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June 30, 2010

The Child's Reply to Her Mother.

Steve at Without Envy broke my heart by answering, by way of poetry, the letters I wrote to BSparl while she was growing inside of me.  I'm very honored to be sharing his words with you guys today, as I read them to myself over and over again in the hospital, waiting patiently for my daughter to arrive.

*   *   *

The Child's Reply to Her Mother

Dear Mommy,

Were the world imperfect and only so cozy
compared to your big pregnant belly,
I would wish for these moments to last,
To be as close as I am to you now.

But Sound lends music to eager ears;
Thoughts turn from angst and guiltless fears;
And Galileo falls quiet;
This child inside you stirs.

Old Winter has gone, and blossoming flowers,
Bibs, small dresses and candy pacifiers, are sprung in baby showers;
While monitors, cultures, and blood pressure cuffs,
Hold but a whisper’s attention.

Fluids and proteins, and peeing in hats,
Headaches, fat feet and carpel tunnel wraps,
Will soon give way to the soft touch of your hand;
This child inside you stirs.

But could nature embrace, and wrap tenderly
The same tender love you’ve woven for me,
In your arms do I wish for these moments to last,
To be as close as I am to you now.

Love,
Baby

*   *   *

Written by Steve, who blogs at Without Envy.  Please visit his site and appreciate his fine writing!

June 29, 2010

Unicorns for Breakfast.

The other day, Chris and I were discussing the origins of the word "lunch."  (This spawned from a conversation about the literal nature of the word "breakfast" - breaking the fast.  We are word nerds.  And very boring to go for long car rides with.)  Our guesses were denied and confirmed by a quick Google search from my KerriBerry.

But a Yahoo! answers thing came up as part of the Google search, so I clicked through out of pure curiosity.  Because when the question is "Can I have a unicorn for breakfast?", one must find out the answer.  And when I saw it, I couldn't stop laughing.  Seriously.  I couldn't even read it out loud to Chris without cracking up at the last part and causing him to lean over as he was driving and say, "What?  What's that last part?"

Unicorn tree - just reading that makes me laugh.

Call me immature (I double-dog-dare you) or call me goofy, but the mental image of a unicorn tree made my day.  The sun rises and this young Yahoo! answerer stumbles out into their front yard and plucks a bright, glittery unicorn from the tree for their healthy breakfast before the Sweet Pickles bus comes to take them to school.

Unicorns for breakfast.  

This is what happens when sleep is replaced by coffee.

June 28, 2010

(400) Days of Summer.

Yesterday morning, a new infusion set shunked its way into my life.  It was on the right hand side of my hip, and when it went in, it burned.  When I pulled the needle out to leave the plastic cannula inside, the site burned again.

"Yowza.  That was a frigging stinger," I muttered to myself, trying to get out of the house in time to meet my dad for lunch.  But I didn't pay the pain much mind because a site change isn't always cozy.  Sometimes the sites just sting.  Sometimes they don't.  (Now that "Almond Joys have nuts.  Mounds don't." song is stuck in my head.)

I bolus for a protein bar (still has 17 grams of carbs) and we drive down to meet my dad.  En route to his house, I test and a cocky 423 mg/dl shows up on the meter screen.

"What in tarnation is that all about?"  I asked, substituting something less Yosemite Sam in for "tarnation."  "That protein bar kicked my rear end."

Chalking it up to diabetes being diabetes, I used my pump to correct the blood sugar and we continued to drive.  About an hour later, I tested again and saw the same 400 mg/dl range grin back at me.  Patience tossed, I grabbed my insulin pen and injected a correction dose of insulin.

Forty-five minutes later, I was coming down.

Ninety minutes later, I was back on the upswing.

Hours later, after spending a summer day hanging out in the 400's, with insulin injections and some desperate pump corrections, I was back at home and I ripped out the site.  To see this:

Wicked bent cannula

Wicked bent cannula.

I had no idea the site was crapped out because it didn't hurt after the initial insertion, the pump wasn't sirening with a no delivery alarm, and I kept taking manual injections, so it was hard to tell what was actually bringing my blood sugar down.  Making matters more confusing was that the injections actually made me low at one point, causing me to have renewed faith in the stupid infusion set.  (So no, I wasn't being stubborn, for once.  I actually thought the site was working. Until I treated a low with dinner, and bolused for dinner using the pump, and ended up at 400 again.  And then I threw paper, which was an ineffective way to show anger because paper just sort of floats along happily and doesn't give a satisfying 'thud.')

New site had me from 400 to 90 mg/dl in about two hours. 

I do not like when technical difficulties pop in and make a mess of things.

June 25, 2010

The Friday Six: Elephant Edition.

The Friday Six:  June 25, 2010 editionThe Internet has so much STUFF.  And it's not all diabetes-related. (Even though you'd be hard-pressed to believe otherwise, if you hacked in to my Google searches throughout the week.  Actually, if you hacked into my searches, you'd think that I'm devoid of rational thought, because this morning I was telling a story to BSparl about how monkeys in the jungle organize their bananas, which prompted me to Google "can bananas be organized," and I found a whole list of famous monkeys.)

So here's some STUFF that I've come across this week, as part of another Friday Six:

1.  I remember hearing a bunch of children's songs when I was a babysitter in high school, but nothing as awesome as Eric Herman's Elephant Song.  I've watched the video about ten times already (three times when BSparl was asleep, so I can't even use her as an excuse) and the song is permanently embedded in my head.  He has no idea, but he's going to be a very prominent part of BSparl's musical landscape.  Him ... and The Beastie Boys.

2.  It's a known fact that PWDs are their own brand of superheroes.  And thankfully, our own Chris Bishop has created the most badass blogroll of all time, depicting different diabetes bloggers as members of comic lore.  (And the best part is that we all look foxy, despite c-sections. :) ) Check out his Diabetic SuperHeroes blogroll and marvel (ha!) at his creation!

3.  And in the diabetic mommy "good news" file, Nic at A Sweet Journey Into Motherhood has given birth to her healthy and absolutely gorgeous son.  Please be sure to skip on over there and see his beautiful pictures and give Nic some comments of congratulations.

4.  Also, I wanted to share some good news from the Sparling front.  Chris has been working with M. Night Shymalan on an upcoming project, and I'm excited that I can finally tell you guys.  More details are at Deadline New York, if you want to click through.  We're excited, and as always, proud to share with the d-community!!

5.  This is kind of nerdy to include, but I really think it's neat.  The Boon bottle drying rack makes my kitchen look like I actually have some undead greenery in it.  Which is a unique and rare moment for a plant-murderer like me.  (See also:  The Experiment that failed miserably.)  I like this thing - it's bright, cheery, and keeps the baby bottles from smelling odd because they didn't dry properly and therefore forcing me to wash them before I use them.  (No, this isn't a paid endorsement.  And yes, I purchased this myself at my local Target, where dreams are born.  Love Target.)

6.  And lastly, have you guys checked out the Australian forum, Reality Check?  Well the forums have bloomed into a whole website, called the Type 1 Diabetes Network.  The forums are still there, but there's a whole pile of information for a newly diagnosed diabetic or a veteran one, including a great "starter kit" that can has resources for any PWD.

And now I'm off to find more famous monkeys.  Have a good weekend!

June 24, 2010

You Don't Belong There.

BSparl loves to sleep ... but on her own damn schedule, thank you very much.  She doesn't like naps between 9 am and 3 pm, she wakes up in the middle of the night whenever she deems fit, and she has no use for the bassinet that my very generous best friend loaned to us.  So we moved the bassinet into the living room and I have these lofty plans of getting it back to the NBF sometime before we leave for Florida.

Unfortunately, someone else had plans for this discarded napper:


Me:  "Siah, you are not a baby."
Cat:  "Meow, meow ...  I mean wah wah, hold me.  Also, I chewed on a pacifier and claimed that sucka, too."
Me:  "Good pun, but seriously, get out of the bassinet."

I can't stand this cat.

June 23, 2010

"When can she fly?"

"Um,   doctor?  When can she fly?"Summer tends to be a busy travel time for my family, so once Chris and I knew when BSparl was arriving, we started researching "traveling with babies."  We consulted different books, some websites, and asked around our collection of family members.  We also spoke with our pediatrician at her first appointment - and we asked her a ton of questions of all kinds.

"When should we expect her to start sleeping through the night?"
"Does she like us?"
"Should she be taking some sort of vitamin supplement?"
"Why is her poop, like, electric yellow?"
"When will she start crawling?"
"How do we get her to stop smiling when she eats, because it makes it hard for her to latch on?"
"Does she know we don't have a clue what we're doing?"

But the question that always made me laugh was this one:  "When can she fly?"

As though she was going to sprout wings and start flapping.

But apparently BSparl gets her wings next Monday, as the full Team Sparling travels to Florida for the Roche Summit and a few days of the CWD conference.  

And I have no clue how to truly travel with a little baby.  

As far as BSparl's safety and immunity goes, her pediatrician is completely fine with us traveling so soon.  BSparl has had her first round of vaccinations and we're breastfeeding, so her immune system is ready for travel.  But am I?  I'm a nervous traveling as it is, and the idea of planning for all my diabetes stuff and now BSparl's needs makes me feel like I'm certain to forget something.

So I would love some advice, if you have any.  What are some tricks for keeping a two and a half month old baby happy and content on a plane ride?  How do you pack for four days with an infant in tow?  What toys might keep her happy and quiet?  How can we keep the rest of the passengers from hating us?  Do airlines have special arrangements for teeny kids?  Is it true that breastfeeding is a good way to keep her content and to protect her ears from popping?  Do they have baby changing tables in the airplane bathrooms?  (Is there even room in there for one of those??)  Do you check the carseat as baggage or do you bring it on as a carry-on?  I HAVE NO CLUE!!!  (And please don't make your advice, "Don't bring the baby.")

If you have traveled with a little kid before and you have some sage advice, please, pass it along.  I'm still figuring this mommy stuff out and I can use all the help I can get!!

June 22, 2010

Pregnant With Pre-Existing Diabetes?

For anyone who has been reading my blog since my engagement three years ago, you know that motherhood has been on my radar for a long time.  Longer than marriage.  That quest for a decent A1C, that desire for a "normal" pregnancy, and that hope for a happy and healthy baby.

Buy this book!Part of the reason I wanted to write about my pregnancy here on SUM is because there wasn't a lot of information out there about pre-existing diabetes and pregnancy.  There was a LOT of information on gestational diabetes (obviously), and type 2 diabetes got some good press, but type 1 was sort of swept under the rug.  Thankfully, there were a few diabetes bloggers who had chronicled their journeys, and I wanted to add my voice to that hopeful chorus.   

But also thankfully, Cheryl Alkon had taken the topic to her publisher, and she penned the first book on managing pre-existing diabetes and pregnancy.  And I'm very honored to have been both featured in her book (as a women preparing for pregnancy) and to have her contributing here on SUM:

Doom and gloom. That was the message I got several years ago when I first thought about trying to have a baby while also dealing with my type 1 diabetes. Whether at the doctor's office, going online, or reading the very few books about the subject, trying to get and be pregnant while managing blood sugars, taking insulin, closely counting carbs (and avoiding a lot of low-carb proteins that were good for blood sugars, but bad for babies-to-be) all sounded like a nearly impossible task. One fraught with higher risks of birth defects, overweight babies, worsened diabetes complications, and more.

But I also saw type 1 friends who had healthy babies and sensed what could be possible. This spurred me to research, craft a book proposal, and eventually devote myself to publishing an insider's guide to pregnancy with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. I'm thrilled to say that, five years later, "Balancing Pregnancy With Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby" was published by Demos Health this spring, and has been enthusiastically welcomed by others who, like me, craved the inside story about how to have a healthy pregnancy and baby while managing diabetes.

I had the pleasure of receiving an advance copy of Cheryl's book just before my baby was born, and even though I was in my third trimester and just weeks away from delivering my daughter, it was so reassuring to read about all the things that could go right.  A diabetic pregnancy is a high-risk one, and the challenges can lead to some tough emotional roller coasters and some scary medical experiences (see also:  stuck in the hospital for a month) - but these pregnancies can also lead to a healthy, happy baby.  (See also:  BSparl)  Touching on everything from pre-conception to managing the months of the pregnancy to post-delivery recovery and how to wrangle in diabetes control once again, this book was exactly what I needed to read while pregnant with my daughter.  I only wish it had gone to press before I had conceived!

If you are a woman with diabetes and you're thinking about becoming pregnant, this book is a good resource for you.  If you are the partner of a WWD (woman with diabetes) and you want the full story on how pregnancy and diabetes can mix, this book is a good resource for you, too.  And if you are the parent of a woman with diabetes and you want to know that your child can have the same chances of a healthy pregnancy as any other woman, this book is a good resource for you as well.  

Cheryl will actually be speaking in Boston in the coming weeks (the first event being THIS WEDNESDAY - sign up!), so if you'd like to hear more from Cheryl in person (and meet my endocrinologist, who consulted on the book with Cheryl), you can attend a discussion this Wednesday.  For more details on upcoming events, check out Cheryl's post on her blog.

Thank you, Cheryl, for giving new moms and moms-to-be with diabetes a sense of peace.  And congratulations on your BIG ANNOUNCEMENT on your blog today!

June 21, 2010

Domino, Yo.

It's Domino, yo."Do you guys have Splenda or Equal or anything?"

The waitress leaned in to hear Chris asking over the din of the restaurant.  "What?"

We were at a hibachi restaurant with NBF and her husband (the birthday boy last week - Happy belated birthday, Hubby O' NBF!), celebrating.  The place was dark, the music was pulsing, and the waitress was from another planet, I think.

"Splenda?  Or Equal?  Or something?  Do you guys have any of that?"  He gestured towards his tea.

The waitress nodded her head.  "Yeah, we have Sweet n' Low and Domino."

All four of us stopped and turned slowly towards her (Like in that StrongBad email when he's at the movies and slowly turns towards the popcorn-eating Cheat.  Click the link - it will make more sense.  And it's SFW.)  Chris shook his head.  

"Domino?  What is that?  Is that like a generic Splenda or something?"

"Domino?  It's sugar.  White sugar?"  The waitress twirled her pen between her fingers as she waited for Chris to decide.

"Oh.  Okay, I'll have two Sweet n' Low, please."  

She walked away, and the four of us held a quick conference.

"Did she seriously just call sugar 'Domino?' What is Domino?"  I asked, confused.

"I think it's that brand of sugar.  Domino?"  NBF said, furrowing her brow.

A smile tugged at the corner of Chris's mouth.  "I would have known what she meant if she had just said 'sugar.'  Either way, I'm safe.  I asked for Sweet n' Low."

I couldn't stop giggling.  Domino?  I have never, ever heard someone call it that before.  Who calls table sugar by its brand name?  ("Oh this?  This here is Stop & Shop brand table sugar.  Want some?")  And it wasn't so much that she called it by its brand name, but more that she said it all tough, like Domino was the street name for some sinister version of sugar.

By the time the waitress came back, we were are laughing too hard to order.  So she just plunked down the two packets Chris had asked for on the table.  

Of course, she didn't bring the pink packets.  

She brought the Domino, yo.

June 18, 2010

Diving into the Diaper Fish.

Chris and I have a selection of diaper bags to choose from when it comes to toting around BSparl's stuff, but regardless of the bag we choose, that thing is heavy. Heavy because it's filled to the gills (Gills? Great, now picturing a diaper fish.) with not only baby-related goodies, but a pile of diabetes stuff as well.

Le video to follow:

And now le weekend to follow le video. (Once I find a cartoon representation of a diaper fish, that is.)

June 17, 2010

Things That Won't Cure Diabetes.

KERRI walks to the center of the living room and sits down on the couch, across from SIAH, who is sitting in the corner, staring aimlessly at the wall.

KERRI

Oh Siah, I just received an email!  About a chocolate shake with glucose-reducing powers!  And how, if I purchase the family pack of chocolate powder mix, I'll get a free personal blender and I will also be cured of my diabetes!

SIAH

(blinks)  Meow?

KERRI

I know!  Diabetes cures apparently are everywhere.  Even in my spice rack, because it seems that just a spoonful of cinnamon, added to every meal and smeared on my face like Noxema, will help me achieve good blood sugar control.  Man, if only I had known that these diabetes cures were there the whole time!

SIAH

(licking her paw) You know this is a load of crap, Kerri.  Cinnamon doesn't do anything for your diabetes and chocolate shakes?  Come on!  Even I know better!  And I'm a cat!

KERRI

You make me crazy, you.  I'm being sarcastic.  Sausage, there's been a lot of snake oil peddling going on, for years.  Emails coming in, left and right, about how all these fake cures.  Serums, supplements, glucose regulation pills that claim to give you a fasting blood sugar of 100 mg/dl and perfect skin.  Bunch of crap. So frustrating.

SIAH

Like the guy with the Bible cure that Kelly wrote about?  Dr. Toolshed?

KERRI

Exactly.  That guy is preying on people's faith.  

SIAH

(aside) Decent pun.  

KERRI

Thanks.  But he is.  He's selling this book about how God and faith can cure diabetes, and he actually says, in the book, that God can choose to cure type 1 or type 2, if he wants to.  Like all I need to do is pray all day long, and of course buy Dr. Toolshed's book, and I'll be cured of type 1 diabetes, no problem.  Also, this guy has dozens of books, all claiming to be the answer to how to cure different diseases.  He's either miraculously talented as a medical professional, or he's a charlatan padding his bank account with the faith of others. 

SIAH

I lick my own behind, and even I'm not dumb enough to buy into that guy's ruse.  

KERRI

I have faith, Sausage.  And I have a lot of respect for people who have more faith than me.  But George said it best:  "I believe in God and seatbelts."  I think that prayer is good for the soul and that insulin is good for my body.

SIAH

Can I have some tuna fish?

KERRI

Wait, you know the word "ruse?"

SIAH

I use the Internet.  Wanna see my favorite sites?

KERRI

Hang on, I'm still on my soapbox.  All these false cures are so disheartening.  Just a bunch of companies and individuals trying to make a buck off of our chronically ill community.  I believe in prayer.  I believe in tea.  And I sure as hell believe in chocolate.  But none of those things will make my pancreas get off its unemployed behind and make insulin again.   

SIAH

How about you get off your behind a get me some tuna?

 KERRI

Fine. 

(She gets up and opens the pantry, retrieving a can of tuna fish.)

But my point is that I cannot stand the cure peddlers.  Unless they're working at the DRI or some other research facility that's actually working to cure type 1 diabetes, I don't want to hear about supplements that wean people off insulin or a book marketed towards the faithful, promising a cure for whatever ails them.  It's depressing, watching all these people make a bundle off the hope or the miseducation or the desperation of people who are living with diabetes.

SIAH

I agree.  And once you dismount from your soapbox, wanna think about busting open that there can?

KERRI

You are obnoxious.

SIAH

(grinning in a weird cat fashion)  Meow.

June 16, 2010

What Was I Going to Say?

Plunk my head on this and we're all set.  Oh, and please give me feet, as well.Instead of a high-powered rifle that shoots out these bullet points, I'm working more with a potato gun.  Or a straw and a few spitballs.  Here's the rundown:

  • I can't remember a freaking thing these days.  So far, since Monday, I've forgotten to call in for a conference call, I missed a doctor's appointment, and I actually forgot how to spell the word "forgotten."  Which is ironic on two levels - one because it's the word I misspelled in sixth grade to lose a spelling bee, and two because it's the word "forgotten." 
  • And this forgetfulness has lead to some disastrous health consequences, like last night when I forgot to "confirm" my dinner bolus and ended up eating a higher carb dinner.  Which gave me a really crummy reading of "Oh, HI!" on my meter (meaning I was over 600 mg/dl), which made me cry because I felt like such a failure, which was both true and frustrating because being that high absolutely blows.  It also took me four hours to come back into range. 
  • Highs like these (okay, not that high, but like in the 300 range) have been plaguing me, which is depressing.  Not helping the postpartum feelings I've been playing host to.  It's time for me to email Gary Schiener and take him up on his offer of help.
  • On paper, it seems like I'm falling apart, health-wise, but thankfully that's not the case.  I just need some serious re-tooling. 
  • I am starting to lose it a little bit, mentally, I think.  Mommyhood has me by the nose.  I'm swaying back and forth in the grocery store even when I'm not holding the baby, and I'm finding myself singing songs to BSparl that don't make any sense, mostly about food or the way she smells.
  • Case in point (sung in a tuneless sort of way):  "Baby girl, you smell like pickles.  That's not true.  You smell like Aveeno baby shampoo and I want to kiss your ears.  You are my banana friend.  Hey, why don't we get some coffee?" 
  • If I had a tiny triangle, I would gently hit it with a fork at the end of that song.  * Ting *
  • Aren't there reality shows on TLC that can help me make sense of my life?  "How Not To Act" or "Life Boss" or "Ace of Scheduling?"  "Say Yes to the Nap?" 
  • I tried on a few bathing suits before Chris and I went to Block Island last weekend.  I've never laughed so hard in my life.  Once I wiped away the tears from laughing, I bought a one-piece that looks decent and makes my stomach feel less like it's smuggling potatoes.  I have no plans to wear it outside of the safety of my closet, but it does fit.  That's a plus?
  • Yesterday, BSparl blew through so many receiving blankets (known in the Sparling household as "the burp cloths" or "spit up thingies") that a whole load of laundry was born.
  • Birds are spying on me as I type this. It's disconcerting.
  • I found a site last night on the Cheeseburger network that made me laugh really hard.  But it's not safe for work.  And it's not safe for humanity.  But while I was waiting for my blood sugar to come down so I could finally use the breast pump and then go to freaking bed, I looked through the site.  And laughed.  Despite being a mom, I haven't matured much.  (Link to site is here.  Click at your own risk, amigos.)
  • And now I must find a way to feed and bathe myself, the kidlet, throw a bag together with all of our collective "must haves" (diapers, wipes, Baby Bjorn, meter, glucose tabs, a bottle, that changing pad thing, license, keys, and some kind of monetary unit with which to buy an iced coffee OMG), and then scuttle off to look at a few houses for sale. 
  • (By the way, I'm going to look at these houses today because we forgot to go the other day.  See the first potato gun bullet point for that explanation.)
That's all I've got. 

June 15, 2010

Month Two.

To My Best Friend, My Daughter, My Little Banana, 

BSparl, today is your two month birthday. 

Two months ago, you came bursting onto to the scene via c-section, filling the operating room with the sound of your cries.  The first pictures of you show your pouty mouth and your scrunched up eyes, wailing because you were taken from the warmth of my body and introduced into the harsh, fluorescent world on the outside.

We spent four days in the hospital, learning how to care for you with the help of the nurses at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  They showed us how to give you a sponge bath, how to help you latch on to feed, and how to change your impossibly teeny yet impossibly icky diapers.  And then they sent us home, to figure out how to take care of you at home.

Two months old.  That's a long time to be without sleep!  ;)

BSparl, we've learned a LOT over the last eight weeks.  The first few days, we learned how to dress you in those little newborn outfits with all the freaking snaps, and we constantly snapped the wrong snaps up, leaving your legs stuck in a strange baby yoga position for a few seconds.  We learned how to accidentally put a diaper on backwards, somehow.  We learned how to spend the first few weeks leaping up from bed to check on you every time you sighed.  (We also learned how to function on little to no sleep.  That was a steep learning curve, kiddo.)

You are a serious little baby girl, with eyebrows that furrow and with a sweet smile that you just started showing us a few days ago.  You like to go for walks in the stroller, you seem to dig your play mat, and when Abby snuggles up against your feet, your eyes get all wide.  You love to be held and mornings are the best, when you wake up grinning and kicking your feet, ready for breakfast. 

Even though you are still a little peanut, your burps pack a wallop.  You totally sound like a 95 year old man.  Sometimes people stare when we burp you in public.  ("Did that come out of her?")  Your diapers also pack a similar wallop, and you seem to love the game "Fooled You!", when we take one diaper off of you, put the new one underneath you, and you let loose with the elimination of your choosing instantly upon the arrival of the clean diaper.  

You've rendered your writer parents wordless.  When you are snuggly and warm, we stare at you in amazement.  When you look at us with your blueberry eyes, our hearts melt.  When you smile, we can't find the words.  And the words we do seem to know these days are all ridiculous:  diapies, bibby, wipies ... everything ends in the "ees" sound.  You make us speak in pure gibberish all day long. 

The day you were born, we fell in love with you instantly.  And now, two months later, we can't really remember what life was like before you arrived.  You've completed our family, little girl, and we are so excited to be the ones who get to watch you grow up.

Love,
Mommy

June 14, 2010

Muscle Memory.

All I need is a handlebar moustache.Exercise professionals say that muscle has memory, and that even when you are away from exercise for a long stretch of time, your muscles "remember" the level of fitness they once laid claim to, and rebuilding that muscle becomes easier.

To this, I say a hearty HA! 

HA HA HA!!

Because my muscles, which were in decent shape before my pregnancy, have developed wicked amnesia.  As evidenced by the fact that when Chris and I attempted to bike the hills of Block Island this past weekend, I was a disaster.  

"Can ... we ... aah ... hang on a minute ... can you slow ... down?  For like ... a sec?"  I panted, trying like hell to keep up as we navigated our bikes up a 90 degree (okay fine, maybe like 40 degree) incline. 

"Sure.  You okay back there?"  Chris called back to me.

"My legs?  Hate me.  And ... my stomach?  Agrees with my legs."  I caught my breath and tried to peddle up the hill towards where Chris was waiting patiently.  

"These hills are tough, Kerri.  I'm feeling it, too.  You're doing great.  Don't forget where you were eight weeks ago."

He had a point.  Eight weeks ago, I was in the hospital, recovering from BSparl's escape.  Eight weeks ago, my feet didn't fit into my sneakers, thanks to the extreme swelling, courtesy of preeclampsia.  But now, it's been almost two months since BSparl's birthday, and I'm itching to feel more like myself.  

"I know, but I want to be able to do all this crap again.  It's going to take me a while to do this ride, but next time, it will be easier, right?"

"Right."

My lower abdominal muscles were pissed off, and rightly so, after the bike ride.  They haven't been bothered too much lately (especially after I tried to do sit ups last week and almost died of shame), but the strain in play during the bike ride reawakened them. And even though I felt like I was going to keel over and I definitely almost burst into tears on one of the major hills, the next morning, the aches in my torso and legs actually felt good.  The kind of good I felt whenever I'd start a new workout. That sick, sadistic kind of good that makes you contemplate doing the workout again.

I haven't done much exercising since the seven month mark of my pregnancy, so my body is a bit rusty.  (Rusty = lazy and kind of squishy.)  I feel like I'm learning to workout all over again.  And it's awkward and clumsy.  And hard.

Slowly but surely, my muscles will remember what they should be doing and how they should be responding. That muscle memory I've heard so much about will eventually kick in.   

Until then, I'll feed them a gingko biloba cocktail.

June 12, 2010

Six Week Follow Up.

Yes, I have used this image before.  Yes, I am lazy.  :)For the last year of my life, it's been a monthly visit to the endocrinologist, and then once I was pregnant, the dam broke loose and I basically had a cot set up at the Beth Israel/Joslin pregnancy clinic.  Oh yeah, and then I spent a month at the hospital while waiting for BSparl. 

I have doctor burnout, big time.

So I'm done with doctor's appointments for at least a few weeks.  Mentally, at least.  (Because there is another one scheduled for August - WTF?)  But last week, I had my last appointment, for a while.  I was up at BIDMC for my "six week follow up" appointment (which took place seven weeks after the birth), and I met first with my endocrinologist. 

"How are you feeling?"

"Tired.  That's normal for a new mom, right?"

"Exhausted is more normal," she said, as she opened up my file on the computer.  We ran through my vitals, going over the medications I'm taking, the ones I'm not bothering with anymore, and how my blood sugars have been reacting to new mommyhood.  

"I've had some really good days, but the bad days are like epically bad.  Like 300's and 400's kind of bad," I said, looking at the floor.

"We want to prevent those highs, and the lows that either cause them or follow them, but you aren't the first postpartum patient I've seen who is hitting these kinds of numbers.  It's normal.  You'll even out," she said.

My basal rates seemed to be okay, but we did some tweaking to my afternoon/evening insulin:carb ratios (going from 1:12 to 1:15, which is math beyond my capacity).  Overall, I've had some nasty numbers, but my endocrinologist reassured me that my A1C wouldn't be too awful, because I wasn't letting any of those numbers ride.  (And when she called me on Monday to let me know what my lab work results were, my A1C was sitting comfortably at 7.0%.  Some people might call that too high, but I'm calling it a wicked victory for me.)

After I met with my endo, I was off for my exam with the OB/GYN.  Not to be terribly TMI, but I can't stand the pelvic exams.  They are unholy and cruel and a very strange way to spend an afternoon.  (Not only that, but I can't figure out why I'm not allowed to greet the doctor while I'm dressed.  No, they send her in only after I'm clad in the awkward paper johnny, with my regular clothes balled up on the chair near the examining table.  And it was the first time I had met with that specific OB.  "Nice to meet you, too!  This is my floppy body.") 

Thankfully, I appear to be healing well, both inside and out.  My c-section incision doesn't hurt anymore, and even though my lower abdominal muscles are currently useless and squishy, I am recovering like a "normal person."  (Read:  Not a diabetic who has seen 400's three times in the last eight weeks.  Nasty.)  There is still a little bit of light bleeding (not from the scar, silly), but my doctors told me the bleeding can last as long as nine weeks.  (Yay.)  The scar is shorter, and a light pink color as it attempts to heal.  I can't see the staple holes anymore, and when I spy the scar in the mirror, I don't want to jump out the window due to grossed-out'ed-ness.  That's progress!

So I'm cleared for "normal life," which includes being able to pick up the carseat while the baby is in it, which means I am no longer tied to my house.  THANK GOD, because I swear I was hearing the cats talk about me - in ENGLISH - which means my mind was starting to leak out.  Onward!  To normal life!

(Normal life - ha!  That's redefined with each messy diaper and baby smile.)

June 10, 2010

Baby Camouflage.

Note to self: Don't dress BSparl in the outfit that matches the pattern on the blanket or, when you put her in the bouncy chair, you will not be able to find her.

June 09, 2010

Broken Rules.

The rules are that diabetes has a whole list of complications that doctors repeat to us at every appointment, but none of us are actually supposed to get these complications.  No one is supposed to lose their vision or their kidneys or their legs. No one is supposed to lose their life.

We're supposed to have wild high blood sugars with ketones and glass after glass of water, sometimes culminating in an emergency room visit, but eventually we end up back in range and back at home, safe and sound.

We're supposed to have lows that stain the sheets with grape juice and render us unable to speak for ourselves, sometimes with the paramedics being called in to assist, but eventually we end up back in range, safe and sound.

We're supposed to trade stories about the tougher times with diabetes - when we have trouble finding places to hide our insulin pumps, when we're frustrated about pinging from low to high and back again, and when other people in our lives don't understand - but through the support from one another, the tough times aren't as tough, and we all see one another through.

The rules are that in this diabetes community, aside from supporting one another and sharing our lives, nothing bad is supposed to happen.  Things can get tricky and tough and challenging, but no one is supposed to get hurt.  In any way. 

Yet in the last few months, we've lost several loved ones, and most recently, we've lost a passionate diabetes advocate.  

It isn't fair.  They broke the rules.  These blogs about people with medical conditions, they are supposed to write candidly and bravely.  They are supposed to give a glimpse into what it's like to live with these diseases.  To live.  They are supposed to make you laugh and cry and feel for people you don't even know. 

It's been a tough year for the diabetes community.  We miss so many. 

Today is a good day to call your parents.  Give your child a hug.  Tell a friend how much they mean to you.  Send an email to someone just to say hi. (Even give the cats tuna fish as a special treat.) 

Today is one of those days when life feels so fragile, and every moment should be celebrated.  To quote Bennet, LY/MI.

June 08, 2010

Guest Post: Diabetes Sisters Weekend.

The Diabetes Sisters Weekend for Women took place a few weeks ago, and as much as I wish I could have been there (something about a new baby and whatnot), I am so excited to be posting this recap from Sarah Condon, who was there for the whole thing! 

*   *   *

Sarah and Nicole JohnsonOn Saturday, I woke up at 230am, hours before my flight took off. This was the weekend that my entire life would be reevaluated, redone, re-inspired. I arrived at Detroit Metro Airport around 4am expecting TSA to hassle me about my insulin pump (now that its tubeless) and all of my supplies that I needed with me in case of an emergency (insulin pens, pen needles, a plethora of new pods- hey I’m clumsy and I’ve managed to rip a pod off in some of the weirdest ways). I reviewed the TSA website prior to this weekend to make sure I was packing everything correctly so I knew that I had to have my shoes off (eww!) and my liquids and laptop pulled out, no big deal. I also pulled out my bag of diabetic goodies too, just in case. After pulling everything out and trying to juggle my purse, backpack, laptop, bag of shampoo and the like, and the bag of goodies, the TSA agent was not what I expected. They were friendly and walked me right through security without a second glance (well almost, the guy behind the x-ray machine smirked at me. He probably was trying not to laugh at me since I packed everything into baggies, even my underwear, and I tight rolled my clothes into little logs). I sat at the gate for almost 2 hours, occasionally walking around. I knew this trip was of great value monetarily but I had no clue how much I’d value every second of this trip …



I touched down in Charlotte, North Carolina, and race walked to the opposite side of the airport (do you know how huge that airport is? Or maybe it just seemed abnormally large because I was trying to balance a backpack and purse while trying to keep my dress from riding up and race walking in my sparkly heels. Note to self: sparkly heels are amazing. Not so amazing when traveling.). Once I’ve arrived at the gate and boarded the plane, I was filled with anxiety. I was alone in a state that I’ve never been in before and I knew no one (what if something happened to me, like a fierce low?). The closer I got to my destination, the more the anxiety turned into excitement. I was on my way to meeting women who are just like me, diabetic or persons with diabetes- depending on their point of view (I personally don’t care, but I’ve always said that I’m diabetic. While diabetes doesn’t define me, it is a very large part of me and its something I fight for, fight against, and fight with). Some time passes and I get into my rental car (a Yaris- really small and adult word for “crappy” car) and head toward the hotel.

All of the 20 minutes of driving and getting lost was exasperated by a pending low- I say pending because it wasn’t yet confirmed by a glucose test but I could feel it full blast coming on and coming on with a vengeance… first, aggravation while driving… I know I’m from out of town, but really, you all drive like idiots on I-40. Or maybe it was me driving like an idiot? Then the confusion sets in… I’m going even lower and this confusion had made me (yes made me) read the directions from MapQuest wrong. While looking for a gas station (there are none, btw) I pull out a roll of glucose tabs and quickly chew a few. Getting really frustrated, aggravated, confused, and now weak, I pull over and activate the GPS program on my phone and quickly discover I’m two miles away. SUCCESS AND RELIEF!!!


The conference was starting to get underway (it was around 5pm at this point) and just thinking about it makes my eyes water (you’ll see that the smallest things make my eyes water... cute babies, love, sunshine, being alive, etc). There were 100 of us, women with diabetes. Every woman had a type of diabetes but I’ve met more Type 1’s here than I’ve met in my entire diabetic life (persons with diabetes life?) which is almost 14 years. We’ve talked about where we were from (I was the only one from Michigan, as I expected) and how long we’ve been diabetic (here’s that conundrum again) and how excited we were to be surrounded with people like us, to be away from the kids, to be away from the significant others, to be away from the food police, to let our hair down and just be…. Us. It was here that I’ve met some of the most amazing women, the most inspiring women. I’ve felt so alone my entire life and here I am, it was the complete opposite of what I’ve felt back home. Guest speakers entertained, stories were shared, icebreakers were agreed upon, and we all laughed and giggled our way through the orange soul train. DiabetesSisters… We were sisters, we were sisters with diabetes. One big family full of battle wounds, success stories, frustrations, and celebrations.

I overslept for the Belly Dancing class that I wanted to go to, but the events from the previous night were well worth it. During breakfast Nicole Johnson spoke about her life with diabetes and her determination to not let diabetes stop her. This woman was my hero growing up as a pre-teen and then teenager with diabetes. She was young, she was pretty, and she was Miss America 1999... her life seemed pretty amazing and she proved to me that I could do anything that I wanted to do; after all, diabetes didn’t stop her so why should it stop me? Having her tell us about her life growing up with diabetes made her even more of an inspiration- while her life seemed amazing, she had the same daily struggles as me (as well as the rest of the women there). At the conclusion of her speech we all got the chance to meet her and take pictures with her. The afternoon discussion panels were interesting and it was astonishing to know that I wasn’t the only one dealing with the matters discussed. Once again, I was no longer alone.

I left early because my flight left at 7pm but I offered to drive another attendee to the airport too and her flight left a bit earlier than mine... and this time TSA did search me and question me. My bags were scanned with no issue but then the receiving agent told me she wanted to test my bag for explosives. I was trying not to laugh at her, I know she is doing her job, but it was just the irony of the situation. I don’t get searched in Detroit but I get searched on the way back ... just plain silly. After giving me the all clear to continue, I gather my items and turn to walk to the gates. This is when things get slightly intense... she asks me “what is on the back of your arm?” (I was wearing a sundress). I politely inform her it’s an insulin pump. She looks confused and asks me what its purpose was.

 Trying to be polite, I inform her I’m diabetic and instead of taking shots all the time, this injects insulin into me. She starts to move her arm as to touch my pod (I’m using the Omnipod) and now I’m losing my politeness, “I prefer that you do not touch my insulin pump, you wouldn’t want me touching your arm, or your behind. This is like an artificial pancreas, like another part of my body”. She gives me this blank look, I knew I confused her and honestly, I did it on purpose so she would get a supervisor. She looked at her supervisor who was sitting just a few feet away and heard everything and he smiled and asked me how long I’ve been diabetic (which I replied “around 14 years”), he smiled proudly at me (a big full teeth smile with a glimmer in his eye, which may have been a tear), bowed his head and told me to have a safe trip and a blessed life and to keep doing what I’m doing because I’m doing something right. It was cool to have a complete stranger react that way. Once I got past security and got familiar with where my gate was located, I decided to walk around; it’s good for the blood sugars. I hear my name out of nowhere so I turn around and walking towards me is B, the sister I drove to the airport. We walk around some more, get a quick dinner, and continue to chit chat before parting ways again. As I continued on my journey home, I started to get all teary eyed; being surrounded by some of the strongest and bravest women was beyond inspiring and made me reevaluate how I care for myself and my diabetes. I’ve never felt such support before and to look back on it makes me get all teary eyed all over again.

Diabetes doesn’t define me but it is a part of me....
And it’s a key to the door to an amazing sisterhood.

*   *   *

Sarah has had type 1 for 14 years (no complications), is an active breakdancer in Metro Detroit, and spends weekends with her boyfriend and cable stealing cat.  (Editor's Note:  Her cat doesn't steal cable.  Her cat stole the camera upload cable.  But her bio made me laugh out loud at the thought of a cat stealing television cable.)

June 07, 2010

Ginger Vieira: PWD, Power Lifter, and Life Coach.

Ginger Vieira is a familiar face in the diabetes community, with her work at the HealthCentral DiabeTeens community and her incredible ability to lift ... well, just about anything.  (Girl is a record-holding power lifter.  So cool!!)  Ginger has a realistic, yet upbeat, attitude about life with diabetes, and now she's using her knowledge and insight to help others live better lives with diabetes. 

She's started a new business as a life coach - Living in Progress - for people with diabetes or any other chronic illness, and she's offered to share some of her story here on SUM. 

*   *   *

Kerri:  What's your diabetes story?

Ginger is awesome.Ginger:  I’ve lived with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease for 11 years. I actually diagnosed myself at a school health fair in the 7th grade. I told my parents and a couple of friends, “I think I have that thing called diabetes…” and no one believed me for like a week! You just don’t think it will happen to you or the people you love.

When I was diagnosed, I cried and cried, threw myself a little pity party, but then I remember thinking about all of my friends and my family, and the challenges they face every day. I realized diabetes is just one of my challenges, and everybody has something. If I know anything for sure about diabetes, it’s that I cannot be the “Perfect Diabetic,” but I know try my best.

Kerri:  How did you get involved with the diabetes online crew?

Ginger:  I’ve been a camp counselor for teens with diabetes for maybe four or five years now, and there’s nothing like putting a group of teens with diabetes in the same room…everyone just feels so relieved to be in a space where they don’t have to explain their burdens and their challenges. Everyone in that room knows what it feels like to live with diabetes. I wanted to help create a space like that on the internet so those kids had somewhere to go when camp was over. That’s how HealthCentral.com eventually developed DiabeTeens.

Kerri:  You're a record-holding power lifter, (which makes you the most badass diabetic I know).  What made you decide to tackle that challenging goal?

Ginger:  Well, I grew up with 3 brothers! But really, I never intended to set any records in powerlifting! I started learning more about weightlifting with a trainer I hired about two years ago because I wanted to get in better shape, and I enjoyed it so much that I just really dedicated myself to it. After a year of consistent weightlifting, I had more than doubled my strength, and someone suggested that my trainer and I look into powerlifting. I fell in love with it! I feel like my body was made to pick up really, really heavy stuff.

Balancing diabetes around powerlifting was absolutely challenging and I spent my first year of training and competing really trying to figure how everything impacts my blood sugars. I’ve spent a lot of time in the past couple years trying to learn about this disease through a medical perspective, reading about the physiology of diabetes the way a doctor would. Trying to keep my blood sugar steady during a competition was probably the biggest challenge, but by the fourth one I finally had figured out all the science and physiology of what was going on in body and how to adjust my insulin doses accordingly.

But I never went into powerlifting thinking I was capable of setting records. I was soooo nervous at my first event. I just went into all of it simply thinking, “I really love doing this, and I’m going to do the best I can.”

Kerri:  What inspires you to pursue good health?

Ginger:  The obvious answer is, “my diabetes,” but it’s so much more complicated than that. In the past several years I really decided I wanted to be healthy. When I told my endocrinologist about two years ago that I was looking into powerlifting, he actually rolled his eyes at me and laughed! I was furious!

Diabetes makes health more challenging, for sure, but it’s not impossible. And the idea of someone telling me I can’t be healthy because I have diabetes…well, that makes me angry. Angry enough to make it a huge focus of my day. Do I eat perfectly every day? No. Are my blood sugars always perfect? No. But I try really, really hard to take care of myself. If you want something, go get it. Period.

And now you are starting your own business as a health and chronic illness life coach.  What alerted you to that gap in resources, and how will your service help people with diabetes?
I’ve wanted to start something like www.living-in-progress.com for so long, and finally everything’s come together.

It’s easy to go to a doctor, get a prescription, a diet plan and be sent off to follow the rules. But life is so much more complicated than that! And managing an illness day in and day out is so much bigger than just taking your medicine. It impacts every single part of your life! So how can we expect to get everything we need from a doctor?

I strongly believe that the way we think about these challenges in our life is what will really end up shaping how well we take care of them. We need more than just a list of foods we should and shouldn’t eat, we need support in making those changes. Long before you start the diet or the new diabetes management plan, you need an opportunity to look at your thinking, at your habits, at what you really want for yourself.

I can help people through that process.  

Kerri:  Where did you get your professional training?

Ginger:  My training is actually from a cognition-based program (similar to cognitive therapy) that was founded by David Rock. He is the corporate coach for a number of large companies, and he wrote “Your Brain At Work,” a guide that applies the latest in neuroscience research to help individuals overcome challenges in their everyday lives. I’ll be certified in the International Coach Federation in late 2010.

To make a very long story short, I’ve been trained in a method of conversation that allows me to help you look at the way you think and then help you develop new ways of thinking to get on a more individualized path towards your goals. I don’t want to say people can’t try to find their own path on their own, but if they’ve tried and haven’t been happy with their progress, or if they’re interested in looking at what they haven’t tried yet and looking at what their own brains haven’t thought about yet, that’s where I come in.

I knew from the details of the program that I could easily add my own twists and apply it to working with people who live with health and chronic illness challenges. In my training, my classmates and I actually coached each other through our own life goals, so the program has changed and shaped my life in many positive ways already.

Kerri:  Diabetes is a full-time disease and can really take its toll on a person's emotional well-being.  How much will life coaching affect that aspect of diabetes management?


Ginger:  HUGELY! And in fact, that is where we start. Instead of just talking about insulin and blood sugars and diets, we slow down and really look at where you are right now. Instead of jumping right into a diet or a strict plan to check your blood sugar this many times a day, we look at the way you’re currently thinking about your diabetes or how you currently think about the food you eat. We look at where you want to be. And what you haven’t tried yet to get there.

The process is awesome, and I really believe in its ability to help you look at yourself before diving into action. For example, when we want to lose weight, most of us find a diet on the internet or from a friend, and try to follow it perfectly the very next day. Sometimes we’re missing all the knowledge we need, or sometimes the diet is really severe and hard to follow for long. Sometimes, also, the diet may be great but we’re asking ourselves to change our habits all of sudden, to change the way we think just like that **POOF!**

And people are much more complicated than that. There’s so much more to changing a habit than simply deciding to change it all of a sudden. That might work for some people, but for most, our habits have really been wired into us and into the way we think. So in this coaching process, we start by looking at how you think and feel about this major, major part of your life.

Kerri:  How can someone get started with your services and find out more details?

Ginger:  You can schedule a FREE, confidential, 30-minute consult with me by emailing ginger@living-in-progress.com or calling me at 802-497-1854. Coaching can be done over the phone just as effectively as face-to-face, so it doesn’t matter where you live. All you need is a little bit of courage and the desire to improve your life.

*   *   *

Thanks for hanging out with me today, Ginger!

June 04, 2010

The Friday Six: Weeks.

The Friday Six:  June 4, 2010 editionToo many ramblings for a decent post.  A Friday Six?  Don't mind if I do ...

1.  There are a few new "Life, Uninterrupted" posts up at Animas - Ready For Lift Off! and What Keeps Me Motivated. Would love to have you check them out!  (And also, have you uploaded your Pump Triathalon Relay video?  Click here to visit that page and see what I'm wiling to do to embarrass myself.)

2.  You know those calendars that have photos of foods that are fashioned to look like little puppies or spaceships or other "not food" sorts of things?  I am endlessly amused.  And then I found this site - My Food Looks Funny - and now I am in Internet love.  Also debating submitting this photo of the pesto cat from Barcelona.

3 Back in the bloggy day, I remember doing some meme about fears.  And ranking high in my list of fears (the list includes sharks, bears, and planes, in no particular order) are balloon animals.  Well, not so much the animals, but the sound they make when the balloons squeak against one another and then POP.  Cannot stand popping balloons (which made my post-honeymoon return to work even scarier!).  In efforts to conquer my fears, I've been watching these balloon animal how-to videos (like this one on how to make a little yellow balloon cat).  The site looks like it was built on GeoCities, but I love it.   That main page guy?  Has a giant balloon snake.  Can't beat that.

4.  I'm checking in at Joslin today for my first post-pregnancy appointment, and I am not looking forward to the A1C results.  After a few weeks of motherhood, my blood sugars have seen some wicks highs and lows.  And not just on rare days.  Numbers are pinging all over the damn place, and both rhyme and reason are absent from the explanation.  I'm hopeful that my endocrinologist has both patience for my lack of commitment to the sparklemotion that is my diabetes these days, and that she might have some suggestions on how I can even out these numbers.  We shall see in a few hours.

5.  I know lots of us are already part of the TuDiabetes family, but are you participating in the TuAnalyze project?  Basically, it's a way to both track your A1C and, if you're comfortable with sharing your data online, you can see how your numbers compare to others in the diabetes community.  The map of the United States is lighting up, state by state, once enough people from each state participate in the program.  Here are the details on the TuAnalyze program, which is in partnership with Children's Hospital Boston, and how you can get involved!

6.  BSparl is seven weeks old now, and every week, I notice something new.  A few weeks ago, she started turning her head at the sound of our voices.  Then she was locking onto my eyes while I fed her.  And just a few days ago, she gave my both my first smile (awww) and my first unexpected pee shower (awww ... ful).  Life in the Sparling household is sleepless and messy, but decidedly adorable and cuddly.  We love her.  :)

Off to Joslin - but one last thing:  The FeedIt's back.

June 03, 2010

Ignoring Her.

BSparl likes this thing.  Unfortunately, so do the cats.She was tucked into the bassinet, perfectly safe and sound. Only she was wailing, with this loud cry and her bottom lip pouted out at an impossible angle, because she was hungry.

"I'm sorry, baby girl.  You have to wait just a few minutes so Mommy can have some juice, okay?"

I was standing at her side, belly full of grape juice and a blood sugar of 43 mg/dl.  BSparl needed to eat, I needed to breastfeed her, but I didn't feel confident picking her up just yet.  Of course, she started to cry just as the meter tossed that result at me.  A perfect storm of chaos.  My hands were too shaky and my brain wasn't 100% tuned in to reality.  She was safe and unharmed, but her cries were cutting through me and settling right in like barbed wire around my heart. 

"Two more minutes, sweetie.  Can you hang on?"  I stood by the bassinet and stroked her hair while she cried.

"Why, Mom?  Why aren't you picking me up and feeding me?  You're right there!  I can see you!  I can smell you!  I hear your voice!  Why?  Mommy, pick me uuuuuuuup!" 

(Or at least that's what I heard in her cries.  I'm sure it was some variation on that theme.)

Within a few more minutes, I felt much better.  More capable of picking up my daughter and bringing her over to the couch so I could feed her.  I kept a jar of glucose tabs on the coffee table while I fed BSparl, and the Dexcom eventually showed some arrows pointing north (it was like a CGM "thumbs up").  And we were both fine.  BSparl ate, I was fine, and we moved on with our day.

But the guilt of not giving her what she needs is something I need to adjust to. In keeping with the whole "oxygen mask" theory, I need to be in good form in order to take good care of my kid.  That means that my blood sugar needs to come first.  And that also means that my kid has to fuss while I wait for my blood sugar to be at a more reasonable level.  I can't pick her up if I feel shaky.  And I can't let the sound of her cries make me make decisions that aren't safe.

... it's hard, though!  Her bottom lip is ENORMOUS, and it's like my body is programmed to respond when she cries.  Leaving her there in the bassinet while I went to drink juice was heartbreaking, because she doesn't understand why I'm not giving her what she needs.  I don't want her to think her mommy is ignoring her.  The time will come when she understands how this balance works.  She'll grow up knowing that food is sometimes medicine and that her mommy, though madly in love with her, can't do it all at once.  

Until then, I'll stand at the bassinet and stroke her head, hoping that she'll forgive me for letting her cry.

June 02, 2010

Is the Low THAT Bad?

You know why this chicken looks so disturbed?

This chicken is clucked up, yo.

Because he knows that there isn't EVER a low blood sugar that warrants eating candy from his butt.

No WAY would I treat a low with these butt candies!  (Go ahead, Google.  Do your worst.) 

Oh chicken with the awkwardly placed treats, I love that you exist.

(No, I haven't slept in days.  What makes you ask that?)

June 01, 2010

PumpTri: Preggo in a Red Wagon.

Shoving my pregnant arse into a red wagon?  Why sure!BSparl has been many places, mostly before she was born.  She's been to Boston, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and NYC, to Barcelona and to Sundance.  Kid is a world traveler.  I knew I'd continue to do my thing while pregnant, but there was one thing that I couldn't have anticipated.

That whole "shoved into a little red wagon and wearing a kid's bike helmet" thing. 

All in the name of insulin pumping, right?  Let me explain ...

Animas is doing a very fun (and highly silly) video project - the Pump Triathalon. Here are the details from the PumpTri website:

"The 2010 Online Pump Triathlon is about proving something. It’s about proving there are no limits to what we can do with diabetes. It’s about proving the D community can achieve anything we put our minds (and arms and feet) to when we work together.

Completing a triathlon is difficult. But just like any challenge, it’s more easily approached with friends and smiling faces. That’s why we’re asking for 10 seconds of fun from you in water, on wheels, or by foot. Whether your swimming in your bathtub, rolling on a skateboard, hop-scotching through a playground – it doesn’t matter – because we want show people what happens when the D community approaches something difficult: we finish it together, and we make sure it’s fun."

Aside from giggling at the video submissions, we have a chance to make a huge contribution to a diabetes charity of our choice, you guys.  If we can finish this triathalon by July 31st, Animas will make a $10,000 donation to a non-profit charity that we get to choose.  And that is an amazing opportunity for us to all do something fun and make a difference at the same time.

No worries - you don't have to be an Animas pumper to participate.  And you don't have to have your pump showing in the video, unless you want to.  But if it is showing, more power to you!  (Also, and this is just the "filmmaker's wife" in me talking, but if you avoid wearing or holding anything with a name brand on it, that helps because then there aren't any trademark violation issues to work through.  So, like, don't have a can of Diet Coke in your hand while you skate by.  Scott.)

I've already done my video.  If you go to the PumpTri website, you'll see my pregnant rear stuck in a red wagon and propelled by oar across a parking lot.  (What?  Doesn't sound normal to you?)  Just another example of the list of embarrassing moments that make up my life. 

[Animas disclosure]

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