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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Shut up Eileen!

Dear Eileen,

I love you. I really, really do... but you are kind of pissing me off today. Both my babies are napping and all I want to do is sit on my nice cushy bum, and catch up on some blogs.

You know, while eating my bon-bons and watching my stories.

But for some hostile reason, you think it's okay to beep "LOW" every 10 - 15 minutes, making me get up, run upstairs and hit the "OK" button.

If Elise really WAS low, I'd be ever-so-thankful. But she's hovering right around 100; dipping below every other update or so, which in turn, sets you off. Showing me that she's 99 with a flat arrow really doesn't do much for me. Then, she hops over the 100 mark, only to dive back to 96 (again, with the flat arrow), causing you to grumble (vibrate) and shriek (beep) at me some more.

So Eileen... please to shut up. Unless you have some real news, just sit quietly on Elise's shelf like a good little CGM.

Love,

Elise's pseudo-pancreas

P.S. I guess I should offer my begrudging thanks for alerting me to Elise's nasty low during her nap yesterday. I suppose I can forgive this little transgression today.

P.P.S. You know I really do love you right? Sorry I'm such a cranky pants.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Using the F-Word

Used to be, when people asked me how Elise was doing, I always used the F-Word. As in fine. As in she's fine, we're fine, my whole stinkin' life is FINE (As least, that's how I would scream it in my head).

But to the person who asked the question, I would always just say, "she's doing fine". Because anything less than that was an admission of my failure. So I would put on my biggest, brightest smile and pretend that everything was okay, all the while inside I felt like I was drowning.

Because as hard as I tried, I still felt I was failing at this whole "being a pancreas" thing. But I wanted people to believe I had it all together. I also figured that nobody wanted to hear or really cared about how hard it is to care for a baby with diabetes.

But after awhile, I got tired of lying. So I started a blog. And poured out my inadequacies, my fears and most importantly, my failures. And you know what? It felt GOOD.

Then, to my utter surprise, people started reading my blog. And commenting. And saying things like, "yeah, been there, done that... you are NORMAL!" And I could scarcely believe that there were others out there who felt like I did. When Elise was first diagnosed, I felt so alone. And like nobody understood. But on my blog, I could be real and accepted all at the same time.

And now, when people who live outside my computer ask me how Elise is doing, I no longer use the F-word (unless I'm having a REALLY bad day, and it's the other F-word). I tell them how it's really going. Because I don't want to put on a facade anymore. And I think it's important for people to understand that life with D is really a day-by-day (and sometimes an hour-by-hour) disease.

So why am I blabbering on and on about being real? Because I just read a post on another blog about why it is so important to be able to be open about your struggles. It touched me so much that I just had to share it with you. It's a long read, but so worth it. You can either click on the link below or copy and paste it.

http://www.danoah.com/2010/09/disease-called-perfection.html


I'll end by saying this; if it wasn't for my blog, and all of you who have encouraged me by sharing what you struggle with, I would not be as functional as I am today. I'd most likely be curled up in a dark corner somewhere, unable to face the utter crap that life with diabetes can throw at you.


I like it much better out here, thankyouverymuch.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Love me some Amazing Race!

I'm not much of a reality show fan, but if there is one show that I love, it's the Amazing Race. In fact, Fred and I have been told we would totally rock the Amazing Race, except for the fact that you have to be an American citizen to be on it.

So what does the Amazing Race have to do with diabetes? Last night when I was reading up on the teams for this season, I noticed that one of the cast members (Nat) said she would donate part of the million dollar prize to diabetes reasearch if her team won.

I thought that very interesting and needless to say, Team Nat and Kat were my favourites from the start. Well, fast forward to tonight, and I'm watching the season premiere. To my utter surprise, her teamate (Kat) pulls out a lancet and says to Nat, "finger poke!" She then tests Nat's BG for her as she's driving.

Nat then starts to talk about being a Type 1 diabetic... unfortunately, I didn't hear much of what she had to say due to my sheer excitement. I never thought a diabetic would be allowed on the race, but I am so excited to watch how Team Nat and Kat do this season.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Team Elise Walk Video

Today is our JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. Because we are lame (or perhaps just had a baby or something like that), we never got to make a new video. So in honour of this year's walk, I thought I'd post last year's video. The video may be old, but the sentiment remains the same.



Go Team Elise!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Quick Question

After two years I am finally getting off my butt and ordering Elise an ID bracelet. Yeah, I know... just add it to my "Bad Mom" list!!!

My question is, what did you have engraved on your child's bracelet? Obviously it should say Type 1 Diabetic (or should it be Type 1 Diabetes?). But do you put their name? Phone number? The fact that she's insulin dependant (and the types on insulin?) Am I missing anything?

Please and thank you for your help!

Even in my dreams

As a general rule, I try to never bore people with the details of my dreams. Because listening to someone recount their dream to you is like hearing someone drone on about their evening of drunkenness; it never makes any sense and is way more interesting to the one telling the tale than the one having to hear it.

Having said that, I did have a doozy the other night. I was back in high school, trying to open my locker when I was hit with a wave of dizziness. I kept falling down and felt horrible, sweaty and I couldn't see straight.

When a teacher walked towards me I told him, "you need to help me, I have type 1 diabetes and I'm having a low blood sugar."

At that exact moment, Eileen buzzed and woke me up. When I went into Elise's room to check, I saw 76 with double arrows down. A finger poke showed her at 64.

The weird thing about the dream is that the symptoms were very vivid... I actually felt like I was experiencing a low BG.

Perhaps it was just a coincidence. Maybe it was just Lenny and Harold speaking to me through a dream. But I'd like to think it's that strong bond between a mother and her child.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Worst. Mother. Ever.

Lately Elise had been complaining during her finger pokes, exclaiming OUCH every time we tested her. Since Mattias was born, we've been seeing a few behavioral issues (not towards her brother, who she adores, but cries for attention in other areas)... my daughter seems to have discovered her flair for the dramatic.


I haven't been doing a whole lot of BG checks, but I kept telling her to not be such a drama queen when I heard her cry out. Last night, I did her bedtime check and when I poked her finger, I noticed it bled A LOT. And just kept on bleeding. I glanced down at her lancet and saw that it was turned to the DEEPEST SETTING.

How terrible am I? No wonder she was crying out during every finger poke and I just ignored her. I felt sick to my stomach as I hugged her and told her I was sorry that we had been hurting her fingers.

I'll take my award now, please.

Monday, September 20, 2010

89

Today was Mattias's 2-week appointment. The doc said that he's doing great; height is 50th percentile, and weight is 25. But those aren't the numbers that matter to me.

You see, today was also his follow-up newborn screening. You know, where they poke the baby's heel and test for all sorts of genetic diseases? Since they were already going to make my baby bleed, I asked if I could check his BG.

It's not that I'm worried (yet).

It's not that I think anything is wrong.

I just needed to know.

89. I just pray that it stays there.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Birthday pictures!

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who left such wonderful advice and words of encouragement on my last post. It's good to hear from those who have been through it and made it to the other side.

Thank you to everyone for their sweet birthday wishes for Elise. She had such great birthday and is one blessed little girl! Here are some pictures from her party:


Elise and Grandma


Party central


Waiting for her cake... yes, that IS my calculator, scale, and a paper with carb counts from her lunch on it. Thank you for asking!



Very excited!



Singing Happy Birthday



Blowing out the candle



Elise and Poppa


Happy Birthday Elise!

Love that face

How cute are they? Liam wishing Elise a Happy Birthday


What I forgot to take a picture of were my signs with all the carb counts for the food on them. We had three D-kiddos at the party (supposed to be four, but little Super Nate was sick, poor guy). Anyway, the signs were awesome if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

But what if I can't?

I think I was born with too few arms. Or maybe I'm missing some hands. I'm not sure, but what I do know is that life with a newborn and a toddler with D is HARD.

Right now my Mom is here, and that's been a good thing. Because I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to do this when it's just me. Elise is a great help, but there are things she just can't do by herself. She can't give herself a shot (though she wants to). She can't count her own carbs. Most of the time she won't eat unless supervised.

Mattias LOVES to eat, and if I let him, he would nurse 24 hours a day I think. I'm not really one for feeding on demand; I prefer trying to adhere to a schedule when it comes to feedings, but I will never deny my baby if that is what he needs. Right now I spend a great deal of my day feeding Mattias and luckily my Mom is there to prepare Elise's food, give a shot or test a BG.

But how will I do it by myself?

I know there are those of you out there who do it, and I know that I will do it too. Because there is no other choice. But it still scares me.

This morning around 6:00 am, just as I was starting to feed a very frantic and hungry baby; Eileen decided to ask for some attention too. Fred was already gone because he had an early flight, so it was just me (well, my Mom was here, but asleep in her room).

I didn't want to put Mattias down because he was screaming from hunger, so I brought him with me to Elise's room and let him go to town on my pinkie finger to keep him quiet. That presented me with a problem... since I was cradling him with one arm, and he had a hold of my other hand, that left me with nothing to pick up Eileen and check out what the alarm was for.

What do I do? I knock Eileen of Elise's shelf with my elbow and press the OK button with my toe. I then clear the alarm, again with my toe, and pick Eileen up with my foot and place her on the bed. I guess I do have an extra pair of hands after all (fred calls them monkey feet). Now if I could just learn to give a shot with my foot...

All joking aside, I know it's going to take a lot of organization, creative problem solving, and a sense of humour to get through these next couple of months.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

I hope.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Team Elise Update

Just popping in to do a quick update... turns out being a mother to TWO kiddos is a lot more time consuming than when you have just one. Strange...

I will say that my Mom is doing an AMAZING job keeping up with all of Elise's D-care. I know how scary it is to be thrown into the fire, but she has done so well. The D-Monster has sort of behaved, although our first night home from the hospital was a doozy. Poor Fred was up all night either changing Mattias's diaper, or getting him out of his bassinet for me to feed him, ect; and then running to Elise's room to handle Eileen's many LOW alerts and to give Elise some carbs. Thankfully, things have settled down a bit with Mattias, but Elise's numbers are all sorts of crazy. I just need some time to sit and noodle her numbers. Heh, noodle.

Anyway, this was supposed to be a Team Elise update, so here goes: We are less than two weeks from the walk and Team Elise has close to 90 walkers here in North Texas, and around 60 people that are going to walk in Portugal. Our totals from Chick-fil-a came in, and in a two-hour period, we raised $426.21... Chick-fil-a Southlake is AWESOME!

And as for our fundraising, we have smashed our goal of $10,000, and have raised close to $11,000 so far... how incredible is that? I am so sad that I won't be able to join Team Elise during the walk (due to my c-section), but you can bet Mattias and I will be at the finish line cheering everybody on.

GO TEAM ELISE!


P.S. I have been trying to keep up with every body's blogs, but haven't been leaving comments. So many of you have made me laugh, cry and generally kept me entertained during my hospital stay. I feel so outside the loop, but hope to be updating again soon. If you ever want Mattias updates, they will mostly be posted on my other blog from now on. My anal retentive side needs to keep it separated.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mattias's Birth Announcement Video

Introducing...


Mattias Linden Cunha was born on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 2:27 PM CT at Las Colinas Medical Center in Irving, Texas. He weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and was 19 inches long. That translates to 3.48 kilograms and 48.3 centimeters.

Check out www.helpmefred.com/mattias for all the info...

Everyone is doing well :^)

Stick a fork in me...

I'm done!

My last pre-birth picture. I'm going to meet my son in a few hours and I CAN' WAIT!

Hopefully Fred will have time to hack into my blog account to post some updates, so stay tuned. Thank you to everyone for all your prayers, thoughts and well-wishes.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Trying not to think about what day it is

Two years ago today we went to Elise's pedi to do a follow-up urine test.

Two years ago today we were getting things ready for Elise's first birthday party.

Two years ago today, Elise's second urine test came back positive for sugar, so we were sent to the ER to do a blood draw (it was late on a Saturday and nothing else was open to do a blood draw on a 12 month old).

Two years ago today we were in the middle of Elise's birthday party when Elise's pediatrician called with the news; Elise had Type 1 Diabetes and we needed to take her to the hospital ASAP.

What followed were 4 days of hospital hell, and months (and months, and months) filled with guilt, anger, despair and sadness.

We actually almost forgot what day it was, until my Mom was filling out Elise's log and said the date aloud as she was writing it down. Last year, we forgot. I was sort of hoping it would happen that way again.

But then I would missing out on being able to see just how far we have come. I wouldn't be able to be so thankful for the friendships and the wonderful people I have met. I couldn't marvel at the vast amounts of knowledge I have accumulated (and how much I STILL don't know). There is so much to look back and reflect upon.

So today I think I will be thankful for the fact that for the last 4 days, Elise numbers have ranged from 80 to 208 (and yeah, I'm tempting fate AGAIN by writing about it, but it's just too delicious to keep to myself).

I will be grateful that Fred and I got to go out to a movie this morning, and Elise didn't even raise an eyebrow as we left her at home with Grandma.

I will be excited about the new life that is going to be coming into this world at about noon CST tomorrow, and how he will wonderfully and dramatically change our lives.

And I will especially be grateful for all of you... who have laughed with me, cried with me, carried me when I couldn't do it by myself, and cheered me on when all was going so well.

Thank you for walking with us on this journey

That's nice to see!

I'm trying to upload some pictures of the birthday party, but blogger is giving me grief this morning. I did, however, manage to upload this picture of Eileen looking quite beautiful this morning. Except for one dip into the 80s last night (when we gave her 7g), this is pretty representative of Elise's numbers from overnight.

Of course, now that I've blogged about it, it's all over... isn't it?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Elise!

Happy 3rd Birthday to my sweet little Bean! You are one of the best things that has ever come into my life and there aren't enough words to describe how much I love you! You've come a long way, baby!




Just as sweet as the day she was born!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Just more of me to love

Ahhh, probably the penultimate obligatory belly-shot.

To loosely quote So I Married an Ax Murderer; "Look at that thing, it's HUGE! A virtual planetoid... it has it's own weather system!"

Or at the very least, it's own zip code.

Four more days, four more days, four more days...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

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

-A stomach bug MAY make your child's insulin needs decrease rapidly. Of course, Your Diabetes May Vary, but almost a month after Elise was sick, we are STILL trying to figure out her insulin needs. At one point, we cut her Humalog dose in HALF for the same amount of carbs, and we were still fighting semi-lows. I think it's starting to go back up, but now it's her long-acting insulin (NPH) that needs to be decreased.

-Making a care manual for your toddler might make you a tad bit insane. I started writing one so that my Mom would have a reference guide when she came to help out with Elise when the baby is born. It grew into a 12 page monster that seemed to have no end in sight. It runs the gamut from How to Check a BG to How to Dilute Insulin... with administering glucagon and info about carb factors stuffed in between. Granted, my Mom knows how to check Elise's BG, and hopefully will not have to dilute any insulin, but I wanted to be prepared for any scenario. The good news is that it is DONE! Writing that thing was almost like giving birth... painful, lots of screaming and at one point I was in dire need of pain killers.