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Monday, August 17, 2015

The Trifecta

Her pump wasn't working, her sensor fell off and her BG was 409.  Time for a pump change, sensor change and a shot.

Around here, that's what is known as "The Trifecta".  Thankfully it doesn't come along very often.

Monday, August 10, 2015

What lies beneath

It was reward for a season well-played.  Elise's soccer coach promised that if the girls won all three of their playoff games that day, next week he would treat them to ice cream after the game. So win they did.

Cue 7 year old girls squealing.

Cue inward groans from one mom.

Don't get me wrong... I'd be crazy to be against ice cream.  It's just...

The game was around dinner  time... we'd have to do ice cream first, then dinner.

Trying to make sure her BG stays pretty good during the game is hard enough, now I have to make sure she's at a decent enough number to have a treat after the game?

Let's not forget how crazy her BG can run after games.  Adding ice cream just doubles the fun!

Of course, no matter what, Elise was going to be included.  Even if her BG was 400, she would get her ice cream.  The hard part is that nobody (but you guys) gets what a crazy, mind-crushing, hold-your-breath-and-hope-the-stars-align freaking tightrope we as parents walk in that situation.

Two hours before game: BG is 220.  You want to correct, but not too much so she isn't low at game time.

Check her BG before game: 170.  Hold your breath as you hope the exercise plus IOB doesn't crash her.  

Watch during the game as the dex meanders a line between 190 and 210.  You want it to go lower.  Hope it doesn't go higher.

See her check her pod on her leg after she makes a save in goal and kicks the ball away. Make a mental note to ask what that was about later.

Game is over. Finger poke shows 203.  Bolus for 20g and head to the ice cream shop with the team.

All these decisions we must make, the internal dialogue... nobody gets it (again, present company excluded). It's exhausting.

So off we went to the ice cream shop.  Elise's cone was at least double what I had bolused for.  So I bolused some more.  One of the moms watching commented about the PDM, "Cool!  It's like a remote!"

After the ice cream was consumed, we left to find dinner.  We stopped at a restaurant, but due to behavioral issues, we decided to leave.  

But honestly, it was the 360 double arrows up that was the real reason. Elise's BG was skyrocketing and we didn't know why.  We found out soon enough.

Remember Elise checking her pod during the game?  Something had hit her leg and jostled the pod, resulting in the cannula coming out.  By the time we got home, almost three hours had elapsed, Elise had eaten about 50g of carbs and received no insulin.

What's the point of this post?  It's what people see vs. what they don't see.  They see me check Elise, give insulin, give carbs and we all live happily ever after. Simple... like using a remote.

What they didn't see was the 509 on the meter.  The ketones. The stomach pain.  The crying. The shot. The pod change. The bacon and yellow pepper she ate for dinner at 9:30 because her BG was still so high. The worried discussion on just how much insulin to give her. After all, it was bedtime.

It. Is. Exhausting.

Why do I wish others could see what lies beneath?  I don't know.  I don't.  I just wish they could get what freaking rock stars our children are.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

All my rants are belong to you

I'm feeling sort of ranty.  And a little bit stabby. And like playing hide and seek with my kids... Me as the hider, tucked away somewhere they can't find me with a bottle of wine. And some chocolate.

It's hot here people and cabin fever is setting in.  Did you know it's going to be 108 next Monday?

Hence the stabby.

Anyway... something making me particularly crazy lately is diabetes for many reasons.  So here is my list of D-things making my butt itch today:

1. Why the freaking hell does our supply company cover up the expiration dates on Elise's test strips with their prescription label?  Don't they know I have this weird need to organize our supply cupboard by date?  The only way I can figure out the date is to RIP OPEN EACH AND EVERY BOX.  Kill Me.  Kill me now.
 



2. Elise's pump settings are broken.  And I don't know how to fix them.  Everything I do makes it worse.  We did some basal testing yesterday and it showed me her basals are too high.  We tried to test some more today, but multiple corrections haven't gotten her back into range to start the testing.  It's almost dinner time and the poor girl still hasn't eaten lunch.

3. Our last two dex sensors have been waaaaaaay off. Like, 100 points at times off. A call into dex had the guy lecturing me that the dex is not FDA approved for the arm... blah, blah, blah.  Never mind the fact that it's the ONLY place we put her sensors and has been for the last three years. And just now the problem arises...

4. Elise just came and showed me this.



So instead of finishing my rant, I'm off to change her pod.  After which, all my other rants will have disappeared into the vast recesses of my brain; never to be remembered again.

So I'm dropping the mic and walking off the stage.  


BOOM.

*in case the title of this post makes you think I've gone crazy, read this.  The title really has no meaning.  It just made me giggle.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Team Elise Time!

It's hard to believe, but in just a few months Team Elise will be participating it its 8th JDRF walk here in Dallas.  I can still remembering almost falling apart when I took Elise to the walk only two weeks after she had been diagnosed.
The first Team Elise walk... she was so little!

Fast forward to seven years later and Team Elise has participated in 20 walks in 5 cities across 4 countries and 3 continents. How cool is that?

Team Elise Toronto 2015

This year the shirt colour is purple (picked by Elise because it is my favourite colour - how sweet!), and if you live in the metroplex, we would love it if you would join us on September 26... and get a super cute shirt for free!


And if you just so happen to be in Lisbon, Portugal on that day, you can join our friend Tiago.  If you click here, you will be taken to our Team Elise website. You can then click "join" and that will give you all the details on how to join our team.


That time we went to Portugal and walked with over 200 people... all of whom were there for Elise

If you don't live in the area but would like to support us, there are two different ways: 


  1. You can donate to the Bionic Pancreas by going to: www.bu.edu/alumni-forms/forms/eng/damiano/ (please enter "Team Elise" in the Comments/Questions section).
  2.  Or you can donate to the JDRF by going to www2.jdrf.org/goto/teamelise (click on Donate).
We are so thankful for all the support we've received throughout the years. Thank you to everyone who is helping us turn Type 1 into Type None.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Anniversaries are supposed to be happy

We've never really celebrated Elise's diaversary. Not for lack of wanting to, but because it comes two days after her birthday, the day before Mattias's birthday, a week after mine, plus it's mashed in there with school starting. There's just a lot going on in a span of a few weeks.

We always acknowledge it; praise Elise for how brave she is, talk about how far we've come, and how thankful we are for discoveries and technology.  The day is bittersweet, because it is not only the day our lives irrevocably changed, but also the day our daughter's life was saved.

Today marks a year since we lost Nicolas.  I have been dreading its coming for weeks, because slowly I was being transported back to a time of such intense bleakness and pain, I was afraid I would never emerge.

How to you acknowledge the passing of a life you never knew, except for the 17 weeks you carried him?  One that you loved from the moment you discovered he existed, but you never got to tell him? A life you've always wanted, but was never meant to be? 

Today he would be almost 7 months old.  Learning to crawl.  Discovering solid foods.  He would have attended his first FFL with us.

Just like with Elise's diagnosis, I get mired down in the "what ifs". And it's a dangerous spiral.  So just like with Elise, I want to try and look towards hope.

I know where he is.  I know I will see him again.  I know that he is not in pain and will never have to suffer the sadness of this world.

And I am thankful to the kind friends who have already reached out today.  Remembering that my son was here and will always be a part of my family. Acknowledging that his life had meaning.

It is this hope that will get me through.  And knowing that if Nicolas cannot be in my arms, then resting in the arms of Jesus is not a bad place at all to be.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

FFL 2015... was it worth it?

Due to mountains of laundry, a sick kid, Blogger eating my first post, and me not wanting to admit that FLL 2015 was over, this post has taken awhile to write.  But here it is, in all it's bullet-pointed glory.
  • Don't congratulate yourself on the foresight of planning your flights around your little one's nap time.  Because even though you may (or may not) have given him lunch, followed by a benadryl chaser, he will choose NOT to nap during his regularly scheduled time.  In fact, he will finally fall asleep just as the plane lands.  And then shriek at you when you wake him up as you get off the plane.
  • Forgetting a suitcase at home sucks.  Forgetting the suitcase that has all the diapers at home really sucks.
  • Thankfully, you have awesome friends (for life), that will drive you to Target. And put up with you as you scan every item with your cartwheel app.
  • Are we the only family that brings one suitcase solely dedicated to food?
  • Watching fireworks from the comfort of your hotel and not have to be in a crowd of people is the best.
  • I love it when registration finally opens and people start wearing their green or orange bracelets.  There is nothing like looking at someone and not having to say a word.  The "me too" echoes back loud and clear.
  • I didn't get any pictures, but my kids (and Fred) love to hang out at Sports Central whenever it is open. Thanks to all the great staff that make it happen!
  • I love meeting a friend that lives in my computer for the first time in real life.  I had no idea that Denise, Mom of Bean was going to be there, but I'm glad we got to meet.
  • Florida in July is stupid hot.  That's why even I will go to the pool.
  • I know this is only our third year at FFL, but going there makes me feel like I'm home, and the people make me feel like I'm with family.
  • Let's not forget how awesome it is to have someone else carb count the food for you!
  • One of Elise's favourite things every year is the Exhibit Hall, and the SWAG.  There were some fun booths this year! Unfortunately I can't really tell you about them because I spent most of my time chasing children around the hall.  And losing them. 

  • Sundaes from Ghirardelli are always a good idea.  Blood sugars be damned.

  • I loved seeing some of me old favourite presenters (Joe Solo), and some new-to-me peeps (the Osers). I did miss the Stress Management session though... I can always use some mediation.
  • I love these guys and all they are doing to make the Bionic Pancreas a reality.
  • Speaking of which, I was in the session where they unveiled the iLet (hee), and the collective gasp of delight from 300+ people was amazing. I just might have teared up a little.  Or a lot. Plus it was fun to see Elise's picture in the slides during the presentation... couldn't have picked a cuter poster child.  Just my opinion!
  • I got to hold it!
  • The banquet and dance was fun and I loved shaking my booty with my little girl on the dance floor.
  • Loved seeing Elsa with a green bracelet!
  • Dexcom threw a fun movie night for the kids.  They got soft comfy blankets to lie on (and keep!) as well as popcorn (5 kinds!) and drinks.  And of course, ice cream after the movie.  
  • Of course there's the breakfast with the characters before the CWD day at the Magic Kingdom.

  • Disney is NOT the happiest place on earth.  In fact, I think I met some of the most miserable people ever there.  I was afraid one guy was going to take a swing at me.  Nevertheless, as much as I don't like Disney, I love seeing it through the eyes of my kids.  I love that THEY love it.  And that's enough for me.

  • Did I mention Florida in July is stupid hot?
  • What do you do when you bolus your child for a Dole Whip float, and she takes one sip and decides she doesn't like it?  You get her some ice cream.  And what do you do when half that ice cream falls off the stick and onto the ground?  You buy her a churro.  Thankfully there is no shortage of carbs at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Elise spent most of her day at the MK low. At one point we were searching for some lemonade and we went to the Pinocchio Haus. We asked a guy if they had lemonade, and he asked fresh or frozen?  Elise wanted frozen, so he told us to sit down.  A few minutes later he brought a try with three frozen lemonades, and two bottles of water.  When we asked how to pay, he replied, "it's the magic of Disney".
  • We spent part of our time at MK with another FFL family Elise and their daughter H had so much fun together.  And H's parents were fun for us to hang with too! Nothing like another D-family to have your back when you're dealing with Disney and BG craziness!
  • If my husband ever keeps my two older kids at the MK until 2:00 am, I will kill him.  Or seriously maim him.  Especially when we have to get up at 7:30 the next morning.  And fly home later that day.
  • Best Disney picture ever
So... Is FFL worth it?  It is.  Every child-tantruming, over-priced food, sleep-deprived, burst-into-flame hot, BG rollercoaster, friend-making, I-got-your-back, me-tooing, same-same moment of it.  Try it for yourself and see. 

See you in 353 days.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy 148th Birthday Canada!

It all started with a simple picture of my 10 month old daughter holding a Canadian flag.  Now 7 years later, all 3 of my kids proudly wave the maple leaf on Canada Day. 

C-A-N-A-D-A,
Tell me what’s a Douglas Fir


C-A-N-A-D-A,
Betcha never heard a bobcat purr

C-A-N-A-D-A,
Have you ever seen a lobster crawl?


In Canada, we get to see them all.

We get to see the maple trees, maple sugar and the maple leaves,
We got the biggest wheat fields growing tall

In C-A-N-A-D-A, where we see the reversing falls
In Canada, we get to see them all.

C-A-N-A-D-A,
Tell me, what’s a tidal bore,


 C-A-N-A-D-A,A
Have you ever heard the ocean roar?



C-A-N-A-D-A,
Just listen to that wild goose call.


In Canada, we get to see them all

We get to see the maple trees, maple sugar and the maple leaves,
We got the biggest timber woods so tall 
In C-A-N-A-D-A, where adventure ever calls,
In Canada, we get to see them all.

C-A-N-A-D-A,
Have you ever heard a maple creak?

C-A-N-A-D-A,
Betcha never seen a mountain peak.


C-A-N-A-D-A,
In the land of the big snowball.


In Canada, we get to see them all.

We get to see the maple trees, maple sugar and the maple leaves,

We got the biggest wheat fields growing tall

In C-A-N-A-D-A, where we see the reversing falls,
In Canada, we get to see them all.


C-A-N-A-D-A,
Have you ever seen a magnetic hill?


C-A-N-A-D-A,
Or a lady on a dollar bill?




C-A-N-A-D-A,
Betcha never seen the autumn fall.


,
We get to see the maple trees, maple sugar and the maple leaves,
We got the biggest timber woods so tall 
In C-A-N-A-D-A, where adventure ever calls,
In Canada, we get to see them all.


*Lyrics from the song C-A-N-A-D-A by Raffi

It's a day late, but Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian peeps out there. 

Ittt

Friday, June 26, 2015

Making Food... Ninja Style

Once upon a time, one of my favourite things to do was to go to Costco and peruse their samples.  Fred and I even had a name for it... Redneck Dim Sum. 

Before you decide we're totally lame, let me preface that for you. We used to be broke.  Like totally and completely broke.  Our grocery budget was $20 a week.  One of the ways I would keep the budget down is we would take advantage of coupons, 2 for 1 meals, eating at the Costco food court, and when we had no money left... Redneck Dim Sum.  Yes, we would eat Costco samples as a meal.

Ah, the good old days!

And you could always tell it was going to be a good day if the "Blender People" were there.  The wonderful people that would churn out sample after glorious sample of yummy goodness.  If you parked yourself by their table you could get an entire meal... soup!  Smoothie!  Ice cream!  I vowed that one day I would own one of these machines.

So when I was offered the chance to try out a Ninja Blender (with Auto-IQ one-touch intelligence!), I was a little excited. And try it, we did!


The Machine
I won't lie to you, I was a little overwhelmed when I pulled it out of the box.  The base has lots of buttons.  The one you press depends on what you're trying to do.  Plus, as well as the blender pitcher, you also get 3 smaller cups of different sizes; 18, 24, and 32 oz.  So I had to sit and look at the manual to figure out what cup to use, and what button to press.  Sounds easy, but try doing that when you have three kids yelling, 'Smoooooooooooothie!" in your ear at the same time.

The base feels very sturdy and has little cups on the bottom to suction it to your counter. The buttons are big and respond well when you press them. The Ninja is pretty loud when in use, but I think that's true of any of these types of blenders.

The Equipment
The blender pitcher is quite large and is capable of holding many servings of your creation.  The total crushing blades did a great job of pulverizing all the ice and frozen fruit I used in my smoothies... no annoying lumps!

I also really liked the smaller cups for making smaller portions.  My favourite things about those are that they double as a cup (it comes with 3 lids), and can be put in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.

Let's Blend!
Honestly, I haven't used the Ninja to make anything other than smoothies yet.  I will at some point, but let's face it, smoothies are pretty easy to make and my kids love them.  Our first creation was Elise's recipe:


We used the 18 oz. cup and used fresh and frozen strawberries, half a banana, 1/2 c of OJ, and about 2 tbsp. of the protein powder.  We weighed all the ingredients to figure out the carb factor (don't know what that is?  Click here to learn all about carb factors).

Calculating... and we have a carb factor of .10. I have notebook upon notebook with these scribbles.  

And the finished product.  Super yummy and smooth!  Elise really enjoyed it and has asked for it repeatedly.


The boys wanted a some more fruit in their smoothie, so I broke out the 32 oz. cup and threw in some frozen pineapple, fresh and frozen strawberries, half a banana, a peach, OJ and protein powder.


This one was definitely my favourite, the sweetness of the peach really came out.  If you read the instruction manual, it tells you exactly how to layer the ingredients so it blends well. 


For these smoothies, I used the "Ultra Blend" button, which pulsed the blender on and off automatically for 60 seconds at irregular intervals.  I'm guessing this method helps to blend it completely, because we never had any lumps in our drinks.

One thing I love about smoothies (and using blenders in general) is that you can sneak healthy ingredients in and the kids are none the wiser.  Spinach, kale, avocado are all things I've used in the past.  The Ninja came with a book of 25 recipes including several smoothies, chocolate mousse, and even a margarita recipe!

It also came with another book called Eat to Lose, Eat to Win. It also had some recipes as well as healthy eating tips, but I found the author's overall tone to be a little holier-than-thou and rather off -putting. The advice was good, but I didn't care for how she made it sound like she never made poor food choices, just everyone around her did (if she did, I might not have made it that far into the book... I just didn't care for her writing style).

So Joanne, is it worth spending up to $200 for a blender? That depends how much you will use it.  I have one of the older models of another big-name blender and I use it almost everyday.  I've made smoothies, soup, peanut and almond butter, butter, waffle batter, ice cream as well as varying types of flour.  For me, it's a useful addition to my kitchen and I can't imagine not having one. For me, it's well worth the money, and the Ninja blender will always have a spot on my counter.

My sweet boy and his smoothie.  My other two will rarely pose for pictures anymore

***Though I was provided the Nutri Ninja Blender for free, that doesn't mean my opinion can be bought. This review is comprised of 100% honest thoughts and feelings that are completely my own.