Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Diabetic Disney Princess

I think there should be a Disney princess with diabetes. I mean I was thinking about it today as I was driving around getting things done and checking them off of my handy dandy "to do list"...and I am really kind of sick of the same old princess story lines. You have your oppressed slave Cinderella who by chance meets a weird little babbling old lady out in the woods who changes her whole world for one evening of dancing. She meets her prince and falls in love...blah blah blah...typical story. Then you have your cast out and abandoned Snow White who moves right in to the dwarfs house in the woods only to spend her days cleaning up after them and talking to birds and squirrels. She eats the apple, awaits her love, and after a kiss...lives happily ever after. There's Ariel the infamous mermaid disobeying her father, meeting a human prince, and falling in love...blah blah blah...are you seeing the pattern here? Don't get me wrong, after having a daughter of my own...I have seen all the princess movies...many, many...MANY times...and I do like them, but as I was thinking of them today, I really wondered why Disney doesn't try to seize the opportunity and make a "princess movie" about a real-life girl. Make one about a girl who is not perfect or searching for her prince and her one true love. Make it instead about a girl who happens to have diabetes. Show her attending the Ball, dressed in her most beautiful gown (made by talking mice of course). Show her passing by the tables full of sweets and her taking out her trusty sidekick "Gluco" (her blood sugar meter) to check her blood before indulging in a tasty treat. Show her dancing the night away with her princess friends...or even throw in a handsome prince too if you her taking a time out to chat with Gluco again to make sure all is stable. Show her sitting down to a grand dinner seated at the head of the table and taking out her other pal "Sully" (the insulin pen). Show her struggles with diabetes, show how she feels different than all of the other princesses, show how frustrating and stressful this disease can be. Show how she has immense strength, bravery, and endurance. At the end of the movie, wrap it all up in a neat little bow...and show all of the little girls out there watching the movie that yes, this princess is beautiful and friendly like all of her other princess friends...she does have diabetes, and it may get her down in the dumps from time to time...but she will survive anything...and come out on the other side kissing the prince who loves her for who she is, or singing a song out in the woods with her critter friends, or simply riding off into the sunset with her diabetic sidekicks.
This is the kind of Disney princess movie I want my daughter to be able to watch.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One Day

So, I like to write poetry sometimes...I'm not the greatest at it...but it makes me happy. So here is my latest.

One Day I will be able to breathe again
I will be able to sleep, dream, and be ME again.
One day I will be able to give you the most fantastic news
I will be able to cheer, cry with pure joy, and ease your pain like a Mommy should again.
One day I will see you live free
I will be able to watch you run, play, and be an innocent kid again.
One day I will hear you squeal with laughter and happiness
I will be able to listen to your spirit soar because the weight of diabetes is now gone.
One day I will taste the sweet amazing victory in the air
I will be able to watch you eat your first bite of food with no concern of carbs or insulin.
One day I will feel your little arms around my neck
Squeezing with all your might...
tears of happiness and relief falling from your big brown eyes...pooling on my shoulder,
darkening my shirt...the last remnants of our fight and victorious battle...
soon to dry up and disappear forever.
One day I will be able to feel your heart racing with excitement at the wonderful news,
and I will know
With every single part of my soul,
that I will never take a single moment with you for granted again.
I will know that you and I together,
hand in hand
can do day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Nature of the Beast

I learned a couple of lessons this past week, so I thought I would share them on here. The first one came up and slapped me in the head last week one day after school. The usual routine is the bell will ring at the end of the day and a stampede of kids will fly out the doors to freedom. Then I stand around with a bunch of other parents while Emma and her friends play on the snow piles and the playground for a while before we all head home. Well, on this particular day...after the playing was finished...Emma and I were walking back to the car with a classmate of Emma's and his Mom. We had made it to the sidewalk and I could see the car off in the distance. Emma looked up at me and said in a weak little voice, "Mommy...I think I'm low." I hate those 5 words. You know the old saying 'If looks could kill'? Well, I think if words could kill I would have been dead long ago due to those 5 little words. Anyway, for some reason when I pick Emma up from school I always leave my bag in the car. So, I had absolutely nothing on me in the way of carbs...I checked my pockets and came up with a half roll of cough drops, a penny, and some pocket lint. I quickly turned behind to the other Mom and shouted that Emma was low and I needed to run ahead to the car. Before I even got a response from her, I sprinted up the street to the car. My heart was pounding with fear, I had that sick feeling of a lead weight in my stomach...weighing me down...making me feel like everything was moving in slow I was running through water instead of the wide open air. The car seemed to be moving further and further away from me. I was, in all honesty, cursing out loud at myself and my utter stupidity for not bringing something...anything with me in my pockets. Telling myself that if I quickly glanced over my shoulder and saw her lying there on the cold hard ground passed would serve me would be my fault...I'm an idiot. So, on I ran for what felt like an eternity...but was actually probably only 30 seconds...and I finally reached the car. I flung the door open, spilled the contents of my bag on the seat, and grabbed a juicebox. I ripped the straw off, tore the plastic off of it and jammed it in the box. I turned around and flew back to Emma and shoved the straw in her mouth. She slurped away on the juice and we made our way back to the car. I checked her and she was only 2.4 (43 for those in the States). Dammit. To make a long story short...she was fine...I drove home afterwards with hands shaking like I had just drank 18 double shot espressos...but her blood sugar came up...and she was fine. I can't believe I have gone almost 3 years on this diabetes journey...and for some reason, I thought..."I don't need to worry about bringing my bag to get her at the school...I can just leave it in the will only be a couple of minutes...nothing will happen...she will be fine." Lesson learned...I was a moron...and I will never leave anywhere without having some form of carbs on myself at all times.
The other lesson I learned happened over the weekend. It was definitely a weekend for the record books in the crazy busy department. I learned that I can manage her diabetes and keep stable blood sugars while having piano lessons, 2 hour long gymnastics class, 2 birthday parties...1 of which was 3 hours long and included 1 hour of running around playing games in a gym...rock wall a full hour swimming, playing outside in the sun, and a treat of Dairy Queen blizzards for dessert. Whew! Talk about some mad juggling skills when it comes to getting all of that done while adding diabetes into the mix! I once compared handling ketones during illness to trying to juggle a chainsaw and a feather....well i think accomplishing all of those activities with a diabetic is pretty much along the same lines too. I will pat myself on the back and call it a day. My stupidity one day turned into Super Diabetes Mom the next....that is the nature of the beast I suppose.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Wonderful Wizard of Walmart

As much as I dislike going there, I am one of those people that seems to always be going to Walmart. The place drives me nuts! It's always busy...full of a special breed of people wandering the aisles with their screaming children and leaving their carts in the middle of everything making it impossible for you to get by without moving their cart for them resulting in you being on the receiving end of getting the infamous "stink eye" for touching their cart. Going there on a weekend is pretty much pure self torture. In any case, they sure do make it convenient one stop shopping now. I am the type who will usually wind up needing the most random of things all at the same strawberries, a birthday present for Emma's friend, some toilet bowl cleaner, cat food, and a new swim suit for Emma. I don't know anywhere else really that I can find all of those things at the same place for relatively off to Walmart I go. I thought I was smart this time though and I decided to go after I picked Emma up from school on Friday. We parked the car in the first open spot which happened to be in the back field...back where the crows are circling overhead...waiting and watching you...crows are creepy. Anyhoo, we began our trek up to the store chatting away about Emma's day at school...the sun was was a beautiful day. As we approached the doors, I was mentally gearing myself up for the masses of stupid people about to bombard me. Much to my surprise....the place was fairly quiet! However, the smell of pure sugar hit us like a brick wall as soon as we entered the wonderful world of Walmart. They had a table set up out front and were selling bags of bright pink and blue cotton candy for charity. Yes, as I was preparing myself mentally for the crowd and mapping out my yellow brick road-type route in my head of the quickest way in and out of the store....I should have been thinking of excuses for NOT buying a $2 bag of cotton candy. UGH. Emma instantly began the begging routine...."PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MOMMY? Can I PLEASE have some cotton candy??? It's ONLY $2!! PLEASE??? I won't ask for ANYTHING else for the rest of my life if you just PLEASE buy me some cotton candy??" Double UGH. That is the one "food" item I have yet to let Emma have since diabetes. I live in Canada and at our clinics here we are told upon diagnosis that they are allowed to eat absolutely anything they would have eaten (ate?) before...I just need to count the carbs and give the necessary insulin to cover it. It works out just fine for us. However, I have always been leary of the whole cotton candy situation...I mean it's pure sugar...that's all it is...straight sugar...I picture the roller coaster climb to a high and the lightening fast drop to a low after eating it. So, I have never done it...luckily she has never asked for it either...until last Friday! I thought I would just ignore the begging and keep on my yellow brick road path of the store and see if she would drop it. That was a big NO. She continued on and on and finally I had to say no. I have no problem telling her no. I just wasn't sure about using the diabetes as a reason for the no. So, i told her that it was too close to supper and she already had her afternoon no...we wouldn't be getting any cotton candy today. She was heart broken....I felt like crap...wanting to cry every time we walked past a little kid happily munching away on some with pink and blue fluffy cotton candy stuck to his face. It made me mad. I wish my kid could do that too. What do ya do though...another obstacle climbed and passed over to the best of our ability at the time. Curse you Walmart...and yer little friend, Cotton Candy too!!!
On a positive note, we went out for dinner tonite and I had to guess the carbs completely on absolutely everything Emma ate. Two hours later...she was a nice even 7.6 (136 for those in the states)...awesome! I love when I guess right. It was a good day.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicken Pox finger people and Worm Weddings

Do you all remember that little hand gesture you learned when you were a kid? No, I'm not talking about the old classic "flipping the bird" at someone either...lolol. I'm talking about that one where you put your hands together with the backs of your hands touching together and interlace your fingers...and then you do the little saying, "Here's the church, here's the steeple, open the door and see all the people" know the one, right? I hope so, otherwise I am probably sounding like a complete weirdo right about now. Anyhoo, I showed it to Emma quite a while ago...and true to form the novelty wore off and she forgot about it until just recently. She's been doing it ALL the time again lately. So, there we were yesterday goofing around after dinner like our usual selves and she starts in doing it again. "Here's the's the the doors...and SEE ALL THE PEOPLE!"...and as she was wiggling her "people" around she said to me, "Mommy? Look...all of my people have the chicken pox...except for those short little pinky people...they're all good." I had no idea what she was talking about until I actually looked down at her hands. There they were, all the wonderful "people" wiggling away...and the chicken pox turned out to be little marks from all of the thousands of finger pokes Emma has had over the years. The short pinky sized people were "pox free" though because to this day my daughter refuses to let me check her blood sugar using her pinky. I can't say that I blame's such a small little finger!
Anyway, I found this little discovery sort of funny. I mean I poke her fingertips with a needle multiple times a day every single day, I see her hands to make sure she has washed them after she comes inside from playing in the mud digging up pails full of worms (so she can name them and create a worm city...she even made two worms get married one time...check out her pile o' worms from last fall to the an imagination!)...and I am positive I have noticed all the little marks on her fingertips before. I just found it interesting I think that she has never mentioned anything about it until now. She has never once complained about them hurting. She has never once said that she doesn't like how all of the pokes are there. She might not even notice them anymore I suppose....until she decided to sing a little rhyme and do the hand gestures that go with it. Diabetes can be LOUD and in your face a lot of times like during repeated lows or highs or illnesses...but I find it funny how it can also be quiet and sneak up on ya and become a part of the "chicken pox people" in the "church" that is Emma's hands.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's 2:00am...where the heck is Marty McFly??

I'm tired of being scared. I'm tired of worrying. I'm tired of being patient. I'm tired of being tired.
Here I sit at 2:00 in the friggin morning...waiting to see if Emma's blood sugar will go up from her current 4.6 (82 for those in the US). She already had one low today (yesterday I guess at this point) at lunch time...and now we are apparantly having our second one. I guess that's my big red flag to lower her lantus tomorrow morning. I hate this disease. I was ok today with the low...but for some reason tonight it is getting to me. I'm feeling beat down...exhausted...conquered by the monster. I don't do well with losing the fight. It makes me sad. Sad for Emma. Sad that this is her life. Sad that I see tons of other kids out at school or the store or park or wherever...and they are all just living so carefree...and here is my little girl. Yes, she is asleep at the moment...all tucked in bed nice and warm with her mountain of stuffed animals around her...oblivious to what is going on inside her body. I would give anything to take this away from her.
I think back to the first 4 years of her life before she was diagnosed...I was so naive. I would like to kick that version of me in the ass and say things like "What the hell are you stressing out about her having diaper rash for? Why are you so worried that she fell on the sidewalk and skinned her knee? Why are you letting a minor inconvenience during the day bother you so much? You have NO idea how bad it could be! You have NO idea how stressful your life will soon become! You have NO idea how easy you have it right now!" I know that I can't go back in time and shout at my former self...unless I happen to find Michael J Fox and borrow his time traveling Dalorean. Shouting at my former self would do no good anyway...I know me and I wouldn't truly understand it until I lived through it anyway.
So, here I am once again...tears falling in the wee hours of the morning...stomach in knots with worry...afraid to go to sleep. I wish I could make people understand. I wish I could share this brand of worry and stress and sadness for the loss of my daughters functioning pancreas. I wish I could share it with powerful people who have a lot of money to spare and make them understand how important it is to find a cure and educate the world. I wish I could bottle this feeling in my heart...the heaviness and despair...the sheer panic and worry for my daughter's life now and in the future. I would give it all to these people just to make them make them understand how important it much we need this.
I try not to give away too many of my tears to diabetes. It doesn't deserve my tears. Sometimes my traitor eyes give them up anyway though. I just want our old life back so badly that it hurts me to my core! I'm tired of doing this. I'm over it already. I just want it to go away and stop picking on us. Stop picking on my kid. I just want to sleep...and not be afraid to actually go to sleep. Sleep is such a simple thing...and yet diabetes takes it away from me yet again. I'm so tired of being afraid.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sometimes I think my kid belongs in a loony bin!

There must be something in the air today. Emma and I drove to school (well, technically I was the one driving...just thought I would, I do not let my 7 year old drive the car yet...lolol) and as we rounded the path to the back playground of the school where everyone lines up...we were immediately confronted with a load of students running around like crazy people screaming and laughing...arms flailing, backpacks flying...pure chaos! Not to be outdone, my child decided to join in the fun and apparantly have a morning sprint with some friends and sream at the top of her lungs. At first I thought it was pretty funny...there I was standing (with most of the other adults) off to the side...bleary eyed, half alseep, wishing I had a cup of coffee in me already...watching the lunatic children as if they were caged animals at the zoo who had finally figured out a way to escape and take over the place. Once I got my bearings about me though, I started to worry...this is completely not normal behavior for my kid this early in the this going to cause a low blood sugar before lunchtime? I had given her the exact same breakfast as yesterday...the exact same insulin...everything was all good...all set for a repeat performance of yesterdays numbers please and thank you. Well, all of this extra morning activity certainly threw a monkey wrench into my master plan! Who came up with that cliche by the way? Who would ever throw an actual monkey wrench into something other than a typically violent individual who most certainly must be a little off their rocker? HA! There's another funny cliche or phrase..."off their rocker"...lolol...I love cliches!
Anyhoo, I've gotten off topic and a little distracted by my cliche extravanganza, there I stood watching my loony tunes daughter and the rest of the kids, wondering what I should do. I could have pulled her aside and told her to stop running around...or I could have pulled her aside and made her eat a little something before the bell rang...or I could just let it go and see what happens because she usually has a tendency to run on the higher side in the mornings anyway. I chose option 3.
I should have listened to my gut though once again...I should have given her something extra to eat because when I picked her up for lunch she was only 2.6. Live and learn I suppose! I don't know why I'm not really bothered by this low...why I'm not more nervous for the afternoon numbers seeing as how her ratios and correction factors at lunch worked out to her not needing ANY insulin at all...but I'm not worried. I don't have that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. It's just not there. It's times like these that make me really believe that we have some sort of guardian angel up there watching us and making sure things go as smoothly as possible. Maybe it's just my Mommy instincts kicking in? Maybe it's the angel? Either way...I'm feeling ok with the whole day. Can't wait to see if the girl is still off her rocker this afternoon when I pick her up at the end of the day....should make for an interesting evening in any case!

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's nice to feel appreciated

The other day Emma told me that she doesn't ever want to have a kid with diabetes. She said it totally out of the blue. We weren't even talking about anything diabetes related. We were just driving home from somewhere and she blurted it out from the back seat. My first reaction was to laugh because hearing a 7 year old talk about being a Mom herself one day is always a cute and funny thing. I was curious to find out why I asked her. She told me that it would be too hard...she would never be able to sleep, she would always have to be giving needles, or finger pokes, or counting carbs, or worrying about how they feel. Huh...and here I thought she never really gave what I do a second thought. Here I thought she didn't really pay too much attention to what I have to do for her every day. I assumed she was just kind of going with the flow and figured this all was just normal and part of my job and it couldn't really be that hard or that much work. I think this is the closest I got to her actually thanking me for taking care of her...the closest I got to her vocalizing, in so many words, that she appreciates what I do for her every day. I have to admit, it felt good. I'm not saying AT ALL that my kid is not usually greatful or appreciative....because she is. She is very good about even thanking me for getting her a refill on her glass of water, or buying her some new rain boots, or letting her have friends over to play. I can honestly say though, that she has never really thanked me or shown me that she appreciates me when it comes to the diabetes stuff. It made me feel good. It made me happy. I told her that I wouldn't trade her for the world...diabetes and all. I told her that I would never sleep again if I had to...I would stay up forever to take care of her and make sure she was safe. I will continue to do all that I can to take care of her no matter what. I will continue to do the needles and finger pokes and math, and worrying and stress. I will do these things for the rest of my life for her...or until a cure is found...simply because I love her...simply because she is my baby heart, my soul, and my world. She got a huge smile on her face then...and we just continued our drive home. I am glad that I have learned to hang on to those little moments in life. The car rides home, the giggles sitting on the couch together, the walk from the car to the grocery store holding her hand in mine...they mean the world to me.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Day at the Park with diabetes

So, this is the last weekend of March Break for Emma. This afternoon we decided to make the most of it and go to the park to meet up with her Aunt and Uncle and 2 little cousins for some fun. My nephews are 3 and nearly 1 year old. Emma and the 3 year old ran around playing and climbing on everything and just having a great time together. They get along so well and I think it is absolutely adorable to see them walking together when Emma has her arm around his shoulder. It's so special to me that she has such a great bond with him. I always know that if Emma is ever having a bad day or is upset about something, that I can start talking with her about her little cousin and it will always put a smile on her face and make her giggle.
Anyway, once the playing was done and we all decided to call it a day and head home...Emma and I started walking down the path back to our car. At first she was uncharacteristically quiet...just shuffling along holding my hand. I looked down at her and I could see the wheels turning...she was thinking of something that was obviously bothering her. Instead of asking her what was wrong, I gave her a minute to sort things out in her head and let it out if she wanted to. Well, she did...she looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said she was scared. I asked her what was scaring her and she took a deep breath and said to me that she was scared of the needle for the pump...and the tears immediately spilled over her beautiful eyelashes. My heart sank to my feet and I knelt down beside her...I put my arms around her little body and hugged her. I didn't say a word. Not because I didn't want to comfort her...but simply because I couldn't...I couldn't speak...I was choking back my own tears and there was a huge lump in my throat that I was fighting. I didn't want her to see me cry over this. I didn't want her to see that I am scared too. I want her to think that I am confident...I want her to know that even if she is completely frightened of this whole thing, that she can ALWAYS count on me to be strong...she can always count on me to be right there beside be her rock...her strength when she needs be brave enough for both of us when she doesn't feel like she can be. So, I knelt there and held her and let her cry for a minute. Then I pulled back and looked in her beautiful brown eyes and put my hands on her little 7 year old shoulders....and I told her it was was ok for her to be was ok to be nervous and worried and stressed...whatever she is feeling about the whole situation is ok. I told her that we will do this...we will handle it and we will be ok. Whatever comes our way with this whole pump process, we will take it one step at a time...and we will be ok...we will make it. She hugged me again and told me she loved me and then took off running down the path again wanting me to chase her...giggling away.

Diabetes is hard.

Yea, I felt that last sentence meant enough that it deserved to be it's own paragraph. I had a glimpse today at what diabetes is doing to my kid mentally and emotionally. Seeing her beautiful little face...the sun shining down on her...walking through a place that is supposed to be all about kids running around, laughing, playing, swinging and climbing, having fun, and just being a kid. Yes, she did do all of those things just hours before the tears....but I would give anything for her not to have to even worry about something like this. Thankfully she didn't give diabetes too many of her tears today. I suppose this is just one more of the stepping stones on our new path of type 1 diabetes...the pump path. I think I should have brought my GPS for this journey.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I need to Pump up the Jam already

I'm scared.
I'm nervous.
I'm worried.
I'm doubting myself and my abilities.
A few months ago, my daughter finally decided that she wants a pump. She is ready. She wants the freedom. She wants to eat when she wants to eat. She wants to live a more normal life. I don't blame her one bit. This life with diabetes is hard to say the least. She just wants things to be a little easier and less regimented. I want the same thing. That doesn't take away my fear though. I know in my heart that the pump is the best thing for her. I know that it will happen. The day will come that I will be putting my faith in a little machine to keep her alive. I know that I will be the one telling the machine what to do to keep her alive, but still. We are almost 3 years into this and even though we do still have the ups and downs and struggles...I feel like I do have some sort of comfort and confidence in my abilities. I am scared to start all over. I'm worried that I will make mistakes and hurt her. I'm worried that we will go through the whole process and get the pump and it will be too hard to handle and I will want to give up and go back to needles. I'm scared that I will disappoint her. I'm scared that she will actually see me fail and she will hate me for it. I'm scared that I won't be able to do it.
Of course I am going to do it though. I'm her Mom and I want her life to be easier and I want her to be healthy and reduce the risk of complications. I want her to have more freedom. I want her to feel more like a normal kid. I want her to be able to stay outside playing as long as the rest of the kids in the neighbourhood and not have to chase her down and force her to eat a snack or a meal because "it's that time!" I can handle the constant checking in the beginning. I can handle the lack of sleep. I can handle the stress and the worry and the panic. I won't like it....but I will do it. I will do it for her. Because she is my little girl and I love her more than any words could ever express.
We had an Animas pump Rep come out to our house this past Wednesday to show us some more about the Ping. She was really very nice and patient and helpful. She asked me when i was hoping to start Emma on the pump. I had it decided in my head that I would rather start the whole pump thing in the summer because then she would be with me and i could keep a better eye on her while learning how to live life with a pump. I was worried about starting it and sending her off to school. The Rep told me that in her opinion she would probably start it sooner rather than later. She explained that it would be easier to start it during the school year because there is more of a routine to Emma's day then...wake up, breakfast, school, recess, etc. Summer is more of a random daily routine thing. I get that. I completely understand her point. So, here I sit...trying to convince myself to just jump in with both feet, which is totally not my personality...i've posted before about how I am the kind of kid who tip toes and inches her way into the water at the beach or pool to "get used to the water". I want to follow Nike's advice and Just do it...start right away. Trying to make myself believe that I am strong enough to handle all of that stress during school. I'm not sure if I'm winning or losing the argument in my head.
Emma wants to start it right away. She doesn't want to wait. She's ready now. How do I win my inner battle and convince myself that I can do this? I think it all boils down to one thing for me. Emma was diagnosed at the end of June '08....she started junior kindergarten in the beginning of Sept. '08. I was petrified to send her off to school. She is my only child...she was never in daycare or at a babysitter...she was with me from day one. School was the first place she was ever without me all day long. So, adding that new diagnoses on top of it all....well, nearly broke me. I spent those first few weeks in a total state of constant panic and stress. I would carry the cordless phone and my cell phone around with me everywhere I went in the house...just waiting for it to ring and be her school calling to tell me they had to call an ambulance for her. The whole experience changed me. It changed my whole system. It scarred me for life. Even sitting here typing about it is making me get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach...just remembering that time and that panic. How am I going to be able to go back to that deep dark place of worry and despair again? How am I going to willingly sign up for that sort of self-torture? How am I going to do it? How am I going to survive that feeling again? I have pushed it down so far and rarely ever think about that particular moment in time anymore. Now I feel like I should be grabbing a shovel so i can start digging it all up again to prepare myself for the road we are about to embark on. I've never been a fan of purposely signing up for that type of guaranteed stress. I'm scared. I will do it...but I'm scared. Thanks for listening to me rant.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A trip to the mall...who invited the diabetes monster along???

I just got back from a nice afternoon out at the mall with Emma. I'm not and never really have been a huge fan of the whole mall experience. My 7 year old is the complete opposite...she loves it...she could spend all day and night there just wandering around checking things out...smelling candles, looking at sparkly jewelry, looking at books and clothes. Sometimes it feels like she is a 17 year old trapped inside a 7 year olds body. Other times it seems like she's a 47 year old trapped in there instead! She uses words that I have never heard another 7 year old use in coversation. The latest one seems to be "fraternize"....she must have said it at least a dozen times at the mall. Anyway, because I love her more than anything...I decided to suck it up and act like I enjoy the mall. We had a really great time actually! Wandered around Bath and Body Works, smelling all of the yummy lotions and candles. Checked out the book store, window shopped the diamond rings, even stopped in at the pet store and saw some adorable puppies sleeping. Well, we made our way to a really neat store called Green Earth and decided to stop in and check all the cool stuff out. They sell things ranging from Webkinz to gargoyle garden statues to incense and gemstones. Emma of course made a bee-line for the wall of Webkinz. After a few minutes she turned to me with that all to familiar look on her face, hands shaking uncontrollably, and said "Mommy? i think I'm low!" Awesomesauce. So, I sat right the meter out even though I knew she was low...tested her...and while it was counting down to give me the reading, I gave her a juicebox. It was there we sat on the floor in Green Earth...drinking juice with hands that could barely hold the straw to her lips. I thought I should play it safe and give her something else too, so I handed over a fruit snack...opening it for her of course because she had no control over her cursed shaking fingers. I hate diabetes. I hate moments like those. I hate seeing my baby pale and shaking and worried...shoveling food and drink into her mouth as best she can. My own flesh and blood suffering like the middle of a damn store in the mall...people walking all around us...stepping over us to get by so they can see the friggin incense holders on the shelf next to us....those same people not even giving us a second concern...not one person asked if everything was ok or if they could help...nothing. Just Emma and I...sitting there...alone in a room full of people...fighting the good fight against the beast that is diabetes. I hate it. I hate how we can be having an absolutely wonderful day together and diabetes just comes out of nowhere and slaps me in the back of the head...just to remind me that it's still there...still lurking in the background...still hovering in the dark dusty corner of the store...just waiting...mouth open and teeth bared...foaming at the mouth...ready to pounce whenever it feels like it...just to make things scary...just to give me a little heart attack...just a little jolt to my system to make me remember that it's still there fighting me! Don't ever forget! I hate it.
So, there I sat....waiting and watching the shakes subside and the color return to her cheeks. I decided right then and there that I wasn't going to let diabetes ruin this day...i wasn't going to let it take away all of the fun we had today...I wasn't going to let it make me mad or cut our fun short. So, we tested again...she was fine...and we stood up and continued shopping. F You Diabetes!!! You tried to win this round of the fight today.....but you LOST!! WE WON!! Valiant effort on your part....but you should know by won't beat won't beat my daughter...we are stronger than you by far...and you are evil. Evil never wins. So, i tip my hat to you for trying....but you might as well give up now.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sisterhood of the Travelling Diabetes Mom.....and Thelma & Louise

Ok, so I just finished watching "Thelma and Louise" for like the millionth time. I love that movie. I think i can relate to them to a certain extent really. I'm not saying that I would go out and kill someone, rob some stores, lock a cop in the trunk of his car, or run from the authorities at all....well, probably not anyway...lolol. I think the bond between women is such a huge thing. The bond between Mom's and daughters, sisters,'s just an amazing thing. On really bad days with diabetes...super high blood sugars, super low blood sugars, stomach viruses, times when it feels like the diabetes monster is just simply winning the fight...knocking you down flat on your face over and over and over again relentlessly......I know that I can always turn on my computer and find a friend who will understand. A fellow diabetes Mom. She may be halfway around the world from me....but that bond we share not only as diabetes Moms, but also as women...that bond is there. It's an incredible thing I think.
I remember Emma's first stomach virus after being diagnosed...I was petrified. I had absolutely NO idea what the hell I was doing...I just kept trying to feed her more and more juice to get that blood sugar number to stay up above 5.0....I was so scared, lost, unsure, sad, and worried. I happened to go on Facebook and a friend was there for me. She doesn't even live in the same country as me. Her teenage daughter actually passed away a few years before that from diabetes related complication. This woman was there for 2:00am...she was there...she talked me through it...she gave me her phone# in case I needed to call her and vent or cry or anything at all. I will never forget that night. i will never forget her generosity and help and advice. i will never forget her story of her daughter. I am so greatful for that bond.
The bond I have with Emma is another amazing thing. I know that she is only 7 years old now...but she really truly is beyond her years. Sometimes when we are dealing with our day to day life with diabetes, I have to force myself to stop for a minute and just look at her. Realize that one day, much sooner than I would like, she will be grown...she will be out on her own and living and leading her own life. I know though that the bond will always be there. I think all of the things we have been through together have just increased that bond even more. At times I feel like it is her and I sitting in the front seat of that convertible holding our hands together up in the air driving right over the edge...taking a leap of faith...trusting that we will land on the other side unscathed.
Diabetes may try to wedge itself in between us and pull our hands apart....but I know in my heart that will never happen.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mother Nature's a bully sometimes

Sometimes you just have to sit in that pile of snowy ice and laugh at yourself. has been quite the day so far! Yesterday morning I woke up at 8:15am....Emma's school starts at 8:30am....needless to say, we were late. So, last night before I went to bed i set my usual alarm clock along with my 3 alarms on my phone. I figured that should be enough to get my groggy bum outta bed on time this morning. Not a chance! I was late once again! However, this morning I woke at 8:13am....a whole 2 minutes earlier than yesterday. I sprinted over to Emma's room and shouted like a drill sargeant, "I slept in AGAIN! Hurry hurry hurry! We can't be late for school 2 days in a row!" My super star of a kid leaped out of bed with her eyes barely open and got herself dressed in record time. We flew downstairs and I tossed her a muffin and some yogurt, checked blood sugar, gave lantus, gave rapid, put snacks in backpack, brushed her hair, got myself dressed, brushed our teeth, and bolted out the door! We made it to school at 8:28. Whew! I can not believe we pulled that off! I can not believe that my 4 alarm clocks set for mere minutes apart did not wake me up. Apparantly I am quite good at shutting off alarms in my sleep. Not a good ability to have when you are the Mom of a school-aged diabetic kid! I am at the point now where I want to hand out my phone number to anyone willing to call me at 7:20am Eastern/Standard time tomorrow morning, so I can make sure this doesn't become an ongoing trend. Maybe the constant ringing of the phone will annoy me enough that I will get up out of bed and actually answer it! Sheesh!
Anyway, after Emma had lunch I drove her back to the school to drop her off for the afternoon and proceeded to make my way back to the car. Well, in the fabulous land of Canada today we have a lovely wintery mix of snow/rain/freezing rain/ and hail going on. Good stuff. It's the type of weather that makes you wish you were wearing a suit of armor to stop the stinging pelt of freezing rain all around you. So, I was tip toe-ing along and out of nowhere a patch of ice jumped right in my path and my feet flew out from underneath me and I landed on my a snow pile...feeling like a moron...probably looking like one too! Ouch. So, there I sat...getting wet...hurting...and laughing my fool head off.
Sometimes it seems like life just keeps throwing all of these annoyances and road blocks in front of after another...again and again...just to see how much you can actually take before you snap. Years ago i would have been mad and announced that my day had been ruined and I should just go back to bed. Not the case anymore my friends! I have seen what a truely "bad day" looks like since diabetes moved in. It has definitely opened my eyes to the big picture and I know now that if I was given the choice....I would pick sitting in the snowy ice pile getting pelted with Mother Nature's sarcastic sense of humor ANYDAY over a horrid diabetes sick day.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Trapped in the car, lost wallet, and my Mom skills

As I sit here having a snack of peanut butter on a spoon (LOVE IT!), I am thinking about my relationship with my daughter. Yes we are close...yes we have a lot of laughs...and a lot of tears. I know that diabetes has brought us closer together than we probably ever would have if she hadn't been diagnosed. I try to be a good Mom in the diabetes aspect of it as well as the regular Mom stuff. I do treat her like a friend...but I also treat her like a daughter if that makes sense. I mean we do a lot together and have a blast doing it...just like a friend would. Yet I also try to teach her the life skills she will need just like a Mom is supposed to do. She really truly is a good kid. She rarely misbehaves...she doesn't wreak havoc out in public...she doesn't scream and cry and bully others. So, I very rarely ever have to discipline her. The sort of things she does "wrong" are lie to me about how she is feeling heath-wise because she doesn't want to have to stay home sick from school again...or whine to me about having to clean up her toys at the end of the day. In those cases, I deal with them accordingly. Like with this last illness she lied about feeling better, and I had to have a very lengthy tear-filled(on her part) discussion about lying and how bad it is and that she could die from her diabetes if she lied to me about feeling sick or not. So, I feel like I am doing a fairly good job at parenting. I don't know...I think this post is probably starting to sound confuzzled and blabbery. For some reason I am having a hard time pulling the right words out of my brain in the right order today. Let's blame it on the fact that I woke up this morning at 8:15am and school starts for Emma at 8:30am. Maybe my brain is trying to play catch up with me or something.
Anyhoo, I wish that I didn't care so much what others think. Will I (as the grown-up and Mom) ever learn that lesson myself? I hope so...that one is really frustrating to me.
On a completely unrelated topic, and yet keeping the theme of not making any sense today, I thought I would share a couple randomly funny things that happened to us since last week. Enjoy...
Emma and i stopped at Zeller's for something that i can no longer remember at this point (early Alzheimer's or what? sheesh!) and we stopped at the patio furniture section to take a load off and swing on one of the swings before leaving. Well, once we were done, we got up and headed to the registers to pay and leave. As Emma stood up she spotted something and picked it up to show me...turned out to be a wallet! Well, I opened it up to look for the ID in it...only to find nothing in it at all....EXCEPT for a verrrry old looking condom. Yea...I quickly exited the area before Emma could ask any questions...lolol.
Next thing I know will be appreciated by those of you that live in the Northern part of the world. Yesterday we rushed out the door to hop in the car and drive Emma to school in the morning...only to find all 4 doors of our car frozen shut! Thankfully we drive a I had to use my only other option and unlock the back and climb through there, crawl over the back seat, over the front seat, start the car to warm it up in hopes of the other doors thawing out in the process, crawl back over to the back seat, back over to the trunk, and help my daughter in. It was quite the scene I am sure! I'm glad i am as short as I am...or that would have definitely been a "situation!" Well, once Emma was in her seat, I turned back to the trunk door and grabbed ahold of the edge and yanked it shut....only to realize that we were now trapped inside. All of the doors were frozen...and there is no handle on the inside of the back trunk door! Awesome....Emma thought it was hysterical. So, i climbed back to the driver's seat and drove to school, heavy breathing on the door lock the whole way there trying to help things thaw. Well, thankfully I must be full of a lot of hot air...because all was ok once we reached the school and we were no longer trapped...we made it out the door like regular folks do every day. Lesson learned....never shut ALL of the doors until you are sure you can get back out...and I may have a new career option in the 900# calls department with my unexpected ability to heavy breath so well....lolol...yea like I would have time for that career path!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Top of the list in Proud Momma moments

Why us? Why my baby? Why did this happen?...I have spoken those words in conversation, screamed them at the top of my lungs in anger and frustration, written them down while trying to see through the tears falling out of my eyes in the attempt to just get them the hell out of my head already, and simply thought them while trying to fall asleep at head on the pillow...praying with my whole heart and soul that I would wake up the next day and this whole life with diabetes would turn out to just be a bad dream.
Well, this afternoon I caught a glimpse of the reason why. Emma and I went to a luncheon at the Business Trades Union here. Every year the Union holds a golf tournament to raise money and support JDRF. Over the past 5 years they have raised around $100,000. Emma was invited to give a speech to the members so she could express to them how greatful we are for their involvement and support. Also to sort of put a face behind it all and explain to them what life is like with diabetes...and what a cure would mean to her.
We arrived and Emma started telling me that she was nervous to go up to the podium and talk in front of everyone....but that she really wanted to do it anyway. She is amazing to me...she's only 7 and she is so full of determination and perseverance. I tried to talk with her and ease her tension and make her realize that it would be ok...there was nothing to worry about. I usually resort to humour in situations like I actually got her laughing pretty good. Anyway, when they called her up there...I held her hand and walked up with her. It struck me at that moment...seeing her little legs marching up the steps and walking to the podium...standing on top of a step stool so she could see over the top of it and reach the microphone. She is so young...and so brave beyond her years. She began talking and got very nervous, so I wound up helping her out and reading the rest of the speech for her while she stood next to me with my arm around her. I finished reading it, said thank you, and finally looked up from the piece of paper the speech was written on....everyone was standing up...they were all applauding for her...for my sweet brave girl. The Union then presented her with a cheque for $14,000 for JDRF. Amazing! So proud of her for her first attempt at public speaking. There have been countless times over the years where I have fought back the tears stinging my eyes...blinking and blinking trying to stop them from coming. Well, it took everything I had not to let the tears fall today...standing there seeing all of those people who don't know us...they don't know my girl...they don't know what she goes through every day with this stupid disease. Yet, there they all were cheering her on and supporting her.
That sight and that moment showed me exactly why us...why my baby...why this happened. We are here on this Earth for such a short amount of time really. While we are here, we need to do whatever we can to make it a better place. I think diabetes has given us the chance to do that. Emma has never been one to sit back and let things happen around her. I am so beyond proud of her for what she wants to do with her situation. Diabetes is hard. She could easily just sit back and do nothing except hope for a cure to happen one day. Instead, even though it may seem too hard or scary or intimidating...SHE is choosing to be a part of things...she is trying to make a difference. I am amazed by her and I can't wait to see what she wants to do next.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Emma's speech for JDRF

Tomorrow is the big day!! Emma's first duties as Youth Ambassador for JDRF. Seeing as how she had been sick all week, I finally got a chance to sit down earlier and write a speech for her to read at the event. At first I found it kind of difficult honestly. I am so used to just unloading all of the random thoughts from my brain out threw my fingers pecking away on the keyboard. It was a bit of a challenge to write something from the perspective of my 7 year old. Anyway, I thought I would type it out here in the hopes that some of you would give me some feedback before we leave tomorrow! I really truly respect all of you out there and your opinions on all things including diabetes really means a lot to me. So, here goes....and please be honest with any comments. If it is not that great...or if you think something should be changed that could better tug on the heart strings of these people, please feel free to tell me! Thank you all!

Hi, my name is Emma. I'm 7 years old and I have had diabetes for almost 3 years. I am here today to tell you how thankful I am for all of your support of JDRF. Not only does JDRF support research for finding a cure, but they also have made my life with diabetes better. They are always there for us, and I have made a lot of friends who are diabetic just like me.
Life with diabetes takes a lot of work. We don't ever get a break from it. There are no vacations from it. Diabetes is with us every single minute of every single day. It's there from the minute I wake up in the morning until the time I go to bed at night. My Mom gets up in the middle of the night every night to check my blood sugar while I am sleeping to make sure I'm ok. When I am at school, i have to check my own blood sugar and pay close attention to make sure I don't go low. During recess and gym class the lows can happen very easy. On special school days like Halloween, I have to be extra careful watching for lows too because I am extra excited!
This past week I was really sick with the stomach flu. I had a lot of lows as well as ketones. On Wednesday, my blood sugar dropped down to 2.8 so my Mom had to make me eat 200 carbs of food just to keep my blood sugar from staying too low and making me pass out. It was very scary.
Like I said before, I am only 7 years old. I should not have to be scared for my life like that. I should be able to run around and play outside with my friends without being scared that I will go low. I should be able to eat whatever my friends are eating and not worry about needles. I should be able to live my life freely without the added stress of diabetes. I'm just a kid. I didn't do anything wrong to get diabetes. It just happened.
So, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping fight this disease. It means a lot to me and my family. I can't wait for the day that I can say that I USED to have diabetes! Thank you! that's what I came up with. Let me know what you think if you get a chance! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sleep is for quitters

Emma woke up this morning feeling better finally, so we decided it was ok to send her off to school. We went about our usual morning routine...breakfast, insulin, etc. I actually made the executive decision in my head to decrease her breakfast dose by a bit since she had been sick and because I would rather be cautious. Diabetes has made me a cautious person really. I never used to be. Anyway, off to school we went. I stood there on the playground watching her from a distance...watching her line up at the door with her friends and walk in when the bell rang. Other parents and grandparents were standing around me chatting away and asking me how Emma was feeling. It was all sort of just like background noise to me...kind of like Charlie Brown's teacher...wah wah wah wah wah wah wah. I stood there nodding my head and smiling...hearing myself say things like, "she's fine now..thanks...yea, it was a stomach bug.." My voice sounded far away to me. I was too focused on watching Emma. Watching her walk into the school...looking at her face for some sign of the illness she had still lingering...searching for some sign of an impending low blood sugar. I know every single freckle, beauty mark, and dimple on that face. I have spent countless hours just staring at her in disbelief that she is actually my baby...she's beautiful to me. Anyway, I was watching her with that feeling in my gut like something was still wrong...but trying to convince myself that it was nothing...I was just being paranoid because she had been so sick. So, I walked away back to the car...feet feeling like lead weights...hoping that I was wrong...she would be ok.
Well, I should have trusted my gut. I should know that by now...but apparantly I am a slow learner in that department. I got a call at morning snack time that she was 2.8 (50 for my American friends). Awesome. To make an incredibly long story short...I picked her up at lunch time and she wound up staying home because we could not get her blood sugar to stay up. She ate around 200 carbs and didn't go above 7.7 all day...I didn't give her any of her rapid insulin at lunch or supper...the only insulin left in her body was the lantus she got at 8:00 that morning. I have never had this happen before. Very scary to say the least. It is terrifying to get to the point where you just hand the sugar bowl and a spoon over to your kid and tell her to dig hopes that going straight to the source and giving her straight sugar will do the trick...screw the middle man otherwise known as juicebox...just give her straight sugar....and see the blood sugar number not go up AT ALL.
This is one of the reasons why I want to get Emma on a pump. Once that lantus is in her....I can't get it back out if there is a problem. With a pump, I can just suspend it. I am actually going to our first pump class tomorrow (today) morning. Actually...I have to be there in 6 hours and 51 minutes.
So, here I sit...under the instructions of the diabetes check Emma every two hours to make sure no more lows occur over night. I am going to stay up until 3:00am, check, try to go to bed, get my husband to do the 5:00am check when he gets up, and then I will be up at 7:15am to check again....and do breakfast, get her dressed, give her waaaaay less lantus this time, hopefully send her off to school, and then go straight to the hospital for my 2 hour pump class, pick her up at school right after for lunch, and then who knows what. Who needs sleep anyway?
Sleep is for quitters.