Summertime

We have had a really busy last couple of weeks!

We have a local group of type 1 families that get together now and then.  Sometimes with kids, sometimes just moms (and occasionally dads).  It stemmed from Diabetes Outdoors and sort of took off from there.  We have a facebook group where we can all ask questions, share thoughts, or just be constant support.  Last year, a handful of us went to diabetes camp together.  This year, I think we had 14 families come along!  It’s so awesome to get to build on friendships but even better that we’re also building relationships and friendships for our kids in their own community.  They’re all different ages and genders, but they all get to know each other, have get-togethers and know that their parents are all friends.

This is just the families from our local area at camp! We made up about 40% of the population that weekend!

The following weekend, Bret Michaels was playing at our county fair and we decided to take a bunch of the kids.  Parents worked together to get a hold of his manager and they decided to allow a quick meet and greet before he played.  As we lined up for a picture he said if anyone needed anything, they’ve got lots of supplies.  I responded that the same went the other way, if he needed anything, we’d all have plenty of supplies with us and he said, that’s right, we’ll take care of each other.  Pretty cool.  He signed autographs for a few kids and generally seemed like a good guy.

Kids waiting for Bret Michaels

Camden meeting Bret Michaels

Then, last night we went to a Dodger game.  I’d won tickets in a drawing from JDRF just a few days before and figured it would be great training for Miss Molly!  As we walked into the stadium we were shocked to see a guide dog group was in the same section as us with several of their puppies-in-training!  I talked to a couple of the girls and found out that none of them had been there with the dogs before either.  We were all wondering how these big dogs would fit, but it worked!  We brought a “place” (rug) for Molly to lay on under our seats and she did great.  We had to clear out piles of  peanut shells that were tempting her (I’m pretty sure she found a few strays to snack on) but otherwise she fit just fine.  Although she was in super tight quarters, she was on excellent behavior and twice scooted herself around to reach and grab her bringsel (C was running pretty high for some unknown reason).  Without any commotion or having to get up she grabbed it, we responded by testing C and then gave her a treat and lots of petting.  She was able to keep her excitement totally under control and stay right where she was.  I’ve often wondered how alerts will work in certain situations and this eased all concerns I’ve had.  I did take her up to the deck above our seats to get a drink of water and walk her around a bit and I think most people were surprised to see a big dog walking up the stairs.  She was such a good girl, I don’t think most people had realized she was there!

Miss Molly checking out the game

Ping-iversary

At diagnosis, C’s nurse mentioned a pump.  He immediately said he never wanted one because he didn’t want surgery.  We had a neighbor on an insulin pump and we had just assumed that she’d had surgery to have it ‘installed.’  The nurse corrected us and he informed him that there was no surgery involved and he let her know that he still was not interested. 

A few months later I was looking at the OmniPod website.  They had a video explaining how it worked.  I was sold.  I asked C to watch and he freaked out yelling how he “WAS NOT GETTING A PUMP!”  I told him that he could NOT make a decision like that without being informed.  He HAD to at least watch the video.

He watched.  And he was ready to pump.  From there we went on Medtronic’s site  together and saw that they had a continuous glucose monitor built-in.  They got us, that was the one we wanted. 

Not long after we were at the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes and saw the Animas booth.  We already KNEW we wanted the CGM but we took their info anyways.  Soon after, we found out that C’s insurance didn’t cover the CGM sensors.  We heard that Animas would be integrating eventually and maybe his insurance would cover it by then.  We went on their website.  C was SOLD.  It was Ping or shots.  There was no other option to him.  The color screen, the sleek looks, the waterproofness, the remote control.  He loved it all.  He asked if I thought we could get it by the upcoming weekend.

To be sure we went to a Medtronic class to learn to use their pump, check it out, push its buttons, try out their infusion sets.  But C knew he would never have that pump.  He tried an OmniPod demo.  After about an hour he said it felt annoying and big and wanted it off.  Of course, I don’t think it ever had a fair shot after he’d made up his mind…

A week later the rep came out  to show us the Ping.  We checked it out, pushed its buttons and gazed lovingly at its beautiful color screen.  We filled out the paperwork that night.  But insurance had other plans.  We jumped through hoops for months and we got denied.  I spoke to the boys’ pediatrician only to find out that he works with our insurance and he’d push it through.  A week later I received a call stating that they’d gotten approval and C’s shiny black Ping would be arriving the next day.

C was hooked up one year ago today.  He hasn’t had a shot since. 

best gift we ever received

Shots were unnatural to us.  We couldn’t get small enough dosages to work right for C.  He was starving himself to not get extra shots or have to eat too much at his meals.  He’d estimate down about how much he’d eat and was always left hungry.  For a kid who doesn’t eat meat or cheese (carb free), it was very hard.

Technology, computers, gadgets… these are natural to both of us.  The day we hooked that pump onto him, we felt like life was back to normal.  Neither of us needed time to adjust, it just worked.  He eats when he wants.  We can bolus the tiniest little amounts so he can do his normal ‘grazing’ again.  We can correct a million times a day if we needed to and it keeps track of active insulin for us.  I don’t have to use my calculator as much anymore.  I don’t have to worry about C doing the math wrong anymore.  That pump gave him his life back.  I’ve never been more in awe of a machine in my life.

New Goal

I’ve been trying to exercise.  It’s never been something I like to do.  Plus, I have two kids, not a lot of daycare options and I work.  Now with daylight savings turning my skies dark so early, it’s even harder.  But lately I think I NEED to work out.  Or maybe I just NEED to get out of my house.  I’m trying to be proactive and save my mental health…  So my neighbor and I started going for hikes about once a week while my mom watches the kids.  He’s usually up for anything with no notice and he’s not as much of a wimp as me so it works out perfectly.

Two weeks ago we decided to ride bikes to the beach instead.  I don’t live too far , but we went to the furthest spot we could while staying in our city.  And we took a short cut which ended up being the opposite.  Ends up we rode almost 12 miles.  I made it on my beach cruiser (it has gears) and wasn’t even sore.  Twelve miles sounded like a lot to me so I was pretty pumped up about it.  This last weekend we upped the ante and decided to ride to Foster Park which is on the way to the next city.  I figured it would be 18-20 miles round trip.  Ends up it was 22.5 miles and we made it!  Yay!!

My adorable, but heavy, bike

On my way, pedalling my ass off on my heavy beach cruiser, my neighbor mentions that I’m working really hard on my bike while he’s basically gliding on his.  I decided I need a new bike.  I wondered how far I could go on a better bike.  My mind started wandering and I got this goal in my head.  I’m sort of scared to bring it up to anyone in case I don’t realize it, but I think I want to do next year’s Ride to Cure Diabetes.  You can do 30, 60 or 100 mile rides.  I’m thinking 60 sounds good but a co-worker I mentioned it to thinks I should go big and try 100.  I’m definitely not going to get ahead of myself (yet) though.  I still need a better bike.  And Christmas is coming.  And I’m broke.  BUT… If I can figure something out to get a pretty decent bike, I’m going for it.  I’ll have a full year to get ready.

how many carbs are in movie theater popcorn? beats me.

Today we were supposed to go to a JDRF event, but C wanted to go to a friend’s birthday party instead.  This was really hard for me.  He’s definitely at an age (and has been for quite some time) that it’s very normal to drop your child off at a party and come pick them up later.  This doesn’t work well with me anymore.  He doesn’t seem to mind (yet), but I still feel bad.  This was even a worse case than you might think.  It had everything working against a drop off.  It started at Chuck E Cheese and then moved to the movie theater.  The parents spoke Spanish and very little English.  I speak English and even less Spanish than they spoke English.  It was tricky, to say the least, to explain why he wasn’t eating the pizza.  I felt like an asshole trying to explain gluten to people who didn’t understand me to begin with.  They were super nice people and I did attempt to have conversations with them though the night, but it was tough.  There was a lot of awkward silence.
Then, C went with them in the car to the theater.  It was so weird to me that I had to call my mom and break the news to her.  What a dork!!
Then we saw the movie (Alice in Wonderland) and here’s where the night really started for me.  C is going to eat a small popcorn at the theater everytime we go no matter what.  I have a very hard time estimating how much popcorn is in their SMALL popcorn.  My latest guess is NINE CUPS.  Small?  Anyways, last time he skyrocketed up to almost 400 afterwards.  BUT, I have to throw that one out because it ended up being a crappy infusion set.  So, tonight I went with  guessing it was 40 grams/carbs.  It’s my starting guess.  I actually thought it was much more, but was not in the mood for him going low at the movies.  Tonight, he dropped the bag.  Which meant I’m holding my fucking phone like a flashlight on the floor trying to guess how many damn cups of popcorn are now on the ground.  It was hard enough to figure out when they were neatly contained in a bag.  Close to impossible to figure out when they’re spread out under the whole row in front of you.  How will I ever KNOW how many carbs are in that bag if this crap keeps happening??  So, C’s sweet friend offers the rest of her bag.  Which is half full.  Not the same amount as on the ground.  I was torn and finally decided (although now I’m not sure how I got to this number) to bolus for another 15 carbs.  And of course I missed the rest of the movie because I’m second guessing myself the whole rest of the time.  I gave him a fun size packet of Pop Rocks for free (no bolus).  They’re only 5 carbs and for some reason I was thinking I gave him too much insulin and wanted to play on the safe side.  After that point, I’m thinking I blew it again and he’ll probably hit the 3hundos on account of my reckless guesstimating.
We got in the car and he tested.  120.
Booyaa!!!!  There might’ve been more thinking going on than I ever wanted to deal with during a movie, but it worked!

JDRF at the Aquarium

Yesterday we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific for a JDRF event. We got there and got lunch and tickets with the other people who showed up. We met a couple of people, they let us know if they were using the pump, etc. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time with people, but it was still great just for Camden to see that there really are other kids with diabetes. Lately when we go somewhere crowded he’s told me he keeps an eye out to see if anyone else has a MedicAlert bracelet on. Yesterday we finally found some!!