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Monday, June 28, 2010

D is for Diabetes, but also for...

Diapers! As in, "it potty training time"! Now, I've never potty trained a child without D, so I have nothing to compare it to, but it's kinda difficult on a whole 'nutha level.

Elise has actually done fantastic when it comes to going pee on the toilet. She actually can do everything by herself, including pulling her underwear and pants down, getting up on the toilet, wiping herself, getting back down, and washing her hands. She's in underwear full-time, except for at nap time and night, and the first thing she asks for when she gets up in the morning is to put on her underwear. My kid is exceptional at this pee-pee stuff.

Except when her BG is high.

And when this becomes a problem is when we're out in public. Like the other night, Fred and I were out with Elise, shopping for a new sofa. On a side note, have you ever done this while pregnant? Don't. Because you will be so tired from dragging your booty around showrooms the size of football stadiums, that you will be tempted to buy the first thing you set said booty down onto. No matter how ugly and floral the pattern may be.

Anyway, as Elise careened around the store, flinging herself onto various furniture types, I kept praying that her tiny, inexperienced bladder wouldn't let loose on anything that was for sale. Or if she did, she choose leather, so we could just wipe it off.

On the other hand, it would have been a fantastic way to test that pricey stain-guard every salesperson kept trying to sell us on.

The reason I was so nervous is that her BG was in the mid 300s due to a weird post-dinner spike.

Then, a few days ago, we were at our local rec center's open gym time. It is so wonderful... a huge, air-conditioned gym with bunches of free-range children mucking about while the Moms and Dads can just sit and relax. They have tricycles, gym mats, giant padded blocks to build forts with... and (gulp) a bounce house. Which Elise spent most of her time in.

I kept a very watchful eye on the house, waiting to see a mass exodus of children spilling out from the opening; screaming that someone had pee-peed in the bounce house and that someone happened to be my poor, little girl who was running around with a BG in the mid-200s.

Thankfully, in both instances, nothing happened. But it still worries me. I don't want Elise to suffer any embarrassment or shame for something she can't really help. She gets upset at herself when it happens at home, and I'm very careful to act like it's okay. But other people don't understand, because they don't know.

So for the next little while, people will probably hear me ask my child is she needs to use the toilet about every 10 minutes or so, and think I'm a little nuts because of it.

But I don't mind. Just another thing on the very loooooong list of what makes D such a pain.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

An update to my quandary

Fred and I have decided not to participate in the trial. Although we really, really, REALLY want to, it's just not the right time for us to sign up for something so intensive.

I spoke with the CDE in charge, and just getting to the part where we would be randomized (meaning we find out which insulin we'd be on), it quite a process; including 3 3-hour office visits where they would take history, draw blood and do some other tests. It just doesn't make sense to go through all that only to back out if we get in the Lantus group.

And as far as not wanting to try Lantus, well, Fred, Elise's endo and I are sort of all in agreement on this one... if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Why would we switch from an insulin that is (for now) working for us, and only having to give three shots per day; to an insulin we are totally unfamiliar with and Elise having to endure at least 4, possibly more shots per day?


All we really want to do is what's best for Elise. And I think sticking with what we're doing is what's best. And while I am very sad we don't get to be a part of the study (the total nerd in me was really looking forward to it), I feel confident we've made the right decision for us.

Now my new mission is to find out if our insurance will cover a CGM. I spent almost 3 hours (added up, over the day, not at one time) on the phone with them yesterday; getting transferred from person to person, being put on hold etc., and STILL don't have an answer. FRUSTRATING!

Those of you with little ones that are using a CGM, how did you work around the fact that they're not approved for kids under a certain age?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A quandary and an update

First I just wanted to thank everyone who responded with their thoughts on my last post. I think I was having another one of my "moments" because we have been so lucky in the past with being able to figure out a BG issue within a day or so. Those who mentioned a growth spurt; I think you're right. Today, Elise has been out of her mind with hunger.

Last night went better, at her 11:00 pm check (when she's usually in the 70s), she was in the low 200s. And she woke up at 113... nice! Besides giving her more carbs at bedtime, we also fed her about 45 minutes before her shot, and gave her the shot about 30 minutes later than usual. Maybe this is the formula we're looking for!

Now, onto the reason for my post. At our endo appointment on Friday, Elise's doctor mentioned a study that they had going on. They're researching the use of CGMs and Lantus for toddlers (I believe they are studying them as two speparate issues). We were invited to take part and given the paperwork. Someone is supposed to call us with more info this week, but we're still very undecided on if we are going to take part.

Here are the perks:
  • the use of a FREE CGM for 6 months.
  • free insulin (me likey the free).
  • being able to help out with diabetes research.

The downsides:
  • There are two study groups... those using Lantus, and those using NPH. You cannot chose which group you're in. If we were randomly selected to be in the Lantus group, I think we would have to back out of the study (I don't want to rock the boat right now by changing to a new insulin).
  • I'm wondering if it might be a bit too much to take on right now, seeing how I'm seven months pregnant, and we would have to take Elise to special appointments for the study.
So we'll see... we do have the option of signing up and then backing out if we wind up in the Lantus group. Right now we're just waiting to be contacted.

Does anyone who is more experienced at this have some suggestions for what questions we should be asking?

Monday, June 21, 2010

I take it all back... we suck.

Calling on all my D-Peeps for some help here. Fred and I are stumped beyond belief at a trend of numbers Elise has been having lately. I blame it on my proclamation that we are "freaking rock stars".

Anyway... for the last three days, when we check Elise for her pre-bedtime snack, she's in the mid-300s. We give her a snack and her bedtime NPH, and usually somewhere between 9:30 and 11:00, she falls low. We give her some carbs and she rebounds into the 300s during the night, waking up in the mid-200s. The timeline looks like this:

5:00 pm - shot + dinner. Usual carb ratio.
7:30 pm - bedtime check. In the 300s.
Between 8:00 - 9:00 pm - bedtime snack (15g) and NPH.
Between 9:30 - 11:00 pm - Elise's BG is i
n the 70s. We give her carbs.
1:30 am - BG in the 300s.

Is it possible that her fast-acting insulin she gets at dinner (diluted Humalog) is peaking 4 - 5 hours after she gets her shot?

Is it the combination of her DH and NPH making her go low (are we giving the two shots too close together, which is approx 3 1/2 hours apart)?

Is the NPH now peaking earlier than it ever has?

Keep in mind, we are doing EVERYTHING the exact same as we have before. Same schedule, same carb ratios, same snack. I just don't get it. The weirder thing is the numbers are pretty much IDENTICAL for the past three nights (for example, last night at 7:30 she was 331 and tonight at 7:30 she was 331... WEIRD).

As far as I've been told, Humalog starts to work in about 20 minutes, peaks around 2 hours, and is gone by hour 4. NPH (in most people, we've found differently with Elise), starts to work in 1 -3 hours, peaks by hours 4 - 9, and is gone in 14 - 20 hours.

So... anybody have any pearls of wisdom for us? We're going to try giving her a few more carbs for her bedtime snack to see what that does to her BG at around the 10:30 mark. Otherwise we're out of ideas.

I never should have opened my big "rock star" mouth.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What an Amazing Father looks Like

I wrote this last year for Father's Day, and as hard as I try, I just can't say it any better than I have here.


Dear Freddie,

Elise is one lucky and blessed little girl. I know it, one day when she's a bit older; she will know it, and I hope that you know it too.

I love that, from day one, you jumped into fatherhood with both feet. You had never changed a diaper or fed a baby a bottle before, but it didn't matter. You make being a father look natural and easy.

I love that you love to spend time with her, making memories that will stay with her the rest of her life. Your time with her will assure her of how loved she is, and she will grow up knowing what a good man is.

I love that when she is scared or upset, she calls your name too. She knows her Poppa is a great source of comfort, and she can rest just as easy in your arms or mine.

I love that she gets her sweet and out-going personality from you. When I see her going up to kids she doesn't know in a store or playground and chatting with them; there is no doubt that she's your daughter. She loves to be around other people and thrives in those situations.

I love how excited she gets when the front door opening announces that you are home from work for the day. I think every father should be greeted by little shrieks of joy at the end of a long work day.

I love that you find fun in things that most people would view as a chore. You have made bath time and getting ready for bed one of her favourite times of the day. I enjoy listening to the songs you sing and the little rituals you do that are just yours and hers.

I love listening to you speak to her in Portuguese. I think it's wonderful how passionate you are that she learns that part of her heritage. I also love to hear her speak Portuguese too and am blown away at how well she's doing.

I love the man that you are, the husband that you are and the father you have become. I mean it when I say that I couldn't be raising such an amazing little girl without you.

Love,
Momma and the Beans

Friday, June 18, 2010

I just about peed my pants... and it's not because I'm pregnant

The number is in and it's good. No, it's great. Fred and I are freaking rock stars. Elise's A1C was 6.6. Her endo walked into the room and asked if we were ready to pass out. We didn't faint, but I teared up. Hearing a number like that (after TWO rounds of strep throat and antibiotics) is so worth all the crap we go through.

It's worth every sleepless night.

It's worth every carb we weigh.

It's worth every calculation.

It's worth every moment that we sit and pour over her numbers, trying to figure out how we can do better.

Elise's doc did go over our numbers to make sure that the low A1C wasn't a result of too many low BGs, and was pleased with what she saw.

6.6... oh my. I am so in love with that number that I am going to run off to Vegas and marry it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A1C for effort

Tomorrow is Elise's quarterly endo appointment, and I have no idea what to expect, report card-wise. We've had some great numbers over the last three months, but we've had some ugly highs in the past three or so weeks. Lately, Elise has been swinging all over the place.

Over the past two weeks, we've had to decrease her bedtime insulin twice. Now she's getting a whole unit less than before. And it looks like we need to decrease it again. She can go from the mid 300s at bedtime (8:30), to 88 by 1:00 am, after getting only 2.5 units of NPH* and her uncovered snack of 15g. Shouldn't her insulin needs be increasing because she's growing? Bah, I just don't get it.

Thankfully, we can run all this by her endo tomorrow. Fred and I feel pretty confident in handling any changes by ourselves, but it is nice to have the doctor's advice too.

And hopefully, tomorrow's A1C will reflect all the hard work we've put into Elise's care over the last few months.

*It just occurred to me that I write about Elise being on NPH, but not everybody knows what it is:
NPH is an intermediate-acting insulin with a slower onset of action and a longer duration of activity. Sometimes I refer to it as N. In Elise, it usually peaks at around 3 hours, has a second, smaller peak at about 7 hours, and is usually out of her system by 9 hours. Most people hate it, but it works for us. It also means less shots for Elise. If I do use a term you're unfamiliar with, I wrote a post awhile ago called "What Does it all mean, Anyway?" You can find explanations there.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

27 Weeks


Someone wrote a comment the other day, asking when I was going to post an updated preggo picture of myself. Not wanting to ever deny anyone the privilege of seeing my ever-expanding belly, here you go.

You're welcome.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Panic

You'll have to excuse me... I'm having a bit of a moment right now.

As in, I'm freaking out. With a capital FREAKING and a capital OUT.

It dawned on me today that my due date is in exactly 3 months, although the actual day will be a lot sooner because of the fact I have to have a scheduled c-section.

And were are so not ready.

We are not ready in the usual ways; we still need a tonne of various baby accoutrements, there are rooms to rearrange, logistics to figure out... a name for the baby. But that's not what has me in the midst of a panic attack.

What really is scaring me is that we have no plan dealing with what to do with Elise when it's time for this little guys arrival.

The original plan was for my Mom to come and help out. That looks like it might not happen, and unfortunately there is no plan B.

Fred's Mom has offered, and I love her to death, but she has never stayed with us for more than a few days. She has never tested a BG, counted a carb, checked for ketones, or given a shot. It just won't work to have her come is a few days early and receive a crash course on diabetes. It's not fair to her, or to Elise.

Laura and Jessica have offered to help, and again... I love those girls, but they have their own burdens to bear. Plus, they both live about 30 to 45 minutes away from the hospital, and that's just too far away for my peace of mind.

Do I sound like I'm being high maintenance? I've struggled with that, but I think it all boils down to this; Elise has never been away from me for more than about 4 hours. And the first time we're going to be doing this is at a time when I'm going through something very stressful (surgery, birthing a baby etc.). I don't think I need an added stress at that point.

I think what kicked all this panic off was the rough night we had on Friday. It actually started when she woke up from her nap at 42. From there she was 70 at bedtime, and through the night we struggled to keep her above 60. We checked her almost every hour, and no matter how many extra carbs we gave her, she kept falling low. It was a nightmare, and who can handle that but the ones who have been dealing with it for almost two years now?

I hate this disease and how it rules our lives. How I can't even look forward in anticipation to the birth of my son, instead fearing and dreading the day because of how diabetes may interfere.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

She did it!

40 shots (she gets 3 shots/day) without making a fuss. Her prize???


A brand new princess bike (still wondering how MY daughter likes princesses)


Hopped on it like she's been riding a bike all her life


So proud of herself


Watch me go!


C'mon Seven, let's get outta here!

The first time she rode her bike, we checked her BG right before. She was 71. So we tried to get her to eat some banana before she went for her ride. The problem was, she had already gotten on the bike and was trying to pedal away. Have you ever tried to feed your child food while they're riding their bike? Not easy, my friends... not easy.

Thankfully, she stopped long enough to get some carbs into her, and then she was gone again.

Crazy kid.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

When is water not really water?

When I go to a restaurant and they have a self-serve pop station, I always let the water run for a good 5 seconds before I fill up Elise's cup. I actually appreciate it a lot more when they have a stand-alone water faucet.

But the other day, Fred and I were out with Elise when she said she was thirsty. We realized we had both forgotten to bring her water, so since we were in the car, we elected to get her some water from a drive-thru.

We got her a small water and she began to drink. The girl really must have been thirsty because she drank over half of it and then said, "it tastes like juice!"

Fred and I looked at each other in horror and I grabbed the cup to take a sip. Water... but with a suspiciously orange-y aftertaste. I opened to cup and saw the water had a very slight orange tint to it. We decided that it shouldn't have been enough to do anything drastic to Elise's BG.

We checked her BG a few minutes later and found it was 93. Since it was bedtime, we headed home and proceeded to give her her bedtime snack.

Elise was having trouble settling down and falling asleep, which is usually a sure sign we're having a BG problem. We checked her (about 2 hours post-snack), and she was 250. With a bedtime BG of 93, she's usually at about 150 by 2 hours post-snack.

To make a long story short, we had a horrible night last night, watching her BG rise with each check. We kept hoping her bedtime insulin would take effect, but it never seemed to help. So at 4:00 am, with a BG of 440 and .6 ketones, we gave her a correction. She woke up at a nice 88 this morning and has been between 85 and 129 all day so far.

Do I know with absolute certainty that the "water" had everything to do with this? No. But I would say I'm about 95% sure:

-Elise's overnight numbers have been pretty good. Last week we lowered her bedtime NPH by 1/2 a unit, and we were debating on lowering it again after a few nights of having to give her a few extra carbs during the night to keep her from falling to low.

-She's not sick... no ketones today, and she's back to her normal, happy self, with great BG numbers.

-She had the same snack she has every night. We gave her a few grams of carbs (7) more, only because of the previously mentioned lows that had been happening. And 7g of carbs will raise her by about 50, so I don't think that was responsible for the huge BG jump.

Why do I bore you with this story? Because although I don't know for sure that the water was the culprit, you can bet that I'll never take the chance again. I don't know why they run the water line through the same dispenser that all those sugary drinks come out of, but don't you think it would be a grand idea for ALL restaurants to have a stand-alone water faucet?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Okay, so I'm a nerd

I am now 26 weeks pregnant and today was the oh-so-lovely (she said, sarcastically) 1 hour Gestational Diabetes test. Is there a better way to start your morning off by drinking a ginormous bottle of orange goo? And fizzy orange goo, at that. Bleah.

Anyway, about 30 minutes after I drank said goo, it was time for Elise's snack time BG check. Elise is pretty much rocking the checks by herself lately, so I let her handle it. Then it hit me... I could also check MY BG. So I asked Elise if she wanted to check my BG too, and of course she said yes!

So about 35 minutes post-goo, I came in at 157 (they want you below 140). And visions of restricted diet and finger pokes started dancing in my head. But I knew I had almost another 30 minutes for my pancreas to do its thing, so I pushed those thoughts aside.

Elise, by the way, was 140 (exact same number as at wake up... cool!). Darn, she beat me.

After the hour was up and they did the blood draw, Elise and I went to the car. And because I am such a nerd, I decided to do another check. The verdict? 129. Whew.


And yes, I realize I am a nerd for checking my BG and not waiting for the "official" results... but what can I say, you gotta take the perks of having a T1 kid where you can get them.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Why I love Chick-fil-a

One of the worst things about returning from an awesomely loooong vacation, besides the rather startling jolt back to reality and all the laundry that comes with it, is the fact that pretty much all the food you had left in your fridge has now expired. Meaning you have pretty much nothing to make a meal with.

So that is how it came to be that Fred, Elise and I had lunch at Chick-fil-a today. We sat down and I got out the scale while Fred went to get our food. One of the women (Tracy) that works there came over to our table to talk to us.

"So good to see you guys again (yeah, we go there quite a bit). And I just wanted to say how amazed I am at the job you do with your daughter. " She pointed at the scale and continued,"I admire the work you put into taking care of her and I know it can't be easy. I just wanted to tell you what an awesome job you are doing as her Mom."

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I stammered out a few thank yous and I know for a fact I had gone as red as a tomato. I had talked to this lady awhile ago about Elise having D (I think one time she asked us about the scale), and I guess she had taken notice of us every time we were in there.

I cannot tell you the joy it brought to me to hear those words, especially at a time I was feeling a little worn out from D following us on our vacation and giving us a bit of a rough time. Sometimes I wonder if it is worth all the stress and strain. But those words of encouragement was the nourishment that my soul needed.

As I told Fred the story, I started to cry... I guess it was a bit of a delayed reaction. After our meal, Fred went and thanked her, and then spoke to the owner as well. I don't know if she realizes how much of an impact her words had on me, but it was also a good lesson for me on the effect of encouragement. It reminds me of this story:

A number of frogs were travelling through the woods. Two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all of their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time. ~ Author unknown.

The book of Proverbs says, "There is death and life in the power of the tongue". Tracy's encouraging words helped to lift me up and made my day (heck, my MONTH!). Along the same lines, destructive words can cause deep wounds; and may even destroy someone's desire to continue trying.

There is enormous power in words. And I am thankful for all the kind ones I receive from my D (and in this case, non-D) peeps.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

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

-I may have said this before, but I am putting an end to ice cream. Every once in awhile we forget how much it messes with Elise's BG, and we try it again, only to have crazy high blood sugars 3 - 4 hours later. So from now on our motto will be: Ice cream... just say no.

-Travel with a toddler with D is doable, but very, very tough. This is our third trip now, and our longest one by far. Being away from my comfort zone is hard. Not having access to our "base foods" is hard. Trying to time everything and still have time for fun is hard. But the memories we are making as a family are so, so worth it.

-Although we have family and friends in the area, we opted to stay in our own place and ended up renting a condo in the downtown area. Having our own kitchen was great. We ate breakfast in every morning, and it meant we could prepare some meals and snacks for the day to take with us. I think the condo even ended up being cheaper than a hotel. From now on, we will always get a place where we have access to a kitchen.

-Travelling will cause you to blow through test strips. I don't remember this as much with our other trips, but this one we have been much more active (lots of walking, hiking, playing), been completely off schedule, and eaten foods that Elise is unaccustomed to and therefore we have no idea what it will do to her BG. The cool thing is that I found out Elise likes Hot and Sour Soup (a yummy Chinese soup), and Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli). Two of my favourites too! Anyway, we've experienced LOTS of semi-lows (70s), and had to give LOTS of extra carbs to keep up. That leads to a LOT of extra testing.

-Time zones wreak havoc when it comes to trying to stay on schedule. Our first day in Vancouver, we had to eat dinner at 3:00 pm. My brain was so fried trying to figure out just what time it was.

-Your child doesn't always need the "perfect snack" of complex carb + protein. Sometimes sorbet will do. I've always tried to make Elise's meals and snacks a good balance of the nutrition and types of carbs that she needs. Sometimes, especially when you're away from home, it just doesn't work. And that's okay.

-Travelling with D makes you need a vacation from D. Of course, that just will never happen, but a gal can dream, right?

Friday, June 4, 2010

I Did it! (all by myself)

This post is about a year and a half old. Re-reading it made me smile and realize just how far I've come.

Someone who just happened across this blog, and didn't know the whole story, would probably read this post and think, "man, this lady gets excited over the dumbest things." But you know what? I just don't care.


Because I took Elise to eat at Chick-fil-a, all by myself without Fred there to help. I know, how intoxicating, right? This was big for a couple of reasons:

  1. I was going out with a bunch of Moms and their kids. It's really hard to concentrate on talking to people when you have to keep a watchful eye on your daughter to make sure she eats everything on her plate. Plus I was a little nervous about checking her sugar and the potential of giving her a shot in front of all those other people. I especially didn't want to scare any of the kids. As it turns out, her BG was a bit high, but not so much that I needed to give her extra insulin.

  2. She got to eat Chick-fil-a too! Of course I looked up the nutritional info before I went and determined what she could eat (btw, Chick-fil-a's website is wonderful for this). I semi-cheated and brought her some stuff from home, but she seemed to enjoy those Chick-fil-a nuggets!

  3. Although she's 16 months old, I have never taken Elise to a restaurant by myself. I mean, I did when she was little, but not lately, and especially not since her dx. The logistics always overwhelmed me... got to make sure I get there in time (Elise needs to eat at very specific times), check her BG, maybe give her a shot, get the food, make sure she eats everything while trying to eat some of my own food. When I write it out, it doesn't sound that bad, but when I think about it, I get tired.

I almost didn't go (which is typical of me... not trying because I'm scared I'll fail), but I did it, and it's amazing how such a small thing can boost one's confidence.

So D, I politely request that you stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Taking the stroller outside

This is a cross-post/re-post... two for the price of one! I originally posted it on my other blog about a year ago, during a particularly hard time. Since it has a bit to do with diabetes, I thought I'd use it as a re-post in my absence.

I've said it before, in this post, that if I were a super hero my name would probably be something like Miss Meticulous. As much as I would like to think of myself as a zany, crazy, spur-of-the-moment type of gal, deep down I know I am just kidding myself.

Lately I've been noticing that the overly anal-retentive side of my personality is creeping up on me, and I'm afraid it's going to take over like a rising tide. If you've ever lived near the ocean then you know what it's like to be playing out on dry sand, and the next thing you know you're knee deep in water and your beach blanket looks very, very far away.

I relish order and, for lack of a better word, cleanliness to my life. And although this is an okay thing in small doses, I don't want it to stop me from living my life.

Elise has this baby doll stroller and she loves to toddle around the house with it. She puts her doll in it and strolls around; clucking her tongue and telling baby, "it s'okay, be-be, it s'okay". Apparently, her baby is suffering from some sort of angst... all the time. The other day she had the idea that it would be fun to take it on our walk with us. You know, outside.

I kneeled down and told her that no, the stroller needs to stay in the house. If we take it outside, the wheels will get dirty, and then track the dirt inside. And I'm the one that will most likely end up carrying it home (I added silently in my brain). As she started protesting violently, as only Elise knows how, I thought about how ludicrous my reasoning was.

But this line of thought is in lock-step with how I've been living my life lately. I refrain from doing things just because it's messy, or hard. The long and the short of it is; it's just easier to keep the stroller at home. If you've been reading for awhile, then you know that my daughter, now 22 months old, was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 12 months. And it has made life hard. And messy. And it has made me afraid.

My day-to-day routine is peppered with "what-ifs". I hate to stray to far away from the house lest something happen with Elise's diabetes. Plus I'm starting to feel like a bloody pack mule with all the stuff I need to carry around for her. And forget travelling. Trying to go through security with all Elise's supplies and food, not to mention what if something happens when we're in the air? Forget it. It's too messy and it's too hard.

But it's dawning on me that I'm not really living my life, I'm hiding from it. Life is messy, it's dirty, and man-oh-man is it hard. But isn't it during those times when you have the most fun?

I can remember when I was 15 or so, I was at my soccer practice one night when the sky opened up and it started to pour. Some of the more adventurous ones on my team thought that was a grand time to practise slide-tackling. In the mud.

I stood on the sidelines and said, "no thank you, I'd rather not have to scoop mud pies out of my shorts" (not those kind of mud pies you dirty, dirty people). But as I watched them, I saw the fun that they were having, I realized that I was missing out, so I took a flying leap into the biggest mud puddle I could find. And yeah I was dirty, but I had a load of chuckles with my team mates that night.

It's a stroller, and what else is it meant for if not for my little girl to take it on a walk around the neighbourhood? So what if the wheels get dirty? It's not like I'm trying to keep it in pristine condition for re-sale on EBay or something. The stroller, like life, is meant to be taken outside and used. And if I end up carrying it, and Elise, and her baby doll for a quarter of a mile; well, so be it. I could use the exercise.

I think what I'm trying to say is that for the past year I've been living my life in a box. Or a hole. Or behind a curtain. Or locked up in a tiny, windowless room with no light or sound being able to penetrate the walls. And I want out.

I want to know what it's like to live again.

For those of you who like happy endings... proof that I did, indeed, take the stroller outside. I like to think it was the beginning of emerging from my funk.