“What Kind of Idiot Are You?”

I hate diabetes. Have I mentioned that lately? Well I have, just not on here. I can’t even believe it’s been almost three years since I’ve blogged. But life has been crazy busy the last three years. And the whole reason I even started this blog was because *Medium had just been diagnosed and I was overwhelmed with emotions and needed an outlet for them. I took to the blog when I was scared, angry, sad, and frustrated.

*(In case you are reading my blog for the first time and you’re confused, “Medium” is the nickname I gave my middle son, the one with T1D, to keep his privacy on this blog. I have three boys so the oldest is “Large”, the middle one is “Medium” and the youngest is “Small”. Now you know).

And I’m not saying that three years ago I stopped having emotions about diabetes, because I assure you I didn’t, but maybe I wasn’t quite as overwhelmed with them. In the months after his diagnosis, we learned more about diabetes and how to take care of him, we discovered resources to guide us and I met lots of other D-moms I could lean on for support and encouragement. So my need for the blog as an outlet diminished and there were plenty of other commitments that needed my time, so the blog sort of fell to the back burner.

But I promise you these last four years since Medium was diagnosed have been the hardest of my life. (Of course they have been the hardest of his life, too and I never want to sound like a whiner as I am FULLY aware that HE is the one who has this disease, and will have this disease and HE has to live with all that comes with it, but this post is about a mama’s perspective. Believe me, I don’t have enough words for how I feel about him and how he lives with this everyday–proud/sad/amazed/helpless are just a few.)

As I was saying, these last few years have taken a huge toll on me. Diabetes has permeated its way into and weakened almost every single area of my life. My physical health, my mental health, my marriage, my mothering, my relationships with friends and family members, my performance at work, my Plexus business, my finances….all have been damaged by diabetes. This is not necessarily the case for everyone. Other people are maybe better equipped to cope than I am, or others have different personalities that allow them to absorb what diabetes throws at them without it affecting them as much. For example, my husband. He is extremely laid back. Medium’s diabetes doesn’t affect his life nearly as much as it does mine. That’s not to say he doesn’t care about Medium and his health as much as I do; his personality just allows him to go with the flow and my personality allows me to constantly try to swim against the flow. He is as laid back as I am wound tight. Neither of us can help this. It just is what it is. I feel EVERYTHING more intensely than he does, not just diabetes.

What this means is that I feel every single blood sugar number. I feel every single missed bolus. I feel every single failed sensor. I feel every A1c. I want to fix it all. Right. Now. I think about every possible scenario. We live in Kansas where you can get your driver’s permit when you are 14 and Medium turned 14 in November. He hasn’t really asked about it and I am not saying anything because him behind the wheel brings about a whole new set of challenges and worries. Are we going to let him get his driver’s license when he turns 16? Are we going to let him drive friends around when he is 17? And there is the thought of him going off to college. How is THAT going to work? Are we going to let him do that, or are we going to make him live at home where we can monitor him? And will he be able to find a wife who understands all there is to know about diabetes and is willing to take that on? Will he find someone who is willing to have children with him, knowing that their child could very likely develop diabetes also? Is he himself willing to have children knowing he could potentially “pass this on” to them? I can assure you, these are NOT things my husband thinks about. He does not lay in bed at night worrying about these things. But I do. I think about every single one of those things and a hundred more, every single night, at any given moment during the day, while I’m sitting in a meeting, while I’m driving home from work. It consumes me. And when you think about it, most moms are probably very similar. As moms, most of us can probably say that we are consumed with the health, safety and well-being of our children. But when your child has diabetes, that health, safety and well-being are being threatened every second of every day. You have a known enemy, not just vague “what ifs”.

Medium has a very good friend, we’ll call him Blondie (because his whole family is very blonde). I truly believe that Medium and Blondie meeting and becoming friends was a God-thing. Making friends in middle school is hard enough, but when you have a “strange disease” that no one understands and you wear a pager (insulin pump) on your hip, kids tend to shy away as, on the surface, that picture seems a little much to deal with. But God knew what He was doing putting Blondie in Medium’s life. As fate would have it, Blondie’s first cousin is around the same age as them and she has type 1 diabetes also. She lives in the same town as us so Blondie (and Blondie’s family) are very familiar with T1 and all that comes with it. Blondie’s mom is especially well-versed in it as it is her sister’s daughter who has it. It is so unnerving to send your child to someone else’s house who does not know much about diabetes. There are so many details and so much to consider and you feel so bad asking other people to try and learn and be responsible for all of that. And, because of my personality, I HATE, HATE, HATE feeling like I’m burdening someone or asking for help or special considerations. But Blondie’s mom doesn’t make me feel like that. She loves Medium and she “gets it”. She has even downloaded the Follow app to her phone so she can follow Medium’s blood sugar numbers when he is at her house. And that’s a good thing because when he goes over there, he is usually there for days:) I cannot put into words how much I appreciate her and their whole family for accepting Medium and being willing to take on diabetes with us.

One of the things we have always struggled with since Medium was diagnosed is the CGM (continuous glucose monitor). It is a second device, separate from his pump, that, when he wears it, will give us a glucose reading every 5 minutes. It is especially helpful to see trends as it will display an arrow (or arrows) up or down if his blood sugar is moving quickly in one direction or the other. When he’s not wearing it, we have to do a finger stick and then you get a number. But you don’t know if that number is on it’s way up or down or if it’s stable. For example, if we did a finger stick at bedtime and he was 120 that is a great number. But if he had a sensor in and it showed us that he was 120 with double down arrows and that five minutes before he was 127 and five minutes before that he was 134 then we would know that his blood sugar is dropping quickly and we need to take action or at least keep an eye on it. And with the amazing technology out now, we can “follow” his numbers on our smart phones when he is wearing his Dexcom cgm. We can literally see what his blood sugar is doing from anywhere in the world as long as he is wearing the cgm and all the technology pieces are working (bluetooth, wifi, etc.) This is especially helpful when he wants to spend the night at a friend’s house because we can follow his blood sugars and set parameters on our apps that will alarm if he goes above and/or below a certain number.

And while Medium knows he has to wear his insulin pump to stay alive, he also knows he doesn’t HAVE to wear his cgm. Is it helpful? Yes. Will proper use of it lead to better outcomes and lower A1c’s? Yes. Do D-moms around the world consider them critical? Absolutely. But to a 14 year-old is it necessary? No. Therefore, Medium does not do the best job of “protecting” it and making sure it stays in and stays calibrated and stays wirelessly connected to his phone. After all, he’s busy hanging with his friends, being a 14 year-old boy. (He also breaks out in a rash when he wears it and he has ZERO fat on him and the sensor needs to be inserted into subcutaneous fat and he doesn’t have much of that. So real estate is scarce and we HAVE to make room for his pump–which also needs to be inserted into subcutaneous fat–so having a properly working sensor in him at all times is near impossible right now).

Our rule is he has to have a sensor in (and working) if he’s going to spend the night at Blondie’s house. And Blondie’s mom agrees. Frankly, Medium is lucky she is so amazing because I’m not sure I would be willing to take on the risk of having a kid with T1 spend the night at my house if the situation were reversed. I’d be too worried something bad would happen, but then again, I am quite the worrier.

Medium went to Blondie’s house after school on Friday and he wanted to spend the night. The sensor he had in wasn’t working.  We tried to put it in his thigh, since we are running out of other places, and it turns out it was in the muscle, not the fat so it wouldn’t work. Ugh. And, ouch!!

So we made him come home Friday night. He was not happy. We put a new sensor in and took him back over there on Saturday morning and he stayed there all day. So when it came time, we said he could spend the night. We always text with him before we go to bed and have him do a finger stick so we can see if his sensor is close to the same number or if it needs to be calibrated. I was not feeling well so I fell asleep early. I don’t remember what his blood sugar was on the app when I checked but it was a “good” number (not too high, not too low).

I woke up to go to the bathroom at 1:45. The first thing I ALWAYS do when I wake up in the middle of the night, whether he is here or somewhere else, is check the app and see what his number is. So I checked. 62. Shit. That’s low. Not crazy, dangerous low (yet) but low. I could see that for the last couple of hours he had steadily been coming down. Now, this sort of thing happens a lot, but when he is at home I can just go down the hall, grab his glucometer and check his sugar. If it really is low, I can wake him up and feed him. As much as all of that in the middle of the night sucks, it is doable. This being a 10 minute car ride away at someone else’s house thing is not very convenient for handling middle of the night blood sugar issues.  I immediately called Medium’s phone. No answer. I called again. And again. And again. And again. I laid in bed and waited 5 minutes for the next reading. 61. Hmmm. Five minutes later, 63. Yay, maybe it’s coming back up. Five minutes later, 62. Okay. Five minutes later, 60. Shit again. This went on for about 30 minutes until it hit 59. Really shit now. I called Medium again. Knowing the ringer was off, but hoping someone would eventually hear the vibration. Not a chance. Medium sleeps with a fan basically on his head so he was never going to hear anything.

Because I know that Medium is not the best at paying attention and calibrating his sensor I was mildly confident that he really was not that low. But because I fell asleep without texting him I really had no idea. And this is not the kind of thing you can just “hope will turn out okay”. But I REALLY didn’t want to call and wake up Blondie’s mom, especially because I didn’t think he was really that low. So I texted her. Yes, because that is what we do when we are trying to ignore the blaring red light that is flashing in front of us. This was literally my text to her at 2:17 in the morning:

“Any chance you happen to be awake? Medium’s blood sugar is low and I really don’t want to call and wake you up. Smiley face emoji with the teeth.”

Because, yeah, she was just going to be wide awake at 2:17 in the morning….

I continued to watch his numbers slowly tick down for the next 30 minutes. It was somewhere in the low 50s when I decided I could no longer lay there praying for it to go up. It was time to take action. So I pulled Mama Blondie’s number up on my phone and I closed my eyes and cringed while I hit the “call” button. I was trying to decide how to profusely apologize to her when I got her voicemail. Well crap. I dialed again. Again, voicemail. Hmmmm….. I waited a few minutes and dialed again. Voicemail. Shit. Now the panic is starting to set in a little. Meanwhile, his number continued to fall. I tried calling Mama Blondie again. Voicemail. Checked the app, 49. SHIIIIIITTT!!!!

IMG_3038

My husband was sleeping with our youngest son since I had been sick so I went in and woke him up. Now, we don’t always see eye to eye during normal waking hours, so the conversation that took place at 2:50 in the morning was less than pleasant, to say the least. Plus add the fact that I was scared, mad and frustrated in and I will admit, I was not exactly kind….there were words exchanged. Some not very nice ones. I might have asked  my husband what kind of an idiot he was after he said he only tried calling Papa Blondie once. Not my finest hour. Stress will do that to a person. Papa Blondie’s phone went straight to voicemail the second and third time, as well. And my husband never did answer the idiot question.

My husband had texted with Medium before he went to bed and at that point his sensor said 99 but his finger stick was 276. So clearly the sensor was way off. He told Medium to calibrate and he said he did, but obviously he did not. So I was fairly confident that he wasn’t really 49, but again, we can’t just assume here. Because his finger stick said 276, he gave himself insulin to bring his blood sugar down. What if he gave himself too much and he really was 49?

My husband says, “what do you want to do?” Boy was that a loaded question. I wanted him to somehow miraculously make this all go away and somehow take care of it all on his own, but obviously that wasn’t going to happen. So I sweetly say, (hey, I’m recounting this story I can tell it however I want to…) “what the hell else can we do, we have to go over there.” To which he says, “yeah, I guess. They’re in the basement so we can knock on the windows.” Yes. Yes, THAT’S what we’re going to do. We are going to drive over there at 3:00 in the morning, sneak around to the backyard and knock on the basement windows. Not only will we scare the shit out of the boys, but we very well might get shot in the process. Yes, that sounds like a smashing idea, honey.

So what exactly does one wear to casually stop by a friend’s house, unexpectedly in the middle of the night? No, really, I’d like to know. Because after trying on multiple outfits I settled on a cute but casual pair of black capri’s and my black Under Armour hoodie (just in case we had to employ my husband’s idea to sneak around the backyard it would be harder to shoot me in dark clothing).

We pulled out of our driveway at 3:11 and pulled into their driveway at 3:18. I asked my husband to go to the door because I was feeling too emotional. I handed him a bag of Skittles as he got out of the car, because, after all, if the reason we drove all the way over there in the middle of the night and woke their whole family up was because Medium had dangerously low blood sugar, then we should probably bring some life-saving sugar. (I guarantee you my husband did not think of this. Score two points for me.)

As soon as I heard Blondie’s dad’s voice, I burst into tears. (This is why I stayed in the car.) At that moment, I knew he would be safe. We were here, we had sugar. We could do whatever we needed to do to make sure he was safe. I cried in relief. I cried in remorse feeling so badly that we had to wake them so dramatically out of bed. I cried in shame (at some point during all of this my scared and panicked self thought it would be a good idea to text Medium and tell him he would never spend the night anywhere ever again. I texted him that we had been trying for an hour to call all of them. What kind of monster tries to make their 14 year-old feel bad about a disease they can do nothing about??) Have I mentioned that diabetes has taken a toll on all of my relationships??

Mama and Papa Blondie felt so bad that they didn’t hear their phones. Which made me cry even more because they are such awesome people and I HATE that they have to be inconvenienced at all with any of this. I was never mad at them, not even for a second. I was only ever mad at diabetes (and a little mad at my husband for not knowing what kind of idiot he was).  Mama Blondie stood in her driveway, wrapped in a blanket chatting with us at 3:30 in the morning like it was the most normal thing in the world while I hoped she couldn’t see the tears streaming down my face. Now I’m going to feel even more burdening when Medium wants to spend the night over there thinking they aren’t going to get good sleep because they are going to keep their ringers on and worry about him.

Everything turned out fine. A finger stick revealed he was 108–a perfect blood sugar number. He ate the Skittles and, of course, wanted to stay. I wanted to put him in the car, bring him home and put him in bed with me where I could keep my hand on his beating chest to make sure he was alive, but I acquiesced.

I cried all the way home.

I hate diabetes.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Not Paul Harvey, But Here’s the Rest of the Story…

plexusslim_logo

Let me start by saying that anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely transparent; an open book. You never have to guess where you stand with me. Husbands all over the world get frustrated trying to read the minds of their wives. Not my husband. I tell him exactly what I want and need at all times. My husband wishes I would shut up sometimes.

When I find a product, service, restaurant, food, alcoholic drink, that I like, I tell everyone I know. This is true.  I post about things I love all the time, McDonald’s diet Coke,  Costco cake, Rumchata, Per-fekt mascara, JR’s BBQ, Emily Kearney who does my hair, Anne at Princess Nails, Ruby Red vodka and diet Sunkist lemonade, Romeo’s tacos, neti pots (man do I wish someone would have paid me for recommending neti pots to people, I think I could retire! And I don’t even use one! I had just heard about how great they were so I started telling people I knew who suffered from allergies and then those people would tell me how great it worked so I would tell other people…anyway)….the list goes on and on. Lots of people do this. It is human nature.  That is what network marketing or multi-level marketing (MLM) is all about. I know a lot of people hate MLM’s, think it’s a scam or a pyramid. And I get it. There are lots and lots of people who have ruined network marketing. The people who vomit cheesy canned phrases all over you. The people who advertise big meetings in hotels to get as many bodies they can so they can vomit those phrases all over people they don’t know.  I hate those people, too.

Network marketing is supposed to be about one person telling their friends and family about something they love and then, if those people love it too, they tell their friends and family, and so on. And instead of paying big advertising agencies to market the product/service, the company pays you for relating your experience to people you know. Because after all, who do you trust more, your friend or some ad agency? That is what network marketing is supposed to be about. Many companies and thousands of individual “distributors” have given it a bad name with less than ethical promises and business practices.

I do not align myself with a company for the sole purpose of making money. I have only ever aligned myself with companies’ whose product I personally used and from which I experienced positive results. And when I tell people about the product, I do so because I truly believe in it and am thankful that someone told me about it. And if it can help someone like it helped me, well, there really is nothing like the feeling of knowing that you helped someone. Would I like to get paid to recommend a product that I love to other people? Yes, please.

Having said all of that, if it’s not for you, that’s cool. I don’t NEED you to buy Plexus Slim so I can pay my bills or feed my kids. I just want to help, if I can. (Honest to God, I don’t even know how I get paid. I know that as an Ambassador I get my own product the cheapest and I know that the company pays me something when people buy product from my website or sign up as an Ambassador, but I have no idea how much or how it works. All I cared about was that I got the best price and I didn’t have to meet any quotas. I’m not doing it for the money but if they want to pay me for telling you about it, and we all get skinny and become millionaires, I’m cool with that!)

Now, here’s part two of my disclaimer.

Plexus Slim and Accelerator are supplements. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Neither the company, Plexus Worldwide, or myself personally claim that the products will treat, prevent or cure any diseases.

While the ingredients in the products are natural, that doesn’t mean that someone in the world won’t have an allergy, intolerance or reaction to any them. In fact, I guarantee someone will. Just like my son is allergic to sesame seeds. That doesn’t mean that no one else should eat sesame seeds.

I have personally had extremely positive results from taking the Plexus Slim and Accelerator. I feel great, have tons of energy, but not jittery at all, and have lost weight. For me, these products are great. This system fits my life right now.  I’ve read story after story about how these products (and other Plexus products) have helped people with fibromyalgia, migraines, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, allergies, etc. I do not have any of those things, so I cannot speak to them personally, but I think it’s pretty cool that people are feeling good and getting off of medications. (We have a real prescription drug problem in this country, and THAT statement comes from my 9 years of working in the ER…but that’s a whole different topic for another day!)

These products will not work for everyone. Based on my research, they work for far more people than they don’t work for, but everybody’s body is different. Even myself, my husband and my sister have had slightly different experiences so far.

I encourage everyone to do their research, look up the ingredients, ask your doctor or pharmacist before you start taking Plexus, or any supplement. I have nothing to hide. If you don’t like what you find, don’t try it. That’s ok. But if you can’t find any reason not to try it, then why aren’t you trying it? With the money-back guarantee, there is no risk.

Plexus Slim was originally developed for people with type 2 diabetes to help stabilize their blood sugars, which it did. The happy side effect was weight loss. So you can lose weight just drinking the Slim (the pink drink). The Accelerator pills have natural stimulant ingredients in them which helps with energy and of course, accelerates weight loss. It does not contain DMAA. If you do not feel comfortable with stimulants, don’t use the Accelerator. I can tell you that between myself, my husband and my sister, none of us feel jittery or hopped up on something, heart racing, etc. For me, the benefits to my health from losing weight, outweigh any risk that I have found in my research of the stimulant ingredients. But that’s me, you might not feel the same way. I write this because I don’t want anyone to feel that I misinformed or led them to something that was harmful to them. My job as an Ambassador for Plexus is to relate what I know and what my experiences with the product are in the event that it could help you. You decide if it’s right for you.

Plexus has other products besides weight loss products. They have pain relief capsules and creams, a probiotic, a really cool breast health kit ( which is buy one, get one free in October) and a multi-vitamin that people have been raving about (I haven’t tried any of these other products yet, so I can’t give you any personal experiences, yet). But go check them out, maybe you’ll find something you’ll like!

Like I said, I ‘ve had amazing results. I have been posting on Facebook, too much, I know. I’m just so excited! I have not even let myself dream of being thinner for so long because it seemed absolutely unattainable. But, anyone who really knows me, knows that if I did not have amazing results, if I tried it and hated it, I would have posted that too. And I am only 2 weeks in. I could not lose another pound and determine that is doesn’t work. And if at any point I start having any bad side effects or learn of anything unethical about the company (that can actually be proven, not just haters of network marketing), I will tell you and disassociate myself from the company. Cuz that’s how I roll. Open book, remember? (But seriously, there is no risk to try it for 60 days, and if it didn’t work for anyone after 60 days, everyone would have returned and it would be lights out for Plexus, so I’m pretty confident that it is working for a lot of people! And I’m going to be one of them! I’m going to be skinny, y’all!!! Woohooooo!!!)

Lastly, I know that a healthy, balanced diet and exercise are best. When I post on Facebook that I am losing weight without eating healthy and with no exercise, I’m not lying, but I also don’t mean to make it sound like those things aren’t important. Your first option should be to eat better and exercise. For some of us, the thought of doing it the old fashioned way seems too daunting and we don’t know how or where to start. If I could eat better and exercise and lose weight, I would. But I have been trying to figure out how to do that, how to fit that into my life, for 10 years. And while I’m trying to figure out how to do it, I am getting bigger and more miserable, my health is at risk and life is passing me by. So, for me, Plexus has been an answer to my prayers, a way to jumpstart my weight loss and get me some positive momentum going. And while I haven’t had time to fit it in since I started Plexus, I absolutely intend to get out and do something physically active because that is extremely important to your cardiovascular heath. Seeing and feeling the results makes it a lot easier to choose grilled chicken instead of a cheeseburger and fries. I can already move better and I feel better about myself, which makes me want to park at the back of the parking lot and take the stairs instead of the elevator. So that’s something, right?

So here’s the bottom line.

I love the Plexus products that I have tried so far (remember, it’s only been 2 weeks). It is something that I can fit into my crazy, busy life and I feel fantastic and am losing weight. If you think you could benefit from something like this too, then you should do your research and then try it! It may work for you, it may not. You may love it, you may hate it. If you love it, and it works for you, you will probably tell others about it, and then you can get skinny and make a little money too! What’s not great about that?

If you hate me and all of my Facebook Plexus posts, you should unfriend me! Or at least hide me until I reach my goal weight!

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please let me know!

For more information or to give it a try and order, click here!

P.S. Lots of people have been asking me what to start with, how to order, etc. so here is my recommendation. But you do what’s right for you!

For weight loss: Order the Slim/Accelerator combo, and order it preferred, it’s less expensive. This just means your shipment will come monthly on the same day, until you cancel it. It is super easy to cancel, but you’re going to give it 60 days, remember?

For energy only: X Factor. *I haven’t taken this myself yet, but I have read that other people are obsessed with it! They love it! Again, order preferred.

For colin health: ProBio5 and Bio Cleanse. *Again, haven’t tried these myself yet, but people say they helped them with their weight loss and, ahem, bathroom issues….  Again, order preferred.

*The reason I haven’t tried the other products yet is because if I take them all at once I won’t be able to isolate what is really working for me, and what is not. I plan on trying them all, eventually.

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Today’s topic:  Spread the Love

“As another Diabetes Blog Week draws to a close, let’s reflect on some of the great bloggers we’ve found this week. Give some love to three blog posts you’ve read and loved during Diabetes Blog Week, and tell us why they’re worth reading. Or share three blogs you’ve found this week that are new to you.”

This one is as easy as Sunday morning.

I haven’t had time to read any other blogs yet. I know that is the point of this whole thing, but I was scrambling to post my stuff before midnight every night! Between long days at my full-time job this week and end of the school year activities and baseball, soccer and football I barely had time to breathe.

Baseball got rained out today so I think I’ve got a date with my computer and the amazing blog posts of Diabetes Blog Week 2013!

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The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Today’s topic: Diabetes Art

“This year Diabetes Art moves up from the Wildcard choices as we all channel our creativity with art in the broadest sense. Do some “traditional” art like drawing, painting, collage or any other craft you enjoy. Or look to the literary arts and perhaps write a d-poem or share and discuss a favorite quote. Groove to some musical arts by sharing a song that inspires you diabetes-wise, reworking some song lyrics with a d-twist, or even writing your own song. Don’t forget dramatic arts too, perhaps you can create a diabetes reality show or play”.

I used to be a really creative person. But then I had 3 children, a full-time job and a child diagnosed with type I diabetes.

Now my brain looks like this:

Mush

Or, maybe more like this:

brain mush

The old me would have been doing stuff like this:

Resevoir earrings

Or this:

plunger earrings

But I just don’t have it in me anymore.

Creativity…

Just another thing stupid diabetes has taken from me.

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I’m Married to David Beckham

Today’s topic:  Freaky Friday

“Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?”

So here’s the deal y’all. This topic is not my favorite. It’s not one that I was just itching to write. But here’s how I look at it. I had to dig deeper to find an answer. I had to be more creative. The topics that aren’t my favorites sometimes end up eliciting some of my favorite responses. So I am up for the challenge.

After much thought, the answer actually seemed pretty simple to me.

The answer simply is…..none.

There are no other chronic disease that I would choose to deal with instead of diabetes. And there are two reasons for that.

Number one, I am a realist. I don’t tend to expend a whole lot of energy wishing, hoping and day dreaming in fantasy land. I’ve never been any good at it. I don’t play the lottery, I don’t pretend to be married to David Beckham and I don’t dream about having a second home on my own private island where the floor of the house is see-through to the ocean below and my bedroom doesn’t have walls and is open to the gentle trade winds (ok, maybe I have thought about that one…). To me, that is a waste of time. It’s not fun to wish for something that will most likely never happen. It’s disappointing and then I just get pissed off. This doesn’t mean that I am hopeless and have no dreams. I just keep my hopes and dreams realistic. And since there is no way that we can actually switch diseases, I don’t even bother thinking about it.

And the other reason is this: like it or not, THIS is our journey. THIS is the hand we were dealt. Period. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I am not a religious fanatic, but I believe in God and I believe that He chose this path for us. I can wonder and question why, but it is futile. It’s kind of like the fantasizing. It’s a waste of time. Who am I to question Him? This is the definition of faith. And frankly, I don’t have the time or energy for anything else, so I’m going with faith.

So instead of wishing we could ‘Freaky Friday’ with another disease, I am just focusing on doing the best I can with the one we’ve already got.

As for the second part of today’s prompt, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?

Absofreakinglutely!

I have known my husband and his tId sister for over 20 years now, and until Medium was diagnosed, I didn’t have a CLUE what she had been dealing with since she was 4 years old. She made it look easy and like it was not that big of a deal. That is because she is AWESOME and diabetes is just a part of her life and not her identity. Although it’s a pretty big part of her life, she is the editor of the ADA’s publication Diabetes Forecast Magazine. Go check out her work here! I feel like I owe her an apology for not realizing how different her life was from everybody else’s and for not understanding how serious this disease really is.

And since I have been so public with my journey, I have had friends come out of the woodwork and share their own stories of struggles with other diseases or health issues that I didn’t even know they were facing. It has been a great lesson in not judging a person until you walk a mile in their shoes.

Or better yet, not judging a person at all!

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I Am Pancreas, Hear Me Roar!

Today’s topic:  Accomplishments Big and Small

“We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small – think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.).”

Some days I feel like I’ve come so far, and other days I feel like a total neophyte when it comes to diabetes. And from what I do know about diabetes, I will most likely always feel bipolar about my pancreatic performance.

But the one thing that I am pretty proud of as I look back, is how quickly I embraced my new role as not only pancreas, but as educator. I spent the first several weeks in the DDPOD (deep, dark pit of despair), but once I came out of that, the pendulum swung the other way. I went from being paralyzed by the fear of the unknown to sponging up every morsel I could about the science of diabetes. I went from not being able to complete a sentence about Medium without crying, to telling anyone who would listen what was happening to his body. I started this blog and the Wife Mom Pancreas brand. I have a Facebook page and Twitter account, albeit I haven’t really gotten into promoting them yet. Around the same time I started my blog, I started writing articles for Diabetes Daily. I have always loved writing and I finally felt like I had something important to write about. Unfortunately life outside of the vacuum of diabetes has taken over and I haven’t written anything for Diabetes Daily in a while.

Social media is such an amazing way to connect people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe. In the months to come, I hope to do a better job of using it to get the word out about life with the big D!

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Like the Corners of My Mind

Today’s topic:  Memories

“Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.”

It would be easy to say that my most memorable diabetes day would be the day that Medium was diagnosed. And while I can actually remember every detail about that day; what Medium was wearing, the look on his pediatrician’s face when his urine dip showed glucose and large ketones, and how anxious I felt sitting in the waiting room of Children’s Mercy Hospital ER knowing that Medium had diabetes but not really knowing what that meant and what would happen next, that isn’t my most memorable diabetes day.

There is another day that is etched in the most permanent part of my mind, a day that I try not to think about too often because when I do, it catapults me to the edge of the DDPOD (deep, dark pit of despair) and that is a place I don’t want to go back to. It was about 10 days post-diagnosis. Long enough for reality and exhaustion to set in. I had been “researching on the internet” (code words for reading a bunch of shit that I shouldn’t have 10 days post-diagnosis). I found other people’s blogs and starting reading about things that I hadn’t even thought to worry about. One new worry  after the next piling on top of the worry I already had combined with very, very few hours of sleep in ten days and I was one hot mess. One evening, after dinner, we couldn’t get Medium’s blood sugar much above 70 despite repeated snacks so we took him to the ER. And long story short, I basically refused to take him home and so they admitted him. I was so scared and so tired and so emotional that I just wanted to give him to someone safe to take care of him because I just didn’t have one more ounce in me that could do it.

That day and that feeling will haunt me the rest of my life.

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Diabetes Is Not Diabetes Is Not Diabetes

Today’s topic:  We, The Undersigned

“Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so today let’s pretend to write our own. Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) – get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change??

We, the undersigned People with Diabetes (PWDs) and caregivers and loved ones of PWDs (Type 3s) do herby petition, anyone who will freaking listen, for:

Separate names for separate diseases….diabetes is not diabetes is not diabetes. Type I and Type II are similar, they are in the same family if you will. But just like two siblings in the same family can have very different personalities, so too can the different types of diabetes. And what about LADA (also called type 1.5)? Ha, you probably didn’t even know that there was a type 1.5! There is, but you’ll have to read about it here because I’m too tired to explain it right now.

Speaking of tired. I’m so tired of explaining to people the differences between Medium’s type of diabetes and other types of diabetes. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: Do you have the box that those cookies came in?

Uneducated idiot: Huh? Why?

Me: Oh, I just need to check the carbs for Medium.

Uneducated idiot: Why, is he on a diet or something?

Me: No, he has type I diabetes and he needs to dose insulin to cover any carbs he eats.

Uneducated idiot: Oh! Is that the bad kind?

Me: They are all bad.

Uneducated idiot: My step-mom’s uncle’s cousin had that, she died.

Me: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that (and gee thanks for sharing that bit of uplifting news with me! That is oh so comforting, dumbass!)

Uneducated idiot: Yeah, she couldn’t eat sugar or anything and she went blind!

Me: Yes, there are a lot of serious complications with diabetes.

Uneducated idiot: Does Medium eat a lot of sugar? Well, I guess not now, cuz he can’t have it anymore.

Me: Actually, yes he can have sugar, he just has to dose for it. And type I diabetes has nothing to do with eating sugar. It is an autoimmune disease where his body attacked his pancreas and……you know what. I’ll just SWAG (scientific wild-ass guess) the carbs in the cookie.

Uneducated idiot: SWAG???

Please, for the sanity of D-moms and D-dads everywhere, PLEASE give these separate diseases, separate names…..and since I’m asking for things, I’d like a public service announcement with a simple explanation of the different types as well.

Signed,

Tired, frustrated and misunderstood PWDs and Type 3s

 

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The Longest Sentence In The History Of The World (or at least the D-world)

So there is this awesome thing out in the universe called Diabetes Blog Week. I was waywardly meandering around the internet last year about this time, usually a very dangerous thing, but this time it was pure goodness. I happened upon a diabetes blog that mentioned the upcoming event where D-bloggers from around the world all write about the same topic each day of the week and then they are all posted in one place for everyone to share their thoughts and feelings. If you are a type 3 (often times those who do not have diabetes themselves, but care for someone who does, call themselves type 3’s), you know how lonely this disease can be. The diabetes online community, lovingly referred to as the DOC, is an absolute LIFEBLOOD to many type 3’s. When no one, not your mom, your sister or your best friend, can relate to how worried you are about the correction bolus you just gave your child at bedtime because he was 285, but then you remembered that he played in 2 baseball games, a soccer game and a football game that day, and now you are wishing you could suck some of that insulin back out of him like you can suck venom from a snake bite because he’s now fast asleep and rightfully exhausted from his day so you don’t want to wake him, so instead you set your alarm to check him in 3 hours, and then wonder why you even set your alarm because you have just laid there and worried for the whole 3 hours, and then you check him and he is a perfect 123 with no IOB (insulin on board) so you get back in bed hoping to catch a few winks before you have to get up, but then you can’t fall asleep because you are praying to God and thanking Him that he was alright and then you start thinking about the other possible outcomes that could have been which leads you to think about how much you hate diabetes which makes you wonder for the bazillionth time why no one has found a cure for this dreaded disease yet which makes you so sad and angry that you can’t sleep, and then, hey, guess what, it’s time to get up,  yeah, when no one can relate to THAT, you get on your iPad and seek out your friends in the DOC who are also awake, fighting the same battles and you commiserate. (I am also submitting this blog post to the Guinness Book of World’s Records for longest sentence EVER!) And even though they aren’t there to do the work for you, or directly help you, just knowing that others KNOW, I mean REALLY know, what you are going through makes you feel less sorry for yourself and less lonely.

At this point I have already written 474 words and I haven’t even gotten to today’s topic! Oh how I love my First Amendment right!

Anywhoooo…..

Today’s topic:  Share and Don’t Share

“Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one’s daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don’t see?”

Medium was only diagnosed 15 months ago so we have only seen his endocrinology team about 5 times. And I have to say, they pretty much rock. But I wish they could really see how tough Medium is and how he is not letting this disease slow him down for even a second. I wish they could really know how great his attitude is about his diabetes and I wish they would make a big, no, a HUGE deal about it! I wish they would know this and then invite him to stand up and speak to an auditorium full of people who have lost hope. He would NEVER in a million years do this, but it would be nice to be asked! I wish they would make it a point to really recognized him for how well he handles things. Because as much as I can tell him, I’m still just his mom and kids always think their mom’s are blowing smoke and just say nice things that they don’t really mean. It would go a long way to boost his confidence if someone else recognized his struggles and acknowledged his hard work. (I also wish they could magically get him to eat vegetables, but that’s another thing all together!)

And I hope they DON’T see that we change his set out every 3-4 days instead of every 2-3 and that I can’t remember the last time we changed the lancet in his poker! I also hope they don’t see that he eats pizza 3-5 times a week, but they see his A1C and that is telling enough!

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Throwing Punches

So we’ve made it through our first major illness with diabetes. Medium is just getting over the fever, sore throat, cough crap. But boy did it do a number on his numbers.

It is hard enough to take care of a sick kid who is fighting a virus where there is really nothing you can do but treat his symptoms, but then throw in uncontrollable high blood sugars and, well, it takes its toll…on everyone.

After being the sole on-duty night nurse for two nights, complete with vitals checked, meds passed, ketones checked and correction boluses given, I was looking forward to handing my nurse hat off to my other half for the night shift on day 3. Moments after I snuggled in to my freshly washed sheets and fell asleep, the MySentry alarm went off. “Unable to find pump”. The MySentry is on my husband’s side of the bed. So he “snoozed” the alarm. And then snoozed it again…..and again…..and again. Seriously! I’m trying to get some sleep over here! You can “snooze” the alarm on the MySentry as many times as you want, but until you get off your ass and go in and clear the alarm on the actual pump, it’s going to keep going off.

So, I’m not sure how many times my dear husband was going to let it go off, but after about 5 times I couldn’t take it anymore and I got up and went in to Medium’s room and cleared it myself. I was so exhausted and therefore, so mad at my dear husband at that moment. Have you ever heard of or read the blog People I Want to Punch in the Throat? If not, you should. It’s pretty entertaining. But these are the words that were running through my head as my husband was snoring next to me while I was fuming and trying to fall back to sleep.

It was a stressful week for us all. My husband and I had to take turns taking days off from work to stay home with Medium. Nothing we did to lower his blood sugars worked. And on top of it all, Medium was miserable. And watching your baby suffer and not being able to do anything about it is such a helpless feeling.

I’m happy to report that Medium is feeling better every day and things are getting back to normal around our house.

And I don’t want to punch my husband in the throat anymore…..at least not for now.

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