Saturday, February 23, 2013

Blow Me One Last Kiss

Blow Me One Last Kiss


I love music. A good song takes me to a better place, another time.  Music is fun, it’s therapeutic, it’s cathartic.  A catchy tune, sultry voices, sound musicians, relatable lyrics…One alone or all together can make or break a song.  Songs are real, poetry from someone’s soul.  They are glimpses into life, love, relationships…and what’s better than one you can completely relate to?  One you’ve “lived” yourself?

 Now, anyone who knows me knows I LOVE me some Bon Jovi (for all of the above reasons, and JBJ is sweet eye candy, but I digress). Bon Jovi isn’t the only band, genre or music I enjoy.  I love me some George Strait, Tim McGraw, Matchbox Twenty, Maroon 5, Pink, Adele, Daughtry…the list goes on.  Point being, I’m not a “one trick” pony.  Bon Jovi IS my FAVORITE, but I do like other stuff, but NONE of this has anything to do with the point of this blog.

While enjoying my PiNK CD “The Truth About Love”, the songs “Blow Me One Last Kiss” and “Try” have really spoken to me.  These songs are about love and relationships. Many songs describes parts of my relationship with my fabulous husband, Jerry, but more so, good portions of these songs describe my relationship my arch nemesis, Diabetes.  Look through a new set of glasses, listen a bit differently.  The lyrics are meaningful if you think about them in this new light.

White knuckles and sweaty palms from hanging on too tight

Clenched shut jaw, I've got another headache again tonight

Eyes on fire, eyes on fire, and they burn from all the tears

I've been crying, I've been crying, I've been dying over you

Tie a knot in the rope, tryin' to hold, tryin' to hold,

But there's nothing to grasp so I let go

I think I've finally had enough, I think I maybe think too much

I think this might be it for us (blow me one last kiss)

You think I'm just too serious, I think you're full of shit

My head is spinning so (blow me one last kiss)

Just when it can't get worse, I've had a shit day

(NO!)Have you had a shit day? (NO!), We've had a shit day (NO!)

I think that life's too short for this, I want back my ignorance and bliss

I think I've had enough of this, blow me one last kiss…

I have had enough, but he’s going nowhere. I think constantly about this stupid disease and anything I can do to improve my relationship with him and/or my boys. I’ve shed way too many tears about Diabetes. Mr. Diabetes is “full of S*&!”, and some days I think it can’t get worse, but it does. Unfortunately, I can’t blow Diabetes one last kiss and expect him to go away. He’s an abusive stalking lover who won’t leave no matter what.  I’ll never get back my ignorance and bliss. So, until a cure is found and I can’t blow him one last kiss…

Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone's bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn't mean you're gonna die
You've gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try
You gotta get up and try try try

I have the desire to manage and defeat this disease, but his flame is big and strong. There are days the fatigue feels fatal, but I keep getting up.  I get burned, trying, trying to do my best. Until my boys are big, until a cure is found, I HAVE to get up and try.  I have to fight back against this stupid disease; I can’t win; I’ll keep getting burned, but I won’t stop fighting.  I’ll try, and try, and try.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Aiden's One Year Diaversary

February 20, 2013

Aiden’s Diaversary

One year ago today, my splitting heart was torn in two when the pediatrician called me early on Monday morning confirming my worst fears.  In my heart, I knew what I was going to hear, yet I had hoped I’d be wrong. (I don’t usually like being wrong).  When he said, “Get Aiden to the hospital now; they’re waiting for you”, I fell to my knees and shook.  How could this be happening?  My perfect, healthy, smart, beautiful seven-year-old little boy was formally diagnosed with a lifelong illness.  We spent three days in the hospital stabilizing him and learning about how to treat his Type One Diabetes. Fortunately for Aiden, we’d caught his disease relatively “early”, so he wasn’t as ill as many children who present.

One of the most common things I heard was, “Well, you’re a nurse.  You can do this.” “Or, who better for this to happen to.”  I can assure you, I’m a nurse.  I’m educated, and I like to think I’m reasonably intelligent.  So, on the “educational” front, that did make it easier.  However, in no shape, form, or fashion do I think we “should have” this disease because I’m able to “handle it”.  There are days I don’t handle it well at all.  Why?  Because, I don’t care what my career is, I’m a Mommy FIRST, and my heart hurts when my babies are hurting.  Knowledge is power, but it doesn’t make accepting this stupid disease any easier!  Hearing the words “He has diabetes” ripped my heart completely in two, and no education or profession made that pain any easier!  Having a medical career does not make being a substitute pancreas any easier.

I felt hopeless and powerless.  I’m a “fixer”, and this hard-working Mommy can never fix this for her baby.  I can’t take his burden away.  That’s a tough pill to swallow.  This is certainly what I hate the most…  The worry, the fear, and the fact that Mommy can’t fix it. If I could take this disease away from Aiden (and Asa), I’d put the burden on my shoulders in no time. No band-aid will fix it.  So, hard as it is for me, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t fix it, but I can learn as much as possible. I can teach them how to manage their disease, because ultimately it’s their disease, not mine. I can get involved to help raise money for research. I can make the best of a crummy and unfair situation.

Life sure as hell isn’t fair. It’s not fair that this 8-yr-old child now has to worry about “catching low”, checking his blood sugar, counting every single carbohydrate he consumes, and taking injections for insulin….the one medication that sustains his life. No child should have to worry about such things.  He should be all about Star Wars, Angry Birds, Bicycles and puppies.  And, he is; he’s still a little boy, but he’s a little boy who has to worry about grown-up problems, too.

That wound in my heart has healed, but the scar is weak.  I think it may always be. Facing this day is bittersweet, and it’s causing that scar to bleed.  I’m so happy that my baby is alive.  He is growing.  He is funny. He is healthy.  He is smart.  He’s ok.  In another day and time, he’d be dead by now.  He would have starved to death despite having adequate nutrition. That’s very humbling.

Yet, I still find myself mourning for the days when he was completely care-free. Some days are great, and some days I’m not ok.  I feel resentful when I have to stop in the grocery store and read EVERY package and wonder how EVERY item I buy will impact his blood sugar.  I feel angry that I HAVE to buy certain items that I would not have ordinarily purchased simply because I need them on hand to treat low blood sugars.  I feel stupid being in the “Diabetes section” of the pharmacy looking at supplies (Isn’t that section for old people only?)  And, I feel frustrated when I have to pay MORE taxes AFTER paying $9000 in 2012 in medical expenses.  Some people leave it to the government to provide; we provide for ourselves and they still want more!  It’s exhausting to get up in the middle of the night to check on the boys.  I feel frightened when they oversleep and I just KNOW they are in a coma. Thinking about this every day is very much an emotional roller coaster!

I'm feeling like a Monday today, but someday I'll be Saturday night!

In this first year we have learned so much, and we have adjusted our lives to accommodate Diabetes.  He’s a demanding ASS, that’s for sure!  Trying to be optimistic, I can say that my family is fine.  My son is fine.  My marriage is stronger.  And, we will be ok.  Year One down… many more to go? Will there be a cure in his lifetime, or will he grow to be an old man with this?

So, today, after getting a quarterly blood draw that this sucktastic disease requires, we’re going to celebrate.  We’re going to celebrate that Aiden has not been re-hospitalized with complications. We’re going to celebrate that he has been so big and brave in accepting his diagnosis. We’re going to celebrate how much we’ve learned.  We’re going to celebrate that it’s not worse (although it could be so much better).  We’re going to celebrate that we live in a day and time where treatment is available and a cure is on the horizon. And, through the tears, we’re going to celebrate that my baby is still alive to live a full life! 

I think we’ll celebrate with some ice cream!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Please, Don't...

February 19, 2013

Please, Don’t….

When a child is diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes, a parent is suddenly bombarded with an over-abundance amount of information, has to adjust to a different lifestyle and disease management, and is often sleep-deprived, confused, depressed, and overwhelmed. The entire family is impacted. To boot, well-meaning friends, extended family, and sometimes strangers say the damndest things to a parent who’s trying to cope with keeping their baby alive and healthy (and some of us, more than ONE child!). Functioning as a pancreas is a full-time job; functioning as two pancreases must be against ALL US Labor Laws.  It's overtime with out the time-and-a-half pay! We understand people mean well, but honestly, some of the ignorant remarks can be hurtful.  It’s like adding insult to injury. We understand not everyone fully understands this disease, as we all didn’t either until it was thrown forcefully into our laps. Now, we try to educate so we can improve understanding and perhaps inspire another person to donate time or money to finding a cure. However, if it’s been a rough night, or the person has a particularly indignant or judgmental tone, or the person says something horrifying in earshot of our innocent babies, it’s really hard to bite our tongues! If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything …. except, “I’m sorry” or “I’ll be thinking about you” or “How can I help?”

I alluded to this in an earlier blog (Type One vs. Type Two Diabetes), but now I’ll expound on the subject.  With great reminders from awesome fellow Type One Parents from a cool forum, I’ll let you read some of the wonderful, well-meaning things that have been said to some or all of us.  In no particular order:

1.       “It’s just diabetes; he’ll be fine!”  Yes, yes, it could be worse, but please don’t undermine the seriousness and gravity of this disease.  It is a constant and everyday struggle to manage and keep your child alive and healthy.  And, NO, you don’t have a crystal ball to tell us how our boys will turn out!  Frankly, this statement is dismissive of a mom or dad’s mourning of their child’s pre-diabetic life and the “perfectness” and innocence of their childhood. It’s dismissive of a mom or dad’s effort and energy spent into managing an often unruly disease!

2.       “It’ll make you a better mother” What the…?  Did I SUCK before so I needed a life-altering diagnosis to get me to fly right?  Having your child diagnosed with T1D WILL require you to be more diligent, organized and overseeing about certain aspects of your child’s life and medical care (until he or she can manage his/her disease on his/her own), but it won’t change your basic parenting.  Diabetes won’t prevent your child from sitting on the therapist’s couch because of your newfound parenting prowess!

3.       “All he has to do is take insulin.”  Yes, he has to take insulin.  But, it’s not so simple.  We have to check blood sugars via finger-stick AT LEAST four times per day (but up to 10 times per day if needed).  Did you read that?  Four to ten times per day we have to inflict pain and cause our babies to bleed! We have to count every carbohydrate he eats.  We have to become math geniuses and administer a set dose of insulin based on the blood sugar and the amount of carbohydrates consumed. What works well one day, will fail miserably the next. It’s a fantastic mix of science, math, voodoo and sorcery to get that perfect unattainable blood sugar or Hemoglogin A1C level! We have to worry about highs, lows, complications, every single meal and snack, endocrinology appointments, ophthalmology appointments, pediatric appointments, quarterly venipunctures for lab work, and middle of the night blood sugar checks.  So, yes, insulin is the primary medication that maintains his life, but that’s not “all”!

4.       “You can’t have diabetes, you’re too thin!” Again, T1D is NOT a lifestyle disease.  It’s an autoimmune disorder wherein the pancreas is attacked and can no longer produce its own insulin.  At the onset of the disease, the patient is essentially starving to death because glucose cannot enter into the cells (because insulin carries it into the cells), so most often, the patients ARE very thin.  So, thanks for noticing!  (Just for the record, I DO wish someone would say that to me when looking at my fabulous post-five-babies abs or my caboose!) On the flip side, it would be equally inappropriate to say, “You must have Type 2 Diabetes because you’re such a cow!”

5.       “You shouldn’t have given him/her too much soda (or other sugary substance) because it causes diabetes”. To try to explain the difference between Type One and Type Two Diabetes can be taxing.  Some people just want to be “right” and are indignant if educated. Our children did NOT develop diabetes because of too much sugar.  Saying T1D was “caused” by sugar is like saying your baby’s hair color was caused by the prenatal vitamins you took.  Unrelated.  Genetics aided in both their hair color and their propensity to develop an autoimmune disorder. They developed diabetes because these wicked little antibodies decided to have a war inside their tiny bodies, and the pancreas was killed by this “friendly fire”.  Poor diet, nutrition, and lifestyle CAN lead to Type 2 Diabetes because the person is taxing the limits of the pancreas’s capabilities (and other organs).  It was nothing I fed my child; had nothing to do with my pregnancy; had nothing to do with my career choice; had nothing to do with the street I live on.  Trust me, we did not cause this disease by poor parenting and indulgence, and we’d do anything in the world to take it away from our babies!

6.       “I know how you feel; My cat has diabetes” I know people love their pets (I adore my worthless dogs), and there may be some people who love their pets more than they love their kids.  However, for most of us, our kids are our top priority!  So, I’m sorry you have to limit Garfield’s lasagna and give him a shot in the scruff of his neck twice a day (and hope he doesn’t scratch or bite you), but it is NO comparison to the illness of a child!  As a matter of fact, I’ve told my veterinarian that my dogs are just going to have to be dogs because I have CHILDREN to pay for and medicate.  The dogs fall to the bottom of the priority list in that regard!  Please don’t compare your animal to my human sons!  Furball’s diabetes is just as different from a human’s diabetes as is his ability to lick himself.

7.       “You STILL have to poke his finger?” Unfortunately, when we all went to Diabetes Education classes, we did NOT walk away with mental telepathy.  (Rather, I think we left with mental fatigue.  Two different beasts, not the same). We cannot guess what a blood sugar is at any given moment, and it can change dramatically in minutes.  So, even those who wear Continuous Glucose Monitors STILL have to check their sugars because the CGM is only a tool.  Until new devices are developed or a cure is found, we have to check blood sugars 4-10 times per day.  By adulthood, the tips of their fingers will be as hardened as a spinster’s heart!

8.       “That’s good!  He has a pump, so now you can control it!”  Regardless of the method of insulin delivery, diabetes is a disease that controls us.  The only thing the pump changes is that the child doesn’t have to get a shot every time he/she needs insulin. It’s a personal choice, and diabetes can be managed on Multiple Daily Injections (MDIs) just as well  as with a pump.

9.       “Cinnamon.  Honey. Alkaline Diet. The Root of Some Exotic Plant” Holy crap, really!?  WHY didn’t someone tell my Endocrinologist about this?  Man, we’re wasting so much money on supplies and insulin, research and treatments when the simple solution has been sitting on the spice rack all along? I’ll repeat: There are a lot of books out there about diabetes cures and treatments.  Most of these refer to Type 2 Diabetes and will NOT help my sons. (They may or may not help a Type 2 Diabetic either). Trust me, if it would, I would’ve tried it already….multiple times.  If cinnamon would help, I would’ve already made them eat spoonfuls of it.  If honey would help, I would’ve injected it into their veins already.  (Instead, they need lots of insulin to cover the carbs in honey!)  If an alkaline diet would help, I would’ve already given them an Alka-Seltzer enema.  (Not sure that would cover it, but it sounds good!)  And, if the leaves of some exotic plant would cure them, I’d go pick the leaves myself while dancing naked and then they’d drink the tea daily.  (And yes, if it cured my boys, you could post it on YouTube to scar and scare the general public). Unfortunately for them, none of that will take away the attack on their tiny pancreases.  I wish it would.

10.   “When will she grow out of it?” This disease isn’t like tennis shoes , new dresses, middle school boyfriends, or colic!  They don’t grow out of it. (Don’t we all WISH this was temporary?!) Junior and the Big D better get cozy and friendly, because until a cure is found, they’ll live with this disease for the rest of their lives.  *crossing fingers* Maybe one day…

11.   “What was his/her diet like before diabetes?  How much did you have to change?”  Beating a dead horse here, but bad dietary choices did not cause this disease. Saying diet caused my identical twin sons’ diabetes is like saying Rock ‘n’ Roll caused Elvis. Personally, we changed almost nothing in my house.  I already cooked lean meats, vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy.  Chips, cookies, processed foods, and fast food are the exceptions in my house, not the rule.  Sugar was dramatically limited. The only change we had to make was to suddenly become a food diary and look-up and memorize the carbohydrate counts on tons of different foods.  Putting this information into my database has caused other things to be tossed into the Recycle Bin in my head.  I don’t know what the year model of my car is or what year I was born, but I can tell you that one hushpuppy averages 8 carbohydrates each, and the average banana is 30 carbs! I AM still 29, right?

12.   “You don’t have the diabetes under control YET?” We don’t control diabetes, it controls us.  It’s like putting the reins on an untamed horse.  Sometimes, pulling on the reins will work, sometimes it’ll buck the other way.  We hope time, effort and holding tightly to those reins will allow us some control, but some beasts remain untamed. As parents, because we love our children, we try everything to keep diabetes under control (see # 3 above). The only control we have is consistency, timing and SWAG’ing!

13.   “I guess he/she should just have a salad.  I guess he/she shouldn’t eat the bread” These are things we’ve heard when asking a waiter/waitress if they happen to have the Nutrition Facts of their entrees or meals.  Because people look at you like you’re bat-crap crazy when asking, we feel the need to explain that our child has T1D, and we just want the carbohydrate counts of the over-priced foods we’re purchasing from your establishment so we can appropriately dose the insulin. We’re not food critics, we’re parents.  Relax! Instead of “No, we don’t have it available” or “I’m sorry”, we get diabetes management advice from a waitperson who makes $2.15/hr.  I guess having a name tag that says both “Texas Roadhouse” and “Suzie” on the same piece of cheap plastic makes you an Endocrinologist and a Nutritionist!  Skip college, get the plastic tag!

14.   “That’s what sitting home eating potato chips will do for ‘ya!”  If this had been me, I think I’d be facing an assault and battery charge right now.

15.   “Type One.  That’s the good (or bad) kind, right?”  I didn’t know that any disease was good, especially in an innocent child who did nothing to deserve this!  It’s difficult and life-altering, not good.

16.   “Why do you poke her finger so much?” Says fatty-fatty-two-by-four Grandpa who’s consuming two desserts after a meal with over 2000 calories while injecting 320 units of insulin in one sitting (trust me, this is an enormous amount of insulin).  All the while, his foot is falling off, he’s going blind, and his penis quit working years ago because his diabetes is out of control.  Why, you ask?  Because, she has T1D; I love her; I care about her health; Things can change in an instant; and, I don’t want her to be in your condition by the time she is 40.  (I don’t think she’ll have to worry about her penis, but I digress!  You get the point!) Are those enough reasons to check more than two times per day?

17.   “It’s JUST Juvenile Diabetes!”  Why yes, yes it is. Thanks for pointing that out!  I hadn’t noticed!  Sheesh, really? Because when they hit 18, it's still freaking diabetes, they just aren't a juvenile anymore.   They won’t outgrow it!  They will live with this craptastic disease until the day they die, and as parents, we hope our hard work will mean they don’t die sooner than the next brat!

So, dear family, friends and nosy neighbors, we really do try to be nice.  We really do want to educate.  If you don’t know or understand, ask.  Please keep stupid, presumptuous, demeaning and ignorant remarks to yourself. They’re not helpful.  If we give you more information to help you understand, then accept it. We KNOW it can be worse, but it could be so much better, too!  Don’t say it…please, don’t….


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Repost: Twin Tales (More Trash Talk)

Twin Tales:  More Trash Talk


1.        After telling his video game villain “You poop you pants!”, Asa expanded his trash talk to his twin brother.  While playing on the playground before preschool, Asa chided Aiden, “You wear diapers! You wear diapers!”  Taking the high road, Aiden ignored him at first then laughed at him.  I took notes!

2.       If you can imagine, I listen to Bon Jovi CDs a lot while driving when nothing is on the radio.  The twins love “This Ain’t a Love Song” from the These Days. They call it, “I tied and I tied”.  During the song while driving last week, Bon Jovi sang “….this pain that I’m feeling so strong…”.  Asa started his “Mommy” encantation from the back seat.

Asa:  Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy…

Mommy:  What Asa?

Asa:  Why Bon Jobi said his peanuts (penis) so strong?

Oh, if only I knew.  I laughed, then told him more clearly what the lyrics were.

3.       Xbox is a major source of currency in our house.  Only if you have good behavior marks at school are you allowed to have Xbox time.  Jace was way excited to play a new game when we were leaving Game Stop.  Only Aiden was allowed to play with him because Asa didn’t earn the privilege. I told Jace only one baby could play with him, so he exclaimed, “I’m gonna play with my best friend!”

Mommy:  Who’s your best friend Jace? (I’m fishing to see what he’ll say)

Jace:  (Turning to look at one twin) What’s your name, baby?

Aiden answered.

Jace:  Did you stay on green?

Aiden did.

Jace:  Aiden’s my best friend!


4.       We stress honesty in our household.  The twins came downstairs from watching TV telling me “Wow Wow Wubbzy was a story about lying”.  They detailed it to me, and we talked again about honesty.

Right after this, at dinner time, Jerry was teasing Aiden and trying to deliver the so-coined 4-year-old trash talk.  So, Jerry said, “You poop you pants….you wear diapers!”

Aiden gave him a very ugly look and with the tattle-tale tone in his voice said, “Mmmmooooommmmmmyyyyyyy, Daddy’s lying!”

Can dish it out but not take it! J

5.       I took all the children to the dentist yesterday. Gage was trying to quickly complete a homework paper on the way.  Jace looked over his shoulder and saw his name on the paper.  At that time, he exclaimed, in shock, “Hey, you have an F in your name!”

Gage:  “Yeah, so do YOU!”

Jace, with a shocked inspiratory gasp shouted, “How’d YOU know?”

We all cracked up laughing, then we had to explain that they have the same last name because they are brothers.

6.       On the way home today, Asa and Aiden were telling me about someone picking their boogers.  So, we talked about why we shouldn’t pick our boogers and options to avoid picking our boogers. Then they mentioned someone eating their boogers at which point we extended the conversation to include why we should not eat our boogers.  Drawing his own conclusions, Aiden then informed me that “Eating you boogers makes you fart!”


How boring would my life be without them?


Monday, February 11, 2013

Could be Worse

February 11, 2013

It Could Be Worse...

But, it could be better, too!

Almost one year ago, 7-yr-old Aiden was diagnosed with Type One (Juvenile) Diabetes.  As I processed this diagnosis and mourned, so many contradictory emotions ravaged my mind.  As with many other “D-Moms”, we’ve heard many well-meaning people offer condolences about our children’s life-altering diagnosis.  And, to calm myself, I’ve told myself some of these same things.  But, when you’re processing such a diagnosis, to have your feelings dismissed or trivialized is difficult. It’s one thing for me to say certain things to myself to comfort myself, but that doesn’t make it okay for someone else to say.  It’s kind of like you can insult your brother or sister, but nobody else can.

So many people are so ignorant and cruel about diabetes. I understand this is not an immediately fatal disease or a death sentence, but I still mourned for the changes in my son…and too soon (five months later), my sons. My perfect, beautiful, smart, healthy, funny baby boy was no longer “perfect”.  His life course was altered permanently.


What I don’t want to hear (and I have heard):

I don’t want to hear about some non-compliant Type 2 Diabetic Patient’s complications…especially in the presence of my sons.  This disease has terrible complications that happen after years and years of poor glucose control.  If managed well, my sons can live with little to minimal complications. 

I don’t want people to assume that my sons’ disease was caused by eating too much sugar. I’m not perfect, but I’m fairly health conscious.  This disease has nothing to do with diet and lifestyle, however, one component of management is diet.

I don’t want to hear “At least it’s not….(insert horrible disease here)”.  I am perfectly aware that MANY people and unfortunate children are saddled with horrible and deadly diseases. No, my baby does not have cancer. My babies are not physically or mentally handicapped where they will be dependent on me the rest of their lives. My babies are not disfigured.  Overall, really, they are fine.  As long as they manage properly, they will grow.  Go to college.  Have a family.  Live a long life. However, there is still a deep and depressing mourning process a mother experiences. I don't want a pity-party, but please do not downplay the seriousness of this disease, not to mention the life changes and adjustments we all had to make.

I don’t want to hear “He’ll be fine.”  Really?  How do YOU know this? Can you see the future?


Diabetes is not an immediate death sentence.  However, one wrong move CAN mean death, coma, seizures and complications.  Thus, it is a long, constant, diligent and tiring process to manage this disease to keep my boys healthy…and alive.

·         My children can still live a long and healthy life (if properly managed)

·         With proper supervision and planning, my children can do the same things other children.

·         My children can eat anything they’d like, they just have to have insulin to “cover” the carbohydrates so their bodies can process their intake.


What I hate about this disease:

Normoglycemia (normal blood sugar) is a lofty and often unattainable goal.  Highs and lows are bad, and they can fluctuate between the two extremes within a matter of minutes…sometimes with little warning or explanation.

People are afraid to include my boys in “normal” kid activities. My boys can and will still be children for as long as possible.  Please don’t feel afraid to include or invite them.  You don’t have to make special accommodations for them.  Rather, you have the party, I’ll be the pancreas. 

Well-meaning people assumed “remedies” and diet for Type 2 diabetes will cure my boys. If there was a cure, I’m fairly certain our Endocrinologist would have mentioned it to us.  Unfortunately, there’s no cure. If there was, I would’ve done it already.

Mommy can’t fix it. .  If I could take this disease away from them, I’d put the burden on my shoulders in no time. However, no band-aid will fix it.  So, hard as it is for me, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t fix it, but I can learn as much as possible. I can teach them how to manage their disease, because ultimately it’s their disease, not mine. I can get involved to help raise money for research. I can make the best of a crummy and unfair situation. And, I can accept the notion that it's okay for me to cry about it now and then.


I’ve been blessed with great support from my friends, co-workers and family.  The best thing(s) you can say or do to me (or any other diabetic family) :

·         How are you coping?

·         How are the boys doing?

·         Ask if you don’t understand.

·         Listen with an empathetic ear and no cliché retorts uttered in return.

·         Help me/us in our involvement to find a cure.


No child should have to worry themselves with carbohydrates, shots, glucose, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia or insulin. Children are supposed to have a care-free existence, but mine have something to "care" and worry about.  Fortunately, my boys are alive and healthy.  They don’t have cancer. They don’t have a fatal heart defect. They aren’t handicapped.  Yes, it could be SO much worse!  So much.  But, it could be so much better.  They could be free of this burdensome and worrisome disease. 

Oh, and I still think they’re perfect, beautiful, smart and funny.


Repost: Sweet Sixteen




My baby girl turned Sweet 16 on Tuesday.  I am so proud of her, but it is also a bittersweet moment.  This milestone leaves me reveling in memories.


We celebrated on Sunday with her friends by all getting pedicures or manicures.  As a surprise, a limousine picked us up from the salon and transported us to dinner.  Her friends titled me "Officially the Coolest Mom in the World!" We had a nice dinner at an upscale Mexican restaurant, and the limousine picked us back up for a "night on the town".  We rode to Dallas where we cruised downtown blowing hooters and shooting confetti poppers out the window, and we encouraged complete strangers to wish Courtney a happy birthday.  We also celebrated with singing and dancing in the limousine and had a sparkling cider toast.  I think all the girls had a really good time, and it was all I imagined for her.


Now for the memories.  I was "sweet 16" (16 ½ actually) when I got pregnant with Courtney.  I fell for a blue-eyed football jock (I've always been a sucker for blue eyes), and eleven months later, Courtney was born.  When I found out I was pregnant, I prayed to God she was a girl.  I had always wanted children, and I so desperately wanted a daughter.  Even though she was what she was by that point, I bargained with God and told Him if he made this child a girl, all my other children could be boys.  I just really wanted a daughter.  God answered my prayers and held me to my promise J


Courtney was born a healthy eight pounds and delivered after pushing for only three contractions.  She came out screaming and hollering and kicking her baby fat legs.  Everyone was talking to her, but she continued to scream. When they handed her to me, she still cried.  Then, I spoke to her, and she instantly hushed and turned her head to my voice.  It was one of the most magical moments in my life and it still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it.  When I'm 100 with Alzheimer's, I think I'll still remember that!  Instant bonding.


I was 17 at the time of her birth and I lived at home with my parents, but Courtney was MY baby.  My parents did an awesome job of assisting me and giving advice when I needed it, but she was mine and her care was left up to me.  While still in high school, I got up in the middle of the night for feedings.  I changed diapers, bathed, dressed.  I worked to pay for her needs. I took her anywhere I went. I admit I couldn't have done it without my parents (or Courtney's father's help), but she was my responsibility, she was my baby girl!


Courtney was a beautiful blonde-haired blue-eyed baby who brought sunshine to whomever she encountered.  I marveled in her growth and development and enjoyed every minute of her babyhood.  She was calm, happy, complacent.


I married her father and moved out when she was two, and we started a new chapter of our lives together.  Our marriage was rough to say the least, but I always had Courtney's cute smile and blonde curls to cheer me up and keep me going.  When we finally split for good when she was seven (and after baby brother arrived), Courtney adjusted well.  Equally important, she accepted the love of my life into her life when the divorce was still so fresh.  It was like as long as she had her Momma, she was okay.  As long as I had her, I was okay.


Courtney has been a source of entertainment (as any child is).  I have stories of her embarrassing me in Wal-Mart ("I said….what's that on your face?").  She hoarded her lunch money in first grade in order to buy fruit roll-ups, which made her teacher think we were on "welfare lunches".  I found long blonde locks on my carpet from where she'd cut her own hair.  She danced, did gymnastics and played soccer and softball, and I was there cheering her on in all of them. Whatever it took to make her smile!


When I was pregnant with Courtney, I educated myself about babies and parenting so that I would do as good a job as I could.  Coupled with my babysitting experience, it served me well.  Now that those baby days are over, I strive to teach her about being conservative, articulate, educated, independent, assertive…teach her about being a strong woman.


I marvel at how much she looks like me (except she does have some of her Daddy and she's WAY cuter!), and I am amazed at how similar our personalities are.  Equally so, I am proud of our differences, especially the choices we've made for our lives.  She is level-headed and secure with a strong self-esteem which I certainly lacked to some degree which led to me getting pregnant at sixteen.  I can honestly say no other "mistake" in my life has turned out so well!


God could not have given me a better daughter, and I am so proud of the young lady she has become.  However, it doesn't mean this milestone isn't bittersweet as I watch my only baby girl grow into a woman and be less and less dependent upon me. I encourage her to spread her wings and fly, but cringe and want to yank her back into my nest.  I miss those long blonde curls and holding my hand in the store, yet I long for the days when I am done "parenting" her and can just be her friend.  I pray she is happy and independent but doesn't venture too far from her Momma who loves and needs her so much.  However, I will support and embrace whatever path she chooses for her life.


Courtney, you are a beautiful, smart and talented young lady who has brought me pure joy in my life.  I love you!


Repost: Odes to Household Items.

Originally 4-9/2007

Dear Mr. Trash Can:


We really need to talk about your behavior lately.  I have noticed that you are becoming increasingly sloppy and over-indulgent.  Such behavior can and may lead to your early retirement or demise.  You have been testing the limits by consuming more and more household garbage, often above your capacity, which is causing your waistline to expand at times.  I recognize that your household patrons contribute significantly to your problem.  They continue to stuff you when you’ve clearly had enough; more and more garbage helping you reach for the horizon and testing the limits of your capacity.  Luckily for you, your madame purges you now and then, removing the old refuse, cleaning you out, and giving you new attire.  Regardless, if you continue with your present recurring condition, I’m going to be driven to madness.  Your over-indulgence leads to messes on what your patrons feel is a back-board (translated:  the pantry wall), spillage onto the floor that your madame must clean, ants, general unsightliness and potential odiferousness.


I’ll discuss with the other household patrons about what they can do to help you curb your refuse addiction.  We’re a team and we should all work together to make you better. I think they need a little education on how much is too much and when is appropriate for relieving you of your load.  They’ll be made aware that caring for you does not have to wait for the madame to return.  In the meantime, you need to learn to say no.  Tell them to empty you, beg them to not overstuff you. Let them know you are trying to be the best receptacle you can be. With this reform, your place in the household can thus be secured and the madame may rest peacefully at night.




Repost: Mother of Seven (originally 2006)

To:  Mothers of only one child

From: A mother of seven


A Few Things You May Not Know


Given the idea by a very talented writer and blogger, I’ve decided to compile a list of things a mother of only one child may or may not know.  I have five biological children, four of whom are boys, and two step-children.  Needless to say, I have a lot of “war stories” already, and I still have 16 years to go!  Having more than one child is both rewarding and challenging, fulfilling and exasperating.


When you only have one child, you’ll never know, have or understand:


  1. You’ll never know who broke it.
  2. It is much easier to find a babysitter for only one child.  Try finding a willing sucker to watch all five, all seven, or even a couple extra if they have friends over.  (Thanks, Mom, for being such a sucker!)


  1. Although it’s easy to get carried away for one child at Christmas, imagine the expansiveness around my tree when I get carried away for seven.  Equally noted, I bet my credit card bill is much fatter than yours, too.
  2. Managing to take two to three kids to sports practice and/or games at the same time.  Along those same lines, managing to get five children to four different locations at the same time.
  3. Your heart breaks just as strongly every time your “baby” goes to Kindergarten.  Your heart fills with pride and elation just as strongly as the first one with each “first tooth” or “first step”.
  4. Fighting over car seats.  The older boys will stand outside the van trying to out-wait each other so as to get the prime seat.  The baby boys will cry if you put them in the wrong car seat.  I cannot convince them that we are all going to the same place and getting there at the same time…no matter how many times I tell them or prove it to them.
  5. How trying it is to keep children from biting, hitting, pulling hair in the basket while trying to meticulously obtain everything off of your grocery list.
  6. Finding extra items in the grocery basket that you are certain you did not place there.  
  7. All eyes on you in public.  I don’t know what stands out more in Wal-Mart than a young woman with seven kids.
  8. Trying to referee the pissing contest at “potty” time.  Boys are competitive in every task they attempt to master, and they must see who can produce the most urine, conjure up the most bubbles, and finish fastest. 
  9. Assembly line bath time.  Bathing them in it anyways if someone pees because it’s just “sweet baby pee” and you cannot afford to run a new tub full every time someone pees.  We’d be running water all night long and draining the local lakes.
  10. Quiet is VERY bad!  One child being quiet, okay.  More than one child being quiet…especially boys, very bad.  Evil is conspiring or transpiring unless they are sleeping…and even then it’s probably being dreamt of.
  11. There’s no such thing as having a favorite.  Each one holds an equally large but separate place in your heart.
  12. The pure bliss of nap time.
  13. The necessity of precisely counting out the Cheetos, crackers, chicken nuggets, etc. at dinner so as not to cause a commotion and crying at the thought of injustice.
  14. Twin stroller.  Trying to fit three children into a twin stroller.
  15. People fighting over your lap.
  16. The necessity of an egg timer in the house to time TV, computer, or video game minutes to assure equity.
  17. Doing laundry every day of the week
  18. Tattle-telling
  19. Losing track of names.
  20. Cooking ONE meal to appease SEVEN different tastes.


As a mother of many, you fully understand:


  1. You can only afford to eat at buffet restaurants.
  2. The beauty of hand-me-downs.
  3. Layered stretch marks and saggy boobs.  Knowing which stretch marks came from which pregnancy and appropriately naming them.
  4. I get five kisses before I leave or at bedtime instead of just one.
  5. As a mother, your major goal is an empty nest.
  6. Dressing your children alike so you can spot them in a crowd should they wander off.
  7. To accommodate all of the children’s needs, you have two sizes of diapers and maxi pads in the basket.
  8. You have a reasonable excuse for being a little fluffy.
  9. You marvel at how such strikingly different personalities emerged from the same two people.