Jun 28, 2012

3 Cyclists...one mission

Today I went to a JDRF, Sanofi, Team Type 1 Event. This event featured three women cyclists, Rebecca Schepps, Morgan Patton and Mandy Marquardt. ALL have Type 1 diabetes. Each one had been diagnosed at different times in their lives. It was neat to hear each of their stories, how they have dealt with life as a diabetic and how they deal with diabetes as competitive cyclists. The interesting part was how their blood sugars would run before/during/after their race.

 I've seen it in my girls how D can be different. Realizing that is half the battle. In fact I had to tell Evy, if I take a minute to reply to how much insulin you should get for something it's not because I don't know...it's because I have to retrain my brain for a moment. I know, lets say, what ice cream does to Nora's blood sugar but I'm not quite sure what it does to hers yet.

Morgan Patton was one that I found most interesting. She was diagnosed at 7 years old and went through the teen diabetes burnout. She wouldn't test, take insulin or go to Endo appointments. By the time her parents figured all that out her A1C was off the chart! She was put on an insulin  pump and still struggled but found a love of cycling and realized that she was starting to feel better from the constant flow of insulin entering her body. She was able to turn her diabetic life around!

I guess she really spoke to me because of the whole burnout thing. I pray we don't go through that with Nora. I'm starting to see a little of it. She doesn't remember to test when she should. She will clear out CGM alerts and not tell me. Or I get a "oh, yeah, Mom, my CGM said ___" hours after its happened! GRRR! But then she gets anal about testing at times. Especially at night or when she is really high and feeling like crud.

It's also interesting that some of the ladies received a "don't let D stop you" diagnosis while others received  the "death sentence" diagnosis. But all of them chose to not let having diabetes stop them. That actually exercising makes them feel better. Keeping their blood sugar levels in check, competing better with faster times and reaching their personal best. 

I am so glad that I was able to attend. Unfortunately my diabetic daughters couldn't make it. As one was working and the other was at gymnastics practice. I thought about skipping those things and having them go with me but the whole purpose of the event was to inspire others and let people know that you can achieve or do anything even as a Type 1 diabetic. And that's what my girls were doing...not letting diabetes stop them from doing something!

You can read more about Team Type 1 here. If you get a chance to meet these inspiring people I hope you'll take it or at least check out what cities they will be racing in and go cheer them on!

Jun 26, 2012


If your a parent you've experienced heartbreak.

Whether you have a D child or children you've felt it.

The first time you discipline them and they get it.

The first time you hurt their feelings.

The first time they have their feelings hurt by a friend.

The first time they get dumped by a boyfriend.

The time your child is diagnosed with Diabetes.

You have all read how we in the Loving family dealt with diabetes from day one. We carried on like we did before D. You all know that Nora was diagnosed at 4 years old. So we totally set the tone for how to handle people's reactions to Nora having diabetes.

One of my favorite stories is one my hubby tells. He had taken Nora to the Mall one Saturday. Not sure where Evy and I were but we weren't there. Anyway....it's lunch time and Joe takes her to the food court to eat. They eat. He figures out her insulin dose. Draws up the syringe and gets an ugly look from a stranger sitting next to them. To which Joe replies, "In our family, we prefer to free base at the Mall". Well imagine the even bigger shock this person displays at Joe's statement. He then goes on to tell this person that Nora is a Type 1 Diabetic. I still giggle to this day every time I think about it!!

But all kidding aside she's been able to grow up in a home that educates and accepts. So when she goes out today and people are looking at her either she doesn't realize it because it's always just been there or she is so over it that it's a non issue. All her friends are super accepting. They even fight over who gets to walk her to the Nurse's office at school. It got so bad I had to email the teachers and tell them she is able to walk to the Nurse's office by herself. She was stressing out about who she should pick!

Compare this to Evy. Even though she has grown up with her sister having D it's just always been in the background. It's never been about D and her. So when I get a text from her the other day and she is upset because it was suggested that she go to the bathroom to give herself a shot instead of doing it in front of her peers...my heart breaks. It broke into a million pieces. I "talked" her through it. Come to f ind out that the suggestion was made and taken the wrong way and things were back to normal and all was forgiven. But I still wanted to punch them for making her upset.

It got me thinking. Two things really.

1. Evy's friends are not yet accepting. Sure Nora's friends have been around it for the past 7 years. They are used to it. Evy's aren't. They are learning right along with her. So I need to give them some grace. Grace to accept the Evy with D. That she isn't different. She just has diabetes. She's the same girl: crazy, fun-loving and outgoing. She just needs to take her blood sugar and give herself injections.

2.Will we by pass this situation with Nora? Because she's had it for so long is it now a non-issue? What about boyfriends? Will they be accepting or will it then become an issue? I hadn't really thought about it until I got Evy's text.

It's been interesting sort of comparing the girls. Not that there is really an comparing the situations. Since Evy has graduated she's already lost some friends. I guess they are all trying to break free since a good lot of them are going away. But one would think they would have at least checked on her since her diagnosis. Makes you wonder...but then they are self obsessed teenagers who can't wait to move on. So do I blame them? They know Nora has it and its "no big deal" so maybe that's why. Or maybe it's late, I'm tired and over thinking things...maybe.

I just know it hurts more because Evy is aware of it and it hurts her. Where as with Nora she's grown up with it so there isn't that hurt of seeing how friends treat her differently after a diagnosis. It's been interesting to say the least. Nora has grown up with us telling her she can do anything, diabetes doesn't define you, diabetes doesn't have you, YOU have diabetes. We've been toughening her up...giving her a steel heart with some gentleness. To still be caring, kind and accepting but not taking crap from others in regards to her diabetes specifically. Where as Evy has the kindest heart with a little steel. Her sister having D and her brother with hemophilia has given her a kind heart to others and accepting nature to people with all disabilities. But she's never had to overcome the adversity of having a disability. (For the record, I don't even like using the word disability and diabetes together...but for sake of writing I will use the word and grumble as I use it!) And I think that having to overcome that adversity it gives you a steel heart, if you will. So now begins my teaching to Evy...Diabetes doesn't have you, YOU have diabetes!!

Now to super glue the pieces of my broken heart so that if it happens again it will be harder to break.

Jun 25, 2012

Guest post - "Fear of more [Children]"

Guest post by Katrina Huckabay 
Posted (with permission) from her Blog
So you have a child diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, where does which leave you with wanting future children? Do you go on with family planning and hope for the best? Do you not have any more children, and be blessed with the 1 that you have? What if your child already has siblings, do we as parents overreact to normal, kid like symptoms, because we are always in high alert for the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes? 

For me, this was a particularly hard subject to face. I had my daughter at the young age of 20 years old, and then we got the diabetes diagnosis when she was 2.5 years old, I was 22. This threw my already crazy world into an even crazier roller coaster. We embraced the diagnosis though, and have ran with it ever since, doing all we can to help educate other families and the general community about Type 1 Diabetes. It made me slow down and think about any future children that my husband and I may choose to have. I knew that I wanted Aly to have at least 1 sibling, I always knew that I wanted 2 children, but Aly’s diagnosis really made me reconsider this “want”, because I did not know if I could deal with another child’s diagnosis. It took us 5 years to finally make the decision that we will leave it in God’s hands, if he had it in my deck of cards to be the mother of more than 1 diabetic child, then bring it!! I CAN DO THIS!!! 

My son is now 2.5 years old, the same age Aly was when she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and the emotions that surround Joel being 2.5 hit me more than I ever thought it would. I look at him, and remember my little princess being SO sick, frail, and all the other crap that goes along with a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes, but also praying to God that we do not get another diagnosis. I know many parents out there in the D.O.C. who have multiple children diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and they manage to do it every day and kick diabetes tooshie.  I fear every time that he drinks more than he normally does, every time he may pee more often than usual, when he doesn’t want to eat, I pretty much fear all the time, of my son having to be on this crazy roller coaster ride that his strong bigger sister is on. I know that we would rock it just like we do daily with Aly, but selfishly for him and I, I do not want to deal with diabetes anymore than I already do.
We had Joel tested in November 2011 with the Trial Net study, and thank the Lord it came back negative, but he will continue to be tested yearly as we all know that the antibodies can show up at any time. I truly believe that we will be watched over, and just continue to take each day for the blessing that it is with Joel not being diagnosed, and should that day ever come (fingers crossed it never does) we will do the same thing as we did with Aly, and roll with it. 

I do have to say that the D.O.C. has been a life saver while making the decision to continue with family planning, and having more children. It was amazing to see these other families that had 2-5 children all diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and them managing just like the rest of the diabetes community. They helped me realize that I could do it too, and that Aly’s life would be even more blessed because she will always have her brother right there to back her up, catch her when she falls, and help her fight kicking diabetes tooshie!!

I advise any and all of you, that if you have not found the diabetes community to do so! You can contact me at our websitewww.hopeforaly.weebly.com and I can get you in contact with thousands of other parents, people with diabetes, caregivers around the world. You can also get in touch with the Blue Heel Society http://blueheelsociety.org and they will gladly take your hand and walk you through this journey as well.

Just don’t forget to remember that “I CAN DO THIS!!”

Jun 20, 2012

It's a matter of...


Yep, Evelyn is at her first sleep over since diagnosis. It feels completely different than if say, Nora, was at a sleep over. I'm a little worried. She takes her Lantus shot at 11pm. And someone other than herself gives her this shot. It hurts. She yelps. Then it's over. Thing is. Her friend doesn't like shots. Although she told her she would try it. A little comfort is that her Dad is a Neurologist. So at least he could inject her if her friend can't do it. But I'm waiting by my phone until 11pm to make sure I don't need to run out and give it to her. Which I gladly would do!

Even as I'm sitting here writing this it seems so foreign. Would I ever just let Nora and her friend try to figure out who would be administering her Lantus shot? Hell NO!! But of course Nora is 11. Evelyn is 18. If Nora was spending the night I would be a nervous wreck (not so much with a new pump site and fresh CGM sensor) but I would be sleeping with my phone in my hand just in case. Making sure she calls at Midnight to check in. Calling the first thing in the morning BEFORE she eats breakfast. Getting super pissed because she doesn't have her phone glued to her hand so I can text her and make sure she is okay. I do give Nora some freedom. She is 11. She's had D for 7 years. She is responsible. She does have a pump and CGM. But she is soooo up and down. And especially now that hormones are running a muck!

But with Evelyn I a little more laid back. In fact I scare myself with how laid back I am. She is honeymooning so her numbers aren't all wack a doodle. Maybe I'm laid back because she knows what she needs to do. She's seen her sister doing it for 7 years. The only thing she is struggling with is writing in her log book. I'm no better. When you have Nora on the pump there is no need to write anything down. It's all stored in the pump. If this is the only area that needs improvement, I'll take it! She has taken to her role as SELF caregiver. I'm sure it's because she has helped her sister and that is definitely an advantage. She won't share her food. She measures out her portions at home. She even measured out her Cheerios and put them in a baggie to take to her friends house. I'm telling you she is not a normal teenager. Never has been!! She has taken to this role wonderfully and I am one proud Momma.

Now, I gotta run and make sure she gets her Lantus shot!!

Jun 18, 2012

The Blue Heel Society announces the addition of Celebrity Chef Charles Mattocks to the Menu

 Celebrity Chef and Diabetic Activist, Author and Director Charles Mattocks has been seen on Dr. Oz, Good Morning America, CNN, TODAY, Martha Stewart, just to name a few.

The Blue Heel Society is pleased to announce a new collaboration with Chef Charles Mattocks a.k.a. “The Poor Chef”. Mr. Mattocks is well known for his frugal, fast recipes, but the author of ‘Eat Cheap but Eat Well’ (Wiley, 2009) has recently adopted another agenda — cooking when you have diabetes. Diagnosed in November 2011, Chef Mattocks brings the unique perspective of his culinary expertise, both before and after being diagnosed.

"What can you cook for $7?" has taken the country by storm. His meals are healthy, cost-effective and delicious. The inspiration behind this concept was his son, Armani. After moving from California to raise his son, Charles was desperate to find ways to feed him healthy and affordable meals. Together they created "The Poor Chef" and set out to change the way people eat. The idea was to see real people preparing real, healthy meals for $7 or less. Charles is very passionate about diabetes and his mission to help others, which is visible in his work, and influenced by someone that is no stranger to sharing & spreading love. 

As the Nephew of the legendary king of Reggae Bob Marley, Charles was recently asked what impact his Uncle had on his career “I met him twice before he died. He inspired me to do something big. Here was a guy who had come out of nowhere to make a huge difference. I realized I had some of him in me, and he showed me that success was attainable.”

Charles' love for healthy food fueled his passion for health and wellness. Charles aims to educate people on how to buy great food for the family without breaking the budget. He has a new line of sugar-free chocolate called the Charles Bar, a documentary based on his life with diabetes in the works, a kids' book, and diabetic cookbook coming soon. Charles recently produced a television show that is set to air entitled The Diabetic You, all aimed at promoting health and wellness. Charles has teamed up with the USDA Pyramid program, a proponent of early education, teaching children to eat and shop for healthy foods.

Along with Charles contributions as the resident Chef & Contributor on all items food/nutrition, there will be a Guest Blog post from time to time, an "Ask the Chef" feature, featured Recipes, Recipe contests, Recipes D’Carbed (Favorite recipes converted to low carb), Tips/Tricks, and many other inspiring talents Charles brings to the table (Chef humor!) too numerous to mention. Chef Mattocks may even award a “Charles Bar” to our weekly Facebook Top Fan and/or Fan Of The Week, to award our peeps for a job ‘well done’.

Charles Mattocks Productions, LLC
Nina B. O'Neill,
Executive Director of Branding and Corporate Marketing Relations

Jun 16, 2012

What would we ever do without...


I'm not even talking about diabetic technology...shocking isn't it!? Can't believe I'm NOT talking about something that doesn't have to do with pumps, CGM's or blood glucose meters. I'm talking about iPod technology! Yea, yea...iPod's are great but let me tell you why I'm super excited today about iPod's.

Nora has this friend of hers who happens to be her age and also has diabetes. I met her lovely mum on a diabetic facebook group. She had posted a pic of her daughter and I knew that our daughter's would be instant friends, diabetic Pen Pals! Oh, and did I mention she lives in Canada and we live in Southern Ohio? No chance for a meet up anytime soon.

So, they traded e-mail address and eventually started iMessaging and then today they had Facetime!! For those who don't know what that is it's like Skype for iPod's. They can have a conversation while looking at each other. Soooo Cool!!! They chatted for what seemed like forever, took a break for dinner and then chatted again!

I'm just amazed (and really I shouldn't be) at how far technology has come and something so simple...the iPod, has turned into something amazing and therapeutic for my daughter. (Now, before someone goes all crazy on me, we have known stipulations on usage and she knows its a privilege NOT a right to use her iPod. We control settings etc and have an open conversation about contacts and whom she is allowed to talk with and whom she isn't. I'm not a perfect parent, nor am I naive but trust has to start somewhere. This is the end of my PSA!)

Back to my excitement!

 Snail mail is great (who doesn't love getting a special card in the mail), e-mails are great too but the fact that my daughter can talk to and see her girlfriend in the same room whose hundreds of miles away is pretty darn cool!! So today D can stick it  because technology wins and D friends can talk, share and be SEEN!!


Jun 13, 2012

Happy LIVE-A-versary!

Today is my Sweet Nora's 7 year anniversary with T1D! 

Oh, and yes, you read that title correctly ... LIVE-A-verary!!

We never really have celebrated her diagnosis date but in light of Evelyn's new diagnosis I thought we should celebrate. I'm not even for sure where I saw someone mention Live-a-versary, although I'm 99.9% sure it was from Facebook. I believe it was a Facebook friends child's diaversary and as people were commenting on the post someone mentioned they call it LIVE-a-versary because it is just that...LIVING!! So by the grace of God, a million vials of insulin and some wonderful Nurses and Endo's along the way, we have managed to keep Miss. Nora alive for 7 years with T1D!! No easy feat as many of you all know too well!

As I was telling Nora it is her live-a-versary today she replied with a "uh, not really a reason to celebrate, Mom-UH!" To which I say, "oh, yes it is!! We've kept you alive for 7 years! Years ago Type 1 would've been a death sentence...people didn't live past a couple months of diagnosis. Thanks to Sir Banting and his wonderful insulin invention you can live a loooong life!" I even told her we could buy her a cookie cake to celebrate! Of course, then, she was all for celebrating!

And yes, I find it horribly ironic that both my girls were diagnosed within days of each other but 7 years apart. I've always been kind of fond of June...school's out, summer's starting, Evy's birth month and now...I kind of hate June. But I'll save that for a blog post some other day!!

Today we eat cookie cake with LOTS of icing!! 

Happy 7 year LIVE-A-versary Nora!! 
We love you!! 

6-13-2005 Nora age 4  1/2

Jun 8, 2012

One Week In

Hey everybody! I've missed you guys...I mean, I've been here but not HERE! I feel like I'm in this crazy dream...one that I knew was going to come but can't believe it's here AND we are living it. In case you've missed what happened you can read all about it here.

So we are...one week in. And Evelyn is doing well. We all are. She worked her shift at Hallmark. Checked her blood sugars, fixed herself lunch, gave herself shots and survived a day without Mom or Dad.

She had her first low, 65, and didn't even feel it. I just so happened to be up checking Nora, because her pump was alerting to a low. Evelyn still had an hour before we had to check but since we were both up she went ahead and checked. 65!!! "Don't you feel low?!?!" She said she was just tired!! UGH!! So at 2am I've got my two girls sucking down Juicy Juice!! That's our new normal (as if we were normal before!!) 

Evelyn turned 18 this week. Had a birthday lunch with her girlfriends at O'Charley's. She figured out her carbs with me over the phone. Even got a free birthday Brownie!! It was listed in the Calorie King app but she double checked with the waitress to make sure of what the carb count was and the waitress KNEW!! Shocked! She made it through her birthday dinner date with her boyfriend at a Pizza place AND a Red's game, which included hot dog and ice cream!!

She has also showed her frustration. She gets tired of bolusing everytime she eats. She HATES her Lantus shot. It didn't seem to bother her too much the first couple of times but now she hollers about it while it's going in. She gets it and really, she has had a great attitude about it all. Accepting her knew life...with diabetes. I can't imagine how hard it would have been had she not known about diabetes because of what she has seen with her sister.

I've been humbled by her acceptance and her sensitivity to all of us. Evy gave her sister the sweetest card. She apologized for having diabetes and for taking some of the attention away from her. She wished that neither one of them had diabetes but she is glad that Nora can be there to help her. We got one too...she again apologized for adding stress into our lives and having to worry about her all the time now. Oh, and for always calling us to let us know what her blood sugar is and to double check her carb count. She wrote one for her grandparents, my Mom and Dad, and thanked them for always being there for her. Which is so true. Sometimes they even beat us to the hospital. They are there for us anytime for any reason!

It's a fine line when you have an 18 year old daughter just diagnosed with D. I don't want to smother her like I do her 11 year old sister. But at the same time I don't want her to feel like I don't care, I do but ultimately SHE is the one that is taking care of herself. I'm just over seeing it all. I want her to feel like all 18 year olds feel like...ADULTS. But she's my baby....with D. So I tread lightly. I'm there if and when she needs me and back off when she's "got it MOM!!" I'll learn the balance. It's just training for when Nora turns 18!!

One thing that I'm brought back to and I've not even shared this with my husband because I get all choked up when I go to tell him about it. One week ago, today, when the Endo on call comes in to see my sweet Evy. To tell us she's so sorry. There is sugar in her urine. That she knows her sister has diabetes too. Do you know what Evelyn says? "I'm blessed with a wonderful Mom and Dad who can take care of me and is always there for me. I know I'll be okay".

Blessed is right my sweet baby girl but WE are blessed by YOU!!

Jun 1, 2012

Blue Heel Society "Fan Of The Week' is Amanda Ortiz

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 Amanda Ortiz, and we asked Ms. Ortiz to answer a few questions as to learn a little more about her.

BHS: Connection w/ diabetes
AO: My brother has diabetes type 2, we lost a close family friend to type 1, and Andrew..

BHS: General geographic location
AO: Boston, MA

BHS: What blue shoe (Heel, sneaker, riding shoe, etc.) suits you & Why?
AO: I love my blue Nike Runnng sneakers and blue coach flip flops!!

BHS: What does advocacy mean to you?
AO: Speak up about a topic that is near and dear to my heart...Let the whole world know more about a certain cause (TYPE1RIDER)

BHS: Words of wisdom/encouraging statement/general statement about diabetes
AO: Diabetes sucks, plain and simple and we have to do what we can to find a cure for this horrible disease......

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