Wednesday, April 28, 2010


WARNING...You may not want to read on if you are a Disney World lover or if you are easily offended. You know me...I am going straight to hell for my impure thoughts in the "happiest place on earth."

A few posts ago, I had mentioned that the Maher's had been a little M.I.A. lately. A large part of the M.I.A. was that we had surprised the kids with a trip to Disney World.

I am a "home-body", not a big vacation girl here...and furthermore, don't particularly care to be overstimulated non-stop every waking hour. I hate lines and am not a big fan of rides that transport you through "scenes" that are meant to entertain you can imagine the scandalous and less than nice thoughts that traveled through my twisted brain while hanging with Mickey, Minnie and the crew.

Let's see where to start?

Well, I could tell you about incident in Epcot when I whispered to my Mother-In-Law that I wanted to go tell "Marie" from the Aristocats to "get her furry a%* back to the line and sign my daughter's autograph book" after she left right when it was Bridget's turn...but, it isn't really D-related, so I'll scratch that story...see I truly have issues.


I could talk about the swarm of mom and dad stroller-pushers that used their strollers as "cattle prods" to out-inch and out-maneuver those of us on foot...blocking us at every turn trying to reach the coveted line to the Princesses and Fairies after Toon Town opened in the Magic Kingdom...rolling over the back of my flip-flops, ircking me off, and then racing Bridget and I to be first in line...but, nah...again, not D-related...this one I think anyone would be annoyed over BTW.

So, that leaves me with the GREEDY GUY in the BUFFET LINE.

The point of this story is how I once again get screwed out of food because I am ALWAYS the last to eat. It has somehow become my DUTY to do the diabetes care when we are out, at social functions, sitting down to dinner at a restaurant etc...So, without further delay...The FRIED SHRIMP STAND-OFF with the guy in the buffet line.

Each night in Disney we had reservations at some "Country" in Epcot or at a Hotel where inevitably a buffet of food was being served. You can imagine the "joy" of walking a self absorbed, overstimulated, over tired, diabetic 6 year old BOY through a buffet line. I had to remind him that "hello...there is a line here" and to wait his turn; to watch out for others etc. etc. etc. I was left to discuss food choices, measure, guess on carb counts of foods from all around the world...I threw caution to the wind many nights in Disney for sure. Once we got back to the table, I would get Joe's bolus cranking for the food on his plate. Then I would head back to the buffet line to make myself a plate.

On the night in question, the buffet happened to be fish. I was going through the main course line...and just wanted to try a couple of the fried shrimp. Unfortunately, at the time I was in the line the fried shrimp were all gone. No worries, I had plenty of other foods to choose from. I figured I'd hit the fried shrimp on my second pass. So, I went back to the table. I eat a few bites of my dinner and then, of course, Joe is ready for "seconds". I take his "order" and then head back out to the buffet thinking that I'll go get my fried shrimp.

The fried shrimp was at the VERY END of a LONG line for the seafood. I ONLY wanted the fried shrimp and just a few at that. So I "park it"...across from my food of choice...hoping to hop into the line once it thins out (I guess you could call it "cutting in line"). I see a rather large man making his way up the line and there is a BIG BREAK in the line after him. So, I am thinking Great, I'll just grab my shrimp after he helps himself. Well, doesn't this guy take spoonful after spoonful after spoonful after spoonful...after spoonful (I added an extra "after spoonful" for good measure) of the fried shrimp. SERIOUSLY?! By this point, due to his greed and gluttony, not only are there a limited number of precious shrimp left but there is no longer the nice big break in the line for me to "cut" in. An elderly lady is now hot on his heels. She arrives at my desired platter and SLOWLY grabs her serving of fried shrimp, one shrimp at a time with TONGS mind takes FOREVER...and once she's through there are only like a couple of shrimp and crumbs left in the pan. At this point, I am DONE. I cut off a lady at the butter dispenser, I grab a butter bowl and scoop up the remaining shrimp...I was not even gonna deal with those cumbersome tongs and I then march off...back to the table in a bit of a huff.

Can anyone say "FOOD RAGE" issues here...

So, you must think I am a "hot head" when it comes to my food. I feel somewhat selfish for even mentioning this...but it is truly how I feel, so here goes. I guess what bothers me is that so often my needs...especially when it comes to eating with the family are placed on the back burner...EVERY TIME. I make sure Joe's food is measured, weighed, carb counted. I ask him to wash his hands and check his blood sugar. I am the one who directs the bolus or does the bolus...and only then, at that point, do I get my food and sit down to eat. By the time I sit down, Joe is more often than not ready for that requires the whole process to begin again...measure, weigh, bolus. So, yes, I am somewhat resentful about the "eating situation" at times...and the "Stand-off in the Buffet Line" over the Fried Shrimp exemplified this perfectly. I overreacted ( me I was a model of patience and grace externally...seething mad internally), ready to combust over "normal" buffet-like behavior, especially for a guy with a large habitus. This resentful, food-deprived, D-mom realizes she needs to DELEGATE a bit more so that she can get a GRIP.

So for a little apology letter...

Dear Overweight Guy in the Buffet Line (taking WAY more shrimp that you should be BTW),

I am so very sorry for my impure thoughts about the portion of fried shrimp that you served yourself in Disney World. I know it is none of my business what-so-ever, what you eat, how much you eat, etc. I don't know what came over me.

You see, my family...especially Dave, Bridget, and I have been sneaking food for years. Yes, I realize this is "unhealthy" behavior. We are trying to avoid having to deal with bolusing Joe with Insulin for extra carbs or unknown carbs. Also, I am a bit bitter over the fact that I am ALWAYS the last to eat. In line, that night...with the shrimp...I was LOSING IT because not only was I the last to eat, but you were holding me up further by serving yourself an ENORMOUS...make that a GINORMOUS (gigantic + enormous) portion.

Anyway, I realize I had an extreme reaction to "normal" buffet-like behavior and I am going to acknowledge my problem. I will work on my FOOD RAGE issues...and possibly see a therapist...or better yet...I'll BLOG about it.


Reyna Maher

Joe's inefficient and at times psychotic pancreas

DEXTER and a PUDDING "Roll in the Hay"

...and no I am not making this shit up.

Again, another exhausted morning post after a "wild ride" of a night. I am chuckling and in good humor though and was laughing during the pudding incident.

Note...for non-D friends...a normal blood sugar number is 80-120. We try to keep Joe's blood sugar between 90 and 200 at night. A true LOW, is a blood sugar less than 70 for a young child.

Joe was running a little LOW yesterday evening, I had given him some glucose tablets to boost up his number before going to bed. A couple (8 grams) usually does the trick and buys us blood sugar points so that we are not chasing "lows" all night...sadly for me, this was not the case in the wee hours of the morning.

Usually at night, when Joe is low he will chew on Glucose Tablets while he sleeps. Unfortunately, there were no more glucose tablets to be had in the Maher Household. CostCo is not currently selling them, so I didn't pick any up this weekend. Trust me, I will be heading out to the drugstore this morning to purchase the coveted sugar.

Anyways...back to the story...

I know you are on the edge of your seats wanting to know about the PUDDING.

At 1:30am...I am woken up by my snoring husband, who is sleeping off a Stanley Cup Playoff win by the Detroit Redwings. I decide to check Joe's number and then hope to sleep through the rest of the night. Dexter is running right on (BG=127/Dexter=121) with a diagonal arrow down...which means Joe's number is slowly dropping. I decide to give a glucose tab...and am hoping not to hear from Dexter for the remainder of the night.

YEAH RIGHT, all good plans get foiled...

2:30am rolls around...beep...beep...vibrate...vibrate...YEP, you guessed it! Dexter is calling. I stumble out of bed, eyes half open, shuffle to Joe's room, peer at Dexter...bummer...64 with a stable arrow. I go to the kitchen...glucose tabs are now depleted. I think of my good on-line D-mom friend Meri (HI Meri!)...and her "pudding" solution to nightly LOWs. I had bought some a couple of weeks ago thinking I might want to give it a try. So, what the heck...I pull out the CHOCOLATE pudding, grab a spoon and head into Joe's room.

Now, I should take pause and let you know...I didn't really go over this plan with Joe at all and he is a VERY DEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeEP SLEEPER.

So I scoop up the pudding...I am trying to wake Joe just enough so that he will take in the sugary-goodness. Nope, not gonna do true Joe style. Joe's gonna do what Joe's gonna do even while sleeping. So I try to drag his limp carcass up to a sitting position. I didn't want the pudding to surprise him...and for him to choke on it while laying down. The zombie-like flail-y (not a word I am sure) noodle, otherwise known as my son, won't BUDGE. So I tried to place the spoon to his lips with just a touch of pudding, thinking he will like the taste and just eat it in his sleep. He took a small a teaspoon. I decided to cram a little more in his mouth and Joe resisted, turned his face, which is now smeared with Chocolate Pudding by the way, and proceeds to get it all over his pillow case and sheets. Turning and dodging his head away from my persistant but fruitless attempts, the "smear-fest" continues. This went on for a couple of more scooping, trying to entice the slumbering Joe, Joe refusing, the sheets becoming more and more soiled with the chocolate. So I scrapped that plan and went for the juice and a straw. That took me a good 5 minutes to get into him...but FINALLY I had Joe sugared up and was able to go catch some Zzzz's.

...for an hour and then...

3:30am guessed it...beep...beep...blah...blah...blah. OK I am up. Dexter is alerting me that Joe is now 55 (yep, confirmed by a blood glucose level of 61) I went the juice route biggie this time.

And for the grand finale...the final beep that woke my tired, sleep-deprived self up for the day...6am...beep...beep...beep. Another LOW ALARM, Dexter saying 55 - LIAR! His blood sugar was 140.

So I am up, sharing with you my PUDDING "ROLL IN THE HAY" with Dexter...who is a liar ...and interrupted my precious sleep. At least he cannot cheat.

I'll be doing laundry today and maybe, just maybe I should discuss with Joe the "Pudding Plan" before executing it next time. For those of you who don't live this way...our lives are truly so cannot make this stuff up. Another story of the day...ahemm...or should I say...the NIGHT-IN-THE-LIFE WITH A CHILD WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES.

Friday, April 9, 2010


There is a new "man" in my life...and yes, my husband knows about him. His name is "Dexter". Joe went into the clinic yesterday to start our month long Dexcom Continuous Glucometer trial. When gazing at Dexter in the office, I had a beautiful feeling wash over me. He is small in stature, but his data supply runs deep, he is relatively painless with numbing cream and he can be told to "be quiet" with a push of one button. In less than 4 hours I was 100% in LOVE with Dexter and all the precious, quick information he provides me with.

Pre-post EDUMACATION: For any of you are not familiar with diabetes, let me start by saying most people with diabetes monitor their blood sugars by testing their blood, via a finger prick and a glucometer, between 4 and 12 times a day. This still provides a very incomplete picture of what your blood sugar is doing, since there can be hours of gaps between readings. So, for a "more complete" picture Continuous Glucometers can be used. They are sensors that you stick into your body and wear all the time. They give you a near-continuous (every few minutes) picture of what your blood sugar is doing. Some models also give you trend arrows, so that if you’re climbing or falling quickly, an alarm will go off — it’s a great way to prevent a high or low before it happens.

We had decided to give the Dexcom a try after chasing Joe and his lows for years. He is an extremely active boy. He also had an episode this past winter where he had a severe low where he passed out after playing hockey in our backyard...see My Life Through a Snow Globe.

OK back to my long...passionate night with Dexter: Keep in mind this is a night, post-hockey game and a dinner out at Moe's. With that said, not a typical night at all - thank God.

Dexter has had me up most of the night...but I am not angry with Dexter; I am thankful for what he has done.

  • 1:30am: Dexter started alarming for a HIGH, I went into Joe's room and did a blood sugar check...yep, 300s...ok, bolus, set my alarm for 3:30am, and back to bed.

  • 3am: An hour and a half later, Dexter is trying to focus on the annoying beep in my sleep induced state, figuring out it is Dexter beckoning me to come to him. I go back to Joe's room... Dexter's receiver is stating that Joe's blood sugar is 45...alrighty then, I did a blood sugar check to make sure Dexter was telling me the truth, and sure enough Dexter would not tell a lie. So, 4 glucose tabs for Joe.
  • 4am: At this point Dexter's titillating information has me up for the day. I went back into check the receiver at 4am and Joe is a steady 130. NICE.

  • 5:30am Dexter calls again...Joe is 55...OK...more sugar

In the throws of blood sugar checking, insulin bolusing and sugar LOVE for Dexter has grown. I am obviously hoping Dexter's and my affair isn't so hot and heavy every night, but what a great learning experience. Dexter is deep and caring, a guardian of my most precious son, Joe. I will charge him every 3 days, or so, to keep him lively and I will protect him from water so that he doesn't fry from this day forward, until Joe or Insurance coverage do us part.

Friday, April 2, 2010


"Joe's curled up in a ball under the table...should I try to get to him to do another blood sugar check?"

This is the call that I received yesterday from the school nurse.

Me: "Is he Low?"

School Nurse: "Yes, he was 51 and he has had a juice..."

Me: "Please get another finger was a nice day, I am sure he burned through a lot of sugar at recess."

School Nurse: "OK...I'll call back if he won't let me check his number" (Hangs Up)

4 minutes or so later...the phone rings.

School Nurse: "Reyna he has now barricaded himself in the bathroom...he won't let me check his number."

Me: "OK...give him a couple of minutes if he doesn't come out call me and I'll come in and drag him out by the ear..." (she and I chuckle)

I then just decide to go to the school. This has NEVER happened. Joe is known for being very responsible with his care. He checks his number at a minimum of 3 times a day while at school. He gives himself insulin via his Insulin Pump using math skills that most 6 year olds do not possess. He works in tenths and hundredths of units. He is simply AMAZING.

So why do you ask would Joe be hiding and refusing a blood sugar check after a low? Well I have a few ideas. First off...He was low, when you are low your brain is not functioning properly. From what I understand it can feel like being inebriated. When Joe is low he is not necessarily in his right mind, he is not thinking straight. The ONLY FUEL the brain can use for energy is SUGAR. A LOW BLOOD SUGAR = JELLO-Y, FOGGY, FLOUNDERING BRAIN.

On top of the low, Joe was missing PE. When a child with type 1 has a low blood sugar they need to treat it immediately with fast acting carbs. They are to then sit quietly (they should not be active as that would cause them to burn through more sugar and could make them go lower) and wait 15 minutes while supervised. Then they recheck their blood sugar to make sure it is in a safe range. Joe's low was caught right before PE, his absolute FAVORITE "subject". So one can only imagine a six year old with a "non-functioning" low brain and the disappointment of missing his favorite class and the tailspin his emotions fell into.

My heart broke a little yesterday for him. He is tough. He is amazing. He is my hero. He is human. He bears so much on his little shoulders. The psycho-social toll of this disease is enormous.