Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Hate Cliches 

Watching a slow motion train wreck....

That is what everything with my Middles feels like.  

Today I took Middles to our endocrinologist. They drew 6 vials of blood to run a full diabetes panel. They also had him do a glucose tolerance test and checked his  A1C. It will be a week before I know all the blood work results.

According to Middles A1C of 4.3 and his glucose tolerance test (109 fasting start, 170 at 1 hour mark, 130 at 2 hour mark) he does not have diabetes. 

However - with the half dozen blood sugar results that were 200+ postprandial (that's 2 hours after a meal) in the 72 hours prior to visit; combined with frequent urination, increased thirst, stomach aches, chest pain, headaches, leg soreness (not associated with physical activity), positive results for all the antibodies associated with Type 1 and the fact that his 2 siblings already have Type 1 - the Endo believes diabetes is coming. It may be a month, a year, ten years - etc. but it is coming. 

My hope - to get Middles into a study (there is one in the San Francisco area) that focuses on slowing if not stopping diabetes in people that are at high risk. Maybe I can divert the train.

As for right now - his numbers today and most of yesterday were all within normal range. Even after eating a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut (they are addictive and should come with a surgeon generals warning) his blood sugar never went above 142 (we were running late for soccer and they all begged me - don't judge). 

The Endo instructed me to continue to check his blood sugar 2 hours after meals and get a fasting blood sugar each morning. It made me sad to see him "excited" to have his own meter complete with a new style of lancing device Delica - which I tried and am pleased to say it is way less painful than the older model. 

I will continue to discourage High Glycemic Index foods high glycemic index foods (sorry no cupcake for you). Again - I want to say that I am normally a "let them eat cake" kinda Dmom but I want to reduce the chances of blood sugar spikes allowing his pancreas to keep plugging along - no need to add stress to an organ that is clearly having a hard time keeping up. The improved diet will likely improve the D control my other two have as well. I have always believed and advocated that people with type 1 diabetes can eat everything people without diabetes can eat BUT that doesn't mean any of us should be eating some of the crud we put in our bodies (stay the heck away form my Reese's - they have protein in them). 

Thank you everyone for your support during this crazy time for our family. I truly appreciate all the emails, tweets and comments. Thank you God for allowing me to be wrong this time - even if it's temporarily wrong - if it is coming please let it wait till after the move, after puberty, after college - is there ever an OK time - doubtful. 

For now we keep plugging along - I think we can, I think we can, I think we can.....

Monday, May 28, 2012

What Dreams May Come

This morning I woke up and thought the previous 48 hours were a dream. Then I saw the mini meter on my nightstand and Middles sleeping peacefully on the other side of the bed. I so badly wanted it to all be a dream.

I continue to check Middles blood sugars first thing in the morning, before meals and postprandial. Today his numbers did not spike above 149 and he woke up at 93. He was away from me over the lunch period so I could not check and he was not comfortable taking a meter with him to a friends house. He doesn't want his friends to know until he hears it from a doctor.

I have not allowed him high glycemic index foods. Yes I know people with Type 1 diabetes can eat the cupcake but right now I am going to try my best to limit the fast acting carbs and let his pancreas rest (not giving him insulin yet). I'm trying to avoid the spikes and preserve beta cell function.

If newly diagnosed people go through a "honeymoon" phase I would say Middles is still in the "engagement" phase. I know the storm is coming (although I pray hourly that for the first time in my entire life I am wrong).

Middles fell asleep in my arms last night while lying in my bed with me. He was crying and voicing all his fears. His last words before sniffling himself to sleep were "at least now I get to attend Texas Lions Camp." Texas Lions Camp is a week long sleep away camp for kids with diabetes. Sweetstuff will be attending for the 3rd time this summer and Sugarboy will go for the first time this year since he is now old enough. The problem is - camp is full. There is a waiting list.

My first prayer is that I am so very very wrong.
If I can't have that - maybe there will be someway to get Middles into camp.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I will be the Mad Hatter

For those that have not read my blog before or were not around when I began my blog earlier this year here is a recap:

I have 3 children. 2 of my three children (my oldest and my youngest) have both been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. My youngest was dxd when he was 2 back in 2007. My oldest was dxd 2 years later at age 9. Since my oldest child's diagnosis I have also monitored my middle child's blood glucose levels periodically - holding my breath each time and releasing said breath with a sigh of relief each time his numbers came back "normal".

In October of 2011 my middle child (middles) agreed to get a blood draw at our local JDRF walk via Trialnet (research group that tests for antibodies that are present in those with Type 1 diabetes).

In February I received word that Middles was positive for all of the antibodies commonly found in individuals with Type 1 diabetes. Not great news but not a guarantee that Middles would develop diabetes. (BTW - my husband and I are both negative - my oldest (Sweetstuff) was positive for the antibodies two years prior to diagnosis)

Since February I have held my breath - checked Middles blood sugars slightly more often than previously and prayed. His numbers were not always "normal" but when they weren't normal they were lower than normal (between 60 and 75 - post-prandial - which is low). Normal Blood sugars
In the last month or so Middles has been demonstrating random symptoms that I am way too familiar with:

  • increased thirst
  • sore legs
  • headaches
  • stomach aches
  • chest hurts
  • increased urination
I know the symptoms of diabetes onset - thus I tested Middles when he showed the above symptoms. Each time I checked him his blood glucose would be in normal range or below normal range. I also tested his  Ketone levels. On more than one occasion the ketone test results showed "trace" ketones using the ketone sticks (dipped in urine). I consulted the endocrinologist that my other two children see regarding the lower than normal blood sugars and trace ketones - she suggested we keep an eye on Middles. 

Fast forward to today - 
I took my boys to see Avengers (it was fantastic btw - stick around after credits for extra snip-its - Robert Downey Jr is so attractive I could watch him all day {sorry hubby but it's a fact}). ANYway - during the movie Middles left to use the bathroom 3 times, drank all of his 32 ounces of water and most of mine. (He also ate a good size bag of twizzlers and popcorn). On the way home he fell asleep in the van and woke up just long enough to tell me to stop so he could go potty. When he came out of the bathroom at Taco Smell I tested his blood glucose level using Sugarboy's meter. 

6:30 = 232
Middles didn't even ask what his number was - normally he asks. I was glad he didn't ask. I wouldn't have known what to say. We arrived home and I checked him again. 

7:00 = 215

He had gone down but it was far from normal. No person without diabetes should ever have a blood glucose reading so high. I called the endocrinologist on-call. I explained the test results, the previous checks I had done in the weeks prior, the symptoms, and mentioned the positive antibody results. The endo on-call is not our normal endo so she was unfamiliar with my children but felt an ER visit unnecessary. She gave me some suggested lantus and novalog doses and asked me to check his blood sugars frequently over the weekend. She agreed to see him early Tuesday to run some blood tests (likely a C-peptide which checks insulin production and an A1C which is an average blood sugar over a 3 month period). 

I checked Middles again - I hadn't dosed him any insulin at this point.

8:00 = 136

Awesome his sugars had gone down more without injecting insulin. With this third check he told me I was making him a bit nervous. Normally when I did check his sugars it would be once in a week or so. Three times in 1.5 hours was more than I had ever subjected him to. I explained that his other numbers were slightly higher than normal and I was just keeping an eye on him. I also asked him to check his ketones. He knew just what to do since he had done it before. His ketones were "trace" - no immediate danger at this point. 

I explained that the doctor wanted him to get some insulin but he said he would have none of it. (I hadn't planned on giving it to him at this point since his sugars were coming down). He insisted that if I gave him insulin and he didn't have diabetes it would kill him. He was right. Especially with the odd low numbers he had had in recent weeks I didn't feel a dose of Lantus would have been safe. 

9:30 - 126

Sugars still coming down - doesn't mean I am wrong about the diabetes diagnosis - just means his pancreas is still producing insulin. The numbers earlier indicate that the storm is coming. 

At this point I asked Middles how he would feel if he is diagnosed with diabetes. 

Middles "Well you would loose your mind and become the Mad Hatter"
Me "You are likely right but I want to know how YOU would feel"
Middles "well I guess I wouldn't be unique anymore"

So that is what went through my dear Middles mind when asked how he would feel about a diabetes diagnosis, that his mom would loose her mind and he would be just like his siblings - not unique. 

I think he is right and wrong - He is absolutely correct about me loosing my mind but I think my Middles will forever be a "One of a Kind" kid. 

For now - while I wait and check and wait and check - I ask those of you who believe in the power of prayer to put in a good word for my Middles. Maybe the storm is coming - but maybe it was a fluke - there is always hope. 

Which ever way things go - we will weather the storm - 
although I will likely be wearing a crazy ass hat.

Want to know the odds of multiple kids with diabetes in one family - check this out.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday  

(Well it would be if it was still Wednesday or if it was actually wordless)

I left late Sunday night with a friend to house shop in California. (Yes I took a friend - I needed someone to ask "hey does this house make my ass look big.") We arrived in San Francisco at midnight where my dear husband picked us up and took us to his corporate housing apartment in Walnut Creek. I was preoccupied with trying to talk my mom through a blood sugar correction back in here in Texas. High stressful and worrisome situation - but she managed it.

Monday morning we (my friend and I) went out house shopping with our realtor. We saw 12? 13? (I can't friggen remember) houses that day. None of them spoke to me. There was one that we stopped at but couldn't see. We hadn't made an appointment and the older gentleman that came out of the backyard when we arrived insisted we schedule an appointment. (Both too bad and good that he didn't let us see the house - explained later in this wordless Wednesday post.)

Monday evening Amy (that would be the friend I keep referring to)and I took the BART (Bay Area Rail Transit) into San Francisco then jumped on a trolley that took us to pier 39 - a magic place.

My view coming up from the BART into SF 

At the Pier Amy and I took in some sites: I didn't have my camera and my phone was acting weird.
Sea Lions
Fruit on the Pier

Yes we ate at Bubba Gumps - yes I know there are dozens of other fantastic sea food restaurants on the Pier but Forest Gump is my favorite movie (not used for any passwords or password reminders)

View back to the city from Pier - fog rolling in

Tuesday we met up with the Realtor at 10am. I fell in love with the second house we visited. I actually walked in the front door and felt like I was home - something told me I should live in that particular house. We went on to see others but nothing came close - although I did choose a backup. My hubby met us at 7pm (yes 9 hours of house shopping mixed with lunch, a stroll in downtown Danville and pints at a local pub). Hubby liked both of my choices but agreed my first choice was best. 

One small wall of the candy shop in downtown Danville - clearly Ill be all set if I need to treat a low

As for the house that we wanted to see the day before but the older man wouldn't let us - well it was a great house too and if I had seen it the previous day we would have likely stopped looking and I would have put an offer on it. Turns out the older gentleman was the brother of the owner (who we met and I loved her - she was the sweetest person ever and likely didn't know that her squatting brother had turned us away the day prior.) That house did not make the cut the second day. 

Tuesday night Amy and I enjoyed drinks in the hot tub at my husbands apartment. We toasted to finding two great homes and the fact that we had visited 19? 20? houses in 48 hours. 

Wednesday morning we boarded the BART to head home - but not before I took a quick shot of the Red Wood that was growing outside my hubby's apartment - a small one compared to those that I will see in the Red Wood Forest but still so very beautiful. 

Late Wednesday night once home I got a call from the realtor explaining that my first choice house has substantial work that would need to be done due to improper drainage and possible mold. I went to bed sad last night.

Today my hubby singed an offer for choice number 2. Keeping fingers crossed that the offer is accepted and I will have a home to move into in August. 

The San Francisco area is beautiful and I am very blessed to be moving to such an amazing place. 
Still working hard to get my current home in order to go on the market.

My mom did a great job caring for my kids despite crazy (and I mean ubercrazy) blood sugars. 
I truly envy the parents of children with diabetes that have family living close to them that are fully trained, able and willing to care for their kids. My mom is able and willing but having only gone solo with diabetes care a few times in 5 years she was nervous and the crazy numbers didn't help. Still I am grateful that she was willing to come down from WI to stay with my kids. 

Cross your fingers for us please that our offer is accepted so I can relax a bit about the move and focus all my attention on getting our current home on the market followed by a timely offer on our current home.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Picture Says a 1000 words

Sweetstuff's painted rock at Diabetes Camp

Day 6 Diabetes Blog Week

Back for the third year, let's show everyone what life with diabetes looks like! With a nod to the Diabetes 365 Project, let's grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures. Post as many or as few as you'd like. Fee free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

1 of many baskets of D supplies
The sharps container we have had for 5 years but never filled - oops
Hall closet - pump supplies
No butter in our butter compartment
Life juice
Doesn't everyone own 5 sets of measuring cups?
One scoop equals 5 grams - isn't this how everyone eats M&Ms? 
Night time check - Rufus is always near
random awesome pic of my boy during a swim meet - next Olympic swim star 
playing with food at D camp
checking sugars at D camp
Sweetstuff's first solo shot - at D camp
Life is all about perspective -
Sometimes we are looking up and feeling invincible, other times we are falling fast hoping our rope won't brake.
We don't let Diabetes get in our way.
Check out more photo stories by other awesome dbloggers HERE

Friday, May 18, 2012

Diabetes Isn't a Pants Size

Diabetes Blog Week Day 5

Today's Prompt:
Today let's borrow a topic from a #dsma chat held last September. The tweet asked "What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn't have diabetes about living with diabetes?" Let's do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes. Have more than one thing you wish people knew? Go ahead and tell us everything. (See that I have permission to tell more than one thing - gloves are off - grab a coffee or two and hang on)

Oh the things people think? The misconceptions seem to multiple like bunnies in a barn. I am not judging the general population - I was one of them back before Feb 7, 2007. My first thoughts when the doctor told me Sugarboy had diabetes was that he couldn't eat the chocolates I had already purchased him for Valentines Day. I got schooled and now it's my turn (ok to be fair I've been schooling folks since Feb 8th of 2007 - If don't want to hear it then edjumatcate yourself or shut up).

The easiest way for me to tackle this profound prompt is via bullets - (not the ones I would like to use on ignorant people who refuse to understand).

  • Diabetes is not a pants size - my kids will not grow out it. Having Type 1 diabetes requires the pwd to check their blood sugar as many as 14 times a day - before all meals, snacks, physical activity (including sex), sleeping, and all the little times in between that the pwd feels symptomatic (high of low blood sugars). having diabetes requires the pwd to inject synthetic insulin into their body via a syringe or and insulin pump (the pump is connected to their body 24 hours a day). Diabetes will be with my kids 24 hours a day 7 days a week until a cure is developed. (Sub bullets are required to explain further)
    • Insulin is NOT a cure - it is a means to sustain life
    • While an Artificial Pancreas will be wonderful - it too is not a cure - it uses artificial insulin to regulate blood sugars and will take some of the day to day diabetes management out of our hands and hopefully provide better control but it is not a working human pancreas. 
    • Glucose Responsive Smart Insulin I love love love this idea - Still not a Cure because it doesn't jump start a person with diabetes pancreas again but it is the closest thing to it I've read about so far. The idea is a pwd (person with diabetes) would do one injection each day and the insulin would react to the bodies blood sugars like a working pancreas would. It is likely decades away from full development but I see research dollars being well spent here.

  • It's NOT their fault or mine. People with Type 1 Diabetes did nothing wrong to develop diabetes. I did not spoon feed my kids sugar as infants and toddlers. I did not put regular coke in their sippy cups. The did not survive on fast food or junk prior to diagnosis. (At this point I want to also point out that most people with Type 2 diabetes or other types of diabetes are also not lazy junk food hoarding sugar mongers that caused the diabetes) Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that is a combination of genetics and environmental influences. (Yes many people can avoid developing Type 2 diabetes but even with a great diet and regular exercise Type 2 can happen)

  • Give them the damn cupcake! People with type 1 diabetes can eat all the same foods people with diabetes can eat - they 'just' have to take insulin for it. Before a person opens their mouth to ask me if my kids 'should' be eating - insert high sugar content food item here - they should ask themselves if they should be eating it. The answer is likely - no - but for the exact same reasons - junky foods are junk for our bodies and should only be eaten in moderation by all humans (try to take away my Reese's peanut butter cups and you will loose a hand).
    • 'Just' Don't let that word fool you. Taking insulin is not something one does lightly or with little thought. Calculating insulin doses requires a great deal of understanding of how insulin works, how much is needed to cover a specific amount of carbohydrates, how much exercise was done or will be done during the day, what kind of carbohydrates are being consumed, what time of the month it is (for girls), how the stars are aligned, what Chinese year it is, if you heard a crow cry that morning - etc. 
    • Oh yea - also every time I dose my kids with insulin I am putting their lives at risk. Too much insulin and I could put my kids in immanent danger of a severe low blood sugar that could result in death. Too little insulin over extended periods of time can cause complications such as blindness, amputations, heart decease, kidney disease and others. 
I pity the fool who pities my kids
  • Yes the finger poking hurts NO we don't need your pity. It is not necessary for a person without diabetes to make the "eeehhhooooh" sound when they see my kids poke their fingers to check their blood sugars. It doesn't help them feel better about poking their fingers. It is ridiculous that even adults make that same sound (the pity sound - Sweetstuff calls it) when they see the kids poke their fingers. Thank you ignorant adults for making it obvious to my kids how much diabetes sucks (btw they are well aware of how diabetes sucks)
    • When idiots (adults) who actually ask my kids "does that hurt?" a large had should appear above their head and deliver a swift and hard slap to the top of the adults brain to try to jump start it. I don't feel the same about kids when they ask - it is natural for them to not really know if it hurts and being curious is better than being a bully. 
    • Also let me just say how I am proud of my kids for being brave and poking their fingers repeatedly (although it would be great if they spread the poking love to all ten digits - the pinky is feeling especially left out)
  • You WOULD do it if you had to. If I had a dollar for every time someone said, "I could never do that" I would have a lot of dollars (couldn't think of anything witty or fun to say). The thing is I didn't know squat about diabetes before Sugarboy was diagnosed. I learned and I continue to learn. We do what we have to do for our kids to keep them alive and healthy - we would do the same for ourselves. People should not underestimate their own abilities to survive or to keep the ones they love alive. It isn't easy - it will never get easier - we just get better.

See more posts about what others need to know about diabetes HERE

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Friends 4 Life

Sugarboy was dxd in Feb of 2007. During the week post diagnoses during my nightly searches for information about Type 1 diabetes I found the  Children With Diabetes website and a link to the Annual  Friends 4 Life conference held in Orlando each July. I didn't hesitate to register our family for the conference in July - finances be damned we were going to go.

It was by far the best experience ever. So wonderful that we returned for 2008 and 2009. I met some of the most amazing people during those trips including the DOCs very own Bennet (who I may or  may not have shared drinks with next to the pool at Disney's Coronado Springs resort) not knowing what a great man I was visiting with at the time.

The breakout sessions were all fabulous - one of my favorites was always Joe Solowiejczyk - the man is simply hilarious. The food, exhibits, and events were all equally amazing. However the thing about FFL is the connections. Being surrounded by 4000 of my closest friends (simply because they KNOW) is what makes FFL so wonderful.

Due to finances and schedules our family was unable to attend FFL in 2010 and 2011. We have been diligently planning to attend the 2012 FFL come hell or high water (remind me to look up where that phrase came from). But here we are in the midst of selling our home in TX buying a home in CA and of course the big move. The idea of being able to attend FFL is feeling more and more hopeless. With hubby working a new job and all the house crud I don't see how we will pull it off. It is making me sad - which in its self sad since I spent the morning feeling so blessed to have met (albeit via cyberspace) so many amazing pwd and parents of cwd. I think the combination of feeling so blessed combined with the knowledge that many of those same peeps will be in one place at the same time (FFL) and I likely won't be - is what is likely bringing me down.

Maybe keep your fingers crossed for us that we get an early offer on our home and can relax a bit and take a break to visit some friends all 4K of them (maybe sneak in a visit to Harry Potter World too). I won't ask for prayers since this is not prayer worthy but crossing a couple fingers seems fitting.

Again - not whining - just hoping - still recognizing how blessed we are as a family and if not attending a conference in Orlando is my biggest woe than life has treated me better than well.

Fantasy Diabetes Device 

Diabetes Blog Week Day 4
Today's prompt - Today let's tackle an idea inspired by Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary. Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be. The sky is the limit - what would you love to see?

My fantasy device would be something out of a sci-fi movie. The ones in which 3D holographs are used and can be interacted with. It would use the fruit phone of course (thank you Steve for all your innovative products). The device would:

  • act as a CGM monitoring blood sugars with intense accuracy
  • scan food to determine carbohydrate content as well as calories, sugar, fat, and fiber
  • monitor our activity level
  • monitor our hormone levels 
  • calculate insulin requirements (based on activity level, food intake, and hormone levels)
  • make suggestions for tweaking basal programs on pumps if in use for maximum control
  • Be interactive so we could make notes and take action with our finger tips (I guess it doesn't have to be holographic since the iPhone is already touch screen - but it would be so damn cool if it was)

Kids watched an old episode of Gem and the Holograms yesterday - guess it is still on my brain - GEM! I so loved that show. 

Feeling Thankful Today

I know it is day 4 of the Diabetes Blog Week and I will get to my fantasy device post soon - I promise.

But first....

I have been crazy busy for the past 3 weeks trying to pull my house together and get it "show" ready so it can be put on the market. Not an easy feat for a uberdisorganized gal.

When we sold our last home my kids were 4 & 2 and my third was due to arrive in about 6 weeks. Our house was 1700sqft with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and no extra rooms. It took me a month to organize, clear out, clean and touch up our home to make it market ready.

Our current home is 3600sqft 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, office, game room, and formal dining room. My kids are now 12, 10 and 8 and have all the junk that goes with spoiled kids those ages. My kids are also attending school and it is the end of the year and everyone is demanding my time and energy. Not even mentioning the diabetes crud (well I mentioned it but I'm not going to highlight all the time, energy, and clutter it takes up). Also - hubby isn't here - he is already in CA working so I am flying solo. - Oh and I am supposed to be house hunting online as well as finding, scanning and faxing or emailing documents hubby needs to purchase a new home.

I am NOT whining. I know we are blessed and this is a great adventure for us. The hard work is worth the new experiences we will enjoy. It is just all time consuming and I have found little time for myself these last few weeks - including time to browse twitter and blogs. I even missed DSMA live cant last night - still sad about that.

So this morning while drinking my 5th cup of coffee (don't judge - recent studies show people who drink coffee live longer) I browsed twitter and caught up on some of my favorite blogs as well as a few new ones thanks to the Diabetes Blog Week List. It felt good to be among so many that I feel connected to even if Ive never interacted with them.  While browsing twitter I began thinking about  my first days on twitter. I was a newbie - virgin tweeter if you will. But I didn't feel new for long. There were a handful (really more like an armful) of folks who welcomed me and made me feel like part of something great.

So this morning I want to thank those individuals who followed me before they really knew me - and continue to follow me despite that they now know me.

  • Kerri @sixuntilme - you are a blog goddess and all around fabulous person. You inspire, educated, entertain and support like no other.
  • Cherise @sweetercherise & @diabetessocialmed - you keep us in line, keep us united and keep us real - it helps that you are funny as all hell and offer endless encouragement.
  • Kelly @kellyrawlings - your support and advocacy are wonderful and you sent me my favorite mug - ;)
  • Marie @cellobard - there are not enough kind words in the English language for me to describe how much I care for you and your wonderful music - a few would be: brave, honest, kind, loving, inspiring, friend, and true. 
  • Lea @luvleamum - first Dmama that I found and found me back on twitter - you make me smile 
  • Tim @bleedingfinger - Ddad - you are just awesome
  • Penny @p_spore - you love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups as much as me - that's enough to make me like you lots - helps that you make me giggle too
  • Shannon @Shanmarengo - you are an amazing mom, friend, pwd, and fellow Texan - I am grateful for all your support and blog comments
  • Brian @bosh - you make me lol and you are the ultimate draw something Picasso (sorry I haven't played in so long)
  • Jeff @betespora - you always find time to comment on my tweets and your encouragement as a pwd to me (a mom of cwd) makes me feel like I am doing something right
  • Sara @saraknic - you make me laugh 
There are many many many more fantastically wonderful amazing pwd and parents of cwd that I follow & follow me back who provide me with hours of entertainment on twitter and in their blogs. My list could continue for pages if I listed everyone and how you all make my life more enjoyable and simply better. 

Thank you DOC - all of you. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Always Room for Improvement

Today's Diabetes Blog Week prompt: We probably all have one thing we could try to do better. Why not make today the day we start working on it. No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!

Like so many of the wonderfully terrific blogs I have read today I too have a loooooonnnnnnggggg list of things I could improve on. Trying to find just one would be too difficult so I cheated. I have TWO kids with Diabetes so that means I get TWO things that I need to improve on. ; P

First my dear Sweetstuff - I meant to ask her what she needed to improve on but she is an emotional mess lately and I was afraid to ask the simple question "Hey baby - what would you say is the one thing that you could improve on regarding your diabetes?"
I was afraid because knowing her like I know myself in the state that she is currently in she would get defensive, take it as an attack, argue that she is trying her best, etc etc - she would likely add something about the two pimples she has, the fact that her bangs do this odd flippy thing and her bff is being a total butt. (I love my daughter I love my daughter - it's only the hormones it's only the hormones)

So I avoided asking her and instead thought of all the things she does great - checks bs often, doses insulin in a timely manner, recognizes symptoms of lows or highs, advocates, educates, changes pump sites, changes her lancet every morning, carries fast acting carbs, and tests before physical activities.
With all this stuff she does so right I was having a difficult time thinking of the one thing she could do better. Then I realized the one thing she could do better is something she currently doesn't do at all - log BS and Doses. She did it while she was on her pump hiatus but then stopped as soon as she put back on Alice (her pump -  because diabetes is a rabbit hole and because the magic liquid inside it makes her get smaller (lower) after eating cookies which make her get bigger (higher) - Have I said how much I love my daughter and her inner nerd).
Thus the one thing I feel Sweetstuff could do better is begin logging again - yes it is a total pain in the arse but hand written logs do more for her and I than downloading her pump each week (haven't downloaded in over a month). Logs keep us vigilant. They help keep us accountable.
I might suggest this advice to her tomorrow if her pimples have cleared up and she is having a good hair day.

Now for Sugarboy -

While my dear boy can be very independent I am still very much involved with his care. I include carb notes with his lunch, I fill the insulin cartridges, I do most the infusion set placements, I count his carbs at meals that do not come pre-packaged. I sometimes even check his blood sugars when he is awake. He is more than capable - but how can I resist this cute face when he asks me to check for him. Overall he does very well with most diabetes care that I give him and I continuously give him additional control as he requests it.
The thing that Sugarboy could improve on (and me too) is reducing the amount of processed sugar that he consumes (not being used to treat a low bs).
He is an 8 year old by with a sweet tooth. He is always asking for ice cream, M&Ms, Laffy Taffy and lollipops. I'm a sucker too and if his blood sugars are decent I allow him to have the treats. I guess one could say I practice what I preach. I am always educating the general public that a person with Type 1 diabetes can eat everything a person without diabetes can eat. The part I forget when I am at home confronted by a small dimpled child with eyes as bright as the sea is that just because they CAN eat it doesn't mean they SHOULD eat it. It is a fact that the less carbs (especially the fast acting carbs found in processed sugars) a person with diabetes consumes the better - not to say a person with diabetes should go carb free - I think that is unrealistic for small kiddos especially. I do think reducing carb intake can truly improve blood glucose control and make managing diabetes a tad bit easier  - well until PMS, or Job Change, or it starts raining, or there is traffic, or or or or or.....

So to recap - encourage hormonal pre-teen to start logging again (carefully) and discourage Sugarboy from eating too many processed sugars.
This will be a piece of cake (if the cake has to be weighed, ingredients determined, multiple math problems solved, and then more calculations to be completed to determine the correct dose of insulin is required at bedtime after a day of swimming, hiking, and soccer) - like I said easy peasy.

Wordless Wednesday

(sort of - if you haven't figured it out yet I'm not a wordless kinda gal)

The owner of the Greater Austin Area Wendy's has Type 1 diabetes. His own son was dxd a few years ago. He has been supporting the JDRF for I don't know how long with these awesome coupon books. The coupon book has 4 coupons each good for a small frosty. The cost of the coupon book is $1 and all proceeds go to the JDRF mission to find a cure for diabetes.

Back in 2009 (before the adorable young man seen above was dxd) my own little Sugarboy was on the cover of the coupon book. I can't find the cover that we saved but I do have one of the window decals

The most frequent question I get during this time of year (while I am plastering Facebook with reminders for people to go purchase a coupon book) is "Why would they give frostys to help cure diabetes, that doesn't make sense." To which I reply "People with Type 1 diabetes can eat everything you can eat they just have to check their blood sugar and take insulin for it." 

Wish all the Wendy's across the nation would participate.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One Great Thing

Today's DBlog Week prompt asks us to give ourselves some much deserved credit by identifying just one diabetes thing we do spectacularly.

I do well with BS checks (including the ones in the wee hours of the night/morning).
I do well with carb counting (mostly).
I do well with noticing symptoms before my kids feel them enough to claim them.
I do well with identifying trends and adjusting basals and ratios when needed.
I do well at helping my kids build independence.

What I do best is educating others.
I don't take offense when someone suggests that there is a cure if only I would give my kids more cinnamon. I don't get annoyed when the 1001 person asks me if my kids will grow out of it. I don't become defensive when someone suggests I should not have spoon fed my kids sugar as infants. I try not to get angry when someone suggests that "at least it's only diabetes." I don't become too frustrated when someone suggests that my kids simply stop eating all carbohydrates and should defiantly avoid processed sugars.

Instead I educate.

No - cinnamon, tree bark, vitamin D, and magic fairy farts will not cure my kids. A cure will come from hard working individuals and organizations raising money and using the funds to do research.

No - my kids will not grow out of diabetes. Their pancreata no longer have the ability to produce insulin and the cells do not regenerate so until there is a cure my kids will continue to have diabetes.

No - My kids did not develop diabetes because I fed them too much sugar earlier in their lives. Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that just happens. Scientists are not entirely sure why it happens but there are indications that it is part genetic and part environmental. Scientists believe a person has to be predisposed to developing diabetes but also that a catalyst is required to set in motion a chain of events that will result in the destruction of the insulin producing islet cells in the pancreas.

Yes - I know there are worse things in this world than developing diabetes but unless you or your child is suffering from a 'worse' less manageable or even terminal illness you have not earned the right to suggest that it is 'only' diabetes. When my kids were diagnosed they were both assigned hospital rooms in the same ward as kids with cancer. I shared coffee with some of the parents of the children with cancer. Some of the parents knew they might not take their child home. I knew I would - yes I know there are worse things than diabetes. That doesn't mean diabetes is easy and certainly doesn't mean that I don't fight for my children's lives everyday.

Yes - if my kids stopped eating all carbs and limited their entire diet they could live insulin free - for about a year - maybe two. That was the life expectancy of a person diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes before 1922 (the year in which the first human received insulin).

I admit I used to get a little peeved when an uneducated person asked the above questions or made suggestions that would result in the death of my children. The thing is, it isn't the general populations fault that they are uneducated. I didn't know diddly about diabetes when Sugarboy was diagnosed. I likely thought the same things before I got a crash course in Type 1 diabetes at the hospital.

Anger and frustration will not encourage the general population to become educated and support research that will cure diabetes. A kind explanation will.

Monday, May 14, 2012

You're Gonna Give Me Your Leg?

Sweetstuff has had some really cruddy numbers the last few days. Pump is working fine - it's her brain that is malfunctioning. In the last 72 hours Sweetstuff has forgotten to bolus for a meal 3 times resulting in numbers in the "Hi" range. She forgot twice to put her pump back on after a shower resulting in numbers in the 400's.

Tonight at bedtime she was 403 - which resulted in a WTH (heck - she was kind enough to use the G rating) comment. (This was one of the times she had forgotten to put her pump back on after a shower 2 hours earlier).

At this point she said "I'm just so overwhelmed lately"

I told her that it is a stressful time for our family with the impending move to a new state. I reminded her that it is the end of the school year and she has had some fairly large projects to work on and also that her big solo at the choir concert is tomorrow. It's a lot to handle for a 12 year old.

She replied  "If I am making this many mistakes now how will I manage when I move out, go to college, get a job, and have kids?"

I told her about so many of my DOC (diabetes online community) friends that are living well with Diabetes - most have full-time jobs, are parents, successfully navigated college and have no complications.

She replied again "But what if I keep making mistakes - and my leg falls off"

I told her first that everyone forgets things, mistakes can be fixed, that the fact that she cares enough to correct her mistakes means she is doing things right. I also told her that her leg wouldn't fall off - it would have to be removed. (I said the last part with a sarcastic smile of course) Then I added "and I will always be around."

To which she replied "You would give me your leg?" (also with a sarcastic smile)

I love my sweetstuff - she will be just fine.
Tomorrow she will sing "A World of My Own" from Alice In Wonderland

She has also decided that from henceforth her pump shall be called Alice 

You've Got A Friend In Blogs

I am participating (well I'm going to attempt to participate) in the 3rd annual Diabetes Blog Week

Today's prompt was to find a friend - in other words find a blog that I haven't read before or have maybe read occasionally but want to read more frequently.

There are countless dblogs (well maybe not countless like Real numbers which are uncountable - learned that recently {sort of I still had to check if the uncountable numbers were real or natural} from a friend that makes my brain hurt with all her math jargon - what can I say I'm a sucker for nerd awesomeness).
Sorry - digressed -
My point is though that I could likely spend every hour of everyday for an entire month and not find, let alone read all the dblogs available on the net. Luckily a wonderful list has been compiled for me (yup it was made just for me - well also the other hundred or so people participating in this years Annual Diabetes Blog week THE list.
While pursuing the list I saw many of my favorite blogs as well as some that I forgot I liked because I am not an organized person and I don't remember to bookmark them or better yet add a link to the blog(s) on my blog so I can find it easily and others can too. (I also have a hard time with run on sentences and too many parenthesis - admitting it is the first step to recovery) Thus - in addition to attempting to write each day of dblog week I will also be updating my blogroll on my blog. If you find my silly little corner here on the net and you have an awesome blog that I haven't included in my blogroll please shoot me an email or send me a tweet so I can add you. On twitter I am momof2t1s - keeping it simple.

On to my post:
I just found Jen with BHS - thank you List. I've read Sarah's blog before and enjoyed it each time but always forgot to bookmark. Alexis is a favorite of mine. Amber is a new one for me but I think we are going to be great friends - the other Amber I know seems to like me a bit.

 Jen From Blue Heel Society I love this particular post - Don't Quit - wish I had a cool teacher like Jen had.

Sarah/@SmartDpants I love this post by Sarah because she clearly feels my pain in regards to #5 - how difficult could it be to allow the meter to have the same information as the pump.

Alexis Nicole Chronicles of D-Boy and Ribbon I love this post because Alexis understand all that it means to be a mom to cwd - of course she is stressed and tired and angry but with all that she is able to keep humor center stage.

Amber Cliff Notes I clicked on this blog from THE List because I like the name Amber (a lot) and I knew the moment I started reading I was going to like both Amber and her blog. The pics are great and I can't wait to check out the FB page. Turns out I was already following dear Amber on Twitter but I don't recall ever visiting her blog - that doesn't mean I hadn't - it means I was either drinking heavily at the time or sleep deprived or distracted by unicorns dancing in my office - since I rarely drink I'd go with sleep deprivation which may or may not have included dancing unicorns.

I could spend hours clicking on blogs and reading my night away but I have pillows and bedding to stuff into vacuum bags so I can watch them squish down - I get a real kick out of suffocating my pillows - irony? (I still don't know how to properly use that word - darn you Alanis!)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Because I love Emma Bombeck

A couple hours ago I posted a piece written by Emma Bombeck. I've been a fan of her writing for a long time and am thankful she shared so much with the world before her passing.

I received an email a bit ago after a reader visited the post. The reader was a bit upset that Emma suggested that God made those sorts of decisions. I don't believe that is truly the point to Emma's story. I believe the point of her story was to acknowledge all the strengths that are most commonly found in a mother of children with diabetes. Whether the mother possessed the strengths prior to having a child with diabetes or if she developed them as a result of having a child with diabetes is not relevant. What is relevant is that a mother of children with diabetes is strong, patient, selfish, intelligent, confidant, humble, kind, loving, independent and fun. (Yes I know Emma didn't mention all of those but they are implied)

If you haven't read the How God Selects of Mother of A Child With Diabetes please see the post before this one.

Because Emma was so awesome - Some of my favorite Emma Bombeck Quotes:

"The grass is always greener over the septic tank"
"Laughter rises out of tragedy, when you need it the most, and rewards you for your courage."
"When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say 'I used everything you gave me'"
"When humor goes, there goes civilization"
"If you can laugh at it, you can live with it"

How God selects the mother of a cwd

My life is too crazy (good but busy) to write lately but with it being mothers day I wanted to share a story that most of those that find their way to my blog have read previously but serves as a reminder of how awesome moms of cwd are. I needed this reminder today and I am thankful to Emma Bombeck for writing this treasure.

by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit. Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with diabetes are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger. 

"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint Matthew." 

"Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, Patron Saint Cecilia." 

"Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint Gerard. He's used to profanity." 

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a child with diabetes." The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy." 

"Exactly", smiles God. "Could I give child with diabetes to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel". 

"But has she the patience?" asks the angel. 

"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I am going to give her has her own world. She has to make it live in her world and that's not going to be easy." 

"But, Lord, I don't think she even believes in you." 

God smiles. "No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.
The angel gasps. "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?" 

God nods. "If she cannot separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with less than perfect." 

"She does not realize it yet, but she is to be envied. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see .... ignorance, cruelty, prejudice ... and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as if she is here by my side." 

"And what about her patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in mid air. God smiles. "A mirror will suffice." 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Has it Really been a week?

Today is wordless wednesday and I was all set to simply post pictures that would give some indication of why I haven't posted in over a week.

 Above: Some of middles stuff moved into my room while his is being painted - the other half of his belongings are in my master bathroom. Below: Sweetstuff's belongings now littering the game room while her room is painted. Middles room only took me about an hour to clean out - he is a minimalist. Sweetstuff's room took me over 7 hours. She is a packrat (possible candidate for the show Hoarders). The picture only shows a portion of her belongings. I did not ask her to help me - that way she didn't see the two full trash bags I removed from her room.

On April 23rd my dear husband was offered a job in the San Francisco area. He of course took it - it is a dream job for him and allows him to return home to CA (He grew up in LA and still has family there). He began his new job on April 30th - leaving me and the kiddos here in TX to prepare our current home for the market. We have only been in this home for 7.5 years - how a family of 5 can accumulate so much crud in 7 years is beyond me. Thus I am sorting every single closet, drawer, shelf, etc to clear our the clutter. After all - when people are home shopping they want to walk into homes that look like model homes (note from other posts my complete lack of organization skills, and the infrequency in which I clean a bathroom let alone dust).

I have 2 more weeks to get my 3600sqft home ready for the market. Enter lawn care people, painters, fix-it people, and lots of boxes. I prefer to be a do-it-yourself kinda gal. I prepared our old home 100% by myself while 9 months pregnant. It sold in 2 weeks and it did look like a model home when I was done with it. I am not that young, strong, or motivated this time around. Thus I have chosen to hire local laborers to come do the work for me but it doesn't include the decluttering (spell check says that's not a word but I disagree).

Amidst the decluttering, packing, organizing, painting (I am doing touch up stuff), phone calls to everyone under the sun, appointments with realtors, painters, window repair guy, movers, etc - life still happens. Blood sugars go high and low - kids need to be fed, homework needs to be done, and time still should and is being spent reading and playing with the kids - note that I didn't say I was cooking - just feeding my kids. This week I also have to help Amber with various projects for school as well as finish her Alice in Wonderland costume for her choir concert.

Also during this past weekend Sweetstuff attended her first 2 night campout with her girl scout troop - without me. Now don't start congratulating me to quickly for allowing her D freedom - the troop leader and close friend of mine is also a D mamma. I knew Sweetstuff was in good hands. That did not mean that D played nicely. In fact Sweetstuff pulled 3 sites and 1 site failed (infusion sites are used with insulin pumps and attach a tube to the body for insulin to pass through - no site = no insulin). Her numbers were all over the dang place from 596 to 42. I don't blame failed/lost sites for all her numbers - on top of all the D issues there was D R A M A!!!! I don't see how - why would thirteen 12 year old girls get caught up in drama??? (sarcasm is my first language fro those that don't know me all that well yet). The girl drama likely contributed to the elevated (who am I kidding - higher than all hell) blood sugars.
She did well though - did everything exactly as I would have done it (note I did not say exactly the right way). The numbers were flukes or charged emotionally and she could not control those issues. All in all she had a fantastic time - which makes me happy since it was her last camping trip with this troop due to the stinking move.

I am going through serious DOC (diabetes online community) withdrawal, as well as blog withdrawal (mine and so many others), and I very tired.
Still I am not whining - I recognize that what I am dealing with many others would trade places with me in a heart beat. Friends who have cancer, friends husbands who have cancer, homes lost in acts of god, and the list goes on. It is easy sometimes to get caught up in desires or needs of our own that are not being met and forget that there are others who have it so much worse than we do.
I pray for those people nightly and sometimes while brushing my teeth in the morning, or while I wash dishes, or while I sit here and type out this long winded babbaly (again not a real word but I like it) post I have said prayers for my friends both real and cyber buddies (not to suggest cyber buddies are not real people).

I feel better that I have posted - even if it didn't include anything profound.
Falling asleep - head fell forward and nearly hit the keyboard - must sleep now.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

30 Days 30 Posts 3 days Late

Day 30 Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge

My last prompt was intended for May 1st but with all that has been happening in the last 2 weeks I fell behind. Catching up today with a final HAWMC post before a new challenge begins - looking forward to  Diabetes Blog Week

The prompt for May 1st was: Recap HAWMC. You did it! 30 posts in 30 days. Which was your favorite prompt? Which was the most difficult? Which ideas will you reuse? Who was your favorite fellow blogger?

First off - I loved that as a virgin blogger I took this opportunity to participate in the challenge. The prompts kept me focused and on task (mostly). I wrote posts that I might not have considered writing had I been going it alone during the 3 months of being a blog author.

My favorite prompt(s) - I have a hard time choosing one item over another - that's why I take multiple friends with me when I go eat sushi.

  • Health Time Capsule - I loved this one because it encouraged me to think about what is important in my health and the health of my children. Health Time Capsule
  • Why I write - It made me really think about why blogging has been so important for me and thankful I finally got started - Why I write
  • Ekphrasis Post - well first off I learned a new word and I do love words. Second I got to discover flickr and what a neat site it is. Third - things just fit that day. Airplanes Elephants and Merry-Go-Rounds
  • 5 Dinner Guests - I loved this post because it happened and while writing it I got to relive that wonderful evening of love & laughter Dining with diabetes- served with a side of friends
  • Miracle Cure - this wasn't so much a favorite prompt - more of a favorite post. I had thought about conjuring up some magic fairy farts to create a cure but in the end I recognized that there is no miracle cure - just hard working people. Exposed
  • My Happy Place - This was by far my most favorite prompt - it was from a list of early bird prompts that I received for registering early. I used it on a free choice day. I love my happy place not only because it makes me happy - because it takes away everything that isn't happy. Ocean of tears
What prompt was most difficult?
My Dream Day - I hated this prompt. It made me realize I do have a little 'selfish' in me. I'm not sharing the link - you will have to look for it if you want to read it.

Which ideas will you reuse?
I liked contemplating the 5 challenges and 5 small victories - it was good to take inventory.

Favorite fellow bloggers? See above regarding favorite prompts. 
Choosing a single prompt or post was too hard for me so choosing a favorite blogger would be impossible. Every blog I read was important enough for another blogger to write. Sure some are more entertaining, some are more honest, some are more educational - but I couldn't tell you which blogger(s) are my favorites. I'm just grateful there are others who share. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (almost)

We will be moving to this glorious area soon. 

My boys still don't know. 
We knew over the last 8 months or so that we might be making a move to a new state/job/life. 
We figured we would cross that bridge when we come to it. 
Turns out the bridge is the Golden Gate. 

Picture shared from flickr - belongs to Rob Vucic

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I Don't do Well with Limitations

Day 29 Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge

Sunday's prompt: Six Sentence Story. In this day of micro-blogging - brevity is a skill worth honing. Can you tell a story and make it short and sweet? What can you say in six sentences.

First let me ask do parenthesis count?
So those of you who have read any number of my posts you are already laughing at this prompt when it comes to me. Brevity is not my forte. I will give it a go though.

There are times in the last 5+ years that one or more of my littles has said something regarding diabetes that stops me in my tracks, makes me force a smile, and then leaves me hiding in my laundry room silently weeping.

One of those times was when Sugarboy was only 3 and getting ready to check his blood sugar, he took out his canister of strips and noticed it was the last strip in the canister, thus he said to me, "wouldn't it be great if when you ran out of strips diabetes would be done."

Later that same year we took part in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes - just before we began the walk Sugarboy asked if we got the cure at the end of the walk or would they mail it to us.

Another time just before his fifth birthday Sugarboy said he would be happy when diabetes went away after his birthday; seems he thought that D was something kids had until they turned 5 since his brother didn't have D when he was 5.

Wait there's more...

Sweetstuff viewed the sex-ed video at school when she was in forth grade, when she returned home I asked her if she understood everything, she said yes it was fine but then asked, "will my kids have diabetes?"

This last one isn't a tear jerker - it is actually funny and I wanted to end on a happy note - btw this sentence doesn't count. :P

We were at a friends house and Sugarboy was playing with their big fluffy dog, I told him that Buttons has diabetes too, he looked under Buttons belly and moved his hands through her fur then asked, "Where is her infusion set?"

I'll Need To Be As Brave As Him

Day 28 Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge

(still catching up - and skipping around to get everything done)
Saturday's prompt was: The First Time I... Write a post about the first time you did something. What was it? What was it like? What did you learn from it?

I had a hard time choosing an event for this post.

I considered writing about my first blog post. I remember being scared that it wouldn't be good, that I would share too much, that I wouldn't have anything worth sharing, that I would spell a bazillion words wrong and forget to use punctuation properly. In the end the spelling and punctuation didn't matter. Once I started writing I wasn't scared and found lots to write about. As far as the quality well that's up to the readers. It was therapeutic and fun and I'm glad I continued.

I considered writing about my first Kids Walk Presentation for the JDRF - I was nervous and scared I would screw up, say the wrong thing, forget to share some vital piece of information. Turns out I do well in front of little people (a good thing since I'm a teacher by trade). I made mistakes but the kids didn't know and they responded well to the presentation. Three years later I am even better at it and loving it the most out of all the volunteer things I do.

I tossed other ideas around but kept coming back to the basic. The thing that I never thought I would have to do and certainly don't want to do. I always wanted to be a writer (do blogs count? - say yes so I can feel accomplished) and I always wanted to be a presenter (do kids count? - say yes so I can feel glad). What I never imagined myself doing was sticking a syringe into my two year old's thigh. I've already posted  Diagnosis stories (yes plural) so I don't need to share them again but what I didn't share was my first time dosing my child.

So after watching the nurses dose my dear boy and receiving minimal training I was handed a syringe. It wasn't truly huge but it felt like a harpoon in my hands. It wasn't particularly intimidating although to me it  looked like a medieval torturing device. I tried so hard to hold it steady to insert the tiny needle (looked like a samurai sword to me) into the rubber stopper on the top of the insulin vial. My hands shook and the needle bounced around the rubber stopper before I was able to fully insert it. I pulled back and watched the clear liquid gold fill the tiny body of the syringe. I flicked the side of the syringe to encourage all the mini bubbles to dance their way to the tip to be expelled. I pushed too hard and insulin shot across the room leaving an overwhelming smell of band aides throughout. Sugarboy was engrossed in a DS game and hardly paying attention to all that was happening in the room - a tiny little super hero in his superman jammies complete with cape oblivious to the fear and sadness his mommy was feeling.

I squinted closely to be sure the insulin was free of bubbles. It was difficult since the entire dose was only 1 unit. Time to inject the insulin - I told my little man that it was time for a shot and he simply laid back. I gently tugged at Sugarboys PJ pants - wanting desperately to toss the syringe to the side, grab my boy and run away - to pretend it was all a nightmare.

The nurse stopped me then and reminded me I needed to clean the skin with an alcohol wipe before dosing. Sugarboy simply looked over the DS at me - his big beautiful eyes so innocent and brave. I wiped the skin clean - he said it was cold but didn't stop playing his game. He had received a number of shots already - even from his daddy and was used to it. I realized later he thought that it would only last while he was at the hospital - he didn't understand we would be taking the syringes home with him.

I gently blew on the cleaned area but then the nurse told me not to do that. She said I could leave germs and made me clean the area again and then wave my hand over the cleaned area. I took aim with the syringe and the nurse whispered "It's better to go fast". I thought about closing my eyes but decided that would be stupid. Still Sugarboy played his game. I pinched up his skin, inserted the needle, pressed the plunger, counted to 5, released the skin and removed the needle. Still Sugarboy played his game. I wanted to vomit. I'm not a math whiz but I quickly calculated the minimum number of times I would do this each day - 4 x 365 = 1,460. Now I just wanted to cry. Still Sugarboy played his game. I kissed his forehead told him he was brave and that I loved him. He told me "Me too" - still he played his game. I loved that DS.

On that day I learned that I will have to be as brave as my boy to keep him alive.