Monday, January 13, 2014

Merry Belated Christmas


I've received a couple of emails this weekend from people commenting about different posts on HWHAP.  I love getting feedback from readers and then getting to know them via email or Facebook.  It makes it all so much more real.  Anyway, having received several emails this weekend it made me want to dust off the blog and bring it up to date.  I will start here:

We had family pictures taken before Christmas so I thought I would share a few of them here.  The kiddos have all gotten so big!!  This year Nate will be 6, Sophie will be 8 and Emma & Lexi turn 10!!




I guess I could have changed the card to a Happy New Year card but meh . . . Merry  Christmas!













Photo credit to Simply Indelible ---- Angela did such a great job taking quick shots and capturing the precocious personalities of all of our littles.  


Keep Calm and Christmas On?




Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Brand New Me



To say that I hate the above picture is a complete understatement.  UGH!  That photo was taken a few years ago along with some other really great photos of my littles but I never shared the one above with anyone! My kids are adorable - duh!  If I could crop myself out it would be perfect!

When this photo was taken I was still spinning from both diabetes and Crohn's. Although you cannot tell it in this photo, Sophie was very, very sick and I believe we ended up in the hospital for a week just a few days after this was taken!  I knew the photo shoot was coming up and it was all I could do to get clothes picked out for the minis.  I didn't even give myself a 2nd thought.  I remember the morning so clearly getting everyone ready and then thinking ---- what the hell am I going to wear? Do I even own makeup anymore? Do any of my clothes even fit right now?

The answers were:

Who the hell knows!
Not much makeup!
Nope, nothing fits!

I knew I didn't feel comfortable with my looks that day but it wasn't until we got the proofs back that I really took a look at myself and wondered who I had become.  Since the birth of Ms. Emma Leigh my weight had gone up and down -- that will happen when you are pregnant every 2 years or so!




I think the above picture is my heaviest ---- Size 14.  Yes, size 14.
Did I just admit that here? 


I'll add a few cute photos of Emma here because she rarely gets any FaceTime on HWHAP:





Ok, back to my point . . . had I gotten to that yet?  I started looking at old pictures and got totally distracted!

This post is supposed to be about me.  So, my weight has fluctuated a lot since having kiddos but I had gotten down to a comfortable size 6 after I lost the Nate weight.  I was totally happy at a 6.

Until . . . . dun dun dun . . . Nate was diagnosed.  You all know how hard that was blah blah blah -- I've blogged that to death.  Then Sophie was diagnosed with Crohn's and blah blah blah it was hard again.  My point being after those 2 major life changing events I totally lost myself.  I no longer cared.  I gave up on me.  I was just trying to survive the day to day of raising 3 kids along with diabetes and Crohn's in the mix.  I think my weight went up to an 8 and then a 10 again which isn't a huge deal to some but I am 5'2" and fluctuated between a size 2 and 4 before I had Emma.

Then last summer I lost a lot of weight due to stress and other factors that are not bloggable but then as soon as I got happy again I started gaining and gaining and before I knew it I had yo-yo'd back up!



Same photo shoot as above.  I call those my lunch lady arms! 
(No offense to lunch ladies or their arms!)


Then in January of this year I turned forty! FORTY! Why do I keep admitting these things?! 

I started trying to lose weight again in March when during spring break I couldn't fit into any of my clothes. What the what?!?!?! 
So, I started dieting hard in March and was feeling totally frustrated and depressed by the end of April with NO results. Had my metabolism changed so much so quickly?? UGH!
Meanwhile, my friend Shay had started taking a supplement called Plexus Slim to help her lose weight. When she started I scoffed at her for trying it and down right laughed in her face when she tried to persuade me to take it too. Until, she lost 8 pounds on a two-week trial. She had me at 8 pounds...
I started taking the Plexus Slim and an Accelerator pill each day the 1st part of May and was down to where I wanted to be within 30 days. It sounds crazy but I promise it worked that fast for me. I didn't weigh but I had a pair of shorts that sat on my bathroom sink and I would try them on each week until they fit. They'd been sitting there since spring break!!
After 30 days on Plexus I decided to do another 30 days to maintain and now I just take the pink drink because I love how healthy I feel.

I need to add that I have NEVER felt better in my life. My energy level is off the charts...it is crazy. I also feel like it has helped my anxiety level so much. I am just happy! I know it sounds crazy. I am actually still taking the Plexus Slim drink, not the accelerator, because it makes me feel so great.

To recap --- I was needing a size 8 when I started, my goal was size 4 and now I am wearing a size 2. Being the shortie that I am it's not too small or to thin. I still carry some meat in my butt and thighs but that is just how I am built.

I feel like it helps curb my appetite and gives me an extra boost of energy each day. It's really taken away my snack cravings and I can always use the boost after a night of checking blood sugars. #DMommaProblems
I was already working out and running before I started Plexus - I didn't change anything there but my results after starting Plexus are quite noticeable. I've read many testimonials where people say they changed absolutely nothing and still lost weight.
After I lost the weight people kept asking me how I had gotten so thin so fast . . . I sent Shay so many customers! I would give them Shay's web site and they would order. Finally, she convinced me to become an ambassador and start sharing the products with others since I, and so many people we knew, were having great results and loved it. I told her I am not at all "high pressure" and feel totally uncomfortable trying to get my friends to buy something from me. 
She stressed it was more like sharing a great secret than selling and asked me to commit to putting it on Facebook just once a day. Reluctantly, I did, and now my business is blowing up! I know I am driving most of you crazy with my FB posts! But . . . it truly does sell itself . . .because IT WORKS! Also, it has become a valuable source of income for me so that I can continue to stay home and care for my minis. Working from home is a true blessing as I am able to be at the school with the children whenever they need me.

So, if you want to give it a try for yourself, you can order at my web-site or message me for more information.
My web site is: www.pinkdrinktexas.com
The best part is the products are all natural with no stimulants!







Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hostage Negotiations - Type 1 Diabetes and Kindergarten






I started this post back in August when Nate started kindergarten.  I didn't really get further than the title and some brief research on hostage negotiations.  Why hostage negotiations?  Well, during the entire first 6 weeks Nate struggled with school, with bg checks at school, had major meltdowns and started crying every morning before we even left the house for school.  I'm not sure I can adequately describe how completely awful it was.  

I wanted to do the right thing for him, for me and for his teachers.  I asked for advice here and on FB and received so much conflicting advice that it was completely overwhelming.  Should I stay with him at school? Just go up there when it is time to check his bg? Just go up when it is time to bolus? Not go up at all and make him be a the big boy I know he can be?  

I felt like if I did or said the wrong thing this could impact him and the way he feels about school and diabetes for the rest of his life. 

 I did actually google hostage negotiations because I felt like those people have to make split second decisions that obviously impact people for the rest of their lives. 

A little dramatic?  Meh . . . maybe but I felt completely overwhelmed by Nate's behavior and really didn't want to damage him for the rest of his life (more so that I probably already have!). 

The one thing that stuck in my head from a FB friend and person with diabetes (PWD) was that some things are negotiable and some things are not.  Checking your bg is non-negotiable.  Going to school is non-negotiable. That's where I started.  I told Nate those 2 things and tried to help him by going to the school to check his bg and bolus for lunch.  That didn't work.  Nate had so many things going on in his little kindergarten noodle . . . 

Separation anxiety, diabetes anxiety, the fear of having someone he didn't know checking his bg, fear of someone besides me giving him insulin, a new school, a long day, new friends, so many unknown that were made worse by fluctuating blood sugar levels because I had no idea where to start with school basals! 

When Shay wrote the following statement to me, I don't think any of us knew just how accurate  it would be:  

Monday, Nate starts kindergarten and everything will NOT be all right. It will be a stressful, fucked up, bloody nightmare. Literally - there will be blood. There will be tears; yours and his and possibly innocent bystander's. There will be panic attacks, yelling, second guesses, sleeplessness (more so than usual), and Tommy Lee Jones may be there to announce, "we have a runner; search every out house, farm house, and locker." If, by chance, Nate makes it to his class, you may get the call that he has taught everyone a few new choice words like - oh I don't know - holy shitballs, for instance.

Nate literally would run out of class, he would kick and scream, he would cry, he clung so tightly to me that I could not get him off of me.  At one point, I had gone to the school to help with his lunch bolus and he threw such a crazy fit that I had to run and hide in the office from him and watch 2 teachers, the vice principal and school counselor carry him down the hall kicking and screaming.  I looked at that child with a blank stare, as teared were rolling down my face, I literally did not know who that boy was at that moment.  That is not the way Nate behaves and I had no idea what to do.  I told the staff that his bg levels were at a safe range and to please treat him the same as they would any other student that was behaving that way.  So, they did. I got a call about 15 minutes later from the VP to let me know that he had calmed down and he wanted her to send me a picture of him playing with play doh and behaving.  What a relief that was for me. 



Isn't he freaking adorable? He's so stinking cute, he's my only boy and he's my baby.  I couldn't help it --- all of this school drama broke my heart.  I cried a lot.  I cried when he cried, I cried when he didn't cry and I cried because I just didn't want him to cry anymore!! Sweet, sweet boy!!

We tried a lot of different things throughout the first 6 weeks to get him comfortable and happy at school.  What worked for us may or may not work for you, you may think I am the worst mom ever or the best one on the planet . . . . your life, your kid, and your diabetes may vary!

  • Nate had to check his sugar.  That was not negotiable.  He made the choice to do it himself and not let the nurse do it.  That worked for me and it worked for him.  I think it gave him a little bit of control that he needed to feel more comfortable with all of the changes going on.
  • If he threw a tantrum and refused to go into class (sometimes this could take up to 10 minutes) then he would lose privileges.  If he couldn't act like a big boy and make big boy choices then he would lose his big boy privileges.  He lost his iPad a few times and he thought that was the end of the world!
  • Ian started taking him to school.  Part of the problem was separation anxiety from me so he seemed to do a little bit better each day when Ian took him.  He still cried and had to be reminded to make big boy choices but this was the beginning of big changes for Nate.  
  • We did a lot of positive reinforcement. If/when he made the choice to go into class and make good choices he was rewarded by us and by his teacher.  There were days that he refused to take his backpack off all day.  Gradually it started coming off earlier and earlier and he was rewarded for his good choice.  He now goes into class, removes his backpack and starts the day with a smile!!
  • His teacher is amazing!  She is so patient!  She also kept the communication with us open with daily emails, text messages and morning updates when Ian dropped Nate off.  She was a huge part of him getting over this hump!  

Nate actually loves school now although he won't admit it.  When I am there he hardly acknowledges me and will certainly not give me any hugs or kisses.  He's made new friends and really seems to enjoy learning!  

This was certainly one of the harder things we've had to deal with since his diagnosis and I did at times think things would NEVER get better but they did.  They always do.  

Tough times don't last . . . tough people do!!  





Nate is one tough little dude!



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Crazy, Happy Shamae




October 28, 2009 is the day that Shamae found me.  Nate has been diagnosed with Type 1 for just over a month and I felt like I was drowning in sadness, overwhelmed by diabetes and longing for a community of people that understood how I felt.  She commented on my blog post that day and so began a friendship that will remain in my heart forever.  She played a huge role in helping me survive the darkest time in my life. How do you repay someone for that?

When we 1st met online there was a smaller group of D mommy bloggers and we all read and commented on each other's posts religiously.  We became a family.  Commenting, texting, calling and those amazing Sunday night chats.  I looked forward to those chats all week.  I can vividly remember our conversations.  We shared about diabetes and so much more.  We laughed and cried on those chats and the bond we formed became unbreakable.  Unbreakable!

Life moved forward and the Type 1 Mom blogging community exploded!  We found each other on Facebook and the Sunday night chats faded.  Our littles got older and our blog posts grew further apart but my friendship with Shamae did not.  She was so good about calling and texting.  We texted each other so much sometimes just to say I love you that we had our own code for it . . . DNQ.

As I learned of her passing this weekend I read countless posts from D moms all over the country saying the same things.  She was the 1st D Mom that they met online, she always had a smile on her face, she was a lifeline to them, she would call or text and lift their spirits with her kind words . . . it goes on and on.  Not that I thought I had the exclusive on Shamae's friendship but I have been BLOWN AWAY by how many people she touched.

I do not think for one minute that this post is an adequate tribute to such an amazing woman.  If I could find the words to tell you what is in my broken heart right now it might begin to do her justice.

I hope her family knows and is comforted by the fact that Shamae's strength, love and support helped build a community of strong moms that will continue her legacy by always supporting one another! We will also openly welcome  mothers with newly diagnosed children into the community with love just like she did for all of us.

It is what she would want us to do.

Sham made this awesome video years ago. I can't stop watching it and thinking about how far we have come and how so much of that has to do with her!!







Thank you, Shamae for everything.  I love you. DNQ! 




Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kindergarten & Best Friends


Most of you know that Nate starts kindergarten this year.  I've known it was coming and made all of the preparations I know to make.  Last week I was overly stressed about completing Nate's 504 meeting and training the staff on how to care for him.  I was literally in tears for days and poured my heart out to my friend, Shay.  I told her how hard it is to navigate all of this alone and that I was feeling completely overwhelmed.  Not many friends understand, really understand what it takes to care for Nate.  Truthfully, only another parent with a T1 child can know the stress and fear that I have about sending Nate to school and trusting that someone else will keep him alive.

The next morning as I prepared for my meetings and got cleaned up for the day I heard the front door open and in walked Shay!  She came over to go with me to the training and to the 504 meetings for both Sophie and Nate.  I had been quietly crying that morning and was seriously thinking to myself --- I just cannot do this -- is it too late to look into homeschooling?  I know Shay would do anything for me, Ian and for my children but I was blown away by this seemingly small gesture.  Having someone by your side during a difficult time always makes it a bit easier and this was no exception.

She stayed with me through the training and the 504 meetings which lasted over 3 hours all together.  The training went great and I'm feeling good about our school nurse and her back up which is the office manager (whose son happens to have T1).  In the 504 meeting we met with the nurse, the VP, the school counselor, the PE coach (also the head of all specials teachers), both of Sophie's teachers and Nate's kinder teacher.  It was almost like we were old friends! They wanted to know all about Nate and Sophie, both of their diagnosis stories, but mostly they wanted to know what they needed to know and what they needed to do to keep them both safe and healthy.  We laughed, we cried and we put plans in place.  Shay chimed in and gave her opinion and most importantly helped me keep my composure in a very important yet emotional meeting.

Shay knows what I do for all of my babies, she knows I don't sleep, she knows about Crohn's and diabetes and she knows how passionate I am about both.  She's done research on her own about T1 and CD and is pretty knowledgeable but I think even she was emotionally exhausted after the training and meetings.  She now has even more of an understanding of how much has to be done to prepare a school to keep both of these sweet babies safe.

I'm so lucky to have Shay in my life!

On Friday she posted the following message to me on FB:


Dear Laura,

Monday, Nate starts kindergarten and everything will NOT be all right. It will be a stressful, fucked up, bloody nightmare. Literally - there will be blood. There will be tears; yours and his and possibly innocent bystander's. There will be panic attacks, yelling, second guesses, sleeplessness (more so than usual), and Tommy Lee Jones may be there to announce, "we have a runner; search every out house, farm house, and locker." If, by chance, Nate makes it to his class, you may get the call that he has taught everyone a few new choice words like - oh I don't know - holy shitballs, for instance.

Once the dust settles, then you will worry more. Did the nurse check his bs after PE? (you're welcome) Did he get bolused? Has his alarm gone off and nobody noticed? Did some well meaning kid share few twinkies in the lunch room without a teacher seeing? And at the end of each school day you will rush to the school and hug Nate tightly and never want to let him go, just because he made it through the day and is alive.

But on the bright side---> there is no bright side. Diabetes is a MOTHERFUCKER. However, if anyone is an ass-kicking diabetes rockstar, it is you. You do what you do because you love Nate and you must. There is not a choice. Nate is an amazing little dude who will grow into an amazing man. Sending him to school will never get easier, but it will become just another routine in your "new normal" that you'll have to adapt to.

All that said, thank you for allowing me to join you yesterday at the school for the nurse training and 504 meeting (as if you had a choice). I enjoy being a part of your diabetes world, as crazy as that sounds, and gleaning knowledge and understanding about T1 and what D-parents go through. I am in awe of your organizational skills and ability to educate people, make them laugh, make them cry, and impress the shit out of them simultaneously.

Take solace in knowing everyone is jealous of your bad-assery, though they would never admit to it. You got this shit.

STS 

Now that we are all crying ---- that is one bad ass friend that totally knows me, my love of over-cussing in stressful situations, and understands how hard tomorrow is going to be for both me and Nate. 

In case you missed my post about Nate's extreme separation anxiety and how he totally uses the D card to his advantage -- you can read it here {Separation Anxiety & Controlling Diabetes} Tomorow will be overwhelming for all parties involved to say the very least.  

Tonight I read Nate a nice story about kindergarten before bed.  Once done he told me that he HATED kindergarten but would like to wear his new Minecraft shirt tomorrow if he has to go.  ---Seems like a step in the right direction.

So, in conclusion I would like to publicly thank you, Shay for being so supportive and let you know that I bawled like a baby when I read the post but mostly my heart was happy because you get it, you get me and you get D.  Thank you, shit Talking Shay for being so completely fucking bad ass . . . I love you!

PS - even though Ian was talking smack on that post he told me that he teared up when he read it.  You're welcome!  

Shay and Laura - 2013

Shay is in the middle & I'm in back on the right - possibly 1991

It's ok to laugh!

Everyone have a wonderful 1st day back at school.  

Love,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Follow up to Broken




Last February (2012) I wrote a post titled Broken.
That seems like a million years ago.

It's done.
I'm divorced.
It was awful.

I can't even blog about it --- it was that bad.
People change.
I don't even know him anymore.

It doesn't matter now.

I'm free.
I'm happy.
I smile a lot.

The children are fine.
They smile a lot too.
They are totally amazing.





The children and I moved out of our home last November and moved in with my parents for a short time.  I could not appreciate them more for allowing us to invade their home with our craziness.  We are beyond blessed to have them.

In January we moved out and moved forward.  We have a wonderful new life now.  I won't pretend it hasn't been hard at times. There are certainly challenges.   There are so many adjustments.  The kids had to change schools, make new friends and move to a new city. You know what, except for the school part - I had to do that too.  Trying to make new friends at 40 kind of blows!

I was left with a mountain of debt, no house, and a gigantic IRS lien and no job.  My credit was better so nearly everything was in my name and X decided to let me keep all the debt.
Thank you, X!

I'm completely starting over at the fabulous age of FORTY!

Deep breath - I can do this.  Oh hell yes - - - I am doing this.

Nate still has diabetes.  Sophie still has Crohn's.  Emma is still the best big sister ever.  That stuff hasn't changed.  I will continue to blog about the ups and downs of living with Crohn's and Diabetes, vent about the frustrations and tell a few funny stories along the way.

Oh ya . . . I have some news.

I met someone.

He's pretty special.
He makes my heart happy.
He is completely amazing!





Actually, I've known him for over 20 years (ok, 25 to be exact).


He's been a friend through thick and thin.
He's seen me through all of my ups and downs.
He loves my crazy minis and has embraced them as his own.


When something is right, really right . . . you know it.  As our friendship developed into something more we both felt it.  It just felt so right.  There were times that we both tried to deny it but everything kept leading us back to each other.  You can't turn off or deny something so strong.






So here we are both of us starting over again together.

It is fun.
It is challenging.
It is completely amazing.

I love it.
I love him.
I love my life.

His name is . . . . Ian.  Typing that made me smile.

Ian has 2 nieces that have Type 1 (Hi Krysta and Samantha!!)
He has totally embraced life with diabetes and Crohn's amd shows absolutely no fear of either one.

He's mastered Type 1, Pod changes, and is able to recognize highs and lows in Nate.  They are best buds!!

He was there last year when Sophie was in the hospital.
He visits her during her Remicade infusions

She thinks he's pretty special:



We all think he's pretty special.

OK, OK . . . enough gushing over Ian.
I just wanted to introduce my readers to Ian and his sweet, precious girls, Lexi and London.
They will all be popping up in the blog from time to time so I thought an explanation was in order.

If we're friends on Facebook this is all old news to you so please feel free to disregard.  :)




Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Rocking the Smaller Pod


Nate starting podding with the new, smaller Omnipod 6 weeks ago and although I don't know if I would say it was worth the wait (3.5 years for us) I am certainly enjoying most of the new features!

Of course, we received the pods the day before we left on vacation but no PDM.  I was less than thrilled! And obviously while we were on vacation our PDM malfunctioned. I had a mild panic attack.

All in all it tuned out fine and as soon as we got back I slapped the smaller pod on and we haven't looked back!   Nate couldn't care less about the size or any of the other features but I am quite happy with it.  I won't do a review here as I've read many others on different blogs

The one thing that I did struggle with is the Insulin on Board (IOB) feature.  I don't like it.  We went from MDI to the pod so I have never had the IOB calculated for me for meal boluses.  Nate stayed high for days! ---- I wish there was a way to turn it off.  I changed a few settings including insulin duration and have found ways to work around it so we are no longer dealing with IOB issues.  To be honest, I often don't use the bg to calculate the bolus because I don't want the IOB in the next bolus or correction. Nate is a snacker, he eats all day long so when it calculates his IOB it just doesn't give him enough insulin.  I'm sure there is a better way to work this out so if you have suggestions I am happy to hear them.  Current;y, this is what is working for us. YDMV.





Could Insulet have handled the switch over for existing customers better ---- Oh my stars, YES!

But at the end of the day we have the new system and I'm very pleased.


I just wanted to let everyone know that we did finally get the smaller pod and all is right in my our diabetic world again!