Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It Could Be Worse

It Could Be Worse.

"It could be worse; it could be cancer!"  So many times, especially right after diagnosis, well-intentioned folks said such things.  It could be worse. Worse than Type One Diabetes.  Logically, I know this, but to have your situation, your mourning, your struggles downgraded is a bit demeaning. My boys' lives were forever changed in 2012, and that's nothing to downplay.

Fast forward almost four years.  1000s of shots.  1000s of finger sticks.  100s of doctor visits.  Way too many venipunctures.  Millions of carbs counted.  Countless sleepless, sleep-interrupted or sleep-deprived nights.  That's a small part of what Type One Diabetes entails.  Otherwise, I have happy, healthy, and thriving kids.  As long as I do everything right, as long as I teach them right, as long as Diabetes cooperates, it should stay that way.  Diligence and Perseverance.  I'll sleep when I'm dead.

I took my otherwise very healthy non-T1D son to the Ophthalmologist yesterday to follow up on an eye condition he's had since birth and follow up on his recent surgery.  Every time I am here....EVERY. TIME....  I see little preemies following up on possible or diagnosed retinopathy of prematurity.  There's no telling what other complications or struggles they're dealing with. It makes me so grateful my twins were born near-term at almost 36 weeks, healthy, never on oxygen.  The rest of my children were born healthy and term.

I see other kids with varying forms of cerebral palsy, and I am grateful all of mine were born healthy. I see little angels with different obvious syndromes, and I am grateful that the only negative genetic card we were dealt was the propensity to develop an autoimmune disease....because although it sucks, we can manage that!

Despite and with T1D, they are healthy and happy.  They are smart and caring.  They play.  They read.  They fight. They learn and excel in school.  Diabetes is a nuisance, scary, an every-day chore, but one day, my boys will be independent. One day they will go to college.  They will move out.  They will get married and have a family.

Sadly, way too many of the innocent children I see in that office will never have all that my boys have.  I am not saying their parents' struggles are worse than mine.  They may pity me for all I know.  Rather, we have a different kind of complicated to contend with...they have a kind of complicated I'm not sure I am equipped to handle. 

So, at times like this, I am reminded...there are worse things than Diabetes.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Thank You Sponsors!

The AA Team would like to thank their business team sponsors! 

Thank you to Chile Red Company  (The great printer of our shirts!)

Dr. Duran MD (Women's Healthcare)  - A fabulous women's physician with whom I work.  Go see her today!

Crowley Road Animal Clinic - A great, reasonable, honest and fair veterinarian whom I (and my parents) use for our furry babies!

Woods Financial Group  (My generous neighbor's business)

MIK Ortho  (The great Orthodontist who is personable, honest, and will be responsible, when it's all over, for fixing 4 of my 5 sons' teeth!)

Fort Worth Pediatric Dentistry  (The pediatric dentist we've used for all SEVEN kids, and who have known me since before the twins were even conceived!)

 and Texas Health Huguley  (Myawesome primary workplace who find little ways to make a big difference!)

Your support helps raise awareness and gets us closer to a cure!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ignorance and The View


September 16, 2015

In life we encounter uneducated idiots every day who say stupid things. Trust me, as a nurse AND as T1D mom, I could write a book!   Facebook has blown up about The View and their comments about Miss Colorado's monologue about nursing. Her costume, her "doctor's stethoscope".   I hesitate to give any more attention to such idiocy, but I feel the need to say a few things.

First, way to go Miss Colorado!  Beautiful AND intelligent. I know this.... It's difficult to be both! ;)

I went to four years of college, with a child, in a faltering marriage, to get my nursing degree.  I was poor, and I often look back, baffled, on how I survived, much less how I graduated Magna Cum Laude.  I worked hard to learn and grow as a new graduate in a profession that is difficult yet rewarding.  I still learn every day. When I graduated, I bought my own stethoscope so I could fully and accurately assess my patients.  Good thing they sell them at the doctor store!

As a nurse, I focus my practice on Women's Services.  Nothing makes me happier than healthy moms and healthy babies.  I have worked in Labor & Delivery, Newborn Nursery, Post-partum, Gynecology and Neonatal Intensive Care.  Now, I work to help teach and shape future nurses, too.  It's all very rewarding, and there is a lot of information stored under this skull!

As your nurse, I am the person who helps you through hours of labor, helping you breathe, encouraging you, managing your pain.  The doctor relies on my assessment and judgment, and arrives for all the glory at the end when the baby arrives.  A large part of your delivery success lies with your nursing care; I can keep you from having an unnecessary C-section and complications.

I am the person who resuscitates your baby when he doesn't follow the rules upon entry into the world.  Some babies think breathing is optional, and I have to correct their behavior. I use my trusty stethoscope to assess what's going on inside and intervene appropriately. There is no doctor there for the baby.  It's all me. 

I am the nurse, who at 2 am, notices a problem and intervenes to prevent complications and worsening conditions.  Because, nurses are here 24 hours a day, and most doctors are asleep at 2 am.  They can sleep because we're here and they trust us.  They rely on our judgment and assessments...back to that trusty stethoscope, along with our eyes, our ears and our gut feelings.

I am the nurse who found a rare complication in your baby that even the doctor missed.  This prevented major complications and perhaps even death.  Me and my trusty stethoscope.  That family didn't thank the doctor; they thanked me...the nurse.

I am the nurse who delivers your baby at 3 am because she was in a hurry and did not find it necessary to give ample notice or wait for anyone, much less the doctor who's traveling in from home.  I help that same baby breastfeed so she receives optimal nutrition. I encourage the same mother when she wants to give up because none of this happens like it does in the movies.

I am a mommy and a nurse, and I had to learn an entirely different aspect of nursing (and mommy-hood) when my boys became ill in 2012.  When this all started, I called a nurse to help me through.

Nurses are the first and last faces you see when you arrive at the hospital.  They are the ones you see the most.  They are the ones who will stop to help, even when off duty or out in public.  Nurses are the ones who hold your hand and cry with you when life is unfair and a baby dies.  Nurses educate you about your medications, your condition and prevention of complications.  And, to do all this, nurses spent a lot of time educating themselves and innately have a lot of heart and compassion.

You see, I am that nurse who gives up family time and precious sleep to take care of moms and babies. I expose myself to blood, body fluids and sometimes irrational and dangerous behavior in order to fulfill my calling and my mission in life.  I thoroughly enjoy following a few of "my" babies on Facebook who I delivered and/or resuscitated, without a doctor and with my trusty stethoscope....babies who are now in high school, driving, and graduating!  I enjoy being the one to help our future arrive in this world safe and healthy.  Future construction workers, doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, professional sports players, soldiers, musicians...heck, maybe one day one of them will be a talk show host.  Hopefully one who doesn't make defaming and ignorant remarks about one of the most respected and recognizable professions in the country.

Thank a nurse today!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Tearful Moment

Well, I really haven't been on vacation!  Keeping the boys entertained for the summer, working, getting all "oriented" to continue to teach nursing students, taking on a new work role at my primary job, working, getting the boys ready for school, being a wife and mother AND a pancreas....all of that has curbed my blog time.  All the while, I still kept the boys moving and entertained with swimming, park trips, Six Flags, Burger's Lake, Dave & Buster's, etc. while also volunteering for JDRF!  Not much down time to say the least.

Regardless, August 2 we celebrated Asa's three-year Diaversary.  Right on his brother's heels, that sweet smart little angel celebrated three years of battling and persevering with Type One Diabetes.  It's become like an old habit now; like that free-loading kid who won't move out of Momma's basement.  Some days are good, some days just plain suck.

I actually had a much more relaxed and reduced stress (never will I see stress-free) summer as the boys, at age 10 1/2, pretty much took over their own breakfasts and lunches.  The little Math Whizzes did a darned good job of counting carbs, considering every little thing that has carbs, writing their glucoses down so their OCD mother/pancreas can analyze the numbers, and dosing insulin.  They did fantastic of recognizing when their glucoses were climbing and they need a little bonus dose of insulin to bring it back in range.  Basically, everything I wanted them to do by middle school has happened a year early.  What a lucky Mommy Pancreas I am!  It really freed me up to do other know, like sleep, after working 12 hour nights.

All of this random chatter has a point.  Today is the first day of school.  FINALLY, the Cruise Director can hang up her hat for the season.  She's tired.  As always, I take the obligatory "First Day of School" picture.  The boys don't care for all the photo sessions, but they tolerate it now.

After over three years of Diabetes, I *smh* or curse under my breath a lot, but I don't have many of those tearful moments.  Every now and then, one catches me by surprise.  Today when I took this photo, I had to choke back a moment.

First day of fifth grade

You see, they were diagnosed in First grade and the summer just before Second grade at the age of 7. I almost had one of those "moments" this morning when the boys cooperated and took this gorgeous photo. Without research and medical technology, such as those primarily supported by JDRF, these handsome dudes wouldn't have lived past 2nd grade. Today is the first day of Fifth Grade, and they're growing and thriving. I'm so fortunate, and I hope every day they will see a cure in their lifetimes so they don't have to spend every day carrying the burden of Type One Diabetes. Please help us help JDRF turn Type One into Type None. Join our team and Walk with us. Make a tax deductible donation (no gift too big or small).


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mommy Meme Blog

I can't believe I missed an entire month of blogging.  I'm way behind.  It's not been for lack of inspiration or material, but combine parenting + work + school's out + a couple of girls' trips = not much extra time to write.

Someone posted a thread by "Scary Mommy" on Facebook, and I ran with this idea.  She asked her "likers" to post their favorite Mommy Memes, and some made me laugh out loud.  So, I decided to share.  Granted, I don't support all the language some of the creators used, but I can certainly echo the sentiments.  I hope you enjoy, too!

Actually, I lived with my parents with my first child, so her room wasn't so special, but we certainly go all out for #1, don't we?

I planned four.  Someone tricked me on the fourth pregnancy and gave me an extra one!

I'm not above hiding and labeling food for this very reason!

Momma said there'd be days like this!

I have made this PROMISE MANY TIMES, and I've added for my sons that I will also pee on their floors.

Mine are getting better but they used to love to refuse what I cooked.  Diabetes took away my "eat or starve" power.

I have one who was in the ER 5 times by age 4.  Not sure at what point they call CPS.

They're also very smart because of all the fetal brain cell transfers that happened during pregnancy, rendering me borderline stupid

Who hasn't wanted to whoop Caillou!?

If only I had an off switch

Gotta keep them on their toes

I can wear the most basic simple, not nice stuff, and they say, "Why are you so dressed up?"

I have "I'm-Going-To-Kill-You" Mom Eyes that have stopped strangers' kids in their tracks

Or sit on the potty, or pick up the phone....

I have one right now who is the Master Interrupter and Interrogator!  I love his curiosity but it's exhausting.

All my work is totally fun and games!

Isn't what I have more than enough.

One boy was quite the artist and did this to many books and walls

I do point out to them how I asked 10 times nicely, then warned them...and they act like it's the first time I have spoken

Nope.  Not sad at all.

Bed time = Adult Time and I cherish it.

I have smuggled many bags to Goodwill while they were at school.  I've also had my van searched when they realize i have cleaned.

Back to the Interrogator and Selective Listeners

And Pinterest....  Doing my best here!

Diabetes took this response away :(

Monday, May 11, 2015

Keep On Keepin' On

Keep on Keepin’ On

May 11, 2015

I think I’m beating a dead horse when I mention that in 2012 our lives changed forever when my baby Aiden was diagnosed, at age 7, with Type One Diabetes.  I don’t think I have ever been so devastated in my life. Manageable, but devastating nevertheless.  Just when I thought I’d caught my breath from that sucker punch, life kicked me when I was down by diagnosing my sweet Asa  5 months later.  First graders should never have to know or experience daily finger pricks and shots.
Obviously, I jumped right on the bandwagon to learn as much as possible and take as good care of my babies as possible.  I delved into all manners of Type One Diabetes reading and research so I could be the best substitute pancreas I could be.  I was thrown into a world of carb counting, insulin dosing, medical supplies, and continual worry on top of sleep deprivation.  Such is my life, and I’ll do it as long as it takes if it means my boys are healthy.

On top of being a pancreas, I’m still a Mommy, a wife, and a Nurse.  I have a job.  Granted, I shaved my hours down a bit (after I paid off two pediatric hospital bills) so I could focus more on my boys, but I still work hard.  I enjoy every shift taking care of my patients…my new mommies and new babies who deserve the best and healthiest start possible.  Further, I truly enjoy working “behind the scenes” to make our unit as highly efficient, safe and functional as possible.  I have been happy in my career for the last 18 years (wow…can’t believe it’s been so long) and loving my place of work for the last 13. Nursing is a great career that allows me the flexibility to be the kind of wife and Mommy I want to be (and helps support my Bon Jovi habit!).

Somewhere in there, I find time to mentor new families for JDRF, which is rewarding and depressing at the same time.  I love helping someone who is brand new navigate this crazy highway called Type One Diabetes.  However, I’m saddened to know that each time a family is sent to me, that means there is another child out there who has to live like mine do.  I’m left wondering how many out there are diagnosed who do not reach out for help. 

After a year of dealing with T1D and feeling like a crazy person, I wrote "Mommy Can't Fix It"  My primary goals in writing the book were to share our story and help others not feel so alone or crazy when faced with the lifelong illness of their innocent child.  It truly warms my heart when someone reaches out to me to tell me how it helped them or when I am recognized in the Diabetes circles because of my book.  Currently, I’m steadily selling copies, and the money goes into an account to be donated to our JDRF One Walk Team each year.  Two-fold benefit:  helping others and raising money!

Finally, I delve a lot of my time and energy into raising money for JDRF to find better treatments and a cure for Type One Diabetes.  I’d give my right arm if it meant my boys, and those like them, had a cure. I may have trouble typing or combing my hair if I did, but I would do it!  I really feel like it’s the most I can do.  I can’t cure my boys myself…I can’t fix it…but I can help those who can!  Crossing my fingers we’ll see a cure in my lifetime…in their lifetime.

Pancreas.  Mommy.  Wife.  Nurse.  It all adds up and is exhausting.  However, it’s what I signed up for.  Probably borderline perfectionist and admitted over-achiever, I want to do all of my jobs as well as I can.  It’s what gives me intrinsic worth and value.  Half-measure and failure are not options.

Lately, people at work are taking notice of what I do.  My patient care.  My committee work.  And now, my community service through the book, JDRF, and working Texas Lions Camp.  I NEVER expected to receive attention or awards for doing what I do.  Frankly, it’s just icing on the cake.  I’m humbled and flattered.  That I know of, I have been nominated for three local or regional awards through my employer.  I did not win Great 100.  Congratulations to all who did and deserved it!  I was a finalist for D/FW Hospital Council’s Employee of the Year.  I did not win that either; there were a lot of great and deserving folks in that room, too!
The Healthcare Heroes brochure and my photo

My Admin team along with Volunteer of the Year nominee Mr. Neal

As I rode to the D/FW Employee of the Year ceremony with one of my VPs, we talked about my work.  Summed up, I told him I was SO honored that what I do makes an impact.  I’m delighted that my family, friends, administration team and co-workers have taken notice.  I feel privileged to be a part of such an elite group of nominees.  I am humbled.  With that being said, the recognition is incredible, but that is not why I do what I do. 
Screen Saver at Work

I volunteer for JDRF to help others…help I wish I had had that first year.  I wrote the book (and this blog) for catharsis, sharing and to help others.  I worked at TLC to be with my boys (who keep re-attaching the cord I’ve cut many times) and to learn more about T1D from those living with it.  I raise money annually for JDRF One Walk so that I may somehow contribute to a cure for my boys.  They are the heart that beats in my chest, and I know they have SO much to offer this world.  I’ll do whatever it takes to keep them whole.  I am a good nurse because that is what I went to school for, and I love my patients.  I try to be a good leader among my peers so that we can all do our jobs well, and all patients are safe and cared for.  I work on committees and education to help advance nursing practice and give myself and my co-workers the best workplace possible.  Finally, I teach nursing students so they too will learn to love the career they are embarking upon.  

Wow, that sounds like a lot on paper, and I guess it is.  It’s all part of who I am and what makes me ME.  Win or lose the awards, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing because I believe in what I do.  I’ll keep on keepin’ on!

Thanks to each and every one who has donated to my team, purchased my book, and supported me personally or professionally!  Nothing is possible alone, and I could not have done what I do without support.

For my husband, my children, my twin boys….


Monday, March 23, 2015

Mommy Trophy

Mommy Trophy

I don’t think there is a decent parent around who doesn’t question regularly if they are doing the right thing.  I often wonder if I’m being too hard?  Too easy?  Teaching the right lessons?  I wonder what issues will cause them to sit on the therapist’s couch. There are days I want to scream or crack myself over the head with a brick. Diabetes only complicates this already delicate issue.   I guess I have enough self-doubt because I there are no dress rehearsals, and I really want to do thing Mommy thing right!  At times, I get praise from strangers who notice how my children behave in public.  I get feedback from teachers regarding my sons’ good behavior at school.  (I guess they save it all for me).  My hubby reminds me I’m a good Mommy.  Yet, nothing speaks louder to me than the accolades from my kids.

Disclaimer:  I’m know they’re biased and are supposed to love me unconditionally

When my daughter was growing up, she made a poster in Elementary school about her hero.  Me.  So freakin’ cute and touching.

I have two step-children, who I consider mine.  Each of them have written English papers, unsolicited, unexpected about me and my role in their lives.   Parenting is thankless enough; step-parenting is even harder!  Chokes me up. 

At Open House last week, there was a display in the hallway of papers the 4th grade children had written about their heroes.  Some had rock stars.  Some had athletes.  My Asa wrote about me.  Honestly, I couldn’t read it right then and there because I didn’t want to go to work with cry-face.  Asa is my tender-heart.  He’s a lot like I was as a child.  He wants everyone to be happy, all to be fair, and he’s a pleaser.  Asa, like his Mommy, also likes to write.

Since the paper was on display, I don’t think he would mind me sharing:
Paper's cover photo.  "You inspired me to work in a hospital"

10-year-old Asa (I’ll correct some mistakes and clarify as needed)

Do you have a hero? Someone you’d like to follow in their footsteps?  If you don’t, you need one but don’t copy their lifestyle because the world will become plain. To make the world a brighter place you should read this paper.

My mom is always helping others and here are three examples.  First, my mom is a nurse, someone who’s always helping others out. Second, she cares for others and brightens their day. Lastly, she’s always doing what someone else wants to instead of what she wants to do.

She’s always telling the truth and here’s how.  She always tells the truth no matter what. Next, she always stands up for her mistakes no matter how bad they are (not sure what egregious mistakes he means, lol).  Lastly, she’ll always say what she thinks of people.

Lastly, she’s always trying to have a good time.  She’s always trying to have terrific times and memories. Two of her ideas of a good time is relaxing or going out with her friends. Best, she likes to go to the park with my family and me on a nice day.

Now that you know some different ways to be kind, try to help the world be a brighter and happier place like she does.  But, don’t try to copy their lifestyle because everyone has their own way of living.  Now that you know some different ways to be kind, you should spread kindness.


Just when I am convinced I am doing it all wrong, I get little nuggets like this. It puts fuel in my Mommy tank that is often running on fumes.  I sure hope he’s this in love with me when he’s a teenager!

I don’t know about you, but his paper made my world a better place!  Maybe I’m a little sensitive to the issue because I really want to do well at this and raise honest productive members of society.  Maybe I’m super sensitive to what these twins say and do because I treasure each moment, knowing Diabetes could have already taken or could take them from me too soon.  Humbling.

I’ll continue to do my best and enjoy every minute that I can!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fun Fours

Fun Fours

There's a fun little meme making its way around the DOC.  It has that old “slam book” feel about it.  I first saw it on Joanne'sblog. I thought I'd take part just to keep the creative juices flowing.

1. Four names people call me other than my real name. 

a)  Momma – I’m not Mom.  My mom is “mom”.  I’m Mommy or Momma.  It’s one of my favorite titles.

b)  Honda – If you ever say it to me, I may be forced to cut you (and probably unfriend you).  Something that came about when I was a baby because I rode on a Honda motorcycle around the trailer park (keeping it classy)..and it’s one letter off of my name.

c) Mrs. Fuselier – I know it’s technically true, but it usually weirds me out a little.  It sounds so formal and uptight, and formal I am not.  However, I’m required to have my nursing students address me as such.

d) Babuh – Easily one of my favorite things to hear.  It’s our name for each other, and it’s unique.  Copyright pending.

2. Four Jobs I’ve Had 

a) Cashier at Eckerd Drug.  For those of you who don’t know what Eckerd’s was, think CVS.  Pretty much same thing.  I made a whopping $3.18/hr.

b)  Phlebotomist.  I moved up in the world to a substantial $6.25/hr.  For five years, I jabbed needles into people to extract their blood.  I heard every vampire joke in the book.

c)  Nurse.  Since age 22.  I’ve done a few different roles in Nursing.  Babies.  Mommies.  Risk Management. Charge. It’s a rewarding career.  I’ve got stories that can keep you entertained all night.

d)  Nursing Instructor.  Most recent job.  I didn’t know if I’d like it, but I actually LOVED it!  It was so much fun to teach nursing students.  They challenged me to think.

3. Four Movies I’ve Watched More Than Once 

a) Top Gun.  Oh my, Tom Cruise.  The Beach volleyball scene.  The tighty-whitey scene.  Enough said.  Made my teenage hormones stir.

b)  Dirty Dancing.  Nobody puts Baby in a corner.  Teenage hormones again.

c) Footloose.  Probably would be so cheesy if I watched it today, but I sure did like that one!  Did I mention I had teenage hormones?

d)  Riding in Cars with Boys.  Such a good movie.  I could relate.

4. Four Books I’d Recommend 

a) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
b)  Decision Points by George W Bush
c)  Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx
d) Mommy Can’t Fix It (By Me) J

5. Four Places I’ve Lived 

a) Texas City, Texas
b) Arizona
c) Missouri
d) Fort Worth, TX (and other cities in TX)

6. Four Places I’ve Visited

a) New York City
b) Cancun, Mexico
c) Los Angeles, California
d)  St. Joseph, MO.  Trust me.  It’s as boring as it sounds and not nearly as exciting as the first three cities I mentioned.

7. Four Things I Prefer Not To Eat 

*This one was very hard because I love food and am NOT picky.*

a)  Licorice. Gag a maggot.
b)  Italian Sausage.  Just tastes like licorice burps to me.
c) Croutons.  Stale bread is a waste of calories.
d)  Dogs.  Maybe I shouldn’t judge, but it sounds appalling to me.

8. Four of my Favorite Foods

 a) Steak.  (Prime Rib, T-Bone, Ribeye, Filet Mignon).  Cow’s ok; dog, not so much.
b)  Mexican food.  I could eat my birth weight in chips and salsa.
c)  Italian.  Gotta love some good pasta, especially if artichokes are involved.
d)  Indian.  Much to my husband’s chagrin, I love me some curry (and garlic)!

9. Four TV Shows I Watch

a) Modern Family.  One of the wittiest and most real sitcoms on TV today.
b) Breaking Bad.  Easily one of the best, if not THE best, TV drama ever written.
c)  Sons of Anarchy.  Didn’t think I would like it, but we are marathoning this one like a Kenyan!
d)  Cougar Town.  Funny stuff.

10. Four Things I’m Looking Forward To This Year 

a)  Bon Jovi trip.  Need my fix.
b)  Girls’ Vacation (s).  We’re doing a lot of celebrating turning 40!
c)  My annual anniversary vacation with The Man!  It’s always a highlight of my year!
d)  JDRF One Walk.  The AA Team is back in action and hoping to keep their standing in the Top Five Family Teams.

11. Four Things I am Always Saying 

a)  Dag gum!
b)  Do your chores and homework?  Did you do your chores and homework?
c)  When’s your due date?

d)  I love you

Friday, February 20, 2015

Three Years Sweet and Strong

Third Diaversary:  Three Years Sweet and Strong
February 20, 2015

I can vividly remember the day (s) all my children were born, and I can tell each of them their birth stories.  I can vividly remember the day our lives were forever changed when the pediatrician called me and said, “You were right.  Get Aiden to the hospital right now!”  It’s Diabetes’ birth story. Even typing it, three years later, I still get chills and tears well up in my eyes. 

Three years ago today, Diabetes officially invaded our lives. I can recall vividly the fear, helplessness, despair, worry, and pain of that day.  It still makes me cry. Although it’s now routine, no two days are the same. … it’s sort of like my job in Labor & Delivery.  Most days are fine; some days are great; some days just plain SUCK!  I’ve learned a tremendous amount over the past three years, and I know I’m light years away from knowing nearly enough.

Three years ago today, we were completely lost and devastated.  In three years, we have had approximately 292 pump site changes, 8760 finger sticks, 1532 insulin shots, one million carbs counted, countless late and long nights, and an infinite amount of skin rashes.  Three years ago, I only knew the basics to keep my son alive.  Through research, reading, information-sharing and sheer trial-and-error, I know enough to teach Aiden to care for himself.  I know enough to give Mr. Diabetes one hell of a fight, but he still sucker punches me now and then and doesn’t play fair. Over this course of time, I have learned enough and am involved enough to be recognized and asked to help others. Three years ago, I would have laughed at you if you told me this is where I would be now.

This disease is crappy.  Each “diaversary”, I cry when he is out of my sight; I die a little inside to be reminded how long we’ve had to deal with this.  But in front of the kid, we’re positive.  We celebrate Aiden’s life with Diabetes. I’m so proud of my Aiden, so proud to be his Mommy, and so proud that I still get to hold my baby every day.  He has grown tremendously physically and emotionally, and he’s on top of his Diabetes care. I set a standard on year One, now a celebration is expected.  So, today we 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. Aiden easily asks 176 questions per hours, but I am so thankful to be able to hear each and every one, because the alternative sucks!  And, through the tears, we’re going to celebrate that my baby is still alive to live a full life!


Year One: and

Year Two:

Sunday, February 1, 2015


February 1, 2015

Spoiler Alert:  I’m going to talk a bit about the movie, Cake.  I don’t think I’ll ruin anything, but you’ve been warned.  You can always return to read this after you’ve watched the movie, although I don’t think I’m going to take away from the movie with what I say.  Moving on….

So, yesterday, Memaw took the kiddos, and my hubby and I spent our much-coveted time alone watching a movie and having a big lunch.  He chose the last movie; this time, I chose CAKE.  I absolutely adore Jennifer Aniston.  Brad Pitt totally stepped down when he left her for Angelina Jolie, but I digress.  I think Jennifer Aniston is a great actress, and I was eager to see her in a serious role.  All I knew about the movie was that it was a story about a woman addicted to pain pills.

Beautiful Ms. Aniston as Claire Bennett in CAKE

At times, the movie was a bit slow, but I feel it was necessary to demonstrate the despondency of the main character’s life.  In the movie, Claire Bennett was a high-functioning lawyer with a husband and a child.  She experiences a tragic accident that left her scarred, in chronic pain, and addicted to pain pills.  To boot, her son was killed in the accident, which precipitated Claire’s fall.  Physical and emotional pain completely did her in.  In a moment, her life completely fell apart.  I knew watching, I was Claire, sans the tragic event that caused her spiral into darkness.  Only one degree of separation.

Now, wait..don’t stage an intervention or anything.  I’m not hooked on alcohol or pain pills.  I don’t have chronic pain.  More so, I could see how someone seemingly so put together and strong could be so easily devastatingly taken down.  I equate it to Jenga.
My solid sturdy life

Claire was all put together, but someone removed one critical Jenga block and made her entire world, her whole tower, come tumbling down. Like Claire’s life, my life is a pretty solid tower.  I have a good family, decent kids, great husband, and we comfortably take care of ourselves.  However, what’s built me up are critical blocks.  Misplacing one can shake the whole tower.  And, it’s happened to me at times in my life.  Five Bad D’s have been the culprits that have moved blocks and caused my whole tower, my whole life, to wobble. Death. Divorce. Depression.  Deceit.  Diabetes. 

One critical block remains in place

 Somehow, some way, each time, I’ve been able to make the shaking stop and re-solidified my tower. That one critical block was left in place.  I credit having a loving husband, supportive parents, great friends, soothing Bon Jovi, my kids…and probably just some sheer pig-headed stubbornness for bringing me up when I’ve been down.

In the most seemingly solid Jenga tower, there’s always ONE brick that makes the entire tower topple. As with most mothers, the hugest part of my existence surrounds protecting the health, life, and safety of my children.  It’s on my mind every minute of every day.  Keeping them safe and happy is paramount to my existence, and it’s the one critical Jenga block that holds this tower completely together.  If even one was taken from me, my holding block would be gone, and I would topple into a pile of rubble.  No longer would my life look like a solid tower, but instead would look like a pile of blocks, no resemblance to the tower it once was.  I put myself in her shoes, and suddenly, I could see how I could become Claire Bennett.

I did not judge Claire.  I saw myself.  If I was a betting woman, I would bet on the fact that I would fall apart, too.  Lying in bed.  Searching for a reason to exist.  Trying to numb the pain.

And, that, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the many reasons I fight so hard and do what I do to manage my boys’ Diabetes.  Mr. Diabetes is the primary enemy trying to knock that block out of place.  One wrong move, and He wins…and I am Claire.  So when I talk too much; I am too tired: I am too eager; Ask too much; I am too aggressive....I'm keeping my Jenga block in place.
Pushing to keep my block in place while Diabetes pushes back

As I watched the movie, watched her cope with her physical and emotional pain, I just cried.  Perfect one day, destroyed the next. Rubble.  A life in shambles. I can only imagine, and I hope I never have to know for sure.  I may appear strong, but even Super Mom has her Kryptonite. 

So, watch the movie.  Tell me what you think.  Please don’t say, “Well, you have other children to live for, blah blah blah”.  I’m aware of that.  My point: I don’t know that I would be any different than Claire, and that really struck a chord close to my heart and soul.  Next time you see someone self-medicating their pain, be sympathetic not judgmental.


Monday, January 26, 2015

No Finish Line

No Finish Line
January 26, 2015

I had big hopes this time last year.  I was going to get fit! Diabetes had taken all He was going to take from me in 2013!   I was going to get back on track and return to the shape I was when I was at my finest…late 2010!  (Late 2010 was about 14 months before Diabetes decided to crash the party).  It was time to take charge!

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that’s basically what happened to me.  I tried. I meant well.  Work stress.  Tired from managing Diabetes.  Other drama I don’t care to discuss. Getting and keeping people healthy is exhausting.  Fatigue and life got in the way! But, instead of shaping up and losing a bit of body fat, I found more.  15 pounds to be precise.  I’ve never been this heavy outside of pregnancy in my life!  In the grand scheme of things, I realize it’s not too bad, but for me, this is wicked fat!

So, again in 2015, I have a mission.  I want to lose what I found and get in shape for our fall 15th anniversary trip!  It CAN be done!

I am working hard at making myself go to the gym.  I have my gym trips planned, and I got a treadmill for Christmas to get a few extra steps in.  I have a new puppy to walk.  Last week, I was doing some cardio at the gym, cursing my mother and Jesus while I climbed the never-ending stairs!  I was feeling quite sorry for myself, and I started thinking.  You know…this is bull!  Why can’t we work hard to get to a shape we’re happy with, press a button, and then it just stays there.  Why does it require constant work? 

As I continued the pity party, it dawned on me.  Working out is not really much different from managing Diabetes.  I can be in tip-top shape, but I still have to watch what I consume and make sure I’m changing up workouts and exercising regularly in order to maintain. 

Well, Mr. Diabetes requires the same perseverance.  It’s a marathon with no finish line.  Ever.  Every day, I have to watch what the boys eat.  Every day I have to consider and adjust insulin rates given their meal, growth, season, activity level, stress level, etc.  Each day I have to monitor them closely in my quest for the coveted Hemoglobin A1C in the 6’s.  What?  Why are you laughing?

Just like a number on the scale (or calipers) and how I feel tells me I’m doing great with my own body, that A1C tells me I’m doing good battling Mr. Diabetes and keeping a steady pace in the Diabetes marathon.  You see, I have to.  The only finish line is death, and I don’t plan to see that in my boys while I’m still breathing.  Working out, I’ll never see the finish line.  The only way I’ll see a finish line in either race is if I give up and quit.  Quitting my fitness regime yields bad health and perhaps obesity for me.  Not an option.  Giving up on the constant vigilance that Diabetes demands yields bad health, complications or even death for my boys.  Again, not an option.

So, pity party over.  This is what I have to do.  Nothing good comes easy.  I’m going to make myself get back to my very attainable goal weight and shape…and maintain. When I have a bad day, I’ll start again the next day.

I’m going to continue to work hard, learn more, and be diligent with my boys’ care in the quest to keep them healthy.  When we have a bad day, we’ll make adjustments and start over!  I'm going to love the journey to help them learn to care for themselves and raise $ for those who can expedite better treatments and a cure! And maybe one day, I’ll see that A1C in the 6’s.  *Stop snickering*

Such is my life.