OUT OF TIME

Sweetstuff with Diabetes Camp BFFs – Notice the blue fingernail polish – WDD represent!

I am seriously out of time. The movers will be here Saturday. I am leaving tomorrow to pick up Sweetstuff and Sugarboy from camp. I have spent the week dividing my time between cleaning, having with Middles, and playing Where’s Waldo on the Texas Lions Camp website. I have so much to blog about regarding Texas Lions Camp and Diabetes camps in general. It will have to wait though.

BUT I wanted to write this post now. Right now so that maybe just maybe y’all will help make Sweetstuff go viral. TLC recorded her singing her song and put it on YouTube and asked all the TLC Facebook followers to share it. They have been doing a great job – won’t you consider sharing it too.

Here is the link to her video.

This is a copy of the bunk note (email) I sent to her after seeing her video – she will get it tomorrow. Tomorrow is the closing ceremony at camp. There is a good chance she will be asked to sing for all the campers and their families. I am hoping if she gets that opportunity she will share a few  other thoughts.

OH MY GOODNESS you beautiful wonderful amazing child of mine!!!! 

I saw you on Youtube. I hope you thanked Dr. P and camp staff for allowing you the opportunity. You were amazing – you are amazing. So proud of you!!!!! 

I also saw that you got to go to Sea World – how incredibly awesome. I saw lots of video of you and got to hear your sweet voice there too. I think my heart almost exploded with joy. I also saw a picture of you taking a picture – yea!!! 

If you are given another opportunity to share your song perhaps consider sharing another thought with it – you have a gift and a voice if you get a chance consider using it to encourage others – invite them to “write a song, write a book, write a poem, tell a story – tell THEIR story. Like the great Diabetes Dad Tom Karlya says “Just don’t do nothing” – invite them to make the world recognize them and make a difference”  

I can’t wait to hug you so hard I might break you!!!! 
I want to write more but I am crazy busy with cleaning and packing and organizing. Im running out of time to get ready for everything. I miss you and love you and am so glad you are at camp having fun. 

Last reminders: 
Wear Sunscreen 
Brush your teeth 
Dance like no one is watching 
Hug everyone every chance you get 
Tell others they are beautiful 
Thank your counselors and med staff 
Take Pictures 
Have thumb wars
Smile till your face hurts then smile more. 
It has never gotten easier – you have gotten better. 
Love always – your very proud mom

Pulling off the Band-aid

I’m sad today. The upcoming move is coming up fast. Two weeks from tomorrow we will be on the road with 2 dogs, 2 cats, 3 kids, 1 grandpa and a couple of weeks worth of clothing and diabetes supplies. We will go to my folks winter home in AZ for about a week then on to the suburbs of San Fran. We won’t close on our new home in San Ramon until Aug 20th so in the meantime we will stuff ourselves and our pets into my hubby’s tiny 2 bedroom temporary apartment (I keep having images of clown cars and it is just as scary).

My Sweetstuff and Suagrboy have only the remainder of this week to fit in as many playdates as they can before they are off to diabetes camp (which in itself is stressing me out since it will be Sugarboys first time away from me for a week at a sleep away camp). We are basically booked solid with last-minute visits before camp. The following week it will just be Middles and I making final preparations for the move and hopefully fitting a few playdates in for him and his buddies before we leave.

I am basically a wreck today. Thinking of all those I will be leaving behind and all that they mean to me and my kids. I’ve already made great connections with other Type 1 families and organizations in the Bay Area and I am excited to meet them but I would like to pack up my friends from here and take them with. There is no such thing as a stress free move when you are leaving so many you love behind.

It doesn’t help that the contract we had on our home here was terminated because the buyers were unable to secure financing (they seemed so great too – I’m sad for them). Thus our home is back on the market and I fear we will leave without a contract in hand. I am certain our home will sell soon. We have lots of traffic and I know it shows well – just hoping the right buyer happens along sooner than later.

I fear the stress from the move is also effecting the kids blood sugars. They are both running higher than normal despite adjustments, frequent site changes and limiting the sweets. The move is taking a toll on my Middles too. He worries most of all – will he find new friends, will his new friends like playing Airsoft and skateboarding? Sweetstuff is having a hard time too – recent fallouts with some of her previously closest friends have made her sad to think she will leave without them saying goodbye. It’s tough being a tween – couldn’t pay me enough to do that again. Also she will desperately miss the friends she has become very close with the last few months. I don’t know if the numerous sleepovers and hangouts have been a good thing or bad – makes it harder to leave the closer you get.

My wicked smaht hubby made a great point this morning when I became choked up about leaving – he said maybe all the time I’ve had to prepare has made things worse – like removing a sticky band-aid slowly vs. ripping it off quick.

I hate it when he is ‘possibly’ right.

For now I tell myself….

You Must Experience It To Understand It

DSMA July Blog Carnival

The Diabetes Online Community, or DOC, is a pretty amazing thing.  We each might be looking for something different from the DOC and we each have unique experiences.  With that in mind, we’re looking back at the chat from June 13th called Winging It and would love to hear thoughts on the following sentence . . . .

The diabetes community has taught me how to _______ and _______.

 

I must say that was an amazing DSMA chat.

I went to bed smiling – feeling like all was well with the world.

That night when the same question was asked I answered the following:

“The DOC has taught me to NOT berate myself for not always being the perfect pancreas for my kids and to celebrate success”

BUT – there is so much more that I didn’t share because well – I was busy trying to keep up with all the ideas and thoughts other DOCers were sharing.

Some of the other tidbits of truth the DOC has taught me are:

  • Unicorns are not just for little girls
  • Diabetes is hard (I knew that but it’s nice to be validated)
  • Complications are not inevitable
  • That PWD and parents of CWD active in the DOC are funny, smart, supportive, tad bit crazy and a whole lot of fun
  • I am not alone
  • There is always new technology, studies, trials, and tools that I can learn about
  • How to convert mg to mmol and visa versa (math hurts my head)
  • That a No Hitter is not just in baseball
  • It’s ok to have a bad day
  • #howtouseahashtag
  • There are more families than I thought with multiple kids with diabetes (hate the cost of joining the club but the members are fabulous)
  • Everything will be alright
The question that followed the above question during that awesome DSMA chat was this:

What does the diabetes community mean to you?

 I answered with this: The DOC means sanity, friendship, support, love, knowledge, power and courage.
To fully grasp this you must get involved. It is not something that can be explained or demonstrated. It must be experienced. The DOC is not about self-promotion or simply sharing articles or blog posts. To truly experience what the DOC is one has to get connected, have conversations (which are visible to – well everyone {unless done in Direct messaging}), attend the DSMA chats, read and respond to posts shared by others and share thoughts not just check-ins. There is certainly value in being a spectator – one can learn a great deal from watching a game but to fully experience it you have to suit up. 
Awesome Image above was created by the DOC’s very own Mike Durbin (@mydiabeticheart) – he created in last year for Diabetes Art Day. You can read more about his art here.  Mike’s art speaks to me because the majority of the DOCers that I interact with daily (sometimes hourly #Ihavenolife) are not in my town, not my state – many not even my country yet we are connected regardless of distance, type of diabetes, age, gender, race, or religion. We are united by a cause.
“This post is my July entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information athttp://diabetessocmed.com/2012/july-dsma-blog-carnival-2/

 

Wordless Wednesday Take 2

My Sweetstuff with Dakota (Her American Girl Doll)

Dakota is wearing a pump and pump pack sent to me two years ago from a pharma company – normally comes on a stuffed monkey but the company was generous and sent me just the pump and case for Sweetstuffs doll.

Love that my dear daughter does not think of herself  too old to play with dolls. Of course I wasn’t allowed to post to instagram where many of her friends follow me.

*Yes Im that cool ‘mom’.

 

Wordless Wednesday

I was tagged in a photo on Facebook today.

I assure you I wasn’t the cause of my dear friends ANGER. Her anger is directed at cancer and a life taken too soon. Anger manifests in many forms – tears, pain, and anxiety to name just a few. It isn’t easy to let go of especially when it is wrapped up in sadness. I had suggested my friend try to get down to the beach (closest one is 4 hours south) – write her thoughts in the sand and let the waves take them away – see here. She wasn’t able to get to the beach but it has been like a monsoon here in the Austin area the last 2 days. My friend took the opportunity to write her feelings in the mud collecting in her yard. It seems fitting – the pain and anger that attacks us after the death of a loved one can not be taken away easily or quickly. It is will be slow process of healing but I hope with each drop of rain my friends anger will lessen just a bit.

BTW- I suck at wordless anything – this is as wordless as I get.

My Friend Elli

I have this friend named Elli.

She is always there for me.

But she is also a real pain.

She calls out to me to pay attention to her at the most inconvenient times.

She doesn’t complain that I don’t pay attention to her as often as I should but I know she aches for my attention.

 

Each time I see her I feel a twinge of guilt because I haven’t given her any attention so sometimes it’s easier to close the door on her.

Since we met there have been long stints of time – years even – that I would ignore her, yet she is still here.

In the past couple of months I have used her when I have been angry or needed something to do while I waited for blood sugars on the kids – even in the late night hours.

She doesn’t mind being used as a time waster but I also get so worked up after spending time with her that I can’t sleep.

When I do spend time with her I feel good but after my entire body aches.

She only wants what’s best for me and doesn’t ever judge me.

I think it’s time I commit to being a better friend to Elli.

Meet Elli –

 

Freedom

This is my first remote post – meaning I am not sitting in my own desk chair with a dog curled up at my feet. I am currently sitting at a place called Main Event. It’s an arcade, pool hall, bowling alley, rock gym, laser tag place. It is a fantastically wonderful magical place!

On Monday nights there is a special it’s called Monday Night Madness. For only $20 a kid they get to do unlimited rock climbing, bowling, laser tag, mini glow golf, and video games galore. It starts at 4pm and ends at closing which is something crazy like 2am (btw there is a full bar too).  The latest we’ve stayed is midnight – since we are here by 4pm that is 8 hours of fun for them and quiet time for me (even with todays pop 40 blaring from the bowling lanes).

The kids check in every 30 minutes or so to grab some cheese fries, sip some water or if I’m lucky sneak in a hug and tell me how awesome of a mom I am for bringing them to Main Event – if they only knew it was more about me than them. (ok maybe equal me and them).

Tonight I have so much to catch up on. So many DOCers (people involved in the diabetes online community) have returned from the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life conference with stories to tell. My family couldn’t attend this year so I was living through them – all the tweets with quotable moments from different conference sessions were fantastic.

Here are a few FFL posts I have enjoyed so far:

Karen at Bittersweet Diabetes 

Kerri at Six Until Me 

Scott Strange at Strangely Diabetic

Another great one from Scott 

Jess at Me and D

Shay at Just Same Changes

Allison at Diabetes Mine

Meri at Our Diabetic Life

Martin at Diabetically Speaking

Kate at Tenaciously Sweet 

Kelly at Diabetesaliciousness

This is all I’ve read so far – I’m certain more will be posted soon and there may be dozen’s I just haven’t gotten to yet.

Back in April during the Health Activists Writer’s Challenge Month there was prompt that asked if I titled my posts before I wrote or if I titled them after. Normally I title them before because I have a specific thing I plan to write about. For this post I titled it “Freedom” because I had intended on writing about the fact that I dropped my Sweetstuff off at the movies without me – first time. I wasn’t worried about diabetes – I was more worried about her talking to strangers. It was great allowing her the freedom to grow up a bit and not worry about diabetes.

I was also going to write about the freedom a place like Main Event allows me to relax while knowing my kids are safe and entertained. I did touch on that but then I went a different direction – I shared posts regarding the Friends for Life conference. I was contemplating a change in title but realized it isn’t necessary. I haven’t been at the FFL conference since 2009 – but I do remember the sense of freedom I felt after each conference. Freedom to raise strong, healthy, amazing children with diabetes. The freedom to talk about diabetes, the freedom to admit that I do get overwhelmed, I do get sad, I do get very angry and freedom to admit I make mistakes and need help.

No title change necessary – I hope you check out the blog posts I’ve shared and find more and might share them with me in case I have missed them.

 

 

I Should’ve Made The Brownies

I recently learned of a family that nearly lost their daughter. She had been wetting her bed, drinking lots of water, eating everything in sight, arguing, talking back and sleeping way more than usual. The parents noticed all these things but didn’t put them together as a whole. They addressed each issue separately  – while they disciplined the poor behavior and restricted water before bed. They chalked most things up as ‘summer boredom’. When their daughter started throwing up they thought she had a summer flu and took her to the doctor. The doctor sent them to the hospital and said “It isn’t the flu”.

If you are reading this you are likely already familiar with Type 1 diabetes. You recognize all the symptoms. You knew right away the dear child didn’t have behavior problems, wasn’t bored and didn’t have the flu. The thing is  – many parents don’t know the symptoms. I didn’t know the symptoms. When Sugarboy was diagnosed his blood sugar was nearly 1000. He was in DKA. I could have lost him if I hadn’t noticed the weight loss and followed my gut despite my husbands insistence that I was paranoid. (Don’t judge him – Ive always been a bit worrisome)

Six months before Sugarboys diagnosis I had started a new part-time job as a pre-school teacher for mothers-day-out at a church. I had applied for a number of positions at various churches and was offered a number of jobs. The job I took was not my first choice. It offered less money than the others, and offered the opposite days that I wanted to work. Yet something urged me to take the position. Honestly my heart and head where arguing with each other. My head said no my heart said yes. I followed my heart. Two months after starting the new job a 3-year-old girl in another class was diagnosed with diabetes. I didn’t know her or her family but signed up to make a meal for them. I made meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli and sent a loaf of french bread. When the mother of the child came to pick up her daughter from school I gave her the meal and said, “I wanted to include brownies but didn’t think that would be right.” The mom smiled and thanked me and went on her way. I rarely saw the mom although the child hung out in my classroom with my co-teacher often. I never thought to ask how a child so small could have diabetes. I never thought to ask about the symptoms.

Three months later I started noticing little things with my boy (2 years old at the time). He was drinking more, asking for milk or water vs juice, sleeping longer and harder than before, wetting through his diaper at night and during the day, he was cranky and whiny. His teachers noticed it too – said he was falling asleep during story time. I asked them to please allow him to have his zippy cup of water since he was so thirsty. A couple of weeks past and he became more thirsty, more tired and more cranky. I was cursing the terrible twos. His teachers and my co-teacher became more concerned but no one mentioned diabetes (not blaming them – they didn’t know either).

Sugarboy’s whole diagnosis story is here but this isn’t about his diagnosis. This is about how knowing the symptoms of diabetes saves lives. It is why if I get an opportunity to share what onset of Type 1 diabetes looks like – I do. It is why I strongly believe doctors should have posters in their exam rooms that outline the symptoms. It is why I believe doctors should test urine for sugar at well checks. It is why I volunteer for the JDRF Kids Walk to Cure diabetes because I get to talk about the symptoms with entire schools.

Not every parent of a child with diabetes wants to talk about diagnosis, diets, fears, struggles, symptoms, etc. The day I handed the meal to the mother of this child I wish I had asked questions. Maybe she would have felt uncomfortable talking about it. Maybe it would have been too soon after diagnosis for her to talk. Or maybe she would have liked to share her story and I would have caught Sugarboy’s diagnosis earlier.

What I wish most is that I had made the brownies.

Be Thankful

Tonight I am thankful for the opportunity to argue. I am blessed.

 

Less than a week ago I learned that an incredible family was attending an amazing event. There is no other family more deserving. I am not comfortable including names or events since it is not my place to do so. I learned tonight that one of the parents of this family had to be hospitalized during the vacation. My heart aches for this family. I have said multiple prayers already and will continue to send up healing prayers. I hope you will join me. You do not need to know names or circumstances – just pray for those in need of healing, families in need of support, spouses in need of comfort. The Lord will know of who you are thinking of.

I had a great day today. I twittered, I read blogs, I unpacked from a great trip to see my dear husband, I cleaned house, I had a dinner with a friend. Then things got a little messy with family and I was feeling down. I sent out a message on twitter “good day gone bad – should go to bed but instead twittering and reading blogs – send recommendations – I need something up lifting”.

I got a tweet back from a fellow D parent offering support and kind words. I replied with gratitude and questioned why he would be on twitter when he was at an awesome event that I couldn’t attend. He then shared the news of the family in crisis. Thus I felt ashamed for feeling down about arguing with my spouse and whining about a good day gone bad. I am blessed to be able to argue with my spouse. I would prefer not to argue of course – although sometimes I would prefer to tar and feather him. The thing is I am blessed with the opportunity.

Tonight I want to take a minute to thank God for providing me the opportunity to fuss at my spouse. To argue with my kids. To scold the dog. Then I want to ask him to continue to provide those opportunities for this other family. I’m guessing my family is not much different from most – for every moment spent fussing at each other we have 100 moments of joy.

Therefore – dear Heavenly father grant all those that I know many opportunities to fuss at each other. Keep them safe and well. Poor down your grace upon this particular family. Heal the unwell and strengthen them.

Backseat Driver

A twitter friend @Nitacure4t1d has joined the blogosphere at NitaCure. She wrote her first post yesterday Canada Day in regards to taking a road trip with her son who has Type 1 Diabetes. Comments on my blog give me all sorts of warm fuzzies so I do try to comment on other blogs frequently (do to others as you would have them do to you). As I began the second paragraph of my comment I realized I was hijacking her post with a post of my own. That is not good blogosphere etiquette (well I assume it is not good blogosphere etiquette – I don’t think there is a book on the subject but there should be – I also like saying blogosphere btw – it is a fun word). Thus I deleted my long windy comment and instead offered her the kudos she deserves for her first post. Yet I still had so much to say about road trips and diabetes – thus here we are.

Diabetes does not like road trips. I can attest to that. I am a road trip woman, partially because flying or even the idea of flying causes me huge panic attacks even with a double dose of Xanax, but also because I love to drive. I love the freedom of detours, Starbucks on demand and bathrooms that are larger than a coffin.

We have taken many road trips since D moved in. Our first road trip after Sugarboy was diagnosed was to the annual Children with Diabetes International Friends for Life conference in Orlando FLorida. This was 5 months after Sugarboy was diagnosed. It is an 18 hour drive from Austin Texas to Orlando Florida. We have made this drive 3 times. We never went directly to Orlando – we would stop by my most favorite place on this wonderful planet – Destin Florida (white powder soft sand and turquoise water – my happy place). Sorry digressed….

During that first road trip Sugarboy was still using multiple daily injections (one shot of long lasting Lantus and 4-6 shots of fast acting Novalog for meals, snacks, corrections). We were very new to diabetes and didn’t realize the toll long road trips would take on Sugarboy’s sugars. Sitting for extended periods of time raise blood sugars – it is that simple. (Did I just use the word simple in relation to Diabetes? I should be fined) Sugarboys sugars were high despite intense carb counting and free foods (no carb foods). With injections it is not possible to adjust basal insulin – you can increase the dose of long acting insulin but it is increased for an entire 24 hour period. That is not was we needed – once we arrived at the beach the boy was running around like mad playing in the surf – no additional basal needed for that. Basically Sugarboys sugars were a mess the days we were on the road but then also while on our vacation and at the conference (conference blood sugar craziness was likely caused by a such huge changes in our routines).

All our future road trips have been with insulin pumps which makes reducing the road trip highs a bazillion times easier since we can adjust basal rates to provide additional insulin for the time leading up to and during long drives which result in long periods of inactivity. Insulin pumps also allow us to decrease basals while enjoying beach time and theme parks since less insulin is required to increased activity. It’s been 5 years now and we are not experts by any means but we are getting better.

After reading my friends post and thinking about the travel that is in our near future I decided to search cyber space for more advice regarding road trips and traveling with diabetes. I found these sites to be very helpful.

How Stuff Works

Fit4D

While searching cyber space for tips for road trips with diabetes I stumbled on this little gem: controlling Diabetes Is Like Taking A Road Trip. It is a wonderful post written by Karen Marschel for KM Nutrition @KMNutrition on twitter. Oh the things we will find when we google. (I am not endorsing any products shared on Karen’s website – I just really liked her post. I have not fully explored her website otherwise – although I will likely add it to my list of things to do.)

 

The Little Engine That Could

I’m new to Tudiabetes so I am still getting my feet wet and figuring out all the awesomeness of the organization. @diabeteshf shared the following challenge via twitter and I am never one to let a challenge go. Thus challenge accepted.

July Blog Topic: Little Engine That Could

Let’s think positively!

Write a post with 5-10 lines where each line begins with “I think I can…” in regard to your diabetes. 

  • I think I can help my kids remember to check their sugars during the crazy summer schedule – lack of schedule.
  • I think I can always say “good morning” “Hello” “How are you?” before I ask my kids what their sugars are.
  • I think I can remember to help my kids log their sugars. (seeing the numbers written down on a log always results in better control)
  • I think I can restrict a little more of my kids “lazy couch” time and encourage more active time (physical activity helps control sugars and increases the effectiveness of insulin)
  • I think I can let go of just a little more guilt that it is my kids and not me that have diabetes.
  • I think I can say thank you more often to all those individuals and organizations that have changed my life because of their involvement in the Diabetes Online Community.
  • I think I can always advocate more.