Monday, June 27, 2011

Meet Sarah

Our Diabetic Alert Dog has been selected and will be delivered the week of Bekah's birthday (7/25).  Bekah chose the name Sarah.  Sarah is Bekah's godmother and my best friend's name and one of Bekah's most favorite people in the world(she has an aunt Sara but it had to have an h just like Bekah).  My friend Sarah was the only person other than myself that could get away with holding Bekah when she was a baby with out her crying or searching for me.  When we had Bekah dedicated at church, Sarah held her and sang to her in front of the congregation.  Sarah loves dogs and is honored to share her name with Bekah's new buddy.

We still have lots more fundraising to do!  We were on an 8 month waiting list and somehow got selected 5 months prior to where I thought we were in the process.  It feels like a new baby is coming home and there are so many preparations to make.  Actually it reminds me of how I felt when David decided to enter the world 3.5 weeks earlier than his due date and 2 weeks before his scheduled C-section.  I had not even had a pre-op appt.  Ready, set, go I have a puppy to get ready for =)
Look at that sweet face.  I can see Bekah's demeanor in her just from a photo!  I'm in love!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

You can't catch me I'm the ginerbread man!

I did it!  I finished my 5K!  I even ran part of it (mostly when the critters in the forest next to me rustled around).  There was a big hill involved too.

And yes I was donning gingerbread man socks.  I grabbed a pair of socks quickly in the dark as to not wake the two men sleeping in my bed   (my husband and 2 year old...what were you thinking?? I am a D-mom remember, I don't have the time or energy for that much excitement besides my man is all I need. *wink* )  and they just happened to have gingerbread men on them.

I finished in 54 minutes (I didn't keep track of the seconds)! 

I am determined to keep up my walking now.  Maybe begin to wog and who knows maybe one day this mommy will be a runner too.  (never like Reyna or her sister though, they are just pure awesomeness I think it runs in their blood)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I had a wonderful meet up with the amazing Rose family Sunday.  I'm sure Wendy, Denise and Chasiti will all do an amazing job of blogging about our meet up.  It was a great time had by all.  Sugar and Bekah became fast friends and had such a great time together.  Wendy is every bit as amazing as you see in her blog!

mamas snapping photos

kids at the park

After I got home we went over and did a bit of yard work at my parents house.  The color is finally beginning to erupt!  Enjoy the photos they don't even come close to doing the yard justice but you can get a glimpse...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I just needed to watch you breathe...

(this post was written last week but I forgot to publish it) On Monday morning the kids had late start (a delightful treat to sleep in on a Monday after a busy weekend full of SUNSHINE).  As I went down to get my coffee I peeked in the girls' room.  I can see Bekah in her bed from the door.  I always stop to watch her breathe for just a moment before I can begin my day.  This morning she had the covers pulled up to her chin and her face was buried so I could not see her breathing.  I walked over and gently un-tucked her face.  A deep morning wake up sigh was heard as she opened her beautiful blue eyes, "Good morning Mommy, is it time to get up?" I reply, "No honey I just needed to watch you breathe"  She smiles a knowing smile as she drifts back into her slumber. 

The need to see your child breathe for most people dissipates around their first birthday when the fear of SIDS is no longer relevant.  With T1D there is uncertainty, a low BG could take them in the night.  There is a rare complication known as Dead in Bed Syndrome.  It's difficult to think about but the reality is there.  I'm not sure there will ever be a day that passes when I don't need to watch her breathe, even if just for a moment.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Shortly after our daughter was dx with T1D I heard about these amazing dogs that can sniff low and high blood sugars.  My blogging friend Meri has one in fact for her boys.  I did a little research and all I could come up with was that you had to be at least 12 years of age to be eligible to receive one of these dogs.  I put the thought on the back burner but was anxious to get a diabetic alert dog as soon as Bekah turned 12.

One day I was surfing around wasting time on FB and saw that one of my friends had "liked" Warren Retrievers Diabetic Alert Dogs.  This peaked my interest so I went to their web site and filled out a form to receive more information.  With in an hour I got a phone call from Dan Warren (the owner of Warren Retrievers).  We talked, and talked, and talked (mostly Dan talked-he likes to talk ;) ).  He filled my head with so much information about his dogs that are bread via invitro fertilization for scent recognition and reassured me there is no age limit becuase diabetes has no age limit.  I got off the phone and fell to my knees in prayer, "Lord if this is something you want for our family then please provide it for us" 

We are a family of humble means and literally rely on God to get us through each month financially.  I couldn't fathom the extra expense of a dog especially one of these capable canines.   I knew though that where God guides He provides so I put it in His hands.  Once we payed the down payment of $1,000 (given by my generous MIL) then the fundraising had to begin.
I brain stormed and thought that we could come up with a few hundred dollars if we put on a garage sale and maybe a little more if we added a bake sale component to it.  Bekah loves doing lemonade stands so I thought we could set one up for her and maybe we'd get a few generous folks who can't resist the idea of her having a dog to help her with T1D (plus she is pretty darn cute). 

I came up with a date and location.  I knew that our house is a little off the beaten path so a place closer to a main road and probably bigger would be best.  I called Rose, the sweet little 80+ year old that manages our grange hall and set it up.  I made an events page on FB requesting items to be sold and then made flyers.  I made them two sided and took the opportunity to spread awareness about T1D on one side.  I took the flyers to the school and local businesses.  

As the stuff came in, it be came apparent that we would probably need the grange for an extra day so we could set everything up and were pleasantly surprised that it was open.  Again I just put it in God's hands and knew that He would bring the stuff and the people to buy it.  Stuff came and came and came.  We spent at least 14 hour hauling stuff from our house and setting it up on tables. 

I fell in to bed the night before the sale and slept what felt like 5 minutes before getting up to gear up the next morning.  Lucky for me adrenaline was making up for my lack of sleep (3 hrs I think was what I was running on).  We set up signs, one of which was donated by a friend who does graphic design work.

9 AM came and people trickled in to our sale at a steady stream until 5 PM that night.  We still had tons of stuff left over and if I were to do it again I would do a two day sale (although I am not sure I would have had the energy for another day).  We went through 6 gallons of lemonade, many dozens of cookies, some coffee and several hot dogs (they were mostly for the workers but I made a sign for donations if anyone else wanted some). 
Luckily there was a youth group having a sale in a couple of weeks that came and got almost everything that was left.  We had a few treasures that we held aside to put on Craig's list and the rest got loaded up and donated to the youth sale.  The clean up took many hours though.  I don't think I have ever been so tired in my entire life!

My children were amazing!  All of them well behaved (even D) and had a great time!  On Friday evening a friend brought by a couple of bikes to donate and Bekah was getting bored so she found a helmet that someone else had donated and put it on.  She took one of the bikes out in the parking lot (a two wheeler) and taught herself how to ride.  She has not stopped for long ever since.  (we had to keep that one)  Both of my girls scored a whole new wardrobe in addition to a few treasures that I allowed them to keep. 

David crashed on a crib mattress
There are really no words for how incredibly hard my husband worked.  He is my hero! 
On top of the physical labor, he talked up the dog to people and seeing this daddy's love for his daughter caused them to dig a little deeper in their pockets.

I know I am not doing this experience justice as I write about it.  It really was one of those God times where your spirit just leads in step with God and He delivers in the most amazing ways!  The people that came to help with both set up and clean up were perfect.  They knew just what they needed to do and went to work.  I can't thank them enough!!

Our babysitter (she is grown up now and hasn't babysat for us for a while) called her friends and 3 guys showed up to help load the boxes up for the youth group.  One of these young men began asking about the dog and when Bekah was dx etc.  His questions were too good for a regular man in his mid 20s to be asking.  He knew what to ask and had lingo that only another diabetic would have.  Turns out he was dx at age 5 and is an Animas pumper as well.  We had a great conversation about D and what it was like for him growing up and how he manages it as a working man.  It was neat to have a "same" experience in the midst of our sale.

Our sale brought in over $2 thousand (before selling the items on Craig's List) toward Bekah's diabetic alert dog.  It's a nice start.  We have about 2 years to pay off the total of the dog and it's training (and travel expenses for the trainer 3-4xs). 

We are currently on a waiting list of about 6-8 months (depends on how many pups pass the scent test that they do at 9 days of age and how many litters are whelped). We should have our pup (12 weeks of age) around the first of 2011. 

Here are a few more photos of the stuff that was donated:
some very nice kitchen appliances all in great shape and working order

a book worm's dream

shoes galore

Dan Warren saw this photo on FB and called me, he bought both saddles and took the amount plus shipping off the price of the dog (it cost $118 to ship these babies to Virginia)  I hope he loves them!!

Lots of kid items
I took these photos on Friday and was way to busy Saturday to even think about taking pictures.  We had 4 or 5 desks, 2 books shelves, a piano, a kitchen table and chairs, a Barbie power wheels, a few bikes, car wheel rims, etc., etc., etc. out side as well. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Partner in Care Awards

Every year the Oregon chapter of  the ADA gives out Partner in Care Awards.  They sent us a form to fill out to nominate up to 5 people at our child's school that we felt were worthy of this award.  Bekah has had exemplary care at school this year.  It hasn't been perfect but I like to hi-light the positives and work to bring out the best in everyone.  I wanted them to all know how much we appreciated their willingness to step up and just do an amazing job caring for our daughter.  I came up with 6 and just put them all in hoping we would receive 6 awards.  They came on Saturday in a big box!  Inside were six envelopes that each contained an award certificate along with a lapel pin.  Today we went and delivered them.  It was so fun!  Each one was touched and honored.  I loved watching their faces even though it was just a cheesy little award!  Here is the letter I wrote to the ADA.

Blank  elementary school has proven to be a great place for my daughter who is a type one diabetic to receive the support she needs in dealing with her diabetes as well as giving her a great education.
Mrs.M her fist grade teacher, has taken it upon herself to do blood glucose checks in the class room so that Rebekah doesn’t miss much learning time dealing with these routine checks. Mrs. M is skilled in the art of managing blood glucose levels. She understands that it is not a science and is able to make the artistic tweaks of knowing when a snack or extra water and exercise may be needed. Mrs. M has worked very well with Rebekah's shy disposition and helped her gain confidence this year in her management of diabetes.
Mrs. Secretary has stepped up to help with Rebekah’s diabetes care when Mrs. M is unavailable and for the first several months of the school year did Rebekah’s lunch checks and boluses. Mrs. secretary is a kind caring person and always does a great job of making sure Rebekah’s needs are taken care of.
Mrs.B has also stepped up when Mrs. M is absent to help Rebekah not have to miss learning time. Her classroom is right next door and when Rebekah needs to check her blood glucose level in Mrs. M's absence, Mrs. B fills in. Mrs. B is also a very kind and caring person and it means a lot to me to have her as a back up right next door to Rebekah’s class room.
Ms. SB is the school counselor and has done a superb job of overseeing the 504 process. She was easy to work with and took our needs/desires for Rebekah very seriously and was able to compensate for them in a very well written 504 plan. She continues to check in to make sure everything is going well for Rebekah.
Mrs. D is the school nurse and even though she is only able to be at the school one day per week, does a great job of ensuring that Rebekah is getting the care and attention that she needs.
Mrs. F the principal, has been very supportive this year to help us get everything in place that we felt was necessary for Rebekah to be safe at school as she deals with her diabetes.

Overall we feel very fortunate to have Rebekah at Blank Elementary as the staff is kind,caring and able to managing Rebekah's diabetes while she is in their care with out making it a big deal. Rebekah is safe and able to feel like the other kids for the most part. She is never excluded from activities or made the center of attention because of her diabetes.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Have you ever thought that maybe your child's dx caused PTSD for you? 

Yesterday I was biding my time in line at Costco by checking FB.  I had a message from a very dear friend.  The message stated that she was becoming increasingly concerned about the health of one of her children.  A few months ago this child had a fainting spell which is believed to have been a hypoglycemic episode.  This child does not have T1D.   There were many details but the ones that stuck out to me were PALE, WEIGHT LOSS, TIRED, SHIVERS, AN UNEXPLAINED TUMMY ACHE. 

A knot formed in my stomach and I could not wait to get though that line and out to my car which would be a more appropriate place for the conversation that I needed to have.  I didn't get her and left a message.  A very long drawn out rambling message I might add, becuase I just couldn't keep my thoughts straight.  As I drove home, I was back in that place just hours before Bekah's dx.  I wanted to run over to my friend and scoop her and her child up and put them in a safe place.  I prayed, "Lord please help them find answers soon and please don't let it be what I think it is" 

My friend has a few family members with T2D and was able to do a BG check on her child 1 hour postprandial and got a 123 whew!  I breathed a sigh of relief when I read that in a message she sent me later.  Then it hit me.  I had gotten a little crazy over this family so dear to me having the slight possibility of a life changing dx.  I hope through my craziness my friend saw and felt my love for her and her daughter first and foremost. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The invisible woman

I have seen this sketch done by Nicole Johnson several times.  I just watched it with new eyes, the eyes of a D-mom.  I wanted to share it with you in hopes of bringing you some encouragement.  You, my friends are building cathedrals and every BG check (especially in the middle of the night when you think no one cares) God takes notice of.  Every decision you make to try to make euglycemic bliss happen, He takes notice.  One day when you watch your child walk across the stage to receive a diploma or down the aisle to begin a new life it will all be worth the effort, the stress, the worry.  I hope this sketch speaks to your heart as it just did mine...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

lump in my throat

I just got word today that Bekah qualified for a campership to attend camp.  Tonight it is raining again and the kids and I are snuggled up on the couch watching Camp Rock.  As I watch the camp scenes, I have a huge lump in my throat.  We do everything together as a family.  This summer some of Bekah's most unforgettable (I hope all amazing) memories will begin to be made with out our family.  As much as we love and support her this disease called diabetes is her cross to bear and there will be time when we have to trust her or others to help her carry that cross.  This summer will begin that journey.   There will be six days where I have no clue what her numbers are and have to make a plan for each one.  6 days of no measuring or bolusing food.  5 nights of  sleep that won't be interrupted by D.  Yes it will be a nice break but I have to admit I am a tad bit scared. I am not scared of the camp not handling her diabetes well, that is what they do.  I'm more scared of her getting homesick and wanting me to hold her or what if she has a night mare or wets the bed.  She is so little and no one knows her like I do.  She has a difficult time finding her voice to let others know what she needs.  I know it will all be ok and it will be a great experience for us all in my head but my heart is a different story all together.  Is my baby girl ready for this??  She is beyond excited and I know she will have a blast and experience "same" like she can in no other venue.  Oh be still mommy heart of mine.