Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Yesterday I was at a Kindergarten end of the year picnic. When we arrived, it was hot and humid, and the kids were all running around with sno-cones. I immediately felt a cringe, wondering if Emily would want one, and began instictively planning for that possibility. We didn't see Zachary right away, so we were just standing there looking around, when I saw a little girl. She was probably about Emily's age, maybe a little younger, and she looked so blissful as she wandered around with her own sno-cone. Smiling absent-mindedly, she pulled the straw from her sugary treat and sucked on the end. Suddenly I felt physically sick. I wanted to cry. I wanted my little girl to be so innocent and unaware of the hidden carbs in foods. It only lasted a moment, but for that sad moment I mourned all that Emily lost when she became diabetic.

Emily never even asked for a sno-cone.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Forgotten Again

Another busy morning, rushing to get us all completely ready and out the door at the time when the three at-home girls (Katelyn, Emily and I) are usually taking kids to school in our jammies. This time it was to go to the zoo on a Kindergarten field trip. We were running kind of late, I was in my usual panic, but it all worked out. Got Zachary on the bus to ride with his friends, got Justin to MS before the tardy bell, got on the road to meet up at the zoo. We were all happy and excited.

But then Emily was mega-high at lunch. Again. As I analysed, trying to figure out where I'd gone wrong, I absolutely couldn't figure it out. Honestly, even though I'd forgotten her shot realtively recently, that day I didn't even ponder that possibility. I gave her a small lunch, so she wouldn't go hungry, and then struggled all day with her. Poor kid. She'd been looking forward to the zoo for about a month, counting down the days until she'd wear her matching orange zoo t-shirt and go see all the animals with her big brother. And now here she was, and she just felt so lousy. She kept crying that she felt low. Not uncommon when she is extra high to mistake it for a low. But heartbreaking because I couldn't fix it with a snack like a low could be fixed. We drank lots of diet coke, and made lots of trips to the bathroom, and made the best of it. Emily is great at making the best of it . . . a skill I am lacking, but trying to learn (from my three year old, no less -- have I said it enough times how proud I am of her?!?).

Imagine my surprise when I got home, and was tidying up from the morning frenzy, and found a full syringe on the counter!! I was so horrified. It is one thing for my sweetie to be miserable all day because of some fluke in her body chemistry. But because mommy forgot to inject the insulin I'd so carefully calculated? I was sick. And by then she was better.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Last week was a really hard week. I was dealing with a lot of emotions having to do with my oldest son (15 yrs old) having a girlfriend, and finding out that things were even more serious between them than we thought. And I was driving said son to and from Lifeguarding classes which was an hour round-trip each time dropping off and picking up (so two extra hours of driving on top of all the driving kids around I always do). On top of that, my oldest daughter was having a crisis with her eye. She was diagnosed with Intermediate Uveitis, which is an inflamation of the inner eye. It can be really serious, and she had an appointment in Houston with a pediatric opthalmologist on Thursday, so I was worried sick about that all week -- but aparently hers is not critical right now, although she might still have some recurring problems, right now we can breathe.

Then Friday I had a terrible day. Everything fell apart in the morning, with kids being cranky, kids forgetting important things and needing me to run them by their school, etc. Then I was all off schedule, and made it to my kindergartener's field trip so late that I missed eating lunch with him which was the whole purpose of going, and when I tested Emily so that she could eat lunch with me, she was so high the meter couldn't register it!! I was kind of freaking out, and couldn't figure out how she got so high . . . until I realized that I FAILED TO GIVE HER HER MORNING SHOT!!! So yeah, she had a reason for being so high. And it really stunk because being high makes her need to pee, and the bathrooms close to the playground were broken, so we had to hike a half-mile across a mosquito infested field (I got 7 bites). Then after being there for just a very short time I felt that I needed to hurry home so that I could call the diabetes hotline to find out what I was supposed to do. I got some good advice, got her stablized, but I couldn't get past it. I felt so defeated all day. I just kept wondering why Heavenly Father thought that I could handle all this.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Three Years Old

So much has happened since the last time that I posted here.  Some good, some bad.  Emily has turned three, she has actually given herself her shot (Yeah, WOW!!!!  For a while that was so great, but . . . the novelty wore off on that one too, and she's decided that doing her own shot is "too scary"), she has learned how to lie about feeling low -- thinking that it will get her a treat. 

Today I wrote a poem about diabetes.  It is more about my suffering than hers.

Doing the Math 

The sweet sharp smell 
of rubbing alcohol 
no longer evokes 
doctors' offices and hospitals -- 
the little square swabs 
have become as much a part 
of our landscape 
as cheerios and baby wipes. 

Some things I've stopped calculating: 
the shots . . . twice a day times 
a year and more . . . 
the finger-pricks 
that leave the swabs bloodstained 
multiplying til I'm dizzy. 
We've filled as many 
gallon juice jugs 
with your medical-sharps-waste 
to match your three years. 

Other math must still be done daily: 
correction factors . . . 
Insulin-to-carb ratios -- 
I wish I could as easily 
divide your pain 
your disappointment. 
Even the small hurts 
I'd make smaller. 

I prick and you flinch. 
And I want to flinch. 
Let the diabetes win for one day 
as I stop playing pancreas 
so I don't have to be the one 
to do the math 
find the magic number 
balancing your life one meal at a time. 

Needle poised before 
your perfect, round, toddler belly: 
"We're turning your tummy 
into swiss cheese" I joke. 
You laugh and I poke. 
This one didn't hurt -- too much -- 
but still my mind is racing 
doing the math 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All by my own self

Emily had a proud moment recently, when she actually was able to test herself one hundred percent on her own!! She has done parts of it by herself, but this time she actually did all of it on her own. I just loved her triumphant smile as she announced, "I did it all by my own self!"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tummy Time!

We started out with carefully rotating the injection sites, like we were taught in the hospital. Some people even have little charts they mark to make sure they don't mess up their rotation. Then I discovered that being able to say where she got her shot made it easier on Emily, and she was pretty good about taking a little guidance if she was choosing the same area too often. Every now and then I have been asking her about trying some new sites, particularly in the tummy, since I've been told that some kids "like" (isn't that a strange word to use in this context?) it there. Finally one day, she said she'd try it, and YEA!!!! She "liked" it!!!! For a while she never fussed about her shot, and she'd even pinch up the skin for me. She would tell me, "I be brave!" Gradually though, the novelty wore off (or something), and now she's back to fussing. Big time. Sometimes she will plead with me, "please not do this, please not do this!" It is so horrible. People often ask me, how is she with her shots? The easy answer is Oh, she does pretty good. The selfish answer is that I HATE hate hate that I have to give my daughter shots. The honest answer, the long answer that I rarely give, is that it goes in cycles. I keep having to mix it up. Try to find the next thing. For a while it was having her siblings dance or sing or do something silly while she got her shot. Sometimes she'll be really brave and quiet so she can trick the rest of the family into thinking that she hasn't gotten her shot yet. But right now none of that seems to work, and she breaks my heart daily. So now I'm back to searching for the next little trick that will temorarily make it okay.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Emily's Songs

Okay, this is kind of on the lighter side of life with diabetes as well.

Shortly after Emily was diagnosed, there was a song that was very popular, called "Low" by FloRida. It's a real hip hop dance song, and the kids and I loved to crank it up and have a dance party. We also decided that it should be Emily's song, since she had to worry about being "low."

Then, her daddy started singing the Leona Lewis song to her, except he sang it, Keep bleeding blood, instead of keep bleeding love, in reference to her frequent finger pricks. So now "Bleeding Love" is her song too, and she always (with the persistence that only a 2 year old can muster) wants to listen to it every time we are in the car.