Thursday, November 1, 2012


Today is November 1, which means the beginning of Diabetes Awareness month! I found this awesome challenge online for those who want to experience Type 1 diabetes for a day! Simply text T1D4ADAY to 63566. While no virtual campaign can recreate the many needles required or the physical and financial tolls of this serious disease, T1D for a Day seeks to deepen understanding of the many heroic steps our friends and loves ones with T1D take each day.

We strive to make Laila feel as normal as possible, there's nothing she can't do besides produce insulin. She can swim, run, play, sing, dance, eat, and many other things. In fact, checking her blood sugar on a consistent basis has it's perks-for the third year in a row Laila has earned the "responsibility" award at school! We're all very proud of her and her daily accomplishments. We've learned not to dwell on the bad, but look for the good. Each sugar check is knowledge, and knowledge is power. The more we know, the more we can use that information to make the next time better. Her sugars have been consistently within range, and she has another appointment coming up near the end of the month, and we look forward to meeting with the endocrinologist and hearing her take on how we're managing Laila's diabetes.

Halloween, luckily, went much smoother than we planned! The kids all  had a blast collecting candy, and were joyed to be able to pick a small bag's worth of items to keep. The Switch Witch is a tradition we started a few years back, and the kids truly love the idea of getting something for all the candy they know they'll never be allowed to eat anyway! This really helps eliminate all the "no's" and "not now's" Laila anticipates each time she asks for candy. I'm not a mean mom, just a cautious one, diabetes or not. Even my non-diabetic children don't get to eat more than a few pieces of the Halloween candy before it's long gone!

I hope this month spreads the awareness that's on our minds year round, it's a daily struggle, not just in the month of November.

As I always say, ask questions and educate yourselves.

Find me on Facebook-I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Our Diabetic Life

There are no words to express the way I feel reading this blog. Just when this family thought life couldn't hand them any more lemons, they received an avalanche, extra sour. I'm not one to re-post other people's blogs here, this is a special place for Laila-but this one, I just keep going back, praying, crying, and aching for this family.

All our love.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Q&A With Miss Laila

Laila is preparing to educate her classmates on the truths about diabetes, and is feeling apprehensive. Together, Laila and I have answered a list of questions in hopes she's prepared to do what she'll have to do so many times in her life: be brave, be independent, and educate those around her about the disease they call diabetes.

Q: Can you eat sugar?
A: I can not eat too much sugar, but I can have sugar. If I have too much sugar, my blood sugar gets high and I feel sick.

Q: Does it hurt when you poke yourself?
A: When I first started, it hurt a little bit. It doesn't hurt anymore, because I'm used to it.

Q: Can you catch it?
A: No. What I have isn't something I can give to someone else.

Q: Do you get sick? Like, pukey?
A: Sometimes. It's only happened to me a few times. When I'm in the 500's or above, I sometimes throw up.

Q: Is it scary?
A: It was scary at first because I had tubes in my hands and they took blood out of one and flushed it with water while I was in the hospital. That hurt. I didn't like it. It's not scary anymore.

Q: How did you get it?
A: I felt very sick at first. We went to the doctor and they took some of my blood and they called and told my mommy and daddy I had diabetes and we had to go straight to the hospital.

Q: What happens when your sugar is high or low?
A: When my sugar is high, I have to give myself insulin. If my sugar is low, I have to drink a juice or eat some sugary candy.

Q: Can it ever go away?
A: No.

Q: What are some signs we need to look for to get help right away?
A: If I ever look like I'm falling asleep, or I start shaking and talking funny, you need to check my sugar fast.

Q: What does it feel like?
A: Diabetes doesn't feel like anything. If I'm too high, I get a stomach ache, if I'm too low, I feel shaky. Otherwise, I can't feel anything.

Q: How did you know you had it? How did they find it?
A: I was feeling very tired, I couldn't eat anything and I was thirsty all the time. My mommy said I got really skinny because I wasn't eating. I went to the doctor and they took some blood and told me my sugar was very high and I needed to go to the hospital so they could make me feel better.

Q: Is there a cure?
A: No, but I hope every day they will find one so I don't have diabetes anymore.

Q: What are your medicines? What do they do?
A: Novolog, it's the name of the insulin I take. That's the only medicine I have. The insulin helps my sugar stay down. I have to take it whenever my sugar is high or whenever I eat something.

Q: Does diabetes feel weird?
A: No. I can't feel anything.

Q: Is it hard to have diabetes?
A: No. Sometimes I even forget I have it.

Q: Do you wear your pump all day? Night and day?
A: Yes, I wear my pump all the time. The only time I take it off is to go swimming or take a bath. It can't get wet.

Q: Do you have a special diet?
A: No. I eat whatever my mommy lets me!

Q: How long have you been a diabetic?
A: Next month will be 2 years since I found out.

Q: Are you born with diabetes, or is it something you develop during your life?
A: I have type 1. I wasn't born with it, I got sick one day and never felt better. I was 5 when I found out I had it.

Q: Can you play sports, or even play outside?
A: Yes! I can play sports and play outside! I can do anything you can do!

Q: Do you have to take "yucky" medicine?
A: No, I only take insulin. Now that I have a pump, I don't even give myself shots anymore.

Q: Do you have to eat "special" foods?
A: No, I can eat whatever I want as long as my mommy and daddy say it's okay. I can have meat, cheese, and anything else that has no carbs in it without any insulin at all.

Q: How come you get to have snacks and juice in school?
A: I have to eat or drink juice if my sugar is low.

Q: Do you think you're better than us?
A: No. We all get insulin, I just don't make my own like you.

Q: Does it hurt to get poked?
A: No. When I put my pump on it stings a little bit, but I don't have to have shots anymore so it doesn't really hurt at all.

Q: How does the pump work?
A: The pump gives me insulin all the time because I don't make my own. When I check my sugar it sends the number to my pump and it tells me how much insulin I need to fix it. When I eat something I put the number of carbs in my pump and it tells me how much insulin I need to eat it.

Q: Why do you have to test your blood before you can choose to eat something?
A: I check my sugar to make sure I'm okay. If I'm too high, I can eat what I want without having to have insulin. If I'm too high and I don't fix it before eating something, my sugar will go even higher and I'll be sick.

If you're a regular follower of this blog, or just stopping by for the first time, I recommend you check out this post I did for Diabetes Blog Week, it's a composite of snapshots taken over the past 18 months of what diabetes really looks like. Feel free to read previous posts and leave comments, Laila LOVES comments!!

Thank you everyone who participated, the turnout was above and beyond what we ever expected! Laila is very excited to talk to her class, she's even invited me to come in and visit with them one day and help her with any tricky questions!

Do you have diabetes, or know someone who does? Want to write about it? Contact me, I'm always in search of guest bloggers, we feature one a month!

All our love.

Guest Blogger: Barbara Fox

Laila moved away when she was just a baby, I have not seen her in years until this summer. And she has turned out to be a beautiful, brave 6 year old that makes us all proud. When I learned that Laila was diagnosed with diabetes, I worried as all mothers and grandparents do, but then I knew her would take good care of her and learn all there was to learn about this messed up desease. When Laila and her family came to visit and Laila had to check her sugar, she did it like a pro! It did, however, bother me to have to watch this young lady do it. For a child of six shouldn't have this burden. I then watched her play with the other kids and do everthing they did, it is so cool that she don't let this hold her back. Then I saw her playing with Jazmine(my grandaughter/daughter), Jazmine pointed to her insulin pump and asked what it was. Laila didn't answer her, she just pulled her shirt down over it to hide it. I felt a crack in my heart because I wonder how many times she will do that in her young life. I worry about things like that for Laila, but the desease itself I don't, because her loving mom has got this! I don't know that much about diabetes, but then again I don't have to, her parents have all of that covered, and what great parents they are. Laila is bright, loving and has a smile that will brighten any darkness. She is independant but yet a normal acting child. She knows that life isn't always beautiful and when she her tears fall, her mother will be there to wipe them dry. Laila's strong personality and independance is a beautiful relection of her parents. Joli will try to give me credit on how she is as a mother, I don't like or want to take credit, all I did for her was be there, now I will always be here for her and her children. I sure hope I did the guest blogging right, if not, I hope it will show how I feel about Joli and her family.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Guest Blogger: Brandi Jasnica

Wow. Being asked to be a guest blogger is such a privilege, especially when it comes to blogging for my little niece, Laila. I have to admit, I was asked to do this months ago, but by my own procrastination, am only writing now. I wanted to get the words just right, and anything I was coming up with was falling short. So I decided to just write, and this is what I came up with:
(get comfy, I'm wordy)

I first had the sweet pleasure of meeting Laila when she was just a tiny little bundle. You know that saying, "Sugar and spice and everything nice?" Well that is just what Laila is made of. Well, maybe a little more spice than sugar...but you get the point.

I didn't see Laila again until she was 5 years old, and already diagnosed with diabetes. I was actually terrified to be in the same house with her, because I DO NOT do well with needles, which is pathetic, because my own husband is a type 2 diabetic, and by now, I should be use to it. But as it was, I was scared. I didn't want to be a big sissy in front of such a brave, brave girl. There was a moment where we were at the mall. Joli, myself, and the kids. And Laila needed insulin and Joli had her hands full. Joli asked me to give Laila's skin a little pinch, so she could administer the insulin, and I am okay with admitting now, that then, I almost passed out. 

At 6 years old, Laila has become a master of her disease, and is quite impressive. I'm still squeamish, but was able to watch her change her pump site without falling over. She didn't say it, but I think she was impressed with me. LOL. Maybe it was just my imagination. She even lectured my husband over the phone about the dangers of not testing when he should. Shame on him. If a 6 year old can handle it, surely so can he.

But all of that is neither here nor there, because what I wanted to blog about is not about how brave Laila is, or how strong and independent and beautiful she is. Even though all of that is certainly true. What I wanted to blog about were the times, be them few or far between, when diabetes can break even the bravest of the brave, and the strongest of the strong. 

The times where you truly wish diabetes was a person so you could beat them from here to Timbuktu. The times when those sad, sad eyes look at you and say, "Aunty Brandi, I wish I didn't have diabetes." You know they want a smart answer. Something to take the pain away from changing their pump site yet another time. Something that will delay it for just a few moments longer. But you come up empty because what do you say to a 6 year old who has no choice but to poke herself again? The only thing I could tell her, was the most honest thing I could, "Laila, I wish you didn't have diabetes either." And she just smiled at me. She really is wise beyond her years. 
Or the times when it just isn't fair that your mom is a baker and everyone else had an extra bite. Like the time when Laila screamed, "I HATE DIABETES!" because she wanted another cupcake. My heart broke not just for her, but for her mother, who I am sure has had to deliver countless "no's" to her sweet angel faced diabetic child.
Or the other times when sugars are too low, or too high in the middle of night and you have to stay up and do what is necessary to get the right levels. As a mother of three children, Joli knows she is going to have another sleepless night and a very rough day ahead of her. These days are more often than one would like to have. But it comes with the territory, and it is not glamorous.
I don't want to seem like I'm short handing Laila, because she is AMAZING. But there are many other times when this disease has worn a family out. Of course they make the best of it, and faces are always smiling. From just 2 short weeks and many stories I have heard, I gather that if diabetes was in fact a person, I would be in line to get my kicks in.
With no children of my own, I love the ones that are in my life with all that I have. My heart breaks every time I even think about a child having to deal with this disease. Or any other disease for that matter. Childrens' only worry should be if it's rainy or sunny and what to have for cereal. Not glucose meters and insulin or lancets, etc.

To my dear sweet and lovely Laila, I know that it is not fair that you have diabetes. But you should know that your bravery makes other kids be able to cope more easily. You are beautiful, kind, funny, sweet and everything I could ever want in a niece. When I think about you, I don't think about how you have diabetes, I think about your smile. And I think about your thoughtfulness and your cute little face. I love you so much, and I haven't even known you that long. I am grateful that you have other women in your life that can look out for you when mom needs them. They are smart women, so learn from them. And remember to always be yourself. I know that you know that diabetes does not define you. It's not who you are, it's just something that you have. YOU are wonderful, and I love you so so so so SO SO SO SO much!!!!! 

Love always, 
Aunty Brandi

Major, major diabetes

I've been pondering topics for this month's blog post. I try to incorporate Laila in some way if I can, but something someone said to me just yesterday has me feeling like it's time to educate. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, there are a few things I want everyone to know about this disease. I'll do my best to break it down and simplify it as much as possible, if you have any questions, you know you can always ask.

 Let me preface this by saying just because you know someone who has diabetes doesn't mean you "know diabetes". The reason for this post is based on a conversation I had with a girl yesterday. She was young, preteen maybe, and was helping watch some children while the adults were busy. Laila needed to check her sugar, which she did, and reported to me herself. The girl repeated Laila's blood sugar to me after finding a 300+ reading, and I explained that was very high. The girl told me she "knows all about diabetes, cause two of my friends are major, major diabetics". I just smiled, thanked her for her help, and let her know there is no such thing. Diabetes is diabetes, though intensity varies, there's no such thing as a major, major diabetic.

*Type 1 Diabetes, commonly referred to as Type 1, or T1D, is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin. Insulin is a hormone that enables people to get energy from food.

*There is nothing, and I repeat: NOTHING, you can do to get rid of Type 1 diabetes. There's no magic pill, no special syrup, no cure. INSULIN is NOT a cure! There is also nothing you can do to prevent Type 1 diabetes, either. The cause is still unknown. In our situation, there was no genetic predisposition, no way of knowing beforehand Laila would be stricken with this awful disease.

*Type 1 diabetes means a lifelong dependency on insulin. In our situation, Laila wears an insulin pump. It's the closest thing to a working pancreas she'll probably ever have. Insulin is not a cure for diabetes, even with insulin, there's still the risk of high or low blood sugars, both life-threatening, in addition to multiple other serious effects.

*Everyone is different, and every diabetic is different. There is so much that goes on "behind the scenes" that most people don't ever see. Laila is "intensive treatment", which means every single thing she eats gets counted. Laila counts carbohydrates, everything, even something as tiny as a peanut, must be counted. In addition to counting carbohydrates, Laila has to be careful with other things like exercise, diet, sun exposure-even a common cold can fluctuate her sugars and cause additional complications.

I don't mean for this post to be negative, or to sound like Laila lives a life of impending doom. She's alive, and healthy. Diabetes is just one of the many hurdles Laila's going to face throughout the rest of her life. Producing insulin is the only thing she can't do. She's going to go through plenty of struggles, from a school girl crush to prom dress shopping, one day she's going to have an amazing career and a beautiful family.

Please, take the time to educate yourself. If you have a question, ask. Trust me, I can speak for Laila and myself when I say this-we would rather you just ask than make assumptions, say something ignorant or offensive, or talk about us after we leave. No question is offensive or too bold, I promise.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Guest Blogger: Kim Rochefort

When Joli asked me to be a guest blogger, I felt a little panicky. I'm not a writer. I've never blogged. Who could possibly be interested in anything I have to say? I don't think I can do it. All of those things ran through my mind. But, Laila inspires me to do things like climb into a little bitty wooden tee pee at the park & throw a peace sign for the camera. Things that are out of my comfort zone. So, here I am. Out of my comfy little box, writing a blog post for Laila.

Obviously, I know Laila has diabetes. But considering the distance between us, I never really KNEW that Laila has diabetes until their recent trip home. I never really understood what having diabetes means for 


The way Dustin & Joli have handled this makes me very proud. Laila is so lucky to have parents who have the courage and the strength to stand up to this and are determined not to let it control their daughter’s life and define who she is. As Joli says, the only thing Laila can't do is make insulin. They’re making sure she’s able to do all of the things her friends do; they’re not trying to keep her all nestled safe & sound in some kind of diabetes-friendly safety zone. They’re teaching her (and the rest of us!) that she is just like everyone else. They’re teaching her how to deal with the obstacles in her path. They’re arming her with knowledge and knowledge is power. 

I’m so very proud of Laila too. She has more than impressed me, she has amazed me. She is wise and mature beyond her years. Her understanding of diabetes and her ability to manage it is incredible. I just can’t believe all of the things she knows and all of the things she can do by herself. She’s only 6, but this little girl doesn't let diabetes control her, SHE controls her diabetes. It's amazing. I'd be lying if I said that my heart didn't break just a bit every time I saw her check her sugar, count goldfish crackers or check her insulin pump. It just isn't right that a child should have to be concerned with things like carbohydrates before she can even spell the word. Princess tote bags weren’t meant to carry testing supplies. It's not fair and it just plain sucks. Little girls shouldn’t have to do things like this. I try to be a "See things on the bright side" kind of person. I try not to let negative thoughts control my emotions and I'm always looking for the silver lining in every cloud. I honestly thing that there msut be a reason that Laila was chosen to be a Type 1 diabetic. I think she is meant to do great things, maybe as a doctor, a nutritionist, an educator or mayne she'll invent that miracle pump they dream about. She'll most definitely be a role model for other people who struglgle with some sort of unfiar, unwanted, undeserved situation. Maybe this is the silver lining in the cloud. All of the live she'll touch because she has diabetes. Maybe having diabetes is a necessary stepping stone along the way.

So, what is the point to all of my rambling? I guess it's just to let the Smith's know how proud I am of them. I'm so proud of them for making the best of the hand they've been dealt. I'm proud of them for not letting diabetes define their daughter. I'm proud of them for advocating for Laila and getting her the best care possible. I'm proud of them for educating themselves. I'm proud of them for raising their little girl to be independent, self-confident and strong. Dustin & Joli, I know it’s not easy and I know there are moments when you really doubt it, but you’re doing great! You got this.

Traveling With Diabetes

Our family vacation this summer was a planned two week trip to Michigan. We had spent weeks dreaming of the sand between our toes, the sunshine on our faces, and the company of friends and family. I knew this vacation was much more than that, it was a liberating moment for all of us. Since Laila's diagnosis, we've only traveled a few hours away at best, and always comfortable with our surroundings. This trip wasn't merely a hop, skip, and jump away-it was a plane ride and a few hours in the car, if you ask me, it felt like a lifetime. 

Packing for the trip was tedious, five people, two weeks, it was no easy feat. I made list after list of the things I would need, and I still wasn't convinced I brought everything. Packing Laila's supplies made me so nervous, I am always second guessing myself. I knew in the back of my mind I had everything, but as a mother, there's no emergency you can leave the house not prepared for. Especially when you're the parent of a Type 1 diabetic. 

In preparation for the trip, I researched the guidelines for carrying supplies such as needles, insulin, and what Laila would do with her insulin pump while going through security. I had planned on taking everything with us on the plane, my carry-on bag was large enough to hold all of her supplies, there was no way I was letting any of her things out of my sight.

Call me neurotic, but I wasn't going to leave this state until I knew I was, at best, prepared. I packed enough insulin and pump site changes for one per day, even though she changes once every third day. I brought an extra insulin pen, syringes, and ketone strips. I had no idea what the next two weeks would bring, and I was ready!

The flight out wasn't difficult; despite the large airport, they were very accommodating to our needs. We explained Laila's condition before going through any security devices, checked her sugar before getting on the plane, and even achieved "preboarding" status due to a few toothless smiles! The flight home was a much smaller plane, and seemed to go even better than planned. Security was a breeze, the flight was uneventful, and before we knew it we were on the ground, safe and sound.

Now that the trip is behind us, I'm pleased to say we endured no serious troubles. I didn't use even a third of the supplies I packed, but as a mother, you can never be too sure.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Blogger: Josie Morgan

Dearest Laila,

               I first want to tell you, you are a beautiful, strong, smart young women. I can remember as if it was yesterday when I first saw you, you just moved down the street and you were riding your bike. You would ride back and forth to our truck than back to your house. I was amused by how fast your little legs where going on your big wheel. I was eager to put Samantha on her bike to ride along with you, but she was too young and inexperienced to ride her bike. A few weeks later, I met you mom and our families have blossomed together.    

               I also recall that horrible day, I found out the news of your sky rocketing blood sugar. We were at a playdate and your mom called crying, asking if I could watch Kenadi and Dustin so she could collect your items while you spent a few days at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. That day seemed dark, unreal and almost liked it was a blur. Although, by the end of the day you were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes you kept smiling as if your world has opened a new door to new possibilities and adventures.

               The months following, I have noticed you haven’t allowed diabetes to slow you down. I believe you have done the opposite, you have shown the world you can do anything you put your little heart to. When you’re feeling sad or frustrated just remember there are people around you who love you and care about you very much. One thing I want you to remember is please do not label yourself as "Laila, the girl with diabetes", but the opposite. I truly believe you are so much more than this and do not this want ugly disease to define who you are. Dream big!!
Love, Josie 

P.S. I will always have the good cheese for you!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Diabetes Blog Week: Post #7

True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life, in whatever shape they may challenge us to combat. -Napoleon Bonaparte

This post is titled "Diabetes Hero". As if there's ever been any question, my hero is about 3'6", weighs around 51 pounds, has chocolate brown eyes and the most beautiful curls. She's 6 years old and is sound asleep, wrapped in her princess comforter and dreaming of a better tomorrow.

Laila isn't quite old enough to blog, and unfortunately, we don't know anyone with diabetes. She's seen a few people here and there with a pump, but no one we've ever been in contact with. This post is entirely about her. She's amazing, to say the least, and she'll forever band e my hero.

Occasionally, I remember "D-Day", and the things that stand out most to me are not the tears, the needles, or the sleepless nights, but the smiles, the laughter, and the perseverance I saw in Laila's eyes. I knew the minute she was finally allowed to eat, after a painstaking 24 hours, that diabetes wasn't going to own her, she was going to own it.

The first few days were hard, I'm not sure who shed more tears, Laila, Dustin, or myself. By the end of her hospital stay, it was Laila who was comforting me, not the other way around. She doesn't know the true impact this disease is going to have on her life, she only sees tomorrow. The tears that I shed were for the rest of her life, for the future she's going to endure, for the loss of her innocence.

A hero, in my opinion, is someone who looks into the face of adversity, and doesn't back down. Laila has no choice but to do exactly this. Her fingers are polka-dotted with scars, her arms and legs just the same. This doesn't make her any less beautiful, smart, funny, or independent. Laila doesn't let her diabetes slow her down, she loves to play, read, dance, run, swim, and eat. There's nothing she can't do, because she believes in herself, and we believe in her, too.

If I could be more like anyone, I'd choose to be more like Laila. She inspires me to be strong, to ignore what others think and to follow my dreams. One day, when she's more comfortable, she's going to make a great role model for other children with diabetes. She's wise beyond her years, she understands the seriousness of this disease, sometimes I think, better than anyone. I know she's in inspiration to others, and that makes me even more proud to be her mom.

Laila Bernadette Smith, you are truly my hero.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Diabetes Blog Week: Post #6

Education is the key to survival with diabetes. Check your sugar, check it often, and pay attention to the patterns. There are always patterns. 

This post is titled "Saturday Snapshot". Rather than take new photos today, I decided to revisit some of the ones we've taken in the past. I love looking back upon where we've been, it gives me hope and encouragement to the future knowing we've come so far.

This was a 3 month supply of syringes, pen needles, and ketone strips.
This is just a fraction of Laila's supplies.

High sugars make for a sad Laila.

Giving herself an injection, Laila is very independent. 

Rule of 15: 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates,
retest 15 minutes later. 

The beginning of a long evening.

Unknown trouble!

*Not the highest we've ever seen, but still scary.

Hopes of relief!

Glad to see a number below 500

This is scary low. 

This dancer has diabetes!

One of my rules is Laila must always have some type
of identification on. Always.

Ready for a swim? Not just yet!

Endocrinology visits every 3 months.

High sugars feel awful.

Time for a pump site change!

This is a special necklace I had made for Laila.
The back identifies her, that she's a type 1,
and she wears an insulin pump.

This is Laila's favorite place to wear her pump.
Right in her back pocket!
Another sad face. Starburst to the rescue!

This is one of my favorite photos.
I still do 2am checks. Religiously.
A middle of the night snack with my baby.
I hope these photos shed some life onto the ups and downs of the diabetes roller coaster, there's rarely a moment where the first thing out of my mouth doesn't have to do with diabetes. I have hopes and dreams of a cure one day. Until that day comes, we'll keep checking. Knowledge is power.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Diabetes Blog Week: Post #5

Laila is very special to me, and her opinion is always important, no matter how small the matter or issue at hand. I love blogging for her, and hope one day she'll follow in my footsteps and love writing as much as I do.

This post is titled "What They Should Know". There are hundreds of things I wish I could tell people about diabetes, but I decided to keep it to a minimum, there are a couple points I'd really like to stress, and I think Laila and I are on the same track.

"What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn't have diabetes about living with diabetes?"

There's only one thing Laila can't do now that she has diabetes, and that's create insulin. She can do anything she sets her mind to, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Laila is unstoppable, and I remind her of this all the time. I've watched her overcome so many obstacles in such a short amount of time, there's nothing that's going to hold her back now. She's at the top of her class, she is absolutely beautiful, funny, strong, independent, athletic and she loves to be a kid. Laila has fears just like any other child, dreams and aspirations, too. With the medicine and technology available, and the power she has from testing her sugars on a regular basis, there's not a thing that's going to hold her back, absolutely not diabetes.

Diabetes isn't just "diabetes". It's a lot more than a name for this terrible disease, it's the management that goes along with it. Day and night. Night and day. It never goes away, and it never will. Diabetes is the hours spent advocating for your child with the school, the dance studio, the hospital. It's the sleepless nights you spend stumbling down the hallway with a meter and a flashlight to check blood sugars. It's that feeling of your heart dropping when a high number flashes on the screen before you, and it's the triumphant feeling you have when you double check yourself and find your instincts were right after all. Diabetes is always being prepared, having fast-acting sugars on hand, side by side to the dreaded Glucagon pen, it's checking your supplies every time you leave the house. It's smiling through the tears, pushing through the anger and sadness to find joy in the things you love. Dismissing the sideways glances and stares, the comments you're not supposed to hear, the feeling of being totally, positively helpless. Diabetes doesn't discriminate, it knows no age, gender, race, or religious affiliation, it takes you by surprise and it doesn't hold back. It's not anyone's fault, and it's not curable. These things constantly weigh on my mind. If you never take another thing away from me or this blog, just remember this: no one asked for this, so please be patient. It's all we've got to hold on to.

I've decided to let Laila do some of the talking. She may only be 6, but she's wise beyond her years, and she has something she'd like to say.

"What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn't have diabetes about living with diabetes?"

Last August, at a visit to the doctor, we decided I was going to get an insulin pump. I remember that I saw a bunch of different types of pumps, a lot of colors to choose from, and even different colors for the site. I really liked it all. I was excited to get one because I didn't want to do shots every time I was eating. Now that I have the pump, it's a lot better because I can eat food whenever I want to and I can just put it in my pump. I like having my pump, it's my favorite color-it's purple!

Just because I have diabetes doesn't mean I can't eat whenever I want to. It doesn't mean I have to go hungry, it just means that I can't eat every minute. I have to check my sugar for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sometimes I check my sugar when I feel low. Only if I feel low. How would you feel if you had diabetes?

Having diabetes is the only thing that makes me different from other people. I still like to bake with mommy, I love going to dance, and I like to play with my little brother and sister. I can still go swimming, eat cupcakes, and do all the other things kids my age do. I just lost my front teeth! Diabetes doesn't make me any less fun, I just need to check my sugar every few hours.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Love, Laila

Diabetes Blog Week: Post #4

I hate admitting this, but I lack in the imagination department. I'm not one for fantasy worlds, creatures, alternative lifestyles, and I have a terrible time creating things in my own mind. Thank heavens for books, blogs, and magazines, or I'd be one stiff individual.

The title of this post is: "Fantasy Diabetes Device". Assuming this device isn't capable of creating or sustaining a cure for diabetes, and Laila already has the next best thing-an insulin pump-I've got to pull something out of the woodwork here and really make this device fantastic.

If I could create a device for Laila, and all the other diabetics out there, to make their life just a little easier, this is what it would do:

*Photo recognition: this bad ass machine of mine would be able to, with its built in camera, take a digital photo and be able to scan and calculate the number of carbs in any food, anywhere, anytime. The sky's the limit here, folks, no more staring at bowls of pasta with uncertainty, buffets will no longer be a death trap, birthday parties and mom & pop restaurants will be calling your name.

*Lifetime battery life: solar energy is the way to go with this little device, it's going to charge itself from the sun every day, and last forever. No more supporting Energergizer every time the batter runs low, just step outside for a breather and a quick recharge.

*Voice recognition: they can do it with phones, they can surely do it with diabetes. you should be able to talk to this little machine, more like a personal assistant than a diabetes device, it would be able to tell you on command your latest blood sugar, your last bolus, your current basal rate, your plans for the day, and even suggest where you should go have dinner and drinks with your friends.

Diabetes Blog Week: Post #3

"When you make a mistake, don't look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power."
Hugh White (1773-1840)

This post is titled: "One Thing to Improve". I'm thankful for a reason to evaluate things, even if at times, it's not easy. Diabetes is more than just a blood sugar check every few hours, or tapping a few numbers into an insulin pump for an afternoon snack. It's every day. It's every hour. It's every minute. Sometimes, I think we forget.

As a parent of a diabetic, I put her needs before all else, and sometimes, that's not entirely fair. I find there are times where I'll reach for what's easy rather than what is right. A pack of fruit snacks that are labeled individually over a piece of fruit I have to get the scale out and weigh: this is a fine example of taking the easy route. It's not fair, and it's not all the time, but it's been known to happen. There are things I just won't buy at the store anymore because they're a pain in the ass, like goldfish crackers, potato chips, and canned fruit. These are just mere examples, but there is still truth to be told. When I pack our bags for a day trip to the doctor, shopping, or a long car ride, Laila is always at the top of my list. I find I've forgotten diapers, shoes, even my car keys, all at the expense of being positive I have her meter, glucagon, insulin pen, juice, etc.

Laila does so well managing her diabetes, I hate to place any blame. She's been diagnosed for close to two years, and has had no serious complications as of yet. Her biggest downfall, if not her only one, is removing her lancets from her meter pack when she's done. I find them in there almost every time I check. She doesn't reuse them, she just lets them sit in there until she needs to put a new one in. Occasionally, I'll find strips laying on the floor of my car, next to the garbage bin in the kitchen, or just tossed onto the counter. A rarity at best, but my fear is it'll be a prelude to the future of a teenage diabetic. 

I think we all have things to improve on, this list could go on and on, but pinpointing what we can do better, and actually improving those things, that's what counts. Here's to a better tomorrow, today.

Diabetes Blog Week: Post #2

I'm writing this blog for Laila, with the hopes that one day she can look back and remember where she's been, and see where she will one day be. At only 6, she knows no different than to just take the blows as they come. For this, I'm grateful.

The second post in this series is titled: "One Great Thing". This post is about one great thing you do when it comes to managing your diabetes. Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well. Even though I help Laila when it comes to managing her diabetes, I think it's only fair that not just I be praised, but Laila as well. To say she's independent, strong, intelligent, those words don't cover the amazing person she really is. She's much more than those things; to me, she'll always be my baby.

Diabetes is a scary unknown. There are facts out there, and like any math equation, there are right and wrong answers. When it comes to the grey areas, the questions with no real concrete answer, there is only one way to survive-arm yourself with knowledge. Make an educated guess. Take a chance and follow up. I may not be the one with diabetes, but I will stop at nothing to make sure Laila is as healthy as possible. The one thing I like to think I'm the best at when it comes to diabetes management is being prepared. I make Laila check her sugar, and I make her check it often. I chart her numbers, I memorize the carbohydrates for food she likes, I read books, I always have extra supplies, I am prepared. Never has a doctor visit come and gone where I didn't leave the office feeling satisfied that I've done my very best to ensure her health and safety.

Laila has tackled this disease head on. The times she complains are few and far between, and it makes my heart swell knowing how well she's handled this from day one. I could list every little thing Laila does well when it comes to her diabetes, but the one thing that stands out more than anything is her independence. Within just a few short weeks of diagnosis, she was giving herself injections. After switching from syringes to an insulin pen, she completely took over her shots, and now completely owns her pump. I sit by, idly, and watch as she meticulously changes her site, checks her own sugars, and measures her snacks. She's so wise beyond her years, and I think she's off to a great start. Nothing has slowed her down, and not a single person in this house is going to let diabetes get in the way of our lives, it's just a stepping stone to greatness.

Diabetes Blog Week: Post #1

This is the 3rd annual Diabetes Blog Week, and even though I'm behind, I'm proud to finally be able to take part in such an awesome event! I want nothing more than to find a cure for this awful disease, to see my baby girl pump-free, and to educate along the way. I hope you take the time to educate yourselves, ask questions, and open your mind, heart, and soul to the unknown.

The first post in this series is titled: "Find a Friend". This post is about a friend you've found thanks to the diabetes online community. I have put this post off because, honestly, we don't really know anyone else with diabetes. A few people here and there have a family member or friend with it, but no one we're friends with deals with it on such an intense level as we do.

That being said, I do follow a few blogs from other families about their struggles, and knowing I'm not alone helps. Even if I don't discuss carb ratios, midnight blood sugar checks, or endo visits with these folks, I know they're there and experiencing the same anxieties, joys, and everyday highs and lows we are.

My favorite diabetes blog is from an amazing, inspirational girl named Kelly Kunik. Her blog, "Diabetesaliciousness" is the highlight of my week. When I have the time to sit and read, I'm filled with hope. Living alone, dealing with the everyday grind of being a single adult with diabetes, and the personal struggles that go beyond, deeper into her soul, it's awesome. One day, I know Laila is going to want to move out, live on her own, and find her independence. This blog reminds me all these things and more are possible for her. The world is in the palm of her hand, and she's unstoppable.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Guest Blogger: Bobbi-Jo Asher

Laila. Cute. Feisty. Smart. Sassy. Silly. Beautiful. Spunky. Independent. Courageous and…Diabetic. 

All of these words clearly describe Laila. All of these words but one define her. Laila refuses to be defined by her diabetes. 

We moved to Maricopa last summer and had the pleasure of meeting Joli and her family right away. I’m proud to call her a friend and grateful she shares her three wonderful children with my family. 

Recently, we were going out horseback riding for the afternoon and invited Laila along. This would be the longest Laila would be in my care since I’ve known her and though I didn’t think twice about inviting her, I was scared. I doubt she was scared for a second. So many “what ifs” go through your mind when caring for a child that could be perfectly fine one moment and crashing the next. She rode and rode and played and played and finally approached me and said, “I think I should drink my juice.” Sure enough, she checked and she was low. I WISH I were that in tune with my body. She drank her juice, had a snack and in an instant, felt 100% better.

There are times I forget that Laila has diabetes. I don’t forget because I don’t care. I forget because she manages it so well and is just plain and simply Laila. She doesn’t act like the poor little diabetic girl and her momma certainly doesn’t treat her like one. This is clearly evidence of their outstanding characters. Joli with the support of her husband Dustin have treated Laila like any other kid. What makes her special is her sweet, loving personality. NOT THE FACT THAT SHE HAS DIABETES.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Remembering D-Day

Normally, I really enjoy reading other blogs, they make me laugh, cry, and sometimes even inspire me with new ideas to write my own. Last night was no exception, thankfully I had a box of tissue and a  few hours to spare when I sat down to start reading. My usual blogs of choice contain recipes, family photos, and current events, but last night, something caught my eye. A fellow mom of a diabetic had updated her blog after a few months, and I was curious to see what new obstacles life had thrown at them, and how they handled the unexpected.

As I read one writer's post about the diagnosis of her daughter, it reminded me about the day Laila was officially diagnosed. I can remember exactly what she was wearing, what I packed for her to eat at school that day for lunch, where I was standing when I heard the news, and how my heart sank to my stomach when the doctor told me to sit down. My initial response was feeling like my entire world was over, I knew she would never be free of this disease and it took only seconds to truly sink in the severity of what was happening to her at that very moment. It all made sense, it added up so clearly: the extreme thirst, the excess fatigue, the weight loss, lack of appetite-every single symptom, she had them all. How could I have let this go on for as long as I did? I can still picture her thin bones and sunken eyes. It took a hold of her so fast, it was literally an overnight transformation from my smiling little girl to someone I could hardly recognize.

It was a Thursday night when I mentioned to Dustin I thought something was wrong. We debated taking Laila to the emergency room, what we thought it was, and what we may be able to do to help her before taking her into the doctor. By Monday morning, things were looking so bad I kept her home from school. She was literally wilting away before my eyes, and I felt solely responsible. After a handful of blood tests and some cream for her dry, cracked hands, we were well on our way home. The very next day when my phone rang, I knew the results were in. Rush her to the children's hospital? Pack her a bag? Find a sitter? I was dizzy in my own thoughts, I didn't know where to begin. Dustin picked up Laila from school and drove her into Phoenix, and I made arrangements for Kenadi and Dustin Jr.

Walking into the hospital to find Laila in a hospital bed with tubes in her arm was extremely difficult. I painted on a smile and unloaded my things. I brought a coloring book, markers, crayons, puzzles, music, and even her favorite stuffed animal; I took along anything I could think of that would help this awful transition go just a tiny bit smoother. Seeing her there made it so final, so serious, so real. Once a room was available, Laila was admitted to PICU (pediatric intensive care unit), and our diabetic journey began. Hourly blood sugar checks ensued until her blood glucose had dropped low enough on its own for her to be able to eat and adapt to insulin injections. Holding her still so the nurse could check her sugar,  it was grueling. Her screams pierced my ears, while her tears broke my heart.

The "diabetes bible" the nursing staff armed us with was easily four inches thick, full of information, statistics, and terrifying facts. I felt as though I'd never be able to take Laila home and feel confident enough to care for her, I immediately programmed the hospital's phone number into my phone, and started asking questions. I knew the road ahead of us was going to be a long one, I better jump on board and set the bar high. Each meal was a learning process, how to count the carbohydrates for each item on her plate, how to calculate her blood sugar corrections, and how to determine how much insulin to administer. We learned how to "draw up", using a syringe and bottle of insulin, and I gave Laila her very first butt shot. It took two people to hold her down, and one to hold my arm still, I still don't know who cried harder, Laila or me.

Having to leave her in the hospital for four nights in a row was one of the hardest things I've ever faced. Trusting the doctors, nurses, and my husband to care for her, it ripped at my heart. I cried to myself on the drive home each night, I went to sleep and cried some more. I wallowed in my sorrows of my life and how it had changed, and how this was going to shape her every day, her entire future. Each night was worse than the one before as images of the life she'd never have flashed before my eyes.

It has now been 18 months since Laila's diagnosis, and I'm proud to be the mother of a type 1 diabetic. The things I've learned about Laila, myself, my husband, our marriage and family don't even compare to the fears I felt that dreaded day. We all have bad days, sorrowful times that remind us where we've been, and what's in store for us, but without those days, the good days wouldn't be as important. Every once in a while, I find myself reaching into the back of Laila's closet and pulling out her purple plaid shirt. I take it down, hold it in my hands, and remember that day. She has long grown out of that shirt, but I still can picture a time when it hung so loosely on her. The days of syringes are long behind us, as we have been "pumping" for 6 solid months. For Laila, school is going great, dance class is a blast, and weekends are always packed full of fun. Life these days is pretty amazing, even with type 1 diabetes. For me, life is as busy as ever, so busy sometimes I even forget about that dreaded day. Lucky for me, I kept that gorgeous purple shirt, it's just the reminder I need.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Snap Back To Reality

Diabetes is such a common term in our house, I rarely realize I say it, it's so common. Words like sugar, carbs, strips, lancets, juice, ect. are language that's become so regular, so ingrained in my mind, I don't even hear them, That being said, I am know to have moments where I slip into an oblivion, my mind wanders and for a brief moment, I forget about diabetes. Moments like this don't happen often, but when they do, they shake me to the core.

Riding in the car on the way home from dance practice, Laila grabbed a snack from her diabetes supply purse and, without skipping a beat, entered the numbers into her pump and shouted from the back seat to let me know how much insulin she was receiving. I stared at the red light in front of me, confused, wondering what on Earth she was telling me, and she had to remind me she was talking insulin, not just chanting some random numbers from the backseat of my van. She laughed and said I must have been daydreaming, and daydreaming I sure was. I was remembering a simpler time, a simpler place, a simpler life. Life before diabetes, finger pokes, 2am blood sugar checks, mios and insulin.

Recently, my husband and I have been discussing adding just one more sweet child to our family. We have been toying with the idea, crunching numbers, laughing over crib bedding and bouncing names off each other. At the end of the day, neither of us are sure we're prepared. The big pink elephant in the room has been hanging out with us through each conversation, silently reminding us of the possibility of another diabetic child. It sure is great to consider the great things we want, but at the end of the day, reality strikes again. With two "health" children, our odds sure look good, but Laila was "healthy" once too. Every time one of our other kids get sick, they use the bathroom too much, seem like they're wanting a lot to drink, my heart sinks. I'm paranoid, I'll admit it, but can you blame me? Dare I bring yet another innocent child into this world knowing what they might be up against in the future?

Laila, to me, is so much more than "a diabetic". She's beautiful, spunky, smart, sassy, strong, independent, and brave. She's also mine. I know whatever obstacles face us in the future, we'll face them together. Diabetes or not, we're unstoppable, both here, and in my dreams.

Guest Blogger: Nessa Dixon

Our most difficult task as a friend is to offer understanding when we don't understand. ~Robert Brault

I recently took a "time-out" to go visit my friend Joli in Arizona. I didn't have any of my own kids to take care of while I was there, so I spent a lot of the time either chatting with Joli or just watching her kids, seeing their personalities and how different and similar they are to my own kids. Laila is 6 but you'd never guess it. She looks younger, and acts so much older. The level of responsibility she has just blew me away. I can't get my 9 year old to remember to change his underwear and this tiny little girl checks her own blood sugar multiple times a day. She shyly asked if I would like to watch her change her pump site on Saturday morning and I sat there in amazement at how brave she is. I am so proud of her. She and her Mother for all they have been through since Laila's diagnosis. I used to babysit her back in 2007 when I was pregnant with Olivia. She was such a good kid, so mellow, didn't talk much just kind of, hung out with Audrey and I. She's still pretty similar, though she has her own younger siblings now. I can tell she just loves being a big sister.

As a Mom, I know I want everything for my kids. I don't want anything standing in their way. As hard as I may try, I will never understand just what Joli and Laila go through dealing with her diabetes, but I do know one thing... Laila will not be held back by it. I know it kills you as a parent to watch her struggle with it now, but I can tell by watching her the short time I was there, that she is so strong that she will beat this thing and it will not beat her.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Guest Blogger: Dawn Haddad

February's guest blogger is a very important person to me: my sister. She is also Laila's aunt, and Godmother. Here is a letter she wrote to Laila. Grab a tissue.

Dear Laila,

When I think about you, the first thing I think about is your smile. Not your diabetes.

You are a daughter, sister, friend, student, neighbor, niece, dancer, cheerleader, blogger, and many other wonderful things. You are also a diabetic. To me, you are my Godchild.

When your mom asked me to be your Godmother, I was SO excited. I knew from the moment you were born that you were a special little girl. I am enjoying watching you grow up. You are so smart, strong, and especially brave.

You are a role model for other kids with diabetes because you prove that you can do ANYTHING! You love to help your mom in the kitchen when she bakes. You love dance class and cheerleading. You are a great reader. You know the words AND movements to Backstreet Boys’, " I Want it that Way”. You are a kind and caring friend. YOU are just like any other kid. Except that you need to poke your finger sometimes, count carbs, and wear an insulin pump.

You have taught me to not be afraid of needles. You even let ME give you a shot once. I was so nervous, but you helped me to feel brave. You have taught me about diabetes…what it is, and what it isn’t. And I have learned a lot. Diabetes IS something that you have to live with each day of your life. You have learned how to read your body’s signals. You have learned how to take extra good care of yourself. You know more about science and biology and nutrition than most adults, because you have to know how your body works. Diabetes ISN’T something you can see just by looking at you. It isn’t something that will make you stop having fun. It’s just one part of your life. One big part, but not the most important part. The most important part is your beautiful smile, because YOU are Laila. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

A1C= 8.3%

Yesterday was another routine endo visit, another long trip to the hospital in Phoenix, another missed day of school, and another finger poke. Typically, I cringe when I see the date pop up on the calendar, Laila absolutely hates going, and I hate seeing her behave the way she does. It's not the finger poke that scares her, it's the small stuff that stresses her out: wearing the bracelet, standing on the scale, letting them measure her height, and taking her blood pressure. The simple, harmless little things cause her to spiral into a downward tizzy. It's ridiculous.

I'm proud to say, yesterday went much better than expected. The entire family loads up to go with Laila, it's usually an all-day event, and we are all there with her during the dreaded check-in process. I'm not sure if it was the promises of an amazing surprise afterwards, or Kenadi and Dustin going through the motions with her, but Laila did exceptionally well! She put up little resistance, and was even talkative with the doctor!

Each visit brings me anxiety, I'm always nervous not just about how the kids behave, but about every little last detail. Each high number brings a pit to the bottom of my stomach, each injection site that doesn't look just right the next day, every time we go too long without checking, I'm always afraid I'm harming her, and her life is truly in my hands. The biggest stress for me this visit was the result of the dreaded A1C test. If you're unfamiliar, it's basically a blood glucose test that gives you an average reading for the previous 3 months. At the date of her diagnosis, Laila's A1C was over 14%, which means her average sugar for the past 3 months was at least 360, if not higher. Her current number was 8.3%, which puts her average reading for the past 3 months at 192! It's a little higher than most diabetics that have been managing longer, but much better than where she's been. As we work toward a lower number, we will continue to adjust her rates and ratios. Her "goal zone" is 150-180 for her daily testing, we allow a little higher at night to prevent overnight lows, and never allow her to go to bed below 130.

With the insulin pump, Laila has a constant stream of insulin called a "basal", this can be adjusted and broken down to different rates for different times of the day. We have had her at a single rate up until now, yesterday, after reviewing her daily numbers, a few adjustments have been made. Her pump also has a "bolus wizard", which determines the amount of insulin she receives each time she checks her sugar or eats. Her afternoon/lunchtime numbers have been on the higher side, so we changed one of those settings as well. In the morning she will now receive more insulin for anything she eats in the mornings, and the same amount as before for the rest of the day. These little changes have already proven to work well, she had excellent numbers all day, not a single one above her "goal zone"!

I feel as though it's my job to educate, answer questions, and promote diabetes management. Laila's not old enough to advocate for herself yet, so it falls on my shoulders. I hope this blog is reaching those who need the support, the reminder they're not alone, and a normal, healthy life is possible with diabetes.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting us!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Guest Blogger: Ashley L.

In addition to keeping up on this blog, I am hoping to also feature a guest blogger each month too. The only requirement is to talk about diabetes, Laila, or a combination of the two.

I'm so inspired by today's guest blogger, one of my best friends, Ashley L.

When Laila’s mommy had approached me about writing as a guest blogger, I could not describe to you the wave of emotions that flooded me. This little lady is so very special to my heart and writing a post seemed a daunting task indeed! As a mother of a child with a chronic illness myself (asthma) I can sympathize on a small level with Laila and her mom over the frustrations of not feeling like a normal family. The questions (often dumb) are never ceasing, and the advice (never asked for) is often outlandish and misinformed. Of course, diabetes and asthma are apples and oranges and they cannot be compared, but we both know the frustrations of never ending medical bills, late night trips to the ER, seeing our babies in a hospital bed sometimes for days at a time, and having to answer those heart-breaking questions like, “Why doesn’t my sister have it? Why me? Will I get better?”

When I first met Laila, I was over at her house for a Mom’s Night In. My mind instantly began singing, “Layla” by Eric Clapton. And truthfully the guitar riff from that song plays in my head nearly every time I see her! Anyway, back to my story…She was on her way to bed and nonchalantly asked one of the other moms there if she’d like to administer her shot. My eyes widened and I thought, “Wow!” As a child, I dealt with an extreme fear of needles. I couldn’t imagine having to get over it at such a young age. But she turned away and smiled while getting the shot and didn’t even flinch. I was floored. Everyone else around me seemed to be used to this. I wasn’t. I’d never met anyone with Type 1 diabetes before. I’d heard about it, but never experienced it. I expected everyone to coddle her, wrap her in bubble wrap and spoil her rotten. After all, she must have it so hard, right? Nope. As far as I could see, she was led a pretty normal life except for the shots. “Well, if that’s all,” I thought, “Then I guess Type 1 isn’t so bad.” I had a lot to learn. There’s carb-counting and administering insulin, testing, drinking juice when low,…it was a lot more involved than I ever thought. Pretty soon, I began to see just how involved this all was! The more I saw, the more I began to admire Laila and Joli. And eventually, I got to administer the shot just a few days before she got her pump! I felt honored that she’d asked me to do that. I don’t know why it seemed like such a big deal to me, she did it all the time. Then I rejoiced with her and her mom when she got the pump and let her show me how it worked. Then in December, I wanted to have the girls over for some Christmas cookie decorating! I was a little nervous about having to count every single carb that entered that sweet girl, but I thought, you know what? I can do this. Joli has to do it every single day, all day long, I can do it for a few hours. Of course, I didn’t bargain for this typical 6 year old stuffing her face with M&Ms while I practically had a heart attack trying to count all the carbs she’d just eaten before she started eating the icing and then more M&Ms! Thankfully, we worked it out and she was just fine. We had a blast that night and I can’t wait to have her and her sister over again! Until then, she keeps me on my toes, dancing around with her and her sister, picking her up and carrying her around the house like she's a princess, and giving and getting endless hugs and kisses.

Love you, Laila!

Ashley & Laila 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pump Change

Laila has to change her insulin pump ever 3 days, which is a huge improvement from the 7-10 shots she was receiving each day! This is just a single poke, which inserts a plastic cannula under the skin that stays in place and administers insulin on a constant basis.

We try our best to change Laila's site around the same time of day each time we change it, if we wait too long, her sugar spikes and she feels sick. Laila is here to tell you the steps she goes through each time we attach a new site.

My sugar was too high, and my tummy was hurting.
These are some of the supplies I use to change my site.

I am cleaning my insulin pen.

I am putting insulin in my reservoir. 

I hold it up and down like this to keep air bubbles out.

I am flicking the reservoir to get the air bubbles out. 

I am checking to see the insulin at the top.

This is my reservoir. It holds enough insulin for 3 days.

I am putting the reservoir in my insulin pump.

I am filling the tubing and waiting for drops at the end. 

Once there are drops at the end of the Mio, I am ready.

My mio is prepared and I am ready to attach it. 
I am cleaning my leg to prevent germs. 

I squeeze the sides of my Mio and it snaps into place.
It only hurts for a second.

This is my Mio on my leg. I almost always wear them on my legs.
Sometimes I wear them on my arms.

Here I am filling my cannula.
That is the little plastic piece that stays in my skin.

That is the big needle I poke myself with. It is scary.

This is where I keep my pump. Right in my back pocket!
You can't even tell I am wearing it!

This is my diabetes necklace.
I wear it so people know I have diabetes in case I get sick.
I am posing to show you that I'm cute.
Can you tell I have diabetes?

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