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July 30, 2010

We. Are. KETONES!

I have no idea how it happened, but yesterday was a crummy day, diabetes-wise.  Somehow, early in the evening, I heard the Dexcom singing from the kitchen countertop, and BSparl and I went over to investigate.

"High."  With a long line at the very top of the Dexcom screen.

"Hi, to you, jerkface," I said, pulling out my meter to see just what the greeting was about.  And I saw a sticky 451 mg/dl blinking back at me.

"What the fern?"  I couldn't figure out how I ended up so high, especially since after lunch I was 174 mg/dl and flatlined on the Dex.

And I was so angry.  How does this happen?  Did I eat the wrong thing?  Take a shallow bolus?  Is the pump ferning with me?  Could the insulin have spoiled?  Did I just lose track of everything and my numbers went berserk on me?

I was beyond battling with variables.  High as can be and sporting ketones?  I wanted this fixed NOW.  So BSparl and I went into the bathroom to do a full once-over.  Brand new pump infusion set, brand new bottle of insulin, and I took an injection from a syringe instead of bolusing, to make sure I'd come down within a few hours.

I did a ketone check and confirmed my suspicions:  small ketones.  Oh for crying out loud.  I felt like I was in a battle against 100,000 variables, and all I had were these remedial tools with which to battle back. 

We.  Are.  DIABETES WARRIORS!

A few hours later (and after a nap and after skipping my workout and after explaining to BSparl why her mommy keeps peeing on a stick), I was back down to 213 mg/dl and still falling.  And when I woke up this morning, it appeared that I had fallen to about 90 mg/dl and held there all night long.  Lucky save.

I am not a fan of these kinds of glitches on the battlefield against diabetes.  (But I do love me some Photoshop.  Because there's something so fun about arming King Leonidas, and his mega-abs, with a syringe.)

July 29, 2010

Snacks I'm Snacking On.

(Nothing in this post is suggested by or paid for by a company.  The entity in charge of this content?  My stomach.)

My days are spent with two hands snuggling the baby, two hands typing on the computer, one hand folding laundry, another hand changing a diaper, another heating up a bottle, and the last land shooing Siah away from BSparl while she plays.  (Yes, I have eight hands.  Am an octopus.  In theory.) 

So anything culinary that requires a big, cooking-type process just is NOT happening these days.  I have a tendency to grab snacks whenever I can, and these are the grabbables that are topping my list lately:

Delicious, nutritious, and tasty.

Asian pears (They're like particularly sweet apples with a grainy, tasty skin.  Chris and I basically fight over these because they are so good.)

Lemony yum! 

These Lemon Parfait things from Yoplait.  (Awesome when I want a sweet treat but am not willing to bolus seventeen units for it.  And I am loving everything lemon lately.  Also loving alliteration, apparently.)

Easter Bunny's got nothing on me. 

Hard-boiled eggs.  (I can snag one with one hand and crack it open, all while BSparl is asleep in my arms.  Perfect!  But don't crack it against your head unless you're totally sure it's hard boiled.  Poor Ramona.)

I love this pudding.  And the word.  Taaaa-peeee-ooh-ca. 

And these Kozy Shack tapioca puddings.  (I love tapioca pudding.  Always have, even though some people give me crap for liking a dessert that has the consistency of roe.)

Yum all around - just don't combine all four together.  Something about tapioca topped with hard boiled eggs makes my stomach lurch. But separate?  Totally delicious.

What snacks are topping your list?

July 28, 2010

More Babies?

While I was at CBC a few weeks ago, one of the staff members asked me if I was planning on having more children.

"I don't think so," I said, without hesitation.  "I love my daughter endlessly, and now that she's part of my family, I can't imagine my life without her, but I can't lie to you.  I didn't enjoy being pregnant.  I wanted a baby, but spending nine months pregnant was very, very stressful."

The staff member who asked the question looked disappointed.  And in that moment, I sort of wish I had lied. 

"Oh ... you look disappointed.  I'm sorry!!  It's not just because of diabetes stuff.  It's my own personal preference.  I don't want to lie!"

And I won't lie.  The end result of my pregnancy was the most beautiful, smiley baby I have ever laid eyes on, and having her as part of our family has been the greatest joy that Chris and I have ever experienced.  Seriously - it sounds like a cheesy Hallmark card, but it's true.  This kid fills a hole in my heart that I didn't even know existed until I heard her cry and I finally felt complete.

But being pregnant, the actual journey of carrying her inside of me, was not an experience I'm looking to repeat.  This isn't entirely a diabetes-based decision, either.  There are a lot of factors that play into my decision.  Of course, being diabetic for almost 24 years does play a big role in my decision to have only one child.  I feel like my body has been through a good amount of chaos over the last two plus decades, and pregnancy didn't improve any diabetes-related complications that were starting to bloom (namely retinopathy, which I'm having checked again in August). When BSparl was born, she came out healthy and strong (and with a lot of hair, which surprised me for some reason), and I was in decent medical shape, too.  I feel like she and I beat some odds, and I'm not sure I'm ready to roll the dice a second time.

I love you too, baby girl.

Because it wasn't just the diabetes complications.  It was a lot of the guilt, too.  I didn't do well with the pregnancy-related guilt that remains even now.  While I was pregnant, I felt like every meal came with a side of extreme guilt.  I worried that I was eating the wrong foods, taking too much/too little insulin, and that every blood sugar spike was literally boiling the baby as she grew inside of me.  I watched the graph on my Dexcom and wondered why it looked more like an M than a nice, flat line.  I worried incessantly about every low blood sugar.  

Being a high-risk pregnancy, I spent a lot of time at the doctor's office.  I had approximately one ultrasound a month, and each time I held my breath as they searched for my daughter.  Part of what comes along with a diabetic pregnancy is a lot of information, about complications that could arise and birth defects and risk factors and all kinds of scary stuff.  Sometimes I would lie in bed at night and think about all the health factors that were in play in my frame and the fear would chew on my mind, then settle in my heart.  It was almost too much information, and I had a difficult time emotionally handling it.

Nevermind the weight gain and the preeclampsia and the body image battles and the stretch marks and the emotional rollercoaster.  And nevermind the 3 1/2 weeks of hospitalization and bedrest before my eventual retinopathy-instigated c-section.  (That's just a plain ol' perfect storm of crap there.)

I always pictured myself as a mom, but I never saw more than one child in that picture.  All diabetes and health-related issues aside, I feel comfortable with one child.  I don't feel ashamed that I only want to have one baby, or embarrassed that I'm deciding to keep my family small.  There's nothing wrong with wanting to have a lot of kids.  But there's also nothing wrong with only wanting one child.

Of course, I have had a lot of people ask, and most of these people seem to live in my grocery store and stalk me in the checkout lines:

"Oh, how old is your baby?" 
"She's three and a half months." 
"Ooh.  She's a cutie.  When are you planning to give her a little sister or brother?" 
 ... or (and this has been my favorite one so far)
"You should hurry up and have another one so your daughter doesn't end up a screwed up only child."

Whaat??

I love my daughter, and the difficult pregnancy that brought her here makes me love her even more.  But I feel more than content with one child, and I'm not sure how else to answer the question of "Are you ready for another one?" with "No, I think she's going to be an only child." 

I felt bad when the girl from CBC asked me that question, because I wanted to tell her "Yes!  I will be the Old Woman in the Shoe, with so many children I'll be clueless as what to do."  Because I wanted her to know that anything is possible, even with diabetes, and if she wants to happily end up in a shoe, then she should go for it.  Anything is possible, depending on what you want.  But the truth is, for me,  I don't want to live in a shoe.  (Three cats in a shoe?  Insanity!)  I also don't want to put my body through another pregnancy, for way more than just diabetes reasons. 

I feel content.  I'm very happy with my daughter, and I love her endlessly.  And at this stage in my life, in my 30s and with more then two decades of diabetes, I'm comfortable with having the humans in my family even with the cats.  If circumstances change and our family is graced with another child, we will love that baby, but at this point, we're happy being a team of three.

July 27, 2010

How Accountable?

A week ago, I felt very crummy about my level of physical activity lately.  And about my post-baby body.  And just about everything related to diabetes management.  I felt like the only thing I was doing was raising the baby, and everything else was falling by the wayside.

I needed to be held accountable to my desires to realign my health.  And for the last week, I've gotten back on track a bit.  I haven't missed a single fasting test (we're talking immediately testing, like before I even vault from the bed in the morning) and my meter average is down in the last 30 days, from an average of 175 mg/dl (horrible for me) to 126 mg/dl (almost there).  Even though I'm not liking all the numbers I'm seeing (hello, 214 mg/dl this morning after a miscalculated midnight snack), I'm at least emotionally ready to handle any number that shows up.

Hoping these averages continue to tumble a little more.  :)

I also think I've hit a bit of stride with working out, as well.  It's not so much the actual workout, but more just GETTING THERE.  With BSparl and her cute little needs, she and I spend a lot of time together.  Scheduling a time to get a workout in has been a challenge.  I can't bring her to the gym with me, so if I head out for a real "gym workout," I need to negotiate with Chris's schedule as well.  We have the ellipmachine here in the house, but I need to have BSparl either napping or in a chilled out state (read:  memorized by her hands or the flying snail) before I can climb on for a 30 minute haul.  For me, I had to break through the mental wall of "I deserve some time for this."  I was making what I've heard is a classic new mom mistake, which is to let the baby dictate everything about my day:  wake up when she wakes up, sleep when she sleeps, and exercise once she goes to college. 

I needed to grow a pair and do some things for myself.

(Ew, Kerri.  Did you seriously just write "grow a pair?"  Where's your class, lady?  Hathat.  /digression)

BSparl usually goes to bed around 9:45 pm and sleeps until about 8:30 am, without waking up.  (Except for last night, when she woke up at 3 am and wanted to hang out and talk about her presidential picks for 2012.  She made some mention of a Hilary/Siah ticket, which I would love to see.)   So I'm trying to schedule my workouts for either before she wakes up in the morning or after she hits the sack.  I'm doing the same for my consulting schedule, working my conference calls in during scheduled nap times and for days when Chris is also working from our home office.  Now that the baby is developing more of a set schedule, I can work mine around hers.  (Which explains why I was on the ellipmachine yesterday morning at 11 am, during the first of BSparl's naps.  And at the gym again late last night, after the little biscuit had gone to bed.)

Workouts are slower than they were, pre-pregnancy, but much better than a month or two ago.  My c-section scar is healing very nicely, and I've regained some muscle mobility in my lower abdomen (meaning that I don't have to roll on my side like a crustacean when I try to get up from doing situps).  Overall, I'm aiming to do more cardio these days because I want to lower my overall body fat percentage, and because I have tendinitis so badly that I can't pick up a damn weight even if I wanted to.  But now that I've gotten myself to the gym a few days in a row, I feel back in the groove of working out ... and I missed it.  So I want more of it.

And that's the feeling I missed.  That desire.  For something more than making certain the baby is healthy and happy.  I want to be healthy and happy, too.  

Game on!

July 26, 2010

Your Mom is Low.

Terrible habit, sarcasm.  Especially the "your mom" retort.  Like when my college roommates are out at the bar and someone asks for another beer.  Instantly, "Your mom wants another beer."  Immature retort?  Indeed.  But almost reflexive at this point?  Unfortunately, indeed again. 

(This intro has a point - bear with me.)

This morning, I woke up with my first bad low in a while.  For the last month or so, I haven't seen lows worse than 55 mg/dl, and my sensitivity to the symptoms seems to have increased a bit.  But while the lows of the last few weeks have felt mild, this morning's 49 mg/dl raked me over a little bit.

I woke up feeling groggy and warm, despite the air conditioning and the fact that I'd slept about seven hours straight.  (Yay for Sleeping-Through-the-Night-in-her-New-Crib BSparl!) The corners of my mouth were numb and I felt like my whole brain was encased in cotton balls.  I reached for the black meter case and brought it close to me in bed.  Fully intended to test.  But instead fell back asleep for a few minutes, with my meter snuggled against me.

Once I did wake back up, it had been another eight minutes.  And my symptoms were progressing, giving rise to shaking hands in addition to the cotton ball veil.  But it's strange, where my brain goes when I'm low.  I had a juice box right on the bedside table.  I knew I was low and didn't need to test to confirm, but I was on some kind of OCD autopilot.  I had to test.  Instead of grabbing the juice from beside me, I instead grabbed my meter from the bed, walked out into the kitchen, and set up the machine on the counter top. 

Sorry for the old photo.  (Your mom is an ... old photo?)

BEEP!

Shunk.

49 mg/dl.

"Okay,"  I said out loud, and took some glucose tabs from the cupboard.  (Chompy, chompy ... always a weird effort to get those things chewed up when I'm that low.) 

And then I heard BSparl stirring in the next room.   Not crying, but just stretching her little BSparly legs and easing into the morning routine.  I went in to stand at the side of her crib while I waited for my blood sugar to rise. 

"Hey sweetie girl.  Good morning!"

She kicked her legs and grinned at me.

"Hi!  Hang on just a few minutes, okay?  I'm having a low blood sugar and I need to wait before I get you up.  Just another minute or so.  I'm low.  Your mom is low."

And I thought of my roommates tossing the "your mom" retorts around with reckless abandon. I stood there giggling like a fool for at least a minute, the smile of irony on my face causing my daughter to bust out with an even bigger smile. 

"That's right, baby girl.  Your mom is low."  

Finally - FINALLY - the "your mom" actually makes sense.  (And with that, I've come full circle.)

July 23, 2010

D-Feast Friday: Low Carb, Gluten Free, and Perfect for Summer!

D-Feast Friday!!I am not a chef.  I've never cooked up a meal, a feast, or even a storm.  Nada.  But since today is D-Feast Friday, I wanted to do my part and post the one thing I can make well.

No, it's not the delicious popovers from Jordan Pond.  Not the bizarre Green Drink, either.  And it's not the pumpkin roll or the chili.  This recipe only features one ingredient and requires only one pan, but it takes about three hours to make.  It's the first recipe I've ever completed without screwing it up, and I do it right every time.  

Maybe I am a chef after all?

BEHOLD!  The low-carb, gluten-free treat that's perfect for battling back against the summer heat.  

So cold!  So refreshing!  And so challenging to make! 

The mighty ice cube.

(Thank goodness for D-Feast Friday participants who can actually cook.  I'm looking forward to trying out so many of the recipes that are going up across the diabetes blogosphere today!)

July 22, 2010

Search Term Soup.

Google sends some weird searches my way.I do so love the SEO terms that bring people clicking through my way.  Here are a few of the latest strange search terms sending people to SUM:

pic of face smushed against window - That just sounds plain scary.  Like these "real" versions of cartoon characters.  (I'll never be able to look at a Peanuts cartoon again.  Ever.  Charlie Brown looks like a murderer.)

wedding held at "clara barton camp" - Awwww, what a great idea!!  Whoever is searching for this, you rule.

cute cat that no one likes - Of course, this led straight to this post about Siah Sausage Face.

do you have a shorter life if you have type 1 diabetes - I hope not.  I really, really hope not.

I have diabetes.  How can I feel better about my life? - To whoever Googled this:  I know this search query led you to me.  I hope it led you to a bunch of other diabetes bloggers, too.  I hope you saw examples of a bunch of people who are living with diabetes and who are happy. 
six in me - I have heard rumors that this is some kind of very off-color, inappropriate film.  Of a genre I don't feel comfortable discussing here.  But needless to say, I get a lot of searches for this.  I wonder how surprised they are when they find a girl with diabetes instead of ... whatever the alternative would be.  ;)

anybody with diabetes get screwed by oxford health - HA!  Oxford is currently my insurer, and despite the fact that BSparl is over three months old, they still haven't fully acknowledged my high-risk pregnancy.  (They haven't covered all of my ultrasounds, as though I was just having them for fun.)  All insurers are in "just say no" mode, and they decline everything before covering it.  So yes, I'm sure there are plenty of PWDs who get screwed by their health insurers.  Good times.

insulin pump in my wedding dress HELP!!! - Gotcha, lady!  I hid my insulin pump in a pocket that was specially built into my wedding dress.  And I know other girls who have done the same thing.  I hope this HELPED!!!

larry bird living with diabetes - Larry Bird doesn't have diabetes (that I know of).  But he has been known to fictionally train some of us.  Because he rules. 

Seriously, poke through your search terms and see what kinds of wild, long tail searches are sending people to your blog!  It's always good for a laugh or two.  (And also insightful to see what people are really looking for.)

July 21, 2010

New Buried Trailer!

Because I'm the proud wife of that guy who wrote it, I wanted to share the new Buried trailer with you guys.  It is, in my completely unbiased opinion, awesome.  (Can't wait until September 24th, when it's released in select theaters, nationwide on October 8th!)

Trends.

So here's a trend:  Today, I woke up to the sound of my baby cooing from her bassinet.  My hands reached over to the Dexcom receiver and I clicked on the button to light up the screen.  I saw a "74" and an arrow trending oh-so-slightly down.  So while Chris changed the baby, I went out to the kitchen to grab a swig of juice before settling in to breastfeed BSparl.  I fed her and then went into the living room to play with her.

Notice any problems here?  Anything ... oh, I don't know ... missing?  Like maybe a blood sugar check when I woke up?  Or at least one after I fed her?

Nope.  Nothing.  No test.  I went all the way from waking up to freaking NOON before busting out my meter.  This is a terrible trend.  And it's happened twice in the last four days.  I'm relying way too much on my Dexcom for guidance, instead of double-checking every hour or two with my meter.  I mean, missing a fasting blood sugar?  I've never, ever done that before.  Even in college, when I was at my diabetes worst, I still tested first thing every morning.

This is not a trend I want sticking.

I miss these little blue guys.  :)Here's another trend:  For the most part, I am BSparl's daytime friend.  During the day, Chris leaves our home office for a distraction and baby-free zone where he can focus on his writing.  So for several hours a day, BSparl is left to her mommy's devices.  (Including, but not limited to, visiting friends for lunch dates, running household errand-type things, and my own attempts to get work done.)   When I'm hanging with the baby, getting to the gym is impossible, and with the weather so hot and humid lately, I don't feel comfortable taking her for a walk in the stroller.  By the time Chris gets home, and we talk for a while, and we have dinner, etc. etc., it's suddenly so late that it's almost time for Colbert to come on.  (NATION!)  And I'm too exhausted to hit the gym.

This is not a trend I want sticking, either.  

A lot of the baby weight has come off (thank you, breastfeeding), but I am in desperate need of some muscle toning.  I need to get some workouts in as part of my schedule in a hurry, because I'm growing tired of feeling flumpy.  Before I got pregnant, I felt good about my body.  Now?  I need a little more effort to get back to fighting shape, or at least faux-fighting shape.  (Like the kind of fighting that includes throwing styrafoam peanuts.  Or something similar.)

The trends of missing blood sugar checks and workouts must end TODAY.  These habits are too damn crappy to let them continue.  I can't let these two trends wreck my goal of good health.  Small changes can make the biggest difference, so as of this moment, I'm realigned myself to test every morning and to get some exercise in at least four days a week.  (I was doing five days a week for years, so four days isn't a bad starting point.)  And it doesn't have to be a gym workout - I'll take anything from a long walk with the stroller and BSparl to an ellipmachine workout to a bike ride. 

Why am I rambling on about this?  Accountability, my friends.  By telling you, I'm setting myself up to be accountable for my actions (or lack of action).  It worked in helping me get my diabetes reigned in for pregnancy, and I hope accountability can help me get my act together to be a healthier mom.

July 20, 2010

Life Imitating Art.

This is a little, gray cat onesie in a laundry basket:

Oh so cute! 

This is a not-so-little gray cat in a laundry basket.  Not quite the same:

Not the same, dipshit cat. 

Siah, you're so close.  Yet so, so far from helpful.

July 19, 2010

The Thought.

It wasn't until yesterday that I thought The Thought for the first time.

She had a very wet diaper in the afternoon.  And even though she had nursed for a long time and even though she seemed (and is) healthy and very strong, I still thought about taking out my meter and pricking her heel myself.  Just thought it for a second.

I didn't follow through, though.  I didn't let The Thought stay for more than a flicker, as I immediately finished changing her diaper and started singing her a song about the power of tiny spoons.  (Don't ask.  My songs never make any sense.)  I shook the thought off the same way I shake off the thought every time I wonder if my niece or nephew might have dipped into my autoimmune grab bag.  I don't allow my brain to go there.  It's not denial, but feels more like a protective measure taken by my mind, protecting my psyche from letting The Thought permeate my daily life.

Because I can't spend the rest of my life waiting to see.  The chances of BSparl being diagnosed with diabetes are slightly elevated as a result of my diabetes, but not much more than your "normal" (read:  mom without diabetes) mom.  But if it's going to be part of her future, I can't sit around waiting for it to happen.  I can't let every wet diaper and every "she wants to eat already?" thought prompt a panic attack.  I can't let this kind of fear own me.  I refuse to let The Thought even progress into A Fear.

I had a lot of questions tossed my way during my pregnancy about the likelihood of my daughter ending up diabetic.  I had some concerned family members who wanted to know if there would be a second type 1 diabetic among our numbers. I had some curious blog readers whose questions ranged from "Are you scared of passing it on?" to the irritatingly rhetorical "How dare you even take the risk?"  (For the record, my one-line email answer to that rhetorical question was, and remains, "How dare you write that email?")  And the weeks before Chris and I decided to go for it, I was scouring the Internet for stats on the children of diabetic moms.

But the moment they told us "It's on," all those thoughts went out the window.  I felt like any other mom, or at least I imagined it was how any other mom felt.  I wasn't fearing the worst, but hoping for the best.  Wondering what color eyes she'll have (they're slate blue, so far), what kind of books she'd like (she loooves The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog), and how snuggly her hugs would feel (super snuggly).  Diabetes was on my radar, but only as it related to my body and our shared pregnancy.  I didn't worry about whether or not she would get it.

The Thought

it was weird, though.  That very wet diaper.  The Thought jumping right into my head, without warning or care.  It just was there and it lingered for a split second, before I literally shook my head and said, "Get out," sending The Thought back into the gray abyss.  It's just a wet diaper.  She's just extra hungry sometimes.  It's okay.  My baby is healthy.  My baby is happy. 

And if her health status were to change, I'll make it my job to ensure that her 'happy' status doesn't.

July 16, 2010

The Friday Six: Glucose Tabs and Talking Carl.

The Friday Six:  July 16, 2010 editionI think this is the third Friday Six in a row, which either means I'm really efficient or so jumbled in the brain region that I'm only able to concentrate on six things at a time.  (A seventh thing would make everything go poof.) 

1.  First things first:  Clara Barton Camp still rules.  But they're running low on a very crucial supply these days:  glucose tabs.  Camp is in session through the end of August and the supply of glucose tabs at CBC is slim.  They need a hand, if you can.  If you work at one of the companies that makes glucose tabs and you are able to make a donation of tabs to the most wonderful place in the world, please email me at kerri (at) sixuntilme (dot) com.  (And if you are a SUM reader and you're inclined to donate a few jars of glucose tabs to CBC, you can click here to visit the Dex4 store and make an online order.  The CBC mailing address is:  Clara Barton Camp, c/o Health Center, 30 Ennis Road, PO Box 356, North Oxford, MA 01537-0356.)  Please - and THANK YOU!!!

2.  And second things second:  A SUM reader has a question about resources for a teacher in her school system who will be responsible for a type 1 kindergarten student this coming school year.  Here's her question:  "What I am looking for is information we all need to know. What blogs, web sites, or books should all adults, in a responsible position here, be aware of.  It is the teacher who will bear most of the responsibility here for [diabetes-related] decision making. I would like to get everyone ready for September and will appreciate any tips you can give. The child's mom is justifiably nervous sending her baby off into the full day world of school."  So do you guys have any sites or books that you can recommend for this teacher?

3.  Thirdly - are you ready for D-Feast Friday?  (What's D-Feast Friday, you ask?  Hang on, I have that answer here somewhere ...)  Looks like Karen, Lorraine, and Elizabeth have teamed up to create this very cool d-blog initiative.  DETAILS!  "We invite you to blog about your favorite recipes on Friday, July 23rd.  Does your recipe have to be low carb?  Not necessarily, since we know that everyone's bgs react differently to foods.  Our hope is that by sharing ideas, we can each walk away with a few new wonderful recipes, although we know not all recipes will work for everyone.  Blog about your recipe on the 23rd.  Feel free to include pictures of you cooking, and/or of the final meal, and any special techniques you use.  Have fun with it! (If you'd rather simply link to a favorite recipe that's already online, feel free to do that as well.) Nutritional information is always welcome, particularly carb counts with defined serving sizes, but also calories, fat and protein if you know it. If your recipe is low carb, gluten free, low calorie, vegetarian or vegan, please indicate this in your title so that people looking for these types of meals will be able to reference pertinent recipes quickly."  For someone like me, who can't effectively make ice, this D-Feast Friday could be something that saves my life.  Or at least my marriage.  ;)

4.  (Holy cow, this is a long Friday Six already.)  Fourthish, the No-Sugar Added Poetry Book is DONE and is available for you to purchase through the Diabetes Hands Foundation.  I'm very, very proud of this book, both having contributed a poem (this one) and served as an editor on portions of the text, and I believe this is a gorgeous example of what our community is capable of sharing with the world.  If you haven't checked out this book, click here and get your own copy!

5.  Fivey:  Don't leave pacifiers out on the counter or the cat will find them and bite holes in them.  Stupid cat.  (And stupid Kerri for leaving tempting plastic tasty bits out for kitteh disposal.) -- >

Oh come on, Siah.  Get away from that thing!

6.  And six - Does Talking Carl come as a Blackberry app?  WANT.  (The video of Two Carls pitted against one another made me laugh so much that buying an iPad actually seemed like a good idea.) 

Fin!  I'm out.  See you Monday!

July 15, 2010

Month Three.

Dear BSparl,

You turn three months old today, and I'm having a hard time remembering what life was like before you arrived.  I know the house is turned upside down with diapers and pacifiers and all these weird little toys that clip to everything and make tinkly bell noises, but it feels like you've lived with us forever.  

The last four weeks have given us lots of new experiences.  You went on your first plane ride and you did AWESOME.  You grinned the whole time we were traveling, prompting the lady who sat behind us to say, after we landed, "Oh, I was watching her smile through the space between the seats.  She had a wonderful flight, didn't she?"  (Mommy didn't do as well, but that's to be expected because she's a huge wuss who writes to you in third person on occasion.)  You visited Florida and you met a lot of your extended family, including some that you spit up on

Three months old

You've realized that smiling will get you everything (prompting your Grampa to ask you "What color pony do you want?").  You crack us up every morning, when you start to cry a little bit when you wake up, only to bust out with this huge grin as soon as one of us is standing by your crib, ready to pick you up.  You've also started cooing and babbling when we talk to you.  We have long conversations using only vowel sounds.

You are starting to show your preference for certain things.  Like that thing that we velcro on to your carseat with the colorful caterpillar on it.  You talk to it for hours.  And you don't really care for the toys attached to the arch on your bouncy chair.  I think you've realized the flaw in the designer's logic.  Let's take a closer look at the dragonfly that flies, the bee that buzzes around in the air, and the ... magical flying snail?

Flying ... snail???

Okay, so not all of your toys make sense.  Like the frog with the mirror in his throat.  Or the teething ... foot.  Or the marvelous elephant with no feet.  But you are endlessly entertained by these treats, and I love watching you smile and laugh at all the silliness.

In the last few weeks, you've started kicking your legs around like crazy, and a few times my Dexcom sensor or my pump site has paid the price.  You've yet to nudge anything loose, but I'm sure that's coming.  Just yesterday, you had a fistful of pump tubing while you were breastfeeding.  And the other day, while we waited for Daddy to come out of the store, I used a bottle of test strips as a makeshift rattle.  Again, not all of your toys make sense.  ;)

You are very good with your furry housemates, tolerating their investigative reporting.  You haven't kicked Siah when she joins us for breakfast in the morning, even though she's trying desperately to lay on the Boppy.  And the other day, when Abby came up and licked your toes while you were playing on your playmat, I thought your eyes were going to roll out of your head in surprise. 

And you are getting so big.  I've already packed away your newborn clothes, and you're quickly stretching out of your 0 - 3 months outfits.  Every day, you seem a little bigger, which confirms that Daddy and I are doing a good job (and also makes me a little sad, in a strange way).  Your eyes are still slate blue and your hair is strawberry blonde, making you a perfect blend of your parents.  

You smile constantly.  You are the happiest little kidlet I have ever seen. 

And I love you bunches.

Love,
Mommy

July 14, 2010

An Update on Breastfeeding.

Welcome once again to TMI Land.  Please forgive me in advance for anything I share that might make your eyebrows shoot up into your hairline. (And if you are Doctor Honeydew, that's quite a journey.)

BSparl has been part of our family for twelve weeks, and we've come a long way in the breastfeeding journey.  When I wrote about breastfeeding before, we were only about a month into BSparl's life, and everything was challenging.  Just waking up to feed her several times a night was turning us into Zombie Parents.  And breastfeeding, though something I was determined to do, was hard.  I thought the milk letting down was painful.  The nipple soreness was uncomfortable.  And latching on was something BSparl did with such a vengeance sometimes that I was afraid she was a baby land shark.  (Different from a building shark.)  But the first few weeks were definitely the hardest.

Now, twelve weeks into the whole adventure, feeding her is easier. My milk isn't coming in at random times, but instead seems to have magically timed itself to come in when the baby is due to eat.  It's an amazing thing, how my body has adjusted to provide my child with exactly what she needs.  Low blood sugars after I feed her are still a little bit of a problem, but not nearly as much of an issue as in the first few weeks.  (I'm blaming some of those on my body's adjustment to post-pregnancy life.) Latching on is better, especially now that she can hold her head up a little better, and the actual pain has been soothed by the constant use of these gel pads from Lansinoh.  And no, that's not a paid product placement.  The pads are just plain awesome.  Using Lanolin gel on my nipples when they're particularly sore also helps a lot. (Holy freaking TMI.  But whatever. I'm not much on shame these days.)

For about ten weeks, she was fed breastmilk exclusively, save for a bottle of formula at the hospital after she was born.  But at the ten week mark, my work schedule started to shift a bit, causing me to want to incorporate a bottle of formula here and there.  Yes, I pumped and yes, I had a good stash of milk going, but keeping that stash ... stashed was harder and harder as BSparl ate more at each feeding.  When she moved from 2.5 oz up to closer to 3.5 oz per feeding, I had trouble keeping up.  In order to ensure that she was fed breastmilk exclusively, I had to either pump all the time or just never, ever leave the house.  Siah shouldn't be allowed to  breast pump.  And I shouldn't be allowed near Photoshop anymore.

This was the point where I had to make a decision based on what worked for MY life, not one based on the recommendations of others.  For me, I didn't want to have to pump while passengering in the car on our way to simple places like the movies or the grocery store. (My apologies to everyone on the road in our town - sorry if I flashed you.)  I felt like I was actually a cow, and debated chewing cud instead of bubble gum.  I even used this crazy ass device (the Pump Ease Hands-Free Breast Pumping Support Band ... in Bel Aire Blue) because I was desperate to reclaim a little bit of my work life.  (And for the record, that support band worked like a charm but looked so bizarre that Chris and I were constantly collapsing into peals of laughter because, come on - there's nothing hotter than your wife working diligently on her laptop with bottles attached to her breasts.  Wicked hot.)

After ten weeks of constant pumping and feeding, I needed more flexibility.  So we decided, as a family, to work in a little formula.

Currently, I feed the baby first thing in the morning (around 8:30 am) and then throughout the day as needed.  Sometimes, if we go out to dinner or visit family and friends in the evening, we'll give her a bottle of formula.  For the most part, BSparl is breastfeeding the majority of the time, with maybe one bottle a day.  But there's something about just knowing I have options makes me feel less stressed.  Because I was bugging out for a while.

There's a lot of guilt when it comes to breastfeeding, particularly as a type 1 diabetic.  Aside from hearing from The Mysterious THEY (you know what THEY say - THEY say way too freaking much) about the benefits of breastfeeding your baby, I know that breastfeeding can help keep a type 1 diabetes diagnosis at bay for the BSparl.  And the guilt gnaws at me a little, every time I mix up a formula bottle, because I don't ever want to be able to point the finger at something I didn't do to protect her.  (That's a whole different post, though.  More on that later.) 

I'm trying to do my best. 

And now that there's a little more flexibility in my feeding options, I'm really enjoying the breastfeeding experience.  I love the mornings with BSparl the best, because she wakes up all scrunchy-faced, kicking her tiny feet into the air and saying what sounds almost exactly like "Hi!"  We change her diaper, I open the bedroom door to let the cats in, and then snuggle into bed for her breakfast.  Despite the fact that Siah believes this ritual should also include her furry self, I love these intimate moments with my daughter.  While I'm already thinking about the weaning process and looking forward to completely reclaiming my body, I will miss these moments. 

... and I will also miss Photoshopping Siah into inappropriate situations.  

July 13, 2010

Clara Barton Camp.

I love Clara Barton Camp.  I love the way it smells, the way it looks, and the way it makes you feel as soon as you step foot on the grounds.  Driving in to North Oxford, MA last weekend to speak to the staff, I was hit with a wave of excitement at the idea of visiting my old stomping grounds.

And even though the cabins are new (no more rotten old Pixie Place) and they have bathrooms and showers IN THEM (no more waking up a buddy in the middle of the night to take a trek to the lab - which was across the camp - because you had to pee), and even though I was a camper there over fifteen years ago, NOTHING has really changed.  Almost all of the campers and staff have type 1 diabetes, making the few people who didn't have to test their blood sugar first thing in the morning the odd ones out (for once).

When I arrived, the dining hall was literally throbbing with the sounds of campers and staff singing camp songs at the top of their lungs.  "Sounds exactly the same as when I was camper here," I said to Abby, who was giving me a quick tour of the new cabins at CBC.  Admittedly, I felt a little old when she was walking me through the cabins, because I kept remarking at the fact that the structures had both running water and electricity.  

"I feel like one of those old people who constantly tells you about how, when they went to school, they had to walk uphill BOTH WAYS, clutching potatoes in their hands to keep them warm.  But seriously, cabins having bathrooms is amazing.  My mind is blown."

Once we made it up to the dining hall, I had the absolute honor of meeting with the staff and LITs (Leaders in Training) at CBC that had diabetes.  I was invited up to talk about growing up with diabetes what it's like to transition from being a child with diabetes to an "official" grown up with diabetes, and these girls were the best audience I have ever had.  And the audience with the highest percentage of diabetes!  According to the camp director, there are only about 14 people on the grounds who aren't living with diabetes - that's a LOT of insulin being piped in on a daily basis! 

The awesome staff members at Clara Barton Camp.

We all hung out in the dining hall and just chatted.  It felt like a big slumber party, only I wasn't sporting pajamas (and I planned to sleep at home).  They had a lot of questions about managing things like college, dating, and of course, the whole baby thing.  I tried to be as honest as I could be, toeing the line between "one of them" and "an adult."  Like when they asked me about drinking.  "I know I'm supposed to be responsible and tell you that drinking with diabetes can be really dangerous, and can lead to some very serious diabetes-related consequences, which is all true.  But I can't lie and say that I didn't drink in college.  So here's what my experiences were like ..."

It was an incredible night.  These girls are a group for the entire diabetes community to be proud of.  Their energy, their endless smiles, their excitement for everything.  They took pictures (some goofy) and burst into song at the mere mention of the word "song."  (Video of a song about ketones coming at you ... now:)

Clara Barton Camp has this way of making you feel like you're being hugged the entire time you're there.  It sounds cheesy, but it's true.  CBC is like a second home to so many girls with diabetes, and for some, it's the first place they've ever felt like everything was going to be okay.  I asked some of the staff members to tell me what camp means to them.  Their responses were varied, but all hitting on the same general theme:

"Camp helps make me who I am."
"It feels good to be able to text someone in the 'off season' [when camp isn't in session] and vent about a high blood sugar."
"When I'm here, I sometimes feel homesick, but when I'm home, I definitely feel campsick."
"Here, diabetes is cool.  The people who don't have it are 'wannabetics.'"
"When I am here, I feel like a whole person."
"I thought it would be about teaching the kids, but I'm learning so much myself here."
"This place is literally my second home."
"These are friends that I'll have for the rest of my life."
"Camp is my security."
"I'm glad I'm staff this year because I get to give back to something that gives so much to me."

But my favorite was when one staff member raised her hand and said, "It's the happy bubble.  This whole place makes me feel like I'm in a happy bubble."

Clara Barton Camp is definitely one, big happy bubble.  And it was such an honor to revisit a place that played a huge role in shaping how I view my diabetes today.  Huge thanks to Abby, who coordinated the event, and to each and every member of the CBC staff for their warm and inspiring reception - and for the kick-ass t-shirt.  (And props to Savannah for rocking those mismatched galoshes!)

July 12, 2010

Calling All Type 1 Adults.

I've had a chance to attend several CWD "Friends for Life" conferences in the last few years, and it's been one of the most inspirational times in my life.  All those kids with their meters stashed in their backpacks, their pumps stuffed into their pockets.  All those adults who are living well, and honestly, with diabetes, sharing their stories "from the trenches" and leaning on one another for support.  All those parents of kid with diabetes, finding hope and inspiration in every person they have the chance to meet.

Don't let the name of the organization fool you - Children with Diabetes isn't just about small children.  Becoming "friends for life" isn't limited to seven year olds.  But the conference used to be geared towards kids and their parents, and we are being given the chance to round out that agenda a bit.  

Today, I'm asking that you visit Scott Johnson's blog at Diabetes Daily, check out his post "Adult Type 1 Conference," and to please leave your feedback.  We're aiming to have a track at FFL next year for adults with type 1 diabetes, but we need to make sure we're creating sessions that type 1 adults want to attend.  (Here is a link to the focus groups that took place in 2010, and the adult/parents schedule, just to give you a feel for what has already been discussed.)  Your feedback is crucial and can help to shape the new face(s) of the 2011 conference.

Thanks in advance for all of your feedback!!

July 09, 2010

The Friday Six: Weird Links.

The Friday Six:  July 9, 2010 editionWeird links - I haz them.  And what better way to share them with you than a Friday Six

1.  Children's shows are awesome.  I love Sesame Street.  (The Elmo's World theme song gets stuck in my head for hours.  And even though Big Bird is a bit of a whiny bitch, I still like him.)  I love Word World.  I love this weird show called Peep and the Something Something because Peep is this tiny bird with a huge head, stick legs, and no body.  Cracks me up.  Thank goodness these shows are tolerable because they're the new background noise of my life.  The only thing missing is The Muppet Show, which I must buy the DVDs for BSparl so she can experience the magic of Muppets.

2.  If you ever wanted to see the story of George Washington put to creepily-animated video, here's your chance.  I don't know what else to say about this, other than nightmares occurred as a result.

3.  In other video news, this video is completely kick ass.  It's a video of Ginger working out with Scott at the Friends for Life conference.  And Scott TOTALLY rocks the Turkish Get Ups.  (Scott - Chris agrees.  Those are hard moves!  But you really worked it!  And also, I can't believe I just linked to a site called "Wanna Be Big.")

4.  I also wanted to let you know that I have new columns up both at dLife (Generation D) and on the Animas site (Sweatin' With Rudolph).  But now that I've seen that video of the Turkish Get Up, I think I need to try it instead of working out while dancing with the baby.  I'm pretty sure I could pull off a Siah Get Up.  Or maybe I can do a BSparl Get Up?  (Even though she's asleep right now.  I'd rather she not get up right now.)

5.  Twitter is a good time, but I have had it with all the app names started with "tw."  Case-in-Point:  TwimeMachine, which is a service that lets you peek at old Tweets.  You can also find out When Did I Join Twitter (1,235 days ago for me - embarrassing, as is the grammar in this sentence).  And My First Tweet, which shows you the first Tweet you ever made.  (Apparently, mine was about suiting up with the Dexcom, back in 2007.)  But I wasn't able to find everything I was looking for - does anyone know of a site or service that shows you all the Tweets you've ever typed?  Nerdy request, yes, but I'm on the hunt.

6.  And lastly, I received a black eye from this:

Kicked my ass, this thing did.

This child's clothes hamper came with an actual warning on the side of the package, something about being veeeeery careful opening the tightly coiled structure.  I scoffed at this warning, and then the frog leapt up and tagged me in the face.  It looks friendly, but it has a decidedly treacherous agenda.  Beware of baby items!!

July 08, 2010

Their Words.

Some of the most inspiring moments from the Friends for Life conference were found in the expo hall, where kids were creating their own diabeticons.  These are two that I absolutely loved:


"Let the sun rise on a cure - let the sun set on diabetes."


"Love your life with or without diabetes."

Now I need to figure out how to use that Bamboo so I can doctor up my own diabeticons at home.  (Siah has asked for one that says "I love pump tubing!"  Because oh does she.  She loves that chewy, bandaid taste.)

[Animas disclosure]

July 07, 2010

A Big Ol' Discussion About Meter Accuracy.

Using this image again because, damnit, it's a nice one.During the course of the Roche Summit, we had a big ol' activity about meter accuracy. I've written about meter accuracy before - actually, it was way more of a spastic rant - and I have remained frustrated about the lack of accuracy that's in the meters we use every day.  So when the Roche people had us talking about meter accuracy and our perceptions and expectations, I had plenty of opinions.

We were at tables of about eight people apiece, and each table gathered together to decide how we wanted to lean.  Our choices were 5/30, 10/20, 15/15, and 15/10, meaning that we could chose between a percentage of  variability on the low end of the blood sugar range (the first number) and a percentage on the higher side of the range.

EDIT on 7/8:  I was wrong.  Thanks to Amy at DiabetesMine for clearing this up.  The numbers stand for "number of points your meter might be off on the low end, and percentage of total error on the  high end." 

As a diabetic who was diagnosed as a kid, and also as a recently-pregnant diabetic, I had a very, very tough time deciding on an accuracy pairing.  Would I rather take the hit when I'm low or high?  During the course of my pregnancy, I was aiming for a fasting blood sugar under 90 mg/dl.  With a percentage of error in the double digits, was my 80 mg/dl really an 80, or was I dipping into the 60s?  Or the 100s?  My decisions for both ends of that small spectrum are different, and the results if my meter is "off" could be really problematic.

In an ideal world - and my table picked this as our initial ratio - we'd want 0/0.  Total accuracy.  But I know that's not possible, based on the constant fluctuation of a diabetic's blood sugar and the limitations of the technology.  For me, I was leaning more towards heightened accuracy on the lower end, because the lower the number, the scarier a "mistake" could become.  Also, with my goals set at 100 mg/dl and not 300 mg/dl, my hope was that I'd be dealing with a more accurate meter because my blood sugars would be running tighter.  Also, also, I was more willing to take a sharp blood sugar tumble from a high versus from a low. Further to fall, I guess.

My vote was for 5/30.  

And then I felt this wave of frustration, because the idea of having to choose heightened accuracy at one end of the scale or the other made me pretty fired up.  If you can be more accurate on both ends, why wouldn't you be?  Oh wait, is it the cost?  Could it be that once again, affordability comes into play?  Our group talked about different strips for children (more accurate on both ends of the range) and for pregnant women, but if I were to mention that concept to my mom, she'd say, "You're still my child, and I'd want you to have the most accurate strip."  There were comments that a more accurate strip would be a more expensive strip, and insurance companies (who barely want to cover four strips for a type 1 diabetic, never mind the 15 a day that I blow through) would fight endlessly to deny coverage due to the cost.  I understand that business is business, but isn't life still ... life?

At this point, I'd just take a meter that gives me the same result twice in a row.  (Because in the last 23 years, I've seen some wicked variability that meter companies should hang their heads in shame over.)  I'd even allow it to be 5 points off in either direction.  Nothing gives me more confidence in a meter result than seeing it line up with my Dexcom.  And nothing shakes my confidence more than seeing results that vary - wildly - mere minutes from one another.  With those kinds of results, I have just as much faith in a Magic 8 ball.  (Ask again later.)

What plays into your decisions on what is "acceptable" for accuracy?  Is it once your child sleeps through a low?  Once you find out your pregnant?  Once you have a seizure?  Once you correct down a 300 mg/dl and fall into the 20s?  Would you be wiling to pay more for a more accurate strip?  Would insurance companies be willing, or would they ever see the benefit of covering preventative care now instead of treating complications later?  What is your definition of "accurate?"

And if you had to select one of those accuracy ratios, which would you choose?

July 06, 2010

Finding Your Voice Online.

Last Wednesday morning, Amy from DiabetesMine and I co-lead a focus group at the Friends for Life conference called "Finding Your Voice Online."  The group consisted of a bunch of d-moms, d-dads, and some kids with diabetes who sat in on the session, not to mention some terrific diabetes bloggers (Heidi, Scott, Chris, and Bernard).  And then there was Amy.  And me.  (And my enormous iced coffee - so necessary.  Apologies to everyone who realized I was way over-caffeinated by the end of the presentation.)

Amy opened with an introduction to her blog and her work in the diabetes community, and I finished with my story of how I ended up immersed in the blogosphere.  (Slides below.)  We shared how we 'got started' with blogging, and what kind of opportunities have come as a result of our efforts.


I've spoken at different conferences before, but the Children With Diabetes conference is different.  Its core audience isn't someone with a Pharma agenda or something to sell - the people who go to the Friends for Life conference are people with diabetes, and the people that love them.  They're the people who are affected every day by diabetes, and if this conference had existed when I was growing up, I would have had a completely different perspective on my diabetes.  The FFL audience cares not only about new research developments, but about the real life of a person with diabetes.  Their kids are more than their disease, and I hope they found some comfort in seeing two adults who were more than their diabetes, too.

As I clicked through my personal slides, I talked about my life and my marriage and my stupid cat.  And then I shared with them what I was most proud of:  my daughter.  "When I was first diagnosed, back in 1986, my doctors told us that my having children would be near impossible.  But I am so proud to say that I proved that you can have a healthy baby, even if you have diabetes."  And her little face, grinning out from the slidedeck, proved to me once again why people with diabetes need more exposure to others living with diabetes.  It feels so empowering to know that you can do anything - have a child, drive a race car, fall in love, climb up Everest! - even if you are living with diabetes.

Bloggers at Friends for Life
Bernard, Amy, Kerri, and Scotty J!!

The parents in the audience had a lot of questions, and many concerns were about online privacy.  We talked about the decision to share or not share our child's name or photo with the online community.  "For me, I decided that a few photos here and there were fine, but I wasn't comfortable subjecting my kid's name to Google just yet.  I want her to make that decision for herself.  But I'm like any other parent, and it's hard not to share my little kid with everyone!"  

One parent talked about her decision to make a JDRF walk fundraiser video, and how she had mixed feelings about the level of exposure.  

"I think that we're all safe in this diabetes community, but I need to remember that there aren't just people with diabetes who are reading my blog."  I said.  "Sure, the patient and medical community might be reading our posts and watching our videos, but there are also some completely random people who might be logging on.  And while we're safe within the 'borders' of the diabetes blogosphere, the Internet as a whole isn't quite as safe."  

Some parents had questions about starting their own blogs and getting involved with the diabetes blogosphere.  Others had questions about how to raise the awareness of their existing online properties.  Amy and I walked them through different resources for developing their online voice.  

I have always been a huge supporter of the Children With Diabetes efforts, in particular the Friends for Life conference, and having the chance to speak at a focus group was more than an honor  - it was like coming home.  Thanks to Jeff and Laura for hosting us, and thanks to all of the discussion participants! 

July 05, 2010

Happy 4th!

The celebrations of yesterday are spilling over into today, which makes for an awesome long weekend.  My blood sugars have been decent, but I keep letting hours go by between blood sugar checks. (Thankfully, the Dexcom keeps wailing at me whenever something is wrong - maybe it's time to loosen up the high and low settings I have on the Dex?  I'm still using my pregnancy settings, making the receiver freak out anytime I'm over 160 mg/dl ... must change that.  /digression)  But diabetes crap aside, hanging out in the sunshine with family and friends feels good.  And BSparl has been enjoying her first fourth of July.

And, like any budding fashionista, she has the right attire upon which to launch her burps.

BSparl was a little startled when my cousins were doing cannonballs into the pool.

Happy 4th of July weekend!  How did you celebrate?

July 02, 2010

Reaching the Summit.

On Monday afternoon, BSparl, Chris, and I boarded a plane bound for Orlando, Florida.  (It was our first trip with the baby - more on that later, because I'm still processing all the stuff required to travel with an infant.)  My trip was dual-purposed:  to attend the Roche Social Media Summit and then co-lead a focus group on Wednesday morning at Friends for Life. 

Like everyone else, I have a disclosure with this:  Roche paid for my plane tickets to and from Florida, and they also covered my hotel room for Monday and Tuesday night.  But they didn't hold me over a shark tank to gain input from me, and I am also still using my brain on my own, so basically they can only claim travel, food during the conference, and lodging.  They also didn't ask us to blog about the event (even though they knew we would).

But like I said last year, Roche is smart because they know by bringing together a pile of bloggers, Roche will be discussed on a pile of blogs.  And also in step with last year, Roche treated us respectfully and worked hard to make sure we were happy, as a group.  But I can't lie:  I was excited to attend this event because it would put me in "real life" touch with my extended diabetes family.  The invitation coming from Roche makes it a "Roche" event, and I can't hide my bias when it comes to being grateful to them for having the opportunity to socialize with my social media friends.  So that's the full disclosure. 

The event took place as a bookend to the CWD "Friends for Life" conference, which seemed to dictate the timing and location.  I think there was a total of thirty-seven bloggers, representing the type 1 community heavily, but with voices from the type 2 and caregiver crew as well, and we were hanging out in a conference ballroom at the Orlando Marriott all day on Tuesday.  

The Roche representatives were very cool to us, and didn't seem to have an agenda of expectations - just an agenda of events.  They had us engaged in discussions about meter accuracy and they also invited in representatives from the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Diabetes Educators to talk with us.  I felt a little quiet during these discussions (thanks to the utter lack of sleep the night before, with BSparl not adjusting to the travel schedule and deciding to stay up until about 4 am), but I kept an eye on the RocheWANTED! reps during the chats, because I wanted to see what they were reacting to. (That, and there was this long table set up at the back of the room, where a few of the Roche team members sat, watching us.  So I went over to them and let them know I was watching THEM.  Now the student has become the teacher, grasshopper.  /Confucius rant)

Overall, discussions were interesting.  Meter accuracy has been a hot topic for a while now, with the FDA meetings and an explosion in the blogosphere, and it was a topic of utmost importance for me during the course of my pregnancy.  It amazes me still that meters are "allowed" to be 20% off, and that we almost have to choose accuracy over cost when it comes to test strips.  (More on that later.)  And while the ADA panel of guests answered questions, I still couldn't help but wonder how the ADA spoke for me, as a person with type 1 diabetes.  (More on that later, too.)  

But the Summit itself wasn't about the discussions or the agenda of our host Pharma company.  (Even though, and I'm being completely honest here - I'm impressed that Roche wants to sit in the same room with a bunch of bloggers.  We aren't known for being quiet or demure, that's for damn sure, and we don't have a penchant for butt-kissing.  So they get us and our opinions, raw and unadulterated.  Yet, this is the second year they've invited us to meet with them.  I remain impressed.)  The Summit is about bloggers getting to know one another offline, and whether or not Roche understands that aspect wins out over any Pharma agenda, it doesn't matter.  People power wins over scheduled discussions.

So thanks to the Pharma company that dared to play host to bloggers for the second year in a row.  And thanks to the diabetes blogging community, which plays a huge part in improving my emotional diabetes health. 

(Oh, and thanks to the Photobooth, which let Scott and I pretend to be lions in the first shot and let us see up George's nose in the last one.)

July 01, 2010

The Post Before the One About the Summit.

When you wake up at 5 am after spending three nights not going to bed until at least midnight and not sleeping through the night thanks to a discombobulated BSparl and you're exhausted but happy from meetings and hanging out with fellow d-bloggers and trying to race from the hotel room back to the conference rooms (because the hotel snaked through Florida for miles, it seemed) and eating both carb-counted food and then there was that chocolate dessert from the buffet and oh my goodness, does the baby seriously need to be changed again and hey did she just laugh for the first time? and I'm not sure where I left my license but I just found my hotel key in my pocket and this is the longest run-on sentence ever ... after all that, it's good that I took a few pictures, because my brain is FRIED.

Recap tomorrow, but for now, some photos from Florida:


Gretchen "So Nice" Becker, Ginger "Badass" Vieria, Kerri "Third Person" Sparling, and David "Wicked Tall" Mendosa


The official Roche Summit Photo:  The 'normal' one


Kerri (third person again?) and Dana Lewis of #hcsm and 'elephant gift' fame


This was the picture we allowed them to take.  This is the one we fought.


Scotty J, after my daughter puked herself silly on his shirt.  Poor Scott.  He's my hero, my kid is obsessed with him, and he took the vomit deposit like a CHAMP.

I have several photos I still need to scan and/or download off my phone, but for now, I miss my d-family and I need a nap!  Full update tomorrow, including the summit, the Friends for Life focus group, a lack of sleep, an excess of coffee, and BSparl's introduction to many members of her extended family.

Visitors since November 7, 2005