Monday, October 27, 2014

A Kitchen Renovation Is the Small Stuff

This has been an interesting and BUSY month at the Naturally Sweet Sisters home.  We celebrated two birthdays, both girls joined two after-school activities and we even made it to a few Michigan State University football games!

As for me, I am continuing work with JDRF Kids for a Cure and educating schools about the value of creating community service projects to honor students with T1D while educating the student body. Not a bad gig, especially when we have bad blood sugar moments.  I find myself feeling less stressed and even more committed to HOPE - that thing that helps us get through the really horrible moments of living with chronic disease.

Which did happen last week.  For the first time in many moons, I even had to pick up youngest daughter from her day at school after she missed a morning breakfast bolus.  For a kid that almost never skips a day, it was a rough go.  We carefully navigated the stomach churning highs and lows and spent one sleepless night testing every few hours.  By morning, she was better and blood sugars seemed under control again.

Shortly after it happened to Oldest Daughter while she was heading to watch a play over 1.5 hours away from me but this time, it was low from nowhere.  While usually events like the play would cause a high blood sugar, this was quite the opposite.  Lows on the ride there, during the play and on the way home.  Through a series of texts and from her monitoring of her Medtronic CGM, she was able to communicate to me about the joys of eating 'fake fruit' to help raise her blood sugar.  Nothing like a bit of stress for her and for me.  Being the Diabetes Monster that it is, after arriving home, she once again had steady in-range numbers.


Really, there is not a better catalyst than seeing your kids suffer some seriously horrible blood sugars to propel you into doing something, anything, just to make it a bit better.

Because of that relentless desire to do anything, I also agreed to participate in an amazing venture between the University of Michigan and Cincinnati Children's Hospital to revamp and restructure the way that patients, doctors and researchers view modern health care.  #Makehealth is full of brilliant brainiacs that are dedicated to working, sleeves rolled up, minds opened, to try new and creative ideas.  For a family that has seen A LOT, let me just say, we are the cusp of some very cool new ways of managing patient/doctor relationships.  I can't profess to be a said brilliant brainiac but I love that I can see the people who are and know that they are working on things that we need.  This is a great thing for all of us out there in the T1D community.  Change is coming!

More Hope!

Next month, I will attend a conference in the parent-patient role to try to impart some honest (and very real), viewpoints from a family that lives health care 24/7.   If you want to follow tweets, be sure to check in with #natsweetsisters as I update with real-time feedback on 11-9 to 11-12-14.  

Oldest Daughter was invited to participate with the University of Michigan Mott Children' Hospital Teen Advisory Panel.  As a Teen Advisor, she will be volunteering her time to help the hospital determine best practices, new ideas and offer insight/feedback for the way the hospital and clinics work with teens.  It is a high honor and she was thrilled to be able to participate.  As a mom, what I am interested to see is how she reacts to the new understanding that 'everyone has something'.  For the first time, she will have an up-close view to how the world is full of many different levels of ability and that yes, while T1D does suck (her very eloquent description) - because it does (my description can be even worse at times) - the 'suck' could be very different in someone else's shoes.  That couldn't be more perfect for a Teen to realize.

Lastly, we are revamping our kitchen.  Yes.  Our kitchen.  And yes, I do know it is almost Thanksgiving.  But well, that is just how it works when suddenly you have a moment and decide that after 8 years (ironically the amount of time we have lived with T1D) it has to be done NOW!  Honestly, I originally wanted just to paint the cabinets but that led led to needing a bigger kitchen island and that led to fixing the counter tops.  After a few trips to the salvage store and many more to big-box store, we are still working on it.  It's not perfect but it is beautiful.

The most eye-opening part of this process happened while standing in one of the hardware stores trying to figure out how much wood we need to build a cabinet bottom.  The salesman assisting us with our less-than-professional measurements on a napkin, suddenly spoke up and said, "Wow! You guys are doing better than most couples that try to fix up their kitchens.  That usually ends up in someone not speaking to each other or worse.  How come you aren't fighting?"

The Naturally Sweet Dad and I locked eyes and smiled.  Another T1D perk?  Everything else after T1D is really not a big deal.  No reason to sweat the small stuff like a kitchen renovation.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Low to High to Low

The weather shifted last week.  From mid-80s to low 40s.

Not only did the thermometer and the weather man let us know, so did T1d.

I think that may be one of the crappy highlights of having T1d.  

When the weather changes, so do insulin needs.

And while I know this (and so do the Naturally Sweet Sisters), we all tend to forget about it until we are in the second next crappy highlight of having T1d; lows to highs to lows again.

It is a vicious weather cycle.

Do you see this or is this a weird thing at our house only?  Share your thoughts if you get a chance.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Diabetes at Middle School - A View From The Cool

My youngest daughter is having a great sixth grade year.  The kind of year that brings about a lot of chatter while constantly exuding happiness and excitement.  Suddenly, everything she thinks about is shouted at me in various forms of  'Mom, YOU HAVE GOT TO HEAR THIS... ' or 'Did I tell you ABOUT HOW I DID THIS'.... 'MOM, LOOK AT THIS!'

My personal favorite is 'OMG Mom!  Today at school, there was this kid and guess what he did?  He ........ '.

You can fill in the blank with whatever you think the kid did because I am pretty sure that the kid did indeed do it.  (Let's have a moment of silence for those teachers in thanks for all that they do!).

I cherish these moments and I am so happy that she is choosing to let me into her world.  I want to hold that close and enjoy it while it lasts.

Especially when she shares with me the very best of all her stories.

In her sixth grade homeroom, her teacher, Ms. M, has been incorporating diabetes into the class service learning program.  For the past four years, Ms. M has done this voluntarily as she has a personal connection to T1d within her own family.

For a grade level that be full of students that simply want to blend in, having something (anything) can be a catalyst to feeling like you are not part of the group.

Even with the best preparedness, T1d has the potential to that giant red flag to feeling like you do not fit in.

But because of this teacher and her gentle way of incorporating life and T1d, this is not the case.


She pauses and smiles.

'Which means, Mom.... I AM SO COOL!'