Friday, April 27, 2012

Finding The Beep

It's amazing how tuned in we are to the beeps that come along with D.

It was a bit odd, however, to hear the familiar 'beep beep' of a pod while Bean was at school today.

Granted, there were three pods that had been activated and then left to fend for themselves when the PDM errored and then errored again and then errored again.  There's no way to deactivate the pod once the PDM freaks out, so in the bag they went to expire on their own.

This morning around 9:30, I hear 'beep beep...beep beep' and head to the pantry where the pods that have served their purpose wait in a bag until they go back to Insulet to be recycled.  Thankfully, I had sent back three bags full (142 pods, if I remember correctly) not too long ago, so there was only a month or so worth of pods in the bag (32, I think is what I counted).  Still, trying to figure out which of those pods was the beeping (literally and figuratively!) culprit was a challenge.

I listened and waited, checking out this pod and that pod, trying to narrow it down to the ones that it might be.  I pried a couple open and removed the little springs to brake the connection to the beeper inside the pod.  I thought I had it....but no, the beep beep...beep beep continued.

Now, Bug is still dealing with Hand, Foot, and Mouth and has resorted to pre-word sound making to try to get her point across.  And not the cute sound making, the "I don't feel good and I don't know how to fix it" screaming type sounds.  She has only eaten vanilla ice cream for the past two days because that's the only thing that doesn't aggravate the sores in her mouth and throat.  So, adding the beeping to the times!

I decided that I was just going to ignore the beeping because it was almost nap time and I was done trying to figure out which stupid pod was making the noise.  Plus, I had planned to snooze a bit with Bug and then grab a shower.  (the snoozing lasted longer than I expected, which was no big deal, but that meant the shower didn't happen...oh, well!)

We went to pick up Bean and Ubergeek and when we got home, the beeping had increase in frequency.  I told Ubergeek about my quest and subsequent surrender and the plan I had to just let them expire on their own and the beeping would stop and he said they wouldn't stop beeping (still not sure about that being true) and decided he would find the beeping pod himself.

He had pods scattered here and there, trying to isolate which group had the offender in it.

Since Bean was running high (200s and into the 300s) today, we went ahead and did a pod change...both to try to get her BG back in range and to activate the NEW PDM!!!!  It actually arrived yesterday (a day earlier than Insult thought...yippee!!) but I wasn't going to make Bean do a pod change again until it was 'time.'  All the settings are programmed and everything is back to normal, whatever that is!

What's funny is that I did the pod change while the search for the beeps was still going on because Bean was hungry for dinner and didn't really care to wait until the random pod was found!  The beeps that come along with testing and dosing were a bit distracting.  Ubergeek would rush over to one of the isolated groups and I'd say, 'nope, she's just testing.'  Another beep, more rushing, I'd say, 'nope, that's just her bolus being delivered.'  Another beep, more rushing, I'd say, 'nope, that's the end of the bolus.'  Kinda wish I could have made some more random beeps just to see Ubergeek holding pods up to his ear!!! ;)

It took quite sometime, close to an hour, but we finally pried open and de-beeped all the pods that had lost their connections, thankfully!!  Now we can go back to the normal beeps of our lives!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where Do I Begin... tell the story of how stressful life has been. la, la, la, la la.....

Let's go back to this time last week, shall we?

I had taken Tuesday as a 'clean the bathroom, get caught up on laundry' day and subsequently my lower back paid the price on Wednesday.

That evening, my stomach decided to join the party and starting at 10pm, I was hunched over the toilet.  My lower back absolutely loved sitting on the girls' step stool while my guts wrenched themselves out.

Thursday, I was able to keep down some crackers, so I limped my way to Bean's orthodontist consultation (good Lord, don't even want to start telling that story).  That night I was plugging in a CD player and tweaked my back again.

Friday morning, I could not move.  No sitting without excruciating pain.  No standing without tears streaming down my face.

Saturday, ditto, but with both girls home and Ubergeek working.  Fun times!

Sunday was a bit better.  I could at least sit for a while and walk to the bathroom without screaming.

Monday brought some much needed relief in the form of a chiropractor appointment.  Not perfect, but way, way better.  I was able to walk into school to pick up Bean...major progress!

Tuesday, was better; not fabulous, but I was able to get everyone ready without having to lay flat in between tasks. Bean had a field trip and with Ubergeek scheduled for training at work, I was 'it' for the must have D chaperon.  Let me tell you, riding in a school bus is NOT great for the lower back!

When we returned to school after an enjoyable performance of 'Peter and the Wolf,' I was returning the glucagon to it's proper place in the nurse's office when I got a call on my cell from Bean's teacher.

"Are you still at school?"  "yes"  "Her PDM is alarming."  "her PDM? really?"  "Yep"  "OK, send her down to the nurse's office because that's where I am."

Sure enough, her PDM was beeeeeeping for all it's worth, with a screen of numbers and warnings like 'remove pod now' 'call customer service' 'holy crap, this isn't good!!!'  (OK, so not that last one, but it totally should have been there!)

I call Insulet support and they walk me through trying to bring the PDM back to life.  We change batteries (by the way, NOT supposed to use lithium to me!) and ended up having to totally reset it with a paper clip.  Yep, total reset, as in all of the bajillion settings were wiped out.  I stood there reprogramming everything while Bean headed out to recess....a girl's got to have her priorities!!

In order to do boluses, we had to do a pod change.  Not a big deal since it was 'the' day.  So, when Bean came back inside, we filled, primed, stuck, and click, click, click, POPped.  She went on her merry way, with instructions on how to 'straight bolus' for her after school snack. (The PDM wouldn't calculate boluses for the amount of time we have her insulin set as 'active' since the time was reset. Just a fun little feature when you reset things.)

Things went fine until it was time to test for dessert.  Bean was struggling with her math homework, so I compromised and told her she could have dessert once half of it was done.

Strip in, finger poked, 'beep' for the blood, 'beep, beep' for the, wait, that's a 'beeeeeeeeep.'  Aw Crap!  There's that screen again.  I called Insulet, because there was talk of replacing the PDM if we hadn't been able to get it to reboot in the conversation that afternoon.  (Loved that the representative's reaction was "NO WAY! It's doing it again?!?")  We did the whole process again and it came back.  We also made arrangements for a new PDM to be shipped...fingers crossed that it would get here on Friday since they don't do Saturday deliveries without special instructions, blah, blah, blah.

Again, we had to do a pod change.  Not super excited about tossing a less than five hour old pod, but at least the PDM was alive again.

As soon as the POP inserted the cannula, the beeeeeeeeeep started again.  ~ insert colorful language in my head ~  Reset the PDM, no phone call this time because I just couldn't bring myself to call again after only  five minutes, activated another pod, and Bean FINALLY got her ice cream!

Fast forward to the 1:30AM check....strip in, finger poked, 'beep...beep,beep' and number. 33something.  Ugh.  Pushed a few buttons to process the bolus, hit 'confirm' and, yep, you guessed it, 'beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!'  Go ahead and insert some more colorful language.

There way no way on God's green earth that I was going to reset that damn PDM again.  So, I trudge downstairs and dig out a syringe and draw out the insulin Bean should have gotten.  Back upstairs to a sleeping Bean who is not too happy about a shot.

Morning comes way too early, and I happen to have a sub job for today.  I go in to wake up the girls and Bean's first words are "Can you test me first, I feel looooow."  40, yep, low.  Apple juice while laying in bed and a retest in about 10 minutes shows a much better 73.

I get Bug dressed, noting that the rash I had seen while getting her ready for bed was still there and was a bit more pronounced.  Ubergeek's two cents was that she 'finally' had Fifths, so it wasn't a big deal since you are no longer contagious once the rash appears.

We head out to work, childcare, and school.  Not as successfully as planned.  Bug doesn't have Fifth's, she has Hand, Foot, and Mouth and couldn't stay at her childcare place.  Remember the part about me having to chaperon because Ubergeek had training....yeah, that made things challenging.  Bug staying at school with me wasn't really an option either. The grandparents were unavailable so there was no other choice but for Ubergeek to skip training.  Thankfully he has a very understanding supervisor and it wasn't a big deal for him to just work on other things from home today.

Back to Bean....the one who had to have a shot for breakfast and for all other food consumption and corrections until the PDM arrived or we were able to borrow one from our CDE.  Not a happy camper to say the least.
Thankfully, we have an AWESOME CDE that had a loner PDM ready for us with the latest settings she had for Bean within two hours of us texting her this morning.

Bean was THRILLED when I met her in the nurse's office to do a pod change (anyone counting? that's number 4 in about 19 hours!).  I believe Bean uttered several "Hallelujahs" during the process.

Her numbers have been remarkably fabulous today (yeah, I know, I just jinxed it!) and the loner PDM is doing it's job without issue.

It's been a LONG week....and a LONG post!!...and now that Bug will be 'out of contact' until this wonderful Hand, Foot, Mouth thing runs its course, it will continue to be....oh, well, what are you gonna do?

Time to get the girls ready for bed and pour a nice glass of Resling and least that's the plan!!! ;)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Afternoon With 'Same'

'Same' is one of the most wonderful things when it comes to D.

Being able to hang out with others who are living life with a constant companion of numbers and blood drops and carb counting is always nice.

On Sunday, we hung out with C (mom) and M (T1 daughter), whom we had met at the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes last October.  They live out in remote western Alaska and come into town for their D appointments.  We had planned in October to get together the next time they were in, and thankfully it worked out that we could!  

We had a yummy lunch, complete with glucose meters and button pressing to deliver insulin.  Chatted about life with silly girls and little sisters, crazy relatives and school work, and a little D thrown in every now and then, because it's always a part of everything!

Then off for a little dessert before heading to a movie.  (If you haven't seen Big Miracle, I highly recommend it!)

As we were walking to our respective vehicles after the movie, Bean and M were arm in arm, determined to not let go of each other!  They hit it off, as most 8 year old girls do; but this friendship is deeper than the shared enjoyment of coloring Hello Kitty and Disney Princesses and taking funny pictures and movies.  It's the 'same' of D that instantly bonds; the comfort of sitting next to someone who is also testing their blood sugar before a bite of lunch is consumed; the struggle of knowing that food needs to be consumed because of an insulin dose when tummies are too full to take anymore.

'Same' goes a long way with us moms, too.  Laughing about forgetting D supplies and feeling like the biggest loser mom; feeling anxious right along with each other while talking about camp and sleepovers; having that heart wrenching ache while listening to the story of waiting for air transport with a very, very sick child.

I am grateful for friends.  I am even more grateful for D friends because that 'same' just makes that friendship even pun intended! ;)

The girls are so excited about and are looking forward to seeing each other at camp this summer.  And I'm looking forward to lots more get togethers and sharing 'same' and friendships that help make this life with D so much better!

Friday, April 13, 2012

You Can Do This Project ~ Featured Video!

Kim over at Texting my Pancreas is the fab bloggy gal that created the You Can Do This Project that has inspired so many people living with Diabetes to share their stories and provide encouragement to others living with this crazy disease.  If you don't know about it, I'm glad you are finding out about it now...and have decided to stop living under your rock!! ;)

There are video entries and blog entries; some are cheerful and upbeat; some reach to the depths of the pit that we can find ourselves in because of D; each one is inspiring in it's own way.

Bean's video happens to be the 'featured video' this week!  Not that you can't watch the video right over there on the side of this's just cool to go check out the You Can Do This blog to access all sorts of amazing stories of people all over the world, of all ages living the D life.  And it's cool that people who might not visit this blog can see it because it's over there!  Plus, who doesn't need a smile while listening to the ridiculously cheery background music!  (LOVE that music!!  Makes me want to cook in pumps and pearls and a frilly apron!)

Happy Friday!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hoppin' Down The Bunny Trail

Yesterday we enjoyed a fun fill time at the Easter Carnival at the childcare center Bug spends a couple of days a week while I'm working.

There were games and eggs and bunnies and yummy treats.  The girls had a great time!

Today we had yummy muffins for breakfast (skyrocketing BG and all, but it wasn't as terrible as it could have been thanks to a seriously cranking temp basal!) and then the girls got gussied up in their dresses from my mother.  She has always gotten their Easter dresses, just a tradition that kinda happened and I love it...and so do the girls!

Church service was great.  Several people shared how their life has been changed because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It was touching hearing their stories.  It makes this great big God that can seem out of reach sometimes into someone you can have a personal relationship with.  I love that!!

Then we had a nice lunch and afternoon with Ubergeek's parents.

Easter is the one time that their colors switch...and this year it caused some drama.

When Bean was little, she had SO MUCH PINK I decided that I'd get her a cute little purple bunny for Easter.  Plus, it matched the dress my mother had gotten her. ;)  So, being the 'tradition' person I am, I kept getting her purple bunnies.

Enter Bug and purple became her color.  But, when Easter rolled around for her, she couldn't have the same color bunny as her sister...why? just cuz, duh!  So, she got a pink bunny.

There was drama this morning when the girls got their bunnies because Bug insisted that purple was HER color and she tried to trade with her sister, who was all too willing to do it because she prefers pink.
Um, NO, that's not the way this tradition works!!  After some chatting, they kept their original bunnies and have been repeating all day "Easter is the one time we switch colors."

Oh, and it's a good thing I didn't keep with my tradition of sandals for Easter, no matter the temperature, because no one needs to see this ghastly thing:

It's a bit more colorful in person...shades of blue and green and purple.  It's still pretty stiff and rather tender. 
Hoping it doesn't take too much longer to feel better!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Victory for T1 Kids in Alaska

When Bean was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 22 months ago, we knew that school was going to present some challenges because the first words out of the mouth of the nurse that trained us was "oh, she'll have to change schools because her school doesn't have a full time nurse."

Because of the commitment we had to the school and their commitment to helping us find a way to make it work, Bean didn't have to switch schools.

However, during the two months of school she was on MDI, I had to go to school every day the nurse wasn't there to watch her give herself her lunch insulin dose.  That was at least three out of the five days of school and most times I'd go on the days the nurse was supposed to be there because she wasn't always there.

It was a fight process to get the school to the point that some one other than me or the nurse could WATCH her give herself her insulin.  They couldn't help her, couldn't touch the insulin pen, they could only verify that she had 'clicked' it to the correct dose.

Thankfully, Bean started using the Omnipod insulin pump in October of that school year, which made things WAY easier for school, not to mention life with D in general.

But, there was still the issue of glucagon.  The life saving injection given to diabetics whose blood sugar is so low they are unresponsive.  This was something ONLY the school nurse or a parent could do.  NOTHING we signed giving someone else permission would allow them to give this life saving, non-harming injection to Bean if she passed out or had a seizure due to an extremely low blood sugar.


The following is copied from an email received today from the ADA:

I am proud to report that through the leadership of Janel Wright, Chair of the National Advocacy Committee and Alaska resident, we have won a great victory to make school a safe – and a fair – place for Alaska students with diabetes. This achievement would not have been possible without the volunteers, parents, and staff in Alaska who worked in partnership with school nurses, the local diabetes and tribal health medical communities, the diabetes prevention program staff and other stakeholders. Many thanks to everyone involved for their tireless efforts in helping Alaska students with diabetes stay safe at school.

Safe at School principles now in place in Alaska include:
Students able to do so are allowed to self manage at school – YES! The Alaska Department of Education will include the Association’s policy on self management at school in their guidelines along with a link to our Safe at School resources and the National Diabetes Education Program school guide.

Trained non-medical school personnel are allowed to administer insulin – YES! Non-medical school personnel are now allowed to be trained by school nurses to administer insulin to help children who need it. 

Trained non-medical school personnel are allowed to administer glucagon – YES! Non-medical school personnel are now allowed to be trained by school nurses to administer life-saving glucagon in the event of an emergency.

Now, our students with diabetes have access to the care they need to survive – and to thrive! School employees who are properly trained can now assist children who need help, and kids who are able to do so can manage their diabetes at school. 

Thank you for your advocacy and for everything you do to Stop Diabetes®!

Laura Keller
Alaska State Advocacy Director
American Diabetes Association"

This is SUCH an AMAZING thing!  Not only can non-medical staff be trained to help students with their insulin, they can give glucagon, potentially saving their life!

Truly a victory for kids and parents living with this disease and rearranging their daily schedule to do injections and worrying if their child will be OK until the ambulance or they can get there if the nurse doesn't happen to be working or present if their child loses consciousness because of a low blood sugar.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordless-ish Wednesday ~ Break Up Is Hard To Do

Break Up ~ the season of slushy, puddly, icey, yucky mess as the ton of snow melts to make way for Spring; sometimes providing difficulties walking, and for that matter standing, as the mushy snow shifts under your feet without warning.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Grande Affaire

Last night Ubergeek, Bean, and I attended our local ADA's The Grande Affaire Black and White Gala.

We had a great time!

Our FNP had twisted my arm into agreeing to perform the Type 1 D Moms song (see video on the right side of page).  It took some persuading because I had done that song for my bloggy mom friends, not to actually sing IN FRONT OF PEOPLE!!!

Bean, of course, came as part of the package, because, let's face it, she's STINKING CUTE and everyone could ooo and ahhh over her and it didn't matter how much of a fool I made of myself. ;)

Because we also had another event last night, Bean got to hang out with our favorite T1D babysitter at the hotel. They had a blast painting each other's fingernails and ordering room service.

We left our first event, a bit later than planned because Ubergeek was flapping his gums and was having a hard time pulling himself away.  I drove since he had enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine and was trucking along trying hard not to be a speed demon.  However, the cop that pulled us over thought that me doing 44 in a 35 was too fast.  UGH!!!  Thankfully, he let me off with just a warning...maybe it was Ubergeek's bow tie (he's totally convinced of that!) or the fact that I was touching up my lipstick when he came back from running my info (yeah, right!).  So, off we went again, a bit more closely following the speed limits.

We called the fabulous babysitter (you think we might like her, just a bit?!?) to have her and Bean meet us outside the ballroom since we were running a bit behind.  We got there mere minutes before we were supposed to go on stage.  I needed to make a quick trip to the powder room and, of course, they call us up to the stage while I'm in there!!!  When I walked jogged as best I could in heeled boots, trying to not get out of breath before having to sing, Bean was making small talk on the mic with the MC. Gotta love that kid!!

I talked a bit about how the song came to be and then we sang.  Four minutes later, we were off the stage.  Bean and I both breathed a sigh of relief and were stopped by lots of people for high fives and compliments on how cute she was on stage.  A mom of two T1s stopped me and thanked me for singing a song that was so 'right on' with what we all go through.  She said, "Most of the people in this room might not have known what all that was about, but I did and I LOVED IT!"  It's stuff  like that that make doing things we don't always like to do worth it!!

Bean begged to go back to the room with the fabulous babysitter (way more fun than a room full of dressed up adults!), so off they went.

Ubergeek and I enjoyed a lovely meal, watched the hilarious live auction, and hung out with our wonderful FNP and CDE.  We also got to talk with one of the ADA gals that had been at camp last summer with Bean and found out that she was inspired by Bean to try the Omnipod after 20 years of MDI.  She's been podding for almost a month now! A truly humbling thing for me to know that my little girl has that much impact on others.  She truly is amazing!

Now for the best part...the pictures!!

with our fab CDE and FNP
and just for the record, I did NOT look that big in the mirror, UGH!!!

singing, obviously ;)

the best part of the night!

Oh, and before you, we didn't get video.  I KNOW!!  How could we NOT?!?
Blame it on Ubergeek who didn't think to grab the video camera. ;)
Maybe someone at the event got it on video...I don't know.  If something does turn up, I promise to post it...even though I most likely won't want to!!