Tag Archives: Family

Pacific Crest Sports Festival 2013

One of the highlights of this past summer was our family trip to Sunriver, Oregon in June for the Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival. I love this weekend because everyone has a chance to challenge themselves, and we all learn how to support and encourage one another.

You never know what kind of weather you’ll get in Bend, but this year was beautiful! The sky was sunny and the air was warm every day. This did make for challenging running conditions later in the day, and also presented some additional diabetes-related considerations. We made sure to do extra blood sugar checks (before and after races) and keep lots of juice boxes, glucose tablets, and snacks on hand. Luke had one scary, almost-Glucagoned-him, very low blood sugar, but otherwise diabetes didn’t slow anyone down!

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Evie and Luke take care of their diabetes after a race

I was planning to run the 10K this year, but the timing of the race was inconvenient, so I went ahead and signed up for the Half-Marathon instead. My longest run up to then had been about 7 miles, so I had no huge expectations for 13.1 miles, other than crossing the finish line. I surprised myself by running the majority of the race, and reveled in the accomplishment for the rest of the day! I’ll definitely run another Half in the future.

This year was definitely the year for stepping up! Evie and Will, along with some of the other older kids, ran in the 5K race instead of the one-mile this year, and Jackson ran the 1-mile for the first time. I love to see them succeed when they challenge themselves, and it’s so good for their blossoming confidence to try new things, even when it’s tough!

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Small racers run in the 1-Mile Dash

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Our 5K runners….what a great group of kids!

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Will, Luke, and Evie after the 5K finish, enjoying treats in the Runner’s Pavilion

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Evie crosses the 5K finish line alongside Ruby

One of my other favorite things about this weekend is that we also have the opportunity to provide support and encouragement to athlete’s of all ages and skill levels on the race courses–our friends and family, as well as strangers. I know how energizing it is to pass people who cheer and yell for you during a tough run, and I’m happy to be able to pass that on!

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Learning how to encourage each other: 1-Milers pose for an after race photo, Jackson high-fives a triathlete along the course

Once again, it was an awesome weekend, and I’m already looking forward to next year!

Back to School!

This school year, everyone is going to be prepared!

Last year and the year before I wasn’t great about keeping a lot of supplies at school. A box of graham crackers for awhile….maybe a few extra juice boxes. But this year I’m not going to have the luxury of running up to the health room if someone pulls a set or needs more strips for their meter. So, in the hopes that as many issues as possible can be taken care of at school, I put together diabetes supply boxes for Evie and Luke:photo 1 (11)

I felt like I was packing for a week in the wilderness! Diabetes is all about troubleshooting and planning ahead, so there are multiples of everything that either of them could need at any time; anything they could need replaced, or forget, or run out of is in this box.

  • Glucose Tabs
  • Ketone Test Strips
  • Infusion Sets
  • Reservoirs
  • IV-3000
  • Skin Tac WIpes
  • Alcohol Wipes
  • Insulin Syringes
  • Disposable Lancets
  • Pump Batteries
  • Extra BG meter
  • BG Test Strips
  • Lancets
  • Meter Charger
  • Snacks
  • Juice Boxes

Did I forget anything?

The only thing not in here is insulin, which I will eventually have to provide per Washington State’s Disaster Preparedness Plan. I just don’t have enough right now to tie up two bottles at two different schools. That stuff’s like gold.

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It fits!!!

Well, we’re they’re as ready as we’re they’re going to be. Happy Back-To-School (with diabetes)!

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The Perils of a Hotel Mini-Fridge

Two Bottles of Frozen Insulin

We took a road-trip North to Great Wolf Lodge (aka, Kid Paradise) yesterday to celebrate the end of the school year. The boys were in charge of packing the cooler at home before we left, and unpacking it into the hotel room’s mini-fridge when we arrived.

What I neglected to do is double-check their work.

What I found when I went to pull out yogurts for breakfast this morning is that my efficiency-minded little boys had packed all the smallest things into the smallest part inside the fridge. We grown-ups know this part as The Freezer.

Another small thing from the cooler? The little container that held the insulin bottles I brought with us for Luke’s site change he’s going to need this morning. *stomach drops*

Yes, my friends, this is what frozen insulin looks like. And consequently, now completely useless insulin. Dead insulin on vacation? Awesome. Let the trouble-shooting begin….

Radishes In The Garden!

Evie planted some radish seeds in the garden a while back, long before any of us were really ready to be doing any spring gardening. The ground wasn’t prepared, but she cleared a small spot and planted her seeds. Owing to a warm winter and some surprisingly diligent watering, those seeds sprouted up and leafed out quickly!

She proudly showed me the leafy tops. I casually mentioned thinning the plants so the radishes would have adequate room to grow, and she said “But Mom, the radishes have already grown. I can see them!”

Lo and behold, a dozen fat and gorgeous radishes had popped up above the dirt.

She carefully pulled up her radishes and then took them inside to wash them off. As we stood at the sink together I felt proud and happy. We talked about what radishes taste like, how to use them, and how we could incorporate them into a meal.

We decided on fish tacos, and started making a grocery list: 1/2 a pound of cod, cabbage, limes, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, yogurt and mayo for white sauce. They were absolutely scrumptious, and everyone agreed it was a great dinner. We even threw together a quick fruit crisp for dessert with some of last summer’s apricots I pulled out of the freezer.

Next up from the garden: Will’s cabbage and garlic, Luke’s zucchini. (Zucchini plants are a hit with my kids….see last summer’s post here.)

Fish Tacos:

DBlog Week 2013, Day One: Share And Don’t Share

Click for the Share And Don’t Share-Monday 5/13/13 List of DBlog Post Links

DBlog Week is an entire week in which diabetes bloggers will be posting daily using pre-determined writing prompts. I’ve never written every day for a week before, so this is going to stretch my brain in a new (and hopefully interesting) way. I can’t promise that the chaos of my life won’t interfere….some posts may happen in the wee hours of the night….but I’ll do my best to write on every topic!

So here goes….

“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?”

First off, our endo provider is also a parent of type-1 diabetic kids, so I know he already “gets it” in the visceral sort of way that providers without type 1 kids can’t. All of the anxiety, stress, worry, chaos, uncertainty, and fatigue that I feel is something I know he understands. That’s a blessing when it’s time to come in for those dreaded check-in appointments.

So for all the other providers out there who don’t have such a personal connection to Type 1, I wish they could see that I eat, sleep, and breathe diabetes. It’s ever-present in my mind; sometimes at the forefront, when I’m in the middle of carb counting or a set-change for instance, and sometimes just as a low-level anxiety, like a mosquito buzzing in my ear.

I download insulin pumps every two weeks to search for patterns and make pump adjustments. I memorize food labels and ingredient lists. I organize and keep inventory of our myriad diabetes supplies. I skip sleep to make sure I get middle of the night blood sugar checks and corrections done. I read about diabetes. I research available technology. I troubleshoot, and I problem-solve, and I teach, and I teach some more. I haggle with our insurance and mail-order pharmacy for hours. I worry about exerting too much control over their food choices. I worry about exerting too little control over their food choices. I worry about everything, and yet I know that I’m doing the best I can.

I take that on as a mom so that my kids don’t have to feel that, and so it doesn’t dictate our family life. I keep a straight face even as I’m stressing about their upcoming A1C results, so they don’t ever feel like they’re burdening me. I talk with them about their diabetes in an age-appropriate way, all the while thinking about the very real and life threatening implications of the disease.

It’s a lot, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. What I never want my providers to see (but which I have to cop to), is that we sometimes go 4-5 days on an infusion set because I don’t have a great system for remembering to change them. My kids eat more treats than I’d like and is good for them. A lot of the time we’re rushing around and I do things like forget their diabetes kit, or that they needed more strips. Lancet-changing….doesn’t happen.

An although I know I’m doing the best I can, there’s always room to do better. I’m going to be so happy when I’m doing enough to finally see some good Hemoglobin A1C numbers. More on that another time….

Baseball Night Buffet

The orange slice smile….classic!

Feeding us all on baseball game nights has been a challenge! We leave the house at 4:30 in the afternoon, not to return until at least 8:30 at night (hello, bedtime!). Eating dinner at home would mean either an absurdly early meal, or a really late night for everyone. Eating dinner at the ballpark means nachos and hot dogs all around. Neither scenario is ideal.

Tonight I packed us a picnic: cantaloupe, snow peas/carrot sticks/cucumber slices, avocado, whole wheat pita, hummus, pb&j’s, and dried pineapple and graham cookies for a treat. Will had his own dinner packed in his baseball bag, including his favorite dugout snack–orange slices!

Everyone ate, everyone ate well, and I can throw them into bed for a good night’s sleep the moment we walk in the front door. Success!

Diabetes….Run With It!

I’ve had such fun running with my kids this spring!

Will and Luke both surprised and humbled me by finishing a 5K fun run with me a few weeks ago, the longest distance either of them has run before outside of soccer practice. They enjoyed the attention they got by being the two youngest runners, and I was insanely proud of them!

I knew beforehand that Will could run the distance, but I wasn’t sure about Luke. In fact, I hadn’t even planned to have him run, but he stepped up for his bib number without a second thought. I tucked the business parts of his blood sugar meter into his SPIbelt (which is how he wears his insulin pump), along with some glucose gel and meter strips, and we took off! 

Both boys ran about a mile before we had to slow to a walk for a bit. We all stopped again after the second mile for a quick blood sugar check (a little elevated but not worrisome), but Will took off on his own after that. Luke started to struggle a little in the third mile, but always managed to turn on the heat when someone was cheering him on or there was a photographer taking his picture!

Will finished his run in just over 30 minutes; Luke and I crossed the finish line after about 45 minutes. We checked his blood sugar one more time and then bolused for his post-run snack. There’s always a worry during exercise that Luke’s body will chew through his blood glucose too fast and he’ll have a low. Having the tools with us to check for and treat a low blood sugar is non-negotiable!

It was not only amazing to see my two small boys run a distance race, but to witness the pride and accomplishment that they felt within themselves at the finish line! And as icing on the cake, they won 1st and 2nd place in their age group (which I’m pretty sure was created on the spot).

It’s so important to me that all three of my kids feel confidence in their physicality, whether they happen to have diabetes (Evie and Luke) or they don’t (Will). Running a distance race was a perfect way for them to safely feel what it’s like to push themselves towards a physical goal, and to learn that they can do more than they can imagine! This is a lesson that I learned late in life, and it pleases me to no end to see them learning how to enjoy being active now, when it can become a lifelong habit.