Monday, November 4, 2013

A Photo- A- Day #4...PROUD

I started doing a photo- a- day for diabetes awareness month, brain child of Kerri at Six Until and today's prompt is #proud...which got me thinking of all the different things and kids I am proud off, a simple picture could not capture it. A blog post was needed to explain.

Last week Cara, our little running star in the making, our Olympian hopeful had a cross county meet.  She has been running with her siblings (blowing them out of the water btw) in order to train for this race.

My husband and I LIVE for these races, a chance for us to re-live our youth and a chance for us to celebrate our children's successes...what else does a parent need in life?!

We thought for sure, no problem top 5 again this year...easy...if not FIRST!  So when the field started to near the finish line and I did not see Cara in the front, my heart dropped.  I was soooo mad! and sad! and disappointed in her. She did not finish in the top 5, not even top poor girl was so ashamed of her placing she didn't tell us until that night what place she had finished in and my attitude towards her failure was not helping.  I  was so wrapped up in disappointment I missed the one thing I should have praised her for.  It was like all my hopes and dream for her were demolished in an instant, I over looked what she actually accomplished.

This shy, quiet 7 year old little girl finished her race, she did not give up, she kept on going.

She started that race with a blood sugar of 18.3mmol...if anything we failed her.  I don't even know, with a blood sugar of 18, she probably shouldn't have even been running. After hearing Dr Riddell speak this weekend about type 1 diabetes and exercise I realized the disadvantage she was handed while hanging out in the 18's during a race.  There is no way she could have performed to her optimal best.  She must have felt like POOP, complete poop...physically and emotionally because she was not able to do what she should have been able to do and it was because of something out of her control.

She wanted to quit, she wanted to walk right off that course and go home...but she didn't! AND I'M SO SO SO PROUD OF HER!

Each time these kids do something that pushes them, pushes them to accomplish something that allows them to grow makes me proud.

I'm proud when Cara tests her blood sugar without me having to telling her to.
I'm proud when Cara doesn't cry or fight at site changes.
I'm proud when Cara does things out of her comfort zone.
I'm proud when Cara learns a new diabetes skill like carb counting.
I'm proud when her siblings support Cara and try to understand what she's going through.
I'm proud when her siblings support Cara in her diabetes care.
I'm so proud when her siblings correct and/or share correct type 1 diabetes knowledge with others.

I'm proud that diabetes is JUST part of our lives, something that we have learned to live with, we have made the adjustments and will continue to make adjustments with this disease. We wake up everyday not letting out battles overcome us...and that is something to be PROUD of! 

Every day, even though there is a lot of yelling and fighting and frustrations and tears there is ALWAYS love and always something to be proud of.    

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Forever And Ever In Our Hearts, Sweet Shamae

A blog no one ever wants to write...

A tribute to an amazing D-mama, who will be missed tremendously.

She was living the D life about 15 months before we entered it, with the diagnoses of her beautiful little girl Sydney.

We met online, but never in person...something now I wish was not the case.

One chance to hug this amazing woman, one chance to see her smile and hear her laughter would mean the world to me.

She was always there to offer advice.

She was always there to offer her love and understanding.

She was there to cheer me on and fight along side me through the ups and downs with this disease for our sweet girls.

I entered this online blogging community of mothers with children with type 1 diabetes really not understanding what I would get out of it.  

What I got out of it was a family of sisters and Shamae was one of them, 

She was one of us.

It's been said she was one of the original "Dmoms" online.  

She seemed to have a knack for finding us...the newbies.

A bit lost, a bit unsure, but not to worry because she was there.

One by one, as we wrote our first blog posts, entering a world of the unknown,

Shamae would be there, reaching out to us, pulling us in with her love and comforting us under her wing.

She was our Angel.

Offering us same-same and building our new family one post at a time.  

Our family is now broken and missing a huge piece with the news of her loss, our dear sister.

And now the family that Shamae helped build is sending all our love, prayers and thoughts to Shamae's husband and her 3 most beautiful little girls. 

There are no words to express how sorry I am for your loss. You will forever be in my heart, thoughts and prayers and a part of our family because I will never, ever forget your amazing mother...forever and ever!

I found this song on Shamae's blog, and it has not left me.  All night and in my dreams this song played.

Another angel looking from above, you are sooooo missed my sweet friend!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Thank You For Excepting HER DIABETESNESS

Yes, it's that time of year again when all us AMAZING Canadians take a little time to count our blessings and show our thankfulness for all we have.

It's Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend.

And of course, I have a very long list of greatness to be thankful for:
  • my family
  • our health
  • my friends
  • YOU
  • chocolate
  • wine
  • laughter
But this post, this post has been long over due. This post is about FRIENDS, no, not my friends (love you all), but about Cara's friends.

Cara is soon- to- be 8 years old, I really still can't believe it!  And for a soon- to- be 8 year old, friends are extremely important... as we are learning :) And this girl is one lucky little diabetic, let me tell you!

She is surrounded by amazing friends and their wonderful families...and I'm so so thankful for this!

You know, it's funny, people are so quick to write kids off, but they are some of the most insightful, compassionate, empathetic, smart people in this world.  Seriously, listen to kids talk, they really pick up on things that we adults seem to miss.  

I first noticed this blessing I believe last year, around this time when attending M's Halloween party.  The girls (Cara's classmates) all wanted to play tickle tag and M stopped everyone and said "wait, we can't play that because we might pull Cara's tube off" and my heart melted. No one complained, they just went back to brainstorming games that Cara could play.  Of course, I told M and the girls that her tubing would be fine, so no worries everyone can play tickle tag. 

M and Cara have been inspiring friends, they support each other, they watch out for each other.  They are great together! M almost got her blood sugar taken one day as they were playing Xbox 360.  With their backs towards me, I pulled a hand up in order to take "Cara's" blood sugar and luckily M quickly turned and looked at me like "what the hell are you doing".  We all laughed, a good laugh and moved on and guess what? She still comes over for play that's a true friend!!

Cara's friends don't see Cara any different in a negative way HOWEVER, I do think she gets a little more attention than most of the girls in her class.  The amount of birthday invites she has received this year already proves that!!

Play dates are now becoming a big part of Cara's life and we are very much pushed outside our comfort zone handing over control to our daughter.  But we are doing it, and it is allowing Cara to grow and understand how to better understand her diabetes.  These play dates give her the chance to learn how to express her needs and ask others for help.  On these play dates if anything diabetes comes up, if they are going to eat or if she feels low, she must figure out what to do and when, and if she can't do what she needs, she is learning when and how to ask for help.  These are all things that she would not be learning if she was by my side I would like ;)

I'm so thankful for her friends parents for being brave enough to open their home to Cara.  To take on diabetes care for the hours Cara is with them must be extremely nerve wracking but they do it and they do it so well.

Just today Cara was at her friend A's house.  We dropped her off for a few hour play date which turned into a few hour play date and a trip to the pumpkin patch.  It truly blows my mind what people will do for Cara even with our diabetes life thrown into the mix.

This past June was our 5th year walking for the JDRF and this year Cara really wanted to invite her classmates to the walk.  I thought to myself, ugh, she is going to be so disappointed when no one shows up, but she insisted and so we did.  I was blown away with the response we received, 5 families came out and walked with us that day and another family sent a donation to school for Cara. 

Cara was so excited to have her friends there with us on HER day. 

To feel this support and love by your friends and their families is, well, there is no other word then AMAZING!!  It's amazing that these families are blessing my girl with these memories when it would be so much easier to not invite her or not get involved. There is such a sense of acceptance and understanding and willingness to learn. 

I don't think they truly understand the impact they have on Cara.  It's not just the acceptance and feeling good because you have friends and people who like you...we all need that! But it's so much more.  They are shaping the way Cara views her type 1 diabetes.  I don't think they truly understand how important it is for Cara to feel excepted both for herself and for her diabetes, they are a big part of Cara growing into a well-rounded, confident, HEALTHY young lady with diabetes. 

They are teaching her it's okay to have type 1 diabetes, type 1 diabetes does not affect the way we see you.   Cara doesn't have to hide her diabetes, she doesn't have to keep it a secret, she doesn't feel shamed or judged or even out of place around her friends because they love her and her diabetesness.


Have a wonderful weekend my friends <3

Friday, October 4, 2013

Taking Back Some Control, Cara Style.

We are finishing our first month of school, grade 3 for Cara.

And really, we have done a great job so far this year.

I kinda feel like I'm feeding insulin a tad bit but really her numbers are far.

Cara, now 7 (very soon to be 8) and living with type 1 for almost 5 years now, started trowing some curve balls in my D plans for the first week of school this year.  I was getting phone calls every day with request to change MY PLANS that I implemented in the classroom or with the nurse for Cara.

She was taking back some control, which is okay! I get it, but it's soooo frustrating.

First it was the snacks, (the food that we pack at home for her to eat at school, the food that we ask each morning "Cara do you want this for snack?") Unfortunately little Miss Sneak caught a peek at her extra snacks that I keep in the office, in the case that something happens to her packed morning and afternoon snacks, she'll always have something at school to eat.  Well, of course, because she knew what her office snacks had to offer she did not want to eat her packed snack. And like the goof ball I am, I let her switch it up.  However, by the second phone call in one day to switch snacks, I put an end to that right away!

"Either you eat your snack we packed or you don't eat snack at all".

It's kinda of funny, we are so quick to fight for "NORMAL" for our type 1 kids when they are being treated differently UNTIL it comes to something special or say, an extra snack...none of my other kids would have gotten away with that, however it's "poor" Cara and she has it soooo hard some days and though very true, I'm really trying to get out of that mind set.  I'm creating a MONSTER!!

I want her to be treated like everyone else, normal.

The next day, it was a fight about blood sugar protocol.  Cara's nurse called me and said "Cara doesn't want to wash her hands before she tests, she wants to use hand sanitizer, is this OK? 

Oh. my. God, Cara, grrrrr, just wash your flippen hands with the awesome new soap dispenser I bought you to bring to school. Geez!

(You see, the other kids she's checking bg with do different things and that's fine however I like soap, I trust soap) We have ALWAYS just washed hands with soap, somewhere along the lines I read or heard something about alcohol pads not being able to completely clean away fruit residue on finger tips leading to possible false readings and so we stuck with soap...unscented.  You have to watch out for the soap made with fruit extract as this can lead to false I hear! :)  Also, I was led to believe that alcohol based cleaners lead to dry, itchy skin, so we soap.

At this point I'm frustrated, her numbers were high for these last 2 days at school because I was still waiting for a trend to form to narrow in and make my changes to insulin so I was stressed over the numbers, I had the first day/week of school jitters, I'm getting phones call up the wazoo and now...I have had it!  I put a call out to my friends on fb...What do you use to clean your child's hands before checking bg? With tons of different responses and reasons why, I choose the Ultimate Mothering pick my battles :)...I'll let her have this one, you want to use hand sanitizer before checking bg GO RIGHT AHEAD! and guess what? She washes her hands with soap now :) A win for mom :)

So, that's 2 days in and 2 days full of fighting my plans that I spent hours implementing in meetings, write ups and planning.

Day 3 and now Cara is much for the trend development, ugh some days I want to strangle diabetes!! She's low and I get a phone call from Cara's nurse "Cara does not want to eat the rockets for her low" "Well, let me talk to her please", I respond in a calm, cool voice.

Me:"Cara, you need to eat your rockets, you are low and that is dangerous"

Cara:"NO! I don't want my rockets, I don't care and I don't like them" (Her nurse is in the background trying to bribe her).

Me: "Cara eat your rockets now, or have a juice box, whatever you need to treat your low"

Cara: "NO! I don't want a juice box, blaaaaa, yucky! OR rockets! I want gummy bears"

Me: "Cara you don't have gummy bears eat your flippen rockets...NOW!!" and yes, I'm screaming on the phone but not yelling, but screaming in that firm, quiet and strained voice parents use when our muscles in our neck are protruding because your head is about to explode.

Cara: "B (another t1d) has gummy bears, I want gummy bears"

Me: If you asked nicely we would have gotten you gummy bears for your lows, we didn't KNOW you wanted gummy bears.  We use rockets!  If you eat your rockets NOW your father will take you to get gummy bears later.  BUT, right now you have to eat your rockets!!!!!"

After that, I'm not sure if Cara handed the nurse the phone to blow me off or if the nurse took back the phone, but the nurse was on the line and asking to let her try for a bit and if she needs she'll call me back...and there was no phone call back.

By the end of this day, I was about to pull my hair out and bury my stress in a bottle of wine.  Diabetes was being a bitch and my daughter was turning into a controlling, bratty monster...I hated my life at this point!!

Day Cara walked out the door to leave for school I warned her, NO PHONE CALLS ABOUT SNACKS because it's not happening, no more NOT TREATING A LOW because if you don't treat a low it's extremely dangerous and you may need a needle (scare tactic) to make you feel better if you go too low. (btw we did not need to buy gummy bears because she "decided" she was good with rockets) and MAKE SURE YOUR HANDS ARE CLEAN BEFORE CHECKING BG, have a nice day!

All morning, I had that phone glued to me, just waiting and nothing

until...1pm, phone rings, it's Cara with a tummy ache...good Lord! I deal with it, she is not so much but we are dealing, life goes on. The weeks following have been much better, less phone calls, the control issues have seem to fixed themselves and I did find a trend...tweaked my ratio's for bolus and basal...doing a little diabetes ass kicking at the moment.

I realize she is getting older, she wants to do things a different way once and a while, she wants a little control of her situation (don't we all) I want to give her that! I think it is really important for EVERYONE as they grow to start making decisions, if your choices works out, that's awesome and if your choices turns out to suck, well, that's life, I guess. When type 1 diabetes is thrown into the mix the decisions she is going to make better be the right ones because the wrong ones, well, you might not be able to come back from those kind of consequences.  So I have made a decision,  let's give her some leeway now, with smaller, less complicated problems, let her have a bit of control in a supervised environment.  I know she will find her own way, and I guess that's the hardest part of parenting a child with or without t1d, letting them find their own path, let them learn by their own successes and mistakes and let them develop the trust in themselves that they can do it on their own.

Ugh, parenting sucks sometimes!

First day of school, Cody's super excited, Kirstin's mad/sad that she has to stand next to Cody for the picture...the older kids, well, they know not to mess up mom's pictures :) and of course the oldest is missing in action.  Off to school early and there is NO way she would have been in the picture anyways!! UGH KIDS!