Spreading the Word

by Erin

Thanks to support from my family (special thanks to my sister-in-law Denise) I have reached out to some media sources in order to make the Sugar Rush Survivors message of hope, support, and T1D awareness available to more people. Today the Yellowhammer News published my piece called “Struggling,” which I published here a few weeks ago on the blog. Click here to read the article on the Yellowhammer News site. At the end of the article I included the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes in an effort to make them more widely known. While there isn’t currently a cure for T1D, early diagnosis can save lives and prevent some of the complications of misdiagnosis.

I am very grateful for Rachel Bryars at Yellowhammer News for providing a platform to help spread awareness of T1D and the Sugar Rush Survivors message that no matter what you are going through, you are not alone!

Typeonedo

by Erin

Gabbing with Grasshopper

Him: What did you say those big kids in white clothes were doing at school today? Typeonediabetesdo?

Me: What??

Him: Typeonedo.

Me: Do you mean taekwondo?

Him: Yeah!

Today we are kicking type 1 diabetes martial arts style! Conversations like this remind me that we each see the world from our own lens. Grasshopper’s perspective is different than mine. Type 1 diabetes is part of his frame of reference for the world. It has been for the majority of his six years of life and will be until, God willing, there is a cure. But in the mean time, we will continue living each day, overcoming each new obstacle, passing the tests type one diabetes throws our way. This is our life. This is his life. He takes each day as it comes and keeps going. Type 1 diabetes is a part of his life, not the whole of his life. Typeonedo!

Chronically Meme Happy

by Erin

After dealing with diabetes as a family for four years and four months, I think of it as if I am holding a pencil in my outstretched hand. I am relatively confident now in the daily decisions that need to be made. Thanks to Sugar Surfing techniques I am usually able to run Grasshopper’s blood sugar control as a background program in my mind instead of as the main focus of my day. But of course it is always there. It is like holding a pencil in your outstretched hand. The pencil is light and easy to hold. But if you hold your arm straight out for a minute or two, your arm starts to hurt, to shake with fatigue. Trying to be a stand in pancreas for a few hours is hard. But what is harder is being a stand in pancreas day after day, trying to be a consistent, constant force against a chronic condition that frequently changes. Our family has been holding that pencil for Grasshopper for four years and counting. We will keep it up, of course, because we want him to have blood sugar levels as close to those of a non-type 1 diabetic as possible. We will hold this for him and teach him how to hold it. But wow, is my arm is tired.

One thing that helps is to laugh. The diabetic online community (DOC) is a clever, supportive bunch, over all. T1D is a serious life threatening condition. But it also daily offers up ridiculous situations, funny juxtapositions and a sort of language all its own. And the memes. THE MEMES!! They are a kind of relief all their own.

There are plenty of days when type 1 diabetes acts like a certain annoying MTV character.

Struggling

by Erin

That’s what the mom right before me in line to check in late to school had written in the “reason” column. Continue reading →

Going Down

by Alese

[From Erin: When I first met Alese I would often ask her to explain how certain T1D situations felt to her. Lows, highs, in range, blood sugar rising or falling quickly… Grasshopper couldn’t tell me yet how he felt. She still sends me explanations and it is really helpful to hear her perspective.]

When my blood sugar has been super high, and I’ve bolused some insulin with my OmniPod pump to bring it back down, I can feel the insulin starting to kick in before it shows up in my Dexcom graph and numbers. My body starts feeling lighter. Weightless. Possible translation: When you are standing in an elevator and it starts going down. That momentary lightness is similar.

How do you explain the T1D situations you feel to the muggles in your life?

(Credit: https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/music/2016/07/21/steven-tyler-concert-review-phoenix-country/87385346/ )

Easter with T1D 2018

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:6

Happy Easter!

We went to the Easter vigil Mass last night and we all survived without meltdowns. Even me! Grasshopper was amazed that he got to hold a candle and that there was A FIRE outside. Sunshine loved the ringing of the bells when we all sang Alleluia over and over. She shook her hand like she was holding a bell and laughed and laughed. With joy we greet our risen Lord! During Lent the absence of the Alleluia reminds us that our focus is on the Kingdom coming. After a season of no Alleluia, we shout with joy on Easter, “Alleluia, Praise Yahweh!” Through Mass Sunshine was a wiggle monster trying to keep herself awake. I got a workout just holding her!! But other than the wiggling and the loud laughing she did alright for a 2 year old so late at night. We didn’t get home until 10pm. She fell asleep in her car seat and barely woke up when Mr. Mister lifted her out. She was like a little rag doll, my sweet sleepy girl.

During our neighborhood Easter egg hunt yesterday I was asked by a neighbor how we handle holiday treats. I’ve written about Halloween and Valentine’s Day. Here is our approach to Easter treats.

I put together a small basket of treats. This year I found some books for each of them at Costco. I got “Henry and Rigsby” by Beverly Cleary for Grasshopper and the “Big Blue Book of Beginner Books,” a collection of Dr. Seuss stories, for Sunshine. Stickers, modeling clay and soap filled up their Easter baskets. I found treats at some of my favorite stores, Publix, and CVS. We don’t use sugar-free treats that aren’t stevia sweetened. Personally I think that the full sugar versions taste better and they don’t have the laxative effect that many sugar-free kinds can have. If you have not yet read the Amazon reviews of Haribo sugar-free gummy bears, read it here. It is worth a few minutes of your time and laughter. Go ahead, I can wait.

Ghiradelli Bunny laughs at Haribo Sugar-Free Gummy Bears…

We handle treats in much the same way we would even if we didn’t have a child with type 1 diabetes. This morning the kids each chose one treat and they were allowed another treat after breakfast. For treats I prefer to use individual portions. If when he is older Grasshopper wants to take big bites out of a large chocolate bunny’s ears, he can go right ahead and do the math. Total carbohydrates / grams in weight per serving = grams of carbs per serving. Then grams of carbs per serving X grams in weight for the chosen portion = grams of carbohydrates for the chosen portion. How many grams of carbs are in those three bites you just took of bunny ears and tail??? And how much insulin should he take to cover that??? Right. Since I’m doing the carb counting now, I want to make it easy. Pre-portioned treats it is. When Grasshopper wants a treat, we figure out how many grams of carbs it is, he doses for it with my supervision, we wait a few minutes, usually 10 or so for the insulin to start working, and then he enjoys his treat. Here are the carb counts for the treats in their baskets:

Lindt Chicks = 5g carbs each

Cadbury Mini Creme Egg = 6g carbs each

Cadbury Mini Caramel Egg = 5g carbs each

Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Bunny = 6g carbs each

Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Bunny =6g carbs each

Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Jelly Beans = 1g carbs each

Lily’s Chocolate=10g carbs for about 1/4 bar

Cave Man Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut = 18g carbs each

Cave Man Dark Chocolate Cashew Almond = 18g carbs each

Pure Organic Layered Fruit Bar Pineapple & Passionfruit = 14g carbs each

Pure Organic Layered Fruit Bar Strawberry & Banana = 14g carbs each

We like regular sugar treats but we also love Lily’s chocolate sweetened with stevia. It is lower in carbohydrates and calories!

Updated on April 2: I bought some treats early and then forgot to put them in their baskets, so they get an extra treat today after school!

Happy Easter from us at Sugar Rush Survivors!

Under Pressure

by Erin

I dragged Grasshopper out of bed, tired, grumpy, crying and upset and hauled both kids to school in workout clothes and no make up, on the Monday after Spring Break only to get into the office and be told there was no school because of parent teacher conferences. Guess I should check my email!! #hotmess

Continue reading →