Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Right now, I have enough.

"On July 27 1921 two Canadian scientists at the University of Toronto,
Frederick Banting and Charles Best, successfully isolate insulin--a
hormone they believe could prevent diabetes--for the first time.
Within a year, the first human sufferers of diabetes were receiving
insulin treatments, and countless lives were saved from what was
previously regarded as a fatal disease. Diabetes has been recognized
as a distinct medical condition for more than 3,000 years, but its
exact cause was a mystery until the 20th century. At that time, the
only way to treat the fatal disease was through a diet low in
carbohydrates and sugar and high in fat and protein. Instead of dying
shortly after diagnosis, this diet allowed diabetics to live--for
about a year. A breakthrough came at the University of Toronto in the
summer of 1921, when Banting and Best successfully isolated insulin
from canine test subjects, produced diabetic symptoms in the animals,
and then began a program of insulin injections that returned the dogs
to normalcy. On November 14, the discovery was announced to the world.
On January 23, 1921, they began treating 14-year-old Leonard Thompson
with insulin injections. The diabetic teenager improved dramatically,
and the University of Toronto immediately gave pharmaceutical
companies license to produce insulin, free of royalties. By 1923,
insulin had become widely available, and the scientists were awarded
the Nobel Prize in medicine." ~

Today I want to say thank you to Banting and Best. I owe you a debt of gratitude deeper than the Precipices of the Grand Canyon.

Because of boys can live.

Because of boys can see, walk, laugh, and play.

Because of boys can learn and go to school.

Because of boys can jump and play sports. They can run and play with their friends.

Because of you...I count carbs...and take for granted daily how lucky I am to do so.

Because of you...I insert needles into my boys and don't even blink an eye, because I know it saves their life every time I do.

Because of you...we don't live in a hospital.

I take it all for granted. I think, "Where is the cure?" I think, "Why is this so hard?" I think, "My boys deserve better!"

But today, through these tears of thankfulness, I don't think those things at all.

Today I think, "It has been 90 years, why can't everyone afford and have access to insulin?" I think, "Why must families watch their child die because insulin is not available?" I think, "Even in the USA there are families struggling to keep insulin in the fridge."

I think, "Why is my family so blessed?"

Yes we have three boys who have Type 1 Diabetes. But I have a cabinet in my house that looks like this:

And I have insulin in my much I almost cannot contain it:

Sure it is all just a few months in supplies...and sure, that is a sad thing in itself, but I feel overwhelmingly grateful that we have these advances.

YES, a cure would be nice...but in the meantime, I'm going to work on looking at what I have, rather than what I don't.

Because as it turns out...right now, what I have is more than enough.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Four Seasons to Diabetes

The winter days, those are the ones that are like sticky notes glued to our memories. The rain that falls from our tear ducts...the snow that chills our hearts to our blessings. There are the storms that toss the numbers around. There are the calms that lay before the storms that can give us a false sense of security. But during this time of year, most of us know...we KNOW...that when the calm is there, then it is time to lie in wait for the storm. Every day anticipating the winds to turn everything upside down. Every day not trusting what is in our emergency preparedness brain. How bad will the storms be? The weather caster in our brain exaggerates the destruction of it all. The winter. We all have these winter moments...and the only thing that makes OK is moving on to another season.

Spring is when everything is coming up roses. (Or in this case, Tulips.) The basals are set right. The corrections are right. We feel we could swag an entire luau buffet with our eyes closed. Diabetes steps back...our children and their activities step forward. There is a sense of accomplishment and excitement. We roll your eyes at others drama. We wonder what all the fuss is about. We are drifting down a stream with little or no effort on our part. It is a beautiful thing that we all wish would last forever...but seasons change. And summer comes...

"Did someone turn up the heat? Is there a spotlight on me? Wait. Everyone thinks I got this thing but I'm so preoccupied with all the things I need to do to keep this family running, that I have no earthly idea how the sugars are trending, or what supplies need to be ordered. I'm so lost." There is no order, only chaos. Everything is ran in hast. The activities build, and children are occasionally left in others hands. You feel like you have no center. You second guess your second guess your brain. You wonder how anyone could trust you with this job in the first place. Pretend. We have to pretend we got this. It is a lonely and heat exhausting place to be. We yearn for relief.

And then fall comes. There is a beauty to fall that reminds us of spring. We start to view things in color rather than brown and white. The fall encourages us to look up...and know that we are here for a reason. Is anything perfect in the fall? No, it is unpredictable. But we accept that unpredictability as part of Our Diabetic Life. There is purpose to our step...the wind is at our back. We turn to family and friends to begin the celebrations of the season. We celebrate how far we have come. We are thankful that our children have healthy legs, healthy eyes, healthy hearts. We are grateful that they can run and laugh and enjoy life regardless of the occasional rain or heat. An old college roommate of mine put this quote on facebook, "Gratitude turns what we have into enough." That is what this season is all about.

What season are you in right now?

I am in Summer. Me thinks I need to be more grateful for what I have.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

Friday, July 22, 2011

I blog, therefore I get free stuff.

I get emails once in awhile from companies that want me to try their stuff. At first I thought this was SO COOL and then realized that most of the "stuff" I was getting wasn't so yummy or cool after all. (Sad face.)

But when I got the call from Blue Bunny to try their ice cream, well HOT DANG! I'm not going to say no to ice cream! The SAME DAY I got a note from VBlast, asking me to try their new vitamin beverage. I figured, I said yes to the ice cream, might as well give these a whirl too.

In exchange, I said I would give a review, but they both knew that I would be honest...and say what I really truly thought. I'm not getting paid or anything. But as I said in my title...I did get these samples for free.

So here you really truly real true thoughts...

Blue Bunny ice cream sent me these "Sweet Freedom" snack sized ice cream cones, and ice cream sandwiches. They have "no sugar added" so therefore they are diabetes friendly, right? Maybe. They have the ingredient, "Sucralose," which is famous for not being so friendly on my diabetics' tummies.

Luckily, these babies were little enough not to cause any harm whatsoever to our digestive systems. Not a huge fan of sugar alcohols, but a little bit once in awhile is ok with me. Another reason I bring up sugar alcohols is that all the boys went low after eating these bad boys. I bolused straight for the carbs, but as I learned from Wil over at Diabetes Mine, I needed to subtract the fiber and 1/2 the sugar alcohols from the total carbs. That is what happens when you are a sugar alcohol rookie like me. Well, now I know. :)

I have to say though, the ice cream cones were REALLY yummy. I snuck one for a snacky snack the other night and enjoyed every bite. I would like to say the same about the ice cream sandwiches, but I can't. Only because I didn't have one...the boys ate them too fast! They LOVED them. In fact they just asked for me to buy more. So I guess that is a win! They are tiny, they are good...I can't help but recommend!

The other product I received was VBlast. It is Spring Water with Vitamins in the cap. When you twist the cap the vitamins and flavor is released, which they claim keeps everything more potent.

First impression was, how the heck does this thing work? We twisted, nothing happened. We twisted more. Nothing. Finally we twisted the cap all the way off and the color/vitamins flowed in.

J took the first taste and said it was disgusting. We found out later that the some of the potent flavor was still in the cap. Once we shook it and he tasted it again, he thought it was good. In fact we all thought the Strawberry Kiwi flavor tasted really good. We have sampled some others and liked them too. But here is the thing...da da dum! Sucralose...again. :( It is zero carbs though and kinda fun...and chalked full of that is something! We saw another product exactly like this at Costco yesterday...same square bottle too. Except the cap looked easier to use. It had ONE is the kicker, it tasted awful and had a bad after taste. So kudos for VBlast for tasting good!

I want to thank these companies for thinking my say means something. I know that more bloggers have Blue Bunny reviews coming soon, so keep an eye out! In fact, here is one by Heidi over at D-Tales...just click HERE.

Have a wonderful weekend my sweet peeps!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Haunting Heidi's Blog

Today I have the honor of guest posting at Heidi's blog, D-Tales. It is all about basal tweaking...and ghosts. You know, same ol same ol. :)

D Tales

Heidi has a son with T1, and we became instant friends when we found each other. She is kind, strong, and a devoted friend. I'm so thankful she is part of my support system!

Don't be shy, stop by and see what all the fuss is about. We are boooolllUUUuuusSSing!

To get there, click HERE, or cut and paste this beauty into your browser:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Poop and Circumstance.

Sometimes POOP happens and there is nothing we can do to change that.

Sometimes our meter says HI and there is nothing we could have done to prevent it.

Because, as I tell my boys multiple times a week, "we don't have a crystal ball."

Circumstances are what they are.

Tirade: Do your kids come to you on the couch after eating a snack and ask, "How many carbs?" When you weren't even involved with making said plate full of carbs? Mine do. All the time. Hence the "I don't have a crystal ball" comment. "You have to actually TELL me what you ate."

(Would be nice, wouldn't it?)

Tirade two: Yes, sometimes my boys bolus after they eat. Don't have a heart attack. It is ok.

OK...back to the post!

As I was saying...sometimes numbers all hit the fan and we have to put on our big girl panties and just get the job done.

Sure...we go back in your heads and wonder what we could have done to prevent said poop. But here is the epiphany that I had yesterday...we can't go back in time.


Why do we try time travel in our brain? They are brains, not Deloreans.

Ok...If it is something that was within our control, I agree that thinking it over and planning a change in attack next time is a good thing. But sometimes...even A LOT of times...there is nothing we could have done. We can only go on our experience. So if doing that combo bolus worked for pizza last time, and then doesn't work this time...IT ISN'T "YOUR FAULT."

What is it about us that we want to blame ourselves for everything?

Seriously, it was overcast yesterday and I looked at my summer shirt and thought if I had worn a sweater, maybe it would have been sunny...I. HAVE. A. PROBLEM.

Basals run amuck? MY fault. Even though they aren't.

Child forgot to check his sugar before he ate? My fault. Even though my brain can only think for so many people at one time...

Are you following me?

I'm not sure I'm following me.

Where is this all coming from? Yesterday L was HI. (Why my meter says HI and not HIGH is beyond me.)

Was his set bad? Yesseree! We changed it out, and he went down.

Well, he DOVE down.

Stunk for him. Stunk for me. Stunk all around.

And today I felt an overwhelming sense of urgency to just, get it right. A NEED to keep his numbers in perfect range. See: Guilt. See: Not as easy as it seems.

And then I stopped and epiphanied my epiphany that I can't go back and change what happened. I can only look forward. I can only work forward.

So poop happens. And so does the circumstance. But we need to remember...we are human. We are not magic. We cannot control our kids sugars with our minds. We cannot WILL a set not to fail.

We need to learn from our mistakes, and forget the things that we had no control over. Deciding which is which can be tricky. But...I think if we search our hearts...we know.

We always know.

It IS our fault.

LOL! Just kidding. SOMETIMES it is our fault. But SOMETIMES it is not our fault.

It can all be just poop and circumstance for sure.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The one where I rant...

Do I care too much?

Am I weird? (Wait, don't answer that...)

When I see a child suffer, a little piece of me dies. I wonder how others can just shut it off. Block out the sadness, the helplessness...the caring.

Those that work in the medical field...I know they see it every day. I know that they see suffering, and in order to cope they need to look at things logically rather than emotionally.

But there is a fine line between professional courtesy and blatant don't-give-a-damn.

When B was at the doctor on Monday he was suffering. He was shivering. He was moaning. He was spitting in a cup because he wouldn't swallow. His throat pain was could see the suffering all over his face. Heck, you could see it all over his body.

I am not one to take my kids to the emergency room willy nilly. I've handled the worst of sick days on my own. But on Monday...that day...while sitting in that waiting room, I contemplated bringing him.

I just couldn't handle SEEING him like that.

I'm pretty sure I would welcome being thrown into a pit of wild honey badgers, rather than seeing my child suffer like that.

Yes. Really sure.

And as we waited for the pediatrician for almost an swelly brain almost burst from my skull. When I checked in they said it would be no more than 5 minutes. But an HOUR later? He was huddled into the crook of my elbow...tears in his eyes...whimpering.

Fully 6 nurses were standing around. Eating their snacks. Telling their jokes. Bringing other patients back. They all glanced over with no concern or wonder whatsoever.

Patients went in and out. We sat alone in the waiting room most of the time.

Don't you think if you were a nurse, and you saw a child obviously in SO much pain, you would have tried to comfort him, or at the very least his mother who is crying next to him?

I finally asked what the what, and they said, "OH! I think the nurse is here now...we'll get you in."

Too late. B was running to the bathroom, throwing up.

We came out of the bathroom, both of us a mess of tears.

Did they apologize for taking so long?

Did they say, "I'm so sorry B, I know you are miserable, we'll do everything we can to help."


All it would have took to make me feel better earlier was, "I'm sorry...we are still waiting for the nurse. We'll get you in as soon as she gets here." Maybe an explanation why the other nurses couldn't help him?

Any word would have helped. Just some kind of confirmation that they SAW us!

It was confirmed 100% in a two second check that he had strep.

And then we were sent to the pharmacy.

We waited an hour in the pharmacy. Replay the exact same scene above. Throwing up and all.

Did the doctor not send our prescription over? Were they too busy? We watched the pharmacy fill and empty a full four times over. Were we invisible??

When I went up twice to ask, all the guy at the counter did is fill out a piece of paper and ask me to sit down, he would call me.

But he never did.

When I went up again, 1 hour and 15 minutes later, he found B's prescription just sitting there.

He grabbed the bag, rung it up and said, "$14.35."

No, "I'm sorry it took so long."


Two words...I'm sorry. That is all it would have taken to make me feel better.

But not even one word...

Not one word of apology.

Because they suck all the time?

Because apologizing to me would be them admitting they failed?

I'm scared it is because they just didn't care.

Am I crazy?

Is this what the world has come to? Have the true crazies ruined it for half way normal people like me get no empathy?

Do I just care to much?

Maybe...maybe I do. How the good Lord made me a parent to three T1's is beyond me. I cannot STAND to watch my children, or other children suffer. I can't cope with it. There has to be a reason I'm the mother to these children.

In a world where ambivalence rules and compassion is a lost art, I have to wonder if I received my calling as a D Mother to see the needs of others clearer.

And if that IS the case...I hope I do not waste this gift.

I hope to have the courage to put my hand on the shoulder of one in need, or to be a listening ear to those whose soul is heartbroken.

I hope to look past the hard shell of those that have put up walls after years of trials and aloneness.

I hope I will be one to step up.

I hope I won't take the easy road, and just look the other way.

Because if I...someone who sees suffering so clearly, give up to would seem that all I have experienced has been for naught.

Every human being deserves a bit of understanding.

I have the capacity to care...we all do.

It is up to all of us to exercise it.

Even those in the medical profession.

(Wait! Where did this soapbox come from?)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Playing at Heather's House/Blog

Sorry I have been MIA. B is in the throws of another bout with strep...and it isn't pretty. I have an entire blog post in my head about our trip to the doctor and me being one hair away from going ape mom on those pharmacists...time will tell if that beauty will see the light of day. But B is finally feeling better enough to eat breakfast today, so we are moving forward!

I did have time to whip together a guest post for my amazing friend Heather!

Her blog is Sweet to the Soul, and that describes Heather PERFECTLY! I know it is supposed to pay homage to her girls...but you know what? Their Mama deserves the title as much as they do!

So pop by HERE: and see what I have to say about freedom, letting go, and trust.

Hope your numbers are all kinds of wonderful today!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Daring myself to keep it short.

Man...I could write forever. I think I could sit down and just write and write and write.

Yeah, I totally get that sometimes my blogs go on and on and on.


(Okay! A lot of times!)

But I wanted to say hello and let you know how proud I am of me.

Yeah. You heard it right. ME!

I let my two oldest guys go on an airplane to Washington without me.

Yay me!

Sure I spent three hours almost throwing up while their plane was delayed, stuck on the tarmac.

Sure I almost burst into tears that would surly have overflowed the Pacific Ocean while J texted me 100 messages telling me how sucky it was...

But. I. Didn't.

And THAT my something.

I'm so good at "internal" freak outs these days...I can almost go pro.

If there was a "D Mama's Got Talent," I would totally try out.

I would stand on that stage while my oldest T1 left for Scout Camp and I wouldn't even flinch. I know. Not everyone has tear ducts of steel like me.

So on a compeltely unrelated topic, (not,)...J is coming home tomorrow...and then REALLY leaving two days later for 9 days at scout camp.

But whatever.

I've done it before. He's done it before.

No biggie.



I think I'm going to go bang my head against a wall now.

Internally, of course.

Aren't you glad I kept it short? this short?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Diabetes is a sailboat.

13 years ago I was told to put my child in a sailboat. Alone. He was to journey out to sea and I was not allowed to escort him.

You can imagine the fight I put up. I yelled and pleaded. I dropped to my knees and bargained with God. I had a fit. But alas, my flailing was fruitless...he was literally taken out of my arms and thrown into the boat. I was given no choice. He had Type 1 Diabetes and there was no going back. He could not stay on shore. He could not live without the was part of him now.

I watched the boat go out to sea and I cried for what felt like forever. The world seemed to be in constant motion, while I was stuck on pause...mourning his separation from the shore.

The viciousness of the waves were horrifying.

My child was helpless.

I was helpless.

I would have done anything to be on that boat. I willed his diabetes to enter my body so I could switch places with him. But apparently, that isn't how it works.


I was given two tools to help my son. A telescope and limited control over the weather.

I have vigilantly had my eye set to that telescope for 13 years. There have been long stretches when I wouldn't leave the scope. I wouldn't shower. I wouldn't eat.

I have had comments throughout the years that my attention would be better placed somewhere other than the boat.

What they don't understand is that my child is on that boat. My heart. My soul. How could I ever walk away from my scope?

My one advantage is, with insulin and food, I can sometimes control the weather. I can smooth the waves and bring him close to shore. On those days it almost feels he is on land with me. On those days we dance together and laugh, and joke that the ocean has nothing on us.

But other days the storms come in out of nowhere. The black clouds close in and the numbers ebb and flow with the powerful tide. On those days, I watch my son ride those waves and I spend the day at my scope...determined to change the color of the clouds. If his boat capsized...I don't know what I would do.

Sure...he is above water. Sure...he is surviving. But on the stormier days his sea sickness weighs so heavy on my shoulders, I'm sure I am going to run out of strength, and one day drown into despair myself.

My son has grown up on his boat, and I am in awe every day of his constant vigilance, and his nimble control of his craft. He is an able captain now. He can hoist the sail, he can watch for the storm clouds. He can batten down the hatches. He can steer that boat away from immediate danger...he FEELS the sea. His intuition is inspiring.

Three boats I have set out to sea. It does not get easier. Every boat I have released has killed me a little bit inside. My husband and I live our lives on the shore waiting for storms, hoping for sun...watching each and every wave.

It is exhausting. It is tedious.

But on the summerlike days, when the boys drift closer to our reality...they hitch their boats together. With their boats abreast, we can sit together and watch the sun set on the horizon and know that we can do this. We see the other boats adrift in the ocean, and their resolve and optimism lifts our spirits.

A bit ironic that the most amazing views...the most amazing perspectives...can be seen only from a boat.

No, it isn't easy. It isn't fair. The children with their feet on land are behind us, ever present...running around with no cares.

They don't have an entire craft to navigate. If a storm comes in they can simply get in their cars and their parents can drive them home. They are not required to have constant courage or patience. They are not required to grow up quickly to take on captaining their own ship.

They are free to run.

Freedom. A gift my boys yearn for.

Freedom from navigating. Freedom from weather.

Diabetes is a sailboat.

Adrift in the sea.

The boats rock gently tonight. I can see my sons at the helms. Their silhouettes against the nights sky.

Each one, every bit a hero.

We pray that one day they may set their feet on the sandy shore and rest.

That one day they may find respite from their journey.

Type 1 Diabetes is a sailboat.

And 40 new sailboats take off from the shore, every day.

They aren't just boats underway with numbers in their wake...they are families lives, changed forever.

They are significant.

Every single sailboat is significant.

And every captain, an inspiration.