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Monday, October 31, 2011

 Happy Halloween!!!

We have been having lots of Halloween fun here over the past few weeks...

Here are some of the highlights...

A trip to the pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins...

We made some yummy treats -

Like Mummy Dogs...

And ghost cookies!  These are nutter buters with white icing and chocolate chips!

We went on a hayride!

And we went to JDRF's BooFest!  Sweets had fun decorating pumpkins, making crafts and hanging out!

They got treat bags when they entered the room.  Inside the bags were little goodies and some candy.  AND... this little gem of wonderfulness!

We even carved our pumpkin.  Sweets helped quite a bit this year!  We had to take it to the darkest place in the house to light it up.  That would be the bathroom!

"Hey, Mom!  Take a picture of me with my pumpkin and put it on your Face Blog.  Ok?"

How could I say no?!?

Have a wonderful Halloween!  We are set to Trick or Treat tonight and then call Halloween officially OVER.

And you know what that means, right?!?

DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH!  Get ready.... it's time to go BLUE!


Start Your Engines.... Here it Comes!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Less than one week...

And it's ON.  (Are you thinking, "It's ON like Donkey Kong?"  Or is that just me...?)

November is Diabetes Awareness Month!

And ooooh boy... do I have some FUN STUFF planned!

I'm going to be doing a give away each week during November. That's FOUR give aways!!!  I'm not telling you (yet) what I'm giving away, but I've got products lined up from Stick Me Designs, Lauren's Hope, Tally Gear, and more!

There are lots of ways that you can get involved in Diabetes Awareness Month. Here are just a few...

WORLD DIABETES DAY:  Find out more about WDD and the International Diabetes Federation by clicking HERE.  You can see how people around the world are ACTING on diabetes.

BLUE FRIDAYS: This one is easy. Wear blue on Friday in support of D awareness. You can "like" the facebook page HERE.

WDD POSTCARD EXCHANGE:  This awesome idea was thought up by LeAnn Thill, author and artist of The Butter Compartment!  Click HERE to get involved. 

D BLOG DAY:  You don't have to be a blogger to get in on this fun!  This year Gina of The Diabetes Resource is asking you to make a scrapbook page!  Oooooh!  So what if you're not crafty??  Upload some pics and Walgreens can make you a collage.  Easy Peasy.  For more information, click HERE.

THE BIG BLUE TEST:  We all test blood sugar.  For this, we do it together.  Find out more HERE.

And I'm sure leaving some things out!



Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I might need to take a little bloggy break until Nov. 1 to prepare!
See you then!


Let the Eating Begin!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

If you are like us, celebrating Halloween started LONG ago.

We've already trick-or-treated once.
Our school pj party (We have the kids wear jammies to school instead of costumes. Many come in totally inappropriate costumes... and this is just as fun!  We have a "sleepover" at school!) is on Thursday.
We have a TWO Halloween parties and ONE bonfire on Saturday.
We have another trick-or-treat party on Sunday.
Then REAL trick-or-treating is on Monday.


That's a lot of loot!

So, to ease the stress of carb counting those little pieces of gold that she is going to want to eat, I went in search of some resources. 

Information is POWER, people!

Here's what I found...

A few sites listing most typical Halloween candy and it's carb count.

I know I'm going to print these out and stick them into the Diabetes bag so I will always be prepared for any little treat that should come our way!

I hope you find them useful, too!

And - I hope you have a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Say BOO to Diabetes

Monday, October 24, 2011

This was originally posted last year right before Halloween...  Enjoy a little blast from the past...

Happy Halloween!

We are eagerly awaiting Trick or Treat this evening!  
Yes, my child has diabetes and Yes, she DOES go trick or treating!

I am determined that diabetes will NOT take the fun from life.  And that includes Halloween.  

I was worried about it at first.  In fact, I remember thinking about it in the car on the way to the hospital the day she was diagnosed... "How in the world are we going to do Halloween?"  WHY I was worried about that, I don't know.  But your mind goes to weird places that day.

I shouldn't have worried.

Here is how we celebrate Halloween at our house....

We DO get costumes.  This year, Sweetpea is dressing up as a puppy.  She also dressed up like Cinderella for the Halloween party last night.  

We DO carve pumpkins!

We DO go Trick or Treating!  We go from house to house just like everyone  else!

What do we do with the loot?

The way we handle it is that Sweetpea does not eat candy during Trick or Treating.  I wouldn't let her do this even if she did not have D.  When she gets home, we sort through it.  We keep the Smarties and the Starburst (red only) for lows.  Sweetpea gets to choose a few things to keep - she like m&m's and Tootsie Rolls.  She can have one or two things that night.  The rest she "sells" to me.  I take it to school and put it into my prize box for the kiddos there.  She gets $$ and she can go to buy something.  

The kid really makes out on this deal... This year she got money from BOTH sets of Grandparents.  So add that to her Tick or Treat money and she's going to do well at Target!

There is no set amount we give her... This works for us right now.  We just let her pick a toy that isn't too expensive.  Say $10 - $20.  It's worth it to us to help her have fun celebrating this holiday.

I REALLY liked the idea of the "Switch Witch" that I read on another blog.  I think we may try that this year.  We will leave out the candy and during the night the "Switch Witch" comes and takes the candy and leave a toy in it's place!  LOVE THIS!

And really....  I think this would be a great idea even without D.  No kid needs to gorge on candy.  No adult does either.  Get it out of the house!  

So that's how we are celebrating... 

We will ENJOY this day!
We will PARTICIPATE in this day!
We will do the things that everyone else does - just with our own spin.

Diabetes will NOT win.  It will NOT take this away.  I won't let it.

Here's a little video I shot during pumpkin carving... 
Sweetpea asked me to video her.  And she just started talking about diabetes, so I thought I'd share!

I wish you all a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN and hope that you, too, say BOO to diabetes!



Five Question Friday - Sunday Edition

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's BACK!  Five Question Friday - on Sunday!  Here we go....

1. Where do you escape to when you've had enough?

Ummm.... I don't?  I have a child with type 1 diabetes.  There's no escaping that.  No matter where you go or what you do, it's with you.

I guess I'd say that I escape to the bathroom.  Sometimes I'll just go in and lock the door.  Five minutes peace.  Of course, there's still usually someone knocking at the door.  And even the cats can't leave me alone.  I see little paws sticking under the door frame...

But even if I go get a pedicure or something, it's always still there...  There are phone calls and worries.  There's no escaping it.

I would seriously KILL for a day at home - ALONE. 

2. What shows are you watching this fall?

Oh boy.  We love our DVR.  We tape and watch when we have time.  And we tape A LOT.
Here are some of our favorites:
Biggest Loser
How I Met Your Mother
The Big Bang Theory

3. What was the longest roadtrip you've ever taken and where did you go?

Hmmmm.... When I was little we drove over to Boston and then up to Maine and back.  Other than that... we used to drive to Florida ALL.  THE.  TIME.  I know that route so well I could drive it with my eyes closed.

But really, we don't do road trips much now (read: after having a child)  Let's be honest.  We both HATE long driving trips.  We prefer to fly.  And we can't even get to the airport before she asks, "Are we there yet?". 

4. Do you plan on taking your kids to Disney World?

YES!  DO and DID.

Two years ago we went for one day just to see how it would go.  She loved it!  You can read about that HERE.  Last summer, we went for a WEEK.  That was AWESOME!!!!  You can read about that HERE.

We are planning on going to CWD FFL this summer.  And we just can not be that close to the Magic Kingdom without going.  For at least one day.  So I'm sure we will go for one day of magical fun!

5. What is something people would surprised to know about you?

I don't know.... I think I'm an open book!

I even asked one of my BFF's and she wasn't sure either!  She said she was surprised at how liberal I am because she thought I'd be more conservative.

The only other things we could come up with were things like me separating my m&m's by color... and then eating them two at a time.  I do the same thing with Fruit Loops.  I don't use milk.  But I'm not sure that's all that surprising seeing as though I'm a wee bit of a control freak.

I also think that I seem like someone who's favorite curse word is "Gosh Darn" but let me tell you....  I can curse with the best when the moment is right!  I just try to keep it a little G rated on here! 

I don't know.....  I don't think I have any hidden secrets...!  Sorry!!

Okie dokie - that'll do it!  Now it's YOUR turn to get in on the fun!


Know Your Child's Rights

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I really think that one of the hardest parts about having a child with diabetes is sending them off on their own.

I mean, when she's with me, I can handle it.  I'm in charge.  I can keep an eye on things. 

Let's get real - as parents we sometimes just KNOW when something's amiss.  We just KNOW how to bolus for that particular food.  We just KNOW how many carbs are needed to treat that low.

We become very tuned in to the workings of our child's body and non-working pancreas.

But try to explain that to someone else?

Ugh!  It's so difficult!  HOW do you explain to someone all the things that run though your head when you are making a decision about diabetes management? 

You just can't.

And when it comes to sending your child to school?

It feels ten times harder.

Because not only must we explain all of these things and how diabetes affects a child physically...we must also explain the ways that diabetes can affect a child mentally and emotionally.

It's that whole "You don't look sick" thing again.

They DON'T look sick.  But that doesn't mean that they are able to learn and excel just like every other child. 

Sometimes it's more complicated than that.  Sometimes they need a little extra assistance.  Sometimes they need more understanding.  Sometimes they need accommodations in order for them be able to achieve and succeed.

Even though the last child the teacher had with type 1 didn't need that particular accommodation.  Even though the other type 1 diabetics in the school might be fine with the status quo.  Even though they don't look sick.

It's always a good idea to know your rights.

When I was checking out some SWEET Dexcom pouches on the Too Sweet Boutique facebook page, I ran across this document.  Amy had posted this on her wall and I was really impressed!  (She said I could share it with you!)

This is one of the most comprehensive lists of rights for students with diabetes that I have ever seen!  It was created by the American Diabetes Association.

So take a look.... Just click HERE.

I pray that you never really need it.

But just in case...

It's always good to know your child's rights!


Diabetes Makes Me Sad

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not long after starting Kindergarten, Sweets had an assignment to do. 

She was supposed to create a "Memory Basket".  She was to include something that makes her laugh, something from long ago, something warm, something as precious as gold and something that makes you sad.

It's a really neat project to do with a particular children's book (which I can't remember the name of right now...).  I've done this with my own class at the start of the year.  It helps you get to know one another and builds a sense of community. 

Sweets had no trouble picking out her things that she wanted to take.  She chose to take her blankie as something warm, a teddy bear she got when she was born as something from long ago, a Spongebob book that our friend Steve (you know - the awesome guy who designed our walk shirts) illustrated as something that made her laugh, a picture of her cousins as something as precious as gold and.... what made her sad?


In all fairness, her FIRST choice was that she wanted to take Gaga because it made her sad that he had to have surgery and be in the hospital.

But since that wasn't possible... the next thing she thought of was diabetes.


I'm never quite sure how to handle things like this.  What do I say?  What do I do?

I feel like it's important for me to honor her feelings.  She's allowed to feel however she wants to feel about diabetes.

So I said, "Diabetes makes you sad?  It makes me sad sometimes, too.  WHY does it make you sad?"

I was expecting her to say that she didn't like the site changes, that it hurts, that she doesn't like going to the hospital... something like that.

She said, "It makes me sad because I have to test before I eat.  I hate that.  I just wanna EAT, you know?  No testing.  I hate waiting."

That surprised me! 

And it also made me feel like if that is the worst thing she can think of, maybe I'm doing something right.

So....  how do we take diabetes to school?

I asked her if she would like to take her test kit in and show the kids in her class what she does to test her blood sugar and talk to them a little about diabetes.  As long as her teacher was ok with it...

She said YES! 

In the past she has wanted to do this.... but this year - I wasn't sure.  She's been really "I don't want anyone to see it and I don't want to talk about it" lately.  But she said she wanted to.

I asked her if she wanted ME to come talk to the class or if SHE wanted to do it or her teacher.  She said me.

So.... after talking to her teacher, we packed up her diabetes kit, used pod, and a copy of our Coco book to take to school.

We went through her kit and I explained what most of the things were.  We talked a little bit about the pancreas and how it's supposed to make insulin but hers does not so she has to get it this way... (enter Omnipod).  She tested in front of them. 

"WOAH - Did that hurt?" one of her classmates asked. 

"Nope.  I'm used to it."  she said.

They LOVED that part!  Blood is always a hit.

Then I read the book about Coco. One of the children said, "Hey!  I know that monkey!  I've seen her with Mickey!"

We talked about how Sweets and other people (and monkeys) with diabetes are able to do the same things that everyone else does - but that they just has to take special care of herself.

Sweets was happy!  And so was I.  It was the perfect opportunity to share this with her class.

Her class was interested - but five year olds tend to think it's all fun and games to get to go to the clinic and do things like that.  They don't see anything other than her leaving the room.  And really, they don't think a lot about it.

They see her as a kid.  Not a kid with diabetes. 

And that does NOT make me - or her - sad.

That makes me very, very happy!


Inspiration on Two Wheels

Monday, October 17, 2011

This past weekend, riders from all over the world traveled to Death Valley, California to participate in JDRF's Ride to Cure Diabetes.

Death Valley.  Doesn't that sound like someplace you want to go ride a bike for 100 miles?!?

These people are my heroes!  They seriously inspire me!

We were asked to make some posters for riders from our local JDRF chapter who were going to be riding over the weekend.  This is what we came up with...

Sweetpea made some pictures to add to our poster.  All I said was that we were making posters for people riding their bikes for JDRF and she should draw a picture... maybe about diabetes or whatever she wanted.

Here's what she did...

In case you can't read it, the upper left says Sweetpea's Picture about Diabetes.  Sweetpea is 5 years old and was diagnosed on 4/27/09 at 3 years old.  The right side says "This is me in the hospital when I was sick and throwing up.  I don't like having to go to the hospital."  She is green because "I couldn't find skin color".  So am I - that's me on the left.  The orange thing is her Dexcom and the blue thing is her pod.

This one says the same thing in the upper left corner.  The right side says, "This is you, Mom, holding a juice box to my lips when I couldn't drink."

The blue things on the right are Mom and Dad.  The green thing is the juice box.  The orange thing is her Dexie and the purple thing is her pod. 

I thought her pictures were very sweet!  We put her picture, the Good Luck picture, a picture of Sweets, and a handwritten message together for the poster.

I was happy to help inspire them because they truly do inspire me!  And I am so grateful that people are out there riding their bikes and raising money to bring us closer to a CURE! 


This is my goal.
This is my promise.


I'm going to ride, too.

Right now - I just can't.  Between teaching and family and diabetes and JDRF Advocacy and blogging and LIFE... I just don't have the time it takes to do it right.  But I will.  And I'm looking forward to it!

Are YOU inspired to get involved?

Did you know that you don't HAVE to ride 100 miles?!?  You can choose your distance - usually somewhere between 30 to 100. 

There are rides each year in:
Burlington, Vermont
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Death Valley, California
and Tucson, Arizona! 

AND - "JDRF partners with USA Cycling to certify all our chapter coaches. Riders are given expert coaching and training by these certified coaches. Even if you are not an everyday cyclist, our trained coaches will work with you to develop a training program based on your individual needs and goals.
Each rider will be assigned to a local or national coach who will help you to track your progress and get you prepared for Ride day. Local coaches help participants set realistic goals, hold group trainings, monitor progress, and provide clinics on everything from form and technique to injury prevention and changing a flat tire. Our JDRF coaches have helped hundreds of athletes accomplish goals they never thought they could achieve". - taken from this site.

Our local riders are the best!  They have a lot of fun!  You can tell that they have formed friendships and connections with each other.   They encourage each other and work together every step of the way. 

And I'm pleased and touched to learn that many of our riders don't have a personal connection to type 1 diabetes!  So get your friends to sign up, too!  After all, diabetes affects all of us. 

You can check out the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes on facebook by clicking HERE.  You'll see some great pics of the weekend's ride!
You can find out more online by clicking HERE.


We are so very proud of you and so very humbled by and thankful for your efforts!


Five Question Friday: The Sunday Edition

Sunday, October 16, 2011

This is my first crack at Five Question Friday. Yes, I know it's Sunday but I'm usually late and we are in the car on the way home from visiting J's parents in Tennessee so I've got a little time on my hands and I thought it would be fun! Here we go!

1. Do you prefer your ice cream in a bowl or in a cone?    Bowl. Definitely bowl. But in all honesty, after working in a local ice cream shop in high school, I'm not a big ice cream fan. It has a smell.... I can usually take it or leave it.

2. What three things do you love the smell of?   I'm going with fall theme... I love the smell of fall leaves, baking apples, and wood burning fires. Ahhhh! I also love the smell of my Sweets after a bath. She smells sweet!

3. Giftcards or no? (In regards to gift giving...)   I'm all for gift cards. I actually don't love GIVING them.... But I love GETTING them! Unless I know the person wants it! I usually get gift cards for massages! I love that because it's something I don't do unless I have a gift card! Sweets likes gift cards (or money!), too! She loves going to the store and picking out what she wants. In fact, I think she likes that part better than actually getting it!

4. What sports did you play in high school and do you still play them? I played tennis. And no, I don't still play. But I'd like to. Sweets has started playing and I really get the itch to get back out there when I'm watching her! I was also a cheerleader. You can decide if that is a sport or not. For people that do stunts and flips, I think it is. For me, it was more about jumping around and looking cute. Do I still play??? Well, I had to retire the skirt and the Pom poms but I still cheer! For my kids at school, my Sweetpea, my family and friends, and for the DOC - whenever I can!

5. Were you in band in high school? What instrument did you play? I was not in band. But I did play the violin for about 8 years. I miss it. But who has the time to fiddle around now?!? I'd love for Sweets to show some interest in it. That would give me a great excuse to get mine out! I still have it.... But she's more of an ACTIVE child! She's all about tennis, gymnastics, and cheer right now. But maybe someday... You never know!

Well, that was fun! I may have to make it a Sunday tradition! I also like how it had nothing to do with D. We need that little break from time to time!

You can do your own and read others HERE!


Off to the Endo We Go: A Vlog

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yesterday, we had our quarterly visit to the endocrinology clinic.

I decided to video our experience. I thought it would kinda fun to share with you where we go and what we do. I was also really inspired by Nicole's transparency when she chronicled her experience. I thought, "If she can do it, so can I!".

So I did!

A little clarification...

Three months ago, Sweetpea's A1c was 8.8. I was Not Happy. But I knew why. After the low bg and seizures she had in the Spring, we were purposely running her higher than normal. Endo's orders. She said she wanted her higher to help her get used to what a low of 70 feels like. In addition, her numbers were just totally whacked out! It was like we were starting over. What worked before wasn't working. Nothing made sense. Add that to us being scared to correct if she wasn't over 200.... And 8.8. Our Endo was great. All she said was, "We know why. We won't even talk about it.". Awesome, huh?

So THIS time around, I'm expecting better. Switching to the Omnipod, starting over from practically scratch, building our confidence.... Things have been looking better than I've seen them in a long, long time. So - Here we go...

So I know I didn't sound thrilled... But I'm happy with a 7.8. It's a whole point lower! And if we keep on keepin' on with what we are doing, I expect to see it a little lower next time. Our Endo said that she considers 7.8 great control for her age. She hesitates to tighten her numbers based on her inability to recognize lows. So I'm happy! I promise!

As for the cholesterol... I'm frustrated. It was high right after diagnosis. We blamed it on the amount of cheese and meat she was eating-- all that "free" food. It came down a little once she started pumping. But now it's back up. Her good is high. Her triglycerides are fine. But her bad is high, too.

And this kid eats really healthy. She loves her veggies and fruit. She only drinks water. And she's been known to choose fruit over fries or even ice cream. For reals.

We sat down with the dietician and she went thru her meals with us and she didn't really find any major changes were needed. She suggested we read the labels of some of her favorite stuff (granola bars, waffles, cookies, etc) that is prepackaged just to make sure it isn't super high in saturated fat.

She said that most likely that it's hereditary. But they want to keep a close eye on it. So we will test again in 6 months and possibly meet with cardiology. Great.

I'm glad they are keeping such a close eye on her. And we will really be working on eliminating things like fried foods and prepackaged junk food. Within reason. I still want her to be a kid - so a French fry every now and then is ok with me. But no overdoing it! And that goes for Mama, too!

All in all - it was a good day! Glad you were able to experience it with us!

Don't forget to vote for The Princess and The Pump - Parent's Magazine Best Kids Health Blog - by clicking HERE!  Thank you!


Mr. Postman

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Do you love getting mail?  

Real mail.  Snail mail.  Not the kind that comes through your computer but the kind that is actually delivered to your door!  (Yes, they still do deliver letters.  Not just bills and ads.  I checked.)  I do!  And here's your chance to get something really special!

Lee Ann at The Butter Compartment wants to do something that will "bring a little World Diabetes Day celebration to everyone".  The rules are simple:

1) Send your mailing address to
2) She will send you an address
3) Use the blue circle and as much creativity as you can fit on a piece of 3.5" x 5" card stock.  Complete the mini D meme (below) on the back of the postcard.
4) Mail it to the person whose address she sends you, ideally in time for them to receive it by Nov. 14th.
5) You will get a postcard in the mail from someone else in the world living with diabetes!

The meme:
1) Your name:
2) Where you live:
3) Your connection to diabetes:
4) Type of diabetes:
5) Year of diagnosis:
6) One thing you do to Act On Diabetes:
7) One Word:

She made a FB page to help promote the exchange, and for people to post pictures of the postcards they receive.  Click HERE to check it out!

And you can read more about it on her blog by clicking HERE.

Does this not sound like fun?!?  I think so!
We are going to send our address and get our craft on!  And keep our postal employees in business - and hopefully wondering what all the blue circles are about!!!

Only 33 more days until World Diabetes Day!

Don't forget to vote for The Princess and The Pump - Parent's Magazine Best Kids Health Blog - by clicking HERE!  Thank you!

PODsitively Perfect

Monday, October 10, 2011

Site changes.

They've been a source of frustration around here for... well, forever.

Way back when Sweets was doing MDI (multiple daily injections), we couldn't wait to start pumping.  She cried and fussed and kicked and screamed with almost every shot.  It was finally starting to get a LITTLE better around the five month mark when we started pumping.  Ugh.

We were so glad to switch to inserting the site every 3 days instead of doing 5 or more shots a day!  We were ecstatic!

But that didn't mean that site changes were a piece of cake.

When Sweets first started pumping, our CDE recommended that we use the angled manual inserter on her because she was so small.  That was find - except that she was scared.  She would not hold still.  She still cried.  She still fussed.  She still kicked.  She was only 3 and half.

Still... it was better than 5 times a day.  But... frustration.  I was new at the inserting and trying to get that done a crying, wiggling munchkin was next to impossible.

At our pump start follow up, the CDE suggested we try the automatic inserter.  It was not angled and went straight in and she thought that might present a problem on a little person but thought we should try it.

So we did.

It WAS better.  It did not come out easily like she had feared.  And it was much easier to insert on a wiggling and crying little person.  She, however, did not like the "click" it made when it went in.

One night as we were getting ready for a site change, Sweets fell asleep on the couch.  There we were with all the stuff ready to go.  And there she was sleeping peacefully.  What to do?

Do we wake her up - knowing that she will get upset and fight and cry?  Or do we try the change while she's sleeping?  I'd talked with a friend who's daughter had been pumping for years and she had suggested trying the night time site change.  She said her daughter never woke up and it was so very easy.  I seriously didn't think it would go over well for us... but that night- since she was already asleep - we tried it.

And she didn't wake up.  She didn't even flinch.  The next day she was so thrilled that it had happened and she hadn't known it!  She said, "Oh wow!  I didn't even have to worry about it!"

The other benefit to this was the issue with bent cannulas.  We were getting bent cannulas.  Because she was so afraid, she would clench her butt muscles.  Because she has practically ZERO body fat, the cannula would hit muscle and bend.  We didn't know what to do.

I talked with our endo about it and she said she thought it was fine for us to do the site changes at night.  She knew that we checked her closely all night long.  She knew that we didn't just put her to bed and not think about it until the morning.  She said that due to her incredible anxiety about site changes and the fact that we were so on top on things, we were fine to do the changes at night.  She also thought this would help solve the bent cannula problem.

Now, I'm not saying that you should do this.  It's technically against the pumping "rules".  It can be dangerous.  I'm just telling you OUR story.  And what worked for us.

Except it didn't really totally work for us.  It helped in the sense that she was no longer fighting and crying and getting all worked up over site changes.

It didn't work so well in sense that we were still having issues with site changes.  Specifically, we were STILL getting LOTS of bent cannulas.  Like 2-3 a time during some changes.  We even ended up in the ER last November on World Diabetes Day because a bent cannula had led to high blood sugar and large ketones and vomiting.  Even though we had checked her all night long.  Her numbers had not really gone high until HOURS after the site change...  it was really weird.

So we met with the CDE again.  We tried different types on sites.  We tried different locations.  We originally had only used her tush because she didn't have enough fat anywhere else.  Belly is STILL - to this day - off limits because she has no extra skin there.  The kid has a six pack.  It's soooo wrong...  But I digress...

Arms worked well for a time.  We were all happy with that location.  But at our next appointment, our endo thought we should go back to her tush because she didn't like the way her arms were looking.  She thought she was building up scar tissue there.

So... we kept on keeping on.  And then some other things happened that led us to start thinking about the Omnipod.  I had read in their literature that Omnipod was recommended for people who were afraid of needles.  Because you can't see it.  Not at all.

And this proved true for Sweets.  For some reason - maybe due in part to the fact that you can't see the needle - the Omnipod did not scare her.  She was not afraid of it.

Now, there's lots of reasons we are loving the Omnipod! But that's a post for another day...  Because THIS post is about site changes.

Sweets was find doing pod changes... at first.  But then she would get all worked up over it.  It's really the anxiety about what's going to happen.  She can tell you that it doesn't hurt.  She knows it logically.  But she still freaks out.  And I didn't know how to help her.

We decided that we needed to do pod changes while she was awake.  She did not love this.  But... we just thought it was better due to reasons that I'll go into later.

She liked the fact that we could put the pod on and then all you had to do was push a button.  What she DIDN'T like was the loud "pop" it makes when it goes in.

So, we tried different things.  Distraction.  Yelling (don't ask... it masked the click sound and she thought it was funny).  Going to Gaga's house.

I had her watch this awesome video made by Noah, The Diabetes Dude.

And... guess what?

It helped.

Time.  Praise.  Love.  Letting her go at her own pace.  Reassurance.  Love.  Praise.

And watching someone else do it on his own.

The last couple of weeks of pod changes have been.... amazing.

No fighting.  No fussing.  No tears.

As Sweets said, "Not one single tear, Mom!"

She's getting so grown up.

It's bittersweet.  I wish she didn't have to be so brave.  But I'm so very proud her.

She's PODsitively Perfect
By the way....
She rocked that arm draw on Saturday, too!


No D Day: Fall Is Here

Friday, October 7, 2011

Today is NO D DAY!

This wonderful idea was created by George over at Ninjabetic! It's a day for all of us to talk about something OTHER than D!  Because there's a lot more to us and our families than just THAT.

There is definitely a LOT more to us than D.  But since this is a D blog... I try to have all my posts relate somehow to D.  You know?  This is not my family blog.  It's not a Mommy blog.  It's not a teaching blog.  It's a D blog.

But today is NOT about D... and since it's nice to have the opportunity to talk about something ELSE...

I'm going to share a little bit about US.

Last year I took you on a tour of my house.

This year, I decided to share something VERY exciting with you!

Sweetpea is learning to read!

She is soooo excited about it!

And let's be honest - so am I!

As a Kindergarten teacher who does this for a living... I LOVE teaching kids to read!  I love watching them as they learn new words and put it all together.  I love seeing the light bulb go off in their little brains and gleam in their eyes when they realize that they ARE READING!

Of course, Sweets would not let me teach her anything.

I'm MOM.  I know nothing.

But she has some wonderful teachers...  And so she's learning!

She's finding words everywhere she goes! (I about ran off the road when she screamed in the back seat and then said that she had spied the word "is" in DISNEY on the radio!)  She looks forward to reading her books.  She is SO proud!

Am so am I!

So....  Here's Sweets to read you one of her books!

Is she not the cutest little reader! :)

I'm a proud Mama!
(Did you catch that?  A proud MAMA.  Not a D Mama.  Just a Mama!  I get to be that every now and then!)

To see more NO D DAY posts, click HERE.


It's Complicated

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On Saturday, we get to go for our yearly visit to the Children's Hospital Outpatient Clinic for Sweetpea's annual lab work.

Oh Boy!

Can you hear the sarcasm? We loathe labs - because it means an arm draw. And that means Sweets will get hysterical. She will cry and fuss. She will kick and fight and beg everyone not to hurt her.

Maybe this time it will be different. I keep hoping... When it's over, she always says it wasn't bad. It's just the anticipation of what MIGHT happen that just wrecks her every time.

I just got our orders yesterday.

I've never really paid much attention to them. They've always been just another piece of the myriad of medical papers that we encounter. But yesterday, I did.

And this is what jumped out at me.

Her official diagnosis is DM WITHOUT COMPLICATIONS.


Thank God for that.

But it just kind of smacked me. Because there's a chance she COULD have complications. One day.

Now, I'm not an idiot. It's not like I didn't KNOW that.

It's not like I don't work my a$$ off every day counting carbs and calculating doses and figuring out I:C ratios and basal increases or reductions. And I know I'm doing that because tighter control means less chance for complications down the road. And less complications mean a longer, healthier life.

I know that in my head.

I just don't always know it in my heart.

I look at my little girl and she's the picture of health. She's active, full of energy and enthusiasm, and sharp as a tack.

You can't SEE anything hurting her, destroying her body, taking years off her life.

And even though I do the heavy lifting of the D care right now and I KNOW the realities of this disease, I still see her as my perfectly healthy, perfectly normal little girl.

A mother's heart just can't see anything else.

And I think that sometimes we get so wrapped up in the DOING that we forget the other stuff.  We push it back and just don't let ourselves think about it.  We feel that our kids have some TIME.

But the orders stopped my heart cold.

They made me once again face that harsh reality that MAYBE....

MAYBE one day... We won't be so lucky to see the WITHOUT.

And all there is to do is try our best. Pray. And keep the faith.

Because we can't control this disease.  We just do our best to manage it.

 Fast Forward to tonight...

When I uploaded that pic tonight those words struck me again.

But this time they made me chuckle.


Are you kidding me?

This crazy D life is nothing BUT complicated! How much more complicated does it get?!?

I have to do MATH to feed my kid. Or to NOT feed my kid. And not just adding. HARD math. It's crazy.

I have to try to forsee every imaginable obstacle or outcome in advance.

I have to pack like I'm going on a trip just to run to the store.

I get up close and personal with TSA agents just because I TOUCHED my daughter.

I have to memorize carb counts for thousands of foods.  Well, I can look it up but after so many times I just remember.  Not that I can always remember my name or phone number.  But I can SWAG you a banana any day of the week.

I have to count out goldfish one by one. Who the hell does that?!?

I have to learn to sleep in three hour segments. Sometimes less. More is reason for celebration.

I have to write pages of instructions for someone to my watch my kid for an hour. Much less an entire school day.

I have to figure out how many carbs are needed to treat a low - taking into account things like the type of carb, IOB, time of last meal, basal rate, activity level, stress or anxiety or excitement, future stress, anxiety or excitement, future activity level, future meals, future basal rates, and the position of the moon in relation to the Earth and Sun and the North Star.

I have to not lose my mind when someone asks me for millionth time is she can eat that or should eat that or if anyone else in the family has diabetes or aren't I glad she was so young or how lucky she is that she won't know any different or how they could NEVER do what I do or something along those lines.

I have to repeat the phrase "I do not want to go to jail" over and over in my head after someone mentions the healing properties CINNAMON.

I have to practically become a nurse to handle all the injecting, inserting, filling, priming, prepping, sticking, stabbing, bubble flicking and whatnot that is required.

I have to speak this weird language where the terms basal, bolus, IOB, I:C ratio, etc make sense and are used in every day conversation.

I have to practically be a pharmacist to handle all the different prescriptions we use. And a professional organizer to store it all.

And let's not even go into dealing with insurance...

I have to walk the tightrope of taking care of my child's diabetes while giving her the freedom to be a normal kid.

I have to hide my anger or frustrations or sadness or fear because I don't want her to pick up any negativity from me.

I have to handle covert operations like sneaking a fingerstick into a playdate unnoticed or silently counting food or blending into the surroundings so I can bolus and be unnoticed by my child and her friends.

I have to be able to drive and bolus. Not wise. But sometimes mandatory.

I have to stand up for my child and advocate for her rights.

I have to research... Therapies, organizations, companies, products, treatments, non-profits...

I have to raise money and speak to Congressmen to advocate and educate about her disease.

I have to do all this.... AND everything that a "normal" mother would do. AND everything a "normal" wife would do.  AND everything a normal human would do (you know, like shower.  Brush your teeth.  Get dressed.  At least occasionally...)


Ummmm..... No.

Incredibly complicated.

But so incredibly worth it!


Halloween is Coming...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October is here!

There is a chill in the air.  The leaves are starting to change colors.  Fall festivals are in full swing.  Pumpkins and cider and corn stalks abound at local markets.

I love this time of year!

We started celebrating a little earlier than usual this year!

Sweetpea's best buddy invited us to go Halloween Camping with them this past weekend!  You may remember, this is the same friend who took us camping during the summer.  The agenda was full of hayrides, pumpkin carving, a carnival, costume contest, and trick or treating around the campsite!  HOW could we resist that?!?

Sweets and I have been looking forward to this for WEEKS! 

Finally, Friday arrived and my friend and I loaded up her van and drove our kids (4 between the two of us) down to the campsite to meet our other friend - and Sweetpea's best buddy who were kind enough to invite us and our craziness for the weekend!

We had a BLAST!

It was pretty chilly... which just made it perfect Halloween weather!

The kids had an absolute fantastic time!  And so did the adults!

Diabetes even played pretty nicely. 

Friday night we had pizza for dinner followed by marshmallows over the fire.  Marshmallows are notorious for sending her sky high...  but how can she NOT have one when everyone else is?!?  Nope - not even an option.  I just have to work on my bolusing skills.  And - surprisingly - she was actually a little LOW that night.  Seems that I over bolused a bit.  But it was a low that I caught in the 70's so I'll take that!

You may be wondering how we handle Trick or Treating with the big D....  Did she go?  Does she eat the candy?  What do we do with it?  Does it make me crazy?

Well, I LOVE Halloween!  Most of the fun is in the dressing up and going door to door ( or in the case - camper to camper), being with friends, looking at other costumes....  The candy.... well, it's not all about the candy.

I feel pretty strongly about this...  I think that kids with Diabetes should be able go trick or treating.  I think that it's my responsibility to make it work for my child.  To let her be a kid.  To let her have fun and be like everyone else.

Of course, I think how we treat our child's diabetes or how we treat our own is a very personal decision.  I think that it's important for us to acknowledge this and support one another - even if it's not the way we would do things.  Because what works for me might not work for you.  And what works for you may not work for me.  And that's ok.

So she goes.  In the past, we have let her go through her candy and sort it.  One pile of things we can use to treat lows.  One pile of her favorites (m&m's!).  One pile of stuff she won't eat.  She has "sold" me her candy before. I take the candy to school for my treasure box and she gets some cash to go buy something with. 

This year, things are going to be a little different.  As she has gotten older, we are able to add more and different things to hear low treats.  Before, the only thing she would eat was Smarties.  Now, we have added Starburst and Skilltes to that list.  And she's also found that she likes Hershey bars.  And gum.  And other things, too.  So... this year we are still going to sort.  I'll still take stuff to school.  But since there's more that she will eat, she is going to keep it.  And eat it.

Our deal is that she can eat ONE piece for dessert after dinner.  I think that is reasonable.  And honestly, I'd do that regardless of whether she had diabetes or not.  NO kid needs to gorge themselves on candy every night. 

So, she's happy.  She doesn't feel like Diabetes is taking anything away from her holiday.  And I feel good about letting her have a little treat.

And I know that the Halloween candy is going to end up just like the Easter candy... still sitting in a bucket on our kitchen counter... less than half eaten before it was long forgotten... just waiting for it's big move to the trash.


Pumpkin Decorating - D Style

Sunday, October 2, 2011

So... how to do you decorate pumpkins at YOUR house?!?

At our house, we use medical waste!

We took some inspiration from our dear, sweet Laura of Houston, We Have a Problem who decorated pods for Christmas and from Noah, The Diabetes Dude, and his family who had us decorating pods during our get together this summer.

This little pumpkin chick was made with pods and hot glue.  Ironically, Sweets calls the hot glue "glucagon".  She has test strips for eye lashes, test strips for earrings, and pods for everything else.  We thought she needed a hair accessory so we added a bow!

We were totally overwhelmed when Diabetes Art Day was going on... so I'm hoping that this can be our submission.  It's late... but I think she's pretty cute!  Check out LeeAnn's blog for more information about Diabetes Art Day!

So, are you inspired to decorate your pumpkins with D supplies?  I can about guarantee you that no one else on your block will have the same design!  We had so much fun with this that we used some D supplies to make some more art.  But you'll have to wait a few days to see that!

I'll leave you with Sweetpea's current obsession.... Calling all the Monsters by China Anne McClain from Disney's ANT Farm.  It's a cute song - and it gets stuck in your head.  Go on and watch... you can thank me later!



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