May 31, 2012

What doesn't kill you...

You all know that I am a full time pancreas, diabetes advocate, Blue Heel wearing, Kick butt D Momma but there is another side to me too. I work at Hallmark a few times a week for my sanity (although, sometimes it's more work to get to actual work than its worth!!) But anyways...Hallmark carries a line of cards called "Between You and Me". These are agonizingly looooong cards that are VERY mushy and I just don't care for them. However, last Friday, I was putting away a shipment of cards and for some reason one of these cards beckoned me to read it. Here is what it said:

"They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. 
Well, what if you didn't sign up for extra-strength training?
What if you'd rather catch a few breaks once in a while?
Is that so much to ask?
At some point, you'd think you'd be entitled to a free pass or two:

Skip this challenge.

Avoid that crisis.

Delete those problems.

It's not that you're not strong 
or that you don't have what it takes to get through this.

You are, you do, and you will.

But you've built enough character already, and its time for things to lighten up a little!"

Don't you ever feel this way?
                                 ...even a little bit? 
                                                       I know I do. 

I feel this way after a birthday party I drop Nora off at only to have to turn around and go back to the party because her sensor decides it doesn't want to work but it's a sleep over and really need that sensor to work. So I have to do a whole sensor change.

Why can't I just drop her off like all the other parents do?!!?

I feel this way when she eats. Making sure we count every carb, SWAGing, bolusing before, during or after she eats, depending on what she eats. 

Why can't she just eat?!!? My 4 year old asks "how much insulin do I need" before he leaves the table and he is NOT a diabetic!! 

I feel this way when she down at the nurses office treating a low instead of in her classroom learning. 

Why can't she just learn!??!

And don't even get me going on my hemophiliac son which is a whole other host of concerns on why he can't do certain things.

A few breaks would be nice...

blood sugars in range.

sensors working properly and accurately.

sleeping through the night. 

perfect SWAGing.

I bought that card last Friday. Not to send to anyone. To keep. For ME. To take out when I'm feeling like I've had enough and read. It's a sick way. It made me laugh because this card just hits home.  

Just WON'T kill us, it WILL make us stronger, but dammit...I'm ready for a break! 

May 29, 2012

Challenge: Dear Diabetes by Melissa Morley

A few weeks ago I posted my letter to diabetes, simply titled: Dear Diabetes. Thank you to Melissa Morley for sharing her Dear Diabetes letter with us! You can find Melissa at Naturally Sweet-Life with Type 1 Diabetes here

Jen encouraged the rest of us to write and share our own letters to Diabetes.  I want Jen to know that I tried; God knows I did.  My first attempt was an f-bomb laced diatribe.  My second attempt was a letter of a defiant and threatening nature.  The third time around I just wrote "you can't have Alison" and cried until I couldn't cry anymore.

While my attempt at a letter that I could share with all of you, one that would be therapeutic and helpful, might seem like a bust, I re-learned a lesson that keeps coming up.  My friend Tammy's mother Debbie has told me that the universe will send you the same assignment over and over again until you learn it by heart and this one is taking me a while.  IT WILL TAKE A LONG TIME FOR THE PAIN OF DIAGNOSIS TO EASE, if it ever will.

I keep thinking that my life has moved on.  That I am okay with poking my child with lancets and testing her blood several times a day.  That putting tubes into her body and giving her needles is just the way it is.  That it is what it is.  That the late nights are fine.  That watching my child go through her worst moments while feeling helpless is okay.  Then I will have a day when I get that feeling like I did on the day that we were diagnosed almost two years ago.

The best way I can describe it is this.  When they told us that Alison was in Diabetic ketoacidosis , the room felt like the air had been sucked out of it.  Everyone feels it differently.  But that's what it was like for me.  When it hits me, every once in a while, it feels like that again.

The one thing I would tell Diabetes is this though, someone like Alison, who is currently running around the living room, wearing a cape calling herself Super Ali, is hard to put down and hard to be down around your very own super hero!

May 28, 2012

"Dear Diabetes" - A Poem by Tanya Alexander-Thomas

We are happy to share another contribution in our "Dear Diabetes" Feature we were lucky to stumble upon. When we contacted the author about reprinting her "Hello, Type1" poem here is that Ms. Thomas had to say:

"Oh was over a year ago that I wrote that! I had actually forgotten about it! I looked at your site, and would be pleased and honored if you would share my poem. Thank you for asking permission! 

Sincerely, Tanya Thomas"

Hello, Type 1
by Tanya Thomas

I guess we haven't met.

But if you think you're taking over
Well, you ain't seen nothing yet!
We are the anchors, the fighters,
... The heroes called Mom and Dad.
And believe me when I tell you
We're the worst enemy you've ever had.
Our children are our lives
And we believe in support and prayer.
Though we don't have a way of beating you
They are constantly in our care.
We'll make sure the lives they lead
Are as normal as can be.
They will run, jump, dance and play sports.
They'll eat what they want,
and we'll adjust accordingly.
You may have been a set-back
But you don't have complete control.
Managing you and wiping you out
Has become our only goal.
We will fight you 'til the end
And we'll make a lot of noise...
We are a force to be reckoned with....

We are the parents of type 1 girls and boys!!

If you would like to submit your own "Dear Diabetes" contribution you can email them to us HERE

May 26, 2012

An Impromptu Blog...

I hadn't planned on writing a blog this evening but in our diabetes world there is little to get excited about or even be happy about.


Today, I am happy, proud, excited and a little (just a little) bit sad.

My daughter has many pen pal Diabetes Sisters that she tries to keep up with. One in particular has iMessages so all day today they've been messaging back and forth. She comes downstairs and let's me know that she needs an insulin pump site change today AND... she's going to do it.

What?!?! "Yep, I'm going to do it!" okay I asked if she wanted me to draw up the insulin in her reservoirs and she said "no, I'm doing it!!"


I did end up helping her with that part...I mean with the air bubbles and all that but I showed her how to do it and let her do it. She rewinds the pump, fills the line and preps her tummy for the site.

She is shaking like a leaf. I show her how to pull back and set the site (she uses the Mio's), how to put it up against her skin, push it and then pull back again so the site stays. She keeps trying and is nervous so I offer up my tummy. This makes her feel so much better! (Nice for her to poke me for once!! and I'd do it a million times over for her!!)

Next up...her tummy! It takes her a couple of times to line it up where she wants it but...

she did it!! 

Twin pumpers! Nora and mine! 

I am one proud D Momma here!! I'm also a little means she is getting older, showing independence and replacing us. I know that this will happen eventually. I just remember a sweet younger Nora who asked her Daddy if he would always do her pump sites. His reply, "I'll come to your house when your in your 20's and do your site changes for you."

No need now.

My baby girl is growing up!

This also makes me happy. It means she is growing confident in herself to take on a responsibility like pump site changes. I can't take all the credit in helping her build confidence. I give credit to her pen pal Diabetes Sisters. They are there for each other when they are feeling crummy and having a bad D day and they are there to share the joys of big and little D accomplishments. For that bond I will always be grateful.

Tonight we celebrate D and all the good things that happen because of it.

Good job Nora, good job!  

May 25, 2012

Guest Post ... Your Diabetes Mission

We would like to give a big BLUE shout out to Guest Blogger, Meagan Esler.

Meagan is a freelance writer based in Chicago and has been featured in Diabetes Living magazine and Diabetes Health. Enjoy Meagan's post about a Mission Impossible!

Your Diabetes Mission, Should You Choose to Accept
I know a healthy life with diabetes is possible, but sometimes I feel a bit like my life is a version of a Mission Impossible movie when it comes to managing my diabetes.  Like Tom Cruise, I do my own stunts.  Admittedly, my stunts aren’t nearly as cool as scaling a towering building in Dubai.  One of my regular stunts actually just involves trying to eat some Chicago-style pizza without having sky high blood sugars. 

Another stunt involves trying not to go low during a lengthy morning meeting at work.  As the meeting extends on into the afternoon, I hear the Mission Impossible theme song as the shaking starts in my hands.  That stunt always ends in my grabbing some juice, a previously sworn off donut, or any glucose source from my purse – lint covered or not.  Disaster is thankfully avoided before going low enough to pass out.  If you have diabetes or care for someone with diabetes you understand that those scenarios make for some real edge-of-your-seat stuff.  Each of my stunts offer a level of danger, it’s just not the kind delivered with undercover agent swagger.   

Other Mission Impossible similarities include some of the gadgets that are the key to having good diabetes control.  A blood sugar meter is as important as Tom Cruise’s best agent.  Technological advances with insulin pumps, diabetes iphone apps, and continuous glucose monitors remind me of the Mission Impossible contact lenses that take pictures or offer facial recognition.  Have you heard of the contact lenses they are working on that change color with your blood sugar levels?  That’s some serious Mission Impossible stuff right there.
A crucial part of a diabetes mission is to find a team that you trust.  It might not be a team of agents, but rather, a team of people living with diabetes, or other parents of children with diabetes.  These people will have your back day or night.  The Blue Heel Society is a beautiful example of this. 

Maybe our lives aren’t as thrilling as a movie, but they sure are worth living.  You may not have a choice of getting diabetes, but you do have a choice in how you deal with it.  Our mission, should we choose to accept, is to live a long, happy, and healthy life with diabetes.  We shouldn’t let diabetes slow us down.  We shouldn’t let it hold us back.  We shouldn’t let it destroy our sense of humor because diabetes requires humor to survive.  So don some blue shoes, put on some dark shades, and crank up the Mission Impossible theme song in your car.  Your diabetes mission is in full swing and it’s the most important one you’ll ever have.    

My Diabetic Top 10

Hey everybody!! It's Jen and I've been otherwise preoccupied with our eldest daughter graduating high school!! I feel like it has been forever!! Glad that things are settling down (ha! somewhat) and I'm able to be blogging!!

So, I subscribe to Kayla's Life Notes can follow her here. Kayla was dx'd 3 years ago and her latest blog post shares her Top 10 things she has learned about diabetes. She challenges us, the readers, to come up with our Top 10. So I'll try my best not to duplicate too many of her Top 10 items.

Jen's Top 10 diabetes things:
(all things diabetes I've learned in the past 7 years)  

10. SWAGging...I can SWAG like nobody's business. Around Christmas time I started second guessing my SWAG. I tend to bake my famous Chocolate Chip Cookies a lot in the fall and had never really figured out what the carb count officially was. So I asked for a Food Scale for Christmas. I glam!! But I really wanted one. So I bake my cookies...figure and input all the data in the scale and Darn it!! I SWAGged correctly!! Actually I was excited about my super SWAG power and bummed that I didn't really need the scale to figure out carb counts!! ( however, I still use it for other things!!) 

9. Importance of carb counts at restaurants!! We ate at Max 'n Erma's one night and ordered their chocolate chip cookies (not as good as mine but no mess for me). That was before the invention of apps...not in my Calorie King book, couldn't find it on-line and had the staff running around looking for it. Well, the waitress gets antsy and says "it's okay honey, you don't need the carb count on those. They would not work with any diet". Of course I'm looking at her like she is crazy and say "YES, I do need the carb count! My daughter is a diabetic!" It would be great if EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE you eat was accessible for carb counts!!

8. Be prepared!! In the course of 7 years we have left the diabetes kit behind, sweat off insulin sites to only have syringes, dropped the vial of insulin on the floor at Target shattering into pieces, not had test strips, etc.etc.etc...I now carry a special medical pack with EVERYTHING in it! Site change? No problem! Let's change it here! I have skittles, insulin, band-aids, reservoirs, site changes, numbing cream, scissors, Medi-pore tape,  tegaderm, Sharpie marker and test strips.You name it I've got it in this "medical bag". You should carry one too!!

7. The DOC!! I've said it before...the DOC is great!! I'm a little late to all this because when Nora was dx'd in 2005 we had a great support group locally. It wasn't until I started Facebooking that I found these wonderful blogs and the DOC. I'm up late at night fighting highs/lows...guess whose there?!?! Yep! You are with ((hugs)), encouraging words and follow ups in the morning. It is THE best community EVER!!

6. Get Involved! For me, I was became involved with our local JDRF chapter days within diagnosis. I'm the type of person that can't just sit around and worry or play the "what if" game. I called the chapter the second day Nora was diagnosed (which was in June) by September we had a walk team organized and started our letter writing campaign. I needed to feel like I was DOING something! Plus I met some great people who had Type 1 connections.  I know this is not for everyone. Just get involved with a diabetes organization!! Volunteer to stuff envelopes, make phone calls, etc. Whatever you can's well worth it!

5. Advocacy. I had always signed up to get info about advocacy but I gotta tell ya...I'm the least political person. So I'd get these e-mails saying call your Senators/Reps and let them know how you feel about "insert diabetes topic here". They made it so easy...they even gave me a script to read. But I didn't do it. Really?? Their office probably gets thousands of phone calls a day. Blah!! But then I volunteered to go visit with these Senators/Reps in person!! Even crazier! I figured if they could meet me in person and meet my daughter then they could at least put a name with diabetes. I LOVE it!! My daughter does too! It's VERY rewarding and it's a great government lesson for Nora! Plus I'm laying the ground work showing her that you CAN make a difference!

4. Awareness. No shocker here! I can spread some diabetes awareness everywhere I go, in blue shoes, of course!! It's easy and I have no problem talking to anyone (obviously!!) about diabetes and how it affects our family but most importantly our daughter! Dispelling myths day by day!

3. Mentoring. This is so important to newly diagnosed families. I'll never forget mine. We don't see each other often these days but I'll never forget those first few months of dealing with all this! Not that you have to move in with the newly diagnosed but just letting them know you are there is all you need to do!

2. You are stronger than you ever imagined! Who, in the world, ever thinks they can inject their own kid with needles?!?! Let alone, be a full time pancreas/life support for your kid (or yourself)? I remember being mortified that I had to inject my kid multiple times a day. I was going to be the "bad guy". It broke my heart the first few times I did it. Oh, and the Lantus shots!! You would think I was beating my daughter the way she would run away and scream at me...hated it. Unfortunately, she got used to the pokes and injections and so did I. And we BOTH survived! Just as all of you have!

1. You CAN do anything, even WITH diabetes!!! This has been our motto since day 1!! I won't let it stop her from being a kid, playing sports, spending the night, playing with friends, going on trip or flying on planes. Yea, sure, it can beat us up. Making her run high or low. Making her take a break from playing for a minute before she can go up to bat or do her gymnastics floor routine. But she presses on...she will take her D and all its BS and crumble it up into a ball and swing a bat at it. And LIVE...yes, D, Nora lives despite you and does anything she wants even with you rearing your ugly head!!

What's YOUR Top 10?

May 24, 2012

Blue Heel Society "Fan Of The Week' is Sherrie Grant

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 computer magic (Randomness) & multiple interaction factors on our Facebook Page.

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

BHS: Connection w/ diabetes

SG: In a way diabetes has always been in my family, on my Fathers side, and I have always had to watch and make sure I was tested for it all my life.

Now I am married to Jen (BHS Chief Content Officer!) and Nora lovings cousin. I just met them last month but I am so inspired by them. My Husband and oldest daughter have a very rare disease called LEOPARD SYNDROME, and have had a lot of trouble trying to find others with it (only 200 people in the world have it) so talking with Jen has helped and now I have found others, and I am learning how to be more of an advocate for LEOPARD SYNDROME. Jen is my inspiration, and of course my Daughter is the biggest inspirtation in my life.

BHS: General geographic location
SG:  I live in Louisville, Kentucky.

BHS:  What blue shoe (Heel, sneaker, riding shoe, etc.) suits you &  Why?
SG: If I had to pick a blue shoe that best suits me, it would be a Blue wedge heeled espadrille.

BHS: What does advocacy mean to you?
SG: I am really just learning how to be a advocate, so that question is still evolving. Maybe one day I will be able to expound on this answer better.

BHS: Blog/site/twitter/organization
SG:  I visit the Magic Foundation website, and on facebook we have the LEOPARD SYNDROME page . The reason for the Magic Foundation is due to the Leopard my daughter is on growth hormone due to short stature. Hope to have a larger Website for LS in the future.

BHS: Words of wisdom/encouraging statement/general statement about diabetes
SG: something my daughter Emma says all the time even when she has been in the hospital with having surgeries or her legs are so swollen she can’t even walk she says "This is the best day ever!" She says this every single day. That is why she inspires me and I have to be an advocate

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

May 22, 2012

Dear Diabetes,

To say that I hate you seems too simple and yet so obvious. I'm angry at you for sure and have been for almost 7 years, since the day you barged into our lives and ruined Nora's youth. The anger just builds with each high blood sugar reading, for every faulty insulin pump site, every trace ketone, lost sleep, CGM calibration in the middle of the night, LOWS, when you interfere in her school day or her sports, robbing Nora of her childhood and the FEAR of her not making it through the night.

There are days where you push yourself front and center and it hurts. I'm not going to lie...there are nights when I wonder why Nora? Why couldn't it be someone else...anyone else but Nora. Why couldn't it happen to the family down the street whose parents are so self absorbed and their kid is looking for attention? Because with diabetes I'm giving TONS of attention to much attention that she's asking me to stop giving her so much! (I really don't wish this disease on anyone else but sorry, to shock you reader but it IS my thought at times!)

But I've got a secret for you...every time Nora has an "in range" blood sugar, I am able to sleep through the night because she has a flatline of 130, a day without a low, she makes it through school with only the specified blood sugar checks and no extra visits to the nurse, when Nora runs and plays and enjoys life like kids without diabetes...guess what?!?! YOU LOSE!!

I've got another thing to tell ya too! If it weren't for you, dearest diabetes, I don't think I would be as compassionate to other people with "invisible" diseases. My family wouldn't be as close as it is today. I wouldn't have met some pretty awesome people in the DOC. I wouldn't have YEARS of volunteer hours tucked under my belt or cherish the time I have with my kids every. single. day! I've talked with members of Congress, CEO's of corporations and all because of you, diabetes. You have given me something to wake up to, to fight for my daughter and ALL diabetics. I'm sure I would've had a great, content life without you in it. But because you are, I've got a passion to talk about, learn about and teach about all things D.

In case you haven't noticed...we are a pretty powerful group, the DOC. We will be the change! We will make a difference! We will make you cower in a corner until we have completely annihilated you! We have seen too much suffering but we see the light at the end. And it's got a big 'ol party going on with cake and ice cream and you aren't invited...we are done with you!

So I know you'll stick around and mess some numbers up and keep us sleep deprived but know this...your time is coming! If I were you....I'd run!!

Not so sincerely,

Mom to Nora dx'd 6-13-05

May 21, 2012

Blue Heel Society - Fan Of The Week is Rochelle Howard Fulghum

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 Rochelle Howard Fulghum, and we asked Ms. Fulghum to answer a few questions as to learn a little more about her.

BHS: Connection w/ diabetes
RHF: I have been a type 2 diabetic for 10 years with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN).

BHS: General geographic location
RHF: I have lived in the south most of my life.

BHS:  What blue shoe (Heel, sneaker, riding shoe, etc.) suits you &  Why?
RHF: My blue shoes are Newbalance cross trainers. I have to wear a very sturdy and supportive shoe because of my neuropathy.

BHS: What does advocacy mean to you?
RHF: The more people know and understand about an illness the more they are willing to help and get involved.

BHS: Words of wisdom/encouraging statement/general statement about diabetes
RHF: Don't let diabetes get you down. Do what you can when you can. Live for tomorrow.

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

May 20, 2012

Diabetes Hero...last day of diabetes blog week

The diabetic heroes I would like to acknowledge are the diabetic caregivers and the diabetics.

Not to toot my own horn but us caregivers rock at being artificial pancreases!! I mean really! Most of us are honorary training, just what they give us at the Clinic and what we learn over time. Yeah, we may complain on fb status updates now and then about being up late, site changes, etc BUT we are just venting. We aren't looking for a pat on the back or Caregiver of the Year award...we just need an outlet sometimes to share our highs and lows...literally!!

Caregivers give tirelessly. We manage to keep a family running smoothly, advocate for our D kids, get kids to where they need to be, change insulin pump sites on the fly, clean the house, calculate carbs in .001 seconds, grocery shop, tuck in the kids in for bed, stay up half the night battling high or low blood sugars and then start the day all over again! We do all this AND help our kids gain self confidence, responsibility and try to make their lives as normal as possible. Really...our D kids are pretty extraordinary and it comes from the strong foundation, the caregivers start them off with!

At some point, us caregivers transfer all the D responsibilities to our D kids. (I cannot imagine this!! I think I'll still be calling Nora when she is 35 asking her what her Blood Sugar is...if we don't have a cure by then, then maybe my Diabetes Fantasy Device will be on the market!)

I've met some pretty AMAZING D adults. It is rewarding as a caregiver to see D adults work as hard at raising diabetes awareness, advocating, working with the D kids, volunteering their time and telling their story. Not to mention that they were kids with D that survived and are know adults with D. I consider all diabetics heroes. They are, after all, the ones that LIVE with this disease! Us caregivers take care of them and feel bad when they aren't feeling well but it's their body that has to fight hourly.

They are the REAL fighters of diabetes! 

So today I salute all caregivers and diabetics as DIABETIC HEROES!! Great job!

Keep counting,
                      keep bolusing
                                         and keep LIVING...even WITH diabetes!!

May 19, 2012

Saturday Snapshots day 6!

I can't believe this ya'll but I'm gonna be showing you ma drawers!!

Not drawers, which are really cabinets that house Nora's diabetes supplies!

Now, I didn't pretty it up for you and there are other things, like kitchen things on the shelves...imagine that! A cabinet used for its intended purpose!! Shocking! I never thought my cabinets would look like a pharmacy...and this does NOT include my son's medical supplies! That's for a different day...

I LOVE when these cabinets are full of supplies! It's a nice comfort knowing that I have all the supplies I need to take care of my daughter. It may not look beautiful but it's Nora's...all Nora's!!! And this is what diabetes looks like in our house!

May 18, 2012

What "they" should know...Day 5

Diabetes Blog Week continues with: "What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”. I am allowed to do more than one so of course I will!! After all, how can you name just one?!

1. My kids pancreas is busted...won't's a dead organ! 

2. Yes, my kids is skinny AND has diabetes. (refer to #1)

3. Yes, my kid is healthy AND has diabetes. (refer to #1)

4. Yes, my kid can eat ANYTHING she wants (except cookies...made with poison).

5. No, I did NOT force feed my kid sugar and cause her diabetes. (refer to #1)

6. Your poor dog has diabetes?? Then you absolutely know exactly what I go through!! NOT! 

7. Insulin is NOT a cure it's what keeps her alive! (refer to #1)

8. Diabetes is LIFE threatening! I'm so sorry you were up all night with a colic-y baby but I was up forcing my child to drink apple juice, in her sleep, because her blood sugar was 35 and oh, I basically saved her life but yea, your baby has colic. That sucks...

9. The ginger root or moss growing on the east facing tree trunk in some god forsaken island will NOT cure my kid from diabetes. (refer to #1)

10. I'm sorry that your uncle twice removed had both legs amputated because of his diabetes complications when he was 85 years old...and thank you for your vivid description of what his stumps look like in front of my diabetic daughter...would you like to pay for her therapy now?

11. You could NEVER stick your child with a syringe?? uh, yes you could if you had too (refer to #6)

12. Your kid has a cold? I'm sorry. When my kids is sick, vomiting, has ketones & blood sugar spiking we call that a trip to the ER. 

13. Have you ever had to count your kids breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack carbs, SWAG a birthday cupcake or factor in activity level before/after you give your kid their life saving medicine? Oh, yeah, your kid can just eat without a carb count care in the world! 

I know you have your faves too!! What are they? Your turn!! 

May 17, 2012

Fantasy Diabetes Device...Day 4

This is a tough one. What about a clone of me so that when I'm tired Clone-Jen could just take over...especially for the over night insulin alarms!!, MY clone would be so  much cuter than Zombie mom!!

She could also do the grocery shopping, lunch packing, carb counting and the laundry but I guess that's not gonna happen. We've got a better chance of finding a cure than me having Clone-Jen!! (which is a good thing!)

So, I guess I'll go with a more accurate CGM with a less invasive needle. It would be so wonderful to fully rely on the CGM so that we could use to administer or treat blood sugars. Don't get me wrong. I totally LOVE the CGM. I don't feel comfortable without her wearing it, nor does she. I just wish it was spot on. The less invasive needle is out there. Europe has I'm waiting and waiting and waiting for like 2 or 3 years now!! Every so often my daughter will ask, "Mom, is it out yet?" Nope...not yet! 

Thing is technology is awesome!! We are just so used to pointing and clicking or for that matter just touching a screen and getting info in .005 seconds and it seems like our diabetes stuff is just slightly lacking. I know it will get there. In just the past almost 7 years we've been dealing with D the improvements have come along! 

Wait...a thought just came to me...I'd love a little tracking device on her so that I know where she's at and what her blood sugar is without even being with her!! GENIUS!! Now just talking her into it could be an issue...mild sedative, pop it in under her skin and tracking device is on ...oops!! Think I just said that out loud!! No bother!! 

So I'll stop my rambling and go with a CGM integrated tracking device as my Fantasy Diabetes Device! 

May 16, 2012

One Thing to 3

Only one? Are you serious? Uh, I could improve EVERYTHING but then that would negate my post yesterday!! So, I'll say (and I'm sure that my daughter would agree)


And technically I don't consider it nagging because I truly care about her and what her blood sugar is. I mean, it is her LIFE we are talking about here. But I get a lot of "MOM-UH!!" (insert pre-teen attitude here). Here lately I can't tell if it's the hormones or the blood sugar. I have to take a breath and ask her, "Nora, what is your blood sugar?" (insert hyper-psycho mom voice here) and her reply, "It doesn't always have to be about DIABETES!!!" As she stomps out of the room!!

No, it doesn't...

                  but it usually is...


So I try to be as upbeat as possible and kinda throw in a "hey, can you take your blood sugar for me" before she gets too much attitude and I'm considered nagging!! For the record...if she would listen to me the first time I ask her to take her blood sugar and she told me; I wouldn't have to ask again!! But, try telling that to her!!

I'm still nagging!! 

May 15, 2012

One Great 2

Today I am to share with you ONE GREAT THING, the one great thing, diabetes related that we (Nora and I) do well. We check all the time, we do nothing wrong and Nora's numbers are perfect!
...bahahahaahaa!! You all know that's a lie!! Okay, okay, seriously, THE one thing that we do well is


I could talk about diabetes to anybody, anytime of day, anywhere (good thing I blog!!) and I LOVE meeting newly dx'd families. I get excited...yes, it's sick I know, but I want to take them in like a lost puppy and give them ALL of my seven years of knowledge in one conversation. At first it's a lot of listening and just letting them know you get it!

One of the first things I let them know is NOT to beat themselves up over numbers. Everyday the same food could eaten, bolus the exact same way and you'll have two totally different outcomes.

There is a learning curve and we still to this day keep learning! Yep, you read that right...we are STILL learning!!  D will throw MULTIPLE curve balls but
                                  just keep at it!! 

So I check in on them through calls, text, email and send note cards just letting them know I'm thinking about them. If they ever need anything I'm a call away!

Nora is the same with the kids. Every time a classmate is dx'd (unfortunately it's increasing) she tells them what they need to get for their pump, tricks for keeping sites on during the hot days, suggestions on site changes for less pain, snacks for lows and  looks out for them when she sees them in the hall or at the nurses office, makes them feel welcome to this new world.

I've noticed D kids just kinda form this bond. It's unspoken...they just get each other...
        no explanations
                                                 ...nothing. They are bonded for life! They don't even talk about diabetes. It's understood. They can just be kids, who just happen to have D.

I'll take these friendships and bonds over perfect numbers any day...(well, most days!) We are too busy living instead of achieving the perfect A1C.

I'm raising kids NOT diabetes! 

That's why we love to mentor...besides, who wants a perfect mentor??!!

May 14, 2012

Six Months...a birthday and a countdown!

Today is a BIG day!! We, as in BHS, turn 6 Months old!! It has been wonderful sharing with you, all things diabetes, these past few months. We've grown so much so quickly and it's all because of YOU!! Spreading the Blue Heel love in your community and throughout the DOC! We are blessed to have you all!!'s the countdown to World Diabetes Day 2012!! I encourage you to start thinking of events to have,  to turn all things blue in your community 11/14/12!! So, in honor of WDD we would like you to continue the sentence...
"Dear Diabetes,"

I will be sharing my "Dear Diabetes" letter this week with you. If you feel compelled to share please send us an EMAIL or PM on our Facebook page and we can feature your letter in our blog posts (anonymously too if you wish). We realize these will be very personal but thought it would be good therapy to just lay it all out and tell Diabetes just how you feel WITHOUT judgment!

 And who gets it more than the DOC??

I know, speaking for myself, that even though I have a VERY supportive spouse and family that sometimes I can't say how I feel. I'm too busy functioning.

When's the next pump site change, next calibration, how many carbs are in that...etc.

I just want to say it (or scream, cry or rejoice...yes, rejoice) and I don't want a pat on the back or an "oh, I'm sorry it'll get better". I just want to vent and move on...


just say what I need to say and get it off my chest! Just writing it out, even on paper, and then crunching it into a ball and setting it on fire is freeing enough!! BUT...if you want to share please feel free to do so. 

One, you might feel better and two, you might just make an impact on someone out there that needs to know they aren't alone!

"Free your mind...and the rest will follow...
(yep. En Vogue...sorry, it was in my head for some reason!!)

May 13, 2012

Day 1 - Diabetes Blog Week

This week we are participating in Diabetes Blog Week!! Today's post is Find a Friend! I will be sharing my top must read blogs that you may or may not have heard of. I just know that when these blogs pop up in my email I stop what I'm doing and read them...I even save them and read them later in the day when I can soak it all in without children prancing about me! Also, we have a listing of featured blogs to the bottom right of your screen and even have some of these bloggers as featured guests right here on our Blue Heel Society blog page!

I need to give you some background first. Now, my daughter, Nora was dx'd in 2005, she was 4. We were instantly hooked up to a wonderful diabetes support group in our area that met once a month. So it wasn't until a few years ago via facebook that I learned about all the great diabetes blogs out there. The DOC is truly a great resource!! OH...and I'm just being honest here....I wish I had time to read all the diabetes blogs out there...I just don't. I'm a mom of three active kids spanning in ages 17, 11 and 4. Dealing with not only T1D but also a bleeding disorder that my son has. I'm lucky I get a moments peace to write like I do! I WILL be reading today's blog from other bloggers to see just whom I missing out on!! AND of course, if you have any faves you think I should be reading please share!!

Anyway, here are my top MUST reads, in no particular order...

Hallie Addington from (Just a side note, I've have the privilege of calling Ms. Hallie my friend; she happens to be a local fellow D Momma and I just love her truth and honesty!)

Meri Schuhmacher from (She is a Mom to 4 boys; 3 of which have T1D...that right there was enough to make me want to read!)

Lizmarie Collazo from (Lizmarie is a wonderful person who has T2. Talk about misconceptions with diabetes...there are as many with T1 as T2 and through her I've learned so much!!)

Richard Vaughn  from (He has lived with T1 for 64 years and he's got a medal to prove it!! He is a wealth of knowledge! He is also very passionate and helpful for other diabetics. He is just an awesome guy!)

There you have it! My Must Reads!! I hope you have a chance to check these out if you don't already!

May 11, 2012

Don't Quit

That's not even in my vocabulary...if your a PWD or parent/caregiver of a PWD it's not in yours either. We can't quit!! Not an option...but on those days when blood sugars are high, or low, multiple site changes are done, CGM decides to crap out in the middle of the night (like just last night!!!grrr!!), and/or you've gotten up for what seems the 1,000th time; this little poem pops into my head...Don't Quit. I learned it years ago when I was in 4th grade. Our teacher, Mrs. Soldo, made us memorize it!! No lie!! I do remember most of it from memory but I found it on a wallet sized card a few years ago and carry it with me always. So I'd like to share it with you, my Bluetiful friends!!

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, 
When the road your trudging, seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high, 
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out,
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow. 

Success is failure turned inside out ,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seem so far,
So stick to the right when your hardest hit,
It's when things seem worse,
that you must not quit.
(author unknown)


A1C's, blood sugars, basal rates...these things will fluctuate and without all know it!! Sometimes we get down or frustrated with D and making changes. But after you do make those changes and you tweak little things and you see a flat line on the pump screen that shows you/your kid is in range...don't you feel triumphant?!?! So stick with it!! Don't beat yourself up and most importantly....


May 9, 2012

WW: a BLUE circle of Hope and Love!

I love this photo! I snapped this at the Cheers to Art fundraiser we did. (In case you missed it you can read about it here.) It was a great night full of hope, love and BLUE shoes!!

Feeling BLUE at the News

It is with GREAT sadness that we received a notice from Alexis late tonight announcing her intention of stepping aside from the operations of The Blue Heel Society.  Her schedule with other projects and diabetes related causes, along with her personal commitment to her entire family has forced Alexis to re-evaluate her priorities.  We admire those selfless values.

Alexis is a tremendous, passionate advocate, and very active in the DOC.  We appreciate, beyond words, the time she had devoted to building The Blue Heel Society, especially in the early months.

We here at The Blue Heel Society would like thank Alexis, from the bottom of our hearts, for the tremendous and Bluetiful job she has done for us.  All of us here are in her debt, better people for knowing her, and wish her all the success and good fortune that she deserves in the future.

You can visit Alexis at her own blog entitled Justice's Misbehaving Pancreas, or look for guest posts from her to be posted here from time to time.

Thanks again Alexis!!

May 7, 2012

Guest Post: Diabetic Sister Life: Alone

Welcome to a new Guest blogger for Blue Heel Society, Evelyn Loving, the Daughter of our very own Chief Content Officer, Jen. She is a Senior at McNicholas High School and will be graduating in just 2 weeks!! Evelyn has a soft heart for kids, especially her brother and sister that both have medical issues. She puts up with a lot, asks little in return and offers her insight, as a sister of a diabetic. As a parent if you've ever wondered how your kids without D is Evelyn's perspective:


Don't you hate it when you are alone? When you are the only on sitting at a table during lunch and no one is talking to you? Or when you are in class and everyone is in their little circle and you're left by yourself? Yeah, it straight up sucks. This is sometimes how I feel with my family. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my family! I really do, but sometimes I do feel like that girl at the lunch table by herself. Even though I am a pre-diabetic I still don't get the attention that I want. I'm not saying that I want 100% of attention, but I know that my family does love me and cares for me its just hard because I do have Jackson with a medical problem, and of course my sister.

My mom does A LOT for diabetes and A LOT for my sister, which is great! She is "Super Mom" haha. But no one really sees what I do. There was this one time where my mom told me a story about this little girl who died because her parents didn't hear her pump going off. Ever since she told me that story, I now sleep in the same room as my sister. Even when I have friends come and spend the night I do still stay in the same room as her. I worry about her 24/7.

There is never a time when I am not thinking about her or what she is doing or what her blood sugar is. It is something that I do stress about if I'm not with her, and not everyone sees that. I just want people to know that any sickness or anything can really change another person's life. And also even though I don't get the attention that I want, I still know that my parents love me, and that they really do care about me. They would do ANYTHING for me. Just don't forget to show love to others even if they don't have diabetes or any sickness. We want to feel loved too!

May 4, 2012

Cheers to Art!!

We have been walking for JDRF's Walk to Cure since 2005!! Nora was dx'd in June and by the fall we were up and walking. We had always done the letter writing campaign and it worked but it grows so tiresome. I brainstorm every year to find different ways to do fundraisers and hit up people in our community instead of just family and friends. (Which I still do!!) So this year we tried something different! We tried Cheers to Art! This is a neat art studio that has step by step demonstrations to paint your own work of art. I sounds scary for those of you who can't even draw stick figures...BUT...Jill, the owner, is soo good and breaks it down so that everyone is an artist! Cheers to Art has a calendar of events but will special design a canvas for your cause. Of course I HAVE to have us paint Blue Heels!!! I gave her some ideas of shoes, circles and blue. And this is what she came up with:

Cheers to Art JDRF Fundraiser! 

The Blue Heels for diabetes awareness and then the pearls represent the circle that is the universal symbol of diabetes. (Think WDD logo!) Now, the cool thing is that you can make your canvas any color you want. So some people chose black shoes, red shoes, green shoes and pink shoes. Jill guided us in how to set the painting up and then you can make it yours. I gave my little diabetes speech at the beginning of the session and thanked the people for coming out. The session was open to the public so I only knew about half of the people registered for that evening. So they came out to either support the cause OR paint a really cool canvas OR both!! 

Here are the canvases that my girls and I came up with:

See what I mean about different interpretations?

Here is the canvas my sister did: 

This is the one my Mom did:

My Mom's canvas tells a story. She said the broken necklace represents Nora's broken pancreas and the blue marks left from the heel represent all the bumps (highs/lows) that Nora has had with diabetes. <3 it!! 

We had a great time! They have a bar and music playing and we all just sang along, drank and painted! At the end of the session I had a young adult come up to me and tell me she was dx'd at the age of 3. That she had always wanted to come to a painting session with her friend and once her friend saw the calendar of events and saw it was JDRF night she KNEW this was the perfect night to attend. Another young woman came up to me and let me know her Dad was Type 1 and dx'd in his 20's and that he is pumping too! I always LOVE meeting adult Type 1's or anyone with a direct connection! 

It was a successful fundraiser...we raised $330 that night and had a BLAST!! So, in closing, as walk season gears up for all the major diabetes organizations; what are your fundraising ideas? What is something new you might try? I encourage you to try new things! Challenge yourself to reach out in your community to raise awareness and funds for YOUR diabetes organization. 

A great big THANK YOU to Jill Carroll, owner of Cheers to Art, for allowing us to come in and Paint for a Cure!! 

May 2, 2012

Going to be a Bluetiful Month of May!

HOLD THE PRESSES...Our very own CEO/Co-Founder Tony Cervati was nominated & selected as the International Diabetes Federation’s (IDF)  World Diabetes Day (WDD) Hero Of The Week. According to the IDF Website   “A WDD Hero is someone that is active in promoting the diabetes cause or that is engaging, motivating and leading others to take steps toward creating healthier lives.”  We are are just tickled BLUE for Tony!

The Month of May is going to be one our BIGGEST yet, as we bring our message & mission to the next level in true grassroots fashion by opening up the Application process for BHS Chapter Luminaries. ANYONE can apply to be considered as a Chapter Luminary & we invite you to be an extension of the BHS in your Community by using the BHS Chapter Luminary Application Tab at the top of our Blog. And...

Without further adoo, we are very happy to welcome you to our NEW Shoebox Tab where you can find MS-Word & PDF Files for download so you can preview the short Application in advance of submitting the final Application online. We will be updating the Shoebox often so make sure and check back!

We are VERY excited to announce that during May we will also be featuring some VERY special Guest Bloggers...Young and old, with and without diabetes, and awe inspiring in their own special way. If you would like to inquire about being a Guest blogger for May you can contact us via email on Facebook or Twitter.

As we also celebrate our Six Month (We feel so much older!) Birthday in May, we also reach the six month point before World Diabetes Day (WDD) in November. To celebrate this halfway point we will be asking for you to write ‘A Letter to Diabetes’, and consider sharing it with us , so we may select some of our favorites with all. There will be more information forthcoming on ‘A Letter to Diabetes’  very soon.

These are just some of the things planned, so hang on to your [BLUE] Boots...It’s going to be a BLUETIFUL Month!

-The Blue Heel Society Team