Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Doesn't get any better than this

My daughter is facinated with funny sounding words and names...and I am too honestly. I know it may sound funny to say, but I like words...i like how powerful they can be, how much emotion they can stir...laughter, sadness, sympathy, joy. Words are pretty amazing. Anyway, tonight we were talking about the people on my Grandma's side of the family and their last name being Mantuano. Emma is in love with that name. She has always been very good at doing different accents and silly voices too. So, at bedtime today we were talking about all of the names of family members on the Mantuano side...all the while using our best Italian accents. Well, after all the silliness was done..we started talking about what things were like for people years and years ago. I mentioned to her that when her Great Uncle Harold was her age (he will be 100 next month) insulin was not even around for diabetics to use. I told her how people referred to it as the "starvation disease" because any time a diabetic would eat food back then, their blood sugar would skyrocket and there was obviously no insulin needles for them to take at that time. I wanted her to know how far things have come since then. How many things are out there for diabetics now to help them better manage their disease. She was truly amazed. I myself am really amazed too. She then started to cry though...and I worried that I had talked about it too much and upset her. I couldn't have been more wrong. Through her tears, she told me that she was crying because she felt bad for all of those people back then who ended up dying because they didn't get to have needles like she does now. She felt sorry for them and their families and friends. She told me that she is thankful that she was born when she was. It never ceases to amaze me how caring my daughter is. To say she has a big heart is an understatement. I hope she never loses that part of her personality...I think it is an admirable trait to have. I hope when she is grown that she doesn't become jaded like many of us and lose that.
Another special thing that happened today was when Emma and i went to the radio station here to pick up her Good Samaritan Award. They were so kind and helpful and simply amazing to us when we were doing our annual hot chocolate sale to raise money for JDRF. They wanted to give Emma this award to honor her for all of the fundraising she has done. After we picked it up, we hopped in the elevator and headed down to the lobby and out to our car. As we were walking I asked her if she was proud of herself for getting this award...because we are SO incredibly proud of her. She just squealed and smiled really big and told me that yes she was proud. I explained to her that the reason why she got this award is because her idea at 4 years old to sell hot chocolate to raise money for diabetes research is truly an amazing thing. I told her to look at what she has accomplished in her short 6 1/2 years on this Earth...raising thousands of dollars for JDRF, spreading the word about type 1 diabetes on TV, radio, newspapers, at school, being asked to be a youth ambassador next year for's incredible. SHE'S incredible. I told her that most adults have not accomplished that much in their lifetimes. We have talked before in the past about how it is better to give than to receive. So, I asked her if she really realized that when she is helping raise this money..that she is not only helping herself with her diabetes...but she is also helping millions of other diabetics out there too. I told her that this award is very is a symbol of all her hard work...all her caring and compassion...everything she has done of her own accord to help make our small corner of the world a better place. I am so proud of her. I am so lucky to be her mommy. I know I talk about her a lot and how special I think she is...but I can't help it, she just astounds me.
So all in all I would have to say that it was a pretty awesome day....even with having to stop in at the DMV to renew my driver's licence! Walked in with only one person ahead of me in line...nice...doesn't get much better than that.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The game of Life and powerful wishes

So Emma got the boardgame Life, for Christmas and we decided to play it this afternoon. I always liked that game as a kid...I thought it was cool to spin the wheel and choose your career card or land on the space declaring you had twins so you got to put the two little pink pegs in your car. So, it makes me laugh to hear Emma say that she likes it for the same reasons too. Anyway as we were playing, it got me thinking. Life in general really is such a "spin the wheel and see what you get" kind of thing honestly. My "game" of Life had the usual things like college (never finished though!), get married, have a home, and have a kid. Unfortunately though instead of the fun and exciting spaces on the board game like 'Win the Nobel Prize...collect $100,000'...I spun the wheel and landed on things like 'meet the love of your life who just so happens to live in another country...lose a turn and spend the holidays missing your family'. Or 'find out your child is diabetic...spend the rest of your life worrying about her and never sleep again'. Don't get me wrong...I have landed on quite a few cool spaces on my board as well. I've lived in many places, gotten to visit France, snowboarded on amazing mountain tops in Oregon, and met some of the most amazing people along the way. However, I would trade all of those good spaces and good turns of the wheel for Emma not to be diabetic.
Like every Christmas...every birthday...every coin toss into a fountain...every time I look at the clock and it reads 11:11...every time I see a shooting star...I wished this year for a cure for diabetes. I'm sure all of you who have a diabetic in your lives would make the same wish too. I know wishing it to happen won't make it happen...but I still do it...I can't help it. Well, since Emma was sick with a stomach virus a few days before Christmas, I have been struggling to keep her blood sugars from being too low. Even now that she is no longer sick I am still having trouble. I have lowered her lantus dose in the morning, adjusted insulin to carb ratios at meals, increased snacks...and still I am having trouble. I was thinking about that today and had a little chuckle at the thought of what if that was all it took...what if all we had to do was WISH so hard for something that it would happen? Imagine what the world would be like then. I know a lot of people in the world would be wishing for things like money and power...or fame and material things. I wonder how many people out there would be like me and wish for a many would trade everything they had in this world...or even give their own lives to just ensure that their child or other family member would no longer have to live with this disease? There would be no hesistation on my second guessing my choice...I would give it all for her.
My Grandpa passed away quite a few years ago and I talk to him all the time still. When I am missing him or when I am struggling. I ask him to help me be strong enough to handle all the messed up things that are on my plate. I ask him to help me with Emma's diabetes. I ask him to help keep her safe. I asked him to please help her get better so she wouldn't be sick and have to spend Christmas morning in the hospital. On my way up the stairs to Emma's room at night, I have asked him to please help make her blood sugar be 10.0 so I can go to sleep knowing that she won't drop too low overnight and die. Every single time he helps me. Every single time I know that he is watching us and helping her and I get through our struggles. I know when my time comes and I get to see him again, I will have a hard time expressing how greatful I am for his help. There won't be enough words or hugs or kisses to show him how much I appreciated it. I will try my hardest though.
In any case, even though I spun the wheel of Life and wound up landing on the damned diabetes space...I know that I still have many more turns to spin that wheel. I have many more chances to see what spaces I will land on next. Hopefully one day I will spin lucky 7 and land on 'A cure for diabetes is found! Collect your freedom back from the banker and share the fantastic news with your daughter! Tell her she will live a long and healthy life with no complications and she can go ahead and break all the needles up and smash her blood sugar meter now and then go eat whatever she wants and run around like a loon and maybe eat supper 3 hours late cause she doesn't want to stop playing and maybe even sleep in the next morning!' Ok...I know that all probably wouldn't fit on one space on the game I'm ok with just putting 'A cure for diabetes is found!' and the rest will just be implied. Here's to hoping...and we shall have to wait and see where my game piece lands on the board.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

8 minutes...8 thoughts on Christmas...ready, set, GO!

Ahh so there are officially 8 minutes left of Christmas and i think I will share 8 things I learned today.
1) I received a couple of boxes of chocolates this year. Boxes of assorted chocolates are a dangerous gift. I know that I like chocolate...who doesn't? I suppose there are a few sugar nazi dentists out there that are opposed to it...but I pity them really. Assorted chocolates usually come with that little pamphlet guide in them that shows you an illustration of what each piece looks like and what is inside of it. That is the dangerous part for me. I find myself opening the box thinking, "oh...I'll just have one or two and put the lid back on!" It never works out that way. One of two things happens...I either search thru the box for the tastiest ones based on their description...OR I will play the russian roulette of assorted chocolate boxes...I pick one at random and try to guess what it is! This can be fun or it can result in some disappointment to say the least. I have the worst luck and usually wind up picking the coconut ones or the orange filled goopy ones...BLECH! In any case, it always proves to be a fun gift to get.
2) I learned not to judge a book by its cover today...or should I say judge a present by it's nerdy stigma? My husband has a corny sense of humor at times and bought me a Snuggie this year. A purple one. Ever since they have come on to the market, we have both had a few chuckles over this gift. It just seemed a tad ridiculous to me...armholes in a blanket? really? Is it seriously that hard to take your arm out of the covers to grab what you need? Is it really that cold where you are that you are afraid to risk frostbite by reaching out for that tv remote? In any case...since I am now the owner of one, I thought I had better try it out. I am very impressed! This thing even has pockets! I can sit here at the computer and type this blog out to you without having my arms be chilly and I can even keep my assorted chocolate guide book in my pocket at the same time!
3) I learned that deciding to go out to eat at a Chinese buffet restaurant at 3:00pm on Christmas day is easier said than done. We had a bit of a wait on our hands seeing as how we didn't have a reservation. Apparantly we were not the only spur of the moment type of folks out there with the same bright idea. It was sort of like dining with 700 strangers all breathing down your neck and scrutinizing how many times you actually came back with another plate of food. It did make me feel like the family from the movie "A Christmas Story" though...too bad the wait staff didn't sing Christmas carols to us...that would've been the icing on the cake.
4) Buying a cat one of thos pre-packaged stockings filled with cat toys is not the best idea. They always throw a couple of those really annoying and obnoxious plastic balls in there that jingle jangle every time they move. The cat has not stopped playing with them since this morning. I can't help recalling the line from "It's A Wonderful Life"...'every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings'....let me assure you if there is any truth to that statement, there have been a whole LOT of angels given their wings today thanks to my cat.
5) I think that there should be a new profession out there in the world. Someone who can be hired to come over while we open presents and spend the whole freakin day here getting all of the toys out of the packages and then assembling everything and reading the instructions on every single game. it really necessary for Mattel to use so much packaging and twist ties and string and tape to secure Barbie to the package? Are there really that many Barbie thefts out there in stores where they need to make it so difficult to get her out of the freakin box? I have a hard time believing it...I have never once seen a featured story on the evening news about some weirdo going around from store to store opening all the Barbie boxes and stealing all the Barbies. I think the good folks at Mattel do it on purpose...I think they all sit back on Christmas night and have a great big chuckle over how much anger they have caused parents of young girls with their Fort Knox style packaging methods.
6) Polly Pockets and Littlest Pet Shop toys are also maddening. Every little girl loves them. They are actually cute I suppose. But really? Is it really necessary to make a product that tiny with so many little pieces that go along with it? Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a missing Polly Pocket shoe in the back seat of the car while it is sitting in the driveway on Christmas night?
7) Christmas with a diabetic child is a coin toss. You can spend all night Christmas eve checking blood sugars and treating lows because you just cant seem to get them to stay above 3.0 only to find them coming in with a whopper of a 22.8 blood sugar Christmas morning. I wonder if there is a diabetic child out there who had stable blood sugars all day today. If there is, I would like to shake their parents hand and say kudos to you! Tip my hat off to them...give em the old pat on the back...and all that stuff. It's hard and I unfortunately am not actually a pancreas....i just play one in real life...and I was never any good at the acting thing.
8) Finally, I am gonna get a little sappy on this last bear with me. I have learned that the real point of Christmas...the real meaning...the real true purpose of all this to be together. To spend time with those that we love. To look at the pretty lights and ornaments eat, drink, and be just enjoy each other's company. To see the sparkle in our kids watch their faces light just be together and remember what it is like to have the innocence of a child and see things through their eyes.
So....Merry Christmas everyone...I hope you all had as good a one as I did.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Full circle Christmas

Well, here we are Christmas Eve...I am so glad that Emma is feeling better. She is SO excited though about tomorrow that she has now had over 50 carbs since she went to bed 2 1/2 hours ago and her blood sugar is hovering between 3 and 5.....ugh...i wish we could catch a break! I am not going to let it get me down though...I am excited for her...I can not wait to see the look on her face when she wakes up in the morning!! During our lives there are so many different stages we go through. I love seeing how this time of year has sort of come full circle for me. When i was little I loved Christmas just like every other kid out there. It was always an extra special time of year for us because my Grandpa's birthday is on Christmas Eve as well. He would have been 87 today. I have so many wonderful memories of our family getting together at our house...eating turkey dinner, talking and laughing, just being together. We always got to open the presents that our Aunts and Uncles gave us that night too which was very cool for such an impatient kid like me. I remember trying to go to sleep that night listening to my family talking and laughing in the living room and kitchen. The house smelled so cookies and treats and coffee. I would lay there all warm and cozy with butterflies in my stomach thinking that I would never be able to fall asleep. Life was perfect and sweet and simple.
Then I grew into a teenager and it sort of lost all the magic and joy. I was too wrapped up in my friends and figuring out who I was to really even care too much about what Christmas really meant. I'm sure this is true of most people really.
Finally once I became a "grownup" and had Emma...the magic came back. I actually am truly excited for tomorrow. I have the butterflies in my stomach again and I am sure I will have trouble falling asleep too. I get to see the joy through her eyes now. I get to hear her squeal with excitement and see her face light up. I have to say that this stage in my life is even better than when I was experiencing the joy of Christmas and Santa for myself as a kid. It's sweeter this time around. It means more to me I think because I get to experience it and see it with her. I've said it many many times before, but I will say it again...Emma teaches me so much...she shows me what is important...she makes me happy. When all is said and done...that is really all that matters I think. Merry Christmas everyone!

Thank you Elaine!!!!

Throughout life there are people that we meet that make a lasting impact on us. They leave a mark on our heart and soul and make us see things in a whole different and better way. I am a big believer in fate and that things happen for a reason and that certain people come into our lives for a reason. I am beyond lucky to have met my sister in law, Elaine. I have only known her for a few years now really...but I feel like I have known her my whole life. She is like the sister that I always wanted. I think it's pretty crazy and random that I actually have her in my life. I'm from the States and she's from Scotland...and our paths have wound up crossing in Canada. I am so greatful for her and I hope that she knows that. There have been countless times where I have been having a rough day and I will either talk to her on the phone, computer, or in person...and she has this ability to make me laugh so hard that tears come to my eyes. She will listen to what I have to say and try to help. Our lives are very similar in a lot of aspects because our own families live far away from us and our children. She understands me on a level that most people don't. What you see is what you get with Elaine...she is honest and caring and supportive. She means the world to me...she has a good soul and is an amazing person to the very core. We can talk on the phone for hours about such random things and it feels like mere minutes have passed. She makes me remember how important it is to laugh and enjoy life and take things as they come.
I could not have asked for a better woman to be the Auntie to my daughter. Emma just adores her and thinks that she is the greatest. Emma is a big fan of Aunt Elaine won her over from the very first conversation she had with Emma all because of her Scottish accent. Emma thinks she is hilarious and always has fun with her when we are together. When Emma was diagnosed with diabetes, Elaine actually took it upon herself to read on the internet about diabetes and learn what she could so she could understand what Emma was going through. What an amazing human being! She is always there for us and always supporting Emma with her JDRF fundraisers and Walks. I am beyond greatful that Emma has someone like Elaine in her life that she knows she can always count on and look up to.
Maybe it is just because it is the Christmas season...or maybe I am just rambling because I have just gotten off the phone with Elaine...but I really just wanted to express how much she means to me. I appreciate everything about her and am lucky to have her in my life.
Wherever life takes you and whoever you meet along the way...I hope you are lucky enough to come across someone as special as Elaine. Your life will be a million times better for it.
If you are reading this Elaine, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being who you are. Thank you for everything you do for Emma and I. Love you!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Check out my mad juggling skills

What a day! Lately I have been reading on Facebook all of these posts of friends who have children that are sick and in the hospital. I knew it would get to Emma sooner or later. No matter how often I got her to wash her hands or keep her hands out of her mouth and stop wiggling her loose tooth...I knew it would get us...and it did. She woke up today feeling fine and everything seemed ok. I did notice that she had an off look about her though...something was different. I kept asking her if she felt ok or if something was wrong and she kept telling me that she felt fine...everything was ok! So, we went about our day and decided to go to the public swim at the high school near here. Well, we got there and got into our suits and hopped in the pool. After about an hour Emma got this panicked look on her face and told me she felt like she was going to puke. I thought...oh we go! I had visions of her throwing up in the pool and everyone freaking out and the lifeguards getting angry at me for bringing a sick kid there in the first place (even though I knew she wasn't sick before we even left the house!). I quickly scooped her up and rushed to the locker room the whole while talking to her and trying to make sure she would at least make it to the washroom before letting loose. Thankfully we made it. She never actually threw up there at all...we got dried off and dressed and left....she saved the puking for at home. Well, to make a long story short...she is currently asleep camped out on the living room floor behind me and she seems ok. No fever, no ketones, ok blood sugar...I am good with that. I wanted to talk about something that happened earlier in the evening though. In between throwing up, I had actually convinced her to get in the bath and wash off the chlorine smell and general puki-ness odour. While she was sitting there, she burst into tears begging me not to take her to the hospital. She was completely terrified that if she had to go there, she would have to stay there for Christmas and then Santa wouldn't be able to find her. It was all I could do not to burst into tears right along with her. Instead, another piece of my heart broke off....score one for the bastard that is diabetes. I told her that all she needed to do was focus on this particular moment in time...this exact minute. I told her that we weren't at the hospital right now...we might not have to go there there was no sense worrying about something that hadn't come to be yet. I told her that if we did in fact wind up having to go there...Santa would most definitely find her. I told her that Santa stops at the hospital FIRST to drop off presents for the kids there before he goes anywhere else. That settled things in her mind thankfully. That is one thing we should never have to experience as parents though...we should never have to see our children sick and overwhelmed with fear that Santa won't know where they are. It's just's not fair.
Another thing that drives me insane about illnesses with diabetes is how hard it is to juggle everything. Sickness usually brings on ketones which are dangerous...the only way to get rid of ketones is extra insulin and lots of water...well if you have a diabetic kid who is sick throwing up anything you try to give them including water, then they have low blood sugar dangers anyway! So there I was juggling ketones, extra insulin, low blood sugars, sips of juice every 2's maddening...i might as well have been banging my head against the wall. It's a vicious's exhausting! Non-diabetic kids who are ill throwing up can just throw up and go lay down on the couch and sleep....I wish things were that easy. Instead I had to sit there giving her sips of juice to bring her blood sugar back up...hoping and praying that it would stay down in her belly and not make a reappearance in the bucket. All the while wondering if the ketones were powering up and gaining on me again.
So, here I for a long night once again. You may have won this round, diabetes....but just wait until's my turn then. At least this didn't happen on Christmas day I suppose....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My tunnels and wishes

So, the countdown is on...3 more days until Christmas!! This will in fact be our 3rd Christmas with diabetes. That is hard for me to believe actually. I remember how scared i was that first year and how often I tested Emma's blood sugar to make sure she was ok. It was pretty much bordering on the obsessive compulsive need really.  I thought for sure that she was going to go dangerously low and pass out while opening gifts that morning and there that memory would be...burned into my brain and hers for the rest of our lives...ruining Christmas worse than the Grinch could have ever succeeded in doing. Needless to say, everything was fine...she was no worse for the wear, other than having some sore fingertips from having a panicked freak of a Mommy who insisted on testing her BG so much. This year, I of course am still nervous....but much more comfortable too if that makes sense. I think it's because we have done this before and came out on the other side ok. Diabetes is sort of like that for me. It's always been like a series of tunnels that we run into. That first year was the scariest and longest tunnel. The day Emma was diagnosed we were kind of shoved into it blindly. We did have our minimal gear in our toolbelts...carb info, insulin supplies, etc. but that was really it. It was poorly lit because we really had no idea what we were doing. It was bumpy and slippery and full of twists and turns. It seemed to go on forever...taunting me the whole way...We made it through the other end though. Each "new" experience with the added bonus of diabetes has been a different tunnel on our path. Some are bright and easy and clear with crowds of people cheering us on the whole way! Those tunnels are the best...we walk them with our friends and tell our stories and share each others joys in fighting this disease. Others are dark and sad and lonely. They frighten me and take away all of my hope for making it out. Those tunnels are the worst...Emma and I are always alone in those... I'm grasping her hand as tight as I can and holding her to my body...protecting her from the unknown...shielding her from the pain and fear and despair...trudging along through the muck and mud one step at a time praying to whoever will listen that the small dot of light will soon appear ahead showing me the end of this horrid tunnel is near. I hate those's all I can do to keep from losing my mind and running screaming into the darkness. The only constant comfort is the feeling of Emma's hand in mine....counting on me...needing me to be strong. Thankfully I have only had to make it through a couple of those tunnels so far. I much prefer the bright cheery ones.
In any case, once again I seem to have gone off on a weird tangent....sorry about that. This year for Christmas, I hope that Emma and all of the other diabetic kids out there have a great day. I hope that they get to enjoy being kids. I hope that Santa is good to them all. They deserve it. My hope for their parents is that things go smoothly...and that they are able to enjoy the day as well. Look at your children's faces and truly see the joy in their eyes that moment when they see all of the presents Santa left under the tree. That sparkle and that pure joy is what Christmas is really all about. Let diabetes leave your mind completely for just that minute and enjoy that special moment in time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A beautiful old soul

So today we had a Mommy & Emma day. It was the first day of Christmas break so we didn't really have to rush around and get ready and hurry up and get out the door to make it in time to school. It was nice to just be lazy and take our time eating breakfast and watching cartoons. After we got dressed we decided to go see the movie "Tangled". We've been wanting to see it since it came out, but for one reason or another we never got a chance to until today. It was really good! There were a couple of interesting things that happened there as well. It was a 12:20pm movie which forced me to be creative with lunchtime/insulin/popcorn at the movies. It all worked out in the end thankfully. That is one constant with always keeps you on your toes and forces you to figure things out and plans things out ahead of time. While we were there we ran into the grade 5 teacher from Emma's school as well. Thanks to Emma being the only diabetic in the school, ALL of the staff know who she is and know her name. They also ALL know who I am seeing as how I am constantly at the school either getting her for lunch, coming to make sure a low blood sugar is fixed, or talking with the teacher about special events. She was actually there to see the same movie with her own children. Anyway, I have noticed something since Emma has started school. Every single one of the teachers from the upper grades all have the same look in there eye when talking to us. They are all very very nice, but they all have a little bit of anticipation/panic look in their eyes. I feel like they are watching us and taking note to what we are doing because they know that eventually Emma will be a student in their classroom. For some reason I find this funny. Don't get me wrong, I think it is a great thing that they are even wanting to pay attention...i just think it's a little funny.
So, after the movie we walked around the mall a bit and talked. We looked at things she wanted to see, waved at Santa, and smelled all the good smelly things at Bath and Body Works. It really is amazing to find out what Emma has to say when i actually have the time to listen. It was nice to be able to focus all my attention on her and really truly be able to listen to what she had to say. She is such a thoughtful and caring person. She told me about things that happened at school and how much she misses her great grandma. She told me how much she loves her brother and sister and wishes she could see them more. She told me that she wishes i would have another baby so she could have a sibling with her all the time. She said that she really liked going to the Dollar Store to pick out gifts for everyone who is important to her. She is such a great kid. As we were walking around the mall today holding hands, I looked down at her beautiful face. I saw how much love is in her much she cares about much she wants everyone around her to be happy. She is the eternal peacemaker. I saw how much of an old soul she is. It's like she's lived lifetimes upon lifetimes. I looked in her eyes and saw glimmers of who she will be when she's older.
I loved our time today. Emma gives me hope that the world and the people in it can really be happy. I wonder if she knows how much she helps me every single day. I wish there was a good enough word out there to describe the feeling I get in my heart when I look at her.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Life lesson #1 according to my Dad

Being a grown-up is hard...all of the personalities, emotions, responsibilties...everything. This past weekend I have unfortunately realized that something my Dad said to me when I was somewhere around 8 years old, is totally and completely true. My Dad talked to me a lot about life actually. He taught me a lot about how people are and about what is really truly important. I am lucky to have him. He means the world to me and I love him...he's my hero. He was talking with me one day about friends and acquaintances and other assorted life experiences. He told me that I would be lucky, if in my entire lifetime, I had enough friends to count on one hand. The rest would just be acquaintances. At the time, I thought...ya right Dad! You are crazy and really have no idea what you're talking about...I have TONS of friends! Well, over the years I have learned this lesson over and over again. Each time I learn it doesn't make it any easier really. In fact, the more it happens...the more it discourages me. I wish there were more people out there that actually gave a crap about things other than themselves. I am so tired of meeting people and becoming "friends" with people who are only out to see what they can get from see what you can do for tell you all about their problems and never once ask how you are or what they can do to help you. It's driving me crazy and starting to make me rethink the point of wanting to even bother wasting my time on anyone other than my family. The vast majority of people in this world just take take take and then hold their hand out wanting even more. It's a sad thing really. I wish I could stop learning this lesson.
I know that I have a lot on my plate in life. I have a lot of things spilling over into other things on my plate. That's just the way things are. The one constant thing though that affects absolutely every single thing on my plate and every single thought in my head and every single decision I daughter...and the fact that she has diabetes. Her health will come before absolutely any other thing out there in the world. Hands question...don't even bother trying to convince me otherwise. If I am your friend, i will be there for you and listen to you and help you as best I can. But the health of my daughter will always be the number one priority in life for me.
I know I will probably wake up tomorrow in a better mood...having the sun come out and seeing Emma's smile. But for now, tonight....I am disappointed and discouraged by the way most people are. So, BLAH to that....i think i will go wrap some Christmas presents...maybe that will help.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wait...who's the diabetic here again??

I know I've been talking about being tired lately and not getting enough sleep and blah blah blah...all of you reading this who deal with diabetes every day can certainly relate I am sure. So, I will try to refrain from taking a "complaining" stance on it again in this post...I do though want to share something hilarious that I just did! I was sitting here watching a movie and it came time for me to check Emma's blood sugar while she is upstairs in bed asleep. So, I got up and went to the the meter, lancet, and everything else and carried it upstairs with the intent of checking her. I have done this every single night for the past 2 and a half years. Well, in our house Emma's bedroom is at the top of the stairs and the bedroom my husband and I have is to the left of her room. So anyway, I walked up the stairs, turned left into our room, walked over to my husband who was asleep in bed and went to reach out and grab his hand to check his blood sugar. yea....i clued in just as I was reaching over, that I was in the wrong room...grabbing the wrong persons hand. I quietly tiptoed backwards out the door and made an about face and went to check the blood sugar of the actual diabetic in the house. LOL! I can't believe I did that! Apparantly my limit of not getting enough sleep every night is 2 years, 5 months, and 22 days (give or take). In doing this, it brought back a lot of memories of other stupid things I have done over the years that were a direct result of little I thought I would share and we could have a little laugh together at my expense!
One day I went to return a couple movies to Blockbuster and wound up only returning the cases! The actual DVD's were back at home in my daughters DVD player and the XBOX in the living room. So, I went home with the intent of getting actual DVD's to put in the case and bring back again. Instead, I grabbed the DVD's, put them in the case, set them on the table, and drove back to Blockbuster again only to find I had left them on the table. yea...3 trips in one day just to bring back some movies.
There have also been countless other times where I go to Tim Horton's (coffee shop for all my American friends) drive-thru and pay for my coffee and drive away before waiting for them to give it to me. Yea...I just felt like driving thru and giving the good folks at Tim Hortons some money...just cause I'm nice like that!
I've done things like put the milk in the cupboard and the cookies in the fridge. I've left the house to bring her to school wearing my winter hat on my head and flip flops on my feet. Ahhh I could go on and on....
In any case, diabetes related sleep stories can be frustrating, stressful, and make you feel like you are losing your marbles sometimes. However much I WANT it, if I were to actually get 8 hours straight sleep every night...I think life would be a little boring. I am not a fan of boring.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Polly Pocket's House of Narcolepsy

It's amazing what I am finding I can get done in a day after having only 4 hours sleep. For example today I got Emma to school, did a little Christmas shopping, did the dishes, cleaned the bathroom, got her for lunch, went to her school Christmas concert, shoveled the snow off the driveway, picked up more test strips at the pharmacy, got my Avon orders ready, stopped at the Dollar Store to get Emma a new Santa hat since the one we had is lost in the abyss that we like to call the "play room", made supper, helped Emma with her homework and practicing piano, got her teachers Christmas present ready and helped Emma make a card for her, wrapped some Christmas presents, gave Emma a shower, got her snacks, checked blood sugars, gave needles, and got her to bed...WHEW...that's too least somewhere in the middle of all that I was able to shower and have a coffee. So, after supper I sat down on the couch for a minute and tried to focus on playing Polly Pockets with Emma and the darn narcolepsy I have seemed to develop (thank you once again diabetes!) was trying to take control over my eyes and force them shut. I think it won out for a few minutes because I have no recollection of what went on with the Polly Pockets game tonite...oh well.
Anyway, I wanted to share that for the past few days Emma's blood sugars have been high alllll day seemed like no matter what I did, i just could not get them to come back down. I have had this morning I made some adjustments to her ratios to get them back down to normal and it worked! Each time I checked her blood sugar, I sat there waiting for the 5 seconds to count down to show me a good number. You would have thought i had won the lottery today with how much I was cheering every time it came out being a good number! I love when we get days like this. I love when I make an adjustment and it actually works. It makes me feel like I know what I am doing. It makes me feel like I am in control of this and I am doing my job right and taking care of my kid like a Mommy is supposed to do. I also love seeing how "normal" acting Emma is on good blood sugar days too. I use the term "normal" loosely kid is anything but normal and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's great feels like I have my old kid how she was when she was 3 and didn't have diabetes. She is in a great mood, doesn't look pale, is chattering away and running around playing like every other kid her age. It's great!
So, tonite...for just this little moment in time...I am feeling good about everything. That is all I could hope to ask for in a days time and I am going to hold onto it for as long as I can. I'm going to try to remember this feeling on days when we are struggling and it feels like I am losing the battle for control with diabetes. Just so I can remember it and realize that no matter how difficult things may seem...I know that feeling in control and happy with things is always a possibility. No matter how much crap diabetes throws our way...things are never hopeless.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Elvis impersonating ambassador

Yesterday JDRF called and asked me if Emma would be a youth ambassador for 2011. Emma was at school at the time, so I had to wait until I got her for lunch to ask her what she thought before I gave an answer. So, lunchtime rolled around and I asked her if she would like to, no surprise... she was all for it! I am so proud of her and what she has accomplished in her life already! If she has done all of these things by 6 years old...I can't even imagine what she will have done by the time she is my age even. Anyway, I explained to her what being a youth ambassador would all involve...speaking at various JDRF events, etc. and that she would need to share her story to a lot of people and tell them what a cure would mean to her. She makes me laugh though because after we talked about it I asked her to go wash her hands and get ready for lunch. A few minutes passed and I heard some talking going on in the bathroom so I peeked around the corner and there she was standing in front of the mirror looking at herself with her hand on one hip and saying, "Hi! My name is Emma..and I will be 7 years old. I got diabetes when I was 4 and WE NEED YOUR MONEYYYY to find a cure! Thank you very much!" That last part was said in her best Elvis voice by the She is forever making faces in the mirror at herself and being goofy. I wish I could remember more about when I was's definitely a fun age! I can't wait to see what she will be like as a grown up. If how she acts now at 6 years old is any indication of what's to come...I love it! She is eerily good at impersonations and doing silly voices...i think she gets it from my brother actually. I am forever asking her to say something in a British accent...or talk like Shrek just cause it is hilarious. Picture a 6 year old girl saying "Ello Gov'nah! Would you care for a spot o' tea?" It's impossible not to laugh! Anyway, like any other parent out there...I want good things for her in life. I hope that she can have fun in whatever she does and makes a difference in the world. I hope that she does whatever will make her happy. If that turns out to be dressing up like Elvis to spread awareness about diabetes...then i will be right there in the front row cheering her on and wearing my rhinestone jump suit to show support.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My first best friend, Mandy

I have had this song stuck in my head all day long for some reason. Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time". I love that song...always have and always will. It makes me think of my best friend growing up. What they said in one of my favorite movies/books of all time "Stand By Me" is will never have friends like you did when you were 12. Well, I met Mandy in kindergarten actually...we were both standing at the water fountain and she looked to my 5 year old self like she could be a lot of fun and really nice. So, I went up to her and straight out asked her if she wanted to be my best makes me laugh when i think about it now because can you as an adult picturing yourself having enough courage to walk up to a complete stranger and ask them to be your friend?...I know that I would not have the guts to do that now. Well, of course she said yes and we became the best of friends all through elementary school. Most all of my childhood memories have Mandy in them...sleepovers, birthday parties, gymnastics, brownies (girl scouts), and countless recess times at school. Well, one day at school we both decided that we wanted to try and leap frog over these cement poles that were all in a row lining the driveway to the school. Most of them were not all that tall, so it wasn't really a big problem for us. However there were a couple that were about as tall as we were ourselves...which made it a challenge to say the least. We were both a little scared to try to leap over those ones. I remember quite a few recesses we spent trying to convince ourselves to just do it and be brave. I remember standing in front of the pole and Mandy waiting for me on the other side of it trying to help me do it...and she started singing "Time After Time"....lolol...she sang "...if you fall, I will catch you! I will be waiting!" I have no idea why that memory sticks in my head to this day. It's there though...and everytime I hear that song, I instantly am transported to that sunny afternoon at recess at school with Mandy. I love how much power music has. Mandy and I eventually made it over those poles...she did wind up hitting her head on one of them if I remember correctly though. In any case, we wound up going to different Jr. High schools because of the areas we lived in...and we lost touch for that time. We went to high school together again...but by that time we both had made new and different friends and it just wasn't the same. I now have her as a facebook friend though and we talk every once and a while. I hope she knows though how much she meant to me back then...she was the greatest friend I had and I wouldn't trade those memories I have with her for anything. It's funny where life takes you sometimes...all the different directions and paths. Anyway, I hope that Emma's friends that she has now will turn out to be as awesome as Mandy was to me and will always be there to catch her if she falls.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My 5 minute argument with myself

This morning Emma and I got up early to drive my husband in to work so we could have the car today. We only have the one we do this quite often actually. Anyway, the roads were pretty slippery and traffic was moving slowly due to all of the snow we got during the night. Usually on mornings like this Emma will bring her blanket in the car with her so she can snuggle up and try to get a little bit more sleep during the car ride. It's actually a beautiful quilt that we got the last time (one and only time actually!) that she was admitted to the hospital due to a stomach bug she had earlier in the year. She couldn't keep anything down...her blood sugars were a mess and she had ketones...but that is a whole different story that I don't really feel like getting in to right now! Anyway, this quilt is awesome. There is a group of woman who make all of these different quilts and donate them to the children's ward in the hospital. Well, ever since that day Emma has slept with it and loves it. Anyway, so there we were driving along and there she was in the back seat all snug as a bug in a rug. She usually has a hard time actually falling back asleep in the car honestly. Well, today after we dropped my husband off and we were heading back home...I happened to glance in the rearview mirror to see what she was doing. She had her eyes closed and her head was tilted back and her mouth was wide open. Which brings me to my panicked moment for the day. I sat there having an inner argument with myself while trying to focus on the road as well. I was freaking out wondering if her blood sugar had dropped too low and she was passed out literally. Or maybe she was actually just sleeping...Should I call out her name? Tap her on the leg? Or just let her be? I knew she was i didn't want to wake her up...but I was worried that it was something worse than just sleeping...I hate diabetes. I hate having that inner argument with myself...I hate the wondering and watching and waiting and trying to decide what to do. The arguing in my head was getting louder and louder and I was getting that sense of urgency and panic...i hate that feeling. It's like someone standing over your shoulder yelling in your ear to hurry up! make a decision! do something! ANYTHING! It's like an overload of stress that bursts up from my heart and tries to explode. Thankfully while arguing with myself, I looked back at her again and she had stirred in her sleep and opened her eyes. She looked at me and said, "what???" All was ok...she was fine...she was just sleeping. All of this happened in the span of about 5 minutes. A lot can happen in 5 minutes though....a lot of people who don't deal with diabetes on a daily basis will probably read this and think that I was overreacting and being not the case. I could lose my child in a matter of minutes thanks to diabetes. Imagine bearing that weight on your shoulders every single day for the rest of your life...with no days off. It's an insane amount of stress and responsibilty. Sometimes I feel like it could swallow me whole if i let it...if i just let my guard down for one second it could consume me and i would lose everything. eat or not to eat

So, it is's snowing...I had to shovel today for the first time this year. I totally and completely dislike the winter...which is really awesome seeing as how I live in Canada of all places. That works out well for does sarcasm. In any case, there I was standing in a puddle of water inside my useless pair of winter boots..shovel in hand...watching my daughter eat snow. I have been told many many many times by many many many different Mom's out there that I shouldn't let her eat snow because there are so many gross things in it...even if it looks completely clean and fresh and still has disgusting things in it. Well, I guess I am a pushover, or a rebel, or just too tired to care...because I never stop her! I always let her eat it. Unless of course it is yellow or full of dirt or leaves or whatever. I let her eat it cause it's fun. I ate it as a kid and I lived. I am sure for centuries kids have eaten snow and survived to tell the tale to their own grandkids years later. I see how happy it makes her and how she giggles and comments to me that she loves snow so much because it is CARB-FREE and it's EVERYWHERE!! She makes a good argument...there aren't too many fun things to eat out there that are carb-free and in abundance every time you step outside during the winter. So, I let her eat it...every year...and every year without fail I have other Mom's look at me like I am a bad parent and a freak because of it...every year I have some Mom's even tell MY kid that they aren't allowed to eat it while I am standing right there. It's not like I am letting her eat tree bark or chew on a few pine cones when she's hungry (I would imagine that would cause some digestion problems to say the least). I know I might have a few negative comments or thoughts about my parenting in regards to this post..and I'm ok with that...everyone is entitled to their own opinion and has the right to parent their own child as they see fit. I'm simply sharing my own thought...snow is just snow...I think that a few tastes of it are not going to hurt her. It makes her happy and that is great.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

There's no waiting in line!!

So, today we went to my husband's Grandma's funeral. This was the 2nd funeral Emma has ever been to and it was the 1st open casket ceremony as well. I was very uncertain and worried and unsure of how to handle it with her...but it really seemed to work out ok. Emma is a whole lot stronger than I give her credit for to be honest. I know that at 6 years old I would definitely NOT be able to handle even half of the things that she has handled. In any case, I was curious to see how all of these events would affect her blood sugar. As the parent of a diabetic child, I spend most of my days worrying about what things are going to do to her blood sugar and if I will be able to control it. It was certainly not a good day for diabetes...she was high all day long...I had to give her 3 extra needles actually to try and get it down to a decent number. Yet one MORE thing that diabetes takes from us. The simple right to pay our respects and grieve for a family members passing without having to constantly be distracted with blood sugars. I've said it before, but I will say it again...diabetes is's mean and it's a bully. Sometimes I just want a break...a day off. I want to be able to sleep for 12 hours and spend the other 12 hours doing absolutely whatever we want to do without worrying about diabetes. Not gonna happen is what it goes on...and other assorted cliches.
In any case, it was a nice service and it was good to see family that we don't get to see regularly. My husband's family has a few issues (to say the least) with people not getting along with others. It is such an odd thing to be in that environment and witness people purposely avoiding eye contact and completely ignoring each other because of these issues. Human nature is a strange thing. I think deep down that we all want to be loved and accepted. We all want to feel like we belong and are a part of something. As we grow up though and leave our kid innocense behind...we become jaded...we see things and hear things and do things that make us lose that good part of ourselves. We become selfish and our hearts are clouded by all of the nonsense that goes on. People say things and do things that are mean. People forget what should really be important. It's a shame...but like I said, i guess that is just human nature.
After supper today, Emma told me that she thinks that Grandma was watching us today and so I asked her how she thought the angels got to see us. I asked her if she thought they could see the whole world or if they could just see where they were from. She told me that she thinks they have a globe up there and all they have to do is find the spot on the globe that they want to look at, push a button, and there ya go..they can see it! So, i asked her if she thought there was one giant globe that they all shared or if they each had their own globes. She told me that they each have their own, because if say for example, Grandma pushed the button on the globe for our town and another angel came up and wanted to look at the same place (but a different family)...then they would have to wait in line for their turn...and "I don't think they should have to WAIT IN LINE in Heaven!!" I thought that was awesome...lolol.
So, good-bye for now Grandma Ermel... i hope every now and again you get a chance to push the button on your globe for our little area and help keep Emma safe. <3

Friday, December 10, 2010

Just another brick in my wall

I know I just posted something...but I still feel like there is more to get out. I just checked Emma's blood sugar and it was ok...a little high, but ok I suppose. Maybe it's because i have been thinking about a lot of sad things lately, probably because I tend to be overly sensitive and over analyze things. It's just the way I am. Anyway, like I said...I checked her blood sugar and then I just stood there looking at her sleeping. It kills me sometimes...why did this have to be her life? Why does she have to have diabetes? I have built up a pretty sturdy brick wall over the past 2 and a half years...I don't like thinking like this and feeling like i have tried to build that wall and keep it all out. Sometimes though diabetes gets thru the slips between the bricks and gets over onto my side. It feels like a punch to my heart when that happens. It's weird too because it seems to always happen at such random times. Like tonight...I can't even count how many times I have gone up to her room to check her blood sugar over the years and for some reason tonight it just got me. This is our life now...this is my baby girl's reality. I look at her beautiful face while she is sleeping so freely with her arms spread above her head and her mountain of stuffed animals surrounding her. She doesn't deserve this...she shouldn't have to live this life. I try not to waste my energy and cloud my heart with hatred for diabetes. It's not's poison really. But in all honesty...I can't help it sometimes...the hate gets in and takes ahold of me. I get so angry that my baby has to have it. I am sure that I am just being emotional...but I think I just need to get it out and i will be fine. I really am not such a depressing person...i do enjoy life and am happy. I think it's just all of the things that have been going on lately causing my overload. It gets so hard trying to be so strong and not show her my fear about all of the things involving her diabetes. It has and always will scare the crap out of me...but I don't want Emma to see that...I don't want her to see the fear. I want her to know that it will be beat some day. I want her to believe it and have that fire in her belly that I have...that feeling of wanting to do absolutely anything to reach that cure. Diabetes is such a pain in the ass....and being a Mom is a lot harder than I ever thought it could be.

I wonder what it's like

I wonder what it's like where you are.
I wonder do the birds sing,
do the flowers bloom?
I wonder if you are happy and at peace.
are you able to see everything,
is it as amazing as we dream?
Is it like one neverending day of joy
with the sun shining bright and warm
Can you feel it on your skin?
Do you get to see everyone you ever knew
kiss them, hug them, tell them how you've missed them
Can you still see us way down here?
Are you sad to have left this place
with everything you've ever known?
Or is it so beyond beautiful where you are now
that it could never compare?
I wish I could have a glimpse
for just a moment so I would know and not be scared
I want you to know that while you were here with us
you touched my heart.
I know I wasn't always around...
never enough time is no excuse
But you made an impact on me none the less
and I wish you perfect sunshiney days
filled with love and joy and peace.
Until we meet again
I will know that you are there with a smile on your face.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A slap in the face

My husband's Grandma passed away yesterday afternoon. Death is such a strange thing I think. For those of us left behind it sort of is like a slap in the face to put things into perspective. It shakes away all the cobwebs of daily duties that are tangled up in our heads bogging us down. It reminds us of what is really important. All of lifes problems...parking tickets, needing to get the car fixed, stressing about getting Christmas shopping done...they all are miniscule. We tend to make these things huge in our minds though when they are happening. Literally 2 seconds before I got the phone call saying that his Grandma had passed away, I was sitting in the driver's seat of the car bitching about getting a parking ticket and mad that I missed it by 4 minutes time...i was so mad...over a $20 ticket! It was something so stupid and so small and I was letting it get to the point of ruining the rest of my day. Then my phone rang and I was told the news. Granted she was my husband's Grandma...and I only knew her for about 10 years...and we were not super close...but it still stung when I found out. She was the only one that ever took the time out to ask me how my Mom was...the only one to ask how my Grandma was after she found out she had breast cancer. She was the only one who ever cared enough to ask me how Emma was doing with her diabetes. She was the only one who actually made me feel welcome and like a part of the family when I moved here. I will always be greatful that I had the chance to know her. She was a special lady and I hated seeing her suffer. So, when I got the phone call yesterday did hurt...and it made me realize that all of those little things I was mad about were really not important at all. It bothers me though that it takes something like death to make us realize what is important. They say that time heals all wounds...which is very true and is usually a good thing...but I think it is also a shame sometimes. Because I know that with the passing of time, that feeling and that realization of what is really important will start to fade away into the background again. It will become overshadowed by the usual everyday life occurances again. I hope not...I hope it doesn't fade too far away.
I am so glad that I have Emma around. She really puts things into perspective for me a lot of the time. I think I will choose to look at things from her point of view on this one. When I told her that her Great Grandma had passed away she said to me, "Mommy, I bet that Grandma is waiting in line at the gates now holding hands with her husband and watching us. I bet she thinks it's really pretty there." She also told me that now we have another angel watching over us and making sure that we are safe. She said that she knows she will get to see all of our angels in Heaven again one day a looooong time from now when she dies. That makes me feel good to know that she is able to deal with death that way...she realizes that it is just a part of life and she is ok with it. So, I am going to choose to think of it like my 6 year old daughter does. I will be happy that Grandma is now with her husband again...I will be happy that she isn't in pain anymore...i will be happy that she is an angel now and in a place that is beautiful beyond words. I will be happy knowing that I will get to see all of our angels again one day...a looooong time from now.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dear Emma

Dear Emma,
I want you to know that I love you more than absolutely anything in the entire universe. You are the reason why I get up in the morning and the reason why I stay up all hours of the night. I try not to let you see it ever, but I want you to know that sometimes your diabetes scares the crap out of me. I worry that I will walk in your room in the morning to wake you up for school and you will have left me. I worry that whenever I guess wrong with your carbs or insulin dosages and wind up with a high blood sugar, that I am doing permanent damage to your little body. I worry that what I am doing now to take care of you will cause you complications when you are older. I worry that I won't be strong enough to let you go when the time comes for you to live your own life and be a grown up and manage your own diabetes. I worry that I am forgetting to teach you some important skills or knowledge about your diabetes. I worry that I am teaching you too much about it. I worry that one day when you are a teenager, you will be treated poorly or differently because no matter how much I try to deny are different. You are the only one of your friends with diabetes. I worry that you will get your heart broken by a friend or a boy who just can't handle it and isn't good enough for you. I worry about you. When I had to tell you that you were diabetic...I thought I wouldn't be able to get the words out...they were stuck in my throat choking heart and my soul were tearing in two as the words fell out of my mouth.
I hope you know that I am sorry this happened. I wish it was me instead of you. I wish I could give you my pancreas and take your broken one. I am sorry there is not a cure yet. I hope you know that I will do whatever is humanly possible to help researchers find a cure. I will do this and stand up and fight for you with everything I have until my last breath on this earth. I hope you know that. You are my world and I honestly don't know what I did to deserve you. I never knew what it meant to love someone until you came along. You told me last night at bedtime that you "really like me". I hope you know that meant SO MUCH to me. I hope you know that you will always have me there to help you. I will take care of you, comfort you, talk with you, laugh with you, have fun with you, support you and your dreams, and simply BE there for you even when we are both old gray haired ladies. Diabetes has been in our lives for going on 3 years now and I hope it will be gone soon. But even if it is around for another 30 years, I want you to know that we will be fine...we may have our struggles and falls, but we will make it through the other side that much stronger. I will carry you through to the other side. We will be ok...that much I can promise you. Thank you for making me want to be a better person. Thank you for showing me what is really truly important in life. Thank you for being my hero. Thank you for being YOU. I love you and always will!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mish-mash blather for the day

Sooooooo...where to begin? where to begin? Once again I have a few random things floating around my head, so here goes. Last night I had a very odd was about grocery shopping. Yes, I know I need to get a life if the topic of my dreams is grocery shopping. Well, anyway...I was pushing the cart along and came to the meat section and happened to notice that there was a sale on turkeys. The sign said $5 per turkey! Before I decided to start loading up my cart with as many turkeys as I could fit in there, I for some reason began frantically searching for the nutrition information on the frozen turkeys! I was in a panic because I could not find out the number of carbs in the turkeys! umm....we are now 2 and a half years into this disease and I am fully aware of the fact that there are ZERO carbs in a turkey. Apparantly my subconscious self thought otherwise. Needless to say, I never found the carb info because I woke up. I wonder what the hell that dream means?
I also went to a chinese buffet restaurant for supper tonight. I always find it funny how we handle dinners like that. I walk around with Emma holding her plate and putting whatever she wants on it for her (which usually consists of a WIDE variety of foods surrounding a mountainous pile of mashed kid loves those). Then we sit down and I take out my phone and snap a picture of all the food on her plate so I can look at it after to count the carbs and give her needle! I get some odd looks from people when i do that...they must think I am crazy for photographing a plate of food. Who cares Well, tonite when it was needle time the woman at the table behind us saw me giving Emma her shot. Then i heard some discussion behind me and my ears pricked up at the word "needle" in particular. Well, instantly my momma bear gloves came out (lol...bears don't wear gloves!..gawd i'm tired) and I was preparing myself for the rude looks or snide comments I sometimes get. Instead, the woman actually asked me about diabetes...she asked quite a few questions and seemed really interested in what I had to tell her about it! What a nice surprise that was. Educating the public about type 1 diabetes is exhausting sometimes cause I get tired of saying the same things over and over and over again....but I will continue to do my best. It is always nice though to encounter someone like the woman i met tonite who will actually ASK the questions. i know this post didn't really have any specific direction or I am too tired to try and organize my thoughts. Time for bed!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'll sleep when I'm dead!

The waiting is the hardest part....i hate that about diabetes. The past couple of days I have been struggling with trying to get Emma's breakfast ratio right so she would come in at an ok blood sugar number come lunch time. If I gave her 1 unit per 8 carbs...then she is too high at lunch, and if i did 1 unit per 7 carbs...then she's too low! I can't win sometimes! So...basically i just did the 1 per 7 and bumped up the carbs in her morning snack. Now, I sit here waiting to see if the phone is going to ring...her school telling me that she is low.
Sometimes I feel like I am trying so friggin hard to get her blood sugar numbers to be as good as possible...that it is going to drive me insane. It's like I have all of this random information swirling around in my head all day long and I am trying to juggle all of it...all of the different factors that affect the blood sugar. Activity, weather, mood, school, food, growth spurts...if it's a day ending in "y"...if she's wearing purple...ARGH! It's hard...and it makes my brain hurt. I know...i could always be worse! I've heard it all before...look on the bright side, Amy! could have been something worse like cancer! least it's a "manageable" disease!...she's such a smart girl, she will be ok! Really? lolol..what does her being smart have to do with her pancreas not working? I had to stay up till 2:45am the other night giving her 40 carbs of food just to keep her blood sugar from dropping too low. This made me pretty much useless all day yesterday. I felt really bad though about it because all Emma wanted to do was play once she got home from school. I feel like I am letting her down sometimes because I am so tired...and I don't want to blame it on her diabetes in front of her, because I don't want her to feel responsible some how. It's not HER fault I am tired. It's diabetes fault! It takes a lot from us and is very stressful...but I think that is what bothers me the most...the fact that diabetes can take away my ability to be a fun Mom. It robs me of sleep and energy and therefore makes it harder for me to just play and have fun with Emma. It's like I can only focus on the basic needs she has...meals, baths, insulin, blood sugars, brush teeth...stuff like that. I have no room or energy or focus left in my brain to simply play a game with her. I hate it! It was so bad yesterday that i found myself at one point wishing for a coffee IV drip...or maybe I should have just sat there and chewed on a few coffee beans. Anyway, to borrow a phrase from my mom...I'll sleep when I'm dead! In the meantime, diabetes can kiss my arse today cause I actually got 6 hours of sleep IN A ROW last night.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My worst case scenario game...and the BEST teacher

I can't believe that this is my 50th blog post. I can't believe that I have babbled on about random things involving diabetes for that many posts! I really am greatful that I have something like this though to just get it all out there and possibly help someone going through the same things I am.
Anyway, for my 50th post I have a couple of things I want to talk about that are really not related at all. But that is ok...that is pretty much how my mind works and how I tend to operate. First things first...I wanted to talk about how Emma has been wearing a "practice pump" lately to see how she likes it before deciding on getting one of our own. Well, today was the first day that she wore it to school. I talked to her teacher about it yesterday just to forewarn her not to wasn't actually hooked up to was just taped to her belly so she could get the feel of it. So, I guess this morning her teacher decided to talk to the entire class about diabetes and have them ask Emma questions about it and about the pump. One student in her grade 1 class asked her what diabetes was...and Emma said, "Well, basically it's just that my pancreas is lazy." I thought that was a fantastic description of this ridiculous disease! Apparently once Emma said this, the other kids really understood and they also popped up with things like, "My Dad is lazy! All he does is lay on the couch!"...lolol...1st graders are the best! After the Q&A session and after Emma was finished educating the other 6 year olds about diabetes, i guess the teacher went and found a few pictures and even a puzzle of the human body and showed the kids where their pancreas was. I thought this was just awesome. She is an incredible woman who has definitely made my life easier and is so proactive in wanting to educate the kids about this. We really lucked out with her! Education is the key to all of this and Emma and her teacher are conquering it one 6 year old at a time.
Secondly, I wanted to talk about something that happened to me today. While Emma was at school, i decided to try to get some Christmas shopping done. During my travels I was stopped at a railroad crossing. The world's loooongest and sloooowest train was going by and I could do nothing except sit there and wait for it. While waiting, my mind wandered as it tends to do to diabetes. I sat there, i am glad that Emma is not stuck here with me. I'm glad that we are not stuck here waiting trying to get home in time for supper. I usually think of the worst case scenarios for things sometimes. I sat there thinking...what if Emma was with me and she was low and i had already given her the last juicebox in my purse..and she was still low. Being low and not having any food or juiceboxes left on me is my biggest fear. Which is why I usually travel with  close to a hockey bag size purse at all times...ok i'm's not THAT big...but it isn't some cute little pretty bag either! I walk around with a grocery store selection of fast acting carb foods on me always. All this being said though did not stop me from playing my "worst case scenario game"...i was thinking about what I would have done had that been the case. Would I have sat there waiting it out? Would I have given her glucagon? During my not so brief pause in the day waiting for the stupid train to pass, I decided that if Emma had been with me and was low and I had run out of food or juice...I would have simply turned my car off, got Emma out, left the car in the middle of the road and ran to the corner store across the street. I would have grabbed the closest sugary product on the shelf and shoved it in her mouth...paying for it later of course. Hopefully, I will never have to do that in my lifetime. I hate that I play that worst case scenario game all the time....but i think it is pretty much impossible for me to stop it since I am now holding the diabetes card in my hand. I'd like to point out too that the diabetes card just so happens to be right next to the Joker card in my life deck of appropriate I think.