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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Odds and bits, ends and pieces

I have really been bad about posting over here... it's not for lack of things to say, I've just been posting quite a bit on my other blog and have developed a very bad case of carpel tunnel (edited to add: it's not carpel tunnel after all... sounds more like Ulnar Nerve Entrapment. Oh internet, is there anything you don't know?) . It's gotten so bad my pinkie finger on my right hand goes numb whenever I start typing.

Anyway, here are my various thoughts in short form before this gets too painful:
  • We seem to have steadied Elise's overnight BG by lowering her night time N from 3.5 units to 2.5. That's a pretty big decrease, but it seems to be working. We're still having some issues with her BG dropping after her bedtime snack (going from an okay bedtime number to a not-so-great one).
  • The endo thinks this may be because of a delayed response to her dinner time DH. No idea why she's having this response all of a sudden. Anyone else ever experience this?
  • We had GREAT Christmas day numbers. In fact they were the best they've been in awhile.

  • I wasn't going to do any Christmas baking because the thought of it made me very sad. But after I kicked myself in the butt (a very difficult maneuver by the way), I decided to try a somewhat healthier version of gingerbread cookies using a recipe I came up with. And by that I mean I used whole wheat flour. They still came out tasting AMAZING, and Elise and I even decorated them using a touch of royal icing and one M&M.
  • Even though we've been getting by with fewer night checks, I'm still very, very tired. I was so spoiled over the holidays... Fred took over the morning duties and I got to sleep in every day until about 10:00 am. So sad that it's over.
  • Still having issues with her going low during her nap, even with a snack right before nap time. Since Elise has moved to her big-girl bed (you can read about that on my other blog), she's started taking longer to fall asleep. Today I used this to my advantage to figure out what was happening:

1:00 pm - BG is 130. I give her about 6g, which should nudge her up by 30 -50.
1:40 pm - BG is now 108. I giver her another 6g.
2:45 pm - BG upon waking up is 164. That's more like it.

  • Yesterday She was 146 going into nap time, and I gave her about 4g. When she woke up she was in the 300s. At dinner, mid-300s. After today, I definitely know she's going low sometime during her nap. We're trying a combo of less NPH in the morning and more carbs at lunch.

So this turned out to be quite long and now my whole arm is numb. I hope I can fix this soon... what will I do without my therapy?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thank you Secret Santa!

Sorry this post is so late, but I just wanted to give a BIG thank you to my Secret Santas, Hallie and Avery! They picked out a Baby Alive doll for Elise (the one with medical supplies), and Elise LOVES doting on her new baby. She even named her Avery after I told her that the doll was a present from a very special little girl named Avery.

I also received some nice presents; chocolate covered potato chips (a local treat from Hallie's neck of the woods), mini M&Ms, some Burt's Bees chapstick (my fav!), two pairs of cute socks, and some slipper/socks. Yay for warm feet!


Elise was so excited to open her present (note the cute mouse ornament attached to the gift)

The tearing of the wrapping paper commences!



So excited about her present!


Elise told us right away that the baby needed water

Cute slipper/socks that say Merry Christmas on the bottom


I love my penguin socks


Many thanks to Jill for organizing the Secret Santa exchange. Can't wait until next year

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas everybody!

I just wanted to thank EVERYONE for their kind words, encouragement and support during these past rough weeks. We're still in the midst of it, but that's not what this post is about.

I also wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful cards we've been receiving. I'm sorry I was not "with it" enough to reciprocate, but I loved seeing the pictures of all my D-buddies I've made over the past year. You guys have made a very tough journey a little easier and Fred, Elise and I are blessed by every one of you.

If you want to see some fun pics of how we celebrated our Christmas Eve, you can click over to my other blog, here.

Here's our Christmas picture that sure would have looked cute sent out in the mail, but looks just as cute on my blog.

Merry Christmas, I wish God's richest blessings upon you!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pancreas, we have a problem

It's official. My brain is fried. I can no longer think, reason, talk, remember my name, walk and chew gum at the same time (although that one was always a little dicey), or figure out the BG numbers.

I am flummoxed, stumped, puzzled, bewildered, confused, befuddled, discombobulated, and just plain at a loss.

And yes, this is yet another post where I bore you with the breakdown of Elise's numbers.

Last (Monday) night:
7:40 pm - 93. She gets her new lowered dose of 3N, and 17g (2 more than usual) of carbs
12:11 am - 74. She gets 8g of carbs
12:47 am - 102
1:16 am (crying) - 138
2:19 am (crying) - 125
3:54 am (crying) - 63. She gets 8g of carbs.
6:45 am - 91. We realized we never re-checked her after her last low. We're not too worried about this number as all her N should be out of her system by now.
7:54 am - 152

Today we had a pretty good day, numbers-wise. Then as then sun sets, Elise's pancreas starts at it again.

Tonight:
5:05 pm (dinner) - 234. High, but we give her a normal dose of 10DH and her usual 30g of carbs. We're eating a Chick-fil-a, so she plays in the play area for about 30 minutes afterwards.
7:42 pm - 196 - Still give her the lowered dose of 3N, and her usual 15g of carbs. We figure she's on the high side, so this should be okay.
9:15 pm (crying) - 44. What the FREAKIN' WHAT? How do you go down by 150 AFTER eating 15g of uncovered snack??? We give her 15g of carbs, plus almost a block of cheese (I may be exaggerating a wee bit). She also drank a sippy cup and a half of water. Ugh, can you say midnight diaper change (and no, I don't mean mine)?
9:32 pm - 69. Going up slowly. Gonna be a looooong night.

One thing I'm wondering is how much is exercise affecting her? I have noticed a pattern on nights where she's more active, she tends to go low.

But we also have these night time lows even when she's not active. Like last night for instance. Another thing I can't help but wonder is how long the DH stays in her body. I know they told us it peaks at about the 2 hour mark, then is pretty much gone by hour 4. But this does not seem to be the case with Elise, especially at night. It seems to peak a bit later and last longer. But how can that be?

Tomorrow we are going to be contacting the endo. Not the CDE, but the actual endo. Fred and I can't take much more of these night time issues. We have been testing her 6 - 8 times through the night almost every night. And it's not leaving much time to sleep. Even lowing her dose isn't having much effect. Last night when we lowered it, she had more lows that night than she did the night before on the higher dose.

If you didn't understand that last sentance, don't worry. Neither did I and I'm the one who typed it.

Bah, this post has already gotten too long and I need to go check Elise.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rest in peace, Grammy Ann

I am very sad to say that my lovely Grammy Ann passed away today. I posted on my other blog about it; you can read it here. If you would, please pray for my family.

Thank you.

A close call

Although our room is only about 20 feet down the hall from Elise's room, I still use a baby monitor so I can hear her if she needs me during the night. We keep her door open only a crack, and ours is closed completely so that when Fred's alarm goes off at 5:15 am, it doesn't wake her up. This makes it almost impossible to hear her if I don't have the monitor on.

On Sunday morning, Fred got up with Elise so that I could sleep in, and he turned off the monitor so that they wouldn't disturb me while he was getting her dressed. And last night, I forgot to turn it back on. You see where this is going, right?

I was having one of my bizarre dreams around 4:30 am, when something jolted me from my sleep. I mean, JOLTED. I jumped out of bed and told my husband, "something's wrong!" I immediately thought of Elise, but couldn't hear anything. Then I realized the monitor was still off.

"Crap-on-a-stick!" Says I (yes, that's my go-to bad word), turning on the monitor. And that''s when I hear Elise moaning and saying she wants some food. My stomach dropped.

When we checked her at midnight, she was 190, a number we thought was good enough to get her to morning. Obviously not, since she was 59. We got some food into her, and put her back to bed. About 30 minutes later, she was 105.

I don't know how long she cried for us, but it kills me that she waited any amount of time for us to come. She probably felt so scared, lying there in the dark; calling for us and nobody answered her. It hurts, but I'm glad my "Mommy-sense" was working well enough to know that something was wrong; even in the depths of a dream.

Checking to see if the baby monitor is on; just one more thing to add to the bedtime routine.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Recipes: So Very Yummy Pumpkin Pie made with Agave

I should have posted this closer to Thanksgiving, but what the heck... better late than never. Ours was a hit at the Thanksgiving dinner we were invited to, and we'll be taking another one to the Christmas lunch we managed to finagle an invite to. Oh the lengths you have to go to when you don't have family around... bribing people with food!

What you need:
16 oz can of pumpkin (CF = .09, or about 38g cho total per can)
1/2 agave nectar
(CF = .76, or 95g cho total)
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
(CF = .69, or about 3g cho total)
or
(but not both)
1 tsp cinnamon (CF = .80)
1/2 tsp ginger
(CF = .71)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (CF = .49)
3 slightly beaten eggs
5 oz evaporated milk
(CF = .09, or 15g cho total)
1/2 c milk (CF = .05, or 6g cho total)

I use store-bought crust because I'm lazy. For the Pillsbury crust, I find it's about 105g cho total.

To Make:
Combine pumpkin, agave, and spices. Mix.
Add eggs. Mix some more.
Gradually add both milks. And mix some more.
Pour into prepared crust in 9 inch pie plate (I always end up with more mix than the plate can hold).
Wrap crust of the pie with foil (very important or crust will burn).
Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 - 40 minutes.
Remove foil and cook for about 20 - 10 minutes more (total cooking time is 50 minutes).
Pie is done when a knife is inserted into the centre and comes out clean.

I've found that a whole peice of the pie (crust and filling) has a carb factor between .23 - .27. If you're only eating the filling (like Elise does), then the carb factor is around .16 - .18. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Flummoxed AND stumped

Although it's better than it was, Fred and I are still up two to three times a night checking Elise. We are seeing some seriously WEIRD numbers.

The one that has us stumped during the day is her post-nap number. She is waking up in the low to mid-300s. We can't tell if we're missing a low while she's asleep, or her morning N needs to be increased. For example, to day she was 184 right before her nap at 1:00pm. It took her awhile to go to sleep, and when she woke up at 3:30, she was 304.

I think the only way we'll be able to figure it out is with a CGM, but I don't know if insurance will cover it or how expensive they are (or even if Elise will tolerate such a thing).

We've also been giving her DH(only 1.5 - 2 units) with her bed time N shot because we're having trouble getting her down after dinner. She's high going into it, and no matter how much DH we give her for her dinner time shot, she ends up at almost the same number three hours later. So tonight she was 315 at dinner, we gave her 14 units of DH (4 units more than she usually gets), and exactly three hours later, she's at 335.

I HATE giving her DH at bed time, because it's so scary for us to let her go to sleep with rapid-acting in her system.

Can anyone offer any insight from their experiences? I know it's hard to tell just by what I've written out here, but I'd welcome any advice. I think an email directly to the endo is in order on Monday if we can't figure it out before then.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tip O' the week: the trouble with shots

When I first started this blog, I wanted it to be a voice of comfort to others out there who were dealing with the same issues as I was. When I stumbled onto the D on-line community after Elise was diagnosed, it was via some message boards. But most of the people on there were Moms (and some Dads) of older kids. Even if their kids had been diagnosed at an early age, I couldn't find any that were as young as Elise.

It was the same with blogs... in the beginning I couldn't find any babies with D out there (I now know I just wasn't looking hard enough). So I started to write. About my experiences, the trials, the troubles, but I also wanted to offer tips, recipes with carb counts, and any advice I thought could be useful. My, my, I think rather a lot of myself, don't I?

I have sort of gotten away from my original purpose of this blog and have been on a rather long pity-party as of late. So I thought I'd channel some of that feeling-sorry-for-me energy into something good... a (hopefully) helpful post!

When we first brought Elise home from the hospital, giving her the shots was somewhat difficult. Since she was a baby, I could easily over-power her, but there was something very distasteful to me about holding my screaming daughter down while poking her with a needle. At that age, I found that toys that had buttons and lit up while playing music was a great distraction for her.

But soon we were on the brink of spending her college money on a rotation of toys that would hold her interest, so we moved onto something cheaper. I discovered my daughter coveted stickers and stamps, and loved sporting them on her hand. You can read more about it here.

Those made her happy for quite awhile, and she was such a rock-star, we could even give her the shots without any form of bribery. Life was good! Needle fear over and done with!

Except, not so much. About a month ago, the trouble started anew, and twice as bad. Maybe because she is stronger. Maybe because she is more vocal and can tell you exactly what is on her mind. Whatever the reason, it was bad. And it was getting to the point that I almost couldn't give her the shot by myself.

When I was lamenting about my troubles, Wendy told me that she used to use mini-marshmallows when her daughter was younger. Because I cannot have any form of marshmallow in the house since I discovered you can roast them campfire-style over your oven burners, I tried to think of something similar that Elise would go for.

And then it hit me. M&Ms! Ever since Hallowe'en, Elise had been addicted to M&Ms. We'd let her have a few after her dinner every once in awhile, and she got to where she would ask for them, giving us the cutest look ever and saying, "how 'bout ONE M&M?" She would then hold up one finger and reiterate in case we'd missed it, "ONE".

So the deal became, she would get one M&M after her shot if she did not put up a fuss or cry. If she was difficult, then her Poppa or I would get to eat the M&M. In front of her. Oh, yes we did. That happened ONCE, and she's been great with it ever since. The girl loves her some M&Ms.

We also found another solution when we were in SF. Elise LOVES other kids and thinks most of them have hung the moon. If we were around some of our friend's kids when Elise was getting her shot, we'd call them over (after checking with the parents to see if it was okay), and ask them if they wanted to see how brave Elise was. Elise would then very PROUDLY show them how she gets her shot, and exclaim, "I Brave!" She loved it.

It also was a neat experience for the other kids too. The older ones would even ask questions about Elise's diabetes.

This post has gotten rather long-winded (not surprising, if you know me at all). I hope some of the tips were helpful to someone out there!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Flummoxed

I like the word flummoxed. It looks cool when typed out, and it's just plain fun to say. It means; bewildered, puzzled, confused. As in; I am so flummoxed by Elise's BG numbers yesterday.

It all started around 4:30 yesterday afternoon. Elise had woken up from her nap about 2 hours earlier with a BG of 158. It's a nice number, usually guaranteed to get us through to dinner. But at 4:30, Elise complains that she's thirsty. She had been playing at an indoor playground at our church, and I thought it was from that, but my gut told me I should check her anyway.

She was 61. I gave her some yogurt, and her before dinner check came in at 95. She got her usual dose of DH, and about 5g more of carbs than usual, because we were eating dinner at the church, and Elise would be going back to play on the playground afterwards.

An hour after dinner, she was 63. All I had left for her were some goldfish crackers. I gave her about 8g worth and then we went home.

Bedtime check, she was 102. Good. She got her usual bedtime snack and dose. She actually got her shot late because we were decorating the tree. Only 2 hours after her shot (way to early for the N to be peaking), she was at 60. We give her 10g. She's 78 at next check.

At 1:00 am, she's 54. Crap! we give 10 more grams of carb. I don't remember what happened after that (I think we both passed out from sheer exhaustion), but when we checked her at 3:00 am, she was 69. She gets 7g more. Finally by 4:00 am, she's 144. But down to 119 at 6:00.

When I woke her up this morning, she was 242. This was only 2 hours after the last check, so I'm wondering if she went low again and we missed it. She's been running in the mid to high 200s all morning.

Right now she's been napping for almost two hours and I'm wondering if I should sneak in there to check on her. We contacted the CDE at our endo, but they weren't much help.

So yeah... life is crazy right now. Thank goodness for impromptu kitchen dance parties to make you feel good.

video

Knock Knock

Who's there?
35.
35 who?
35g of extra carbs we needed to keep Elise's BG up through the night and she STILL hovered in the 60s.

Oh man, I am so tired I think I might vomit.

Actually, I woke up with a sore throat and feeling nauseous, so there's a very good chance I could vomit.

I just don't know what to do anymore.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

39!

Yesterday, Elise woke up from her nap at 39. Yes, 39. That's the kind of number that makes me feel like I've been stabbed in the heart with an icicle when I see it flash on the monitor.

She slept much longer than usual... over 2 hours, and I kept peeking into her room to see if all was well. I thought about checking her, but it's next to impossible to do it and not wake her up. And we with small children know all about the adage, "let sleeping children lie".

So I paced back and forth between the office and her room. "Should I? Shouldn't I? She was slightly high when she woke up yesterday, and her numbers are following the same pattern today. Should I? Shouldn't I?"

I hate this, none of my friends need to wake up their kids from a nap to see if their life is in danger.

She finally woke up and was in a great mood, so I thought her BG would be fine. I couldn't believe it when I saw the number. I threw everything down, scooped her out of her crib and ran downstairs, into the kitchen to get some food in her.

I expected the screams brought on by the low to start at any second, but to my surprise she was fine. Happy, even. And when I gave her the bowl of banana, she took it with a smile and said, "Thank you , Momma!" And when she had eaten everything and asked for more, she was okay with it when I told her she was all done. Usually she freaks out when she's low and I tell her no more.

She was fine the rest of the afternoon and 217 at dinner. Only an hour after dinner she was down to 103. I gave her about 5g to last until her bedtime snack, and at that check, she was 67.

Weird, weird lows. She's been sleeping longer and eating more, so I'm thinking it's a growth spurt. But in the past, she's ALWAYS run high during growth spurts. She is running into the 300s at night, but comes down my the morning (she was 330 at midnight, and 112 when she woke up).

Now it's nap time and she was 241 when I put her down. I'm pretty sure I'll be asking myself, "should I? Shouldn't I?" pretty soon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sleep? I think I remember that

I was reading Laura's blog post about wanting to change her middle name to Exhausted. It made me laugh. Then I yawned and fell asleep. Because I know exactly what she's talking about. I'm thinking of changing my name to Weary Exhausted McNeedstosleep.

Last night was the first time in three nights that we didn't check Elise almost every hour. I am not even sure how I'm functioning at this point, except that my body is just so used to operating on my usual 3 hours of slumber.

Whenever I tell people about needing to check Elise at night, the response I almost always get is, "wow! It's just like having a newborn!"

Except that it's not. Because with a newborn you know that eventually they will learn to go 10 - 12 hours without waking up to feed. And that knowledge can help you wake up for another 2 am feeding.

And unlike a newborn, there is a chance that this disease will steal your child's life away in the middle of the night. And however small that chance may be, it still doesn't stop you from slipping into your child's room in the wee hours of the morning; holding your breath as you watch the numbers on the monitor count down and finally give way to the 150 that gives you enough peace to sleep for an hour or two more.

And unlike a newborn, it's almost impossible for you to leave your child with someone just so you can get some rest. Pretty much anyone can look after a newborn, but only one who has experience with diabetes can help take the pressure off, especially when they are so young.

Like other D-Mommas, at night I live somewhere between sleep and awake. To paraphrase Jen's blog title, I am Elise's pancreas. And as far as I know, a pancreas doesn't sleep.

So when people say the "newborn" thing to me, I usually laugh and say, "I wish!" I'm betting they give me some weird looks, but I'm just too tired to notice.

Monday, December 14, 2009

My aching head

Today is the first full day that we switched back to diluted Humalog. We finally got rid of the ketones about midnight last night, but she crashed at about 4:00 am with a BG of 49. We gave her some DH in her bedtime N shot, and I am so surprised at how far her BG came down (from 476 at 9:00 pm to 49 in 7 hours).

She woke up at 166 this morning and stayed at about 150 until after lunch. Her BG before naptime was 371 (usually it's in the high 100s). This is telling me she probably needs her morning N adjusted, but that I can handle.

My brain is hurting trying to figure out why the full strength Humalog made her BG go so high, and the diluted makes her numbers normal. The only thing I can think (and you wily veterans please correct me if I'm way off base) is that the full strength made her BG so low that her liver was kicking out a tonne of extra glucose. That is the only thing my pea-brain can think of.

Even the on-call endo last night was puzzled. Now I don't feel so bad.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Back to the drawing board

After a day of Elise's BG not going below 350 and ketones ranging from 0.9 to 1.9, we're going back to using diluted insulin. We talked to the endo on call and she agrees that this is the best course of action.

It seems a little counter-intuitive right now, but we're hoping this will work.

Poor Elise is feeling horrible and keeps telling me, "I no feel good." It is absolutely heartbreaking.

Another long night

After Elise's 66 at 10:00 last night, we knew we were in for another long, sleepless night. At 11:00 she was 105. At 12:00 she was 151, which made us feel better. Unfortunately, two exhausted parents slept through the 2:00 alarm and we never checked her until about 3:30 when she was 309.

And then at wake up, she was 443 with 1.9 ketones. What the WHAT??? I am so freaking tired of all of this. Fred wants to go back to using diluted so we can get these crazy numbers to go away (if that is indeed the problem), but I know we need to bite the bullet and keep using the full-strength. The hard part is we cannot figure out a sliding scale for her. On diluted it was 1 unit when between 300-400, and over 400 she got 2 units. That equals less than 1/4 of a unit!

I just don't know where to start to fix the problems... I think a call to the endo is in order. Joy. It's not that I don't like our endo, it's just the CDEs are a pain in the butt and are often more aggravating than they are helpful.

Unlike you guys... thank you for your comments. Talk about a bright spot in an otherwise craptastic time.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Out of the loop

Wow, I feel so far removed from what has been happening with all you guys. Life has been crazy since we returned home and I haven't really had a chance to catch up on all your blogs. It might take me a month, but I'll do it!

First (and worst) of all, Elise's BG has been all over the stinkin' map since Thursday, which was the day we switched from diluted Humalog to full-strength. It has seriously been a nightmare, I think we were up every hour last night checking her and had to stop a low on two separate occasions.

Then tonight as we were putting her to bed, she started asking for banana and goldfish, something she does only when she's going low. I started to disregard her, chalking it up to wanting to stall the inevitable (the timing just didn't make sense for her to be low), but my Mommy-instinct kicked in and I checked her anyway. She was at 66.

It was weird for a bunch of reasons, #1: at that hour (9:30), she should have had no active insulin. She received her dinnertime H at 5:10 (with a BG of 334). Reason #2: she had a 15g snack at about 7:50 (BG was 169), that amount of carbs at that time usually shoots her into the low 200s by 11:00. Reason #3: she received her bedtime shot of N (a decreased dose by .5 units) at 8:30 and 1 hour is way, way too early for the N to be doing anything to her BG. We usually see it affect her BG by hour 4.

The only thing that was out of the ordinary was that as she was nursing before bedtime, she started to cough so hard that she threw up (milk only). It was about 30 minutes later that she started asking for food. I don't think it was enough to cause her to go that low.

I know Humalog is supposed to peak around the 2-hour mark and be pretty much gone by hour 4. But could the full-strength be affecting her differently because her body is used to diluted? She used to get 10 units of DH at dinner, and now we give her 2 units (although tonight was 2.5 because she was so high). Or is it just a coincidence that we've started having all these issues when we moved from diluted to full-strength?

There are also a bunch of other variables going on; Fred's family is in town and she's so busy having fun playing with her cousin, all this visiting has led to late bedtimes and a somewhat disrupted schedule.

I just feel so overwhelmed right now. I'm not sleeping. I'm barely eating. My house should be declared a disaster-zone. I have no food in the house since I haven't had a chance to go grocery shopping since we got home. I'm too tired to try and make any sense of Elise's numbers and how to fix our insulin problem. My to-do list is about 3 miles long and I can't get my act together to take care of any of it. Our Christmas tree is up, but has no decorations or lights on it and I have yet to take all the Christmas stuff out of storage. And let's not even get started on the Christmas shopping. I might just start to cry if I think too hard about it all.

Instead I will just emotionally vomit all over you guys while I try to figure out a way to clone myself.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Meri, Meri, Meri


I love all my D-Momma friends that live solely in my computer, but I've always been particularly drawn to Meri.

Part of it is her story; 4 boys, three of them with diabetes. How does she do it? How is she not insane by now? What is her secret?

The other part is just plain who she is; funny, sweet, quick with encouragement and a kind word. Her writing would make me laugh out loud and I always thought that we would get along famously if we ever met in real life.

Luckily for me, that happened this past week during our trip to SF. We first met for lunch, and there was never any awkwardness at all. It was like two old friends who had A LOT of catching up to do. I loved hearing about her life, her family, and I started to see why she is able to handle such a crazy life.

Then, Fred Elise and I were invited to dinner at her in-laws. If you're ever in the Bay Area, and you get an invitation to dine with Meri's in-laws... DO IT! In a word, yum.

Once we were there, and had met everybody (Ryan, his Mom and Dad, Ryan's sister, the kids and Lawton too!), the puzzle pieces all fell into place. Meri's secret is simply this; she is an amazing woman, surrounded and supported by amazing people.

And I was lucky enough to spend some time with them. Thanks Meri, I had a blast and can't wait until we meet again!

Wasn't this a song from the Lion King?


I am very honoured that TWO people have now listed my name for this award. I hope this means I don't have to list 10 things that I love!!! Here goes:

1) That would of course be my amazing husband, Fred. He is incredible and he does so much for Elise and I. And more importantly, he puts up with me and all my many quirks. It's a lot of work, people... trust me!

2) Elise. I love this girl oh-so-much, and I cannot imagine life without her. Everyone who meets her falls head-over-heels in love with her amazing joie de vivre attitude. She constantly astounds and challenges me. Can you tell how crazy I am about her?

3) This wonderful community of D-Bloggers. I would not be as strong as I am without you.

4) Laughing. I love to laugh and make people laugh. It cleanses the soul. There's a saying; "The most wasted day of all is that on which we have not laughed." I believe that with all my heart.

5) My most favourite band, the
Hothouse Flowers. I am very picky about the music I listen to, but I LOVE THIS BAND. Not only for their beautiful lyrics and songs, but for the wonderful people they are.

Now for my nominations:
Nicole - The ride of our lives
Beth - Rambling of a Tired Mom
Chasiti - AJsmommy
Maria - On the Carosel of Time

Okay, I can't think of any more. It's late and I need to go to bed. It was a rough night with Elise last night, but her fever broke by morning and although her BG has been running a little high, we got rid of the ketones and she seems do be doing better.

One last note, if you want to see some of the pics from my SF trip, I have the first of two posts up on my other blog. Click here to see it.

Good night.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A new record

I think this is the longest I've ever gone without posting on this blog. As much as we loved SF, we decided not to move into a cardboard box somewhere on the North Bay side of the Golden Gate Bridge, forgoing things like showering, and the interent (which would be the ONLY way we could afford to live there), and headed back home to Texas. Hopefully I'll be doing a fun post about our trip later, but in a nutshell...

... it was hard. Travelling with a toddler is hard, but travelling with a toddler with D is soooooo stressful. Elise's BG was either low or high, but never anywhere in between.

... it was cold. Living in Texas has turned me into a wimp.

... it was delightful. A trip filled with friends, both old and new.

... it was a learning experience. Every time I take on a new challenge, I feel like I come out the other side better prepared for the next one. If only I could remember all those things that I've learned...

As with last trip, Elise seems to have caught something nasty upon returning home. Right now she's laying in bed with a 101 degree fever and a cough that sounds like a seal. She seems to be in good spirits, but her breathing sounded a bit wheezy and it's making me really nervous. Of course, Elise's pedi is off tomorrow.

On a positive note, her BG at bedtime was 180 (a bit high for her at night, but still okay), and no ketones. Yet...

If you could, please pray for Elise to be feeling better soon. Fred's Mom, Dad, Grandma, sister and niece are all coming to visit this Friday, and it would be wonderful if Elise was feeling well enough to enjoy the visit.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What I learned about Diabetes this month... November Edition

-Thanksgiving is totally do-able! No need to stress over weird foods giving Elise crazy numbers. If they happen, then they happen. If they don't, then hooray! Stop being such a big ball of stress about everything, Joanne!

-The carb factor for pumpkin pie without the crust is somewhere between .19 and .23. Add the crust and it goes up to .27. This all depends on your recipe, ingredients used, etc.

-You can make pumpkin pie with agave nectar!

-I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that I will probably never get more than about 5 hours of sleep a night. And it will be a Festivus Miracle if I get more than 2 consecutive hours of sleep. Just because I am coming to grips with it, doesn't mean I have to like it.

-Everyone handles this disease a bit differently, and it is okay. That's why we are all so awesome together... we are walking different pathways, but we're all headed in the same direction. We get to see things from a different perspective and can use that knowledge to help others walking our way. It's beautiful, and I love it.

On a side note... we made it to SF, and I've already hung out with Meri and had a fabulous time! I'm hoping to do a post here and there, but we'll have to see how much spare time I have.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I can't get away from it even when I sleep

Since we are leaving for our trip tomorrow, everything about me is a nervous, I-think-I'm-getting-an-ulcer mess. My anxiety comes out in various forms... eating too many M&Ms (and not even the mini ones... which I can't find anywhere), knots in my shoulders, and one GIGANTIC knot in my stomach.

But the worst has to be my dreams. Whenever I get stressed about something, it ALWAYS manifests itself while I sleep.

For example, this morning I had a dream that I was in a parking lot, and some guy was trying to rob me. He wanted to take the diaper bag that I carry with me at all times, but I started pleading with him that my daughter has diabetes and her insulin and all her supplies were in there. He could have my wallet, just leave me the bag. I don't remember all the details, but I do know at one point I was lining him up for a good ol' groin-kneeing.

It's good to see that my propensity for groin-related violence carries over to my slumber.

I am well aware that instead of typing all this out, I should really be getting ready for our trip, but then I would miss out on the chance of becoming one big ball of crazy a little later on tonight when it's one o'clock in the morning and I'm still not packed because I just realized I haven't done the laundry and nobody has any clean underwear.

Did I mention our flight leaves at 8:40 am?

Why so worried Joanne?

(and yes, I do realize I have been referring to myself in the third person a lot lately)

I am worried about the four hour flight out there. Will it leave on time? Will there be any delays? Elise will be needing to eat her lunch about 30 minutes before we land; will she be able to finish in time? How will Elise do on the flight?

We've been having HUGE issues with her shots lately, of the wailing and gnashing of teeth variety. How will she be when we have to give her the shot in public? Will it cause a scene? Will I have to punch someone out for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time? Will I be deported if I do?

And the two hour time difference... Oh. My. Gosh. Our endo gave us tips on how to handle it, but I'm afraid we're going to screw up and forget to give her a snack at the proper time before we can convert to west coast time, and her BG will crash.

It will be okay, and even if it isn't, we'll handle it. Between Fred and I, I know we can handle anything. It's just my brain likes to play a game; "Let's Think of Every Single Thing that can go Wrong and get Stressed out About It".

Okay, now that I've gotten THAT out of my system, time to go pack some stuff. And maybe do some laundry, too.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Just stuff

First off, I've been meaning to post a HUGE thank you to Nicole for the sweet present I received in the mail. I love it and love you for sending it, my wonderful friend! Sorry I'm so late in posting about it.


Yesterday we had one of those days. You know, scary high numbers that totally came out of left field. They continued through the night and Elise woke up in the upper 300s with 1.3 ketones. I managed to get everything under control by lunch, but man... days like that can really take the wind out of your sails. Especially since things have been so amazing lately.

And I saved the best for last. Our trip to San Francisco is coming up! We leave on Thursday and I am so excited I just may pee myself a little before we leave. I haven't had a vacation since I was 6 months pregnant with Elise. We'll be staying at the house of some friends of ours (who will be away for 4 out of the 6 days we're there... woo-hoo free hotel!), and getting to hang out with some other old friends we haven't seen in awhile (we used to live in SF). The daughter of the people we are staying with is who Elise is named after... and I cannot wait for the two of them to meet. The other Elise is now 8 and I think my Elise will just adore her.

And the best part of all? I get to meet MERI!!! Sweet, wonderful, superstar, the-sister-I-never-had... MERI! I am so excited I just DID pee my pants a little!

So that's my post of "just stuff". If you could, please pray that our trip goes smoothly with no flight issues and especially no BG issues!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

One year of death

It occurred to me that today is this blog's one year anniversary. I should buy a cake so I can eat the whole thing myself.

I have travelled a very long road in one year, but I'm happy to say I'm better for it. I hate the disease, but love the people it has brought into my life.

I'll never forget the first person who I didn't know in real life to comment. Her name is Maria, and although she doesn't have a T1 kiddo, her brother and sister grew up with it. She was the first "stranger" to reach out to me, and was my biggest cheerleader early on.

Penny was the first Mom of a child with T1 to comment... and she opened the door to a whole blog-load (is that a word? It is now) of people who I've never met, but count among my closest friends.

I would love to name everybody who has touched my life for the better in this post, but I need to wrap it up here. My house doesn't seem to be cleaning itself.

Happy one year, Death of a Pancreas... looking forward to the day that I won't need you anymore.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Phoning it in

Yup, I'm being lazy again and just posting the link to my other blog for our cutting-down-of-the-Christmas-tree story and pictures. Click here if you are so inclined.

Why I am the way I am

I am weird. I know that and am quite comfortable with it. I have never fit in with the status quo, and am happy to do things differently than everyone else; if it works for me.

I am learning that this is also true in the way that I deal with Elise's diabetes.

And I feel the need to explain myself a little.

From day 1 of Elise's dx, I have thrown myself into the world of diabetes. I've read books, blogs, websites, message boards. Tried to absorb every word to help me understand this disease. I read all that I can about nutrition and meal planning, learning about complex carbs, protein, fats, good versus bad carbs and glycemic indexes.

I calculate every little carb that goes into Elise's body. I am armed with a calculator, pen and a piece of scratch paper every time I prepare food.

I use a scale. All the time. Everything Elise eats (that has carbs) is weighed. And I take that scale with me everywhere I go. Yes Meri, even to Chick-fil-a.

I use carb factors every day, every meal and every snack. And yes, if that piece of bread has 7.71g of carbs, I add the 7.71 to the 3.10g of soynut butter, to the 4.14g of grapes to get approximately 15g of carbs for Elise's snack.

And I am so okay with the fact that you are now staring at your computer screen in complete disbelief that there is someone out there who could be that anal retentive about things. And you might be saying to yourself, "oh my gosh, this woman must be a nightmare to live with!"

Why is this post starting to sound like a Talking Heads song? (and you may ask yourself, where is my beautiful house?)

Anyway, I do all this because I just might be a little bit insane. But also because it's how I am. I want to do it well, or not do it at all. And for me, when it comes to Elise's health, you bet I am going to do my best to make sure I have good control over her numbers.

I try to do it in a way that is laid-back and not overly intense. I know it sounds so over-the-top and control-freaky, but I really try to make it not seem like a big deal.

I haven't been exposed to that many D-Moms, so I have no idea how other people handle things. I've just aways done it this way and never given it any thought. It wasn't until I had lunch with Laura and Nate the other day that it dawned on me that there are other ways to figure out carbs.

But you know what? I'll keep doing it the way I'm doing it. Because it's working. I realize I have the luxury of only having one kid and not working outside the home. My view on all this might change if we ever expand our little clan.

So for now, I will stick to my weird ways... because I love that old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". And you will keep doing it the way that works for you. And what is neat is that this disease isn't one size fits all and we have to be resourceful and creative about how we treat it.

Even if it puts us up for the Anal Retentive Mom of the Year Award.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankful for good numbers

It's no secret that I've sort of been dreading the holidays. For the first time in my life I'm griping about how all of these days are centered around food. Carb-heavy food. Lots of sugar and other things that are just not the best thing for Elise to be eating.

It's a frustrating task, to say the least. Trying to count all those Thanksgiving carbs. Especially when you're not the one making the majority of the food. But my wonderful friend Pam, who knows a bit about diabetes, took on the job of figuring out the carbs in most of the dishes she made. What a blessing it was!

I brought the pumpkin pie and stuffing, all carefully carb-factored. I have to say I was very pleased with how the pie turned out. I used agave nectar instead of sugar and I really couldn't tell the difference in the taste. I'm hoping to post my recipe (with carb counts, of course!) soon.

The stuffing also turned out pretty well, and Elise really liked it. Of course she would... the more carbs something has, the better! She is definitely a bread and pasta kind of girl.

But the numbers were really worrying me. I had no idea how all these new foods would affect Elise. I'm happy to report that her numbers were nothing short of spectacular!

8:10 am - 91
12:15 pm - 90
3:24 pm - 125
4:59 pm - 142
7:44 pm - 121
10:39 pm - 250 (Okay, so that one is high, but I'll chalk it up to the pumpkin pie)

And she woke up this morning at 92. Those numbers make all the weighing, calculating and figuring it out so worth it.

I hope your Thanksgiving was a good one and filled with great numbers too!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Almost everything you wanted to know about Joanne (but in reality don't really care about)

Meri, Meri, Meri... I was flying under the radar, nary a person had tagged me to do this. Then, BAM! My name shows up on your blog. And now it's a challenge. So here goes:

1. Do you like bleu cheese? Yes I do. Especially in a yummy salad. Mmmm, Maggiano's chopped salad!

2. Have you ever smoked? Nope. Nasty, nasty habit. Yes I am one of those people. It just is so gross to be around.

3. Do you own a gun? Care to find out? I DO live in Texas, after all


4. Favorite type of Food? This is a hard one... probably Italian. Or Chinese.

5. Favorite type of music? I'm all over the map on this one. Just no rap or country and I'll be okay.

6. What do you think of hot dog? Sigh... turn of brain and just eat it. Ignorance is bliss. Sometimes...


7. Favorite Christmas movie? Either National Lampoon Christmas Vacation, or Muppet Family Christmas. My Dad taped it of off the TV back in the 80s, and I watch it every year. Fred once bought me the real DVD, but I discovered it had scenes missing. Yes, the TV version had more content than the version released from the studio. Weird. So I just watch the version my Dad taped all those years ago (Fred had it transferred onto DVD). And, I get to watch all those awesome 80s commercials!

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Orange juice, with added calcium.


9. Can you do push ups? Sure.

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? I don't really wear any except for my wedding and engagement rings.

11. Favorite hobby? Sports. Maybe writing


12. Do you have A. D. D.? No

13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? Yes... I am so very blind without them.


14. Middle name? I do have one, thanks for asking.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: 1) I have a headache. 2) Is it proper to show up to Thanksgiving dinner in my yoga pants? 3) What will dinner do to Elise's BG?


16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink: Water and orange juice. That's it.

17. Current worry? Our upcoming trip next week


18. Current hate right now? Headaches

19. Favorite place to be? Laying in bed with my husband, laughing about silly stuff when we really should be sleeping.

20. How did you bring in the new year? Probably asleep. I can't remember.

21. Someplace you’d like to go? Australia/New Zealand

22. Name three people who will complete this. I will not name names.

23. Do you own slippers? Shirly do... I'm wearing them right now!


24. What color shirt are you wearing? White

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I never have. I think it would be too slippery.


26. Can you whistle? Yup.

27. Where are you now? In the office/2nd bedroom

28. Would you be a pirate? Too dirty/smelly


29. What songs do you sing in the shower? Whatever pops into my head.

30. Favorite Girl’s Name? Elise, silly.

31. Favorite boy’s name? I liked Liam, before Liam became cool. But Fred has told me if we have a boy and name him Liam, then his middle name has to be the letter O. As in Liam O' and our last name. So no little Liam for me.

32. What is in your pocket right now? No pockets

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Elise talking about making a farty.

34. What vehicle do you drive? Isuzu Rodeo

35. Worst injury you’ve ever had? I have had too many to pick. The one I remember the most is breaking my shin bone when a guy kicked me in the shin (yes I was wearing shin guards) playing soccer a few years ago. It was on a Saturday night and I didn't want to go to the ER (I didn't think it was broken), so I waited until Monday to go to my doctor. She took one look at the x-ray and just shook her head and told me get some crutches. It was a hairline fracture, so there wasn't much they could do.

36. Do you love where you live? In a word, no. Not at all. Probably not ever. That was more than "a" word, wasn't it?

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? Two, but no cable.


38. How many computers do you have in your house? One

39. If you changed your job, what would it be? I think I'd like to go back to school to get a nursing degree and become a CDE. I think it's very hard for CDEs to empathize with the families unless they live it. So we end up dealing with CDEs that make me want to go down to the endo's office and kick their asses. Yes, they piss me off that badly.

40. If you were granted three wishes, what would they be? 1) A cure, a cure... my kingdom for a cure 2) To be in a place financially where Fred didn't have to work 3) To be able to fly. Because THAT would be cool.

So THAT'S why they call it Thanksgiving...

Every year our church puts on a pancake breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. And every year since we started attending our church, we have gone to said breakfast. Because there is no way we pass up food that someone else has cooked.

They also have a tradition of passing around a mic, so that whomever feels led, can talk a little about what they are thankful for. As much as I wanted to speak my piece, I don't really fancy crying in front of people that I don't know very well.

So I thought my blog would be an apt place to post what I am thankful for. That way nobody has to witness the mess my face becomes when the water works start.

Of course I am thankful for my husband. I cannot stress enough how much he does for our family. Elise and I are blessed.

I am thankful for Elise. She is, in a word, amazing. And sweet, loving, smart, hilarious, kooky, and just a blast to be around.

I am thankful for his job that gives us medical insurance. Insurance that helps us afford to keep our daughter alive.

I am thankful for medical advancements and all the scientists out there working towards a cure. Thankful that I live in a time where diabetes is not a death sentence.

I am thankful for the roof over my head, food to eat, and a car that gets me where I need to go. And everything else that God has entrusted to me.

It really is a wonderful life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving questions

This is our first year to do Thanksgiving with Elise (last year we opted for the uber-traditional Thanksgiving fondue... yummy!), and some friends have invited us over for dinner. I'll be bringing some food, but my friend will be doing the majority of the cooking. Of course I can't ask her to count the carbs for me in each recipe, but I thought some of my D-Sistas who use carb factors might be able to help me out.

I'm looking for an approximate carb factor for the following: gravy, stuffing and/or dressing (and if someone knows the difference, please tell me), pumpkin pie, and apple pie (if you know the carb factor for just the filling, that would be tops).

I know each recipe differs, but if I could figure out a generic carb factor for each, that would give me some place to start. Thanks much and Happy Turkey.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blessed are the husbands

I am so thankful to be a part of this wonderful group of D-Mommas. I tell anyone who will listen that I would not be as mentally balanced as I am without you guys. Diabetes is such an isolating disease, and it's not a battle we should fight on our own.

But then I think of my husband. A wonderful partner. An amazing provider. The best father a little girl could ever ask for. And it occurs to me that he is all on his own in this.

Yes, he has me. And we make a really good team. But he doesn't have the camaraderie of other guys. He doesn't have a safe place to go where he can rant and unload his troubles. Where he can talk to men that understand, who are having the same struggles, and would just love to kick diabetes in the groin too.

I don't actually think a guy would kick diabetes in the groin... it's a little too close to home. Maybe just give diabetes an super-atomic wedgie.

I've asked my husband about not having D-Dads to relate to and he just shrugs his shoulders and says it's okay. But my heart still hurts for him. I want him to feel the same sense of belonging as I do.

And maybe this is just yet another example of how men are so different from women. Maybe he just doesn't need the same thing I do.

How does your husband cope with this disease?

Friday, November 20, 2009

A friend indeed

Fred, Elise and I just came back from hanging out with Laura and her kiddos. All I can say is I am so happy to have this incredible woman in my life. From the first time we ever spoke on the phone, our conversations have always come very easily. It's just like talking with an old friend.

We are so different from each other, but so much the same in the ways that matter.

Thanks Laura, for renewing my spirit. For making me laugh. And for being one of my windmills in Holland. Love ya, my D-Sista!

Pass

I woke up this morning with butterflies in my stomach. I mean really, who on earth gets like this before their child's doctor appoinments besides me?

Six months ago, Elise's A1C went up to 8.9. I was upset, but not surprised. We had had lots of high numbers due to illness and growth spurts, but I wanted to do better.

Three months ago, her A1C was 7.9. And I felt a little better about that. But I knew we could do better. We again had some illnesses that led to some crazy high numbers.

Today I had no idea what her number would be. I thought it might have stayed around the same because of those high night time numbers we had been dealing with.

Joanne, why don't you just shut up and get to the point. Which is an A1C of 7.0. Seriously, I almost started to cry when the doc told us. I know that we should not live and die by that number, but it gives me validation that we are doing a good job.

And the other bit of good news? We don't need to dilute Elise's Humalog anymore. Which on one hand makes me sad because her insulin needs are going up (which, duh... Joanne). But on the other, much happier hand, it means fewer supplies we need to keep on hand, and we don't have to go through the diluting process anymore... YAY! It will make giving Elise her sliding scale a bit difficult since her scale is 300 - 400 she gets 1 unit of DH, and for > 400, she gets 2 units. When you compare her diluted to full-strength, 5 units of DH equals 1 unit of full-strength. But I guess we'll just cross that bridge when we come to it.

So, yay! Thanks for all the comments on my post yesterday. I love how you guys are so great at cheering each other on. Love you all, and I couldn't do any of this without you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A post in which I talk about stuff

Is it just me or have these last few months come at us at warp speed? Why yes, I AM a Star Trek fan (only TNG though... me likey the Jean-Luc).

How on earth did I get on that topic? I blame it on my current mini M&M high.

Anyway, we seem to have a handle on Elise's night time numbers. Of course, now that I've put that out there into the universe it's all going to go horribly wrong, isn't it? I don't like to jinx things, but we've been having such good numbers lately! Just the other day we had this going on:

7:02 am - 60 (So okay, yeah... that was low.)
10:05 am - 143
11:47 am - 109
2:30 pm - 103
4:30 pm - 138
7:30 pm - 133

Can I get a woo-hoo? The last four or five days, those numbers are pretty much par for the course. I love those numbers so much I'm going to print out the logs and roll around in them naked. Ha ha ha ha... sorry for sticking you with that image. I'll just wait while you finish up your vomiting.

Done? Okay!

Tomorrow we have our endo appointment. I'm excited/nervous about it, but I have no idea what to expect for her A1C. Elise's numbers have been pretty good in the day, but her overnight numbers were so terrible, I have no idea what that will do overall. She also had her H1N1 shot today. So far, nothing out of the ordinary. I'm hoping it stays that way.

Well, that was just a weird, random post with just a glimpse into the bizarre realm of my brain.

Back to my mini M&Ms... which, by the way, are vastly superior to all the other M&Ms. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shirt Pictures

Sorry it has taken me so long to get these up... you know how life can be! Thanks to my wonderful husband for editing the pictures and doing the amazing collage at the end. Thank you to everyone who ordered a shirt and for sending your pics. Enjoy!














Sunday, November 15, 2009

Celebrating WDD

Despite things not going exactly according to plan, we did have a good World Diabetes Day. It started off with me sleeping in until about 10:00, while Fred and Elise went on their usual Daddy/Daughter Date Saturday breakfast.

We were supposed to have lunch with Laura and her husband and kiddos, but unfortunately Nate came down with some mysterious red bumps. Since the doc she took him to couldn't figure out what they were, we played it safe and didn't meet.

I also forgot the Fred was going to a Portuguese restaurant to watch Portugal play in a World Cup qualifying game, which was at the same time we usually go grocery shopping. I totally HATE when shopping time gets messed with, because it's always so hard to fit into our already very tight schedule.

We also had to take Elise to Chick-fil-a for dinner, because that's where we were supposed to go for lunch, and this kid doesn't forget ANYTHING! We told her that for lunch there was a change of plans and we were going to eat at home. She was very sad, but we thought she had forgotten about it. Then when we were discussing dinner plans and Elise said, "how 'bout Chicka-fway?"

Who can say no to that?

So we all went our to Chick-fil-a for dinner and when Elise was playing the the play area afterwards, one of the Moms came up to me and asked about our shirts. So I got to tell her about World Diabetes Day (she knew about Type 1 since she worked in the medical field). Then she asks we if we go to IBC (our church). Turns out we know each other through some long, twisted explanation I won't go into, but it was funny!

Another cool thing was that there was a Dad in the play area who was listening in on our conversation, and was very interested in finding out more about diabetes. He asked some great questions and of course I was only too happy to answer!

I've received a bunch of amazing shirt pictures (if you haven't sent yours yet, please send them asap to shirts@helpmefred.com), and I'm hoping to put them all up in one big post tomorrow. Or the next day. We'll see how life goes.

I can't wait for next year... hopefully we'll get on the shirt orders a little earlier and get a whole bunch more blue out there!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

World Diabetes Day

On this day, I am thankful.

I am thankful for Dr. Banting. And knowledge. And our endo who cares for Elise. And the scientists that are working towards a cure for Type 1 Diabetes for my daughter and everyone else who suffers from this disease.

I am thankful for insulin, BG meters, ketone meters, ketostix, glucagon (which, thankfully we've never had to use - but I am thankful I have it just in case), syringes, pumps (which we don't use, but it's nice to have options), and everything that we have that keeps Elise alive.

I am thankful for the internet. And blogs. And especially all of you. I would not have made it this far without your support and encouragement to get me through the rough times. I've enjoyed laughing with you when times are good. I am blessed to be part of an amazing community.

Because we live so far away from family, we have weathered this diagnosis on our own. It seems the people we called our friends were nowhere to be found. We had a few visitors in the hospital, and maybe four days of meals when we were discharged. After that... nothing. Complete. Radio. Silence.

Fred had to leave to go to New York two hours after we left the hospital, and thank God my Mom was able to fly in to help because I don't know what I would have done. I have never been so lonely and alone in all my life.

It made me sad to see the people we considered friends to scatter like leaves in the wind, but it also woke me up to the type of people we needed to be surrounded by. People who are compassionate, empathetic, will cheer you on when things are going well (even if all may not be so great on their end of things), and give you a shoulder to cry on when everything sucks. People who listen, but don't judge. And know when to offer advice and when to shut up and just listen. I am so glad I found people like that living in my computer!

So, on World Diabetes Day 2009, I will be thankful.

I'm especially thankful for them.


P.S. don't forget to email me pictures of you and your family wearing your shirts! You can send them to the shirts@helpmefred.com address. Don't forget to include names, ages, city & state, and when they were diagnosed (if you want to, that is).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Having my say

My letter to the editor was published, and I have the proof! How cool is that! Thanks to Shamae for sending me the hard copy. I really wanted to have it so I could show it to Elise one day.

If you missed the whole kerfuffle, here is the original letter to the editor that had all us D-Mommas up in arms:

Complaint

On Oct. 3, myself and my girlfriend were eating lunch at Burger King. A family came in and sat across the aisle from us. While the father was ordering food, we were shocked and appalled to see a boy inject himself with whatever medication, in front of God and everybody all while sitting at the table. We found this extremely offensive. That sort of business should be done in private. How about a little respect for those around you. Other than the obvious fact that it's not sanitary for those who use the table next, you have no idea how something like that can affect people. People go through a lot in their life and things like that may bring up certain feelings and memories best forgotten. I would like to thank those that day for totally ruining my meal.


And my response (4th draft with expletives and yo-mama jokes removed). It's the one entitled "Injection":


Here is the text in case you are unable to read it:

I do not live in your area, but read the letter from the man who was so disturbed by a child giving himself a shot at a restaurant (October 25 edition) with total dismay. My two year old daughter is a Type 1 Diabetic, and we often have to inject her with insulin when we eat out in public.

The fact that there are people out there who have nothing better to do than complain about something so minor is very disheartening. Does he not understand that the very thing that disgusts him, we have to do in order to keep our children alive?

This person is in desperate need of a lesson in compassion. Diabetes is already a horrible thing to have to live with, and according to the letter writer, we should make our kids feel further isolated and ashamed by giving them their medication in hiding. Where would he prefer we do it, in the bathroom? And he complains that giving a shot in public is unsanitary.

This letter really illustrates the lack of understanding people have about Type 1 Diabetes. I, for one, applaud this young man for bravely taking care of himself, whenever and wherever he is.


I'm glad I was able to toss my two cents in!

New friends!

Today Elise and I made some new friends! Not really new, since we've exchanged emails, and chatted on the phone a handful of times. But today we actually got to meet the adorable Nate, and his beautiful Mommy Laura face-to-face!

Laura made the drive out to my neck of the woods for a playtime at the local rec center. It was just so great to sit and talk to someone who knows EXACTLY how you are feeling and what you are going through. No need to explain anything.

We managed to get a few cute pics of Elise and Nate together. None of us, mostly since I am suffering from a bad hair year.

Thanks Laura, I had a great time and I hope I didn't scare you off with my over-the-top, control-freaky, anal-retentive ways of handling diabetes!


I swear she's not trying to strangle him... just going in for a hug

Nate liked playing with Elise's hair



Already holding hands


Okay, how cute are they???