Dex the Halls

Our school system’s PTA groups hold a Festival of Trees as an annual fundraiser. Local businesses and organizations pay a small fee to enter a tree. Students, teachers, and school groups can decorate a tree for free. People pay a $5 for a ticket to come view the trees and vote for their favorite. If they bring canned goods for our local food pantry or hygiene items for our Veterans Association, they receive a ticket for each item, which they can then use to vote for their favorite tree. We have some precious and creatively decorated trees on display! Preschool and kindergarten classes decorated with handmade ornaments, the high school science classes decorated with handmade clay models of body parts, several neighborhoods decorated trees, and organizations around town celebrated with ornaments representing their areas.

For people unfamiliar with the day-to-day life of type 1 diabetes, the ornaments on this tree may seem scary, sad, or distasteful. For those living with type 1 diabetes, this tree is a celebration of life!

Our Diabe-tree is a tree of life, decorated with used T1D supplies courtesy of Grasshopper and local T1D families. Without the insulin that came in these now empty vials, they would not be here to celebrate Christmas. With these supplies, people with type 1 diabetes manage a tricky chronic life threatening condition that requires training, patience, persistence, constant vigilance, and support.

I called our diabetes supplier and our pharmacy to get the cash price for each item on the tree and under the tree. The cash price is what a person pays if they aren’t using health insurance for the purchase. The cost Insurance plans can vary widely, so it seemed best to get the cash price as a baseline.

Under the tree:

  • $162 for 1 box of 10 MiniMed Mio Infusion Sets for Medtronic Insulin Pump
  • $28.80 for 1 box of 10 MiniMed Insulin Pump Reservoirs
  • $52 for 1 box of 100 BD UltraFine Needles
  • $553.18 for 1 box of 2 Baqsimi glucagon nasal powder for severe low blood sugar
  • $149.95 for 1 box of 10 AutoSoft XC Infusion Sets for TSlim Insulin Pump
  • $28.80 for 1 box of 10 TSlim Insulin Pump Cartridge
  • $405 for 1 box of 10 OmniPod Insulin Pumps
  • $500 for 1 box of 3 Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitor Sensors
  • $600 for 2 vials of Novolog Insulin at $300 each
  • $15 for 1 box of 102 AccuCheck FastClix Lancets
  • $275.22 for 1 box of 5 Aspart FlexPen Insulin
  • $321.46 for 1 box of 5 Basaglar QuickPen Insulin
  • $311.18 for 2 boxes of Contour Next Blood Sugar Test Strips, 100 strips at $115.59
  • $43.59 for 1 box of AccuCheck Guide Blood Sugar Test Strips, 100 strips
  • $17.78 for 2 boxes of OneTouch Delica Plus Lancets at $8.89 each
  • $276.59 for 1 Glucagon Kit, rescue injection for severe low blood sugar
    • Total: $3,740.55

On the tree:

  • $7,500 for 25 Novolog Insulin Vials at $300 each
  • $1,333.33 for 8 Dexcom Inserters at $166.66 each
  • $254.83 for 17 AutoSoft XC Inserters at $14.99 each
  • $23.04 for 8 TSlim Cartridges at $2.88 each
  • $231.16 for 4 cans of ContourNext Blood Sugar Test Strips, 50 strips at $57.79 each
  • $526.50 for 13 OmniPod Insulin Pumps at $40.50 each
  • $300 for 1 Dexcom Transmitter
  • $3.62 for 2 Glucose Tab Tubes at $1.81 each
  • $354.33 for 3 Fiasp Pen Vials at $118.11 each
    • Total: $10,526.81

The total for this whole display, both on the tree and under the tree is $14,267.36

There were beautifully decorations this year at the Festival of Trees. I have no doubt that ours was both the most expensively decorated tree if you consider the cash price for these items, and also the least expensive because all of the items had already outlived their usefulness.

While I am passionate about bringing awareness to the difficulty and expense of living with a condition no one asked for or deserved, I am also extremely grateful for these lifesaving medications and devices. Without them, I would not be celebrating with my son!

What Happens At Camp Seale Harris Check In?

by Erin Turnham

Registration for 2023 Camp Seale Harris is open as of November 1, 2022! Registration is open for Summer Camps (Day Camps ages 5-15 and Overnight Camps ages 6-18), Family Camps (ages 0-18), and Teen Leadership Forum (grades 9-12). You can view the dates and locations for 2023 programs here. Register your child now at https://csh.campbrainregistration.com/.

The 2022 Camp Seale Harris Junior Camp was Grasshopper’s third overnight summer camp. It would have been his fourth since he started going in 2019, but of course Covid derailed those plans in 2021. We have been going to Camp Seale Harris events since soon after his diagnosis at 21 months old in 2013.

The family weekend camps held at Camp ASCCA in Jackson’s Gap, Alabama helped us become familiar with the facilities. Those weekends together with other Camp Seale Harris family events gave us plenty of time to get to know the people in charge, and to ask lots of questions before Grasshopper was even eligible to go to camp at age 6. By that time our family was as ready as we could be! Even with all that preparation, our first check-in was daunting! I was nervous to leave him, he was ready to stay there and play, and I had heard how long the check-in process was.

To help out other families, I’m sharing what happens during check-in at Camp Seale Harris’ Jackson’s Gap location. Full disclosure, I’m both a parent and a board member. I still stand in the same line as everyone else at check in! This year I took photos as Grasshopper and I went through each station so you can have a first hand look.

Continue reading…

Is Grief Recyclable?

by Erin Turnham

Context: I began writing this on Monday, March 30, 2020. My kids’ last day at school in person was Friday, March 13, 2020. Our school went on Spring Break March 16-20. Due to Covid-19, in-person school wasn’t an option for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. For the 2020-2021 school year my kids did school virtually. Thanks to the timeless work of grief and the continuing stresses of those two years, this essay still resonates for me. Note: At this time Grasshopper was using the Medtronic 670g and Dexcom. Since that time he has used the Medtronic 770g and Medtronic Guardian sensor and currently uses the T-Slim Tandem with Dexcom G6.

Today my grief is an empty crushed cardboard pizza box. I feel used up, discarded, smashed. Left in the bottom of the can. Greasy, worthless. Littered with crumbs and soggy sauce smears. Where can I leave this grief? How about guilt? Into which bin do I toss my selfishness? I want to throw it all away. I want to be rid of these jagged, used up emotions that tire my mind, and pray that something good can be made out of the clutter. By someone else. I don’t want to do the work of it, I just want to be rid of it all. Grief is work. Sigh.

In the midst of global troubles, my family is trying to manage the daily routines of type 1 diabetes. We had an incident which brought into sharp focus how much work T1D life is.

Continue reading…

November 2019 Diabetes Awareness

by Erin Schovel Turnham

I’m excited to host an event in the Alabama River Region for people with type 1 diabetes and their families! This will be a simple get together with yard games on Saturday, November 16 from 9 -11 A.M. in front of Pike Road Elementary School in Pike Road, Alabama.

type1funflyer_2019_11_16.pdf Continue reading →

7 Tips : What To Do When… Your Child Says, “Mama, Look At THAT Kid!”

 

In the foreground a child's finger points to a young boy, blurred, in the background. The boy is crouched on the grass next to a large flowerpot. His posture is slouching and pouty. His arms rest on the flowerpot rim. A toy yellow tractor rests on the grass.

In the foreground a child’s finger points to a young boy, blurred, in the background. The boy crouches on the grass next to a large flowerpot. His posture is slouching and pouty. His arms rest on the flowerpot rim. A toy yellow tractor rests on the grass.

By Erin Schovel Turnham

Nothing quite strikes fear in my heart like my child pointing at another person and saying loudly, “Look, Mama!” Children are naturally curious, and without the social filters we acquire as we age.

A neighbor asked me how to broach the subject with M, her 3 year old daughter. Grasshopper and Sunshine were out playing with M, and Grasshopper had to stop to check his blood sugar. Their friend was obviously curious and while she didn’t ask any questions, her mom wondered how to address it. I was grateful my neighbor reached out. Continue reading →

One Small Step For A Grasshopper

Grasshopper needed some reading practice, so I made a deal with him. If he read a whole book to me, then he could choose another, new book. He loves learning about real people and historical figures especially. The series “Ordinary People Change the World” written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos is in heavy rotation in our house. Continue reading →

Summer Camp Part 7 : Friday

By Erin Schovel Turnham

Friday, June 14, 2019

Home Again

Time to go get my boy from his summer camp adventure! Sunshine and I are ready for the trip. I’ve got my coffee. She has a notebook and crayons. Let’s go! Continue reading →

Summer Camp Part 6 : Thursday

By Erin Schovel Turnham

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Bright Sun-shiny Day

Today we had just Sunshine at home. Tomorrow we’ll pick up Grasshopper. Sunshine and I made toast and scrambled eggs together. She helped crack the eggs. Continue reading →

Summer Camp Part 5 : Wednesday

By Erin Schovel Turnham

Wednesday, June 12, 2109

Working Breakfast

Mr. Mister had to work on our last day at the beach but thankfully he is able to work remotely. We had another day near the beach if not physically on it. I walked to get breakfast from Gypsea Crepes again and this time I remembered to take a photo before gobbling it up. Continue reading →

Summer Camp Part 4 : Tuesday

By Erin Schovel Turnham

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Beach Bums

Mr. Mister and I woke up late. I wanted to try breakfast at a place new to us and he obliged. We made our way to Gypsea Crepes just before they stopped serving breakfast. I loved everything about it!! Continue reading →