Monday, October 20, 2014

Epic 4-0

Epic Bday Weekend

I’m a sucker for birthdays.  I love to make someone feel special, and I love a good celebration.  I wanted my 40th to be big time!  Not because I’m a selfish brat, but….Because, life has kicked me down the past couple of years, and because…aren’t we supposed to be grown-up after 40?  I wanted to send my thirties off in style! I was not disappointed.  My birthDAY turned practically into my birthday week thanks to some cool co-workers, friends, and the Man.

I worked Tuesday night, and when I went to check on my co-workers in other areas, I babysat in the nursery so the nursery nurses could take care of stuff.  Usually they’re quite quick, back in 10 minutes or so.  10 minutes passed.  I called out to ask someone a question and they weren’t “available” to talk to me.  5 more minutes passed and the one of the nursery nurses returned but thought of something else to do, so she ran back out.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind helping anyone, but after 20 minutes, I started wondering, WTF?  WHERE IS ANNA?  I called around to find her but nobody knew where she was and one person giggled at me.  Huh?  What’s so funny? When I left the nursery, I found my co-workers had decorated the break room and stocked it with yummy healthy food and pumpkin stuff! 
Work Birthday party

They REALLY surprised me!  In the past, I have seen someone carrying something in suspiciously, but not this time!  Back story…they forbade Anna, who is usually very efficient and fast, from returning to the nursery until they were done.  I was held hostage!

My friend Melissa messaged me and told me she was coming to pick me up on Thursday.  How to dress.  What time.  That’s all I got.  She arrived with mischief in her eyes.  She took me to a restaurant where we waited patiently for others to arrive. Because of the restaurant, I guessed who one attendee would be, but I really didn’t know who else was coming.  After a few minutes, 3 more co-worker friends arrived, bearing balloons, gifts and wine.  We were set!  I was quite surprised and delighted.  My “Pool Crew” all came out to celebrate with me! 
The Pool Crew

I knew my husband was making plans for me on Saturday.  I wanted NO details at all!  I did tell him that my birthday wasn’t complete without time with him, and initially we thought we would have a private date on Friday, but we moved it, due to Diabetes and babysitting issues, for the next weekend.  I was very happy with that given we had a plan!

Friday was my actual birthday.  Present #1 I requested:  Sleep.  I slept in, ran some errands, got a pedicure and manicure, then I watched a marathon of Parenthood.  Basically, I was quiet and did whatever I wanted to do, and it was fantastic!  My big boys had plans, so when the little boys and the Man got home, we had a small family dinner and brownies!
Small family dinner with brownies

Saturday.  The Big Day!  After working hard for months to convince me he didn’t give a crap, Jerry pulled together an amazing night for me!  We slept in a bit, and I got up and ran errands.  He told me to be ready by 4pm, so I was mostly ready by 3:15pm.  I sat around in undergarments and a robe only when my first friend arrived!  So, I had to dress in a hustle!  Birthday surprise:  The first guest was my friend who is ALWAYS late!

The rest of my crew (didn’t know who all was coming) arrived just ahead of a limo.  So. Fun.  The limo was stocked with adult beverages, and we took a long ride to a dinner location.  I felt like an infant riding backwards in her car seat because I could only see life after it had already passed by. Jerry sent us to a fancy steakhouse, very upscale, that I had never been to before.  I think he forgot who some of my friends are because immediately, the silliness and noise started!  We were having a ball, complete with dares and pranks. 
Limo crew!

The face a guy made when I went and kept his wife’s seat warm while she used the restroom was priceless!  He backed away from me like I had Ebola!  Anyone who looked like they had a stick up their butts was forced to come and take a photo with me and smile!  The Wine “Somalia” didn’t like that I asked her, “Somalia?  Like pirates, Africa, and AIDS?”  Whatever.  Touted herself as  a wine expert who doesn’t drink wine.  How does that even work?

To make it even funnier, towards the end of the evening, a manager-looking lady thanked us so dearly for our patronage and then politely asked us to leave.  CRAP!  We were ruining the atmosphere of the other patrons.  Well, I know when I’m wrong, so I was like, “Pack it up girls!  We’ve been kicked out!” Long story short, we weren’t kicked out and she didn’t even work there!  They pulled a fast one on me and I FELL FOR IT!
Funny prank, great joke!

Upon leaving the restaurant, I was blindfolded.  Oh crap.  After arriving at our next destination, I had to pee SO badly!  I begged them to take me first to the restroom.  I am not graceful so I got out of the car slowly and was led inside.  Someone took my hands and placed them on themselves right as my mask was removed.  I was led to rub down some hard body at La Bare!  Freakin’ hilarious!  I screamed, and said, “I have kids your age!”  Felt a bit pedophilish.  Found our VIP table.  Hit the stalls. Now, I can think.
Holy cow!

Well, what happens at La Bare stays at La Bare….mostly.  Probably the funniest story was when a dancer grabbed my friend and my heads, pulled them back, then accidentally conked them together.  It was supposed to be sexy, but we wound up being “head-bangers” instead!  Apparently I have an eye socket of steel because she had a knot!  The poor guy was mortified, but I let him make it up to me with a lap dance.  I’m a giver like that. 

I’ve never been to a male strip show.  First time at 40!  Obviously, it’s a different vibe than when men go see women strip.  Girls are there to have fun.  Wasn’t a big fan of being touched or touching, but nobody gauged my eyes out when I got married! I love me some pretty men! They had to make me touch!  All the dancers were nice looking, but there were no blondes…I’m a sucker for blondes.  I did have to give a couple of obligatory tips to the guy who danced to Bon Jovi, one who danced to Bryan Adams, and the soldier who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  For real, though…I have to support our troops. Again, I’m a giver like that.

After we left the club, the plan was for the limo to bring us home.   Remember, I’ll get my man-date next weekend.  However, the blindfold was slapped back on me, and we stopped very soon. WHAT?  We did not make it home from Dallas to Crowley THAT FAST.  I was again led out of the limo, posed for some pictures, and guided by the hand somewhere.  It’s a miracle I didn’t trip and fall.
When the mask was removed, I was in a nice hotel suite and my man was waiting for me!  BAM!  How’s that for the perfect end to the night!?  Ladies don’t kiss and tell, but I’ll assure you, it was perfect.
Surprise!  Your man is waiting!

On Sunday, we had our October family birthday party.  I try to get the family all together once a month to eat and visit, so this was the perfect time.  Just like usual, we captured most October birthdays (there are 7).  My daughter had made the MOST PERFECT cake for me!  It was such a nice top off to a great birthday week/weekend.
Most perfect Birthday cake ever!

Mind you, I’m not a complete brat.  I don’t expect this level of celebration annually.  But, this was a big one. This one was important.  And, my husband pulled out all the stops.  He clearly is one of the most secure dudes on the planet because he doesn’t blink over my JBJ love, and he arranged for my VIP treatment at La Bare! He worked so hard to pull my friends together and plan it all so I would have a perfect night, and it worked! He knows me like the back of his hand and he knew what would entertain me the most and make me the happiest!  He rocks!  It could have only been better if JBJ himself got on stage!  Of course, I may not have survived that.

Sunday night, Diabetes apparently was FED UP with me not paying any attention to Him.  So, both boys were wicked high from 9pm on.  Extra insulin only kept them steady (at a too high level) instead of bringing them back down to normal.  I fell asleep by 9pm, and I was awakened three times by 10pm.From them on, I was awakened at least every hour or two.  Diabetes is a demanding brat! 

With all the crap I deal with in my life, this was a much needed break!  I thought very little of Diabetes while I was out!

A newer friend who went along with us gave me the sweetest compliment that I think caps this blog off well:  I love your friends. They are so fun and they dote on you when you're not around. I think that's true friendship and proof of how awesome you are. So grateful for the invite. It was indeed epic!!!

Thanks to everyone, especially My Man, who made turning 40 painless!  I’m usually good with words but words cannot express how truly grateful I am and how amazing you guys made me feel! 
LOVE this guy!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

REM is Over-rated

REM is Over-rated

October 11, 2014

Any parent of a T1D child can tell you, sleep often comes at a premium.  A typical night for me used to involve checking the boys’ glucose levels at their bedtime and again at my bedtime.  Depending on those results, the cycle of the moon, what they ate for dinner, and the color of their underwear, I would determine if and when to check them again throughout the night.  Typically, I woke up at least once to use the restroom at which time I would go ahead and check on them.  Often times, I was forced to set an alarm for every 1.5-3 hours to check on them.  It’s almost like we’re in a perpetual newborn period, waking up every couple of hours, sans the newborn crying.  That’s replaced by Mommy tears.

Perhaps someone could argue this is or was overkill, however, too many times, I caught a crazy high or a dangerous unexplained low….a low that could have killed them.  So, their tiny lives are in our hands; we’ll do whatever it takes to keep them safe.  “Dead in Bed” is a rare but real and scary phenomenon.  Simply put, your body cannot live if there is not enough glucose in the blood stream, thus if a low went undetected during sleep and continued to drop, the T1D kid could die.  I don’t wish that on anyone, and I don’t think any of my family or friends want to find me rocking in a corner, sucking my thumb as I pluck my hairs out one by one…. Yeah, that’s pretty much what I think would happen if something happened to one of my babies.
Look at those faces!  Do you blame me?!

Recently, we began using the Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system.  Unfortunately, the range of the CGM to the actual boy (receiver to transmitter) was too far away at night between our bedrooms, thus it was essentially useless to us to monitor the boys easily at night.  Well, unless I wanted to move into the living room on a permanent basis or put these nearly 10-year-old boys back in cribs at the foot of my bed.  Don’t think I didn’t consider it.

When computer geeks’ kids get T1D, they develop cool programming to make the Dexcom CGM readings feed over the net.  Some banded together and created Night Scout. Long story short, I looked it up and put Jerry on a mission to make it happen.  He tossed a few options my way…Options, technology and verbage that was WAY over my head.  My answer, “I want to be able to roll over at night and see their sugars so I know they’re ok”.  He made it happen. 
Much to my chagrin, every night does NOT look like this!

All that background for this:  The CGM and Night Scout has been a fantastic, albeit imperfect, solution to help us get a few more winks at night.  It’s so refreshing to be awakened by an alarm if someone is too high or too low or to roll over, see all is ok, then snuggle back up to the man and fall back asleep.

(My Mom fell in love with it when she stayed over with the boys while we took a short vacation.  And, I worried about them less knowing an alarm would wake her up if necessary.)

As Diabetes would have it, He still demands attention now and then.  Some nights, the alarm is going off like crazy which means I have to wake up and make the mouse cooperate with my confused fumbling hand to silence the alarm.  Afterwards I have to check them and intervene.  Fortunately, that is the exception, not the rule.

Last night was an exception.  After a busy day at the Zoo, where Asa went low for 30 minutes (He was 51 after 25 grams of carbs and 20 minutes; he got a "free" ice cream which was fine with him!), we had a heck of a night with Aiden.  He was high around 9-10pm, so I gave him insulin to bring his glucose level back into range (“correction insulin”). 

Around midnight, the alarming started.  63 and dropping. I gave him a juice box which he sucked down in his sleep.  Asa was 93, so I gave him half a juice box just for good measure lest I be up in an hour or two doing the same thing for him.

An hour later, I snapped awake to make sure his level had risen well on the monitor.  Good.  Dozed back off.  An hour after that, repeat of the first scenario.  66 and falling.  Another juice box. 

About the time I dozed back off, Jerry snapped awake and saw the low number, which woke me up and I assured him I’d already intervened. He did that twice during the night.

 (Side note:  Since the CGM monitors the glucose level in the interstitial fluid between cells, it doesn’t reflect a rise or fall quite as fast as blood.  Thus, the monitor won’t show the rise in the first 15 minutes like the blood does, so I wait 30-60 mins).

An hour later, both boys were steady.  By this time, it was 4 am.  At 0530, the alarm went off again.  55 and dropping.  Knowing I had to rise for work in 30 minutes, I got up.  This time the carb of choice was chocolate milk.  He showed steady around 115 by the time I got out of the shower. 

As one may have deduced, I was basically awakened every hour from midnight to 6 am either by an audible alarm, by my Mommy paranoia who needed to see that things were ok, or by my husband’s startle and shake.  There’s really no solid explanation as to why Aiden couldn’t keep his sugar up overnight.  Diabetes often defies logic.  That said, it must have been related to the level of exercise we had at the Zoo. Or, it could have been too much correction.  Or, the color of his shirt.  Who knows for sure?

Dreams?  Who dreams?  What is REM sleep again?  Who needs it?  Diabetes thinks it’s over-rated.

Yes, there are WAY worse diseases.  Yes, it could be worse.  But, we sure could use a cure so 
Mommies and Daddies like me can rest easy and not worry about our babies’ lives.  Every. Night.
Support us for a cure today!