Sunday, October 30, 2011

Walmart D-Supplies & Bayer A1C Test

Our town just got a new Walmart. We've only ever had Targets. Opened my eyes to a whole new shopping experience, I tell ya! We just got the Walmart ad in our Sunday newspaper and lo and behold, there was a whole section devoted to diabetes! I showed Grace and she said 'It's like it was meant to be!' - you would have thought I showed her the Toys R Us toy catalogue or something!

Walmart ad booklet

Good to know Walmart has Humalin for $24.88!!!
Glucose tabs - $1.23 - Grace chose the watermelon and fruit punch flavors
Our 3 month endo visit is on Tuesday. I have always wondered if the Bayer A1C kits are near what our office A1C is. So, I bought one and will try it out on Tuesday when we go.

I opened the kit and well, it looks a little more involved than I thought. Good thing I am a reader-of-directions before I attempt anything. Unlike others in my family who-shall-not-be-named but they are also the -I'll-be-damned-if-I-will-ask-for-directions kind of person. Wink wink.

$22.48 for two A1C test kits in one package

Ahhhh, the elusive 6.3. One can hope, right?!

Lots of packaging. Codes much match. Do not open until ready to use.

Each kit has two cartridges that are inserted into the black base.
Then each has a blood collector and 'shaker' that is pressed into the front of the base.

First you take the blood sample and insert it into the blood collector.
Shake it and snap on the cap and then stand it upright.

Then you connect the cartridge to the base, wait for the prompts and remove the cap
off the blood collector. Then you press the tip of the blood collector into the front.
5 minutes later, voila! An A1C!
So, I will let you all know how this goes on Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

JDRF Walk 2011

Our JDRF Walk was this past Sunday. We participate in the JDRF Philadelphia Walk, which takes place at the Art Museum circle in Philly. It is a grand place to hold a walk. Everyone dutifully runs up the steps, aka Rocky. There are masses of people. The actual walk takes place on the drive around Boathouse Row and the Schuylkill River (we say 'Skoolkil')

We are Gracie's Gang for our walk. It's just our little ole family who does it, but it makes us feel united. It makes us feel we are in this together. It makes Grace feels so supported, from the people who matter the most.

Most walks are hundreds of people. Some are thousands. Our walk this year had more than 10,000 people walking in support of Type 1 diabetes. There were hundreds of teams. The largest team, The Cohn Sisters, alone, raised more than $1.75 million over the past 4 years. The Walk raised $2 million this year.

Here's a short news segment video of the Walk. Yes, we are in the crowd and we waved at the camera. We are in the light blue shirts, right side of the screen, in the large crowd video. Don't be disappointed you can't see us, we appear for like 6 seconds.

The greatest part of the walk this year was seeing Haley speak. Haley of the great blog Naturally Sweett. She spoke so clearly, and so much from the heart, about diabetes. And she mentioned the DOC!!! I cheered. You can find what she said and see the video of her saying it, here on her blog. I am so very, very proud of her. She brought tears to my eyes.

And Grace and I finally got to meet Haley in real life! (She's beautiful, by the way!)

Haley and Grace
Other people on our 'team', so to speak, showed up too.

Our first CDE at our endo's practice!

Our endo, the fabulous Dr. B. showed up too!!!

Our OmniPod rep!

The one thing I want to tell all of you is how utterly breathtaking it is to walk with so many people, focused on one thing, all at once. The crowd is massive. You can hardly take three steps, then you take four, then you start to walk, with everyone else, side by side. And people are laughing, and talking. And there are t-shirts and banners and kids in strollers, and pumps and tubing and backpack and mommies and daddies, all walking. For the same thing.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Tips on A Sweet Life

I was asked to guest post, along with some other D Mamas and D Papas, 
over at Jessica Apple's blog, 

She asked us to reflect on Halloween and if we had any tips for managing Type 1 and the holiday.

So, head on over and check out what we had to say.
I kept mine short and sweet.

Halloween, it's coming, get those carb count lists ready!
You will find some great ones here and here.

Now, get out there, trick-or-treat and bolus!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

CWD Technology Conference in Philly!

The Children with Diabetes Focus on Technology Conference 
is coming to Philadelphia in February 2012!

If you are even remotely close to Philly, I urge you to come!

Not only for the learning, but for me to meet you, o' faithful reader!

You can read about the conference here.

You can register for it here.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


The kids say the floating white dots are 'orbs' - like The Sixth Sense.
I say my camera lens is dirty.
Cause if they are orbs, that FREAKS ME OUT.
And that means there are a LOT of dead people at our farm.

Hayride! On a huge wagon, in the pitch black night.
We took a ride to 'Witch's House.'

There it is - Witch's House!
She's a friendly witch who gives out cookies and tells jokes.
Cause if it had been a SCARY witch, Mama would not have been on the ride!!!!

The Witch herself!
She gave out giant sugar cookies. I grasped at 35g carbs for it.
We ended the night at 89.
High five me!
The night ended with a bonfire, roasting marshmallows and apple cider.
SWAGged a 6g on each marshmallow and a 15g for a 6 oz cup of cider.

This should look familiar, doing it all one-handed.
And bolusing while she runs and grabs another marshmallow.
I'm surprised I can't juggle.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Miracles Every Day

This is the post that has nothing to do with you-know-what.
It has everything to do with miracles though.
And something as simple as going to the dentist.

Hope is a form of planning. -Gloria Steinam

My oldest child, Maddie, has autism. She's 14 now and was diagnosed when she was 2 1/2 years old. This was back in 1998. There wasn't the knowledge, the awareness and the multitude of children with autism that there are now. It was very lonely having a child with autism in the late 1990's. It was very, very, very lonely having a girl diagnosed with autism, as the majority of those diagnosed were boys.

Of all the challenges Maddie faces, one of the largest for my daughter has always been oral sensitivity. Whether it be to hold or cold foods, taste or texture, Maddie was, and is, very sensitive to what went or around her mouth. She also had a sensitive gag reflex, meaning that as soon as something did go in her mouth, it stimulated her to gag, which in turn, became throwing up. As you can well imagine, that presented problems in trying to go to the dentist.

I first tried going when she was almost 3 years old. Maddie ended up kicking and screaming, assaulting me and almost assaulting the dentist and almost being restrained in the dental chair. She did not understand what we were trying to do, so she fought. We were asked to leave our first dental office and not come back. So, at age 3, no teeth cleaned by the dentist.

We tried again when Maddie was almost 4. Again, the same situation. This dentist, like the others, demanded that Maddie sit in the reclining dental chair, with a bib, and she was not allowed to touch anything. All of those things did not work. When she would sit in the dentist chair, her gag reflex was stimulated and she would throw up. It took us one time in the dental chair and lots of vomit to figure out that this would not work for her.

Yep, asked to leave the second dentist too.
Okay then.

I found the Special Needs Dental Clinic at our local hospital through our developmental pediatrician we were seeing there at the time. Our developmental pediatrician, at our yearly visit, and after hearing our horror stories at the other two dentists, looked at me and said, you know, there is a dentist upstairs, one who treats kids with special needs, he will see her.

I practically ran up the stairs to introduce myself and Maddie. I made an appointment right then and there and began to spew forth our history and ended with 'Do you think you could just clean her teeth? Do you think you could just check them?'

You know what the dentist said to me 'She's a beautiful child. She's just lovely Mom. We can clean her teeth. It might take us a while, but I promise to never hurt her. I promise to move at her pace. And I promise that when she leaves my office every 6 months, she will have clean teeth.'

And as he said it to me, I started to cry. No one up until this point ever pointed out that my child was beautiful, that they saw the beauty in her. No one ever told me they would clean her teeth. No one promised me that they would not hurt her. And boy did I cry. And I hugged him and thanked him.

And we have gone back, faithfully, every 6 months, since 2001.

We started with Maddie sitting in a regular child's chair, hygienist facing her, Maddie wearing surgical gloves that she requested, holding every tool. Slowly opening her mouth, never asked to use 'Mr. Vacuum' or whatever they call the thing that sucks up the saliva. She was allowed to spit. She threw up - many, many, many times. And you know what they did? All those dental hygienists and I cleaned up the throw up and they continued to clean her teeth. We changed clothes after every visit, we were less-than-spot-clean. We once cleaned her teeth while she lay on the floor. We let her hold books and toys and lovies and chew tubes. We sang songs that she loved. We once cleaned her teeth while giving her a break to walk around every 4 minutes. She cried throughout one visit. She screamed throughout another. They kept cleaning her teeth and smiling.

It has been 10 years since that day that the dentist told me he would clean her teeth. And he kept every promise he ever made to me. He cleaned her teeth. He, to this day, never has hurt her. He moves at her pace. And each and every time he sees her, he takes her hands in his and tells her, straight up, that she is beautiful and lovely and my, isn't she growing up just great.

When Maddie was 4 and just getting started with him, he looked at me in the eyes after a visit and said, 'Penny, I know you won't believe me, but one day she will walk into this office and come back without you. She will trust us. She will sit in the dental chair. She will wear the bib. She will let us clean with all the tools. I know it. I have faith that we will get there.'

And I smiled, because that day, 10 years ago, seemed so very far off.

And yet, here I am.
10 years later.

And guess what Maddie did today?
She went back by herself.
She sat in the dental chair.
She wore the bib.
She let them use all the tools.
And she got her teeth cleaned.

Miracles every day.

Thank you Steve Jobs

Thank you Steve Jobs,
from every parent of a child with special needs
who you opened doors for - 
communication-wise, socially and emotionally.

Thank yous from special needs parents:
Love That Max - A thank you to Mr. Jobs
A Diary of a Mom - A Ding in the Universe

Monday, October 3, 2011

Badass D-Mamas

A couple months ago, someone wrote a blog post about dealing with Type 1 kids at a diabetes camp in the summer. The post went on to lament that some kids are 'pusses' (their words, not mine, and oh, it later got changed to 'wusses' - there, doesn't that make you feel better about your child??!!) because they may need EMLA cream when changing insulin pump sites, or that they may need hand holding, or they may need to lay down to change their site. The point of the post was to tell all of us D parents to buckle up, stop coddling the damn kids, stop creating these pusses and for Gods sake, it's not that bad, doesn't hurt and whoever the hell told you kids need special treatment???

Buckle up, ride the rodeo, stop whining, don't be a puss. Or a wuss.


It got to me, that post. I think of it every now and then. And I think that the person who wrote it doesn't have an inkling of what it means to be a badass.

Yep, a BADASS.

I know some badasses. Specifically, some badass D-Mamas.
What makes a D-Mama a badass?
I will tell you.

If you raise more than one child with Type 1 in your family, you are a badass.

If you shoot skittles and other uppers into your hockey playing son and sit through practices, monitoring blood sugars like a honey badger, you are a badass.

If you tell it like it is, and ask others to create videos to help your son realize how great he is, you are a badass.

If you live thousands of miles away, but feel the same same, you are a European badass.

If you have kids with other conditions, and one with D, and you you rock it, you are a badass.

If you have your Type 1 son make videos, so he can help other Type 1 kids, you are a badass.

If your child changes his own insulin pump site, at his own pace, with support, you are a badass.

If you walk for diabetes and form a team, and 119 people show up for that team, you are a badass.

If you remind us all what we need to remember and know about being a DMama, you are a badass.

If you illustrate your life as a D Mama through gorgeous photos that show all parts of your sons life with D, you are a badass.

If you have one child with diabetes, then survive the diagnosis of another child, and maintain your sanity, you are a badass.

If your T1 daughter has a sleepover, and you go with her to let her have fun and feel like everyone else, you are a badass.

If you vlog about your daughters A1C with honesty and emotion, for all to see and to feel same same, you are a badass.

If you check your own blood sugar, to show teachers how to test blood sugar, you are a badass.

If your child has Type 1 and celiac, and you make sure they attend birthday parties, you are a badass.

If your child accepts their diabetes and wants to tell the world that it's OK, you are a badass.

If you share with others recipes that help your Type 1 child, you are a badass.

If you write gorgeous prose and write eloquently and honestly about having a Type 1 daughter, you are a badass D-Papa.

If you rock the shoes and a wicked sense of humor while caring for a Type 1 son, you are a badass.

If you parent a child who speaks up and says "I CAN have that!", you are a badass.

If you manage diabetes and have an 'off' day like everyone else, and everyone who reads it says 'same-same', you are a badass.

If you have sat in 504 meetings and worried about your son or daughter's care at school, you are a badass.

If you have pondered over which insulin pump to get and spent time researching them, you are a badass.

If your kitchen counter looks like all of our kitchen counters at days end, you are a badass.

If you yourself are Type 1, and you are raising a Type 1, you are such a badass.

If you have cried tears about your child's Type 1 diagnosis, and then dried them and moved on, you are a badass.

If you have ever been awake in the middle of the night, checking blood sugars, and decided to blog, you are a badass.

If you use EMLA cream on your child because that is what they need, you are a badass.

If your child lays down to change their pump site, because that is what they need, you are a badass.

If every day, you fight for what your child needs, their diabetic care and do what needs to be done, you are a badass.

If your child relies on you to change their pump site, because that is where they are at, you are a badass.

If your child needs to hold your hand, or hug you, or cry during their pump site change, and you recognize that, understand and provide a hand, a body or a shoulder on which to do so, you are such a badass.

If you encourage your child to do it themselves, when they are ready, in their good ole time, knowing, (much like the old they-won't-wear-diapers-to-college-saying), that they will not attend college with you changing their sites, you are a badass.

If you, every day, wake up, to do it all again, you are a badass.

I know there are tons more of you out there. Badass D-Mamas.
Tell me some more that you know. Provide the link in the comment section with your comment.

We should celebrate that WE are the badasses.