Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Ever have a dream you could not wake up fast enough from. Well that was my morning dream. I went back to sleep this morning only to have a dream that we had lost Cliffy. (lost=death). Definitely not a dream I want to be having, we'll call it more of a nightmare. I couldn't seem to wake up fast enough from it. It was torture, ripped my heart from my chest, and I couldn't seem to breath. Thankfully I did finally awake but it was something I never want to dream of again. I really don't have more of a post on this or really anything about diabetes this morning. D has been acting okay for the most part with exception of a nightime low of 49 on Easter night.

But I did want to pass on some Diabetes related information for those in the Seattle area.

For anyone in the Seattle area, please message me if you're interested in attending "Conversation about Diabetes" sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute on May 12th. (if not on FB, email

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One of those days......

It all started at 10:15 pm with a random (before bed) blood sugar check. The meter beeped and read "76". UGH! I was very tired at this point. But ran downstairs to my stash of pixie sticks, and back up to Cliffy's bedside. He didn't wake at all, I opened his mouth he by habit took the pixie sticks, they were absorbed and back to sleep he went. Then 10:30 rolled around, I went to check him to see where he was now and I got a lovely "86". Normally during the day this would have been awesome, but not something you like to see before bedtime. So I decided to wait up until 11pm to test him again to make sure he was more of where I wanted him to be. When 11pm rolled around I could barely keep my eyeballs opened any longer. Thankfully he was "133", and I went to bed.

But as you can tell from this picture, my sleep wouldn't be for too long. I had a scheduled check at 12 due to the low blood sugar. He was sitting good at 168. "Yay thankfully a good 3 hr stretch of sleep". However when 3am rolled around, I wanted nothing more then to throw the iPod for waking me up again, until I realized I needed to go check him. We were a little high at 189 but something I could most definitely live with for an overnight number. I should have known that the wee morning hours would roll around and the hormones would get us once again. I swear we can never win with D. He's low during the night, then wakes up at 318! No happy medium whatsoever. That was the rough start of my day with D.

But now I am scanning over facebook and see this new Hidden Valley Ranch Commercial which by the way is very offensive to diabetics, parents of diabetics, or family members of diabetics who know what they go through on a daily basis.

I have already written an email to let them know how offensive it may come across to some.

While I absolutely love your products, I am fully offended by the new commercial. It starts by saying "10 minutes until a low blood sugar meltdown". I'm sorry but as a mother of a Type 1 diabetic (Insulin diabetic) this is truly offensive to me. I don't believe you would actually like to experience a low blood sugar meltdown. Perhaps that would be when my son passed out from having a low blood sugar and bumped his head, or when he had a seizure from an undetected low blood sugar?? I understand the idea of what you were getting at with hungry children for this commercial, but that doesn't take away from the fact that I am appalled. Not everyone will take offense to this as they don't live day in and out worried about an actual "low blood sugar meltdown", which by the way could be fatal. It is not something to joke about and I truly hope you consider rephrasing the commercial.

I have no intentions on continuing my purchasing of your products now due to your ignorance on the subject matter.

Oh wait Hidden Valley... Perhaps if I would have known T-minus 10 minutes I would have been able to get sleep last night if I would have made some Ranch burgers for dinner, or been able to detect Clifford's low blood sugar well before my bedtime..... Hmm I will keep that in mind.

I actually really do like their products especially the seasoning packet featured in the commercial, usually used it with sour cream for dip for holidays, but not this year.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Diabetic and the Cake!

Sounds like the title to a new Disney Movie, but it's more like a new horror story. Last night was a rare occasion in our house. Cliffy is permitted to have cake on birthday's and last night happened to be Hayleigh's 3rd. On top of that she wanted a "Lollipop" cake. Now this was tricky because Cliffy wanted a lollipop too, and why shouldn't he be allowed one if his sisters are having one. If you all do not know in addition to the 10grams of sugar those tiny, little dum dums have, they also contain 13 grams of carbs. This had to be considered into my "guessing" the carbs in the small piece of cake he had and added with those in his milk. Right there with the lollipop and milk we were at 21 grams of carbs. Needless to say I guessed and gave an extra amount of his humalog (fast acting insulin) but also determined I'd be checking overnight to see how my guesswork went.

Before snack we were sitting pretty at a 94, a great number to be having some cake on I told Cliffy. I totaled the guessing of the carbs, and gave the extra insulin. 2 hours out of eating that massive carb and sugary snack, we were at 148!! Yay! I was happy with that number. Another 2 hours out at midnight and we're sitting at a 153. Still golden I thought to myself and was starting to get happy about my guesswork. At 3am, we were at 115! Awesome I thought, plus I remembered because testing Cliffy overnights I have learned between 2 and 3 am he usually drops a little, well sometimes a lot depending on how D feels like being that night. Taking into consideration I know he jumps up a little bit between 4-6 am due to hormones, I decided with that 115 at 3am he should be good and would need no correction, and it looked as if I had guessed wonderfully with the cake, besides we were now 6 hours out from the cake and sitting at 115. Wake up comes thinking his number will be no higher then 220ish, I was fairy confident on that. Boy was I mistaken, the meter read a big fat 323! Cliffy goes "UGH it was the cake". I told him it couldn't have been the cake as I tested him overnight often and his numbers were awesome, so yay! Thank you hormones and D for wrecking a good number and this D mom's confidence on guessing carbs and insulin!

A lot of you will notice too that I no longer have daily posts all the time. If you actually enjoy reading my blog and miss that, I'm sorry. But there are times I don't feel like talking about D all the time. It takes over enough of a big chunk of our lives, I sometimes get burnt out, and just sit back and try to be as normal as possible, and not worry or talk about it. My head is filled with enough D information and research to fill a few football stadiums 2-3 times over and I just get sick of it sometimes. So during those times I am quiet. I'm still dealing with D, still battling the monster, and still fighting the good fight, just silently.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Back to Blue....

Unfortunately it seems that every few months I'm writing another post with blue candles and informing we have lost another young life to T1D. Today is a day of celebration for us as Hayleigh turns 3. But to another family across the globe personally connected to us by Diabetes is in mourning.
We go day to day, night to night, doing what we have to, to keep D at bay. And there are times when we get caught up in the craziness of our lives we sometimes put the fear of D on the back burner. Then something happens that brings that reality right back to smack you square in the face.

I've gotten better at not worrying as much about the "what ifs" of D. But once in awhile another tragedy strikes and it's hard not to start worrying about them once again. My heart aches for this family, and my thoughts and prayers are with them during this time. I cannot imagine what they are feeling. These are the times I start to question "why me, or why him" and what God's plan is for my son. But holding strong in remembering to counter my question with "why not me". If you start to question what part God plays in our lives with D, take a moment to read my post on "God and Diabetes". It is what helps me to get through times like this when my mind wants to ask the most obvious question when dealing with D.

It is a sinking feeling waking up to start my day by seeing this, it means that another life was lost due to Diabetes. The DOC puts up blue candles in
remembrance to those lost.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

God and Diabetes..

Let me start by stating, I believe in God. However, when Cliffy was first diagnosed, I questioned why he was chosen, why did God have to make it so my son's life changed forever. It's just the nature of the beast to wonder why, and ask "why me". But let me tell you what I've learned from this experience.

Let's start with a snippet of a book I've been reading. In the future when I am tempted to ask the question "Why me?" I will immediately counter with the answer: "Why not me". Challenges are gifts, opportunities to learn. Problems are the common thread running through the lives of great men and women. In times of adversity, I will not have a problem to deal with, I will have a choice to make. Clifford's diabetes is NOT a problem. We have a choice daily and that choice is to live! I have learned from my past that I can handle a lot that is put on my plate. So if God chose my son to have diabetes, he chose him because he knew Cliffy and I could handle it. He knew that I would care for him to the fullest that I possibly can. He also knew not a day would go by that I wouldn't be educating myself about the disease, and learning as much as I possibly can so one day we could find a cure!

For me personally, Cliffy's diagnosis forced me to slow down in life. To take it one day at a time and cherish every moment I had with him and my kids. It showed me just how precious life is and that at any moment everything could change. He was diagnosed in DKA, and many of you know that is not something you would want your worst enemy to experience with their child. I cried the whole first day as it looked like something was taking over my son's tiny body. But with prayers and hope, things turned around for the better. Yes our lives have changed, yes he is no longer a normal child. But we can handle it, and we can move forward and make a difference.

If you are questioning why your son or daughter or yourself was given this fate, then take a step back and think, God knows you are really strong and you could handle it. He needs strong advocates in his corner to not only care for these special children and adults, but to fight to find a cure! Everytime when I would think about questioning why in the beginning, I would go back to a poem I read shortly after diagnosis.

How God Selects the Mother of a Diabetic Child
by Erma Bombeck Modified a great deal by me.

Some women become mothers by accident, most by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit. Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with diabetes are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint Matthew."

"Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, Patron Saint Cecilia."

"Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint Gerard. He's used to profanity."

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a child with diabetes." The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."

"Exactly", smiles God. "Could I give a child with diabetes to a mother who does not know laughter?"

"She has the patience?" the Angel agrees.

"Once the shock wears off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She is strong. You see, the child I am going to give her will require great care. It's not going to be easy."

"But, Lord, could this make her stop believing."

God smiles. "No. This one is perfect. She has a strong faith in me."God nods. "Yes, this is the woman whom I will bless with this child. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work."

So if you remember anything from this posting, when you are tempted to ask "Why me", counter it with "Why not me". God obviously knows you and your child are strong, but the most important question is "Do you know"?.

Friday, April 1, 2011


I'm going to start by saying Ketones are scary. Just uttering the word can be frightful. Normally we test for Ketones once a day every morning with our KetoDiastix's. But on occasion when Cliffy's blood sugar runs higher, or if he is sick we test more frequently. Yesterday was one of those days.

Let me back track a bit for those that might not know what Ketones really are.

What are ketones?

Ketones are produced when the body burns fat for energy or fuel. They are also produced when you lose weight or if there is not enough insulin to help your body use sugar for energy. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood. Since the body is unable to use glucose for energy, it breaks down fat instead. When this occurs, ketones form in the blood and spill into the urine. These ketones can make you very sick

When should I test for ketones?

  • Anytime your blood glucose is over 250 mg/dl for two tests in a row.
  • When you are ill. Often illness, infections, or injuries will cause sudden high blood glucose and this is an especially important time to check for ketones.
  • When you are planning to exercise and the blood glucose is over 250 mg/dl.

If ketones are positive, what does this mean?

There are situations when you might have ketones without the blood glucose being too high. Positive ketones are not a problem when blood glucose levels are within range and you are trying to lose weight.

It is a problem if blood glucose levels are high and left untreated. Untreated high blood glucose with positive ketones can lead to a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

What should I do if the ketone test is positive?

Call your diabetes educator or physician, as you may need additional insulin. Drink plenty of water and fluids containing no calories to "wash out" the ketones. Continue testing your blood glucose every 3 - 4 hours, testing for ketones if the blood glucose is over 250 mg/dl. Do not exercise if your blood glucose is over 250 mg/dl and ketones are present.

I'm usually quite confident when Cliffy has Ketones that we can drink some water, get some insulin in him and flush them out. I can usually handle caring for him at home when he is sick, and feel confident we don't have to run to the hospital. However yesterday by confidence took a nose dive. First off he was the darkest level you see in that picture "Large" ketones. The strip turned right away. Okay I thought let's get some water in you, the insulin was already in, made no sense as I increased his breakfast, and lunch dose because his blood sugar had been crazy high all morning. After lunch he got sick. (Not a good combination with ketones), however I knew it wasn't really from what was making him ill, but rather his belly was feeling icky from the ketones, and he tried to down the water like a crazy man. Come 2pm we were still sitting at "Large" ketones, and this concerned me. But what concerned me more was when I went to check on him while he was napping. I put my hand on his chest to see if he seemed congested when he was breathing. No congestion, yay, but he was at rest and his heart was racing, his breathing was increased. The only thing I could think about was those stupid ketones, and DKA!. Yes, my mind went there, how could it not, he was sitting with large ketones, rapid breathing, and a racing heart. I called his endo team, and she assured me I was doing a great job with increasing the insulin to get them out and bring him down. But we just needed to up the insulin a little more, and still encourage him to drink the water.

Ever have a conversation with your sick child that involves you telling them we need to drink this water or they would end up in the hospital with an iv in them or worse? That is the reality of every time Cliffy is sick and has ketones. It's not please drink some water to stay hydrated. It's you NEED to or your going to the hospital. Cliffy has too many times after diagnosis been in the hospital with IV's and he is not a fan of them at all. He'd rather stay home and rest. So after the scary part of our conversation, I told him as long as he does his part, and with me doing mine we'll kick it like a team. So he asks, "What is my part". I told him "To listen to me" .. "Drink the water when I tell you, eat when I tell you, pee in the cup when I tell you, and rest". Then he asked "What is your part". to which I replied "Everything else". We shook hands, made a deal we would work as a team and kick it. Bedtime rolled around and we tested for ketones , and there were none!! And even more importantly his blood sugar had gone down to 116! This was a huge victory for us so we celebrated with a high five! Now another day starts, and it's time to see where we sit with these dreaded invaders once again, but I'm going into it this time feeling more confident we can kick it as a team.