She Did It Herself

There was a recent post on Diabetes Mine by Will. You can read it and all the great comments in response to it HERE (Link removed because I am suspicious the post was written only to generate page views and put money in Will’s pocket. Basically Will called our kids ‘spoiled brats’ because we do our best to keep them alive including checking blood sugars at night. If I’m wrong Will is welcome to leave his thoughts as a comment on this post.)

So last night I tucked my kids in with kisses and hugs and went off to read in my bed while I waited for my hubby to get home from Denver. He was due home within the hour. I hadn’t brought glucose meters upstairs with me since I’d planned to get up and visit with my hubby. Instead I fell asleep reading. (Not the books fault – I had been up till 2am the night before so I was exhausted.)

I woke up around 2am to find my dear husband asleep beside me. I realized my mistake and got up to get glucose meters. Both kids were slightly high at bedtime and I had corrected them before sending them off to bed. I had that panicky feeling that maybe the correction was too much. Checked kids – Sugarboy was within range. Sweetstuff was still a bit high so I gave another correction.

That panicky feeling usually keeps me awake for sometime and last night was no exception. I went back downstairs and played on pinterest for a half hour (I love the Geek category – those are my people) after being amused regarding all things Dr. Who I fell asleep on the couch.

Around 4am (I think) my dear daughter came down and gently woke me to tell me her pump was out of insulin and she was gonna fill it. I vaguely remember this.

Chad woke me when he came down to leave for work around 7am but I remained on the couch listening to his footsteps and wishing him a good day.

This is what I found on the table when I got up around 7:30am.

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That additional correction I tried to give in the middle of the night – she didn’t get all of it and I didn’t hear the alarm on the pump alerting me. Turns out her pump didn’t have enough insulin to give her the entire correction or basal insulin for the rest of the night. It took 2 hours of alarms to wake my daughter so she could fix the problem.

She not only filled her pump with insulin, she checked her blood sugar and gave a correction. Score one for my beautiful daughter.

This was her at 8am.

1photoLook I know not all parents of CWD check sugars at night. I don’t do it every night. Maybe I would do it every night if I went to bed when my kids do but I’m up till midnight most nights. I check them before I go to bed and the alarms I set to wake me are dependent on what their numbers are when I go to bed.

Below are my numbers and plans but honestly its like Bennet of YDMV says – Your Diabetes May Vary. My  guidelines may not (and likely would not) work for all CWD – some kids react faster than others to corrections, some react slower to fast carbs, some go high/low depending on the cartoon print on their pjs. Please don’t use my numbers as your own guide. Now I’m worried I shouldn’t even share them. Shoot. Ok just promise you will not use my guidelines – mine are specific for my kids and how I know they will most often react. Seriously – these are kid specific – I don’t even use the same guidelines for both of my kids.

Sweetstuff –

Between 85-150 with no working insulin (no insulin given 2-3 hours prior) – do nothing, sleep soundly.

Under 85 – treat with fast 15 fast carbs – wait. check. repeat if necessary. If within range with no working insulin – I sleep soundly, if there is insulin still working I wait it out if less than 1 hour worth of insulin or set an alarm if longer.

Between 150-250 – check working insulin, if there is IOB (that’s ‘insulin on board’ – it’s a pump thing) I do the math – 1 unit will generally reduce my daughters BS by 50 points. If the working IOB will bring her into range I sleep soundly. If not I give additional insulin and sleep soundly (even with no IOB the amount of the correction is small enough I still sleep soundly).

Above 250 – check IOB and give correction if needed – I set an alarm. Anytime I give a correction of more than 2 units I get up. Insulin/hormones/the phase of the moon – these can all toy with diabetes and larger corrections make me more nervous at night.

Sugarboy is similar but I’m more cautious/conservative with him. He is more sensitive to insulin and 1 unit can drop him at minimum 100 points. He is also more active than my daughter, always on the go. He spends upwards of 2 hours a day on the trampoline and a good deal of that time is within hours of bed.

Also something to note – I recheck any reading over 300. You may have heard about the Strip Safely campaign. Basically current glucose meters can have a 20% variable. That might not mean much if a PWD number is within range – a 100 could be a 90 or a 110. However once those numbers are upwards of 300 that variable can be scary. 300 could really be 240 to 360 – Considering those 120  points mean 1.2 units of insulin and my boy drops 100 points per 1 unit – well it can get scary once the BS gets really high and I am dosing insulin based on a number that could be WAY off.

Click HERE to find out more about how you can help with the Strip Safely campaign – your support can help us all stay safe.

Ok that last bit about Strip Safely got me a bit off track but its an important message.

My message this morning is don’t let anyone tell you that night-time blood sugar checks are unnecessary or that you are taking on too much or that you are spoiling your child. Night time blood sugar checks are a personal family decision. Of course you should talk to your child’s doctor about night-time checks but also follow your gut. My son’s endo told us we only needed to check at night for the first two weeks after diagnosis. My son was 2. He was using Lantus for his basal insulin. Every night for over 4 months he would be in the 40s by 2am – despite decreasing his Lantus dose multiple times. It was not the fault of the Lantus – he was just very sensitive to insulin and still is. What if I had stopped at the two-week mark?

When our daughter was diagnosed we were told the same thing, she too dropped low every night.

The other side of the coin – don’t let anyone scare you into doing night-time checks if not doing them is working for you. Trust your instincts. I have yet to meet a parent that normally doesn’t do night-time checks that would send their kid off to bed after a huge correction without either staying up or getting up to check. Do what works for your family and trust your kids too. We’ve been lucky that my daughter will normally feel a low and get up. My son has never woken up when he was low to alert us.

I am very proud of my daughter for being so independent last night. It is a great relief (but not a surprise) that she is able and willing to do what she needs to do to take care of herself even in the wee hours of the night/morning. I will tell her this as soon as she gets out of bed – it after 11am and yes she is still in bed – yea teen years and summertime.

Thanks for getting through all the babbling and long stints of text. Here is cute cat picture as a reward.

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PS- I really hope the FDA approves the Dexcom G4 CGM for kids soon. My kids both participated in a study with the Dex G4 and it was the best week of sleep I’ve gotten in over 7 years. I’m not saying I didn’t have to get up – but when I did get up it was because the Dex alerted me. I slept soundly otherwise. Our current  insurance will not approve anything that the FDA has not approved thus no Dex for us until FDA says its ok for kids. (Although we all know it is as effective with kids as it is with adults and a great deal of kids use the Dex)

Wordless Wednesday

 

 

No it’s not really wordless – thats really to high an expectation for my wordy brain.

IMG_2134Its been 9 days since we returned from our trip to Florida for the Friends For Life conference and family time at Universal Studios/Harry Potter World. I’m still experiencing some withdrawals. I miss my friends terribly and I miss Butter Beer. (don’t judge its awesome).

I miss all the hugs. I didn’t count but I would bet I gave and received well over 100 hugs.

I had met a number of the folks I spent time with previously but there were a few that I had not met in real life prior to the trip and I didn’t realize how much I would miss them when I got home. It doesn’t make me sad to miss them, it makes me realize how easily it is to love others so deeply. I am feeling very blessed to know them.

Last night while tucking in my littlest he told me how much he likes one of them too as he held a new gift in his hand (received in the mail earlier yesterday). He fell asleep smiling and my heart was full.

This will be my last post about FFL (aside from a green bracelet post that isn’t really about FFL). For all those out there who haven’t attended FFL yet. I know it’s expensive (the traveling part and hotel part and lost time at work) but if you can pick a year and plan for it – you won’t regret it. There are also scholarships available for both families and individuals via Diabetes Scholars Foundation. If you have been and have the means maybe consider supporting the DSF to help get others to the conference.

Thank you everyone who hugged me. I still feel the love. 

A HUGE thank you to my dear husband – he made the trip possible. He doesn’t get over here to read my blog very often – doesn’t really have to because I’m always babbling at him about the same stuff. Still if y’all have him in any other social media – maybe tell him he’s awesome.

 

Unexpected Heroes

This is not the green bracelet post I promised. Still working on that.

Each year at the Children With Diabetes Friends For Life conference individuals are recognized and awarded a plaque identifying them as Unexpected Heroes.

As a conference attendee I am not privy to why or how individuals are chosen. I have great faith in the CWD organization and I am certain that deciding who to recognize is a difficult process – I mean so many individuals put so much into making FFL an amazing experience for all of us.

What I want to do is recognize a few individuals that are heroes in my book. I can’t present them with a beautiful plaque or standing ovation but I can offer them my respect and appreciation for what they do and who they are.

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An The Unexpected Hero Awards go to….

 

First up – Richard Vaughn

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Richard’s the tall guy in the sweater. 😉

Richard has been living well with diabetes for over 67 years. That is 60 years longer than my youngest son. He is the author of ’64 Years of Diabetes Health’ and author of his blog Richard’s Rambling Review. Sadly I was never able to sit and chat with Richard – not that I didn’t try to find him during meals, I would have happily broke bread with him. I did have the opportunity to introduce myself briefly, shake his had and pose for a photo with some other wonderful friends.

I saw Richard from a far a number of times during the conference. He walks with great confidence but is also very humble and certainly looks the part of a college professor (now retired),  Hands clasp behind his back and his eyes scanning the world with constant curiosity.

When I read Richard’s words it gives me hope, and strength. I don’t ever imagine my kids with diabetes doing less than all they dream to do but still knowing Richard has done so much and lives so well is inspirational. I doubt that he ever set out to be such an inspiration which makes what he has done, is doing and who he is all the more meaningful. I hope when Richard returns to Friends For Life he will host a break-out session and I will be able to attend to hear him speak.

Next up – Moira Stanford

Sadly I have no pictures of Moira from the conference. Thus you get to enjoy this awesome one of her on skies.

Sadly I have no pictures of Moira from the conference. Thus you get to enjoy this awesome one of her on skis.

Moira is a mom of an adult with type 1 diabetes. Of course her daughter wasn’t an adult when she was diagnosed with Type 1. Moira shares her struggles and strengths in her book Raising Teens with Diabetes just recently published and already a 5 star book on Amazon. I was able to pick up a copy of her book back on June 25th. Sadly I haven’t had a whole lot of time to read it just yet (house guest and traveling ate up all my time between June 25th and now but it is at the top of my nightstand book collection already with pages dog-eared.) Here is one of the glowing reviews Moira’s book recently received. She is also the author of the blog Despite Diabetes. I’ve been reading Moira’s blog for sometime and she is and has been a real inspiration – leaving me with a desire to be as good as she is and was while raising her daughter.

Moira spoke at the opening breakfast of the conference. Her words of wisdom, strength and support resonate with me. Being part of the “yes” club is my highest priority with my kids. Allowing them – encouraging them to do everything they want to do and not allowing diabetes to deter us – them.  I’ve not always been successful with being part of the “Yes” club. My biggest challenge is sleep-overs but that was gonna be a challenge without diabetes based on my husbands up-bringing and the idea that kids should always sleep at home or only with family. Moira’s message about the ‘yes’ club wasn’t only about encouraging our kids. It spoke to us Dmoms as well. Despite diabetes Moira and her daughter have continued to do what they love. Moira didn’t hang up her skis (HUGE fan of downhill skiing and quite the acrobat on skis) or allow her career to be derailed and still her daughter is successful, healthy and a strong person and advocate – perhaps more so because of Moira’s strength and perseverance as a guide. I see that lesson as don’t be a bad example for our kids – don’t give up what we love because of diabetes – we wouldn’t want them to, so why should we?

Thank you Moira for your words, your inspiration and your friendship. It is all as priceless as you.

Last up but not at all the least – Meri of Our Diabetic Life

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I doubt I need to tell anyone but Meri is the beautiful blond on the left. Also pictured and a hero is Wendy of Candy Hearts in center.

Meri is a hero to many for her words on Our Diabetic Life, for her tireless support and her limitless love. Meri was asked to speak at the opening breakfast. She was asked to share her love for a man near and dear to the diabetes community. Meri loves with her whole heart, her entire soul – if love is a person it walks the earth as Meri. Meri is also no stranger to loss and hearing her share her loss with the entire community as we all mourn the loss of Richard Rubin, an extraordinary member of the diabetes community, was a humbling experience. Meri’s words and story make me want to love harder, love louder, love more unconditionally, treasure the moments I have with my family and friends and say “Thank you for another day”.

If you read my silly ol’blog you undoubtedly already read Meri’s. But in case you missed it, here is Meri’s post about the time she made us all love more (she doesn’t call it that – but that’s what it is to me).

Thank you Meri, Moira and Richard. You all make me want to be a better person.

You are my Heroes.

 

Take Away My Caffeine and I Will Get Stabby

I am a big coffee drinker. I’ll finish whatever my hubby leaves in the morning – likely 2 cups (12-14 oz cups) then brew another pot that I will drink throughout the day. My stainless steel coffee pot keeps it piping hot for well over 12 hours after brewing. Basically I drink about 8 cups a day (again not actual 8oz cups – more like 12oz). I drink it black most of the time but occasionally I will add coffee-mate creamer.
In addition to the 8 12oz cups of Sumatra – I drink on average 4 cans of diet dr. Pepper.
I don’t drink any of this to stay awake or wake up. Caffeine doesn’t seem to have any real measurable effect on my alertness. I drink them because they are G-O-O-D. I love them.

I also drink to self medicate. I have tried (very unsuccessfully) to give up caffeine. It ends by the 3rd day with me laying in the fetal position with frozen peas under my head in a pitch dark room while wearing ear plugs because even the sound of the fan above makes me want to unzip the top of my head and remove my brain. I wish this was an exaggeration.

My head doctor years ago (not the one with the couch – the one with the stethoscope) suggested I give it up cold-turkey. He prescribed 30 vicodin because he said, and I quote “You’re gonna need those – I’m sorry”. That was not a good sign. I left his office with 30 heavy-duty pain meds (that I believe in themselves are highly addictive) and not a lot of confidence.

Day 1 as I recall (this was at least 5 years ago) was not so bad. I missed the taste of my coffee but drank water which I enjoy too. I do like a hot beverage in the morning so basically I just drank hot water. I drank milk with dinner which I always did as a kid so it was a nice treat – made me feel young.

Day 2  early morning – I could feel pain brewing in the back of my head. My first instinct was to grab a diet Dr. Pepper but instead I drank more water and took 2 Advil. No need to break out the big guns for the minor pain I was feeling. It wasn’t really even Advil worthy but I thought I was being proactive.

Day 2 early afternoon – I remember a throbbing. I remember every noise hurting like someone was stabbing me in the ear. I took more Advil. I laid down with frozen peas under my head and watched Diego with my son. I hated my doctor. I wanted caffeine.

Day 2 evening – If anyone talks to me I will stab them. When I can walk straight I am going to stab my doctor. More Advil. At this point I was in so much pain that I had forgotten I had actual prescribed pain medication available. All my bags of peas, corn, and mixed vegetables were now thawed. I couldn’t eat dinner because it would have been vomited shortly there after and there isn’t anything worse for a migraine than vomiting.

Day 3 – early morning – can’t speak without my own voice hurting my head. At this point I did remember the vicodin I had come home with. I took one with great enthusiasm (by this I mean I crawled to the kitchen and fumbled with the child safety cap poured out a giant horse sized pill (at least I remember it seeming to be huge) and swallowed it without any liquid). A bit later the throbbing dulled and aside from the needles stabbing my eyes in the form of light I was in much less pain.

Day 3 – early afternoon – throbbing is back with a vengeance and even the sound of my heart was too much for me to bear (I’m fairly certain this is the correct use of the word bear vs the other bare – stupid homophones). I popped the tab on a Diet Dr. Pepper and gulped it with all the enthusiasm of a college student at a keg party. The caffeine hit me much harder than the vicodin did. Within the hour I could stand the light of the afternoon. The throbbing had dulled to a nearly manageable amount. I took 4 Advil (that’s 800mg) and laid down with my re-frozen bag of peas.

Day 3 – evening – 2 more Diet Dr. Peppers later – I could function almost like a normal person.

I have never since tried to reduce my caffeine intake. On a side note – I did not drink soda’s ever while pregnant, I didn’t want the artificial sweeteners and I hate the taste of non-diet soda. I did drink coffee but not in the amounts I did while not pregnant. I don’t know why but I rarely suffered from migraines during any of my three pregnancies. I never took the remaining 29 vicodin. I also never returned to the neurologist.

You may wonder how I can recall this event so vividly when it was so long ago. Well – unlike with childbirth my brain doesn’t seem to want me to forget the agony I was in when trying to give up the caffeine. It (my brain) almost hurts just considering it.

I am writing this in response to Melissa over at Sweetly Voiced. She posted that she is trying to reduce her caffeine intake. It makes me wonder if I should/could do the same.

I just met with a new doctor here in CA. We discussed my migraines and the fact that they seem to be getting worse in the last few months. He was concerned that the pain has increased as well as the frequency and duration. He had me go in for an MRI – turns out I do have a brain and all seems well with it. He prescribed a new migraine medication for me. This was before FFL and he asked that I not start it until after my vacation. It can lower blood pressure and he wanted me to be in my home environment before taking it. It is a twice a day medication that is supposed to block the migraines. I had forgotten about it until I started writing this post. I guess I will start it tomorrow and after a week or so maybe try to start weaning myself off the caffeine. Not the coffee – I will just get decaffeinated – I still love the taste of my Sumatra. I would like to give up soda. As much as I love Diet Dr. Pepper it doesn’t do anything good for my body and may contribute to weight gain or at least my inability to lose weight.

*I would never actually stab anyone – just thought I should clarify that.

Unexpected Outcomes

Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil and apprehension, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints and rumination. It is the subjectively unpleasant feelings of dread over something unlikely to happen, such as the feeling of imminent death. Anxiety is feeling unrealistic fear, worry, and uneasiness, usually generalized and unfocused. It is often accompanied by restlessness, fatigue, problems in concentration, and muscular tension. Anxiety is not considered to be a normal reaction to a perceived stressors although many feel it occasionally. When anxiety becomes overwhelming and distressing to the sufferer, it may fall under the psychiatric diagnosis of anxiety disorder. Anxiety is not the same as fear. Fear is evoked by a realistic danger and is an appropriate response to a perceived threat, while anxiety is worry or overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing.

The above is from Wiki

I have been on a loop. Feel good. Feel bad. Feel good. Feel bad.

I think most people are loopy but maybe some are in longer loop patterns and there is certainly more good than bad.

I started this post and got to that point ^^^ before I saved draft and walked away. I stopped writing because I was in the ‘bad’ part of the loop and I realized I didn’t want to write about anxiety when I was in that place.

Now that I am in the ‘good’ part of the loop I wanted to revisit writing about anxiety. Especially after attending the Children With Diabetes FFL conference in Orlando. I attended a session about Stress Management while there. It was way too short (the break-out session and the conference) but in that little bit of time in the session I learned something amazing. It was Dr. Bob who said it and I already shared his words in my last post but to recap he said:

“suffering comes from the attachment of an outcome, Remove the expectations and that will limit suffering”

Years ago a friend said something similar, she said it when she was experiencing the ‘bad’ part of her own loop. She said:

“expect nothing and never be disappointed.”

The two statements are similar but also very different.

My friend gave me the advice while she was experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety and disappointment. Thus her statement seems more negative, almost bitter. Through the years while I was experiencing stress or disappointment I would remember the advice and it would not help. It would make me more disappointed, angry, frustrated, and sad.

Dr. Bob’s words were not said with bitterness and are meant more to be a tool or plan – setting readers/listeners up for success. His words also do not promise “no disappointment” they suggest that removing the expectations can limit suffering.

Random picture to break up text - yet on topic.

Random picture to break up text – yet on topic.

I was concerned and experiencing anxiety prior to our trip to Friends For Life. My anxiety was in regards to how my dear husband would handle my interactions with all my DOC friends. I knew he (my husband) gave up his idea of a family vacation to take our family to FFL. He actually asked the kids which they would prefer – a trip to Hawaii or FFL/Harry Potter World. They all said FFL and Harry Potter World – although I think the boys were voting for HPW more than FFL. My husband was out voted and we planned our trip to the conference.

The night before our trip I was experiencing a huge amount of anxiety. Chad wanted to know the schedule. When was “family time”?

I could feel my heart racing. Was the trip going to be a bust because I was going to be disappointed that I didn’t get to hang with my DOC friends or would he be disappointed that I spent too much time with my DOC friends.

He sensed my anxiety and basically wanted me to clarify my expectations of him. I said I haven’t set any expectations. He could do what he wanted and felt most comfortable doing. I did say that I would love for him to meet and get to know some of my DOC friends but I would not require it of him.

All in all the week went great. We had family time and I had lots of DOC time. We spent a good deal of time Saturday together with one of my favorite DOC friends and the two of them hit it off and chatted amongst themselves.

I think it can be difficult for people not involved with the DOC to understand how important it is to those of us who are a part of it. I am grateful to my dear husband for recognizing how important it was for me to have my time with online friends. I am glad we talked about our expectations ahead of time. I am also glad that I didn’t focus too much energy imagining what could go wrong or setting myself (and those I love) up for failure by setting unfair expectations and thus I limited my ‘suffering’ or disappointment.

Hope I can continue this in all aspects of my life and maybe anxiety wont be such a monster in my life.

A moment of Zen

A moment of Zen

 

 

Learning, Loving, Laughing & Tears

Our family just spent a week in Orlando at the Children With Diabetes Friends For Life conference. I have so much to share; things I learned, things that made me laugh, things that made me cry, things that made me go hmmm?.

Where does one start? I’ve read over a dozen wonderful recaps. Many of the recaps made me teary-eyed, a couple made me down right cry, some made me giggle and some made me want a complete do-over since I clearly missed sessions I should have attended.

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Meri, Sara, Me, Brian – sadly Briley is not pictured.

I started the conference by working the You Can Do This booth in the exhibit hall. I hope everyone got over there to share their thoughts and be a part of the project. I loved meeting so many people who came to the booth and working with some of my most favorite DOC members. Thank you Sara & Kim for letting me be a part of it this year. I’m told the 2013 video will be up shortly but until then please check out the 2012 video.

I suck at note taking – turning this:

notesphotoInto something that will make sense to you requires more organization than I am capable of – yet I’ll try.

Things I learned:

Dr. Bob and Natelli Bellini hosted a Stress management session on Thursday afternoon. It was an amazing session and I couldn’t scribble notes fast enough.

  • Own your stress – sometimes its just life, sometimes it just is.
  • We are often told to change our perception but that isn’t as easy as it sounds – it can lead to being stuck in the future or in the past. Focusing on the right NOW and how we can change a circumstance with adaptation, knowledge and seeking additional knowledge is more effective than simply trying to change how we see things.
  • Recognize that no parent is right all the time – says Natelli (shhh don’t tell my kids) I jest – but I need to remember that I’m not right all the time and sometimes I learn from my kids and there is always something I can learn from others.
  • “Just get the numbers” Getting teens with diabetes to check their sugars as often as they should can be difficult. Find your child’s currency and use it to get the numbers. (phone is the best currency for most – tough love with diabetes)
  • “I don’t care how they feel – I care that they do it” Says Natelli – We all know that diabetes is annoying and time-consuming but getting the numbers is the key so while the kids are frustrated with diabetes it is equally if not more important to get the numbers than worry about how they feel about it all the time. (I agree and disagree at the same time – there has to be some happy medium – a way to get the numbers while being able to recognize and empathize.)
  • “Dont suffer from diabetes” Natelli – followed up with words from Dr. Bob “suffering comes from the attachment of an outcome” Remove the expectations and that will limit suffering.
  • There are a bazillion websites that offer medical advice. Be sure the site you go to has safe information – look for the HONcode which focuses on the reliability and credibility of information. Looks like this one found on the CWD website.
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Even if a website has this HONcode – please still check with your HCP before making changes to your diabetes management plan.

To end the session Dr. Bob had us all close our eyes, take a deep breath and feel the community around us. That was powerful. 

I attended another Stress management session with Dr. Bob on Friday. His session was more about Mindfulness and living in the moment – plus lots and lots of breathing. I didn’t know I had been breathing all wrong. We did some meditation (almost fell asleep – but Dr. Bob said that its ok to fall asleep because at that time sleep is what you need). Books Dr. Bob recommended included:

Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat

Mindfulness For Beginners by Jon Kabat

A fellow attendee recommended this book:

The Buddha Walks Into A Bar…A Guide To Life for a New Generation by Lodro Rinzler

Also in this session a friend I was sitting with asked a question. All kind of emotions exploded into the question – the question had many parts and one of them included “how to avoid losing my shit” (paraphrased). Dr. Bob came right to my friend. He spoke to her like she was the only person in the room, one hundred percent of his attention was with her and I felt like I was right there too, not just because I was sitting next to her but because I think so many of us have the same questions and fears about loosing our shit. While Dr. Bob was talking he kept saying “loosing your shit, expel the shit, there’s a lot of shit, shit, shit, shit, etc.” It was the best. He was able to recognize what was needed and provided it. At least I felt like that and I hope my friend did too.

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random photo to break up all my rambling text – Banquet Ball on Thursday with two beautiful ladies and my amazing Sweetstuff – this photo almost makes my heart explode.

The Moms discussion group was fabulous and the time went too fast. I wanted to hear more moms share stories and ask and answer more questions. I wanted us all to hug and laugh and cry together. I loved that Moria came in about half way though and shared her thoughts about being part of the “Yes club” – let the kids do their stuff. Mistakes will happen – let them. She did say that the one thing she insisted on was a blood sugar check before driving. TRUTH! I loved hearing CWD faculty member, Intissar Ben Halim, share her thoughts about how the teen brain frontal lobe gray matter is a big-ol-mess. (no she didn’t say ‘big-ol-mess’ but I suck at notes and so I’m taking a number of liberties in regards to how she said teen brains develop). The session was too short. I didn’t want it to end – although the conversations were wonderful it was more that I was in a room with 40+ other moms that were just like me.

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another random photo to break up all the darn text – This is Sweetstuff with Will Cross – mountaineer and explorer extraordinaire

I didn’t get to as many break-out sessions as I would have liked. I got distracted with awesome conversations in hallways and in the exhibit hall. I would so love for CWD to videotape all the sessions and then figure out a way to share them, at least with those that were in attendance – it sure would make my lack of note taking less frustrating.

The exhibit hall is a favorite for all attendees. I let my kids explore on their own opening night while I hung at the YCDT booth. They were like little scavengers gathering up goodies (SWAG – not the scientific kind – the holy cow how am I gonna get all this home kind) – I think my youngest collected about a dozen silly putty eggs from the A1C Champions booth, all three got backpacks with sleeping bags and carb free snow-cones from Nova Nordisk, each got a mini-Lenny from Medtronic, sunglasses and spy-photos from OneTouch, Glucolift glucose tabs and photos from the photobooth presented by Tandem, popcorn from The Diabetes Scholars Foundation, t-shirts including my favorite from A Mile In My Shoes – a company founded by Joe Solowiejczyk, really great bags from Freestyle (these were instrumental in getting all the SWAG home), and light-up pens from Omnipod.  Yes I included links to the companies that provided all the SWAG – thank you to all the sponsors that help make CWDFFL possible.

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last photo – promise – but darn it there is just so much text – better than some random cat picture. Sugarboy getting is caricature on – sponsored by Nova Nordisk – they did me but I swear I looked like Fran from the Nanny – it didn’t make it home.

Other posts about Friends For Life 2013 – If the following posts don’t make you want to start packing for 2014 I don’t know what will – I mean aside from being surrounded by 3500 of your closest friends, the top researchers and medical professionals in the country, food with lists of all the carb counts, the hot sticky weather of Florida in July (wait is that plus?), opportunities to meet some of your favorite diabetes bloggers and authors as well as a few celebrities living well with diabetes.

Joanne – Death of a Pancreas ( I didn’t include a link to just one post – she has written at least 3 about FFL)

Moria – Despite Diabetes

Meri – Our Diabetic Life 

Katy – Big Foot Child Have Diabetes

Briley – indpendence

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ok this is the last picture – tween and teen dance night. no parents allowed. It was fabulous.

I have two other posts working in regards to the conference but when I try writing them I get very tongue-tied and overly emotional. This was the easy post – the one about learning and getting SWAG.  The other posts are about DOC heroes and about the green bracelet – the one that is still in pristine condition and hidden in the large yellow envelope 4 inches from me.

Strip Safely

Avoid applying glitter to your nether regions. 

SS-LOGO-STACK

Ok actually Strip Safely is not a joking matter.

It is about holding Glucose Meter manufacturers and Test strip manufacturers accountable.

People with diabetes and the parents of children with diabetes rely on glucose meters and test strips to collect blood droplets multiple times a day. The numbers collected from the meters are used to dose insulin and treat low blood sugars.

A person with diabetes must take daily injections of insulin (or infuse the insulin via an insulin pump) to stay alive and healthy. Without insulin everyone diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and even other types would die. That same fabulous clear liquid (that smells of band aids) can also kill a person. The balancing act of administering just the right amount of insulin at the right time is something all people with diabetes (or parents of kids with diabetes) must perfect – and the amounts of insulin and timing change throughout the day, the week, the month, and a persons life (really perfection is a myth and one day a certain amount of insulin for a specific meal will be spot on – the next day the same amount for the same meal will leave us scratching our heads with the proverbial WTF.)

High-wire aerialists use a balancing pole to assist them in negotiating a thin wire stretched across two elevated points.

People with diabetes use glucose meters and test strips to navigate the thin wire that is diabetes.

So what happens if the accuracy of our meters/test strips are compromised? Well imagine what would happen to a high-wire aerialist if the weight of his/her balancing pole could vary +/- 20% at any given moment during his/her performance.

There is more to say. More to explain.

I couldn’t possibly do as well as Bennet – author/owner of YDMV, who started the StripSafely campaign. So without further delay please visit  StripSafely. Take the Quiz (what you didn’t know there would be a test?) Read the issues page. Join the campaign. Write some letters. Give a listen to the DSMA podcast to understand more. In addition to signing the petition and sharing the campaign consider donating to the cause – you’ll even get a pin.