Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Glamorous Life

This morning was filled with appointments. So I was able to drive Heath's Mini to the doctor's office to get my iPro sensor removed. I always hesitate to drive Heath's car because I'm not used to it. I'm quite comfortable in my huge Chevy Uplander. But every time I drive Heath's Mini Cooper I realize what a fun car it is. I felt so glamorous zipping down the freeway in such a stinkin cool car rocking out to music that I finally figured out how to find!

I had to push a lot of buttons to select the CD player but I finally got it. I was not going to blast NPR on my morning errands. The CD's were great because Heath has a completely different mix in his car than I have. And my van is a little too obsessed with CD 1 track 1. It doesn't matter what CD you have as the first, once you get past all the songs you hear over and over it goes right back to CD 1 track 1 as soon as you start her up. I get tired of trying to skip to where I think it was last so I start all over or listen to one of the other CD's. Even if I put the discs on random, I still hear the same songs over and over and CD 1 track 1 more times than Milli Vanilli's Blame It On The Rain was played in 1990!

Awesome that the drive to the doctor's office takes longer than the nurse taking off the CGM sensor. But THANK HEAVENS that annoying thing is off! It was too far back on my waist and I could feel it EVERY time I moved. The tape would stretch and pinch and I swore the sensor would just pull out. I was very grateful to have it out. It actually hurt when she pulled it out. What am I getting myself into? I'm still excited to do the CGM. I just won't have it so far back. I can't have my pump sites that far back because they hurt, itch, and the tape comes off constantly.

After my whole 10 minute exchange at the doctor's office I took off for the dentist for the second half of my perio scaling and root planing. It was a much better experience this time. The nurse squirted that Hurricaine stuff in my mouth before she did anything. It's supposed to suppress my overactive gag reflex. For all I know it's some sore throat spray but it works like magic. The hygienist was able to really numb my mouth. Last time I was not so numb and I could feel EVERYTHING she was doing. It was really annoying. This time I was so numb. I still am. My mouth feels like it's 5 times its original size and I have a hard time saying s's! Last time I was eating lunch 30-45 minutes after getting home. It's already been over an hour and I am glad my blood sugar is high because I don't think I could eat anything right now! Heath had his dentist appointment right as mine was ending. He's getting me a Jamba Juice on his way home.

So I went from glamorous hottie in a Mini Cooper to a frumpy mom in a mini van with slurred speech when I talk! I fully plan on changing into one of Heath's big, soft T-shirts and sleeping off the rest of the anesthesia after I pick up Gavin from school. I'm so glamorous. Everyone wants to be me!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Once Upon a Time . . .

Once upon a time I used to care about a lot of things that no longer seem to bother me as much. As much is the key phrase. Things still bug me but I guess not enough for me to make it a priority.

Like cleaning my house. I used to be so compulsive about everything. I cleaned my kitchen at least twice a day and I swept after every meal and snack. For real. Now, I couldn't care less if Gwen eats off the floor. I guess when you have enough kids you stop worrying about some things. I sweep when I can't navigate the Cheerio landmine without stepping on one grinding it into fine powder instantly. I figure what's the point? Someone is going to eat something 20 minutes after I sweep anyway! It's like making the bed. Who cares? I'm just going to sleep in it again in a few hours! Heath has probably made our bed more often in our marriage than me. He makes the bed and declutters the desk whenever he works from home because the mess is too distracting to him.

My moods are still affected by the amount of clutter in my house. But my fuse is definitely getting longer. Now it's more like once a week I decide the toy graveyard needs to be tamed. I have to confess that I still do sort the boys' toys. But it's maybe once every couple of months rather than every 2 weeks. I hate letting the kids in my room. They take all the books off the shelf but don't know how to put them back. (I used to put the books back in the same place. There was no order necessarily, I just knew where they went!) I complain so much about the mess they make in my room but it takes me a week or so to do anything about it!

People say things like, "So and so is way too into her looks. She spends so much time on her hair and makeup. That will be a wake up call when she has a baby!" Well, 3 kids or not, I do have my standards! I still do full hair and makeup 90% of the time. The other 10% are days I have nowhere to go. That's when I shower but skip the bra. I've blogged about that before!

Not that long ago I would spend the morning trying to calm down after taking Gavin to school. Then I would pick him up and spend the afternoon crying, yelling, and writing really long venting text messages to Heath about my frustrations. Since we stopped the behavior plan a couple of months ago things have gotten better. Gavin still has his days where he doesn't want to go to school. I still have my moments when I see a note that really gets under my skin. But for the most part I let it go. There is too much of a personality conflict and difference of opinion for me to even waste my time on things. In my mind I agree to disagree.

Today I got a bunch of old schoolwork sent home with scribbled note after scribbled note on almost every page. "Needs prompting." "Re-do." "Re-do with red pen." Stars are less than occasional. Gavin saw a star and got really excited. He told me he gets a star when he does it right. Statistics show that kids do better when they get more positive feedback than negative feedback. Deep down it still bugs me.

But I'm done caring about school. I'm done trying to please. I'm done with overanalyzing all of it. I read the notes that I can barely decipher they were written with such emotion, then throw the papers away. I save the weekly behavior notes in case she wonders why I never sign and return them. We move on. Life is too short to agonize over kindergarten. I count down the weeks until the year is over and tell myself that next year has got to be better. It couldn't possibly get worse than what we've been through!

I don't know if my new attitudes are a sign that I'm growing or simply giving up. I like to believe I'm growing out of being such a neurotic mess over everything. Once upon a time shallow things really seemed to matter to me. Now I'm getting over it. The End.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Very Good

Gavin has a couple of homework assignments this week that are just for practice. There is no way to prove that he actually did the work. Gavin was very concerned that his teacher wouldn't know if he did the work or not. So besides having him write his name at the top of the paper I also got out a stamp I used a lot when I taught. It's a smiling mouse with the words very good next to it.

It looks like this! Bright and sharp as a tack me decided to put more trust in Parker than I should have. I left the stamp out on the counter. This morning I saw "very good" stamped all over my kitchen table. I knew who did it but I asked anyway. Both boys immediately said, "Not me!" I had just gotten Gwen up for the morning so I was pretty sure it wasn't her! I didn't want to jump to conclusions but I had to laugh when Gavin sat down to eat his cereal. Apparently that was the first he had seen the stamps. I'm not sure what he thought I had asked about! But he was shocked and said, "What? Why is there stamps on the table?" No such reaction from Parker. I shut down their computer and flipped the switch so they can't turn it on.

My brain is not very good anymore. I went through a period of about 2 weeks when I seriously could not remember anything. I'd forget laundry, rewash it and forget about it all over again! I would walk into a room and have no idea what I was supposed to be doing in there. I was trying out a science experiment for Gavin's homework. The assignment was to put water in a baking dish in direct sunlight and use a mirror to project a rainbow on the wall or ceiling. I left the water on the floor. Why? I don't know! Gwen got up from her nap and I totally forgot about the water so she played in it. Water everywhere on the carpet. Nice!

Besides acting like Dory lately, I have an overactive imagination. Last night I was having trouble sleeping. The iPro sensor was kind of bothering me. I could feel it and I could feel the tape stretching every time I moved. I think it pulled out just a little in the office but Dave was able to fix it. So I was convinced it was going to pull out. I was trying to sleep but I was not sleeping well and every dream was about the stupid sensor coming out. Suddenly I hear this loud alarm. I jump out of bed. Heath says, "What is that?" I say, "It's the sensor. It must have come out." We both stand there for a second completely dazed and confused. I start wondering how my pump would know since they aren't connected. The sensor is sending no blood sugar info to my pump. Then I start thinking that it's weird that the sound is not coming from me! Heath walks over to the door and says, "It's my laptop. It's running low on battery." He gets it to shut up and we fall asleep as soon as our hearts stop pounding.

Maybe an hour later I have a dream. I don't remember it now but it was one of those dreams where something happens that doesn't fit in at all with the dream. Usually it means you're hearing something in real life and you wake up. In my dream I heard this insistent knocking on the door and a female voice yelling, "Is anyone in there?" I am jolted awake and without even thinking I smack Heath's chest and say, "Did you hear something?" No, he hadn't heard anything but the panic in my voice. I slowly realize if anyone was pounding on our door they gave up pretty quickly! Heath told me it was all my little imagination, rolled over, and went back to sleep. I finally slept soundly after that and the next time I woke up it was to the alarm telling me it was 6:00 am and it was a whole new day to mess up!

If anyone finds a coupon for a mental health professional, you can send it my way!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Diabetes = Zero Privacy

It takes a special person to be a celebrity. First of all, celebrities have to be ok with every part of their lives being public knowledge.

It does not take a special person to be diabetic. Autoimmune disorders are no respectors of persons. If you have diabetes and are willing to do what it takes to manage it, you can easily feel like a celebrity lab rat.

Believe it or not, I used to be a very private person. I didn't want anyone to know hardly anything about me. When I was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes I remember feeling so embarrassed as my parents rattled off relatives they told. I didn't want anyone to know. I guess I hoped it was a weird cold or something that would just go away. Or at least something I could deal with without ever having to tell anyone.

But people knew. My classmates didn't understand why I sat in the back of the room and ate a snack every day at 10 am. In many ways they were ignorant about diabetes. With the number of people affected by both types of diabetes, it's sad to realize how ignorant most people still are, including pharmacy staff. I've blogged about that before. My parents arranged for a Diabetes Nurse Educator to come in and teach my class about diabetes. After that I got a lot of "I'll eat your cookie since you can't have it!" and pencils from my teacher for EVERY birthday celebration.

No surprise that when I moved to junior high I stopped telling people. My closest friends knew but only if they invited me to a slumber party. I spent the next several years telling people on an as needed basis. In college I was excited about the prospect of an insulin pump. I knew it was time I stop being the rebellious diabetic and actually start taking care of myself better. My mom had me talk to a nurse she worked with who wore a pump. I remember her telling me that diabetics who wear pumps have to be willing to answer a lot of questions. I wasn't sure if I was ready for that then. I have learned how to answer people's questions based on their interest level.

Another privacy issue with being diabetic is getting to see a doctor every 3 months. Regular people almost never see doctors. Heath hasn't been to a doctor since my doctor scheduled him for an appointment after seeing Heath had high blood pressure. It was kind of a funny situation. I had Heath come with me to an appointment once. My doctor had me on the crinkly paper while he opened my pants to thump my stomach. Heath said that really bugged him to see a male doctor so nonchalantly open my pants as if it was no big deal. Then the doctor rechecked my blood pressure. He always did it twice, once when I was sitting up and once while lying down. Out of the blue, he decided to check Heath's blood pressure. Heath's was pretty high from the adrenaline while he tried to decide between punching my doctor in the nose or realizing it was ok, he was my DOCTOR! But my point is, most non hypochondriacs don't see doctors regularly. So it is a little weird to have to go as often as I do.

I have been seeing my endocrinologist monthly since January. My control is not where either of us would like to see it so he makes adjustments and we look at the results in a month. Since I have been trying out the continuous glucose monitor I have been going even more frequently. It's not too bad. He's an endocrinologist so I get to keep all of my clothes on! And the Mini Med rep not only lets me keep my clothes on, he keeps the door wide open so nobody can think anything inappropriate is going on.

I try not to spend too much time thinking about the fact that my endo knows a lot of things about me based on the info he gets every time he downloads my pump. I've seen the printouts. You can piece together a lot of things if you wanted to! I'm sure he doesn't read too much into when and why I suspend my pump. But for me it does feel scary to have a pager sized piece of equipment tell so much about me.

Today I went in to get the iPro continuous glucose monitor for insurance purposes. Dave told me that I wouldn't be able to see any blood sugar readings on my pump. So I should do whatever I normally do. Then he told me that the more info I write down the better it is for everyone to analyze the data. So I have to record at least 4 readings a day. No problem. And it's highly recommended that I share what I eat and exercise activity levels, etc.

I'm back to feeling like a lab rat. I hate food logs. I am no Pamela Hansen (Running With Angels). I know I eat junk. Why would I want to write it down and risk being judged for my poor food choices? Dave could sense my hesitancy to the food log. So I told him I was having flashbacks to my second pregnancy when my perinatologist insisted on food logs. Then she would look at it disapprovingly and tell me that none of the food was healthy especially for a diabetic. I loved when she lectured me on Ramen noodles. Thanks Doc, my husband just lost his job, we have insurance until the end of the month (2 days after the layoff), I'm entering my third trimester of a high risk pregnancy, and you want to criticize me for eating cheap Ramen????

I'm getting over my personal privacy issues. My life has been online for 2 years now. But any invasion of my privacy that affects my health puts me on edge. We all draw the line somewhere.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Olive My Love

You guessed it, this is another post about our sweet Little Miss. Even though her hair is disheveled and I hadn't combed it yet, I love this picture the best.

I always wanted a girl. I wanted a boy first but I had to have a girl. When Heath and I would dream of the different gender combinations Heavenly Father could give us for our order of 3 kids, our favorite combo was exactly what we got: Two boys and a girl.

Girls are so different from boys and not really in the gender stereotypical ways society views girls vs. boys. Having a little girl grace our home after loving to death two little boys, is beyond words to describe. Gwen is simply hilarious. She is rough and tough and feminine all rolled into one child.



This is a little girl with many hats. All of which she refuses to wear.

When Dawn told me that she always wanted a little girl to make hats for, I knew exactly how she felt. I always wanted a little fashionista. At least Gwen lets me do her hair.

This little girl has the cutest smile and the funniest squeals. She loves people, especially her older brothers. She gives hugs but not kisses and will only accept kisses from Mom and Dad.

She communicates in the cutest ways. Maybe Gavin and Parker were good at communicating when they were this age and I don't remember. But Gwen has developed her own sign language. The typical baby wave (hand opening and closing) means good night. And pointing means I want that or I want more. Sometimes I am tempted to do the whole baby sign language thing. I have always wanted a discreet way to communicate with my family in public kind of like the sign language in the Belgariad Series by David Eddings. But the best we've come up with is touching the ear and then the nose to say it was time to go 10 years ago, get me out of here please!

Gwen loves olives. A lot. She kept pointing at the olives last night. She is such a cutie. Olive our love goes to this little charmer that has forever changed our family. All of her love goes to olives.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Not opening my own pet store

I have so many pet peeves I could open my own pet store! But rather than tirade on and on about some of my latest pet peeves, I thought I would list the positives from today.

  1. I read my scriptures this morning.
  2. I prayed.
  3. I recognized my crummy mood (don't ask because I really don't know why!) and I was somehow extra patient with the kids as a result. Weird but it worked. Praying may have had something to do with it too.
  4. I found the magic words to get Gavin to school. "Maybe you get to watch your DVD today with your class."
  5. I let Parker watch a movie. He loves movies and since it was cloudy, windy, and much cooler outside I gave in pretty easily. I made him popcorn too. I'm such a great mom.
  6. I found some scriptures that validate a person I had a conversation with yesterday.
  7. I mailed Gavin's Summer School registration with the $25 requested donation for a class that is so popular he may not get in! Let me just remove my foot from my mouth to explain Summer School. I was beyond annoyed when it was suggested that Gavin attend Summer School to help his social skills. Well, a couple of weeks ago I heard some moms talking about Summer School and how cool it is. One mom let me look at her brochure and I realized it's not only remedial courses for failing students. There's fun stuff too. The one class I was interested in was the art and drama class. So hopefully Gavin gets in because I think he would have a lot of fun.
  8. Because I mailed Gavin's registration I got the mail from yesterday. We're so inconsistent with picking up mail. Anyway, I was excited to see the Cricut cartridge Dawn mailed to me that I forgot she was mailing. Thanks Dawn!
  9. I talked to Parker about anything and everything. We popped packing bubbles and put together puzzles.
  10. Gavin's teacher gave me the DVD back and said she thought it was great and she could tell we had fun. She said her favorite part was when Gavin said one of the library books didn't even talk about sea anemones. She said that's part of researching. Some books don't give enough information.
  11. I let the kids watch the DVD on the way home. Gavin said it was perfect because the movie ended when we were almost home! I know, that's why I let them watch it on the ride home.
  12. I took the kids to the library to return the sea anemone books and check out new books. The library was less than a happy experience so I'm done talking about it.
  13. I didn't set my death ray gun to frappe on the drive home although I REALLY wanted to.
  14. I found a babysitter for my appointment with Dave, my Mini Med rep, to get the I-Pro continuous glucose monitor next week.

Wow. I didn't think I had 14 good things to say about today! I'm so proud of me for not opening my own pet store! Wait, isn't that 15?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Overachievers

Don't you hate overachievers? Those people that always have to go above and beyond what is expected. They not only raise the bar for everyone when the bar was fine where it was, but they wreck the bell curve. Overachievers tend to be smug and self-righteous. They have a way of making everyone else look bad and feel bad.

I am so sorry for being an overachiever!

There is nothing like staying up past midnight for 3 nights in a row editing a video thinking how great it would have been to have planned to do more for the project. Or start filming sooner than we did so the editing process would have been easier. There is nothing like watching your child wait in line proudly clutching a "movie" that he stars in while another mom admits that all they did with the assignment was write down 3 questions with the answers. Oh. Oops.

Oh well. I can't feel too bad. It's not like we wasted our spring break working on this. We didn't start putting anything together until Friday afternoon. And we're a tech family. That's what we do. There may be nothing like the sinking feeling of realizing you did way too much, but the proud look on Gavin's face will always be priceless. He is 5 years old and has a nice video starring him, his mom, and voice talent by his dad. He will always remember how much fun we had with this assignment. We weren't trying to be overachievers. We were just trying to make learning fun and I think we succeeded.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dripping Wet

It is hot. It is so hot that records were broken all over the Bay Area yesterday. The highest recorded temperature for April 20 in San Mateo was 88 degrees in 1899. Yesterday they hit 96 degrees! Where we live was not much cooler. So I decided to break out the summer gear and enjoy it because we should be back to lower 60's by the weekend. It's amazing to think that last week we were windy and could barely hit 60 degrees! Typical spring weather.

As you can see, the kids still love the caterpillar. Gwen's swimming suit no longer fits. I'm not surprised since we bought it for her when she was about 4 months old! So I improvised. She wore a swim diaper under her white onesie. Everyone was sprayed with sunscreen and told to have a good time.
They did! Don't you love it when kids listen!
I think it's funny that Parker keeps drinking the water from one of the arms.
My mom points went up even higher when I put out, not only a snack, but a healthy snack! I gave the boys oranges and lemonade. I gave Gwen dried apple slices and lemonade. I thought it was great when I saw her carrying an apple slice in each hand as she walked all over the backyard. My favorite was when she went back to the water and rehydrated her apple slice. She never ate it though. She must have agreed it was gross.


videoGwen was in heaven playing in the water as you can see in these videos. The boys are always inventing games to play.


video


videoThe heat continued all night. There was a heat advisory from noon to 8 pm yesterday and the same again today. We opened windows to cool the house naturally because it was cooler outside than inside despite our air conditioning. Over the course of the night, the upstairs cooled from 84 degrees to 72. The kids were having a hard time sleeping. Especially Gwen who woke up so many times. Luckily she puts herself back to sleep. But it really felt like we were camping at Lake Mead rather than sleeping in our house.

If you've never camped at Lake Mead just imagine camping on the sun and you get the idea. The cool night breeze feels like a hair dryer passing over your sweating body. If you go in the fall the water is as warm as bath water. It sounds nice but how often do you take a hot bath to escape 100 plus degree temps? If you go in the summer you may have a death wish, a house boat, or a hotel room.

Yesterday was great despite the sweltering heat. The kids had so much fun. So I say, Welcome summer. Welcome heat, water and sweat. Welcome dripping wet days.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Miracles

I just sent off a 30 day blood sugar log to Dave, the Mini Med rep I've been working with on the continuous glucose monitor. He called on Friday to tell me some interesting news with my insurance company. Last Wednesday my insurance company decided to change their policy. They now cover continuous glucose monitors for patients!!!! Wahoo! I was required to send in 30 days worth of blood sugar readings with at least 4 tests a day. Easy. I had to look at my graphs for 2 days while I was on the trial CGM to find some readings since I wasn't pricking my finger as often. Dave will talk with my endo about a good day for me to go in to have another trial CGM. This one will be a professional model so I won't be able to see any readings on my pump. I test and go about my business for a few days and then have all the info downloaded when I have the device removed. Hopefully, my 30 day log and the info from the new CGM trial will be enough for my insurance company to approve me. I really hope. I had several readings in the 50's but only one below 50. It happened early Friday morning, hours before Dave called.

It's somewhat depressing to me to write down my blood sugar readings. I never do. My endo downloads info from my pump every time I go in. Anyway, I can't believe how bad my readings actually are. Heath said that hopefully the insurance company decides I need the CGM because of my roller coaster blood sugars. We'll see I guess. The graphs I got when I had the sensor taken off aren't as pretty as I thought they would be. But for a weekend, I was in pretty good control.

Yesterday Heath was watching some show on the History channel about the top 7 ways the world will end. It was interesting to listen to while I was primping for church. At one point they were talking about how dependent people have become to computers and machines. They were talking about an incident in space where the computers could have killed the astronauts if the astronauts weren't able to override the computer systems.

I recently had a conversation with my mom about the CGM I used. She was saying that she was surprised it worked the way it did. She thought it would let my pump know what my blood sugar was and my pump would automatically give insulin as needed. I could see where she was coming from and that would be cool. But I told her that I love being the final say in what happens to my body. I can override my pump anytime I want. With my pump tracking the active insulin in my body and me knowing how my body reacts to different things at different times of the day, I know whether or not I should override my pump's suggestions. Or shut off my basal rates for a while. I do that at church a lot especially when I sub in Primary. I don't see how I can leave my class to eat if I need to and I certainly don't want to eat in front of them. So I anticipate lows and try to avoid them.

Heath told me that scientists are working on something interesting for diabetics. He said they have created these tiny computers that can be injected into a diabetic maybe once a year or so. The computers will regulate the body's blood sugars the way the pancreas did before it stopped working. So the computers will act as insulin when needed and other computers are designed to be glucose when needed. That is amazing to me. I know that some people have had stem cells implanted and their Type 1 diabetes is completely cured. I want that! I am happy that stem cell research is moving away from embryonic stem cells. Scientists are learning now that you can get stem cells from just about anywhere. I could have a small hole cut into my arm and they could get stem cells from that! I saw that on TV a while ago. I could use my own stem cells to cure all of my autoimmune disorders. Now that would be awesome!

It's incredible to think that it wasn't that long ago that diabetes started being managed with animal insulin and now they have cloned human insulin (what I use). Blood sugar monitoring has gone from peeing on a stick to being able to poke your own finger and see accurate results in 5 seconds. The first year I went to diabetic camp, the counselors were talking about when they were younger and they had to pee on a stick several times a day to monitor their blood sugar. There was no other way. These were people maybe 10-20 years older than me!!!! Now we have pump therapy and continuous glucose monitors to better monitor diabetes. Diabetics can afford these things while surgery is still a little risky and definitely not affordable to everyone. What else will they come up with to increase diabetic control and comfort?

I was certainly not a pioneer as a diabetic bearing her own children but I will never forget being a teenager and hearing horror story after horror story of women who did try to have their own children. As soon as someone knew I was diabetic they immediately said I couldn't have my own kids. This was in the late 80's to mid 90's! I am astounded at the medical miracles that keep me alive and brought my children here.

The other miracles I wanted to share happened yesterday at church. Heath was teaching in Elders Quorum so I had Gwen for Relief Society. She was content for opening exercises and then she was done. I was sitting next to a woman who is so in love with Gwen. Every time she sees Gwen she gushes over what a sweet baby she is. This woman loves to sing and was asking Gwen if she was going to sing too. When the practice hymn was over Gwen was singing baby babble but it was the tune of the song we just sang. The woman went on and on about how amazing Gwen's singing was. She kept saying that Gwen was on pitch! I know virtually nothing about music and my talent extends as far as singing along to the radio! So I don't know if Gwen was on pitch or not.

Well, Gwen was happily noisy for the lesson. I didn't want to distract the teacher so we left. Gwen was very sleepy and seemed to be settling down. I thought maybe some miracle would allow me to get her to fall asleep in my arms and I could go back to class. She was getting more and more restless as I tried to cradle my toddler in my arms. I could always get the boys to fall asleep in my arms but never Gwen. I thought maybe I could walk with her outside. That worked well on the boys.

We went out the front doors of the church. The doors that are feet away from the street. I slowly started walking. A car drove by and then pulled into the parking lot. As I walked with Gwen the car drove to the parking lot in the back where we were walking to. He pulled into the first empty space right as I walked in front of it. He had his window down and said hi. I returned the greeting. He asked if I could help him. I said sure. He said he was new in the area and his mom was a member and lived in Southern California. He asked if he could meet someone. Then he asked if our services were still going. I told him yes and invited him in.

He aplogized for his clothing. He was in a T-shirt and jeans. I told him he was fine. As we walked down the hall I was debating over where to take him. I could send him to the chapel where Heath was teaching the Elders Quorum or I could knock on the Bishop's door who was part of the priest's class. I figured since the Bishop was in class, I may as well send this man in with other men his own age. So I told him the men meet in the chapel and that my husband was teaching. He said something about how I must be proud. Luckily he didn't have to go in alone. The son in law of the woman I was talking about earlier was at the door when we walked into the church and more or less walked down the hall with us. So he walked with the man into the chapel.

Heath told me that he came in at a great point in the lesson and he seemed interested. A lot of Elders Quorum members talked to him after class and Heath didn't want to swarm him so he found me and we went home. But Heath said that the man (I don't know how old he is. He looked younger than me but he was an adult so I don't want to sound old and call him young man!) said it was a miracle that he was there. We don't know the details of what he meant but we believe I was outside for a reason. I think he happened to drive by the church and hadn't fully decided if he wanted to go but since he saw someone in the parking lot it was easy to ask a few questions and be talked into going in. That's my opinion anyway. I've never been there for someone like that before (at least that I know of) so it was an interesting experience and I'm glad I was out there. And I hope he comes back because he was invited to.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Disney Pixar Gratuitous Sex Scene

While doing some online research for Gavin's oral report on sea anemones, it has come to my attention that the opening scene in Finding Nemo is actually a sex scene! Scandalous I know!

How did I find this information? I learned that clown fish are the only fish that are not affected by the poisonous stings of sea anemones. Clown fish are actually covered in a slimy mucous which protects them from being stung. However, if the mucous is rubbed off somehow and the clown fish returns to its home in an anemone the clown fish will be stung and can even die. Clown fish live in anemones while cleaning the anemone's tentacles and scaring away anemone predators. The anemone protects the clown fish from predators as well. The clown fish attracts prey for the anemone and gets to eat the leftovers. It's a win win situation.

So how in the world did I learn that the opening Finding Nemo scene is actually a sex scene? I was writing the script for the movie we are making for Gavin's oral report. More on that later. Anyway, I wanted to say something about the clown fish not being affected by the stings. But I wasn't sure what it was they were covered in. I was pretty sure it was mucous, but I have learned a lot in the last few days about anemones and other oceanic animals so I wasn't sure. I googled clown fish and found out that some of the mating behaviors of clown fish include chasing, biting, and extending fins. If you remember the opening scene in Finding Nemo there is a lot of flirtatious chasing between Marlin and Coral before you see the eggs at the base of the sea anemone. Which is where clown fish lay their eggs.

The only thing that was inaccurate in Finding Nemo is the fact that clown fish are hermaphrodites. They are males first, and develop into females as they mature. If a female dies, one of the largest males becomes female and the rest of the clown fish move up a rank on the hierarchy. So really Marlin should have become a girl after Coral died. But I'm sure the writers felt that fact would be incredibly confusing to children so they skipped it.

This project has been very interesting to me to learn about different sea creatures. I believe that a lot of research went into the making of Finding Nemo. My sister said all the dentist scenes were accurate and hilarious. And now we know that the opening scene is "racier" than we originally thought! Maybe you can watch Finding Nemo this weekend with your family and enjoy how accurate it is.

Update and statement retraction! I have watched the opening Finding Nemo scene and I apologize for saying it was an implied sex scene. The eggs have already been laid and are resting peacefully in a hole near the bottom of the sea anemone. Meanwhile Marlin is very proud of his choice of sea anemone that will house his family. Coral is more subtly impressed. The chasing was very short lived, inside the anemone, and it was Marlin and Coral remembering how they met. Sorry for raising or dashing any hopes and dreams.

And for all you sickos who do searches for Pixar sex (all two of you so far), there are no Pixar sex scenes! Sorry.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Heaven Help Me!

Gwen is days away from being 14 months old. She thinks she's 14 years old!

Talking to her fellow baby peeps on the phone. It's a scintillating conversation since Gwen only says hello minus the ell sound. She holds the phone to her ear and says a drawn out "ho-o-o?"

This is her kitchen cupboard.

I don't think I have ever had to use so many baby locks in one kitchen. We sure got spoiled with Gavin. He was into things but it was nothing like Parker or Gwen. I really hate having the garbage locked up but it's better than Gwen being able to get in and bring me items from the garbage while I'm passed out on the couch!
I actually took these pictures earlier this week and meant to post them earlier. It's been a crazy week. Yesterday I went to the dentist's office for the third time in a week. It was my second appointment. The boys had an appointment on Wednesday. Apparently periodontal disease is common in diabetics. I was privileged enough to go in for a deep cleaning - perio scaling and root planing. That's where the hygienist numbs your mouth before cleaning! They do one side of your mouth at a time. So I have to go back and do the left side in 2 weeks.
My sister is a hygienist and was kind enough to discuss this procedure with us the night before. We were upset that it was so expensive. She was surprised too by the cost we were quoted (CA is so expensive!) but said it was important. She also gave me an idea of what to expect. I just didn't know it would be so exhausting. I sat down to look at Gavin's library books and fell asleep instead. I was in and out of sleep all afternoon. Gavin took care of me while Heath worked on more slide show presentations upstairs. Too bad I didn't know Heath was on the phone with a client when I sent Gavin up to ask for more baby locks! Oops.
Anyway, back to Gwen. She is always so busy. Very quiet but always busy doing something. She loves to play with the kitchen towel and her blankets.

"Hi Mom. I'm very busy here, what do you need?"

videoShe's such a little woman. She sorts laundry, makes a mess in the kitchen, and talks on the phone. She talks to her dolls and sometimes carries them around but drops them harshly when she finds something else to do.
She sleeps with a Spiderman action figure and plays with rescue hero action figures all the time. She also loves to carry around anything with a handle like it's a purse. Her favorite game is peek-a-boo. She puts her blanket over her head and sits there until we notice and start the whole, "Where's Gwen?" then she pulls it off her head giggling.
She has emptied a bunch of towels out of the hall cupboard just now. I am always yelling at Parker about all his clothes all over the floor. He tells me that Gwen opened his drawer and pulled his clothes out. Since she has smashed her fingers in the drawer and Gavin said he helped her get her fingers out, I am starting to believe Parker. (He normally has his own version of truth so it's hard to trust him most of the time!) In the last day or so, Gwen loves to open the drawers in the kitchen. I'm out of ideas! We rent our house!
Heaven help me with my quiet whirlwind who can't wait to grow up. She is so cute and we all love her to death.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Break

Why is it that Spring Break is always cold and miserable? It has been super windy all week. The San Mateo bridge was closed for a while due to a boat that crashed into it from the wind. A highway along the water front in SF was closed due to sand dunes that moved from the beach to the middle of the road. Even though Wally Weatherman has forecasted warmer weather by the end of the week, the warmer weather seems to be getting pushed back more and more and the temps aren't as high as they were forecasted earlier in the week.

The other reason why this Spring Break seems so miserable is because we have done nothing but daily appointments for one thing or another. Dentist appointments, doctor appointments, etc. I sat down for maybe 5 minutes today and wondered if I should be bored, watch TV, actually fold my laundry or otherwise clean my house, or if I should just be content to sit for a few minutes. Suddenly Heath broke my thoughts by saying, "I better finish up and send this deck off. It will have to be good enough for the presentation tomorrow. We need to go to that birthday party." My heart sank. I had completely forgotten about the birthday party. In that moment I thought of a million and one things I would rather be doing than attending a crowded birthday party at a place not unlike Chuck E. Cheese (it's nicer but it's the same basic idea). We went. At least Gavin did one fun thing over Spring Break. Funny that it was with his entire Kindergarten class and their families!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Life as a Bionic Woman

Being constantly hooked up to a machine almost never crosses my mind. I am so used to my life the way it is. Adding a second component to my machine lifeline seemed weird at first but since Friday, I have decided that I love the continuous glucose monitor!

In the beginning I felt completely disconnected from the world. I understood that I only needed to check my blood sugar with my glucometer twice a day to calibrate the sensor. So I came home on Friday ready for lunch. But I couldn't find any blood sugar readings on my pump. I found graphs but there was no data. Heath was in meeting after meeting so I couldn't get a hold of him. I was about to give up and call the Mini Med rep to sheepishly admit my own stupidity but decided to email a text message to Heath instead. Then the data finally started and I quickly emailed back that all was well.

With the push of one button I could instantly see a blood sugar reading as well as a graph showing my blood sugar trends. I learned that if my blood sugar was rising there was an arrow pointing up. If it was rising quickly there were two arrows. The same was true if my blood sugar was dropping. I loved how easy it was to see where I was as often as I wanted to. I was checking out the graphs obsessively all day Friday. It was just too cool.

The absolute best part for me was when I woke up early one morning feeling hot, sweaty and shaky. It's a feeling that words don't describe very well but I know that feeling as low blood sugar. Many times I have woken up and instantly known I was dropping very low without really even consciously feeling some of the classic low blood sugar symptoms. But the best part about having the CGM sensor in my side was pushing the ESC button on my pump to instantly see that yes, I was low and was dropping. So I ate my fruit snacks that are always by the side of my bed and was able to go back to sleep. Without the sensor I would have eaten and gone back to sleep. But sometimes I wake up for the day with high blood sugar because I didn't need that much of a snack. Or sometimes I wake up for the day with a low blood sugar reading again and I wish I had tested to document the two low numbers. The CGM captured everything! I love it.

The sensor is no longer in my body. I had it removed this morning. The office staff printed out several pages of data for my chart and they made a copy for me. So Heath can go nuts with his analytical skills.

The sensor was fantastic until I turned it into a snarling mess right before going to the doctor's office. I checked my blood sugar right before breakfast. But like an idiot, I completely forgot to bolus for my carbs. (Sadly, I used to be sharp, witty, and on top of things mentally. Then I had 3 kids!) In the shower I was starting to feel like my blood sugar was dropping. When I got out I tried to remember if I even bolused for breakfast. Checking my bolus history showed that no, my last bolus was for dinner last night. But I was indeed dropping low. I wasn't too concerned since this is pretty common. Especially on days when I don't exercise. Weird, I know. So I had a snack maybe 45 minutes before I was supposed to calibrate the sensor. Oops. Now I know why Dave (Mini Med rep) told me to calibrate before eating!

I tested and got a reading of 240. My pump showed my blood sugar at 73 and dropping. Hmm, that was a pretty big discrepancy. So I tested again. I got a reading of 237. Ok, I'm high but probably because I just ate. One thing I learned with the sensor was that my stomach doesn't read my blood sugar as quickly as my fingers do. So if I was low before a meal it would take a pretty long time for the sensor to catch up and read the food in my bloodstream. I assumed that was what was happening this morning. Well, about 30 minutes or so later, my pump starts buzzing like crazy. I was about to turn out of the neighborhood at this point. So I stop and my pump is giving me a warning that the calibration wasn't good. Try again. So I test. I'm still over 200. The pump wasn't reading my blood sugars because it was trying to calibrate. I thought by that time my body would have recognized the food I had eaten an hour or more earlier.

I drove on figuring if there was a problem my pump would warn me once I made it to the doctor's office. The drive doesn't take that long. My pump started buzzing like crazy and there was nothing I could do about it. I was on the freeway! By the time I pulled into the parking lot ready to test again and try to recalibrate, my pump had the warning: Bad Sensor. That made me laugh a little. There was no icon on the screen indicating that the sensor was communicating with my pump. I cleared the warning, got my kids out of the van (my plans for babysitters fell through and I knew it would be a really short visit), and was ready to tell whoever that I totally messed up the sensor!

Dave held the door open for me so I could get my entourage inside. I was surprised to see him since I had talked to him yesterday about bringing the kids and he said he wouldn't be there. He thought I would go in the afternoon. Anyway, I told him I messed up the sensor! He said it was ok and we both awkwardly waited in the teeny waiting room for one of the receptionist/nurses to say they were ready to take me back to another teeny room. Having Gwen in her stroller was good because it kept her contained but the stroller was pretty big for how small that office is. The girls behind the desk said hi and then realized I had all my kids with me. So then they had to peer over the counter at my children and ooh and ahh over them. Then my doctor walks over to see what all the commotion was about and one girl says something about my kids. He looked and seemed like he thought they were cute. My favorite part was when he looked up at me and said, "Are these all yours?" I love living in California where I am considered an anomaly. I am young for having kids and I have 3 of them. Two years apart! And yes, I planned it that way!!!!

Once the circus side show lost its appeal I went into a room where the nurse removed the sensor. She asked where my paperwork was. My heart stopped a little. I didn't remember being given any. She was ready to give Dave a good talking to which made me feel bad. But he explained to her that she was thinking of a different kind of sensor and he showed her how to download the info from my pump.

I got the info and Dave asked a couple of health questions he normally asks over the phone. Like age, height and weight. He was so embarrassed to ask me face to face such personal questions. But it was all to see if my insurance will cover me having a CGM sensor. Normally he would call but I was right there so he was able to email himself from his phone. Anyway, I'm hoping I can get one because that was very cool. He asked me to fax him 4 days of blood sugars. Then he told me that if at all possible I need to have a couple readings below 50 because that is a magic number for the insurance companies. I told him I guess I could try exercising when I know I'm already dropping low. He said he will work with whatever I give him. I hope he doesn't have to lie for me. I will do my best but I don't drop below 50 very often. It's the worst feeling in the world when I do. Those are the times I eat until I feel better even though I know I'm not supposed to.

Living my life according to numbers on machines is interesting. But it keeps me alive and that's why I do it. My kids know how scared I get about changing my pump sites. Parker said something about me thinking it was scary. I agreed that it is scary for me. He said, "It keeps you alive?" I told him yes and that's why I do it. I am Bionic Woman. Hear me roar!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Celebrating Yet Another Pagan Holiday

What is it about religious holidays? I find it very sad that we live in a country that was specifically founded on religious freedom, yet we are not allowed to freely worship. How interesting that Jewish holidays are hardly recognized at all in mainstream education. Then the holidays that are recognized have to have some Pagan alter ego. Some cutesy feel good story to completely overshadow why we are celebrating at all. My sister calls him Satan instead of Santa! A friend of mine was super mad that the kindergarten curriculum spends over a week talking about Leprechauns but schools aren't allowed to have an Easter party. There ended up being an extremely low key Easter party disguised as a math lesson. I guess we have to be satisfied with that.

Ok, I will step off my soap box now. While I'm not a holiday fan, I do try to make it a good experience for my kids. They are big on traditions. They are getting to the age where they have memories of things. Gavin was excited about Easter because he knew that meant new Sunday clothes (have I posted online that part of the reason why he throws a Sunday fit about church is because he wore the same outfit every week?) and new church books. The church book thing started when Gavin was a baby. We didn't realize it would become a tradition, especially one our kids would look forward to. The kids also are big on dying Easter eggs.


I kind of think this tradition needs some work. This is the first year I realized that Heath and I aren't on the same page when it comes to Easter eggs. We both agree on dying them, although we both would be fine if we never did!
Heath dyed the eggs while Parker watched enthusiastically. Gavin and Gwen were too busy playing. It was so nice to do that project outside. Heath pointed out that it's easier to clean up a glass table than a wood one.

Heath grabbed a white crayon and amazed the boys with his secret writing. My favorite egg was the one where Heath swore he put an "e" but the egg said "I lov you."
The problem with dying Easter eggs is the Easter bunny never hides these eggs. It's always plastic eggs filled with candy. Also, the kids never really see the dyed eggs again. When I was a kid, it was a big deal to dye our own eggs. We would remember the colors or we would decorate them in such a way that we knew it was ours. We hunted for those eggs and ate them for breakfast for the next week. Heath has never told me his Easter traditions from his childhood. But so far in our own family, we dye the eggs as quickly and non-messily as possible. Then we put them back in the fridge and have the eggs the next day in something. This year we had deviled eggs with homemade hamburgers for lunch before church. So maybe Heath and I need to figure out this tradition.

It was super nice to dye the eggs outside. Heath and I sunbathed by putting our feet up on the one chair the birds decided to poop on! The kids played. This is a picture of Parker pulling out the big box that held the outside chairs. The boys love playing with that box.

Gavin and Gwen are wondering where Parker is. Gwen's pants are dirty so this must have been after she fell in the mud.

Oh! There he is!

Heath got this great shot of Gavin's reflection in the table.

We finally got kids in bed and the Easter bunny came. Here's the loot he left. Too bad the Easter bunny didn't think of the church book tradition sooner! He only brought one because there are not many choices for religious books around here. The Easter bunny didn't really have time to go to the Seagull Book in Oakland.
These next several pictures are after the kids woke up and the house never looked the same all day! I'm annoyed that I can't figure out how to put video in the middle of the text rather than at the end of the post. So be sure to check out the videos at the end that are all in the wrong order! It's obvious the kids were very excited.

Look Mom and Dad! Check out what we got!

Gwen had so much fun putting things in and out of the baskets and showing everyone.

Parker was so excited about the movie Bedtime Stories. He made Dad take a couple of pictures.

Already in a sugar stupor and we hadn't eaten anything yet! If you look closely or click on the picture, you can see a little bit of leftover blood from her bloody nose the night before. I had to give her the world's fastest bath because right as I put her in the tub the boys called saying they were ready to be picked up from the Pinewood Derby. So the nose didn't get the attention it deserved.

I love that Gavin can read. He did a great job reading about the Easter story. The other day I told him to pick any book he wanted off the bookshelf but he had to read it to me. So he chose one of my parts of speech books. He did a fantastic job reading. He even learned what a noun was by reading the book. I couldn't believe his comprehension level! So I pointed out to him on the dust jacket that the book was designed for kids ages 7-9 in grades 2-4. He was thrilled to be reading a book for kids at least 2 years older than him.

Gwen kept carrying the baskets around like a purse. She looked like she was shopping or something. She is so cute we can't stand our own lives!
The boys were excited to wear their new Easter clothes to church. We planned to take pictures after church. But that was before we thought of how chaotic it is once we get home after 4:00 pm. So no family pictures this year.
I substituted a Primary class of girls age 7 going on 8. They were as bouncy as they usually are when I substitute in that class. But I thought it was really neat to teach about Jesus Christ's resurrection. The girls had great questions and I believe they learned something. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I am so grateful for what he has done for me as well as all mankind. I loved Primary yesterday. The kids were all well behaved and suprisingly mellow during Primary. I loved teaching the class. But I guess I'm a stingy teacher because I didn't give my class any treats. They each got a plastic egg with candy in it that Parker's teacher put together for the WHOLE PRIMARY! My boys came home with so much candy and presents it was truly amazing. Parker had a felt bag full of books, notebooks, pencils, glo necklaces, etc. and he had a plastic basket full of candy. I asked if his teacher was made of money and he said yes!
Heath and I sat on our bed to talk to his parents on the phone. When we were done we saw candy carnage EVERYWHERE! It looked like the kids ate all their candy. Heath and I were sick to our stomachs just cleaning up the mess. But they still had enough candy to fill 1/3 of a gallon Ziploc bag. Gross. Holiday treats sometimes turn my stomach because of how much there always is. Here's to a week long spring break of sugar induced stupor!
videoPrecious baby hands offering an egg.


videoFar too much of my backside! But the beginnings of the Easter egg hunt.
video"You're kidding! You must be kidding, Dad!" videoAnd the last video: Gavin is so excited he falls down the stairs.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

It's been said that humans are always on the brink of disaster with every step they take. When you think about it, it makes sense. Just watch a baby learn to walk. While watching a toddler toddle or even try to toddle fast enough for it to be considered running, one can see how important and delicate balance is.

It's been a bad day . . . walking wise. The boys love to walk along the concrete that outlines the backyard. Gwen thought that would be fun to try. She didn't get too far before she lost her footing on the edge and tumbled into the mud. The mud distracted her from crying out of surprise. She was fascinated with the mucky goop on her hands and even more fascinated (and frustrated) with how quickly Mom and Dad insisted on wiping the goop off.

Dad messed up on the time for the Elders Quorum pinewood derby race. We got there about an hour early. Oops! The boys entertained themselves by pretending to play basketball, running around like crazy kids, and having races with Dad. Gwen did laps around the gym pushing her stroller and walking on her own. She was pushing the stroller pretty fast for a little girl. Then she would abandon it to just walk around free. She had an extra hop in her step as she looked like she was trying to run like her brothers. Any time she fell she picked herself back up and was off like a rocket. The description of some spirited kids running before they walked was on my mind. I wondered if this is what it looked like! (I don't believe Gwen is spirited though.)

There weren't too many people that came to the pinewood derby. But the few that were there had fun watching Gwen walk all over the gym. Rich T. even took a couple of pictures of Gwen pushing her stroller.

Gwen is still trying to master walking without falling. She fell several times because she was going so fast. I took my eyes off her for a second and realized she had biffed it again. I saw her on her hands and knees but the momentum was too much and she faceplanted. Then the howls came. I picked her up trying to comfort her while she cried her soggy Cheez-Its on my shoulder. But she wouldn't be consoled. I thought of the other day when she faceplanted at the playground and came up with wood chips stuck to her face. She looked like she had a weird rash the rest of the day. I wondered if her little mind was remembering the trauma of that fall as well. I started to tell her she was fine trying to make eye contact with her as I said it. Blood on my shoulder caught my attention. Oh, maybe you're not fine, I said! Somehow she had a bloody nose. Heath tried to use a paper napkin to blot my shoulder and suggested I go home to immediately launder my shirt.

It's amazing to think that this was Gwen at the pinewood derby last year. Sheila G. needed a grandma fix so she asked to hold Gwen. She held Gwen pretty much the whole night while Gwen slept so peacefully. This year she was a vision in pigtails and a bloody nose.

When I was a little kid my mom would go to the church to do some 80's jazzercise class with other women in the ward. The kids would run wild in the gym and try to stay out of the way of sweaty moms in lycra spandex body suits and leg warmers. Somehow I got my finger caught in the backside of the bathroom door. You know, the hinge side. Anyway, I must have been wailing pretty hard. My mom was embarrassed and flustered. Most likely her motherly worry played into things too. I remember her sitting me on the bathroom counter and yelling to STOP BLEEDING!!! Childhood memories are the best :) I don't remember what finger it was but my ring fingernail on my right hand has always grown crooked. So maybe that was the finger.

Don't take for granted the ability to walk or the ability for the human body to heal itself. But don't think about it so much that you trip!

Friday, April 10, 2009

CGM Update

The Mini Med rep was the same guy I had talked to on the phone in December. He called to update info about me at Mini Med and to recommend endocrinologists to me since the one I was seeing was no longer going to practice endocrinology. He was a super nice guy on the phone and really easy to talk to. He's just as nice in real life.

I know you are all on pins and needles waiting to hear how the inserting of the CGM went. He was talking about how it worked and mentioned that he would put it in. I wasn't sure if I heard right because I had it in my head that I was going to have to admit to being a baby about the whole thing. My adrenaline was pumping over this whole appointment. In fact, my triceps are sore from gripping the steering wheel so tightly as I drove to my doom! The anticipation was killing me so when he was ready to insert the device I was visibly nervous. He kept asking if I was ok and reassuring me that it feels the same as inserting an infusion set. I told him I was fine and to just do it. He offered to count. No, just do it! Even though it didn't hurt at all I still flinched a little when it went in.

When he was done he asked again if I was ok and I told him that I was nervous because I was expecting him to tell me to do it. Then I told him that I don't change my own pump sites. I told him my husband does it. So he told me to tell Heath that he is a great husband! Heath is a great husband but maybe it means even more coming from a Mini Med rep.

He had a soft board in his bag with CGM devices and infusion sets in it. Using that, he demonstrated how to insert the device. It goes in at an angle and you slide the inserter back at an angle to get it off the device once it's in the skin. He calls it the moon walk to get the inserter off.

At the end of the appointment he asked if he had completely overwhelmed me with information. I told him I was fine. But once I left I felt like I had walked out of math class or something. Do you remember how you understood everything the teacher said while you were in the room but as soon as you had to leave and do it on your own your brain turned off? I do have his business card with his cell phone number in case I get lost.

If I understand everything he said correctly, he said I have to callibrate it twice a day 12 hours apart. Or before I go to bed so I don't get an alarm to callibrate at 3 am if I callibrated at 3 pm! So that means I only have to test my blood sugar twice a day! He said that most likely there will be a discrepency between the CGM and my meter. That's because different parts of the body absorb sugar at different rates. He said that you could prick 3 different fingers and get 3 different blood sugar results. I have done that! He also said that even though the numbers may not match the CGM device will show which direction my blood sugar is going. So I could get some number like 300 and rather than immediately think to take insulin to correct the high, I can see that my blood sugar is heading down. I guess this is supposed to be more accurate than meter testing and blindly correcting highs and lows. He said that most likely in the next 5-6 years, meters will become obsolete.

He set up my pump so it will alarm me when I have a high blood sugar reading or a low blood sugar reading. So I can react accordingly. I can snooze either alarm. The high alarm can be snoozed for an hour while a low alarm will be like 5 minutes because I should do something about a low alarm faster!

It's completely waterproof so I can shower, bathe, swim, or hot tub with no issues. I am not allowed to go scuba diving however. It will hold information for 40 minutes while I'm disconnected from the pump. When I reconnect to the pump, it will download the info from the time I was disconnected. For anyone who doesn't know, the pump is not waterproof. I have what is called a quick release on the infusion set so I can disconnect the pump to shower, swim, blah blah blah while the infusion set stays in my skin.

Speaking of infusion sets, apparently I am one of very few people to still use a Paradigm Sof-Set Ultimate QR. He doesn't even carry those around anymore and told me that he thinks they may be discontinued in the next 2 years. He kept apologizing for being so surprised to see my sof-set infusion set. He said there was nothing wrong with using that type of infusion set and he wasn't judging me. I joked that he shouldn't judge me out loud anyway! That's the type of infusion set I have used all 8.5 years I've been on a pump. In fact, when I switched to the Paradigm pump the Mini Med person I talked to on the phone suggested I keep the same infusion sets because I was used to how they work.

He showed me one type that doesn't even use an inserter. I would have full control to push the needle into my skin on my own. The needle was the teeniest thing I've ever seen too. Ultra short and thin. But I don't know if I could do it after all these years. I'm probably stupid for making the pump correct my highs all the time. If you have a couple of highs in a row, doctors suggest you inject insulin and change the pump site. I have not given myself an injection in 8.5 years. I hope I never have to as long as I live! I have a syringe that you can dial in the dose. My endo's nurse gave it to me when I was pregnant with Gwen because it delivers insulin faster than the pump. I was annoyed that it would take almost 20 minutes to deliver 20 plus units of insulin. I could eat faster than my pump was delivering the obscene amounts of insulin I required while pregnant. I have never used it. It's still sitting in my cupboard.

So this little device the rep put in my side will stay there doing its thing until next week when I go back to the office to have it removed. Right now I can't even feel it. At first I could kind of feel it. It's higher on my abdomen than my pump site right now. I can always feel my sights more when they are high. That is one benefit of 3 c-sections. I have almost no feeling in my lower abdomen because the nerves have been cut.

Driving home I was thinking that maybe the benefits do outweigh the drama. Maybe I do want to permanently do this whole CGM thing. It's smaller than I thought it would be. If I were to point out where it is on my side you could tell even under my shirt. But the pictures I have seen make it look much bigger than it really is. I don't know.

I also thought that I really hate being me sometimes. Some days I hate being "spirited" and being so intense over everything. You know how people like to say that some people have the challenges they do because they can handle it the best? It may be true but it doesn't mean that the challenges are any easier. Heath always says that he could never do the things I have to do. Some days I don't want to do them either. Some days I wish I could just be normal.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Speaking of sports . . .

Yesterday Parker and I played Wii Sports while Gavin was in school. Parker is a punk. That kid is good at everything he does. He especially excels in anything physical. Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like playing as hard as you would with another adult but still getting your butt kicked by your own 3 year old child!!!!!

We started out with bowling. I won. I was slightly irritated that Parker couldn't figure out how to bowl on his own. Normally he can do it on his own. He loves bowling but I told him we had to play something else when the game was over.

We played a game of tennis. I won. But only because Parker doesn't know how to time his swings. So I basically won by serving the ball enough times. The only time Parker hit the ball it bounced into the crowd and all the Miis jumped. I still congratulated him, of course. But he didn't want to play again.

He wanted to box. This is when my self esteem started to falter. That kid doesn't know how to box any more than I do. My arms were flying as erratically as his. My Mii's arms weren't moving though. My Mii kept getting punched in the face by Parker's Mii. How? I don't know. He knocked me out every time. I think once by some miracle I won. Parker was so dejected we had to play again even though I didn't want to. He knocked me out again! I kept yelling at my Mii to get up. But my Mii layed there with stars circling her head for 10 seconds until the ref mercifully called the game over and congratulated Parker's Mii. Then of course they had to show 5 minutes of replays of my Mii being punched repeatedly like some moron. Parker was laughing his head off because he kept winning!

I told him we would play baseball. For some reason I can kick butt with all the Wii baseball training but when it comes to playing a game . . . not so much! Parker started pitching. I struck out. Three times. I pitched to him. He struck out three times. I kept trying to help him learn when to swing to hit the ball. He didn't get it. He was having fun naming all the Miis as they came up to bat. "That's my grandma! Oh, it's Uncle Ed! Ok, I will throw to my grandpa!"

Then he pitched to me. I started getting into a good groove. However, any time I hit the ball it was caught or thrown to first base so I was out. I was getting frustrated. Finally I had a couple team members get on base. I scored 2 runs. Once, I hit what looked like a home run. No. The ball was caught. Instant out. I yelled at the TV, "Are you kidding me? Is this game rigged?" Finally the game was over and we had to leave to pick up Gavin from school. While I won the game I was not happy about it!

Heath saw the Wii remotes all over the bed when he came home from work. So I told him all about my sad Wii Sport experience with our punk 3 year old who is too good at things for his own good! Heath laughed because it was funny and he showed me this video from YouTube. Even though it's George Carlin it is clean with no language!I was laughing so hard. Heath said he had to show me since he knows how much I hate baseball. I won't even let him watch it. The video is hilarious.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

CGM

A CGM is a continuous glucose monitor. It's a cool idea. It gives an up to date accurate reading of one's blood sugar every 5 minutes or so. 24/7. Great idea right? I guess.

My doctor told me about it back in 2006. I thought it was a great idea until I realized how it worked. It's separate from my insulin pump. In fact, it is a separate site from my pump site. So if I were to get a CGM I would have two infusion sets in my stomach. Two little bumps under my shirt or pants (depending on where it is on my stomach at the time) and two little plastic tails coming out of my stomach. The good news is the CGM doesn't infuse anything so I can get away with changing the site every 5 days rather than every 2-3. Also since it doesn't infuse anything into my body, it shouldn't irritate my skin. If I could I would scratch my skin right off. My insulin pump sites itch like crazy ALL THE TIME! When I change the site it feels like a mosquito bite. Kind of looks like one too. Well, maybe if the mosquito was the size of a humming bird. I have been known to scratch old sites until they bleed. So the idea of having another piece of plastic poked into my skin is not thrilling to me.

I got my first insulin pump days before Heath and I started dating. He watched the tutorial video with me and set up all my pump settings for me. It was like a cool toy to him. Thank heavens for Heath because I'm slow to learn new technology. Well, I was a big girl (meaning I was 22 years old) so did everything myself. I pushed a button on the infusion inserter that shoved a needle into my stomach like a dart. Then I taped around the needle and pulled the needle out leaving a very short and small flexible cannula in my stomach for a couple of days. Then I would do it all over again in a few days when the insulin ran out.

This process was absolutely horrifying to me. I can test my own blood sugar no problem. Pushing that button doesn't scare me at all and really it never did. The lancet is thicker and looks more like a medieval torture device than any syringe or needle I've put into my body to inject my daily dose of insulin. But even then I've never had a problem poking my finger. Injecting insulin was more traumatizing. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes over Labor Day Weekend, 3 months before my 10th birthday. Because of my age I was expected to give my own injections. I stayed in Primary Children's Hospital for a full week because I was not allowed to go home until I could give my own injections. I practiced on oranges, nurses, and my parents (using saline solution of course!) with no problem. But doing it to myself was a different story. I got over my fear by slowly shoving the needle in my arm or leg. I felt more in control when I did it slowly. My family thought I was crazy but they also respected that it worked for me.

So the insulin pump was a scary thing because the inserter button is an all or nothing thing. There is no slowly pushing a button, although I tried that for a few years. And truthfully, sometimes it hurts while other times I hardly notice anything at all. That fact really played into my fears. Why would I want to push a button that may or may not result in pain?

I agonized over every infusion set change. I would kneel at my bedside sweating while I tried to talk myself into just pushing the button already. Once I let Heath watch me. It was good for him to see how to do it in case of whatever. But I think he was shocked to see me break out in a cold sweat over it.

Soon after Gavin was born I was in the process of trying to change my site. That was the worst day. After an hour of sheer terror and agony over pushing a button, I still hadn't done it. I was a sobbing mess by the time Heath came in to help me. But I was so worked up by then that it took another hour of me crying hysterically before I let him do it for me. We made a pact then and there that he would always push the button for me and pull out the needle. I have done it for myself maybe 2 or 3 times when it was necessary due to the infusion set coming out on its own or the cannula getting bent so I was not getting any insulin and Heath wasn't home. But it was only because I managed to push the button before I convinced myself to call a neighbor for help. Now if there is an emergency I make Gavin or Parker push the button for me and I take a deep breath to take the needle out on my own.

I know. Bravery is not my strong point. I fully plan on spending my last days in a full care facility as I battle some sort of mental illness. I'm actually not kidding.

So back to the CGM. Like I said, I first was introduced to the idea in 2006. I have never had insurance that would cover it. Secretly I have been so glad for that! For the last couple of months Heath has been trying to get me to tell my doctor I want to do a trial with the CGM just so we could get a better idea of what's going on with my blood sugars. I finally remembered to say something yesterday. My doctor didn't act like it was necessary. So I freely admitted that I wasn't interested in it other than just to see more information. The nurse called the Mini Med representative that they work with. And she called me today to tell me that he will be in their office on Friday. I'm supposed to go back then to get all my gear.

Shoot me now! I'm not thrilled but I agreed to the appointment. Then when I got off the phone I had a flashback to the summer of 2000, when I was sitting in the doctor's office with a Mini Med representative as he made me hook myself up to the pump. When I was nervous to "push the button" he tried to tell me it was no big deal and most of the reps hook themselves up to a pump that infuses saline solution just so they know how it feels and what it's like to have a pump. His little speech didn't help at all!

I can just see it. I will have to do this myself and frankly I don't want to. I'm all about honesty nowadays. I don't care what anyone thinks of me. I am 31 years old. I don't play sports because I'm afraid of the ball and I'm too uncoordinated. My phobias include (but are not limited to) spiders, wide open spaces, large crowds, driving, public, and pushing needles into my stomach. Judge all you want but I'm not inserting the CGM myself!