Sunday, November 28, 2010

Special Sib of a D-Kid Day - I got 2!

Hey everyone - it's Special Sib of a D-Kid Day!



My pre-teen gal who is full of life, love and laughter. Seriously, the girl keeps me laughing about it all. And there is quite a lot to laugh about, frankly. She refers to herself as the 'typical' one and while that might not be funny to all of you out there, but when you have one child with autism and one child with Type 1 diabetes, well, it turns out, your sense of what is funny is turned upside down. So, yes, the fact that she refers to herself as the 'typical' one is quite a chuckle.

She is a wonderful child and always has been. The middle of three girls. Lover of Taylor Swift, fashion, make-up, sewing, drawing and blogging.  Smiles a lot. Easygoing and cheerful. Helpful with everything related to diabetes. Helpful with everything related to autism. And that's a lot to handle, yet she does with grace and poise and acceptance. Above all, my daughter Lucy has a heart of gold, by living with autism and now with diabetes. She is kind to everyone she meets and I love that about her. She is non-judgmental and has learn to accept everyone for who they are. In these times of Middle School vying for the latest and greatest and the peer pressure, my gal stands out for standing on her own two feet and being herself. She is loved beyond measure.


My oldest daughter. Soon to be 14 and I can hardly believe it! The one who taught me how to be a mother and how to accept. Accept. Accept and accept some more. I remember those years at age 2 and 3 and the diagnosis of autism. Hard beyond all understanding. Hard hearing words from doctors who said she would 'never' do this and 'never' do that. She has proved each of them wrong. Her spirit is whole, her personality is all hers. She is wonderful. Lover of speedstacking, dvds and videos, all things Disney, and anything that makes her laugh. Charming, sweet, kind, nice, gentle, compassionate. Things they told me that kids with autism never were or never would be. She is amazing.

While she doesn't completely understand diabetes, she loves her sisters dearly. She empathizes when she sees Grace need something. She waits patiently when attention is given to her other sister. She is aware and loving. There is nothing more I could ask her to be. She is herself, truly and wholly.

There aren't enough words to completely express my pleasure
being Grace, Lucy and Maddie's mother. 
Maddie is fantastic.
Lucy is spectacular.
Grace is lucky
I am blessed.

Friday, November 26, 2010

These baby blues will cost me...

Grace having a 'spa day' with her sister this summer.
Yes, that's a chocolate masque on her face.
No, I don't know how many carbs it had.

Grace had her annual ophthalmologist appointment today to check on the status of her eyes. She checks out with 20/20 vision in both eyes and no sign of any retina damage. It was a good day. We are good for a year now. One more thing to add to our 'thankful' list this year.

This is the part that made me happy.

Although on the way to the doctor, the car shuddered and almost stalled. Then the engine light came on. Oh yeah, then I called the mechanic who said not to drive it and to call a tow truck. So I called the tow truck who showed up one hour later.

Did I mention that it was Black Friday and we were in the city and there wasn't a food store in sight or walking distance from the doctor's office? And that they had no vending machines - not one - not a soda machine and not a snack one in the office? And all I had in my purse was one Juicy Juice and one roll of glucose tabs. And by now, after the doctor and the waiting for the tow truck, it had been close to 2+ hours and it was 12:30 pm???

Got towed to the mechanic and jammed money into the vending machine for some food.
G was 68.

Yeah, that part sucked.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not,
 but rejoices for those which he has."


Thankful for
which saves my little girl's life each and every day.

Thankful for
a great team of doctors and CDEs,
who help keep Grace healthy and on track.

Thankful for
which allows Grace the freedom to feel like an 8 year old girl.

Thankful for
the morning sun and the evening moon, 
because each day is not guaranteed to any one of us, 
but each day that I see each one of them is indeed
a blessing that was granted.

Thankful for
my family,
 who has, above all else,
 and been strengthened by this journey.

Thankful for
the Diabetic Online Community, 
who get me through, lift me up and make me feel like I can do this. 
Thank you is not enough for all you guys and gals out there.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Doll with the D

In a recent post, Grace lamented over the fact that her beloved American Girl Doll, Jessica, did not have an insulin pump. Jessica was the gift we got Grace when she was diagnosed in January 2009 with diabetes. Jessica greeted her when she returned home after her time in the hospital. She is the spitting image of Grace, through their My American Girl collection, where you choose skin color, eye color and hair color. Darn it if the doll isn't Grace Jr.!

I am proud to say that Jessica now has diabetes. And an insulin pump.

Well, thanks to Pam, who lead me to this website, t&j design, where a woman crafts insulin pumps and cases for American Girl dolls! Her name is Joan Benz and she couldn't have been nicer. She also makes insulin pump cases for the regular size actual-people with D crowd too.

Grace chose the color of her insulin pump case for Jessica. Pink polka dots, cause that's what Jessica likes, don't you know?!

And it came today.

Of course Jessica needed the pump site on her arm, the same as Grace.

And in the case, a miniature insulin pump.

And even Grace was pleased.
Her pump read a steady 108.
Way to go Jessica!

If you have a girl on an insulin pump and they have an American Doll, head on over to Joan's site and get her a pump and a case.

Cause sometimes, you just need your doll to have the same thing you do.

Click HERE to go to tandj design for their doll pumps and cases.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy WDD!

Our house is now decorated in honor of WDD.

World Diabetes Day on the sidewalk

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I read a blog, which shall remain nameless, that focusing on couponing. Yes, I am one of THOSE women who hate to pay for anything and uses way too many coupons, and gets things for free, and pays like $2.00 for a $100 order at the store and I'm the one that you hate to stand behind in line at the supermarket. I save a lot, and I mean A LOT of money this way and well you should, well, just get over it and get in another line.

Can you tell I am fired up? That's cause I was reading the comments left on a blog posting about how CA was banning the toys that came with meals such as Happy Meals at McDonald's that didn't meet nutritional standards. People were vastly against the 'government intrusion' into our McDonalds-lives. They didn't want the government banning what they choose to put into their children's mouths.

I'l be honest - we eat there about once a month. We eat with knowledge that yes, it's not the perfect place to eat and we try to make good food choices when we go - grilled chicken sandwiches, apple slices, milk. It just is what it is. I'm not saying I'm sorry for it and I don't feel guilty about it. I feed my family well and a little McD's thrown into the bag is fine with me.

I think that the law that bans the toys is a little over-the-top in that it simplifies the problem to 'if we don't give them a toy, surely they won't go to those places and then they will make good food choices.' You know what? I live just outside a huge city. I see what happens in the poorer sections - lots of McD's, BK, and fast food places and not a veggie stand or fresh food market in sight. And if you were to go there, how will you get there on the bus and carry it home, with kids in tow and not a penny to your name. I try and understand. There but for the grace of God go I.

Ok, back to the point. One of the comments, as I scrolled down, said this:

Parents should, key word should, make these decisions for their children, so when their children grow up they have some sort of guidance to good eating. I have a Type 1 Diabetic family member, she is 5 years old. Her parents do not have her on a strict diabetic diet, so she is being pumped with unnecessary insulin. This is a perfect example of parental choices. A 5 year old doesn't know what a diabetic should or shouldn't eat, but her parents (one of which is diabetic) do. They choose not to teach her. Having the right to choose is our American gift, not everyone gets the right to choose. So why abuse it, then blame someone else?

OK- are you as incensed as I am???? I couldn't get to the keyboard fast enough. I typed and typed - Type 1 is an auto-immune disorder, not because my child is lazy, fat, or eats too much McD's food. And that's not Type 2 either for the love of God. And what, pray tell, is the 'strict diabetic diet' my child should be on???? Please, someone email that to me, can you? Thanks.

The part that REALLY set me off is the 'unnecessary insulin.' I think my head almost came off my body! I wrote in my response that insulin saves her life every damn day. Every. Damn. Day. If she doesn't have it, she dies. Slowly, painfully dies. How is insulin unnecessary???? Where did she get this information? I fear she is also telling this '5 year old family member' this information or the parent who is also diabetic (and my guess that's the old T2, not a T1).

So I commented. And it got posted. 

And I changed the title of this post (it was 'She can shove it') after I sat on it for a day. It's a little kinder. The little editor man in my head must not have been working last night when I typed the original title. 

But don't think for a minute that I didn't think about saying it to her, cause, really, I did.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

D-Blog Day - 6 from the G

It's DBlog Day! Thanks to Gina Capone.

I thought I would ask the source herself all about her diabetes, so, as they say, from Grace's mouth, here are her thoughts in summation.

6 things you should know about Type 1 diabetes, from Grace herself...

1. You can have great friends when you have diabetes
There's L from camp, and my penpal G and my friend Kelly. I love them. They all have diabetes. That makes us all the same in one way. They are girls and I love that too.

2. I love cookies and I have diabetes
And my Mom says that it's ok. I like cookies. I like chocolate chip cookies. Oh and KitKat bars too. I ate them at Halloween and I loved each one of them. And I have diabetes. Ha ha.

3. Sometimes I don't really like to drink juice, but I have to
Juicy Juice is what mom gives me when I am low sometimes. You would think I would like to drink it every time, but lately I don't. I get sick of it. It does make me feel better, but I am so tired of the little boxes.

4. It's an insulin pump. Not a radio or an iPod
Every one of my friends knows what it is, but people out in a store or a restaurant cannot figure it out. So sometimes I tell them it's my iPod. It makes me laugh when they look shocked. But it's REALLY funny to me and then they stop staring at me. I know it looks like an egg, but it's just my pump.

5. Counting carbs makes me good at math
I am really good at math. I can add, subtract, borrow and carry. I am learning how to do multiplication. Mom says I know how to add from all the carb counting and adding that I do. I can even add in my head! Like large numbers and things. So, yeah, diabetes has made me smarter in math.

6. I love American Girl, but I wish she had a pump!
All my friends have American Girl dolls and I have one too. Her name is Jessica and she looks exactly like me. She was my present when I came home from the hospital after I got diabetes. Now I wish they made a pump for her, cause she could be just like me then. They don't make one, but when I go to the NYC American Girl store, I am telling someone to make one.

7. People with diabetes have really cool events.
I have gone to Diabetic Candy Exchanges, Jamborees, camp and the JDRF Walk. And I have had fun at each one of them. We didn't go to events like this before I had diabetes, so now that I have it, at least they have some good things to go to.

8. My sisters don't have diabetes and it's all OK
One of my sisters has autism. One doesn't. They both don't have diabetes. But we are all different. Just like I have blue eyes and one of my sisters doesn't. I still belong in this family, it's just we are all different. It's OK as my Mom always says.

9. Diabetes means that I'm awake at night
My Mom checks on me at 2 am every night. Sometimes I try and help her out by lifting my finger out from the covers. I know she is coming. Sometimes I don't even wake up. Sometimes I don't want her to prick my finger, but she does anyway. Always. At 2 am, did I say that? I guess that's OK.

10. I'm just Grace with D
Before I was Grace without D, which totally cracks me up. Now I am Grace with D. Hey, if you put the D at the end of Grace you end up with the word 'GraceD'

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Opera Company of Philadelphia "Hallelujah!" Random Act of Culture

I know - it's not diabetes related, but I had to share!
This is why I love my city.

And now, for your viewing pleasure... Macy's in Philadelphia, which hosts the biggest organ ever and is such an historic building, experienced a Random Act of Culture. Macy's used to be Wanamaker's  and I dutifully got my school shoes there every year of my life, as well as ate in their fancy dining room with my Mom. It brings back memories every time I step through the doors of the store. There is a giant eagle in the middle of the store and everyone in Philly, if you say 'meet me at the eagle' knows just what you mean.

I thought you all might enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Diabetic Candy Exchange!!!

Yep, you read that right, our hospital, the one where Grace was diagnosed on January 9, 2009, hosts a 'Diabetic Candy Exchange' for all the Type 1 kiddos there. The pediatric nurses organize it, raise funds, provide entertainment, feed us dinner, solicit donations and run the whole thing.

Can I tell you that I hold them near and dear to my heart? Cause I do.

The day after Halloween, the kids are invited from 5-7 pm to come to the hospital, turn over any candy they do not want - any or all of it - you decide how much, and in return, they get a gift bag designed just for them - as in, you call and RSVP and tell them you have an 8 year old girl and what her name is, and they design a gift bag around her - can I tell you I really love them? Cause I do. Then, they get to choose gift cards or toys from a table too. Grace scored a giftcard to a local store last year and beamed the rest of the party. She gets to do crafts and party. She wasn't sad in the least that she gave away some her candy. Who would be, right?!

Last night was the candy exchange.

Here's the invite....

Here's where we dump the candy we do not want. That's a motherload of candy!!!

I did, however, want to rummage through the entire trashcan and pick out the winners for bringing up a low - the Smarties, Skittles, etc. Who would give those away? Am I crazy for wanting to do it? You should know that the little editor-man in my head told me it was a public event and there were people watching.
I didn't jump in and save the low-BGL-bringer-uppers.
I'm still sad about it.

Oh and she got her face painted! They all did!

She scored a $15 Target giftcard from the gift table and a giant goodie bag filled with girl delights. There were raffles too!

Oh and the characters from Star Wars showed up. Don't ask me why and don't ask me their names. They made me feel a little creepy if you ask me. Kids did love them though.

A master pumpkin carver!

Pizza - of course! (Don't get me started why every event we attend related to diabetes must be celebrated with pizza.) I felt like screaming "It's 35g a slice and up that temp basal to +50% for about 2-3 hours!!!!" We did and we rocked a 106 BGL 2 hours later

And of course, the nurses. Always the nurses. This special nurse was there when we were diagnosed, throughout our stay. She said beautiful words to us, assured us that it would be OK and that all would be fine. She holds a special place in our hearts and dutifully looks for Grace each year at the Exchange. I had to get a photo of them together. Her eyes teared up as she saw Grace. Grace lifted her shirt a tiny bit and said/yelled 'BAM!' and showed off her OmniPod pump on her belly. 

Yes, we have come a long way.