Thursday, January 29, 2009

"The only thing"

Isn't it great when simple things our kids say make us smile inside and out? Yesterday after an icky 48 low Maddison said to me "Mom, the only thing I don't like about Diabetes is when I have to stop playing because I'm low." While I was crying inside for the fact that my eight year old has this devil of a disease, I couldn't help but smile at the same time too. If the lows are the "only thing" that Maddison doesn't like about Diabetes, then I think we are doing GREAT.

I'm sure other days Maddison would have more she "doesn't like about Diabetes", but I was surprised to hear her one complaint after the horrible low she just experienced. As Maddison laid on the couch fighting the terrible 48 low, all she could think about was getting back outside to play. She didn't think about all the other frustrations of the disease as I do when a "bad" low kicks my ass. Maddison just wanted her juice, to feel better and be on her way. I sat with her on the couch as she laid there with her little heart pounding and her tiny body shaking. I felt her pale, moist skin as the sweat started to overcome her, and we waited together in silence. This was an unusual low that actually forced Maddison to stop playing. Most lows you wouldn't even notice so much, but this time she had no choice but to lay down and recover. These "bad" lows always make me stop and think too much. All the what if's....what if we didn't catch this one soon enough? What if she were to stop feeling her lows in the future? What if, what if, what if.

"The only thing" Maddison said as she recovered from this low was that she wasn't done playing outside. The only thing I could think was how proud I am knowing all that she goes through, yet she doesn't ever let it keep her down for long.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Basal testing-We're LATE!!

Well, last night I compiled some great info on Maddison's recent overnight weirdness. I was up too often for testing of course, which made us LATE for school and work! I guess I must have been in a deep sleep cycle when the alarm blared for my 5am workout. I somehow managed to turn that alarm off and not reset it to get up in time to get the kids ready for school and me ready for work! 7:20 the dog decided I must be late and refused to let me sleep any longer. Thank you my trusty furry friend! The kids were late for school and I again win the biggest loser mom award for the hundredth time this school year. This will be 7 tardies for my girls!!!! Damn basal testing!

Maddison was a tad high for going to bed last night at 218. I know from last week not to correct in full or she will be too low. So, I decided not to correct at all and start the basal testing anyway.

8:45pm 218
11pm 195
1am 211
4am 169 ( I should have gotten up at 3am!)
5am 176 (supposed to be to get up and exercise! I thought it was to check!)
7am 67

YIKES!! I made the needed basal changes, and so tonight of course testing continues! I wonder how many nights it will take to get it right? How am I going to make sure I wake up in time to get the kids off to school? I swear they need an alarm that you can customize! Mine would be in Maddison's recorded voice "MOM, I'm LOW!!" The alarm clock I have apparently doesn't wake me up anymore or my sleep cycles are all screwed up and I'm in deep sleep not hearing ANYTHING. Surely an alarm clock blaring "MOM I'M LOW!!" would wake me up! I hate being LATE, and I'm hating my messed up sleep patterns even more. I'm tired all day and can't stop thinking to go to bed at night. I can't wake up in the mornings and UGH! Basal testing again isn't helping me. Lets hope this first basal change was the right change!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Do we all have the Diabetes superstitions? It seems every time I mention "good" numbers it all goes crazy. Every time we say "it isn't that way for us" that very thing happens soon after. Someone asks how we are doing and I say "great!" and the following weeks are pure hell. Why do my Diabetes comments seem to come back and kick me in the A$$? At Fridays Endo visit, Dr D asked about lows. Is Maddison having any serious lows? "Nope" I said......knowing I shouldn't have said that! The Diabetes demons must always be listening to prove us wrong!

Maddison really hasn't had many lows lately (knocking on wood!)and certainly not any under 60. That is, until Dr D asked in the office Friday. Damn Diabetes demons! Hours after our appointment we got home from a quick trip shopping and Maddison was 46. Great. That's what I get for answering the Diabetes questions it seems, every time! She also had three more numbers this weekend under 60.....Ahhh!!!

My other silly superstition is starting Maddison's new meter. I'm always so eager to get started with a brand new meter thinking I can keep the averages looking great. But, I have this silly thing in the back of my mind telling me I can't start a new meter because every time I do Maddison's blood sugars go wild. Instead of a new meter holding all great numbers showing "my best efforts" it suddenly shows that I need to change a million things. Seriously, this happens every time! On the kitchen counter sits a brand new Freestyle meter begging to be used. In my mind sits the fear that if I start the new meter it will flash back number chaos in the weeks ahead. I dont want to "jinx" our good path we have been on. How silly am I?

Tonight I actually have to look at some night basals for Maddison. She tends to be too low going to bed (around 100) so I have to give her something to bump her to a safer range **almost** nightly the past few weeks. Then she seems to drop over 50 points somewhere around 1-3am. Tonight will be the deciding night on what needs to be changed. I hope. I think the culprit is the fact that she runs wild outside every day after school in our beautiful AZ weather (70degrees!) for many hours. Her lows seem to hit 6-8hours after, as always. So, I see that the nights she plays hard the lows come and the nights she doesn't play outside she is *usually* pretty stable. Too bad a temp basal never seems to work out right. That would be the easiest solution. So, do I adjust the basal assuming most nights she is this active or do I leave it and wake up to catch the low? Probably not the safest choice. A snack on active nights is totally out of the question. Eating after 7pm for Maddison = holy craziness for numbers all night. I think I will adjust the basal down for the lows and wake up to correct the *highs* on the inactive nights. Damn Diabetes. I just can't figure some things out, or maybe I'm too overwhelmed to keep picking my brain.

Either way, the new meter is going to be broke in this week. Lets hope the Diabetes Demons will prove me wrong in my superstitions. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009


I've been singing a little jingle (literally) to myself since Maddison's office visit yesterday. It goes......6.9, 6.9 we-got-a-6.9!!! Maddison's A1c went down from 7.2 in October to 6.9%. I can't tell you how elated I am. Honestly, the past 3 months have been predictable and "easily" managed. I didnt have to work my ass off chasing numbers or patterns this time. I haven't had to adjust much at all. Maddison's blood sugars have simply fallen into one of the "not changing at the moment" patterns. In other words, we have been "lucky" for this past 3 months of "stability."

I sure don't forget the despair I was going through the entire first 3 months Maddison returned to school. For those first three months I did nothing but manipulate and change basals, sensitivity, ratios, and duration settings trying to get Maddison out of the 300's. It was 3 months of hell. Sleepless nights, confusion, anger, and total exhaustion was carried with me everyday when seeing nothing improving with her numbers. I felt horribly guilty and incapable of managing a child with Diabetes. Diabetes does this to us all too often. I seriously thought I would never gain control again. I couldn't see ever being predictable again. The last 3 months though, I have been blessed with relief from all the feelings of uncertainties. I have been confident, proud and just doing. Doing nothing. Not making changes, not driving myself crazy. I haven't needed to pay too much attention to just the normal random lows and highs Diabetes throws at you. Sometimes Diabetes allows us to just live life without the craziness. These "lucky" spells allow me to recover from the loss of sleep, feelings of defeat, anger and sadness that overcome me when Diabetes goes crazy. Thank goodness sometimes Diabetes gives us a chance to recover! I know the game of chasing numbers will visit us again. As soon as numbers settle down it all goes crazy......That's just what Diabetes is.

Maddison's Endo is the most caring and friendly woman I think we could ever ask for. She in genuine and concerned for her patients, even more so, for the emotional side of Diabetes. She makes a point to always ask how Maddison and I are both doing as far as our feelings regarding Diabetes. She talked with Maddison about feeling low when she isn't. She sympathized with her, and asked if she would like a new meter just to feel better. She gave us two new Freestyle lite meters for Maddison. One for home and one for school. We only needed refills on the Precision Xtra Ketone blood strips, and Dr D came back with a whole new Ketone meter with two boxes of strips! It was like a Type 1 Christmas celebration! The highlight of our Endo visit was Dr D being so proud of Maddison following through on her promise to try new pump sites. Maddison promised her last visit to try her arms. We have been using Maddison's arms for weeks, and she actually prefers her arms now. This gives her little hip area a much needed rest. Maddison picked out a prize from the toy closet for sticking to her promise. She chose a little baby doll and has carried her everywhere. Of course, the baby has Diabetes too. Maddison said her babies A1c was 6.9 just like hers. She said when she was diagnosed though the babies A1c was 42% which left me laughing out loud.

Maddison and I talked alot about A1c's on the long drive home because she told me her's was alot better than Grandpas. Weeks ago I talked to her about my Dads
A1c and how lucky we are to have better insulins today. I dont want her to "worry" about complications when she is an adult. I want her to know that new insulins and management keeps her alot safer than ever before. I dont want her to ever fear ending up where her Grandpa is today. So, I think she really learned the meaning behind an A1c. I hope to teach her that she should be proud of a "good" a1c, and she should know that sometimes we wont be proud. Sometimes Diabetes will give us an A1c that makes us cry, and it isn't our fault. Sometimes Diabetes goes crazy and all we can do is our best to figure it out again. Sometimes our best isn't enough, and sometimes we wont have it in us to try our best any longer. I want her to know that any number Diabetes gives us is okay as long as we promise to always do our best for the time being. I know that she really understands that. I just hope this understanding will always be carried with her. Yay for I'm sure her numbers will hit the fan. You would think we would learn not to say ANYTHING about numbers!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The trigger

My non "D" child complains of a headache or stomach ache. I stop. I try not to think it, but I do. I try to be rational, but the Diabetes thoughts take over. I hate that. I hate that I can't stop these worries from invading my mind. Complaining of a headache or stomach ache in our house is no longer seemingly innocent to me. I wish that it were. I wish that every minor complaint from Hannah didn't trigger my Diabetes diagnosis thoughts, but it does. I've struggled with this for years and I can't seem to chase the feelings away. Actually, for a time I did really well not thinking about it. But, the thoughts are back. What was the trigger this time!!??

Saturday. Saturday was the trigger to my crazy worries of Hannah developing Diabetes. Shouldn't I be able to just sit around and enjoy a damn volleyball tournament without Diabetes thoughts crossing my mind? This was the last time I would expect to think about it, but I sat and wondered how the hell I would manage blood sugars if Hannah were the one with "D." I watched the all the girls jumping, sprinting, spiking, and I couldn't help but wonder the best way to maintain good balance so Hannah could play her best. She doesn't even have Diabetes! BUT, you know me, I still wondered! Gatorade? Temp basal? Uncovered carbs? Tons of protein? These girls played nearly non-stop for 11 hours!! How do athletes find a "perfect" balance to perform their best? I know they do, but I can't imagine having to figure it out!

The other trigger for my "irrational" fear and worries is of course, stress. We are still struggling since COBRA and unemployment to get back on track. Maddison is still being difficult. I still don't sleep well and being a Volleyball mom takes alot of time out of my schedule when I should be catching up on my chores. I hate a messy house. You know. All the normal life stresses on top of all the chaos from the past few months. Stress makes me worry about EVERYTHING. So when Hannah woke up last week to use the restroom at 3 in the morning I heard her down the hall. Hmmmm.....why is she waking at night to go pee? Funny I can't wake up to my alarm clock buzzing for an hour but I can hear my kids down the hall. Hannah complained of being thirsty after practice. Do ya think? But, you know me, I still worried. I think worry is what I do best in life! Hannah complained of a headache upon waking up today. And, when she ate she had a stomach ache. She has complained for weeks about being very tired. My first thought.....her blood sugar is high!!

Could it please just STOP? I mean really! The last thing I need is to think about MORE Diabetes stuff. Maybe I need more anxiety medication. Maybe I just need a break from managing Maddison's Diabetes. Oh yeah.....I'd still have my own to manage. I feel trapped. Everywhere I turn, Diabetes is there. Right in the back of my mind just waiting for an opportunity to eat me alive lately it seems.

Months ago after FINALLY letting my worry and fears go I learned the depth of Type 1 in Josh's family. I had no idea. Three Type 1's on his side, 3 on my side. So, I you are telling me we have Type 1 on BOTH sides of our family? For real? I always thought this was just about my family crappy genetics. Adding the other side of the family equalled a worry trigger for me! I just can't win. I do so well in letting it go only to have something slap me in the face. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't sit around and worry all day. I'm not consumed. BUT, I just wish someone could have a medical ailment without the Diabetes thoughts flowing! I hate that Diabetes does this to me.

I guess when I think about my "worry" it isn't really worry afterall. I guess I would call it a fear, if that makes it any better. Worry doesn't do any good. I don't "worry" per say that Hannah is developing Diabetes. Why? Because I know she would be okay. We would do what we have to do just like we have been doing for years with Maddison and I. I guess I just "question" and "wonder" alot if a diagnosis is going to run up and slap us in the face at a time when we least expect it. Either way, I think I think too much!

Monday, January 19, 2009

It never fails!!

Why is it that every time you have an Endo visit coming up, and A1c to be drawn something screws with your blood sugar? WHY? It never fails. Maddison has had a meter average of 158 since November, has an appointment this week, and the curse has hit just in time to throw off her A1c. It drives me crazy. I would so much appreciate seeing an A1c that I actually feel is a true reflection of her average over the last 3 months. After battling the stubborn highs for the first entire 3 months returning to school, I finally got Maddison's numbers under great control. Most days were predictable and she came in under 150 almost every blood sugar check during the school week. It was a awesome feeling. This past week will really screw with her A1c she has coming up on Friday. It never fails, the week before the "report card" it all goes to hell.

Thursday was early release from school. Maddison went with her buddy to the park, neither Josh nor I were present. It is such a relief that we can send Maddison off now with friends (and their parents) knowing she can handle Diabetes herself. She ended up in the high 400's when she returned home. Who knows why? She just did. Air bubble? Over treated low? Rebound? Bad site? Whatever it was, my first thought was "DAMN!! THERE GOES THE A1c!! Isn't that terrible of me? I was thinking it was just a weird and unexplained high. She came down quickly with a site change and did well all night. Friday morning she felt a bit warm to me. Blood sugar was good, no ailments. The nurse reported her in at 119 for her morning check. I had to pick her up early from school to leave for Tucson and to my SURPRISE she was 383 when we checked her in at lunch!! WHAT!!??? I checked her bolus history, all looks good from breakfast and her morning snack bolus. So another weird and crazy high is haunting this weeks A1c! AHHHHHH!!! A1c problem #1!!

Of course, going out of town can never be fair to blood sugars. The long drive sitting around in a car all that time. The excitement of going on a trip, the food. The poor choices in food! Ugh. I knew we were done for! Friday night we decided to go to a Pizzeria and wine bar in downtown Tucson. Maddison ordered Fettuccine Alfredo. Can you hear me gasping for air? Hmmmm, how many carbs are in that pasta in the HUGE dish? The fattening Alfredo sauce, the bread basket yumminess. Sheesh! Diabetes really sucks when you just want to eat your favorite food without feeling like a terrible person. We actually did pretty well guesstimating the carbs, but Josh being Josh decided Maddison should be treated with Ice cream. Well, why the hell not? I already knew I would be chasing the fat high in that damn Alfredo ALL night. 80c of ice cream later (ice cream is the devil in disguise for Maddison!) we hit the hay early and Maddison was just 186. I wish it were that easy. Consider this A1c problem #2.

I decided to have two glasses of wine with my meal since I would be up chasing Maddison's meal high all night. I might as well chase my own high too then and enjoy some damn Italian food right? So I did. Maddison beat me actually. She won the better blood sugars for the night. I was up every two hours to check us both and she hoovered in the 280's for nearly 6 hours and was perfect to start her day. I wasn't so lucky. I wasn't sure how to adjust my basal for the wine, so apparently I lowered it a bit too much! I was 290's all night and started my day at 200. THAT hurt. Talk about hang over total overload. ICK. Then of course, I crashed after breakfast thanks to the big morning rage bolus and the wine still lingering. Lesson learned.

Being that all day Saturday was spent at Hannah's Tournament, the food choices were poor. Maddison hung in the 180's because she was eating out of boredom. Sunday upon returning home Maddison went swimming in the jacuzzi with friends. Numbers did great even with the pump off for over an hour. I made some quick errands and called to check in with Josh for Maddison's status, She was 86 and wanted that tempting cupcake that all the other kids were eating. I told Josh to go for it, and bolus 40c for it. Two hours later was time to check. 487!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Um, what the hell? It seems my great husband thought I said it was "free" since she had been swimming so much. No bolus was given. That's A1c problem #3. It just never fails.

I'm guessing Maddison's A1c will be around 7.2% just as it was three months ago. I guess I can live with that, but I still cant help but wonder if it could actually be around 6.9 or 7.5% I guess it doesn't really matter, I've done my best and that's all I can do. Why does it always feel like it is never enough anyway? It never fails. It never FEELS like it is good enough, I know I shouldn't feel that way, but I think we always do.

My Saturday Super Star!!

This weekend seemed to be over before it started! We left Friday afternoon for Hannah's Volleyball Tournament in Tucson, a two hour drive away. TRAFFIC. We sat in traffic for an hour and a half at a near stand still, but otherwise the trip was great. My SUPER STAR Hannah and her team took 2nd place in the tournament against some of the top rated teams!! THEY WERE AMAZING! Talk about an exciting, emotional experience! Being new to the competitive league, we weren't aware until arriving for the day that what our girls were playing for was so important to where they are headed and what reputation they will be given. 2nd place in this tournament earned them the 2nd best team title for the entire SW region of the United States! HOLY MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT for a young, new 12 team! I don't think the coaches or the parents imagined them making it so far, so fast at just 3 months into the season!

The girls played a total of 21 games over 10 hours!! Hannah earned her spot and played nearly every game. She nailed every serve and had some amazing saves just when we thought the play was over. We were so proud of her! The confidence was shining, the energy was amazing and those girls tried their hardest in every game. Their team work has improved overall and they had FUN! The last two games the fatigue was really starting to show but they wanted that 1st place title so badly. Their hearts and our hearts were broken when they lost the final game. BROKEN. Some of the girls cried, tears welled up in the parents eyes, the coaches spoke with an unsteady and tearful voice. It was apparent we all felt the mixture of fatigue from the emotional ride, elation in the fact they made it this far, pride in seeing them succeed, sadness that they didn't claim that title.......WOW! I still today cant find my words to explain the emotions of it all! My Super Star Hannah is going to earn that Scholarship, I know she will!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Good Riddance to COBRA!

February 1st our new insurance will take affect through Josh's new employer! Hallelujah! We have paid $5,000 for COBRA insurance over the past 6 months to cover just Maddison and I. How sickening is that? As much as I am excited to be done paying such a horrid amount each month to have our medical coverage, I am terrified at the same time. What if I missed something in the new benefit elections? You know, one of those "minor" details. I guess being that medical insurance is my background specialty for over 12 years, I am a step ahead in understanding our certificate of coverage. The problem is, insurance is evil. I know their dirty game. I'm worried that COBRA and our new BCBS coverage will try and say there is a lapse of coverage from the day COBRA ends to the day BCBS begins. Could you imagine? I'm just hoping for a smooth transition so I don't have to bring out the big guns on them!

Our new insurance is quite more expensive than what we were paying previously, but of course with coverage always decreasing and premiums increasing, I expected some increase of cost but not this much. I'm just thankful at this point to have "affordable" health insurance honestly.

Here are some details of the plan I decided on:

BCBS EPO plan Base RX
$300 family deductible (we never previously had a deductible)

DME coverage is only 60% compared to our previous 80% coverage. Paying 20% more for pump supplies is somewhere around an additional $1,800 per year! OUCH!

Copays are now $40 to see our Endocrinologist instead of $25

PCP copays are now $30 instead of the $15 we used to pay.....that's double!

Hospitalization is much better for our new plan though at 100%....we used to pay 20% of Inpatient took us over a year to pay off Maddison's 3 day stay when she was diagnosed! (lets just hope we don't need to use this great benefit!)

Rx for generic is only $10
Rx for name brand is $70!!!!!!

What happens though when insulin doesn't come as generic? I never thought of that!? Overall I am pretty happy with the insurance plans we had to choose from. Life insurance coverage is great for Josh, we upped it as high as possible at a reasonable $10 per month. HOWEVER....not so great for the SPOUSE with FRICKIN DIABETES!! $3 per month buys me base life insurance at $10,000 of coverage. Any more than that required me to fill out the health questionnaire. Well, I did, but I might as well forget it! I can already see the denial now....


So, what does this new policy cost us a month? $360 which is DOUBLE what we paid with Josh's previous employer. I realize $360 is REALLY good in comparison to what alot of other families fork out each month, but it will still hurt our budget since we are used to paying half that.

So....before our insurance changes and we have lower coverage for DME, I am thinking I am going to ask Maddison's Endo to write us an RX for the CGMS. Convieniently, Maddison goes in to see her Endo next Friday. Funny thing, I don't plan on using the CGMS for Maddison. Last year all I needed was to say the word and Medtronic was going to ship out our Minilink. Actually, I did give the go ahead and then I chickened out and called them back to cancel within a few hours. Why? I just couldn't stand the thought of another gadget to learn. Another device to make Maddison feel even more robotic. Her last A1c was 7.2% so for now I would never even go there for her. Nope, I certainly didn't plan to have Maddison wear it, I planned on wearing it myself. My Endo was pretty much set against a pump, so I wouldn't even think about asking her to write a script for a CGM. She would probably laugh in my face! Our insurance approved the Minilink (or so they say until they get the actual claim!) with minimal paperwork. It couldn't have been easier. Our COBRA covers 80% which would leave us with a small portion that is totally do-able. So my plan is this: I am hoping that we spend the money now for the device since our out of pocket cost would be less on he current insurance plan. I might choose to use it, I might not (depends on what my next a1c is with all these basal canges!) but the point is to save money now and have the expense reimbursed at the higher rate before we loose our chance and end up having to pay 40% instead of 20% for the CGMS. We then pay for the "upgrade" program and whenever a newer, better device becomes available, we upgrade at minimal cost. This was just a split second idea, I have to look into it quickly! GOOD RIDDANCE TO COBRA!!


Today the kids have a half day from school (11am!!) as they do every 1st Thursday of the month. That in itself would usually boost Maddison's mood in the morning. Not today. Maddison woke up a tad grumpy to begin with and she was painfully slow to get moving and up off the couch. It took her 10min to get dressed. I had to ask her 5 times to come to breakfast. She poked her waffles around her plate for what seemed like an eternity. Maddison is always slow to rise, but this was ridiculous. We were running late and I was irritated that she was deliberately not hearing me directing her to hustle. Honestly, I dont think Maddison has any hustle in her! She is always the girl skipping along stopping to investigate anything that may distract her. So cute, a great personality trait....but not today!

All week Maddison has complained that I "yell" at her every morning and "tell her too much" to hurry up. True, I probably do tell her to hurry up too much, I suppose I need to get down to her level and make sure she is listening, or she needs to wake up earlier. I can tell you I DO NOT YELL at her in the mornings, but to Maddison when her Dad or I raise our voice to her she thinks we are "yelling" at her. So, when I raise my voice so she gets moving in the morning (she is usually playing with the dog, her bird or playing with her toys) she doesn't do as I say. I ask again....and then of course she considers that "nagging." -Sigh- This morning we had it out over her sassy attitude towards me. It got pretty ugly. She always thinks she is right! She doesn't feel she "deserved" to be "yelled" at this morning. She is passing my limit of tolerance lately. Sassy has got to go.

Maddison went to the Nurse's office to check 2hrs after breakfast as scheduled this morning. The Nurse emailed me to let me know she was angry at her meter for "giving a random number" because she felt low and the meter read 213. The Nurse said she was being Sassy and calling her meter "stupid" and a "liar" while banging it on the counter and slamming her drawer. I'm so frustrated with that! I have explained until I am blue in the face that I totally understand why she is upset. I understand how she can feel low and isn't, but she tells me I don't understand. If anyone would understand, it would be me! I think she is just getting to "that age" when mom knows nothing. Alot of eye rolling has been going on, as well as the nasty tone of voice that sounds like I am the dumbest mother in the world. I remember when Hannah started with that around this age. As I said, Sassy has got to go! What happened to my sweet and polite mommy's girl?

Maddison goes to the Endo next week and I suppose I will ask for suggestions on how to help Maddison through this "lying meter" stage. I mean, what else can I do? I feel bad for her, I know she really does feel low. I've asked her a million questions to the point that she shuts down. Are you hungry when you say you feel low and aren't? Do you realize the "low" number that isn't really low is always between 180-230? Do you feel dizzy? Weak? Shaky? Tummy ache? Nervous? Stressed? Excited? Did you play hard on the playground? Poor Maddie. I know it is frustrating. She honestly believes her meter at school AND home is lying, then she checks with my meter and it is lying too! Funny how she has convinced herself that she is right and the meters are all in cahoots together! Sorry, I can't help but laugh at that one.(not in front of her of course!)

BTW, I did go visit my Dad yesterday since Hannah's Volleyball practice was in their neighborhood. He looks like the same old worn out Dad I have seen the last many years. I expected him to be laid up in bed feeling horrid, so this was a nice surprise to see him along the same path. We visited him about 2 weeks ago, and his mood was even brighter than then. I think he is doing fine. Now I can sleep at night! Together we watched the Barrett Jackson Car Auction on TV and he laughed alot as I updated him on my crazy kids over the past few weeks. Geez I love that grumpy old man!

In other news...I finally upped my basal rate from .20 per hour to .25 per hour 24/7 since I have been waking up in the 130's for many, many months now. The 130's-160's have been my magical number for a few months now during the day too. Seems no matter what I would do my numbers would stay there. I didn't want to believe it, I didn't want to mess with basals and stress about it, so I left it. Well, being so motivated by the workout bandwagon, I just went ahead and changed it yesterday. The result? 110-130 most of the day. Weird. Not what I expected, BUT, I am soooo happy I woke up at 85 this morning instead of the normal 130! YAY me! I wasn't so sure about starting on the treadmill at 85 with a new basal rate though, so I didn't bolus my 6c Double Shot Expresso. I was 101 15min after starting my workout, so I popped half a glucose tab (because I was worried and had no energy!) and ended an hour later at 136. Not too bad. I hope I don't come crashing down with the new rate today though! (yesterday I didn't wake up in time for my workout!) so this will be the deciding day. Hoping for the best, as always!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

11% A1c

That's about 280 right? 11% would equal 280? I keep saying this to myself, over and over. 11%???? That hurts my heart and echos in my mind. Tonight I was talking with my mom over the phone and she was updating me on my Dad's recent lab work. He sees his Kidney doctor every month since starting Dialysis back in 2004. Normally his doctor says he is doing great, but not this time. His Phosphorus levels are sky high, (which I thought they would be just due to the Dialysis?) his blood pressure has skyrocketed, among many other serious concerns. His A1c is steady at 11% where it has been for years, WHAT? I swore my mom said he normally ran in the 7's!! 11%??? That's typical for him?

8-10 yrs ago my Dad really started to go downhill. At that point he had Diabetes for nearly 20 years and was still on 70/30 insulin. (still is to this day!) The day his health came crashing down was on Hannah's 4th birthday. He was experiencing symptoms of a stroke but still attended her birthday party, without mention. I'm not sure if my mom knew of his symptoms the entire time or not, but afterwards she mentioned it to me and I finally convinced them to go to the ER. She could never convince him to stop and seek treatment for any ailment anyway. I don't know if he thought the feelings would pass or if he just hated the hospital that much, maybe he didn't care. To this day I still don't know what makes that man tick!

As a child my Dad often told us that doctors are useless. He is a very stubborn man, set in his way. Old fashioned, anti-social and a quite bitter overall, although his laughter would always brighten my day. He didn't laugh or smile often, but when he did it sure made a difference to us kids. My mom was a stay at home mom because she WANTED to be. My dad worked as a department manager in the factory for PING golf clubs. His job was strenuous. He worked in a swamp cooled building in the Arizona heat 10 hours a day. He never missed a day of work unless he physically couldn't be there. He had alot of stress being the only income for our large family. My Dad had a horrible childhood. Thank goodness he didn't have Diabetes as a child, his life was hard enough. He was diagnosed at age 32 as Type 2 and put on pills. My entire family is on the small side, I'm guessing my Dad is about 5'9 and stays around 170lbs max. When he was diagnosed he weighed in at just 130lbs according to my mom. She says she will never forget how sick he was. Other than her telling me how sick he was initially we NEVER talked about my Dads Diabetes. He remained on pills for many, many months before injuring his finger at work. When the doctors realized his finger would need to be amputated they diagnosed him as Type 1 and he was put on insulin.

My Dad seems to always wait too long to care for himself. He doesn't speak up. We all know how Diabetes was treated back then. See the Dietitian, alter your diet. Adjust insulin accordingly. Visit the doctor once a year. Well, my dad never did. He didn't have routine lab work because he felt it was a waste of his time. He didn't check his blood sugar routinely, in fact, I don't remember him ever testing each day. I think I saw his meter once a month perhaps? I knew when my Dad was high because he wouldn't eat anything but green beans for days. I knew when he was low because he would sweat profusely and drink regular soda or juice. I never heard a number. I didn't even know what normal blood sugar was as a kid, even with a Type 1 parent. I wonder how low was low for him? Was he not technically low but feeling "low" in the 100's?? I never saw him check his blood sugar when he felt low, he just treated it. (yes we all do that sometimes!) My Dad was a very active man, always working in the yard, rebuilding old cars, or being Mr fix it. He was low alot, I remember that. My Dad was rarely found sitting around even though his job was just as physical as the time he spent around the house. Even in the 120 degree Phoenix weather my dad never stopped working. When my dad would become ill he would refuse to go to the doctor or hospital until he was physically unable to stand. Usually this was by the third day or so of vomiting. (I assume DKA) He spent several days in the ICU on countless occasions when I was a child. I had no idea why/how Diabetes did these things to him. As a child I just figured this was "normal" for Diabetes. I remember at the age of 10 or so thinking that Diabetes must be alot like Cancer, debilitating, but it wouldn't kill you. I never knew how serious it was. I never knew if Diabetes was left "uncontrolled" it could have such complications. I wonder if my Dad even knew?

After my Dads stroke it seemed a domino effect had set in. Multiple attempts with laser surgery for his Retinopathy failed leading to his disability status. My Dad was disabled? It couldn't be! He was always so active and busy, he seemed so healthy! He was legally blind? What will he do if he can't work? He HAS to work, he lives to work hard, that is all he has... He doesn't leave the house other than to go to work, Home Depot or Auto Zone!! He has never been to a shopping mall, movie theatre or even other family members houses! He NEEDS to work!

My Dad's Kidney failure set in just after his "disability" from blindness. I still didn't have my own Diabetes at that point. My sisters and I had to co-ordinate with my moms work schedule to get him to the Dialysis clinic three times a week. It was pure torture seeing him and all the other patients hooked up to the Dialysis machines. I can only imagine how he felt himself. It was then that I started to read alot about Diabetes and learned all the truths associated with it. The more I learned the more I wanted to learn. I wanted to know WHY these things were happening to him. I wanted to help him get better, I wanted my children to have their Grandpa no matter how grumpy he may be.

I was about 21 at this time and for some reason I had always felt that I would "get" Diabetes too, even when I was a child. Maybe that is a normal thought for a child when their parent has a disease, I don't know. Maybe it was because I often had "hypo" feelings when I didn't eat. Somehow, I just knew my time would come. I watched my diet knowing that sugar made me feel bad, and I knew I would crash feeling low if I ate too many carbs without balancing my meals. I always thought Diabetes was an adult disease, I never knew there was a "Juvenile Diabetes." I remember feeling like I HAD to know all there was to know about how our bodies work because I never wanted to be in my Dads place. The more I realized my Dad could have learned more about Diabetes to stay healthy, the more sad for him I became. It really didn't have to be this way. Did he know there were new ways of managing his Diabetes? Did he know about all the new insulins available? Would he still be in this same place regardless of how "educated" and diligent he was?

I know in my heart that my Dad did his honest best by watching his diet all those years and taking his shot every night. He really did. That was all he knew to do. I realize he wasn't educated enough to live well with Diabetes. He didn't know it was up to him to learn more. He probably didn't even know there was more to know! He simply did what he was taught in the beginning, which wasn't enough. He was left behind, and today he pays the price. My heart has suffered with him, every step of the way. We have all watched Diabetes destroy him slowly one step at a time....Because he didn't know any better. That makes me sick to think about. It didn't have to come to this. The scariest part is that maybe it would have anyway. I hate that my mom doesn't understand that. There are no promises with this disease, that to me, is the hardest part to accept. Studies indicate that a large percentage of people with Diabetes have complications of some sort after 20 years. At age 48 I will see my 20th year of Diabetes. At age 26 Maddison will see hers. Is it ever enough? Are we ever doing enough to manage this disease? Is our best effort and constant diligence even enough?

I tell my Dads story not to inflict sadness or heartache, or to gain pity. I tell you his story because it has influenced who I am today. My Dads situation explains alot about my desperation to "micro" manage Diabetes, especially for Maddison, and I am tired of it. I know better. All I can do is my best. I'm trying to stay on top of the Diabetes emotional roller coaster and tonight talking to my mom has gotten the best of me. Now I can't sleep. I'm thinking too much about his life, his struggles, his complications and the fact that he has nowhere to go now but down. I don't think his body can fight much longer. At age 63 my Dad has fought his Diabetes for over 30 years. I want him to know his complications aren't his "fault" and I want him to know that Maddison and I will be okay. Most of all, I want to tell him I understand what he has endured all these years and I want to tell him how much I appreciate the Father he was despite it all. I think I need to visit with my Dad. He lives just 15min away yet I don't make it there often enough. I can't hide from his nasty moods any longer. He needs me. He needs his children and Grandchildren to visit him, we are all that he has to look forward to each day. Alone in a quiet house all day. Dialysis every 5 hours. I need to overlook the sadness that seeing him inflicts. This weekend, I will.

One week down

By the middle of last week I finally figured out how to start my morning workout. (Has it really been THAT long??!!) Yes, it HAS been that long. I'm starting over. I'm starting from scratch with all new insulin needs compared to the last time my lazy butt got out of bed at 5am to run miles. What was before, isn't anymore. My insulin needs since then have doubled (although my basal is still just .20/hr!!) Sorry, I know that amazes most of you!

It used to be, I would have a QUICK cup of coffee without bolus to get me through the workout. (I really cant wait for my coffee until after!) It used to be, I couldn't have active insulin during a workout or I would probably have ended up dead, even if I reduced the bolus. My morning coffee is 13c because I use the naughty creamer! So, thinking I still couldn't bolus for the entire amount and was scared not to bolus SOME, I reduced the bolus by half...15 min into my miles I was 248! Over a 100 point spike! Afterwards, I reduced my basal for the following 4 hours but quickly saw that I didn't need to! What the heck!? My routine is 40 min of cardio by slow jog and 30 minutes of free weights. No reduction in basal required? I hung around 180-230all day! YUCK.

Day two was better, I had just a half a cup of coffee and bolused more. I still spiked to around 190! Day three I decided I had it with Mr Liver and Mrs Carbs, I'm going back to my beloved Starbucks Double Shot Expresso LIGHT...ONLY 6 carbs and not sweetened with the dreaded creamer! Just splenda! I bolused just 3 carbs.....and 15 minutes in I was only 30 points higher at 150! After 30 minutes I was 158, and an hour later I was down to 120. YAY! One week down, same results so far this week! It can't be THAT easy can it?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

No. 3

Hannah is No. 3 and plays the "setter" position on her Volleyball league. Saturday was her first tournament, they won some and lost some. Overall it was a great exprience and all the girls played with new found skill and determination. They were awesome! I was so proud to see Hannah's developing skills and see the confidence shine in the skills she has built over the past few months.

Next weekend we head to Tucson for a day filled with yet more challenging games. Hannah is becoming such a young lady! Every day she is eating more and more and growing in height at an astonishing rate! She is nearing my height so quickly, which I never expected at the age of just 12. My little girl is growing up and amazing me more every day. Volleyball has brought back the feel good in Hannah's life. She lives and breathes for the game, plays hard and learns more about herself in the process. No 3 will be going somewhere very special with Volleyball in the future. She is driven to earn scholarships for her game, and there is no doubt in my mind that she will.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Questioning early responsibility

I've been thinking alot lately about how much Diabetes responsibility I *should* be expecting from Maddison at age 8. I think the key here is that every child has different levels of maturity. The age of diagnosis, or how long Diabetes has been present, plays a huge roll in my mind also. Honestly, I believe every parent does what they know is right for their child, and I don't see any approach as the *wrong* approach when it comes to responsibility. I just wonder if anyone see things my way...or am I just too sheltering because I know how having Diabetes really feels?

I tend to think my expectations of Maddison are based around my own feelings of having Diabetes since I deal with all the HASSLES and emotions myself. I personally know how it feels wanting to ignore the low hoping it comes up. I know how irritating it is to have to stop what you are doing and check your blood sugar, even if you are only watching TV. I hate that Maddison has to stop and check her blood sugar in front of all her friends when they run and play wildly outside for hours, I don't want her to be the "different" one, so I sneak in there and check for her as quickly as I can hoping Diabetes doesn't become something irritating to her. I know how my fingers can throb after a poke, and figuring that "this one time" I don't need to check before I eat. To someone that doesn't actually live the Diabetes it is easy to say "how hard is it to stop for two seconds and check?" but the point isn't that it is so hard or time consuming, the point is that sometimes you like pretending you don't have to. So, in the beginning I used to do all her finger pokes for Maddison without even asking,unless she took the initiative.She was also only 6.

Nowadays Maddison pretty much does all her finger pokes and dosing her pump herself, but I still take over if she refuses. Should I "insist" she do all this herself? Sometimes I do insist, it depends on my feelings and reasoning's at the time. I guess I think that each coming age is the ideal age in which I should *expect* more from her, meaning we will INSIST she do all these things herself and "consequences" will result if she refuses. In your opinion is it "wrong" that I give her the option to choose not to do these things because she is "just 8"?

I think I need some other perspectives here.....I'm not necessarily doubting my decisions, I'm simply curious of others outlooks, particularly the adults that have been a child with Diabetes. I know this is an extremely controversial topic, I've just been spending too much time questioning what is "right" and what is "wrong" when Maddison refuses to poke or dose. Should she be faced with consequences when she doesn't want to check her number and doesn't want to bolus? I wonder if someone could influence my outlook by mentioning something in their experience that I have never considered, I'm also looking for assurance that I'm not being to lax!

My concern here really is burnout. Diabetes care today is just so much more demanding than years past. My worst fear is burn out even before the teenage years. Heck, I'm burned out many times and I'm an adult that has only been dealing with Diabetes for 3 tiny years! On the other side of the spectrum, I also worry about having a child that refuses taking responsibility or shys away from being confident to do so. I know Maddison is totally capable, and I know she needs to be responsible to a point, which she is. Of course any expected level of responsibility given has no guarantee what the years ahead will bring as far as compliance and willingness/eagerness to manage the disease. I even fear the day I myself may decide I'm done with Diabetes and decide to let things slide to the point I can't find my way back. You never know what could trigger this scary possibility. Lately, I am wondering if the adults out there (diagnosed as a child) feel that their "expectations" and given responsibilities as a child paved the foundation for how they care for themselves today? Or is your care and attitude with Diabetes today simply based around your personality type, attitude, life experiences etc?

The first year and a half after Maddison's diagnosis (she was diagnosed at age 6.4 years) I was completely against expecting ANYTHING from her. I always did the finger pokes unless she wanted to. If I asked her, she would. But for the most part I came to her when it was time to test. I never expected her to stop playing and test. Why? Because at the age of 6 I just wanted her to be carefree and not "different"....I don't regret how we did things then, but I still wonder if it was the "right" approach. Alot of parents would say at age 6 she should be doing the finger pokes for this is *her* disease and she needs to be "responsible." Alot of those parents also had kids diagnosed in toddler hood. While I mostly entirely disagree with that level of responsibility for such an age, I can also see the point. As always, I can see things both ways... Had this been my first born child, maybe I would also feel differently. Maddison has always been a tad bit on the "immature" side. Maddison was willing to give herself injections as well, count carbs, and get sugar to treat a low at the young age of 6. But we never "expected" her to either.

I would appreciate comments from adults with Diabetes. Why? I'm interested in what responsibility was expected when you were a child with Diabetes vs what is expected in the modern day for our kids with "D". We all know that Diabetes care has become alot more intense over the last 10 years. (or more?) Years ago children with Diabetes weren't expected to test 10 times a day. The constant demands are overwhelming for me sometimes, even as an adult. Sometimes I think the modern day approach (testing 8-10 times a day etc) is what leads to more burnout among our youth. Did you feel supported by your parents? Do you feel they could have done something to help you carry this burden? Do you think your parents expected too much from you, would you have appreciated their help with Diabetes care? Do I make a bigger deal out of the responsibility than it is? As always, I think I think too much.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A day to sleep

For the past two weeks I have been feeling overall, CRUMMY. Not obviously sick, just crummy. Headache, sore throat, chills, tired beyond belief and achy all over. It just comes and goes. I feel feverish although I don't have a fever. My blood sugar has been spiking higher than normal, but otherwise fine. I thought too much fun for New Years Eve was the culprit. Way too much wine and staying up late, crazy Christmas sleeping patterns. The worst of all symptoms is my mental fog. I keep feeling low because COGNITIVELY I can't focus and my mind is swimming in confusion. WEIRD, a very weird bug this is, going on a second week with no relief in sight. ICK!

I was thinking that perhaps my fatigue was coming from the changing back to school routine. Strange lows had me up checking Maddison every two hours since Monday. Waking so often definitely feels the same as when you awake to feed a newborn so often. That would explain the fogginess. Yesterday after work I was forced to lay on the couch, I just couldn't be productive. I was soooo tired, as in my whole body was in shut down mode. I have been sore from getting back into the workout routine on top of this icky bug and I do wake up at an earlier 5am to do so. But man. I used to feel so good after morning workouts. By 4pm lately I am ready to hide under my covers, just when the girls are home from school and ready to go! Volleyball practice, Horse riding lessons, homework, and dinner. Life doesn't slow down because I want to sleep! So this morning it did. I called in sick to work. This time for ME.

Last night Maddison had some wicked lows again starting right around dinner time. Two juice boxes and a tablespoon of cake frosting finally had her hoovering around in the 60's. Guess she played harder outside with friends than I thought! By bedtime three hours later she was just 107, gave her another juice box of 16c.....which normally she would only need half at this time of night. I came in to check her about an hour and a half later and she was 148. Ahhhh...that feels safe. By midnight she was 403!! WTF!!?? Either she rebounded somehow or the damn frosting was hiding someone in that tummy of hers, waiting to piss me off. My guess was the frosting, but 5 hours later? Thats one hell of a delayed high!

So, chasing numbers for Maddison all night left me even more achy and tired. I got the kids off to school and came back home to my bed! My day to sleep away this bug! Oh how I needed this uninterrupted sleep! Not surprised, the phone must have rang 50 times. The Pharmacy, appointment reminders, phone solicitors, ugh! I'm trying to sleep here people! So much for uninterrupted. I guess maybe when my children leave home. I planned on sleeping just 3 hours or so and getting up to some hot tea and my treadmill. Um, no. Not quite. I hit snooze and decided to sleep until 1pm just in time to shower and pick up Maddison from school. What happened to my day to sleep?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A better Monday

Maddison made the transition back to school Monday without complaint. Ok, she did complain, but it wasn't enough to make me cringe. I decided against switching her pump to the school basal pattern set at 200% higher rates all day. Good thing. Her numbers were 187, 134 and 96 when she got home. HOORAY! I made the right decision for a change! Hopefully today's numbers will be similar, but I am guessing the
"stress" will start to set in again and basals will go back up. Maybe not. I really don't feel like chasing her school numbers on top of my workout numbers. ICK.

When I picked Maddison up from school she was very sad looking which isn't typical. Normally she is a smiley, bouncing and silly girl because she can't wait to get the heck out of there! Turns out she was just at the nurse's office for the 134 INSISTING she was low. She will try to convince you she is dropping, and of course alot of times she is right. But the nurse sent her back to class without a glucose tab for comfort. The frustration in her voice lead me to something I should have done a long time ago. We went to the nurse's office and tested her meter with the control solution. I showed her that the solution assures us the meter is working properly. I think this conversation is what sparked her meltdown after school. Poor thing, I know she feels low alot and isn't. I know she honestly thinks the meter is wrong. She even told me it "throws out random numbers" When we got home it all came crashing down but she quickly recovered when we realized she still had alot active from lunch and needed a snack to boost her back up. She felt all better after a bowl of cereal and a quick vent of why school is "evil" and why I should believe her that her meter is wrong. -Sigh- I've tried to explain to her why she feels one way and her meter says another. She just won't hear me. I can only imagine how hard this is for our little ones.

A Cognitive article!

Hmm......what was I saying yesterday?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cognitevely Speaking

My brain isn't here. Working didn't start with a low as you might started with a 240 high... post workout. Driving to work this morning I was about to pull over because I was sure I was way to low to continue. Nope....240. Why do I feel so low if I'm 240? S-l-o-w-l-y I'm wondering if I read the meter wrong....did it really say 40? I feel like it could have said 24! Cognitively speaking, I'm not alright to drive. My number 240 says I should be, what the hell is going on? Do I pull over for a 240 when I'm not low just because I feel weird? Nothing is making sense today. Rechecked while stopped at a light, I'm 238 this time. Funny, I started to feel better when visually seeing the high number. Seeing the number pop up on my meter put my brain back on track. Just like seeing a low number makes you feel low when you didn't already. I hate that. Gotta love getting back into the work out routine. This is exactly why I have put it off so long. It isn't as easy as "just doing it" for those of us with Diabetes. It's a matter of re-balancing everything again. With workout routines my good eating habits naturally follow. The more I work out, the better food choices I make. I guess it's all or nothing for me. A better "diet" means less carb intake, about half my normal, which will mean metabolically speaking my basals will change dramatically. Tuna fish, almonds, protein fruit smoothies.....ahhhh. I skip the carby carbs and go for fruit as my main carb load. Now that is what I have been missing! I feel better already after day 1. (a bit of brain washing here!)Now I just have to figure out how to avoid the high during the workout. What worked for me before, obviously doesn't in 2009! Baby steps. It is all about baby steps to get it right. I'm exhausted just thinking about it already.

Problem #1, I didn't reduce my basal this morning after my workout as I know I should have....I simply forgot. A busy morning getting the kids back to school. But I also wasn't sure how MUCH I would have to reduce my basal, and for how long. I would have rather dealt with upping a low quickly rather than dosing for a high slowly. 3 hours later, I'm slapped with a 42. I didn't think I would go THAT low. I'm sitting at work trying to focus. Cognitively, I'm useless. I can't even gain my composure. I'm supposed to be working on month end for December, followed by year end. I need to get something done! I was in this same situation Friday and had to leave my work incomplete which I HATE doing. Cognitively, I'm totally useless after a low like this, especially after I plummeted from high to low. ICK. I stare at the computer screen. A co-worker comes to speak to me but I can't even respond with half an intelligent response. Just a smile.

Problem #2, My daily average has been higher since the stress and holidays took over. So, now I feel low in the 90's. I mean, really. Cognitively I feel like an idiot in the 90 range because of running higher so much lately. I can't find my words. I feel shaky like a caffeine high. I can't add 2+2, and I can't remember the simplest routine things at work. Man, I hate this re-adjusting. Do I eat a tiny something to bump myself back up to 120-130 so I feel better and can actually function? Or, do I suck it up and wait for the feeling to pass? Of course I try to suck it up, but I need to be productive too. I'm on a freakin deadline here people! I need to get this work done! This makes me think about when I *force* Maddison to "suck it up" for feeling low when she isn't. I always remind her that I know how she feels but that her body is "re-adjusting to normal or lower numbers. Poor girl, now I feel horribly guilty. Today I totally know how she feels and why she gets so frustrated to tears. I feel the same way today.

Thank goodness for spell check...I can't even tell if I spelled COGNITIVELY right. It looks wrong. I know I spelled it right, the spell check told me so....but cognitively everything is off today. I start to wonder if I am an early onset Alzheimer's patient. I mean really. It is that bad. (joking but seriously) These fluctuation suck, It makes me wonder how much of Maddison's grades in school actually reflect her abilities. range...high.....hanging near low for hours........I don't know how anyone makes it through school with Diabetes. Some lows you can bounce right back from. Some kick your ass and you aren't even that low. Some highs you think are lows. Some highs kick your ass. Some highs you had no idea. I assume some people are just more in tune and able to feel these changes, or maybe they just suck it up and don't complain like I do :) Cognitively speaking, it is time for me to call it an early night. Hopefully tomorrow I will find my other half a brain.

Friday, January 2, 2009

What 2008 has taught me

2008 has been a tough year for me emotionally (surprise, surprise) but it could never compare to 2006 in which Maddison and I were both diagnosed with the Diabetes Demon. What an overwhelming, emotional year that was. 2008 was a piece of cake in comparison, I have mostly overcome an array of many personal issues this year, what may seem simple to some, is a huge leap forward for me. I have learned alot of things this year that without Diabetes, I may never had the experience to learn. Dealing with chronic illnesses has taught me things I probably wouldn't know otherwise - how to be thankful for the smallest things, how to be compassionate and sympathetic to others without feeling sorry for them, how to sort out what's most important, and how to find peace in the midst of turmoil. Most importantly, I have learned to not speak my mind until I have walked a mile in someone else's shoes. You really have no idea what some one else's life is like unless you live it yourself.

Early on, the past year brought about the end of Maddison's "honeymoon" and the array of emotions that go along with it. (honeymoon means the "easily" controlled and figured out phase of diabetes) I struggled with feelings of defeat on a near daily basis because Diabetes got the best of me so many times. As the year comes to a close, I can honestly say that this year I have learned that despite my best efforts, Diabetes doesn't play by a rule, it doesn't always follow a pattern and certainly doesn't care if you feel you can't take the craziness anymore. Diabetes in 2008 taught me...

*I can overcome things I never thought possible
*I have a choice to learn from my experiences
*I see more every day that we are survivors, not victims. Although some days I feel as though I am slowly draining away, I know that tomorrow is another chance at life. Alot of others out there don't get another chance at life.

2008 has reminded me.....

**It's not what you have in life that counts, it is who you have in your life that matters most.

**it's not what happens to people that's important. It's what they do about it. I feel in my heart that we are doing all we can for others like us, reaching out to other families with Diabetes means another child out there will not feel so alone.

In 2008 I found myself slowly becoming the person I want to be. I have learned writing and talking is a must, good or bad feelings, I need to blog to stay sane. I've learned that I need my Diabetes moms. In 2008 I have built relationships with moms that really understand me. Or, Diabetes anyway :) Only true friends care to hear how hard this Diabetes life really is. I have also learned to spare my words for someone that cares to listen. Now here is our year in review.....

January 2008 couldn't have started any better. In the wee hours of a cold January morning I helped our Golden Retriever Roxxie give birth to 8 perfect puppies. We ended up donating two puppies to the JDRF Promise Ball Silent Auction. Each puppy raised $4,500 toward Diabetes research. Dressed in our formal attire, we were Princesses for the night as we took the stage at the auction to tell our story. What an awesome opportunity!

March 2008 we were left with one perfect puppy. Harlee became a part of our family, he was here to stay.

In April 2008 my A1c came back at 6.0%....thank you honeymoon! Maddison's A1c rang in at 6.6%.....the last of her honeymoon unfortunately.

In May 2008 we proved to stick to our promise in helping to make a difference, we had our chance to speak, and Maddison did very well.

Maddison won 1st place in the "Inspired by Diabetes" poetry competition, she is an amazing girl my Maddison!

2008 brought Maddison's lowest low yet, oh...what a 32 will do

In July my new Niece was born! Welcome baby Sammie!

In August Maddison started 2nd grade, Hannah 7th!!

Maddison started volunteering at a local bird rescue. She even won the title of "Duck releaser"

Hannah started becoming a much more responsible young lady! She continued to play Volleyball and was eagerly awaiting her chance to play competitive leagues.

After months of helping to care for Josh's grandfather, the time came to say goodbye. I learned that no matter how fearful you are to be present when someone leaves this life, if you love that someone and the time comes, it just feels right and the fear leaves you with a sense of peace. September 11th, 2008 my children lost their Great Grandfather, my husband lost his father figure. I gained respect for the love and devotion he brought to his family for 80+ years.

This year I have learned to let go. Maddison is gaining the confidence and knowledge she needs every day to live healthy and happy with Diabetes. Letting go one small step at a time is a huge step for me. I have been trying my best to give Maddison her Diabetes responsibility as I know she is ready to handle. This is truly the hardest thing I have ever done. Slowly as I give Maddison more and more responsibility in her care, I know that she can manage. No one wants their child to grow up too fast with this kind of responsibility, I'm learning that we have no choice but to teach, not shelter our children from this disease.

Chaos of changing employers, COBRA expenses and unemployment haunted us this past year. Insurance issues, medical expenses and pharmacy bull shit tested us one too many times. I guess that happens every year with a diagnosis such as ours though doesn't it?

We had our first ER experience with vomiting, ketones and near DKA. I'd like to forget that part of 2008. I did learn alot though, I must say.

November 2008 my Hannah turned 12. She amazes me every day with her silly sense of humor. Hannah is playing competitive Volleyball now, she has gained confidence, a sense of self, and most importantly she has been driven to succeed.
She has found her passion, and as a result she is becoming a better person. She is happy again. She looks forward to every day. Back in 2006 as our family struggled you could see it in Hannah's attitude. Not in 2008, my Hannah is back!

December 21st, 2008 after just 11 short months of our crazy, bigger family, we said goodbye to Harlee. As Maddison would say, "Harlee was like my brother, not a dog" My children learned again for the second time this year the stages of grief. They learned that our lives were a little bit better the months we shared with Harlee. They learned that you must love someone while they are here, not cry for them when they are gone. Love them today, for tomorrow has no promise. They thought about the happy life we gave Harlee, and they realize that he was lucky for the time he did have here with us. He was loved.... entirely.....every day that he spent with us. We will keep his memory alive just like we do with Great Grandpa. As kids they know Harlee wasn't just a dog, he was a cherished family member sent here to us for a reason. We may never know why his life ended so shortly, but we do know he made a difference in ours for the time that he was here. He kept us busy, he gave us love unconditionally. Surprising how much you can learn from "just a dog"

And here is 2009, another year we can make our promises to ourselves and make them become what we want them to be. I have all the same "resolutions" as most people. Exercise more, follow my healthier way of eating, be more organized and on task. Whatever your resolution may be this year, I hope you stop to think what you have learned in the years past. It isn't necessarily what we plan to do, but it is what we have learned along the way. Planning isn't anything unless we pursue it and make it happen. I hope we all see in ourselves a better person because of last years experiences. Welcome 2009.....I am hoping this is the year of finding "Me" again.....

I just can't do it!

I just can't leave my kids home alone! Today my girls had two hours alone to manage before Aunt Christi picked them up for a fun day at the new Aquarium in town. TWO HOURS. Do you think they could get along for two hours? Normally my girls get along great. Leave them alone for two hours and apparently Hannah is stressed and Maddison becomes defiant, she doesn't want to listen when Hannah raises her voice. Maddison is very sensitive when you raise your voice. She always has been. It makes her jump into melt down mode in an instant. Maddison also has a REALLY bad habit of not hearing when spoken to, especially when she is watching Animal Planet. Imagine that. I can't blame the girl for being interested and tuning out the world around her. So at 10am I called to have Maddison check her blood sugar since she is 2 hours post prandial...she was 113 with .4 active which could send her down to a 50-60ish number. I asked Hannah to have her eat about 8c....and it was over from there ladies and gentleman!

Hannah being the pre-teen that she is, didn't have the patience to ask Maddison a third time to find 8c to keep her from going low. I know that Hannah is nervous of a possible impending low when she is left to manage them herself. So, she does what any nervous 12 year old would do. She barks out commands to Maddison and raises her voice, which in turn sends Maddison to tears. A few minutes later Hannah calls me back at work and I can hear Maddison freaking out in the back ground. She is crying and telling Hannah to stop yelling at her. Now she is completely irrational. Who is to say who "started it?" Of course there is no excuse for Maddison's childish behavior, or is there? Maybe she is dropping fast and is irrational on top of being pissed at her sister. Who knows. All I know is that I can't handle this Diabetes stress at home while I am at work. I can't tolerate the stressful phone calls when I am trying to work 30 miles away unable to guide them through the chaos. I just can't leave them alone right now at this stage, and I WILL not again. Hannah is too nervous and bossy, and Maddison is too irresponsible to step up to her Diabetes care. She is 8, not 12 people! I am sick and tired of explaining this to everyone. No one seems to understand why I can't just leave my kids at home while I work. Everyone seems to remind me that Hannah is 12 and can take care of herself just fine. Which is exactly right. HERSELF. She can take care of herself but add a Diabetic 8yr old sister to the mix and I just don't think they are ready. So I wish everyone with their parenting advice (WITHOUT DIABETIC KIDS) would just shut their trap and stop encouraging me to leave them home alone. Live a day in my house with Diabetes and then give me advice on how my kids can be left alone!

Hannah is 12, yes, I understand that....I expect some responsibility from both my kids. But I can't expect Hannah to be comfortable with Maddison's Diabetes when I am away either. Being comfortable is something that will come with time, and this isn't the time. This has been our first trial with giving them this responsibility. I'm torn because no one understands this very difficult situation I am in. Unless you are a Diabetes parent. Even Josh assumes they can be left alone without conflict, he also isn't the one taking the phone calls while he is at work. Some day soon, I know the girls will be able to get there. Hannah will mature and understand why Maddison reacts the way she does. She will also feel confident dealing with lows. By then, Maddison will probably just manage them herself. For now, we have tried unsuccessfully this Xmas vacation to grant them some Independence and expect them to manage a few hours. With all the other stress we having been dealing with in our house, now just isn't the time to give it try. I just can't take it. Thank goodness school is back on Monday.

Hannah just texted me with a silly picture of her and Maddison. She writes "I swear mom, this girl is Bi-polar,look at her now." They are all smiles with silly faces again, on their way to the aquarium for the day. -Sigh- I responded with "you have no idea the stress you two just put me through" and Hannah's response....."sorry Mom, luv ya"