Saturday, September 30, 2006

More pictures

The walk is this coming weekend. I'm working on my Faces of Diabetes (which is going to be renamed The Faces of Hope). I have gotten pictures from 12 PWD. This is the last call. If you would like to be included, please send your picture to ASAP. And, thank you to all of you who have sent pictures of yourself or your loved ones.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A little conversation

A conversation heard in the back seat of my car the other day.

Holden: "Look Riley, you lost an eyelash. Blow on it and make a wish."

Riley: (blowing on the eyelash) "God, take away my diabetes."

Holden: "You know what, little boy? I always wish for the same thing too. "

Riley: "But, why? You don't have diabetes."

(Sad and funny all at the same time.)

Friday, September 22, 2006

I feel like memeing

I don't really feel like writing anything profound or important today, so I decided on a meme. But, first things first, so far I have raised $1,150.00 for the walk. I still have several people and one business that is supposed to be donating money. I'm excited. It's already more than I expected to raise.

Now, on with the meme: (which I got from here)
1. Do you still have tonsils?

Yes, and I currently have a sore throat also.

2. Would you bungee jump?

Maybe at gunpoint. There may have been a time (many years ago) that I might have tried it, but the older I get the more of a wuss I become.

3. If You Could Do Anything In The World For A Living What Would It Be?

I've said pharmacist before, but I'm mad at pharmaceutical companies right now, so I guess I'll have to stick to my current job of being a nurse.

4. How many tattoos do you have?

One. A sunflower on the inside of my right ankle.

5. Your favorite fictional animal?

I just love Dori from Finding Nemo. She's funny. (OK, that's a weird question. Do most people have a favorite fictional animal?)

6. One person that never fails to make you laugh?

Holden. The kid is funny.

7. Do you consider yourself well organized?

No, not really. I just depends. When it comes to diabetes, yes I am, because I have to be. At my job, I'm moderately organized. My house is not organized at all.

8. Any Addictions?

Nope. Unless you count Thursday night TV (pretty much the only night I watch TV on a regular basis; I love Survivor, CSI, and ER. Did anyone see ER last night? It made me cry several times.). I may also be addicted to Zuma. Never heard of it? Go
here to play it. But, be warned. I am not responsible for your laundry piling up while you try to shoot colored beads out of a frog's mouth.

9. From what news source do you receive the bulk of your news?

I hate to admit it, but I don't really watch the news or read it. If I read the paper it's the local one. I may catch some news here and there when I'm at a patient's house and they are watching it. I've found that I usually hear the most important news from other people when they talk about it. I do occasionally turn on Fox News in the morning, but it's while I'm drying my hair, so I can't really hear what they are saying.

10. Would you rather go to a carnival or circus?

Probably a circus. It just seems cleaner and safer than a carnival. If I had my druthers, I wouldn't go to either.

11. When you were twelve years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A stay at home mom. For real. I have it written down. I wanted two kids, a boy and a girl.

12. Best Movie You've Seen This Year?

I haven't seen many. I really liked Crash (on DVD), but I wouldn't say it's the best movie I've seen. As far as kid's movies go (which is what I normaly see), Barnyard was pretty good.

13.Favoritee alcoholic drink

I don't drink alcohol anymore. But, in the past I liked a Tom Collins.

14. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?


15. Siblings?

None. I'm an only.

16. What is the best thing about your job?

Being a home health nurse, you get to connect to your patients on a very personal level. You're in their environment. You learn so much more about them that way. Patients are so much more than their disease or their symptoms. I think sometimes that gets forgotten in the hospital setting or the Dr's office. I have had a few of my patients for 8 years. They are almost like family.

17. Have you ever gone to therapy?

I've only been to physical therapy (for my wrist). I had my last session on Wednesday. Yeah!!!!

18. If you could have one super power what would it be?

OK, that's a hard question. I'm not sure I'd really want one. The first thing I thought of was the power to heal people. I could heal Riley, but then I'd have people hounding me 24/7 to be healed also. So, no super powers for me. Oh well, I guess it would be neat to be able to fly. Yeah, flying would be nice.

19. Do you own any furniture from Ikea?

I don't even know what Ikea is. I must google it later.

20. Have you ever gone camping?

Once when I was about 8 or 9. I don't remember enjoying it very much.

21. Gas prices! First thought?

Absolutely ridiculous. ( but, they're coming down a little, very little)

22. Your favorite cartoon character?

Spongebob or Patrick

23. What was your first car?

A red Buick Skylark. I got it for my 16th birthday.

24. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?


25. The Cosby Show or the Simpsons?

Defiantly The Cosby Show. Bill Cosby if a funny man. Homer Simpson, not so much.

26. Do you go to church?

Yes. I don't remember the last Sunday that I wasn't in church. I go almost every Wednesday night too.

27. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?

I don't know. Maybe Keanu Reeves. I've always like him. He's so private. It would be neat to see what he's really like. (Yes, Michael, of course I would bring you along too)

28. What errand/chore do you despise?

Laundry. It is just never-ending. By the time I get the hamper empty, I turn around and it's half full again.

29. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?

"Must get up and take Holden to school. " It was no easy task dragging myself out of bed this morning. I have a horrible cold and a sore throat. I also am having the worst back pain I've ever had. I don't know why I'm having the back pain. I really wanted to stay under the covers, but I did have to get Holden to school, and I had to get up and feed Riley breakfast.

30. Last time you puked from drinking?


31. What is your heritage?

Not sure. Um, I'm American?

32. Favorite flower?

Sunflower (see #4)

33. Disney or Warner Bros?

Warner Bros, I guess. I used to love Bugs Bunny. I've never been much of a fan of Mickey. I think he's boring and his voice annoys the heck out of me.

34. What is your best childhood memory?

When I was younger my family used to stay in a cottage at Nags Head for one week every summer. It was me, my parents, both of my mom's sisters and their husbands my cousin, Curt, and my mom's parents (Pop and Big Mama... gosh, I miss them sooo much). I have a lot of good memories from those days.

35. Your favorite potato chip?

Pringles. I can't eat just one.

36. What is your favorite candy?

I'm not a big fan of sweets, but if I had to have something, I'd pick a Reese's Cup.

37. Do you burn or tan?

Both. Doesn't everyone?

38. Astrological sign?


39. Do you own a gun?

No. I hate guns. They scare me.

40. What do you think of hot dogs?

I try not to. Especiallyy about what's in them. I eat them very, very rarely, maybe 2 0r 3 a year.

OK, that was fun and a nice change of pace. Feel free to join in if you'd like. Let me know if you decide to participate, so I can read your answers.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Being me

In a few weeks Riley will have had diabetes for a year. Recently I realized that I had fooled myself into thinking that I'd just gone on with my life. I hadn't. I had let diabetes take precedence over things. As much as I've tried to lie to myself and say that I fit diabetes into life, it was just the opposite. I fit life into diabetes.

I didn't realize this until last week. Something happened that woke me up to the fact that I had lost parts of myself to this disease. Big parts. Important parts.

I've said before that being a mother comes first in my life. But, when diabetes entered the picture, I wasn't just a regular ole' mom, I became the mother of a diabetic. I went into "Mama Bear mode". I wasn't going to let diabetes take anything away from Riley's life. I was going to make sure that Riley's life was just as full as it was before diabetes, maybe even more so. But, in focusing on Riley's happiness, I forgot about my own.

It's like I forgot that I'm more than the mother of a diabetic. I'm also the mother of a teenager. A teenager that three years from now will be gone off to college. I thought I was there for Holden all this time. I showed up at games. I listened whenever he decided to share parts of his life with me. But, was I really there? Was that really me, or was it just what was left after diabetes got it's part?

I'm also a wife. This is where I feel like I've failed the most over the past year. Michael and I have always been very close. He's my best friend. We are one of those couples that, with the exception of at work, you never see one without the other. We do everything together.

Over the last year, that hadn't changed. We still went just about everywhere together. But, once again, was I really there?

I feel like it's almost an art to learn how to maintain the best possible control over the sugars without letting the sugars become a part of you. It's hard. Really hard. I thought I was doing a good job. I thought I'd just made it part of life. We still did the same things as a family as we used to. But, now I realize, I wasn't really there.

I have tried so hard over the last year to teach Riley that he's so much more than a reading on a glucose monitor. That he can do anything he wants. That while it's important to maintain good control, it's most important that while he's doing that he enjoys life too.

I've been trying to teach him that without living it myself. I know that children learn the most by example. What sort of example am I setting for him? He knows the technical stuff. Just today I asked him what he does when his sugar is low. "Eat fruit snacks", he said with a little grin (he really likes fruit snacks). And, what do you do if you're sugar is too high. Again, he gave the right answer, "Take insulin".

While the technical stuff is important, I don't want Riley to let his life revolve around it. Maybe it's unrealistic to think that diabetes won't alter the paths that Riley chooses. I want him to make his decisions, not based on a disease, but based on what he really wants out of life.

If I want him to do that, then I must learn to do that myself. So, from now on, I'm no longer the mother of a diabetic. I'm the mother of a 15 year old and a 4 year old. I'm the wife of a wonderful man who would literally do anything for me. But, most importantly, I'm me.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Feeling klempy

(note: I got the word "klempy" from Lyrecha. It is Yiddish for teary. Being a good ol' southern girl, I had never heard this word before, but I like it and it describes my mood perfectly.)

I have put off writing the post for a few days because I needed to get my emotions in check before writing it. I have been very klempy lately. Ever since Riley's diagnosis I have had times when I would tear up here and there, but usually I get out a good cry and it's over. But, this weepy time has lasted a little longer.

While I was in the car between patients yesterday, I started to analyze why I've been so down lately. Riley's sugars have been good (with the exception of yesterday). Work is going well. My family is healthy and happy. Life is good. So, what is wrong with me?

I think it comes down to a couple of things. First, the walk. I am organizing this walk all by myself. I've emailed, literally, hundreds of people. I've had meetings with people. The last meeting was with a marketing director at the local hospital, who was very helpful. But, the stress of organizing the walk is not what's getting to me. I can handle the stress. I think what's bothering me is having diabetes on my mind 24/7.

You would think I have diabetes on my mind 24/7 anyway. I don't. I used to in the beginning, But, now sometimes I'm almost on auto pilot. As much as I wish it wasn't , diabetes has just become a part of my life. But, to think about the walk, I have to think about a cure. That is what the walk is all about anyway. And, while I am very hopeful of a cure in the near future, I know that there may never be one.

Of course, I've been aware of this from the very beginning. As I've said before, in the beginning I didn't really believe there would ever be a cure anyway. But, to constantly be reminded every day that all of this could be for naught, has kind of worn on me.

The money from the walk is not just going to The Iacocca Foundation. The Iacocca Foundation funds many research projects. But, the money from Walk of Hope is earmarked to go only to the Nathan-Faustman Project. I really believe in Faustman's research. But, by putting my eggs all in one basket, I may just be setting myself up for heartache later if her human trials don't work. But, on the other hand, she needs $11 million for her research. Right now, she has $9 million. But, they've started their human clinical trials now in hopes that the rest of the money will come later. While I know if she starts showing some success more money will poor in, I keep thinking that what if they are in the middle of some very promising research and they run out of money. That would just be horrible.

I am mainly doing this walk because I want to be able to tell Riley I did what I could to help make a cure happen. Like I told my mom the other day, if I just sat back and waited for a cure and that cure never came, I would feel like it was partly my fault because I didn't do what I should. But, by putting the money into one project, if that project fails, I'll feel like what I did was all in vain. Yet, at the same time, I feel compelled to put the money there. I don't usually second guess myself. I don't know what's wrong with me.

While the walk and the thought of a cure (or lack of one), is weighing on me, it is not the sole reason for all of my emotions as of late.

Riley's anniversary is 4 weeks away. I remember early on saying I would not do anything to commemorate that day. I felt like it would be like the anniversary of the death of a loved one. While you remember that loved one on that day and think of how you miss them, it doesn't consume your day. Well, almost a year later, I am commemorating that day in a way. Riley's anniversary is Oct 6th. The walk is Oct 7th. I wanted to do something positive. What is more positive than raising money to find a cure?

It's not the date that is bothering me as much as the fact that Riley has lived with this disease for almost a year. For some reason that really hits me hard. I didn't really know why until a couple of nights ago.

I was lying in bed with my head on Michael's chest. As I was lying there I started thinking about how I remember things as before diabetes and after diabetes. I don't have the best memory when it comes to when things happened. So, when something is mentioned that happened last year, I think "Was that before Riley had D or after?".

But, as I'm lying there it hit me that I only have a few weeks before I won't be able to say, "Last year when Riley didn't have diabetes" For some reason, that's very painful for me. That's when the tears started, softly, at first, just enough to let Michael know by the wetness falling on his chest. But, then it was the sobbing that I did so often in the beginning of this disease.

I think it's almost like when you lose a loved one and your scared you'll forget what they looked like or how their voice sounded. I'm scared I won't remember life before diabetes. I won't remember Riley without his pump. I won't remember going to a birthday party and not carefully eyeballing his piece of cake. I won't remember watching him run around and around without wondering if I should decrease his basal.

But, what hurts the most, is I know Riley will not remember life like that. He was 3 when this stupid disease invaded his body. He will have no memory of the day when he didn't wear a pump or check his sugar. Sometimes I think it might be a good thing he got it so early. I guess you can't miss what you don't remember. But, it hurts that he may never know what it's like to not have diabetes as a part of his life.

So, that's why I've been down for the last few days. But, I really am feeling better now. While I was in the car analyzing why I was feeling like I do, I was listening to a CD that I hadn't listened to in a while. I had turned it down to call my mom to check on how Riley was doing. When I turned it back up a song was on that I usually skip over. It's not one of my favorites. But, the chorus was on and it caught my attention. It reminded me that even though I don't know what the future might bring, I do know that we'lll be OK. It gave me the peace that I needed to go on.

Lord (I Don't Know) by Newsboys
You are the author of knowledge
You can redeem what's been done
You hold the present and all that's to come
Until Your everlasting kingdom
Chorus: Lord, I don't know where all this is going
Or how it all works out
Lead me to peace that is past understanding
A peace beyond all doubt
You are the God of tomorrow
Turning the darkness to dawn
Lifting the hopeless with hope to go on
You are the rock of all salvation
Oh, Lord you are the author
Redeeming what's been done
You hold us in the present
And all that is to come

Monday, September 04, 2006

A short update

Just wanted to stop in and say hi and update you on some going-ons.

First, the walk. So, far, I myself, have raised $565.00. I have two businesses that tell me the check is in the mail and I have about 10 people that have promised to give money before the walk. I have 3 other people helping to collect money and I don't know how much they've gotten so far. So, hopefully, there's much more coming.

Secondly, (also having to do with the walk), I have received pictures of 5 pwd. (Thank you Becky (mom to Grayson), Dave (dad to Andy), Scott, Kris (mom to Hayleigh), and Jen. ) I am still looking for more pictures if anyone is interested in sharing.

Thirdly, Riley's sugars have been great lately. I just hate that as much as I'm enjoying it I'm also bracing myself for the next run of bad sugars. They usually show up just when I get comfortable with how things are going.

And last, but not least, I hope everyone enjoys their Labor Day!!