Monday, December 22, 2008

Pink Panther

We've got a diabetic sick day going on. Daniel came down with the wicked stomach flu that has ravaged our household. I dug out the good old Pink Panther book, which so wonderfully explains what to do when ketones approach.

Daniel is hovering just over the range of normal -- he's been in the 140's all day, but has recently inched up to the 170's. His latest test for ketones found some in trace to small levels. So he just had some ginger ale with an insulin chaser, and we'll see what happens next.

As we've each gotten sick, we've all gravitated to a corner of the big green couch, curled into a comma shape, and covered up with a big, furry blanket. It must be the most comfortable spot in the house. I wish it had magical healing properties, too.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Perspective changes everything. I remember roiling in angst when I was in my 20's over something... a relationship? Money problems? Who knows anymore. I took a walk outside that evening into a moment of perfection. A rising moon, branches silhouetted against the surreal shades of blue and green. In wonder, surrounded by something much greater than myself, my worries dropped away. And when I picked them back up again, as I felt I needed to do, I found they were not quite as powerful as they had been before. Why? Because I had been able to let them go, if just for a few moments. The magic of the moment was tangible, and I could summon it, from time to time, to help me let go of angst again.

I am missing my best friend today, my partner, my love. It colors everything I do. So what I do, for now, is go through the motions of the day, and hope for a golden moment of perspective.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Losing It

There's a nasty stomach virus around... and it is in my house! Nora caught it first, followed quickly by me. Ugh. Then we had a couple days of lovely peace and quiet. I thought, "Yay! It's gone!" And, "PHEW, Daniel escaped!" Because the thought of dealing with the stomach virus/diabetes combination makes me queasy all over again.

And still, Daniel has escaped it. I'm asking him to wash his hands every half hour or so! :) But Dominic started up at 2:30 this morning.


Doing more laundry. Bleaching more bathrooms.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Why do little boys...

Why do little boys take their sister's razors while they are in the bathtub and shave their eyebrows?

I don't think Dominic will let me take a picture.

11:30 pm, 3:00 am, 5:15 am

Last night was the holiday party thrown by Matt's office. It was at the Gaylord Hotel & Conference Center, on the new waterfront area built just south of DC. Lovely, HUGE... it was snowing inside the main lobby, just for effect. The staff was fabulous, the dinner was okay, the dresses were fun to observe. Traffic was better than expected both to and from the event, and we got home just in time to hear Nora throwing up in her room. Yeah, it was one of those messy ones.

11:30 pm, 3:00 a.m., 5:15 a.m. It's a tummy bug. I kept telling myself that after the 3:00 a.m. vomit --the one where she told me she was awfully thirsty. I remembered we had been out shopping together earlier in the day and she told me how thirsty she was. (I was as well -- shopping and cold, dry weather will do that to you.)

Nonetheless the monkey in my brain is saying, "Should you go check her blood sugar? How about keytones? How long has she been thirsty? Has she lost weight?" The other part of my brain, the one that truly wants to get some rest is saying, "Shut up. You were thirsty, too. She has a slight fever. It's a tummy bug. The clinical trial people said last summer she didn't have the antibodies in her blood showing diabetes. SHUT UP. GO TO SLEEP."

Maybe I slept. I'm not sure. I've got a field trip this morning with my church kids. I just folded the 11:30 p.m. laundry and am putting the 3:00 a.m. laundry in the dryer. Time to start the day. Sat Nam.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Type 1 Diabetes & Celiac are Linked

Thanks to my sister in law for passing along this article from the Boston Globe:

The following appeared on
Headline: Juvenile diabetes, celiac disease linked
Date: Dec 11, 2008

"WASHINGTON - Type-1 diabetes and celiac disease, also known
as gluten
intolerance, share at least some genetic roots, researchers
reported yesterday."

see this recommendation, click on the link below or cut and paste it
into a Web browser:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Season of Sweets

It started today.

I walked into my classroom, and on my desk sat a chocolate chip pound cake. Just what I need! The season of sweets has started. I have been trying so hard to lose the weight I gained after Daniel was diagnosed -- I neglected myself for a while. Plus I was sad. Eating = comfort. Sadness scares away the desire to exercise. Bad combination. So I've lost *almost* 10 of the pounds I gained, and am almost at the point where my brain says, "Hey! Just for fun, whaddaya say we exercise today!" It's a weird paradigm shift.

Then the cake appears, and I know it is only the beginning.

The kids have already started asking, "when are we going to make cookies/toffee/pizzelles?" They came home with trays of chocolates from our church's holiday craft day.

I need a strategy to get through the next few weeks. Celery, anyone?

Monday, December 8, 2008


Here's the email laugh I got today:

To All My Politically Correct Friends:Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wished.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I am so thankful that my family is giving me the time and space to attend a weekend long workshop to learn the Radiant Child Yoga Program. I have taken yoga for more than 20 years, but have studied mostly Hatha and Iyengar schools, and only touched briefly on Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini yoga is filled with movement and vibrant energy, and is perfect for children, especially the wiggly ones! Shakta Kaur Khalsa, who is teaching the class, has written stories to go along with the yoga movements, and they so wonderfully turn yoga class into a directed playtime that has physical and psychological benefits for the kids.

I am also experiencing the benefit of a new kind of yoga. As always, yoga opens up the mind, stretches and strengthens the body, and brings a sense of joy. I hope to share this feeling in children's yoga classes soon!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Big Feet

It happened today. Nora took my boots & wore them to school. She is wearing my shoes. They were my cream knit boots with the pom poms.

She's wearing my shoes.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Daniel, the Game Maker

Here's the first video game that Daniel wrote! It's up on Click on the link below to play. Yay, Daniel!


Hungry Hungry S...
Added: 26 November 2008
By: samusrules93

Monday, December 1, 2008


I was on the phone with Nora when I pulled into the bank to go into the drive-through. I was telling her that there was a lovely rainbow outside, and she should go look. There were two drive through lines, with cars at both stations. There was a car waiting behind the the person in the left lane, so I pulled into the right-hand lane to wait behind the other car.

As I hung up with Nora, I heard a beep. The lady waiting behind the left-hand car was beeping at me. I rolled down my window.

"Excuse me," she said, "I was waiting in line for the next available space. So you should wait behind me, it just makes sense."

I said, "No, that's not the way it works. There are two tellers. Two lines. You just pull up to the next open space."

She said, "Well I think it makes sense to wait for the next open spot," or something like that. I once again said that I believed you just pulled into whatever line is available. That's the way it is with drive up banking as opposed to waiting in line inside. Two drive ups. Don't cross over the white line. I was also about to explain that in any case, if I got behind her and ANOTHER car wanted to get in line, it would go right past me and take the next space! But before I could say that she smiled sweetly at me and said, "well, if it is that important to you, just pull right up." And she rolled up her window. Patronizing bitch.

So I did! And to prove my point, another car pulled in at that very moment, right behind her. I pointed at the car, as if to explain my point, but she was no longer looking at me.

I could have said that it didn't really matter. I always pick the wrong line, especially when there are two open and I have a choice. This time I didn't have a choice. There was one line open. I took it.

I hate it when people are so smarmy and condescending, especially when they are WRONG.

My line was slower, of course. It always is. And when I left the bank, the rainbow was gone.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Numbers numbers numbers

The latest A1c came back at 7.7. But that was right before Daniel got the pump, and his numbers were lousy. He was running high every evening without fail, and when we tried to mess with his lantus or dinner ratios, he'd go low either in the middle of the night or the morning.

Today Daniel remarked how his numbers had really been in range lately. We got the CareLink device that uploads his pump info to the medtronic website, so we can generate reports and check out his trends. Pretty cool. It's good to see his blood sugar moving back into range. Still some highs, but not as many. We seem to have gotten that evening high under control.

Knock wood.

Thanksgiving is around the corner and I haven't even looked at my recipes yet. Delaying the inevitable. Also, my dad has been in poor health lately, and I'm praying that he will be will enough to join us on Thursday. I believe all will be well. I believe it strongly, because he is more negative, and I have to offset his thoughts.

I really enjoy Thanksgiving. The food is wonderful, and I love getting together with family and friends. I just wish I had an extra day off this week to prepare for the "Pie-a-palooza!"

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cold & Poetry

Autumn is granting us some chilly days; the forecasters scramble around trying to predict the season of snow. A change of weather always makes me think of my favorite poet, Mary Oliver. The purple part is my favorite, a mantra, a truth.

Starlings in Winter

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine

how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.

Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard. I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.
~ Mary Oliver ~

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Was On My Way Out the Door...

I called to Daniel, "time to change your site!" He's pretty much at the point where he is changing it on his own, and I think he likes me there for moral support. I had to leave for yoga class, so if he wanted me there for support, it had to be NOW! So down the stairs he came and said, "don't worry, I don't need you to be here. You can go to class." I said fine, and was going to head out, but turned around to take the insulin out of the refrigerator for him as he's pulling out the other supplies. I had picked up the insulin prescription yesterday at CVS.

As I'm walking over to Daniel with the box, I glance down and see a strange name where Daniel's name should be. I stopped, went back to the fridge and got all three boxes. They don't have Daniel's name on them. I said, "Daniel, there's something wrong. This isn't your insulin."

Daniel said, "I just pulled out the site." He comes to look at the box. "Well, anyway, it's novolog."

I looked at the box, and I looked at Daniel's box from his finished bottle. "It's not the same insulin. The box that didn't belong to us said Novolog 70/30. Not right. Not good.

I grabbed the boxes and the receipts from yesterday and shot over to CVS -- probably a little too fast -- going over in my head what had happened the day before. Picture it -- a long line, later in the evening. Two or three pharmacists busy in the back, two people working the registers. I'm finally at the front of the line, and the girl behind the register finishes ringing up her customer, then folds her arms down on the counter and says, "God, I just want to go home!" I smile, thinking, yeah, it's been a long day, I want to go home, too.

I give her Daniel's name and she goes to look for the prescriptions (keytone strips and novolog). She gets the strips and then looks in the refrigerator for the novolog. She looks and looks and I say to her, "look in the door of the refrigerator," but she doesn't hear me and can't find it. She walks back over to the pharmacist with the paperwork in hand, and the pharmacist says, "It's in the fridge! Look in the door!" So register girl goes back to the fridge and looks in the bottom, and in the back, but NOT IN THE DOOR.

I call out a little louder, "LOOK IN THE DOOR." She finally does. Picks up three boxes rubber-banded together, turns them around, looks them over, and says, "okay," and puts them in the CVS pharmacy bag. I took them home.

So I flew back there tonight and thank goodness there was no line. Register girl is behind the counter again, and I restrain myself from leaping over the counter and into her face. I explain that I received the wrong prescription, the wrong medication, and that my son needs his insulin NOW. She goes back into the fridge, pulls out three more rubber-banded boxes, and says, "Daniel, right?" YES.

I get the boxes and triple check them. They are Daniel's. She smiles at me. "Okay! All set!"

I dropped the boxes off at home and hit the road to try to make it to yoga. On the way I called CVS and spoke to the pharmacist and explained what happened. I said that it was lucky I happened to grab the boxes and look at the name. Daniel wouldn't have looked, he would have just injected. I found out later that 70/30 novolog is a combination of fast and slow acting insulin. Daniel only uses fast acting insulin. I don't like to think of what could have happened. The pharmacist said he would remedy the situation.

I hope so. Register girl needs to know that she could have caused an awful problem. Tired as she may be, if she's dispensing medication, she has to focus on what she's doing.

Never walk out of a pharmacy without opening the bag and looking at what they gave you. Check the name, check the medication. You might save your life.

Follow Up

Daniel had his pump follow up visit today. We met with our pump nurse, and everything went well (except that his A1c number has gone missing, but the nurse is going to chase after it).

It's nice to hear that, according to the nurse, everything looks normal and that it appears that we've done everything right over the past month. Knots and air bubbles in the tubing aside, pumping has gone fairly smoothly. There were a couple of 3 a.m. moments when Daniel's number was high and we were trying to figure out why. I have to say, at 3 a.m. when Daniel has a high-blood sugar brain and I'm clunking along on no sleep, it's very difficult to think logically. When Daniel gets frustrated at the stupid pump doing stupid things (no human error, of course not) I have to remind him that for however long in his life he has to wear this pump, he has to expect that there will be issues. There will be finger flubbing and mechanical issues and forgetfulness, and plastic breaking and sites ripping out and other things that we haven't even thought of. It's the nature of the beast. But he's certainly happier with the pump than he was with shots, so we're making the most of it.

We also got other good news this week -- even with all those weeks of waking up at 3 a.m., Daniel came home with a great report card (as did his siblings!). Woo hoo!

Next we have to look into Driver's Ed school. I can't believe my baby's almost old enough to drive. I can't possibly be that old.

If anyone has any suggestions for diabetes camp within a few hours of Washington, DC, let me know. I think we're going to look into them for this summer.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wild and Tangled Grass

Wild and Tangled Grass
Originally uploaded by NaomiPoet
I don't have the time I need to tend the garden and make it winter-ready. The decorative grasses said it best today: "I'm a bed of curly tangles, don't mess with me!"

As much as we are in a groove with Daniel's diabetes now, pumping smoothly, getting used to changes, it's still a 24/7 business. It figures into everything. I wonder how many hours are spent taking care of either Daniel's diabetes or celiac. Then I look sadly at my messy garden. I know where the time goes, and I know it is well spent. There is just not enough of it on any given day. I'm just glad to have a moment to post on D-Blog day!

When life throws curves -- when the washing machine breaks or a kid gets strep or work takes one parent or the other away -- time becomes even more precious. I multitask. Bake the gluten free muffins for church early in the morning and slip in some pleasure reading for 15 minutes while they bake. Work on my grade book while waiting at the urgent care clinic to check out Nora's throat.

We all multitask, juggle, prioritize, and let things slide. Lists are written and rewritten, and eventually thrown away. My heart started to stutter at the thought of the approaching holidays, the additional tasks, the traditions my loved ones expect to occur. And yet, and yet... there may be changes. I have to gracefully accept being happy with just doing what I can.

As for the garden, I'll let mother nature deal with it. It was hers to begin with.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Smart Insulin?

There was an interesting article in my Google Alerts today about Type 1 diabetes. You can read it here. The JDRF is announcing the kick off of a project to develop Smartinsulin insulin, which will recognize when the body's blood sugar is rising and release insulin to cover for it. Then when the blood sugar settles down, it stops the release. It would require a once-a-day injection.

No word yet on saving fingers from lancet pokes.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm Wearing Blue Today

I'm dressed in blue and hoping for change this election day. After school I'll take my kids to the voting booth with me so that they feel like they are a part of the process (even if it means standing in long lines!). We're all praying for an Obama victory!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I should be working, but...

Gotta try this meme.

Only Type One Word .. first word that comes to mind (Not as easy as you might think!).

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Your significant other? Matt
3. Your Hair? Brown
4. Your Skin? Peachy
5. Your mother? Older
6. Your favorite thing? Time
7. Your dream last night? Interrupted
8. Your favorite drink? Cosmojito
9. Your dream/goal? Author
10. The room you're in? Basement
11. Your ex? Cop
12. Your fear? Disease
13.Where do you want to be in 6 years? Hawaii
14.Where were you last night? Interrupted
15.What you're not? Famous
16.Muffins? Berrylicious!
17.One of your wish list items? Kindle
18.Where you grew up? Various
19.The last thing you did? Read
20.What are you wearing? T-shirt (it says Make Art Not War)
21.Your TV? Off
22.Your pets? Bumble
23. Your computer? Dell
24. Your life? progressing
25. Your mood? restless
26. Missing someone? Yes
27. Your car? Minivan
28. Something you're not wearing? mouthguard
29. Favorite Store? online
30. Your summer? Free!
31. Like someone? Yes
32. Your favorite color? Blue
33. When is the last time you laughed? Today
34. Last time you cried? Evening
35. Who will respond to this? Nu?
36. Who's Answers are you anxious to see? Yours.

Friday, October 31, 2008

One More Halloween Post

I can't believe I forgot to write about this earlier.

Dominic woke up vomiting this morning, poor guy. On Halloween, too. Matt stayed home with him and I went to work for a couple of hours. We had a half day today; no classes for me, just had to print some paperwork to prepare for the weekend and join in the Halloween parade. Then I came home and took over so Matt could go to work.

Dominic felt much better by the time I got home, and was ready to have some soup. He asked me to look at his arm and see if it was very skinny. I thought maybe he thought he would get skinnier because he threw up.

"No honey, you don't look skinny." I told him.

"I mean like Daniel, when he got diabetes," Dominic said. Daniel was in DKA when he was diagnosed, throwing up for a couple of days. He lost a lot of weight in a short time.

"No!" I told him. "You just have a tummy bug! You are even feeling better, which is why you were hungry for soup!"

"I want to test my blood sugar, just in case." So I got the extra meter that we keep in the car. Dominic was trying to scrape his knuckle to get some blood, but I told him to stop that. We tried using our new Pelikan Sun device (which is not working, thank you very much), but no go on that. So I put a regular lancer on the lowest setting, and Dominic stuck out his finger and shut his eyes. It didn't lance him. We had to turn it two clicks before it lanced him and we could read his blood sugar level.

A perfect 88. Not to worry. Today.

Great Resource

I am on a couple of list serves, and they have certainly served me will with great information. One bit of info that I'd like to pass on is a wonderful, free resource for nutrient-dense, gluten-free cooking. There are 2 free, downloadable cookbooks from the Vitalita Culinary Group (VCG). Just click on the link. I've started looking through the recipes and they look great. I'll probably have to do some shopping to pick up some of the specialty ingredients (chestnut flour? haven't seen that around) and may have to go online to get a few of them. Gluten free cooking can be an adventure.

We all know that kids can say the darndest things. I had lunch duty at school this week and I asked one of the first grade girls what she was having for lunch that looked so good. She said, "Well, we're vegetarians because my mom has diabetes."

I said, "Really? My son has diabetes, too!"

She said, "Then I guess you can't eat meat, either."

I left it at that. Better not to get into the specifics of diabetes (oh, is she type 1 or 2?) with a 6 year old girl, especially when she has only 20 minutes to eat her lunch.

I do have a friend whose T-1 diabetic grown sun decided to follow a vegetarian diet because he said it helped him to control his blood sugar. I wouldn't have too much difficulty going vegetarian; I'm mostly there right now. But for Daniel... well... that would be tough. I shouldn't complain though; he eats a healthy, varied diet. He just likes his meat.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Squeak, Squeak

I have some wicked laryngitis going on. I taught 4 classes today, mostly silent! It's amazing how sweet and helpful the little kindergarteners were when they realized they had to be totally silent if they wanted to hear what I had to say!

The fourth graders thought it was hysterically funny.

I could float away on the amount of lemon/honey tea I've been drinking. I don't think it is actually helping my throat any. Only time & silence will do that!

The good news is that we're finally allowed to sleep through the night again. Last night was (supposedly) the last night of 3 a.m. blood sugar testing for a while. Until the next change.

Onward and upward!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

That Groggy Feeling

Pumping has been going fine, really, except for the 3 a.m. get togethers that leave us senseless during the daytime. Daniel was running pretty high at night, and has forgotten to bolus a couple of times for meals, which really messes up the numbers. But even when he did remember, he was still climbing up into the 300's and 400's at 3 a.m. Our nurse adjusted the basal rates and last night we were finally in range all night. Whew. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for tonight.

My hubby wanted to go out on a date night tonight, and I just couldn't do it. I know I'd just fall asleep in a movie theater or a lovely darkened restaurant. It's been a big push to make it to 9 p.m. lately. Rain check!!

My friend Brad sent me a link to the following video. Love it.

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New Routines

The first site change at home went well. But then Daniel decided at dinner time to wait until after he ate to bolus, because he wasn't sure how much food he was going to have. Have you guessed what happened yet? Right. Forgot to bolus. 3 a.m. blood sugar check was not happy. Daniel felt like crap. We're all pretty tired now, but we'll get through it.

I ordered Daniel an "invisipump," so he could wear the pump inside his pants. He doesn't like it there, but I'm holding on to it in case he changes his mind later on in his life (job interviews, etc.). Mostly he puts the pump in his pocket and stuffs the tubing in his pants. We have long tubing now, but will probably order the shorter tubing as well to have around. When he was pumping with saline we had the short tubing. Daniel tried putting a site in the back of his arm, and about 10 minutes later yanked the whole thing out when he was outside playing around because the tubing was too short. Live and learn. At night he drops the pump into a sock and pins it to his pjs. I have to sew some pockets into them.

Last weekend we we went to Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland. The weather, the trees, the colors -- it was all so beautiful. The only bad part of the weekend was that Dominic got pretty sick, but we went to an urgent care clinic and they set us up with antibiotics & prednisone, and soon all was well.

At one point Dominic was watching the birds flying to the bird feeder. Our friends suggested that he try to get the bird to eat out of his hand -- but only if he could sit very still. Dominic was determined. And finally, the birds trusted him enough (or were hungry enough) to take the food from his palm.

We did a couple of fun things before Dominic's fever spiked. There was an enormous corn maze with fun activities, yummy treats, hay ride, etc. Then we went to a store called Schoolhouse Earth that had a petting zoo. Spent all my quarters on goat food (although the goats were perfectly happy to eat the few remaining dandelions that I found on the lawn, and they were free). At night at there was a "haunted coaster ride" at the Wisp Ski area, and Matt took Daniel & Nora and waited in an incredibly long line for a quick ride down the mountain. I stayed in with Dominic, putting cold cloths on his head and dosing him with advil.

Time for sleep. That 3 a.m. blood sugar test comes way too quickly!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Saline Start

Daniel started pumping saline today. We had a great session with the Medtronic nurse rep, Tonya. At the end of a very full couple of hours, I felt a little more comfortable with the pump. Tonya wanted to know what questions we had, but it seems now like the questions will come once we start using this thing.

We were sent Quickserts instead of Sil-serts (I don't even know if I'm calling them the right things, there are so many pump-related words floating in my brain right now). Daniel is pretty slim & wants to use the angled inserts. Medtronic is doing the switch for us. So far they have been very helpful on the phone & in person.

At this point I am stuck thinking about clothes. Daniel wants to keep the pump in a pocket, but I'm worried about tubing sticking out and getting caught on something. But then again, I'm not wearing the thing, he is. He has to decide what is comfortable. I'm going to have to break out the sewing machine and put pockets into pajamas. I'll probably have to deepen some of the pockets on his pants. Maybe put a little hole at the top of the pocket to slide the tube through so it doesn't have to stick out anywhere. Or... what about using one of those sporty iPod armbands? Do they fit insulin pumps? I'm going to have to do some research.

By the way, can pumping saline make you high? Wacky numbers tonight. Well, Daniel *did* have pizza.

Today we had a day off of school because of the Yom Kippur holiday. I had a long list of things to do today and have taken care of all but 2. Those 2 will have to wait. I'm tired. When will a day off be just a day off? Whew! Looking forward to the weekend.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Life With Diabetes

Hey, talent agents! Here's Daniel (red shirt) in the Discovery Health Channel public service announcement for kids with Type 1 Diabetes!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Diabetes & Celiac

Allison Blass over at Lemonade Life wrote a wonderful article about the wicked combination of diabetes & celiac. Check it out here. Thanks, Allison!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wiggle Wiggle

Daniel was on the phone in the basement last night when we heard, "HOLY CRAP! MOM! THERE'S A SNAKE IN HERE!" So of course we all go galloping into the room. Daniel jumped out and said that it went behind the dresser. My husband is yelling at everyone to get out of the room. I went to get a flashlight. I couldn't see anything under the dresser except an electrical cord. My husband asked Daniel what color the snake was. Daniel thought it was black.

"Are you sure you didn't just see the electrical cord?" he asked.

"Dad, I think I know what a snake is when I see one!"

Finally I see some movement under the dresser, and it's a tiny little garter snake. After some poking & prodding we trapped it with tupperware and got it outside.

Too bad. It could have eaten all the crickets!

The good news is that Daniel's pump arrived today! Woo hoo!

We will go through training next week, and are planning to do the pump start on the 15th.

I'll have to find some space to store all this stuff!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Getting Needled - AND - The RAINaissance Festival

Morning, Part I:

I forgot to pick up Daniel's pen needle prescription yesterday afternoon and we're getting precariously low. I ran into CVS this morning first thing and asked for the prescription. The lady says, "do you have a new insurance card?" Oh, yes... and then I remembered I had just grabbed my money & driver's license. NOT ON ME! Damn! She says, "that will be $78." I told her I'd be right back. Luckily the CVS is very close.

I grabbed the card, headed back, and started the process all over again. The lady goes to her computer and types in the info. Types. Types. Shakes her head. Types. I see the same screen popping up over and over. Finally she comes to me and tells me that the pen needles are not covered.

WTF??? That's impossible? I told her to hang on, I'll try calling the insurance co. I call the # on the back of the card and got someone who was not too helpful. She said she saw the BD ultra fine needles, but not the BD ultra fine mini needles as being covered. I told her that was ridiculous. Who else can I talk to? She said I could call my benefits people. Funny, I thought I did call them, but then realized I should have called the # on the FRONT of the card. So I do, and I get customer service, and she says that all disposable items like that are covered. I told her that the CVS people can't get the computer to say that, is there a code? So the very nice lady calls a different department, the people who deal with the disposable stuff, and talks to someone who offers to call the CVS, speak with the pharmacist, and get it all straightened out.

I passed that info to the pharmacist, and waited another few minutes for the call to come through. When it did, there still seemed to be some confusion going on at the computer, but suddenly the pharmacist smiled and said, "Thanks!" to the very nice man named "Les" on the phone. She bagged up the needles and handed me the bag. They were FREE. Free!

Morning, part II:

The things we do for our kids.

Last year we went to the Renaissance Festival for the first time. We took Nora for her birthday, and she loved it. It was a boiling hot day and I could not imagine attending in costume -- long cloaks, long dresses, wigs for God's sake, hats, etc. etc. Too hot. Too heavy. The sword would get in the way & thwack my legs as I walked. Plus I don't think it is physically possible for my breasts to be pumped up and put on display in the various and interesting ways I witnessed that day. People watching was fun for all! With all the walking, the various games, and the intense humidity, we spent lots of money on cold drinks that day.

Fast forward to today, the day we planned to go again, the only day we COULD go for weeks & weeks. All other weekends have stuff going on pretty much through the end of October! Of course it rained. I knew it was going to rain. I popped a couple of umbrellas in the car, grabbed a baseball cap, and we set off. Minus my husband, of course, who told me at the last minute (actually, Nora called to tell me while I was at CVS dealing with the needle thing) that he had too much work to do to go. GRRRRR. Fine.

Rain? Did I say rain? Deluge. Buckets. Talk about experiencing life the way it used to be (before umbrellas). I didn't feel like carrying an umbrella, so I just wore my hat. Dominic opted for an umbrella. Nora wore her cloak (former Halloween costume piece) and hobbit ears. Daniel didn't want to carry an umbrella. Until after we walked into the place and the skies opened up. Then he didn't want to go back to the car. At one point we ducked into one of the clothing stores and I actually considered buying one of those ridiculously expensive cloaks. Might have, too, if they had considered putting in slits for the arms to go through.

We watched all the people dragging their glorious costumes through 4+ inches of mud. The rain would lighten up for a few minutes to a drizzle, enough to lure you out into the alleyways to find entertainment, and then the clouds would spew once again. It was crazy, but we had fun! Thank goodness I found one stall that sold hot herbal tea. AHHHHH. Nora's birthday present of choice this year was a large wooden sword. No, she's not a girly girl. Don't get on her bad side.

Family fun at its sloppiest. Who loves you, kids? Who? Your mommy! Show your appreciation! Get that woman some tea!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Flying Time

Sure, I'm having fun. That's why the time is flying so quickly that I hardly have a moment to post. Can't even imagine doing one of those posting-daily-for-a-month things now. I guess I'm still adjusting to the full-time work schedule, but it's all good.

My crowning achievement last week was when all the kids in the kindergarten class (14 boys!!!) were sitting quietly at their computers, clicking away at their rhyming activity. It was quiet. I called their homeroom teacher over so she could witness... "LOOK WHAT I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED!!!" It was like when Tom Hanks made fire in the movie Castaway.

The other big news in my life is that I bought a new vacuum. That might not seem like much to you, but my vacuum has been giving a half-hearted performance for a while and my house looked like crap, so this one makes me smile. It's a Dyson, and I do believe it could suck the paint off the walls (look out, Bumble the hamster!). Even the kids can't wait to get their hands on it because it is so cool.

Still on track to get our pump. We finalized the order today, and we're just waiting for the letter of medical necessity from the doctor. OH THESE THINGS TAKE TIME. Breathe in breathe out.

We're about to sit down for the premier of Heroes. Daniel has been counting down for weeks now! I'd love that flying superpower... but actually, I guess I'd prefer the healing one. For everyone with diabetes.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Time Flies!

What a week!

Monday is my busiest day at school, with 6 classes in a row (with one break for lunch and one 10 minute break in the afternoon). So by the end of the day I was tired. As I was driving out of the parking lot at school I felt a CRUNCH!! One of the high school kids was backing out of a parking space and hit me as I was driving by. No big damage, but certainly paint was scraped off. One more thing to take care of.

When I got home I got a call from Phil from Discovery saying that they'd really like Daniel to come and film a public service announcement instead of doing the online thing they had initially planned. But... the thing is... they were doing that TOMORROW. Was Daniel free at about 2:30?

My mind went into hyperdrive, and I started babbling. The thought process generally was that I couldn't take time off because I was already taking Thursday off to get Daniel to a doctor's appointment downtown and hmmm who will pick up Dominic from the bus, well maybe Nora but Nora has softball tryouts so who can I call? I tell Phil I will have to call him back and he said that's okay, he'll check around there to see what they can do, too.

I call around to a bunch of people to see if they can get Dominic from the bus stop, and no one is home to answer my call except my parents, and I found out that they would be downtown at a meeting. Phooey. Phil calls back to tell me that his asst. producer can pick Daniel up from school if that's okay. I say yes (figuring I'll find someone for Dominic) and we talk about release forms & wardrobe. All this is going on while I'm trying to get Dominic & Nora to finish their homework and get the table set for dinner.

Then I realized that Dominic's karate class was starting in 5 minutes. I had been on the phone for so long that none of us had eaten dinner. We skipped class, ate dinner, and then went to Baskin Robbins to order Nora's birthday cake. The Baskin Robbins is right near the Karate place. After ordering the cake I went over to the karate place, bit the bullet & signed Dominic up for after school care. Starting the next day. I figured that with Nora's softball and the after school clubs that Daniel wants to join, there would be many more occasions to panic over who would be there to pick up Dominic from the bus stop. Now it is taken care of.

When I finally got to bed around 11 that night, I realized that I had never called the parents of the kid who hit my car... Monday Monday.

Tuesday the filming went well. Daniel said it only took 2 takes for him to say his lines correctly. He loved the whole process of setting up the scene & filming it. I don't know how long it will take to put it together, but they are supposed to email us the final version when it is done.

Wednesday was Nora's birthday, with her favorite meal... pizza. Daniel had really good blood sugar numbers for a week... then BIRTHDAY. Pizza, ice cream... oh well. Get back on track.

Thursday we had our psychology pre-pump appointment. Talk talk talk talk talk and we're one step closer to pumping. Thursday night I joined weight watchers. I think I planned to do that back in January.

And now it is Friday. TGIF. Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Daniel is filming a public service announcement for Discovery Health channel tomorrow, all about Type 1 diabetes & teenagers. More info as I get it. WOW!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Nora is spelunking this weekend with her youth group. The group drove out to West Virginia today, stopped for lunch, and then were scheduled to spend the afternoon wriggling through the earth. Then they go to local cabins, scrape off the mud, shower, change for dinner, and have fun group activities until bedtime. The next morning they get up, eat breakfast, and go wriggling through the earth again until it is time to come home.

Daniel took this same trip a couple of times when he was in the youth group and had a blast. I did not volunteer to be a chaperone then or on this current trip because I just can't get myself to crawl into the earth's crevices. It makes me freak out a little bit. When Daniel went (before diabetes) I wasn't worried at all for his safety because I knew he was with experienced guides, that he would follow directions and keep himself safe.

This time, I feel worried. Why? Nora is with the same guides. She is a responsible young woman. She is capable and makes good decisions. Why this anxiousness? I've had visions of hurricane Hannah roaring through the West Virginia countryside and filling the caves with water and mud. I followed the track of the storm and saw, with great relief, that Hannah stayed away from the area where they are caving. That made me feel better.

After thinking about this most of the day today, I believe that it's the stinking diabetes that is causing my fear. Yeah, I know, it seems so unrelated. Nora doesn't have diabetes. But that fact that diabetes is now in our family -- that something sad, irreversable, and life changing occurred and affected one of my children -- has changed my outlook on many things. While I don't believe I have become a negative person, I have certainly become more wary. It's not so bad to be on alert. It can save your life sometimes.

It can also make you lose a lot of sleep!

Friday, September 5, 2008

It's Friday and I can't even think of a title...

What a week! Deep breath.

I had my first week of classes and I'm happy to say that all went well. I'm thankful for the opportunities I had to teach at my old job. Even though I found that experience very difficult, it prepared me for where I am today. I didn't realize at the time that I was going through "first year teacher dread," and though it is hard to believe when you are in the middle of it, you eventually learn how to manage a classroom. Back then I had a class of 4 year old children in the computer lab. It was like herding squirrels.

On the diabetes front... Daniel's numbers have been so high these past couple of weeks. So we look at trends. He's usually high at night and low in the morning, but this past week his body has decided to be high at night and first thing in the morning with normal readings mid day. We're adjusting his lantus & novolog to try to bring him in range. I wonder whether it's the teenage growth spurt thing, or perhaps the stress of the first couple of weeks of school? Could be both or neither. Frustrating disease.

I got an interesting phone call today though from a guy at the Discovery Health channel. They are preparing for National Diabetes day in November by interviewing people with diabetes and learning about the transitions they have experienced because of the disease. They did an initial interview with Daniel today, and if they choose him for the on-air interview, they will follow him around for a day with their cameras. Pretty cool!

So now it's time to hunker down and prepare for no-longer-hurricane Hannah, which should be roaring up the east coast tomorrow. Great day for reading blogs (if the power doesn't go out). I've missed having the time to catch up with the online community. AND the daily life community as well!

Time keeps on slippin into the future... doo doo n' doo

Friday, August 29, 2008

Turning on a Dime

I've been riding one of life's little roller coasters the past couple of weeks! Funny how life can turn on a dime.

I received a call from a friend / ex-coworker who got a job teaching at a local private school. She said she heard from her boss that the lower school technology teacher had unexpectedly passed away, and her boss wanted to know if she knew anyone from her old school who could fill the job? So she thought of me. One of the many hats I wore in my last position was technology teacher for lower school. My friend said that if I was interested in the position, I should call up her boss right away! I had to stop and think for a moment. I was working full time when Daniel was diagnosed with T1 & celiac, and went to part time so I could manage it all. However, more than a year has gone by and we're into that "new kind of normal," where we're managing the diabetes and know what to do for celiac. And chronic diseases are expensive. As are gluten free foods. Plus, Daniel will be driving soon, so my car insurance is going to skyrocket. I called the head of lower school and left a message about my friend's referral.

A day later I received a phone call from the lower school head, who invited me in for an interview the next day. I interviewed, and saw that it was a lovely school. The staff is friendly and supportive, the school is well funded, and the campus is lovely. So I showed my interest, and the next day was offered the job. Yes, my head was spinning. I went to my tutoring job that evening and did something I've never done before: quit with no notice. I just couldn't give them any more time.

By this point the other teachers were already well into their pre-start-of-school meetings. I've been working madly the last few days to catch up and make sure I'm ready to take on Kindergarten through grade 4 and teach them computers! One major blessing: the lady who passed away had planned to be out for the first 5 weeks of school, so she had written out detailed lesson plans. Thank you, Mrs. G., wherever you are. You are amazing.

I have a mentor helping me along who is willing to come in and co-teach a few classes to make sure everything is going well. I have a stack of paperwork to complete this weekend, and have to brush up my skills on some kids' software packages. But it's going to be fun. I can't wait.

I already met a few students today during orientation, and received smiles and hugs, so I felt very welcome.

It's been a while since I've been in a classroom, so wish me luck! Now I'm going to play around on KidPix for a while...

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I took this picture for my flickr page. It goes with a paragraph from a Washington Post health section article about gum disease and its relationship to other diseases, such as diabetes.

But the picture represents a lot of other things, too. It's the last week of summer, AGH! Daniel has a cold and his blood sugars have been wickedly high. AGH! School is about to start, which is a YAY, but is also an AGH because of all the meetings, conferences, homework, issues, etc. etc. Job interviews. AGH! Children's Hospital has not faxed the medical orders over to Daniel's school even though I sent the request over weeks ago. AGH! Talking to insurance companies about diabetes: triple AGH!!!

Enough with scream therapy. I'm going to go breathe for a while.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Yard Sale

Why? Why go through the torture? I was up at 6 a.m. posting signs around the neighborhood. At about 6:30 when I was on my next-to-last sign, a deer, who was out for her morning decorative plant binge, trotted over and stopped a few feet away from me. She cocked her head to one side, as if to say, "What are you doing, you crazy human?" Ugh. Time for coffee.

Drove to the grocery store and bought powdered lemonade crap so the kids could have a lemonade stand. Hauled everything out onto the driveway by 7:30. Sat outside for 5 hours. Told Dominic to "Back away from the box of hot wheels, you know, the ones you told me I could SELL? Back away from the stuffed animals. Yes you can pay your sister for a lemonade. No, you can't have three of them. Go get water. Stop bothering the customers. No hard selling." Repeated those sentences, not in the same order, about 50 or 60 times.

I made 50 bucks, or, as my husband said, about a gas tank full. Hauled the unsold stuff back to the shed. Will call Value Village to pick up the rest.

Do you do yard sales? Are you shattered afterwards? It doesn't help that the air above my driveway boils with the heat shimmering off the blacktop.

One good thing, however. All the Barney videos are now out of my house. No more purple dinosaur!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Prelude to a Pump

Wednesday we went to a pump information class at Children's Hospital. There were only a couple of us there, so we were able to ask lots of detailed questions, which was very helpful. It seems like the pump will make life more "normal" on some levels, and a little more complicated on other levels. But it looks like the way to go.

I don't know if any of you ever watched the Pee Wee Herman show years ago. Sometimes the doorbell would ring and Pee Wee would open the door to see a man with an extremely large head, who would start talking about some limited time offer, and Pee Wee would run away, shouting, "SALESMAN! SALESMAN!"

That's almost what it was like when the time came for the sales guys to enter the room. Okay, not quite. However, even though I believe the salespeople were warned not to do a hard sell, the sales patter flowed quickly. It was difficult, at the end of the evening, too keep it all straight in my head. Which infusion set goes with what pump? What features does the Cozmo have? The Minimed? Luckily, I didn't run screaming like Pee Wee.

We walked away with a sample Omnipod. Daniel likes the thought of the Omnipod because there's no tubing. I liked the Minimed because of the CGMS (continuous glucose monitoring system), but I also have to check with our insurance company to see if they would cover the sensors for that. I know there's a major fight going on to push for universal coverage of sensors. Time for us to get political.

In the meantime, our pump nurse had Daniel try out an infusion set. It took a minute for him to get the nerve up to press the button to set it. When he gives himself his shots, he gently feels around with the tip of the needle to find the "right" place, and that's not an option with a spring-loaded needle. But he was surprised that he hardly felt anything, and that the cannula that remains under his skin is quite comfortable. He's supposed to wear the infusion set for 3 days. After that, he's going to try the sample Omnipod on his arm.

It's all very bionic-mannish right now; however, I know we'll get used to it just as we've gotten used to shots & blood sugar tests. One more new and exciting kind of normal for us.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Threes and Ones

People say that bad things happen in threes. I don't know why we don't expect the same of good things, why they are considered singular events. When something wonderful happens we give a "Whoo hoo!" and move on, while we seem to wait for a series of three bad things before taking a deep breath and declaring, "Phew! That's over!"

This past week we experienced the 3 vs. 1 phenomenon.

Bad event one of three: Tuesday Nora went down the street to play with her friends. She parked her scooter up against the friend's house at the top of the driveway. An hour later I stopped by & shared a cup of tea with the mom. An hour after that we had to go home for dinner. We walked out the door. Nora's scooter was gone. Stolen.

Wednesday we drove to the Chesapeake Bay. We took this excursion last year on a lark with friends to enjoy a day in the sun and (mild) surf only to be delighted to find that the beach was littered with shark teeth. A swimming expedition turned into an all out shark-tooth hunting spree, and the kids came home with more than 50 shark teeth. They were tiny, but teeth, nonetheless. So we went to another beach this time, closer to Calvert Cliffs (but with only a 1/2 mile hike to the beach instead of a 2 mile hike) to check out the shark tooth situation there.

Now we have to backtrack a few months. One day Nora and I had to go to the Guitar Center to have her guitar fixed, and the guy who did the work sat in the back office surrounded by guitars... and shark teeth. Big ones. And a map of the Chesapeake Bay. So we got to talking about the teeth, what kinds they were, where he found them, etc. He told us of a few places to go hunting, but that most of them were only accessible by boat (and in one case it would be better to know the park ranger at a particular property). He had a few mighty big teeth on display; it was awesome. So Nora and I were determined to go back and find a big 'un. I told her the story of when I was in junior high school and went on a field trip to Calvert Cliffs, and part of the time we searched for teeth. I found none, but a lady who was just there on her own found one that was 4 inches long.

Back to last week. We searched around Flag Ponds park and found nothing but a lovely beach, lots of fish, lots of jelly fish, and many, many dead crabs. Dominic wanted to take a bucket of crab body parts home and had to be convinced that was not an option. So we hiked the 1/2 mile back to the parking lot, had our picnic lunch (we were going to have it on the beach but there were too many biting flies) and headed back to Breezy Point Beach, where we had so much fun last year.

Good event #1. Daniel started finding little shark teeth right off the bat. He totally has an eye for them. He was combing the shore. Dominic decided to give up tooth hunting and swim in the netted-in, jelly fish free swimming area. It was all only about 3-4 feet deep, and he was having a ball. Nora went into the edge of the surf to hunt. I came over and sat down next to her, stuck both hands into the sand just below the water's edge, and pulled up a big shark tooth. "WHOO HOO!" As I walked down the beach to show Daniel, many people stopped to check out the tooth, so I experienced a heady five minutes of beach fame.

In the end we got out of there with a number of small teeth (less than last year... it's better to search after a stormy day when stuff on the ocean floor gets tossed around) and the one biggie. Nora was determined to find one at least as big as mine, but I told her that finding a large tooth is a rare occurrence, and were couldn't stay to hunt for a few more hours, we had to get home! (rush hour approached. showers were necessary.)

Bad event #2 of 3. Traffic was moving at full speed on the highway going home, but it was starting to fill up as we neared rush hour. I was in the third lane from the right when I saw the rock in the road. Big rock. About the size of a cauliflower. I swerved to avoid it but couldn't swerve too far because there were cars on either side of me. It missed the front tire but hit the rear with a loud bang, followed by a hiss and that horrible rumble you get when you're driving on a flat. I steered over to the side of the highway where the shoulder was wide enough, but not too wide. I pulled over as far as I could so that I could still change the tire safely, but was unhappy that we were still so close to the traffic.

I have changed many tires in my life, but never before on our minivan. I got out the booklet, figured it out, and told Dominic that he was not allowed to leave the car under any circumstances (he was playing his Nintendo, I don't even know that he noticed we stopped). Daniel and Nora helped by holding on to the wheel lock bolt, holding the spare ready, etc. Of course they were fascinated by the procedure. Also, Daniel will get his license within the year, so it is important that he knows how to change a tire, just in case!

Many cars & trucks beeped at us, but none stopped. A few minutes into this I realized the reason we were getting beeped at... I was wearing my bathing suit with a t-shirt over it. No pants. And while that's fine for the beach, I'm sure it made an interesting view for passing vehicles. Nora wears a rash guard shirt with a bikini bottom. Same thing. We were the pants-less family. Well, except for Daniel. Luckily, he was wearing his pants.

Oh, and a Prince George's county police car drove right by us. Thanks.

As Daniel helped me lift the damaged tire into the back of the van, I noticed that not only was the tire shredded, the rim was damaged. Ouch! The kids got back in the car, I got the bracket that held the spare back into its proper place and replaced the tools in their little cubby. Then I drove away. About a mile down the road, I realized that I had left the wheel lock on the tire when I tightened the lug nut. Yes, it was gone.

So... next day it was off to the insurance estimator & car repair place. Got a rental for the day because I had to get to work. The car would be ready Friday.

Friday I dropped Daniel off at work, then went downtown with Dominic & Nora to pick up her painting from the National Press Club (see my July 31 posting). Hand lunch with my mom & dad there, then headed back to drop off the rental car & get mine back.

Bad event #3 of 3. First of all that )#(%*)($% rock cost me more than $500. Those rims are expensive! We got our stuff out of the rental car (Dominic was carrying his Nintendo, Nora had a book, I had the painting). The kids got a couple of treats from the candy vending machine and then we piled into our minivan. We headed to the grocery store to get milk & eggs & a couple other things. Dominic went to the bathroom to wash his sticky hands. We went home. Dominic got out of the car and said, "Where's my DS case?" Even though he had been playing it in the car, he had no idea where he had it last. Went back to the van. Searched. Called the car place & the grocery store. Drove back to the car place and the grocery store. Nora remembered him having it at the grocery store (I didn't). He may have put it down when he went to wash his hands. In any case, it's gone. The DS and a number of games in the case.

Daniel had registered all our Nintendo equipment on the Nintendo site (and all the games) a number of months ago, so that the id number on the DS is tied to our name. But I'm sure whoever is using or selling the DS now doesn't care about that. I've checked eBay and Craig's List, but haven't seen it for sale. But if I do...

So there. Three bad things and one good one. Today starts a new week. Let's see what happens.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I get my laptop back tomorrow. Matt says I should have ditched it and gotten a newer model. But honestly, there are just too many bills to pay right now. I got a new hard drive, and I feel like I'm recycling. Yay!

We were out late last night at the ESPN Zone in DC, having a total blast. They were great about Daniel's celiac, too, I have to say. It was at a private event, so we didn't have to wait for food or games and the kids had a blast. I forgot my camera, but got a couple of pictures from my cell phone. I'll post those later.

Today we were all a bit tired. Snappish. Daniel and I got into a little tiff over summer reading assignments and other such nonsense. Then later we all went out to local Lake Needwood, rented a couple of boats, and went paddling around through the gorgeous afternoon. At one point Daniel and I were by ourselves in the paddleboat, and he apologized for being snappish.

The sun sparkled off the lake. The paddleboat squeaked, sounding like a rusty bird, as we slowly clunked and pedaled across the water. It was a moment to be supremely thankful: for the day, the lack of humidity, for the shared moments with my family, the bittersweet ache in my heart as I watch Daniel turn from a child to a thoughtful young man. I'm sure there will be moments like this with my other children as well, when they reach this turning time in their lives, when they become unrecognizable. And suddenly, as familiar as ever. I want to hold these moments forever, so filled with sharp wonder, with breathtaking, painful joy.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Being Brainless Just Runs in the Family

Last weekend was my mom's 75th birthday. We had a family celebration with my parents, my brother, & his family. We had a great time, and surprised mom with a gi-normous new microwave. Her old one is... let's see... about 20 years old? So this one ought to heat that tea water pretty darn quick! Anyway, I baked a couple of chickens to feed everyone, my brother brought side dishes, and we had pound cake topped with peach compote for dessert. Yum! As I was cleaning up I thought I'd be frugal and smart and boil down the chicken bones into a nice stock. Sometimes I have trouble finding the gluten-free chicken stock, and I use a lot of it when I cook.

Later in the afternoon I took Nora to see Mamma Mia. Great mommy-daughter movie, and I'm so easily amused that it didn't matter that Pierce Brosnan wasn't the best choice for a singing leading man (although he's fine to look at) and Meryl Streep was over the top trying too hard, and somewhat campy. But it is a campy show. And my God, you could just turn the sound off and watch the scenery. I want to go there, where the movie was filmed (the Greek islands of Corfu, Skiathos and Skopelos). Spend the rest of my life looking at that view, eating feta cheese and kalamata olives.

Then came a crazy three days of training for my new job, getting children to camp, arranging for rides for kids for the times I couldn't drive because of training. Nora's art show, Daniel's sleepover, and Dominic's camp requirements slurped up the last bit of mental energy I had after the rest had been used in training. (Side note: While I was in Ellicott City, MD, training, I had lunch at a lovely little restaurant called Nora's Cafe. They were so sweet to give me a gift certificate for my daughter when I told them I had a Nora, too! We'll be on our way to enjoy the gelato there next week.) The busy time concluded with Wednesday night's much needed yoga class.

Thursday morning, finally refreshed, I surveyed the mess that was my kitchen. Emptied the dishwasher. Stowed silverware and other utensils. Wiped down the stovetop (something no one else in my house has figured out how to do, grrrrr). Wondered why the large stock pot was sitting out on the stovetop. OH MY GOD. The chicken stock.

I can't believe I'm writing about this! I had left the stock to cool before pouring it off into freezer containers. It was cool alright. Nice and cool as it went down into the garbage disposal. So I guess I can't complain about Daniel forgetting his lantus, because he comes by his memory lapses honestly. Perhaps I should pick up some ginkgo biloba when I'm out today. I'd better write that down...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

First Place (woo hoo!) and Forgetfulness (boo!)

Nora entered a self portrait that she painted during the school year into a competition at the National Press Club. The competition was sponsored by the National Arts Program.

Nora won first place in her age category! Here's a picture of Nora with her painting & blue ribbon!

Non diabetes stuff going well. Diabetes stuff -- I'm a little frustrated. Daniel forgot his lantus a couple of times this week. Once he remembered it at 1:40 a.m. when he was already between 400 & 500 (the meters aren't so accurate when you get that high). He was spending the night at a friend's house. He took the lantus at that point, then at his regular time the next night because he didn't tell me what he had done. I would have had him take the lantus at 11:40, then earlier the next night.

Then he forgot it again last night (I was out at my yoga class). I found that out when my hubby asked me what Daniel's number was last night at bed time. I looked at him with that wide-eyed stare/glare that's supposed to pin a person to the wall and said, "I WAS AT YOGA." Then checked the meters. There was no bedtime reading.

So today he is checking every few hours and correcting as necessary. I try not to be a nag, honestly.
But am I allowed to leave the house? Can I let him leave the house? Is this just teenage brain? Can I scream now and will you all understand?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Artificial Pancreas

Follow this link to an interesting Reuters article. It's not a cure, but it would make life easier!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer Trickles On

Noel Coward wrote, "What I adore is supreme professionalism. I'm bored by writers who can write only when it is raining."

Noel, you'd be bored by me. I miss my laptop! Perhaps if you had a laptop, you'd understand. Or not. I guess if you learn to do active writing longhand, then laptops don't matter. But then again, I've filled pages of journals in longhand. (Robert Benchley, a humorist, wrote, "I cannot write more than three or four lines of longhand without fainting." He composed on a typewriter.) But my little laptop -- it follows me everywhere! It's in the heart of the house, next to the kitchen, where I spend much of my time cooking, helping with homework, organizing art projects, entertaining humans large & small. I can pop on for a quick blog post or blog reading session, I can look up a recipe and then find a way to make it gluten free! I can post a question about diabetes, go water the garden, and then when I walk back inside, the answer is waiting for me on my little screen.

Mary Heaton Vorse wrote, "The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair." Okay, okay. I'm not getting paid to blog, so I'm not stressing over days going by without a blog post. But I miss my time at the keyboard when it's not easily accessible. The desktop computer is available. In the basement. Away from the action. What I usually think of as my husband's computer. It has a different vibe.

The good news is that I'll get my laptop back in a few days. The bad news is that it will be wiped clean. The hard drive died an unexpected, quite sudden death. The good news is that I backed up my documents about a month ago. The bad news is that I lost vacation pictures. *sigh* Have to just take a deep breath and let it all go.

I've been training for my new job these last couple of weeks. I feel, at times, like I'm taking a college course with the mountain of information that I need to digest. But it is all good. And when it is done, send me your struggling children. I'll help them learn how to read (teaching phonemic awareness) if that's what they need, or bring their grades up & brush up their basic math, reading, comprehension, writing, or algebra skills.

It's kind of funny that I got a job doing for others what I've been doing for years with my kids at the kitchen table!

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Diabetes doesn't take a vacation, but I do. Here on vacation my lovely, trusty little laptop died, just after I loaded 100 pictures into it and deleted them from my camera. *sigh* So I'm on a family member's computer, and will beg a friend for help with my dead laptop when I get home.

Diabetes has touched this vacation in ways other than our daily life. A family friend was hospitalized for blood sugar at 800+ (type 2) when her oral meds stopped working. I visited her, along with my mother in law. Hospital smells, hospital flashbacks, finger sticks & ivs.

I hope to be back online soon. Hope everyone had a lovely Independence Day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


We picked seven pounds of raspberries today and a few pounds of blueberries. Last year when we went to Larriland Farms the blueberries were enormous and practically jumping into the baskets, while we had to search under every leaf to fill a bucketful of ripe raspberries. This year we had the opposite experience.

I picked up a copy of "Living Without" magazine at my local health food store the other day, and they had a recipe for gluten free blueberry cobbler cake. I tried it out today and it came out delicious.

Whenever I see the "Living Without" magazine, I feel like calling them up and telling them to change their name. "Living Without" is so negative! How about "Living Well, Allergy Free," or "Delicious Alternatives," or something like that?

I made a no-bake raspberry pie as well. Also a funny name, because something DOES get cooked. I pulverized some Enviro-kids Amazon frosted flakes cereal and mixed the crumbs with melted butter to make a crust. I pressed this mixture into a pie plate and baked it for about 10 minutes at 350 to set it. Then I scooped about 3 + cups of raspberries into the crust. While the crust was baking, I made a glaze to go on top. I cooked sugar, water, and cornstarch over low heat until it got goopy, then added a cup of pureed raspberries and let it cook some more. The goopy glaze went over the berries and the whole thing chilled for a couple of hours in the refrigerator while we went for a swim.

Once we got back home I really went crazy and made spinach/fish croquettes for dinner. THEN finished up the evening with blueberry pie, which is cooking RIGHT NOW.

Stick a fork in me. I'm done.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Balancing Act

This log wasn't that far off the ground. The boys scooted across it, no problem. I took one step on a damp, slippery spot, and froze. Wide as the log was, it felt like a tightrope and all I could see was the ground beneath. It was swaying.

How do they make it look so easy?

I made it across, eventually. Sheesh.

Monday, June 16, 2008


We participate in the TrialNet Natural History study. Nora & Dominic are siblings of a person with Type 1 diabetes, so they have their blood tested every year to check for autoantibodies. We do this because, according to studies, relatives of people with type 1 diabetes have a 10 to 15 times greater risk for developing the disease than people with no family history.

Last year Nora, Dominic & I all were tested. Luckily, we all had a negative result. Now I'm too old for the study (sob!) so only Nora & Dominic were tested. We'll get the results in a month or so.

Last year it was difficult, to say the least, to get Dominic to give blood. He bucked like a bronco and ended up with an enormous bruise, even though we prepared and "practiced" beforehand. What a difference one year makes. This year he held out his arm and didn't even say ouch! He said that his arm hurt a little, but it was from the elastic that they tied his arm with more than the needle. Nora & Dominic got bags of prizes, which also helped ease the pain! We were all very proud of him.

Later in the day we went to a playground to run off some energy. At one point Dominic fell off a swing and bumped his back & head. I brushed him off & hugged him, and then he decided to sit by me for a while. He said, "Mom, I could have cried when I fell, but I didn't."

"Why didn't you cry?"

"I thought about how brave I was when I gave my blood today."

He's growing up!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Recalculating... recalculating...

The trouble with having so much to do is that there is very little time to process your thoughts. The end of the school year is approaching like a freight train, and carries with it many meetings, parties, and responsibilities. I've felt, more than once in the past week, that I needed to be two equally important places at the same time.

Highlights of the past week:

I had one fantastic interview and one so so one.

Dominic arrived home on the school bus in the middle of a tornado warning, with the rain flowing in sheets around us.

We didn't lose power (luck) but we did lose cable and I had painful withdrawal from my Internet addiction.

The fantastic interview was for acceptance into an amazing training program. However -- no paycheck. We have to decide if we can do with out that for a while, or defer the training program.

I spent all weekend, 20+ hours, in an intensive program that certified me to teach sex ed to middle & high school students in my church. I am empowered. Yeah, go ahead. Ask me anything.

Daniel is learning the lesson that sometimes your boss can be an absolute a**hole. However, it is nice to earn $$.

A friend from 15 years ago found my blog and we re-connected. Hi Karen! :)

Nora has rehearsal every night this week because her show opens on Friday. Summer truly begins when the show closes on Sunday. Time to put on my backstage mom clothes!

Chill out, everyone.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

June is Bustin' Out All Over!

The weather has slipped into something glorious. Pools beckon, blue water winking in the sun. School is almost out! Blood sugars cruising in mostly normal ranges, even with graduation party barbecue goodness.

Yesterday our neighbors had a graduation party for their youngest daughter. I've never seen so much meat! Roast pork, sausages, chicken kebabs, lamb kebab, kibbe on sticks, and 30 or so side dishes. Daniel chewed his way to protein bliss without bolusing. Everything was made from scratch, so we didn't have to worry about glutened marinades. Picky Nora even found food to love, and Dominic was too busy trying to swing upside down in the hammock to think about food. Until the cake came.

Today is another graduation party. Tomorrow must be diet day! :) A steady diet of sunshine and swimming this week would suit me just fine.

I have a couple of interviews coming up in the next few days, so I'm nervous and excited, but I've got a smile stuck on my face for the first time since the old job went to hell. Keep your fingers crossed folks, and let's hope for the best.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Me: Do you want a smoothie for breakfast?

Dominic: Do you have papaya?

Me: Yes. I have papaya, banana, strawberries, blueberries...

Dominic: Just papaya. And the other stuff you put in the smoothies. In the special cup.

The special cup. What does that mean today? In this instance it was the tupperware version of a martini glass. Some days it is the tall skinny glasses with the polka dots. I no longer have to cross my fingers and hope to guess correctly, though. He uses his words.

When Dominic was two or three, he would bounce down the stairs to breakfast, all smiles and good cheer. I'd set him out a bowl & spoon and bring his favorite cereal to the table, only to see him crumple into a desperate, tearful, hitched-breathing, inconsolable creature.

What? What's the matter? What?

45 minutes later: I wanted a different spoon!

Dominic. A work in progress. Aren't we all?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008



Latest info from my celiac group:

The Levemir Flex pen *is* gluten free; however,
the Levemir 10 ml bottle IS NOT gluten free because of the mannitol

70/30 10 ml bottle IS NOT gluten free because of the mannitol

Can we get the gluten out of the preservative?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Some Things Send You Back

I was at my mom's house this weekend and she offered me some thermoses that she doesn't use any more because she knows that I pack lunches every day for Daniel. I said that's great, but you know we're now concerned about the plastic. The thermoses I have are all plastic, and I am going to look for the old fashioned, glass lined ones. So off mom goes and finds me an old, tall, glass lined thermos. It's the kind I picture when I think of the guys at the construction site, sitting on the support beam suspended high in the air, taking a lunch break with their old metal lunch boxes beside them. The thermos is more than a foot high and sports a retro, corrugated metal skin.

Then mom gave me another prize -- my old thermos from when I was a kid -- the Campus Queen! I used to have the lunch box as well, and I remember it had a Campus Queen game on the back.

I feel like a kid again when I'm holding this. I *am* the campus queen, with her puffy helmet hair and tiara. My man has perfect hair and a shiny tux, and he's given me a dozen roses, which I'm going to carry around all night.

Look at the small couple on the front of the thermos, so inferior, so jealous. Her dress is not fancy enough. She has no flowers. Her man stands behind her, not even holding her waist, secretly looking for a place to sneak out and catch the game on his transistor radio, which he has hidden in a pocket of his cheap suit. There's another tiny couple you can't see, flaming redhead with too much eye makeup, an inattentive date.

Look at the smug smile on Campus Queen's face, her cat-like eyes searching out every other woman in the room, finding them somehow wanting. Who else can carry off that fur-trimmed cape?

She may be small-town royalty, but there's nothing wrong with being the big fish in a small pond.

Yeah. All that from a thermos.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Picture, 5-24-08, Redneck
Originally uploaded by NaomiPoet
Daniel woke up with a low this morning at 6:30. I heard him puttering around downstairs in my sleep. By the time I got my eyes open & headed down, he was already back in bed! I checked his meter & saw the 57.

I woke him a couple of hours later because he had to get ready to go to work -- first day. He was a little high; he had a little too much sugar, but he had also eaten a clif bar & bolused, so he couldn't bolus again until 9:30, which was right when we had to leave. I told him I could throw together a ham & cheese omelet so he could have a non-bolus breakfast.

"Okay," he said, "but I'm not too hungry. Just 3 eggs, please."

I raised an eyebrow at him and asked how many eggs he would eat if he really was hungry?

"You don't want to know the answer to that," he said.

I may have to raise chickens pretty soon.

Oh -- the red neck? He had suntan lotion. Just chose not to use it.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Levemir & Gluten

I subscribe to a message group,, and I'm so glad I do! I found out today that Levemir has gluten in it.

I had a discussion with out endo just last week about perhaps switching Daniel to Levemir from Lantus because of his high evening numbers. I don't even want to think about what a mess that would have been.

I'm surprised & concerned that there isn't a red flag on all diabetic celiac patient files that says NO LEVEMIR! GLUTEN!!

Why the hell do you need gluten in insulin, anyway?

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I don't watch reality shows. Maybe I'm showing my age, but when I turn on the boob tube it's for a dose of some unreality. Visions of what life would be like with a laugh track or dramatic musical accompaniment. I'm also a great fan of a compelling plot.

I heard a story on the radio the other day that reported on one of the ways producers add tension and drama to these reality shows --by depriving the participants of sleep. Nothing will make you more edgy than getting 3 night's worth of sleep in a week's span. That's what the sleep level has been like chez moi this week, and friends, although I won't tune in to those shows, I'm just about ready to participate in one.

This afternoon's show was Adventures in Multitasking!!! Watch the harried mom, on little sleep and much caffeine, rush to meet a freelance deadline, fix the printer in her son's room, cook dinner, find pictures of Puerto Rico on Google images for the middle school girl's project, scoop youngest off the driveway after a bike wipeout, apply ice, answer 3 phone calls (three more edits! fix page count! reduce picture size & PDF!), translate "hot springs" into Spanish, email documents, remove ice pack, email documents again after they bounce back because they are too big, worry that child protective services will see youngest child's biking bruises and take him away, repeat the words, "DO YOUR HOMEWORK!" 100 times, serve dinner, all in the space of 15 minutes!

Who needs reality? I'm ready for a chick flick.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Two Wheeler

I gave him a little push and off he flew!

And yes, it took about 3 days to upload the video.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Some Days

Some days I have been staying at home and some days I have been going into the sad and desperate office. Every day is busy. How the hell did I ever get anything done when I was at work all the time? Maybe I just drank more coffee. Anyway, all days have a full agenda. No down time so far.

I just took the SAT as part of a job application to teach SAT preparation. Now I'm all fingernail bitey as I wait for the results. I have to score in the 90th percentile to be able to teach. The English portion seemed pretty easy (watch me flunk) but the math portion was like... oy, like high school. Honestly, I haven't done algebra since then and have had NO REASON to. Geometry? Well, I guess you could call some of the quilting that I've done an exercise in geometry. The worst part was trying to remember formulas like areas of cubes and slope intercept formulas when the only formula I dealt with for the past 28 years was the type that turned into spit up.

So I'm still looking for gainful employment. But Daniel starts his job this weekend, and I will honestly be able to say that my 15 year old will be earning a greater salary than I.

I remember my first job (delivering the Washington Star newspaper) and the crackle of real paper money in my purse. Then babysitting. Then working at Sears, in customer service. Let me tell you, that's one way to learn about humanity, and it takes a brave person or a stupid high-schooler to stand at that counter and let dissatisfied customers get all in their face. There was one hellish episode where a man, angry over the quality of his newly purchased appliance, yelled at little old me with his finger in my face as if I personally had loosened all the bolts. I must have looked quite shocked, with my eyebrows up to my hairline & mouth agape because my manager (Ms. Linda Little) every so quietly escorted that not very gentleman into her office and shut the door. He walked out of there, 15 minutes later, with a set mouth, and his hands twisting his hat. Ms. Little came out smiling.

She said to me that I never EVER had to put up with anyone talking like that to me. EVER. She wasn't just talking about in a job situation, she was talking about life and I've never forgotten. Thanks, Linda Little, wherever you are.