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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.**


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.


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!"


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.


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.


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.


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....


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

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


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.**


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!


It's time to turn up the heat.

Time to melt the jello and get on with it!



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