In the Blink of an Eye

Saturday, December 15, 2012

This is a diabetes blog.

But this is also a blog about a family.

It's a blog about a Mom trying to deal with everything life throws at her with strength, humor, and a little bit of grace.

So I just have to write about this today.

I could not sleep last night.

Usually it's diabetes that keeps me awake.  And usually by Friday night, I practically pass out from exhaustion.  But not last night.

Last night my heart was incredibly heavy.  And it's no different this morning.

Jason texted me yesterday morning with the THRILLING news that the new Omnipod FINALLY had FDA approval.  I can not tell you how excited I was!  Giddy!  And I will post more about this very, very soon!

But then he texted me that there had been a school shooting.  In a kindergarten class.  And there were many, many children who had been killed.

Folks, I teach kindergarten.

I read that text (because every D Mama ALWAYS has her phone on her at all times) in the middle of my classroom.  In the middle of my 28 kinders.

Shock.  Tears.

I looked around my room at all those precious little faces and was simply overwhelmed with grief and sadness.

How could this happen?  WHY?

I'm not just a kindergarten teacher.  I'm also the mom of a six year old.  All I could think of was how horrible this was for those parents who lost their precious little ones.  And how awful it was for the teachers and school staff.  I love my kinders like my own.  They are "my" kids.  I would do anything to keep them safe.

As parents of kids with a life threatening, chronic disease, we look death in the face every day.

Ok, so maybe that's a bit dramatic.  Maybe it's stretching a little.

But we know how quickly things can go from fine to NOT FINE.  We know how one decision can impact a multitude of things in very serious ways.  We know how fragile life is.

We know that we are not exempt from tragedy.

We know that we are not immune.  That sometimes bad things happen for no reason.

We know that pain and disease and death doesn't just happen to "other people".

We have all sat in a room and been told that it's happening to US.  To OUR KIDS.

And it changes you.  It changes the way you think.

I now appreciate the good days, the small moments, the beauty of this world so much more than ever before.  Even when things are crazy busy, I look deeper.  I feel deeper.  I know how quickly things can change.

And maybe that's why this tragic school shooting has really gotten to me.

Because I know I'm not exempt.  And neither is my baby.  It could have easily been MY classroom.  It could have easily been HER classroom.

This morning I am so thankful to have my little girl here with me.  Alive and well.  I watch her walk around and laugh and play in her little Hello Kitty pajamas and I am so thankful.  I think of all my kinders and I am so thankful for each of their sweet little faces.

I don't have anything wise to say.  I don't have anything that will dull this ache.

The only thing I have to offer up are prayers.  Prayers for the school community as they are dealing with this horrific loss of life.  This horrific loss of their own.  Prayers for the parents and families of each of those precious babies.

Friends, hug your littles today.  No matter how little or big they may be.

And join me in my wish of peace for the families, community, and world.



** This is the perfect time to look into your lock down procedures for your T1.  If you do not have lock down procedures in place, this is the time to do it.  If you do already have procedures in place, this is a perfect time to review them.  I know I'm going to be talking to Sweetpea's teacher and nurse and reviewing our plan.  As I'm reviewing the plan for the T1 in my class and making sure everyone is aware of what needs to happen.**




Photobucket

Wiser Words

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In the past few posts, (here and here) I've been talking about how diabetes has been forced to take a back seat over the past few months.  I've talked about how it's kind of melted into the background and become just a - dare I say? - normal part of our lives.

But before you start thinking I've found the magic elixir that puts diabetes in it's place and keeps it there, I guess I better come clean.

It hasn't been all rose colored glasses.

Nope.  The glasses are definitely still tinted blue.

The other day I was spending a few minutes (*wink*) browsing on Pinterest when I saw this quote:


And it just stopped me in my tracks.

Wiser words have never been spoken.

I might be able to push diabetes into the background.  I might be able to ignore it for awhile.  I might be forced to put other things ahead of it from time to time.  And that might be a good thing.

But none of that makes it go away.

About a week ago, Mr. Funky ( our Elf on the Shelf) came back to visit us. Sweets had been asking about him for days.  And then one morning, he showed up!  And boy did he show up!  He brought with him a very special breakfast and letter from Santa (more on that later).

Sweets was over the moon with excitement!  The snowman was made of donuts, laffy taffy, chocolate chips, a mini peanut butter cup and m&m's.  Yummy!



Sweets had been running low and when we tested her before breakfast the number that popped up on the meter was a big, fat 54.

Sweets was happy because this meant she could eat the WHOLE THING!

As I stood there watching her eat her special treat, I say a normal six year old little girl brimming with Christmas excitement!

And I also saw a six year old little girl whose hands were shaking.  She was having trouble eating.

THUD.

In that moment, all the pretense, all the fear, the pressure, the worry, the anger, the frustration, the hurt, the pain, the regret, the guilt.... all of it came crashing down around me.

The pain is still there.  It might be hidden under scar tissue.  You might not be able to see it unless you look close enough.  But it's all still there.

I didn't know if I wanted to scream or cry.  WHY?  WHY must she have to deal with disease?  WHY does it have to create havoc in her body?  WHY does it change the rules on me constantly?  WHY can't she just eat her special breakfast in peace?

We gave her some orange juice.  We never give her orange juice.

With a smile stretching across her toothless little face she said, "This is the best low EVER!"

*sigh*

Sweet, sweet girl.  I'm glad that's how she sees it.  I'd walk to through fire to make sure that she keeps that positive outlook.  D kids (and peeps) are amazing like that.  Tough as nails.  Sweet as sugar.

I tell myself not to let it bother me.  If it's no big deal to her...  Why should I let it get to me?

But those shaking hands.  They tear the scars off a Mama's wounded heart.


Photobucket

Help Needed

Monday, December 10, 2012

I'm one of those people who always believe that you can find some good even in the crappiest of crappy situations.

Jason's heart issues have been no different.  Not that I'd recommend it!  But still....





As I said in my last post, diabetes has been forced to take a back seat to other issues lately.  And that's not been a bad a thing.

Honestly, I NEEDED something to MAKE me step back because otherwise it would not have happened on it's own.  I know myself.  I hold on tight.  Taking a step back - even when desperately needed - wouldn't have happened naturally.

But I was FORCED to do just that.  And not only did it turn out to be a good thing, it taught me a thing or two as well.

As you may know, Jason had one heart procedure done and then needed to schedule another.  He went to the doctor about six weeks after the heart attack and his cardiologist said he was doing well and he wanted to do the procedure the next week.  That was a bit of a surprise - we hadn't expected it to get done so fast.  So we were just waiting for the person to call and schedule.

Well, the best laid plans, right?  The next day, Jason started having chest pains.  NEXT DAY.  Of course, he did not tell me this until about this until 5 pm while test driving a possible new car.  We had met at the car dealer and had two cars.  I had promised to take Sweets to the pumpkin patch.  That's where we were headed.  He wasn't sure what he needed to do.  Finally, I convinced him to go the ER and just MAKE SURE everything was ok.

Well, here's where it gets tricky.  Because it's not like you can just leave your T1 kid with anyone.  And especially not overnight.

Luckily, I have some amazing people in my life that can are up to that job.  I called my BFF and she fed Sweets dinner and kept her while I went to the hospital.  Nothing was happening there.  I sat with J and waited and waited... And finally, we decided that I needed to go home and put Sweets to bed.  She does better when I'm there at bedtime.  So I did.  And my parents came to stay with J in the ER.

I had no sooner gotten to my BFF's house than J called and said they were going to keep him overnight and do the procedure in the AM.  Ok.... I needed lesson plans and a sub and a way to get Sweets to school and should I go to the hospital for the night and leave her with someone else or what?  Misty is the only one who has ever done a nighttime before and that was the LAST time we were in the ER.

I got Sweets home and was working on getting her ready for bed when she said, "MOM!  There's blood in my pod!"

Are you freaking kidding me?  That NEVER happens.  Why that night of all nights?!?

So I was getting her ready for bed and helping her with her homework and getting ready to do a pod change when J calls me and says the cardiologist didn't want to wait and they were going to do the procedure THAT NIGHT.  Like NOW.

Well....

I told him I'd be there as soon as I could get the pod change done.

Fastest pod change in history.  Packed a bag and headed back to hospital after my parents came to watch Sweets.

They have not watched her overnight since she was diagnosed.  It freaks them out.  But they did it!
Of course, it ended up being a HORRID night.  Lots of lows.  My poor parents really had their work cut out for them and they didn't sleep a wink.

Being the awesome person she is, my BFF went to the hospital with me so I didn't have to sit in the waiting room alone.  She was there all night.  With McDonald's coke.

I didn't even make it to the hospital before they started his procedure.  All went well and he was resting in ICU within an hour.

Here's what I learned....

I'm SO LUCKY to have people in my life that can and will take care of my child.  Misty, my parents, and my BFF were all so willing to help us in any way they could.  I will be forever grateful for that.  Having them there - willing and able to help us out - was a blessing!

I NEED to teach people how to take care of her!  I NEED people to do it!  J and I are such a team...  We rarely leave her with anyone.  It's a lot to ask....  We just don't do it.  But that's not good.  If you don't have someone in your life who can step in and bolus your kid for a meal and test their bg, you need to find someone.  Whether it's a friend or family member or another D Mama you met on facebook....  You have got to have a team behind you.  You just never know when you're going to need it.

I know that's not easy.  Trust me.

I don't like to ask for help.  I often feel like asking people to take care of diabetes is a burden, too much to ask, something I never push on anyone.  I have always felt like it was ok.  I could handle it.

I had a moment sitting in the hospital where it just hit me....  I needed help.  I couldn't be in two places at once.  J needed me.  Sweets needed to be taken care of.  And I could literally count one one hand the number of people who could actually step in and take care of my child.

Wow.

Sometimes being so self sufficient isn't such a great thing.

I urge you to learn from me.  If you're like me... well, you've just got to find some folks who can fand will step in if needed.

There's more.  More I learned.  More to tell about how life has changed the past few months.

But I'm tired.  And I need to go correct a blood sugar!

In the past, I would have kept working.  Kept writing.  But I'm working on realizing my limitations. (I don't like to admit they exist... but they sooooo do!)

So, until tomorrow....


Photobucket

Shhhh! Don't Tell Anyone, But...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Shhhhh!

Don't tell anyone, ok?

But the truth is diabetes has kind of taken a back seat the past couple of months.

Not back seat like, "Oh my gosh! I locked my kid in the back seat of the car with the windows up in 130 degree temperatures for 48 hours and I totally didn't notice!"

More like, "Oh my gosh!  You were so quiet watching your movie that I forgot you were back there for   a few minutes!"

Diabetes never lets you forget about it for long.  Even if you actually TRY.

We've had so much going on.  There hasn't been time to pour over numbers.  Obsess about what's not working.  I simply haven't had it in me to THINK about much of anything.  It's been one foot in front of the other.

And that's actually not been so bad.

There's truth in that.  

I haven't had time to deal with diabetes.  Or the emotions that come with it.  

And after a while...  that pretending (or forgetting or ignoring or whatever) kind of stuck.  

And it was nice to forget for a while.

But pretending can't last forever.  Diabetes only stays in the background so long.  It starts seeping in.  Like it or not.  

The flash of the meter.  The trembling of hands.  The stains of blood.  A tear.  A comment.  

And all the pretense crumbles. 

There it is.  The pain, sadness, frustration, fear, anger, overwhelmed feeling is back.  

Only.... it's different.

It's not quite the same.  Not quite as strong.

Maybe it's knowing that you can survive just fine when you're not on your A game all the time.  Maybe it's knowing that your child's A1c can stay exactly the same without all the obsessing.  Maybe it's realizing that you can take a little mental break from time to time and everyone stays alive.  Maybe it's seeing that you don't have to put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect, to be "ON" all the time.

Whatever the reason, I'll take it.  

Another weapon to add to D arsenal.

** While I highly recommend taking a mental break from the pressures of the D life, I do NOT recommend giving your significant other a heart attack in order to do so.  There must be a better way.  I, however, am stubborn so it takes a lot get the point across for me!  As always, this is not medical advice.  Please don't leave your child in the car or decide to ignore diabetes completely for days on end.  Although both sound quite nice from time to time - in reality they are very bad.  You have been warned.**


Photobucket

Swimming Through Jello

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

That's how I've been feeling.

Like I'm swimming through jello.

Stuck.  Unable to move.  Every slight movement a big struggle.  One step forward, two steps back.

I haven't blogged since OCTOBER?!?  For reals?!?

Well, I guess that sounds about right.  Stuck.

A lot has happened since I last wrote.  There's probably no way I can fill you in on all of it.  Here's a short list:

- Jason went to the cardiologist who said everything was fine and wanted to schedule his surgery for the following week.  Well, the next day he started having chest pains.  Of course he didn't tell me this until 5pm.  He ended up going to the ER just to be safe.  The EKG they did showed changes and so faster than you can say "double bacon cheeseburger" he was having another surgery and they were putting in the other stent.  It was so fast, I didn't even get back to the hospital before he went in.  OF COURSE, Sweetpea's pod had blood in the cannula window - first time EVER.  So I had to do a pod change before I could go.  He was in the hospital a couple of days and then went back home.  He is doing quite well now.  He's going to rehab and behaving himself quite nicely - although he still yells at the TV much to Sweetpea's dismay.

- Sweetpea's school nurse (you know, the AMAZING one) LEFT.  Yes, I'm serious.  She got promoted (I guess that happens when you're awesome).  She is still around but now she's the head nurse and Sweetpea's school got a new nurse.  I really like the new nurse (that's what Sweets called her for WEEKS - "New Nurse").  She seems to get the seriousness of diabetes (which I'm glad since there are SIX girls in her school).  She is trying really hard to learn everything.  I'm sure it's overwhelming learning all about diabetes and how to treat six different kids.  There was so much going on that I didn't really freak out about it.  We've just rolled with it.

-  Sweetpea is LOVING first grade and having a T1 buddy in her class.  She is very happy and adjusting quite well to being away from Mom.  And you know what?  Mom is adjusting quite well to being away from Sweets!

-  School has been a challenge with blood sugar and the pile up of activity that occurs in the afternoons.  She can drop 50-100 points in 15 minutes.  We've made some headway and feel like we are finally getting somewhere with this.  Blood sugars have been running LOW.

-  We got the new Dexcom G4.  WOO HOO!  I will DEFINITELY post more on this later.  In case you don't know, the Dexcom is not approved for pediatric use although it IS in human trials.  We were lucky enough to get ours RIGHT (like 2 weeks) before the labeling changed.  So, our hospital will still let us keep it.  They will not, however, write new scripts for it.  (Some endo's have no problem prescribing it.  You just have to check with your doc!)  When we went to order the G4, our insurance said Great!  Go right ahead.  We will cover it 100%!  Then Dexcom told us that they are no longer working with our insurance and so we had to go through a third party supplier.  Whatever.  BUT... the new supplier needed a NEW letter of medical necessity.  *sigh*  Why does it always have to be so difficult?  We were afraid, of course, that the doc wouldn't give us a new letter.  BUT... she did.  It took a while.  But we got it.  And we love it!

- Halloween.  Trick or Treating.  In the sleet.  With your Type 1.  Fun times. Enough said!  Truly- we love Halloween and had a great time!  I swagged some monster marshmallows at her school party (I'm not kidding.  These things were ginormous.) and we rocked it!

- Sweets has NO TEETH.  She has lost FOUR in the past few weeks.  Can you guess what she wants for Christmas?!?

- We participated in our fourth Walk to Cure Diabetes!  We raised a little over $11,000 this year for a four year total of over $50,000!

-Other things of possible interest that I'm hoping to blog about soon: falling off the beam at gymnastics (again), awesome gymnastics teacher, the return of Mr. Funky (our elf on a shelf), really enjoying having a T1 in my class, hanging with D friends, World Diabetes Day, Instagram, some awesome giveaways coming soon and more.



So there you have it.  The highlights (or low lights) of the past two months.

I miss blogging.  I miss YOU!

It's just this jello keeps me stuck.  And before I know it one day has become the next and the next and I'm exhausted and working all the time and... here we are!

BUT

It's time to turn up the heat.

Time to melt the jello and get on with it!


Photobucket

Anxious You??? Anxious Me!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Awhile ago I told you that I would be telling you a little something about me that not many people know.

And then LIFE happened.  And sharing didn't.

But it's time!

I was honored to be asked by Alexis by help her with a new project that she was starting.  A project about anxiety.

You might already know that Alexis has anxiety.  You might have seen her incredible vlog about it.  When I saw it, I knew I had to get in touch with her.  We have been friends for what feels like forever but I never knew....  And I had to tell her.... ME TOO!  I could SO relate to everything she was saying.

Since then, we've gotten closer - as any shared experience is likely to do.  I hate that we both deal with it but I'm so glad to have a friend who truly "gets it".  When she asked me if I wanted to help her with her project, Anxious You, Anxious Me, I quickly said YES!

And then I thought.... What did I just agree to?!?

Do I REALLY want to tell everyone that I go through times when I really worry about pretty much everything you can imagine?!?  What if people think I'm crazy?  Or unstable?  Or that I can't handle things?

And then I decided to heck with it.... If me telling you all that I'm a crazy worrier can help someone not feel alone, help someone feel some "same-same".... it's worth it.

So here I go.... Here's my story...

I've always been a worrier.  For as long as I can remember.  I remember being worried about going blind as a child. I'm not sure WHY I was worried about that.... but I'd read this book about Helen Keller and.....  worry.

I've always worried but I've also been able to control it.  I'd worry about something but it never really impacted my life too much.

And then life started hitting HARD.

Shortly before Sweets was dxd, J's brother was dx'd with leukemia.  In fact, his blogging about his experience is what gave me the idea of starting this blog.  He was 39 at the time.  Very healthy.  It was a freak thing.  Thank the Lord he is ok now.  But at the time... it was awful.  It was scary.  Their kids were young, he was in isolation for weeks and couldn't see them, he was REALLY sick... awful.  Heartbreaking.

And it sent my anxiety into overdrive.  I was convinced I had some terrible disease.  Convinced I was going to die.  I got so worked up I started having back and chest pain.  I FINALLY went to the doctor (because even though I worry, I do NOT like going to the doctor) and she said I was fine.  And so I was.

For awhile.

Then Sweets was diagnosed.  And I held it together really well in the hospital.  But once we were home...  my nerves were on edge.  I couldn't eat.  Nothing stayed down long.  I had awful headaches.  I thought I had a brain tumor.

In time, it got better.

But I've learned - I do not handle illness all that well.  Hearing about someone suffering or being diagnosed with something sends me over the edge.  I simply can not separate myself from the situation. I put myself in the person's place, think about how they are feeling and how their family is feeling and what they are going through... it makes me physically sick.

It would be easier if I just didn't care.  But I do.  I really do care.  My heart breaks and I have a very hard time not obsessing about it.

I go through periods where I'm fine and things don't throw me too much.

And then it's back.  And the worry, the obsessing begins again.

Surprisingly, I'm doing well right now.  I fully expected J's heart attack to throw me.  And maybe it will once it's all over and we get the second surgery out of the way...  but right now, I'm good.  And I'm thankful.

Of course, I hide it well.  Only those who really know me know about it.  I don't talk about it much.  I mean, it's not really casual dinner party conversation - you know?!?

I don't tell you this to get sympathy.  Or ask for advice.  I'm dealing with this.  My doctor knows.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.  I mean hey - some things have to kept private!

I'm putting this out there to say that if you deal with anxiety, worry...  you are not alone.

And YOU CAN DO THIS!

The amazing Kim from Texting My Pancreas and The You Can Do This Project put together a video for this project with clips from Alexis, Kate and me talking about our worry.  Take a few minutes to watch it HERE.

You can also get connected with other people who worry at Anxious You, Anxious Me on facebook and twitter.  It's not a place for medical advice.  Just a place to feel some "same same" from people who get it.

Life has been hitting us hard here lately - but I'm planning on blogging about first grade and other fun stuff SOON!  Thanks for being patient with me - and for all the love and support in the midst of all our craziness!


Photobucket

DSMA LIVE: Parent's Talk

Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm here!

I know I've been MIA.  I think about you guys ALL THE TIME!  It's just that we've had so much craziness going on the past few weeks that time to blog just has not existed.

There's so much I want to tell you....

Updates on J
How Sweets like First Grade
How D is behaving in a new school with a new nurse
Our JDRF Walk to Cure that is this coming weekend
Sweets on TV!

And so much more....

Not sure when I'm going to get to all that.

BUT....  If you want to HEAR me LIVE, check out DSMA LIVE: Parent's Talk!  I'm the guest tonight!  And I can't wait!  I'll be talking about school and D and probably a million other things!  Please come hang out with me!



It's TONIGHT at 9pm - EST.

Just go HERE!

Hope to TALK to you tonight!

(EEEK!  I'm so excited!!!)

Photobucket

Pay it Forward - The One I Didn't Want to Write

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I've been sitting here staring at a blank screen.  Wondering where I even begin to tell you this story.

This story I don't really want to tell.  Because that makes it too real.  And I don't want any part of this tale to be real.

I've deleted it twice now because no words seem quite right.

I guess I'll start at the beginning.  Before diabetes.  Before the DOC.  Before Sweetpea.  Before marriage.

If you've been reading for a while, you may know that J and I met online.  9 years ago.  We talked through emails for a weeks - months - before actually meeting in person.  When we DID meet IRL for the first time, it was like meeting an old friend.  Not a stranger.  We knew each other.  Our connection had been made and in many ways was stronger and deeper than it ever would have been had we met in a "traditional" way.

So I shouldn't be surprised - now - when some of my very best, my very closest friends are ones I've never met in person.

I have a group of Mamas that I cherish.  Most of us have never met IRL.  It doesn't matter.  We have been through good times and bad together.  We have laughed and cried and yelled and laughed some more.

We are different.  We live all over the country.  We use different supplies, different pumps, different ways of managing D.  We have different religions and even different beliefs.  It STILL doesn't matter.

We have a bond that is strong as steel.  Forged through shared experiences, shared emotions, shared grief and pain and shared love for our kids.  Through the "same" that D brings in our lives.  Through knowing that someone has your back - no matter what.

Video chats, IM's, PM's, emails, texts, phone calls, comments... pretty much every kind of social media you can think of... we are there for each other.  No matter what.

Meri is one of those friends.

Fast forward to Labor Day weekend.

If you read my last post, you know that my husband, J, had a heart attack in the early morning hours of September 2nd.

These Mamas were the one of the first calls I made.  And they were there.  Misty was there to watch Sweets for me.  The others were there to pray.  To call.  To text.  To love.

Once J's artery was unclogged and stented up, he was taken to ICU.  Around 7 am, his meds started kicking in and he fell asleep.  So I went home to catch a nap and so I could be there when Sweets woke up that morning.

I was back at the hospital around noon.  There's not much to do in ICU.  So I passed the time texting and updating and responding to sweet posts on Facebook while J drifted in and out of sleepy consciousness.

And then, MY heart skipped a beat.  The air felt as though it was sucked out of the room.

My dear friend Meri's sweet husband had passed away after a long, difficult battle with cancer.



I'd been holding it together until then.  But in that moment....  Sitting next to MY husband in his ICU hospital bed... Hooked up to countless tubes, Watching his heart rate and the pacer kick in as his heart needed support... it was too much.  It was too real.  And I completely lost my composure.

That's the good thing about ICU... no one looks twice at you if you're crying.

I cried for Meri.  For Ryan.  For their boys.  And I cried for us.  For the fear I had that something would or could happen to my sweet husband.

I spent the remainder of that day trying desperately to hold it together. Unsure who I was crying for.  Hurting for my friend.  Afraid for my husband.  Grieving for the incredible loss one family was suffering.  Praising God that J was doing well.

And throughout the day... the sound of lullabies.  Signaling the birth of a baby.  One after another after another.  New life.

An incredible day of contrasts.  Grief, pain, sorrow, thankfulness, relief, fear, love, and the miracle of a new babies entering the world.

I still feel a bit shell shocked.  I still shake my head and think, "What just happened?".  I'm still scared.  Still thankful.

And I'm still mourning for and with my friend.

Just like with diabetes, I wish so badly I could take the hurt and pain and fear away from her and her boys.  But I can't.

All I can do is be there.  Even if it's virtually.  And support her.

This is the best way I know how....

Life is expensive.  Just living is expensive.  Kids are expensive.  FOUR kids is cray cray expensive.  Diabetes is expensive.  THREE KIDS WITH DIABETES is expensive.  Cancer is expensive.  Treatments and therapies and drugs and office visits...  it adds up.  and up.  and up.

Meri's looking for a job (so if you're looking for an incredible writer -- yeah, snatch her up QUICK!).  Her first priority is taking care of her boys.

She's incredible.  Have I mentioned that?  Her strength and faith and love never cease to amaze me.  Any company, any person would be insane not to hire in two seconds flat.

But you know what it's like...  Times are tough.  So even if you have incredible faith... it's scary when your four children are relying on you to take care of them.  It's scary when you are suddenly the breadwinner of the family.  When it's your job to provide.  When the bills just keep coming and coming and coming.  And when you are still grieving a tremendous loss.

I believe strongly in paying it forward.  I believe that God wants us to help one another and that He truly means what He said in Matthew 25:40:  "Whatsoever you do for the least of my people, you also do unto me".

We, the family and friends of the Schuhmacher's, are joining together to raise money to help with expenses that come with all they have faced and are facing.  If you are able to donate - in ANY amount - please click this link and pay it forward.

If I've learned anything in the past few weeks it's that you just never know when it's going to be YOU.

And when it is, none of us would make it through without the support of our family, friends, and the kindness of strangers doing whatever they can to share some love.

Thank you.


Photobucket

A Heart Stopping Week

Monday, September 10, 2012

Did you think I'd gone MIA?  Fallen off the face of the Earth?

Well... it kind of feels that way.

So much has been going on.  And there's so much I want to share!  Sweets started first grade at a new school where I am not handling her Diabetes care.  I started school and I'm super thrilled that I have a student with T1 in my class!  DSMA started a new venture called Parent's Talk co-hosted by Lorraine Sisto and Bennet Dunlap!  I'm excited to be their first guest -- so please tune in on September 24!

Then Labor Weekend came!  And I was looking forward to getting caught up!

Sweets was in my cousin's wedding on Saturday.  Friday night we went to the rehearsal and she practiced her flower girl duties!  Saturday was the big day!  Sweets did great!  In fact, she was so prepared that she shooed me out of the bridal room telling me to go sit down because she could handle it!  And she did!  We were so prepared... I had hidden open Smarties in the bottom of her flower girl basket just in case she felt low while she was up in the front of the church.  The things we do....

We all had a great night!  The wedding was beautiful!  Sweets had a blast dancing at the reception with the other flower girl.  In fact, she told me they were going to go dance over by the "judges table" (the head table/bridal party table)!



And that was where our great night ended.

J woke me up about 1:30 am telling me that he did not feel well.  He said that he felt like there was elephant sitting on his chest, his arms were tingling and he was sweating so much he looked like he had just run a marathon.

"I think you better call 911" he said.
"Seriously?" I asked.

Not that I didn't believe him...  but I guess I didn't believe him.  In my defense, he has been known to lay in the same position after cutting his finger in the kitchen.  So, you know....

I told him to take some deep breaths and see if it helped.  I ran around looking for aspirin - which we did not have.  Finally, he said, "You better call NOW."

So I did.

And the paramedics came and whisked him away.

And I was left at home with Sweets.  Who was still asleep.

I called my parents.  They came over to watch Sweets so I could go to the hospital.  I packed a bag.  I really thought he would be needing clothes to come home in in a few hours.

Not quite.

The emergency room was empty.  It was the same hospital where Sweets was born.  They have a large maternity wing.  But the rest of the place if pretty empty - especially on a holiday weekend.  I picked up the phone and a nurse arrived.  She asked me lots of questions and took my insurance card.  She was calm and collected and appeared to be in no hurry.

Then she said, "Well, he IS having a heart attack."

Say what?!?

They took me back to the triage room where they were prepping him for surgery.  I was there about a minute before the doctor arrived and said something to me about a cath lab and something else....  I signed something.  And they were off.

Unreal.

I started making phone calls - waking everyone out their slumber.  Everyone said the same thing, "WHAT?!?"  No one could believe it.  J is 40.  He's thin.  He walks 3 miles a day and plays tennis and just that morning he was doing Wii dance with Sweets.  His cholesterol had been high so for past 9 months or so he'd been working really hard to get it down - cutting back on red meat and doing exactly what he should do.

This is one of those times you realize how Diabetes effects everything.  I needed my parents.  I needed someone with me in that ER waiting room.  But who would take care of Sweets?  Especially at night?  Who but another D Mama?  I am blessed that Misty lives about 5 minutes from my house.  So I called her at 2 am and between sobs asked her to go take care of my baby so my parents could come be with me.  And she did.  Is she not awesome?!?

J was out of surgery about 40 minutes or so later.  It all happened so fast I don't really know.  The doctor came out and told me that his right coronary artery was 100% blocked.  They inserted stents and fixed it.  But we have to do it again in a few weeks because he has another artery that is 80% blocked.  The doctor was stunned.  He had never had a heart attack patient his age who wasn't a smoker, who was thin, and whose cholesterol was normal.  Just lucky I guess...

J spent the next few days in ICU.  Again - it's tough to have a child with T1 and a husband in ICU.  J wanted me to stay with him as much as I could - and I wanted to stay with him!  But I also had a 6 year old.  A 6 year old who had to get her pod changed because it was going to expire.  A 6 year old who had to stay with someone who was able to count her carbs and give her insulin.  A 6 year old who had to get her Dex changed.  Because diabetes does not give a crap that her Daddy is in the hospital.  D still demands attention.

J is home now and doing remarkably well.  It was less than 2 hours from the 911 call to me standing in the operating room after they were done working on him.  Because we acted so fast, there was no damage done to his heart.  Thank God.  He says he feels good.  Of course that means he's trying to do too much and I have to keep reminding him that his MAJOR artery is still 80% blocked so would he PLEASE take it easy for a few weeks?!?

As for Sweets, she was the trooper that she always is.

She woke up once while Misty was at our house.  Misty said she asked, "Mom?"  Misty told her that i had taken Daddy to the doctor so she was there to watch her.  Sweets said, "Oh, ok.  How are Ally and Jessi?  Do they like school?"  That's my sweet girl!

She went to see J in the hospital.  It didn't phase her.  She's been there enough on her own.  And she saw my Dad last summer when he had his aortic valve replaced.  So it was no big deal to her.  She missed him - but she was also thrilled to hang out with Mimi and Gaga --- and especially her BFF Alex!  If she gets to see Alex, all is right in her world.  In fact, when I told her she was spending the morning with Mimi and Gaga and the afternoon with Alex she said, "This is the best day EVER!  Well, except that Daddy is in the hospital!"

The night before he came home she and I had a very funny conversation.  She asked me what a heart looked like - if it really looked the drawing.  I told her no and showed her the illustration they gave me in the hospital.  She said, "Wow. I learned something new."  Then she told me that she was going to help out taking care of Daddy when he got home.  She said, "He should not watch baseball anymore when he comes home.  He gets all ruffled up.  I think he should watch My Little Pony instead.  And not because that's MY show.  He really does yell at the tv a lot when baseball is on."  Then we were discussing how arteries get clogged and how that relates to healthy food.  I told her we were going to really watch and not eat junk - like burgers or fries or chicken fingers.  She said, "WHAT?!?  Burgers are bad for you?!?  WHY do you let me eat that then?!?  I just don't understand this....." She's a riot.

So.... here we are.  J is recovering.  Sweets is doing well in first grade (more on that later).  And I'm desperately trying to keep my head above water!  We have so overwhelmed with the love our friends and family has shown us over the past week.  Dinners made.  Offers of grass mowing, laundry, grocery shopping, babysitting...  We are so thankful!  I'm not someone who really likes to accept help - but this time I have HAD to and it has been wonderful!

Mostly, we are feeling very blessed that Daddy is here, recovering well, and has a ticker that should still last him another 50 or so years!


Photobucket

I've Never Told You... (and WINNER!!)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Today's topic in the Wego Health Blog Carnival is to write about something that our readers probably don't know...

Hmmm....  I'm pretty open.  I've shared some of my very raw feelings here on this blog.  Us being friends and all!  (And I DO think of you as friends - even though I've only met a few of you IRL)

But there is ONE thing that immediately comes to mind.

BUT....

I can't tell you.

YET.

You have to wait until September 2.

See - it's part of a project created by the amazing Alexis of Justice's Misbehaving Pancreas and the also amazing Kim of Texting My Pancreas and the You Can Do This Project.  And all I can tell you about is that I'll fill you in as soon as I can!

I know...  no fair, right?

But it will be worth the wait.  Promise.  I'll be sharing something with you that very few people know about me.

There is ONE more thing that I CAN tell you today!

The WINNER of the Stick Me Designs Scavenger Hunt!



With a mere 3 minute lead, the winner who correctly located all four logos was......

KELLY HARP!

Congrats, Kelly!

I know you are going to LOVE your new Deluxe Clutch and Tuff Band!

Now, if you are super sad that you didn't win (and I'm sure you are), all is not lost!  You can order your own from the Stick Me Designs website!  And trust me - her items are worth every single penny!  I carry my Deluxe Clutch EVERYWHERE!  It lives in the bottom of my purse, kitchen counter and Sweetpea's nightstand.  It takes a beating and STILL holds together well and looks super stylish!  You won't be sorry going with this bag!

And while you're there - take a look at some of the other awesome things you'll find!  I am currently IN LOVE with her blue circle t-shirt and will be ordering one ASAP!  And I also love the D Monster pump pet!  I'm thinking stocking stuffer....  But actually I want one for myself!!

A BIG THANK YOU to Stick Me Designs for participating in this giveaway!!!

And now... I want to know what you thought!  Did you like the Scavenger Hunt?  I thought it was fun and different!  But I want to know what YOU think!  So let me hear it!  It's right over there on the right!



Photobucket

The Beanstalk - Challenge Accepted

Thursday, August 23, 2012






Thoughts at the Bottom of a Beanstalk


Once upon a time there was a little boy named Jack who was about to climb his very first beanstalk. He had a fresh haircut and a brand-new book bag. Even though his friends in the neighborhood had climbed this same beanstalk almost every day last year, this was Jack's first day and he was a little nervous. So was his mother.


Early in the morning she brought him to the foot of the beanstalk. She talked encouragingly to Jack about all the fun he would have that day and how nice his giant would be. She reassured him that she would be back to pick him up at the end of day. For a moment they stood together, silently holding hands, gazing up at the beanstalk. To Jack it seemed much bigger than it had when his mother had pointed it out on the way to the store last week. His mother thought it looked big, too. She swallowed. Maybe she should have held Jack out a year...


Jack's mother straightened his shirt one last time, patted his shoulder and smiled down at him. She promised to stay and wave while he started climbing. Jack didn't say a word. He walked forward, grabbed a low-growing stem, and slowly pulled himself up to the first leaf. He balanced there for a moment and then climbed more eagerly to the second leaf, then to the third and soon he had vanished into a high tangle of leaves and stems with never a backward glance at his mother. She stood alone at the bottom of the beanstalk, gazing up at the spot where Jack had disappeared. There was no rustle, no movement, no sound to indicate that he was anywhere inside. "Sometimes," she thought, "it's harder to  be the one who waves good-bye than it is to be the one who climbs the beanstalk."


She wondered how Jack would do. Would he miss her? How would he behave? Did his giant understand that little boys sometimes acted silly when they felt unsure? She fought down an urge to spring up the stalk after Jack and maybe duck behind a bean to take a peek at how he was doing. "I'd better not. What if he saw me?" She knew that Jack was really old enough to handle this on his own. She reminded herself that after all, this was thought to be an excellent beanstalk and that everyone said his giant was not only kind but had outstanding qualifications. "It's not so much that I'm worried about him," she thought, rubbing the back of her neck. "It's just that he's growing up and I'm going to miss him." Jack's mother turned to leave. "Jack's going to have lots of bigger beanstalks to climb in his life" she told herself. "Today's the day he starts practicing for them... And today's the day I start practicing something too: Cheering him on and waving good-bye."

--Author Unknown


This is a little story that I send home with my students the first day of school. I think that it's so true and so appropriate. And as I read it this year, I realized how true it is on an entirely different level.

As parents of children with diabetes, we feel the same worries as other parents. We worry about our children's safety and how they will acclimate to school. We wonder if they will behave and if they will miss us.

But we have other things to worry about, too.

Scarier things.

We worry about mealtimes, insulin doses, if anyone knows how to treat diabetes, if our children will alert when they feel low... or high... and if anyone will listen. We worry about hypoglycemic reactions. We worry that the pump will quit working. We worry that the finger stick was not accurate due to dirty fingers. We worry about birthday treats. We wonder if our children will be left out. We wonder if they feel different. We worry that they will be sent to the nurse on their own. We worry because they don't have a nurse.  We worry that they will start to crash and no one will recognize the symptoms. We worry that they will go low on the bus. We worry that no one really knows how to use glucagon.

We worry that no one but us takes diabetes seriously.

Yes, our worries are different.

And I think that's a HUGE challenge we face as parents of children with diabetes.

Even though our kids look the same on the outside, they are different.  They need extra care... extra attention.  But because they "don't look sick" we often have to work hard to get people to take this disease seriously.  To understand what it's really all about.

And so we walk the tightrope.  What a challenge THAT is!

We balance between making them feel and be as normal as possible while also making sure they are safe and healthy.  We hide our fears and our worries.  We practice the blank face when looking at the number on the meter.  We put on an image of calm.  And yet we need them to understand that taking care of themselves is imperative.

Of course, it's not only with our children that we do this - is it?

How many times have you had to pull it together?  To act like you're fine.  You're good.  You're not worried.  Not constantly checking your phone.  Not preoccupied.  How often do you cover the dark circles and pretend to listen when you're really half asleep?  So often just functioning is a pretty big challenge.

But the biggest challenge, in my opinion - at least right now, is letting go.  It's standing at the bottom of the beanstalk and waving goodbye.

Sweets is starting first grade today.  At a new school.  Not with me.  I'm not there to handle things.  She's on her own.  And I'm trying REALLY REALLY HARD to not completely freak out and lose it!

In my head, I know - it's a wonderful situation.  She's going to do great!  She's ready for the independence.  She's excited and looking forward to it.  She's got this.

But it's not so easy to wave goodbye when you're the parent of a child with diabetes.  It's all those other worries we have...

But,  no matter how hard it is for us to do it (at the least the waving part), that's our goal. To get our children to the place where they are confident and capable. Whether it's going to school, taking care of diabetes, or handling anything else life throws their way.


Knowing the toughness and tenacity of our kids, I know they are going to be just fine.

And knowing the toughness and tenacity of D-Rents, I know we are going be just fine, too!




Photobucket

Wego Health Blog Carnival: Day One and Two

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Before I start in with today's post, I want to clarify the contest going on!  My hubby tells me I was not clear! Imagine!

Each day you will look for a Stick Me Designs logo on either the Stick Me Designs website or this blog.  When you find it, post on our facebook pages.  Don't give it away - just say you found it!!  On Thursday, all four logos will be there.  When you have found all four logos, leave a comment on the original post saying you found all four.  The first person that finds all four wins - IF they know the location of the logos!!  I will email the first person to find all four.  If that person is able to tell me where the logos were located, they will win!  If not, I will go to the next blog comment.  

For more information, take a look at the original post!  If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I'll answer you best I can!  Have Fun!

Now on to today's post...

This week is the WEGO Health Advocating for Another Blog Carnival!



I missed yesterday's topic so I'm going to combine yesterday and today into one post!  I'm crafty like that!

The prompt for yesterday was to write a descriptive portrait of your child/ren. Share qualities that make them, them and include an image! Today's prompt is to write 5-10 of your favorite things about your loved one. Celebrate their uniqueness and be sure to tell us why those are your favorite things.

I love sharing pictures of Sweets so that's not a problem!  I know I'm not alone in this...  As a parent, don't you look at your child or children sometimes and marvel at what beautiful, precious, incredible little people they are?  This usually happens when they are sleeping...

My favorite thing about Sweets is her personality.

She can be shy at times.  But once she gets to know you she comes out of her shell.  And that's probably putting it mildly!



She has a large personality.  She's hilarious and has a good sense of humor.  You can joke with her and she gets it.  She likes it.  

She's very dramatic.  

The other day she decided she wanted to make a dance video to send to a contest the Disney Channel was promoting.  She looked it up online with her Dad.  And she found out that you had to be 8 years old to apply.  This is the conversation that follows...
Sweets:  You're probably wondering why I'm not making my dance video....
Me:  Ummm.... yes.  Why aren't you making your video?
Sweets:  You have to be EIGHT!  It will be YEARS until I'm EIGHT.  My life is OVER.  I am NEVER going to get to LA now!

Yup.  That's her.  

She's very curious and asks lots of questions.  She likes to read and play school.  She LOVES books.  

She's never really enjoyed coloring.  Never sat down with a coloring book.  Never saw the point.  She has always preferred to DO.  To play pretend.  To dance.  To sing.  

She never uses toys for the intended purpose.  She has lots of Squinkies but they are all used for play food or something else.  

She has a large vocabulary.  And a LONG memory.

She's very independent.  But she prefers for me to do her diabetes care.  

She's sweet and caring and loving.  She likes to rub noses and tickle.

She has the best giggle ever.

And she's a fighter.  She's tough.  She never complains about feeling ill.  Never complains about not feeling good or feeling funny when she's low or high.  

She handles all the shots and the pokes and the blood and the counting and the testing and all the other crap that comes with life as a type 1 with a strength and grace that very few adults could show.  

My daughter is only six.  And she's incredible.  

She's my hero!
 

Photobucket

Stick Me Designs: Giveaway & Scavenger Hunt

Monday, August 20, 2012

Today I am thrilled to be bringing you an AWESOME giveaway from Stick Me Designs!



As you may know, I fell in love with Stick Me Designs a while ago.

I'm always looking for a new diabetes supply bag.  Or I WAS....  I need a bag that is big enough to fit all of Sweetpea's supplies.  But yet small enough to fit in my purse.  I don't want to carry two bags around.  And I don't want to carry around something ugly.

Enter the Deluxe Clutch.

LOVE.  IT.

This is hands down my absolute favorite supply bag.  I can get EVERYTHING inside it!  For reals!  Here's what I keep in our bag...
-meter
-test strips
-extra meter
-batteries
-Smarties
-Juicy Juice
-Glucgaon
-blood ketone tester
-Multi-Clix finger pricker
-lancets
-extra pod
-alcohol wipes
-adhesive remover
-numbing cream
-teagaderm
-Opsite Flexifix strips (used to cover Dex site if she's going swimming for hours)

That's a lot of stuff, right?  And it all fits nicely.

I don't always carry around all that stuff... but when I NEED to, I can.  And it slips nicely into my purse!

Stick Me Designs has graciously offered to give away one Deluxe Clutch of your choosing!

Have you seen the new designs?  I like pink - but there's some super cute stuff for boys and some new, fashionable styles for everyone!

Oh.... but that's not all!

She is also giving away one of her new Tuff Bands!

"Tuff Bands are what you wear when you need well...a tough band! The Tritex design is our newest addition to the Tuff Gear Collection. These handcrafted bracelets make a statement with color and awareness. Featuring a stainless steel shackle to finish off the design. Rugged and durable made from 8 strand paracord rope, and hand-stamped tag." - information courtesy of Stick Me Designs Website

Plus they are really cute and you can even get two different colors!




Here's your chance to win BOTH awesome products in the colors and designs of your choice!

And here's where things get a little different....


We're going to have a SCAVENGER HUNT!

We will be hiding 4 Stick Me Designs Logos on our sites (4 total - not 4 on each).  A new one will be hidden each day.  

Because I'm nice, I'll show you what you are looking for...




And to win, all you have to do is find all four!  

When you find one, post it to our facebook walls!  But DO NOT tell where it is!  Just say - "Found the first logo!"  "Found the third logo!"  You get it...

Here are the links:

Then, when you have found all four logos, leave a comment on this blog post saying that you found all four!  (Again - Don't give away the locations!)

The FIRST PERSON to find all four logos WINS!  The time stamp of your comment on this blog will help determine who is first.  In the event of a time, the winner will be picked by a random draw.  

The winner will be announced on this blog on FRIDAY, August 24, 2012.

Good Luck!



Photobucket

Paperwork Piles and Some Upcoming FUN!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I'm not missing!

I'm here!

I'm just drowning in a sea of paperwork getting Sweets ready to go back to school!  And I had to go back to school for Kindergarten screening so I've been busy.



I've updated the links on the School and Other Caregiver Tab above.  All links are in working order.  If you are looking for some help getting your child ready to go to school with type 1 along for the ride, check it out.  I think you'll find lots of useful information.  Just click HERE!

Some people have mentioned that they have been unable to print the documents.  I think that all you need to do is create your own account (it's free) and upload something in order to be able to download. You can upload anything and make it private.

Oh... and I've been busy with something else, too!

I've got a giveaway starting on MONDAY with one of my FAVORITE diabetes retailers!  You DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS!

But check in early - because the rules are different this time and the first one completing the scavenger hunt (yes-- I said scavenger hunt) will WIN!!!

I hope you're excited - I think it's going to be fun!





  Photobucket

The Post with a Thousand Names and a Million Emotions

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I had a ton of ideas for what to call this post...

A New Adventure?

Moving On?

On Her Own?

Bittersweet Goodbyes?

Mama is Nervous as Hell?!?


Nothing seemed right.

I've even been putting off writing this post literally since the school year ended.

Because writing it makes it real.

And I'm not sure I'm ready...


Deep Breath....


Sweets will be going into first grade in a few weeks.

For those of you who are new to the blog, she has spent the past three years going to school with me.  I am a kindergarten teacher.  I teach in an early childhood center that houses only preschool and kindergarten.

It has been a blessing to be able to have her there with me at school and do 95% of her diabetes care.

It's been really hard.  But oh so worth it.

Next year, she has to go to a new school.

And I will not be there with her.


It's a very long story... but after lots of prayers and lots of tears, we decided to send Sweets to the school that the other children in our neighborhood attend (The school where I teach is in another district.  I am able to drive her and she could attend that district if we chose.  A "teacher perk".).

We had originally planned to send her to an elementary in the district where I teach.  But things happened... and there is no nurse at the school.  I was told there would be no nurse at the school to bolus her at lunch....

I cried.  A lot.  I wanted to send her there.  I really did.  I wanted her close by.  I wanted her THERE.

But....

I simply could not send her to a school without a nurse.  At six years old.  When she doesn't feel her lows or count her own carbs or bolus herself...

It started looking more and more like what was supposed to be was that Sweets should go to the school that is in the district where we live.

They have a nurse.  A full time nurse.

She would not be the only child with diabetes at this school.  In fact, she would be one of FIVE.

And so....

It's funny how you have it all planned out, you know?  JUST KNOW how it is supposed to be...  And then God says.... Ummmmm, not so fast...

Lucky for us, I happen to know another D Mama whose child attends this new school.  Misty from Life is Like a Box of Chocolates filled me in!  And if you've read any of Misty's posts about school, you know that she LOVES their school nurse.

So that made me feel hopeful....

I visited the school.  I was REALLY IMPRESSED with the nurse.  I don't think I impress easy when it comes to diabetes.  But she was amazing.  I didn't have to invent the wheel.  She gets it.

And I felt confident....

Sweets is actually excited about attending the new school.  I thought she would be devastated about leaving her best friends - but she wasn't.  She is THRILLED to go to school with Ally and Jessi!  And her friends from our neighborhood.  She is THRILLED to not be the only one with D.

One of the best parts?  There's going to be another T1 IN HER CLASS!!!!

And I was SOLD!


God totally works things out....  Even if it isn't the way we expect.

Still.....

I'm nervous.

Letting her go.  Giving up control.

SCARY!!!!

I know that this will be good for us... for HER.  She's ready for the independence and the responsibility.  She needs to know that someone other than Mom and Dad can handle her diabetes.

It will good for ME to have a little separation, too.  To be able to simply be a teacher instead of a teacher AND a pancreas.

I know all this.

It's all true.

But every time I think about it my stomach starts doing flips.

The 504 is done.  (You can check it out here.  This is last year's copy but it didn't change much.)

I need to make her supply boxes and info sheets and fill out her orders and .....

Every time I think of it I feel ill.  Scared.  Nervous.  Worried.  Excited...

So I keep putting it off.

She will be fine.  I couldn't ask for a better set up.

I will be fine.

I know this...

But being a D Mama (or Papa) is just so hard sometimes.



  Photobucket

Discrimination

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Discrimination.


It's an ugly word.


And it's even uglier practice.


It's one of the things that I think motivates us the most as parents of children living with diabetes.  At least it motivates ME.  I want so badly for my daughter to KNOW that she can do anything - even though she has diabetes.  That diabetes is not going to stop her.  It's something that we talk about a lot and really pound into her head...  YOU can do ANYTHING.


And that's true.  A person with diabetes CAN do anything! 


Except when someone tells them they can't.


A few days ago my friend, Michele, sent me a message.  She was upset.  She was crying.  She didn't know what to do.


She had taken her children - including her daughter with T1, to a local water park.  Her daughter was told that she could not go down the slides if she was wearing her insulin pump (she wears an Omnipod).  She was told that it was a liability and that the rule was no plastic so if they let her wear it then they would have to let anyone with plastic on their swimsuit go down the slides.


I can see why she was upset.


Plastic on a swimsuit does not compare to a medical device that infuses life sustaining medicine to your body.  


Now, it is possible to take an insulin pump off for awhile?  Yes...  technically.  But you take a risk...


Unlike insulin pumps with tubing, the Omnipod is attached directly to the body.  Therefore, you can't take it off and on at will.  You can't reattach it to give yourself missed basal.  When you take it off, you terminate the pod and if you want insulin you have to fill a new one and insert another site into your body.  You can wear the Omnipod in the water and we have found it great for swimming and other water activities because Sweets is able to get the insulin she needs continuously - her basal insulin rate is never interrupted.


Sure- you can take an insulin pump off.  But when you do, you are not getting the basal insulin that is infused into the body continuously throughout the day.  You might be able to go without it for a little while.  But not an entire afternoon.  Certainly not a whole day.  Ketones develop quickly without basal insulin and high bg's creep up.  We have found that just a few hours without basal can leave Sweets with high ketones, high bg and vomiting.  


So, by telling this girl that she could not wear her pump, they were telling her that in order to participate that she had to - basically - put her life in danger.  I know that sounds dramatic.  But how many times have you witnessed what missed basal can do to a person with diabetes?  It's not pretty. Every person is different.  Each day is different.  But going without basal for an extended period is NEVER a good option.


Not to mention that she couldn't eat.  Without the pod attached, she would be unable to bolus for food.  


The water park said that it was a liability and I understand that they could be concerned about it hurting the person wearing it or the plastic damaging the slides.  However, she was wearing it on her stomach.  You don't go down slides on your belly.  And she wouldn't be hurt (nor would anyone else) if the pod came off.  


The water park was unwilling to work with this family.  And that makes me very sad.  And angry.


Because all of what I've said about basal rates and food boluses is not the point.  


The point is that a person was denied access because of her insulin pump.  


An insulin pump is not a piece of plastic decoration on a swimsuit.  It's not a necklace that you can just take off.  It's a medical device that a person needs in order to stay alive.  


How can you reasonably ask someone to do this?


What option does this person have?


The American Diabetes Association states that:



Under Title II of the ADA, state and local governments must provide you with services that are not any different from those they provide people without a disability. They must not screen out or exclude you because of your disability. They must modify their policies and provide reasonable accommodations as long as doing so does not pose an undue burden. For example, a court house should permit you to carry your diabetes supplies with you—this might be a modification of a general policy against allowing sharp objects and food.

All this little girl wanted was to go have fun... just like everyone else.  
When you live with diabetes, you are used to feeling like the odd man out at times.  You're used being the only one counting carbs and delivering insulin.  You're used to being the only one testing your blood before you eat.  You're used to taking your lunch to the nurse.  You're used to leaving class.  You're used feeling different.
Because no matter how much we try to make sure our kids know that they can DO anything... we can't help that they are the only one in their school with diabetes.  We can't change the fact that none of their friends wear medical devices 24 hours a day.  We can't change the fact they have to test their blood before they eat even if all their friends are digging in.  
We can't keep them from feeling different.
We encourage them to keep going.  We tell them how incredible they are.  How brave, special, strong, important.  We tell them that even though they might feel different at times, this disease does not have to ever hold them back.  Because they CAN DO ANYTHING!
And then someone tells them they can't.
Why??
A reason that, to me, makes no sense at all.
As far as I'm concerned, this water park FAILED miserably.
Don't you agree?
If so, would you be willing to write to this water park and ask them to change their policy about people with diabetes wearing insulin pumps?  
Here's the info you need:
Splash Zone Water Park Facebook Page Click HERE.
Splash Zone Website (including address) Click HERE.
Also - could you please send a copy to Michele herself?  You can find her at: micheledoughman@yahoo.com


Michele is not taking this lying down!  She has contacted the ADA and even though the water park told her that they would "no longer talk to her about this" she is not taking no for an answer.  


This is not about making a fuss.  Or causing a scene.  This isn't about causing drama.  Or even getting something that others are not entitled to.


It's about what's fair.  And what's right.


She's not just doing this for HER daughter.  But for mine.  And yours.  


Because we believe that NO ONE with diabetes should ever be discriminated against or asked to put their health at risk to gain the same access as someone without diabetes.


And THAT is worth fighting for!


Thanks for your help!



 Photobucket

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails