Thursday, April 29, 2010

Honored to Be a Guest...

I am beyond thrilled to be guest posting over @sixuntilme!  Kerri is enjoying the first few weeks of motherhood.  She has been so gracious in allowing others to fill up her blog while she gets to know her new precious baby girl.  And, I was so happy to be her guest!

So, go on over and take a peek...I share about meeting another D mom...this time, in person!  Can you tell I'm excited?!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Soothing to My Soul

Life's stressful...don't you think?  Just in general, I mean...for everyone.  I really believe it compounds each least for me.  Life becomes richer with experiences and adventures but can also become more stressful.

And, we've all heard to manage the stress, right?  Eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, pray.  Sometimes coffee talk with a good friend does the job.  Take a vacation.  Get a massage.  I used to take a drive to reduce tension...but with gas prices what they are, that idea might raise the stress level!

On our last trip up the coast, our whole family was introduced to a new stress-relieving, calming, peaceful activity:  sea glass hunting.  I have been making the pilgrimage to the Monterey Bay area ever since childhood.  You think I would have discovered this outstanding stress-reducer at some point over the years.  But it took a new friend to mention it to get me to actually do it.  She even hold us the secret location of her favorite sea glass beach!

Well, it took some prompting to get all the kids on board with the idea.  And the husband wasn't really all that interested in it.  But there we went...not entirely sure of what we were hunting.  The kids took off to explore the rocks and tide pools.  Then, I started looking down at the sand.  Sea glass?  What the heck does it look like?  All I saw was sand!  I bent down to get a closer look.  Huh, green.  That's not sand.  I picked up a speck of green glass.  It was tiny, but pretty, smoothed by countless waves driving it into the sand.  Sea glass!  I had found some.

I showed the husband.  He had found some with amber hues.  We dropped to our knees and began sifting through the sand with our hands.  As we made our way up the beach, away from the water we found ourselves finding more and more bits and pieces of these little jewels.  The kids came scurrying over to see what we were holding. 

"Oh, sea glass!" Middle C dropped to his knees and joined in the hunt.  He came across several, beautifully frosted white pieces, rather large.  He had a big smile on his face.

C and Big C were kneeling down next to the husband, enthralled in a unique find of blue.  It was the palest shade of blue, almost in the shape of a teardrop.

"That's beautiful!" I said.  "I want to find some blue too."

So, there we were, now all sitting on the sand moving our hands back and forth just at the surface.  I really had to be down, so close to the ground.  There, I could see the large-grained sand as individual pebbles, beautiful in and of themselves. My hands were feeling heavy and relaxed.

"We really should get going," I said. 

"Yea," the husband replied back. "Maybe a few more minutes."

Twenty minutes later, I found a gorgeous blue piece.  The blue, it seemed, was the most rare to find.  It became the coveted color.  And, when found, we would all shout out "blue one!"

After another 20-30 minutes, I finally mustered up the energy to stand up, gather the kids and begin our accent up the stairs from the beach.  All the while, we walked with our gaze downward for the slight possibility that we would find another treasure.

Last one off the sand?  The husband.  He was hooked.  He even found an old crumpled up silver spoon!  You can see it in the picture below.  Oh, the kids had a great time discussing the pirate ship that must have lost it hundreds of years ago!  (I kept my thoughts to myself. It probably fell out of the restaurant window just above the beach maybe a month ago!)

Our finds of the day!  You may see a ladybug in there, just for good measure...

Sea glass hunting.  It was definitely soothing to my soul.  I've added it to the list of stress-reducing activities.  Now, if I only lived near the beach...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


It's nothing much to look at.  It's plain, old-fashioned really.  For years I've thought We need to get a new one.  It actually looks like the one I had as a young kid.  But now there are so many cuter choices out there.  So why was I so sad when C had lost it last week?

I'm talking about C's medic alert bracelet:

There are the dog's paws on the floor...she thinks I'm holding a treat!

Halfway through softball practice on Thursday night, she yelled to me "Mom, I lost my bracelet!"  She looked panic-stricken.

I told her that it would be get back with the team.  She was certain she had it on at the start of practice.  She had taken a pretty big hit in the arm earlier.  Maybe it had come off at that time.  So, I began scouring the field.  One of the coaches came over to help.  We looked and looked.  Nothing.

I told him it was no big deal...that she really needed a new one anyway.  But inside, my emotions took me by surprise.  I was sad.  Gosh, she had worn that thing since the age of 2!  I don't even have a good picture of it.  I was getting all sentimental about it as I walked back and forth over the field.

When practice was over, C gathered her equipment.  As we walked to the car, she said, "Mom, we just have to find my bracelet!  I need it."

"Oh, hopefully we will, honey.  Let's just hope and pray that a nice person finds it and takes the time to call us.  At least our phone number is on it!  And...if we don't find it, we'll order another one...maybe a real cute one with beads on it!"

"Okay," she said.  "But how long will we wait.  You know I really need it in case of an emergency, remember?"

"Yes, honey, I know!  If it doesn't show up in 3 days, we'll get you a new one."  What do you know?  She takes after me.

Oh, and get this:  a baseball dad on our son's team called the very next day and said that his daughter had found C's diabetes bracelet at the field!  He had it and would give it to her on Saturday.  Yay!!  (But, I still think we will order a new cute one soon!)

Friday, April 16, 2010

8-10 Ladybugs a Day

I just can't wait.  I'm impatient.  I wrote up a post a couple days ago about meeting another D mom, Melinda (aka @notsostilllifes) last Friday!  I'm trying to sit on my hands so I don't write about it yet...because...well, it's already written, but it won't show for a couple weeks.  Aaaacckkk!  I'm impatient.

But I want to at least share a picture of C's new little ladybugs that were gifts from Michael (18), Melinda's type 1 son.  When he was younger, they would call the drops of blood for glucose checks, ladybugs.  She said he had a ton of them, from stuffed ones to pictures to maybe something like these cute little glass ones.  They're adorable, don't you think?  I guess it's kind of like making lemonade out of lemons!

C says "thank you, Michael!"  And thank you, Melinda, for some new perspective.
This one is "Frankie."  And, yes, all the others have names too!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

5 Years of Pumping!

C has had type 1 diabetes for more than 6 years now (6 years, 3 months, 17 be exact). 

During the first 2 months post diagnosis, she was on a strict injection regimen with 2 kinds of insulin: regular (R) and NPH (I can't, for the life of me, remember what that stands for...).  Bleh.  It was horrible!  Does anyone still use that therapy?? 

I remember being instructed to "roll" the insulin...don't shake it!  After mixing it, for some awful reason, we had to double draw the two kinds together.  Ug.  I shudder just opening up the memories about those early diabetes days.

These two insulins peaked at certain times, long after injected.  So, eating meals at exactly the same time each day was very important.  Fortunately and unfortunately, C was just a she was home with me most of the time.  But that about took over our days...watching the clock, hoping and praying she would eat what we had covered with insulin, hours prior.  It was grueling.  (And, yes, there were times when I'd resort to ice cream or cookies, just the get the carbs in her.)

And C was so tiny...not yet 2 years old.  We were testing her blood glucose A LOT.  I can't really even convey how difficult it was to wake up at 3 in the morning, find her at some ridiculously high number and have to draw up 1/8 of a unit of insulin through the fog in my head.  Sometimes, I would literally have to stop, shake my head, walk downstairs, get some water, walk back upstairs, look in the mirror and make certain that I was awake enough to do it.  I'd tiptoe down our creaky hallway, stick my baby with a needle, and then try to go back to sleep.

So not the life I dreamed of...

By the end of those first two months, C's doc could tell we were having an extremely difficult time with it all.  He switched her to Novolog and Lantus.  Why we were ever on the first plan, God only knows.

Novolog and much better (at least, for us).  Lantus was 1 injection daily and acted as her basal dosing (keeping her numbers in check, when not eating).  Novolog was injected whenever she ate, even snacks.  So, we tried as much as possible to keep it to 3 meals plus 2-3 snacks daily.  Each time she ate equaled a shot.  Gosh, thinking about it, I don't know how we got through that time!  Toddlers are like cattle...constantly grazing.

Dr K would mention insulin pumps at each visit.  I suppose my hesitation simply stemmed from yet another change.  I don't do change well.  Though the Lantus/Novolog combination wasn't easy, it certainly was easier than that first juggling act we tried.  There were more classes to take in order to learn about the pump.  The only other type 1 kid we knew didn't have a pump.  And it seemed that her endo felt she needed to be in better control in order to even think about pumping.  (I know, that sounds crazy, doesn't it?!)  And, of course I searched countless nights on the computer googling "insulin pumps for kids," and honestly, some of what I found scared me.  A technical device on my 2 year old, 24/7?  I just didn't know what to think.

Over the next several months I continued learning more about insulin pump therapy.  It finally dawned on me that what we needed, was better control of her numbers.  The long-term effects of high glucose numbers can be devastating.  And C had the added challenge of being diagnosed at such a young age, giving her more time with diabetes and, therefore, higher risk for complications. 

Well, I remember just waking up one morning and thinking, We've got to get her on a pump!  So, after nearly 14 months of MDI (multiple daily injections), we found ourselves sitting at CHLA in a pump class with our, then, 3 year old.  Another whirlwind of information.  (If there's any advice I could give in regards to starting a child on the pump, it's this:  Do not drive all the way home from a Grand Canyon trip with 3 young kids and then get up super early to drive into Los Angeles to learn all day long about putting your youngster on the will drain you!)

Anyways...we made the switch, however bumpy it may have been.  But I'm so thankful that we did.  Diabetes still stinks.  But life with a pump is a lot more forgiving.  No more drawing up syringes in public.  No more transporting insulin vials with us everywhere we go.  We can be more descrete if we want to be.  But the main thing is that we're doing the absolute best we can for C.

Yes, there is talk about artificial pancreases (pancreei?), promise of reversal in mice, and even transplants.  But until something comes along that seriously tips the scales in the right direction, I believe that C will keep on pumpin'!
First day with "Pinky" (C's 2nd pump)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

When I Think About Diabetes...

When I think about diabetes, I think about:
  • blood drops
  • trips to Los Angeles
  • lots and lots of test strips
  • a blood spotted pillow case
  • juice boxes
  • time
  • speckled fingers
  • snacks, snacks, snacks
  • math
  • measuring cups
  • midnight
  • explanations
  • carbs
  • numbers
  • tissues
  • the past
  • the present
  • the future
  • a little girl
When you think of diabetes, what do you think about?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Brown Paper Packages...

-Brown paper packages tied up with strings...
These are a few of my favorite things.
                            -Rodgers & Hamerstein

Well, our brown cardboard package came by way of UPS today.  (That doesn't sound nearly as romantic as a brown paper package, tied up with strings.) 

My heart seems to leap each I open our front door to find it there.  For some reason, I always feel a huge sense of relief.  Maybe it lightens up the stress of getting those meter errors and wasting a test strip.  Maybe it's the sense of preparedness it brings and helps me feel like we're properly stocked up.  Or maybe it's the memory of having to drive my preschooler out to Northridge, California (home of Medtronic) because we actually did run out of supplies during our first months of pumping.  I don't know.  But I certainly like the feeling of a full supply cupboard.