Monday, May 31, 2010

I miss you guys!

Just wanted to quickly post and say how removed I feel from all the D-Peeps out there. I've been trying to keep up with everyone's blogs, but we have been sooooo busy. I have a few posts on my other blog with some pics of what we've been up to. Click here to check them out if you're inclined.

Elise's number have been pretty good... definitely running on the low side. We had one very scary incident at dinner (at a restaurant) last night. She was 168 before dinner. We gave her her insulin and then about 15 minutes later she started to eat.

About 20 minutes later, she started absolutely WAILING. We could not figure out what the deal was, so we checked her and her BG was 38. HOLY %@$&%!.

We gave her 15g of juice, but it took a good hour and about 80g of carbs (35g over and above her dinner amount) just to get her into the low 100s. It was bizarre and we still can't figure out what happened. Of course about 4 hours later, she rebounded into the 300s. Sigh.

Anyway, hope all is well with you guys. Can't wait to catch up with your lives!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Carrie and Christine

Growing up, we lived down the street from a little girl named Carrie (not her real name). We used to play together, and she would come to all the birthday parties. She also had diabetes. But I was only 6 at the time and it didn't mean a whole lot to me. Just that she couldn't have a lot of sugar, which I thought was a big, fat bummer. But it was never that big of a deal.

In Junior high, I met a girl named Christine (again not her real name). She also had diabetes, but was the exact opposite of everything I had seen with Carrie. She was as non-compliant as they came, and would often eat a chocolate bar and diet Coke for lunch. That is, if she ate lunch at all. She was always passing out at school, but would laugh about it afterward.

Christine's home life was a mess; a Dad (who was also T1), who spent more time at work (in another city, no less) than at home. Four brothers who reveled in making their only sister's life miserable. A Mom who let the kids do whatever they want. Now that I understand a little more about the human psyche, I can understand why Christine was the way she was.

I remember she had a BG meter that was about the size of today's netbooks. Sometimes she would check my sugar, and I can still remember how much those lancets HURT. I also remember loving to go over to her house because they always had a tonne of junk food and free reign on whatever was in the cupboards.

Christine and I had a falling out and lost touch when we were about 14. I never saw her or heard from her again until I was 20.

I was sitting in the holding room on the set of a TV show (I used to extra work in my spare time when I was in Vancouver... most boring job EVER!), when I was approached by someone I didn't know. Until she asked if I was Joanne so-and-so, and then introduced herself as Christine. I would have never recognised her in a million years.

The long and short of it was; she did not look well. Not healthy in the slightest. I wondered (but did not ask) if she ever started taking care of herself. By the looks of things, the answer was no. We spent some time catching up, and then never saw each other again after that day.

When Elise was dx, it was Christine's face that my mind flashed to. The worst of the two diabetes examples I had. It's just in my nature to go to the worst-case scenario. I sometimes still see Christine's face when I look at Elise.

I also wonder what ever became of Carrie. How is she doing? How did she cope, growing up with diabetes? What is her life like today? I'm pretty sure I could track her down if I wanted to... but for some reason, I don't want to.

I have read the blogs of many adult T1 diabetics who were diagnosed as small children, and it is my hope that Elise does as well as any of them. But I get scared. I have a strong-willed child, who lately is wrestling me for control. A lot of the time I don't feel like I'm equipped to handle this. I want her to do well; five years down the road, ten years down the road... for the rest of her life. I just don't want to fail her.

Sometimes the duty of being a parent of a type 1 kid can be overwhelming.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Older than she really is

Sometimes I forget that Elise is only 2 1/2 years old.

We get a lot of comments from people who think she's older than that. I think it's partly because of her verbal skills. She said her first word at 7 months, and was speaking in sentences before the age of two; using words like "because" and "maybe" in their proper context.

It's also because she has an air of maturity about her, probably because of the diabetes. She doesn't really act like other kids her age. It's evident in the play time at the gym we go to. She doesn't play with the same reckless abandon the other kids do. The other day when one of her friends started to cry, Elise ran over to see if she was okay. Little things like that really sets her apart from the other kids.

Sometimes I think I expect too much from her. Like when it's shot time, and every once in awhile she decides to struggle a bit. Nothing big, mind you; at worst, a few tears. But sometimes I scold her like she should know better.

Because I forget that she's only 2 1/2.

Or how I get frustrated with her when she decides to take over an hour to finish her meal. It's not that she won't eat, actually she's a great eater. She just likes to play with her food. We don't really have the luxury of time, but I can't take her food away either. I get frustrated, angry. Why doesn't she get it?

Then I remember, because she's only 2 1/2.

Elise has had to grow up so quickly, and it has in turn made me put expectations on her that I don't know if she can live up to. I need to chill out and let her be a kid. Turn off my inner-perfectionist and instead enjoy these times because she will never be 2 1/2 again.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Heading Home

Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, OHMYGOSH! I'm in Vancouver for 10 whole glorious days! This is the first time I've crossed the 49th parallel in 5 years... hopefully everything is as I left it. Is there a $5 coin yet? Can I still buy a Crispy Crunch? Please tell me they still make ketchup chips!!!

I think I'm going to be eating my way through our vacation.

It looks like this will be my last hurrah before the mid-July travel embargo, unless any of my fabu D-Mommas out there would like to throw something together for a weekend. Anyone? Meri? Cabo?

Anyway, because I have issues, there was no way I could leave my dear ol' blog inactive for that amount of time. So, I've scheduled a bunch of posts. Some are new, some are re-posts, and I think one is even a cross-post of a re-post (from my other blog).

So toodles for now... be good while I'm gone!

*** I've heard rumours that there are people who search blogs and facebook pages to find people who are going to be away, and then break into their houses. Fair warning: our neighbour knows we are going to be away and he'll be watching. He's ex-military, has family members who are cops, plus he owns a bunch of guns and is just dying for an excuse to use one of them. I'm just sayin'.

It IS Texas, afterall... YEE_HAW!


Numbers. Our whole life revolves around them now. Units of insulin, carb grams, weight grams, BG, time she got her shot, ketones, number of hours since we last tested her, carb factors, time she ate. You get the idea.

These numbers are so important in the well-being of our children.
But sometimes we are hit with a number and we just don't know what to do.

The number (or numbers) in the case were, 128... her
BG. And 2:30 am... the time. Yes, 128 is a good, solid number. But where was number headed? Up? Down? Staying level?

To know that I would either have to be
psychic, or a CGM. I have a hard enough time as a pancreas, so there is no way to know.

When that number popped up on Elise's meter the other night, I blinked several times. Then I shook it. As if it were a magic 8 ball and I didn't like the answer it had given me. And then I stood in Elise's room for about 5 minutes, trying to figure out what my next step was going to be.

It's times like those that have me seriously contemplating getting a
CGM for Elise. In fact, it's number 1 on my "discussion list" for our next endo appointment. As much as I don't want to hook Elise up to any device 24/7, something has got to give. If I could have some peace of mind of what her BG is doing in the wee hours of the morning, it would make all the difference in the world.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bet you've never heard THIS one before

Fred and I have a tradition for our anniversary. We always go to this uber chi-chi restaurant in the uber chi-chi part of town for lunch on the day of our actual anniversary (Fred takes the day off if it falls on a weekday). Elise, of course, comes with us.

Today I really, REALLY wanted this flourless chocolate cake they had on the menu for dessert, and we decided to ask our server if they had any nutritional information on it (so Elise could have some too). We told her we were looking for a carb count.

The first thing that had Fred and I rolling our eyes and giggling was when the server came back and informed us that each serving had 800. We grinned at each other, knowing the server was confusing carbs with calories, and restated our question.

Next came the manager, who very politely told us that they had no less than three chefs trying to work out the information we were looking for. I think she came back two more times, wringing her hands and asking us questions. The last time she came out, she started asking us questions about the nature of Type 1 Diabetes.

Somewhere along the explanation, we got to the part about counting carbs and how it's important to know carb amounts because of what too many or too few carbs can do to Elise's blood sugar.

At this point she says, "I need to tell you that if we can't get the correct carb amount, we cannot be held liable for what it could do to your daughter's blood sugar."

It was all I could do to keep from howling with laughter. I looked at Fred and tried not to laugh. We assured her that we would not be suing if Elise's BG went too high, and we appreciated their efforts in getting us the information.

It STILL makes me giggle. I think we may be onto something here, people...

BTW, we totally WAG'd the carb amount for the cake and Elise's BG came in at 116 two hours later. Nice.

I guess we won't be suing after all.

10 Years... a re-post of sorts

I originally posted this about our 8 year wedding anniversary. As much as I'd like to write a whole new post, I think this one sums it up perfectly. So I've re-posted it with a few minor changes. It has also been cross-posted on my other blog

It took me about 5 minutes to walk down the aisle at my wedding. No, I didn't panic with a case of cold feet. Nor did I trip and fall flat on my face (the more likely of the two scenarios). Fred and I got married on the beach in Carmel, CA, and the aisle was seriously that long. It was a beautiful, temperate day on the California coast, and I had a lot to contemplate as I tromped towards the beach in my two inch heels. Did I look every bit the part of a blushing bride? Do I have enough SPF's to get me through the ceremony? Can they see my underwear through this dress? Hey, look... bugs having sex!

Sometimes I can be as deep as a puddle.

You'll notice nowhere in there were there thoughts about the huge journey I was about to embark on. I think I was a pretty naive 23 year old who looked at marriage as something you did. Did you love the guy? Sure! So why not get married. There were no thoughts of, "what kind of father will he be? What do I want out of marriage? What is my role as a wife?" Amazingly enough, I gave no thoughts about any expectations I had about married life.

Ten years later, what could have been a disastrous decision, turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done. I believe that there isn't anyone out there better suited for me, and I cannot imagine a better, more fun man to travel life's roads with.

He loves me despite my many quirks. Even better, he embraces them and doesn't try to change me. He is one of the hardest workers I've ever met, and has never complained once over the last 10 years that our family relies on him, and him only as our income source. Although our senses of humour are very different, he still cracks me up on a daily basis.

If you are lucky enough to call him your friend, you know how he goes the extra mile for the people he loves. If you asked for the shirt off of his back, he would give it to you. And his pants. And, if it wasn't so gross, probably his underwear too.

He doesn't get my love for Lost, but will watch it with me... mainly because it's in HD. He will sometimes show up at lunchtime during a weekday and bring me Chick-fil-a. On Sunday, he mopped the floors for me. I know he loves me and will do almost anything to make me happy. We're talking about a guy who has flown to 5 different states to see my favourite band 8 different times. Love? I think so!

Above all else, he is a wonderful, Godly man. He knows he isn't perfect, but tries his best to live his life according to God's word. He is an amazing example to our little girl of what a husband should be.

After Elise was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, Fred stepped up to the plate in a way that not every husband does. Is most cases, 100% of the care falls to the wife, and a lot of husbands don't even try to get involved. Call it laziness, call it denial. Whatever it is, Fred does not suffer from it. He is totally involved in Elise's care, and has taken on doing the twice-nightly blood sugar checks (we have to check Elise during the night to catch dangerous, life-threatening low blood sugars). Our daughter would not be doing as well as she is, if it wasn't for her Poppa and his diligence to her care.

Over the past 14 years (4 years dating, 10 married), we have gone hot air ballooning, driven through Europe, rafted 10 rivers, bought a house, hiked in Hawaii, been extras on an X-Files episode, racked up over $75,000 worth of debt, paid off over $75,000 worth of debt, skied Jackson Hole, jumped off a 30 foot cliff, made a beautiful daughter together, been to hell and back, and now are about to expand our family by one more.

I am so thankful for our marriage. I feel blessed beyond all measure to call Fred my best friend, father of our daughter and soon-to-be-born son, and best of all... my husband.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The return of Lenny and Harold: a one-act play

Lenny and Harold were first introduced in this post. They are the voices in my head whose main job is to tell me when something is amiss with Elise. They could also be called a Mother's Intuition.

Lenny: Pssst, hey... human pancreas. Wake up!

Me: Huh? Wazzat? What's going on?

L: Look, you should really go check Elise's blood sugar. We think it's important.

Me: What time is it? Only 11:00? Seriously guys?

Harold: Seriously, go check her.

Me: I just checked her 45 minutes ago. She was 210, and it's only been 2 1/2 hours since her shot. Trust me, nothing is going on.

H: Trust us. Get outta bed, waddle your pregnant butt down the hallway, and give her BG a look-see, will ya?

Me: Guys, give me a break. Between you and Bruce the bladder waking me up every other hour to squeeze out a spoonful of urine, I'm getting no sleep. All work and no sleep makes Joanne a very grumpy pancreas. She's not due to be checked for another 2 hours or so. Let me go back to sleep.

L: Yeah, that's not happening. Get up, or you'll have to listen to our rendition of Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies".

Me: I'm up, I'm up!

Harold and Lenny are mercifully quiet as I go to check on Elise. The theme from "A Summer Place" plays quietly in my head.

Me: Yeah... guys? I totally owe you an apology. She was 111. How she dropped from 210 to 111 in only 45 minutes is beyond me, but I gotta go get some carbs in her. I don't know how you do it, but I'm glad you do.

L & H: That's what we're here for.

This is just my playful attempt at pointing out the importance of listening to your gut, those little voices, your intuition; whatever you want to call it. I can't even count how many times we've caught a low (or impending low), thanks to "Lenny and Harold".

Now Bruce, on the other hand, needs a good talking to...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

One mother's dream

Sunday - Dream a little Dream (life after a cure)

Elise about 1 week before dx

This one was tough for me... to imagine my daughter's life without diabetes, when she has lived longer with it, than without? I can't even remember what life was like before; no shots, no BG checks, no carb counting, no sleepless nights... It's like trying to remember the vapors of your dreams after you have woken up.

Perhaps it's also because I don't let myself think about it. As much as I would like to believe a cure is coming, I'm afraid of what it might do to my heart if five years down the road, things are pretty much as they are now. I remain an eternal realist (or pessimist, as my husband would call me), because an optimist is never pleasantly surprised.

Because I don't want to end such a fun week on a down note, I'll use what little imagination I have left (that watching TV hasn't killed off), and try.

I suppose the first thing I would do is break down and cry. Just the mere thought of it brings tears to my eyes. I would hold Elise in my arms and tell her the good news while weeping tears of absolute joy for her. I would thank God for answering the prayers of a mourning mother. And then I would sleep for about 3 days straight.

And then? Well, then I would throw Elise THE biggest party you've ever seen.

If you've never read Elise's diagnosis story, then you need to know that we received the phone call to take Elise to the hospital in the middle of her party for her first birthday. Yes, she was only one and had no idea what was going on, but I've always felt cheated by that experience.

Now that Elise is older, she LOVES parties, and she LOVES her friends. And it would be such a great way to celebrate.

And since it's MY imagination, and money is no object, I would make it so all my wonderful D-family could be there to par-tay with us. Because who better to share this with than the people who have walked this same difficult road? Ohmygosh, could you imagine the fun we would have?

And of course, we would top everything off with a ceremonial burning of the diabetes supplies.

Is insulin flammable, I wonder?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A glimpse into our life

Saturday - Diabetes Snapshots

I meant to do something more with this post, but things got a little crazy towards the end of the week. Here are a few of the pics that I did manage to get...

Snack time... gotta love the almond butter! How many carbs do you suppose are on her spoon, fingers, face and left smeared on the plate?

Elise helping me make her morning smoothie by sneaking a taste of plain yogurt. Actually, she always asks first... sweet and sad at the same time.

Elise LOVES to help in the kitchen!

Something new we've started... not sure she gets the concept, but the idea of getting to put a sticker or stamp up there makes her so happy! Her prize? A big girl bike! (we were going to get her one anyway)

Why must we do this?

A little collage of Elise getting her shot ready. Ignore the major bedhead she's got going on.

I also thought I'd put Elise's walk video from last year up... you don't want to miss it. Featuring uber-cute pictures of Elise, plus a bonus track of me singing at the very beginning!!! We're hoping to have the 2010 version done very soon.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Shake your booty

Friday - Let's get Moving

I cannot re
member a time in my life when I wasn't active. Except maybe when I was 14 and was on crutches for a year. Even then, I remember trying to play softball in P.E. (I would hit and someone would run for me). But that's a whole other story for a whole other day.

I started playing soccer when I was 4. As I got older, I also added softball, hockey, basketball and volleyball to my repertoire. I took swim lessons and did track & field. I skied. I took P.E. all throughout high school and still haven't met a sport I didn't like. Yes, I even love badminton.

All this to say, I hope Elise will follow in my love for sports. The odds are pretty good as my husband is pretty much awesome at any sport he tries.

What scares the beejeebers out of me is how Elise's BG reacts to exercise. The simplest thing will drop her low; a walk around the neighbourhood. Playing at the park. Her 30 minute gymnastics class. I have to be vigilant during any activity Elise does, and be on the lookout for those telltale signs of a low.

And what's worse, we usually experience a second drop in BG about 6 hours after she's active. This particularly sucks when it's at night, and 6 hours later falls somewhere around 1:00 am.

But to us, being active is way too important, so we are learning to spot the trends, and figure out how many carbs Elise needs to keep her from dropping low during activity, as well as how many more she will need after she's done. It's all trial and (hopefully not too much) error.

Plus, I've already bought Elise her first pair of soccer cleats...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

When you should listen to those little voices in your head

We interrupt Diabetes Week to bring you the following post that can only be filed under "what the CRAP?" So today was gym day. That's when I take Elise to the local rec centre where she can run, jump, and play with all the other free-range children. There's a bounce house, tricycles, gymnastics mats, and all sorts of goodies to play with. Then I get to sit on my butt for 90 minutes while she is having fun. It's a win-win. I test her BG at snack time... 10:30. She's 129. Wonderful, especially considering she woke up at 268 this morning. She gets her 15g snack and off she goes. I keep a very watchful eye, for reasons you will read about tomorrow. I start getting ready to leave around 11:30. I wanted to check her to make sure the NPH hasn't peaked. I clean her finger, shunk (thanks Karen!), 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... aaaaaand 377. WHAT THE CRAP??? I look at the meter. Shake it. Turn it upside down even. And still the 377 mocks me. "There's no way" I tell myself, "did I miss a low?" One of the many voices in my head (let's call him Harold) tells me to check her again. But I'm in a hurry to leave, so I don't. During the 5 minute drive home, I pass a McDonald's. Their fries are calling to me, so I make a quick detour (yes, yes... I know. Leave me alone, I'm pregnant). As soon as I get the bag, Elise starts whining, "fries? Fries? Hungry!" She's actually starting to have a meltdown, so I quickly drive home. When I get there, one of the many other voices (let's call him Lenny) tells me I should really re-check her. This time I listen (Lenny has more pull than Harold). I clean her finger, shunk. 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... aaaaaand 57! WHAT THE CRAP??? How does she drop 320 in less than 30 minutes? Wha' happened? Why didn't I listen to Harold? Her finger was clean... what did I do wrong? As you can probably tell, this is the first time I've ever experienced something like this. And the worst thing of all, I ignored my daughter's pleas for food because I thought her BG was high. UGH... Worst. Mom. Ever. The only thing I could have done worse, is gone by that 377 and given her a correction. That would have been most excellent (please read that last sentence with a large helping of sarcasm). I will never ignore Harold or Lenny again.

Food glorious Food

Thursday - To carb or not to carb

One thing I vowed to myself when Elise was diagnosed, was that she would be allowed to eat what we eat, and there would be no "forbidden foods".

Having said that, I do know that there are some foods that Elise should avoid. But we tend to eat healthy, natural, non-processed foods; so most of what we eats fit into her "diet".

There are some foods that we try not to eat anymore (as a family) because of what they do to Elise's BG; pizza, mac & cheese, ice cream... anything that is high in fat and will cause lows and then horrible, horrible highs later on.

I know there are many people who believe in the low/no-carb diet, but bread and pasta remain some of Elise's favourite foods. With a lot of trial and error, we have learned how these foods will affect her BG, although thankfully, pasta does not seem to have any adverse affects.

Some of Elise's Favourite Meals:
Granola with fresh strawberries, plus toast (whole wheat) and almond butter. Lately I've been putting cinnamon on her toast instead and she LOVES it.

Grilled cheese sandwich (ugh), yogurt or a homemade smoothie w/yogurt and some fruit (usually cantaloupe).

I make this pepper and sausage pasta dish that Elise LOVES. She would eat it every night if I would make it for her. I serve it with garlic toast, and she also drinks milk (actually it's a 70% white milk/30% chocolate milk mix... she's not a fan of plain milk). For dessert it's usually some sort of fruit.

Bread with almond butter
Bagel with cream cheese
Goldfish crackers
yogurt (homemade or Yobaby)

Elise is also really good about eating veggies; broccoli, squash, carrots, celery, asparagus, peppers... I am so thankful that she's pretty easy-going when it comes to food.

I haven't been good about it lately, but I have posted recipes on my blog complete with carb counts, in the past. When Elise was first diagnosed, I was practically pulling my hair out trying to figure out what to feed her. This post has been the kick in the pants I needed to start posting those recipes again!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

When a good bra just won't cut it.

Wednesday - Who is your biggest supporter?

And when I'm talking about bras, of course I'm using another word for support.

While my husband is amazing, I wouldn't consider him my greatest supporter... because he is 100% as involved with Elise's care as I am. He is the best partner-in-crime at battling this disease I could ever ask for.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again; I would climb to the highest speedbump in north Texas (there aren't any mountains or even hills around here) to proclaim the on-line D community as THE best support system I could ever ask for. Especially the D-Mom and Dads. Without them, I would be curled up into a ball; a quivering mass of jelly and most likely certifiable by now.

If I ever have a question; they are there. A rant; they are all ears. They cheer on our triumphs and cry with us when we despair. Best of all, they get it. I love these people like family, and most of them I've never even met in real life.

My only complaint is that they are scattered all over North America.

People, we need to start work on that commune!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This low is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S

Tuesday - treating a low

As the title of this post suggests, bananas are our favourite way to treat a low. Because Elise was diagnosed so young, she had never had juice before, and I was leery of introducing it to her.

Our problem with finding something to treat a low with was two-fold; it had to be something she would eat, and it had to be something she could eat. You see, Elise didn't get her first tooth until she was 16 months old.

When I did some investigating, I found that bananas have one of the highest sugar content when it comes to fruit, so I thought it would be a good food to use to treat a low.

Bananas worked for us for many reasons. When Elise was smaller, we only had to use a small carb amount to get her BG up. We found that 5g would raise her BG by over 100. The few times we tried juice, she'd get such a small amount, and then scream for more. The banana seemed to satisfy her better, and took a bit longer to eat.

Plus, Elise had never said no to a banana... it remains her go-to food, even today.

And yes, we even use it at night!
There is something so (bitter) sweet watching your baby eat a banana at 2:00 am while fast asleep.

Since bananas aren't the easiest thing to bring with me when we're out, I also carry several packages of Annie's Organic Fruit Bunnies. They have 18g of carbs per package, and Elise LOVES them.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sometimes it feels like Groundhog Day

Monday - a day in the life

You know that movie with Bill Murry, where he wakes up, and everyday is the same?

That's sort of how it feels when you have a toddler with D. The numbers may differ every day - there are highs and there are lows. But the basic ebb and flow to your day is pretty much the same. Every. Single. Day.

After one particularly bad day, someone once said to me, "well at least tomorrow is another day. You can start all over". And since I was attending my very own pity party, I wanted to snap back,

"But it's not a new day. You don't get it. I have to get up and do it all again tomorrow. It never stops. It never ends. Every day, the same crap."

Thank goodness I don't throw those parties often.

A day with Elise starts around 7:30 am. I can hear her sweet voice calling me over the monitor, "Momma, I wake up!" That is, if her number is okay. If she's low, I'll hear crying or moaning. So meters in hand (sugar and ketone, because you never know if you'll need both), I go in and check her.

Because Elise is on NPH, she has breakfast around 8:30 every day. I like to give her her shot about 20 minutes before she eats (depending on her number, of course) to avoid a mid-morning spike. Elise usually helps me prepare the syringe with both the diluted Humalog and NPH. Then she picks which colour M&M she wants and it's shot time.

While Elise will eat anything I give her, it takes a lot of coaxing sometimes, and she still likes to be fed. Or wants me to sit with her while she eats, which can be frustrating because I'm trying to get things done. I chalk it up to the fact that she was dx at 12 months, so we've almost ALWAYS had to hover over her to make sure she's eating.

If it's an activity day (gymnastics, music class etc.), I grab her pre-packed backpack with all emergency supplies, throw in her meters and pre-measured snack, and we're off. If we're going to be out for lunch, I also pack her cooler bag with some food and her insulin. Most other days, I stay at home until snack time is over.

10:30 - BG check and 15g snack.

Due to the NPH, she needs to eat her lunch around noon (no lunch time shot - YAY!). I usually check her at about 11:40, because sometimes it peaks early. Elise loves to help me prepare her meals, and even though it can be frustrating and S-L-O-W, I let her. It is adorable (and sad), how she knows to grab the scale and weigh her food.

After lunch I'll either run errands with her, or we'll go to the park or for a walk. Of course, anytime I'm out with her, I carry my Bag-O'-Stuff. I swear I feel like a pack mule.

Around 1:45, I check her BG and have to figure out how much of a snack to give her. She naps from around 2:30 - 4:30, and ALWAYS drops during her nap. But how much I give her depends on what her BG is:

80 - 110, she gets 15 - 20g
110 - 160, she gets 15g
160 - 200, she gets 10g
200 - 270, she gets 5g

It has taken many, many months of figuring out the above "formula", but it works. And yes, she gets carbs even if she's almost 300. Because there have been a number of times I put her down at 275 or so, only to have her wake p in the 60s, two hours later. Her BG just takes a nose dive in the afternoons for some reason.

Dinner time at our house is at 5:15 or so, and it's not because we're in our 70s. Unless we want Elise to go to bed at 11:00 pm every night, we have to eat early, so there is enough space between her dinner time shot and bed time shot. Thankfully, my husband gets home from work at 5:00, so he can help me out. In the beginning, I was going insane trying to check Elise's BG, give her her shot, make her dinner, feed her, and make our dinner all by myself. Now that she's old enough to eat what we do, it's a little better, but I love the extra help!

After dinner we try to do something fun as a family, go to the park, a walk... or we finish off the errands I didn't get to during the day. Then at 8:00 it's bath time (some nights), then shot of her bed time NPH and a 15g snack. Or if her BG is on the low side, we do snack first, then shot.

By 9:00 she's usually tucked into bed after her nightly allotment of stories (one in english and one in portuguese). We check her around midnight, and then again at 3:00 am.

The hardest part for me is that I feel like my brain never gets to rest. Upon wake up, I'm wondering about her number and thinking about breakfast. By the end of breakfast, my mind is on her snack. After snack, I begin to ponder lunch... you get the idea.

I'm always thinking about 10 steps ahead, and it's exhausting.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Diabetes Week

I've never taken part in anything like this, but when I saw it on Lora's blog, I decided to give it a whirl.

To get all the nitty-gritty on what Diabetes Week is about, head on over to Karen's Bitter-Sweet Diabetes Blog and leave her a comment if you want to take part.

I'm looking forward to reading what everyone has to say on the various topics!

See ya tomorrow!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Three cheers for sugar-free antibiotics!

We are now almost on day 3 of using the sugar-free Amoxicillin, and I have to report that I am very pleased! We did see a bit of a spike on the first day of using it, but we made some adjustments and only have to give her one unit extra of diluted Humalog, as opposed to the 3 extra units with the full sugar stuff.

And the pharmacy we got it at is wonderful... before they filled it, they saw the special order for sugar-free and called to ask if we wanted to do the flavouring or not, and if we did, did we want to add a sweetener. They said that without it, the antibiotic would taste pretty bad and they were worried she wouldn't take it. Thankfully, they offered stevia (which is a natural sweetener).

Then, after my husband brought it home, I had to call to ask some questions about the dosing instructions. The pharmacist double-checked everything, and even asked me questions about Elise's age and weight to make sure she was getting the right dose.

What a far cry from Dr. Surly (if you don't know who Dr. Surly is, I posted about him on my other blog... click on his name to read it).

And I'm also happy to report that Elise has been fever-free for 24 hours and seems to be feeling better. So yay for sugar-free antibiotics!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The return of strep throat

You know what is just a phenomenal way to start off your morning an hour earlier than usual?

A crying child who throws up, has a fever, and is complaining of a tummy ache.

A quick check of her BG and ketones shows she's at 118, and 0.2. By breakfast, she was down to 99, so I held off on her insulin until after breakfast. Thankfully, she eats everything and it stays down.

Back to the doc we go, and of course it's Thursday... which is the pedi's day off. So we had to see a whole new doc and set of nurses. I am so proud to say that Elise did so well at her appointment. She had a throat swab, and they did an ear wash because of impacted wax (they wanted to rule out an ear infection), and she never complained, cried, or flinched. The nurse said that Elise was one of the best patients she's ever dealt with and wish they could all be like her (awwwww, proud Momma moment!).

Diagnosis? Strep throat. Again. Blah.

This time we opted for the sugar-free Amoxicillin (tried to convince the doc to go for another antibiotic, but she said that Amoxicillin is the best for strep), so hopefully we won't see such crazy numbers. Even if we do, we have an inkling on how to deal with them.

I've heard from at least three other Moms in the D-Blog world whose kiddos are dealing with illness too. Praying that everybody feels much better soon!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Having her cake and eating it too

Pictured to the right is THE best cake in the world. We get it for every birthday, nay... every celebration worth celebrating. It comes from a bakery which is about 40 minutes from our house and it is so worth the drive.

The problem with the best cake in the world is that it is unlike any cake you've ever had. It is made up of two types of layers. One is meringue-like (but not entirely... it's like a really crispy meringue. And that doesn't even describe it well), and the other is a whipped cream/ice cream hybrid. It is then covered in this whipped cream/ice cream hybrid, which in turn, it covered in chocolate shavings.

All that to say, guessing the carbs in this thing is like trying to guess how many stars are in the sky. Or how many ellipsis Meri has used on her blog. At best, it's a total crap shoot. I once asked if the bakery had any nutritional info on this cake and the lady gave me her best wise-ass smirk.

Because of how the timing worked out on Fred's birthday, we were going to give Elise some cake as part of her bed time snack. Fred and I put our heads together and came up with our best WAG (wild ass guess) at a carb factor. We chose .70. No, I don't know how we arrived at that number.

About 2 hours later, her BG was in the high 300s. Oops. But four hours later, she was back down in the mid 100s with no correction, and she woke up at 89. Nice.

The next two times she ate it, we used the same carb factor, and tweaked the amount of other carbs she ate, as well as giving her a bit of extra insulin. By the third time she had the cake, her BG was in the low 100s about 2 1/2 hours after eating it. Success!

I hate when we run across foods that are hard to figure out carbs for, but we have decided it won't stop us from letting Elise enjoy it.

Letting your child have cake... it's such a small thing to other people, but for us, it's a triumph.

And I love the smile it brought to her face.

***note: the above picture is not an actual picture of said smile (nor is it really a smile), but a rather adorable picture (in this mother's opinion), that I wanted to share. I'm shameless... I know.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Things I learned about Diabetes this month... April edition

Wow... look at me! Getting this post done on the first day of the month instead of halfway through. This surely is a Dear Diary moment...

-When you are having a run of great numbers, you (meaning I), will freak out when one little BG number comes back weird. You (I) will then obsess over it, wondering where you went wrong, and what you could have done to avoid said weird number. Three days later you (I) will still not have let it go, and find yourself (myself) mumbling out loud in public, earning all sorts of looks from people. By about day four you (I) will have forgotten all about it when something newer and weirder happens.

-If you get up to do a night check and you have to pee, make sure you pee first, then check. Because something will always happen, and you won't be able to make it to the toilet for another 20 minutes. Pee first, then check. Especially if you're pregnant.

-The D monster will always strike when your back-up (spouse) is out of town. You will get sick, your child will get sick, and diabetes will rear it's U-G-L-Y head. You will start to fantasize about getting hit by a car, just so you can can go to the hospital and get some rest. And really good drugs.

-When testing your child at night (and you have been dealing with a terrible cough throughout your illness), you will cough just at the very moment you are closest to their ear. Stifling the cough will only make you cough even more, and you will run from their room in what would be a hilarious fashion in any other situation, without even completing the check.