Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Meeting the new teacher

Emma and I went to meet with her new teacher this afternoon at the school. For some reason I am finding myself less worried and stressed than I have been in previous years. Not sure why really? Maybe it's because she is pumping now and her numbers are more consistant? Maybe it's because this will be our 3rd school year with diabetes? Maybe it's because she is now 7 and has grown tremendously in managing her diabetes? I think it's a combo of them all really. I have noticed Emma becoming more responsible and knowledgable over this summer regarding diabetes. She is able to recognize her lows probably 4 out of 5 times. She has been bolusing herself pretty much every single time (i like to give her a break from the task whenever she needs it, so i still help with that part). We've been working with teaching her the whole insulin on board feature and how that can play a factor in things when she is bolusing. She has shown interest in helping prepare a new infusion set on site change day. She is curious and wants to learn things. I think this is one of the many things that I love about the pump. Emma would go through phases when on injections where she would want to prepare it and actually administer it herself...but then she would lose interest after a while. I would never push it...because like I said before, she will have to deal with this for the rest of her life (or until a cure is found! please please pretty please make it soon!)...so I don't want her to get burned out. With the pump however, I am finding her truly interested and wanting to know as much as possible about ALL of it. I love how it seems to make her feel more independant and "normal". I love how she has not only accepted it...but really loves it...it's a part of her and I can see first hand how much it means to her.
Anyway, I got a little off topic there...sorry...I can't help but profess my love for our Ping sometimes! While meeting with her 2nd grade teacher (Emma starts school next week Tuesday), I went through the usual speech...highs, lows, snacks, gym, BG checks, bolusing. I handed over all of my papers and info sheets to her with our phone numbers on them. When all was said and done, I looked up at her and finally realized that she was nervous. I found myself trying to reassure her that everything would be ok, she could call me anytime with any questions, Emma is very good about all of it. She mentioned to me that she was nervous a couple of times...but she knew that once they got into the swing of things and she got to know Emma a little better that she was sure the nervousness wouldn't be so bad. She told me that she appreciated all of the info and getting to talk with me. She said that during the school year she always refers to the class as "her kids" because she truly looks at them in that way...she is there to not only educate them...but to also take care of them...and care for them. So, we left there feeling pretty good about the whole thing. I was beyond happy to hear what she had to say about calling them "her kids"...i think that is such an incredible thing and am once again so lucky to have come across another phenomenal teacher. Seeing her nervous made me a bit nervous though at first...until I read a comment a friend of mine posted on Facebook about how it was a good thing that she was nervous...it meant that she cares and will be looking after Emma in the way that I hoped for. I should be nervous if I found this teacher to not be nervous herself...to not care or treat it like it wasn't important or a big deal at all...then I should have a problem.
So....fingers crossed...I think we will have a good year. It will still be beyond difficult to hand over my kid to another complete stranger...entrusting her with Emma's life...praying that she will be ok every school day...but at least I can breathe a little easier knowing that the teacher is on board with everything and will be looking out for my girl.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Poem of our amazing day

Had an incredible day with Emma today. I'm still amazed at how it could be possible that I seem to love her more and more every single day...respect her more...admire her more. I am sure going to miss having her with me every day once she goes back to school next week. Here is a poem I wrote about her and our day today.

Softly whispering wind moving across the open field of grass
Hearing your giggles
Watching you run so free,
your hair flying out and trailing behind you
Following close behind
always there
Feeling my heart swell with love...pride...respect
Feeling the smile take over my entire face
as I watch you...being a kid.
You make me feel an unimaginable amount of happiness
every single time I look at you.
Take a mental snapshot of this moment in our lives
Hoping to remember it for always and forever.
Sun shining down upon us warming our souls...our spirits...our bond.
I love you more than hearts and stars
Thank you for making me smile every day
Thank you for making me hold on to those little moments in the sun...hold them close to my heart.
Thank you for making me laugh uncontrollably
and feel like I am 7 years old again.
Thank you for making me feel important...and like I matter.
For looking at me with immense trust and unconditional love in your eyes.
Thank you for being you....unique and beautiful.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Buskers and friends who are family

So on the weekend Emma and I went to a Busker Festival downtown with a good friend. She is fantastic and we absolutely love her. I would have never crossed paths with her I am quite sure...if not for diabetes. She is a T1 diabetic as well and I am so beyond greatful that we have her in our lives. She is always there for me...be it when we first started pumping and I was having a full blown panic attack because Emma's BG's were skyrocketing for no apparent reason and I had no idea what to do...and obviously it was at night time and the doctor on call was not doing his duty in returning my calls of panic! She is there to brighten my day with a laugh...actually care enough to ask me how my morning went...or help me pass the time late at night by playing the random "Let's Google Something Funny" game we came up with. Emma adores her. Through our involvement with JDRF, Emma has been lucky enough to meet many kids with T1 just like her...she has a ton of fun hanging out with them and playing at get togethers. I absolutely LOVE the fact though that Emma has someone like Nadine in her life too. I love that she can spend time with her, giggle with her, tease each other, and basically see that T1 has not stopped her either...and she is a grownup! LOL!
Anyway, we all got together and went to this festival which is basically a street fair full of street performers juggling, fire tricks, acrobatics, comedy...they have it all. We had an incredible time! I can't stop thinking though about one particular moment of the day. We were standing there gathered around an act...standing amongst quite a crowd of people actually...watching them perform. I was standing next to our friend and Emma was in front of me. Near the end of the act, I stood there looking from Emma to Nadine...seeing them watch the action. I saw the common bond between them. I saw the incredible connection they have. It's on a level that I will never be able to truly get to be honest...I don't have diabetes. I hope that our friend knows how much it means to me that she is in Emma's life. I hope she knows how greatful I am and how I could never thank her enough. She is kind and caring...one of those honest to goodness truly down to Earth good people.
At the end of the performance, I had a bit of an odd feeling as well. I found myself searching Emma's face for signs of a low because I hadn't checked her in a while and like usual was worried about the number. I also found myself searching our friend's face for signs of a low too! I was worried about both of them...a little ridiculous I suppose seeing as how our friend is a full grown responsible adult quite capable of taking care of herself! I couldn't help it though...I was on D-alert...I was worried for them both. Turns out they were both actually high...within 1 number of each other at that! Crazy.
So, to make a long story short...I am lucky to have the people in my life that I do. I may not have my family her with me in Canada....but I have some amazing friends. I hope they know that I consider them to be my family and I love them dearly.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Funniest videos!



video

Ok, so i know this isnt really diabetes related...but i couldnt help but share this....lol...it's a video of Emma pretending to be a character named Angus from the kids show "So Random"...he's a tippity top model from Australia...he models shins....and he's pretty funny. My kid is nuts!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wouldn't it be nice?

Sometimes I sit here and wonder what our lives would be like if I had made different choices. I'm sure most people go through similar thought processes at one time or another in their lives really. I usually find myself doing this everytime we come back from visiting my family in Wisconsin. I always wonder what it would be like to have my little family living down there with them in the same city...hell, even the same state! I wonder if Emma would be the same kind of kid she is now. I wonder if she would be more outgoing, less outgoing, loved by more people and therefore feel better about herself? Don't get me wrong...she is completely loved by Shawn and I here...but she doesn't really have the grandparent figures in her life at all here...she hasn't since day 1 pretty much. I wonder just how much it affects her and her personality. It's crazy that I worry about things like this I suppose.
I also wonder if my own life would be different. Would I be as strong as I am now if I had been living there when she was diagnosed? I would have had my family...parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and brother around me for emotional support too instead of just Shawn. Once again...don't get me wrong...Shawn is an amazing man who is very supportive...but I just wonder if I would have turned out differently if I had had that extra circle of family around me in that difficult time. On one hand, I am extremely proud of us and what we have accomplished all on our own. I am amazed that I haven't actually lost my mind after having gone through all that we have. Emma was diagnosed just 2 months before she started junior kindergarten...I was terrified, but I sent her off to school anyway...because I knew that if I didn't do it then, I never would. We've dealt with countless illnesses both on her part and my own. We've handled transitioning to the pump. We've traveled, gone on field trips, lost family members, holidays, and everything that comes across our path. We've done it on our own...and I am truly proud of us and I know in my heart that we are stronger people for having done it on our own. However, I can't help but wonder...would we be different people or less strong in some way if we had in fact had that help instead?
I've said it a billion times now I'm sure...but I will say it again...diabetes is hard. It is grueling. It takes and takes and takes without a care or concern for your situation. It can hang out there in the background waiting with bated breath to leap out and throw your child's life into upheaval. Other times it can make you feel like you are walking around with the weight of the world on your shoulders...dragging you down...forcing you to your knees and making you feel like you just can...not...do...it...anymore. Wouldn't it be nicer and a bit more sweet to have that extra family members shoulder to lean on or cry on during those times? Wouldn't it be nicer and a bit more sweet to have the option of having them around to help shoulder that burden? I think it would be incredible.
I guess in a nutshell I am jealous of those out there who have family close by who are willing to help. I don't like being jealous. I know that my family supports me over the phone and when we do get to visit them. I am truly greatful for that. I guess I am just missing them and as usual getting lost in my own head thinking about how different our life with diabetes could have been.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tornado warnings and bowling angels

Since returning from our road trip back home, we have experienced aftershock tremors from an earthquake in Virginia...and now a wicked thunderstorm and tornado warning last night. Normally I am a big fan of lightening and thunder storms...not the damage they may cause...but the sheer power of them. I love watching the sky light up and hearing the booming thunder sound like it is ripping apart the sky above us. I think it really is an amazing thing. When i was little, I was always told that story of how the sound of thunder was just the angels bowling up in heaven...and the lightening was God taking pictures of us down here on Earth. So, anytime a storm would occur you could find me sitting on my bed in my room with the curtains pulled back...my face pressed to the window...smiling my biggest and prettiest smile for God to take my picture. It makes me smile now just thinking about it.
Last night however, I can honestly say that it was the first time in my life that I was actually scared. I was afraid of the non stop lightening and the vicious winds whipping through the trees. We sat there on the loveseat...Shawn, Emma, and myself...all scrunched together...watching the weather channel for updates on the storm. As soon as the screen flashed red across the bottom and announced that people in our area were to seek shelter immediately...my stomach leaped up into my throat. I was panicked...my heart was pounding in my ears. A million thoughts flew through my head...but of course the main one was Emma...and diabetes. I do not have a D-emergency bag put together...the thought never occured to me...I mean, I live in Ontario...we rarely get any sort of horrendous weather here...nothing more than your typical snow storms or summer thunder showers. Emma immediately began crying and grabbed a bag to throw in a few precious toys and items that she wanted to bring in the basement with us. It broke my heart to see her sobbing out of fear...worried that our house would be blown away like Dorothy was blown to the land of Oz...she was terrified and there was nothing I could do to console her because I too was just as scared. I grabbed a grocery bag and began throwing boxes of D-supplies in it, food and juice for if she went low, meter, ketone meter, water...everything and anything that I could think of. It's a good thing that we just got back from our road trip because my brain was still holding on to that lingering methodical mental checklist of items that we could possibly need in any given situation. Shawn grabbed Emma...I grabbed the cat...and we headed down to the basement. It was the first time in my entire life that I actually had to do something like that. Worry filled my brain and threatened to take over...once we were actually down there though, something clicked over for me...in emergency or stressful situations I have a tendency to focus really well...I calmed Emma down...got her giggling...it was odd. How do I go from complete and total panic to complete and total focus and calmness in a matter of minutes...it's weird...I don't understand it...but I am greatful for it.
In any case, all is well now...we are ok...the house is ok...the sun is currently shining. I now have a better understanding and grasp of what I should have and will definitely be doing today...getting an emergency D-supply bag together and keeping it in the basement.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our surprise road trip to Wisconsin!!

Well, Emma and I are back home safe and sound in Canada. We survived the 1900km round trip road trip. I am currently suffering from "carthritis"...sore knees and I keep making that old lady "umph" noise everytime I kneel down or get up off of the floor. Anyway, I am majorly impressed with us. We took our time driving, enjoyed the fun that is road tripping, and had an awesome time visiting my family. It was definitely a trip I will never forget. We didn't tell my parents that we were coming because we wanted to surprise them...and let me tell you that all of those kilometers (or miles...if you will) and all of the traffic, road construction, bad drivers, and disgusting road side bathroom stops were all worth it when I saw the look on my Mom's face as we walked around the corner of my Aunt's house and saw her sitting on the deck. It was priceless. I hope that she knows I would drive to the ends of the Earth to see her and be able to let her spend some quality time with Emma. It was amazing.
We never let the big D get in our way either. We went to the movies, indoor playground (where I had to deal with a stubborn low upon arrival), pizza, ice cream, true honest to goodness Italian food (I have been too scared to give Emma pasta since starting to pump because I was afraid I would guess wrong on the carbs...but I just jumped right in and let her enjoy it!), visits with family members, shopping till we dropped, mini golf, meeting a fellow D-mom and friend and seeing Emma instantly connect with her Type 1 daughter, we did it all. We had a few highs and a few lows. I saw them, I fixed them, we moved on. It was incredible. I was not stressed or worried. I didn't expect the worst. I just went with the flow. It was like diabetes was just in the background...keeping quiet...not interferring...not interrupting. It wasn't lurking in the shadows breathing down my neck. It wasn't the monster that it sometimes can be. For the first time in a long time...it was just there. Our time and our moments were #1 priority.
I will always remember this trip for a number of reasons. Obviously the first one would be getting to be together with people that love us. They love us for who we are...unconditionally. They may live in another country from us...but when our hearts beat, they can feel it too. When we struggle they feel it...when we triumph, they feel it too. It had been a year since we were there last and over that year I have talked to my Mom on the phone countless times about how scared I was about the pump, cried to her when Emma was fighting off a tummy bug and her BG's were out of control. I've talked to her in moments of utter panic and despair while going through the frightening times with diabetes. I've spoken to her about how proud I was of Emma and how much she has grown and overcome in spite of living with this disease. I've shared my fears, my joys, my worries, and my love. She has listened to me with patience and love. She has been there for me. I know it can't be easy for her to live so far away from us and have to sit there feeling so helpless when we are in moments of struggle. It must be an unbelievably difficult and overwhelming pain. I love that she is there for me. I love that she is not only my Mom...but she is also my friend. She would do anything for us simply because she loves us. I hope she knows how much we love her. It breaks my heart everytime I leave there though. It feels like someone has punched me and knocked the breath from my lungs when I drive away and see her eyes. I see the tears falling from them, I see the tears falling from Emma's eyes, I feel the tears stinging my own eyes and I have to focus all of my will on breathing...just breathing and controlling it so I don't cry and make either of them more upset than they already are. It's beyond difficult. So instead I sit here now and cry as I type this out. I sit here wondering if her heart hurts as much as mine. I feel like such a horrible daughter for taking Emma away from my parents. I feel like the worst person in the world because I decided to live so far away and now because of that decision...I have made it hard for them to be physically in her life...and that breaks my heart. I feel like the worst Mom ever as well because I am depriving Emma of having them live closer to her and be able to see her all the time. I hate that. My husbands family isn't really around Emma that much...they either don't have the time or don't care to make the effort. I LOVE being back home and getting to see her interact with my family and be around people who actually want to be around her....and then come back here and have her only have Shawn and myself for her family. Don't get me wrong...we have some amazing friends that are just like family....but I would give anything for her to have here what she has there too.
Anyway, enough with the sadness....I also will never forget this trip because I got to spend such amazing quality time with Emma...roughly a total of 20 hours round trip in the car with her...just talking, giggling, singing, carseat dancing, all of our road side stops were pretty hilarious. We pulled off the highway in Lawrence, MI and found the Waffle House of America...went inside and discovered that we happened to find the 5th best bathroom in America 2004....lol...it was so awesome that I took pictures of the toilet...lol...which caused Emma to laugh that special kind of laugh where absolutely no sound comes out. We took pictures of senior citizens on a bus trip because Emma thought is was odd that they were all wearing name tags. We stopped in random little towns and ate lunch and supper feeling like we were in some foreign land because no one knew us and it all looked a little "off" like in that episdoe of Seinfeld about bizarro world. She sang one line from one Stevie Nicks song over and over again for about 5 hours straight...I think I went on autopilot at that point and had a sort of out of body experince while I slipped off the cliff into the canyon of loony town.
It was an amazing trip. Our little moments together and our memories of this past week will stay with us forever. Diabetes didn't win. Diabetes didn't get in the way. It was just a Mommy and her daughter going on a road trip together. We came. We saw. We conquered. We had the best time ever.



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Afraid

I'm scared to go to sleep at night. Not because I am afraid of the nightmares that may come. Not because I am afraid that I will be missing out on something going on amongst the land of the conscious. Not because I have a scary movie addiction and watch one every night before bed.

I'm scared to go to sleep at night. My whole entire body is gripped with a terrifying fear that if I do just lie there and shut my eyes and allow myself to fully and completely sleep....that I will lose her. No matter how exhausted I am, no matter how busy the day was, no matter if I am unwell or healthy, no matter if I am supposed to be getting up bright and early in the morning for something of importance and I should be getting some sleep, no matter if every single part of my body aches and longs for the comfort of my soft heavenly pillow and warm cozy bed.

That overwhelming fear is always there. It never leaves me. It hangs out on my shoulder all day long mocking me "Did you give her the right amount of insulin for that? Did you figure out the correct number of carbs in that meal? Did you notice if she has the sniffles? Did you factor in the activity at the park today? Did you do it? Did you do it? Did you???" For the most part I have learned to muffle the sound of that horrible taunting during the day. I choose to focus on the laughter, the giggles, the sound of my daughter's voice instead.

However, day eventually turns to night....and there I sit...afraid once again. Afraid that I will wake up to the sound of her having a seizure from a severe low blood sugar. Afraid that I will simply wake up in the morning and walk into her room only to find she quietly slipped away from me in the night. Basically I am afraid that she will leave me. Afraid that I will no longer get to see her beautiful smiling face. Afraid that diabetes will ultimately win the fight while I am sleeping my restless version of sleep in the next room. I wonder if that fear will ever go away. Will it leave me when my daughter is finally grown and off living her own life...no longer in the room right next to ours? Will I still lie awake at night afraid to sleep? I wonder if once she is grown and on her own....will she be afraid to go to sleep because of the same reasons I am now?

I took sleep for granted for 31 years of my life. It's funny how much something so "simple" and natural and easy to most people is something that I think about and long for so often.

Monday, August 15, 2011

6 Random thoughts while I wait to check blood sugars

I have a few questions/thoughts running through my mind at the moment, so I thought I would share...maybe it's Flo trying to come back out for a visit or maybe I'm just tired...who knows...

First of all....How come there is never enough cheese (I use that term loosely because I am quite positive that it really isn't actual cheese) in those little containers of cheese and pretzel sticks? I mean it's this little tiny cube of cheese spread and they give you like 8 pretzel sticks...it's just not right...

Secondly....Why is it that the people who really have no idea how to use those self-checkout registers at the grocery store are always the ones who decide to give it a whirl for the first time while I stand in line behind them...late for something...because I am inevitably always late? Don't they know that my daily plans are more important than their ability to master the self-checkout register? lol

Numero 3.....I would like to know if the person who came up with the idea of the "Double Down" sandwich at KFC is the same person who came up with the idea of a hamburger with donuts taking the place of an actual bun? yep...heard about that little slice of food ridiculousness on the radio today....yuck

#4.....Am I the only one who finds it a little creepy that the people who work at chain bookstores will walk around and assault/talk to you and try to sell you a particular book? I mean odds are if I am at the book store...I am probably looking for a specific book and would rather not have to pretend like I am buying your shpeel about this fantastic new book that sounds oddly like a rip-off of that movie "50 First Dates" with Drew Barrymore....

FIVE....I bet it would be fun to be one of those people who work in grocery stores and hand out samples. You get to wear the cool white apron, fancy plastic gloves, and give people tiny bite size pieces of free food....or teeny tiny dixie cups of juice.

6....One day soon I would like to approach someone out in public while holding Emma's toy microphone and pretend like I am with some sort of mobile gameshow and tell them if they answer some random trivia question and get it right...then I will give them a BRAND NEW CAR! but really just give them a toy car....yea...maybe that one is taking it a bit too far...ah well...time for bed I guess!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Running on the mouse wheel with diabetes

Sometimes I feel like I am a mouse running on one of those little wheels in a cage. Have you ever gone to a pet store and actually stood there and watched the mice in action? I did the other day with Emma...I just stood there and watched this one mouse hop on up and start her mad dash running and running on the wheel. I suppose they do it for exercise...but it really got me thinking about how I could completely relate to this little mouse. My thoughts of course turned to diabetes. For some reason...who really knows...activity, food, the direction of the wind, the colour of her underwear???....every so often her blood sugar numbers decide to jump. I feel like I am constantly increasing basal rates and insulin to carb ratios. I feel like that mouse on the wheel....running and chasing after that perfect balance to get the numbers back down to normal again. I just keep moving forward, even though in reality I'm not really going anywhere. It's so frustrating!
Then I witnessed a couple more mice hop on to the wheel at the same time and squeeze themselves in there along with the "amy" mouse...smooshing her to the side...running faster and faster until she loses her footing and she basically gets spun around willy nilly, all the while barely hanging on by her little mouse toes. I felt bad for her. I wanted to help her get back on the wheel and push those other bully type mice off there for her.
Diabetes makes me feel that way sometimes too. Like it has decided to hop on the wheel with me and sprint along side me...moving it around faster and faster spinning me out of control...taunting me...trying to get me to lose my footing and cause me to fall...to fail...to lose the battle with blood sugar numbers and make me feel defeated. Sometimes I feel like I am barely hanging on by my fingertips in this ride around the wheel. I can feel the D-beast breathing down my neck and mocking me. I can feel it laughing insanely right beside me. I know it's there. I have no choice but to keep moving and keep running...keep holding on no matter what. It's hard. Unbelievably hard.
I walked away from the mouse cages holding Emma's hand...feeling the warmth in my own hand...knowing I will run on that wheel until the end of my days...until my last breath. I walked away silently cheering on that little mouse...

Friday, August 12, 2011

My life raft

OK, so I have a gigantic secret and I wish I could share and get some advice from you all....but alas...this time I can not...at least not yet anyway. Which is proving to be quite difficult for me actually, because I am so used to just posting things on here and getting the encouragement and tips and advice. Ahhhh..I wish there was some sort of mental telepathy thing I could get going on with you all.
Ok, I'm gonna sit here and think and concentrate realllllly hard and see if any of you reading this will pick up any vibes about what I am referring to. Here goes..................whew! I think I saw some smoke there...lol. Anyway, if anyone can inform me on how to post my secret without anyone except my DOC buddies being able to read it...please let me know...I would be forever greatful. I'm sorta just sitting here feeling like I am floundering like a fish and searching desperately for my life raft. You all being my "life raft" for all things D related. Anyhoo....I'm just gonna end this here...because it is probably the #1 thing that I have posted that makes zero sense for now. Waiting patiently for any ideas on how to actually post my big secret without anyone but you guys being able to see it. Thanks!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Squeezing in the fun

Well, there are a little less than 4 weeks of summer vacation left for Emma and I have just started to feel that feeling I usually get...the nostalgia, the worry, the sadness at having to send her off to school again to send the majority of her days with someone else. Don't get me wrong, I get over it pretty quick and really start to enjoy my peaceful quiet days when she is there...but I do miss her. This time of year I find myself trying to squeeze in as much fun family time as possible before it is back to the grind again. I know it's probably ridiculous and most likely fueled by my own version of seperation anxiety that I go through the first couple of days of school, but I can't help it...I like spending time with her...she's hilarious, she's always coming up with goofball ideas of things to do or play, and I like that I can keep a close eye on her BG's all day. In any case, I know this feeling will pass and all will be back to our version of normal once school is back in session.
Anyway, to go along with our theme of squeezing in the family fun time, Emma and I decided to go to the park today. The weather was a little wacky, but we decided to chance it anyway. I brought a sweater along and I swear that everytime I put it on, the sun came out and was beating down on us...and once I took the sweater off, the rain started and the wind picked up as the sun disappeared behind the clouds....Mother Nature was not my BFF today at all.
Well, we went down giant twisty slides, climbed on the monkey bars, swung (swang? LOL) on the swings, and Emma even came up with some obstacle courses to follow so we could play our own version of that TV show "Wipeout." Have any of you ever seen it? Emma LOVES it! So, while she was climbing up the ladder for one of her Wipeout paths, she shouted to me that an old woman had fallen off the slide and was just lying there on the ground! I quickly sprinted over and witnessed a little girl (probably 3 years old? and apparently this woman's grandaughter) pick up a pile of woodchips on the ground (btw, who's bright idea was it to cover the ground of children's playgrounds and parks with WOODCHIPS? things that can cut you or give you slivers, things that get brought him in shoes and clothes...UGH) and sprinkle them on to her Grandmother's chest! I slowly approached her trying to determine if she was ok...passed out...injured. Her eyes were closed and I immediately panicked thinking the poor woman had knocked herself out cold! So, I very softly said, "excuse me, are you ok?" Thankfully she immediately opened her eyes and said she was fine, but she fell off the slide and was just staying put for a minute. whew.....my heart stopped racing and after asking her if she needed any help up, I continued on watching Emma.
I stood there noticing at least 4 other Mom's there in the general area..watching the Grandmother...but not saying anything. It made me angry. It reminded me of a bad low situation Emma had at the mall one time...people are such a disappointment sometimes.
I'm letting the anger go though, and hoping to think of some more squeezing in of family fun time for tomorrow...:o)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Grandpa

Today is the 11th anniversary of my Grandpa's death. The day completely slipped by me until this evening when I was talking to my Mom on the phone and she reminded me of it. Now I sit here feeling that loss and that deep ache that comes with wishing I could just hug him again...wishing that I could hear him laugh again...see him smile again. He was an incredible man...an amazing father to my Mom and her 2 sisters...and the world's greatest Grandpa to my brother, myself, and my cousins. He was a school teacher. He loved to golf. He loved trains. He was always a happy person. I can honestly say that I do not have a single memory of him being upset or crying. I have so many fond memories of him from my childhood. His birthday was on Christmas Eve, so my family would always gather at our house to celebrate together. One year we all got him a beautiful train set. I will never forget the look on my Grandpa's face when he pulled the wrapping paper off and saw what was inside. He had a huge smile on his face and had a sparkle in his eye that instantly made me see that little kid version of himself...so excited...so happy...it was amazing. I remember him putting me on the crossbar of his 10-speed bicycle when I was a kid and riding me to the park to play. It was like no one else in the world mattered...it was just the two of us out for a ride on a nice summer day...my Grandpa and I. I remember how he would sit down at the kitchen table with me and color. He would talk to me about school and he would make me laugh by sticking his false teeth out. He was funny, kind, caring, and always made me feel important.
Even though it has been 11 years, I still think of him all the time. I think about how great it would have been to have Emma get to meet him. I think about how he would have loved her and she would have loved him. They would have colored together...played together...laughed together. When Emma was much smaller...I think probably around 2 years old...she told me that she saw an old man in the house one time. I was stunned at first and thought that maybe she was just making up silly stories like most 2 year olds do. So, just to play along...I asked her what he looked like. She told me that he had white hair, wore glasses, and had on jeans and a grey shirt with blue and yellow letters on it. Well, my jaw hit the floor...my stomach leapt up into my throat, I couldn't believe it....she had just described my Grandpa. He had a Notre Dame shirt that he really liked to wear that were those exact colors, he wore glasses, he had white hair. I truly believe that she did see him that day. I think kids are more perceptive to seeing things of that nature than adults are. We become too jaded as we get older...we close our minds to the whole idea of something like that being possible.
I speak to my Grandpa often still. When I am up in the wee hours of the morning, struggling to get Emma's blood sugars in range, scared that I will fail and she will die....I talk to him...I ask him to help me...I ask him to watch out for us and help us get through this horrible situation. When Emma was still on injections, I have many times walked upstairs to her room with the BG meter in my hand...talking to my Grandpa...asking him to be there with me...saying that I just need her BG to be a 10.0 so I could know that she would make it through the night...and it would turn out to be that exact number.
I know he is with us. I know he is watching over us. I know that one day I will get the chance to hug him and tell him thank you for being there for Emma and I. I know that one day will come.
Until then, Grandpa...I love you with all of my heart and miss you terribly. I hope that you are getting to enjoy all the golf games you like...and that you have the most amazing train set up there to play with whenever you desire. I love you and when I lay my head down on my pillow tonight, know that I am sending a kiss and hug up to you.

Carb counting chocolate covered BUGS?!?

Today Emma and I went to the Butterfly Conservatory. I love that place...I don't know what it is, but it makes me happy everytime we are there. You walk into this little hallway leaving behind the normal busy-loud-cars-honking-people-shouting-kids-screaming-area....and step into a whole new world. The change in temperature hits you immediately...it's hot...it's humid...just to mimic the butterflies natural habitat. There are trees everywhere and bright beautiful butterflies flying all around. There are tiny little birds taking itty bitty steps and passing right in front of you before taking off in flight heading for the tops of the trees. There are amazingly wonderful smelling flowers all around and a gorgeous waterfall directly in front of you. I stood there holding Emma's hand and just soaking it all in. I love how it makes me feel like we literally walked through some secret travelling tunnel and wound up in the middle of a Costa Rican rainforest. We have been there quite a few times already, but without fail everytime we are there...Emma's #1 mission is to try and get a butterfly to land on her. There are signs everywhere saying not to touch the butterflies, but if they do happen to land on you of their own free will...that's ok. So, she will walk around other people...step over gigantic plant leaves that have grown across the path...and into a crowd of little butterfies flying and chasing each other...the whole while sticking her belly way out in hopes that one will decide to land on it. It's hilarious!
Naturally, today was no different. Emma walked up ahead of me on the path in search of a new butterfly friend. I stood there watching my absolute favorite type of butterfly make it's way past me and land on a flower. I'm not sure if any of you reading this have little ones who watch or have watched "Go Diego Go"...but I LOVE the blue morpho butterfly. I think it's is so beautiful...the blue on it's wings seems to shimmer and when it lands on something and closes it's wings up, the underside of them look so completely different...very camoflauged and incognito, brown, beige, and black colored.
This particular butterfly makes me think of Emma really. I think she is beautiful...not just her actual physical appearance...but her spirit...her personality...her soul. She "shimmers" in my opinion...just like the blue morpho. For the most part she is free-spirited and "flies" around playing and having fun...making the most of her day...making my day brighter. The fact that she has diabetes is sort of like the underside of the blue morpho...it is far from even being on the list of things that make her who she is. Yes, it is there beneath the surface...but it isn't the thing which defines her.
We reached the area in the conservatory that housed all of the cocoons and newly hatched butterflies. Just out front of this room there were 4 potted plants on the ground and a tiny little butterfly kept flying around them and intermittently landing on leaves. One of the people working there came over and explained to us that it was a Momma butterfly looking for the perfect leaf to lay her eggs on. We knelt down on the ground and watched hoping to catch a glimpse. Emma asked the woman if the baby butterflies knew who their family was once they were hatched and if they still lived with them. The woman explained to us that no that wasn't the case. That is why the Momma butterfly was searching for just the right leaf to lay her egg on so the newly hatched caterpillar would have plenty to eat. Very interesting to me, so I thought I would share!
We made our way through the Costa Rican rainforest in the middle of Ontario :o)....and enjoyed the day. We took a break from the heat and grabbed a couple of fruit smoothie popsicles from the gift shop (35 carbs each! sheesh! but definitely delicious!) After we finished, we made one more trip through the conservatory before heading out.
Of course the gift shop is just outside the doors of the actual butterfly area (how convenient!)...so we had to stop and check everything out before leaving. Thank God my kid doesn't have any desire to eat the chocolate or candy covered bugs they had for sale....aside from the obvious, I don't think I would know where exactly to find the carb count out on that one! Ewwwww!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Camping out in the living room!!


Last night I was transported back to 1987 and got to act like a complete goofball (i mean more so than usual I suppose...lol) just like I did back in the olden days when I would go to sleepovers at friends houses as a kid. Emma and I had a campout in the living room. We moved the coffee table out of the way, set up loads of blankets and pillows on the floor, and got ourselves ready for the night. First on the plans was to bust open the bag of gigantic campfire marshmallows and roast em up over the grill. We went outside in our jammies giggling and managed to find a perfect stick in the backyard...cause really if we're gonna do it right, it's gotta be done on a stick! Which got me thinking...it's actually a little gross...eating food off of a stick...lol...i mean would a day ever come along where I would think, "hey...this steak would taste extra good if I ate it off of a stick instead!"...probably not. Anyhoo, the look on Emma's face was priceless as she bit into her very first campfire/BBQ marshmallow. Diabetes was not the first thought in my head...we bolused for it...and moved on to enjoy the yummy sticky goodness. Next on the list was popcorn and a movie (Rio to be exact), so we popped it up and laid down to watch. It was cute...not amazing...but cute. Afterwards, Emma started to get a bit loopy, I hink mainly because of all the excitement and the fact that it was like 2 hours past her bedtime at that point. Ahh...you only live once though! So, we took out the camera and decided to make some crazy faces and take pictures of ourselves. One in particular had us laughing so hard that neither of us could breathe and tears were pouring out! Then we decided to try for an "adorable girlie" pose. We even managed to capture a pic of Daisy, the cat who was grooming herself (himself? itself? lol)...perfectly timed to catch her with her tongue out! It was an amazing night. It was one of those moments in time that you would like to capture and hold on to forever. I will look back on that night when she is 34 and probably still giggle. I hope that it meant as much to her as it did to me. I will never forget the sight of her rocking out and dancing in the living room, singing some Selena Gomez at the top of her lungs, dancing around on the blankets with her like crazy girls, tip toing (tip toeing? how in hell do you spell that??LOL) to the bathroom at 11:30pm and giggling like I was also 7 years old just so we wouldn't wake up Daddy, shining the flashlight around the ceiling as we lay in bed so it looked like a disco in here, holding the same flashlight under our chins and telling stories....i will never forget any of it. It was amazing and made me realize how lucky I am to have her in my life. Diabetes didn't take center stage. We did...together we had an incredible night. Also, wanted to mention that if any of you are still interested in checking out my book, you can click on this link here. https://www.createspace.com/3653471 I wanted to let you all know that it is $15...the publishing site takes half of that...and I am donating part of my half to JDRF.Thank you to Denise and Misty for ordering a copy as well! You ladies are amazing!

Just sit here and smile

It's been a good day....my book is now available for early purchase here https://www.createspace.com/3653471 and within the next 5-7 days it will be available on amazon.com as well...:o)....that's all I got...I'm for once speechless...I'm just gonna sit here and smile for a while I think.
I will post tomorrow about our fun camp-out in the living room...roasted marshmallows on the grill...crazy giddy 7 year old overtired loony laughter...laughing so hard with her that tears are pouring out of both our eyes...awesome day. I could not be more happy than I am right now at this moment in time.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I would be lost without you

First off, I just want to thank two very special people in the DOC that are always supporting me, giving me encouraging words, and making me laugh...Reyna and Denise (Bean's Momma!). You ladies are amazing and I am so thankful that I have gotten the chance to get to know you both through your blogs and all of the wonderful comments you have left me. It means the world to me and I just want you both to know that I think you are incredible women. (btw...I took the advice and re-submitted my book...this time with page numbers...lol...I know I would have kicked myself and regretted it otherwise)

I wanted to write this post also about the power of friendships in general. At the beginning of this process of writing my (totally not a) book, I was overwhelmed...I was scared...I was nervous. I didn't think that anyone would ever want to read it really. I didn't think that I would be able to find the right words to express my feelings and my emotions. I was scared to share my feelings and emotions too. I was afraid that I wouldn't be mentally and emotionally strong enough to force myself to go back to that dark time in our lives. I barely made it through that time by the skin of my teeth in the first place. I didn't really think that going backwards in my mind and my heart would be possible. I wanted to be able to express it all in just the right way....just in case possibly one day...one time...a newly diagnosed Mom would find it and pick it up and read it...and she would be able to relate...she would be able to see that she was  not alone...she would be able to find comfort in some small form. I wanted to get it just right...for her...that frightened and worried Mom. I hope that I have done that. I hope that I was able to accomplish that goal I set for myself.
I learned a lot about myself while writing it. I learned that going back to those days in the beginning are never easy...it still hurt..it still stung and made my heart ache for the loss of Emma's functioning pancreas and carefree childhood. It was like tearing a band-aid off of an old wound on my heart. Sure, it wasn't a "new" or "fresh" wound...but it still hurt. My heart will forever be scarred because of diabetes. I learned though that I am capable of making the majority of our days good days...happy days...days where diabetes doesn't rule the world. Yes, it's still always thereand it will still always hurt...but it's not as horrifyingly painful to think about it three years later. Time will never "heal all my wounds" as they say...but it has for the most part numbed the pain from those wounds.

I am stronger because of diabetes. I am stronger IN SPITE of diabetes.

In finishing this process, I have learned that I have some amazingly supportive friends and family. I know that I now feel comfortable calling it "my book" instead of referring to it as my (totally not a) book now. I feel like we have earned it...I have earned it. So, thank you all for being there for me and for being my light in this sometimes dark and scary world of diabetes. I would be lost without you. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Eye masks and sweethearts

I am sitting here typing this wearing one of those fancy purple "eye relaxing" masks. All because another episode of what I like to call diabetes management induced narcolepsy struck me last night...lol. I was awake one minute, and the next thing I knew I was waking up on the couch still wearing my glasses...with my face smooshed into the pillow conveniently smashing my glasses into my cheekbone. Ouch. So, I got my act together and went up to bed to finish my sleep like normal people do..in their bedroom, in bed, no glasses. Well, this morning I woke up with a swollen and sore cheekbone..yipee! It literally looks like someone punched me in the face. Fantastic. I'm by no means a vain person...I mean I'm not a slob, but I really do not spend hours in front of the mirror putting on makeup and doing my hair. I have never really been that kind of girl I guess. To each his own. Anyway, I got one of these fabulous masks today at the store in hopes that it will soothe the pain and bring the swelling down a tad...fingers crossed.
So, because of that today started out not the greatest...but it quickly turned around...my book proff came in the mail! I can't believe it. It is such an odd feeling to actual hold on to a real book that has my name on the cover. I'm so excited! I just need to read through it and make sure all is good before I approve it and then we will be up and running...and hopefully people will want to check it out! I noticed one glaringly obvious thing that I forgot to include though which I am kind of kicking myself about now...I forgot to include page numbers at the end of each page...d'oh! I guess I didn't really forget...it was more so that I assumed that amazon.com would just print the page numbers on it on their own...it seemed like a given to me...guess not. So, I am sitting here UBER excited, wanting to just approve it and get it out there....and then wondering if I should re-submit it with page numbers included and wait a couple more weeks for the new proof. Are page numbers really all that important to people when reading a book? Will I regret it if I don't do it again to include them? What to do what to do....Never thought I would be sitting here pondering the importance of page numbers.
Also, wanted to share a sweet anecdote about Emma from today. When she saw my book, she looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I am SO proud of you! I'm going to tell all of my friends that my Mommy is an author!".....cue (queue?) heart melting, tear spilling over moment....I love her.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I almost lost this round

I lost my mind for a second and thought that I was smart enough...capable enough...good enough at my job of Emma's pancreas to handle taking her on a very looong walk to a store yesterday. It was a nice sunny and somewhat humid day. Leaving from our house, this trip by car would probably take about 6-7 minutes tops (mostly because there are a few stop lights along the way and it is a very busy road. So, I figured it would probably take us roughly 30 minutes to walk (seems like a huge time difference when I type it out...but keep in mind we are also talking in terms of short 7 year old legs). Anyway, we set off and made it there in one piece with absolutely no complaining or questions of "are we there YET?" coming from Emma. We stopped at McDonald's before going into the store just so we could have a break, get a drink, and check blood sugars. Emma came in at a respectable 4.0 (72)...a tad low...but pretty much what I was expecting considering the big walk. So, I let her munch on some fries with no bolus and have a bite of my ice cream figuring that little boost would do the trick. We left and walked across the parking lot to the store. After browsing the shelves, Emma found a book called "You Gotta Be Kiddin Me!" which was awesome...it has a million questions in it along the lines of "would you rather always feel like you have to sneeze?...or...have everything that touches you tickle?"....it's a really fun book!
Anyway, we made our way home laughing and asking each other these random "would you rather" questions. I checked her BG at home and all was still good. I knew in the back of my mind though that the proverbial shit was going to hit the fan sooner or later. I knew that I would be paying the price for this huge walk at some point within the next 24 hours. So, I sat there anticipating it. I made dinner, went about our usual routine of the evening, chatted with friends out in the front yard, gave Emma a bath, bedtime snack, and off to bed. Blood sugars were still being my friend and coming in range at this point...so I foolishly began to believe that MAYBE this time it would be different. Maybe this time there would be no crash. Maybe this time the bastard that is diabetes would leave us alone and we could all get a good nights sleep.
I can't believe I was so foolish and naive...I've been doing this for 3 years now...I should have known...I should have listened to that nagging voice in my head telling me not to fall for it...it was bound to happen. But I didn't.
I wound up having to stay awake until 3:30am feeding her carbs, setting temp basals, checking blood sugars, all to make sure she stayed above 5.0(90). It wasn't pretty. Diabetes was kicking me while I was down. It was throwing all the punches and I was doubled over...bloody and bruised...swaying on my feet...trying my best to just hang in there...stay in the ring...keep my gloves up and knock it down...knock it out of the damn ring and away from my kid. I finally passed out at 3:30am only to be awakened by my Shawn at 4:30am telling me that she was now 17.1(307)....damn...diabetes not only knocked me out cold when I was at my weakest and most tired...but it seems that it continued to kick my ass while I was passed out. We decided to check for ketones and let it ride...fearing that a correction would drop her like a rock (she is always super sensitive in the wee hours to corrections). Well 2 hours later Emma woke me up saying she had to go to the bathroom....in my sleep stupor I instantly saw the gigantic bright flashing neon lit up sign of "KETONES KETONES KETONES!" in my mind. I checked her and she was now 25.1(451).....no ketones...awesome frickin sauce. So, i corrected thinking all would be ok because we would be awake in 2 more hours for breakfast anyway.
Well, apparently diabetes must have loaded up on Redbull or something in preparing to kick our collective asses...because 2 hours later at breakfast...Emma was nauseous...BG was 4.0. I gave her food, bolused as per the pump and thought we were in the clear. Yea....think again Amy! 15 min. later Emma looked at me..her face white as a ghost...lethargic, barely audible, and shakey...I checked BG and she was 2.9....what the EFF?????
To make a very long story short (I'm sorry this post is so wordy...I'm a little belligerant at the moment from lack of sleep)...I set a temp basal again...gave juice...and she came up. I saw my weak and crumpled child...lost in a fog of low BG...so small...breaking my heart...cursing this monster of a disease. Within 5 minutes...she transformed before my very eyes...back to MY child...rosey cheeked, loud, giggling, chattering away, brushing the cat's fur and laughing like a loon at the crazy cat that was trying to eat it's own fur floating thru the air from the brushing. I had my kid back. I didn't lose her. It was a marathon battle and diabetes nearly broke me this time...but in the end we won...finally.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

For my husband...

I think in all of my blog posts over the past almost year now, I haven't ever really talked much about my husband and the relationship he has with Emma. I don't know why...I really should have because he really is an incredible man and he has an amazing bond with Emma. So, this post is dedicated to him.
I actually met my husband Shawn about 12 years ago. Believe it or not, we met online...not through one of those now famous online dating websites...it was through this chat program called ICQ (which I don't know if it is even around anymore!) Anyway, there is a feature on ICQ where you can send out a random search chat message and it wound up going to me. So we are talking incredible odds here that we even met! Well, to make a long story short..we chatted and talked on the phone nearly every day for about a year. I came here to visit him a couple of times during that year and we were in love. He asked me to marry him, I moved here, and the rest is history.
From that first moment in the hospital when I had Emma, and I saw the tears shining in his eyes as he looked at her and held her for the first time...I knew that he was in love. She was his little girl and he would have done anything for her and given her the sun, moon, and stars if she had asked.
When Emma was diagnosed 4 years later, I looked in his eyes and saw the pain...the worry...the fear for his baby girl. I knew that his heart was breaking as much as mine. I knew that this would change him forever just like it was changing me. We learned together as a family how to make it work though...and I owe a huge part of that to him. He is a strong man who doesn't really wear his emotions on his sleeve like I do. When it comes to Emma and I though...I think it's just a different story for him. He is there to hug me when I feel like I just can't do it anymore. He is there to comfort Emma after a particularly painful site change. He is there to lay next to her and make her feel safe and help her fall back asleep after a scary nightmare. He is there to hold her and wipe away her tears when she fell off the swingset and landed on her face and her tooth broke through her bottom lip. He was there to make her giggle and smile when she was fighting a horrible stomach virus and wound up in the hospital battling ketones, low bg's, and dehydration.
He is there for her.
I am always told how much Emma looks like him...their dimples, their eyes, their smiles...I love it. We had a site change day on the weekend and for some reason Emma said this one hurt a lot more than normal and she actually cried like she did in the beginning of our pumping journey. Shawn kissed her tears away and told her that we were going for ice cream as a treat because she is so brave. Well, after ordering what we wanted, we all sat down at the table to enjoy our treat. Emma sat across from Shawn, and I was in the middle (it was a round table...lol) and I sat there watching them. Shawn was looking at his little girl and smiling...Emma was giggling and looking at him...they didn't say a word...they just looked at each other as they ate their ice cream and shared a special moment. I took a closer look at Shawn and noticed tears in his eyes...it took my breath away...it made tears sting my own eyes. I sat there watching my husband...the man I love with my whole heart...watching our little girl and being so proud of her and loving her so much that he was near crying. It was beautiful and I will never forget that moment in the ice cream shop.

The mysterious beep beep beep

So I'm sitting here doing my usual night time routine of playing on facebook and reading up on the blog posts everyone of you haas posted. Even though I am always tired at this time of night...it really is my absolute favorite time of the day. I love reading about what you all are dealing with...the struggles, the joys, the support...it really makes me feel like I belong to something bigger than what goes on my little neck of the woods.
Anyway, as I am sitting here...the TV is playing in the background, the fan in Emma's room is putting out a nice calming humming noise over the monitor, and the rest of the house is silent. Out of no where I hear a beep......followed by another beep.....and yet another beep. My ears perk up trying to figure out where the beeping is coming from. Instantly my heart starts pounding and my stomach begins that uneasy turning thing it does everytime I am in panic mode. I got up from the computer and began searching the room for something that could be causing my distress. I pick up the monitor and hold it directly to my ear, holding my breath, superhero sense of hearing taking over....is the noise coming from Emma's room? Is it her pump alerting me to something? Is she ok? Is the reservoir empty? Is the battery low? I wait...not so patiently...and finally come to the conclusion that it's not Emma or any of her paraphanalia causing the beeps. Huge exhale....relief washes over me...panic dissipates (SP?) I am relieved, however still curious as to the source of the beeping...so I continue about the house and make my way to the kitchen only to discover the actual source of my momentary panic was just my cell phone...it had finished charging. Nice.
I hate how my ears are so tuned in to the random beeps and boops and clicks and clacks that go along with diabetes. Scratch that....I don't hate it...I actually love it...because it helps me manage Emma's health better. I think i just hate that immediately following the random beep...is always the gut wrenching heart stopping panic. Yea...I could live without that feeling for the rest of my life and be just fine.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Summer Night Storm

I must be in a poetic mood lately.....don't know if that's good or bad....lol


I love the sound of rain falling on the rooftops
blowing against the window panes
Pouring down upon my shoulders
Washing away the stress
I love the sound of thunder off in the distance
Deep rumbling
Shaking the earth
Breaking up the deafening silence
I love to watch the lightening flash across the sky
Pressing my face up to the window feeling like I did when I was 5
Flashbulbs pop capturing moments...pictures of the world below
I love a summer storm at night
Clearing away my worried thoughts
My fears
My anger
My exhaustion
Lifting the enormous weight from my mind
To leave behind a fresh new perspective