Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's My Party, I'll Whine if I Want To

It’s My Party, I Can Whine If I Want To.

Nobody has necessarily outright told me I’m playing the victim after my sons’ Type One Diabetes diagnoses, but it begs the question if some have thought it.  If the thought has ever crossed one’s mind, this one’s for them.

Most days I handle this diagnosis well, but there are days it gets to me.  This craptastic disease victimizes not only the innocent patient, but it also victimizes the family.  Diabetes, the Robber.

My 7-year-old sons did nothing to cause or deserve this disease.  Yet, it was thrust in their laps, and they will be forced to deal with it until the end of their lives or until a cure is found…whichever comes first.  Diabetes is not the worst enemy in the world, but he has still stolen so much from my sons and our family.  In the words of my friend, “because of this theft”, they will always have sore fingers that get more calloused and tougher by the day.  They will always have to take insulin just to survive, whether by regular shots or via pump.  They will have their blood drawn via venipuncture and have to see the Endocrinologist every three months.  As if that wasn’t enough visits, they still have to see the pediatrician for regular check-ups (like any other kiddo), and they have to go to the Ophthalmologist annually.  All of this, to screen them for long-term complications including kidney damage, vascular damage, blindness, and nerve damage.  That’s a big EXPENSIVE pill to swallow for an 8-year-old baby…an expense they’ll have all of their lives. Most of the time we do our best and roll with it, but there are days when it just gets to me and I feel a bit sorry for myself (and them even more!).

Diabetes the Hijacker has hijacked their innocence.  Now, they know way too much about anatomy, medicine and health than any child their age should have to know.  They worry about immediate and long-term complications of an abnormal glucose (high or low). They have to suffer the curious stares and questions of classmates, friends, and strangers when they check their sugars, have to go to the nurse daily, or hear their Omnipods beep.  They have to endure being teased by ignorant idiot children who target anyone who has to do something out of the ordinary.  And, Mommy has to worry about ANY minor illness knocking them down and hospitalizing my child with diabetic complications. What you fix with TLC and Tylenol can devastate my diabetic child.  The majority of the days, we work hard to manage it and teach the boys to roll with the stares and teasing, but sometimes, I feel sorry for us, and I just want to throttle someone.

Diabetes the Burglar has stolen the simplicity of having a meal or an outing.  We have to count every carbohydrate my boys consume, every meal, every day, every time.  Nothing is free.  Diabetes robbed them of the freedom to just pop some M&Ms in their mouth or grab a cookie and run about their day.  A field trip, walk to the park, or picnic is not simple anymore.   A restaurant outing can be a nightmare with trying to make sure everyone orders what they want, count the carbs, dose the insulin.  Needless to say, I don’t think I’ve eaten a hot meal in a restaurant in a long time if the boys are with me! Most parents just grab their shoes and head to the park or for a walk.  I have to bring the D-bag and pack a snack. Most parents just worry about what the kid will wear and pack a quick lunch for a school field trip.  Today, it took me almost 45 minutes.  Pack 2 lunches.  Document the carb count of every item in the lunch kit.  Pack Diabetes Bag…the same D-bag that has to be taken with them wherever they go.  Don’t take your simple picnic or field trip for granted.  Most days I just roll with it, but sometimes it really pisses me off!

Diabetes the Bandit has stolen regular undisturbed sleep from my boys, my husband, me and the grandparents.  I paid my dues.  I breastfeed twins for 8 months, and I spent over 6 months without sleeping longer than 4 hours at a time in order to give them the best start possible.  Now, there’s no such thing as going to bed early.  If I do, I have to set an alarm to check the boys’ blood glucoses (or make sure the hubby stays up).  One night, it’s high and I have to fix that.  Other nights, it’s low and I have to poke them and hope they will wake up enough to consume carbohydrates to restore normoglycemia.  Unless the boys are at Grandma’s house (whereby she is getting up in the middle of the night checking them), I don’t get to sleep uninterrupted.  Ever.  I think when they are 33 I’ll still worry about them in the night.  Most nights, the boys sleep through the checks, but sometimes it awakens them, too.  I stay up late to assure they are ok, and I get up again during the night to make sure they stay ok. On top of that, there’s no sleeping late either.  If the boys sleep past a certain hour, I’m immediately gripped with gut-wrenching, heart-pounding fear that the worst has happened to them. It’s not cool at all.  I thought I was over that when they passed the age of SIDS risk.  Life's not fair. Most night, I just suck it up, but sometimes, I just cry. 

Diabetes the Mugger has taken away life options for my boys.  Never will their lives be like someone without diabetes.  They can pursue almost any career path…almost.  They’ll never be a soldier as much as they’d like to.  They’ll never be able to live alone as it would be unsafe for them, thus stealing complete independence from them.  They will have to have constant medical identification on so they aren’t mistaken for a drunkard, thus advertising their private business for all the world to see.  They’ll have to make special provisions before they operate any vehicle. In whatever schooling, work, or activity they choose, Diabetes will insist upon being noticed and acknowledged…or he WILL wreak havoc!  Most days, I don’t think too much about more than the immediate future.  But, when I hear them passionately singing “Army of One” (by Bon Jovi, of course), it breaks my heart that they’ll never get to be that soldier Jon sings about.  Sometimes, I pity us.

I was invited to this party, but I didn’t want to go.  Now that it’s “My party”, I’ll cry (and whine, and pout, and feel victimized) if I want to!  I’m not usually and don’t like to be a Debbie Downer, so most days are fine. If you know me, know that I try not to saturate every conversation with Diabetes talk. But, this thief has not only stolen so much from me and my boys, but he dominates my thoughts to boot.  I try to keep it light, but we live with this every day.  Every. Day. And, since I’m forced to act in a role for which I am ill-equipped, will never fully understand, and will always be inadequately trained….I’ll whine and cry if I want to! 
What I can do to cope is listen to my Bon Jovi, joke, love my family, and do my part to raise money in the hopes of finding better treatments and a cure.

Support us today so we can party without crying!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dreams Come True

This one's not too T1D related, but it sort of is.  And, I can't help but shout it to the world!

I've mentioned my love for Bon Jovi in a past blog (http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=3991210116007822858#editor/target=post;postID=8613411686367354952;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=21;src=postname
  (Sure hope that link really works).

I've been a fan since I was 13.  Love Jon. Richie is a guitar god! Love the music.  It's really dope for my soul.  It's upbeat when I'm feeling good and calming when I'm feeling stressed.  It motivates me in the gym and when I run 5Ks.  I've never run without Jon singing in my ears. 

Ok, brief story.  In all the concerts I've attended, I've wondered how people got so close.  I was never lucky enough to have an accidental run-in with any of the band members.  After finding my awesome Bon Jovi buddy and joining the Fan Club, I've gotten closer by degrees each time since about 2008.  My dream:  Get a photo with Jon Bon Jovi and tell him what Bon Jovi has meant in my life.

I've gotten pretty close with our fan club seats and backstage tours.  In one group, I was the only one who missed shaking Jon's hand backstage (that's another story).  Up close on stage, I've narrowly missed Jon although I did get to shake Tico Torres' and Richie Sambora's hand once!

In Austin, I got to shake Jon's hand outside the Circle (part of the stage).  I swear he made eye contact and had a prolonged handshake with my friend Gennie.  In Dallas, I was inside the Circle.  I held a little boy up so HE could shake Jon's hand, which meant I missed my chance.  That was ok.  That little boy had a wonderful moment, and it was up on the Jumbotron!  :)  I got lucky, Jon came back around and I indeed got to shake his hand after all.  Getting closer to my dream, closer by degrees.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I stumbled into the band in hotel bar and got to hang out with two band members and Jon's brother.  That was WICKED cool!  We're not crazy.  We didn't press for secret information.  We just hung out and talked like normal folks.  They thought we were totally cool...and we are! :)
Gennie and me hanging with keyboardist David Bryan after the Dallas concert
Gennie and I jetted to Las Vegas on April 18 for an organized Fan Club trip.  This was yet again something I've been dying to do, but the timing and/or $ never seemed to pan out.  I told people I was going to Vegas, but I kept my clam shut about this:

Yep, that's the real Jon Bon Jovi with his arm around me!

I was a brief photo op, but it felt so good to stand next to him, say hello, and "smile for the cameras"!  I didn't get to say what I'd wanted because of the hurried situation (photos for 200 folks takes a lot of time), but it was wonderful nonetheless!

And, here's the kicker.  When I'm at Bon Jovi, I don't think about Diabetes.  For those couple of hours, my mind is immersed in the music, the crowd, the entire experience.  It's a much needed dope injection for my soul! 

It's all made possible by having a cool like-minded and fun Bon Jovi buddy, and it's all made possible by having the coolest husband alive who takes over so I can "breathe" and recharge.  A husband who is secure enough to know that I loves me some JBJ, but he is the only man for me and the one I'm coming home to!

*squealing like a school girl*,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Unbreakable Bonds

Unbreakable Bond

April 17, 2013

Two incidents yesterday reminded me how precious and strong a bond is between twins.  Unless you are a twin or have had the honor of parenting twins, you’ll just never get it.  It’s incredible.  Here’s my story:
Imagine our surprise when I thought I was expecting Baby #4 (our 6th together), only to be told on OB/GYN visit #1 that there were TWO.  There aren't very many adequate words that describe that moment and that day.  Shock. Disbelief.  Elation.  Shock.  From that moment on, I wished only to carry my babies to as close to term as possible.  I didn't care the gender; I just truly wanted non-premature healthy babies.
Only 4 weeks early (and with big brother Jace only16 months old), Asa and Aiden were born healthy (albeit a little skinny).  I brought home two healthy 5-lb babies with no medical complications.  My wish came true. 
Asa and Aiden at 3 weeks old.  All head and eyeballs!
Our first year was filled with diapers (in triplicate), sleepless nights and very little money, but every bit of it was worth it to watch these boys grow together. We were told they were fraternal twins, but we could find no differences, and we had to be very diligent in how we dressed them in order to tell them apart.  By age one, we still couldn't tell easily, so we had them genetically tested.  They are indeed identical twins.  I figured this information could help us answer the questions of interested friends and nosy strangers; this information could serve them well medically in the future.


Asa and Aiden, Age 1
Watching them throughout their infancy was amazing.  They'd hold hands while breastfeeding. They'd snuggle up to each other in the night.  They'd crawl to each other.  Laugh at each other.  Look for each other.  They walked at approximately the same age.  They erupted teeth at the same time.  Once upon a time, they were ONE person (one ball of cells), and they turned into two magnificent and cute baby boys!
The twins went to preschool together at age 2.  They were nervous to leave Mommy, but they were secure as long as they had each other.  If anyone suggested separating them so they could "form their own identities", I think all three of us cried.  It just wasn't right for them.  Even in preschool, the girls loved them.  One loved them "because they have the same head".  :)
First Day of Pre-K 4
Fall 2007...Lookin' JUST like their Daddy's kid photos!
When Kindergarten started, we opted to keep our boys together.  They needed each other to brave this new adventure of "big boy school".   Seated apart in class, they thrived.  They made friends.  They learned, they excelled, and they sat by each other at lunch and PE.  The girls chased them mercilessly.  Asa recently told me, "You don't EVEN understand Mommy!  They hug us, and kiss us!  It's tough!"
After Kindergarten, Asa decided he wanted to be in different classes for First Grade.  Aiden did NOT.  I talked to each of them individually about their feelings.  Asa said, "I don't like people always asking me 'Are you Asa or Aiden?'"  He wanted his own identity separate from Aiden. (I knew this day would come, and I was glad it was on our terms and not the school system.) 
When I asked Aiden about his feelings, he threw a dagger right through my heart. 
"When Asa's not with me, my body just wants to cry." 
I had to put on my Mommy-Fix-It hat.  We compromised and came to an agreement.  The boys stayed together one more year in First Grade, and they separated this year for the first time in Second Grade.  They are happy, but they still flock to each other every chance they get.  They play at recess together.  Go to the nurse together.  Stay together on field trips.  I don't think anyone can really fully make them ever be completely apart. Covalent bond.
Examples of this bond, you ask?  Ok.  Here's a couple.
When the twins were about 3 or 4, one of them got a swat.  Broken-hearted, he sat on the floor and cried.  The other ran to his side, crouched down and hugged and held him.  In brave defense of his twin, he shouted at me, "YOU NOT HURT MY FRIEND!"  How can  you argue with that?  That's how they are. They'll whack each other out of frustration, but nobody else better even try.  They'll immediately rush to each other's aid, worry about each other, and look out for each other.
When Aiden cut his forehead open around age 3 or 4, ASA was the one losing it, scared his brother was going to die.  I had to "stop the bleeding" on two fronts there!  It was sort of hard to hold pressure on a cut and assess the situation with a hysterical twin in the background. 
When Aiden was diagnosed with diabetes, it made me cry even harder to see Asa's face when we told him Aiden had to go to the hospital...as if I hadn't cried enough already.  Daddy brought Asa (and the other brothers) up right after school to see Aiden.  He NEEDED to see Aiden was ok.  That was the first night in their lives they'd slept apart from each other.
Everyone piled in to see Aiden in hte hospital.  D-Day 2/20/12

Five months later, Asa was diagnosed with diabetes.  When we told Aiden, his face lit up.  He smiled.  Now, he was worried on one level, but he knew Asa would be ok.  And, he knew that now there was again no difference between the two of them.  Now, he had someone to brave this fight with.
Aiden hugging Asa in the hospital, August 2012
Asa and Aiden getting their new Omnipods!
Now, with Diabetes running the show, they have a new level of concern for each other.  Their bond is stronger and deeper.  Like atoms and electrons, it's on a cellular level that isn't even visible to the eye.  The first time Aiden's sugar got crazy high (due to Mommy's bad SWAG), ASA was the one who was most worried and scared. He was freakin' out, wouldn't sleep, demanding I take Aiden to the hospital because he didn't "want him to go into a coma".  It was more work reassuring him than it was to correct the bad glucose level.  The same happened in reverse a couple of weeks ago.  Asa's sugar got way high; Aiden exhibited the most concern.  He didn't go into a full-scale panic like Asa, but I knew he was terribly worried because of the questions he fired at me (like the Spanish Inquisition).
"What number makes you go into a coma?"
"When will you check him again?"
"Will you check him during the night?"
"Did you give him insulin?"  "How much?"  .... and on and on. 
In all fairness, what 8-year-old should have to know this much, worry this much?
Asa and Aiden on their 8th birthday, October 2012.  In another day and time, they may not have lived to see this day
So, yesterday, I was given another glimpse into the level of covalent bond of these boys.  I took the boys for a walk.  Asa decided to ride his bike.  Since they are not immune to the laws of physics and momentum, I require they walk their bikes down the hill.  To Aiden, Asa looked like he was about to ride his bike down the hill, and Aiden clearly felt immediate terror.  He shouted, "Asa, no!  Asa, Stop. Walk!"  When Asa got off his bike to walk it (as he'd already planned to do), Aiden said, "He scared me to deff.  He broke my heart cuz I thought he was going to be hurt". 
At the park, Aiden tied up with his older brother over a ball.  Before I could respond, Asa ran Olympic speed to Aiden's side and was pulling Jace away from him!  He also threw himself over Aiden and fussed at Daddy for ticklin' their toes!  They don't even consider the consequences; they are just immediately by each other's side for defense or protection.
It never ceases to amaze me how much these boys love each other.  How they feel each other.  How they worry deeply about each other, oftentimes before themselves, and will defend each other against the strongest forces (ie., Mommy and Daddy).
Diabetes may have invaded their bodies, but it didn't destroy that bond.  Yet another thing you can't break, Diabetes!
It can be difficult to raise twins; it's very hard managing two identical diabetics.  But, watching this impenetrable bond makes mothering them an honor.
Christmas 2012.
100 years ago, Type One Diabetes was a death sentence. I cannot imagine how I would have survived to have these children placed into my care, watch them grow, witness this amazing bond...only to have them taken from me by a cruel disease.  I'm thankful every day that times have changed, and although Diabetes is Stupid, it hasn't taken them from me!  However, we still have a LONG way to go in finding a cure and better treatments for Type One Diabetes.  Help me help JDRF in finding a cure for my boys.




Tuesday, April 16, 2013


April 16, 2013

Fourteen months ago, Diabetes moved in.  He showed up announced, uninvited, and staked claim on parts of our lives and home that weren't up for sale. Diabetes transformed our lives.  Immediately, our primary concern was transformed from 'Who wants spaghetti for dinner?' to 'How many carbs are in that plate of spaghetti?'  Suddenly, worrying about a kid crawling into bed with us at 0300 transformed into crawling out of bed nightly to check a blood sugar at 0300 to make sure that same kid is still capable of sneaking into our bed.  Diabetes transformed a simple walk to the park into a planned event complete with snacks. 

To say it has changed our lives is an understatement.  Diabetes has taken over our lives.  It's embedded in our psyche.  It plagues my daily thoughts. It dominates my grocery list and consumes a good portion of our monthly budget.  And, it's taken over my house. 
Take a look:

Anyone who knows me knows that life makes no sense to me unless it's organized.  It's truly a strength of mine.  I don't know how anyone can attempt to manage T1D if they are not organized.  First thing I did was make Aiden a diabetes notebook.  Inside, I keep his completed weekly glucose logs, his Endocrinology reports, a nerdy flow chart tracking his A1Cs, testing papers, and lab orders for the next Endocrinology visit.  The clipboard is for the current week's blood glucose logs.  Notice the highlights...the bane of my existence. 
In the background, you can see his Diabetes kit which includes alcohol swabs, extra AAA batteries, syringe, lancets, strips, meter, PDM (which controls his insulin pump) and glucose tablets. 

Because wrapping your head around one isn't enough, we added another one 5 months later.  Same set-up, color-coded.  It helps, but it doesn't completely prevent me from screwing it up some days...and some very tired nights!
The clipboards, the notebooks and the kits all have a proper home (inside the drawers  and cabinet below), but convenience and Diabetes has more often than not left them taking over my kitchen buffet counter. He wants to be out in the open, being noticed and watching us like a strange voyeur.

This is what I call "Diabetes Central".  It's supposed to be this hip little prep counter next to my oven.  But, since it's more out of the way of cooking space, Diabetes has claimed this space as it's primary home.  White drawers with daily supplies.  School PDM travel packs wedged to the left of the white drawers. Bottom cabinet shelf with notebooks, reference materials and OTC medications.  Third and Fourth shelves house $1000s of Omnipods and overstock of pump supplies.  Notice the classy Gain container that serves as a Sharps container. Throw in my calendar and some ADD meds, Spongebog Gummy Vitamins, and Diabetes Central is complete.

A glimpse into the bottom drawer.  Really, it IS organized!!  It's organized chaos. I know just what lies in all that madness.  Medications. Needles.  Lancets. Test strips.  Current opened insulin. Alcohol (not the good kind).  Cotton balls.  Wraps for the Omnipods.  Decorated duct tape for the Omnipods (which they never really use).  Pump application and detaching supplies.  Isn't life grand? Oh, and my spelunker headband flashlight that looks SO sexy in use, but since I'm not an octopus, I need it to see to do those mid-night glucose checks. (I think it's Diabetes way of making me look even more foolish than I already do.  He's making fun of me, too!)

Because ruling Diabetes Central wasn't enough, Diabetes has staked claim on parts of my refrigerator.  Where you store butter and eggs, I store the one hormone injection that keeps my sons alive.  Oh, and the Juice Box that I'd never buy ordinarily because you're really just paying for the cute convenient packaging.  For T1D families, that cute packaging is precisely the number of carbs we need to rescue a plummeting blood sugar.  So, insulin and Juicy Juice have become roomies per the dictation of Diabetes.  I'm sure he'll find a way to just command the entire fridge eventually.  Give an inch, he'll take a mile.

 Diabetes spread his tentacles to another cabinet facing (or you could blame Jerry for not mounting it on the cabinet door I intended him to...either way).  This is our lifeline.  At a glance, my co-pilot can look and see what's up today in regards to Diabetes.  I made a form for each boy with insulin:carb ratios for each meal and basal rates that I update with every change.  We use the dry erase to jot down carbs and servings for each meal.  Because, I'm good, but Diabetes is better.  He's zapped many of my brain cells, and I just can't always do it without a little "reminder" about what they ate., how many carbs per serving, and how many servings.  ( Fun, huh?  A huge math test, at least three times per day! Yippee! ) 
This board also has emergency #s, when the next insulin pump change is due, and WHO has pissed Mommy off and doesn't get to play electronics.  THAT was the best thing I EVER put on this board  (in Sharpie) because nobody wants their name up under that slot! :)  (And, it helps me keep track of who lost privileges and for how long, lest I appear inconsistent because Diabetes consumes all my brain power.  Now, I'm rambling).

I thought the days of carrying a D-bag (diaper bag) were over, but Diabetes laughed in my face.  He demands I carry a bag on any outing that last longer than 52 nanoseconds. (Trust me, I've tried leaving it behind on the briefest of journeys only to be mocked by Diabetes!  Any time you think you can pull one over on him or get ahead, he'll remind you who is boss!)  I've yet to find the perfect bag that has everything just like I like it, but this one is close, and it's cutely monogrammed.  Inside are emergency back-up supplies, Glucagon, extra pods, the Carb Counter book, and snacks.  Whenever we leave, we throw in their kits and we have what we need.  Have D-bag, will travel. (That's Diabetes Bag, not the current connotation of D-bag, although....yeah.  T1D is a D-bag)

Diabetes took away the functionality of their pancreas cells, and it left this in it's place. Diabetes has transformed the way my boys have to manage and maintain their bodies.  They have to have a daily reminder that they are different from their peers.  It irritates their skin under the adhesive on occasion. It itches.  It gets knocked around.  Diabetes is not a cool Transformer like Optimus Prime.  This disease costs tons of money like a Camaro, but unfortunately old Pods don't transform into Camaros.
Diabetes has been the uninvited guest in my boys' lives.  He didn't ask.  He just showed up unannounced, and like a bad in-law, he won't leave.  He's taken over a part of their lives, but not all of it.  They still play, and fight, and smile.  They still learn, and grow, and dream.  They are silly, and wicked smart, and funny. The little girls LOVE these handsome little dudes (God, help me!).  And, they still love them some Frito Pie.  (Take that, Diabetes!)
Diabetes has transformed our lives, some for the good, some for the worse.  He fills me with worry, consumes my time, and deprives me of sleep. But, he cannot and won't dominate everything. Diabetes can't stop my boys from lovin' their Mommy.  Diabetes can't stop them from living their lives; they just live it differently. Despite his best efforts, he only made my marriage stronger.  And, Diabetes can't take away the coolest dog on the planet! :)
Don't ask me why the photo is sideways.  Probably Diabetes screwin' with me!
Join us in our quest to cure Type One Diabetes.
(The A-squared Team)
If I we can cure Diabetes, then I halt the hostile takeover of my home and the transformation of my life!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

2013 Walk to Cure Diabetes

April 8, 2013

2013 Walk to Cure Diabetes

I’m a Mommy first, Nurse second, but sometimes I do combine the two roles. I’m a fix-it-and-move-on kind of gal.  Sore throat?  Tylenol and Water.  Fever?  Advil and Rest.  Scrapes and bruises?  Band-aid and Hugs & Kisses.  Fix it and move on.  It’s just how I roll.

When my sons were diagnosed with Type One Diabetes in 2012, there was no fix for me to apply so I could move on.  No amount of ice packs, Band-Aids, hugs or kisses will fix their disease.  I can’t move on from it. I can learn all about the disease and new treatments.  I can experiment with insulin dosages and particular meals to see which combo will cover them the best…today (it’ll all change tomorrow).  I can stay up late and get up all night long to manage blood sugars (high or low). I can worry until I have bleeding ulcers.  I can do a lot of things, but unfortunately, NONE of them will take this craptastic disease away from my innocent boys.

After diagnosis, I was hoping to find a 5K that would benefit JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) since running 5Ks (albeit slowly and poorly) is my “thing” to do with my daughter.  It was “something” I could do. Instead, I found out information about JDRF’s annual Walk to Cure Diabetes.  Good enough!  I formed our 2012 family team, Aiden’s Army, because at the time, only Aiden was diagnosed.  I had T-shirts made, and I forged into the unfamiliar territory of fundraising. On top of being a fix-it-and-move-on chica, I’m also very much a stand-on-my-own-two-feet kind of gal, too, so asking anyone for money is difficult.  On the day I was to pick up the T-shirts from the screen printer, Asa was diagnosed, so it was too late to change the team name or shirt. Better luck next year.  I asked tons of questions of the local JDRF staff; I’m sure they were tired of me.  I asked tons of questions and got plenty of ideas from my Type One Family group.  I pestered my family, friends and co-workers ad nauseum. All said and done, Aiden’s Army raised over $2000 for JDRF.

You see, I can’t fix my boys’ disease.  I can’t take it away.  But, what I can do is work my hardest to manage it to the best of my ability.  (Manage, not control).  And, I can ‘fix it’ by supporting the efforts of doctors, scientists and researchers who are working towards a cure.  I can support this organization whose sole purpose is to find a cure for Type One Diabetes.

So, again, in 2013, we have a revamped Family Team to support JDRF.  This year, to honor both of my sons, we’re The A2 Team (A-squared).  We welcome any walkers to join our team.  We welcome any business to sponsor us.  We welcome any donations to our team and our cause.  And, maybe with the combined efforts of JDRF and thousands of families across the United States, we can see a cure for my sons before this disease kills me!

Our Dream:  No more shots.  No more finger pricks.  No more extrinsic insulin.  No more insulin pumps. No more $$$s going out the door every month just to keep by babies alive. No more bad guessing on carbs that wreaks havoc on their blood glucoses.  No more worrying every time they sleep late.  No more wrinkles, ulcers and gray hairs resulting from a deep primal worry for your children.  No more…

Support our team today.



Thursday, April 4, 2013

My Official Pizza Stance

April 4, 2013

It’s Official:  I hate Pizza

Anyone who really knows me knows I don’t particularly care for pizza.  I had two main reasons, then diabetes added a third reason and made it official.  I hate pizza.

 Reason #1:  Pizza is delicious, don’t get me wrong.  Melted cheese, processed meats, chopped veggies, pineapple sometimes.  It’s sinful.  However, with all that comes an exorbitant amount of calories, fat and carbohydrates.  About 10 years or so ago, I noticed that whenever I ate pizza, I felt like crap.  The taste and calories aren’t worth how it makes me feel.  I feel bloated and over-full.  I feel heavy, and I’m sure the grease pours out of my pores like oil poured out of the Exxon Valdez.  I feel dehydrated and sluggish like a snail that has had salt poured on them.  It’s just not really worth it.  When pizza is the catered lunch of choice at work functions, I often choose not to eat.  When pizza is the ‘reward’ for a busy shift, I feel a bit insulted.  I get to work hard AND starve!  Thanks.  Because of all of this, only occasionally do I want or eat pizza.  Lately, if and when I do have pizza, it’s when I make it homemade with alfredo sauce, grilled chicken and spinach.  THAT is the bomb and I don’t feel like a bludgeoned mess when I’m done with it.  And guess what, I stop after 2 slices. 

                Reason #2:  In my home, I have a pizza-loving husband and 5 pizza-devouring boys.  To say their love and devotion to pizza is in their genes is an understatement.  I think it courses through their veins.  My husband brags that he used to be able to kill an entire large pizza by himself as a 165-lb teenager….on a regular basis.  I think he still can. Frankly, I can find better things to brag on him about, but I digress.  Anyways, when we make or order pizza, you’d think that it was clearly the first and last time they’ll ever get to have pizza in their lives.  They flock to the kitchen like vultures to road kill.  I have to remind them to wash their hands as usual.  They eat until they are as stuffed as a Thanksgiving turkey.  Pure gluttony.  To make it even fatter and more calorie-laden, they want Ranch, Butter Garlic sauce and breadsticks, too!  I fight them to eat at least a little bit of fruit or something remotely healthy.   My diabetic twins, I think, are the worst.  They will eat as much as their teenage brothers if given the chance. 

                When dinner is over, they leave the pizza sitting out, so I’m left to clean up and try to dispose of the odd boxes that never fit right into the garbage can.  A couple of hours later, AFTER they’ve clearly consumed enough calories to last them all week, the “big boys” (this means my husband, too) will sneak in another slice or two even though they are still full!  Gag.  In the morning, they’ll eat the cold diarrhea-in-a-box that has been out all night.  Or, they’ll fight over the refrigerated leftovers for the next day’s lunch. And, they suffer.  Long “meetings” with the throne, upset stomachs…the whole game.  But, that’s not enough negative reinforcement to stop them.  I buy little microwave personal pan pizzas for the occasional lunch, and they fight over them and try to glutton-out on those, too.  Really?  One 380-calorie 16g of fat personal pizza isn’t enough?!  I have to be the ‘bad guy’, limit them, and make them eat other healthy things in addition to pizza.  If I didn’t, I kid you not, the entire box of 16 personal pizzas would be gone in one sitting.  Frankly, I can’t afford it on top of everything else.

My parents like to occasionally take the boys to Cici’s as a treat.  I’m pretty sure they’ve been thrown out before but they won’t admit it to me!  Living with six males has its own level of daily disgust, and this adds to it.  It’s gross to eat like that and treat your body that way.  Barf.  So, pizza is the exception in my house, not the rule. I leave the room when they are eating it.  They order it when I’m gone because I just can’t take it.  I don’t like seeing any of my beautiful men acting like death row inmates getting their last meal.  I'm sure it will be the meal of choice when I'm gone to Bon Jovi.

If all that wasn’t enough, here’s Reason #3:  With all it’s carbs, calories and fat, pizza wreaks havoc on my boys’ blood sugars.  Every time.  Without fail.  I can’t seem to find the magic formula to give the right amount of insulin to keep them in a normal range after pizza.  One dose of insulin works for approximately 3-4 hours.  I give them insulin to cover the initial blast of carbs.  I “extend” their bolus (for non-diabetic folks, that basically means I have their pump deliver part of it now, part of it later), but I can’t seem to extend it long enough.  No matter how long I extend, no matter how much insulin I give, they ALWAYS spike 6-8 hours later.  Last night, Aiden was over 200 at 8pm.  At 10pm, he was 276 at which time I gave him EXTRA insulin.  By 3am, he was mid-300s….AFTER extra insulin.  So, I had to give him some more.  Then, I was stuck awake.  This happens every time.  The only good thing is that I don’t have to worry about their blood sugars bottoming out in the middle of the night, however, now I have to worry about internal damage and bad A1Cs from crazy hyperglycemia.  Asa was low at 8-9 pm, then was spiking by 10pm.  He, too, after being low, needed extra insulin at 3am and was still in the 200s by morning.  Diabetes AND Pizza are STUPID!  They don't play well together!

Mr. Pizza.  You’re about to join the ranks of cookies and chips in my house.  You’re about to be banished.  No longer will I allow you to wreak havoc on my boys’ systems.  No longer can I allow you to deprive me of sleep due to your antics. I can’t take another minute of gluttony.  It’s just all too much.  So, my stance is official:  I hate pizza.