Shenanigans at TCOYD

Registration for  TCOYD (Take Control of Your Diabetes) $25

Gas to get me and a local D-mom friend to/from the conference $14

DOC – meet-ups at the conference – PRICELESS

After writing this post I realized it is really long – I hope you read it and check out some of the links but here are the highlights:

  • went to a conference
  • learned some stuff
  • met up with DOCers
  • laughed often
  • advocated for a poster
  • was punked – twice

Saturday I attended the TCOYD conference in Santa Clara, CA. It isn’t an extremely long drive but I was thankful to have company, a local D-mom that is also a transplant from my old stomping grounds in TX. She hadn’t jumped into the Diabetes Online world before Saturday but I’m fairly certain she will have a twitter handle by the end this week – how could she not after having met some great DOCers at the conference.

We arrived early to the conference and enjoyed a few laps around the vendor booths in the Health fair. I was able to snag a pancreas that I thought my daughter would want it since hers is broken but when I arrived home she was unimpressed with its texture and also that it was used since I had squeezed it a few times.

pancreasphoto

Other vendors included JDRF (always a pleasure), TrialNet (they wouldn’t take my blood – said I was no longer eligible since I was negative in 07 for antibodies), OneTouch /LifeScan (couldn’t give out meters – really I thought we always were able to snag a spare at conferences), Pump manufactures (Animas, Insulet, Medtronic, Tandem), GlucoLift (the samples were gone and supplies were sold out before we got to the booth later in the day but I approve of GlucoLift glucose tabs – they are yummy – my kids approve as well), and various other exhibitors.

There was this one guy at a booth (more of a table in front of a curtain – no information, no posters, no handouts – just a guy with business cards promoting a free iPhone application. The brief demonstration he shared using his own phone looked interesting. The application does graph blood glucose results (providing the user logs them manually). The thing was I asked the guy (didn’t get his name – no name tag) if the application tracked Insulin On Board/Active Insulin. At first he acted as though he didn’t know what IOB was. Then he said he didn’t believe knowing IOB was relevant. Of course I disagreed to which he wanted to know how I felt it was relevant. I shared how knowing how much insulin was active can help PWD make informed decisions regarding exercise, sleep, meals, and how to treat highs/lows. He didn’t seem convinced but it led to a question regarding how Insulin is used during exercise – is it used more effectively or faster or both? I asked Scott Johnson that question a bit later in the day and he said “both”. Anyway – I m not sharing the name of the application because I haven’t tried it, and wasn’t remotely impressed with the guy promoting the application. Yet if you would like to know what application it was you can shoot me a message and I will share it with you.

I would love to share some of my notes from Dr. Steven Edelman and Dr. Bruce Buckingham and but honestly I lost my notes. I do know my notes included the following:

  • Well controlled diabetes is the cause of absolutely nothing. (ok that was also the title of his talk so that was easy to remember) Steven
  • It’s never too late to take control of your diabetes Steven
  • Steven said during is initial medical training only about 2% of his education involved diabetes but over 30% of the patients seen for none-diabetes illness had diabetes. Steven
  • 2013 – 24 million people have diabetes but 80 million are pre-diabetic Steven
  • You can not eat yourself into Type 2 diabetes Steven
  • Don’t Do Diabetes Alone. Bruce
  • Beware of Anxiety (Bruce had this really cool photo but I was too slow with my phone to snap of picture of his picture so I drew one similar) bewarephoto
  • Bruce said something about “Mindless Eating” and I’m upset I can’t find that my note page on that because I feel like it was important. I’m gonna email him to ask him what it was he said and I’ll let you know.

The real fun began with the Type 1 Track break-out sessions that were followed with DOC shenanigans.

TCOYD has traditionally focused on Type 2 diabetes but recently has added at Type 1 track. This conference included a number of great Type 1 break-out sessions including:

  • Diabetes Made Me Stronger – Becoming a Type 1 Athlete. 
  • Family Planning and Pregnancy
  • Aggravation#1 – Despite My Best Efforts, I Still Get Wacky Results
  • Celiac Disease
  • Meet Your Diabetes Online Community
  • For Parents of Children Living with Type 1
  • Help for the Spouse (I don’t have diabetes but the person I love does)
  • Thyroid and Other Autoimmune Diseases

I attended the Online Community session (how could I not when the panel included Kerri Sparling of SixUntilMe, Mike Lawson of Diabetes Hands Foundation, Kelly Close of DiaTribe and Amy Tenderich of DiabetesMine) and the Parents of CWD session.

During the “Meet Your Online Community” session Kerri, Mike, Amy and Kelly answered questions about how to get involved online and what it means to have the support of an online diabetes community. A highlight of the session included a moment when a woman in attendance shared how she has had diabetes for over 40 years and wanted to know how she could connect with others like her – at which point a gentleman moved from his chair to the chair next to hers. The simple action was so powerful and while the action took place in real life it is so much like how being part of the online community really is.

The Parents of CWD session was great fun as well. It was hosted by Dr. Daniel DeSalvo, a pediatric resident at the Children’s National Medical Center – also recipient of the David C. Leach award for research on medical errors with Type 1 diabetes patients and a PWD. During this session Daniel moderated discussions regarding concerns parents have for their kids and how to discuss diabetes with our kids. Somehow the session got a little derailed (I’m not admitting guilt) and turned to the need for awareness posters in pediatric offices (again not admitting guilt). Dr. DeSalvo handled the derailment with grace and brought us back around to discussing the challenges of parenting children with diabetes.

After the breakout sessions the D-mom posse I was hanging with met up with Kerri Sparling and Scott Johnson (he totally crashed the conference). I mentioned again the need for awareness posters in pediatric offices and Kerri had a great idea. The International Diabetes Federation has created a number of great posters including one that highlights the most common symptoms of new onset Type 1 Diabetes. Kerri suggested printing out the poster on our own dime and delivering a copy (or more) to our doctor’s offices. I’m talking about our general practitioners office and our pediatric offices. The lack of awareness posters/materials in general practitioners offices has been a real pet peeve of mine. We nearly lost our littlest, he was diagnosed with massive ketones, sky-rocketing blood sugars and severe dehydration. I thought all his symptoms were the flu or another virus. Had I read an awareness poster in the doctor’s office at any one of the 3 dozen times I had previously visited the office I would have known better. Too many kids are lost each year due to missed diagnosis or delayed diagnosis. It’s time to get the word out and educate general practitioners so no child is missed. You can download a poster HERE. I will admit these are not my favorite posters – there is a better one also produced by IDF but I couldn’t find it to share. I will update the link when I find it. Also – I would like to see IDF or anyone – create a poster that depicts children because I believe one of the biggest misconceptions of diabetes is that it only affects adults. Many people don’t know that kids can get diabetes – I didn’t.

Scott needed (wanted) a Diet Coke so we all set off on a Walk and Talk that ended in the hotel bar area – coincidence? We were in the bar area and there was a waitress so I felt obligated to order a martini. It is here that I met Christopher Angell who was at the conference with GlucoLift who unknowingly played a crucial role in punking me. Another D-mom Carie (who I met for the 2nd time at the conference but had first met in 2009 at Friends For Life in Orlando) decided to screw with me and nearly had me convinced that the Christopher sitting beside me was in fact Mr. Chris Sparling.  Me asking Christopher (in front of Kerri) if he was indeed Kerri’s spouse provided all those in attendance with great amusement. In real life relationships most people wouldn’t consider punking new friends so early in the relationship – the thing with DOC meet-ups is although some of us were meeting in real life for the first time – we have been exchanging ideas, support, and laughter for a good deal longer – thus punking is a completely acceptable means of interaction. To be honest I was honored that Scott had no problems having his own go at me regarding his wrist tattoos – which btw are not the dates he started blogging.

The last session of the conference included Bill King – a marathon runner with Type 1. He rocks. During that last session I may have chit-chatted a little too much – often inspired by something Bill shared. Perhaps sitting next to DOCers was not the wisest choice since I am chit-chatty in general. (yes my teachers had to move my desk often – who would’ve imagined) At one point the couple sitting in front of us moved to another section – I felt bad but then they won the give away with all the TCOYD goodies so it all worked out.

The conference was great fun and I did manage to learn a few things I didn’t know.

I met some new friends and laughed with friends from the DOC and honestly that alone is worth the time and money spent for the conference.

Picture – or it didn’t happen.

coyd3photo tyoydphoto

Don’t Mind My Voice

This year brought huge changes in my life – in my families lives. The biggest change for our family was a move across the country from Texas to California. For me the biggest change was becoming part of a larger community. Not a community connected by streets, courts, high school football games and the local Starbucks – a community connected by something much stronger – love, support, understanding, and a common goal – to end diabetes.

Don’t misunderstand me – the move from Texas to Cali was life changing. At times before and after the move I thought it would do me in. Luckily I have amazing kids who are resilient, a husband that devotes himself for providing what is best for all of us and again,  – a larger community of people in the DOC (diabetes online community) that helped me feel less alone.

This months DSMA Blog Carnival asks bloggers to write a 2012 in Review Post. click this link to learn more on how you can participate.

“Take a moment to reflect on diabetes in 2012 – on a personal level, on a community level, on a technological level, anything you can think of.  What things stand out to you the most?  What did 2012 and Diabetes mean to you?  You can even take the challenge one step further, and post a collage of your Year in Diabetes!” 

I have attempted to write this post a few times. It either got too wordy or didn’t share enough. Thus I thought I’d make a vlog. How difficult could that be? Well it was a lot more difficult than I anticipated. Technological difficulties using my photobooth application on my apple computer left me frustrated – it looked like a poorly dubbed kung-fu movie. After I finally got a video recorded and tried to load it was told it exceeded the maximum size for my blog. ARGGGG – here is where YouTube comes in.

Warning – I write like I talk and I talk like I think – thus I ramble.

Thanks for checking my first vlog out. HERE

Best Betes Blogs

What is the end result of a fabulous Diabetes meet-up aside from love and laughter?

A suggestion, nay request that I host the Best Betes Blogs for November. What could I say after Sara brought me a bottle of sand and shells from Florida. I didn’t realize what a fabulous honor and treat it would be to host. Imagine how thrilled I was to receive over two pages of nominated blogs. For an undisclosed amount of time (wouldn’t want ya thinking hosting takes up too much of your time) I laughed, cried and had to fight off feelings that I’m certain even Dr. Bruce Banner would have succumbed to.

Enough of my rambling – on to the winners of the November Best Betes Blogs

Best Use of Humor

If diabetes had an address I’d like to send some hate mail. Life: One unit at a time

Best Vlog

I’ve always believed that PWD and those who love PWD are the bravest, smartest, funniest and most awesome people – clearly PWD also make great poets. Dorkabetic

Best Recipe

YUM! You had me at “The summer of tomatoes” A Girls Reflections 

Best Use of Photography

Nothing brings me more joy than seeing a family coming together to support one another while building diabetes awareness. The We Cara Lot Blog

Best Advocacy

I’m not sure who said it but someone once said that more people fear public speaking than death. This little man with the support of his mom wasn’t afraid. Type 1 diabetes 365 and here (to watch the presentation) Kuddos Craig!

Best Story of a D Meet-up

Social Media brings people who may have previously felt isolated together – and not only to sing 80’s music together – although I personally believe singing 80’s music together is reason enough. Simon at Simon From the 70’s

Best non-D Related Post

In the Diabetes Online Community we come together to celebrate diabetes success, learn new diabetes management tricks, and share diabetes frustrations – BUT if I’ve learned anything it isn’t always about diabetes support – it is just about support. George at Ninjabetic 

Best Post by a Type 1

Not to scare off any potential BBB hosts but this category was truly difficult to pick a winner. If it were allowed there would be at least a four-way tie. Alas – I was given permission for a two-way tie. I must have read each of the posts submitted a half-dozen times – yes it was that hard to choose.

The questions we all get asked and the decisions regarding how much to share. Nikki at Celiabetes 

Diabetes fights like a jealous sibling or pet when baby comes home. Jacquie at Typical Type 1

Best Post by a Type 2

This post surprised me. As a parent of two kids with Type 1 I always feel people with Type 2 get all the attention via mainstream media. To an individual everything is perception but perception isn’t everything – look closer. That’s what I learned from this post. Sue at RFamHere’s Ramblings

Best Post by a Type Awesome

Courage – she’s got it. Insulin Resilience

Best Post by a LADA/Type 1.5/Not otherwise specified

I’m NOT trying to plug my blog here I just feel the need to say – Stick with it sugar, it never gets easier – you get better. Katie at 1 Little Prick

Best story of a D-mistake

When I got to this category I must say I wasn’t feeling a lot of love for a certain someone. Asking me to choose a winner with so many great nominations was asking a bit much. Thus again I narrowed it down to two and considered flipping a coin but luck isn’t what makes these bloggers so fabulous – it is the ability to act in the presence of fear, recognize that we learn from our mistakes, and to take each day with a spoon full of sugar  – or a whole lot of fast acting carbs when needed.

Lea at Luvleamum

Bram at Trained by Insulin

Best Motivational Post

When reading this post I was thinking about the courage post listed above and my favorite quote about courage – “Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to act in the presence of fear” Mikes guest post on Diabetes Mine

Best Diabetes Art

Don’t eat Dr. Banting! Wendy at Candy Hearts

Congratulations to all of November’s Best Betes Blogs Winners. Please grab this button to use on your blog if you would like.

Thank you to all those who nominated posts this month and congratulations to those who were nominated.

George Ninjabetic

Scully Can.D.Gal

Kim Texting My Pancreas

Karen Bitter Sweet

Denise My Sweet Bean and her Pod

Brian Buzz Buzz Not My Cell

Scott B Diabetes Daily

Kelly Diabetesaliciousness

YDMV 

Jess Me and D

D-meanderings

Christina Stick With It Sugar

Meri Our Diabetic Life 

Rachel Probably Rachel

Emma Big Purple Duck

C’s Life with D

Kerri Six Until Me

Kate Sweet Success

T Minus Two

Carey dLife

Alexis I Run On Insulin

Victoria Cumbow

Food Food Body Body

Ryan The Diabetic Cyclist

Stephen S Happy-Medium

Rachel Tales of Rachel

Mike Diabetes Mine

Scott E Rolling in The D

Laura Four Days to Two D

Sarah M. La Osita’s Weblog

Sara Moments of Wonderful

Jasmine Silver-Lined

Sunday Seven

  • Dexcom G4 approved (for adults) – so happy for my DOC friends and all pwd/cwd that will be able to get the G4 – it is an amazing Dcare tool. Hoping FDA approves for under 17 so I can beg our insurance company to help us get them for our kids. Currently our insurance will not approve anything ‘off label’ so we need under 17 approval if we want financial help via insurance.
  • Hubby and Middles attended a 3 night/4 day field trip – missed having them around – hated not being able to chaperone myself (dads with sons/ moms with daughters). They both had a blast and I’m thankful Chad had a chance to spend the time with Middles on a school event.
  • During a late night sugar check I walked in to find Sugarboy drinking an imaginary juice – blood sugar was 46 – gave him a real juice – check in 30 min to find a lower sugar – another juice – 30 min later 118. Sad and thankful to find other dmamas on FB (one whose son was eating an air sandwich about the same time sugarboy was enjoying his imaginary juice)
  • While walking to lunch after class a friend of Sweetstuffs thought she (sweetstuff) looked ‘off’. She encouraged Sweetstuff to test her blood sugar. Sweetstuff said she was fine and continued on to lunch (she was gonna test soon anyway). The other student continued to encourage Sweetstuff to check her sugars. Begrudgingly Sweetstuff did as she was asked sooner than she would have for lunch. She was 35. While the friend could have gloated or said “i told you so” she instead fished a fruit roll-up from the Dpack and handed it to Sweetstuff – she also alerted a teacher. First have I said how badly I want the Dexcom G4s for my kids and second have I told you all how blessed we are for all the wonderful friends Sweetstuff has made in our new home.
  • I had an off morning – I texted some wonderful DOC friends in a group message that I hated CA and wanted to go home to TX. I got lots of virtual hugs back. I love “The Hive” – and I am thankful to always have this group of friends in my pocket – always only a text away.
  • First family outing since we officially moved in to our home. We went to a pumpkin patch with a huge corn maze. The boys took off on their own to find their way through the maze (daddy close on their heals) while Sweetstuff and I wandered slowly through the tall corn stalks and discussed how much more fun it might be at night. After navigating the corn maze we picked out pumpkins, enjoyed some fresh corn on the cob and called it a win.
  • Today – best day of the week. Completed our first ever JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in CA. It was at the Oakland Zoo. It was very foggy and misting just a bit – perfect walking weather. We were joined by two of Sweetstuff’s friends and another mom. I met Mr. Mike Lawson of the Diabetes Hands Foundation promoting the Big Blue Test. He is as sweet in charming in person as he is in the DOC. Can’t wait for more meet ups.

Sunday Seven

I’ve been MIA. For the weeks leading up to our big move and since we moved I have been overwhelmed. Packing, moving, driving cross country, unpacking, registering the kids for school, writing and implementing 504s (legal documents that protect my kids with diabetes at school), meeting neighbors, meeting parents, scheduling play-dates for the kids, planing and hosting Sweetstuff’s 13th birthday party, etc. has taken every ounce of my strength and like I said overwhelmed me. I likely wouldn’t be overwhelmed if I didn’t miss Texas and all I left behind so dearly. I’d like to say TX wasn’t better – just different but to be honest it was better in many ways. Still CA is beautiful and all those I have met have been wonderful. I am certain that with time I will love CA as much as I love TX (please make this a true statement because I can’t stay sad forever). An example of how much leaving TX behind has effected me – I cried at the DMV. I had to register my van in CA. This meant getting new license plates. I tried to explain to the clerk I wanted to keep my TX plates after putting the CA plates on. He insisted I could not. Thus I cried. I didn’t start blubbering. Tears just trickled down my face right there at his desk. I took the tools he offered up so that I could remove the TX plates and I headed outside. While removing the back plate I cried outloud. I cried because it was just another step away from TX. Sappy right? Like I said “overwhelmed”.

Everything that has kept me busy getting settled in our new home has also kept me from blogging, reading blogs, and spending time with the DOC. I keep telling myself and others that I will catch up the next week – although the next week keeps me busy. Thus, I have decided that need to take baby steps to get back to where I was with posting, reading and participating. I am certain I didn’t coin the phrase “Sunday Seven”. I likely read it somewhere at sometime but I don’t know where or when – still it will help me get focused. In the future my Sunday Seven won’t have all this commentary before it – just bullets about the week.

 

Sunday Seven

  • Got to meet-up with awesome folks from the DOC while they attended a conference in Palo Alto – kidnapped Kim @textingmypancreas for a sleepover before sending her off on a train on Monday for the airport – she endured my crazy family well. I am so lucky to have met these wonderful DOCers and hope to see them again in the future. 
  • Ate lunch with some other Dmamas that live near me – while eating lunch a gentleman was listening in to our conversations. After we were done he approached us to tell us he as been a pwd with over 30 years and he says it sounds as if we are all “doing it right”.
  • Completed Sweetstuff’s 504 meeting – she is doing great in school and the school is awesome about accommodations and providing all the D support she needs
  • Missed DSMA on wednesday to celebrate Sweetstuff’s 13th birthday – OMG Im the parent of a teenager! 
  • Went looking for kids bedroom furniture so that my boys can share a room and I can move my daughter upstairs (currently in a bedroom downstairs) – its amazing how I can talk myself out of checking a blood sugar in the middle of the night knowing I would have to go downstairs to do so.
  • Bought a trampoline – blood sugars on both kiddos dropped over 70 points with only 30 minutes of jumping – trampolines should have a fast acting carb storage pocket.
  • Cleaned up the house and backyard after hosting Sweetstuff’s sleep under the stars birthday bash. Half the girls were inside sleeping on the floor by 1:30am, Sweetstuff and a couple others made it until 4:30am before coming inside. Her blood sugars played nicely overall considering the amount of candy, pie, and s’mores she ate. 

 

You Must Experience It To Understand It

DSMA July Blog Carnival

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

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

 

I must say that was an amazing DSMA chat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does the diabetes community mean to you?

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

 

The Little Engine That Could

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

July Blog Topic: Little Engine That Could

Let’s think positively!

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

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

Side Tracked

Has it Really been a week?

Today is wordless wednesday and I was all set to simply post pictures that would give some indication of why I haven’t posted in over a week.

 Above: Some of middles stuff moved into my room while his is being painted – the other half of his belongings are in my master bathroom. Below: Sweetstuff’s belongings now littering the game room while her room is painted. Middles room only took me about an hour to clean out – he is a minimalist. Sweetstuff’s room took me over 7 hours. She is a packrat (possible candidate for the show Hoarders). The picture only shows a portion of her belongings. I did not ask her to help me – that way she didn’t see the two full trash bags I removed from her room.

On April 23rd my dear husband was offered a job in the San Francisco area. He of course took it – it is a dream job for him and allows him to return home to CA (He grew up in LA and still has family there). He began his new job on April 30th – leaving me and the kiddos here in TX to prepare our current home for the market. We have only been in this home for 7.5 years – how a family of 5 can accumulate so much crud in 7 years is beyond me. Thus I am sorting every single closet, drawer, shelf, etc to clear our the clutter. After all – when people are home shopping they want to walk into homes that look like model homes (note from other posts my complete lack of organization skills, and the infrequency in which I clean a bathroom let alone dust).

I have 2 more weeks to get my 3600sqft home ready for the market. Enter lawn care people, painters, fix-it people, and lots of boxes. I prefer to be a do-it-yourself kinda gal. I prepared our old home 100% by myself while 9 months pregnant. It sold in 2 weeks and it did look like a model home when I was done with it. I am not that young, strong, or motivated this time around. Thus I have chosen to hire local laborers to come do the work for me but it doesn’t include the decluttering (spell check says that’s not a word but I disagree).

Amidst the decluttering, packing, organizing, painting (I am doing touch up stuff), phone calls to everyone under the sun, appointments with realtors, painters, window repair guy, movers, etc – life still happens. Blood sugars go high and low – kids need to be fed, homework needs to be done, and time still should and is being spent reading and playing with the kids – note that I didn’t say I was cooking – just feeding my kids. This week I also have to help Amber with various projects for school as well as finish her Alice in Wonderland costume for her choir concert.

Also during this past weekend Sweetstuff attended her first 2 night campout with her girl scout troop – without me. Now don’t start congratulating me to quickly for allowing her D freedom – the troop leader and close friend of mine is also a D mamma. I knew Sweetstuff was in good hands. That did not mean that D played nicely. In fact Sweetstuff pulled 3 sites and 1 site failed (infusion sites are used with insulin pumps and attach a tube to the body for insulin to pass through – no site = no insulin). Her numbers were all over the dang place from 596 to 42. I don’t blame failed/lost sites for all her numbers – on top of all the D issues there was D R A M A!!!! I don’t see how – why would thirteen 12 year old girls get caught up in drama??? (sarcasm is my first language fro those that don’t know me all that well yet). The girl drama likely contributed to the elevated (who am I kidding – higher than all hell) blood sugars.
She did well though – did everything exactly as I would have done it (note I did not say exactly the right way). The numbers were flukes or charged emotionally and she could not control those issues. All in all she had a fantastic time – which makes me happy since it was her last camping trip with this troop due to the stinking move.

I am going through serious DOC (diabetes online community) withdrawal, as well as blog withdrawal (mine and so many others), and I very tired.
Still I am not whining – I recognize that what I am dealing with many others would trade places with me in a heart beat. Friends who have cancer, friends husbands who have cancer, homes lost in acts of god, and the list goes on. It is easy sometimes to get caught up in desires or needs of our own that are not being met and forget that there are others who have it so much worse than we do.
I pray for those people nightly and sometimes while brushing my teeth in the morning, or while I wash dishes, or while I sit here and type out this long winded babbaly (again not a real word but I like it) post I have said prayers for my friends both real and cyber buddies (not to suggest cyber buddies are not real people).

I feel better that I have posted – even if it didn’t include anything profound.
Falling asleep – head fell forward and nearly hit the keyboard – must sleep now.

Night

High 5

High 5

Day 27 Health Activist Writers Month Challenge



Yesterday’s prompt: (Im a day behind – life got in the way)
5 Challenges. 5 Small Victories. Make a list of the 5 most difficult parts of your health focus. Make another top 5 list for the little, good things (small victories) that keep you going.


5 Challenges 


1. Improving our families diet – While I am sure to always educate others that my kids, although they have Type 1 diabetes, can eat everything everyone else can – that doesn’t mean they should and I shouldn’t either. When my first child (actually my youngest child) was diagnosed with Diabetes I didn’t understand that there were different types of diabetes. I only knew about a type that restricted a person’s diet. My first thought when I was told Sugarboy had diabetes was that he couldn’t eat the chocolates I bought him for Valentines day. Of course I soon learned the differences between the types of diabetes and Sugarboy was able to devour his chocolates on Valentines Day. Still to avoid huge sugar spikes we try to reduce the amount of processed sugars we all eat. It is hard to say no to Reese’s Peanut Butter cups though.


2. Allowing my cwd to go for long periods of time to friends homes or events without me. Diabetes is a difficult monster to understand and trusting just anyone to notice symptoms of low blood sugars or trust my own offspring to notice their symptoms and take appropriate actions or ask for help has been a challenge. Sweetstuff gets it and does a very good job checking her blood sugar and taking appropriate actions. Sugarboy is young and when he best busy helping Green Lantern save the world symptoms and blood sugar checks often get forgotten. It will come with time – their better understanding and my ability to trust them.


3. Remembering to first say good morning, good afternoon, & welcome home to my kids – then ask them to check their blood sugars. As a parent of children with diabetes it is the first thing I think of when I wake up, the last thing I think of before going to bed and nearly every hour of the day. I sometimes forget to be a mom first and a diabetes care manager second. It helps that my daughter is as sarcastic as me and if the first thing I say to her when she gets home from school is “How were your sugars?” she will respond with “I had a great day how was yours?” (Love that she speaks my language)


4. Allowing others to help – I am a bit of a control freak. When I say “bit” I mean I need to control every aspect of my life if at all possible – if given the opportunity to fly the 747 I am about to board I would even though I have no flight experience. Allowing others to help is really the second half of a larger challenge which is asking for help. For over 5 years I insisted on being the parent that checks the kids blood sugars at midnight and again at 3am even though my body was screaming for rest. Finally this last February I asked my husband to help and take over the 3am checks. Asking took a great deal of strength – it took a great deal more not to criticise his actions regarding the checks and allow him the opportunity to learn. 


5. Maintain my faith. I was raised a Lutheran. I was a watered down Christian as an adult. I attended church occasionally, made most the big holiday services, took my kids to Vacation Bible School and volunteered to help out. I believed most of what the Bible told us – the whole Noah’s Ark thing has always been a bit of a stretch though. When Sugarboy was diagnosed I felt so broken – even though it was his body that was broken. I asked for help and I truly believed I felt the Holy Spirit come to me, wrap me in his arms and give me strength. For two years my faith increased, I began a stronger believer. I witnessed to others about the glory of our God. Then on April 19th of 2009 my only daughter and my first born was diagnosed with diabetes. I was seriously like WTF to our Heavenly Father. I’m not as angry now as I was then but I’m still not speaking to him very often. I am bitter and I question the methods of the madness. I am not saying that I don’t believe – I honestly don’t think a person can be as p***ed off at someone as much as I am and not believe at the same time. My philosophy right now “Faith is not the absence of doubt, it is the ability to believe in the presence of it”. I don’t doubt the existence of God – I do doubt his motives. I was raised to understand that HE either makes something happen or allows it to happen. Therefore – he could end the madness for us all. 


There may be some that read this last challenge and feel sorry for me, get angry at me, think that I am a blasphemer, think that the devil (I do doubt his existence) has taken hold of my soul. Please don’t feel sorry for me – it is a journey and like most journey’s I will come out stronger on the other side. You can be angry but I would question YOUR faith if you are angry at someone for acknowledging their struggles. I probably am a blasphemer – I do love Depeche Mode’s song Blasphemous Rumors – I do question God’s sense of humor. And as far as the Devil – well if he does exist he can kiss my arse. I am a good person and an intelligent person with Free Will and I’ll be damned (tee hee see what I did there) if the Devil thinks he can have even a portion of my soul. If you don’t like what I’ve shared feel free to pray for me – you don’t need to tell me you are praying for me – if prayers work (and I still believe they do) I don’t even need to know you are praying. I can offer a suggestion though – if you would like to pray for me – consider praying that I find that sense of peace and love I had when Sugarboy was diagnosed. That felt wonderful.



5 – Small victories:

1. Starting a Dblog. I had wanted to share my thoughts, fears, struggles, successes, moments of wonderful, etc etc etc for a long time. I didn’t have the courage to do it until the end of January and it has given me great joy.

2. Became involved in the DOC. Prior to starting my own Dblog in Jan I would frequently read a few other blogs. Not many but I had my favorites. I never openly followed the blogs and I never got involved with twitter. I didn’t even know their was a large DOC on twitter. I would occasionally post or read posts on the Children with Diabetes forums and I had my handful of other Dmoms that I would interact with on Facebook. I thought I had all my bases covered. I didn’t realize what I had been missing until I attended my fist DOC DSMA Twitter Chat. All of a sudden I was connected. I interacted with people thousands of miles away – even across an ocean. I realized that I wasn’t alone. All at once I was allowed to make jokes about diabetes, say FU to diabetes, and exchange frustrations and knowledge about diabetes with people who understood. I began to feel normal in the normal that I had known. (does that make sense?) 


3. I am allowing my Sweetstuff to attend a two night sleep over camp out with her girl scout troop and I won’t be there. (granted the girl scout troop leader is also a Dmom so I know Sweetstuff will be in excellent hands) This camp-out without me is a huge deal for me – see control freak paragraph above. 


4. I have started to exercise. That may not seem like a victory to those that are vigilant about exercise but for me it is huge. It’s not that I’m lazy. I work my bum off most days. It is that I rarely allow time for me to take care of me. Like the time I take to write on this blog – I wouldn’t normally ever allow myself this much personal time. I would instead focus on cleaning the house or working. I have come to realize I can take better care of my family if I also take care of me. 


5. Letting go of hate. There have been times in my life that I have held on to hurt feelings long after the event occurred that resulted in my hurt feelings. Keeping that hate or hurt allowed others to live rent free in my head. In the last year I have made  conscious effort to let go of past anger and hurt. I won’t say that I have forgiven those who hurt me or my kids but I have forgotten and moved on. 




Tag Line

Stick With it Sugar…..

Day 26th of Health Activists Wrtiter’s Month Challege

Today’s prompt: Health Tagline. Give yourself, your blog, your condition, or some aspect of your health a tagline. Make sure it’s catchy!

I have been looking forward to today’s post (not just because it falls on my birthday). I love tag lines. I think they say a great deal about the person attached to them. Although I know a few people who have a tag line as part of their email signature and they do NOT live up to it. I guess that is a good point – a tag line could set up expectations that others will have for you.

I only actually wrote the beginning of my tag line and I did so not realizing I was going to use it as a tag line. I originally shared it with a DOC friend Kelly Rawlings as encouragement. Since then I have used it a number of times a week with other pwd or parents of cwd as well as with my own kiddos.

The second part of my tagline is something I saw on Pinterest forever ago. I have used it in my post about my favorite quotes and it is a picture on my home page.  (despite best efforts I can not determine who said it first to properly credit the writer – if you can figure it out please share so I can thank that individual). I use it all the time as well – especially when mentoring families with a newly diagnosed child. When my Sugarboy was diagnosed a number of well meaning people would told me things would get easier. They were wrong – things didn’t get easier. I don’t want to sugar coat (ha that pun was truly not intentional) this madness for any parent or newly diagnosed person. For a long time while things were not getting easier I thought I was weaker than others, not as smart as others, not as good as others – then I realized I was stronger, smarter and sometimes better than I thought I was.

It’s my birthday and I want to take a nap so I will hurry this a long and share my official new tag line.

Stick with it sugar.
Things never get easier, you just get better.

On a separate note –  Matthew Deets of the DOC shared this gem during a DSMA chat on twitter a couple weeks ago. I told him I was gonna share it and that he should use it as his tagline. It makes me giggle. The DOC has become an important part of my life sanity and I appreciate all the support the Dfabulous share with me and so many others.

“By my love of bacon, cupcakes, unicorns and all things blue” @matthewdeets on Twitter

 

Dinner With Schmucks

You Are Cordially Invited….

Day 20 Health Activist Writers Mont Challenge

5 Dinner Guests. Who are 5 people you’d love to have dinner with (living or deceased) and why?

I’ve had all day to consider this post. I considered going the ‘Jesus, Gandhi, Buda, Mohammad, & Abraham (the one with all the sons as apposed to the one with the hat)’ route but reconsidered. I have a great deal of faith but this isn’t a blog about my religious beliefs. Although I would like to take a quick moment to say that I believe “Faith is not the absence of doubt, it is the ability to believe in the presence of doubt” – read that quote somewhere, I should google it to site the source but I’m hanging on by a thread right now (exhausted) thus I will leave the googling to you. Let me also add that I respect all religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) and pass no judgment.

Digressed – sorry – moving on.

I also considered inviting key scientists and researchers from the past including; Fredrick Banting, John MaCleod, Charles Best, Alexander Fleming, and for fun, because I think he would be a riot Albert Einstein. (For non-diabetes readers the first three scientists discovered insulin) While I have a great deal of respect for these men I’m not entirely sure they would be the best dinner guests for me – I fear I would be lost in all the sciency stuff.

Next I considered a dinner with philosophers such as Plato, Socrates, Confucius, Galileo, and Aristotle. Again I have a great respect for the genius these men had – that same genius would likely be over my head without cliff notes to help me understand all they discussed. Although I am keeping Confucius on a stand-by list since I would like him to look at some fortune cookie fortunes I have received that begin with “Confucius says…” and ask him if they are accurate quotes.

Like I said I had all day to consider my dinner guests.

When it came down to it I have already had this amazing dinner with 5 fabulous people. The dinner was on a Friday evening here in Austin on March 30th. The guests included a JDRF Outreach Manager, a CDE (certified diabetes educator) extraordinaire, two fellow JDRF volunteers and also D-mamas (moms with a child who has diabetes) and the guest of honor – the DOC’s very own Kerri S. who was scheduled to give the keynote at the 2nd annual JDRF Type 1 Now Conference the next day.

I was so thankful to Amy (JDRF Outreach Manager) for inviting me to attend the dinner. I remember calling Amy giddy with excitement after reading that Kerri was going to be the keyone. I likely sounded like a child about to see Santa for the first time. I wasn’t alone in my giddiness – my good friend, fellow D-Mama and JDRF Kids Walk Volunteer Andrea was also as giddy. We were both huge fans of Kerri’s blog and could hardly believe we would get to enjoy a dinner with her.

Me and my two fellow D-mamas arrive to the restaurant first. While Amy had requested a table on the patio when she made the reservation, one was not available – no biggy Kerri was coming. Teresa (other Dmom), Andrea and I caught up on recent events, ordered beverages and relaxed. Shortly after we ordered our beverages Cassie arrived (CDE). As she pulled out her chair to join us I realized the placement of the table was not acceptable. The pathway between our table and the table behind ours was narrow even prior to Cassie being seated. The guests for the other table had not yet arrived, thus when they did arrive and someone was seated in the chair opposite Cassie the pathway (main thoroughfare for servers) would be reduced to approximately 6 inches. I tried to remedy the problem by moving a large floor plant over and then scootching our table over (management and servers alike gawked at us (me) while I was orchestrating the table move). Unfortunately adjusting the table location did not alleviate the poor logistics of the walk way. Amy and Kerri were due to arrive momentarily. I approached the manager ( the same one that had shook his head in my general direction during the table placement fiasco moments early) and pointed out the perceived problem. He concurred and assured me he would find us another table. (sadly – we could not take our waiter with us – I forget his name but I’m certain he would have been an ‘outstanding’ waiter)

Our new table – a secluded corner on the patio with a panoramic view of the hills. Well played Mr. Manager.

Amy and Kerri arrived, beverages ordered and conversation ensued. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that in all the excitement of the pending conference, the view, and the table relocation we neglected to introduce ourselves to Kerri. Thus she was inclined to ask for introductions – sorry about that Kerri if you read this. We played round robin introducing ourselves, explaining our involvement with diabetes and discussed a possible unhealthy obsession with Justin Beiber (not me or Kerri just to be clear). Drinks arrived (mine was wrong – not that I would have cared – thus I was given a second one – score), we ordered dinners and spent the next two hours laughing, sharing, and just having a wonderfully good time.

It was an absolute pleasure to have met and shared a meal with one of the DOC’s celebrities and my good D friends. Maybe a dinner with spiritual leaders, philosophers, or brilliant scientists would be enlightening but I will always take laughter, support, and friends over enlightenment.

Hoping to meet up with more of the dfabulous DOCs at FFL this July.   

10 Things THEY couldn’t live without

10 Things THEY couldn’t live without

Day 13 Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge

Todays prompt is to write a list of the 10 things you need (or love) most. Since this blog is intended to be mostly about being the parent of children with diabetes my list will not be what I need, it will be what they need.

Starting with the obvious:

  1. Insulin – well duh – sorry that was snarky but it is obvious. Without insulin my kids wouldn’t last long even if I put them on the starvation diets used prior to 1922 and the discovery of insulin.
  2. Method of injecting insulin – yes obvious but you would be surprised as to how often my kids or I get asked “isn’t their a pill”. Perhaps the folks asking that have heard that some people with diabetes take a pill to help their body utilize insulin. That is a true statement, I know of a number of people with diabetes or pre-diabetes that are not insulin dependent but my kids are have Type 1 diabetes so a pill will not provide all that their bodies require. Insulin is a protein so it can not be ingested, it would be digested by the stomach and intestines rather than absorbed into the blood to help unlock cells to allow glucose to be burned as energy. To inject insulin one needs an insulin pump or insulin syringes.
  3. Pump paraphernalia – Both my kids are pumping insulin so in addition to needing the actual pump they require insulin cartridges (small reservoirs that are filled with the insulin and housed in the pump). They also need infusion sets – a thin tube that connects to the insulin cartridge inside the pump as well as to a cannula that is inserted into the subcutaneous tissue with a funky UFO looking device (thanks to Kerri S @sixuntilme for the validation of my thoughts). I often imagine beating ignorant individuals (that refuse to be educated) with said tubing.
  4. Glucose Meter – The best way for me to help my kids to avoid future complications is to check (I try not to say ‘test’ as it implies pass or fail) their blood sugars at least 10 times a day (which is what the insurance companies deem appropriate – although my kids generally test about 12 times a day). Thus 4a would be the tiny test strips used to collect the blood sample. I think I read somewhere that the test strips cost about $.10 each to produce but cost $1.00 each (without insurance). Pisses me off.
  5. Fast Acting Carbs – My kids need instant access to fast acting carbohydrates in case of low blood sugars. At any given time my kids will have packages of smarties, fruit roll-ups, juice boxes, glucose tabs, or small tubes of frosting on their person or in their diabetes pack (currently using a case produced by REI intended to hold a handheld game system).

Moving to less obvious but not less important

  1. Hugs – my kids need hugs. They need hugs when their blood sugars are over the rainbow and they are cranky, frustrated and hating diabetes. They need hugs when their blood sugars are plummeted downward taking their ability to function normally with them. They need hugs to celebrate a success. They need hugs when the new infusion site stings like a bitch. They need hugs when an unDeducated (un diabetes educated) person tells them they shouldn’t or can’t do something or eat something – or worse when a narcissistic (although sometimes well meaning) unDeducated person shares the story of how their grandma had to have both legs amputated because of diabetes. They need and deserve hugs for all the times they try.
  2. Laughter – many say (and I agree) it is the best medicine. Finding humor in all that it diabetes makes it sting less. My sweetness has only recently begun to understand the humor in me saying in public “you better be high with your attitude” (not sure if that is a good thing). We make note of the times the kids are bstwins (both check to find the same exact number – happens more than you might guess). We draw eyes and scales on the little twisty paper that protects the adhesive on the infusion sets, meet George George . We giggle that Sugarboy never fails to have to go pee just as I am about to squeeze the sides of the quick set to place an infusion set. There is opportunity for laughter everywhere and we take advantage of it.
  3. Food – ok so this one is obvious too, however I don’t mean it in its most basic sense. I mean that my kids can eat everything their peers can. I know just because they can doesn’t mean they should and so I do try to limit the foods that will cause an ugly number. I let my kids go trick-or-treating and bring home pillow cases full of wonderful. (I actually encourage it – how else am I going to get a two months supply of Reese’s peanut butter cups?) The thing about all the holidays that involve candy candy and more candy is they forget about it after about a week. We put all the candy in a large container and the kids can choose a piece or two each day. This lasts about a week – I move the container slowly from a clearly visible spot to a less and less visible spot as the week goes on. By the end of the week the container is relegated to the top shelf of the pantry. It will stay there until the next holiday usually. We eat cake at birthdays and stop at Baskin Robbins a couple Tuesdays a month (kids cones only $1). I still make potatoes, rice and pasta but try to limit it to only a quarter of their dinner plate. We don’t use food as a reward or a punishment. Food is food and I don’t see the point in giving it any additional role.
  4. Diabetes Camp – This one truly should be part of the obvious as well. My kids (all three of them because diabetes effects siblings too) attend a day camp each summer called Camp Bluebonnet – Children’s Diabetes Camp of Central Texas. It is a week of fun in the sun (gets to be above 100 degrees here), laughing and learning with other children with diabetes, finding the courage to scale tall rock walls and fly down zip lines in the blink of an eye, playing in mountains of foam, competing in silly games that more times than not include dawning over sized clothing soaked in ice water. It is a week of feeling normal and meeting new besties. My daughter also attend Texas Lions Camp – a week long sleep away camp about 3 hours from our home. She will tell anyone and everyone that the weeks she has spent at TLC are the very best weeks of her life. I am a nervous wreck those weeks – playing a game of ‘wheres waldo’ while searching the 300+ photos that the camp posts on FB each day just for a glimpse of my Sweetness. This year my Sugarboy is old enough to also attend – I may start drinking that week.
  5. Friends – we all need friends and my kids are fortunate enough to have a few that aren’t just friends. They are other children with diabetes that ‘get them’. They also each have a few non-D friends that also get them and can identify a low or high blood sugar sometimes before my kids can feel it themselves. We love those friends.

So there it is the list of 10 things my kids need most – the second set of 5 meet my needs too.