Wish It Was Today

Day 26 Health Activists Writers Month Challenge

What’s a day that you wish you could use a pain-free pass? How would being pain or worry-free impact that day?

A pain/worry free day? Couldn’t it have been today? Couldn’t today be the day that I woke up happy and carefree? I tried. I really did try. When my alarm sounded at 6:30am and I reached for my phone (that is my alarm) I tried to be joyful. It didn’t work.

I hit the snooze line on my phone. I didn’t want to get up. Conversations, arguments, and unhappy thoughts flooded my brain the moment I became conscious. I realized I slept through a 3am alarm that was set so I could check a blood sugar on my youngest. This resulted in fear and guilt until after I checked him and his meter registered a perfect 104 (seriously I should have snapped a picture because it could be used in an advertisement for the meter – most advertisements always show perfect blood sugars even though most blood sugars are not perfect.)

My daughter slept through her morning alarm as well and thus was still sleeping soundly when I went in to wake her. I checked her blood sugar and she was a little high, gave her insulin for the high and dosed her for her breakfast then asked her to hurry since she was running late.

My chest hurt as I went downstairs. I don’t believe I am suffering from any medical issues – just anxiety. I began the process of packing lunches then realized I didn’t type and print the index cards my Middles asked me to complete for his class presentation today so lunches would wait while I typed up his notes and printed his cards. More chest pain.

Anxiety and depression feel like heavy weights in my chest. They may be emotions but the pain is real.

This week has been craptastic.

Middles has been experiencing stomach pain, chest pain (rapid heart rate), and headaches. He is not one of my kids with Type 1. But – he is at risk based on studies that show he is positive for all the anti-bodies found in those who develop Type 1 diabetes. He has had a number of what I call “pancreas hiccups” meaning when I have checked his blood sugar at random times after meals and fasting his numbers have been above what is considered normal but below those that would indicate he already has Type 1 diabetes. With the increase of odd symptoms including stomach pain, rapid heart rate and headaches (some of which have resulted in him being unable to stay at school and all of which are those my daughter experienced before her diagnosis) I called the other kids endocrinologist and requested an A1C and glucose tolerance Test.

His fasting blood sugar was 98 – (normal/standard results are 60-99) = just barely pass (although this was at 10:30am, when I checked him first thing in the morning he was 133)

His glucose 2h post 75g glucose was 162 (standard range is <139) = fail

His Hemoglobin A1C 4.7 (standard is 4.6-6.0) = pass

What did the tests tell me – nothing I didn’t already know – my Middles is still experiencing pancreas hiccups and there is a high probability that the storm is coming. When I think of this I always think of the last moments of the original Terminator movie when Sarah Conner is about to drive away with her dog and a young boy says “a storm is coming” and Sarah says “I know”.

Does knowing change things – not really. I can’t stop it. I can try to slow it down though. How can I slow it you ask – I can try to reduce the stress on his pancreas by discouraging him from eating huge amounts of carbohydrates. (since I’m the parent by discouraging him – I mean not allowing him.) But wait you say – carbohydrates and sugar don’t cause Type 1. You are correct – a person does not develop Type 1 by eating too much sugar. Still if I can help his body keep his insulin producing beta cells less stressed by reducing the fast carbs he eats than I will certainly try. I haven’t talked to the endo yet to confirm my beliefs but it sure makes sense – right? I know my husband thinks so because when I told him the results through tears over the phone on Thursday he spent the next 10 minutes lecturing me regarding how our family needs to eat better. (Yes that is a dig on my husband because at that moment I needed a hug but instead got a lecture. I don’t blame him entirely – I think many people (and by people I mean most men) think that providing suggestions and what they believe to be solutions is what others need during a problem (the whole fix-it thing). When honestly no matter how right the fix-it person is – the person that is upset needs hugs and support first.)

Anyway – I already restrict fast sugars in my home but that doesn’t mean there is never a bowl of Fruit-loops on the breakfast table, a chocolate Santa or Egg on the holidays, a bowl of ice-cream in the evening. My kids don’t drink juice or eat any type of fruit roll-up, fruit snacks (except for treating low blood sugars). They rarely get to eat candy that isn’t chocolate – although sometimes they do. Cookies, cakes and brownies are all served sparingly. We use whole grain bread and don’t often eat french fries or other fried fast foods. Overall I feel I serve my kids healthy fresh foods but there is always room for improvement.

Anyway back to today.

I have all this anxiety. Anxiety over my Middles. Frustration that my home is mess and never seems to get clean. Guilt because I feel I was too hard on my Middles regarding a project for school that I feel he neglected. Disappointment that my daughter and her dad spent the evening prior arguing yet again (something for which I am most often blamed for with the phrase “You’re just like your mother.”) My chest hurts and I’m tired. I’m always tired.

But why should today be THE pain/worry-free day. Because it’s my birthday. I didn’t ask for anything. I don’t need or want anything material wise. I just wanted today to be pain and heartache free. It hasn’t been and I don’t suspect it will get any better as the day progresses. I do want to thank all my friends for the facebook and twitter birthday wishes and texts. They do mean so very much to me.

For now I’m gonna wash the dishes, vacuum, do laundry and plan what’s for dinner. When my I pick up my kids I will smile and laugh and love them regardless of the pain in my chest. I might drive straight from the schools to the beach. The beach always helps.

This too shall pass. I will push pancreas hiccups back into Pandora’s box. Middles next school project will be better because of the lesson’s learned via procrastination with the project he is presenting today and my daughter will grow up to be a strong confident woman BECAUSE she is like me.

Oh and I just learned that we are out of toilet paper. There is half a roll in the kids bathroom but otherwise no other toilet paper in the house. How did I allow us to run out of toilet paper? I blame Costco – I buy stuff in bulk that seems like it should last through the zombie apocalypse thus I always think we have plenty. I’m gonna put the left over Halloween napkins in the bathrooms.

Reflections

Ok I admit it – it was me – I suggested the prompt for Day 21 of the Health Activists Writers Month Challenge. Adversity – “The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.” True or false? When do you bloom best?

My favorite Disney animated movie ever is Mulan. Screw all the princesses waiting in towers and laying down on the job waiting for some man to come save them. Prince Charming is a myth. Mulan kicks ass. Had to be said.

I want to start by saying I don’t always go looking for adversity. I certainly didn’t ask for diabetes to join our family. But do I bloom best when I am fighting for something? Yes.

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The first 2 years after Sugarboy was diagnosed I didn’t do much with diabetes other than attend the Friends For Life conference each year and raise a little money with the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. I didn’t reach out to others, I didn’t educate others aside from friends and family that would be in charge of my son. It was a very lonely time for me and I spent much of it just being angry. Then came my daughters diagnosis. My advocacy still didn’t improve much although my anger did.

Then I got to a breaking point – I got tired of the lack of education about diabetes. I got tired of being alone. I got tired of waiting for some miracle.  I called the local JDRF office and asked what I could do to get more involved. I was invited to watch a staff member present the Kids Walk To Cure Diabetes at an elementary school. Then I was invited to count money at the schools after the fundraiser. Shortly after I was asked to present the walk to the students. The more often I presented the more passionate I became about educating students about diabetes. Teach them when they are young about healthy living and diabetes – that’s the key. Adults don’t have the time or energy to learn unless they have to. The kids I spoke to learned about the different types of diabetes, how the digestive system works, eating healthy, exercising, and working for a cure that would benefit all people with diabetes regardless of the type.

I grew so much in that first year volunteering with the JDRF. Diabetes still sucked but I became a much more powerful person. I force to be reckoned with. Out of all the chaos that diabetes caused I became an advocate. I stopped sitting around waiting for others to fight a battle – I suited up and went to the front lines.

There are people in my life that think I say and do too much. No – seriously – there are people who think I make too much of diabetes. If they do not understand I pray they never have to.

I so wish I could kick diabetes out. That diabetes never happened. That life went on with all its mundaneness. I can’t though. However, having diabetes in our lives has made my kids and I stronger, smarter, braver, more loving, more empathetic, and more honest about who we are inside. Yes – a play on the song “Reflection” by Christina Aguilera from Mulan. Hear it HERE.

Some people in my life may not see my strength, my passion or the beauty within my heart but in the last couple years I have finally seen it. I still get shit wrong. I still make mistakes. I still get sucked into sadness and overwhelmed with anger. BUT I finally see my reflection as I always knew it should be.

 

Grumpy Cat Says – No.

Day 24 Health Activist Writers Month Challenge

Today I was supposed to create a Pinterest board and share it for wordless Wednesday. Instead I drew a picture. I drew the picture because I am still unclear about all the laws pertaining to using other people’s photos without permission. I don’t happen to know Tardar Sauce’s “Grumpy Cat” family so I drew him instead. (I do not claim to be an artist and trust me when I say no one has ever accused me of being an artist)

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There are folks in the diabetes community (mainly moms of children with diabetes) that are proposing a name change for diabetes. It is their belief that changing what we call diabetes will end confusion and stereotypes. I don’t believe it will. For the past couple weeks I have been drafting a post about the name change petition/proposal. It was gonna be great, it was even going to quote Shakespeare. The thing is some of the best and brightest in the diabetes community beat me to the Shakespeare quote and they wrote awesome posts and said everything and more that I would have said. I can’t say it better than them or better than Grumpy cat.

Please check out these posts by fellow diabetes bloggers to learn more about the proposed name change.

Bennet at YDMV

C at theperfectd

Scott at Strangely Diabetic

Bob at T Minus Two

Lee Ann at The Butter Compartment

HERE is short video with Manny Hernandez the founder of TuDiabetes  about a different petition – a petition to unite us. This is the one I signed but you should make your own choice.

Here is the Petition to change the names of diabetes. I just want to say I respect these moms. I understand where they are coming from and what they are trying to do. I just don’t agree with them.

Bouncing Backpacks

Day 22 Health Activists Writers Month Challenge – Day to Day > Write about something ordinary that’s inspiring to you, something simple, perhaps overlooked, that fuels your activism. Prompt suggested by Abigail. Thanks Abby for a great prompt today.

This is a neat topic today. I like it because I am most often inspired by the small stuff rather than huge events. I didn’t read what todays post topic was until a few moments ago yet strangely earlier this morning I lingered to watch one of my favorite moments.

In TX my kids all road the school busses which were paid for with tax dollars and provided to all students that lived more than 2 miles from school. In CA there are no “free” school buses (despite my higher taxes). Thus each morning I have to take my kids to school and each afternoon I retrieve them. I don’t like all the extra gas and time this consumes but I’ve learned to cherish the time I get to spend with my kids in a confined environment without the distractions of video games, homework, outside play and TV.

I take my daughter first while the boys relax at home. The schools are in opposite directions and begin 30 minutes apart. My daughter and I discuss silly little things or sometimes bigger things. Either way it is 10 minutes of just us. She never fails to say “I Love You” when she leaves the van and I cherish her words throughout my day. I also pick her up first and she and I have about 20 minutes to chat while we wait for the boys. She tells me about drama (not a class) at school that she finds so ridiculous. We watch goofy YouTube videos and laugh. Again – just quite time for her and I to share before the boys get in and things get loud. (Seriously the volume increases exponentially when the boys are in the van.)

On the way to school with my boys we sometimes review spelling words, play eye-spy or crack jokes. After school I get to hear about their days while it’s still fresh in their heads whereas in TX most of the days events were forgotten due to a 30 minute bus ride.

Each day I drop my boys off they dash out of the van and run off up the sidewalk to the playground or school building (depending on how early/late we are running). In those last few moments that I see my boys in the morning I watch their backpacks bounce as they trot away, hop the curb and high-five friends. Each day is so full of energy and excitement. They never drag their feet or walk with heads bowed. They run and jump and great each school day as an opportunity for fun.

Dropping kids at school and retrieving them is very ordinary and very simple but I never overlook it. I truly cherish my time with the kids and seeing them run off to great the day it is what drives me to work harder, be stronger, love more completely and advocate for their futures – futures that hopefully one day will not include diabetes.

 

Burnout

Day 20 Health Activist Writers Month Challenge > Write about burnout. What does it feel like? What are your burnout triggers? What gets you OUT of the pit of despair when nothing is going your way?

So this is what I sometimes feel about diabetes. Thank you Kerri for sharing this – I totally stole it.

I have a fully employed pancreas so I write as the mom of 2 kids whose pancreases are assholes.

Based on my level of cussing today you might guess that Im a little peeved at diabetes today. Yup my cussing increases based on the level of diabetes frustration I am experiencing.

Burnout happens. It happens to those with diabetes and to those that care for young ones with diabetes. I can’t speak for those who are in a relationship with those with diabetes but I would bet caregivers in general experience some form of burnout. (Is there a rule about over-use of the word “those”?)

As a Dmom burnout comes in the form of exhaustion, hatred for diabetes, fear of complications, Dmom guilt, and even frustration for the lack of public knowledge.

Burnout feels like holes. Holes that seem to make time disappear. Holes in relationships. Holes in our health. Some holes are smaller and when stepped in might only result in a sprained ankle or bruised pride. Larger holes trip me up for a longer period and things get dirty as I try to climb out. Then there are holes like yesterdays that almost seem to bury me. A hole that ironically was brought on by the word “holes”.

Yesterday sucked ass. It started out just fine, everyone relaxing and enjoying a lazy Sunday morning. Sugarboy was running high and required an infusion set change (place on his body that a small port is placed to infuse insulin that is connected to his insulin pump). He did the site himself but it didn’t take. Of course we didn’t know that until a few hours later when he was running in the 500s. This meant another infusion set. When my boy has numbers in range he doesn’t mind the infusion set changes – he doesn’t love them but he tolerates them. Ask an eight year old to do a second site change in a day when he is in the 500s and see how well he tolerates it. He doesn’t. Instead he runs off crying, hides under a table and cries harder.

I can’t leave him under the table with dangerously high sugars so I have to make a choice. Do I coax him out with promises of treats or other rewards, do I wait for him to relax and come out on his own, do I play the tough love card? With sugars in the 500s I can’t wait on him. As far as treats or rewards – we are passed that stage in his diabetes care, no one is going to buy him ice-cream or take him to the Lego store as an adult and with site changes happening at least 2x a week I can’t afford to reward him with treats or toys each time he changes a site. I go with tough love.

I look under the table and tell him it has to be done. I tell him the high numbers can damage is little body. He sees my face and he knows I’m not screwing around so he comes out. But he comes out fighting.

“I hate diabetes! I hate infusion sets. Why can’t diabetes just end? I have so many holes! Holes in my legs. Holes in my butt. Holes in my sides and 1000s of holes in my fingers. I don’t want any more holes!!”

I hold him. I rub his back. I tell him I’m sorry. I put on the new site. I hold him some more. I kiss his cheeks and wipe his tears. He just looks in my eyes then buries his head in my shoulder. I dose his insulin and then invite him to take a bath in my bathtub with the jets. (Hot water makes insulin work faster since it speeds up how blood moves). He gathers his Lego men and heads off to run himself a bath. He gets out over 30 minutes later. His numbers have come down into the 200s and he feels better. Water always makes me feel better too.

He may or may not remember the event tomorrow or next week or ever.

I will though.

I will remember the holes.

The events of yesterday caused a sinkhole that sucked me in. I’ll climb out. Already a few friends have tossed a rope down. One friend climbed in with me and knows the way out because she’s been here before. She tells me – “look at your kids.” They are the ones with the holes and yet they keep climbing and always seem to stand tall.

So how do I get out of the pit of despair – I watch my kids.

 

Thanks For Playing

Friday I posted truths and lies about me and diabetes. I offered up a Stick With It Sugar mug and SBUX gift card as a prize for a random reader that answered both questions correct. Many entered but only won could win.

I did not approve or respond to the comments that had incorrect answers about diabetes because I didn’t want to call anyone out.

My lies were:

  • It doesn’t bother me that I will soon be entering the last year of my 30s.
  • Type 1 Diabetes can be prevented by breast-feeding ones children and avoiding vaccinations.

I hate that I only have one more year in my 30s. It isn’t the gray hair, wrinkles or extra pounds that bother me (although I’m not celebrating them), it’s the idea that I’m almost 40 and I feel like I should have accomplished so much more than I have.

Nothing has been proven to prevent Type 1 diabetes. Some folks feel very strongly that breast-feeding can prevent Type 1 – I breast-fed all my kids until at least 18 months old. I still have 2 kids with Type 1. As far as vaccinations – there are those that believe avoiding vaccinations will prevent Type 1 but it has not be proven to make any difference.

The top incorrect answers were:

  •  People with diabetes can not join the US military or pilot a commercial airline in the US
  • I would rather speak in front of a thousand strangers than get on an airplane

It is true that people with diabetes cannot join the US military or be a commercial airline pilot in the US. There are folks that develop Type 2 diabetes while in the service and to my knowledge they are not medically discharged but if a person already has diabetes they can not join the armed forces and if they develop Type 1 diabetes I do believe they are medically discharged from the service. This bothers me a great deal since I am a US Air Force veteran and I would have liked my children to have had the opportunity to serve in the military. It is also true that a person with Type 1 diabetes or another type that is insulin dependent can not be a commercial airline pilot in the US – they can in Canada though – this doesn’t bother me because I hate airplanes – and yes there is some irony in the fact that I served in the Air Force but I’m so afraid of flying. I have a completely irrational almost debilitating fear of airplanes. I truly would rather speak in front of 1000s of strangers – even naked – than ride an airplane.

Thanks for playing all.

No Take Backs

Day 18 Health Activist Writers Challenge  – Write about a time that you lashed out at someone close to you because of frustration/fear/anger resulting from your health condition and wish you could take it back. Forgive yourself and let it go. On the flip side, write about a time that someone said something to you that they wished they could take back. Did you forgive them? Why or Why not?

I can’t recall a time I lashed out at someone because of diabetes. However, I have at times complained about my life to someone who has a whole lot of problems themselves – medical, financial, spousal.

This person is very dear to me. I hate seeing her in pain and I can’t really do anything to help her. I listen when she cries, I try to validate her concerns and offer hugs (although only via phone calls since we live so far away). I do my best not to complain about my own issues when I talk to her. In the past when I have complained about lack of sleep, discussions with my own spouse, issues with my kids, problems with schools and diabetes, she rarely empathises. Instead she always plays the devils advocate – sides with everyone but me. She has at times called me spoiled. Sometimes that is helpful but sometimes I just want validation. I’m sure its hard for her to hear me whine. In her eyes I have all I need. In her eyes my life could be so much worse. In her eyes I have all that she would love (minus kids with diabetes). She has said as much to me – many times.

I know what she says is out of love for me in hopes of helping me recognize what I have and out of the desperation she feels in her situation. I don’t hold grudges for the times I’ve talked to her and our conversation didn’t go as I hoped. I am sad for her often. I wish I could help her in some way. I know I can’t. So I listen when she is upset. I empathize, I validate. I am not suggesting in any way that I am a bigger or better person. In fact I frequently feel guilty for having more than she does and for occasionally feeling sorry for myself. She is often the better person.

Everyone has something – everyone fights a battle of some kind. I have learned something from my years of conversations with this very dear person – it’s never a good idea to complain about a life that is perceived by others as a blessed one – even if I sometimes feel less than blessed. That may seem unfair – you may think that if someone loves you they should not judge you for occasionally whining. The thing is – when that person believes you to be truly lucky and is happy for you for all you have – complaining about it is like a kick in the face.

I can’t take back all the times I complained about things that seem like child’s play (not diabetes stuff – cus that she totally gets – although she accuses me of being too involved – almost obsessed – that’s a post for another day). I can’t take back all the times I whined about being exhausted while being able to stay home and likely take a nap while she is equally exhausted but must go to work. I can’t take back all the times I whined about how  my kids are spoiled when she struggles to provide for her own. All I can do is recognize my mistakes and recognize that she has her own struggles and mine, while difficult for me, are something she would welcome (again not diabetes).

I have nothing to forgive but I hope she forgives me for all the times I was insensitive.

Always Tell The Truth

This is my Day 16 Health Activist Writers Month Challenge. > Tell us 3 things that are true about you, your condition, or your health activism. Tell us 1 lie. Will we be able to tell the difference?

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” Mark Twain

I’ve known a few people in my recent years that find it easy to lie when asking for favors. An example –  ‘friend’ that asks me to care for her cats and her mother for some reason – I honestly don’t care about the actual reason – I would do it regardless. Still she shares some story that she believes will make me more empathetic – yet the truth comes out and then I feel used.

Why people believe they have to make up an excuse to ask for help is beyond me. It’s insulting really – trust me to be kind and supportive without a made up back story. Give me that courtesy if you ask for my help. Does one think I’d be less inclined to help if I knew you just wanted a weekend get away? How often does a person have to be ignored or accused of being selfish before they start making up stories to get help?

Another example – a ‘friend’ shares her extreme financial difficulties but then goes on a shopping spree and shows me all her ‘deals’ – the receipt is on the counter I can see what she spent which is 4 times what she tells me she spent. Does she think I will judge her for therapeutic shopping – yes its stupid when you are behind on your mortgage – but I would understand. I was once a therapeutic shopper. Why lie to me? I’m not the credit company and she doesn’t owe me money.

Anyway – the above is totally off topic but was bothering me. I don’t like being lied to. I feel better having vented.

As far as my truths and a lie about me:

  • It doesn’t bother me that I will soon be entering the last year of my 30’s
  • I have a difficult time asking anyone for help
  • I would rather speak in front of a thousand strangers than get on an airplane
  • I am scared to leave my kids with anyone overnight

Truths and a lie about diabetes:

  • Everyone is at risk of developing some form of diabetes in their lifetime
  • Type 1 diabetes can be prevented by breast-feeding ones children and by avoiding vaccinations
  • People with diabetes can not join the US military or pilot a commercial airline in the US
  • Type 1 diabetes in children is increasing by 3% each year

I will choose one random reader that answers both questions correctly to receive their very own Stick With It Sugar mug. Not the one pictured – that one has my Sumatra in it – you will get an unused one.

mugphotoGive-Away will end Saturday April 20th at noon CA time. I will not respond to any comments before then. Good luck.

 

Thursday Shout-Outs – A Collective

Day 14 Health Activists Writers Month Challenge.

Todays Challenge: Spread the Love – Thank a few of your fellow HEalth Activists for what they have done. Call them out by name or twitter handle. Share your love.

So many people I’d like to thank for all they do to inspire me as a mom of kids with diabetes, as a health activist, as a blogger, as a human. I have ‘met’ many people in the last 16 months in the social media health scene that have made me want to be a better person. Too many to share but I’m gonna try to share just a few.

From my humble beginnings there have been a number of folks that have made being active online a great deal of fun and a wonderful learning experience.

Cherise @Sweetercherise of DSMA – she was my first twitter follower and has stuck by me through all my crazy. Her smile is pure gold – a true window to her soul that is by far the sweetest there is.

Sara @saraknic of Moments of Wonderful – she was also an early follower. Her laughter, joy and sincerity are refreshing in a world that sometimes gets me down.

Tim @bleedingfinger of Bleeding Finger – father to cwd – advocate for all cwd – loving husband and talented writer. His strength is enduring and something to aspire to. Plus – he is a poet and since I can’t write a poem to save my life – I’m impressed.

Scott @scottkjohnson of Scotts Diabetes – if ever there was a more supportive, kind and knowledgable man I have not met him (aside from my loving husband – he never reads my blog but just in case).

Bennet @badshoe of YDMV – another father of multiple kids with diabetes, shares his life experience with those of us still green behind the ears, never fails to derail a DSMA tweetchat with his humor and wit and always happy to offer a hug, a laugh, a smile and if needed a kick in the butt.

Kerri @sixuntilme of Six Until Me – to many of us Kerri is the ‘Be-all End-all” of all things great and grizzly about diabetes. She is the shiznit.

Meri @our3Dlife of Our Diabetic Life – mom of 4 boys (isn’t that enough) 3 with Type 1. This amazing woman shares hopes, dreams, nightmares, and laughter with all of us D-moms. I’m thankful for her.

Ok I’ve only listed the starting line-up and already I hear the Jaws music trying to “play me off”. I’ll just talk louder and faster which you can’t hear so while reading this read louder and faster so you get the full effect.

Perhaps to save time and avoid using the words “amazing, wonderful, and inspiring” enough times to warrant some sort of word-overuse fine (totally exists and likely includes the word ‘totally’) – I shall now just share the names and handles of people you should totally follow on twitter and read their blogs because they do rock. (I totally failed at this last part because I still felt I had something to say. My blog – my rules – deal.)

Matthew @matthewdeets – 🙁 sadly no blog – Matt and I chat most days. Whether my day is good or bad he will always listen, never judge, and in the end turns a frown upside down.

Jennifer @JennMamaBear of Sweetzoo – we share a love of animals – especially frogs – you should totally send Jenn frogs. (ok don’t send Jenn frogs they seriously freak her out – maybe one frog – send her one cute frog meme)

Melissa @sweetlyvoiced of Sweetly Voiced – the voice of an angel and a voice of reason

Brian @notmycell of Not My Cell (beware sarcasm is his first language but I bet he knows latin too)

Scott @scott_IntheD of Rolling In The D – Scott shares all sorts of great fun facts and funnies about living with diabetes on his blog. Scott is also one of my biggest supporters. He rarely fails to share a kind word on my blog and I am so grateful for his support. Comments are like chocolate for my sole.

Ivy @nomadivy – sadly Ivy doesn’t blog – she is a D-mom with a gracious heart.

Melissa @Melllbe – Young adult with Type 1 – so very beautiful through and through

C @theperfectD of The Perfect D – NOT A PORN SITE – also I didn’t include her full name because to my knowledge she doesn’t share it on her site or her tweets. She’s funny and I at some point we will have drinks and she will tell me stories of goats.

Bea @crankypancreas of Cranky Pancreas – she is one of my earliest friends on twitter and honest to the bone – full of love and always supportive to those who hear her

Kate @sweetenedkate – of Sweet Success – so very sweet and always kind and very supportive

I’ve left out another dozen two dozen fabulous souls that inspire, teach, support and advocate. If you are here reading this and I’ve not named you please forgive me. I probably should have gone with the “too many to thank” type post – its safe and fitting.

Truth is it isn’t just the individuals that make social health media what it is  – it is the collective. Aristotle says “A whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” I should have just shared that quote and been done but I’m wordy and I like to give shout-outs – fittingly so – it is Thursday Shout-Out Day (it will totally be a thing).

Yes this post was due on Sunday – shut-up.

Friggen Poetry

Day 13 Health Activists Writers Month Challenge

Todays Challenge: Write a health acrostic for your condition, hashtag or username.

Oh good gracious. I thought last years Haiku challenge was difficult enough. This year it’s supposed to be an acrostic. Im no poet. I tried coming up with an acrostic for “diabetes”, “momof2t1s” or “#nobratime” (my favorite hashtag – seen mostly on Wednesdays prior to DSMA tweetchats) – I came up with nothing – NOTHING.

Here is the Haiku I wrote last year for this challenge – I’m not joking – go look back in my archives.

Are you Kidding Me?

I always hated Haikus!

Now time to write one?

If I have to write poetry Id prefer it to be free verse:

Beep beep beep, sleep walking, juice, numbers, so many numbers

Sleep, beep beep beep, insulin, must give insulin

Pack lunch, sandwich 30, yogurt 15, carrots – nah no worries

Lancet time to change, spotted finger tips, never the same

Laughter, playing, check your numbers, drink the juice Shelby

She can eat that, she wont grow out of it, insulin’s not a cure

He wasn’t born with it, there is no diabetes in the family, he can eat that

Are you low, have you checked, did you dose – stop

Not always diabetes cept when it is.

Smarter, Braver, Stronger

Day 12 Health Activist Writers Month Challenge (yes 4 days late – I think I have established how delinquent I am but like I’ve said before – I prefer to see the daily prompts like the Pirates Code – really more like guidelines.)

Day 12 Challenge: Hindsight – If you could go back in time and talk to yourself (or your loved one) on the day of diagnosis, what would you say? And/Or What have you learned about being a patient/caregiver that has surprised you most? This prompt was suggested by yours truly so I am feeling even more guilty about being so late. 

Thinking back to both of my kids diagnosis’ I would like to think that I said exactly what needed to be said to them at the time of their diagnosis. If I could go back and bring a message from the future I believe it would be something like “Listen to all I’m saying because I’m right – although you are even stronger, smarter and braver than I had imagined and you never cease to amaze me.”

winnie-the-pooh

Now that I’ve written that sentence – well I think that’s the same thing I’d tell myself too. I would also tell myself to find twitter then – sadly I spent nearly 5 years feeling very alone. Then again – maybe all that time alone is what made me stronger. Playing with the future is such tricky business but I can’t imagine meeting all my DOC (Diabetes Online Community) friends earlier would in any way have a negative impact on my life or the lives of my kids. In the last year the DOC has only added a priceless value to our lives.

What have I learned about being a caregiver that has surprised me the most? I could try to give a humble answer and say that I didn’t know I could do it but that would be lie.

I have never doubted my ability to care for my kids. I sometimes worry that I make mistakes or could do things better but not that I couldn’t do it at all. I knew I would be strong enough – I’m ex-Airforce (stop laughing we can be tough – it isn’t always about the Navy Seals and BlackOps) – I excelled in basic training (ok I didn’t make it over the 10 foot wall but I kept trying until the TI waved me around it), I received many awards while in the Air Force and was promoted early. I have earned 3 college degrees and given birth to 3 kids (ok 2 were C-sections but 2 days after the first C-section I was home vacuuming and after the second C-section I was home packing my house because we were moving out in 3 weeks – btw – I got the house prepared for the market while 9 months pregnant). I am a strong person and while I have a completely irrational fear of flying and somewhat rational fears of tornados and Earthquakes – very little else scares me.

I guess what I learned most is that I don’t know everything. (Oh that hurts to say out-loud) I’ve also learned that admitting to others that I don’t always know the answers is difficult but an important lesson for my kids. Also, I’ve learned that asking for help isn’t the same as admitting defeat.

Another tidbit of advice I’d give myself and my husband at the time of diagnosis of our first cwd is that we BOTH have to be involved. I’m not gonna start whining about how I do everything and my counterpart does nothing because that would be an exaggeration.

Chad will do anything I ask him to do for the kids diabetes (again – see how I would tell myself that asking for help is not the same as admitting defeat). I have given Chad a free pass for over 6 years. I have been the primary care provider for both my kids since diagnosis. This has caused some resentment, fear and anxiety. I have at times resented him for not volunteering more frequently to do the night-time checks (I rarely allow it – one because I’m a super control freak but also because he has to get up and go make the donuts). I have also resented that I’m always having to remind him to remind the kids to check blood sugars, dose for food, take their diabetes bags with them when they leave home, etc. For me all of this is second nature – it’s all hard-wired into me. He doesn’t deal with the kids all day everyday like I do so for him they are extra things that I normally take care of and rarely involve him with.

The fear/anxiety comes into play when I have to be away overnight or when he will take the kids away overnight. Will he know what to do if sugars are xyz with xyz insulin active???? Will he know how much 1 unit of active insulin will reduce their blood sugars??? Fear also comes into play with my kids – sadly they don’t always trust their own dad to do what is needed. Just ask Sugarboy to let daddy change his infusion set – NOT GONNA HAPPEN. Want to see my daughter roll her eyes – let daddy try to talk to her about diabetes.

Thus – if I could go back to diagnosis day – I would tell myself to allow Chad to be involved – he wouldn’t refuse or complain. He never said he wouldn’t be involved – I’ve just never let him.

 

The Land Before Diabetes

Today is Day 19 of the Health Activist Writers Month Challenge

Today’s challenge: Vintage – Post a vintage photo of yourself, with a caption about the photo and where you were in terms of your health condition. 

I don’t have any vintage photos handy of me as a child. If I did I would caption it with “No clue” because as a child I would never have thought that I would be the mother of two kids with diabetes. My kids aren’t old enough for any of their pictures to be “vintage” but thanks to Instagram and filters I can make some of my favorite pre-diabetes photos look vintage.

bphoto

My dearest Sweetstuff – 2 1/2 years old. No idea that in 7 short years she will be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and her life will become more complicated than tickle wars and play dough creations.

cphoto

My Sugarboy on his 1st birthday. In another year and half he will be diagnosed with Type 1. He doesn’t remember a time he was able to dig into birthday cake without checking a blood sugar and dosing insulin.

xphoto

This was Christmas Eve 2006. The last Christmas before diabetes moved in. Sugarboy was dxd just over a month later. Although he had been showing some signs at this point (more sleepy and a little more thirsty) although we didn’t see the signs yet. Decorating the cookies on Christmas Eve with our santa hats is a tradition. We still do it every Christmas Eve – screw you diabetes.

To be honest this post was hard. It meant looking through files of photos of my kids when they were little and carefree. It meant remembering times when life was so much simpler and my biggest concern was if I had all the outlets covered and poisonous cleaners locked away – you know to keep my kids alive. In a blink of an eye my worries about keeping my kids alive changed to counting carbs and checking blood sugars in the middle of the night.

After I searched for photos of my kids pre-diabetes I looked at photos post-diabetes. Yup – my kids are still happy. They still ride bikes, eat cake, swim, learn, and laugh. Life has changed for us all but it hasn’t changed how we all love life.