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…

Diabetes Awareness Flyer

PDF: Click to download a PDF of the flyer.

JPEG: Screenshot, right click, or tap and save to photos to save this flyer as a JPEG

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 →

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 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 →

T1D Black Belt

by Erin

I shared with my blog partner, Alese, what I am about to share with you. She started sending me Chuck Norris memes and called me a type 1 diabetes black belt. I think I am still a white belt, but I’m adding stripes!

Thanks to resources like the books Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner, and Sugar Surfing by Dr. Stephen Ponder, I’m figuring out the timing for my 7 year old Grasshopper’s insulin. I’ve been trying this stuff for maybe a year and a half now and I think I’m finally starting to get it. Continue reading →

Positive Change Talk at Auburn University

“Why did you forget your diabetes supplies??”

“You should check your blood sugar more often.”

“It is SO important for you to take your insulin on time because if you don’t you could go into a coma!”

by Erin

I spent my Saturday morning as a participant in a research study conducted by Dr. Jan Kavookjian at the Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University. The purpose of the study, per Dr. Kavookjian’s materials, is to “gather parent perceptions about what it is like to communicate with a child or teen who has type 1 or 2 diabetes.”

As parents and caregivers we want to FIX IT. Both the big things we know we can’t fix (our kids are stuck with T1D until there is a cure) and the smaller things (my kid won’t bring along the needed supplies). Continue reading →

Sugar Rush Survivors Playlist

What music moves you? What songs resonate with you?

When you are having a difficult day… or week… or year… with type 1 diabetes, or just with life, what do you listen to that helps you get through?

Leading up to the spring of 2017 I was having a rough time. I felt like a failure, like everything I was doing as a T1D mom and in life was not good enough. It turns out that depression tells a person those kinds of lies. Continue reading →

A Tale of Tuesday

by Erin

Now that Grasshopper is playing baseball we have some evenings when we have to grab dinner and head to the field early and stay late. Here’s our Tuesday evening in photos, from dinner in the car on the way to the ball field for pictures, to batting practice, the game, with Dexcom G6 graph screenshots throughout. Thanks to Sugar Surfing and Arden’s Day/Juicebox Podcast, we had a smooth night of blood sugars! We bumped it up with carbs when needed, reduced his pump a bit, and he had a ton of fun out there. The icing on the cupcake is that his team won, 14-3! Continue reading →