DOC

First let me just say I am still fairly new to the Diabetes Online Community. Over the previous 5 years I peaked in to various forums, blogs, websites etc. However, I never jumped in (well a little in the Children With Diabetes Forums) – I never felt that I had much to add – and who would want to hear it? Then I realized at least for me – it isn’t about who might be listening/reading – for me sharing became a way of maintaining sanity and making friends (although they might all be laughing at me over their keyboards – ignorance is bliss).

It wasn’t terribly hard to find a place in the DOC – but I am still learning too. If it weren’t for Kerri’s mention of the DSMA (Diabetes Social Media Advocacy) chat in her blog Sixunitlme  I think I would have ignored the DOC for much longer or not had a clue how to get in on the fun.

I have an image on my home page this image:

I have other awesome images  too and they all link to great sites including the DSMA and I hope to add more. The thing is the image above isn’t a link and I want it to be – maybe not this exact image (I copied it from another awesome blog because it spoke to me).

Id like the image to link to a page that helps others find the awesome websites and blogs that help connect people. It isn’t that I want it to compete with organizations like the Diabetes Hands Foundation whose goal it is TO connect people. Id like to see a page that directs people to those organizations easier. DSMA has links to those organizations and I believe between twitter and DSMA that is how I found Tudiabetes a part of Diabetes Hands Foundation.

I started my true journey into the DOC back in January of this year but I think I would have started earlier if there was a “How To” place to begin. Maybe this exists and I just haven’t found it – if so please share it and I will add it to my home page and share it often so newly diagnosed pwd or parents of newly diagnosed cwd can find the joy, laughter, knowledge, sanity, friendship, and support that I have found a little easier than I found it.

 

Wordless Wednesday

Technically it is Thursday at 12:17am – but since I haven’t slept I consider it still Wednesday. Just say’n.

This is Sugarboy – it was last night. I sent him to bed and promised to be up in minute to tuck him in. I got sidetracked and didn’t get upstairs for about 10 min. When I got there I noticed my boy was not in his bed – he was on his floor – in the same position he slept as an infant on my chest. I had all these warm fuzzy feelings remembering such a tender time. I miss the baby time with my kids – I would do it again if I could.

Then I noticed his shirt – It is the back of a JDRF walk shirt. I was confused for a second but I didn’t understand why. Then it hit me – In the time I took to reminisce about my dear boy as an infant – his blood sugar may be dropping. Maybe he didn’t make it to his bed because he is low. Why am I not testing him? Stop standing here taking pictures and get his meter – run!

Turns out his sugars were spot on – the thing is they very well could have been low. I hate that I can’t just enjoy the sweet moments of my kids without the elephant stepping on my damn toes. (BTW those are my toes – and yes my jammies have bubble gum balls on them)

Post Scriptum: I suck at wordless wednesday.

 

Anger Issues

Hi my name is Christina and I have anger issues. That is a bit of an exaggeration – although my kids might suggest it is accurate. I will admit I have been and sometimes still am a yeller. I don’t like to yell it hurts my head and truly accomplishes nothing. I obtain better results if I whisper. I have friends who never seem to raise their voices to their children. The kids seem about as well-adjusted as mine though – each with their own issues.

My kids do have some aggression issues – but only towards each other. None of them have ever been aggressive towards others. However, if any one of them gets overly frustrated it can be like dogs fighting I almost have to throw a blanket over them or spray them with water to break it up. There don’t seem to be any rules either – punching, slapping, pushing, kicking, all fair methods of beating the crud out of each other.

I’ve never been the spanking type. I don’t judge those who do use that method of discipline. It is just that my folks were spankers and slappers. I don’t feel I learned anything from those moments of discipline. I have occasionally given it go – always unsuccessful – just made me feel cruddy and I am certain my kids learned nothing from it. So where did all the physical aggression toward each other come from?

The physical aggression isn’t even the worst of it. They are often just mean to each other. Middles intentionally annoys his sister with every ounce of his being. Sweetstuff (seems odd writing that right now seeing as she just slapped the crud out of middles then slammed the TV cabinet door but not before screaming at me and telling me she hated me – sigh…) anyway she has zero patience for her brothers – after all she does believe the world revolves around her (do most tween girls???) Sugarboy is the devious and manipulative one. He is so good at manipulation that often adults and kids don’t know they have been played for sometime after the event. Recently he did admit “my cuteness is failing me – you don’t say yes so much anymore.”

Sometimes I try to excuse poor behavior between the kids if one or more of their blood sugars are wacky but I don’t feel as though I am doing them any favors. Will their supervisors or teachers excuse poor behavior due to diabetes related issues. Likely not. Plus since Sweetstuff has never had a single behavior or academic issue at school – but has had numerous high or low blood sugars – clearly she has the ability to make proper choices while under d-influence. Same goes for Sugarboy – the one time he had an altercation with another boy at school his numbers were spot on. Middles is the only one who has a few behavior issues at school but never toward other students – more of arguing back to the teacher when she tells him to stop talking. (seriously he will argue till the cows come home if he believes he is right) So back to not allowing D to be an excuse for poor choices – I would love to hear feedback from adult PWD and how blood sugars effected your behavior while growing up and how they affect your behavior now.

Meanwhile I will be interviewing anger management specialists for my kids who honestly seem to hate each other more often than like each other. Where did I go wrong?

Goodbye Pink

Leaving a community, city, state that I have been apart of for nearly 13 years has been had to think about. Thus I have not thought about it. Sure I put my house together, listed it with an agent, accepted an offer, scheduled movers, and are making the small repairs the inspection identified. However I have done all of this and continue to do all this on auto pilot.

If I think too much about what I am leaving behind I become overwhelmed and begin ransacking the house for some form of chocolate. Even when friends or family ask me how everything is going I answer the questions as if I was an automated phone menu – “For Questions about our offer press 1, For questions about the pending house in Cali press 2, For questions about moving household goods press 3, For my feelings – operator is unavailable.”

The week before last I had to say Goodbye to a good friend. He has been a trusted alli the last three years while I volunteered with the JDRF Kids Walk To Cure Diabetes. He has helped to educate elementary school students in countless schools and always loved it when the kids would sing his theme song when I introduced him. He is back with the people who shared him with me and I’m sure his days of presentations is not over. I hope my days are not over either – I hope the San Francisco JDRF chapter has a Kids Walk program and they will find a place within it for me. Presenting Kids Walk has been a real treat for me these last few years. Goodbye Pink and thank you JDRF Austin for allowing me to be part of a future cure for diabetes.

Saying goodbye to Pink and the JDRF office was hard and resulted in a teary drive home. Saying goodbye to friends that have been with me for over a decade will be worse. This Friday one of my BFFs is helping me host my last BUNCO party in Texas. It will be at my house as usual but I couldn’t bring myself to send out the Evite so she agreed to do it for me. She didn’t copy me on it. It was too much for me to think about – seeing the RSVPs come in would cause a chocolate shortage in my area. My BUNCO (dice game that requires no skill – thus can be played while consuming adult beverages) parties have always been themed – I normally would host about 4 a year and invite just about anyone – the more the merrier – plus more cash in the pot. This party is Themed too “If You’re Going To San Francisco” – Not sure if my friends will show up with flowers in their hair or as a transgender. Either way is good. The guest list is a bit more exclusive – just 30 or so of my closest friends. The ones I have known and loved for years. I am gonna be a wreck – although it will likely be the one of the few times since hubby left to work in CA that I’ll put on make-up and do something other than toss my hair in a clip.

 

 

Pumping Air

Last week was Diabetes Camp Week! It was AWESOME.

My kids blood sugars were the best they have been in months. Why is that?  I didn’t change basals (amount of insulin that is continuously given via the insulin pump) or I:C ratios (Insulin to Carb ratios ex. 1 unit insulin for 14 grams carbs) or ISFs (Insulin Sensitivity Factors – amount of insulin given to correct a high blood sugar)? Yet their BSs stayed between 78 and 176 while at camp. That mystery is for another post. This post I want to share a problem I hadn’t run into before – well I had but I didn’t know why until now.

At camp on Thursday Sugarboy’s tubbing became detached from the cartridge of insulin in his pump. He didn’t know how long it had been detached before he realized it. Someone (he can’t remember if it was his group leader or a medic) told him to just plug it back in. Don’t get to upset with the person – I have done the same thing.

After camp we went to a water park. We ate dinner before and Sugarboys BS was 227 so he dosed for his dinner and corrected. An hour or so later he wanted nachos for a snack. He had just eaten and dosed so I let him dose for his nachos without checking his BS. At home he was 358. I thought we had not dosed enough for the nachos so I corrected him. At bedtime he was HIGH GLUCOSE. Huh?

 

I thought perhaps his infusion site had gone bad so we put a new one on. His pump said he still had 46 Units of insulin available and it was late so I decided against a new cartridge of insulin and to use the old tubbing until I replaced the insulin in the morning.

Thus, I ran a prime (push insulin through tubbing to remove any air). While priming I noticed a bit of blood come out of the tubbing. Huh?

Seeing the blood I decided to remove the cartridge to investigate. Huh?

There was no insulin in the cartridge – just 46 units of air. Thus after the insulin that was in the tubbing was used for dinner, nachos and attempted corrections my boy wasn’t getting any insulin. Turns out while the tubbing was disconnected insulin drained from the cartridge (makes perfect sense). Thus plugging back in without priming and checking the cartridge is dangerous. I did share the occurrence with the medical director of the camp and she assured me that she does instruct the medics to send the camper to the infirmary so proper procedures are followed. It was an honest mistake that even I have made. Which explained why in Feb of this year I found a cartridge filled with air when I thought Sugarboy’s site failed. At that time I didn’t make the connection that the disconnected tubbing caused the air filled cartridge – thus I called Animas and explained the air filled cartridge and they believed the cartridge was faulty and sent me a new box of cartridges.

New cartridge of insulin was installed with new tubbing and site and Sugarboy was within normal ranges in three hours. He was negative for ketones. All was right in the world of diabetes (at least in our home).

Header

My dear daughter Sweetstuff is working on creating a Header picture for me. I know there are easier ways but it was her idea to create it then take a picture of it. I don’t know what she has in mind entirely other than she plans to include my Blog title and description. She got sidetracked by Loony Toons so not sure when she will have it done.

I am a lucky mom to have such a creative daughter.

 

Almost There

I love my original blog www.momof2t1s.blogspot.com. It was easy to use, helped me connect with countless priceless people via Health Activist’s Writers Month Challenge, and it was free.

Couple things have come up in the last month that got me thinking I should consider changing my blog.

  • I didn’t think very hard about the name of my blog when I created it. It just made sense – I am a mom of 2 Type 1 diabetics. However, I really never refer to my kids as diabetics. I say they HAVE diabetes.
  • Sharing my blog address with people verbally was very difficult. “Mom of ‘the number 2’ ‘the letter t’ ‘the number 1’ ‘the letter s'” It was ridiculous.
  • Lastly – if you have read or followed my momof2t1s in the last month you will know that my middle kiddo (Middles) gave us a big scare when he had numbers in the 200’s (he does not have diabetes). I pray daily that the Endo is wrong and Middles will not eventually develop diabetes but I also didn’t want to continue to add content to momof2t1s when it could have to change to momof3t1s (still leaving me with the two problems listed above)

Thus a new blog was born. I decided this time around I wanted my own URL. Honestly I don’t know why I felt so strongly about having my own URL – maybe I just wanted to buy something since I have been a bit down lately (due to the upcoming move to SF CA). Either way I bought a URL. I actually bought 4 URLs – I only own 2 currently – long story for another post.

This lovely URL Name was suggested by the DOC’s very own Melissa Lee www.sweetlyvoiced.com. She shared the idea with me after I asked for help on a social network in coming up with a Blog name. Stick With It Sugar is a tag line I created during the Health Activist’s Writers Month Challenge – well technical I wrote it earlier in a tweet to a DOC member having a bad day. It was a wonderful idea and I will be forever thankful to Melissa for suggesting it.

I am not tech savvy in the tiniest bit. The site is still under construction and due lack of understanding of all things technology it may be a bit before it is fully functional. I am still trying to import my posts form momof2t1s as well as my blogroll. Currently I chose a free wordpress template to get started. My URL is hosted on Blue Host (love their technical support BTW – highly recommend them).

Life has settled down a bit for me as we are in limbo between closing on our home in TX and our home in CA. My house is spotless so I find myself bored often but also suffering form writers block (likely another reason I purchased a URL – trying to motivate myself).

Middles is not showing an additional Diabetes symptoms (of course we are still on the no fast acting carbs restriction). He will start a clinical trial with TrialNet when we get to SF CA. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts.

 

All my friends – JUST LIKE ME

All my friends – JUST LIKE ME

This week my kids (and me) spend our days at a day camp for kids with diabetes and their siblings. This is our 4th and hopefully not our last year attending CBB (my kids and I all hope we will return form CA each year to hang with all the kids and staff of CBB).
Each day camp starts out with a gathering on the hill. The kids, group leaders and medics listen to announcements, learn which team (blue and white) is in the lead for the camp cup, and of course dance and sing. Below is the camp song – I don’t know who originally wrote it as it was before our time at CBB but creative they are. It is sung to the Tune of “My Darling Clementine”
Camp Bluebonnet Camp Bluebonnet
In the hot summer sun
We are playing we are working
We are having lots of fun.
Basal, Bolus, glucose tablets
Finger Pricks and ketone strips
Everyone knows of highs and lows
And our goal is good control.
Carbohydrates carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the key
To preventing low blood sugars
Carbohydrates are what you need.
15 grams of carbohydrates
Read your labels carefully
If you don’t treat your lows
You’ll spend camp in the infirmary!
We spend a week here, make good friends here,
Have great fun with CITs
At Camp Bluebonnet, we laugh and learn
All my friends – just like me.
Each year I walk, jog and sometimes run between the different age groups snapping hundreds (yes hundreds) of pictures each day. The camp board does have an official photographer but taking pictures of 200+ campers in 10 groups at different ends of camp (acres of camp) requires a lot of running around. Thus – I volunteer to take pictures too and share them with the camp board. It makes me feel useful and allows me to see my own kids having fun as well as all their friends.
Here are some pictures of Sweetstuff, Middles and Sugarboy from the last few days –

 

Camp Bluebonnet is more than just a fun camp. It is a week of our lives each year where we are surrounded by other kids, camp staff and parents that understand. It is a week of feeling normal. No one asks if the kids pumps are Mp3 players, no one stares when the kids check their blood sugars. No one glares at me or other camp staff if we ask a child if they feel “High”.
Diabetes camps are an essential part of our mental well being. The kids count down the months, weeks and days till the next camp. They don’t whine about the extremely hot weather, all the walking, checking blood sugars, or waiting turns. My kids and I are so grateful to the volunteers (all camp staff are volunteers – no one is paid for their time, energy or dedication). We so dearly hope we will be able to return to Texas each year to participate in this camp. My kids have each been with many of their peers for 4 years in a row now. They have built relationships and bonds that distance and time will not be able to erase.
If you are a parent of a child with diabetes and you have not yet attended a camp near you. I recommend contacting your local JDRF or ADA office to locate camps in your area. Some camps are offered at no cost, some are minimal cost and others may require you to mortgage your home (hopefully not) but all camps are priceless. Good luck in your searches – may you find the love, laughter, joy, and normalness like we have.

AUTO REPLY

AUTO REPLY – Christina is temporarily Unavailable

Dear readers of my blog,
In efforts of retaining the little sanity I have left I have been unable to post recently. It is not for a lack of trying. I have 11 (yes double digits) draft posts waiting to be finished. I get about half way through and something comes up or I get all tongue twisted (finger twisted- brain twisted- oh good Lord it is happening again!).

Thought I might provide some bullet points of things I am working on –

  • Our home in Texas was on the market for 5 days and we received and accepted an offer (crazy!)
  • Our home in Cali is under contract and we are waiting for the appraisal – hoping to close in mid July.
  • Middles has not had any more numbers over 200 – he is excited to be starting a Trialnet Clinical Study soon in which he has a 50% chance of taking oral insulin in hopes of delaying or avoiding diabetes.
  • I have two nearly 6 foot tall 4 foot wide billboards of Sweetstuff and Sugarboy that were created and used by the JDRF for the 2012 Hope Ball – I have no idea what I will do with them.
  • The kids and I will attend Camp Bluebonnet all next week – so so so so excited (a day camp for cwd and their siblings in Killeen, TX).
  • I’m bored because I have nothing to clean since my house is spotless (yet I can’t seem to write coherently lately)
  • I am thankful for the DOC on twitter and all my new FB friends that followed me on twitter but then friended me on FB. The DOC, writing my blog, and finding new blogs because of the DOC and twitter has changed my life in countless positive ways. #TRUTH!
  • Saying goodbye to local friends is harder than I ever imagined – final BUNCO party scheduled to celebrate with my closest 42 friends – San Francisco themed “Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair”
  • Booked a trip to SF CA to see the house my hubby has chosen for us – No I have not seen it yet but my realtor assures me that I will love it (he spent over 20 hours with me in a 48 hour period looking at other houses – I trust him)
  • I am going crazy with no good book to read – would love recommendations. (I tried 50 shades and I couldn’t do it – not because of the sex – I love sex – I just found the rest boring – I mean no offense to those who enjoy the series).
  • All medical records have been sent to new doctors in Cali and I have spoken a few times with the CDEs in our new Endo office and they are wonderful. Although I am sad to be leaving a number of the staff at Specially For Children here in Austin – they have set the bar very high for the staff at the Kaiser office.
  • I want to get my kids the new Tandem Diabetes Care pump – unfortunately Kaiser only prescribes Animas and Medtronic. Kaiser also does not do Dexcom for kids. Hurry up FDA and approve Vibe in US and make sure it is approved for kids too! No CGMS makes me sad. T Slim Tandem Pump
Well those are a *few of the things I have started but not finished. I will get to them soon. In the meantime please enjoy some of these great pins from pinterest….
 I know I should have credited someone but honestly I still don’t know how to determine who actually created the stuff on pinterest. Just know I didn’t create any of the pictures I’m sharing.
what a great visual of D symptoms
If only –
I know y’all haven’t seen the snarky side of me –
just know it exists when I am angry – you won’t like me when Im angry.
This is me – ALWAYS
Don’t worry I will not burn down the Golden Gate or Bay Bridges
I really wish I had a unicorn
Or something unicornish

Up Hill Both Ways in the Snow

Up Hill Both Ways in the Snow

Yesterday I was driving a 14ft Uhaul truck that I had packed with a good deal of my house (clutter) to the storage unit. The truck was so big I felt like the Lily Tomlin when she did the skits with the big chair – video completely unrelated to post other than a reminder of Lily in the big chair.

While I was driving the truck I thought about all I have done to prepare my home for the market – painting, packing, small repairs, etc. I also thought about the big move coming up across the country to a new state, new schools, new friends, new job, new home, etc. While thinking of all the difficult tasks I have completed or will need to complete I thought about how I became so able to complete the tasks.

I thought about my years in the US Air Force – and all I accomplished serving our country. I was never very athletic yet I graduated basic training with honors – not an easy task.

I thought about earning my undergraduate degrees and how long it took and how many schools I transferred to to complete my degrees. It took 10 years after graduating HS and 5 colleges because I began in WI after HS but then joined the AF thus transferring to a school that I could attend while serving in the AF. However, I didn’t get to finish before having my daughter and moving away from that college so I transferred again and attended college with a toddler at home and pregnant with my second. I completed one degree shortly after my second was born but went to another college to obtain my second degree while pregnant with my third. Yet I did it and while learning has never been difficult for me balancing work and kids with school takes some talent.

I thought about how being a parent is not an easy task yet I like to think I do it well despite being without family in my state to help.

I thought about how being a parent of children (yes multiple) with diabetes is a frustrating, difficult, heart aching job – yet I do a fairly good job of it most the time – and on very little sleep.

I rarely take a moment to congratulate myself for my accomplishments. I spend most my time berating myself for not being better, stronger, faster, smarter. Yet I allowed myself this short moment of self congratulations. While patting myself on my back I realized I didn’t get to be as strong as I am on my own.

I got here because I had extremely demanding parents who expected a lot from me and my older sister. We didn’t get a free ride.

My mom taught me how to iron my dads work shirts when I was in kindergarten. I was emptying and loading a dishwasher and folding clothes in kinder too. When I was 7 my folks bought a bar and our house was connected to the rear of the bar. Before school I cleaned bar bathrooms, mopped bar floors, washed bar glasses – all this in addition to regular housework. By the time I was 9 I was mowing the acre of land surrounding the bar. We moved to a new home when I was 11. At our new home we boarded horses – I mucked horse stalls, bailed hay, watered the horses and help feed them. Our land grew so did the amount of lawn I had to mow. I also shoveled snow, cleaned the pool and helped with various projects. On the weekend we cleaned house. If I went to a friends to spend the night I had to be home before 9 the next morning so I could do chores. My older sister and I were also the summer babysitters for our younger brother and sister.

I got my first job when I was 15 at a photo lab and portrait studio. I took the bus after school everyday to work at the lab – in the summer I rode my bike to work (I think likely about 6 miles each way). I bought most my own clothing, shoes, everything. (well I didn’t buy my own car – my dad bought me a 1978 reliant station wagon when I was 17 – thus I guess I did get a free ride).

I didn’t like my parents a whole lot when I was young. I thought they were mean, and treated me more like a slave than a daughter (sorry mom and dad if you are reading this but keep reading).

It was during the drive in the gigantic Uhaul that it dawned on me – I am as strong as I am because my parents never allowed me to be weak.

I have thanked my parents at various times for instilling in me an incredible work ethic. I give my all to everything I commit to. I got that from my folks and Ive known that for a long time. However I didn’t realize how strong they helped make me until I felt like the tiny child driving the gigantic truck and I wasn’t afraid. I never once thought “I can’t do this”. In fact I rarely think that – I just assume I can do all things.

So maybe my fluency wasn’t awesome while I was in elementary school because my folks never cracked a book at bedtime. Maybe my homework wasn’t always turned in because my folks expected me to do it without them telling me to. Maybe I got bullied a bit longer than some because my folks didn’t pick up the phone to yell at the school. The thing is – I survived and I am a stronger better person for it. I am an uberfast reader now (despite my tendency to make up words), I earned nearly all A’s in college (if we don’t count my first semester of my freshmen year), and I don’t take crap from anyone now.

What I learned from my moment that began with self congratulations but ended with self realization – I learned I may be too easy on my kids and I may be setting them up for failure. I may not be raising self-sufficient confidant individuals because I congratulate them for the smallest achievements.

I have seen what too much coddling creates – it creates the bagger at the grocery store that gossips while putting my raw meat in with my fresh produce and canned goods on top of my eggs. It creates the life guard at our community pool that falls asleep in his life guard chair or another who invites teenage girls to sit on his lap while on duty and then becomes angry when moms call his inappropriate behavior to the attention of management. It creates kids who can’t do their own homework because their mom has been doing it for them for years. It creates a lazy “what about me” society.

My goal this summer – teach my kids how to do laundry, mow a lawn, wash dishes, mop a floor, vacuum, clean a toilet, and cook. They will not like me very much this summer but they will thank me one day.

Thanks for baring with me in my non-Diabetes post – while this blog is mostly about the betes – life isn’t’.