Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Proud of my girl!

Okay, she may be driving me nuts with this sleeping issue, but I have to tell you how proud I am of how Elise handles her diabetes lately.

When it's time to check her BG, she runs to the sink so I can help her wash her hands. She also likes to pick if we're going to test her fingers or toes, and generally shows me the exact one she wants tested.

Same with her shots. When I tell her it's time, she runs over to the spot where we usually sit to give her the shot, and then picks which arm or leg she wants it in. And it's sooooo cute the way she says, " how 'bout THIS one!"

She also likes to check her baby's BG, and sometimes I catch her trying to test the dog too!

It makes me a little sad that she's had to grow up so quickly, but I am also filled with pride that she handles this disease with such maturity.

Momma needs a nap

About a week ago, I wrote this post; where Elise woke up at 11:30 and cried until 2:00 am with a BG in the 300s. Well, she has been doing that pretty much every night since. Her BG isn't always so high (ranges from 188-362), but I just can't figure out what's going on.

At almost 11:30 pm on the dot, I can hear her start stirring over the monitor. Then she starts to cry. So we go in to check her, and since we don't correct her at night, we let her be. We try to soothe her, and get her to calm down and tell her that she needs to go back to sleep. We're trying not to start taking her out of her crib to cuddle her or bringing her to bed with us because those aren't things we want to become habits.

But she cries off and on for 2 to 3 hours, sometimes waking again around 4:30 am for an encore. Although these usually only last about 30 minutes.

Her BG is definitely high for that time of night, but I'm hesitant to change her bedtime NPH for two reasons; she wakes up in the morning with a BG anywhere from 100 to 251 (mostly trending towards the lower numbers), and I can't imagine trying to sneak into her room twice during the night to check her BG without her waking and doing the crying thing for three hours.

Is it the high numbers causing her to wake? I don't know. Could it be teething? Maybe. Growth spurt? Who knows? I do know that I'm exhausted, only getting about 3-4 hours of sleep a night, and I want to figure out how to make this stop.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Some people need to get a life

Although the walk yesterday was great, there was one not-so-great part. As we were walking, we ran into some very rude people who were also using the trail, but were not part of the walk.

You could tell that they were VERY upset that we were using their trail and getting in their way. And the worst part is there were so many kids there that witnessed the rudeness.

I wrote a "letter" to those people on my other blog, and you can read it here (it is a little rude and sarcastic, but I needed to vent a little). I'm also going to write a letter to the editor of the Irving newspaper. I'll be a little nicer in that letter than the one on my blog.

Oh well, at least I feel a bit better now that I've gotten it of my chest.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Team Elise 2009 Walk for a Cure

Good looking team, don't you think? What an amazing turn out (and not to mention great weather too) we had for our walk. This year the JDRF put on three walks in the DFW area, and we choose to take part in the smaller, Irving walk. Last year we did the big one in Plano and it was just too crazy. I think I enjoyed the more low-key atmosphere better. Even so, Elise was a little overwhelmed by all the people.

In all, Team Elise had 29 walkers show up (some had to miss due to illness), although some of the little ones rolled more than they did walk. And the best news of all, we raised over $6700 towards curing diabetes. Way to go Team Elise!

Thank you to everyone who walked and/or donated. I will never be able to express how much it means to our family.

And now... more pictures!

Eating some Chick-fil-a before the walk... yum!

Some of the JDRF Ambassadors (and Elise being shy)

Fred and I at the starting line

Team Elise ready to go!

Our amazing corporate sponsors!

Elise walking with our friend Tiago who flew in from NYC to surprise us (he just showed up at the walk - we had no idea!)

Hanging with Elise while she eats her post-walk snack

On the shuttle bus back to our car with Leo (he's not ours!)

In case you're wondering what it says on the front of our shirts, it has a map of the U.S. with the number 0:36. And beside it reads: "Every 36 minutes a child is diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in the U.S." Thanks to our uber-wonderful graphic-artist friend Josh Wiese for the design!

On a side note, we had three sets of twins that walked for Team Elise... I just thought it was a cool stat!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tummy hurts

I'm not sure if this is a toddler thing, a diabetes thing, or a just plain Elise thing, but Elise has been telling me lately that her tummy hurts. It started out of the blue, and it isn't something we've said to her before, so I don't know where she picked it up.

What makes me wonder if it's manipulation is that she usually says it when she doesn't want to be doing something. Like if she's eating dinner and wants to get down, or when she's in her car seat. She starts to cry and says, "owie, tummy hurts, tummy hurts!" It doesn't last for long (maybe 5 minutes) and she stops when she gets what she wants.

But she does sound very convincing when she says it, so I don't want to write it off as nothing. Is this something any of your kids do (or did when they were younger)? I just don't know what to think of it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Team Elise walks this Saturday!

I have been so bad posting updates about Team Elise. Well, BIG news... our team goal was $5000, and so far we've smashed it with a total of $6249.70! How cool is that? Plus we received enough sponsors that the Team Elise shirts are completely paid for.

We have 27 people walking for Team Elise and Elise and I will actually get to walk this year. Last year the walk was only two weeks after Elise was diagnosed, and there was no way I could get her up and ready in time for the 9:00 am start.

I am so blown away by the generosity of everyone who has given, and/or committed to walk. I don't even have the words to express how it makes me feel knowing how many people love Elise; even if they have never met her. And if you know me at all, not having words rarely happens to me, so that's a pretty big thing!

One very cool story that happened was about two weeks ago. Fred, Elise and I were having dinner on the patio of a restaurant when a couple with a little boy sat near us. We started chatting, and it turns out he's a dentist with a practice right down the street from our house. Somehow we got onto the topic of diabetes, the walk and Team Elise, and his wife says they would love to sponsor us!

What??? These people we met about 15 minutes ago felt moved to donate money for a child they hardly knew. When we got home, Fred emailed the sponsorship info and the next day they donated a pretty large sum of money that put us over our goal of $5000. Thanks Dr. Gregory Martin!

Can't wait for Saturday, and Go Team Elise!

It's going to be one of those days

It's on mornings like these that I wish I drank coffee, because I am going to need something to get me through to nap time.

I really tried to go to bed last night when everything was done before 10:00, but of course I didn't and when Fred and I finally went to bed at 11:30, Elise woke up screaming.

Usually when that happens, we go in, check her BG and settle her down. Even if she's low, she usually goes right back to sleep with no problems after we feed her something.

But last night her BG was 342 and we could tell she felt awful. She kept screaming that her tummy hurt, and no matter how hard we tried to soothe her, she just kept crying. We don't correct her for highs except at meal times (and sometimes before bed), so there was not much we could do. Plus she's on NPH at bedtime, so we were hoping it would peak soon to help take care of the high BG,

Meanwhile, over an hour later, she's still crying. It is such a horrible feeling, knowing your child is in pain, but there's not much you can do about it. I was so tempted to just give her a unit of DH, but I was worried about her going too low. We decided to check her again and she was at 304 with .9 ketones.

Finally, around 2:00 she settled down. We haven't had a night like that in ages, and to make matters worse, Elise decided to wake up a full hour earlier than normal. And even worse, I woke up with all my neck muscles in spasm and can barely move.

I'm ready for Tuesday to be over.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Glad THAT'S over for another year!

Don't get me wrong... we had so much fun, but WOW am I tired! The weather was perfect and we had a great turnout... something like 26 adults and 15 kids. Elise's BG was 241 before dinner, and after pizza, some fruit, icing-less cake, tons of excitement, running around the playground and lots of bounce house fun she came in at 118 before bed. Go us!

And because you asked (and because she's just so darn cute)... pictures!

I know the picture is blurry, but it was too cute not to post! Elise having fun in the bounce house... thanks Winston and Shirley for letting us borrow it!

Hunter and Elise hanging in the bounce house

Adorable Avery

Wonderful friends Chris, Val and little Mavis

Cute, cute, cute Madison

Cristiane, Marcelo, and itty-bitty Liam - our youngest partier

Elise with her best bud Val

Happy Birthday Elise, boy that is a lot of icing!

She was so excited she started singing before we even lit the candle!

She loves to blow out the candle

Waiting to sing again (we sing to her in English and Portuguese). On a side note, I love Travis' mischievous little grin in this picture


Time to celebrate!

Wow. That last post was a doozy. I'm feeling much better now, thanks to some perspective, a few days with much better numbers, and some sweet comments left by you guys. Thanks for the love!

Today we will FINALLY be celebrating Elise's second birthday... only a few weeks late! It's going to be a little bigger and crazier than we anticipated, but perhaps we can combine it with her one year D-Anniversary to justify the blood, sweat, tears, and cost that has gone into it. Next year her birthday will be much smaller.

It will be very interesting to see what all the activity, excitement, and foods she doesn't eat very often will do to her blood sugar. We were going to grill some hamburgers and hot dogs, but due to the amount of people that RSVP'd yes, we decided to order pizza. Elise has never eaten pizza before. I've heard horror stories about what it does to blood sugar, but I figure her BG will be all over the place anyway, so what harm will a little pizza do. From the research I've done, it looks like I should be using a carb factor of .25 to .32. Does anyone have insight on this?

Can't wait to celebrate my sweet, little girl's life!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

D is for...


As in I'm done.

Done, done, done with diabetes. Done with trying to come up with foods that Elise will actually eat. Done with mealtime battles that usually end with both of us in tears. Done with trying to put together healthy, good-tasting meals and done with carb counting.

I'm so done with trying to figure out numbers that are all over the map. Done with tantrums that are due to high BG numbers and done with naps being interrupted by lows.

I am done with hauling all the crap that goes along with this disease. Done with meters, scales, calculators, apple juice, carefully counted out snacks that she won't eat, emergency supplies, insulin, needles... all of it. Done.

I'm done with every illness wreaking havoc in our lives. Done with worrying about her "underlying condition". Done with calling doctors and specialists and wondering just when should I take her to the ER.

I am done with all the money that this stinking disease bleeds out of us. It seriously makes me sick to my stomach when I think of how much all the supplies cost just to keep my daughter alive. Yes, it's a small price to pay, but it also infuriates me and makes me wonder why they do cost so much. Could it be because we don't have much of a choice?

And I am so, so, so very done with stupid insurance companies squeezing every nickel and dime out of us. Done with their crappy policies that say catheterizing my daughter to get a urine sample because she's too young to pee in a cup during her doctor visit is considered a "surgical procedure" and we have to pay for part of it. This never was an issue with our old insurance company, but Blue Crap Blue Shield of Texas is showing me why moving back to Canada is a good idea.

Seriously, I think my head is going to explode.

Of course, I say I am done... but it's a total lie. I can't be done. I will never be done. And that's what makes all this so terribly frustrating.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rough Weekend

What a nasty illness this turned out to be. The only good thing I can say is that stomach-wise we were left untouched. I mean, we didn't have much of an appetite, but what we did eat, we kept down.

Elise started running higher numbers on Saturday, but interestingly we never had any issues with ketones. Her fever started around Saturday afternoon, and was as high as 103.3 this evening. But she's acting like nothing is wrong though and wants to run and play as much as she usually does. Weird, Fred and I can barely move and she seems to have more energy!

The hardest part with both of us being sick, was tending to Elise's needs. Just because we didn't feel like eating, didn't get us out of preparing something decent for Elise. And even though we felt awful, we still had to pull ourselves together enough to go grocery shopping to make sure we had food in the house. I remember feeling like I was about to pass out at one point while trying to pick out some eggs.

The good news is that my flu test came back negative... so we still have no idea what this was. I just can't wait to get rid of it!

Sorry if this post seems all over the place, my brain is still really foggy.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The party is off... or at least moved.

At times like this, you just have to laugh. Mostly to keep yourself from crying. For the second year in a row, Elise's birthday party has been messed up.

It started Wednesday, when I got sick. Thursday I felt a little better and had to go in for a scheduled root canal. About 30 minutes after the root canal, I felt like I was going to die. My symptoms had kicked up a notch (aches, headache, chills), and my head felt like it was on fire. I got home and took my temperature... 102.4. Ugh.

I wake up this morning and Fred (who has been sick a grand total of 3 times in 11 years - and that's not an exaggeration) tells me he doesn't feel so good. He has a cough and his body aches. No fever though.

I turn on the news to see an 80% chance of rain this Saturday. Did I mention our party is outside? I mean come on... the once thing Texas might have going for it is you can plan outdoor activities and be very confident it will be dry. It's not like I'm living in Vancouver!

I cannot tell you how disappointed I am. We're trying to move it to next week, but if that doesn't work, we're out of luck. The following week is the JDRF walk, and then we'll be in October. I don't think having a birthday party a month after the fact is such a good idea.

The one good thing, so far, is that Elise seems to be okay. I've been trying to keep my distance from her (a difficult task since I am still nursing her), but now that Fred is sick, I'm not sure what we can do. Just lots of soap, lots of sanitizer.

And lots of prayers too.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

One more...

When Elise woke up from her nap this afternoon, I got up to get her and almost fell down. Then it hit me how badly I felt. After I got her up and checked her BG, I checked my temperature and realized I had a fever. And felt pretty nauseous. And had a cough, aches and chills (so much so that I had to go out in the 95 degree heat to warm up).

No, no, no. Don't the powers that be realize I have to much to do to be sick? Plus a daughter with diabetes to care for, who should not be around me? AND HER BIRTHDAY PARTY TO GET READY FOR ON SATURDAY (for which I have done pretty much nothing)???

So if you are they praying type, I would love if you could say some for me. That I wake up tomorrow feeling perfectly fine and this is just a blip in the radar.

I will not have Elise's 2nd birthday party ruined too.

A few small steps

I'm sure that people who read this blog must think I'm a tad overly dramatic. But, oh-my-gosh, I am sooooo proud of Fred and I for making it to KC and home again with no major hiccups except for a few low blood sugars. And a closed exit ramp to the airport along with a forgotten scale that had to be driven 40 minutes to the airport by the amazing Cindy. Add those two things to the world's slowest security guy and that equals Joanne getting onto the plane about 5 minutes before take-off.

Despite the crazy grand finale to our trip, I did not have a brain aneurysm. I actually found myself quite confident that we could handle anything that happened!

The trip itself was great. We stayed with some friends who had 5 year old twins (boy/girl) that absolutely loved Elise. She basked in all the attention, and I have seriously never heard her giggle so much. I swear if I could give birth to a five year old, I would.

Our friends were so understanding about our schedule, and how things needed to be just so. I don't think I've ever felt so welcome in another person's home.

Also wonderful was the KC Irish Fest. I had a comment posted from the director of the festival on an earlier blog entry saying if I needed anything, to just let him know. I had read on their website that no outside food was allowed into the festival, so I emailed him. I was nervous that we would receive a hassle from event volunteers that were manning the gates, and no clue about diabetes.

His response was so quick and he assured me that we were fine to bring in a cooler with whatever we needed for Elise. He also gave me his cell number in case I ran into a problem. I then received an email from the person who was in charge of the gates who gave me his cell number. Amazing! We never had a problem and enjoyed our time at the festival.

But the best thing of all about the trip is it gave us (especially me), the confidence that we can leave our comfort zone and still be okay. Elise isn't going to break, and it will probably be a lot harder than staying home, but it sure is a lot more fun too.

I hope to post some pics of the trip soon. And if you could pray for us this weekend? We're having Elise's birthday party and so far 60 people have RSVP'd yes. Luckily it's at a nearby park and not my house, but we never expected so many people to say yes. But we're so excited that all these people want to come and celebrate Elise's life with us. Our little girl is loved.

I just need to remember to BREATHE!

Monday, September 7, 2009

1 year + 1 day

Well isn't that interesting... September 6th came and went, and neither my husband nor I realized the significance of the day. Which is, of course, one year since Elise was diagnosed with diabetes.

I think it was a good thing we forgot. It allowed us to just be free and enjoy hanging out with our friends, without any sadness hanging over our heads.

And it also shows me just how far we have come in our journey. Right now and right here isn't such a bad place to be.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Let them eat cake

Sometimes, you just gotta eat cake. And as strict as I am about some of the foods Elise eats, she was going to get cake on her birthday! And since we're staying with friends, I wasn't going to attempt to make my own. I did, however, scrape the icing off. I used a carb factor of .5, and it worked perfectly! Her BG at bedtime check was 94.

so how does this cake thing work?

Taking her first bite

couldn't eat it fast enough

I think she liked it

Friday, September 4, 2009

Two years ago, at this very moment...

Dear Elise,

I am going to start out this letter with the very cliche, "wasn't I just giving birth to you yesterday?" Yes, yes, I know it has been said a thousand times over, but there is no better description for how time has just rocketed by in the last two years.

And what a crazy two years it has been; full of so many ups and downs that I'm feeling nauseous. But I think I can chalk that up to the vast quantity of chocolate I have just ingested. But enough, this post is supposed to be about YOU.

Sweet Elise Rian, I don't think I have the adequate vocabulary to describe the amount of love I have for you. Nor can I put into words how you amaze and astound me everyday. All that you have been through in your life and you still face every day with a smile.

God knew exactly what He was doing when He entrusted me with your life. I say that not because I think I'm doing such a bang-up job as your mother, but because I have learned so many lessons from you.

I have learned that yes, life can suck, but then you keep on living it as best as you can. Every day is a new day, full of promise. I shouldn't fear what the future brings, I should look forward to it with eager anticipation.

I've learned the art of patience. Having a toddler with no concept of time, and a mind of her own will do that to you. I've also found out the old adage, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" can be fun, especially when it entails hiding in the clothes racks at Target.

You taught me that music is to be enjoyed while spinning and jumping around and dancing with stuffed animals. And songs should be sung at the top of our lungs while driving in the car; complete with wild hand gestures. Who cares if the people in the next car are staring. They're just jealous that they're not having as much fun as we are.

I've learned to stop and enjoy the world around me. That you can sit and check out that strange-looking bug on the driveway for 20 minutes, because there is always another story time happening somewhere.

I always knew that I married a wonderful man, but I now know that I married an amazing father too. Seriously Elise, you are so blessed to have Poppa as your Poppa. One day, you'll get it. Judging by your reaction when he comes home from work, I think that you're already starting to.

You have taught me that I am a lot tougher than I thought I was. You have given me a lot of confidence in areas I never thought I'd be any good at. I'm still a work in progress, but I think we make a phenominal team.

I've learned that painting is always better when done naked (well naked plus a diaper). This rule only applies to you, not me.

I'm so proud of you, little girl, and so glad to call you my daughter. Happy Birthday.


Your Momma

We made it to KC!

Woo-hoo! We survived Elise's first airplane trip, and first night sleeping anywhere that wasn't her crib with only a few bumps and bruises.

It didn't hurt that we were upgraded to first class on the flight (my first time ever!). We made it through security without a problem... in fact they never even looked in the bag that has all her medical supplies stuffed in there. I learned some things about travelling with D that I hope to post about at a later date.

We're staying with some friends while we're here and they have the cutest five year old twins that just adore Elise. And the feeling is quite mutual. She is basking in all the attention she's getting.

The only bad part came at 3:00 in the morning when she woke up with a BG of 58. She hasn't had a low like that in awhile, and I think it was because I didn't give her enough complex carbs with her bedtime snack. It's hard to deal with a low in the middle of the night, let alone in a strange house where you don't know where anything is.

But we dealt with it and got through it, so all is well!

Today is Elise's second birthday, although it's been pretty low-key because obviously we're not home and we didn't bring any presents for her with us. But we're going to have a fun party next weekend after we get home.

I have a separate birthday post for her that's set to publish tonight at 8:56... the exact moment of her birth two years ago today.