Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Un-birthday!

I have two siblings, both sisters and both younger than I. One sister has three kids and the other two. With my four (I have both the oldest and youngest) that makes nine grandchildren for my parents. We are all busy and all live in NW towns with a few hour drive separating us. It is very difficult for my parents to make it to each child's home or party on their actual birthday. A few years ago my mom came up with the idea to have one big group "birthday" party for the kids. It has been a big hit. We have done lots of fun things. Last year we rented a house at the coast for a couple of nights. This year, we kept things a little more simple and went for a hike and then played minigolf.

Our "birthday" or rather, un-birthday party was this past weekend. I forgot my camera so these were taken on my phone.

my dad, brother in law, nephew and David
Megan and Bekah with one of their cousins

mini golf- Megan, my nephew and the other brother in law

David taking a swing with daddy's help

cupcakes to decorate

this is serious business

don't forget the presents

we have a tradition of one at a time opening gifts from youngest to oldest

We didn't get any group shots this year but I found one from last year...too cute for words.
I just love them all so much!!
Yes my cup runnith over with blessings and these guys are the best of them!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

6 month endo visit

It has been just over six months since Bekah was dx with T1D. You can read her dx story here. Our first A1C (I say our because D is a team thing. She is so little that she can not do all of the D care on her own and with out her cooperation I can not do my part) on her dx day was 15.1! I didn't know what an A1C was at that time but I could tell by the way it was relayed to me that 15.1 was bad.

The doc and CDE's gave us the tools we needed and followed up with us regularly. I have a thirst for knowledge and passion for my kids so I began to research and learn all I could about managing D. I have had some very bad days and some not so bad days. I have felt like a blind folded monkey could do a better job as a pancreas than I could. I have fought highs and battled lows. Our first endo appt after 3 months revealed an A1C of 7.6. I was delighted at how well my daughters body had responded to my efforts at replicating her pancreas. I have so much respect for the intricacies of the human body and what a fully functioning pancreas does (are you listening Mr Pancreas? I said respect and I would respect you even more if you decided to start working again, hint hint)

The next 3 months included Bekah giving herself shots, and pumping insulin along with more research and learning. I have to say I'm not sure where I would be with out all of you who read and comment on my blog and you other bloggers out there. I learn so much from you! The thing I think I appreciate most is that you all have bad days too but you keep trying and striving to do better and be better and you inspire me to do the same. I know Bekah's A1C won't always be as good as the one we had today and I know that really I only had a smidgin to do with it, but for today I'll take it.

Today was Bekah's 6 month endo appt. and her A1C was (drum roll please)............6.8. I am ecstatic! It is a number I was hoping for down the road maybe. This is with minimal lows (with exception of the slug fiasco) It was my goal number but I would have been happy with anything under 8.2. I had my range and decided I could cry if we got anything higher than 8.2 or lower than 6.3. (At her age I would really question even a 6.3, I would think I was missing lows somewhere) I don't want to get too hung up on numbers but an A1C does give a lot of information and clues to how well D is being managed.

Today was like Christmas too! We walked away with some very nice parting gifts. My purse is now sporting a new purple one-touch mini and we have in our hot little hands a blood ketone meter. Now to get the pharmacy and the insurance company to speak the same language and get the strips to us. That is another battle all together and a blog for a different day. For today, I feel like we have a fresh place to keep going from. I know the next three months will have their own challenges but I have filled my brain with what I need to know and have the tools in my belt to keep my daughter healthy (I hope and pray), now it's time to really work on getting my health back (another blog for another day).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bekah and the slug

I apologize for my blogging silence. Bekah's class size was at 29 the first few weeks of school and even the most awesome teacher (which we have this year) can't keep up with 29 first graders and D. I have been hanging out at the school most days so that I am right there if they need help with anything. They got a new first grade teacher and now there are only 21 kids in Bekah's class. So today I'm hoping to not have to go to the school. On top of that I came down with the cold of all colds. Stuffy head, fever etc. I have been reading all of your blogs but rarely is my brain functioning well enough to leave a comment and then the couple of times I did try I forgot to type in the crazy security word at the bottom.

Thursday night the kids were getting ready for bed. PJs, check, teeth brushed, check, flossed and fluoride rinse, check, check. Bekah went to grab her library book from her back pack and came running back into the living room screaming at the top of her lungs. She threw herself down on the couch and screamed and cried and screamed some more. My husband and I were able to barely get out of her that there was a slug on her back pack. We thought maybe she was just seeing things but he checked and sure enough there was that horrid creature in all of his glory sitting on Bekah's back pack. Of all places for there to be a slug, a spider would have been better! Bekah is not a drama queen (I do have a couple of those in my house) nor is she afraid of a lot of things but slugs (and worms) are her worst nightmare. The very few times that she has had screaming fits have been over those slimy little creatures!

I'm not sure how the blasted thing even got in the house and any other place in the house would have been a better hang out unless you thrive on a little girl's panic laden screams. It took all of 20 minutes to get her to calm down. I knew with all of that adrenalin pumping through her that her BG had either spiked to the moon or crashed. Not sure which I would have preferred, it's kind of a lose-lose situation. A BG check revealed a 51. A juice box and 15 min, 114. 10 minutes later Bekah comes padding back down "I feel low" Sure enough 62. it took several treatments to get her BG back in to a safe range. By the time we got her BG stable, her teeth brushed again and her sweet little self tucked into bed it was 11:00 PM.

My plan was to let her sleep in and take her to school a little late. I figured she needed the sleep and it would be better for her to have a non-rushed morning. As I walked by her room toward the stairs to go down and get my coffee I was surprized to see her sitting on the floor. She was in a chipper mood and wanted to go to school at the regular time and ride the bus. So we got ready and went off to school. (Her BG hung out at just over 200 all night and her fasting BG was 208 totally understandable for what she had just been through) I gave her her breakfast and correction bolus and sent her on her way. I figured that was the last of the effects that darn slug would have. I was getting ready to walk the 3 miles up to the school so I could be there to help Bekah with hot lunch when I get a call from her teacher telling me that Bekah's BG was over 400 at 9:45. I raced up to the school (so much for my walk). I made the necessary corrections and hung out for most of the rest of the day to make sure all was well. I'm sure now that 400+ BG was a rebound from the night before. Stupid slug, go pick on someone your own size!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This post was inspired by National Invisible Chronic Illness Week.

If you were to watch a group of children playing on the playground, you would probably never know which one checks her blood sugar 10+ times a day unless you look very closely at her freckled finger tips. As you watch the joy and laughter of these children playing, you would never guess that one of them has a life expectancy that is 15 years shorter than the rest. You might notice that cute little fanny pack or belt that one of them is wearing and though you might never give it a second thought, the reality is that with in that pouch lies her life line, her insulin pump that gives her a tiny drop of insulin every four minutes and that is what keeps her alive and well. As the children eat their lunch you see how carefree they are to eat what they feel like eating while one of them knows that all of her carbs must be eaten or she may get very sick. One of them, though you'd never know it by looking at her had to visit the nurse right before lunch to check her blood sugar and get her insulin so she could eat her lunch.

If you were to see her mom you might notice the bags under her eyes or the tired look she has and assume that her toddler is teething again or her four kids keep her busy. While that is true what you don't see is that she is up checking blood sugars around the clock and the constant worry is what is really wearing on her.

Do I want this illness to be seen and pitied? I don't want or need pity and while I would love for others to understand, I know if I am doing my job correctly that this illness will go unnoticed and be virtually invisible by the rest of the world. That as others look at my daughter playing and having fun that none would be the wiser to the battle that rages inside of her body as her immune system violently attacks and murders her insulin producing beta cells. I will do my best to keep the possible complications at bay and help her live as full a life as possible. Yes, if I am doing my job correctly you would never know unless told that my daughter has T1D.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

school lunch

Who would have thought that the school cafeteria would drive me to tears?

Yes, I was blubbering in the school cafeteria today. There I was sitting next to my sweet girl who had been begging me to let her have "hot" lunch for days, with tears stinging my eyes. I lied and told her I needed to change my contacts because my eyes started burning. The reality was I had just gotten almost knocked on my butt by a huge wave of grief. As I looked around the cafeteria with all of the kids carefree and just enjoying their lunches, it hit me. Some of the kids would finish their food and some not and it was no big deal, for them. None of them cared how many carbs were in whatever they were eating while my Bekah was happily counting her grapes. I had just added up the carbs in said cafeteria meal, 86! I saw how happy she was to be able to enjoy this treat at the same time reality hit that even if there was someone at school to help her with everything when she eats "hot lunch" that it's not healthy for her to consume that many carbs on a regular basis. It made my heart ache to know I had to squelch some of her joy. It was one of those moments where no matter how badly I wanted for her to be able to be just a normal kid, she isn't and won't ever be. I decided to let her pick one day a week when she can eat "hot lunch" and I will go and help her with everything. I'm sure if I pushed I could get the school staff to take care of everything on those days as well but I'm just a little bit protective and it gives me an excuse to have lunch with my daughter once a week.

Now I would have thought that all of those carbs would have shot her BG to the moon. Nope, after dance class (they have dance as part of their arts block- PE, Art, Dance and Music) BG reading was 107. She had a snack and went joyfully off to music. As we stood by the door eating her cheese and crackers, waiting to go in to the music room, Bekah peaked in the window. "it looks so fun in there" she beamed! I took a deep breath. Another (much smaller) wave of grief, hating that she had to miss any of the fun to check her BG and eat a snack. (If her BG is under 120 at 2ish then she tends to go low on the bus ride home)

Monday, September 13, 2010


Dearest David,

Oh baby boy where has the time gone? Today you turn 19 months and I am slowly forgetting what your infant face looked like as you have become toddler through and through. I love your sense of humor and wonder with the world around you!

Your favorite phrases as of late have been "Ah like a..." and "Ahlalu...." (fill in the blank and to translate the toddlerses Ah=I, lalu = love you) Like the other day as your body was almost too tired to hold you up, you staggered across the floor with your water cup in one hand, and you said "Ah Like A Drink". One day recently as you were enjoying a piece of candy with your sister to help her boost a low blood sugar you said "Ahlalu tanden" (tanden=candy).

The other thing you love to say is "hode you" (hode=hold). I love when you wrap your little toddler arms around my neck and say "hode you mommy" followed by "ahlalu".

I love the way you find a tune in everything too. You gotta bust a move any time a beat is heard. Like in the copy room at the school or when the dishwasher is running. You can dance like no other 19 month old I have ever met. You can groove with the best of them. I love how much joy you get out of life. It is contagious!

Ahlalu my little man! I'm so thankful for the joy you have added to our family. It has made these past six months a little easier. With out you in my world I might take life a little too serious. I find myself belly laughing at you or with you at least once a day, my "joy unstoppable"!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

6 months...

It's between the 12 and 3 AM checks, David is having a hard time getting to sleep so while I try to nurse him to sleep I am typing with the other hand to get this post in today. In a few hours my little ones will be heading out the door for their first day of school. In years past I would have breathed a sigh of relief that everyone made it out the door in one piece and then I would start in on cleaning the house. After having the kids home all summer, I'd find all of the places that got a little neglected as we played. Not this year. This year I will be vigilantly hanging out and finding projects to do around the school until I am relatively sure they will be able to take care of my little one's health issues. Education wise, this school is great. The staff is top notch! I am continually impressed at the dedication the teachers have for their students.

There is a small problem with the school though, the way they manage chronic health issues. There is only a nurse in the building one day a week. That is not enough for a mom of a T1D to fee comfortable with. The secretaries are awesome and one in particular is willing to help Bekah with her D care, daily. It's just so difficult for me to let go just yet and let her do it all. I love this gal and I know she is going to be an awesome helper for Bekah. I still have a difficult time with the idea that in a hospital setting, 2 nurses have to sign off on insulin doses but in a school the secretary who is not a nurse can just do this. It just doesn't sit right with me.

I digress...the whole purpose for this post was to take a look back. You see, today is Bekah's 6 month diaversary. In six months, Bekah has become a pro at doing her own BG checks. She has learned how to give her self insulin injections including dialing the dose on her pen, she is able to detect low BGs with amazing accuracy (catching most before they fall under 70), she gained back the 15 lbs her small frame lost and looks very healthy now. Her latest accomplishments include rocking a pink Ping (insulin pump) and learning how to count carbs, a little. I am continually amazed at her strength and bravery as she tackles this blasted disease!

Only a few weeks after Bekah's dx, I was surfing the net and came across a story. This story hit way too close to home. So many similarities. A six year old little girl, mom didn't know what was wrong, she was the third born child etc. Only this little girl didn't make it out of ICU. So today I thank God that I have the privilege of giving my little girl shots, or placing insets and as much of a pain the paper work to take D to school was, I am so thankful that I got to do it. Sure I would love the mostly kid free time to do some much needed cleaning around the house instead of hanging out at the school later today, but I am glad I get to be there and didn't have to face the unthinkable.

When I get down and start to feel the nuisance that D is, I think of that mom (and others in the same boat) that lost her daughter and hug my daughter a little tighter thanking God that I have the privilege of getting up at night to check her BG or measure the jelly on her toast etc.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Diabetes Art Day

One of Bekah's favorite kindergarten activities was journaling. The kids would draw pictures and write about them. They were encouraged to just write the sounds they heard in the words, correct spelling comes later in their writing journey. I bought Bekah a journal to write about D from her perspective. Here are a few entries from her journal:

Translation from the kindergartenese (I love kindergartenese): When I feel low I feel hungry and shaky. When I am low I have to have 15 carbs to get it back up.