Our sweetie pies

Our sweetie pies

Sunday, December 11, 2011

overtime and mix ups

I was just praying for relief the other day. It's one thing to not have enough money, but then to have a diabetic child, and no sleep, and a husband working so much overtime, and not enough food in our cupboard, and Christmas around the corner...If only God could lift one burden. If we weren't so sleep deprived and so busy and not enough income and worrying about our daughter's wellbeing...we pray and pray.

God has sustained us this far.

My husband had atleast 20 hours overtime on this coming paycheck. He works full days and then returns to work after the kids are in bed and comes home sometime after midnite and starts all over again at 7 in the morning.

Last night he called me on the way home at midnight and tried to talk to me just to stay awake.

We went through an In n out by ourselves the other night to try to steal away for a few minutes and when we pulled up to the drive through window, I looked over and he had fallen asleep next to me.

we are worn out.

the other night I took my doctor's suggestion and place a simple rubber band around our sweetie's lantus bottle. I had never mixed them up before but she advised just in case. She even offered to give me a complimentary rubber band.

I put on one that evening, to appease the doctor. In case she came later to inspect my refrigerator where we keep her medicine.

that night, in a chaotic bedtime, I confused the bottles and gave our sweetie way too much novolog. I realized as soon as I did it. Thinking that "wait, that wasn't right?!" I quick grabbed my husband and we calculated how many carbs to give her to make up the difference. We watched her for two hours, checking her every 10 minutes and feeding her every 15 minutes. we ended the two hours at 101. I then gave her some milk and put her to bed.

I called the doctor for advice on giving the lantus that I did not. She said to wait a few hours and make sure she was okay then give it if she went high. several hours later, she did. so we gave her the lantus. The doctor advised not to giver her a correction shot to be safe.

so by 3 am, she was up and really high. over 450. an hour later she was vomiting in my room. we then called the doctor and asked "what do we do now?!"

The doctor advised to correct her now and check for ketones. prepare for a hospital visit if necessary.

thank goodness, no ketones. and she settled down on her sleeping bag at the foot of our bed.

we slept a bit, that night.

I went to the pharmacy the next day and asked to pick up the order that the doctor had sent in for a blood ketone meter. the "helpful" worker said that the order hadn't been put in, come back in a few days.

This was my breaking point. I was thinking, "I NEED this!, we were up all night trying to catch urine in a cup to test her. Her life depends on this meter! you have no idea what we have been through and that this is for a precious little four year old!!!"

I was wearing large sunglasses that hid my tears.

I walked out to my car with much heavier shoes. I thought, "imagine if diabetes were to go away, and we wouldn't need all of this paraphenalia anymore? imagine if we didn't have to worry anymore and she would just be okay?"

I now know why people fight for a cure and walk to raise money to find a cure. It COULD save a life, HER life, MANY lives.

It is such a daily disease that can easily go wrong.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

doctor visit

we went to the pediatrician today. she had a fever on monday and slept all afternoon yesterday. then she developed a rash. her numbers have been high for several days and I was worried. Our pediatrician thoroughly checked her out. she determined that she has a virus that will eventually go away. her rash is due to a new bar of soap that I had put in the bathroom. and her numbers needed to be adjusted. She had me call our endocrynologist from her office. she was concerned that he glucose was too high in her urine. but when I checked her with her meter I knew she was high already. she was 313. so our endo made some adjustments to her ratios and long acting lantus to bring her down.

I came home relieved. I was worried she was going backwards. she had lost two pounds in the last two weeks.

fellow mothers of diabetic children were discussing the misconception that people have that someday we will have our child's diabetes under control. I have had this comment said to me several times. "Soon you will have her diabetes under control, right, and life will go back to normal?" "and you can sleep more? not worry as much? she can eat what she wants? "

Her life will always be managed. Right now at the very little age of four, we have the huge responsibility of balancing her scale daily, hourly, to try to keep her in the best health that we can. It will always be like this, just handed over to her at some point. but we will still worry.

If anyone feels so gracious as to help with a donation. we need another bracelet for her! The one that I finally purchased, broke. argh! so there is the first item on her christmas list. next item, a lalaloopsy doll!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

just an update...

so the other night, we went in to check her again and found out that she was 78. she was sound asleep and sweaty and when I lifted her hand to check her, she was shaky. I was able to get her to drink some apple juice from a straw in a cup balanced next to her, snuggled in bed still.

she then came back up to 111. I then tried to get her to drink some milk to get her back up a bit higher for the rest of the night, but only succeeded in getting her to drink about a third of a cup. she did make it through the night at about 160.

we are starting to see lows again due to the adjustments that were made....

we are completing testing for her right now for her speech services. she hasn't been progressing as her brother is, so we are looking at any other areas that she may need support in too. so far, the vocabulary assessment determined that she has the vocabulary of a ten year old. hmmm.

"slow to speak, yet quick to listen" that was the first thing that came to mind.

so we shall see what is to come...

I was inspired by a woman that I recently read about that shares her story about her twins that were in the NICU at birth and how now she encourages others.

Then I thought about how many stories I am able to tell.

We have had preemie twins, a daughter in a body cast due to a broken femur bone, and now a little one with type 1 diabetes.. I think I am going to start working on a book telling our story of those three incidents to encourage others that face medical challenges with their children. If we survived three, then others can survive one or more too!

c'est tout pour maintenant...as I used to say

many things to come

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

endocronologist visit

Today we visited our diabetes' doctor as we refer to her. It had been awhile. She is so popular that we had to book our appointment two months in advance.

She noticed that our numbers had been running high. We hadn't seen her in awhile and were still mentally in honeymoon phase. She would still drop 200 points so we would leave a cushion a lot afraid of her dropping suddenly to low.

well, she didn't care for that plan.

She said that her bloodwork showed that her numbers were supposed to be under 9 but they were over 10.

so she made adjustments. lower ratio for meals and lower dose of Lantus. Her thoughts were that the Lantus was too high and that was causing her to drop large amounts.

As we were in the doctor's office over the hour, she had dropped from 248 to 102. Just sitting there with no food. So the doctor agreed that yes, that wasn't good either.

I asked her again about last Thursday when we all had a very good scare with her. She still doesn't understand what happened because we didn't have enough blood sugar readings around the event. So she is putting in the category of "I don't know".

We will put in the category of "God gets credit on this one".

She reminded us for our sweetie to wear her medical bracelet. I said that she does have one now but she doesn't like to wear it all the time. So she encouraged us to make it a routine but also agreed that she probably isn't ready for the pump if a bracelet bothers her. I agree. For now.

She is also ordering us the blood strip tester for ketones. that will make things easier too. Without it, you have to test urine. which is not as much fun.

so that's our visit in a nutshell. we went from great patients to patients that need some adjustments. I think we have too move from the "scared of might happen" phase "to managing her a little closer." phase.

But we have a few other things going on in our lives too, so we just do the best we can.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

facing my fears

Today was one week from when we just had our big scary incident of our sweetie very quietly laying down and falling asleep. at a time that she shouldn't have fallen asleep. In the middle of a play group full of fun and crafts and outside playtime. The doctor still says that it wasn't low blood sugar yet everything but her number of 127 said low blood sugar.

I couldn't wake her up.

When we walked down the hallway today, on our way to their group, We were met by one of the other leaders that is a nurse. She came down to speak with us about what had happened last week. She had also come to make sure that the leaders were comfortable this week about working with our sweetie.

I am very thankful that they were willing to take care of her again this week. If I were one of them, I might have said, "no way!" This is way too much to deal with. Instead they were willing to be educated today and have a plan of action if something were to happen again.

Praise God for that!

I feel dumb that my cell phone was dead last week and made a point to show them that my phone was indeed charged this week. We were educated about worst case scenario yet we were starting to get lax about being fully prepared. I figured that I was there and it would be easy to handle if something happened.

Now I know how fast things can turn. I don't know exactly what went wrong last week. All I can figure is that I gave her too much insulin for her snack before I took her in. Or the combination of her fall and playing and not having an additional snack was too much. I don't know for sure. I have to give myself grace. I can't beat myself up about what I should have done or could have done. I still have to deal with diabetes again and again every hour, every day for the rest of her life. I can't afford the luxury of time to spend pondering anything at this stage.

When my dad died years ago, it was one of the most heartbreaking events that I have been through. What sustained me through it though was knowing that everytime I became sad and missed him and thought of the tragedy that he was gone; God reassured me over and over that my Dad was with him and it was his time.

This is exactly how I reconcile these current events too. Last Thursday could have been fatal, yet it wasn't and God showed me over and over after the event that HE was with my daughter and me and HE is the author of life and death and she will go when he says she will.

Our faith has been strengthened and so has the faith of the people that we have shared this story with. And the funny thing is...after I had become a Christian, I never quite understood the whole idea of Creationism verse evolution. Yet after I know that Jesus confirmed to me that HE is the author of life and death (Revelation 1:17) It made me look at this world through all new eyes.

and that is the amazing thing about Revelation.

and again my other daughter's Bible verse for this week is: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Genesis 50:20

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Another scare revisited...

I keep revisiting the events of Thursday. Running down a long hallway with meter in hand, not knowing the fate of my daughter. Having trouble waking her and then later having the endocronologist not convinced that she truly was suffering from low blood sugar because her numbers were 127.

I've talked with other moms of diabetic children and so far we have concluded that it was low blood sugar. Some moms have told me that sometimes in defense, your body can shoot a dose of glucose into your system to essentially "jumpstart" you again. As the glucagon shot tries to do. simulating the body's natural function.

we prayed.

was it divine intervention or luck?

when I was in church on Sunday, I was sitting in the pew listening to an amazing testimony by a young man. He was sharing how God had transformed his life from a drug user to clean and sober. His testimony brought tears to my eyes. I remembered the transforming power of God in my own life. He transformed me years ago. from a cynical academic to a submissive believer.

While I was sitting there, my husband texted me. He was still at home with our children to meet us soon. He asked what to do about our daughter. Her numbers were high. Should he give her more insulin?

I stepped outside to call him. As I walked into the lobby, one of the teachers that had been with my daughter on Thursday, walked by. She asked how she was doing. I was feeling overwhelmed with the heaviness of diabetes again.

When I went back into church, I thought I heard a woman loudly whisper behind me. When I turned to look, there was no one directly behind me. Then my ears plugged up and began to ring. Then they were fine again.

When I went home later that day. I was standing in my kitchen preparing lunch and I felt a hand on my left shoulder. I turned to see who it was... yet no one was there.

Tonight, I went to my Bible study and we are studying Revelation in the New Testament. When we began our study, this is what I read:

"I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me" Revelation 1:12

"when God speaks, it can sound like rushing water" paraphrased from Ezekiel 43:2

"Then he placed his right hand on me and said "Do not be afraid". I am the First and the Last. I am the Living one; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! I hold the keys of death..." Revelation 1:17, 18

God is always with us. He was there when my daughter fell. He was with me in church and again in my kitchen. He then spoke through his study to me tonight. HE is the author of life. HE is in control. HE protected my daughter and HE reassured me.

Whether people believe or are skeptics. Everything of the events from Thursday on point to God being in control. Just moments before I went running, our group was just discussing the spiritual world that exists but we are not able to see. We just don't know what God protects us from when things happen. How much worse it could have been. and just the week before, I had told my group that I was learning to continue to trust God with my children because we just can't control what happens to them all of the time. Some time God likes to show us what we are talking about.

We praise you over and over for all that you do for us.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

another scare...

just days after her fourth birthday...

I took our sweetie and her two brothers to our church morning Bible study where they have a kids program too. I left the three of them in their class and went to my Bible study group.

I told the teachers to call me if there is a problem. Later I would realize that my cell phone had died unnoticed.

As we were ending our discussion, my kids' teacher ran upto my group and said, "Did you get my message? Your daughter has fallen asleep." what???!!!!!! no. my phone was dead!!!

I grabbed my meter and sprinted out of the room. My leader yelled after me, "what's your daughter's name?" and proceeded to begin to pray for her.

I ran ahead of the teacher down the long hallways and then down two flights of stairs. I ran down the hallway and sprinted into her classroom. There she lay, face down on the floor, asleep with the other teacher, kneeling beside her. They said that she had playing on the playground and tripped and fallen and gotten a bloody lip. She hadn't cried and then began two sweat and then lay down and fall asleep.

I opened her meter and put in the test strip. I was praying as I tried to steady my hands. I tested her little finger and it said 127. Low but not low. I tested again. 153. again. 138. hmm. I pick her up and try to wake her. she doesn't wake up. I tickle her, move her, talk to her. she finally wakes a bit. but she is still drowsy. she doesn't want to drink anything. she wants to go back to sleep. A nap at this time, just doesn't make sense.

By now, my group leader, a nurse, joined us in the room. She brought another friend, a nurse too. we are all looking at her and talking to her and trying to get her to drink something. The teacher had run down the hall and gotten some apple juice to sip to try to wake her up. The more we talked the more she started to sit up. She went to the snack table and finally started to eat. She then quickly ate two whole halves of an English muffin. She was acting like she had been real low.

We all decide that I should call the on call nurse for her doctor. My group leader hands me her phone. We get through and answer lots of questions, the nurse on the phone decides that we need to have her seen by the doctor.

Everyone helps me gather our stuff and kids and get them to the car. A friend comes over to watch the kids while I take our sweetie to the doctor.

The doctor decides that there is no evidence of head trauma. She thinks it was a diabetes incident.

When I call our endocronologist, she decides it sounded like head trauma, see pediatrician.

When I called a friend who has a diabetic son, her opinion was it sounded diabetic.

What could I have done differently to prevent this from happening again? That's what I want to know. not give her the half unit of insulin I gave her to adjust her before I dropped her off? Check her before she had her snack before I dropped her off? make sure my cell phone is charged? make sure I always have the glucagon pen with me?

My whole group began to pray as soon as I began to run down the hallway after her. A few of us think that God intervened. He jump started her and turned around her blood sugar levels and woke her up without glucagon.

My daughter's verse for the week is Romans 8:28. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. "

I learned through all of this, when I was scared to death that I was going to have to call 911 and somehow pour apple juice down her throat to revive her, that there are a lot of great people at my church that care about us.

She is now home and in bed, asleep. okay for now. just when we start to relax a bit and feel we have everything under control. God reminds us to let go of the reigns and let Him drive.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Birthday!!!!

Today is our sweetie's and her twin brother's 4th birthday!!!! They have opened presents and eaten donuts! This is her first birthday with diabetes. We are so thankful that we have good doctors and that she was diagnosed. we are thankful we have health insurance and a good friend that also has type 1 diabetes that can help us when we need guidance. We continue to grow and learn just as she does. Please make a donation in honor of our little sweetie honoring her and her last 7 months. Happy Birthday!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

dollar donations for juvenile diabetes

I went into the store Marshall's, tonight. I was shopping for my sweeties upcoming birthday. September 20, she will be four. I haven't thought about the title of this blog...for now she will stay indefinitely three. Just as I am indefinitely 29. But I don't walk around with a title. Just tired.

When I walked upto the register to pay for my items, I noticed that they had balloons tied at the registers. They were all stamped JDRF. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Marshall's is currently asking their customers to donate money to help further research for Juvenile Diabetes.

That moment of realization seemed so surreal to me. Almost a trip into a vortex. The 17 year old girl ringing me up probably taped the signs at her register as she was told to do. Somebody blew up balloons with helium and tied them to the stations at the counter. A manager probably told every young employee that a new procedure that they had to follow now was to ask each customer if they would like to donate a dollar to help cure Juvenile Diabetes.

Every dollar being collected now suddenly was coming back to me. This campaign is for my family. But will it really benefit us? We are the real thing standing in the middle of all of these customers and amongst all of these inflated balloons, but how does their dollar change my life? Most of these people don't even know that we are a living example of this campaign and what living with diabetes even means. Or even how people become diabetic or how serious it is and how even a little three year old can suddenly find herself in a hospital bed with an IV and not hear the whispered conversations of the doctors deciding how close to death she really was at diagnosis.

Just like at Babies R Us, you can add a dollar to your purchase to help research Autism. Or at the pet store, you can add a dollar to help animal shelters.

This prepackaged marketing campaign that shows up in kits to be displayed for a set time actually represented us. It was like walking into a store that had strung photos of us all over the store. Like walking down a maternity aisle pregnant. Like watching a film about a cancer survivor while lying in a hospital bed with cancer. It was real. It was no longer just a marketing campaign to help us all feel better about spending our money in a store on extraneous items. Suddenly the JDRF letters came into focus and meant something.

Very convenient and yet does anyone even know what Juvenile Diabetes is? or where their money really goes? People just dutifully give a dollar or don't. Then take their purchases and leave. Do they feel good about giving a dollar? Or do they feel good that they didn't give a dollar?

Before my 17 year old attendant, could ask me if I would like to convienently add a dollar to my purchase. (ironically for my diabetic daughter's birthday!). I pointed to the sign taped to her counter. I said, "my daughter has diabetes." Then I just looked at her. She responded with a very sad look and a response of "ohhhh." and then proceeded to ask if I would like to give a dollar. I pulled out a photo of my daughter and said "here she is...she has diabetes...we live with it everyday." Again she responded with a sad face and "ohhhhh". (imagine sad pucker and downward expression)

She asked me if we participate in the JDRF walks. I said, not yet. She was only recently diagnosed. Insert here, another sad pouty face. She proceeded to tell me how some people are happy to donate money and some people get angry and don't want to donate. I said, "I think a lot of people just don't understand what diabetes is." She agreed.

and with that, I said thank you and left yet another uneducated person about diabetes. It wasn't the time to start teaching her about what it is. But I did tell her before I left that she just met a real mother of a real person living with diabetes. So the next customer she asks for a dollar, she can tell them about me and my sweetie.

and ironically, a store can hang signs and validate a worthy cause and encourage you to donate money and yet we mother's still run into people that just don't understand what diabetes is and what needs our children have and make our paths even harder.

tell people to read my blog. Money is nice, but education is always cheaper in the long run.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

God's blessings and God's helpers

I am thankful that God gave me the children that he did. I have a friend on facebook that takes in foster children. He said that recently they were meeting their newest foster child. A 3 year old with Leukemia.

It made me stop and think about how many people don't want to deal with noisy kids or lots of homework or disciplining their children properly or getting help for their kids when they need help or adding a chronic disease to the family.

My mentor and I were talking the other day about how it was God's plan that I became a credentialed special education teacher. I am naturally a very compassionate person but also now I am educated as to what to look for in developing children and how to intervene when something developmentally doesn't seem right.

I was reading an article the other day about a woman that had preemie twins that had to stay in the NICU at the hospital for awhile after they were born. One of the twins did not survive. This woman now goes back to the NICU every Christmas and brings gifts for the moms with children in there and offers a sympathetic ear to the worn out moms.

This made me think of my trials. What we have been through in our lives and how my stories can encourage others. Not only did we have preemie twins in the NICU that thank goodness did survive, but then we also had a three year old in a body cast and then later on a daughter diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Not only have we survived one medical ordeal, we have survived several!

And now I think about our friend that is the foster father. He takes in so many chronically ill children that aren't wanted by their families. It makes me think, "what if my daughter had gone to another family?" "Would they have taken good care of her?" "Would they have wanted her?"

We have a neighbor that asked me one day if I was going to have any more children. She definitely didn't think it was a good idea. In her view, five was enough. I don't know if she has children or not. If she does, they are grown.

Does our society value children? Why are there so many abused and neglected children in our country? We have reliable electricity, clean drinking water, food pantries, free medical care available, free schools, free school lunches...

when I lived in India, I saw a love and respect for children of middle class families that I didn't see here in America. Children seemed to be treated as a joy not a bother. This is a generalization but I didn't see as much of the frustrated parents as I run into in Target in America, in India. A third world country that is supposedly behind America developmentally, yet I beg to differ. 120 degree weather in the summer and no reliable electricity, yet their children are well taken care of and loved. (middle class children)

Before I get pregnant, everytime, God has given me the name of the child that is to come. He has handpicked each child and tells me of who they are to be. There is a plan for each of my children, just as there is for every child that God creates.

Whether my child has speech delays, diabetes, a broken leg, a strong will, or a whiny day. My children, as all children, are gifts from God and I am thankful that my children's needs are still met and they are provided for in my home, no matter how much work is required or how tired I am.

God bless my friend that shows God's love to the children whose parents don't accept the challenge.

and now I need to go check on my daughter.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Two Rocks, a surf board, and a broken leg

Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:2-5

Today I was cleaning out my car by vacuuming inside the car and inside the trunk. I moved car seats and went through the glove box. When I came to the trunk, I moved my Trader Joe bags and the stroller and realized that the trunk also needed vacuuming. I first removed two large branches and leaves that had been collected months ago from a park. When everything had been moved, I spotted two polished rocks on the trunk floor. The rocks spoke to me and reminded me to take a moment to be thankful for all that God has done for us.

Earlier I had been praying for God to show me more items that I can sell on ebay for extra money. I was tired after all of our activities this week and just from today. I was completing work that needed to be done but hoping that God would surprise me with a blessing by the end of the day. Then I found those rocks. Hiding under the bags, the stroller, the sticks, the crumbs. Two shiny rocks that spoke as soon as they were exposed. "God has done something for you. God has blessed you. You have been in worse times and still God blessed you. Don't forget to see your blessings. "

Tonight, we sat down to watch the movie Soul Surfer again about the amazing Christian surfer Bethany Hamilton that lost an arm to a shark attack. I pulled up her website to see how old she was when she was attacked. She was thirteen. At the bottom of her website, in tiny print, was the scripture from Psalm 103, scrolling across the bottom of the page.

As we watched the movie, it reminded me of when we were called by my daughter's school. When our now six year old was just only three. She had been playing at recess at her preschool. She had lost her balance and fallen from the steps to the play structure. Her femur bone broke when she landed.

There is a scene in the movie where Bethany's mom takes her to the doctor weeks after her shark attack. Her bandages are finally removed and her stump of the amputated arm is finally exposed. Her mom stays strong while the doctor and Bethany look at the stump. Her mom steps outside and joins Bethany's dad. The dad finally asks how she (the mother) is doing. The mother finally cries and is held by the husband.

My daughter was dropped at school that morning and then later that day, I saw her again at the hospital. She was taken to the doctor by my husband and I had stayed home with our preemie twins. Our daughter was taken into surgery and then put into a body cast. She was then taken into a recovery room. My mom had come over to be with the twins, and our pastor met us as we had to hold our breath and walk into her bedside. The nurse took us close and then revealed her cast by pulling down her sheet.

That was the horrible moment. The guilt I felt as a mom that this could happen to my daughter. As I'm sure Bethany's mom felt or any other mom that has been through a tragedy with their child.

Three years later, our daughter is now a star soccer player. No evidence of a broken leg, three years ago. During that time, God taught our daughter courage.

Before she broke her leg, we read a devotional one day about how a lizard can lose a tail in order to preserve its life. The tail grows back. God was foreshadowing what was to come for our daughter. she learned that God can take care of her and she received many blessings during that time period. Our home nurse even volunteered to come over for free after our insurance wouldn't cover anymore visits. A collection was even take up for us for Christmas presents and giftcards as her cast was on through Christmas that year.

At the end of the movie, Bethany tells her dad, that the last wave that she rode "did count" even though the judges said that it didn't. Bethany realizes that surfing is no longer about winning and proving that she is the best. She realizes that how she lives her life and treats others is far more important. She surfed a great wave whether she was awarded points or not.

My daughter at age six already knows how precious her life is. She knows what its like to have to lay on a couch for two months and have to be carried from her bed to the couch and use a bed pan. She knows how to use a wheel chair. and now she has compassion for her three year old sister with diabetes.

Sometimes it takes reminders for us to value our lives and turn to God. We can learn this lesson at any age and the sooner we do, the more time we have to devote our lives to God.


Monday, August 1, 2011

River Rocks


The other day, I decided to clean the top of my cupboards in my kitchen. These shelves had been neglected for awhile and had gathered quite a bit of dust. I had mixing bowls displayed with hand puppets brought back with us from India. teapots and cookbooks.

I sprayed a dustcloth with cleaner and began to wipe. There was so much dust that little fluffs formed around the teapots and doll clothes as I wiped. This job required climbing on top of a kitchen chair to the kitchen counter to balance over the refrigerator to reach and grab each item and then redisplay.

After I finished dusting and sneezing and retrieving items and fending off small children that wanted to stand on kitchen counters too because "wow, how cool, that is!", I stepped back and admired my work. It looked clean but I knew it could be organized better. I began to ponder how to fix the ambiance of the kitchen. I had lots of interesting cookbooks with great photos but they couldn't be reached above the refrigerator. So I decided to display them better and in a more accessible place. I then removed some items that didn't really need to be displayed and took the puppets down for the kids to inspect and bring to life.

When I was done, I grabbed anyone that walked near the kitchen to show them my hard work. I wanted them to admire my arrangements and the new feel to our kitchen. "it feels like a cafe! right?!" I asked eagerly. looking for shared enthusiasm at my creativity.

With my new found arranging talents I decided that I had to make the counter top match. so I slowly cleaned the counter with a lavender scented cleaner and made sure that every appliance was purposefully sitting there. no loitering. when I had worked my way around to the end of the kitchen counter feeling confident that the counter top space equated the above shelving space, I was ready to rest and boil some water for fresh tea. But then I looked over by the phone. There was a large bowl of an assortment of rocks. "Why on earth do we have a large bowl of rocks sitting there?!" These had been gathered over a fifteen year period by my eldest daughter. and there they sat. Do we really need to keep these still?, I thought to myself. would anyone notice if I just scattered them to the backyard? probably.

so I left them sitting there.

The next day, we attended church. The sermon was about how Moses led the Israelites to safety out of Egypt to the promised land. These people saw miracle after miracle performed by God and yet once they were in the desert and thirsty, they began to complain and question if God was still with them. God parted an ocean for them to safely pass through, but they were now thirsty. God obviously didn't care about them anymore, or so they thought.

God did provide water and food and safety and some new rules and then finally allowed them to cross into their promised land. After traveling through the desert for forty years! All they had to do now was cross the River Jordan and they could relax and live and thrive and eat and multiply!

As they crossed through the River Jordan, God told Joshua, (whom was now leading Moses' people) to have twelve men to gather twelve stones from the River.

"Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, What do these stones mean? tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever. " Joshua 4:4-7

God reminded me through that large bowl of stones to not forget all that he has done for us. That bowl has been carried with us through several moves and now been passed down from our teenager to younger ones all the way down to our one year old. Our very children are testimonies as to what God has done for us. Our oldest was an only child for eleven years.

It's easy to get caught up in all of the dust or not having all of our needs met. But we must be able to step back in those times and look at the big picture. when I stopped dusting and stepped back, I suddenly noticed a large bowl of rocks that I had previously not seen. It has been sitting there for years now, but I dust around it. God used that bowl to remind me all that he has and will continue to do for our family.

I now want to sit down as a family with a sharpie marker and put keywords on each rock to trigger memories of different things that God has done for us. Then when we forget, we will easily be reminded that God was there, is there, and will be there. Even when we are thirsty or covered in dust.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

vacation Bible school

we have been busy this summer. no vacations, but lots of kids home and needing attention. we have a high school graduate now that is going on 35. she has taken to giving me lots of parenting advice and practicing lots of eye rolling.

I decided to sign her up for vacation bible school at our church this year. the woman coordinating it asked if she felt led to be a helper. I thought, "she is helping regardless" she needs a reason to get out of bed before noon and put some of her new found wisdom into practice.

All of my kids were able to participate this year provided that I was also a helper. I was signed up to help with the fourth/fifth graders and my teenager was signed up to help with the first graders. Then my little ones were placed in a preschool class and the baby was permanently affixed to my waist.

This was my first adventure with having our diabetic sweetie in someone else's care for 3 hours every morning. I was nearby so I was able to leave as much as necessary and check her with her meter. Her teachers weren't comfortable checking her themselves so I just popped in at different times to monitor her progress and climbs up or down depending on the day.

The first day, my husband had given her her insulin with breakfast before I took her and it seemed to be a bit much as she ran low (her blood sugar levels) all morning. I had to keep reappearing with cereal and granola bars throughout the morning.

The next morning she didn't want to eat before we left so I didn't give her insulin but then as we drove to church, she wanted to eat cereal. so by the time I checked her in with her teachers, she was over 400. so then I had to keep showing up and giving her insulin to bring her down, and take her to the bathroom and find water cups for the desperately thirsty child in the nursery! (drama queen at times) (runs in the family)

by twelve everyday, she was worn out and ready for lunch and a rest. One day, she actually took a three hour nap, which is highly unusual for her. (she gave up naps almost a year ago)

everyone had a lot of fun though, even the teenager. we all learned some great songs. the kids got to dance on stage as the curriculum was a rock star theme. they made some great crafts and the little ones had a lot of fun being "big" kids.

my niece attended with us also, filling my car with 6 children! she memorized the scripture verse john 3:16. I asked if she knew that on the bottom of every In & Out cup is printed the verse reference john 3:16. she did not know that. so on Friday, for our last day of vacation bible school, I treated us all to In & out so that she could see the printed reference herself.

tonight we saw the movie Soul Surfer. a great movie if you have not seen it. Bethany Hamilton is a great example of putting God's word to practice even in tough situations. After a week of being reminded that God created us uniquely and for a specific purpose, it was great to see an example of a real life Christian trusting God.

Unfortunately we live in a world where some people just don't view every child as a gift from God, whether they be the only child or the fifth child or a son or daughter, or a nephew or niece or even a neighbor or friend, or someone that has special needs or even loses an arm.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights." James 1:17.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Bethany Hamilton quotes this scripture verse in the movie a few times.

Next time you see someone not valuing a child, remember this and pray for them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

graduations




We had a busy week last week. We had prom, senior awards night, kindergarten graduation, high school graduation, grad night, grad party, and ended the week with family photos.

I was pleased looking back, that we survived all of it! I was nervous taking our whole family to several of these events but it all went well.

we had family come visit from out of town. Our daughter was awarded two awards for her senior year. Even though she felt like an underachiever at her amazing school! This year, her school had five valedictorians because they all tied with 4.9 gpa's!

One child down, four to go as someone said. but we are not done. she will still be here next year attending the junior college with hopes to transfer to her university the following year. and I don't think I will ever write my child off as "done" anyways! we are all works in progress even if just over a cup of coffee and scones to assess the wisdom of her next decision.

my kindergartener is finally ready for first grade. we had her do two years. she was a year younger than the others the first time around so now she is really ready for the challenge of writing extensive papers and coloring inside the lines.

we are getting used to traveling with our youngest diabetic daughter. she made it through several events with her petunia pickle bottom toddler bag packed with granola bars and apple juice, insulin in an insulated bag and needles, the big scary emergency shot and her lifeline: the meter.

she was able to indulge in ice cream topped with gummy worms, sprinkles, and chocolate syrup after the kindergarten ceremony. I liberally guessed 20 carbs or naively and gave her half a unit of insulin to cover the extravagant lunch time snack. But she survived. we came home and had lunch and adjusted her and off to rest time. No one even commented on the shot being given to her in the midst of the celebration.

At the highschool graduation, our sweetie became more restless as the ceremony allowed for many speeches and award announcements and no promise of ice cream immediately following the ceremony. Only a stroller ride back to her uncle's house who conveniently lives across the street from where we were. (free and convenient parking).

we gave her a granola bar in the gym to hold her off until we got home and later at home she had some party food (chips?) I don't really remember after the blur of our week! What I do remember was bringing her into the kitchen before I formally fed her and remembering to test her. When the meter read "dangerously high, over 600" I completely but calmly, panicked! A guest had just arrived and I said "hold on, I'm paging the doctor! with meter and needle in hand.

The doctor called back promptly and said just correct for over 500. 1 1/2 units of insulin. Now I remember. She had drank a capri sun apple juice from the cooler of party drinks. ( with, obviously no insulin) that's right. the doctor wasn't concerned just said to give her insulin and re check in a while. hang up.

okay then. we did. and she did come down.

so we all survived. we all made it through several new chapters in our lives. three in our family. since january of this year. diabetes. k graduation and a highschool graduate. sassiness in tact.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A very big error

"An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it." Orlando A. Battista

My eldest daughter shared this quote with me as we were driving home tonight. She said that this quote is displayed on a poster in one of her classrooms.

The other two quotes that always come to mind are: "Teenagers, leave home now while you still know everything". and "youth is wasted on the young." These two make more and more sense to me the older that I become.

The first quote, however, is very apropo for this evening. It should be posted in a doctor's office or more specifically; an endocronologist's office.

Tonight, my eldest daughter and I were out shopping at Costco with my sister in law and niece. I just happened to set something on my purse in the shopping cart at the time that my cell phone rang. I noticed the vibration and located my phone. My husband was calling.

He said that he had made a mistake. a big mistake. He was supposed to give our little sweetie .5 units of insulin to go with her bedtime snack. He had, however, somehow, managed to give her 4 units.

I explained to my sister in law what this could mean.

Her insulin is supposed to match her carbs that she eats. When she is given way more insulin than what she ate, her blood sugar levels were drop and there is nothing to stop it. She would just keep dropping until she eventually went into a coma.

my first response was "why are you calling me?!?, call the doctor!!" He hung up and paged the doctor while I called our neighbor. He didn't answer at first, but then called back. I told him what had happened and he advised to start giving her apple juice right away. Last I knew, she was in the 200's so we agreed that we had a little bit of time before she started dropping drastically. I told him that I didn't know how he could have over shot that much! from .5 to 4 is quite a mistake. Then I remembered that her Lantus dose is 3.25. I suddenly thought "what if he was thinking he was giving her Lantus instead of her other insulin?? Then I really panicked. I had given her her Lantus dose before I had left. If he doubled up, OH MY GOODNESS!!!!

My neighbor and I agreed to call my husband back, find out about the Lantus and advise him to give her apple juice right away.

When my husband answered the phone, we barely said "Hi" when he hung up on me to take the doctor's call. Wait!! what about the Lantus??? I texted him to find out. I don't know if his phone allows him to read text messages and talk on the phone. (A commercial came to mind. For AT & T ? A man that forgot to make anniversary reservations and corrects his error while talking to his wife on the phone.) Well, my husband needs this phone.

As I'm waiting for my husband's reply, my daughter informs me that I have texted her by mistake. argh!!! So she resends the message to my husband. meanwhile, I try calling him back and he answers again. This time, he said that he had talked to the doctor and our neighbor had taken it upon himself to walk over to our house and help in this time of need. Praise God!

The doctor had advised that he start feeding her smarties and apple juice. They calculated that she needed atleast 80 carbs to try to counteract all of the insulin. At the moment they were handling the crisis and NO he had not given her more lantus. thank goodness.

so for the moment, I was able to try to focus on groceries and cheesecake samples again.

As we were finishing our errands at one more store, I called my husband back to see how things were going now. He said that our neighbor had gone home. They had actually contemplated watching a soccer game on television in the midst of this drama. Our sweetie was in bed now and falling asleep. Her numbers were in the upper 200's at the moment. However we still had another hour to go until that insulin had worked its way through her body. Everything sounded under control and I said I would see him at home.

When we got home, I sent my husband to get the groceries and I went to check on our sweetie. I checked her and she was 145 now.

My husband fixed some milk for her to drink but she didn't want to wake up and drink it. I went and fixed a cup of apple juice to try that. I figured apple juice now is better than glucogon later.

She didn't want much of anything but a blanky to snuggle with. I tried again with the milk and she finally drank about 1/3 of a cup. We checked her again a little while later and she was upto 179.

I felt good enough to head back to our groceries waiting for us all of over the kitchen counter.

I come out to find the pizza that I had just bought and put in the oven all over the floor. My husband had dropped it and was preparing to cook another one for me. He had tried to take it out of the oven and dropped it. He knew he had used his "get out of jail free" card already and he did not want anymore wrath for a fallen pizza. I silently decided to offer him grace for the pizza mistake.

I had already shared my thoughts on the insulin mistake.

As Anne Shirley was once told "Every day is brand new, with no mistakes in it yet." Anne took this to heart and was encouraged as she had lost her best friend due to her horrible mistake of innocently serving alcohol to her underage friend for an afternoon snack instead of a cordial.

Anne knew better than anybody how innocent mistakes could have disasterous effects. Her romantic ideas and daydreams and temper (stubborn nature), led her to many mistakes. green hair, a drunk best friend, an angry neighbor. writing her name on the classroom board 100 times.

But we love Anne all the more for her mistakes.

But how does Anne's endearing qualities translate to my husband and a diabetic daughter? The error was caught before it became a mistake. It was corrected and hopefully some sort of lesson was learned from this.

Read the bottle before you dye your hair. Check the syringe before you inject. and put on oven mitts when retrieving hot objects from the oven.

Oh, and use a spatula when flipping quesadillas in hot pans. My teenager was retrieving freezer items the whole costco trip due to burned finger tips from dinner she made. She claimed that I had told her to use her fingers to retrieve the hot tortilla instead of a utensil.

Crazy teenager delusion because I never make mistakes.

I personally wanted my hair green.













Thursday, May 19, 2011

the fighter

Today her numbers finally seemed better. Yesterday, I was still correcting with insulin all day. Every two hours, she would be over 400 again. I had given her insulin to match what she ate and she still jumped hundreds.

Today, she woke up under 200 and stayed between 200 to 300 all day. no corrections needed. no crazy 450 numbers. or even 500's!

I think maybe she is finally getting over the cold that she had. no runny nose today and no cough. her appetite was back today. in fact she was hungry! It reminded me of after she was diagnosed. Finally she was receiving insulin and the doctor had said that she would be really hungry for a while! That's what it seemed like today. better numbers and an appetite again!

Tonight I gave her some milk and a graham cracker for her bedtime snack. she still had insulin in her from her late dinner. I gave her a small shot for the bedtime snack and now she is asleep.

She finished her speech classes, yesterday. she really enjoyed them. she had a great teacher that was so kind to her. Every class, I let them know that I would be nearby, just in case. But only once, did I pick her up to find she was down to 80.

The last class, they read a book called "Mrs. Nash's wash". They colored pictures of clothing and got to hang them on the class' clothes' line. Then the teacher took their picture. so much fun.

The teacher said that she is recommending further services for her in the fall. I am thankful because I know she still needs them. In so many ways she is doing great, but she still needs support in her expressive language skills.

She is a fighter. From the beginning.

When we first found out that I was pregnant with twins, the doctor didn't detect a heart beat in her embryo with the ultrasound. He had commented, "well, you have another baby if she doesn't make it."

I thought "well now that I know she is there, how can I just dismiss her?!" She is my life now, created, waiting to develop! Well, she fought and survived!

Then her brother was bigger and born first. She had to stay in the NICU two weeks longer and kept having apnea. She would just stop breathing. The nurses would always say that is was not that big of a deal, most preemies had apnea at first. They just walk over and rub their tummies and get them breathing again.

Well, to me, the parent, it was more than just a big deal. She STOPPED breathing!! I couldn't think of anything more important!

She finally came home and did well. But then she was definitely quiet much more so than her brother and slow to use words. and then she really slowed down and that's when she was finally diagnosed with diabetes.

so, she continues to fight. she has a smile that lights up a room. She loves to organize her surroundings and is so nurturing. She is our sweetie pie.

"And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news." Romans 10:15

and that is our sweetie. we would have it no other way.

Monday, May 16, 2011

sickness

we have all been sick. by "all", in a family of 7, I mean the majority of us. Myself being the sickest.

Our sweetie has a cold. I have the cold and had the stomach flu in the middle of the cold. (her endocrinologist, assured me though, that no, it is the same flu this year! inter viral.) my teenager has a cold now too, yet persevered through the Relay for Life weekend to raise money for cancer.

and we had sporadic fevers pass around the house.

Our sweetie has been running high throughout this. peaking over 500 at various times. her doctor adjusted her lantus and dinner ratio to help, but she is still peaking today. I will call doctor again for more advice.

I have been laying low, yet still maintaining house duties. My husband has been monitoring diabetes maintenance with advice from me and mom came over a few days last week after stomach flu onset.

fun fun.

I myself, may finally visit doctor to see if this a sinus infection that just won't go away.

My teenager stayed up until 2 am this morning registering for college classes as freshman time slot began at midnight. she is excited at the variety of schedules and choice of classes and is still on board for transferring as a sophomore to her college of choice.

Our sweetie woke me up at 2 am this morning, which is how I knew our teenager was still up. Our sweetie was in the hallway tinkling and crying. side effect of super high numbers = back to lots of tinkling like prior to diagnosis.

so we could use prayer for overall health in this home again!

My Bible study reminded me that again our purpose is to know God and to glorify God through our lives.

well last week, there were definitely moments that did not glorify God! When I am not running the household due to illness, things fall apart quickly!

But, Praise God! here we are.

My six year old today said "Holy cheezits!" I said "where did you hear that phrase?" She wasn't sure. Lots of guesses. tv. her cousin. I took the time to tell her that that phrase is a silly way of trying not to say something else that is using God's name in not a nice way. She asked why anyone would want to do that? I said that some people just don't know God and don't know that it is not nice to be mean to him. God tells us to revere his name and be respectful.

She had no idea that crackers could be so blasphemous.

A nice reminder. even through sickness. we may not mean to dishonor God. we may think what we are doing is justified. After all, I am sick. But God calls us for a better life. He will provide and take care of us. If we can overcome our human tendencies and just glorify him.

As we sat in church together yesterday, the same daughter, our six year old, who shared the cracker incident, was listening to the missionary from Nigeria speak. His name was Ezekiel. She grabbed a Bible and found the chapter of Ezekiel. She showed me, in delight. Ezekiel means "God makes strong". This man had many testimonies to this. He told of how dangerous life can be in Nigeria. There are many ways that you can lose your life there. yet he still chose a path of preaching God's word, which in itself, can put him at risk in a mostly Muslim area.

Through sickness, through strife, through diagnosis, we must always remember; who is in control.

Psalm 27:

The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When the wicked advance against me
to devour[a] me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.

4 One thing I ask from the LORD,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.

7 Hear my voice when I call, LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, LORD, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.

13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Faith like an earthquake?

I found that my faith was really shaken recently. My teenage daughter and I had sat for hours that weekend looking at the pros and cons of whether she should go to the university that she had been accepted by or not. we made a list.

The school had given her over 2/3 of the money that she needed to pay for college, that was all in grant money! But we were still short. I had been walking into a store one day and saw two different people wearing t shirts with the name of that school on them. Wasn't that a sign?

We discussed all of the great reasons she should go there and the reasons she should stay home. we felt fairly confident that God was leading us to that school. But we were still short. We did not have the entire amount. should we take a leap of faith? One friend advised us to just jump and it should work out.

But we had just spent the last three years paying off lots of debt. The last thing I wanted to do was be stressed about where the last few dollars was going to come from again and then what would we live on? Our daughter could work all summer and save money. and she could have taken student loans to help but then we are putting our daughter into debt at the age of 18.

Our daughter wisely said that it wasn't worth it. She really wanted to go but also didn't see the financial gap as worth all of the stress to come up with the money. The junior college would be free this year and she would end up with money in savings. Pretty good deal.

But we had really thought that God was leading us down the path to that school and shutting all other doors along the way. But as the deadline to accept approached, God had not provided the full amount that we needed. My mom had agreed to help, but not all of it.

so I accepted the answer that she shouldn't go, but then began to look back on my life and question when I thought God had worked in other areas. Was I wrong about all of those too? Was I misguided this time? Is all of it just coincidence? Was I applying wishful thinking to just circumstances? I really wrestled with my faith because I really thought that I had been seeking God's leading.

I sat down to my Bible study and made notes. This is a big issue and God would surely speak to me about this.

I turned the page and this is what it said:

"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold I will do something new" (Isaiah 43:18-19)

whether I was right or wrong in the past, it didn't matter. God was moving me forward now. God doesn't want us to feel guilt about our past. He frees us from that with his grace and forgiveness.

I prayed for God to show me where he had blessed me and directed me into his will. The point of his will for us to desire a relationship with him and our blessings are bi products of our relationship with him. He is a loving and protecting God and he wants us to be loved and be protected. He is not a genie.

First I had looked at decisions that I had made where I felt I had made mistakes then I began to look back on my life with new eyes. I looked for ways that I didn't ask for anything yet God provided for us completely with his own doing. No disputable claims. Just purely God.

Several things started to come to mind that reassured me that indeed God had been working in our lives for the past several years.

For example, when I had decided to homeschool my eldest daughter in fourth grade and not return to work. I received checks in the mail from the strangest places. A cash award for an essay I had written for the GRE. A bonus unemployment check that had been miscalculated. An overpayment for something that was refunded. All confirmation that I was doing the right thing and nothing that I could have dreamed up myself!

We had friends that came into our lives right before my dad passed away. They took our daughter for outings with their family. We had dinners with them. They treated us to a concert. They provided for us in so many ways in such a great time of need in my life.

I think about the dream that I had where God clearly showed me a certain person that was to guide me with a decision. The next day I ended up talking with that person by chance (God's divine appointment) and answering a decision that we had been pondering for awhile.

I think of when we were deciding to re enter our eldest in school and how we found out about the school that was to be for her and that they had just one opening in her grade and she could start that Monday.

I have made a long list in my Bible study of many things that came to mind and God confirmed that he does work and does lead us. Most often it is when we least expect it and we had nothing to do with it!

The college of our choice didn't work out but that is okay. I will keep my eyes open for what God is going to do next and we all feel relieved that we did not add new debt to our load. and God does not call us to go into debt for his service. So for that reason alone we feel good about our decision.

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him saying,"This fellow began to build and was not able to finish". Luke 14:28-30

Thank you Lord for saving us from the ridicule. and continuing to show us that even when we aren't sure, you will, reassure us.

Friday, May 6, 2011

still brought to tears

I find myself still being brought to tears when I think about my daughter.

Tonight was the first time that I have seen my father in law since our sweetie was diagnosed. He doesn't really understand what type 1 diabetes involves or know all the details of what happened when our daughter was diagnosed. He lives hours away and this was the first time we were able to show him her syringes, her meter, her candy supply, the photos of her hospital stay, the scare when the doctor looked me in the eye and told me that I had to rush my sweetie to the hospital almost an hour away.

He said to me that that must have been a shock.

I had to clear my throat and regain my momentum and answer "yes".

It was heartwrenching. more than a shock. I will never forget that day sitting on the chair with wheels, trying to clutch the phone receiver in my hand with the curly cord dangling down to the phone base. not allowing me to move too far away from the desk. while my daughter sat on the floor playing with her little toy. sitting quietly just watching me. looking up at me with trust in her eyes. not sure of what was to come next. all the while her body was sitting there slowly destroying itself. there she sat looking at me dying.

I didn't know that. that heart wrenching pain of being a mom and wanting to protect your children from everything you can and to find out that you have failed. that she is really really sick and it is out of your control.

Today my daughter told my husband that she is excited to see her grandpa because she gets to tell him about her diabetes!

wow.

she is weathering the storm.

how am I doing? getting there.

I carry the weight, she goes out and plays.

and that is how it is supposed to be for all children. we deal with the adult stuff like doctor phone calls, knowledge of worst case scenarios, how we will pay the bills, midnight force feedings. they sleep soundly.

to all of us mothers this mother's day that carry extra loads to make sure that our children have great days in spite of obstacles that we all face.

Monday, May 2, 2011

speech class and lows

speech class has been great for our sweetie and her brother but also presented challenges for our diabetic sweetie. If I take her brother, she stays home with grandma and I, from afar, advise my mom on how to care for her. This can present problems and uncertainty as to if she is getting all that she needs. My mom tries and cares but is not completely versed yet in caring for a diabetic child. So we try our best, but still it can be uncertain.

When I take our sweetie to speech and leave brother home, that can work well but then she is in a speech class for an hour with uncertainty. So I stay nearby, like a hovering mother, ready for anything to happen.

Today the weather was really warm again. She had lunch before we left the house, but she didn't want to eat much. My husband had given her 1/2 unit for the food she had eaten but I had a feeling that soon she would be dropping because she didn't eat a lot. And he gave her diet soda at lunch instead of milk. Lots of carbs that she usually has to sustain her were missing today.

I tested her when we arrived at the school, as I always do. She was 212. For her, lately, when ever she is right around 200, she might as well be 80. She tends to drop fast. She seemed tired today too. The heat, and it is nap time, even though she doesn't nap anymore.

I walked her in to her class and told the teacher that she seemed tired today and may drop so I would stay nearby on a bench and take care of some business.

I ended up talking on the phone with my mom about our big college decision. The class finally walked by to head to the playground for play time. I waved "Hi!" as they went by and kept talking.

Soon they were headed back again. I waved "Hi!"and finished up my conversation.

I headed over to the class and waited for them to be dismissed.

It's funny watching how the highs and lows affect my little spitfire of a sweetie. When she was 400 one day at speech, she came running out of her classroom when class was over and I had to grab her hand as she steered me in the direction she wanted to go.

Today, she walked out of the room and slowly walked the wall next to me as her teacher updated me on her progress. I commented to her teacher, how her behavior could be observed based on how she was feeling too. The higher she got, the more out of control she got. Today we could talk and I wasn't worried where she was headed. She definitely was lower.

When we finished with the teacher, we made our walk back to the car. we pass the big kid library, where she peaks in the window and the kids wave "Hi" to her. we pass the office where she likes to use the big kid potty in the nurses' office. we stop and say "Hi" to the bear statue and examine how many spider webs are in his nose and ears. we then navigate around the cars parked in the closest pick up/drop off spot possible for kids that will be dismissed soon. and finally we arrive at our car.

I buckle her in and test her as I usually do. One hour later, she was now 70. my guess was right. I grab her some smarties and she gets to munch on candy on the way home. I check her again when I get home and give her a bowl of cereal. she eats all of it. She begins to perk up and talk again and run around again.

Looking back...before she was diagnosed...she had gotten very quiet and very content at playing by herself. definitely not feeling well.

now we know.

The normal sweetie is the curious, talkative, can't stand still, always wants to know what's going on and has a project going in addition to the other project just in case she has some spare time.

and this is why I sit outside the speech room waiting for her, playing the role of a hovering parent. I know that she can drop low and need attention. and I will wait for it to happen to make sure that she is always okay. Just as I keep my cell phone in hand when she is left home with Grandma.

Hovering parent; diabetic child. we go hand in hand.

junior college

Today we decided that our teenager will attend the junior college here in town. I still keep praying that God will intervene and give us the extra money we needed for her to just go straight to her college of choice. But so far not. God provided so much but not enough which equals not enough. insert sad face here.

so we decided to be responsible grown ups and that the best thing for her to do is to stay home for one more year and attend the jc. She will apply to go to her college of choice for next year as a sophomore. We figured that this will save her and ourselves quite a bit of money. She also thought that it will give her a year of transition to moving out. (She likes slow transitions).

So, she is okay with it, being the practical, financially mature person that she is, and I am slowly accepting it! We did confirm with the college counselor that she can attend as a sophomore and still get her freshman financial aid that she was awarded be it that she applies before junior college classes show up on her transcript.

So that is the plan. and who knows what God has in store for us over the next year. every time we think we have everything under control, we are thrown yet another curve ball. (hence the blogsite).

We just thank God for our great daughter and are so proud of how far she has come and wait with anticipation for what will come next our way!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

a group of diabetics

Last night I met with fellow diabetic families. There is a non profit group that just happened to land right around the corner from our house. We have both lived in this neighborhood for over four years now but we never discussed diabetes until we were recently diagnosed. We used to take walks past their house and notice the words on their van: "DiabatesOutdoors.org", but we didn't even understand what diabetes was or is.

Now we are a part of this group. Now we call on this couple in times of crisis. The husband has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 30 years and his son now was just diagnosed a few years ago.

so last night, I found myself at a coffee house table in the wind, outside, as we watched the sun set. There were two other couples there and two other moms. All of us are living with children, minors that have type 1 diabetes.

Most of the kids of these parents are living with insulin pumps but for us and one other newly diagnosed family, we are both still giving many shots a day and checking their blood constantly.

The other newbie was diagnosed in December, us in February. Both of us still in scary phase.

The leader of the meeting last night, brought a topic for us to think about: Diabetes in a disaster situation. Such as: a tsnunami hits in Japan and you suddenly don't have any insulin and you are a type 1 diabetic. what do you do?

For so many uneducated people out there...no insulin for those of us that live in insulin dependent families; that means just like it sounds, they are insulin dependent. If you are oxygen dependent and you suddenly don't have oxygen; the inevitable will happen. For the non diabetic person, your body makes insulin. For the type 1 diabetic, their body doesn't. Without insulin, your body malfunctions and slowly dies.

In the ol' days, type 1 diabetics, would have just mysteriously died. Now we diagnose and give insulin.

In addition to that heavy topic, we also had a side conversation about colleges, since myself and another mom have teenagers trying to fund their colleges of choice.

Other moms discussed the trials and scares of leaving their child at school everyday and getting calls from their children that they are low and need to be treated. Since my child is 3, I just can't imagine yet, leaving her to the care of others for hours on end. not yet.

We also discussed the constant misconceptions of type 1 diabetes. No, it is NOT like type 2 diabetes! I wish they would just rename the two different conditions. Type 2 diabetes can go away. Your body still makes insulin, your body just can't absorb all that it needs, so a pill is taken to help your body absorb the insulin. You have to watch your diet and exercise. In type 1 diabetes, it is an autoimmune disease! your body just stops making insulin. because of this, your kidneys start to malfunction and your body creates acid that is a toxin and makes you sick. this can turn fatal. This disease does not go away. Insulin is given for almost everything that you eat and your blood sugar levels are monitored constantly, forever. very different!

We also discussed the difference in healthcare. some of us have excellent doctors (such as myself) and some are frustrated by decisions their doctors make. so thankful for our insurance and our fantastic doctor!

As I watched the group of us, I realized that we are all people that understand type 1 diabetes. We all have different careers or musical interests or religious beliefs or school of choice for our children. We have lives outside of diabetes. But WE have all had to learn about type 1 diabetes. We all put our cell phones on the table in front of us as we sat down to enjoy our drinks. Not for soccer updates but in case their is a concern from our caregivers about our child or children.

I find myself changing hats all day. When I take my son to speech class, I am an informed parent. I am a trained special ed teacher. I am a seasoned mom. I am a mom of twins. I am a mom of a type 1 diabetic child. I am a writer. I have a teenager deciding on college. I am a Christian. I am a daughter. I have lost my father. I am a friend. I am a sister. I am a wife. so many hats. so many topics to educate others on or connect with others on. It can be exhausting.

Last night, one woman said that she knew of a mom of a diabetic child that doesn't like to talk with other moms of diabetics because she just wants to forget about it for awhile. and then we said how we like talking with each other because part of our life isn't hidden from the other person. we don't have to explain it. we just understand each other and can just start discussing college issues.

support groups are important and thankfully I was gathered into this one. We all would love to trade in our labels and not have this in common anymore but we do and we are.

so please take the time to educate someone on what living with type 1 diabetes really means. start a blog. read mine.

In my spare time, I will tell you anything you want to know.

Friday, April 29, 2011

College funds

Yesterday we were so encouraged about the direction things were taking regarding which college my daughter is to attend.

This afternoon, when we talked with the financial aid counselor again on the phone, we realized that we are still short funds. The large grant helped but even with some loans, we are still short what we need.

so now what?

My daughter again feels that junior college would work for a year and then transfer her sophomore year to this college. She would save money.

But then, she has worked so hard to get to this place. All of her friends are headed off to great schools.

Why should she have to go to a junior college when she worked so hard to get into a university?

The door is not shut yet.

I am praying that God will surprise her and provide for her financially to attend this school.

our deadline to accept is May 2. My husband's birthday. We have two more days for God to do mightier things.

He can part a sea, he can make a blind man see, he can feed thousands with fish and bread, he can walk on water, and he can raise the dead.

If he wants her to attend this school, he will provide.

and I wait with expectant eyes and arms to see him build our faith.

please pray with us.

God can do above and beyond what we ask for.

Out of $38,000, we need $9000 more.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

college!

Now that my second eldest daughter is enrolled in the private school that we had prayed for, for so long, we are able to turn our attention to our eldest daughter.

The first night home from the hospital when our sweetie was diagnosed was the night that my eldest applied to this college. I remember dozing in and out of sleep on the couch as she kept asking me questions and guidance for her application. I finally told her to just submit the application online. It was the deadline and it was now or never. She hit the submit button and the rest is history.

She received her acceptance phone call and email and package in the mail. My husband and her were able to take a campus tour and ask questions. They both loved the school. Then they went into the financial aid office and met with the adviser. They were told that the financial aid package we thought we were able to receive was not accurate. Based on our reported income, we only qualified for very minimal funding which left a substantial amount for us to come up with.

Their car ride home was solemn. My husband had said that until that moment when they received the devastating news, he would have signed the paperwork that afternoon. They both loved the school for her so much.

We made several phone calls to the financial aid office and the admittance counselor and they confirmed that we could not afford their school. This just didn't seem right to me. I began looking over our paperwork and the financial information that we had submitted and remember standing in the kitchen, leaning over the counter with papers spread everywhere, phone in one hand, when I caught an error! Income had been reported twice! no wonder we didn't qualify for financial aid! We didn't make that much! I am unemployed!

I immediately call the financial aid office and tell them of the error that I have found. They advise me that I have to go online and update our information and they will call us when they see the changes on their end.

My husband fixed the errors and printed the new update. We then emailed the confirmation page to the admittance counselor. and waited.

The counselor called us and told us that our changes made a difference. They could now offer us a grant and we qualified for a federal grant too. This helped but we were still missing funding. When my daughter looked over the new paperwork, she noticed that a substantial federal grant was missing from the financial aid offer. She thought with our new information that she should qualify for this grant.

I called financial aid again. The counselor told me that she would look into the grant since we should qualify now. She called back a few days later and said that my daughter did not qualify due to her gpa. She advised us to call her high school counselor and see if this was an error. This year, our daughter was maintaining a 4.0 gpa.

Our daughter spoke with the school counselor the next day and he felt that yes indeed, the reported gpa was an error and it could be fixed and she could get that grant! Our decision for this college was beginning to rest on this grant. It was substantial and we didn't think we could afford it otherwise. She was told to come back the next day and the office would confirm the gpa and correct it for the grant.

When she went back, another counselor was there and informed her that her gpa was accurate and she did not qualify for the grant.

A big deflating balloon floated by.

The first counselor joined the conversation and they all three were convinced by calculations that indeed the first counselor was correct. no grant.

She texted me the news.

I called the counselor myself to plead our case and ask his advice. He felt that she should keep her sights on this college and try to transfer as a sophomore after her first year at the junior college. I called the college counselor and ran this by him, and he agreed that that was a viable solution. He said that she could keep her grants and would qualify for more financial aid the following year due to her senior grades. In the meantime, he would email financial aid for me and ask if there was anything else the college could offer us.

When my daughter came home from school today, we discussed all of the happenings and concluded that the junior college for one year then the college of her choice would be sufficient.

Then we received the phone call.

It was a missed call on my cell phone. It was the college of her choice.

I was standing out back watching the younger kids play in the splash pool as it was a very hot day today. I was trying to play the message back and was pressing buttons to change the receiver on my phone from blue tooth to hand set to speaker phone. I missed half of the message. All I caught was ...good news! we are able to offer $10,000!...

wait, what!!?!

I frantically press buttons and try to start replaying the message.

I ran over to my daughter sitting on this computer, contemplating her future, or checking facebook, one or the other. I say "Listen to this!!!"

"We are pleased to be able to offer you another grant in addition to the scholarship that we have already awarded you. This grant was actually $300 more than the federal grant that we had tried to receive! What's interesting about this grant is that it is about the same amount of money but it is college specific so it clearly defines which college she should attend!

We feel sure that God is now pointing a big red arrow at this school for us!

We are still ironing out details and still praying the last of the funding to work out. But right now, we are trusting that God never completely shut that door for a reason and strengthened our faith and prayer time to clearly let God lead us down the road to her future!

Praise God!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

those darn test strips

I was sitting in the parking lot today of the school that my son attends for speech classes when my mom texted me that my diabetic daughter was crying and desperately wanting pretzels. I said "have you checked her?!, you need to check her first!"

She texted back that she had tried but wasn't successful. She couldn't get enough blood on the test strip to get an accurate reading.

We texted back and forth a few moments as I tried to advise her. My son was due to be out of his class in fifteen minutes and I couldn't leave, so I just had to guide her through cell phone.

I finally called her to see what the situation was.

Earlier that day, I had had to leave in a hurry to get my other daughter to school first and then my son. I had checked my sweetie's blood sugar levels and she was over 300. So I gave her 1/2 a unit to bring her levels back down and then told my mom to just feed her upto 15 grams. until I got back. I said a cup of milk and an egg would be fine.

well, after I left, my sweetie was too involved in computer games and didn't want to eat. So my mom had decided to wait to feed her.

Now almost an hour later, my sweetie was crying and wanting to eat. which to us parents of diabetic children usually means "CHECK blood sugar levels!!!"

So when my mom answered the phone, I could hear my sweetie in the background crying. My mom said that she had tried testing her twice and still couldn't get enough blood on the test strip.

Now I was beginning to panic. My mom kept saying "She's just hungry". I thought "no.no.no. she is dropping! TEST HER!!!"

My mom asks if I can come home. NO! now what??????

I suddenly think of our Godsend. The neighbors that God purposefully gave us when he knew that down the road we would need them. The mom that has a type 1 diabetic son and type 1 diabetic husband. The advocates and activity providers for diabetic families.

I tell my mom, "Give her smarties NOW! just in case. and I will call our neighbor to come over and help.

My mom finally agrees and thank goodness, the neighbor answers her phone. As other times, I have gotten her machine. She says she will go over right now and help.

Praise God. Praise God. Praise God. and a big Halleluiah!

I get a new text from my mom...Do we have any more test strips?

Oh my goodness.

yes, in the garage, in the pink box, above the toys, on the shelf.

The neighbor also had trouble. She finally decided that the gadget that puts the little hole in your finger needed to be adjusted.

She adjusted.

success.

216.

216 after a roll of smarties and some pretzels.

My educated guess is that she was dropping below 100 because after all of that and a roll of smarties she was 216.

crisis over and now she can eat lunch.

a moment of silence again.

big sigh of relief

by now I had walked over to get my son.

I had been receiving status updates on my phone and trying to quickly text back more directions as I was walking. I thought how the other mothers waiting to pick up their kids had no idea how serious my frantic textings were. They probably thought I was just chatting as they do. As most moms do that don't have diabetic children to worry about left at home in someone else's care.

Crisis was now over. She was 216. A reasonable number.

Of course last night a friend that was type 2 diabetic was telling me how excited she was that her numbers had dropped from 150 to 105. I don't completely understand type 2 diabetes, but thought "you just don't even know! we still go from 406 to 70 in 24 hours!"

so 216. we're good again.

My original plan before all of this was that I wanted to treat us to In & out burger on the way home.

Now I felt confident that we could take the time. and enjoy.

and take a deep breath.

God's will

It's funny how you try and try to make things happen and they never come together and then you turn your back and watch something else just fall together and be done before you had time to even think about it.

When things effortlessly come together; that is God.

when we try and try and try; that is us.

Just last week I was talking with my mentor about how much I love meeting with her and want to continue as long as we can. She assured me that she loved meeting with me too and she had another book in mind that we could study together when we finished our current book.

Today when we met, we could only spend about twenty minutes together as my schedule has gotten so tight now that three of my kids attend three separate schools! Answered prayer but along with it, has cut my mentor time availability. As she left today, she said that she didn't know when we could meet now and felt that God had given us a great time and now it was time to switch to an on call basis.

what!!??!!

I know I have watched this scene in a movie before. just can't think of which one. maybe Lord of the Rings again. Frodo is given just a little bit of information, just what he needs to know. "Don't lose the ring" "Stay off of the main road". "I will meet you later with more instructions". what a leap of faith for Frodo. He doesn't know what he is in for. He doesn't know the history of the ring. He just knows to follow directions.

In the current Bible study that I am doing by Priscilla Shirer she discusses this very point. She talks about how we as humans, tend to want all of the answers right now! We ask for God to show us his will and lay it out all before us.

But if Frodo knew all the danger he was in for; would he have agreed to take the ring? The end result was to destroy the ring and bring peace back to the world but he would almost starve to death, almost be murdered, be tormented mentally; and physically lose most of his friends and several friends would die on the journey. would he have done it if he had known?

would we?

Would I have still had my twins if I had known that one would be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 3? Would I have worked at a record store years ago when I knew one day I would be held up at gun point? Would I have flown to Norway if I had known that I would come down with a flu on the plane?

I was just discussing this with my teenage daughter the other day. She was talking about how she doesn't want to have regrets especially now that she knows personally a family (our friends) that just lost their son at age 19. She is rethinking priorities or opportunities in her life and doesn't want to pass up on some.

"It is better to have loved and lost then to never have loved at all". In the wise words of Alfred Lord Tennyson.

I think our friends would agree that they wouldn't do anything different even though they lost their son at 19. Neither would my other friend that lost her baby at 5 months to cancer. And neither would I trade in any of my children for less heartache.

God gives us what we need for each moment that we need it and that is all we need.

My time was over before I had planned for with my mentor but God had a season for us and now wants me to put into practice what I have learned. Just as a baby bird must learn to fly by practicing, I must learn by experience now.

My mentor's wisdom will only carry me so far.

So we may fight and kick and scream against what comes against us in life but if we surrender to the Lord, he will promise to take good care of us and yes, he does always know what is best, even if we disagree.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!


Happy Easter everyone! This is our first Easter with a diabetic child. All morning I was worried about my baby, not her! He hasn't been hungry, has been thirsty and soaked through his diaper!! But then we got home from church, he perked up a bit. ate lunch and is now sleeping. I can't bring myself to test him afraid for what I might find. so for now...I will watch diligently! But our sweetie has done well.

Their Easter baskets were filled with books and sidewalk chalk, a few jelly beans 1.5 grams each.

I bought us (parents) whoppers for private consumption.

We will be having a ham dinner later. Should be great!

Gave a hug to our mom friend that lost her son just weeks ago still. she said her husband isn't sure he wants to do much today but they are still an amazing testimony. They have clung to God through this unbearable time and are triumphing.

Easter is very special to me because I gave my life to Christ on an Easter Sunday ten years ago. Every sunday I had gone to church and silently said "yes" to the pastor when he offered for us to accept Jesus but was never brave enough to come forward. It was a big step for me.

I had just come back from India. we had lived out of a few suitcases for six months. we had taught our daughter about Siva and Ganesh and had even made a shrine to the Hindu gods in our room. I was married but insisted on keeping my independence. I was very liberal in my thinking.

I had been raised in a church but decided that I didn't need any of an organized religion. I had studied lots on Buddhism while in college and in India and felt that made the most sense.

well, now sitting in my parent's new church and listening to the sermons, something stirred inside of me and spoke to me. Suddenly, nothing mattered. God was grabbing a hold of me and I couldn't deny it. He began to work in my daughter's life, my life and later my husbands.

Easter Sunday, the service was held on the church's lawn under a huge canopy. testimony after testimony was given and I wanted to go up front and plead for forgiveness but still was too embarrassed to do so. Finally the time was up to go forward and someone began to sing a song. I hesitantly stood up and walked down the side of the aisle and went up to someone and said that I wanted to be prayed with. They handed me to the pastor's wife. She began to pray for me and guided me on what to pray. I suddenly felt like Peter who had denied Christ. I was raised in a church but had rejected it. I suddenly felt so repentant. I began to cry. I was so ashamed.

I felt like a changed person. brand new. my vision was different. I remember a month later I went to a meeting about an upcoming Harvest Crusade in our city and I remember looking around the room in awe that I was among fellow believers.

Every year, those feelings of a new come back as we approach Easter. There is a special song by the Newsboys called "Amazing Love" that was played back then and I could never get through the whole song without crying. That song is listed on my player with this blog.

so, Happy Easter. God has blessed us and brought us through many things over the years, including an Easter with a resurrected daughter newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Praise be to God, Halleluah! Praise ye the Lord!