Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Aquarius Spelling Bee Champion of '89!!

So at one point in my life, I read a book about Astrology and Zodiac signs. I'm an Aquarius and so is Emma actually. I don't remember very much about the book to be honest, but a few things have stuck in my brain that I thought I would share. Apparantly Aquarians parents are very well suited to have Aquarian children...good thing for me on that one! My all-time favorite factoid (love that word..."factoid"!) from that book though was that it said that Aquarians tend to surround themselves with oddball people. We gravitate towards the unusual folks. We have a wicked sense of humour and love to be around people that will make us laugh like lunatics. Ok...I might have exagerated (are there 1 or 2 "g's" in that word? when did I turn into such a horrible speller? I will have you know that I won $20 and the 1st place trophy in my 6th grade spelling bee at camp!...wonder what happened to that skill of mine? I'm gonna blame it on diabetes...lol...why not? woah...would you look at that...I just had a whole little conversation in my parentheses...nice) on that one a bit. But it definitely did say something about loving the unusual and hilarious people of the world!
As I look back on my life (wow...I'm talking like I am 88 years old or something!), I realize that every single person that I became friends with...every single person I sought out and wanted to spend time with...they were all a bunch of goofball characters. That is what made me happy.
Now, I see Emma doing the same thing at school with her friends and I have to admit...it makes me giggle. I see her passing over the opportunity to jump rope at recess and instead choosing to go play "Monkey Man and Gorilla Girl Save the Universe" with some friends. I see her wanting to go play Secret Agent Spies with friends outside instead of tag. I think that is awesome. I love that she's creative and seeks out other kiddos that are creative too.
I think that the ability to laugh and the ability to think outside the box are incredibly important traits to have when living a life with diabetes. Reason being is diabetes is a taker...it's a relentless bully that just takes and takes and takes until you feel like you just don't have anything left to be taken. Diabetes is always there and more often than not, it doesn't play nice and it doesn't play fair. So, to have the ability to find the humour in a stressful situation and laugh in the face of it...well, I just think that is one of the best traits to posess.
Well, I think I'm going to end this post right here...keep it short and sweet and to the point. My brain is a little scrambled at the moment from being out in 104F temp. all day today. I would love to know how to make that little tiny circle symbol for "degrees" on here...it's driving me nuts for some reason...I can make a smiley face...I can make a heart...but I can't make a stinkin degree symbol! Curses! lolol...ok now I'm rambling....and I really must go before crazy pump lady "Flo" comes back....lolol

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mailman Metaphor

I'm frustrated....why does everything always have to be so friggin hard? Why does everything have to be so difficult to figure out and work around and manage and DO? Just for once, I would love for something...anything...to be easy. I would love to be able to think of something that I need to do...step out into the great big world and get it done...1, 2, 3...done. It never seems to work out that way though. I always hear people say things like "God never gives you more than you can handle"....well I am really at the point that I think that is a load of crap now. I look at other people who are a lot more equipped and a lot more capable than I am...and they don't have these things in their lives. I know...I know...everyone has there own cross to bear and trials to go through in life. But, I swear sometimes it feels like I must have been the BIGGEST jerk in my last life to have some of the difficult things thrown my way that I have had in this life.
I don't mean for this to sound like a pity party...I just need to blab it all out somewhere...or else I might explode and tear the mailman's head off later this morning instead. That wouldn't be fair...he seems like such a nice fella. A day in the life of a mailman is sort of a good metaphor for my life I think. Like the mailman, I walk along the same route...see the same houses...same cracks in the sidewalk every single day. I attempt to keep a good pace, keeping the contents of my bag somewhat organized so I can do a good job and deliver things to the proper places. I keep a log and write down the details every single day of Emma's blood sugars, her activity, the food she eats. I try to keep things similar day to day so I can see that pattern and find those familiar cracks in the sidewalk. While I am juggling all of those details in my bag, I also attempt to educate my daughter. I try to share important details with her so that one day she will remember and know how to manage that situation on her own when she is grown and not living with me anymore. I try to educate the people in our lives a bit too. It's sometimes a futile effort...sort of like handing out that junk mail flyer...the majority of the time people just toss it away in the trash without a second glance, but sometimes....every once and a while...someone will take the time to read it, someone will take the time to really listen to what I am saying and take it to heart.
Sometimes, the mailman will come across a viscious looking dog chained up outside as well. Diabetes is sort of like that dog for me. I need to plan ahead and sometimes use quick thinking and manuever my way past that viscious dog to get to the mailbox and deliver what I need to. Sometimes in a difficult to manage situation, I need to find that perfect (is there such a thing?) balance between activity, insulin, and food. I don't always succeed and make it to that metaphorical mailbox (perfect balance) in tact...in fact more often than not, I wind up making it there with quite a few metaphorical bites and scratches along the way.
I just keep moving along though...one foot in front of the other...one step at a time. Sometimes like this week, the rain pours down on me and the humidity is so stifling that it feels like I won't ever be able to breathe normal again...but I still keep moving. Diabetes is exhausting. Sometimes LIFE is exhausting. I wonder if the day will ever come that I will run out of that drive and that force pushing me along my route up hill. I wonder if I will ever reach the top. I wish I could know how many more steps that it's going to take to get there...

Friday, May 27, 2011

9g of carbs and PURE happiness

It's the little things in life that make us the happiest. I always knew that was a true and valid statement I suppose. I mean who doesn't get happy to see the sun shining? Who doesn't smile when they hear a baby laugh? Who doesn't love it when someone brings them a nice cup of coffee first thing in the morning? Aside from the Grinch or maybe that grumpy old man from the movie "Up"...I think this statement is true for everyone. In any case though, even though I always knew that statement to be true....it never really sunk in exactly HOW true it is until tonight.

Let me set the stage for you first. Emma had just finished watching a couple episodes of "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody." She had come downstairs to go potty and have her blood sugar checked before going to sleep. This has been our routine for pretty much the past three years. I was standing in my usual spot in front of the stove and Emma was standing in her usual spot next to me. I checked her finger and it was a decent number in my opinion for her to go to bed at...8.5(153)...so I put everything away and was about to head upstairs for the old "goodnight kisses and hugs and tell her what should be on her 'cloud' routine". She lingered for a moment in front of the pantry and grabbed a small packet of fruit snacks...Super Mario 3D fruit snacks to be exact...there's only 2 of them in there...they are only 9g of carb. She looked up at me and said, "Mommy? I'm still hungry...can I have this?" She had this look on her face like she usually does in this situation...hopeful eyes, and yet ready to hear a "No" from me. She was hopeful and yet apprehensive. You would have thought that she was asking me if she could eat an entire chocolate cake loaded down with sprinkles or something. My heart ached to see that apprehension...it was like a slap in the face from a very angry blue haired granny's huge plastic purse. For the past three years I have had to tell her "No, you already had your snack...it's time for bed. Or if it really is that important to you, than I will have to give you an extra needle." For the past three years, I have had to force her to choose between a tiny little extra snack and having to get an extra needle. For the past three years, I have had to see her choose one or the other and see either her disappointment at not getting to eat something....or her having to endure yet another needle jab just to simply be able to eat that tiny little extra snack. It's not a normal thing...it's not normal or ok to have to deny your child food. It's not a good feeling...it's wrong...there is nothing good about it in the slightest.
However, tonight...when she asked me for that tiny extra snack.....

I got to say yes.

I got to say YES!!! I got to see the look of joy and freedom and normalcy in my daughter's eyes. I got to watch her eat a tiny little 9g carb snack when it wasn't even "snack time".....or a "meal time"....or an ANY TIME!!! I got to say yes........and that is worth more to me than any one other than my D-family could ever possible comprehend.
The pump....this little pink, AA battery operated device called something so silly as, "Ping"....this thing has given me back my right to LET MY CHILD EAT WHEN SHE WANTS TO EAT! That is such an incredible thing. It is something most people take for granted all day every day...if you're hungry, just grab something and eat it without a second thought. Well, for THREE YEARS, I have had that right taken away from my daughter. It finally sunk in for me tonight....that we have been given this amazing gift/right again....it's her right again....it's her freedom again...it's her CHOICE again!!! I don't think I could possibly be more happy than I am right now....and it's all over something so simple as being able to say yes to a 9g carb fruit snack.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sometimes I know things....and other times I just walk into things

Sometimes I feel like a drill sargeant. Sometimes I feel like a broken record. Sometimes I feel like people expect me to be like the Encyclopedia Britannica Volume (D) for diabetes and know all there is to know. Sometimes I feel like I am running against the wind. (no idea why that song popped into my head!) Sometimes I feel like I worry too much. Sometimes I feel like I don't worry enough. Sometimes I feel like this is never going to end. Sometimes I feel like I'm all alone in a room full of strangers and I'm standing in a corner feeling like I don't belong. Sometimes I feel like I don't want to belong. Sometimes I feel like I have no room left in my head for any more diabetes stress. Sometimes I feel like I could go an entire day without even mentioning the word "diabetes" and be just fine with that. Sometimes I feel like I would love for the first thing people ask me about to NOT be about Emma's diabetes. Sometimes I wish people were more understanding of this disease and more willing to want to support us. Sometimes I wish I could know the right thing to say to make it all better. Sometimes I wish things were easier.

I know that I am not alone. I know that I don't know everything there is to know about diabetes and I probably never will. I know that I am thankful for the fact that life isn't easy because it keeps me on my toes and forces me to think in new ways. I know that no matter how exhausted I am, I will always do anything it takes for Emma. I know that I will never be able to make everyone understand that there is more to us than diabetes. I know that not everyone we meet is going to want to learn more than the basic ignorant knowledge of this disease. I know that I will never truly feel like I belong in a group of people who's lives are not affected in the same way as ours. I know that I will be ok. I know that Emma will be ok. I know that I can take things as they come and do my best. I know that if I were given the choice to do it all over again, I would. I know that even though we have come a long way on this path...there is still leaps and bounds to go before we reach that field of wildflowers together...standing there hand in hand...a cure before us. I know that we will get there. I know that is true not just because I am Emma's Mom and want it to be true...I know it because there is no way that someone as special as her would ever wind up with any outcome less than that.

I know that I am thankful for all of you. I know that you will always "get" me and "get" my life. I know that you will all be there for me as I will be there for you. I know that you will think there is probably something wrong with me or that maybe I am not feeling well if I don't share at least one humorous thing in this post....so I will end this with a little snippit of my afternoon:

While walking up the street to pick Emma up from school this afternoon, I pulled my phone out of my pocket to check on the time. I was so focused on my phone that I narrowly missed walking full force into the back of a minivan....yep...SO close that I instinctively put my hands out in front of me and wound up giving the back of that van a little shove. Did I think that I could just shove it out of the way? Or was I trying to save my face from a full out impact with the back of a Mitsubishi Montana? Who knows....lolol....at least I didn't do this though!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Night time visions and neon pink lady bug lanterns

I just went to check on Emma's blood sugar while she was sleeping because I have been having an issue with high numbers at night. For the life of me, I could not figure out why they were occuring...until I posted it on a diabetes group on Facebook and found some answers. My Sherlock Holmes detective skills brought me to the conclusion that these numbers were occuring a couple of hours after bath time. I thought maybe the fact that I was actually disconnecting her from the pump during the bath was causing the problem? Nope...the fabulous ladies on Facebook brought me new insight....it all boils down to that little clippy thing that comes with the infusion sets. Apparantly when the nurse told me to plug that little clippy thing into her sight when I disconnect her at bath time.....I was sleeping...or daydreaming...or maybe crazy pump lady Flo was in the driver's seat for that moment? Yep...so water was getting in there...causing the issue. I'm a dork. Now I know though!

Anyway, as I stood there checking her blood sugar tonight...meter and lancet in my hands...neon pink lady bug lantern turned on and hanging from my mouth to shed some light on the task at hand....I couldn't help but stare at her. Sure I look at her all the time during the day, but it isn't so often that I actually look at her while she is sleeping. Usually I am busy concentrating on not waking her up during the night, or staring at the meter as it counts down while I hold my breath waiting for a good number so I can sleep, or keeping a look out at the bedroom door so the cat doesn't sneak in and try to sleep with Emma (I don't trust it in the bedroom because Emma also has a fish tank in there and would be heartbroken if Daisy decided to have a little midnight snack of the fish variety).
So, I got a decent number from the meter and I stood there looking at her. She looked so peaceful...so beautiful...hand protectively placed over her pump. I am amazed at how attached she has become to it. I was so worried that she would want to take it off after a couple of days. It was eating me up inside. I was afraid that she would not be comfortable sleeping with it and not think it was worth the struggle. I stood there tonight looking at her and really truly seeing how amazing she is. I remembered standing in that very spot watching her sleep when she was just a tiny baby. Sometimes I wish I could go back and tell that version of me to linger just a little bit longer...kiss her sweet baby fresh smelling head a couple more times...enjoy the soft squishy cuddles and giggles for just a few more minutes...take more pictures to remember the little moments. I miss that tiny version of her. I miss that innocent diabetes free version of her. I miss the little moments. It went by way too fast. She had to grow up way too fast.

So, I let myself feel sad for the loss of that version of us for just a minute...I let myself be sad at how different we are now...I let myself be sad for just a minute at how quickly time passes and how fast she is growing up. Just for a minute. That's all I needed....because as I turned to leave the room....she tooted....lololol....and smiled in her sleep.....and I was brought back to reality...I LOVE how Emma is...I love how funny (fart and potty humor and all!!) she is now and how smart she is...how sweet and caring...how kind and wonderful. I know that those days of her being my tiny baby all played a part in making her who she is today. I wouldn't trade that time for anything...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Girls just wanna have fun...and fallin in LOVE!!

Today was quite possibly one of the most amazingly best days of my life since Emma was diagnosed. I am seriously falling in love with her Animas Ping. I started out hating it before I even had it in my hands, then I moved to being scared of it and thinking I was going to break it or it was going to break my daughter so to speak, and now I am slowly but surely falling in love with it. I know...I know...you're probably saying, "But Amy, it's just a machine! How can you love a tiny little machine?....and aren't you already in love and married?!" Well, yes...yes I am....but I can't help it. This little device is proving to me how serious it is about keeping my kid healthy. It is like an eager little kid wanting and willing to do the best job it can to make you happy. I love it....I'm still afraid of it to a certain extent...but I love it. Emma's blood sugar #'s today were as follows....3.7(66), 4.1(73), 5.7(102), 6.4(115), and 5.9(106)...now that ladies and gentlemen is what you call perfection. I am so happy. Emma is so happy. She is acting like a nut. I feel like I am FINALLY getting my kid back again. I am getting back the kid that I used to have before diabetes. She is happier and laughing more...playing and has more energy...acting WAY more goofy than usual....simply because she is feeling good....and she is feeling good because of her good blood sugar #'s...and her good blood sugar #'s are because of her Animas Ping. I love having her back...I love seeing how much more free and and happy she is. I loved taking her to Dairy Queen after supper today...at an "unscheduled snack time", and getting her an ice cream treat. I loved sitting at the table and pushing a few buttons to bolus her instead of having to drag out the needles. This pump has somehow made me feel like some of those pieces of my heart that were broken off many times over the years, are finally starting to grow back. I am so beyond greatful that we live in a time where my daughter can have this...and can have so much of her life back...it's simply awesome.
Also, earlier today we made another video for a friend who donated to Emma's Dollar for Diabetes fundraiser for JDRF. Let's just say there was lots of giggles, a fireman hat, embarassing dancing, and Daisy the cat....if you are ready for some laughs at my expense, here ya go....:o)


Hope you enjoyed it and had a giggle....and I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dandelions, frogs, and heart attacks

So today started out in typical Amy fashion...I woke up 20 minutes before school starts. I have no idea how, but I managed to get Emma to school as the bell was ringing for the kids to go in. Whew! The rest of the day turned put to be pretty amazing actually. I was beginning to gain the teeniest bit of confidence with my pumping abilities, the sun was shining down on me warming my soul and making me feel like I actually could make it through this transition period to the pump virtually unscathed. I went to pick Emma up from school at lunch time and one of the other Mom's there waiting for her son had walked around the back field and picked a bunch of dandelions and tied them together to make a dandelion princess crown for Emma to wear when she came out. She loved it and pretended to be a princess.
All was going well in the land of new pumpers until after supper. Emma and I decided to go visit some friends that live up the street for a little bit. We were there for probably an hour and a half tops. When it was time to go, I told Emma I wanted to check her blood sugar just to make sure things were going smoothly. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw that Animas Ping remote meter count down from 5 and give me a reading of 23.1!!!! WTF??? So, I remained calm in front of our friends and gave her a correction bolus. We walked home and roughly 30 minutes later I checked her again so I could see if she had come down at all and so I could give her her bed time snack. Well, once again that traitor meter told me that she was now 26!! (I just now remembered that some of you that read my blog are in the States and may not know this, but to get the blood sugar number you are familiar with...just multiply my number by 18. I know...super convenient...it would make life so much easier if it was multiply it by like 10 or something! crazy Canadians and their crazy numbers!) So, I gave her another correction and paged the nurse, even though she is on holiday right now. She brought her work pager home with her though and told me to call daily with numbers to help me make adjustments to basals and stuff. So....there I sat...wondering what the hell was going on. Was she getting sick? Was the pump malfunctioning? Should I give her an injection? Change the site? ughhh...my mind was racing...I was lost. I felt totally and completely out of control....diabetes was controlling things...diabetes had given me a roundhouse kick to the jaw in our UFC match (which has been going on for nearly 3 years now...that's alot of rounds of fighting! Somebody ding the bell announcing a cure already!) and I was falling to the mat in slow-motion...just like in the Rocky movies. (Rocky #4 is one of my favorite movies, by the way...I know...dork...lol)
Well, to make an EXTREMELY long story short...or semi-short I guess at this point...I had to give her a site change...without using the numbing cream..still play/pausing my helpful Animas DVD..and shedding a few tears of my own...seeing the hurt and worry in Emma's big brown eyes...and feeling like a failure.

Now, here I am waiting it out till 2:00 in the morning...to check and see if she is ok. The nurse told me that if she is under 10.0 then i am to either set a temp basal...or give her 10g of carbs to get her through the night. If she is climbing back up again, then that means there is something wrong with my site change and I will need to do a new one and continue checking her. Fabulous. I was under the impression I would be able to sleep tonight. Not likely. So, here's to hoping I don't have to do a site change! Here's to hoping she will be ok! Here's to hoping I will one day sleep again! and here's to hoping that I will not have a heart attack before the age of 35 due to diabetes/pump worry and stress.

By the way, here is a picture of the giant froggie too....he is super cute

Friday, May 20, 2011

Come to my Window!!!

I hit the wall of exhaustion this morning...so if this makes even less sense than my last post, I apologize ahead of time...lol.
First of all, thank you all for the encouragement and hilarious comments...totally made me giggle and I have learned this week that giggling is important. Even in the midst of chaos and stress and worry and exhaustion.......giggling is a good thing.

I've learned that this off-schedule week is also affecting the cat....I catch myself staring at her/him (not sure if I have mentioned this before or not, but our cat is actually a boy...but Emma wanted it to be a girl...go she declared it to be so and named it Daisy. Then when we got it fixed...Emma said that it TRULY is a girl now because it got it's "wagon" fixed! lolol..as in I'll fix yer wagon!") and seeing that familiar sleep-deprived/just woke up from a nap look in it's eyes.

I did my first site change yesterday. My hands were shaking like a kid hopped up on one of those giant pixie stix sugar straws. Emma only shed a couple of tears. It took me about 10 minutes to do the whole thing. I thought about doing it all day and then when it came time to do it, my mind was blank. So....I popped in the DVD that Animas sent me with the pump and I followed along with it step by step...play, pause, do it...play, pause, do it....etc etc etc. We survived! I didn't hurt her!

I'm finding with the pump that I am finally able to see how Emma's body reacts to food and insulin at specific time frames. I feel like I'm no longer shuffling along blindly guessing and assuming how things are going to work. I don't know if it will continue to be this obvious to me forever on the pump or not....but for right now anyway, I am loving being able to see the patterns more clearly. It's like I have a little glimpse inside the window to her pancreas...HA!...how's that for poetic justice? I would like to stick my tongue out at it through that window...maybe flip it the bird...maybe even shoot it the moon....lolol. But I am glad that I at least have that window now. I am going to keep my closet stocked in Windex to make sure that window can stay nice and clear from here on out. I walked around in the dark for so long, that now that I have this window and this insight...I don't want to let it go.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Deep thoughts by Amy/Flo

I'm not gonna lie, I've thought about scanning my own bum at the self-checkout things at the grocery store. Only thing stopping me is that Emma is usually with me and I figure I shouldn't set a bad example...lol.

I think that they should make more foods readily available on a stick. With things so hectic and busy lately, I think life would be so much easier if I could just hand Emma a chicken on a stick and asparagus on a stick dinner. I would not have to choose between using lunch time to actually eat...or to shower. I could eat my lunch on a stick while driving her back to school.

I find myself having to hold my own hand back while standing in line at a place that has an intercom...I would love to just grab it and start saying random thoughts to the people in the store.

I think that more things should be covered in bubble wrap. Not specifically for safety reasons....mainly just because it's fun to pop it. It's a little burst of stress relief and it's fun.

I don't really understand why dandelions are considered weeds. I personally think they are pretty...nice and bright and yellow...when there are a million of them scattered across a field, I think it looks pretty...makes me think of whats her face from Little House on the Prairie running through the fields.

I love fruit that comes in it's own wrapping. Bananas for example...you can grab one and go...they are protected in their own wrapper...they are fun to peel...they taste good...you can pretend you are a monkey while eating it...good stuff.

I will never understand the reason for making your bed. You are just going to get back in it later on that night. As long as your bed is not in the kitchen or living room where visitors could come over and see it, what is really the point of making it?

No matter how much I vaccuum...there still seems to always be cat hair around.

Every time I decide to clean the bathroom sink, my husband will most certainly decided to make that day the day that he will shave...leaving tiny little hairs all over the place...grrrr

Getting 4 hours of sleep a night for the past two nights is hard. It's making me even more whacky than (then?) I already am.

I've learned that I will truly do absolutely anything for my daughter.

I've learned that being a Mom to a diabetic child takes a special kind of patience and strength. We are fighters. We are unique. We are kind-hearted. We care for others on a much deeper level than most people. We understand what it honestly means to support someone in need.

Since beginning this journey down the path of pumping, I have learned that I can ALWAYS count on the strength and support of you all. More so than most of my own family. We are all connected on a level that no one could really comprehend unless they were living it as well. You all are amazing to me. You all are my heroes. Our children are my heroes. (am i spelling heroes right? is it heroes? or heros? lolol)
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being there for me. I promise to pay it forward to the next Mom or Dad in line waiting to start their journey down this same path.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hi, my name is crazy pump lady, Flo! I like coffee.

So I've come to the conclusion that whoever came up with the idea long long ago to take some coffee beans and put them to good use, must have had a diabetic child. Coffee is my new best friend since Emma started pumping yesterday...ok, well I guess the pump is my new best friend (Emma has named it Jumanji by the way...she LOVES that movie huge amounts)...but coffee definitely comes in a close second. We had a fairly good first day on the pump...a couple of lows and a stubborn night time high...but we just keep plugging along...moving forward...adjusting and learning...not sleeping (me) and sleeping (her!).
I thought I would share some funny and not so funny things that have happened due to my lack of sleep and general craziness. First off, after getting roughly 4 hours of sleep, I had zero trouble waking up on time this morning....she wasn't late to school...I didn't sleep through the alarm...nothing...I was on time. How in the world does that make sense? There have been countless times where I sleep in and make her late for school after having my usual 6 hours sleep a night. I'm confused. Also, I find myself being overly nice and friendly to people today. I have been to a couple of coffee shops, a pharmacy, insurance office, and Emma's school....I keep walking in with a big cheesy grin on my face saying things like, "Good morning!! How are you? That is THE most adorable shirt you are wearing today! Love it!!" Not that I am normally a grouchy mean person, but I seem to be taking things to the extreme today. This afternoon, I stood in the kitchen for about 15 minutes trying to remember where I keep the container of sugar so I could put some in my coffee. I filled the cat's food dish with treats instead of actual food (cat thought it was Christmas morning or something I think!). It took me about 10 tries (trys?) to figure out how to put my bra on this morning. I find myself suddenly bursting into song while driving...even when the radio is not on. Good times.
Yesterday I joked around saying that I would probably be acting like a crazy pump lady today...muttering to myself things like "pumps, errrrr....blood sugars....mmmhhmmm...ketones....urrrr...basal.....uggghhhh...bolus" I even decided to name my alter-ego crazy pump lady....I decided on Florence...or Flo for short. LOL!! Apparantly diabetes has now given me multiple personalities....ahhhh....whatever gets me through this crazy time though I suppose. So, my hats off to all of you who have done this already...you are amazing in my eyes! Thank you all for the support too...I seriously don't know what I would do without you!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


As I sit here typing this, I am totally and completely full of panic....my stomach is twisted and tense, I can't stop biting my bottom lip (a la Kristen Stewart in Twilight...lolol), I have never been this scared before in my life. I just dropped Emma off at school. Today is pump start day (everytime I say that, I feel like I should have some guy standing behind me blasting a trumpet or something) and we went to the hospital first thing this morning for her to get hooked up. As usual, I pulled out my best "material" and tried to make Emma laugh the whole way there just to ease some of her stress and fear. Little did she know that I was freaking out on the inside too. That is yet one more thing diabetes has taught me...how to be funny and make her laugh while on the inside I feel like I am one slight breeze away from slipping off the edge into crazy town. Anyway, we parked the car and made our way inside. As we walked along, I glanced down at Emma. I was taking a mental image of her in that particular moment in time...I wanted to remember what she looked like...i wanted to remember what my little girl...my heart...my soul...my reason for breathing...looked like for the last time without a pump attached to her. (UGH...here come the tears...it's hard to type with tears falling and blurring my vision!) It all came crashing down on me that I would never again see her without the pump. I would never again see her looking the same way. From this moment on, she would always have tubing attached to her and a pump clipped to her belt. It makes my whole heart hurt.
We walked into the nurses office and sat down in the same chairs we sat in when I had to give her her first insulin pen injection on the day she was diagnosed. What a full circle moment for me...nearly 3 years ago I sat there feeling the exact same fear and worry and stress. I talked with the nurse and prepared the infusion set with shaking hands. I was aware that Emma was watching me very carefully...I felt like she was trying to see if I was scared too...I felt an enormous amount of pressure to take a deep breath and steady my hands just so I could put her mind at ease and make her realize that her Mommy was confident (even though I wasn't) and that her Mommy would make all of this ok.
Emma barely shed a tear when I put the infusion set on. In fact the thing that bothered her the most was the sticky skin-tac stuff I had to use on her belly...she didn't like how her shirt kept sticking to it. I know I have said it many times before, but she is my hero. I looked at her standing there...pump attached now...and I realized that I will probably live the rest of my days here on this Earth and not ever come close to having as much strength and bravery as she does. She is amazing to me. I never knew what it meant to really love or to really be proud or to really admire someone until I had her.
We left the hospital giving each other high fives and giggling about random things we usually talk about. We went home and I gave her lunch...she bolused herself...it felt so strange to me to not give her a needle. In fact it still feels strange to me...i feel like I have forgotten to do something...I feel like I am doing something wrong. It is definitely going to be a hard habit to break in not giving needles. I LOVE not giving them to her, but it will be hard to let that go. When lunch was finished I drove her to school and dropped her off. I explained and stressed to her how important it is to make sure to pay attention to her body and catch the possible lows and highs. I told her how important it is that she needs to speak up and tell her teacher or another adult immediately if she feels "off'. I kissed her sweet little face goodbye and told her how much I love her and how much I am proud of her. I watched her run off on the playground to join her friends at lunch recess. And now here I sit...having an inner battle with myself...trying to fight off the terror and worry...tell myself that it will be ok...she will be fine...worried that she won't be...worried that she will be low and pass out...worried that something horrible will happen and the last kiss goodbye I gave her was actually the last one....I love the pump, but I hate diabetes...I hate what it does to us and I hate how it makes me feel when she's not with me. I hate being scared and feeling like I have no control over anything. Ugh....here I sit watching the clock keep moving ahead...slowly....
I can do this...I can do this...I have to do this...I have to do this...I WILL do this...my baby will be fine.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Diabetes on the oldies station

I was driving around this morning getting things done before the big pump start day tomorrow and lo and behold (I love that saying..."lo and behold!" lolol...such a weird thing to say) as I was flipping through the radio stations trying to find something that had a good beat and I could dance to (chair dance of course...a little hard to full out dance while sitting down and driving a car!)...and "Low Rider" came on the oldies station. You know the one..."All my friends have a low-rider...ba ba ba ba ba, ba ba ba ba baaaaaah!" Haven't heard that song in forever and for some reason I burst out laughing as soon as I heard it. That song makes me think of such different things now as compared to what it made me think of years ago. The obvious of course being "low" blood sugars. I am sensing a new karaoke video clip in our future with this song...plus the added bonus of not so many lyrics...just a lot of dance time! Anyhoo, it got me thinking...I wonder what other things out there in the world hold different meaning for a D-Mom or D-Dad now? We all have our own special lingo that goes along with diabetes...lows, highs, BG, etc. I know my ears perk up automatically now whenever I hear one of those particular words. Obviously diabetes affects our lives greatly on a daily basis in the process of managing things for our kids...it's sort of right there in our faces sometimes seeming to shout "HEY! I'm still here!! Are you still paying attention to me??" I find it funny though when I come across things that happen during the day that aren't so obvious...things like hearing that crazy song and it making me think of low blood sugars as opposed to something else. Anyway, just stopped home to drop off some insulin in my fridge...and heading out again...just wanted to share this before it slips my mind. I am sure I will probably post something later on as well seeing as how this is our last night of life without a pump....I am probably going to be a wreck tonight and not be able to sleep at all....maybe I will sit here and make a mixed CD of all the songs that remind me of diabetes...lolol...such an exciting life I lead!

I wonder

While sitting in the drive-thru at Tim Horton's (coffee place) today, I counted it out in my head and told Emma that she only has 1 more lantus needle left to get...and 5 more Rapid needles...then she is done. The look on her face was priceless. She could not believe that she only had to have ONE more lantus needle...she has never really been a big fan of that one because I have always done it in her thigh. I don't know why...I just got into the habit of wake up in the morning, check BG, lantus in thigh, breakfast rapid in left arm, lunch rapid in right arm, and supper rapid in belly. I think i started it to just keep it straight in my head to always switch it up to do my best in preventing scar tissue. In any case, she just sat there in the back seat...mouth hanging open...repeating the word "ONE?" over and over again. It made me giggle. It made me feel like I was giving her the best present in the world. It made me realize how much the needle aspect of diabetes really affects her. Sure, we go about our routine day after day of needles and finger pokes...but she has gotten so used to that routine that she hasn't really ever commented on it for years.
So, tomorrow morning will be the last time that I have to give my daughter a lantus needle. Tuesday morning we will go to the hospital to begin the pump...the real deal...no more saline...real honest to goodness insulin this time. I am still nervous. I'm still freaking out a bit on the inside....but I sort of have this calm feeling in me too, if that makes sense. I think it will be hard to NOT give her a needle anymore. It will feel weird to me. I will feel like I am doing something wrong or forgetting something. I wonder how long that feeling will last. I wonder what it is going to be like getting through these first few weeks. I wonder if it will be the most difficult thing I have ever done. I wonder if I will crack under the stress and pressure or if I will be able to handle it. I wonder if Emma will love it. I wonder if she will be ok. I wonder if there will be many scary highs and lows. i wonder if i will be able to sleep at all that first night. I wonder if I can do this. I wonder if I will remember how to do everything. I wonder if we will be alright. I wonder if I will ever get used to the feeling I get when i see the pump attached to her...how it makes me sad because it is a physcial and tangible thing right there in my face showing me that there is something not functioning inside my child's body. I wonder if I will screw up. I wonder if I will hurt her when doing an infusion set. I wonder if a few weeks from now, I will go back and read this post and wonder what the heck I was so worried about. I wonder if I will sit in this exact same chair I am sitting in now and chuckle at what I am reading. I wonder if I will have more confidence in my abilities at that point. I wonder if I will still be scared.
Over the past few weeks, I have often said to others or to myself even, that I wish I could just fast forward to the middle of June. I wish I could just skip over this particular moment in time and get to the good not so stressful and not so scary part of this. As I sit here typing this now though, I am actually starting to think I shouldn't be wishing that. I shouldn't be wishing time away. I should just live in the moment and accept the scariness and stress with open arms. I should LIVE in it...because good or bad...terrifying or happy...stressful or calm...we are feeling it and living it. I can see the light at the end of this tunnel and I know we will get there...we will make it there together...hand in hand...with many friends cheering us on along the way.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Embarassing myself and trying to carry a tune

OK, so a couple of weeks ago I posted something on my Facebook...I offered up the opportunity to embarass me on the internet all for the low low donation of $10 towards supporting JDRF and this year's Walk for a Cure. Emma and I will shamelessly make a video of ourselves singing and dancing to the song of your choice. A good friend of mine put through the first request actually...that fantastic 80's tune "Whip It!" by Devo....you know the guys...the ones with those crazy red plastic hats that look like lego pieces or something?! Yep...that was her choice! So, tonight Emma and I got down to business and made good use of my two red salad bowls. I knew I would one day be able to find more than just one use for those suckers!
Anyhoo, it was honestly one of the funniest evenings I have spent with Emma...she is a nut and I am so glad we did this together! I want to share this with you all so you can get a small glimpse into our life and see how versatile salad bowls really are. Thanks for watching and I will apologize in advance for my inability to carry a tune! Enjoy!....or don't...and still pretend that you did!....just cause you are a super nice person...:o)

Or if you care to hear a little idle and definitely amusing chit chat between Emma and I....click here http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/video/video.php?v=10150242227249715

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another little piece of my heart gone again

Today was day two of Emma's saline trial on the pump. She has done amazingly well with it and I could not be more proud of her. I had a moment tonight though that definitely brought tears to my eyes. She was lying in bed...her movie was finished...she was gathering up her special 4 stuffed animals that she cuddles in her arms every night...I was helping her decide what should be on her "cloud" tonight. We came up with this "cloud" thing to help her fall asleep and not worry about having bad dreams. Each night I have to come up with someone to hang out with her on her "cloud" and watch over her while she sleeps. Sometimes it's Shrek...sometimes it's SpongeBob...sometimes it's even me. Well, tonight we decided on Selena Gomez...lol...Emma loves that show "Wizards of Waverly Place." Anyway, once that was decided, she looked up at me with her big brown eyes almost spilling over with tears and she told me that she kind of wanted to take the pump off tonight. She said that it was annoying to try to sleep with it on and she just was wondering if she could take it off. My heart hurt...I knew exactly what she meant and how she felt because when I wore the pump with saline in it, I remembered that annoying feeling...I remembered how hard it was to find a comfortable position...I remembered thinking in my head that I wanted to just take it off...just take it off and Emma would never know the difference...I could've just reattached it when I woke up and she would've never known. I didn't though...I forced myself to keep it on...I left it on so I would know how she will feel. I wanted to do it for her. I wanted to know how she would feel and how different things would be for her...things as simple as being able to fall asleep and be comfortable.
So, there I stood tonight...next to her bed...watching the tears fall and seeing her look so disappointed in herself once again. I wanted to help her. I wanted to tell her that yes she could just take it off for tonight and get a good sleep...but I couldn't because once she is hooked up to it for real with insulin really in it....that won't be an option...she won't be able to just take it off whenever she wants to or whenever she is annoyed with it. She will have to wear it ALL THE TIME. It will be with her always...hooked onto her belt or her pants or her jammies...it will always be there. It may seem silly, but I don't think it really sunk in for me how permanent the word "always" really is until tonight. It hit me like a ton of bricks...this pump will be her pancreas...this pump will be with her and on her all the time. It will be there for every sleep, every school day, every gymnastics and piano lesson, every birthday party, every Christmas....it will be attached to her in every single picture I take of her from here on out. It will be there....attached to my baby girl...ALL the time...it will literally be a part of her.
I found myself once again wishing that I could be the one to take this from her....wishing that I could be the one to wear it all the time. I would wear it every single second of every single day for the rest of my life if I could. I wish I could. I want to take this from her and give her back the golden right of having an option. I want to give her back the ability to choose and decide that if something is annoying her and making her life more difficult...that she can just take it off or just not do it. But I can't....I'm just her Mommy...that's all...
So, instead I explained to her that she could take it off if she wanted...but once she started on it with insulin on Tuesday...that would not be an option ever. I told her that she needed to think about it over the next few days and really make sure that this was what she wanted to do. I told her that whatever decision she makes, I will not be mad...I will be there supporting her and loving her and still being proud of her. Why oh why does a 7 year old little girl have to be thinking of things like this? Her biggest decisions should be what she wants to play that day or if she wants pigtails or braids in her hair.....not if she wants to receive the insulin that her body can no longer make on her own, through a pump or injections.
She kissed me goodnight and told me she loves me. She said that she really wants to keep the pump. She said that she is going to force herself to just get used to it while she's sleeping. She really wants this. I love her and I hugged her extra hard tonight because I am proud of her. If only hugs would bring back a functioning pancreas....what a wonderful thing that would be....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Reunited and it feels so good!

It's rather funny how something so seemingly small and non-important can totally turn your whole day around. Yesterday I wrote all about how craptastic my day was...it wasn't the worst day of my life, but it was definitely not anywhere near being the best. Well, I just wanted to share one other thing that occured that I found sort of amusing. I hauled ass to get Emma when school was over ( I was on time! woohoo!) and like the good, semi-intelligent, lesson learning Momma that I am...I parked the car and grabbed her blood sugar meter case and walked up the path to her school. The case is adorable actually...we got it from another fantastic D-family and Emma just loves it. It is a froggy and the eyes on the front of the case can actually snap on or off...you can make him cross-eyed, normal-eyed, googly-eyed...whatever floats your boat. In any case, at times I find myself playing around with the case without really knowing I am playing around with it...I will zip and unzip it making a little "zipper tune" song (I get the feeling I may be slightly ADD at times...lolol), or I will snap and unsnap the big froggy eyes. I kept doing this while I walked down the sidewalk and up to her school. I went around back to join the other waiting parents and eventually stopped messing with the froggy bag. The bell rang and the kids came flying out like usual...Emma ran up to me, tossed me her backpack, and flew over to join her friends on the monkey bars. This is all part of our usual afternoon routine really. After she had her fill of playing, we made our way back to the car to head home. Emma got in the back seat and I tossed her the froggy bag to check her BG and make sure things were good. She unzipped it and said, "ummmm....Mommy? Where's my poker?" I turned around and looked in her lap...no poker...just her meter and a container of strips...UGH. I gave her a little something to eat and told her to stay put so I could retrace my steps and look for the meter. I hopped out of the car and veeerrry slowly tip toed down the sidewalk scanning the entire area for the little gray and blue lancet device. A couple of houses ahead of me there was a man pushing a lawn mower like nobody's business...IPOD going, whistling away, giant cowboy hat on his head, cutting his grass in style and with vigor! LOL. Anyway, I instantly though....oh no....i bet he mowed right over my favorite lancet device...it's probably shredded into a million tiny plastic pieces and it's ashes are spread across whistling cowboy's lawn. So, I made my way back to the car upset at the loss of the lancet device that had been in my diabetes toolbelt for roughly the past 2 years. I drove home to get another one before we went out to run some errands. I happened to glance up in the rearview mirror and saw Emma's face...she had tears streaming down her cheeks...crying softly to herself. I panicked immediately thinking she was low or sick or something was wrong! No....she told me she was upset that I lost her poker...she though that she would never be able to check her finger again...she thought we would be lost and clueless when it came to figuring out what her BG was from now on. My heart hurt...I felt so horrible for losing it and for causing her to worry about her BG future. I quickly explained to her that I had 2 more devices at home and it would be ok...everything was fine...we would still be able to check her finger...no worries!! She looked so relieved at that point. I hate that diabetes causes her to worry and stress over things like that sometimes. It is such an adult kind of stress....she's 7...she shouldn't have to have any stress in her life.
In any case, after getting the new lancet device we stopped at the store and when Emma stood up she turned around to get out of the car and there was our beloved "lost" lancet device sitting on her booster seat! She screamed at the top of her lungs, "HERE IT IS MOMMY! I FOUND IT!! IT'S NOT LOST!! WOOHOO!" So, there you have it....when my day kept getting worse and worse and more annoying with each ticking of the clock, all it took was that "reunited and it feels so good" moment with our lancet device to make things better. As I type this, I realize it sounds like I have entirely too big of a connection to said lancet device...lolol...what can I say...if nothing, I'm definitely an overly loyal kinda girl!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's been a Homer Simpson kind of day...D'oh!

I get knocked down and I get up again...NEVER gonna keep me down! (lyrics from that crazy song "Tubthumping" by Chumbawumba....first of all, what the heck does that song have to do with thumping on tubs? and second of all, nice band name guys...lolol)
I feel like this is my mantra today...it has been a frustrating day to say the least...however I am having a little giggle thinking of it because this song is stuck in my head now. I am reminded of an episode of The Simpsons actually where Lisa is getting a ride home from some older girls and as they drop her off they all get to see through the front window, Homer singing loudly to this song and making up his own words of course. if you care to check it out please click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFvSUi-QFX4 Anyway, I feel like I am running on empty...for starters, I woke up 25 minutes late this morning. I know big surprise there...that is a constant battle for me seeing as how I am up at all hours of the night being a pancreas. So, I did not have enough time to shower before leaving the house unfortunately. I hate that feeling. I am one of those girls that needs to hop in the shower shortly after waking up in the morning otherwise I can never fully be awake if you know what I mean....i feel grungy and sort of like a dirty hippie to be honest. Hey, I'm all for hippies and their peace love and "Jeremiah was a bullfrog" type mentality....I just don't like to stew in my own filth all morning long. Anyway, I made it out the door and got Emma off to school no problem. I then realized that I forgot to bring her pump along for my last pump training session this morning at the hospital. I brought everything else under the sun...but no pump...awesome. So, I sped down the road back home...slammed it into park, flew in the front door, yelled at the cat to get off the coffee table and stop drinking out of Emma's cup of water, grabbed the pump, locked the door, and got back in the car. I of course had to stop off for coffee on the way because if there wasn't going to be a shower in my foreseeable (is that a word?) future, then I must have coffee. I waited in the drivethru for my cup of caffeine goodness for what seemed like an eternity. I handed the girl a $20 and she tossed my change back to me...literally tossed it...so half of it wound up on the cement outside....nice...then she looked at me like I tricked her and was just a bad catcher or something. So sorry for forgetting to put my catcher's mitt and mask on this morning sweetie! Of I went to the hospital...found a spectactular parking spot on the 5th level of the parking garage and hoofed it across the field to the front doors. I made it there roughly 15 minutes late.
I learned the last of my pumping pancreatic duties and made our appointments to come in and have Emma hooked up with saline this Thursday..woohoo!! Our pump start date with insulin is now May 17th. Good stuff. I left the hospital, paid a small fortune to get my car out of the parking garage...admiring the suspicious brown streaks and stains along the stairwell walls....ewwww for parking garages, and left to go to Emma's school and get her for lunch. Various other ridiculous and annoying things happened since then...but I won't go into great detail and bore you to tears. Let's just say that it involved a strawberry lemonade from Dairy Queen, an irritating Avon person, a buzzing bee, and the garbage man. What a friggin day...I'm done...and yet I can't be done...it's only 2:36....fabulous. Thank you for listening to me rant and vent and get it all off my chest....I feel slightly better...now I am going to go sing me some Chumbawumba at the top of my lungs and haul ass to pick up Emma at school....
in the immortal words of Homer Simpson, "I take a whiskey drink, I take a vodka drink, and when I have to pee...I use the kitchen sink!" lololol....ohhh Homer...you make me laugh

Dancing in the grocery store

I had to go to the grocery store today...two times as a matter of fact...two seperate occasions to be even more exact. That is how good my memory is these days...I run out to pick up something we need and wind up leaving with 5 things I didn't need instead. Anyhoo, on my 2nd trip there I was standing in line behind a woman with her little girl who appeared to be around 3 years old. I love watching kids. I think they are hysterical for the most part. I stood there waiting in line and saw this little girl just start to twirl around and dance by herself. She wasn't just shyly swaying to the music...she was full out dancing...hands high above her head, shaking her hips, and kicking up her heels. It was awesome...lol...I was majorly impressed. It got me to thinking actually...at what point in our lives do we as adults decide that it is too embarassing or too inappropriate to act like that? Why do we not continue to be free and have fun and dance at the grocery store? Why do we lose that carefree attitude?
I'm sure my kid would tell you that I don't ever act like the typical Mom. I like that. I have been known to sing along with Emma while walking through the store when I hear some Smashmouth "All Star" come on over the store speakers. We have skipped down the frozen food aisle holding hands and stopping to write our names in the frost on the freezer doors. When I took her to see the movie "Star Wars-The Clone Wars", we were the only 2 people in the theatre and so during the fight scenes we both stood up in the aisle and had our own pretend light saber fights...sound effects and all. It was great. I have even full out ballroom danced with her in the middle of the pharmacy while waiting for our prescription to be filled...twirling her and everything. Sure, people stared. Some even looked at me like I was doing something wrong and I was being rude or not setting a good example for my kid. I say to hell with those people! Life is too short to worry about how you look to everyone else. Life is too short to care about embarassing yourself in public. One day when Emma is a grown adult with her own family, I want her to be able to sit down and remember all of those little moments. I don't want her to remember the mundane everyday necessary activities of life. I want her to remember having fun with her Mom. I want her to remember all of the nutty things we have done together and laugh. I want her to do the same things with her own children one day. Those goofy moments are what life is all about. So, I say dance...spin and twirl with your arms high above your head...live free and have fun.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Momma's Day and what it means to me

I was thinking about what it means to be a Mom...about what it means to be a Mom of a child with diabetes. Seeing as how Emma is my only child, I often wonder what it would be like to actually be a Mom to a non-diabetic. I wonder about how much easier it would be. I wonder if I would be a different kind of Mom if Emma wasn't diabetic. I'm not sure that I would have as much patience as I do. I'm not sure that I would be as understanding as I am. I don't know that I would be able to easily communicate with people...be it complete strangers that I am educating about diabetes, or newly diagnosed families, or people in the community that I am asking to support finding a cure, or even my own daughter. I am not sure that I would be able to communicate with her as well as I do now. I don't know that we would be as close as we are. Together we have been through hell and back quite a few times, but we have also shared countless triumphs and joys.
I do believe that things happen for a reason. I know that I was put on this Earth to be Emma's Mommy. She was made for me and I was made to be there for her. Sometimes I will look at her and I get this overwhelming feeling...she is very much the other half of my heart.
Being the Mom of a diabetic child is hard. I doubt myself constantly. I stress and worry about blood sugars. I lose sleep to make sure that she will make it through the night. I try to learn as much about this disease as possible. I try to keep her as healthy as possible. I want a cure. Sometimes I feel like I am also the Mom to diabetes itself. A lot of times, to try and express my feelings and thoughts, I picture diabetes as this living real life thing...usually looking like a monster. I even sat down and wrote it a letter once. It's kind of like I got a two for one deal in the Mom department. Yes, I did get to experience diabetes-free Mommy-hood for the first 4 years, but ever since that diagnoses day...it's kind of like I have this one sweet, caring, and beautiful daughter.....and I also have this one evil-doing, no good, tantrum-throwing, crazy child named Diabetes, as well.
I've read all the parenting books and magazines. I've researched on the old world wide web. I've even considered phoning "Super Nanny" on tv to get her advice on where to put my crazy child, Diabetes, when it is acting up. Is there some sort of "naughty stool" or "time out step" I can get? How about some sort of fancy colorful poster I can hang on the wall to reward it with stickers when it gives me nice blood sugars and behaves?
In any case, I am greatful that I am a Mommy. I love my daughter with my whole heart and soul. I would do absolutely anything for her. My goal starting today is to try and remember to live in the moment more. I want to savour each individual special moment with Emma before she is grown and out living her own life. I want to take a time out and focus on the seemingly little things in life. I hope you all had a Happy Mother's Day today and got to enjoy some special time with your kiddos. I hope that diabetes played nice for you and good blood sugars were had all around.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I tried my best...but being a pancreas is hard

This afternoon at Emma's school they had a carnival with lots of games, treats, prizes, and even a fire truck and police car. As usual, I was there. Don't get me wrong...I love going to Emma's school events and I love getting the chance to see her there. There are times though where I would just like the option of staying home. Just being able to have that choice would be nice. One more thing in the long list of stuff that diabetes has taken from me. I would have actually liked to stay home today because I currently have an ear infection and a chest infection. I have been coughing like a 90 year old man for the past 2 days. I am on antibiotics and I have an inhaler, but I would really have loved to just laid down in bed...closed my eyes...and slept the afternoon away.
Anyway, enough about me...I went to the school when the carnival was scheduled to start and made my way to her classroom. The kids were all lined up clutching their bags with their bright orange carnival tickets inside. Emma was very proud of herself earlier that afternoon because apparantly her teacher had asked her to help count out the tickets for everyone because she knew that Emma was very responsible. Anyhoo, Emma was buddied up with another little girl in her class (and on a side note...Emma told me the other day out of the blue that this little girl hasn't pooped since last Friday....lolol...nice...good to know). I spent most of the time chasing after the girls as they ran from room to room looking to play games and spend their tickets to try and win prizes. Their first stop was a White Elephant sale (i had never heard of these things...maybe it's a Canadian thing? I live in Canada now, but I'm actually American). Emma had her heart set on buying a stuffed animal monkey that she had noticed earlier in the day. The line was majorly long and we had to wait for quite a while to even get in the door. As we walked in, I noticed a little boy from Emma's class holding the last 3 monkeys in his hands and paying for them with his tickets. Needless to say, Emma was pretty bummed out. She is obsessed with monkeys. She LOVES them and had been talking all day about getting one. The little boy who bought them is actually Emma's boyfriend apparantly...(can I get a collective awwwww! ) He really is the sweetest little boy I have ever met. Emma and I have been over to his house one time actually and he was having so much fun playing with Emma that rather than have Emma leave for supper...he asked me to show him how to give her her suppertime needle so she could stay. He thinks Emma is pretty and funny and really smart. Emma actually thinks the same things of this boy. I think it is adorable. Anyway, later on at the carnival Emma ran into this little boy and he pulled one of the monkeys out of his bag and gave it to Emma. He had a huge smile on his face and said that he bought it for her. (can I get another awwwwwww!)
So, it was clearly shaping up to be a great afternoon after that.....Until we went into the library where the bake sale was being held. Cookies, cakes, cupcakes, sweets covering a bunch of different tables set up around the room. I told Emma that she could pick one thing seeing as how it was actually snack time anyway...I know...not the healthiest of snacks....but I think it was ok...she needs to be a kid. She chose a average sized cupcake and I gave her a needle to cover it seeing as how I was sure the carbs would be more than her usual snack allowance. She ran off happily with her friend and shoved the chocolatey goodness into her mouth just like the rest of the kids. She had frosting and sprinkles all over her mouth and cheeks. It made my heart hurt to see, but it also made me smile if that makes ANY sense at all. I let her run around for about another hour to help burn off some of that cupcake and I figured that I should check her and see what was going on in the way of blood sugars. I checked and got a 16.4 (295)....crap. I gave her another needle to correct that...not as much as I normally would have cause I was afraid I would then be causing a low later on. It wound up working out in the long run...so I suppose I shouldn't beat myself up over it. But it just pisses me off sometimes...I try so hard to get it right. I base my decisions on the current situation, past behavior, my Mommy instincts, how nice diabetes is being to us that day....I really truly think it out before I make a move....and it still comes back to bite me in the bum every once and a while. I hate it. It makes me want to throw my hands up in the air in defeat...but I can't. It makes me jealous of all the other parents walking around the carnival with their non-diabetic kids...and I despise being jealous. It makes me feel like a failure...even though I know diabetes rarely plays fair. It makes my whole self ache that my kid will have to deal with this until a cure is found...because I would give anything for it to be me instead. I tried...and today I failed...but I guess there will always be tomorrow to try again.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mr and Mrs Duck come to visit

This evening after supper Emma decided that she wanted to go outside and play. I was under the impression that "play" meant something like riding her bike, trampoline fun, or some made up game she has come up with. Instead she sat down at the bottom of the porch and grabbed my little gardening shovel and started digging in the dirt. There she sat in her jean skirt, white leggings, and fancy girlie shirt...digging away in the dirt. She makes me laugh...she is such a tomboy always wanting to climb things, get dirty, play video games, and do the typical boy things, but she is also VERY much into the fashion typical girlie type of things. Anyway, she sat there finding things to bury in the dirt, calling them her buried treasures...a road hockey ball, an old padlock and key, random sticks and rocks. I sat there on the porch steps soaking up the sun and enjoying my free minute to relax. I'm finding moments like these rare lately, so when they do happen, I have learned how to zone out and enjoy them before they are abruptly interrupted and gone by Emma yelling for something, diabetes getting in the way, the dishes piling up, or the phone ringing.  I sat there listening to Emma's chatter as she worked...digging away...doing her best impression of Captain Jack Sparrow (I have an obsession for Johnny Depp...which has rubbed off on Emma...lol) I happened to glance over because I heard an odd sound...there sat two ducks...within arms reach of us...staring at us. They had silently walked right up to Emma and I and appeared to be checking things out. There was a male and a female. After explaining to Emma that the male was the one with the beautiful green colored head and the female was the more plain looking one, she informed me that they were married...Mr and Mrs Duck. I was amazed that they weren't afraid of us at all! We sat there on the porch watching these little animals as they gave us their stare down. I went into the house to grab some bread so Emma could feed them. She tore off little pieces of bread and made a trail going down our driveway. I found it interesting how the male duck seemed to be the boss...he was hogging all of the bread and the poor female kind of stayed off in the background. After the bread buffet was finished, the ducks waddled off down the sidewalk leaving us. Emma and I stood there watching them leave and I got to thinking about my life. I spend a lot of the time so rushed and busy...always running here there and everywhere...trying to get people where they need to go, household things, food, needles, doctors appointments, school functions, friends...it's never-ending. Sometimes I get so caught up in it that I forget about what is really important. I forget to notice the little things...the flowers that are starting to bloom finally, the sun shining, the sound of the wind blowing through the trees...and an adorable pair of ducks out for an evening stroll.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I'm locked and loaded

This morning I went to the hospital for my first training session on the pump. I was very excited and ready to learn everything as quickly as possible so we can get a move on and get Emma going on this. I like to be prepared. I like to know the ins and outs of everything new and have way more information than I will probably ever need to know. I've learned over the years that the best way for me to learn things though is through day to day events. I learn better through hands on experience and dealing with things as they happen. Diabetes has taught me that there really is NO possible way to know everything about it. We are now almost 3 years into living with this disease and I am still learning. So I'm trying not to get too wrapped up in the little things...trying to not let myself be overwhelmed by the little details. In any case, I dropped Emma off at school and made my way to the hospital. I was a little worried about her because she has been fighting a cold for the past 5 days or so and I always get paranoid that a simple cold will turn into something worse like the last time she was ill. Anyway, off I went to learn and have the pump hooked up to me with saline in it so I could practice "hands on." It went really well actually! With each day that passes since Emma decided that she was ready for the pump, I am becoming more and more impressed with it. I am seeing how things will be better. I am seeing how this device will make our lives easier. I am seeing how it is going to give my daughter some of her life back. This tool...our newest and most powerful tool will give her the chance to be a kid again. Granted she won't be "just like her other friends" who happen to NOT have diabetes...but for now, it is about as close as we can get...and I'm ok with that.
When I left the hospital to go get her for lunch, I drove along to her school with a big stupid grin on my face. I'm sure I looked like the biggest nerd to the cars that pulled up next to me at a red light...but I don't care...I haven't been this happy in almost 3 years. I feel like I am slowly but surely gaining things back...I'm clawing my way up that mountain and regaining some of the control that I lost so long ago. As soon as Emma walked up to me in the hallway at school, she asked me where the pump was...I lifted up my shirt slightly and showed her that I was now locked and loaded ready to go. She looked miffed and said to me that she didn't want me to wear HER pump....lolol...I love that. I love that she already is taking ownership of it and liking it so much. She also told me that I wasn't fashionable enough to wear her pump....lolol...but that's a whole different story!
Anyway, I just wanted to write this to express how much I love this thing...this little device that runs on a AA battery...this thing that will be helping me keep my daughter alive and healthy enough while we wait for that cure. It's coming...I know deep within my heart that it's coming...but in the meantime, I am ok with allowing myself to be happy with this.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ease on down the road? NEVER!

Pump start day is fast approaching and I am sitting here thinking about how funny my life is. It seems to me like I can never do things slowly...I can never just ease into them carefully and comfortably. For some reason things always happen that cause me to have to quickly get used to things...hurry up and decide...get it done...MAN UP as Emma would say. For example, Emma was diagnosed at the end of June '08 and had to start school in September for the first time. She was never in daycare, never away from me for more than a few hours in her entire life up until that point. So, I had to jump right in...soak up the stress and nervousness and worry...dive in with both feet and send her off to school newly diagnosed. She will be starting the pump now on May 10th and I thought that for once in my life I would have a few of those proverbial minutes to get used to things...take my time...ease into the new life with a pump. I should have known better! Two days after the start day she has an appointment at the dentist which always causes her BG to do a little wacky dance...so i will have to figure out how to manage that one with the pump. Three days after that she has a birthday party to go to...not just your run of the mill "play at the house/eat cake/play pin the tail on the donkey" kind of birthday parties either. It is another one of the YMCA birthday parties that is 3 hours long....one hour of running around the gym like a maniac hopped up on 10 pounds of pixie sticks, one hour of pizza, cake, and rock wall climbing...and one hour of swimming....yep...swimming. So I get to literally and figuratively dive right in and experience our first "swimming with the waterproof goodness of the Animas Ping" pump. Sure, it would have been nice to sit back, relax, wait until at least July to figure out how things will play out with swimming with the pump...but nooooo I get a grand total of 5 days to "figure it out" and "get comfortable" lolol...good stuff. I'm starting to notice how many things I have put in quotes in this post...kind of funny...things seem a little more important I think when you put them in a quotation mark sandwich.
Anyhoo, just thought I would share my inability to takes things nice and slow...how I can never ease on down the road. I don't plan for things to work out that way...they just always seem to anyway though! Maybe that's a good thing?

I would also like to mention that we are holding our 3rd Annual Dollar For Diabetes Day this year to help raise money for JDRF. Fingers crossed that it is a big success and this year will be one for the record books! Here is a link to my Facebook page event I created. http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=214483561913869

Sunday, May 1, 2011

An eye opener in the book store

During our travels today, Emma and I went to Chapters (Canada's version of Barnes and Noble) to take a look around and try to find some new books to read. They have a really neat kids section of the store actually and Emma made a quick beeline for it as soon as we walked in. She found one of those plasma cars hanging about and hopped on to ride it around the store and browse the shelves. As I made my way around following her, I happened to glance up and see a grandmother pushing her grandaughter around in a stroller. The little girl appeared to be around 2 years old, her face was very swollen, she had no hair, and there was a nasty looking scar going all the way across the top of her head. My heart hurt instantly. I don't know what was wrong with the little girl, but I am assuming she had cancer. I noticed Emma stop dead in her tracks and sit there on the plasma car silently checking out this little girl. After about 30 seconds of looking at her, Emma continued on about her business in search of a special book. I didn't say anything to Emma...I was waiting to see what she would say to me actually. After a while we both made our way to the grownup section of the store so I could find something. As we were walking along, Emma finally said to me, "Mommy? did you see that little girl with no hair? What's wrong with her? Why doesn't she have any hair?" I looked down at Emma and saw a complete look of innocence and curiosity in her eyes. I told her that I wasn't sure, but that I thought the little girl probably had cancer. Emma accepted the answer and ran ahead to see what else she could find. I looked around and caught a glimpse of the little girl, her grandmother, and her mother all sitting in this cute little teacup shaped chair reading a book. I couldn't help but watch the mother. I saw her with one arm around her child, reading this book...she had a huge smile on her face and was reading very animatedly to her baby girl.
I know that diabetes is not easy...it is the hardest thing that I have ever had to handle in my life. I would never in a million years want to seem like I am belittling (SP?) this disease. At times I have felt like I have been through hell and back dealing with it. I look at my child and think Why her? Why not me? I pray, I fundraise, I educate those who ask, I try to be a good person, I try to teach my daughter to be a good person. I learn every single day...I try...I do my best. I saw that mother and my heart ached for her. On some sort of level I could relate to her pain and anguish....but I know that I could never FULLY understand or relate. Her child may not live to see tomorrow and there is absolutely nothing she could do to prevent that. There is no managing cancer...there is no carb counting, blood sugar checking....there's nothing she can do or change...she simply has to give all the control over to doctors..people who she doesn't really truly know. I could never relate to that feeling. I wanted to go to her and hug her...from one mother to another...I wanted to hug her and tell her that I am sorry for what she is going through. I wanted to tell her that I am in awe of her strength..sitting there living in the moment...simply reading a story to her child...enjoying that time to the fullest extent.
I didn't go up to her though...I didn't want to interrupt her special moment. I didn't want to ruin it for her. So, I just smiled at her ability to live in that moment and enjoy her time with her daughter. I left the store and drove home with a new found appreciation for my life. As I sit here writing this...I know that Mom will never ever read my blog...I know she will never see this. But if she did somehow someway...I would want you to know that I admire you...I want to tell you that you made an impact on me today without even knowing you did. I want you to know that I think you are the definition of strength. Thank you for sitting there reading to your little girl. I wish you the best and I wish your daughter well.