Monday, February 15, 2010


The following was thought of the other day...yes while running, again...after I had just spoken with Joe's school nurse. Tears sprang to her eyes when talking about a recent low Joe had experienced at school. He was VERY hungry during the 15 minute wait period for his blood sugar to rise. Here is what I came up with:

by Reyna Maher

I am so touched by your caring of Joe
The tears that sprang to your eyes when we talked about a recent LOW

You ride out the Highs
You ride out the Lows
Always by his side
It can be a wild ride

I so appreciate the care
You GET the medical and psychological war-fare

It is you that kept my mind at ease
When the vomit bug brought me to my knees
Knowing I would have a few hours
Before I would have to take over the blood sugar POWERS

I know once we did not see eye-to-eye
Both thinking of our little guy
Me acting as a mother; and for Bridget's brother
You as a professional; defending safety and practice
In the end we grew stronger
and controversy, there is NO longer

You can carb-count like an expert
and bolus like a pro
you have even learned about the "combo""

You support us through it all
Sometimes through many a phone call

You fill out our daily log
Even on days when Joe eats hot lunch like a hog
You chart the multiple times he thinks he's low
Even when he is good-to-go

I am truly thankful for your care
I am truly thankful that you are there

Monday, February 8, 2010


(from Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. SEUSS)

That Joe is Low, That Joe is Low...
I do not like when Joe is LOW...

Do you like it when he is HIGH?
NO! Not when he his HIGH, NOT when he is LOW...

Do YOU like it when he GROWS?
not when he grows, because then he is HIGH, so HIGH you see...NOT when he is HIGH, NOT when he is LOW...I do not like it when JOE is LOW.

Would you like him to play HOCKEY?

Yes, but not HIGH, not LOW...I do not like when Joe is LOW...

Would you like him to be carb-Free?

...OH YES...carb-free and in a Velcro suit you SEE...carb-free and Velcro suit attire would be so very very EASY for ME...ahhh...

Sorry...couldn't help myself...I was running today and this just came to me...I cannot even imagine what I could come up with on a long run...I only go for 3 miles or so.

I have made this statement so many times over the years..."If I just didn't feed Joe carbs and then made him a little Velcro suit" and then fashion a wall with the Velcro backing I could just stick him up on the wall...and then he couldn't expend so much energy and blow through so much sugar.

It must seem odd to people to see a mom of a type 1 child constantly feeding her child Starbursts and Glucose tablets (at the pool, at the rink, at the park, on the sidewalk). Many people think children with diabetes cannot eat sugar...really it is all a big BALANCING ACT. Children with type 1 need healthy carbs (just like any other child) to grow and for energy...they need the insulin so that their bodies can actually convert the carbs they eat into energy...Unfortunately, there is NO SET dose of insulin you can just take once or twice a day and then forget about it. You must always count the carbs in all foods consumed and then calculate the appropriate amount of insulin to give...AND you need to always take into account activity levels into the dosing...if you don't then you run the risk of being "LOW". A low blood sugar reaction is always a possibility with an insulin dependent diabetic. Lows are always in the back of a type 1 parent's mind...we are always trying to avoid them, because they threaten our child's well-being and ultimately their life if not treated.

Balancing carbohydrates AND insulin AND activity in a young active boy has been one of our many challenges. Joe plays hard...and he is all boy (well except for yesterday, I did see him twirling on his skates wearing full hockey gear )...anyways...I am always checking-in with him when he is eating. What are you doing next? Are you going skating? Are you going to ride your bike? Are you going to ride your scooter? ...and so on...even to the point of are you going to dance to Alvin and the Chipmunks in your room? If his answer is yes to any of the above, then I usually have him give himself a smaller dose of insulin. This should help stave off the dreaded lows...then we check his number frequently during excessive activity...and boost him up with extra sugar (Starbursts/Glucose tablets/milk/crackers etc.) if his blood sugar warrants. So when you see me chasing him at the pool, skating after him at the rink, running after him down the sidewalk, or careening down the sled hill after probably have an idea what I am up to...because...I DO NOT LIKE WHEN JOE IS LOW....

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I was dropping off Joe's diabetes kit to the school nurse today and she witnessed a funny and cute interaction between Joe and one of his classmates yesterday...

Joe had brought in a friend for his blood sugar check...and he was poking his finger (a few times...he has a few sometimes it takes a few pokes to find a spot that will bleed). Anyways, the friend asked him if it hurts...and he responded
"no...I do it like 15 times a day".

Surprised, his friend then turned to him and asked
"Does your mother know about this?!"

Too cute...I wonder what his friend would think if she knew that his mother also sticks needles into his "tush" for pump site changes?...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Anyone who has visited us later in the evening after 8pm or so...has gotten the pleasure of seeing Dave and I be-bop through our house with a head-lamp know the type most people use camping or like my sister will be using soon (in her 100 mile race through the night). I don't know if it was the sleep deprivation or what, but it took Dave and I a couple of months to figure out that we needed a little extra light to be able to shuffle in-and-out of our son's room through the night to check his blood can imagine how difficult a task this would be to do with limited light...pricking his tiny fingers, squeezing out a little drop of blood and then lining it up correctly with the strip that is inserted into the glucometer. Dave had the brilliant idea of using a we have danced through our living room, wearing the headlamp, with the bulb turned front of our company while heading to Joe's room...yes, sometimes wine was possibly involved...

Well, anyone with one type 1 kid...who has other kids...knows that you are always concerned that the other child/children in the family are going to get type 1 as well. It is like all of a sudden you have a built in "Water-Consuming Radar" and "Pee-Meter". I am constantly aware of Bridget's water consumption and how many times she uses the bathroom...and listening for the splash of the urine hitting the gauge how much she is voiding. A few times, within a year and a half after Joe was diagnosed, Dave and I had checked her blood sugar number. Bridget is really afraid of we had done the checks at night while she was sleeping...did I mention Bridget is a light sleeper? Anyways, we got away with a couple of checks without her waking. The last time we checked her...or attempted to...put a stop to this practice. I headed in with the Spelunking Gear on...and ooohhhh so quietly tried to shift the covers around to grab her delicate finger and was getting the lancet ready to prick her finger ...when her eyes suddenly open...and she stares at me wide-eyed and fearful...the light from the headlamp illuminating this image of what I am doing to my child...scaring her.

It was from this point forward, that Dave and I have decided to be upfront with Bridget...we talk openly about diabetes...Is she concerned she is going to get it? Does she realize mom and dad worry at times that she may get it etc? One thing that we always reinforce that if she does, (which it is not likely)...we will all be OK...we know the ropes of this diabetes thing...and Joe even let's her know that he will help her with the "set changes"; like she helps him.

We haven't checked Bridget's number for over a year now...we know the signs and symptoms all too well. We will not miss them...In looking at some of these posts, my parental judgement may be questioned...I know. I was a worried mom that needed a concrete number to help soothe my nerves and worries...selfish.

On a side note, we don't use the head-lamp anymore...I am not sure if we have turned into vampires or something with all our late night and early morning checks, but our vision has adjusted to doing blood sugar checks in the dark...illuminated only by the hall light.