Thursday, May 21, 2015

Prepared


I spent some time emptying and organizing my purse before we traveled last month.  Apparently it the project was overdue.

In my purse, I was carrying:

2 juice boxes

3 boxes of nerds

2 spare vials of test strips

a bag of goldfish crackers

3 rolls of smarties

an empty glucose tab container

approximately 20 used test strips and

a glucagon kit.

I believe in being prepared with supplies for my child.  But this was a little too much.  Especially since as she's getting older she brings her own bag for day-trips and bigger adventures. The stuff in my purse is now just for quick local excursions, or as back-up to what she's packed.

But if I ever get stuck in an elevator, I'll be in good shape.



Monday, May 18, 2015

Two - Many Favorites


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Yesterday was the day for 'Continuing Connections' to conclude Diabetes Blog Week.  My delay is two fold:

Yesterday got away from me- it was a gorgeous Sunday packed with activities.

Secondly, and more to the point, I always have a hard time with this d-blog week topic.  I'm never able to read everything and therefore fear that my REAL favorite is still lurking somewhere on a link list waiting to be read.  I also don't want to leave anyone out who I've discovered or particularly enjoyed this week. Narrowing it down is difficult.

But narrow it down I will, to my two favorites from the Diabetes Personified category.  Both are from blogs I hadn't seen before.

From Bustin' Diabetes For Justin, Justin's own picture of diabetes was excellent.  And I love that his mom shared Justin's own words to go with it.  Diabetes is, indeed, "a poop head evil jerk."

Sweet and Sour- The Type 1 Diabetes Roller Coaster compares her diabetes to Moaning Myrtle of Harry Potter fame.   I like the thought that despite all of  Myrtle's faults, there are things we learn to like about her.

To see other bloggers' favorites, click HERE for the link list!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Big Deal?


Diabetes Blog Week


This Diabetes thing is a really big deal. 
Please don't make a really big deal about it.


These sentences are from a post I wrote about meeting with the nurse and teachers before my child started fourth grade.  These words were an attempt to sum up what I was trying to impress upon the school staff about having my child in their classrooms.  

I wanted them to be worried enough that they'd keep an eye on her.  I wanted to make sure they wouldn't let her forget her emergency bag for fire drills.  I wanted to be alerted when there was a change in schedule or a class party.  I wanted diabetes to be in the back of their minds always, just like it's in the back of my mind at all times.

Yet at the same time I wanted her to be just like every other kid in that classroom.  I wanted her diabetes to be as invisible as possible.  I wanted her to participate in every aspect of school life just like the other kids.  I wanted her to go through her day without being constantly asked if she was o.k. or given any special attention.

Ditto for the rest of her life.  This quote pretty much sums up our household's diabetes philosophy.

This Diabetes thing is a really big deal. 
Please don't make a really big deal about it.

We do our fair share of worrying. We are prepared with all of the supplies and information we need to keep my child healthy.  We remain aware of what her blood sugar numbers are, and how the next activity might change them.  When she's easily flustered, or lethargic, or absurdly giddy we ask her to check her blood sugar to determine whether she's low, high, or simply 13. When there's a diabetes issue we stop and take care of it. But all of this stuff remains, as much as possible, in the background of an otherwise full and normal life.

She goes to school and does her homework.  She sings, acts and plays two instruments.  She participates in sports.  She stops to buy a snack with her friends on the way home from school. She hikes and swims and kayaks.  She goes to friends' houses, birthday parties and sleepovers.  She eats out and travels.

It would be easy to let anxiety about all of the what-ifs of this disease slow us down.  It would be easy to say no to so many of these things.  

But we'd rather not make a really big deal of it.

Today's Diabetes Blog Week topic asks us to share a favorite sentence or post we've written, or to share why we started the blog in the first place.  Find the rest of these posts HERE!


Friday, May 15, 2015

Today's Menu


Diabetes Blog Week



Breakfast


              



This is one of our protein-containing, 5+ grams of fiber cereal choices which somewhat diminish the post-breakfast blood sugar spike.  
More excitingly, I bought a whole pint (well, several pints actually) of blueberries for less than one million dollars this week!!!



Lunch






Sunflower butter to protect her peanut-free friends at lunch, with great grandma's homemade spiced pear jam, which she makes special with less sugar just for my daughter.  With an occasional substitution of pretzels or sun chips, this is lunch every day.   



Snack


Snack varies every day.  Sometimes it's more substantial, like a smoothie or peanut butter crackers.  But today she's saving room for Grandpa's birthday dinner.


Dinner


I'll smash up half a sleeve of townhouse (ritz, etc. are all fine) and mix them with 3-4 tbs. of melted butter.  I might remember to squeeze in some lemon juice and add some pepper.  The fish goes in a greased (or better yet, buttered) glass baking dish.  The cracker mixture is spread on top.  Bake at 400 for 10-15 min. until it's flaky.  Yum!


We've nicknamed this rice blend 'crazy rice,' at our house.  It's got tons of flavor and a variety of textures.  Much more fun than regular brown rice.


Grandpa's Birthday Cake




I know- all kinds of problems with this.  Its's processed beyond belief.  It contains artificial everything.  The glycemic index is off the charts.
But it's Grandpa's favorite, and a family tradition.  So we'll indulge!



Food is one of my favorite topics to read, think and talk about.  So I, for one, am looking forward to reading the rest of today's Diabetes Blog Week posts which can be found HERE!



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Did These Things Really Happen?


Diabetes Blog Week


I feel like much of what I write about here involves changes related to growing up and gaining independence. So instead of today's regularly scheduled change-related topic, I went with a wild card choice for today's Diabetes Blog Week Post.  The prompt asks me to share the top 3 craziest stories I have about living with diabetes.  It goes on to say, "If you can't think of three, don't worry. We're just as happy with one or two..." That was not my problem.  Dozens of stories came to mind. So I created 3 categories and picked one from each:

Craziest Medical Experience:

This category has some solid runners-up.  There was the time the pharmacist suggested I have my daughter's humalog diluted by my veterinarian, and the time the lab tech slowly and cheerfully explained every detail of the blood draw.  But the winner goes to diagnosis day.  We'd been at our local hospital for a few hours.  We knew my daughter's blood sugar was 'very high,' but while several doctors and countless nurses had assessed her, there was (alarmingly, in retrospect) no diagnosis or treatment yet.  We were about to be loaded into a helicopter for transport to the children's hospital.  As I stood next to the transport EMT she turned to the doctor in charge and told him she would not put my child in the helicopter until he ordered an insulin drip.  I'm convinced to this day that after hours in the emergency room it was an EMT who first recognized that my child needed to be treated for diabetes.

Craziest Era:

The NPH days were awful.  They lasted for almost 2 years, while my daughter was between the ages of 1 and 3 at which point she started with  a pump.  They coincided with her short but ill-timed picky eating phase.  Here's a snippet of a piece I wrote about those picky months and having to eat when the NPH peaked:  I spent the first two months of 2003 trying, religiously, to stick to the “meal plan” sent home with us by our medical team.  Starch, protein, fruit, milk.  Every day at 1 p.m.  There was screaming and crying.  Yelling and throwing of stuff.   Sometimes she would throw stuff and I would cry.  Sometimes we’d trade.   It was reminiscent of Green Eggs and Ham, without the happy ending.  Would she eat it in her chair?  Would she eat it over there?  Would she eat it if I sing?  No…she won’t eat ANYthing.  We’d inevitably end up sitting on the kitchen floor, covered in yogurt or peanut butter, in an exhausted stalemate. And then there was a low blood sugar at 2 p.m., for which I’d have to squirt cake decorating gel into her mouth because she’d refuse to drink juice.  I eventually sought and received help from our excellent diabetes team.  But if I had to pick a time when diabetes sent me closest to the brink of insanity, this is it.

Craziest Encounter with a Muggle:

When my daughter was 4 years old, we were in line to enter a museum.  The woman behind us in line got my daughter's attention and asked, "Is that a t.v. you have there?"  I can still see my child's blank stare, and how it was mirrored on my husband's face.  "There...on your back?" she persisted.  Aha.  Lacking pockets, my daughter was wearing her pump in a waist pack with a clear window.  I took a deep breath and silently exhaled all of the snarky and sarcastic replies which came to mind.  Instead, as politely as I could, I replied, "No!  It's actually an insulin pump; to treat diabetes."  That stopped the conversation dead in its tracks. "Oh," replied the inquisitive lady.  She clearly thought this a much less logical possibility than that of a 4 year old wearing a television on her back.


Want to read some more crazy stories?  I know I'm looking forward to it.  We'll find the links HERE!



Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Messy


Diabetes Blog Week





The bloody tissues are the grossest part.  

There are always used test strips in the bottom despite the designated tic-tac container in which to stash them.  

I'm not sure how long that half roll of smarties has been in there.

But this is a snapshot of the meter case in all its typical glory.

Why does it stay this way?  Why are we keeping all of this trash in here?  Because testing is among the least interesting parts of the day.  Meter, test strip, lancet, blood, tissue, number, go.  It's time to eat, or head to volleyball practice, or go back to whatever was happening before the Dexcom alarmed.

We typically don't clean it out until  the mess diminishes its functionality.  Or until there's an impending risk of dumping test strips all over the floor of a friend's house or a fancy restaurant.

Otherwise, I sort of see this mess as a good thing.  It means we have better things to do than tidy up the meter case.  It means we have better things to do than worry about diabetes for a second longer than we have to.

It's an excellent excuse anyway.

More Diabetes Blog Week posts on the 'Clean It Out' topic can be found HERE!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Anonymous


Diabetes Blog Week

As you may have noticed, I do not share my daughter's name on this blog.  And I have never posted her photo here.  It makes for some awkwardly phrased sentences, but it's important to me to maintain a sense of anonymity.

I made this decision when I started blogging.  "Why?" my daughter often asks.

"It's for your own good," sounds like such a terribly 'mom' thing to say, but I believe it to be true.

In this age of Google and instant information, I know that once I attach her name to diabetes via this blog, I can never take it back.  I'd rather not have my blog come up as the first item when her name is searched. Today she may not care, but some day somebody's going to google her name when she applies for a job or a learning opportunity. Or when somebody sets her up on a blind date.  I'd rather newspaper articles about academic or extracurricular events pop up instead of my blog posts.  If diabetes is going to come up in that search, I'd rather it be her name as part of an advocacy or a fundraising effort she's been involved in.

I know lots of bloggers share their kids' names, and I can see the other side of the coin.  It makes the stories feel more concrete.  It allows the child to take on a bigger advocacy role within and outside of the blog.  I think that's absolutely great, and consider it another in the long list of ways different things work for different people when it comes to living with diabetes.

For me, maintaining her anonymity and allowing her to choose when and how to disclose her diabetes is what works. I do sort-of wish I'd come up with a pseudonym though.  I've spent way too much time trying to rework those awkward sentences.

This is today's contribution to Diabetes Blog Week.  To read more about things people with diabetes are keeping to themselves, click HERE.