Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Roller Coaster

I'm a little apprehensive about school today. It was close to 90 all weekend, and playing outside in the heat drives blood sugar down FAST. Leah's insulin needs were all over the board this weekend, and the poor kid has HAD IT with juice and glucose tabs. And if I hear one more low alarm I might totally lose it.

All you can do is try to predict what's going to happen from experience, but it never goes quite as you think it will. Summer time changes things...Should we cut back on basal or bolus? Bolus for missed insulin when the pump is unhooked? Correct high blood sugar or will increased activity bring it down?

The first hot day we started off by cutting her  basal in half so she wasn't getting as much insulin as usual. But then it started raining and forced us inside and the lack of insulin shot her up to 300.

When it cleared up we went back outside and because of a correction or insulin on board she was running around and low again before we knew it. (We had smores that night, which was helpful since she was at 60 when eating it....until we saw 425 two hours later. Marshmallows are evil).

The next day was hot and sunny and they were playing with water outside so we unhooked the pump. She was low at lunchtime, so had hardly any insulin, and half the day was fine. But then two hours later after being indoors for awhile she was back up to 350.

Of course, correcting that 350 backfired once again. It resulted in a 46...a screaming, hysterical, horrible low that took two juice boxes and a snack to correct until she was up to 250 at dinner and right back down to 80 an hour later (after only getting half the bolus she normally would).

It's funny how all of this happens even with a pump, a continuous glucose monitor, and constant checking to try to stay on top of it. The diabetes roller coaster is not a fun ride to be on. And of course we have highs and lows most days...it's just even worse when you throw in a new variable like the heat.

It's times like these that I just think, "Why couldn't I be the one with diabetes?" I could at least force myself to eat differently, or not let myself run around like a banshee in the backyard at a particular time. But 7 year olds deserve to eat normal dinners and play in a pool, and run around the block with their friends.

So what about today? It's supposed to be 92 and they have 3 outside recesses. But in between she's sitting in her classroom. I want to avoid lows at all costs, so I think I'll have to be ultra conservative and cut back on all basal and bolus ratios and see what happens every few hours. Luckily her school is awesome and they know there are some days that will just be really tough and I'll be talking to them a lot. I want her to enjoy her day and not be stuck in the office and dealing with this.

If she is forced to have one more juice box it might be melt down city.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lovin this long weekend!

It's unofficially summer, and we're enjoying this long weekend at home together. Hot weather has decided to make blood sugars impossible to deal with, but I remember that transition from last summer, too. We'll just take it one day at a time and try our best.

One thing we've had this weekend is lots of good food. Grilling, salads, simple desserts....tastes like summer. :)

I have wonderful memories of being in the kitchen with my mom (especially those thanksgiving morning pie crusts), and I love it when my kids want to help me out. Here's Leah chopping up the strawberries to top our poundcake and whipped cream!

Kids helping out in the kitchen make it easy to talk about carb counting, healthy choices, and just gives us an opportunity to spend time together. She also feels pretty grown up and excited about what we're eating when she's helped make it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Parts! (and fellow D-Moms)

So our bright, shiny new transmitter arrived yesterday, and I got Leah hooked back up right before the babysitter arrived last night. It was nice to have the extra piece of mind while I was gone for a few hours, and so much easier to call and just ask "What's your number?" every once in awhile.

She had a stubborn night though....up every two hours for high corrections. Weird, because her dinner was totally normal, and no matter how many corrections she got she would not budge from 250. Glad it wasn't any higher, but just annoying that it stayed that way for 8 hours. Site issue? Growth spurt? You never know.

So we did a site change this morning just in case and hopefully her day will be better.

On a brighter note, the babysitter situation went good, and the reason I had a sitter in the first place was so I could go to my D-moms meeting. (We call it a meeting to make it sound official...really it's just drinks and commiserating!) I am so grateful for the other moms I've met. It's unfortunate that there's so many kids living with Type 1 in our small community, but I'm so happy to have other moms to share this with. There's just no way to fully explain to other people what our kids go through, or what we go through as parents dealing with this....so to know some other parents who truly "get it" is beyond helpful. We complain about the struggles, laugh about the things we can't control, and remind each other we're doing a great job at battling this crazy disease. It's refreshing and I look forward to it every single time. It's not easy being someone's pancreas, and I admire these women for the job they do!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bleary-eyed Monday

"People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one".  ~Leo J. Burke

Or, I might add, a child with diabetes.

I've decided to train for this silly marathon this year, and it's already pretty hot out, so getting up early is my best option for running. The nights that diabetes keeps me up could make it really hard to get up for that. After correcting high blood sugar at 12am and 3am, I totally shut off my alarm at 5:30am and didn't care. Luckily, my supportive husband (who took the night shift the night before) stuck around before catching his flight to head out of town this week, so I could get my run in a little later while he took Leah to school.

I need to just suck it up and remember I'll always feel better getting up and getting it over with, regardless of how tired I might be. Those sleepless nights aren't going away anytime soon, so you would think my body would be used to it by now! (But of course it's not like I go right back to sleep. I wandered downstairs for something and realized the back door was left unlocked and then was awake for a good half hour convincing myself that someone was probably hiding in the basement).

It doesn't help not having a sensor in--our routine of letting the CGM alarm wake us up has been disrupted since it crapped out last week. So now if I check at 2am and correct high blood sugar I feel like I need to recheck in a few hours to make sure she hasn't dropped too much (our nights are not very consistent lately). I called this morning and the new transmitter should be shipped overnight today, so hopefully by tomorrow afternoon we'll be up and running again! (And the copay wasn't as awful as I had expected). But, with Ed out of town that means I have to insert her new sensor....oh, how I dread that.

And you know what I hate? When you're pricking a finger at 2am and can't really function too well and the stupid test strip doesn't get full of blood. So I have to stumble to the bathroom and get a new strip and her poor little finger has to get an extra poke. Even though she's sleeping and doesn't know it's happening, it's those tiny little things that really set me off about diabetes sometimes.

But, the sun is shining and it's a beautiful day. Hoping for a stress free Monday with minimal calls from school and some good quality time with Lukas. And more sleep tonight.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


We have come to rely on the CGM so much. We were gone for a few days this past weekend, and Leah wanted a break from it, so of course we gave that to her. I don't blame her at all for wanting a few days without an extra "thing" sticking out of her body, and it's always nice to let her skin heal a little.

On the flip side, traveling always makes diabetes extra crazy, so I hate not having the sensor in for long car rides, eating out and weird schedules. It's just so strange to do a finger prick and not know which direction that blood glucose number is headed when you're used to always knowing. But we actually had a decent couple of days.

But now, I think our transmitter is going haywire and we probably need a new one. The last few weeks we've noticed it doesn't keep a charge as well as it used to. Normally we would fully charge it before each new sensor insertion and get at least 7 days out of it before we had to recharge and insert a new sensor. Any longer than 7-10 days and it will start to go wacky and tell you weird numbers that are way off and don't make any sense, or just lose the signal and stop working completely. Now it seems to be going wacky after 5 days or so. And today we're only on day 3, and it's lost signal completely twice.

Of course, at dinner time tonight was one of the times it had lost signal and reset itself to warm up mode, meaning it doesn't show a blood glucose number. So we did a finger poke and she was at 95. Great! She ate her meal, I bolused her for 40 carbs, and we're all set. Except.....5 minutes later she's shaky and saying "LOW, LOW, LOW, LOW..." over and over.

Finger prick reveals....63. Oh good, so glad we have all that insulin on board from dinner! Hoping the juice box will kick in and the rest of the food right after. Ugh.

Again, had the CGM been working I'd probably wait out that 95 a little longer before I gave any more insulin, because it would have shown a fast downward trend or even down arrows.

So I called Medtronic and after first telling me that it could be cell phone interference (huh?) they gave me a number to call tomorrow to see if my insurance will cover a new transmitter (fingers crossed)!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chicken Nachos

Throw 3-4 chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Dump a jar of your favorite salsa on top. Cook on low until chicken is thoroughly cooked, mine takes about 3 hours. Shred chicken and stir in 1 cup of black beans at the end.
Serve over your favorite chips!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blueberry French Toast Bake

I love Ellie Kreiger from Food Network. She has some great comfort food recipes that are a little healthier without compromising flavor. I made a small version of her french toast casserole for Leah's birthday breakfast.

7 oz. whole wheat baguette (that was half of the one I bought)
3 eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup lite syrup
pint of blueberries
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Cut baguette into bite size pieces and layer in a square prepared pan. Beat eggs, egg whites, milk, syrup, and vanilla until well combined. Pour over bread and sprinkle brown sugar and blueberries on top. Refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat oven to 350 and bake covered with foil for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes or so--until egg mixture is set.

We like to top ours with whipped cream!

This version made 6 servings and was 36 carbs per serving.

Here's the link to the original: (and when making the large version, I usually feel I need more bread than recommended--you can kind of tell by how much gets soaked up in the egg mixture!)

Mini Cheesecakes

A low carb snack or dessert that takes no time at all!

1 block cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
Nilla wafers, mini chocolate chips

Mix together cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Add egg, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix until combined.

Line muffin pan with cupcake liners and place a Nilla wafer in the bottom of each liner. Distribute cheese mixture evenly  (a few tablespoons or so) and spread over Nilla wafer if needed.

Sprinkle with a few mini chocolate chips.

Bake at 325 for 15 minutes. After cool, refrigerate until ready to eat.

My batch made 11 treats, but you could obviously fill them up more if you don't want them quite so small. Prepared as above is 10 carbs each.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

They say it's your birthday!!

7 years ago today our little girl came into this world. At 5 weeks early, she needed a little help--a blood transfusion and a few days in the NICU. But she's always been a fighter. We are so proud of her every day and so fortunate to have her in our lives.

Happy 7th Birthday to our strong, smart, capable girl!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Snacks, and heat, and insulin, yikes!

I swear sometimes the office staff at Leah's school must think I'm nuts.

It's the end of the school year, so that means different schedules at school while they do all kinds of activities. Plant day, field day, picnic day, etc..... So once or twice a day lately there's a phone call from school about snacks and treats and everything in between.

The staff is awesome--I can't say enough about how well they handle the kids with diabetes at her school. And luckily, they understand how crazy it is to manage and they laugh with me on the really crazy days.

It's not that I mind her having a snack, but I'm sure sometimes I just sound like an idiot when I'm thinking on the fly...

Staff: "Hi Kelly, Leah's about to have two cups of popcorns for a snack."

Me: "Okay, popcorn is tricky because if I give her the full insulin amount she usually goes low. And they will be going out for recess first? And what's her number?"

Staff: "They already had recess. Eating now. She's at 168."

Me: "Okay, let her just eat it and check in a half hour at her normal check time. Oh wait, that's too long. Let's cut the carb count in half and see what happens."

Staff: "So give her insulin before she eats it?"

Me: "Yes. Oh wait, give her insulin for 5 carbs and then check her after she's done eating. Oh wait, maybe she won't eat it all. Give her insulin after you see what she eats. If she eats it all give her 5 carbs."


Normally, we'd just count the carbs and give her insulin before she eats something. But it's been 85 degrees here for the past two days, and going out in the heat to play can cause lower blood sugar. Last summer I swear I needed to give her a juice box the minute we walked out the door. And of course, the activity-induced lows can be delayed, not always right away. So giving insulin on top of that can be bad. (And the poor kid is so sick of juice--I need to be less aggressive now that the weather is changing).

But, there's no way to predict all this of course. I could very well have underestimated and be dealing with high blood sugar when she gets home.

It's a guessing game and balancing act to say the least!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

One of my favorite books to read to Lukas right now is "Mars Needs Moms." It's the great story about Milo, the little boy who doesn't fully appreciate all his mom does for him. She makes him eat his vegetables, and doesn't see the humor in painting his sister purple. But then one night she's snatched by martian raiders and taken to Mars, where they need moms to drive them to soccer practice and pack lunches and cook dinner and all those other essential things we do so well. It cracks Lukas up every time.

But while it makes him laugh, it usually chokes me up. Milo sneaks onto the spaceship and sees first hand why Mars so obviously needs moms. The page that gets me is when Milo falls off the spaceship and his helmet breaks and he starts to breath in the "mustard" air on Mars. He's gasping for breath and his mother comes to help him....

"And he barely sensed the gentle hands place her own helmet over his head.

Milo opened his eyes and for the first time, he saw neither a broccoli bully nor a slave-driving garden ogre. He didn't see a tyrant or a dictator or a weary driver to soccer games.

Suddenly he knew what was so special about mothers.

She looked at him, smiling, and said 'I'll love you to the ends of the universe.' "

That pretty much sums up motherhood for me. The need to enforce rules, to teach lessons, and to make sure our kids don't run around like crazy-people all day long. But also the overwhelming sense of doing absolutely anything to protect your child and make sure nothing ever, ever happens to that little life you brought into this world.

I admire my mom, my mother-in-law, and all the other moms I know for the hard work they put into raising their children.

Mostly, I just love these two little crazy kids to pieces.

Brownie Cut Out Cookies

Leah's birthday party with her friends was this weekend, and she wanted a Littlest Pet Shop theme. We had a great morning with about 10 kids that included a scavenger hunt, games, and these awesome cut out cookies shaped like dog bones. They taste like brownies but look like cookies....yum, yum, yummy. :)


615 total cars

33 cookies = 18 carbs each

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chicken cheesesteak

Ever had a Penn Station Sub? Ed and I like them too much. So I tried to make a version at home that wasn't as greasy and fattening. It worked out pretty well!

1 french baguette
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled or cooked on the stove top in a little olive oil (season with salt and pepper)
1 container baby bella mushrooms and 1/2 an onion, sliced and sauteed on stove top together in olive oil
provolone cheese
spicy mustard

Cut baguette in half and spread mustard on one side. (mayo would be good too, but tried to cut down on extra calories). 
Slice chicken in strips and arrange on one side of bread. Top with mushrooms and onions, and top that with lots of provolone cheese.
Broil until cheese melts and bread is a bit browned. Yum!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

T-Ball Time!!

Lukas' first t-ball game last night! It was entertaining to say the least. 

He was more than ready and after incessant questions about it all day I'm pretty sure he was expecting an all night event with tv cameras and a huge crowd. 

They started with a half hour of playing catch and taking turns at batting practice. He was pretty excited to see a few friends he knew on his team. Then they played a "game" for a half hour...that was the really entertaining part. 

Some of our favorite Lukas quotes from last night...

In the car on the way to the game "This is the first day of my life!!"

After colliding with one of his friends chasing after a ball, he patted his friend on the back and said "It doesn't hurt!" 

In the huddle after the game his coach asked if they liked it and he yelled "That was AWESOME!"

In the car on the way home..."I'm never quitting t-ball!" (A reference to his sister's less-than-positive experience with the sport).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Learning as we go...

The past two years have taught us a lot. And while I'll never be glad that diabetes came into our life, I can take what we have learned and make sure we live our lives to the fullest despite diabetes or anything else. Here's a few thoughts from the last two years....

Live in the Moment
Life is full of surprises. A diagnosis like this is unforeseen, and makes you realize that day by day the most important thing is to take nothing for granted and enjoy the moment you're in.

Be Healthy
We all know this. But take it to the next level. Be active, eat well, and take care of your body...for yourself and those around you.

Let Yourself Feel It
We have good days and bad days. Remaining negative and angry won't change anything, but let yourself feel that pain...then dust yourself off and move on.

Talk It Out
Diabetes is as much emotional as it is physical. There's so much to understand and learn....being open and honest helps sort it all out sometimes.

Educate, when possible
Misconceptions about diabetes and inappropriate things people say can drive you crazy. Give information when it's appropriate and try to squelch those ugly lies out there.

Be Empathetic
We don't have ANY idea what each other is going through behind closed doors. We all have struggles, and we should keep that in mind when we encounter others.

You'll never get it 100% right
There's plenty of times you could beat your head against the wall looking for explanations for crazy blood sugars. But some days, it's just hard and a nearly impossible disease to live with.

There's always tomorrow
Try your best everyday.  Luckily, tomorrow is another day.

Race Day

We had a great weekend running and hanging out with friends for the Illinois Marathon.

The kids also had a successful 6 hours with a babysitter willing to learn about the craziness of diabetes.

Overall, a great weekend!