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.)