Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Erma was big, and she was beautiful.

But during the time I knew her, I didn’t appreciate what she had to offer in the least.

To me, she was old.

To me, she was too fat to take anywhere.

To me, she was a complete embarrassment.

I didn’t want to be seen with her. If the saying, “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” holds true, Erma didn’t count much. She wasn’t much to look at, and her personality wasn’t that shiny either.

Her companionship was a necessary evil, and for a good year she went with me everywhere.

Her make and model speaks volumes. Erma was a 1979 Chevy Beauville G20 Van.

I took my driving test on my sixteenth birthday and pathetically failed by one point. Devastated, but not completely defeated, I returned one week later and passed with flying colors. Since I didn’t have the funds to get my own ride, my persistence landed me the use of my mother’s two toned eight passenger Chevy Van.

When I drove it to school, my friends and I would park it blocks away from the eyes of our peers. Who cares if we had to walk three blocks…we were convinced the van could not be seen or our popularity score would plummet from its already low elevation.

Eventually that van became famous. It was first choice when going out with the girls…it could fit a big group and it was destined for adventure at every outing. We gave it the adoring nickname “Erma” and began parking it closer to the school…even in the parking lot when we were feeling bold.

My relationship with Erma taught me a lot.

Let’s face it, she was big, and I often thought people would only laugh and stare. I thought people would judge me differently because I rode with her. But I was so wrong. It was BECAUSE I rode with her that my nights were memorable. Everyone knew who she was…because of her I made friends and unforgettable memories I’ll keep with me forever.

Sometimes what we see as our biggest disadvantage is actually one of our greatest assets.

I eventually got a Nissan Sentra and left Erma behind…but the Nissan Sentra memories weren’t as hilarious. The weekends weren’t as memorable, and the rides weren’t as smile inducing.

I lost a bit of the magic when I lost Erma.

I know many of us see Diabetes as our Erma. She is the elephant in the room that we think everyone is gawking at. But honestly…it is an asset. An asset that is making our memories more vivid.

Ermas give our good times more color.

We have a better view of the world riding in the front seat of Erma. Driving her at first may seem awkward…the giant steering wheel, the AM radio and the high wide front seat seem unnatural…but when you ride in a different stratosphere as the rest of the world, you see a fuller, more simple picture.

This new perspective we have is because of Erma…and if she goes away someday, our life will turn into a Sentra. Not a bad ride, in fact an extremely comfortable, smooth and enjoyable ride…

Yeah, I know…we will all take that Sentra ANY day of the week.

But one day we will look back and see Erma in a different light than we do today. We’ll see she made the good times brighter, and we’ll be even more appreciative of the wider view she affords us.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hope, Joy and Peace: The Superheroes of 2011

HOPE: (verb) To wish for something with expectation of fulfillment. (Noun) The theological virtue defined as the desire and search for the future good, which is difficult, but not impossible with Gods help.

JOY: (noun) Intense or especially ecstatic or exultant happiness. (verb) To take great pleasure, rejoice.

PEACE: (noun) Inner contentment, serenity, peace of mind.

The feelings of the season. We see these words flashing through the bright store windows. They are hanging on our Christmas tree. They are sung in the holiday carols at church, and on the radio and in our homes.

These words embody my deepest wishes for 2011.

I want to have these feelings…not just one month a year, but all year round.

I want to remain hopeful come January.

I want to continually find joy in the New Year and beyond.

I yearn for inner peace every day of the year.

I’ve learned the hard way that life isn’t just about enduring. It is about LIVING.

And I want to LIVE.

I don’t want to lose hope in tomorrow. I don’t want the unknown to eat at my edges.

I don’t want to have ‘no joy.’ I’ve been there…and it is as miserable as it sounds. I am a firm believer that men are that they might find joy. We need to find a way to be happy in our current circumstances. OR, we need to find a way to change our current circumstances to find our happy.

I want to let go of the inner turmoil. I want to have peace of mind. I want to remember that the bad times do not last forever…that good times are always right around the corner.

Hope, Joy and me holiday Superheroes! Help me find a brighter path through 2011!

Sure, some days I need to put my head down and just plain endure…but I have to remember that sometimes I need to raise my head on my own power…raise my head and SEE the beauty that is around me. SEE that this is my day…my time to mother. Our children are only children once and I don’t want mine remembering a mother that was miserable and simply endured the day to day. I want my boys to look back and see a mother who put the bad numbers behind her immediately…who didn’t let guilt rule her life. A mother who didn’t lament her child’s loss of insulin producing beta cells every day of the year…but instead, gloried in the fact that she can administer insulin for them…and they will LIVE.

And because they live…I want them to live life to the fullest, and I want to live life to the fullest.

There is a quote that says “90% of what we worry about never comes to pass.”

It is a big ol' fat waste of time to spend day after day in constant worry of what ‘could’ happen…when we can save that worry for a time when that something ‘actually’ happens.

Another quote says, “More damage is done by worrying, then what is being worried about.”

True dat.

So I look forward to 2011 with my greatest wishes being:

* To remain hopeful.

* To find joy always.

* To nurture my inner peace in the day to day diabetes grind.

I pray that the feelings of the season remain with me. I pray that when I do worry, (because it is inevitable,) that I will consciously make an effort to lift my head up out of the fog.

I pray that I when I force my head up, I will look at those around me and realize how lucky I am. Every day of the year.

I am blessed. This year, I hope I never lose sight of that...even when I do have a legitimate something to worry about.

On a side note: Thank you for making this such a memorable year for me. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for your love and support in your comments, you have no idea how much they mean to me. They fuel me...they carry me through the day to day diabetes grind. I have shed many tears reading your kind and helpful words. Thank you for your wonderful giving hearts. Thank you to those who write blogs. Your words bring me peace...knowing I'm not alone in all of this is priceless. This is a rare Christmas when most of my brothers and sisters and their families will be in town for the next week and a half. I'm going to be busy catching up with them and playing with my beyond adorable nieces and nephews. So if I'm unable to pop on before then:

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I would like to thank The Academy...(That would be you. :)

A funny thing happened on the way to my blog the other day…

I found out I was nominated for 3 DOC (Diabetic Online Community) Awards.

(Insert a moment of shock and awe here.)

I am completely grateful to those who thought my blog worthy for nominations in the following categories:

Blog most likely to put you in a good mood.

Best commenter.

Blogger I most want to meet offline.

WHOA! Let me tell you…I don't have no amazing personality or anything. I’m a normal pancreas…as pancreases go. Nothing to write home about…but I’m TOTALLY honored nonetheless!

The thing is, I am nominated with some of the most amazing bloggers. Bloggers that I faithfully follow and look up to. Being mentioned in the same breath as these stellar peeps, is already a win for sure!

So thanks to those who nominated me. :)

Now the real voting has begun and I think it would be a great thing if you pop over to HERE

That is here-----------> and vote.

Because I bet there are a number of your favorites in there, and whether you vote for me or not…it would be mighty kind of you to go show your favorite bloggers some love!

Nothing to sign in or log into or anything. Just click and vote. Easy peasy.

I’m going to go bask in the glory of Best Commenterdom…and hope that my ego doesn’t get too big for my britches. Because my britches are already too small as it is. ;( Can you say Christmas Cookie Palooza?!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It’s in the eye of the beholder

We check blood sugars around here like…a million times a day.

It is seriously no big deal. The blood…the poke…the test strips laying on the counter like wounded soldiers…it all doesn’t even faze us.

But throw another person in the room, a person who is not a member of your immediate family…a person who is an “outsider” in the diabetes world…and all of a sudden that million times a day moment blares like fog horn to your consciousness.

If someone else is watching us do a blood sugar check, or a set change or anything else, the craziness of what we are doing isn’t lost on us.

That is because we attempt to see the moment through the eyes of the visitor. When we do something as personal as taking care of our child’s well being, it can be hard, even agonizing, to share that with an outsider. Because once we do…we can’t pretend it is the most normal thing anymore. All of a sudden, the life saving things we do for our children…are weird. Or sad. Or any number of unpleasant emotions.

Even with Endos, when we let them into our world…we try to look at our life through their eyes. They don’t have the full picture of what has been going on in our home. Sure they have graphs and charts, but these things don’t tell half the story. Going to the endo is agonizing because we know we are going to have to explain our diabetic life to them…Our personal day to day, play by play, war with this disease. We battle so hard, it breaks our heart to think that our Endo may think we haven’t battled hard enough. We look at the information through their eyes and we know it doesn’t look good. And it makes us feel unfit to be pancreases.

But I digress.

B had a friend over last week.

We did everything in our power to make our family look as normal as we feel. It was set change night and we even postponed it until the next morning because the boys had enough insulin in their reservoirs and their numbers going to bed were brilliant.

We even skipped the 1:00 check.

My hubby and I went to bed at 11:30, and since the boys’ numbers continued to be brilliant, we thought we could skip that check and not disturb the boys in their makeshift tent.

So much for trying to be “normal.”

B woke up WHITE. He didn’t look good, he didn’t feel good and he said he threw up.

Check blood ketones…4.1

Checked site…full of blood.

He hadn’t gotten any insulin for how long? He was feeling it…and he was looking it.

So all the attempts of looking like the normal family flew out the window.

We had to do a million blood sugar checks.

We had to change his site.

The kid threw up, remember?

He was pale and as sick as he could be. He didn’t feel like playing. He wanted to lay on the couch. His plate of pancakes, eggs and bacon sat at the table alone, devoured only by the gravity of the moment and the empty chair sitting in front of it.

Crap like this happens MAYBE once a year. Maybe. And of all the nights it had to happen…

Is it any wonder that the little boy who slept over called his mother to pick him up early?

I went through the entire morning, witnessing the events through this boys eyes. I couldn’t wrap my head around what he thought of it all…but I know it was uncomfortable for him. No, we didn’t do set changes right in front of him. But we were running around worried, grabbing pumps from everyone and checking sugars constantly.

I didn’t like seeing it through his eyes.

It was sad. It was weird. It was not what I see.

Because what I see is an ordinary family, doing extraordinary things…that they have done SO many times…they seem ordinary.

In our bubble, we are normal as all get out.

But in the eyes of the beholder…in most cases…we are not.

Do I know that this little boy was uncomfortable? No.

Maybe he was just bored and I was reading too much into it.

The bottom line is…trying to guess what people are thinking of my family is exhausting. And a craps shoot at that. Does it really matter if people feel sorry for us? Does it really matter if a parent thinks I’m over protective, or a teacher thinks my son’s numbers always have to be perfect, or an endo doesn’t understand why I don’t just change basals rather than compensating for said basals through carb ratios?

Does it matter?

Only if I let it.

And I shouldn’t let it.

Because the only beholders eyes that matter are those of my sons…and my husband…and my very own.

As far as I behold…we are making the very best of a crappy situation.

As far as I behold…we are a blessed and happy family.

As far as I behold…blood sugar checks are no big deal. It is what it is.

As far as I behold…my boys lead happy semi-normal lives.

Which begs the question dear readers…

What else matters?

Monday, December 13, 2010

A guest post by M on Our Diabetic Life.

I've been crazy busy getting ready for Christmas, so when I asked M to guest post for me, I was pleasantly surprised when he immediately accepted the challenge. I had no idea what he was going to write, but now that he has finished, and I have read it definitely made me smile. It has 15 year old written all over it.


This is the incredibly knowledgeable, handsome, and completely humble M.

Yeah, I know I’m pretty great. But right now that’s not the point. Actually, I’m not even sure what the point is right now, so I guess I’m just going to wing it.

I should probably explain what I’m like. I’m the kind of kid who wonders if there is a zoo exhibit in Africa titled “raccoons.” I love a good laugh and I’m relatively smart, or at least smart enough to get into some honors classes in school. I love NOR CAL, it runs within my blood. I like totally talk like this dude. But I guess I’ll be more sophisticated for this little article.

As far back as I can remember J had diabetes. It was just something that came with life. It never really bothered me. Of course, back when pumps didn’t exist, J had to have shots four times a day at least. It was pretty sad to watch at first, but he became stronger and shots really didn’t bother him anymore. Of course, I dreaded the idea of making myself bleed just to see if I had diabetes. Later we got a pump, and B and L were born, so it was even less of a deal. Life went on, and B and L were diagnosed. Those were dark times. But we persevered, and all seemed to just go with the flow. Now, where was I during these times? I was helping my brothers along, one step at a time by giving my brothers a comforting reassurance when it was needed, possibly checking their sugar, and just flat out helping.

Now-a-days, my bros don’t need help. And, with my mom starting a diabetes blog, and asking me to write about myself and what it’s like to be the only non diabetic child in a family, I would have to say it’s not that big of a deal. I mean, I get attention. I know that my bros need some time to check their sugar. Hey, more time for me to get first in line for dinner. I also LOVE the free dog. Lawton is the most adorable dog you will ever see.

What interests me more is that I see diabetes outside of just my three brothers. My grandma has type 2 and an uncle on my mom’s side has Type 1 Diabetes. My grandpa on my dad’s side has Type 2 Diabetes. Heck, I know someone at school with diabetes. He had to bow out of a band trip to Disneyland partially because of his diabetes.

By the way, fist bumps are a no-no when it comes to parent-teen bonding. It’s just too awkward dude…

So yeah, I love my brothers and all. I’m glad to be in a world where we can at least control diabetes. Sure, I’d also like this to be a world where learning didn’t involve homework and tests, but this is good too. I think I just ran out of stuff to write…oh, well. Hope you all found this informational.



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

'Twas the Night Before Set Changes

‘Twas the night before set changes and all through the home
Every boy slept quite soundly, nary a moan.

The monitors sat on the counter with care,
Anticipating a parent soon would be there.

The children’s fingers were hiding warm under their cheeks
Safely hidden from needles, a welcome retreat.

And I in my robe, and Ryan in his shorts
Had just settled down, for a napper of sorts.

When out in the hall their arose such a clatter
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the door I flew like a flash,
My feet not touching the ground, a hasty worried filled dash.

When what to my blurry sleep deprived eyes should appear,
But one little boy staring at himself in the mirror.

His eyes all glazed over, his face no emotion to show
I knew at that moment my son must be low.

More rapid than reindeer I flew to the kits
Stepping over Legos, being careful not to trip.

Now Lancet, now monitor, now wet napkin too
On cocking the lancet, we have blood drawing to do!

To a finger so callused and speckled with dots
Now dash away, dash away, dash away sad thoughts!

As I checked his blood sugar to make sure all was well
I saw a number that made me swoon and I fell.

And then in a twinkling I saw above me,
My husband holding a juice box, to fix that 43.

He was dressed in his underwear, not a sock on his foot
And his hair was all tousled…he gave me a look.

His eyes bright with love and a crooked smile to match
He looked like a peddler, a cute one at that.

The lines around his eyes so wrinkly and tired
But his face shown of kindness and a hope unretired.

He helped me off the floor and he gave our son juice
I knew in a flash, he got his much needed boost.

I turned to our boy who began to giggle with glee
His pump shook up and down from his tummy clippy.

He was out of it; his jolliness seemed out of place
But I chuckled despite that blank look on his face.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word but went straight back to sleep
His fingers under his pillow, shoved down there deep.

And giving him a kiss just the side of his nose
I went back to my room, cursing the lows.

I set my alarm and gave my husband a squeeze
I whispered to angles, “A little sleep help please?”

But I heard a faint echo ‘ere I closed my eyes tight
“Love you mom and dad…see you later tonight.”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Is that “almost low” a threat young man!?

L has been bringing the big guns lately.

He’ll check his sugar, and if he is even borderline low, he’ll say…”I’m ALMOST low! I need to eat.”

And then I’ll usually say something practical like, “You are ok, dinner is in five minutes.” Or, “We will be home in a couple minutes and we’ll get you a snack ASAP.”

Where he will retort, “But MOMMMMMMM! I’m almost in the 50’S! I could be in the danger zone ANY minute!” (As he throws his hands in the air and snorts impatiently.)

He’s good. I gotta give him that.

So what the heck is a mom to do? She can’t say, “Your being dramatic L! Lows don’t happen THAT quickly.” Because as we all know…they can.

And I do make a big deal about him being low in school and eating putting off snacks, (not even 5 minutes.)

So I’ve been inclined to let him win this one.

If he says he is “almost low,” (Which usually is 70’s-80’s,) I’ve been letting him eat immediately.

So I hand him a banana...

There are far worse things than giving your child a banana, right?

But part of me doesn’t want to play this game anymore. Scare tactics aren’t welcome in this house. I want him to always listen to the cues his body gives him…but he needs to be reasonable in times of “almost” need.

As a result I’ve made a decision of sorts…I’ve decided if it is after school in the car, I’ll let him eat something…’cause that kid can CRASH after school. But, If we are literally going to eat dinner in 5 minutes…I will give him a tickle, tell him I would NEVER let anything happen to him, and let him know if he waits just a few minutes, he will be ok.

That is my plan anyway…

As long as these eyes don’t get to me first…

Friday, December 3, 2010

Nope, not Easter...but the bunny stopped by for a visit!

Not more than a half hour ago I found this big beauty on my front porch!

The boys are going to be SO EXCITED when they get home!

Thank you K2~ I won this just by commenting on her blog. But between you and me, I would have commented anyway...Diabetesaliciousness is DA BOMB!

Love Kelly!

And Blue Bunny Ice Cream! Holla!