July 29, 2012

A Very Special Thank You

Yesterday was a special day.  We were lucky enough to celebrate three special occasions in one day. First, it was Jessi's 7th birthday!  While we are planning her party for another day, we did celebrate with chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and a couple of gifts to open!

The second event was the wedding of a beautiful young lady who I babysat for when she was a little girl.  (So far, both were special events, although both have made me feel old!)

The third of these special events was the wedding of my cousin, Joe, to his beautiful bride Miranda.  I have to share with you their most special way of saying "Thank you".

(Please excuse the plain photo.  I'm so mad at myself for not taking a picture of this note card while it was sitting on the table at the reception.  The centerpieces were beautiful and this shimmering card was sitting in front of them, reflecting the glow of the candles.)

Isn't that the coolest thing ever?  Instead of spending money on trinkets for the guests to take home, they donated the money that they would have spent to JDRF in honor of Ally.  It made me cry, but it made my heart smile too.  What a completely selfless act, on a day that should be all about the newlyweds!

Ally told Miranda "thank you" and her response was, "Thank you for being so strong in dealing with your diabetes."  She also told me that she hoped that other guests at the wedding would read it and think about making a donation as well.

A few people around the DOC have been writing about the days when diabetes just makes us feel alone.  We get that.  But today we feel the opposite.  What a beautiful thing for our family to advocate for Ally and for her future through their support of JDRF!

So, thank you to Joe & Miranda, for making us feel special on your special day!


July 24, 2012

Diabetes Can't Stop Me!

Ally's thoughts on Friends For Life:

If you know anyone with diabetes, you should go to FFL!

It's so much fun!

If you don't have diabetes, you can learn more about it and how to take care of people with diabetes.

You get to meet other people who understand everything you do. Everybody is checking their blood sugar at the same time. I didn't have to be the only one.

Sugar, Ally and Brianna doing a group BG check.

If you do have diabetes, you can have more sleepovers because people understand how to take care of kids like me with D! 

(There may have been a FFL sleepover in our hotel room :)  Stay tuned for the scoop on that!)

It is one of the only places you can go where people don't ask you what is that on your arm?  Or ask why you go to the nurse all the time.  Or say things like, 'Ummm...you have a phone in school.  I'm gonna tell!'

Friends for Life is awesome!!  It makes you feel like diabetes isn't that bad after all.  Now I know that I can still do anything that I want even though I have diabetes.

As soon as we got back home from our trip to Orlando, Ally made this sign for her bedroom. 

I want to say thank you to all of the People With Diabetes (PWDs) for being an inspiration to my daughter.  You taught her that...

"Diabetes Can't Stop Me!  You can do anything even with diabetes."

So thank you to Ironman Triathlete Jay Hewitt, NFL Player Kendall Simmons, and Indy Car Driver Charlie Kimball and thank you to Novo Nordisk for sponsoring their participation.  Thank you to Snow-boarding World Cup competitor Mike Fisher and to LifeScan, Inc. for sponsoring his participation at FFL.  Thank you to Phil Southerland and other members of Team Type 1 (and to Sanofi-Aventis for their sponsorship).  It was a bonus for us to pass members of Team Type 1 on the road as we traveled home from the conference.

Thank you to Crystal Bowersox! My kids are walking around singing "Live Life First!" 

Thank you to Kim for showing our kids that You Can Do This!

Thank you to Lee Ann for encouraging our kids creativity through Diabetes Art!

Thank you to Kelly for helping the kids feel the meaning of SAME! 
And thanks for just plain having fun with us!  We Red heart you!

More than anything else, this is why we went to FFL!  I agree with Ally, it was awesome!


July 23, 2012

Friends For Life: The Connection

I feel so blessed that our family was able to make the trip to Orlando this summer for the Friends For Life conference.  It was our first FFL experience - as you can tell by our "First Timer" ribbons!

I sat in the ballroom, overwhelmed by the beautiful people that filled the room, listening to Tom Karlya's keynote speech.  I was thinking about how I wished everyone in the diabetes community could experience this atmosphere.  My eyes were bouncing from one green bracelet to another.  Earlier Ally had commented to me about all the green bracelets...she couldn't believe that so many people had diabetes like her. 

The green bracelet of belonging for the Type 1s. 
The orange bracelet of belonging for the people that love someone with Type 1.

Tom Karlya said that support is just as important as knowledge.  He said, "We need to work together to move forward." 

I told myself that I needed to carve out the time to blog.  I'm sure that I've said before that I blog for different reasons.  I blog to vent (it is therapy you know!).  I blog to educate.  And maybe more than anything else, I blog for the connection.

Connecting with other parents of children with diabetes - it is something so amazing that I can't even put it into words.  Well maybe one - SAME.  My orange bracelet gave me the same sense of belonging that the green bracelet gave Ally.


July 22, 2012

Eeny Meeny Miny Mo! Catch a meter by its toe!

One of the wonderful experiences at the Friends For Life conference was the exhibit hall.  We enjoyed chatting with folks from Medtronic, OmniPod, Eli Lilly & Co., LifeScan, Roche, Animas, Tandem Diabetes, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi-Aventis, Sugar Medical Supply, Skidaddle Bags, Glooko, Team Type 1 and the "You Can Do This" group.  The list goes on and on.

THE purpose of these vendors is to share information with us - from insulin pumps to the insulin that goes in them;  from glucose meters to the fast acting carb of choice for treating low blood sugar; from the products that help live life better to the people encouraging those with T1 to live life to the fullest!

It was great to see what's available out there! 

However, I walked out of that exhibit hall feeling dizzy as if I had just stepped off of a spinning amusement park ride.  The culprit - blood glucose meters!  Oh the glucose meters!  There are some really cool features available on these meters.  It seemed as though every booth had a "new" meter to show us.  I was impressed by several of them.

Here are a couple that caught my eye, with descriptions from dLife's Gadgets & Gizmos article:


Bayer's Contour USB meter which plugs directly into the USB port of the latest PCs and Macs so that you can download blood sugar data, and get analysis and trends to share with your healthcare professional. Bayer's Contour USB Blood Glucose Monitor is currently compatible with Windows 7, Windows XP (SP3) and Vista (SP2) as well as Mac OS X 10.5.7 and 10.5.8 (Intel 64 bit processors)

Medtronic reps explained that this meter will link with Ally's Medtronic Revel insulin pump, a feature that we have come to depend on with our current One Touch Meter.  The USB port on the end will also allow us to download right to our CareLink software which we use for downloading pump and CGM data.  Love that it will all be contained in one place so that I don't have to search for the little CareLink USB when I want to look over Ally's data.


TelCare's 3G blood glucose meter uploads your blood sugar data to a server via a 3G connection. On the TelCare server, you can manage your data, make graphs and charts, and communicate with your healthcare providers. You can also re-order supplies directly through the meter. There are no monthly charges for the use of 3G. TelCare also produces an iPhone app that allows you to track your blood glucose readings over time.

The feature about the Telcare BGM that is most appealing to me is that through cellular technology, when Ally checks her BG, the readings will automatically transmit to my phone.  LOVE LOVE this idea!


The iBGstar Diabetes Manager app for iPhone or iPad is designed for use with the iBGStar Meter. Connect your meter to your Apple device to download test results, store and manage data, review trends, and share your information with your doctors.

This meter is something that we may be interested in down the line.  At this point, Ally does not have an iPhone so it doesn't seem to meet our current needs.  We do love Apple products though, so I like that data may be downloaded to these devices.

The One Touch Verio IQ System has PatternAlert™ Technology, which detects patterns of highs and lows—and alerts you, right on screen, when it finds one.

We received a complimentary One Touch Verio IQ at the conference, so this one I can actually speak about from a little experience.  At first glance, it looks cool!  (That was Ally's reason for wanting to try it.) 

The pattern alert is great!  I keep a log book as well as download her cgm/pump data often though, so this is not a huge benefit to me at this time.  It may, however, be a good thing for Ally as she learns bit by bit about managing her own diabetes.  Kind of a beginning step to recognizing patterns and learning when adjustments need to be made.  The light on the top of the meter is awesome!  The verdict is still out about the rechargeable battery.  It might be nice not to have to buy batteries, however we don't have to replace them that often.  She has been using the Verio for 90% of her BG checks the past two weeks and just today we had to recharge the battery.  My concern with using this meter at school is that who would remember to recharge it?  Another drawback for us is that it doesn't link to her pump.

But what we have grown to love most about the Verio is that the test strips use a lot less blood than the One Touch Blue strips that we had been using.  This alone is the reason that we are giving this meter a go for a while!   

In my ideal world, I could get two different kinds of strips each month.  We would use one kind of meter while she is at school and a different one when she is home.  The problem with that would be that our data would be disconnected.  In the end, each of these glucose meters has bells and whistles that I'd love to see in a meter.  We just have to prioritize our needs at this time.

So, I guess for now its Eeny Meeny Miny Mo!



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