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 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 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.  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.


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.


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 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


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.