Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End of 2009


So, taking a cue from my blogging friends...I'm reviewing the year at my pump gear, with a twist.  Since 2009 is ending in just a few hours, here are the ending lines of some posts from last year...
  • We're back in the blogosphere.
  • Maybe I'm the only one who notices the bulge from her insulin pump just beneath her skirt.
  • God did.
  • I just really miss my Trader Joe's french toast.
  • Let's go to the snackbar!
  • "Hey, if I were in charge of casting," I told her, "you'd get the job, for sure."
  • "Wow!  I got to see a famous doctor!"
  • I mean a kid can only have so much sugar-free jell-o.
  • Money has no expiration date.
  • Support is just one mouse click away.
  • I guess diabetes liked Sea World just as much as we did.
  • Maybe we should have just gone back another time.
  • Gee, diabetes, you're so subtle.
  • I love the Fourth of July.
  • Oh, the possibilities!
  • Instant unspoken bond...whenever I meet another D-mom.
  • I think it's the case of the incredible shrinking carbs!
  • What a sleep-over.
  • Thankful for...the Lord...for everything.
  • Wow, what a perspective!
  • So thankful to have received the injections.
  • And, like I said, we felt hope.
Now...I'm going to go get in my jammies and watch the ball drop with the kids!  I'm looking forward to 2010!  Will we be saying "two thousand ten" or "twenty ten?"  I guess we'll find out tomorrow...

Cheers to you all!



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Dia-versary!



Yes, that's right.  HAPPY Dia-versary! It's been 6 years for us.  6 years of finger pokes.  6 years of insurance battles.  6 years of 12 midnight and 3 am.  6 years of insulin, tears and fears...6 years of diabetes.  And, yes, today is a happy day.

Our family is choosing to celebrate this day, December 29th, C's diagnosis day.  We are not, by any means, celebrating diabetes.  Rather, we are celebrating LIFE, where diabetes has taken our family and the strength C has gained, because of this disease.  It was 6 years ago today that began this incredible journey for her and our family.  It is bittersweet to me, for sure.  I am so happy that God made me stay that long, awful night in the ER.  I am happy that we actually got the disturbing, confusing diagnosis.  Because that means, diabetes did not win out.

My eyes are welling up as I type.  But, really, I am happy.  My daughter is thriving.  Our family is growing.  And we are blessed beyond measure...despite diabetes.  No.  It will not win out.  We will work hard to keep things in check.  We will lean on friends and family who, may not fully understand our situation, but love us tremendously.  We will continue to learn about new advances for diabetes management.  We will hope, still, for a cure.  We will continue to lend and gather support from our online friends who know exactly what we're up against.  This is a great day.

So...we're off to go...bowling!...C's choice.  We may even get some ice cream too! 

Happy Dia-versary C!  We love you...


(Yes...got the ice cream!  And 2 hours later?...only 226!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Dill Review

Back in the summer, there was a post about C being invited to a birthday party and the onslaught of diabetes talk that came with it.  I wrote about the "Pickle Pop lady" and how she was so convinced that they are perfect for diabetics...my daughter included.

Well, it just so happens that the owner of Bob's Pickle Pops read my post and contacted me via Twitter!  Really!!  It floored me.  He offered to send some pops for my family to try and see what we think.  Through our email discussion, he seemed very thoughtful and generous.  I took him up on his offer.  In just a few days, the pops arrived.

Now, I'm a friend of the dill pickle...now and then.  But it's certainly not my favorite treat.  I know there's practically no carbs involved, but the salt content is enough to knock your socks off.  And it's no different in the Pickle Pops.  They are simply frozen, crushed, dill pickles (like an ice pop, if you will).  One taste was all I needed to know...this treat was not meant for me. 

Now, my husband?  He ate one.  I mean the whole thing.  I said "Wow, you must like it?"

"No, not really," he told me.  I should have known...he will eat just about anything.

I offered one to C.  Her response was nearly the same as mine.  Big C wanted nothing to do with them.  I couldn't get him to even try one.  Then there was middle C.  He was my true taste tester.  I will let the following photo tell of his response.  It's pretty clear.



Unfortunately, they were a "no-go" for our entire household.  Sorry Bob!  It's an interesting and amusing concept.  However, in my opinion, people who are looking for a low calorie snack (diabetes, or not), sometimes have other medical issues which could include high blood pressure, heart conditions, etc....and I don't think the high sodium content is a healthy option.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Infusion Site Woes

I couldn't let Wednesday's picture go without explanation.

Now, we've had infusion site issues in the past.  If C is running high with no other explanation, it's likely that the infusion site is the culprit...or air bubbles...or a blockage of some sort...or old insulin...or, well, it's never really likely anything for sure.  We just start deducting and trying to figure it out.  And, sometimes, yes, when an old set is pulled out, we sometimes find the catheter like Wednesday's picture...bent, blocked, maybe just past its prime, so to speak.

But this was different.  It was not an old site at all.  I ripped it out nearly as fast as the QuickSerter punched it in.  As soon as that little spring-loaded device did it's job, C screamed at the top of her lungs, "It hurts...it hurts!!"  She was wriggling like a worm.  I usually ask "Does it hurt enough to take out and try again?"  And most times it will all be fine.  But this was quite a different reaction.  So, out it came.  I looked at it.  That's bizarre, I thought. 

It must have hit muscle.  Or C must have tensed up.  I don't know.  But I hated that it happened.  I hate that every 3 days, there is a high probability that I will hurt my daughter.  I sat and stroked her long, pretty hair.  "I'm so sorry Sweetheart.  I don't want to hurt you, C."  Her tears cleared up quickly.  I prepped her once more.

"Relax, Honey.  Here we go..."

"Oh," she said.  "That one didn't even hurt at all!"

Sigh.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

That's a Wrap...

This month has been filled with diabetes awareness events, conversation, celebration and myth busters. Now that it's winding down, I thought I'd give a wrap up of 30 myth-busting awareness statements.  These are the things I most want the world to know about diabetes...because, really, without awareness and knowledge, our dream of a cure will not be realized. There is still far too much mystery about it, at least in the general public.

  1. Know the warning signs of diabetes and tell others...it could save a life!...extreme thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, weight loss and more...go to worlddiabetesday.org to learn more.
  2. No one gets diabetes from eating too much sugar.
  3. Sugar can actually save a diabetic's life.
  4. There are several types of diabetes: type 1, 1.5 (LADA), type 2, gestational and several other rarer forms.
  5. The onset of type 1 diabetes sometimes masks itself as flu...if your child's flu symptoms do not add up, ask the pediatrician for a blood glucose test and don't take no for an answer.
  6. All types of diabetes are bad.
  7. Making Sense of Diabetes is a great educational video compiled by the Diabetes Hands Foundation with the help of many friends from the diabetes online community.
  8. There are theories, but not even the experts know why a person gets T1 diabetes...there's nothing that was eaten, done or said that gave them that disease.
  9. People w/diabetes can and do enjoy just about any food that people w/out diabetes can enjoy...that means cupcakes too!
  10. November 14th is World Diabetes Day...the birthday of Frederick Banting, one of the men who discovered insulin.
  11. Knowledge is power...and power brings change...we need a cure.
  12. Diabetes is not contagious.
  13. W/diabetes, the total carbohydrate count on food (not just sugar) must be balanced w/insulin, which is on a very individual basis.
  14. Kids w/type 1 diabetes grow up to be adults w/type 1 diabetes...they will not grow out of it...we need a cure.
  15. Type 1 diabetes is sometimes termed juvenile diabetes.  However, it can be diagnosed at any age.
  16. The main difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes:  In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas ceases to produce insulin, a hormone which enables the body to convert food into energy...In type 2, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin that is produced...sure wish there were different names for them.
  17. Insulin is not a cure.
  18. For insulin-dependant diabetes, there are several ways to deliver insulin...syringe (several times a day), insulin pen (still a needle) or...insulin pump, which goes into the person's fatty tissue via a catheter that is changed every few days (still with a big "needle" poke)...did I miss any?
  19. This is not an easy thing to do -- People w/diabetes strive for blood sugar readings anywhere between 70-120...(some people's range numbers may differ slightly)...It is a constant balancing routine that requires diligence and thought.
  20. The term hypoglycemia refers to a blood sugar reading below 70...symptoms vary among people...but some are shakiness, dizziness, sweating, pale color, difficulty communicating, sudden behavior change like becoming weepy for no apparent reason.  Hypoglycemic episodes (insulin reactions) MUST be remedied immediately w/a source of fast-acting sugar or seizure, coma and death will occur.
  21. Diabetes is an expensive disease.
  22. The term hyperglycemia refers to a blood sugar reading that is too high...It is the main cause of complications...Symptoms include frequent urination, increased thirst...If undetected, it can lead to ketoacidosis (diabetic coma) and can include shortness of breath, fruity-smelling breath, nausea/vomitting and extreme dry mouth...If undiagnosed, it can lead to death.
  23. Sometimes diabetes isn't manageable at all.
  24. Contrary to popular belief, yes, a type 1 person can eat that.
  25. Exercise can lower a blood glucose reading...However, if the reading is extremely high (over 240), the exercise can cause it to go even higher...This varies from individual to individual...crazy diabetes!
  26. A personal favorite...having a type 1 daughter and loving the movie Steel Magnolias...type 1 women can have wonderful, healthy pregnancies when supported by a great medical team, with love and diligence...and, if you don't know the reference to Steel Magnolias, all I can say is "why have you never seen that movie?!"...the first thing the doc who diagnosed C told me was, don't think about Steel Magnolias!
  27. People with diabetes can do anything...it just takes a more preparation.  Once, we heard an inspirational speaker talk about his ascent to Mt. Everest...with type 1 diabetes!
  28. Nighttime rest for parents of a type 1 forever changes with that diagnosis.
  29. There are countless variables when it comes to managing diabetes from hormonal changes to illness to stress...and everything in between.
  30. Diabetes is 24/7...every minute of every day...there is no break or vacation from it...until...there's a cure.
Whew!  In the beginning of the month I thought that it might become difficult to come up with statements.  Sadly, I could continue for a while yet.  However, I think I'll leave it at the above 30 issues until next November!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful for...

  • the husband who works super hard so I can stay home and take care of our kids and learn this new thing called business
  • big C who, even though frustrates me to no end at times, also makes me just as proud
  • middle C who continually keeps the comedy coming
  • C who blesses me daily by simply being my daughter
  • friends who understand all about me and love me anyway
  • home, though small and modest, is warm and filled with life
  • church family, who has welcomed us with open arms
  • our city that is filled with home-town ideals
  • the diabetes online community for helping us feel not so alone
  • teachers who not only teach my kids, but care about them as well
  • our baseball family who genuinely loves the game
  • the U.S.A. where we feel free and blessed
  • health, though not perfect, has brought me through another year
  • sisters who have grown to be more like friends over the years
  • nieces and nephews for filling the future with great promise
  • sisters and brothers in-law who actually seem like my sisters and brothers
  • jobs that continue to put money in our pockets
  • Lily, our dog, for thinking I'm the best person in the world, even when I'm in a very grumpy mood.
  • my mom and dad for just being my mom and dad...their quiet generosity is such a loud example.
  • the Lord...for everything
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Cost of Diabetes

"The national cost of diabetes in the U.S. in 2007 exceeds $174 billion."  This is taken from the American Diabetes Association website.  That was the most recent statistic to be found.  I am certain last year's calculations are higher just as 2009's amount will be higher still.  But $174 billion?  That's overwhelming right there.

I don't exactly know what that amount includes.  Doctor fees?  Surgeries from complications?  Medication?  Co-pays?  I don't know.  But I thought I would do a little research of what diabetes actually costs our family on a monthly basis and beyond.  Without insurance, it would be nearly impossible.

100 lancets:               $ 13.99
300 test strips            $356.97
2 vials of insulin          $227.98
10 resevoirs:              $ 33.00
10 infusion sets:          $116.00

total monthly expense: $747.94


The following items are not monthly, but still an expense.

alcohol wipes:              $   3.00
iv preps:                      $ 12.00
glucagon kit:                $117.99
emla creme:                 $ 63.99
glucose tabs                 $  5.00

                           total:  $201.98

The following items last a while but need to be replaced once in a while.


QuickSerter:                $ 24.95
meter                           $ 69.00

                          total:  $ 93.95

Finally, the pump itself...this expense is replaced every 4 years.

Minimed insulin pump:    approximately $6,000.00

Thank God for insurance!  Now, don't get me wrong.  We've had more than our fair share of insurance woes.  Like the time they wouldn't believe that we actually really use 300 test strips per month.  And sometimes they've "forgotten" that we paid a copay and bill us again.  Or, there is the occasional mystery bill that comes and puts us on the brink of collections for no apparent reason.  However, they do pick up most of these charges.  Yet, glancing over this list, if we simply paid an average $20 copay for each item, diabetes is not a cheap disease.

Diabetes?  Expensive.  Keeping our daughter alive and healthy in spite of diabetes?  Priceless.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Introducing...Captain Insulin!


Captain Insulin...a superhero, for sure!

This November, during Diabetes Awareness Month, I have had the pleasure of having a couple different D moms guest post here.  Today, I have another special treat.  I am so excited and feel priveleged to be able to share the perspective of a teenager, living with type 1 diabetes since the age of 5.  He is now a high school senior, very involved in sports and high school activities.  Recently, his thoughts have been turned to college.  Applications have been filled out and submitted.  What follows is Michael's personal statement as written by him...part of his college application process.  I am happy to introduce Michael, son to Melinda (@notsostilllifes) whose own guest post showed a mom's perspective on her son's experiences living with type 1.  Now, we get to hear from Michael! 

(Oh, and Captain Insulin?  Not too long ago, Mom shared Michael's Halloween costume...Captain Insulin!  It's awesome...so I had to include it!)
____________________________

On June 30, 1997, when I was only five years old, I was diagnosed with Type1 Insulin Dependent Diabetes.  At first, I was devastated.  It seemed like the worst thing that could ever happen to someone.  My days, once carefree, were now dominated by injections, finger pricks, and pain.  Food, instead of being something that I could enjoy, was now a chore because I was forced to count carbohydrates before I ate, and inject insulin accordingly.  I felt sorry for myself.  None of my peers could ever imagine what I went through on a daily basis.  It didn't seem fair.

Within a few years, however, I developed a completely new mindset about diabetes.  Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I now took it as a challenge that was presented to me, to see what kind of a person I really was.  I became determined to beat diabetes by always staying in control of it.  I was not going to let diabetes define who I was, but instead use it to show myself what I could become.
Over the years, I have adapted to life with diabetes.  The injections and finger pricks that used to haunt my thoughts are now just a part of everyday life.  Although I think about every bite of food that I eat, these thoughts are in the back of my mind, creating room for other important thoughts that average teenagers have.  Yes, I have diabetes, but that does not stop me from doing everything that my peers do.  I play competitive sports year-round, go to the beach, have wonderful friends, and keep my grades up in school.

I see now that diabetes has been the catalyst to make me work harder at everything I do.  What once limited me, or so I thought, has actually made me stronger.  Diabetes has made me tough, mentally as well as physically.  It has made me really appreciate hard work and what it takes to be successful.  Diabetes has also made me compassionate.  It has made me want to reach out to those meeting life's challenges head to head, just as I did, and give them love and support.  For example, last summer I worked as a coach at a soccer camp, and three diabetic children attended one of my sessions.  Soccer camp was the very first place their parents had left them alone, and felt comfortable enough to do so, because I was there to take care of them.

I am very aware of the medical complications that I may face later in life, regardless of how well I take care of myself, but this does not stop me from doing everything in my power to stay in control of my diabetes.  I thought diabetes was going to limit me, but I prove everyday that it doesn't.  I took a challenge many years ago, and I'm going to see it through until the end, because that's the person diabetes has helped me to become.
____________________________

Michael, that is quite the statement!  Thank you for letting us post this.  Wow, what a great perspective...one I hope my own daughter will have as she struggles yet grows strong because of type 1.  Thank you for that inspiration for type 1 kids everywhere...and for moms everywhere too! 

Is it any wonder after reading Melinda's post, that she would raise a young man such as this?  Thank you, Melinda!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Circle of Blue


Yes, the blue cupcakes!

It was a beautiful day on Saturday.  Yes, the weather was near perfect here in Southern California.  Yes, C's soccer team won their last game.  Yes, big C's baseball team had an extraordinary first day of their tournament.  But there was something else that made it a great day.

There was an energy that was being spread, across the globe, really.  World Diabetes Day was here!  The big build-up to the Big Blue Test was being felt via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, news channels, even a mention on a radio show.  We felt connected.  We felt so amazingly different than during those first couple years after C's diagnosis.  We felt understood.  We felt encouraged by friends we've never even met face to face...yet.  We felt compelled to reach out to others.  We felt hope.

We participated in the Big Blue Test.  We posted C's numbers.  They weren't great...188 and 192 after exercise.  I wanted different numbers!  But as I posted them, I thought, well, that just goes to show the inexplainable when it comes to diabetes!

We baked our blue cupcakes.  We enjoyed them after snapping a few pictures with them in the shape of the World Diabetes Day circle.  We bolused a guess for 30 grams.  C ended up at 212 a couple hours later, but we corrected and went on with our beautiful day.  We painted our nails blue.  And, Big C really wanted to join in, but Dad protested. 

And while huge monuments were being lit up in blue across the world, friends all over the place were doing all sorts of creative things to bring diabetes to light.  There was a collage.  Tatoos.  Poems.  Beautiful photography.  Blue Christmas lights being strung.  This year's best diabetic duo SugaSheen putting Beyonce to shame!  It was amazing.  We came up with some other ideas that we're tucking away for next year.  We had fun!

And, like I said, we felt...hope.


                           

Friday, November 13, 2009

The BIG Blue Test

The BIG Blue Test is almost here!!!  And, in case you don't know what that means, I thought I'd give a rundown.  However, I can't say it any better than this guy...Manny Hernandez (founder of TuDiabetes, a diabetes online community).  I borrowed the following from him.  And I know he doesn't mind...Let's do this thing!



November 14 is World Diabetes Day. On that day, at 14:00 hours (local time), thousands of people with diabetes will test their blood sugar, do 14 minutes of exercise, test again and share their results on TuDiabetes or on Twitter.

The event is called The Big Blue Test because blue is the color associated with World Diabetes Day. It is based on a test-in activity that took place July 14, where more than a thousand people with diabetes tested their blood sugar at the same time and shared their results online. This time, the activity incorporates 14 minutes of physical activity to reinforce the importance of exercise.

Participating in this event to raise diabetes awareness on November 14 is easy:

1. At 2 pm (your local time), test your blood sugar.

2. Run, jog, walk the dog or do anything you’d normally do as part of your exercise routine for 14 minutes.

3. Test your blood sugar again.

4. If you are a member of TuDiabetes click on the home page banner and share your readings and what exercise you did between them. If you have a camera, you can also add a photo of your reading(s) or you exercising.

5. If you have a Twitter account, post your readings on Twitter (use the #bigblue hashtag) and link back to: http://bigbluetest.org.

We hope to see most readings posted at 14 hours (2 pm) local time, on November 14. If you are early or late, it’s OK.

What really matters is that you test your blood sugar often and that you exercise regularly. If you don’t have diabetes, you can still take The Big Blue Test. Regardless, tell others to test, exercise and share on November 14.

IMPORTANT:

If due to disability or medical advice you cannot exercise, naturally we don't expect you to do anything that will put you or your health at risk. We'd love you to participate entering your blood sugar readings.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

THINK BLUE!


Do you think World Diabetes Day can borrow this slogan, Dodgers?

We had a great day at the JDRF Walk at Dodgers Stadium last Sunday! 

We were invited to walk with team "Beat the Betes," headed up by a family we've been friends with for several years now.  We know them through Little League Baseball.  The father has coached our oldest son and his own youngest son for several years now on a travel team.  So, the love of baseball, of course is a common denominator for both families.  But, there is another commonality.  Their oldest son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 3 years ago at the age of 15.  Both C and he started out with the same endocrinologist.  He quickly moved from injections to an insulin pump...just like C.  We've had lots of diabetes conversations with them.  But, I think, the great thing is that there's a lot more to their son than his diabetes.  So not every conversation between our families mentions it.  We talk lots of baseball.  We hear of their oldest son's water polo experiences and plans for college next year.  Type 1 has not been given permission to hold this kid back!

So, on Sunday, we felt honored to be included on his team.  C's name was included on the team's shirts.  It could have been all about him that day, but he gladly included us.  The team was invited back to a relative's house after the walk for a wonderful meal and time just to relax.  C had an excellent time talking with all the teenage girls and hanging out on the trampoline with them.

It was a special day.  You can see the rest of the pictures on our Facebook page:  http://tinyurl.com/ygel3ef



Oh, a little sidenote: Sugar Ray Leonard cut the ribbon at the beginning of the walk. And while wandering around, my husband and 2 sons went right up to his limo and shook his hand. (No camera, darn.)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Time to Wait (D-Blog Day 2009)

It's D-Blog Day...and I feel priveleged to bring you this post today!  I get to introduce another special D Mom! A while ago, Dina (@DinaMullins) shared a song she had written called Time to Wait.  There is an incredible story that goes along with this song.  You see, Dina is the mother of Benjamin (5 years old)...just diagnosed with diabetes in July of this year.  The intriguing part is that she wrote this song before his diagnosis.  She wrote it while thinking about a family friend who had diabetes...someone she knew while growing up as a young child.  Some would think, coincidence.  But I don't think Dina sees it that way!
_________________________

Time To Wait
By Dina Mullins

Sometimes I feel so low
I don’t know which way to go
Every time I turn around
Seems I’m headed face-first towards the ground
They search for cures, but there not there
I wait for answers to my prayers
How much longer will I have to wait?
Do I have time to wait?


And I wait
For them to find the reason why
And I wait
Will I have to say goodbye?
Will the answers come in time for me to stay?
Oh, how I pray, for time to wait


Every day I try to lift my head up high
I see the look in other people’s eyes
Don’t pity me
Oh, can’t you see, that I still have my dignity
I’m just like you
I love and laugh and I have hope and dreams
And sometimes it seems
That I have time to wait


And I wait
For them to find the reason why
And I wait
Will I have to say goodbye?
Will the answers come in time for me to stay?
Oh, how I pray, for time to wait


Time to wait
I’ve got a life I want to live
Time to wait
I’ve got so much love I want to give
Time to wait
There’s so many things that I still have to say
Just one more day?
Time to wait

And I wait
For them to find the reason why
And I wait
Will I have to say goodbye?
Will the answers come in time for me to stay?
Oh, how I pray, for time to wait

Dear God, I pray… for time to wait

…time …to….wait

…time…to…wait
_________________________

Dina, thank you for sharing your creative and touching song with us!  You can read more from Dina at her new blog:  RockReality...oh, and hey!...It's Dina's birthday today!  Happy Birthday!!

Time to Wait is property of Dina Mullins.  It is a violation of copyright law to reproduce it in any manner without her written consent.  So don't do it!


This is a cool logo, don't you think?...thanks to Chris at The Big D Blog.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Guest Post from a Special D Mom!

When a diagnosis of diabetes is given to a family, it can be a lonely road.  The statistics of diabetes are staggering.  However, only a small percentage of diagnoses are type 1.  When C was first diagnosed, we knew just one girl who was type 1...only an aquaintance at the time.  And, though so many children have type 1, they are not all in one place.  So, yeah, we felt alone.

At first, I searched the internet, reading article after article about diabetes.  Most were strictly factual.  Then I came across organizations such as the JDRF...proof that there are a whole lot of families out there, just like us!  When C began using an insulin pump, there was a whole new subject to research.  Enter the DOC.  And by DOC, I mean the "diabetes online community."  And, that's when I found Kerri @sixuntilme...a young woman, living a full and happy life with diabetes.  Her writing inspired me (and she's funny!)  Her blog pointed to tons of other D bloggers.  It opened more and more windows for us to learn about this thing called diabetes.  Last but not least came Twitter.  It's strange.  But some people roll their eyes when I mention Twitter.  Really, it has become invaluable for me.  These people provide encouragement, a venting station, a resource for learning.

I am so happy to introduce a guest-poster today.  A special D mom I've "met," Melinda  (@notsostilllifes), has graciously written about her son, who is now a senior in high school, diagnosed at the age of 5.  So, she's "been there, done that."  And I have learned a ton from her.  I hope you enjoy getting to know her a bit too!  (An interesting sidenote about Melinda?...She paints beatiful watercolor paintings!  You can find them on Etsy.)

_________________________________________

On June 30th, 1997 my then 5-year-old son, Michael, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  I suspected something was up with him before the diagnosis.  He was thirstier, and using the bathroom more often than usual.  Then, he wet the bed 2 nights in a row.  Not just a little wet.  Wet from neck to ankles wet.  He had never wet the bed before.  I had a book I used to look up symptoms and it said "Bed wetting in a previously trained child" was a symptom of diabetes.  We headed to the pediatrician, but I already knew the diagnosis.  She looked at him, and said that it would be highly unusual for him to have diabetes because he looked so well, hadn't lost a pound, and had had his Kindergarten check up in April and was fine then, but to be prudent, she would test his urine.  I saw that strip poised over the cup, and knew that with that dip our lives would change forever.  So began the roller coaster ride of living with diabetes.

Six weeks after he was diagnosed, we packed the car with his two brothers (Daniel was 8, and Dylan was 3) and headed to Bearskin Meadows Family Camp.  There, we were tossed a lifeline.  We met wonderful young adults with Type 1, who were happy, healthy and well adjusted.  I realized that Michael could grow up and be like them.  We were taught to take the judgment words out of blood sugar readings.  They were High, Low And Target, not Good or Bad.  You either needed insulin, food, or nothing.  Food wasn't good or bad either.  You just needed to carb count and cover.  We were also told to let Michael be a kid first, and a diabetic second.  Camp was such a safe haven.

12 years later, Michael is a healthy, happy well-adjusted 17 year old with diabetes.  Has it always been easy?  No.  At 14, he and his older brother were at a sleep away camp about 35 miles from home at Santa Clara University, staying in dorms.  It was a big step for us, but he was ready for it.  The phone rang at 1 am about 3 days into camp.  It was Daniel.  "Mom, Michael's having a seizure and I can't wake him up".  Michael had not cut back enough on his insulin to make up for 12 hours of basketball for the past 3 days.  Daniel had to call 911, and get paramedics to the dorms.  He handled it like a champion.  Michael remembers "waking up" on the gurney having the paramedics asking him questions he knew he should be able to answer, but couldn't.  Scary?  Yes.  Learning opportunity?  Absolutely.

I can't even believe that this time next year he will be in college.  We don't yet know where.  Would I like to keep him home?  Yes.  But I know I can't.  We have raised him with wings, and he is getting ready to fly.  He wants to play college volleyball (and soccer too) and major in Marine Biology.  He wants to live in the dorms, and have the college experience.  I am so proud of him.  I know he will be successful, diabetes and all.  I know that I can let him go, but it won't be easy.   I used to say that the hardest thing I'd ever done was learning to poke a needle into my little guy.  I'm anticipating, however, that saying goodbye and driving away from wherever he chooses for college is going to be even harder.  I guess it's just another one of the hills and dips on the roller coaster, and we will still get to enjoy the ride.
__________________________________________

Thank you, Melinda!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Once, Twice, 3 Times a Flu Shot

I can thankfully say all 3 of my kids received the H1N1 vaccination.  It only took going down to the massive clinic 3 times (okay, really 5, but 2 times don't count!)

We had already received our seasonal flu shots.  And, I had been calling and asking both the pediatrician office and CHLA about availability since mid-August.  Finally these free clinics began happening last week.  I know there's been lots of talk, many articles written, advice from experts, opinions from others---I took it all in and made the decision to get my kids the shot.  I know it's new.  I know some people aren't comfortable with that.  Hey, neither am I!  However, between C's type 1 diabetes and middle C's recent asthma issues (and my affair with breast cancer,chemo included) I was even more uncomfortable in taking the risk of swine flu.

So C and middle C and I went down to get ours last week.  I had driven by the mass of people earlier that day thinking I would just run in and get mine but decided better of the 3 or 4 hours of my time it would take (once).  The kids had a shortened day so we all went back after school and the wait was only about an hour (twice).  Middle C would not be getting the shot that day because of a pesky little cough that had followed 2 days of fever the weekend before (darn).  The workers had it pretty well managed but when we got up to the front of the line, they were really combing through for high risk people.  They were actually turning people away.  I felt badly for these people.  But, when we were all deemed "high risk," I was grateful we got through.

Never a fun thing to get an injection.  And all the diabetes stuff she has to deal with does not make it any easier on her, but C was a trooper.  Only a couple tears.  After she was finished, she held my hand while the nurse gave me my shot...



So fast-forward to this week...

I was bound and determined to get the boys vaccinated too.  My husband would have to fend for himself.  So yesterday was another free clinic time at the same location.  I thought I would out-smart the system and take the boys first thing in the morning and get them back to school, with most of the day spared.  We dropped C off at school and made our way over to the clinic (3rd time).  We got out of the car and headed for the end of the line.  Where was it?  We walked and walked.  People had umbrellas, chairs, bags of food!  Walked and walked.  Still couldn't see the end of the line....Ackkk.  We decided that after school might be a better option.  So back to school.

When C and middle C got out for the day (early day, again!) we made our way back to the clinic (4th time).  No line at all.  We went in without a hitch.  The lady at the first table looked up.  "Back again?" she asked me.  Out of all the people in there, she had helped us the previous week!  I told her we'd be back again in a couple hours for my oldest.  The workers told me that the injections were very limited and when they run out, they run out.  Ug.

Two hours later, we picked up big C and went right back (5 times).  Not a huge crowd.  But soon, the line became long behind us.  We could feel the agitation in the crowd.  The news was being spread...no more injections.  The remainder of people waiting could still get the nasal mist.  But there were no more injections.  Okay, I had made this day revolve around getting all my kids vaccinated and I didn't want to go home without that task done.  I talked to the first screener and explained about our high-risk.  All of us had been vaccinated, except big C.  Just one more.  Several medical people had told us that no one in the family should be getting the nasal mist with the live virus.  A nurse, who seemed a bit more in-charge, overheard me.  She looked at me.  I must have had quite the defeated look on my face.  She said, "Hold on, hold on, don't worry.  Let me see what I can do..."

In the meantime, I told our scenario to the next screener and then the next.  Each time, they tried to direct us to the nasal mist line.  Finally, the in-charge nurse came back and whisked us away to another table.  An injection had been found!!  I was so grateful.  "Thank you," I said.

Strange to have more than half our family listed in the high-risk group.  So thankful to have received the injections.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Diabetes Awareness Month...It's On!

And so begins November, diabetes awareness month.  There's so much going on!  Where to start?  Here's a few ideas to stir the diabetes advocate in all of us.


  • Take those teachable moments this month and do something with them.  Instead of smiling and nodding, really explain why you're testing your or your child's blood.  When a person mentions your "beeper," actually tell them it's an insulin pump that delivers insulin to your body...and...not just to keep you healthy, but to keep you alive.  Explain to someone who thinks diabetes means staying away from sugar, that, in all seriousness, sugar is extremely necessary in diabetes.  (You know, I'm writing all these suggestions down because, really, I need to do these things too!)

  • Sign a petition!  Sign the Google Doodle petition.  It's asking Google to light their homepage doodle in blue to raise awareness for World Diabetes Day (November 14th).


  • Join diabetes social site like TuDiabetes or T1P (Type 1 Parents).

  • On World Diabetes Day (November 14th) there will be a whole diabetes community blood glucose check at 2:00 pm eastern time.  Check and post the number on your twitter account, facebook, blog or website.

  • And, don't forget to wear blue!

If we take even these small steps together, we can help raise awareness.



Friday, October 30, 2009

This Year on Halloween

This year on Halloween big C will be playing baseball in a travel tournament.  (Arghhh.)

This year on Halloween the kids will carve their pumpkins on their own but leave the last of the guts scraping to Dad.

This year on Halloween we will put the old baby monitor inside a scary jack o' lantern.

This year on Halloween I will not give candy out to adults posing as children.

This year on Halloween C will dress up like a black cat.

This year on Halloween the dog will go crazy over all the door bell ringing.

This year on Halloween we will explain to several people that it's okay that C goes trick-or-treating.

This year on Halloween we will eat homemade caramel apples.

This year on Halloween there will be "ghoul"-ash in the crockpot.

This year on Halloween big C will dress up like a creepy clown and really creep Mom out...(I mean I'm getting creeped out just by seeing that mask lying around the house!)

This year on Halloween we will burn honest-to-goodness REAL candles in our honest -to-goodness jack o' lanterns (come on, people!)

This year on Halloween, the boys will run ahead, not listening to directions, but C will enjoy holding Daddy's hand.

This year on Halloween the kids will beg to go trick-or-treating before it's even dark outside.

This year on Halloween, diabetes or not, a kid can have some candy.

This year on Halloween middle C will dress up as "Backwards Man" (bless this child!)

This year on Halloween the kids will pick out their favorite candies and donate the rest to Daddy's classroom.
This year on Halloween C will trade in some of her stash for a special gift.

This year on Halloween the boys will give Mom any candy she wants from their loot.

This year on Halloween diabetes will remain quiet and well-behaved in the background.


Ahhh...simple costumes!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy A1c!

First, let's just get the good news written down right away...


It's blurry...but there it is, in black and white!

C's A1c went from 8.2 last appointment to 7.1 last week!!!  Even her endo did a double take!  I told her I had really been almost obsessed about it.  Then she remembered all our emails back and forth a couple months prior.  We tweaked such minor amounts of basals and carb ratios.  But, wow, what a difference!

I don't believe she has ever tested that low since diagnosis.  It had been depressing as we watched the number climb or hover at each endo appointment over the years.  I know that there are many times, no matter how hard we try, that it just doesn't seem to budge.  I had to do a lot of trusting and allowing her number to go lower than my comfort zone.  It was hard.  Sometimes, it really scared me.  And there were times and there will still be times when I let her run a little on the high side because, well, it sits better with my nerves than a low.  This is especially true when I leave her in someone else's care.

C and I walked out of that appointment with a happy little A1c!  We celebrated by going to the McDonald's right there in Children's Hospital. We called her dad and left a message.  He would want to share in the excitement too.

When we got home from that appointment, I wanted to tell someone!  Someone that would understand.  Someone that could really understand the significance.  So, I tweeted to my D friends out there.  In a matter of minutes, I had so many responses, so many cheers!  These people totally get it.  One little number.  They understand the blood, sweat and tears (literally) that go into changing it.  It amazes me...this online community.  People who I've never met face-to-face, hundreds, if not thousands of miles away, are there to offer a rousing "yay!"  As I shared this small triumph, I did so with a humble heart.   Because Lord knows, next week, I may need an encouraging word to lift me from the downside of diabetes.

So, one small step for us...one giant THANK YOU to the DOC!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sleep by Number

Well, C's blood glucose was all over the board during the "Sleep-Over." 


The bounce castle...the hypoglycemia culprit.

From 32 after the bouncer...to 378 after birthday cake.  And everywhere in between.  Maybe the first sleep-over should have been with 1 or 2 friends not an entire house full of little girls.  Live, learn.

The 32 was quite unnerving, especially since it was only about a half hour after the party started!  There has only been one lower known number on her meter.  I remember a 27, but that was when she was in the hospital at the time of diagnosis.  Needless to say, I hung out at the party much of the time.

As all you type 1 parents know, it is quite the guessing game, this diabetes.  I thought I had set her up pretty well before the party started.  She was around 180.  I felt good about it.  I knew she was running on excitement and would need the extra "umpf."  But, like I wrote above, she crashed to 32 within a half hour. 

So after helping her come up to 78, I didn't correct for pizza at all.  Two hours later...102.  Good call?  More like, good guess.  The 32 really scared me.

Then came a 230.  But they weren't finished with all the games, nail-painting and jacquzzi time, so I left it.  Movies and popcorn.  (I mean, this party had it all!)  Lots of guesstimating.  Lots of manual bolusing.  I wanted C to be carefree.  I hope she felt like that.  I certainly did not.

So when all those cute little girls were snuggled down into their sleeping bags, I checked her, yet again.  378.  Oh well.  A delayed pizza reaction?  Bad guess on the cake?  Popcorn always sends her sky-rocketing.  How about all those things put together?  We dealt with it.  But I didn't want to correct it entirely.  So I half-bolused it.  I went home (two doors down) and set my alarm for 1:00 am.

I crept in the house about 1:03 and made my way to C.  To my surprise, about 1/2 of the girls still had their eyes open, watching a movie!  C was sound asleep.  Check...68...ug.  Wake her up.  Juice box.  Waited.  66!  Patience.  70.  I fumbled in the fridge for some milk.  Kisses.  Back home.  Set the alarm.

At 3:00 am, I repeated the scenario.  195.  I could live with that...or rather, I could sleep with that.  Back home and back to bed.  The party mom was dozing on the couch and I whispered to her, "I'm done.  I won't be coming in again until morning...well...until they're all awake!  She's 195."

The phone woke me about 7 o'clock.  "They're all up!"

When I got there, C checked in at 108.  Wonderful!  Perfect number to have a donut!  In a couple hours, she's home again.  Check...101.  Whew!  We did it, I thought.  It felt so good to have her home again.

What a sleep-over.

32...48...78...102...230...378...68...66...70...195...108...101.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sleep-Over Anxiety...

As I write this, every nerve in my body seems to be standing at attention.



Cupcake carb count = lots!

C is going to her first sleep-over this weekend.  She's so excited!  I'm so nervous.  She's thinking of the pillow fights and cupcakes.  I'm thinking of hypoglycemia and the 3 am check.  She's thinking of which pajamas to take.  I'm thinking of which medicine to take--Tylenol or Advil.  I'm feeling a tremendous headache coming on...

Granted, we are fortunate.  The party is taking place 2 doors down the street.  We like this family, a lot.  They are friendly, responsible and generous.  The mom has always taken an interest in C and her diabetes issues.  So, she is very willing to work with me on this.  If I want to stay every minute?  She's good with that.  Sneaking in their house at 3 am?  She's fine with it.  Coming over at 6:00 am for coffee in her kitchen?  It's all okay.

**BIG BREATH**

This is going to be good, right?  It's going to be fun for C.  A challenge for me. 

I wish I could see what's around this huge corner that we're turning.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

8-10 Times a Day



A 7 year old's routine, 8-10 times a day.

I've read many a blog with statistics about how many injections have been given, how many finger pokes have happened...even the extreme cost of managing diabetes.  So, here's our stab at it...just the lancing issue...

Since her diagnosis at age 22 months, we estimate that C has had approximately 21,350 finger pokes, give or take a few hundred.  (Wow...seeing that number in print turns my stomach.) You can't tell by the picture, but her littlle fingers are speckled with lancet wounds.  We continually tell her to rotate fingers and use the sides, but she is a creature of habit and has her favorite (ug!).  When it is most apparent is after bathing or swimming.  The holes, literally open up, and look so huge on her little fingers.

Where am I going with this??  Pity?  Hardly.  Awareness?  Yes.  We need a cure.  This should not be the daily routine of a 2nd grader...or anyone, for that matter.  It's tiring.  Sometimes all-consuming.  And, it hurts.  I've done it to my own fingers.  C will tell you that it's just a pinch.  She doesn't flinch, not even in her sleep.  She may have built up a tolerance for it.  But, it does hurt.

WDD is coming.  (World Diabetes Day)  November 14th.  The diabetes community is buzzing about awareness campaigns.   And so my mind is wandering with thoughts of what we can do to raise it up a notch.  Maybe simply sharing what exactly goes into "managing" this disease can help just a tiny bit.

Go to the World Diabetes Day website and learn more about this global campaign.

(Off the subject, sidenote: big news over at sixuntilme.com today...shout out to Kerri...yay!!!)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Apple Pickin'

A little rundown of our day in Oak Glen...

The kids had no school on Friday, so I took them up to Oak Glen to do some apple picking.  We finally have had a few cooler days, so my mind turned to autumn-like activities.

I wanted to go visit Oak Glen's old schoolhouse first.  So we drove on up past several apple farms and pulled in the school's drive.  There was a school bus there, but all the kids were outside on the new, "improved," safe playground.  I think my kids really had fun looking around and imagining school 100 years ago.  All grades in the same room.  Reading groups around the potbelly stove.  Inkwells.  Phonograph.  And, the school bell.


The angelic student, the sleepy student and the trouble-maker.

I told my kids the story of when I was young, maybe 8 or 9.  My girl scout troop actually spent the night in the old schoolhouse!  They were intrigued with the thought of that.  And, I had a good time looking around and remembering those good times.  The docent lady was very nice and took us down to the basement where we most likely used the kitchen and other facilities way back when.


Ye Olde Schoolhouse

Then, it was off to Riley's Farm for some apple picking.  However, they were all out.  We were too late.  Their crops were not very good this year.  Most all the farms were done picking.  I know that September is the main apple picking time.  But it's so hard to want to go up there when it's over 100 degrees!  We'll have to remember for next time.


The apple orchard, minus the apples.

So, instead of apples, we picked...raspberries.  It was fun (for the first 5 minutes!)  It gave us all a deeper appreciation for what it takes to get food onto our table.  It took quite a long time to get one little basket.  C and I worked hard.  The boys couldn't stay with it for long and went frolicking through the apple orchard!


It took a long time to find those little berries!

After our work in the fields, we headed on to other farms in search of caramel apples.  You wouldn't think they would be difficult to find in Oak Glen, but they were!  After a couple more stops, we found some.  Also, we ran into a few other families we know during our day up there!  It was a great day.  I always think of Oak Glen as the proof that fall actually comes to Southern California!



Friday, October 9, 2009

Warning:

Is it just me?  Or does everybody get a bit unnerved opening pump supplies to find that one piece of paper telling you that the products you are about to handle, actually place subcutaneously into your daughter's skin, contains potentially cancer-causing substances?



I try not to anymore.  But everytime I open that box from Medtronic, there it is.  Every three months, that single sheet of paper is victorious in taking a few minutes of my mind's thoughts.  Potentially cancer-causing.  Potentially.

It aggravates me.  I mean, what option do I really have?  We're dealing with diabetes.  I want the best insulin therapy for my daughter.  It feels like a double kick-in-the-shins to know that the products that are keeping her healthy could, ultimately, be harmful.

On another front...I'm a cancer survivor.  So my antennae are working overtime, all the time, when I hear that word.  Or read it.  I'm more mindful now.  I watch what I feed my body.  I am cautious about many things that normally a person would not think about twice.  I over do it with the sunscreen.  I've made peace with vegetables.  I don't want to give cancer even the slightest advantage over me or my family.

But, then, there it is again.  Every three months...a reminder.  A reminder that it's really out of  my control.
___________________________

Do we, as consumers, pump users and parents of pump users demand products that do not contain these harmful chemicals?  Do we add this to our ever-growing lists of things to do.  I think, maybe, we do.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Our JDRF Walk


Our 2009 Team, "Kids That Care"

What a great day!  Good weather.  Good food.  Great friends.  And loving support!  On Saturday, October 3, 2009, we participated in the Inland Empire's JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes.  It was held at Guasti Regional Park in Ontario, California.

For the past couple years, we have been a part of a team, Kids That Care, which was formed by Kaitlyn M.  You may remember her from our recent interview with Kaitlyn.  She and her family warmly welcomed us onto their team.

This year several of C's little friends joined in the effort.  It was heart-warming to see their enthusiasm and support for something so close to our hearts.  I think C really felt appreciative and excited that they were there to walk with us!

Then, there's the teacher support that was given.  We have a great staff at the kids' elementary school.  They really go out of their way to get to know the complete kid!  We have felt tremendous support over the years.  Some have come out to sporting events.  A large group offered their support and encouragement for our family at a breast cancer walk after my treatment.  And, every year at the JDRF walk, there they are.  This year, the entire 2nd grade team showed up, smiling, hugging and ready to do the 5K.  How special is that for our little C?!!  As a bonus, our favorite kindergarten teacher (all three of our kids were in her class) came out to the walk again, as she has done each year since Kaitlyn had her for kindergarten 8 years ago!  They are special people.


It was a great time of raising funds and raising awareness.  Friends, family and teachers helped make it so. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The L.A. County UnFair

Okay, first of all, it was 150 degrees last Wednesday when I had the privelege of going on the all-school field trip to the L.A. County Fair.  I accompanied C and her 2nd grade classmates. 

I went, prepared and armed for a scorching hot day.  Rolling ice chest filled with water bottles.  Giant spray bottles to cool down the kids.  And of course, C's diabetes bag filled to the brim with extra stuff to make diabetes behave itself.

Since the entire school was attending this field trip, there was a parent/volunteer meeting in the cafeteria just before boarding the buses.  We were given the rules:
  • no younger siblings
  • don't purchase anything
  • bring a sack lunch
  • stay with the group
  • all students must return to school - no staying at the fairgrounds after the official field trip time
  • no rides
  • no games
  • no tank tops
  • act appropriately
  • keep track of students on your list
  • meet at gazebo at appointed time
I totally understand them.  And I totally agree with most of them.  But, let me tell you, it's no fun eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while staring at the Hot Dog on a Stick stand.  And it was indeed torturous in the 1000 degree temperature to pass by the shave ice carts.  Unfair.

The kids thought other things were unfair. 

"Why can't we buy anything?" 

"I want to go on a ride!" 

"Can't we just play one game?"

"Oh, come on," they said.  "That's not fair!"

So we nicknamed it...the L.A. County UnFair.


No to the balloons.



No to the rides.



But, yes to the petting corral in 111 degrees.

(Don't think I was that much of a party pooper!  Actually, we had some fun.  We saw African animals, up close and personal.  We went through the dinosaur exhibits.  We walked through the Smokey Bear area.  We saw a magic show.  And, I really didn't mind the farm animals area.  Who can resist little piglets or pigmy goats?!)

Oh...and diabetes?  C stayed between 80 and 140.  She needed very little bolusing.  And a chocolate milk (without correction) kept her number from crashing in the heat.

Monday, September 28, 2009

WDD is Coming!



World Diabetes Day is only a few weeks away.  November 14th.  It is actually the birthday of Frederick Banting, one of the people who discovered insulin!  What will you do to mark this day as part of your fight against this disease?

There are a lot of ideas swirling around the internet about it.  It's great!!  I thought I would list a bunch of things that are in the works out there.  Who knows?  It may spark some advocacy in your hearts (or mine!)

  • First off, go to http://www.worlddiabetesday.org/ and subscribe to the email newsletter to stay informed of activities and ideas.
  • Macy's Shop for a Cause http://tinyurl.com/shop4cure Donate $5 and receive a voucher (good on October 17th) for 20% off all items plus 25% off one.  (Hey, do your Christmas shopping early!)
  • Help make WDD go viral!  Go to http://www.wddusa.org/ for a list of great ways to help in the cause.
  • Sign the World Diabetes Day USA petition and commit to doing just 3 things for this important event.  They give you lots of ideas!
  • Put a WDD banner on your personal/company website/blog. http://www.worlddiabetesday.org/materials/web-banners
  • Light a blue candle on November 14th.
  • Educate a friend about warning signs of diabetes.
  • Simply wear blue in support of World Diabetes Day.
  • Go to http://www.jdrf.org and start a walk team.
  • Go to http://www.diabetesdoodle.com/ and sign the petition asking Google to light their homepage doodle in blue for diabetes awareness November 14th.
  • Tu Diabetes is sponsoring a video contest called "Making Sense of Diabetes"--go to http://tudiabetes.com/notes/Making_Sense_of_Diabetes for all the info.  Each week, the focus will be on one of the five senses and how your diabetes relates.  Interesting stuff!
So, these are just a few examples of the creativity flying around out there.  Some ideas are so simple.  Some require some forethought.  Or...you may have an idea all your own!  Let's help make World Diabetes Awareness Day count.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Whenever I Meet Another D-Mom...



Would you just look at this picture!  I mean, I nearly broke down in tears when I saw this. 
__________________________

We were at C's soccer game last Saturday.  When we arrived to meet up with the rest of the team, one of C's little teammates came running up to me and said quickly and energetically with a BIG smile, "We brought snacks today.  And there's Twinkies, chips and a drink.  The total carb count is 55 grams.  My brother is diabetic."  And just like that, she was gone.

I looked around.  Did she just say what I thought she said?  Where was her mom?  Who is her mom?  This was only our 2nd game and I didn't have all the faces matched with names yet.  And, because of all the Southern California fires, we really only had one practice for the girls.  So...I looked around for the mom.

She actually, came up to me and handed me the bag.  "Just thought you may like the carb count on everything beforehand."

I was down on my knees tying C's shoes.  "Oh," I said, as I got up.  "Thank you, thank you!"  I gave her a big hug.  I don't know this lady from Adam, but...she hugged back.  "That is so great," I said.  "Thank you!"

I didn't know she had a diabetic son.  Rarely do I step up and ask for any accommodations for C's diabetes.  But this lady had heard me at our first team meeting simply explain that C is type 1 and tell all the parents it's perfectly okay to tell me or the coach if she looks "out-of-sorts" on the field...that she may be experiencing a hypoglycemic episode.

Our families sat next to each other during the game.  We talked "diabetes" but we also cheered on the girls, and laughed at her husband's jokes.  Instant unspoken bond...whenever I meet another D-mom.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Kids That Care"

Each year, Kaitlyn M (13) has organized and run a fundraiser benefitting the Inland Empire chapter of the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Coming up on September 26, 2009 Kaitlyn will be taking on the task once again. She will set up the Craft, Cookie and Lemonade Stand at her house.  Donations will be raised for her walk team, "Kids That Care."  You see, Kaitlyn is your typical teenager. She attends middle school, hangs out with her friends and plays softball. However, she does all these things with the added challenge of type 1 diabetes.


Kaitlyn and friend at last year's walk.

mpg: When were you first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?

KM:  October 14, 1998, I was 2 1/2.

mpg: What do you remember from the early time of your diagnosis?

KM:  I was scared and always needed my band-aids.

mpg: Everyone is always curious about the symptoms. What were some of the things happening with you that led your parents to notice something just wasn't quite right?

KM:  I was constantly going to the restroom and was always thirsty. I had the flu and we think that triggered it.

mpg: Briefly, what is your daily routine in managing your diabetes?

KM:  7:00am- Wake up, test and bolus for breakfast.


          8:30- Go to school, drop off test kit at nurses office.

          10:45 (2nd Period)- Test and bolus for snack/

           12:50pm (4th Period)- Test and bolus for lunch.

           4:00- Go home, test and bolus for afternoon snack.

            6:30- Test and bolus for dinner.

            Days over! 9:30 (Bedtime)- Test and write down numbers for the day.

mpg: What do you wish people would understand about diabetes?

KM:  It is not contagious, we occasionally have sugary foods and most importantly we are normal people, we just have to watch what we eat and test our blood sugar.


mpg: What is your biggest challenge in dealing with this disease?

KM:  Not being able to eat all the candy with my friends, I don't have the same freedom as everyone else in general.


mpg: What would you tell a friend who has been newly diagnosed?

KM:  Hang in there, it's a pain, and if you need me I'll be there.

mpg: What made you want to start fundraising for the JDRF?

KM:  I don't like this disease, whatsoever, and we need a cure and JDRF helps fund research to find the cure we most definitely need.


mpg: Describe what people will find when they come out to your fundraiser.

KM:  They will find crafts, cookies, and ice cold lemonade. My friends and family will be there helping and supporting me and I will guarantee they will leave with a smile on their face!

Kaitlyn and some of her team, Kids That Care.

If you are in or around the Southern California area this Saturday - September 26th, come on by!  Leave a comment and my pump gear will contact you via email with specific location and times for the Craft, Cookie & Lemonade Stand.

The Inland Empire's JDRF Walk is coming up on Saturday, October 3, 2009.  If you're in the area you may want to join the team.  Come on out to and help support this great cause. Together we can make a difference! If you'd like to join in the walk or simply make a direct donation to the JDRF, simply go to their website and follow the link to donate. http://www.jdrf.org/. Don't forget to mention "Kids That Care!"  Thank you!!