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Saturday, July 30, 2011

One more lesson learned

I should have kept my mouth shut. Or at least omitted one line from my last post ... "Everything seems to be back to normal."

Because you know what that means. The universe will do everything in it's power to make sure that, in fact, everything is NOT back to normal. I found this out the hard way Thursday night.

I had just come back from my weekly water volleyball game that is put together by some women from my neighbourhood (have I mentioned how much this 'hood rocks?), and was feeling rather... off.

I found out why in the shower... in a scene that would rival the one from The Exorcist. I know I sometimes share a little too much when it comes to this sort of stuff, so I'm going to stop now.

But what followed was 7 hours of the spew train pulling into the station every 30 minutes. When Mattias woke up to be nursed, I had to wait until I had just stopped throwing up, so I could feed him before I started up again.

I am so glad Elise didn't get it this bad... when she wasn't throwing up, she was running around the house like her usual crazy self. I guess the credit goes to the Zofran (which I tried taking, but it wouldn't stay down). I could barely get out of bed.

A huge shout out to my wonderful husband who held down the fort, cared for the kids, wrangled diabetes (which has NOT been playing nice since Elise was sick), and rinsed out my barf bucket... over and over again.

This is one ugly tummy bug people, I lost 2 pounds in less than a day. I hope if you live in the North Texas area, you manage to escape it. Apparently, it's making the rounds.

Now... time to gain back those two pounds. I'm hungry (I never thought I'd say that again)!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

This is what it sounds like when chunks fly

"My tummy hurts!"

"Blurk"

Two things you never want to hear from your child at 1:30 in the morning.

Your child with diabetes.

Your child with diabetes, a blood sugar of 67 and a CGM screaming LOW with a downwards arrow.

Welcome to our Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. The story actually started a good 4 hours earlier, when Elise's BG was 91, which was curiously low given that she had eaten ice cream for dessert, and had her 15g uncovered snack around 8:30.

In other words, she should have been much, much higher. We gave her 9g and toddled off to bed. We checked every 30 minutes, noting with some alarm that her BG is not going anywhere. A little after midnight, we gave her 5g more.

That's when Elise started complaining of a tummy ache. When her BG is low (or falling), this is usually what she tells us, so I attributed it to that. Somewhere in the back of my mind an alarm was going off, saying, "danger, Will Robinson!"

At 1:30 in the morning, all spew broke loose. Elise had stated crying again, so Fred went in to see her. I hear the, "my tummy hurts!", then the unmistakable sound of a technicolour yawn coming from the baby monitor.

Awesome. Just so very awesome.

I ran into Elise's room to find a huge puddle of vomit in Elise's bed, her pjs covered in hurl, and puke hanging from her hair. A quick BG check shows her at 67. Ketones are .3. I got her to drink some juice, praying we would avoid further regurgitation.

I took her sheets and comforter down for washing, while Fred bathed and washed her hair (Yay teamwork!)
. Did I mention that during all of this Mattias is awake and yelling for food? While I'm nursing him, I heard Elise throw-up again as she got out of the bath. Her BG is only 105 and ketones are now .8.

After Mattias was fed and back in bed, Fred and I talked over our options. Because of the wealth of knowledge of the DOC, I knew the best thing would be to get some Zofran into her. And I also knew the only way we'd get it would be if by some festivus miracle
, Elise's pediatrician was on call that night.

Thankfully, she was and she agreed that Zofran was the way to go. One hour later, Fred was back with the prescription. Elise's BG was still hovering around 100, and ketones were now 1.1. She had thrown-up again, and didn't want to eat or drink anything.

It's a good thing we had the Zofran , because a few hours later, her BG was 88 and ketones 1.6. I was able to get her to drink some juice and water.

Wednesday morning, she woke up perky with a BG of 246 and 1.6 ketones, but said she felt fine. Until the Zofran wore off, and the up-chucking started anew around lunchtime.

Thankfully, today (Thursday) is a new day. Everything seems to be back to normal. And we survived our first sick day (night) in almost two years. I had forgotten how scary it can be.

And there is so much to be learned when you're going through these situations; putting ketone meters back in the right place so you don't have to tear the house apart looking for it.

The importance of having spare ketone meters.

How great it is to have a pediatrician that will listen to you and what YOU think is best for your child.

And just how amazing the DOC is; for teaching you about Zofran, mini-gluc, and ketone meters.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I want you to want (to help) me


Below is our annual email that we send to friends and family about our upcoming Walk to Cure Diabetes. I thought I'd post it on my blog as well.
-----------------------------

Elise is our almost 4-year-old girl who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 12 months.

Type 1 diabetes is tough, especially when you're so little - everyday, Elise gets at least 3 insulin shots, gets her fingers poked a minimum of 5 times and wears a continuous glucose monitor so that we can know her blood sugar at all times.

Type 1 diabetes is a 24/7/365 disease - not only do we check her blood sugar during the day, we also get up at least once a night at around 3 AM to check her blood sugar and give her carbs or insulin, if needed (there are nights where we get up as many as 6 times).

Type 1 diabetes cannot be cured and that's why we walk every year to raise money to go to fund research that can lead to breakthrough cures/treatments for type 1 diabetes and its complications.

This year, inspired by our good friend Tiago (who, by himself, organized again this year an entire walk in Lisbon, Portugal and was able to get 200 people to walk with him), we've raised my goals for the third year in a row: 200 people walking with us and $20,000 in donations.

We realize this is not an easy task but we're up for the challenge and we hope we can count on you.

Here are 4 ways you can help:

1. Join us on Saturday, September 24 at 9 AM at Granite Park in Plano, TX for the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Walk to Cure Diabetes and invite a friend (you don't have to raise any money or make a donation in order to walk with us)

2. Go to www.teamelise.com and make a tax-deductible donation (directly through the JDRF website or Paypal)

3. If you own a business, sign up to be a corporate sponsor for Team Elise or organize a fundraising event to benefit Team Elise (email info@teamelise.com to get more information)

4. Forward this email to all of your friends to help us spread the word.

Thank you in advance for your support!


--------------------
Whew, yes I realize that is a lot to read, so here's the reader's digest version:
-Our walk takes place September 24th at 9 am in Plano.
-We want YOU to walk with us.
-If you can't walk, please consider donating.
-We have corporate sponsorship available.
-Our goal is 200 walkers and $20,000.

Not outlined in the letter, but you need to know:
-Being a part of Team Elise ROCKS!
-We have pretty cool shirts
-Our Portugal walk raised just under $2700!
-We're doing it all for this sweet face:


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Say Dia Dhuit to Chris!

One thing I love about blogging is "meeting" new people. Especially when they de-lurk to say hello, as Chris did the other day.

Chris's daughter K was dx'd in September of 2010, and he has just started blogging about his family's life with D. And the coolest part? He lives in one of my favourite countries (besides Canada and Portugal, of course); Ireland!

So go on over to his blog, Temporary Pancreas and say dai dhuit (hello in Gaelic)!

P.S. Chris... I apologize if I mistakenly insulted your mother or something worse in Gaelic. Google told me that's how you say hello. It's all Google's fault!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mr. Fowler's Fodder

If you are immersed in the DOC like I am, then you have no doubt been highly disgusted by the ignorance shown by "journalist" Wendall Fowler.

In his first blunder (click here to read it - warning... your head may explode from the sheer stupidity shown by this man), he disparaged the fund-raising efforts of the Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana. Why? Because they served ice cream (the horror) in the name of raising money for kids to go to camp. He even went so far as to say that giving sugar to a diabetic was like giving alcohol to an alcoholic.

Here is my response (which, upon further inspection is still awaiting moderation for some reason):

I just had to add my pissed-off voice to the DOC chorus. I echo what everyone said above and will add this:

My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 12 months. 12 MONTHS! She was a baby who had never had anything but breast milk, water, and homemade baby food that I made using organic fruits and veggies. So how on earth did my baby’s eating habits bring on her diabetes?

Learn the difference between type 1 and 2. Then learn the causes of both types. Get your information straight before you shoot off your mouth about any type of diabetes again. Just read the above comments over and over. Maybe something will sink in.

Oh, and STOP WATCHING OPRAH (reruns, since thank goodness she’s off the air now)!

We in the DOC eagerly awaited a response. There was wind of an apology in the air. Then came this. It appeared that Mr. Fowler was up to his old tricks. I have always been taught that an apology is NEVER followed by a "but" (although is this case it seems it can be written by an ass), BUT... that is exactly what he did. At least ol' Wendy is consistent in his ignorance.

I love how he points out that most people knew he was talking about type 2 (I address that in my comment below), even though he was attacking an organization that is all about type 1.

I had to roll my eyes when he wrote, "kids don't get moderation". Seriously? My 3 year old child has more control than most adults. She understands what is healthy and what isn't. When we go to the grocery store, she'll point to fruits and veggies saying, "those are good for my body". And for dessert, sometimes she'll ask for, "a little bit of ice cream, please". My child gets it. Probably more so than Mr. Fowler.

And then he had to attack the great people of the DOC by writing, "... hatred of some frighteningly hostile folks..." Hostile? You want hostile, Wendy? Because we can show you that. I have to say I was rather proud of the DOC response to the hatred that was first spewed by Mr. Fowler. Unfortunately, he didn't respond in kind.

And for the record, the DOC is home to some of the kindest, most generous people I have ever "met".

Mr Fowler, do you care that children in developing countries are dying because they don't have access to insulin? Did you send diabetes supplies to people who were affected by the tornadoes in Alabama? When a family that is down on their luck and is running out of test strips, do you take them from your own precious supply and ship them off to that family?

Then only hostility I've seen is in your own words, Mr. Fowler.

Anyway, this was my response to his "apology"
:

All I can do is shake my head and laugh at your “apology”. Defensive much?

There are so many errors in your “apology”, I don’t even know where to begin. I’m sure most have them have been out-lined in the comments above. I will add my two cents to this gem:

“Most everyone knew I was referring to type 2″

Nope. Most everyone probably DIDN’T. Because MOST people don’t even know there are different types. MOST people think my 12 month old daughter got diabetes from eating too much sugar. MOST people think she can be weaned off of insulin. MOST people are surprised to find out she has to take insulin.

Not to mention the fact that you have NO idea of the facts when it comes to type 2 anyway. Just where did you get your medical degree from? What is your educational background? What makes you think you know more than the people living with the disease?

I feel sad for you and your need to disparage people that already have a tough road to travel. You use your words as poison. One that is far, far worse than sugar could ever be.

Then the editor of the newspaper chimed in with his two cents (way over-priced if you ask me). Read it here.

I love what Kelly says on her blog, saying it sounds like the editor "drinks the Fowler Kool-aide in massive doses". As usual, Kelly hit it right on the head. Once more, my response:


There’s a saying, “a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing”. Truer words were never spoken, especially concerning Mr. Fowler’s fodder.

His article and “apology” are not only shoddy journalism, they are a disservice to the amazing individuals that live with diabetes (ALL types of diabetes) day in and day out.

I write this on behalf of my 3 year old daughter who was diagnosed at 12 months old and will grow up battling the misconceptions about her disease because of people like Mr. Fowler.

I urge everyone to go and leave comments on these "articles". Let your voice be heard. For yourself. Your daughter. Your son. Your spouse. Anyone you know that deals with this ignorance on a daily basis. Say it loud.

And in regard to Mr. Fowler? I have to say, it's the worst case of the stupids I've ever seen.

Such a shame.

Friday, July 22, 2011

D-Feast Friday - Drinkable Yogurt and Popsicles!

The other day I spent about 20 minutes in the frozen treats section of my grocery store trying to find a relatively healthy, cool treat for Elise. The problem was, almost everything I looked either had way too many carbs for just a snack, or it at had at least one of my no-no ingredients; food dyes, high fructose corn syrup, or a sugar substitute.

Call me weird (and many do), but when it comes to that last item, I would much rather Elise have the real thing.

One post on this blog that gets a ton of hits is my drinkable yogurt recipe, which I make and then freeze in popsicle molds for a cold, HEALTHY treat. I posted it quite awhile ago, so I though I'd dust it off and re-post.


Joanne's Strawberry/Banana Homemade Drinkable Yogurt
(all measurements are in weight grams... because that's what I use to figure out the carb factor)

Ingredients
450g of plain yogurt (carb factor = .05)
200g strawberries - you can use fresh or frozen (carb factor = .08)
85g bananas (carb factor = .20)
note: substitute any of your favourite fruit... Elise just loves strawberries and banana
1 1/2 Tbsp. agave nectar (total carbs = 24g cho)
*or* any other sweetner of your choice. I used honey the other day.

Approx. carb factor when using the above measurements = .10

Directions:

-In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, simmer the fruit on low/med in enough water so it covers the bottom of the pan (don't use too much water, it will dilute the taste). It usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

-When fruit is completely cooked down, add to yogurt and blend using a blender or hand blender. If you do this while the fruit mixture is still warm, it helps to thin out the yogurt, making it more liquidy.

-After completely blended, add agave (or other sweetener). I add it at this stage so I can judge the sweetness after each 1/2 Tbsp. I add. You may need more or less, depending on your taste buds.

Enjoy, and stay cool!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Alphabet Soup... Joanne style!

Jumping on the meme bandwagon... here we go!

Age:
34. For awhile I was telling everyone I was 35. I was confused. Diabetes made me that way.

Bed size: Queen... I am longing for a King, but can't bring myself to throw down the $$$ for it. But I need my space when I sleep, so don't even think about trying to snuggle me (not sure who I'm talking to here).

Chore you dislike: Ummm, all of them?

Dogs: I've had dogs since I was 4 or 5; first there was Muffin, who gave birth to a litter and we kept Pookie. When Pookie passed on, we got Sage. Then Fred and I had A.Jacks (the A stood for Artemis), and when she died, we got Seven. Who is a neurotic mess who sheds everywhere. Aren't you glad you now know my history of dogs?

Essential start to your day: Sleep?

Favorite color: Purple. And black.

Gold or silver: Don't really care, the only jewelry I wear is my wedding ring and engagement ring. Which are gold.

Height: 5 ft. 7. But I think I'm shrinking.

Instruments you play(ed): Sax-a-ma-phone and guitar. And I totally rock the cow bell, baby!

Job title: Queen of the universe

Kids: Two lovely littles. One lady and one lad. That was fun.

Live: Unfortunately in Texas. Before that, San Francisco (heeellooo Meri!). Before that, Vancouver (the Canadian one). And when I was just a wee babe; Montreal.

Mom’s name: Cheryl

Nicknames: Joey, Jo, Joner, spitfire, smoking Jo (nope, never have smoked), Jo-Jo's Psychic Alliance, The Leather Weather Girl. When you work in radio, you acquire a lot of nicknames.

Overnight hospital stays: 7. 3 leg surgeries, 1 jaw surgery, 2 babies (c-sections), and one pregnancy related (went into early labour with Elise).

Pet Peeves: Stupid people. Temperatures above 90 degrees. Government bureaucracy. People who have an excuse for everything. Being late. Bad drivers. Bad customer service. Don't I sound like sunshine and roses?

Quote from a movie: Don't get saucy with me Bernaise.

Righty or Lefty: Righty . . . mostly. I can do some stuff left-handed.

Siblings: Two brothers; one older, one younger. That makes me the (gasp) overlooked middle child. Explains so much, doesn't it?

Time you wake up: When the wee ones make me.

Underwear: Why not?

Vegetables you don’t like: Maybe brussel sprouts. Is that cliche?

What makes you run late: Other people. Traffic lights. Speed limits.

X-Rays you’ve had: Seriously? Probably in the 100s. I'm not kidding.

Yummy food you make: Cheese fondue. Yuuum!

Zoo animal favorite: Non smelly ones.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Accidental Pancreas

Accidental Pancreas. Sounds like a band name, doesn't it? With such hits like, "Sputtering", or "Where have all the Beta Cells Gone?"

Actually, the accidental pancreas is me. The job was dropped into my lap when my 12 month old daughter's pancreas up and quit; leaving no forwarding address.

I didn't want it then.

I still don't want it.

It's a horrible, horrible job with crappy hours and
sucky pay (but oh my, the benefits are grand).



If I could have had my choice as any organ, I would have picked the appendix. It just sits there, doing nothing and with no apparent job.

Lucky.

I'd like to say I'm good at my job.

Some days I am.


Other days? Not so much.



But like it or not, it's still my job. So on any given day, you will find this Accidental Pancreas rockin' out to "Baby you can Count my Carbs".

Boppin' along with "Prick my Finger one more Time"

Wailin' the lyrics to "I love Insulin"

And strumming my my guitar to "Me and my Dexcom down by the schoolyard."

Anybody else want to jam with me?

Friday, July 15, 2011

We be tummitotin'!



I just wanted to post this uber-cute pic of Elise sporting her brand spankin' new Tummitote. Which she absolutely loves, by the way. The proof?

She's wearing it on the OUTSIDE, so everybody can see it. And the matching headband is adorable too!

Thank you to Donna for putting up with my crazy questions and helping me to pick out the perfect Tummitote for Elise!

FYI... I wasn't paid nuthin' by nobody to say this. It's just when I do business with a GREAT company with WONDERFUL products and EXCELLENT customer service, I feel compelled to share. I'm a giver, what can I say?

Another FYI... as of 11:00 this morning, our AC is back up and running. You wouldn't BE-LIEVE the kick-in-the-crotch painful experience this was. And Elise's BG? No more crashy-crashy. Interesting.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hot = LOW

It's been almost a week of no downstairs AC.

There's a heat advisory for today. For those of you who are lucky enough to live somewhere NORMAL, a heat advisory is:

A heat advisory is issued when hot temperatures and high relative humidity will cause heat index readings to range between 100 to 105 during the daytime.

Around here, it also means that nighttime temperatures will not dip below 80.

My downstairs is currently 87. My upstairs is 83. And still no word on when it will be fixed.

***insert the "I'm in HELL" joke of your choice here***

And poor Elise. Poor, itchy, hot Elise and her crashing blood sugars. I've lost count of how many extra carbs I'm pouring down her throat.

Who has two thumbs, is slowly going mad and hates Texas?




This girl.

(photo courtesy of Elise)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The D card

I don't do it often... but sometimes I throw down the "D-card". As in, "my child has diabetes and my issue needs to be addressed (sometimes asap) because of it."

But let me set one thing straight. I never want Elise to use diabetes as an excuse when it is not warranted. I don't think she should use it to get preferential treatment unless her diabetes will be directly affected.

Well, on Saturday I threw down the D-card. Our downstairs AC has been out since Thursday. It's 85 freaking degrees in the downstairs of my house. This morning it was cooler OUTSIDE than inside.

Thankfully, we have a home warranty policy, so on Friday, I called them. They told me they would contact an AC company who would set up an appointment. No one called, and it was getting late in the day. Of course, right before the weekend.

So I called a local company who is awesome. How awesome? They were there within 20 minutes of my call. I was hoping it was something quick and easy. Alas, it was not and they suggested I go with the company the home warranty people contract with so I could save some serious dough. I was also told that the part that was needed would have to be ordered, so I should get the other company out ASAP.

So Saturday arrives (going on 3 days of 85 degree temps in my house), and still no call from the other company. I call back to the warranty people and tell them as much. I am told the AC companies are all pretty busy. I explained that I already had the problem diagnosed (on my OWN dime), but someone needed to come out and confirm, so that a part could be ordered.

She said her hands were tied, and unless there was a medical reason, there was nothing she could do.

I pondered that for a second. Thinking back over the last few days, Elise's BG was taking a huge, unexplainable nosedive in the afternoon, when the heat was at it's worst.
Plus her rash had flared up again from the heat. I decided it was go time, so I threw down the D-card.

It was good enough for the woman, and a truck was at my house in 45 minutes. The bad news? Since they had waited so long, they guy couldn't order the part until Monday, and probably can't install in until Tuesday.

Then, late Saturday came the kicker. The home warranty people want a second (by then it will be a third) opinion. So we have to wait until Monday for another company to come out, and make the same diagnosis... we might be without downstairs AC for a freaking WEEK by the time the part comes in.

Yes, the upstairs unit is working, but the only things upstairs are the bedrooms. We LIVE downstairs. The KITCHEN is downstairs. All of the kid's TOYS are downstairs. Ugh. Anything that might give off heat does not get turned on. So we're pretty much living in the dark and without use of the stove/oven.

Plus the upstairs unit is having to make up for the lack of cooling downstairs and has been running non-stop and it's only 82 degrees upstairs.

This sucks. The heat is actually making me nauseous. And cranky. And sweaty. Gross.

I guess it's a good thing Elise doesn't wear a pump.

You can bet at 8:00 Monday morning I will be calling up the warranty people, waving my D-card.

Friday, July 8, 2011

D-Feast Friday: Fruit Dip

I consider myself lucky... Elise is pretty good about eating her fruits and veggies. I know a lot of Moms are not so fortunate and worry that their kids are not eating enough of the "good stuff".

One tip I've always been given is that kids LOVE to dip their food. I don't like a lot of the store-bought dips/dressings because they have so many unnecessary ingredients in them. I can't remember where I came across this recipe for a fruit dip, but it is so, so good. We usually eat it with grapes, but I bet strawberries would be good too.

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip
1 brick (8oz.) cream cheese - room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla yogurt (I use greek)
1/4 c sugar (I usually cut it down to 1/8 and it tastes fine to me)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients and mix with a hand mixer. Chill for about an hour.

That's it! Easy, right? I bet this would also be yummy with some orange zest added. Or some cinnamon and nutmeg. Or all of those together!

The carb factor for this usually comes out to about .20, or close to 5g of carbs for about 3 tbsp.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Low? Or tired?

After putting Mattias down for his nap, I came downstairs to find this:




Thank goodness she wasn't low... just tired.

Moments like these should make my heart swell with love.

Not stop in fear.

Stupid diabetes.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

P.S. I'm gonna punch you in the nuts

Dear Diabetes,

It has been awhile since I've felt compelled to write you a letter. But you've been a real pain in the ass lately, and today was the high that broke the camel's back.

You see, Elise was at a birthday party today. We almost didn't go because it was outside at a splash park, and the heat and sun makes her rash feel worse. But we decided to dose her up with some benadryl and let her have some fun.

Except that she didn't. Because of you. I was encouraged when she woke up at a nice 108 this morning (that after a middle of the night correction which she fought, and all the screaming woke up her brother... but that is another bitch session for another time).

But when party time came, she was in the upper 200s and rising. We skipped her snack, hoping that would even things out. She kept going higher. Her tummy hurt. She was crying. She wouldn't pose or smile for any pictures and she spent most of the party huddled on my lap. When she did try to play, the stomach pain was so bad all she could do is stand there, bent at the waist and holding her tummy while she cried out.

You are one shitty disease, diabetes.

When it came time for food, my friend let me know that there was pizza, but she had also ordered some chicken strips for Elise if we wanted those.

We asked Elise if she was hungry. She didn't answer. We asked if she wanted some chicken strips. She said no.


She had seen the pizza, and that was what she really wanted, but didn't want to ask. She knows it's hard on her blood sugars. She knows she doesn't feel good after she eats it (to be clear here, we have NEVER said this to her, and we have never NOT let her eat pizza. She's just smart, and she just knows). We told her if she wanted pizza, then that's what she could have.

I think she just felt too awful to eat, because she just sat on my lap; head resting on my shoulder, while all the other children laughed and played in the water. The juxtaposition between Elise and the other kids was glaringly and heart-breakingly obvious.

The day didn't totally belong to you, diabetes. Elise did get to enjoy some cake; icing and all. Who cares that she ate it in place of her lunch. Or that her BG was 280. She ate it and loved every second of it.

So suck on that, you craptastic piece of trash of a disease. It may be a small victory, but we'll take it. Tomorrow is another day and rest assured I will resume kicking your ass then.

Yours VERY sincerely,
Elise's Pancreas by proxy

Friday, July 1, 2011

Things Diabetes has taught me this month... June edition

First of all... Happy Canada Day! Today, Canada is 144 years old. Happy Birthday Canada, you don't look a day over 120.

And now, onto "things Diabetes taught me". I thought for this months post it would be very apropos to devote it to all things travel/Portugal.

-Travel and D do not play together well. I touched on it briefly in this post, but that doesn't even begin to describe how hard it was. I now have a whole new appreciation for Nat Strand (of Amazing Race fame).

-Even though travelling with D is hard, it IS worth every hardship you will endure. Watching your child explore the ruins of a castle from the 1100s. Listening to them chatter away in Portuguese with their cousins. Experiencing things with them that you don't have back home; like sandy beaches, the ocean, rolling hills covered with eucalyptus trees and the wonderful tastiness that is a Portuguese pastry.

-Meringues don't do anything to Elise's BG. At least the three times she had one, they didn't. Unless the meringue was just helping to hold her steady. Who knows?

-It is impossible to SWAG when you don't have any idea what your child is eating. At one pastry shop, we asked what the pastry was that Elise had picked and they said something like "caramel ball covered in chocolate". Oy. Whatever, I called it 30g and she was in sugary heaven.

-For Elise, a day at the beach means she can pretty much eat what she wants. Why don't we live closer to the water???

-Portuguese people are some of the most generous you will ever meet. Have you read this post, or this post about the Team Elise walk in Portugal? No? You should. Then you will understand.

-Not all airports are created equal. We flew out of DFW and through Madrid with no problems, but when it came to leaving through the Lisbon airport, they would not let us through security with the syringes. We had our doc's note (but forgot to show them - not that it would have made a difference since it was in english). Fred had to go somewhere in the airport to get a special letter to clear security. It's good thing I don't speak Portuguese well enough to tell them exactly what I thought of them. How do you say "nutsack" in Portuguese, anyway?

-If I could do it all again, I would try to relax and not stress over the numbers. It was 12 days (we were there for 17, but towards the end we started to get the hang of it) of yo-yo-ing BGs. So what? Will she remember that, or all the fun she had?

Yeah, I'm going to go with the fun, too.

Having fun and battling lows at the Castle of the Moors

To see more pictures of our trip, click on any of the links below:

Recap
Sintra
Gunicho

Hopefully I'll have some time to post more pics soon.