Life for a Child

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Good Luck, Charlie!

When you hear the phrase "Good Luck, Charlie" around our house, it's always been in reference to the Disney show by that name that Sweetpea adores!

Except for today...

Today we are saying "GOOD LUCK, CHARLIE!" to a different person for a very different reason.

Today is the 100th racing of the Indianapolis 500. 

I've grown up watching this race.  Tradition, in my family, was picking drivers with my parents to see who could pick the winner.  We still do that.  Sweetpea picks, too (and somehow, always makes the best picks). 

This year, there was one special driver set aside for HER to pick.  No one else was allowed to choose Charlie Kimball.



Because Charlie has Type 1 diabetes.  And Charlie wears a Dexcom.  (Read his story HERE)

Kimball drives the No. 83 car for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series and is the first licensed driver with diabetes in the history of INDYCAR. 



You can find out more about Charlie on his website: www.charliekimball.com

You can also read some articles and watch some video of Charlie  HERE and HERE.

I'll leave you today with a little letter...

Charlie,
 We are so proud of you!  While we have no idea what it really takes to race at the highest level of racing, we do know a little of what it takes to manage diabetes.  Doing both... Wow.  We want to say THANK YOU.  Thank you for not backing down, for going for your dreams, and for not letting diabetes hold you back.  You are wonderful role model for our daughter - who we hope will also follow her dreams, in spite of having diabetes.  It is important for her to see you - someone LIVING with diabetes.  Someone else wearing a "Dexie".  We also want to say GOOD LUCK!  We will be cheering for you!






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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Humble Pie: Now Served at all 504 Meetings

There are a million and one things I want to blog about.

I keep saying that...

But it's the end of the school year (Five more days... not that I'm counting!) And I'm super busy.

Not only am I trying to get my class ready for next year, I'm trying to get my KID ready for next year, too!

Not just any kid, though. My kid who also just happens to have type 1 diabetes. Otherwise known as a pancreas that crapped out WAY TOO SOON.

Tonight I have just spend HOURS in front of this screen working on her 504 plan for next year. Next year she will be in kindergarten. She will be in school all day long. Things will be different. Her care plan needs to reflect this.

I don't want to wait until the last minute. I don't want to wait until summer when everyone is on vacation. I don't want to wait until school is ready to start because that is a crazy enough time without throwing all this into the mix.

No.... It needs to be done. NOW. And so we are meeting tomorrow morning.

I'm lucky. I know it. I am blessed. And I am grateful. I teach kindergarten in the same school where Sweetpea will attend. I will be there all day. This makes me happy.

However, the time has come for Mommy to step back. (As much as Mommy does not really want to do this...) We need to start relying on the nurse and clinic aide more to deliver her insulin. We need to prepare for next year when she will no longer be in my building. Baby steps...

Even though I'm in the building and will be available for any and all emergencies or general questions....
Even though I know and love the people who work in our school...
Even though I trust them implicitly...
Even though I know they will and DO love her just as they do their own children...
Even though I could not hand pick any better people to work my baby....

I STILL think it is of the utmost importance that we have a plan in place.

Because you never know...

Things can change.
In a heartbeat.
(How well do I know this?!?)

We need to be prepared.

And we need to have this plan in place because doing it now when everything is wonderful is much easier than trying to get one in place when everything is... not.

It's important. I highly recommend it for every.single.child attending school with diabetes.

To see the plan we are using this year, click HERE.
You can also look at the "School Stuff" tab above. You'll also find lots of other sheets and resources for school - or even good for church, babysitters, or playdates!

I've also included the new glucagon directions that you can print out, cut out, and place into your glucagon kits. It's much easier than the one that comes with it and the one that's in the lid. Trying to figure out the picture when you're panicking and your hands are shaking just doesn't work. Trust me.

But this brings me to the humble pie...

No matter how "cool" you are with your child's chronic disease...
No matter how much you know it's important...
No matter how much you love and trust the school staff...

It still stings.

At least it does for me.

It's hard for me to ask for help. It's hard for me to ask people to do special things for me and my child. Even if we need it.

It's hard to acknowledge - in black and white - that my child is not like every other child. She has some special needs. She needs some special care.

I'm at the end of the THIRTEENTH YEAR teaching. (Good Hell.... I'm getting old.) I've worked with LOTS Of kids. And LOTS of kids with special needs. I've done autism, speech delays, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, PDD, Asperger's Syndrome, dyspraxia, hearing loss, ODD, ADD, ADHD, and things that have no "label". I have even done type 1 diabetes on more than one occasion. I loved them all. Each and every one.

I've sat in on all kinds of IEP meetings. I've helped with all kinds of academic and behavioral goals. I've monitored progress. I've made accommodations. I've talked with doctors. I've filled out medical surveys and questionnaires. I talked with parents. I've shared their joys. I've shared their tears.

But this is MY child.

No matter how much I've done this before....

I just never expected to be doing it for MY child.

And even though I'm glad it's not some of the things I mentioned above...
Even though I know she's going to be just fine...

It still stings.

But...

It's made me a better advocate for her.
It's made me more compassionate.
It's made me more understanding.
It's made me not only a better person, but a better teacher.

So humble pie...



It's bitter sweet.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lucky


Soooo.... D blog week! I still have 2 posts to do! (And I'm still blaming Blogger for being so late.)

The first post is supposed to be 10 things I hate about diabetes. My first thought was that thinking of 10 things would be easy peasy lemon squeezy. But as I started to really THINK about it, I realized that I've already written on this topic.

There are a blue million things that I don't like about diabetes.

And I believe that it's ok to be honest about that. I think it's ok to FEEL what you feel. And if you are hating D, go on and hate it. It's not always a bed of roses. That's for sure, huh?

Wait... No, it really IS a bed of roses. There are some weeds. And there are some nasty thorns that can get you when you least expect it. Or even when you DO expect it. Piercing flesh and making you bleed.

In my opinion, it's ok to hate that part. It's ok to get angry or mad or scared or sad or whatever. You don't have to pretend that part doesn't exist.

But don't let those thorns keep you from smelling the roses. Don't forget to see the beauty that is also there.

Look at the little person you love (or big person, or yourself). See the beauty in that life. See the strength.

So, here's the 10 (plus... way, way plus) things I hate about diabetes. And why they make me one lucky Mama!



Do you know how lucky you are?



If you've never had to pierce your child's flesh.

If you've never entered your child's bedroom with baited breath, waiting to know they are alive before you exhale.

If you have - but know that that possibility is remote and highly unlikely.

If you don't see your child's blood every single day.

If you can feed your child without thinking twice. 

If you don't have to count every morsel that goes into their mouths.

If you can send your child to school without any extra care, notification, preparation.

If you can let your child go off to play at a friends house with any added stress or explanation or directions.


If you can sleep for more than 3 hours at a time.


If the medicine cabinet on your bathroom is still functioning and has just about enough room.


If you don't have a sharps container in your house.


If your pharmacy does not know you well enough to call you by first name.


If you don't have to BEG your insurance company to give you
enough supplies to keep your child healthy.


If you don't visit a hospital every 3 months.


If you don't worry when your child falls down when playing or falls asleep in the car that he or she is actually passed out from a hypoglycemic episode.


If you don't carry around an enormous amount of medical supplies every where you go.


If you don't know what normal blood sugar is.


If your life has never been divided into before and after.


If you never spent a week in the hospital learning to keep your child alive.


If you don't fear a simple cold or a 24 hour stomach bug.  If you'd never even imagine that it could land you in the ER.


If you don't have to FIGHT so that your child can be like everyone else.


If you don't know what insulin smells like.


If you don't know how to fill a syringe. 

If you don't juggle carb counts, carb rations, ISF's, and IOB information at the same time.


If you have no idea what any of that means.

If you've never had to hold your child down to give her a shot.  Multiple times a day.  Every day.

If you've never listened to your child cry and scream, "NO!  Mommy, Don't hurt me."


If you've never had to answer your child when she asked, "Why me?  Why am I different?  Will it ever go away?"


If you don't stare death in the face every day.


If you don't really know anything about Type 1 diabetes.


Do you know how lucky you are?  Do you know how much you take for granted every day?  Do you know how much easier life is without diabetes?


Do you?


Before April 27, 2009 - I didn't.  I had no idea.  I had no idea how lucky I was. 


I had no idea how easy meal times were.  I had no idea how simple it was to get my child a glass of juice or milk.  I had no idea what a "bad cold" or "illness" was REALLY like.  I didn't know anything about carbs.  Or insurance.  Or needles.  Playing, dancing, going to school... it was all so easy. 


I had no idea.  I took so much for granted.


But now....


Now I'm on the other side. 






And do you know how lucky I am?

I know how to fill a syringe.


I know how to give a shot and insert a cannula.


I know how to count carbs and calculate insulin doses. 


I have insulin to give my child.


I have a pharmacy staff that is caring and kind.


I have a top rate children's hospital to treat my child.


I have a closer family.

I have deeper relationships.


I have enough supplies to keep my child alive and healthy.


I have been humbled by something bigger than me.


I have a school and teachers who love my child and care for her like she's their own.


I have learned to ask for help.


I have learned that I can't do it all.


I have learned to cherish the good days.


I have learned to enjoy the moment.

I have learned how fragile life is.

I have learned how strong I really am.


There are days that I hate diabetes.  I hate what it does to my child and me and my family.  I hate what it means.  I hate all that we have to do to just to appear normal and live a normal life.  I hate all that it takes away.  I hate all that it demands of us.


There are days.... days when I wish it had never entered our lives.  Days when I am so incredibly jealous of those whose lives are so much easier.  Of those who don't deal with diabetes.  Of those who don't worry daily about their child's mortality.


And when I have one of those days.....  I try to think of lucky I am.  Of all the good D has brought into our lives. 


Because I can't make it go away. 


All I can do is look for the blessings.  And feel lucky.

- originally posted 12/8/2010

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Winners are TOO SWEET!

Thanks for hanging in there with me this week!

It's been a rough one!  Sweetpea's last day of preschool was today!  She is officially a kindergartener!  (Hoe did this happen?!?)  We had her Spring Concert the other night and we had to "celebrate" tonight...  I have some pictures and video for you soon!  Add to that a school board meeting and end of the year testing (my kids are still in school for 2 more weeks).  And not sleeping well.  D is an entirely different topic.  Ever since the "incident" things have been crazy.  I feel like we have started over from square one.  There are no patterns.  Her sensitivity is INSANE.  Numbers just plain suck....  That means no sleep.  And one tired Mama.  I'm not kidding - I have not been this tired EVER.  Not even when she was born.  This week has kicked my rump.

So anyway, thanks for your patience!

Let's just get to it, shall we?

Drumroll, please.......................................




And the WINNER of the $40 gift certificate to Too Sweet Boutique is..............

BloggerStephanie said...
We need a new one!! Adam is wearing his original Too Sweet Boutique one out. :)
May 19, 2011 9:29 PM

Woo Hoo!  Stephanie, you have 48 hours to get in touch with me!  Email me at theprincessandthepump@gmail.com to claim your prize!  I hope Adam picks out a very cool pouch!

Much thanks to Amy at Too Sweet Boutique for her generosity!  She is just as amazingly wonderful as her pouches!  So.... if you did not win, go on over and buy one anyway!  You won't be sorry!


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AND....

Head on over to see Haley at Naturally Sweett to see what she has in store for her very first Sugar Bolus!!!  Give her some sugar! :) 


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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Accu-Chek Mobile and Accu-Chek Compact: A Review

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be able to try the new Accu-Chek Mobile strip free glucometer!



What makes this really cool is that it is not available in the United States!  I feel so "cutting edge"!

The other thing that makes this really cool???  STRIP FREE!  As in NO TEST STRIPS!

Let's look at the Mobile...

From the Roche website:
The Accu-Chek Mobile system allows you to test virtually whenever, wherever you want; it’s the only blood glucose meter with the breakthrough Test & Go Technology. A strip-free system with 50 tests on a continuous tape, combined with the Accu-Chek FastClix Mobile lancing device offers a whole new way of testing; simplicity and convenience. Just test. Let the Accu-Chek Mobile system do the rest.





Click HERE to see some videos about the Mobile. I reccomend Dylan's video if you are interested in a child using the device.

Here's what I think about the Mobile:

The Pros:

It is WAY COOL!

I LOVED the tape.  It was easy and mess free.  No test strips to throw away or find all over creation.  I love that it has 50 tests before you have to change anything.

You have to be careful, though, because it's not like a strip where you can take it out and put it back in to use it later... It advances automatically so if you mess up, you lose the test.

I love that it has the FastClix attached to it.  We use the Multiclix and I don't think I could go back to using a lancet where I had to load it each time.

I like how it's all together in one unit.  My original thought was that it would make it easier for Sweets to test herself.  Less moving parts...  I think that will be true.  Right now, she is still pretty small so her hands are not quite big enough yet to easily hold it... but it won't be long.  I really see this being easier for kids to use because there is no loading of test strips, no getting out the lancing device... it's all right there.  SO EASY!

I found it very easy to use and I really liked it!

The Cons and Suggestions for Improvement:

Because the Mobile has not been approved in the US and it's being used in Canada... the meter reads blood glucose in mmols.  That's only a con if you're a Yank like me who has no idea what that converts to and can't multiply by 18 easily!

My only other suggestion for improvement would be to add a little flashlight to the end where the tape is.  Like Freestyle has.  That is a very, very awesome little piece of wonderful.  A light comes in so handy when testing at night or in a movie theater or other dark place!

Would I use it?

I sure would!

Right now, we have the Animas Ping insulin pump and it is linked to a One Touch meter/remote.  So... we are kind of tied to that meter because we also use it to bolus and it contains all of her information and such.  However, I'm always on the lookout for new, improved products.  And finding something that would work better for us or encourage Sweets to want to take more responsibility over her care is important to me.

We won't be using the Mobile because of the mmol thing and the fact that I can't get more tape here in the States.... but I did really, really like it and hope that it is available here soon!

 I wasn't the only luck blogger to get this opportunity, though.  Nicole, from The We CARA Lot Blog, also is giving her review of the Mobile.  Go check out what she thinks by clicking HERE.


I also tested out the Accu-Check Compact.

I was able to get this meter free through a promotion our insurance was doing.  I never pass up a free meter!  We can always use them at school or at her Grandparent's house or to keep in the car, etc.

I was drawn to the Compact because of  it's similarities to the Mobile.

From the Roche website:
The breakthrough glucose meter system with no strips to handle and integrated lancing device.
The Accu-Chek Compact Plus system offers all-in-one convenience by putting everything together: a test strip cartridge, no coding, a detachable lancing device, and bright new characters for easy, one-handed operation.
The Compact DOES use test strips but they come in a drum of 17 "preloaded" strips.  The Compact comes with the Softclix Plus lancing device.




Here's what I think about the Compact:

The Pros:

I really like the design.  Just like the Mobile, I like how it's all in one unit but the lancing device can still detach if you like.

I really see this as something good for kids.  Sweets is able to get it all out individually... but small hands combined with fine motor skills that are still developing can make opening a test strip container, getting out ONE, loading it.... difficult and sometimes frustrating.  Which leads to not wanting to do it on your own.  Having less moving parts is nice.  No test strips to put in place.  No lancet to lose or drop out of the case (has this ever happened to you???).  Very cool.

Also cool is the way you release the strip when done.  Fun for kids.  It kind of shoots out!

I like the no coding.  I like not having to load strips.

The Cons:

It comes with the Softclix lancing device.  Like I said before... I am not going back to loading a lancet each time we test.  And I DO want to do that because I want to save those little fingers.  I know the Softclix is supposed to be good.  But we gotta do what works for us.  And I won't use anything but the Multi-clix or Fastclix.

You still have strips.  You don't load them.  But you do release them.  So you will still have strips all over creation.  Good if you want to make things with medical supplies, though.

Still no light on the meter.... I want a light people!  

Bottom line...

I like Accu-chek.  We started out with the Aviva before we got the pump.  I liked it.  A lot.  We didn't have NEAR the error messages that we get with the One Touch.

I LOVE the Multclix lancing device.  LOVE.

I think that the Compact is a step in the right direction for the US... but I want the strip free meter!  The Compact is the best option for us if you're tired of loading strips... but I want the strip free meter!  That was just really cool!  I found both to be accurate when I compared the result with our One Touch meter.  Both were right on!

If we did not have the One Touch meter remote that goes with our pump, I'd switch for good in a heart beat!  But since we do... we'll continue to use both.  Especially if Sweets find the Compact easier to use and provides her with motivation to take on this aspect of her care.

For more information about Accu-Chek...
Click HERE for the US website.
Click HERE for the Canada website.
Click HERE for the Roche website.

**  I was in not asked to blog about Accu-Check meters or lancing devices.  I was sent a free Moblie to try.  I got the Compact free from a promotion with my insurance.  All statements are my opinions.  I am not a medical professional and in no way should my opinions be taken as medical advice.  I'm not a doctor.  I just play one in real life.  I'm a Mom.  And my daughter's pancreas. **


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Monday, May 16, 2011

You Can Count On Me

Today concludes Diabetes Blog Week 2011. 

(Unless, like me, Blogger messed you up so you still have 2 posts to do...)

Today's topic is to write about what you have learned. 
Last year, Wendy of Candy Hearts made a suggestion for this year.  She commented “I think Day 7 should be a post about stuff we've learned from other blogs or the experience of coming together online...”  Today, let’s do just that!!  What have you learned from other blogs - either this week or since finding the D-OC?  What has your experience of blogging the DBlog Week topics with other participants been like?  What has finding the D-OC done for you?  If you'd like, you can even look ahead and tell us what you think the future holds!

What have I learned?

I've learned that there are other people out there like me and like my family.

I've learned that no matter what time it is, I can find someone to....
- make me laugh
- offer advice
- lend an ear
- lend a shoulder to cry
- talk it out
- sympathize
- lift me up
- offer encouragement
- give me a swift kick (if needed)
- give me HOPE

I've learned that it's possible to have best, closest friends that you've never met in person!

I've learned that doctors don't know it all.... and the best advice can come from others living this life.

I've learned that it will always get better. And worse. And better again.

I've learned that I CAN DO THIS.

I've learned that she's going to be just fine.

I've learned that it's ok to cry, to have a bad day, to get angry, to get frustrated...

I've learned how to embrace each day with FAITH.  HOPE.  and LOVE.

I've learned that I'm not alone.

And neither are you....

So I made a little video for you.

Listen to the words... and know that You Can Count On Me...

Whether you know me or not...
Whether you blog or not...
Whether you participated in D Blog Week or not...
Whether YOU have D or your child or spouse or friend...
Whether you are in a good place with D or not so much...
Whether it's morning, noon or night...
Whether you've been doing this for years or weeks or days...

I don't have all the answers.  But I'll be there any way I can... Just like the DOC has been there for me.

This is for you...


PS - If I left you out, I'm REALLY SORRY!!!!  I tried to get everyone but the computer kept eating some...  Forgive me!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's Picture Day

Today is "Picture Day" for Diabetes Blog Week! 


Looks like a normal little piggy bank.  Sweets got it shortly after she was born and it's been a little decoration in her room ever since.  We never used it... until recently.


This is a hint... Can you tell what I put inside this little piggy?  Do you know what those marks are?

It's blood.  From these...



Test strips.  I don't know why I started putting them in there.  I only do it when I check overnight.  I started it not that long ago...  And I'm the only who puts them there.


342 strips.  We counted this morning.  342 times I've pierced my daughter's finger in the middle of the night.  And that 's just tip of the iceberg.  I sometimes forget and throw them away.  J never saves them.  This is just a drop in the bucket...


Does that look like about $350? 

Well... however much it costs, it's worth it.  This is why...


A happy, healthy little girl!  
She decided to make a train out of them.  No, it's not weird to play with medical supplies!  And it's not weird to save them, either!



This is what I made!  A little portrait of my girl.

Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. 

The strips, the blood... to some it might be ugly.  Scary.  Depressing.

To us, it's normal.  It's important.  It's beautiful.  And it can be a lot of fun!


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Friday, May 13, 2011

Bolus Me, Baby! Another Too Sweet Giveaway

This post is late going  "live"  due to that little Blogger snafu that left me without access to the blog since Wednesday! So... this post is late and my D Blog week posts are late coming, too. I will post the missing ones next week... as D Blog Week stops for nothing - including Blogger Bloopers (kind of like the Diabetes itself, huh?). My sincere apologies... Anyway... on with the show...

I have the honor and privilege of hosting this week's Sugar Bolus!  And it is worth the wait... Trust Me!!

This week I am partnering with Too Sweet Boutique!  And does she have a gift for you!!

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Diabetes can be tough.  It can be ugly.  Being attached to a medical device 24 hours a day can be a drag.

I have always been of the opinion that if you've gotta do it (and we do), then you might as well do it in STYLE!  And THAT is where Too Sweet Boutique comes in!



Amy, the creator of Too Sweet Boutique and ALL of the handmade works of art, is offering one lucky reader a $40 GIFT CERTIFICATE to her shop!!!

Have you been to the Too Sweet Boutique website to check out all of her amazing products???  I seriously have to reign myself in when I visit... because I would buy one of everything!

Amy is incredible!  She personally makes all the pump pouches (for all pumps, Omnipods and cgms) she offers.  And her work is simply amazing!  Her creations are not just beautiful, they are delectable!  The selection of fabrics for girls AND boys is incredible!  There is so much to choose from!  And you can even mix it up and use multiple fabrics!  I tend to get overwhelmed by all the options... so I often tell Amy the main fabric I want and then leave the rest up to her!  I trust her totally to create amazing pouches for Sweetpea!  And she  does!  Every. single. time!



But these pouches are not just CUTE... they are comfortable and well made!  Sweetpea often will get a new pouch, fall in love with it, and NEVER TAKE IT OFF!  I mean it....  NEVER.  Only for baths.  I literally have to sneak them off of  her in the night to clean them because she is THAT attached.   So, obviously they are comfortable if she never wants to take it off!  And they are well made because they stand up to that constant wear... on a very active five year old!



The other thing that I LOVE about Too Sweet pouches is that they are discreet.  They fit against the body in a way that they don't bulge out.  You'd never know she was wearing one... However, the pouches are so darling that she often WANTS people to see them!



And people do notice them!  Sweets gets tons of compliments from adults and other children about her cute pouches!  Of course, many people have no idea what is inside!  But that's ok!  Instant education lesson!!

In addition to being discreet, the snug fit makes them perfect for an active child.  Sweetpea wears hers to gymnastics class.  She flips and flops and tumbles and they never fall off.  They never get in the way.  They never bounce around.


Amy is not just the creator of Too Sweet Boutique... She is also an amazing D Mama!   She writes this in her bio... 

I am the mother of a beautiful little girl who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was only 9 months old. My husband and high school sweetheart was dx'd with type 1 at age 26 and has been pumping for nearly 10 years.I lost my father to type 1 diabetes when I was 5. I want a cure!

I have an amazing son who is 12 and the picture of health, which I am beyond grateful for!


My little sweetie has multiple autoimmune diagnoses in addition to her diabetes, so our life with D is beyond complicated. I am dedicated to helping her live a full, happy life, no matter what it takes.
Check out Amy's blog HERE.

I'm a HUGE FAN!  Can you tell?!?  I think that Amy is one of the very best things about the DOC!  She and her beautiful family are an inspiration!  

I am also IN LOVE with Too Sweet Boutique!  And I hope that you are, too!  If you have not tried one of her pouches... it's a must!



So... whether you are a faithful customer, a newbie, or somewhere in between.... HERE IS YOUR CHANCE to win a $40 gift certificate!!!

Here's the rules...

1.  Leave me a comment before midnight Thursday, May 19, 2011.  Include your first name (comments left with out a name will be eliminated).

** You MUST leave me a comment on this blog to be entered.** 

2. To earn extra entries for the giveaway post a separate comment for each: 

     * Tweet about this giveaway, then leave a comment with a link
      
     * Facebook about this giveaway, then leave a comment with a link

     * Blog about this giveaway, then leave a comment with a link

- No duplicate comments are allowed and will be eliminated.

- Winners will be selected via random draw at http://www.random.org/.  

- Winners' names will be posted here on The Princess and The Pump on Friday May 20, 2011

GOOD LUCK!!!


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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sweetpea Poetry: Rockin the Wild Card

Didn't think I was going to make it, did ya?!? Well, I have a whole 17 minutes to spare! I'm eeking this one in at the 11th hour due to a crazy day involving taking a class of kindergarteners to the farm, being covered in sweat and goat spit, a Dex error (failed sensor) while I was not at school, a stomach bug that has been causing Sweets diarrhea since SUNDAY, and TWO site changes. But I made it!

On a funny note, J and I were trying to figure out what in the world is causing all of these issues... everything from "stomach bug" (which makes Sweets think there is a REAL bug somewhere...) to "parasite" to "another auto immune disease" (Please, God, No more...). We were trying to think if it could be diet related. Sweetpea pipes up and says, "Uh... Can we NOT talk about my poopy issues while we're eating?!?" I love that kid!

Day Three of Diabetes Blog Week: Bloopers. Yup, I've got them. Lots. But they are boring. So instead I'm going with the wild card....

I started this little poem/rhyme/take on Madeline the night before Sweetpea's 2nd Diaversary. What is now known as "The Scariest Night of My Life". In fact, I was writing this when it all went down.

So, it's taken on a little different spin... but I finished it.

We LOVE Madeline and it's based on the book, Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelman.

I hope you enjoy it...


In a house in Ohio
far from the sea
Lived a little girl with diabetes.

She had to count the carbs in bread
and test her blood
when she went to bed.

She smiled at the good.
And frowned at the bad.
And sometimes she was very sad.

For 744 days
No matter how much she prayed
diabetes just stayed and stayed

She was not afraid of (finger) sticks
She loved singing and gymnastics
And when a site change she must do
She could sleep right on through

And it was very plain to see
Her parents just adored Sweetpea.

In the middle of the night
Mom and Dad turned on the light
and said, "Something is not right."

Little Sweetpea sat in bed
She cried and cried
Her face was red.

When the meter just read LOW
Her Mama rushed out to the phone
And when she dialed Nine-One-One
"Hurry!" she said. "Please, please come!"

Everybody had to cry.
Not a single eye was dry.



Little Sweets held in my arms
With her blankie, keeping warm
In a car with a red light
They drove out into the night.

When Sweets woke up from her daze
All was well, her bg had raised.

Little Sweets soon ate and drank.
On her bed there was a crank.
Outside there were birds and sky
In the playroom, the day passed by

Later that day she was so glad
To go back home with Mom and Dad.

"Good Night, Sweetpea!
Thank the Lord you are fine.
Now go to sleep,
Sweet child of mine."



And they turned out the light
And closed the door.

And that's all there is
There is no more.


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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dear Dexcom: When Thank You Isn't Enough

Diabetes Blog Week 2011: Letter writing day - Tuesday 5/10: In February the Wego Blog Carnival asked participants to write letters to their condition.  You can write a letter to diabetes if you’d like, but we can also take it one step further.  How about writing a letter to a fictional (or not so fictional) endocrinologist telling the doctor what you love (or not) about them.  How about a letter to a pretend (or again, not so pretend) meter or pump company telling them of the device of your dreams?  Maybe you’d like to write a letter to your child with diabetes.  Or a letter from your adult self to the d-child you were.  Whomever you choose as a recipient, today is the day to tell them what you are feeling.

This was an easy choice for me. I've been wanting to write this letter for two weeks.

Dear Dexcom,

Where do I even begin to tell you this tale.  I suppose I should begin at the beginning.

A year ago, we did a trial run with your Seven Plus device for our four year old daughter.  We were lured in by the thought of having a pair of eyes on the inside and a better understanding of what her blood sugar does during the day - and most importantly, the night.  Pictures of graphs and continual readings caught - and held - our attention.

But... We were worried.  The sensor is kind of large.  When you are a small little person, like Sweetpea, it takes up a lot of room!  We worried about her needing to wear another device around her waist.  Worried that she wouldn't like it.  Worried that it would be uncomfortable.  Worried that it wouldn't work the way we hoped.

Night one... after watching the gray bar turn - like magic - into numbers....  We were hooked.  The Seven Plus was a very welcome houseguest!  One we knew we needed to add to our family immediately.

It was really hard giving it back after seven days.  I did not want to.  But we did.  Luckily, our own "Dexie" arrived soon after.



And we have been continuously monitoring glucose ever since!

Our worries were quickly put to rest.  Our daughter didn't mind wearing the receiver.  In fact, she became quite attached.  We were surprised to learn that she felt safer wearing it.  Here we thought that was just us!  The size and comfort has never been issue.  It's become just another part of her.

Sure, we have times when we see the ???.  Or times when the numbers are off.  Even one time when we got a ! message and had to return ours for a replacement.  But nothing and no one is perfect.

And we are thankful for all the times it has been right on with accuracy.  Which is more often than not.  Dexie is a keeper!  And it has even saved the day!

I can't tell you how much having the Seven Plus means to us.  It's changed the way we manage Sweetpea's diabetes.

Being diagnosed at three years of age, we learned to bolus AFTER meals.  We were still doing this when we started using the Seven Plus.  Well.... it didn't take more than one time looking at the graphs and SEEING what her blood sugar does with a post bolus to realize that we needed to start working our way to prebolusing for food.

But more than that... The Dexcom Seven Plus CGM saved our daughter's life.

Literally.

A few weeks ago, we had a problem with her pump.  It's a long story.  It was The Scariest Night of My Life.  We learned first hand how diabetes can change in a heart beat and go from normal to emergency faster than you can blink.

We still don't know exactly WHAT happened or WHY.  We probably never will.  What we do know is that her blood sugar was 500.  We corrected.  An hour later she was 400.  She went to bed.

Dexie was hanging on her bedside rail.  Keeping watch over our slumbering girl.

An hour later, we heard the three beeps through the baby monitor.

We assumed she was coming down fast.  My husband went upstairs to check.

Dexie said 80 double arrows down.

He tested her and she was 32.  Most of a juice box later, she was no longer able to drink.  The meter just read LOW.  She had two seizures.  We grabbed the glucagon.  We called 911.  She was not with us... We truly thought she was going to die.

She's fine now.  The glucagon worked.  Her blood sugar came up.  She was in the hospital for a day.  She remembers nothing.

But we do.

We will never forget those three little beeps that alerted us that she was in danger.

Without the Dexcom... I can't even imagine what we would have found when we checked an hour to two later.

You saved her life.

Plain and simple.

But it's not simple.  And a simple THANK YOU seems so inadequate.

YOU.  YOUR company.  YOUR product.  That little piece of gold she wears every single day.  Saved her life.

Because of you, she can run and play like every other five year old.
Because of you, she gets to enjoy gymnastics class.
Because of you, her teachers don't worry all day.
Because of you, her parents don't worry... as much!
Because of you, the parents of her friends are more willing to invite her over to play.
Because of you, she gets to be normal.
Because of you, we can SEE what certain foods do to her blood sugar.
Because of you, we can see trends faster and more effectively.
Because of you, her care is better.
Because of you, her risk of complications is less.
Because of you, we are not totally afraid to sleep at night.
Because of you, she will grow up.
Because of you, she has a future.
Because of you, she is alive.

Because of you.



Thank you.

From the bottom of our hearts.  From the depths of our souls.

Thank you.


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Monday, May 9, 2011

Admiring Our Differences - Diabetes Blog Week 2011

Today is the start of Diabetes Blog Week!


D blog week is the brain child of Karen of Bitter-Sweet. Last year was a huge success and so she's brought it back again with new, engaging topics! To find out more, sign up, or find the other bloggers involved, click HERE!

Today's topic is Admiring Our Differences. We are supposed to pick a blogger who is different from us and write about why they inspire us and why we admire them.

Like Karen, I have learned so much from my fellow bloggers.

I enjoy reading the blogs written by adults with Type 1. They give me a glimpse into what Sweetpea's future may be. A little preview of how she may deal with diabetes as an adult or how she may feel about it. I find these blogs to be addictive! I appreciate their honesty and openness so very much! It's quite a gift that they give us! And I am forever grateful for them!

I also love reading the blogs written by other parents of children living with diabetes.

I suppose that you might not think they are different from me. We are all parent bloggers.

However, I find that even though we are all parents of children with diabetes- that can be where our similarities end.

We have children of different ages.
We are at different stages in our journeys with diabetes.
We choose different ways to deliver insulin.
We feel differently about how often we should test our children.
We let go in different ways and at different times.
We choose different ways to educate our kids.
We have different opinions about sleeping through the night.
We put different things in our supply bags.
We choose different companies and brands.
We support different organizations.
We advocate differently.
We feel that diabetes affects us and our families in different ways.

By reading the blogs of those "like me", I have never been more aware of the fact that diabetes affects each person and each family in different ways.

Your Diabetes May Vary.

And - possibly most importantly - DIFFERENT IS OK!

Recently, I've been reading more and more blogs, comments, tweets, Facebook updates, and the like that well.... Aren't quite celebrating our differences. Not even close. Some of the things I've been reading have been rather judgmental, rude, and just plain mean!

This makes me so sad.

One of the best things about the DOC, to me, has always been the love and acceptance I've found here.

And that's what I hope that others will find here, too.

We don't have to agree on everything. We don't have to do things the same way.

It would be boring if we did!

I would love for us to treat each other with respect. I would love for us all to believe that we can agree to disagree. I would love for us to all keep on mind that we are all doing what we believe is right for ourselves and our families.

Passion is good.  Passion is what keeps us going.  It's what gets things done.  We have passion!

I just hope that we keep in mind what the enemy is.  The enemy is diabetes.

We're all on the same team.  We all have the same goal.

I don't mean to be all "preachy". And I most certainly don't mean to come across like I know everything. Cuz I don't!!! There are days when it seems that everything I know wouldn't fill a thimble.

I just love this community! I've learned so much from so many! I've found people I consider to be my closest friends. I believe that our care and management is so much better than it would be if we were on our own.

And it's my wish that the DOC would continue to be that for everyone involved.

We are all special.
We are all important.
We are all unique.

Not let's sit in a circle and sing Kum by ya! Or not....


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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I'd like to wish all the MOM's out there a very happy Mother's Day!

And to those of you who are D Mamas.... I have a very special wish for you!

I read this poem on the Parenting Diabetic Kids blog and I just had to share it...

A Mother's Promise by Gary Hempleman

She walks down the hallway in silence so deep,
Keep watch over him, as her little one sleeps.
With meter in hand, she opens his door,
Making sure not to wake him as she crosses the floor,
She sits on his bedside and brushes his hair,
As he dreams of shooting baskets, without a "D" care.
She holds his hand softly; his fingers so small,
As she watches and wonders why "D" came to call.
While she watches him sleeping, so peaceful and warm,
The forces inside him fight a constant "D" storm.
Will he ever be free of shots and blood testing?
She sits and she wonders as she watches him resting.
The beep of the meter breaks the silence of the night;
A small drop of blood tells if everything's right.
The seconds count down to the final display,
I hate this damn meter; i want to throw it away.
The number is fine, one down, a lifetime to go,
As he turns in his sleep, will he ever know?
Why does this "D" happen to someone so small?
My son is my hero, but my baby most of all.
She turns at his doorway, looking back one more time,
It's a nightly routine of the very worst kind.
She walks down the hallway and time passes by,
As she sits in dark silence and quietly cries.
I have to stay strong, and for him i will fight,
We'll battle this "D" with all of our might.
I'll teach him to master and conquer this foe,
This "D" will not stop him, I promised him so.
Gary 2001


 To all my D Mamas...

Being a Mother is hard.  Being a Mother to a child with diabetes is... Wow.

I can't say that it's harder because I don't know what it's like to be a Mother of a child without diabetes.  Well... I did.  For 3 years.  Regardless... it's a tough, demanding job.

I salute you all.

Whether you choose to use a pump or multiple daily injections...
Whether you log numbers or not...
Whether you support JDRF, DRI, Dr. Faustman, or something else...
Whether you check your child 10+ times a day or "only" 4...
Whether you check overnight or not...
Whether you count carbs or do carb factors...

We all love our children more than anything in the world.  We do what we do for them.  To give them the best possible chance at a long, healthy, happy life.  We all do what we think is right.

We are all heroes.  We are all warriors.

I thank you.... because you do what you do not just for your child... but for mine, as well.

I also really LOVED Cara's blog post over at Every Day Every Hour Every Minute - a letter to her Mom.  And not just because she mentioned me!  No - it's her letter to her mother that brings tears to my eyes. While we don't do what we do, as D Mamas, for a "thank you" - it's still nice to hear it!   I only hope that Sweetpea will one day grow into the strong, brave woman that Cara is! 

Wishing you all a very happy Mother's Day!

I will leave you with a beautiful video made by Tracy, Mom of the Diabetes Dude!

Click HERE to see it!
(pause the playlist first!)

To read last year's Mother's Day post, click HERE.  It includes the story "How God Selects the Mother of a Child with Diabetes" by Erma Bombeck.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

A New Winner

Guess what?!?

One of my winners did not claim her prize. Sad. But true.

The good news is that I still have a prize to give away!

It's this beautiful necklace from Sugarfree Jewellery!



I ran on over to Random.org and got a number....

Lucky Number 13!!!

And that Lovely Lady is.... LORA ACKERMAN!

Lora.... contact me for your prize! And Congrats!

And Thanks again to Sugarfree Jewellery for such awesome prizes!


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