Sunday, October 30, 2011


It was a beautiful sunny Sunday today. I took Emma to the park and as usual when we arrived I checked her blood sugar to make sure we were dealing with an ok number to go off and play. Well, as the usual life with diabetes very unpredictable!...she was high. I couldn't understand why...she had just gotten a bolus for a snack before we left...she isn't ill...nothing was bothering her. UGH. So I gave her a correction and off she went to play. I happened to be standing next to her on the monkey bar play structure thing and glanced over at her as she was reaching up to grab the bar...and I noticed a TON of bubbles in her tubing....the reason for the high blood sugar! So....I did what had to be done...I got her to unplug from her site, which involved undoing her pants and pulling them down a bit because the site was actually in her thigh today. She was not pleased to say the least. As soon as she handed it over to me though, she took off running to go swing from the bars on the other side...all the while yelling, "FREEDOM!" At first I found myself giggling at the site of her...and then I felt that all too familiar pang of sadness and hurt and loss in my heart. It caught me off guard and took my breath away. I stood there holding in my hands the device that keeps my child alive everyday...and I wanted to just throw it across the field. I wanted to be rid of it. I wanted to not have to see her always have this "weight" attached to her anymore. I wanted her to run leave it all behind. Then in an instant I was snapped back to reality...this is our life...this is her life...diabetes is a part of us...and it always will be until a cure is found. I held the pump in my hands and as I primed the bubbles out of it...I cursed it for having to be with us....but I thanked it for being with us...for helping me...for keeping Emma alive...for making our life a little less different and giving her a whole lot more freedom....real freedom.

Friday, October 28, 2011

something different

Wandering around lost in the middle of an empty field
the wind brushes past you...all around you...through you...
the waist high grass bends and sways as the wind carefully sweeps over it's tips...
causing an enormous deep green wave floating ever onward to the horizon
soft beneath your bare against your aching soles...
there is no reminder here...
no loud, flashing, screaming sign to remind you that
you are different.
there is no megaphone residing in your conscience
forcing an excruciating earsplitting reminder into your soul that
you are different.
You are not part of the exclusive
You are not with the lucky
You are not included in the simple...the easy...the part of the world that is able to breathe.
That life...those people...that ease...
it was simply a glimmer of what could have been...
how your mind's eye as a child thought that it would be...
and now it's just a mere whisper.
a reminder that you are will never be like them.
so as you walk through the cool and comforting mud beneath your ocean of grass,
remember that.
remember that no matter how often or how painful it is to think of...
you were not meant for that life...that ease...that simplicity...those people.
it was never yours to keep.
you were meant for something greater...
something larger than life...
something indescribably difficult.
something uniquely yours....
something different.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mumford and Sons concert last night!!

Last night Emma and I had the most amazing time. We went to see Mumford and Sons in concert! It was hands down the best concert I have ever been to in my life. When we arrived and walked hand in hand into the building, I was immediately overwhelmed...there were thousands of people everywhere of course. I had taken Emma to one other concert a couple of years ago...the Jonas Brothers to be that place was huge as well, however there were tons of other kids there too. At last nights show, Emma was by far the youngest kid in the crowd. On the one hand I was proud of her and excited for her...I love showing her new things and letting her experience new things...I love introducing her to all different types of music as opposed to just being stuck on whatever the Disney Channel shoves down kids throats these days. On the other hand, I was a little nervous because I didn't want to lose her in the crowd. So, I had her hand in a death grip basically and we slowly made our way through to the actual concert area. I was immediately impressed with how everyone around us was so ok and helpful with seeing a kid there. Complete strangers were stepping out of the way and letting her through...smiling down at her and asking her if she was ready to rock out and sing along. It was great.
So, once the concert started the place erupted in a wave of screams and applause. I looked down at Emma's face expecting her to be plugging her ears against the noise and squeezing her eyes shut....instead I was met with a gigantic smile and she was jumping up and down and screaming right along with everyone! At one point during "Little Lion Man" I heard her scream "THIS IS THE BEST CONCERT OF MY LIFE MOMMY!! I WANT TO STAY HERE FOREVER!"
Like I mentioned before, I am a huge Mumford fan and was beyond excited to see them live...but I would have to say that my absolute favorite part of the whole night was seeing Emma's reaction...seeing her soak in all of the excitement...all of the incredible music...all of the lights and cheers and dancing...the entire moment. I know that she will never forget it for the rest of her life...and I will never forget the look on her face for the rest of my life! I love how much more I learned about Mumford too...they are musicians who truly are humble and down to Earth...musicians who so evidently love what they do...musicians who were made to do this...they live, breathe, and love their art. I love how at concerts like that...when you are there in that room with them and thousands of other people...for hours at a me it always feels like you are on another planet...lost in the love...entirely seperated from the rest of the world. There is no work, no school, no worries, no stress...nothing.....just you and this room full of people sharing something so special that there are no words to appropriately describe and love come close...but even they don't do it justice. It's an incredible feeling and I am so glad that I got to experience it with my daughter.
My broken toe was forgotten until the end of the's a nice shade of blackish purple today! Diabetes attempted to get in the middle of things a couple of times...but I managed to show it who's boss and throw it out of the show...this was OUR time...OUR moment!
My camera sucks, but I did manage to get a couple pre-show pics of Emma and I...and then a couple of the show on my phone (however I have no idea how to get pictures off of my phone onto the'm not the sharpest tool in the shed!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ice skating with Elaine and remembering to be ME

So today I went ice skating with my wonderful, amazing, hilarious sister in law Elaine. She really is incredible. She's one of those special down to Earth souls out there in the world that just make you feel better...happier...lighter being around them. She is always there for me. She makes me laugh out loud so hard sometimes that I forget what in the world I was stressed out about to begin with. Not just your ordinary kind of laugh of those special kinds of belly laughs that leaves you with nothing but a squeak escaping from your lips in the way of sound...and your sides are aching...but the good kind of ache...:o) are left struggling for air and feeling like nothing else in the world matters. She's the best and I am truly lucky to not only have her as a friend...but also in my family.
Anyway, unlike the fantastical Miss Reyna...I am not all that great on skates. I can manage to stay upright most of the time and I don't have to hold on to the boards...but it can turn into a pretty weeble wobble scenario at any given moment honestly! Elaine hadn't been out on the ice in about 16 years I knew we were bound for an interesting's just say Elaine did fantastic! I have no shame really...I don't try to fool myself into thinking that I am it was quite the scene when I fell twice on my knees. I had Elaine in stitches for the first fall because at one moment I was skating alongside her talking away and at the next I was gone...flat on the ground behind her! Sure I am sitting here with bruised knees and an oddly shaped protuding bruisey lump on my wrist which makes me wonder what exactly is going on in there...however not wondering enough to actually make the trip to the ER! Maybe that is because I am too beyond excited to be going to a Mumford and Sons concert tomorrow night with Emma!!??!! Possibly?? I'm thinking YES!
Anyhoo, once our skate was over and we were sitting on the bench putting our shoes back on and still giggling at my falls, and already planning our next visit to the arena devising a master plan to secretly practice once a week and become pros in a matter of time....I couldn't help but smile. I smiled because when I arrived there and got out of my car I realized that it was the first time I had gone skating without Emma in years...first time I didn't have to worry about carrying along her BG meter bag, low snacks, glucagon, or any other D-supplies. I realized that I could just leave all of that in the car. All I had to bring with me was my phone...and myself. It felt nice. I also smiled because I had a great was honestly one of only a handful of times where I have ever done anything without Emma there. That may sound may sound odd really because of how often I talk about how amazing I think she is and how much I enjoy spending time with my kid.....but I can't deny the fact that it felt was fun to just be "Amy" for an hour...just me...not Mommy...not diabetes manager...not even wife....just AMY. It felt amazing. I get stuck in the never ending monotony of life with diabetes so easily that I slip away and tend to forget what that is like...I forget how to be just ME...I forget how much fun I can wind up having with whoever I am's nice. So, for that hour away today Elaine...I am truly greatful. Beyond words greatful really. Thanks for inviting me along, for all of the laughs, and for making me remember that I need to take time to just be ME every now and again. Love you!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thank you Grandma...I will miss you

It's such an odd thing to hear your parents hear the hurt and the sadness in their voice over the phone across the miles. I picked up the phone tonight while I was in the middle of checking Emma's BG before bed. I said hello and was met with my Mom's voice...upset...quiet...tear filled. In an instant my focus was ripped from the monotony and routine of being the parent of a diabetic...and my heart flew across the border to the my Mom and Dad's house. The tears stung my eyes and my heart began pounding. My Mom was calling to tell me that my Grandma had passed away tonight. She had been sick for years with Alzheimer's and more recently had a stroke...she was not meant for this world any longer...she needed to be free...she needed to be rid of the mind and body that had failed her.
A few years ago when Emma and I had gone home to visit and be there for my brother's wedding, my Grandma came over to see us. I very vividly remember sitting there with her and knowing that she had no idea who I was anymore...she looked at me like I was a hurt my heart, but I knew that it was inevitable...I didn't live there...she didn't see me on a regular basis...the alzheimer's was stealing away her memories and her mind. When I left to return back to Canada after that visit, I made peace with it...I said my own version of my goodbyes to her at that time. My Grandma was a wonderful woman. She collected dolls, she played games with us when we were kids, she was the type of Grandma who would get down on the floor and sit there with you and play. Every year for Easter she would make up a huge basket full of candy for my brother and I...I loved made me feel made me feel important because I thought she was so tight with the Easter bunny that he dropped off a basket for us at her house too simply because she asked him to. Every year for Halloween my Dad would bring my brother and I over to my grandparents house. He would park down the street and Joe (my brother) and I would walk up to the house and pretend like we were just regular trick or grandparents would open the door and we would giggle away wondering how long it would take for them to recognize us. Sometimes it took a long the time I thought it was because we were so sneaky and were wearing great as an adult, I know that they probably were just playing along to make us make us feel good. I love her for doing things like that. I love her for giving me my Dad. I could not have in a million years ever dreamed of having a Dad as incredible as the one I got. He is my hero. He is what I measure all men to. In my eyes he is perfect. He's funny...he's smart...he's the strongest man I know...he has taught me so much in this life that there is absolutely no way I could ever repay him. Everyone has always told me that I look like my Dad, I act like him, I have the same type of personality as me that is one of the greatest compliments I have ever received. So, I thank my Grandma for giving me my Dad. I hope she knows how much he means to me...I hope she knows how much she means to me.
I hope my Grandma is up in Heaven now starting a new collection of dolls...finding the most special ones that she could ever hope to find. I hope that she is at peace. I hope that she is playing golf with my Grandpa again. I hope that she is laughing and running freely with no sadness. I hope that she is loving every single moment and enjoying all of the beauty around her. I love you Grandma and I will see you again one day. Thank you for everything you gave me and please give Grandpa a kiss and hug for me too...and tell him I love and miss him too.

what goes on in my head when she's 2.3

Mommy, I feel low.....
Heart pounding...palms sweating...shivering and shaking...instant icy panic coursing through my veins...throbbing head...screaming NO at the top of my lungs and yet only a mere whisper of sound escapes my suddenly dry lips..."can't take my eyes off of're too good to be true...i just can't take my eyes off of you"...don't let this be the time...please God don't let this be the time...don't take her from can't take her from me...please don't...let this one pass too...let the number come back up...let the juice work...let her stay here with me...i need her here with me...let us keep trying...please let us fight this and win...let me keep her...let me kiss her beautiful forehead goodnight as she lay her head upon her soft pillow again tonight....let me keep her...let me see her shining eyes again...let me see the dull and far off sugar deprived look disappear from her eyes once more...let me see them shine again...let me see them sparkle...give me back my bright beautiful funny amazing daughter...please let this work...please give me the strength to make it through this...give me the strength and the knowledge to do this right...don't let me fail...don't let me make a mistake and torture me by watching her slip away from me right now at this moment in this darkened coffee shop parking lot...sitting here in her car scared...don't take her from me now...please let me do this right...please heal her body...please heal her...please help me...i feel so lost so scared so terrified such a failure...i feel so scared...i need her...i can't breathe without her...i can't live without her...i need gave her to me 7 years ago...i can't give her back already...please help me...i can't do this...i can't handle the pressure...i can't handle the worry...the panic..the pain...the stress...never ending swirling around me in a constant mist of overwhelming's too much...far too much...i'm not good not smart not strong enough...i cant do it's beating's sitting here watching it beat watching it sneer and cackle and wonderously triumph over watching it losing...i can't do heart can't handle the pain and the worry and the fear anymore...its broken...its scarred...its angry...its awful...its a disgusting and wretched feeling...why can't i save her...why can't i do it right...why can't i fix it...why can't i be stronger....i can't hold up my wall's crumbling down into a million dusty pieces all around me....and all i can do is sit here frozen...numb...lost...sit here in the front seat of my car...and stare at her...stare at her because i fear if i look away if only for a second...if i even will take her from me...please don't take her from me.....

Friday, October 21, 2011

Before diabetes

I picked up Emma a little early from school today because she had a dentist appointment. It was just your run of the mill cleaning appointment and check-up. As we pulled into the parking space in front of the dentist office, I handed her the blood sugar meter to check where she was at just to be reassured that she wouldn't drop low during the cleaning. I shut the car off and listened as I heard the old familiar 3 beeps come from the meter and Emma told me a perfect number. She zipped up the case and tossed it over the front seat in her usual kid has no patience for handing it nicely to me for some reason...I think she likes the whole zip and toss move. Anyway, it was all of the average afternoon in the life of being a parent.
And then Emma said, "Mommy? I don't even remember what it was like before diabetes."
Just like that....out of the blue...
I was caught off guard...I felt the tears instantly sting my eyes threatening to spill over and drip down my cheeks. It's weird because most of the time I get caught up in the monotony of diabetes and I have built up a huge sturdy wall around my heart to fend off attacks of pain or anguish...sadness and depression from this disease. Every once and a while though, things like what happened today just blast right through and send a shock to my system. It's like a reminder that I don't need and never wanted...a little jolt to that special place in my heart saved for Emma. I heard those words come out of her mouth and it made me sad. I knew that because she was only 4 years old when she was diagnosed that she probably wouldn't really remember those days forever. I knew that as she grew into an adult that those memories of the first 4 years of her life would become more hazy and more surreal until they probably just faded away into an oblivion of nothingness....becoming overshadowed by the constant that is diabetes. I knew it would happen. I've thought about it many times in the past 3+ years. I just never really knew that it would hurt my heart so much to hear those exact words fall from her lips. I never knew that the thought would ever occur to her. I never knew that it would cause me to feel such anger and such sadness. It took all of my strength to stop those cursed tears from falling...from letting her see how much her words affected me...from having to walk into the dentists office with red eyes full of sadness caused by diabetes. I didn't want to have to explain to them why I would have looked sad...I didn't want to have to share...I didn't want to see the pity on their faces...I don't want pity...I don't want the "poor you" and the "aww it must be so hard" and the "oh i'm so sorry!"...I didn't want to hear it. Maybe I am a callous person for writing these things out...maybe not. It's how I feel though. I loathe pity. I have used every single ounce of my strength and ability to teach my child to be strong regardless of what is thrown at be strong in the face of stand up and fight for what she believes in and for what she not let anything stop her...anything...especially not diabetes. I have tried to make her understand that it is healthy and perfectly ok to feel whatever feelings she has about her them...get them out into the's ok to ask for's ok to feel's ok to feel anyway she feels. As for pity though? Pity is not something that I want her to seek or even acknowledge.
So, I took a deep myself and my emotions under control and realized that yes...she may not remember life before diabetes now...and that is ok. It doesn't mean she is any worse for the doesn't mean she is lacking in doesn't mean she is missing just means she doesn't just means she is growing up right in front of my eyes...and she is becoming more and more of a strong, incredible, loving, and balanced human being.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I wish I had a crystal ball

The other day I asked Emma what her blood sugar was that morning because Shawn had gotten up with her and for some reason he never remembers to write it down in her logbook...which is fine...i'm not least he will get up with her when hes not working and I get to sleep in...i love days like that. So, anyway...I asked her what it was and she replied with, "what is YOUR number Mommy?" in a voice so eerily similar to my usual sarcastic tone, that it made me burst out laughing.
It really got me thinking I ask her that too much? Is there such a thing as asking that too much? The poor kid must get so sick and tired of the number...she hears it at school from her teacher...she hears it at home from never leaves her. I wonder if I am causing her to build up a resentment towards those numbers or even towards her diabetes? Or am I showing her the importance of keeping track of her BG readings and paying attention to what they actually are? Showing her that it's not just an annoying number that she has to keep track of because it's part of the routine or because Mommy and Daddy are gonna ask later....but more so that it is more than just a's a clue as to what is going on inside her body at that moment in time...a piece to the diabetes puzzle that she must hold onto. It's a middle piece to the puzzle I think as well...not just one of those easy corner or end pieces that have at least one straight edge on them making it easier on you to get started on the big picture. It's a piece that when placed in the correct spot will help you will help you see the big picture...the other pieces will all start to fall into place once you begin to build around that number.
Sometimes I wish that I had a crystal ball where I could see into the future and find out if the things I am teaching her now about her diabetes management are going to help her or harm her when she is on her own. I wish I could know if I am going about things the right way. When you walk out of the hospital doors that first day after diagnosis, they don't hand over a manual to help you. Sure they give you all the basic information about carbs, ratios, basals, etc....but they don't tell you all of the little things that you will come across. They don't tell you about those moments where you will question yourself and doubt yourself and look at your child and wonder if you are causing them psychological damage by the things you talk about with them or teach them about. They just kind of load you down with papers and shove you out the long...see ya later...good luck with all that!
I guess I will never know if I'm doing it right until the future time comes to pass. Maybe I will never know? Maybe she will be just fine...maybe she will be as well-adjusted as any other kid her age...maybe, maybe not...For now I'm just gonna sit here and cross my fingers that my gut instinct and my heart is leading me down the right path...and I will try to be more mindful about how often I ask her certain questions.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


not sure if this would be considered a poem or not...just some thoughts running through my head today

What would you do if you felt you didn't have a choice?
Would you lie down and let the world walk all over your sunken chest?
Or would you stand tall and face the demon head on with a fake confident smile plastered on?
What would you do if you felt like you were a one woman traveling circus show?
Would you hide your sword swallowing fighter of a persona for fear of judgement?
Or would you wear your freak show style proudly?
What would you do if the ignorant masses seemed to be closing in on you...squeezing the light of joy from your eyes...robbing you of your last sweet breath of life...trampling across your free and dancing spirit?
Would you fight back...dust yourself off...and just keep marching on?
Or would you curl up in a ball in the dirt and watch your hopes...your dreams...your desires fly away in a dusty whirlwind of failure and weakness?
What would you do if someone...everyone...told you that you can't do it...told you it's impossible...told you that you will never make it?
Would you nod your poor pathetic exhausted head in agreement and shuffle off to the corner and hide there in the dark?
Or would you let their words of judgement and hatred fuel the fire within your belly...stoking the flames...gathering strength and catapulting you closer to that finish line?
What would you say to all of those sitting upon their high horses looking down upon you in judgement?
What would you say to all of those placing you in the category of not being worth their time?
What would you say to all of those floating along in life oblivious to the benefit of kindness and compassion?
I would say that I am sorry.
I'm sorry that their minds are not open.
I'm sorry that they are so lost.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hey jealousy!!

Every once and a while I will go back and read over some of my old posts on here...and I've come to the realization that to any one outside (or maybe even inside?!) the diabetes world most likely sees me as having a bit of a problem with mood Some days I am upbeat and doing my best at keeping a positive outlook on things...and other days I am caught in the trenches of diabetes hell...mulling my way through some dark and depressing times and feelings. I don't really have an explanation for it or even a reasonable excuse for it other than the fact that it is really the nature of the beast. Some days with diabetes in the house are good...and others not so much.
Anyway, for some reason today I have been stuck thinking about some not so happy things. I've been finding myself slipping back into remembering those thoughts from over 3 years ago when she was diagnosed. I think it's because Emma has been invited to that sleepover birthday party. Even though she has made it quite clear that the real reason why she doesn't want to sleep there has absolutely nothing to do with still has gotten me thinking about those early days. About how unfair this disease is. How something so simple and normal for a kid has to be turned into this big prepared detailed worry fest. It's not fair that I can't just send my kid off to enjoy her first sleepover birthday party with friends and not think twice about her health and if she would survive the night. It's not fair that I can't just drop her off, kiss her goodbye, tell her to have a blast, and leave knowing that my only fear would be whether or not I would get that phone call from her in the middle of the night asking me to pick her up because she is too scared to sleep at a different house. It's not fair. I hate how this disease makes me jealous. I hate that feeling. I don't like how diabetes has to fight me every step of the way every second of the day. I don't like it and I don't think it's fair or right....why does it have to be my child? Why couldn't she have just had a bladder infection that day I took her to the doctor? Why couldn't the doctor have just walked into the room with the results and told me "Ahh Amy, she has a bladder infection and here is a prescription...things should be cleared up in a couple of days...good as new."...why did it have to be diabetes? Why did it have to be us? our family? my child?
If I let myself think about it too much or for too long...if I let myself get swept up in that jealousy and that angry questioning...then I fear that I will never find my way back out again. I fear that if I give in or let my wall down for even a split second too long...then it will be all over. I know...i could be worse...she could have cancer...she could have died...she could have had a lot of things...but let me assure you that diabetes is no's no walk in the's far from being easy. Diabetes is like this ever present weight on your shoulders...a lot of times weighing you down so much that the pain is unimaginable...some times you find yourself so used to the weight and it's every day monotony that the it seems to have sort of lightened a bit...never really disappearing...but somehow a little lighter.
I know this moment and this dark cloud in my thinking and feelings will come to always does eventually...I'm glad that I can write this out and share this snapshot of my process in dealing with this disease...I hope that some of you can relate. I would have thought that after 3+ years of living this life that I wouldn't be dealing with feelings like this anymore...anger, jealousy, loss...but I guess I was wrong.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sometimes you have to remember

Sometimes you have to force yourself to remember to put it all into perspective. Sometimes you have to remember that the world is not going to end if that damn blood sugar meter gives you a reading of 18.1 in the middle of the night. Sometimes you have to remember that staring at all of those tiny little black dotted holes in the tips of your baby girls fingers is not going to result in her being a depressed broken unhappy child. Sometimes you have to remember that forgetting to bring the meter to the park is not an indication that you are a horrible mother. Sometimes you have to remember that when you completely 100% fail at guessing the amount of carbs in that restaurant meal she just ate, it's ok...she's not going to hate you...she's not even going to be mad at doesn't mean you suck. Sometimes you have to remember that when you sleep through your 5 alarms and don't wake up to check your daughter's blood sugar while she doesn't mean you are a bad just means you are tired. Sometimes you have to remember that your world does not revolve around diabetes but rather it revolves around your love...your heart...your soul...your reason for breathing and for opening your eyes in the morning...the reason you were put on this Earth...who you were MADE to take care of...your daughter. Sometimes you have to remember that not everyone knows about or even cares to know about diabetes and how it affects your life. Don't hate them for it. Don't be annoyed with their ignorance or their inability to deal. Don't inwardly sigh and roll your eyes at the pretend look of concern or compassion on their face. Instead remember that YOU care...YOU are concerned...YOU have compassion. Remember that you can not change anyone. There is not a single person on the planet that you can change. The ONLY thing you have control over is how you yourself react to the you choose to live your YOU choose to perceive things. Sometimes you have to remember that even in the seemingly darkest hours of this life...the scariest moments...the exhausting moments...the terrifying, overwhelming, lonely, and misunderstood are doing your best...and that is more than enough. Sometimes you have to remember that YOU are important...YOU are special...YOU are an individual...seperate from diabetes...seperate from wife...seperate from Mommy...YOU are important. Sometimes you have to remember that you are incredible...and that your daughter thinks the sun rises and sets because of you. Sometimes you have to remember that she loves you for who you are...and that is worth more than anything in the world.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I know you're there...

Some more poetry time

i know you're there...
lurking in the shadows
just around the corner
the cold dark shadows

i can feel you there...
making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up
my heart beats a little faster
each breath quick and nervous

i know you're there...
ominous and unwelcome
selfish thieving bully
waiting for my back to be turned so you can pounce

ready and waiting for your chance...
your moment in the spotlight
your moment to shine
your moment to steal control

i know you're there...
you're always there
waiting with bated breath

a never ending stand...a duel...
the clock tower strikes high noon
and there we are again
in our usual positions

the sun glaring down
sweat dripping into my eyes
a joyful sneer upon your face
as you anticipate the fight

i know you're there...
though i wonder,
are you frightened of ME?
are you terrified of MY strength?

do you know that I AM THERE too?
do you know that I WILL WIN the final stand?
I will draw first and you will fall...
you will lose

the tumbleweeds will carry you away
off into the never ending horizon of the desert sun
as for me? well, I will smile...
finally feeling the true meaning of fate, patience, and endurance

Using diabetes as an excuse

Yesterday after school, Emma informed me that one of her friends is going to be having a birthday party soon seeing as how her actual birthday is on Halloween (lucky girl! i think that would be such a fun day to have for a birthday!) Anyway, apparently the little girl told Emma that she was definitely invited and that it was a sleepover party. In the very next breath, Emma informed me that she told her friend that she couldn't go because of "the whole diabetes thing."
I could feel my heart leap up into my throat as I heard those words come out of my daughter's mouth. I knew this day was coming. I knew sleepovers with little girls are a big thing. Hell I was a little girl once...I know how fun they are and how they are such an important part of the whole growing up and bonding with girlfriends experience. It's a big deal. I knew that the older she was getting the closer I was getting to this day. Needless to say, all of that menatl awareness and attempted stress emotional preparing I was doing really did me no good.
Rather than sit there and let diabetes win, I remained calm, cool, and collected and simply asked Emma why she felt like she couldn't go to this sleepover party "because of her diabetes?" She told me that it was because she was afraid she wouldn't know all of the carb counts for foods that she may or may not eat while there....and she didn't fully trust the birthday girl's Mom to pay close attention to lows. I stood there looking at her sweet innocent face speaking these mature and heartbreaking words. I looked at her eyes and knew I was at a crossroads could go one of two ways. I could kneel down and hug her and tell her that I understood and if that is what she wanted, then I was ok with that...while secretly letting the relief wash over my pounding heart and being thankful that my child said the words she said. OR I could kneel down and hug her and tell her that we should never let diabetes stop her from doing ANYTHING that she wants to do. We should never let it run or rule any decision we make ever. It doesn't run our shouldn't have a say in what she chooses to do. We shouldn't let it win. We shouldn't let it stop her from having fun and just being a kid.

I'm sure you all know which route I chose to go.

I slammed my foot down on the gas pedal and took a right turn....I drove us onto the path of the unknown and unfamiliar and scary once again. I pulled up my big girl panties and put my seatbelt on...I made the decision once again to not let this disease stop my girl from doing what she wants. I told Emma that I would find a way to make it work...I always find a way. I told her that her main focus as a 7 year old little girl should be to have fun...go to kind to a kid...and squeeze as much fun as she possibly can out of every single day.  That's her job...that's it. I told her that all the rest of it is MY job...the stress, the worry, the finding out carb counts, the ratios and rates, the middle of the night checks, the food, the management, the careful planning and decisions that occur on a daily basis....the worry...the stress...the stress...the's MY job as her Mommy...not her job. I hugged her and was pleased to see the weight lifted off of her shoulders and the sparkle return to her eyes.

and then she informed me that the REAL reason why she said she couldn't sleepover there was because she was scared to sleep in a house without her Mommy and Daddy there....she just used her diabetes as an I burst out laughing and hugged her again. What a think of using her diabetes to get out of doing something already at the age of 7?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Field trip and loud whispers of concern

This afternoon I went on a field trip with Emma's class to the symphony. At first I thought it was going to be a bit of a headache to say the least because...really?....a bunch of 7 year old's are probably not going to be too keen on sitting there in the theater listening to a bunch of songs that they do not recognize. I mean, 7 year old's fidget...they talk to each other at full volume whispers even when they are told there should be no talking, they have to go to the bathroom, just seemed like a trainwreck in waiting. I would have to say that I was pleasantly surprised! The majority of the kiddos in Emma's class were really well behaved and actually enjoyed the music!
Anyway, the field trip was scheduled right after lunch and was to go through afternoon snack time. So I came prepared with my meter and granola bar for Emma (trying to find the least noisy snack in the house that she would actually eat turned out to be a little I know I could have just lowered her basal for that time frame and avoided the whole snack issue...but she wanted her snack...and she has a tendency to run on the lower side in the afternoons it is! So, when the time came, I took out her meter and very discreetly checked her finger...which was a little difficult considering we have an Animas Ping and the darn meter beeps 3 times rather loudly (if there's a way to turn it down, someone please share!!) As I handed Emma her granola bar, I was met with the sound of all her friends around her whispering, "Emma? Are you low? Are you ok? do you need juice too?" heart melted....complete and total relief and warm fuzzy feelings flew through me. That is one of my major worries about Emma's diabetes. I worry a lot about when she's older and in higher grades where she is not necessarily with only ONE or TWO teachers all day...but more like FIVE or SIX! I worry about how I would be able to explain to them the signs of lows and be reassured that they will actually remember her face in the crowd of high school and make the connection. I worry that she will get lost in the shuffle...left to wander the halls of high school alone...low and out of it...stumbling around in a stupor. Yea, I know...I worry too much...I play the "worst case scenario game" all the freakin time.
In any case, I was reassured today. I was relieved to find and hear with my own two ears that her friends know...they get it...they pay attention in their own way...they will be there for her and be concerned for her and help her. And that my dear friends is really more than I could ever hope for when it comes to the school friends aspect of living with this disease.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving health shenanigans

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in Canada. I've lived here for almost 11 years now and this is the one holiday that I will never get used to. I just can't get past the whole Thanksgiving BEFORE Halloween seems weird to my American born poor tired
Anyhoo, I always look forward to long weekends because it is nice to have that extra day to spend time with the family...just hang out, relax, and do nothing if we so choose. So, I was expecting a full weekend of lounging on the living room floor with Emma and giggling about whatever pops into her 7 year old mind. Which actually turned out to be some pretty hilarious stuff including her sitting in a laundry basket holding a stuffed toy cat and pretending she was the "Godfather" see the goofiness that is my child please click on this link (hopefully it!/video/video.php?v=10150409979024715
We did have the usual laughs and fun, even though our house was pretty much the health problem capital of the universe too. Emma woke up on Sunday morning complaining of a sore throat...ugh...why does it always seem to happen on Sundays or long weekend holidays? So, we went off to the walk-in clinic to get it checked out because I wasn't really in the mood to sit in the E.R. for 12 hours to have them tell me what was wrong and get a prescription. Yes, I wish I was exaggerating about the wait times...but I'm not...well, not by much in any case. I don't think I have ever had a E.R. visit wait time turn out to be less than 7 hours. So...we arrived at the clinic and the waiting room was so full that we wound up having to sit on the coffee table full of magazines from 1982. It was awesome...screaming crying kids, hacking coughing adults who for some reason were never taught to cover their mouths, and people who looked like they should not be allowed out in public without first putting on a helmet. We sat there for about an hour and a half and finally got the throat swab to tell us that she has strep throat...awesomesauce. Emma is a weird bird when it comes to ear nose and throat things because they never seem to bother her much at all...she continues to play like normal, rarely gets a fever, still has the same appetite as's odd and makes for some difficult parenting detective skills to discover what if anything is wrong with her.
ANYHOO, she was in tears disappointed because she was supposed to be going to a school friends birthday party that afternoon...not just any party either...she was going to get to wear her Halloween costume there. So, I felt horrible...I had to be the bad guy and tell her no she couldn't go because I didn't want her to spread the strep germs around the just wasn't fair.
Next on the list, I woke up early that morning and had major eye pain going felt like something was stuck in there really...I rinsed it out and finally went back to sleep. Woke up in the morning to discover the fabulous symptoms of pink eye...blurry vision, watery, good times. Let's see, what else can I add.....Emma scratched herself above her own eye...nice scab going there. I turned to walk upstairs and managed to turn right into the corner of the wall and banged my face and elbow...depth perception is NOT my best skill at the moment.
So, thank you for letting me rant and get this all off my chest. I am ready for this weekend to be over. I just finished off the rest of the apple pie from Thanksgiving dinner and I am about ready to put an end to this At least through all of this nonsense, Emma hasn't had any ketones. Blood sugars got as high as 21.5 last night...but no ketones. I am thankful even in the midst of this chaos. I love the pump. I love the temp basal feature. I love that there were no ketones in the mixture of this madness.
Oh yea, one other positive happened that is helping me not be angry at the health issues piling on and instead laugh....we made an old school fort in the living room today. We giggled, we took pictures, we played Barbies, and we even got the cat to come in there. No Daddy boys were allowed according to Emma...:o)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A day at the pumpkin patch

The older I get, the more I have come to realize that the word "family" means many things to me. Of course it includes the typical parents, grandparents, etc., but it also includes so many more important people in my life too. Friends are right up there on the list naturally. There are also a couple of people that are in our lives that are sort of related and sort of know it's confusing, but that's sort of how my family is. It's quite the blended family I suppose, which I think is nice.
Anyway, today Emma and I went to the pumpkin patch with some of my most favorite people around. The Mom, Grandma, and brother of my 2 nieces stopped by and picked us up to head out for some Halloween fun. Sandy (the Mom) and Lil(Grandma) are two of the most caring people I have ever met. Without fail they always ask about Emma and how she is doing. They are always there to support her with her fundraisers for JDRF. They are down to earth, honest to goodness caring people. It's not everyday that you come across people like them...and I am so greatful that they are in our lives.
We had a little getting lost on the way there driving fun...walked around in the sun and talked while the kids played on the bales of hay set up everywhere, tractor ride through the field, face paint, corn maze (got lost!), and even saw some farm animals. It was a great day!
I have really learned too that kids are better judges of character than most people. They seem to have a sixth sense about it and are naturally drawn to those who have that special spark...that warm caring heart...those that are truly good people. When the day was over and it was time for Emma to get to bed, I walked up to her room with her to tuck her in and say goodnight. I've found that this is usually the time of day when she will say whatever's on her mind...something that was important to her that happened that day...something that happened to her...something that she needs to get off her chest. So, I usually hang back a little bit and let her bring whatever is on her mind up to me in her own way. Well, tonight as she lay her head down on her pillow, she looked up at me with her big brown eyes and said that she had a really great time today at the pumpkin patch with everyone. She told me that she knows that she isn't really really related to Sandy and Lil...but she feels like she is anyway. She told me that she thinks that Sandy is her funniest Aunt ever and that she wished that Lil was her Grandma too because she is SO nice. I told her that if she feels in her heart that they are family...then they ARE...simple as that. I told her that it doesn't matter who is in her life and has the "title" of being an actual family member through blood or marriage. If she feels that special spark in her heart when she thinks of them or is with them....then they ARE her family. So many people in the world put so much emphasis on the title or the label they are given or already have. Even more people take that title for granted and don't really live up to it in our eyes. So, I think it is important to hold on to those special people we meet in life that give us that family feeling. Hold on to it and be greatful for it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

No D Day

Today is No D-Day...a fantastic idea that George over at Ninjabetic came up with. A day for not talking about the big D in our lives.
So, I normally have much to write about...but I think I am going to let this picture speak for itself in regards to the awesome day we had today. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

JDRF Ride for Research...brought me to tears

I just got back from the JDRF Ride for Research today. It was our first time attending one and I have to say that it was awesome! It was a whole different experience from the Walk. There was a huge tent set up in the middle of downtown with a bunch of stationary bikes inside. Most all of the participants were from the corporate world...bankers, insurance peeps, etc. I couldn't help but giggle at the sight of these people showing up wearing their team shirts, crazy colored wigs, and feather boas. We even caught sight of a few men sporting the tiara princess look! These are people who get up in the morning, put on their suits and ties, business dress, and carry around a briefcase...talking about crunching numbers and making mergers all day was quite the sight actually. I looked around at the sea of brightly colored people...laughing, dancing, shaking pom poms...and I was struck by the spirit of it all. It was incredible to think that most all of these people that I have never met and would never really interact with seeing as how I am just a stay at home Mom...well, we all have this common bond...this common force that drives us to do things like this and be involved in the spirit behind it....diabetes. It sounds cheesy, but I could really feel the love in the air.
Anyway, during the event Emma and the other JDRF ambassador for this year were up on stage speaking and thanking the riders for supporting us. It always hits me hard when I see my little girl...7 years old...standing there on stage in front of a crowd of people...being involved in something greater than herself. It reminds me of just how much this disease has matured her and forced her to grow up ahead of her time and think beyond her years. After the speeches, a couple of the major fundraisers (both happened to be banks...TD Canada Trust and RBC bank) came up on stage to present their giant oversized cheques to Emma and the other ambassador. One was for $2,500 and the other was for $14,000....amazing. I stood there off to the side of the my usual position...trying to keep an eye on Emma's face to seek out potential lows looking to interrupt the festivities...trying to not be in her face and in the midst of what's going on...just staying on the sidelines keeping watch. I stood there watching these bankers hand the cheque for $14,000 to Emma and stand next to her for pictures...and such a feeling of love, gratitude, and pride came over me that I could no longer hold back the tears. I stood there smiling (probably the cheesiest proud Momma smile on the planet I'm sure) and I felt the tears spill over and roll down my cheeks. It was a very emotional moment for me. I looked around at the faces in the crowd as they were riding...competing against each other to get the most distance rode in the set amount of time. There were faces full of smiles and laughter, faces that were red from exhertion and even one man in particular who had the fiercest look of determination on his face...sweat pouring from his cheeks and dropping to the ground below his feet. I couldn't help but stare at him...stare and wonder how diabetes affects his life...if it was him personally who has it or a family member...maybe he was the father of a diabetic kiddo too. I don't know. I didn't ask him. I didn't want to interrupt his moment...his determination...his fight. I knew simply by the look on his face...the fight in his eyes...that he was doing this...he was putting his heart into it. I was in awe just standing there watching him. I will never forget the look on his face. I will never forget the love I felt underneath that tent. I will never forget the immense feeling of support for my child from all of these people. One woman there actually pulled Emma aside at one point and hugged her...she told her that all of these people were here to help her...they were all here to support her...they all loved her. How amazing. It's an indescribable feeling...getting to witness the true human spirit...the goodness...the caring...the support and the compassion. I'm so greatful that we were able to be there.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My guilt suitcase

Ok, so we are over 3 years into this life of diabetes and there is one thing that still seems to stick around and get me at least a couple of times a week. I'm curious if any of  you find yourselves running into the same situation....
Guilt...the big G's so bad that it has one more letter than the infamous "4 letter words" many of us use on a daily basis. In the beginning days of this, I found myself battling the guilt monster over everything...even just the simple fact that she has diabetes...I felt the overwhelming guilt weight spread out across my back and I carried it around with me everywhere I went. I knew in my head that it wasn't my fault that she got it, but my heart...oh my heart left that nagging questioning guilt floating around. Since then I have actually come to terms with the simple fact that wasn't my just happened...plain and was just the hand we were dealt.
As the years have flown by, I have pretty well managed to dump a lot out of the ol' suitcase of guilt that I carry with me. However, there has been one thing that just wouldn't seem to leave me! Here is a prime example of it....
This afternoon before I went to get Emma for lunch, I grabbed a juicebox for myself because I was feeling a little bit low...shaky...nauseous...the whole deal. Well, I finished most of it and headed out the door to grab the boss lady from school and get her some lunch. We came home and she walked into the living room to discover the juicebox sitting there on the coffee table. She loudly shouted to me, "MOMMY! who's juice is that? Can I have one?" first thoughts were UGH...I forgot to hide the evidence. I don't know how you all handle juice in your house, but since Emma was diagnosed, I rarely give her juice unless of courses she is low. It's kind of strange to think of juice as more of a medicine now than the sweet tangy goodness that it is. I just find it too difficult to manage the spike afterwards, so I rarely will give it to her (again...unless she is low)....and especially not when I would be sending her back to school where I wouldn't be able to keep a close eye on her. I usually try to steer her towards crystal light or something else like that if she is in a juicey mood...which thankfully isn't often...she's more of a water drinker anyway.
Anyway, as I felt the guilt suitcase weighing my back down...I started thinking...there I was, standing there, feeling guilty about leaving a juicebox on the table and getting "busted" by her. I realized how ridiculous it was....harboring guilt over a juicebox. Yes, I was reminded once again that food and drink do not necessarily hold the same meaning for me now as they did years ago. I was reminded that no matter how hard I try to make it not so...we are different...we MUST be different to thrive. I realized that I am ok with being different. I realized that my kid really doesn't care as much as I thought she did about things like this. I realized that she really is a whole lot more reasonable and logical than I give her credit for. I'm ok with the juicebox guilt leaving me for good now...I can't believe I've kept it with me for this long. Maybe I'm a slow
It's nice to feel this guilt suitcase getting lighter as the years go by. I think it might be time to switch to a carry-on bag

What makes me happy lately

I must be in a poetic mood makes me happy here goes...

beauty floods my ears with a ravenous rush
taking over every thought
every step...every breath...every beat

waiting for that one melody
the one chord
the one perfect note that leaps out at me...through me

quietly search...trying to find
my carefully hidden heart
beneath the rubble and wreckage that lies within

behind the looming wall I've created
of each minute lost
tossed from the edge of the windswept cliff
crumbling and broken...searching for the day

seeking out the comfort and warmth
while not losing sight of the spark
the light...the fire within

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Poem for my D-Momma's

When you're lost floating out in the abyss
lying back upon your raft
moonlight shining like a kiss
upon your skin with a cold bitter draft

When you're floating through the murky mist
darkness enveloping your every thought
softly screaming out your list
realizing it's all for naught.

When you're drifting away to the middle of nowhere
frantic passion taking hold
losing sight of what is fair
grasping onto what must be bold.

Remember to look ahead
Paddle ever onward fingers out
Face the unknown not with dread
Be brave, strong, confident, and never doubt.

The morning after

After our crazy day full of diabetic shenanigans yesterday, I was left with sort of a blah numb feeling about it all. I was understandably stressed out and my nerves were shot.
This morning I woke up at 10:30 to the sound of Emma giggling about 2 inches from my face. I opened my eyes to see her smiling face and she immediately gave me a kiss and said "good morning Mommy!" Shawn had gotten up with her and did the pancreatic duties for the morning seeing as how didn't have to work this weekend. It was perfect. I felt rested. I felt happy. I felt loved. I have the best husband on the planet and the sweetest daughter around.
I made my way downstairs with Emma and the phone turned out to be the pharmacist, Lashen. I had gone there last night to return the box of defective insulin cartridges and get a brand new box to replace them. He was calling to check on us. He was calling to see how Emma was and to see if she was ok...he wanted to know how her blood sugars were today. Once again, I felt happy...I felt loved...I felt the warm fuzzies once again as I sat there holding the phone to my ear. I am always caught off guard when things like this happen. I was in awe...I was beyond greatful that this man who is of no relation to us...a man who has a very busy life of his very own full of his own kinds of stresses and worries and demands...this man took the first 5 minutes of his day at work to pick up the phone and call make sure that my daughter was ok. Incredible. He is definitely one of those true, honest to goodness, caring souls out there in the world. He could have just as easily made a note to talk with us about what happened on the next time we happened to be in his store. He could have just brushed it off as an unfortunate occurance. He could have not even given it a second thought and just went on about his business of starting his work day....but he didn't...he called us.
I love being reminded that there really are people out there like this man. It's a good feeling and it makes me realize how lucky we are to have them in our lives. It makes living this diabetic life just a little bit more bearable...a little bit easier. It takes a little bit more of that weight off of my heavy heart in moments of panic. I'm greatful. We are lucky. Thank you Lashen for going above and beyond and treating us like human beings instead of just customers.