Nov 30, 2012

30 days in a whirlwind!! #NHBPM

Today is THE day...THE last day of National Diabetes Awareness Month and the last day of our 30 day blog challenge. Phew...I so love doing these challenges.

 For one, it forces me to sit down and write. It makes  me take the time to do it because it's so easy to just do it another day. But I didn't do it all. I had help this month with contributions from Thomas Moore. I love his take on things. It's nice to know that maybe, as caregivers, we are going through the same things OR going through different things and yet are there for each other and can learn from one another. And isn't that what we do in the DOC?

The second reason...topic ideas. Some days I struggle with how I want to approach the given topic, other days, I can't stop writing.

The third reason...I'm competitive...I HAVE to have all 30 days get outta jail (er, blog) free cards here. MUST POST!!

So this month has flown by. Between all the diabetes events, blogging, caring for diabetic kids, working, taking care of's just been crazy!! So the topic today is to recap the month and I will recap with a single word...WHIRLWIND!!!

I hope you have enjoyed reading our posts as much as I (and Thomas) have in writing our posts for you. And YOU are why we do what we do at Blue Heel Society. So thank you for reading, interacting, and joining our efforts to educate and advocate for ALL types of diabetes with one Blue Heel (or shoe) at a time.

Nov 29, 2012

Have I changed? ... #NHBPM Day 29

The National Health Blog Post Month is almost done!! I can't believe it!!

Today we are asked to share:

"How being a patient/caregiver has changed you."

Hmmm...I've always been a speak my mind type of gal. If I feel strongly enough about "x" then I will stand firm on my belief. It doesn't take much for me to get fired up about something...just ask my hubby! The difference kids. Momma Bear comes out in FULL force and will kill if needed...well, kill is a strong word but you get what I mean. Since I have been vocal and advocating for diabetes for Nora since 2004 it's been an easy transition when needing to be vocal and advocate for our son, Jackson, and his bleeding condition. This has set me up to now be vocal and advocate for Evelyn. Although, with Evelyn, it's a little different, being that she is 18. I think, if nothing else, she has seen me in that role and has been doing that for herself for a while in everything she does.

I will tell you that being vocal and advocating for your kids helps in ALL aspects of their health condition. It helps with talking with Doctor's, Nurse's, the dreaded Insurance, school, sports...just about everywhere. I know when someone is feeding me a line of BS and will call them out on it instead of listening to them and actually doing it. I have told Nurse's what is expected when they stick my son for his infusion...and I've told more than one Nurse that I allow then two tries to gain access to his vein and if they don't succeed then I may have to punch them. Ghastly! However, if it's your son getting stuck for IV access, you might say the exact same thing...maybe nicer. BUT those Nurse's know I mean business!!

It has changed me by speaking out about, educating, raising awareness and giving people a glimpse into our lives. And by people I mean you, your neighbor, the stranger down the street, the person in another country and yes, even talking to lawmakers. Pretty much I'll talk to anyone and if they learn something BONUS!!

I guess it's changed me by turning my getting fired up into getting fired up for a PURPOSE....MY KIDS!

Nov 28, 2012

Day 28 of the WEGO #NHBPM - "Trolls/Snakeoil /Bullies"

For Day 28 of the WEGO National Health Blog Post Month we are asked to 'Write about how you deal with mean comments / trolls / snakeoil / or bullies".

To be honest, this was a morning that started out BLAH, and I was having problems and drawing blanks for the above topic, Bonus topics and came *THAT* close to using one of our "Get out of posting FREE" days. Then it dawned on me (as dawn came upon me), that as I looked at the above topic it became very clear. It became ever so apparent that I just stumbled upon another reason why we love our BLUETIFUL peeps so much.

In the five or so years I have been involved with the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) I have seen SO MANY mean comments/Trolls/Snakeoil /Bullies that at times it made me wonder why I even try. Bickering between the masses is something that normally is just there in most every Community, online or in real life, and it bothers me still to this day.


I am still in amazement at this discovery that I just made today. I can honestly say that in the year & two weeks we have been in operation, I cannot remember a single instance that sticks out, where these distractions have been an issue.

My normal self would get obsessed trying to figure out and explain WHY this is. Instead, I am sticking with the "If it works don't fix it" theory. But I can explain the WHY part very easily.

We rarely talk directly about diabetes in our Blog post's, Facebook Fan Page, various guest post's we are asked to do, and interviews. We don't need to bring up WHY we are all gathered together under a united front, it is implied by our Message & Mission. We get enough about diabetes in our REAL LIFE, and our Community can be somewhat of a 'safe haven', an escape if you will, from the Diabetes Monster.

Another reason in my mind is that we embrace EVERYONE affected by diabetes...all Forms (Types), Caregivers, Parents, Siblings, diabetic or not.

Now we can't take all the credit, because without our Friends/Fans/Followers, this would not be the case. We are blessed with some of the most amazing people that truly understand that we do not have to be 'Debbie Downers' all day as that is counter-productive to why we are here, and the simplicity of wearing a Shoe of Blue is all it takes! We know the WHY part all too well...

Nov 27, 2012

Today Post 27...

"If I could go anywhere..."

This post I dedicate to my rock. The one person that has been there through everything for over 22 years. The one that has been there for EVERY diagnosis. Who has hugged me tight and dried my tears. Given me high fives when things go right. And has shown compassion and understanding when I need to vent about the injustices of having three kids with chronic illnesses.

                                                 My best friend. 

                                                  My husband. 

So as much as I would LOVE to say "If I could go anywhere"...I'd take the family to Disney World and leave the chronic conditions behind. I'm not. The one person that is there for me is the one person that gets the most neglected...(well, besides the dogs). I'm so busy helping the kids, running them here-there-everywhere, volunteering for activities, signing up for things, signing HIM up for things. There is no time for us. Well...if you include the 5 minutes of silence before our heads hit the pillow and we are dead asleep.

So..."if I could go anywhere" would be with my best friend, my hubby. And I'd like to throw in... to one of those island huts just off the ocean coast where the skies match the ocean in their majestic blue and the beach is white sand. There are no site changes to do, no fingers to prick, no IV's to give, no insurance calls/fights, no appointments to make, NOTHING!! But, I'll take a night out. doesn't even need to be fancy...we can go to Wendy's. Just being together, uninterrupted...would be heaven! Thank you Jojo, for all you do to support me and our family. <3

Nov 26, 2012

Interview with a Vampire...well, not really! ...Day 26 #NHBPM

Good Morning and welcome to day 26. Today I will interview "something" we, unfortunately, know all too well. "It" came 100% uninvited into all of our lives and yet we deal with "it" 24/7/365.

"It" is diabetes.

"Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and let me ask you a few questions."

"Sure. It's not like I'm going anywhere."

"So how do you pick your, ahem, victims, shall we say?"

"That's easy. I don't discriminate. I'll choose young, school age, heck, I'll even go out and get me an adult. I like showing up when no one is expecting me."

"Why do you show up? I mean, we don't really want you around."

"Ahh...don't care for me 'eh? Well...I figure people really don't have enough going on in their lives that I'll give them something to do. I hate to brag, but I'm anything but boring."

"That's for sure. On to the next question...why do you like to make it really hard during holidays, playdates, SLEEPING?"

"I work everyday, all day. I love my job and NEVER take a day off so why should you? By the way, sleeping is sooo over rated, don't cha think?" (chuckle)

"Uh, yea. Over rated...pfft. What are your favorite things to do, since you never take a day off?"

"My favorite things to do are really quite fun for me. You know when your diabetic eats all that food for lunch and you've weighed and calculated every carb and have them bolus perfectly for it? Yea, I like to play with them and make them high or low...depends on my mood and what they have planned for the day. I try to complicate things the best I can. Oh...and for added kicks that same lunch they eat the next day...I'll do the opposite to them. Oooh!! I love doing this because you caregivers get your panties all in a ruffle...too much fun!!" (giddy with excitement)

"Nice. Well you know, there are some amazing scientists after you. They are trying to cure our diabetics. So what will you do, let's say, when you retire? Although, I personally, would rather see you dead."

"Death!? I'm truly offended. That's awfully harsh."

"Well, ya know. There is no love here."

"Ouch! (chuckle) I don't plan on going anywhere. Those amazing scientists have been after me for years. They can't catch me. I've eluded them for so long..."

I interrupt...
"Dr. Banting stopped you from killing kids."

"Ah...yes. Dr. Banting. umm...that's rather a sore subject with me."

"I bet. With his discovery of insulin, diabetes was no longer a death sentence. In fact, diabetics can live a long and healthy life WITH insulin."

"...ah, yes...umm...I...uh...."

"What?! Insulin got your tongue?"

"well...I've gotta run...I've got lots to do today. Bye."

*I'm so sorry, as you see, Diabetes cut the conversation short. I think I'VE ruffled "it's" feathers. I had lots more to say to "it" but I wouldn't be able to air it...a few choice words, if you catch my drift. I hope you've enjoyed my interview. Have a great day.

Nov 25, 2012

Day 25 WEGO 'National Health Blog Post Month (#NHBPM)' Challenge

Day 25 of the WEGO Blog Challenge we are to write about "How have your goals as a Patient/Advocate/Person evolved?"

Most every aspect of my professional career in the Technology sector, especially early on as a Programmer, involved completely understanding every task  of any given business Model, in order to effectively transition those manual tasks, to an automated (Computer) one. If I didn't understand how something worked, including thought processes inherent, I couldn't write code.

So that day in 1992 when we went home with a diagnosis of [Type 2] diabetes, my first intuition was to learn as much as possible, so I could be the best Caregiver possible. 

Fast forward to about 2007, when along with a [new] different diagnosis of LADA, I also found the Diabetes Online Community (DOC). Cure Cure Cure Cure Cure. That's all I saw at first...everywhere. My job became simple right? I  knew the end game (Cure) was what I had to work towards. At that very moment, I transitioned into being an Advocate of everything having to do with the helping find the Cure. As I set out on my new journey, I quickly realized I would have ZERO chances of being the one to find the Cure, and the more noise I made about wanting the Cure, was time I could spend actually having an impact in how to positively live our life with diabetes, on a personal level.

That's when I transitioned from Advocate to PERSON. I couldn't do a darn thing to help find the Cure, there were thousands of Researchers spending TONS of money. I, as one person, couldn't touch that, but what I could do was advocate for the PERSON, the Diabetic, the Person With Diabetes...whatever you prefer to say, along with those whom are directly affected as well.

Diabetes is already invisible enough, and sadly many affected choose to live in silence. Those are the people we need to reach. Living silently with an invisible disease, is what we can change at the PERSON level.

Nov 24, 2012

"Real Housewives of the DOC" Post 24

Today's post is:

"Write a TV episode of your favorite show that features someone with diabetes. What do you want people to know?"

Now, don't judge, but I love me some Real Housewives of (insert ALL of them here)!! This is probably THE only show I watch with any regularity. Sad. I know. But sometimes it's nice to get lost in some mindless show. Don't be hating.

The twist is that we don't have on set hairstylists, a fashion line we are working on or a singing career (what's up with that?), vacations to Africa, endless shopping, or the time to be offended for something some other housewife has said about us. And if you do...please tell me your secret!! As I must be doing something wrong!!

So I will insert 5 D Mommas from your area of town. We aren't fully made up complete with false eyelashes.  As a matter of fact, it's a bonus that we have mascara on. Probably, due to the fact that we've been up all last night battling lows that our diabetic children have been having. We have been on the phone with the mail order pharmacy for 4 hours explaining to them that 300 test strips are NECESSARY to our child's care. And that our growing child MUST have 3 vials of insulin because they are taking in more carbs then the month before. We have been fighting with medical insurance to cover clinic appointments every 3 months and that we MUST have (insert medical device here) not because it looks cool but because it is medically necessary.

The cameras will follow us at every step. Checking BG at midnight, 3 am and 6pm. How a low was treated. With mass consumption of carbs because we want our babies blood sugar in range if not a tad bit higher so they will awake in the morning. The audience will see us at every Endo visit. Hear our every insurance, Dr and pharmacy call. They will also see how diabetes impacts the WHOLE family. How kids in the family who don't have diabetes feel less important because their D sib is getting ALL the attention. The camera will follow the D kids at school and on sports teams or hanging with their friends and see how some of these areas are a comfort for our D kids because they have supportive teaching staff, coaches and friends. But then some will see the D kids being treated as a bother to the classroom or sitting the bench because the coach is afraid to play them or friends that don't show compassion to them.

The audience will see every sigh of relief as we see our slumbering D child exhale and live another day. They will see every tear shed by parents who have fought for their child for school rights, insurance coverage, Dr appointments that don't go well or DO go well, or just from pure exhaustion and the fact that we can't take this awful disease away.

But we aren't a bunch of whiners either...

The audience will also see every triumph with every anniversary of diagnosis that the child made it through. With every good grade on a test that comes home because D played nice and your child was able to study and take the test because their blood sugar was in range. The basketball shot, the football snap, the soccer kicked in for a goal or personal records met and achieved even with diabetes. Most importantly, the audience will see the D kids as well, kids! Yes, they need to take blood sugars, take insulin, do site changes, test for ketones and  all that D related stuff. But I have found they are wise beyond their years. They value friendships. They advocate for themselves at school, in sports and even in front of Congress.They have a wonderful compassion for people with disabilities or diseases. They are sweet, caring and understanding.

I don't want audience pity. I want audience compassion and understanding. I want them to know it's NOT depressing or all "doom and gloom" everyday but it IS life changing.Diabetes DOES suck but it doesn't stop them from doing what they want OR from being a kid. find a film crew, hairstylist, personal chef and trainer and some more fabulous blue heels. Real Housewives of the DOC unite!!

*author's note: I MUST give credit where credit is due...this blog post was inspired by a conversation BHS had one day about a little idea Ms. Diane brought to us about the "Real Housewives of the DOC". It's been stuck in my head since then and I finally found an outlet for it!!*

Nov 23, 2012

Day 23 WEGO 'National Health Blog Post Month (#NHBPM)' Challenge

Day 23 of the WEGO Blog Challenge we are to write about "Something your doctor taught you or you taught your doctor?"

This topic is easy for me, as I spoke of something similar for Day 8 “The best doctor’s appointment”

Here's an excerpt and a portion of what transpired, talking about Diabetic Foot Ulcers & Neuropathy:

"What happens is over time, the foot naturally grows callous material especially in the one spot on the ball of the foot, under the big toe...kinda. When the callous becomes larger the body try's to fight
this by pushing the callous out. Underneath the callous not visible to the eye initially is a little wound, so when the callous material is removed (by cutting it away), one can then take care of what remains of wound by covering and dressing it daily, until; eventually closes.

The Doctor asked the NP to get another stool from another room for me. He then put the stool right next to him and told me to sit there. I was then given gloves and some very funky glasses with ultra high magnification. Doctor M then said "Watch what I do, how I do it, and listen VERY closely as you watch what I am about to do, because when we are done you will know EXACTLY what to do, and be able to do it at home."

It was by far the BEST teaching experience a Doctor had every afforded me the opportunity to have. He taught me not only the *how* part, but at the same time explained the *why* part. He taught me how best to not FEAR these episodes and how to be more proactive in doing so.

In retrospect, there is a deeper message that did both, something the Doctor taught me, I taught him, and at the same time...TRUST.

He trusted me enough to teach me, actually take the time to enlighten and empower me AND my favorite Diabetic. But he also taught me the most important thing, and that is I can once again have faith that there are REAL hero's in the Medical profession.

Now the next phase will be upon me soon, when I have to 'glove up' and remove callous material. Kind of "sculpt the foot" as I was taught. Now I have a problem drawing stick men, and the word 'sculpt' is nowhere in my bag of expertise. But I not only know *what* to do, but I have the inner faith in myself to do so....and REAL *hope* that I will accomplish what I need to do.

Nov 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving - Day 22 of the WEGO National Health Blog Post Month (#NHBPM)

For today's Blog post prompt, it is of course fitting that we are asked to write about what we are thankful for. I know, real cliche huh?

I have so very much to be thankful for. Family, Friends, Health, Roof over my head, GREAT food to eat today, and of course the thing I am most thankful for is...DIABETES (IT).

IT, reminds me 24/7 that I am personally thankful that I do not have IT in MY body.

IT, is the reason I found all of you...the DOC.

IT, has brought me together with THE most AMAZING Team of people that I would have not known, if it wasn't for IT.

IT, has helped further clarify my Wedding Vows at an earlier stage in life, than most would be afforded the opportunity to do so.

IT, has helped define boundaries regarding "For Better or for Worse" that would have never existed without IT.

IT, is expensive, so the "Richer, for Poorer" has thankfully helped teach us what "Poorer" is, so we can enjoy the things that really matter.

IT, has shown me to truly know what was meant in my Wedding Vows when I said "In sickness and in health", and makes me thankful for every single second in the day, that we are alive.

IT, has also given "'Till death do we part" an everyday revelation that yes, if the day doesn't begin with her dead, it's a GREAT day.

Although IT tries it's very hardest to interfere with our lives, WE will NEVER EVER allow IT to win...EVER (except the few times it comes very close)!
Sometimes I think if IT wasn't in my life for the last twenty years, I may have never EVER come to love my favorite Diabetic the way I do now, as we approach thirty five years together.

You will notice that at the request of the Bride (My favorite Diabetic), we did not have the word "OBEY" anywhere in the Vows :)

Happy Thanksgiving from the entire BHS Family to yours.

Now let's go eat!...TM

Nov 21, 2012

Day 21 and I'm Mental!

Today, our challenge is to write about:

"Mental Health"

Of course, I'm talking the mental health of a mother who cares for diabetic kids. And there are days...

Days when I've been up all night fighting lows or highs.

When the CGM won't shut up!

When I've been force feeding my kid smarties, skittles, juicy juice only to have her meter tell me she is lower than what she started out at.

Setting temporary basals for how much, how long, what am I doing?

All the while my baby sleeps peacefully. The only acknowledgement of her said low is the skittle residue she tastes in her mouth.

And then I am to function as a human being the next day, seriously?!?!

Then I'm on the phone with the school nurse because she has the rebound highs or lows depending on what she was the night before...

I'm downing the umpteenth cup of coffee.

Holy crap, Batman...we need a nap here!

There are those days when I feel like throwing in the towel. Don't wanna deal with D anymore!

But then there are days numbers runs beautifully. Where D has decided to play nice. When everything works perfectly. Our world, MY world is good.

And then D plays dirty and's just enough to make you crazy!! Really.

Chasing highs/lows, running after her to take her blood sugar, stopping a bite of food before she eats to make sure she has taken her blood sugar or measured out her food. Talking diabet-ease, like a foreign language. My poor husband can't keep up with our conversations! Answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, attending meetings, etc. I'm pretty certain that if Google Earth had x-ray vision into our home I'd look like a chicken with it's head cut off!!

But, nope, it's just crazy me...a sleep deprived, D Momma!

Nov 20, 2012

Day 20 Bonus Prompt...

The challenge prompts for today:

"a health moment I regret.."  or "alternative treatments/regimens/medicine. What do you support?What is crazy?"

I guess I'm lucky as I don't have a health moment I regret. And just thinking of alternative treatments etc has me rolling my eyes all the way back to last week..don't get me going. Insulin is what I support and administer. PERIOD.

So I have chosen to write a bonus prompt:

"write about traveling with your disease".

Have you ever traveled with diabetes? If you are lucky enough to have done so and survived yeah for you!! If not, I will gladly share my experiences with travel. As most of you know, who read our blog regularly, I have the two diabetic daughters and a hemophiliac son. Last November we traveled to Chicago for a National Hemophilia Conference...think Friends For Life but for the hemophilia community. I had to pack for one of my diabetics (as the other one hadn't been diagnosed yet) AND the hemophiliac son.

It was an entire suitcase for both with me carrying an extra bag with back up supplies!!

Imagine your diabetes cabinet x 2!! I was beyond stressed to make sure I packed EVERYTHING!! We were only there 3 days but a lot can happen in 3 days.


Insulin, pump sites for everyday x 2 (just in case), reservoirs for everyday x 2 (just in case), alcohol swabs, CGM charger, CGM sensors x 2, numbing cream for CGM, CGM inserter, Tegaderm, glucagon, Emergency kit (that has one, if not more, of everything listed), juices, skittles and medical letter of necessity...have I forgotten anything?


Factor (medicine) x 4, sterile gloves x 4, IV butterfly x 8, empty syringes x 5, saline flushes x 8, alcohol swabs, gauze, band-aids and medical letter of necessity.

These supplies pretty much took up a carry on bag for the plane. There was no way I was checking that bag!! And then I had to throw extras of almost everything in my big, over sized, mammoth of a purse. But we HAD to be prepared. Worst case scenario we would be able to take care of anything. Things went issues with either kid. (Thank ya Jesus!!) We came back with a full suitcase minus the things we used as expected.

Bottom line...don't let a luggage filled suitcase full of your medical supplies stop you from traveling. We would've missed many fun times if we stayed home and let this disease cripple us. Go out and DO!!

Nov 19, 2012

It's a Matter of Life and 19

Today's challenge in the our National Health Blog Post Month for WEGO health is not quite a challenge but a heavy topic in the house where diabetes lives...

"write about life and death..."

Death is something my 12 year old daughter has been dealing with since 2005. I'd say the past couple of years it's been an issue.It doesn't cripple her in fear or in not doing things. It's just on her mind. Not for sure what triggered it. She's never had a close or bad episode of D. But she is very aware that early death caused by diabetes is a reality for her. A few years ago she even wondered aloud, "Mom, how do  you think I'll die?" Uh, hopefully you will live a long healthy life I told her as I crumbled inside.

My eldest daughter, took to sleeping in my 12 year olds room to make sure she was okay. She would come get me if I didn't hear the pump alarms going off. And in turn, since her diagnosis, she likes me to check her in the middle of the night; in case she goes low. So, yes, we still do the 3am check! I don't mind. It gives us all piece of mind.

On the flip side, they don't let diabetes stop them. They live life to the fullest. Nora is a multi sport player while keeping good grades in school. Evelyn is working a part time job and going to college full time. They both help me at JDRF Outreach Events when they can. They like meeting other diabetics and talking with them. They have fun and goof around like non D kids. Sure, they may need to stop and take a blood sugar or bolus for carbs eaten but they are still "normal" kids.

I guess it's a good/bad thing. I mean, at 12, I didn't think about death. In my experience, old people died; not kids. But with my kids knowing about mortality I think it helps with them taking an active role in their personal health care. It helps them enjoy life. They live for the moment and aren't afraid to live for their future. I think it's taught me to cherish the time I have with them, do the best job I can and live for the day!

Nov 18, 2012

Day 18...Dueling blog

Today on our 18th post I'm a blogging duo...we have a choice of two topics per day but both are resonating with me so I'm covering both topics.

The topic for today:

"I want to change this about healthcare..." or "Write about your advice for someone caring for a patient with diabetes". 

As I said, I'm doing both...what can I say, over achiever!

I would like to change the relationship we have with healthcare. I don't wish to be a member number...I wish to be a name. A family with needs. LOTS of needs. Just recently, our insurance has done just that. Without going into boring details. I feel like I've been punched in the gut. The rug has literally been pulled out underneath me. And the crappy part about all this...they haven't even notified me of the changes. Our hospital has and has been advocating on our behalf for the past two weeks. So here we scramble to fill this huge hole. Bottom line we will be getting what we need but in a different way. But it's just the way they haven't shown one ounce of concern for us as a family that has been on a journey of healthy care and not to mention the TONS of money they make off my kids chronic conditions.


Patience and compassion are key for someone caring for a patient with diabetes. As many of the caregivers out there know there is a fine line in caring, showing concern and coming across to the diabetic as shall we say, nagging?! So patience is key. Gentle reminders to check BG's or if snacks/meals have been bolused for. Compassion for the diabetic who is tired and/or frustrated. Who doesn't want to wash their hands before checking their blood sugar. Who wants to eat first before figuring out carb counts. The caregiver needs to let the diabetic vent and get frustrated without themselves getting frustrated.

And isn't that easier said than done?

One of the key pieces of advice I give, especially to newly diagnosed families, is NOT to beat yourself up. As we all know, diabetes has a mind of its own. It doesn't matter how accurately we weigh food and count carbs, if BG's are taken precisely every three hours, if activity level is just right or hormone levels are perfect...D will come in and mess all that up. ESPECIALLY when first diagnosed. I'm not telling people to be lax but don't consider yourself a failure for doing the best job you can do as a HUMAN pancreas.

Advocate for your diabetic. I'm not talking march down to Washington and speak directly to the POTUS. By all means if you wish to then please do!! But, if that's a little out of your comfort zone advocate starting at school or work. Fight for your diabetic. They have rights. They  have diabetes. But, first and foremost, they have rights.

.Lastly, as I've seem to have written a book here, love and listen to them. They need you more than ever. Even if they say they don't! Be their rock. Their sound board, wipe their tears, laugh with them over finding test strips in weird places, rally with them when they are feeling down, rejoice for the BG check you didn't have to remind them to do and be their big, squishy pillow when they need a hug.

Nov 17, 2012

Day 17 of the WEGO National Health Blog Post Month (#NHBPM)


For today’s challenge we are prompted to Nominate someone for a Health Activist Award & write a  post about why you nominated them! I chose to nominate someone for the Unsung Hero Award, a member of our community who may not know how amazing and valuable they are.

Now there are MANY different categories in the WEGO Health Awards, and it was almost impossible for me to go through the list and pick just one, but something WAS the same for every category in my eyes, especially for todays NHBPM task. That something became very apparent when I came accross the Unsung Hero Award, and then the [blue] light went on in my mind and it became VERY clear who should win this Award.

But first, before I reveal who I picked, let me point out that I could nominate so many Organizations (including BHS), many individual Health Advocates, Bloggers, Authors, Athletes...the list goes on. Then it really dawned on me HOW I could try and ensure the Unsung Hero Award nominee could best represent the absolute STAUNCH & FIERCE people inherent in a community such as ours, that deserve WAY more recognition than they presently get.

So without further delay, my nomination for the Unsung Hero Award, that element within our community most certainly worthy of winning is...[drum roll]...EVERY SINGLE ONE of YOU, the nearly ONE MILLION of our Friends, Fans, Followers in the more than TWENTY Countries...all of YOU!!!

In retrospect, I now see how easy my choice was, because truly & humbly, we wouldn't be here along with you as we WIN the war towards the CURE, if it wasn't because of YOU...


Nov 16, 2012

Day 16: Inspiring a D Mom..

Woo hoo!! We are half way through the month of November and NHBPM!! We hope you have enjoyed reading our blog so far.

Today's post is to use a picture or video to inspire a post.

                                          Here is mine:

In actuality it should also include my son Jackson. But do you know how hard it is to get all three of my kids in one picture?? Let me tell's near impossible! I'm still trying to get a picture of the girls showing their pumps off, now that Evy is pumping. Maybe I should bribe them...I don't ask for much! What's one photo?!?! Anyway...

These girls are my inspiration EVERYDAY.

Why I write this blog for Blue Heel Society.

Why I own so MANY pairs of Blue Shoes!!

Why I wake up in the middle of the night...EVERY night.

Why I have become an advocate for diabetes. 

Why I will NEVER stop until a cure is found.

Why. I. Breathe and Live. 

These girls go through so much. Although they are at different stages of diabetes. Nora, I consider, the Pro, as she has been fighting D since 2005. Evy, I consider, the newbie, as she is only 5 1/2 months in. Each has their benefits and drawbacks. As a caregiver, I am a Pro. Been dealing with this since Nora was diagnosis. I have to remind myself to be caring, patient and listen. I have to allow her to feel her feelings without me chiming in something equivalent to "get over it!" 

They inspire me daily, sometimes hourly, with their resiliency, bravery and positive attitudes. I am humbled to be in their presence as I am just their mom...they are the true heroes, my inspiration.

Who is your inspiration?

Nov 15, 2012

And the beat goes on...FINE....the shoe shopping goes on...

Normally, I tend to be rather blunt about how Diabetes affects my family. I don't tend to *sugar-coat* much of anything...I shoot from the hip and basically, I find that my circle of DOC friends get my drift. Today will be a teeny bit different as November is also a month to give here goes.

Diabetes has brought a tremendous amount of strife into my life. I was devastated when my child was diagnosed. I was bitter, scared, in shock, terrified of making a mistake....I even once asked someone if I was ALLOWED to make a joke about finding a test strip inside my baby's diaper.....Yeah....I was (fine, still am) profoundly affected by all of the new normal I was being force fed. That was then.

It has almost been three years since I sat in the hospital learning about carbohydrates and different types of injectable insulins. I don't celebrate a diaversary as my child could care less about talking about diabetes. He lives with it. He celebrates life everyday.

I have been spending this month giving Thanks....out loud and spreading awareness about what Diabetes is in my home. I adopted the A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh version of discussing Diabetes this month, as it is the audiobook currently playing in my car. It goes something like this....Chapter 1, in which Pooh and Piglet find a Heffalump...and so, as my *very little brain* works, it resonated with me. I write a chapter each day about what I am Thankful for and a little nugget about Diabetes. Seems rather fitting since last year, I nearly bawled my eyes out every day trying to post the NO GLITTER DIABETES efforts.

My point, and I do have one, is this. I am Thankful for people who truly understand what Diabetes really is. The good, the bad, the meh, the victories. They all matter. And, I am Thankful for the support and the unreal amount of LOVE I get from people at Blue Heel Society.

Speaking of chapters.....HAVE YOU JOINED OUR LUMINARIES?? This is a diverse, kick ass group of men and women who live with or love someone with Diabetes and have formed local *chapters* to raise awareness for Diabetes, in some pretty ingenious ways. Take a minute, look around and share with us what you are Thankful for this month.

I am thankful for new boots too....but that's a blog for another day.

Nov 14, 2012

Negative feedback...

First off...I MUST say Happy World Diabetes Day 2012!!! I know there are many of you doing some great things today and I can't wait to see/read all about them. But that's another blog post!

Today, our challenge is:

"advice for dealing with negative feedback in your community".

And boy, oh, boy...don't we have some?!?!

You all have seen it or been on the receiving end of it.

It may start with a facebook status update. Everyone who "gets it" replies with their ((hugs)) and well wishes. Then you might have one comment thrown in the mix that may come off as well meaning but then it's really not.

It is a shot at you...a dig, if you will.

Then it's a free for all. All the well wishers attack. And I use that term loosely. The DOC is just like that. You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us.

Questions, accusations and "I know better than you because I know EVERYTHING about diabetes INCLUDING how to care for your child/loved one whom I never met!" The one stand alone is truly standing alone, looking like an ass and their only counter attack is the "I thought you'd be open minded"!!

Oh, I'm very open minded UNTIL you tell me how to take care of my kid's diabetes.

So my advice for the negative feedback is to stay your ground, don't waver and call their BS. Only YOU and your kid/loved ones Doctor know whats best for them. Not your Grandma, Aunt, Cousin twice removed, the lady you meet in the grocery line or the facebook *friend*.

And if all else fails...DELETE them!! (on facebook!! NOT in real life!!!)

Nov 13, 2012

Happy One Year Birthday to US!!!

For today's entry in the WEGO NHBPM we celebrate our very FIRST Birthday

Gucci Blue Heel Cake

Today is our ONE Year Birthday!!

I had just ended a 4 year stint with another diabetes Advocacy organization when I got an email that would not only change my life, but also gave me an opportunity to work with some AMAZING people doing what comes natural...fighting diabetes everyday.

One of our BLUETIFUL Co-Founders simply asked in that email on December 3rd 2011 at 6:14 PM "How can we bribe you to be part of The Blue Heel Society??". Of course in this context, the word "bribe" was intended to mean "convince". We exchanged formalities & a VERY brief conversation, including "Please take some time to consider before giving us an answer". It took me NO time at all to simply say "to answer your question, consider me bribed!". I tried to lighten the conversation up a bit and said "Forgot to mention the potential icing on the cake moment...I was a Shoe Salesman for almost seven years back in the day!". 

Blue Velvet Cake with Blue Suede Shoes

I had been watching CLOSELY for a few weeks this 'new' Group on Facebook called the "Blue Heel Society" that in that two short weeks, was garnering MASSIVE support within the ENTIRE Diabetes Online Community in way's I had NEVER seen done before. Let's jump back for a second to see what was happening on our first MONTH Birthday:

What a fabulous BLUE month it has been.  BLUE analogies.  BLUE posts.  BLUE tweets. BLUE SHOES!!

This morning, our impromptu "one month" birthday celebration occurred with much fanfare.  We were delighted with retweets, links posted to our social networking sights, mentions about our blog, and, of course, YOU, the backbone of the Blue Heel Society all standing there *clicking* your heels.

With over 740 members in four short weeks, we are humbled that an idea formed on the eve on WDD resonated and struct a cord with so many people, for all the right reasons."  

One year later we find ourselves honored beyond words to be reaching almost a QUARTER OF A MILLION Bluetiful peeps on Facebook alone, residing in TWENTY different Countries, all as one, united not only for  diabetes awareness, but doing so by simply wearing a shoe of blue...

Our next year is poised to be even bigger & better than we could hope for. We have a DOZEN local BHS Chapter Luminary’s (Leaders) that have been hand picked to bring our Mission & Message to the streets in TRUE grassroots style, fighting the GREAT fight, as we give this Diabetes Monster a whole new face!!!

We are humbled by your excellence and certainly would be NOTHING without all of our Bluetiful peeps along our side. Put on those BLUE SHOES and get ready to help us make history in a HUGE way...

Nov 12, 2012

I'm calling BS on ...

This is a fun BS on something. What's something that is just ridiculous?

Well, if you know me, I'm all about calling BS on things that just sound crazy. I'm not afraid to speak out and challenge it. I may not always be right but I take it as a lesson learned or an opportunity to educate.


I'm calling BS on the myth, yes, myth that diabetes can be cured.

There is no cure found in any amount of cinnamon.

Or moss that grows on the backside of a tree in Brazil.

Or any, ANY, pyramid schemed, "I've cured T1D in my family and I'll tell you how...all you need to do is send me $xxx and I'll tell you my secret". Really, you've cured T1D and you want to charge me to cure my kids?? Selfish. That and the fact that your a business person and NOT a scientist? hmmm...yep, NOT!

Oh, and god love you Hallie Berry, you are a fine actress but you did NOT cure your diabetes. In fact, you + diabetes = I don't wanna hear it. You may have opened the eyes of many to look for the signs of diabetes in themselves and/or their loved ones and that's great and admirable. But please, stop there.

Or any diet (Paleo, alkaline, Atkins, etc).

Now, don't get me wrong. Some of these lower carb diets may help maintain your blood sugars and decrease your amount of insulin needed but if you are insulin dependent then you NEED insulin. Even if you don't eat carbs.

So, I'm calling BS...

NON of these things cure diabetes.

For me, I'm letting the Scientists do their thing and find a cure.

As far as all of the above...well....

Here is a video that Joanne, at death of a pancreas, made about a year ago and I just love it! You can check her blog out here.

Nov 11, 2012

Stepped in the mud, stepped back in time.

As many of you know, I did a Rebel Race with some AMAZING friends and loved ones this weekend. I was all like yeah....I am gonna go zipping through this and falalalalaaaaa....No. That isn't what I thought at all, but I refuse to blog about my inner Sybil terrorizing me up until the minute they sent us off running.

I chose to do this race because I felt the need to challenge myself. I have never been terrific at sports, or particularly athletic, but I love the whole idea about being super fit and having a killer sports wardrobe that fits like a glove. Call me shallow.

Ok, the point.....

We arrived in Haverhill Massachusetts on Saturday and got my little *bib*....which isn't like any bib I knew's a paper number thingy which served as a time chip (we can laugh about my time later) so you can see how you fared against the masses of jacked up RR peeps in full costume, ready to get dirty.

We were in the 1 pm wave....which is not like waving at all's like 500 people chomping at the bit to run off screaming like maniacs into the woods! I was right there with them....doing my little southern version of a  happy dance/trot/something-that-resembled-running. 1 time.

And we were off! WOOO HOOO! Well, we all ran like champions for about 100 yards, then the course sent us straight up into what I could only assume was the first attempt at Base Camp on Everest.....UP a you needed a chairlift. Up, up, up.....until you emerge, not on Everest, but onto this vast, sprawling farm like place with clearly marked trails via police tape. I was huffing and puffing along with the back end of the RR-ers when we saw the first of the 26 obstacles that dotted this beautiful farmland. A 12-foot tall wall of hay. Bails of hay....pffffttttt. I am a proper southerner....I can climb onto hay bails. Watch this! And as is so many times the case, I realized I was suffering from bull-dog-mouth/chihuahua-hiney syndrome. OMG....that was HARD, and I couldn't understand why??

Plummeted down  the other side, and carried on to the second obstacle. ANOTHER FREAKING WALL OF HAY....only this one was even taller. Seriously, I already have been nursing a wicked cough and it's not  like I haven't been a life long HAY-FEVER sufferer....this was intended to be cruel. Oh. SO. Cruel.

But, I did it....wobbly legged and breathing like I needed an iron lung, I did it. More running. Awesome.

Third obstacle....a long line of people chatting happily about what gorgeous weather we were gifted and how they were gonna go eat dead animals slathered in BBQ sauce, and guzzle down beer that would surely overfloweth at such an event. But as we learned, the obstacle that lay ahead was a single person use only....and boy was it a doozy. 20 minutes or so passed as we, one by one, inched our way down this trail to see a slide.....about 60 feet straight down, covered in fast running, muddy water....and at the bottom awaited the blackest, muddiest pool of (please don't make the think Shawshank Redemption here) who knows what.

This was when I felt real fear. I am a huge fraidy cat. Like HUGE. I fear all things high, dirty, wooded, or outside of a mall. No choices here.....go time. I tried to navigate the beginning of the slide on foot....and promptly landed flat on my ass with a girl-like squeal and flew like a bullet into the muddy waters that awaited me below. I'm just gonna put it out sucked. Cold, muddy, dirty and wracked with adrenaline, I managed to get to the side and have myself pulled out by the arm. I was laughing nervously at the fact that I had actually just DID that, but was not really prepared for the thoughts entering my mind...flashback to diagnosis day for my kid. THAT is exactly what I felt like just happened...I ran up and down hills getting prepared for the slippery slope that is diagnosis. You simply cannot sit in the muddy MUST get MUST move simply have no choice. This was my Diabetes Rebel Race.

The very next obstacle were these huge logs that you needed to climb over and then under....slosh, step, fall, repeat....THIS was when I was learning to give him NPH, and Levemir....and this obstacle represented the ever so quick need to hurdle the hell out of the months that passed so quickly after my son was diagnosed.

I know, it's long. I just have to say, that I did the entire race. I climbed over 25 feet high plankboard walls, crawled through sewer tunnels, and climbed over rope courses, I fell off the monkey bars. I got bruised, I got filthy, I got no prize or accolades except that I can say I did it. And just like caring for my son, THAT is all that mattered.

I am a D mama....and Rebel Race ain't got nothing on me. It did, however, completely ruin my since I survived, I live to shop another day.

Blue Heel Society Featured 'Fan Of The Week' is Pat Wohlin

Today we would like to feature one of our Facebook peeps chosen earlier this Month 

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 featured Fan of the Week (FOTW) is Pat Wohlin, and we asked Ms. Wohlin to answer a few questions as to learn a little more about her.

BHS: Connection w/ diabetes?

PW: my connection with Diabetes is Type 1 = 37 years, 38 in April 2013.

BHS: General geographic location?

PW: I live in Atlanta Georgia, and just recently moved into a high-rise which was my dream for many years.

BHS: What blue shoe (Heel, sneaker, riding shoe, etc.) suits you & Why?

PW: I love my PF Flyers. I have them in multiple colors but Blue rules on Friday!

BHS: What does advocacy mean to you?

PW: Advocacy to means being open about Diabetes. I don't hide it as I did when I was younger, I life could depend upon someone knowing I have Diabetes that is around me! I think back at all the years I tried to hide it and just say. "Why, and what for?".

BHS: Blog/site/twitter/organization?

PW:  I raise money each year for JDRF

BHS: Words of wisdom/encouraging statement/general statement about diabetes?

PW:  Encouragement: Learn to live openly with your Diabetes. If possible, use an Insulin Pump and learn how to count carbs.Sugar free foods: Not for me. They put things in them that people shouldn't really eat. If I want to eat chocolate, I just dial the carbs in. I count carbs religiously so I can eat like a normal human being. Test your Blood Glucose Levels several times daily if you're not on a Continuous Glucose Monitior. There is no excuse not to! Know your own body and how it reacts to different foods. Everyone is different. Remember, your life depends upon you and your will power and the desire to succeed. Sometimes that means saying no to things that you really want (like alcohol) and dealing with it. Diabetes is not for wimps!

Complications: Despite maintaining an A1c of 5.8% for years, I developed frozen shoulder. I've had two surgeries and 2 years of Physical Therapy, but I look forward to each day despite the pain. Never give up, even when your Physical Therapy has your arm jammed behind your back!

Nov 10, 2012

Rebel Race.... conquered.

Rock ON Team Blue Heel Society!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

To Post or Not To Post...that is the question...

Today's WEGO blog challenge is:

"Should people post about their (or loved ones) health on facebook? Why or why not?"

Pfft...uh, duh! Yea!

Well, I should say, if you feel comfortable with it or if you are posting about your loved ones health; that they are okay with it first.

If I'm posting about my girl's diabetes or my son's hemophilia on my personal facebook page I am NOT looking for sympathy. I'm looking to educate and raise awareness of said disease. This month has been a perfect example. Many of us in the Diabetes Online Community have been posting on our facebook pages: facts, a day in the life and challenges with diabetes. And in doing this, I've had friends and family reach out and ask questions.

It gets the conversation rolling.

It gets the awareness raised.

It's educating people.

If my posts help open the eyes to others to see the seriousness of diabetes,

the signs of diabetes,

the reality of an invisible disease


 I've done my job.

Nov 8, 2012

Community Care Package...

Todays' WEGO challenge  is create the perfect care package for your members or fellow patients. I'll even tailor it to the newly diagnosed...things I/my daughters received/would've received at the initial diagnosis.
I think I would have to create two care packages.
One for the diabetic and one for the caregiver.
First off...if I could wrap up the BIGGEST hug ever and send it to each diabetic AND their caregiver... that would be the best care package ever!!
Those of you that know about the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) know that virtual ((hugs)) abound. And I know I can feel them just as sure as they are given and sometimes that's just what you need!
For the Caregiver care package:

  • Resource packet with every website that has to deal with diabetes

  • Diabetes blog list

  • a local mentor so they know they are not alone (a mentor that can even come visit you in the hospital!! That would be awesome!! Someone who just gets it and what your going through!!)

  • Calorie King book

  • diabetes kit/bag (something to put and organize all the needles, alcohol swabs, insulin, test strips, blood glucose meter, low blood sugar supplies in)

  • chill pill/oxygen/wine (because your ready to flip out with all this extra stuff they make you learn to keep your kid alive!)

  • chocolate (why? It's I really need a reason?!)

  • Blue shoes!!!! 

For the Diabetic:

  • Resource packet with every website that has to deal with diabetes (age appropriate/or if applicable)

  • a local mentor that is their age...this is KEY!! Someone who could come in and talk to your child and they have T1D too!! Instant friends!

  • diabetes alert ID bracelet...make them wear it IN the hospital so they wear it ALL the time

  • assortment of low blood sugar options (juice, smarties, skittles, glucose tabs, etc)

  • App that teaches them (age appropriately) what diabetes is and things they can expect in their new life

  • journal/sketchbook to express their feelings about a new diagnosis

  • Blue shoes!!!

Getting a new diagnosis is scary and so is having tons of information thrown at you all at once.
For me, getting the second diagnosis wasn't any easier or less heartbreaking but I knew what we were facing and I knew she would be okay.
Yes, some of these items are silly but what's the fun if we can't have fun with it, right?!?
Your turn, what would add to either of the care packages?

A Luminary Who Walks the Walk

It is our PRIVILEGE to welcome Alison to the Blue Heel Society Luminary Team. Here is your chance to walk in her Blue Shoes......

Tony's Story:

When Tony was 18 months old, we moved from Washington to Houston, Texas. Even though it was spring we were miserable from the change in weather. We had our first house with a backyard and spent most of our time outside. When he was 20 months old, I noticed Tony was drinking lots of water, but thought it was from the heat, as I was drinking a lot too. The soaked diapers made sense from all that water. Then on May 9, 2007 he slept most of the day. My husband came home from working offshore and commented that he looked real skinny. The next morning, he started to breathe weird. I called the pediatrician and got an appointment for that afternoon. Before the doctor came in, the nurse lectured me because I didn't give him any cold medicine for his labored breathing-which was getting worse. The pediatrician did an exam and told us to go the emergency room because Tony was just dehydrated from a virus and needed an I.V. We waited for a long time in the ER.

Finally someone got a blood sample from him. Moments later, it was chaos. We were told he was in diabetic ketoacidosis and in serious danger. I immediately thought the worst. My Aunt passed away from type 1 diabetes complications when I was a toddler, and from what I knew of her life, it was rough and cut tragically short. That night a critical care team arrived from Texas Childrens Hospital for transport. We stayed by his bed all night in the PICU. For awhile it did not look like he'd make it, a doctor even warned me that she has seen children pass away from this. They had me talk to him every hour to see if they could get him to respond. By morning he woke up and was asking for his sippy cup and I knew he'd be fine, especially when he waved hi to every woman that walked by. He spent a few days in the PICU and a week in the hospital. We had a crash course on how to take care of him; it felt odd
to actually bring home a child with instructions on how to keep him alive!

He could speak only a handful of words so there were many close calls with low blood sugars. He got another emergency transport ride and went to the PICU 6 months later from a stomach bug. Just a little illness throws his body out of whack! We decided to move back to our hometown to get help from family and we appreciate the support we have. He loves weekends at his Grandmas and playing with his cousins. His doctor at Doernbechers are wonderful and has made a lot of changes that make his life easier and better. Tony will tell a doctor to their face that he doesn't like them but tells us he loves his diabetes doctor! Now he is 7 years old and is doing well. He is in second grade and obsessed with ninjas. He was later diagnosed with learning disabilities and neurological issues.  Some doctors believe it's due to his brain swelling in DKA, others say he was born this way but he is getting lots of help.  He's at the great age of asking "why" every few minutes and has a lot of questions about diabetes. A lot of the questions are hard to answer without a few tears. He tells me everyday he hates shots. Most of the time he can tell me he's low, but he hates to slow down to test and treat. He is a great big brother to his almost 4 year old sister, Gemma. They are nearly inseparable. Sometimes he tells me he wishes she has diabetes so she can be like him but then he says he doesn't want her to get hurt like he does. She often tells me she is low in hopes of getting a glucose tablet!

There needs to be more awareness about this disease. Even though I have a family history, I did not know about the signs of type 1 diabetes. A nurse and doctor missed it too. Many people are shocked that such a little guy can even get it. Or even that he got it in the first place since we are a very healthy family. Tony eats a healthier diet than most kids do-he loves raw almonds, berries, and all the vegan food I cook. But because this is an autoimmune disease a healthy diet will not prevent or cure it. When people hear the word "diabetes" they think of obesity problem in America so it must be our fault that he has it. We are grateful that we have better technology than what was available for my Aunt. We look forward to see what the future brings. Someday we hope Tony and others with diabetes will have a cure and he will be able to say "I used to have diabetes"!