Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday, Laila and I made chocolate chip cookies together! There's something special to be said about baking with your kids, it might be messy, but it sure is fun! Laila's here to update you all on the afternoon we spent together-enjoy her post!

I was eating the chocolate on the rack where you put the warm cookies at.

I was about to eat the cookies! They smelled so good!
I wanted to eat all the cookies!

I was smiling with the cookies. They look so good!
They are called chocolate chip cookies!

Chocolate chip cookies are so good!
I was helping my mommy move the cookies over to the other rack without the white paper.

Peek-a-boo! I was smiling with the cookies next to them.

I was faking it like eating all those cookies on that plate.
Do you like chocolate chip cookies? With milk? I do! I like chocolate chip cookies with milk, do you? I can eat them like everyone else, as long as I have my insulin! I need an extra mosquito bite, but that's okay. My mommy makes the best chocolate chip cookies ever!

Laila and Mommy

Monday, April 18, 2011

It Happened Again

Yesterday was an amazing family day-Sundays usually are. My sweet husband, he works so much we're lucky to spend one full day together each week. He's constantly rushing off to work, picking up overtime as often as he can. We made a trip out to Sam's Club-one of Laila's favorite things to do-and started off our afternoon. I'm assuming it's the free samples, maybe it's the fact that she gets to walk while the other kids ride in the cart, or it could simply be the family time she enjoys.

After our shopping trips, we almost always grab lunch. Laila gets to pick the place, and this time she picked Applebees! What a treat for all of us! Things were going smoothly, Laila ordered her lunch and in the mean time, we asked the server for a nutrition guide. It's been quite some time since we've been out to a sit down restaurant, the last time we went to dinner and took Laila it wasn't exactly pleasant (read about it here ). The server was super polite and found the guide for me right away. Naturally, the item Laila ordered was new and wasn't yet on the menu, and my trusty Calorie King book didn't have much listed in it either. I had a feeling Laila wouldn't just eat what we ordered for her, but she would help herself to what Dustin and I ordered too.

Laila loves mozzarella sticks, I had a feeling her little sneaky hand would make its way over to Dustin's plate before it made it down on the table, and since he ordered the appetizer sampler, each item needed to be accounted for. I looked it up on the nutrition guide, and it was just one big, fat number. Darn. On our way to the bathroom, I stopped our waitress to ask how many mozzarella sticks came in a regular order, so I could figure out how many carbs to account for if she only ate one. She asked around and the consensus was eight-easy enough. I explained I needed to know the number in the basket because the sampler had less, and I only needed to account for one. Her response? Dieting sure is rough, isn't it?

I smiled and politely let her know it wasn't for me, and I wasn't dieting. But thank you. Laila said it was for her, and I explained she's a diabetic. Again, another ghastly response-Oh no! Are you serious? I'm so sorry! No, I'm not serious. I'm making it up.I enjoy poking my daughter 6+ times a day, I love counting carbohydrates, and the sleepless nights? can't get enough of those either. It really makes me ill, I understand people are uneducated, but please, think about what you're saying before you say it. Your kind words may really be disrespectful, or even hurtful. My only hope is to keep educating, continuing to spread the word, and maybe one day, we won't get the dreadful stares, the not-so-quiet whispers, and the fake condolences. Until then, wish me luck, it's going to be a long, bumpy ride.

Friday, April 15, 2011

On The Rise

Yesterday was quite a day. Laila's "pen" ran out of insulin at school right at lunch time, so she only received part of her dose. Thank goodness she didn't eat everything on her plate, and by snack time her sugar was right at 171, just how I like it. I dropped the new insulin off to the school nurse and went on about my way. Michelle (my first guest blogger!!) picked Laila up from school and kept her for the evening. For some reason, Laila's sugars were creeping higher and higher yesterday, making me a nervous wreck. Our other kids have been under the weather, and when Laila is sick, she's supposed to check every 2 hours. This is what her afternoon looked like.




8:32pm retest
After many failed attempts to bring her sugar down, I finally just gave Laila a correction, and her Lantus and sent her to bed. I promised to check her sugar again in a few hours, and when I did, I could hardly believe my eyes.
 I have never seen a sugar this low before, so I just smiled at her and asked her if she was thirsty. I poured her a cup of juice, and while we were chatting, Dustin arrived home from work. Laila was thrilled to see him, and even more excited to find he brought food! Chicken strips and curly fries made her night! She stayed up and was able to spend some alone time with mommy and daddy, and felt much, much better.
Finally, peace of mind. Off to bed for everyone, and high hopes for a better tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Guest Blogger: Michelle Atanasoff

One of my fabulous friends has agreed to write a guest blog post for Laila! This is the first of hopefully many guest blog posts to come! Thank you, Michelle, for sharing this with us! Share your story about how Diabetes has had an impact on your life, or the life of a loved one!
My name is Michelle. I am Kaytlyn’s mommy. Kaytlyn is in the same class as Laila. I only knew of the name “Laila” as Kaytlyn was her “buddy” in school and would take her down to the nurse every day to have her blood sugar checked. Kaytlyn knows that when the big hand is on the 7 it is time to go to the nurse. She watches the clock like a hawk. Since then, they have become “buddies”. Ironically enough, they have the exact same birthday too!

Kaytlyn and Laila
Christmas Party, '10
It was close to Christmas that I met Joli, Laila’s Mommy. We met at their class Christmas party. I think we had met prior to that, but this is my first real recollection. I remember asking if it would be okay for Laila to come over for a play date one day. Joli seemed really happy, only for me to find out that no one had ever asked to have Laila over before. They didn’t want to learn or have to deal with her diabetes, at least that is what I concluded. So I began asking questions. And I started reading. And before long I felt confident enough to have Laila over. I’ll admit, I was nervous, but Laila wasn’t. She is a smart cookie. She knows more about her diabetes than adults give her credit for. We had a great time with Laila. And with a chart, an equation to follow and a calculator, we were good. She even stayed for dinner!

I felt honored when Joli and Dustin asked if I would look after Laila and Kenadi while they took a “much needed” trip to Las Vegas. I had Laila from Sunday night to Thursday night. And we did great. I fed her breakfast, snacks and dinner. Her sugar levels were fine, and to my surprise giving Laila her insulin corrections didn’t bother me at all. Laila even told me that I did a good job!

Laila is such a wonderful, free-spirited, caring, loving, and FUNNY little girl. Her diabetes is only a small part of her. Laila has a joyous personality and zest for life. Diabetes won’t be holding this girl back. I am so glad I took the time to get to know Laila and her diabetes. Diabetes is not something to be afraid of, it is just something to monitor and correct when needed. I hope more people will take the time to learn so she can have the opportunity to continue being a child, and play, and have fun.

I love Laila like she was my own daughter. I am so grateful to have her in Kaytlyn and my life. She has this smile that you can’t help but smile back at. Thank you, Laila for showing me that you are just like any other child. Sometimes it takes a child to remind us that a “label” isn’t a reason to stop treating them like anyone else.

Love you! xoxo

Friday, April 8, 2011

Low Sugars

Today was such a great day, Laila played "hooky" from school and got to enjoy a family day with mommy, daddy, and little sister Kenadi. The 4 of us went to see Disney on Ice: Princess Classics! We had a great time, indulging in everything the place had to offer-hot dogs, snow cones, and popcorn!
Laila's sugar was under control this morning, below 150 right where we like it, so I was confident it would be a good day. Since she was so hungry, we checked her sugar before letting her have a feeding frenzy, only to find it was well over 350! I had a feeling this might happen, when she's excited or nervous, it spikes and creates a false high. I corrected, covered her carbohydrates, and on we went. After the show was over, we checked again. Believe it or not, she was hungry again! I was surprised to find another high sugar, I thought by the afternoon it would have dropped. Again, we corrected, covered carbohydrates, and went on our way.

After arriving home, we were all so exhausted we took a nap, but not until after Laila had a snack, of course! A sugar-free jello, lunch meat, deli cheese, and beef jerkey. When we woke up, she was feeling a bit shakey and sluggish, and she thought she might be low. Boy, was she right!

That is my low sugar. See my juice?

My juice helps me feel so much better.

I'm drinking my juice and watching the movie called Frances.

I finished my juice! And then put it on the table so mommy can put it in the garbage.

That is my empty juice. That is me on the table not feeling good yet.

I feel much better now. When I drink juice I feel much better.
When my sugars are very low, I have a little milkshake or a juice. It helps me feel so much better. It brings up my sugar to a good number. When my sugars are low, I feel shaky and my head hurts sometimes, too. After I drink my juice, I feel much better. I don't feel shaky when I'm perfect. But sometimes when I'm very high, I feel shaky and sometimes have a headache. When I feel this way, I have to check my sugar so we can fix it.

Thank you for reading my blog today! Love, Laila Bug

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

Meat & Cheese, Not Cookies

Laila is a type 1 diabetic, which means she is insulin dependent. She also falls into the "intensive treatment" category, which means she receives more than three insulin shots per day-in her case, she uses two types of insulin to control her sugar levels. She receives a fast-acting insulin, NovoLog, with each meal to help break down what she's eating, and to correct her sugar levels if they are high. This type of insulin she needs five to six times a day. The second type of insulin she receives is a 24-hour controlled release insulin, Lantus, to help her highs not be so high. 

The reason Laila needs insulin is because her body doesn't produce enough on its own to help break down the foods she eats. The sugars and starches (carbohydrates) in the food we eat are broken down by digestive juices into a simple sugar called glucose. Glucose circulates in the blood as the major energy source for the body. For cells in muscles and other tissues to use glucose for energy, the hormone insulin must be present. Insulin is produced by the pancreas gland located behind the stomach. When the right amount of insulin is present, glucose is either used as fuel for energy or stored in the liver for future use.

On a regular basis, Laila and I get asked questions about what she's "allowed" to eat. Just to clear the air, she's allowed to eat whatever I approve for her as a mom, which means technically she can eat an entire bag of cookies if she wanted, but I'm not going to let that happen. She eats regular meals throughout the day-breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and sometimes dessert. I often find she gets more "treats" than other children, if her sugar is low she gets a free juice box or piece of candy, it's still a struggle for me at times to accept these parts of her diabetes. I am relatively strict when it comes to my children and the things I allow them to eat or drink, so Laila always feels like she's getting away with more than she's ever been allowed. She loves to eat fruits, vegetables, meats, pasta, and treats, just like everyone else, only instead of eating whatever she's hungry for whenever she wants it, she combines it into stable, healthy meals throughout the day and "carb free" snacks in between.

Laila takes her insulin through a syringe, or a "pen". The fast-acting insulin, or NovoLog, comes in a little vial and fits right into the pen, complete with a dial for dosing on the end. It makes life so much easier for everyone involved, the needles are very small and attach right on to the pen, and twist right off after use. Without an insulin pump, Laila's snacks are limited throughout the day. She prefers to eat her meals around the same time each day, and when she's hungry in between, she has a few favorite "carb free" staples she turns to. Because certain foods don't contain carbohydrates for her body to break down, they don't affect her sugar levels, and are considered a free snack for her. Today after school she chose one of her all time favorites, meat and cheese.

So when you hear someone is a diabetic, there's no need to ask, "Should they be eating that?" or, "What are they allowed?" Laila, like all other children, is allowed all the healthy, tasty foods I'm willing to give her. The toughest part for her? Getting me to agree that cookies are healthy.