Thursday, June 30, 2011

Top 10 Reasons Babysitters Must Think We're Crazy

Anyone with a child with diabetes knows that getting out of the house alone becomes VERY difficult. Especially at Leah's age, where she still needs quite a bit of assistance in her care.

Over the last few months we've had some sitters willing to give it a shot, and it's mostly been a positive experience. But it's always a bit awkward when you hear yourself trying to explain diabetes-related things to a person that really has no previous understanding of it. Some things that must make these new people go "huh??"...

1. A million phone numbers to call in the event of an emergency.

I think I've listed me, Ed, my brother, our neighbor, a friend with a Type 1 child, and a friend who's a nurse practitioner just to name a few. Overkill?

2. Our address at the top of the instructions page in BIG letters in case they need to call an ambulance.

3. Showing them how to check blood sugar.

This seems so easy to us, but I'm sure it seems crazy to expect them to help Leah with it when they've never done it. Luckily, she can really handle it on her own, but I always show them just in case. I've been known to follow it up with a blunt "Does this freak you out?"

4. Glucagon.

This is the biggee. It usually goes something like this.. "umm, yeah, so if Leah were to be unconcious or having a seizure or something and you can't get her to eat or drink anything, you should take out this vial, insert the liquid, shake it up, draw it back up into the syringe, and give her a shot anywhere on her body. Ok? But don't worry, that should never happen." Yikes.

5. TRYING to explain her CGM in a nutshell.

"She wears this sensor, so it will alarm if she's too high or too low, etc., etc.." Seems pretty straighforward, right? But then there's always some sort of confusion that the pump actually regulates the blood sugar automatically......or explaining the lag time is confusing....or it alarms in some weird way that hasn't happened in a long time but of course does while we're gone. Ugh.

6. The crazy long cord from our bedroom to Leah's bedroom that connects the microphone in her room to the speakers in our room. 

While showing her the kids' rooms and upstairs, I realized it must look pretty silly to have a microphone set up and a cord stretching all the way down the hall...we obviously would prefer NOT to do this, but it's the only way to hear that silly sensor alarm (WHY don't they make that louder??). We must look paranoid and ridiculous, but it's for the sole purpose of getting more sleep at night.

7. The "freebie" drawer.

Sometimes I don't like to give too much insulin when I know one of us won't be around for a little while. And depending on the sitter, I don't want them to deal with watching Leah operate her pump since it probably looks like Greek to them. So I'll stock a drawer full of free stuff--cheese sticks, turkey roll ups, nuts, sugar free jello, carrots, etc. But I'm sure it looks weird that we seem to only let our kids eat the same things over and over. It's just circumstantial, but they don't know that.

8. Basal testing--AKA appears that we're starving our child.

We were in the middle of a morning basal test one day when the baby sitter arrived. I tried to casually explain the reasoning behind it and what we were trying to see, and also explained why no carbs can be eaten at this time. I found myself saying "so if she absolutely has to eat she can have one cheese stick but that's it." Followed by an uncomfortable laugh and explanation that we don't starve our child on a regular basis.

9. Good questions, with a million different answers.

I've had some good questions from sitters, such as "Isn't it dangerous to leave her too high?" The short answer is no, because I'm not gone for that long and it will be ok to deal with when I get home. But of course, the long answer is "Yes, prolonged high blood sugar or extremely high blood sugar is dangerous." Always confusing.

10. And the final reason that babysitters must think we're a bit loony.....because we probably are. 

Diabetes tends to drive you a little lot crazy on most days, so it's tough to explain things and tough to trust someone else with handling it. But I think we've done a good job of relying on people here and there, and as Leah gets older hopefully it will continue to improve.

When the kids find out we're getting a babysitter, they literally can't push us out the door fast enough. So it might mean a million phone calls, and only an hour or two of getting out of the house, but it's good for them, too.

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's about time!

Drumroll please......

Finally, a big boy haircut!! It's only taken 2 and a half years....but he finally decided on his own to get his haircut for real. No more chasing him around the basement with the clippers. (those of you who have witnessed it know what I'm talking about--it wasn't pretty!!)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Reading

I've been meaning to pick up this book for awhile, and finally requested it from the library and got started reading. 

I knew it would be a tough read (pretty emotional and overwhelming at times), and now that I'm half way through, I'm totally hooked. It's obviously quite historical, but reads like a good novel. Just one you have to pay close attention to as not to miss dates and important facts!

It's quite unsettling to read about the fate of type 1 diabetics less than 100 years ago....before the discovery of insulin it was basically a death sentence. The doctors described in the book figured out ways to prolong children's lives (by months or in rare cases years) by starving them, and that was the best they could do. 

Then along came Dr. Frederick Banting (and a lot of other gifted people who funded him and worked with him). He followed a hunch and worked in horrible conditions to see through an idea that he thought would work. It did--and I'm just getting to the good part!

It also tells the story of Elizabeth Hughes, the daughter of Secretary of State Charles Hughes. She was one of the first people to be effectively treated with insulin, and went on to do amazing things with her life.

I highly recommend this to anyone who has an interest in diabetes, or even just an amazing story. I'm beyond grateful that so many years ago there were enough people not willing to give up on something so very important. Insulin is not a cure, but it is a life saver.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ham and Swiss Pizza

Tastes like a yummy hot ham and cheese sandwich!

1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
dash of pepper
dash of Italian seasoning
3-4 slices deli ham, chopped
1 cup shredded swiss cheese

1. Make your favorite pizza dough (I used the one listed below) and roll out into a 14 inch pizza.
2. Combine cottage cheese, sour cream, pepper and Italian seasoning. Spread mixture on top of dough.
3. Top with shredded cheese and ham.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is golden.

Cut into 8 slices. Each slice is 26 carbs.

Bobby Flay's Pizza Dough Recipe (makes two 14 inch crusts)


  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling (Chef's Note: Using bread flour will give you a much crisper crust. If you can't find bread flour, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour which will give you a chewier crust.)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 envelope instant dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons


Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.
Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrapand let them rest for 10 minutes.

One 14 inch pizza crust = 24 carbs per slice (when cut into 8 slices)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Garden Couscous Salad

I needed a side dish to go with our veggie burgers tonight, and had some stuff to clean out of the fridge. I put together this salad and it is perfect alone or as a side!

3/4 cup dry couscous
1/2 English cucumber, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced

1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic
pepper to taste

a few fresh basil leaves

1. Cook couscous according to directions. Cool and mix with diced vegetables.
2. Mix all ingredients for dressing and pour over couscous. Stir to combine.
3. Refrigerate a few hours and add torn basil leaves before serving.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Diabetes Buddies

We've had a friend of Leah's over all this week who needed a place to go while his babysitter was on vacation. He's a cute 7 year old we've gotten to know over the past year or so, and also has diabetes. They were even in the same class this year.

Cute things overheard between the two of them throughout the week....

While on the swings together and bolusing on their pump for the popsicle they just ate...
"Cool! How much did it give YOU?"

Discussing fast acting carbohydrates....
"Chalk would taste bad if you ate it."
"Glucose tabs taste kind of like chalk. But they're yummy!"

Swapping hospital stories... (yes, kind of sad but hopefully therapeutic!)
"Being in the hospital wasn't too bad....I had an IV."
"Me too!!"

"I got this stuffed animal while I was there."
"I got one too!"

Checking blood sugar before lunch, when one kid was 154 and one was 161....
"Hey we're almost the same number!!"

I think it's good for both of them to hang out and see another kid doing all the diabetes stuff they have to do. They test at the same time, discuss their favorite pump site locations, compare their favorite freebie snacks, and both wear cool camo SPIbelts. It's not fair they both got a bum pancreas, but I'm thankful they've gotten to know each other and don't feel so alone.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Almond Butter Granola Bites

I love the granola recipe we use for cereal in the morning, but I've been wanting to make something that resembled granola "bites" that we could use for a trail-mix-type snack. Here's what I came up with this morning!

1 cup almond butter (you could also use peanut butter, I'm just kind of obsessed with the yumminess of almond butter lately)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

Mix almond butter and agave in mixer on high speed. This will get thick after 2-3 minutes. You want it to be somewhere in between the consistency of peanut butter and the inside of a peanut butter cup.

Mix all dry ingredients together and add almond butter mixture to it. It will be too thick to mix with a spoon--just get your hands in there and work the oatmeal mixture into the almond butter mixture until it's crumbly and even distributed.

Dump into a 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. If the edges start to get too dark, stir every 5 minutes until slightly crunchy and toasty. Be careful not to overbake! (It will get crunchier as it cools off, too).

I weighed mine into 15 individual baggies to make 20 carbs per baggy. We'll add some dried fruit and maybe some more nuts for a snack, or just eat it like it is!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Funny, she doesn't look like she has diabetes!

So it seems whenever I see friends that I haven't seen in awhile there's always the inevitable questions...

"How's Leah feeling?"
"Have things leveled out yet?" 

So of course I try the brief explanations of how diabetes is ever-changing, there's so many variables that affect blood sugar, blah, blah, blah..... which is usually followed up with questions like...

"Oh, it will always be that way?" (or "she'll never grow out of it?")
"It will get better when she's older, right?" 

I know these questions are out of concern and it's nice of people to show that concern. I know that I used   to know nothing about this either, and I just try to simply answer the questions and move on.

It reminded me of this great post I read a few weeks ago from and it wraps up all these questions and misconceptions perfectly, so thought I'd share it:

It’s Contextual, Stupid

It's Type 1 diabetes. The body will NEVER make insulin. It's ever-changing. The highs and lows are in relationship to everything else that's going on inside your day. There is no GOOD and BAD--it's diabetes and we can only try to INFLUENCE it as much as possible!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Baked Zucchini Chips

This is a fun summertime snack that's low carb and (kind of) satisfies my craving for deep-fried, fatty zucchini!

1 medium zucchini
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Slice zucchini about 1/4 inch thick and drench in buttermilk.

Coat each side in the breadcrumbs/parmesan mixture. (Sometimes you need to really pile it on there to get enough to stick). If you need more crumbs, just make another small breadcrumbs/cheese mixture until you've got enough.

Spread on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes at 475 degrees. Flip once and bake another 5 minutes or until a bit crispy.

Dip in ranch or pizza sauce and eat right away!

The recipe as written is about 3 carbs per chip (a medium zucchini will make about 20 chips).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hello, Summer!!

It was leah's last day of first grade! Leah and Lukas are super excited to get the summer started and have all kinds of fun together. Her school year was fantastic--I really can't say enough about how great her school is  (academically, socially, and in the care she receives for D) and what a wonderful teacher she had.

They were of course sent home with tons of stuff in their backpacks today, and one of my favorites was their "All About Me" biographies.  In the Interesting Fact Section it reads...

"I have diabetes. It does not stop me from anything I want to do."

Awesome! And complete with cute drawing of her trusty insulin pump.... :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's National Running Day!

I Run.....

to get some quiet time

to clear my head

to de-stress

to stay in shape

to keep weight off (but let's be honest--so I can eat a few more calories, too!)

to appreciate the world and nature

to make myself stay committed to something

to be a good example for my kids

to make myself work hard

to prove to myself I can

to prove to others I can

to feel great


because becoming a runner is the best thing I've ever done for myself. period.