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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???

Back to the drawing board

Thanks for all your comments on my last post... it really does help to have some encouragement and to know I'm not alone in wanting to rip my hair out!

The night after I wrote my last post, we still had numbers in the mid 200s throughout the night. We checked quite a few times and saw that she most likely wasn't going low overnight. Just to make sure, last night we just left everything the same, intending to do a few checks throughout the night.

At bedtime she was 116. At 11:00 pm, 199. When we checked at 12:30 and she was 145 (when her NPH was peaking), I figured we should be okay.

Unfortunately, at about 4:30 am, I was awoken to hear her little voice calling me over the baby monitor. She was 52. After 8g of banana, she went back to sleep.

She woke up this morning at 69. The only thing I can think of that was different is she played at our church's indoor playground after dinner last night. It's always hard for me to predict how exercise is going to affect her, but last night I guess it really did!

Does anyone have some sort of "formula" to know how many more carbs to give their kids when they do exercise?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Return of the bad night time numbers

I just don't get what we're doing wrong at night. It seems every time we make a change, we have a few good nights and then it all sucks again. Yes, you heard me... sucks. I'm tired and crabby and all I want is a good nights sleep where I'm not worrying about stupid numbers.

What I can't be sure of is if Elise is going low overnight and the morning highs are a result of a rebound. But we're checking her. Last night before bed she was 197... a bit high, but we gave her the usual dose (3.5 of NPH) and a few less carbs. At 1:30 am she was 193, and she woke us up at 3:00 am crying for banana, something she does when she's low. To our surprise, she was 283! Did we miss a low and she was just slow feeling it?

She woke up this morning at 254 and 1.1 ketones. In fact, I have a suspicion she wakes up with ketones almost every morning. I'm going to start putting cotton balls in her diaper again and using ketostix to find out for sure. The ketones were gone by 10:30, but her BG was almost 300. At lunch she was back to a normal 98.

We have an endo appointment coming up in 10 days and I'd like to have this figured out by then. I just don't know what else to do. Until I know for sure that she's not going low overnight, I don't want to raise her insulin.

We had actually had about a week of pretty good overnight numbers, so I thought we were through this.

It's enough to make you want to sit and eat a whole bowl of apple butter in one sitting.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Meal Ideas: Best Apple Butter EVER!

I know the title is misleading... I would never advocate the eating of apple butter as your meal. Except if you are me and your husband is out of town and you are too tired to make a "real" meal.

But really, this is the best apple butter I have EVER tasted. And I should know. I've eaten apple butter on TWO separate occasions, which in my mind, makes me an expert.

Seriously, you should make this.

What you need:
8 - 10 apples, or approx 900 - 1000 grams. (carb factor for apples is .13)
(I used a mix of honey crisp and gala... it was what Kroger had on their clearance fruit shelf. I paid $2.00 for 14 apples... score!)
1/2 c (or less, depending on how sweet you want it) agave nectar (carbs for that amount came to 134)

or (but not both)
2 C white or brown sugar (sorry, don't have a carb count for that)
3 tsp ground cinnamon (5.4g of carbs)
1/4 tsp ground cloves (.325g of carbs)
1/2 tsp ground allspice (.7g of carbs)
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

To Make:
*Core, peel and dice all of the apples.
*Combine all ingredients in a crockpot (at least 4 Qt). Set on high for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

*Set crockpot to low and leave for 12 hours. My big crockpot cooks a bit warmer than my smaller one, so I had it on low for about 4 hours, then set it to keep warm before I went to bed. As a added bonus, your house will smell AMAZING. You know, if you like apples and spices and stuff. And if you don't, well then you are just weird.
*Puree with a hand blender or some other similar contraption.

Why It's a Great Meal:

*The whole family can enjoy the apple-y goodness
*I like that I can use the agave nectar to sweeten it and it tastes just fine.
*Ummmm, did I mention that it is so, so good?
*I mix the apple butter in with some of my homemade yogurt and top it off with some homemade granola (recipe coming soon) for a quick, healthy breakfast.

The carb factor for the batch I just made came in at around .28. This, of course will vary depending on how many apples you use, or how much and what type of sweetener you use.


If you're unsure of what apple butter is, you can read all about it at Wikipedia, here.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Portabili-D

When I think back to a year ago, I marvel at how much more "portable" we are. It took me quite awhile to be okay with packing up all our D stuff, food, supplies, etc. and straying too far from home. Now we just throw everything in a bag or two and have some fun!

Last night was no exception. We took Elise to see my hometown hockey team, the Canucks, take on the "yucky Stars". Elise's words... not mine. No, really!

We had dinner at her favourite restaurant, and took the train down to the arena. It was going to be a late night, so that meant schlepping all her dinner supplies and food (she eats the restaurant food, but I like to bring some healthy choices from home to round out her meal), as well as he bedtime supplies and snack.

When we were giving Elise her bedtime insulin while watching the game, I could hear a whispered conversation behind me. The woman asked her friend next to her what we were giving Elise. I heard him reply, "she must have diabetes.... type 1."

To which she replied, "oh, I feel so sad for her." The exchange was not meant for me to overhear, but due to my superb skill at eavesdropping, I heard the whole thing.

During the intermission, I struck up a conversation with the people behind me, and Elise having diabetes came up. The guy said he saw us give her a shot and figured that's what it was. It turns out he's an EMT, and that's how he knew about type 1.

He then said that Elise looked wonderful and we must be doing a great job handling a terrible disease. Wow, in the span of the week I've run into two people that understand... a new record!

Even though my team lost, it was a great night, and I love making these fun memories with my daughter. Suck on THAT, diabetes!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

You STILL may be able to order a shirt

We have had some emails asking us if it's too late to order a shirt... it seems Elise and I did a great job selling it in our pictures. Hey, stop laughing!

Anyway, the unfortunate part is it is not feasible for the printer to do one shirt at a time, but they would gladly print up a dozen at a time for us.

We've received orders for 4 shirts today. This means we need orders for at least 8 more shirts to make this happen. We would love to be able to fulfill these orders.

The only sizes available are unisex small to XXL.

So, if you'd like a shirt, the drill is to send an email to shirts@helpmefred.com with the number of shirts, sizes, and mailing address. Then you'll need to send the money via Paypal (shirts are $15 each). When we get the money, we can then submit the order, but only if we get orders for 8 more shirts! If not, we will refund your money.

If we get this done quickly enough, we should be able to get the shirts to you by November 14th.

Some people get it

I know as a community we encounter so many people that just don't get what Type 1 Diabetes is. And that's why it is always such a pleasant surprise when you run into someone that gets what you're talking about, even though they have no first hand experience.

It happened to me last Friday. Elise and I ducked into Old Navy really quickly right before lunch because they had $2 costumes and t-shirts. And what penny-pincher can pass up a deal like that?

They had one costume left, and it was 4T/5T... score! I also grabbed a shirt and headed to the front of the store to pay, where I was greeted by enormous lines. I hopped into the shortest line, but failed to notice the lady in front of me had a shopping cart FULL of clothes.

I was getting nervous because the clock was inching closer and closer to noon (when Elise's NPH is peaking). The lady and I struck up a conversation, and at one point she must have noticed my "pee-pee" dance (okay, it's not exactly the same, but does involve a lot of fidgeting, glancing at the clock on my cell pone and staring at Elise for a telltale sign of a low), and she asked if I was okay.

I told her that I was trying to get out of the store so I could get up to Chick-fil-a by noon. I then hesitated, wondering if I wanted to open the diabetes can of worms. Before I could stop myself, I blurted out, "my daughter has diabetes and needs to eat at a certain time because of the type of insulin she takes."

Yeah, I know. That's a lot to spew out to a complete stranger.

But she immediately grabbed her purse and said, "oh my gosh, I would have let you in front of me if I had known that, but she's halfway ringing me through. I have some fruit gummies in my purse if she needs them."

After picking myself up off the floor, I told her we should be okay, but I was just going to check her to be on the safe side. Elise was 110, and that was just too close for me to stay any longer. I asked the lady if she had any experience with type 1, and she replied that no, but she had read some things about it.

It turned out that the cashier would hold my stuff until I could come back after lunch, so I raced out of there to get Elise her lunch.

Yes... so many people out there DON'T get it. But when you meet someone who does (and has no actual experience), it sure does feel good.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Coming soon to a mailbox near you

If you ordered a shirt, I just wanted to let you know that they were shipped out this (Tuesday) morning. Hopefully you received an email from me with that info, but I wanted to post it here just it case it went into spam, or I missed sending you one.

I hope you like them!

Monday, November 2, 2009

They're Heeeeeeeere!

The shirts, the shirts, the shirts!!! Fresh from the printers, so hot they're smokin'! I've uploaded some pics so you can check them out. Please ignore the mess that is my kitchen. Yes, it looks like that ALL THE TIME. If I can ignore it, so can you. For a fun little game, see if you can find where we keep the diabetes supplies...

kid's 2/4 front (a bit big on Elise who normally wears 2T)



kid's 2/4 back


Women's M front... and me, born to model (ha ha ha ha)


Check out my boo-tay (actually, don't)!

I am so excited they're finally here! I'm hoping that I'll get them to the post office tomorrow. Remember, they should take about 2 days to get to you.

Woo-hoo! SHIRTS!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pictures!

If you would like to see our cute, little Hallowe'enie, I posted a bunch of pictures on my other blog (read: I'm too lazy to re-post them here). Click here to check them out.

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

-Those who are your friends, and "get it" will totally make accommodations for your child and this disease. Even if you are practically dictating the schedule for their child's birthday party. "I see that the invitation says from 10:30 until 12:30... would it be possible to have the kids eat around noon, since that's when Elise has to eat her lunch?" Yes, I actually said this to my friend Matt. And I knew that he was totally okay with it. Which makes he and his wife awesome in my book!

-Cheesecake is bad. I mean, it's good. Really, really good. But for Elise, it's bad.

-I am quite possibly the only person in the world who tests a new bottle of test strips every time. Or I was the only person in the world... take that, One Touch suckas!

-Camping, or "cabin-ing" in the middle of nowhere, TX is totally do-able when you have a toddler with diabetes. As long you pack every little thing that you might ever need... ever. And have a nervous breakdown the night before you leave.

-Falling 10 feet off of a play structure will lower your child's BG by 50. No, it won't. Please don't even try that and sue me when it fails.

-Hallowe'en is going to be tough for the next few years. Elise is starting to get that those little, shiny packages that strangers are giving to her contain food. And she wants to eat it. But she doesn't understand that she can only have a little bit, and even then, only at meal time. And she is captivated by those dum dum suckers.

-The D-Community is ah-mazing! Okay, this is one I've known about for a few months now, but this October has just reinforced that fact. From supporting a new D-Momma, to trusting this total stranger with your hard-earned money for a shirt; you guys blow me away. When I am independently wealthy, I'm going to fly all of us to somewhere fun (Hawaii), so we can meet each other face-to-face. Who's in?