Monday, September 27, 2010
Options were weighed. Dialog was flowing. Ideas bounced off. And decisions made.
The decision? My husband, my SIL and my oldest 3 boys would ride their bikes 3.1 miles down the road to a restaurant that I had a killer coupon for. L and I would hang back. I would take L on his scooter for a 1 mile loop around the house, and then when we got back we would drive to meet the fam at the restaurant.
It was a good plan.
It was a plan hatched with the best of intentions.
As I left with L out the door I yelled back for everyone to check their sugars before leaving. J was on his way to “The Station,” (my nickname for the hallway cupboards and counter where we keep the boys supplies,) so I felt pretty comfortable about leaving.
You caught that right? I saw J heading to the station…not B. But why would I worry? I totally knew my husband had this.
Unfortunately…my husband totally knew I had it.
When L and I got back from our loop I got an upsetting phone call from my SIL.
“B feels low. He is sitting on the side of the road and he’s pretty upset. I got nothing on me.”
Before I go any further you should know that my SIL ALWAYS has SOMETHING on her. She carries a blood sugar monitor and fast acting carbs in her purse at all times…yeah, she is that great. No kidding, she’s a regular Mary Poppins. But on this day…she didn’t have her purse with her. She had nothing. B wasn’t moving. He knew he had to stay put, and they were by the post office in the industrial district…not a store within a mile or so.
L and I hopped in the car and took off.
I was almost there when my SIL called again, “Are you close? B is crying now.”
Crap. He’s scared. My entire existence axises on keeping my boys NOT scared. And there B was, on the side of the road, frightened. No monitor. No sugar. Feeling all the crap a low has to throw at him…worried for his sweet little life.
Crap on a stick. (Who says that? One of the blogging Mama’s says that.)
It was like a bad drug deal. On the open road…a car drives up and rolls down the window and hands over the goods to get someone high. I wanted him higher. I wanted him higher now.
I was in a no parking zone on a busy street, shunking my son with a needle and giving him the goods to get higher.
The craziness of the moment didn’t escape me.
He drank his juice. He ate his Yogo’s with frenzy, and then stopped long enough for me to check him.
He waited awhile and insisted finishing the trip on his bike.
Diabetes wasn’t going to scare him into stopping. He had all the tools he needed to be safe now; He was ready to go.
As I watched him bike down the road, the title of the country song, “There Goes My Life” popped into my head.
There he went, my entire life. My everything.
We work so hard to keep our kids safe. But we work just as hard to make them FEEL safe.
Let me keep the fear.
Let me nurse the worry.
Let him…just be a kid.
Friday, September 24, 2010
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called, “blog”
Electric word, “blog”
It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you there’s something else,
Yup, Prince. (Is he Prince again, or The Artist Formally Known as Prince?) Anywho, his song woke me up this morning and these lyrics from “Let’s Go Crazy” have been replaying in my head for the past hour. I figured the only way to get rid if it was to lay it out on my blog like I do with everything else. That is how I roll. Crossing my fingers I don’t drive the kids crazy with Prince Raspberry Beret during breakfast.)
So I know you all have come to find out the winners of my Few of my Favorite Things Giveaway! And you know what, I am happy to oblige!
Two winners!! Two Prize Packages!! Good luck!!
And winner number one is:
Stephanie! From My Life as a Pancreas!!! Total serendipity! Her son was just diagnosed with Type 1 on August 31st. She is new to blogging so go send her some love! Congrats Stephanie, and welcome to the DOC!
And winner number two is:
Heather! From, Sweet to the Soul!! Heather is a mama to three beautiful girls. Her 4 year old daughter was diagnosed April of 2009. Congratulations wonderful Heather!!
Girls, you have 48 hours to contact me by email at ourdiabeticlife(at)yahoo(dot)com. If I don't hear from you...another winner will be selected. :(
Thanks to all who entered. It was such an awesome surprise to have over one hundred entries! Please come by to visit again! Now that the contest is over, I have many things to blog about, not the least of which is a drive by carbing incident I was involved in…
Sending all my love to the DOC. You are my sanity all rolled up in one computer screen. Thank you for understanding me, laughing with me…and supporting me.
You inspire me everyday. Thank you!
NOW! There is a new giveaway/SUGAR BOLUS on the block!! Go to HALLIE at the Princess and the Pump NOW!!! Horray! More free stuff!! Go on, get outta here, and win something already!! :)
psst....wait...are you still here? Also go to Heidi at D Tales Blogger Basal for the month of September. A nice run down of what has been goin' on with our blogging peeps!
Friday, September 17, 2010
I have two prize packages up for grabs. Each of them including something special from three of my favorite things ever!
Let’s start with curtain number one!
CONTIGO KIDS TREKKER MUGS!
We have been using Contigo mugs for years. They are amazing for a variety of reasons, not the least of these being they do not spill! Not one drop! They are good looking, durable, spill proof, ingeniously designed and they are BPA free. We use them on the boys’ desks at school, at soccer games, in the car, at church, and around the house. Seriously, these cups SAVED my carpets back in the old days when we drank A LOT of RED sugar free cool aid/crystal light. (That stuff does not come out of carpets. EVER.) Carpet staining catastrophes led me to buy a few of these…and ever since, if you want a drink in your room by the bed, grab a Contigo. In the car? Grab a Contigo. I even sent some to both grandparents house so we wouldn’t have to worry about spills. They make these for adults too. We have a few other varieties that they sell as well. Take a look at their website HERE…you will fall in love instantly!
Two winners will get TWO of these cups. Thank you Contigo for spreading the love to the Type 1 Community!
Behind curtain number 2?
We have used many different belts/hooks/pockets for the boys’ pumps…and by far they favor these. I think the win is in the simplicity. My boys are no fuss kind of guys. They want something simple, comfortable and something that does the job well. They want to run with their pumps on and not have to worry about it flapping in the wind, or falling off. These belts do the job beautifully. L and B both PLAY their soccer games with their pumps on! Only because they can with these belts. The pumps are held close to their bodies and it doesn’t even bother them. The material is stretchy so they can also throw some fast acting sugar in the pouch if they want to. My Junior High guy just puts his pump in his pocket, but we quickly found out this wasn’t an option during PE. (No pockets in the PE shorts.) He uses the black Spibelt with the blue zipper now and is EXTREMELY happy with it because it is held so close to his body, no one notices…and he can run freely…huge plus!
As part of the prize package, our two winners will get to pick out any Spibelt they want HERE. Check it out, buy one…because they are uber affordable…and then try to win another one here. My younger boys have a couple each to switch back and forth from! (You can also use them to keep your cell phone, keys and ipod in...they are great for your workouts!)
Thank you Spibelt for sprinkling kindness towards the readers of Our Diabetic Life!!
And curtain number 3 dear friends?
A gift certificate from Medic Alert to enroll your child in the KID SMART program! This will register your child for one year with the company as well as pay for a Medic Alert bracelet. There are several to choose from within the program, below you can find a few examples of what they offer. The cost is very affordable, and the peace of mind is priceless!
We have used Medic Alert for the past 12 years. It feels good to know our children's medical records are immediately available to emergency responders to help with their treatment decisions. Their 24-hour emergency identification services help identify children who are involved in emergencies or lost. With a phone call, a doctor can know all the important information if I am not there. Emergency responders can find out the boys’ Endo phone number, the insulin we are currently using, the boys ratios, and find out what allergies my children have. You can change the information online, it is easy to do…and it gives peace of mind especially now that we are not at the boys sides 24/7. You can read more about the Program HERE.
Come on…AWESOME, right? Thank you Medic Alert for your life saving gift to my blog reading Peeps!
THE OFFICIAL RULES:
THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED
To enter the contest and win one of the two prize packages:
● Leave me a comment before midnight on Thursday, September 23, 2010. Please include your first name. Comments left without a name will be eliminated.
● To earn extra entries (post a separate comment for each):
* Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter. Then, leave me an additional comment
containing a link to your tweet.
* Share a link to this contest on Facebook. Then, leave me an additional
comment to let me know.
* Blog about this contest. Then, leave me an additional comment containing
a link to your blog.
● No duplicate comments are allowed. Duplicate comments will be eliminated.
● Winners will be selected via random draw at http://www.random.org/.
● Winners' names will be posted here on this blog on Friday, September 24, 2010.
● After winners' names are posted, winners will have 48 hours to send a message to me at email@example.com. If I do not hear from a winner within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.
Remember, to enter you must leave me a comment with your first name before midnight on Thursday, September 23rd.
GOOD LUCK! I SO hope you win!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I’m already crying.
First, breathe. Everything is going to be just fine. I know the fear of this coming to fruition is consuming, and I don’t want to minimize the gravity of the situation, but let me tell you…100%...all is well.
We have 3 Type 1 children, and people think we are some kind of amazing. They think we have super powers to be able to deal with 3 diabetic children.
“I don’t know how you do it!” They cry.
“I am in awe of your strength!” They cheer.
“How do you stay so positive?” They wonder.
Let me tell you, there is NOTHING extraordinarily special about our family. We are not superhuman. We survive life with 3 T1’s, and through it all we manage to thrive. We are as normal as it gets, and yet we are happy and blessed. Not because we are stronger than other families…just because it is what it is. You will be just as strong. I promise you will.
The initial mourning process is important. I understand that this is not the life you want your child to have to live. I know deep down you feel guilt. I know in some crazy illogical way you feel it is your fault. Maybe you feel like God is punishing you, and your children have to bear the burden. There are many stages to the madness, but eventually the dust will clear and you will feel alive again. Because what gets you through, are your children. Despite what life has thrown at them, their resiliency will be a beacon of light to your family. You will see them happy and full of life and it will fuel the fire of contentment in your heart.
Our family has been living with Type 1 for 12 (UPDATE:19) years now. We have gone through the hard baby times, the impossible growth spurts and have found a plethora of foods that wreak havoc on the boys’ blood sugars. It isn’t always easy…but eventually there is a rhythm…a drum beat that you will follow. Life is very much the same as it is with one Type 1 child. You are already counting carbs for the meals; you just do it for two. You are already checking sugars in the middle of the night…you just do it twice. The worst part is getting over your grief. Young children will get over it almost immediately. Grieve for awhile…as long as you need to! But don’t let the grief eat you alive. It is like acid to your heart.
Breathe, and live. One day at a time at first. Try not to let your brain skip ahead. Live today.
My boys have an incredible bond because of the trials diabetes hands our family. Having a brother or sibling next to you who KNOWS what a low feels like, who KNOWS that when you’re high you just want to punch something, who UNDERSTANDS your deepest thoughts and feelings? Well, that is just a gift.
Love prevails despite diabetes.
Happiness wins despite the daily grind.
The reason I cried at the beginning of this letter is because I know how much you are hurting right now. (Here come the tears again!) I am crying because I have been in the depths of despair…I know the fear, the grief, the terror of it all. But here I am, on the other side telling you that one day you won’t cry anymore. (Well, not everyday anyway.) We have our hard days, but most days…we get through like any normal family would. Sure, we do our blood sugar checks and there are calls from school and extra supplies to pack when we walk out the door…but for the most part we accept our family’s path, and you will too. You will be grateful for the closeness of your family, and the amazing character of your children. Yes, Diabetes changes them, but from what I have seen it only makes them more amazing. We are a pretty normal family yes, but our children...they are the ones everyone should be giving their awe to. They nothing short of incredible!
((HUGS)) to your family.
All is well. All is well.
Meri and Family
Monday, September 13, 2010
Thanks Laura, I owe ya one. ;)
What type of diabetes do you have:
My three youngest boys have Type 1 Diabetes. (And thankyouverymuch for asking which type it is!)
When were you diagnosed:
J was diagnosed on August 4, 1998 at the tender age of 8 months old.
L was diagnosed next in on February 12, 2005 when he was 2 years old
B was diagnosed next June 2006 when he was 5. (Caught so early, he wasn’t ‘official' until August of that year.)
What's your current blood sugar:
J is 82
B is 76
L is 118
(I know this sounds wonderful, but they are just going to bed and this means two checks tonight instead of 1. Isn’t diabetes fun?)
What kind of meter do you use:
We mostly use the OneTouch UltraMini’s. We use these because A) Our insurance covers the strips, and B) They come in awesome colors, and my boys think awesome colors are fun. Anything to make diabetes fun is Ok in my book! We also use the OneTouch UltraLink Meters at school. These meters beam the numbers to the boys’ pumps so there is no keying error on my little guys part.
How many times per day do you check your blood sugar:
On a really good day each boy gets checked 8 times. That is if Lawton does not alert, and if they are not ill. A normal day probably is 10-12 times per boy. That would be 30-36 times a day for you math enthusiasts.
What is a "HIGH" number for you:
The boys know that anything over 200 is high, but we don’t “call” it high unless it is over 300. We try to keep things positive around here. If they have a blood sugar in the low 100’s they ask for high fives because they know that is what we are shooting for.
What do you consider "LOW":
Anything under 70. L, our littlest one calls anything under 100 a low.
What is your favorite low blood sugar reaction treater:
Apple Juice for under 60’s
Yogos for 60-90
VANILLA pudding at night when they are between 60 and 90.
Describe your dream endo:
I think we have her. She was a fellow at UCSF Standford medical center, so she is a smartie. She has worked with us since J was diagnosed as a baby, so she knows us. She always listens to what I have to say first, so she listens well. She usually agrees with me, so she trusts us. She sometimes has ideas I never thought of…and they are positive ones, so I trust her. AND she is reachable at all times. If I can’t talk to her, I talk to our CDE and she will consult directly with our wonderful endo before giving me advice. The only thing that would be dreamier...is if her office was in town, and not in the city.
Who's on your support team:
My husband (My partner in crime. Always willing to lend a hand. Expert and super fast site changer.)
My SIL (She is amazingly adept in taking care of the boys. I can honestly throw the boys at her and leave for a week, and she could take care of their needs. The only thing she might need help with is site changes, but now that J can do his own, we are good to go.)
My MIL (She cooks for us. She drives the boys to school. She is always there for me if ever I need her. She is always positive and willing to lend a hand.)
My parents (They have us over once a week, and are willing to lend a hand if I’m ever in a pinch.)
My endo: (See above)
The DOC (You are my saving grace. You saved my brain. You lift me up. You get it. Same.)
Do you think there will be a cure in your lifetime:
Because I am a mother…and I have to watch my children suffer…even if they are happy and don’t even know that they are suffering…even so…I hope there will be a cure. Part of my brain is not expecting a cure…but another part of my brain believes in miracles. If God has plans for a cure…then it will happen, and I’m AOK with that!
What is a "cure" to you:
Drinking a glass of orange juice and not giving it a second thought.
The most annoying thing people say to you about your diabetes is:
After 12 years dealing with disease, I have honestly heard it all. But the worst by far was at the park one day. I spent a good hour talking to a mother who happened to be a nurse about the boys and their trials. The misconceptions, the hard work that is put in, the sleepless nights…she asked questions, she listened, she was so nice! Then as we parted I said, “Yeah, you just don’t know who is going to get it. Many people don’t even have it in their family history.” And then she said as she walked away, “That is why we are really careful about what we put in the kids lunches, I don’t want to worry about it ever.”
WTH? Did she even LISTEN to a flippin word I said??? An hour of my life I’ll never get back.
The most common misconception about diabetes:
That there is only one type. That there is just “Diabetes.” (Climbing on my soapbox) There really is no such thing as “Diabetes.” There is “Type 1 Diabetes” or “Type 2 Diabetes” or “Lada Diabetes.” No one has just plain ol diabetes. Newspapers like to lump it together. They always talk about “Diabetes” and the causes of it, which are always outlined with Type 2 causes. If you are speaking of Type 2, say Type 2. (Yeah, I don’t have issues or anything…)
If you could say one thing to your pancreas, what would it be:
What the hell?!
Now I get to tag someone…FUN FUN FUN!! Who do I think would love some fun?
Why WENDY of course!
Tag Wendy…you are it! MUA!
Friday, September 10, 2010
There is a lot of angst out there and I don’t find myself immune to it.
Yes, J is taken care of at the Junior High. He has awesome adults keeping an eye out, and I am completely at peace with him leaving in the morning for 6 hours. But, the reason it’s so awesome is because J takes care of himself. He does his own checking, his OWN correcting. The only people with a handle on his numbers are me and him.
Which leads me to the problem I am having at the elementary school level with B and L…and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that my problem is close to the very core of everyone else’s back to school angst…
Some have amazing nurses that have dealt with T1 and GET IT. But most of us don’t. Most do not have nurses that really understand Type 1 in children. Heck, many of us, including my boys, don’t even work with a nurse!
Regardless, in most cases there is someone, who does not get it, looking at our children’s numbers and JUDGING.
Case in point…
L is still really little. He is 6 and is tasked with checking his own sugar and then calling me twice a day with the numbers. We have him set up with an old cell phone of which he presses the number 2 and the phone magically dials me. He reports to me his numbers…and apparently, his teacher too.
The other day our snack conversation went something like this.
“Hi mom! I’m 302 and if I get to 400, my teacher says you better come pick me up! Bye!”
(Ummm…yeah…our conversations only go one way.)
But seriously…I felt judged. I always do.
Yesterday his teacher called personally because he was low. He was 56, and she wanted to know exactly what to do.
Did she say anything to me to make me feel bad? No, she was very nice. But did I feel bad anyway? Yes.
Because as great as she is, she just won’t ever get it. (Because really, you can’t get it without living it…or REALLY wanting to get it…and honestly she is too busy to be invested in such a huge endeavor.)
I’m not knocking teachers or nurses or secretaries, or whoever is helping our little ones. It’s just when a number isn’t what we hope it to be…they don’t understand that we put all our time, effort and worry into that number and our heart aches because of it. They don’t understand that the number is NOT your fault…it’s the diabetes fault. They just don’t understand.
And as a result, I feel judged.
And as a result of feeling judged, I feel angst.
And as a result of the angst, I wrote this post.
And as I’m writing this post, I have a feeling that many of you will agree, because sometimes our best human actions are not the best pancreatic actions. WE know we are doing the best we can…but do they?
They probably don’t. And feeling that these people don’t think you are doing the absolutely best you can for your child is a heartbreaking, anger inducing thing. Last year I felt so judged by L’s kindergarten teacher that I sent her a three page email explaining diabetes and that numbers cannot always be between 100 and 120 for a 5 year old. Even though she called me and was so kind about it all…I still felt that pang of judgment for the rest of the year.
Is it their fault?
Is it my fault?
Are they even really judging me?
Hell, I don’t know for sure…but probably, everyone does it...I mean; I’m judging their judgment right now!
Regardless…it is just one more guilt trip that I don’t need. I feed myself enough guilt as it is.
School brings the worst of my insecurities out. I think maybe that is why I’m so obsessed with getting good A1C’s. I can say, “Yeah…you don’t see it, but my endo says he is doing perfectly. His team is very pleased with his numbers and lab results.” (Seriously that was my fallback all last year.)
So where am I going with this. I don’t know people. All I know is I wanted to get the ugly truth out there:
I put blood sweat and tears into keeping my boy’s numbers in check…and the thought that someone at school may think I can do better…work harder? Well, it makes me feel like I’m in elementary school again. My feelings get hurt and I just want to collapse in the sandbox and cry.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Seriously...you have until midnight!
You can win TigTagz (If you don't know what they are...POP OVER!)
And there is some Tally Gear up for grabs!
All you have to do is leave a comment. (Read her rules) But honestly...easy peesy!
Sweet Mrs. Candy Hearts will declare a winner tomorrow!
And in another week yours truly will be announcing a giveaway of epic proportions...Okay, maybe its not epic...but its close. :)
Whatcha waiting for? Go enter now at Candy Hearts!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
It is a bit reminiscent of the Edgar Allan Poe story, “The Tell Tale Heart.”
I mostly hear it when the house is quiet. I can hear it right now as I type this.
mmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmm mmmm
It isn’t the refrigerator.
It isn’t the lights. Honestly, I have every one turned off.
I think it is me going mental from all the stress.
Our endo appointment is in three weeks. You know what that means? Every single number from this moment forth will be downloaded and analyzed. And I’m accountable for them all. Hence the rage basal changes last night on ALL three boys.
mmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Maybe it is the blood sugar monitors calling to me. They are saying, “Erase our histories! Start over!”
Whatever it is, it does shed light on the fact that I’m in a funk. The A1C tests are looming. All those A1C’s in the 6’s are going to be gone…those victories are now stored away in dusty boxes. All that matters is right now, and right now the boys’ blood sugars have gone out of whack.
It is uncanny how all three boys’ basal rates can work in unison.
Maybe that is what the humming is…their bodies basals communicating with each other…saying “More insulin! More insulin! More insulin! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmm.”
In two hours I will get a call from two boys, and a text from a third. They will report in with their blood sugars and I will know if my changes were positive ones or not. Until then I will sit here and listen to the hum of insanity and try to remember that those numbers are just a map for me to find my way to a treasure trove of “In Range Numbers.” I’ll also try to keep in mind that I am doing my best…and hope beyond hope that my best isn't as sucky as I think it is.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Sometimes it is so obvious it’s a miracle we are dumbfounded, and just don’t know what to think.
J starting Jr. High has brought so many miracles that I am seriously dumbfounded.
That just doesn’t happen people.
The definition of dumbfounded is: To be struck dumb with astonishment and surprise.
Yeah, not me.
But nonetheless I have finally found the words to blog about it.
It all started when J got his schedule for Jr. High. Our Jr. High is a pretty big school with many different wings. When my son M attended he was running from one end of school to the other…barely making classes and exhausted at the length of his walk.
But not J.
All of his classes are in ONE WING!
Again: One. Wing. (Well except PE in the gym…but all the others…ONE>WING>
Seriously, unheard of. Even his teachers at his 504 meeting were perplexed how that worked out.
So that was miracle #1.
Miracle #2 came during his 504 meeting. I was discussing his accommodations, excited and surprised everyone was amazing and on board…I got to the glucagon and nonchalantly showed them how it worked. I told them how it was SO no big deal and then went on to ask who would like to try a shot. Mrs. N raised her hand. “I’ll be the glucagon person. My classroom is right in the middle of his other classes, and I have 2 daughters that are Type 1.”
Her daughters are in their 20’s now, but they were diagnosed at ages 4 and 6.
I don’t care what you say…THAT is a miracle.
The next miracle came on the second day of school. J’s PE teacher wasn’t able to attend the 504. Yeah, not cool. But the councilor said he would let her know that she needs to meet with me asap. J didn’t have PE on the first day of school, because they are on a block schedule. 1st-3rd period on A days. 4th through 6th period on B days. The second day of school he walked into gym and sat down.
This teacher explained that she is a High School gym teacher and is here at the Jr. High for just this one class. Then she went on to explain that she might be eating during class because SHE IS A TYPE 1 DIABETIC!!!!!!!!!
After class J introduced himself, she gave him a high five and talked to him about his pump a bit.
Yesterday J had is first low during PE. They ran for over an hour non-stop and J knew he was dropping fast. He went up to his teacher and she told him that he never needs to ask; he can just go to the first aid box and grab whatever food he needs. After he ate he started to walk another lap and his teacher ran out and stopped him. She told him there were only a few minutes left of class and he should get some water and sit to get his blood sugar up.
Believe in miracles much?
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
But this morning when I was doing my rounds, cleaning the house...I came upon this little sculpture. I took a picture as is. No rearranging. No planting specific items. Nope, this is what was sitting in our hall "Blood Sugar Station."
Art in its rawest form.
I call it, "A Long Night"
A picture really is worth a thousand words.