Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

WDD, NaBloPoMo and some other non acronym stuff you should know about

Mostly, I am thinking about Halloween and wondering if we will avoid rain here in Seattle (it is not looking good people!) but right behind that thought is a whole pile of excitement coming up for November.
Besides Thanksgiving which, besides Christmas might be my most favorite holiday (and I am a Jewish girl..go figure!), there is a lot going on.


November is Diabietes Awareness Month and in honor of that, I will be participating in National Blog Posting Month along with my pals KrisHallie Meri, Nicole, Lora, Wendy, Tracy, Heather  & Sweet Momma. Please stop by regularly and give us all some love. Posting every day is no easy task, especially with work and families to take care of AND don't forget D thrown in there to add some extra fun. Comments are what get us all through the day so come by and show your support!



November 9th is the 6th annual world diabetes blog day. Click HERE for all the details.



November 14th is World Diabetes Day (WDD). You can help raise awareness and show your support by wearing blue or lighting something up in blue. You can click HERE for more details. If you really want to rock it on WDD, go to the We Cara Lot blog and check out the WDD shirts! Nicole has awesomely provided the design template so all you have to do is take it to your local t-shirt printing place and get some made up in your size.

There is a petition currently going on to get Google to do a blue doodle on the 14th of November in honor of WDD. Please go sign it if you get a chance! It would be so great to see it happen. Click HERE!

BTW, I wouldn't know about half of this stuff if it weren't for Nicole so..thanks Nicole for putting all the info out there!!

AND don't forget, to go visit My Diabetic Child for a JUICY giveaway this week.

Have a Happy and Safe  Halloween everyone!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Seattle D Style

I might just put Seattle Style in every damn post title..whadda ya think? Nah..I don't think so. My brain is too tired to come up with anything else this morning! Anyhoo...let's talk about the big H! Only a few days away and the excitement is building in our house! Addison is going to be Bill Nye the Science Guy going on a Space Mission and he can't wait to go trick or treating. We are going to continue our tradition with our neighbors of an early dinner and then taking the kids out in the neighborhood for some fun.

Since Addison is only almost 4 and was diagnosed at 15 months, trick or treating is still pretty new and candy is even newer! We don't really eat candy around these parts  with the exception of dark chocolate and the occasional Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (those things are SOOOO good).  Sure, he has heard tales of candy from Chris and I when we talk about trick or treating or from stories we have read that talk about candy but he hasn't really been tempted by its seductive wrappers and sweet sugary goodness.  When we went trick or treating last year, he just happily traded candy for a toy and didn't give it a second thought. In fact, he was calling the candy in the bowl we had "trick or treaters" and was using them to drive around like cars and ships. This year though..things will be different  for sure. We have had a talk about it and he knows that most of the candy will get traded for a special toy and he is very excited about that. However, I also told him if he wants to pick out and save a few pieces to try that was cool too. And he was excited about that too!

I have loosened my ideas about candy and halloween since Addison was diagnosed. The first year he was too little and there was no trick or treating. But, I could not imagine what Halloween would be like in the future. I was dreading it. Then, last year he had SO much fun and quite frankly so did I. Over the course of this past year, I have discovered that nothing horrible happens when he eats a bit of chocolate or a sweet dessert (insert dramatic music). If my child was a not a type 1 diabetic, my feelings about candy and sweets would not be all that much different. I wouldn't, of course, be concerned about crazy blood sugar fallout but I would be concerned about his health and what he puts into his body. For me, I like to keep the candy to a minimum but I do think a little sweet is certainly appropriate and I also think on Halloween that some exceptions can be made. It is part of the fun of the evening.

This year though WE are doing something different. We are NOT giving out candy at our house. Say what you may but don't worry, we will not be the house giving out pennies or raisin boxes. I went to Oriental Trading Company and with Addison's help we picked out FUN plastic crap to give out to our trick or treaters. We got sticky eyeballs, glow in the dark bouncy eyeballs, skeleton paratroopers, pumpkin shaped bottles of bubbles, crazy metallic rainbow slime and bendy skeletons. Who wouldn't like these things? I wanted to show Addison that it wasn't all about candy and make it something kids would think was fun at the same time. Ok, so maybe Halloween is mostly about candy but it is also about being with friends, dressing up crazy and getting to be out later than normal. It is about telling spooky stories, decorating and watching It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. I have vivid memories of Halloween from childhood. Being out in the crisp fall night, dressing up, playing spooky music to scare trick or treaters and of course dumping out a pile of candy on the floor to see what I got. I want Addison to have fun and enjoy Halloween. I don't want him to feel like he was denied anything but I want to keep him healthy too. I feel like we have found a way to do both and that has made me so much less stressed out about the big H. Every family does things the way that works for them and if you have a newly diagnosed child, don't worry. You too will find a way to make Halloween work. Laura at the Houston Family We Have A Problem blog has a great post about it today too.

Not related to Halloween at all but certainly a treat..head over to My Sugar Bugs for a sweet giveaway before it is too late!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Naked Pancreas Seattle Style

I have been SO absent from my blog. From the DOC. A cold, kitchen remodel and a busy schedule have kept me away. I find by the end of my days lately, I just can't muster up the energy to do anything but watch maybe 15 minutes of Modern Family/30 Rock or some other tv show online before I snooze off for a bit only to wake up in a panic needing to check a blood sugar. It is pathetic!

This morning, I had a bit of free time and was catching up on things and saw Reyna's Naked Pancreas MeMe (and yes, I know what that is now). Without further ado, I give you my naked pancreas self...

1. What kind on insulin management mode do you use? Addison uses an Animas Ping pump. It is green and we call it Mr. Tubels (pronounced tube -ells)


2. How often do you inject/change pump sites? We change sites every 3 days. Sometimes sooner if a site seems wonky or Addison pulls it out (happened only once). We have gone up to 4 days if the numbers were rockin' and there was a good amount of insulin left. If we wait until day 4 though, the skin under the site always looks more irritated so we try not to go that long. We use Animas Insets with excellent results. 


3. What type (s) of insulin do you use? We use Humalog but have been trying out Apidra this month. I can't say I have seen any difference. 


4. What are your basal settings?
I just want to say that these might change any second now..we are always tweaking. In fact, I just changed these this morning. 


12am  .1
8am  .2
9am .225
11am  .2
12p  .1
7p .125
9p  .15


5. What are your correction factors ?
We just have one 1:300. Seems to work!


6. What are your meal ratios ?
1:20 7am-11am
1:25 rest of the day/night


7. What do you do for activity and/or PE?
Since Addison is only 3.5 and not in school yet, this one is tricky. His body never behaves the same after/during activity. Sometimes he needs a 20% basal reduction, sometime he needs about 12 extra carbs, other times everything stays the same and he needs nothing! Good times!


8. How do you manage Pizza, Macaroni and Cheese, or any other "difficult to manage" foods? 
We don't really have mac and cheese so much around here, but pizza is a tough one. We tried a combo bolus once and it backfired! Last time we had pizza, we bolused for the first slice and then waited until we saw bg going up to bolus for the second slice. He still needed a little bit extra though later on in the night. So I guess you can say we are still figuring it out!


9. How do you prefer to manage your logs/data?
I prefer to do it in my head. I can remember most of things I need to know. When I am having a really hard time with BG though, I usually use a simple sheet our Endo gave us. I was logging on my ipod touch with Glucose Buddy but when we switched to the pump and started using such small amounts, there was no way to record those numbers on GB. Which is too bad because I had gotten in the habit of recording everything everyday. I do find though that a piece of paper is easier for my brain to process.


Anyone else want to expose themselves?! 







Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blogger Basal!

If you haven't gotten in touch with Hallie over at The Princess and the Pump to get yourself included in this months Blogger Basal, now is your chance! You have until tomorrow night to contact her and get yourself listed. Want to know more about the Blogger Basal? Want to be the host? Wendy at Candy Hearts has the lowdown...
Now what are you waiting for..get outta here!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

365:138 Thankful

********
I am thankful for this beautiful fall day. For my son's laughter and joy. For good food on my table. For my husband, my best love. My heart goes out today to the family of Eilish who passed away in the night.     I don't think I can write about it but today, I took Meri's advice and as I looked out onto the lake, I stood tall, unafraid and I was thankful for all that I have.


The Test Strip S*&t Storm

So lets talk about test strips. Alexis posted this today:


 I was originally going to post about how its bullshit insurance wont cover more than 300 strips a month because according to them 10 times a day is enough testing. I say fuck that I will test as much as I need to allow me to know J is safe. So scary when I know Im almost out of strips and refill isnt for another 2 weeks.


Who on earth ARE you insurance companies that you get to decide how many times a day we test our kids? I would ask that same question to the doctors, nurses and pharmacists who ask that bloody annoying question " Why do you need to test your child SO much?". Why? WHY? If you lived with the constant fear that your child could die from a low or high blood sugar that was untreated, YOU would be a little teensy bit freaked out too. Yeah, ya would!  


What about your glucagon? I am pretty sure that glucagon can get refilled as many times as you need to. It is for EMERGENCIES. So why the hell can't we get something that could PREVENT these emergencies to be refilled as much as we want or need? It just does't make sense. I wonder if there is a way to petition the government or insurance companies to change this policy of limitation on life saving test strips.  


We get 450 strips a month. We have a doc who doesn't question our frequent finger checks. I ALWAYS ask for strip samples when we have an appointment for back up. With this amount of strips, I feel like we have enough now to have a little bit left at the end of the month. Having that little extra cushion means the world to me and my sanity. It is like a bank account. When you live check to check and hope to god that it each deposit lasts until the next one, that your checks will all clear, that when you go to pay for your groceries at the store your card will not read declined. It is incredibly stressful. When you see that strip stockpile going down and you know you have to stretch them until you can get them refilled again and you hope and pray there is no illness or extra activities or bum strips because if there is..you are screwed! STRESSFUL! Diabetics and their caregivers should not have to be stressed out and worried about being able to obtain enough strips to keep them healthy. It is crazy.


And here is my beef with the strips themselves. One Touch People - if you by any chance come across this blog..PLEASE do something about your strips. They suck and not in a good way!! Seriously, I throw out SO MANY strips thanks to an Error 5 because they require so much blood to be sucked in to that little strip just so. Maybe with adults it is easier but with a young squirmy child, it is a challenge. Freestyle People - I love you. Those new butterfly strips are THE BEST. They take the tiniest bit of blood and none are ever wasted. They are a dream!! When you only get so many strips a month..they are like gold and throwing them away because they didn't work, sometimes one after the other, kind gives you a sick feeling in your belly. 


So tell me - if you wouldn't mind sharing - how many strips do you get a month? Is it enough? How can we change this crazy limit that insurance companies put on something so important to a diabetics health? Chime in!



Monday, October 18, 2010

365:136 RIP Mr. Smartypants

If there is one thing I DON'T like to see it is an ominous black blob stretched across the screen of my son's pump remote for no apparent reason. No dropping. No anything weird happening prior to this blob appearing. It came out of nowhere! I went to bolus him yesterday morning and this is what I saw! I have to say, THANK GOODNESS that I can also use the pump itself to do everything I need. A deciding factor when we chose between the Omnipod and the Ping btw...

The new remote will be here Tuesday (tomorrow) and I gotta tell ya - even though I can do everything on the pump itself, I don't like to!! Tuesday cannot come soon enough. The remote rocks and I am really, really missing it. Like yesterday when we were in the car and Addison was snacking and I could not give a remote bolus! Or when I had to look up IOB and it just wasn't as intuitive to me as doing it on the remote..I have gotten spoiled by Mr. Smartypants for sure.

It does put one on edge though realizing how dependent we are on technology and that technology can fail at any given moment without warning. When and if our pump ever fails (which hopefully will never happen) ..yeah, I don't want to think about it. After being on the pump and feeling inconvenienced by not having a remote..going back to shots would be something else indeed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

And the Winner Is.....

Number 15!

Do you want to know who that is?

Are you sure?

Positive?


Ok then...

Congratulations MISTY from Life is Like A Box of Chocolates!


You can email me at iamyourpancreas@gmail.com to claim your loot!

Now go on over and visit Tracy at The Princess and The Superhero for THIS weeks awesome giveaway!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

365:133 Mail Exchange!





We had the good fortune of participating in Cindy's wonderful Mail Exchange! Our partner was The Superhero...
Addison was thrilled to receive a package of goodies and a sweet letter. I read the letter and showed Addison the Superhero's "Dexie" and I explained that we would be going in to the doc to try one out next month. Whenever I try and talk to him about other kids like him with Type 1, it seems like he ignores me. That is to say, he doesn't say anything about it and moves on to another subject. This has been happening for a while and I find it curious. He did not seem all that interested in the letter from the Superhero and my heart was a little broken..But then, the next day, we were talking about making Halloween cards to send out to our friends and I asked him to tell me who he wanted to send one to and I would make a list. Well, I was touched when the first person he mentioned was "the guy with dexie". 

Thank you Tracy and Superhero. I love you guys!! And keep your eyes to the mail for a Halloween surprise!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

The A1C

Blogger Sara posed the question recently what is the big secret about A1c's? Why don't more people post them on their blogs? When I first read her post, I was surprised. I was sure everyone posted A1C's except me. I was sure I had seen them on Laura, Tracy, Reyna, Lora, Jules, Joanne and Wendy's sites. And I KNOW I have seen them posted up on Facebook. Sara wanted to know why the big secret?


In case you are unfamiliar, the A1C is a test that measures the average of a person's blood sugar levels over a period of 2-3 months This test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin - a protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen - are coated with sugar (glycated). Addison has his A1C checked every 3 months. I try not to think about the A1C most of the time. It is difficult enough manages a child'd blood sugar day in and day out. When you add the pressure of that achieving a perfect A1C it becomes all too possible to lose sight of your child, to forget about the human aspect of this thing, to become narrowly focused on one number. That is not to say I don't think about it because believe me, I do. I just try not to let it consume me. I don't talk about it very much on this blog because I like to keep it in its place and that is far away from the spotlight.

But Sara's post made me realize that it might be helpful to others, especially those with newly diagnosed children, to know what other A1C's might look like. Since we just had our 3 month Endo check in this week, I thought I would share some exact numbers. Addison's A1C this time was 7.6.  The last time it was 8. I usually don't get too stuck on the A1C, but when we started the pump about 6 months ago and I kept seeing high after high glaring at me on the glucometer, I started to think about how much worse Addison's A1C was going to be. His A1C prior to going on the pump was, I think, 7.4 and we were really, really happy with that! It was hard to go in after being on the pump for 3 months..the pump that was supposed to help control BG.. and see that 8. That said, we still received the usual praise from our Endo. Our doc is very happy to see a number 8.5 or lower. However, since Addison has consistently been in the mid 7's, for me, an 8 felt like defeat even though I  know that is still a great number for a child his age. This visit, I was very relieved to see his number back in the 7's. I told our Doc I would like to see it in the lower 7's and he asked why. Shouldn't we always strive for a better number? I just want to do the best I can for Addison's well being. He told me that maybe 7.6 or even 8 is best for Addison. He said that he would rather see Addison's A1C right around where it is and have me be a little less stressed out and sleep deprived (not in those exact words mind you). He just said that it is most important to be a mama to Addison that isn't worn down all the time by D. Point taken. Being who I am, I will always strive to do my best for Addison but I sometimes need to be reminded that my best doesn't hinge on that one number.

* I am adding this note a bit late but Wendy's comment reminded me to say something important..I am my own worst critic. When I hear of others who are struggling with A1c's in the 9, 10 and 11's all I can think of is Man, I know how hard it is! Sometimes no matter what you do, how hard you try D is a BEAST to get under control. I do not judge anyone for this number..the only person I ever judge (and I am working on this, believe me) is myself. I understand that sometimes no matter what you do, things get in the way of achieving that "perfect" number.  I know the DOC will be here for me when I feel frustrated with numbers without judging me and I just want make sure you all know..I am here for you too!!
xo

Friday, October 8, 2010

Welcome to This Week's Sugar Bolus..I Will Be Your Host

Can you believe it is Friday already? I sure can't. Heck, I can't believe it is OCTOBER already. Anyway, it is Friday and I will be your host for this weeks SUGAR BOLUS. I have a treat for you oh one lucky winner. Imagine me extending my hand Vanna White style (am I showing my age again?) ....



One Spibelt! Yes, that is right..one Spibelt of YOUR CHOICE. Addison wears one with flames on it and he loves it. It stays put without bouncing around and it looks awfully cute. They have sizes for kids and adults and will even put in a hole for your pump tubing to go through.




A package of local Seattle made goodness. There will be a pound of Victrola Coffee to help you stay up all night and check those blood sugars OR perhaps you may need it to get you going in the morning after a long night of checking blood sugars..Either way, you won't find better coffee anywhere. One bar of Rejuvenation Soap from Seattle Sundries.  When you've "had a DAY", this soap will help take you away. The scents of rose, jasmine and sandalwood are a calming and restorative cure for a less than perfect mood.  That pretty much sums up most of my days so I love this soap! And last but not least, some lovely Chill Tea from the Miro Tea Company. After you get all hopped up on coffee, you can mellow out with some herbal tea. Miro is a phenomenal company and we are so lucky to have them here. Their Chill Tea has cardamom, peppermint, licorice root, oils of basil & clove. It is yummy and said to promote relaxation  - another thing I need more of!


So, I thank you all for entering and wish you GOOD LUCK! Here is how you go about it:


To Enter, leave me a comment before midnight on Thursday October 14th. Please include your first name. Comments left without a name will be eliminated. 


To earn extra entries (post a separate comment for each):

  • Tweet about this giveaway. Then leave me an additional comment.
  • Share a link to this contest on Facebook. Then leave me an additional comment to let me know.
  • Blog about this contest then leave me an additional comment with a link to your blog.


No duplicate comments are allowed. Duplicate comments will be eliminated.


Winners will be selected at a random draw through http://www.random.org/.


Winners name will be posted here on this blog on Friday October 15th.


After winners name is posted, winner will have 48 hours to send a message to me at iamyourpancreas@gmail.com. If I do not hear from the selected winner in 48 hours, I will select another winner.







Thursday, October 7, 2010

Home Sweet (Messy and sometimes disgusting)Home

Thanks to George from Ninjabetic todays post will be D free...

I loved seeing photos of Reyna and Hallie's lovely homes and I thought maybe I would share some of mine..but truth be told..I am a bit embarrassed. I am not the worlds most fastidious housekeeper. In fact, I joke with my husband that we are like two bachelors living together. I used to apologize profusely to anyone who was going to come over and see my house for the first time. Now, I might mention that our house is a little crusty but I have come to accept that I can only do so much and being a super duper house keeper is not my top priority. That said..my dining room looks like a scene straight out of Hoarders at the moment. AND this has nothing to do with my lack of housekeeping skills. This is 100% KITCHEN REMODEL FALLOUT. After 7 years of being in this house we are finally in a position to start making improvements and the kitchen was numero uno on the list. The kitchen is the worst part of this house for sure. It is small, poorly laid out and has the worst tile floor ever. And counter tops..fuggetaboutit! Who on earth, btw, thinks it is a good idea to put white tile with white grout for kitchen counters? Clearly someone who doesn't do a lot of cooking! The kitchen has been getting grosser and grosser with each passing year. The last straw right before Addison and I headed to Portland was when I cracked an egg into a pan on the stove for breakfast and I pulled the shell away too fast. The egg slopped onto the floor right into this tile that had been getting more and more cracked. The egg sunk right into the cracks in the tile in a place I could never clean. It was like it happened in slo mo and I was reaching for it, screaming NOOOOOOO! To say it grossed me out is an understatement. I was horrified! I was also thankful that this was the last of the old kitchen I had to deal with. Oh, and I forgot to mention the stove. Electric. Small. AND all the knobs for the burners and stove melted off so we just had these little nubs that had no indicators of L, M or H on them. It was all guessing all the time. It is nothing short of a miracle that we managed to make such good food on this piece of crap stove for as long as we have!

So, the kitchen has been gutted and is now being put back together but the chaos ensues and it will probably be a little crazy here for another few weeks. You may not hear as much from me as I juggle a toddler, a new kitten (that is right- KITTEN not KITCHEN) and a construction zone but I hope when I do re-emerge that I have beautiful kitchen photos to share....

For now, I leave you with these and I can guarantee you won't be envious (well, maybe of the kitty).
You might see me on the next episode of Hoarders...no really, this is the kitchen relocated to the dining room.
The old nasty kitchen
Deconstructing
And this is why I left town for a few days
Crazy but making progress
Good times!!
And last but not least..



Monday, October 4, 2010

Sweet Sweet Sugar Bolus

Head on over to visit Misty at Life is Like a Box of Chocolates for this weeks Sugar Bolus Giveaway! It looks like a great one. I am especially coveting these cute little pouches from PillowSewCute for organizing D supplies...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Train Train

I admit, it has been quiet here at I Am Your Pancreas. Addison and I hopped a train to Portland, Oregon last weekend to escape the madness of kitchen remodeling happening at my house. Lucky for me, my husband is quite handy. He is a kind of renaissance man who can learn just about anything that strikes his fancy and, btw,  he doesn't just learn it, he masters it. Case in point - learning to roast coffee. He went from knowing nothing about roasting to being a master and making quite a name for our coffee both locally and nationally (we were formerly owners of a cafe/coffee roasting business). Same for construction/woodworking/design. Self taught and damn good at it! Anyway, he decided it was time to update our really awful kitchen and I agreed! I didn't want to be around though with a 3.5 year old while the walls were literally coming down! Hence..the train.

I was nervous. This was the first time in Addison's life that he and I had gone away together without Chris. I was solo to deal with whatever D might throw our way and I was a bit..yeah, nervous! All firsts with D make me nervous but as the past has proven, it WILL all be ok and I can handle it. You know what, it was great. Taking the train was so much fun and being in Portland with my best friend and her family and getting to see my little brother was really, really fantastic. Were there wonky blood sugars? Yes! Was it all fine? Yes again! After doing this for almost 3 years now, I finally had the courage to take it on the road and I can't wait to do it again.

I leave you with a few photos of our Portland highlights..
Making Pasta With Uncle John
NE Farmers Market
Farmers Market Maitake Mushrooms
Underground Glow in the Dark Pirate Miniature Golf!
Lorikeets at the Portland Zoo

Rolling around with Uncle Matthew
Drinking Yummy Coffee at Coava
Hangin' with Auntie Adrianne at the Train Station