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My Life In Pictures

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Back in November, I participated in a Photo A Day challenge on Instagram.

It was a lot of fun - I really love Instagram!!

In case you don't follow me there (and why not, anyway??  Click here...), I decided to post the pics here!

Day One:  Struggle
This is the reason she was struggling to stay on the balance beam at gymnastics.

 Day Two: Prescriptions
Just a small sample... but so glad we have them!

Day Three:  Fingers
Sweet little fingers.  Countless little holes.  

Day Four:  OOPS!  
A bleeder.  It wasn't our fault but still... 

 Day Five:  Bulleseye
Not perfect - but pretty darn close!

Day Six:  Feet
Sweet feet.  Love her!

Day Seven: Gear
Cheer Gear at her first game.  And no - there was no one in front of that number. 

 Day Eight: SPARKLE
I got a cool blue sparkly WDD T-shirt from Stick Me Designs!

Day Nine:  Blood
Doesn't happen often - but this is what we found when I took off her pod.  Of course, this also happened the night J was having his second *SURPRISE* heart surgery and that *SURPRISE* pod change was the reason I couldn't get back to the hospital before he went in for surgery.  D affects EVERYTHING.  In ways you never could even imagine!

Day Ten:  Low Treatment
Notice a pattern??

 Day Eleven:  Cupcake
This was on Sweetpea's second Diaversary.  After she got out of the hospital for low induced seizures.  She deserved a cupcake!

 Day Twelve: LOVE
This Sweet's best boy buddy.  They love each other.  The first time they met she was maybe 2 months old and he was 7 months old.  If not earlier.  He checks Dex for her when they are playing.  He's pricked his finger.  He doesn't see diabetes.  He sees Sweets.   This was in Florida last summer - favorite pic!!!

Day Thirteen: Meter
And an ugly meter, at that!  This was one day at MY school while I was getting my room ready.  Out of the blue.  No warning.  But it hit her hard.  She curled up on the carpet and went to sleep and I kept peering at her making sure she was breathing.

Day Fourteen: Diafail
Sometimes she's high.  Sometimes she's low.  Sometimes both in the same day.  Same hour!

 Day Fifteen: TODAY - WDD
Friends at school - wearing BLUE!  You can't tell which ones have D.  On the right of Sweets is Ally (of Life is Like a Box of Chocolates fame) and her sister Jessi on the left.  So lucky to have these awesome girls at her school.  Ally takes care of her!

Day Sixteen: BLUE
This is what a D Mama's night stand looks like.  Of course, the alarm is also my phone that I'm taking the pic with!

Day Seventeen:  Random
This was Sweets making tally marks and counting our the carbs in her goldfish crackers!

 Day Eighteen:  Bolusworthy
Doesn't everyone get cake on the first day of school?!?

 Day Nineteen:  Strips
We used test strips to make our WDD Postcards!

 Day Twenty: Friends
Trick or Treating with friends.  She always goes low.  I should know this by now.

Day Twenty One: HATE
I hate what diabetes does to her little body.  I hate that this number is because I prebolused breakfast a mere 10 minutes early and then it took longer than usual to get the donut treats.  I hate that I can't take this disease away from her.

Day Twenty Two: Diet Drink
She only drinks water.  Juice for lows.  Nothing else.  She doesn't like it.  Never had a soda.  And here you thought she got diabetes because I put soda in her baby bottles.

 Day Twenty Three: Carbs
This was me at a hayride and pumpkin patch.  Sifting through the trash in front of all these people giving me weird looks.  Not that I cared!

 Day Twenty Four:  Unicorn
Sweets got this unicorn with the money she got (instead of candy) for Halloween.  She LOVES unicorns!  Especially pink or purple ones.  She has tons.

 Day Twenty Five:  Exercise
She is an incredibly active kid.  She dances, cheers, plays tennis, does gymnastics....

 Day Twenty Six:  Eyes
I couldn't choose.  I love this one.

And this one.  She was hamming it up for the camera here.  She was not really sad!
I love her beautiful blue eyes!  We will do everything we can to make sure those peepers stay healthy for years and years.

Day Twenty Seven: Shoes
Girl loves her shoes.  Espcially boots.  Just like her Mama.

Day Twenty Eight: Advocate
We LOVE advocating for T1 awareness and funding!  This was when we went to Washington with JDRF and met with some of our Senators and Representatives.  It was an incredible experience.

Day Twenty Nine:  Stockpile
This is our D cabinet.  It's huge.  I love it.  I hoard D supplies.  I worry that we won't be able to get what we need.  This may or may not be rational.  It's also a hot mess and needs organized.

Day Thirty: CURE

This says it all.  This is my baby.  She needs a cure.  Not in ten years.  Not some day.  Not just better equipment (although that is important, too).  She needs a CURE.  And she needs it NOW.


Downgrading Diabetes

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I was surfing through Pinterest the other day (as I tend to do on occasion) and I came across an incredible blog.

I'm not exactly sure what made me actually click and read it.  But I'd like to think it was because I needed to hear what it had to say.

The blog post was about the birth of a woman's second child.  A child who was not exactly what she had expected.  Her honesty, bravery, and pure candor really touched my heart.

You should go read it.  The blog is called Enjoying the Small Things and the post I'm talking about is titled Nella Cordelia: A Birth Story.  Seriously - go on.  I'll wait.  Grab a tissue on your way over.  You might need it!

Glad you had the tissue?

The part that really got to me was where she wrote that the doctor had come in and said,

"I need to tell you something.
... "I know what you're going to say."
She smiled again and squeezed my hand a little tighter.
The first thing I'm going to tell you is that your daughter is beautiful and perfect.
...and I cried harder.
...but there are some features that lead me to believe she may have Down Syndrome.
Finally, someone said it.
I felt hot tears stream down and fall on my baby's face. My beautiful, perfect daughter. I was scared to look up at Brett, so I didn't. I just kissed her.
And then, Dr. Foley added...
...but, Kelle....she is beautiful. and perfect."

We've all been there, haven't we?  
We've all been in a doctor's office and heard words we did not want to hear.
Like this Mama, I knew before I was told.  I knew what our pediatrician was going to say.  I still cried.  
The part that really gets to me is where the doctor says, "but, Kelle... she is beautiful.  and perfect."
Maybe that's something we all need to hear.

I know this.  I've always known this.  
Yes, my daughter has diabetes.  Her pancreas doesn't work.  This disease requires constant attention.  Countless finger sticks and needles and blood and counting and pain.  
No, this wasn't what I expected.  
But it doesn't matter.  I couldn't love her more if I tried.  
She has diabetes.  But she's beautiful.  And perfect.  

No - she has diabetes.  AND she's beautiful.  And perfect.  

Do you ever need to hear that?  Do you ever need that perspective?  Do you ever get totally overwhelmed with this disease?  The neverendingness? The complexity?  The trying so hard and not seeing the results you want to see?  Need to see?  Do you ever get so scared about the future?  The what if's?  The fear?  
Sometimes we just need to hear...  "Yeah, ok... there's this diabetes thing.  But it doesn't matter. Your child is beautiful and perfect.  Your child can live a long, healthy life.  Your child can accomplish the same things they could BEFORE.  And that's that."
I know I need to hear it.  I need that reminder.  

There was another line in Kelle's blog that really touched me.  After realizing that her daughter had Down Syndrome, she said, "That was the most defining moment of my life. That was the beginning of my story."
In some ways, I get that.  
Diabetes WAS the beginning of my story - in a sense.  It was the beginning of THIS story.  
It was most certainly ONE of the most defining moments of my life.  But you know what?  If you had asked me a year ago, I might have said that diabetes was THE MOST defining moment of my life.  
But not now.  Not today.
Today I would say that it's up there.  It's in the top five.  Possibly top two.  
But it's not the top.  

Time has changed that.  Time has downgraded diabetes.  
It still hurts.  It still gets to me.  It always will.  
But it no longer gets the top spot.  

Because the most defining moment in my life was becoming a mother.  
THAT is who I am.  
I am a mother first.  
I am a D Mama second.  

We work so hard making sure our kids are kids first.  We work so hard making sure that diabetes does not define them.  And in working so hard... does it begin to define US???

It's taken almost four years to get here.  To this place.  To be able to tell you that diabetes is PART of our story.  It's not the whole thing.  
That feels good.  

And I hope those of you out there who are new to this journey find some peace and some hope in that.  You know one of my favorite quotes says, "It never gets easier.  You just get stronger."  It's so true.  
Diabetes is a part of who I am.  A part.  It's made me tough as nails.  It's brought me friendships that I could never replace and feel downright blessed to have in my life.  It's made me confident in abilities I didn't know I had.  It's changed my perspective and outlook on life.  
That's HUGE.  But it's not everything.  

You know what IS everything?
I have a child who is beautiful and perfect.  She has blue eyes and curly hair and a giggle that is infectious.  She loves to read and write.  She dances and swims and plays tennis and cheers.  She's spunky and kind.  She has a big heart.  She has diabetes.  
It's just a part of her, too.
And I want to make sure she always remembers that.  

My sweet, sweet girl.  You are so many things.  You are creative and funny.  You are a great reader.  The notes you leave us are so special.  You are confident and courageous and strong.  You are determined.  You are the happiest child I know.  You are loving and kind.  Yes, you might have diabetes.  But it's just a part of you like everything else in this list.  Never forget that you are so much more than that disease.  You are beautiful and perfect and you have been since the first moment I saw you.  


The Bag Backfire

Friday, January 4, 2013

Nothing is ever simple when living with diabetes, is it?

Raising a child with diabetes includes a whole new set of things you've got be ready for.  In addition to all the regular growing up and gaining independence stuff there's all this diabetes stuff too!

Because Sweets was diagnosed a few short weeks after turning three, most of her care to this point has been done by J and I.  A three year old can't really read carb counts.  But all that is starting to change and it's adding a whole new dimension to our lives!

And, of course, it's never quite as simple as we hope it would be to keep our kids safe at school.

This is where my story begins...

After the tragic events in Connecticut, J and I decided that we were being too lax in our preparations for the "what if".  Last year Sweet carried (her teachers carried) a bag with her whenever she left the classroom that contained a fact sheet, meter, smarties, juice and glucagon.  We felt it was important that she have these things with her at all times.  You never know what's going to happen and should there be a lockdown and she couldn't get to her kit she would at least have the supplies she needed to stay safe.

This year, at her new school, we decided to just leave the bag in her classroom.  The other classrooms in the school that she visits have kits that contain things to treat a low.  Remember, she's not the only one now.  Now she's one of EIGHT.  (and yes, unfortunately that number just went up)  The thing is- those kits don't have meters.  They don't have glucagon.  There isn't one outside.

We were ok with that.  Before.

Now, I just can't shake the feeling that I'm being irresponsible if I don't insist she have access to her supplies at all times.  The probablility of something happening is slim.  But what if???  We all know that things happen.  And they happen to us.  I would never forgive myself if she needed her supplies and did not have them.

So, we decided that from now on she will carry her bag with her when she leaves the room.  We got her super cute sparkly Hello Kitty purse to keep her stuff in.

Problem solved, right?


One little problem.  There is now a state law that says that glucagon can not be carried by a student or a teacher and is only allowed to administered by a trained person.

Say what?

I won't go into that whole thing.  Long story short is that if we have doctors orders she is allowed to carry the glucagon in her emergency bag.  Would someone actually use it?  Maybe not.  But at least it's there.

So now the problem is solved, right?

Nope.  Not yet.

When I picked Sweets up from school yesterday, I asked her how her day was and the bag was.  She said it was fine and she liked it.

Then she told me that she felt low during lunch.  So she decided to test herself.  Except she's too chicken to push the lancet and so her T1 buddy in her class did that part.  But the meter didn't work right.  So she just kept eating.


So we had a little talk about how that bag is for an EMERGENCY.  And that if she feels low, she needs to tell an adult before she does anything else.

She said, "Why?  ________ (T1 buddy) and I can handle it."

Oh dear.

I told her that I was glad that she was taking responsibility and it was a good thing to test but that at school she really has to get an adult to help her.  And besides, does she know what numbers are high and low?

"Not exactly.  But _____ (T1 buddy) does."

Great.  Looks like we need to work on the high/low thing!  We also had a discussion about how they are not allowed to do that at school without an adult helping.

I thought she got it.

Problem solved!  Right??

Oh, no.  Not so fast.

I'm not even kidding you ... as I am WRITING THIS BLOG I got an email from the nurse saying that Sweets felt low in class this morning and had half a juice box on her own.


WHAT am I going to DO with this kid?!?

It seems we need to have another discussion.  And if she can't handle the bag....

I know that she thinks she's big stuff with her own bag.  She's proud of herself for being able to read the carb counts on the labels and bolusing herself (with someone watching).  I'm GLAD that she is starting to take some initiative in her care.  And that's she is paying attention to her body.


That can't happen at school.

I don't want to crush her independence.  I want her to continue to develop these skills.  But I also need her to follow directions!!

Looks like we are going to be having another little talk tonight about the bag and when she is supposed to use it.  Maybe it's not the best idea after all.  We will see...  I think she's responsible enough to handle this.

She just has to get the rules straight.  She doesn't like to break the rules.

The thing is - sometimes she thinks SHE knows best!

** Thanks to Misty for this blog name!  It was her idea!
** If you have any suggestions or ideas for me - leave me a comment!  I appreciate all the help I can get!  This is brand new territory for us!


New Year Reflections (Same Old Diabetes)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

I had planned on blogging about our holiday hoopla and our New Years Eve... and then....

The Stomach Flu.

I hate the stomach flu.  But you know what I hate more?  I hate a type 1 kid with the stomach flu.  Can I get an AMEN??

Sweets had it her last week of school.  Lucky for her, it was short lived.  We were able to keep it in control.  Luckily, we had noticed her bg was dropping and did a temp basal before the puking began so she was at a good number and never went low.  Ketones did get super high - but as soon as I was able to get some carbs in her the insulin did it's magic.

We've ALL been sick.  ALL of us have been to the doctor with sinus infections and ear infections and such.  But I thought I had gotten through unscathed.  Silly me.  I should have know a sick kid - plus having half a class out sick at school - didn't bode well.  I got the stomach flu on the 30th.  Only I think mine was the FLU.

Now I get why Sweets was so ticked off that she had gotten a flu shot and was throwing up anyway!!!

Needless to say, New Years plans were cancelled.

Hopefully we are all on the mend and so it's time to take a look back into 2012.

I have to say - I'm not too sorry to say GOODBYE to 2012.  It wasn't our best year.  But it wasn't all bad either.  Here's a recap:

January found me asking you to Promise Me This and bragging on my kid who wound up in the local paper!  I also wrote about The Fall which, unfortunately, was only the first.

February had me blogging about another kind of fall... and Another Type 1 - because one wasn't enough.  I also told you in Friendship #FAIL that sometimes I'm a sucky friend.  And I blame it all on diabetes!

In March, Sweetpea turned SIX and I talked about The Smell of Life.

April found me Putting Fear in a Box.  We also celebrated Sweet's third diaversary and I wrote Me at Three.  And in a very odd coincidence that I just discovered, I also wrote about The Heart Attack.

In May, I told you Where I Shine and also that I thought There's Something You Should Know.

In June, we were Soaring to a Cure and I wanted to remind you... Do You Know How Lucky You Are?

July brought us A Vlog From Sweets and the WORST CURE EVER.

In August, I wrote The Post with A Thousand Names and a Million Emotions as Sweets started school - on her own.

September was a month I'd like to forget in many ways.  It started with A Heart Stopping Week.  And also The One I Didn't Want to Write.

October found me very anxious in Anxious You??? Anxious Me!!!.  Is it any wonder after September?!?  

November found me MIA.  I am going post my pics from the photoaday I did on Instagram for Diabetes Awareness Month.  But you can follow me (Pumping Princess) and see them now!

In December I was Swimming through Jello and we all learned that life can change In the Blink of an Eye.

One of my New Years Resolutions is to find a way to blog more here and post more on the facebook page.  I'm finding that after almost four years, I'm finding my way back to who I used to be as a teacher.  I like that.  I've missed that.  I need to find a way to blog as well... because I need this, too!

I wish you all happiness and health this coming year!  It would be my privilege for you to join me on this journey as I keep on blogging and keeping it real about our life - living and loving with type 1!



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