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The Twelve Days of Christmas: D Style

Friday, December 23, 2011

Just a little something I've been working on...

It was originally supposed to be for November and Diabetes Awareness Month...  but yeah... that didn't happen!

So here we are... Christmas...  I hope you enjoy!

The Twelve Days of Christmas:  D Style

On the first day of Christmas my Endo gave to me...
Props for a great A1c!

On the second day of Christmas my Endo gave to me...
Two Glucagons 
and Props for a Great A1c!

On the third day of Christmas my Endo gave to me...
Three Omnipods
Two Glucagons
and Props for a Great A1c!

On the fourth day of Christmas my Endo gave to me...
Four Ketone Strips
Three Omnipods
Two Glucgaons
And Props for a Great A1c!

On the fifth day of Christmas my Endo gave to me...
Five Vials of Insulin
Four Ketone Strips 
Three Omnipods
Two Glucgaons
And Props for a Great A1c!

On the sixth day of Christmas my Endo gave to me...
Six Dexcom Sensors
Five Vials of Insulin
Four Ketone Strips 
Three Omnipods
Two Glucgaons
And Props for a Great A1c!

On the seventh day of Christmas my Endo gave to me...
Seven scripts for blood draws
Six Dexcom Sensors
Five Vials of Insulin
Four Ketone Strips 
Three Omnipods
Two Glucgaons
And Props for a Great A1c!

On the eighth day of Christmas my Endo gave to me...
Eight Containers of Strips
Seven scripts for blood draws
Six Dexcom Sensors
Five Vials of Insulin
Four Ketone Strips 
Three Omnipods
Two Glucgaons
And Props for a Great A1c!

On the ninth day of Christmas my Endo gave to me...
Nine Glucose Tablets
Eight Containers of Strips
Seven scripts for blood draws
Six Dexcom Sensors
Five Vials of Insulin
Four Ketone Strips 
Three Omnipods
Two Glucgaons
And Props for a Great A1c!

On the tenth day of Christmas my Endo gave to me...
Ten Basal Rates
Nine Glucose Tablets
Eight Containers of Strips
Seven scripts for blood draws  
Six Dexcom Sensors
Five Vials of Insulin
Four Ketone Strips 
Three Omnipods
Two Glucgaons
And Props for a Great A1c!

On the eleventh day of Christmas my Endo gave to me...
Eleven Carb Ratios
Ten Basal Rates
Nine Glucose Tablets
Eight Containers of Strips
Seven scripts for blood draws
Six Dexcom Sensors
Five Vials of Insulin
Four Ketone Strips 
Three Omnipods
Two Glucgaons
And Props for a Great A1c!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my Endo gave to me...
Twelve Brand New Lancets
Eleven Carb Ratios
Ten Basal Rates
Nine Glucose Tablets
Eight Containers of Strips
Seven scripts for blood draws
Six Dexcom Sensors
Five Vials of Insulin
Four Ketone Strips 
Three Omnipods
Two Glucgaons
And Props for a Great A1c!

Wishing you a holiday season filled with all of these things... and so, so much more!


Ghosts Of Christmases Past

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I was going through pictures the other day and ran across this one....

Sweets was 21 months old.  It was a Saturday.  Old Man Winter had spent the night and morning blowing cold snow our way.  There was no where to go...  so we made Christmas cookies!  Christmas music played softly in the background.  The tree was shining it's golden glow in the family room.  I pulled a chair from the kitchen table over to the island and Sweets, still in her footie pajamas, climbed up and wanted to help.

How much help can a toddler really be when making cookies?!?

Finally, I found the perfect job for her.  We were making peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses on top.  Her job was to unwrap the kisses and put them into a bowl.

She was good at this.  Very good!

I took something into the other room and when I returned, there she stood.  Bopping around to the music so that her little curls at the back of her head bounced up and down.  And for every kiss she would place into the bowl, the next she would pop into her mouth!

She had rarely had sweets before this point in her life.  (Shocking, I know...  I am sure you all assumed that since she has Type 1 Diabetes that I'd been shoving sugar down her throat since birth... right?!?)  She had recently discovered her love for chocolate!

She didn't know I was standing there watching her.  She was oblivious to her audience.  She just kept on going.  It was obvious that she was thoroughly enjoying herself and very much in the moment.

And for me?

I simply stood there and watched.  I smile now just thinking about that scene from the past.  It was so sweet.

You see, at that time in our lives, my only concern was that she would make herself ill if she ate too much.

Thoughts of carbs or blood sugar never entered my mind.

That was before...

Fast forward to this picture.

Christmas 2008.

These were the last pictures we had before.  The last ones where I can't tell.  Where I can't see it...

This was Christmas Eve.  Her stocking goodies from Nanny and G-Dad.  I can see it here...  It's her eyes...

You know, most of the time I see these pictures I can look at them and appreciate them for what they are.  Cute pictures.  Memories from the past.

Most of the time, my mind automatically puts up the wall.

My mind instantly tells me, "Don't look too hard.  Don't think.  It's nothing more than a cute picture.  Smile.... Now move on.  Now."

And I do.

Most of the time I have to.

Because if I didn't.... 

If I actually let myself SEE those pictures.  REMEMBER those times.  PLACE them in our history...

The grief would overwhelm me.  It would swallow me up whole.  I'd be like Jonah - inside the dark belly of the whale.

I don't know what it is.  Maybe it's the season.  Maybe it's the dark winter nights.  Maybe it's the stress.  Maybe it's the exhaustion.  Maybe it's that D has been throwing us curve after curve lately.

Maybe it's everything.

I spend so much time DOING diabetes.  Making changes, counting carbs, organizing supplies, blah, blah, blah.  I spend so much time making sure diabetes never holds her back.  So much time making sure she's ok.  Both physically and emotionally.  So much time focused on LIVING with diabetes that how I'm FEELING about it gets pushed down.  So far down that it's easy to ignore.  

But I can't ignore it anymore.

Right now I feel the need to LOOK.  To SEE.


She was just a baby.  I thought back then that she was so big, so grown up.  But she was really so small.  So new.  So innocent.

I can look at those pictures and see that innocence.

But now I also see what was to come.  What was in store for us.  For her.  How diabetes would take over that little body and chip away at that innocence.

Now I see how easy it was back then.  A little piece of chocolate here or there.  No big deal.  The amount of brain power it demanded was nill.  There was no carb counting.  No thought at all given to blood sugar.  Absolutely no understanding of terms like basal, bolus, or ketones.

I see in that little smile the pain and tears to come.  The fear.  The needles.  The ambulances.  The blood.

I see my little girl fighting for her life.

I see her wanting to hide the thing that makes her different.  Trying to come to terms with it.  To understand it.

I see the struggles.  The highs.  The lows.

I see a life that was changed forever.

 Looking at those pictures is, at times, like looking at ghosts.  Whispers from the past.  Of life what once was.  And what life has become.

No matter how thankful I am for the many blessings that diabetes has brought into our lives, there will always be a part of my heart that hurts.  A part of my heart that grieves.

A part of my heart that wishes more than anything in this world that I could go back in time and stop that autoimmune attack.  Or make it happen to me instead.

Maybe you're now sure I've lost my mind.  Maybe this seems odd or foreign or just isn't something you can understand...  how a picture can say so much.  How a picture can make you FEEL so much.

How a picture can force you to your knees and elicit the kind of choking sobs that make your entire body ache.

I hope you don't get it.  I hope you never do.

But my guess is that if you are reading this then you, too, have pictures somewhere.  Pictures of BEFORE.  And my guess is that they can make you feel the same way from time to time. 

And that's ok.

I no longer walk through life with that blanket of sorrow wrapped so tightly around me.

Time has helped me move on.

And that's a good thing.

But the ghosts of the past still walk with me.  They are there if I look for them.

Most of the time they are silent.  Most of the time they leave me alone.

But sometimes they visit me...  And I can't ignore them.

So I look.  And I listen.  And I cry.

And just like dear Scrooge, I know that I will wake up in the morning a changed person.

Diabetes has changed me.  And it's changed her.  And there's nothing we can do about that.

But we can choose to move forward. We can choose to live without regret.  We can make relationships a priority.  We can give to others.  And we can be a part of something bigger than ourselves.


ORNAPODS: Christmas Gifts Courtesy of Omnipod

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This year we decided to give Sweetpea's teachers a little something EXTRA as part of their Christmas gifts.


Ever since I saw Laura Houston from Houston We Have a Problem do this...  I knew I wanted one!  Then when I got my very own Ornapod in the mail from the Lovely Laura, I was hooked!  They were so cool!

At the time, I didn't expect that Sweets would be podding by next Christmas!  But here we are!  Podders!  (Which, by the way, we are LOVING!  I promise to post about our first 6 months with the Omnipod soon!)

And I knew immediately what to do with all those little pods once they were no longer being used as a life saving medical device! 

Ornaments, of course!

I thought they would make great little gifts to attach to the tops of presents.  A cute little something from us. And a nice way to spread some Diabetes Awareness and Education!

What I didn't expect was the reaction we got.

I thought her teachers would think they were cool.  Cute.  Maybe a little odd...  Hopefully not gross...  I mean they WERE on her body... (we did clean them with alcohol...)

But we got some tears.

I suppose that when you think about that cute little ornament being a PART of her.  Something that was giving her life saving medicine for three days... 

Yeah.  You could get a little choked up.

I like to think of them as just another way to see the possibilities and the beauty that diabetes brings to our lives. 

And a pretty fun little craft project!


Diabetes is Everywhere - Even at the North Pole

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What a week!  We are trying Apidra...  and it's been rough.  More on that ASAP - I promise!  I really think it's going to be a good thing once we get things figured out!

I want to post... but I'm stressed.  And tired.  And overwhelmed.  And just sick of diabetes....

So I thought I'd share a little story that happened to us the other day.

Our Elf on a Shelf, Mr. Funky (yes, she named him herself), arrived just after Thanksgiving.  He's been showing up in random places ever since - watching closely and reporting back to Santa each night.

(Sweetpea at age 3 - 8 months post dx  I look at these pics and I can't get over how little she was...  She was just a baby...)

I wrote about dear little Mr. Funky HERE.

The other morning, Sweets woke up and excitedly called, "Mommy, Mommy!  I see him!"

She actually looks forward to mornings because she can go searching for her dear little elf! 

Anyway, I went into her room to see if he was, indeed, there.  If he was - it was news to me!  I'm usually REALLY good at finding him!  (wink, wink!)

"It's not him, Mom.  I thought it was.  I can see a little bit of red sticking up over there on my dresser.  But it's not him.  It's just the glucagon."

Ahhh, yes.  So it was.

Just another way that diabetes makes itself known in our daily lives...


Sweets on D: A 12 Hour Snapshot

Monday, December 12, 2011

The day after Thanksgiving, our tradition is to take Sweets to the mall to see Santa.

We're not crazy midnight shoppers... I was up - but I was checking bg's!

We have found this to be the PERFECT day because there is NO LINE! She had been eagerly awaiting Santa for weeks... And she was so excited to FINALLY get to visit with him!

Immediately after this pictures was taken, she had a complete meltdown. She had been acting perfectly fine. Everything was wonderful. The plan was to go into Gymboree (Hi. My name is Hallie and I'm addicted to Gymboree.) and then go eat lunch. J had to work so my parents went with us to the mall. Mom and I were ready to get our shop on and had just entered the store when she literally stopped dead in her tracks, dug in her heels, and had a fit. "I WANT TO EAT NOW!!!"

I tried to reason with her. Gaga was still parking the car and we had to wait on him anyway... But she was having none of it. She was yelling. She was jumping up and down. That is NOT her. She had this angry look in her eyes...

Time to test... Something isn't right.


"I felt shaky when I was seeing Santa but I thought I was just afraid."

*sigh* A juice box and some lunch made it all better.

After the mall, we got back in the car to go to another store. Sweets loves playing with my phone and she loves taking pictures. She was doing this when she handed me the phone and said, "Will you video me? I have something I want to say..."

This is what we got...

(Side note... the whole "Food Mommy can Handle" thing - Long story. I have IBS which has been acting up horribly for MONTHS. So I've been cutting out fat, fried foods, red meat, greasy stuff... and I should cut out caffeine but please, I'm a DMama - I've got to be able to function!)

Seems pretty well adjusted, huh? Seems like D is just a part of life. No big deal.

A few hours later, we were helping Mimi and Gaga put up their tree. It was pod change time. The previous pod change was horrible. And this one... worse. She had a complete meltdown. She cried. She sobbed. She screamed. She jumped up and down.

"I don't want to have diabetes anymore! I want to give it back! Mommy, why can't I give it back? It's not fair. I hate this."

It took everything I had to not just sit there and sob right along with her.

It's not fair.

I'd like to give it back, too.

This day just really illustrated for me how life is with diabetes.  Not just for ME.  But for HER.

No matter how cool we are with it...

No matter how much we're used to it...

No matter how well adjusted we might seem...

It still sucks.  It's still hard.

And there is a part of us that will NEVER be totally ok with it.

That's why we fight for a cure.


Don't Be A Grinch!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Last year, I wrote a post about the GRINCH... and linked to this awesome story about what would happen if our favorite green holiday villain had diabetes!  It's really a must- read!  So click HERE to read it! 

And speaking of being a Grinch.... 

One of the best things that Diabetes has taught me is a higher level of compassion that I previously had.  Diabetes is a constant reminder that, as Meri so eloquently put it in THIS POST (and totally click - it's a great read!), everyone has their thing.  Diabetes has helped me learn that my way is not always the ONLY way. 

In the past few days, there have been some great posts out there about this.  About embracing our differences.  About not judging others - and realizing that what you read online is only a snippet of the author's life.  About being supportive and building others up instead of being harsh and critical and tearing them down.  So I encourage you to take a minute and check out these posts....

Of the Web, Diabetes and Perfection:  Your Diabetes May Vary (Bennet Dunlap)

Don't Need the DOC:  The Diabetic's Corner Booth (Mike Hoskins) 

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain - Or The Anonymous Blogger Behind The Hurtful Post:  Diabetesaliciousness (Kelly Kunik)

I know I get a little "kumbaya" about the DOC at times.  It's just that I see that good so clearly...  I see the support and the unconditional love and acceptance...  I see the a community working together for a common purpose.  I know need I need that in my life.  And I most certainly want a community like that for Sweets when she's ready for it. 

So I don't like it much when someone chooses to get all "grinchy".  Because the bottom line is this...  I may not agree with you and you may not agree with me all the time.  But WE are not the enemy.  We are not fighting one another.  We are fighting diabetes.  And that should forever be our focus. 


A Rewarding Afternoon

Monday, December 5, 2011

On Saturday, we attended our JDRF Walk Awards!

Or as Sweet's called it, the Walk REWARDS.

Because really... that's what it was all about for her!  Her REWARD.  Aka...  her TROPHY!

I can't tell you how excited she was!  She really looks forward to this day and just loves getting a trophy!  Other than walk day itself, this day makes her feel so incredibly special. 

For that, I am so thankful to all the people who worked so hard to make it happen! 

The awards luncheon was held at a local country club.  It was beautifully decorated for Christmas.  Sweets spent half the time staring at the lights on the tree and the lights hanging from the ceiling!  (The other half she spent drawing all over the research update!  She's just so excited that she is now able to write her own books and stories that she can't be stopped - and why in the world would I stop my little author, anyway!?!?)

But her favorite part was then she got her awards!  The girl cleaned up!

She got a trophy for her Platinum Award - meaning that our walk team raised over $10,000.  Our actual final total was slightly over $14,500.  She also got a Golden Sneaker award for raising over $1,000 as an individual. 

But the surprise of the day was that our team won FIRST PLACE in the BEST T-SHIRT CONTEST!  Woo Hoo! 

In case you don't remember what our t-shirt looked like... here it is!

She was so, so excited!!!  Have I said that enough times?!?  Because she was!

We had to go show Gaga and Mimi her trophies.  And then we all had to play awards ceremony where she  handed out her trophies to those of us in the audience!

"This is the best day EVER, Mom" she said later that night.

That makes me smile.  We all know that Diabetes can be pretty crappy at times.  And she's really been struggling with that recently.  So anything that can make her smile, make her feel special, and help her see that there are few GOOD things about diabetes, too.... it's just what we need right now.  And always. 

And speaking or AWARDS.....

See that little pink button over there on the right side of the blog?  Go on and scroll back up to the top if you need to.....

I WON!  I won the Parents Magazine Best Kids Health Blog - Reader's Choice! 

So I wanted to share that with all of YOU... and say a BIG THANK YOU to all of YOU....  because without YOU - well, I wouldn't have won!  It's because of all you took the time to vote!  And I really thank you for that!  I'm incredibly honored that you would think so highly of this blog!  You've all made my day, week and month! 

In all honesty, I'm incredibly honored that you take the time to read my blog at all!  We all lead super busy - super crazy lives.  So I know how valuable your time is.... and the fact that you would spend a few minutes with me just makes my heart smile!  I hope that by sharing the realness of our daily life and our ups and downs with raising a child with diabetes that it helps you not feel so alone in this journey.  I know that because of you, I don't feel so alone anymore, either.  What a blessing!!!

So.... Thanks again to my wonderful readers and the amazing folks at JDRF for the love you have showered on us!  We look forward to many more blog posts.... and more JDRF Walks to Cure Diabetes... until - of course, we're just getting together to remember when....


Five Question Friday (on Sunday)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I decided it was time for a little 5QF!

Here we go....

1. What is your favorite Christmas decoration in your house?
 Wow.  That's a hard one.  I LOVE all our Christmas decorations!  I love the way our house looks at night.  We have lighted wreaths on our windows - all 14 of them - and a Christmas Tree on the ledge above the front door and lighted garland around the door and little trees on the front porch.  LOVE!  I love the wreath that hangs over our fire place.  J's parents gave it to me when my Grandmother passed away -  instead of live flowers - and it is just perfect because her birthday was December 24th.  It's a nice reminder of her!  
And since this is a D blog - I MUST include the ORNAPODS that Laura from Houston We Have a Problem sent us last year!  Little did I know that we would be podders ourselves this Christmas!  I'm looking forward to making some ornapods of my own this year!  I'm thinking they would make great additions to Christmas presents!  

You can see more pics of Ornapods and other great ideas that Laura has done with her pods by clicking HERE!  
Oh, and don't forget about his fella who hangs out in our tree from time to time...  A great gift from The Diabetes Dude!

2. Do you finish your Christmas shopping early or are you a last minute type?
We try really hard to get our shopping done EARLY.  Like before Thanksgiving.  Of course that really doesn't happen.  But the majority is done early and then there are just little odds and ends to get at the end.

3. When do you turn on your heat?
Ha Ha Ha!  J and I are not shy about turning on the heat OR the air.  We are usually the first ones with the air on and the first ones with the heat, too!  It just depends when it gets cold - which around here you just never know.  We may turn it on for a day and then off again.  We like it nice and comfy.  And because we both have horrid allergies, we NEVER open our windows!  We live in Sinus Vally - so we're all about indoor air quality!

4. Do you ever wish your blog was private?
Nope.  When I started writing I never really expected anyone other than my family and a few friends would read it!  I guess I assumed it would be sorta private!  That didn't exactly turn out the way I expected!  And you know what?  I LOVE it!  I love that by just telling it like it is and sharing what's going on with us - the highs and lows of living life with diabetes - that I can help other people not feel so alone!  I wouldn't trade it for the world!  The emails that you all send me and the comments you leave make my day!  They are priceless treasures to me!  And if the blog was private - that wouldn't happen and I wouldn't trade the connections I've made here for anything!  (except maybe a CURE!)

5. Do you put your deodorant on before of after you put on your shirt?

Oh, totally BEFORE.  If I tried to get deodorant on after I put my clothes on, I'd wind up with it all over.  I can manage to get my clothes on without winding up with white stuff all over.  But after would be a mess.  And I HATE those white stripes on your clothes! 



We Have Some SWEET Winners!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

We have some very SWEET Winners!

A big THANK YOU to Amy from Too Sweet Boutique and Claudia the Cupcake Lady for donating the amazing prizes for our giveaway!

So, without further ado...

The winner of the Custom Pump Pack from Too Sweet Boutique is.....

Comment #6...
JILL from Diabetes Sweeties!!!

The winner of the adorable diabetes awareness cupcake toppers from Claudia the Cupcake Lady is.....

Comment #31

Congratulations!  You have 48 hours to get in touch with me at to claim your prizes!!

I really hope that you've had fun this month with all of the giveaways!  I know I have had a lot of fun giving away all the incredible things!

A big THANK YOU to ALL of the business that participated and supported Diabetes Awareness Month!  Please keep them in mind while doing your holiday shopping!








A Thousand Sleepless Nights

Thursday, December 1, 2011

In my last post, I wrote about some the blessings we've received because of Sweetpea's diabetes diagnosis.

That post ended up being much longer than expected.  Which is good, because it means a lot of good has come out of something that's often not good at all.

But I left out something really important.

To me, anyway.

I left out a song.

The first time I heard this song, it stopped me dead in my tracks.  It was like she was talking to ME.  About ME.  About US.

And I immediately fell in love with the music and the lyrics.

And I knew that I just HAD to share it with you!

It's called Blessing by Laura Story

Here are the lyrics...

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom

Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us

When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise
You can watch it here... just pause the playlist first...


"What if your blessings come through raindrops?  What if your healing comes through tears?  What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near..?"

I've cried an ocean of tears.
I've had almost 1,000 sleepless nights.  947 to be exact.  Maybe not totally sleepless - but night time has never been the same since diagnosis.

This song just speaks to me.  And I hope it does to you, as well.

It just fits so well with my previous post.  What if.... WHAT IF.... this trial is actually a blessing in disguise?

Sometime it's REALLY disguised.  And because it's MY DAUGHTER's health we're talking about - I'd still give it back in heartbeat.  But since that can only happen in my dreams, the best I can do is try to see that blessing in disguise.

I always hesitate to post things like this - not wanting to sound too preachy.  But this is me.  This my story, my journey... it may not be yours and that's ok.  But maybe through my sharing someone else might find some peace.  And so it's worth it to me.  And so I share.

You can watch Laura talk about the story behind the song here...

Wishing you peace and blessings... and a CURE!


Thankful for Diabetes: The Best Club No One Wanted to Join

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I am thankful for diabetes.

Yes, you read it right.  I am.

Even though we've been having a tough time of it lately.  I'm still thankful.

And I'll tell you why...

But first, I've got to say that it's not easy for me to say that.  In fact, I struggle with it quite a bit.  It's really HARD for me to come to terms with being thankful for D.... because of Sweets.

It's hard for me to say that I'm thankful for a disease that brings her so much pain and frustration and anger.

It's hard to me to say that I'm thankful for a disease that she will live with forever.  Without EVER getting a break.

It's hard for me to say that I'm thankful for a disease that could cause her horrible complications.

It's hard for me to say that I'm thankful for a disease that could take her life.  Not in years.  Not when she's old and gray.  But right now.

It's hard for me to say it.  Because I don't always feel it.  In fact, I HATE diabetes some of the time.  I hate what it does to her.  I hate what it can do to her.  

In a way, I feel guilty for saying I'm thankful for diabetes because I'm not the one living with the disease in my body. 

Being thankful for diabetes forces me to be able to hold conflicting feelings, polar opposites, in fact, in my head at the same time.  I hate this disease. I hate what it does to Sweets and I hate what it's taken from her and from us. And yet, I am also thankful for the lessons it's taught us and the things it's brought into our lives.

It would be so much easier if it was just ME with this crap disease.  It would be so much better if it was ME with the bum pancreas.  If we could keep all the wonderful but spare HER from all the bad.  I wish it WAS me.  I'd give anything to take this disease from her.  (I won't go there - that's another post for another day...)

But it's not me.

And it's not going away.

No matter how much I hate it.  No matter how much I wish it gone. 

Sweetpea has diabetes.  Nothing can change that.

And that only focusing on the parts of this disease that suck (and oh, boy - there are a lot!) isn't going to get us anywhere.  In fact, it's only going to make us all miserable.  And it's not going to teach her the attitude that I hope she adopts for looking at life in general.

(Side note - as I said in my last post about this topic, I think it's healthy and important to acknowledge ALL of your feelings about diabetes.  It's all rainbows and sunshine all the time.  And it's ok to say it.  But it's also not all storm clouds!)

So, the only thing to do is be THANKFUL for the good parts of life with diabetes!

I love the saying that diabetes is the best club that no one ever wanted to join!  It's so true.  None of us asked for this life.  In fact, we would probably all give it back if we could. (As I said, we've been having a rough go of it lately.  Sweets said the other night with tears rolling down her sweet little face, in between hiccuping sobs that she wishes she could just give diabetes back.  Me too.)  But since we can't....

I am so thankful for the incredible people I've met through this disease.  The list is crazy long ! 

I've met so many incredibly supportive people online -- THE DOC!   My facebook friends list is NUTS - and it's all diabetes people!  I love being able to go online to facebook or twitter or blogs and read about other people living this crazy life.  I love being able to throw out a question - from how many carbs are in a Kraft Mac and Cheese to HELP! I need tips on keeping bg up when she's puking!  I love the support and love I've found.  I love knowing that I'm not alone.  And SWEETS is not alone.

It's crazy (although not too crazy considering I "met" J online...) that I have people that I've found online - people that I have NEVER MET - who I consider to be some of my best and closest friends.  People who I know will be there for me whenever I need them.  People who "get it". 

And SOME of these people I've been lucky enough to meet in real life!  And every single person is just flat out awesome!  Every. Single.  One.  And you'd think it would be weird meeting someone you've only talked to online - but it's not.  We're family.  As corny as it sounds - I've found it to be true.  It's like meeting an old friend. 

I also must include the amazing endocrinology team at our Children's Hospital!  I would have never met these folks (duh) without diabetes.  And I'm glad I did.  They love us. They love Sweets.  They support us.  They stand by us.  They help us with the most important thing in our lives - keeping our little girl healthy - both physically AND emotionally.  Because BOTH are important to them.  We are so blessed to have them!

Can't forget about the fantastic folks at JDRF - both locally and nationally.  Again - all of them are pretty darn amazing. I've had the honor of being part of our chapter board and through that I've been able to meet others who are serving our local chapter - and you know what?  A large number of the folks on our board don't have diabetes and don't have a child with diabetes.  They just care.  They ride bikes for 100 miles in Death Valley just because they care.  They spend Saturdays at Walks and hours and hours of planning and preparation.  Because they care.  And that includes the folks with a D connection, too.  They all care.  They are willing to give of themselves and their time because it's important.  Not just for themselves personally - but for all of us. 

The same goes for the National folks.  The people that I work with in Advocacy are awesome!  They spend hours fighting for our cause.  And not just because it's a job.  You can tell when someone does something because it's "just a job".  These people do what they do because they care. 

We've had the honor of meeting with our Senators and Representatives (and not because we're special or anything - YOU can meet with yours, too!  Click HERE to find out how!).  That has been a wonderful experience for me as well as for Sweets.  She gets to see government up close.  I have learned that these men and women who serve us both locally and nationally - they are just ordinary people.  They have families, too.  They have all been gracious and kind and have listened to our stories.  A wonderful experience!

Sweets has met all KINDS of people she would have never met!  She has a whole group of friends that she would NEVER know otherwise.  And these are friends who "get" her in a way that no one else can.  They provide "SAME" for her just like my D Mama's provide "SAME" for me.  And that bond is special.  It's different from what she has with her best friend that does NOT have D.  It's something she would not experience otherwise. 

And you know what?  It's not just kids.  There are a couple of adults who really connect with Sweetpea and she with them.  We've had the pleasure of meeting them in real life and that is a precious, precious gift!  That connection is important to her - almost more so than having friends her own age.  She sees in them her future.  And it's a GOOD future.  A HOPEFUL future.  And she would not experience a relationship like that without diabetes.  To them, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.  You may not know what it means to Sweets or to us the time that you take to send a quick note.  But it means a lot.  She looks up to you.  In a way that she needs - and a way that J and I can't really provide for her.  She needs those positive role models.  You are special to her.  And to us.  She needs you!  And so do we!

Gosh - the PEOPLE!  I could go on forever just about the incredible people D has put into our lives.

But it's more than that...

I have learned to look for the beauty in the small things.  I have learned to appreciate the good days and the good moments in a way that I don't think we ever would have without diabetes.  Diabetes has changed out outlook on life.  We know that the rain is going fall.  But we also know that it will stop.  Eventually.  And that there is beauty in both places.

I've learned that I am NOT in control.  I do not like this.  But it's true.

I have learned that I am stronger than I ever imagined. 

My daughter may have to grow up faster than I would have liked, but she, too, will learn that she is incredibly strong.  That fear and pain will not break her.  They will only add to her toughness.  And she is tough.  Small - but mighty.

I have learned that I am braver than I ever thought possible.  And so is my little girl.  She, too, will learn that she is a brave person.

I have learned what true PASSION is. 

I have learned that I can make a difference.  Not just in my house or my life or my neighborhood - but in the world.

I have learned what is really important.  I don't get caught up in petty squabbles.  Don't go for the office gossip.  Don't worry about if I'm wearing the latest trend (Let's face it - I'm the Mom of a CWD- I'm lucky if I find ANY clothes to wear much less the latest style!).  Diabetes has broadened my view.

I have learned to be more empathetic.  When someone is having a hard day or a is rude in a store - I now wonder what might be going on to make them behave that way.  You just never know... Maybe they are tired because they were up all night treating lows.  Maybe they have prescriptions to fill and no money. 

My family is closer.  D can make you or it can break you.  Unfortunately, I know too many families where D has added to the stress so much so that things fall apart.  So I am grateful that not only has this not happened to us - that it has done the opposite.  We are a team.  We rely on each other.  We fight for each other.  We stand together.

I spend more time with my daughter than I might have otherwise.  D forces me to hang out at play dates and sleepovers and practices.  It makes me a normal classroom visitor and a constant field trip companion.  At times this can be frustrating.  But it also affords me the opportunity to see my child in situations that I might not otherwise.  It lets me experience special things with her.  And it helps us form an even tighter bond.

D has also forced me to accept help.  I don't like asking for help.  I still am working on this and will still rarely ASK unless I'm desperate.  We even have a babysitter that we "won" at the JDRF Gala Auction - and have not used.  But...  I HAVE to accept help from others when she is in their care at school.  I have been forced to ask for accommodations and special things because of diabetes.  And that is not a bad thing.  It's an uncomfortable thing for me - it humbles me.  But that is not bad.

Diabetes has totally changed my life.  It has totally changed my family's life and most importantly, my daughter's life. 

I have no idea what our life would be like without diabetes.  I have no other children.  I just can't fathom living life without diabetes...

Yeah, I would totally give it back if I could. 

But I wouldn't trade the GOOD things about diabetes for anything. 

Diabetes has made me a better person. 

And it's made - and is going to continue to make - my daughter the most amazing, incredible person I've ever met!



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