Apr 30, 2012

Day 30...DIABETES Word Cloud

This is a neat...the first words that catch my eyes are...
change diabetes! YES we are!! 


Apr 29, 2012

Day 29: Six Sentence Story...ha! I'll try!

Yesterday, we spent the day in Rio Grande, Ohio for my daughter's Gymnastics State Meet and she did great taking 2nd place in Tumbling, 4th on Double Mini and 4th on Trampoline! Blood sugars ran a little high because she disconnects while competing but we got her leveled out by mid afternoon. We drive home only to have her grab a quick bite to eat, re pack and get her to her girlfriends house, whose on the gym team, for a sleep over. Hubby, our son and I go grab a bite to eat for dinner and just as I'm enjoying my first bite, my phone rings. It's Nora telling me her insulin pump site is about to fall out so I finish dinner, run home, grab a new site, insulin and fast acting carbs and drive back out to her friends house for a 10:30pm site change! Yep, just another day in the D-Life from the Loving family...oh, and DIABETES SUCKS!

Nora at State Tumbling Meet! 

Apr 28, 2012

Day 28: I remember the first time I....

changed Nora's insulin pump site. It was a Sunday early afternoon. She had just been put on the pump just the Friday before so technically we had another day to go before a change was needed. But for some reason the area around her site looked a little red so I decided I should change it. I knew what to do...my husband and myself had gone to the pump training class. I think I stuck the fake skin pad a thousand times that Friday just so I would feel comfortable sticking my child. My hubby had decided, during our training, that he wanted to play the major role as "Pump Site Changer".  I agreed since I took care of everything else diabetes-wise I was happy to have him step up and take this role on. But I still did the training, just in case.

Back to that Sunday...
We were scheduled to help at a Fresh Market/JDRF event at 1pm that day. I had called Joe at work to let him know Nora's site didn't look all that great and that I was going to change it.He offered to come home for moral support. Well by now it's noon and we have about a 30min drive to get to the Fresh Market/JDRF event. I told him we would be fine so I got prepped to change her site.

I'm nervous. I'm shaking. I'm sweating. But I can do this. 

The key was trying to come across calm to my daughter. I am getting ready to insert the needle when it just slides across  her belly. It won't go in!! I try again...and again, it won't go in. So I'm puzzled. Until I realize I forgot to take off the protective sleeve that covers the needle. DUH!! So we kinda laugh about it and try, for real now. It went in, Nora was okay and I DID IT!! A wave of relief swept through me...YES, I can do it!!  It scared me to death but I did it!!

Apr 27, 2012

Day 27...5 Challenges and 5 Small Victories

Okay, I will do this in the my perspective...the Mom of a diabetic. I don't usually go here for several reasons. I don't want to seem like I'm feeling sorry for myself. I don't want the focus to be solely on me and how I feel. After all, I'm NOT the one with diabetes!  I just react, test, count, bolus, move on. I honestly believe that if I sat here and really thought about how bad this disease sucks and the worry I have every night Nora goes to bed and how this is our "normal" now and forever more... I would curl up in the fetal position and cry myself silly. But then her pump would alarm and I would need to check her blood sugar so I'll just skip ALL the aforementioned BS and just stick to my shared motto of other D Mom's...just keep swimming...just keep swimming!

5 Challenges (remember...from the D Momma perspective):

1. BEDTIME- doesn't matter if it's for me or Nora. Sucks either way. I can't sleep the night through because her pump is usually alerting me to something, HIGH/LOW, whatever! AND on the RARE occasion I do sleep the night through I wake up startled that she may be dead. I know...dramatic, but you other D Moms/Dads know what I'm talking about!!

2. STICKING MY CHILD- finger pricks, multiple site insertions, needle injections if needed. Needles, needles, needles!! I HATE sticking my kid. I love her alive so I'll keep sticking!

3. LATE NIGHT SITE CHANGES- why, oh why does it seem as if EVERY site change is done late at night?!?! It's like the Diabetes gods are playing a trick on us! Insert evil laugh here, "it's 10pm!! Let's make the kids site go all wacky so her mom needs to change her!!" Point in case, last night. Sensor decides it's not working anymore so Change Sensor flashes on her pump screen! grrr...oh, did I mention, this was last night at 10pm? So we slapped some numbing cream on her and by the time her site was good, numb and sanitized it was 11:30pm before I even got her sensor inserted!! *yawn*

4. SLEEP OVERS- for as much as I want her to be a kid and not let D get her down I DREAD sleep over's!! Is she going to remember to check her blood sugar, will she SWAG correctly, will she remember to bolus without someone asking!!Will she have her phone on her so she can call me if she needs me?!?!

5. SICK DAYS- I can't stand when my kids get sick. I feel so helpless. I can't do anything! They whine, I whine, everybody is miserable! Throw diabetes in there and blood sugars go wild, ketones show up, vomiting ensues, calls to the diabetes clinic made and mini glucagon given because, of course, MY kid usually runs low WITH ketones. So I have to get her blood sugar high so that I can give her insulin to get rid of ketones!! UGH!!

okay...now for the POSITIVE finish!! Yay!!

5 Small Victories (although some may be BIG victories!)

1. BLOOD SUGAR FLATLINE- the perfect number straight across the screen; doesn't happen often...but when it does I just stare at her pump screen and smile! Beautiful!

2. CGM catching a low- I love technology and when it works well! Her CGM will alert she is predicted low and we can catch it BEFORE she bottoms out! Bliss!

3.  Nora being a KID- The days when D isn't the main focus and she can cut loose and be crazy with her friends! Like a kid should be...one who doesn't have to live with a chronic disease.

4. LIVING-(this one is far from a small victory!) Learning how to take care of my baby girl and keep her alive and thriving!

5. D.O.C.- the Diabetes Online Community! There is not a stronger support group anywhere!! I can share my joys/sorrows/rants/raves and people get it. You feel down? Not with the D.O.C.! They will embrace, wipe you off and pick you up! These bonds can't be broken and for the most part, we've never met!!

So I take my challenges and my victories and mix them together. Some days we get more challenges than victories. But we can turn those challenges into opportunities and live this life with diabetes.

Apr 26, 2012

Day 26: Create a Health Tagline

Here at Blue Heel Society our health tagline is :

"type 1 or 2, old or new, everyone can rock  a blue shoe."

It's true! We have a wonderful representation of all types of diabetes at Blue Heel Society. There are even people that wear blue shoes that aren't diabetic but care for/love a diabetic. We wear our blue shoes for whatever type we wish to spread awareness for. Because, let's face it...there are as many misconception about Type 1 as there are about Type 2 and all the other Types in between! So in wearing our blue shoes we are able to educate the masses about the diabetes that affects us, personally. 

For me, 
I wear them for my Type 1 daughter

Many wonderful conversations have started all because of my blue shoes. I have met several people who have a Type 1 in their family. I have educated, more than one person, about Type 1 and how it affects my daughter and our family. It gets people thinking about diabetes. Then I know I've done my job in raising awareness!

So we invite you to join our Blue Heel Society to raise awareness for diabetes! There are plenty of blue heels, flats, flip flops and sneakers to put your feet in and spread the Blue Heel love!! Women, Men, Kids...Type 1 or 2, Old or new, Everyone Can Rock a Blue Shoe!!  

Apr 25, 2012

Day 25: Memory of a New Way of Life

It was the third week of June, 2005. Nora had just been released from Cincinnati Children's Medical Hospital after spending a week there. She had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She was only 4 years old. Her symptoms came on gradually. Nora had walking pneumonia earlier in the year and this kicked started the symptoms. Increased thirst, going to the bathroom...a lot...and the shaky hands and whining for something to eat. Her mom, Jen, had a gut instinct that something was not quite right. She called the Pediatrician and asked to have Nora tested for Juvenile Diabetes. Now Jen had no idea what diabetes really was or why she even asked the Doctor to test for it. She just knew something was wrong with her baby girl. Nora goes to the Doctor and gave a urine sample. The Doctor comes back into the room and apologizes. Nora has sugar in her urine.

What did this mean? 

The Doctor then sent Nora to Children's Anderson Campus for a blood test. She gives her blood sample. Remember, Nora is only 4. She hates "peeing in a cup" and the blood draw about sent her over the edge. Jen promised her a trip to Claire's where she could pick out anything she wanted. By the time they returned home from their trip to Claire's a message was waiting on their phone.

The Doctor's voice saying,

 "I'm sorry your daughter has diabetes".

 Thus began their journey into the world of finger pricks, carb counting, insulin injections, highs/lows...her childhood. They endured about 5 days at the hospital learning their new way of life. Then came the BIG day. She was released to go home. With NO Nurses...or Doctors. Just she and her parents. It was dinner time and they had nothing to eat at home...after all, they'd been at the hospital for 5 days! So they decide to eat out but could they do it? Could they test her blood sugar, count the carbs and deliver an injection...by themselves AND in a resturant?!? Jen started to panic and then swallowed it down...of course they could! She didn't want to do anything different. She didn't want diabetes to change them. Especially since she had told Nora that she could do anything...even with diabetes. So they stop at the local IHOP, order her some baby pancakes (her favorite) and...


 They deal with this horrid disease hour by hour, day by day, week by week and unfortunately year by year. This is their new normal...their new way of life. With Diabetes. 

Apr 24, 2012

Day 24 of the WEGO HAWMC - Health Mascot

For day 24 of the WEGO Challenge we are prompted to "Give yourself, your condition, or your health focus a mascot. Is it a real person? Fictional? Mythical being? Describe them"

This topic was somewhat easy for me as I have thought about it, and even discussed it with another diabetes advocate at one point. MY choice for a diabetes Mascot is a Manatee, and apparently a Manatee has been associated with health benefits as the Native Americans ground the bones to treat asthma and earaches.

Why I associate diabetes with a Manatee is they look like a pancreas (at least to me!), and like diabetes, the Manatee is quite misunderstood by many people. Manatee's sit around all day feeding and that causes the misconception that all Manatees are overweight, just like the false misconceptions that all diabetics are overweight.

Yes, the Manatee also has some significance to the Blue Heel Society as Native Americans used Manatee hides to also make shoes. The main difference between diabetes and a Manatee is that the Manatee is on the endangered list, whereas the number of people diagnosed with diabetes just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

NOTE - Remember to check for updates from the NEW digital Magazine Insulin Nation by clicking HERE or copy/paste http://www.insulinnation.com/ in your browser.

Apr 23, 2012

Welcome to Insulin Nation

Day 22 of the WEGO HAWMC is a 'Writers Choice' day, and we are thrilled to present one of the most innovative tools we have seen to date.

Our Team peruses up to one hundred individual News alerts & Sources worldwide each day to bring the very best FREE resources to our Friends & Followers. Recently we stumbled upon a NEW & unique source containing the BEST & most exhaustive reporting of items we have seen yet, relevant to all of us affected by diabetes. One of the taglines that truly fit's is Insulin Nation's claim of "seperating the noise from the news".

Insulin Nation, the digital diabetes magazine, is a community of people with diabetes sharing their stories and experiences for mutual benefit and support.  Every issue celebrates and promotes active, healthy living by and for insulin users, using video, text, graphics and interactive links..  Our unique social media curation tools collect and package the work of leading diabetes influencers, and our Resources pages feature and connect groups offering support to PWD of all ages.   Monthly subscriptions are free with email address registration. 

We asked Chris Leach, the Editor-in-Chief, to tailor a unique message describing Insulin Nation for our Friends & Followers, and here is what he has to say:

From the Editor-in-Chief

Insulin Nation is a digital magazine for people with diabetes who use insulin.  It is the first part of a planned larger network of tools and resources that will connect the people and groups organized round diabetes, particularly type 1 PWD, with each other,  with clinical and scientific communities within the industry.

Insulin Nation's readers belong to and support hundreds of not-for-profit groups that help and connect people with diabetes.  Our intention is both to promote and support these organizations, and to serve as a clearinghouse and meeting place for them and their members.  

We embrace and celebrate the individual missions, passions, and energy of all PWD in the communities we serve through video and text profiles. Our "Voices" section, updated daily, is the only real-time curated collection of comments and posts by more than 200 diabetes.social media influencers. Each issue profiles and links to multiple diabetes organizations and resources.  We are building commenting and sharing functions and a unique YouTube channel.  

Insulin Nation is more than a name or a logo.  It is a real community of people who will empower, encourage, and strengthen each other by being connected.  Supplying the connective tissue is our mission.  
We have the most recent Issue of Insulin Nation at the top right of the Blog, or use the direct link at http://www.insulinnation.com/. You can also follow Insulin Nation on Facebook and on Twitter, and make sure and get your FREE subscription to ensure you enjoy each & every Issue as much as we do!

NOTE - FREE apps from Apple, Android and Kindle Fire are available in the App Store

Apr 22, 2012

Day 22 of the WEGO HAWMC - Reminders

Today's WEGO Prompt asks "make your own version of a short memo reminder. Where would you post it?"

There are a couple things that I need reminding of on a daily basis, not that I actually forget, but worthy of a reminder just the same. The first thing on my list would be to remind myself that there is a fine line I walk being an advocate for those affected by diabetes, and at the same time ensuring I do not become an overpowering monster member of the 'D Police', when it comes to my role as a Caregiver to my favorite diabetic, my Wife.

Another item on my reminder list would be the fact that although I see many Study/Research items that seem to get us that much closer to a cure, that until that day actually is here, diabetes can kill. That being said, I need reminders to keep my chin up...keep the faith, and still carry on with as normal a life as we make it. 

Keeping those things in mind, the final reminder I would make is to ALWAYS look at the glass as half full. I am fortunate that my Family & Friends support me in my advocacy, and I work with an exceptional group of the most dedicated  people I have ever had the honor of knowing. I am fortunate too that barring those hiccups we all face managing diabetes, for the most part we have control moreso than letting diabetes control us.

Finally, where would I put these reminders? On my computer screen of course!

Apr 21, 2012

Blue Heel Society - Fan Of The Week

For day 21 of the WEGO HAWMC we are going off topic for today, to showcase our Fan Of The Week.

Thanks to the generosity of the Developers of our BHS Fan Of The Week (FOTW) Application, we have a full working version of their Top Fan Application that allows us to showcase our Bluetiful peeps, based on multiple interaction factors on our Facebook Page.

This weeks Fan of the Week (FOTW) is Maria Qadri, and we asked Ms. Qadri to answer a few questions as to learn a little more about her.

BHS: Connection w/ diabetes

MQ: Myself. Type 1 for almost 15 years. My grandfather has Type 2, and there are signs of insulin resistance in my family.

BHS: General geographic location: 

MQ: New Jersey, USA

BHS: What blue shoe (Heel, sneaker, riding shoe, etc.) suits you & Why?
MQ: Blue climbing shoes! I've been rock climbing for 5 years now and I could never do it without my climbing shoes. Functional and stylish, my blue rock shoes are essential to a day on the mountain or in a rock gym.

BHS: What does advocacy mean to you?

MQ: Advocacy means speaking up. Even it's as something as small as just saying "I have diabetes." For a long time, I kept my mouth shut about my health. As I've gotten older,
I realized that there's always someone else who need that little bit of help and reassurance that they're not alone in this uphill battle. Whether it's someone who's newly diagnosed, someone who's had D for many years, or someone who has a diabetic friends, we can always learn
and share our experiences. Diabetes varies from person to person as do perceptions of life with diabetes. If everyone with diabetes and touched by diabetes spoke out about every finger prick, sweet treat, or shot of insulin in public, the misconceptions would slowly start disappearing.

BHS: Blog/site/twitter/organization
MQ: Website: climbingdiabetes.blogspot.com Twitter: @somebody_exotic

BHS: Words of wisdom/encouraging statement/general statement about diabetes
MQ: Everyone has good days & bad days with diabetes but how you deal with them matters more than anything. I will not let one dysfunctional pancreas hold me back from reaching any heights or my dreams.

Congrats again to Ms. Qadri, and the BHS Team thanks each & every one of YOU for being a part of our Family.

Apr 20, 2012

Day 20: Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Miracle Cure is Here!

Well this is supposed to be a news article on a Miracle Cure... What does it look like, how will it look, what will it be. But honestly, I'm having a hard time writing this. I realize that it  is a fun, light-hearted blog post today but I'm just not feeling it. You see, as I sit here writing this blog, my diabetic daughter has a blood sugar of 512 with small ketones. So to write about some miracle cure seems like such a tease;such a slap in the face to her that I just can't do it. Time to check her...
423...coming down

Listen,  I want a miracle cure just as much as you all do but I gotta tell you...

it scares me...

I can't tell you how I would react if her Endo calls and says, "Jen, bring your daughter in...we've got the cure!" I don't know that I would. You see, I KNOW how to manage diabetes. I know how to do fingerpricks, count carbs, change insulin and CGM sites, make changes to bolus/basal rates, administer glucagon...(albeit, Diabetes does throw you curve balls) but I know what I should do to help manage diabetes.

 With a miracle cure I don't know what that will look like or what it will do. What are the ramifications in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, her lifetime?!? This is my child we are talking about...I want this miracle cure to be guaranteed! No side effects, no bad things. Just simple...but fool proof!

So, what do I do? I keep up to date on all the latest medical advancements with technology because I truly believe that you need to have these advancements in order for the diabetic's insides to be healthy. To keep my daughter as healthy as I can keep her to make sure she's ready to receive a miracle cure. I still educate and raise awareness for diabetes. And I still push for a cure. Even though I don't know what it looks like...I still push for it. So I can't dare to dream of a miracle cure. I'm knee deep in reality.

Apr 19, 2012

Day 19: Invite 5 dinner guests:

This is a hard one...I would invite Sir Fredrick G. Banting (the co-discoverer of insulin), Dr. Margaret Hamburg (the FDA Commish), Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and Oprah.

I would first than Sir Banting for discovering insulin, without insulin millions of people with diabetes would not be alive today. Thanks to insulin, my daughter has a normal life expectancy compared to the death sentence it used to be.

So after my tearful, heartfelt thank you I would introduce Sir Banting to Albert Einstein. Two genius could come up with better medical advancements or a cure, right? I think just to be in the same room as these two would be profound...that, and I probably wouldn't understand a word of what they were talking about...no matter...I don't need to understand, just need to get them together for the greater cause.

And then there is Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the FDA pain in the ass, oops...I mean Commish!  If she is in attendance at my dinner party then she can be part of the medical advancements/cure talk and let Sir Banting and Einstein know what steps they need to take to get their products passed through FDA approval so we aren't waiting FOREVER!!

Bill Gates could fund the entire program. I mean he gives millions of dollars away each year to good causes. I think funding a cure would be an excellent cause. Then there's Oprah. Oprah is such an influential person that if she talks about diabetes the world will know what kind of disease this is. She can help raise awareness. After all, she's closing up shop on her network...what else does she have to do besides help us and wear some Blue Heels!!?

Apr 18, 2012

"I'm no one special...and I CAN save the world."

Today's Writer's Challenge was to open a book at random, point to a phrase and blog away.

So I picked up my copy of  A Cure for Emma, One Mother's Journey to Oz by Julie Colvin.

(Julie is a fellow D Momma who writes about her spiritual journey after her daughter's diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes. If you haven't had the chance to read it, you should!!)

So I opened up the book and I'll be honest...the first phrase was about plummeting blood sugars. UGH!! I just wasn't feeling it...I deal with that daily. So I flipped the pages one more time and sincerely landed on

"I'm no one special...and I CAN save the world"!!

How often do we think that..."I'm no one special"?? I think that often. I'm just a mom who takes care of her kids, of which two out of three happen to have different life threatening medical conditions...I'm no one special.
I just DO. 

I wake up every morning, get the kids ready for school, fix lunches, grocery shop, pick kids up, fix dinner, help with homework, drive to sporting events, do dishes, get the kids to bed...all routine things that many of you all do. Nothing special in all that, right?

So, how can I...whose no one special, save the world? Baby steps...take baby steps. Get involved!! I'm not talking about becoming the Executive Director of a Diabetes Organization. Smaller scale...just call and offer your help. Attend a diabetes function, stuff envelopes, answer phone calls, mentor a newly diagnosed family, wear your blue heels, organize an event to raise diabetes awareness.


Even if it's just one of those ways I mentioned...DO IT! You volunteering unites ALL of us for the greater cause...finding a cure and SAVING THE WORLD!!

Apr 17, 2012

Day 17 of the WEGO Challenge - What’s a lesson you learned the hard way?

Most people would think that after doing something multiple times a day for almost twenty years, it would  just become habit and there is no issues. And as a 'Caregiver', most would think that I too would be more prepared and aware. Any person directly affected by diabetes will always tell you that the medicine that keeps us alive every day and night (Insulin), can also KILL us any day or night if taken in the wrong dosage.

That day happened not long ago and it was certainly a lesson learned in a very hard way. As you can see in the image, there are two different types of insulin and two different size vials. Now we really thought we had it covered as to how to make sure the two are never confused. Kept the vials in a separate compartment in the refrigerator, made a HUGE black mark with a sharpie on one to visually distinguish between the two. There even is a mark on one syringe to make sure that the black mark vial & syringe always go together. Great Quality Control right?

MY favorite diabetic (my Wife) came to me as we were getting ready to retire for the day, and she was pale, short of breath, and shaking. She told me  she had taken the wrong nightime insulin, and was not’ feeling very good. EIGHT TIMES more than normally taken. I freaked out and ran for the telephone to dial 911. Then we both said WAIT, we can do this ourselves, and right away of course her Blood Glucose Level (BGL)  checked...89. Right away I went on Facebook and posted the scenario, along with me freaking out. The best suggestion I got was to have her take shots of maple syrup. We continued to have this syrup shot party, over and over and over some more.

Everything ended up just fine that night, even though we were up hours past our normal bedtime. She has a whole different outlook on syrup now and she will work through it because she loves it, or used to.
A lesson learned the hard way for sure, as we were not totally prepared as could be with no source of instant glucose. That is different as we now are more prepared. 

Apr 16, 2012

Day 16 of the WEGO Challenge - Create a Pinboard

Day 16 of the WEGO HAWMC prompts us to "Create a pinterest board for your health focus. Pin 3 things. What did you pin? Share the images in a post and explain why you chose them." I chose to use my Pinterest Board for general Diabetes 'stuff'.

My first image surely fit's into the morning I am having already with some tidbits about coffee in an infographic. Of course, the benefits of coffee in a diabetic diet have not been clearly defined as of yet, coffee is at the top of the list of my favorite diabetics diet, right alongside chocolate. And woe to the person who messes with either of those!

The next image I chose is also something related to coffee infographic, and something I can't ever seem to do, and watch others with profound jealousy, as they do it so easily...Take a nap! We all know that sleep is of paramount importance to everyone with diabetes!

My third and final image for today is a snapshot of Sprinter Melanie Stephenson, a diabetic, scheduled to be an Olympic torchbearer in London 2012. As I sit at my desk working daily, it is this type of image that reminds me why we work so hard as advocates to help ensure people everywhere know that a person affected by diabetes can lead a 'regular' life as well.

Apr 15, 2012

Pure Poetry...Or Is It? Day 15: WEGO Writer's Challenge

Today's prompt is Writing Style.

I'm not sure what you would call my writing style. It's a fast paced, unfiltered, sleep deprived collection of words that are pure poetry! Ha! At least that's what I always tell my hubby. (I think I tell him that so that he is sure to read my blog posts..he's a little hesitant to read because he tells me I make him cry...must be my pure poetry!!) Words seem to flow, almost too fast, for my fingers to keep up.

So I edit and edit some more. 

I will say that most of my posts are planned a day or two before hand. Although, I find inspiration from things around me, on facebook, on-line or even driving in the car. There are times I'm composing my blog post in my head days before I know I'm going to write it. I write late at night because my 4 year old usually doesn't let me sit down too long, at least long enough to blog. So once the kids are tucked in bed I sit down in the corner of the couch with my laptop and blog away.

 I never post until the next morning because I am tired and really need that bolt of caffeine in the morning to re-read my post before I publish it because you never know what I'm trying to say at 1am!. As far as when I title my post; I usually title it prior to writing the whole blog but have been known to re-title if necessary. I try to fit the title with the most interesting and intriguing aspect of my post to draw our fans in to read it. I also try to write thought provoking posts. I can write fluff too but if I can get you to think, react or get up and make you do something just by what I wrote...then... that's pure poetry!  

Apr 14, 2012

Day 14...My Dream Day...

WOW!! This is total torture!! 
I guess I can dream BIG and say a private beach with my hubby but as nice and wonderful and PERFECT as that would be..

we would so miss our kids!!

So...I'll dream simple...a day with NO diabetes!! That's simple, right?? Ha!! Some of you may know that our family also deals with another health issue...hemophilia. Our 4 year old son is a hemophiliac. It is a genetic bleeding disorder that requires, for him right now, twice weekly IV infusions of a blood clotting medicine for the rest of his life. But THAT is a whole different blog but image my kitchen cabinets filled with diabetes AND hemophilia supplies! I have more money wrapped up in medicine and medical supplies in my frig/cabinets than I do in food!!

Sad but true! 

 so my REAL dream day would be a day with NO medical issues for my diabetic daughter and hemophiliac son. To be able to leave the house WITHOUT the diabetes bag. To go on a trip WITHOUT the travel notes from the Doctor's. To pack for a trip WITHOUT using an extra suitcase for medical supplies. What am I talking about?!?!? To GO on a REAL vacation as a family without researching where the nearest hospital is!! To have NO worries!!! To let my daughter eat and eat and eat without worrying what her blood sugar is or if she bolused for her food. To not worry over every fall, bump or bruise my son gets everyday and wonder if I should call the Hospital to see if he needs an infusion.

To sleep...peacefully.

 To go back to the way life was BEFORE I knew what diabetes OR hemophilia was. 

But then I wouldn't have met YOU. I wouldn't cherish or value everyday for what it is. Our family wouldn't be as close. I wouldn't volunteer as much and give back to the community like I do now. I wouldn't be grateful...yes, grateful, for these medical conditions because it could ALWAYS be worse! So I'll take my Dream Day and crumble it up into a ball and flush it down the toilet because I'm NOT going to be getting it anytime soon.

I'll take EVERYDAY as my Dream Day and be thankful that I have my husband, my kids and our health, although medically imperfect, and my DOC and HOC and live it up!

Apr 13, 2012

Happy Five Month Birthday Blue Heel Society

Today is our Five Month Birthday!! 

Happy Birthday Blue Heel Society!! 

What a FAB looking cake...almost too good to eat!!

We've come a long way in five short months! You've blessed us with your "likes", you compete to be our "Fan of the Week", you share your Blue Heel pics and comment on diabetes information we bring to you! We are here and thriving all for YOU and because of YOU! 

There is a lot of growing here at BHS. We are always coming up with new ideas, things to come...and we value your input. Yes, this is our baby but it's your baby to. We ALL need to nurture it so that it grows and becomes something great! And although we are only 4 months old we are getting recognized...all because of YOU!! The DOC is taking notice, insulin producing companies, state representatives and it is because we stand together...the diabetics, the loved ones, the care-givers! We ARE making a statement and THAT is the best birthday gift ever!! Thanks to all of you for making us who we are today!! You are truly BLUE-tiful!! <3

Day 13!! 10 Things I Couldn't Live Without

In no specific order: (and my Family and iPhone are a given!!)

1. Keurig coffee maker
2. Foam contoured pillow
3. Baby monitor (to hear my 11 year old diabetic's pump alarming for high/lows)
4. Continuous Glucose Meter
5. Insulin Pump
6. Glucose Meter
7. Skittles/Juicy Juice
8. Medipore Surgical Tape
9. the DOC (Diabetes Online Community
10. my every growing collection of BLUE HEELS!!!!

Apr 12, 2012

Day 12, Stream of Consciousness...

Start with the sentence "__________", just write, don't stop, don't edit and post!!


Yesterday I spent the day with extended family. Some I hadn't seen in over 20 years and some I'd never met. These were my cousins and their wives and kids. We met up with them at Great Wold Lodge. It's a hotel with the mother of all indoor water parks right inside. It was AWESOME!! The kids had a blast!! Us adults tried to catch up the last 20 years as much as we could between the sprays of water guns, waterfalls, waves and keeping an eye on our kids. All the kids took to each other and just had fun! I love that! I remember when I was a kid getting together with my cousins. There would always be that awkward silence...sizing each other up and then, FINALLY playing together!! Which was usually by the last day of the visit! But not these kids...they were fast friends! I know I will cherish this day!

But, of course, diabetes had to be a pain in the butt earlier in the day.

 It's partly my fault...I should've been more prepared but I wasn't and when push came to shove I pushed it away until I was out of insulin with a low reservoir heading to a water park. Well, I had to pack clothes to change into as we were meeting the rest of the family for dinner that evening. So here I am trying to get Jackson (whose 4) ready to go and thankfully, Nora (11) was packing her own stuff. I'm getting the diabetes emergency pack ready with EVERYTHING but the kitchen sink in there!! Alcohol swabs, multiple Mio insulin sites, reservoirs, canister of test strips, glucagon, Skittles, Juice Boxes, syringes, Medipore tape, you name it...I packed it!! Then I needed to pack snacks because although I feed my kids lunch it never fails that someone will be STARVING the minute we step foot in the water park. So after packing up my home, essentially, I know....huge exaggeration!! I do a site change because 1. it was time and 2. she had LOW RESERVOIR alarming. Did the site change, added some Medipore tape over the site and said a little prayer that the site wouldn't fall off and float away in the wave pool! Then we stop off at the pharmacy to fill insulin Rx. All the time I'm thinking how much a pain in the butt diabetes is. Really!?

 I have to plan for the "what if". 

What if she goes low, high, site falls off. All these things and more. Because if I don't come prepared these things will happen and then we would have to end our fun and go back home to take care of stupid diabetes. How nice it would've been to pack our clothes and leave. Not worry about filing the Rx, changing sites, bringing extras...just getting in the car and leaving...I can't even remember what that is like. But we finally got there...oh, and treated a low, in the car, on the way there! We had fun, despite diabetes. And we will do things again and again and maybe I'll be more prepared than yesterday and maybe not. I'm just glad we were there and having fun!! It was a blessing to be able to have the families together...and we can thank social media for that!

Ironically, there was quite the commotion in an upper corner of the water park. A diabetic kid had suffered a low and the medical staff gave him some orange juice. THAT is the "what if"...and why I packed everything!! You just don't know...

A BIG thank you to my cousin Paul, his wife Sherrie and their beautiful kids, Emma and Erin, because of their generosity, we were able to enjoy the water park. And to my cousin, Dylan, his wife, Dawn and their handsome boys, Max and Ryan, thanks for dinner!! And to my Aunt Joellen, whom I haven't seen since I was a teen, so happy to see you again! 

Apr 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - "Color Changes Everything"

Day 11 of the WEGO Challenge - The Blue Heel Society Theme Song

Day 11 of the WEGO Challenge prompts us to "Imagine your health focus or blog is getting its own theme song", and we are VERY fortunate to actually have a song written for us. Enjoy...

Blue Shoe Blues
and the 

"Sometimes I'm high, Sometimes I'm low
I've been chasing these numbers, how long now I don't know
Every shot to my gut is life in my heart
Everyday I wake up to a brand new start
I put on my Blue Shoes and I can walk away from these blues

I'm a red-blooded man, my back is strong
I like to eat some greens, and I like to pick a few songs
I know life ain't black and white, we all live in shades of grey
But blue is my color, that's where I'm gonna stay
I put on my blue shoes and I can walk away from these blues

Apr 10, 2012

Day 10 of the WEGO Challenge: Dear 16 year old me:

16 year old me circa 1990 during the Grunge/Alternative years!! My Dad snapped this pic in the morning and I STILL don't do mornings!!

Dear 16 year old Me:
You will marry your best friend, Joey, and together you will have three wonderful children!! Yes...I said three!! I know prepare yourself! There will never be a dull moment...so enjoy those rare moments of teenage boredom! These kids will be your greatest accomplishment and your biggest heartbreak. You will cheer with your children with every step they take and every milestone they meet. You will be their biggest cheerleader!

Then the heartbreak...with every boo boo, or classmates that leave them out of parties and diagnosis. That's right...diagnosis. Your middle daughter, Nora, will be diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes at the tender age of 4. You will learn how to keep her alive with multiple, daily insulin injections.

Injections...needles...shots and fingersticks. 

I am telling you that you will stick your baby girl with needles! AWFUL!! But guess what?!? You will do it, you won't like it...in fact you'll hate it, but you'll do it. Some days you will do everything right and other days you WILL mess up. Diabetes is NOT a perfect disease. It has a mind of its own. You will wake up in the middle of the night for blood sugar checks, stay up with her when she is running low and do insulin injections/bolus's when she is high. You will cry right along with her when diabetes is kicking her butt and you will wish it upon yourself because not even your worst enemy deserves this terrible disease.

You will worry like crazy when you drop her off at school, play dates, anywhere, for that matter. You'll even be a little jealous/resentful of families that can drop their kids off anywhere without a care in the world. You will see Nora grow up years before her time because that's what diabetes does. It robs her youth. How can it not? When her body is fighting to live everyday and YOU have to help it. You have to be her pancreas thats decided it's not gonna work anymore! I know this sounds horrible and some days it is.

Pick that jaw up off the floor!! Don't fret, it won't help and...I am here to tell you...you are a FIGHTER!! 
You always have been!! You will learn all about diabetes. You will teach all about diabetes to her school/teachers/coaches. You will be her advocate and empower her to advocate for herself. You will be her voice when she can't speak. You will meet some wonderful friends along the way who also walk the diabetes walk...you, Joey and your other children will grow closer. Your family will form an invisible force field that is so strong that Darth Vader himself cannot destroy it!!

Diabetes will become just one of many of your passions. It will consume you but NOT in a bad way. You will use this passion to do great things!! You will volunteer with the local Juvenile Diabetes chapters, you will mentor other diabetes families, you and Nora will meet lawmakers, you will raise money to find a cure, you'll be on an Executive Board for diabetes and you will ROCK  the Blue Heels!!! (what do diabetes and Blue Heels have to do with each other?!?! It's ALL about raising awareness for diabetes, my friend!! PLUS you love shoes...Just wait, you'll understand one day!) This may seem so overwhelming and I'm not gonna lie...IT IS!! But, Jen, YOU ARE GONNA KICK A$$!!

Just keep swimming...just keep swimming,

Apr 8, 2012

Day 8 of the WEGO HAWMC - Best conversation I had this week

Tres Hombres

The very best conversation I had this week I cannot [yet] share, but it is potentially a turning point that will define the future for sure.

Multiple personalities I am not, however, this past week I spent a lot of time speaking with Me, Myself & I (thus the Tres Hombres reference). Besides my normal daily tasks, I was under pressure from within to mow the lawn before Easter. I was able to put it off every day (Does I sound proud of his procrastination?) using Weather, old man pains, too much computer time needed...you name it & I used it! At long last, yesterday I declared it was time to crank up the mower and get it done. When the observation was made, and voiced from me that "you sure couldn't have put it off any longer!", in which I replied "I wanted to ensure the freshest of cuts for the Hunt on Easter."

You will notice that the one missing from  "Me, Myself & I" in the mini conversation above is "Myself". We will refer to "Myself" as "D". My very good friend "D" passed away five years ago today from kidney failure at the age of 48. He had been doing yard work, went to rest on the coach a bit, and never woke up. Easter took on a whole new meaning from that day forward, and it reminds "Myself" that we ALL need to take care of ourselves the very best we can to ensure we are as whole as can be, in both body & spirit, and love & live for others, but make sure "Myself" is taken care of first, so that you CAN be there for others.

So on this Easter Sunday where a new beginning is celebrated, start this day and every one to follow doing what YOU can do, for YOU.

Happy Easter...

Apr 7, 2012

Day 7 of the WEGO HAWMC - Writers Choice

REPORT - Doctors perform too many tests and procedures, and patients demand too many

The report, called Choosing Wisely, involved 45 tests, procedures and medications that generally should be questioned when patients ask for them or doctors call for them. In the Report, the recommendations of nine American medical groups representing about 375,000 physicians included:

- Do not order sinus CT scans or prescribe antibiotics for mild or simple rhinosinusitus, or sinus infection.
- Do not do scans for lower back pain within the first six weeks unless serious underlying conditions or signs exist.
- Do not order annual EKGs or other heart screens for low-risk patients without symptoms.
- Do not perform scans for uncomplicated headaches.
- Do not repeat colorectal cancer screening by any method for 10 years after a colonoscopy is negative in average-risk patients.
Is this a true representation of what is occurring, another attempt to ensure the 'Affordable Care Act' is affordable, or an example of a black (or $$$ green) hole that exists in the Medical Industry?

Apr 6, 2012

Health Haiku-Diabetes

Diabetic Life
Counting Carbs and Finger Pricks
Highs, Lows, Late Night Checks

Apr 5, 2012

Day 5 of the WEGO HAWMC - Ekphrasis Post

"Lite it Blue" Mackinac Bridge - Mackinaw City, Michigan

Day 5 of the WEGO Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge suggests we write an “Ekphrasis Post” inspired by a random image found at flickr.com and to link it to our health focus. One of my most favorite things is to learn new things, especially words that I have not yet encountered, and “Ekphrasis” was certainly new to me!  According to Wikipedia “Ekphrasis” can be defined as a graphic, often dramatic, description of a visual work of art”.

While I can certainly link this fabulous image to diabetes, it may not be as graphic nor dramatic as the definition describes. Of course, the deserved plug for the Blue Heel Society aside, most of us also equate the color blue to a multitude of awareness efforts by a number of dubious organizations.

Now allow me to offer a real life example of one way we can certainly link the color blue to diabetes, as told once by a very nice man, who also happens to be a Joslyn Medalist. Here’s where some may think things get graphic.

Before Blood Glucose Meters, the only method available to guesstimate “sugar” levels in the body, was to add urine to a base solution (Benedict’s was the name I think), and  the color it turned indicated the glucose levels. Red was high, yellow was medium, green was low. The original color of the Benedict’s solution was BLUE! So even before the Internet & online advocacy, the color blue certainly was a part of diabetes.

Now for the dramatic...I was involved in some  Market Research on Facebook that was meant to identify what color the masses felt best represented diabetes. That’s where the color scheme starts to get a little rainbow’ish. Now most everyone knows pink is the color of Breast Cancer advocacy. But our semi-informal research showed us that Many people were all over the spectrum, when it came to choosing what color best ‘defines’ diabetes’

There was no clear cut winner in this poll that saw orange, grey, grey & red, red, purple and yes, blue made the cut. Did this tell us that we needed to push hard to unseat blue as the favorite color for diabetes? At the time it did, but in retrospect, trying to change the color associated with diabetes from blue to something else was a gross mistake. Blue should be, and has become, the de facto standard color worldwide that we associate with diabetes. Bulldings all over the world turn BLUE in celebration of World Diabetes Day.

One more piece of drama associated with the color BLUE & the above image. The "Lite it Blue" campaign for the Mackinac Bridge was for Autism Awareness...

Apr 4, 2012

This is why I write about diabetes...

Nora age 11 dx'd 6.13.05 at age 4
Meet my daughter Nora. She is a VERY active 11 year old. She is a competitive gymnast, basketball and softball player. She would be involved in everything if I let her and if her schedule allowed it!! She has Type 1 diabetes. She was diagnosed at 4 years old. She had had walking pneumonia a few months before diagnosis and I believe this virus is what triggered her diabetes.

 I watched her hands physically shake as she screamed she was hungry in the mornings...this was her low. I watched her down 20oz Dasani water bottles like a college aged kid chugging down a beer bong...this was her high. I waited, sometimes impatiently, as she ran to the bathroom too many times to count...again, she was high. I had heard about diabetes but NEVER what it meant. For some reason I called her pediatrician and said I need to have my daughter tested for juvenile diabetes. I have NO reason for why I picked this disease...again, I knew nothing of it. Got her in the next day, sugar present in her urine which landed us in Cincinnati Children's Medical Hospital Center for 5 days. While the staff gave us a crash course on how to save our daughter's life with daily injections of insulin.

Enduring the cries, screams and yells of pricking fingers every 3 hours...sometimes more. The insulin injections and now the insulin pump sites that leave enough of their mark to make her legs, arms and belly look like a connect the dot puzzle. Answering the question of a then 10 year  old on how she thinks she will die...be it by the hand of diabetes or old age. The overwhelming security she feels when her big sister, who is months shy of 18, moves into her bedroom so that when her CGM alarms, can run downstairs to get me if the baby monitor doesn't pick it up for me to hear. An 11 year old who fears she will NEVER wake up because of an overnight low that goes undetected.

And yet through all this, Nora is a funny, loving, light-hearted, caring 11 year old!! Diabetes has made her sensitive to other people and their health issues. It's made her grow up way too early...she is an old soul. While this is all great and good, diabetes has robbed her of her childhood. And for that I HATE it! It's this hate for diabetes and the love I have for my daughter that fuels me to advocate, fight and raise awareness for diabetes.

This, my friends, is why I write about diabetes.

Apr 3, 2012

Diabetic Superhero

Any similarities between Diabetes Momma and myself are absolutely NOT a coincidence!
Yesterday, on our ride home from our JDRF Table of Hope event I was talking to my diabetic daughter, Nora, and telling her about the Writer's Challenge with WEGO and told her about today's topic...Superpower Day. So I asked her what special power a Diabetic Superhero should have and she immediately said X-Ray vision. Now, I know some of you are snickering...this is PG people!! :) She said X-Ray vision so that you could see the busted pancreases or the ones that are getting ready to give out and then heal them. Nice and simple...I like it!

 I went on to ask her about what she would call this Superhero and she immediately said Diabetes Momma (thanks Dear!!) and she should wear blue (of course) for Diabetes Awareness because we will still need to spread awareness so that Diabetes Momma can swoop in and cure any newly diagnosed diabetics with her powerful X-Ray! And of course...she HAS to wear her Blue Heels!! So the cartoon above, is my take on what she MIGHT look like.

Oh, Nora, if only it were that easy to cure diabetes...if only!