With or without you.

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India ink on paper 11" x 14" 2009

I hadn’t realized how fast time was flying by. I will have been on my insulin pump and CGM dexcom for about a year and a half now. I have loved and hated every second with these devices. At first the pump was amazing. I thought often about how I had been doing this diabetes thing all wrong. I was doing myself a disservice by not investigating these things sooner. The CGM helped me sleep through the nights with ease, unless I was high/low then it was a bit annoying, but I felt confident in myself and in my diabetes management. Having these tools made me feel almost invincible. I could be discreet and still manage to care for myself properly. My numbers were great and all through out my pregnancy I knew that I was doing everything in my power to keep not only myself happy and healthy but also my little man, too.

Until suddenly these once amazing gadgets started feeling like a burden. Until suddenly I felt annoyed with having these pods and sensors constantly stuck to my body. I was loathing site changes and overall I noticed myself ignoring the beeps and warnings which meant I was also ignoring my diabetes. So I took a step back, which has actually ended up being a step forward..funny how that works, and I am back on MDI (manual daily injections) and guess what it didn’t blow up the space time continuum. I am still standing and still going strong.

In an amazing reality check I realized that I can still manage my diabetes with or with out the fancy stuff. My numbers have been surprisingly exceptional and I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to the pump. Who knows though. I’ve learned that if you aren’t willing to try new ways to take care of this disease it will consume you, this mundane beast will make you lock it in a closet until you just don’t care anymore. I don’t want that to happen because it’ll mean I don’t care about myself. So, for now, I am doing MDI and using my CGM to help me through the days and nights.

If we’re being honest with one another I am happy with this decision. Hopefully I continue to feel this way for awhile.

Someone asked me if I recommended an insulin pump and I said that in the beginning I would have but now I say, really evaluate the decision. Consider every option and understand exactly what you are getting into. I feel like insulin pumps are amazing, wonderful tools, when used correctly. The only device I will continuously stand behind is the CGM, that is truly a life saver, insulin I can get either way I choose, but the piece of mind that comes with wearing the dexcom is undeniable.

Are you an insulin pumper? Do you CGM?

Ever just need a break? or are you someone considering a pump? I hope I haven’t given you the wrong message, if you decide the pump is for you, trust me, you’ll go far. My only advice in writing this is to make sure you figure out if it really suits you and I hope you’ll consider all your options. At the end of the day it is your health that matters the most.

Now, don’t forget to smile. It’s a beautiful day.

Food for thought.

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I overheard a conversation the other day about a woman and her type one diabetic cousin. She was complaining about the audacity of her cousin wanting to have children. She exclaimed, with a tone of utter disgust, that her cousin already had two, why did she need more than that? I refrained from jumping in because I felt it wasn’t my place..or was it?

I was overwhelmingly upset about the comments. In a conversation that only took minutes from start to finish the woman explained that with being diabetic her cousin was causing so much damage to not only herself but her children as well. The other person in this seemingly one sided conversation asked if something was wrong with the cousins children.

“No. Not yet anyway!”

Not yet?

With someone who had such an abundant amount of knowledge about this disease did she not know that plenty of diabetic women have healthy pregnancies as well as perfectly healthy children. I can use myself as an example. Did I always take care of myself and my diabetes, no, but once I was put into a situation where it wasn’t just my life at stake I focused on being the best me, the best diabetic, and the best mom I could be. Life is not with out it’s ups and downs but that doesn’t mean that everything is going to go wrong all of the time. I have had two healthy pregnancies and two healthy children call me mommy. Why shouldn’t the woman’s cousin be allowed to have as many children as her heart desires? So long as her body permits and the doctors are by her side I don’t see a problem.

I certainly don’t understand why it’s anyone’s business.

Or why the woman decided she needed to tell everyone within an ear shot about her diabetic cousin.

Why am I now discussing it? Because I am outraged that people find it necessary to trash talk any woman, but in this particular situation a diabetic woman, and whether or not she should bear children. The topic hits close to home only for the fact that I have been asked why I decided to have children if I knew I was sickly, if i knew there was a chance that my kids could “come down with it..(diabetes)” Why would I put myself and others in danger?

At times I have fully explained myself when I felt as though the questions and comments were coming from a loving and concerned place. However, most of the time these questions can feel like attacks. Like I am being attacked for a disease I never asked for, like I am being attacked for wanting to be a mother despite these uncontrollable circumstances. Is it really alright to just walk up to people and ask them these sort of things? I deserve respect and so did that woman’s cousin. My decisions deserve respect whether you agree or disagree and so do the cousins decisions.

Furthermore I believe that everyone should be educated before even thinking about questioning people and the way they live their lives. People with diabetes, so long as it is managed appropriately, can live very wonderfully and successfully. Nothing is impossible, well except for creating our own insulin, but other than that we can accomplish so much. And diabetic women, specifically to this post, can most definitely have children and as many as they want!

I am not trying to speak for everyone and I am certainly not claiming to know everyone’s situation but I will say this…be careful what you say out loud and ask yourself if you were in their shoes would you feel offended at all, would you welcome criticism with open arms? Or would you want to be respected?

Jumping off my soap box now.

Have you experienced anything like this?

Grocery store blues.

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Life with children can get a little hectic.

Life with diabetes can get a little hectic.

Life with both can be downright outrageous at times.

If I am giving all my attention to one sometimes the others are being ignored. It’s not awesome but it’s the truth.

So far my husband has handled all of this very well. Our daughter has been the best big helper and we have fallen into a nice routine. It is a bit rough around the edges here and there but it works for us, for now. Every one is happy and healthy which is always my main goal in life.

Once in awhile we try to do things as a family which involves all of us being apart of it. It’s fun. I guess I’m weird because I actually enjoy grocery shopping. I especially enjoy grocery shopping with my husband. It’s something we’ve always done together. I don’t know why. We’ve considered it our time though. Sometimes our daughter will be there, or we’ll go while she’s in school. The only time there’s a solo trip is if one of us isn’t feeling well. The other day we ventured out as a whole unit to grocery shop..here’s how it went from awesome to a bad idea in a matter of seconds…

The baby was already a bit fussy. Normally he falls into a deep sleep in the car but this time he wasn’t having it. Our daughter was tired and feeling fidgety. My husband and I were exhausted from lack of sleep the night before and of course my diabetes decided to be a jerk.

We’re at the end of our grocery shopping adventure when on our way to pay my blood sugar decides to plummet. It was so inconvenient because my son was screaming his head off and my daughter was not cooperating. My husband was focused on getting us out of there as quickly as possible and there I am, a stone, unable to think or move. My husband asks me to type in our phone number for the in store coupons and I couldn’t even remember it. My dexcom reads LOW and I just keep staring at the words on the screen. It’s like I was in a trance. I just kept thinking, how did this happen?

My daughter hands me her skittles to open and I vaguely remember asking for some. Before I know it I’m shoveling little rainbow colored bits into my mouth while the cashier stares at me. My husband’s telling me to go sit down and my daughter is asking for her candy back. I laughed like nothing was wrong and began calming the baby down. My was head still foggy but I could feel my senses slowly return to normal. I signaled to my husband that everything was fine and we finished up our transaction and left.

I was thankful that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I know that things like this will happen and it won’t stop me from family outings but boy was it tough. Hoping to be better prepared next time. That’s all I can ever really do. Hope that the next time diabetes decides to keep me on my toes I will be ready to tackle it down and keep it there.

Pumpcation.

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It’s needless to say that diabetes can be a bit frustrating at times. Whether I follow the “rules” to the T or dance to a different tune, diabetes is always there being all frustrating. Recently I’ve hit a wall and I’ve hit it hard
I’ve been on the omnipod since November of 2013 and I’ve loved each and every second of it. There have been days where my pods malfunction and I just want to throw them out the window but for the most part these little things have been game changers for me. Given me the freedom I’ve so desperately searched for with diabetes on my back. Allowed me an opportunity to really take control of something I thought would always be a chaotic mess. Except now I’m starting to despise these little gadgets.

I’m starting to despise all my gadgets.

They’ve been causing me more stress than not and I’m taking that as a signal for a break. Not forever but for now I need some space. I am on gadget overload and before I start neglecting my diabetes because of these frustrations I need to find other ways to manage my disease. Going back to MDI actually seems nice. I’m excited for the change up. I’m excited to unplug for a bit and refocus this whole situation.

I know I’m not the only one who has done this before.

In fact it’s knowing that this happens, that it’s a common experience, that gives me the confidence and encouragement I need for this little experiment. Of course I don’t plan on just changing things up on my own. I have an endo appointment coming up in a few weeks where I’ll discuss my pumpcation, my frustrations, and everything in between. Hopefully she’ll understand and give me a bit of guidance. I could use a lot of the right now.

What have been your thoughts/experiences with pumpcations?

Traveling with diabetes: pt2

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Recently my little family and I ventured out to Florida for our first road trip/family vacation. More specifically we went to Disney world. It truly was magical, once we got there that is, the drive down was awful.

It was an incredibly long drive with a seven year old and five month old. I’ll admit they did better than I thought they would. We packed snacks, drinks, everything but the kitchen sink.

The drive was so long that I nearly cried when I saw the glorious Welcome to Disney sign. Among traveling with two children I also had to travel with diabetes. This worried me the most. I’d never really traveled such a long distance with my friend diabetes. I worried if I’d forget something or wouldn’t have enough of something so I literally packed everything…

1. Three omnipods not including the one I wore.
2. Two vials of insulin not including the open one in my purse.
3. A box of syringes.
4. Extra test strips.
5. A new sensor for my dexcom.
6. A whole new pack of AAA batteries for my PDM.
7. Charger for Dex.

There’s probably a few more things I’m forgetting but I wanted to make sure I was covered for every situation that could possibly go wrong. Every stop  we had to make for the kiddos I checked my sugar, gave insulin, made sure to get out and walk around for circulation purposes, and made sure to pay attention to every signal my body gave me. Overall it went well.

The days at Disney were great. Went low a few times but there was plenty to indulge in, err, plenty around to help me out for strictly medical reasons. My tips are only this…check, cheek and check again. Stay hydrated, it’s easy to forget about drinking water when you’ve got a million things on your plate. And don’t be afraid to over pack your supplies. I’d rather have and not need then need it and not have it.

The trip ended too soon but it went spectacular.
Don’t forget to smile. I’m sure you’ve got plenty of reasons.

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9 months and beyond.

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People like to label me an overprotective mother. Some friends, family, even my husband at times, think that I should relax a bit when it comes to letting my kids, and more specifically my oldest, go places with out me. I’ll admit that if I could keep them in a bubble, snuggled up by protection, for the rest of their lives, I would. They are my everything, an extension of my husband and I. No one ever wants to think about something happening to their children and as a mother, as their parent, it is my job to ensure their safety and well being.

Maybe I should take it back further then this. I carried each of my babies for nine months. Nine scary, overwhelming, exciting months. I watched my belly grow as they did the same inside my womb. I spoke to them, sang them lullabies, promised to always love them. I giggled as they wiggled around, just me and each of my babies. I cried late at night when my blood sugar wasn’t perfect, I was my worst critic, I bruised from the countless blood drawls and poked my fingers raw for blood sugar checks. I have the scars from pump sites gone wrong. I’m the one who had to eat properly and drink enough water and didn’t forget to do this or that. It was me. So forgive me if, yes, I am a bit selfish with them, if I am a bit overprotective when it comes to where they are going and who they are with. That is any parents mentality but especially a woman with diabetes. I have been trained from the start that it is my duty to keep them happy, healthy, and safe inside and out of the womb.

One day my oldest may hate me for questioning everything, needing everyone’s number before she heads out, calling to make sure she is where she said she would be. But I don’t think this is a crime, I don’t think I am a horrible person, and I would hope that people would understand why I feel this way.

I suppose that is where this post is coming from. I am completely upset by the assumption that I should be okay with people taking my kids wherever they please. I didn’t work so very diligently for nine months and beyond to just hand them over to anyone.

Maybe this makes me a bit neurotic. I can’t help feeling the way that I do.Of course lets be reasonable I have let my daughter go places with out me and I have done so by trusting that the person watching her will treat her as though she were their own. With the same kind of care and love her father and I show her. Some have come through and kept my trust in them intact and others have not.

You can agree, or disagree, with how I raise my children but until you’ve had your own or until you’ve had to care long term for these tiny little humans it shouldn’t be up for debate.

My babies are my world and I intend to keep them whole.

Beginning and end of story.

What are your thoughts on this topic? As a parent or caregiver do you agree or disagree with my viewpoint? Or even if you don’t have children, how do you feel about this?

I’m interested in hearing from you all.