Kortnie at the 2011 JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, Tempe Town Lake, Tempe, AZ

Saturday, November 13, 2010

World Diabetes Day

November 14 is World Diabetes Day. It's also Kortnie's 372nd day of living with this silent but deadly disease. She'll be doing the Big Blue Test this afternoon and posting her results. Check it out www.bigbluetest.org and if you want to learn more about World Diabetes Day you can check it out at www.worlddiabetesday.org Today is a day about learning, preventing and advocating, not only for Type 1 (Like Korky has) but also for Type 2. Here's hoping that all or our D-Friends have great Blood Sugar's today, that they get out and get moving, and that everyone can have a Specatacular day. I love you Kortnie and to my non-D kids, I love you too, you do so much and give up a lot to support your sister, our lives have changed drastically over the past year, but we are still going strong and for that I am thankful!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

6 Things I Want You to Know about Korky and her Diabetes

It's the 9th annual D-Blog Day and this year's topic is '6 things you want people to know about Diabetes'. So here goes.

1. Just because it says Sugar Free, does not mean my kid can have it without permission from me, a finger poke, or a bolus.

2. Just because it's got sugar in it does not mean that my kid can't have it at all.

3. Korky's Type 1 Diabetes is not the same as your Grandma's Diabetes, in fact Kork's Great-Grandma (my Grandma) has Diabetes, and Korky's paternal Grandpa (Brian's dad), and paternal Great-Uncle (Brian's uncle) had it too. She didn't get it from them, they have Type 2, big difference.

4. Yes, my kid loves candy and sugar and treats, when she was little like 2 or 3 she'd wake up in the middle of the night, like 2am, sneak some candy and turn on the TV. That is not the reason she developed Type 1 Diabetes, nope, it wasn't because she ate too much candy. She just happens to be born with a faulty pancreas. Again, she was born with a faulty pancreas, we did not damage it.

5. If she says she needs to check her BG, then she needs to, she's not doing it for attention. If she falls asleep or goes droopy all of a sudden, then something is wrong. Give her some kind of sugar, then check her BG, it can be scary, but try to stay calm. You'll have time to freak out or break down later. If she starts 'freaking out', crying uncontrollably, fighting with you, yelling at you and yes even hitting you, then again something is wrong, talk to her in a calm voice, check her BG or get her to do it, give her a correction, call me and let her lay down for a rest. Don't let it hurt your feelings, she never remembers what she did, she didn't mean it, she still loves you.

6. I may seem calm, I may seem like Diabetes doesn't affect me, I may seem like I'm not overwhelmed, like I'm not thinking about it all the time, like I'm not completly freaked out. It's just a facade, I am always thinking about D, I am always worried. I struggle to trust Korky with herself and to let her have some independance, in fact I struggle with letting anyone take care of Korky, even my own husband her dad. I know he should be my number 1 and I do trust him, but I still struggle with it internally. I am not sure if it's trust I struggle with or fear or a combination of both.

7. I have one more.... Diabetes doesn't define Korky, or me either for that matter. It doesn't have to take center stage. There's more to us, but on the flip side, I appreciate your concern, your willingness to learn and you're desire to help us.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Korky's 1st D-Aversary what I learned, Gratitude

The time has come, a day I myself dreaded. The first anniversary of Korky's Diabetes diagnosis. She was diagnosed on a Sunday afternoon, November 8th 2009. We recognized her one year mark this year on Sunday November 7th, I suppose we can have the D-aversary on either the 1st Sunday of November or the actual date November 8th. Personally I just thought that it was kind of depressing and I felt like taking it to the Lord and telling him, "Okay, it's been a year, that's enough, you can take it back now". My Korky though, thought it was pretty cool, I guess to a 6 year old it sounds like another day to celebrate, she told people all day "today is my Diabetes 1st Birthday!" My husband and I talked and I told him "Guess what today is?" Of course he didn't know, but when I told him it had been a year since I'd taken Korky to the ER that fateful Sunday afternoon, his face kind of fell, and he said to me, "It's only been a year?....Oh, yeah, I guess so, it feels like longer". Yes it's been a long year!
We figured to "celebrate" we'd have a Junk food Carb fest all day. One donut each with a 3/4 cup of Lucky Charms cereal and a 1/2 cup of Orange Juice for breakfast, for lunch it was a cheese crisp, then we went to church, came home and had a "make your own pizza" night, I make the dough up and then we use up leftovers and just stuff we have on hand. For dessert it was one piece of Halloween candy. Yes, it was lots of carbs and a lot of junk, but I try to rationalize it that some of it was pretty good for the kids, the OJ, the milk on the cereal, the cheese and the veggies on the pizzas (even though they really didn't put on too many veggies, mostly black olives). And awesomely enough her BG's stayed in range all day, they hung out in the 130-150 range with only one high of 238 which she had insulin on board for and it came down pretty quick.
Like I said above Korky has taken her disease in stride, at first she would ask "why me" or "why don't Stasia and Graham (her sister and brother) have to take shots", she get upset when she couldn't just have a piece of candy or an apple without a shot or finger poke. She'd get mad if I told her to come check her BG while she was busy playing with her friends, she wouldn't want to poke her finger or take shots in front of anyone. In the hospital, she only wanted daddy to do her shots, when we came home and he went back to work, she got used to me doing them and then only wanted me to do them and not her dad. When we went on the pump it was the same way, she only wanted her dad to do the site changes, but I forced my way in there and now she and I have become so good at it that most of the time we don't even ask Daddy-O to help us with it. Over the past year she has adjusted and grown, she doesn't really care if other people see her poking her finger, taking a shot or a bolus, or doing a site change. She doesn't love when complete strangers stare at her or ask questions, but when it comes to friends and family she doesn't care one way or the other about doing her stuff in front of them. She's learned that if she just gets it done she can go back to whatever she was doing in the first place, there's not much procrastination anymore. She has learned what she can eat anytime, what she can't ever have, and what she can have with a small bolus. I am constantly amazed by her adaptivness, I guess that's why this Disease is given to young children mostly, they can learn to change and adapt much faster and easier than adults. I'm not saying it's easy for her, some days she makes it seem that way, and then we have some days that are absolute HELL! But really, this has been a tough, long year for my 5 now 6 year old baby. I am proud of her, in awe of her, amazed by her. In fact I am amazed by all of my kids on a daily basis, how well they all have adapted to Korky's disease.
Now on to me, I said this one year D-aversary was depressing right, well the day started out that way, I was feeling sorry for myself, sorry for Korky and sorry for the whole family. I am so glad that we recognized her D-aversary on Sunday though. We went to church that afternoon and I was still having my pity party, I didn't even really want to go to church, but the kids wanted to go and Brian must have felt that I needed to go too, so we all got showered and dressed and went to church. I am so glad we went! Now we are LDS (or Mormon) and the first Sunday of the month we have a Testimony meeting, we take our Sacrament and then for the rest of the meeting time, our Ward (or congregation) members are encouraged to come up to the stand and give their testimonies. The first person to get up started off the theme that everyone seemed to follow, Gratitude and Thanksgiving, very appropriate for the first Sunday of November. Various member of our church got up and testified the things they were thankful for and recognized that God has his hand in all things. We went on to our Sunday School class and were taught a lesson on keeping our Cisterns full, by trusting, studying and communicating with the Lord. (I could go on and on but I'm trying to paraphrase), after Sunday School the women and men separate and go to our individual classes, the women's class is called Relief Society, where the theme of Gratitude and Thankfulness was continued. As I sat through those 3 hours (yes 3 hours) of church last Sunday afternoon, I realized there is much to be thankful for and that instead of having my pity party I should show some gratitude and my heart was lifted. So I have to say, I am thankful we recognized Korky's D-aversary on Sunday so that I could have my inevitable pity party, then go to church and have my heart lightened.
Yes my daughter has Type 1 Diabetes and it sucks, big time. But, there are diseases and afflictions out there that can be worse, there isn't a cure, but there is insulin and insulin pumps, and various other devices, that we can use to help control it. She has to work hard to maintain her health, but if she works hard she can do most anything that a "normal" kid can do. Yes, I live in fear that she MIGHT die in her sleep, but some mother's live with the KNOWLEDGE that their kids won't make it past X number of years. It is hard work, not only for Korky, but for the whole family, but that hard work builds character, teaches us resilience, and compassion. So, yes, I have a lot to be Thankful for, I won't go so far as to say I am thankful for Diabetes, but I am Thankful for my daughter Diabetes or not, for my other 2 kids and their sweet souls, for my husband who helps me more than I recognize on a daily basis, for my home, for our insurance, for our family and our friends who love us unconditionally and support us and would do anything to help us, for our crazy dog, for modern medicine, for the country we live in which isn't always perfect but could be a lot worse, for the fact that my husband has a good job and I am able to stay at home with our kids, for electricity, for running water, for an abundance of food available to us, for the Internet and the DOC, for the teachers who love my kids at school and at church, and for so much more, again I could go on and on, but this is getting long.
Bottom line is we as a society take so much for granted, when we are having our pity parties, we just need to sit back and think of the things we are taking for granted and remember to be thankful for them.

Here are 3 people I am most Thankful for, Graham (3 years old), Stasia (7 almost 8) and Korky (6). They are decorating their pizzas as my GrammyBoy would say. We used, leftover spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, ham, pepperoni, green onions, mushrooms, black olives, jalapenos, leftover taco meat, and bacon bits, and of course cheese.

Here is Korky, clearly enjoying her pizza and her Junk Food Carbfest D-aversary.

Taking a bite of that delicious pizza, I think she put pepperoni and ham slices and tons of cheese on her pizza. Oh and an extra special treat of Diet Mug Rootbeer.
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Friday, November 5, 2010


Our (I say ours, but really it's just Korky's isn't it, sometimes I feel like T1D is my disease too, maybe it is since I am the Pancreas for now) 1st D-aversary is coming up soon. The date is November 8th, a Monday or we could go with Sunday the 7th, which is the actual day of the week Korky was dx'd. I told Korky yesterday that her first D-aversary was coming up, she asked me, "what's that?" I told her it means she'd had T1D for a year now and it was kind of like the 1st birthday of her D. She got all excited and said to me, "are we gonna have a party?" I'm thinking to myself, you want to celebrate this and I want to be depressed about it. Hmmm, so I told her I don't know what we're going to do for it, my first instinct is to have a giant CarbFest, like Pizza for dinner and DQ Blizzards for dessert. However, that's not really too practical, first off Pizza Hut and DQ Blizzards for a family of 5 is not all that cost effecient and secondly, I am sure I don't want to be in the mode of battling major highs all night long, and thirdly probably most importantly, it just doesn't sound all that healthy. Catch 22 though, you gotta let loose sometimes and let kids be kids right?

So my question to you "seasoned" D moms (and Dads and those who actual have the dreaded D) is this something to celebrate? What do you do to commemorate the occasion? Do you just let it go by unannouced? Part of me just wants to be sad about it, but another part of me thinks it is worth celebrating, we've lived with this for a year, it's been a major challenge for all of us, and I think we're doing pretty good. Kortnie wants to do something fun to mark the 1st year, so I guess we should. I just don't really have any ideas of what to do. I'd love to hear if and how you all "celebrate" your D-aversaries.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

2010 JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes Tempe, AZ

We took part in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes at Tempe Town Lake, here in Arizona last weekend. I think it was pretty successful. It was our first year to walk as a family team (about 6 or 7 years ago before D hit us personally I did this walk with my first daughter as part of a corporate team). I registered our team under the name "Friends and Family of Kortnie Silverhorn" back in January I think, but as time went on I decieded our team name should be Korky's Krusaders. So next year I think that's what we'll call ourselves. I registerd all 5 of us as individual walkers on the family team and set a fundraising goal of $1000. I am happy to say that we raised a total of $1220.00 for our walk. Most of our donations came from family and friends.

The walk took place last Saturday October 30th. Tempe is about a 3 hour drive for us. We decieded that we'd just drive down early Saturday morning, so we left here about 5:30am and got there right at 9:00. We ended up doing only the 1.5 mile fun walk rather than the full 3.2 mile walk. We figured that would be much easier on the kids and our sanity as well. After the walk was over we checked out the booths, I signed us up for trial net, and the kids got to paint pumpkins. We enjoyed the lunch that the walk put on as well. We were in a hurry to get back home for trick or treating though, so we didn't hang around too long. I think next year, we will plan to go down to the Valley the night before and make it more of a family weekend getaway.

Below are some pictures of us on walk day, the weather was beautiful, the people we saw treated Kortnie like a princess and she enjoyed getting some good attention because of her diabetes, people with knowledge asking her "smart" questions about her diabetes, her pump, her test kits, etc. She told me that it was nice that we didn't have to talk about it all day. Which I didn't get at first because it was like Diabetes was everywhere, but later I figured that she meant we didn't have to answer the same questions or explain the same things over and over like we do with non-D people.

Our family walk team (right to left) Big Sister Stasia (7 almost 8), Korky our D-kid (6 years old), Daddy-O Brian, Me, best friend Zoie (7 also almost 8) and on my lap is little brother Graham (3 years old).

Kortnie paining her pumpkin, a fun activity!

Stasia walking for a cure!

Zoie (in pink shorts) and Korky (in black pants) walking for a cure!

The girls, Stasia, Zoie and Korky