Thursday, June 23, 2011

Flashback Friday

Ive been in an icky frame of mind lately, but the grey clouds are clearing. Slowly. Summer stress is unique, a whole new set of rules and craziness. A different schedule every day means Diabetes is whatever, whenever. Mostly doing alright, but not enough wrong in any pattern to change anything. I blame poor eating habits (making quick meals on the go) for any odd numbers lately. Oh, and its 110 degrees today people! If that doesn't take the kick out of a good reservoir of insulin I dont know what does!

Its flashback Friday! Today I'm reflecting back on the sweet days of summer spent by the pool, remembering what little fishies both my girls were from the tiny age of 3. Man I miss my little girls! Hannah always had the prettiest golden hair as a result of hours by the pool, and Maddison had the most beautiful skin tone, really! She should have competed for Little Ms. Hawaiian Tropics! Time to share some of my favorite Summer photos from years past (too bad most photos are in other broken down computers!)

Happy Friday! We will be at the 2011 Volleyball Festival ALL weekend! Go team BLAZE!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Damn Medical Expenses

Last week I took our Golden Retriever in to the Vet to see about a growth she has on her ear. (she is only 4yrs old!!) Apparently when it comes to ANYTHING medical in this house, the cost ends up exceeding $1000 in just one shot. Even for a pet. What the hell does this have to do with Diabetes? Well, just a few minutes after getting a big fat estimate of $800-$1200 for the Dogs surgery, I got a call from Medtronic. It was the straw that broke the Camels back.

I was pissed. PISSED OFF! TIRED OF MEDICAL EXPENSES RUNNING OUR LIFE!!!! Tears began to fill my eyes as the Medtronic Benefits Rep clued me in on "our cost" for TWO new insulin pumps. I really didn't need to hear it at that moment, I still had dollar signs floating around in my brain after hearing the Vet estimate of $1000 for surgery and a likely cancer diagnosis for my beloved Golden Roxxie. I should have told the Medtronic Rep that it was a bad time and I would have to call them back. But I didn't. So the result was a silent tearful meltdown right then and there.

I know exactly what our medical insurance covers. I know it left to right, front to back, even with all the tiny details that aren't disclosed in the coverage book. (Thanks to my day job) I know that our DME coverage is only 60%, yet somehow I imagined our expense for each pump would somehow miraculously come back at a reasonable amount. I guess denial really tricks you. Our pump warranties were up just a few weeks ago, and although both are working fine, it would be nice to just go ahead and order a new one. But, thats not gonna happen. Maddison's individual deductible is only met at 40% to date, so her new insulin pump would cost us only $1400. Mine however, would cost $1700 because I havent had any expenses applied to my deductible yet for this year. (which doesnt make sense and I need to investigate) $3100 for insulin pumps? Sure, let me just pick that off my money tree right? Damn never ending medical expenses!

Here is the part where I start to bitch...I'm still paying on my thyroid surgery from last year, AND deductibles for pump supplies from February! Not to mention monthly payments on a Vet bill from January when our silly poodle ended up with a stomach obstruction. And now, our Golden needs surgery. And she likely has cancer. And I STILL cant afford to even schedule my own over due Hysterectomy! -Gasp-

So, today I'm feeling bitter. Tired of it. Overwhelmed. Feeling hopeless and helpless, buried in endless medical expenses. This is just ridiculous. We pay up the a$$ for shitty insurance that doesn't cover even the typical percentages that most policies cover. It's sickening.

The bright side? Medtronic offers to set up a payment plan for both pumps. At less than $100 per month, (For 30 months!!!) it is totally affordable....but that's not the point. The point is, today I just want to say employer group coverage can kiss my a$$. Sure, we have coverage which is more than alot of families out there can say....but this coverage still sucks and it still breaks the bank and leaves us swimming in medical debt. Where can you find a REAL pet insurance policy anyway?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Dad

When I think of my Dad, so many things come to my mind. His infectious laugh, his beautiful smile, his Crystal clear blue eyes. His wild sense of humor. His love of classic cars. I admire my Dad most for how hard working he was. Even after working 12 hour days in a sweltering factory he would come home to yard work, car repairs, or some other task that kept him busy. Yes, my Dad was always busy fixing or improving something. My Dad could build a house from scrap wood, or fix just about anything you thought had lost all hope. Today I can see my Dads sweet smile engraved in my mind....

My Dad didn't smile too often, but when he did it lit up my life. Even when I was very young, I was well aware of the hard life my Dad lived as a child. Family income was a major issue for his family back then in the early 50's, and my Dad spoke often of the hard times without heat, food or running water. (Today I thank my Dad for sharing these stories, for they taught me empathy and understanding from a very young age) Yet the hardest part of my Dads childhood was the fact that his mother was a very unpredictable, hot tempered person who favored her eldest children, basically leaving my Dad to feel like an outcast in his own home. I often felt very sad for my Dad, knowing the abuse he was inflicted as a child at the hands of his own mother. I always knew my Dad was the way he was (quiet, hot tempered, non-social, strict, and hardened) because of the life he had lived. Sad, but true. When I think of my Dad even today my heart hurts for what he endured as a child, and I always wish he had the childhood everyone deserves....

And yet my Dad was still an amazing Father, despite it all. His love for his children was a blessing that I cherish to this day.

I remember when my Dad took just ME fishing one early summer morning. I must have only been about 4 at the time. I adored the time I had alone with him. I caught a HUGE trout and I was SO proud....but years later come to find out, that Trout wasn't SO big after all!

I remember when I was about 8 or so and my Dad took over the household duties because my Mom had surgery. I thought it was SO weird to go grocery shopping with a Dad!

I remember when I won a 12 speed bike and it was WAY too big for me, but my Dad encouraged me to ride it anyway. And then he bought us kids all new bikes!

I remember when my Dad surprised us with a new fish aquarium. I was ALWAYS begging for pets of any kind (sound like Maddison?)

I remember being excited for Sunday mornings because Dad would run out to buy a Newspaper and take me with him to get a treat.

I remember being his yard work buddy.

My Dad liked to pretend he hated Christmas.....but we all know he loved it! He was a whole new person every Christmas morning!

I used to love helping my Dad tend to his garden, and still to this day I think of him every time I eat cherry tomatoes, cantaloupe and cucumbers. His were the BEST!

There are so many good memories, so many things my Dad taught me. I think its easier said in poetry....


You may have thought I didn't see,
Or that I hadn't heard,
Life lessons that you taught to me,
But I got every word.
Perhaps you thought I missed it all,
And that we'd grow apart,
But Dad, I picked up everything,
It's written on my heart.
Without you, Dad, I wouldn't be
The person I am today;
You built a strong foundation
No one can take away.
I've grown up with your values,
And I'm very glad I did;
So here's to you,
from forever grateful, ME.

Today I wish I could remember my Dad on Fathers Day without thinking about Diabetes, but I can't.

As a child I remember my Dad waking up often at night from low blood sugars. I had no idea what that was all about, but I remember sometimes things got scary. I remember my Dad lecturing me often about my eating habits (especially as a teen) and I had no idea why. I remember him stressing the importance of Meat, "starch" and vegetables at every meal, and I remember him always having it portioned just right. I remember how we never took vacations or went out to eat because my Dad was on a strict eating schedule. Timing was everything. I remember being annoyed by that. And today I feel guilty for feeling that way! If I only knew! I remember the first time we did go out for dinner, and Dad ended up popping glucose tablets and cussing the whole time while we waited for our table. I didnt understand why. I didnt understand what the big deal was. I wish I knew back then, and I wish I understood. I wish my Dad wasn't alone through it all.

I remember when I was about 9 and my Dad allowed me to have a glucose tablet. He told me he hoped I never needed them. Ironic ey?

I remember every time I heard my Mom say that my Dad was vomiting, we learned quickly that meant a hospital stay. I remember fearing every time my Dad went into the hospital, thinking he wouldn't be coming home. I remember how empty the house felt while Dad was away....

As an adult working in health care I learned more about Diabetes. I thought I knew what it was all about. I thought I understood.

And then I was diagnosed. And it all made sense. My heart hurt even more for the life he had been living. And then, Maddison was diagnosed. And my world was broken.

The last 10 years of my Dads life was incredibly depressing. He suffered every complication Diabetes is known to inflict. It isnt anything that can just be forgotten, even on Fathers Day when Im supposed to be remembering the good times and the man I love as my Father. Diabetes invades my thoughts when I think of him. He suffered. Alot. For years.

When I think of my Dad, I think of Diabetes. I wish it weren't so. I wish my Dad could have lived well with his disease as Maddison and I do every single day.....but it just wasn't the same back then. Technology, education and newer insulins and insulin pumps are a blessing. A blessing that I know my Dad can look down on and appreciate for us. My Dad once told me "I hope that pump isnt the cure they keep talking about" to which I replied, "it helps alot, but it isn't a cure at all!"

And then, we both just smiled. That was a moment I will never forget, it was the moment my Dad finally felt someone understood the life he had been living. To be able to share the feeling of unity with him before he died, is priceless.

Happy Fathers Day to my Dad, I carry you with me always.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just Swimming

Swimming is by far the most difficult activity for me to manage when it comes to Maddison’s blood sugars. Here we are in the month of June. Things are about to get crazy. I’m sure I complain about this every Summer, but it still ain't getting easier and I’m still complaining!! I think a big part of the swim season difficulty is likely the fact that our insulin pump isn’t water proof, therefore you have to disconnect and remove it for swimming. If Maddison will be swimming for many hours, she will have to reattach the pump every hour or so, to dose some of the missed basal insulin that was automatically given .....but how much? All of it? Or what percentage? It just never seems to work out right.

Is Maddi splashing around on the steps? Is she swimming crazy laps in a challenging race? Is she lazing on a raft or is she jumping in and out of the pool playing a game of “Fish out of water?” This Summer is going to be a major challenge, because if I am not pool side with Maddi, there is no way I can judge what her needs are. The hard truth is, Maddison isn’t little anymore, which means she just goes off on her own to swim at friends houses now. Its stressful. Its scary, and can be down right dangerous if we dont stay on top of Diabetes! I hate having to give “the talk” to other parents every time my kid comes over to swim. But, I have to. With Diabetes, you just have to. We pack at least 4 juice boxes, glucose tabs, candy, glucose gel, a protein bar, and Glucagon. You know what I say to that? Screw you Diabetes!!! Can’t my kid just swim like all the other kids!!??

Diabetes was hard enough to manage when I was always with Maddison at the pool....but now? Im just not sure where to start!

We certainly want to avoid “TURBOCHARGED” insulin while swimming, but entering the pool with zero active insulin isn’t always going to happen. So, we give a snack. A HUGE snack, at least 30c with some good protein power. (no bolus of course) Sometimes it works to keep the lows away, and sometimes it doesn’t. Lows strike within the hour. Sometime it’s the worst ones, the straight arrow down ones. The result is usually an upset tummy from having to ingest a bazillion sugary carbs to fight off danger! Or, maybe Maddison will end up WAY TO HIGH, then you are left trying to decide how much to correct that crazy high!

How am I supposed to keep Maddison safe while she is swimming away from home if I am not there to judge her activity level? What if she drops so fast, she needs help and the parent on watch doesn’t notice? What if she is confused and unable to treat her low herself? Will the parents understand the emergency at hand? Ohhh the “what if’s” of Diabetes!

So, last night Maddison was on her own managing D for the first time this season while swimming at a friends house. BS= 268 with .4 active. (I reduced dinner insulin by 15c) I had Maddi set her cell phone alarm for an hour after swimming started so she could check her sugar and call me. She was 198. Just where I hoped she would be, but I still hate the fact we have to run our kids high to keep them safe from lows when they are active!!

So now what? Re-attach the pump and give the basal insulin she missed in that hour? Its only a matter of time until her sugar “could” start to rise, but who the hell knows what will happen today? Today isnt the same as yesterday and wont be the same as tomorrow! Lets think....initially when exercise starts, your muscles suck up any excess glucose in the blood for fuel, which means if you have insulin still working in the body your blood sugar will go too low, because there isn’t any sugar left that needs all that insulin to enter the cells right? (Something like that) But, at the same time the Liver will start to put out extra glucose to keep the body fueled, and if there isn’t enough insulin in the body that means her cells are starved of the energy they need! Blood sugar rises. It is such a tricky balance! Im just a MOM, not an scientist!! I keep thinking, without enough insulin going through her body, her sugar will start to creep up, (and DKA can set in!) but yet at the same time if there is too much insulin she will go to low.....

Damn! What do you do? After much contemplating in my mind, I made the decision to have her do nothing with the 198 since she had a tad insulin still working from dinner, and I’m still kinda (a lot) worried that Maddison may give the wrong tiny dose if I have her give the missed basal without my watchful eye. My decision to not dose back the basal insulin missed in that hour slapped us in the face an hour later. 298. UGH.

And, of course it isnt enough just to make it through the time of swimming itself. No,no,that would be too easy. After the swim we may need to reduce basal rates (again, an educated guess of how much) give snacks, change pump sites (because water logged sites fall off or sometimes fail to work properly) and wake up to check numbers multiple times overnight to make sure our child is safe from delayed lows while sleeping. Just swimming? Not really. The is no such thing as "just swimming" with Diabetes. It is a hard fact that lows and highs trying to get swimming right is gonna happen. And they can be scary. And dangerous. And make you want to cry. Or scream. Or give up. But we can never give up. Diabetes can never win.

How do we make it through another season of swimming while keeping our kids healthy and safe? Even harder yet, how do I manage this by phone, miles away!?

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I got a little emotional yesterday as I saw Maddison step off the bus arriving from camp. I didn't expect it at all, It was a sudden rush of happiness and relief all at the same time. I had the same lump in my throat when she left for camp, only this time I cried a happy little tear or two! My heart finally felt whole again. I felt a sense of contentment and peacefulness just knowing she was home with me. Its a great feeling!

Maddison has always been a chatterbox when she is with Me or her Dad. She tends to quiet up around others sometimes.....but MAN OH MAN!!! She didn't stop talking for HOURS after picking her up yesterday, and she was nothing but a PermaSmiling, energetic, bouncy girl who giggled about all the fun she had! She joyfully told stories of camp with so much enthusiasm that you couldn't help but smile and be excited too! I knew Maddi would have a blast, but I never expected her to be able to squeeze 7days of camp fun into just a few hours of stories when she got home! It has just been too cute! Looks like Camp AZDA will be a part of every summer in the future! Maybe next year I wont be such a mess the first few days :)

As far as the Diabetes part goes, I'm quite disappointed to see Maddison only ate about 8-40carbs per meal, which means her picky eating continued at camp. They didn't accommodate her pickiness as WE (sadly) do, so she just didn't eat meals. She did however, have most snacks that were given between meals (no bolus) Part of my excitement for camp was that Maddison would eat like all the other kids, but apparently not. Most mornings all she ate was eggs and bacon, and only had a bolus for 10 carbs of toast!! Needless to say, when Maddi arrived home we fed her about 150c of French Toast, apples, bacon, eggs, SF chocolate milk and ice cream for dessert. That was her evening meal of choice. I guess the food at camp was "gross." -Sigh-

Surprisingly, Maddison's highest number at camp was 289 one night before bed, to which she got a FULL correction and wasn't checked again until breakfast the next morning!!! She was 65 that morning, which was also her lowest number logged the entire 7 days. (Thank you snacks, and YAY for the reductions I made before she left!) Do you know how many times a day Maddison checked her sugar while away at camp? 4. FOUR TIMES A DAY!!!! Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and before bed. That was it!! I think the minimal testing is awesome in some ways, though I dont see how that is really do-able in every day life, I mean, I'd LOVE to just check sugars 4 times a day, but we all know how crazy things get when you fall back into real life. I do wonder if our A1c would increase much if we tried to take the minimal checking route? Isnt that what our Endo's always say we should do? Minimize? But 4 times a day? I often worry that "micromanaging" is just too much sometimes and leads to burnout....but I know for a fact I'd still be checking overnight, at least once! Maybe we will try to check sugars less.....once numbers settle down in the next week or so.

I'm a bit irritated that no one checked these kids at Midnight like I was told they do. And, not rechecking that correction Maddi had before bed really pisses me off. #1 a full correction after a 14hr day of hiking, swimming and running around needed to be rechecked at some point during the night. PERIOD if you ask me. And #2 they dont know if my programmed pump settings are even close to being right! They shouldn't have assumed anything. If it were me I would have reduced the bedtime correction and checked again in 2.5 hours......but this is camp. I guess they think kids will wake up when they go low, or Mr Liver will always help them out when sugar levels get dangerously low. I personally think that is a dangerous line to walk. But, It is what it is, and somehow Maddison didnt have any dangerous blood sugars, even going from 9pm to 7am without being checked!

o, Maddi is HOME and we are complete again. According to her she didnt learn anything at camp, no carb counting, no "healthy eating" education, nothing. Hmmmmmm.....all I know is she had fun, made friends, felt a sense of "normalcy" being around so many other kids with Diabetes, and thats all that really matters. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A New Day

Maddison left for camp Saturday afternoon, which makes today Day 5 of me just hanging on for tomorrow!! Im ready for Maddison to come home now please!

I must say, I am proud of Maddi for making it this far into camp week. I kinda thought maybe she would be faking sick by now, asking to come home. (She said that’s what she would do if she was ready to come home and they wouldn’t let her, and she assured me they wouldn’t catch on) Afterall, Maddison has only had a couple of sleepovers away from home, and they have never been more than one night! But, what do you know!? Just two days left! Now its like I'm counting down to Christmas! I’m so excited to hear all about camp, and see the ways Maddison has grown from this first year experience! Of course I can't wait to hug Maddi SO tight, and I really need my hiking, biking, volunteering, shopping, walking, tennis playing buddy back to stay sane!

Hallelujah, the first few days of my crazy camp worries have passed! There were a few moments I thought the worry might just kill me! I’m still not really sleeping well, I guess I have an internal clock telling me to wake up and check Maddison’s sugars. Hmmm.....imagine that.

So today I was thinking about the constant-ness of Diabetes, and how this camp thing has left me feeling totally lost without numbers to manage hour to hour, day to day. Camp week has made me realize this......

Instead of each day blending in with the last as it has since D entered our lives, each day this camp week has been new. Its weird. As a D parent our days really have no end. No close. Just continuing-ness of D management. You can't always tell where one day ended and the next began.

I mean, I can go to sleep and that’s it? I don’t need to give juice, a snack or insulin to get through until the next alarm for a sugar check in a couple hours? Wwhhhaaaattttt?

Last night I climbed in bed without a second thought! I just climbed in and went to sleep without analyzing any numbers! I didn’t have to set multiple alarms to check numbers. (I rarely need to check myself overnight but always check maddi at least once) I woke up today, a new day, without any numbers in my mind. I didnt wake up pissed off and groggy headed because of a night of continual high blood sugars, or heavy hearted from chasing scary lows. I wasnt thinking about Diabetes AT ALL when I woke up today because the day ended when I went to bed the first time! Imagine that! A new day, with new numbers....not one long drawn out life of chasing numbers! Just a new day!

Its been nice to wake up to a new start each day, but now I just want my Maddi to come home!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 3 without Maddi

Today we passed day 3 of Maddison being away at Diabetes camp, and tonight will be night 4 of Maddison sleeping away from this Momma Pancreas! DAY 4!! Denisecommented on my post yesterday saying she hopes today was better and I get some rest from the worry....Well guess what!!?? Today I didnt have ONE worry in my mind! Funny how time brings comfort, or is it the DOC that brings comfort?

This morning I slept in until 8am after waking to a 486 blood sugar AGAIN at 2am. Im pretty sure I rebounded....or SOMETHING after the low I had earlier in the night. I wasn't supposed to fall asleep with 3.4u active, but I did. NEVER have I seen my number over 400 since my diagnosis 5 years ago.....SCARY. Whatever caused the 486, I dont know. But WOW can you feel it!!!!I felt like cave woman dragging out of bed. My hair was a wreck from tossing and turning. My lips dry and crusty. The horrid need to pee is what made me wake up, followed by thirst that I thought would kill me. Anyway, I slept in after a big fat correction and tons of water, because I didnt have to work today, and MAN, it took all I had in me to get out of bed at 8am!!!

What do you do when you have all day without Maddi and Diabetes? You organize her closet of course! 3 hours in, Im still 211. ICK. YUCK. EW. WTF? I have never seen so many stuffed animals in my life. We even donated 7 bags full before we moved!! I finally showered by 1pm and ended up with a BS of 90. Half the day was over, so staying busy was the key to not thinking about Maddison at camp.

More chores, laundry, hanging out with my teen for awhile....the day went fast. We had the mother in law over for dinner....great times! But OMG! I forgot to check the mail today!

And there is was! A letter from Maddison, a letter from camp! I swear, I felt like a child getting a letter from Santa! It was magical. I had it opened by the time I walked inside....

"Dear Mom and Dad,

I am trying lots of new foods here at camp just like you wanted me too. I like Bananas and will eat them when I get home. I miss Cally and Kitty, My cabin is much quieter than I thought, it isnt so bad. It is calm. I miss you so much but I am having a grate time.

Love, Maddison"

MUSIC TO MY EARS!!!! I could hear Maddi's voice reading to me!! I felt so warm and fuzzy inside! Just the little note I needed!

And so, Day 3 of Camp isnt so bad from this Momma Pancreas' point of view. Day 3 without Maddi has proven to be so much easier than the first days. Still no phone calls from camp means everything is A-ok. Im calm. I thought about all the thinks I can think! Im hoping I sleep well tonight. No alarms, and I plead for no crazy highs to wake me up! I know when Maddison comes home Saturday from camp a whole new door has opened up.... Maddison's outlook. Her confidence. Her attitude....New camp friends for life.... A new sense of responsibility towards her life long health.....

Living peacefully and beautifully with Diabetes.....PRICELESS.

**Oh, and how cool is it? Our 4th year pumping, both Maddison and I, TODAY!!!!**

Monday, June 6, 2011

Or So I Thought

Has it really only been 2 and a half days since Maddison left for camp? Sheesh. I miss her terribly. TERRIBLY. I think about Diabetes more now on this little "break" than I ever did before! Its so much easier and less stressful and worrisome if I just tend to it myself!

Every bird that chirps, I think of Maddi. Every song on the radio makes me think of Maddi. Every time I poke my own finger, I think of Maddi. Every time I count my carbs, I think of Maddi. Every person I see walking their dog, I think of Maddi.....I'm thinking about her every five minutes! What kind of "break" is this anyway? My mind is running a thousand miles a minute. Wondering what she did today, what is planned tomorrow. What her wake up number was, what she ate today. How is she feeling? Is it hot there? Did her site fall off? When do they change the sites? What have they adjusted? Is she on a temp basal? Does she want to come home? Is she sleeping well? Is she wearing her sun screen? Damn. I feel like a mother that left her breast feeding baby for the first time!!

I slept a straight 8 hours last night. I have to admit, I felt amazing today. But, now when I could be sleeping, I cant. -Sigh-

I had a nasty post dinner low of 43 which caused me to woof down about 80c that I DID NOT WANT to eat. Now I feel fat. Bloated. With a headache, and irritated. I want to puke. Oh, and of course I had to bolus back some of those carbs once my sugar came back up. I was going to head to bed early tonight, OR SO I THOUGHT.

Im currently hoovering at 104 with 3.4 units of insulin active. YUCK. If I have to eat or drink another carb I think I will cry. And then I might have a melt down. Josh is laid over working in Flagstaff, Hannah crashed out its just me tonight. Its very strange.

Right now I'm better off waiting for some insulin to wear off before trying to go to sleep......I'm Wishing I could at least talk to Maddison on the phone and hear how much fun she is having! Yes, that would make it all better right now!

This "camp" thing was supposed to leave me feeling "rested" from chasing numbers. I really believed it would. SO I THOUGHT. This "camp" thing wasn't supposed to be on my mind every waking hour. Minute by minute. But so far, it is.

We sent a collage of pictures to Maddi at camp today, you know, pictures of her Callie the crazy poodle, and her crazy meanie cat. A picture of her silly birds...all the things she will miss the most. Her Dad, Hannah and I all wrote letters too.....I cant wait to check the mail tomorrow! She promised me a letter, but Im not surprised if she is off being too busy! As the 3rd and 4th day rolls around I worry about her being homesick....she is always the first to want to come home......but, she isnt so little anymore, and I know she is having SO much fun :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Camp. 27 Hours In.

Its been 27 hours since Maddison left for camp. I must say, I didnt even cry when she boarded the bus to leave! My heart however, was pounding and I had a terrible lump in my throat. I didn't want her to see me cry, so I was proud of myself that I didn't! Maddison must have hugged me ten times before she left, nice looonnnggggg hugs, which was kinda surprising because Maddison isnt really much of an affectionate child. I know she started to feel some butterflies in her tummy when it actually came time to say goodbye.....but, she was still all smiles. I however, had a fake smile plastered on my face and HORNETS in MY tummy. Initially I had envisioned that I would have a tearful breakdown as she boarded the bus, but knowing Maddi had her long time D buddy with her, really soothed my anxiety.

Maddi's D buddy is the same age, has the same interests as Maddison and has had Diabetes since she was 3! So, by now she is a very responsible girl, and always watching out for others. D buddy has slept over several times, and is quick to report anything that isnt right. Whether it be someone being mean at the park, or Maddison feeling low, D buddy is right there to lead the way. She is just the second voice that my shy Maddi needs right now! I have no doubt in my mind that Maddison and D buddy will be life-long friends. :)

So, its 27 hours in. I sent Maddi off on that bus not even knowing what her blood sugar was. That was very hard for me to do. I wanted to have her check before she left....but, I let go like I needed to do. Yes, 27 hours in. Its now 8pm and darkness has set in....Im getting a bit looney.

27 hours without knowing how Maddi's sugars did yesterday after arriving at camp. I did reduce her basals a tad before she left, and upped her ratios. But not knowing.....ooohhhhhh this is SO hard. At this point I feel so empty without my Maddison beside me....but I know she is having the best time of her life.

I woke up around 3am this morning with a 411 blood sugar (I forgot to bolus ice cream before bed!) So for quite awhile I just lay in bed wondering what Maddison's blood sugar is doing. I had to remind myself over and over that Maddison catches her lows early (during the day) feels her drops, and rarely sees a number over 200 unless I screwed up somewhere. Im not worried about anything with her numbers during the day, Its just that damn 12am check!! The last check for the night. It terrifies me.

Although I put in writing that I want Maddi's sugar at least 200 for sleeping at camp, I just dont feel like that means anything to them. I mean, they dont know my childs insulin needs. No one does, besides ME.

What if Maddison has to go to bed with insulin working from a prior correction? Will they still get up to check her a couple hours later to see where her sugar is when the correction dose wears off? What if she is 300 at Midnight, and they correct in full, despite the fact that she swam for 2 hours, hiked a mountain and ran around wild all day? I dont know if they would even think to do half corrections or reduce the pump suggestions for highs at that Midnight check! Will they get up to re-check later if she does get a correction at midnight? The answer is, NO. They do a Midnight check, and then it is the "discretion" of the "nurse" whether or not D campers need to be rechecked later in the wee hours of morning. I just dont understand it. It terrifies me. So much can happen between Midnight and the wake up time at 7am. ESPECIALLY when camp keeps them active from sun up to sun down.

And, I know, I know. THOUSANDS of kids make it through these nights at camp every year without any problems. But that doesnt make me feel any better.

27 hours in, and I have NO IDEA how Maddi's numbers have been running. Its the strangest thing, not knowing.

The WHAT IF'S.....What if Maddi is 200 and has been stable for hours up until 12am. What if she crashes right around 1am. Or 2am. Or 3am. Or 5am. Or 6am. ?????????? I just dont understand it. I dont understand the last check at Midnight. What if a site goes bad after midnight? SEVEN hours of not checking with NO insulin going into their body? Am I the only one that thinks a 3am check is EXTREMELY important at camp!!?? What if kids crash after midnight and sit around crazy low for hours before morning? What if they have a seizure in the night? Will any adult wake up? The rest from there....well, I just have to stop myself from thinking about THAT. My husband was angry that I mentioned THAT scenario.....but I was angry that it IS something I think about EVERY SINGLE NIGHT when I put Maddison to bed. And when I wake to check her at Midnight. And when I wake to recheck. And when I go to wake her in the morning. Its something all D parents think about, and it makes me angry that a Midnight check is the last check when activity levels have sky rocketed!

Im also a bit uncomfortable with the fact that only one of the 2 adults in the cabins have experience with Diabetes. One person has Diabetes, but the other has gone through "a week of training." A week of training? What if this person with the "week of training" doesnt understand a full correction at night for a 250 blood sugar is the WRONG CHOICE to make when a child has been crazy active all day? I could drive myself crazy with the "What if's." Really, I could.

27 hours in. I cant imagine what 48 hours will feel like. When night falls (like NOW) I begin to think too much. When Midnight rolls, around I just want to grab the phone and call the camp with some questions. I wish I could, and I dont understand why I can't. I mean, after all, our D children are alive to this day because of our diligence and amazing pancreatic skills. (and juice boxes) (And insulin.) I personally feel the camp should call you after Night 1 and ask for advice in changing basals for sleep time if you request that they do. I tried that request, " and all I got as a response was "Dont worry, we got this." I wanted to shout! "I am the thinking Pancreas, not the pump, and not a text book!" I mean, maybe a snack is better for some kids than a reduced basal. Maybe some kids shouldn't get ANY corrections at night. But hey, who am I? Im just a Mom that lives her second life as a Pancreas I guess. They hold the RN and MD, so I guess they think thats all it takes. I beg to differ....its experience that counts......

Which reminds me of what the "Check in person" for Camp said to me....I was supposed to write down Maddison's ISF on her "care" sheet, so I did. But, the one little __ wasn't big enough. So, under the TINY __ I wrote...

12am 180
3am 240
6am 200
8am 240
7pm 180

Do you know what she said to me!? She told me she needs to know Maddisons correction factor, not 5 of them. She then proceeded to tell me "YOU NEED TO BE SMARTER THAN THE PUMP AND HAVE ONE ISF, not 5."

WTF? My response to her was that "I am smarter than the pump, thats why Maddison has 5 different ISF's programmed into it!"

SHEESH. She then told me those numbers were "blood sugar targets", not a correction factor. OH MY GOOOOOODDDDDD!!! Lets just say my husband had to finish the conversation with her at that point!! He knew to jump in before I freaked out :)

27 hours in. Just 5.5 days to go. -Sigh-

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Travel Size Excitement

This evening Maddison couldnt wait any longer. She has been asking me EVERY day for the last week if she can start packing for camp. So, we set out with a list and had some girl time. First stop was Starbucks of course! These girls gotta have their Green and Passion Fruit Teas for shopping!

Silly socks. CHECK
Silly hat. CHECK
Sports shirt. CHECK
Dress for the "dance." CHECK
Address book for new friends! CHECK
PJ's for PJ breakfast day, CHECK
Flash light. Check
Sunscreen. Check
Canteen. CHECK
Sunglasses. Check
New sleeping bag. CHECK
Travel shampoo. Check
Travel Soaps. Check. Maddi's favorite thing!

We made our shopping trip today ALL FOR MADDIE. She was the girl of the day. Lots of chit chat. Some serious talk. And lots of laughter. It was obvious today that Maddison is maturing at lightening speed. 11 in August!? Today Maddison passed up the cutsie little girl styles of puppy dogs and frogs for the more TWEEN looking items. some sad moments of realization for me. -GASP- But ya know what? I'm excited for the girl she is becoming. This whole camp thing is surely looking to be a great "letting go" experience for ME as much as it is for her........but you will still find me crying my eyes out come Saturday!!! And who the hell says Diabetes camp should be SEVEN days anyway!!?? Letting go is hard enough without this damned disease!

I can feel her excitement. You can see it in her eyes. In her smile. IM EXCITED TOO!!! ME!!?? ME? ***I*** can say Im excited instead of terrified? Seven days away at camp and I can say Im excited for her? WOW. I never, ever thought I could feel anything but terrified sending Maddison away. One night sleep overs can be "scary" enough, but SEVEN days without my Maddison? Seven days without even knowing what her blood sugars are doing?

Now, if I could only get someone to take over my own Diabetes for the next seven days I'll REALLY get a "break." :) Do I see this camp thing as a "break" like everyone says it is? NOPE. Not at all.

The seven days that Maddison is away will be the longest days of my life. I will likely think about her even more than I already do, and likely still wake up at midnight and 3am wondering what her number is. I'm sure I will be wondering if someone at camp caught a low.....or a site gone bad. -Sigh- A break? Not so much. Physically maybe, but mentally? Definetly not.

So, it is true. Saturday morning my Maddison is going to camp. For SEVEN days. I still cant believe it, and I'm SO excited for her. Of course, who knows how I will feel by the time Saturday rolls around!