Saturday, July 30, 2011

Flo is baaaccckkk!

Please sing the following line in your head to the tine of that ridiculous backstreet boys song that goes, "Backstreets Back Allllriigghht!"

Flo is back ALRIGHHHTT! Yes, I think it has been far too long since I have let Flo take over the keyboard and post her thoughts in blog form. It's been a hectic diabetes day to say the least...and I am relying on Flo at the moment to keep me from slipping over the edge into panic mode. My lovely husband got up with Emma this morning and they let me sleep in until 11:00am....that's right...11:00am!!! Emma had a birthday party to go to at 4:00 for another little girl who is diabetic. There was a bouncy castle WITH a slide, it was pretty hot out, a BBQ for dinner, cupcakes, a swingset, and 16 kids were in attendance. My pancreating skills got a work out today to say the least. we go...

Have you ever been sitting at a stop light in your car with the window down and the car next to you also has their window down and you feel an overwhelming urge to high five the person sitting in the passenger seat? Yep...I have...and I did today

Have you ever wanted to go into a McDonald's and order a Whopper?

Have you ever wanted to make the annoying 16 year old gum chewing checkout girl at the grocery store pack each individual item you purchase in seperate bags just because she called you "ma'am?"

Have you ever passed by someone in Walmart and noticed a pump sticking out of their pocket and felt the need to start up a conversation with them? Yep...did that one today!

Have you ever lost your mind and given a correction bolus for a slightly elevated blood sugar at bedtime even though you had a very hectic chaotic afternoon? Yep...did that tonight...I'm an idiot!

Have you ever seen two elderly people walking down the sidewalk holding hands and had to stop and watch them and say "awwww! that is adorable!" to whomever you are with? Yep..did that one a couple days ago!

Have you ever wondered why a cat freaks out every single time you play with one of the laser pointer toys? It's like really? still haven't figured out where that little red dot is coming from? LOL

Well, I'm off to go be a pancreas again and make sure Emma isn't low because of my stupid mistake. I think my body just doesn't know how to function with all of this sleep or something! It's such an odd thing for it I am sure! That's all I got...Flo...OUT!

Another one of THOSE moments

I had another one of THOSE moments today.
You know the ones...where you are so caught off guard by something that you see, that everything else around you seems miniscule...unimportant...part of the blurred out fuzzed out peripheral vision line of the world. Where it slips your mind for a second that your kid is diabetic and you forget that you are exhausted because of it...the words BG, carbs, and insulin all have been wiped from your mind as easily as a teacher wiping off yesterdays lesson on the chalkboard. That constant pressure weighing on your every thought is lifted for that moment in time. The always present enormous weight of the responsibility of being someone else's pancreas is suddenly taken off of your shoulders. It's gone.
I took Emma to see the Smurfs movie this afternoon. She was beyond excited. She's been counting down the days for the past 2 weeks actually. On the car ride to the theatre, she was chanting in the back seat and making up cheerleader shouts to show me just how excited she was and how quickly she wanted me to get there. She asked if we could stop at the store to get face paint actually so she could paint her face blue and write "I love Smurfs" on her cheek. No such luck in the face paint department...if only it was Halloween time!
Anyway, we sat there munching away on our popcorn waiting for the lights to finally dim and THE movie to start. Emma had brought along 4 smurf toys to hold on her lap because she "wanted them to be able to see themselves up on the big screen!"
Then that moment I am writing about occured.....the lights dimmed and I looked over at Emma. She had her Smurf buddies arranged just so on her lap...making sure everyone of them could see. She had the biggest and most beautiful smile on that I have ever seen in my life. It lit up her entire face...her eyes were shining bright with was amazing to me. It was perfect.
In that particular moment in time...nothing else mattered...I didn't look at her and wonder what her BG was. I didn't look at her and wonder if I had guessed right on the number of carbs of popcorn she was eating. I didn't SEE diabetes. The theatre was full...but it might as well have been just Emma and I in that moment. Everyone and everything around us was on pause...blurry...non-existent. It was just her and I. She was the definition of happiness and excitement...and me?...well I was for my daughter, happiness, lightness at having diabetes not be a part of this moment, and joy.
I don't think I ever really understood how important it was to me to see another person so happy. I get it now.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I am here with you

haven't written any poetry for a long time...couldn't arrange the words today to form a decent normal blog post because I'm upset at hearing of yet another child lost to i took a crack at poetry again...not the greatest...but it helped my heart a tiny bit.

There is a light that's always on
faintly softly whispering
You are not alone
I am here with you
From across the miles
and around the globe
I am here with you
I am standing at your side
My arm around your trembling shoulder
Holding you up when your strength is gone
Calming your shaking hand
Drying your waterfall of tears
Easing your pain in the only way I know how
through comfort
and understanding
I am here with you
I am standing at your side
I will listen
I will feel my own heart breaking from your pain and worry
The panic gripping so tight
Wondering how it is possible to ever go on
Keep on
I will leave the light on
For when you need me
I am here with you
I am standing at your side

A child comforting her Mommy

I woke up this morning to find Emma laying in the spot next to me in bed usually reserved for my husband. She was fast asleep...all sprawled arm laying across my face...the other hanging off the edge of the bed. Her hair was splayed across the pillow and a strand had fallen across her cheek. I am apparently a blanket hog because she had none of the covers on her, poor thing! My poor exhausted brain didn't care to try and figure out why she was in bed with me...I assumed my husband had put her in there by me while he was getting ready for work for one reason or another. Well, a couple of hours of blissful sleep passed and the alarm went off. I leaned over Emma and shut it off without waking her. I laid there looking at her beautiful peaceful sleeping face...first trying to determine if she was low based on her coloring and if there were dark circles under her eyes or not...second just soaking in the moment, happy that she was there with me...healthy...7 years old...still at the age of wanting to cuddle with her Mommy. I must have drifted off to sleep again because I woke back up suddenly to her voice, "Mommy?" I abruptly sat up in heart pounding...searching for my glasses so I could see what time the clock said. Before I could even open my mouth to say anything, she said..."I'm not low...I'm ok Mommy...I just want to know if we can wake up and go downstairs yet?"
I was relieved and broken hearted all at the same time. Relieved that she wasn't feeling low and that I hadn't really let us sleep in all that I knew things should be ok. Broken hearted because of what she said. I always sit here thinking and searching her face for signs of lows....that it never occured to me that she must think and search my own face for things too. She must have seen that all too familiar look of panic on my face and in my eyes...that panic that she must see on a regular basis...worrying about her and if she's low. She had seen it and her first thought was to reassure comfort make sure that I knew she was ok. It hurt my heart to know that she is now growing up and is so aware of her diabetes and how it affects me as well. It hurt my heart to see the role reversal in her wanting to make me feel better...instead of the usual me making HER feel better. It was a strange feeling...a sad feeling...and yet also a comforting feeling. We are in this together...we are a team...we will beat this...we will come out on the other end winners...stronger because of our journey and because of our bond.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My house is a bakery

My house smells amazing! Emma told me yesterday that she wanted to have a baking extravaganza today, so once we were dressed and ready for the day, we walked to the store with recipes and ingredient lists in our hands. We made Smurf berry muffins (she found a recipe in one of her new Smurf books...A Smurfin Guide to the, an original recipe a la Emma of chocolate fudge cake, chocolate chips, and strawberries with vanilla frosting and sprinkles on top, and a recipe I found online for chocolate fudge brownies made in the slow cooker (YUM!).
Emma was in charge of mixing the ingredients and helping to measure everything out. As the flour was flying and the smell of chocolate began to fill the air, I had to take a step back and watch her. I found myself smirking not only at her cuteness (especially with the dab of flour on the end of her nose and the cake batter smeared on her cheek), but also at the fact that diabetes was not getting in the way. We weren't letting it. We were enjoying a common very normal occurance between Mommy and daughter...we were baking yummy things and enjoying the moment together. There she was licking the spoon and pouring a cup of sugar...sprinkling sprinkles on top, and munching on blueberries as she poured them in the Smurf berry muffins. It was beautiful. She is beautiful.
Between licks of the spoon, I had her bolus a bit to cover it...but it didn't slow us down. We didn't give it a second thought really. It was just one more step on our list of directions for baking. Take THAT diabetes!
As I'm typing this, it has sort of occured to me that managing diabetes is sort of like baking. We have that very detailed recipe that is sometimes difficult to follow...sometimes we don't have all of the ingredients...sometimes we can't find our measuring cup...sometimes no matter how closely we follow the recipe and how exact our measurements just doesn't turn out. So, we keep plugging along and try again next time...always aiming for that magic result making us proud of all our hard work.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A life without fear

Something happened today to a fellow type 1 mom that has really shaken me to the core. The ever present, mind numbing, ice pick through the heart fear that I will one day walk into the room Emma is in and find her unconscious from a low blood sugar. I've read about severe lows just like we all have. I've read blog posts and status updates of people experiencing them first hand. I've listened to the medical staff at our clinic explain to me what needs to be done in those situations. I've got the brochures and printouts sitting in a black binder on the counter in my kitchen right now. That same black binder that has been there since day 1. That same black binder that used to be shiny and new..chock full of useful information, reminders, and phone numbers in case I needed them. I've practiced using the expired glucagon on an orange. I've read the directions in the box. I've read about it on the internet.
All of that is stored somewhere in the back of my mind surrounded by a cushion of hope. Piles upon piles of cushions and security blankets and even bubble wrap. I've pushed it back in the corner of my mind because I sit there on a daily basis trying to convince myself that it will never happen to will never happen to Emma. I should have been a door to door knife salesperson or something...because I am definitely quite good at convincing myself of that fact. I have my moments of doubt and panic that unless they find a cure soon...odds are that there will be a day at some point in my life where I will walk into that room and find my daughter crumpled on the floor suffering from a severe low. The odds are there. If I let myself think about it too much though, I usually send out the page for my salesperson self to come forward and begin the mantra speech again convincing myself that it won't can't just won't.
Diabetes is scary. It's so scary that most of the time I choose to pretend like I am brave. It's funny what we can convince ourselves of if we simply WANT to believe it bad enough.
I think aside from the day to day grind and never-endingness of it all, the hardest thing for my poor exhausted brain to deal with is the fear. Fear is maddening. Fear is something that makes me feel weak. I can't wait to live a life without this brand of fear.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fighting some Foo with excitement and nervousness

I got an email today asking for my information to send me a proof copy of my book. I'm beyond excited. I can't wait to get it in the mail and hold it in my hands and see my name on the cover. I can't wait to see it. I'm also a bit nervous. I have never had the greatest self confidence when it comes to things I do as far as writing or any artwork I've done. I'm not sure why...I've just always been that way. I LOVE to write, paint, and draw. I love anything creative. I get this nervous feeling in my gut though that whoever will read the book will think it is awful or they will think I am just some hopeless dreamer Mom out there who doesn't make any sense. I guess I will have to work on that part of myself. I will try to be more confident.
Anyway, it's been a while since I've actually finished writing to get that email today, it got me thinking about how it felt starting out. How it felt to bring myself back to that time in our lives. How scared i was and how overwhelming every little thing seemed. Hell, even brushing my teeth seemed like an enormous task those first couple of days.
Then this afternoon while Emma and I were out running some errands (i.e. spending her piggy bank money on some Smurf toys...she's obsessed I tell ya! She walks around the house telling me that she thinks she saw a Smurf hiding out in the freezer or behind the bedroom door. It''s pretty cute), I heard the song "Walk" by the Foo Fighters come on the radio. I have always been a Foo Fighters fan. First of all, I love the name (who wouldn't like to fight a little Foo now and again?!), and second of all I love the music. Hearing this song sort of turned out to be one of those "ahhhh....this fits" moments for me today. Emma and I were singing our hearts out right along with Dave Grohl and I actually was paying attention to the lyrics and realizing how appropriate they were for me. It brought me right back to that day....Day 1 of diabetes. This line in particular struck me and brought those all too familiar tears stinging in my eyes...."For the very first time. Don't you pay no mind. Set me free again.You keep alive a moment at a time. But still inside a whisper to a riot. To sacrifice but knowing to survive. The first to find another state of mind. I'm on my knees, I'm praying for a sign. Forever, whenever" I love it. I love this song. I love how it got to me and just fit...all while I was just driving along doing normal every day things.
There have been countless days since that first day with diabetes that have made me feel the "whisper to a riot" going on inside my heart and my head. There have been just as many moments where I felt like I just couldn't handle a single bit more, and then it dawns on me to focus on "keep(ing) alive a moment at a time." Since that first day, we are in fact "learning to walk again." This song fits me. I love when that happens.
If you care to have a listen, here is the link to it The first little bit of this video makes me giggle too with the whole stuck in traffic bit...I have so been there.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Smurfs, my BFF meter, and a wide-eyed waitress

Funny thing happened at a restaurant today. We decided to go out to eat because the energy is just not there to cook because of this heat wave going on. Well, there we sat in Montana's waiting for our food. I don't know if you all are familiar with this restaurant or not, but basically it's like your typical steakhouse...there's lots of wood, animal heads hanging on the wall, (i know....ewww...I am not a big fan of the decor at all! Who am I to judge though? I sit her in my living room looking at an entire shelf filled with my husbands Lord of the Rings paraphernalia ((yes...I had to look that word up to spell it oh look...i just did another one of my famous "thoughts within a thought within a thought"...lolol))) however, I digress. Anyhoo, Emma's favorite part of the place is the fact that they have paper on the tables that you can actually draw on. She has been on this Smurfs kick of course we went straight in to drawing Smurfette, Papa Smurf, and all the other little blue fellas.
A short while later, the food arrived and I went about the same old routine that we all know and don't love in the least bit...get the meter out, load the strip, cock the lancet device, poke cleaned finger, squeeze for blood, catch blood on strip, wait for the countdown, and bada bing bada boom there it is. We are using the Animas Ping pump, so we have the fantabulous meter that also doubles as a remote for bolusing! Love that little thing! It's a far better multi-tasker than I is like my right hand BFF. So, I'm sitting there pointing the remote in Emma's general direction while the bolus is being given and the waitress happens to walk by and sees me. She wasn't going to our table. She was just walking by to another table and she literally stared at the meter and I like we were aliens from another planet. She did one of those blatantly obvious straining your neck to continue staring as you walk by pretending not to stare manuevers. Her mouth was hanging open...her eyes could not have possibly been any more open.
Instead of getting irked or annoyed by this display in front of me...I suddenly started having a giggle fit. I couldn't help it...the look on her face was priceless! Well, we enjoyed the rest of our dinner. I SWAGged to the best of my ability and didn't do the greatest job at it...but oh well..ya win some ya lose some. I left the restaurant wondering what this waitress probably thought I was doing. I am so oblivious to my surroundings after having done this for 3 years now. If we are out in public, I just do it...I bolus, I check BG's, I gave needles pre-pump. I never really paid much attention to what the people around me were thinking if they saw. I mean I really honestly don't care what they think...good, bad, or indifferent...I'm still gonna do what I need to do to make sure Emma is ok regardless of where we are...but I am just curious as to what runs through their minds.
As a side note, thank you all for the comments on my last post! Michelle, it was like you crawled right in my head and totally understood what I was thinking. LOVE it! Val- I used to live in Medford Oregon actually...about 4 hours from Portland if I remember correctly. If I ever get my bum back that way to visit my friends, I would LOVE to try and meet up with ya!! I miss Oregon A LOT! It's so beautiful there! and as always Reyna and Jo- love you two! thank you for the encouragement in trying to help my little perfectionist ease up on herself.

Any advice out there?

So, I have a question for all of you out there. Have you noticed that since your child (or yourself shoutout to Val! ) was diagnosed with Type 1, that they have become harder on themselves? I've noticed this trend in Emma's behavior over the past 3 years and it seems to be getting worse. I definitely hope that I am not doing something to make her feel like she has to be this way. I have actually spoken with her teacher a couple of times last year about it because Emma is NOT fond of making mistakes. It upsets her to the point of tears sometimes honestly. I have tried talking with her about it and explaining to her that the only way any of us will ever learn things in life is by making mistakes. I've tried telling her that it doesn't make her less smart or less special or less of a good girl if she does make mistakes. I have told her that she needs to give herself a break and try to realize that it's ok and that she will be ok. I've had these conversations with her numerous times over the years and at the time she always sees the reasoning and tells me that she will try to think of things like that next time...and sometimes it works for her for a while...but then it seems like she is right back to being too hard on herself again.
For example this evening we went swimming at a local pool here just to have some fun and try to cool off (it was well into the 100's here today...set record temperatures actually for the hottest July day on record!). Well, Emma is comfortable in the water...but she has never actually taken swimming lessons. She has an aversion to getting her face wet and getting water in her eyes...which would make taking lessons a pointless effort I think. I always envision horrible crying and freaking out episodes poolside when I consider signing her up. So, anyway...I've been trying to start teaching her the basics of swimming myself. Granted I'm no Michael Phelps...but I do know how to swim.
So, there we were practicing floating on her back and her stomach...just to get the feel of it. She was doing quite well actually, so we moved on to kicking her feet and moving her arms to stay afloat on her own. That was not coming so easily for her...which brought on the tears of frustration for her. I asked her what was wrong and she shouted, "I JUST WANT TO GET IT ALREADY MOMMY!" For anyone that knows my kid, they will know that she does not get riled up like that or shout at me ever. It breaks my heart to see her be so hard on herself.
I think a lot of it is that she really is very smart...and she's used to picking up on things super when certain things come along that require more time and patience to learn or master...she gets overwhelmingly frustrated with herself. Any advice out there? :o) I need to stop beating myself up and blaming myself for this I suppose...but I guess it's what I do...I'm a Mom.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

All about Amy

Thought I would join in the fun...I love reading these and learning more about all of you!

Age: 34....sheesh...i can't believe it!

Bed size: queen...although I really need a king cause my husband is a sheet metal worker and along with his snoring like a freight train, he also feels the need to do sheet metal work type motions with his arms while told me to go get the tow motor once and wouldn't stop telling me to get it until I actually responded...yea...crazy sleeper!

Chore you dislikehands down without a doubt...the dishes!

Dogs: I grew up always having dogs, but now we have a cat...a boy cat...that Emma declared to be a girl...and it's name is Daisy.

Essential start to your day: Coffee and cinammon toast...and more coffee...and Emma's smiling face

Favorite color: Green. I always go for the forest green crayon in the box of crayolas first.

Gold or silver: Silver I suppose...not really a big jewelry girl

Height: 5'2"...good things come in small packages though! Emma likes to laugh at me when I have to scale the shelfs in the grocery store though to reach something on top. Seriously, who do those stockboys think shops there...giants??

Instruments you play(ed): umm...I'm so not musically talented...I do rock a mean air guitar though, and i LOVE singing even though I am so very not good at

Job title: Mommy/pancreas

Kids: just my Emma

Live: Ontario Canada...I was born and raised in Wisconsin (still a cheesehead at heart!)...lived in South Dakota for a wee bit of time...also lived in Oregon (I miss it there terribly...made some of the greatest friends of my life there)

Mom’s name: Sharon

Nicknames: Aim, Aimers, Smiley, Hun, Mooooooommmmmmmy!!!
Overnight hospital stays: 2 times...once was when I had Emma and the other was when she was admitted for a stomach virus last year...i hate hospital beds

Pet Peeves: long lines, unexplainable bad BG numbers, telemarketers, and when my husband shaves and leaves all those little hairs in the sink...UGH

Quote from a movie: I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

Righty or Lefty: Righty

Siblings: one brother...3 years older..always wanted a sister, but am lucky enough now to have a couple friends that I consider sisters :o)

Time you wake up: whenever Emma shouts at me "MOOOMMMY CAN WE GO DOWNSTAIRS NOW?" from her

Underwear: currently? zebra striped

Vegetables you don’t like: cabbage...and artichokes...anything with the word choke in it can not be tasty

What makes you run late: doesn't matter what time i leave to go somewhere...i am always late. I hate that about myself

X-Rays you’ve had: both ankles (sprained them on seperate occasions when i was younger and in gymnastics), wrist (another gymnastics injury), and foot (I dropped a rolling pin on it last year and thought it was i'm a bit of a klutz!)

Yummy food you make: I make a mean spaghetti and meatballs, a delish clementine salad, and thats about the extent of it
Zoo animal favorite: monkeys and sea lions or sea otters...whichever ones are the cute ones with whiskers that like to play and swim and go down the rock slide

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shortest blog post ever

I've got nothin today. Nothin of any significance to report. I am feeling like I am stuck in that proverbial vacant hallway staring at the empty walls. I feel like I'm standing there with my UGH face on looking at all of the doors in the hallway. I can hear happy things going on behind them laughter and my favorite songs emanating from them. Right now I don't feel happy per se...I mean I should be because today is really the first day in a couple weeks now that I managed to feel like I finally had a good grasp on Emma's blood sugar numbers. I put on my big girl panties and upped her basals all around and that wonderful Animas Ping meter kept showing me good numbers over and over all day long. That should be making me happy. I suppose it is...but there's just that over whelming BLAH feeling shoving the happiness way down inside. So, I am going to leave it at that....I got nuthin...hope the BLAH feeling goes away tomorrow and I find a way to pick the lock on one of those doors with all the laughter and music and chatter coming from it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

There is NO comparison

Advocating and educating is exhausting. Doing it in 104 degree heat is even more exhausting. Doing it while battling high blood sugars as a result of the heat is pretty much on the brink of being more than I can handle. This afternoon Emma and I ran a table for JDRF downtown. The city closed off the main street there to vehicles...I think it was to promote walking and try to get people to stop polluting the air with exhaust from their cars. First off...I find it a little ironic that the majority of people had to in fact drive there to park their cars and get out and walk along the closed off street. Oh well, who am I to judge? In any case, we arrived around 10:30am and set up the table which included various brochures and other info about type 1 diabetes, cookbooks, cute little teddy bears, and a ring toss game that people could play for $2 and win some neat JDRF silly bands in the shape of sneakers. By the time I was finished assembling the tent, table, signs, and materials...I was sweating like a fat guy at an All U Can Eat restaurant. Emma and I sat down and awaited some customers....we waited...and waited...and waited. It was slow going for sure. Emma was looking overheated and after testing I wound up having to correct a high of course. Why does it never occur to me to set a temp basal in situations like this? I'm an idiot. Anyway, the day turned out to be extremely slow...we raised a little bit of money, talked with a couple of people, and actually even met a police officer who was type 1 diabetic. Coincidentally enough, she was stationed right next to our table manning (womanning?) the blockade at the corner of the street to make sure no morons decided to try and drive thru anyway. She walked up to our table and told me that she was diabetic and we wound up having a nice conversation...funny how life seems to throw those coincidences in now and again. I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason...fate.
The rest of the afternoon went alright until a man/looney walked/jumped up to our table and proceeded to tell me that he USED to have ADHD and that everyone has something and diabetes just so happens to be Emma's "thing". He told me that he overcame his ADHD years ago just by talking to people like me, taking pills, and therapy. He told Emma that one day she would overcome her diabetes too. He told me that everyone is sick in some way shape or form. The whole time he was shouting/preaching to me...he was jumping around, waving his arms and hands about, basically full out talking a mile a minute. It was definitely one of the weirdest experiences/coversations I have had in a long time. I felt bad for him because obviously he was mentally ill....but I could still feel my D-Momma protective defensive attitude trying to pop up and put an end to his babbling about Emma's diabetes being just like his ADHD. It's not the will never be the's not even in the same ballpark buddy. But I didn't say a word. Maybe it's because it was 104 out...maybe because I was exhausted and worn out from correcting highs...maybe it's because I felt like a limp piece of lettuce and didn't even have the energy to open my mouth. Who knows. Eventually he walked away. Eventually I got to pack up and leave and bring us back to the sweet sweet air conditioning. Eventually I had to do a site change because I discovered some issues in the tubing...occlusions i think they are called? I'm still new to I can't remember. Eventually her blood sugars will come down from my corrections. Diabetes involves entirely too many "eventually's" in my opinion. I'm done with this day. On to the next where I plan on kicking some diabetes ass and taking I suppose...only one name for the big unwanted thorn in my side.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bolusing in the weirdest places

In the beginning of this new life of ours, I was always baffled at the enormous amount of variables that affect blood sugars. I was overwhelmed at the multitude of various situations that can come up that required thinking outside of the box and learning how to make it work with diabetes. I sit here right now and think back to all of the crazy things we have LIVED through in the past 3 years...and all of the crazy things I have been strong-armed by the big D into figuring out and adjusting and managing to the best of my ability. I have LIVED through a 6 hour plane delay and being stuck in the Toronto airport with a 5 year old diabetic. I have LIVED through hundreds of 2 hour long gymnastics classes...some on insulin pens and the wicked (in our experience anyway) Lantus, some on the Animas Ping. I have LIVED through a load of birthday parties including swimming, indoor playgrounds, Chuck E Cheese, bowling, and laser tag. I have LIVED through illnesses that have brought my poor exhausted mind to the brink of insanity in trying to manage the juggling act with a feather and chainsaw combo of ketones, low blood sugars, and stomach viruses resulting in NO appetite. I have LIVED through trick or treating, Christmas mornings, Easter egg hunts, and Canada Day fireworks. I have LIVED through making the transition from needles to pump while at school...including a week straight of walking to and from the school 5 times a day to drop off at school, bolus for morning snack, bolus for lunch, bolus for afternoon snack, and pick up at school. I have LIVED through bolusing her in parks, movie theatres, Chinese buffet restaurants, and JDRF Walks.
I was actually starting to believe though that I had pretty much done it all and seen it all. I had LIVED through it all. EMMA had LIVED through it all. I had made countless mistakes along the way...but I learned from them...and she is still here with me asleep up in her bed. I sit here with the baby/diabetes monitor next to me listening to her breathing as I type away.
As that one song goes though, "I shoulda known better..." (what song is that anyway? I can hear it in my head now, but I can't remember the name? I may have to google this...) My husband actually had off of work today, so we all went to the carnival. This wasn't our first carnival post diabetes. We have been to quite a few I had some idea of how things would play out. I would essentially be chasing highs the whole time we were there...which came true...surprise surprise! I guess next time I should just pull up my big girl panties and set a temp basal for the day. Anyhoo...Emma spotted the ferris wheel right off the bat and decided that is where we were headed first. We waited in line and when it was our turn to climb aboard she hopped right up and sat down with a big grin on her face. We inched our way up to the top one cart at a time so the guy running the ride could load up the next carts in front of us. I happened to glance over at Emma and she looked a little TOO sweaty to me and a little TOO I whipped out our little froggie bag-o-fun and got her meter out and checked her BG. She was high...again surprise I had yet another "first time" experience....high atop the ferris wheel in the bright afternoon sun and heat...looking down at the people below us and the horizon far out ahead of us...I bolused my daughter...weird...I never thought I would be able to say that THAT particular situation would arise and I would have to do that. Weird. So, apparently I can now add one more notch to my belt of crazy diabetes related "first time" experiences...I now know I can bolus her on top of the ferris wheel no problem.
This picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post....I just wanted to share it cause it makes me giggle...Emma has been wearing these glasses all the time lately. She took an old pair of sunglasses and popped the lenses out so she can wear pretend glasses and look cool.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This is for all of YOU, from the bottom of my heart

I just wanted to dedicate this post to all of friends of the are more than just friends to me are my 2nd family. I was in a pretty dark low place yesterday. I was so far gone...sad, angry, frustrated beyond all belief, hopeless, and feeling like I wasn't going to be able to climb my way back into the light again. In fact, I couldn't really even see a glimmer of that light anymore at was bad. I am not normally a person prone to depression or really any type of extended it was a big shock to my system. I think the fact that I was on the infamous roller coaster that is diabetes and running on little to no sleep probably didn't help matters much either.
If felt good to get that last post off my chest. It gave me a bit of relief to just let those cursed tears fall onto the keyboard...letting all of the poison hate and anger towards diabetes pour out of my exhausted brain and onto here. I needed that. It helped.
Then I woke up this morning and read all of your comments. Believe it or not, I was actually at a loss for words. Aside from one weirdo that I do not know saying something about diabetes being an injectible steroid (WTF?? lolol)...all of your comments brought tears to my eyes. Lora- I absolutely agree with that quote...I try to plaster that smile on my face and laugh things off on a daily basis. Thank you for making me giggle at your comment about your grammer too...lolol. Meri- thank you for the encouragement. I have read many of your posts and I am in complete awe of you. I think you are an incredible person for how you manage to not only take care of your 3 T1's and the rest of your family, but you do it with such a wonderful attitude and humour. Tracy-thank you for reminding me that better days will come and that Emma really is worth all of the effort and more.Valerie- thank you  for the support and for making me remember that I am not alone in this. You give me such hope that Emma will have a bright amazing future as she grows up. Denise (Bean's Momma!) I could hardly see thru the tears when I read what you wrote about all of you reaching to help me back up...that definitely got me. you are incredible and I am so greatful to have you as a friend. I love ya! Denise (Bryce's Momma!) thank you also for the support and for always being there with an encouraging word. Reyna- You are an inspiration to make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me feel like I belong somewhere...for that I will forever be greatful. I love ya!! Wendy- It was difficult to see thru the tears while reading your comment as well. It definitely hit home for me...reminding me that I will never be judged here, I am not alone in how I feel, and most of all that I need to go easier on myself and not let the dark days get the best of me. Joanne- You know I love ya my fellow Canadian! Thank you for the same same and for the hugs.
Today was a MUCH better day thanks to a few hours sleep, a site change resulting in better numbers, me figuring out that the crazy hot weather has been making the insulin in Emma's reservoir get too warm and not be as affective by the end of day 2, and the simple things in life...going to the Dollar Store with Emma and buying a balloon animal making kit and actually figuring it out and making my very first dog balloon animal for Emma. Most of all though....the reason my day was better and I am back in the light again...brighter days because of you. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

trying to get it all out so i dont explode

I'm tired...I'm over it...i'm one soft whisper of a wind away from slipping over the edge into crazy town...i hate this disease. i try to put up a good facade most of the time for the people in my life and the people i come into contact with every day. i try to make it seem like i know what i'm doing and that i am ok. i try to project that image. i try to make it seem like i'm fine and i know what i'm doing. even though most of the time i feel like on the inside i am screaming my fool head off and my heart is weeping for the life that was thrust upon us. i feel like i just cant do this anymore. i feel like its not fair. im so far in the belljar right now that i dont even have the energy to care about using punctuation or proper grammer. this post is probably going to sound like a bunch of blabbering blubbering poor me bullshit...and for that i apologize...but i cant help it...i just need to get it out. i hate this disease so much right now. i hate what it is doing to emma and what it is doing to me. i hate how it is never ending and relentless and how it never ever gives up. i wish that i could explain to people who dont live with this disease exactly what it feels like. i wish that i knew the proper words to explain the feeling of the all-consuming never-ending enormity of the day to day stress and pressure. its like an unimaginable weight placed on my shoulders day in and day out every single friggin day. its always never goes away and it will never go away until a cure is found. i just want a break. i just want one single afternoon even. one moment in time to be able to go back to how my life was before emma was diagnosed. i want to be able to watch her play at the park and run and be free and just be a kid and not have to worry about what the hell her blood sugars are at. I want to be like all of the other moms sitting out on the grass lounging around and semi-watching their own kids...without a care in the world...just relaxing and enjoying the day. i want that more than anything i have ever wanted in my whole entire life. i would give ANYTHING to just have that option for one single afternoon. if i could just get that one single break...that one single vacation from this DAMN disease...i would be so would be amazing. i want that so badly i can taste it. i am so friggin jealous of those people and i hate it. i hate being jealous. i have had enough of this. i hear people tell me all the time that i am such a good mom and i am so strong and that they wouldnt be able to stick a needle in their kids body every day....i do appreciate those comments...but it still doesnt take away my frustrations, stress, worry, hurt, anger, pain of having to do this. the needles are seriously the least of my problems...i do them and i dont even think twice....its the friggin mental war that goes on 24 hours a day every single day. diabetes is ALWAYS there screwing with my mind....i hate it. i hate it i hate it i just want it to go away much friggin stress can one person be expected to handle....i hate this and i dont want to do it anymore

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A beautiful vision

Emma and I traveled back in time to 1914 this afternoon. We had a blast. There is a living museum here in town called Pioneer Village and you can walk all through this mock town set up outside and see how things were back in 1914. Emma is probably the only 7 year old kid I know that is obsessed with "old-timey" things, as she puts it. We went there for the first time last year and the highlight of the visit for Emma was when she got to learn how they did laundry back then and actually get to do it herself. She loved using the washboard and cranking the handle of the ringer to squeeze the water out of it. So, that was all she had been talking about she couldn't wait to get there and do the laundry again. It's too bad I don't have the time or the patience to find myself a washboard and do our own laundry that way now, because I know for certain that she would be all over helping out with that chore! So, we toured through houses that were built in that time, saw all of the old furniture, stoves, old toys, bedrooms, and cellars. We walked through the grocery store, tailor shop, post office, church, blacksmith shop, and butcher shop. We talked with the people working there and learned a lot about the history. It was fun and I loved hearing Emma say how much she loved being there and how she wished she could live there. It sort of reiterated (not sure how to spell that...and too lazy to look it up!) in my mind the fact that she really truly is an old soul. I stood there watching her walk up the path to the farm house and barn and if I closed my eyes for a second I could picture her back then. I could vividly see her wearing the old clothes from that era...her hair in braids...running up the hill with a handful of wildflowers. I could see her stopping on the way to the house to talk to the cows and rub the horses nose. I could see myself standing in the kitchen sweating my patootie off wearing the long dress and apron cooking lunch. It was a nice image. In no way at all am I saying that I would rather give up my lifestyle now and become a it was nice to picture how our lives would be if we lived back then.
There was a moment though in one of the homes we were touring that put an abrupt halt to my visions of a simpler more peaceful life back then. Emma and I were in the kitchen of this house talking to the woman that worked there. She was showing Emma the old stove and explaining how they had to keep the fire stoked in there all day long to cook breakfast and lunch (apparently supper was always a cold meal like sandwiches or something). Emma was anxious to move on because it was getting close to the time that the laundry "activity" was going to start. So, as we stood there...Emma took her pump off her belt and pushed the button on it to wake it up so she could see what time it was. The woman sort of had an odd look on her face when she heard the beep, so I explained to her that it was just my daughter's insulin pump. As I stood there in this house built in the early 1900's, surrounded by antique kitchen sort of hit me all at once. It Emma and I lived in that time...she would not be able to survive. My daughter would have died years before because of her diabetes. She would not have survived because insulin was not yet discovered in was discovered 7 years later in 1921. My vision of my sweet little daughter dressed in her "old-timey" clothes running up the hill to me was wiped away in a flash. It felt like someone had just punched me in the gut and all the air was knocked out of my lungs. If we had lived in that time, I would have outlived my daughter...I would have suffered a loss so great and so unbearable, that I don't think I would have been able to go on.
I stood there in that kitchen surrounded by all of these things from so long ago and looked at Emma holding on to her pink insulin pump. I've seen her do this same manuever so many times over the past almost 2 months. It's such a normal sight...a comforting sight. I saw her holding that pump and I felt tears well up in my eyes. Not out of sadness for once! It was out of gratitude....gratitude that we do in fact live in a time and a place where she can not only wear this device that makes her life easier and more "normal"...but also an indescribable gratitude that we live in a time and place where she can LIVE with this disease.  So, I will store away that beautiful vision of us living long ago for a nice peaceful rainy day....but I will now more so than ever be greatful for our life now and all of the opportunities we have.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's all about the little things

There are many lessons we learn in this life. Don't swim right after eating. Don't talk to strangers. Look both ways before crossing the street. Don't eat an orange right after brushing your teeth. Don't wear socks and sandals because no matter what you think at the doesn't look good. Don't watch a scary movie late at night when you are home alone.
All very important life lessons...some were taught to us by our parents, some we learned through our own experiences. After a day like the one we had yesterday...I would have to say that hands down the #1 award winning life lesson is most definitely...The little things in life matter the most.
Emma and I went to the park with a friend of hers from school and her Mom. Her Mom and I are actually good friends as it was a really nice afternoon for everyone. The Moms got to chat while watching the girls run around and play. They ran from the slides to the swings to the monkey bars...and even over to the splash pad area to cool off from the hot sun.
I have been struggling for the past few days with trying to get a hold of these unexplainable high BG's Emma has been having, so I wasn't overly worried about her going low from all of the activity...which was also kind of a nice sigh of relief for me.
At the end of this school year, Emma mentioned to me how upset she was at the fact that it was only her and one other kid in her class who weren't able to make it all the way across the monkey bars on their own. It upset her to the point of tears actually. For those of you who don't know my kid personally...this is a major thing. She doesn't cry easily...she doesn't shed a tear when she falls while playing outside...she doesn't get upset like that hardly at all. So, I knew that if this was causing the tears to was probably something that was eating away at her. Well, there I sat...talking with my friend and keeping one eye on Emma. I saw her reach up, stretching her arm out as far as she could reach...willing her fingers to touch that first monkey bar..standing on the very edge of the platform on her tip toes. She had such a look of fear and determination in her eyes. I waited...holding my breath...cheering her on silently in my head, "Please let her reach it! Please let her reach it!" I saw her finally grasp the bar and take that leap of faith. She swung her little arm out just like her absolute favorite animal (the monkey). I was now silently cheering "Grab the next bar! Grab it! You can do it! Please help her grab it!"....I sat there watching and hoping that she would finally be able to accomplish this goal...finally do it and prove to herself that she COULD do it. I watched her and she grabbed the next bar...and the next...and the next...she DID it...she made it all the way to the end..all on her own! She jumped down and came racing towards me with the biggest grin on her face...her cheeks bright red...and shouting to me that she DID IT!
I know there are some people out there who might be reading this and thinking, "Why in the world is she making such a big deal about monkey bars?"...well, I don't know any other way to explain it than that it is a big deal to Emma. This is something that was bothering her for so long...and she finally did it. It made me realize that through all of my anger, frustration, and sadness about her crazy high blood sugar numbers should really be about the little things. Seeing her smile and seeing how proud she was of herself...that is what matters...that is what's important. There are so many bad things going on in this many wrong doings and so many disappointments...I need to remember to hang on to those little things. I need to remember to relish in that moment and soak it up. I need to let my mind take a polaroid picture of times like those too. I can't dwell on those stressful angry feelings towards diabetes...I can't try to cram more awful pictures into the photo album in my brain...I need to throw some of those out to make room for the good moments...the truly happy ones...the moments that force me to remember that the little things in life are really all that matters.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Shake it like a polaroid picture

Today was definitely not a good diabetes day. I think I jinxed it really. For the past couple of weeks Emma's blood sugar numbers have been amazing...we are talking near perfect day after day after lovely day. So, I decided to share in our happiness and post something about the good numbers on my Facebook page. I should have kept my big mouth shut. Today was one of those days where I had to wear my "detective" hat all freakin day long. Emma's numbers were ridiculously high for no apparant reason. I kept correcting and correcting and it got to the point where I felt like I was just putting water in her body instead of the insulin she so badly needed. We did some running around in the morning and just around lunchtime we decided to stop at the mall and wander around for a bit and then grab a bite to eat. We checked out the pet store and had a few giggles at the most adorable little puppies who were playing with each other...wrestling about, tails wagging like crazy, floppy big paws slipping and sliding all over as they tried to catch their footing and pin the other one down on it's back. We ooh'd and ahh'd and aww'd over a couple of tiny fluffy little kittens who were meowing and pawing at us. We moved on to the same exact store that we had been in a few months ago where Emma had a pretty awful low. She was so low that she was gripping her juicebox with shaking hands while we sat on the floor together and not a single person (employee or patron) bothered to ask if we were ok. It was an odd thing to be back in that store. It got me thinking about how stressful moments seem to get etched into my brain forever. I could probably drive all around town and point out certain locations and recall exactly what Emma's blood sugar was at when we were there. There was the park downtown where she was at 2.3 one time from running around like a maniac all afternoon. There was the bread aisle of the grocery store where she was 2.9 for no apparant reason at all. There was the parking lot of the book store where she was 2.1 before we even got out of the car to go check out some books. If I sit here and think about it, I'm sure I could come up with a lot more examples. Diabetes really is a weird lifestyle. It's like it sometimes forces me to carry around this polaroid camera in my mind and take snap shots of stressful scary times. I would just as soon forget those times. They were horrible and if I had the choice, I would rather just forget they even happened I think. I know for the most part those experiences did teach me a lesson and probably did help me prevent future similar problems (or at least attempt to prevent them!)...but I still wish I could just crumple up those photos and forget about them.
In any case, we wandered the mall, looked at sparkly jewelry, bought Emma a little globe keychain from one of those girlie stores like Claire's Boutique, looked at pretty clothes, ate some lunch at the food court and commented on how odd it was that it was so LOUD in there seeing as how everyone should have actually been eating or had their mouths full of their own lunches, we smelled lovely smelling candles, perfumes, and lotions, and we battled high BG's....all day long.
My detective skills came up with nothing. I was at a I was left with my only remaining option...change her site. So, I did...and so far so good. I hope the night brings decent numbers. I hope tomorrow truly turns out to be a "new" day and diabetes plays nice again.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lazy days of summer?? ya right

So I was sincerely hoping that once school was out that our lives would sort of calm down a bit and we would have more time to relax and just do nothing for once....yea...I should've known better! It's been a madhouse lately and I suppose I really only have myself to blame. Oh well, I suppose there will come a day when I will be an old blue haired woman sitting on the couch wishing for something to keep me occupied and busy. Something other than watching "my stories" on TV and playing Yep, I am totally stereo-typing! I hope I'm not an old blue-haired woman like that. I would like to think that I will have some pizazz and spunk still left in my old bones at that point. I plan on still wearing tank tops and tattoos on my legs (well, I guess those aren't really an option anymore to NOT have's ok though, I like them and Emma told me she thinks it will be funny for her kids to have a Grandma with tattoos) I plan on still acting like I do store dancing and singing self (remind me to share the story of when I embarassed Emma in the pharmacy by singing and full on rocking out to "Don't Stop Believin" while waiting in line for some pump supplies...good times).
Anyhoo, back to the topic at hand. School got out on Friday and from the moment Emma bolted with her friends from the school doors screaming at the top of their lungs "FREEDOM!", I knew that chaos was about to ensue. We did the usual play on the playground, take some pics of friends, and walk home thing. Then after supper we played at the new park down the street from our house....awesome place. Emma had a blast...I took some pics like this one
and we proceeded to walk home. My favorite thing about this park is that there is a HUGE open field with freshly laid grass (sod? I still don't get the differece between those two things...why is it sometimes called sod?). Emma and I slip our flip flops off and walk home through the nice soft brand spanking new grass/sod. It's heavenly on my poor tired feet and I swear if she would let me, I would stand there all's become my new happy place. Soft, cool, pillow like clouds of grass under my's like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders and I am just floating there on these overwhelmingly comforting green clouds. Ahh...
So, then yesterday Emma and I decided to go to Bacon Fest 2011! My kid is a bacon fanatic for sure. She loves it. Anytime I ask her what she wants for dinner, lunch, or breakfast...the answer is always a resounding and emphatic, "BACON!" We made our way down there after lunch and arrived about an hour and a half later to the smells of Emma's heaven on Earth...bacon. A fun time was definitely had by all. We ate bbq bacon sandwiches, sweet bacon, spicy bacon, cupcakes with bacon sprinkles (a little odd tasting...but not as gross as I thought it would be!), and even bought a tin of bacon flavored toothpicks which I couldn't resist taking a pic of

Before leaving, Emma had to visit the little petting zoo they had set up and spent quite a long time chatting it up with a turkey...hilarious. We both agreed that it was a good idea for the petting zoo people to NOT include a piggy in the menagerie of pets to be petted...that would have just been poor taste.
Now on to today...we left after lunch to go visit some family up at their trailer for the day. It was hot...with a capital H, but we had a blast. Emma went swimming in the lake, we at bbq steak for supper, the kiddos played at the park. It was a great day all around.
As I sit here reflecting on the weekend that is still going on....I am greatful. I'm greatful that we are healthy, that we have family that loves us, that we are able to get together, and that it is summer time finally. Most of all, I am greatful that Emma is on a pump now...our eating schedules were off totally for the past two days...and she has stayed consistantly at a 7 or 8 (126 or 144)'s wonderful. We have had the odd semi-low...high 3's and low 4's...but nothing that a little juice won't fix. I am truly greatful for this little device. I wish I could kiss the person who invented it. I am so greatful.