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Monday, February 24, 2014

To sleep, perchance to dream

I'm tired.

Actually, tired doesn't capture it.  Exhausted misses the mark too.  Honestly?  I don't think there is a word in the English language to describe this feeling.

For more than two months, sleep has been coming at about 45 minutes at a time, less than 4 hours a night. I can't remember a night when I haven't seen every hour on the clock.

One night I went to bed at 11:30 pm and woke up at 12:30 am.  For the night.

It isn't all diabetes; we've had ear infections, upper respiratory infections, teething, adenovirus x3, night terrors, a baby who wants to nurse a least once a night, rashes, toddlers that wake up at 2:30 and declare themselves "awake for the day".

And then there was that time that Elise threw up all over her wall, bed, herself... and then went back to sleep.  There's nothing quite like walking into your child's bedroom for a 1:30 am BG check wondering, "what's that smell?" 

And of course, interspersed in all of that is diabetes, and the highs, lows, and ketones that comes with it.  Because diabetes has been such a jackass of late, no two nights are the same, making it impossible to make adjustments.  So every night we've been up either fixing a high, feeding a low, or setting temp basals to ward off both.

So.  I'm tired.  And it's stealing my joy.

I don't like the person I've become; I yell a lot.  I'm too tired to have fun with my kids. The thought of cooking, cleaning or doing anything domestic exhausts me to the point of tears.  I can't write. And worst of all, I can't even make sense of Elise's numbers anymore.  There is so much that needs fixing that I don't know where to start.  I can't spot a trend to save my life because my brain has turned to mush.

The other night, all three kids needed us at the same time; Lucas was crying, Mattias was having a night terror, and Elise was low.  It was 1:00 am and I had only been asleep for 30 minutes.  I turned to Fred and told him, "I wish I were dead."

I really don't, but there is a reason that sleep deprivation is a form of torture.

I usually try to find a nice, tidy way to end my blog posts... but nothing has come thus far; except maybe this:

And so, she fell into bed at an enviable 10:00 pm and slept blissfully, uninterrupted, until the morning alarm rang out it's greeting at 6:00. She awoke, feeling refreshed, and marveled that every morning should feel like this one.  From then on, she slept happily ever after.

The End.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Back in the saddle Again

At the beginning of this year, I made a resolution; I wanted to take time to do things for myself.  Things that I used to enjoy pre-D and pre-kids.  

The last few months have been absolutely hellish around here.  I could feel myself disappearing.  With everything that was going on, sleep was at an all-time low and stress was at an all-time high.  I needed a release.

I don't hate being active, but I hate most of the things you have to do to BE active, if that makes sense.  Working out is a bore. Running is monotonous.  I don't mind yoga, but it wasn't what I was looking for.  I needed a way to get out my frustrations and forget my burdens; even if for a short time.

So I signed up for soccer,  a sport I had played since I was 4, but not in the last 7 years.  Since December 23, 2006; the night before I found out I was pregnant with Elise.  

Last night was my first game. And while my fitness level frustrated me, for almost an hour I was able to let go of my troubles and just enjoy life again.  My body settled into the familiar rhythm of the sport and I remembered how much I love donning my cleats.

Even better, I didn't throw up after the game and I'm not too sore today.  I'm already looking forward to next week.

I want to encourage all you D-Mamas (and non-D Mamas) to not forget that you are a person too.  You are more than a chauffeur.  A chef.  A CFO.  A pancreas.  A nurse. A maid.  A teacher.  You once enjoyed things outside of being a mother.

Don't be like me... don't wait 7 years to reconnect with who you were, and who you still are.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Flowers die... donate so a child won't

The following conversation took place a year ago...

"Mama? Why do you hate flowers?"

This question was posed to me by Elise just the other day. A neighbour had brought by a vase of flowers because she and her family were going away and she didn't want them to go to waste. Elise saw them and proclaimed them to be, "absolutely so gorgeous."

Apparently she noticed my indifference, because she then asked her question. I made some off-handed remark, then distracted her with something bright and shiny.

Because really, how do you explain to a five year old that flowers are stupid because they die, without sounding like the most heartless person ever?  It's just hard for me to spend a lot of money on something that just sits there for a few days, and then... Poof! They go to the great flower bed in the sky.

Give me chocolate any day.

So why the post slamming flowers? Because Friday is Valentine's Day. And no doubt roses are in your future; either as the giver or recipient. Enter the Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign.



In my fridge I have vials of insulin.  Enough to keep Elise alive for months at a time.  Even better, I have access and the means to get more; insuring that Elise has every opportunity to live a long and healthy life.

But it's not that way for everyone.  In some countries, children diagnosed with diabetes will not survive even a year.  In Haiti and countries in Africa, there is a mortality rate as high as 90%.  

The Spare a Rose campaign is simple: instead of giving a dozen roses this Valentine's Day, give 11, and donate the cost of the 12th rose ($5) to provide a months worth insulin to a child in a developing country.  The money goes to the Life for a Child program, which is sponsored by the International Diabetes Foundation.  The IDF distributes the funds raised to established diabetes centers, helping them to provide ongoing care and education to children with type 1 in developing countries.



For the cost of JUST ONE rose, you could donate to save the life of a child. Even though here in the U.S., I am able to keep my daughter alive with life-saving insulin, in developing countries, type 1 diabetes can be a death sentence.

To donate, just click here.  Flowers for Valentine's Day might be nice, but saving the life of a child is even better.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Diabetes Olympics - a repost

In honour of the opening of the Sochi Olympics, I thought I'd repost one of my favourites... with a few updates.

One night, as I was unable to sleep, I began comparing the care of diabetes to Olympic events. And this is the subsequent post that followed. Yes, all I do is write blog posts in my head when I should be sleeping. And yes, I even awarded myself medals.

Shooting (up) - Points are deducted for blood or a wet shot (insulin seeping out of the skin after the needle is removed). I'm pretty good at avoiding both of these, but it's really just a crapshoot.  Since we started the pump, I have now retired from this event.

Result: Silver

Pod Change Dash - I can proudly say that I can do a pod change in under 2 1/2 minutes.  From the filling of  the syringe with insulin, until the final snap, my PB (personal best) is 2 minutes 24 seconds.  BAM!
Result: Gold all the way, baby!

Synchronized Living - This is the ability to balance carbs, insulin, exercise, growth spurts, illnesses, and hormones; and still achieve reasonably good numbers.
Result: Some days it's a gold medal and they're playing "Oh Canada" while I stand atop the podium and wave. Other days, it's a big, fat DNF (did not finish).


Speed Getting Ready -
 I do this five mornings a week while trying to get Elise to school. I get up at 6:25 and check her blood sugar.  I pre-bolus then get my butt downstairs.  Here's where it gets tricky... I now have 40 minutes to: 

-make breakfast for her and child #2
-make her lunch, complete with carb counts written down for the nurse
-Write a note for Elise to read at lunch
-Make sure she's getting dressed, going to the bathroom, brushing her teeth, brushing her hair, and packing her school bag up
-Get child #3 from his crib and nurse him
-Change #2 and #3's diapers
-Remember to grab the charging dex and throw it in the school bag
-Get Elise out to the bus stop just as the bus is pulling up
Result: The only time she has missed the bus is when my alarm failed to go off and I woke up at 7:05.  I still managed to get her to the school 2 minutes before the tardy bell... Gold!

10 Meter Dash - This is pretty much the distance from our bed to Elise's. I've gotten pretty fast at shooting out of bed and making it to her side when I hear the dex alarm, or I wake up and realize that we slept though the 2 am alarm. But I get points deducted for a slow start... trying to find my glasses in the dark does tack some seconds onto my time. Then there are the nights that I'm still asleep as I leap out of bed and I run right into a wall. Awesome.

Result:
 Bronze


SWAG-ing - (stands for Scientific Wild Ass Guessing) Some people can just look at a piece of cake and be able to tell you how many carbs are in it. I am now one of those people. And I have gotten very good at figuring out an item's carb factor. A lot of times it's just knowing a similar item's carb factor and going from there. But there are those foods that are unlike anything else on earth... You may remember my post on the Best Cake in the World. It was probably a fluke that I got it right on the first try, but it does feel good when you nail the landing.
Result: Silver



Juggling -
 Now that I have three little minions to take care of, I have learned to become a gold medal juggler (jugglist?). It's what you end up doing when multiple kids need you at the same time.  For example: it's 2 am and you're rocking a crying baby when the dex alarms low.  If your spouse is out of town, there is nobody to hand the baby off to,  so you learn to check a BG while holding the baby who is clutching onto you for dear life. Then there are the nights a screaming 3 year old with night terrors is added to the mix.  I hate this event.

Result: I'd give myself a silver, only because of my bad attitude and the cursing I do when stuff like this happens.

Biathlon - Which, of course is the combination of two sports. For me, I find the crap usually hits the fan when I am momentarily indisposed. I've become pretty good at checking a BG, and treating a low, all while nursing Lucas. The key, as any good athlete will tell you, is preparation. This means I carry fast-acting carbs with me at all times. Yes, I've been known to pull a roll of Smarties out of my sock.

Result: Gold

Accuracy - Just a fun little game I play in my head to take the monotony out of checking Elise's BG 10+ times a day. I try to guess what her BG is going to be. It was a lot harder before the dex joined our team, but I got to be pretty good at it. Of course I had a lot of what-the-crap moments too.
Result: Silver

Wrestling - I don't participate in this sport anymore. Now that Elise is 6, and not on shots anymore. But when she was 12 months old, you should have seen some of the leg holds I had to put on her. Because when you are just one person, and you have to use two hands to give the shot, you become pretty creative in the ways you hold your baby down to administer a shot.
Result: Gold


Swimming - As in "just keep swimming". Usually done on days where you swear you cannot do this for another second. When you are bone tired and there is nobody to take the baton from your hand. When all you want to do is climb up onto your roof and scream the F-word (no, not fine) for as loud and as long as possible. When it seems like the tears will never stop falling. You still kick your legs and flail your arms to keep your head above the water and "just keep swimming". Because you have to.
Result: Total gold medal. I've been doing it every day for 5 years and 5 months now and don't ever plan on stopping. I think that deserves a gold.

Anybody else care to join in on the fun?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Diabetes Art Day Part Deux


It turns out Elise wanted to take part in Art Day.  I should have known, the girl is all about her projects.  She called this, "I Can Do This" (secondary title: Diabetes stinks, so I wanted to create something to make you smile).

I'm not sure all of what is going on here... I can tell you she made this while coming up from a stubborn low.  The writing says, "Pods are better than shots".  And "There is trash in here but you can't see it" (I think).  

Elise enjoyed herself so much that she told me I'd better start saving for her project for next year!

Diabetes Art Day

I've never done Diabetes Art Day before.  Mostly because I'm not visually creative.  I do fine with the word thing, but drawings and like like aren't my forte.

But my contribution was inspired by one of the 25+ finger pokes Elise had to do yesterday.  Why 25+?  Well, that's another post for another day.  This is how she bled when I poked her finger and squeezed.  So I grabbed my phone and viola... my pièce de résistance.