Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I haven't written anything on my blog for quite some time.  I'm not sure why.  I use writing as a mental release for my overloaded brain.  Everyday I think "wow, that would make a great story", but then life gets in the way, time runs out, and another day passes. Tomorrow.....

Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut.

My daughter Sophia is 6 years old.  She is in first grade.  My heart has been very heavy for those families that have lost their children to such an unimaginable act of evil.     

Children are innocent.  They believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth fairy.  As parents, it's our job to love them, protect them, and guide them through their journey of life.  If along the way they get a boo-boo, it is our duty to give hugs and kisses and make it all better.  We shield them from the ugly realities of the world by painting bright blue sunny skies with puffy white clouds.  We want our children to enjoy just being a kid for as long as they can.  But everyday, it gets a little harder.

After a mandatory tickle session on the couch, Sophia stopped laughing, looked at me, and said "mom, did you know a man went into a school and shot 20 kids dead and 6 big people dead too, then shot  himself?".

My heart broke.

The world has changed so much.

Maybe we all need to slow down, turn the t.v. off and put the phones away.  We need to find what is truly important in our lives and enjoy every wonderful moment.  We are only given so much time on this earth, some longer, some less than ever expected.

 If we don't take the opportunity to embrace what we have now, life gets in the way, time runs out, and another day passes.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

The impossible has been accomplished.  Madeline is fully potty trained!  She is 3.5 years old.  Now if you're one of those parents that say "tsk, tsk  tsk, my child was fully potty trained by the time he was conceived.",  bend over and prepare to meet my foot.

Sophia was completely potty trained, day and night, before she was 2 years old.  Even our family doctor was impressed that she had such great success with potty training.  I really didn't understand  the excitement.  It was sooo easy.   I just started putting her on the potty at 1.5 years old, and viola, potty trained.  I didn't have to deal with another dirty diaper until Madeline came along.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

When I decided to potty train Madeline, I used the same approach as I did Sophia.  Put her on the potty at 1.5 years old, and.........and........and........nothing.  Whaaaaat?  How can this be?  Where is the happy, giggly little kid that loves to read books while she sits on her throne?   Oh no, I had the kid that threw daggers with her eyes if I even suggested using the potty.  Time for a new approach.

I purchased a Dora the Explorer potty seat, fun picture books and a massive bag of M&M's.  This plan was foolproof.  Just having the bag of M&M's in the house created chaos.  Sophia, who had been potty trained for 2 years, was willing to do anything for those yummy, chocolate covered beauties.  Madeline tried her best to resist, but the M&M pull was too strong, and she finally agreed to use the potty.  I could see progress, and was more than happy to shell out candy as a bribe.  Not as easy peasy, with a hint of  lemon squeezy.

Then came diabetes.

A newly potty training 2 year old, with diabetes, is a very bad combination.  Add a sleep deprived, highly over caffeinated mom, and then it just turns into crazy town.  My plate was so full, potty training was pushed to page "whenever" of my to do list.  I truly did not care if she went to college in diapers.  No easy, and the lemon just got squeezed in my eyes.

One year later, before Madeline's 3rd birthday, I decided I was ready to take on the challenge of potty training again.  I now faced a new dilemma.  I could no longer use M&M's as my potty bribe.  Madeline had become very comfortable in diapers, and really had no desire to use the potty.  Sticker charts, trinkets and toys were my only source of bribes.  Oh how I missed those M&M's.  Freaking diabetes.

Madeline held out as long as she could, but when Aunt Kimmy promised a great big chocolate cake and a poop party, she caved, and is now wearing her beloved princess underwear.  Squeezy peasy easy lemon.

A 1.5 unit of  insulin shot for a huge 30 carb piece of cake was well deserved.  Not just for being a big girl using the potty, but for being a big girl living with diabetes.

Diabetes can go suck a lemon.

Now, where do I find poop party decorations?




Thursday, September 27, 2012


I've tightened my control of all things diabetes.  No more unnecessary snacks.  Super strict carb counting.  Even more blood sugar tests.  Madeline's A1C test is in 3 weeks (this is where I run around in circles waving my hands in the air all crazy like).  Even with all my extra hard work, I'm still playing tug-of-war with diabetes.  Diabetes plays really rough.  

We have been playing this game for 3 months since her last A1C test.

Some days I really get my feet good and stuck in the ground and give that rope a good hard pull.  Other days, I can feel the burn of the rope as it's being pulled out of my slipping hands.  I absolutely refuse to let go.  I want the win baby.  I want a great A1C number.

After one serious hard core tug-of-war game, I decided to hit the shower.  Madeline in the meantime, went to the fridge, grabbed herself a nice chocolaty 16 carb pudding cup, and proceeded to eat the whole thing.  She threw the empty pudding cup in the garbage, placed her spoon in the sink and even wiped her hands and mouth.  Such good manners.  She proudly skipped up to the shower door and let me know, that for the first time ever, she took care of snack time by herself.

Not only did I lose all control of my rope, I was pulled face down in the dirt for about a mile, listening to diabetes evil laugh.  And I was naked.

With some serious explaining to Madeline that I love that she is such a big girl, but please, please, puh-leeeease, do not handle snack time alone, I have regained my grip on the rope.

And if for some reason, Madeline my love, you decide to do a chocolaty carb over-load again, make sure mommy has clothes on.

Appreciate it.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Happiest Place on Earth

After Madeline's stressful diabetes debut last year, we decided it was time for a fun family vacation this summer. Not just a 2 or 3 day getaway as we had for the last umpteen years, but an actual, what other people do, one week vacation.  Destination, Florida.  Considering I did not want to be more stressed on vacation than I am at home, we decided a few days at Disney, and a few days at Cocoa Beach.  My sister and her family would be joining  us.  Sweeeet.  We left for the happiest place on earth August 21.

Prior to our Florida journey, I had researched what other families had experienced with their diabetic children in Disney.   I was warned  to not be surprised to see high blood sugar numbers due to excitement, food and time changes.  So imagine our surprise when Rick did a quick blood sugar check on Madeline about 45 minutes into our flight and saw 40.  What the what?  That was not in my imaginary diabetic travel manual.  After some food and beverage, she was back on track. 
What a Goofy start to our trip.

From the first finger prick on the plane, to every "I'm just gonna test to be sure", we dealt with low blood sugar numbers the entire Disney experience.  Madeline never showed us any signs (so scary), but there was that low number.  Madeline was in junk food heaven every time we had to treat a low.  The good news?  Her average blood sugar numbers were almost the same as a person without diabetes.  Yep, happiest place on earth.

Note to self:  next Disney trip, pack lots of extra snacks to treat lows.  $4.00 bottle of some crazy exotic juice, or the small $5.00 Goldfish in the shape of Mickey Mouse will not happen again. 

By the time we headed to Cocoa Beach, I was hoping Madeline's numbers would fall back into their familiar pattern.  No such luck.  Apparently for my little 3 year old, the ocean, and sand as far as the eye can see, create low blood sugars as well.  At least this time there was a Walgreen's (one on every corner, except in Disney) to gather our much needed low blood sugar snacks.

After 8 days of our fun family vacation, it was time to leave.  The kids were very sad to say goodbye to the ocean and sand.  I was very sad to say goodbye to the " almost not diabetic" blood sugar numbers.  Not quite two days after getting home,  Madeline's blood sugar numbers shot up into the 300's.  Welcome home diabetes.

After 2 weeks of crazy, bouncing numbers,  Madeline's blood sugars are back in her safe range. 

Madeline, on the other hand, has now decided she prefers to live on the edge.

Why am I not surprised?

Better hang on tight for the ride diabetes.  Madeline won't be slowing down for you.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Going To Georgia

Oh how I love Georgia.  I personally have never been there, but my kids have been told they will be sent there if they are naughty.  Oh, you thought Georgia the state?  That would be too pleasant.  I mean Georgia's house.  You know, the old lady with bad breath babysitter.  Yeah, that Georgia.   

Out of pure desperation, I created Georgia.  Cruel you say?  Not when you consider I have not been away from my kids in a year and a half.  That is cruel.   

Madeline's diabetes care is tough, and nights can be brutal.  Not easy to find a babysitter willing to take on that responsibility for more than a few hours.  I'm confident when Madeline gets older, I will get my time away. Lots and lots of time away.

When the kids are bouncing off the walls, and the vein in my forehead is about ready to burst, I have no other choice but to make "the call". Georgia always answers.  The kids freak out.  And the most amazing thing?  The kids immediately stop whatever was going to make my vein explode and hug each other.  Works every time.  I personally feel Georgia has more kid power than Santa Claus.

I have no idea what they picture Georgia to look like, but it can't be good. Thank goodness for kids imaginations.  I'm not sure what I'll do when they finally realize they have never once actually met this woman.  They'll start to get suspicious. 

Old lady.  Does not like kids. Answers to the name Georgia.  Must have bad breath. 



Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Sign From Above

Have you ever had an event that you thought "wow, that has to be a sign from above, just for me"?  I have had a few in my life, but never quite as remarkable as the one I experienced on June 23, 2012.

Madeline's one year diabetes blog was written with hopes for a cure to diabetes.  I referenced diabetes as a balloon and the day there is a cure, letting that balloon float up into the air.  How could I have known within just a couple days of writing that blog, I would see my sign, literally, from above.

I was in the home stretch of my early morning run, when I could see in the distance, a hot air balloon slowly coming down from the sky.  I was pretty excited to see it was very close to my subdivision, so I ran just a little harder to see where this balloon was going.
As I raced my way home, I could not believe how close this balloon was to my house.  Every step had me thinking to myself "wow, that's at this neighbors house, no wait, that neighbors house".  Once I came to the entrance of my subdivision, there it was, right there, in my front yard.  I could see Rick and the girls sitting on the front porch watching the balloon team as they worked their magic to get the balloon up off the ground.  I was speechless (that really does not happen too often, ask Rick).
I do believe this had to be a sign, just for me.  Of all the places this one balloon could land, they chose our yard.  Rick would say this is due to his impeccable lawn care, and the soft landing they would enjoy, but I believe there was a greater meaning.  Of all the things that had to come together for that balloon to land in my yard, at that particular moment in time, it had to be fate. 

That one hot air balloon gave me the added strength to continue the fight against diabetes.  It let me know there will be a cure, and I will get to set the diabetes balloon free. 

There were no words ever spoken, but sometimes, silence is the only answer you need. 


Thursday, June 21, 2012

A One Year Balloon

One year ago today, Madeline was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  That day is forever etched in my memory.  I can still feel the tears streaming down my cheeks, my heart aching so much I thought it would burst, and the feeling of complete helplessness, upon hearing, "you were right, Madeline is diabetic".

Diabetes became the huge elephant in the room, tied to my ankle, and not letting me move forward.  I felt like I was being held captive to my child's chronic illness.  I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Many hours of diabetes training, doctor visits, phone calls and just plain old learning on the fly, we have really come a long way.  I can now ruin your day by telling you how many carbs are in the food you are eating, do a math calculation with my eyes closed, and test a blood sugar in super-human speed.
A year later, diabetes is no longer an elephant tied to me, it  has become a balloon.  We take great care so we don't pop it, make sure it always has enough air so it doesn't touch the ground, and hold tight to the string so it doesn't float out of our control.  Blood sugar tests, insulin shots and continual doctor visits will never go away, but we accept them, so we can move forward with our lives.

Madeline is a very happy, energetic and healthy 3 year old now.  She loves to play on the swing set, sing funny songs, and dance silly dances.   She can be the most stubborn little kid at times (I mean really stubborn), but the sweetest, most caring little love bug you have ever met.  She has not let diabetes get in the way of who she will grow up to be.   

I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It is a small twinkling little light, but I can finally see it.  As Madeline gets older, medical research advances, and we hold the string tight, someday we may be able to make a wish on Madeline's balloon and let it go.

And watch it float up, up, and away, into the sky.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fantasy Diabetes Device

 Fantasy Diabetes Device - Thursday 5/17
Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be?  Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc.  The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

Ok, so I didn't come up with this one on my own, but I sure would love to see this. 

Rick has been saying for years how incredible it would be to have a watch that functions as a blood glucose monitor / CGM.  It wouldn't even have to be 100% accurate, just a ballpark number.  It would be a device you could wear all the time and be able to see what the heck the blood sugars are doing.  It would be able to detect changes in the blood sugar just through the skin/pores.  The best part?  No monster needle in your skin, no extra things to carry around in pockets or purses, and with just a quick glance, you have a pretty good idea where your numbers are at.  And since it's just the size of a watch, anyone could wear it.  Even a three year old toddler. 

A girl can dream, can't she? 


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One Thing to Improve

One Thing to Improve - Wednesday 5/16
We probably all have one thing we could try to do better.  Why not make today the day we start working on it.  No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!

 At 7:45pm my IPod rings a catchy little tune and reminds me to give Madeline her Lantus injection before she heads off to bed.  Upon hearing this catchy little tune, my two children get super excited and yell "yaaaahhhooooo!  Snack time!".  This has been our ritual for 11 months since diabetes diagnosis.

I have a love / hate relationship with this ritual.  I love, that if Madeline's blood sugars are low, she can have a fun snack and get back on track.  I hate, that if Madeline's blood sugars are high, she is waiting for a fun snack and I am wondering what to do.  Bedtime, snacks, and diabetes don't mix. 

If I could just enforce "bedtime snack only if low", I'd save myself a lot of worrying, night time checks, and stress filled moments waiting for the "beeeeep" of her glucose monitor to let me know the damage.  But every night, that catchy little tune starts, the girls get excited, and the ritual begins again.

I do manage to keep the snack carb count between 5-10, but if I could just think outside the box, I'd have better bedtime blood sugar control on Madeline for sure.

But what fun would that be?        

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One Great Thing

 One Great Thing - Tuesday 5/15
Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”.  But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit.  Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly! 

Madeline does not have a continuous glucose monitor.  Would I really like her to have one?  That would be a big fat Hell Yeah!  Night time blood sugar tests truely suck swamp scum.  Unfortunately, insurance does not see a CGM as a medical necessity, so we wait.

What could possibly be as good as a CGM?  That would be the MTCGM.  That stands for: Mom The Continuous Glucose Monitor.  I test Madeline like crazy.  I want to know what is going on with her little body.  If numbers are good, the MTCGM throws a couple of fist pumps in the air.  If numbers are bad, the MTCGM throws a couple of fingers in the air.  No arrows needed.

I know one day we will get approved for a real CGM, and that will be sweet.  But I must say, the MTCGM does a pretty fine job right now.  High blood sugars have been knocked down quickly, low blood sugars have been stopped in their tracks, and the MTCGM only fails if it starts to retain too much swamp scum.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Diabetes Blog Week

Bitter Sweet Diabetes
 It seems the most popular thing about Diabetes Blog Week is that it helps us find blogs we weren’t reading yet and connect with some new blog friends.  With that in mind, let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by making some new connections.  Think about the d-blogs you read that you think we may not know about and introduce us to one that you love!!  Let’s all find a new friend today! 
 Diabetes Blog Week will run from Monday, May 14th to Sunday, May 20.  It is open to anyone who blogs about diabetes - be it Type 1, Type 2, LADA, or gestational, and it’s also for parents, spouses and caregivers to someone else with diabetes. 

I personally started blogging after finding Houston We Have a Problem!.  Being the mother of a diabetic toddler is no easy task, but after following another family's journey, I not only looked to this blog for emotional help, but just to know I was not alone.  That website inspired me to blog my family's journey.   

I discovered Diabetes Blog Week (checking out another one of my favorite diabetes blogs: Six Until Me), and felt it was a wonderful way to watch other peoples diabetic journey's as well as sharing ours. 

Can I really diabetes blog for a whole week?  Wow, some weeks just getting one blog out can be a process.  I'm pretty sure I can do it.  That is, as long as nothing gets in my way, such as, oh, I don't know......diabetes?


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Moms Bugging Out

Mom's are not allowed to be sick.  I believe this is in the handbook of rules and regulations I did not  receive after I had my children.  It is the most important rule: all moms must be in tip top health as to be able to care for all others in the family. 

I have followed this unwritten rule very closely.  Until this past weekend.  Mom.  Got.  Sick.

Was it the coleslaw at the Friday night fish-fry?  My children's germy little hands?  The one little amoeba that was on the shopping cart handle?  I will never know, but that little bug brought me down pretty hard.
I woke up in the wee early hours Saturday morning after dreaming someone kicked me in the stomach.  Only to realize once awake, that indeed, I had been kicked  in the stomach, Kung Fu style.  My intestines were in distress.  Now that is fun stuff at 2:30am.  That, and heartburn, with the taste of coleslaw on the side.

Without being too detailed, I never did get back to bed.  My intestines were extremely unhappy.  Just about the time I'd get back under the bed covers, they would insist I return to the bathroom.    This continued right up to Madeline's chirpy 6:30am "I'm awake momma!".  Being the Super-D-Mom I am, I dragged my lifeless, caped carcass, to her bedroom to greet her.

After saving me from having to make breakfast, Rick had to leave early for work.  Ugh.

Tired, Kung Fu intestines, and a little green around the edges, I forced myself into mom mode.  I did all the "must get dones" right past lunchtime, then I hit the big invisible wall.  It was time for Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.  I tested Madeline, gave her a snack with a few extra carbs,  then curled up on the couch and zonked out.

I slept through the entire movie with a 3, and 6 year old, running loose.  Zero supervision.  When I opened my eyes, everything was just as I had left it.  "Toy bomb" testing grounds.  Madeline immediately came up to me, kissed my head and asked "did you sleep good momma?".  She was very happy I was awake.  A quick blood sugar test, a few more hugs and kisses, and she was off and playing.  I was back to being horizontal on the couch. 

I punched my time clock out once Rick got home from work, and slept the rest of the evening.

When I heard my chirpy little Madeline at 6:30am Sunday morning, I had much more spring in my step to greet her for the day.  As I walked in her room, she sat up on her bed, a big smile on her face, and said "are you feeling better today momma?".  Wow, wasn't expecting that.  I picked her up and gave her a great big hug and thanked her for being so concerned about me.  She gave me a great big hug back and said "well, remember that one time I got sick and you took care of me.....".

That's what makes me feel like a Super-D-Mom.




Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Little Island

I have felt like I've been living on a little deserted island, isolated.  Diabetes sits beside me.  We stare at each other day in and day out.  I want to throw a coconut at it.  We are not friends.  I can't wait for a rescue ship to come by.
I was invited to attend an informal meeting, through JDRF, with other people who's lives have been affected by Type 1 diabetes.  I had no idea what to expect, but realized I needed to find other people to connect with, that would understand my island life.  I brushed the sand off my pants, adjusted my straw hat and headed out.

As a mom, I could not have been happier to meet other moms of diabetic kids.  D-Moms.  The information was incredible.  Being able to talk to someone who is actually living the same life as me was wonderful.  My fears of Madeline's future have become far less worrisome.

We talked about how our lives have all changed since diagnosis.  Want to go to the park for a couple hours of fun?   Running a 10k marathon backwards would be less exhausting.  So my diabetic child wants a little more independence?  Ain't happening, get over it.  Time to start school?  Here is a refrigerator box filled with all my child's diabetes necessities and 50 pages of notes that may be helpful.  Invitation to a classmates birthday party?  Sure, my child and I would love to come!  The list goes on and on.

We learned that our kids have adapted well to their chronic illness.  As parents, we have had to learn a whole new way of life, but the children have adapted, they are unchanged, and continue to just be kids.  As it should be.

As I got ready to head back to the island, I realized I no longer wanted to just sit in the sand waiting for a rescue ship.  It may never come.  If I had to live on this crap island, I was going to make some changes.  This will be my life for awhile, so might as well get comfy. Take that diabetes.

And yes, I threw a coconut at it.  Hard.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Stuck Like Glue

I have been blessed with the best big sister anyone could ask for.  Kim and I have been best friends our whole lives.  We complete each other.  Or compete with each other?  I forget.  My dad has always said "friends will come and go, but you are stuck with your family".  We are inseparable, and I would not want it any other way.

Kim loves Madeline with all her heart.  Kim is terrified of needles with all her heart.  So when I asked if she would babysit  Madeline two days a week,  I could see the terror in her eyes. "You want me to give shots?!".  I really don't know what kind of response I expected from a woman that has to hold her kids hands when she gets a flu shot.  Here's me: "Kim, I'm desperate.  I am ready to lose my mind if I don't get some help".  Here's Kim; "You want me to give shots?!".  I shouldn't have, it was wrong, but I did.  I threw in the Puss in Boots eyes.
She agreed (really, how could you not looking at those peepers?).

After a month of sweating, shaking hands and "man, I hate needles", she did her first solo run and gave Madeline an insulin shot.  I was thrilled!  Kim was completely freaked out. We were both relieved.  She was now a full fledged diabetic caregiver.

Not only do I have a great best friend, I now have a buddy who completely gets the whole WTF with diabetes.  She sees the crazy blood sugar fluctuations for no good reason.  She understands why I have to test Madeline so many times a day.  She totally understands how hard it is to care for a diabetic toddler.

Madeline loves her Aunt Kimmy very much.  Aunt Kimmy loves Madeline so much she conquered her fear of needles to care for her.    

Friends will come and go, but you are stuck with your family.

Thanks Dad. 



Thursday, March 1, 2012

Let The Games Begin

So it happened.  I knew it would.  It was inevitable, but somehow, I was still not prepared.  The flu bug came to visit Madeline.  That little microscopic stomach bug joined forces with her diabetes for many fun filled days.

The fist game we all played together was Catch Me If You Can.  This is the fun game of catching vomit before it hits the floor, bedding, walls, or best of all, me.  Diabetes added extra fun to Catch Me If You Can.  Blood sugars had to be tested continually to be sure she was safe.  Since this game started at 12:30 in the morning, we lost the first round, but came back strong for the next 6 hours and took the victory. Madeline-1  Diabetes-0 

Our next game was You Can't Win.  This game was a bit more tricky.  Blood glucose had to be tested hourly, if not sooner, to be sure there were no major number fluctuations.  I thought I had this in the bag.  Madeline's numbers stayed within her safe range and I was even able to introduce liquids.   12 hours into our games, Madeline was finally hydrated enough to wet a diaper.  It must have happened when I was looking in the mirror yelling "oh yeah, that's right, who's the mama", but  diabetes added LARGE ketones in her urine.  Great.  Time to call the doctors office.  I had to stop my feel good moment and push anything I could that had carbs to get her glucose numbers up, so I could give her an insulin shot, to bring them  down.  Confusing you say?  Yes it is.  It's called Diabetes.  Remember I had already played Catch Me If You Can, and now I had to push things, she did not want, into her sensitive little system to clear the ketones.  Incredibly, 6 hours later, there was only a trace of ketones.  We did a high five and accepted our win.  Madeline-2  Diabetes-0

Our final game was How Low Can You Go.  This game was introduced to me 3 days post flu.  Madeline was back to her crazy little self and eating her normal foods.  We had just finished dinner, then it happened.  Out of the flipping blue, blood glucose numbers dropped super low and hover there for 3 hours straight.  Fantastic.  There is a frantic call to the hospital (to find out that this does happen, but not too often) and to keep pushing carbs to get numbers up.  Juice, cookies, candy.  47.  More juice, carb loaded soda, fudge brownies.  46.  Arrrrggggg!  Madeline was extremely tired, queasy from all the junk we were making her eat, and just not feeling well from the low numbers.  I was testing every 20 minutes and had the Glucagon kit ready.  Those 3 hours went by so slowly I swear the clock was going backwards.  At 9:30pm the number 80 finally came up on her meter and there was a huge sigh of relief.  Scared senseless, but still victorious.  Madeline-3 Diabetes-0

Diabetes is a poor loser.  It just couldn't sit back and chill.  It decided to spike Madeline's blood sugar numbers through the roof overnight.  She woke up droopy and exhausted, to a blood sugar over 300, with  a soaked diaper, jammies, and bedding.  Love it.  We spent the next few hours making insulin corrections to get her numbers back in range.  Crazy blood sugar numbers followed for the next few days.  Good times.

I am happy no one else in the family got the flu (thanks Kim and Tim for taking Sophia!!!).  I am happy Madeline never had to go to the emergency room due to the "games" we played.  I am happy I had 24 hour access to knowledgeable doctors at the hospital.

I am not happy that I heard a small voice say "tag, you're it".

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Who's The Superstar

Let's face it, Paula Deen can cook.  I don't think there has been one meal she has made that I would not eat, or at least, try.  I hate cooking, but Paula made me feel as though it was such a fun, easy process, that even I could do it.

When Paula announced she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I thought "wow, this could be a huge benefit to the diabetes community".  To have such a loved celebrity, that all ages, men and women alike, enjoy watching, could open a lot of eyes to a diabetic life.  Sadly, it has turned into a money making deal for Paula, and her medication company, that does not benefit the diabetes community.  What a big disappointment. 

The fact that Paula didn't come out with her diagnosis until she had a deal with a drug company in place, was in poor taste.  I would much rather have heard her declaring her war on diabetes and how she was going to help others understand and support those diagnosed.

Diabetes is very confusing.  The media is clueless, but are more than happy to make the world even more confused.  They take pictures of Paula eating a huge sloppy hamburger, and everyone goes nuts.  "She can't eat that!".  Had Paula taken the time to actually talk about diabetes, people would understand, yes, you can eat that burger.  Eating in moderation, taking your medication, and a good exercise program, allow you some food freedom. 

Mary Tyler Moore, Nick Jonas, and Bret Michaels are all Type 1 diabetics.  They are all dependent on insulin.  They are also huge inspirations to the diabetic community.  They use their star power to get involved, create awareness, raise money, and help others.  They truly want a cure. They get it. They are heroes.

Paula should spend a day with Madeline.  Maybe watching a toddler getting poked and jabbed continually throughout the day, would help her see what is most important.  Being a drug spokeswoman for monetary compensation may help Paula, but does nothing to help the fight against diabetes.

Rick and I are just normal, working parents, but we manage to make time to raise money, and awareness, for diabetes.  We want a cure.  The only compensation Madeline receives for her diabetic burden are hugs and kisses.  Lot's of hugs and kisses.  Now that's a superstar.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wild Ride

Ahhhhhhh, the Wisconsin Dells.  What's not to love about water parks and hotels combined?  Throngs of people, baby strollers, and pure chaos everywhere.  Fun stuff.

My kids love water parks.  As long as the water is no higher than their big toe, 90 degree temp, no splashing, dumping, or spraying of water on the face or body, they love it.  That is why we brought Amanda along on our little family getaway to the Dells. We needed someone we could actually have some water fun with.

Amanda and I took Madeline down the family tube ride, in complete darkness, going about 100 miles an hour, with only my legs keeping her from bouncing out of the tube.  Due to extreme excitement, her blood glucose numbers shot up to 300.  Stop the bus.  Back to the kiddie area for some quiet time, something to drink, and another number check.  Sophia, having never left the toe deep water, was more than happy for Madeline's company.

Since it appeared the little kids could not handle the "fun" family rides,  Rick and I took turns going down the big, must be taller than 48", water slides with Amanda.  She insisted we needed to go on the best ride of all:  The Hurricane.  It's not fun until Rick screams a four letter word on a family friendly water park ride.  I should have known if Rick was scared, it was probably not the ride for me.  Like a trooper though, I took my turn.

Screaming, eyes closed tight, and holding on for dear life, I survived The Hurricane.  It took a few minutes for my hands to stop shaking, but I made it.  Once was good enough for me.  I thought maybe it was time to head over to the toe deep water for a bit.

Our trip home after 2 days in the water park was pretty quiet.  Too quiet.  Madeline was sleeping and it was just about lunch time.  Amanda checked her blood glucose, 62.  I felt that little panic inside and shook Madeline to wake her so she could drink some juice.  Nothing.  Uh-oh.  Shake, shake, shake.  "Wake up Madeline!".  Nothing.  "Madeline!".  Still nothing.  Now in a much louder voice,  "TIME TO WAKE UP!!".  And there it was, a little smile at the corner of her mouth.  " ha ha mama!  I was just being silly".

Madeline being "silly" was like riding The Hurricane upside down, no hands, and eyes taped wide open the whole way down.  I managed a little laugh and said "yep, you're a silly girl".  I wonder when my hands will stop shaking?   


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hairy Situation

A few weeks ago I laughed at my girlfriend.  My bad.  She told me she was noticing how much hair she was losing after washing it.  It seemed to be quite a bit, and was worried why this was happening.  I, of course, laughed and made the smart ass comment that it could be a sign of early menopause.  She was not amused.

I am pretty positive I have been cursed due to my lack of sympathy.  I too, have started watching my hair pile up in that little catcher at the bottom of the shower stall.  Unlike my friend, I do know the reason for my thinning locks.  Stress.  

Madeline and Rick have to go to the doctor every 3 months for a diabetes checkup.  Forever.  These checkups are necessary for the doctor to keep track of how well their diabetes is being controlled, and if any changes need to be made.  They get a blood test called an A1C.  It gives a little snapshot to the last 3 months of blood information in a percentage.  They want Madeline's percentage (due to her age) to be around 8 or 9, no higher (Rick is around 6 or 7).  Her first 3 month A1C (after diagnosis) was 9.5%.  Understandable.  Her latest A1C was 10.1%.  WTF?!  I followed her diabetes care by the book and that is the number she gets?   Continued high percentages could likely lead to health problems in the future.  Thus, I'm quite sure, the hair loss.

The doctor assured me this was not for my lack of taking good care of my child, it was just the cruel reality of diabetes.  We were going to need to get more aggressive with how we do Madeline's insulin to get her numbers back in range.  No more Mr. Nice Guy. Cue the stress.

When you mess with diabetes, it always seems to mess you up back, only worse.  I'm ready.  So far our more aggressive approach  has managed to keep  Madeline's blood sugar numbers in a very good range.  My blood pressure, not so much.  And sleeping?  Overrated.  I find the dark under eye bags make my blue eyes more vibrant.

Bad hair piece to cover bald spot: $20.00
Makeup to cover eye bags: $3.00
Coffee, coffee, coffee:  $8.00
Happy, healthy, clueless kids:  priceless





Thursday, January 19, 2012

Teenage Moths

My friends with teenage kids say "wait until your girls are teenagers".  A lot.  Apparently there is a metamorphosis that takes place when a child becomes a teenager. The cute little caterpillar child turns into a gigantic ugly moth that knocks you down and chews holes in your sweaters.  How very frightening.

I have a  hard time believing these parents.  I have one very special teenager in my life, and I know for a fact, she would not chew a hole in my sweater.  At least on purpose.  My niece, Amanda.

Amanda is smart, funny and very sociable (except for the pizza guy that one time).  She is also very adventurous.  She water skis, wake boards, rides dirt bikes, ATVs and snowmobiles.  If there is an activity that could possibly break a limb, she wants in.  She's tough.  She's 13.

She is my teenage babysitter.

When Madeline was diagnosed with diabetes, I wasn't sure how Amanda would feel about babysitting.  She would need to be able to test blood sugars and follow the strict rules that applied to Madeline's care.  Most teenage babysitters are not equipped, nor want, that kind of responsibility.

She did not hesitate to help.  She learned blood sugar testing immediately and listened to my speech about diabetes and the care that had to be given.  She understood this was not just a parent being overly protective.  This was serious business.

She approached diabetic babysitting like a new adventure.  This would be something she could do, and was determined to be good at it.  It worked.  When she babysits, I get to have a few hours of me time, and know my girls will be safe and having tons of fun. That does not come easily these days. 

I can only hope my children follow in the footsteps of  Amanda. That is, as long as she doesn't morph into a gigantic moth and attack us.
I'm not worried.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Diabetes Dance

We have officially made it past the 6 month mark with Madeline's diabetes.  No confetti, no balloons or horns, just a sigh of relief.

6 months ago if someone had told me "after 6 months you'll be pretty good at managing diabetes", I may have just laughed in their face (you know, that crazy, psychotic scary kind).  But here we are chugging right along.  We have the good days (yahooo, look at those great blood sugar numbers!) and the not so good days (WTF did I do wrong to give you that number?!).

Diabetes keeps me on my toes so much I should invest in ballet shoes.  Seriously.  I believe I now qualify for the lead role in The Nutcracker or Swan Lake.  Ok, so maybe I do not posses the grace needed for that, but I could show Fred Flintstone a thing or two at the bowling alley!  My toes are superior.

I hope to pass this great toe talent on to Madeline when she is older.  She will have to put on that tutu and pirouette to the diabetes dance day in, and day out, for the rest of her life.  But for now, I just want her to sit back, relax and let me put on the show.

Madeline has learned the very first, and most important, step to this new dance. 

She can now say: "I have diabetes".

Well done my little ballerina.