Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dr. Suess and Diabetes

Those who know me well, know of my love for Dr. Suess' children's books. I've read them to my children since before they were actually aware of anything except the sound of my voice. I have many favorites, but one in particular is on the top of my list. It occurred to me tonight that this book (which I will name in a minute) accurately and profoundly describes how Nikki's life (and mine, Bryan and Amber's) was before diabetes; the moments we've had since diabetes; and the future we are determined for Nikki and all d-kids to have. The name of the book is "Oh, The Places You'll Go" and it was the last book Dr. Suess ever wrote. Please allow me to share it with you now and as you read, really absorb the words and the meaning behind them. (The words in brackets are mine.)

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose

You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one
who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets.
Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say,
"I don't choose to go there."

With your head full of brains
and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down
any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind,
because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang
and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly,
you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go,
you will top all the rest.

Except when you don' t
Because, sometimes, you won't.
I'm sorry to say so but, sadly, it's true
that hang-ups and bang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place
where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted.
But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain
both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out?
Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose?
How much can you win?

And IF you go in,
should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters?
Or, maybe, not quite?

Or go around back and
sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not,
I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper
to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads
at a break-necking pace

and grind on for miles
across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear,
toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come,
or a plane to go
or the mail to come,
or the rain to go
or the phone to ring,
or the snow to snow
or waiting around
for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow
{or waiting for a cure}
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps,
for their Uncle Jake or
a pot to boil,
or a Better Break
or a string of pearls,
or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls,
or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting.

NO! That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!


There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored.
there are games to be won.
And the magical things
you can do with that ball
will make you the
winning-est winner of all.

You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world
watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.
I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win'
cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot

And when you're alone,
there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you
right out of your pants.
There are things, down the road
between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much
you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
Though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many a frightening creek,
though your arms {and fingers}
may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far and
face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up with
many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that
Life's a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be
dexterous and deft.
And never mix up
your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS! your name Buxbaum or
Bixby or Brayor Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

November 14th


Type 1 diabetes is growing by 3% per year in children and adolescents, and at an alarming 5% per year among pre-school children. It is estimated that 70,000 children under 15 develop type 1 diabetes each year (almost 200 children a day) [IDF, 2008].

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More Random Thinking

The upgrade to this pump has triggered the “I can do it myself” button in Nikki. While we all have an ‘independent button’, d-kids have an extra one reserved for taking care of their diabetes. So far we are very impressed with the new pump and Nikki is reluctant to hand it over to let me or Bryan do the button pushing – our requests to “let me see for a minute” are usually met with a single sentence: “I can do it myself”. Now don’t get me wrong, she’s not rude when she says it, she simply wants to be in charge of her own health. Something most kids don’t have to even consider at 10 years old, but is normal for kids that struggle with a chronic illness or condition.

Since we began blogging, we’ve met a lot of great people. One family we’ve bonded with in particular is Mom – Jill and Daughter & D-Kid – Kacey. I noticed that Nikki left a comment on Kacey’s myspace page the other day that simply said “I hate diabetes, don’t you?” It kind of took my breath for a minute; I immediately started to over analyze the comment, try to figure out why she said, what caused it, is she sad, etc. etc. All the ‘over protective’ genes jumped into high performance mode. Thankfully, I got sidetracked before I could drill Nikki about it, which had the benefit allowing me time to digest what she said. Why shouldn’t she be mad, or sad, or sick of it? I realized that she was probably having a perfectly great day but just needed to reach out to her friend that would completely understand such a simple, but profound statement. So now, instead of worrying, I am thankful that God has sent Jill and Kacey our way.

Nikki is off spending the night with her best friend, Samantha, whose mother is one of my best friends. Nik checked in from the skating rink a few minutes ago to tell me she was going to eat popcorn and drink a Sprite; her exact follow-up statement was “I don’t need you to tell me how much insulin, just tell me how many carbs are in a McDonald’s sized Sprite? I can do the rest myself”. ENOUGH ALREADY – (I didn’t actually say that) but come on. How much independence can a mommy take on all at once – diabetes or not!!

I took the opportunity, while Nikki is hanging out with her friend, to have some mother/daughter time with Amber. I took her to the mall (where else would you take a teenager). We went in search of a t-shirt representing Amber’s latest obssession – The Twilight Books (which I’m about to start reading). This took us to a store that is pure GOTH; Hot Topic but I find it rather cool. Amber came away with 2 t-shirts; my favorite one is the one with Edward the Vampire on the front and the words “You Are My Life Now” on the back. Now I know I’m probably not setting the perfect mom example in my support of her love for these characters, but I, myself, LOVE vampire stories and from what my own friends tell me, this is an AWESOME book series; so that is my justification and I’m sticking to it; that and the fact that my kids love The Lord and know fact from fiction. Amber has made me promise to have the first book ‘Twilight’ read before the movie comes out next month. She is thrilled that the boy that played Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter Goblet of Fire movie (H.P. a.k.a. Daniel Radcliffe is the true love of Amber and Nikki) is the one that plays the main character of Edward in the Twilight movie.

Well, enough random wandering for one blog…….

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We Are Pumped, Again!

Today was the day! Nikki is an official Cozmo Girl! Nikki, Bryan and I spent about 2-1/2 hours at Children’s today gettting trained on the pump upgrade and we are thrilled with all the new advances made since we began pumping on the Mini-Med 4 years ago. This new one is amazing and does everything but talk to us; it’s her meter, her food menu, there are alarms that remind her to retest if she has been high or low; it calculates correction boluses – at different rates if we need it to -- and that’s just to name a few things. Nikki also loves the new site insertion gadget; it’s called a Cleo and it’s a wonderful little device.

The people at Children’s were wonderful, like always,and we felt very comfortable with the Cozmo when we left. After training Nikki had to get her flu shot; just one more poke that she takes without complaining. The nurse administering the shot was a hoot and Nikki actually laughed through most of the ordeal.

Cozmo has already beeped at us and told Nikki that since she was high 2 hours ago she needed to retest her blood sugar; it has a much better brain than mine J. All the new technology is amazing; and the continual new and astounding upgrades make us hope that a cure is closer than ever.

Tomorrow will be her first full day on Cozmo and she will be taking it to school. Paula, if you are reading this GET READY! I’m looking forward to hearing your take on this new technology.

Nikki is dying to have Samantha, Brooke and Emily (her best friends) check out the new pump; they are always so excited when she has anything new to share – they are true best friends. Samantha and Brooke have even asked Nikki to poke their fingers for a blood sugar check just so they would know what it feels like! You can’t top friends like that.

All for now……..

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Checking In

So it’s 2:00 in the morning and I can’t sleep; which I blame on my mother and my grandmother – it seems that bad sleeping habits are genetic and I inherited the problem from them.

This fall is proving to be extremely busy. I’ve been accepting more teaching positions (which is a good thing) and this semester at Western Kentucky is kicking my butt. Graduation is about a year away; but then I head right into work on my Master’s so it’s really a lot further away than that; definitely worth it – I do recommend that you figure out what you want to be when you grow up and get your schooling in before a husband and kids (oh and before you hit 40).

We go, this coming Tuesday, for Nikki’s new pump start up – she’ll be an official “Cozmo Girl” at that point and she’s very PUMPED – am I not funny ☺!

I’ve been reading this amazing book that I sort of stumbled upon while doing research for one of my classes and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone: It’s called “Schuyler’s Monster”. It’s about a little girl with a chronic illness that is very rare, it’s a true story told from and through the eyes of her dad, who is an amazingly gifted writer – Robert Hummel-Hudson; in fact I’m hoping to obtain permission to link his blog with mine, so check back from time to time to see if it’s on Our Favorite Links at the bottom.

This is pretty much a RANDOM blog because things have been relatively quiet, which means only the NORMAL highs and lows; no unconscious events, or extreme numbers and yes I should know better than to actually say things are okay out loud, or in writing, but there it is. Amber and Bryan returned from their Texas trip this past week -- Amber had a wonderful time with her best friend, Khadija. My Aunt has come through her surgery well enough and is finally out of the hospital; to top off a semi-calm (but incredibly busy) few days.....this evening we had our weekly youth group meeting here at our house. This usually means about 22 - 26 middle school kids in our home, every Wednesday night for about 2 hours. It's a great bunch of kids and they have a blast. Tonight, for example, 2 of the boys had a hot dog eating contest and ate until one of them threw up (and when he was done he ate some more, he was the champion after all - way to go Drew); how can you top that kind of fun? It's moments and evenings like these that we are able to put the uncertainty, frustration, worry and all the other 'stuff' that hovers around diabetes on the back burner and enjoy life.

I’m sure I’ll have lots to report next Tuesday when Nik Nak is hooked up with her new Kentucky Blue Cozmo Girl Pump.

Until then……..