Monday, March 29, 2010

A 'Lift' for you all

I just finished Kelly Corrigan's new book, Lift. Wow. I thought I would share a passage from it with you all. It hit home with me. If you have the chance, go to the library, the bookstore or sit in Borders for an afternoon and read it. 

...What you probably wouldn't believe is how much I want to say yes. Yes, you can take two dozen books home from the library. Yes, you can eat the whole roll of SweeTarts. Yes, you can camp out on the deck. But the books will get lost, and SweeTarts will eventually make your tongue bleed, and if you sleep on the deck, the neighborhood raccoons will nibble on you. I often wish I could come back as your uncle, so I could give you more. But when you're the mom, your whole life is holding the rope against those wilt secret agents who never, ever stop trying to get you to drop your end.

 This tug-of-war often obscures what's also happening between us. I am your mother, the first mile of your road. Me and all my obvious and hidden limitations. That means in addition to possibly wrecking you, I have the chance to give you what was given to me: a decent childhood, more good memories than bad, some values, a sense of tribe, a run at happiness. You can't imagine how seriously I take that - even as I fail you. Mothering you is the first thing of consequence that I have ever done.

Friday, March 26, 2010

My head & my daughter's pancreas

Specifically because I have started reading this book in preparation for the OmniPod:

Now, don't get me wrong, I love me some information. 
Information = good. 
Diabetic information = great. 
Could the author, John Walsh, come to my house and help me. Please? Pretty Please?

Just, you know, charts like this:

and this:

and this:

make my head hurt.

(Just kidding on that last one, I couldn't resist.)

I'm not sure I can learn all this. I barely get by with her high coverage ratio and counting carbs. I do ok with it. I feel, I think, that I semi know what I am doing. This, however, all of this, with the charts and the calculations and the basal and the testing the basal rates and the effect of insulin in the body - for how long, at what speed, which kind, when you give it. Oh boy, that just adds to the effect of the head hurting.

I know, those of you out there in blog-reading land. It becomes second nature. It becomes something you do and it's innate. I will learn it all you will tell me. I will become the queen of it. Oh, that last part, I really don't think so, I wanna tell you as I tap you on your shoulder. 

You see, I think I need lots of help on this one. Lots and lots of help on it. Figuring it all out, combing through information to find the nuggets that solve the problem. Knowing just the right calculation to make it all work. 

Maybe it comes down to the fact that, you know what, my daughter needs a working pancreas and all she has is her mommy.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Diabetic Monday

Our Sunday night consisted of this.

A nasty low.
Dropping like a stone.

Then the uprising.
72 (????)

An hour and a half after we attempted our night-time routine...

Oh yeah and we recorded a whopping 303 earlier in the day, thus the circle in the book.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lauren's Hope Story Contest - We won!

When Grace was first diagnosed I heard from everyone that she should wear a medical ID about her Type 1. We spent the first 5 days of her diagnosis in the hospital, with lots of time to spare between ‘information-overload’ and frankly, playing the in the playroom which was across from her room. During that time I started online searching for a bracelet that she would wear. I found

They recently had a story contest in which you were asked how wearing a Lauren’s Hope bracelet changed your life or your child’s life. I entered our story, and lo and behold, Denise Gaskill from Lauren’s Hope called me on Wednesday to tell me that Grace’s story won! I won an $80.00 gift certificate which Grace will use to choose one of their bracelets. I thought I would share my winning story with you, along with the photo I sent them of Grace and her bracelet.
You can find the announcement of our winning at  They have a wonderful blog associated with their company. It was founded because Denise had a babysitter named Lauren who had Type 1 diabetes. What a great company, making beautiful bracelets and medical IDs for children and adults. Denise also gives back to places like JDRF and has donated over $100,000 to them so far. I encourage you to head on over and check out their wonderful jewelry and medical IDs.

Lauren's Hope would like to give all my readers a discount on their purchase. Use coupon code GRACE when checking out and you will get a 20% discount on your purchase. This offer is good until March 31st. Thanks Lauren's Hope! To go to their website -

Here is our winning story:

On January 9, 2009 our lives changed. Our 6 year old daughter, Grace, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. We spent five very long days in the hospital, learning to care for her. It was a shock to our family and to her. We left the hospital as different people, now coping with a lifelong chronic illness.
There was so much to absorb in those early days of diagnosis. I had to learn so much about insulin, carbohydrates, carb counting, dosing and syringes. It was enlightening and also scary. I knew no one who had a child this young with Type 1 diabetes. As I spoke with the doctors and nurses at the hospital, they all would mention that Grace should wear a medical alert bracelet of some kind now. Among all the things I now had to do, I added this to my list.
I went online. I would show Grace the bracelet and she would respond ‘It looks like a boy’s bracelet.” or “That’s not pretty, like a girl would wear.” She was still 6 years old. She wanted something pretty that would sparkle. As I searched, I happened onto and lo and behold, there, right there, on their webpage, they had sparkly bracelets. I scanned through to find the pinkest one I could find, ‘Carole’s Choice’ and I showed it to Grace. Her face lit up. ‘That, Mama, THAT’S a girl’s bracelet. That’s the one I want.” I ordered it right then and there, from the hospital room. 
Grace is now the proud owner of three Lauren’s Hope bracelets. She wears them every day. She adores how they sparkle and look ‘girly.’ As her mother, I wanted a bracelet that was a medical ID for her and also was something that she wanted to wear. I found it at Lauren’s Hope. It gives me great pleasure to know I have found something that she willingly and proudly wears. 
I have found strength from others in this last year with Type 1. Friends and support online that I would never have known have surfaced in our lives. People are good. It will all be OK. We will carry on with this chronic illness. I will raise a child with diabetes, not a diabetic child. The Lauren’s Hope bracelet reminds me that while she has Type 1, she never stops being a little girl, who wants sparkly things.
Penny, Grace’s mom

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Our 3 month endocrinologist appointment was yesterday. Can I just say that I love G’s endo? I love our CDE too. Great doctors who get it. They understand. They are so very smart. They help me, Iove that. They love Grace, I love that even more. 
Few good things happened:

Yep, that would be Grace’s new A1C. Got my grade, I passed :0) We fell from our last A1C of 7.7 which is good news. I was a happy camper. Grace really has no clue about what the A1C means, but I told her we ‘done good gal’ and she laughed. All is well..

Yep, we are on our way to being Pod people. Got our paperwork in order today and sent off the first round of insurance, information and the like. So, we will see what happens. I am excited for Grace. The best part of it all is that SHE is excited and motivated about it. I have waited for her to be ready and the patience has paid off. 

Oh she is a goin’. To diabetes camp. For a week. Overnight. 5 days.
I am not worried about her care. Its a great camp, they have great staff, it gets stellar reviews, stellar comments from other parents who have sent their Type 1s there. I think she will be in great hands diabetic-care-wise. 
I’m not sure I am gonna do so well with her being gone for 5 whole days. FIVE DAYS. No phone calls, no contact. Did I mention that it’s for FIVE DAYS? 
She is 8.
She, however, is confident she will be fine. 
No, she says, she won’t miss me all that much. 
Why, I ask. Why won’t you miss me?
You ready for the answer?
Because at camp, Mom, they have CREEK STOMPING!

I darn near fell off my chair. We live in an urban area. We do not ever walk through creeks. We do not hardly ever stomp. Yet, my 8 year old is thrilled beyond measure that she, with other campers, will stomp in a creek, therefore she will not miss me. Oh I hope the creek stomping lives up to her expectations, is all I can really think! 

All in all, a good endo appt. We left feeling good about what we are doing and where we are headed. Who can ask more than that, huh?!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Daily

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.

 Yep, the daily. You know, the worry. It creeps up on you and stays there. What if I didn't dose enough? Why all these lows? Wow, that was a high!  Day in and day out.

It's hard not to let the worry pervade everything and to pass that along to your kiddo. Not to let her see the furrowed brow, the expression on your face that says all is not well.

I am worrying about someone else condition. Most of the time. Almost every day. It cannot be good, for the soul, the mind and health. I am typically not a worrier. A do-er, I am a do-er, but this whole worry thing is new to me. I didn't spend the first year worrying so much, I think I was overwhelmed by it all. But now, I see myself worrying more and more. I don't like it. I have to find it within myself a way to change, so that it does not defeat me in this marathon journey. So that it doesn't affect her in her journey.

Endo appt on Tuesday. Maybe that's contributing to the whole worry. Is there a parent of a T1 out there who has a young child and doesn't somehow feel that the A1C score is a grade upon their parenting? I know I feel it to some extent. I want a good grade! I want a good grade! (That's me, whining.)

When really, it's not about me at all. It's about her.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Guess what came in the mail???

Guess what came in the mail yesterday??? Yep, our little ole' OmniPod to try! How cute is this....

Why, thanks OmniPod, she thinks she might.

Grace has been really adverse to a pump, until about 3 months ago, after the JDRF Walk, where she posed next to a giant life-size Nick Jonas cut-out at the Bayer Diabetes booth. She knew he wore an OmniPod.

Since this time, she actually let me talk about the idea of a pump with her, showing her pictures, looking at a video on the internet. It was a test of patience on my part to NOT just say to her 'So, then, let's get one!' She's the one wearing it 24.7, not me. She's the one with site changes and the logistics of it all on her body, not me. So, I bit my lip for these past 3 months, casually asking her if it would be ok to go ahead and order a sample Pod for her to see. She thought that would be ok.

So, it comes and she helps me unpack the Pod.

Could there be a more fit woman modeling the Pod? I almost expect them to reveal a meter next to it, showing a glowing 98 or 105 blood sugar. Never a less-than-fit model and never a less-than-'in range' blood sugar, right? Don't you wanna see an ad even once proclaim a blood sugar of 296 and see this face next to it:

Sorry, I digressed.

Anyway, unpacking the Pod and she sees the booklet describing the various locations that she can wear the OmniPod.

Grace has already eliminated the buttocks, upper back and tummy from her areas of choosing. I believe her exact words were:
"I am NEVER gonna wear the Pod there!"

Ok, we will deal with that later.

She looked at it, unwrapped it, placed it on the back of her upper arm without the tape off, scanned through the booklet and then said:

"Yep, we'll be talking to Dr. Z about this."

Patience of a saint, I tell ya.