May 18, 2013

Saturday Diabetes Art

This year Diabetes Art moves up from the Wildcard choices as we all channel our creativity with art in the broadest sense. Do some “traditional” art like drawing, painting, collage or any other craft you enjoy. Or look to the literary arts and perhaps write a d-poem or share and discuss a favorite quote. Groove to some musical arts by sharing a song that inspires you diabetes-wise, reworking some song lyrics with a d-twist, or even writing your own song. Don’t forget dramatic arts too, perhaps you can create a diabetes reality show or play. These are just a starting point today – there are no right or wrong ways to get creative!
This was easy.  Ally made this in Art class at school this year!  Do you recognize anything??

This has been my post for Day #6 of Diabetes Blog Week.   Check out some other amazing D-Art here: Diabetes Art - Saturday 5/18.


May 16, 2013

Accomplishments Big and Small

We don’t always realize it, but each one of us has come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you've made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small - think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.).

Yes, we've come a long way since Ally was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on February 10, 2009.

Let's Celebrate!  I don't ever expect us to be perfect when it comes to managing D.  But I certainly think that it is important to celebrate the small stuff. 

Ally celebrated the day that her CGM arrived in the mail.

I celebrated on the day that Ally returned from a week at Diabetes Camp!

We all celebrate a beautiful flat line on her CGM graph.

(Wendy likes to celebrate 123!)
 While I celebrate every time that our cgm and blood glucose meter match!

We celebrate the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, the man who discovered insulin.

 In our world, this "small stuff" is pretty outstanding!

Our BIG accomplishment of this year has been writing and implementing Ally's 504 Plan at school.

I have talked about how wonderful our nurses and staff have been to work with many times.  Honestly, until this year, Ally's needs were being met even without the 504 plan.  I have known for a while that I should have one in place for her and my goal has always been to have one before she went to the Intermediate building (6th grade) where she would have multiple teachers.  After our frustrating go at Standardized Testing earlier this year, I knew that it was time to initiate the 504 process.  I am very happy with the 504 that we developed along with her teachers and school staff.  By the end of year state testing, I was like "Bring it!" :) 

This has been my post for Day #4 of Diabetes Blog Week.   Please take a minute to check out the other great posts about  Accomplishments Big and Small -Thursday 5/16.


May 15, 2013


Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere.... your or your loved one's diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.

There are a few BIG moments that hog my memories when I think about the time since diabetes has been a part of our family.

Ally's diagnosis day is one of those days that plays over and over again in my mind.  I can remember so many of the details, from the look in her eyes down to the exact words spoken by the care givers in the hospital.

Several months later when Ally confided in me that, when she heard the pediatrician tell me that Ally had diabetes, she had thought she was going to die.  During the car ride from the pediatricians office to the hospital on her diagnosis day, she started talking about my uncle who had passed away a few months before that.  I remember thinking that she was talking out of her head!  Suddenly, after she confided in me months later, I realized that she was talking about him because she thought she too was going to die.  "Die-abetes."  Why hadn't that crossed my mind?  That is one of my least favorite moments as a parent.  I am so so sad that those thoughts ever entered her mind.  And so sad that it took me months to know that she thought this so that I could make her feel better :(  Still brings me to tears thinking about it.

The day that Ally started pumping.  It was a day of much anticipation and excitement.  No more shots!!  Woohoo!  But I remember the gut wrenching feeling of seeing the insulin pump attached to my 6 year old, thinking about how this was a forever kind of thing.  She will be attached to this thing 24/7...indefinitely.  As a parent, that was a hard day for me.

The day that we dropped her off at Diabetes another day that I will never forget!

And although those BIG, not incredibly happy moments do hog my memories, we continue making memories every day. 

Last summer when we had the opportunity to attend Friends for Life, I experienced my happiest D moment yet!  Moments after checking into the hotel, green bracelets (indicating T1) all around, Ally untucked her insulin pump and displayed it proudly for all to see.  That moment when she found "same".

Ally loved meeting her longtime T1 penpal in person at FFL!

Someday, BIG moments like this one will overshadow those BIG moments from the past.

This has been my post for Day #3 of Diabetes Blog Week.   Now go read what other bloggers had to say about Memories - Wednesday 5/15 .


May 14, 2013

We, The Undersigned

Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) - get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change?

I would petition the powers that be!  Lol!  Because I don't really know who makes these decisions.  (I guess if I'm going to change it, I'd better find out who really does make these decisions! :)

My petition would be that glucagon be removed from the list of medications that my child is not allowed to carry on her person in school.  That glucagon not be on a list of medications that can only be administered by certain individuals. 

Emergency medication must be accessible at all times.   (I read that somewhere, sorry can't remember where I saw that.)   Yet, students, nor teachers are allowed to carry glucagon.   It must be housed in the health clinic.  (Side note: We have gotten around this with a note of medical necessity from our doctor.)   But why does this policy exist in the first place?   It's a life-saving drug that is used in an emergency! 

We are talking about a life saving medication here! (Oh, did I already say that?)  Glucagon is a hormone that is naturally produced in the pancreas.  It is used when a person is experiencing severe hypoglycemia.  If it is needed, it is needed right now!  Not in five minutes when someone can locate the appropriate person, who then has to unlock it from the designated medication cabinet.  Like RIGHT NOW!

I'm not sure how much of this is state law driven and how much is school district policy.  So, please don't quote me on this.  But here goes my best understanding of the glucagon situation (at least in our school district, here in the state of Ohio).

Ohio Revised Code 3313.713 requires training for employees who administer prescription medications.  This medication administration training must be conducted by a licensed health professional.  It also states that the school board's policy may provide that certain drugs or types of drugs shall not be administered.

I understand that medication around children is not to be taken lightly.  I understand the school's liability and that proper precautions and documentation is necessary.  But here's the thing.  We are talking about glucagon.  Glucagon is a life-saving hormone, that is naturally produced by the pancreas!  (There, I said it AGAIN!)

Our previous school nurse (who is awesome, by the way!), is now district nurse for our school system.  She went through special training to become a "trainer for Medication Administration training."  That wordiness means that she is now allowed to train other school staff to administer certain medications.  From speaking with her, I believe that glucagon is on that list.  She is planning to include glucagon training in the beginning of the year staff training (typically includes epipen training and the like).

Why do we have to jump through so many hoops?  I am thrilled that glucagon administration will be shared with our entire staff so that, if it is ever needed, anyone will be allowed to administer it, and at least be somewhat familiar with it.  But, I consider myself one of the lucky ones.  We have an amazing district nurse who gets it!  If it were not for her, I am not certain that this would be happening.  And I'm thinking that other districts (in our state anyway) may not be so lucky.

If my child needs glucagon, I pray that it is within an arms reach and that someone - anyone - will be willing to administer it!
Oh how fun it is to participate in Diabetes Blog Week!  Now go read what other bloggers had to say about We, The Undersigned - Tuesday 5/14.


May 13, 2013

Share and Don't Share

Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one's daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don't see? 

First of all, I'd like to say that our endo is outstanding!  I love that she really does try to get the full picture in the few minutes that we see her each quarter.  She also makes herself available to us anytime that we need something in between those visits.  Granted, it is just a few minutes every three months!  So, to all of the members of our health care team, I say...

If you could be a fly on the wall: 

~You would see that we try to keep up with our log book, really we do!

~I wish you could see the hurt in her eyes when we do site changes and insert new cgm sensors, so that you would understand why the numbing cream is still necessary.

~You would certainly notice the thoughtful planning that goes into her meals and snacks, so that you wouldn't question the random lows or after meal spikes.  Sometimes I just don't have an answer!

~I want you to see how hard she plays outside with her friends, so that you will understand why I take baby steps when adjusting her basal rates.

~I know that you would hear how many times the school nurse calls me to help make judgement calls about bolusing for carbs, or treating lows, or treating highs, or the special surprise birthday treat, etc.

Looking at blood sugar numbers on paper or a cgm graph (as awesome as it is to have), never tells the whole story!

On the other hand, I hope that, if you were a fly on my wall, you had at least one eye closed (how many eyes does a fly have anyway?):

~That time when I was just too tired to do a set change, so we let it go for one more day.

~When we forgot to bolus her for a meal.

~I don't dare tell you that we let her run a little high overnight that night because we just couldn't get out of bed to do the correction, even though the MySentry is staring back at me with a big 200!

Believe me, I'm embarrassed to admit any of these things.  But life happens.  And one thing that I know about D is that we can do everything right and still have days where it seems impossible.  Sometimes it has to be ok for us to not be perfect!

This has been my submission for Day 1 of Diabetes Blog Week.  Now go read what other bloggers had to say about  Share and Don’t Share - Monday 5/13.


May 12, 2013

Happy More Than a D Mom Day!

I'm laying in bed, pretending to still be asleep, listening to the hustle and bustle going on outside my room.  I hear, "Dad, can we give Mommy her presents this morning?"  Followed by the rustling of gift bags coming down the stairs.   I hear them planning a surprise breakfast for me.  I hear one little one whispering to "close Mommy's bedroom door so she won't hear us."  Lexi asks if she can make Mommy a card.  The others remind her that she already made something for mommy, pointing to the adorable handprint card and bookmark that she made for me at preschool.  "Yeah, but I already gave those to Mommy.  Can I make another card?"

I'm going to stay here in bed a little longer and soak it in :)  I can hear the love!  All of that stuff is the best Mother's Day gift ever!  But Shhh...I didn't hear a thing!

Do you ever dream, Forrest, of who you wanna be?  Forrest:  Who I'm gonna be?  Aren't I gonna be me? Jenny:  You'll always be you.  Just another kind of you.  You know?    (from Forrest Gump movie)

When Hallie invited me to join her Mother's Day marathon of blogging about "More Than a D Mom," I thought of this quote from Forrest Gump.  I decided to join her and the other wonderful D Moms that have gone before me in this blogging series.

I will always be me. Just another kind of me.
I like that!
For Mother's Day, I'd like to give myself a gift.  It's a reminder that, while D seems to consume my thoughts most days (Wendy said it best here!), it should not consume my life.  It should not be who I am

At Friends For Life conference last summer, one of the things that the awesome PWDs taught Ally was that she could do anything, even with diabetes.  And in one of my favorite blog posts ever, a guest post from Sara, she wrote a letter to Ally telling her to remember that diabetes does not define her.

So, my Mother's Day gift to myself is to rewrite my personal definition of ME.  I think I've found it...

I will always be me.   Just another kind of me.

That is the perfect evolving definition!

It's important to remember where I came from.  As well as the journey I have taken to the kind of me I am today.  (It's ok to laugh at me!  I sure did when I found some of these pictures!  And sorry for the poor quality, I'm older than digital photos!!)

I am a daughter.

I am a sister.

I am a wife.

I am a mother.

I am a friend.
I am a soccer player.
(Well, I played soccer for close to 20 years anyway!  Couldn't run to save my life today). 
I am a grandaughter.  I am a teacher.  I love being involved in service projects.  I like to cook.   I love chocolate!!  I prefer a relaxing vacation over an active sight-seeing one.   I am a stay at home mom.   I love to snuggle with my girls.  I enjoy ironing - I know, crazy right?  I write lists.  If I have accomplished something not on my list, I write it in so that I may cross it off.   I love a good party.  I love laughing with friends.   I like craft projects.
The top row are pictures from high school.  The bottom left was a picture from my first year of teaching.  My grandma and me are in the middle.  And the bottom right picture is from the day that I met Keith!! 
 All of these things have made me the kind of me I am today.
And we all know how my definition of me changed on February 10, 2009.  The day that I became a D Mom. 

I will always be me.   Just another kind of me.
I am a D Mom...and so much more!

This "More Than a D Mom" series has been brought to you courtesy of Hallie.  Check out Hallie's post, along with these other awesome friends - Meri, Lora, Wendy, Tracy, Donna, Heather and Nicole, who are all so much more than dMoms to me!


Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful Mother's and D Moms out there! 

P.S.  Here is the extra card that Lexi made for me today :)  Notice the bags under my eyes??  Lol!



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