Monday, May 21, 2012

Save the Arts in UDSD!

I know, it's a diabetes blog, right? Hey, just bear with me, will ya?

 Grace loves the arts. She loves to sing, and dance and draw. She also loves to read. She does all these things in her Elementary School. Our school district, in April, proposed a 'Realignment Plan' which would eliminate, yes, ELIMINATE the related arts in the Elementary schools in our District. The proposal calls for the general education teacher to incorporate all these related arts into their typical day. No more Librarian. No more Art teacher. No more Physical Education Teacher. No more Music teacher. For 6,000 students.

My district is huge. We have 10 Elementary schools, 2 Middle Schools and 1 High School. We educate over 12,000 kids in my school district. This affects a lot of students. An incredible amount. At least 70 teachers will lose their jobs. All of them in the related arts field.

Saddened? Me too, incredibly. This Realignment Plan is proposed to close a $4.5 million budget gap in our current school budget, which must be approved by June 30th.

There are a couple factors at play here. One is our Governor in the state of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, who would rather use the funds destined for public education, for vouchers and charter schools. It is draining our public education money from our district, because the funding for charter schools in the state of Pennsylvania is neither fair nor equitable. Another is the fact that our district must close a budget gap that exists because of state and federal funding issues.

I have spent my time during the last five weeks working on fighting this proposal. I invite you to join with me, even if you don't live in Pennsylvania. Even if you don't have school age children. Because in the end, it's about a fair education for the whole child. It's about the arts, that they matter to so many children. It's the fact that if your child is not good taking tests and academic subjects, they might just find an instrument and become a musical legend. They might find their voice and become a singer. They might find books from a Librarian and become a writer. They might find they are artistic because of Art class.

I ask for your help. For you to help me spread the word. That today, it's Upper Darby, and tomorrow, it's YOUR district attempting to do this.

There is a tremendous Facebook page entitled 'Save the Music in Upper Darby' with over 12,000 members. Join us.

There is a website about all that we are trying to save and why. Go there and read about us.

There is a petition to the Governor and the Legislature of Pennsylvania. Sign it here.

And most of all, view this video. Share it far and wide.

Thank you, my friends. Arts Matter.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Today is day number five - 'What They Should Know'

All Will Be Well

I really wanted to write a post about facts. What I want people to know about diabetes. All about insulin, and control and the pump and well, all of it. It seems many of the D-bloggers this week have covered far more eloquently and succinctly than I could ever hope to do.

What I would like to tell someone that doesn't have diabetes, about living with diabetes, is that all will be well.

Yes, you read it right. All will be well.
It's one of my favorite sayings.

It means it is fine with my soul. There is a wonderful hymn that sings...

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

I'm not even that religious, but this hymn always resonates with me. It is well with my soul. Whatever happens, it will be OK. The trials, the tribulations, all of it, the acceptance will come. And acceptance allows me to move forward.

It doesn't mean I don't work like a dog to change things. It doesn't mean that I don't want the best for my daughter and her Type 1.

Let me be clear - I am nowhere near a Pollyanna. I don't always look at the bright side of life (quick - someone start singing the Monty Python tune!) I don't think things are rosy and all good and everything is just hunky-dory about living with Type 1.

I want to tell someone that no matter, all will be well.

If she lives a long life with diabetes, with no complications, all will be well.
If she lives a long life with diabetes, and ends up with complications, we will deal with it, and all will be well.
If she has a low, and we have to stop and treat, and has to not be the same as her other friends, we will get through it by talking and talking and going for a long walk to clear our minds and heads, and all will be well.
If she has a high and we have to dose, change a Pod site, inject via syringe, check for ketones, while it may take a while, we will do it because we have to, and in the end, it will all be well.
If the teenage years bring resistance and tension, conflict and strife, struggles with diabetes care, we will set a course, sail our ship, try to right our sails and in the end, it all will be well.
If she becomes a grandmother herself, with babies to rock, and she still is attached to her pump and there is no cure, all will be well.

That's what I want to say. For me, in the end, it will all be well with my soul.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day number three - Fantasy Diabetes Device

The HoverCarb

Yes, you read that right. The HoverCarb. I'm patenting the name right as we speak, so when it does come to fruition, or someone steals my idea, I shall be a millionaire. And I then shall buy a Diabetes Island where we will all go to retreat, rewind and relax. We will never have to worry about babysitters because we can babysit each other's kids and feel totally fine. Juice boxes strategically placed all around the island. OK, I digress, but wouldn't that just be the bomb?!

My Hover Carb tells the carbs of a meal. Simple as that. Whether it's homemade or eaten in a restaurant. Someone would simply 'hover' the machine-like device over the meal, and voila, the carbs would be revealed. It could happen over a dish of ice cream, a full three course meal, a homemade brownie. And my HoverCarb would eliminate guessing. Someone could just whip it out, hover it and know the carbs.

I envision something like a magnifying glass, with a built in LCD screen. Wave it over the meal and you have a readout of the carbs in the meal. 

No more SWAGging.
No more guessing.

Just Hovercarb-ing.

And they would be FREE to any diabetic, how do you like them apples???!!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One Thing to Improve - DBlog Week

It's the 3rd Annual Diabetes Blog Week!

Today is day number three - 'One Thing to Improve'

One Thing to Improve

One thing to improve, huh?! Oh my. There is always, always, always, something to improve.

If I had to say, as a Mama of a kid with Type 1, something I would like to improve, it would be my ability to wait 15 minutes while treating a low. A simple thing, wouldn't you think? Not so simple. I'm like a hound dog waiting for 15 minutes. I relent at about 10 and see where we are headed.

And standard deviation, that's always one I can improve upon.

And the ability to run an extended bolus with a temp basal to bring down a high. I pretty much rock it right now, but sometimes we crash and burn with a low in the 50's. 

Ok, so there's three. Everyone happy now?!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One Great Thing! - Diabetes Blog Week


It's the 3rd Annual Diabetes Blog Week!

Thanks to Karen Graffeo of the wonderful blog Bitter-Sweet for putting it all together. If you would like to participate in this week, head on over to Karen's blog and sign up! (There's still time!!!!)

Today is Day number two and the blog post is entitled 'One Great Thing'.

Grace's One Great Thing

Grace is a do-er. I mean, the girl DOES things. All the time. In full-on speed. And she's a whirlwind of doing. From this thing to that thing. From this topic to that topic. Not because she's got a limited attention span, just because she's always got a lot going on. She talks about a lot, has opinions about a lot and just generally, well, she has a lot to say. It's one of the things I love about her.

Grace, changing her Pod site. She leaves the old Pod 
on til she puts on the new one. She made me 
take a picture of her with two Pods. 
Somehow, it was 
incredibly cool to her.

Want a conversation with her? She's there.
Want to talk about art, school, dance, music, movies, books, the sky? She's there.
Want to just listen to her tell you about something she loves? She is SO there.
Want to laugh until you almost pee your own pants? She loves that. She will be there for that.

For me, Grace's one great thing is that she is totally herself. Take her or leave her, she abides by the motto 'to thine own self be true.' She rocks her individuality. She tells it like it is. If she likes it, you will know. And if she doesn't like it, you will know that too. She will tell you how she feels and she will be honest. She will wear a jean vest with a striped top, glitter skirt and hightop sneakers, all bought from Goodwill, cause that is her FAVORITE place to shop!  She will tell you how she thinks it will all go down, and usually she's right. She can tell you what she thinks of certain people, and damn it, she is spot on. She is a bullsh*t spotter a mile away. Gotta love a little girl who can do that. 

When it comes to diabetes, she's herself too. She didn't want a pump for a year, until it was on her terms. Then, she wanted the one she wanted. And there was no turning back, or asking her to see another one or asking her to wait. She, indeed, asked the woman at the OmniPod table where she spotted the pump that day she decided it was the one for her, if she could load the sample and take home the PDM. That's my gal. 

When it came in it's box, she couldn't wait for pump start day. Came home from school, and bam! it was on her within an hour. And she didn't start with saline. I told the pump trainer - 'You honestly think she's gonna want to start this with saline????' and the pump trainer looked at me and said 'Yeah, uh, she's not going to go for that.' Pure insulin from the start. Grace told me it would be fine. And I believed. And it was. Crazy? Maybe. But that's how this girl rolls.

And diabetes comes along for the ride with Grace. She rolls with most of it. She accepts, she doses, she's honest, she's realistic. She wants to know why she goes to get her blood drawn and she knows why she gets her eyes checked each year. And you know what she says as we head to each appointment 'Just another day in the life, Mom.' And when she has bad days, she had me buy her a 'Just Do It' t-shirt from Modell's, one that says to her what I always actually DO say to her - 'Some things Grace, we just gotta do. We don't have to like it, we just gotta do it.' And she makes me buy her the t-shirt and when she has a bad day, she comes down the stairs in the morning wearing it. She looks me in the eye and says 'Mom, it's one of those days' as she reaches for her meter.

Grace's one great thing is that she is totally herself.

Monday, May 14, 2012

D Blog Week - Find a Friend 'Grace's Courage'


It's the 3rd Annual Diabetes Blog Week!

Thanks to Karen Graffeo of the wonderful blog Bitter-Sweet for putting it all together. If you would like to participate in this week, head on over to Karen's blog and sign up!

Today's blog post is 'Find A Friend.'

Of course, in the diabetes blog world, I seek out the D Mamas. The ones I can relate to, commune with and learn from. There are some wonderful D Mamas out there, who are writing about their experiences raising a child with Type 1 diabetes. I wanted to introduce you to the latest Mama I found out here.

Jen Janofsky, of Grace's Courage. Yep, she's got a daughter named Grace too! Maybe that makes me a wee bit partial, oh well. She's a local Mama in the Greater Philadelphia area who writes about her daughter and her experiences. Her daughter was diagnosed in 2011 and they began journeying on this Type 1 road. She's real, she's funny and she's smart.

Now, go on over and give her some DOC love. And while you are at it, follow her on Twitter too at #jenjanofsky cause the woman has her PhD in history too! And she's a runner and trains for triathletes. And most of all, she's a D Mama.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sh*t Moms of D-Kids Say at Diabetes Mine!

Lorraine and her wonderful son, Caleb, have posted a video over at DiabetesMine, entitled 'Sh*t Moms of D-Kids Say.' Lorraine writes about being a D-Mama over at This is Caleb. She is a gifted writer, incredible advocate and also a friend.

Go and watch it now. Everything she says is true. And it's beautiful too.

Lorraine is a rocking D-Mama, rocking the sh*t out of the big D.

By the way, 'how do you feel?'