I Get It Wrong Often

Last night my Middles, (13 year old teen boy) was over 400 before going to bed.

He was 238 before dinner and bolused (used his insulin pump to deliver insulin into his body) for dinner with extra insulin to correct the high.

That was 4 hours before he was going to bed.

He was surprised by the high blood sugar before going to bed.

The infusion site he had on was only 36 hours old.

I chose not to drill him regarding what he might have eaten after dinner that could have resulted in the high but I did assume he had eaten something or somethings.

I just told him to correct (bolus insulin for the high) and to go to bed.

I set alarms (two) on my phone to wake up and check his blood sugar around midnight.

I don’t remember hearing the first alarm.

I do remember hearing the second alarm and I remember silencing it.

I awoke with a start at 4:11am realizing my neglectfulness.

In the moments walking between my bedroom and my sons bedroom my heart pounded against my ribs. The fear parents of children with diabetes experience when we know there is the slightest possibility our kids could have experienced a sever low at night can be monstrous. The relief when we see our child sleeping peacefully while their chest slowly rises and falls with each breath is equally as immense.

My boy was sleeping soundly and breathing normally. Exhale.

I checked his blood sugar.

403.

Fuck.

My assumption that he had eaten some rogue food between dinner and bed was incorrect. Instead the high before he went to bed was very likely due to a failed infusion site (place that insulin from his pump is infused into his body). The site needs to be replaced a minimum of every 3 days – his most recent site was only 36 hours old and shouldn’t have failed.

I had to wake the child and ask him to come downstairs to replace the site and insulin in his pump.

He didn’t complain. He felt like crud and he knew that insulin was the only way he would feel better.

Ok he whined a little. It was 4:15am and he didn’t sleep as soundly as I had first imagined.

New site, new insulin in his pump and a large bolus to correct his blood sugar.

We don’t own a ketone meter (a small device similar to a glucometer that checks the amount of ketones are in the blood via a finger stick/drop of blood), ketones are often present during periods of extreme high blood sugars. Ketones are produced when the body burns fat for energy, excessive ketones poison the body and when combined with dehydration can result in ketoacidosis, a life threatening condition.

Before he came into the kitchen to get his new site and insulin I heard him in the bathroom. It was too late to ask him to use the ketostix (paper strips with a small patch on the end that is chemically treated to change color if ketones are present). The ketostix are not a very accurate way to test for ketones – because the paper sticks check the urine for ketones the result is about 4 hours delayed, meaning not the most accurate ketone level, but at least it is an indication of what was happening in this body. Alas – he used up all his urine so no ketone check.

Sent the boy back to bed.

He will need to go to school regardless today. I am scheduled to work.

In the hour since I awoke with a panic I have been berating myself for yet another fail.

We own Dexcom CGMs (continuous glucose monitors). CGMs check a person’s blood sugar every 5 minutes and have alarms that can alert the wearer and others that blood sugars are high or low. Had he been wearing his CGM we likely wouldn’t have ever got to be in the 400s last night and certainly wouldn’t have stayed in the 400s all night as I slept through phone alarms.

Had I done the nagging parent thing at bedtime to determine if he had actually eaten between dinner and bed I might have been able to determine that the high was in fact due to a failed infusion site rather than by a teen that likes to snack and forgets to bolus.

Had I just stayed up between 10pm and midnight I would have not been sleeping at midnight and I would have been able to replace the failed infusion site 5 hours ago vs. letting my son sleep with such dangerous numbers.

Like I said, I get it wrong often.

I’m sorry middles.

Ps. In the 40 minutes since I wrote this and went to take a shower for work I spoke with my husband. He confirmed that he observed Middles eating multiple tangerines before checking his bedtime blood sugar. Thus, it is likely he was high before eating the tangerines but also likely he forgot to bolus for the tangerines. Suggesting that while he bolused for the high before bed he neglected to take insulin to cover the tangerines.

Sigh……

You Are Enough For Me

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What does insecurity cause?

Fear

Anger

Depression

Resentment

I have been insecure with myself for nearly my entire life.

I’ve rarely thought of myself as attractive or smart or funny or worth anyones effort.

Insecurity leads to destructive behaviors and poor decisions fueled by fear, anger, depression and resentment.

So my wish for the remainder of 2015 and all the years to come is that my family and my friends always feel they are enough for me.

That may sound odd, maybe even a bit arrogant. That isn’t my intention. I can’t change how others in this world make my children, husband or friends feel, but I can change how I make them feel. I want them to always know that they are enough, that they are my joy, that I am their biggest fan and that they are my world.

I don’t ever want to be the source of their insecurities.

That is a hard wish to fulfill as a mom of 3 children with diabetes.

There are endless questions regarding diabetes.

“Did you bolus?”

“Did you check?”

“What’s your blood sugar?”

“Do you have fast carbohydrates on you?”

“Why are you so high?”

“How much insulin is in your pump?”

“When did you do your last infusion site?”

Those questions can often feel like attacks. They aren’t. They are just questions.

The hardest part is those questions are asked daily often to different children at different times, but that doesn’t matter since the other children hear the questions all the time. It is an almost endless narrative.

I don’t want it to be their internal narrative.

Diabetes is hard. It is constant. I want it to be nothing more than white noise.

Feeling like you are enough is a powerful thing. Feeling like you make a difference in the lives of others gives you strength and motivates you to do more while knowing you don’t need to. Feeling unconditional love encourages us to love ourselves.

I don’t ever want my kids to think they aren’t enough and I’ll be damned if I let diabetes get in the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Honor And A Privilege

Having three kids with diabetes is hard.

It sometimes means late nights.

It sometimes means running supplies or even a forgotten insulin pump to the school.

It sometimes means food fights.

It sometimes means difficult ‘discussions’ about blood sugar checks.

It sometimes means educating an uninformed or misinformed public.

It sometimes means fighting with insurance.

It sometimes means consequences for ‘non-compliance’.

It sometimes means holding your breath when you go to wake your child up after not hearing alarms at night to check a blood sugar after bolusing to correct an extreme high with enough insulin to down a mammoth.

It sometimes means letting your kid ‘shout it out’ when they have reached their breaking point.

It sometimes means meeting with school staff to ensure your child is safe at school.

It sometimes means laying awake wondering about their lives after they leave the safety of home.

It also means:

Watching your children thrive despite a chronic disease that disrupts their days and nights, seeps into every corner of their lives, and rages war on their bodies.

I don’t often talk about how hard diabetes is for the parents of kids with diabetes.

I don’t ever want pity and I get a good deal of hugs without playing the diabetes card or sharing my personal frustrations with the world at large.

It is hard being a parent of a child with diabetes and I have 3.

It is exhausting.

It is scary.

It is emotionally challenging.

I do cry. I cry often. I hate diabetes. I hate fighting with my kids about diabetes.

I worry often about them when they leave my home and I hope I have armed them well to continue the fight when I am not standing shoulder to shoulder with them.

Since my first child was diagnosed I have gained over 60 pounds. 60 pounds in just under 10 years. Some of that is Rice Krispie treats and lattes. A lot of it is due to sleep deprivation, periodic depression, and exhaustion. Not getting 6-9 hours of sleep on a consistent basis causes weight gain. It disrupts hormone levels and leaves us in a constant state of ‘fight or flight’. I blame much of that on diabetes.

Still I don’t want anyone to pity me. Least of all my kids.

I don’t want them to ever consider how diabetes effects (affects? – crap IDK) me.

I don’t want them to apologize for highs or for not checking.

It isn’t for me that I want them to manage diabetes well.

It is never and will never be about me.

Well – maybe in 15 years when I write a book it will be about me. (Names changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent of course.)

I love my life.

I love my kids.

There is no job more important to me than raising my kids, providing them the support they need (sometimes against their will), and loving them.

It is an honor and a privilege to be their mom and all that comes with it.

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A Lesson In Parenting

Parenting lessons come at us in many ways.

Some lessons are from friends or colleagues who have ‘been there, done that’.

Some lessons are overt as with our own mothers or mother-in-laws that come to help with a new baby, especially the first baby.

Some parenting lessons are learned by observing or experiencing ‘bad parenting’ and consciously choosing NOT to be that parent.

There is an endless supply of books on parenting – most of those I was given or purchased have never been opened.

Then there are the social media posts, often inspirational quotes with adorable pictures of toddlers with muddy hands or faces full of food, or the posts that talk about how a piece of paper crumpled and then unfolded will never be the same thus be careful with words. I think there were also a few commercials some time ago that depicted young kids picking up the same “bad” habits (cell phone use, smoking, drinking, etc) by watching their parents.

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My favorite (read ‘most humbling’) way to receive parenting advice is from my own child.

My middle child – who I often refer to as Middles, is 13 now. He is in the 8th grade. He is taller than me now, his voice is getting deeper and he has just a bit of peach fuzz on his upper lip. He is clever and funny and kind and I love him for exactly who he is, even on the days I want to throttle him.

Middles has had diabetes the least amount of time between my kids. He just past his two-year diaversary on August 1st.

Being diagnosed with diabetes is never easy and every person (kid or adult) handles the diagnosis differently and also manages their diabetes differently. Some with more zest than others. Even then, ones diabetes management often has an ebb and flow due to diabetes burnout, life circumstances and for those diagnosed before the age 12 – puberty.

In my experience my Middles has had the hardest time with diabetes. My youngest (Sugarboy) was diagnosed at age 2 so he really doesn’t know a life without diabetes. My oldest (Sweetstuff) was diagnosed at age 9, and while she remembers life before diabetes she was young enough to develop a routine and habits before puberty hit. Middles diagnosed at age 11 clearly remembers life before diabetes and didn’t have enough time before puberty caused his front lobe to take a sabbatical. (IMHO)

All my kids have off days when they forget to check blood sugars or bolus for lunch or a random snack but Middles forgets most often. There were school days toward the end of the school year last year in which he went a couple of weeks without a single blood sugar check during the school hours. Now before you are tempted to judge my D parenting skills and wonder how I could let a couple of weeks go by without verifying or downloading (giggle) meters let me say I put a lot of trust in my kids and the majority of the time I am not disappointed so I don’t act like the diabetes police 24/7. Instead I do random checks on their meters – the randomness of the checks typically keeps them on their toes while allowing us to put diabetes in the corner and focus on the really important stuff like how my boys can’t seem to get their aim just right in their bathroom.

So going back to the couple of weeks of no checks…

Once I discovered the discrepancies, discussed the discrepancies with Middles and provided time for my son to get his act together I did another check. Imagine my surprise when there were few to no checks. That earned Middles the privilege of checking his blood sugar in the health office 3x a day for the last few weeks of school. He was not pleased but knew in advance what the consequences would be if he didn’t pull it together. School ended and we moved on.

Before the start of this school year we discussed how he would return to independence but chronic forgetfulness would land him in the health office 3x a day again.

Alas, I checked his meter last night. No checks for the last 7 school days. Bugger.

Now I should have likely waited a bit before discussing the issue with my dear teenage front lobe deficient son. I was a bit worked up, not just for the lack of blood sugar checks but for a few non-D related issues with him. I didn’t wait. I called him downstairs and with very little planning laid into him in a manner reminiscent of Tom Cruise (Lt. Kaffee) cross-examining Jack Nickolson (Col. Jessep) in the final court scene of A Few Good Men. (Shared below for those under the age 40 who may not have seen it. Pretty sure my face looked just like Tom’s in the still shot below).

Middles reacted just as one would expect – (re-watch if needed with Col. Jessep playing the role of Middles)

It wasn’t pretty.

Me: yell, yell, accuse, yell, threaten, etc.

Middles: yell, yell, deny, accuse meter of being faulty, yell, yell

Me: more yelling, more accusations, more threats.

Middles: Crying

long pause

Me: (ignoring what I saw as deflecting behavior) “Empty the dishwasher please.”

Middles: (slamming cabinets as he puts away dishes) “You know mom, you could have just been nice.”

Me: “What? What do you mean?”

Middles: (In a voice that was supposed to be mine) “Honey. I noticed you haven’t been checking your blood sugars. Is everything ok at school? I worry about you. Is there someway I could help you remember to check”

Me: (I had nothing. I just stood there with my jaw on the floor. I knew he was right and I knew I was just schooled by my 13 year old) finally I said “You’re right. I could have handled this better. I shouldn’t have yelled. What can I do? How can I help you?”

Middles: (because I wasn’t humbled enough) “Well, you could hug me more”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how your own children give you parenting advice.

 

Whack A Mole

When my kids were younger I would take them to Chuck E Cheese often. We lived in Texas and the summers were hot so the days we didn’t hang by the pool we would hang out with the mouse. Yes it was a petri dish of germs. No I didn’t take hand sanitizer, might not have even required the kids to wash hands before eating. A favorite game was always Whack A Mole. All three of my kids loved whacking the mechanical moles and often we would race since there were two games right next to each other. There was something therapeutic about whacking those plastic heads repeatedly always trying to beat the game.

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It is no longer therapeutic. The moles are no longer cute plastic rodents with hard hats and a grin.

The moles are highs and lows, the game never ends and I don’t get any tickets to trade in for trinkets.

Also I am now playing three games at once. Are you imagining me dashing between three arcade machines with a mallet whacking heads? Oh and the mallet – it is always attached to a single machine with a short cord so often I forget which mallet I’m holding and find myself flat on my ass because I tried whacking a mole with the wrong mallet. (giggling yet? It’s ok – I find humor in it too because if I didn’t I’d need to be drunk off the cheap beer)

My kids are 15, 13, and 11. Hormones, puberty, outside play, missed boluses, sports participation, lazy day electronics, lack of any meal schedule, late nights, endless snacking, and more make the whack a blood sugar game all that more difficult.

Yesterday on a FB page for parents of kids with diabetes another mom was waging war on a stubborn high with her 14-year-old son. Multiple highs and multiple corrections with different insulin (MDI) and she and her son likely felt they were using a 19th century flintlock pistol to lay siege on an enemy using 21st century armor. At least that is how I felt between 10pm and now at 6:30am. In the FB feed when she first posted her concerns of repeated highs despite corrections I, like others, had said if it’s a pump it may be a bad site. If it is MDI it may be bad insulin. Any chance the child was sneaking food? This exchange took place long before my 13-year-old returned home from a babysitting gig and learned of his 432.

Of course he isn’t currently wearing his Dexcom so he didn’t realize. He had checked his blood sugar at 7pm and was in the upper 200s. He and the boys he was watching ate pizza (yes part of the issue I’m sure) and he bolused and corrected. I called him a bit before 9 and asked him how he was. He checked BS and was in the 400s. He corrected.  He returned home a bit after 10 and checked, still in the 400s. He corrected again with his pump thinking it was pizza related and went off to bed, well he is a 13-year-old boy and it was a Saturday during the summer so he corrected and went off to veg in front of his Xbox. A bit after 11 I was going to bed and asked him to check again, 512. What? New pump site, new insulin, correction, kisses good night, alarm set for 1am for me. 1am – 355 not a big drop for 2 hours. Another correction. 3am 279. 6:30am 224. Stubborn ass high for sure. A losing battle of Whack A Mole or laying siege to a heavily armored enemy with a flintlock. Either way I am left feeling defeated.

Every person and child with diabetes reacts differently to insulin – oh and there are different brands of insulin that work better in some than others. Teens have raging hormones that seem to taunt the best offensive line of diabetes management.

I think I may have strayed from my original intention of this post which was to describe what it is like trying to help 3 kids of different ages and genders manage diabetes. Different games of Whack A mole – trying to use the same mallet on all three games, etc. It is true – corrections like the ones my middle son completed would have likely corrected my youngest son with little difficulty – less hormones. The corrections would have also corrected my daughter easily on most days. Why is correcting highs in my 13-year-old son more difficult? Perhaps his pump settings such as his correction factor (how much insulin he gets to correct out of range blood sugars) needs adjusting – although we had increased the ratios just a few weeks ago.

I’m not sure this post has any redeeming qualities. I think I was mostly venting. But if you ever feel like you are playing an endless game of Whack A Mole perhaps you will find solace in knowing it is a game we all play at times and if you are a parent of a teen and the game is getting harder, it is normal. I hope you won’t make the same mistakes I have made and accuse your teen of sneaking snacks (although mine really does often sneak snacks but nearly always boluses for them). I have found the less I trust my teen to be doing the right things (how do we define the right things in a teen that wants to be normal?) the more difficult it becomes to help him manage his diabetes. When he is high and I try to help discover why he immediately goes on the defensive. That isn’t helpful to either of us. I have never punished my kids for high blood sugars and I’ve never rewarded them for in-range numbers. I commend them for checking and bolusing but that is about it. Still the temptation, especially towards my middle child, for me to say “what did you eat?” is a strong one. I have said it many times and accusing him (whether I was correct in my assumption or not) has built a wall of defense. I don’t need an additional wall of defense to negotiate while trying to battle the actual blood sugar.

Sigh. 3 kids with diabetes, two teens and one right on their heels.

Thank goodness for coffee, cookie dough ice-cream and the diabetes online community.

35 Minutes

“I’m 127”

“Ok, don’t forget your helmet”

So my youngest, he’s 10, was heading out on his bike with friends on Saturday. We live in a quiet neighborhood scattered with parks and trails. Surrounding us are acres and acres of forest with streams, lush flora and abundant fauna. Trails weave in and out of the vast forests throughout the neighborhood. Some trails do indeed lead out of the neighborhood into surrounding towns and even down to a 200 foot cascading waterfall. There is one trail just a block from my house that descends deep into a forest with various side trails leading in different directions including the falls and other cities. I’ve told my kids to stay off that trail unless with me or their dad. The decent isn’t steep due to many switchbacks but the elevation difference is indeed quite a bit from the starting point near our home. There are also dangerous animals that live among us. Bears, Bobcats and Cougars. While I’ve not seen any in our neighborhood they are here.

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the bridge over a creek about a mile from the house down the trail.

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The beginning of the trail.

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A glimpse of how deep the trail goes. This is taken about half way down and goes oh so much deeper.

 

So off my kiddo went with friends to the park near our home. I’m sure if he got caught up in the moment or perhaps even made the conscious decision to ignore my requests that the kids not venture down that trail. 25 minutes after his departure I rang him up to ask how and where he was.

“mom we went down blank blank trail.”

“the one near our house?”

“Yes, we got to the end and now we are on a gravel road. I don’t know where.”

“can you check your blood sugar please.”

“I think I forgot my meter.”

silence

“ok I need you to come home and get it and check.”

“It’s a long way up. Henry (name changed) said there is a burger place close”

“A burger place? In the forest?”

“I don’t know. It’s called Burger place (changed name).”

I googled Burger Place. It was in a neighboring city. 2.7 miles from my home.  A 25 min drive since I can’t drive as the crow flies.

“Ok I’m calling Henry’s dad. Go toward the Burger Place. I will come there.”

I spoke to Henry’s dad. He agreed to head that way too.

From the time I called my boy and the time I saw him and his friends emerge from a trail near the Burger Place was about 35 minutes. It was the scariest 35 minutes ever. The boy left the house with a blood sugar of 127, which is in range but could easily drop with all the physical activity. Granted it was all down hill. I had no way of getting to him if he was still lost in the forest. No way of finding him if he was hurt or low. (well technically he had his iPhone and I did try to use ‘find my phone’ but the password had been changed so it was useless) He had no fast carbs on him. His friends know nothing of diabetes.

35 minutes of me freaking out. Not out-loud though. I kept it together for him and for Henry’s dad. In my head there were scenes of search dogs and helicopters. There were two friends standing helplessly while my son passed out. 35 minutes of me hating diabetes so much I could have screamed and cried and beat up the universe. I was much younger than my son when I took off on my bike for hours. No phones. No helmets. My friends and I would disappear into the woods behind our home for hours and hours. Trying to find the missile silo shafts of the old Nike Missile Sites. (we never found any) I spent 35 minutes wondering how many moments diabetes would steal away.

The truth of course was I wouldn’t have been so worried had he had his sling pack that held his meter, juice boxes, fruit snacks, and granola bars. Had he been prepared I wouldn’t have been worried. I likely would have been mad he went down a trail I asked the kids not to go down (of course that request was made a year prior when we first moved here so he probably forgot). I didn’t have time to be mad. I was too busy hating diabetes.

He had set down his sling pack when he dutifully put on his helmet per my request. I found it resting on a box in the garage.

His blood sugar when he arrived at Burger Place was 97. He was safe. He was smiling ear to ear, so pleased with himself for navigating the trail and riding to a burger joint. I gave him money and he ordered a hotdog, fries and a milk shake.

I put his bike in the back of my van. He didn’t want to try to ride back up the trail and neither did the other boys. Henry’s dad took the other bikes and I took the boys.

I dropped the other boys at Henry’s and continued home.

Sugarboy and I chatted about what it means to be prepared. How he isn’t supposed to leave the neighborhood and that includes taking trails leading out of the neighborhood. We talked about how fun and scary riding down the trail was. How the Burger Place had the best fries and great chocolate milkshakes. We talked about maybe putting some fruit snacks in his pockets just in case he doesn’t have his sling bag. We talked about how he can do everything and anything anyone else can do despite diabetes.

It ended well, but I guarantee you I aged 10 years in 35 minutes.

 

I know That Tune

Yesterday both my boys had games. Middle kiddo had a lacrosse game and youngest kiddo had a soccer game. The games would play nearly at the same time in opposite directions from each other. My husband had to be at work all day. Thankfully we have been with the soccer team since August and I have a number of friends on the team. Friends that understand diabetes because Sugarboy has developed friendships with his teammates and has hung out with them before. That meant I could send my youngest into Seattle with another family to play his game and not worry about him. Sadly it meant I would be missing his game. My Middles has only been with the LAX team for about a month or so. I don’t know the coaches or any of the parents on his team. Middles has talked to his coach about diabetes and the coach keeps a bottle of mountain dew in his coach bag in case Middles needs it. Middles obviously keeps many fast carbs with him as well. Still I’m not quite ready to send the boy off for a 45 min warm up and 2 hour fast paced LAX game without me or his dad.

After wishing Sugarboy luck and sending him off with friends to his soccer game I loaded up Middles and drove him 30 minutes away to his game. It was raining so instead of watching the 45 minute warm up I dropped the boy and headed to the Starbucks just up the road. A mom and young girl (4 maybe) were ahead of me in line. She mom ordered a latte and the girl a glass of milk and old-fashioned donut. Then the young girl found a comfy seat by the window. I ordered my drink and took my place by the pick-up counter. Just behind me in the plush chairs I thought I heard the familiar sound of a pop. The pop that you hear when the plunger on a lancing device releases to pierce the skin of a tiny finger. I honestly thought I had imagined it. I didn’t turn around to look because at the time I was watching a baby goat play with a dog on my phone.

A moment later the mom was standing at the pick-up counter looking desperate. She called out to one of the baristas to get their attention. The one who heard her said “I’ll be right with you ma’am”. She spoke again – she said “I just need some juice”. Then I turned around. I saw that same sweet young girl from the front this time. Her face was pale. Her eyes sunk. Her body seemed like it was being held up with silly string. I looked at the mom. She was agitated and nearly frantic. I opened my purse took out 4oz box of juicy juice and a roll of smarties. I tapped her shoulder. She didn’t look at me first she looked behind her at her daughter. Then she looked at me and I put the juice and smarties in her hand. She didn’t thank me. She barely made eye contact. She just popped the straw as she rushed the 6 feet back to her daughter.

Her daughter sucked the box until it collapsed on itself as mom opened the smarties.

I looked around – it was something out of a science fiction movie where everyone was frozen. A dozen strangers were watching the comfy chairs. I heard an “excuse me” behind me and turned to find the barista standing there. He handed me my venti latte and asked if I was with the woman and child. I said no and then said “but if you could just pour a half cup of any kind of juice into a cup it would really help her”. He looked past me and then did what I asked. I took the juice to the mom.

Looking up I could see the strangers turning back to their own conversations, phones and laptops.

I turned to walk away and a shaking hand took mine. I stopped. I didn’t know what to say because honestly I felt like any word would make this mom – this Dmom burst into tears. There was so much fear in her eyes.

I put my other hand on the moms shoulder and told her it would all be fine. The child seemed greatly recovered. The mom motioned with her head for me to sit in another plush chair. I did. I think she was afraid to talk too.

I asked what the number was.

21

I asked when her daughter was diagnosed.

13 days ago.

The child was now eating her old-fashioned donut.

The mom said “I was so scared”

I said “I know”

We sat in silence for a bit.

Then she asked, “how did you know?”

I said “I heard a pop and saw myself in your face”

We chatted for about 15 minutes. When was my child diagnosed and how old was she? Wow, all three kids, is that common?

I assured her multiples were not common.

Then she said “everyone was just staring at us”

I said “it happens, they don’t mean anything, its human nature”

I had to head to my son’s game. She was off somewhere too.

I gave her my card and invited her to contact me anytime.

Driving back to the LAX field, in those 10 minutes after a conversation that we all think of all the better things we could have said I thought I should have quoted Fredrick Nietzsche.

“And those seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”

EDITED – Since posting this yesterday I have come back to add something:

Many of you have left comments here, on twitter or on the SWIS Facebook page praising me. I appreciate that – I truly do. However I didn’t really do anything that any of you wouldn’t have done, plus I am severely uncomfortable accepting praise in this situation. I would like you to consider the other mom. Her daughter had been diagnosed just 13 days prior. Yet she has her daughter at Starbucks, buying her an old-fashioned donut (which are my favorite too btw) and is checking her child’s blood sugar in public and had the child not been severely low had intended on injecting her daughter right there in the plush chairs of the local Starbucks before her daughter consumed her milk and donut. The real ‘hero’ in this story is not another parent of a cwd that happened to have some juice – the hero is the mom who has not allowed diabetes to change their Saturday morning routine of a donut at Starbucks. The hero is the mom who admitted to a stranger she was scared. I hope the mom calls me or texts me. I didn’t have any of my business cards for my advocacy I only have my substitute teacher cards. I told her she could find SWIS on FB and the web but it was a short visit that focused on her daughter not me. I do hope she finds here way here though and when she does I hope she will read comments about her bravery not me.

(not that I don’t appreciate all the love guys – I prefer it in the form of Egg shaped Reeses cups though)

Stream of Consciousness

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I’m a mom with three kids with diabetes. It is a thankless job. A job that comes with many arguments, tears and fears. A job that requires a lot of attention much of the time and a still a job that requires me to back the hell off much of the time. There are fights each week, who didn’t check often enough, who ran out of insulin, who forgot to charge their meter or insulin pump, who ate three bags of Cheetos and left the bags under the couch cushion, who forgot to bolus, who skipped PE by telling the teacher he/she was low when in fact no check was done, etc etc etc (is the three ‘etc’ redundant?). It is also a job that includes; way to go, great job, I know it’s hard, I’m sorry, you’re doing great, just take a juice with you and have fun, I’m proud of you, it’s not your fault, thank you for checking, go have fun, let’s go get ice-cream, who wants a brownie, etc etc etc. It is an exhausting job with late nights, small hour alarms, neglected house work, twitching eyes, and an anxious pounding heart – thundering in my chest as I try to navigate the crashing waves of success and not-quite success. It is a proud job with a star soccer player, a dedicated lacrosse player, excellent grades, amazing friendships, funny moments, big hugs, bumped knuckles and high-fives. It is a job of advocacy with tweets, Facebook shares, diabetes mom lunches, camp committees, letters to congress, educating the public, writing this silly blog, and conferences. It is a job of worry because often diabetes brings a sidekick called depression – for the kids with diabetes and the caregivers who struggle to be the rock. Will my kids battle mental illness along with a chronic illness? Will they feel important and whole despite the crazy that diabetes is? Am I doing all I can? Could I be better? Will my kids grow to be the badass humans I know them to be? Too many tears. Too many days feeling lost and confused and questioning every parenting moment I’ve had. I look at my kids, I watch them sleep, laugh, and play and I know that at those moments they are safe and happy. I can’t fix it all. I can’t take the pain away. I can’t take their diabetes away. All I can do is make sure they know I love them. Make sure they hear often how important they are. Make sure they know it isn’t their fault. Encourage them to always try their hardest and ask for help when they can’t. All I can do is take it a day at a time loving them despite poor choices and things bigger than they are. It is hard and some days I just don’t know I have the strength anymore but there are no alternatives. We keep swimming and spend more time rejoicing in the moments we are given. Don’t look back – we aren’t going that way. Things will not get easier but we will get better at navigating the course and reboot when needed because this shit changes all the time. My head hurts, my eye twitches, and my chest is tight. Yet I got up, I showered, I got dressed, I hugged my kids and today is a new opportunity to love those around me.

I Wasn’t Talking To You

Having multiple kids with diabetes can be a real challenge. <<<< Biggest understatement ever.

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Ok in fairness this might have been the biggest understatement ever. Apollo 13. Totally unrelated to the post but most certainly an understatement.

 

Someone is always high or low or out of insulin or needs a site change or can’t find their meter or forgot to dose for a snack or has a low battery in a diabetes related device. There. Is. Always. Something.

I’m ashamed to admit that there are times I am a bit envious of my friends who have only one child with diabetes. That only lasts a nanosecond before I give thanks that multiples is not the norm.

My kids think I nag too much. The thing is, I bet on average I only ask each kid what his/her blood sugar is maybe 2 times a day and I might ask/remind each kid to bolus 1-2 times a day. That’s it. Many of my friends who have 1 child with diabetes ask/remind two to three times what I do. (Some even have the Nightscout system and have blood sugars sent to them 24/7 – totally not what I am going to talk about on this post – not sure I ever will share my thoughts regarding Nightscout other than we do not Nightscout.) I do have requirements that I expect to be met – a minimum of 3 checks during school hours and checks before eating. I let my kids do their thing and occasionally scroll through a meter to see that they are. If they are not we have a discussion. But back to how often I ask each kid about numbers and bolusing – not often.

HOWEVER – my kids hear a repeating record when they are home. What was your number? Did you check? Don’t forget to bolus. Etc. Only all the times I say it are not directed at one child alone it is distributed between 3 kids. The problem with this is regardless of whom I am badgering they all hear it – repeatedly – over and over and over again. It’s worse when I ask all three what their numbers were within the same few minutes and thus forget what each told me and ask again – ok that is my fault. Totally my bad.

Most kids with diabetes that don’t have siblings with diabetes get a break from the constant barrage of questions and reminders and nagging (all of which is done with love btw). My kids don’t often get that break because there is nearly always some diabetes dialog happening somewhere within earshot.

That must seriously suck for them.

It feels like this:

(gosh I hope you didn’t listen to the entire 10 minutes)

I totally need to work out some kind of system so there is a break in D talk.

Meri of Our Diabetic Life has a white board. Meri was recently quoted regarding one of her reasons behind her white board on the new Disney T1 Everyday Magic site “With three boys diagnosed with diabetes, I find it’s hard to keep track of blood sugar trends. To remedy this, I’ve hung a whiteboard in the hallway. We write all the nighttime numbers on the board for several days and then analyze the numbers on the weekend. Writing the number down helps us take ownership of the number. And erasing it when we’re done is completely therapeutic!”  If you are a parent of a child with diabetes and you haven’t already checked out the Disney T1 Everyday Magic site maybe bookmark it and when you are done thoroughly reading my posts and leaving meaningful thought-provoking comments you should check it out.

Anyway – I envy Meri’s white board. I suggested a white board and my kids nearly staged a coup. They didn’t especially like the idea of having to see the numbers all the time. I get that. Oh and when I say ‘they’ I mean my oldest didn’t want to see the numbers all the time. She has been struggling with some stuff of late and I think she doesn’t want an “ugly” number written down where she would have to see it. Although I think some of the pushback from the kids was due to me suggesting ‘they‘ write their numbers down which requires them to do an additional task. But oh how I would love a white board. My mistake was in asking them what they thought. Sometimes I think we (parents) just need to make decisions and tell our kids what the new procedure will be. I don’t typically go that route since my kids need to own their diabetes but sometime I daydream about how nice it would be to just look at a whiteboard rather than ask questions.

I

I was playing with shadows.

 

Ok I’m done venting now. It’s bedtime. I have to go ask for numbers. Sigh.

 

 

Purple Because Aliens Don’t Wear Hats

If you accidentally bolus 25 units of insulin when only 3.5 units were needed and each unit of insulin will reduce blood sugar by 50 points while every 10 grams of carbs would normally require 1 unit of insulin and your blood sugar was 300, keeping in mind fast acting insulin takes approximately 20 minutes to be active and remains in the body 3-7 hours with a peek between the 2nd and 4th hour, how many carbohydrates should be consumed and over what period of time should said carbohydrates be consumed in order to avoid convulsions, coma and death?

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The facts:

At approximately 10:30 pm PST my daughter checked her blood sugar. The result was 300.

She wears a t:slim insulin pump. She input the data (the blood sugar of 300) into the pump.

The pump completed the required calculations to determine the amount of insulin needed to lower my daughters blood sugar.

My daughter pushed the required buttons (really its a touch screen pump so there are no buttons) to deliver the required amount of insulin.

The t:slim pump delivers insulin very slowly – in (I believe) 0.3 unit increments. They say it is a safety feature – and honestly it would have been had my daughter noticed her nearly deadly mistake early enough.

After approving the suggested bolus on the pump my daughter clipped her pump back to her pajama bottoms and tucked in for a good nights rest.

Minutes later her insulin pump alerted her to a problem. Basically it had delivered 25 of the 30 units of insulin that was required to complete the suggested (and approved) bolus.

I am 100% certain my daughter had a total WTF moment although I wasn’t there to witness it. I just know she came downstairs saying “Mom Mom Mom Mommy Mommy Mom”

Her pump is programmed to never give more than 25 units of insulin at one time (meaning for one bolus). The suggested bolus was 30 units of insulin – thus the pump gave 25 and then asked the user (my daughter) if she wanted to give the remaining 5 units. Clearly we need to reduce the number of units that can be given at one time to perhaps 15 units but that is just one lesson we learned in the small hours of last night. 

What happened? 

Well technically exactly what the endocrinologist at my daughters last appointment said could happen and why she (the endo) refuses to prescribe the Tandem t:slim pump to children (including and possibly especially teens). BTW – my daughter didn’t care for me reminding her of that conversation with that endo. She (my daughter) doesn’t like it when others may have a valid point (I’m not sure where she gets that from).

Basically – my daughter input the 300 blood sugar as carbohydrates rather than as a blood sugar. Her pump is programmed to calculate insulin needs based on blood sugars and total carbs consumed. The amount of insulin needed by my daughter to lower a blood sugar of 300 to 150 is 3.5 units. Had she input the 300 blood sugar as a blood sugar all would have been well. However, she put the 300 in as carbs. Her pump is programmed to bolus (that means inject) 1 unit of insulin for every 10 grams of carbohydrates; which is why her pump wanted to bolus 30 units of insulin.

There are a number of screens on the pump a user has to go through in order to initiate insulin delivery. Each screen provides the user with some information such as how the pump calculated the suggested bolus, confirmation that the calculations appear correct, confirmation that the user wants to deliver the suggested amount of insulin, an opportunity to change the suggested amount, again a confirmation before it will deliver and finally a screen showing what t:slim calls the ‘Bolus Splash’ which also displays the amount of insulin being delivered.

So just as the endo suggested could happen with kids and teens (and likely adults too) – my daughter put in the 300 blood sugar as carbs and then in a matter of less than seconds tapped: ‘DONE’, ‘NEXT’, ‘YES’, ‘DELIVER’ – and voila! the pump initiated the delivery of enough insulin to kill my daughter within just a couple of hours whilst we all slumbered away.

*quick side note for those that may not be familiar with how diabetes can kill a person – people with type 1 diabetes (my kids) must take insulin to stay alive because their pancreases don’t produce it. There must always be a balance between the amount of insulin taken and the amount of carbohydrates consumed (carbohydrates are not just sugar – they are potatoes, rice, bread, fruit, milk, yogurt, pasta, etc). Too much insulin will lower a persons blood sugar and cause hypoglycemia which is typically anytime a blood sugar is below 70. A normal blood sugar is between 70 and 145 for people who do not have diabetes. The lower the blood sugar the more danger a person is in. Most people will lose consciousness, convulse, and possibly die with a blood sugar less than 20 but some people can be symptomatic long before a blood sugar of 20 or less.  If my daughter had not alerted us to the accidental overdose her blood sugar would have dropped to less than 20 within the first hour or so. It would have dropped so quickly based on the amount of insulin she delivered she may not have become aware of the drop in time to take action. 

What did we do?

Well for starters this…

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Banana, Teddy Grams, 2 juice boxes, mini butterfinger, mini 100 grand, full peanut butter and jelly sandwich (she was eating the other half)

The above picture shows approx. 125 grams of carbohydrates. She really needed a minimum of 200 grams but the child could not consume another bite.

She was exhausted. I sent her to bed and told her I would wake her if she needed to consume more. (IF?!?! – of course she would but I didn’t want to alarm her)

I checked her after 30 min. (11:00pm)

She was still in the upper 200s. Insulin isn’t really active until after 20 – 30 min so that was expected. She had eaten a number of fast and long acting carbohydrates (referring to how fast the body absorbs the sugar and/or converts carbohydrates into sugar) so I wasn’t sure what her blood sugar was going to do. I mean I knew it was going to go down but I didn’t know by how much or how fast.

11:30pm – blood sugar 118, woke her and had her drink 30 grams of juice.

It was at this check that I realized I had let slide a very important step in preventing an insulin overdose from ending tragically. I forgot to suspend basal insulin delivery. Basal insulin is insulin that is almost continuously delivered – a small drip basically to mimic what a functioning pancreas does for people without diabetes. Obviously my daughter did not need her basal insulin delivery at that time. Thus, I suspended all basal insulin for the next 4 hours – that should have been done at 10:30pm when my daughter made us aware of the accident. (BTW – this is only valid for people/kids who wear insulin pumps – those that get their basal insulin via an injection have no way of suspending the basal insulin)

dammit.

At 12:00am – blood sugar 124, gave 30 more grams of juice. She did not want to drink the juice this time and I actually had the first of two ‘drink the juice Shelby’ moments. That sucked.

12:30am – blood sugar 131, gave 15 more grams of juice.

1:10am – blood sugar 108, 15 more grams of juice. The second ‘drink the juice Shelby moment’

1:45am – blood sugar 145 – hallelujah she was going up. At this point the majority of the insulin, if not all of it was out of her system. I was still nervous though. It isn’t really an exact science when it comes to how long insulin is active. Each body is different. Thus I grabbed a pillow from the couch and climbed into bed with her. I felt safe enough to close my eyes at that point but I didn’t want to be far off. Prior to that I had watched a number of DVRd shoes afraid to close my eyes even for an instant.

My alarm woke me at 2:30am – blood sugar 162. Fine.

I stayed in her bed until my alarm at 6:00am.

Her blood sugar this morning 274. I think perhaps I could have turned her basal insulin back on at 2:30am but would you have?

She doesn’t remember any of the juices although she saw the juice box carnage on her desk. She woke with a slight stomach ache – well duh she drank 6 juice boxes in the middle of the night.

As a side note – it dawned on me sometime around 1:00am that I could have possibly used small injections of glucagon rather than juice boxes. I have never used the ‘mini-glucagon’ before – never had a reason to. Clearly I need to school myself on mini glucagon doses. (Glucagon is a hormone naturally produced in a persons liver as a last natural defense against hypoglycemia but it has also been synthesized and is typically used in emergency situations when a person experiencing severe hypoglycemia is not conscious. It has also been used in situations similar to ours last night or during periods of illness when carbohydrates can’t be consumed.)

Had it not been for the alert that the pump still had 5 units of the suggested bolus to deliver, or had my daughter ignored the alert this story would not be being told with sarcasm and purple hat wearing alien jokes. This story wouldn’t be being written the morning after while I wait for my youngest to finish getting ready for school. Had the pump not alarmed or had she ignored the alarm when it did alarm, this morning would be a huge black hole that no amount of expletives, sarcasm, tears or cyber hugs would bring me back from.

Diabetes is hard. I know sometimes many of us in the diabetes community make it look easy. We share pictures of bolus worthy food, laugh at the word ‘high’, share random silly moments with diabetes humor, climb mountains, run across Canada, win pageants, Nascar races, Indy races and Ninja Warrior challenges, send our kids off to college and sleepovers, walk, run, and bike. Oh and then there are these folks over at Connected in Motion who are just all kinds of awesome. We do all of these things and often we make it look easy peasy, but diabetes is hard. It is 24/7/52 FOREVER. Yes, I believe there will be a cure and there are always new treatments and tools being developed that make managing diabetes easier. But for right now it is forever, it is frustrating, it is dangerous, and it is damn hard.

I get a lot of kudos from friends, relatives and strangers who stumble on my blog posts. My kids get a lot of kudos too. It’s always nice to hear ‘you are a strong mom’, ‘you are so brave’, ‘your kids are so lucky’, ‘your kids are amazing’, etc. But I have to be honest – last night rocked my world. I was scared – more scared than I’ve ever been. With all my involvement in the diabetes online community, with all the books and blogs I’ve read, with all the conversations with Dfriends  – I forgot some of the basics – suspend the pump, give mini-glucagon. 

I am not sure how I feel about Tandem and t:slim right now. I don’t blame them or the pump but I also don’t blame my daughter. I can understand anyone doing just as she did. It was an easy mistake and even I’ve jumped through the multiple screens when I’ve given my daughter a correction bolus in the middle of the night. The danger is due to the exact reason the pump is so wonderful – ease of use. My daughter loves her t:slim pump and I want her to have the tools she deems best – it’s her diabetes. But honestly this event – it never would have happened with an Animas pump. Animas pumps will do the calculations to determine the proper insulin dose but prior to delivery the user must ‘scroll’ up using arrow keys to match the suggested bolus amount to the amount being input. Thus, the user can’t simply tap buttons without paying attention to the calculations and suggested bolus amounts like they can do with t:slim. I’m not sure about Medtronic or OmniPod pumps. Medtronic pumps don’t require the user to input the suggested bolus like Animas pumps do but the steps needed to get to the point of delivery are longer and more cumbersome than with t:slim. We’ve never used OmniPod or played with one so I have no idea how their system works.

When considering an insulin pump do research, find a way to get your hands on a pump to play with it, don’t just go with what your doctor wants you to go with. I still recommend the Tandem t:slim pump. I believe in it. It is the easiest pump to use, has the smallest profile of any tubbed pumps, has a rechargeable battery which is better for the environment IMHO (although stay tuned for the latest in a serious I think I might call ‘oops she did it again’), and holds 300 units of insulin which is important to many. I do not recommend the t:slim for younger kids. It is sooooooo easy to use and clearly at times too easy that I personally don’t believe it is the best pump choice for kids under 12. AGAIN MY HUMBLE OPINION.

I also fully support and recommend Animas pumps. Currently my boys both use the Animas Pings. Fabulous pump for all ages. There is a rumor the Animas Vibe will make its debut in the USA very very soon – the VIBE combines the Dexcom CGM (continuous glucose monitor) with the Animas pump so that the CGM results can be seen on the pump screen versus carrying a separate receiver. Sadly it means no more ping technology (the ability to program a bolus using the ping meter remote without touching the insulin pump – comes in handy for blood sugar corrections on small children after the witching hours).

Hug your kids. Hug your spouses. Love fiercely. Stock up on juice. Eat chocolate. Laugh as often as you can.

Oh hey also maybe do me a solid and go like the Stick With It Sugar Facebook page.

Parenting In The Time of Smartphones

I was against smartphones for the kids. Truly I was. I thought no good would come of it. There is so much danger to be found in a device that basically holds all the world’s knowledge, countless cat videos (as well as many not so innocent or entertaining), and all the evils of social media (and the good of SM).

There is really no way of effectively locking down the content available on a smart phone for kids. Not that I’ve found at least.

All kids need to make bad choices is opportunity and curiosity. <<<<That is the honest truth.

Ask my friend – her twin 11-year-old boys were wondering what ‘teabagging’ was. They found out.

How did I cave on the smart phone thing – simple ‘effing diabetes’.

I used an app on my phone to calculate insulin doses (this was when my daughter was taking daily injections rather than pumping). The app was wonderful. Basically I input all her ratios and when she needed to dose she just told the app how many carbs she was consuming and what her before meal blood sugar was. The app calculated the dose based on saved ratios and IOB (insulin on board – amount of insulin still active from a previous injection). It was basically all the brains of an insulin pump without the actual insulin and robot parts. The app was a wonderful tool. It tracked all her doses and we didn’t need to use pen and paper to log diabetes info. Thus after a bit we agreed to getting my daughter an iPhone so she would have the application as well. Worst mistake I’ve made. It spiraled from there – each of the boys in turn begged (demanded) iPhones when they were nine years old because my daughter got one when she was nine. We did what most reasonable, educated, loving, parents do – we surrendered.

It was all just fine for many years. The kids basically use their phones to play games, text me or a few friends, and call me or a few friends. Well except when they don’t. When instead they set up instagram accounts and flickr accounts and twitter accounts and downloaded snapchat, and KIK, and Vine and ???? who knows what else. We try to limit it – we have iTunes password protected. They can’t download and application without me or their dad putting in the password. The thing is both their dad and I hadn’t realized they had a window of time after the password was put in to download more crap without our knowing – or make in-app purchases resulting in iTunes charges of $45+.

I’ve been to the internet safety talks at schools. The presenters do a great job at scaring the crap outta parents but also providing a list of well know ‘evil’ applications to watch for. Applications that mostly exist to corrupt minds, allow for sexting, bullying, and to deceive parents. The problem is with every application designed to help protect our children by monitoring their apps or in the time it takes for government agencies to identify troublesome apps,  another half-dozen applications are launched that will corrupt our children; and trust me, our kids find them well before us or the government agencies find them.

Each time I attend an online safety talk I return home hell-bent on locking down the smartphones. This is always met with complete acceptance and understanding from my kids of course – said no mom ever. Instead it is met with defiance and outright rebellion “Why don’t you trust us?” “I’m smart enough to know better!” “It’s my phone!”

After much protest I do get my way. For a time. Then they change pass codes and I am locked out again.

I’m done with it.

LOL- all of thee above was written back in July. Ask me if my kids still have their smart phones. Yes.

I am sure back in July I had some idea of how this would be connected to parenting kids with diabetes and the tools we use to help manage diabetes. Hell if I remember what that point was now.

However – I will take this time to say this. Since the 2014/15 school year has begun I have taken away my oldest kids phones a few times. Yup I have sent them out the door to the bus with NO phones. No way for them to text me blood sugars. No way to ask questions. No way for me to send reminders. Guess what – they returned alive and well. Occasionally there were high or low blood sugars and

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they handled them. Sure there was a time when my son ran out of insulin and needed to use the office phone to call me. Yes, schools still have office phones. In fact most schools have classroom phones too. So remember a moment ago when I said my kids had no way of informing me about blood sugars or discussing issues – yeah scratch that. It’s true I couldn’t send them 342 reminders to check and bolus but somehow they figured it out.

Ok I know my kids are older than many. They are 15, 12 and 10. We’ve had diabetes in the house for nearly 8 years. We have some experience under our belts. Not all my readers can say the same. I encourage every family to do what works best for them and I ask every family to avoid judging families that do things differently.

I currently have both adult friends and friends with cwd who use the CGM in the cloud thingy or nightscout – honestly I am not entirely sure what it is all called. If that is what works best for you and/or your kids then Woot Woot.

I have friends who require their kids (of all ages including high school) to share every blood sugar via text while away from their parents and many of those kids likely appreciate the support.

I have friends who barely give diabetes a thought – they trust their teens and pre-teens to do what is necessary and only get involved when asked by the teen.

Parenting styles will vary in nearly every aspect of raising kids. I honestly don’t care if you breast-fed, bottle fed, allow endless TV, buy M rated video games, schedule playdates, attend church, tell them about Santa, or how your family chooses to manage diabetes. I do care if you vaccinate – please do – Jenny McCarthy and those that blindly follow the anti-vaccine ideals put others at risk daily. The studies that linked vaccines to autism have been proven false and were complete lies with falsified study results.

So basically this post started out by talking about the evils of smartphones and kids and took a sharp turn to land at the stupidity of the anti-vaccine movement. Sorry.

Confessions of an unstable parent: I look for reasons to ground my kids from their phones. shhhh.

 

 

Diabetes Anxieties Where There Should Be None

While diabetes doesn’t take a day off, I am in regards to a diabetes blog post that is – well mostly – I mean diabetes does have a way of sneaking into just about everything.

I went today for my first boob squish.

Turning 40 isn’t all about black balloons and jokes about being over the hill.

To be honest I didn’t care so much about the number although I was sad not to spend my 40th birthday with my besties either in CA or those back in TX. I was fortunate enough to have made a couple of friends here that surprised me with a frog for my garden and some pre-filled Sex On The Beach shot glasses. My actual birthday came and went with little fan fair and that was fine. I’m saving the big celebration for my 42nd birthday – after all 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything.

Back to the boob squish.

At an annual physical shortly after my birthday my new doctor handed me a form to schedule my first mammogram. That was on May 30th. Between that day and today I had met a women that has stage 4 breast cancer. I shared that story a few posts ago. I had meant to schedule my appointment right away. Actually, I had scheduled my appointment but then something came up and I had to cancel. I never called to reschedule.

Why not?

Time. Or Fear. Not sure which or how much of each played a part in my procrastination.

Either way I hadn’t rescheduled. Luckily the clinic called me earlier this week to remind me.

I scheduled the appointment for today. Best get it over with.

I woke this morning knowing I’d go in and have my boobs smushed today and then get some results sometime later.

I have no reason to be fearful. It wasn’t the physical pain that made me so. Despite what my husband thinks I actually have a very high tolerance for pain. I mean I did push a child out my lady bits and then have two C-sections after my daughter; and after both I was home vacuuming and cleaning and taking care of other children without the use of narcotics.

I have no reason to think my results would be anything but normal. So why did I spend the day anxious?

I think maybe its the idea that there is always the chance they wouldn’t be normal and then I would know.

Maybe having to think about the possibility of an abnormal result is just so scary to think about. When I think about my own mortality I don’t think about me. I think about my kids. I wonder who would be able to take care of them if I wasn’t here. How would my husband manage? We have no family here. And on top of having no family here we have no family that understands diabetes. My older sister gets it a bit and my mom has cared for my kids a couple of times but never without some big issue popping up and her getting flustered. None of my husband’s family understands any of it. I don’t blame any of them. It’s hard to understand when you don’t live it each day. So when I took my first shower of the day I tried to shake all the ugly ‘what-ifs’ from my head. Then I took my second shower – the one I had to take 10 minutes after the first because I put deodorant and perfume on after the first (you can’t have deodorant or perfume on for the exam). I hope now that the exam is done I will relax a bit and for a while at least not worry about my own mortality.

The exam itself was no big deal. No pain or discomfort. The technician was super sweet and she chatted pleasantly with me while adjusting the twins (individually) as needed.

After all was over – all the squashing was done – I felt much better. It’s done now. On to grocery shopping and soccer.

With Chad out-of-town it was also the most four play I’ve had in a week.

Anyway – this is just a post to remind all my friends to make the necessary appointments. For us ladies over 40 the boob squish takes all of 15 minutes and if you’re lucky you are given a heated gown like I was, which was good because the exam room was freezing!

And dear diabetes – can you just let off for a bit – let me have the normal boob squish anxieties without you popping your asshat head in.