Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Spot

What is a spot?  Spots can be good things or bad things.  Have you ever had the rare privilege of parking in the first parking spot?  At Christmas?  Right next to a cart return so you can deposit your children in a cart as soon as you get them out?  I have.  I kept checking to see if it was actually a spot reserved for people with handicaps.  Nope.  That was a good spot! 

A toothpaste spot on your blouse moments before you have to leave the house and you don’t have time to change into another outfit is a bad spot.  I have known too many of those spots.  That’s why getting dressed is the last thing I do in the morning.  Although that choice sometimes has me patting myself as if I’m my own security agent, making sure I’m decent and didn’t forget anything. 

My house is full of spots.  Some good.  Some bad.  It’s a perspective issue.  I also know that one day these spots will change and I will miss them. 

The recycle spot is the corner of the kitchen counter by the sink.  That’s where all the items that need to be recycled are stored until one of us actually takes it out to the recycling bin in the garage. 

Very important items that must not be forgotten are placed on the floor about a foot away from the bedroom door.  The hope is we trip over it or step on it in the morning and remember to take care of it.  This is not a fool proof plan.  Many items have sat in the middle of the floor for days while we strategically step around.  These are items that need attention but are not critical.  We smack our foreheads every time we realize we forgot to do something with the non critical item. 

The shoe parking lot is at the foot of the bed.  Hubby parks his shoes short term only.  His work shoes park overnight and walk out the next  morning.  My shoes don’t long term park as much as they simply live at the foot of the bed. 

My shoes could use some lessons from homing pigeons since I never know where they are.  If they aren’t in the shoe parking lot they could be in the shoe basket in the laundry room.  This is a spot dedicated for shoes unlike the shoe parking lot.  If I leave them out downstairs Little Miss wears them and leaves them who knows where.  Usually not together.  Some days I look everywhere for my shoes.  Just when I think I may have to find a different pair or risk making Bug late for school, I find my original choice in my closet where they belong. 

Laundry is another spot.  The kids have laundry baskets in their closets.  The boys do alright using it correctly.  Their socks have a tendency to lie around all over the house.  My pet peeve is the sock spot on the back of the couch. 

Little Miss’s new thing is to push her laundry basket out of her closet so she can stand in her closet with the door shut, then play peek a boo regardless of having an audience.  Once the laundry basket is out she then dumps the contents out so she can put the basket over her head.  It’s a mesh cylinder with a turtle lid that Velcro's on.  When it’s over her head it comes down to almost her knees.  She teeters around and falls a lot. 

We have two collapsible laundry baskets in Hubby’s closet.  One for darks and one for whites.  But I have a lot of shirts I don’t like to put in the dryer so those shirts spend time on the floor of my closet until laundry day.  Many times I forget about them.  Then I have nothing to wear!  I also have a laundry spot by the side of the bed.  When I’m in a hurry or I’m simply lazy, I will change into my pajamas and leave my clothes on the foot of the bed.  Then when I go to bed I’m too tired to put my clothes away so I sweep them onto the floor.  And there they stay until laundry day. 

The remote spot should be on top of the TV.  That’s where the universal remote charger is.  The remote can be found anywhere on the back of the couch.  Sometimes it’s on the counter or the table.  Sometimes we don’t know where it is.  We still haven’t found our last universal remote.  Hubby finally bought another one figuring we would find the missing one once he did.  No such luck.  At least we have a new universal remote.  I hate using five remotes just to watch a movie. 

Like most families, we have assigned spots at the table.  I have to laugh that for years my kids have created snack spots for themselves.  These snack spots are not their typical meal spots.  No, they like to eat their snacks where Mom and Dad eat meals.  Then they almost never finish their snacks so there are crackers and crumbs right where we eat.  Little Miss eats a few things at the table then grabs handfuls of snacks to be enjoyed somewhere else in the house.  Because she’s easily distracted, her snacks sit out wherever she left them.  And she will not eat them later.  The Little Miss can only eat fresh crackers! 

The homework spot is next to the boys’ computer.  One of Bug’s first homework assignments of first grade was to write where he will do his homework and then draw a picture of it.  He wrote something about doing homework on the desk next to the computer “because the table is too messy!” 

Remember when I used to always have a clean house?  Pre Little Miss?  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change like keeping my house spotless. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thanks for calling me fat!

Of all my responsibilities as a diabetic, my favorite is to visit my imbecile endocrinologist.

First of all, I have to get a babysitter. I hate asking for help.

Then I have to drive. On the freeway. I hate driving and I have mini panic attacks on the freeway.

I park my behemoth of a van centimeters away from the large vehicles on either side of me. Are we just bad at parking? No, the parking lot is just tiny with tiny spots I think even my husband would have trouble parking his Mini Cooper in. And his car is so cute and little it fits in your pocket!

I walk into the office that is the size of my living room. I’m talking the whole thing, patient rooms included, is roughly the size of my living room. There is a sign on the tall counter stating that HEPA laws require people to have a seat and wait if someone is being helped at the desk. Even if people whisper I know every word they are saying. It’s a miniature waiting room with acoustical hardwood floors. Who are we kidding with the sign?

Nobody is at the counter except me. I check in and sit in one of eight chairs behind the coffee table filled with an assortment of outdated tabloid and medical magazines. Then I wait. And wait. When I’m done waiting, I wait some more. I wait an entire 45 minutes before the nurse calls me back.

She has me drop off my things in a room. Then she makes me stand on the scale so we both have concrete evidence that I am 30 lbs overweight. She never says anything about it. She’s skinny as can be but after all, she is a woman and knows what a sensitive subject weight and BMI’s are. I like the nurse although she talks faster than I do when I’m hyper and my blood sugar is dropping low. It’s hard to keep up with her small talk sometimes.

She takes my pump to download all the data for the doctor. Not that he looks at much more than the data from the continuous glucose monitor sensor and how often I change my infusion set sites. I hate my doctor but I’ll get to that in a minute. I love that every time the nurse gives my pump back she also hands me an alcohol prep to clean the quick release before I reconnect it to the rest of the tubing. I know she is being conscientious of germs and whatever. She is a nurse. It’s her job. But what I see her do with my pump is put it on a shelf next to the CPU and shut the door while she pulls up the Pro Link program. Unless she’s breathing into the quick release, I can’t imagine what germs could have touched it. I can’t really get the alcohol prep in there anyway.

Then I sit in the room rereading every poster I memorized early this year. I wait for another 15 to 20 minutes. That’s right. I have been waiting for over an hour beyond my scheduled appointment time. I’m so glad they can read my mind and know how much I love wasting time, not to mention my friend’s time while she takes care of my kids for me. Remind me to send the office a holiday card thanking them for the exorbitant amount of my time they have wasted this year!

Finally the Wizard of Oz himself opens the door and graces the room with his presence. My mind starts racing. What do I ask for today? A heart? Courage? A brain? I shouldn’t ask for a brain. Since he is in desperate need of one I think it’s safe to assume brains are in short supply.

His face is impossible to read. His tone of voice stays even. He asks how I am doing. I never know if he’s going through the motions of a traditional greeting or if he thinks my response will give him some clue as to what’s going on. I have answered both ways. The one time I told him I was doing crappy he spent the next 8 minutes (since I only get to see him in the flesh for 10 minutes, if even that. Some days it’s only five minutes) telling me that I’m being too hard on myself. It’s too early to tell if I don’t like the CGM (continuous glucose monitor). His whole attitude was that of a kind handyman. We can fix this. Don’t cry!

Today I wasn’t even nervous to see him. I knew what to expect. Increases in my basal rates at the exact times of day I tell him I experience a lot of lows. Why infuse personality in my voice? I know my fate. So I answered as dead pan as he greeted me.

Then the unanswerable questions. Why does it look worse this time? I don’t know, you tell me. We increased all your basal rates last time! I know. This is worse. I know. It’s too early for an A1C . . . you know it will be higher right? I know. Well, your vitamin D levels came back up. (There is a whole pharmacy story about that but I won’t get into it right now.) Good.

At one point I told him some days are better than others and cited an example. On December 3rd my blood sugar was over 200 for 12+ hours before I could get it to come and stay down. I sobbed myself to sleep that night after Hubby gave me a priesthood blessing. Obviously I didn’t tell him that last part! Then I told him that since that day I am low all morning. I eat at least three times before lunch.

He looked at the graph in front of him. The graph that only shows the data from the CGM sensor. Data I think is not a true reflection of reality since I am constantly having to calibrate the sensor when it is so off. Data that never reflects my lows. The sensor can be trending down but I have classic low blood sugar signs, test, and see I’m 33 or something ridiculously low like that. I can’t calibrate when it’s already trending in the right direction. Plus, I can’t calibrate when there are arrows on the screen showing that my blood sugar is dropping quickly. All I can do is wait for it to catch up. He looked at the graph in front of him and said, “I’m not seeing that . . . let’s increase your basal rates starting at midnight.”

He increased everything from midnight to 2 pm. The very time of day that for the last week I have not even bolused for the food I eat. I wake up in the middle of the night with a reading in the 30’s or 40’s. I eat a bowl of cereal. I am low again around 7 am. I have another breakfast. I am low again at 9 or 10 am. I eat another 30 or 40 grams of carbs. I am low again at noon. Too low to even bolus for my lunch. So I have to guess how much I should take for lunch since the bolus wizard on my pump won’t help until my blood sugar comes up. I know if I don’t bolus for lunch I will be crazy high in the afternoon.

Thanks for listening doc! You’re fantastic! I don’t need to sleep. Who needs sleep? I should eat my weight in carbs all night and all morning. Works for me. I don’t have kids or anything else to need to take care of. Bring on the insulin! Hook me up.

He never said anything. He just stood there with his arms folded across his chest. Then he offered to let me try Symlin. I told him I never heard of it. He told me it’s an injectable drug that curbs appetite. It causes me to use less insulin. People lose weight on it and that’s why they like it. Would I like to try this drug that I would inject three times a day? I said, “No, do I really have to do this?” He said, “No, you don’t . . . we could just play around with your pump . . .”

Everything in his manner implied that I was a liar. That I clearly eat too much or I wouldn’t be fat and I lie about all the cheating I do with my diet. I haven’t sworn in so long I can’t even remember all the good words! But my mind is full of the most hateful names to call this imbecile.

Tears started streaming down my face as soon as I walked out into the cold, rainy parking lot. I sobbed the entire way home. Then sobbed some more to my friends when I picked up my kids. The one whose house it was, led all the kids outside to jump on the trampoline while I sobbed shaking sobs in the arms of my other friend, who is a nurse.

I will be finding a new endocrinologist. Maybe the third time will be the charm. Maybe I can find one who won’t say, “At the end of the day I go home and live my life. You are still diabetic. What you decide to do is up to you. It doesn’t affect me.” Yeah. He said that. This one I have now is a word I am not going to use since my mother in law reads my blog.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Awareness

At the risk of offending people I am going to throw in my two cents. After all, I’m not The Piquant Storyteller for nothing!

Recently I saw on the news a story about AIDS Awareness. The supporters were hoping that people would put their money towards finding a cure.

I had a mixed reaction. Yes, it is sad that there are people in the world whose lives are affected by AIDS. Many of those people contracted the disease through absolutely no fault of their own. I am aware of that. At the same time I can’t help but feel strong emotion over pleas for a cure FOR A DISEASE WE KNOW EXACTLY HOW TO AVOID GETTING!!!!

What about diabetes? There is no cure. I think it’s great that people try to raise awareness for Type 1 diabetes by saying it affects children. Well yes it does but it also doesn’t go away when those children grow up.

I have lived with this disease for 22 years. I don’t often break down and have a good cry over my lot in life with this disease. Every once in a while it gets to me. Obviously I have good and bad days but the exceptionally over the top bad days take a toll on my mental well being. I give myself permission to cry. I think of people who get cancer and how nobody judges them for having less than heroic moments where they cry.

Cancer is another disease I would like to see a cure for. I know so many people who have had to fight the cancer battle. Unfortunately some have lost. The more we know the better the odds are for people who have to deal with it. Hubby’s grandma is a breast cancer survivor. She sent me a link to this video.

I made Christmas cookies with my kids. We had the CD changer on random and one CD had a couple tracks played. It was Troy Dunn’s Life is a Football Game talk to youth. I love that talk because it is so inspirational. He compares our bodies to a football uniform. He says that when Heavenly Father told us we could have football uniforms (physical bodies) and play in the game (come to Earth and live life) we agreed to less than perfect uniforms. I believe that is true. Some people’s bodies work even less than mine.

I need to remember that more often. We knew life would be difficult and we agreed to do it anyway. In fact, we eagerly agreed.

For anyone who feels trapped in a broken body or knows someone trapped in a broken mind or body, there is hope. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered every pain known to man. He is there to lift us up when we are weak. He won’t take our burdens away any more than we can take away our children’s burdens but He can comfort us. He knows what we are going through because He’s been there and then some.

I think what we are required to do as human beings is look out for each other, be aware of our differences, and help each other find a way to live as happily as possible in our broken bodies. One day our resurrected bodies will be perfect. How wild will that be! I can’t wait!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Evils of Modern Literature

I cannot stop rolling my eyes. I was looking through a book order online. Too much political indoctrination!

Too many books with a description along the lines of some talking animal who doesn’t want to look like the other animals in its species. The book is the story of the animal’s quest to be different. Oh please! Really?

There was a book that claimed a lighthearted and humorous story about a serious problem – snoring and sleep apnea. Ok, I’m not saying that those sleeping disorders are not serious but come on! Kids need a stinking book to teach them of such a “serious issue” in a humorous manner? I could see kids completely missing the point and only getting that Dad’s loud snoring is funny.

How to make friends, the talking animal that is always in trouble, and don’t get me started on all the Phonics packages that come with WORKBOOKS!!! Whatever happened to the classic stories? Why does everything have to overtly teach and preach until we gag?

One of my favorite movies is Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler and Courtney Cox. Courtney Cox is so extreme in the way she is raising her children. Her kids’ books were about talking animals getting bike helmets and other political garbage not necessary in children’s literature. I love that Adam Sandler starts telling stories and the kids learn to use their imaginations instead of having social rules crammed down their throats.

I believe that kids will develop a love of reading if the story is interesting and creative. When you make a child read about some talking animal depressed by social problems and then make them answer questions about it in a workbook, you are slaying the magic of literature!

In the last book order I bought “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” I thought we may see the movie until I heard it was pretty lame. But the book is great. It’s funny, creative, and interesting to children. My kids’ eyes were wide as their little minds were churning and imagining a make believe land where food fell out of the sky. I could be wrong but I don’t think there was any hidden agenda in that story convincing the masses of the communistic nature of grocery stores. It was just a story!

I think if people want to reproduce they need to be a parent to their offspring. Too many parents want it all. They want the spouse, children, successful career, vacations around the world, and the white picket fence in front of the house they pay the nanny and housekeeper to live in. Not to mention time for themselves. They expect the schools to teach values and morals. They expect their places of worship to be the sole provider of faith and spirituality. These misguided parents can’t even take the time to see a movie with their child or crack a book without expecting it to teach some “moral” lesson. They believe that it takes a village to raise a child. It doesn’t. It takes parents.

Have you sat down and had a real conversation with your child today?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vain meanderings of my olfactory senses

Noses were something to tease people about in my family.  My brother and sister’s noses came from my mom’s genes.  The long, skinny ski jump.  My grandpa used to joke that he was never late.  His nose got there on time even if it took the rest of him a little while longer.  My nose takes after my dad’s side of the family.  The four car garage, as my jealous brother and sister would call it. 

I know people who don’t have much of a sense of smell.  This is so sad to me.  How does one experience life without being able to smell it?  My bowl cupboard smelled like Andes mints because Hubby stashed a package in there so the kids wouldn’t get to it.  Unfortunately, I did.  That’s what he gets for going on a business trip and leaving me with an opened package of Andes mints!  

It has been said that memories are attached to smells.  Like the warm aroma of food baking around the holidays.  The saltiness of the ocean.  Is it just me or is ocean smell described more beautifully in books than it is in real life?  Or the scent that some people leave behind on their clothes. 

I don’t know what sort of detergent my mother in law uses but I love the smell of it.  I love when she did a load of laundry for us when we were visiting and my clothes smelled like her.  Until I washed them again anyway.  Our bathroom towels always smelled like her.  Even after they had been washed.  My in laws were the only ones who ever used those sunny yellow towels for a while.  I was sad when the smell started dissipating and taking on our family smells as the towels were rotated in with our towels. 

Some smells you never forget.  Like the saccharine smell of marijuana.  Unfortunately, I grew up with that smell in my neighborhood.  Years later I went to a workshop as a teacher.  We were learning how to teach our students about the dangers of substance abuse. 

One speaker was a cop and he brought in a baggie of marijuana for a visual aid.  He had asked if anyone had smelled it before.  Most of the teachers never had.  Some said they couldn’t remember.  The cop said if they couldn’t remember then they had never smelled it.  It’s true.  It’s a distinct smell that cannot be masked nor forgotten.  Theme parks smell like regular cigarettes.  Marijuana has its own instant headache acridness. 

Or the smell of death.  Have you ever smelled death?  That is a smell that will last for a while.  Once you get a whiff of death you think about it for days.  I had some neighbors leave on vacation for a couple of weeks.  They had asked some other neighbors to take care of their dogs.  Something happened.  Starvation.  I don’t know.  The dogs died.  The caretaking neighbors put the dogs in the garbage cans for the garbage truck to pick up.  The entire neighborhood smelled of oppressive, heavy, can’t get the smell out of your mouth, death.  Apparently I grew up in the ghettos of Suburbia with all the marijuana and death. 

Right now the screenless window in my laundry room is open.  The laundry room has a weird smell in it.  The same smell is also in the hall closet.  This smell has been in the laundry room before.  It went away on its own.  We thought it was extra mustiness from rain and humidity.  Now we don’t know what it is since it has stuck around for a week with no rain.

Quite a while ago we noticed the screen over one of the crawl space vents was missing.  We’re guessing little boy and not animal.  Although animals could be getting in and living quite comfortably underneath our house.  Robert Fulghum has written about pack rats that live in his walls.  That scares me only because it’s a pain in the neck to have to deal with animals.  I have enough other things to worry about right now. 

Heath speculated that some animal may have died in the crawl space.  I was really worried at first wondering how on earth we would deal with something like that.  But the smell in the laundry room and in the closet doesn’t smell like dead animal.  It is a mixture of The Great Salt Lake lake effect and decomposing dirty diaper.  Not death.  I know death. 

The window stayed open for most of the morning.  I closed it before getting Bug from school.  I didn’t really notice the smell anymore.  I checked in the hall closet and was overpowered by the smell.  When I went back in the laundry room the smell was fainter but still there.  Hubby likes to make fun of my overly developed sense of smell.  I think he’s just jealous.  However, with this laundry room smelling of rotting gym socks mixed with ripe waste, I can’t imagine why he would be jealous of my nose!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It’s not stealing, it’s recycling!

Best line from Mad Money. 

Recycling takes a lot of effort.  You should rinse things out.  That alone takes a lot of water.  Aren’t we trying to conserve water? 

Some places don’t offer alternatives to plastic bags.  So you should take your canvas bags to Target, or heaven forbid, Wal-Mart!  Wal-Mart used to have a program called the Recycling Challenge where they would recycle their plastic bags.  That program has been discontinued. 

“You can recycle these bags at all local grocery stores.  Better yet, make it a habit to use reusable cloth bags for groceries.”  Those statements were made in the school newsletter.  First of all, who shops for groceries at Wal-Mart?  The thought has never crossed my mind.  I hate Wal-Mart if you couldn’t tell.  My brother in law has a sister who went on and on about the lack of quality at Wal-Mart.  She said the food sits out on palettes for hours before it’s put away.  Maybe that was just her local Wal-Mart.  Either way, if you don’t buy groceries from Wal-Mart but you do buy other things like clothes, school supplies, house wares, electronics, etc; you are encouraged to use a small reusable cloth bag.  Good luck with that. 

Save gas and walk or take public transportation.  Walking takes time and you are limited to buying only what you can carry.  Biking I think would only make shopping harder.  If you have more than two people in your family, as well as kids or pets, you will be shopping every dang day of your life! 

So public transportation.  This also takes time.  Your schedule may not match their schedule.  Or their lateness.  Plus, you kind of are taking your life in your hands when you entrust it to public transportation.  The UTA bus system in Utah was questionable enough but here in California . . . every other day I’m hearing on the news of some sort of horrific and random violence on MUNI trains in San Francisco.  I hate to mention it but you’ve all heard about the infamous New Year’s Day BART shooting.  Gas in my car seems reasonable. 

It can be a pain for some families to separate their trash into trash and recycling.  Some people are really green and have a separate receptacle for food scraps.  Wow.  That’s three separate receptacles in one’s kitchen for waste.  That takes effort and discipline.  Of course, if you have kids you can get them to do most of the work.  They learn it at school anyway.  You’re old school and recycling is still a new fangled idea! 

School recycling.  Ha ha.  I just have to laugh.  The earlier statement I used that was from the school newsletter, well it was preceded by these statements:

  • Please do not bring milk jugs
  • Please do not bring plastic bags

I have to admit that took the wind out of my desire to recycle at school sails.  My city used to recycle out of the trash.  Now we have a separate can for recyclables.  If I want to help my school out financially I have to save my water bottles and soda cans and donate them once a month.  So that’s what?  Four receptacles now?  We’re getting into the too much space and effort category. 

In high school I bought a t-shirt that cracked me up.  It said, “To hell with the planet save yourself!”  Sorry for quoting it directly.  It still makes me laugh. 

For anyone not always gung ho about reducing their carbon footprint, I understand.  Some days are like that. 

But maybe you could get a job at a bank and you could steal recycle money meant to be destroyed.  Then your desire to preserve the earth will be restored in a big way!  But then again that was already done in a funny movie and you would definitely get caught. 

You just have to ask yourself how you plan on answering future generations when the world we live in resembles the world on Wall.E.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Love Story

Women have been mystifying men since the beginning of time. Maybe it's their doe eyes, their long and luscious locks, or the fact that they come with so many shoes. It's hard to say what it is about women that enchant men but men are enchanted.


I love watching men do sweet things for the women in their lives. The men usually don't know anyone is watching, or taking notes for that matter. Sometimes it's a look in their eyes. Their entire countenance changes when they are alone with their girlfriend, wife, mother, whoever, versus when they are with these women in front of their friends.


There is a man that takes his children to school every day. He parks behind the school like I do so I see him pretty much every day. Some days he parks behind me and some days I am behind him. If I don't see him but see his truck, I still think of him with his daughter.


On more than one occasion, I have seen this man help his daughter out of the truck. He will help her get her back pack on. They walk together up the path. Usually they hold hands. They talk to each other as if they are unaware of the world around them.
One morning the little girl stopped her dad just inside the schoolyard. Her hair clip had come out. The dad never hesitated. He took the clip from her, squatted down to her level, and very lovingly slid the clip back into her hair. He put his arm over her shoulder in a half hug as they walked the rest of the way to her class. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen a man do for a girl.
I have seen this same encounter between this dad and his daughter several times. She has short hair. She's probably trying to grow it out. Or at least grow her bangs out. The clip is a feminine flower, perfect for a first grader. It holds the hair off her forehead and out of her eyes.


My brother loved getting his daughter dressed for church. He always did her hair for church too. It was a job he volunteered for to allow his wife extra time to get herself ready for church. He still says those were his favorite memories of daughter as a baby.


When I visited my family for my sister's baby shower, I loved watching my brother in law with their baby. He never seemed rushed or stressed when he held her tiny, premature body. The night of the shower, Sis was finishing up her hair. She wanted me to dress Baby Girl. That was terrifying to me. She was so tiny. We did alright and I loved that I could do that. Later her dad was holding her in one arm and had a handful of bows in the other hand. He asked Sis which one would match Baby Girl’s outfit the best. Sis picked one and he said that was his first choice too. Then he carefully glued it onto her peach fuzz hair. It was such a tender moment between father and daughter. One I will never forget.


My father in law is the best grandpa anyone could ask for. He loves all of his grandkids. My heart melts when I see him around his three granddaughters. The story has been told that he was babysitting his grandson and granddaughter. She was a baby in a crib. Grandpa was watching the kids overnight.


She was fussy and crying. He would pick her up to calm her then lay her back down in the crib. She was fine as long as he was standing there. If he walked away she started wailing again. What did he do? He did what any doting grandfather would do. He stood there all night and watched her sleep.


The first time he met Little Miss was another amazing moment. He cradled her in his arms and stared into her sleeping face for as long as Grandma would let him hold her.


The seven of us would squeeze into the van like clowns in a Volkswagen Bug. Grandpa sat next to Little Miss. He would constantly adjust the shade on her infant carseat to keep the sun off her face. He would patiently put the pacifier in her mouth over and over. She would take the pacifier and look as if she may fall asleep soon. Grandpa would slowly take his hand away from the carseat and face forward. It only took a few seconds before his attention was back on her. Was she ok? Was she comfortable? What was that tiny squeak?


As she got older and faced forward, Grandpa would share snacks with her. He would give her fruit crisps. Then he would give her a sip from a water bottle. When the snacks were finished he would wipe her face and hands off.


Hubby has a completely different relationship with Little Miss than he has with the boys. That girl is so spoiled by her daddy. I never wanted a princess. I think girls should be complimented but constantly telling them they are a princess may make their head too big for their body. He doesn't call her a princess all that often. When he does I don't cringe like I thought I would. It warms my heart.
She fits perfectly in the crook of Dad's arm while they lounge on the couch. She enjoys watching sports, or the History Channel, or Red Dwarf with Dad while Mom puts the boys to bed.


I love watching her screech, "Daddy, Daddy!" when he comes home. I love watching those tiny arms and hands squeeze his broad shoulders.


Right now Dad is apprehensive about touching her hair. That may have more to do with the fact that I'm such a perfectionist and he doesn't want to mess up anything I can do better. I'm sure if he took her to school and her hair clip came out he would not hesitate to fix it. He is already mesmerized by her.


Real men have always melted in the presence of a woman. Real women are those who don't take advantage of this fact.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pandora’s Box

Shelves divide my garage. Heath parks on one side. I park on the other. On the shelves sit several plastic bins as well as a few cardboard boxes.


What is in all these boxes? Stuff. Memories. Things. The items one inevitably accumulates throughout life. My boxes are filled with paper and words. Words are my passion in life. Words touch my soul. I save all inspiring, funny, and soul touching words.


Bug brought home the class Tooth Bag. His assignment was to fill out the journal/letter to the Tooth Fairy. It was a fill in the blank type of assignment that opened the door to my memory. Visions filled my mind of Hubby and myself laughing so hard tears streamed down our faces. I had given my 6th graders a fill in the blank letter to the incoming 6th graders. The responses were better than I could have ever imagined they would be. One in particular was the best. One of my students misspelled a word. The misspelling turned into another word that changed the meaning of what he wrote in a very unfortunate and comical way.


My quest was to find that paper. I found it. I laughed again. I don’t think it is appropriate to share it online. In my efforts to find the paper I found so much more.


It was as if I opened a Pandora’s Box of my life. Unlike the mythological Pandora’s Box, this was not all evil or bad. Just a swirl of memories bursting from the dusty folders of old papers and words.


One folder boosted my self-esteem as only former students can. It was full of drawings and notes from my 4th graders expressing their undying love for me. “Mrs. Westover is the best teacher ever. Mrs. Westover teaches really well.” “She taught us a math trick.” “I will miss her when she is gone.” “I almost cried when I heard she had to leave. I will miss her.” “I was afraid to come to 4th grade but Mrs. Westover is my teacher and she is really nice so now I like 4th grade.” etc. etc. How can one feel anything less than fantastic after reading such blind, unconditional love!


Letters of recommendation, writing assignments, notes written during class – Mary painted her fingernails during Zaps today as her form of rebellion! High school and college essays, poems that spoke to me, a letter from a former college roommate that I lost touch with and need to look up. All of these words and memories reminded me of who I used to be and who I wanted to become.
The truth is, I think some of the thoughts and experiences I have had lately are guiding me to what I need to do next in my life.
I love Robert Fulghum. In the middle of reading his book What on Earth Have I Done, I imagined for a brief moment that I met my idol. We talked. One thing led to another and he became my mentor. I had to watch Finding Forrester after my daydream. If only it were true!


I watched Finding Forrester while Hubby listened online to Florida State wipe the field with BYU, their pride, and dignity. Our house got a little hectic towards the end of my movie. Kids arguing, the contents of their craft box all over the house like the aftermath of a bad stomach flu, Hubby screaming at the computer. I was interrupted a lot but still got teary at the end of the movie.


Wouldn’t you know that a few days later I was listening to pandora.com and Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole came on. For those of you who don’t know, that is the ending song on Finding Forrester. I learned that IZ was born in Hawaii. He was a legend in Hawaii. He died at the age of 38 from weight related respiratory illness. The Hawaiian flag flew at half mast on the day of his funeral. Over 10,000 people attended his funeral. The song makes me cry more now that I know about the musician behind it.


I find it interesting that all these experiences were happening in a matter of days. The last several chapters of Robert Fulghum’s book that led me to my plan to improve my writing and gain more formal training (I haven’t taken an English class since high school); the movie; the song I keep hearing; reading that Ray Bradbury couldn’t write for a while after his wife passed away because she was his muse, yet he pushed past the wall and kept going and is still amazing; my Pandora’s Box, etc. It’s as if the Lord is saying to me, “I gave you this talent. What are you going to do with it?”

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Left with a bad taste in my mouth

Some things leave a bad taste in one’s mouth. Like mocolate on Friends or any dessert made with artificial sweetener to lower the carb count.

One morning when I was in high school, we were all rushing around trying to get ready and out the door. My mom confessed to my sister that she may have used Sis’s toothbrush by accident. Sis was ok with the mistake. I felt ready to puke!

I had a roommate in college who had this weird obsession with brushing her teeth immediately after eating. She wasn’t all that fun to snack with. “I just brushed my teeth. I don’t want to eat right now.” Anyway, she literally brushed her teeth 3-6 times a day depending on how often she ate. So she would use her boyfriend’s toothbrush if she happened to eat something at his house. When I told her that was gross she said, “Why? We kiss all the time. It’s the same thing!” Oh I am sorry. That is not the same thing! At all.

Recently I heard a story about a couple who shared toothbrushes. The wife had periodontal disease. She gave it to her husband because they shared toothbrushes. The hygienists were giving this couple several free toothbrushes! See? Not the same as kissing!

Last week my dental hygienist told me my teeth were decalcified and the enamel was weak. My sister, a hygienist I trust, confirmed that I really should use prescription strength toothpaste to build my enamel. I hate my dentist. It would have been helpful if he would have described why he was prescribing sensitive toothpaste to me. The hygienist gave me a sample of Colgate sensitive toothpaste that also claims to strengthen the enamel. My current toothpaste says it’s for sensitivity but it says nothing about enamel. So I started using this sample toothpaste.

It tastes awful. It’s Colgate. I hate Colgate. I described it in another post (here) as tasting like camping. It seemed like the only time we used Colgate was when we were camping. So as I was brushing my teeth in a dark campground at some questionable water spicket with this nasty tasting toothpaste, I always wondered if maybe the person using it before me had dropped it in the dirt or something before giving it to me. Because I couldn’t imagine a brand of toothpaste tasting so bad! For that reason, Colgate toothpaste tastes like camping.

Also, this sample toothpaste tastes like rotten hairspray. I don’t know how else to describe it. It really tastes like it has expired and it has a hairspray like taste to it that lingers all day. I hope prescription strength Prevident tastes much better!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Harvesting Evil

Last year we planted a garden. That's about as much effort as we put into it too. The automatic sprinklers took care of watering. The gardeners (part of our rent pays for them) would weed for us. We ended up with a decent crop.


The tomatoes were uncontainable. Hubby used 3 or 4 different cages to keep the tomatoes from taking over everything. They busted the cages and continued to grow! At the end of the season we ripped everything out except our chive plant.


This year we procrastinated too long and never planted anything. We thought it was weird that the gardeners weren't pulling all the weeds though. After a few weeks we realized it wasn't a weed but a tomato plant!

With zero effort on our part this is our garden.
At first we laughed. Without sowing we were reaping. The plant continued to grow. And grow. And grow. I'm getting nervous now. I was fine with the tomato plant spontaneously growing against the fence.

But somehow it jumped a couple of feet and is now growing next to the chives. Actually, it's choking them to death.


I have this sneaking suspicion that I need to rent "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" to do some research. Why were the tomatoes attacking? How did they do it? Am I a target and I don't know it? Perhaps the answers are found in the movie.

I'm also concerned about the fact that tomatoes aren't a favorite food in our house. Little Miss and I are the only ones who will eat raw tomatoes. The last time tomatoes reared their ugly heads I learned that tomatoes belong to the dreaded nightshade family.

Something is going on. I know it's just a tomato plant but it is still ALIVE! Little Shop of Horrors? I can't help but think my garden is harvesting evil!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How do you spell relief?

Do you remember the commercial about Rolaids? "How do you spell relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S" I could never figure that out as a kid because I thought you spelled it R-E-L-I-E-F! I was little what can I say!

I don't have one word in mind to spell relief today but I definitely feel relieved. I have been obsessing over diabetes for the last week or so. Obsessively obsessing. There probably isn't a word yet to describe how upset I have been about everything. I have been talking to Dave who has been patient and understanding with me as I have progressively deteriorated since starting my own continuous glucose monitoring system.  He has had nurses call to answer questions and just to listen. He has offered to have me talk to an associate of his who is type 1 and wears a CGM sensor. Dave is such a nice guy.

My frustrations with the sensor have increased even though I finally got a sensor in that was comfortable and seemed to be giving fairly reliable information. Every night I am awakened by low BG (blood glucose) alarms. Every night those lows wake me up to the point that I can't get back to sleep for 1-3 hours. Every night while I try in vain to go back to sleep my mind won't shut up. I stress over my diabetes. The last couple of nights I have considered emailing the nurse who trained me who is type 1. I talk myself out of it every time and by morning I'm glad I never said anything.

Last night before I went to sleep I prayed for help in getting out of my head. I woke up around 3 am again. Right on schedule! I was up for about two hours crying in frustration over everything. When I got up for the day the frustrations were still there in full force. Not knowing what else to do today, I finally sat down to write the email. I wasn't sure if I would actually send it. Hubby would have to approve it first as he always does when I share my deepest personal feelings. I was getting to the end of my thoughts when I saw an email come through from Dave. He had offered to review the CGM information with us. I had accepted his offer but was waiting to hear back from him. A day and a half wait when you feel like you're about to lose your mind is an eternity! In his email he asked if we could meet later today. Relief slowly started to wash over me.

The meeting went well. He downloaded my pump and explained the graphs in a way that finally made sense. He also helped us set up the CareLink software with another disc of his. For some reason none of our computers would let us finish setting up the CareLink software. So finally we have access to my own data! He also reviewed techniques to properly insert the sensor since Hubby didn't feel confident he was doing it correctly. Throughout the whole meeting, I was quiet and reserved. I was overwhelmed with information and I was trying not to get my hopes up again. But after he left I started to feel like I understood more. Hubby understood everything and that was all that mattered but I was grateful that I was starting to see the light myself.

I appreciated how Dave was non judgmental. At one point he even said that he knows a lot of diabetics are told they are bad. Nobody has ever come out and said that to me necessarily. I had a doctor who I didn't get along with for a long time because he was so emotionally invested in his patients' success and he would yell when I screwed up. But I was a rebellious teenager and didn't want to do what I knew I needed to do so we butted heads for a few years before I decided to try again. He was completely different when we were on the same team! He cared about me and he cared about how Hubby was doing. He was a great doctor. Then I worked with an endocrinologist here who was so laid back and never held me accountable for anything I stopped trying. I didn't consciously do it but I guess on some level I thought if he didn't care why should I! My doctor now recognizes I need to get things under control. He doesn't sugar coat anything but he also gives me hope. Yesterday he kept saying, "Don't get so frustrated." He wouldn't dwell on it but would just say a brief, "It's too early to tell if you don't like your CGM." Or "Don't get so frustrated." "Let's do this and we'll see in a month."

Hubby is relieved that things are making more sense because this whole CGM thing was his idea. He has a lot more confidence that his original plan of doing whatever we could to keep me alive as long as possible is really going to work. It is nice to have a husband who loves me. I really used to think my diabetes would be a deal breaker. I am so glad he is ok with it and is willing to do anything to make it easier to live with.

I wouldn't say I feel excited about anything. I feel totally relieved. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. I was actually hungry for dinner! I am ready to do another week with the sensor. My doctor said to do one more week for him then take two weeks off, then one more week before I see him. This next week is going to be so much easier on me emotionally. I think my blood sugars will be better too since I won't be introducing the variable of my obsessive stress. I am so humbled by the way Heavenly Father answers my prayers.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Not Worth It

I have decided this stupid continuous glucose monitor is not worth it. I have found out that I really should be calibrating 4 times a day. That only saves me 3 tests a day. I am not supposed to trust the sensor when it tells me I am high or low. I have to test from my finger before taking action. I didn't realize that before. Maybe I was told that and I wasn't listening or didn't get it or whatever but I didn't know that. So that puts me back up to testing as often as I was before. I don't have to test after I eat. Some days I would forget to anyway so really this isn't changing anything. I just have to wear this extra thing that, the truth be told, bugs me.


Last night my sensor was way off. It was telling me I was dropping low when I got readings over 300. Too much discrepancy. I finally decided to take out the sensor because it obviously wasn't working. It had pulled out a little on its own. It wasn't all the way in my skin. I don't know how it happened but stuff like that happens sometimes. I may have gone to sleep sometime after 1 am and woke up at 6 am because my blood sugar was low. But it was the best sleep I have had since I got the sensor!!!


Hubby is working from home this morning which is nice because the new sensor isn't working. I keep getting a lost sensor warning. I can't even get it to transmit and I just put it in. It bugs me that the whole process of putting in a new sensor can take almost an hour. There is a lot of down time while I wait for things to work before I can move on to the next step. It's a calculated waiting game. There is nothing I can do about it to speed it up but I'm beyond annoyed that it's been in for an hour and now it's not even transmitting data.


I'm snapping at everyone because I hate being forced to do something I don't want to do and I don't want to do this CGM anymore. I really just want to give the doctor enough data for him to make some changes. Hopefully in a couple of months I can say forget it and not wear it anymore. I can't imagine doing this for the rest of my life. I can't. I was starting to give up on the whole thing yesterday. Then the bad sensor and now this new bad sensor are not changing my mind! We can't download any info from my pump because the software will not work on any one of our computers. Hubby tried several different things to get around it but he still can't get one file from the CD they gave us. So I am basically wearing this thing that I am constantly aware of for my doctor who I see once a month. Not worth it!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Very Own CGM!

This is the most unflattering picture of me and with my black shirt it may be difficult to see. Nevertheless this is my right arm. I am wearing my very own CGM (continuous glucose monitor) in my arm! I am pretty excited about that because I didn't like having the trial CGM's in my stomach. The first trial was fine but the second trial was irritating the whole time. So I really wanted to try to wear the CGM somewhere other than my stomach. I hardly notice it at all.


The nurse educator was very nice. I was glad she left me a big packet explaining everything she verbally explained. Sometimes I thought I understood and I would think back to the trials I did and have an ah-ha moment. But really, I am so overwhelmed with new information! Hubby was there most of the time. He had to chase Little Miss around some of the time. He says he understands so I think we can figure this all out. It just felt like she explained all these things that could go wrong and with my gloom and doom outlook I am convinced something will go wrong and I don't think I understood how to fix it. Everything went wrong with my last trial but it didn't matter because I went to the Dr.'s office and had it removed and I walked away. No big deal. Now the CGM is mine and I guess I need to know what I'm doing. It will be fine. The benefits outweigh the inconveniences.


One thing I wanted to talk to her about was the fact that my transparent dressing is crappy. I got this new box several weeks ago and the dressing falls off completely in the shower. It's like all I had on was a piece of Saran Wrap. The tape underneath comes off too. Actually, it kind of disintegrates. It's weird and really annoying. Well, Lisa was talking about the dressing and she said that I could wear different dressings that I can buy from Wal-Mart or Target. I guess Mini Med will let me buy dressing for my pump but the exact same dressing for my CGM is more expensive! Sounds like something a medical supply company would do. Then she said something about how the dressing was originally designed to be put on the skin and have the pump infusion set go through it. It's for people who are sensitive to the adhesive. That's me! So when I change my infusion set later today I think I may try that.


I think I understand some of the settings better. She changed a couple of settings from what I had with my trial. Like the low BG alarm. It was set to 55 before. We changed that to 75. That makes more sense to catch a low before it gets super low.


She told me that it takes a couple of times changing it (or telling the pump I've changed it) to really get into a groove and feel comfortable with it. She also said that she picks one day a week to always change hers. She changes it every Sunday morning. So I will change mine on Sunday because that will be the two days the FDA wants me to change it. Then after that I can plan on changing it weekly. It takes some time to change it because I have to wait 30 minutes before hooking up the transmitter and then I have to calibrate it 3 hours later. So it's nice to plan on one day a week to do all that and know that's how that day will go. It sounds like I should only have to test 3 times a day. I can do that! This should be interesting.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jake

Jake joined our family this afternoon. Sadly, Jake returned to his maker soon after.

Jake is a pill bug. He died at the expense of his exuberantly loving caretaker. My heart is broken. My son doesn't know. He thinks Jake is just really sleepy. Really sleepy! My son said the prayer for dinner tonight. He prayed that Jake would be good. My heart broke some more.

His dad was working from home today after his meeting in San Jose was canceled. He told our son to find five bugs outside. It was to get him to go outside and spend some time out there . . . and stop bugging Dad! So my son had his magnifying glass that is so scratched from little kid teeth and being scraped across concrete. He was a boy on a mission looking for bugs everywhere. He found a pill bug and carried it into the house to show his dad. Then he took it back out because it was lunch time.

I got the little kids down for a nap and fell asleep myself. My son had found another pill bug outside and decided to keep it as a pet. When I finally woke up, he was telling me about Jake. Something about how he was on a rock in a jar with another jar on top of him so he could have a ceiling. He asked what else he could give Jake. I suggested a twig. He was pretty excited about that because "it could be his blanket!" I'm not sure he knows what a twig is. He found a tiny caterpillar looking thing and put it on the outside of one of the Costco sized animal cracker jars that housed Jake. By the time I got out there Jake was not moving. Neither was the caterpillar thing. Jake was not squished so at first I didn't know what was going on with him.

When my son was about 18 months old I would point out bugs to him. I was trying to be a cool mom to my boy. He would pick up the pill bugs that were rolled into a tight ball. They knew what was coming. Then he would squish the living daylights out of this poor defenseless bug between his tiny fingers. I stopped pointing out bugs after that. My younger son discovered bugs on his own and was pretty proud of himself for stomping on a ladybug. Yes, my little boy who is deathly afraid of flies was proud of killing a ladybug. I saw smooshed ladybug by the garage door and felt deep remorse. I knew he didn't know ladybugs were good bugs. I gently explained it to him and prayed he never found another ladybug again.

I am near tears over Jake's passing. It saddens me to think that my little boy wanted nothing more than to enjoy Jake as his pet. He tried to make him as comfortable as possible. He found the perfect rock for Jake to sleep on. And Jake did. I guess I feel a little better knowing Jake died peacefully in his sleep. Ok, who am I kidding? Jake baked to death in his plastic tomb. The same way that babies and toddlers suffocate and overheat, forgotten in a car on a blazing hot day. My son was so excited about Jake that he wanted to learn about pill bugs. His dad taught him how to do a search on Yahoo kids. I read the info that came up. Pill bugs are crustaceans like lobsters. They need moisture. They also need dirt and someone with a little more knowledge than a 6 year old to care for them.

Rest in peace, Jake. Rest in peace.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dear Diabetes . . .


Dear Diabetes,


I have been trying very hard to keep you happy. I know our relationship hasn't always been the best. I was a pretty stupid and rebellious teenager. Is there no forgiveness in your heart? Will you always carry this grudge and make me suffer now as my consequence?


It's been 9 years now that I have really tried to stay under control. I wear a pump, I change my sites as often as I should and I check my blood sugar at least 6-8 times a day. I don't binge eat anymore. Yesterday I honestly answered all of the questions posed by the nurse associated with my insurance company. She told me I was doing great. In fact, most health professionals tell me I am doing everything I should be doing. Why don't the numbers match with my level of effort? I know I probably should see a regular physician. But I see my endocrinologist monthly. He makes changes but they don't seem to satisfy you.


When I am physically active you sabotage my weight loss with excessive and dangerous lows. When my life gets harried and I have trouble making time for exercise you allow my weight to drop with constant highs which make me skip meals more often. Can we meet somewhere in the middle? I'm tired of carrying around 30 extra pounds of baby weight. Especially when I am doing everything in my power to eliminate it. Why would you hold me back when weight loss would be so much better for the both of us?
While I never welcomed your pal Hypothyroidism with open arms, I think we are doing ok. Is that the problem? After 15 years with you, you threw me the curve ball of Hypothyroidism? Now that I've gotten used to the both of you again, you're jealous? Do I really have to think about you two all the time? Your demands have become a part of my daily routine. I'm sorry if that's not enough for you.


You have allowed me to have three beautiful and perfect children despite everything that could have (or should have) gone wrong. So why are you punishing me now? I'm having a hard time being a good mom to my kids when you affect my mood with high blood sugar. I haven't really been able to satisfy your high blood sugar demands in nearly 24 hours. I am bolusing correctly with no love from you. I changed my site, wasting an infusion set, but grateful it wasn't a waste of 100 units of insulin. You teased me with two lower numbers and now 314? Really? What can I do to make this up to you?


Sincerely,
Confused Type 1 Diabetic

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Side of the Fence

Sometimes what may appear as greener pastures may be nothing more than a patch of weeds. I just finished reading Dr. Laura Schlessinger's book titled "In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms."


I have known that there is a lot of controversy around mothers and women in general. Sadly, women seem to always find a reason to be in competition with each other. What's worse is they always find a way to put each other down about anything and everything. My sister shared some of her experiences with me and all I could say was "Welcome to Motherhood!" But in reality she would have been criticized for any choice she made about anything in her life. She is a woman.


Like I said, I knew there was controversy but I didn't know it was an all out war. Not until Bug’s kindergarten teacher as well as the school counselor told me I needed to send my kids to pre-school. After reading this book, I have more confidence in my decision to keep my kids out of pre-school. That decision should be made between a husband and wife and God. When Bug was about to turn 3 years old I remember freaking out a little thinking I only had 2 more years with him before I had to share him with school. I feel that same way about Tag. I only get one more year with him before he goes to kindergarten. I'm not worried about their academic intelligence, nor am I worried about their social skills. My kids are normal and well adjusted. I miss them when they are gone. They are my life.


Living in Utah there wasn't as much war about whether or not a woman stayed home with her children. Many women did stay home because that was the culture in Utah. At times I felt like I was a drain on society. I felt guilty for getting a BS degree with the intent to stay home if I ever married and had children. I especially felt like a lazy bum when so many of my SAHM acquaintances justified their decision by working from home. They would do anything to make a buck and had a way of making me feel bad for not. In Utah I felt like I was in competition with other SAHM's and I was losing because my house wasn't perfect 24/7, my son wasn't walking by 9 months, etc, etc, etc.


After moving to CA, the mommy guilt shifted. I feel like I am viewed as irresponsible for having 3 kids, two years apart in age, all from the same man who happens to be the only man I ever married! I am criticized for not paying hundreds of dollars on state of the art pre-schools and over scheduling my children to the point that people need to get on a waiting list for a play date. A friend of mine recently told me that she is not going to enroll her 4 year old in pre-school anymore because it's nothing more than a really expensive play date. I heard a description of a pre-school/day care that was different from the other facilities. This one let the kids go in and out as they pleased. Snacks were not scheduled. Kids were not forced to join in any art or science project but if they got "stuck" in one spot too often or for too long they were encouraged to join an activity. I am not interested in paying for that when that is essentially what I do at home with my own children! I don't need to pay someone else to raise my kids.


I loved this book. It reminded me of everything I have. And I have it all. I have a wonderful and supportive husband. I have 3 of the cutest and smartest kids. They tell me constantly that they love me. Ok, lately Tag tells me he loves me on one day and I tell him I love him every day and he laughs. Then he admits he loves me every day too.


This book told me to stop being such a perfectionist. Hubby will roll his eyes when he reads that one! He's been telling me that all along. But maybe it took reading it in a book to realize that the house doesn't always need to be spotless. I have relaxed on this cleaning compulsion of mine. I used to sweep after every meal and snack when Bug was a baby. I think of that every few days when I finally get around to sweeping because I don't think Little Miss needs to eat petrified hamburger chunks off the floor. Cheerios are ok but meat is questionable.


The whole stop being such a perfectionist thing also helps when I realize that my kids are not going to be perfect. They never will be nor were they ever meant to be. Because I stay home with them I have gotten to know them really well. I am learning what works on each one (and it's not the same for any of them.) I am learning that Bug is very slow to adapt to some activities. We have a hard time getting to school without tears. At least he is having a good experience and is fine once we get there. I can only imagine his therapy bills if I sent him to a pre-school or daycare because I had to. He doesn't get a choice now. School is mandatory. Summer school is not but we committed to sending him to the art and drama classes so he doesn't get to choose. But I feel better knowing he had 5 years to be a free kid! I don't pick him up from school only to cart him off to a million activities. He comes home and gets his emotional needs met from me.


I vow to never again feel ashamed that I just stay home with my kids. I do so much more than that. I am a mother!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Brown Box

On my counter sits a brown box. It was delivered by the nice UPS man that delivers packages in my neighborhood. I signed my name to receive this brown box. Only the most important boxes require a signature.


The box is not very heavy but it will change my life. My excitement about the contents of this brown box cannot be contained yet I find myself not ready to open it.


There is a bit of fear mixed with my excitement. There is also a tiny bit of doubt. Am I really worth the cost? What will be the monetary cost to use what sits in the brown box resting on my counter? All human life has worth but I still worry about the changes and sacrifices my family will make as a result of this brown box. If used correctly, my life could be prolonged by this brown box. At least my quality of life will be better.


The brown box calmly sits on the counter tempting me to peek. Yet I am overwhelmed by how life changing it can be. So I stare back hoping to win the staring contest. I know sooner or later the box will win. The question is when?


When will I get the phone call to set up the meeting to learn to use the contents of the brown box? Who will teach me? Will the timing be convenient enough for me to bring moral support? Will I find out how expensive maintenance is and suddenly no longer want to use my new life line? Will the box sit in a corner collecting dust looking violated after it was opened but unused? These questions keep me from opening the box.


Anticipation surges into my heart like a million butterflies ready to be released. The box sits. Tantalizing not taunting. Hoping not judging. Waiting for me to be ready for my life to change forever. No matter what I choose my life will never be the same again. The brown box cannot be forgotten now that it is here nor can it be taken back as if it never arrived. The brown box changed my life long before it was tossed onto the UPS truck. There is no turning back time. No looking back. To choose to do nothing is a choice in and of itself. So I will choose to continue the steps that have led the brown box to my kitchen counter.


To be continued . . .

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Am Unashamed

I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Or as Dom and Bill from Salt Lake City, Utah’s alternative radio station X96 used to say, “You know, the Mormons.” My membership in this church means everything to me. I don’t take it casually at all. I really have no patience for people who do.


Growing up in Utah was an experience in and of itself. The culture in Utah is the Mormon culture. What I always had a problem with were the “Jack Mormons.” The people who were members but were proud of their past and/or current sins. Many of them live so close to the edge of what is appropriate as a member of the church. I don’t have patience for that lack of integrity. I have been accused of being too black and white. A self proclaimed atheist told me there were several shades of gray and it was unfair that I was so black and white about things. This person was on the fence about whether or not there was a God. I’m sorry. There either is or isn’t a God. Pick a side and defend it. I choose God.


Not only do I choose to believe in God, I choose to keep His commandments. It has been said that members of the church are a peculiar people. That is how I choose to live my life. I do everything in my power to live with integrity. My faith in my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ is rock steady. I hope I live my life in such a way that my faith is apparent to all.


I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I will not make excuses for it nor will I speak of it lightly to gain favor in other’s eyes. I will not water down the truth, justify choices, nor will I ever compromise standards.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Run run run as fast as you can

Me and running . . . We don't go together like peanut butter and jelly. It's more like water and oil. I can't run to save my life. Seriously. The guy will simply have to rob and kill me once he's done laughing about how poorly I run.


I have been working out with a 30 day challenge on EA Active for the Wii.  It's nice because it's in the comfort of my own bedroom. I can shut the door when the kids ask too many questions. It also works. Wii Fit did not. They were fun games but if one does it to get fit it ain't going to happen. Wii Fit games are only 2-4 minutes long and there is way too much down time to choose another game. Plus, I've already talked about how rude the Wii board is!


I have been doing this 30 day challenge for about a week now. I am sore as can be. When I first started my weight crept up 4 pounds. I don't know why. I tried to tell myself that muscle weighs more than fat! I love those little things we tell ourselves to sugar coat the truth. My weight is now back down 4 pounds. Yay. I have burned over 1000 calories. I push myself really hard to exceed my calorie burning goal for the day. So far so good.


The other day it said that I had run over 25 laps on the track. Today I did 2 different exercises on the track so I have done a lot of laps on that track. My trainer is some dark and handsome guy that looks like a real person Photoshopped in drawing form. He's real in the how to videos. He sounds a lot like Jack Black. He's very encouraging and always complimenting my efforts. He says things like I'm making it look easy. And I look like I own the track. The day the message came up that I had run over 25 laps my trainer was very complimentary of my running. I don't know what to make of that. I run in place!


Whenever I tried to run in real life my lungs would get cold and burn at the same time. I would get cotton mouth and shin splints and basically want to die. When I did weight training in high school we also had to run the track. I got to a point where it didn't hurt anymore. I wasn't good at it but I wasn't dying either. When I ran for Wii Fit I had the same lung problem. But now running for EA Active I can run in place really well with no lung issues. It makes me wonder if I could actually make it to the end of my circle and possibly onto the mile long street to the main road. I don't think I could go more than the next court up from where I live. Let's be honest. This is me running! But maybe I could. Ok, I doubt it.


Once in high school I told my sister I wanted to start running. She agreed to come with me. We started jogging. I was doing ok. But I was totally out of breath by the next house. A few houses down was the house of a guy I had a major crush on. His whole family was outside while we were running by. So I sped up. I wanted to look cool and also get out of there as fast as possible. I think his step mom said hi to us as we ran by. I think I managed a wave and I was trying to hold my breath because I didn't want them to know I was out of breath. We lived like 5 houses up the street. I'm not kidding. My sister was discreetly trying to tell me to slow down and keep the pace. Yeah, I had major shin splints and my lungs almost exploded by the time we passed my crush object's house. I don't think we ever ran again. Hmm, I wonder why!


I know all these people that nonchalantly say they run marathons. My sister in law, friends from my last ward, etc. Yeah, we ran a marathon. No biggie. Meanwhile I can't run down the street. But I do run in place. And my trainer says I'm good at it! It's the little things that make my day.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Question of Taste

Have you ever thought about how your toothpaste tastes? Do you prefer one brand over another because of the taste? I hate Colgate because it tastes like camping to me. Have you ever tried your kids' toothpaste? It tastes like little kid. So does grape soda for that matter! Have you ever noticed that peppermint candy ice cream tastes like toothpaste? Some mints taste like toothpaste too. Except the chocolate mints. Those are the best. If your restaurant of choice doesn't give you Andes chocolate mints then the hard chocolate candy mints are pretty good too.


Anyway, back to toothpaste. I currently use Crest Pro-Health. It claims to whiten teeth, fight cavities, gingivitis, plaque, sensitivity, tartar, and freshen breath. Hubby bought it because my dentist had prescribed toothpaste for sensitivity. I never filled the prescription and don't plan on it either. My teeth were pretty sensitive after having fillings replaced on both sides of my mouth in one week. But I doubt prescription strength toothpaste would have been any better than the Crest Pro-Health.


I would have to say that the Crest Pro-Health whitens my teeth better than any other toothpaste I have ever used that boasts whitening power. I've even used that whitening mouth wash. I gag on it every time then throw up a little in my mouth even after spitting it out before my time is up! It doesn't whiten all that well either if at all. But maybe that's because I'm not following the instructions for the amount to use and the length of time to swish.


My sister is a dental hygienist and I was whining that my dentist is really arrogant and I don't like him. I also don't like the sneaking suspicion I have that I just helped him buy a Bentley. ($1200 out of pocket in one month is a lot of money for not so much dental work!) I was telling Sis that my dentist wants me to pay for Invisalign and Zoom whitening. Yes, my teeth are crooked but I don't look at pictures of my smile and gasp in embarrassment. And the whole making me pay for whitening thing is annoying because I can cross the freeway and see a whole bunch of other dentists that will whiten my teeth for life free of charge just because I'm a new patient. That's when Sis told me that it's up to me whether or not I want my teeth professionally whitened because a lot of people do well with over the counter products. Although some people aren't affected by it because of the color of their teeth and their enamel. I thought that was interesting.


But this post was about the taste of my toothpaste. It tastes a lot like Pepto-Bismol. I'm not making that up. I brush and feel slightly sick to my stomach because of the taste. Then I rinse my mouth but I still have gritty toothpaste on my teeth that kind of crunches in my molars. The worst part is the aftertaste. Very similar to Pepto-Bismol. One day I may get bored enough to actually compare ingredients with these two products. It would be interesting information for a dinner party or some other social gathering!


In the meantime, think about your toothpaste as you go through your oral hygiene tonight before bed.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Another Diabetes Post!

April ended up being Diabetes Awareness Month for my blog. May as well continue right!


Please pray that I can be approved and can afford a continuous glucose monitor. I could cry I am so frustrated with my blood sugars. Sundays are always bad days for my blood sugars. I tend to wake up low, especially on fast Sunday! I go about my day just fine and I do lots of things to avoid dropping low at church. I will set temporary basal rates of 0% so I don't get any insulin while I'm in church. I eat a high carb lunch and won't bolus to attempt to keep my blood sugar up while at church. Even with all of that I will still sometimes drop low. Amazing what the mind can do!


By the time I get home in the late afternoon (we start at 1:00 pm and there are rumors we won't change in September like usual but will change in January!) my tricks to avoid lows catch up with me and I am sky high all night. Yesterday I was dealing with my kids who decided to be negatively affected by the rainy weather and I completely forgot to test my blood sugar at church. Of course I was pretty high when I got home. 281 I think. So I bolused to correct the high and set a temporary basal rate for 200% of my normal basal rate. I hoped to be closer to my normal range by dinner.


Enter temptation. Hubby made bread yesterday. Like an idiot I ate a piece knowing I was too high for honey wheat bread. I gave myself what I considered to be more than enough insulin to cover that piece of bread. I was still high by dinner, of course. Sunday dinners are always super high carb meals. Hubby apologized all night about making stroganoff for dinner. It was fantastic. The best he's ever made. But even with all my insulin I was well over 400 two hours later. So the insulin game began where I bolus according to my pump's recommendations based on active insulin blah blah blah. I also had my 200% temp basal rate going all evening too.


By bedtime I was still over 300. But I was hyper, talking fast, laughing my head off at everything, and my heart was racing. I knew I was dropping fast. By midnight I was down to 132 with a couple units of active insulin. I canceled the rest of the temporary basal rate and decided to have a glass of milk to prevent dropping low while I slept. Yeah, that didn't work. I woke up at 3 am and was 38. My first reading in the 30's was when I was nursing Bug. I had a mild hallucination. I have only dropped that low maybe twice more and it was while I was pregnant, when I was doing everything humanly possible to stay in non diabetic blood sugar range. Severe lows are the risk pregnant diabetics take.


When I get a reading around 50 I freak out and want to inhale all the food in the house! So the fact that I have been below 50 more in the last two weeks than I have been in the last 6 months is somewhat disturbing. I never thought I had hypo unawareness. But apparently I do. I have learned that I no longer can guess where my blood sugars are based on how I feel since having babies. I used to test because I had classic symptoms of high or low blood sugars. Not anymore. When I was pregnant with Tag I would suddenly be very lethargic and sleepy. I would test wondering how high I was. No, I was almost always low when I felt that way. My radar went back to normal after he was born but my blood sugars have been on a roller coaster for the last two years. On Friday Dave was telling me about the results from the iPro study I did. He told me that I spend about 20% of my day low. The iPro only reads as low as 40. I bottomed out and flat lined a couple of times at 40 since the sensor doesn't read any lower. That kind of blew my mind.


I can't believe this day. I had around 80 grams of carbs at 3 am when I got my reading of 38. I went back to sleep full on expecting to be high by the time I got up for the day. I didn't test before showering this morning. I felt like crap in the shower. When I tested after getting out I was 52! Wow. Ok. So I had more carbs than I needed and more food than I ever eat for breakfast. Yeah, I tested before beginning this post and was 81! Who knew grocery shopping for whole milk and fake cheese slices could be so much exercise!!! It's not. I can't believe how I can't keep my blood sugar up now.


For years I didn't care. I had A1C's around 11 or 13. For real. I was slowly killing myself and didn't realize it, nor did I care too much. But then I decided that enough was enough. It was time I went back to being the model diabetic I started out as when I was 10. Then I met Hubby. Everything changes when you have a reason to get out of bed everyday. He made me want to be a better person. He still does. I don't care how sappy that sounds.


I was perfect for two pregnancies. That perfection came at a high price but it was worth it and I did it. Then we had intense stress over deciding where to live, selling our house in less than a month, having buyers back out at the last minute. Twice. I told myself my blood sugars would get better once everything settled down. But then I found out I was pregnant! The mommy guilt I felt during the next 8 months while I was pregnant with that baby girl was more than I could bear some days. There is nothing like knowing you may be the reason why your child isn't perfect when they're born. She's obviously fine. It was an adjustment going from 2 to 3 kids but now my life is stable and predictable and my blood sugars are still out of control.


I never thought I would share so many diabetic stories every day. But I truly believe that someone out there can benefit from my experiences. Or at least take comfort in knowing they are not alone in this.

Swine Flu Funnies

Situations like the swine flu epidemic are always interesting to me. It's obviously important that the public is aware of the risks. I love to watch the news to see how different people react to these situations. Then it's interesting to see first hand reactions.
Normally I don't bat an eye at news stories similar to the swine flu. This time I had a small level of concern since my hairdresser was in Mexico on vacation when the stories came out all over the news about swine flu. She spent her week vacation and has since returned. She was more or less quarantined for a few days to make sure she didn't have it. As far as I know everything is ok and she has returned to her normal life.


On Monday when I met up with Dave (Mini Med rep) to get the iPro sensor, he was giving me a hard time about making him wait 30 minutes for me to show up. My original appointment was at 9:30 but I called to reschedule for 10:00 since I had to take Bug to school. I told Dave that it wouldn't have been a big deal but the one person I normally would have called to take Bug to school was on vacation in Mexico probably getting the flu! (previously mentioned hairdresser has a son in Bug’s class) So Dave told me that everyone in the office was talking about the swine flu. My doctor is Jewish and said, "See, that's why you shouldn't eat pork!" He was kidding.


My favorite swine flu funny is a story my mom told me today. She said that in her ward it was announced that people shouldn't shake hands or anything casually physical like that to minimize the spread of germs. I kind of rolled my eyes thinking that was pretty extreme. But the best part was when she told me that a sign up sheet was passed around to everyone with a pen! Really?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Glamorous Life

This morning was filled with appointments. So I was able to drive Hubby's Mini to the doctor's office to get my iPro sensor removed. I always hesitate to drive his car because I'm not used to it. I'm quite comfortable in my huge Chevy Uplander. But every time I drive his Mini Cooper I realize what a fun car it is. I felt so glamorous zipping down the freeway in such a stinkin cool car rocking out to music that I finally figured out how to find!


I had to push a lot of buttons to select the CD player but I finally got it. I was not going to blast NPR on my morning errands. The CD's were great because Hubby has a completely different mix in his car than I have. And my van is a little too obsessed with CD 1 track 1. It doesn't matter what CD you have as the first, once you get past all the songs you hear over and over it goes right back to CD 1 track 1 as soon as you start her up. I get tired of trying to skip to where I think it was last so I start all over or listen to one of the other CD's. Even if I put the discs on random, I still hear the same songs over and over and CD 1 track 1 more times than Milli Vanilli's Blame It On The Rain was played in 1990!


Awesome that the drive to the doctor's office takes longer than the nurse taking off the CGM sensor. But THANK HEAVENS that annoying thing is off! It was too far back on my waist and I could feel it EVERY time I moved. The tape would stretch and pinch and I swore the sensor would just pull out. I was very grateful to have it out. It actually hurt when she pulled it out. What am I getting myself into? I'm still excited to do the CGM. I just won't have it so far back. I can't have my pump sites that far back because they hurt, itch, and the tape comes off constantly.


After my whole 10 minute exchange at the doctor's office I took off for the dentist for the second half of my perio scaling and root planing. It was a much better experience this time. The nurse squirted that Hurricaine stuff in my mouth before she did anything. It's supposed to suppress my overactive gag reflex. For all I know it's some sore throat spray but it works like magic. The hygienist was able to really numb my mouth. Last time I was not so numb and I could feel EVERYTHING she was doing. It was really annoying. This time I was so numb. I still am. My mouth feels like it's 5 times its original size and I have a hard time saying s's! Last time I was eating lunch 30-45 minutes after getting home. It's already been over an hour and I am glad my blood sugar is high because I don't think I could eat anything right now! Hubby had his dentist appointment right as mine was ending. He's getting me a Jamba Juice on his way home.


So I went from glamorous hottie in a Mini Cooper to a frumpy mom in a mini van with slurred speech when I talk! I fully plan on changing into one of Hubby's big, soft T-shirts and sleeping off the rest of the anesthesia after I pick up Oldest Son from school. I'm so glamorous. Everyone wants to be me!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Diabetes = Zero Privacy

It takes a special person to be a celebrity. First of all, celebrities have to be ok with every part of their lives being public knowledge.


It does not take a special person to be diabetic. Autoimmune disorders are no respecters of persons. If you have diabetes and are willing to do what it takes to manage it, you can easily feel like a celebrity lab rat.


Believe it or not, I used to be a very private person. I didn't want anyone to know hardly anything about me. When I was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes I remember feeling so embarrassed as my parents rattled off relatives they told. I didn't want anyone to know. I guess I hoped it was a weird cold or something that would just go away. Or at least something I could deal with without ever having to tell anyone.


But people knew. My classmates didn't understand why I sat in the back of the room and ate a snack every day at 10 am. In many ways they were ignorant about diabetes. With the number of people affected by both types of diabetes, it's sad to realize how ignorant most people still are, including pharmacy staff. My parents arranged for a Diabetes Nurse Educator to come in and teach my class about diabetes. After that I got a lot of "I'll eat your cookie since you can't have it!" and pencils from my teacher for EVERY birthday celebration.


No surprise that when I moved to junior high I stopped telling people. My closest friends knew but only if they invited me to a slumber party. I spent the next several years telling people on an as needed basis. In college I was excited about the prospect of an insulin pump. I knew it was time I stop being the rebellious diabetic and actually start taking care of myself better. My mom had me talk to a nurse she worked with who wore a pump. I remember her telling me that diabetics who wear pumps have to be willing to answer a lot of questions. I wasn't sure if I was ready for that then. I have learned how to answer people's questions based on their interest level.


Another privacy issue with being diabetic is getting to see a doctor every 3 months. Regular people almost never see doctors. Hubby hasn't been to a doctor since my doctor scheduled him for an appointment after seeing Hubby had high blood pressure. It was kind of a funny situation. I had Hubby come with me to an appointment once. My doctor had me on the crinkly paper while he opened my pants to thump my stomach. Hubby said that really bugged him to see a male doctor so nonchalantly open my pants as if it was no big deal. Then the doctor rechecked my blood pressure. He always did it twice, once when I was sitting up and once while lying down. Out of the blue, he decided to check Hubby's blood pressure. It was pretty high from the adrenaline while he tried to decide between punching my doctor in the nose or realizing it was ok, he was my DOCTOR! But my point is, most non hypochondriacs don't see doctors regularly. So it is a little weird to have to go as often as I do.


I have been seeing my endocrinologist monthly since January. My control is not where either of us would like to see it so he makes adjustments and we look at the results in a month. Since I have been trying out the continuous glucose monitor I have been going even more frequently. It's not too bad. He's an endocrinologist so I get to keep all of my clothes on! And the Mini Med rep not only lets me keep my clothes on, he keeps the door wide open so nobody can think anything inappropriate is going on.


I try not to spend too much time thinking about the fact that my endo knows a lot of things about me based on the info he gets every time he downloads my pump. I've seen the printouts. You can piece together a lot of things if you wanted to! I'm sure he doesn't read too much into when and why I suspend my pump. But for me it does feel scary to have a pager sized piece of equipment tell so much about me.


Today I went in to get the iPro continuous glucose monitor for insurance purposes. Dave told me that I wouldn't be able to see any blood sugar readings on my pump. So I should do whatever I normally do. Then he told me that the more info I write down the better it is for everyone to analyze the data. So I have to record at least 4 readings a day. No problem. And it's highly recommended that I share what I eat and exercise activity levels, etc.


I'm back to feeling like a lab rat. I hate food logs. I am no Pamela Hansen (Running With Angels). I know I eat junk. Why would I want to write it down and risk being judged for my poor food choices? Dave could sense my hesitancy to the food log. So I told him I was having flashbacks to my second pregnancy when my perinatologist insisted on food logs. Then she would look at it disapprovingly and tell me that none of the food was healthy especially for a diabetic. I loved when she lectured me on Ramen noodles. Thanks Doc, my husband just lost his job, we have insurance until the end of the month (2 days after the layoff), I'm entering my third trimester of a high risk pregnancy, and you want to criticize me for eating cheap Ramen????


I'm getting over my personal privacy issues. But any invasion of my privacy that affects my health puts me on edge. We all draw the line somewhere.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Miracles

I just sent off a 30 day blood sugar log to Dave, the Mini Med rep I've been working with on the continuous glucose monitor. He called on Friday to tell me some interesting news with my insurance company. Last Wednesday my insurance company decided to change their policy. They now cover continuous glucose monitors for patients!!!! Wahoo! I was required to send in 30 days worth of blood sugar readings with at least 4 tests a day. Easy. I had to look at my graphs for 2 days while I was on the trial CGM to find some readings since I wasn't pricking my finger as often. Dave will talk with my endo about a good day for me to go in to have another trial CGM. This one will be a professional model so I won't be able to see any readings on my pump. I test and go about my business for a few days and then have all the info downloaded when I have the device removed. Hopefully, my 30 day log and the info from the new CGM trial will be enough for my insurance company to approve me. I really hope. I had several readings in the 50's but only one below 50. It happened early Friday morning, hours before Dave called.


It's somewhat depressing to me to write down my blood sugar readings. I never do. My endo downloads info from my pump every time I go in. Anyway, I can't believe how bad my readings actually are. Hubby said that hopefully the insurance company decides I need the CGM because of my roller coaster blood sugars. We'll see I guess. The graphs I got when I had the sensor taken off aren't as pretty as I thought they would be. But for a weekend, I was in pretty good control.


Yesterday Hubby was watching some show on the History channel about the top 7 ways the world will end. It was interesting to listen to while I was primping for church. At one point they were talking about how dependent people have become to computers and machines. They were talking about an incident in space where the computers could have killed the astronauts if the astronauts weren't able to override the computer systems.


I recently had a conversation with my mom about the CGM I used. She was saying that she was surprised it worked the way it did. She thought it would let my pump know what my blood sugar was and my pump would automatically give insulin as needed. I could see where she was coming from and that would be cool. But I told her that I love being the final say in what happens to my body. I can override my pump anytime I want. With my pump tracking the active insulin in my body and me knowing how my body reacts to different things at different times of the day, I know whether or not I should override my pump's suggestions. Or shut off my basal rates for a while. I do that at church a lot especially when I sub in Primary. I don't see how I can leave my class to eat if I need to and I certainly don't want to eat in front of them. So I anticipate lows and try to avoid them.


Hubby told me that scientists are working on something interesting for diabetics. He said they have created these tiny computers that can be injected into a diabetic maybe once a year or so. The computers will regulate the body's blood sugars the way the pancreas did before it stopped working. So the computers will act as insulin when needed and other computers are designed to be glucose when needed. That is amazing to me. I know that some people have had stem cells implanted and their Type 1 diabetes is completely cured. I want that! I am happy that stem cell research is moving away from embryonic stem cells. Scientists are learning now that you can get stem cells from just about anywhere. I could have a small hole cut into my arm and they could get stem cells from that! I saw that on TV a while ago. I could use my own stem cells to cure all of my autoimmune disorders. Now that would be awesome!


It's incredible to think that it wasn't that long ago that diabetes started being managed with animal insulin and now they have cloned human insulin (what I use). Blood sugar monitoring has gone from peeing on a stick to being able to poke your own finger and see accurate results in 5 seconds. The first year I went to diabetic camp, the counselors were talking about when they were younger and they had to pee on a stick several times a day to monitor their blood sugar. There was no other way. These were people maybe 10-20 years older than me!!!! Now we have pump therapy and continuous glucose monitors to better monitor diabetes. Diabetics can afford these things while surgery is still a little risky and definitely not affordable to everyone. What else will they come up with to increase diabetic control and comfort?


I was certainly not a pioneer as a diabetic bearing her own children but I will never forget being a teenager and hearing horror story after horror story of women who did try to have their own children. As soon as someone knew I was diabetic they immediately said I couldn't have my own kids. This was in the late 80's to mid 90's! I am astounded at the medical miracles that keep me alive and brought my children here.