Dec 30, 2013

Blood, Sweat and Heels....A look back at 2013

So, I rarely if ever have the opportunity to blog. Long story, but it has been almost an impossibility for me to share any of my feelings or weirdness online for a very long time. That has finally been changed and I am free to roam about the devil to, whatever....

When we conceptualized Blue Heel Society, it was something I couldn't get out of my head. I slept, shopped, talked NON stop about what this little *whatever this is* and what it meant to me. It was my way of doing something about my situation. My child was going to live his life with diabetes, and I couldn't stop that. I couldn't fix it. I was determined to not be destroyed by guilt or blame. I'll let you know how that works out....HA! I want to say thank you to the people who make this happen......

Let us talk about short, what a freaking long year. So much to say....I'll try and be brief.....or at least not boring.....maybe.

Jen Loving. Jen, I simply cannot blog, write, speak, draw, or sign what an amazing inspirational person you are to me. I watch you and your family shine with light divine. The character, the dedication, the impossible wit, the smiles, the education, the effort, all of it, you do so well, seamless. YOU are Blue Heel Society personified. I am blessed beyond description to have you post naughty threads on my Facebook wall. I love you.

Thomas Moore. Tom,  Words like dedicated and brave fail to offer up adequate descriptions of just who you are. Sweet, shy, humble, gracious, tenacious, you have gifted me with a friendship that is to be envied. I wish you nothing shy of the brightest star for you to reach. You battled cancer, diabetes, moving, kids, grandkids, the loss of a beloved family patriarch, and yet remained as committed to stomping out myths and misconceptions about diabetes and for that, and so much more, I love you.

Luminaries. These dedicated men and women take diabetes by the test strips and CHANGE what people know, think they know, and in doing so, make our little world a better place. I wish each of you, and your families to find love and compassion, friendship and fellowship in the new year. May you each feel my unwavering support, love and friendship.

DOC. With you, I simply cannot fail. My child owes his life to you. I am honored and humbled at your support.

Last, but not least. Tony Cervati.

Tony, when I first met you ( albeit virtually, not in real life) in 2010, I remembered hanging up the phone that morning, feeling like I had just spoken to my best friend. I remember thinking that every word you uttered to me was being burned into my soul to carry forever. Your words were like weapons and you gave me an arsenal to fight off the grief and shame, and the fear. You gave me hope. Our friendship was and is the most valuable thing I was ever given, after my kiddo got the 'betes.  As our friendship grew, and we talked more, well, who knew?? Apparently everyone online, and in real life.....I fell in love with you, fell completely head over love, and never looked back....

Guess what folks? He put a ring on it....and now I am Mrs. Type 1 Rider. Best day of my life.

Thank you Tony, for seeing me in a flattering light, for standing by my side, for wanting to walk my mile, with me, beside me. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you.

And to my mother, Judy, bless your heart. You still take my calls. Thank you.

Love and kisses,

Mrs. Anthony (Diane) Cervati

Dec 29, 2013

Burnout...the Caregiver episode

Everyone talks about burnout and it's always in regards to the diabetic and their burnout. Never have I ever thought about burnout as a caregiver. I mean, I just do what needs to be done kinda like fixing dinner. You just do it (unless you eat out all the time---lucky you!) But when I was at the CWD: Focus on Technology Conference earlier this month I attended a session about burnout. I thought it was how to get through burnout with your diabetic kid but it turned into burnout for the caregiver. Duh! Novel concept. I'm so worried about my kids that I don't think about myself. And how many of us do that. Put ourselves last? I know I sure do.

I do know that on the rare occasion I get a moment to myself I feel instantly better; almost renewed. Especially if I get a run in...which I haven't been able to do in months. The hour I give myself to not think about anything or sometimes I am able to save all the worlds problems in an hour run only to rush off to the next thing I have to take care of. It's amazing on what even a few minutes you allow yourself to have can do for you. Now with the holidays upon us I feel pulled in a million different directions. I'm trying to enjoy the moment but some days its just hard.

The other topic that came up was our spouses. What...who? Oh, yea, I have this amazing guy I've been married to for almost 20 years and I forget about him sometimes. He is always so supportive of me and all my crazy volunteer functions and events I do and hardly ever complains. He just lets me do my thing. But I know when I've gone a little over the edge and I've had enough I start to snap at him. Poor guy. Spouse time is important. It's nice to be able to have an adult conversation withOUT interruption or sometimes we just sit and enjoy the silence. It just so happened his favorite band was coming into town and coming to a local venue we practically lived at while we were dating. I made arrangements for a surprise date night. I bought the tickets and surprised him the day of the event. He was so happy. We felt like young kids again! I know we won't be able to go out on date nights all the time but even if we can go get a cup of coffee and get away for just 30 minutes it will help.

So my challenge to you is this...find YOU time. Whether that's a get-a-way, movie night, lunch date, locking the bathroom door for 10 minutes of privacy...whatever it is...FIND IT! Then if you want, feel free to post, share or inspire others to do the same! Good luck!

Dec 18, 2013

So it's been a while...I was going gung ho in November trying to write posts that could be shared with people who maybe just didn't get diabetes...trying to educate just one person. It was going well, World Diabetes Day was fantastic here in Cincinnati and the next day I took my girls in for their 3 month check up. Both visits went well. Changes to basal and sensitivity were made. But I have one who is in the throngs of teenage stuff. Add diabetes. And well...if you have a teenager and you're reading this I know your shaking your head and giving me a gentle pat on the back. For those who don't have one yet. Enjoy comes too fast. I want to share that visit with you but really need to find the right words. So I will save that for another post. Don't worry...all is good...I promise! What I DO want to share with you was the CWD: Focus on Technology Conference that was here in Cincy at the beginning of December.

The morning kicked off with keynote speaker: Dr. Jeremy Pettus who has Type 1 diabetes himself; diagnosed at the age of 16. He shared his diabetes background and the important piece he made sure we walked away with was that even he STILL has bad days. No matter how hard we try, as caregivers, there are still going to be bad days. We all know D has a mind of its own and that doesn't change when our kids grow up, move out and have careers.

The second session I attended was Advanced Pumping Concepts with Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE. I've heard him speak before and he is a fountain of knowledge. My head was literally spinning after his session. Even with 8 1/2 years in and pumping 6 of those years, there is ALWAYS something new to learn.

The next session was Dealing with Diabetes Burnout with Jill Weissberg-Benchell, PhD, CDE and Korey Hood, PhD who was also Type 1. I went into this session thinking I would get some tips on how to work through burnout...(see opening paragraph...teenager!!!). But it turned into burnout for the caregiver. Whether that was the original intention or not it was eye opening. We struggle, or at least I do. I won't show it unless I'm VERY tired. But the frustration, jealousy, resentment of this stupid disease is felt by all of us. In our family, I know my husband is the one that suffers. Meaning, I'm so busy worrying about the kids and their needs that I put our marriage on the back burner. It made me realize how much of a wonderful man I married. Who is supportive in everything and doesn't mind being put last. (I decided to schedule a surprise date night a few weeks later and we BOTH loved it!!) This topic is really its own separate blog post. So I'll save it for a future edition.

The afternoon session was Puberty and Adolescence: Mind and Body. This was also a good topic. Yes, I was a teenager...(it wasn't THAT long ago) but dealing with all the puberty issues, peers, mean girls, teenage crap on top of diabetes just sucks. It's easy to look at those years now and realize all that stuff doesn't matter but it does matter to them...especially since they are dealing with it right now. I've tried to be more supportive when stories/issues are shared with me. To let her know I'm here and listening and care.

Then evening session was Parents of Teens Discussion Group. This was one of THE best sessions. It has changed my approach on how I act and respond. What made this session even better was that two out of three speakers had Type 1 (Natalie Bellini, BSN, RN, CDE and Marissa Town, BSN, RN). They shared how the tone of how you ask what your kids blood sugar is or how you react to a blood sugar reading translates to feelings of failure or hostility. An
d that is totally true. How many times have I said, "What's your blood sugar?" and as nice as I try and say it, it comes out demanding. Or the reaction to a blood sugar over 300, "What did you do?" as if it is my daughters fault. So I have tried to ask nicely when I ask for their blood sugars. I wait patiently. Receive the number (NO reaction), thank them and move on. It has seemed to work.

I want to wrap up as this has become quite lengthy and if you're still here reading...thank you for your time! I have much more to how I met some DOC peeps (and we all know how awesome that is!!) So I'll sign off for now and try not to be away for too long!