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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Here is Kortnie, her brother, and sister all ready to do the town's trunk or treat last Saturday.  Graham is a zombie, Kortnie is some kind of purple spider thing, and Stasia is red riding hood. 
Tomorrow we will go trick or treating here in our neighborhood. 
It seems like Halloween with Type 1 Diabetes can be more trick than treat for some.  Not really for us though.  We just treat it the same as we always have.  Kortnie was diagnosed about a week after Halloween in 2009, so we had a whole year to prepare ourselves for Halloween and that is what we decided, that we'd just take it as it came and try to handle it much in the same that we always had before.
So here is what we do, first we get all dressed up and have some dinner, I try to make something warm, filling, and good for us.  Usually a chili, stew, or soup.  Then we head out, we live in a fun neighborhood where we know most of our neighbors.  Usually all the walking and excitement can make Kortnie's blood sugar drop a little low, so we make sure to bring a juice box and her test kit with us.  Of course, lower blood sugars also means she can have a few pieces of candy while we're out walking around, so we all share some candy of course!  We'd rather free-base her some candy than have a bad low and have to have her suck down a juice and stop trick or treating. 
Once we get home we still have plenty of trick or treaters still knocking on our door so the kids enjoy staying up for awhile longer to hand out candy.
Now, on to the good part.  How do we handle all of the candy our kids bring home?  I am a firm believer that not only does my T1 not need all that candy, but no kid needs all of that candy!  However, some candy is good in moderation, and Halloween candy comes in small fun-sized portions. 
First the kids dump out their candy, we give them each a ziplock bag and let them pick out the stuff they really love, you know, the good stuff like chocolate.  They also end up doing trades with each other.  We put their names on their bags of candy and we let them have a piece with lunch or dinner, and sometimes even as a snack, all in moderation of course, the candy will last them quite awhile, at least until Christmas.
Next, we take out all the stuff that is good for Low blood sugars and we put that in our Low Box (a box of treats we have for low blood sugars).  Some of the stuff we take out; skittles, pixie sticks, smarties, bottlecaps, sweet tarts, jelly beans, etc.
After that, Brian and I get to pick out some of our favorites.  I love those peanut butter taffy things wrapped in orange or black paper, the fat tootsie rolls, and the flavored tootsie rolls, oh and cinnamon bears! 
Now whatever is left we either save to make gingerbread houses at Christmastime or hand out to the kids still knocking at our door.  

Happy Halloween! 
Stay Safe and Have Fun!
and remember...
Let Them Eat Candy!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Longest Night

I am one tired Mama, it's been a week of  bad sleep for me.

My husband has his hunt this week, he went camping Friday and Saturday night.  I don't sleep well when he's gone.  Our bed is too big, I miss him.  Sunday mid-morning he came home and had a shower and then left again.  He got home Sunday night around 8pm.  Monday-Wednesday he's been going out at 5am and coming home around 8pm. 

I usually go to bed at 10:30pm, wake up at 2:30am to check Kortnie's blood sugar, and then wake up again at 6-6:30am to get the kids off to school and Brian off to work. 

This week, it's been more like bed at 10:30 or 11pm, up at 2:30am, up at 4:30am to get Brian off to hunt, then up at 6:15am to get the kids to school, and then I have my daycare kids arrive around 7am. 

Last night was the worst.  I put the kids to bed at 8:30pm, and decided that I was going to bed too, Brian had gotten home and eaten some dinner and he's beat too so he was gonna go to bed with me. 

I checked Kortnie's blood sugar around 8:30pm, she was 67 with insulin on board, she had a juice box, she had eaten rice for dinner so I knew her blood sugar would most likely spike.

I got myself in bed around 9ish.  I set my alarm for 11pm, 2:30am, 4:30am, and 6:15am. 

Around 10:10pm my text message ringtone beeped at me,  it woke me up so I went and checked Kortnie, she was 225 (thanks juice), I gave her a bolus of insulin, went back to bed, turned off my 11pm alarm.

About 1:30am I could hear Kortnie's pump alarming, I laid there trying to figure out what the alarm might be for, couldn't remember the last time we changed out her insulin and site, so I thought, "oh dang, she's probably out of insulin, great, just great."  I got up and went to see what it was, the pump was saying she had less than 10Units of insulin, okay that'll get us until 6am, while I was in there I checked her blood sugar, hoping I could turn off my 2:30am alarm.  She was 63, sigh, fed her a juice box in her sleep, went to the bathroom and back to bed.  Had to leave my 2:30am alarm on.

2:30am went and checked her blood sugar again, to make sure she was staying in a safe sleeping range (for us that's above 100), she was 121.  Back to bed again.

4am Brian's alarm went off.  I must have been tired, because next thing I know, my 4:30am alarm was going off.  He was in the shower which was good because I didn't have to kick him out of bed, but I did get up and go make sure his lunch for the day was all set.  I went back to bed and kind of dozed off and on while he finished getting ready to leave.  I vaguely remember him kissing me before he went downstairs and then also hearing his friends truck outside our house and the door shut when he left, that must have been right around 5.

6:15am, my alarm was going off, time to wake up.  Thank goodness for  Anastasia (my oldest, she's 9, almost 10) who went and got up my littlest and helped him get dressed so I could help Kortnie change out her site and insulin.

Pancreating in the night sucks extra when you also wife-ing (yeah I made up that word wife-ing) a hunter. I guess I still managed to get maybe 5 hours of sleep, but I am definitly already looking forward to bedtime tonight. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Field Trip

A few weeks ago, Kortnie's school was doing field trips to the local pumpkin patch.  She brought home the permission slip around the beginning of October.  I signed it and wrote a quick note on the bottom of it telling her teacher that I had daycare kids that day, but her dad was off work and he'd be attending the field trip.  Kortnie asked if she could just go BY HERSELF.  Since Kortnie was dx'd with T1D a few months into Kindergarten she has always had me with her on ALL of her field trips, even when in Kindergarten, I was the parent volunteer on her pumpkin patch trip which was about 3 weeks before her diagnosis.  Now, she's asking to go by herself,  "just this one time" she said.  We all talked about it, Brian, her, and I and decided if the teacher was okay with it and her numbers were okay that day, then yep we'd let her go by herself.

The pumpkin patch is about 2 miles from her school, 3 miles from our house.  She'd be going right after lunch, they'd be gone an hour or less, she's in 3rd Grade now, this will be her 4th school field trip to the pumpkin patch.  I told her she would take her phone, and her purse-inside her purse she'd have her test kit, a juice box, a roll of glucose tabs, and of course her cell phone.  She would check her blood sugar and do a lunchtime bolus like we usually do, but this time she and her nurse would call me and tell me her number.  After lunch and recess she would need to check her blood sugar and call me with her number, then she'd get on the bus, ride to the pumpkin patch, have fun, ride back to school and check her number and call me, and of course I told her if she felt low or something she would check while at the pumpkin patch and call me. I told her she would need to be with a buddy from her class at all times-which of course it's school policy to use the buddy system anyways.  I called her teacher and asked her if she would be okay with this plan, she agreed and said she'd carry glucagon, a juice, and her own cell phone in her backpack too. 

It was a good plan, I was pretty confident, so was Kortnie, and so was her teacher. 

And then the morning of the field trip came and, well, you know what they say about best laid plans...she had a site failure over night, woke up with a high BG, Large Ketones, and sick, sick, sick!
She couldn't go to school, she was devastated about missing her field trip, upset that she was gonna get to go by herself and now she wouldn't get to go at all.  Well, my girl, she was determined to go on that field trip, so she went back to sleep, woke up around 9ish, took a shower, got herself dressed, had some breakfast, drank some water, informed me that her ketones were down to moderate.  I told her to rest for a little longer and when I went to pick up her brother from 1/2 day Kindergarten at 10:45, we'd see if she could go.  By 10:45 she was itching to go to school, she checked her BG and it was 90, she said she wanted to go to school.  She looked pretty terrible still, tired and pale.  But, I let her go.  She has lunch at 11:25, she called me and said her BG was 63 and she didn't want her sandwich, but she did want her pudding.  I told her to eat her pudding and reduce her basal by 10% for an hour.  Told her not to run around on the playground to get a book and sit in the sun.  I told her to check her BG at noon and call me before she got on the bus. 

By 11:55ish, I was kind of freaking out, so I drove down to the school and waited at the bus loading spot.  She came out with all of the other 3rd Graders, her teacher told me that she could tell Kortnie wasn't feeling too great, that they were going to check her BG on the bus and call me, but that since I was there I could go with them.  Kortnie said no-she doesn't want me to go.  She checked her BG and she was 121, she told me that she laid on the tunnel in the sun with her friend at recess and she felt better.  She had some color in her cheeks and I could tell she felt a bit better and was excited.  So, I had her reduce her basal by 10% for another hour and let her go.  All.By.Herself. 

When they got back to school, around 1ish her teacher texted me and told me her BG was 142 and that they had had fun.  I relaxed.  For the rest of the day, she was tired and hung out in the 70's to low 100's.  She insisted on going to all of her activities that afternoon, her church group, and soccer, although at soccer she was kind of low, so I made her sit a lot. 

She went to bed early and by Tuesday morning she was back to normal. 

Another challenging day for my girl, but she handled it, bravely, and as independently as I would let her.  She is my hero.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Diabetes Stole my Mojo

We all know that when kids come along our Mojo flies out the window, for awhile, but it comes back.  I find, for me, being the parent of a chronically ill kid, I sometimes a lot of the time, have to work really hard to keep it.

My husband and I have a standing date, pretty much about once a week we enjoy a nice hot bath in our jacuzzi tub.  We relax, we talk, we listen to music, we get to spend a few hours together without our kids and without going out to spend money that we don't really have, sometimes we bring bowls of ice cream into the tub with us.  Scandalous!  So, you can use your imagination about what may or may not happen after the bath.  You know, mojo, it's a big part of marriage. 

This past Sunday, we enjoyed our bath, it's been cold here lately and a hot bath really warmed me up, we talked and laughed, I felt relaxed and rested.  After my bath, I went to check on Kortnie, I checked her blood sugar and it was a perfect 112.  This should make me happy, right?  Well, it did, only until I noticed there was only 2 units of insulin left in her pump!   SIGH!

I woke her up, told her we needed to change her site.  She was waking up, I ran downstairs to get the insulin out of the fridge, poked my head into my room and told Brian that she needed a site change.  I went back into her room and coaxed her out of bed.  She was cranky of course!  About this time our 5 year old son woke up next door, he was whimpering, I peeked in at him, he was standing in the middle of his room whimpering, working up to a cry, pointing at his fish tank.  Brian came in and got him, I went back to Kortnie. 

It took a few minutes but we got the site done, and I got her back to bed.  Went to look for Brian and I found him curled up in bed with our son, fast asleep.   Aw, what a sweet site, but....MOJO IS GONE NOW!   Woke him up and told him to come to bed.  We settled in and fell asleep. 

2:30am, I must have turned off my alarm, I woke up around 4am and had to go potty, so I went and checked on Kortnie.  BG of 368, wow, that is an unexpected high, gave her a bolus and took myself back to bed.

Fast forward to 6:30am, I was looking forward to getting the kids off to school, Brian had the day off and I didn't have any of my daycare kids coming until 11!  Oh yeah, my mojo was finding its way back.

Went to wake up the kids, Kortnie woke up crying, saying her stomach hurt and she has a headache.  Oh No!  I handed her, her test kit and went to wake up my son.  Come back into the girls room, Kortnie is laying on the floor in front of her dresser, checker on tummy, fast asleep.  UGH!  I woke her up and checked her BG-401!  I can feel that mojo slipping away....AGAIN! 

I tell her to go check her Ketones, they come back Large.  Time for another site change, because at this point, you know it's a site failure.  Pulled the site off, bent cannula.  So, she got no insulin from around 10:30pm-6:30am.  I gave her a shot, changed the site, did a temp basal increase of +50% for 1.5 hours, she started throwing up bile, I held her hair and when she was done I gave her a couple tylenol and a glass of water, and put her back in MY bed with MY husband (her dad) and the dog, because you know, Daddys and dogs make it all better. MOJO GONE!  She was upset too because of course she was going to miss school and it was a field trip day.

Yep, that's it, for sure, it's gone, gone, gone. 

I got the other 2 kids off to school, came back upstairs and looked down on my sweet girl, snuggled up with her pump, a throw up bucket, and her dog, fast asleep and reaching across the bed to keep her hand on daddy's arm.  She was so pale and breathing heavily, Brian was rolled on his side watching her.  It could have been a sweet sight to see.  If only there wasn't a throw up bucket involved. 

I climbed in bed with them and whispered to my husband that I was sad our Mojo got sidetracked again, he said it was okay and that we'd find it again soon. 

Oh, diabetes you take so much, why you gotta take my Mojo too? 

It's got me thinking about what happens when my baby grows up and starts getting her own Mojo-not until she's 55 of course!  But, how much effort does a PWD (Person With Diabetes) have to put in to keep her Mojo.  Do you check your BG before you get busy or after, or both before and after?  What do you do with your pump?  Do you take it off, do you set a temp basal.  Geez the planning the must have to go into it, no spontaneity?  Honestly I don't want to think about Kortnie having any mojo, but on the other hand I do wonder how it all works, after all, I do want grandbabies someday.  Kind of makes me sad, I'm sad that Diabetes messes with my Mojo, but I'm even sadder that someday she'll maybe have to work so hard at keeping hers.

Monday, October 1, 2012

No D-Day

Today is No D-Day for the D-blogs.  A day when we write about something-not D related!  Read here for more info on No D-Day.

So, I am going to write about a favorite low-ish carb recipie that we all love.  It's a nice warm your belly soup. 

Taco Soup

1 can of chicken broth
1 can of diced tomatoes (I used a jar of my canned tomatoes that I canned with onion and jalapenos}
1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
1 can of corn drained
1 can of water
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 pound of browned hamburger, grease drained (or shredded cooked chicken)
Seasonings to taste, salt and pepper, cumin, chilli powder, garlic salt

Put everything in a pot and bring to a simmer, put in seasonings according to your tastes, keep on low until you serve.  Serve with toppings, crushed tortillas chips, green onions, avocados, sour cream, shredded cheese, etc. 

We have this pretty frequently in the winter.  I made it just the other night.  We had leftover taco meat and leftover tostada shells, so I used those, just crunched up the tostada shells.  It's super easy to make and really quick too, basically just open a bunch of cans and simmer.  It's probably full of sodium, but the carbs are low.  Super easy to make it vegitarian, just skip the meat, double the beans if you like.  Also, it's gluten free!  Of course the ingredients you buy you would want to make sure they are indeed gluten free.