Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The real picture of courage.

Fear is a real emotion. And as brave as my children are...when they show fear, it is as real as the day is long.

I've done it before. If one of them complains I have said, "oh! It doesn't hurt that bad!" Or. "It will only hurt for just a minute...you'll be fine."

Sure, most of that is encouragement, letting them know that all will be well.

But really I think I was undermining their intelligence.

Because HOT DANG! It really does hurt.

I don't think pretending the fear does not exist is the way to go. The victory isn't ignoring the fear, the victory is in acknowledging it, and then overcoming it.

Yesterday L had his 3rd swimming lesson. He has been afraid of the water since...I don't know, forever?

He doesn't trust that it is safe, and he isn't convinced he can swim.

All of these issues are in his head of course. He has the ABILITY to swim. He has the tools. He physically CAN. But his head tells him something different. The fear speaks louder than the logic.

I've spent countless hours trying to build up his courage. Telling him he is more amazing than he gives himself credit for...and yesterday I had him.

On the way to the lesson I gave one of my best pep talks yet, and he was like, "I can do this! I WILL do a back float today!" Man, we were both psyched!

And then we got there and the teacher had him begin his lesson in a different part of the pool. The deeper part where there is no step. And there it was, written all over his face...


She had him sit on the side of the pool. She wanted him to take her hands and jump in. He could stand in that water, but he hadn't been over there before to prove that to himself. Part of my pep talk was to trust the teacher that she would never do anything unsafe. So after a lot of convincing....he did it.

He jumped in. And he was fine.

But the look on his face after he landed, I'll never...NEVER...forget it.

Pure fear.

(I had to stop typing here and cry for a minute. Man. Baby alert!)

30 minutes later he did that back float...by himself...for seven seconds.

I KNOW it took every ounce of courage he had to do that back float. He did it because he knew he would get a ribbon if he did. And he is SO proud!

But it is absolutely clear to me that I could never match the courage that this boy has. Back float AND first tummy site in one week.

Honesty time!

That pic I posted last week isn't a complete picture of what really happened with his tummy site. That pic was taken when we said we were going to pretend to do one. SO he smiled.

But then when we asked if we could put the site there for reals, he refused. And we weren't going to do one unless he was on board, so we were just about to put it in his butt/hip, when my husband looked at him and said, maybe we should do it here, and moved it back to his tummy. And after going back and forth, tummy...hip...tummy...hip...saying, "Here? Here? Here? Here?" L said , "Ok." very tentatively when we got to the tummy and my husband didn't flinch, he did it. and L screamed.

For like 10 minutes.

(The real picture of courage.)

And he made my husband PROMISE that he would never do a tummy site again, unless he asked him to.

And he promised.

But three days later this little boy who had such a traumatic experience with his last site change looked at my husband and said, "Do it in the tummy dad. Tummy sites rock."

And he closed his eyes, and winced a little and the site was in.

And he smiled.

What kind of courage did that take?

I can't even comprehend.

We can learn something from our children. Sometimes no matter how much the fear consumes us, we just need to jump in.

Sometimes, we need to close our eyes, wince a little and say, "Ok."

It is scary. The fear consumes us...but as we let go and give our children the freedom they deserve, and in most cases...earned, we will find that we CAN do it.
And every time after it will get a little easier.

Will the fear go away?

I don't think we are human if the fear completely goes away.

Our family played Apples to Apples the other day. At the end of the game, everyone reads the cards that they "won" and it is a little joke to say that those cards describe the player.

These were my cards:

I don't know about loveable or gorgeous...but I thought is was really appropriate to have courageous and fearful in the same breath.

Because I am both.

My boys are both.

And that is ok.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Last Lenny Winner! Booya!

It is Saturday and I am being lovingly pampered by my dear husband as I have a couple blisters on the bottom of my feet from Reyna's Sister's Virtual 5K. Nothing virtual about it. It was very real! And very awesome! Ryan has cleaned the kitchen and made me a beautiful tomato/onion/avocado omelet. THAT my friends is what you get when you marry an amazing man. As my nephew would say..."write that down."

But enough about me...who won the LAST Lenny???

I know you are all dying to know. :)

The winner was #4...who just happens to be KANDICE!!!!!

Congratulations Kandice! If you are the Kandice that wrote the fourth comment on my blog yesterday PLEASE contact me within the next 24 hours at ourdiabeticlife@yahoo.com.

Thank you to all those who came back and continually participated this week! Thank you to all the stalkers...and thank you to my family who made this fun for me too!

Here is to another beautiful blogging year ahead! May it be an amazing year in research and hope for our community!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lenny the Lion Giveaway, LAST DAY: Support

**********SORRY, THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED***********

One last day of my blogiversary Lenny the Lion Extravaganza!

But before we get to today's way to win...we must revisit yesterdays puzzle: What was Lenny thinking when I put him in charge of carb counting the boys' dinner?

Two of us chose Denise, AKA Mom of Bean's quote: "...so, sandwich plus grapes, carry the one...plus muffin, carry the two...um..it's gonna be...um...give me a sec...um...MERI, HELP ME!!" (Entries #1 and #4)

One of us chose Lora's entry: "Back away from the sandwich and no one gets hurt!!!!" (Entry #2)

One of us chose Jennifer C's answer: "Hmm...How sneaky must one be to get a bite of sandwich..." (Entry #3)

One of us chose Sarah's quote: "ahhh...my swelly brain...hey wait a minute in this fam you get a cell phone if you have d, pass me yours Miss Meri I know there's an app for that!" (Entry #5)

And one of us chose Allison and Tommy's entry: "Hey guys, remember to wait two hours after eating before you go swimming....and TAKE OFF YOUR PUMPS BEFORE JUMPING IN THE POOL!" (Entry #6)

Random.Org chose: Entry #4! Congratulations, Denise, AKA Mom of Bean!!! Email me at ourdiabeticlife@yahoo(dot)com and I'll get it to you very soon! (You have 24 hours...otherwise I'll have to put the entries through the random generator again.)

Now onto today! Today we will be celebrating SUPPORT!

We all know we can't do this alone. We NEED each other. Someone who "gets" it is one of the greatest gifts! You may not know this, but Lenny actually HAS type 1 Diabetes. He was diagnosed in 2006, wears an insulin pump and visits doctors offices around the world to give support to children everywhere. How can you not LOVE him!?

Today there is no picture.

Today there is no thought bubble.

Today I want to celebrate YOU and the support you give me day after day. Your kindness has been never ending. To that end, all I want you to do is say "Hi" (Or "Hello" if "Hi" is too traumatic!) and leave your name in the comments section.

You have until 9PM Pacific Standard Time to enter, and then I will number all of your names and enter it into random.org. Tomorrow I'll announce the final winner.

That is it.

I don't think it can get any easier.

Two years ago I started this journey hoping I would find one like minded soul in the universe that understands. Surprisingly, it turned out to be one of those times that I exceeded my goal. ALL of you mean the world to me. So many days your comments and warm thoughts have lifted me up!

Did we just become best friends?

Love you guys!

Now say "Hola" or "Holla" or "S'up" or WHATEVER and win a Lenny already!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lenny the Lion Giveaway, Day 4: Nutrition


We are in the home stretch! Two more chances to win Lenny!

But before we get to today's thought bubble...we need to revisit yesterdays query...what was Lenny thinking as J's head?

We had some GREAT entries! Here are the top 6!

One of us chose Allison and Tommy's entry,(again!): "Not only has my head shrunk,....but I just puked on my new red shirt. Cuz, that's how I roll." (Entry #1)

One of us chose Ashley's quote: "Wait!!! Why are you running away?! I just want a hug!!!!!"

One of us chose Cameron's entry: "I wish my head would grow to match my heart , body and courage." (Entry #3)

One of us chose Stacey B's quote: "Da,da,da,daaaaaaa! Have no fear LyoMan (half lyon, half human) is here to spread peace and love!!" (Entry #4)

One of us chose Becky V's entry: "Quick somebody carve a statue - I'm the Sphinx in reverse! This is MUCH better looking."

And one of us chose Hallie's quote: "Hey- if the kid chooses to put his head THERE...it's his decision. Wonder if he knows I had beans for lunch???" (Entry #6)

And Random.Org chose...

dum da dum!!!!

#6! Congratulations Hallie!!! Email me at ourdiabeticlife@yahoo(dot)com and I'll get it to you very soon! (You have 24 hours...otherwise I'll have to put the entries through the random generator again.)

The rest of you, don't give up...two more days means two more chances!!

Today we are celebrating Nutrition and Carb Counting!

Lenny is all about nutrition, and even has his very own UBER COOL carb counting app! That is actually how I met Lenny and consequently...fell in love with him. :)

So yesterday I figured, since Lenny has his own carb counting app and all...well I figured I could take a break and let Lenny carb count the boys' dinner.

Needless to say, Lenny wasn't too happy being put in charge. It WAS a lot of pressure...they were all staring at him, WAITING for their counts so they could start dinner.

So tell me amazing readers...what is Lenny thinking at this very moment?

Enter the phrase in the comments section, and remember to keep it clean! Each member of our family will choose our favorite bubble quote! The favorites will then be numbered and a random winner will be chosen from Random.org. Make sure to leave your first name! Comments without a first name will be void.

You have only until 9:00PM Pacific Standard Time to enter! Tomorrow the winner will be announced, and you will have yet ANOTHER chance to win with a new picture, and a new thought bubble being put up!

Good luck! And remember who your audience is! A 16, 13, 9 and 7 year old...and my hubby and me!

The meal in the picture is one of those dinners where we had lots of family over and made as much food as possible to stretch everything. True to form my boys picked the things chalked FULL of carby goodness! Yeah, that is A LOT of bread on their plates...bread on the BLT's...Garlic Bread...Corn Muffins...Carb-o-polooza! I have always struggled with good nutrition and FOOD. As a complete coincidence, I guest posted on Hallie's blog yesterday on this very subject. Go here to get an intimate glimpse into my food struggles. We have made a lot of changes to our diet the past year, (present dinner excluded,) and it has made a positive difference in our lives. As a swelly brained mom, it is hard for me to say no to those comfort foods...but I'm working on it!

Good luck today! And as always, it means the world to me that you thought to stop by! As a lovely Ninja likes to say...Love ya like bacon!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lenny the Lion Giveaway Day 3: A sense of humor!


The Lenny saga continues!

But before we begin todays giveaway...I must first get to YESTERDAY'S big winner!

I have to say that our family has had SUCH a fun time going through all the quotes. We are bonding thanks to you! (See how awesome you are!!)

Yesterday there was a pic of Lenny strapped to B's bike with goggles. Here are the top entries chosen by the crew:

One of us chose Stacey B's entry: "It's a bird, it's a plane, it's SUPER LENNY!!! WOOHOO -- I'm FLYING!! (who says lions can't fly!)" (Entry #1)

One of us chose Denise's quote: "Um, is this a sheet knot or a double sheel bend?" (Entry #2)

Two of us chose Heidi's entry: "I'm cool like that." (Entries #3 and #4)

One of us chose Allison and Tommy's quote: "WHO roped me into this?? Get me outta here,I'm seeing red!!!!" (Entry #5)

And one of us chose Cameron's entry: "Roped in --- check. goggles on ---- check, ready to roll---- check...wait wait you gotta check (bg) first.We want to ride 55 not a bg of 55." (Entry #6)

And Random.Org chose: Entry #3!!

Congratulations Heidi! Email me at ourdiabeticlife@yahoo(dot)com and I'll get it to you very soon! (You have 24 hours...otherwise I'll have to put the entries through the random generator again.)

For the rest of you...Don't give up! You still have three chances to win!

Today we are celebrating a sense of humor!

We all know we can't survive Our Diabetic Life without laughing at ourselves, (or others!) Sometimes the old adage is true, if we don't laugh, we'll cry.

Lenny is all about having a well rounded perspective on all of this too. You can imagine, with 4 boys, Lenny gets into his share of "interesting" situations.

To win a Lenny the Lion stuffed animal from Medtronic, (and assorted other fun prizes,) tell me friends, what is Lenny thinking in this picture?

Enter the phrase in the comments section, and remember to keep it clean! Each member of our family will choose our favorite bubble quote! The favorites will then be numbered and a random winner will be chosen from Random.org. Make sure to leave your first name! Comments without a first name will be void.

You have only until 9:00PM Pacific Standard Time to enter! Tomorrow the winner will be announced, and you will have yet ANOTHER chance to win with a new picture, and a new thought bubble being put up!

Good luck! And remember who your audience is! A 16, 13, 9 and 7 year old...and my hubby and me!

Try to take a moment today to laugh. It is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself! I had to laugh the other day when the boys were having a serious conversation about what they would do with the money if we won the lottery...(funny in itself, because we don't play the lottery...but anyway,) they were having a really hard time deciding if they would put that money towards a cure, or towards buying a Rosie the Robot who would wait on them hand and foot. A boys got to be prepared for anything I suppose...although it seems to me, Rosie the Robot is my middle name. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lenny the Lion Giveaway Day 2: Exercise!

**********Sorry! This giveaway is closed! ***********

Before we get to today's giveaway picture, it is my pleasure to announce YESTERDAY'S big winner!

We each looked at the comments individually, and chose our favorite without the influence of others.

Two of us chose Michael: "If that thing comes near me, I'll have to slap you with a slice of bacon. Yes, I said bacon." (Entries 1 and 2)

Two of us chose Misty: "You got this L! Just squeeze me really tight...WAIT! NOT.THAT.TIGHT.I.CAN'T.BREATHE!!!" (Entries 3 and 4)

One of us chose Allison & Tommy: "You can do this L!- I'm not lyin...well, I am Lion, but not lyin, but I AM LION....oh, you know what I mean!" (Entry 5)

One of us chose Amy Robinson: "What do I have to do to get some pants around here?!" (Entry 6)

And random.org chose: ENTRY #3

CONGRATULATIONS MISTY!! Email me at ourdiabeticlife@yahoo(dot)com and I'll get it to you very soon! (You have 24 hours...otherwise I'll have to put the entries through the random generator again.)

Now onto today's giveaway!!

Today we will be celebrating EXERCISE!

I have four VERY busy boys! About nine months ago we moved into our new home and fell in love with the winding paths, beautiful neighborhoods and amazing parks. We have been moving and exercising a TON more in our new location. Our endo is very pleased with the boys decreasing BMI's!

So yesterday I asked B to go outside and exercise. I gave him Lenny and told him to make sure he was included.

He decided he was going to break his speed record for going corner to corner on our block.

And as I asked...he brought Lenny with him.

Here is the pic of my determined boy...with Lenny.

Tell me dear readers...to win today's Lenny the Lion, (and a few more little goodies,)...what the heck is Lenny thinking at this very moment?

Enter the phrase in the comments section, and remember to keep it clean! Each member of our family will choose our favorite bubble quote! The favorites will then be numbered and a random winner will be chosen from Random.org. Make sure to leave your first name! Comments without a first name will be void.

You have only until 9:00PM Pacific Standard Time to enter! Tomorrow the winner will be announced, and you will have yet ANOTHER chance to win with a new picture, and a new thought bubble being put up!

Good luck! And remember who your audience is! A 16, 13, 9 and 7 year old...and my hubby and me!

And if you are looking for an excuse to exercise...go on over and sign up for Reyna at Beta Buddies sister's 5K! It only costs 10 dollars to register, and you can participate where you are! Run, walk, bike...whatever! It is this weekend and all the monies go to JDRF! You can find more info HERE!

Now leave a comment, and get movin'!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lenny the Lion Giveaway Day 1: COURAGE!

********Sorry! This giveaway is closed!*********

Happy Blogiversary to me!

Happy Blogiversary to me!

Happy Blogiversary dear meeeeeee!

Happy Blogiversary to me!

And many moooooooore!

This week marks two years! Two years ago I wrote my very first post! Now, 270 posts later...here I am...a little bit wiser...with my brain, a little bit swellier...and my heart, a lotta bit stronger!

More than anything I want to celebrate! This blog is my lifeboat. On my hardest days I have jumped in and it has saved me. All that saving is absolutely thanks to you! You have listened, loved and more than anything, UNDERSTOOD me. How could I ever thank you!??

Oh I know...but GIVING YOU STUFF!

This year I have teamed up with Medtronic and Lenny the Lion. I owe much of sanity to the insulin pumps that Medtronic produces. They have been a wonderful support to our family...I can't imagine having the success we have had without the genius gadgetry that is the pump!

And Lenny! Well we all know L is a huge fan. And so am I! He is a wonderful representative for our community...and pretty dang soft and cuddly too!

This week I will be giving away 5...count them...FIVE...Lenny the Lion dolls. (And assorted other little surprise treats too!) Each day we will celebrate something that Lenny stands for...and in turn, try to get our creative juices flowing!

Today we are celebrating COURAGE!

Courage: The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.

I witnessed the most amazing act of courage yesterday...and was lucky enough to snap a picture JUST before the big moment! L agreed to his very first TUMMY SITE! Booya! Let me tell you, it took a good 30 minute conversation, a couple good bribes, and his favorite Lenny to get him to agree!

Below is seconds before the shunk! To win a Lenny the Lion, (just like the one pictured,) all you have to do is fill in the thought bubble.

What is Lenny thinking at this very moment?

Enter the phrase in the comments section, and remember to keep it clean! Each member of our family will choose our favorite bubble quote! The favorites will then be numbered and a random winner will be chosen from Random.org. Make sure to leave your first name! Comments without a first name will be void.

You have only until midnight Pacific Standard Time to enter! Because tomorrow the winner will be announced, and you will have yet ANOTHER chance to win with a new picture, and a new thought bubble being put up!

Good luck! And remember who your audience is! A 16, 13, 9 and 7 year old...and my hubby and me!

Hooray for Blogiversaries! And hooray for Medtronic! There is a new post up on Medtronic's blog THE LOOP today, that talks all about Lenny! Check it out HERE!
Now what are you waiting for! Fill in the bubble baby!

And again, THANK YOU!! Thank you for easing my burden day after day! Thank you for taking this journey with me!

(PS, if you are reading this post through email, you may hit reply and email me your answer. Just make sure I have your first name!)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Challenges, and their infinite perspective.

(Before I begin...I want you to know that next week is my Blog-iversary!! I'm going to be having giveaways Monday through Friday...and as a hint...Lenny the Lion will be involved! It all begins on Monday! So mark your calendars!)

Now onto me writing out my train of thought...

It's been a rough month for a lot of us. It's funny how things run in waves.

Rough times, problems, challenges...they can throw off our perspective.

And perspective is such a tricky thing.

When we go through hard times, the problem sits directly in front of us. We all know if you put something right in front of your eye, or your face, like an orb for instance, it will block out all the other scenery. The orb/problem takes up your entire view and let's face it, it can be quite depressing.

Worse than that...as we try to see further off in the distance, past the problem...all we see is the same thing...magnified infinitely. The orbs/challenges take over our perspective now...and our perspective of the future.

I call it the infinite perspective. Here is a crude drawing of my take on this:

When problems arise, tunnel vision takes over. Our problems take over every aspect of our lives, and the future seems to hold no change. We look straight ahead of us and see "same." We can't see any change for the better. It is impossibly infuriating.

But here is the thing. Life doesn't take us in a straight line.

Looking straight in front of us, trying to imagine a future amongst our challenges is fruitless, as life hands us multiple twists and turns. There are corners to turn all down our line of sight...they just aren't visible past the orbs.

Challenges are not infinite.

Life changes.

We turn...and one perspective is gone. When we turn, In front of us is a new perspective...and a new horizon is born.

The problem remains though...how do we turn the corner to change the crappy perspective that may be in front of us right now?

Sometimes we can WILL a change. But unfortunately, sometimes life has a way of making us wait for that turn in the road. Sometimes we are forced on the hard road, looking our challenges square in the eye, for months...or even years.

I think our strength lies in expecting that eventual turn. HOPING for change is one of our biggest assets.

HOPE is huge. A lot of people get caught on the fact that hope is out of our hands. "I hope tomorrow is better." "I hope I get that package today." "I hope my husband will surprise me with a night out."

But real hope doesn't work that way...(as I was reminded by a friend on Sunday.) Hope is an active word. It is actively expecting change. It is actively expecting a better day. It is even actively working for a better day. It is knowing that the orb in front of us will not be there forever. Life changes. Perspectives can change with the winds, and the importance lies in not letting the problems in front of us make us give up hope on tomorrow.

Because tomorrow that turn can come.

Because bad days...or months...or years...do not last forever.

Your child's basal rates will not be wonky forever.

One day YOU WILL bolus correctly for pizza.

One day the pump will be oked by your insurance.

One day you won't have to weigh every ounce of food, you WILL swag.

One day your child's numbers will smooth overnight.

One day you will conquer after breakfast highs.

One day you will trust your child's sets again.

One day...you will feel at peace with all this.

One day.

Maybe not today....maybe not tomorrow...

But don't let that problem you are facing now...magnify to forever.

And don't let the challenges you face seem insurmountable just because they look huge sitting right in front of your face. The fact is, they are usually not as giant as they seem...or maybe not as forever as they seem.

Yes, enduring is part of life, but the things that weigh heavy on our hearts now...won't weigh there forever.

Even if there is never a cure. You will turn the corner one day and see all of this in a different light.

Hope for that change.

Expect it.

It will come.

Right? I'm talking to me, as much as I am talking to you...

Friday, June 10, 2011

We can do this. YOU can do this.

The worry began the day my first son was born. Let's face it, worry and babies go hand in hand.

But that was the kind of worry you could head off with cautiousness. It was the kind of worry that you didn't stay up at night with.

The new kind of worry...the helpless kind...well that came the day J was diagnosed.

Seeing him on the table in the emergency room with a swarm of doctors and nurses shouting orders and worried acronyms...well that is when I found out what I was made of.

At the tender age of 24...I hadn't found my center yet...and when it came to worry, I was spineless...or at the very least, a rookie.

Once I saw my baby seizing...well, I had to leave. I was hysterical. I could not be there.

I spent hours in the waiting room sobbing and pleading with God. The guilt I felt for not being by my baby's side still haunts me to this day.

As time went on, I wasn't much better. I remember when J had an ear infection a few months later, and we were in the emergency room flirting with ketoacidocis. (Back in the day, Baby + Ear Infection + Crappy Insulin = Hospital.) J was admitted and my mother in law came because I just couldn't be alone.

I remember so vividly sitting on the chair in the room clutching my legs, watching my mother in law stroke J's cheek over and over and over again. She was so calm.

She was an angel if ever there was one.

And there I was sitting across the room...consumed. CONSUMED in worry.

I wondered that night if I could ever handle these situations with such loving grace as my sweet mother in law. She was always so level about everything. She took things as they came, and never complained.

That night in the hospital, all I could think about is I wanted it to be over. I didn't want to be there. I wanted to die in a worry coma. It took every ounce of strength I had to console my baby who muttered over and over and over all night long that he just wanted to be home too. I wondered if I was cut out for this. Could I be a "good" mother to a child with diabetes? Could I raise him to be strong when I couldn't even be strong myself?

Man, I think if you would have told me that night that eventually I would have three boys who have diabetes...I'm sure I would have died on the spot with worry palpitations.

I look back at myself then, like watching an old movie, and I want to hug myself. I didn't believe in myself then.

I want to tell me that I am strong enough. That I CAN do this.

I was so scared and alone. I wish I had the DOC then to hold my hand and give me the strength that it gives me now.

You can do this are powerful words. And now there is a powerful project that I am proud to be a part of.

Wonderfully enough...it is called the, You Can Do This project. (I'm in this video and have my cry face on for my 2 seconds of glory, so no judging!)

It is being launched on June 15th. All you need to do is video yourself, or blog if you aren't comfortable taping yourself, and tell the world your story and what you have learned, or even just what you have lived.

Your story needs to be heard. Your story MEANS something.

Knowing we are not alone in all this is the biggest/best gift the world can give.

This project hands that to you in a big red bow.

Please visit Kim's blog, Texting My Pancreas to learn more...

And then start taping.

Because together, we can stenghten our backbone, we can find our axis and balance the worry within our lives.

We can do this!

Share the project with everyone you know. Let's make this huge! Let's let the world know that THEY can do this!

For all the mothers sitting in the hospital with their babies...I'll tape for you.

For all the parents who are reading this blog and having a hard time right now...I'm doing this for you.

For all of you that have buoyed me up in the hardest of times, (bloggers, readers & commenters, that's you!)...I will participate in this project in honor of you.

I pray I can give back even a small measure of what you have given me.

Together, we CAN do this!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The headache remedy.

When I was a little girl I used to get migraines. Not all the time, but one or two a summer for sure. They usually came after days of swimming and a lot of sun.

You can imagine how scary the intense pain was for a child. I would sink into the covers of my bed and rock back and forth with tears streaming down my cheeks. I wouldn't speak to anyone...

Except my father.

My father was the only one that could make it all better. I don't know how it started, it might be that he had migraines as a child too...or maybe he came up with the magic cure all on his own...but however it came along, it worked. And only HE could make it work.

He would sit by my side and rub the hair away from my forehead in large wide strokes, and then quietly tell me the story.

A cloud would come into my room and pick me up. It would gently take me up the sky where the wind would be in my hair and the stars would twinkle above me. The wind would be warm and calming, as I would float westward towards the sea, and Hawaii. Once in Hawaii I would sit on the beach and run my toes through the warm sand and watch the waves wash again and again against the shore. Soon the cloud would pick me up and take me on my journey back to home. But not before I accomplished the most important task of my journey...

I would take my headache, and throw it away into the sea.

And you know what?

When I threw it away...it really DID disappear.

Our bodies, or minds...they are crazy complicated, but one thing I know is we have more control over our bodies than we may think.

Now as an adult, I take my headaches, my worries and my fears...and I throw them out to the ocean of the blogging world.

I'm not kidding, it takes the pain of the day away, and helps me sleep at night.

When I came home from Disney a couple nights ago, all I could do was lay in bed and go over and over in my head the events from the week. I got up after a good hour, and began writing my post that went up yesterday. Writing it all out, and letting it go, led to me sleeping like a baby when I went back to bed.

Did you get that? I was able to let it go!

And so it is with all the clutter in my swelly brain. Letting it go...writing it out..is freeing. I don't need to stew. All I need do is write out how I feel.

Years ago, before I began blogging, I had a particularly upsetting experience at a family wedding. I didn't sleep for two weeks, going over all the things I wish I could have said to the people that were around me at the time. My husband suggested writing it all out. I wrote a letter that was 7 pages long. Every word that I went over and over and over again in my brain was finally released from their prison.

I never mailed the letter to anyone, but I was FINALLY free of those feelings.

Believe it or not, there is a reason for me going on and on about all of this...

I'm on a mission to get one of YOU, my dear lurkers, to start a journal. It is as easy as opening up a notepad, or opening up your laptop and clicking on "Microsoft Word."

Set those feelings free! Write about your frustrations, your fears, your guilt, your happiness! Write a letter to your child, or your husband...or even yourself. You don't even have to write out anything, you can make a list...or bullet points.

If you don't have a close friend to do some latte/hot chocolate therapy with...this is a wonderful alternative.

You don't need to publish your words...trust me when I say, it is enough just to get them out of your head. I've written a few blog posts that I never published. Writing it out is enough sometimes. Sure, you might have such a backlog of feelings, it may take days, or weeks to get them all out. But once you do...


Take YOUR headache, and throw it into the ocean.

You may be surprised at the results...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Our Disneyland/Wally World Vacation

So since we just returned from our Disneyland vacation...you probably thought that this post would be all about the fun fun fun things we did while we were there! Because honestly, we did a TON of fun stuff!

Sadly, nope. This post won't be about those things.

Now, you are probably thinking I'm going to write about how all the boys got Scarlet Fever days before we left on our trip.

Nope. Not writing about that either.

Or you might be thinkin' I have an entire post lined up about how L broke out into a Scarlet Fever rash THREE TIMES as worse than the others, hours before our departure...

Or maybe your hoping for the play by play of the previous hour, before his rash broke out, when L had his first swimming lesson with his NOT waterproof pump attached...

Or how we had to have a new pump sent to our hotel in Disneyland...

No...uh uh...I'm not writing about that.

I'm not even going to go into how we got the special assistance pass because I brought L with me to get it, and since he looked like he had leprosy...they started writing it out before I even explained why we needed it...

There is a chance you might think I'm going to write about the epic head cold I acquired on day two of our trip...but I'm not going there either.

Maybe you're wondering if I'm going to write about all three boys jumping into the pool...with every one of them still wearing said un-waterproof pumps...

or about the fact that THAT led to yet ANOTHER pump being UPSed to Disney for us.

I'm not going to write about that...sorry.

I'm not going to write about how spending some quality one on one time with my boys, made me realize how much they have changed recently...or that it knocked me square in the head that now I have two teenagers and a nine year old that wishes in every way that he was a teenager too.

Nope. It isn't in me.

You are probably dying to know on our way home, how we made it over 300 miles with our car only allowing us to use 4th gear...

I can't explain that. My head hurts too much.

I'm not even going to explain how we know that car sickness and a low feel exactly the same to L...

Ain't happenin.

In fact, I'm not sure I have ANYTHING left in me to blog this blog.

But I've got to give you something...so I will leave you with this image...

That arrow is pointing to the exact spot where our transmission finally gave out on our way home.

Right smack in the middle of the Richmond San Rafael Bridge.

The police were called. They sent a giant tow truck out to save us...unfortunately, this truck couldn't hold all seven of us, so the driver decided to PUSH us across the bridge.

(Insert hysterical crying mom ordering her 16 year old to pray for our safe crossing here.)

A couple small dents later our car was safely pushed/knocked across the bridge and ANOTHER tow truck and my father were called to save the day.

We made it home in one piece, and even though we have created memories galore...we all seriously need a vacation from our vacation.

We survived details that rivaled any National Lampoon Vacation.

Thankfully, just thinking about it now brings a small smile to my face.

Yes, physically we survived...and made it all in one piece...but the condition of my swelly brain is still to be determined. In fact, I'm pretty sure both my swelly brain and my stomach (from all the food I ate,) are suffering from post traumatic stress.

But we are home! All of us physically in our house...and me, mentally here blogging...

And man...lemme tell ya...it never felt so good to be home!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Guest Blogger-polooza Day 5: Gina

Gina Capone is the President of The Diabetes Resource and writes at The Diabetes Talkfest Blog.

I've gotten to know her personality a bit on facebook and have found her to be just a downright amazing person. Her story of inner healing is moving, and also a reminder how community makes all the difference in the world. Thank you Gina for taking time to writes for us!

When I first found out what blogging was from my husband (when we were dating) he said I should write a blog. My first thought to myself was… what the heck is a blog? Then, what the hell am I going to write about? I don’t even know how to put a sentence together. Who is going to even read what I write? I let the idea of writing this blog soak for a few months. Then said to myself, what the hell…and went for it.

I made my first post back in June 05’ and had no idea what would be in store for me and my elementary school style of writing. At first it was so hard to think of topics on what I wanted to write about, because I have never been a strong writer. But, then thought—my life with diabetes was a perfect topic! Day after day I would think of this crazy stuff that happened like Pump Gushers, or intimate feelings I had, and *poof* out came a post like magic. I really felt like an idiot writing my feelings down (I am not really the expressive type) and having it go into the dark hole of cyberspace somewhere…well I got over it.

Eventually, my stupidity paid off and I really started enjoying this thing called blogging. I had content at my fingertips, literally… everyday, all day (see finger stick). The words I wrote started becoming my way of expressing exactly how I felt on that particular day. It was so therapeutic to write it all out and not have to lash out on family members…well not all the time haha My anger for my disease was slowly disappearing and my health started to improve slowly.

The high stress level I once had was less, and as the days came and went I was getting more comfortable with my thoughts, and letting these cyber space people that didn’t even know me personally read about my life with diabetes!

It became a way for me to communicate with others living with the disease and for them to communicate with me as well. All of us who were writing about diabetes started finding each other slowly, and formed a common bond from our chronic condition… The Diabetes Online Community – DOC (DOC mascot). We write about things that we could understand. Especially naked showers and being high. For the first time I did not feel alone in my battle.

We formed a community that has become a force to be reckoned with. We raise our voices on topics and concerns together as an online community, a family… and we advocate for ALL those living with diabetes.

I started writing about my health as a fluke, a joke not even knowing exactly what I wanted to write about. It then became much more than that, it became me writing about growing within myself, learning how to live well with diabetes, improving my health and mental state from an online support system, and finding others that understood me… which led me to become an activist for this disease called diabetes, a silent killer that no one truly understands.

So I explain it to you with words…at The Diabetes Talkfest Blog. Stop by and say hi!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Guest Blogger-polooza Day 4: Jessica

Jessica Collins at Me and D is a complete sweetheart.

She is always on Twitter to lend an ear, and has just the best personality! Her post today is testament to her beauty. Thank you Jessica for sending out this message to the readers of Our Diabetic Life!

Life Is Messy

First of all, I want to thank Meri for the opportunity to guest post on her blog. This was the first D-mama blog I read when I first became involved in the DOC. So thanks, Meri!

Now I read a lot of PoCWD blogs. And I love it. It helps me understand some of what my own parents must have gone through. I’ve written multiple posts about parents of CWD... (like this one from D-Blog Week.) You guys inspire me SO MUCH!

And I know some of you read my blog too. And comment. That means a lot to me.

I tend to use my blog to vent. It’s a safe place for me to share about my life with D. I don’t need to tell you how hard life with D is. You know.

I also know that some of you read the blogs of adult PWD to catch a glimpse of what life for your child may be like when he or she grows up.

And yes, it’s not pretty. Sometimes it’s downright awful. But it’s not always like that.

One of my favorite prompts from D-Blog Week was the day where we focused on the good that diabetes has brought us. I thought it would be really hard to come up with a list. Don’t get me wrong. If I could get rid of my D, I would. But the list wasn’t as hard to come up with as I expected.

As easy as it is to focus on the bad, there’s good as well. I think it’s important to be able to vent about the bad days, and all the accompanying emotions.

But as messy as this life with D is, it’s my life. That’s the message I hope parents can see. I have diabetes, it does not have me.

Your CWD is going to grow up. I know you’re worried about what’s going to happen when that transition occurs. When you won’t be there to wake up and check their bg at 3am. When they call from far away because they’re sick and high and there’s nothing you can do.

But your child can do this. You will have equipped them to the best of your ability. Will they make mistakes along the way? Yes. But they will figure this out.

And one day, they will be able to say thank you.

Your child has diabetes. It does not have your child.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Guest Blogger-polooza Day 3: Kelly

She is bubbly, wonderful, kind and giving. But don't let the sweet demeanor fool you...Kelly Kunik from Diabetesaliciousness is a fighter!

She is an advocate if there ever was one! She has lifted me up more times than I can count...her posts let us all know that no matter what is thrown in our way, or our children's way...all will be well! Thank you Kelly for your powerful words of comfort!

Your Children......

To the parents of the DOC - I know that you worry about your children, their diabetes, and how their diabetes will effect their childhood & their future. You worry 24X7, 365 days a year, with no time off for vacations or good behavior.

As a former child with diabetes who is now well into adulthood, I’m here to tell you that they will be fine.

Yes, there will be some bumps along the road, but that's true with everyone, diabetes or not.

But I'm here to tell you that they will be more than fine, and here just some of the reasons why.


Just so you know, your children with diabetes are amazing and sparkle like stars.

And by amazing I mean your children are resilient, tough as nails, wise beyond their years and more precious than diamonds & platinum.

Because of their faulty pancreases, your children have have developed Super Hero abilities that puts the Justice League to shame.

Abilities like (but not limited to,) being able to pick themselves up by their bootstraps whenever they fall down, seeing life’s glass half full and filled with beauty when most of the world sees it empty, a (and please pardon the language here folks,) a bullsh*t filter that will simultaneously allow them to weed out the negative people they come in contact with and shine a bright spotlight on the positive people who enter their lives.

Children with diabetes also have an over developed sense of empathy that both teaches and inspires everyone they come in contact with, a highly developed (and at times some what dark) sense of humor.

Your children appreciate the smallest moments of gladitude and never miss an opportunity to celebrate one of life's victories. And your children have a wonderful sense of self that many adults are still trying to achieve well into their 30‘s.

Your children are wise beyond their years while still maintaining their childlike sense of wonder.

These gifts will follow them into adult and throughout their lives, and will serve them well.

And these gifts will allow them to teach and inspire others - and that is a wonderful and glorious thing.

Love You all

Kelly “k2” Kunik


Kelly Kunik has lived with type 1 diabetes & a faulty pancreas for over 30 years. A Diabetes Advocate, Blogger (http://diabetesaliciousness.blogspot.com/ ,) Speaker & Living with Diabetes Consultant, Kelly has a thing for the color is green & loves the ocean. She's been known to have a cupcake on occasion & don't even get her started on Diabetes & the media!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Guest Blogger-polooza Day 2: Michael

Michael Hoskins writes The Diabetic's Corner Booth. And it is always just like that with him. His writing, and his comments on my blog and others oozes the comfort of a caring friend...a friend that you are sitting having a casual lunch with in the corner booth of a diner.

This post below is no different. Little things make a big difference. Michael's wife and mother inspire me! Thank you Michael for taking the time to write such a heartfelt post!

A Note In My Lunch

Each day, little handwritten notes grace my lunch bag.

My D-Wife calculates the carb counts for the lunches packed, even on days when I've made my own meal by just sticking a PB cracker pack, apple sauce, and chip bag into a plastic grocery bag. Even though I could add up the carb counts listed on each package and tally up the total to bolus for, she takes the time and effort to write the note.

In only a few lines, each note represents a world of support.

The same thing happens when we eat at home, as she calculates the total using the white board on the fridge. There, the list entails whatever happens to be gracing our plates and she lets me know what the food "costs" to key into my pump.

I'm really not sure when this became "our life" and how things work, but it must feels at home. We're both in our early 30s and haven't yet started out family, but that type of support can bring a smile to the face sometimes and just helps you know how good you have it.

Once, my own D-Mom (living with Type 1 herself since age five) did that very task. Life was different way back then. I was diagnosed at five just before I began school, and blood meters weren't the norm. They were about the size of a brick, actually. But because of my mom's longtime stretch and her mom's own push to have the latest and greatest gadgets and technology, we had a meter in our home not long after they came out. That trend continued into the early 90s when meters became more common, and I've had one as long as I can remember.

While I don't now recall any of the specific tricks of the trade my mom used back in those days, since we didn't really have "carb counting" or MDI as it exists now. It may have just been the meal exchanges or insulin-dosage timing, but I'm sure it was just as love and support-saturated as the notes my D-Wife uses now.

Somehow, one day, after all the rebellion in those teen years and early 20s, I found myself with someone new to bring that balance into my life. Someone who understood what was needed, was willing to help me calculate, and be there every step of the way.

By the time we'd met and started dating in that final year of college, I'd already transitioned to my own D-Management. Not even sure I remember how diabetes first came up, but it was pretty much always a factor and we talked about it and moved on. Just did what was needed. From those early days when I'd just started pumping during my last year of college in 2001, to now.

Only much later would I be able to get a glimpse into what my mom and dad had done, and gone through, in helping me become the person that I'd eventually become in order to find that Loving and Supporting Spouse who would take that D-Life onto her own shoulders. They did the same thing way back when in the 80s and 90s, but I never really knew or appreciated it - until the Diabetes Online Community gave me the chance.

Discovering the D-Parents who are a crew of superheroes, who are a community within a community, was just as much a game changer that bridged the gaps in my own D-Life. People like Meri and others who are always there, and who you know just "get it" when others don't. I've been blessed to find this community, as it's opened my eyes to a world that "gets it" in ways that I previously couldn't even begin to understand.

But even though we live in a time now where everyone is connected online and there is a constant flow of support, sometimes it just comes down to notes in a lunch sack or scribbled numbers on a whiteboard.

Maybe the means have changed from meal exchange rates and balancing long-acting with short-acting at meal times, to carb counting with an insulin pump filled with pretty quick-acting insulin. Maybe we're more plugged into what the numbers mean and how the food will react.

The sentiment doesn't change. The love and support is what sometimes means the very most. And it's that kind of sentiment that binds so many of us in this community together. Because we all have those moments, those notes, and that love and support in our D-Lives.

And that kind of thing is what shapes us into the people we are, and the people we'll become.