Friday, November 30, 2007

Love Does Not Conquer All

Riley stood in the living room. I had just dried him off from his bath. I was holding his pump tubing up to the light to check for bubbles as I do every night when I put on his pajamas.

My mind was on bubbles and priming. That's when he hit me with one of those questions from out of the blue.

"Mama, how did I get diabetes?"

"What do you mean?"

"You know, how did I get it?"

I explained it to him as I put his pump in his pocket and tucked the tubing into his waistband.

"Well, you got a virus and that virus killed the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. That is why you have to take insulin. It doesn't happen to everyone who gets a virus, just some people."

I looked at my son. His head was hung down and his lips where poked out.

"Why do you ask? Does having diabetes ever make you sad?"

"No." He looked up at me with his big brown eyes and said, "I just wish I could be normal like everyone else."

"What do you mean? You are normal."

"No I'm not. I have to take insulin and wear a pump and that's not normal."

I bit my lips as the tears stung my eyes and threatened to spill out. I took a few deep breaths and gathered him up into my arms.

He sat on my lap with with his pajama bottoms on. He lay his damp head on my shoulder.

"I'm not normal. I'm not normal."

"Yes you are."

"No, I'm not. I'm not normal."

"Riley you are normal. Just because you take medicine doesn't mean you're not normal."

"Is there anything the other kids in your class get to do that you don't?"


"Then why are you not normal?"

"I don't know, I'm just not."

"Does anyone ever make fun of you because you have diabetes?"

I held my breath afraid of what the answer might be.


"You know why? Because they know you're just like them."

He looked deep in thought.

"Mama, do I have to go to bed right now? Can I lay in your lap for a little bit?"

"Yes, for a few minutes."

He got his Winnie the Pooh blanket that he used to have in his crib when he was a little baby. He wrapped up and lay his head in my lap.

I let him lie there for a while while I stoked his hair. My heart ached with love for him and I once again held back the tears that where stinging my eyes.

After a while I tucked him into bed. After his prayers he reached out and gave me a big bear hug, a little bit stronger than most nights, then he gave me a big kiss and another tight squeeze.

"I love you, Mom."

"I love you too baby bear."

I really wish love did conquer all.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I think November should be NaMeMo (National Meme Month). Because of NaBloPoMo I think there are more memes done in November than any other month.

Here’s one more. (taken from
Beth’s blog)

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?


2. What is your greatest fear?

One of my children dying before me.

3. Which living person do you most admire?

I don’t admire any one person. I’ve met a lot of great people. Of course I admire my mom. I mostly admire people who are genuine and kind.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I guess it’s not something I do, but rather something I don’t do. I feel like I’m not assertive enough sometimes.

5. What is the trait you most deplore in others?


6. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Being open-minded about everything . There is nothing wrong with having values and sticking to them.

7. On what occasion do you lie?

I really try not to lie. I’ve been told before that I’m honest to a fault. But, being the southern girl that I am I will usually lie to spare someone else’s feelings. Unless I am asked point blank what I think I’ll usually just keep my mouth shut to keep from lying.

8. What do you dislike most about your appearance?

My skin.

9. What is your greatest regret?

Honestly, I can’t say that I regret anything. Every decision, good or bad, has made me who I am today.

10. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Michael. I can’t imagine my life without him.

11. Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be able to sing well.

12. What is your current state of mind?


13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Just one thing? I would like to be more organized.

14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My two boys. I think they are both pretty good, well-mannered kids.

15. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

With my luck I’d come back as an insulin syringe or a lancet where my job would be to stick a little kid all day. OK, let me think. I think I’d come back as me.

16. What is your most treasured possession?

I’m not big on possessions. Let’s see. I have Santa Clauses that my grandmother collected and gave to me. I would hate to see anything happen to them. They are decorating my mantel right now.

17. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

OK, these questions get kind of deep don’t they? I think realizing all the bad things that are done to children and not being able to change it. This answer is probably going to make me sound crazy, but if I hear of a child being abused or abandoned it makes me cry, not just tears well up in my eyes, but full-blown boo-hooing with soaked tissues and everything. When I think of all the children out there right now who are being abused, starved, beaten, molested, when I think of all the children that don’t have anyone to look out for them it makes me very sad. I’m crying now as I type this. Children are so innocent. Adults are supposed to protect them and nurture them. When that doesn’t happen it just breaks my heart.

18. Where would you like to live?

I probably wouldn’t go far; just a few hours west of where I live right now would be fine.

19. What is your most marked characteristic?


20. Who are your favorite writers?

Ayn Rand, Laura Ingalls Wilder

21. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Atticus Finch

22. Who are your heroes in real life?

Those who do good for others, not for accolades or money, but because they truly care and want to make a difference in someone’s life. Those who stand up for what they believe is right even if no one understands why.

23. What is it that you most dislike?

People who think they are better than someone else.

24. What is your motto?

I don’t really have one.

25. Favorite Journey?

A family trip we took to the mountains of NC the summer of 2005. We had such a wonderful time. Riley was diagnosed a couple of months later. We will never have another vacation quite as carefree as that one. We all went down Sliding Rock, even 3 years old Riley went down it with Michael. It was the coldest water I have ever been in, in my life. We’d stop and picnic when we were hungry and we’d stop to sleep when we were sleepy. There where no schedules, nothing we HAD to do, just things we wanted to do.

26. What do you value most in your friends?

Honesty. Dependability.

27. Which words or phrases do you must overuse?
Freaking. For example: Riley’s freaking blood sugar is 400!

I say “OK” a lot too, but in a sarcastic way. Like if Michael says, “My left great toe is itchy.” I’ll say, “OK” as if to say, “That was something I really didn’t need to know.”

28. Which historical figure do you most identify with?


29. What is your greatest extravagance?

Food. We eat too nice around my house. I cook a full on meal pretty much every night. We could really cut back and save if we’d eat sandwiches every once in a while. And, if we go out to eat I always want to go somewhere nice (nice=expensive). Yes, I spend way too much money on food.
30. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
Diabetes wouldn’t live there anymore.

31. What is your favorite occupation?
stay at home mom

32. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Being strong in the face of adversity

33. What is the quality you most like in a man?
Genuinely caring about other people.

34. How would you like to die?

In my sleep at a very, very old age, possibly after a wonderful day with my kids, and their kids, and possibly their kid’s kids.

35. If you could chose what to come back as, what would it be?

A very well taken care of house cat. Eat, drink, sleep, ah, that’s the life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

First game of the year

Not much time to blog today. I'm getting ready to leave for Holden's first basketball game of the year. He missed the first two games because of his back.

He is so excited that he actually slept in his basketball uniform last night. He says if they win tonight he's going to do that every time they have a game.

So, I'm off to the game. He's practiced the last two nights and his back has done OK. But, tonight will be the true test. He'll get pushed around a lot more tonight than he does in practice.

I hope everyone has a great rest of the day and night.

(2 more posts to go and NaBloPoMo will be over. Yay!!!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Because It Is NaBloPoMo I Must Meme

I got this email a week or so ago and I saved it because it's NaBloPoMo and I need material. If anyone would like to play along, feel free.

Yes, my great, great grandmother on my mom's side. Her name was Mary Penny. My great-grandmother wanted one of us named Penny. It turned out to be me.


The last time I really boo-hooed was on November 8th. It happened at work and I HATE to cry in front on people. I won't go into details, but I got screwed over for some money. I was more mad than anything and that's what caused me to cry.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
It's OK. A lot of people tell me that I have nice handwriting, but I don't find it to be anything special.


roast beef

Yes, two boys: Holden (16) and Riley (5). Three, if you count my husband, Michael (26)

I'm really not sure. I don't make friends easily. I'm not a very social person. Some people may think I'm stand-offish. But, if you do become my friend I am fiercely loyal. So, I guess the answer is I would be friends with me if I took the time to
really get to know me.

Could their be a dumber question?

8. Do you still have your tonsils?

The only way I would bungee jump is at gunpoint or if I had to do it to cure diabetes.

Apple Jacks

Most of the time. I hate having to untie them in the morning. (I'm not a morning person.)

Physically, not at all. Emotionally, I have my moments.

Breyer's Mocha Almond Fudge but I don't think they make it anymore:(

Their eyes

Red. I don't like the color pink. I don't own anything pink.

Probably my poochy belly. I keep thinking I'm going to do something about it, but as of yet I have not.

My Pop Pop. He died 14 years ago.

Ceil blue nursing pants, New Balance tennis shoes that are white, gray, and blue.

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich for supper last night. I had a cup of coffee this morning which is my usual breakfast.

The sound of the computer keys clicking as I type.



A patient, Mr. J. I called to see what supplies I needed so I can take them with me when I see him later today.

Basketball. I particularly like to watch Holden play and Duke University. I also like to watch the Charlotte Bobcats play, but they hardly ever show their games on TV.



28 Do you wear contacts?
Yes, for the last 18 years. I have never worn glasses,
only contacts.

Ribeye steak and baked potato

I love scary movies. Happy endings are OK too, but they always seem kind of cheesy. Unlike the serial killer that is indestructible and the heads that roll off and onto the ground with a look of shock still on their face. That it totally life-like and not cheesy at all :-)

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Next to It's A Wonderful Life, it is my favorite Christmas movie.

Ceil blue nursing shirt. I'm
also wearing a nursing jacket that is blue with teddy bears and Christmas trees on it.

Summer, I detest cold weather. I wouldn't do well in Alaska or Antartica or Wisconsin for that matter.

If I have to do either I pick a hug. I am not a touchy-feely person. I don't even like to shake hands.

Pineapple cake, particularly my mom's

36.What book are you reading now?
"Where Have All the Leaders Gone?" by Lee Iacocca. It's a really good book.

At home I don't have one. At work it has an advertisement on it for a local home care agency.

Heros. I don't really like it, but Michael does. It was on because he was watching it and I was too lazy to do anything else so I watched it too. You know, they saved the cheerleader, yet they still haven't saved the world. What's that about?

Holden's car pulling safely into the driveway (usually I hear the music blaring first)

Beatles. I do not like the Rolling Stones. I know, I know, I take a lot of heat for that. I've just never liked them.

New Orleans, Louisiana. I went to Mardi Gra. I do not care to ever go back.

I can play the piano, but not very well. I'm also pretty darn good at guessing at carb counts. That comes in handy as a mom of a child with diabetes.

If any of you do decide to play along let me know so I can read your answers too.

(There are actually 41 questions because I didn't number correctly. But, I'm too lazy to fix it so I'm leaving it that way.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

I've been going through one of those good periods lately. You know those times when all seems right with the world and diabetes is way back in the background. It rears it's ugly head every now and then, like the 45 Riley had just before lunch on Thanksgiving. But, mostly we've just been rolling with the punches.

Still, every once in a while, when I'm least expecting it, one of those punches lands squarely on my jaw and I feel the sting as tears well up in my eyes.

I was sitting at my desk this morning, when I saw this picture out of the corner of my eye.

These were taken when Riley was one year old. I looked at his bright smile (the boy smiled constantly in those days) and his chubby little legs and instead of nostalgia, I felt sadness.

Sometimes I look at pictures of Riley before he had diabetes and I can't help but feel a loss all over again. I love my Riley with diabetes fiercely. But, I can't help but think of what it would be like to love a Riley without diabetes.

This morning when I looked at his picture I started trying to imagine what life would be like now if Riley had never gotten diabetes. But, I can't fathom what life would be like without pricking my son with needles and praying for a cure, both of which I do several times a day.

Would I be happier? Would he be happier? Would I appreciate life as much as I do now? Would he be as generous and loving as he is now? Would Michael and I be as close as we are now? Has it hindered Holden's life in any way?

Most of the time I can dodge and weave and every once in a while diabetes lands a glancing blow. But, sometimes, like today, it hits with a force that momentarily knocks the breath out of me.

But, just like many other days, I shake my head, rub my jaw, and wipe the tears from my eyes. Diabetes may not fight fair, but it still won't beat me. It won't beat my son.

I won't let it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

35 Days of Pictures

I have 35 days of pictures up at Diabetes 365. Here are a few of the most recent ones.

(To read the description that goes along with the picture go to
my diabetes 365 page. )

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Some Blog Things

You Are 72% Good

You are a good person. You do the best you can to be ethical, fair, and moral.
And as you know, being a good person means making hard decisions... and following them through.
If you're confronted with an ethical dilemma, you will usually do the right thing.
Of course you do slip up. No one's perfect. But you do your best to correct your missteps.

You are also probably: incredibly honest, especially with yourself

Right now you are on track to being: A respected leader

To be a better person: Be kind to someone who is not very kind to you

You Are 63% Tortured Genius

You are smart. Brilliant in fact. And while it's a blessing, it's also a curse.
Your head is filled with everything - grand ideas, insufferable worries, and a good deal of angst.

You Are 35% Selfish

In general, you are a very giving person who treats others very well.
But at times, you insist on getting your way - when it matters most to you.

Have a nice weekend!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

On the Agenda for Today

Later today Michael and I are going to go out. You know, on a date. It's something we rarely ever do. Riley and Holden will be staying the night at my mom's.

We're doing it to celebrate my birthday, a little late. About the only times we go out alone during the year is for our birthdays and for our anniversary. We were going to do it last Friday, but Holden had a basketball game. (Speaking of Holden, his back is doing well and hasn't hurt him for a while now. He'll start back with basketball practice on Monday, so keep your fingers crossed that his back will continue to do OK.)

Anyway, I will be getting a new cell phone for my birthday. The hinge on my cell phone broke and now it won't stay open, so I need a new one. I don't plan on getting anything special. I don't care what features it has as long as Riley's teacher and Holden can reach me when they need me.

We will also go out to eat, probably at Outback since it's my favorite. Or, I might go somewhere else to save a little money.

And, since we're ending up having to go out in the traffic on Black Friday, we will probably brave at least one store. Riley wants a Fur Real Parrot for Christmas and they are on sale at Walmart today about $12 cheaper than usual. When you're on a budget, $12 is enough of a savings to push through the crowd.

And, yesterday was awesome, by the way. We went to my grandmother's and had a great meal and spent time with the family. We were there pretty much all day. And, the best thing was that Riley's sugars cooperated. They were excellent all day (except for a 45 after a hike in the woods).

I hope every one's Thanksgiving was as great as ours.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Song

I am thankful for all the usual things that everyone else is. I am truly a blessed woman.

So, instead of listing everything, I decided to share this song instead.

I hope you enjoy and I hope all of you have a safe and happy thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Late to the Tag

If you read any blogs at all in The OC then you've seen this meme.

I've been tagged by
Shannon, Donna, and Bernard.

I will not be tagging anyone else because I think the entire OC has been tagged already.

#1 I don't own my house. We rent. I've never owned a house. I've always rented. My biggest dream right now is to own a house.

#2 I am a fan of Eminem. I am not a fan of cursing. I am also not a fan of rap. So, that is why it is weird that I like Eminem.

#3 Both of my children go to a private school. That may lead someone to think we have money. It is exactly the opposite, my friend. The payment to school is our biggest monthly payment, by far. Education is very important to us, so we sacrifice other things, so the kids can get good educations. Sometimes it sucks. (Refer to #1)

#4 I am a nurse. I have been bled on, peed on, pooped on, cursed at, bit and spat upon by patients. I have smelled things that no human nose should smell. I have cleaned up things that some may think require a HAZMAT team. And, I can handle it all. I cannot, however, clean false teeth. It makes me nauseous. When I used to work at the hospital if I had a patient that needed their dentures removed and cleaned I would bargain with the nurse's aides. I would change all of the adult diapers if they would take care of my patient's dentures. (I also have an aversion to cutting toenails. Feet give me the heebies jeebies. Not my own feet, just other people's feet.)

#5 I am the statistician for the high school basketball team. I love it. I keep up with assists, turnovers, steals, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, and blocked shots for all the players.

#6 I once stayed awake for 39 hours straight. I was working night shifts at the hospital and Holden had a field trip the next day. So I went into work at 7 PM one night and when I got off the next morning I went on the field trip with Holden. Then, I went back into work again that night at 7 and didn't get off until 7 the next morning. I'm lucky if I can stay awake for 14 hours at a time now.

#7 I am totally creeped out by dead bodies. OK, I guess that's not weird. Let my clarify. I'm OK with dead bodies, I just don't like them after they've been cleaned up and embalmed. Because I am a nurse I've seen plenty of dead bodies and I've been in a room alone with plenty dead bodies. People who have just died do not bother me. But, once they've been embalmed and have on nice clothes and makeup it totally freaks me out. I cannot stand to be in the same room with a dead body in a coffin. But, a dead body in a hospital bed doesn't bother me at all.

(Sorry, there seems to be a nursing theme to this meme.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Walk of Hope 2007 Video

This is a video I made for Walk of Hope this year. It has taken me a while to figure out how to get it into a video player.

The song playing in the background is "He's My Son" by Mark Schultz.

Monday, November 19, 2007

2 Year Blogaversary

Two years ago (on my birthday, no less) I started this blog. My first post started with Riley's diagnosis story. Since then I've written 291 more posts.

I've shared
stormy times, as well as times of calm. I've shared times when I was sitting on the box and times when that box had spilled and I knew I'd have to pick everything up and stuff it back in because I had to. I've shared family moments and some personal information about me.

These last two years have been tumultuous to say the least. I had no idea two years ago that starting this blog would lead me to meet
some of the best people in the world.

Thank all of you for sharing your stories and for listening to mine.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Just an update on what's been going on in our household lately.

Riley had his last soccer game on October 28. The very next day, Holden's basketball practice started. That's how it usually is around here, we just move from one sport to the next.

Holden has a degenerative disk in his back. Usually he does just fine with it. But, sometimes it flares up and causes him quite a bit of pain.

Starting basketball caused it to flair up. So, he only practiced the first few days of practice. Then, he took a week off. When he went back it hurt the worst it has ever hurt.

So, we went to the doctor the next day. He told him to rest it and take 800 mg Ibuprofen twice a day. He also gave him strict orders not to work or play basketball at least a week and maybe more.

Holden works at a local grocery store, so he had to take a few days off of work. He has sat out a week at basketball practice. What has bothered him most is that he also missed the first game of the season. You see, Holden LOVES basketball and it was all he could do sit on the bench and not jump out onto the court to help out him team.

He went back to work this weekend and so far, so good. But, we've decided he will sit out the next game on Tuesday too, just to be safe. Their next game after that is on November 29, so he'll have plenty of time to rest his back. He has an appointment with a back specialist on December 6. His biggest fear right now is that he will have to stop playing basketball.

Michael is the assistant coach for Holden's team and he loves that just as much as Holden enjoys playing.

Riley is still thoroughly enjoying school. I am amazed every day at the things he is learning.

Me, I'm in the midst of deciding if I want to stay at my job or move on to something else. There is a story behind it, but I really don't feel like going into it.

And, I'm turning 34 tomorrow.

Well, got to go take some pies out of the oven. We are having a thanksgiving supper and service at church tonight and it's almost time to go. Riley is going to sing at the service. It will probably make me cry. (big surprise)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Some More Diabetes 365 Pictures

Day 16

Day 17

Day 19

Day 20

Day 21

Day 22

Day 25

Friday, November 16, 2007

What to say, what to say

Since I signed up to do one post a day, I had decided that today I would be lazy and just give everyone the link to the DOC awards.

But, there are not going to be an DOC awards this year. (See Allison's post for an explanation.)

So, now I have to come up with something else to say.



Well, that went well.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Smart Alec

About a month ago Riley came home with a note in his book bag saying his class would be going on a field trip. He was so excited. When I read the note, I felt my stomach clench up.

I had just gotten used to sending him to school.....

Yesterday was the field trip day. Riley had been talking about it for days. They were going to see a play a few towns over. He didn't care about the play. What he cared about was how they were getting to the play. They were just taking a school bus, but to a kid who has never been on one, it seemed very exciting.

"Hey mom, school buses don't have seat belts, you know." He's said that a few times over the last few days with a devilish grin on his face.

Right after I got the note I spoke with his teacher to see if she was comfortable taking Riley on the field trip. She was fine with it.

The day before the trip I sent a note to school letting her know that Riley would still need to eat morning snack even though the other kids were not. I told her I would pack a bag for her to take with her with all the essentials in it. You know, juice, fruit snacks, meter, glucagon, the normal fare for most 5 year olds.

When I tucked Riley into bed Tuesday night, Riley looked up at me and smiled, "My field trip is tomorrow!!!" He went to sleep with a grin on his face.

Riley got up at 1:41 AM to use the rest room. While he was up Michael checked his sugar. It was 175. That's about where I like it to be at that time of night.

2 hours and 27 minutes later we were up again to check, just in case. His sugar was 53. Michael woke him up and he drank a juice box in a sleepy haze.

I set the clock to get up again in 20 minutes, but I never got to sleep.

20 minutes later I heard the meter beep and Michael said, "It's 51."

What?!? It went down?

Even though I hadn't gone back to sleep Riley had. He had to be awakened again and this time he dined on fruit snacks.

Twenty minutes later the next sugar check showed a much nicer number, 108.

But, I still couldn't sleep. I knew that all the carbs he had meant he'd run high later. And all I could think about was how rebound sugars were going to ruin his field trip.

His breakfast sugar was 201, about what I expected. He had the same breakfast he has every morning. I gave him a bolus, reminded Holden 500 times how important it was to give Riley's "diabetes bag" to the teacher, and sent him out the door to school with a prayer on my lips.

He would be off away from me. What if something bad happened? What if his site came out? What if....

I was at work when my cell phone rang at 9:15 AM.


"Hi, Penny, this is P. You're never going to let Riley go on another field trip again."

I couldn't control the panic in my voice when I nearly shouted, "Why?" into the phone.

"Well, it's not even his normal snack time, but his sugar is 42."

It took a while for the number to register. 42. That's the lowest he's ever been at school. And, this low wasn't actually at school it was in the middle of a theater around hundreds of other kids.

"I gave him a juice box and he's eating his granola bar. What do you want me to do about his insulin?"

"Don't give him any", I said.


"No, don't give him any insulin. And, please, remember to check his sugar in 15 minutes and make sure he's come up. He had a low in the middle of the night that didn't want to come up."

"I'll be sure to check."

I tidied up some things on my desk and got some supplies together for a patient. As I was getting ready to walk out the door, my cell phone vibrated in my pocket.

"Hi, Penny, this is P. I just wanted to let you know Riley's sugar has come up to 103. And, I wanted to let you know that I've got him sitting right beside me."

"Thank you, so much for calling and letting me know. I was worried about it."

"I know you were."

I barley hung up the phone before the tears welled up in my eyes. If I could teleport myself, I would have been in that theater right then and my baby would have been in my lap. But, I can't so just had to trust that everything would be alright.

They were back at school by lunchtime. My phone rang again at 11:53.

"Hi, Penny, it's P. We're back!!!" I could hear the relief in her voice.

I figured she was calling now because Riley was high. He did get 32 grams of uncovered carbs.

"Riley's sugar is 75. I gave him a couple of fruit snacks and he's eating his lunch."

"75? Are you sure? "

"I've put everything in the pump and it says to give him 1.15. "

"Um, let's give him .9 since he's been running on the low side."

The rest of the day was punctuated by more lows.

At 4:13PM it was 49. Once again he got a snack with no insulin.

5:48, he was 188. I only covered the carbs for supper. I didn't correct the sugar.

At bedtime snack, he was 78.

He ran high most of the night, but woke up this morning with a sugar of 122.

When I went to bed last night, I was feeling a little defeated. I was thinking that while WDD was a nice day for diabetes, it was not a nice day for diabetes in my house.

As we passed in the hall, Holden asked how Riley's sugars did on the trip. I told him he went down to 42.

"Oh, that sucks. But, did he have fun?"

"Yeah, he enjoyed himself. He loved the bus ride and he liked the play too."

"Well, Mom, you know that's all that really matters."

He's right.

How come my kids are smarter than me?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

World Diabetes Day, 2007

The big day has finally arrived. Today is the first annual World Diabetes Day. It is a day set aside to promote awareness of a disease that kills millions of people every year.

I am so excited that this day has come to fruition and is as big as it is. I just want to hug whoever came up with the idea. Having this day set aside to promote diabetes awareness is a huge step towards making life better for those who are diagnosed with diabetes.

I have other things on my mind today too. But, that will have to wait for a later post.

I found this video on the World Diabetes Day website. It is the London Eye. I cried when I saw it. Just thinking of all the people all over the world that have banded together for this day is overwhelming.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Gift in the Mail and an Important Survey

Look what I found in the mail when I got home today.

It's a signed copy of Mr. Iacocca's latest book. It was sent to show appreciation for Walk of Hope I held in October to raise money for The Iacocca Foundation.

I have read several pages and have found that Mr. Iacocca is quite outspoken about what he thinks. I like that.

I have a special place in my heart for The Iacocca Foundation. I believe Mr. Iacocca is truly working to find a cure for the disease that killed his wife (at the young age of 57, I might add) The money donated to IF goes directly to research to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. It doesn't go to other avenues, only research for a cure. I like that too.

What I've read of the book so far is pretty good. It is certainly thought-provoking. If you get a chance you should pick up a copy for yourself.


Amy over at Diabetes Mine made me aware of a survey that you guys may be interested in.

It is a survey about diabetes technology. This comes directly from Amy's blog:

"The information gathered will be compiled and sent to insurance companies and government bodies in the form of an ad hoc research report. As Kelly notes, "Our hope is that a groundswell of support for diabetes technology will just be one more sign to the policymakers in Washington, DC, that they shouldn't try to be cheap with patients with diabetes. We have all seen the warning signals."

I can't get the badge to work , so click here to take the survey.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Word in Your Hand Video

This is the video for the Word in Your Hand Project for World Diabetes Day.

Look closely. I think you might see a few familiar faces (or hands).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Print

For participating in the Word in Your Hand project Riley got to pick a print from Deviantart.

Here's what he picked:

A Cup of Tea with a Monster

But, it doesn't come in the right size print.

So, he's getting this one instead.

Thanks, Manny. I'll make sure to put it in a very special place.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mission Friends

Today I took Riley and another kid from church to an International Missions study for Mission Friends at my church.

When we arrived there were pictures placed on the table to color. Beside the pictures was a snack of mini Ritz cheese crackers. This wasn't too big of a deal considering it was Riley's snack time anyway. I checked his sugar and he looked up at me and said, "Mom, can you count out some for me?"

You see, he knew that I needed to know how many he ate so I could count the carbs. So, I counted out a few for him and gave him a bolus.

The place they were learning about is called Moldova. So, they learned that in Moldova kids eat egg sandwiches for snack. So, they got to sample one. It wasn't that big of a deal because they only gave him 1/4 of 1 piece of bread (or about 2.5 g) with some egg on it.

Then, they played a game. Then they went to a pretend farmer's market to learn about the food they eat in Moldova. There they sampled carrots, apples, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. I stood back and watched to see exactly how much of everything Riley ate.

Last, they gave the kids grape juice and asked them to taste of honey. Since Riley's sugar had been on the high side when I checked it earlier, I leaned over and whispered in his ear that I had brought him a juice of his own and it was probably best if he skipped tasting the honey. He just nodded his head and did what I said.

After some crafts and a few more games they moved onto the last thing, making a bank to save money for missions. While they were making the bank the leaders came out with cookies, chocolate, and more juice for all the kids.

I again leaned over to Riley and told him I had a juice for him and told him not to eat the cookies or the chocolate, but to save them to eat with his lunch.

Once again, he just nodded his head and did as he was told. He never complained and he never asked why. Because, he knew why.

And, I was happy and sad all at once.

Sad, because he shouldn't have to worry about carbs and things like that. He should just be able to do what all the other kids are doing without having to ask me to count out how many crackers he can have.

But mostly, I was happy because he doesn't complain about things he can't change. He does what he has to do because he has to.

He is wise beyond his years and braver than I can even pretend to be.

Friday, November 09, 2007


Today is a day set aside by Gina to honor those in the d-blogging community.

I was introduced to The DOC by Vivian while on the CWD chatroom one night. I had started a blog a few days earlier and she encouraged me to join the community.

I had no idea how much of a blessing it was at the time.

Finding those D blogs was the best therapy I could have ever had.

I've sat and cried over some of the heart-wrenching posts you have written. I've jumped for joy over some of the great accomplishments you have shared. And, I've laughed until I cried a few times too.

You guys have helped me through some very difficult times. And I know you'll be there for any difficulties in the future, as well as the joyful times.

Thank you.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Heart of the Matter

Today I was thinking about how much time is spent just thinking about diabetes. There is a lot of calculating that must be done. If Riley wants to eat snack I must first find out what his sugar is. Then, I need to decide if it’s an OK sugar depending on what time of day it is and how long it’s been since he last ate. Then, I need to take into account how much insulin, if any, he has floating around from his last bolus. Then, before I bolus I must consider how active he’s been or how active he is about to be (almost impossible with a 5 year old.)

All of this has to be done just for Riley to eat a simple snack. But, that is the easy part.

The brain was made to solve problems. It was made to look at situations and decide the best action to take. The brain is usually very matter of fact about things. Hot is hot and cold is cold.

Even in my sleep-deprived state, my brain normally functions pretty well. My synapses may be a little slow some times, but most of the time they are firing on all cylinders. The brain was made to reason.

The problem is, when you are dealing with your child your heart comes into play too. The heart was not made to reason.

My brain knows that when Riley is having a severe low and he is begging for more juice that what he’s had will be sufficient to bring up his sugar. My heart does not understand why I let him beg.

My brain understands why it is necessary to prick Riley’s finger with a needle 10-12 times a day. My heart doesn’t understand why I prey on his delicate flesh.

My brain reasons that it is OK that Riley is crying when I change his set. It knows that by hurting him I am also saving his life. My heart thinks it’s cruel to make him cry.

There is a constant battle going on between my brain and my heart.

And, today, my heart wins.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Some More Funny

He's not Daniel Tosh funny, but he's still pretty funny. And, I thought you guys could relate to the serving sizes.


I promise to write a real post tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Some more diabetes 365 pictures

Because it's NaBloPoMo and I'm tired I am going to post some of my pictures from Diabetes 365.

If you would like to read the description that goes with the pictures then you'll have to go to
my page. Otherwise you can make up your own little story to go with the picture.
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 8
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12
Day 14
Day 15

Monday, November 05, 2007

It Is a Big Deal

Here it is 5 days into November and I have failed to mention that it's National Diabetes Month.

I've said before that I would love to see a sea of gray (Gray, really? That's the color we got? Yep, we've just got to go with it.) in November much like the sea of pink we see in October. I'd like to sit down with whoever is in charge of Breast Cancer Awareness month and pick their brain.

Last November I asked everyone to post the diabetes ribbon in their sidebar. Even if you don't have a blog about diabetes, how about post the ribbon and at least mention it's National Diabetes Month.

So, here's the ribbon. Once again, I'd like you to copy, paste, and post.

Why should you blog about it? Why make a big deal about it?

A lot of people think they are just fine, you deal with it and move on. Some say, diabetes doesn't really affect me. I check my sugar and I give insulin and I move on. It's no big deal.

Problem is, it is a big deal.

** In the U.S., the number of deaths from diabetes is more than 180,000 each year – and climbing.

** In the U.S., the number of hospitalizations for diabetes is about 600,000 each year – and climbing.

** In the U.S., the number of people suffering from diabetes is about 16,000,000 – and climbing.

** Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that one in three American children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes during the course of their lives

That's just in the US people, let's look at the rest of the world.

**Ghana: Over 3.2 Million People Die of Diabetes Every Year; Go read this article and see if you still think it's no big deal.

**A person in Zambia who requires insulin has a life expectancy of 11 years. A person in Mali can expect to live 30 months. In Mozambique a person with Type 1 diabetes will die within one year of diagnosis.

If I lived in Mozambique , Riley would be dead by now. Not only that, but he probably would have suffered long before he died.

I've heard it said that we shouldn't complain. There are much worse diseases, incurable diseases even. I'd like to remind you that diabetes is incurable as well. In places like Mozambique the diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes is just as much a death sentence as a diagnosis of cancer or AIDS.

**Globally, at least one person dies every 10 seconds out of the disease.

**High Blood Sugar a Global Killer; go to this study done by Harvard to learn more.

Here's a few more statistics for you:

** Every 10 seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes.

** 3.5 million deaths are attributable to diabetes each year.

** Diabetes kills as many people each year as HIV/AIDS

** Type 1 diabetes is growing by 3% each year. It is increasing the fastest among very young children.

** More and more children are developing Type 2 diabetes.

Let's touch on some complications that can develop from this disease, even if you have what is considered "good control", these complications can still happen to you.

**Diabetes is the leading cause of heart attack, stroke, blindness, amputation, and kidney failure.

**Diabetic retinopathy causes 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year.

According to Prevent Blindness America (PBA), there are 5.3 million Americans age 18 and older with diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy affects the tiny blood vessels of the retina, causing them to break down, leak or become blocked. Unhealthy new blood vessels may also grow, distorting vision over time.

**2 out of every 3 people with diabetes will die from heart disease or stroke.

**4 people's legs are amputated every 3 seconds as a result of diabetic complications.

Yes, it is a very big deal, and it's our job to make people aware.

Please help spread the word. Feel free to use any of the statistics that I have posted here.

Here are some links where the information came from.,000-Cases-Of-Blindness-Every-Year.asp

(Edit: Allison pointed out that the Unite for Diabetes circle is much cooler than the boring gray ribbon. I agree. So, if you'd rather use the circle, here it is.)

Copy, paste, post.