Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Needles

The first time I fainted I was five years old. I was in the bathroom with my mom and she was helping me pull a tooth that should have been pulled days ago. I was a small, scared child. I remember waking up with my mom holding me in a panic. I wish I could say this was the last time this happened.

Again, when I was nine years old I was at the doctor's office. I wasn't gaining weight, was very small for my age, and was constantly hungry. The Dr. wanted to run labs on me to figure out what was wrong. They were taking blood for the test to see if I had type 1 diabetes (ten years before I was actually diagnosed) and I seized and fainted in the floor.

This has happened so many times in my life that I cannot even count. Clearly, I have a fear of needles and blood. A fear that causes me to seize and faint.

When I was diagnosed, I was pretty incoherent and in DKA. When the Emergency Room Dr. told me, "you have type 1 diabetes," I knew what that meant. A lifetime of needles.

When the world tilts like this, what do you do?

You work through it. Or else you die.

These thoughts were clear in my foggy brain. I knew I had no choice.

None.

From that moment on, I did not cry about it. I did not complain. When the nurse came in my room to let me administer my first shot, I just did it. My hand was shaking so bad I had to use my other hand to steady it. I eased the needle in so slowly, I am sure the nurse thought I was deranged. I pulled it out and looked up at my mom.

"I did it."

"I know," she said.

I cannot imagine the thoughts that were going through her mind at that moment. The one child she has that is squeamish and scared. The only one. This is the hand she is dealt.

Fast forward many years later, I check into the hospital for a cesarean. I am brave. I do not complain, though I am terrified. The world tilts again, but I am all right. I did what I needed to do to bring a new life into the world. You work through it. You survive.

I am stronger for it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Spare a Rose, Save a Child


I am not one to celebrate Valentine's Day. Just not into the commercial stuff. However, this is one thing I can get behind. There are so many people in the world who do not have the luxuries that I do. I can afford my insulin, strips, pump supplies, etc. Diabetes was not a death sentence to me. Help save a child today.

Click here to help! The International Diabetes Federation takes the selfishness out of this holiday. I just sent in my donation. Will you?


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

In Sickness and in Health


Editor's Note: This is a repeat post, but I love it and it is Valentine's Day week, so here you go. Since this post, we have added baby bear to our family. I feel all of these things more than ever. I will follow this man to the end of the earth.

In Sickness and in Health


My anniversary is in two weeks. I will be married for six years.

Six.

Count them.

I have never been married to someone with a chronic illness. I am the person with the autoimmune disease. I am the one I like to feel sorry for on depressing diabetes days.

Today is not that day.

Spouses/significant-others play a role in chronic illness that cannot be defined. They are the caretaker, cheerleader, sympathizer, activist, and much more. I cannot even put it out there in a way to do it justice. What he means to me is so much more than your traditional relationship.

We were married right out of college. Not ideal in the 21st century, however, medical insurance warranted it. When I stood on the altar that summer day and held the hand of the person who agreed to love and cherish me, in sickness and in health, until death do us part, I did not quite put the ramifications into perspective.

In sickness and in health.

I don’t think of myself as “sick” most of the time. I appear healthy. I look normal (despite the infusion set and the tubing sticking out of my shirt or my pocket).

Normal? What is that?

Since my diagnosis, living with diabetes has changed in many ways. What has not changed is the support J offers me.

He is in it.

To end it.

He introduced me to JDRF. Came to my pump training. Researched insurance. Formed a Walk Team. Rode in Death Valley. Wrote to congress. It goes on and on. He is my biggest advocate.

He gets my meter in the middle of the night when my Dexcom is alerting and I am too low to move. I lift my hand and hand him my finger. He never says a word. Just is there. He makes sure every morning that I am alive as he leaves for work. Even when he is out of town, I get a call. Never misses a day.

Even when my blood sugar was so low that I said things I didn't mean. He was there. 

When I threw a bowl of crackers at him at 1:00 am because I was desperately trying to gain control. He was there. 

When he is begged me to drink juice in the middle of the grocery store so I can slip back into coherency. He was there. 

When I cry because I am so afraid that my children will one day have this disease, he holds me and makes my thoughts disappear.

Having diabetes can be a solo journey, but having someone to lighten the load makes a world of difference. Thank you for everything, especially re-filling my pump cartridge.

Until death do us part.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Clean


Today it is raining. I happen to be someone who loves the sound of rain, the smell of rain, the peaceful nature of rain. It becomes a time for reflection. Something I need a lot more of lately.

I have a lot of upcoming changes in my life, some things I just need to do for myself and my family. This leaves the endless unknown right at my fingertips. I am still struggling. 

These new reflections also bring new revelations. Last night, while giving baby bear a bath, I lathered up the all-natural, organic baby soap. I rubbed it on his untarnished baby skin. The bath followed his meal of organic puree that I personally made for him. I got him ready for bed and rubbed chemical free lotion on him. I rocked him and put him to bed on his all natural sheets.

Where am I going with this?

Having a baby was something I knew I wanted. I took extra care the entire pregnancy and have since continued. Anything that goes on or in baby bear is the most pure form of what I can find. I don't want to do anything to harm my dear baby's body, or mind, or soul. He is the most precious thing in the world to me.

Thinking through this concept, shouldn't I feel the same way about my own body? Shouldn't I be more aware of what I am consuming? What products I am using? What damage I am doing to myself, to the environment?

Living with diabetes often presents a struggle with guilt. It is just MY body. My body. What does it matter if I don't check that extra time before bed? What does it matter if I forget to wear my CGM, forget to bolus, forget to eat? 

What does it matter?

Well, it is not necessarily that IT doesn't matter. What matters is the many people who want to me to grow old beside them. It matters to my husband, my parents, my siblings, my family. It matters that I should be able to dance at my little man's wedding. To see his children come into this world. To live a long and happy life. To do this, I need to be aware of my care. I need to make it more than something on my list. It needs to be a priority.

As the rain washes away the traces of yesterday, I have a new outlook on life. The past is the past and today is a new day. From now on, I matter. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Blog Hop...D-Blog Style!

I started out the month of January with aspirations of completing a d-blog hop once a week. However, I have decided to make this a once a month thing!

Tune in for February's d-blog hop!

Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Holy cow, I have a six month old!

My little man,

Holy cow! You are six months old. Six!! I cannot believe this time has gone so fast. Every day you are changing and learning and growing. It makes mommy's heart smile to see you try new things and understand the world around you.

My baby bear is not so little anymore. You weigh more than 20 lbs! You are wearing nine month clothes, but not for long. You rock your tiny chuck taylors and you have a smile on your face almost every minute you are awake.

The last two weeks have been pretty exciting. You are saying mamamamama, squealing with delight, and boy do you giggle at everything. You just started army crawling, well, backwards any way. You reach for toys and you can sit up for a bit!

Fresh baby food!
Avocado was your first food. You were not impressed. You even shuddered and made the funniest face when it was on your tongue. This morning you tried bananas and it was equally as funny. Mommy enjoys making your baby food and knowing how safe the ingredients are. It makes her happy to take care of her little man.

Yesterday, you grabbed my pump tubing and pulled really hard. Mommy's pump is now a toy. It won't be long and I will be explaining what a pump is and I am not quite sure how to approach the subject yet, but I know it will be okay. You are such a smart boy and you will know it helps mommy be with you.

I cannot believe your life is going so quickly. It makes me not want to leave your side for even a single minute. Not. One. Minute.

I love you to the moon and back, my sweet baby bear.

Love,

Mommy
My little man!



Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Blog Hop...D-Blog Style

Third edition of Friday Blog Hop...D-Blog style!  Enjoy!

Back on the wagon, my fellow d-generate, Gina Capone is your Diabetes BFF!  Recently, Gina had a first child - an adorable baby boy. Gina is also a community manager at Type One Nation. Check it out.

A beautiful parent blog written by Hallie is The Princess and the Pump. Such a great place for any parent of a child with diabetes.

I have been a fan of George at Ninjabetic since the start. We also share a birthday! George says, "it takes a ninja to live succesffully with diabetes." He is totally right.

Happy Friday, d-folks!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Slacker

Yesterday, I decided to look at my daily average on my pump.

206 mg/dl.

Doing some math in my head (albeit, not good math), I concluded that if I keep this kind of activity up I will have an A1C in the 8 range.

8!!

Throughout my entire pregnancy I maintained an A1C in the 5 range. Almost three months after I had B, it was still in the 5 range. Now, who knows where that number will be.

I would feel ashamed, but I am entirely too exhausted. Diabetes has taken a backseat to anything else and that is something I am not proud of. As I write this blog I know that my dexcom break is over. My days of only checking three or four times are over. Time to get back on the wagon!

Before this pregnancy I was convinced that one child was all that I needed. Once I brought my perfect baby home from the hospital, I knew I wanted to fill our house with smiley little J clones. Seriously. A lot. This means, keeping my body a perfect environment for any future baby. This delivery required a c-section and most likely any subsequent pregnancies will also require one, so for safety's sake, it is likely that three c-sections will be my max. In order to have two more perfect pregnancies I need to not allow my body to take a break from diabetes. I need to recognize that in a land of good control, there are not any breaks from diabetes. To live a long and happy life with my crowded home of children, I need to make sure my care does not take a back burner.

So, here I am. Back on the wagon. No more d-generate diabetes care.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Blog Hop...D-Blog Style!

Second edition of Friday Blog Hop...D-Blog Hop!  I hope you enjoy these three blogs!

Jackie at Typical Type 1 is hilarious.  Enough said.  Sometimes I choke on my drink reading her candidness.

Your Diabetes May Vary writes about any and all diabetes related subjects!  Great resource.

Daddybetes is a wonderful blog about parenting a child with type 1 diabetes.  Such a sweet title.

That is the end of this week's d-blog hop.  Enjoy!

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Currently in January

I am stealing this idea from Amy at Life Between the Fingersticks.  My hope for the year is to blog more and so far I am off to a great start.  However, I do not seem to have anecdotal topics regarding my life with type 1 (maybe I should start writing things down when they happen), so I am relying on some internet favorites to get me through the lack of exciting diabetes blogs!

I love the idea of a monthly Currently topic.  I think if I stick with it, these moments in time will be fun to look back at!

Reading:     rereading The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  Maybe it is the fact that I went to high school in the 90s, or maybe it is I am glass half empty, but I truly love this book.

Watching:     I am in love with the television show Parenthood every week I think I cannot cry more, but I do.  One of the best shows on television.  On another note, I cannot wait for Newsroom to start the second season.

Planning:     The next phase of my life.  Stay tuned!

Laughing about:     My baby bear may be the happiest baby on earth.  Except at night when he likes to rock and roll all night and part of every day (role models throw back :))  He smiles whenever you look at him and he thinks the world is hilarious.  Especially if you accidentally startle him.  I love that kid with my whole heart.

Listening to:     As always, Jack White, Radiohead, the usual.  New additions in the last couple of months are Luke Sital and Imagine Dragons.

Eating:     Almonds with sea salt.  LOVE.

Working on:     Quite a few projects in the pipeline.  Will share later.  Also, back to researching PhD programs.  I am a nutcase.  I know.

Wishing:     I could bring my baby bear to work with me.  I am not sure I would be very productive, however.  But, at least I would have a smile on my face.

Looking forward to:     CHANGE!  Change is good, change is good, change is good.  Yes, I am trying to convince myself.

Thinking about:     My massive to-do list.  Better get to it!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Struggle

There are things I knew I would face that are a struggle for people with type 1 diabetes and children.  I had read countless blogs about scenarios that I knew would happen to me.  I also hoped I would be able to handle each thing as it came with ease.  I have come this far, right?

A couple of weeks ago, it completely caught me off guard.  J was out of the house for the evening and I was trying to clean, get B ready for bed, and get all of my work things ready for the next morning.  Feeling pretty great about myself and the status of my tasks I started to run B's bathwater.

Then I felt it.  A low blood sugar that smacked me right in the face.

I put B in a safe place.  A place he could not roll off of, hurt himself, and somewhere he would be satisfied for a while.

I was so dizzy.  Dizzy.  Naseous.  Scared.  Starting to see the world tip.

Terrified.

I grabbed my meter.

33 mg/dl.

B started crying as the number appeared on the screen.  His cry quickly went to a scream.  I couldn't do anything.  Anything!

I sat on the ottoman with a juice box in one hand and a kashi bar in the other.  Tears of sadness streaming.

Mommy can't pick up right now, baby.

He wailed louder.  I cried harder.

Mommy is low, baby.  She is so sorry.  She loves you so much, but she cannot pick you up right now.

Of course, my poor baby bear did not understand why he could see mommy and and mommy was not helping him.

As the world shifted back to normal and I held my dear baby close.  I was so thankful.  Thankful that I felt the blood sugar before I put him in the bathtub.  So grateful we avoided something that could have been horrific.

That night, as I stood in the shower letting the day go, I cried again.  I want to be the best mom I can be.  I want to give B a normal life.  A life without fingersticks, pump site changes, and low blood sugars.  No seizures.  No mommy cannot hold you.  No hurt.

A normal life.

Sadly, this will be his normal, but that will be okay.

This time, I am okay.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Friday Blog Hop...D-Blog Style!

Happy Friday!  I am currently operating on very little sleep.  Thanks, baby bear.  Mommy loves you.  Even while you are happily playing with your feet at 3:00 am.  So please forgive any jumbled blogging today.  (First I typed bloggin...bloggin?)

One of my "hopes" in 2013 is to blog more.  Not every day, but at least weekly and ideally twice a week.  I also want to read YOUR blog!  Yes, yours.  So every Friday I will participate in blog hopping, D-Blog style!  These are blogs I like to read and hope you will enjoy too.  Some of these are wayyyyy d-famous, some are not.  I am an equal opportunist.

This Friday, for my first edition of blog hop I am linking the blogs I have been reading for a long time.  The one's that made me not so alone in the world.  Enjoy!

Kerri Sparling writes about type 1 diabetes in a way that can relate to anyone.  Sixuntilme never gets it wrong.

Kelly Kunik at Diabetesaliciousness writes candidly about her life with type 1 diabetes.  Her most recent post about her Improvement Goals is a must read.

Scott Johnson at Scott's Diabetes is, in my opinion, the kindest blogger out there.  He always comments and welcomes new bloggers!  His blog is fantastic.

You are most likely already reading these blogs, I just wanted to credit them for making me start my blog in the first place.

Happy weekend, friends.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

A to Z

What better way to start out the new year than with a little get to know me, or re-get-to-know-me for those of you who have been here since 2006.  I have changed sooooo much since then!  Thank you to Daliene at Daliene's Alamo Adventures for this little survey.

A. Age: 29, close enough to 30 to call it.

B. Bed size: King


C. Chore you hate: Unloading the dishwasher

D. Dogs: Kady and Chloe.  I would have 20 dogs if I could manage, or if it were legal.

E. Essential start to your day: Blood sugar test and coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.

F. Favorite color: Orange

G. Gold or Silver: Both!

H. Height: 5'3, which makes my BMI consistently bad.

I. Instruments you play: None :(

J. Job Title: Executive Director.  I LOVE my job at JDRF. 

K. Kids: Baby bear.  Love him.

L. Live: I live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma! O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A, Oklahoma - OK!  Usually not Oklahoma - OK.  We are a lame state.

M. Married: Totally.

N. Nicknames: Nikki, actually.  My first name is Paige.  I used to be "little nikki," but not so little anymore.

O. Overnight hospital stays: Two. DKA and c-section.  Both long stays.

P. Pet peeve: Stupidity.  Spouting politics, but knowing nothing about policy.  I am looking at you, facebook friends!

Q. Quote: (I also have a Tina Fey quote, Daliene!) That makes me sound like a jerk, I know. But, remember the beginning of the story where I was the underdog? No? Me neither.

- Tina Fey

R. Righty or Lefty: Right

S. Siblings: Two younger sisters!

T. Time you wake up: 6:00 am

U. University attended: Southeastern Oklahoma State for undergrad, University of Oklahoma for grad.

V. Vegetables you dislike: I dislike brussel spouts.  In fact, I tried to like them, but I don't!

W. What makes you run late: Snuggling too long with baby bear.

X. X-rays you've had: When I was admitted to the hospital for DKA I had a chest x-ray.  

Y. Yummy food: Carbs.  Most of them.

Z. Zoo animal favorite: Penguins :)


Your turn!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Goodbye 2012!


2012 was definitely the year of change for me!  Instead of reviewing the year, I thought I would post the 12 things I learned last year.

1.     It's a boy!

2.     Having morning sickness and diabetes at the same time is not awesomesauce!  There were many days I lived on ice cream, crackers, and apple juice to keep my blood sugar up.

3.     My grandmother, mother, and I have the same hands.  A wonderful discovery that I will remember forever.

4.     It is okay to choose yourself and your family (keep telling yourself that).

5.     Non-stress tests do not give you extra time to relax during your day.  In fact, they should confiscate your smartphone when you walk through the door because work emails probably skew the results!

6.     Diabetes is unpredictable.  It is unfair.  It took Georganna from us way too soon.  I love and miss you, George.

7.     On July 23rd I learned that becoming a mommy was the greatest day of my whole entire life.  I understand now what my mom means when she says that, "you will never love anyone like your child."

8.     I thought I only wanted one child to complete our family.  I was wrong, I want a couple more.  Best. Thing. Ever.

9.     Sleep when the baby sleeps is impossible.  I never slept when the baby slept.

10.     Maternity leave was the fastest 12 weeks of my life!

11.     I have a pretty awesome husband.  This partnership we have going on is the bread to my butter.  Butter to my bread?  Digression?  Anyhow, I will follow that man to the end of the earth.

12.     Having a 4:15 pm dinner reservation on New Year's Eve and spending the evening at home with my little man was definitely the most perfect way to spend the evening.

4:15 dinner reservations are for babies!



I cannot wait to see what 2013 will bring.  Instead of resolving, I will post what I hope for 2013.  May it be the best year EVER!

I hope to blog more than three times in 2013.  :/

I hope to keep my A1c in the 5 range as I worked so hard to do this year.  

I hope to throw the coolest first birthday party ever.  

I hope I follow through with some projects I have in the pipeline.

I hope to make all of baby bear's food.

I hope to adopt a clean eating lifestyle.

I hope that I remember to put my family and myself first...nothing else.  

I hope that YOU have an awesome 2013 too!

CHEERS!