NOT a #firstworldproblem

Caution – I am not done typing but currently my word count is 683, if you would like to skip all the blah blah blah – go HERE, do what you know to be right and go on with your life.

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Tomorrow is Valentines Day. Some of you may have a special Valentine; a spouse, a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Some may have children you share Valentines with and of course friends too. A few generous folks might bake heart-shaped cookies or Rice Krispy treats (hint hint Danielle) and leave them with neighbors. Maybe your Valentine has four legs and unlike some significant others that come and go will love you unconditionally, unless the four legs are on a cat because then it is a crapshoot.

Many of you will purchase boxes of chocolates or perhaps chocolate covered strawberries, bottles of bubbly, tacky stuffed bears and monkeys, and some may even give/receive jewelry – lucky ducks – I mean if you like jewelry.

The most popular item purchased today and tomorrow – Roses. Ah the sweet perfume of roses. I walked through the floral dept of our local grocery store yesterday on my way to the produce. I may have lingered and allowed the sweet aroma to penetrate deep into my psyche before continuing on to the blue berries (which I may have opened and consumed unwashed while shopping). I detoured back through the floral department two more times to allow myself to be engulfed in the sea of olfactory blissfulness.

I must admit I was tempted to purchase a bouquet. Truly I was. I considered it. But no. Not this year. Not for 3 years now. I haven’t purchased or received roses because I’d rather save a life.

Pssst – We are almost to the diabetes part.

I know for many of us it may be easy to forget there are kids and adults around the globe that do not have access to the life saving tools and medications we have in the more developed nations.

Last week I woke up to a warm refrigerator. It wasn’t just ‘not cold’ it was warm. The warmest part was at the very top near the butter compartment. So, you may ask, (not really because if you are reading this blog you are likely part of the diabetes world and know full well what is kept in the butter compartment of a refrigerator in the home of a person(s) with diabetes – typed in one breath) why does it matter that the butter compartment was the warmest? We keep our insulin in the butter compartment of the refrigerator. Insulin should be kept at a constant temperature. Different brands of insulin vary in what they say is the ideal storage temperature is but it usually isn’t 82 degrees fahrenheit, which is what the thermometer in my fridge told me was the temperature inside the fridge.

Well @#*!$%@*!

I wasn’t sure if the fridge was fully closed when I opened the door. It sometimes doesn’t close completely – it will be just a smidgen ajar sometimes. My middle child was the last one in the fridge the night prior and he may have left it slightly ajar allowing the light to heat the interior of the fridge all night long and basically cook our insulin.

9 vials. We had 9 vials in the fridge. I had just ordered a 3 month supply for all 3 kids and 9 vials of the order fit into the compartment. The remainder is stored in the garage fridge. We lost 9 vials of insulin. I shared my frustrations on my personal Facebook page. Within minutes I had friends from around the USA offering to send insulin. I had received no less than 4 texts in the next 30 minutes as well offering the same. Those generous folks didn’t know I still had plenty of insulin in my spare fridge.

My problem – losing 9 vials of insulin as well as a couple hundred dollars worth of food (of course I had just gone shopping the day prior) is what we in the developed world call a ‘First World Problem’. Many of us recognize some of our complaints are only things we would experience in our developed nation….

“The post Super Bowl commentary caused my DVR not to record all of Blacklist” #firstworldproblem

“Starbucks was out of my favorite syrup!” #noideawhattodrink #firstworldproblem

You are likely wondering what the hell my fridge, the floral department and saving a life all have to do with each other. To help clarify my convoluted blog post – here was my FB post: (at this point you are wishing you skipped all this and just clicked the link above)

“Not sure if it’s broke or if the door was left ajar all night (I didn’t pay attention when I opened it) but the refrigerator is a balmy 82 degrees. Everything cooked including 9 new vials of insulin.” 

Edited: Since people are trying to be generous and commenting here or texting me after I shared this please note: I had just placed a 90 day order. only 1/3 of our insulin was in the kitchen fridge. We still have insulin enough for 60-70 days for 3 kids. We are fine – you do not need to send insulin.
Thank you for your generosity. BTW since everyone is feeling so generous maybe consider a donation to Spare A Rose, Save A Child IDF. I’m sharing Kerri’s link since I had it open and who doesn’t love seeing that smiling face. My kids will be fine despite losing 9 vials of life saving insulin, but there are kids around the globe who don’t have a stash in a garage fridge. Please consider skipping the roses this year – they die anyway and kids don’t need to. (PS. I did not break my refrigerator to set up a plea for donations – it kinda just worked out that way.)

For the cost of a single rose you can extend the life of a child with diabetes. (When I say the cost of a rose, I mean the cost a rose the couple of weeks before Valentines when distributors quadruple the cost due to demand)

Right now a dozen roses would cost you about $60. If you were considering purchasing roses this year it would be great if you could skip the roses all together and instead donate that $60 to the Spare A Rose, Save A Child program. Weren’t gonna spend that kind of cash on your Valentine? It’s all good all I really ask for is $5. Just $5 the cost of a single rose. The cost of a single rose can save the life of a child with diabetes.

Please click the following link and share some Valentines love across the globe.

Spare A Rose, Save A Child

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Thank you in advance for your generosity, kindness, compassion and support.

A Picture Says a 1000 words

A Picture Says a 1000 words

Sweetstuff’s painted rock at Diabetes Camp

Day 6 Diabetes Blog Week

Back for the third year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like! With a nod to the Diabetes 365 Project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures. Post as many or as few as you’d like. Fee free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

1 of many baskets of D supplies
The sharps container we have had for 5 years but never filled – oops
Hall closet – pump supplies
No butter in our butter compartment
Life juice
Doesn’t everyone own 5 sets of measuring cups?
One scoop equals 5 grams – isn’t this how everyone eats M&Ms? 
Night time check – Rufus is always near
random awesome pic of my boy during a swim meet – next Olympic swim star
playing with food at D camp
checking sugars at D camp
Sweetstuff’s first solo shot – at D camp
Life is all about perspective –
Sometimes we are looking up and feeling invincible, other times we are falling fast hoping our rope won’t brake.
We don’t let Diabetes get in our way.

Check out more photo stories by other awesome dbloggers HERE

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.

    So much for not knowing what to write

    So this is my third attempt at a blog. I started one years ago called Crazy is as crazy does but forgot my login and password after not having posted in over a year – so much for that – blogger couldn’t help me because I didn’t even remember what email I opened it with. Then about a year ago I started one called Several Shades of Crazy but again didn’t post and forgot login and password, forgetting this one makes me a little sad since I loved the name of it. So here we are again – third time’s a charm. I’m fairly pleased with the title of this blog Momof2T1s – I use the same name for Twitter – not that I have logged on to twitter in the last 2 years. No I am not normally so disorganized and non-committal – wait yes I am. Anyway – this is my newest and hopefully successful attempt at blogging.

    I opened the account yesterday using an email that I use frequently so that shouldn’t be a problem to remember. I haven’t set up much as you can see – no gadgets or whatever – I don’t even know what a gadget is, something like a widget possibly that I learned about in my undergrad years but never have been able to purchase – or maybe I learned about widgets while in technical training for the Air Force while learning how to be a contracting agent. Either way I’ve never actually seen a widget. I digress. So I opened the blog but then sat wondering what I would have to write about. I read a few other blogs and the bloggers I read seem to have all there ducks in a row so I was feeling like maybe I would be in over my head. Then today happened – almost seemed orchestrated so that I would have something to blog about. (disclaimer – I see that there is a spell check available but wanted to warn readers ahead of time that I really am not a fantastic speller. Please forgive me if I miss a misspelled word.)

    So back to today. If you haven’t read my ultra short bio let me give you an abbreviated portion of my already abbreviated bio. I am a happily married (98 percent of the time) 30 something year old mother of three. I have two dogs (one small and fluffy the other fat and furry) and two cats (one old and grouchy the other young and insane). Two of my children have Type 1 Diabetes – thus Momof2T1s. My youngest child (son now 7) was diagnosed at age 2, my oldest child (daughter now 12) was diagnosed at age 9 – two years after my youngest was diagnosed. That fact always surprises people, they (the people I referred to) always assume my oldest was diagnosed first. Lesson one in Diabetes – there is no rhyme or reason for 90 percent of the crud that goes along with it. My middle kiddo (son now 9) is just that, a middle child – stuck between an older and younger sibling that both have Type 1 diabetes and both are in advanced classes in school. My middle child really could use a blog all about him – It would not be difficult to find topics to write on.

    Again back to today…

    Today started at 1am when my alarm went off to wake me so I could check blood sugars (for those that are not a parent of a child with diabetes ‘CWD’ or a diabetic yourself – middle of the night blood sugar checks are common place. So at 1:00 in the morning my alarm sounded, it didn’t sound with a fun song from the radio like normally because one of my lovely children likely played with it so instead of one of todays pop hits I woke to static. So I stumbled into the master bathroom to turn off the alarm – yes I keep my alarm in the bathroom thus assuring I will get out of my bed to turn it off and take care of business. If my alarm is next to my bed I will be able to hit the snooze and/or off button in less than a half second while still asleep. After turning off said alarm I started to undress rather than exiting the bathroom to check blood sugars. I turned on the shower and grabbed a towel. I fully intended to get ready for the day. In no way will I ever suggest that being the parent of a CWD is more difficult or even close to as difficult as being said child, however I do sometimes suffer from diabetic brain (possibly like how some men suffer from sympathy pregnancy when their wife is with child – is that a real thing?) I realized my folly just prior to getting in the shower. Thus I turned off the shower, redressed and instead of checking blood sugars I feel back into bed. (The guilt of this and other times like it plagues me frequently). When my next alarm sounded at 6:00 in the morning I shot out of bed realizing my 1st mommy fail of the day and rushed to check sugars. Youngest at 67, oldest at 234. Thank goodness for guardian angels.

    On to breakfast, since the youngest was at 67 I didn’t dose him insulin prior to his breakfast. I also allowed him waffles with syrup and made him smoothie. This breakfast contains about 75 grams of carbohydrates. Normally with a blood sugar below 70 we would give 15 grams of carbohydrates, wait 15 min and recheck the blood sugar. Since it was breakfast time and 67 isn’t terribly awful we moved forward with breakfast breaking protocol. Remember how I said I didn’t pre-dose since he was a little low – well that is also outside the normal routine. Thus at 8:30 – two hours past when he ate breakfast and an hour after he began school it dawned on me that I didn’t dose him for his breakfast. Queue call to school nurse to inform her of my second mommy fail and ask her to check my sons blood sugar at that time rather than waiting for schedule test time. I estimated that he would be in the 500’s (very very bad number – normal is 70-120), I asked her to please get him a water bottle and give him a no-carb snack for snack time. When I checked back with her 30 minutes later I learned his number was indeed over 500 – 518 to be exact. Second dose of guilt for mommy today.

    Guilt sucks. I can see how guilt has value – a person commits a crime, feels guilty and confesses – thus justice will be served. However as parents we often feel guilt not because of an intentional wrong doing but as a result of a perceived failure. A child is behind in reading thus the parent may feel guilty for not reading often enough to the child when he or she was younger (yes this is me too and I will likely not address these specific feelings of guilt in this blog). Seeing a picture of the food pyramid may spark feelings of guilt by the parent for not providing the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables everyday (also me although since this deals with nutrition there is a good chance we will revisit this). A parent works long hours either outside the home or possibly in the home as a domestic engineer and when asked by his or her children to play a game the parent tells the child he or she is too tired or has work to do (also me on more occasions than I care to admit). My point – even as parents of typically developing children that do not have special needs (cognitive or medical) we are surrounded by opportunities to feel guilty; add in the responsibilities of a parent of a CWD or special needs child and we have guilt overload. I tend to forgive myself fairly easily noting that I am only human but I don’t bury the entire hatchet – I leave the handle sticking out so when days like today come along with two large FAILS all the past guilty feelings involving diabetes, fluency, playtime, nutrition, etc. come slamming into me and knock me flat on my bum.

    Normally on days like today after putting the kids in bed I would retreat to my shower. It isn’t a super fancy shower but it does have a bench built in. I would normally sit on said bench while the hot (nearly scolding) water pours down on me. Sometimes I would cry, sometimes I would just sit trying to clear my head by focusing on how badly I need a pedicure (I’ve only had two pedicures in my life – I’m very ticklish). While those 45 min do help calm me and do provide some therapy I felt like I needed another outlet. Maybe other parents of CWD fight similar battles. Actually I know they do, I’ve been to the forums, I’ve read the blogs – I am not alone. Maybe those parents that post and comment find a level of peace from sharing. Insert Momof2T1s blog here. I am hoping I will provide something for others. It may not be helpful information. It may not be knowledgeable information. You may not even find it funny even when some of it is meant to be funny. But maybe someone will find peace in knowing there is someone out there more screwed up than them (see profile pic – when I get one).

    Post Scriptum – (Only Latin I know)

    Today happened to be a day that I was volunteering with my local JDRF chapter presenting a Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes at an elementary school. The students and teachers at the school were great and I was on fire with my presenting (some days are better with presenting than others based on level of exhaustion, student behavior, migraine level and amount of coffee consumed prior to presenting – that seems normal right?) My nurse at my son’s school kept me updated regarding his blood sugars. His sugars responded well to his insulin correction and he did not develop a headache (common side effect of high blood sugar for both my son and daughter). So near the end of the day when I had just finished presenting to the 4th grade a student approached me while his class was lining up. He told me that his dad told him that Type 2 diabetes was worse than Type 1. I responded by saying they are equally bad. Regardless of which type of diabetes a person may have they have equal chances of developing complications such as vision loss, kidney and liver failure, heart problems and nerve damage. I assured the student that with proper care and the good choices regarding medical care, nutrition and fitness a person with diabetes will likely not experience complications due to diabetes. The student thanked me and left with his class. On the way home I spent time contemplating if one type of diabetes is worse than the other. As a mom of two kids with Type 1 I feel somewhat biased and believe Type 1 is worse because people have it for a longer period of time (diagnosed earlier in life normally). However, people with Type 2 often have Type 2 for much longer periods of time prior to diagnosis (some may have it for a decade and not know) thus leaving them a higher risk of complications. Do you have a thought regarding which is worse – is one worse?