Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Can we do this? Need YOUR help!!!!!

It's going to come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about the DOC that a certain someone has been on my mind consistently for the last month.  I remember her in all my prayers.  I think about her throughout my days.  I pause at random moments to offer up a prayer for her and her boys.  Meri has touched nearly all of us in some way or another, and all in positive ways.  She is an amazing inspiration.  She encourages and supports.  And throughout it all, she shows us what it means to have grace and hope.  I've been at a loss for the last month as well.  I wish I had a million in the bank so I could donate it all to her and the boys.  I wish I could make a true difference for them.  I haven't been able to figure out what exactly I could do to help them in some significant way.  Lots of ideas have flitted through my mind...most have involved writing to Medtronic or the ADA or JDRF and telling them each that they absolutely need to hire this amazing woman to write for them, to be a diabetes advocate for them, to bring her into their organization in some significant way so she can change the diabetes world for the better.  And while those ideas still are flitting around in my head and trying to take form, my sister offered me up an idea that I want to bring here, to ask for help in making this happen.  My older sister, Debbie, reminds me of Meri so much.  She is an incredible mom to four boys (obvious similarity there) and is also one of the kindest, funniest people I know. She's only read a bit of Meri's blog, when I've posted links on Facebook.  And after a recent link, she called me and in her words...."you need to see if you can get Ellen to meet Meri".  It sounded so perfect of an idea to me at the time that I wasn't sure why it hadn't occurred to me earlier!

So....can we do this?  Can we all send Ellen notes regarding Meri and her absolutely incredible spirit and amazing story and how much she's inspired us all with her grace and hope and beauty?  I'm hoping we can get the word out and bombard Ellen sufficiently that she'll take notice!  If you'd like to participate, HERE is where you go to give all your details and tell Ellen about the amazing Meri.  Let's see if we can get this done!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The "CURE" Research

I've been letting all of this information stew.  In fact, I think I've let it stew so long that it's now well-fermented.  But I'll try to recall it all with as much accuracy and detail as I possibly can.

I mentioned a while back that I attended a JDRF Research Progress Summit.  The first part of the night was dedicated to the Artificial Pancreas Project, which you can read about HERE.  The second part of the night was dedicated to informing us about the research into a cure, AKA beta cell regeneration.  You see, in a normal person, beta cells are constantly regenerating.  As cells die off, new ones crop up and insulin continues to be produced.  So the newest research is in how to make those cells regenerate in diabetic bodies.  And how to protect the new cells from the attacking immune system.  I can't recall the names of the drugs anymore, but scientists have discovered a couple of common OTC/prescription meds that when combined, they can actually promote the regeneration of beta cells.  The trick is combining them in the right ratios.  Not only do they help the cells regenerate, but the new cells are "encapsulated", as the scientists called it.  For some reason, these new cells have a barrier around them that protects them from the immune system.  Obviously, there's still a lot of research they need to do on this...animal trials, human trials, etc.  But it looks promising for the future, right?

So why am I not jumping for joy at the thought that my diabetes might be cured?  I was diagnosed nearly 26 years ago now.  When I was diagnosed, the thought back then was that diabetes meant you had a bad pancreas.  So, they tried pancreas transplants.  And they ended up with worse problems, either because the new pancreas was rejected or for any number of reasons related to the fact that the original pancreas hadn't actually been "bad".  Thoughts changed.  Now they think the beta cells are bad.  Their vision has narrowed.  Their focus is now on some teeny tiny little cells.  But in my mind....I'm wondering if their vision shouldn't have broadened instead of narrowing.  You's not the pancreas that's bad, it's not the beta cells that are's the IMMUNE SYSTEM!  How often do we hear that it's common for people with Type I Diabetes to also develop other issues, like Celiacs or Graves or Addisons?  The scientists are focusing all their energy on regrowing cells and protecting them from the rogue immune system.  But what about the rest of the body?  Is it worth it to be cured of diabetes if we're just going to end up with Celiacs.  Or worse!  Most of us in the DOC are aware of Laura's struggles with her gorgeous girl, Sophie.  Would we want to trade our diabetes in for Sophie's Crohns?

Don't get me wrong.  I still have hope that there is a cure out there.  I'm just not sure the scientists are heading in the right direction yet.  We shall have to wait and see.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Road Not Taken

Dates.  Memories.  Time.  In every life there are dates that are forever marked by the memories they conjure and no matter how much time passes, every year, when that date rolls around, we stop.  We remember.  And then we move on again.  Today is one of those dates that is forever marked for me.  Here's the snapshot that pops into my head on this day:

I took this picture around 2:30 in the afternoon on August 10, 2009.  Lily had fallen asleep while watching a cartoon.  She was two years and 3 months old and no longer napped.  She woke up from this nap and immediately asked for a juice box.  She sucked one down in two minutes flat.  Just a few days earlier, she'd refused the same juice boxes because they were horrible and had no flavor.  But she finished this one and asked for a second.  And then asked for a third.  And I pulled out my meter, checked her blood sugar.  HI.  Fingers must be sticky.  Washed them.  HI.  Let's try a toe...this can't be right.  HI.  And my world crashed down around me.  

Don't get me wrong.  I don't spend this day feeling sorry for Lily or myself or our family.  Diabetes is tough, but it's not the end.  It can be dealt with.  But this day will always be marked by that memory.  I will always have that day imprinted clearly in my mind and it will always come to light when the sun rises on August 10th, no matter how many years have passed.  Once I get past that memory, then we can celebrate.  It's not so much that we celebrate the anniversary of Lily's diagnosis, but more that we celebrate the time we've had since.  We've had three years.  Three years of finger pokes, injections, infusion site settings, carb counting, meal planning, lows, highs, trials and triumphs.  Three amazing years.  My daughter has grown.  She's learned.  She's becoming more aware.  She's preparing for her first week of day camp for diabetic children.  She's preparing for Kindergarten.  Do you know how amazing it is that she's here, she's healthy, and she's learning and growing and becoming this incredible little person that she is?  She is a miracle!  When I think about these three years since and everything that has happened, this is what comes to my mind:
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.        20
Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken.  When it comes down to it, diabetes is the harder road, the road less traveled.  And when we embark on the path with diabetes, we all have to forge our own road.  Each step we take is a new one and each obstacle we face is our own to overcome.  We create our own path to take.  And three years of taking our path has led us to this:

And when it all comes down to it, isn't that just quite simply amazing?  

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Artificial Pancreas Project

I had an incredible opportunity the other night.  Our local chapter of JDRF held a Research Progress Summit at the Medtronic World Headquarters.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go and see what they had to say.  And I have to say, I was not disappointed by what I heard!  Not only did I get to meet a very funny d-blogger (Scott from Scott's Diabetes), but I also heard a great deal that I want to share here.

The first portion of the talk was given by Dr. Marlon Pragnell.  I'm not sure how well-known he is or even what his general place is in the research, but he gave a great talk about the Artificial Pancreas Project (APP).  He even went so far as to break down the the research for us and tell us about the six stages that are going to be pursued and how the artificial pancreas will evolve into three generations of devices over that span of stages.  The first stage is already Europe, anyway.  It's the Medtronic Veo pump, which automatically suspends for two hours if a low is detected.  The next step is what they're working on now....figuring out how to turn the pump down/suspend when a low is predicted, instead of just when it's detected.  The third stage is adding in an increase in basal or an automated bolus when a high is detected.  How awesome would that be?  To have an insulin pump bring your blood sugar back down before it's even become elevated?  The next two stages after that are more complicated....they require new insulins to be developed and possibly new infusion options.  In order for the artificial pancreas to deliver insulin for meals, automatically and quickly enough, the insulin needs to affect the body quicker and the sensors need to sense the rise in blood sugar quicker.  One of the infusion options that the doctor brought up, which I have to admit scares me just a bit, is the idea of the infusion site being a "port" like what they use for cancer.  For me, fine.  For my daughter....not so sure I want her to have to undergo surgery to have a port put in!

Final stage and where the 3rd generation of artificial pancreas comes in.....a dual chamber pump that will inject both insulin and glucagon, as needed.  There's quite a bit of research and development that has to be done before any of that can happen.  We're all familiar with the glucagon kit.  The tiny vial with a powdery white pill and the big-ass needle with clear liquid that has to be mixed with the pill before injection.  Obviously, this part is going to be complicated.  An easier to use, more stable form of glucagon has to be developed first. I wrote all of the above about three weeks ago and then saved it as a draft.  I'd intended to move on to the second part of the summit and tell you all about the "cure" stuff too.  But, I'm having a hard time sitting down and writing about all of that.  I have some major misgivings about the "cure" portion of the research.  When I was first diagnosed, it was thought that being diabetic meant that you had a bad pancreas. Further research changed that and said your pancreas wasn't bad, just your beta cells.  Diabetes is much bigger than just the beta cells though.  Research is looking into how the beta cells can be regrown and protected, which is great....but.....the real problem isn't just the beta cells, it's what they need to be protected from.  The immune system.  I don't want to get too far into it, so I'll just say that in my mind, I wonder what messing with the beta cells will do to the immune system.  Would it then go attack something else in your body?  Because, honestly, I can deal with diabetes.  That's okay.  But I really, really, really don't want to have to learn to deal with Crohns or Celiacs or something tremendously worse than what I deal with already.

I'm going to give a quick update on my fitness stuff too.  I've been doing better.  I've been making it to the gym.  I've been exercising again.  And my bone spur isn't causing me any more problems.  I think a big part of my problem was that I was concentrating on the weight....I'd forgotten about the fitness aspect and just saw a lack of change in my body and my weight and I got discouraged.  Nothing changed for the last year.  I got frustrated.  I met with a new endo at the beginning of March and she promptly started me on Metformin, which is a medication for insulin resistance.  She's thinking that I won't lose any more weight until we break down my body's resistance to insulin.  It's a vicious cycle....the more you weigh, the more insulin you have to take.  The more insulin you take, the more your body thinks it needs to store up as much fat as it possibly can.  The more fat you store, the more insulin you need to take.  Round and round it goes.  I've been on the new med for a few weeks now, at full dose for the last week.  Time will tell if it will work.  In the meantime, I'm going to keep on exercising, keep on being healthier and more active, and I'm going to put some more effort into reading Ginger Viera's book, Your Diabetes Science Experiment.  She's a personal trainer/fitness coach with Type I.  I'm hoping for some new info and a new direction to take myself in!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Still Broken

The loss of my laptop is still keeping me from posting as much as I used to.  I find it much harder to sit down at a chair in front of an actual computer screen and write.  Not sure why that is though.  I've had the urge to sit down and write quite a bit and things I've wanted to write about, but by the time I get to the computer, it's all forgotten or I just don't have the mental energy to write.  Quite possibly that's because by the time I get to sit down at the computer with enough time to write, the day is over, the kids are in bed, and my husband is ready to crawl into bed and commence snoring.

Anyway, I had intended to write a couple of weeks ago.  I was planning a trip up north to visit my family and celebrate my niece's graduation.  I wanted to write about how to take exercise with you when you go on trips away from home.  And then, I just never got the time before the kids and I made the trek up north.  Between the five-hour drive up and the five-hour drive back, something happened to my mind.  Going back "home" has a tendency to mess things up for me.  It brings back things from childhood that I don't necessarily want to remember or feel again.  And this time, it brought me to a realization....I'm still broken.  I try to fool myself into thinking that's not true, but the fact is, I'm just not quite whole yet.

I've been struggling for months with taking the time to exercise again.  I manage a few days in a row and then I slack off again.  I've been blaming it on things....lack of sleep, the bone spur on my heel, rough nights with Lily....there are always plenty of excuses.  But the real reason....I just don't feel that I'm worth the effort.  I'm not on my list of priorities.  The kids, the husband, the house, the cleaning and a million other things are far more important to me than I am.  And that mentality is so deeply a part of me that I just have no idea how to go about changing it.  I can fool myself for a little while, but once I talk to my mom or return home, the facade is ripped down and I'm left feeling like nothing again.

I've written about my childhood a bit on here and honestly, it's not as bad as some.  Yes, there was a bit of physical abuse and neglect, but not nearly as bad as what some others have had to endure.  The only real problem that I'm left with now.....feeling unloved.  Growing up without affection, without feeling wanted or cherished, has left a hole.  I have very little self-value.  I know logically that the fault is not in me.  I know logically that my mother did love me, as much as she was capable of doing.  I know logically that my mother is self-centered and self-absorbed and that is the only reason why I was ever neglected or forgotten.  But deep inside, I'm not logical.  I'm still that little girl who wondered what was wrong with her that no one loved her or remembered her, no one offered her affection and understanding.  And that part, deep inside, that still hurts over that, makes the grown-up, logical me think that if I wasn't loved enough to be on anyone else's list of priorities, why should I ever be on my own?

That's what I'm struggling with right now.  I'm trying to figure out a why to heal that hurt child inside.  I have to find a way to convince her that she is loved and is worthy of being loved, that she's worthy of being on that list of priorities.  I'm just having a really hard time finding the right path to that conviction.  I know that I'm the only one who can change that for myself, which makes it all the harder.  There are times when I want to put the responsibility for it on husband has been busy and stressed with work and hasn't had much time or energy to spend with me in the evenings.  That hurts and makes me feel less important.  But it's not his fault or his responsibility to fix me.  I have to fix me so that I don't take his lack of mental energy personally.  I have to figure out how to fix it myself and not put it on him.  I need to find a way to be a healthy person, inside and out.  I just wish the solution were easy to find.....anyone know where to find a user's manual for this kind of thing?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Quick apologies

I haven't been blogging much.  Not having a laptop is taking a toll on my desire to blog.  I don't like writing if I feel like I don't have privacy to write and since my husband is usually in the room with me while I'm on the computer, that cuts down on my desire to write.  But, I have a quick apology to make tonight.

Nikki, I wasn't meaning to single you out.  My views on the Bible were something I meant to include in the original post and I enjoyed reading your comment on that post, so please don't feel that I was criticizing.  I may not have explained well how I feel about the Bible.  I do believe that it is a useful tool for introspection and for inspiring our own Faith.  My issues with it are more how it can be used, how it is used, by some to justify how they view the world, how they condemn groups of people, how they use it to say God hates certain people.  God hates no one.  Every person, every living thing, is a creation of God and he loves each and every one of them.  Bad things happen in our world because God allows us free-will and free-will means that we are also free to destroy or build, depending on our inclinations and choices.

Reyna, I hope I haven't driven you away with my Faith talk.  I love seeing your comments.  I was raised in a multitude of churches as well.  My paternal family told me how I was going to Hell because I chose to have my ears pierced and because I have an incredible love for bacon (who doesn't?).  My mom bounced from church to church to church, depending on whether she was the object of gossip or the instigator of gossip (she loves to be the first to know things, but hates to have people talk about her....imagine that?).  I think between that and the environment of my childhood, it's no wonder I questioned the existence of God!  I'm finding as I get older though that the more I can let go of control of my life and believe that God is there to help me and guide me and hold me up when I no longer have the strength to keep going on my own, the more comfort I find in the belief.  Not to mention, the more people I say good-bye to in this life, the easier dealing with their loss is when I believe fully and whole-heartedly that I will see them again at the gates of Heaven.  I don't want to push my views on you or on anyone else.  We're all free to believe as we will or won't, worship as we will or won't.  Some believe, but object to organized religion (church is not a requirement for belief!).  Others don't believe at all.  For me, it's all good, as long as people are happy with how they choose to live.  One of the most incredible things about this world we live in is the infinite diversity!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Notes from the gym and some clarification...

I need to clarify something about my Faith.  But first, I want to say...I love, love, love comments.  I love getting them, I love reading them, and I love hearing from people, regardless if their comments are positive or negative or completely in-line with my thinking.  Here's the thing....I don't quote the Bible.  I won't quote the Bible.  And while the Bible can be useful as a guideline for behavior, for me, it's not the basis of my Faith.  My Faith is separate from the Bible and I have some pretty contrary views on the book.  I think we should all actually think, really think, about the history of that book and how it came to be.  Thousands of years ago, several someones sat down and wrote each of the gospels.  In ancient Hebrew.  Many, many years later, when Christianity was brought into the mainstream, a bunch of men with agendas sat down and translated those gospels from ancient Hebrew to Latin.  And they put their own spin on them.  The Bible has since been translated many more times and each time, something more gets lost.  Without the original gospels and a deep understanding of ancient Hebrew, we can't know exactly what was added in, what was original, and what was flat-out lies.  So...the Bible is a useful tool and has a lot of great things, but my understanding of God and Faith is very separate from it.

I need to come clean now.  The gym stuff hasn't been going so well.  There's been an entire week-long break from it here and there.  I'm having a hard time finding the energy and motivation on some days.  I try on other days, but sometimes, my heart just isn't in it.  I've gained some weight back.  I'm not sure how much because I don't want to step on the scale.  I'm trying here and there, but it's just not enough.  I need to try harder.  I need to go back to getting in a walk each day, to making sure every single day has some form of exercise in it.  That being said, I have been making it to the gym the last week or so.  

The more I make it to the gym, the more I notice certain groups of people.  It's funny how alike people at the gym are!  They make not seem alike at first, but there are so many similarities!  Picture this.....a nearly 6-foot-tall woman with dark-blonde hair, pulled back into a tight ponytail.  She's about 50-years-old and in near-prime physical condition.  Another woman, same age-range, maybe 5 and a half feet tall, fluffy brown, shoulder-length hair, also in great physical condition.  They look so different and I'm sure if you met them, their personalities would be incredibly different.  But....similarities, aside from just the physical....they both dress in skimpy little outfits that show off their health.  The taller woman always wears incredibly short running shorts and a sports tank.  And the shorter woman...hides her legs with long yoga pants, but knots her t-shirts just below her rib cage to show off her stomach.  I find people so fascinating!  The hard-core runners who run around the track (and who I'm incredibly envious of....if only I could run without peeing my pants!).  The buff, well-muscled strength-trainers who lift weights.  The beef-cakes who just want attention, so they grunt and groan and slam weights down so people will look at them.  One of my favorite groups to watch are the pick-up men....the gym is like a buffet-line for them!  Only problem is....more often than not, the "dishes" aren't all that interested in them!  They wink and do the "hey, how you doing" thing and hope they'll get lucky.  They hop on machines in hopes of impressing the lady next to theirs only to have to hop back off when they're out of breath because they can't keep up with her.  It's so much fun to watch!  

I need to keep all that enjoyment in mind and use it to try to get my butt into the gym more often!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Faith and Trust

Quick notice.....My mojo is missing.  If anyone finds it, please return it to me.  I haven't been working out.  The heel spur has me not wanting to do anything.  I'm trying to make myself hop on the bike with the kids whenever it's nice out and if I can drag myself to the gym, I get in a weight-training workout.  But it's not as often as I'd like and it's really starting to bug me.  I need to find some way around the damn heel spur so I can get back into the groove!

Okay, I have a huge favor to ask of those of you who choose to read this.  Read it with a completely open mind.  I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do the topic justice or manage to get my thoughts on things down exactly as I want them to come across.  But, I'm hoping I can convey things in a way that won't offend and just may have the ability to inspire!

Faith is a life-long journey.  Mine has already been a very long one.  I have some ideas about Faith and God that others don't hold.  I know not everyone is a believer and to be honest, it doesn't bother me much when someone tells me they don't believe.  Unless I truly care for that person and then, I have to admit, I really wish I could convince them to see things the way that I do.  Not because I worry that they'll end up in Hell if they don't believe, but more so because I know the comfort and security that belief can bring.  You see, I was once an ATHEIST.  I put that in caps for a reason.  I would have sworn up and down that there is no way God could possibly exist.  I looked at the world we lived in and I saw all the bad, horrendous things that happen and all the bad things that had happened in my life and I thought....if there was a God, why would he let any of these things happen?  Sound familiar to anyone?  Or how about this one....I'll believe in God if he gives me a reason to believe in Him (AKA: send me a miracle so that I know You are there).  I demanded proof of his existence and didn't believe for a second that He truly was real.

I'm not sure where things changed for me or exactly why.  Somewhere along the way, I stopped demanding proof and decided to just BELIEVE.  I stopped focusing on the "why would He allow these things to happen" things and started looking at the good things.  I met my husband and as I looked at him and got to know him, the belief that a person that good and wonderful existed in this world and that this amazing person was handcrafted by a greater being took root.  And then our babies were born and the idea that these small beings were meant just for me, were gifts to me for some purpose beyond just loving and raising to go out in the world took root. are some of my understandings of God and just what he is and what he's done......

God is Creator.  He made our world.  He's an artist who handcrafts each and every soul.  I do not believe that God punishes with infertility or rewards with children.  I think that's all on us.  As He made our world and each person, He made the decision to give us free-will.  The world is a gift and it's ours to do with as we will.  We destroy it with toxins and ill-will or we enrich it with care for the earth and its people.  Our choice.  But I do believe that each and every person was made by a loving hand, was given talents and abilities that could either be used for good or evil.  And regardless of what we choose, God as our creator/parent, loves us as we do our children.

Free-will means that we make the choices in our world.  I do believe that God has the ability to intercede.  But since we have free-will, it's up to us to ask Him to play a part in our lives.  We can go through life completely on our own or we can ask Him to walk through it with us, protecting us and guiding us down the right path.  This is why bad things happen in our world.  Not because God "allows" them, but because he wasn't asked to play a part.  Bad things may still happen because not everyone asks for God to be with them and to have a hand in their lives.  But the peace that comes from knowing that He is holding your hand and walking through this with you is incredible!

Belief in God requires trust.  I still don't understand everything that happens.  I don't get why some truly wonderful, amazing people have bad things happen to them.  I don't understand why someone who does something horrible to others isn't punished in a divine way.  But I TRUST.  I trust that God will help us through, if we just ask Him to.  I trust that good can come from bad.  I trust that no matter what things we've done, we are all still loved by Him.  For all intents and purposes, God is the Perfect Parent.  He interferes only when asked, He lends a hand when needed, and His love is completely unconditional.  That is an incredible gift!

Okay, I'll get down off my pulpit now.  I don't mean to preach and I'm not quite sure what my purpose in writing this is.  I just felt compelled to share my understandings and beliefs.  Now I'm going to go back to searching high and low for my missing mojo......

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cowgirl Breakdown

"I'm a cowgirl, baby"  Come on, sing it with me.  You know you want to.  I wish I could say this attitude and singing thing is inspired by great stuff.  It's not.  It's more of a "laugh so you don't cry" kind of thing.  So, I have two doctors who think I'm crazy.  I think someone might have snuck a "hypochondriac" label into my medical charts.  But, one doctor didn't even read my medical charts, I'm pretty sure....maybe the label is some huge, neon-orange sticker at the front.  One of these doctors is the one who I discussed the possibility of my adrenal issues being because of PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome).  According to her, I don't have any of the symptoms of the disease.  Never mind that Shark Weeks are always five weeks apart or the cysts on my ovaries that they've seen by ultrasound or the fibrous breast tissue.  I don't have it.  Onto the second doctor...who thinks my foot pain is all in my head.  She suggested I wear heel cups in my shoes to help with the pain and ice it or soothe it with a heat pack, whichever my little mind decides feels better.  That was her stance until she saw the x-ray, anyway.  Turns out my body has decided to mutate and turn me into a real, live cowgirl.  I've grown a spur.  On my heel.  Sounds kind of cool, right?  Unfortunately, it's incredibly painful.  Here I've been thinking it was just a bit of tendinitis or something.  Nope, my bone has sprouted a spur.  Fun stuff!  I'm trying hard to not let it hold me back.  I've added in yoga, thinking it would be a gentle exercise.  It would probably be, if it didn't irritate the spur and inflame it more.  But, I power through.  I do the elliptical for about 35 minutes.  At some point, that damn spur starts to send me signals.  I choose to drown them out with a steady stream of swear words in my head.  It works for a bit anyway.  That "Cowgirl Breakdown" thingy....that was me the other night, throwing a pity party for myself, crying over all the obstacles that keep being thrown in my path.  I didn't let it last long though.  I decided I just need to change course a bit....

So, what am I doing?  Well, I've been adding in a ton of veggies.  Cutting out the majority of processed carbs that I eat.  Adding in weight-lifting/strength-training exercises.  Eating  ton of salads.  In fact, I've been doing a whole lot of experimenting.  I've started buying mixed spring greens.  It's the basis for most of my meals now.  And then I throw stuff on top of it....a handful of grapes, some small chunks of fresh pineapple, small bits of fresh apples, strawberries, a sweet dressing.  Or...if I want something not-so-sweet...tomatoes, peppers, pepitos (high-protein and high-fiber seeds), avocado, and a vinaigrette.  My weight has bounced back up and I was feeling completely defeated.  I was snacking on naughty things and just wasn't putting any effort into it anymore.  Now, I'm going all-out.  Trying new stuff.  I've cut beef down to a once-a-week thing.  We're using ground turkey instead of ground beef.  I'm cooking with raw chicken, which I just really can't stand, but I'm sucking it up and doing it anyway.  If I happen to go out to eat, I'm making smarter salads from Chipotle instead of all the amazingly yummy rice.  The salads are pretty fantastic too though!  I'm determined to keep going and making smarter choices.  I've got to keep doing this and keep making those changes that help me improve my health, even if they do suck to make!

Okay, off to go check Lily.  If anyone cares to have no idea how much the comments mean to me!  I could really use a bit of support with this and I need to get back to supporting others in the DOC.  I think it just might be the glue that keeps me together some days!

Monday, February 20, 2012

I'm still here.....

I promise I'm still here and all is good.  Or as good as it can be.  The adorable new kitty went crazy one morning and knocked my coffee mug over....all over the laptop.  This is the second time it's been hit with coffee.  It survived the first, but apparently the second was just too much for it.  So, no laptop means I'm not posting much.  I'm not on the computer much.  I'm busy making up stuff for Reyna and Tara to raffle off for their wonderful Virtual 5K (you can check it out HERE).  I've got a couple of fashionable spring/summer hats done up for them and a gorgeous scarf and I'm thinking of whipping up a few kids' items too.  I love doing stuff like this!

On the fitness front...I've learned some new stuff!  The gym we go to offers a CardioPoint assessment.  Basically, you wear a mask that measures how much CO2 your body puts out while you put your heart through a series of increases in rate.  It's to tell you what your optimal heart rate is for burning fat instead of glucose.  I signed up for it and made it through the brutal assessment.  Turns out I was working out way too hard to burn fat!  The wonderful trainer who worked with me on the assessment has given me a number of different workouts to do to help my body burn fat better.  She also gave me some key points of information....number one being that if you do more than 40 minutes of cardio at a time, your body starts sending out cortisol!  That's obviously not a good thing if you're wanting to lose belly fat.  So, now I'm back to working out at a lesser degree, adding in yoga in the morning and evening and doing my cardio in the afternoon.  I just started all this and I'm giving it a month before I bother with checking the scale to see if anything is changing (or more likely, the measuring tape).  I'm doing a bit of strength-training before the cardio to keep up my muscle tone too!

Okay, beasties are running wild and we need to head to the gym soon.  I'll have to get the camera set up on the desktop so I can post some pictures of my creations (living and otherwise) next time I post!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blah! Getting back at it

I did it again.  I signed up for the 90-day weight loss challenge at Lifetime.  I'm determined to do it right this time and actually make some progress.  The lab tests from the doctor are all coming back normal with the only exception being my phenomenally elevated progesterone levels.  So I've ordered an herbal supplement that is supposed to help balance my hormones.  We'll see how that goes.  And, in an effort to make the most of the next 90-days, I've also signed up for a CardioPoint assessment.  Basically, I get to wear a mask for about an hour while I go through several levels of increasing my heart rate and at the end, I should know how hard I need to work in order to burn fat the most effectively.  I really hope this helps!  I've been to the gym twice in the last three days and have reverted back to using the elliptical.  I tried just doing walking.  I didn't like it.  I hate the treadmill!

Other than that, life is getting busy.  We have fundraising to do for Lily's preschool.  A Kinder Koncert field trip in a couple of weeks with the same preschool.  We're working on trying to open-enroll Lily into the same school district that most of her current classmates will be going to.  She attended her first birthday party for a friend this last weekend.  Oh, what a roller coaster!  It just had to be at an indoor inflatables park.  We're doing massive carb-boosting to combat a raging growth-spurt.  Lots of temporary basals to keep her safe at school and in child care at the gym.  It's amazing the hoops this disease makes us jump through sometimes!  And yet we all just keep plugging along.  We manage and we keep on going.  And just so you can all see how much they're growing, a pic of my gorgeous little beasties:

Oh, I love those little faces!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Back to Basics

Well, my doctor appointment has come and gone.  It's left more confusion.  All my test results are now coming back in normal ranges, which is a great thing.  But it means we have no clue what was going on or why.  I'm still semi-convinced that I was overtraining and that's what was causing a lot of my issues.  I've had just over two weeks off from working out at the gym and finally went back today.  I've made a decision: I'm going back to my roots for the next 30 days.  I'm laying off the elliptical, because I know I have a tendency to over-challenge myself once I hop onto them.  I'm still going do strength-training, but just enough to maintain the muscle that I've added, with no weight increases for the next month.  And for cardio.....I'm hopping on the much-hated treadmill.  Today, I started with walking just over two miles.  I've found that I can manage to easily do 2.8 mph and still read a book!  So *BONUS* I'm getting some reading done too!  Right now, I'm in the first few chapters of The Jesus Mission, which is a book that is supposed to help you develop a more intimate relationship with God.  I'm hoping it will help restore my sense of purpose in life while also helping me learn to not worry as much (aka...put my trust in God).  I also have Ginger Viera's Your Diabetes Science Experiment on hand to read next.  And about 40 or so other books that I've picked up in the last few years and just haven't gotten around to reading.  I'm hoping to make it through at least 4 books by the time I'm done with walking and ready to challenge myself again.  It's nice to have a plan again!

Monday, January 16, 2012

We're asking the wrong question....

When I fall into a funk, I avoid my blog.  It's what I do.  I want to be alone with my misery and not spread it around to others.  But, in the midst of my funks, I often have ideas that rattle around in my head, waiting for me to take action on them.  This latest one I've been dwelling on.  It keeps popping up and no matter how much I try to push it back down, it stays there, just beneath the surface, calling to me and telling me that I need to write this.  Before I start, I want it to be clear that I understand that not everyone believes the same things I do.  Not everyone has the same faith or the same ideas.  And I'll never judge another for not having my faith or my ideas.  That's not how we were created and it's not what we're meant to do.

So, here it is....we ask the wrong question.  When our children are diagnosed, when theire blood sugars are off, when we're feeling overwhelmed and like this life is just too much for us, we ask the question "why".  Why did God allow this to happen, why did it happen to us, why my child, why, why, why, why.  It's always there, the question of why things are what they are.  And we keep on asking it, no matter how many times we're denied the answer.  And it finally occurred to me that there is no answer to that question.  The lack of an answer leads some to question the existence of God.  They lose faith and give up and turn away because they don't understand why He would allow this to happen to them.  But, the reality is, God can't control everything in our lives.  Oh, he has the ability to do it, I'm sure.  But, when we were created, we were given free will, the ability to direct our own lives, the ability to choose.  And because of that, God can't step in and control us like we're a bunch of paper dolls.  And really, we wouldn't want him to.  Still, we ask why he would allow things to happen and why he doesn't fix them for us.  Humans are complex.  Not all of them are good.  We, as a society, are not content to stand still.  We strive for progress.  To make things "easier".  To make things more technological, to make advancements, to make more money, to own more "stuff".  We're constantly pushing.  Our world is God's gift to us and it's our choice to use it as we will.  I'm getting off track here, but it's our choice to destroy our world or to do good for it and save it.

Here's where my thoughts have been leading me....the question of "why" is the wrong one to ask.  Instead, we should be asking ourselves what we can do with what we're given.  How can we turn the negatives in our lives into motivation for more good.  When our children are diagnosed, instead of wallowing in the "why", we should be moving on to look at how we can reach out and make that road easier for the person to travel it behind us.  When bad things happen, there is always an opportunity for good.  We can draw into ourselves and rage against the fact that there's no answer to "why" or we can ask God to hold our hands and show us a new path through life, a path that offers us an opportunity to do something for others, to make our world a better place, to learn a lesson from what we're going through.  There are so many new opportunities that open up when we stop asking "why" and start asking "what now"!

Enough lecturing for the night!  I have pictures to share!

They actually do love each other!

Leo turned 3!  I so wasn't ready for that!


Lily hates wearing these hats, but she's so cute in them!
I'm thinking of selling them in my Etsy store....2 for $25 and including a couple of barrettes, maybe?

Blue Circle Cowl....considering making these for sale too.  Maybe something to match all those Blue Heels out there now.....

One of the first gifts I just sent out for the nominations project.  It was well-received by a very deserving recipient!

Baby giraffe hat, combining knitting and crochet!

Infinity cowl

And something for the boys....Newsboy Cap.

Just a quick update on those nominations....I sent out a couple of gifts already to a couple of my favorite DOC moms, Meri of Our Diabetic Life and Laura of Houston, We Have a Problem.  I have a couple more in the works and there are two more I mailed out on Saturday but I don't want to mention now since they have yet to receive them.  I'm absolutely loving making things for people that I have in mind when I start!  It makes the creating that much more meaningful for me and that much more fun as well.  I didn't think of it this way when I started it, but I'm hoping this is how it's's like I'm sending hugs out in the mail!  I hope each person who receives something from me feels the same warm fuzzy feeling I do in the making at that moment when they open their package!  I love, love, love doing this!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Well, that was a flop!

I received a grand total of not-a-single-one nominations! It makes me sad :(. But...I'm moving on. I figure, maybe my idea wasn't developed enough or maybe I didn't make it clear enough. You see, the idea comes from this....I've gotten so much from so many in the DOC. Encouragement, support, laughter, comic relief...the list goes on and on. And because I've gotten so much, I want to give something too. I know there are some whose spirits are drooping. I know there are some who feel over-whelmed. I know there are some who have a whole lot more on their plates than some of the rest of us do. Every single person in the DOC deserves some pampering. Unfortunately, my needles and hooks don't fly quick enough to make something for everyone. But, I have a huge stash of lovely yarn and I have a couple of hours each day that I can devote to working on something special. And it's easy enough to stop by the post office and mail that something special off to someone special. So, I'm going on. I've got a few people in mind that I really want to give something back to, people who deserve it or who I want to encourage as they've encouraged me or uplifted me in some way. I've got a few pieces I'm working on and hoping to finish up quickly so I can send them off. But I don't want to close the door for nominations either. So, if you notice that someone's spirit is hurting or that someone is in need of a little something special, or if someone has done something that really meant something to you, there's always the option of sending me a nomination. It's at my discretion whether or not I'll fill each nomination, but I'm definitely going to try to fill as many as I can of whatever ones you send my way!