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Thursday, December 29, 2011

12 D-resolutions for 2012

I don't really "do" resolutions. Mostly because I am so perfect the way I am.

Bahahahahahaha.

Now that we've all stopped laughing, I thought I'd jot down a few things I'd like to change for the upcoming year.

Hopefully the Mayans are right and the world is ending... that way I won't have to do any of this stuff.

1. I will not let Elise's numbers get me down. I will test, correct and move on. Those numbers are not a reflection of my pancreaticing ability, except when they are good (tee hee). The bad numbers are due to the fact that diabetes sucks ass.

2. I will learn how to properly bolus for pizza and say YES to pizza for dinner (right now, pizza is something we only eat at lunch).

3. I will SWAG more and weigh less. I am getting tired of carrying around a scale. My diaper bag is heavy enough.

4. This coming year I will bake more with Elise. And I will write down the carb factor of each thing I make, so I never, ever have to figure it out again. I've always wanted to make meringues.

5. I will *try* not to roll my eyes and swear under my breath when people ask me (what I deem to be) stupid questions about diabetes. Instead, I will see it as a chance to advocate and educate for my daughter. I will, however, beat your ass if you insist on telling me about Brazilian moss.


6. I will stop checking my Mattias's BG just because he's cranky. Or not sleeping well. Or sleeping too much. Or not eating. Or eating too much. If he looks at me funny. Or because the wind is blowing out of the east that day and I feel like it.

7. I will finally order and read Pumping Insulin.

8. I *may* get on facebook so I can be better connected to my D-peeps. That's a big, fat *MAY*.

9. I will not let D invade my thoughts 24/7. I will allow myself to sometimes forget that my daughter has diabetes.

10. Instead of beating myself up when things go wrong, I will try and remember how well we are doing, and that Elise is a very healthy and happy little girl.

11. I will not be so hard on people that complain to me that they are sooooooo tired because of one interrupted night of sleep. Or that they haven't been on a date night with their husband in almost a month. Or that their child's one-time prescription was sooooo expensive. Or that they only got to get away without the kids once this year. I will smile sweetly and only punch them in my imagination.

12. I will do my best to do all of the above, but give myself grace when I fail. Being a perfect pancreas is tough, yo.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pod change highs

Well, it's been almost two months since we started pumping, and things have been much better after a very rocky start.

(That is until, as you all predicted, those lows that we were having turned into heinous highs when the full-extent of Elise's illness showed it's ugly face and that coupled with the craziness of Christmas her numbers have been so coo-coo bananas that I don't even know where to start to fix them).

Holy run-on sentence, Batman.

Anyway, the one issue that is vexing me every three days is those pesky post-pod-change highs. Elise skyrockets into the 300s and doesn't come down for a looooong time; sometimes it can take up to 8 hours.

I don't think it's due to stress. Elise is pretty cool when it comes to changing the pod. I hand her the PDM and she presses the button like it's no big deal.

We also usually do it right before a meal, so I can give her a big-ass bolus. Take today for example:

She was 108 pre-change. We had an issue, and had to discard two pods, so the change took a bit longer than usual, but she was only "disconnected" for 10 minutes.

I bolused her for her dinner, plus another .5 of a unit for good measure. That's a lot of insulin for Elise... a dose like that should drop her by about 125.

She ate, and two hours later was at 340. I corrected and 2 hours after that she was at 359. BLERGH!

I'm hesitant to give her too much insulin because we're without the dex, and I find I am so much more cautious when I don't have a continuous flow of numbers to help guide me. I'm also less aggressive with corrections.

Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong? Should I bolus her more? Do a change when it's NOT a meal time? Do a temp basal after I change? Does anyone have any tips that have helped them with this? And is this just a pod issue, or do kids who wear Animas or Medtronic also go through this with site changes?


Help me DOC, you're my only hope!


(yeah... I'm a nerd. So?)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas to all...



... and to all good numbers and a good night!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sniffles equals... low?

Once again, diabetes has managed to confound me. In my experience, illness has almost always led to higher than normal blood sugars. Except, of course, when Elise is riding the vomit comet.

But over the last few days, Elise has had a cough and the sniffles. Nothing terrible. A few nights she did cough so hard that she threw up, but otherwise she's acting fine. The only other thing she's been complaining of is a tummy ache. No ketones, thank goodness.

And I haven't been able to keep her BG above 100. She hovers in the 80s. And when I bolus her for her meals, she's usually in the 50s at about 2 hours post-meal. Last night we did a temp basal of -50% for almost 4 hours. And she woke up at 96.

Have her insulin needs plummeted across the board all of a sudden?

Is the illness causing the low?

Is the tummy ache trying to tell us that there's something else going on that I can't even bring myself to think about?

I just did a pod change and I'm very curious to see if that affects her BG at all. Plus I under-bolused her for her snack. It's times like these that I really miss the dexcom!

If anyone has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Can I eat some stuff?

Ahhh, Costco. The land overflowing with 3-packs of milk and honey that comes in bottles the size of a small child. Where you can buy a pack of toilet paper that will last the same length of time it takes the earth to go all the way around the sun.

I've often joked that if I were ever to become homeless, I would take up residence in a Costco.

Back when Fred and I were in debt up to our eyeballs and every spare cent went towards bills, we used to hit up Costco on Saturdays for a little "redneck dim sum". We were there so often that all the sample people got to know us and would give us extra little helpings of the treats they were handing out.

With the arrival of kids, we started spending less and less time at the free buffet. Especially when diabetes came to town. Watching people just hand food to their kids all willy-nilly hurt my heart a little too much.

We still go from time-to-time. Just often enough for Elise to know that people will give her food if she looks cute enough. We went this past Sunday. As we arrived in the parking lot filled with people who would kill their own mother for a good spot, Elise said, "Costco... yay! Can I eat some stuff?"

Used to be, if we went to Costco when Elise was on NPH, she could "eat some stuff". Within reason. She could snack on a few things and it would have no adverse effect on her BG. I could eyeball the food she was eating and know when enough was enough.

Now with the pump, she also can "eat some stuff", but I'm still trying to figure out how much stuff. And when to bolus. And how much.

So we checked her before. At 74, I decided to let her have at it. And boy did she eat some stuff. Ham, cheese, greek yogurt, sausage with chicken and spinach, perogi, brown rice and quinoa (which both of my kids loved and I ended up buying), and the definitive winner of the afternoon; TWO samples of cheesecake (chocolate and creme brulee).

I didn't bolus her and she ended up at 144 90 minutes later (right before dinner). Now, 4 hours later she was 349 (two hours post-dinner). BUT... I think the high BG could have been due to excitement. We were at our town's Polar Express, and as we checked her, we were just about to get on the train.

Or maybe I should have bolused her for some of that "stuff".

Either way, we corrected and she came down by the end of the Polar Express. Enough to have a hot chocolate with whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Yes Elise, you can "eat some stuff". Next time, your Mom just needs to bolus you for it.


Elise excited about the Polar Express




Having some fun before the train ride


"snow" falling before we boarded the train



family pic. Note Mattias using the Iphone.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The trouble with 20%

Meter accuracy (or lack thereof).

Ugh.

I think I speak for the entire DOC when I say it makes our collective butts itch. It still makes me want to scream that a 20% accuracy is acceptable.

The problem for those of us that have wee ones is that when a high number pops up on that ol' inaccurate meter, there is a greater margin of error.

Take, for example, what happened the other night. It was 1 am. Elise was 352. I decided to check again. This time 305. That's almost a 50 point difference!

And what does 50 points mean to Elise? Well, just for chuckles, I popped both numbers into the PDM, and there was a difference of .2o units of insulin. Not a big deal if you're an adult.

Kind of a big deal if you're 4 years old. When I did the math, I figured out that .20 units of insulin drops Elise by 50. Elise's target at night is 140. That means that if I corrected for the 352, Elise could end up at 90. Not a good number for the overnight. Me no likey.

And I'm not even taking into account the fact that Elise tends to drop at about 6:00 am, especially when she has received any sort of correction in the night (we're still fiddling with the numbers and trying to find what works). She has been in the 50s a number of times in the 6-8am time period after a correction that has taken place over four hours prior. If we don't have to correct her, it's pretty smooth sailing.

The problem as I see it is this; the higher the blood sugar, the more insulin you give. And the higher the number on the meter, the bigger the margin of error. To me, that's just dangerous when it comes to our tiny kiddos with D.

When I get a high reading, I shouldn't have to check again (as we all know, those suckers are expensive). And I shouldn't be worried that I'm giving Elise too much insulin, causing me to lie awake all night, fighting the urge to check her every 30 minutes. Shouldn't we be able to trust our technology?

For the record, I corrected using 305. And she woke up just fine.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Missing the in-between

We are going on day 5 without our trusty dexcom, and I have to say I'm handling it better than I had expected. After being bombarded with a constant stream of information for almost 1 1/2 years, my world has become a little dimmer. Finger pokes allow only little glimpses of what is happening in Elise's body.

I won't lie to you... It has been really hard. Especially in the middle of the night when foggy, sleep-deprived brains are trying to make decisions.

We pulled our sensor on Friday, after four days of the dex giving us the middle finger by way of the ???. On the last day, I think we got 3 full hours of actual data (not consecutive hours, mind you). Friday night to Sunday afternoon were awful due to two pod failures. I miss correcting and seeing that downward arrow to let you know that it's working.

We've had a run of bad luck with our pods... we went through 7 this weekend (not all of them made it onto Elise's body). When we'd get a working pod, we would see some beautiful numbers... although having lived with the CGM for this long, I have to wonder what's going on in the in-between.

As of now, we have no plans to put it back on anytime soon. With the addition of the pod, Elise's skin is a MESS. There is just no real estate left on her tiny body.

But I miss it. Who knew one could love a piece of technology so much?

Friday, December 2, 2011

JDRF Luncheon with Dr. Nat Strand

I am so excited that the JDRF put this video of Dr. Nat Strand's speech from the luncheon we went to in November... now everyone else can hear just how AMAZING she is!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Things diabetes has taught me this month: November edition

-We really, really, REALLY need to get it out there about the difference between the two types. The ignorance is laughable, really. When I called my mail order pharmacy company to find out what my out-of-pocket cost would be on the new strips we were going to have to use with the pod, the guy asked me, "how many times a day do you test your daughter... one? Two? Keep in mind, he knew she was 4 and on insulin. ARRRGHHHH! I actually laughed at loud at him and said, "I wish!"

-Pumping is awful. Not wait, it's awesome! No, it sucks. No, I love it! I'm starting to feel like I have a split personality.

-Pumping DOES make holidays like Thanksgiving easier, though.

-I thought I had gotten past letting Elise's numbers affect my mood, but they still do. I guess I had forgotten because we hadn't seen such ugly numbers in a long time.

-Seeing anything on Elise's meter start with a 5, followed by two numbers makes me want to hit something.

-People are STILL trying to order the World Diabetes Day shirts I designed two years ago. I get emails from people enquiring about them and one guy even sent me a payment through paypal (which I returned, of course!). All this interest has me thinking of getting my act in gear and whipping up a batch for next year. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, here are some pictures from WDD 2009.

Sooooo, perhaps we'll have to do this again for World Diabetes Day 2012! I'm going to try and plan to NOT do something chaotic (like start pumping or have a baby), so I'll have time to organize this if anyone is interested.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The monster under my bed

I know it's crazy, but even as an adult, I am still afraid of things that go bump in the night. There is just something about the blackness that crawls out of hiding after daylight is safely tucked into bed. The slightest sound can cause that icy fist to grab a hold of your stomach, and any movement out of the corner of your eye, no matter how slight (or imagined), makes your heart shimmy up into your throat... everything is magnified after dark.

I blame my fear on a very over-active imagination and a long-standing love for the stories spun by Mr. Stephen King. In fact, to this day I cannot sleep with my closet door open because of his short story called "The Boogeyman".

When I was 12, I was dared to read it by a friend of my older brother (and such a crush I had on this friend too), so of course I did. That night I was home alone with only my younger brother, and I'll never forget how the fear propelled me into a state of hyper-awareness... every sense was on high alert. Needless to say, I didn't get very much sleep that night.

These nights, I am not so much afraid of the monster under my bed (or the boogeyman in my closet) as I am something far scarier. Anybody on a first-name basis with diabetes knows that I am talking about what can happen to a type 1 diabetic if their blood sugar goes too low when they sleep.


They just never wake up.

That, my friends, is enough to give me a double-whammy of icy-fist and heart-in-throat when I hear something go "bump in the night". And there are so many "bumps" that cause the hairs on my neck to stand at attention.

A strange noise coming from Elise's room.

Or even the absence of noise.

Holding my breath as I watch for her breath to cause the rise and fall of her chest.

Medical devices alarming.

A soft, whispered cry heard over the baby monitor that reaches me even in the depths of my dreams.

These are my monsters. My boogeymen. They are responsible for hundreds of hours of lost sleep and countless bad dreams. They are why we get up to test Elise in the dark hours of the night.

Those who don't know are astounded. They have no idea about the ugly under-belly to this disease, the monsters that lurk.

So for now, I sleep with a flashlight under my pillow, and am careful to not let any appendages dangle off the side of the bed. Just in case the monster hiding under there is hungry.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Let's get a deal!

I interrupt my whining and moaning to bring you a post about one of my favourite things... saving money!

I know the Go Go Squeez Applesauce if a favourite among moms in the DOC, and I'm no exception... both my kiddo love them! My only beefs are that they're expensive, and not widely available. In fact, Target is the only store that carries them, which is no big deal since I'm there almost every other day, but they set me back about $2.50 for a 4-pack. And a pack only lasts a few days around here.

On a side note, I have checked out Costco, and although they are the cheapest price in town, they only carry the plain applesauce, which neither of my kids like.

One day I decided to look on Amazon. They were running about the same price as Target, but I kept going back to check the price, knowing that prices on Amazon seem to change daily.

Then, the other day my patience paid off, and I was able to buy 2 cases of 48 (1 case of apple-peach and 1 case of apple-banana) for under $50, shipping included! I know that seems like a lot of money up front, but I'm saving 50 cents per 4-pack, which is a savings of $12.00. I'll take that!



I just looked, and they're still selling at that price. One thing to note; you will have to sign up for something called "Subscribe and Save" to get the lowest price (you save 15%), but you can arrange for delivery for every 6 months, and then go in and cancel your recurring orders. Here are the links:

Apple-Peach
Apple-Banana

Today I'm thankful that saving a few bucks on applesauce can make me so happy.

Nobody paid me nuthin' for this post. I say that I like these things because I like them. And I like to tell people about things that I like. Just sayin'

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tru dat

Last Saturday (a week ago) was one of our worst days on the pump yet. We went to an Omnipod party and Elise's BGs were inexplicably in the 500s all afternoon. No amount of correcting would bring her down. We changed her pod twice that day and had to give her a shot to correct her.

It was one of the worst diabetes days in a long, long time. We got home late that night, and put the kids to bed. It dawned on me that amidst dealing with all the BG craziness, I never even ate dinner. Fred, being the awesome husband he is, went out to get me some chinese food.


I sat down for what seemed like the first time all day, cried, and then ate my food. At the end of my meal, I cracked open my fortune cookie and was greeted by this decree of discernment:



Apparently, the cookie is trying to tell me something.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One week later

It seems that here in the DOC there are two types of bloggers... some of you go quiet when all is well. You don't write because, well... there's nothing really to write about.

Then there are bloggers like me. When life turns into a big ol' crap sandwich, you turn tail and hide. Words fail you. You have no energy to bitch about why you have no energy. Even commenting and returning emails are daunting tasks.

That has been my life lately. I have lost count of how many times I have cried (and believe me, it takes a lot to squeeze tears out of my baby blues. What can I say... I'm dead inside). I have cursed, stomped my feet and shaken my tiny fists at the sky all in a lame attempt to make some sort of sense of the utter crap-fest that pumping had become.

I knew it would be hard. And it has been. And then some. We're talking BGs in the 500s hard.

Two-a-day pod changes hard.

The CDEs- won't-get-back-to-us hard.

Middle-of-the-night pod changes hard.

Getting up every hour of the night hard.

I have never seen so many BG readings starting with a 4 in my life. Prior to this, I could probably have counted on ONE hand the number of times we'd seen a number that high... and it was mostly when she was sick.

All these highs and rapid rises and falls have taken their toll on Elise. Last night I noticed she was sporting some pretty dark circles under her eyes.

Yesterday, I talked to Elise's doc and hopefully we've made some changes that will help.

But the phone call that probably saved me from jumping off the ledge was from Meri. Sweet, wonderful Meri who talked me down and helped me to see the bigger picture. That woman has a way of breaking it down and making you see things the way you need to.

I am so thankful for people like Meri in my life who has walked these paths ahead of me, and understand the pain. Because she has been there, times three, and gets it. Thank you Meri, I'm feeling muuuuuch better now.

You should totally start a help line... 1-800-ASK-MERI. Because you really don't have enough going on in your life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Feeling crappy... but it's okay

After a flurry of posting to start November, I have fallen silent over the last few days. Not for lack of anything to say, just no energy to say it. I should have known better than to share those wonderful numbers on my last post.

It has been a pretty crappy day, nay... week. And I can pretty much blame it all on diabetes. I'm seriously starting to wonder if the pumping trade-offs are worth it. I don't think we've ever seen numbers this crazy. Or this high. Or this low for that matter. The only time we would see a BG that started with 3 is when she was sick, going through a growth spurt, or we had horribly miscounted carbs.

And it pains my heart to see those hills and valleys on the dex. I hate it. I miss the straight lines on MDI.

The nights have been the real crap-fest. She's either 49 or 409, with no discernible pattern. How do you make adjustments when every night is different? We've been waking up almost every hour to check her and I'm exhausted.

Today I thought I was done. My kids were on the verge of being renamed Cranky and Clingy.

No matter how hard I tried to clean my house, it was like bailing water from a sinking boat with a bucket full of holes.

My throat hurt and I had almost no voice left. Which made yelling at Cranky and Clingy very hard.

Then I went out to my mailbox and saw this...



Even though I had neglected to sign up for the postcard exchange, Shannon from Neurotic City sent me one anyway. How awesome is she? Love her.

Even though I'm mired down in the crappiness of it all, it rocks to know that someone out there is thinking of me. Thank you Shannon!

I love this DOC.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Yesterday

Our best day after 1 week of pumping... yeah!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lest we Forget

Growing up in Canada, November 11th (Remembrance Day) was a time that we would reflect and give thanks to those who gave their lives for our country.

There was always an assembly at school (usually the day before, since Remembrance Day is a day off), marked by the reading of In Flanders Fields (see below), and the playing of Last Post. This was followed by two minutes of silence at 11:00 am (the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month), the time the Armistice of World War I was signed in 1918. To this day, the sound of a lone trumpet makes me want to bow my head and stand silent.

We wear poppies on our lapel to honour our veterans; a symbol of the famous poem In Flanders Fields which was written by a Canadian during WWI. To read more about the history of the poem, you can go here.

I thought it appropriate to post the poem today, in Remembrance of all who died so we could live free.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
— Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Going temp

I remember when I first started reading blogs in the DOC, people would write about temp basal this and temp basal that. To someone who had no knowledge of pumping (and even after I started to learn), this always mystified me.

How do you know when to do it?

And by how much?

And for how long?

To me it was like trying to solve for x, but you're not given any other numbers to help you.

Well, last night was another pumping first for us... using the temp basal. Elise went to bed at 173, and by 11:00 was 118 (never showing an arrow down on the
dex, mind you). So we decided to set a temp basal. But I still could not figure out how much for how long. Because I love to just pull numbers out of my butt, I went with -50% for 1 hour.

By midnight, she was 103. We decided to give her 5g of
carbs, and keep the basal at -50% for 2 more hours. When we checked again, she was 143 and we returned to her normal settings.

She woke up at 243, so somewhere, we did something wrong.

So how do you decide when to lower the basal and when to give food? Do both? How do you decide on how much and how long? Or is it some "gut thing" you develop over time?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our first blurg

I realize that with pumping there are going to be a lot of firsts... many of them not good. I just didn't expect it to happen so quickly.

We were on day two of our second pod. Technically, since it was after midnight, it was day three. But let's not get caught up in semantics.

Anyway, it had already been an eventful night. Mattias has croup and had been crying off and on since 9:30.

Right around midnight, I heard crying from Elise's room. I went in and she told me her pump was hurting. When I looked, I could see a lot of redness around the insertion sight. Her BG was 320 and ketones .4.

It all went very bad when I told Fred we needed to do a pod change. Elise starting shrieking, joining in with her brother' cries; giving us screaming in stereo. Utter awesomeness.

It took over 45 minutes to convince Elise to let us take off the pod and put on a new one. I really think it was of the worst diabetes-related things we've dealt with to date. She was so adamant about not putting another pod on, I thought we might have to break out the NPH again, just to get some insulin into her. She actually started demanding we go back to shots.

We finally talked her down, got a new pod on and gave her the much needed correction. As I laid with her while she drifted off to sleep, she said, "I'll think more about the shots tomorrow when I'm not so tired."


For all the ease that comes with pumping, I know there are trade-offs. I will take a middle-of-the-night shot over a middle-of-the-night pump change every time.

Thankfully, today is a new day and Elise is back to loving the pump again. And I'm hoping we don't have to do that again for a very long time.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Our first big test

Sunday night in our house looked like a late-night cram session. There were papers everywhere. Pens. Hi-lighters. Calculators. A laptop and an ipad.

And junk food. Actually, it was a pile of tootsie rolls for me to stress-eat as Fred and I crunched numbers.

Monday was our big test day. We had to email in Elise's logs as well as our recommendations for changes. I felt a little hung out to dry... we'd only been pumping for three days and already they had US making the change recommendations.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was a GOOD thing. The sooner we could get a hang of basal/ratio adjustments, the sooner we would not have to rely on anyone. Plus, I also took it to mean that the CDEs had confidence in us too.

So we poured over the numbers, looking for patterns, hi-lighting lows and highs in different colours (I'm totally a visual person), called Laura for a little advice, and made our changes. I crossed my fingers, hoping we wouldn't get laughed at.

The verdict? They went with our changes.

Look at us! We're kicking a$$ and takin' names.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm not kidding

I originally wrote this three years ago and posted it on my other blog. It's still as true today as it was then. I'll keep re-posting it every year until someone does something about it.

Dear Person or Persons in charge of Daylight Saving Time,

Yes I know the time change was a few days ago so this may seem a little late. You see, it took a few days to put my thoughts down into writing because I've been wandering around my house trying to figure out WHAT BLOODY TIME IT IS.

It seems some of my clocks are smarter than me and change on their own. Some, my husband changed on Sunday. And others still display the "old" time. My problem is, I can't figure out which is which.

So, onto my issue with you. I hate the very concept of DST. It is, quite simply, a load of crap. I don't care that on some farm, in a far away land it makes the cows happy, or whatever bull you're touting, but it screws with my life and it must stop. And I don't appreciate the propaganda the news is spewing by telling me, "you gain and EXTRA hour!" That is pure crap to the highest degree.

We're onto you, yes we are. Who are we? We are the parents of children who cannot tell time, and ergo do not give a flip about your stinking time change. We are the parents of children who are now waking up a FULL HOUR EARLIER than normal now, because of a reason that no longer exists. My daughter has decided to add an extra half hour to that, because that's how she rolls.

An hour may not seem like a lot to you, but when your days are filled with house-cleaning, meal-preparing, blood-sugar-checking, insulin-shot-giving, carb-counting, child-rearing, errand-running, diaper-changing, laundry-washing and nose and/or butt-wiping; and you do it all while suffering from the 500th consecutive bad hair day, AND quite certain you have poop smeared somewhere on your person (because why else is THAT SMELL following you around the house like the dog when she's hungry), well then, I would say an hour is HUGE.

So I am urging you, PLEASE, for the love of all that is holy... do away with DST. Or I shall be forced to hunt you down, find out where you live and start banging away on your bedroom window an hour before you usually get up. I will also knee you in the groin for the extra half hour. Because that is how I roll.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In her own words

We are on day three of pumping and have survived our first pod change. Here's what Elise thinks of the whole thing (please ignore my morning voice... I always sound like I'm sick when I first wake up).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It worked!

This is an update to my "Shame on You, Garliq" post. If you haven't read it, I wrote about how Team Elise was cheated out of money that was promised to us. Quite a bit of money.

Well, I am happy to say, that after Fred posted a link to my pos
t on the restaurant's Facebook page, they came out of hiding to give us the money.

Which now gives Team Elise a grand total of over $16,000.


I am wheel... hear me squeak!


Just thought I'd end this post with a ridiculously cute shot of Mattias at Lowe's. Because I can.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Meeting Dr. Nat Strand

I'm not much for reality TV, but one show I would not hesitate to go on is the Amazing Race. It combines my love of travel and competition, plus I think I would be a highly entertaining contestant. Take away my food and sleep and I become a bit, er... grouchy. And unpredictable.

It would make for some good television.

You might remember last year when Nat and Kat became the first female/female team to win the race.

Love.

What's more, Nat has type 1 diabetes.

Absolute swooning love.

I was so giddy when they showed her testing her BG in the first episode I nearly fell off the sofa. And when they crossed the finish line in first place, I was a mess; a melty mess of crying mommy goo.

Because watching someone with diabetes win a 40 day race around the world in which they are in a different time zone daily never knowing when their next meal would happen; all the while completing tasks that are mentally and physically challenging, gave me a hope for Elise that is beyond words.

On Thursday, Elise and I were lucky enough to be invited to a JDRF luncheon at which Nat was the keynote speaker.

When you hear of everything she and her partner had to deal with, it makes it that much more incredible that they won. No other team had to worry about their packs being left in the sun during a roadblock and the insulin expiring. Or what a 16 hour train ride would do to their BG. Or how many carbs are in a boiled sheep's skull. I am still in total awe of these two awesome ladies!

And I love how she talked about the teamwork on the race mirrored what life with D is like. How it's all about working together. With your medical team. The type 3s in your life, and people in the diabetes community. Life with D, like the race, is best done with someone awesome by your side.

I even got the chance to talk to her afterward. Yes, I cried. I probably came across a wee bit crazy too, but I wanted her to know just how much her win resonated with me.

And she is every bit as awesome as she was on TV. She said it best, people with diabetes ROCK!

Yes you do Nat. Thank you.


And now... some pictures! A stalking wouldn't be complete without photographic proof, right?



She has THE best smile I have ever seen!


Added bonus, we got to hang with Laura and Nate!


Love the expressions on both of their faces!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

And we're live in 3... 2... 1



Today, as of 5:06 pm, we are officially pod people. Two hours after our first bolus we're sitting at 383. We almost NEVER see numbers like that and me no likey.

I know it's a learning curve. I know I can't expect to have the same control as I used to at first... but maaaaaaan. Seeing that number is like a punch to the gut. My brain is itching to figure out what went wrong.

But for now, I have a little girl who is absolutely ecstatic over not getting a shot at dinner for the first time in over three years. And that is enough to make me not obsess over that number.

For now.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dropping the ball. Or maybe the big blue circle

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. November 14th is World Diabetes Day. In the next 28 days, the DOC will be awash will all sorts of things to enlighten the the general public about all things diabetes.

And I'm kinda feeling like a failure on that front. I've dropped the ball. As much as I'd love to be an advocate, I'm just too burned out right now.

Because of things like strep throat.

Pump training.

And husbands travelling for the last 3 weeks.

Days when I fall into bed at midnight and realize I never got to eat dinner.

Or the time when my car died after I dropped Elise off at pre-school. Fred was out of town and our other car was at the airport.

I know, it's just life. But right now I feel ill-equipped to deal with one more thing. So I'm slacking on National Diabetes Awareness Month. I will probably forget to take part in the Big Blue Test. Or to wear blue on Friday. I missed sending in our address for the post card exchange. And forget about taking part in D-blog day... I'd like to, but all the preparation I'd need to do for it makes me want to cry.

Yeah, I'm a little stressed out.

But thankfully, there are some incredible NON-slackers in the DOC. People I can ride on the coat tails of. They are the ones who are rockin' this advocacy thing and I'd like to point them out:

Team Type 1 Running Across America
Duuuude, these people are my heroes. Every time I read about this, the song I Ran so Far Away comes to mind. Anyway, here's the skinny on this one (stealing this word for word from Meri's blog)... Starting in Oceanside, CA, 10 runners—all with type 1 diabetes— will run 3,000 miles to raise awareness for type 1 diabetes. The run will end in New York City on November 14, World Diabetes Day. Meanwhile, TrialNet will be racing to screen 3,000 people—one for every mile that Team Type 1 runs. This will bring the total number of people taking part in TrialNet research to 100,000. There is more info about the run at Laura's blog.

Cookbooks for a Cause
Speaking of Laura... her mother and her sisters (so, Laura's Aunts) have written cookbook. All proceeds going to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). To order one, visit Laura's blog.

The Big Blue Test:

Between Nov. 1 and 14, the good people from Diabetic Hands Association and Roche are asking you to do the following:

-Test your blood sugar
-Do some sort of activity for at least 14 minutes
-Test your blood sugar again
-Share your numbers here.

Roche will donate $75,000 in connection with the number of people that take part in the Big Blue Test. These funds will be re-granted among 6 humanitarian diabetes programs (1 international and 5 US-based) to support more than 8,000 people with diabetes in need.

World Diabetes Post Card Exchange
I'm thinking it's probably too late to participate, but it deserves a mention... Lee Ann from the Butter Compartment has organized a post card exchange for people dealing with diabetes from all over the world! What a cool concept. I wish I had gotten Elise's name in in time, but hopefully next year. Can't wait to see pictures of all the cards that were sent. Go here to read all about it!

Blue Fridays
(Again, stolen word for word from Meri)Blue Fridays is an initiative to bring attention to World Diabetes Day, and to advocate and bring awareness for diabetes and the people living with it. Diabetes is more than a national issue; it's a world epidemic. This year, Cherise from wants to rally the diabetes community to celebrate World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness Month by asking people to wear blue every Friday during the Month of November and on World Diabetes Day (November 14). How easy is this one? I think we can all get on board here!

D Blog Day
Gina from Diabetes Talkfest has decreed November 9th as D Blog Day (although you can participate whether you have a blog or not). To participate, take a piece of 12x12 paper and use your imagination to create a scrapbook page. There are some things Gina has asked you to include, click here to read more. On the 9th you can post the pic of your page on your blog, and then mail it in to Gina so she make a scrapbook from families all around the world! I also just read that you can still participate if making a scrapbook page makes you want to cry... this year topic is: Why you feel the Diabetes Online Community is so important? especially to you personally?

Princess and the Pump
Hallie (from the above-mentioned blog) will be hosting FOUR giveaways this month! Click here for more info!

National Health Blog Post Month
I'm not doing this (although so far I'm 2 for 2 this month!), but some of my best peeps will be posting every day all month long! Below is a list of those that I know are participating. If I missed you, just comment on my post and I'll add your name!

Meri
Laura
Heather

Karen

Colleen
Amy
Michelle
Kate

Happy National Diabetes Awareness Month!
Link

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Things diabetes has taught me this month: October edition

-People are jerks. Okay, I always knew this, but I guess I lived in a land with the unicorns and glitter and things of that nature and didn't really realize that there are people out there who would lie and steal from a charity. Not sure what I'm talking about? Read this post. And then read the comments and you'll find that I'm not the only one who has dealt with this. I repeat, people are jerks. (I'm hoping to have an update on this soon...)

-Letting go and not being in control is hard, but so worth it. Fred rocked the camping trip (except for a few minor details that were non-d related... but we'll not discuss those), and it was nice to have some one-on-one time with my little man. We ate gelato for dinner, danced to live music and went on a hayride. I know Mattias won't remember our time together, but I will.

-It was weird to experience life without d for the first time in over three years. I may do a longer post to expand on this, but Elise was diagnosed so young, and since she was our first child, I didn't get to experience toddlerhood without the added stress of d. I almost didn't know what to do with myself... man, diabetes is a time-suck!

-So much about dealing with d is learning to let go. Yesterday we did our pump training (more on that soon!). We are about to go live in a few days. But I am going to have to let go of a lot of what I have learned over the past three years. Some of what worked pre-pump will not work once we're pumping and all my little tricks of obtaining that nice flat line on the dex are out the window. I'm not going to lie... it's going to kill me to see crazy numbers and not be able to fix it myself.

-Strep throat is of the devil. I'm just sayin'.

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Halloweenies

I also posted these on my other blog, but couldn't resist putting them on here too. They are so cute all dressed up it almost makes me wish everyday was Halloween.

Almost.





















Happy Hallowe'en!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hurling the night away

It all started, as good stories do, at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon. The morning was spent running around and playing silly games with her brother. Meals and snacks were consumed without an issue, and numbers were running a tad high, but nothing earth shattering.

But then the clock struck three and it was like a switch had been flipped. I had just finished nursing Mattias, and Elise was sitting at the table eating her goldfish when she started to scream.

And I mean SCREAM. Tears were streaming down her face and I was trying to figure out what had happened. Until I touched her forehead. A quick forehead scan showed a temp of 102.6. Crap-on-a-STICK!

Did I mention that is was 3:00?

On a Friday?

Thankfully, I have THE best pedi in the world, and she agreed to fit us in.

Two hours, a garbage can full of puke and a strep and flu test later; it's confirmed that she has a raging case of strep.

Blurgh.

Thank goodness for sugar-free antibiotics, ketone meters, and CGMs. And for my awesome super-quick reflexes that enabled me to catch Elise's puke in my hands, pour it into her garbage, and reposition my hands for the next deluge. I am proud to say that nothing got on her bed, and there was just the tiniest splotch on her pajamas. Boo-to-the-ya!

I think this has been the roughest illness by far for us. Her BGs are yo-yoing all over the place. When she's high, it's like we're injecting her with water. When her BG finally does come down and is on the low side, that's when she starts puking and will not even drink juice. And the advil seems to have no effect on her fever. At least we're keeping the ketones at bay.

And all this comes the day after her endo appointment in which we got an A1C of 6.9.

You take the good, you take the bad...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shame on you, Garliq

I've been holding off on writing this post for two reasons; I had to cool off so it wouldn't be so expletive-ridden that it would make Reyna blush, and I kept hoping that the guy this post is about would step up and do the right thing.

He hasn't, and I'm pretty sure I have the self-control to contain myself, so here goes...

You might remember this post. Click over if you want to. If not, here's the Reader's Digest version; we had a fund-raiser at a local restaurant called Garliq. The owner also pledged a good amount of money for Team Elise. He had supported us last year, so there was really no reason to think he would do this to us.

Anyway, the deadline for collecting money was fast approaching, and this guy does a disappearing act on us. Calls go unreturned. Visits to the restaurant are unsuccessful as he is never there. When Fred manages to reach him, the call gets mysteriously "dropped"

So we have yet to see a dime from the "fund-raiser" he held for us, nor any of the money he pledged. And it was a goodly sum, too. Fred and I had to take a hit and pay for part of the shirts out of our own pockets. 120+ shirts do not come cheap.

To top it all off, the restaurant has suddenly closed and we now have no way of tracking this guy down. Supposedly, he's opening up at another location, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Fred and I are so, so ticked (that doesn't even BEGIN to describe it). His restaurant's logo is on the back of our Team Elise shirts, and he did NOTHING to earn that.

Look, I get that the economy is bad. If this was going to be a hardship on him, HE SHOULD HAVE TOLD US. We were in touch with him right up to the day of the fund-raiser, and nothing was said. Instead, he makes promises he can't deliver on, and then hides from us and refuses to the right thing.

You should be ashamed of yourself, Nazir Moosa. This was for CHARITY. You made a PROMISE. It's time to man up, come out of hiding, and deal with this. You owe us (at least) that.

Edited to add: I decided to delete the name-calling from this post. I admit I let my emotions get the better of me, but it's still no reason to resort to childish tactics. It still doesn't change the fact this has made me so unbelievably upset and what this guy has done is wrong. Especially when we had people come eat at his restaurant thinking that part of the proceeds were going to support Team Elise. That is just plain fraud.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Meet our pump!

We're leaving MDI behind,
Pumping will soon be our thing.
So we'd like to introduce
Our new pump the...




OMNIPOD!


Did I fool ya? Did I?

I was impressed at how many of you guessed correctly, but like Highlander, there can be only one. Winner that is. And the winner was...




Picking the winner (GO RANGERS!)



Congrats Misty from God is good! You are now the proud owner of a $25 Target gift card. Please email me your mailing address by Wednesday at midnight, or I will be forced to draw again.

Thanks to everybody who took part in the contest. Our first training date is Oct. 31... too bad we won't be pumping by Halloween.

As Elise says, "YAY PUMP!"




Big fan of the pink skin




Mattias in the box o' pods

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mattias wants you to know something...



My idea for this picture was to get a shot of Mattias holding the sign, looking into the camera and smiling in his oh-so-adorable way. I forgot one important detail... my son does not sit still. Ever. He's also a big fan of doing the opposite of what you ask of him.

And please ignore that fact that he's not wearing any clothes. He has a horrid case of the trots rights now and goes through more wardrobe changes than a Lady Gaga concert.

What Mattias wants to tell you is that IT'S HERE! THE PUMP IS HERE! Unfortunately it arrived after Elise left for her camping trip, so the box will remain closed, and the pump choice remain a mystery until she gets back.

The "Guess That Pump" contest is now closed. I had a fun idea for a prize, but due to my sinus-infection-that-wasn't-a-sinus-infection, but rather an inflamed nerve in my face, AND a raging case of pink eye that has super-glued my left eye shut (jealous yet?), the winner will get a rather boring $25 gift card to my mothership... er, favourite store, Target.

I will take all the names of the people who guessed correctly, put them in a hat and have Elise draw a name. The winner will have 48 hours to notify me with their address, otherwise a new name will be picked.

Stay tuned.... winner will be announced Monday!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

You want to take her WHERE?

About a month ago, Fred sent me an email. Our church was having a father/daughter camping trip, and he wanted to take Elise. I filed it away in "to be dealt with later" and forgot about it.

Fast forward a few weeks and the big day is here... tomorrow Fred and Elise will be driving 2+ hours away to Oklahoma from Friday until Sunday.

And I am freaking out. Just a little bit. Okay, maybe a lot.

Fred is a great psuedo-pancreas, second-in-command. He does finger pokes, shots, can carb count, knows carb factors for Elise's most commonly-consumed foods... But, he's not me.

At the risk of sounding rather egotistical, let me explain. I have been doing this for over three years now. Every. Stinking. Day. You get very good at predicting trends and understanding how certain things affect blood sugars when you've put in those kinds of hours.

I've seen that pretzels will make her BG rise about 40 minutes after she eats them.

I know that even if her BG is 250 at 3:00pm, she will still need a 15g uncovered snack to get her to dinner.

I understand that if I give her her bedtime N about 40 minutes before her snack, her Bg will sail rather smoothly, instead of slingshotting up, then down if I give the shot and snack at the same time.

But I've pretty much made peace with the fact that Elise's CGM will look like the peaks and valleys of my beautiful Canadian Rockies by Sunday night. I know Fred will do his best with all the activity/smores/excitement that is a recipe for a BG train wreck.

What really freaks me out is the nighttime stuff. I've said before that Fred does the majority of the night checks, but it's usually me kicking his butt out of bed. He is famous for getting up and turning the alarm off, and then getting back into bed without ever checking Elise.

Here is the scary part; he is completely unaware of what he's doing.

Fred has always had nighttime issues. He used to sleepwalk. He talks to me in Portuguese while he sleeps. There have been nights where he goes into Elise's room to check her, and when I go in two minutes later (because I haven't heard anything over the baby monitor), he'll be standing beside her bed, asleep.

W
e've talked it over, and he's certain that because his safety net (me) isn't there, his brain will step up and wake up when it needs to. And I'm holding fast to the hope that this is what will happen.

Because the memories they will make, and the fun they will have (not to mention the sleep I will hopefully get if Mattias's teeth cooperate), is so worth having to quash any fear I am feeling.

And if you have any "camping with D" tips to share, please do!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thanks Tips4type1!

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (or at least that's how it feels to me), I was the winner in a pretty cool giveaway.

Shannon, at The New Normal Life teamed up with Tonya from Tips4type1, and the lucky winner (ME!) received two rockin' bottles of nail polish.

A little about Tips4type1:
Their objective is two-fold; to raise money and awareness for type 1 diabetes. It was started by Tonya Homme whose daughter was diagnosed with type 1 in October of 2008,at the age of 23-months.

Tips4type1 offers polish in two beautiful colours; blue (for the diabetes awareness circle), and silver (for the diabetes awareness ribbon). The colours are named True Blue Hope and Tips of Steel. Tonya donates $10 from the sale of each set of polish to the Diabetes Research Institute. So you can look glorious and feel great about yourself at the same time!

And I was the winner of the giveaway on Shannon's blog that happened so many moons ago! Go me! Even more excited was Elise, who bugs me almost on a daily basis to paint her nails.

So as soon as the polish arrived, I set to work. My tootsies didn't get a new coat, because I'm still sporting the polish from my birthday pedicure and couldn't find the polish remover. But Elise was only too happy to offer up her hands and feet.




So pretty (the girl AND the polish)!






Elise LOVES her pretty nails and was so excited to show them off at the birthday party we went to that weekend (the fact that it was a boys party and was Cars-themed was lost on her). Thanks to Shannon and especially Tonya at Tips4type1! We love the polish.


Now go check out Tips4type1 and get some polish to paint your nails for World Diabetes Day!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's done

It is with two parts trepidation, one part anticipation, and one part, "what the crap am I doing?"; that I would like to announce that the paper work has been signed, sent in, received, and insurance is a-go... it's pump time!

I'm going to hold back on which pump we chose, so I can make it into a fun contest... just leave a comment on this post guessing either Ping or Omnipod.

I'll put all correct guesses into a hat and the winner will be announced sometime next week (when we receive the pump). The prize is to be determined (don't worry, it won't be lame... or will it? Mwah hah hah hah).

Oh yeah, and if you already know (as in I have told you), you are exempt (Jessica, Meri and Laura).

We have just one sticking point. We can't make the training class that the hospital makes you go to once you have the pump. It's all day, from 9-4 (8-5 with travel time), and we don't have anybody to leave Elise with, plus Mattias is still nursing, and they don't want us to bring the kids. Please pray that we can work something out with the hospital.

And if you could say a few prayers for me... I have THE worst sinus infection, ever. The whole right side of my face has been throbbing for days and even the prescription painkillers they've given me don't touch the pain. Plus Fred is away and Mattias is teething. Maybe this is sympathy pain?

And thanks to everybody for your encouraging comments on my last post. I've been wondering just what the heck is wrong with me that I am so freaked out about this, so it's nice to know I'm in good company.

Now, leave a comment and guess our pump choice!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A tale of two pumps

Our pump trials are done. It was... interesting. I think we've made our decision.

Both pumps had their definite pros and cons. The Omnipod's rep was wonderful, the insertion went swimmingly, but the pod is just so stinking big on her tiny body, and we had an issue where it ripped off the adhesive and was hanging by the cannula.

I didn't feel as connected to the Animas rep, and the insertion was AWFUL. Elise cried so much, and I almost lost it. She really liked carrying the pump around, but balked at having to wear her tummitote with the dexcom and the pump.

The tubing was another issue, and Elise got it in her head that if it was getting in the way, she could just disconnect the pump. I told her if this is the pump we choose, then she can't do that. The day we started the trial, Elise had ballet. She was wearing the site on her leg and we couldn't get it to work with her tights and the tubing.

Plus Mattias saw that tubing as a fun toy to yank on. Same with the Omnipod. Sigh, the world is his playground.

So we did the trial. We've picked our pump. Then why is the paperwork still sitting on my coffee table, still not filled out?

I know it's time. She's ready. She asks about the pump almost every day. But it seems that I am not ready.

I am not ready to leave behind what is comfortable. What I know. What I can do with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back. The insulin regime we're on might not look nice, but it's all we know.

It's change, and if you've been reading my ramblings for very long, you know that I fear change. Abhor it, really. Change and I are not well met.

Of course, it doesn't help that every time I get ready to pull the trigger, we get a string of glorious numbers that give me pause to this whole pump thing.

I KNOW it is the best thing for Elise, and that's the worst part. It's making me feel like a terrible Mom for delaying this thing as much as I have. I am bad, bad, BAD.

How on earth do I get the courage to jump off of this cliff?

Friday, October 7, 2011

No D... all about E!


Something occurred to me the other day. Although this blog is about a certain-disease that-will-not-be-mentioned-today, it's about Elise's certain-disease that-will-not-be-mentioned-today, and I don't think she gets much of the spotlight on here; the disease does. So today's post is going to be all about her, and just how incredible she is.

There are days when I look at her and think, "really? She's only four
?" This child is 4 going on 14, going on 40.

Elise, from very early on, has always had a very delicate, empathetic soul. At the age of about a year, I started noticing how much she cared for others who are hurting. If we were out at a store, and she could hear a baby crying, she would look at me; her eyes all big and she would stick out her bottom lip and say, "awwww." When she learned to talk she would add, "bebe sad." If she could see the baby, she would reach out and say, "is okay bebe. No be sad. Is okay".

The o
ther day, I was having a particularly bad moment, and Elise came up to me, hugged my leg and said something very profound, for a four year old:

"I know it's hard Momma. Poppa is gone (he was travelling) and y
ou are all by yourself. It's hard work. I know. But you'll be okay. I just love ya (she always says ya, not you) so much."

What 4 year old says that?

She a
lso has a wicked sense of humour, and loves to make us laugh. I remember when she was 2, she took a plastic red toy bin, stuck it on her head and sang, "little red capuz (pronounced ca-poosh - it means hood in Portguese) on my head" to the tune of "Little Red Caboose".

It's funny for a couple of reasons; who doesn't love to watch a toddler drunkenly stagger about with an over-sized bin on their noggin? And it was some pretty good word play... for a two year old.

And I'll never forget the time we were at Target (she was about 2 1/2 at the time), and we passed by the bra rack. She grabbed a bright pink bra, put it on and started to walk down the aisle yelling, "I need a bra for my boobies!"

Pure comedic genius, my friends.

(if you want to read more of the funny things that come out of Elise's
mouth, I have a whole bunch of them posted on my other blog here.)

Elise has a huge imagination and loves to play make believe. Some days we're having tea with a Giganotosaurus (her favourite dinosaur), or we're princesses riding our unicorns to the ball. We've travelled to Australia, Mt. Everest, China, the arctic and even the moon.

She loves ballet and tap dancing, ice skating and gymnastics. These days she's been bugging me to put her on a soccer team. My dream is to put some hockey skates on her and let the Canadian in her have some fun. I love that she wants to be active.

Elise has been the best big sister Mattias could ever want; from day one, she has adored him
, and he loves her just as much. Nobody can make Mattias laugh like she can. She is patient, gentle and loving with him, and a huge help to me.


Life with Elise is fun; she is a sweet, kind, amazing little girl. Did I mention that s
he's even bilingual? My husband only speaks Portuguese to her (and Mattias), and when we went to Portugal, she was able to speak with all her relatives.

I am so proud of her and all she has done in her life so far. She's incred
ible and I am blessed to be her Mom.