Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mom Is Mad

So, here we are still trying to get Nikki’s blood sugar numbers under control, but life is moving along rather normally other than that. Yesterday was Saturday and several of Nikki’s friends from the neighborhood and school were over hanging out and doing what kids do.

A couple of hours into their playing Nikki asked if she could ride her bike down to Emily’s (one of her best friends) house. I said no because we had just been having so much trouble with her numbers and Emily’s house is quite a little trek (not really, but it is when you are talking about extreme lows for no good reason).

Now I think I have mentioned in previous posts that Nikki is my very compliant child right? Ummm, I may need to rethink that. About an hour and a half after I said NO to her request my phone rings, it’s Nikki and here is what she said “Mom, I’m at Emily’s and I feel low”. My head – and my mouth – exploded.

You know that Bible verse: Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks…. God sure knows what he’s talking about. All the stress and worry in my heart from the last couple of weeks came right out! I yelled into the phone something like “why are you at Emily’s, I’ll be right there young lady and you are in more trouble than you can handle”. Then I couldn’t find my car keys, which Amber helped me locate, I grabbed a fruit roll up and headed down the street. When I arrived I told her to get into the car NOW, asked Emily's mom if we could leave her bike at Emily’s and roared (in my tiny 4 cylinder Kia) back up the street. Fussing all the while.

I was repeating this story to one of my closest friends, Kara (you remember Kara, she’s the sub-teacher that had to take Nikki off the playground in a wheelchair 3 days ago). I didn’t realize how crazy I probably sounded to Nikki until I noticed that Kara was laughing hysterically at me. She was laughing because of the things I was saying to Nikki..........I LOUDLY told Nikki as I was bringing her back home that I wasn’t so furious that she disobeyed me, but the next time she disobeys she better take her meter and a snack!!!!!!

Stop Laughing

Oh well, that’s how we roll :D

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Low Low Low High High Low Low High

We honestly try to maintain a very positive outlook on dealing with diabetes. But today I think Nikki and I are officially suffering from burn out. Today is the 12th day of school and we have had blood sugar problems every single day. The problems have been with extreme lows. Today was the worst.

I was just on my way home from picking up Amber and some of her friends from school when my cell phone rang. It was Jill from Nikki’s school and she said “Sheri we need you to come right now; Nikki is unable to walk in from the playground and they’ve taken the wheel chair out to get her”. I turned the car toward the school, thankfully I was only about 2 mintues away at that point. They had actually called 911 but the nurse felt that she didn’t need them after all because Nikki was conscious enough to drink.

We got to school and all 5 of us head into the building. Amber and all the friends with her are former students of Kenton Elementary so they knew where to go and lay low while I dealt with the situation. Nikki’s blood sugar was 70 by that point, which was after a treatment of Capri Sun juice. We decided to give her another juice and then all we could do was to sit with her and wait; she was still too shaky to walk on her own.

Because our lives can never be ordinary, the little twist to this story is that 2 of the teenagers that were with me are the children of Nikki’s subsititute teacher for today (and a very very close friend of mine). This solved my problem of having too many people to put into my tiny Kia to safely get them all home, because 2 of them could stay at school with their mom.

Anyway, we are home now and tonight her sugar has been HIGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And we both feel like screaming!!!!!!!!! Tomorrow we will get up and start over with fresh determination, but tonight I think we will let the “burn out” just sit with us.

Monday, August 25, 2008

We Are 7.4

Today Nikki had her diabetes check up at Children’s and it was a pretty good one. Her A1C’s are coming down after registering 8.2 in early summer because of illnesses all winter. Today they were 7.4. That is a great number. Kids 12 and under should be 7.5 or lower, so she is considered “in control”. (Talk about an ironic term).

The nurse educator and I were intensely refiguring numbers based on Nikki’s blood sugar numbers for the last 7 days; anyone who knows me knows that math is not my “thing” so I really have to focus. Amber was at home by herself so when my phone rang with Amber’s personal ring tone I, of course, stopped the calculating and answered it. Now remember that I had already talked to Amber 2 times before this call; this is what she said “Mom, hang up and call me back, I want to make sure I got this hilarious answer tone right on my phone”. HUH? My brain just simply quit working (numbers have that affect on me). I politely said “Amber I can’t right now, remember I am with the doctor and we are working on new basal and bolus rates?” She said “oh, yeah I forgot, okay bye”. She forgot? It had been whole 10 minutes since I had checked in with her. However, once my brain waves starting moving again I found the whole thing kind of ‘centering’. Diabetes tries, on a rather routine basis, to take over our lives and just when I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed, something ‘normal’ happens and I realize it really will be okay; well as okay as it can be with a teenager in the house -- ROTFL.

The school day was a weird one. There was a substitute (one that I did not know) in for Nikki’s teacher so the nurse (our own personal angel, Paula) contacted the sub right away to let him know that Nikki was to be allowed to come down to her at any point that she needed to test. I have no idea what the man was thinking, but about 30 minutes before lunch she requested that she be able to go down and test because she was feeling a little off and he actually told her NO!!!! Needless to say, I was not at all happy when she called me. I hung up from Nikki and called right back so that I could speak with the tireless Mrs. Schuler and all I had to say was “the sub told Nikki she could not come down and test her blood”. She handled it (and very well) from there. So even though I wasn’t happy, it did give me the opportunity to once again see how great people can be and how blessed I am with wonderful friends.

All For Now……..

Sunday, August 24, 2008

71 Pokes

Last Sunday Nikki and I decided we wanted to see how many times she actually pokes her fingers in one week, 7 days. Nikki was vigilant in keeping up with her test strips -- those of you who either have diabetes or live with a diabetic know that used test strips take on a life of their own and move around your house, car, yard, classroom, etc. at will, so it was a bit of a challenge to keep them all in ONE spot for 7 days.

After church this morning we returned home and focused on counting the strips she had used and trying to decide how to really make a point regarding exactly what your fingers (or arms) go through, day in and day out. We decided that since we are currently fundraising for the diabetes walk on September 6, we would make a sign with all the strips (pictured above).

Nikki poked her fingers a total of 71 times over the last 7 days (She doesn't bleed well on her arms, so we don't use them for sugar testing). Think about that for a minute and then mulitply that number times a lifetime of finger pokes! -- unless we can find a cure very soon.

I'll close this posting with a random thought, (me? random?). You know those diabetes glucose meter commericals that advertise their product(s) as the best meters because they are 'virtually pain free'; I'm here to tell you that there is no such thing. It irks me more than a little to have someone --who has no idea what life with diabetes is like -- come up to one of us and say "with the new meters out it doesn't hurt to check her blood sugar now does it". YES it does, and your fingers wind up looking like 10 little pin cushions. I used to get upset (in my head) when Nikki would come home from art class after a day of painting and all the hundreds of little holes in her small fingers would REALLY show up because the paint would adhere to them.

71 pokes in 7 days...............

Friday, August 22, 2008

From Nikki to Congress

A few weeks ago Nikki decided that she wanted to apply to go with JDRF next summer to Washington DC to speak to Congress about life with diabetes. Part of applying was that she had to write a letter to her representative (Geoff Davis) talking about herself and what Congress should do to help the effort to find a cure.
We don't actually find out if Nikki is selected until January, they only take 150 kids, but whether she is picked or not doesn't diminish the amazing letter she wrote. The letter is 100% her own thoughts and words. She gave me permission to share it with you in this posting:

Dear Mr. Davis,

I remember the day I went to the hospital, I got my first IV put in then; it took 4 tries to get it in, I was 5. I had to stay in the hosptial for a few days and I remember it was the scariest thing that ever happened to me.

Since my diagnosis I keep my diabetes under control but I still have to think about it all the time, instead of just being a kid. One time I had a very low blood sugar, in school with all my friends watching, and had to go to the hospital in an ambulance; it was scary and I had no idea what was happening, I was 7.

I’ve learned to take care of my finger pokes, my pump and counting carbs but those aren’t things a kid like me should have to worry about. Every night I am scared that my blood will go low while I’m sleeping and I won’t ever wake up.

Some kids say I’m lucky to have diabetes because they think I can eat or drink whenever I want to. They don’t understand that I have to have insulin if I want to eat or when I’m low I don’t eat because it’s fun, I eat because I have to. We need Congress to spend their money on finding a cure and teaching people about diabetes. I wish eating was something I didn’t HAVE to do.

I have 2 cousins with diabetes, a friend my age with diabetes, 2 dance teachers with diabetes and none of us should have diabetes. I raise money every year to find a cure and last December my school district picked me Student of the Month because of the money I raised, which was $500.00. I go to Camp Korelitz every year and the best part of that is for a week I get to be around people who have the same thing I do, I’m not different.

Congress should make finding a cure an important thing because kids should only worry about being kids; we shouldn’t worry about living or dying every day. I know the government has enough money to help us if they really want to.

My name is Nikki, I’m a dancer, I’m a student, I’m a daughter, I’m a sister, I’m a granddaughter, I’m blonde, I’m a friend, I’m on the honor roll. I’m a diabetic and I wish I wasn’t.

Hoping for a Cure,
Nikki Turner, age 10

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Life Without Limits

The 2008 Summer Olympics are still fresh on everyone’s mind, so this is the perfect time for this blog. I mentioned in an earlier writing that Nikki was able to meet someone very special at diabetes camp this summer. His is name is Kris Freeman and he is a world class athlete and Olympian. For those of you who may not be familiar with him, here is a brief description of him by one sports writer: For Park City, Utah–based [Kris] Freeman, the best Nordic skier this country has produced in a generation, there's no getting around the needles. The 2003 under-23 world champion now has a shot—albeit a long shot—at walking away with America's first Olympic hardware in cross-country since Bill Koch took silver in the 30K at Innsbruck in 1976. That's because Kris Freeman is the world's best endurance athlete [with diabetes] (Outside Magazine, 2006).”

When we picked Nikki up from camp one of the first things she said to me was “we got to meet a famous athlete and he gave me his autograph and he took a picture with me! And Mommy guess what?! He has diabetes too! And he was in the Olypmics!” Now for sports fans this sounds like a perfectly reasonable thing to immediately say to your parents, whom you haven’t seen for a week; however, we are talking about a 10 year old girly ballerina. Oh, wait, I forgot to mention how intensely competitive this girly ballerina is didn’t I? Seriously, majorly competitive; for example, last week at a high school football game she was attempting to push a blocking sled, when she couldn’t accomplish that on her own she enlisted the help of her 8 year old cousin Michael and together they actually moved the thing, she wouldn’t quit until she made it move atleast a little. I think that has given her the edge she has used and will continue to use to overcome diabetes, stay in the battle on the days (or weeks) when her sugar is on a crazy roller coaster ride, no matter how tightly we try to control it (her growing body just does what it wants to her sugar levels sometimes). That competitive spirit is what she saw in Kris Freeman, it’s what she identified with apart from him having diabetes. He’s overcome the disease in many ways; to her that means she can to; if he can, I can.

I was so impressed with her excitement that I came home to look him up for myself. After my initial thought “man is he hot!” I became even more impressed with the person he appears to be. Here is a snapshot of diabetes from Kris’s own words: “I have been diabetic for seven years. In that time I have never had to compromise my lifestyle because of my condition. I have carefully selected the people I use as resources for information and guidance. My number one requirement for seeking out these people is that they do not use the words can’t or impossible. A doctor that uses those words is setting boundaries and limitations on what I can accomplish. I live my life without limits. (K. F. 11/15/2007)”

Living your life without limits; now that is a motto we should all embrace! I e-mailed his coach Zach Caldwell, before I began this blog entry. I wanted to make sure I had permission to use some of what I’ve read on his blog and website. I received an INSTANT response, which I am more than a little grateful for. (He really does surround himself with good people). Actually, here is the response I received

Hi Sheri – Please go ahead and link the site, or use any content you like for your blog. If you’d like additional photos let me know. I’ll pass your message directly along to him.

Best of luck to your daughter in realizing her ambitions. I’ve known Kris since long before he was diagnosed, and I can say without doubt that managing diabetes has made him a more effective person. For Kris, it’s more of an asset than a liability because it ensures that his focus can never slip from the task at hand. I think that can be the case for any diabetic who has the will and determination to control their own destiny.

Best wishes,

At the bottom of our site is a list of links to other sites or blogs that we love and visit regularly. This list now includes both Kris Freeman’s blog and his website. I know for sure that our household will be glued to the television during the next Winter Olympics cheering on a man who stands for far more than gold.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Library Teacher and The Kindergarten Teacher

I hope you will all bear with me as I meander through our past and our present. I was thinking of someone today that has been a big influence for me and my girls since Nikki started Kindergarten. So now I’m taking a trip down memory lane, back about 4 years; hope you will indulge me and read along.

We made it through the end of pre-school with Nikki being newly diagnosed. At that point, she was taking daily injections (as opposed to being on a pump). At the start of the kindergarten year I was “overstimulated” to say the least. I made packets for every single person in Nikki’s school that would have any kind of contact with her at any point during the day. These packets included a copy of the 504 plan, a picture of Nikki so every teacher would know her on sight, a million phone numbers, every kind of information I could think of on diabetes, her snack schedule and I’m sure more that I’ve now forgotten.

Humm, this brings me to someone else I must acknowledge that made a ginormous (I’ve made that an official word) impact on Nikki (and Amber and me) her assistant kindergarten teacher Mrs. Enzweiler. I explained to both her teachers during open house that she had to eat a snack at a certain time every day; this is part of the N and H insulin process. Without any prompting from me this wonderful lady (whom I now consider a great friend) went out and purchased an alarm clock so she could set it for 10:00 in class to help her remember that Nikki needed to eat. This was a big deal to Nikki, because she immediatley felt like her teacher was on her “diabetes team”.

Now back to my original thoughts (yes I’m random, and proud of it); my older daughter was in 3rd grade at the time so Nikki and I would often stay after kindergarten to eat lunch with Amber in the school cafeteria. One day, very early in the year, the assistant library teacher was helping out in the cafeteria and she came over to introduce herself. I knew who she was because Amber had been in school for several years and often mentioned how much she LOVED Ms. Hensley.

Anyway, before I actually said anything about anything this is what Ms. Hensley said to me (and I do remember this word for word): “Hi, I love your girls. My daughter and my son are both diabetics. They were diagnosed as babies. They are all grown up now, and just so you know my daughter has a beautiful daughter of her own”. Now to many this may seem like an inacuous introduction but it was music to my ears. Ms. Hensley (Loretta) and I had never had any conversation about Nikki and her diabetes, she did not know any of my own personal fears and yet there she stood an answer to my prayers.

You see, one of my biggest concerns was that Nikki wouldn’t be able to have kids because of the strain diabetes puts on your body and internal organs (okay okay, I’ll admit to having watched Steel Magnolias too many times). Having lived through it herself, Loretta knew my mother’s heart and was able to speak to something only parents of diabetic children can really understand. From that day on our relationship has grown; we teach together and more than that, she is now a grandmother figure to Nikki and Amber both. Combine that with the fact that Nikki and her granddaughter Lexi are great friends, I have a great friendship with her grown daughter Allyson (who has diabetes) and even Loretta’s sister Yvonne has become important to the girls and I.

Mrs. Enzweiler (Jane) has since moved into the front office at school, along side another great friend and blessing Mrs. Schuler (Jill). They put up with an awful lot from me, not because Nikki has diabetes (that’s only a small part of it); they deal with my forgetfulness, letting me vent, and all the other time consuming stuff that does go with having a diabetic student at school. Since I’m a substitute teacher, I’m not at school every single day, but I KNOW that Nikki is in the hands of people that love her and make her education, self esteem and health a priority.

Future blogs will touch on another important person in our school day, important is putting it mildly; the school nurse. Additionally, I know I’ve mentioned him but I bet you are all beginning to think I made up my husband Bryan. I assure you he’s real and my partner in crime, in life, in raising our children, in our faith and in this fight. He has some things to say from a dad’s point-of-view but we will add those thoughts another time.
We sure didn’t invite diabetes into our lives and if I could kick it out tomorrow, I would. The one thing I’m sure diabetes never planned on is that the people brought into our lives because it moved in, helped us become stronger than we knew we could be.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Blessings All Around

So I just got off the phone with my forever friend, Pamela. I use the term ‘forever’ in a very literal way. Pamela is more like my sister than my friend. Our life as sisters began 14 years ago in her last tri-mester of pregnancy with her youngest daughter Khadija, who is Amber’s forever friend and sister. This got me to thinking of how much God has blessed my life and how much I know, for a fact, that I am not deserving of his grace and blessings.

Thinking along those lines brings me to the reason for this particular blog. I would like to briefly list the names of some of the greatest gifts God has bestowed on me, my husband and my girls. I would also like to throw this out: what an awesome thing it is to actually, physically make a list of the ways God has interceded through his blessings in your life. Talk about being able to catch a glimpse of God!

Each name has had a direct impact on our fight against diabetes, either knowingly or unknowingly. Please understand that this is not a list of the only people who are important to us or whom we love, it’s just a very specific listing of those that have touched a major area in our lives, in some way, over the last 12 months.

Paula Caldwell, Allen Caldwell, Winona Brown, Linda Moore, Jami Moore, Wendy Beckham, Brittany Perkins, Cody Perkins, Michael Tipton, Pamela Zakvi, Khadija Zakvi, Ishaq Zakvi, Heather Coyle, Mike Coyle, Samantha Coyle, Gus Coyle, Melissa Willis, Brooke Willis, Tom Owen, Janee Owen, Emily Roberts, Gina Roberts, Joyce Slaton, Mark Turner, Mindy Hawkins, Mikayla Hawkins, Sara McMorrow, Paula Rust, Emily McBee, Karen Carmony, Angela Noel, Amy Deck, Suzanne Pennington, Loretta Hensley, Lexi McDonald, Allyson McDonald, Yvonne Yeager, Missy Harris, Steve Harris, Jeff Hester, Bill Clark, Sherry Clark, Kara Hugunin, Chuck Hugunin, Nicole Hugunin, Paul Hugunin, Debbie Repka, Nick Repka, Jim Ziege, Kim Ziege, Nicole Ziege, Zack Ziege, Briana Turner, Stacy Gaylor, Tom Gaylor, Bill Risher, Sherry Risher, Kym Kroske, Jill Schuler, Jane Enzweiler, Gene Lovensheimer, Melody Simms, Nate Niemi, Susan Niemi, Pennie Grubbs, Chris Grubbs, Tristen Grubbs, Kristi Woodard, Paul Woodard, Karissa Woodard, Debbie Daniels, Kelley Kendall, Bill Kendall, Danny Kendall, Matthew Kendall, Sue Brooks, Max Brooks, Rhonda Crawford, Chelsey Crawford, Dixie Richie, Taylor Beckham, Whitney Hopperton, Kristen Fries, Kerrie Sparling, Jaline Lyons, Mike Bunge, Meddie Kalegi, Paula Noel, Randy McDaniel, Pat Thomas, Vicki Thomas, Darlene Madden, Sandy Ferguson, Ann McKinley, Troy Schumann, Andrea Schumann, Jennifer Neal, Laura Irvin, Nicole Maher, Mo Wanner, Whitney Madden, Rhonda Hanneken, Sara Hanneken, Pattiann, Haley, Christopher McCord, Mia Armelli, Jackie Mueller, and that’s just to name a few.

What a list and it’s not even a complete one! Like I said I think one of the most cathartic things a person can do is to TRY to make a list of the most recent blessings God bestows upon you. Believe it or not, my list is only a partial one (and I am sure I’m going to be doing something and it’s going to dawn on me that I’ve left someone off); there are not enough megabytes in cyberspace to actually list every person that has ever touched my life or the lives of my family.
More later....

Invisible Moms

I found the story below on a friend's blog. It reminded me so much of so many things; but since this particular blog is about our struggle with diabetes I will focus there for a minute. As moms of children with a chronic illness it can sometimes feel as if we have ceased to exist for any other purpose than the continuing life sustaining tasks we are now charged with. I want to make it clear that in no way do I feel sorry for myself or think, even for a second, that my battle with this disease is anywhere close to the battle Nikki (and everyone else who has it) is faced with.

My battle is different: if I could give Nikki my pancreas I would do it NOW; if I could somehow take on all the finger pokes and site pokes, the highs, the lows, the sick days, and, well you get the idea, I would. I think my struggle comes from one that all parents face; it's just that parents with chronically ill children have to actually look this struggle straight in the eye every day AND acknowledge it -- that struggle is this: I have no actual control over some things, no matter how hard I try and no matter how hard I try I cannot spare my children from every trial they will face. However, the knowledge that all my love, concern, support and sometimes even tears are helping to build a beautiful person far outweighs any moments of invisibility I may find myself in. May I always remember that as much as I love my children, God loves them even more - what more can I ask for.

I love the beauty of the following story and the power of the lesson behind it. The original names in the story have been deleted for privacy purposes and the author is anonymous.

I'm Invisible.......It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going, she's going, she's gone! One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England .. My friend had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when this friend turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To My Friend , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.' In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.' I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whisperingto me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime, because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don't want my child to tell the friend she's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want her to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to her friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back To School, Home From Camp

Today is the first day of a new school year. Nikki is in her last year of elementary school and Amber is in her last year of middle school. One of my little ‘personality quirks’ is that I worry. So I have been worrying about Nikki going to middle school next year and having to take care of her diabetes and switching classes, and and and . I am attempting to take a deep breath and think about it later.

Nikki returned from Camp Korelitz this past Saturday and she had another amazing week. It was interesting hearing the things being said from kids to parents as I was walking around trying to find Nikki. One of the first comments I heard was “mom I filled my own reservoir!” The young lady was so proud of her accomplishment and well she should have been. It’s just a bittersweet thing that they even have to know how to fill an insulin reservoir. Nikki’s accomplishment this year was having her site inserted without using Emla Cream. Emla is what we use to numb the area where we insert the site. Her site is basically like an i.v. (for those who don’t know all the diabetes pump terms) and it can be painful to insert. We normally put Emla on the spot where we will put the site for about 45 minutes to numb that area so she, hopefully, doesn’t feel anything. Evidentally, she was anxious to get into the pool during a site change and asked the nurse to “just put it in”.

Another big deal at camp (and I wish I could have been there on this day) was that Olympic U.S. Ski Team member, Kris Freeman, came to camp to hang out with the kids. He wears an Omnipod Pump (which is a wireless pump). Nikki was thrilled. She took pictures with him, I don’t have those developed yet but I am looking forward to seeing them myself – and it goes without saying that I will be sharing them with everyone! It’s such a great thing for these kids to see that when we tell them there is nothing they cannot accomplish, we really are telling the truth. Diabetes is a bummer, but it doesn’t have to stop you from achieving your dreams. In fact, if you channel your anger about having diabetes into something you love, it may even help you achieve those dreams.

Both girls had a great first day and for the first time, ever, Nikki didn’t call to check in. Her and the nurse handled her needs. Let me say that the school nurse, Paula, and I have great communication and we are intentionally steering Nikki toward making more small decisions without me and toward relying on the nurse (during the school day) to help make those decisions. Of course, I speak to the nurse all the time, it’s just a secret (so don’t tell). This is in preparation for her heading to a more independent environment in middle school next year. It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do but if I want (and I do) Nikki to be successful in everything and be able to take care of herself, it’s something I have to do for her. Please pray for us all.

I’m looking forward to this school year and watching all the new things my children will achieve. I know that diabetes will throw unexpected things our way, but the last 5 years have taught us that we, and especially Nikki, are tougher than the disease.

More later,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Diabetes From Nikki's Point of View

Diabetes from Nikki’s Point of View

One time I was scared of going low while I was asleep and my mom talked to me and told me things that made me feel safe.

Sometimes I don’t like it when people watch me check my blood.

Sometimes my friends say I’m lucky because I get to eat in class and I’m not really lucky at all.

I don’t like how my fingers look because of all the finger pokes.

I love my pump but I don’t like all the marks on my stomach from being poked.

Since I get sick a lot I feel bad for my friends when they get sick or hurt.

I have met lots of new people because of my diabetes and that part is good.

I get to go to diabetes camp every summer and I love camp.

My best friends Samantha and Brooke are great and they know how to take care of me when I’m low.

Samantha and Brooke have let me check their blood sugar so they would know what it feels like.

It’s scary to go low, I feel tired and weak. After my blood goes up I still feel tired, but better.

Most of the time I don’t feel like I’m different because of diabetes, but sometimes when I go low and have to stop skating to drink and watch my friends keep on skating, I do feel different.

I can do all the things that other people can do, diabetes can’t stop me.

Sometimes I wonder why I had to get diabetes.

Everyone has things bad that happen to them. Like I got diabetes, Samantha got asthma and Brooke got her arm broken.

My other best friend Emily helps me at school when I go low, I like having her in my class in case that happens.

It’s a hassle having to take care of my diabetes at school.

I like raising money to help find a cure, it makes me feel good because I’m helping out.

Sometime having diabetes having means I get to do really cool things; like this summer I got to meet Kris Freeman from the United States Ski Team, it will be fun watching him in the next Olympics. He has diabetes like me and wears a pump.

I like it when famous people, like Nick Jonas and Kris Freeman, talk about having diabetes. I know that anybody can get diabetes and anybody can still do great things.

Amber's Thoughts About Diabetes

Amber’s Thoughts On Her Sister Having Diabetes

I don’t like that she has to go through poking her fingers, change her sites for more pokes, go low and gets sick a lot.

Sometimes I get a little jealous because of all the attention Nikki gets.

Sometimes I think mom loves Nikki more because she has diabetes.

My friends help me raise money to cure diabetes, I like that my friends understand my sister has diabetes.

When Nikki first got diabetes I thought she wouldn’t be able to swim, ride her bike or do all the things she really can still do.

When Nikki was in the hospital when she first got diagnosed and I had to go to school I was scared and mad. I was mad that she was sick and I didn’t understand why it was happening to her and I was scared because I thought she would never come home and she would die.

Most of them time I know my mom loves me and Nikki exactly the same and that makes me feel really good.

When Nikki goes low and needs me I know exactly what to do. I stop everything, get her meter, and get my parents on my way to get her a juice. I like knowing I can take care of her, I can do it.

Being able to tell my mom that I feel jealous and stuff makes me feel good. Because I know my mom understands me and she doesn’t think I’m a bad person for feeling the way I do.

I know my sister has diabetes but I really like how it didn’t change her, she’s still Nikki (and still annoys me).

Diabetes Journey - Part 6 (which is a little detour)

This bulletin has to do with something that happened about a week ago, so it's part of our journey; just fast forward to the present! This was originally posted on the now deleted M.S. site, but it catches us up to my latest post - this one!

We are scurrying around this week to get Nikki ready for Camp Korelitz (diabetes camp) this coming Sunday (8/3); so we are in diabetes mode already. A friend of mine bought concert tickets back in May to the Jonas Brothers concert on July 28 (last night). I had actually forgotten about it for a while, but anyone who lives in a house with girls (of most any age) knows that it is impossible to forget about getting to go see the Jonas Brothers.

For those of you who don't know Nick Jonas, the youngest (and cutest I'm told) brother has type 1 juvenile diabetes. This makes him even more awesome to Nikki.

We go to the concert, I'm melting (almost literally) from the heat - SIDE NOTE: THE TITLE OF THEIR TOUR IS "THE BURNING UP TOUR" appropriate I must say -- and we are in a see of thousands of people. The first 2 acts have come and gone and we are waiting for these gorgeous boys to take the stage.

Their on, in a shower of fire and lights and noise, it was pretty impressive. So I've taken some pictures of the girls and I decide I'm going to sit back in my little beach chair and just listen for a while. When the oldest Jonas Brother introduces his youngest brother Nick who has a story to tell. This kid goes on to discuss, in detail, his journey through diabetes, which included towering images on 4 different ginormous screens of him testing his blood sugar, fussing with his mother because his sugar was high and he was grumpy,.... I look over at Nikki and here is what I saw....

1. Nikki was not moving at all, she was spellbound in a very literal way...her eyes were glued to this famous, gorgeous talented SUPER STAR who was telling HER story too. He said more than I can remember but she was bursting with pride because she can also relate his statement that "diabetes hasn't stopped me, won't stop me, I'll be just fine".

2. My daughter Amber was listening to Nick Jonas BUT she was looking at her sister, with tears in her eyes. That's a moment that I just can put into words.

3. Our friends were alternately and tearfully, hugging each other, then Amber then patting Nikki on the back. One of the girls wanted to go up to the stage and tell Nick that Nikki was here in the audience (how sweet is that).

God does work in mysterious ways and I'm constantly astounded and humbled by his grace and peace. He pops up in the most unexpected places, I mean whoda' thunk it? God was at the Jonas Brothers concert and I would swear he was standing right by my children the whole time, with his hand - like always - on their shoulders.

It was one of the most powerful "diabetes" moments I've had since Nikki was diagnosed. God is constantly reminding us that we are not in the fight alone, that Nikki is not facing this alone.

Nick Jonas wrote a song about his own diabetes journey and it is now Nikki's favorite song in the world; the title? "I'll Be Fine"

God Is Good Indeed

Diabetes Journey Continued

So I’m sitting here with Amber watching a movie and all the sudden I’m thinking about an event that occurred about 2 years ago. Random, I know “But That’s How I Roll” (insert laughter here).

Anyway, I am a substitute elementary and middle school teacher for Kenton County Schools and I spend most of that time in one particular school (Nikki’s). Before I began teaching I was a teaching assistant for the special education department, which is what I was doing when this story begins.

Nikki was in 2nd grade and I was a teaching assistant, we were both located in the same hall-
way. Let me digress to tell you that the teacher I worked with and for is responsible for my returning to school, she loves my girls and is my mentor. This point is important because it explains my ability to just drop everything, without having to explain and leave the school.

Back to my story. I was coming up the hall after our 20 minutes lunch period to catch up with Nikki and see how her blood sugar was after gym class. She was wandering around the hall. Any of you that have either seen Nikki in a “bad low” or have your own experiences with diabetes know what that looks like. I immediately knew that she was in bad shape. She had been trying to find me (I’ll make a brief point that she was allowed to leave the classroom ALONE, which gets me going, but I won’t actually go there) and was unable to really make sense of where she was.

I took her hand and led her to the nurse’s office. The 2 school secretarys are good friends of mine and have been in Nikki’s life since she was in Kindergarten and they love her. The police officer we have assigned as an educator in our school is another person who really looks out for Nikki and enjoys her as a little person. They were a great help and knew as soon as I came in with Nikki that something was wrong. She could no longer speak or really focus on our faces.

I check her blood sugar, it was 49. Blood sugar readings on people in general should be between 85 and 120. Nikki was at very dangerous levels. I gave her a juice, helped her get it down (she couldn’t do it herself) and we rechecked about 15 minutes later, she was 40. Time to go to the hospital.
I think I only barely mentioned ‘hospital’ and the people in the office flew into action, Officer Gene called the life squad personally and they were there in maybe 3 minutes?

NOW, Amber was still in the same school at that time. My husband was out of town (he travels weekly for business). When I leave with Nikki what will happen with Amber? I’m trying to figure all of this out when I really just wanted to cry, (no time for that, this is not about me). My boss, Sara, comes into the office to check on us, I only said the word “Amber” and a few minutes later she produced her. Now I have another problem: I need to ride in the ambulance with my almost comatose daughter but only 1 person can, so that meant Amber couldn’t ride in the ambulance.

Executive, heartbreaking decision: I will follow the ambulance in my car with a very young Amber. I’m in tears, Amber is in tears, Nikki is basically unconcsious, and 300 little faces are staring out school windows at the ambulance with the lights on in the parking lot. I say a quick prayer “God help me, please”.

Amber and I are walking across the parking lot (running) to my car when another teacher friend of mine is dropping in to pick up her child. She immediately understands what is going on, walks over, takes Amber by the hand and says “you go with Nikki, I’ll bring Amber”. ANOTHER answered prayer, and another moment I knew God was with us.

From there, it was the same ole’, same ole’; they get Nikki’s sugar up in the ambulance, give her a stuffed toy and we are admitted to Cinti Children’s because Nikki has the flu and is dehydrated. Bryan comes as fast as he can (he’s an awesome daddy and husband) and 2 days later it’s over and home we go.

Weirdly, about 2 years later Nikki starts being afraid to let herself go to sleep.
After about the 3rd night of it, I finally get her to open up that she is suddenly having nightmares that she will go to sleep and not wake up, she said “what if the same thing happens like it did in 2nd grade and no one finds me like you did, what if you wouldn’t have found me at school” -- side note here: every parent of a diabetic child has a moment every morning when they go in to wake up their child and they hold their breath while waiting for that moan or stretch –

Once again communication is so important. I shared with Nikki that I believed with all my heart, I do mean this, that the hand of God is on her. Every single time she has gone low in the middle of the night I’ve been awakened with the knowledge that I needed to go to her, and every time she was low, which is what I told Nikki. God is truly taking care of her. So now Nikki sleeps knowing that she is in the best hands possible, the hands of Jesus. I do a middle of the night check every night around 2 a.m. and the rest is faith. AND she has never been allowed to go anywhere alone at school when she is feeling “funny” since that one event, I made sure of it (in a sweet way I promise).

Lastly, I reached out to my friend that I spoke of in the last writing. Her daughter M is Nikki’s good friend who also shares this terrible disease. They had a sleep over; it’s so good that they have each other, so that when things only a diabetic child understands occurs they can lean on each other. Another gift from God.

One thing diabetes has done for us is show us the best side of people. It’s humbling to see so many people care for us and move into action without anyone asking them. God is good.

More later…….

Diabetes Journey - Part 4

Okay, I'm moving forward in our story. A year, almost to the day, that she was diagnosed, we switched Nikki from N & H insulins to Insulin Pump Therapy. It was the best thing we could have done. The pump has given Nikki the ability to live a much more "normal" life. She can eat pretty much whatever she wants, whenever and we now have a better ability to try and keep her blood sugar levels stable.

We tease Nikki and tell her that she has super powers because when we tell her how much insulin to program into her pump, she does - then reads that number back to us - to confirm we are all saying the same thing, then our reply is "ACTIVATE", which means activate the pump so it starts delivering the insulin. Nikki has been so great at educating the kids in her school that none of them pay much attention to the fact that Nikki has diabetes, however; whenever I stick my head in her classroom (I am a teacher in her school) and we go through the routine of inputting numbers, the entire class will now shout "ACTIVATE" before I can.

Another of the biggest blessings we have received through our diabetes journey is the friendship of the Hawkins family. I was the cheerleading director and a coach for our community's Upward Basketball and Cheerleading League for several years. Through this ministry a new family joined my squad (which was also the squad NIkki cheered on). Turns out that the 'new' cheerleader was not only the exact same age as Nikki, but she also has Type 1 Diabetes and wears an insulin pump. This by itself isn't really enough to make 2 young girls fast friends, but the fact that they are a lot of like made that very thing happen. Now they both have someone nearby to lean on when they begin to suffer from "Diabetes Burn Out". M is a sweetie and last year the two girls attended Camp Korelitz together. This is a camp only for children with diabetes. For 7 days each year, M and Nikki are just like everyone else. Diabetes can be a very lonely disease, especially for young ones. No matter how great your friends and family are, they simply cannot completely understand what you (the diabetic) is actually going through. Camp Korelitz provides an opportunity for these kids to see that they are truly truly not alone in this battle and for a week each year going low, going high, checking blood sugars, getting shots, and all the other stuff that goes into daily life with diabetes does not draw stares and questions from people around them. It is completely normal, everyone does it.

All for now,

Hummm, I was re-reading the first 2 posts on our journey and decided I would shorten our story and limit it to a few important points. There is simply too much that goes into the way diabetes affects a family to be able to accurately put it all down into words. I will use this writing to talk about my oldest non-diabetic daughter, Amber.

One of her biggest fears in the beginning was that Nikki would die and never come home from the hospital. Amber didn’t tell me that for a couple of years. Actually, one of her teachers, who is a good friend of mine, shared that with me. I was able to bring it up in a conversation and Amber then opened up and expressed her feelings. It’s important to remember that a chronic illness affects just more than just its intended victim. Every member of the family is going through their own stuff.

Amber and I have had the chance to engage in many talks over the years and I do try and put a lot of emphasis on keeping the non-judgemental doors open for both my girls; I guess only time will tell if I’ve been successful. A big one though is that it is not wrong for the sibling of a diabetic to feel jealous. It doesn’t mean that they are selfish or that they don’t love their brother or sister. It simply means that they are children too, scared, unsure and feeling out of control. As adults, we understand that the tremendous amount of focus diabetes takes does not mean that one child is favored over another. But we have the benefit of adult cognitive and emotional skills on our side; our children do not. To them it can seem as if our every waking moment and thought is focused on the one with diabetes. We just have to be careful and intentionally set some time aside for all our children.

Over the years, Amber has grown to be a very confident sister who feels able to take care of her little sister in certain situations. I have witnessed many times Amber coming up from our downstairs family room, picking up Nikki’s meter, grabbing a juice from the fridge and saying “oh, Nikki is feeling low, I’m taking her meter and juice, I’ll let you know if we need you”. The key word there is “we”. At some point, Amber and Nikki became their own little team in dealing with this disease. As a mom, those are the moments “my cup runneth over” with pride. I do not pry into that relationship and enter it only if they call me.

The best part of this story is that they still argue, they still annoy each other and are still completely “normal” (whatever that is) kids. Diabetes may have tried to take over our lives, but it ran into a brick wall when it met my girls. Instead of defeating them as individuals and sisters, it wound up making them stronger; I got the benefit of having 2 people I consider true heros living right here in my home and life.

More to come………

Life With Diabetes

Monday, August 11, 2008

Diabetes Journey - Part 2

Okay, I left off our Diabetes story at the point Nikki was released from the hospital. We get home and are a feeling a mixture of relief in just being back in our own house and complete fear that we won’t be able to take care of Nikki and the worst will happen.

Of course, there is our other daughter, Amber, to consider as well. One thing that can and often does happen is that the chronic illness of one child can completely over shadow the needs and even the existence of your other child who is completely healthy. I will touch more on that in future writings, but I would like to say that Amber is another of my heros.

That first night home we slept, the 4 of us, in mine and Bryan’s bed; we just needed to be together. We made our way through the next few years. There is so much involved in the day to day living of life with diabetes that I won’t try to go overboard in details. Instead I want to touch on a few milestones.

I mentioned in the first writing Nikki’s anger toward me. That is sort of putting it mildly. I would say that in her 5 year old mind she bordered on hating me, at the time. Of course, I basically agreed with her. Her anger at having Diabetes was totally directed at her mommy. She was not capable at such a young age to identify her feelings and/or give a voice to them; so they naturally came out as anger directed at the person who she thought could fix everything, mommy. The outbursts were frequent and increased in violence. The final outburst came about a month after her diagnosis during a trip to Kroger.

We had finished our grocery shopping; Amber was at home with Daddy so it was just Nikki and I. She decided, for no particular reason (and I believe there really wasn’t one) that she was not going to get in the car with me to go home (I think she felt so out of control that she was trying to control whatever she could, namely me). Up until that point, I will admit that I indulged her anger toward me because I felt so rotten that she had this thing to deal with so I overcompensated in inappropriate ways. Anyway, she stopped about 8 feet from our car and said “I’m not going home”. I told her, most likely in a very sappy tone of voice, that we needed to get home because she had to eat. Looking back now, I believe that comment was the trigger for the total meltdown. She started trying to kick me. A light bulb went on in my head and I realized that I was losing control of my 5 year old and that having diabetes was no excuse for public temper tantrums. I picked her up. Those of you who have ever had to pick up a 5 year old in the midst of a temper tantrum have an inkling of the strenghth they can have; combine that strength with an overwhelming anger and terror at not really knowing why your parents are constantly sticking with needles, making you eat when you don’t want to, not letting you eat when you do want to, etc. etc. and you get a minature Incredible Hulk.

People stopped and stared at us; most likely convinced that I was (a) kidnapping an unwilling victim or (b) a terrible mother; at that point I didn’t care. My only objective was trying to get this little person into the car. I finally succeeded, and then it took another almost half hour to get her into the car seat. I backed out of the parking spot and began the short drive home. About halfway there Nikki managed to get herself out of the carseat and was attempting to get out of the MOVING car. I just kept going. I drove the last 2 mintues to the house with one hand on the steering wheel and one and on the door lock in the back seat, with Nikki biting my hand, and I don’t mean a nip, my hand was bleeding.

I get her home and by then yes I was fussing at her; we get inside and I just collapsed on the kitchen floor in tears. I began sobbing, really sobbing and she suddenly stopped being angry at me and just looked. After a couple of minutes I felt her little hand on my head, I looked up at her; at that moment we reconnected through our tears, we continued crying and holding on to each other. I think it was that moment that Nikki realized I hated what was happening to her as much as she did. Obviously, a 5 year doesn’t process information in that way but that was the jist of what she understood in that pocket of time.

What I learned from all of that is this: You have to be strong for your kids. To me this means not falling apart before, during or after a crisis. You don’t want your kids thinking about how mom will act once the crisis is over, that will only add to their stress. So I kept it all in. The message Nikki got from me was that I was okay with her having diabetes. She thought it didn’t matter to me. Showing and sharing our feelings with our children is a good thing when done appropriately and they need us to be human. They need to hear us tell them we are sorry when we screw up, or when they are hurting. Nikki never had another outburst after that day.

There is much more I will write on as time goes by but I want to tell one last story before I close this portion. The day after we got home from the hospital I noticed something on our front porch. I opened the door and there sat a teddy bear. Not just any teddy bear, this was a diabetes bear. Her name is Ruby and she even wears a medical bracelet. She has patches on every part of her bear body that match the places Nikki was getting injections. Her legs, hips, arms, tummy so Nikki could give her bear a shot in the same place she had just had to get one. This bear was an anchor for Nikki. So who was the mystery gift giver? Many of you know that Nikki has been dancing at The Dance Center since she was 2-1/2. All of her early dance years were spent under the teaching of Miss PattiAnn. Miss PattiAnn has a daughter named Haley whom Nikki idolizes. We found out that it was Miss PattiAnn and Haley who had left the bear (and other diabetes items) on our doorstep. You see, Miss PattiAnn and Haley also have Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. This is one of the many ways that God has intervened on Nikki’s behalf. She immediately had someone that was involved in her daily life to hang on to.

I have a niece and a nephew with diabetes and Nikki also adores them. However, they were in another city and Nikki wasn’t able to see them as often as she did Miss PattiAnn and Haley. They have been a continuing source of support for Nikki and an inspiration in her life for many reasons. You can see pictures of them with Nikki from her diagnosis through this past year in our group album. Haley has just graduated from high school. She is moving on to New York to study fashion design and Miss PattiAnn has retired from the dance center to move into the new part of her life. Their lasting impact on our family will never be forgotten. They will always be counted as 2 of the many blessings God has bestowed upon us.

That’s it for now. Our story is to be continued……

Our Diabetes Journey Begins

It was a busy afternoon in April 2003. I had both my girls: Amber age 9 and Nikki who had just turned 5, in the back seat of the car. We were on our way home from a trip to the mall when Nikki announced “mommy that pointy thing is hurting my stomach”. I literally felt exasperated; Nikki complained constantly about her tummy hurting, we had done everything we could to figure out why and it always made me feel helpless when she fussed about it. I said “Nikki your tummy always hurts honey; I don’t know what else I can do”. My sweet little girl accepted that answer and complained no further.

A bout an hour after we got home, I had fed the girls lunch and was busy with this and that around the house. The girls were playing downstairs. I went to check on them and found my baby Nikki on the floor, sitting up, leaning against the couch with her hand on her chin, sound asleep. I remember thinking “isn’t she so beautiful and sweet” and I went and got my camera to take a picture.

A day or so later, April 5 to be exact, I had just finished placing dinner on the table and my Nikki immediately reached for her drink first. I said “Nikki Marie you have to stop drinking all your meals, you can’t have another drink until you eat something”. Her little face fell; Nikki doesn’t like to be scolded and is very compliant, so she complied. She ate but continued to ask for drinks throughout the night, her favorite Gatorade. That morning I bought a new gallon of Gatorade thinking it would last quite a while.

By the next morning, April 6, 2003, I realized it was all but gone, that’s when I instinctively knew something was very wrong. I called one of our closest friends who also happened to be our family doctor and told him what had been going. He told me to bring her in right away. I loaded up Nikki and Amber and off we went. On the way, I phoned Bryan who was traveling for work about 4 hours away and told him I was taking her to the doctor. He said “just call me and let me know what Troy says”.

The three of us sat in the examination room, unknowingly waiting for our lives to change forever. Troy came in listened to me explain what her symptoms were and told me we would have to check her blood sugar via a finger stick. My niece Brittany, who was an intricate part of our lives, had Type 1 Diabetes so we were all very familiar with “finger pokes”. Nikki protested but managed to make it through what would be the first of a million finger pokes. Troy left the room and returned a few minutes later with tears in his eyes. He looked at me, put his hand on my shoulder and said the words I dreaded “Sheri her blood sugar is 545, Nikki has diabetes”.

There is no way to describe shock, so I won’t try. A million things went through my mind and then my mind went blank. I didn’t have time to indulge, I needed to fix this and I needed to know what the next step was. Troy said to me “get your running shoes on, I want you to go home, pack her a suitcase and head directly to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital”. I shook my head yes, gathered my precious girls and began this new journey.

The first stop on the journey was to call my husband. “Nikki has diabetes”. I don’t remember much more of the conversation except him turning the car around as we spoke saying that he was on his way home, he would come directly to the hospital; he was still about 4 hours away. In the meantime I have 2 very quiet, very young little girls trying to figure out what was happening. I tried my best to briefly explain what was happening and told Nikki that she was like Brittany, she had diabetes and now we were going to the hospital to get her medicine and learn all we can about how to take care of her. At that point, she simply didn’t understand. Like many children with diabetes, Brittany never really complained about her diabetes, so the girls really didn’t get how big this disease is.

I called my mother to tell her that another one of her grandchildren had diabetes. She was very quiet and I really only remember telling her I would call her later once I knew more. She lives about 1-1/2 away from me. The next 5 days were a blur and full of more doctors, dieticians and diabetes social workers than I can remember. Instead I will touch on few events that are very clear to me during that time.

The first would be Nikki’s slow realization that her life now consisted of daily interactions with needles; I remember the way her cry sounded. I remember how helpless I suddenly realized I was and how useless to her I thought I was going to be. More on this later.

The second thing I remember is my mother walking into the emergency room. I didn’t know she was coming. As I said, we live an hour and a half away and by the time she was able to arrive it was dark and the hospital is located in a rather scary part of downtown Cincinnati. But there she was, as brokenhearted as I was.

The third thing I remember is my husband walking into the room and the overwhelming relief I felt that we were all together, the 4 of us.

The following days consisted of IV’s, shots, learning to eat and when to eat, silent grief and Nikki’s anger. Nikki was mad at me, her mommy, because I was letting this happen and I wasn’t fixing it. I agreed with her. Finally, we were released to go home. Now the journey really begins. Diabetes affected not only Nikki, but our other child waiting at home. She was trying to figure out where she fit in the family dynamics now that this new, unwelcome ‘thing’ had arrived to plant itself firmly in the middle of our lives, forever.

To be continued…….

Here We Go Again

Hi Everyone,
First let me say thanks for following our site around as we try to get set up. For some reason the one on M.S. disappeared so I decided to seek a blog site elsewhere. I'll be posting the same blogs that were already on M.S. before it got deleted. I'd appreciate any comments you can repost for us. I think this will be our new home and the great part is you don't have to join a community.

The Turner's

Am I Here?

Just checking to see if I've really created an independent blog. I've had so much trouble on M.S. trying to keep our page going that I'm unsure of everything now. LOL.