Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who are They and Where Can I Send the Thank You Note?

This is a wordy post, and if you are not slightly invested in a cure for type 1 diabetes this will be b.o.r.i.n.g. for you and you have my permission to skim.... not skip. Also, my fonts are weird today... forgive and forget.

I read an article today titled: "Analysis: Scientists Getting Closer to Artificial Pancreas"

This is something I was already aware of, but I always heard rumor of these goings on happening in Europe or Australia or some other far off, inaccessible place. However, this time the goings on are going on here in the USA.... happy Independence Day to self.

To quote a few lines from this....reuters.com article:

Researchers are coming closer to developing an "artificial pancreas," a long-sought system of insulin pumps and glucose sensors that deliver insulin to diabetics, mimicking the function of a real pancreas.

Just to give some of you a background..... type 1 diabetics do not have a fully functioning pancreas. In a well oiled machine the pancreas processes the carbohydrates.... makes insulin to break down and process the sugar.... and then the body has energy. Now, back to the article:
In one study.....

The system, which is designed to better mimic the body's natural mechanism of controlling both high and low blood sugar, was portable enough to allow adults with type 1 diabetes to roam around a hospital and use an exercise bike.

At the end of the 51-hour study, which involved daily exercise, two nights and six meals -- all of which affect a diabetics blood sugar levels -- six patients had an average blood glucose in the normal range -- in the high 140s, which is about the equivalent of an A1c reading of about 7. (in regular-people-speak that A1c is an A+)

In another study they are more focused on "closing the loop"....

In another study, a team at Mayo Clinic hooked patients up with devices called accelerometers that tracked movements and found that even moderate exercise plays a role in glucose. The team, led by Yogish Kudva, will incorporate this data into a sophisticated software program that acts as the "brain" of an artificial pancreas system, analyzing blood sugar and calculating when diabetics need a dose of insulin.

So-called closed-loop systems -- in which a computer calculates a person's insulin dose and delivers insulin automatically through an insulin pump -- are a far cry from the earliest version of an artificial pancreas developed in the late 1970s, says Dr. Aaron Kowalski of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or JDRF.

There is much more to the article, if you are interested in reading it. Mostly I just wanted to pass this on to the people that are supporting this cause both in prayer and pocket book. We are getting closer but are still so far away. Keep praying for these people that are spending their days, nights, and meal times thinking of ways to make this mess disappear!

The strangest part about all of this, is that I look at the pictures of the scientists and doctors working toward a cure and I realize.... they don't even know us! We don't even know them! And yet, they continue to work and work and think and think and try to fix it for all the unknowns.... like Bug.

If you are "they".... thank you. If I were with you, I would squeeze your neck, bake you cookies, and tell you how much we need you and believe in what you are doing....and then send you right back to the work place.

Keep up the good, hard, sometimes impossible work. At our house, you are loved.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Bit of a Confidence Boost

Check out the amazing "plug" I'm getting over on Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box. (I just figured out how to "link" that, so this is turning out to be a good day). I'm still new to blogging, but I think I have been awarded with something, and that makes me happy... especially coming from this particular direction.

Peanut and Bug are revolting against nap time, so I have no time to actually share... just wanted you all to visit Elizabeth's blog. All of you "I cook a lot" types, will love picking up what she's throwing down. Also, for all the moms out there raising kids with chronic conditions, you will love reading the other three blogs she has recognized. (maybe you are the cook AND the in-home nurse.... for you.... an even better place to read) As for those of you that fall between the two, you should check it out because these people are inspiring and deserve your brain power today.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fun Friday Find: A New Job!

I am so proud of my husband and his new smarty pants job. This job is actually just the icing on top of the huge 5 tiered cake that is his residency, and will only last a year but when it is over he will finally be finished with his medical education! Finally. It will have been 10 years in the making. We will be moving a few states over.... not close, not terribly far, but new and different all the same.

Get excited for the "Oh my goodness we are actually moving away" post to come a year from now.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fun Friday Find: Your Father Figure

I know for a fact that I am a very lucky/blessed/honored girl because I have 3 amazing constant father figures in my life. There is my own father whom I have known and loved from the beginning of it all. My husband and the father of my children that has been my hero and life saver for the past 5 years. And my father in law who reminds me almost daily that I am doing a great job, my kids are amazing, and he is so pleased that I married his son. I'm feeling pretty great about myself after typing all of that!

Let us not forget, there is the obvious (at least for me) Heavenly Father who has a love for me that I will never comprehend.... but as I tell him every day.... I need Him every hour and I am eternally grateful that he has paved the road I am on. Continuing in this direction will lead to pages upon pages that will require tissue.... so I digress......

Seeing as how it is Father's Day this weekend.....

I have a father that knows me, loves me, supports me, and challenges me every day. When I was single I dated a few guys here and there, but the relationship usually ended with me realizing he wasn't perfect because he didn't:

balance my checkbook for me
open my doors
read the actual newspaper
watch my soccer games
work out every day
ask me to dance without actually knowing any steps... and making it up as he went along
work hard enough
go to law school
have a slight Texas accent
play golf
measure taller than 6 ft
go to church
read books
read THE book... The Bible
like musicals
call his mother frequently
tell me I was pretty all the time
make pancakes every Saturday morning
teach Sunday School

and the list goes on and on and on.......

After ending a few relationships in a row, my sister (wisely) said to me, "you know, you can't marry "Dad". " I think I said something like, "duh!"... but after I thought about it, that one little statement made it all a bit more clear. I was a Daddy's Girl and that was making it impossible for anyone else to measure up.

I tell my husband all the time how big a Dad is in the lives of his girls. Even at (almost) 3, Bug thinks he is an absolute super hero. She tells me almost every day that she: misses him, loves him, thinks he's handsome, thinks he is a "nice big boy", thinks he is Prince Charming, thinks he's funny, wants to marry a Prince just like him, etc etc etc. He is the love of her life, to date. Even Peanut has "got it bad". Just watching their faces light up when they see him, makes me fall in love with him and our family all over again. He is a constant, strong, and wise leader of our family and is every bit THE greatest father our girls could have. Oh, and he is hilarious.

I didn't marry "Dad", but I did marry someone who is more than a perfect match for me and who will make it nearly impossible for our girls to find someone that can measure up.

Remember your father figures this weekend, both earthly and Heavenly.

I love you, Daddy! I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Helpful Push in the Right Direction

Short post today. Just wanted to let everyone know that the rest of the day yesterday went great... we didn't even have high blood sugars! I think what happened was: She had a high BS yesterday at 10 a.m. for morning snack, and the numbers must have been headed down and I didn't give her enough carbs at snack...... which lead to a quick drop out around 11:30. yuck.

I also wanted to say thank you to a few of you that have encouraged me throughout all of this. Whether it was an email, phone call, text, or conversation; every word of encouragement has been logged away and will not be forgotten.

Last night at 2 a.m. I was exhausted and stumbling to Bug's room to check her blood sugar and remembered an email I had received earlier.... instantly I felt better and encouraged. Remembering that I have been chosen for this job and I am doing my best to save this little life one hour at a time.

Sometimes I feel like the kid in the picture above.... but I feel like I can move just about anything when I have the right motivation.

Thank you for the kind words, they are pushing me forward and helping me get past the rough spots.

Today has been a better day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Let's Take it From the Top

Today I had one of those moments that makes you want to shout from the director's chair.... "CUT! This is not the way this scene is supposed to play out."

We (the girls and I) were out running errands and had finished up and started our journey home, from across town. Peanut was doing her usual monologue in her car seat and usually Bug tunes in and joins in the giggles and squeals. As I noticed her silence I looked in the rear view mirror to see her quiet, sad, gray little face. My "oh no, something is wrong" mommy-adrenaline kicked in.

I knew she looked so terrible because she was either car-sick (common), regular sick, or had a low blood sugar. I immediately made my way to a random dentist office parking lot to check her blood sugar. I knew she could sense my anxiety as she started to cry and get nervous too, saying, "I don't want to be sick, Mommy!" Her little hands were shaking and there was a negative amount of color in her face. I was thinking "this has to be a low blood sugar.... maybe even in the 50s". The number popped up and read 175. What?! That isn't low at all! But her symptoms read otherwise so I gave her some juice anyway and started the race home..... (just in case she was car sick, my goal was for the sick to not happen in the car).

As I raced home, I watched her in the mirror and tried to talk to her.... aiming for a smile or a giggle; signs of feeling better...? No smiles. No giggles. More anxiety, on my end, about what the next 10 minutes would bring.

Once we were home, out of the car, and in front of Yo Gabba Gabba I checked her sugar again.... 125. After 15g of carbs of juice her sugar had still dropped! I truly hate your unpredictability, diabetes! Truly. (Moments like this add a tally mark to the "We need a Continuous Glucose Monitor" column.... a subject for another post)

I gave her a bit more juice (a possible over correction that I am ok with) and some lunch and watched the color and the life come back to her face. Within minutes she was singing with DJ Lance about not being mean to your friends and the breath was restored to my lungs, brain, and life.

I stood in the kitchen, looked out the window and then looked down at Peanut in my arms... smiling and being silly as usual. I have no qualms about the fact that I said to my 9 month old, "Peanut, I need a drink! Is it too early for that?!" She, of course, thought that was hilarious, slobber/carrot kissed my cheek, and all was right with our little world again.

We ended that crazy hour with some dancing and diaper changing and I was so happy that our normal was back in full effect. The afternoon will be better, and will most likely bring us a high blood sugar followed by a few laps around the sprinkler.... but I will gladly take that challenge over a gray, emotionless, anxious little face any day.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fun Friday Find (On a Thursday): Garage Sale Mania 2011

A few months before Peanut was born, I started to do the "I'm about to have a baby and need to make space for another human in our home" dance. After completely reorganizing every closet, cabinet, drawer, and pantry space, we were left with quite a bit of junk/stuff/treasure/money makers.... call it what you will. I despise clutter so looking at the stuff grouped together in our basement my first thought was.... Goodwill now. However, my husband announced that we would be having a yard sale.

After 9 months of collecting items from hidden corners of our house and the homes of our extended family, we learned there were some friends (4 other families) in need of some money making and junk removal. I have never participated in a yard/garage sale, in fact, I have been to only one in my life. Needless to say I am feeling anxious and excited while dreading the early wake up call and fearing that no one will want what we are selling. I know... that's silly... SOMEONE is going to want the large collection of VHS tapes, complete with the entire Rocky series.... right? Maybe we should sell an actual VCR to go with, as incentive?

In all seriousness, we are selling some gems this weekend so if you are in the area and on the hunt for treasure, you want to be there so you can give us all your money and leave with some of our stuff. Because I love to list, here are a few things you will find this Friday or Saturday from 7-noonish:

four bar stools
adult clothes
kids clothes
30 wicker chargers; for the tiny plates, not the big ones like you are picturing
VHS tapes.... tons of them
a pleather jacket
a very large boom box.... with a tape player.
wine glasses
a Goofy hat... the character, not the adjective
trash can
fire screen
artwork.... not my own, I'm not that desperate yet
lamp shades
and my personal favorite: a bag of about 20 Acapella cassette tapes for $1, I'll throw these in for free if you buy the giant boom box!

There is so so so much more, but you'll just need to see it to believe it. (yes, Mom and Dad, I will take pictures)

If you are a treasure hunter, I hope you find a few fun finds this weekend.... and I REALLY hope you find the few that I will be selling.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Little House Day

How big is your space? By space, I mean.... the place where you eat, sleep, live. Our home is very cozy. By cozy, I mean.... small. I have said before that it's fun to pretend our house is an apartment in New York City, or some other hustle and bustle type place, and it's actually a huge apartment that we got a great deal on because of rent control or whatever they call it. Then I look out the windows and see Azaleas and remember.....

Lately our house has seemed to get smaller and cozier as my children grow bigger and busier, and the temperatures get hotter and sweatier. We have stayed home all day in an attempt to get "on the potty train" as Bug says. I prayed this morning before I got out of bed as I usually do, but today my prayer was slightly edited. Most days, my prayers consist of..... "give me wisdom..... help me make the right decisions..... give me energy to keep up with the girls..... keep my mind clear and alert when dealing with diabetes mess...." and so on. Today it was, "please, make my house an enjoyable place today, and somehow, help me to love it's tininess" Blessing received. There have been the usual up's and down's; especially with Peanut pulling up and falling down almost constantly and the potty training successes and less than successes. But I have found joy in my tiny house in the following ways:

I cleaned the entire thing in one hour: floors, bathroom, laundry.... dusting will have to wait for the afternoon
I was able to race to the "potty train" with Bug, in the midst of feeding Peanut her lunch.... Bug, Peanut, spoon with baby food in it... all in hand.
I can cool my entire house while the thermostat is set on 77 degrees and the ceiling fans are going
My kids can play in one room and I can see them and all of their goings on while I make baby food in the kitchen
I get to use fun organizing tools from The Container Store (which should start paying me for all the advertising I'm doing on it's behalf) to keep our pantry, 5 drawers full of diabetes supplies, linen half closet, and over all life organized and accessible.
and lastly, I can see out my windows to both ends of my block and make sure there is nothing suspicious happening.

I could keep going but I fear it would not be very interesting.... to be honest. I hope that you are enjoying your space today, wherever it may be..... big or small, clean or messy, loud or quiet... find something about it that makes you smile. And when all else fails.... just pretend you're somewhere else.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Birthday Card for My Sister

Yesterday was my sister's birthday. She is 5 years older.... Happy 30th, Sis!

I wanted to post a little bit about my sister and all of the bits of knowledge she has passed on. Whether it was showing me how to/making me play with her Barbies or informing me that "when you get to the 6th grade, you can NOT wear Umbro's anymore!".... it's safe to say I would not be who I am today without my older sister. She was my Bible study leader, fashion consultant, role model, and sometimes third parent. If you don't know her personally, it would be best to get to know her in the art of conversation. With that being said, I want to list a few of my favorite quotes, spoken by my favorite sister:

"If you don't stay with Mom in the grocery store, she will leave you here all night!"
"You can not wear Umbro's in middle school."
"You need to come in my room and sit on the edge of my bed, we are going to sing This Land is Your Land together. I'll sing harmony. ready....." (I think I was 6)
"Hey! Are you busy? Just a quick question......" (20 minutes later......)
"Get out of my room! I'm on the phone! Standing in the bathroom doorway doesn't count as leaving! MOOOOMMM!"
"Can Capri Sun 'go bad'?"
"When you are playing with Barbie, you have to move her arms and legs like this, so it looks like she's actually moving."
"You don't want to play sports in high school, your legs will be too muscle-y. you should do drill team instead."
"Mom, she's in my way, I'm trying to moonwalk!" (dancing to Thriller.... sister: 7, me: 2)
"Never tie something around your waist unless you are planning on wearing it later."
"I haven't worn jeans since middle school".... spoken as a college student
"Dancing is so much harder than running around a field!"
"Lets not put the cream of mushroom soup in the recipe, it's so fattening.".... (homemade lasagna... ruined)
"We can't go to Disney World until all my kids are potty trained."

There are so many more quotes and bits of wisdom that she has passed down, but those are a few of my favorites.

Sister, you were the best role model I could have asked for when it came to surviving middle school, high school, and college all the while making good decisions and steering clear of people who weren't doing the same. I love having kids the same age and watching them grow up together, play with dolls and stickers, and talk about movies and their outfits. I hope you had a fabulous birthday! I love you!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fun Friday Find: Time Off

My husband took some much needed time off from work for a few days and it has been so nice to have him home during the day, on our trip to the grocery store, on our daily walk in the mornings, and free from the happenings at the hospital. In the spirit of taking time off, I am going to do the same. There are a lot of things I want to write about and share, but the truth is, I haven't had time to sit down and form my thoughts into thought provoking sentences. So, I will be back next week.

We are headed back to the lake house, to enjoy the sunshine and the rising temperatures.
Have a great weekend!