Monday, December 9, 2013


You read that right, What The Heck, BGS. And I mean it.

You would think I would have a handle on blood sugars by now. But that's a farce, isn't it. We really don't have a handle on anything when it comes to diabetes. It's all a giant crapshoot into the darkness. At least it's felt like that the past few days.

I think it's growth hormones, so I increase her basals all the way around. It works for a day or two, then it slams her to the ground with lows, lows, lows. So I change it back and I get highs. And by change I mean I bump it back up a notch, .05 units. Yeah, big time there.

Then Grace has a night of highs. Highs like you cannot get them down and they will stay there forever and ever, amen. Those kind of highs. I loathe those kind of highs cause you know what I want to say. 'OK, BG, I am done playing with you, you want to stay high, stay high. No, in fact, I am going to bolus and temp basal you, the likes of which have not been seen before.'

Then I come to my senses and realize once again, this lovely pump is connected to my live daughter, so I don't. I give .50 units when I want to give 1.50 units. I temp basal increase by +30% for 2 hours, when I want to shoot that high BG with a +95% for 3 hours and see how it likes that.

That's what I mean by WTH BGS.

And Dexcom buzzes and beeps and whirrs and flings itself off table tops and bureaus cause it's moving so much, creating those roller coaster effects on the graph. They are lovely, aren't they. Until you realize that's your child's blood sugar doing that, going up up up and then coming down, down, down.

I'll get a handle on it, I really will. Eventually. I mean, some day I will.
Until then, it's cursing the BGs without cursing the child.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Diabetes takes a back seat

As Grace gets older it's not on my mind as much. I know, can you imagine! The days roll on and we are so busy, well, living, that sometimes we just bolus, dose, extend and then roll. We have much bigger fish to fry most days.

There are always those days, however, when diabetes moves to the forefront. It takes center stage cause it misses the limelight I suppose. It wants all the attention. It must have been an only child growing up, you know that? Those days are fewer and fewer, but when it does get to the stage, the lights are on, the audience of Grace and I are standing at attention, until the light fades and it exits stage left.

There has been so much going on lately. Here's a recap:

JDRF Walk in Philly. 10,000 of your closest friends, walking for a cure.

Like a boss on top of the Art Museum steps. Yeah, she's Rocky.

Our favorite CDE, Gary Scheiner. Walking like a pro.

Halloween - she went as 'social media' with her girlfriend. And of course, Halloween activities!

Social Media!
Apple chunking' at our local orchard. We can sling them FAR!

And most of all, World Diabetes Day, coming on November 14th. It warms my heart when her whole team in 6th grade is gonna wear blue.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A1Cs tell a story

The A1Cs are just a piece of the puzzle, just one small piece. And sometimes, well, many times, we as parents put too much into one small piece. We fret over them, sigh when they are not what we want, cheer when we get what we want after so much hard work and learning, learning, learning.

The A1C does reveal things though - things you do to get a lower BG average over time, a trick you now know that you didn't know before, the jump from shots to a pump, the addition of a CGM - the A1Cs tell the story.

This is the story of a smaller pod, no Pod change highs and wearing every Pod for a full three days, and sometimes riding the last of the basal out on an 'expired' Pod.

Just had our endo appt since the three months Grace has been on the smaller Pod.
And that's our story.

10-14-13 6.2
5-30-13 6.7
2-26-13 6.5
11-29-12 6.4
8-21-12 6.4
5-29-12 6.6
2-28-12 6.6
11-1-11 7.1
7-28-11 7.1
3-10-11 6.4
12-14-10 6.6
9-7-10 6.6
6-24-10 6.8
3-16-10 7.3
12-15-09 7.7
11-23-09 7.9
8-27-09 7.6
5-7-09 7.3


Saturday, October 5, 2013


Independence - doing something by yourself, free from dependence. Dependence on a nurse, dependence on Mom, Dad, an 'other' who looks over your shoulder. I am been digging deep this last year to create more of this - independence. What it looks like to me is that Grace does it herself. We have worked on the expectation, I have modeled what I expect in terms of care, she has done it semi-independent and she has done it with me checking in.

Now we are spinning towards independence. No checking with me, just checking in cause she wants me to know. Doing it herself. Sometimes I force it. And she does it. Sometimes I wait. And she does it. But my gal is doing it, exactly what I would have done.

Independence at a sleepover she wanted to attend. With a big dance with her sleepover mate the night before. I hadn't heard from her since about 10 pm the previous night. Then, this morning, I get this:

I want to explore what this means in terms of her care. Independence from me. That's my ultimate goal, right? Independence so she cares for herself, with my role changing to monitor and guide. 

Growing up rocks.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

DSMA Live: Parents Talk 9/9/13

Tune in tomorrow night, Monday, September 9, 2013 as I guest host DSMA: Parents Talk with Lorriane Sisto of This is Caleb. Our guest will be Bennet Dunlap and the Strip Safely Campaign.

Bennet will just have finished appearing on a panel at the Diabetes Technology Society: 'Verifying the Performance of Blood Glucose Monitors following FDA Clearance.' He will tell us all about what happened on the panel and the current status of the Strip Safely campaign.

Tune in - it's great information about such an important subject for all people living with diabetes.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Evidence of the low

Grace had one heck of a low last night. She was smooth sailing along at a steady 104 BG, heading straight east arrow, on the Dex. I had just looked at it about ten minutes before it happened. Then, she walked into the room. With those eyes, I can always tell by the eyes. The ones that say 'I'm a little dizzy and starting to go out of it, I'm looking around for something but I don't know what...' THOSE eyes.

"I'm feeling a little dizzy" Grace says, as she holds her PDM, strips and 'pricker.'

I press on Dex's little button and up pops 54 BG, with a south arrow. Yeah, the one that points straight down into hell. Cause that's where you are about to go with a low that comes on this fast.

Literally, looking at the Dex graph dots later, it looked like she stepped off a cliff from 104 to 54.
50 point BG drop in about 10 minutes. Whoa, that's some kind of ride.


Did your heart just stop? Cause mine did when I saw that on her PDM. The lowest she has ever gone was 27 and it was not pretty at all. 31 I have never seen, and would like never to see again.

I hit 'suspend' on her PDM and hit '1 hour.'

Thirty one.

Then it happens in slow motion. Grace lays down on my bed and says 'I am really dizzy' and I grab the Juicy Juice that sits in her room, tear off the little straw and puncture it into the little box of juice. All that happens in 5 seconds. She slurps it down, while I open the glucose tabs and hand her two grape ones. She puts them in her mouth and starts to munch, only she tells me that she needs to lay down to chew.

Sweetie, lay down, it's OK, just keep chewing, is what I say to her. Just keep chewing. Chew.

I run downstairs and grab a banana, and a Clif bar.  I know she will eat these.

She wolfs down the banana and the bar. And lays there, opening and closing her eyes steadily. I lay down beside her and hold her hand, stroking it, telling her how lovely she is, how wonderful she is and how it will all be over soon. That the numbers will go up and she will be OK, sometimes it takes a few minutes.

"I'd like half a peanut butter sandwich, and some more juice."

I run down to make the quickest sandwich I can and open another juice. She eats both, sitting up this time, slowly chewing the sandwich. Proclaiming it the best sandwich in the whole world.

As she eats, I write it down, to remember the carbs. Cause with my gal, these carbs will add up, and in an hour or two, she will be sky high if I don't remember what she ate and start adding it up.

So far we are at 90g carbs.
It's been about 20 minutes. Grace rechecks and she is 77 BG.
We lay down and talk, and recheck in about 15 minutes and she is rolling with a 114 BG.
I turn back on her basal insulin in her pump. I give it the respect it deserves.

And with everything in my being, I give her 45g of carbs 'free' in that I don't dose her for them, but I ever so gently input that she had 45g to eat and I hit 'enter' on her pump. Giving her the thing that sent her to the 31 in the first place.

And I keep the list, as a reminder.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

D Camp -Year 4

Camp Victory, we have no words. We wait and wait and wait for you all year. The countdown to diabetes camp starts, well, the day after the previous year's week ends. Literally. Grace will say 'Only 364 more days until camp.' Do you know the countdown that needs to happen to count down for an entire year? On second thought, you probably don't want to know. It's looooooooong.

(You can read about Camp Year 1 here. And Camp Year 2 here. And Camp Year 3 here. Enjoy.)

This is Grace's 4th year at camp, and as she puts it 'It's the best week of my whole year, Mom.' And I truly believe it is. Our family would plan a trip to Disney, and if it was the same week as diabetes camp, Grace would choose diabetes camp, hands down. It beats the ocean, Disney and an amusement park, all rolled into one.

She finally moved up to the 11-12 year old cabin. The pink cabin, Sassafras. I love the picture that captures the Sass, because truly it fits.

And of course, the t-shirts rocked. Sweeties with Betes, indeed.

And of course, there is Lily. Lily is the very reason that Grace loves camp. ONE ENTIRE WEEK with her best friend, or as Grace puts it, 'Mom, she's my DBFF, and like my sister.' And they are, two peas in a pod. Outgoing, funny, kind, smart, caring, listeners, and best of best friends. They found each other at this very camp, four years ago. And it was like capturing lightning in a bottle. There had to be a reason we sent Grace to camp that year, and Lily's parents sent Lily, and they ended up in the same cabin, and by the end of 6 days together that first year, decided they were best friends forever. Right from the beginning, to click with someone like that, and only be 8 years old. That's pure lightning, right there.

They swam, they campfired, they ziplined, they ate, they tested, they treated lows, they made mugs in arts and crafts, they went on hikes, they joined the polar bear club and jumped in the pool early one morning. They communed, they made new friends and most of all, they were part of a community that cares deeply about it's members.

There is nothing in the world that comes close to the closing ceremonies, where counselors, leaders, campers, staff and directors of camp sing the closing song 'Waltzing with Bears.' And as they sang it, the words resonated with me:

Raggy bears, shaggy bears, baggy bears too
And there's nothing on earth Uncle Walter won't do
So he can go waltzing, wa-wa-wa-waltzing 
So he can go waltzing with bears

There's nothing on earth that Grace won't do, so she can go to diabetes camp, put her arms around her peers living with Type 1, sway in time to the music, and sing.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Paying for the low

Grace's lows have been endless this past week. I cut her basals by about 30% and still they come on. I increased her I:C ratio incrementally, and still about 2 hours after she eats, she plummets. Not sure what's going on, but it stinks.

There was a low today in Walmart. Yes, Walmart. We rarely ever go, as the one near us is humongous and it overwhelms me - the people, the crowds, someone is always angry there. I find my comfort in Target, not Walmart. Hey, to each his own. But we found ourselves there.


Dexcom tells me something is seriously wrong. It buzzes against my hip, as I threw it into my purse side pocket as we shopped. I look down and see a 49 with a southeast arrow. She is headed down.

Crap on a stick.

We are near the refrigerated cases. I look for some orange juice, as she would willingly, gladly, drink it. There are no individual bottles of it. Why not Walmart, why? You stock everything under the blessed sun, but drew the line at individual orange juices?

I spy a little 6 pack of Sunny D. Hey, it's either this or some awful chocolate milk by Nestle that I spotted out of the corner of my eye. That will make her sick, so 'no' to that.  It's too far to walk for the diabetes section and the glucose tabs. It's too far to walk for the candy aisle near check out. She's already dizzy and I have no glucose tabs in her kit. Yeah, it's summer, I am a slacker, I know.

I grab the small 6 pack of Sunny D and rip one out of the pack.

Grace looks at me like I came into the Walmart with a ski mask on, a loaded pistol and said 'I'm taking the Sunny D!'

Her eyes widen - 'MOM!!!!!!'

'I'm going to pay for it honey, it's only one of the juices, now here, drink it.'

'I don't want to drink it until we pay for it.'

Are you seriously kidding me? I applaud her honesty, I didn't raise a thief, but for the love of all that is holy - DRINK THE JUICE AND STOP REASONING WITH ME!

She drinks it down in three gulps. And tells me she is dizzy.

'Can you hold onto the cart? I will find us a place to sit.'

And I do, near a pillar, off of an aisle way.

And we sit in Walmart and drink the not-yet-paid-for juice.

And yes, I paid for it later, both in cash and a steady 96, straight-east arrow on that Dex.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer and PDM screens

Summer, what is it that makes the days fly? There hasn't been ten minutes where we are not coming, going or doing something. No time for updating blogs, no time for commenting - I missed that whole wonderful day of commenting on blogs, it was 11 PM before I realized it was that day - ugh.

Snapshots of our summer...

Birthday parties in the backyard.

Chilling at the beach.

D meet-ups are the best with Super Kel.

Ice cream on the boardwalk.

And since we have the new Pods and PDM, I am pretty sure that the home screen will, indeed, NEVER read her actual name.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Happy 11th Grace!

Happy 11th Birthday to the rockingest girl I know!

Oh sweet 11, on the way out of the youngsters and into the pre-teens. 

Though you give me a run for my money some days, you are still the brightest star, the one who makes me laugh and smile each and every day.

I am so very proud to be your mother.
I am so very lucky to have you as a daughter.

Have I told you lately how brave and strong and true you are?
You are.

Enjoy 11 sweet girl.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer time...

Summer time with D. Waiting to see if you have cooked the insulin on the beach in 90+ degree temperatures. Waiting to see if the Pod falls off while boogieboarding. All good times, huh?! Luckily, we didn't cook anything and luckily, no Pods or Dex were lost to the Atlantic Ocean.

Grace often has kids come up to her and ask her what is on her arm. She dutifully replies 'My medicine' and it seems to suffice for the kids. They end up having an answer and they are satisfied. She gets lots of looks. Most people, I assume, think it's something music-related. An iPod attached to her? Looks like it should have earplugs coming out of it. Come to think of it, that might be a really good joke sometime.

And of course, you need some BIG boluses sometimes.

Good beach days. Relaxing and chilling with D.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Philadelphia Spinners Fly Girl

Ever seen Ultimate Frisbee? Well, there are actually Major League teams that play it. Here in Philly we have the Philadelphia Spinners. As luck may have it, they have cheerleaders/dancers too, called the Fly Girls. One of the Fly Girls is Grace's dance teacher, who held a short clinic and invited the girls to come and dance at halftime of the Philadelphia Spinners game. Sure enough, Grace was more than game for this.

And now, I present, Jr. Fly Girl Grace.

Blue sign, blue hair. Natch.

Kick it up high, G!

Rocking both the OmniPod and the Dex!

Fly Girls and the Juniors

One the field, doing the 'tunnel' for the players.

Halftime routine!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Packing up and Letting Go

Grace's 5th grade class goes on a trip, annually to an Outdoor School. The true old kind of outdoor school, with bunk beds in open cabins that close with flaps, outdoor bathrooms, showers in your bathing suits, mess halls, boat rides on the Chesapeake Bay, working on a farm, walks through the swamp and cooking hotdogs on a beach campfire. It's a tradition that dates backs 40 years. EVERY 5th grader goes on the trip, it's a right of passage to do it.

This week is Grace's week.

And I have been so very excited that she is going, and as a Type 1 D-Mama, sort of dreading it. Well, you know, I have only been planning for it since September, let alone the planning in my head that has gone on since she was in 1st grade. She has an excellent nurse going with her - the sub nurse she has had for 5 years at school. He is an RN in the ICU of a city hospital. If there is anyone to handle anything under pressure, it's him. I trust him with her. I still spent almost two hours at my dining room table with him this past Saturday morning, giving him the lowdown on pump settings, temp basals, carb doses and the like.

I think I am ready.

Grace has been ready since the start of 5th grade.

'Mom, I will be fine.' 'Yes, Mom, it's all going to be OK.' 'Mom, I have going to have a blast.' and as always, she is the one reassuring me, my 10 year old packed into a 35 year old's body, that all will be well.

I've packed it all. All of what someone needs to take care of Grace for five straight days need. We have planned on pump failure, occlusions, extra syringes even though she is on the pump, the name of the nearest hospital and how to get there, the doctor on call for the outdoor school, you name it, we have a plan for it. And just because I have a plan for everything, everything will go splendidly, isn't that how it's supposed to work?!

I have packed:

OmniPods - (7 for 5 days, even though she changes sets every 3 days)
glucagon - 2
medical waste containers - 2
Carb counting book
extra batteries
alcohol pads
extra lancing device
extra meter that works with Freestyle strips
Freestyle strips
ketone meter and ketone strips
Flexifix tape
Dexcom charger
Dexcom case
clear skins that can tape over the Pod and CGM transmitter should she walk through the swamp

And I still think I forgot stuff.

Then comes the low treatment boxes, one for the nurse's cabin and one for her cabin. Juices, granola bars and fruit snacks.

She will have a blast. She will be safe and well cared for, I know it. She will come back with the same memories that her sisters have of doing this, of going through the right of passage. Collective memory, it's something to behold. 

I have packed it. I have blessed it. I have done everything so she will be ready to take D along for the ride.

Have fun, sweetie.

Friday, May 17, 2013

D Blog Week - At least it's not...

At least it's not....

I loathe that saying when it comes to Grace. At least it's not cancer. No shit it's not cancer. Why would you even say that to me? Cause cancer, whoa, that would be BAD and what you have, Penny, is not so bad at all. Always could be worse. Well, sure, I could get struck by lightning and hit by a car right now, that would be worse. But here I am, standing and talking to someone who mentions that it could be cancer. What the hell?!

At least it's not autism again.

That's what I think. And I don't say that because I think autism is such a BAD thing. I don't. It is what it is. My oldest daughter, who is 16 now, has autism. And it rocked our world. I just don't think I could do another child with autism. Yes, I know what you are saying and thinking, sure you could Penny. And yes, if I was given another child with autism, I WOULD do it again, sure enough. I would find it within me to pull myself up and get on with it, knowing what I had to do.

Still, at least it's not autism again.

I thought about this when someone said that autism and diabetes were so similar. Hmmm. Not so much at all. With autism, I could take a day off. I could stop going to therapies for a day, a week, and she would STILL have autism. In fact, I remember when she was young and I had enough, I cancelled all her therapies for the day, got myself a People magazine, turned on 'Barney' for her and sat on the couch the entire day. Sure enough, she still had autism the next day.

I can't do that with diabetes.

It's on 24/7/365 in a much different way than autism. It requires so much intensive calculations and measurement and learning. In a more methodical way. It rocked my world, but the bost just swayed. It didn't tip over, throw us all off, require us to swim to shore and look for the friggin boat. Autism did that. That was a ride, my friends.

I don't want it misinterpreted that I think autism sucks. It's actually just another reality for my daughter and us. We are a happy family. She is a happy child. She is the love of our lives, along with our other children. To me, she is perfect, and she has autism.

So, while I wouldn't want to switch chronic diseases with anyone, or trade places from my beautiful one to someone else's, I thank whoever is in charge of this whole thing, that it's not autism again, but diabetes.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

D-Blog Week - Memories


'He was still too young to know that the heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burdens of the past.'

~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

Grace is sitting in her bed. In front of her is a plate, with 6 or 7 Ritz crackers on it, each with a small amount of peanut butter spread on it. That's her favorite, I make it each time this happens at night. Next to it lies a banana, already peeled and ready to eat. The individual applesauce resides there too,  with a spoon, readied to be opened.

She is low. It could have been the 33, the 28, the 44. Sometimes, I lose track of the lows. They all blend into one after all this time. Each one is distinct for it's uniqueness, but it's basically the same record that plays again and again, one continuous loop. The goal is always the same. Higher.

Sometimes she sits cross legged, with the pillow at her back. Sometimes she lays half down, propped on one arm. My position stays the same. I plop myself at the end of her bed. I start talking. I reassure her that just eating will make it better. I tell her how it's gonna come up and up and soon she will go back to bed and I will take care of it all. 

She eats. She sometimes talks back to me, telling me how good it tastes, how very, very, very hungry she is and she could eat ALL the pantry contents. She tells me that the banana tastes good, and how many carbs she guesses for it. We banter - 15g, no it's more like 18g, if we had to dose for it, Mommy, I would dose 18g cause you are always closer to the actual number. I smile. She eats. And eats.

I clean up as she finishes. I keep track of the time mentally, timing the 15 damn minutes that we all wait. It seems like forever. I look at Dex, but not too much to freak her out. I reassure her again that it will come up. I promise her, again and again. 

The memories of the lows are met with the love I have for her. I'll sit on any bed, any time of any day, to help that number rise. I hope that is what she takes away from all these times. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

DBlog Week - We, the Undersigned

We, the Undersigned...

Enough with the petitions, people! I'm petitioned out.
Ah, what the heck, here's one I think I can do:

We, the DOC, do hereby solemnly swear to support ALL people with diabetes - whatever number or initials they shall have - and to do our best, non judgmentally, and with compassion, understanding and support, for the time we have on this Earth.

Who wants to sign?

D-Blog Week - Share and Don't Share

Share and Don't Share

Grace and I share mostly everything with Grace's endo. Our endo is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise heady jungle of numbers and basals and boluses. She strides into the exam room and immediately starts chatting with Grace about her outfit, her hair, school, camp, her best friends, everything under the sun. And it's TRUE. She cares so much about Grace and her kids in her practice. She truly wants to know how they are doing. And the best part? She doesn't ever ask how the diabetes is going until she has about 10 minutes of dialogue under her belt. See, makes you want to hug her, right?! I do, a lot.

After we get down to business of looking at the logbook (yes, I still log every BG, every bolus, every temp basal and every little thing I do in this D business. It's what works for me to figure it all out) and looking at her pump and her Dex. She asks me how she can help me. Let me tell you again - she asks me how she can help me. The first time she said it, I started yammering on and on about how I couldn't get the lows fixed after the high, you know, the rollercoaster effect. She said 'Let me help you with that' and proceeded to teach me some invaluable tricks of the trade. Up until that point, no one had ever asked how they could help me. Once you ask, I am all for getting help. She's that kind of gal, she asks.

I there something I don't share, that I hope Grace's endo sees nonetheless. Well, I hope she sees how hard we try, day in and day out, to do the dance with the D. I think she does, and maybe next time, when she asks me how she can help me, I might just say... 'You know, one of the ways you can help me is to see how hard we work at this. That it's not easy, not for a minute, so I hope you always know that we come in here every three months having tried our hardest.'

I think when she hears that, she might be the one giving me a hug.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Diabetes Blog Week is up and coming!

Yeah! Diabetes Blog Week!
I will be participating. Head on over to Karen Graffeo's blog, Bitter Sweet, to sign up.

See you starting Monday!

Here are the topics for the week:

Share and Don’t Share - Monday 5/13
Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one's daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don't see?  (Thanks to Melissa Lee of Sweetly Voiced for this topic suggestion.)

We, The Undersigned - Tuesday 5/14
Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so today let’s pretend to write our own. Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) - get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change? (Thanks to Briley of inDpendence for this topic suggestion.)

Memories - Wednesday 5/15
Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere.... your or your loved one's diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share. (Thanks to Jasmine of Silver-Lined for this topic suggestion.)

Accomplishments Big and Small -Thursday 5/16
We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you've made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small - think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.). (Thanks to Hilary of Rainie and Me for this topic suggestion.)

Freaky Friday - Friday 5/17
Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions? (Thanks to Jane of Jane K. Dickinson, RN, PhD, CDE and Bob of T Minus Two for this topic suggestion.)

Diabetes Art - Saturday 5/18
This year Diabetes Art moves up from the Wildcard choices as we all channel our creativity with art in the broadest sense. Do some “traditional” art like drawing, painting, collage or any other craft you enjoy. Or look to the literary arts and perhaps write a d-poem or share and discuss a favorite quote. Groove to some musical arts by sharing a song that inspires you diabetes-wise, reworking some song lyrics with a d-twist, or even writing your own song. Don’t forget dramatic arts too, perhaps you can create a diabetes reality show or play. These are just a starting point today – there are no right or wrong ways to get creative!

 Spread the Love - Sunday 5/19
As another Diabetes Blog Week draws to a close, let’s reflect on some of the great bloggers we’ve found this week. Give some love to three blog posts you’ve read and loved during Diabetes Blog Week, and tell us why they’re worth reading. Or share three blogs you’ve found this week that are new to you. (Thanks to Pearlsa of A Girl's Reflections for inspiring this topic.)

Dream Diabetes Device Wildcard
Back by popular demand, let's revisit this prompt from last year! Tell us what your fantasy diabetes device would be? Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc. The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

Diabetes Wild Kingdom Wildcard
What is the ideal diabetes service animal? Think beyond the obvious and be creative in explaining why your choice is a good one. For example, maybe a seal would make a good service animal - it flaps its flippers and barks every time you get a good blood sugar reading! (Thanks to Tristan of Based on a True Story for this topic suggestion.)

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Sugars

It's been three years that Grace has been on the OmniPod insulin pump. Three years of it and we haven't looked back.

I love you sincerely, Insulet, but if you don't get your you-know-what together soon and get us the NEW PDM and NEW Pods that everyone who 'cut the cord' get, you are gonna deal with one angry D-Mama. Don't say I didn't warn you.


Grace had her annual eye check up today with dear old Dr. Nelson. I love the guy and we have been seeing him annually for four years. He's one of the best in the whole city for pediatric ophthalmology. One of the very best. But, he's old school.

Our conversation went something like this:

'Hi Grace, how are you doing? Are your sugars under control? How are your sugars?'

'OK I guess. Yes. They are under control.'

Dear Dr. Nelson proceeds with the whole exam. Smiling and looking into her eyes the whole time. He is kind. And smart. And good.

My mother always told me to look for the people in your life with kind eyes.
Dr. Nelson has kind eyes.

'Grace, your eyes look great. No diabetic damage, your retinas look wonderful. Keep those sugars under control now, you hear me!'

I smile at him. I don't have the heart or the nerve or the wherewithal to correct him or even change what he is saying. He is saying it because he cares about her. He is saying it the way he knows how. He is doing the best he can.

'Thanks Dr. Nelson, see you in a year.'

'Great seeing you Grace, remember about the sugars!'

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Waiting on Insulet and the new OmniPod

Grace has been using the OmniPod pump for three years this April. Three years. Three years ago do you know what I heard - that smaller Pods and a new PDM were on their way. As in, a few months until they cleared the FDA and they would be in our hands.

Grace was even in the clinical trials for children with Type 1, on the new PDM. I held the new Pod in my hands, played with the PDM, was trained on it by a CDE OmniPod representative from Texas who was flown to Philadelphia to help conduct the FDA trials. That was TWO YEARS AGO.

And what pisses me off even more is that the NEW customers to Insulet - the ones who have 'cut the cord' are the first ones to get the new system and Pods. We have been more than loyal, outspoken advocates of Insulet and OmniPod for three years.

You know when I may get the new system for Grace? Good question. Insulet can not tell me. As in, when I call, they have no idea when I will be given the new system. No timeline. No date in the future. Nothing. Hmmmm. I'm not a business person, but something stinks about this.

My good friend Lorraine Sisto, who's son Caleb is also Type 1, and who blogs at This is Caleb, wrote a piece stating her feeling about it all.

Head on over there and read what she has to say.
She's been waiting SIX years for this.
Go ahead, ask her when she is getting her new system for Caleb.
Go ahead, ask.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Not wanting to

'I don't want to. I just don't WANT TO.'

Those were the words that Grace said to me when I mentioned that it was Pod change time. She was about to 'expire' in a few hours, and I didn't want to do a middle of the night Pod change.

'I understand, you don't want to. But we have to. It's already started. I deactivated the other Pod, so it has to come off and a new one on.'

'I DON'T want to. I just don't want to do it.'

And instead of me stating again why she has to do it, why she must do it, why it isn't negotiable and why it doesn't matter, in the end, that she doesn't want to, but she just has to... I hug her.

I hug her hard and whisper in her ear.

'I hear you honey. I hear you. You don't want to do this anymore.'

And she cries and says 'Yeah.'

I try and say all the right things - I try to understand what it must be like to do this every three days, to wait for the 'shunk' of the cannula into the skin, to have this damn Pod hanging off me every bloody second of every day, to bolus for every thing she eats, for all the finger pricks and the blood and well, all of it.

I can try to understand, but I don't REALLY understand.

But I do understand that it must be hard. I have done some very hard things in my life for a very long time and I do understand the feeling of things being so hard that you don't know how you are gonna get up and do it one more damn day. That I do understand, in spades.

I tell her our mantra, that we don't have to like it, but we just have to do it. And I will be there to hold her hand, help her through it, and move on, so we can do the great things in life.

I tell her that.
And I also tell her that I understand hard.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blue hair, baby!

Grace has wanted blue ends of her hair, well, forever. OK, maybe not forever like we know it, but foreeeeeeeeeever in her 10 year old mind. Which is like 110 years to you and me.

I said yes, and frankly, without a moment's hesitation. It's her hair and frankly, it's only hair. Hair grows. Hair can be cut at any moment. It's a color, that's all.

Last night was the night. She had to go blonde on the tips before she got dyed blue.

And she loved every minute of it.

I present to you, in the spirit of the blue circle, Grace goes blue.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Relying on Dex

Whoa... I have not posted in HOW long? Wowsa. Well, life keeps you busy, is all I will use as an excuse.

Dexom, how we love thee. There have been less sleepless nights thanks to you. Less finger pricking. Less having that low settle in for a good long spell. Less highs that last and last and last, cause we can ward it off with you, Dex.

One thing is, which I really hate to say is, Grace relies on it a little too much I think. Yes, I know it's a pain in the you-know-what to test when Dex is screaming 70 with a down arrow. I am completely aware of the others who may look at someone who is about to prick their finger and draw blood, though I am not the one they are staring at. I fully realize the complications that arise when peer after peer asks you 'What is that?' 'What are you doing?' 'OMG, you are really bleeding!' It sucks.

Seeing Dexcom read an 82 with a slightly southeast arrow, fearing you are heading towards a low, is call for a granola bar, no?! In her mind it is. And it results in a 234 BG merely two hours later. Cause I don't think she really was 82, I think she had just eaten, and Dexom was a little off. I think she was in the low 100s. Then add in an un-dosed-for 17g granola bar, and BAM, you got yourself a 234 BG.

Problem is, this isn't the first time she has done this. It's been about 3 times now in the last few months, the fear that Dex rings in at 80, the worry about a low, the treatment and then, the rebound high. I get it, the worry about the low. I get it, the trust in Dex and not the testing. And still I converse with her about a different way of approaching it. Might you test, honey? What do you think about testing, sweetie?

I absorb my daughter's eye roll as I suggest that she might think about testing next time this situation arises - the Dexcom ringing in with a 'supposed low' but no other earthly reason for a low, and the need to confirm or deny it's existence with a finger prick.

The eye roll says the treatment of the granola bar was just fine Mom. I saw where I was headed and I stopped it. So what I got a 234. I adjusted.

And I have to remember that my gal is learning, she is doing it herself and it's hers, not mine.
And that she did just fine.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Her pancreas worked!

Just when I think I have the puberty hormones figured out, she has a night and day like this. Hardly needing any insulin, plummeting lows here and there, barely making it out of the 90's.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The picture before it all

Grace needs a school photo of herself in 1st grade, for a 5th grade school yearbook project.

And I know exactly which one it is. I can see it in my mind, her blue school dress, necklace with the flower on it that she chose that morning, and most of all, I remember the obligatory 1st grade missing-teeth grin. Every one of my kids has a 1st grade missing front teeth photo. I remember chuckling when the school photos came back that year.

And just like that, the great memories I have are gone. They leave, replaced by what the 1st grade year brought us, diabetes. It was a mere 2 months after the school photo was taken that we found ourselves in the ER of our local hospital, with a diagnosis of Type 1.

The 1st grade photo brings that with it too.

I scour the 5x7 photo and I hold it close to my face. Should I have noticed something? Are her arms thinner here? Her skin looks tight. Maybe my eyes are creating illusions. Don't her eyes look a little sunken in? My God, maybe her eyes were this sunken all the time and I didn't even know! I wonder what her blood sugar was then, if we were slowly creeping toward the D, or we were already firmly planted in it's soil. I will never know. But I scour the photo for clues I missed, for something to say to me ' THERE, see it!' But I don't. I see her.

I find Grace and I give it to her.

Look how cute you were, sweetie!

Mom, I don't have any front teeth!

I know, doesn't that make it even cuter? 

I was 6, Mom. I was in Mrs. M's class that year.

Yeah, I know, honey. That photo was taken just about two months before you were diagnosed with diabetes.

Don't you wish we could go back, Mom?

I smile, but I don't know what to say. Do I wish I could go back? Wishes won't get me anywhere on this ride. I can wish and wish and wish, and we will still be where we are. I don't say any of that to her. I simply nod and smile. I don't know what to say.

It's a cute photo of you honey, it will look great for the 5th grade page in the yearbook this year.

Funny how one picture can say so much - sweetness, cuteness, reality, truth, shock, awe.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

HIGH Equation

Pod change + 2 tortillas at dinner + milk + cookie - underdosing for it all = HIGH

You're welcome.

Monday, February 4, 2013

CWD Tech Conference Weekend

CWD - Children with Diabetes - hosted a Technology Conference this past weekend in Virginia. Grace and I traveled down to just outside Washington, DC, for it. And of course, it filled me with new insights, with new ideas and most of all, a sense that Grace and I are not alone in this journey.

For Grace, it was a chance to reunite and spend time with her DBFF (Diabetes Best Friend Forever). The reunion is all so sweet. These two girls completely adore one another, and accept one another. They don't fight, they don't argue. They laugh and laugh and laugh. They are snarky together. They hold hands, they ask advice, they put arms around shoulders and always sit next to each other everywhere we go during the weekend.

They just pick up where they left off. Diabetes camp in the summer was the last time they saw each other. It's like it's a day later with these gals.

And we learn a lot, and we listen to a lot, and we talk a lot, but not always diabetes. It doesn't rule our world, not even at a CWD conference.

It's just two friends, sharing some love.