Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Screaming Reality

Screaming Pods! Screaming Children! Screaming Reality!

Since August 12th we have had 6 malfunctioning pods. SIX!  When a pod malfunctions it starts SCREAMING at you.  It is annoying, loud and a wee bit frustrating.  Don't get me wrong I would much rather have a screaming pod than a malfunctioning pod on my son since those cute little pods keep him alive!  I am actually quite grateful that they do a self-check  so that we don't have any life-threatening issues after it is on but good hell those things are loud!  There is actually one in my freezer (Thanks for the tip, Jessica) right now because I cannot get it to shut the heck up.

We have been pumping with OmniPod for 6-months and have never had one malfunctioning pod until this month. I guess it's just our time.  Anyway, I call OmniPod after each freaking screaming pod and they are always so nice -- they ask the same questions each time so I just go along with the flow now ---

Patient's Nate - Nathan Houston
Confirm Address - Yep
Was the pod at room temperature?  Yep
Was the insulin at room temperature?  Yep
Alarm Code?  000-000-00000-00093 - ummm - do I always have to say all of the zeros or can I just say 93?  All of the zeros - Ok!  Great!

So, 4 of the 6 were actually this week.  Two were in 1 day.  Awesome good time that was.  I've learned to suck the insulin out of a pod like nobody's business.  When I called for the replacement pods they told me that they would send them in my next shipment unless I needed them sooner and without thinking I said that that would not be a problem.  Yea - here is where the screaming reality comes in!!  There is no next shipment.  Nate loses his insurance coverage on September 30th.  They have already sent us our last shipment of pods.   After we use this shipment - that's it.  The end.  No more!

I called customer service back and asked them to go ahead and ship all of the replacement pods now.  They happily said they would and I sadly sat on my couch and cried.
Thursday, August 26, 2010


Thank you to my super hot  D MOM, Reyna over at Beta Buddies for introducing me to my new love!  She 1st introduced me to my new favorite product on her post titled Product Palooza Baby!

I finally got around to ordering the Tallygear that she mentioned in her post and Oh! My! Goodness!  I love it!
Nate has been wearing his DexCom reciever (Beep-Beep) in a SpiBelt for about a month but the SpiBelt is a little too big for Nate.  It often would slip down --- and I mean all of the way down to the ground and then OOOPS - where's Beep Beep??

Side Note - Nate just had his 2 year check up (yea not fun - 2 shots) but anyway he has really slimmed down!  He's now only in the 20th percentile for weight and height (I'm not going to blame D but let's just same the doctor did mention it).  He's gone from my chunky little monkey to my skinny little monkey in no time flat!

Oh ok - so anyway - we got the Tallygear yesterday and it FITS!! It doesn't just fit - it's PERFECT!
~~**Hallelujah**~~   <---- Angels singing!!

So -- you know -- I gotta add some pictures!!

REMINDER - pants are always optional at the Houston house (if you are under the age of 5).
Clearly he was not quite ready to give up his Spibelt - seen here dangling from his neck.

Can you see?  Can you see the awesome clear part of the belt?  I love being able to see Beep-Beep whenever I want without having to try and pry it out of a little pouch.  This product is genius!

Oh and Yes - Nate had to get the bad A double S skeleton version.  That's just how he rolls!

Just before bath time -- checking out his post dinner number!!

Chilling out watching a little Scooby Doo before bed!!

I should point out that you can see the Tallygear in all of this pics (above) but today he has it on under his shirt and you can't see it at all and even better it doesn't bother him at all!  There's no bounce!!

See - you can't even tell it's there. Nice!!  Oh --- Oh --- and what's that there in the yard??  Yep - uh-huh!  Nate got flocked by the Diabetes Dude.  Stay tuned for a post on that along with more pictures!!

And . . . don't forget to check out Candy Hearts tomorrow for the announcement of the WINNER, WINNER Chicken Dinner!! 

Thanking You . . .

Scott Kasper of Scott Kasper Photography for helping me with the new look of my blog.  Haven't met Scott? He's a dad of 3 -- 2 of the 3 have Type 1.  He's a crazy, sleep deprived D-Dad just like the rest of is D-Rents!

Haven't had a chance to meet Scott yet? His photography is amazing.
Please take a moment to check out his website HERE.
Enter Main Site
Images of Diabetes

Thank you, Scott for helping me with my blog and thank you also for sharing your beautiful talent with the world.

Oh yea and in case you haven't noticed . . . I changed my blog.  :)
Please follow me here at Houston We Have A Problem - - - we're still the same ol' Houston Five just with a fancier name and blog!  
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Alert! Alert! Read This NOW! DOC Unite for the Diabetes Dude!

Want to take part in a flocking & raise awareness of diabetes? Please email a pic to kodak@aerva.com & w/something diabetes-related in the subject line only. They will send you an approval code for your pic. Txt that code tomorrow, 08/26 to the number they give you between the hours of 11 am & noon eastern time. We are having an hour of diabetes!  All of the pictures will be displayed on the Kodak jumbotron! Let's show Times Square what we deal with as type 1's every day!  Please tell everyone you know!  We are working on someone getting a video of it so we can play the whole thing on my website. 
Your Friend,
The Diabetes Dude
HOW COOL WILL THAT BE??????????????? 
I wish I could be there to see it.  The very thought of it has me a mushy and weepy!!  

Go Diabetes Dude!  Thank you for raising awareness to Type 1!! 
Monday, August 23, 2010

Diabetes Dude is FLOCKING again!!!

As many of my readers know - - - The Houston Family LOVES Noah, The Diabetes Dude!!

Well, he is at it again - - - he and his friends are going to flock the Today show this Thursday, the 26th.  Here are the details . . .

The Diabetes Dude Takes on The Today Show on NBC!

On Thursday, August 26, 2010, The Diabetes Dude, his friends, and flamingos are loading a bus in the middle of the night to travel from Taunton, MA to New York City!  The plan is to invade the Today Show with blue flamingos!  Noah is hoping that this will make a huge impact on people, putting a face to diabetes and seeing just some of the families that diabetes effects every day.  If you live in the New York area and would like to join in this once in a lifetime opportunity, please stop by!  Noah and his team of friends should arrive around 5:30 AM and will remain there for the duration of the show (approximately 10 AM).  Noah wants to show people that he and his friends may have diabetes, but diabetes does not have them!   Check back next week to see updates from the event!  You can also follow the journey on Facebook (The Diabetes Dude) and Twitter (thediabetesdude).

And the best part is - - - even if you can't make the actual journey with Noah you can still participate.  

For anyone who can't be with him in New York for the Today Show flocking this Thursday on NBC and would still like to be a part of this...if you or someone you know has type 1, please email him their first name, town/state, age, and diagnosis date and a picture to email@thediabetesdude.com and he will make a poster for them and bring it with him to NYC! I need these NO LATER than tomorrow morning!

 So get on it!!  Help Noah flock the Today show!!


Go Diabetes Dude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To read more about Noah and what he is doing to raise awareness for Type 1 - please click here 

Thank you, Noah for all that you do!!

Nate's (NOT) 1st Day of School

So many mixed emotions today . . .

I have loved having all three children home all summer.  We have had so much fun, swimming, playing and well, just be LaZy!  Although, we have had fun I also somewhat ready to return to a normal schedule - - - a routine of sorts.  Although with 3 children - a routine around here is best described as whatever happens - happens!!

Emma & Sophie - 1st Day of School

Today is the 1st day back to school for Emma (1st Grade) and Sophie (last year of Pre-K). Last year at this time it was Nate's 1st day too.

Sophie and Nate last year - 1st day of school

Nate had only been to his little pre-school class a few weeks when he was was diagnosed with T1D.  Oh my - just typing that sentence brought overwhelming heartbreak and many, many tears steaming down my face.

We went from this . . .

The Happy Houston Family!  (minus Emma)
 to this . . .

EXHAUSTED Mommy & Nate at Children's Hospital

In the blink of an eye everything changed.  Rocked to the core by a disease that I knew nothing about.

And so today as my girls started another year of school with little problems like - 'I don't have any friends in my class" and "I don't want peanut butter and jelly today" --- I am brought to tears by the bigger problems that we face.  The one that is not allowing Nate to go to school this year.  He is only 2 years old and cannot verbalize his highs or his lows.  He is two years old and since his diagnosis has only been away from him mommy for maybe 2 hours max at a time.  I am not ready - he is not ready and the schools here are not ready to take on a two year old Type 1 momma's boy like Nate.

Next year he will be able to attend the public school system's early childhood development school (Sophie is attending this year).  They start at the age of 3 and have 2 full time nurses on staff.  I spoke with the nurse on Friday (for Sophie's UC/Crohn's) and started the ball rolling for Nate's enrollment next year.  The nurses were so super nice and told me that this year they actually have their 1st T1D student enrolled.  Woot-Woot!

I am excited about Nate's future and look forward to him being in school but this year he is stuck with me again while all of his little buddies head off to their super fun pre-school classes.

So today to celebrate Nate's NOT 1st Day of School -- GaGa and I took him to IHop where he got to enjoy . . . cheesy scrambled eggs and bacon because his damn bg was 250 with an up arrow.  AWESOME!

This post is probably a little more rambling than I would prefer but it is just one of those emotional days that slap you in the face every once in a while.  I think also that as the 1-year anniversary of his diagnosis creeps up you are going to be seeing a lot more of these emotional rants from a passionate mom that is dealing with some pent up anger & sadness about my beautiful boy and his diagnosis. 

So, here are some pictures of Nate on his Not 1st day of school . . .

HaHa - Funny man!  He refused to look at the camera today!  Little TOOT!

But I was sneaky and shot this one while he thought I wasn't looking . . .

Alrighty then --- I've got to go reapply the mascara and head out to carpool line pretty soon.  I can't wait to hear all about the 1st day of school from my 2 little princesses.
Thursday, August 19, 2010

MWAH! A super big kiss from Super Nate!!

Here is a super cute video of Super Nate!


Pretty cute - eh?

He finished lessons in mid-July but I am just now getting around to posting these super amazing videos of Super Nate.

And just one more . . .

That is all.  
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Helping a DUDE out . . .

I've been meaning to write this post for a while but I've been very focused on raising money and awareness for Team Super Nate that it got placed on the back burner.  Well, no longer will it sit there . . . it is time to help a Dude out.

A little boy named, Noah and more commonly known as The Diabetes Dude has a mission and I want to help him!!

You can read Noah's full story by clicking here - - - THE DIABETES DUDE.
He was diagnosed with T1 in September of 2007 while in the 1st grade.  His diagnosis story hits home as they all do. As a mom of a T1 - I've been there. I have a story and it is always heart wrenching to read similar stories.  Please read Noah's story.

Noah is a HUGE advocate for Type 1 Diabetes ---
please click here --- FLAMINGO FLOCK to find out how he is doing it. It is great! It is fun and I want to be flocked!! 

Most importantly I want to help Noah get on the Ellen DeGeneres show (I LOVE HER).  Here is the information from his website on ways you can help him reach his ELLEN goal:

The Diabetes Dude takes on Ellen DeGeneres!

Noah, The Diabetes Dude, is on a mission!  He's already sent Ellen DeGeneres one of his flamingos, but he wants to "flock" her on her show so he can talk about his unique diabetes awareness campaign.  He's asking that everyone send an e-mail to Ellen and tell her that they want to see The Diabetes Dude on her show!  He's hoping that a little persistence will pay off and he can show all the kids (and grown-ups) with diabetes that they can do anything!  Write into the Ellen show here:  
www.ellentv.com, click on "be on the show" and the "dear ellen" link (all the way at the bottom of the page)!  Thanks for your support!

So . . . won't you please take a moment to help a Dude out??  Please let Ellen know that you want to see the Diabetes Dude on her show!!  Wouldn't it be great to raise awareness for TYPE 1?? To get accurate information out there - - - information on T1 not T2?  Please, Please, Please help the The Diabetes Dude out.  I've already done it  -- it takes 2 minutes.

Thank you Diabetes Dude for all that you do to raise money and awareness for T1.  Nate and the Houston family thank you and want to send you a GREAT BIG TEXAS SIZE HUG!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

In case you were wondering . . .

Sweet Sophie is doing FANTASTIC! 

 She has been off of the steroid for several weeks now - Yippeee!
Her blood sugar was super high and she was always thirsty while she was on steroids.  Well, as any D-mom can tell you ---- it just freaks you out!!  Once we weaned her off of the steroids everything went back to normal and she is feeling great.  She takes Pentasa (Mesalamine), which is used to treat ulcerative colitis (a condition in which part or all of the lining of the colon [large intestine] is swollen, inflamed or worn away). Mesalamine delayed-release tablets are used to treat ulcerative colitis that affects any part of the colon. Mesalamine is in a class of medications called anti-inflammatory agents. It works by stopping the body from producing a certain substance that may cause pain or inflammation. Sophie takes a pill 3 times per day and she is in complete remission. 

She is looking forward to starting Pre-School again in a couple of weeks and enjoying 
swimming for hours on end! She is quite the little fishy!

She is a little ray of sunshine and I am SO happy that she is feeling better and living life to the fullest!!

PS - She LOVES bugs.
Friday, August 6, 2010

Encouragement: The Invisible Woman

by Nicole Johnson

It started to happen gradually…

One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, "Who is that with you, young fella?"

"Nobody," he shrugged.

Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only five, but as we crossed the street I thought, oh my goodness, nobody?

I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family, like "Turn the TV down, please." And nothing would happen. Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, "Would someone turn the TV down?" Nothing.

Just the other night my husband and I were out to a party. We'd been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, "I'm ready to go when you are." He just kept right on talking.
That's when I started putting all the pieces together. I don't think he can see me. I don't think anyone can see me.

I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

 I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more.

Can you fix this?

Can you tie this?

Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being.

I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?"

I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?"

I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

 She's going…she's going…she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others, all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription. "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read, no, devour, the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I would pattern my work:
  • No one can say who built the great Cathedrals—we have no record of their names.
  • These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
  • They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
  • The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."

And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece just push into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one else does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn, pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who will show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or monument to myself. I just want him to come home. And then if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it here."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Excerpt used without permission. © Nicole Johnson, Fresh Brewed Life, Inc. 2006
just being honest!  :)

My friend, Kimberly posted this on FB & I thought it was just too great not to share.
Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Hero

No complaints. No worries.  Just happy little boy.  Nathan James Houston is my hero . . . Go Team Super Nate.
Monday, August 2, 2010

How Nate got high . . .

If you read my post yesterday then you know that Nate was super HIGH.  His PDM said HIGH and another meter said 447. Either way you look at it the boy was HIGH and he had LARGE ketones which is dangerous and bad and scary and crappy and well, ALL MY FAULT.

As you already know he was dx with strep late Friday afternoon.  We took his rx to the Market Street pharmacy because they are offering free antibiotics until the end of next month.  The problem with the free antibiotics is that they did not have any sugar free options.  We went ahead and went with the free option and were prepared to see some highs from the strep and the pink, sugary amoxicillin. We set a temp basal increase through the 1st night and he ran a little low - nothing major.

Saturday morning Nate woke up with a bg of 206.  I bolused him for breakfast & gave a correction and then let the children wrestle, play and giggle in my bed for a few minutes before heading to the kitchen to prepare breakfast.  During that play time Nate knocked his pod almost all of the way off but Jim and I were able (so we thought) to tape it back on with opsite flexifix.

I have to say I usually get out the flashlight and check the canulla with a light to make good and sure it is still in but Saturday I did not.  I had only ONE thing on my mind that morning and it was not the usual diabetes.

Joanne, Jessica and I had planned a girls day out with a mani/pedi (with hot rock massage), lunch and as it turns out a little frozen yogurt for dessert. I had been looking forward to it for a week and was SO ready to take a little D break with my D sistas!

Jim checked in by email about 30 minutes into the mani/pedi to report that Nate's beep beep (DexCom) was reading 'high'. I emailed him back and told him to wait until lunch and his insulin to peak before giving a correction. During lunch with the girls he emailed and said that Nate's PDM said 'high' now too.  Instead of throwing in the towel on my time away I told him to give the full bolus and correction and I would check him when I got home.

On to Yogurtville with my girls.  It was so fun.  I love chatting and hanging out with these 2 lovely ladies.  We are truly sisters, partners and friends.  Although we were all having fun we knew that we all had to return to the real 'D' world.

Once home I checked Nate's bg - HIGH.  Checked ketones - LARGE.  Checked Pod - it looked fine but I decided to remove the pod and give a large correction by syringe. The canulla was was not bent but I think it was partly out so Nate was not getting insulin from about 7:45 AM until about 2:00 PM.  YIKES!

Looking back I should have done things differently but in the moment I was SO excited to get a little d-cation that I got careless. At 1st it just reassured me that d-cations are not in the cards for me right now but after some careful thought and consideration I think maybe the opposite is true. D-cations may be just the thing that I need to clear my head and make me a better caregiver and pancreas.

Plus --- I love my pretty toes!!
Sunday, August 1, 2010

From Beep Beep Beep to Buzz Buzz Buzz

Bad News:
Nate's DexCom receiver (Beep Beep) stopped beeping

Good News:
Nate's DexCom still vibrates (Buzz Buzz)

Bad News:
Nate's DexCom receiver stopped beeping

Good News:
DexCom is over-nighting a new receiver

Bad News:
It crapped out on Friday and the new one will not be here until Monday (no Saturday delivery)

Worse News:
Nate was dx with strep throat on Friday and it was time to change his sensor.  Boo!  The trouble with changing the sensor (which was very close to falling off at this point) was we would have have to change the sensor AGAIN when we receive the new receiver on Monday.  But with Nate having strep I decided to go ahead and insert the new sensor.  I was feeling like it was a total waste until this happened . . .

High blood sugar and LARGE ketones.  After a pod change, an injection and a lot of fluids it was nice to watch Nate's bs come down on the DexCom.  After 2 hours he was 150 or so with a double arrow down so we gave him a snack and then he remained steady at 130.  Without Dex we would have had to do a million finger pokes on Nate's already chewed up little finger tips so I guess the extra sensor was worth it!

Just a Mom

I am NOT a doctor, nor do I play one on this blog.

I AM a wife.
I AM the mom of 3 wonderful children.
I AM my son's pancreas.

The information provided on this blog is from our personal experiences with Type 1 diabetes. Because something works for us does not mean it will work for you.

Please consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your health care options.

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