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I am More….

The world is a all a twitter with news that Miss Idaho wore her insulin pump during the bathing suit competition. And we in the DOC are so proud of her for winning the competition and bringing Type 1 diabetes to the forefront.

But at the same time, it appears the message is lost because of a single photo. And God Bless Sierra Sandison for writing this blog post:  http://missidahoorg.blogspot.com/2014/07/i-am-more-one-of-themost-touching.html

In it,  she explains how thrilled she is to have touched so many, but wants us all to remember that we are so much more than whatever burden we bear in this life.  She has asked people with T1 D to not only #showmeyourpump but also share who you are as a person.

 

So here is my pumper

...show off her insulin pump

…when she started pumping

 

And now….

all grown  up

 

 

Still wearing her pump…sometimes it shows and sometimes it doesn’t.

 

So who is she besides a girl with a pump?

  • a daughter
  • a sister
  • a granddaughter
  • a cousin
  • a loyal friend
  • a singer
  • an actress
  • a musician
  • a volleyball player
  • a tennis player
  • a student
  • a person of Faith

And what has she done since becoming a pumper?

  • Made it to the regional science fair TWICE
  • taken the ACT as a 7th grader
  • led her volleyball team to a tournament championship
  • been named MVP and All League for volleyball
  • played 8 seasons of volleyball
  • attended volleyball and acting camps
  • been student council treasurer
  • sung numerous solos and duets/trios for school and church
  • maintained straight A’s
  • qualified for all honors courses in high school
  • raised thousands of dollars for JDRF
  • seen Luke Bryan, Lee Brice, Cole Swindell, Billy Currington, Kacey Musgraves, Lady Antebellum, and Josh Turner in concert (going to see Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line next)
  • met the actress Maddi Trumble, who played Mary Poppins in the National Tour and got to go backstage
  • traveled to Nashville, Walt Disney World, and the Bahamas
  • taken part in a clinical trial of the Artificial Pancreas
  • been Superhero of the month by her local JDRF chapter
  • been part of a story in Insulin Nation
  • volunteered as a counselor at Vacation Bible School
  • raised money for Ovarian Cancer
  • made money as a dogsitter
  •  learned how to sew
  • ….and so much more!

Thank you Sierra Sandison for being more than a person who wears a pump! And cheers to all who are more than they appear to be!

 

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Wicked Awesome!

A shout out to Moira McCarthy and her latest book Raising Teens With Diabetes: A Parent’s Survival Guide.  If you don’t know who Moira is….you need to find out!  She is a d-mama, JDRF advocate, writer, blogger, and the list goes on and on.  I didn’t “meet” Moira until the 2012 World Diabetes Day Postcard exchange connected us.  Cyber mom that I am, I quickly checked her out on Facebook and messaged her.  That was a great day!  I can’t believe it has only been 6 months since that first contact….I feel like I have known her forever!  She is my go-to gal for anything teen parenting related.  She is my touchstone….

As I read the book, I found myself nodding my head, saying “yes, exactly” over and over again.  Her common sense approach to parenting a teen with Type 1 diabetes is so much more than a diabetes book.  Having been a high school teacher, long before becoming a parent, and parenting a teen before my T1 kiddo got there, I can honestly say that her style works for teens in general.  I don’t want to be a spoiler so I won’t say more….buy the book!

And while you are waiting for it to come, check out Moira’s blog Despite Diabetes.  You won’t be disappointed.

Moira McCarthy, you are ‘wicked awesome”!

Diabetes Blog Week 2013 Day 1 Share and Don’t Share

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Our Endo and Diabetes Clinic team are so supportive.  I appreciate that they talk directly to KC and spend time getting to know her beyond her disease.  We share all kinds of things with them…especially her successes-everything from being elected Student Council treasurer to science fair awards to volleyball MVP.  I know her Endo is proud of her hard work at maintaining an a1c that has averaged 6.5 for almost two straight years, but I also want them to know that she does that while excelling at life, as well.  So we do share!

What don’t we share…the days when veggies are forgotten!  So glad they only ask  for a three day food log!  We also don’t share the rare times when she has forgotten to bolus for a meal!  Or that we may or may not have followed FDA guidelines regarding the number of days a cgm sensor may be used….”yeah, site changes are every three days…that’s right….”  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

But overall, we share and share and share…and are so grateful that they take the time to listen!

#HAWMC Day 25 Learning

wegoday25What have I learned from Health Activists bloggers?  Whew! Where do I start?

Probably the most important thing I learned is not from one specific Health Activist blogger but from them all….

I am not alone in this battle.

#HAWMC Day 24 Wordless Wednesday

wego day 24

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#HAWMC Day 20 Burnout

One of the biggest issues caregivers face is burnout: a state of exhaustion which can be mental or physical. Many of us are in the throes of burnout and don’t even think about it. We are so used to the exhaustion that we take it for the “new normal.” Helpguide.org reports that you may be on the road to burnout if:
“Every day is a bad day.
Caring about your work or home life seems like a total waste of energy.
You’re exhausted all the time.
The majority of your day is spent on tasks you find either mind-numbingly dull or overwhelming.
You feel like nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The negative effects of burnout spill over into every area of life – including your home and social life. Burnout can also cause long-term changes to your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu.”

Parents of children with Type 1 diabetes are extremely susceptible to burnout due to sleep deprivation and constant worry.  While T1 is a disease that can be successfully managed, parents of CWD feel great pressure to keep their kids safe, to get achieve good blood glucose numbers, to have tight control over the disease.  And we parents often put our own needs on the back burner.  Our relationships with our spouses/partners can suffer and also our relationships with our other children.  But what are we to do?  The reality is that Type 1 is a 24/7 disesase and depending on the age of the child with T1, the parent’s job is also 24/7.

According to Helpguide.org, we need to remember the 3R’s:

  • Recognize – Watch for the warning signs of burnout
  • Reverse – Undo the damage by managing stress and seeking support
  • Resilience – Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health

I admit that I am exhausted most days.  I try to go back to bed after my T1 goes to school so I can get at least a couple hours more sleep…but that disrupts my day and prevents me from accomplishing as much as I would like.  But I think a rested mom is better than a spic and span house.  I try to schedule one big chore per day to spread out the tasks–but life often gets in the way.  I also try to do things I enjoy–crafts, reading etc. when I can.

My husband and I try to carve out small units of time together.  It may be a simple as driving together to get gas and leaving our son to watch over his T1 sister or we just sit on the porch, drink in hand, and talk for 15 minutes.

My non-D son and I are trying to play Scrabble together a few times a week so that he get positive attention from me.  One thing we have always done occurs when one child is out with friends–we take the other child out for time alone with both parents.

And my greatest anti-burnout tool has been the DOC.  Some days, I probably spend too much time interacting on-line with other D-mamas, but it is cheaper than therapy!  I do not know what I would do without the friendships and connections I have made in the DOC.

#HAWMC Day 4 Sharing and Caring

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I have written recently about some of the best blogs/on-line resources for Type 1 Diabetics  in my Navigating the D O C post.  I categorized the listings to make it easier to find blogs specific to where you are on the Type 1 Journey.  But I did forget  to mention that JDRF, American Diabetes Association, Tudiabetes, Juvenile Diabetes Cure Alliance, and Children With Diabetes also have valuable information.  And another great site is Integrated Diabetes–Gary Scheiner is the author of  Think Like A Pancreas and is part of Integrated Diabetes.  His pump/cgm comparisons are very helpful and the site also addresses many other needs.

I haven’t connected those of you looking for resources for food allergies.  So now is the time!  First, you need to check out FARE – the Food Allergy Research and Education foundation (formerly known as the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.  The next stop should be Kids with Food Allergies (and check them out on Facebook).  These two sites will direct you to more resources that specifically address your food allergy.

My son’s allergy is to milk (specifically the proteins that are present in milk in all forms—cheese, butter, etc.).  A favorite blog of mine is Milk Allergy Mom–and I follow her on Facebook as well.

A new resource for me is Allergic Girl–great advice for dining out etc. She is another source I follow on Facebook.

One last resource, just for fun, is Chocolate Covered Katie–a healthy dessert blog.  She has vegan (dairy-free), gluten-free, nut-free, sugar-free options.  So indulge!