do it!

More information needed!

He has PE after lunch today. They are doing relay races. Exercise DROPS his blood sugar like a rock.

Better take away a unit of insulin for good measure! (Why 1 unit? I just know that one unit will do the trick. HOW do I know. I can't file away HOW I know it! My brain will explode! I just know it! Instincts are a big part of taking care of a child with diabetes.)

So now, how much insulin are you going to inject into my little boy?

2.5 units.

Better…but ummm…sorry. There is yet another small bit of information you need to take into account. We have been adjusting this boy’s basal rates. (The underlying insulin that his pump delivers to him in small puffs every few minutes throughout the day.) My son has just ended a growth spurt and has been suddenly, for the last two days, dropping like crazy between 1 oclock and three oclock. Since we wait 5 days to establish a pattern, we need to leave his basals as is…and at this moment, we need to adjust for these potentially scary lows.

Better take off another ½ unit to keep him safe. (Yeah, because I said so!)

Final answer: 2 units of insulin needs to be delivered.

And you were going to give him how much? 4.2???

That is 2.2 units of insulin too much. That amount of insulin would have brought his blood sugar down 220 points. Which with all the running around he was doing…would have put his blood sugar number at a negative number.

Yeah, you can’t be alive with a negative number.

But don’t worry! We get to do this again for his afternoon snack! And again at dinner! And again before bed! And again at 1 in the morning, and again at breakfast tomorrow! LOTS and LOTS of practice!

PLUS! I have two other boys I get to do this for every day!

And the variables are never ending! A meal eaten with high fat changes everything. A meal eaten a couple hours earlier with high fat changes everything! A big test at school changes things! A substitute teacher changes things! A small cold changes EVERYTHING! A growth spurt, changes everything! A fieldtrip changes everything! A night of unexplainable highs, changes everything…for the entire day! The weather sometimes even changes everything! EVERYTHING CHANGES EVERYTHING!

I joke around about my swelly brain, but it is more real than I care to admit. The constant cog turning of blood sugar variables can put me over the edge. I am the only one that knows my son’s basals are probably too high in the afternoon. I am the only one who knows that one son’s blood sugars aren’t affected by pasta, and my other son’s sugars go through the roof with pasta. I am the only one who knows that J has PE on B Block days, and he needs less insulin for breakfast those days.

Sure! I share this information with my husband when I can. But here’s the kicker…the information changes every day! Every day I am storing new information I am learning about my boys’ blood sugar trends.

I couldn’t even write it all down if I tried.

And hey, I just tried.

There is so much information stored up in the attic of my brain, your cogs would seriously be sent into a disastrous tailspin if you tried to absorb even a fraction of it. And I’m not trying to be mean or anything.

I’m only able to tolerate the swelliness because I have been slowly acquiring these mountains of information every day for the past 12 years. I have attended this school 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I used to be a student, now I run the place. Sorry…you can’t learn it all in one session.

Worst part is…I don’t know everything there is to know about this disease. Cause, I’m not a pancreas. I am a human being. Unfortunately…

So when you think you are ready to judge even one second of my split second decision about my boys’ health…think again.

Because this disease is impossibly complicated. I spend my life trying to hit a moving target.

And that is all I have to SAE.