Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Guest Blogger-polooza Day 1: Kim

While I am with my family living up the Disney Dream, I have some amazing friends that are pinch hitting for me this week. My blog will dazzle you for the next five days with posts from some of the most amazing PWD, (people with diabetes,) in the blogosphere!

I begin this exciting week with a guest post from Kim Vlasnik at Texting My Pancreas.

If you haven't checked out her blog...cut and paste her URL now! Her humor, her candor, and her drive to make a difference inspires me! Thank you Kim for your words of wisdom today!


Diabetes digs its claws.

Have you ever awoken, drenched and confused
Stumbled down a hallway that's suddenly sideways
With feet that won't keep step with each other?

A number like 45 looks so innocent
Until it shows up on that little hand-held, digital scorecard.

But you know what?
Numbers are kinetic and fleeting.
Digits don't have to be defining.
And I'm okay.

That my pancreas could realize
What my heart holds -
How embarrassed it might be.
Because then; then it would know
The guilt I feel when others are hurting,
Yet I'm okay.

Diabetes digs in; leaves its mark everywhere.

If only I could go back to that teenager I was.
If only I could tell her all the things she'd do.
I want to tell her to cut the crap and start paying attention.
I want to tell her that life will get much, much better, but not yet.
I want to tell her, despite her beliefs to the contrary:
Things will work out okay.

There are going to be days you feel like you've been run over.
You'll forget to bring test strips; you'll forget abouting testing completely.
You'll overlook insulin until the moment the thirst comes knocking.
You'll get looks. They'll stare.
They'll ask you why you can't even things out.
They'll ask if "that's a good idea right now".
They'll say they understand, even when you both know they don't.

Diabetes will try to bring you into the dark with it.

But you know what? You can survive that.
You WILL survive that.
You have strength in there; willpower; poise.
You've also got a snarky comeback on tap.
Use those; all of that.
This is about survival; this is about flourishing.
You're going to be more than okay.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our job description: An eternal round of worry

I had just turned the corner and came face to face with her. Another D Mom, who upon seeing my face, instantly broke into tears. "Oh great!" she said. She had been keeping it together all day long, but once she saw me...another D mother who understood every inch of angst she was feeling in her gut...well...holding those tears back would have been as fruitless as trying to hold back Niagara falls with a paper napkin.

I hugged her tight. I gave her all my years of wisdom in one sound bite, "It all works out in the end." Her daughter came and hugged her, with a big smile and a bounce in her step. "See!" I said, "She is having fun at the party even with a failed site and cotton candy in her blood stream. She is happy, she will come down, all is well!"

I'm an idiot.

Apparently...I can comfort others, but when it comes to comforting myself I am a big fat failure.

That was Friday. The very next day a chain of events would lead me to be a sobbing maniac ripping out all the contents of our blood sugar station cupboards looking for Blood Ketone Strips.

But I digress.

Saturday, L woke up and told me that his throat hurt. Again. He just got over strep last week, and here he was with another sore throat. I knew as soon as he told me. He had sounded muffled the past couple days and now here was the inevitable.

I called the nurse. (It is a Saturday. On a holiday weekend.) She says she will send an urgent message to a doctor who will no doubt just call in another antibiotic. I got a call from another nurse, confirming that the doctor always just calls in another RX, but she'll let me know. I got a call from a third nurse.


The on call doctor wants to see him. At 4:00 that night.

The nearest office open is 40 minutes away.

We packed up the entire fam and figured we would see a movie at the mall next door after the appointment. Sitting in the waiting room I decide to check L. He is 500. WTHECK!!!! Check his pump. He has no insulin. How long? I do not know. I MacGyver B's pump to him, give him a correction plus his basal amount through the prime, and then return the pump to B.

We waited an hour and a half to see the lone doctor on call. She thrusted the stick so far back into his throat, L went into hysterics. She quickly typed up a RX on her computer and ran out.

We waited 45 minutes at the pharmacy for his antibiotics. I ran to the car, gave L his new meds, and we sped off with just enough time to make the movie.

We ran in. Got tix, the popcorn, (it is 6:20 and the boys haven't eaten,) and we sit down. Wow! We never go to this theater, but MAN, their popcorn was Gooooooood! Later I would find out, that was probably the case because the coat it with sugar...

During the previews: L 503. MacGyver with J's pump this time and watch the flick.

After the movie: L 339, MacGyver with J's pump again and leave the theater.

Eat a late dinner at the mall.

He needs to be MacGyvered for a 4th time. I turn to my husband. "I've done this 3 times...it is your turn to do this one."

He waits until we get to the car, and does it with his back in the rain. He was so cold he jumped back into the driver's seat and started driving away before L had finished getting his bolus.

"Wait, his site is on his butt. When the bolus is done, he'll have to stand up to unscrew the cap. He can't do that while you are driving."

"J, just unscrew the reservoir when the bolus is done, then we'll put it back on you when we get home." He says.

"Hold the phone!" I say, "Then J will be 40 minutes with his basal. That is a bad idea."

"It'll be ok."

Evil look. Why do men always have to do things the hard way? Why don't they do something straight arrowed instead of criss cross applesauce??

He sees my displeasure and pulls over. He really is a good man.

So we get home and there is the 500 screaming back at me on the meter again.

"We better test blood ketones. He has been high for hours and hours."

My husband grabs the blood ketone meter, and a strip and goes and checks L.


It flippin says, HI.

I have never seen a blood ketone meter say Hi. It always says a number.


"But the strip I used was from 2004," my husband says. "And it was the wrong code."


I freeze. I am processing. You should have seen the look on my face. I can't even describe it.


So here begins my tearful ripping out of the supplies to find the current-not-expired blood ketone strips. In the mean time I tell my husband to give him an extra unit to get things going.

I finally find the current strips 20 minutes later, in the same box that was originally in front of me that had the expired strips inside.

My husband tests him with a current strip and the right code.


That isn't a face...that figure above says zero point zero.

So I go to take L to the bathroom one more time, and notice...he has a rash.

He is allergic to the freaking antibiotics the doctor gave him.

I'm pretty much hyperventilating at right about this moment.

I'm yelling at myself in my head, "What happens to it all works out in the end, MERI?????? What if it doesn't work out? What if you are an idiot??? Meeeerrrriiii!!"

I go to bed with my eyes bugged open in the dark, a massive headache, planning out my strategy for the night. I'm having a silent freak out pity party in my mind when my husband rolls over and gives me a big, long hug.

"I'll take care of L tonight. I promise I'll take good care of him. I'll check him every hour if I have to."

And I say, "There is no way I can sle...snore."

And he checked him every hour. (And the other boys too...because sugar coated popcorn and mall food are BFF's with high blood sugars.)

And all four of boys lived through the night.

And L woke up this morning with a lovely 98.

And the doctor just called and he is positive for strep.

And I told them about the rash and they are calling in a new script.

And it WILL all work out in the end.

It is easy to have perspective in hindsight. But when you are in the moment...and it is YOUR child...perspective can't be found amongst the deep fog of the worry.

The worry of a mother for her child cannot be matched. It cannot be communicated. It is its own beast.

Sure, it works out in the end...but only after we lose a year of our life in an explosion of worry. At this rate I'll only have a few years left. But it is so worth it right this minute, seeing L dancing in circles around the living room, humming between giggles, with a giant smile on his face.

His happiness is so worth the worry.

Because his happiness, brings me happiness. It is an eternal round.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My "Smarty" List

Thank you all for responding to my call for help! I got a ton of great ideas in the comments section, and even more on Facebook, on Twitter, as well as emailed to me directly.

I thought it would only be fair to share. I don't want to be an idea hog or anything...so I present to you a list of things that are used for lows by some of my favorite peeps. Keep in mind that these things are simply ideas used by others in the community, and not necessarily what your doctor would want you to use for lows. Most of these ideas are used for lows, but not the "bad" lows...like the ones that require a quick acting sugar such as juice. (I know..they are all bad lows...is there really a good one? But you know what I mean, right?)


Lara Bars, that apparently come in yummy flavors like cinnamon rolls, banana bread and chocolate chip cookie dough.

Trader Joes Granola Bars

Luna Bars, lots of protein and 21g carbs

Yogurt Melts by Gerber. 5g carb for 1/4 cup, so one package is 20g carb

Fruit snacks during the day, so they can brush their teeth after



South Beach Bars come in chocolate or peanut butter flavor, 18g carb

PB and J in a container mixed with molasses or honey

Apple Sauce Pouches. Gogo squeeze or Trader Joes Brand. 12g carb, easy and healthy

Pixie Stix, 14g carb per serving, one serving is 7 stix. A giant Pixie Stick is 27g carb


Portable chocolate milks

Snack Packs of Jif Peanut Butter, with pretzels or something to dip in

Rice Krispy Treats

Yogurt Tubes, frozen

Dex 4 Liquid Blast, sometimes sold under the store brand name. Worsk quickly. They are $1.99-$2.99 each depending on where you shop

Hershey S'mores Dessert Icing Pouches

Gerber juice that comes in class bottles

Nutella single serving packets, sold at Cost Plus

Yogurt covered raisins

Packets of Peanut/Almond/Hazelnut Butter from Justin's Nut Butter Co. Small pouches 5g carb, larger pouches 11 g carb

100 Calorie snack packs by Nabisco

Cans of tree top apple juice sold at Costco

Cocoa Pebbles Bars, gluten free


Gold fish crackers

Small bags of chips or crackers, usually around 15g carb

Individual bags of Omega 3 mix from Trader Joes. 15g carb



Snack size Peanut M &M's Snack size Recess Pieces

Juice with Peanut Butter Crackers

Treetop fruit snacks

Glucose Tablets

Haribo Cola Gummies

Jelly Belly's, 1 g carb each

Dried Apricots with a bag of nuts

Pineapple juice

Dried Fruit

Icing Tubes

All Dex 4 Products

Natural Fruity Bites

Happy Melts, Organic Yogurt Bites for Toddlers

1/2 a Balance Bar

Chewy Bars

Other than actual food, there were some pretty handy ideas for storing the goodies:

* Using travel soap dispensers for juice boxes, or even for crackers or treats that crumble. (Making sure to use the contoured kind that locks, otherwise you may need to use a rubber band to keep it closed.)

* Small sandwich containers to keep crushable food in.

* Keeping small things like raisins or yogurt covered raisins in Tic Tac boxes.

* Using the long containers that crystal light comes in to keep things together.

* When in Disney use a camel back backpack with water, and add a bit of Gatorade powder to the mix.

Thank you so much for your brilliant ideas! I have already made a trip to the store to try out a few of these! If one sticks...I'll let you know!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Calling all smarty pants! Help. Me.

When J was younger, I mean REALLY younger, we gave him fruit snacks when he was low.

We could even feed that kid in his sleep. Chomp Chomp Chomp...his eyes wouldn't even flutter open when I would stick one in his cheek.

Rookie mistake.

10 years and hundreds of dollars in dental work later...we needed something new.

That is when we switched to Yogos. The yogurt covering kept them from sticking to the boys teeth. They had a sugar to bring the blood sugars up, and a bit of fat to keep them there.

Also, they did not melt in my purse.

Win Win

But for the past month I haven't been able to find them on shelves anywhere. Not at Target, not at any grocery store. I just checked the Kellogg's site...and they have been discontinued.

Not cool!

Now I need to find a replacement. And the task is proving harder than I anticipated!

My boys don't like chalky candy...so smarties are out. They loath glucose tabs.

Starbursts and skittles stick to their teeth.

What can I keep in my purse that won't break the bank??? (Or their teeth.) I know there are little juice shots...but they are really expensive.

Help me o wise readers! We leave for Disney soon and I need something to keep in my purse. I have apple juice and capri suns with 25% less sugar, (16carbs.) But that is just fast acting. I need something with staying power.

And I tried those kids Z Bars. They don't like them either.

Heaven help me.

Readers help me!

SOMEBODY! Help me!

If I sound desperate, I'm sorry. It is only because I am. (Insert awkward smile of pure desperatness here.) There is something out there and I know I am missing it.

Huh, I just thought of dry cereal. But that would crumble in my purse.

Can I make this any harder? Maybe I need to invent something, like tubes of pudding. Or reinvent it, because it looks like Hunts Snack Pack used to make them...and now they don't. :( Easy to fit in the purse...sugar plus fat...

I have a little tear just thinking about it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Blooming a new perspective.

Saturday L came running into the house. Door flung open, feet barely touching the ground...in his hand, a small branch that had fallen from our tree in the front yard. He was excited to show me his discovery. He lifted the branch up to my eyes and pointed to the flowers. The most beautiful flowers. My husband followed behind me in awe, saying that he noticed after closer inspection that the tree was full of these flowers. They are practically hidden to the naked eye unless you put effort into finding them. L quickly grabbed a cup and filled it with water to preserve the precious gift he was bestowing upon me. (This picture, does them no justice.)

I ran out to the tree, and at first glance didn't see any of these flowers.

It took some adjusting of the eyes to get a glimpse of them nestled up in boughs of the tree.

It was quite a discovery for our family. For the rest of the day, every time we passed the flowers on the kitchen counter we would shake our head with wonder.

Fast forward to that evening. My sister in law dropped off the boys after our date night. They ran into the house like a ball of thunder, hugging my neck and kissing us goodnight.

L slipped into the living room and completed his nightly ritual. He closes all the blinds in the front of the house every night before bed. He ran in and hugged me again, gave me a butterfly kiss on the cheek, and ran to his room to get his pj's on.

An hour passed before my husband and I began to close up the house up for the night. Lawton was let out to "do his business," and Ryan headed to the boys' rooms to do the 10:00 check. I went to the front door to make sure it was secure for the night, and then casually looked around the living room.

I could see where L had stepped on the cushions to close the blinds. I saw his shoes laying in the middle of the floor, and his cars in a perfect circle surrounding a group of farm animals.

The most ordinary of evenings, the most ordinary view of our living room, brought the most extraordinary rush of feelings.

All of a sudden I began to cry.

All of a sudden I felt the twang of anger deep in my gut. I don't think my boys burden was ever so clear to me as it was at that moment. At that simple, stupid, nothing moment...I was furious.

"It isn't fair." I mumbled under my breath. I am Ok with all of this, but it is not ok that they are handcuffed to this disease forever. At that moment....everything was turned upside down. I can't remember ever feeling so livid, I'm sure if I was a lioness you would have heard me roar all the way to China. Such deep unconditional love for boys that are so sweet and smart, and fun...yet such anger for the lot placed before them in life.

For a moment, my throat was tight, as a scream sat in my tonsils waiting to be released.

I walked into the kitchen to get some water, tears streaming down my face...

And then I saw the flowers.

The image calmed me. I looked at the delicate petals and took a minute to reflect.

Maybe, just maybe...I was looking at this all wrong.

Maybe, I thought...their lives are like our tree.

Maybe I needed to look closer to see the beauty that lay before them.

I have to believe that there is a purpose to this madness.

I have to believe that in between the lines...or the branches of this diabetic life, good and beautiful things lie in wait for my boys.

I have to believe that diabetes is going to be an asset...that it is going to mold them into compassionate, empathetic, amazing human beings. That they are going to be stronger because of the experiences they will have...BECAUSE of this disease.

I have to believe all this or otherwise, I would probably explode from a lethal cocktail of fear and anger.

Looking at the flower, I realized I was looking at the "tree" so to speak, of our diabetic life, and not the fruits of the journey.

When you look at the big picture, sometimes you miss the details.

Like coal that is put under the pressure of the refiners fire, a diamond will emerge from their story.

There has to be good that will come of this.

There just has to be.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My secret.

I get asked all the time, how I do it.

Inevitably, as soon as introductions are made...the question comes.

How do you do it?

I'm going to tell you my secret right now. No point dancing around it.

At the risk of sounding completely sappy...

The answer to that question and every other variation of it, is love.

I survive Our Diabetic Life because of love.

I thrive at times through Our Diabetic Life because of love.

I'm not being Bragity McBragerson here or anything...I'm not saying the love that abides here is stronger than the love that abides in your home...

I'm just acknowledging that in my hardest hours...on my saddest of days...it was love that brought me through to the other side.

Sometimes it is the love from my husband. Sure, he has his moments, but for the most part.. well actually, for the all the time part...knowing he loves me, and thinks I am beautiful even when I don't get a shower for three days, well that...makes all the difference. He pitches in too...this is most certainly OUR Diabetic Life. From day 1 he has been in the trenches with me. He is my partner, and I for sure recognize his wonderfulness as a big umbrella like influence in my life. He has protected me from many a hard-time-hail-storm.

Sometimes it is the love from my children. Man, sometimes they can just look at me and I seriously melt with ooey gooey sincere admiration and unconditional love. They handle his life better than I would ever have when I was a kid. For real...I was pretty whiny when it came to anything uncomfortable. Their strength sieves into me...their bravery buoys me up. I often see myself down in the dumps and realize...if they can do it...so can I! There are days their brave faces are my lifeline.

Sometimes it is the love shown to me by my extended family. My mother in law is a saint. There, I said it. She is. She lightens my burden so I don't get too overwhelmed. She cooks meals, she brings boys to school, she is willing to pitch in at a moment's notice. Last week she was in the hospital, and she is taking a week or two off to gain back some strength. Wow. Being a full time mom is hard! Doing all the car pooling and more cooking than usual...it is a big load! When all is said and done, I'm pretty sure she is one of the biggest reasons I still have my sanity. Well, her and my sister in law who is willing to watch the boys at the drop of a hat. I mean seriously...how lucky am I to have a sister in law willing to babysit, bolus, and carb count for three boys who have diabetes...and take on their brother and our dog too! Also, my parents have us over every friday night. Taking some of the day to day chores off my plate is HUGE!

Sometimes I get support from the most amazing group of people online. I haven't met most of them, but they are considered family just the same. Sometimes it is the love I receive from people like you. Getting messages and emails telling me that they my blogging helps ease their burden a bit. Knowing that I can sow the seed of "same" around the bandwidths of the internet...wow. There have been many days I've gotten notes when I am at a low point...and those notes lift me up again. It is no accident that you send me these emails. I always get them when I need them most.

Sometimes it is the love of my Heavenly Father that gets me through. Well, most of the time he has a hand in it whether I see it or not. I know he knows my name. I know he sees my struggles. I know there are days that he carries my burden for me...the days that I let him anyway.

I have a lot to learn...but if I have learned anything from this diabetic life...it is that love can prevail. It will prevail if you let it in. Some of my darkest times have been when I shut other people out. On those days I think no one understands, and I climb into my cave to hibernate with my self-pity. In hindsight, I can see that in these times my critical mistake was turning away from the people that love me the most.

Critical mistake because no matter how strong we are...we can't do this alone.

I can't do this alone.

And I am so thankful I don't have to.

How do I do it?

I am blessed with love, and surrounded by wonderfulness.

That is how I do it.

Don't cry for me Argentina.

I am Okay.

Monday, May 16, 2011

10 things that have nothing to do with Diabetes!

1) My oldest is turning 16 on Wednesday. He got his permit and I had the privilege of taking him driving for the first time yesterday. My favorite quote from him had to be, "Okay, this shouldn't be too hard, I've played quite a few driving video games in my day. Just show me where the "A" button is and I'm good to go!" He was kidding of course, but man...you gotta love him!

2) There are 10 more actual school days left. My boys are chomping at the bit for summer. Sadly, I have practically chewed through the bit, because I JUST. CAN'T. WAIT!

3) One word. Disneyland.

4) L had strep last week. Guess who has a sore throat right this minute? I'll give you a hint...she has a swelly brain and dreams of test strips growing on trees.

5) For those of you who are not friends with me on Facebook...(And why that is, I do not know!) Any hoo, for those of you that don't know, a bird built a nest in the wreath on our front door. 4 eggs hatched a couple weeks ago. They were SO gross...and now they are finally getting cute! Pictures to come. In the meantime...we don't use the front door anymore...which is more complicated than one would think.

6) My husband has started his garden. He has a large area to plant, and curiously...he has chosen to begin to plant everywhere else but the garden boxes. When I told him I would support him in this...I didn't mean I wanted peppers growing in my front yard. Garden boxes people! I thought it would all be contained in the garden boxes!

7) As a completely random public service announcement: When there is a stop sign...it means stop. I'm not kidding. You seriously need to wait your turn.

8) We found out this week that my husband is officially 2 years cancer free. After seeing a you tube video this week he is compelled to share his story. Expect a tear jerker soon.

9) Phillip on Survivor is totally whack.

10) I started writing this last night...and here it is morning and my neck is swollen up like a puffer fish. It hurts. It's uncomfortable. It's official. I have strep. What am I, 8?

Have a wonderful week friends!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

To the DOC. D Blog Week, day 7

The last prompt for Diabetes Blog Week is to write out what I learned this week.

Easy Peesy!

When you are in need of friends
and starting to feel down,
just open up your browser
and find the greatest peeps around.

When you've had a little victory
and want all the world to know,
just click "new post" in Blogger
and let those happy feelings show.

When you have a burning question
and just don't really understand,
Shout it out on Twitter
and watch the tweeps give you a hand.

When your greatest wish is to know
what your children feel inside,
just read the type 1 bloggers...
they have nothing there to hide.

When you feel alone
and would like a friend there by your side...

when you need community
to help release the feelings you tend to hide...

When you need a nod
or someone to cheer for you,
When you need to feel the same
and have someone appreciate your view...

Look to this group of people
that will graft into your family tree.
They are fun, and smart and friendly...

They are the DOC.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nighttime. D Blog Week, Day 6

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.

(This post is my submission for day 5 of Diabetes Blog Week. The prompt was "Saturday Snapshots. Please check out Karen's blog, Bitter Sweet to learn more.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Getting in the groove for Blunt Lancet. D Blog Week, Day 5

Blunt Lancet is the one of those music groups that defies the ages.

They are loved and followed by generations of Type 1 groupies and their families. I don't want you to faint from excitement, but I've heard through the grapevine that a comeback tour is in the works.

For those of you who have been blind to the stylings of said Blunt Lancet, check out this post by Kim where you can find out more "Behind the Music" of this talented group of people.

I have been fantasizing of a We Are The World-esque comeback single. This group of musicians are so inspiring, I feel like they can pull off awesomeness such as this with amazing magnitude. I mean who needs Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan and Cyndi Lauper, when you have Kelly "RawSugar", Kim "Pancreas," and Simon "Syringe?"

In hopes of getting things jump started, I have written a song...and have even done a crude demo of it.








I am simply a lowly parent blogger hoping that someone that CAN sing...(Blunt Lancet,) will maybe get inspired and run with it!

Nah...I don't think there will be copyright issues...


Man, that last note was the worst. My condolences to your eardrums.

(This post was my day 5 submission for Diabetes Blog Week. I chose to use the wild card where we take a Diabetes Myth and let it fly!)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ten things I can't say to the other mothers. D Blog Week, Day 4

(Blogger ate this post, so I am reposting it. I'm sorry your comments were lost, but I read every one and I want to thank you for you sweet words of encouragement!)

So if you haven't noticed, I'm different.

I have three boys who have Type 1 Diabetes.

Sometimes I don't feel like I have a lot in common with the other moms. Sometimes when I pick up the boys, I just wish I could bust out with a little diabetes lingoed epiphany and get an AMEN from the peanut gallery.

Sure, most of the time I can fake my normalcy and talk freely with the mothers in the hallway...but sadly, sometimes I'm just in another world with my thoughts.

On this note, I would like to present to you...

Ten things I can't say to the other mothers at school:

Don't you hate it when your son is high and you have to give him more drugs..like more than his usual amount, just to get him down again? Or when he is low and you have to do a full on drive by carbing?

Don't you hate it when you shove your hand down in your purse to find some change and you shunk your finger with a lancet that's top has popped off?

Don't you hate it when you drop your son off at school and the minute you get home there is a phone call that their pump battery is now dead?

Don't you hate it when you step on Legos, or Hot Wheels, or 19 test strips that fell onto the floor when you are doing a 1:00am check?

Don't you hate it when your child goes on a field trip and you need to load up his pockets like he is a mule going on a desert sabbatical?

Don't you hate it when your sons pillow is covered in little red dots and they don't come out? Don't you hate it when your son asks to draw dot to dot to see if there is a picture hidden in it? Sure you flip it over so it doesn't show...but then there is another nighttime check coming in a few hours anyway, right?

Don't you hate that there are parties like every other day at school with donuts, ice cream and cupcakes...all to be washed down with full sugar-strength lemonade?

Don't you hate it when your pharmacist looks at you like you have three heads when you ask for BLOOD ketone strips? I swear it's like they don't understand a word you say, like your speaking Vulcan or something! (And don't you hate that as you type the word KETONE, it isn't recognized as a viable word by your spell-check?)

Don't you hate it that as far as the media is concerned, it is still 1962 when it comes to the misconceptions about diabetes? Every time I turn on the TV it's like the soup Nazi on Seinfeld continually yelling, "NO SUGAR FOR YOU!"

Don't you hate it when three of your children, who's very existence keep your heart beating, are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes?



I can't say that one to many people.


I just can't think of a funny number ten.

Sometimes...Diabetes can just suck it.

(This is my submission for Diabetes Blog Weeks, who's prompt was to list 10 things you hate about diabetes. You can click the embeded link and find the list the other blogs that are participating.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MacGyver at the movies. D Blog Week, Day 3

Today's prompt for Diabetes Blog Week tasked me to find a moment that I could laugh at...a blooper of sorts.

When I read the prompt I had to wonder, isn't my entire existence as a parent-pancreas a giant blooper? Frankly I think America's Home Videos could set up camp in my living room and play laugh track after laugh track in reference to Our Diabetic Life.

I wonder if the studio audience would laugh at my ridiculous pancreas costume, or if they would just sit their shaking their heads in pitiful disgust at my pancreatical inadequacy.

Whatdoyaknow...Our endo says I'm too hard on myself...I wonder if she is onto something?

Any hoo...I love to laugh. I can laugh at myself. I do laugh at myself. I can and do laugh in instances where the crazy happen, like when one of my boys' pumps goes missing...

Wait! You haven't heard that one? It's been a year since I posted, so maybe you newbies can have a laugh with me...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Reenactment (The Sequel)

Scene: 11:50 am, Car, driving to the movie theater.

Players: Three boys and a frazzled mother. (Son #4 chose to sit this movie out.)

Son #1: "What’s for lunch?"

Mom: “Hello! Popcorn! What else do you eat at a movie??”

Son #2: “Popcorn isn’t lunch mom.”

Mom: “Hold it son! If chocolate rabbits are ok for breakfast, popcorn is ok for lunch, I’m calling this one.”

Son #3: “Can we at least get hot dogs at the theater?”

Mom: “Oh sure, I’ll just take $50.00 out of your savings account and that should cover it.”

Son #1: “Nice try mom, we know you are kidding.”

Mom: “A mom’s gotta try…”

Scene: Waiting in line for tickets, Mom is horrified as she glances at Son #3, also known as B.

Mom: “What the heck happened B! Your pump tubing is flapping in the wind…when did it get ripped out of your pump??”

Son #3: “Seriously Mom, if I knew, I would have told you.”

Mom: “UHG! I’ll MacGyver it…We’ll work it out.”

Son #2: “What is MacGyver?”

Mom: “Not what…who. He is a really smart man…almost as smart at me.”

Scene: Sitting inside the theater, waiting for the movie to start. Boys balancing popcorn on their knees, hands full of hot dogs and napkins.

Mom: “J, bolus for the food, and when it is done, give me your pump, I’ll hook up B and give him insulin through the prime so it doesn’t show up on your IOB. B, hand me your pump, I’ll put in your carb and BG amounts so I’ll know how much to give you through J’s pump.”

(Scary-eyed thin balding Man sitting in front turns his head, intrigued at the medical/spy-like jargon.)

B, rifles through his pockets. He pauses. He rifles again. He stands, and thrusts his hands down every pocket his shorts have.

Son #3: “Huh, weird, I don’t have my pump, don’t worry, it’s probably at home.” (Nonchalantly sits down and continues to watch previews like it’s no big deal…)

Mom: (Paralyzed in fear…mind racing…’probably??? Probably???’) “How can you just not know where your pump is B? What do you mean probably? Did you take it out of your pocket? Where is it?!!”

Son #3: “I have no idea…it’s probably at home…don’t freak out mom.”

Mom: Freaking out. Pictures of a lone pump sitting on the sidewalk, with young punks walking by picking up the curious purple video game like contraption, flash through her head. $5000 gone. Just gone. “Does anyone have their cell phone? I left mine at home.” (Nope, not one boy has their cell phone.) “I’m going to the car…stay here! Don’t talk to strangers… (Discreetly pointing to scary bald guy in front of them,) Don’t go to the bathroom…I’ll be RIGHT back!”

Scene: In front of the theater. Mom barges through the theater doors, eyes blazing, hair flying, hands in front of her flat with fingers spread, using the spaces between her fingers as virtual magnifying glasses. Walking quickly, scanning, manic…all the way back to the car…looking in gutters, evil-eyeing the punks…ready to cry…opening the door…

It is there.

On the seat.

The pump.

Probable victim of a seat belt.

(Big fat sigh of relief.)

Scene: Movie theater…again.

Pump has bolused son #2 and son #3 and now is back in son #2’s pocket.

Crisis averted, movie thoroughly enjoyed…

Just another Pancreatical day. (Pancreatic/hysterical=my new favorite word.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dear Ultra Mini One Touch Meter/ D Blog Week, Day 2

Dear OneTouch UltraMini Meters,

You've got it all style wise. I mean look at those bright colors, man alive you look good in green! It brings out your numbers.

You make diabetes a touch more fun for the boys. I mean, who wants a boring grey meter anyway...

You seem to be the whole package...but since I've been able to spend SO much time with you, I have realized...things aren't always what they seem.

Sure your accuracy, (whatever that is when it comes to meters,) seems ok...it is the perception that you would never mislead me that took our relationship a step down.

You mess with me sometimes, and it isn't funny. Not to me. Not to my children...not to the DOC.

It isn't always the case that I'm completely awake when I use you. Sometimes I'm a bit preoccupied too...but why you take advantage of me during these vulnerable moments? Well, only you...and the people who make you know.

Heaven forbid I drop you right after I test...softy...on the carpet. But if I pick you up, UP SIDE DOWN, well, man alive...I'm in for quite a ride on the emotional roller coaster.

What if I get this:

And if I look at it like this:

Well, I go insane.

It isn't funny.

It isn't safe.

It is kinda mean.

Seriously, isn't there any better way to let us know which way is up other than the ridiculously small-uber-mini writing that says, "OneTouch UltraMini?"

Oh LOOK! My son checked his sugar today and he was 291.

He gave himself insulin because he was high.


Excuse my french but, OH HELL NO! His low earlier was from your misleading meter, NOT from a high.

Dangerous much?

I've left you messages and have gotten automated emails back. I even got one from a person saying here is a link on how to use the meter.

How to use it? Instructions ON HOW TO USE IT.

What the HECK!

We KNOW how to use it.

I think the real question is...do you know WHERE we use it?

You may think we use it under sterile laboratory conditions...but sadly, that is not the case.

We use it on the soccer field, on the basket ball court, in the car, at school, at church, at the park, in line at the grocery store, while RUNNING with popcorn in our hands when we are late for a movie...

Because we can't check the boys sugars in the theater...because it is dark in there. And the people who make you can't put a tiny flash light in the end cause that would cost, what? 1 dollar more to incorporate???

Let me tell you. I'd pay an extra 10 dollars for that meter if it had a flashlight. Turning on their bedroom light at 1am isn't ideal.

And you could probably be a little smaller too. (Just thought I'd throw that in.)
We like the colors.

We like the almost small enough-ness of you.

There is just room for improvement.

And since I'm asking for the moon...could you be a little more accurate for criminy sakes! (Criminy is a shout out to my mom!)

Thanks for your time. If you lived it, you would know too. But since you don't, and my family does, please take my words to heart.


Sincerely...OH SO sincerely,

Meri Schuhmacher
Mom to 3 boys who have type one, who's insurance pays your ridiculous price for test strips. I just received a shipment of 2,400 strips. That is $2,400 in your pocket for a meter that has messed with my psyche ONE too many times.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Meri's Ark / D Blog Week, Day 1

I like to think of my blog as my ark.

I was drowning, so one day I took my thoughts and built my ark/blog.

I filled the ark with my fears, my hopes, my belly laughs and musings from my swelly brain and let it sail!

It traveled father than I ever imagined, and has taken me to places I never knew existed.

The best place of all is the DOC. When I started this blog, I didn't even know the DOC existed. It was a happy coincidence my sister in law found another parent blogger and pointed me in her direction. Discovering Shamae's blog list was akin to finding the new world for me. I had found solid ground. I wasn't alone in the ark with my thoughts, like Noah's dove, I was able to set them free...and in turn, I could set myself free as well.

But what I discovered next was unexpected. Not parent bloggers, but rather patient bloggers. People with diabetes who were advocating, storytelling and sending out arks of their own. Their stories were transfixing. Their mission clear. Their hearts...familiar.

Reading there words was like jumping into a time machine. It was like I was in a jimmy jacked Delorean, traveling 20 years ahead and seeing my boys lives flash before my eyes.

And it was beautiful. It was joyful. It was real. It was hopeful.

And it is STILL is all those things.

These PWD have families of their own , they are having babies, they have interesting jobs , they are embarking on new lives, they are involved , they are fun , they come up with genius ideas, they are kind...they have everything I hope for my children. They have joy. Sure they have their ups and downs too...but they find their way back stronger than when they went in because they have this uncanny ability to look at the bigger picture. To appreciate what is right in front of them...to laugh at the craziness that is THEIR Diabetic Life.

They are beautiful people, every one. And today I want to let them know that I hang on every word. I cheer for them...I hope for them...I admire them, with all my heart.

They are our future. Sure, my boys will have their own journey...and sure it won't be all rainbows and unicorns...but it can be everything and more than it would have been had they not had diabetes. Will it be easy? Probably not. But nothing worthwhile is ever easy and nothing easy is ever worthwhile.

Thank you to the PWD bloggers who put their lives out there every day. Your journey brings this D mama hope without measure.

Thank you for being all kinds of wonderful...and all kinds of real.

And more than that...thank you for letting me come along for the ride.

(This post is my submission for today's topic, "Admiring our differences," for Diabetes Blog Week. Please check out Karen's Blog to find out more! It isn't too late to join in!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pinch Hitting for a better Diabetic Life.

Although L still has a couple days left of his so called, "Diabetes Vacation," I'm ready to return and report on the results.

When I sat my cutie down on Monday to tell him my intentions, he pretended to faint back onto the couch and said I was the most awesome mom ever.

Yeah, so I knew I was doing something right.

I want to start out by saying that I really didn't expect to see anything eye opening here...I mean...for YEARS I did do everything. I did every check, opened every apple juice box, bolused every meal and correction...everything when they were babies. My boys, on their own, took it over when they turned six. They each expressed their own interest to push their own buttons and check their own sugar. Hey, who am I to stand in the way of their taking control of their life?

If they WANTED to do it...all I could do is assume a supporting role and let them fly.

It has been a good year since I have had all three of the boys doing their own "work." J even counts his own carbs now, and boluses for his own meals...leaving me with nothing left to do but check him at night.

If I'm being honest, it has been a bit heavenly for me to let go of all the button pushing and such. Sure, I count carbs for the two younger guys, I watch them to make sure they are pushing buttons, I field no less than 5 calls from school every day since we have no school nurse help...I still do A LOT...but I think I have underestimated how much work the boys are putting in.

Scratch that...I KNOW I have underestimated how much work the boys put in.

I kinda feel like I've had a bucket of cold water splashed on my face.

You know what? Yes...checking sugar only takes less than a minute...but the interrupting is SO annoying! I found myself in the middle of something numerous times this week...and I had to stop cold, and go get the monitor and check L. Although I was happy to do it for him, it really opened my eyes to what a pain it must be for him to leave his television program, or stop riding his scooter, or stop his art project...to test and treat. He is 7, stopping is a total bummer! When he was a baby, this wasn't an issue...babies change what they are doing at the drop of a hat, but now that he is older...well...this isn't as easy as it used to be. It seriously is a pain in the arse for him.

Even taking the time to figure out what to feed him in a low. L always goes to the low cupboard and picks something out. This week if he was low, I would have him sit back in a comfortable chair and I would serve him his low snack. I would take off the wrapper on the straw...I would open his apple sauce pouch for him, peel the banana and so forth...

I wish you could have seen his smile. I am not kidding, all week...pure joy.

He is enjoying every minute of it...and I don't blame him. I caught myself a couple times asking him to come to me so I could bolus him...and each time stopped myself when I realized I needed to go to him.

I took the advice of a great mom on facebook, and checked his morning sugar before he woke up so he wouldn't have to start his day with diabetes on the brain.

BIG HIT. I recommend to all! Every time I told him it was already done, it was like Santa came to visit.

Sure...there were some misses. I didn't bolus him Monday night for dinner, because I was so used to him asking me, "How many carbs mom?"

He also forgot, and checked his own sugar when he felt low once. He came out and sheepishly told me he forgot and I whisked him to the couch to put his feet up and served him his snack on a platter.

Hey...it is a vacation!

Sure, he had to check his own sugar at school. Sure, the other two boys are like WHAT THE HECK?! We want a vacation!

Which...they will get one.

Because seriously...this is the best idea ever!

I had NO IDEA what a big deal it would be around here. L is appreciative of every little thing I do. Lesson learned...I'm going to check his sugar for him more often at home so he needn't stir when he is in the middle of something.

I'm humbled by my boys' strength. They never complain about the monotony of it all. I don't know why this experience was so powerful for me, like I said...I've been down this road before. But man...mama has seen the light.

I have been putting a lot their plate. Diabetes has been putting a lot on their plate.

Time to lessen the load a bit.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


IMHO means "in my honest opinion." I just figured out that little gem this year. Yeah, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed sometimes.

I'm online a lot.

There is no secret about that.

And in case you were one of the few that did not know...

Now you know.

I READ A LOT. Tons and tons of blogs, and Facebook statuses galore. It started out as a venue to quash my aloneness in this diabetic life, and it morphed into friendships that I cherish and support systems that I rely on.

Yes, I'm ok with feeling close to people I've never met. After all...we have the same hearts. We want the same thing. We all fight the good fight.

And being online allows me to come out of my shell and say what I want to say, from the depths of my soul.

It seems it does the same for everyone else too.

Which leads me to why I'm here today. OPINIONS...everyone has them. Right or wrong. We all have opinions about something. I, in fact, am SUPER opinionated. (Somewhere in Cyberland my parents are reading this and nodding uncontrollably.) And here is the thing...It is OKAY to have your own opinion! Totally Okay. It is ok to write down your own opinion...it is YOUR status. YOUR blog. YOUR tweet. It is like your home, and the people reading are being invited in. They can leave if they want. They do not have to LIKE your opinion.

Have your opinion. OWN your opinion.

Just respect everyone else's too.

We can foster respect by...being respectful. (I know, really clever, right?) We can agree to disagree. But why name calling? Why putting people down? We have the right to tell someone you disagree with them...but isn't there a way to do it without snarkiness spitting off our tongue?

Sure snarkiness has its place, I can certainly be snarky...but when it meant to hurt someone, or tell them they are ignorant, or wrong, or stupid, or heaven forbid...that someone shouldn't feel the way that they do! or any other mean spirited thing...well...that is just mean.

We are allowed to have our own feelings. But not everyone is in the same place emotionally as everyone else. Respect their grief. Respect their anger. Respect their fear. Respect their happiness.

Let everyone live their story...and if we disagree...then tell them so if we must! But can't we do it in a way that doesn't count out their feelings?

Feelings! Where is Barbara Streisand when you need her???

Maybe it seems like I'm wagging my finger at some people, but I'm not. I only hope to bring this all into a new perspective.

If you point a finger at someone, there are three more pointing back at you...that goes for me too. I've had to take a hard look at myself lately. I don't agree with a lot of things floating around cyber space. It isn't easy for me to tell people how I feel without putting them down. Not easy, but totally worth the effort. It is an art for sure.

This is the end of my public service announcement. I'm going to wrap this all up in a bow with the quote below...

"Truth is one forever absolute, but opinion is truth filtered through moods, the blood, and the disposition of the spectator." ~Wendell Phillips

Your mood. Your blood. Your disposition. They are different than mine. We won't always think the same. But we can listen the same....and respect the same too.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Job burnout. And he's 7.

Last week when it was time for L to check his sugar at school, he announced, "Time to go to work AGAIN! I'm so tired of my job!"

He's burning out.

At the Endo's office on Wednesday he spent the majority of his time sitting on the OUTSIDE of the Endo's office door. He just didn't want to talk about it. He didn't want to be there. He didn't want to answer her questions...you could see it all over his face. Burn out city.

It isn't a stretch to say that diabetes is a job. He works all day! The VERY FIRST THING he does in the morning is check his sugar. The VERY LAST THING he does at night is check his sugar. And in between is filled with blood sugar tests and constant button pushing. Sure, I take the graveyard shift...but his part is a big responsibility for such a little guy.

He is 7.

He has been "on the job" for 5 years now.

He deserves some time off for good behavior...right?

So on the suggestion of Julie from Pumpwear, I'm going to give L a week off. Well, not completely...he'll still have to check his sugars at school...but when he is home, I won't be asking him to check his own sugars. I will just go to him and do it for him. I won't ask him to bolus for his food, I'll grab his pump and do it for him.

He needs a little break. And since I'm in the position to give it to him...I will. That is, if he'll let me.

I'm going to run my plan by him in the car after I pick him up from school.

I'll report back next week.

Now if I can just find someone who is willing to take over my laundry "job" for a week...