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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'.