Monday, March 30, 2009

Every day should be like this

Wake-up: 155
Lunch: 118
After nap: 94
Dinner: 121

I felt like celebrating because lately her numbers have been so crazy-all-over-the-place. It's a small victory, but I'll take it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why I'm not Joanne Almighty

Lately my perfectionist personality has taken up residence once again. Crazy numbers and ketones are causing me to grind my teeth at night and I'm starting to worry that one morning I'm going to wake up toothless!

But lunch with a good friend the other day helped me to see things in a whole new perspective. It was really a "DUH" moment for me. My wonderful and very wise friend Gabi was asking me about Elise and how diabetes has taken it's toll on me. As I was telling her the difficulty in managing Elise's blood sugar and how the perfectionist in me takes it so personally when I get a wonky number, she leaned over and told me something that I had never thought of.

"Joanne, God created our amazing bodies in such a way that scientists are still learning new things about it. How can you expect to control or even understand something that the Creator of the universe designed with His own hands?"

Hmm, I have to tell you, that realization hit me like a tonne of bricks. How silly of me to think that I had the power to control what I don't even understand. It would like me expecting to be able to control the weather. All I can really do is pay attention to the weather reports, dress accordingly, and be prepared for when the weather person gets it wrong. If you live here in North Texas, then you know that happens on an almost daily basis.

I know I've talked about being able to let go before, but old habits die hard, and I'm sure this is something I will struggle with every day. But it's nice to know I have an "out" when I need one.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Needle Fear

I don't know what to do... it is getting harder and harder to give Elise her shots these days. She's fine once the needle is in, but it sure is a tough ride getting there. I usually sit her on my knee, facing sideways, the leg or arm that I'm going to inject on the outside. As soon as I pick up the needle she starts to cry and yell, "Noooooo, owie!" It's heart-breaking.

I've ended up scratching her with the needle because as I'm trying to inject her, she'll get an arm loose and swipe at the needle. I've even been poked a few times. I just don't have enough arms to try and hold her still.

It's so weird because up until now, it was quite easy to give her the shots. I don't know what has changed.

As I said, she's fine once the needle is in; she'll sit and watch and even count to five with me, exclaiming, "All done!" when I take the needle out. The hardest spot is her leg (we only inject her in her arms or legs at this point); it's becoming almost impossible for me to do it by myself. And since I'm alone for most of her shots, I'm running out of ideas and tiring of these daily wrestling matches.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Luck O' the Irish?

Elise's middle name is Rian (pronounced Ree-in). It's Gaelic for mark or imprint. It occurred to me on today of all days, Elise had her most stable numbers to date:

7:48 am - 177
11:45 am - 175
3:21 pm - 173
5:10 pm - 118
8:05 pm - 153

Perhaps Irish eyes were smiling upon her!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Don't Ask Me Why

Don't ask me why
my child has spots of blood on her shirt
Sometimes she won't stay still long enough
for the bleeding to stop

Don't ask me why
my eyes follow her wherever she goes
I worry that I might miss
the telltale sign of a low

Don't ask me why
I sometimes can't string a sentence together
My brain is too fried
by counting carbs to talk

Don't ask me why
I have these dark circles under my eyes
Waking to check your child
during the night will do that to you

Don't ask me why
I carry a bagful of strange devices and foods
They might just save
my child's life one day

Don't ask me why
my child has bruises on her arm
You'd think I'd be better at this by now
but some days I still do it wrong

Don't ask me why
tears well in my eyes for seemingly no reason
It's this disease
It overwhelms me sometimes

Just let me know
you're here and you care
Besides a cure
that's all I want

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fuzzy Logic

I am a very logical person. It's how I've always lived my life. I really like it that when I add 2 + 2, the outcome is always four. Not 4.5, or 7, or even 355. It's 4 and it always will be 4. Forever and ever, Amen.

Early on in our marriage, Fred and I had racked up over $75,000 in debt. In 2001, we finally decided that we'd had enough of being stressed out by money and were going get out of debt. So, what did we do? The logical thing of course, we made a budget, stuck to it, and stopped spending any money except what was necessary to live. Strangely enough, four years later, we were debt free and still are! Well, except for our house. But that $75,000, which was all pretty much credit card debt, is gone!

I like things that make sense. I like it when a + b = c. But it's just not that way with diabetes. You can do everything right, and still get wonky blood sugar numbers. And it makes me CRAZY. Somedays I wish diabetes would manifest itself as a person, just so I could kick it in the groin.

If I give Elise x amount of carbs, plus y amount of insulin, in my perfect little world I would get z... a BG of about 100. But because so many things can come into play, it just never works out that way. She could be going through a growth spurt, or teething, or perhaps she's getting sick. There's hormones that come into play, the fact that the wind is blowing out of the east at 15 mph, the dew point is 38 and the barometer is falling. Or maybe it's because she's wearing red.

I made some of those up, see if you can guess which ones.

Diabetes has come into my logical little world and turned it upside down. But I am slowly learning to not sweat it so much anymore. I think what it all boils down to is my lack of control over this disease. And I think that's what is really tearing me up.

But I believe God is trying to tell me that sometimes I need to take my hands of the wheel, trust Him, and let Him do the driving. I won't always be able to control where the car is going, but it's okay. Because as long as I'm paying attention, He'll help me get to where I need to go. And I'm slowly learning to be okay with that... as long as I get to pick what radio station we're listening to along the way.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


It's important for me that in the midst of the storms that diabetes can cause that I meditate on what I am thankful for. It keeps me from wandering down the paths of pity or despair.

Last night we had dinner with our friends, Rob and Christy who schlepped all the way to our part of town. Their 3 year old son has diabetes; he was diagnosed at just 10 months old. We were introduced to them several months ago by our endo, who had a feeling that we would hit it off.

And we did. They are such a joy to be around. Our conversation last night was filled with laughs and finding out how much we have in common. After dinner, they graciously volunteered to stay at our house after Elise was down for the night so Fred and I could go out and enjoy a few hours of "alone time" (Huh? What is that?). It was wonderful to just sit and reconnect with Fred again.

So today I am thankful for kindred spirits. We may not know why we were chosen to walk this path, but I am very grateful for the people that God has put along it to make this journey bearable.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Letting Go

This weekend was very sad for me. I dropped one of Elise's nursing sessions, the mid-afternoon one. And while I realize it's great that we've made it this far, I can't help but mourn the loss.

Nursing was very hard to figure into Elise's carb count, yet it just seemed to work. If you're wondering, breast milk has about 2g of carbs per ounce. But of course, there was no way to know how much she was getting. For what it's worth, we figured that each nursing would raise Elise's BG by about 30.

But on Saturday, I decided to drop from three down to two. Elise hasn't missed a beat, except for yesterday when we took her on a walk (where she was actually walking, not being pushed in a stroller) right before dinner. When we got home and tested her pre-dinner BG, she was at 53. We had forgotten to give her a mid-afternoon snack (usually the nursing took care of that). So there's still some trial and error for us to get through.

As for me, it's been hard. If Elise wasn't diagnosed with diabetes, I'm not sure that I'd still be nursing her. But it's the one thing I feel that I can do for her. I can't take away her D, but I can offer her this. I know I'll be stopping for good soon, but I can't bear to think about it. For right now, I really miss my afternoon cuddle time with her.

Sigh, as well as a cure for D, I'd really like someone to figure out how to freeze time.