Monday, April 30, 2012

She was is afraid

Day 25 Health Activist Writers Month Challenge

I am behind - I'm almost always behind. Although up until the 24th I wasn't behind. Big things happened on the 23rd that caused me to fall behind -

Day 25 Prompt: Third person post. Write about a memory you have but describe it using the third person. Use as many sensory images (sights, sounds, textures, etc) as you can. Don't use "I" or "me" unless you include dialogue.

     She was alone when the package arrived. Her husband was off running a dozen errands. They knew it was coming and one of them had to be home to receive it. While waiting she picked up odds and ends scattered about the house - there are always odds and ends scattered around the house. She considered a nap but knew that as soon as she closed her eyes the UPS truck would arrive and the resident canines would begin barking like mad thus waking her from rest and forcing her to roll of the couch to answer the door. She was dreading the package but excited at the same time. Dishes done, floor swept, laundry folded. She considered starting dinner but after a long disappointing search in the fridge decided it would be a good night to eat out. She started the forth load of laundry of the day - how do five people create so much dirty laundry in a week? She remembered she hadn't feed the dogs and grabbed for the bag of dog food, only it snagged on the dustpan and tore open scattering kibble across the floor - drats - dang dogs. Swept again. So much nervous energy.
     She picked up her copy of "The Book of Better" - too scatterbrained to read continuously she flipped through various chapters (there aren't really chapters) laughing out loud at the illustrations - especially the one that depicts various mensroom type figures all(most) all with little bulges on the sides of their waist. Person with MP3 Player, Person with coin purse, Person with Cellphone, Person with pump (all identical illustrations) then the last one - person with chameleon (small silhouette of chameleon on the figures waste). She giggled aloud for the 10 time when seeing that illustration. The entire book is like that - great information mixed in with sarcasm and humor that she understands lives for.
     Still full of anxiety she puts the book aside and wanders aimlessly through the house. There is lots of work to be done; laundry to put away, dusting (who does that really), bathrooms to be cleaned, yard to pick up, files to organize (LOL), and so many more tasks that should be completed. The alert sounds - both dogs barking as if a a heard of squirrels were doing cartwheels outside the front window. The UPS truck hadn't even come to a full stop yet. She opens the door, fusses at the dogs to quiet themselves and greats the UPS man with a warm while at the same time wanting to tell him to keep driving. She signs for the package - really she just scribbles - who actually signs?
     The package weighs remarkably less than she thought it would. It isn't truly a package, just a cardboard envelope. The tab top begs her to pull it but she doesn't. She calmly returns inside and sets the envelope upon the office desk with care one might think is meant for a highly volatile explosive. She texts her husband that the package has arrived. Can she open it? The reply is a NO. She expected that and honestly wouldn't want to deprive her hubby from the thrill of opening it himself.
      He's home. He says this is it and pulls open the cardboard tab. It stings her like a band aid being removed. He begins to read through the documents. The suspense is killing her and thankfully there are two copies. They read aloud and silently. Digesting the information. Her stomach is in nots. Excitement, anxiety, fear, sadness, and joy all at once welling inside her. It's real, it's really going to happen. She will be moving across the country to a new state, a new home, a new life, a new job, a new community a new everything.
      She imagines what the boys will think - Sweetness already knew (that child has ears everywhere). Sweetness is thrilled and has already been house shopping online. No time to think of everything that will be left behind. Hubby will leave in less than a week, Realtors will be calling, movers will be calling, the house will need to be made ready to sell, home searches will begin in the new state. Don't tell anyone yet hubby says. She has friends she needs to tell, oh my how will she tell nurse? How will she tell the boys? It's all happening so quickly. Sell the boys on the idea that they can learn to snow board in Tahoe - yes they will love that. Will Middles want to learn to surf? Are there sharks in the Bay Area? Who will the kids Endo be? Oh no did she hear once that CA doesn't have nurses in the schools - what will she do? Who will watch out for the kids? Surely their are kids with diabetes in CA - they manage well right? Breathe.

    I struggled with an idea for this post. I assumed when I read the prompt back in early April I would write about Sugarboy's diagnosis or Sweetstuff's diagnosis - but Ive done that. I felt like there wasn't any other big moments I could write about. Then this all came about. I didn't decide to use it until tonight around 10pm. It is a huge life changing event for us. We are leaving everything we have known as a family. Yes I moved from WI to TX on my own but not really since the Air Force moved me, told me where to live, what to wear, when to eat, when to march, when to jump, when to run, etc. I didn't have to think about any of it. Even when Chad and I left the service and moved a tad north it wasn't a big deal. It was only 1.5 hours from where we were and Sweetstuff was only 6 months old. This move is huge. I have set up and joined a huge community of other parents of CWD, I have dozens of friends, I have my teaching degree for TX - can I transfer it easily to CA? My kids have all their friends, we have our school nurse who is more family than anything else. I have our pharmacist - just realized that tonight when I went to pick up test strips and Phillip was so kind to ask about the kids. We have a beautiful home (albeit cluttered and disorganized), and while my family doesn't live in TX they don't mind the 18 hour drive to visit us - I can't see them jumping in a car to drive 36 hours to visit us in CA.

    There have been much better and more moving (well less actual moving) posts regarding this prompt. I'm almost embarrassed to share this one but this is huge for me. It has caused me a great deal of stress and joy at the same time. I can only imagine what it will do for my Sweetstuff and Sugarboy's blood sugars once the For Sale sign is in the yard and the movers arrive to pack us up. What their sugars will be like starting a new school, making new friends, finding a place to fit in.

  The move is a good thing and will be wonderful for my family. This is not a pity post - it is a celebration but it is also a reality check. Stress is stress whether it is positive or negative and it effects blood sugars, sleeping patterns, appetite, and emotions. Keep calm and Move on

(ATTN Local friends that might find this via FB or stalking - my boys do not know we are moving yet - please do not share with your kiddos. I would hate for my boys to hear about it from anyone but me or Chad. Also, please do not be offended if you are a close friend and this is the first you are hearing about it. I have been an emotional mess and swamped with all that must be done so I have hermitized (is that a word) myself to stay focused. I will officially share the news with all my local peeps soon - after my boys know - dreading that conversation - thanks for understanding and keeping it on the down low.)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

High 5

Day 27 Health Activist Writers Month Challenge

Yesterday's prompt: (Im a day behind - life got in the way)
5 Challenges. 5 Small Victories. Make a list of the 5 most difficult parts of your health focus. Make another top 5 list for the little, good things (small victories) that keep you going.

5 Challenges 

1. Improving our families diet - While I am sure to always educate others that my kids, although they have Type 1 diabetes, can eat everything everyone else can - that doesn't mean they should and I shouldn't either. When my first child (actually my youngest child) was diagnosed with Diabetes I didn't understand that there were different types of diabetes. I only knew about a type that restricted a person's diet. My first thought when I was told Sugarboy had diabetes was that he couldn't eat the chocolates I bought him for Valentines day. Of course I soon learned the differences between the types of diabetes and Sugarboy was able to devour his chocolates on Valentines Day. Still to avoid huge sugar spikes we try to reduce the amount of processed sugars we all eat. It is hard to say no to Reese's Peanut Butter cups though.

2. Allowing my cwd to go for long periods of time to friends homes or events without me. Diabetes is a difficult monster to understand and trusting just anyone to notice symptoms of low blood sugars or trust my own offspring to notice their symptoms and take appropriate actions or ask for help has been a challenge. Sweetstuff gets it and does a very good job checking her blood sugar and taking appropriate actions. Sugarboy is young and when he best busy helping Green Lantern save the world symptoms and blood sugar checks often get forgotten. It will come with time - their better understanding and my ability to trust them.

3. Remembering to first say good morning, good afternoon, & welcome home to my kids - then ask them to check their blood sugars. As a parent of children with diabetes it is the first thing I think of when I wake up, the last thing I think of before going to bed and nearly every hour of the day. I sometimes forget to be a mom first and a diabetes care manager second. It helps that my daughter is as sarcastic as me and if the first thing I say to her when she gets home from school is "How were your sugars?" she will respond with "I had a great day how was yours?" (Love that she speaks my language)

4. Allowing others to help - I am a bit of a control freak. When I say "bit" I mean I need to control every aspect of my life if at all possible - if given the opportunity to fly the 747 I am about to board I would even though I have no flight experience. Allowing others to help is really the second half of a larger challenge which is asking for help. For over 5 years I insisted on being the parent that checks the kids blood sugars at midnight and again at 3am even though my body was screaming for rest. Finally this last February I asked my husband to help and take over the 3am checks. Asking took a great deal of strength - it took a great deal more not to criticise his actions regarding the checks and allow him the opportunity to learn. 

5. Maintain my faith. I was raised a Lutheran. I was a watered down Christian as an adult. I attended church occasionally, made most the big holiday services, took my kids to Vacation Bible School and volunteered to help out. I believed most of what the Bible told us - the whole Noah's Ark thing has always been a bit of a stretch though. When Sugarboy was diagnosed I felt so broken - even though it was his body that was broken. I asked for help and I truly believed I felt the Holy Spirit come to me, wrap me in his arms and give me strength. For two years my faith increased, I began a stronger believer. I witnessed to others about the glory of our God. Then on April 19th of 2009 my only daughter and my first born was diagnosed with diabetes. I was seriously like WTF to our Heavenly Father. I'm not as angry now as I was then but I'm still not speaking to him very often. I am bitter and I question the methods of the madness. I am not saying that I don't believe - I honestly don't think a person can be as p***ed off at someone as much as I am and not believe at the same time. My philosophy right now "Faith is not the absence of doubt, it is the ability to believe in the presence of it". I don't doubt the existence of God - I do doubt his motives. I was raised to understand that HE either makes something happen or allows it to happen. Therefore - he could end the madness for us all. 

There may be some that read this last challenge and feel sorry for me, get angry at me, think that I am a blasphemer, think that the devil (I do doubt his existence) has taken hold of my soul. Please don't feel sorry for me - it is a journey and like most journey's I will come out stronger on the other side. You can be angry but I would question YOUR faith if you are angry at someone for acknowledging their struggles. I probably am a blasphemer - I do love Depeche Mode's song Blasphemous Rumors - I do question God's sense of humor. And as far as the Devil - well if he does exist he can kiss my arse. I am a good person and an intelligent person with Free Will and I'll be damned (tee hee see what I did there) if the Devil thinks he can have even a portion of my soul. If you don't like what I've shared feel free to pray for me - you don't need to tell me you are praying for me - if prayers work (and I still believe they do) I don't even need to know you are praying. I can offer a suggestion though - if you would like to pray for me - consider praying that I find that sense of peace and love I had when Sugarboy was diagnosed. That felt wonderful.

5 - Small victories:

1. Starting a Dblog. I had wanted to share my thoughts, fears, struggles, successes, moments of wonderful, etc etc etc for a long time. I didn't have the courage to do it until the end of January and it has given me great joy.

2. Became involved in the DOC. Prior to starting my own Dblog in Jan I would frequently read a few other blogs. Not many but I had my favorites. I never openly followed the blogs and I never got involved with twitter. I didn't even know their was a large DOC on twitter. I would occasionally post or read posts on the Children with Diabetes forums and I had my handful of other Dmoms that I would interact with on Facebook. I thought I had all my bases covered. I didn't realize what I had been missing until I attended my fist DOC DSMA Twitter Chat. All of a sudden I was connected. I interacted with people thousands of miles away - even across an ocean. I realized that I wasn't alone. All at once I was allowed to make jokes about diabetes, say FU to diabetes, and exchange frustrations and knowledge about diabetes with people who understood. I began to feel normal in the normal that I had known. (does that make sense?) 

3. I am allowing my Sweetstuff to attend a two night sleep over camp out with her girl scout troop and I won't be there. (granted the girl scout troop leader is also a Dmom so I know Sweetstuff will be in excellent hands) This camp-out without me is a huge deal for me - see control freak paragraph above. 

4. I have started to exercise. That may not seem like a victory to those that are vigilant about exercise but for me it is huge. It's not that I'm lazy. I work my bum off most days. It is that I rarely allow time for me to take care of me. Like the time I take to write on this blog - I wouldn't normally ever allow myself this much personal time. I would instead focus on cleaning the house or working. I have come to realize I can take better care of my family if I also take care of me. 

5. Letting go of hate. There have been times in my life that I have held on to hurt feelings long after the event occurred that resulted in my hurt feelings. Keeping that hate or hurt allowed others to live rent free in my head. In the last year I have made  conscious effort to let go of past anger and hurt. I won't say that I have forgiven those who hurt me or my kids but I have forgotten and moved on. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stick With it Sugar.....

Day 26th of Health Activists Wrtiter's Month Challege

Today's prompt: Health Tagline. Give yourself, your blog, your condition, or some aspect of your health a tagline. Make sure it's catchy!

I have been looking forward to today's post (not just because it falls on my birthday). I love tag lines. I think they say a great deal about the person attached to them. Although I know a few people who have a tag line as part of their email signature and they do NOT live up to it. I guess that is a good point - a tag line could set up expectations that others will have for you.

I only actually wrote the beginning of my tag line and I did so not realizing I was going to use it as a tag line. I originally shared it with a DOC friend Kelly Rawlings as encouragement. Since then I have used it a number of times a week with other pwd or parents of cwd as well as with my own kiddos.

The second part of my tagline is something I saw on Pinterest forever ago. I have used it in my post about my favorite quotes and it is a picture on my home page.  (despite best efforts I can not determine who said it first to properly credit the writer - if you can figure it out please share so I can thank that individual). I use it all the time as well - especially when mentoring families with a newly diagnosed child. When my Sugarboy was diagnosed a number of well meaning people would told me things would get easier. They were wrong - things didn't get easier. I don't want to sugar coat (ha that pun was truly not intentional) this madness for any parent or newly diagnosed person. For a long time while things were not getting easier I thought I was weaker than others, not as smart as others, not as good as others - then I realized I was stronger, smarter and sometimes better than I thought I was.

It's my birthday and I want to take a nap so I will hurry this a long and share my official new tag line.

Stick with it sugar.
Things never get easier, you just get better.

On a separate note -  Matthew Deets of the DOC shared this gem during a DSMA chat on twitter a couple weeks ago. I told him I was gonna share it and that he should use it as his tagline. It makes me giggle. The DOC has become an important part of my life sanity and I appreciate all the support the Dfabulous share with me and so many others.

"By my love of bacon, cupcakes, unicorns and all things blue" @matthewdeets on Twitter

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Update to this untitled unintentional post: Read at your own risk - may induce a headache.

I got a new laptop it is a Macbookpro I like it very much so far but a moment ago it changed the color of my font on my blog so now I am testing it to see if it will do the same thing again and while I was typing this little test message I realized I haven't used any punctuation so now I am playing a game with myself to see how long I can keep typing without accidentally putting punctuation in this little paragraph of mine the worst part will be when anyone tries to read this little message not that I plan to actually post the message it was just to test that the font color was correct before i started to amuse myself with the lack of punctuation which by the way if very difficult to do I have to concentrate very hard not to put a period or other punctuation in this little message and now I am thinking of how this message is somewhat like my life lately it seems everything is just running together with no clear ending or beginnings and that can be a difficult thing to manage and thus it is likely why I am playing this silly punctuation game with myself at nearly 1230 hours when I should actually be sleeping but I am waiting on a blood sugar for my sugarboy so I am staying up until 0100 hours to recheck him now it seems I have proved my point to myself that I can type continuously without using proper punctuation so no my game is done hope you have enjoyed this annoying little exercise in stubbornness.
The Elephant in the Room
Day 24 Health Activist Writers Month Challenge

Today's prompt:
Health Mascot. Give yourself, your condition, or your health focus a mascot. Is it a real person? Fictional? Mythical being? Describe them. Bonus points if you provide a visual!

I had high hopes for this post. I really did. I thought about it frequently over the last few weeks, tried to envision what I would create - would it be a happy go lucky type mascot, a angry kick diabetes butt mascot, a funny abstract as our lives mascot, etc. The thing is the last week has been absolutely crazy for us. Big changes coming for our family - details to come soon. All the crazy that has descended on us this last week has left my brain fried. I am so tired I've actually considered using toothpicks to prop my eyelids open (works in cartoons and for Mr. Bean). In the end I did not find time to create or even fully decide on a mascot. HOWEVER - I am a rule follower and the Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge encourages a post everyday. Thus I pulled one out of my bum so as to not break the rules. I will revisit the mascot topic in the future when things have settled down - especially after seeing the ultra cool zebricorn posted by Marie Smith. How does anyone compete with a mythical horned zebra? 

I really did consider taking a pass on this post - I am allowed 2 after all - but in the end I found something. I don't mean I searched the house like a crazed person desperately searching for something - anything to use. I found our 'temporary' mascot by accident while putting my iron away. On the shelf above the shelf that my iron resides 360 days out of the year (yes I only pull it out about 5 times a year to iron something - if I were meant to use it more often there wouldn't be a dry-cleaners just down the road). I didn't actually iron something tonight - I did it a couple days ago - a skirt for my daughter to wear under a dress when she dresses up like Alice to sing  "A World of My Own". 

Digressed - sorry

So above the shelf that the iron resides most the year I saw a tiny pink tail. The tail belongs to a stuffy that I had as a child. I believe I received this stuffy from my Great Grandmother when I was about 3. This stuffy was my best friend. I took her everywhere and did everything with her. 

When I was 6 I lost her. I looked everywhere for her but couldn't find her. I was a wreck - refused to eat, sleep, or calm down but my mom made me go to bed anyway. That was likely the longest night of my life up till when SugarBoy was diagnosed with diabetes. 

The next afternoon I found my stuffy in the seat of this little ride on potato bug thing. I didn't remember putting her in there but there she was safe and sound although I apologized to her for forgetting her. 

When I was 8 I couldn't fall asleep one night. I was worried that I might die in my sleep - (whose idea was it to have a child's prayer say something like "If I should die before I wake"? - It is as bad as the bow breaking allowing baby to smash to the ground with the cradle.) Anyway - I was too afraid to go to sleep - not because I might die but because what would happen to my stuffy? Wouldn't she miss me? My solution was to get out of bed and interrupt my mom and dad to ask them if they would please be sure to bury my stuffy with me if I happened to die. My folks were less than pleased for the interruption but promised that they would bury my toy with me - I don't recall if they tried to reassure me that I wasn't going to die that night. Hmmmmm...... 

Fast forward to present (since I'm sure hearing about high school years and college years with my stuffy would either bore you or cause you to believe I have unresolved childhood issues)

Diabetes is everywhere - it can not be ignored. I recently learned of a ultra fantastic song written and performed by George Simmons that has a line that says "You scream so loud without a voice". That is how I feel about diabetes all the time and since I have two kids with Type 1 I hear it in stereo. (you can purchase George's song on iTunes btw)

Like I was saying diabetes is not ignorable - it is the elephant in the room. A great FB friend - another D-Mom that met via the CWD Forums wrote a beautiful story about the elephant in the room and I hope to share it but she is East Coast and I am central and it is 11:59pm here. Surely she is snug-as-a bug in bed and I don't want to share it without permission. Thus - check back later tomorrow for the elephant story - until then.....
(Story is now added below)

Meet Elli

Becky's Elephant Story - I read it a couple years ago and think of it a least once a week.

A little over 3 years ago an elephant moved into my living room.

" Oh no! What the heck is that?!?!? Is that an
elephant? What is it doing in my living room?! That doesn’t belong here! I want it out! My living room isn’t big enough for that thing. It's making an awful mess!

What’s that? I have to take care of it? I don't know the first thing about
elephant care. No one in my family has an elephant
in their living room.

Ok, to be honest, I’m afraid of it, I don’t know if I can take care of it properly.
What if I screw it up? What if I fail?
Can I run away from it for awhile and think about things?

Oh, there are others with elephants in their living rooms too? So they would understand right? Even when others don’t.
And there are books on
care? That’s good I like to read

Ok then all right, I'll do my best to take good care of it. When will it leave?
What do you mean you don’t know?!

Ok so I have to take real good care of it and you don’t know when it will leave?

Dr Faustman? Who’s she? Will she be able to make it leave my living room?
Well at least someone’s working on that, that’s a comfort.


elephant is still there in the living room. Most days it stays over in the corner
, quiet, leaving us plenty of room to live our lives around it. Some days it will try to lumber out in the middle of the room and get in the way. I just give it some extra attention and then gently shove it back there where it belongs.

, I may have to accept your being in my living room but I don’t have to like it or you.

Just stay out of my kids way, they have lots of plans and dreams and you will never be allowed to get in the way of them.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My own Devices....

Day 23 Health Activists Writers Blog

Today's prompt: Health Activist Choice Day - Write about whatever you want.

As a parent of cwd (children with diabetes) when I think of Devices I automatically think of my kids insulin pumps, glucometers, and the Dexcom that is still sitting in its box getting dusty. All the pwd (people with diabetes) or other parents of cwd that stumble upon my blog (or are guilted into reading it because I self-promote it 5 times a day on twitter) also very likely think of pumps, glucometers and CGMs (continuous glucose monitors - ie Dexcom). People without diabetes that read the word 'Devices' likely think of phones, MP3 players, or tablets.

However - I am not thinking of electronics during this post. Here is what I am thinking of:

Device: A plan or a scheme for effecting a purpose.

Why do I advocate? Why do I volunteer for the JDRF presenting the Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes? Why do I share great blog posts (others as well as mine)? Why do I share information about new technology and promising research? Why do I do my best to change stereotype perceptions regarding diabetes (all types)? Why do I insist on 504 plans for my kids? Why do I take my kids to diabetes camps? Why do I form a JDRF walk team? Why do I spend hours writing a blog? Why do I spend hours tweeting with other pwd and parents of cwd?  Why why why why....

Because I have a plan with a purpose - to end diabetes, to end misconceptions, to end bullying, to end sadness, to end confusion, to end it all.

I advocate for those with diabetes because change happens when we make it happen through action. Writing letters to government officials to support diabetes research lets those individuals know we are watching and we vote.

I volunteer for JDRF because my time and ability to speak in front of large groups (including kids) is more valuable than the modest amount of money I can afford to give (although I give that too). I educate the kids regarding healthy life style choices to hopefully prevent type 2 diabetes (although not all type 2 diabetes is caused by poor lifestyle choices) and I educate the kids about what Diabetes is, that it isn't contagious, that a person that has Type 1 didn't do anything wrong to get it, that a person with Type 1 can do everything a person without Type 1 can do but also has to do extra things to stay safe, I educate them on how they can help end diabetes by supporting organizations that fund research. The Kids Walk is my most favorite thing to do regarding diabetes education.

I share diabetes blogs on Facebook, Twitter and Emails because sharing our struggles, successes and failures benefits everyone effected by diabetes. It isn't because misery loves company - it is because we need to know we aren't alone - we aren't the only parents that missed a high at night, or a low on the playground, or whose child is being non-compliant.

I share information about new technologies and research because it provides hope, it shows things are moving forward and even though the 5 Year mark (the number of years we are told at diagnosis in which a cure will be found) passes without a cure - we see progress.

I interrupt strangers I overhear speaking incorrectly about diabetes to educate them - to change the worlds perception of either that a) me or my kids did something wrong and thus got diabetes b) only people who are obese and lazy get Type 2 diabetes c)  people with Type 1 cannot eat a cupcake d) diabetes is easy.

I insist on 504 plans for my kids at school because I want them in a safe environment, I want them protected, I want the schools to know I WILL hold them accountable if they deny my children the care they require to stay safe.

I take my kids to diabetes camps because at camp my kids feel normal. At camp my kids see that they can do everything they dream of despite diabetes. I take my kids to camp because meeting other kids with diabetes helps my kids feel less alone.

I form a JDRF walk team to support an organization that funds research that will lead to a cure and end all the madness. I form a team to invite those without diabetes to get involved. I form a team to support my children.

I write a blog because it provides me a place to share, vent, whine, advocate, educate, support, laugh, and even cry aloud through my words. I write a blog because at some point in the future my kids will want to know "what did I do to end the madness" (although I am fairly certain they see and hear all I do). I write a blog because maybe there is a parent out there with a newly diagnosed child searching the Internet for information - maybe they will find my blog and they will see that while they have entered a world of madness there are others here to help them. I write a blog because one day maybe one of my dreams of writing a book or becoming a motivational speaker or a presenter at conferences will be realized and I will have all my past posts to draw inspiration and information from.

I spend hours a week tweeting with other pwd and parents of cwd because I don't know everything (shhhh don't tell my kids) and I can and have learned so much from the people I follow. The DOC (diabetes online community) is like camp for me - it allows me to believe I can do everything everyone else is doing and mostly I AM NOT ALONE.

My devices are not a part of a scheme - they are not intended to be tricky or mischievous.

My devices are fueled by my desire NEED to end the madness.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sticky Notes

Day 22 Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge

Today's prompt: Visit and make your own version of a short memo reminder. Where would you post it?

I went to the site but didn't see anywhere to create my own post-its, although it looks like a neat blog. I wrote my own sticky notes. By the way - I had a heck of time finding yellow post-its in my house. I found green, pink, purple, blue, floral, cartoon, and various freebies given out by vendors but NO yellow. If you havn't met me yet or havn't figured out from past posts I am a rule follower and so I had to use yellow stickies. Luckily I found them in a (notice I didn't say the - I have multiple) junk drawer. I really should write one that says "organize" for each area I need to organize, unfortunatly it was only a half of a pad of post-its so I fear there wouldn't be enough to put on all the less than organized areas in my house and life.  

I admit it I am an emotional eater. When I am sad, angry, happy, excited, nervous, stressed, tired, etc. I turn to food. Sometimes the food is healthy like an apple or yogurt but more often it is not so healthy - peanut butter cups (yes I do keep them in the fridge - better cold), pudding and salsa and chips. I raid the pantry too but the fridge picture made more sense - otherwise it would just be a picture of cabinet doors and thus not be as effective.

This note is on the window sill above my kitchen sink. In addition to eating when I am emotional I also clean (a healthy choice but not as tasty). I have shed many tears over a sink full of suds. Sometimes I forget to breath - this is a helpful reminder.

Facebook is fun but dangerous. I share lots of pictures of my kids achievements as well as my own. I share funny stories, links to great blogs or articles, and keep my friends informed about what I ate for breakfast. The thing about FB is that it is easy to pick and choose the information you share - I don't share all the arguements I have with my kids or family, the A1C results that were less than bragable, how tired I am, how sad I sometimes get, how frustrated I get with life in general. I am fairly certain I am not alone in that (aside from some folks that seem to only share unfortunate news - sad for them even though I also hide them - I know I suck). If only everyone's lives were as perfect as they seem on Facebook.

I don't watch much TV but I do DVR a few shows to keep me occupied on nights when my kids blood sugars are behaving badly. One of those shows is "Cougar Town" - honestly I don't even know what the characters do for work aside from Greyson who owns a bar but rarely seems to be working. It is like when "Friends" was on - I mean they all sat around at a coffee shop or in Monica's apartment (funny Courtney Cox is represented twice - love her). In the real world people have jobs, kids fight, traffic sucks, everything costs money and most grown ups don't get a constant stream of play dates.

Doesn't need explanation - don't neglect your gums.

I've mentioned this one before during my favorite quotes post. The first thing I do is make coffee each moring - before waking my kids up. I'm NOT a morning person but since listening to Mike Lawson on Blog Talk Radio and reading his blog I have been much better at being a morning person. Although I do admit I have to put effort into choosing powerful vs. pitiful for the first hour of my day.

My elliptical - no other explanation necessary.

Regardless if it is me that steps on the scale or others - the numbers displayed are not an indication of how good or bad a person is. (The writing is small but it says "Not an indication of how good a person you are")

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Madlibs Make No Sense

Day 21 Health Activist Writers Month Challenge

Today's prompt: Health Madlib Poem. Go to: and fill in the parts of speech and the   site will generate a poem for you. Feel free to post the Madlib or edit it to   make it better.

I admit I did edit it a bit since some just didn't make any sence at all - clearly I didn't edit all of it. Still I'm thinking the Madlib creation site can write a better poem than I could without it.

Frankly I have never smiled, or been happy about
any glucometer, carbohydrate counting is never loving:
when I'm most tired, friends are those who push me,
and who I cannot ignore because they are too kind.

Your happy look gladly will unstick me
though I have cwd myself as family,
you high five me and always help me home, the DOC conspires
nearly absently more than Facebook could

And your Blogs teach me, I will
will check very often, beneficially,
even when the test strips of this glucometer laugh
the insulin pump cheerfully obliges;

Nothing which we are to love in this adventure is more than
the anxious unicorn: whose magic support
runs after me with the syringe to cover the banana,
crying over cupcakes and peanut butter cups with each hug

I do not jump for joy so what it is about you that makes you fly?
Hope; something in me believes
laughter and love feed the hopeful in all DOC
Rainbows, without tears cannot erase the hope for a cure

(The anxious Unicorn chasing me with a syringe cracks me up)

- Christina & e.e. cummings

Friday, April 20, 2012

EXPOSED - No such thing as a Miracle Cure

Day 21 Health Activist Writers Month Challenge

Today's prompt: Miracle Cure. Write a news-style article on a miracle   cure. What’s the cure? How do you get the cure? Be sure to include a disclaimer  ;)

I would love a "miracle cure" for my cwd (children with diabetes), not to mention my mom's MS, friends with cancer, asthma, autism, severe food allergies, and so many more chronic illnesses. However, there is no such thing as a miracle cure. No amount of cinnamon, vitamin D, fad diets, moss from trees in the Amazon, or magic fairy farts will cure diabetes or other chronic illness.

What will cure diabetes and other chronic illnesses is hard work, advocacy, research, and dedication from scientists, governments, patients and physicians. In the meantime those with chronic illnesses should and will continue to be vigilant, involved, educated, and hopeful.

A cure will come when more people follow the words and actions of people like Tom Karlya. I mention his because I love his tag line more than any other "In It To End It" and he is always out there working hard to put an end to diabetes.

That's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

You Are Cordially Invited....

Day 20 Health Activist Writers Mont Challenge

5 Dinner Guests. Who are 5 people you’d love to have dinner with (living or deceased) and why?

I've had all day to consider this post. I considered going the 'Jesus, Gandhi, Buda, Mohammad, & Abraham (the one with all the sons as apposed to the one with the hat)' route but reconsidered. I have a great deal of faith but this isn't a blog about my religious beliefs. Although I would like to take a quick moment to say that I believe "Faith is not the absence of doubt, it is the ability to believe in the presence of doubt" - read that quote somewhere, I should google it to site the source but I'm hanging on by a thread right now (exhausted) thus I will leave the googling to you. Let me also add that I respect all religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) and pass no judgment.

Digressed - sorry - moving on.

I also considered inviting key scientists and researchers from the past including; Fredrick Banting, John MaCleod, Charles Best, Alexander Fleming, and for fun, because I think he would be a riot Albert Einstein. (For non-diabetes readers the first three scientists discovered insulin) While I have a great deal of respect for these men I'm not entirely sure they would be the best dinner guests for me - I fear I would be lost in all the sciency stuff.

Next I considered a dinner with philosophers such as Plato, Socrates, Confucius, Galileo, and Aristotle. Again I have a great respect for the genius these men had - that same genius would likely be over my head without cliff notes to help me understand all they discussed. Although I am keeping Confucius on a stand-by list since I would like him to look at some fortune cookie fortunes I have received that begin with "Confucius says..." and ask him if they are accurate quotes.

Like I said I had all day to consider my dinner guests.

When it came down to it I have already had this amazing dinner with 5 fabulous people. The dinner was on a Friday evening here in Austin on March 30th. The guests included a JDRF Outreach Manager, a CDE (certified diabetes educator) extraordinaire, two fellow JDRF volunteers and also D-mamas (moms with a child who has diabetes) and the guest of honor - the DOC's very own Kerri S. who was scheduled to give the keynote at the 2nd annual JDRF Type 1 Now Conference the next day.

I was so thankful to Amy (JDRF Outreach Manager) for inviting me to attend the dinner. I remember calling Amy giddy with excitement after reading that Kerri was going to be the keyone. I likely sounded like a child about to see Santa for the first time. I wasn't alone in my giddiness - my good friend, fellow D-Mama and JDRF Kids Walk Volunteer Andrea was also as giddy. We were both huge fans of Kerri's blog and could hardly believe we would get to enjoy a dinner with her.

Me and my two fellow D-mamas arrive to the restaurant first. While Amy had requested a table on the patio when she made the reservation, one was not available - no biggy Kerri was coming. Teresa (other Dmom), Andrea and I caught up on recent events, ordered beverages and relaxed. Shortly after we ordered our beverages Cassie arrived (CDE). As she pulled out her chair to join us I realized the placement of the table was not acceptable. The pathway between our table and the table behind ours was narrow even prior to Cassie being seated. The guests for the other table had not yet arrived, thus when they did arrive and someone was seated in the chair opposite Cassie the pathway (main thoroughfare for servers) would be reduced to approximately 6 inches. I tried to remedy the problem by moving a large floor plant over and then scootching our table over (management and servers alike gawked at us (me) while I was orchestrating the table move). Unfortunately adjusting the table location did not alleviate the poor logistics of the walk way. Amy and Kerri were due to arrive momentarily. I approached the manager ( the same one that had shook his head in my general direction during the table placement fiasco moments early) and pointed out the perceived problem. He concurred and assured me he would find us another table. (sadly - we could not take our waiter with us - I forget his name but I'm certain he would have been an 'outstanding' waiter)

Our new table - a secluded corner on the patio with a panoramic view of the hills. Well played Mr. Manager.

Amy and Kerri arrived, beverages ordered and conversation ensued. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that in all the excitement of the pending conference, the view, and the table relocation we neglected to introduce ourselves to Kerri. Thus she was inclined to ask for introductions - sorry about that Kerri if you read this. We played round robin introducing ourselves, explaining our involvement with diabetes and discussed a possible unhealthy obsession with Justin Beiber (not me or Kerri just to be clear). Drinks arrived (mine was wrong - not that I would have cared - thus I was given a second one - score), we ordered dinners and spent the next two hours laughing, sharing, and just having a wonderfully good time.

It was an absolute pleasure to have met and shared a meal with one of the DOC's celebrities and my good D friends. Maybe a dinner with spiritual leaders, philosophers, or brilliant scientists would be enlightening but I will always take laughter, support, and friends over enlightenment.

Hoping to meet up with more of the dfabulous DOCs at FFL this July.   

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

*Butterfly in the Sky - I can go twice as high.....

Day 18 Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge

Today's prompt (yes I am on time with this one) is: Open a Book. Choose a book and open it to a random page and point to a phrase. Use that phrase to get you writing today. Free write for 15-20 without stopping.

I love books - I mean I truly love books. I buy them in paper form, I buy them on my Kindle (sometimes also in print if I really loved the story), and I buy audio versions via (again I buy the print versions for the really great ones). I keep my kindle in my purse for emergency reading, there are always a couple printed books scattered around the house (yes I read more than one at a time) and I always have an audio book to listen to while driving long distances (or even to the convenience store) and while cleaning.

Thus, I had a plethora of books in my bookshelves to choose from for today's prompt. Choosing a book was going to prove difficult - I mulled over my favorites including Diana Gaboldon's Outlander series (always looking for a chance to get others hooked on Jamie and Claires adventures), but then I saw it, tucked in between "It's Not Easy Being Green And Other Things to Consider" Jim Henson, The Muppets and Friends & "Furry Logic A Guide To Life's Little Challenges" by Jane Seabrook - Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture" was calling to me.

Opened to page 100, closed my eyes and dropped my finger.

"At Christmas, I had made an adventure out of putting the lights on the tree. Rather than showing Dylan and Logan the proper way to do it - carefully and meticulously - I just let them have at it haphazardly. However they wanted to throw those lights on the tree was fine by me. We got video of the whole chaotic scene, and Jai says it was a "magical moment" that will be one of her favorite memories of our family together"

So there it is - the best way to enjoy life, family, friends and our time on this planet is to do it unscripted. Perhaps doing all things haphazardly isn't the entire answer (wouldn't want to manage diabetes that way) but the little things - they don't need to be careful and meticulous. Making mistakes (not all unscripted haphazard things are mistakes) is a way of knowing you are trying.

I will admit it took me a few years and using my Sweetstuff as a guinea pig to learn that I don't need to: touch up her artwork, remake a bed (btw I no longer even make beds), put out the kids clothes, re-fold towels they folded, or fix the placement of ornaments on the Christmas tree. I can see the difference between trying to make everything perfect when Sweetstuff was little and going the haphazard route with the boys - Sweetstuff is a 'bit' of a perfectionist (don't worry I hope to enroll her in a 12 step program soon) while the boys are more 'fly by the seat of their pants' kinda kids. Maybe it's gender or birth order related but I still accept a bit of responsibility for who my kids are and will become.

Life is too short to spend time trying to make it perfect.

*Reading Rainbow was likely one of my favorite shows on PBS as a kid

Wordless Wendnesday (dedicated to Sarah)

What you have diabetes too - we will be besties...

Day 17 Health Activist Writers Month Challenge

Today's (oops yesterday's - running a bit behind due to life) prompt was Learned the Hard Way. What's a lesson you learned the hard way? Write about it for 15 today.

I have learned a number of lessons the hard way including but not limited to: don't vent in public because you never know who may be listening (that one stung like a bit**), always check your kids pockets for crayons prior to washing and drying, don't accept friend requests on the Facebook form people you have not met in person (unless they are friends from the DOC), don't smell a bag of frozen peas that you were using to rest your head on during a migraine while pregnant after it had fallen behind the headboard of your bed two weeks earlier (the result is instant vomiting).

However I wanted to see what Sweetstuff might have to say about this prompt. She was swamped with homework last night (she believes that her teachers conspire to deprive her of relaxation because they sometimes all assign massive amounts on the same night and none on other nights). Due to the conspiracy theory she was unable to type up the lesson herself but shared it with me so I could share it.

My Sweetstuff was diagnosed 2 years after Sugarboy and so she already knew other kids her age with diabetes due to a camp we attend that encourages siblings to attend as well. Thus, when she was diagnosed and I posted on Facebook about her diagnoses (I believe my post was something like "WTF" - although I did apologise for the abbreviated Fbomb) I received an outpouring of support from many D families. The mother and daughter of one of the those families visited Sweetstuff in the hospital since they knew us from camp. The daughter also has diabetes. They were so sweet to visit, brought gifts and offered support. The mother is absolutely wonderful and very involved with advocacy, education and the JDRF. The daughter is also great and Sweetstuff immediately thought "at least I have someone who understands and will likely be a DBFF".

A few months later it was camp time. Sweetstuff, while not excited to have diabetes, felt good to be part of "the group" rather than a sibling of someone in "the group". The first day of camp went well, she and the other child buddied up and had a great day. However day 2 did not go the same. The other child snubbed Sweetstuff and chose to hang with other girls who also ignored her. Sweetstuff still had a blast at camp and soon connected with a boy that is currently her absolute DBFF but at the same time didn't understand why the other child acted the way she did. The child ignored Sweetstuff the rest of camp.

The child doesn't live super close or go to the same school so the girls didn't have opportunities to build their relationship over the next year. At camp a year after the first camp it happened again. The child was buddy buddy with Sweetstuff the first day but then ignored her the rest of the week. Thank goodness for Sweetstuffs DBFF (the boy - I will have to ask him what he'd like his non De plume to be since he will likely be mentioned frequently in the future). It was another fantastic week of camp despite hurt feelings.

A month later would be Sweetstuff's first week attending Texas Lions Camp for kids with diabetes. While I was a nervous wreck (6 days of no contact from Sweetstuff although I could write emails to her) Sweetstuff was thrilled to be attending a sleep away camp where she would meet other girls with diabetes. The mother of the other child also registered her daughter for the first time and asked if we should try to get the girls placed in the same bunk house. Knowing what I knew about how the child ignored Sweetstuff I tactfully suggested we let things alone and allow the girls to meet new friends. The mother (with great intentions I am certain) called the camp to request the girls be together. The other child while in the same grade as Sweetstuff is nearly an entire year younger - thus the camp placed Sweetstuff in a bunk house with younger girls rather than move the other child up to the older girls. The same scenario played out - the first day the child was buddy buddy with Sweetstuff but after that she ignored her and on a few accounts was ugly to her. Sweetstuff did meet a number of excellent young ladies who she adores despite the attempts by the other child to "out" Sweetstuff.

Last summer at the day camp Sweetstuff decided not to fall prey to the games the other child plays and choose to be cordial but not buddy buddy wither her. She had a fabulous week. A month later Sweetstuff attended TLC again and I had asked the camp to put Sweetness with a friend she met the year prior and said nothing of the other child. Sweetness was not in the same bunkhouse with the other child and her DBFF (the boy)  also attended so it was, according to Sweetstuff, the best week of her life.

Sweetstuff's lesson learned - just because someone has diabetes too doesn't mean mean they will be the ideal friend or a friend at all. To quote the Dblog extraordinaire Kerri S "Diabetes doesn't define me, but it helps explain me", diabetes alone is not enough to build a friendship, all the usual elements that create lasting friendships must also be present - diabetes does sometimes open the door though.

Sweetstuff with her DBFF

Sweetstuff with CDE extraordinaire - unrelated but fun to add cus she rocks

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Kids Humble Me

Took my dear Sweetstuff to Six Flags Fiesta Texas with 12 other girl scouts and 3 other moms yesterday. Sweetstuff had her drawstring backpack packed with all her medical needs, extra infusion set, glucometer, juice, fruit roll-ups, water and of course her cell phone.

The troop leader extraordinaire (also a D mom - mom of child with diabetes) packed coolers with stuff to fix lunch to encourage the girls to have a healthy lunch rather than one of funnel cakes and cheese fries (although I'm guessing a number of them - Sweetstuff included - had both).

The girls were given instructions not to leave the park, not to talk to strangers, not to separate from their small group or buddy, to meet back in 3 hours for lunch, call if anyone makes them feel uncomfortable, and most of all to have fun. Sweetstuff agreed to test often and check in hourly. Also a quick reminder to remove her pump prior to riding large coasters and put it back on after. We stopped by the first aide station to obtain a medical sticker for her bag - this allows her to take her bag to every ride and the ride attendants are required to hold it while she is on the ride - vs. having to store her bag in a locker at the entrance to the large coasters.

The girls were off - so were us moms. First stop a game in which we shoot water into a hole to win a cape. I won - although we all received capes.
I loved the cape idea and didn't feel the least bit silly wearing it while I was with the other super moms. However I had to run back to give something to Sweetstuff  - alone - walking as an adult wearing a supergirl cape I got some interesting looks.

Sweetstuff did an amazing job remembering to remove her pump on the big rides, check her blood sugar often, dosed for various snacks (she is getting so good at SWAGing - scientific wild ass guessing). She ate lunch with the group and counted her carbs well (I think she did a better job than me actually since I when we compared notes I was 15 under her and her after lunch bs was 107).

Theme parks can be a real pain in the arse. I've taken my kids too many times to recall and each time it is different - sometimes the junky foods and the adrenaline causes highs - other times the running around and walking countless miles have caused lows - not to mention the rage boluses, over correcting lows, miscalculated carbs.

So here is where it gets AWESOME - my dear Sweetstuff kept her blood sugars between 79 and 133 all day long - she did this really with hardly any guidance or assistance from me. She makes me so very proud - best part she recognised her success and what it took to achieve it. I hope that lesson stays with her through her life. She didn't have to struggle - she just had to stay vigilant. It didn't interrupt her day, cause her embarrassment or hang over her like a dark cloud.

She is my my super hero and really truly a Wonder Woman.

Sweetstuff does a fantastic job managing her diabetes but so does SugarBoy. He will be 8 in a few weeks and has had Diabetes (why do I always capitalize that - someone please tell me - is it a rule?) since he was nearly 3. He has always owned it so it shouldn't surprise me when he calls from a friends house and the following conversations take place:

Ring Ring Cell Phone
Me: Hello
Sugarboy: Mom can I have a cookie, Seth's mom bought them. My blood sugar was 127, let me see what the carbs are...Seth can you get me the package it says 21 grams per serving, let me check the serving cookie is a serving...Ill dose first can I have it?
Me: Ah  - yes.
Sugarboy: Thanks mom I love you to the moon.

1 hour later:
Ring Ring Cell Phone
Me: Hello
Sugarboy: Mom now Seth's mom made is 14 grams for a serving...I'm just gonna have half a serving so 7 grams - that ok?
Me: I don't think that's a good idea, dinner is nearly done it will spoil your appetite.
Sugarboy: That's why I said half a serving. Thanks mom.

5 minutes later
Ring Ring Cell Phone
Me: Hello
Sugarboy: Mom I was 50 I drank a juice and I will check again in 10 minutes before I eat my popcorn.
Me: OK - good thinking - dinner is in a half hour
Sugarboy: Alrighty then. thanks

My kids are awesome and I am so blessed to have them in my life. They humble me everyday.

Hi Ho Hi Ho It's Off To Pin I Go

Day 16 Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge

Today's prompt was to create a pinterest board for my health focus. Pin 3 as many pins as I feel are appropriate. What did you pin? Share the images in a post (hope you aren't breaking some copy right law) and explain why you chose them.

I love Pinterest. I mean I really love Pinterest. I have collected a plethora of fabulous ideas for: teaching (although I am not currently teaching full time - Ill be set when I go back), cooking (I have used these pins), organizing (I haven't used these), crafting (used some) and of course laughter - so much laughter available on pinterest.

Unlike my home or my life I have organized my boards. I have: Products I love, Makes Me Think, My Style, Books I Love, Things I Want to Try, Recipes I Want to Try, Classroom Ideas, Makes me Giggle, All Things Harry Potter and now Health Focus. Some of the pins overlap and thus are pined to multiple boards. The Pins I currently included on my Health Focus board came from other boards. I did first try to search "diabetes" to see if there were pins out there I wanted to include but most that came back were jokes about how John has diabetes - I hate that pin.

So without further adue here are the pins I choose to include on my Health Focus board:

You may recognize this gem from my homepage. It is my favorite pin. It is something that I try to remember daily and share with others. You will see it again on the 26th.

Another absolute favorite -
"Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things,
and no good thing ever dies" Shawshank Redemption
(No I can't make it through a blog post without including a movie reference)

I NEED this as a key chain or necklace and my birthday is coming -
feel free to tweet my hubby @Durbur with a link.
I often feel scared, weak and not so smart - It is nice to be reminded that what I think of myself and who I really am are not always the same.
Thnak you Winnie the Pooh for all your wisdom.

Do this everyday.

Never argue with John Wayne
I used to believe that courage was not being afraid. I was wrong.
In the last few years I have learned that:
"Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to act in the presence of it"
Bruce Lee (also a man not frequently argued with)

I will not pretend that I have my crud together all the time. I will not pretend I can do all that must be done for my children, my home and my husband all by myself all the time (even though I try and asking for help is very difficult for me). I stumble and fall often, I get overwhelmed, I am so very tired so much of the time and when all the things that I try to do get to be too much I get a little crazy. It is at this point I need to remind my family and friends to....

I love Alice - I'd like to say I am like Alice but I'm not, I just wish I was. While she is unconventional and adventurous. I am safe and so very conventional.
We do have this in common though.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Writing with Style - shoot I'm lucky I've kept up writing at all

Day 15 Health Activist Writers Month Challenge

Today's prompt: Whats your writing style? do words just flow from your mind to your fingertips? do you like handwriting first? Do you plan your posts? Title first or last? Where do you write best?

In less than an hour I need to be on the road to a girl scout even with Sweetstuff. Trying to pull this post out of my sleep deprived mind in less than 10 minutes so I can be in the shower and on the road in a timely manner.

For starters I originally was going to write "pull this post out of my arse" which about covers how nearly all my posts have been written. I had given thought to a few of my posts prior to writing them but my best posts including "My Happy Place" have been off the cuff.

I don't fancy myself a wordsmith (lots of grammar and spelling mistakes I'm sure - not to mention my limited vocabulary since I stopped buying the word a day calendars), but words do generally just flow from my mind to my fingertips (note I didn't say they were always good words). Many times my thoughts move more rapidly than my fingers do thus I find that I digress often - sorry.

I never hand write my posts prior to writing them.

LOL -I didn't finish before going to the theme park so here I am after 8 hours at the park and over 3 hours of driving - trying to squeeze this in before midnight.

Like I was saying - i don't hand write things first but I do occasionally make notes in my phone about things I want to post about (that list is growing but will wait until I have a free day {laugh} or when the Health Activist Writers Challenge ends.)

Planning posts - again not much of a planner although with the HAWMC I have given some thought to a few of the upcoming prompts - although those thoughts change daily.

Title first or last - I generally title my posts prior to writing (my attempt to keep myself focused) but often tweak the title after the post is complete.

I write best at my own desk and on my own laptop but lately I've been compelled to use my daughters laptop since mine is out of commission due to a hideous virus. I have been siting at her desk to do this (her chair bites). I could move either her laptop to my desk or my chair to her desk but I don't want her to feel like I'm intruding - nor do I want her to get used to MY chair.

As far as my style - well I recently found an amazing blog written by the mother of a child with autism and I honestly couldn't say it better than she does regarding writing style - it seems our styles are very similar although I wouldn't go so far as to suggest I write as well as her: "what you see here is what you get. I talk the way I think, and when I can get away with it, I write the way I talk. I'm not a for-better-or-worse sort of woman, I'm a for better AND worse sort of person. I believe in getting through things, not just "over" them. I've gone through too much to waste the energy on bullsh*tting anyone, myself included." Rhiannon Fieri

In the end I'm not sure how, when or where I write matters as much as why I write - which is to keep myself sane.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Dream Day Would Be Laced With Guilt

Day 14 Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge

Prompt - Describe your ideal day. how would you spend your time? Who would you spend it with? Have you had this day? If not - how could you make it happen?

I have struggled with this prompt in my head all day - well actually for a number of days since I read ahead. Many would expect me to write how my dream day would be a day in which my kids did not have diabetes. Of course I dream of that day but while I believe it is coming I don't believe it will be in the next 5 years. Others may also expect my dream day to be one I spend having fun with my family - the thing is I get a lot of those days and I treasure them already. Earlier I started to type out my dream day as a day I get to meet all the wonderful people I've 'meet' in the DOC (diabetes online community via twitter and blogs) since I got involved. So many have already helped me learn, cope and laugh - too meet them in person would be oh so wonderful. Yet none of the above mentioned days are what I really dream of right now.

The day I dream of causes me to feel the dreaded "guilt" because the day I dream of would be all mine. I don't often (ever) take a break from the diabetes care for my kids. Notice I didn't say "get" a break. My dear husband recognises how hard I work and acknowledges the fact I don't get enough sleep. He understands why sometimes my patience has run out and my temper is quick. He has recently encouraged me to 'take a break'. I just don't.

I have a difficult time asking for help. I mean a really terrible awful time asking for help. It isn't a pride thing (most of the time), it isn't entirely that I don't trust others to do as good of a job as I do (if what I do is a good job - there are others who are much better at it), it isn't that I couldn't get away - we would have resources for me to utilize if I wanted to get away. It is that I am a control freak and if something ever went wrong when I was 'taking a break' I wouldn't no how to forgive myself (also a big problem I have). I trudge along feeling tired, alone, incapable even though I don't have to feel those things. Granted my husband would make a gazillion mistakes (sorry babe if you read this) but it wouldn't be his fault. When Sugarboy was diagnosed I took the reigns and haven't relinquished them very often, and even then only with multiple phone calls and texts. I haven't given my dear husband too many opportunities to learn diabetes management like I know it. I learned by trial and error and if I don't let others try how would they know.

So going back to my guilt laced dream day - If I really had a dream day it would be all about me. No kids (insert guilt here) and no husband (again insert guilt here). I would leave my phone behind and my computer too. I would pack up some comfy pants and tank tops, the latest edition of the Outlander series (due out in 2013), my ipod (with the next Lord John book downloaded on it to be used during the drive down), my sunglasses, a pair of shorts, my sonic care toothbrush ( I love that thing - makes my mouth happy), a package of Red Vines, my camera and my flip flops. I would get in my van rented two door convertible sports car (brand doesn't matter) and head off to the coast (about 4 hours to a fairly decent one in Texas).

I would leave early (late) enough to arrive as the sun was coming up over the waves.
I would stop at a Starbucks and order a venti non-fat cinnamon dolce latte with only 3 pumps of syrup and no whip. I would park at the hotel that I would be staying at that night, grab my camera and take my latte for a walk on the beach. I would find a quiet place and start writing in the sand - words like anger, guilt, regret, sadness, and mistakes. I would let the tides take each emotion away leaving me light hearted and free - at least for the day. I would smile at strangers jogging and vacationers coming down early to set up a good spot for later day fun and I would know that I didn't have to talk to them.

I would return to the hotel and ask to check in early and since it is my dream day they would say "certainly and also we upgraded you to a king Jacuzzi suite with a full ocean view". I would run a hot jacuzzi bath (brush my teeth since they would be gross from driving all night) grab my book and sink into a luxurious bath complete with lavender and eucalyptus scents. I would have a tall pitcher of ice water with cucumbers perched near to keep me hydrated.

After the long relaxing bath and a number of chapters filled with my friends Jamie and Claire (main characters) I would slip into the complementary hotel robe and call down to have the nail specialist sent up. I would sit on my private balcony listening to the waves and seagulls as the nail specialist rubbed my feet, legs, arms and hands, buffed out all the dry stressed skin, and painted my nails.
My breakfast would arrive next; fruit salad, spinach quiche and black coffee. It would still be well before noon so I would sink down into the extra plush bedding and close my eyes for a mid morning nap.

When I awake it would be mid afternoon. The sun would be high and hot. I would slip into my shorts and a tank top, fill my water bottle, rub in some sun screen and head to the shore. Id toss my flip flops in my shoulder bad with my water and camera and I would start walking. Id stay just close enough to the tides that my footsteps leave slight indentations that are quietly washed away. I'd walk for miles - thinking, not thinking, singing to myself, not making a sound, listening to the waves whisper to me, snapping pictures and listening to children playing (not my own so I don't have to worry about sun screen, riptides, or jellyfish), I'd watch people fly kites, rent jet skies, hop over the tides and fish. Along I would know I don't have to do any of it, I can just walk. I would turn back when my water bottle is half empty.

In the late afternoon I would again curl up on the bed but this time I would read. I would read without a phone ringing, the dryer beeping, the kids arguing, dinner calling to be made, or the dogs barking. I would love reading but I would feel a bit sleepy so I would dog-ear my page and close my eyes. I would wake to my dinner being brought in on silver platters. Grilled salmon with mashed potatoes and asparagus, fried calamari, brushetta bread, and a pomegranate ginger martini. After savoring every bite desert would be served - chocolate moose cheesecake and a cappuccino.
After dinner I would head down to the shore again with a towel and again my book. I would read until the sun fell low and the twilight made it difficult to read with straining my eyes. At which point I would lie back at watch for the first evening stars with the whispers of the tides reminding me that it is ok to take time for myself.

I'd return to my room, take a hot shower, pull on my comfy pants and tank top and crawl into bed - setting the alarm to wake me in time to head home before my kids woke up in the morning.
During this entire day I wouldn't check a blood sugar, wouldn't count a carb, wouldn't talk about school, kids, or housework.

So this is why my dream day would be laced with guilt. If I wanted to do this - I could. I make my own insulin and so theoretically I could take a vacation from diabetes. (Insert Sally Field "I could run from here to Texas but my daughter couldn't she never could).  Prior to finding the DOC I would only feel guilty about taking a vacation from diabetes because my kids can't, now I have grown to care about so many in the DOC that I would also feel guilty because they can't take a vacation either.

My doctor, my husband and my family tell me I need to take care of myself to be able to take care of my kids. I'm sure they are right but would my dream day really be beneficial or would the guilt, anger and frustration I would feel after taking such a day be detrimental to my well being.

This day can never happen while my kids, friends and so many others fight the battle that is diabetes because I won't rest until everyone else can too.