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?

Thank you for reading our blog and for leaving comments! I love reading them! It makes me smile!


Friday, January 13, 2012

New Year, New Posts!

It's been over two months again since my last posting, and I've resolved this year to post at least once a month. I have the time, just not the motivation. Things around here are changing, this blog included, so let's get to it! I promise to post more often, more photos, and more fun! This blog was created specifically for an outlet for Laila, and for myself. To laugh at the fun times, cry with the confusion, and document our lives dealing with her diabetes all along the way. Without further ado, here's my first post of the new year!

January is usually a fairly slow month in our house, everyone's recovering from the holidays and getting back to the daily grind after being out of routine for a few weeks. Unfortunately, Laila's sugars must not have read the memo about getting back on track. Lately, her numbers have been all over the place. Breakfast is typically her best read of the day, and lunch is her worst. School days are long and worry-some, I don't even flinch anymore when I hear my phone ring at 1pm almost daily. Her numbers have been skyrocketing at lunch, even higher post lunch, and then crashing by the time she gets home from school. I can't imagine she feels comfortable, but her smile never leaves her beautiful face.

The time has come for Girl Scouts to start selling cookies! Last year was a bit difficult, Laila was still fairly newly diagnosed, and I think we were all a little nervous. Now that we are pumping way, I have a feeling my freezer is going to contain more Thin Mints than meat by the time the selling season is over. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I love a good, frozen Thin Mint!

I feel as though sometimes Diabetes gets in the way of Laila truly being a kid. It's not the diabetes that's stopping her, it's me. I promised her to let her do more, to say "yes" more often, and to trust her instincts when it comes to how she feels, and her comfort level. She's an inspiration, a beautiful role model! So much so, in fact, that Kenadi, at 3, can check Laila's blood sugar for her, and even knows when to apply a normal bolus versus a dual or square wave bolus! I love how our entire family has become so ingrained in this way of life, it's more than second nature, it's first.