Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I was in a state of grief, angry that we didn't put candy canes on our tree because I didn't want my kids to ask for one and me having to possibly tell them "no" because their blood sugar was too high, or maybe I was just too worried about how their numbers would react to a stick-o-sugar? I was sad that instead of running downstairs to tear into their gifts, I had them both sitting on the floor poking their tiny little fingers so I could get their blood sugar readings...only to find out that they were too low and we needed to eat breakfast first. We measured out food, let them eat, calculated carbs, gave each of them a shot and then, only then could we sit down and rip open presents.
My two precious babies, living everyday with this disease that disrupted everything. My pain was deep and dark, the sadness had consumed me and because of that sadness I missed so much. I sat there with my family, a smile plastered on my face, doing my best to "pretend" I was all there...but I wasn't. My mind would constantly drift back to that time when diabetes was a word we never used. Insulin was a mystery and carbs...who cared about carbs?!
I wish I could remember the presents, the laughter, the joy...thankfully I have the home movies to remind me that these moments did actually happen! I can look back on those videos and say "Oh yeah! I do remember that, I was sitting on the couch that day and maybe, just maybe, I did enjoy some of it...I am smiling in that picture after all."
I wasn't into the decorating, the music, buying presents or mailing out cards...I was in too much pain.
Something has changed in me this year, I can feel a shift in my heart, my soul and my mind. The fog of despair is lifting and my joy has returned. This Christmas was the first Christmas since diabetes entered our lives that I have been able to feel like I can actually celebrate and enjoy the holidays again.
This year I wanted to C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E!!! I wanted to listen to Christmas music every single day, I wanted to light up our house with so many lights you could see the glow a mile away! I wanted to color pictures of trees, Santa and Frosty with my girls all day long...make snow angels, stand in line for Santa and relish in every memory that was created with my family this year...and for the first time since D came crashing into our life, I did relish every moment.
This year was magical, as corny as that may sound, I was HAPPY, diabetes is still here, but, this year diabetes didn't ruin the party...or at least I should say, I didn't let diabetes ruin the party. It took me some time and a lot of soul searching, but it was worth the wait.
Diabetes still brings me to my knees from time to time, I've spent many nights crying myself to sleep, the grief doesn't ever fully go away but with time the intensity of that pain begins to fade a little...finally allowing some room for the joy to find it's way back into our hearts.
The girls had their candy cane this year :)
Sunday, December 26, 2010
We spoke at four different events this year...to say that we were nervous at first would be an understatement if ever there was! The first time we stood in front of a group of strangers and spoke about our journey with type 1 diabetes and the impact it had on our family was incredibly difficult. I'm not gonna lie...I was a blubbering mess, you couldn't stop the tears from flowing if you paid me! Although the tears were flowing freely...I was able to speak with as much passion as there was pain.
It was a hugely successful moment for us and I have a post planned to tell you much more about that eventful day and the passion and drive that it later fueled in me.
We later had an opportunity to speak at a breakfast that was geared just towards our local business community and corporate sponsors. This was hands down one of the most rewarding experiences ever! I cannot fully express to you the emotions of that day, I can say that it felt like I had angels lifting me up and giving me the strength to deliver our story with as much heart, passion and courage as I have ever had.
It was bizarre, when my family took to the podium at this corporate breakfast I had NO FEAR...not an ounce of nervousness or hesitation. It felt as if a warm blanket of strength and courage had been wrapped around my shoulders as I walked towards the microphone. There we stood in front of 100 plus members of our local business community and we were able to tell them our story, yes...I cried at this event too. What can I say, I get all emotional when I revisit the days that my precious daughters were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and the many days since that have been filled with needles, finger pokes, 3 am blood sugar checks, low blood sugars and high blood sugars. Despite my tears, I was able to tell them what life with d is truly like. The good, the bad and the downright scary.
The most rewarding part of that day was after the event was over, suddenly we were surrounded by strangers who wanted to hug us, thank us and tell us how moved they were by our story. We met one woman who has had type 1 diabetes for decades now, she came up to me, wrapped her arms around me and gave me the best gift ever. She wanted to thank us for sharing our journey with them, she knew that our story would inspire some of these businesses to join JDRF and us in our efforts to find a cure, and as someone who has lived with the disease for so long she said she just felt such gratitude towards us for being able to share something that is so painful. Her tears and emotions were so real and so raw, it was an indescribable moment.
We met a few other adults who had t1, they all thanked us and truly gave us a gift...it was a gift of gratitude. It warmed this d-mama's heart to know that our story may somehow inspire others to give to and support such a worthy and important cause. Any fear, any hesitation, any doubt I had about telling our families story to 100's of strangers evaporated that day. I knew that morning, we had done something and been a part of something that was so much bigger then us...when we got into our car together after the event was over my husband and I looked at each other and just smiled.
I'm not sharing this story with you to toot my own horn :) I guess my biggest reason for sharing this is that I believe that we all have a story, it's one that can inspire hope, change and progress. I may not get that cure that I dream of as soon as I would like, but I do know that amazing things are happening in the field of diabetes research and technology and if our story (or yours) can help by inspiring others to work with us towards a cure and help speed things up...hey, I'm all for it! Sometimes it's scary to open up and share like that, but sometimes...it can be life changing and the rewards that your heart receive are incredible.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sometimes I let the 'what-ifs' haunt me...like last nights 'what-if'. I had put my girls to bed at a very comfortable number, Miss E was at 153 and Lil Miss C had a bg of 190...now, I know that to some 190 is too high but for Lil Miss it is an acceptable place to be and we rarely correct before bedtime unless she is above 300 because she can drop like crazy and I'll be chasing lows all night. I went about doing my things, last night that was tending to a long list of way overdue Christmas cards that needed to be addressed and stamped!
I spent a few hours crossing stuff off of my to do list and then decided I would try to go to bed at a reasonable hour...for me that's anything before 1:00am :) It was actually 11:00pm, three hours after putting the girls to bed. I started to have some of that internal dialogue that I find myself doing WAY to often...
"Should I check the girls blood sugars??? I'm sure they are fine Connie, you always check before you go to bed and MOST of the time it's good. JUST RELAX...Let them sleep!"
"Most of the time...hmmmmm...I don't like that, I wish it were all the time. Most of the time just feels so uncertain, what if tonight is one of the nights when they are not ok???"
"It's 11:00pm!!! Their numbers were great 3 hours ago, just let them sleep and go to bed."
"Yeah...I'm tired, I'll just go to bed and set my alarm for 1:00am and test then. You worry too much, Connie...GO-TO-BED!"
"OK, ok, o.k....bed it is"
So...that internal dialogue is something that I do a lot, second guessing myself is another thing I'm REAL good at! So here comes part two of my late night conversation with myself...
"Man it feels good to be in bed at a decent hour, I hope that package gets here tomorrow...I do not feel like wrapping presents on Christmas eve! Ughhh, my back hurts. I hope it doesn't keep me up all night. Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way..."
-I'm boring myself to sleep with these thoughts rambling through my mind when the panic button starts to go off in my head...
"I wonder what Miss E's bg is right now??? I wonder if Lil Miss C is comfortable, sometimes when she goes to bed in the upper 100's her numbers start to spike higher. I didn't give them much of a snack...normally that's ok, 190 with carbs=serious high bg's so it's ok you gave her just a light protein snack with a smidge of carbs...what are you so panicked about??? SERIOUSLY, I was just about to fall asleep...stop thinking!"
-trying to sleep again, closing eyes, willing brain to shut off for awhile...NOT HAPPENING...ARGHH!!!
"Just get up Connie and check them so you can have some peace of mind and go to sleep!"
"OK, ok, o.k....let's check their bg's"
Miss E...blood glucose of 150...hmmmm, not so bad. Holding steady.
Lil Miss C...blood glucose of...67!!! WTH!!!???
Needless to say I was a little freaked out. I treated her low by giving her a juice box and decided to sit in her room until it was time to re-test. I sat there in the rocking chair next to her bed, sitting in the dark while she quickly fell back to sleep and I began to count the minutes until it was time to test again. While sitting in her dark, quiet room I had a lot of time for some serious internal dialogue and a terrible case of the 'what-ifs'.
"What if...I didn't test her until 1:00am??? Would she have dropped into the 30's, would she have woken up dizzy, hungry and distraught or would she have slept through it?"
"What if...I didn't test her until 3:00am??? Would she have slipped into a coma??? Could she have...I can't even say it...could my worst nightmare have become a reality???"
Sometimes I think I over think things, sometimes that's a bad thing...sometimes it's a good thing. Last nights inner turmoil was a blessing in disguise, my instincts wouldn't let me sleep and I am thankful for that. For all I know she could have dropped even lower...or not...
Who knows...last night was just another rude reminder as to why we work so hard to raise money, raise awareness and work towards a cure...I just wish we had a cure, now.
Monday, December 13, 2010
They began to talk about their life with diabetes, the diagnosis, the fears, the daily challenges of type 1 diabetes and how it has impacted their lives. They were serving as the Ambassador family for the walk that year, they talked about their passion and their commitment to do all that they could to help raise money for the research needed to find a cure.
I remember sitting at our table with my husband and our daughter's, Lil Miss C had just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes only months earlier and Miss E was just over a year into her life with D, as I listened to their stories and saw the pain in their eyes I was willing myself not to cry but the emotions of their words touched me on a level that was so raw and so delicate that I could not hold back the tears.
With wet cheeks and a runny nose, I couldn't hide the emotions that had taken over me. I hugged Lil Miss C who was sitting on my lap, pulling her into my chest and burying my face into her hair in the hopes that I could hide the anguish that was written all over it. In that moment I made a silent promise to both of my girls, I promised that I would do everything in my power to not only raise as much money as I could to help fund research for a cure, but I was also going to work hard to raise awareness and bring attention to our cause.
I remember thinking as I watched this family speak so courageously about their journey...that could be us someday, we could be the family standing at that microphone sharing our story and inspiring others as this family was so obviously inspiring us. It was a scary thought, on stage in front of hundreds of strangers talking about such a personal and at times painful story. Being able to open yourself up and allow people into your fear, pain and sadness. It's funny though, in being real you are also showing your hope, commitment and strength at the same time. It's a very vulnerable place to be.
I admired this family for their courage to stand in front of us with their hearts wide open, sharing their hope with us. It was a powerful day for me on such a deep and personal level. I had never heard anyone ever express out loud the very same feelings and fears that I was having everyday. They sparked in me a great surge of hope and determination. I left that luncheon with a new sense of strength and purpose.
That year I set aside any sense of hesitation or intimidation..after our walk kick-off I sent letters and e-mails to everyone I knew. After hearing how this family had shared their story with the husbands work place and how his company had become one of their biggest supporters in the walk every year, we decided we too were going to talk with my husbands work. We approached the company he works for and to our delight they jumped on board with us 100%, they hosted an internal walk kick-off and they sponsored our team t-shirts. That year we had an amazing turnout of walkers and we raised over $5,600.00!!!
We ended up receiving an award for being the Top Family Rookie Team for 2009...a HUGE surprise to us and a HUGE honor! It felt good and it gave me such a sense of strength, we were doing something and we were making a difference. I started to do volunteer work with JDRF, becoming Chair of our local TOFUN committee (Type One Families United Network) and helping out at our local JDRF Gala...another story for another day :) It was great, I never gave another thought about being an ambassador family since that day at our luncheon...I never even spoke it out loud, it was just a thought, not something I was seeking out.
Then it happened...
We were asked if we would be interested in serving as the 2010 Walk To Cure Diabetes Ambassador Family!!! Shocked, scared, excited, nervous, happy...you name it, we felt it. In the end we faced our fears head on and we accepted, yes...we would be honored to be the 2010 Ambassador Family. So there it is, a full circle moment.
Just think, this one family inspired us to do so much...just because they shared their story! I am thankful everyday that I had an opportunity to hear their words and their story.
Friday, December 10, 2010
my lovely blog....HELLO...how I have missed you...
How I have missed sharing my stories, my moments of triumph and yes, even those awful moments of defeat...the good...the bad...and everything in between!!! How I have missed the words of my fellow bloggers. Yes...I have practically fallen off the face of the D-world!
I am so sorry that my absence has gone this long! I may have neglected you, but you were never far from my thoughts. I have been gone too long...BUT, I am back, jumping in with both feet...
Oh, the stories I have to share!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
What does this mean??? Well, it means that all around the D.O.C. we will not blog, tweet, facebook or talk about diabetes. So in honor of this special day I have come up with a small list of things I would like to share with you. Just a glimpse into some things that make me happy and can turn my frown upside down.
Things That Make Me Smile...
- A steaming cup of coffee with hazelnut cream and cinnamon...mmmmm
- Waking up to a cool, crisp autumn morning
- The laughter of my daughters
- Warm, cozy pajamas on a cold night
- A good book
I'm sure that from my list you may be able to tell that fall has officially begun for us, I love fall...the turning of the leaves, warm sweaters, the anticipation and excitement as the holiday season draws near. As I am writing this list, my daughters are enjoying a day of playing with playdoh and coloring...Miss E has asked me to read to her what I'm writing, apparently she isn't satisfied with the list as I have written it and she has requested that I add something to it. So here it is...
- I love my daughters...more then anything in the world!!!
I think that goes without saying, but she has informed me that my list is much better now that I have added that very important addition. Of course the love that I have for my kids will always make me smile, they bring such joy to my life.
It's funny how little things can bring such joy and happiness, what things make you smile??? I think this post has just inspired me to try to do a list of Things That Make Me Smile once a week here on Hope and Beginnings...it's a good reminder to try to enjoy the little moments in life, something that we easily forget to do sometimes. I know I am guilty of it...it's so easy to get caught up in the negative, so today I will have a cup of coffee, put on a warm sweater after the sun goes down, make my girls laugh out loud and maybe finish the day off with a good book!!!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
One of those shows that I love and never miss an episode of is The Biggest Loser, I love it. I cry during every episode, their stories are inspiring, they motivate me to try to take better care of my own health and, I'll be honest here...I do love the drama.
Last night I sat down in front of my tv after putting my girls to bed, anticipating another great episode and then...WTH?!? Did Dr. H just say what I think he said?!? I was one mad mama pancreas last night.
Dr. H. brought in each contestant one by one to give them the low down on how bad their health had become due to their obesity...here's where the mad mama pancreas part comes in. While talking to one of the men on the show he begins to talk to him about his diabetes. He asks doctor H. if this is reversible and do you want to know what Dr. H. said???
"Diabetes is curable, but you can't cure diabetes when you've got this amount of fat".
That's it....not type 2, just diabetes.
Now some people may ask, why are you so bent out of shape about that comment? Well, for me I feel that it's just one more tv doctor spreading miss-information. Ok, so type 2 diabetes can be "cured" with diet and exercise, as Dr. H. explains while he points to a big tv screen with a picture of this mans stomach. I feel that when a broad statement such as "Diabetes is curable" is announced on a tv show that millions of people are watching it only hurts those of us who are trying to raise not only awareness about type 1 diabetes but also trying to raise money to help fund research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes!
True story here...
My first year of raising money towards JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes, I had a friend collecting donations for our team. One of the people she was talking to about our efforts asked, "Why should I donate to that? They should just eat better". WTH?!? EAT BETTER!!! I wish that were all we needed to do to cure type 1 diabetes! This is where I feel that many people are miss-informed or simply know nothing about the disease and when we start having celebrity doctors only adding to the confusion it makes me wanna scream at the tv!
I know that the intentions of this show are to help people...and they are, they are helping so many people reclaim their health and really look at their diets and how active they are. This IS a good thing, I will still watch the show...I just wish they would be more specific when referring to diabetes.
I only wish that these celebrity doctors, talk show hosts, reporters, would state the facts...the real facts, not just broad sweeping statements that add to the confusion about type 1 diabetes. This is just one more example of a tv show causing disappointment and sadness...it really does hurt me, it breaks my heart to think that now there are even more people who may judge my kids because of this disease, that they may think that it's our fault or that we aren't doing enough to keep them healthy. That now there will be more people who will never give to JDRF or any other organization trying to bring us closer to a cure because of some tv doctor that didn't think about how powerful his words are.
Dr. H...I HOPE you will realize how much influence you have on the world, yes...it was just one sentence and, yes, some people may have known you were talking about type 2 diabetes and only type 2 diabetes, but...we owe it to our kids to get it right, let's stop spreading the confusion!
Monday, September 13, 2010
You see, this would be the first time I would EVER be apart from her for longer then maybe an hour! In her five years, I never left her with a babysitter, she didn't go to preschool, we were together all the time. So you can imagine that my anxiety level was borderline OFF THE CHARTS! Just before she was diagnosed I began to look into preschool for her, but after her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes I just couldn't do it.
Don't worry...she wasn't sent of to kindergarten without some book smarts :) I spent a lot of time working with her, hanging out at the library, teaching her all that I could so she would be prepared for the big moment...the first day of school.
I had an opportunity to meet with her new teacher and the teachers educational assistant before school started. It gave us time to really discuss Miss E's care and how we would manage her diabetes in the classroom. So, here is the BIG, BIG surprise...
Her teacher has type 1 diabetes!!!!!!!!! YEP, you heard me right! She has type 1 diabetes!!!! Can you believe it????!!!! I swear to you, I was soooooooo excited it was borderline inappropriate! I don't ever want to be excited that someone has diabetes, but to know that my daughters first teacher ever, has type 1 diabetes....I just don't think I could have dreamed up a better scenario. I am not kidding you, when I found that out I was like a kid who just walked through the gates of Disneyland for the first time...elated, in awe, dumbfounded, borderline tears of joy stinging my eyes! I later apologized to her for my excitement, I felt that I went a little too close to doing a happy dance and I didn't want her to think I was nuts. Of course, she completely understood and she "got it"...she knows and understands my fears and my worries, she "gets it".
So, almost immediately my anxiety levels plummeted...it was like I could breathe again for the first time in weeks. Here's another beautiful piece of the puzzle, the educational assistant...well, she is also a nurse! Yes, I think that settles it...I just won the diabetes jackpot (if there were such a prize).
Miss E loves school, she doesn't even want to take days off for the weekend! It's been great, she wakes up every morning excited and ready for another day at school. I love it! So far, so good.
The school has a wonderful nurse and a health assistant who have been fantastic, they are really stepping up to the plate and going above and beyond what I was expecting. It's been a true blessing and I am just so thankful for this amazing start in this new journey we are on...a brand new beginning for us, a new day and a new adventure has begun!
Friday, September 10, 2010
We also had lots of family visiting us and we even took a road trip, there were JDRF functions and many play dates and sleepovers!
Summer was fun and full of action...
But something was missing...what was missing you may ask??? Well YOU of course!!! I have spent the last couple of hours catching up on some of my fellow D-peeps blogs and I just realized how much I have missed you all!!! So this is my quick shout out to all my fellow D-bloggers out there, reading your posts has reminded me of how lucky I am to have such an amazing group of friends out there who are living this life with D right along with me and can understand the struggles that we face...you inspire, amaze, and delight me...you make me laugh, you make me cry and you remind me that I am not alone in this.
Thank you for sharing your stories and inspiring me...I want to share with you this quote...
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Now, Miss E is not swimming laps around the pool...she's only five. Yep, she turned five this summer...my little girl is growing up sooooooo fast and kindergarten is just around the corner. So Miss E has taken to swimming and is loving her class, she has been doing so good. I love watching her, there are only five girls in her class so I am able to watch each little personality as they spend 35 minutes in the water splashing and jumping their little hearts out. It's just too cute!
One of the girls is a die hard doggie paddler...this kid just paddles her heart out doing little circles in the pool, and she rarely listens to her swim instructor! In fact the other girls will be doing an activity and this one is off heading in the other direction, it's as if she is in her own little world. Then there's the little girl who is always fearless, she will jump off any ledge, dunk her head over and over or fly down a water slide head first!!! So many personalities...my Miss E, well she is the cautious one. She is always within a few feet of her instructor listening intently and hanging on to every word. She follows his direction well, but if it's something that scares her she immediately goes into negotiation mode...he wanted the girls to jump into a hula hoop looking thing off the side of the pool, all the girls did it but Miss E made him hold her hands while she jumped and she was very careful not to let her head go under the water.
Then there was the day when the girls were supposed to dip their heads under the water, well Miss E would only put her face down while holding her nose and she wouldn't let her ears go under water...like I said, she's very cautious. It was funny, on the first day of swim class her instructor told the girls "If something is too scary for you, you don't have to do it." So later that day I was asking her why she wouldn't dunk her head in the water, you know what she said? Word for word..."My teacher said if something is too scary for me then I don't have to do it mommy" She's a smart one!
I love that she is cautious...it makes me feel good that she won't try anything too dangerous, she is my timid one and she takes her time with everything, always asking lots of questions. Every child has their very own unique personality, I try to help hers blossom and not force anything on her...although after her first class was over she did say she didn't want to swim anymore. All that I asked was that she finish her week out and give it some time and guess what...after day two she was IN LOVE WITH SWIMMING!!!
So far her numbers have been great, I don't think she is in the water long enough or excerpting too much energy for it to have a big impact on her blood sugar...thank goodness! We have been very careful before each class, I check her blood sugar right before class starts and I make sure we have plenty of snacks on hand...but so far it has gone great without any problems, no lows and no major high bg's. She only has one more week of lessons and she is already asking when she will be taking more classes...UH OH, what have I just started here :) I may have a future swimmer on my hands!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Life has been very, VERY busy! I don't see it slowing down anytime soon...in fact, I feel like life is going to be pretty hectic for me in the near future. Miss E will be starting kindergarten in about a month...my heart is racing as I sit here and write the words. I know that this is a wonderful thing, one that I do look forward to...but I am also dreading it. Is that even possible?! Looking forward to something and in the same sentence dreading it?!
I have never been apart from Miss E for more then an hour since she was diagnosed with T1...I am thrilled at the thought of her entering school and taking that journey, but I am scared too. It's hard to imagine someone other then myself caring for my baby...someone caring for her health, watching over her, protecting her. I know that parents leave their children in the care of others all the time, but this is the first time I will be letting someone else do it for me. I need to prepare myself emotionally for this, I know she will be fine but my ever-worrying mind just won't rest.
I went to a birthday party today with my girls and met a few parents who have kids that will be going to the same school as Miss E...of course I was trying to get all the inside scoop on the school and so far have heard nothing but wonderful things. I will hold on to those positive words and prepare myself and Miss E for this big moment. I am anticipating great things, a little fear and a lot of tears...from ME of course!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Hope and Beginnings...I had a hard time trying to pick out a name for this blog, although I will probably talk about diabetes a lot, I know that I will be sharing things with you that have nothing to do with type 1 diabetes. Although, since my girls were diagnosed I believe that my direction in life and my passions have been changed to some degree because of it.
I still have all of the same values in life, but the things that I have always wanted to do, well...I don't think I would have done half of them if it weren't for T1. I know to some of you this may sound slightly ridiculous, so please bear with me.
About 15 years ago I sat down with my best friend and we each wrote a list...50 Things I Want To Do Before I Die...we were young, silly teenagers with big dreams!
Now, here I am fifteen years later and I have only done 5 things off of that list! I realize that many of us have written these kinds of lists and life, love and the everyday stuff just kind of takes over and at times gets in the way of our dreams...it's not that it is a bad life, it's just a different one then the one I had written down so long ago. I definitely never envisioned that I would have type 1 diabetes be a part of that life, now that it is, I really needed to sit down and think about what I want out of this new life...this life that includes syringes, test strips, insulin, low blood sugars and high blood sugars and everything in between.
I am learning a lesson about life these days, one that I would have rather learned on my own without my daughters having to be diagnosed with diabetes, but regardless...I am learning a lesson. For me the lesson is this...life is short, we never know what obstacles we will face and there has never been a better time then the present to just live it to the fullest!!!
So back to my list I wrote 15 years ago, I have since lost it and I am really trying hard to find it again because I would love to share with you what was on it...I think we all would have a good laugh, I know a large portion of it was all of the concerts I wanted to go to...something on many teenage minds I am sure! Another thing that I remember was I wanted to go skydiving...not anymore!!! It's funny how our interests and passions can change over time, I am now working on a new list and it is one that is very different then the one I wrote so long ago. My new list also has a new name...
I spent many years only taking care of my family and putting my needs on the back burner, taking care of my kids is always my number one priority but I realize that my needs and my dreams are just as important and will probably make me a better mother, wife, friend etc. if I am doing the things that fill me up and spark creativity, joy and fulfillment in my life. When I realized that my daughters were going to have to live with diabetes for the rest of their life, I decided that I needed to be a better role model for them as to how they live that life. I wanted to be the person that shows my girls that no matter what life gives us, we can enjoy it and live it with great joy and fulfillment. I know that they will face a lot more obstacles then I could ever imagine and I don't want my girls to wait too long to do what makes them happy and I don't want them to ever feel like diabetes is going to get in the way of living it up to the fullest. I want them to live, love and do the things in life that give them great joy...and so do I.
- I am hopeful that a cure for diabetes will be found.
- I am hopeful that my blog will have a positive impact on other families faced with a type 1 diabetes diagnosis.
- I am hopeful that my blog will have a positive impact on ANYONE who stops by and takes the time to read .
- I am hopeful that my girls will live a long, healthy, happy life filled with all of their dreams realized.
- I am hopeful that in some way I may inspire others to do their part in making our world a better place, whether that is by encouraging people to volunteer, share their story or make a difference in any way.
- I am hopeful that this blog will inspire me
- I am hopeful...
- Beginning to live a fuller life.
- Beginning to try new things...what's the worst that could happen...I fail (SO WHAT)! I try something else.
- Beginning to connect with other families who are living with type 1 diabetes.
- Beginning to face my fears, it's kind of my new mantra...
My sister-in-law sent me a card with that saying on the front if it, this was over three years ago and I still have it on my fridge, it inspires me daily. After T1 entered our lives it had an even greater impact on me and on how I lived my life.
- Beginning to live in the moment...don't let those beautiful little moments go by unrecognized.
- Beginning to open myself up to the possibility...of what I'm not sure...just waiting to find out.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
DREAM A LITTLE DREAM...
Imagine there is a tiny little pill that you could swallow and *poof* type 1 diabetes is cured, no more insulin, no more blood glucose tests...no more diabetes.
What would you do that first day of your life after type 1 diabetes was cured?
This has been incredibly difficult for me to imagine...it is what I want so desperately for my kids, yet I hardly ever sit down and truly think about life after diabetes, I guess I am too busy living life with diabetes. I have been very active in raising money to fund research for a cure, I try to educate my family, friends, strangers and anyone who will listen to me about type 1 diabetes...
But I have never let myself go to that place...
That place where I really feel the emotions connected to my daughters being cured, I want it SO badly...I ache for it...
But I don't imagine it.
I have hope that the day will come, I believe in a cure, I just don't fantasize about that day...but today I will.
~I would cry...sob is more like it.
~I would hug my two girls and hang on for dear life and never let go...they might think I'm crazy but I don't care!
~I would take my girls out for the day and not pack a bag full of diabetes supplies and snacks, then 20 minutes into our outing I would probably have a panic attack because I forgot all of our "stuff"...wait a minute, that's right, we don't need it anymore!
~I would take them out to eat and not worry about carbs...then we would order dessert!
~I would let them stay up late and eat loads and loads of popcorn!
~Then let them sleep in till 10:00 am...or later!!!
~I would go to bed and actually fall asleep without worrying that something terrible may happen to them while I sleep.
~I wouldn't set my alarm clock for 1:00 am or 3:00 am...or at all!!!
~I would stop going into their bedrooms at night to check and make sure they are still breathing.
~I would thank the Lord and all the powers that be for blessing us with this magnificent cure!
~I would sit down and write a letter of thanks and praise for every.single.person who EVER donated to JDRF, walked for a cure or simply spread the word about T1D or said a prayer for my kids.
~I would sleep for 8 hours straight and not wake up once...that is unless someone needs a glass of water or needs to use the bathroom. Let face it, with toddlers sleep is a luxury, diabetes or no diabetes.
Man...as I am sitting here writing all of the things I imagine we would do that first day a cure was found I feel like I could write a thousand things we would do, but when it comes down to it I would just be thankful. Thankful that I don't have to worry about the challenges that my girls faced, thankful that the devastating complications from type 1 would be a thing of the past, thankful that they were healthy again.
It is almost too much to imagine...I do want it so badly for them, it's why we have participated in JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes from the beginning and always will until a cure is found.
It's why I try to raise money and awareness, I want a cure, I want my girls to know what life without diabetes is like.
I will always actively pursue a cure and do all that I can as a parent to make it happen, but I will not torture myself with the "if only they were cured". I want them to live the life they have to the fullest, here and now, with diabetes...until that cure is found.
Friday, May 14, 2010
I have two daughters who are 2 years old and 4 years old, they are very active and love to play. We spend a lot of time in our back yard where they have a huge play set that they love to climb on, slide down and swing on. This has worked out great for me because when it comes to being active and their blood sugars, I just never know what's going to happen with them.
A perfect example of this was recently I took my kids in the back yard to play, they were running around having a blast. About 30 minutes into their playtime Miss E asked me if I would push her on the swing, I had just started swinging her when she told me that she was hot and she wanted me to stop pushing her. Then she said she was tired and that she wanted to go inside the house, looking at her I knew something was wrong. I had Lil Miss C in her baby swing so I was trying to quickly unfasten her belt and get inside to Miss E who had made a bee line for the house. By the time I got to the back door I saw Miss E sitting on the kitchen floor, I grabbed her blood glucose meter and started to get it ready when suddenly Miss E just dropped down on the floor and said she felt dizzy. She was lying there on her back and all of the color had drained from her face, I could feel my heart start to race and my hands where shaking.
It was a terrible low, one of the worst so far...38...I had to hold her head up while I gave her a juice box, she cried and told me she felt sick.
It was scary, but I was thankful it happened in our own back yard and I was able to take care of her. We have a park that is just a few blocks away, every time I take the kids there I always bring their meters and juice boxes...you just never know.
I don't have the girls in organized sports yet so I am not sure how that will play out in the future for them and their diabetes. I have Miss E signed up for swim lessons this summer, from what I have read on some of the other d-blogs...swimming can be a nightmare on their blood sugars. Time will tell, I think it's a little bit of a learning curve and a little bit of luck when it comes to figuring out how different activities will affect their blood sugars. I used the word "luck" because some days diabetes just doesn't behave...even when you are doing everything "right".
I'm just hoping that swimming will be kind to my girls :) It is something that Miss E is really looking forward to.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
TO CARB...OR NOT TO CARB...
In my house I love a good routine, my kids eat every meal and every snack at about the same time every day. I am not a super rigid D-momma, we do get spontaneous once in awhile, but I do love the way a regular schedule keeps my girls blood sugar levels happy...or happier, let's face it...some days you can do everything "right" and the big D will slap you in the face with a crazy high or scary low blood sugar number!
I do let my girls eat carbs but I like to do it in moderation, luckily for me my girls are HUGE veggie lovers!!! I am not even kidding you when I say that my girls would rather eat steamed broccoli then buttery mashed potatoes. They love carrots, celery, green beans and salad without dressing! OH...how did I get so lucky :)
The truth of the matter is this, before diabetes entered our lives I didn't really give my children junk food, juice or loads of high carb stuff. The carbs that I would feed my kids where things like whole wheat bread, brown rice and pasta, we also eat a lot of fruit which tends to have plenty of carbs in it. That was something that I wanted to do for them to set them up for a healthy future...who would of thought diabetes would be a part of our healthy future I envisioned?! But I am thankful for the choices we made, because when D became a part of our daily lives I didn't feel like I was depriving my girls of their favorite foods or drinks.
I like to let my kids have an occasional cookie, chips or pizza night, when we have pizza I always serve it with a healthy salad on the side and some milk. I don't want to deprive them or create a negative feeling towards the foods they want or like. A CDE once told us that it is better to let your kids have the occasional bowl of real ice cream or slice of birthday cake because we don't want them to have a future where they sneak these things and feel guilt over the food they eat. As long as we give them the appropriate amount of insulin, carbs are not a bad word in our home. I feel like for my family we can have carbs at every meal as long as I balance it out with veggies and protein.
This is how we roll in our house...everyone does it different and I respect the choices of others who are fighting the daily battle with D, we each have to find what works for us.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Today I want to share with you the person who has been my rock, my biggest supporter since that very first day that type 1 diabetes became a regular part of my vocabulary. Here's the dilemma...
I can't pick just one!!!
I have a few people in my life who have been instrumental in keeping me sane, lifting my spirits in moments of despair, showing me that life goes on and my girls will be okay. They have laughed with me, cried with me, cursed diabetes and rolled with the curve balls that D has thrown our way.
They have been my D-angels, blessings in my life and irreplaceable.
My husband, Richard...
He has been by my side from the moment we first heard the words "your daughter has diabetes". He cried with me, he held me, he was strong for me when I could barely hold myself together. He has picked up prescriptions, done 3:00 am blood sugar checks so that I could sleep... even though his alarm was set to go off at 4:30 am so he could get ready for work. He has been there through it all, without him I would be lost and I am thankful to have him in my life. He is an amazing father to my girls, he loves them unconditionally and I am blessed to call him my man :) I love you honey!
My best friend, K...
She is truly the ultimate best friend...we live over 1,ooo miles apart from each other but I never feel more then a phone call away. When we talk I feel like she is in the room with me, sipping coffee and crying, laughing or contemplating life with me. She has a way of making it all feel okay...even on my lowest of low days she can make me smile and help me see the brighter side of life. She will let me talk for hours about diabetes and never make me feel like I am boring her with talk about my daughters blood glucose numbers or diabetes facts :) She always wants to know more. I know that we will be BFF's until we are old and gray and I look forward to many more years of friendship with her...luv ya K!
My sister-in-law, N...
Not only is she my sister-in-law, but she is godmother to both of my daughters. She is a true D-Angel for my girls, they adore her and love her so much. She has always made a huge effort to be a constant part of my girls lives, we don't live in the same state but you wouldn't know it by the way the girls talk about their nina. You would think she lived next door to us. She has not only been an angel to my kids but she has been a huge source of support for me too. We talk on the phone weekly and she is always quick to offer love and support on those tough days when I am on the brink of a serious cry-fest. Thank you N, for the constant love and friendship you have given me.
I have so many others who have been a huge source of love and support, nieces, nephews, moms and dads...grandpas' and grandma's, nana's and everyone in-between. I am thankful for all of you in my life who have never given up on me or my family, you have loved us and given me the support and friendship I have so desperately needed. You all know who you are :)
A true friend is someone who will always be there for you...even when you have nothing more to offer them then love...
The greatest gift ever.
Because lows can happen anywhere at anytime, I like to travel with an arsenal of supplies ready at a moments notice.
My go to of choice lately are the glucose tablets. My girls love these things, Lil Miss C has been known to say she is low just so she can get her hands on those "giant candies". I always check her blood sugar when she says she is low, but many times she is not low...she just wants a treat. Pretty smart for a two year old!
Some other go to items for treating lows...
Juice boxes...these are great for those lows that happen at 3:00 am. I have never been able to get my kids to chew on food or tablets at that hour.
Milk...when they aren't too low I use this
Candy...not very often because I don't buy it, we use it after the holidays when the girls stocked up on the halloween treats :)
Raisins...they loooooove raisins and want them all the time
And for the worst case scenario...
Glucagon...I have never had to use this and I pray I never do, that being said...I never leave home without it.
So there ya have it :) Those are a few of the things that we use to "Make the Low Go".
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
We attended our local JDRF T.O.F.U.N Bowling event...This was sooooooooo fun!!!! T.O.F.U.N stands for Type One Families United Network, this is an outreach program for families who are living with type 1 diabetes to get together and have fun in a social setting. A few months back I started to volunteer by helping plan the TOFUN events, this was exactly what I needed to fill me up with a whole lot of warm, fuzzy feelings :) I had been wanting to do more volunteer work for a long time and when this opportunity came my way I was all over it! We have participated in the JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes for the last two years but I have been wanting to do more with them and this was a great way to do that. Basically I help plan the events and then show up and have fun, this is a perfect way for me to volunteer because I am able to do everything on-line and through phone conversations...perfect for a stay-at-home momma with no babysitters!
We had about 80 people show up, this was such a wonderful turnout! We also had an Omnipod representative there which was so cool, I finally got to see a pod in person. Miss E has been terrified of going on the pump but after seeing the pod and talking with the rep. she left there wanting a pump!!! I couldn't believe it, for two years she has said "NO WAY" and now she keeps asking me when she will get to go on a pump. I am still unsure of what pump we will get for her when the time comes, but now that I know she is interested I will be doing some more research on the different options available to us.
Now, back to the bowling...I was AWFUL!!! But that's okay because I had a blast, I was pretty much throwing gutter balls the whole time...with the exception of one strike :) Woo Hoo!!! The most important thing though was that Miss E and Lil Miss C had the best time ever. Miss E was literally doing victory dances each time she threw her ball down that lane, it was the cutest thing ever!!! And Lil Miss C, who is all of 2 years old, kept giving high five's EVERY time she would bowl. It really was a great day AND we won two free games of bowling and a bowling towel so we will be heading back there real soon to use those up.
All in all, it turned out to be a great event and I am already looking forward to our next one. We had an opportunity to meet a lot of great families, which is one of the main reasons I wanted to become involved with the TOFUN events. Diabetes was also very good to us that day, we only had one low blood sugar before lunch and no crazy numbers happened after all of the excitement and activity of the day.
Yeah for good numbers :)
Friday, April 23, 2010
It was just before bedtime and I was about to give the girls their Lantus. As I was getting ready to give Miss E her shot she looked at me with the saddest eyes, sat on the kitchen floor and began to cry. She started to tell me that she didn't want diabetes anymore, she wanted to be "regular" like her daddy and mommy. She said that she wanted to go back to the way she used to be when she was little...now remember, she is only 4 years old and she is talking about her life before diabetes. It broke my heart, this wasn't the first time she has done this. Almost a year ago we had a similar conversation with her... I will save that story for another post. But it felt like I had stepped back in time and was reliving that awful night with her. She rarely complains about diabetes, which is why it caught me off guard that evening.
My husband and I make a strong effort to never speak badly about diabetes in front of her or her sister, we don't want them to feel ashamed, different, sick or broken...we try to lift them up, give the girls a positive image about themselves. I know that even with the efforts that we make, Miss E will still see the differences in herself from others. Like how she says she wants to be like me and her daddy, she knows we don't take insulin, we don't check our blood sugar... she does.
It took all of my strength not to break down and cry with her on that kitchen floor, all I could do was hold her, tell her how much I loved her and give her hugs. I saved my tears for after she was asleep. I asked her to always tell me what she was feeling and that mommy would be there for her. She then asked me if her diabetes would go away when she grew up...man diabetes sucks!
So that night as I was sitting in Lil Miss C's rocking chair, waiting for her to drift off to sleep I realized that it was Miss E's 2 year anniversary with T1...it had almost passed and I hadn't even thought about it until I was sitting there reflecting on Miss E's conversation with me earlier. It amazes me how quickly time passes, in that same sentence I will dare to say that it has also been the longest two years of my life.
So...two years down, and many, many more to go...
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Last night Lil Miss C woke up around midnight, not unusual for her, I had just went to sleep and was exhausted. I was so tired that I really didn't want to sit up with her in her room trying to get her to go back to sleep, so to make things easier for myself I decided to let her sleep with me...I know, I kinda took the easy way out on that one. The problem was this, it wasn't the easy way out after all. She kept tossing and turning all over the place, I couldn't sleep because every time I rolled over I found her hanging off the side of the bed about to fall out!
I couldn't sleep for NOTHING, I had my alarm set for 3:00am because I check my girls every night at that time and by 2:00am Lil Miss C was still keeping me up with her constant rolling around and I was at the end of my rope. I was starting to get so frustrated...then it happened...
"Mommy, I want some water." When Lil Miss C said this my heart sank, I thought oh my gosh, maybe it's her blood sugar that's causing her to be so restless!!! I checked her and...354...tears instantly filled my eyes because I felt like I should have known that's why she was so restless!!! Why didn't I think of that?! Instead I was so tired that all I could think about was me trying to get a few hours of sleep before my alarm goes off at 3:00am and here she is suffering with a really high blood sugar.
I am so mad at myself right now...anyone who knows me knows that I am almost obsessed with keeping track of the girls numbers, trying to keep them in check. And I am very intuitive...usually, when something is wrong with them. I don't know why I let that slip by me last night, it's hard for me to know that Lil Miss C was suffering right next to me and she wasn't able to tell me what she was feeling. She is only two years old and it's hard to communicate what is going on with her, I'm the one who tries to figure it out for her. Needless to say I was giving her insulin with a quickness and a big cup of water to try to help her feel better and bring down that number. Not a moment of glory for me, but a moment none the less.
I wanted to share with you all what it feels like to have a high blood sugar, (for those who don't know) I took this information off of the JDRF website:
High blood sugar generally does not immediately put the person with type 1 diabetes in danger. However, high blood sugar levels over long periods of time can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and amputation.
Very high blood sugar levels can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), or a "diabetic coma." DKA occurs when the cells can't get the energy they need from glucose, and the body begins to burn fat and body tissue for energy. This causes the release of byproducts called ketones, which are dangerous when released at high levels. Ketones become like poison to the body and are passed in the urine as they build up in the blood.
A person with type 1 diabetes and high blood sugar may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:
- Thirst (dehydration)
- Frequent urination
- Blurry vision
- Stomach pain
- Increased hunger
- Drowsiness, lethargy, exhaustion
- Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
- Inability to concentrate
- Weight loss (a longer term symptom) that eventually leads to coma
So...now you know why I feel like a crummy mommy today. Don't get me wrong, this is not the first time we have had a high number like this, I'm more upset at myself for not picking up on what was happening to her as she slept. I really didn't think her restlessness had anything to do with diabetes last night. Before bedtime she had a blood glucose of 77, the girls wanted some popcorn for their snack and they both were a bit low so I thought what better time to give them some. I measured out 10 grams of carbs worth of popcorn and gave that to Lil Miss C, an hour later I checked her and her blood sugar was at 99...I don't get it. I was wondering if anyone else has had a bad experience with popcorn? I'm thinking after last nights episode I may have to rid my home of that snack from now on!