Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Need Your Help Again

First, I want to thank everyone who has sent me pictures and info for "Faces of Hope". I now have 22 hopeful faces. It's not too late to submit your picture and info if you haven't done it yet.

At my walk last year, in addition to Faces of Hope, I also did a presentation with some facts about Type 1 diabetes along with some facts about The Iacocca Foundation.

This year I wanted to do something different. But, I didn't know what. I thought about making it sort of a day-in-the-life-of-Riley thing. You know, take pictures of Riley checking his sugar, drinking a juice when he's low, that sort of thing. But, somehow it didn't seem quite right to me.

This morning on the way to work I was thinking about it again. You know how I feel about educating people about Type 1 diabetes.

I've posted before that it is hard for me to really educate people about this disease. I can tell them statistics, I can explain that it's an autoimmune disease, and I can tell someone how often Riley must check his sugar. But, somehow my words seem to ring hollow. I can't quite describe what it's really like.

Maybe it's because I don't have diabetes. I only have second-hand knowledge of the disease. I do know that it is so much more than insulin and finger sticks. But, I have trouble articulating exactly what it is other than that.

So, I have decided to do a presentation this year with Type 1 diabetes facts. You know, incidence of diabetes, that it's an autoimmune disease, the highs, the low, things like that.

But, in between those stats, I want to put some quotes by some of you.

What do you want people to know about Type 1 diabetes? What is important for them to know?

Just a few sentences will do. Along with that please include your name (just first name will be fine), age, and how long you have had diabetes.

The quote can be about a positive or a negative. Whatever it is that you want people to know about this disease.

This is not just for the adults. Parents please ask your kids what they want others to know about their disease.

Sorry this is so last minute. If you can help me out I would really appreciate it.

If you want to participate you can leave your answer in the comments section or you can email it to me at

An example of how I'll present it is kind of like this: "Riley is just like you and me, he just wears his pancreas in his pocket."--Holden, big brother to Riley, age 5, living with diabetes for 2 years.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

School Update

I haven't written anything about Riley and school lately. Mainly because things have been going fine.

He hasn't had a low at school in a while. His last one was one day last week and it was only a 73 that appeared at lunchtime. He's been in the lower 200s a few times and it is always at morning snack. That number has always been the hardest for us to reign in anyway.

We haven't had anymore problems with administration. In fact, they seem to have just left us alone to do our own thing. I like it that way.

His teacher continues to amaze me. She is doing really well with Riley. She's doing so well, in fact, that I told her she could stop calling me every time she gives Riley insulin. The first few weeks she would have Riley test and after he had eaten she would call and say, " His sugar is __, he ate ___ carbs, he has ___ units on board, and the pump says to give him___ units." Then, I would tell her how many to give. Sometimes I gave what the pump suggested and other times I did not.

But, after a while I noticed I was telling her to give what the pump suggested every time. So, I wrote her a note and told her that she didn't have to call anymore if she doesn't want to. But, I did ask that she call me if his sugar is <80>200 at his meals. Why? I don't know, because I want to know, I guess. I can't quite let go of the reigns completely. I don't know if I ever will.

After the pump fiasco yesterday, I wasn't very happy sending Riley to school. What if his pump failed?

First off, I realized around 9:00 that when I changed his pump battery it cancelled the temp basal I had set. If I don't decrease Riley's basal by 60% for 3.5 hours after a site change he has severe lows. So, I called Holden and had him go decrease Riley's basal for me. OK, one crisis adverted.

Then, about 30 minutes later, his teacher called. His snack time sugar was 304. The pump suggested to give him 1.10 units for that and his snack. I told her to give him 1.00. Then, a couple of minutes later I remembered that because I had changed the battery after his breakfast bolus that the insulin on board had been erased. I calculated that Riley had probably received about .4 or .5 more units of insulin than he probably needed. That's a lot of extra insulin for his little body.

So, I called the teacher again and asked that she check Riley's sugar again in an hour because I was afraid he had gotten too much insulin and his sugar might crash.

An hour later, I was at a patient's house. This particular patient I have been seeing every week for over 9 years. My kids have been to see him. He's like a part of the family. One of the first things he asks every week is : "How are my boys doing?"

The phone rang in the middle of his dressing change. I excused myself and answered it. "Hi, Penny. This is P." I could hear the panic in her voice. "Riley's sugar is 384. What do I do?"

I was silent for a minute. I couldn't think. I was afraid to tell her to give him more insulin because he had just gotten insulin an hour earlier. But, I didn't want his sugar to go up any more. And, I was very afraid that either his pump wasn't working properly or the site change I had done earlier that morning was bad.

I told her that I would call my mom to come pick Riley up. She said, "I'm sorry. I wish I knew what to do." I told her that was OK, I didn't even know what to do myself.

Then, I called my mom and asked that she go get Riley. As I explained that his sugar was 384, my voice caught in my throat and I began to cry. I couldn't help it. I didn't want to. But, I did it anyway.

My patient just lay there silently. I felt so bad for crying, but my emotions just got the best of me. I sucked it up and finished his dressing change. All the while I kept thinking, "I can't take this anymore." over and over.

I was about 45 minutes away from home. I left my patient's and went to my mom's. An hour had passed since he had last checked his sugar.

I found him in the back yard with my mom. He ran up to me with his pirate's sword in his hand and ,while grinning from ear to ear ,invited me into his castle. My mom had built him a little fort in the back yard to play in.

She said he wasn't upset about leaving school. He was just upset that he wouldn't get to "play pirates" on the playground. So, my mom made it so he could play pirates at her house.

I ushered him into my mom's house with a bottle of ketone strips in my hand. It was lunchtime now, so I checked his sugar. It was 166.

I felt like such a fool. He would have been fine at school. All I could think when his teacher said his sugar was 384 was that I wanted him with me.

Everyone who deals with this disease knows that it's kind of a learn as you go disease. This school thing is new and I'm still learning.

His teacher just called and his snack sugar is 292. Ugh. I hate this disease. Really, really hate it.

I'm not panicing now. Now, I'm just mad.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pumpy the 7th and WDD

There seems to be a theme emerging here.

This morning was a site change morning. I was kind of glad considering the night Riley had. He clocked in, in the 300s twice in the middle of the night, then down to 219. He awoke this morning with a sugar of 173.

After I changed his site, he continued to eat breakfast. Then, I gave him his bolus.

A few minutes later I heard "Fer Elise" coming from the living room. Uh, oh. That is the song that Riley's pump plays when it alarms.

Michael checked the pump and it said "Low Battery". OK, that was something I could handle.

I got a coin and unscrewed the battery cap and removed a very wet, corroded battery. What?!? How in the world did that happen? I knew the battery wasn't old. We've only had this pump for 3 months.

The rest of the pump looked fine. So, I cleaned out the battery compartment as best I could with a q-tip and popped in a new battery. Then I went through the routine of rewinding it, loading the cartridge, and priming the tubing for a second time.

Then, I sent him off to school praying that it will work OK. And, so far, it has.

But, I called Animas and told them what had happened. Pump number 7 will be delivered tomorrow. I'm just glad that Animas has such good customer service.


Also, I received an email this morning about World Diabetes Day on November 14. I just wanted to share some of it with you.

"This year we are asking every city, town and village to acknowledge World diabetes Day and recognize diabetes as "a chronic, debilitating and costly disease associated with severe complications, which poses severe risks for families."

We need monuments of local and national importance from the village hall to the tallest tower to light up in the colour blue of the UN flag (Pantone 279 or as near as possible).

Among the monuments involved we can count the Empire State Building in New York, the Citadel and Library in Alexandria, the Blue Mosque in Turkey and the London Eye.

An up-to-date list of the buildings that have thus far agreed or declined to join the celebrations can be found on the World Diabetes Day website.

We need your help in adding monuments to the list. Let us know the monuments you are pursuing and those that have declined. "

here to check out a list of monuments that are participating.

If you know of a monument or site that is willing to participate you can let WDD know at the link above also.

Also World Diabetes Day has a new website: "The site provides a central location for all World Diabetes Day materials and information." It can be found at

I went to the site this morning and it has a lot of great stuff there. It details ways you can get involved in promoting this day.

There is a page outlining events that are scheduled for that day.
Check it out. There may be one near you.

And, if you have a blog and haven't added a WDD banner, what are you waiting for? Go
here to get the code for your banner.

This is an opportunity for us to make a difference. We are always talking about educating people about this disease. Thanks to WDD, here's a chance to do it on a grand scale.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Does this bother you?

I'm paraphrasing here, but read this statement from a radio ad and see what you think:

" eating school lunches leading them down the path to obesity and diabetes"

Does that statement bother anyone else?

It is a radio ad for Boar's Head turkey. I'm in the car a lot and I hear this ad every day, sometimes twice a day.

At first I tried to ignore it, but after hearing it so many times, it really started getting to me.

I am all for eating healthy and I believe an overhaul needs to be done to school lunch menus. But, this ad seems to perpetuate the myth that my son has diabetes because of the way he ate, or that all people that are overweight have type 2 diabetes.

Kids may become overweight from what they eat. But, there is no proof they will develop either type 1 or type 2 diabetes because of what they eat.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. And, just because you are obese doesn't mean you will develop type 2 diabetes either. There are many more factors that attribute to the disease, some of them genetic.

Anyway, just had to vent my frustrations here. I think it would be a good idea to pull the ad. My kid has enough stereotypes hanging over his head because of this disease. He doesn't need them perpetuated by a national ad campaign.

If it bothers you like it does me you can contact Boar's Head and let them know by calling: 1-888-884-2627. I can't find an email address. If any of you do, let me know what it is.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hopeful faces

Walk of Hope is coming up in a few short weeks. I am doing a presentation again this year entitled "The Faces of Hope".

It's just a little slide show of people with Type 1 with a info like their age, age at diagnosis, hobbies, where they live (if they chose to share). Along with that I need a picture.

I had 22 hopeful faces last year. But, this year I only have 10.

If any of you would like to help me out I'd appreciate it. The presentation will only be shared at the walk. It will not go up on YouTube or even my blog for public viewing.

If you'd like to help out email me a picture or two along with your information to


Monday, September 17, 2007

Taking out frustrations

After reading over my last post I realized that maybe I shouldn't have said that certain people should kiss my butt. Besides being kind of juvenile, it also may make people feel like if they don't know anything about Type 1 diabetes then I am upset with them.

This is not the case at all. I don't expect people to know anything at all about Type 1 diabetes. I'm a nurse and I don't know things about certain diseases. In fact, until Riley was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes the extent of my knowledge was that those with Type 1 were considered "insulin dependant". All I knew on the way to the hospital was that my son would have to take insulin. That was the extent of my knowledge. I had no idea how time-consuming this disease is. I really thought I would give him a couple of shots a day, same dose at the same time, and things would be OK. I had no idea how complex this disease really is.

But, I do expect that if you don't live with this disease to keep your opinions to yourself. Asking questions is perfectly fine. The only way to learn about this disease if you don't live with it is to ask questions. But, even then, you can't truly know what it's like.

I was talking with a couple of my co-workers the other day about the meeting at school. I was telling them that I had called the mother of one of the other kids at Riley's school who has D to see if she'd ever had similar problems with administration. She had not. This particular mom is also a nurse at another agency in town.

After I talked to her I visited a few patients and when I got back to the office I had a voicemail from a social worker at the same agency. This is someone I know pretty well. She's one of the better social workers. We share a couple of patients that don't live in the best of places so we visit them together every month.

The message went like this: " Hi, Penny. This is P. J told me what was going on with you and the school. My son has diabetes too. You stand your ground about this. Don't back down. I'll be thinking about you."

I nearly cried. I called her back and told her how nice it was. I had no idea her son had D too. At some point I said, "So, you really get it." To which she replied with a sad tone in her voice, "Yeah, I do." A lot was said with that statement.

I was telling my co-workers that even though they've seen me cry, they've seen me battle, they've seen the sleep deprivation on my face, they still don't know what it's like. They are both mothers and I told them that they have an idea of how horrible it would be. But, unless you are the mother of a child with diabetes you really don't know what it's like. I told them that what they imagine is probably only the tip of the iceberg to how it really is. I didn't say this to bring about pity. But, to point out that unless you live it, you really can't explain what it's like.

You can educate people about Type 1 diabetes. You can tell them about carb counting and giving insulin. You can tell them how to change a site and how to check a sugar.

But, this disease is so much more than carb counting and giving insulin. It is so much more than finger pricks and site changes or injections.

It is a all-consuming disease. It must be factored in to every single aspect of your life. Those who live with this disease, if they want to have decent control, have to think about it pretty much all the time. They can't eat without thinking about it. They can't drive a car without thinking about it. Those with a pump can't pick out an outfit without thinking about it. You can't sleep without thinking about it. You can't exercise without thinking about it.

Don't get me wrong. People with D don't sit around thinking about it all the time. It's just part of their life. I guess you get used to factoring it in to everything. You have to.

Still, there are the times, like yesterday, when Riley sugar went from 64 to 310 to 66 to 363. Those are the times I just want to scream. Those are the times I want to throw his pump across the room. Those are the times that I want to just give up.

I just want to be able to stop thinking for a little while. But, I can't. That is a luxury this disease will not let me have. You can't stop thinking about it, because it's not going anywhere. You can cry, you can throw things, you can curse the sugar machine as it flashes the word HI. But, you can't forget about it.

Some people try to forget about it. They go for months, sometimes years, just doing their own thing. But, they'll pay for it later. Diabetes always has the last word.

Educating people about Type 1 diabetes is a complicated process. For example, how we deal with Riley's diabetes is not how others deal with theirs or their child's. Everyone responds to carbs differently. They have different basal rates. They have different carb ratios. Some people require a lot of insulin to bring down their sugars, others only require a small amount for the exact same sugar.

An example is Charlie,
Carey's son, he is the same age as Riley and also on a pump. Whenever we do a site change on Riley he tends to go low. We try to combat this by decreasing his basal by 60% for 3.5 hours after every site change. Charlie, however, tends to run high after his site changes. His parents increase his basal by 60% after his site changes.

I guess the gist of what I'm saying is this, even us who live with diabetes on a daily basis can't tell others what they should or should not be doing. Or what they should or should not be eating. This disease is so individualized that even we as parents of kids with D can't give out too much advice.

For example, Riley can eat cake and ice cream and have near-perfect sugars. But, another parent's kid may not be so lucky. Cake and ice cream may cause their sugar to go out of control every time they eat it. It would be easy for the mother of that child to judge me and say that I shouldn't let my child eat cake and ice cream because of what it does to their child's sugar.

I always feel inadequate trying to educate others about Type 1 diabetes. For one, you have to simplify everything. Diabetes is not cut and dry. But, when you explain it to someone you can't go into details about different carb ratios at certain times of the day. Or, that when Riley is playing he requires a decrease basal on his pump.

And, the whole "Riley can eat anything anyone else can eat." , well we (the ones who have D or whose kid has it) know that 's really not true. It is, but it isn't. That is hard to explain to someone else. Riley cannot have regular soda unless his sugar is low. He cannot have cotton candy at the fair. Lasagna is a treat saved for those times when his sugar has been cooperative for a period of time. Because I know that he will run high for several hours after he eats it.

I think sometimes my frustration comes, not from people's ignorance of or questions about this disease, but from my own inadequacy of explaining it to others.

Because, I want them to know what it's like. I want them to feel what it's like, just for a moment. So maybe they'll understand when Riley's sugar is high that usually it's nothing that he or I did wrong. Or, understand the pain that comes from watching your child prick his finger like it's nothing. Or, the absolute terror of seeing a reading of 42 on a sugar machine.

But, I can't. So, you see, maybe I'm not really mad at the people who don't know any better. Maybe I'm just mad at myself, because I just can't articulate it well enough to make them understand.

Maybe I'm just frustrated because I don't even understand it myself.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Just when I get comfortable...

I've been debating about posting this. But, it's what's on my mind lately. I've learned that sometimes just by writing about things I'm able to just let them go.

I had a message to call Riley's teacher when I got home Tuesday afternoon. I thought it was kind of strange because she always calls my cell phone. I soon found out why she called me at home. It turned into a marathon conversation.

She said that the elementary school principle had come to her and said that she thought it may be a liability issue for her to be giving Riley's insulin. And, that there is a teacher's aide at the school that is an EMT and had agreed to give Riley his insulin so his teacher could focus more on the class.

My hackles went up. First, the principle had made decisions about my son's health without ever consulting me. Sorry, but she doesn't just find any old body to give my child insulin. Secondly, Riley's teacher only deals with his insulin pump while all the kids are eating snack and lunch. It's not taking away from any class time.

I ranted and raved. The teacher agreed with everything I said. She said that she had no problem giving Riley his insulin. She said what happened was that she asked for some help at lunchtime and snack time. She has a full time assistant, but with the class size and the activity level of the class, she still needed a little more help. And, the fact that she had to help Riley with his insulin factored in too. But, she never asked for help with Riley. She asked for help getting snack and lunch passed out in the classroom.

I became even more irate. Riley may be part of the problem, but he is not the cause of the problem. She assured me that Riley is very well-behaved and that she has absolutely no problems out of him all day. I then asked how often she had to deal with his diabetes on an average day. (He hasn't gone low at school since the first week.) And she answered, only at snack and lunch.

I eventually calmed down. I asked her just to make sure if she was OK giving Riley's insulin. She assured me she was. She said it was a little overwhelming at first, but now she was very comfortable doing it. (Keep in mind, she doesn't check his sugar. She counts his carbs and administers his insulin. It's not a very time consuming task once you get used to it.)

Before I hung up, she said, "And, there's one more thing I want to mention to you." My heart dropped. "I just wanted to let you know that the principle (For the purposes of this post, I will call her Miss B.) questioned me about Riley eating school lunches."

She said that she was telling Miss B how helpful I had been and that I had gone to the lunch lady and figured out the carb counts for things so that Riley could eat school lunches.

She said Miss B was "appalled" that I would let Riley eat school lunches. And, she said that I should not let him eat any lunches from school until his sugars become stabilized. Also, she did not think that I should have let him have a cupcake at the birthday party that a little girl had at school one day.

My head nearly exploded. The teacher said she just wanted to let me know so that if it came up in conversation I wouldn't be blindsided. I told her I appreciated it. Because, if I didn't have that heads up I don't know what I would tell Miss B if she mentioned it to me. But, I can assure you it wouldn't be pretty.

So, first thing Wednesday morning I called the school to arrange a meeting with Miss B. I told them that the meeting had to occur that day because it affected my child's health. I also said that I wanted the main principle in the meeting too. (Riley's school has the head principle as well as a principle for the elementary school students and another for the middle and upper school students.) I said I wanted someone else in there to witness what was said.

Also, I had dealt with Miss B before. She has a tendency to not listen and she can be rude at times. If I went off on her I wanted a witness. I have also spoken with Mr. M (the head man) and find him to be helpful and accommodating.

Miss B called me back a little later and said she would be glad to meet with me. Then, she went on to say, "But, I'll be glad to just get someone to help Mrs. W pass out snack and lunch so that she can continue to give Riley his insulin."

I told her that sounded like a great idea, but I still wanted to meet with her. Oh, no, she wasn't getting off that easily. She was going to listen to what I had to say. And, I was going to say it all in front of her boss.

Michael and I met with her in Mr. M's office. She started off with, "I really hope there hasn't been any misunderstanding. I wasn't trying to make an 'administrative decision'. I just thought that it would make more sense if someone with a little medical background gave Riley his insulin instead."

Michael and I told her that it would make more sense to keep things like they are. Things were working just fine for the first 11 days. Now, all of a sudden, there is a problem. Also, I had spoken with Miss B about all of this before the school year ended last year. She told me then that I needed to work things out with Riley's teacher. And, that's exactly what I did.

Miss B then said, "Mrs. W is very comfortable giving Riley his insulin. She actually doesn't want to turn that over to anyone else."

I told her I didn't either, so I didn't really see where the problem was. She then said, "Well, Mrs. W came to me and said she needed help at snack and lunch. So, I just thought it would make sense to get someone with a little medical knowledge to take over doing the insulin pump for her."

Michael told her that he did not appreciate her jumping to the conclusion that if Mrs. W needed help it was because of the diabetic kid. Mrs. W has a pretty rowdy class. Some of the kids have problems sitting still. We have been assured by Mrs. W that Riley has been "a perfect angel". He said that he was upset that the 2-3 minutes that she spent dealing with Riley's pump was being made a big deal out of while she has other kids in her class that because of their behavior got way more of her time and attention.

Then I told her that Mrs. W had been trained to give Riley his insulin and that we started talking about it several months ago. Then, Michael piped in and told her that I have a BS degree in nursing and before Riley got the pump I had never even laid eyes on one before. So, he doubted an EMT would have any knowledge of the pump either.

I looked at Mr. M and said, "It seems to me that you don't need any training to open a milk carton for a kid. But, you do need training to give my son insulin. Why doesn't the teacher's aide assist with snack and lunch and just let Mrs. W. continue to give the insulin like before?"

He said, "As long as Mrs. W is fine giving his insulin and you are fine with her giving it, then I don't see why we need to change anything."

They decided to get the teacher's aide/EMT to go in the class at snack and lunch to help pass out the food while Mrs. W continued to give Riley his insulin.

Then, just when I thought things were over, Miss B said, "I was looking at the carb list you gave Mrs. W. And, I see that Riley is eating some school lunches (by the way, Riley has only eaten one school lunch since school started). I was just concerned because school lunches have a lot of carbs in them. Also, she said Riley ate a cupcake at a party the other day."

You see, it is good that Mrs. W had pre-warned me about this. Because, otherwise, I probably would have ripped this woman's head off and handed it to Mr. M. But, instead, I calmly explained that Riley can eat anything that any of the other kids can eat as long as he receives insulin. I also told her that if a meal he was eating had a little more carbs than I liked I was ordering Riley water to drink instead of milk, to cut down on the carb count. Then, I explained to her that it was important to me that Riley be treated like the rest of the kids as much as possible. I also told her that I was offended that she thought I would jeopardize my child's health in order to let him be like the other kids.

That's when Mr. M piped in and said, "Yeah, you're not going to let him eat a cupcake just so he can be like everyone else if it's going to kill him."

I then said that cake and ice cream don't really affect his sugar much at all. And, that the foods that do, pastas and for some reason Cheese Nips are limited to special occasions.

That was the gist of the meeting. We did spend more time chatting with Mr. M about his step-son who has gone off to boarding school but was in Holden's class last year. All while, Miss B sulked in the corner.

Later that night, after Riley had eaten a piece of my dad's birthday cake, I checked his sugar two hours later and it was 130. I just wanted to call Miss B up and tell her that she could kiss my butt. (Yes, I know my maturity level is astounding.) But, I'm sure she would just be appalled that I let him have cake at all.

I told Michael what bothers me most is that this is something Riley will have to deal with for the rest of his life. People who are ignorant about his disease, yet think they know everything. People who even after you tell them that yes, you can have that piece of cake shake their head and pity you because they think you are in denial about your own disease.

All those people that feel that way, they can kiss my butt too.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

Lunch Lady Land

I met with the lunch lady today to look at carb counts. She was very nice and accommodating. I looked at every can and box and saw what the carb count is per serving. The only problem is knowing how much of the serving Riley is actually getting at each meal. But, now I can at least make an educated guess as to how many carbs he's eating.

She was very nice. Her husband has Type 2 and she had a little bit of knowledge about carbohydrates. But, when I asked to see the ice cream cups to see how many carbs are in them I got a look. You know the one. The "should-you-really-be-feeding-your-kid-that" look.

So, I took that time to educate her about the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 and while her husband may be insulin resistant Riley does not make any insulin at all. I explained it to her like this, "When you eat ice cream your pancreas spits out insulin to cover that ice cream. Riley's does not. So, when he eats ice cream he has to take insulin through his pump to cover the ice cream. So, he can eat ice cream just like anyone else, he just has to take insulin for it."

I thought I got my point across. But, then she told me about "A" who is in high school and has D and how he eats too much candy. Well, I happen to know that A is very vigilant with his care. So, I proceeded to tell her that if A is eating candy then I'm sure he's taking insulin for it or he's eating it because his sugar is low.

All in all it went well. Like I said she was very nice. It just bothers me to think that when I let Riley have ice cream that people think I'm killing him.

But, I digress. Riley gets to eat cafeteria food next week and he's happy about that.

Since I had a meeting with the lunch lady today I have been singing the Adam Sandler song in my head for the last two days. I found this clip from Saturday Night Live. I am an Adam Sandler and a Chris Farley fan. This is one of the funniest skits I've ever seen. (Yeah, I have a weird sense of humor)

I hope you enjoy and I hope all of you have a great weekend.

Check out this video: adam sandler and chris farley, lunch lady land

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Some going-ons

Just some going-ons:

** Riley's sugars have evened out a bit at school. He is not going low as much. His lows are starting to show a pattern, so I decreased some basals last night to see if that will do the trick.

** Holden is not bolusing Riley anymore. His teacher called me at snack time yesterday and said, "I'm doing it on my own today." She then said, "OK, Riley's sugar is 310 (yeah, I know, I'm working on it) and he ate 15 g of carbs. It says to give him 1.2 units of insulin and he has .05 units of insulin on board." I was pretty impressed. I just love this woman. Have I mentioned that?

** Holden is a little relieved to not have to get out of class anymore. (See, I said he was a good kid.) "Mom, Mrs. M goes over Pre-Calculus so fast that I miss too much stuff when I leave to give Riley his insulin." Now, he's not missing it anymore.

** Riley told me a secret yesterday about a kid in his class. Apparently, A, his reported best friend in his class, has a girlfriend. When I asked Riley if he has a girlfriend he smiled and said, "No, Mom." But, apparently there is a girl in his class who he thinks is pretty. He doesn't know her name, but "She has brown hair like me."

** When I called my mom yesterday afternoon to see what Riley's sugar was when he got home from school, she said she hadn't checked it yet because Holden was just pulling into the driveway. Why was he late? A kid pulled out in the parking lot at school and ran into Holden's car. Holden and Riley were both in the car and are fine. But, Holden's front bumper is not. There is a lot of paint scraped off of it. Since it was the other kid's fault, he will be paying for the repairs. Evidently, he hit him kind of hard because Holden said the other kid's bumper fell off.

** Riley has been taking his lunch to school so far. He started bugging me a couple of days ago to let him start ordering food from the cafeteria. So, I have a meeting with the lunch lady ("in lunch lady land"-anyone know that song?) tomorrow to see if I can figure out some carb counts.

** Riley starts soccer practice on Tuesday. Remember last year when he started soccer? On the first day I found out his coach was a diabetes educator. I was so happy. Well, this year it's even better. His coaches are a mom and dad to a kid who has D. Isn't that great? Yeah, it's me and Michael. I don't know how we get talked into these things. I know nothing about soccer. Michael loves soccer though. I told him he can do the coaching and I'll just try to make sure no one gets hurt and that they all get about the same amount of playing time.

** I have decided to get the whole school involved in my walk this year. (shameless plug coming: Walk of Hope is October 6. Please see the link in my sidebar if you would like to donate.) I will be typing out a letter that will go out in the kid's book bags. I'm nervous about it. I want to educate, but I don't want to overwhelm. I want people to know what Riley does every day and why it is so important to find a cure , but I don't want their sympathy.

** Riley's teacher just called about his morning snack. His sugar was 260 this morning. Here's my problem. He's usually high at snack , but if he gets a correction he goes too low by lunch. I've increased his insulin sensitivity a lot already. Do you think I should increase it more? He seems to only go low at lunch if he gets a correction. So that's probably the problem, right?

** I am tired of being a pancreas.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


All you parents out there, just imagine that you could not afford life-saving insulin for your child. That you had to watch them suffer and die from a treatable disease because you just didn't have the means to afford the drug that could keep them alive.

This is a reality for parents all around the world every day.

While we complain that insurance doesn't cover enough strips, some people with diabetes don't even have a sugar machine. While we complain that the doctor doesn't spend enough time with us at our appointment, there are those that die from this disease before they are even able to see a doctor.

Please take a moment to go to Nicole's blog and read her post about World Diabetes Day and why it is so important that we become involved.

Then go download a banner of your own to put on your blog.


A lot of people's emotions and attitudes are what they allow them to be. If a person focuses on the negative then they probably won't enjoy life very much. But, there are some people who don't have very many positives in their life, yet they focus on those few positives rather than the overwhelming negatives. They tend to have the best life of all.

It's all in how you look at it. And, I've been looking at it all wrong.

Some of you who read my blog regularly might find this hard to believe, but I am usually a very positive person. I don't tend to sweat the small stuff or the big stuff for that matter. I believe there is no reason to get worked up about something. If you can change the situation, then change it. And, if you can't, there is no reason to dwell on it, because you can't do anything about it anyway.

Sounds great doesn't it? It almost sounds easy. But, it's like diabetes is kryptonite to being positive for me. Sure, I have my moments where I think Riley will be OK. But, they are usually followed by a low, low or high, high which brings me back down to reality.

The other day my mom was asking why I thought Riley's sugar went so high. And, my answer was, "I don't know. Sometimes it just is what it is." It is. Sometimes you can do everything "right" and yet you still get crappy numbers. I guess that's what bothers me the most. I really have no control over what is happening with my child. Well, that's not true. OK, so I have minimal control.

Now that Riley is settled back into school I'm relaxing a bit and feeling a bit more positive. Yesterday his sugars did the best they've done in school yet. But, that's not why I'm feeling a little more upbeat. I'm feeling better because I'm focusing on the positives.

Not the positives of diabetes, mind you. I'm not quite there yet. There are no positives to diabetes. Period.

Riley's teacher got broken in really well the first week. One time she called and said Riley was drinking a lot of water and she tested him to make sure he wasn't high and he wasn't, but she just wanted to let me know. Or, another time, she called because while out on the playground Riley came up and told her his sugar felt low. When he tested, he was 171. She took him in the classroom and got him to test again and he was 163. She called me anyway because he said he felt low, but he wasn't. She called when he was high. She called when he was low. She told me when he went low she panicked because she felt like she wasn't reacting quickly enough. She wanted his sugar to hurry up and come up. I told her I felt the same way. She was doing all of this in addition to trying to teach a class of 5 year olds.

So, on Friday I sent a bouquet of flowers to school along with a thank you card for the wonderful job she had done with Riley all week. In it, I told her what a good job she had done. And, I thanked her for taking on the extra responsibility without ever complaining.

She sent me a thank you card back. Then, later that night I saw her at a football game. She came up to me and told me how much she enjoyed having Riley in her class. "He's such a trooper. He just does whatever he needs to do without complaining. And, he's so well-mannered. And, Holden, he's wonderful too. He's so patient with Riley and he's very patient with me as well. You have two wonderful boys there. You are truly blessed."

Blessed. Yes I am. Somehow I got caught up in the diabetes fog. I forgot what is really important.

I don't want other people to look at Riley and see a disease. I want them to look at him and see the cute, smart, somewhat sarcastic kid that he is. Ever since he was a little baby his smile could light up a room. We never had problems getting good pictures even when he was a tiny little thing. All you had to do was look at him and he burst into a huge grin.

And, Holden, he has always been my tenderhearted child. He can't stand to see someone in pain or to go without. He was the kid on the playground that knew which kid was always picked last to join in the games. When he got to pick, he'd pick that kid first just to make them feel better. He didn't care what other people said about it. And, one Christmas he wanted to buy a gift off of an angel tree for a kid who might not get anything for Christmas. I let him pick who to buy for and what to buy. He chose a little boy that wanted a bicycle.

"Holden, a bicycle costs a lot of money. (he was using his own money he had saved) Are you sure? Don't you want to pick someone else?"

"No, mom. Everybody needs a bicycle."

So, because of my child, there was a happy little boy that Christmas with a shiny red bicycle under the Christmas tree.

I've never had a bit of problem with him in school either. I've always had teachers comment on how nice and polite he is. Just yesterday a lady told me how much she enjoys working with Holden. "He is just so well-mannered. I would rather work with him than anyone else. He's so helpful. You don't see that much in a kid his age anymore."

Yes, I am blessed beyond belief. Diabetes is part of my little boy's life and so it is part of mine. But, it is only as big a part as I let it be.

God blessed me with two wonderful children. Sometimes I look at them and my heart feels like it is going to burst because I love them so much.

So what if my child has diabetes? He's still smart. He's still happy. And, just like his big brother, he cares about others.

For now, I'm putting diabetes in the background. No, I can't just forget about it. But, I can get it off of center stage. I may not have a whole lot of power over the lows and the highs, but I can at least chose how much I let it affect my emotions.

I am lucky to have the two boys that I do. I can live my life in fear from day to day of something happening to them. Or, I can enjoy that I have them in my life at all.

I chose the later.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Back to School

It was tough sending my little man back to school this morning. His sugars did much better over the weekend. They were pretty good except for Saturday evening when he went low and then went even lower. In fact, his sugars were low enough Saturday that his total daily dose of insulin was 7.1 units. That is compared to the 9+ units it is on other days.

I didn't do anything to his basals. I decided to stick it out for a little while and see if his body adjusts to school. I really think that's the issue. Riley was pretty much on a schedule before he started school. He's on a schedule now. But, it's a different schedule. He goes to bed earlier, gets up earlier, eats breakfast, morning snack, and lunch earlier. I guess it may take a while to get things back to our kind of normal. Plus, he has that extra excitement the newness of school brings. I'm hoping he'll get settled soon and so will his sugars.

Thank you all for your comments and kind suggestions. It helps to know that others out there have been through this and survived.