good intentions

I could sum up this week with the phrase; "Well, I had good intentions!"  Don't we all, really?  Let's recap:

Monday - I offered to give a ride home from school to one of my friend's daughter since Mom was off sipping umbrella drinks on a beach.  Hey, it's her honeymoon . . . . I wasn't too jealous.  I arrived early but somehow got stuck in the slow lane and the daughter gave up on me and walked home instead.  "Well, I had good intentions!"

Tuesday - A day set aside for me and my sidekick, Ceesa, to road trip.  This is when I turn into Thelma and she, Louise.  We hop in one of our miniature vans and pinkie swear to be silly and care free.  It had been so long since we made time for each other, however, that we had too much to catch up on and not enough highway.  I tried my best and took the camera along so you can see for yourself:

1.  Workmen looking down a sewer hole.  I found it funny at the time?

2.  Ceesa's :: ahem, I mean Louise's :: husband forgot his cell phone so we stopped by his office to deliver it.  Look, He's a Husker fan!

3.  Me with a 1 pound bar of chocolate at Trader Joe's.  Not purchased.

4.  A stop by the Apple store at the mall for a new power cord.  These floating app cards made me smile.

5.  Louise's favorite store; Walgreen's.  She states you can find anything and everything you would ever need at this place.  Challenge?!

6.  Big thumbs down to the spice store, Penzey's.  Neither of us had been to the place so we were excited about a new find.  Unfortunately our noses wrinkled and our heads snapped back with most of the samples.  Maybe the spices were stale?

Somewhere in the middle of all that we stopped at Panera's for lunch.  I ordered their new Thai chopped chicken salad.  It tasted fine, but later in the evening my digestive system decided it didn't like the Thai salad and my headache proved the spices in the store too much.  I felt pretty yucky for about 24 hours.  Hhhhhmmmmm.  "Well, I had good intentions!"

Wednesday - The calendar said I was to do housework and then meet a couple of D-mom's for coffee to go over some 504 Plan examples.  Ben's high fever and cough swiped my plans clean off the table and I switched roles to comfort my sick little man.  "Well, I had good intentions!"

Thursday - Ahhhhhhh.  My morning to meet with my favorite JG's (Jesus Girls) and spend the morning in fellowship and prayer for our school aged kids (MITI). The coffee is awesome and one of the gals just had a baby boy 'squee'  whom I love to snuggle. Then I was scheduled to go to Ceesa's home to watch the intro to a Beth Moore bible study we decided to get in on . . . . Daniel:  Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy.  Guess what!  Yep.  Ben still sick.  My prayers were in solitude this day.  "Well, I had good intentions!"

Friday - Finally!  A day to grocery shop, catch up on laundry, open the windows and clear out the sicky germs.  AND, a reschedule of Wednesday's meet-up for coffee and D-talk.  Um . . . . Kaploey!  Ben. is. still. sick.  "Well, I had good intentions!"

The good news is Ben is on the mend and the ugly virus finally released it's grip in him.  The not so good news is I felt trapped in world of repeat, much like a record skipping on the same track. 

The good news is it is Friday and my handsome side-kick will be home shortly to give me a much needed respite from sick care.  The not so great news is the house is in such a disarray it will take all hands on deck to whip it back into shape.

The good news is a fresh new week is on the horizon.  The not so great news is I will be spending it on  . . . . . . JURY DUTY!!!!


decisions, decisions.

First, here are the survey results for Ellie's JDRF Walk for the Cure 2010 team name:

54% of you all thought 'Ellie's Elinators' was the best choice for a team name, with 'Team E-Rae' in a close second.  I loved that some of you took the time to make a suggestion!  The feedback was just awesome.

So, the name we chose???????

None of the above.

What?  Why?  Are you kidding me?

Well, it just kind of happened that we came up with a combo of all the great ideas and votes ;)

:: drum roll please ::

And we also have a T-shirt design in the works, seeing as how our JDRF chapter awards $5,000 to the team with the best design.  I can't divulge the entire idea since it is still in the development stage, but I can give you a hint:

Yep.  Something to do with bacon.    MMMMMmmmmmmm bacon. 


survey addicted

Hello, my name is Amy. and I am addicted to surveys.

Polldaddy is a quick fix for when I crave opinions.  I realize by particpating in my polls and surveys you are only enabling me, but I promise no one is being harmed by my obsession.

I am not alone in my infatuation for information.  Just yesterday Wendy put up a pretty pink poll on her Candy Hearts site.  See!!!!  It's contagious!

So, help a girl out give me your best answer.  It's for sweet Ellie, anyway.  Does that help to throw in a little guilt? ;)

*Survey closes on Monday, January 24th at 3pm so a team name can be chosen and a JDRF Walk for the Cure page created!!!!


survey results

I just finished tabulating (hehe .... that scientist thing again) the results from the survey:  From one pancreas to another, and have the results on a stand-alone page at under the header.  You can click here to see the answers.  I did make a mistake, however, and somehow lost the results to the first question about treating a stubborn low.  Chalk it up to being technologically challenged.

Thanks again for playing along!  The next one is going to be multiple choice so in the end I can create a cool bar graph.  You know, kind of like this one ;)


new d-toy

Results from the survey; 'from one pancreas to another', will be given sometime this week.  I closed the survey so I could gather the data (hehe . . I love to play scientist in my free time) and present in in a new post.  I am thrilled with the 18 d-peeps who took the time to answer the questions.  I will definitely be setting up more polls and surveys in the future!

Today Ellie and I spent some time together while my oldest and youngest went with Dad to a Jr. Lego League competition.  More on that adventure later (boy, I am just filled with suspensful information today) in the week.  For now I want to share a new d-toy Ellie and I discovered while window shopping at the mall.

From the products web site, "Shains are recycled accessories that encourage and empower people to make their own statements and change them whenever they want! Shainsware, the company, is dedicated to producing eco-friendly products that are useful and empowering. We donate a percentage of net profits to environmental organizations. Shains products are made of recycled and recyclable parts and everything Shains produces is certified lead free. Shains packaging is also recycled and recylable. Shains manufactures bracelets, necklaces, pet collars, hair bands, key chains, and much more all designed to work with Shains interchangeable icons and letters."

Wow!  Not only a product and company I can really get behind and support, but also a new and unique way to create a medical i.d. bracelet for Ellie.

Ellie designed her bracelet to say 'T1 diabetes' and the keychain for her supply bag is beaded with her initials and a couple of symbols = world peace;)

The bracelet ($6.50) is a jelly-like bendable plastic and the beads (pack of 100 for $12.50) are hard plastic, so the entire system is completely water resistant.  The band is adjustable to different lengths to wear either on a wrist or an ankle.  We did alter the band after this photo by cutting it with scissors to get rid of the extra length.  I cannot say how durable it is or how long it will last, but I can say Ellie hasn't removed the bracelet and smiles everytime I see her look at it.

We also purchased the heart shaped key ring ($3.50) to attach to her diabetes supply bag. 

Anyone else seen or heard of this product?  We give it a poked-thumbs up!


d-feast friday: cobblestone chicken pie

I absolutely love bandwagons.  So, when one goes by and catches my eye, I make a run for it and hop on.

This particular bandwagon is super special because it involves my favorite subject . . . . . food.

Every Friday that I feel like it I will post a recipe and include carb counts for all the D-folks joining in.

Today's recipe was one I just tried for the first time this week.  It was a major success, despite the ingredient list!  My family is pretty adventurous with their eating, however, I still like to disguise or finely chop certain foods.  What the kiddos don't know won't hurt them!

Cobblestone Chicken Pie

• 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

• 3 medium leeks, cut in half and sliced

• 2 cups diced fresh mushrooms (I diced these very small and even my mushroom-hating boy didn't find 'em!)

• 1 cup red bell pepper

• 1 cup diced celery

• 1/3 cup all purpose flour

• 1/2 tsp dried rosemary

• 1/2 tsp kosher salt

• 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

• 1 (14.5oz) can chicken broth

• 3/4 cup half-and-half

• 3 cups diced cooked chicken

• 1/2 cup frozen peas

• 2 Tbsp dry white wine (or extra chicken broth)

• 2 cups 1/2-inch sourdough bread cubes

• 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook leeks, mushrooms, celery and red pepper until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in flour, rosemary, salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in broth and half-and-half. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken, peas and wine/broth. Spoon into an ungreased 2-quart casserole dish.

Toss bread cubes with Parmesan cheese and remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil. Sprinkle evenly on top of casserole.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes until casserole is bubbly around edges and bread cubes are golden.

Nutrition Facts: based on 6 adult serving sizes = 400 calories, 18g fat & 31g carbs.  I made this in our 9x13 pan and divided the portions by 8.  Much more kid friendly sizing)


this pancreas wants to know

I thought I'd get a little techy here on 333 and try a Polldaddy survey. 

If it works, then I will create a new page on my blog for the polls and results.  Everybody likes free opinions, right?! Or, is it just me . . . . .


keeping it real

Heather, over at teens and a toddler, sent me a very kind message mentioning she chose me as a recipient of this:

And, while I will display the button on my sidebar and while I will kind-of-sort-of participate in reciprocating, I need to say something in a full-disclosure-in-the-interest-of-honesty kind of way. 

My blog is here, and out there, for the selfish purpose of wanting my voice to be heard.  Because I sign on to my Google Reader several times daily so I can hear the voices of people out there who inspire me, motivate me, challenge me to be a better Person/Pancreas/Christian/Mom/Wife/Daughter/Friend/Sister.  Because I want to feel like I belong.

I don't blog for gaining followers or for income or even for comments, (although I admit I do love it when someone takes the time to do so) however, I totally admire those who are dedicating their time and talents to building a better blog.

All of this to say; thank you Heather for the 'award' and please forgive me for not following the acceptance rules according to the following:

As with anything else there are rules and the rules are:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you the award. - done
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.  - will do
  3. Award 15 other bloggers.  - Anyone who has 7 things they want to say
  4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.  - consider this your invitation

This dreary, snowy, cold and dark Monday Morning, These 7 things are on my mind:


Of what?  Of having to be a make-shift-pancreas.  Of having a chronically ill child.  Of having to fight the insurance company.  Of having to watch Ellie take on a disease with no cure.  Of having to count every single fricken' carbohydrate she puts in her mouth.  Of having to plan out the day and look ahead when all I want to do is be in the moment.


One of my new purposes in life is educating others on about Type 1 Diabetes.  Education is power!  And, I believe educationis the first step in finding a cure.  I am confused, however, on how to give a quick and dirty explanation of what to answer when well-meaning people ask the million dollar question:

"How are you guys doing?"

I have struggled with answering this question in 600 words or less.  I did, however, find a wonderful way of describing things while reading Sfincham's Blog post about 'the subject of sleep'.  About 2/3 down the page, she mentions trying to get an insulin dose correct and refers to it as a 'moving target'.  :: light bulb moment :: 

"Living with Type 1 Diabetes is like trying to hit a moving target.  Not just once, but over and over, 24 hours a day."


I recently learned from another T1 parent that even if Ellie is able to hit that moving target more often than not, she still has a VERY high likelihood of having c-o-m-p-l-i-c-a-t-i-o-n-s.  As a mom, this is terrifying.  No one wants this for their child.


I have become overly sensitive, and I don't like it one little bit.  Overly sensitive to the inflections in Ellie's voice.  Overly sensitive to family members' well intentions.  Overly sensitive to Dr.'s questions.  Overly sensitive to food and food choices.  Overly sensitive to people's opinions of me.  Even overly sensitive to physical touch.  I am on high alert and it is getting 'old'.


I am failing in my promise to not be an overweight mother to a T1 diabetic daughter.  Ellie will be fighting prejudices about her disease her entire life, especially about her weight.  If she is skinny, people will wonder how/why she has 'diabetes' if she isn't overweight.  If she is overweight, people will assume she is 'diabetic' because she isn't skinny.  (Using the term 'diabetes' as a catch-all for all types and assuming the current social indifference)  It is something I decided very early on that I didn't want to add to Ellie's fight.  I want to be a good example for her and for her disease.  If I can't follow a healthy lifestyle, why should anyone expect Ellie to?  I have actually gained weight since her diagnosis.  Why?  Because food is where I run to for comfort, and I have been needing LOTS of comfort lately.


I am humbled God chose me to be Ellie's mom.  I don't deserve it and I am certainly not worthy, but I will overcome the 'list' above through prayer and thankfulness.  If He believes in me, I will defeat my confusion, fears, sensitivity and failures through His never ending love and support.  I will work through my doubts and struggles because God has promised to walk beside me, in front of me, behind me and to even carry me when I don't believe I can take another step.  


Even though I don't want to be, I am officially a card-carrying member of the diabetic online community (DOC) and I am grateful.  Grateful for parents of children with diabetes and people living with diabetes themselves sharing their voices so freely and openly so I don't feel alone.  Community is a powerful force and through it a collective demand for a cure WILL be heard.  I am thankful to have the opportunity to share my voice.

I will continue to pray and continue to read and continue to fight.  I will also continue my resolution to choose JOY in 2011.  For today, however, I might just go back to bed for awhile because I do hear it calling me.


2451 hours

I have waited 2451 hours to face my greatest fear of Ellie T1 Diabetes.  It has been hiding in the corner, a veritable dark shadow, licking it's lips in anticipation of just the right moment.

That right moment arrived Thursday at 10:30pm when Ellie's 2-hour stubborn 'low' ended with a a slurry of juicy juice, grape glucose tabs, a beef stick and 2 peppermint candies thrown up into a plastic red bowl.

The Stomach Flu.

Why the fear, you ask?  Because a person with T1 Diabetes needs a fine balance between glucose and insulin; and when one of those two is being hurled into a bowl at 90 miles an hour, the other is left with a wide open playing field.  Blood sugars plummet, ketones rise and DKA can take over over in the blink of an eye.

Our first hint that something was wrong began on Thursday night at 9:20pm when Ellie had been in bed for about an hour.  She knocked on my door and told me her tummy hurt.  This is Ellie's way of knowing her sugars are too high or too low, so I didn't immediately worry that she was getting sick.  We tested her blood sugar and found she was at was 55, so she downed a 4oz box of Juicy Juice.  We retested 15 minutes later and she was only up to 65, so she slurped another 4 ounces of Juicy Juice.  Another poke read 67 so we went for 3 grape glucose tabs and a beef stick (for some protein to make the sugar 'stick') and we threw in a couple of peppermints for good measure. 

Another finger prick yielded a measly 91 from the meter.  At this point I call my Diabetes Angel, Stef, and ask her why Ellie's numbers aren't through the roof with all that sugar in her system.  Stef told is to give her another peppermint and then recheck in 10 minutes. 

A whoppin' 118 says the mini meter.  What the?

I text Stef and she replies "I hate to tell you this, but Ellie might be getting sick.  As in grab-a-trash-can-she-might-just-vomit sick."

You can guess what happened next.  And again and again and again until bile was the only thing left for her tummy to toss.

This was not all, though.  In addition to worrying about how I was going to keep Ellie's blood sugars stable without the help of glucose, I knew I needed to get her into the bathroom to test for ketones. 

The first test read "small".  Okay, I can handle small.  Push water and . . . . crap, how can I push water when she is puking? 

A couple of hours later, Ellie retested and the ketone strip read 'Moderate' and I have to admit, my first thought was that we needed to bundle her up and take her to the hospital.  It was 4am at this point and while that shouldn't have swayed my decision, it did.  Here was a sick little girl who was still vomiting every hour and I knew if I told her we needed to get up and leave for the hospital she would get very upset.  As in s-t-r-e-s-s-e-d.  As in stress = potentially lowering her already unstable blood sugars.

So we stayed put and I pulled out my instruction binder from the Endocrinologist.  "If ketones are small-moderate, inject give 10% of the total daily dose usage of insulin (we are on Humalog/Lantus MDI).  Repeat every 3 hours until ketones test negative."

Okay.  I can do this.  Insulin without any glucose in her system, though?  How does that work?

It didn't.  By 7am her ketones were "Large" and once again I turned to the binder.  "If ketones are Large-Xtra Large, inject 20% of the total daily dose usage of insulin and repeat every 3 hours until ketones are small-moderate."

Deep breath.  Okay, I can do this.  More insulin in her body, yet still no intake.  The last time she puked was 6am.

Another couple of hours go by, this time without any more vomiting.  Her blood sugars are miraculously hovering around 160-170 despite the extra insulin.  In addition, we had dosed Ellie her Lantus (24-hour controlled release insulin) the evening before, so we had no control over what was already floating around in her blood stream. 

At 8:15am I call the Dr.  I know, I know.  "Why didn't you call before????" You ask.

Well, several reasons.  1.  I had my Diabetes Angel, Stef, who is a mother of a T1 herself and has been through it all before,  2. I had the instructional binder from the Endo's office,  3.  The DOC (diabetic online community) had provided stories and examples of 'been there, done that'.  and  4. I just knew in my heart that staying at home was the best place for us to be .... at that time.  

Would I repeat that advice to anyone else who asked?  Heck no.  You do what YOU need to do, what works for YOU in the situation.

The nurse confirms we were doing all we could do and to keep at it.  If for any reason we feel uncomfortable, or if Ellie's blood sugars dropped and she continued to puke, then we should head for the hospital.

Well, the seconds turned into minutes which turned into a couple of hours and Ellie slowly began to improve.  Sips of water stayed down.  Dry heaving stopped.  Ketones moved down to Large-Moderate.  And finally, Ellie and I slept.

This is Ellie about 12 hours into being sick.  By this point she had puked over a dozen times, poked for BS readings 20 times, and kept down some frozen 7-up chips.  What I notice most is her lips finally had some color at this point. 

Part of our arsenal of weapons against those nasty germs.  That red bowl saw more action that night than a prostitute in Washington DC. 

The hubs hit the couch so Ellie and I could have the bed.  Used test strips were strewn EVERYWHERE! 

The infamous instruction binder . . . . with more used test strips. I am still finding carnage from the bloody battle.

Ketone test strips with a guest appearance by Juicy Juice in the background.  Ellie pees on a strip and we compare the color to the chart on the bottle.  At one point her ketone strip was almost as dark as the darkest color available.  Scary sh*t.  (the color of the strips in the photo are old, and they lose their vibrancy.  Kind of like an old pregnancy test.  What?  You totally know what I mean)

Even now, 44 hours after getting sick, she still has 'small' ketones.  Those buggers are hard to flush out.

It was ugly, it was messy, it was terrifying, it was . . . . . . it was as bad as I feared it would be

But today we are on the other side and we survived. You can bet I made certain the door smacked the stomach flu's ass as he walked out the door.

Thank you.  Thank you all out there in the DOC.  You made my first experience as a fake-pancreas-tackling-puke doable.  You shared YOUR stories and YOUR experiences so I could arm myself with information when it came time to fight OUR turn.

Another 'first' with T1 Diabetes now behind us.  Good riddance!