Ten Things You’ll Always Find In Our Fridge

My post today was originally a comment at Preschoolers and Peace. Thank you, Kendra, for the fun idea!

My list:

1-lb tubs of organic greens
3-lb bags of organic baby carrots
Eggs, some best-we-can-find from the grocery store and some purchased from our 4H leader.
Almond Milk
Organic peanut butter
Organic fruit-sweetened jelly
Zevia Soda (Occasional treat for the six sibs, almost daily for the mom.)
Novolog (For my son’s pump.)
Lantus (For back-up in case of pump-failure.)

It takes a full fridge to take care of this family!

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV 1984)
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 6, Diabetes Art

“This year Diabetes Art moves up from the Wildcard choices as we all channel our creativity with art in the broadest sense. Do some “traditional” art like drawing, painting, collage or any other craft you enjoy. Or look to the literary arts and perhaps write a d-poem or share and discuss a favorite quote. Groove to some musical arts by sharing a song that inspires you diabetes-wise, reworking some song lyrics with a d-twist, or even writing your own song. Don’t forget dramatic arts too, perhaps you can create a diabetes reality show or play. These are just a starting point today – there are no right or wrong ways to get creative!”

This post was “due” on Saturday and here I am sitting in bed at 10 p.m. on Monday. I couldn’t write anymore about diabetes. No more.
After a two-day break, I’m going to finish the course. Not the way I thought I would (which was either finishing a poem I had started a couple of months ago about John or talking him into doing something for me for the post), but with two links to previous posts involving John.
One from March about origami (actually the mess he makes creating!) and one from this past Friday, a *Five Minute Friday post with the prompt “song.

He is quite an artistic guy, and next year we’ll start earlier and come up with something fun!

*What is Five Minute Friday? The details are here.

Psalm 98:4-6
4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!
6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 5, “Freaky Friday,” aka the Post In Which We Swap Auto-Immune Diseases

“Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?”

Since I am familiar with it, I think we’ll go with Celiac Disease. As I’ve said earlier in the week, John was diagnosed with diabetes in February of 2005. In August of 2007, his older brother, Luke, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
Celiac definitely puts a cramp in socializing. Everything revolves around food and it seems that gluten makes the world go round.
Taking our own food and being careful on those rare occasions we eat out as a family makes it more doable, though still complicated. I don’t like potlucks. Really I don’t. I have a fear of the unknown and I want Luke to feel well and be healthy.
With that said, I’d still take Celiac any day over Diabetes.
With celiac, as long as Luke has safe food, he’s good to go.
Obviously, with diabetes, just having insulin does not mean John is good to go. The testing, 8-10 times a day, the site changes, the night times (which his daddy, aka Super Daddy, does 90% of the time), monitoring exercise and illness.
No comparison as far as immediate health or long-term health.
From what I understand (and I am not a medical professional), a compliant person with celiac should have no ill health effects. Maybe ever.
From what I understand (and again, I am not a medical professional), a compliant person with diabetes can do everything “right” and still have issues. Anytime.
But really, what it there to understand about diabetes. It is a frustrating disease that can change on a minute’s notice. I feel like we”re in a bad Star Trek episode and being “beamed” somedays. Just when I get the blood sugars where I want them: “beam”–allergies, sickness, vacation lows, vacation highs, etc.

We have had more people express sympathy over celiac, it seems, just in the “Poor Luke, he can’t eat this gross, plastic-tasting birthday cake from XYZ discount store.”
Honestly, (and I have said this nicely) I would give the whole family (all eight!) Celiac if I could take away John’s diabetes. Yes, I would. In a heart beat.


The Six Sibs going round without gluten!
On the front row, Luke is on the left and John is in the middle.

I will answer the second part of the prompt a bit differently than it was meant, since this week is really my first real “participation” in the DOC. I had never heard that term until the last few months. It was just after the 7 year diagnosis mark that we received an e-mail newsletter from Medtronic, which contained a review from Meri. I had been reading blogs for several years, but it didn’t occur to me that there would be diabetes-specific blogs.

Anyway, I would say that just having a child with a chronic illness has made me aware of others with chronic illness or disability. We’ve had people say things like “I don’t think I could do what you do,” But I respond with “You do what you have to do.” I look at children with autism, in wheelchairs, needing liquid nutrition, etc. and sometimes think the first sentiment, then realize that their parents probably echo my thoughts. They have been called to different trials and I appreciate them for their loving care and perseverance.

Romans 12:12 (NIV 1984)
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 4, Accomplishments Big and Small

“We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small – think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.”

In the 8 years and almost three months since John’s diagnosis, I would say I have accomplished a few things:
1) Taking a “one for all and all for one” approach with our new normal. We had always eaten the same thing, so I couldn’t imagine singling John out and making him eat differently. Not gonna happen in this house. (This approach was tested in 8/07 when John’s #2 brother was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.)
The real world will be upon him before I know it and I want to give him a good grounding with lots of healthy food (and a few treats thrown in) in our family setting, with his favorite five friends and his favorite parents not only cheering for him, but being on the same team.
2) Embracing carb counting, in a big way, early on. My preferred method is weighing, second would be measuring, and only as a last resort will I guess. I know people that do, and I can, but it is not perfectly accurate, and since diabetes throws so many curve balls, for no apparent reason, I feel that I should be doing everything I can to keep The J healthy. I think I have bordered on being obsessive about it, so am trying to still be very precise and accurate, while a little less uptight 😉
3) Caring for John while he was a baby, then preschooler, while being pregnant, then having his two younger brothers (5/05 and 7/08).
To be honest though, I am sure that is the reason for some of the downs I experienced with the older three children and homeschooling. As I said in Monday’s post, no one can do it all.
4) Learning from #1 and through much prayer, learned to juggle a little better and began resurrecting/rescuing my relationship with the older ones, who had been expected to “keep on and carry on” while I was so busy with the younger guys + diabetes. It took years, but we are in a good place now. Well, most days. 😉
5) Starting per John’s request at about age four, to turn small areas of his care over to him. He wanted to start with testing and when he started on a pump at age 5 (11/05), he took to that like the jr. engineer that he is! He now can do everything for his site changes, except the actual placement. We are currently working on carb counting.
His nurse practitioner told us when he was tiny that he would get interested in taking care of himself, but I was really surprised when he did at only, age four. Of course, he was a veteran by then.

Whew, this has been an interesting week. Lots of brain, memory and emotion dumping.

From yesterday’s post, playing at home, just before diagnosis.


From Tuesday’s post, John testing prototypes of The Testeroni 5000.

Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 3, Memories

I wrote the following as a comment to this post back in February.

“I really appreciate your thoughts, Emily. I think a lot about a diabetes diagnosis (February) this time of year. My son’s to be specific, 8 years ago next Friday. He was 18 months old and I was 6 months pregnant with baby #5.
His diagnosis was not as traumatic as yours sounds, his blood sugar was “only” 350 when he was tested at the pediatrician’s office after I noticed his increasing thirst and diaper wetting.
He spent two nights in the hospital and began taking four insulin injections per day.
I truly did not appreciate a nurses’s prophetic words that it would not be so bad because he wouldn’t remember life before diabetes. She was right, but I remember it and mourn for those simpler days.
I am a blessed mama and though I would drop diabetes in a heartbeat if I could, I have never felt angry at God, as I do know that he has a plan for my kind-hearted, beautiful-blue-eyed boy. He has diabetes, he is not a diabetic. We don’t let us define us, though it has definitely refined us.
Thank you again for sharing.”

I thought I would add to that, and I probably will someday, to tell the full story, but I can’t think about diabetes any more today, except of course in real life. 🙂

I am editing this post on Thursday…
Yesterday, I had included Emily’s reply, but kept thinking about it and didn’t have a peace about posting it. It wasn’t a private reply, but I didn’t have permission to post it here. It is on the post I linked to at the beginning. I know that was a long and rambly explanation. That pretty much sums up what’s going on inside my brain 😉

Playing at The Discovery Center on February 15, 2005, a week before diagnosis.

Playing at home, also before diagnosis.
He wore these slippers during his two-day hospital stay, along with the baby blue hospital gown that came to his ankles. (I couldn’t even imagine taking any pictures then–those hospital images are burned into my brain. Maybe John would have liked to see them though.)

Psalm 46:1-3 (ESV)
God Is Our Fortress

“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 2, John’s Dream Diabetes Device

The prompt I am using today is one of the wild card options, as the choice for today was to create a diabetes petition. I thought the wild card prompt sounded much more interesting, especially since I have enlisted John to help. I thought that would be the most fitting and fair, since he is the one being poked and prodded. Plus, he is an amazing jr. engineer, following in his daddy’s footsteps. 🙂

“Back by popular demand, let’s revisit this prompt from last year! Tell us what your fantasy diabetes device would be? Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc. The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?”

Take it away John:

The Testeroni 5000

The Testeroni 5000 is a glove that has a tester on one of the fingers. You can’t even feel the test when it tests you!
You have a little tiny thing that beeps whenever you are low and whenever you are high. It gives you insulin when you are high and it tells you to eat something whenever you are low. You never have to take it off. It isn’t hot whenever you wear it, it is very comfortable.

Dictated by John, age 9, diagnosed 2/05 at 18 months.


John testing prototypes of The Testeroni 5000

Psalm 121:8 (ESV)
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 1, Seeing Our Real Life

I like to write and have been enjoying having a blog. While spending way too much time contemplating blog names, I tried different combinations including sugar and gluten, diabetes and celiac. I just couldn’t envision only writing about auto-immune diseases, though they are a huge drain on my brain. That said, I am going to spend this week writing about diabetes. Hopefully my posts will be a bit more organized than last time.

The prompt for today is:

“Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one’s daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don’t see?”

I think our doctor and nurse practitioner have a pretty good sense of what our daily life is like, as far as diabetes is concerned. We try to eat well, we count carbs, John has an acceptable A1C.
We are blessed to be able to homeschool, so we don’t have the school issues to deal with. That is one stressor off my shoulders. (Well, to keep it real, homeschooling in and of itself is a stressor in many ways, but I’ll save that for a different post.)

The second question is harder. Or more embarrassing.

While I have been able to do what needs to be done and focus in on carb counting, mostly whole food meals and the like, it has come at an expense.
I don’t know anyone who can do it “all,” I certainly can’t. So, since I have the diabetes thing to do, there are many times my brain and therefore body is just too wiped to keep the house in the condition that I would like for it to be. It has taken me a long time to figure that out. At least that’s my excuse. I have spent a lot of time feeling badly about myself because my house doesn’t look like a magazine or what I imagine my friends’ houses look like.

This is what I hope they don’t see:


Our living room and my writing nook, with children waiting for me to read aloud, laundry to be put away and lots of books, magazines and assorted paperwork for me so sort.

One more, for good measure.

Of course it doesn’t look like this when I invite people over. I can kick it into high gear when I have to. I also have children who love to socialize, so they are pretty willing to help out when we are having people over. It’s the daily routines that I struggle with. I’m attempting to figure out solutions, I do know I need structure.

Life isn’t all about diabetes (or celiac), though it feels that way sometimes.

Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV)
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Five Minute Friday: Jump

Writing again for the Five Minute Friday community.


What did I jump into in this life?
Lover of Jesus. Check.
Marriage. Check.
Motherhood. Check.
Homeschooler. Check.
Official carb-counter and insulin giver. Check.
Gourmet gluten-free chef. Check.

Many titles. Some for real, some in jest. All part of this life I made a jump for. Time to pray, asking The Lord for help with these titles, this life I am living. Loving, caring, being with my family. Learning to serve others better.

So glad I made the jump.



Kyle took this “jump” photo of Mommy and Paul being photographed by Adam.

Psalm 106:1 (NKJV)
“Praise the Lord!
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.”

Five Minute Friday

Diabetes on the Brain

For some reason, I have been thinking about diabetes more so far this year than in past years. Not in the day-to-day sense of thinking. Diabetes is lurking around every corner, nook, cranny, part my brain. Always.
I mean as in feeling the need to write about it sense. The blogging bug has hit and over the last couple of months I have been thinking of several people that have been put in my path.
It all collided in one jumbled mess of thoughts tonight in church.
First, on the incourage blog, a young lady posted about diabetes back in February. I commented and she replied to my comment. I copied and pasted it into a blog draft called “John’s Story” and have let it sit.
Last week, I received a call from another mom whose son has type-1 diabetes.
I’m not up on the proper lingo that all the cool people use, but I think in the “DOC”–diabetes online community, we would be called “D-Moms.” I think. I could be wrong. I am occasionally.
Anyway, she is a friend of a friend’s friend, if that makes sense. We were introduced via phone/e-mail a few years ago and have e-mailed, phoned and talked in person a few times. I hadn’t heard from her for over a year.
Her son is 17. John is 9. Both were diagnosed very young. We have done nutrition and diet much differently and John has been on a pump since age 4 and her son is not. I started to say he still is not but that seems arrogant or condescending.
The pump isn’t the be-all-end-all of diabetes care. It has worked for us, but I assume it isn’t for everyone. I’m not sure that I would want one for myself. It is awfully convenient, but can be awfully reminding too. Always there. It never goes away. Well, like diabetes.
Wowza, I’m going off on tangents! Back to the call:
She sounded somewhat discouraged. (Diabetes can do that to you.) She said she wanted to encourage me to make sure that John “owns” his diabetes starting at his young age, as her son isn’t interested in the responsibility of taking over his care.
When we met, I gave her a book. (Amazon just helpfully gave me an instant order update and told me that I had ordered it on December 6, 2010.) That was my second copy, after I let her keep my copy.
She mentioned the book last week and I am thinking, if I work of the courage, of contacting the author to ask if she would Skype with us.
Tonight in church, several verses from the lesson struck me as appropriate for John’s story and I started thinking more.
And finally, tonight this post finished me off. Did me in. Almost pushed me over the edge. I can’t believe it didn’t make me cry. I guess I’m too tired. It is almost midnight. I’m sure it will tomorrow when I read it again.
I have been reading Meri’s blog for a little over a year and it encourages and saddens me, depending on the day.
Well, that was a mess. A big messy diabetes mess. Like my brain.
Tomorrow I’ll clean it up. Maybe. But I’m posting tonight. Just because my brain needed a good dump.

I’ll end, as always, with scripture. This is one of the passages from church:

Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Things that go “bark” and “beep” in the night: Dogs and Diabetes

The “bark” would be from the Black Lab/Terrier mix, Buddy, and her faithful, though not-so-smart side-kick, Gus, the blue-eyed Australian Shepherd. They spent the last two nights in the house after frenzied barking attacks.
They think they need to scare off every deer or other critter that passes their territory. I happen to disagree, but can’t seem to convey that to them, so at 1:15 a.m. yesterday morning and at 9 p.m. last night, I snapped my fingers and quietly called, and they obediently (miraculously) came. Actually, Gus went to the dog house the first time, but that was o.k. because he usually isn’t the instigator of the aforementioned frenzied barking attacks.
I was afraid that Buddy, the brains of the outfit, may have decided that this was a great way to get to sleep inside, but really those goofy dogs prefer the outside, so tonight, so far, they have been quiet, but it’s only 11:45…

The “beep” would be from the handy-dandy insulin pump that John wears. His newest meter is quiet, but the pump beeps at me when I bolus him for high blood sugar (anything over 150).
His daddy, the multi-talented, electrical/software, blog AND pump engineer is out of town and I am his stand-in. On a side note, He is also a great lactation engineer, but that’s another story and besides, those days are over and I’m not sharing him 😉

Doing night duty is not the most fun thing to do, but I am happy to be able to take care of my boy. The dogs aren’t earning any points with me though. I would obviously prefer that they sleep through the night. Maybe, just maybe, I have been known to wake them up from their lovely naps in the afternoon sun to admonish them to try sleeping at night, but they don’t take me up on it often.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18