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Oxygen Mask.

Gotta wear mine before I can help BSparl.In the airplane safety manuals, they instruct you to, in the case of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first, before assisting others with theirs.  Makes sense.  Can't help someone if you are in need of help, yourself.

Chris and I reference the "oxygen mask" all the time, mostly when I'm low.  During the course of the pregnancy, I had some wicked lows that kept me from attending conference calls, making it to dinner meetings, and even just meeting a friend out for coffee.  "I'm going to be late, but I need a few minutes.  Oxygen mask, you know?"  And Chris would nod, knowing that I was waiting until my blood sugar was stable before I headed out. 

But as I wrote about yesterday, I'm in the middle of The Suck.  Can't wrap my head around what I need to do in order to take care of myself, because I'm too overwhelmed with what my daughter needs.  The baby learning curve is pretty steep, and both Chris and I being schooled on just a few hours of sleep.  My baby is well-cared for, but my diabetes management has seen better days.

... so I guess my baby isn't as well-cared for as she could be.  Because I'm trying to put her oxygen mask on while fumbling with my own.  

Yesterday's post had some good ideas in the comments section, and I'm going to try and implement them going forward.  Like the testing suggestion.  I'm already testing my blood sugar before I feed the baby, so now I need to find other benchmarks in my day to assign testing to.  I'm working off a mental "even numbers" schedule today, making sure that I test at all the even hours.  I'm awake around 6:15 am every morning, so that means I get a 6 am fasting, and then a test every two hours. 

Some other things I simply need to make part of the routine.  So it becomes natural(ish).  Like the Dexcom.  That tool is extremely useful to me ... when I look at it.  For the last 11 days, I had a sensor in and the Dexcom was working great, but I wasn't looking at it.  The receiver would sit on the dining room table while I worked on my laptop and I'd barely pay it any mind.  Then, one night when it was pinging because I was high, I turned off the high alarm so that it wouldn't wake up BSparl.  Being the dingbat that I am, I left the high alarm off.  For four days. WTF?  What's the point of wearing the device when I'm not using it when I need it most?  Today, a new sensor goes on and I'm determined to reset the alarms and to actually use the data.  (Otherwise, what's the point?)

And then there's what Chris and I call "life stuff." Like remembering to call in my reorder for insulin to my mail order pharmacy.  And then remembering to pick it up from the mail drop.  Or remembering to throw a bottle of glucose tabs in my purse or the baby bag, or grabbing a back-up insulin pen, or making sure I have enough test strips in my meter case to get through the day.  Maintenance.  Life stuff. 

But I can't do all this stuff at once.  Baby steps, right?  Today, I'll start with testing more frequently and rearming myself with the Dexcom.  I threw a bottle of glucose tabs both into my purse and the baby bag this morning, and I called in my insulin reorder a few minutes ago.  New bottle of test strips is floating around in my purse.  Small changes that will hopefully make a big difference in how things roll out, diabetes-wise.  Because the better care I'm taking of myself, the better care I'm taking of the little BSparl baby.

Oxygen mask, you know?


Are you a list maker at all? I can't do ANYthing without making a list first. When I try to start a new "habit" (like testing more or wanting to be in the gym a certain # of nights per week) I write it all down in my calendar first, and it becomes part of my routine. I do the same with Rx refills & reminders like "don't forget test strips!" Being aware of what you need to do to help yourself is sometimes half the battle, K. You're doing GREAT and I'm so glad to read all of this...the good and the not so good about life with the big D AND a baby!

yup, life stuff. i have a mask hanging over my desk, which helps me remember to put my own on first. that's the kind of In My Face reminder i need sometimes to do it! we're just caregivers naturally, so we need that extra help. i'm glad (not surprised!) that chris is so awesome about helping you remember. just know that there are many many of us who can relate, so i love that you're talking about it :)

After my daughter was born, I spent most of a year feeling like I'd completely lost track of my ability to organize anything. I couldn't remember my to-do list, I couldn't keep track of appointments, and even the everyday routines were falling through the cracks.

I eventually had to discipline myself to write everything down. EVERY. THING. Appointments and meetings and to-dos, sure. Social plans, of course. But also, I have reminders to MAKE appointments. I have reminders to take my meds, to pick the kids up from school, to fill out my daily timesheet for work, to pay bills, to make my menu/shopping list for the next week... anything I might possibly forget. (And yes, actually, I did forget to pick the kids up from school on a couple of occasions.)

Most of the other moms I know experienced the same thing.

I don't know if having a child makes some hormonal/neurological change in your body that makes tracking things harder, or if it's just that there's really that much more going on, mentally, to keep track of the kid and all their Stuff... but you might want to invest in a dayplanner or some other schedule/tracking device and make it your very best friend.

I really liked your comparison to the Oxygen Mask on the airplane. What a great analogy!
It sounds to me like you're doing a fantastic job and afterall, isn't the most important thing "knowing"? I mean, knowing that you want to make a change in your life and knowing why that change would be helpful or is needed at all. It sounds like you're well on your way to continued success.

For many of us it's hard to remember what life was like pre-diabetes,or even pre-pump or pre-CGMS (dexcom), but maybe that's the key...now remembering what life was like pre-baby. As in, remembering how you used to manage the diabetes and working towards getting back to that way of managing your life...just now with your daughter in tow. Sounds easy right? ha! Just like everything that sounds easy, it definitely requires work & attention & devotion...and it's pretty obvious that you have all of those qualities already inside you. BSparl (and Chris) will continue to be so proud of you for posessing those qualities.

It feels SO nice sometimes to regroup and have a plan of attack. You will be back on track before you know it :)

Thank you for this post. I think you just helped me reach a breakthrough.
When I get home today, I'm going to make a similar plan for myself.
And great work so far. You are doing a stand-up job and you deserve a hero cookie :)
BSparl couldn't have picked cooler parents!!!

You sound like you're handling being overwhelmed as well as anyone can - breathe, reevaluate, make a plan. You might hate that I'm saying this, but I can't help but smirk a bit when I read these types of posts because I'm pretty sure everyone who reads your blog feels the same way - you post about how you feel you're not caring for the baby as well as you could be, when the rest of us think BSparl is one of the LUCKIEST baby girls out there.

That being said, I understand your frustrations. I'm not a mom (yet) and I can't keep it all together...ever. My brain can only handle so much.

You've given me hope for having a healthy baby in the future. Hang in there. BSparl is an adorable diabetes distraction ;)

Small changes = BIG ONES.
You go girl!
Kelly K

Small changes = BIG ONES.
You go girl!
Kelly K

Life stuff stinks! I am not a mother but I am a daycare provider of 6 children, 2 of which are under 1. So i get how you have to take care of yourself first. Your not doing them any favors if your running low or high. I am notorious for not checking on a super busy day. I often set my pump on a reminder for every 2 hours to check my BS even if I feel fine. It has the vibrated option...(I know about not wanting to wake a baby!) That seems to work for me --as long as I don't ignore the reminder. I even keep glucose monitors through out the house so I don't have to run to the kitchen each time. Sometimes your having so much fun you don't want to walk away!!
Baby steps is the way to go! It's hard to remember all the stuff you need to take care of yourself when all you really want to do is play with that baby! Good Luck!!

I was thinking of the oxygen mask when I read yesterday's post. It's so true.

I forgot that's what it's like. My toddler will be 3 when baby Nr. 2 comes in three months. I hope I'll be able to handle it - the new babe, the toddler and the 'betes.

I've loved reading your posts. Keep going mamma! You are doing great!

Way to go Kerri! I am just beginning my pre-pregnancy track. I just started on the Dexcom on Sunday, it's so crazy getting used to this thing, but I can already tell it will be a huge help! Thank you for sharing your stories!

Funny, I was just talking to a friend the other day, mentioning how, once I hopefully get pregnant & have kids, I need to remember to act like they tell you on the plane with "oxygen masks" with regards to my diabetes. Great minds think analogously alike, right? :)

Great analogy Kerri. I think you are being welcomed to the normal motherhood that envelopes us all, and you have diabetes along for the ride, making the work 2x the 2x. You are doing a great job and have some wonderful ideas and game plan about what to do next.

Deep breaths Kerri! Once the old /new routine kicks in things tend to settle down. These first few months are tough, no doubt. Our new 'baby', known as A's pump is keeping me awake all hours! Pass me the oxygen mask!

Just remember how hard diabetes was without having a baby to take care of.

You are doing a fantastic job!!

Kerri - you are doing a fantastic job. And the analogy of the oxygen mask is perfect. You'll remember it as BSparl grows older and you are driving to get her by a daycare deadline and feel your BS plummeting at 55mph on the highway. I had to force myself to pull off the highway to treat it before I went further. We can't all be super-mom, and honestly, there is no such thing.

Kerri, I'm "mom" to 240 kids (teaching high school math) and being the crazy person that I am signed up for my first "hard science" class in 8 years that started this week. I have my cell phone set to vibrate about every 2.5hours otherwise I would totally forget to blood test. Also, I have started putting it in my calendar when I need to change my infusion set, reorder supplies, etc. Lists are a big help too! They help me not forget to feed kitty and clean out her litter pan... Good luck! I'm starting to remember that a lack of sleep does not help mental processes ;-)

Sounds like you're on the right path. Is it too obvious if I say, "Lists - maybe in a notebook or on your phone/computer?" For the diaper bag, incl glucose tabs; for the times you need to test; for what you need at the store, etc. You're nursing, not getting much sleep, you're still healing... let the few good brain cells still firing enjoy the baby and let the lists remember everything else for you. I know many of us wish we were there to help you!

Kerri, thanks for a great post! You're doing an amazing job for a new mom, which is the hardest job on earth, in my opinion!

Hi Keri-
Same thing happened to me with my first child. I also have type 1 diabetes and it got really bad because I was worrying about the baby all the time, but maybe you should talk to your doc, and lower your basal rate, I just had a baby #2 3 weeks ago and this time around I am staying very connected to my docs and havent had many lows. Being a new mom is hard on diabetes, but it gets harder with a new baby and a 2 year old, But you need to be around to take care of Bsparl so take care of yourself. My doctor does phone visits, not sure if yours offers that.

Take care of you so you can take care of the baby!

Can you put prescriptions on any kind of auto-refill? That's what I do with mine, so then all I need to remember is to pick them up, LOL, or call the pharmacy to have it delivered (our local CVS has free delivery).

It is a hard thing - I've often referred to diabetes as my "other child," since it's whiny, attention-grabbing and requires a lot of extra stuff. Soon, the baby stuff will be old-hat and not so overwhelming, although (like the other child) kids have a way of always coming up with new challenges. Just keep taking it a day at a time and remember to look at your Dexcom! :)

Hi Kerri!
May I suggest that you get another bottle of glucose tabs and keep them in the bathroom. Just a suggestion. Nothing worse than being in the shower (ahhh...finally...a nice hot shower) and going LOW!

Oh... I've also learned after DS moved to the big tub... I can go low when he's in the bath. Not much I cen do then, except wrap him up in a towel (and risk getting peed on!) and head for the kitchen.

Yup -- just a suggestion, tho'! ;) Take care, Kerri!! You're doing awesome!! :)

personally, i can't do anything without lists and post-its! with fibro fog and chemo brain, and probably meno-pause in there too, i forget everything. it makes it tough to take care of anyone when your own head isn't screwed on straight! try a google calendar w/ a task list or something similar or post-its all over your house and a phone alarm--works for me!

oxygen mask! love it!

I remember being exhausted with my first baby trying to get organised, have a routine etc. It must be doubly difficult when you have your own health issues to cope with.Hang on in there, it does get better, honestly.

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