Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Let's bee it up, yo!

As a parent of a kid with type 1, I've had to deal with a whole range of things that don't even enter the minds of non-d parents; whether it be at a sporting event, on an airplane, or something commonplace... eating dinner at a restaurant.  Sometimes I look around and wonder how much extra stuff I think about, and what it must be like to have all that extra space in my brain.

Case in point... The Spelling Bee.  A milestone of consonants and vowels for every elementary student, and where dreams are crushed by a single misplaced letter.

Elise recently took part in her district's regional spelling bee.  In Spanish. I love that my girl can spell in two languages, while I can barely manage one.  It's humbling, really.

The thing with spelling bees is that they have really strict rules when it comes to the audience.  You can't make it look like you're communicating in any way. So all my pantomimes for "check your BG", "eat something!", and "do you feel okay?" would not be well-received.

Since this was her second bee, I knew to talk to the head-bee lady (queen bee... hee), explain our situation, and figure out a plan.  But that doesn't make the non-stop monologue running in my head go away during the competition:

Check the CGM. Okay, 154 flat.  Not bad.  How much insulin on board?  Crap, she just dropped by 9.  Should I give her something?  How much insulin on board?  When did I bolus her for breakfast? 6:15? Hmmmm, should be about .75 left.  How many spellers before her? WHAT THE CRAP WAS THAT WORD?  What if the adrenaline kicks in?  She'll be so mad if I go up there and hand her some smarties.  And what if the other parents think I'm cheating?  I DON'T EVEN LOOK REMOTELY LIKE I SPEAK SPANISH! CGM check again.  Great, now she's 133.  How much insulin now?WHAT KIND OF LETTER IS BAY-GRANDE???  Did she spell it right? WAY TO GO! To give sugar or not to give?  Another drop, but not so bad.  Let's just wait...  

I could go on, but I feel a minuscule peak inside my head is quite enough.

You guys get it, but nobody else sees the tightrope we walk every day; every scenario can has the potential for a sucky outcome. 

Don't treat, and she goes low.  You have to interrupt the competition which makes her upset and throws her concentration (not to mention the low can make it hard for her too).

Treat, but then the adrenaline kicks in, sending her even higher.  She has trouble concentrating because her BG is now in the 300s.

Thankfully, that day I did nothing, and it looked like this:

It doesn't always work this way, but on spelling bee day, it did.  And got her a tie for 4th out of 35 kids.  And the last non-Hispanic to go out.  Pretty proud of my girl!  And I love it when she can do something and not even have to deal with diabetes getting in the way.

She's pretty A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

If you give a diabetic some cinnamon

If you give a diabetic some cinnamon,

Chances are, she'll want some toast to put it on.

And you will have to check her blood sugar and bolus her for it.

Eating the toast will make her thirsty, so she will ask for some okra-infused water.

When she realizes how disgusting that is, she will ask you for some avocado to clean her palate.

All that eating will have given her lots of energy, so she will go for a long run.

During her run, she will realize the she is right by a natural food store, so she will go inside and look around.  While she is there, she will fill her cart with all sorts of superfoods.

First she will get some smoothie mix with spirulina.

And then some hot peppers.

Finally, she will grab all the veggies she can find so she can juice them.

When she gets home, she'll decide to relax with some essential oils.

While relaxing, she realizes that she doesn't feel well, so she will check her blood sugar.

When the meter shows 241, she will then give herself a bolus of insulin to bring the high blood sugar down.

Because chances are, if you give a diabetic cinnamon, okra, avocado,  raw vegetable juice, hot peppers, spirulina, and essential oils... 

She will still have type 1 diabetes.

Not related to this post, but a cool picture of this year's walk team... 128 people!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Goin' low

In the 10 (TEN!) years E has had type 1, we have gone through many, many different treatments for lows; bananas, smarties, skittles, starburst, glucose tabs, fruit gummies and hi chews.  A lot of times, we change it up because she gets tired of always using the same old thing.

For me, the struggle is finding something that's not filled with food dye, is portable, and is not terrible for her.  One day, as I was making my weekly Costco run, I saw this cool little product upon their shelf.  
*Not actual Costco size

When I picked it up the bag, I saw each packet had 8g of carbs... the perfect amount for E when she has a low.  I had bought their honey before, so I knew she liked it.

A few months ago, I emailed Nature Nate's about not being able to find the packets in Costco anymore.  They were quick to respond, and just a few weeks ago, offered me the opportunity to become an ambassador... woo hoo!

So, now I'm sharing my love for this product with you.  Even though I can't find the small packets in Costco anymore (they do still sell the giant 40 oz. bottle), they are available at my local grocery store (or on Amazon).

Why do I love these for lows?  

1. They bring her up QUICK!

2. They're the perfect size... they fit in my purse, her diabetes bag, and anywhere I need to keep a stash of sugar.

3. Perfect for overnight lows, I just rip off the top and squeeze it into her mouth. I haven't made a mess yet!  And I just need to say that the fact that our T1 kiddos can eat in their sleep, never fails to amaze me.

4. Healthier than most low treatments.  No food dye, honey is natural, as well as yummy!

5. My girl loves it!

Add caption
If you want to learn more about Nature Nate's and their story, go here

***Although Nature Nate's provided me with some sweet, sweet honey, all views and opinions are mine. The funny thing is, I had a blog post in my draft folder written awhile ago about using honey for lows!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

10 Years

Happy Diaversary to my amazing baby girl.  You've come a long way, and I am so proud of you!

Friday, August 24, 2018

What The Fiasp?

About a year and a half ago, I was hearing whisperings of this brand-new wonder-insulin... Fiasp.  It was faster, smaller post-meal spikes, and it could leap tall buildings in a single bound!

Maybe not on that last thing, but everything I had heard was great.  Mind you, the sample size was rather small, due to it not being available in the U.S. Determined to try it for myself (or, my daughter), I may or may not have enlisted the help of a person related or non-related to me to bring some in from another country.  It might have happened.  Or it might have all been a dream.  Who knows?

Anyway, I received (or didn't) the insulin last September, but the timing was never really right to start it.  I didn't want to put a brand new (to us) insulin in my daughter's pump and send her off to school not having tested it at home and not knowing what would happen. I love our nurse too much for that.

So I kept waiting for a nice, long school holiday.  And then I would forget.  All freaking year long.  Until we hit summer break.  And then it was like, "hey good-lookin'!  Where have you been all my life?"

The graphs!  Oh my... the graphs!  And all their flat-liney goodness.  And hardly any post-breakfast spike.  And next to no post-every-other-meal spike.  Gone were the double up arrows.  Instead, they were replaced by their lazy cousin, slightly up.

I will point out that we have always pre-bolused.   E's BG determines how much in advance we do this.  On Humalog, a BG of 110 would usually need at least a 20 minute head start for a breakfast of banana, steel cut oats (with cinnamon and brown sugar), and a peanut butter protein ball (homemade).  And we would still get double arrows up into the low 200s.

These days, we see the arrow headed down about 5 minutes post-bolus.  Yes, for us, it's THAT fast. We top out around 160-180, and then float back into range.

I have found Fiasp to be much more predictable than Humalog ever was for us. E is spending much more time in range, and we rarely see highs above 240, unless something went wrong.  I find this insulin so much easier to "Sugar Surf" with, due to how quickly it starts working.  And the highs come down so much more quickly.  Gone are the "sticky highs", that require rage boluses to get them down.

And for Omnipod users, we now get the full 88 hours with this insulin; from pod change right up to the "screech of death".  We NEVER got that on Humalog.  Certain sites (legs, tummy), we would be lucky to get two days before her numbers would start creeping up on us.

One thing I did notice is that E has been using more insulin.  Her total daily dose has gone up by 1-2 units, but that might just be a coincidence, since we started the insulin at the start of summer break, and she grew about an inch and a half in the last few months.

For us, Fiasp works.  I know not everyone has had the same experience.  Also?  I'm totally NOT a doctor.  And this is SO NOT medical advice.  If you want to read a real review, by someone way smarter than me, check out what Gary Scheiner has to say.

I was also not asked to write about this by anyone.  It's just my two cents.  And it's not even worth that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Don't Go

This summer we took a trip to Vancouver.  It was amazing to be back, and even better; amazing to share the place I love with my kiddos now that they're all old enough to appreciate it.

What made my heart smile was watching Elise just be a kid. She carries such a heavy burden at times, and it's great when she can put it down and just enjoy the moment.  Like the picture above; shoes off, and running down the beach with the pure joy that children only seem capable of.

About a week ago, we had our final 504 meeting at the elementary level.  To say we have been taken care of and had every need met by our school and district, would be a vast understatement.  At school, we know that she is loved and safe.  During the meeting, we talked a bit about the transition into middle school, and for some reason this picture above came to mind.

To me, middle school is growing up.  It's older kids and mean girls.  It's responsibility and pressure.  Chaos. Too many teachers and too easy to get lost.  It scares me.

The other day, as we were getting ready for a dex change she started to cry.  "Mama," she said, "what will happen to me when I'm older and have to do all this by myself?  What if I can't do it?"

Let me interject that she does a great deal of it on her own as it is; pump changes, carb counting, finger poking and bolusing.  As her dex goes on the back of her arm, that can be a bit tricky.

As we talked and I reminded her how far she has come, the tears slowed and a smile slowly crept back onto her face.  The moment passed, dex was changed, and she ran off to play with her lego.

Because for now, she's still a child, like the one in the photo. Next year will bring what it will. And we will be ready.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Why I should not be living in Texas

When your kid with type 1 gets invited to a party at a splash pad in 105 degree heat... this is what happens.  Yes, it came down... but it took a pod change and shot to do that.  The pod we had just changed the night before was rendered useless.

Go home, Texas Summer... you suck.  I don't want to play with you anymore.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Happy 151st Birthday Canada!

It all started with a simple picture of my 10 month old daughter holding a Canadian flag.  Now 8 years later, all 3 of my kids proudly wave the maple leaf on Canada Day. 

Tell me what’s a Douglas Fir 
Betcha never heard a bobcat purr
Have you ever seen a lobster crawl?
In Canada, we get to see them all.
We get to see the maple trees, maple sugar and the maple leaves,
We got the biggest wheat fields growing tall
In C-A-N-A-D-A, where we see the reversing falls
In Canada, we get to see them all.

Tell me, what’s a tidal bore,


Have you ever heard the ocean roar?

Just listen to that wild goose call.

In Canada, we get to see them all

We get to see the maple trees, maple sugar and the maple leaves,
We got the biggest timber woods so tall 
In C-A-N-A-D-A, where adventure ever calls,
In Canada, we get to see them all.

Have you ever heard a maple creak?
Betcha never seen a mountain peak.

In the land of the big snowball.

In Canada, we get to see them all.
We get to see the maple trees, maple sugar and the maple leaves,
We got the biggest wheat fields growing tall

In C-A-N-A-D-A, where we see the reversing falls,
In Canada, we get to see them all.

Have you ever seen a magnetic hill? 


Or a lady on a dollar bill?

Betcha never seen the autumn fall.

We get to see the maple trees, maple sugar and the maple leaves,
We got the biggest timber woods so tall
In C-A-N-A-D-A, where adventure ever calls,
In Canada, we get to see them all.

*Lyrics from the song C-A-N-A-D-A by Raffi

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian peeps out there. 


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

And that's what it's all about

I found these shots as I looked through all the professional FFL pictures from a few summers ago.  I remember the situation well...

Dexcom sponsors a movie event at FFL.  We were sitting outside the doors to the movie room, waiting to be let in, when Elise realized she couldn't find her favourite stuffed bear, Pinky.

As Elise sobbed silently, her BFFL, H, put her arm around Elise and comforted her as she wept.

All was well in the end.  Pinky was found hiding in a comforter in our room, and the movie was enjoyed by all.

And that's what FFL is all about.  Thank you H, for being such a good FFL to Elise!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Carb Shark

A few months ago, at a Valentine's party at Elise's school, I helped a mom of a newly diagnosed kid in kinder count the carbs in her sundae.  A sundae laden with sprinkles, whipped cream, gummy bears, and other treats I can't remember.

One glance had me swagging for 40g. The mom practically swooned at my speed and apparent accuracy.

Or maybe I'm remembering it wrong.  Anyway, in that moment I knew what rockstars must feel like.

Her daughter was in-range the rest of the day.

Now I'm the freaking Rainman of carb counting.

Too bad it won't make me any money in Vegas.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A diabetes Lucas-ism

Sometimes on my other blog, I'll post funny things the kids say.  I figured this one belonged here.

I was in the kitchen using rubbing alcohol to clean some gunk off of toys that I was getting ready to garage sale.

Lucas walks in, wrinkles his nose and says, "why does it smell like diabetes in here?"

Man, he's cute.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

These days

It's been awhile, hasn't it? So sorry... it's not you, it's me.

Actually, if I'm being truthful, it's life. Life is screaming by and I'm powerless to stop it.  The other day I received this email from a photo storage website:

"Joanne," it said, "Check out these memories from 6 years ago!!!" (emphasis mine).

"No." Said I. "There has been a mistake. That cannot be 6 years ago... they still look exactly like that."

And to prove my point, I peered over my phone to look at my tiny people.  

And found that I was wrong.  Also, one of my kids wasn't even born yet when those pictures were taken, so as well as getting older, it seems I'm getting dumber.

I have now been  fake pancreas-ing for almost 10 years.  Some days it feels so easy, that I could do it in my sleep (or it feels like I'm sleeping because of the sheer lack of it).

Other days I want to lie down and cry from the enormity of it all.

But mostly it just feels like life, these days. Something that's shoved in there with grocery shopping, and laundry, school and sports. It's present, but not everything, like it was so long ago.

These days, I've been asking myself where the time has gone?

When did she become so independent?  This past summer, Elise started doing her own pod changes and making and bolusing for her breakfast in the mornings.  Without any prompting, at the age of 9.

There are still days when she wants Fred or I to do it for her.  But these days, I'm not needed so much anymore.

And when I compare it to the relentless and complete dependence... I honestly don't know which I prefer.

There used to be dance, and gymnastics, and pre-school, and soccer, and all the things that scared me to death.

These days, there's still soccer, but there's also hockey, and orchestra, and choir, and acting classes and sleepovers.

These days there is technology, that I am so thankful for.  Because it makes all the things of these days easier to say yes to.

This picture makes me happy

So yeah... here I sit, in the in-between.  It's a weird place to be.  I have missed blogging, and what this blog has brought me. Hopefully there's still some of you out there. I think it's you that I've missed most of all.