Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How does that happen?

Today my girls had a Dentist appointment. I always expect to hear that Maddison has some crazy amount of cavities because she frequently eats glucose tabs and sucks down juice in the middle of the night. Nope. No cavities. Maddison must have her Dads "strong" teeth because she has still to this day, never had a cavity! I'm sure it helps that she didn't get her first tooth until well after turning 2! But, the same isn't so true for Hannah. She must have my "terrible" teeth. It seems I just look at something sugary sweet and a cavity appears. Impecable oral care, doesn't seem to matter for me! Hannah has a few small cavities but luckily they are all in baby teeth. Yep, Hannah didn't get her first tooth until she was 3 yrs old!!!! Poor thing, she is still loosing baby teeth while all her friends are getting their braces!

So how does that happen anyway? Why are some people so prone to cavities? Of course thinking of teeth and genetics makes me wonder about Diabetes. Am I more prone to suffer Diabetes complications because my Dad is? Why do some people maintain "stable" and lower A1c's and still end up with complications when others don't? How much of our health is really genetically determined? Thats a terrible question that I think I prefer to not have answered.


Last night proved that 99% was in my favor. No prime was given to Maddison while connected, Hallelujah! I was sure that the prime wasn't given, but you know. How would you REALLY know for sure? Just me being paranoid as I am often :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Well THIS IS scary!!

After reading to Maddison before bed, we continued our nightly routine. She brushed her teeth, washed her hands and checked her sugar. 384. WEIRD. We have been hitting a too low 80ish before bed every night, so a a check for air bubbles was in line. YEP. There they are. I disconnected Maddison's pump, hit rewind, primed the bubbles out and hit escape back to the main screen to bolus the high. Reconnected, and heard the dreaded BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. Medtronic. Any Medtronic users know what I did wrong? I didn't escape after priming as I thought. I escaped from the initial prime, but was still in prime mode! I *think* I primed insulin while Maddison was connected!!!!!!Not such an easy resolution when its 10pm and Maddison is sleeping!

Although the pump showed 0.00 flashing on the screen, the BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP has made it sound as though the insulin started to prime again. While connected to Maddison's tiny arm. Yeah. Not good! I really don't *think* that the insulin started to prime again since the 0.00 showed on the screen, but you have to be safe rather than sorry. Damn BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. I'm replaying in my mind the millions of times I have primed bubbles out of the pump tubing, wondering if any insulin really starts to flow before the numbers start to count up the primed amount. I want to say this time I am safe from a MAJOR error I could have just made, but as always, Diabetes makes me doubt myself. I'm 99% sure the insulin didn't prime into Maddies tiny arm. That 1% chance is what I fear. SCARY thing the pump can be if you really aren't paying 100% attention! I've done this before! Kicking myself at this moment. Cussing myself out. We shall see what the next hour brings. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a pump that knew it was connected when priming? Wouldn't it be nice if the pump was smarter than us and refused to prime when attached?

Is it scary?

Tonight while making some basal decreases in Maddison's pump for bedtime lows, she asked me one of those heart breaking questions. "Is it scary for you because I have Diabetes Mom?" Sheesh. How do you answer that? I told Maddison that it isn't scary that she has Diabetes because we have learned so much over the years. Then, I told her that sometimes I am scared when blood sugars do crazy things, and sometimes I am scared because I have to find the answers myself. I let her know that when I am scared, it is because I don't want to make the wrong choice and have more weirdo blood sugars. I didn't know what else to say. I had just come in from washing the van, cleaning the garage, raking up tree mess and hosing down the drive way while gulping down Mountain Dew. We were in the middle of the mad dinner rush and my brain still wasn't entirely with me. I hate when I don't know what to say. Now that the question has passed and my mind is again with me, I realize I would have said things differently. It isn't scary that Maddison has Diabetes, (most of the time) I just couldn't put the words into what I was trying to say!

Today Maddison went on a field trip to the zoo with all the other kids in the district that have Diabetes. For once, Maddison got to go off on a field trip without me! She had such a great time! Our school nurse kept Maddison in her group, along with L who is 10 and H who is 14. Both these kids go to our school and they spend time with Maddison on all the Diabetes school support days that come around, about every 3 months. I'm very happy that our school keeps this support group going each year. We are truly blessed that Maddison has this kind of opportunity to spend time with all the other "D" kids in the district. The oldest "D" child at our school is H. She was diagnosed when she was 6 like Maddison, for 8 years she has had Diabetes. I can't imagine the day I say Maddison has had Diabetes for 8 years. Every time I think about that I hope and pray that I will be more content and less stressed by then. I always wonder when Diabetes won't take up so much of my energy everyday, and then I wonder if it is just me that makes all this "D" stuff too much a part of my thoughts each day.

Tonight after dinner Josh and I started talking about my diabetes "overload" after I told him about Maddison's question tonight. Josh seems to think Diabetes consumes me. As much as I can say it doesn't, I suppose sometimes it does. Is it ME that has this issue with Diabetes, or is it like this for everyone, every parent? We all know how naturally "consuming" Diabetes can be, even when we try to NOT let it be. Is it just me that thinks about numbers every hour of everyday? Is it my personality? Do I worry too much? Josh seems to think that I make Diabetes too much of an issue everyday. I can see that, to a point....but I also live this too. Josh seems to forget that I have my own Diabetes I carry around. He always teases me that I dont really have Diabetes, because he knows how "easy" I have it in comparison to Maddison and alot of others. I just don't think he understands why I fret over numbers so often. By Fret I mean, stress. Yes, a low stresses me out. Yes, when Maddison is high it stresses me out. Do I show it on the outside? I suppose so when you hear my potty mouth in response to that number. Do I fix it and move on? Yep! Josh isn't living with Diabetes like me, and he isn't involved in managing Maddison's numbers. Sure, he counts carbs, treats lows and boluses for Maddison accordingly. But he isn't managing Maddison's numbers either. He isn't always wondering how new adjustments for Maddison were today at school, he isn't worried about Maddison overnight, and he isn't concerned about how to figure out the rapidly approaching swim season. To me, that is scary. I'm the only one that carries this responsibility. I'm the only one that keeps Maddison healthy. Sometimes, I guess that is scary. After tonights conversation with my dear husband I realize he just doesn't REALLY understand.

So, I sat thinking. The only real difference in our lives with Diabetes is the need to plan. We plan what we pack when we leave the house. We carry sugar and test kits with us all the time, even just for that evening stroll after dinner. Do we sometimes choose to skip the evening walk because we are low? Nope. We treat it, wait, and go on our way. (if we still feel like it by then!) We don't live life any less than we used to, we simply have more planning, and sometimes waiting to do. Does that mean I have alot more to think about everyday? Of course! I have to think about now, and later. I have to think about numbers. All-the-time. What is Maddison's current number, what is my current number. Will Maddison need a snack before bed because our evening walk turned into a much longer one than planned? Will she need a temp basal tonight? Do I? What if I cause a low? Will I wake up if I'm low? If I set a temp basal or give Maddison a snack I will have to set my alarm in the middle of the night to recheck. Oh yeah, I do that every night anyway! No wonder my husband thinks I think too much about numbers!

Overall, I think that we live a very well rounded life with Diabetes in our house. We still go out on a moments notice if something fun comes up. We still stay up late, sleep in, vacation and spend endless hours playing outside. I know Josh sees that I worry alot more these days. I know he hears me speak my concerns of sleepovers, swimming and other things nearly every day. But that's because as my husband he is supposed to listen, hear me and understand. Yet, I don't think he understands that us women just have to talk about it. Oh, how men and women are so different! LOL. I tried to explain to my dear husband tonight that just because I talk about things doesn't mean I'm upset about it. It means I'm letting it out, before I'm upset about it. Now I realize why I blog! I told Josh that Diabetes is everywhere for US. For ME, for Maddison. It IS consuming, but that doesn't mean it consumes ME.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Busy fun, graphic story and I'm not so sure!

This past weekend was a fun filled busy time. Saturday the girls had a birthday party for a support group friend who turned 11. Maddison was in such a great mood until the damn birds of the neighborhood sent her spiraling downwards crying for nearly an hour. It seems a baby bird had fallen from his nest and a "Grackel" (a big black bird) tried to eat it! Of course Maddison had already been scouring the grassy areas for any bird that needed to be "rescued" and came across this baby bird right as he was under attack. She saw the whole thing. I heard her yelling from outside, and instantly knew what the deal was, it IS baby bird season you know :) I didn't expect the found little bird to be injured! The "Grackel" had nearly decapated the baby bird. OH CRAP! Maddison swooped up the little bird and tried to stay calm. I tried to tell her that the little bird just wont survive despite any efforts to get him help, but he was alive and chirping his last little breaths at this point, so I assured her all she could do was love him and comfort him as he passed. I didn't know what else to say! Don't laugh at this next one....Maddison took her little finger and tried to pump the birdies chest and perform CPR!!! I felt so sad for her....for the little bird! So, what was such a happy morning ended up being traumatic for Maddison. After crying and settling down after the whole ordeal, she assured me she was crying because the sight of it all, not the fact that she couldn't save him. -sigh- Traumatic for a little girl indeed!

Trauma behind us, we headed off to my Sister in Laws HOA block party so the girls could spend some time with their little cousins. I think I must have eaten about 20 lifesavers all day amidst all the activities. Needless to say, I'm not liking Lifesavers so much today! Last year we attended this same block party and I remembered the sadness I felt when all the kids wanted snow cones but didn't get one because I wouldn't let Maddison have one. This year we had the snow cones!! Packed in my back pack I had SUGAR FREE snow cone syrup! YAY! Thank you to whoever created this magical syrup!

Yesterday we attend a church carnival with Josh's grandmother. The weather was a perfect 80 degrees and we all had a great time. Even Maddison's blood sugars were great, despite the sneaky carnival food. I think I have learned to bolus much more than the usual guesstimate when we eat out. So far, so good. For me, lifesavers again saved the day repeatedly. Not sure whats going on there...maybe my metabolism is kicked back to where it used to be since I'm actually dragging my lazy self to the treadmill every morning? I didn't work out this lazy Sunday, but it seems the effects are still there lately. NO MORE LIFESAVERS PLEASE! I started a basal reduction all around for me today. Later in the evening we had Hannah's end of the year Volleyball team BBQ. A busy fun filled weekend indeed!

Now for the "I'm not so sure" part of my thoughts today.....I FINALLY received an email reply from Maddison's teacher after I asked her if she had Maddison sit out a portion of recess the other day for interrupting her during testing because she felt low. This is her response....

"Yes, Maddison came to me, informed me she was low, and was accompanied immediately to the nurse with a buddy. It is also true that I was administering individual assessments and had made my expectation clear that the kiddos were to work independently and refrain from interrupting unless there was an emergency.
I am certain you know that the health, safety and security of my class (and all students) is a priority above all else. Please also know that I fully understand the extreme importance and necessity of Maddison’s immediate treatment as needed.
As there were many students who had not met my expectation, I made a general announcement to the class that those who interrupted were to spend 5 minutes sitting out at recess. After about 8 months of school with the same protocol, I am now expecting Maddison to know what her condition permits (no penalty for treatment). I DID NOT tell Maddison directly she was to sit out, nor was I expecting her to serve a penalty. If, in fact, she spent time on the wall, it is a penalty she chose for herself. If Maddison had come to me to clarify if I meant her, I would have told her she did not need to miss any recess."


Miss S.

Hmmm....I'm actually a bit offended by this response. Wouldn't you think Ms S would have told Maddison she didn't have to sit out? I'm not so sure about this email response. Sounds like she is manipulating the truth. All I know is we have 18 days of school left, then Good Riddance to all this heartache in her class!

Friday, April 24, 2009

P.O.P/Need I say more?

My neighborhood is very special. We live in a very close knit cul-de-sac where we are all really the same, but yet totally different. As our children have grown past babies and toddlers we spend more time as adults and friends. Our kids are growing more every day. It all started with my Hannah age 3, and their Austin just a few months older. As our toddlers chatted over a dirt pile in their soon to be new homes, us parents never knew just how important this life change would be for our families. We have cherished, we have lived.....we have grown into the families of Albert Lane. 9 years later, us parents feel a bit left behind. We all want the same things in life. Healthy, happy, succeeding kids with lots of family memories and fun along the way. That Hannah and Austin are now nearing 13yrs old. But, we totally have what we need to thrive in this cul-de-sac, and then some. We have each other.

Tonight we gathered for a P.O.P. as we like to call it.... (Party on the Patio) and it seems we are always adding new families to our gatherings. The entire cul-de-sac is the norm, but tonight L and her family joined in. L is someone that adopted one of our Golden puppies last year. Kinda a funny thing....L and her husband (and son) would walk by our home every day. Every day and night they would be seen walking their dog while we brought out our litter of 8 goldens to potty. Of course, our puppies were cute as could be. How could they not stop to admire these faces? It turned out that first time L stopped to admire the pups she saw my pump tubing hanging out from my shirt. She asked what pump I had, and she showed me her Animas. Need I say more?

An adopted puppy later, two Type 1's meet. L understood my triumphs as a mom with a child with Type 1. She was dx'd at age 9, after spending nearly a week in a coma. I'm not sure of the year, but I know "L" has 40 yrs of Diabetes behind her. And, she is amazing. She is the picture of health. She exercises every-single-day. She follows a very strict diet of whole grains, lower carbs, no red meat, high veggies. And, you would never know she wears an insulin pump attached to her hip. Every time we meet (which is often in this POP neighborhood) I learn something new. Something inspiring about her life with Type 1 as a child. Tonight while we had the usual Party on the Patio, the tough, the truth, and the past came out. We talked about Diabetes back then and how "L" was in a coma for so long at diagnosis. We talked about how one neighbor (a college professor) just had his student with Type 1 pass away. No reason. No explanation. They even promised themselves not to tell me anything about this young girl who parished, to spare me the heartache and worry for Maddison and myself. We talked about life, and how tomorrow isn't a guarantee. We talked about the 8yr old girl who's family tonight is grieving. And when it came down to it, we are all the same but yet so different. Need I say more?

Testing break today

Today the girls had off school for "testing break" which means I get to take the day off work :) I LOVE having my girls all to myself for the day! Maddison has been dying to see the movie "Earth" so we went out for pizza and games and then on to the movie theatre. "Earth" is totally a Maddison movie, but it was not much interest to her little friend that came along, or Hannah. The movie was pretty much like an Animal Planet Special. We were bored to death, but Maddison loved every minute of it!

Being off school today meant we all got to sleep in! BONUS! I started my day with another grueling work out, this time, determined to decrease my basals right instead of sucking on Lifesavers all day. Bad news is the pizza place didn't have the salad bar I expected to eat, so who knows if basals were decreased right with pizza on the menu! I ended up in the 60's twice before we got to the movies (after pizza on a square wave and decreased bolus!) so you can imagine how the popcorn just jumped into my mouth once we sat down to watch the movie, LOL. I mean was quite a sight to see me eating popcorn like that while hoovering low. Talk about mad eating frenzy! LOTS of popcorn later, I bolused half again and an hour later there's another low. Darn extra butter! Guess I didnt get the temp basal right afterall. Try again tomorrow.

I was shocked today that despite all the crap Maddison ate (cereal for breakfast, pizza, candy, gumballs, popcorn and PB cups) she never went higher than 190. And if she did, at least I didn't SEE it. Thank you meter for sparing me the visual today :) Normally eating days like this for Maddison is a given inflicted 300 or higher. I decided awhile back to just bolus high. Like, 10 carbs higher for everything I guesstimate. So far this approach has worked wonders when eating out. Maddison got to be a total junk eater today, and loved every minute of it. You should have seen her little friends face as I continually said YES to any candy or food request. It was priceless. Yep, Maddison had a little extra spring in her step today. Not sure if that was happiness or all the sweetness! Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Confusing day

Some days when I work out really hard in the morning my mind is fuzzy all day. Today is one of those days. Of course, truth is I'm hoovering in the 65-110 range on these days as well, but geez. Seems like there isn't anything I can do to stop the fuzzy brain. Can't eat enough. Can't reduce basal enough. Some of these days I think I'm cured. I find myself confused on top of confused, wondering why I can't feel better. I'm not technically low, but my brain says I am. People must have thought I was a weirdo today at the grocery store. I walked back and forth 100 times trying to remember what I was looking for! Then I checked out, and went back for more of what I forgot, LOL!!!

More confusion sets in today when Maddison's A1c rang in at 7.3, WTF? That can't be right. I was expecting her A1c to be much lower than her last 6.9.... Now first of all, I didn't want her A1c to be lower than the last 6.9, but I figured with all the lows she has been having the past 3 weeks that her A1c would be TOO LOW and I would feel horribly guilty for THAT. Not so. Now I'm back to hating this stupid A1c test and assuring myself that it really is useless compared to a meter average. My logic says Maddison ran high for 3 weeks in March, was in better range for a few weeks, then perfectly in range a few weeks, and now too many lows. How the hell did her A1c fluctuate to increase 4pts if her meter average is the same as it was then? Its so confusing. I guess lows are more quickly corrected than highs, and we all know we really only see the small picture with a meter. I must have made a funny face when Dr D told me Maddison's A1c because she asked me what is wrong :) Stupid A1'c's, they really don't make much sense sometimes. Oh well, I'm just happy that her A1c wasn't "too low" as I expected it to be. Who would've known?

I talked to Dr D about swimming and Diabetes and asked her WHY Maddison would go high 3-4 hours later. I understand WHY I guess, I just dont know what the hell to do about it. She suggested increasing her basal rate right after swimming and then decreasing it later on for the lows. Makes sense I guess. Problem is.....easier said than done. I would never think to INCREASE a basal after exercise, and honestly thats a scary thought if you dont get it timed JUST right. Ohhhh, summer is approaching fast!

Sitting here trying to blog my thoughts on today my mind is floating. I have a headache and I'm 138. An hour ago I was 69 and apparently my body hasn't caught up to this number yet. I ate half a banana with peanut butter and some blackberries. I bolused half the carbs. Basal rate is reduced to just 20% since my morning workout and I still go low. No wonder this day is so confusing. My own body is confusing. Why is my brain not catching up to my blood sugar? Why am I on a .05 basal rate for the last 8 hours and I still go low? This atypical day is confusing. Maddison's A1c is confusing. This disease is confusing. I'm off in Lala land tonight and I should be feeling fine by now. Weird. Blood sugar is just a weird, confusing thing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

8yr old dies before diagnosis
Heartache....something that didn't have to end this way. In the article they mention that all children should be "tested" for Diabetes, thats a scary thing say. Just because you are tested and fine today, doesn't mean that later Diabetes won't happen. Articles always mean well, but most are so misleading. My heart goes out to this family, and every family that lives this life. Completely heatbreaking.

Low "interuption" = loss of recess

Tonight Maddison mentioned to me that Ms S had her sit on the wall for half of morning recess. Why? Because Maddison "interrupted" individual reading testing when telling her teacher that she felt low and needed to go to the nurse. Yep. Not surprised. First of all, Maddison has been taught to ALWAYS-NO-MATTER-WHAT get to the nurse if you feel low. If you have to interrupt, ask 5 times, demand or walk out, GET THERE. It's okay to go against what a teacher tells you if your blood sugar is at risk. Period. Sad that we have to teach our kids this, but people just dont understand that a plummeting blood sugar cant wait. Thank goodness Maddison is getting closer to treating herself in the classroom next year! This is the kind of stuff I've been dealing with all year with this teacher.

So, Ms S did let Maddison go to the nurse right away this morning. At 9:20am my cell phone rang at work. We have a substitute nurse this week, and she was instructed to call me with any questions. The nurse asked me if I wanted Maddison to have her snack early, her BS was 98 with .6 active. I asked her to give Maddison 2 glucose tabs and let her go to recess. Of course, Ms S had Maddison sit out half of that recess, I assume, as Maddison says. Maddison came back after recess (15min later) and her BS was 136. Nice job catching the low Maddison!

So, I guess I will have to speak with Maddison's teacher tomorrow morning before we head off to her Endo appointment down town. FUN! Why am I always dealing with crazy things this teacher does? I'm so glad this year is nearly at an end. 20 days of school left!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My 65 and swimming day 2

Today I was a good girl. I met my treadmill as early as planned, without hitting snooze for an hour like most mornings. For some reason I must have needed that snooze today because my eyeballs have been rolling around all day and I can't stop yawning. I had an hour nap after work, thanks to my hubby being home. I just feel yucky today-drained-a mixture of being up too early, working out too hard, and hoovering around 65 to often today. Darn exercise. I still have .3 active from dinner and I've been 65ish for the last two hours......waiting patiently to be able to go to bed. I dont want to over treat the 65, but I'm tempted just so I can go to sleep!

Maddison and her friends took another partial dip in the pool after school today but decided after 10 minutes or so that it was too cold. That means swimming day 2 will be all figured out, LOL. Thats a good thing because I'm tired and dont feel like chasing around swimming numbers tonight.

My 65 is now a 105, and I'm soooo ready for sleep! Lets hope Maddison is in range and I can sleep a good 5hrs before checking her around 3am.....fingers crossed. OH DAMN....scratch that. I was just about to post and I hear Maddison coming down the hall. "Mom, I feel low" and.....she's 56. WTF? I tucked Maddison in bed an hour ago, she was 188 with no active insulin. I corrected the 188 and now she's 56!? Fabulous. This has happened several times lately at bed time....but ONLY if Maddison isn't asleep yet. CRAZY-ASS-DISEASE. If Maddison was ASLEEP as she should be at 10pm and I correct a 188 when she is sleeping she would stay in range. But, for some reason if she is still awake she drops too low with that same correction. I assume that means the instant she falls asleep her growth hormones kick in and she is more resistant to that correction. Who knows. I just know it is irritating. Tonight is the final decision night on that one. Lesson learned. Now I know for sure that this is REALLY happening and I'm not crazy. I'm still crazy I guess, but at least now I know I'm right about this one. Add another weird thing to consider to the list!

Guess I'll be up for awhile......FB? Read more blogs? Chores? Hmmmmmmm.........

Monday, April 20, 2009

Swimming day 1

Today was a hot one in Phx! I think we topped 98 degrees at last check. Maddison has been dying to dive into our pool, so today I figured it was a good day to start figuring out Diabetes with swimming. I definitely need a head start before swim class starts! Maddison will start lessons by doing a 4wk class to focus on proper strokes and then she will move up according to where her instructor feels she should be. Maddison has been swimming since she was 3 (thanks to her Dad) and has been a remarkable strong (and quick!) swimmer ever since. I swear that girl tries to give me a heart attack, she can hold her breath longer than anyone I know! I can't tell you how many times I've jumped to the pool edge frantically checking on Maddison because I can't believe she's still underneath the water holding her breath!

Maddison was 119 at her morning check before snack at school today, 97 before lunch and came home at 101 with .2 active. (still working on that ratio!) Perfect day to get this swim stuff figured out right? So we headed off to get some "swim supplies" which included Gatorade (CWD moms swear the Gatorade trick always works for swimming) juice boxes to keep by the pool, glucoshot glucose drinks (just in case!!) PB crackers, some new pool toys and goggles. READY. Long story short, Maddison entered the pool after a small snack of 10c. Being that the water is still colder than Maddison thought, she mostly paddled around on her new Shamu. Nothing too intense, though she was disconnected from her pump for an hour. She did swim around with the Goldens for several laps, so she did get in some good exercise I guess. When Maddison came out of the pool I bolused her missed basal from that hour (.2) because with Maddison she goes high right after swimming and the lows don't kick in until at least 4 hours later. WEIRD.

Came inside, Maddison was 170 with .2 active because of the basal that was just bolused. Being the retard that I am, I gave her 12 uncovered carbs thinking the .2 she had active would bring her lower, but really that was just a missed basal that was bolused after being disconnected for that swim hour! (I just now realized that!!) I messed up! So, an hour later Maddison complained of feeling low. I popped a 4c life saver in her mouth and went to get her meter. She was 233. DAMN. Guess you should actually see the low before you treat it hugh? I bolused 4c for the life saver! Dinner time rolls around and Maddison is 318. FABULOUS. I went and screwed up swimming day 1 already!

Maddison was 81 when she went to bed tonight, she got 4c to boost her up. I'm expecting to find her around 130 before I head off to bed. I wonder if she swam enough to have lows tonight? I really dont think she did, but I'm still planning on checking tonight to make sure of course! Who needs sleep anyway? Nothing a little Starbucks wont cure :) Guess I'm starting summer craziness early tonight.

Funny thing, now I have it in my head that I MUST get swimming "figured out" before summer swim classes start....poor Maddie....I'll be begging her to swim every day now just so I can try and get things right, LOL. The swimming I avoided last year I'm now in a hurry to get going with! How crazy am I? Once I get something in my mind its hard to get rid of it, I'm ready to beat this stupid disease when swimming! I really am! I'll get the disconnect figured out. I'll read up on the "Gatorade trick" and I'll get those temp basals "mastered" for sleeping safe after swim class! I have to. Last summer was a mess with swimming, it really was. Maddison was worn out every day from erratic highs and lows. There wasn't a middle ground. I dont want that to continue this summer. I need to REALLY figure this out, and I will. With alot of logging and notes I'm sure I can at least find a little bit of predictability right!!?? Swimming for hours on end every day in the summer, and now SWIM CLASSES, I have no choice but to grab the bull by the horns, and he's going DOWN!! This momma bear will hide no more. Get the pencils sharpened and the swimming log book ready.....its time for defeat.

How rude

This morning I'm sitting at work listening to a co-worker talking about her weekend trip to Ghirardelli, CA. Yes, as in chocolate, and she brought back samples of new flavors for us all to try. All I can think is "Oh great" I know somehow I'm going to end up being irritated in the next few minutes when someone says something like "can you eat this?" So, she approaches and of course that's exactly what she asks.

"I don't know what you can and can't eat" she says. "Would you like some?"

"I can eat anything as long as I take insulin for it" I say, thanking her.

Her next response made me want to leap from my chair and tackle her :) She raised her eyebrows and said "Ok, whatever you say"

It only gets more frustrating as I listen to her ask her Mom (who sits in the next cubicle) if she wants some samples. Her mom is one of the two older ladies in my office that are both newly a type 2 patient. No meters. Just "diet" controlled with minimal doses of oral meds. So anyway, her mom said she would love to try some chocolate. Her daughter gives her a few samples. Then as her daughter is walking away she blurts out, "Well, you shouldn't eat it" How long do you plan to live anyway Mom?" At that moment I was about to climb over that stupid cubicle wall and say some choice words in defense of her mom eating chocolate. How dare a daughter tell her mother what she should and shouldn't eat? How dare she say those things at all, to anyone? Same old story, different day. Ugh. How rude! It must be REALLY hard as a Type 2 to hear those things all the time. Its so not fair for them. Back to work I go, and I'm gonna have some chocolate with my breakfast :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

10:30pm 127 with .2 active, and an overactive moms mind

Tonight we had a very late dinner at 8pm since our afternoon and evening was spent watching Hannah's sand tournament. Hannah and her buddy took 2nd place this time by the way :) Maddison is sleeping peacefully while I hoover around until her dinner bolus wears off. 127 with .2 active leaves me nervous to go to sleep. So, I wait. I've got 40 min until Maddison's insulin wears off, so instead of catching up on chores I decide to purge my daily stress here. Normally a .2 will drop Maddison about 50pts. Night time is never normal in this house, so I watch and I wait.

I'm debating in my mind if I should give Maddison some carbs assuming she will continue to drop a bit. 127 is a perfect number to sleep, but she isn't likely to stay there with .2 active. Turn down her basal? Is her dinner done digesting? Will she suddenly be too low or will the cheese from dinner start to boost her back up? Will she maintain a 120 range or will I be up at midnight correcting for that stinky cheese? Ahhhh, a day in the life of Diabetes. I hate being indecisive. I hope the waiting approach is right tonight. And I wonder why I can't wake up in the morning!

My numbers royally sucked today and I have a headache to prove it. For several hours I hung around 260, all becuase I decided I needed a few glasses of wine last night. I tend to underbolus the following day because it takes so darn long for the alcohol to get out of my system. If I bolus as normal I end up low, but not today. Today I ended up high. Who would have known today was different?

Maddison has her 3 month Endo appointment on Thursday and I'm already worried. I'm releived that the Endo no longer downloads the meters. Why? Because I don't want them to see Maddison's crazy weekened numbers! Although Maddison's numbers have been really good lately, she has had several lows in the 60's and I feel better keeping that a secret. Afterall, I'm making all the necessary adjustments and dont need to feel any worse than I already do for "inflicting" this craziness on my child. I hate the way Diabetes makes me feel so guilty all the time. I have been much more aggressive in making needed adjustments for lows and I haven't waited that extra day just to see what happens. I have been right there on top of it, adjusting every single day and the damn lows still creep up on us. Warmer weather? Increased activity? The moon spinning faster? Who knows. All I know is that I hate lows. I hate seeing Maddison pale and run down. When that A1c comes in on Thursday I'm going to feel bad no matter what because I will feel like Maddison's too frequent lows determined the number. I hate those damn A1c tests, I much prefer to go off a meter average.

I'm starting to worry about summer activities. I used to try and get Maddison to join swim classes, but since she has been a little fish since age 3 she really never had an interest in swimming any more than she already does all summer. Now with Diabetes, I try to avoid Maddison swimming as much as I can. Hard to do when you have a pool in your backyard, and even harder when we live in AZ. I know avoiding swimming is horrible of me, I just cant figure out how to stop the adrenaline highs, the crashing lows and the crazy over nights that swimming brings. Now on the pump we have the being disconnected issue on top of it all. Maddison just decided she DOES want to do some competitive swimming this summer. GREAT. As much as I want her to, I cringe just thinking of the responsibility and stress that brings me. I have to figure it all out. I'm responsible for her lows and responsible for her highs. And so, we will sign her up. I have to figure it out at some point, I know.

I can't stop myself from imagining endless sleepless nights chasing lows. Trying to figure out temp basals and how long is too long? The right balance of snack before bed on swim nights? Swimming until all hours of the night after swimming all day. How the hell will I know if she is low during competition? Screw the active insulin while swimming, thats been known to induce the fastest drop ever recorded. -sigh- I have alot of planning ahead. I just know I will sit there stiff as a board when Maddison competes, scared of lows while swimming. I hate the fear that Diabetes brings. I hate my overactive mind. I wish I could turn it off and just deal with life and numbers as they happen. But, I can't. I've always been a worrier, even before Diabetes. Now I'm just really looney.

The number just in, 175. Correct and recheck in three hours. Good thing I waited on that 127 with .2 active. Good thing I didn't choose a temp basal for a low I thought was coming. You just never know with this crazy disease. Off to correct the 175, and hope that the next 3 hour check is where we want to be. Always looking for the right number, its exhausting this life of chasing numbers!

Anticipation and excitement, tears....WHOLY LOWS!!

Saturday morning we were up before the sun, excitedly on our way to Hannah's last volleyball tournament for the season. Hannah has been anticipating this day for weeks, but also knows she doesn't want to say goodbye to her team in the end. Our Club Zia 12-1's started off the season ranked 17th based on last years team placement. After 6 months of training and building skills lead by 2 amazing college girls on full ride Volleyball scholarships, our girls ended the season in 6th place! Thats 6th place out of 32 teams in the Arizona region! (insert happy tears here!)I know our team was capable of pulling together and playing some better games yesterday, but, it was an off day and it is what it is. Hannah is soooo disappointed they didn't place higher, alot of girls just weren't playing well at all. But, Hannah knows that they have also overcome so much in just one season as a young 12 team led by 2 coaches that have never even coached at all.

I have to say Hannah's coaches took 10 girls that had never played "competitive" volleyball and made them determined and resilient. Our coaches approach to training their team is what made this team succeed. While other coaches nagged and screamed out words in frustration on the side lines, our coaches always approached with a "good try" BEFORE offering words of advice to improve their play. You would never hear disappointment or frustration in our coaches voices. They were there every step of the way with only words of encouragement, pride and positives. I will SOOOO miss these coaches! (I'm a little afraid of the coaches next year!) The last 6 months of training has been AWESOME watching each girl grow and improve not only their skills and strength, but their confidence and team commitment.

When the final game was at an end and we all were set to leave, the tears came out of nowhere. I thought it would be ME crying tears of not wanting to part with our coaches, the team, the parents. Hannah took it REALLY hard. Harder than any other girl on the team it seemed. Tears, tears and more tears, its so hard to say goodbye! BUT, we aren't really. Sure, we wont have practices twice a week anymore and we will be without 2 coaches that left a tremendous impact on Hannah's life....but, we still plan to get all the girls together for open gym days. We have a team party next weekend for the final goodbye. I betcha I'll cry my tears then! This afternoon we are off to a sand tournament once again. 2 on 2 for Hannah and her buddy from the season. The best part, one of Hannah's coaches runs these weekend tournaments, so the goodbyes will never really be final goodbyes. Her head coach will always be around for as long as Hannah continues to get out there and sign up for additional tournaments. The last sand tournament Hannah and her buddy took 1st place.....I'm thinking Hannah expects the same today.

WHOLY LOWS, man, do I feel guilty!!I forgot to change Maddison's basal pattern back to weekends Friday night, so by Saturday morning Maddison's basals were much higher than they should have been, especially considering I reduced many basals for daytime during the school week this week. Of course, I didn't realize this until the first low hit right as we arrived to our tournament destination. Bad choice of a HUGE muffin for breakfast....70c hour later Maddison was 80 with way too much insulin on board, combined with a too high basal rate. Not a good mix. 15c of juice caught the 80, I was sure that would do the trick this early in the morning. Somehow, before I was able to re-check Maddison her Dad allowed her to have 2 donut holes that a team parent brought for the girls. Dad bolused for that, but he should have used a MUCH higher ratio since the ratios in Maddison's pump are only 1:13 for breakfast, and changes for any other meal of the day to 1:30!! So, Maddison was overdosed on top of a low. We never rechecked that initial 80, so obviously Maddison was headed downward quite a bit even after having that first juice box! How horrible can I be!!??

Things just got uglier from there. Within half an hour Maddison said she felt low, she was 69. 20c of fruit gushers, she was 72. Gatorade, she was 62. Then 48. Another 40c of misc. crap that was on the team food table, 109. By now I started to worry that she was getting a tummy bug and not absorbing any carbs. Panic. Trying to watch some stressful volleyball games while stressing about lows was an ugly mix! Not a good morning for my poor Maddy! By now Maddie is totally drained and pale, curls up on the bleachers with a blanket and falls asleep. I recheck in half an hour and I'm shocked to see another 62. Granola bar and juice. This poor girl has had more crap in 2 hours than she has had all her life! By now I finally decided to turn down her pump (as I should have done sooner!) Lunch time we had a two hour break from games and headed out to lunch. 140. I was never so happy to see a 338 after Maddison's lunch! How bad is that!? Maddison felt good, had some energy and began to run wild between games. WHOLY LOWS subsided, BS returned to normal the remainder of the night. WHOLY LOWS behind us, this mom feels horribly guilty I forgot to change patterns in the first place. -Sigh- A better day so far today.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spacey Friday

Today I'm struggling with staying on task. My head is floating in the clouds as I try to focus on posting insurance payments to my patient accounts at work. I can't add numbers, I can't figure out allowed amounts vs patient deductibles. I'm spacey and completely incapable of doing anything that involves concentrating. My mind wanders. I stare blankly ahead, reading things over multiple times and still not processing what I see. My BS is 130, I just had some almonds and yogurt for my breakfast...maybe I need more coffee? Am I spiking? Am I dropping? Recheck shows a 108 just 30 min after eating my 21c. Why am I so spacey?

I feel like I slept fairly well last night, with exception of somehow giving Maddison too much juice around 3am for an 87. She woke up totally over corrected at 258. I never even re-checked the impending low, and now I feel guilty she started her day so high. So, I sit here at work and wonder how she is feeling. Did I screw up her whole day with the high start? Is she going to do well on her spelling test with the bad start to her morning? Is the correction factor set right in her pump, or will she DROP from her morning correction with breakfast pre-bolus? Maybe the correction factor is off and she will chase highs all day? I imagine Maddison sitting in class just as frustrated as I am today. Frustrated that she can't focus. Frustrated that all the kids around her carry on their merry way, spitting out class work like its nothing. For us, it isn't that easy sometimes. We are at the constant mercy of this stupid disease and its constantly fluctuating numbers.

Today I'm irritated that I can't think. I set out to work planning to get a lot of stuff done, and I've been totally useless. I'm imagining how Maddison feels most days in class as she struggles to keep up. She tells me all the time she can't concentrate. Then, I'm irritated with myself for blaming my Diabetes, because my meter says I should be feeling fine. Scratch that, now my meter says I am low-64. The roller coaster ride begins. Thats what happens when your last blog post said "I haven't had many lows" :(

Ok, so this time I was fuzzy headed because I was spiraling downward. I can imagine that Maddison has this same battle in her mind all the time in class.....I imagine it sounds just like I did today..... Am I low? I should wait a few minutes to, not low....just, no, I REALLY cant think straight. But, I'm not shaky. I'm usually shaky and weak when I'm low. No rapid heat beat, so I must be fine. But why I cant I understand what everyone is saying? Why do I feel so s-l-o-w? Oh, yeah....I'm just really TIRED. And then, we know how the rest goes. Just as we are sure we arent low, it hits. In Maddison's case she then must get to the nurses office, where she will miss the next 15 min of class for treating the low. Then she comes back, still not all there cognitively, and it all starts over again. Only this time, she is likely fine, but just doesn't feel fine yet. Her thinking is running behind, and therefore, she is falling behind, just in time for the lesson to change. On to something new.

My spacey Friday has me questioning Maddison in class again. How can she ever feel focused and able to learn to her potential when every darn week her numbers are different? I just can't imagine having this crazy disease as a child. I struggled with all these things WITHOUT diabetes as a child. Now I'm wondering what I can do to make it better......

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Positive reinforcement, the way to go

My endo appointment was so much better than expected today! Just when I thought my Endo was going to nit pick every little high, she had nothing but "EXCELLENT" to say. My Endo even told me that since my A1c has stayed between 6.0 and 6.3 the past year that I no longer need to come in every 3 months!! SHE told ME to schedule every 6 months! I can't believe she said that! Of course, now I betcha anything that my numbers will probably go wonky and I'll be back sooner anyway. I can see it honeymoon will end and I'll end up in DKA because of some freaky site infection or something.....just because she gave me the go ahead to schedule less often. Isn't that the way things always go?

I was also surprised today to hear that my thyroid is "back to normal" and I didn't show any Thyroid antibodies in lab work this time around. My weight is back down to better, though I can still see all those girl scout cookies on my a$$ :) Darn thin mints! She did ask if I'm back to excersizing every day, but I was honest and told her that I choose sleep instead right now. I did get lectured for not staying "active" but if she knew me she would know that I rarely sit down during the day, aside from my desk job. I'm always active, just not in an excersize kind of way. :( Being that I was praised today and not picked on, I feel motivated to do better. Now, THATS what you call positive re-inforcement, something I strongly believe in! Tell me I'm doing well, and I believe I can do better. My A1c was up from 6.0 to 6.1, which is probably because I have very few lows compared to months past. I realized today when my Endo used to nit pick every little high and low, I would totally doubt myself and fall victim to doing nothing to improve those numbers just because she was so discouraging by seeing the "bad" numbers, and not mentioning the "good" numbers. I'm really surprised today that she took the positive approach and didn't even mention what times of day need work (like after dinner!)

I decided to ask my Endo about Charcot's foot (my dad's newest ailment) and see if it is really as uncommon as the statistics showed on WebMD. Her response was not exactly what I expected. She told me that she has 6-7 patients with Charcot's foot at this time. I thought Charcot's foot was "rare" occouring in only 1% of the Diabetic population? I questioned the prognosis, and she said that unfortunately, the prognosis is grim because most people with Charcot's foot go back to walking on it right away, being that they can't feel the pain in their feet and legs from the Neuropathy that worsened the condition in the first place. YIKES. Sucked to hear that, even though I pretty much expected her to say it.

For now I'm pleased with my appointment today, but the kids are driving me crazy being bored on an early release day! I think its time to find our way to the park for awhile.......

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Do I really have to go?

Tomorrow I have an early morning appointment with my Endo. Its been 4 months since I've been in, because as always, I tend to reschedule appointments for myself. It seems I just can't put myself before other life's responsibilities and craziness. Today I'm wondering why I even need to go?

I've already had my labs drawn and I'm sure everything is fine. Well, except the thyroid thing I have going on. But, as always, I assume I would be called based on lab work if anything is off. It just seems silly to go in for the same old office visit every 3 months when my Diabetes is still so "easy." Its the same old thing every time. Weight check. Last time my Endo commented that I gained 6lbs. Um....yeah. Is that a problem now that I weigh a whole 124lbs? I mean really? Sorry I don't spend 8 hours working out each week anymore. There is a little thing called sleep that has been more important lately. My Endo is probably around 95-100lbs herself, so maybe I do seem "overweight" to her!!? I always wonder if she has an eating disorder. She is really THAT thin. So, why did she even mention my weight gain if I'm still totally where I should be? I guess maybe she could be watching the thyroid concern, but I'm leaning towards Hyper not Hypo. I made her aware that I struggle to wake in the mornings which means I dont have time to exercise as much as I used to before work and getting kids off to school. Then I am lectured about the importance of exercise and I should try and fit it into the evening then. Sure, let me do that and risk Hypo's at night. Sorry lady, I'm a morning worker-outer, not an evening worker-outer, thats just how it is! I'll get there, no need to lecture, and by the way, lecturing only makes me want to be defiant :)

Next, I provide my last months numbers in 7 different reports, thanks to the Co-pilot program! Just plug the meter into your computer and THERE IT IS! Of course, my Endo will then continue to question a few out of range numbers. I just think, lady, if you saw Maddison's numbers you would FREAK!! Seriously, she will question the 160 numbers, the 180's......they dont happen often for me, but she still makes it clear that those are a problem. I used to consistently wake up in the 140's. Never less, never more. She instructed me to change a basal rate for morning, to which I told her it wasn't worth messing with. I know, I was just being defiant. I guess I just dont like her to tell me what to do. Bad, I know. So, finally, months later I decided to do just that. I changed a 4am basal rate and now I wake up between 108 and 125 every day. Never lower, never higher. I'm sure she'll pick on that tomorrow too. What is this lady like with her other patients? Then there is the lecture about changing my basals and ratios myself without faxing in my numbers for direction. Give me a break!! My last A1c was 6.0 and that was without much effort. When my Diabetes gets crazy as I one day expect it will, I will let you know. Why doesn't she spend time on her patients that need help? I thought this is supposed to be a self managed disease? Why does she complain when I self manage? I also know my Endo is going to lecture me becuase I haven't had an eye exam in over two years. -Sigh- Somehow she can always make me feel like the worst noncompliant patient!

So, I'm pondering saving myself the frustrations of such frequent office visits in the near future. I mean, we all know that A1c's aren't everything. We all know they can be totally thrown off just by those last few weeks of crazy numbers before the blood draw. We all know if we check ourselves 10 or more times a day, our meter should be somewhat reflective of our "control." Do I really NEED to go in every three months at this point?

How about every 6? I wonder if I can bargain with her? Funny how visiting someone that is supposed to be helpful, actually makes me anxious. I hope I can avoid being frustrated when she nit picks tomorrow. I hope I'm not in the argumentative mood I was in last time. I know it doesn't do me any good to argue with her commands either, but for some reason I feel the need to. I guess no one likes criticism, especially when there really isn't anything to criticize, though if there is, this is the Endo that will find it! Do I really have to go???

Monday, April 13, 2009

5 empty resevoirs, cherished friend and a bedtime story!

Tonight I decided to search the fridge for any pump reservoirs I could find that may be hiding cherished drops of our life saving medication. (I really hate Lantus) Sure enough, I knew I saved these near empty reservoirs for a reason. Sadly, I have no idea how old this insulin is. Worth a shot though (or is that worth a site?)

Just then, a text message. "I HAVE NOVOLOG READY AND WAITING FOR YOU...GET YOUR BEHIND UP HERE NOW....THIS IS YOUR NURSE TALKING!! Ahhhhhhh, dear friend from CANDY HEARTSknown also as a cherished mom from our local support group. Known also as "Addy's mom" as Maddison would say. A fabulous mother, wife, RN. An amazing woman indeed. Here she is, once again kicking my butt into shape, even by text message! Normally my dear friend is inspiring and helpful by offering kind words, endless understanding and a great outlook on life. Tonight she decided to step in and not take no for an answer. Need something? Anything? Insulin? This is the girl who will not let anyone down-ever. 2 vials of insulin later, I will sleep much better tonight! THANK YOU, THANK YOU MY SISTA! You are truly an angel in disguise! No Lantus after all for me tonight, just a pump newly set with Novolog to keep me exactly where I need to be. Who would think a vial of insulin could mean SO much? A vial of insulin from a friend who understands, PRICELESS. BIG HUGS to my dear friend!

Even after this text message kindly pushed Josh to pick up the Novolog from my dear Angel, I was determined to see how much insulin I could gather from these near empty reservoirs. I carefully drained each reservoir to the last drop by Syringe. I loaded my pump, and after several attempts to get it to acknowledge my frantic efforts, it flashed back with 21 units now usable. Too bad this insulin is probably not the best to use. It was probably months past expiration. At this moment I realized just how dependant our lives are on a simple vial of insulin. Scary. As Josh arrived home with the two new vials in hand, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed with appreciation. I loaded my pump with all new insulin, and counted my blessings that I have Mrs Candy Hearts in my life. (hugs again!) I never felt so happy to change a pump site in my life!

Tonight Maddison decided to read her bedtime story to her new pet lizard, "Keeko." I was in awe over how happy Maddison sounded as she talked to her lizard and read the story out loud. Maddison normally spends alot of time in her bedroom with her other cherished pet. Her bird, a Cockatiel, named "Birdy" has been her friend for years now. After finishing the story, Maddison told me she feels "complete." Maddison says "I now have all the pets my heart ever wanted." How sweet she is! Then Maddison asked me if "Keeko" had Diabetes, how would we know how many carbs are in a cricket? Maddison then decided that the best way to treat a lizards Diabetes would be to just give one shot a day, like Grandpa does. She's so funny!

Tonight as I crept into Maddison's bedroom I couldn't help but smile at that stinky little lizard that has brought her so much joy. I thought Maddison was already sleeping, so as I dialed in some basal changes for tomorrow (lows today!) Maddison said "lows today bring basal changes and then highs tomorrow, hugh mom?" At that moment I just wanted to crawl in bed with her and hold her tight until morning. She sure is growing up fast!

Back to Lantus

I just knew mail order prescriptions were going to be a major pain! Caremark didn't ship out our insulin on Thursday as promised. Of course, the $320 was deducted from my bank account immediately. I was told that our insulin would be shipped next day air. Perfect. We only had 40 units of Novolog left, just enough for Maddison's site change on Saturday. Friday morning I called to find out where my order was when it hadn't arrived by 6pm. I was told that the RX was never filled. Funny, it cleared my bank account as though it was shipped out! After a heated conversation I gave up. I just didn't have the fight in me that day. So, today I called back to make sure the insulin went out in the mail, and the Rep told me it did, but it went 2nd day air. No insulin until Wednesday. We dont have a trace of fast acting in the house. The dang Novolog should have been here on Friday!

My pump is reminding me every few minutes that I only have 1 unit remaining. Tonight, its back to Lantus for me. I'm planning on taking just 5 units of the Lantus this time since the 7 units proved to be too much a few weeks back when my pump broke. What matters most is Maddison has plenty of insulin in her pump to last. I would never willingly put Maddison back on Lantus. But for me, I can survive a few days. Its aggravating and a bit scary, but being that I had to "feed the insulin" on Lantus, I will just go about it the same way again this time, and eat low carb. Easy to avoid temptation when you just CANT eat THAT.

Scary thing this mail order thing is. Per our plan guidelines we are REQUIRED to get all "reoccurring" RX's by mail order. REQUIRED. That really pisses me off. Being that Caremark just filled our prescriptions, I can't even walk into a pharmacy and have the insulin filled, because you know, it is too soon and the insurance wont allow it. Also, being that I just broke the bank and paid $320 for my prescriptions and ANOTHER $320 for Maddisons, I wouldn't dare go to the pharmacy to get emergency Novolog at $160 a vial. Nope, I go back to Lantus and hope I learn my lesson on waiting too long to order supplies. Even though, if Caremark would have sent the insulin as they said, it would be here by now, just in time. Back to Lantus I go.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Maddison's new pet, a growing Goose and Easter!

For Easter Maddison only wanted a pet lizard. This Easter bunny had a plan to give in and surprise her Easter morning with just that. (only because I hate buying useless, meaningless gifts) After doing some research, I realized the Easter bunny would have to fork out around $100 for this stinky pet. Not exactly an Easter gift budget. Lucky Maddison, Grandma's gift this year was $40 cash. In an instant she realized with her piggy bank savings she could buy her OWN lizard with a bit of help from the Easter Bunny. Being that we never actually taught our kids to believe in the Easter Bunny, I gave her my Easter Bunny word. Her gift from the Easter Bunny would be help to buy her new pet. Surprisingly, as we turned in all Maddison's savings she totalled over $87 in hard earned cash. Here he is, "Keeko" Maddison's new cherished Bearded Dragon.......

Look at "Goose Goose!!!" He isn't the tiny goose he used to be! Pretty soon it is time to release him into a new home.

Easter was spent today at my parents house. Normally our home is the Holiday gathering spot, but with my Dad being immobile we planned Easter to accommodate Dad. He is doing GREAT by the way! Today was a simple, nice and relaxing day spent with family. My parents, my precious little Niece Sammi who is growing too fast, 8 months flashed by in the blink of an eye. Makes me want to hold on tighter to my two little girls!! So, we are home early tonight and planning to have family movie night curled up on the couch together. Most likely, with a silly lizard in hand as Maddison smiles. Happy Easter everyone!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

580, theres a much better way!

Today when I went to visit my Dad, the first thing he said to me was that his blood sugar was 580 this morning. That's a BIG problem. My Dad has never taken a fast acting insulin, except when in the hospital. So, he did what he would always do in this situation, he took an additional 25 units of his Humalin N. Can I just scream now? I have been trying to read more about the Humalin N and cant seem to understand how it works. I thought it was a 70/30 NPH type insulin? All the reading I found so far says it is a straight 24 hour insulin.......whatever it is......there is a better way. I asked him how long he thinks it will be until his blood sugar starts to come down, and he said he expects it to be down by tomorrow morning. So tonight, he doesn't eat. He cant drink much because it "interferes with his Dialysis" so he eats ice chips instead. My Dad wont check his ketones, because he says "I would be nauseated if I had ketones".....yeah...there is a much better way.

I suggested to my Dad that he call his doctor for some Novolog. For the first time ever, he agreed! He mentioned to me that the problem with the fast acting insulin is that he doesn't know how to manage it. VERY SCARY and true, I could imagine him starting on fast acting and throwing in a random start of 20 units and adjusting from there.......that's exactly what he would do. Scary guy my dad is! This extreme high blood sugar isn't helping his healing, that's for sure.

I suggested my Mom call the hospital to find out what ratio they had him on this weekend for highs. Whatever it was, it did cause quite a few lows, but it would be a good starting point to adjust down from. Better than some random 20 unit guess my Dad would shoot for! The thought of him starting fast acting is actually a bit scary now that I think of it! I'm sure he wont even call for an RX anyway.

So tonight, I blog and I worry when I'm supposed to be sleeping. I wonder if he re-checked his blood sugar? Typically he would just wait until morning since he can't give more Humalin right away for the high anyway. Is he getting an infection? Is he approaching DKA? Is he going to suddenly be very ill overnight and my mom won't call to tell me?

Interesting basal reductions for Maddison this week! Last week our school did Terra Nova testing for 1st-3rd grades. By Tuesday it was obvious in her numbers that her basal rates needed to be increased all morning. TRIPLED actually. Now that's what I assume is testing stress related! Crazy disease this is. Why the school had Maddison complete testing when her BS was so out of range, is a whole 'nother story! Her 504/IEP clearly states she is not to test if her BS is over 250. They sent her to the library for testing each day anyway. I've emailed her "case manager" at school to question this and request re-testing, and still have not received a response. Interesting.

Some budget news is in for our school.....both of our 2 Assistant Principals and school counselor will be assigned to classrooms for next year if they still carry teaching credentials and are willing to do so. No news yet on our school nurse, the latest memo said they may not know until JUNE if our RN's will stay. SCARY news for our school today!

Another chance to educate

Today I got this email from a Mom that has a child on Hannah's volleyball team.

"Could you possibly go with me to a Vemma meeting tomorrow night? Vemma/Verve is the vitamin/antioxidant drink I have used for a year and love. I talked with a friend that her father had has type 1 diabetes and he started using this and now only has to control with diet, no more shots."

I have sat many times during Hannah's practice with this mom and explained the Type 1and Type 2 differences. I guess people never listen. I emailed her back stating
"no thanks, but I will use this invite as a chance to educate you on Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes" and then I explained why injections keep us alive. I hope she will still speak to me at practice tonight!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Back home

My Dad was released from the hospital this afternoon, finally after 4 days. He is doing very well with his walker to avoid using his affected foot, but he still has many months ahead of living this new "disabled" life until his cast will come off. The hardest part is that my Dad doesn't like to depend on others for anything, even when he is sick and healing. I guess no one likes to depend on others though, do they? It really hurts to see him like this, especially at a younger age of just 63. I'm really trying to be optimistic and hopeful for healing, but his Diabetes after 30years has really taken a toll. All we can really do at this point is be there more to help him out, and continue our prayers.

Awesome news today, the timing is just perfect. Josh was finally given a set start time at work. No more varied midnight to 4am shifts. His new start time will be 4am and even better, he has two days a week that are set in stone as his days off! No more crazy varied hours and days! I can go back to working 3 full days instead of 5 half days......which means I can help out with my Dad on my extra days off each week! I feel relieved already. My mom works away from home at least 50 hours a week, so my Dad is home alone all day. Being on disability for his Diabetes has left him a very lonely guy. He is legally blind and isn't supposed to drive, so he doesn't leave the house-ever, except to go to see his Renal doctors. Of course driving far from home he needs someone to take him to those appointments. My Dad does make it out to do the grocery shopping (even though he probably shouldn't drive AT ALL) but he won't be able to do the shopping anymore with his foot. With two days off during the week I can surely do his shopping. Needless to say, this new schedule for Josh means life is alot easier for all of us.

Summer is also coming quickly, and a new set schedule for Josh means I won't have the worries of wondering who will manage Maddison while we are at work. I will take the usual summer reduction in my hours and work just 2 full days a week, the days Josh is home with the kids. Its a win situation all the way around. So cool....I really needed some relief to all this chaos. What a relief. Not only do I have my kids covered for summer, but I have my Dad covered as well. YAY!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Finally a diagnosis

After work today I couldn't wait to get to the hospital. The specialist was due in around noon to update and provide a plan for my Dads foot. I made it to the hospital in plenty of time, thank goodness. My Dad is still in good spirits and being silly, so that helped to reverse my earlier feelings of the day. By dinner time the doc and two residents came in. Diagnosis- Diabetic Charcot Foot with 3 separate fractures and deterioration of the ankle joint. They FINALLY applied a splint and will cast the foot and ankle after a follow up appointment. So, now I'm off to google land to read all I can about this progressive condition. Looks like we may have a very rough road ahead as I expected. Just because it isn't infected doesn't mean this is going to be an easy fix. Dads first appointment with the wound clinic is on Monday.

My sisters and I will have to come up with a plan to help care for my Dad and keep him OFF his feet. Being that he does his Dialysis exchange every 4-5 hours I'm not quite sure how we will be able to help him overnight. I honestly don't feel that there is a good prognosis being his failing health, resistance to cooperating and smoking habit. Smoking, in which, he was urged to quit again immediately today, to aid in the circulation and healing process. I'm not being pessimistic, just realistic. I don't think the doctors were very informative as far as prognosis, in fact, they were too simple and I feel like they left my parents without any explanation as to how serious this is and why. I get the feeling both my parents are just happy it isn't infected and think that as long as he stays off the foot until it is casted that everything will just be great. Good to finally have a diagnosis, but that diagnosis means nothing unless you understand it. Time for me to get to googling and educating both my parents on how serious this really is. Read ahead for the Charcot details.....

What is Charcot Foot?
Charcot foot is a sudden softening of the bones in the foot that can occur in people who have significant nerve damage (neuropathy). The bones are weakened enough to fracture, and with continued walking the foot eventually changes shape. As the disorder progresses, the arch collapses and the foot takes on a convex shape, giving it a rocker-bottom appearance, making it very difficult to walk.

Charcot foot is a very serious condition that can lead to severe deformity, disability and even amputation. Because of its seriousness, it is important that patients with diabetes—a disease often associated with neuropathy—take preventive measures and seek immediate care if signs or symptoms appear.

The symptoms of Charcot foot can appear after a sudden trauma or even a minor repetitive trauma (such as a long walk). A sudden trauma includes such mishaps as dropping something on the foot, or a sprain or fracture of the foot. The symptoms of Charcot foot are similar to those of infection. Although Charcot foot and infection are different conditions, both are serious problems requiring medical treatment.

Charcot foot symptoms may include:

Warmth to the touch (the foot feels warmer than the other)
Redness in the foot
Swelling in the area
Pain or soreness

What Causes Charcot Foot?
Charcot foot develops as a result of neuropathy, which decreases sensation and the ability to feel temperature, pain or trauma. When neuropathy is severe, there is a total lack of feeling in the feet. Because of neuropathy, the pain of an injury goes unnoticed and the patient continues to walk—making the injury worse.

People with neuropathy (especially those who have had it for a long time) are at risk for developing Charcot foot. In addition, neuropathic patients with a tight Achilles tendon have been shown to have a tendency to develop Charcot foot.

Early diagnosis of Charcot foot is extremely important for successful treatment. To arrive at a diagnosis, the surgeon will examine the foot and ankle and ask about events that may have occurred prior to the symptoms.

X-rays are also essential for diagnosis. In some cases, other imaging studies and lab tests may be ordered. Once treatment begins, x-rays are taken periodically to aid in evaluating the status of the condition.

Following the surgeon’s treatment plan for Charcot foot is extremely important. Failure to do so can lead to the loss of a toe, foot, leg or life.

Treatment for Charcot foot consists of:

Immobilization. Because the foot and ankle are so fragile during the early stage of Charcot, they must be protected so the soft bones can repair themselves. Complete non-weightbearing is necessary to keep the foot from further collapsing. The patient will not be able to walk on the affected foot until the surgeon determines it is safe to do so. During this period, the patient may be fitted with a cast, removable boot or brace, and may be required to use crutches or a wheelchair. It may take the bones several months to heal, although it can take considerably longer in some patients.

Custom shoes and bracing. Shoes with special inserts may be needed after the bones have healed, to enable the patient to return to daily activities—as well as help prevent recurrence of Charcot foot, development of ulcers and possibly amputation. Bracing is required in cases with significant deformity.
Activity modification. A modification in activity level may be needed to avoid repetitive trauma to both feet. A patient with Charcot in one foot is more likely to develop it in the other foot, so measures must be taken to protect both feet.
Surgery. In some cases, surgery may be required. The foot and ankle surgeon will determine the surgical procedure best suited for the patient based on the severity of the deformity and the patient’s physical condition.

Preventive Care
The patient can play a vital role in preventing Charcot foot and its complications by following these measures:

Diabetes patients should keep blood sugar levels under control. This has been shown to reduce the progression of nerve damage in the feet. Get regular check-ups from a foot and ankle surgeon. Check both feet every day—and see a surgeon immediately if there are signs of Charcot foot. Be careful to avoid injury, such as bumping the foot or overdoing an exercise program. Follow the surgeon's instructions for long-term treatment to prevent recurrences, ulcers and amputation.


First thing this morning as I walked into work, I was bombarded by a co-workers happiness with her Diabetes. This was really the wrong day for anyone to approach me mentioning ANYTHING about Diabetes, and I’m ashamed for the thoughts and feelings that were rushing through my body as I was forced to listen to details of her recent lab work, weight loss and dietary changes. I was really just looking forward to spending the day at my desk quietly working away and forgetting about all the Diabetes related Drama in my life (and my dads) right now. But, I couldn't. For 15 minutes this co-worker carried on about her Diabetes, and all I could do was smile and nod my head although I just wanted to scream for her to stop.

I think the main trigger for my explosive (all internalized) emotions over her happiness this morning, is the fact that she also talked about how Diabetes in the end has really given her better health. Of course I am happy she is doing well, but really, this was the wrong day for me to hear about how many “positives” Diabetes has brought to her life since being diagnosed 6 months ago. I’m ashamed to say that I wanted her to know just how TERRIBLE Diabetes can be. I know, I am stuck in a half empty glass lately. I wanted a turn to talk about Diabetes this time, and there wouldn’t have been any pleasant words coming from my mouth. I wanted to shout “you don’t even have a meter lady! You don’t even know what Diabetes is really like!!” And, I’m ashamed to admit that. But, being the honest person I am, that was my first thought. Listening to her ramble on I was secretly (and inappropriately) bitter and angry inside (though she thankfully has no idea what I was thinking as I smiled) and I’m ashamed to say that I wanted to shout out details of my Dads current hospitalization and inform her of exactly how/why he got to where he is today, and why millions of people have been, and will be, where my Dad is right now. I wanted to remind her that this disease is managed very different for me, because us
Type 1’s don’t have the choice to take a pill and increase our exercise as means of “controlling” the disease. I know, in the end Diabetes is all the same. My feelings weren’t about Type 1 vs Type 2, my feelings were about ANYTHING that has to do with Diabetes. I just didn’t want to hear it. Then of course, the hardest part, our children that have Diabetes. Oh…the things I wanted to say about our children having this disease. As I half listened to this co-worker carry on, I was heart broken by Diabetes on the inside.

Everywhere I turn, Diabetes is there, and it hasn’t been good to us lately. I’m ashamed for the feelings I have right now, and I know I need to keep the faith that everything will simmer down. Just a stressful time, a sad time, a time I am worrying too much about tomorrow. Deep breath, time out. Lately I have struggled with putting my emotions into words. I try to blog to feel better, and the words won’t come out, so I end up feeling even more exhausted trying to sort through it all. I just want to get back to where I was when Diabetes wasn’t so consuming. I want to get back to BELIEVING that our health is better because the insulin pumps we carry in our pockets. I want to be free of worrying about Diabetes expenses. I want to be free of guilt I feel when Maddison is high. I want to be free of worrying about her teenage years with Diabetes. I want to be free of worry-period.

What happened? How did I get to this sad and bitter place, yet again? I’m ashamed for where I am at right now. I’m especially ashamed for the internal feelings I had today in response to my co-worker talking about her Diabetes. But, I know many of you have been here before. Somehow, we find our way back to where we need to be emotionally with Diabetes in our lives. Too many Diabetes related issues lately, its really got me down. As always, I will get back up, and be stronger in the end I suppose. Maybe I should start brining a DO NOT DISTURB sign to work :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Which first? Good news or bad news?

Saturday evening Maddison and I set out to visit my parents last minute as Josh went to play poker and Hannah had a date with her girlfriends. I called my Mom on the way to their house and I couldn't BELIEVE what she had to say. Sometime earlier that morning my Dad decided he needed to go to the ER. His right ankle and foot was painful, swollen, red and hot to the touch. All I could think was OH MY GOSH, its the ankle he self mutilated by cutting off that growth!!!!! My heart skipped SEVERAL beats when she said the dreaded words....BONE INFECTION, IV ANTIBIOTICS!!!

The good news is, it isn't that self inflicted wound that has my Dad in the hospital, and they are pretty sure after today's MRI that there isn't a bone infection after all. The bad news is he has multiple fractures in his foot and ankle and possibly some deterioration of the joints. Until he sees the Foot specialist tomorrow, we don't really know any other details. The doctors have mentioned the words "bone deterioration" and "calcification" but that's about it. As of tonight they have done nothing for the fractures themselves and my Dad is even hobbling around on his foot!! My Dad hasn't had any injuries, so this is all very bizarre and unexpected. I don't think either of my parents realize that just because there isn't a bone infection today, doesn't mean he is in the clear when it comes to healing. I spent the day sitting at the hospital again today, hoping and waiting for a better understanding of what the plan is. The good news is my Dad doesn't even feel "sick" this time around, and he is actually quite the jokester and in good spirits. The bad news is, bone deterioration, calcification and severe Neuropathy in the extremities isn't a minor issue. Add in the Vascular disease, ESRD and his being a life long smoker and I'm a bit of a nervous wreck!

I'm so worried about my Dads ability to heal right now that I can't even think straight. Last night I laid awake remembering when my Dad was last in the hospital for infection related to his dialysis. This particular time wasn't like the many other times. You see, Maddison was diagnosed with Diabetes just weeks prior. As we walked into his hospital room to visit, I felt my body becoming increasingly weak. Once we saw my Dad lying in bed SO SICK and frail looking, I nearly fainted. Besides being overwhelmed with sadness for my Dad, I was blind sided by the reality of Diabetes for my sweet Maddison. I was nauseated with emotions. Seeing my Dad suffering yet again, thinking I have this SAME disease, knowing my daughter has a long road ahead. It was too much to take in. I excused myself from the room in an instant fearing I was about to vomit. I made an escape to the outer waiting area and caught my breath. I checked my blood sugar, which was fine, although I felt low. That's called heart palpitations for ya! I had worked in hospitals for years, and had seen my Dad through countless admissions for DKA and many other Diabetes related complications and common illness gone wrong. I was never afraid of hospitals, but on this particular day when I carried Diabetes with me for the first time, that changed forever. Now, every time I step foot in a hospital I feel uneasy. I feel anxious. All because I now carry Diabetes x's 2.

The good news is, my Dad is feeling good. His blood sugars are hoovering in the lower range to help with healing. Knowing there isn't a current bone infection, my Dad feels optimistic. As always, we will take this one day at a time. I'm hoping to put my worries to rest tonight and get some sleep. I'm not sure if I will be able to spend the day at the hospital with my Dad again tomorrow, but that's the only place I want to be, no matter how sicky it might make me feel at first. :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Determined cost

Caremark called this morning asking for authorization to charge my debit card $640 for my 3 months of test strips and Novolog. Can I just puke now? The woman on the phone said that because the amount exceeded a "normal" shipment cost, she needed to have my verbal agreement to charge my card on file. "NORMAL" this amount certainly is not! And, double that to include Maddison's supplies that will soon be ready to ship. Luckily, we can stretch out the insulin. Not so lucky on the test strips. Then there is the pump supplies, THAT I haven't even gotten an estimate on yet. So, I sit and I prepare my next appeal, and hope the benefits department understands how THEY elected the incorrect RX plan. I'm not feeling too optimistic as the little man up against the big, evil insurance company. All I know is this determined cost is excessive for anyone, yet our lives depend on these prescriptions regardless of what it costs us. Right now we only have half a vial of insulin, and I need these prescriptions shipped! On with the charge to my debit card, while I silently cried on the inside.

I'm REALLY worried today that we are stuck in this RX plan until next open enrollment. I know exactly what plan I enrolled in, and it wasn't supposed to be this!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Over it

After the mid-day frustrations, I decided to take Maddison and the Goldens to the park to forget about my stress and sorrows. We all feel much better, and thank goodness its Friday! I'm over my insane burst of emotional distress!I think Maddison's earlier headache was from all the blowing wind today, I'm wondering if she needs some allergy testing done. Her blood sugar came down easily and stayed down once she rested.

For now I'm over todays crazy range of emotions centered around Rx's, high blood sugars and losing school nurses. I've decided to spend a night on the couch with my girls, my goldens and a good movie. No better way to forget about it all! Happy Friday to everyone...and thanks for hearing me in my earlier post when I freaked out a bit. I guess there's no blogging quite like the moment of chaos blogging! (laughing at myself here)

Just like that

I started out early enough today to get in my workout before getting the kids up for school. FABULOUS! My early morning workout = feeling great all day. Unfortunately, most days I'm still having a hard time getting out of bed early enough to do so. Got the kids off to school and headed to work. I've gained back alot of optimism, happiness and motivation the past few weeks. Just because. Maybe its the Spring weather that pushes me in the right direction. Maybe its gaining more control over Maddison's high morning numbers. Whatever it is, I have been eager to start each day without slipping under the covers pleading for more SLEEP. Depression, definitely. Starting to see the light? YES!

It was around 10am as I was eagerly working away towards month end close at work. I realized that even work has been happier lately and not so dreadful. I'm getting there! I'm getting back to ME I thought! And....just like that, Diabetes fucks up everything. I get a call from the school nurse. Maddison is sky high and has a pounding headache. She came in, tested, took some Tylenol and laid down to rest, falling to sleep in an instant. Maddison NEVER falls asleep. She will never even admit to being tired! So after 1.5 hours of work I find myself on my way to pick her up from school.

Walking into the nurses' office I was greeted by the nurses Aide. (we love her!) Our regular RN just happened to arrive as we were leaving. She mentioned that she was at a District Meeting, to which I replied "I dont even want to know, do I?" Her response was a shake of the head, worried look, and a simple. "NO" Her response made me panic, I think my heart actually skipped a beat. All of us "D" parents in this district know exactly what the meeting was about. The cutbacks. The $28 million deficit our district alone faces for next year. The plan to have one "floating" nurse for 4 schools. Just like that, I'm back to feeling complete devastation. Fear, can they take away our school nurse in a school of 1400 students? I cried all the way home, partly because I wanted my "happy" day back, and partly because I know exactly what we are facing. The good news is....Maddison is nearing 9 this summer and YES, she will be more independent in her care. Why is an RN on campus such a big deal you ask? Because the average Joe just isn't going to understand this disease. All the kids with Diabetes will lose a higher standard of care while they are at school. We need someone that UNDERSTANDS a blood sugar can crash, and we need someone with EXPERIENCE!!! All I can think of is the blood sugar of 27 that Maddison had at school last year, and the nurse that was there to keep her safe. Or, the day Maddison came home low and vomiting with 3.8 units of insulin on board. Just like that, I'm angry. I'm scared, and I don't know what to expect in our near future. Just like that, Diabetes strikes again.

And now, to top off my downward spiral of the day....just minutes after Maddison and I arrive home, Josh walks in, home from work. He hands me a paper from his HR department regarding our dispute/appeal over the RX plan we ended up enrolled with, in error. Ahhhh yes.... The RX plan for people that can use mostly GENERIC drugs. The WRONG RX plan that covers name brand drugs at only 60%. My first thought was how funny it is that Josh is handing me a written appeal decision when yesterday I called the plan only to find they never received my appeal. Same old insurance tricks. Anyway, in writting there it is, plain as day. DENIED. They apparently didn't READ my appeal that clearly explains how THEY screwed us and enrolled us in the WRONG RX plan!!! They are denying my appeal?!! Just like that, all the stress boils up because of this fucking disease. If we didn't need NAME BRAND medications like INSULIN we wouldn't be looking at financial ruin, again. My calculated cost for RX's alone this year will amount to more than $6,000 even when we manipulate RX's for more allowed monthly. Last year RX's were a measly $10 or $30 copay. You can bet I WILL be appealing at a higher level.

I've cried out my frustrations for today. Now, on with the battle. It seems I always have endless phone calls to make, I always find myself fighting to maintain or improve our lives with Diabetes. Pharmacy errors, Medtronic errors, COBRA issues, new insurance plan issues, Dr's appointments, claims that deny. Diabetes is endless in more ways that just carbs and insulin, highs and lows. Just that like, Diabetes kicks me into defensive mode. FIGHT mode. I will appeal the RX denial again, and I will do my part to TRY DESPERATELY to keep our cherished school nurses. Just like that, from happy and carefree to scared, angered and fearful. I hate that Diabetes took away my "happy" day today leaving me with these feelings and issues!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Basal Rates

12am .15
330am .10
430am .15
6am .30
8am .25
9am .15
730pm .25
930pm .20

The above is Maddison's basal rates over 24hours. Maddison is having highs from 8am-noon. As I studied for the needed changes last night I realized WOW. She used to only have 4 times a day her basal changed. We aren't even in puberty yet! Do you ever wonder if we are making things more complicated than they are with a pump? I mean....micro manage by the hour? Growing look at what her little body is doing by her basal pattern it is amazing! My Diabetes is pretty simple....

My pattern= .25 per hour for 24 hours. Thats it. Nothing weird. Nothing crazy. No morning resistance. I'm lucky. I wish Maddison had "my" Diabetes. I wish I had "hers."

Josh picked up Maddison today from school and spoke with the school nurse, just because he hasn't seen her in quite awhile. He mentioned to her that I was "studying my book" (basal patterns) last night and if she didn't have an improvement from
250's to report for Maddies numbers today, that I would be crushed. Well, she did come in at a better 190, but who's to say what she will be tomorrow? Anyway....the nurse told Josh that she knows I am *always* making changes. Hmmmm....That makes me wonder if I am the only one of her "D" parents that make changes so often? As in, why does Maddison's needs change SO much? Am I clueless and doing something wrong? I go around and around wondering this all the time.....even though I already know the answer. This just is Diabetes. But, lately numbers are just numbers. (even though Maddison is running too high half the day!!) I'm just going with the flow. They aren't making me angry. They aren't stressing me out. They aren't making me want to hide and cry. I wish I had more of these days, I really do. I wish basal rates would just stay one way for awhile, like at least 3 weeks. Crazy basal rates.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Whenever I hear Maddison say "MOM" with a long pause following, I mentally prepare myself for the question to come. Today as Maddison and I were caring for the ducklings where she volunteers, she noticed one little duckling that isn't so "normal." I already know that this one duckling will probably not survive. He doesn't stand upright as he should. Alot of ducklings just don't survive.....this poor little guy isn't the strongest of the bunch. Anyway, if you stand up this duckling in a pile with his siblings, he is fine. Hoovered together, the other duckling provide him the support he needs to stand on his own. But, stand him up alone and he rolls over onto his back and can't get up.

Maddison: " you think he knows he will die?"
ME: "Probably not Maddie, he surely feels that he is normal and healthy."

Maddison: "Well, he is normal mom. Just because he has a disease doesn't mean he isn't normal"

Me: Silent

Maddison: "I know I'm normal too mom, but sometimes I don't FEEL normal, maybe in 50 years of Diabetes I will FEEL normal."

We sat quietly for a few minutes as we tried to encourage the little duckling to stand upright. Each time he would roll over and lay still. All I wanted to do was cry. I was mostly proud that Maddison KNOWS she is "normal" and that she spoke so bravely about her feelings and was willing to share them with me. I was enlightened by her outlook....KNOWING you are "normal" and feeling "normal" are two different stories. Maddison is very in tune with her inner feelings, even at her young age, though she is usually reluctant to share them. Maddison makes me proud, every single day for who she is and how she continues to see herself, despite feeling like the outsider sometimes.

On the drive home I started to think back to when I felt "normal" but sadly, I couldn't remember ever feeling normal since Diabetes invaded my life. Poking fingers, injecting insulin, counting carbs, carrying needles, tubing hanging from my body. Yeah. I dont feel normal at all. A purse filled with Juice, candy, Glucagon, vials of life sustaining liquid? Scars from infusion sets, sticky residue marks all over my waist? Sure, this is all normal for ME (and Maddison) but will it ever FEEL normal? I have a hard time believing that this life will ever FEEL normal. How can you feel normal when you are pale and shaky slurping down soda in a panic? Feel normal when you stab yourself with a new infusion set? Feel normal when UPS or FEDEX drops off packages every few months that contain pieces of you? Supplies that you cherish? I think not. As much as us "D" folks fall into a routine and habit of daily care that does in fact become normal, I can honestly say to date, I dont FEEL normal as a person. I dont think living this life will ever feel normal, and, thats okay. I still love myself. I don't try to hide my disease. I don't try to pretend I'm "normal" because if I did, we all know what the consequences could be. This new normal isn't so bad, its the feeling abnormal that really sucks, LOL. My deep thought for the day :)

I've said this before

I have said this before, and I will say it a million times.....YES, I know my blog can be a downer. I realize I am not the optimistic person I used to be when it comes to Diabetes, especially. If you want sugar coating and someone that sees only the good in life, you wont find that person here. I won't miss you when you stop reading my blog, and I don't really care how many followers I have. This blog is for ME. Whoever emailed me another nasty email last night about my sucky pessimistic views, good riddance!

I started this blog in 2007 when I finally started to feel "comfortable" with caring for Maddison's Diabetes around her 1yr anniversary. Back then, Maddison's blood sugars were predictable. She rarely had many highs, and most adjustments worked when things needed to be changed. There were no wild guesses and feelings of WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NOW. Most people know this as the Honeymoon. As the name describes, its a fabulous time when you start to feel like you can defeat this demon. You really think that you have it all figured out. You start to think that Diabetes isn't so hard after all. Starting my blog back then, the weight was lifted, life was "easy" again and I was naive to think that Diabetes would remain without constant changes. My blog was started when I really WAS inspired by Diabetes. (I still am, but have a hard time finding why lately) I wanted to blog my feelings so other parents knew they aren't alone in the emotions of the disease. I was a different person back then, stuck in false elation that I had Diabetes figured out. I will get back to who I was....tough times and hard feelings come and go. Right now my harsh feelings are a go in life. Stop reading my blog if you can't handle my current attitude, really. I don't need you judging my outlook in life and harassing me by email.

Reality. I've been stuck in this Diabetes reality for a few years now. Must I remind my readers that I have my own Diabetes to carry around? Having my own Diabetes to carry around means that when I poke my finger (6-10times day)I think of Maddison. Wherever she is, I wonder what her BS is too. Then there are the 10-15 blood sugar checks for Maddison a day. I'm constantly thinking of numbers, and alot of times they aren't what I want them to be. There are the sleepless nights of watching blood sugars. Pardon me if I'm not a ray of sunshine for my readers lately. I think it's a little something called "burn out." Stressed, and let me assure you LIFE in general has been stressful for my family this past year, just as it has for everyone.

I've said this before, and I will say it a million more times. Did you see my disclaimer on my blog? I see the good in life everyday, but that doesn't mean that I dont recognize, mention and cope with all the "bad" in life too. Then I move on. My blog (unfortunately) has turned into a place I leave my frustrations and emotions for the day. It isn't what I planned. I'm not a bad person for the feeling that I have. If you want only the good side of Diabetes, you will have to find it somewhere else. And please, dont email me anymore....I would call your emails Harrasment. Who do you think you are?