Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Last weekend my mother-in-law had the girls over to spend some quality time with them and to help me be able to get my grocery shopping and chores done without my "littles" in tow. During their time with Nonna they did some Thanksgiving artwork. Amelia made the traditional "hand turkey" drawing...but Charlotte decided to take things in a slightly different direction. 

I'll admit I giggled quite a bit when I first saw the picture! I'm not really sure what Charlotte had in her mind when she drew this.  My guess is that her thoughts were focused on the Pilgrim's clothing and that she prefers her colorful fashions to the "drab Pilgrim garb". Or maybe she was thinking that about the lack of technology (TV, computers, etc) back in those days. 

After my initial giggling, I actually dwelled on her drawing and statement for quite some time. And I've decided that I agree with the sentiment for a few reasons! The obvious being that I'm thankful I didn't have to set sail and journey to a new world and endure the many hardships that our early settlers endured. The maybe not as obvious...I'm thankful that I'm not a Pilgrim since living during the 1600s would have meant living before the discovery of insulin. I am incredibly thankful to live in a time and place where I have access to the drug that saves my daughter's life every day! Had we lived before 1923, Charlotte would not have survived long after her diagnosis with Type 1 best she may have survived a few months by following an extremely restricted diet. 

Unfortunately, there are still children in other parts of the world who do not have access to insulin. It's estimated that there are 100,000 children with diabetes around the world who are in need of assistance to access insulin. Without insulin, these children will die within 1 week. We can do something to help though. Wendy over at Candy Hearts has partnered with several businesses in a campaign to support Life for a Child. You can help save a child's life and support Life for a Child by making an investment in the Candy Hearts Collection. Proceeds from this campaign will provide insulin and supplies to children in need around the world. Direct donations for the campaign are also accepted through Hope Worldwide

I'm thankful that even though there may be times when things get tight for us, our family is able to provide Charlotte with the medical care needed to keep her alive and well. I hope that I can help provide the same for another family in need. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Too Quiet???

For the past 24 hours, Charlotte's blood sugars have been great...especially compared to what we were dealing with just 2-3 weeks ago. They haven't gone much above the 150 mark and just a minor bump this afternoon with a low...but nothing horrendous! 

I figured this Dex graph needed "framing"  :)
I know should sit back and be thankful for this "break" of sorts! But I have a hunch that this is going to be like those days when both girls are home and the house falls just a little too know that usually means trouble! That little voice in my head keeps telling me that this is quite possibly the calm before the storm...I so hope that voice is wrong! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

D-Mamas (and PWDs) are like Boy Scouts

Always prepared...

Last night (actually 2 weekends ago since this post has been sitting) turned out to be a "shining" example of why I try to always follow the Boy Scout motto, "always be prepared". What started out as a visit to Charlotte's Am-maw and Paw-Paw's house for dinner and to watch a football game could have ended in disaster if I hadn't been prepared for the unexpected.

After the girl's gymnastics class on Saturday morning we headed back home for baths before our planned trip across the lake for the evening. While Charlotte was in the tub I was busy checking her pump and supplies to make sure we would have enough for the afternoon trip (and then some). I was happy to see that she had a good 2 day supply of insulin still left in the cartridge on her pump...but her meter/supply bag was pretty bare. I started throwing in all of our usuals (alcohol swabs, lancets, a new container of test strips) and then a new infusion set and a couple boxes of Nerds (Charlotte's latest preference for treating lows). I'm sure when I was finished it looked as if I had packed her up for a 3-day vacation rather than just an evening across the lake.

Once everyone was finished with their bath and a quick lunch we piled in the car and were off. And as every fun girls trip requires, we took a side trip to the mall for a little fun shopping before arriving at our intended destination.

We spent the evening with Am-maw and Paw-Paw. Enjoyed a delicious dinner and a nail-biter football game! At half-time of the game I loaded up my crew with plans to head straight back home. I pulled out the driveway, but didn't get too far before realizing I had a flat tire! It was LATE and there was no chance of getting the spare put on in a reasonable amount of we stayed put for the night. To be honest, I was less than thrilled that our outing had turned into a "slumber party"...but my girls were thrilled.

I did a quick scan of Charlotte's supplies and was relieved that I had re-stocked with the extras...I knew that we'd be good (supply-wise) through the night and next day until we could get back home.

Of course, D never seems to play nice and insisted on making things more complicated. We had some lows through the night...but nothing our "extra" juice boxes and Nerds couldn't handle. Morning came quickly...and Jay came to "rescue" us! The spare tire was put on and back home we went...but not before enjoying Am-maw's special pancake breakfast!

Had this D-mama not been prepared with the extra supplies, our unexpected "slumber party" would have been a lot more stressful...and cost more than just the set of new tires!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Our WDD Celebration

Yesterday (November 14, 2011) was World Diabetes Day! Charlotte and I celebrated with matching endocrine appointments...mine for my thyroid and hers for T1. I was a little nervous about what her A1c was going to be since things had been beginning to decline over the past 2 weeks. Her pump and Dexie downloads looked good, but I still just knew that our quarterly "report card" would be one I wouldn't want to show off. So when I called and got the update from my hubby as I was leaving my appointment I was ecstatic! Charlotte did GREAT! She's growing on target (both height and weight)...and her A1c dropped just over 1 point since her Spring visit!!! I couldn't believe my ears! We worked hard to get those numbers in target as best we could....and we did it! I know there will always be room for improvement and we will keep working to lower her A1c a little bit further, but I was thrilled with the result!!! I have to give partial credit to Dexie since she's made our basal tweaking less of a guessing game...but I gotta give Charlotte (and my D-mama self) a pat on the back too!!! We worked hard and totally rocked it this quarter!!!!

World Diabetes Day 2011 - New Orleans, LA
So to celebrate last night, Charlotte, her little sister and I went and got Jr. Frosty's for dessert (Charlotte's request)! And her dad took a drive into the city and took a couple of amazing photos of the Mercedes Benz Superdome all lit up in BLUE!!!! Truly an incredible sight to behold...and an awesome way to end such a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


This year our family will be participating in our 5th JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes on November 12, 2011. Our family walk team has grown over the years...we've gone from being just our immediate family to a group of family, friends, and even some friends of friends. We've had many repeat walkers over the years and although not everyone is able to make it out to walk with us every year we always know that those who weren't able to make it are still cheering us on on walk day!

Charlotte, her sister and her cousins at
the 2010 Walk to Cure Diabetes
Charlotte always enjoys helping out with the walk preparations. She helps set up her walk fundraising webpage and chooses her picture that will be included in our family team letter. She helps select the song for her walk video (albeit with guidance from yours truly). She chimes in with suggestions on our team t-shirt design and provides the final stamp of approval on both the design and color. Then once all of her tasks are handled she enjoys sitting back and watching as her thermometer gradually rises. 

For the past few weeks, Charlotte has been watching patiently as the walk donations had begun picking up. She knows (especially now after having had her experience at Children's Congress this past summer) that these donations translate into money for research for better technology (like the Artificial Pancreas) and ultimately a cure for Type 1 diabetes. So she gets excited when she sees that she is making progress toward her goal and towards our team goal. So yesterday a few extra donations came in and around lunch time I noticed that she was just shy of reaching her goal. I put out a message on my facebook page mentioning that she was oh-so-close to her goal and asking for donations to help her reach it. Not much later I received an email notifying me that Charlotte had not only reached her fundraising goal, but had exceeded it. Our family has always been grateful for each and every donation we've received for JDRF on Charlotte's behalf...but as times have gotten tougher with the economy we've been even more humbled by the generosity of those who have donated. Charlotte arrived home from school I was eager to show her her fundraising thermometer and the "fireworks" for having reached and exceeded her fundraising goal. It was obvious that she wasn't feeling well though...she was my surprise was put on hold for a moment as we checked and treated. As she was downing a fun-size box of Nerds I pulled up her page and the "fireworks" went off. Despite her funk from the low, I could tell she was excited. In her true competitive nature she asked me how her fundraising compared with our other team members....she of course wants to be #1! And she wanted to know who had donated throughout the day too...she's always curious if it's someone we know personally or a friend of a family member. I shared with her the names of the new donors from the day and we talked about our plans for our thank-you cards and what we wanted to say in them. 

As Charlotte's blood sugar rose to a decent level she took off to enjoy some afternoon fun before starting on her homework and I sat there reflecting on the amazing outpouring of support our little girl has received over the past 5 years. Each year, despite the worsening economy, our team has seen growth in both team member numbers and our total donations. I don't think there are words that can truly express how appreciative our family is of the kindness, support and generosity of those that surround us. While some may dismiss their donation or walk participation as "no big deal" to our family it is HUGE! We know how valuable your time the presence of each individual showing their support on walk day means the world to us! And each and every donation (whether large or small) is appreciated more than you can imagine. Every dollar donated makes a difference...each one gives us a little extra hope that our precious girl will benefit from improved technology helping her live a healthier life and will ultimately see the cure within her lifetime....and for that we are unbelievably thankful!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


A little same-same for NDAM
(so wishing those tubes were blue)

About 5-1/2 years ago I was searching for information about diabetes and stumbled into the DOC (diabetes online community). To be exact it was Kerri's blog, Six Until Me, that I happened upon. I was hooked immediately...after having my little girl diagnosed just a few months before it was intriguing to get to peek into the life of another person living a healthy, normal life despite a long-standing diagnosis of T1D. Until then, I didn't really know anyone else who had T1. It gave me hope to read about Kerri's life and how she was successfully handling the challenges of D in her day-to-day life. I peeked through her Blog Roll and came across a few others that interested me and would read from time to time. But I was a "quiet reader" rarely commenting on posts...until about 2 years ago when I started finding and reading more blogs written by other parents of CWD. When I came across the first blog written by another parent I felt like I'd struck was like reading a story that someone had written just for me! With each new blog I found I'd scour through the archives feeling more and more validated as I went...finally a sense of "same-same". I'd always felt connected somehow when reading the other blogs, but the blogs written by other parents pulled me in deeper. There was an immediate sense of community and although I hadn't actually met these other D-mamas and D-papas I felt like I'd known them for years!

About 9 months ago, I decided to write my first blog post...I figured it was time for me to give back to the DOC what they'd been giving to me for so long. And although I've admittedly been a slacker lately, it's been a lot of fun to share our stories...and cathartic at times. I've been pleasantly surprised by support I've received back so far...the DOC is an amazing place!

I wish I'd really delved deeper into the DOC earlier after Charlotte's diagnosis. Goodness knows I could have certainly used some of Reyna's "colorful" stories about mother-birding or Meri's posts about her swelly brain (it's nice to know I'm not the only one with that issue). Knowing that I have felt this way, I've shared info on some of my favorite bloggers with several moms of newly diagnosed children. I ran into one of the moms a few weeks back and she mentioned to me how appreciative she was that I had talked to her about the DOC...she told me she had been "talking" with a particular blogger and had said how my pointing her in the direction of the DOC had really made a difference to her! And I've had a couple other D-related emails from people thanking me for sharing our story and telling me how it's helped motivate them or made a difference in the way they've approached something. It gives me that "warm fuzzies" to know that I helped make a difference to those people....and to know that the DOC is out here helping to provide the much needed "same-same" to other families living the daily grind with D!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

More Reasons to Celebrate...

If you read my post from yesterday, you know that not only did we celebrate Halloween but it was also Charlotte's 6th diaversary! We had a great day...Charlotte had her Fall festival at school and spent the evening trick-or-treating! We were exhausted by the end, but it was well worth it! Only, guess what...we've only just begun our celebration!

Today begins yet another's the start of National Diabetes Awareness Month and there's a lot going on! We're kicking it off with T1 Day and the start of the Big Blue Test! We'll be participating in these events in addition to the 2011 JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes (in less than 2 weeks) and lots more I'll be posting about throughout the month! We really hope you'll join in all the fun too and help spread awareness about Type 1 diabetes!

Charlotte wearing her blue next to
Dinosaur the Diabetes Awareness Flamingo

Don't forget to...Think Blue. Wear Blue. Fridays in November. We're starting early and wearing ours today too (I tried to get a pic this morning, but it was clearly too early for a nice smile)! Happy T1 Day and Happy Diabetes Awareness Month!!!!