Saturday, March 27, 2010

Our babies are growing up

Earlier this week I registered our youngest for kindergarten.  Wow, what a step!  It's hard to believe that the baby stage of my life is truly over.  Next year all five of our children will be in public school (kdg, 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th).  A large part of me is excited about this next stage in our lives - our oldest in her senior year of high school, second one in her first year of high school, third one going into band, forth one not far behind, and our youngest in school full-time.  Understandably, this is also mixed with a little sadness.  My little girls are growing up faster than I could ever imagine.  It's hard to believe that next year our oldest will be graduating from high school.  It's also hard to believe that our youngest will be entering school.   At the same time that this is all going too fast and I'd love to slow things down, I'm very excited and looking forward to guiding our girls into their adulthood.

Friday, March 26, 2010

March 24th

March 24, 2008 - I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

March 24, 2009 - My wonderful husband had surgery to remove a tumor in the superficial lobe of the parotid gland (near his jaw in front of his earlobe).  Lab tests told us the tumor was benign.

Yes, I was dreading March 24th this year.  What was going to happen to our family this year?  I was dreading the date.  Luckily I had put my fear out of my mind.  It wasn't until yesterday, March 25, that I remembered.  Nothing out of the ordinary happened in our house.  It was a typical day.  I was a little cranky about something that happened in the early afternoon, but it wasn't anything out of the ordinary.  Finding a comical twist to a frustrating situation lightened the mood and all was well. 

Our children had no idea the significance of the day, nor do I want them to dwell on it.  Their dad's surgery has left him with very few side effects, mild compared to many patients.  Since his tumor was benign, we really don't need to worry about it too much anymore.  There's not much we can do about my diabetes diagnosis.  Right now my focus is on making sure I eat right and exercise.  Being the mom of five children, that's not always easy.  However it's because of those five children that I need to be mindful of my health.

Let's make March 24th a lucky day!  March 24, 2008 was lucky because I asked my doctor to check my fasting glucose and A1c at a visit.  I could have put it off and been diagnosed in the emergency room!  March 24, 2009 was lucky because my hubby's tumor was carefully removed and benign.  And of course March 24, 2010 was lucky because we are all healthy.  Even though the day might have had some rough spots, we were able to find humor in what could have brought us down.  I'm looking forward to March 24, 2011!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Yesterday my children were outside playing in t-shirts.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the smell of spring was in the air.  The earth had that smell of coming alive.  It was calling to me to start turning the soil. 

Today I awoke to a totally different scene.  As I looked out my window, large white flakes greeted me. Snow in mid-March doesn't phase me usually, but after having a wonderfully warm and sunny week... I could do without the white stuff!  Of course our younger dog and my youngest child had a blast playing in the snow.  I joked earlier that the five year old doesn't know she's supposed to be upset about snow on the first day of spring.  She had a blast playing outside with both dogs. 

I'm not sure what's more unpredictable, the weather or my blood sugar.  I think I'm going to have to go with the weather, at least for this week.  I've been doing good at predicting my highs and lows, though I should be testing more than I am.  As I look forward to next week when it will warm up again, I am reminded that everything in live has a season (reason). 

There's a reason that I have diabetes.  I'm not positive what it is yet, but for now I feel that it's education and advocacy.  Today I received some fliers that I had requested from the local ADA office (unfortunately about 3 hrs away).  I plan to pass these out at craft fairs.  I will have my own items plus I will have items separate to raise money for the ADA.  I love talking to others and educating them.  I also really enjoy talking to children with Type 1.  Even though we each have a different condition, there are many similarities. 

Last year what participating in the Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes, I met a 13 yr old boy with Type 1.  During out conversation he said, "It's so nice to hear someone else talk about carbs.  Everyone talks about calories."  I replied, "I know.  I don't care how many calories are in something.  I need to know how many carbs."  We hit it off and spent the rest of the walk talking about diabetes, carbs, and life.  He shared with me a glimpse of his life.  A few times I thought I saw his mom smiling at us as we talked. 

As a parent we try to reach out to our children and let them know we understand what they are going through, but it isn't always easy.  I remember as a child my mom telling me she understood and had been in my shoes, too.  I remember yelling at her that she had no idea what I was going through.  Looking back now as a mother with two of my girls in their teens and three more following oh too quickly, I suspect my mom wasn't as far off base as I thought she was then. 

As I was talking to this boy, the age gap became smaller.  I wasn't an adult telling him that I understood even though I wasn't in his shoes.  Even though I'm not insulin-dependent, we had enough of the same issues where he knew I really did understand. 

In honor of the changing seasons, even though weather-wise it went from spring to winter even though according the the almanac it went from winter to spring, I was thinking of this song and though I'd share the lyrics.  We all have a purpose in this world that God has given us.  We might not know what it is, but He does.  Trust God to show you your path!

The Byrds - Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it's not too late!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Emotional yo-yo into action

I read somewhere shortly after my diabetes diagnosis that Type 2s are prone to depression.  "Not me!" I thought.  "Those are the people who just can't accept their diagnosis and move on."  What a shock I was in for when later I found myself over the "newness" of the disease.  I won't say I've fallen into clinical depression, but I will admit that there are some days where I just sit in the corner and pout.  I thank God for my children who keep me moving.  Yesterday my youngest took my hand and forced me outside to see crocus blooming.  That cheered me up instantly!

I'm trying to turn any sadness about diabetes into action.  Instead of getting upset about the odds working against my children (Type 2 is on my side and their dad's side), I joined the ADA's Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes as a virtual walker (since all of the walks are too far or not a good date for our schedule).  I'm even working on getting some of my friends to join me.  Yes, even those reading my blog.  Just click on my link to make a donation or join my team.  Of course I'd also encourage people to find a walk close to them if they'd like to join in on the fun.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Go with the flow

Our children are on spring break this week.  I try to schedule appointments for after school or non-school days like today, so we had a dentist appointment for all five children scheduled for today.  We actually drive almost two hours for this awesome kid-friendly dentist.  Unfortunately about an hour and a half before we were scheduled to leave, my middle daughter decided to check her temperature because she had a headache.  101.4  *sigh*  I call hubby and fill him in.  Then I called the dentist's office.  It was so hard for me to cancel five back to back appointments.  However there was no way I could take a child with a fever into the office, I couldn't leave her home alone, and I couldn't leave her with anyone.  The wonderful lady at the dentist's office worked with me to find a new appointment time. With five kids and avoiding pulling them out of school, scheduling gets rather tricky.  Unfortunately we weren't able to get an appointment until early-June

We've spent the day being pretty lazy.  The kids have been munching on the snacks that I bought for the drive.  Now two of them are playing outside even though it's a little chilly and overcast.  I'm tempted to sneak over to the Y for a bit an get a workout, but I might just wait for hubby to get home so we can go to the Y together after a quick dinner.  We had planned to get take-out on our way back into town so I've decided to stick to that plan.

As I walk around the house checking on my children, I am thankful of all the blessings God has given us.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Some days it just hits you in the face

Today has been a nice lazy day for our family thanks to daylight saving's time.  We didn't eat breakfast until nearly 10 am.  I made some delicious pancakes with a little cinnamon and vanilla added into the homemade batter.  Unfortunately I used regular white flour, not whole grain, and didn't have any protein with the carb-heavy breakfast.  An hour later, I was bouncing off the walls and my sugar was 202!  Since we ate a late breakfast, hubby and I decided to have a late lunch and think about dinner later. 

Of course I was still bouncing around so I decided to take the younger three to a gem, mineral, and fossil show close by (older two and hubby decided to stay home).  We had fun and they each came home with a geode that they picked out to have opened right before their eyes.  They had a small silent auction table that rotated every half our or so and I bid on three different items.  I won one cool rock for just a dollar.  The oldest of the three bought herself a homemade glass cross necklace.  I bought each of the youngest two a shark tooth necklace.

When we got home, hubby had prepared for us some wonderful corned beef on the grill and some steamed cabbage.  Definitely needed after the high carb breakfast.  Spent the afternoon watching cooking and travel shows.  Then we have to decide what we're going to do about dinner, if anything.

Since we're still pretty full from two late meals, we decide to have a "dinner of snackies."  Two kinds of Doritos, grapes, etc.  Hmmm... carb, carb, carb... Not good for the mama who has already been over 200 once today.  Luckily I don't like Doritos so those are easy to avoid.  I decided instead to make a sandwich using Arnold's Sandwich Thins, peanut butter, and Smucker's sugar free peach preserves with a nice tall glass of vanilla Soy Slender.  As I type I have a mug of chai tea just about ready to enjoy.  In the background I hear someone crunching on chips.

While I st there eating my sandwich while the rest of my family enjoyed their carb filled special treats, I did my best not to let the differences bother me.  However some days it just hits you in the face.  Yes, we all laughed about how they were all eating this "junk" while Mom had other food.  Realizing now that my husband and my children all took notice and made a point to laugh with me about the situation, I know that they care.  They care that I have to eat differently.  They care that I have to watch my carb intake.  They care that I have diabetes.  They care!  They really care!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What's it like to have diabetes?

This is a video put out by the ADA to promote the walk and talk about being a Red Strider, someone who walks with diabetes.  I received one of these hats last year and it made me feel special, not different.  As we began to walk, I looked behind me and realized that all of those people were there for me and the other diabetics.  A very humbling yet empowering experience knowing that I have others to support me in this journey.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Virtual walking

Last year I participated in the ADA's Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes.  Unfortunately the location I went to then is not having a walk this year.  The closest walk this year is over two hours away plus I already have a commitment that weekend.  I had been very upset that I wouldn't be able to participate in this year's walk until this afternoon when I found out that I could register as a virtual walker.  I'm so happy!!!  I'm inviting everyone to join me as a virtual walker to raise money to help find a cure for diabetes - all types!  Click here for my Step Out page.  From there you can make a donation or join my team.  If you want to join in a walk close to you, there's a link there, too, where you can find an event closer to you.

Together we can make a difference!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My life is truely blessed

There are some days I take the time to think about all the blessings I have, how good I have it compared to many others,.  My wonderful husband and I have been blessed with five wonderful, healthy girls.  We live in a wonderful community with a great house.  Why is it then that I have days where I just want to cry?  My weight loss is at a standstill.  I could be happy at this weight if I hadn't been 10 lbs lighter just a year ago.  I know that if I lose a little more weight that my glucose levels will be easier to maintain.  I'm sick of diabetes!  It saddens me... hmmm... no... It pisses me off that I'm going to have to deal with this for the rest of my life.  I get mad some days and other days it drags me down.  My beautiful children have the odds stacked against them.  Given that there is no known cure for Type 2 diabetes and the fact that sometimes genetics sucks, most if not all of my five girls will become diabetic in the next 20-30 years. 

This blog has become my place to let out my feelings, to ramble.  I usually try to make life seem so rosy, but it isn't always.  Don't get me wrong - I wouldn't trade my life for anything.  My troubles are so tiny compared to others.  There are just times where I'd like to get rid of little parts of my life, the largest part being diabetes.

I want to be an advocate, an educator, for those with diabetes.  I would like to become a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) but that requires a medical degree of some kind (nurse, doctor, etc).  I would also like to become a dietitian but that too requires additional college.  I would like to find something that requires a few workshops or training sessions.  I've already read and studied some much about diabetes that I want to share with others who have not had similar opportunities. I want to make a difference!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I finished it!

Today I finished the online course of Financial Peace University.  I'm thrilled to have had the chance to do this and we've already seen so many benefits.  We've already paid a good amount extra on our debt this year and look forward to being debt free very soon!  I'm so excited about this program and all of the resources that Dave Ramsey has that I find myself telling others about him often.  I actually requested information about facilitating a Financial Peace University (FPU) class at my church. 

How does paying off debt relate to diabetes?  One of our plans once we're debt free is to donate to charitable organizations that mean a lot to us.  There are several that have a special place in our hearts. Of course the American Diabetes Association is one of those organizations.  I have raised money for the ADA in the past and would lot to do a lot more. 

I can't wait until I can call Dave's radio show and shout, "We're debt free!"

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday preparations

Today is Friday. I've finished my morning shift at work and now my weekend preparations begin. Tomorrow my mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law are coming to visit for two days. Our middle daughter's 11th birthday is on Sunday. It's going to be a busy three days! I'm hoping before lunch to have the foyer clean. I need room for the cases of Girl Scout cookies that middle child sold. Those will be picked up at her cookie mom's house after school today. I also need to prepare an area to start our tomato and pepper seeds which I meant to do at least two weeks ago. Of course the room needs a general tidy since we have some toys in there right now.

After lunch I plan to go to the store to buy simple things that we stock up on at the beginning of the month (toilet paper, etc.). I'll be lucky if I get that all put awy before I'll be off to pick up the kids from school. After dropping them off, I'll need to pick up the cookies I mentioned above. Hopefully the kids will do some cleaning while I'm picking up the cookies. Then I'll come home and start dinner. No, I have no idea what we're having tonight, but I'm going to the store after lunch, so I'll figure it out then. Hubby and the kids were supposed to make up a menu for the month this past weekend, but that didn't happen. Maybe I'll have the kids come up with a menu for the rest of the month as well.

How does this craziness relate to diabetes? Well, let's see. Many times busy moms forget to take care of themselves as they run around taking care of the kids. I sometimes forget to eat, drink water, or test my blood sugar. It's doubtful that I'll get a chance to work out at the Y though SprarkPeople lists "heavy cleaning" as cardio, so I might be saved. 

If I want to get that foyer done before lunch, I'd better publish this post and get busy.  I'd love to hear how others make sure to take care of themselves with a sometime chaotic schedule.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Designated cheat day

I decided recently to have a designated cheat day. A day where I don't worry so much about carbs. A day where I don't worry so much if my sugar is a little high. I'm still planning on keeping it well below 200, but if it goes a little over 120 I won't stress.

This week I think that day is going to be Saturday. We're supposed to be having family over, our middle daughter's birthday is on Sunday, and Dairy Queen opened this week. What better time to have a cheat day! No, I won't go overboard with a large Blizzard, though I might have a medium sundae. I'll make sure to order nuts to give me some protein. Hmm, a turtle sundae sounds yummy right now!

I'm hoping to keep going with my exercise routine. I went to Zumba on Monday night, walked the treadmill yesterday, and tonight is Zumba again. I need to make a plan for Thursday and Friday. It seems that I'm more likely to get my workout if I have a plan. Not only do I have to plan when I'm going to exercise, but I need to plan the family's activities around that exercise time. Do meals need to be at a certain time? Do I have kids to taxi?

I'd love to hear what others do when they're feeling down about their diabetes.

Monday, March 1, 2010

In honor of ISAT testing in our schools this week

I love Tom Chapin's song "Not on the Test" and feel the need to share it here. Ejoy!