Friday, May 25, 2012

Finding the funny when you can

Let's face it, life with D is not a tonne of chuckles.  Very rarely does something D-related ever tickle us.  But I thought this story was too cute not to share.

From time to time we take the kids to a frozen yogurt place close by.  And as most of you know, I'm a weigher.  As in, I weigh everything that Elise eats (except when I forget my scale).  So yes, I take my scale out at the fro-yo place, and tare it up.  Get it?

Come on, how is that not funny?

Anyway... One time we went with some neighbours, and as my friend was paying, the guy at the register asked her, "what's with your friend, doesn't she trust our scales?"

She quietly informed him that my daughter had type 1 diabetes and to accurately carb count, I weigh all her food.

When my friend relayed the story to me, it was all I could do to not bust out laughing.  I had never thought of what people must think of the crazy lady with her scale and calculator, muttering things under her breath.

You know what?  I am okay with being that crazy lady.  I was crazy long before the scale anyway.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Hero

Dblog Week Day  7 - Diabetes Hero

She was diagnosed at only 12 months.  She has never known a life other than finger pokes, shots, highs, lows, CGMs, and pump changes.  Eat now.  Eat this.  You can't eat right now.

She seldom complains.  When she does, I know it's time to listen.  She's only 4 and we often forget that.  She is more mature than some adults I know.

She has the biggest heart.  I haven't been feeling well this week and yesterday she came up to me, started rubbing my back, telling she wants to take good care of me, just like I do for her.

She is Elise; my hero.  My daughter.  My blessing.

How did I get so lucky?

*all pictures taken by Brooke Lowther of MaddiePie Creations for the Inspiration Through Art project.  Thank you Brooke for capturing my family in such a beautiful way.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


DBlog week day 6 - Snapshots

This past Wednesday was a very good day.  And that's all I've got to say about that.


 A no-hitter... winning!

Look at the post-breakfast number... 144!
You can't see it in the picture, but she was 91 at wake up, and 144 two hours later

What you can't see in the above picture is the lasagna and breadsticks she had for dinner.  Or the two hours of running around and playing with friends she did.

I guess I had more to say about this than I thought I did.  What can I say, I love to win!

Friday, May 18, 2012

So much to say

DBlog Week Day 5 - What they should know

Oh the things I want to tell the uninitiated about diabetes!  The advocating I could do!  But seeing how I need to be at the park in 15 minutes for Elise's school's Park Day.  I'm going to keep this short and sweet, and let my video do the talking.

It's an oldie, but a goodie... in my opinion.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Throwing my wildcard down

Honestly, if my brain was working these days, I would love to come up with a  "Fantasy Diabetes Device" (sounds naughty).  But I'd really just be phoning it in with something like:

My "Fantasy Diabetes Device" would be a cure.  The end.


I would love a device that is a meter, pump, lancet, CGM, wireless device that would upload data to the internet, alcohol wipe dispenser, insulin cooler/carryer, smarties (for lows) holder, and blood ketone checker.  I would also like it to load/empty my dishwasher, fold my laundry and vacuum my house.

Could you imagine such  monstrosity? 

Since I can't be serious, I'll contribute something useful.  Like a recipe.  Enjoy.

Day 4 - DFeast Wildcard

These days my meals tend to be two things... quick and easy. I get bonus points if it's something everyone will actually eat. And by everyone, I mean Elise and Mattias; the latter one vacillates between I-don't-want-to-eat-anything-ever-again, and noshing on anything that remotely resembles food. Ugh... shoot me now.

Anyway, this recipe has long been a favourite of Fred's, so I pulled it out the other day.  To my utter amazement, both kidlets not only ate it, Elise said, "mmmmm, Mama, this is so good!", AND requested it for lunch the next day. Well, poop in my shoe and call me stinky.Anyway, here's the recipe. So simple and it's husband and kid approved!  The meat itself is pretty much no carb, so the carb count will depend on the bread you choose to serve it on.

Italian Beef Crockpot Sandwiches


3 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix (see below to make your own)
1 (3-5 pound) roast (I've found pretty much any cut will do)


1. Combine all ingredients (except meat) in a saucepan. Stir well, and bring to a boil.

2. Place roast in slow cooker, and pour mixture over the meat.
3. Cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours, or on High for 4 to 5 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, remove meat and bay leaf. Shred meat with a fork and return to crockpot.
Serve on a toasted hogie roll with some melted cheese (we like havarti), and you're good to go. Happy eating!

Make your own Dry Italian Dressing Mix
(no need to add other spices if you use this instead of a store bought one)1-½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. ground basil
¼ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. dried celery leaves

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Controlling the freak

Day 3 - One thing to improve

Hmmm, if ever there was a time to throw down the wild card, I think this would be it.  Really?  Letting you guys see my inner suckiness?  Getting all vulnerable and crap?


But no.  If I got to brag on myself yesterday, today I should show you my faults.

I think the one thing I need to improve on is to being able to let go.  Stop trying to do it all.  Doing everything and delegating nothing.  I have some serious control issues people.

Think of me like a toddler in the throes of a tantrum, clutching a trinket of some sort in her tiny fists, all the while yelling, "MIIIIIIIIINE!"

Yeah.  That's kinda how I am with Elise's diabetes.

Because in my mind, nobody can do as good of a job taking care of her as I can.  And while technically that is true, that doesn't mean anyone else can't take care of her.  We've had friends step up and say they'd like to learn how to care for Elise, which I am thankful for, but it's just SO hard to let go.

I guess I get overwhelmed with trying to convey the "everything-ness" of diabetes to people, that I'd need a flow chart that would cover the entire wall in my family room to cover every scenario.  I know you can't see said wall, but trust me... I'm staring at it right now.  And it's big.

A lot of it is also just habit.  Elise was so little at diagnosis... Leaving her was out of the question. When she was 18 months old, I enrolled us in a "Mommy and Me" gymnastics class.  When she turned 2, the classes turned into just "Me".  Meaning, I had to leave the gym and watch from an observation area.  Needless to say, we dropped out of the class at that point.  I remember feeling so sad and alone, wondering if this is what it would be like until she left for university.

I now know that it's not, and I have taken steps towards letting go.  She's in pre-school.  I'll let Fred prepare her food, even if I'm home.  I can sit and watch as she checks her own sugar and boluses herself.

But even I can admit, I've still got a long way to go. 

Baby steps out the door.  Baby steps out the door...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

She who laughs last...

DBlog Week Day 2 - One Great Thing

I love to laugh.  And make people laugh.  In fact, one of the greatest compliments you could give me is to tell me I make you laugh or you think I'm funny (NOT funny-looking - it's important to note the difference).

I'd like to think I do a good job of infusing humour into this diabetic life of ours.  Yes, diabetes sucks, but it will not steal our joy or ability to enjoy a good chuckle or two.  A lot of it I have chronicled on this blog:

My what not to say video.

Awarding myself medals for diabetes-greatness.

Giving you a glimpse into my inner craziness.

Sometimes it has nothing to do with diabetes.

Even finding laughter after what was a very frightening experience.

It think that it's important that Elise grows up seeing that although I take diabetes very seriously, we can still laugh at it's expense.

Monday, May 14, 2012

All the little babies

Dbolg week day 1 - Find a Friend

The tagline of my blog used to read, "having a baby with type 1 diabetes sucks... I'm learning to make it suck less."  A baby... that's what Elise was when she was diagnosed. 

I spent many hours on the internet trying to find someone like me.  A mother of a baby with diabetes.  But there was nothing out there.  So I started a blog and slowly started to meet other D-Moms.  But the best was when I discovered Meri's blog.  While it's true J was no longer a baby, he was diagnosed at only 8 months and Meri became a wealth of information for me.

So I thought I'd use today to highlight a few blogs of other Moms whose babies were diagnosed at a young age.  In case you've stumbled upon this blog in search of someone else like you too.

Kelly and her Sugar Babie

Shannon and Joshua

Laura and Nate

Jen and Addison

Jules and Rueben

Sarah and Issac

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On being a Mom

A bit of trivia about me; I retired at the ripe old age of 23.  At least, that's what I tell people.

In fact, I had just moved from Canada to the U.S. and did not have permission to work.  It was interesting, being a snowbird (okay, so I don't meet the TRUE definition of a snowbird... call it poetic license) at such a young age.  Children were not yet on our radar and I had a lot of free time on my hands.  Besides volunteering, I spent a lot of time thinking about what job I'd like to do if the #&$%-ing government would just let me work.

Now that I am a Mom, I can imagine no other job that I would like.  Am I perfect at it?  Nope.  Not even close.  I yell.  I curse (under my breath, of course). I make Elise go back to bed if the number 7 isn't the first number on her alarm clock.  I don't make lunches in the shape of zoo animals and think that Moms that do should have a pillow case shoved over their heads and then beaten with a sock full of quarters.

What?  They are making the rest of us look bad!

Where was I going with this?  Oh yes, being a Mom and why I love it.  Watching my little babies grow up and bursting with pride at who they are becoming has to be at the top of my list.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to write a post for
Sanofi's Diabetes Blog.  I was honoured and thankful; writing my post help me to reflect just how lucky I am to be a Mom.  And that is my true Mother's Day gift. 

here to read my post and Happy Mother's Day to ALL the Moms (in whatever capacity that may be) out there.

Monday, May 7, 2012

When Diabetes decides

About 6 months post-dx, we were at one of Elise's endo appointments. I don't remember much about the appointment, except when Elise's doc asked us the very same question that Fred and I had been mulling over in our brains;

"Are you planning on having any more children?"

Right before Elise was diagnosed with diabetes, we had tentatively started planning to start trying for baby #2. Diabetes brought that process to a screeching halt.
The question caught us by surprise and I think we answered something to the effect of, "well... we were. But you know... diabetes."

Then she asked, "why has diabetes changed that?"

And I told her that life with baby and d was just so hard. That I was worn so thin, how could I handle another baby? And what if it happened again?

Then she said something that I have never forgotten. "Never let diabetes stand in the way of living your life. You don't want to look back and have regrets over a decision you made because of diabetes."

That was a very clarifying moment for me. With all that was in me, I knew I wanted another child. I knew that Elise would be an amazing big sister and that we were never meant to be a family of three.

I don't know about the rest of you, but so much of our lives, post-dx was decided by d. Some days it seemed that every minutiae was governed by what diabetes had to say at any given time. A lot of this had to do with Elise's young age and the fact that we were on shots.

Three and a half years later, the voice of diabetes has been diminished somewhat. We had that second child; a darling and adorable little boy named Mattias whose larger-than-life personality cracks us up on a daily basis.  I can barely breathe when I think that there might have been a life without him.

We are now pumping, which gives d a lot less of a say in the when/where/ and what we eat.

But we still haven't put a muzzle on d completely. Lately Fred and I have talked about having another baby. And the same fears are given voices, only they are louder now. We're still tired. Still stretched thin. And always what if. Now times two.

I've always said that diabetes is almost like an additional child anyway. It wants attention. Can can ugly when ignored. Doesn't behave when you want it to. Costs a lot of money. Doesn't let you sleep. All of the down-side and none of the sweetness of first smiles and steps. Hearing them say "Mama" for the first time. No lovely little kisses and hugs for no reason.

But again, I don't feel "done". If we do it, this will be our last. And I don't want diabetes to stand in our way.

If it happens, or not, I don't ever want to say I let diabetes decide.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Still Crazy after all these years

So.  My last post alluded to something dramatic happening to Elise and I over the past week.  Yeah... about that...

It all started Friday night/Saturday morning.  If you are a veteran parent, you know that this is the time when all children get sick.  In the wee hours of the morning heading into a weekend.

Elise woke us up complaining of a tummy ache and a sore throat.  Wunderbar.  Her BG was high and ketones starting to creep up.  by 8:00 am, she was 359 and 2.4.  With a temp of almost 103.

She wanted no breakfast, so I gave her water and put her in the car to drive to the doc, who is open starting at 9:00 am on Saturdays.  My plan was to drive there and call from the parking lot so we'd be the first ones seen.  On the way into the office, Elise threw up several times.

Did I mention that it was Fred's birthday weekend, and his parents had just flown in to visit?  Because it was.  And they had.

Fred's mom came with me and the dx was strep.  The doc offered us the option of a shot instead of the 10 day course of antibiotics.  Elise was cool with it, so that's what we did.  We had to sit and wait afterwards for 15 minutes to make sure she didn't have a reaction.

Throughout our time at the doc, I checked her BG several times, bolused (when necessary), and set temp basals.  I started to see an improvement in her numbers, but had no idea what her ketones were because I had used my last strip before I left the house and forgot to replenish.  This comes into play later in the story.

After the 15 minutes, we headed out to the car.  Elise was strapped in and as I was driving towards the highway, Elise started to scream that her neck hurt and she was breathing really strangely.  Trying not to crash the car, we headed back to the office where they put her on an oxygen/pulse monitor.  The doc came in and checked her over and couldn't see anything wrong.  Elise kept whimpering that her neck (not throat) hurt.  Her BG at this point was in the low 200s.

The doc left us for about 15 minutes and came back to check again.  She was about to let us go when Elise's pulse shot way up and she started to shake and scream that her tummy hurt.  The doc was very worried about DKA, since she had large ketones to start with, and hadn't been able to keep any fluids down.  And the Mom-of-the-year left the ketone strips at home.  Go me!

She wanted to call an ambulance to take us to the Children's ER, but I was afraid it would freak Elise out even more.  Plus I had my mother-in-law with me, and I couldn't leave her there by herself.  I assured the doc I could get her to the hospital on my own.

So we jump on the highway and I start doing my best imitation of a Nascar driver with some right turns thrown in for kicks.  About 10 minutes into the 20 minute drive, Elise passes out.  Not asleep.  Out.  My mother-in-law cannot wake her, and I have no idea what Elise's BG is. To top it all off, I get lost because I came in from a different direction than I'm used to (damn these flat lands with their no landmarks!  Where are some mountains when you need them???).

I also need to mention that I am juggling calls between Laura (Nate's Mom), Fred, and the endo-on-call.  The latter one, our connection gets cut of in the middle of his instructions.  I try to reach Fred again, can't.  So I call Laura and doing  my best to reign the crazy in, I ask her for help getting to the hospital.  At this point, Fred calls, so I switch over and completely loose it.  Doing my best impression of an insane person, I start to scream at him when he asks me if I'm going north or south.  Why was I screaming?  Because I could have been headed east for all I knew... freaking metroplex and their confounding highway system.

Dontcha wish you were on my speed dial?  I'm a peach, I tell ya...

Anyway, we finally find the hospital, get Elise in and get her IV fluids.  A blood draw shows her ketones are down and her BG is 128.  They have no explanation for the shaking, stomach pain or passing out, but I am just thankful that Elise is perking up.  By 2:30 pm, we were given the all clear to go home.  Elise says, (and I quote) "this was the most funnest day ever!"  Wha???

During my ride from hell to the hospital, I drove 90 mph (highway only), ran a few red lights and made some illegal u-turns.  I was praying I would get stopped by a cop, so he could show me the way to the hospital.

The moral of this story?  Don't forget your freaking ketones strips at home.  The end.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Things I learned from Diabetes this month: April edition

This was a BIG month for diabetes learnin'... you ready?  Okay!  Let's go!

-When you are filling a pod with insulin and you are trying to get rid of the bubbles, be very, very careful when tapping the syringe if you have taken the cap off to get a better look.  Or else you might tap to hard, and end up dropping the syringe, needle first, right into your thigh.  Oh yes I did.  Kept my cool, too.  Little eyes were watching.

-For the love of all things holy, bring your freaking logs when going for your child's quarterly endo appointment!  It's not like you haven't been going to the satellite office for a year and have no clue that they don't download there.  Funny line from the doc... "it's okay... we're not the log police."  It just made me giggle.

-Waking up to do a BG check at 2 am and finding your daughter's pod hanging off of her leg makes for a craptastic rest of the night.

-The best way to keep screaming to a minimum when having to do a 2 am pod change plus give a shot is to have a stash of toys that were bought at Target for 70% off, and offer (read: bribe) one to your child in exchange for an easy pod change.

-Did you know that you can get an antibiotic shot for strep instead of doing the 10 day course of antibiotics? One shot and that's it! My freakishly smart daughter actually opted for the shot. The best part? No crazy high BGs to deal with. Did you get the part where my daughter chose the shot???

-ALWAYS make sure your blood ketone strips are stocked-up in your supplies bag, because when you don't have them is when you'll need them the most.

-Driving 90 miles an hour and getting lost on the way to the ER while Elise was passed out in the back of my car and not knowing what her BG or ketones were is THE scariest moment in my life thus far.  This ties into the point above... I'll post about it soon.