Thursday, March 31, 2011

Leavin'...on a jet plane. :)

My laptop died in my arms yesterday.

I think I died a little bit along with it.

It was my first laptop.

I started this blog on it.

I discovered the Diabetic Online Community within its bright screen.

I started my Facebook account, my twitter account and typed my heart out tinkering on its keys.

Let me tell you, it saw its share of tears on the keyboard.

Maybe I killed it with love.

Whatever happened, I got a new one. And no...I don't have a problem. Getting a new laptop the day after your old one breaks is VERY normal. I can live without being on line.


...for like 48 hours! (Hey, I didn't want to push it!)

So here I am on this new laptop, who I was sure I would hate...and I'm turning out to love. I'm liking the way it feels.

I wonder what kind of firsts I will have with my new lap top..."Lappy". (Yeah...that name isn't going to work.) Who knows, maybe I'll write my book on this laptop. LOL! LOL! I don't think books let you write in short, unending sentences with ellipsis galore!

Anyway, the real reason I'm writing today is I wanted to let you know I will be away for a few days...but never fear, I will return with a TON to blog about! Medtronic has invited little ol' me to attend an Advocate Forum in Los Angeles. I'm leaving on the jet plane today baby! There will be some peeps from the blogging community on twitter giving you the play by play. They'll be using the hashtag #MedtronicDAF. My phone doesn't do internet...(super sad face) so you'll have to wait for all the juicy details from me when I get back.

Until then, adieu.

Adieu. Adieu, to you and you and you! (Shout out to the Sound of Music!)

Wish me luck on my first solo trip...ever! It's almost like I'm a grown up!

PS In the interest of full disclosure, Medtronic is flying me out there, feeding me and giving me a place to lay my head. They didn't ask me to blog about my trip...but you know me...I will! My views will be my own...but who are we kidding...I'm a huge fan of Medtronic!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sweet Peeps: My new blog roll.

In an effort to clean up some of my real estate...I've followed the lead of some of my friends, and made a separate blog for my blog roll. All ya gotta do is click on my peeps in the side bar. They look like this...

My peeps will take you to all the linky wonderfulness of my blog roll!

Go on! Dive into the DOC blogosphere...the water's fine!

And hey, while you're looking around, check out my new disclaimer at the very bottom of this blog. Thanks!

Friday, March 25, 2011

My rainbow has flair.

He is my squishy.

He is everything a 7 year old should be. He is innocent, he is adorable, and he is funny.

He is my baby.

Everything he does brings a smile.

Looking at his big round sweet eyes makes everything better, always.

L is my rainbow.

Last summer he began feeling his lows and he hasn’t looked back since. He has always had such pride in feeling the lows, but nowadays it’s almost like he takes ownership of them. It makes him feel grown up to handle the lows on his own, so he handles them the only way he knows how…with flair.

He won’t tell me he feels low when we are home. He just goes and checks his sugar. Then, once his suspicions are confirmed, he’ll march past me at a good clip, maintaining intense, serious eye contact until he gets to the low cupboard. Once he is there he directs his attention to the choices inside.

If he grabs an apple juice, I know he is in the 50’s.

If he grabs a banana or a pudding, I know he is in the 60’s.

He’ll eat the treat in an important manner and then walk by me slowly, waiting for me to ask what his number was…and then he’ll nonchalantly say something like, “Oh! I was just 62.” Not missing a beat to his swagger, he’ll walk out of the room with his chin up.

Sometimes he’ll be low and I’ll be in the laundry room or something. He’ll come in and say, “By the way, I was 56.”

“You better eat something.”

And he’ll retort back in a shocked manner, “Well, of course I ALREADY ate something.” Kinda’ like he’s saying, “Duh mom! No brainer!”

He knows it is a very grown up thing to do. He is taking control of his diabetes in his own way, and that makes me burst with pride.

He’s so good at feeling his lows, he came to me yesterday…brows furrowed, needing some answers.

(Sitting on my lap,) “Mom, I felt low and I checked my sugar. But it said 111! So then I went and washed my hands really good and it said 112. I’m so confused! I’m always right!”

“We are having lunch in a few minutes; we’ll get you feeling better in no time!”

Wrong answer.

I should have said what I usually do, “The monitor can say what it wants, but you should always listen to what your body is telling you, go grab a snack.”

But I didn’t, and my husband walked through the door at that very minute, and within minutes he was on the phone with my sister in law, who instantly said she was coming to pick up the boys for lunch, (and a sleepover!) So we jumped up to pack up the stuff and they were out the door within 10 minutes.

As she drove away I yelled, “I have no idea what their sugars are! They need to test when they get to your place!” (They live just a few blocks away.)

Later I found out that L’s sugar was in the 60’s when they got to her house.

Never question a seven year olds sugar intuition.

On a side note: My boys went through phases where they would feel low and the meter would say otherwise. They would call me from school, upset…promising they felt low, but they would always be in the 100’s.

I don’t know if they were just dropping fast, or what…but I always had them eat a snack. (Even if it was just 3 small pretzels.) It made them feel better. They needed to know that I believed them. They needed to know that they always need to trust what they are feeling. Each boy went through the phantom low phase, and each only lasted a couple months. I wanted to throw this in because I know many others have had this problem in the past, and I wanted you to know it is pretty normal.

I don’t want the boys to ever doubt what they are feeling.

Feeling lows is a blessing, I know that.

And every time L walks by me with his important march and intense eye contact…I say a silent prayer of thanks…

Because my little boy feels his lows.

AND because my little boy is so freaking wonderfully squishy cute! (Seriously, can I freeze him in time or something? Can I can him and put him on a shelf?)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Checking in

I seriously have nothing to blog about.

And you know what? I think that is blogworthy.

Usually I sit down at the computer and throw up some post from the depths of my soul. But today…meh…I got nothing.

And man, nothing never felt so good.

The boy’s basals are on track.

The boys are happy.

Daddy is happy.

Mama is happy.

Life is what is supposed to be. Just plain ol’ life.

No drama for the D Mama.

It probably has something to do with the boys being on Spring Break, but looking back, there have been many more days like this than not. And I’m thankful for each and every one of them.

‘Cause it means, we are ok.

We are SO ok.

For those of you who are having a bad time right now. For those of you who see no light at the end of the tunnel…It doesn’t last forever.

I promise.

I have three boys with type 1 diabetes and I have nothing to blog about today.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tiernan’s Got Talent

Susan is one of my dearest friends. We were introduced by a mutual friend a few years ago and forged an instant bond. Sure, we both have been blessed with multiple diabetics, but I like to think we would have been friends regardless. She has a wicked sense of humor and a smile that would light up any room. Her laughter is contagious, her wisdom runs deep and her heart is big as all get out. It isn’t unreasonable to deduce that from her wonderfulness, she has produced wonderful children…in fact I’m sure that was always a given. Her children are down to earth, friendly and bright.

One of her boys is Tiernan. He looks like a normal teenager. One wouldn’t immediately know that behind his curly locks and wide smile sits a deep talent derived from his life experience, his family, his faith, and fortunate family genes. I have a strong belief that all T1’s are amazing…but Tiernan takes amazing to an entire new level.

Below you will find a poem written by Tiernan. He is 16 and was diagnosed a good 6 years ago…months after his brother. I am proud to host his work and will be excited to see him published one day, where I will exclaim…”I knew his family when…”

And Peace
And hate
There is a great dichotomy that exists here
Funny that two should be able to exist simultaneously
In such a small area
Also kind of funny
That we fully embrace opposites
As brothers
For what is war?
But Peace’s ugly brother?
And what is hate?
But that which gives meaning to Love?
How can we know light?
Except by that which saves us from Dark?
How can we know Health?
Without having Sickness lurking over our shoulders?
Safety is nothing
Without Fear
And all that we know to be GOOD
Only exists because it is defined by the BAD
And that to which we know no opposite
We take for granted.
Look at the air
The air is thankless
Because we do not know vacuum
So maybe
Only those who have suffered the tendrils of suffocation
Are thankful for each breath
Just like those that have starved
Are the only ones thankful for each bit of food
And just as the starving hate the glutton
So do the sick silently hate the well
And as we sick slowly waste
We watch the well in their ignorant euphoria
And dream of a day
With the sound of flutes
And drums
When we will complete our wasting
And become nothing
And maybe
In nothingness
Be free
And healthy

~ Tiernan O'Rourke

Thursday, March 10, 2011

High apple pie in the sky hopes!

Often, it's like we are banging our head against the wall...hoping for a different result every time we go in for the next bang.

"Maybe this time it will bring a different result!" We say enthusiastically to ourselves as we bolus our child for the impossible meal in front of them.

And we fail. Not all the time, but dang if it doesn't FEEL like all the time.

Man, we are SO SO hard on ourselves. We don't take our full time pancreas gig lightly, that is for sure...

Where do we find the energy to keep trying? We are like The Little Engine That Could! We think we can! We think we can! We think we can! All this "think we can" stuff is mentally exhausting! Just once I'd like to say..."I know I can't." But, when it comes to our children, we all know that just isn't an option.

So we dig down deep in the recesses of our soul and we find that energy! We pull that "I think I can" mentality straight out of our gut. Constantly working for a better result. How do we recover from the last bang on the wall...and then find the energy to bang our head again? I'll tell you how. All our "I think I can," comes from HOPE!

Every time we bolus...every time we change a basal rate...every time we SWAG a cupcake or a Chinese food buffet plate stacked higher than the Eiffel Tower...EVERY TIME...we cling to hope that we are gonna get this one right!

Dang if we aren't going to move that rubber tree plant!! We are like the mighty ant in Frank Sinatra's song. Diabetes is a huge giant of an obstacle. Logic says we can't win. But we spit on our hands and we pull up our big girl/big boy underwear and try anyway.

High hopes. We will keep going, because each and every time we HOPE with all our heart that we got it right this time.

This one if for you my friends!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Bullet Train

We weren’t doing anything, I swear.

We were just strolling down the boardwalk of life when BAM…the bullet train swept us up!


The Strep Bullet Train.

We went from a leisurely pace to supersonic speed in an instant. There was no going back. There was no getting off. We needed to stop the train before our fate turned to careening down the cliffs at the tracks end.

When you are on a bullet train your mind becomes jello. Every decision must be made instantly…and when there is urgency in your decisions, your decisions don’t come easily.

If I was on the boardwalk…I could have calmly and thoughtfully put together a plan of attack.

If we had warning…

But no warning allowed…Illness...BAM! Make decisions and make them now.

How do we stop the step train?

The doctor!

He couldn’t see us until the next day.

Playing the Type 1 Card didn’t work.

They did not care that my son could not, would not, eat or drink.

They did not care that my son NEEDED to eat and drink.

"Tomorrow," they say.

The night on the bullet train was eerily quiet…the calm before the storm. With every hour we could feel the train gain its momentum.

And the next morning? The engineer began to lose control.

Sips of water. Sips of Apple juice.

Throw up. Throw up. Throw up.

Doctor confirms strep…medicine given.

Throw up. Throw up. Throw up.

Ice cream?


Apple sauce?


Apple juice?




Ketones: 0.5


Tummy calms.


Throat is an angry raging mess of hurt.

Baby steps.

Baby sips.

The bullet train is losing steam...figuratively of course. Who knows what a bullet train runs on. Fear, maybe?

The train continues down its track…we are not allowed off…but yet it slows. And decisions come easier.

In a few days we will be allowed off.

And we will take our path, leisurely walking the boardwalk until the kidnapping terror of the bullet train sweeps up our family again.

When you see a train, think of many families that are dealing with the sick day…gripping their seats…praying for the train to slow. It is a scary ride. One we don’t have much control over.

We can only hold on tight and make split second decisions, hoping and praying the train will let us off at the next station.

It isn’t easy stopping a bullet train.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The blood sugar check/no pain enigma

I checked L’s sugar for him today and I asked him straight out…”Did that hurt?”

“Nope,” he said.

“No?” I said.

“Nope,” he said again.

Wait a minute…STOP THE BLOG!

(Long, dramatic, thoughtful pause…)

It has to hurt, right?

A little bit? Right?

It hurts me just pullin’ the trigger. It has to hurt him! I mean I just shunked a needle into his finger and drew blood. It HAS to hurt.

Then…no more than 10 minutes later, I see J checking his sugar…ON. HIS. THUMB!

Rewind the tape! When J was younger, and I did most the checking, the thumb was OFF LIMITS! It was a HUGE deal. No thumb poking…EVER!

And here he was right in front of me testing his thumb like it was the most normal thing in the world.

“What are you doing?! I thought there was no trespassing on the thumb!”

“That was when I was little.”

“Since when are you not little anymore?”

“I’m 13, it doesn’t bother me at all anymore.”

“Seriously J, I thought your thumb hurt more?”

“Turns out it doesn’t.” And he walks away as my jaw falls open, practically unhinged, like a recently abandoned swing set.

So then I decide to do more research…I turn to B…my hypochondriac.

“B, did that just hurt when you checked your sugar?”

“No, why?”

“Because it had to hurt.”

“Maybe a little…I don’t really remember. It is like a speck. Who remembers a speck?“

I’m gobsmacked.

So as I’m trying to wrap my head around this I decide to check my sugar.

Son of a gun! It REALLY hurt!

I have seen my boys wince before. I know there is pain involved, but when you do something 10,000+ times…I guess your brain acclimates to it all...?...

Maybe my type 1 friends can shed some light on this.

I asked J how he thought it was. How come it doesn't hurt? He said, “I’m awesome. That is the only answer.”

I’m going to stop wracking my brain over this one and go with that.

My boys are just awesome.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What About Meri?

Abraham Lincoln said: “When you look for the bad in mankind, expecting to find it, you usually will.”

Meri says: “If you look for the bad in diabetes, in life and in yourself, expecting to find it, you usually will.”

On the flip side…

Meri says: “If you look for the GOOD in diabetes, in life and in yourself, expecting to find it, you usually will.”

You get what you look for.

My post last week, Finding the Warmth, was the accumulation of weeks of me constantly looking for the bad in myself and the world around me…constantly worrying how things will affect me, constantly worrying how my faults will affect my family….constantly looking at what I am not, rather than what I am.

I got what I was looking for. All the trash built up and I had a bit of a break down last Thursday.

What a difference 5 days makes.

I turned the switch and I opened the door. I allowed myself to let the light in. I wouldn't allow the light in before because I didn't feel worthy of it.

I have so many faults.

I feel so inadequate in my station.

Yet today I know that it is my faults that make up the unique me. Today I realize that nobody is perfect. Everyone has a battle that they are waging...we are all fighting the darkness together. What causes the darkness in our lives may be different, but in the end we are all fighting the same thing.

Those who have read my blog long enough know that I roll this way. I have long stints of happy happy joy joy and then I dive…and I dive hard.

But after the long crash and burn, I get up again.

I get what I look for.

Change is in me. I know if I am miserable it is my job to change my perspective. I am a blessed woman and I have an obscenely long list of things to be thankful for, so it stands to reason that I bring on a lot of the miserableness myself.

One of those things I am thankful for is you. Thank you for your warmth and kind comments, they brightened an old D Mama’s heart! I know I don't struggle with this alone. There is a strong force in the world that messes with our self esteem. It can be so hard to turn away from the voices that say you aren’t good enough.

But, I am good enough.

And you are good enough too. Period.

I'm not even close to perfect…but I have something to bring to the table. We all do. No one else is like me…so I wonder why I want to be like everyone else. That would take away all the parts of me that are different than you…and there is no fun in that.

I’ve decided to embrace who I am, work on the parts I don’t like and love my family so fiercely it knocks them over.

One day at a time.

Baby steps.