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Calling All D Mamas, Papas, and PWD's: WE NEED ADVICE!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Well... today has finally arrived!  The LAST DAY of November NaBloPoMo!

I truly didn't know if I could do it.... but I did.  A post in November!

Do you hear that?  That's the sound of all the bloggers to the right exhaling!

It actually was a lot of fun and a lot less stressful than I thought it would be - even including the ER visit, bad sites, flat tires, strep and all the other nonsense we've dealt with this month!

I'll do it again... someday!

For my last November '10 NaBloPoMo post, I'm writing about an idea I got from a friend and fellow D Mama on Facebook.

Over the weekend, she asked for advice for a family dealing with a very new Type 1 diagnosis.  

By the time I got to her post, there were already many, many people who had responded.  And all left such wonderful words of wisdom.

And it made me think....  

It was such a wonderful blessing to read that.  Such a nice reminder...

And we ALL need that from time to time.  Because we all go through slumps.  We all go through hard times.  

It doesn't matter if you've been living with D for one minute, one hour, one day, one year, one decade, or more.

It's still nice.

And it gave me an idea....

What a wonderful resource to put on my blog....  The wise words of Mamas and Papas and PWD's...  A place you could always go to refresh and replenish your weary soul.

I'll compile your wisdom and make it into a tab that will always be available above. 

So - let's hear it!  I need YOU to make this work and be successful.

Leave me a comment and tell me:

What advice would you give to a newly dx'd family or person?

What do you wish you knew then that you know now?

You can leave your name or go by Anonymous.  You can leave your dx date or not...

I'll go first...

I wish I had known that the road ahead would not be a straight line - but a road full of dips and curves.  You don't magically go from point A to point B... You take a few steps forward and then a step back... but just keep walking.  Or crawling.  Or being carried - FORWARD.

I would say that it's ok to feel whatever you feel.  You don't have to put on a brave front or be "Miss Mary Sunshine".

Know that you are not alone.  There is a wonderful community online to support you - when you're happy, sad, angry or up in the middle of the night.

A nurse told us at Dx, "She's going to be fine.  She's just going to take a little more care than before."

Well, that was quite possibly the understatement of the  year.  BUT - she's right.  You will be fine.  It IS more care.  But you can do it.  You may not think you can - but you can.  

We've all been there.  Not one of us ever thought we'd ever have to stick a needle into our child's flesh.  Certainly not every dang day, many times a day.  We know you may hold back tears as you do it.  We know your heart breaks a little every time.  We know.  We get it.  

I could keep going... but I won't.

Because it's YOUR TURN!

Tell me what you think.

No, scratch that.  Tell the person or the family sitting in the hospital RIGHT NOW.  Right this very minute.  Hearing that T1D is now in their life.  Forever.  It's not going away.  There's no pill.  Holding their baby.  Scared.  Confused.  Sad.  Overwhelmed.  Angry.  Frightened. 

Tell them from your heart. 

(I have no idea who these people are... Especially not the kinda scary guy - or guys - in the back.  I found the pic online - and the message was perfect... so....just focus on the words, ok?  Thanks!)


Super Nanny Be Damned

Monday, November 29, 2010

As we enter the home stretch of NaBloPoMo, I'm feeling even closer than ever to my faithful readers!  I consider you friends... and since I do, I think I can trust you with a secret.

I have a confession to make.

If the Super Nanny came to our house, I'm pretty sure she'd take issue with the way do things around here.  At least when it comes to bedtime.

You see, we take turns putting Sweetpea to bed.  (Whoever puts her to bed does not do the overnight check.)  We turn on her music - the same music she's listened to at bedtime since she was born.  We tuck her in and give her kisses.  Sometimes we read books.  And then.... we lay with her until she goes to sleep.

It wasn't always this way.  Before D entered our lives, we rock stars with the bed time routine.  She was still in a crib and had never made any attempts to get out.  We converted the crib to a toddler bed.  We would turn on her music, tuck her in, read her stories... and then we'd leave.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

She always fell asleep right away.  Same thing for naps - the 2 hour naps she was still taking at 3.  Now I know it was because she was sick.  But then... we enjoyed the sleep!

In the hospital, we were with her every minute.  We both slept in the hospital room.  We took turns... one of us would sleep in the hospital bed with her and the other would sleep on the little pull out "couch" thing.  

When we got home - after a week of doing that - she cried at bedtime.  She was scared.  And we'd been through so much.  We were scared, too.  So we laid with her until she fell asleep.

Once she got healthy, she no longer needed a nap.  Ironic because we needed naps more than ever!  And we just fell into the habit of laying with her until she went to sleep.

I think we ALL needed the reassurance.

Well, J decided a while ago that we needed a "new plan".  The "new plan" was that we would do our routine and lay with her for FIVE MINUTES.  Then we would leave.  *sigh*  She cried.  She needed drinks.  Had to go potty.  You name it... she'd ask for it once she went to bed.  We'd hear her little voice in the baby monitor saying "MOM!  DAD!  It's IMPORTANT!  COME QUICK!"

Daddy's plan didn't last long.  Sweetpea said, "Daddy.  I don't like your plan.  I think we need a new plan.  The new plan is that you stay with me.  Ok?"

I know.  I can just see Super Nanny looking over her glasses at us.  Judging us.  Telling us not to let her be in control.  I know....

I have another confession to make....

I don't just lay with her when she goes to bed.  Sometimes I sleep with her.  Not all the time.  But if we're having a rough night... I do it.  It's a matter of survival.  I can't function without sleep.  And I can get more sleep if I sleep in her bed some nights.  It's easier for me to just roll over and look at Dexie than to get up and go into her room....  

In fact, we rearranged our rooms to make this happen.  The thought came to me one night when I was laying in her bed - her twin bed - and was wedged up against the wall with a little arm draped over my neck and a little foot shoved under my back.  I was uncomfortable.  But I needed sleep.  And I knew Dexie would be beeping again soon...

So I laid there and plotted my strategy.  

We have 4 bedrooms.  The master, Sweetpea's bedroom, a play room, and a guest room.  We had a double bed in the guest room.  We couldn't move it into Sweetpea's room because it was the smallest bedroom.  We didn't want to move her into the guest room because it was on the other side of the house.  So... we moved her into the playroom, the playroom into the guest room and the guest room into Sweetpea's room.  Confused yet?  It was crazy.  And a lot of work.  But worth it.  Now she has a double bed.  And I am very comfortable when I bunk with her for the night!

I'm sure Super Nanny would disapprove.

But here's the thing...

I LIKE laying with her until she goes to sleep.  I like talking with her and snuggling with her - sometimes it's the only time I get the chance. Sometimes, I lay there well after she goes to sleep.... just watching her.

I LOVE watching her little chest rise and fall with breath.  I LOVE looking at those beautiful, long eyelashes and the little pink lips that part so slightly when she sleeps.  I LOVE how her curly blond hair falls over her princess pillow.  I LOVE the softness of her chubby little cheeks.  I LOVE how peaceful she looks.  

She looks like a little angel.

And, truthfully, I feel safer being next to her. 

You see, I LOVE it.  I am so utterly THANKFUL that I still have my baby - ALIVE and HEALTHY - that I'm not at all ashamed to tell you this.  

I do it because I KNOW how fragile life is.  I KNOW we are not guaranteed one more day.  I KNOW that she is going to grow up before we can blink - and she won't want us to lay with her at night.  She won't want to snuggle with me or tell me about her day.  So... I'm going to LOVE her and cherish my time with her every single chance I get.

I've got one more confession to make...  

One more little secret....

I couldn't care less what Super Nanny or anyone else thinks about this!

I think this is one of the best things about the DOC.  We respect one another.  I may not treat Sweetpea's D the way you treat your D - or your child's D.  And that's ok - because we are all different.  

What works for us may or may not work for you.  Some people like Medtronic (Hi Meri!).  Some people prefer the Omnipod.  (Hi Laura!)  Some people choose to stay on MDI (Hi Joanne!).  And that's ok - because it works.

Some people treat lows with juice.  Some with glucose tabs.  Some with pudding.... Some people can eat pizza with no problem and for some it's a nightmare.  

I would never criticize anyone's decisions for THEIR CHILD or for THEMSELVES because I trust that they know best.  They are the expert of their own lives.  

The beauty of this online community is that acceptance.  That knowing that we may do things differently or support different organizations but our goal is the same... and a lot of what we're dealing with is the same.  And THAT is the part that really matters.

I guess my point is this....  To Thine Own Self Be True.  Do your own thing.  Wear mismatched socks if it makes you happy.  Breastfeed until YOU want to stop.  Or don't breastfeed at all.  Only buy organic.  Wonder what organic is.  Blog.  Don't blog.  Have 19 children.  Have no children.  Have no issue with being called a "diabetic".  Prefer the term "person with diabetes".  Like dogs.  Like cats.  WHATEVER.  

Be YOU.  Because you are an original.  And THAT is who people want to see.

I love that quote... "Because the people who matter don't mind and the people that mind don't matter".

So go on out there and live YOUR LIFE - Your Diabetic Life - YOUR WAY.

Super Nanny be damned!


Santa - the D Sibling

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Today is Special Sibling of a D Kid Day!

If you ask Sweetpea, she'll tell you all about her brothers and sisters.  It varies day to day - who they are, how old they are, what their names are.  

But she has no brothers or sisters to tell you about!  She just has a very vivid imagination!

Are we having more kids?  I get asked this all the time.

The answer is.... No.  Not unless God has a different plan for us and goes to great lengths to make it happen!

Why?  Well.... It's a myriad of reasons, really.  

J never wanted more kids.  Which is funny, because HE's the one with siblings.  I'M the only child.  I wanted another one... I was kinda sure.  Kinda.

We hadn't made a complete decision (at least I hadn't) when Diabetes entered our lives.  

Did Diabetes make the decision for us?

Kinda.  We were leaning that way anyway - just having one.  D just sealed the deal.  

Is it because I worry about another child having D?  Well.... maybe a little.  But it's not just that.  J has some serious issues with his eyes that are hereditary.  We worried a lot about that with Sweetpea.  We worry about taking that risk again with another child.  Then you add in the worry about diabetes.  And the worry I have that having another child would just put me over the edge.... dealing with a newborn and diabetes???  Joanne over at Death of a Pancreas is doing it... and I'm SO incredibly happy for her and thinks she's a superhero for doing it!  It's just not for me.  I worry that I wouldn't be able handle it.  I worry that I would either neglect the baby or diabetes.  

Do I judge others for having more kids?  ABSOLUTELY NOT.  It's just not the decision we choose to make. 

Do I feel like D is keeping us from having more children or taking away a dream?  No.  Not at all.  If we REALLY wanted another child, we'd have one.  

But... We like our family the way it is.  Small.  It suits us.  It's easy for us to travel and just pick up and go places and do things.  It works for us.  

So since I can't share a picture of sibling with you... I'll share a picture of Santa!

As has become our tradition, we go to the mall to visit Santa on the day after Thanksgiving!

This is a perfect day!  J is working so Sweetpea and I have to find something to do.  She LOVES all the excitement of the holiday shopping day.  She wants to be involved.  Staying up all night isn't an option, so we get up and get dressed and head to the mall.

It's a great day for Santa pics because there are very few children at the mall!  The line is non existent!  

Sweetpea was so excited to see Santa!  She told him she'd like a play kitchen and a necklace!

I thought the pics turned out very nicely!

Ho! Ho!  Ho!

A D-Lightful Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 27, 2010

We had a very nice Thanksgiving and Black Friday!

Thanksgiving was nice and yummy!  Black Friday was... well, I was up most of the night.  I was texting my BFF to see what store she at and what the lines were like.  I was TIRED.  And I spent too much money!  

Here's the scoop.

Our day started with yummy cinnamon rolls!  Mmmmm!  Even though it's was J's day to sleep in, he could not resist the aroma!  We then watched the Macy's parade.  All 3 hours.  Sweetpea was enthralled!  She was very sad when it was over.  She likes all the dancers!

We then traveled over to Gaga and Mimi's house for dinner.  This was our last Thanksgiving in their house - the house I grew up in - the house they bought when they got married 36 years ago.  They are moving!  Their new house is going to be beautiful and we are having lots of fun watching it being built.  So I choose to focus on that instead of the leaving of the other house.

It was just me, J, Sweetpea, Gaga, Mimi and my Grandmother.  Small and quiet.  I remember when I was little, my Mom's side of the family always got together at my Great Aunt's house.  It was big.  It was fun.  But the family just keeps getting bigger so that tradition stopped years ago.  I like it small and quiet, to be honest.  I spend my life surrounded in kids and chaos.  I enjoy a relaxing holiday!  

We had the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  Yum, Yum!  Sweetpea woke up at a good number and was just a tad low before we ate.  She chowed down on grapes, mashed potatoes, green beans, and turkey.  She doesn't do stuffing or rolls or anything like that.  After dinner, she conned my Dad (Gaga) into playing with her.  Before long, Dexie beeped.

What's your guess???

LOW.  Not too low.  But in the 70's with half a unit IOB.  So we gave her a miniature Reece cup.  This was her first taste of this candy.... and she LOVED it!  It did the trick and brought her up nicely without going too high.

Time for dessert!  J won't eat pumpkin pie.  So... Mom made a pumpkin pie and a peanut butter ice cream pie.  BOTH were de-lish!  (Yes, I DID have a little of both!  It's Thanksgiving, people!  How could I resist???)  Sweetpea took one look at the  pumpkin pie and said, "That looks bad.  I'm not eating that."  So... she had an ice cream cup (vanilla - about 1/3 cup).  Well, it was a special day.  She asked for a banana.  Ok, that's fine.  THEN she asked for "Floot Loops".  She LOVES Fruit Loops.  She RARELY gets them.  

*sigh*  We told her she could have some.  I figured, "Hey - It's a special day.  If that is what she wants for dessert - fine."  So she happily munched her 1/2 cup of Floot Loops.

Sweetpea did not want to leave.  She was having too much fun!  In fact, when it was time to go she hid in the bedroom.  Being the compassionate parents we are, we told her that we'd see her later and started loading up the car!

Of course, she was a wreck.  Crying.  Fussing.  Not pretty.  We figured she was tired.  She was.  She fell asleep before we'd driven a block.  

Here is evidence!  She was supposed to be modeling her super cool Picture Pouch from Pump Wear!  She was not cooperating.  (You can win your own picture pouch along with 2 other awesome items by clicking HERE!)

But that wasn't the entire problem.

When we got home, we tested her bg.  545.

Yes, that's right.  545.


Dang those Floot Loops.  

We corrected.  And waited....

2 1/2 hours later, she was 411.  J was helping her put on her jammies and her site was not connected.  It's on her arm.  We weren't 100% sure, but thought it happened when he helped her take off her shirt.  But....  I hate all the what' if's.  We decided to gamble - although I guess there's really no "safe" course of action here.  We corrected again.  And waited...

By Midnight, she was fast asleep.  It was my night to be "on call".  I figured I might as well sleep in her room since I had a feeling that Dex would be beeping soon.

It did.  1:30.  Low.  Dex said 54.  I tested.  She was in the 80's.  But I know how this goes.  Once she starts dropping overnight... it's over.  She crashes.  There's no leveling out.  But if I catch it, she's good.

I decide that since the mini Reece cup worked so nicely earlier, I'd try it again.  We had one that she had brought home (it was made into a turkey!).  She woke enough to much it down.  When she was done, I went to the linen closet to get some Juicy Juice.  I had a feeling we'd be needing it.

When I got back, Dex beeped again.  This time it just said LOW.  The number said 33.

I figured that Dex just hadn't caught up.  But I tested again... just to be safe....

And she was 51.

Less than 10 minutes had passed.  

This when I am SO thankful for Dex.  I would have waited a while to test again had it not gone off.  

So, juice it is.

Then I texted my friend to see where she was and what she was doing!

What?  You thought I was out shopping???  Oh, no.  THAT's not why I was up all night!  No, no.  It was because of D.  Nothing as fun as shopping!

Sometime around 3 she was low again.  More juice.  More texting.  It was nice to have someone else up in the middle of the night to talk to! 

She woke up in the 100's.  

Then we got dressed and went to see Santa at the mall and did a little shopping of our own. (This is where that spending too much money comes in...)  More on Santa later...

So that was Thanksgiving!  

It was nice.  Did D rear it's ugly head?  Of course it did!

Did it ruin our holiday?  NO WAY!  

Am I sorry I let her eat Floot Loops?  Not really.

Would I let her eat them again?  I'd try to talk her out of it.  But if she REEEEALY wanted them... and it was a special day... I'd still let her eat them.

D can't ruin our holidays.  I simply won't let it.


The Black Friday Sugar Bolus

Friday, November 26, 2010

Welcome to the  

This incredible, amazing, awesome, wonderful Sugar Bolus is brought to you by Pump WEAR!  

Pump Wear states, "In designing PUMP WEAR products, our goal is to allow "Kids to be Kids" and let Adults have fun. Wearing an insulin pump shouldn't take the fun out of being a kid or being an adult. All of our products are designed to give kids and adults the freedom, comfort, flexibility and fun they thrive on. Our line encompasses all ages. A full line of diabetes awareness and support items, also help us spread the word for a cure."

Pump WEAR has an extensive online store!  You could honestly find a gift for every single person on you holiday list at this one place!

Don't think that if you don't pump that this bolus is not for you....
NO WAY!  This is for EVERYONE!

The beauty of Pump WEAR is that their products are just as wonderful for people doing MDI as they are for pumpers.  Not only that, their products are not only for people with diabetes.  NO WAY!  Their products can be used by ANYONE for a myriad of different things.

Because this is the BLACK FRIDAY MEGA SUGAR BOLUS, this is a winner take all contest.  If you are lucky enough to be chosen, here is what you'll win...

1.  A Pump Case with a PICTURE OF YOUR CHOOSING!

The comfortable belt can be worn all the time under or over clothing. The belt is also removable so pumpers can wear the Pump Pak with their own belt as well."  The double zippers make it easy for tubing to come out either end and make for easy pump access.

Does the little girl on the left or the three little girls in the middle on the right look familiar???  Yup!  Sweetpea is on the left and Wendy's Sugar, Tiara, and Tink are on the right!

We ALL love Pump WEAR's Pump Paks! Pump WEAR was nice enough to make us a case to try out.  Sweetpea picked out the picture she wanted and thought it was "super cool" to see it in person when it arrived!  She thinks it's comfortable and loves wearing it!  

Don't pump?  That's ok!  The case easily fits the Dexcom CGMS receiver!
Don't CGM?  That's ok, too!  The case can also carry glucose tabs or your choice of fast acting sugar, your lancet and meter, and/or a cell phone!  

2.  A Pump Band

"Pump Bands are the answer to no more slip sliding away. These fun bands will keep your pump stable and comfortable. You can wear them on your calf, leg or thigh. Our new waist pump band is the greatest option for sports, teenagers , adults and children, the waist bands keep the pump snug and allow you to position the pump where you want it to be. Insulin pump bands are a great way to keep an insulin pump secure during sports, and everyday wear, also great for sleeping. Waist pump bands are especially great for all ages."
Pump Bands come in many colors and designs... from plain white, black, or beige to smiley faces, lizards, and other fun patterns there is one for every occasion!
Don't pump?  That's ok!  You can also use a pump band to carry your meter & lancet, fast acting sugar, or cell phone!  Reyna at Beta Buddies uses one to carry her cell phone when she runs!  She also wears it as a stylish headband!
3.   Visor Cases

Have you ever been out and forgot your meter?  I know I have...  Sometimes I've SWORN that it was somewhere in the car... I just couldn't find it!  And I didn't have time to waste...
This is the PERFECT solution so that you will be prepared for anything!
Visor Cases attach to your car visor.  You can store your meter, lancet, strips, fast acting sugar... and more all in the handy little case!  And you'll ALWAYS know where it is.
There are many styles to choose from.  I know you'll find one that is just perfect for you!
And if you're not a PWD or Parent of a CWD?  I know you find a great use for this!  Sunglasses, notepad, pen, gum....  This is perfect for EVERYONE!

See?  I told you it was MEGA!  
These products would be great to give as gifts... or to keep for yourself! 

And if you can't take the chance on winning or you want to check out the awesome online store... Click HERE to go to Pump WEAR's site. 

Thank you, Pump WEAR!  You are going to make one lucky reader very, very happy!
Here's how to enter...
Post a comment before midnight on Thursday December 2.  Please be sure to include your 1st name. Comments without names will be eliminated.

To earn extra entries...

-Write a blog post linking back to the Sugar Bolus and leave a comment with a link to the post.
-Tweet about this Sugar Bolus and leave another comment.
- Facebook about this post and leave an additional comment.

Winner will be selected via on Friday December 3rd.
Winners name will be posted here on this blog...
After winners name is posted, winner will have 48 hours to send a message to me at
If I do not hear from the winner in 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.
GOOD LUCK... and Happy Shopping! 

I Love Fred

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday, I wrote about many of the diabetes blessings that I am thankful for.  I was going to write more today about about how thankful I am for my wonderful hubby and darling little girl.  And I AM so VERY thankful for them!  

But I write about them a lot.

So today I'm going to tell you about Fred.  A man I have never met.  A man I am so incredibly thankful for.  I man who holds a special place in my heart.

Do you know who I'm talking about?

Why, Dr. Frederick Banting, of course!

In October 1920 in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Frederick Banting, an unknown surgeon with a bachelor's degree in medicine, had the idea that the pancreatic digestive juices could be harmful to the secretion of the pancreas produced by the islets of Langerhans.

Early in 1921, Banting took his idea to Professor John Macleod at the University of Toronto, who was a leading figure in the study of diabetes in Canada. Macleod didn't think much of Banting's theories. Despite this, Banting managed to convince him that his idea was worth trying. Macleod gave Banting a laboratory with a minimum of equipment and ten dogs. Banting also got an assistant, a medical student by the name of Charles Best. The experiment was set to start in the summer of 1921.

Banting and Best with a diabetic dog
Banting, right, and Best, left, with one of the diabetic dogs used in experiments with insulin.
Credits: University of Toronto Archives

Banting and Best began their experiments by removing the pancreas from a dog. This resulted in the following:
  • It's blood sugar rose.
  • It became thirsty, drank lots of water, and urinated more often.
  • It became weaker and weaker.
The dog had developed diabetes.

After a while, they removed the pancreas, sliced it up, and froze the pieces in a mixture of water and salts. When the pieces were half frozen, they were ground up and filtered. The isolated substance was named "isletin."

The extract was injected into the diabetic dog. Its blood glucose level dropped, and it seemed healthier and stronger. By giving the diabetic dog a few injections a day, Banting and Best could keep it healthy and free of symptoms.

Banting and Best showed their result to Macleod, who was impressed, but he wanted more tests to prove that their pancreatic extract really worked.

Banting and Best's laboratory Banting's and Best's laboratory, where insulin was discovered.
Credits: University of Toronto Archives

For the increased testing, Banting and Best realized that they required a larger supply of organs than their dogs could provide, and they started using pancreases from cattle. With this new source, they managed to produce enough extract to keep several diabetic dogs alive.

The new results convinced Macleod that they were onto something big. He gave them more funds and moved them to a better laboratory with proper working conditions. He also suggested they should call their extract "insulin." Now, the work proceeded rapidly.

In late 1921, a third person, biochemist Bertram Collip, joined the team. Collip was given the task of trying to purify the insulin so that it would be clean enough for testing on humans.
During the intensified testing, the team also realized that the process of shrinking the pancreases had been unnecessary. Using whole fresh pancreases from adult animals worked just as well.

The team was eager to start testing on humans. But on whom should they test? Banting and Best began by injecting themselves with the extract. They felt weak and dizzy, but they were not harmed.
Collip continued his work to purify the insulin. He also experimented with trying to find the correct dosage. He learned how to diminish the effect of an insulin overdose with glucose in different forms. He discovered that the glucose should be as pure as possible. Orange juice and honey are good examples of foods rich in glucose.

In January 1922 in Toronto, Canada, a 14-year-old boy, Leonard Thompson, was chosen as the first person with diabetes to receive insulin. The test was a success. Leonard, who before the insulin shots was near death, rapidly regained his strength and appetite. The team now expanded their testing to other volunteer diabetics, who reacted just as positively as Leonard to the insulin extract.

Amazing, isn't it?  What if he had given up?  What if the criticism he got kept him from pursuing his theories?

Do you know what "life" was like before insulin? 

Before the discovery of insulin, a diabetes dx meant eventual coma and certain death.  A person with diabetes had a lifespan of only one month to two years. Doctors eventually found that a near-starvation diet of a few hundred calories per day helped to extend some patients' lives by a year or two. Most patients were severely malnourished and very few weighed much more than 70 pounds towards the end of their illness. 
In his book, The Discovery of Insulin, Michael Bliss describes the painful wasting death of many people with diabetes before insulin: "Food and drink no longer mattered, often could not be taken. A restless drowsiness shaded into semi-consciousness. As the lungs heaved desperately to expel carbonic acid (as carbon dioxide), the dying diabetic took huge gasps of air to try to increase his capacity. 'Air hunger' the doctors called it, and the whole process was sometimes described as 'internal suffocation.' The gasping and sighing and sweet smell lingered on as the unconsciousness became a deep diabetic coma. At that point the family could make its arrangements with the undertaker, for within a few hours death would end the suffering."

Gruesome, isn't it?  
Diabetes doesn't seem so silent or innocuous when you know what happens.
And this hits me so hard because I KNOW....  So many of us do...  that sweet smell.  The struggling for breath.  The constant thirst and urination.  The pain.  The indifference to food.  The lethargy.  The thin, frail body.  The throwing up.  The look.  The smell...
Do you wonder, like I do, "How much time did we have left?  What if I hadn't pressed for that blood test?  What if we had waited?  What if I had ignored it longer...?"  
The discovery of insulin was one of the most revolutionary moments in medicine. Though it took some time to work out proper dosages and to develop manufacturing processes to make enough insulin of consistent strength and purity, the introduction of insulin seemed literally like a miracle. One year the disease was an automatic death sentence; the next, people -- even children -- had hopes of living full and productive lives even with the disease. Estimates show there are more than 15 million diabetics living today who would have died at an early age without insulin.

One of those 15 million diabetics is my child.  


I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am to those doctors.  How glad I am that they didn't give up.  

Heidi over at A Work in Progress said that Dr. Banting would be one of the first people she looked for in Heaven.  I agree.  But I have a feeling there will be a long line to say "Thank You".
The Banting House still stands today in London, Ontario, Canada.  It features a statue of statue of Sir Frederick Banting and the Flame of Hope. 

This symbol of hope burns for all those with diabetes that a cure will soon be found. It is also recognized as a tribute to Dr. Banting’s unrelenting pursuit of insulin; to the lives already lost to the disease; and to the continuing perseverance of those who live with diabetes today.

While the Flame of Hope is a symbol of hope, it is also a reminder that insulin is only a control for diabetes, not a cure. Only when that cure is at last found, will the Flame of Hope be extinguished.

I don't know about you, but I plan on being there when that flame is extinguished. 


Diabetes Blessings

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In honor of Thanksgiving, the DOC is having a "Diabetes Blessing Week".  The idea is obvious...  write about your 'diabetes blessings'.

There was a time when thinking of diabetes blessings would have been tough.  There was a time when I would have really had to think hard about blessings and diabetes coexisting in the same sentence.

But not now.

Now I can think of lots of diabetes blessings!

*  I am thankful that I listened to my gut and got Sweetpea to the doctor when she was dx'd before she got any sicker than she already was.

*  I am thankful for the wonderful staff at Children's Hospital. And especially for our wonderful Nurse Practitioner who answers all of our questions and guides us in our quest for well managed D.

*  I am thankful for my friends who have stepped up to learn and understand diabetes.

*  I am thankful for my parents, who watch Sweetpea after school each day, so that I am able to work.

*  I am thankful for Sweetpea's teachers and the way they handle D at school.

*  I am thankful for our insulin pump, the Pink Animas Ping and for the meter remote from One Touch that enables me to bolus Sweetpea without getting out her pump.

*  I am thankful for Dexie, our Continuous Glucose Monitor from Dexcom.

*  I am thankful for JDRF and their quest to find a cure for diabetes.  And for the support and encouragement they give us while we wait. 

*  I am thankful for our health insurance which enables me to have a cabinet full of supplies.

* I am thankful for EMLA cream to numb the site.

*  I am thankful that Sweetpea is a deep sleeper and does not wake up for site changes and finger sticks.

*  I am thankful for Juicy Juice in the 15c boxes.

*  I am thankful for awesome products.  Like the Kangaroo Pump Pocket tanks that let Sweetpea wear her insulin pump on her back. For places like Pump Wear and Too Sweet Botique that make super cute, comfortable pump pouches for Sweetpea to wear around her waist.  For Petite Baubles and other jewelry makers that make very cute, very small medical alert bracelets.

*  I am thankful for Dr. Banting and his disovery... insulin!

*  I am thankful for my D Mama bloggers and friends who keep me sane on this crazy journey.

Butterflies Graphic #96

*  I am thankful for a wonderful husband who take care of D every bit as much and every bit as well as I do.

*  I am thankful for my Sweetpea.  I am thankful that she is healthy, positive, and ALIVE.

That's 17 things.  One for each month that we've lived with Type 1 Diabetes.

So.... what are YOUR D Blessings???

(I'm also thankful that I still have a sense of humor!  And I thought this was chuckle worthy!)


My Beautiful Broken Shell

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The other day, I ran across this book.  I bought this book years ago and used it as decoration.  I hadn't read it in a long while.  Like before Sweetpea was born, most likely.  But that day, I sat down and read it.  And boy, was I surprised.  

I bought it for it's beauty.  The pictures as well as the words.  I never imagine how true these words would be for me.

After writing about my crazy week and Wendy's Waves post... this just seemed to fit.  Add it Thanksgiving this week and it was perfect!  

There was so much I could relate to.  Some of it spoke to me as a person.  Some of it spoke to me as a D Mama.  Some of it spoke to me about my child, my D child.  I felt some of it was about me.  And some of it was about her.

I'm sharing it with you today.  (With a few additions of my own in parenthesis.)

I hope you find as much beauty in it as I do.  I hope that it speaks to your soul like it does mine.  

My Beautiful Broken Shell
By Carol Hamblet Adams

Dawn has broken on a beautiful day here at the ocean.  I've come to refresh my weary spirit and to refuel my tired soul.

I'm so grateful for the peace and the calm of the seashore, where time stands still and unrushed.... where I can see and feel the beauty around me.

This is my first morning at the ocean and as I walk to the beach, feeling the rich, warm sand beneath my feet, I decided to collect a few shells.

It is low tide and I watch, mesmerized as the ocean rises slowly .... curls.... and then spills its white-laced foam onto the shore. 

I walk by a broken scallop shell... and leave it to search for more perfect ones.

But then I stop... go back.... and pick up the broken shell.  I realize that this shell is me with my broken heart.

This shell is people who are hurting... people who have lost loved ones... people who are frightened or alone... people with unfulfilled dreams.

This shell has had to fight so hard to keep from being totally crushed by the pounding surf.  Just as I have had to.  (Or just as Sweetpea has had to.)

Yet this shell is still out on the beautiful sandy shore... just as I am.

Thank You, Lord, that I haven't been completely crushed by the heaviness in my the pounding of the surf.

If our world were only filled with perfect shells, we would miss some of life's most important lessons along the way.  We would never learn from adversity... from sorrow... from pain.

Thank You, Lord, for all that I learn from my brokenness... for the courage it takes to live with my pain... and for the strength it takes to remain on the shore.

Broken shells teach us not to look at our imperfections... but to look at the beauty... the great beauty... of what is left.

If anything is still left of me or my loved ones, then that is enough to grab hold of... to keep me going... to thank God for.

Broken shells mean lots of tears... lots of pain... lots of struggle... but they are also valuable for teaching faith, courage, and strength. 

Broken shells inspire others and demonstrate the will to go on in a way that no perfect shell could ever do.

Broken shells are shells that have been tested... and tried... and hurt... yet they don't quit.  They continue to be.

Thank You, Lord, for the great strength it takes to simply be... even when I hurt so deeply that there seems to be nothing left of me.

As I walk along the beach picking up shells, I see that each one has its own special beauty... it's own unique pattern.

Lord, help me to see my own beautiful pattern... and to remember that each line and each color on my shell was put there by You.

Help me to not compare myself to others, so that I may appreciate my own uniqueness.

Help me to truly accept myself just as I am, so that I may sing the song in my heart... for no one else has my song to sing... my gift to give.

I watch the rolling surf toss new shells not the shore, and I am reminded of the many times that I, too, have been tossed by the storms of life and worn down by the sands of time, just like my beautiful broken shell.  But I am reminded that broken shells don't stand alone.

Thank You, Lord, for being with me to share my life... to help me carry my burden.

Thank You for the precious gift of faith that keeps me strong when I am weak... that keeps me going when it would be easier to quit.

Thank You, Lord, for hope in times of despair... for light in times of darkness... for patience in times of suffering... for assuring me that with You all things are possible.

A wave crashes, sending tiny sand crabs scurrying for safety... and I am reminded that even the smallest creatures depend on each other. 
Thank You, Lord, for filling my life with people who care.  Thank You for my family... my friends... for those who are always there for me.

As I look at my beautiful broken shell, I see that it has nothing to hide.  It doesn't pretend to be perfect or whole... it's brokenness is clear for everyone to see.

Lord, may I be strong enough to show my pain and brokenness like this shell.  May I give myself permission to hurt... to cry... to be human.

May I have the courage to risk sharing my feelings with other so that I may receive support and encouragement along the way.

Lord, help me reach out to others... especially to the broken and discouraged... not only to love them but to learn from them as well.

May I listen... comfort... and give unconditional love to all who pass my way. 

Lord, help me realize that I am not the only one hurting... that we all have pain in our lives...  Help me remember that in my brokenness I am still whole and complete in Your sight.

As I walk among the many washed-up shells, I suddenly spot a broken conch shell... white and ordinary on the outside... yet brilliant coral inside.

Lord, help me see inside the hearts of the people who touch my life... and to see their true colors. 

Somehow, here at the ocean, I receive so many gifts.  I am grateful for the inner peace that fills my soul.

I take time to notice sandpipers playing along the shore... beach grasses swaying in the salty breezes.  I delight in finding simple treasures... a piece of smooth green glass polished by the waves... a transparent white stone... a starfish.

Lord, help me remain childlike in my appreciation for life.  Please slow me down...that I may always see the extraordinary in the ordinary.  That I may always wonder at the shell in the sand... the dawn of a new day... the beauty of a flower...the blessing of a friend... the love of a child.

In my brokenness, may I never take life so seriously that I forget to laugh along the way.

May I always take the time to watch a kite dance in the sky... to sing... to pick daisies... to love... to take risks... to believe in my dreams.

As I look once more at the broken scallop shell in my hand, I am reminded of all the beautiful shells God has placed around me.

Lord, may I truly value every moment spent with my loved ones while this life is so briefly mine.

Let me not destroy the beauty of today by grieving over yesterday or worrying about tomorrow.

May I cherish and appreciate my shell collection each and every day... for I know not when the tide will come and wash my treasures away. 

Thank You, Lord, for embracing my shell... whether I am whole or broken.  Thank You for sending me loved ones who care.  Thank You for holding me in the palm of your hand... for keeping me safe from the pounding surf. 

For now, I'll just continue walking and add to my collection of beautiful shells.



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