Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Good Girl and the Nazis

I was never one to upset authority. Played it straight, never out of line...people thought I was older than I was because I acted older. Sure there were times when I was bratty, bitchy, whatever. But typically I did what was expected of me and I hated to disappoint. When my parents' marriage was falling apart, my discipline became exaggerated. When they asked me to do something, I did what I was told, when I was told to do it. If my siblings were told what to do, and they didn't do it right then and there, I got on their case about it.

Maybe it was my way to prevent pain, heartache. Sometimes the worst punishment for a child is disappointment from a parent, teacher, friend, whomever you want approval from.

My grandmother certainly was not this way and Nazi occupation during WWII didn't stop her mischievousness either. She grew up in Lithuania. She's told me stories about how she would sneak out of class and stroll the school grounds in search of something fun to do. There were tall French doors at the back of the classroom. While the teacher's back was turned while writing on the chalkboard, she'd slip out the one said a word because they were afraid of the backlash she would threaten them with. She was a bit of a bully.

There was another instance where a science teacher had a bowl of sulfur sitting on a table. She and a friend thought it would be funny to light it up and stink up the place...anything to get a break from studies. Instead, the air became poisonous and the entire school had to be evacuated.

She showed me a scar on her upper lip from the sword fight she had with her brother when they were kids. They had found sabiers in the attic...real...and very sharp. He knicked her and declared himself the winner.

The most notorious of stories occured during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania. Since she was Catholic, there wasn't the immediate threat of concentration camp. Nazis created homes for themselves in town...took whatever they could help themselves to. My grandmother was unfazed by the powers they yielded; she still threw snowballs at their windows. They were hated and that's how she showed them.

She attended University and was studying to be a doctor. The professor she had at the end of the day was longwinded. The Nazis had imposed curfew during their occupation, but the professor and students lost track of time. Class ended after curfew that night.

She was walking home and a Jeep full of Nazis driving their rounds spotted her. They asked why she was out after curfew. She replied that her professor let the other students and her out too late. No matter. They took her in their Jeep and she was shipped to Berlin. Prison camp became her home at the age of 17, and for the next four years.

The brutality of the Nazis never once broke her spirit. To this day, she says she's happy she went through what she went through because now she has something interesting to talk about.

She didn't aim to please, didn't seek approval from the guards to spare physical beatings, pain, suffering.

The prisoners were kept in outbuildings. Bedding was piled bunkbed fashioned, four or five beds atop one another. They were issued wooden clogs, the kind the Dutch wore. It was 5 miles to the factory where they were enslaved to work. Once they reached the factory, they were lined up inside and ritual dictated, as did the barking guards, that each prisoner say "Heil Hitler!!" before the start of the work day. One by one, the guard would cue the prisoner, and the prisoner would say "Heil Hitler". Louder "HEIL HITLER". LOUDEEEER "HEIL HITLER!!!!". When the guard came to my grandmother:

"Say Heil Hitler"
"Say. Heil. Hitler"
"No I will not say it"

She awoke in a jail cell, bloody, beaten, battered. "That is all that happened to me?" My grandmother later found out that her friend, who witnessed her beating while in line, decided if that's all they will do to my grandmother, then she wouldn't say Heil Hitler either. She was shot dead on the spot.

My grandmother was a good girl then, during her imprisonment, because she didn't compromise who she was to please those who could've easily killed her.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


It's 2:12 A.M. and the kids kicked me out of bed...yes, all three.

So here I am checking out the stat counter on my blog and the number is 666.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Comic Relief

1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can't smoke any of them.
2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.
3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.
6. You watch the Weather Channel.
7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of "hook up" and "break up."
8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.
9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up."
10. You're the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next
door won't turn down the stereo.
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald's leftovers.
15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
16. You take naps.
17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of
18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset,
rather than settle, your stomach.
19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms
and pregnancy tests.
20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good shit."
21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
22. "I just can't drink the way I used to" replaces "I'm never going
to drink that much again."
23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.
25. When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate
them instead of asking "Oh shit what the hell happened?"
26: You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign
that doesn't apply to you and can't find one to save your sorry old

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Message from Jonathan B. Smith, Board Member of the ADA

I've received the following email from Jonathan:

I am trying to get folks in the dBlog community to post links to the Preserve Diabetes Coverage Laws! on , so that they can encourage their readers to Take Action on this proposed bill now. I created a post outlining what needs to be done to add the link to a dBlog:

I have been blogging for over 3 years, but just started this blog. I do not have deep relationships in the dBlog community or a lot of Google juice, so I need some help. I want to encourage all dBlogger to post this button on their sites to encourage folks to Take Action Now!

Perhaps you have some relationships with other dBlogger and could begin help begin the viral process of getting others to put this button or link on their site.

Many thanks, feel free to call me if you have questions,

Warm regards,

Board Member
American Diabetes Association Research Foundation

Friday, March 24, 2006

JDRF Backs Dr. Faustman's Results (And Read About Brendon's Pizza Dose Below)

(Here is a NYT link to the same story:


After Initial Rejection,
Scientists Back Work
On Cure for Diabetes
March 24, 2006

When Denise Faustman announced that she had cured mice of diabetes, funders didn't exactly beat a path to her door, and colleagues didn't shower her with hosannas.

To the contrary. After her 2001 breakthrough, Dr. Faustman, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, couldn't interest drug companies or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in supporting the bold next step she proposed: testing in people a version of what cured the mice.

When she published a similar study two years later, reaction from colleagues wasn't much better. Two fellow Harvard diabetes experts sent a letter to the New York Times, which had run an article describing Dr. Faustman's work, calling the claim that she was the first scientist to cure diabetes in mice "patently false." They also apologized to people with diabetes "on behalf of Dr. Faustman" for "having their expectations cruelly raised." JDRF, getting flak for not funding her, circulated the (unpublished) letter to show that the scientific verdict on her results was far from unanimous, explains spokesman William Ahearn.

But JDRF did approve grants to three competing teams, including one led by an author of the critical letter, to attempt to replicate Dr. Faustman's work. Now all three are announcing they have confirmed the aspect of her study that is the basis for a clinical trial planned at Harvard. By keeping the mice's immune system from destroying their insulin-making beta cells, the three report in today's issue of the journal Science, they got beta cells in some (but not all) of the animals essentially to come back from the dead, curing their diabetes.

In the three studies -- from the University of Chicago, Harvard and Washington University -- about one-third of diabetic mice were cured. They had normal blood-sugar levels even though they had only a few beta cells. "Autoimmune diabetes can be reversed," the Chicago team says. It isn't clear why only some mice were cured, but scientists are working on getting higher response rates, says Chicago's Anita Chong, who speculates that tweaking the treatment might help.

Biomedical science has a long history of mouse cures that never become human cures, but this one may be different. The mice had long-established diabetes, due to the same mechanism that causes Type-1 diabetes in people: the immune system's destruction of beta cells. Without enough functioning beta cells, there is too little insulin to keep blood sugar in check. That can lead to blindness, kidney failure and amputations. Although a number of treatments keep mice from developing diabetes, "few can induce its reversal," wrote Dr. Chong's team.

In the 2003 study that the three labs tried to confirm, Dr. Faustman and colleagues gave diabetic mice a compound that destroys killer T-cells. They also transplanted cells from the spleens of healthy mice into diabetic mice. The transplants bloomed into beta cells, they reported.

That suggested the spleen contains adult stem cells that can morph into specialized cells. Dr. Faustman attributed the cure largely to this, landing her smack in the middle of the stem-cell debate. The juvenile diabetes foundation and a number of scientists argue passionately for research on human stem cells obtained from embryos. Some who oppose that research for ethical reasons talk up the potential of adult stem cells.

None of the three teams found that transplanted spleen cells differentiated into beta cells. "Denise Faustman was extremely helpful to us in duplicating her protocol, but it's possible we did something wrong, and so can't absolutely rule out the possibility that the spleen contains stem cells that can become beta cells," says Chicago's Louis Philipson.

For patients, it may not matter. Harvard's David Nathan will soon launch a clinical trial, funded with some of the $11.5 million grant the Iacocca Foundation gave Dr. Faustman when others turned her down. It will not use spleen cells. It will inject diabetic volunteers only with a compound called BCG; like the one given to mice, it stimulates the immune system in a way that eliminates T-cells that attack beta cells. With the T-cells gone, they hope, surviving or regenerated beta cells will yield enough insulin to reverse diabetes.

That a diabetes-ravaged pancreas contains enough beta cells to support a cure is arguably better news than finding that spleen-cell transplants are key. Harvard's Diane Mathis and her colleagues discovered that even in mice with long-established diabetes, there is "substantial beta-cell mass, which can be rejuvenated/regenerated to reverse disease." If so, then cell transplants, from cadavers or embryonic stem cells, wouldn't be necessary. But she cautions that earlier trials of BCG have failed.

"The good news is that all three groups cured mice as we did," says Dr. Faustman. "They showed that it was due to regeneration in the pancreas, and that's the beauty of it: The animals' own pancreas did this."

She still thinks transplanted cells from the spleen might produce beta cells. "The pancreas is too smart to cure itself in only one way," she says. "I think there will be many sources of regeneration, and we're only at the beginning of understanding what they are."

My Son, The Human Guinea Pig

Pizza. We have a love hate relationship. We love the way it tastes, but we hate the numbers Brendon gets from it five hours afterward.

We typically weigh the pizza that we happen to get from the same place every time, dose him for what he's eaten and extend the bolus for about 2 1/2 hours. We'll test him after a couple of hours and the number generally looks good, but Every. Single. Time we find the same pattern, a high of anywhere from the high 200's to the mid 300's about 5 hours afterward.

So I went searching for a dosing technique that would give us better results. Here's what I found: Diabetes and Pizza: Slow and Steady Wins the Race.

In the article, it states three ways researchers dosed for pizza to get optimal results. Mind you, this was done to react way differently. I won't get into all three, but the third had the most success, so I figured I'd follow what the researchers did for that.

Basically "half of the insulin was given in one dose immediately before the meal, and the other half was administered slowly via the pump over the following eight hours."

I figured I'd give it a shot. As soon as Brendon sat down to eat, I gave him a bolus for half the pizza plus his milk. As soon as he was finished eating, I dosed him for the pizza he ate (minus what he didn't) and extended his bolus for 8 hours. Here are the results:

6:30 p.m.: 264 (this was a result of a messy race to push his glucose up because he was low from playing outside...this is incidental)

8:30 p.m.: 170

9:30 p.m.: 209

11:45 p.m.: 218

12:45 p.m.: 142

2:30 a.m.(8 hours later): 77 (I pulled back his basal by 50% for 2 hrs to prevent a further drop. We tested at 7:25 a.m. this morning and he was a 137.

Those numbers sure beat the numbers that we usually get (not that we test him so often afterward on a typical day). So he peaked at 218 rather than what I had mentioned before which is a drastic improvement.

Next Time: If he starts off dinner as high as he did this time, I'll rearrange the dose percentage to be heavier at the first dose and less at the second dose (65/35?). If he starts off lower, then I'll do the 50/50.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Full Proof Way to Torture the Enemy and Get the Info You Want

Methods of Torture:

Plucked fingernails
Slapping the bottoms of feet with a bamboo stick alla "Midnight Express"
Chinese water torture
Sleep deprivation
Deafeningly loud music

None of those methods matches the time it takes to finally break the will of your enemy causing him to spill his guts, revealing everything he knows, the way this method does:

It's the "I'm hungry" method.


Take a boy of about the age of 6. The whinier the voice, the better. Send him into the room of the sleeping enemy at the crack of dawn (preferably 6 a.m.), and every half hour for the next 16 hours, instruct the boy to say the following (remember, it's imperative you instruct the boy to say these things EVERY HALF more, but it could be less if so inclined to instruct him):

6 a.m. SHARP!!: I'm hungry, make me breakfast.

6:30 a.m.: I'm hungry, can you please make me breakfast?

7:00 a.m.: Hey, it's 7 o'clock can you PLEASE make me breakfast?
Note: By this time, after 5 measely hours of sleep after making your enemy perform all night glucose checks, he will be fully awake, thoroughly agitated, and the real work will begin.

7:30 a.m.: Are you going to make me breakfast yet? (at this time, realizing the boy just won't quit, the enemy will concede and make the boy breakfast figuring, hey if this is all I have to do to get through this, then torture isn't so bad. This is when you can laugh and say, "My friend, you have no idea what you're in for. We're warning you, if you tell us your secrets, we'll call the boy off." The enemy will surely scoff at this offer because he has NO IDEA the endurance this boy possesses).

8:00 a.m.: I'm finished eating, but I'm still hungry. Can I have something else?

8:30 a.m.: I still want more, can I have a piece of cheese?

9:00 a.m.: When's snack gonna be?

9:30 a.m.: I wanna a snack.

10:00 a.m.: When can I have a snaaaack???????!!!!!!

This method will be repeated before, after, and DURING, I repeat, DURING each and every meal.

I assure wait...I GUARANTEE you, that the enemy will be so BROKEN and WILLING to share EVERY secret your heart desires from him that you will win any war you will ever fight in your lifetime.

Let me know when you want this boy because he's currently working his method on a mom in New Hampshire. I'm sure she'll break before lunchtime.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas????

**Whine ALERT**

Last night Jeff made his flight arrangements for his trip in May to Lost Wages with his brother and a friend.

We're 0 for 4 (or is it 5 with this trip? We've lost count). That's my big 0 to his 4th or 5th trip.

In June, I'm taking an overnight trip to Rhode Island with a few girlfriends to tour the mansions while my husband gets a trip to the land of T & A, gambling, shows, clubs, drinking....

Last year, the same friends with whom I'm taking this year's trip, and I went to eastern Long Island to tour the wineries. That was a blast. Not that we got up on the snooty bars and shook our bootyliciousness although by the end of the day we were ready to do just that.

On our way home from the Wino Tour we hit Mohegan Sun. It wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be. I hit the slots, and instead of being showered with coins, you get a slip of paper at the end of a win. Joy.

Then I almost got into a fist fight with a 90 year old man over a penny slot that was FINALLY given up by another 90 year old man. Being the lady that I am, I conceded and gave him the throne. Let him lose his $10, I'm holding onto mine!

And here's Jeff whose going to get sat on by strippers, free drinks at the tables, sumptuous dinners, dancing at the clubs with girls, possibly fitting in a show if they get sick of the million and 1 strip joints.

I need to shake up my old geezer friends and plan a trip to somewhere good next year.

*Sorry if I sound whiney. The winters up here are toooo loooong.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Childhood Memory/Memories to Give to My Kids

Supermom tagged me for this one. I wanted to take some time to try and remember the best memory I possibly could. Here it is:

I grew up in North Jersey in an old mining town. We lived at the base of a hill/mountain which was filled with gigantic boulders and had an old abandoned train track running along it. "The Woods", as we kids called it, was our playground.

At the bottom where the boulders collected during the Ice Age and produced cave-like shelters, we formed clubs with rules and all. There was "The Girls Only Club",
"The Cool Kids Only Club", "The Keep Our Secrets Secret, Or I'll Kick Your Ass Club". Those clubs never lasted past the first day because we'd fight over who would be President. It couldn't be resolved with a vote because we all voted for ourselves.

Climbing up the face of the hill, reaching the train track and taking a Louey would put you in the direction of The Falls. After walking a couple of miles, you'd come to a granite post with "W" engraved in it. This was used back in the Olden Days by the Conductors driving the old steam trains to locate where the water was so that they could fuel up and continue on their way. A trail led to The Falls and if you continued, you would come to a house where, legend had it, a bull lived in the yard. Some kids would tell us about their adventures of reaching the house only to be chased down the trail by the bull. We thought their story was bullshit, but we still didn't have the guts to attempt the adventure ourselves. Instead we'd just float down The Falls and get a bit banged up and dirty...but it was fun anyway.

If you took a right on the tracks, and walked a couple of miles, to the left you'd find a small beaten path that led up to "The Vines". There were humongous trees with long woody vines hanging down in just the right places. One of us would take hold of a vine, climb up a perfectly set boulder and we'd launch off, flying through the air. We'd each take turns and learned lessons in setting rules, following them, and letting our fellow friend have a shot at being Tarzan. We would decide who was first by either singing "Eeny Meeny Miny Mo", or playing Rocks, Scissors, Paper. Each person got three fly-bys. After their last turn, they'd stand at the top of the boulder holding the vine and handing it off to the next kid who climbed up.

When The Woods started getting dark we'd venture back down the hill to see if the street lights were on. This was the signal that told us it was time to go home.

Memories I Hope To Give My Kids
I'll simply let them go off on their way to find their own adventures so that they have memories to share with their own children.

I hereby tag Kerri and Julia

For You's Kids From the 80's

You know you are a child of the 80's if...

1. Your first date took you to the roller rink and you held hands for "Couples Only" skate.
2. You wore a banana clip at some point in your youth.
3. You carried a big colored comb in your back pocket.
4. You know what "Push Up" ice cream is.
5. You know the profound meaning of "Wax on. Wax off".
6. You know who Tina Youthers is.
7. You wanted to be a Goonie.
8. You know who Max Headroom is.
9. You ever wore fluorescent or neon clothing.
10. You could breakdance or wish you could.
11. You wanted to dress like the Hulk or She-Ra at Halloween.
12. You believed the "By the power of Greyskull," you had the power.
13. Partying "like it was 1999" seemed sooo far away.
14. You thought that Transformers were more than meets the eye.
15. You wanted to be on Star Search.
16. You remember Michael Jackson when he was still black.
17. Your first Walkman weighed about as much as a brick.
18. You owned a doll with "Xavier Roberts" signed on its butt, or knew someone who did.
19. You knew what Willis was "talkin' 'bout".
20. You HAD to have your MTV.
21. You hold a special place in your heart for "Back to the Future."
22. You know where to go if you "wanna go where everybody knows your name."
23. You thought Molly Ringwald was REALLY cool.
24. You actually thought "Dirty Dancing" was a REALLY good movie.
25. You have heard of the "Garbage Pail Kids" and possibly owned and traded them with friends.
26. You got a Little Professor calculator for Christmas.
27. You knew "The Artist", when he was humbly called "Prince".
28. You stared a SLAM book or wrote in one.
29. You remember when ATARI was a state of the art video game.
30. You own any cassettes or records.
31. You were led to believe that in the year 2000 we'd all be living on the moon.
32. You remember and/or owned any of the CareBear glass collections from Pizza Hut.
33. Poltergeist freaked you out.
34. You carried your lunch to school in a Gremlins or an ET lunchbox.
35. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the ONLY female Smurf.
36. You wore biker shorts underneath a short skirt and felt stylish, or know someone who did.
37. You ever had a Swatch Watch, and a Swatch Guard for it.
38. You had a crush on one of the Corey's (Haim or Feldman).
39. You had to stay after class to scrub your desk because your silver Outliner pen leaked through.
40. You remember when Saturday Night Live was funny.
41. You were in Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts but now you have no idea what all the badges you got were for.
42. You know what a "Whammee" is.
43. You had a crush on Jon Bon Jovi, or know someone who did.
44. You thought eating Reeses Pieces would attract your own alien.
45. Your name is Jennifer or Jason.
46. You have ever called 867-5309.
47. You had a poster of Rob Lowe, Kirk Cameron, Michael J. Fox or Don Johnson on your wall.
48. You held the top score on PacMan.
49. You had MALL Hair.
50. You owned a T-shirt that said, "I shot J. R. " or know someone who did.
51. If you ever said "I pity the fool".
52. Your dream car was either: the A-team van, KITT or The General Lee.
53. You knew who Max's boss Jonathan Hart was.
54. You were sad when the "Where's the Beef" lady died.
55. You remember when Ricky Martin was a member of Menudo.
56. You wore a feather roach clip in your hair from the local carnival because you didn’t know what it really was.
57. You remember when cellular phones weighed 15 lbs. and had to be carried over your shoulder.
58. You had to come in the house when the street lights came on.
59. You still know the Big Mac song. "Two all beef patties, special sauce…"
60. You own a real Rubik’s Cube
61. You think there should be a Kids Incorporated original cast reunion.
62. You used to own a Snoopy Sno Cone Machine.
63. You have a tendency to turn the collar up on your Polo shirts.
64. You know what the "P" in Alex P. Keaton stands for.
65. You remember exactly where you were when you heard the space shuttle had exploded.
66. You know all of the words to at least one of the Schoolhouse Rock songs.
67. You could go through a case of Aqua Net hairspray in a week.
68. Your first computer was a Commodore 64 or an Atari 800.
69. You thought being a latch key kid was completely normal.
70. You were disappointed when an episode of 3-2-1 Contact didn’t include a Bloodhound Gang segment.
71. There were days that the homework just had to wait until the ABC Afterschool Special was over.
72. You know what movie the phrase, "Number 5 is alive!" is from.
73. You remember when Molly Ringwald was on Facts of Life.
74. You tried a can of clear Pepsi but hated it like everyone else did.
75. You wore the little bootie socks with the colored balls on the back.
76. You wrote your boyfriends name on the side of your canvas Keds.
77. You just had to have a Trapper Keeper to stay organized at school.
78. You remember when McDonald’s served their burgers in styrofoam boxes.
79. You remember when you could buy half cans of soda (great for field trip days!).
80. You like the guy who played Freddy Kruger better as Willie on "V".
81. You hid out behind the gym during recess to read "Are you there God, it’s me Margaret?" with your friends.
82. Four-square was THE playground game.
83. You were afraid of the Sleestacks on Land of The Lost.
84. You know who Derek Wildstar, Mark Venture, Captain Avatar, Nova and Desslock are.
85. You chewed Dr. Pepper bubble gum.
86. You remember Dirk Benedict as Starbuck long before he played Face.
87. You know who played Uncle Ned, Elyse’s brother, on Family Ties.
88. You skipped school on the day Luke and Laura got married on General Hospital.
89. You never thought they’d be able to top the special effects in TRON.
90. You freaked out a little when you realized you fall into the "26-50" category of most surveys.
91. You played with Lego’s when they were just blocks of various sizes, not any of the special little parts.
92. You made Star Wars shrinky dinks in your oven.
93. You know who Spuds McKenzie, The Noid, and Joe Isuzu are.
94. The TV movie "The Day After" still scares the heck out of you.
95. Pierce Brosnon will always be Remington Steele, not James Bond.
96. You owned at least one Choose Your Own Adventure book.
97. You watched Mary Lou Retton win the gold.
98. The Dark Crystal is still one of your favorite movies.
99. In many of your childhood photos you are wearing something plaid.
100. You still love to play Pong!

Monday, March 20, 2006


Today is Spring, or as Brendon said this morning, "It's the Equal Knox today".

I put a call in to Brendon's nurse educator to find out what his A1C was. He had an appointment last Wednesday which went well. I was expecting above an 8, but crossing my fingers for at least the high 7's. His numbers had been high for the past month, seemingly more often than not.

I just got a call back. She told me his A1C was a 7.0. I breathed a deep sigh of relief. She told me that even though he had a bunch of high numbers, there were more lower numbers in between.

It's really hard to keep the low numbers and high numbers in perspective. Those highs just jump right out at you and umbrella over the lower numbers.

On a side note, whenever you see PWD in someone's post, am I the only one who thinks of a rap group? The PWD Posse pops into my head.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Cleaning House

How do you overcome the complete drudgery of cleaning house? I don't just mean dusting and's the clutter.

When Jeff and I were married, our first place together was a 1 bedroom condo which was about 750 sq. ft. We had EXACTLY what we needed and nothing more. We had extras like plants, wall hangings and a few candles and knick knacks to pretty-up the place. But everything had a place. If there was no place to put something, out it went.

Then came our first house in New York which contained everything from our first condo, because, well, we needed that stuff.

But then something happened.

Jeff discovered the holy man-church named Home Depot. This is where men go to worship the Construction God. They bring home idols: hammers, screwdrivers, buzz saws, jig saws, miter saws, spackel, drywall tape, sandpaper, nails, screws (deck screws, drywall screws, screw it all!!!). Jeff created shrines of these idols on shelving bought at, you guessed it...Home Depot where they remain and have never been touched.

Then we inherited furniture from people who were buying new for their own home, or were simply purging because THEY had too much stuff in their homes. We received couches, tables, beds, dressers, kitchen sets, an entire dining room set including glassware, plates, serving pieces, etc. I took it all because we had the room.

Then we had kids. And in came so much crap, for one, tiny 21" 6 lb. person. Diapers, wipes, bottles, nipples, receiving blankets, nail clippers, nose bulbs (gag), shampoos, soaps, lotions, carriers, strollers, monitors, breastpumps, supplies for the breast pumps. We had two more kids and even more crap came pouring in. Let's not leave out games, toys with a million parts per, school papers that I feel too guilty throwing out, crayons, scissors, glue, books, and on and on and on.

*Note: I haven't even skimmed the surface of all the crap we have.

My problem is that I get rid of stuff, but then I buy "organization" products to help contain the stuff I kept. Now I'm cluttered with so many organization products that I've made it even more difficult for myself to put things away, because there are now so many different places to store things.

It's time for Spring Cleaning. My goal is to decrease our crap and only keep what we need and keep ONE of each thing. Good luck to me.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I Love Me Some Good Gossip

Happy St. Pat's everyone!

Father O'Malley, the new priest is nervous about hearing confessions, so he asks the older priest to sit in on his sessions. The new priest hears a couple of confessions, then the old priest asks him to step out of the confessional for a few suggestions. The old priest suggests, "Cross you arms over your chest, and rub your chin with one hand." The new priest tries this. The old priest suggests, "Try saying things like, 'I see, yes, go on, I understand and how did you feel about that?'" The new priest says those things. The old priest says, "Now, don't you think that's a little better than slapping your knee and saying 'No shit?!? What happened next?'"

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Olden Days


1. You had that Fisher Price Doctor's Kit with a stethoscope that

2. You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with
flowers on it.

3. You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had
metal wheels.

4. You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute (admit it!)

5. You had nightmares after watching Fantasy Island or BattleStar

6. You had rubber boots for rainy days and Moon boots for snowy days.

7. You had either a "bowl cut" or "pixie," not to mention the "Dorothy
Hamill" because your Mom was sick of braiding your hair. People
thought you were a boy.

8. Your Holly Hobbie sleeping bag was your most prized possession.

9. You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers.

10. You begged Santa for the electronic game, Simon.

11. You had the Donnie and Marie dolls with those pink and purple
satiny shredded outfits.

12. You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the
trapeze. The swing set tipped over at least once.

13. You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color. Oh

14. You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with hard sole
& the buckle).

15. You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that
Little House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high
neck in at least one school picture; and you despised Nellie Olson!

16. You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink.

17. Your hairstyle was described as having "wings" or "feathers" and you
kept it "pretty" with the comb you kept in your back pocket.

18. You know who Strawberry Shortcake is, as well as her friends,
Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie.

19. You carried a Muppets lunch box to school and it was metal, not
plastic. With the thermos inside!

20. You and your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes of
Hazzard was your boyfriend.

21. Every now and then "It's a Hard Knock Life" from the movie, "Annie"
will pop into your brain and you can't stop singing it the whole day.

22. YOU had Star Wars action figures, too!

23. It was a big event in your household each year when the "Wizard of
Oz" would come on TV. Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping

24. You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: "Who will I marry.
Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or Rick Springfield?"

25. You completely wore out your Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Fame
soundtrack record album.

26. You tried to do lots of arts and crafts, like yarn and
God's eyes, decoupage, or those weird potholders made on a plastic loom.
Pot holders - I believe they were called loom loopers.

27. You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts!

28. You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding your
tape player up to the speaker.

29. You couldn't wait to get the free animal poster that came when you
ordered books from the Weekly Reader book club. Double score if it was a
teddy bear dressed in clothing.

30. You learned everything you needed to know about girl issues from
Blume books (Are you there God, It's me, Margaret.)

31. You thought Olivia Newton John's song "Physical" was about

32. You wore friendship pins on your tennis shoes, or & nbsp; shoelaces
with heart or rainbow designs.

33. You wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer.

34. You had a Big Wheel with a brake on the side, and a Sit-n-Spin.

35. You had subscriptions to Dynamite and Tiger Beat.

36. You spent all your allowance on smurfs and stickers for your sticker

...America is Not a Democracy, it is a Chucktatorship

Check out Chuck Norris.

If you're into adolescent, sick, quirky funnyness like I am, you'll laugh your ass off at the list of Chuck Norris "facts" on this site.

The problem is, I have to explain to people why I'm laughing out loud at nothing in particular whenever I think of one of the facts.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Quickdraw McGraw Gang

I'll tell you, the girls of the OC are quick at glucose tests. We all sat down after buying our respective lunches at South Street Station. As I set up Brendon's kit, Lyrehca, Nicole, and Kerri, unwrapped their sandwiches and started eating. I thought to myself, "They don't test before they eat? Huh. Maybe they test after?" "Oh you missed me, I tested over there", Lyrehca informs me. Kerri tested, as did Nicole. I missed it all. Damn they're good. I guess when you've done it for decades, it's not such a clumsy task like it can be for me.

In fact, while Kerri and I were standing, talking in the Children's Museum, she suddenly said "I've gotta test!" I quickly scanned the room, and after accounting for my 3 kids, I looked back and caught Kerri sticking her finger in her mouth. Without missing a beat, she continued on with the conversation. Lighting speed, I tell you, lightning speed.

Julia and Isobel (correct spelling?) made the 1 1/2 hour trip. I have to tell you how adorable, and sweet Isobel was. She wanted nothing more than to run her diapered fanny off, but Mama was too tired to chase after her. Olivia couldn't make it. She had a birthday party to attend. I'm so sorry I didn't get to meet her. I'm looking forward to the day.

The rest of the day was spent with Nicole and Kerri being dragged around by Jessica and Brendon while Jacob did his thing. Julia and I stood side by side amazed at Kerri and Nicole's energy.

The day wound down with Kerri tripping a toddler who had a cochlear implant, Brendon catching fish for a little girl, Jacob helping build a house, and Nicole looking at all the neat stuff with Jessica at her platformed heels.

And Brendon got his yellow belt.

"Hey Bren, you wanna wear your Superman shirt to the test so you can feel powerful?"

"Yeah! Then I can get my yellow belt! Hiyah, Yah, WhoowaaAA!"

Friday, March 10, 2006

Test Strips Aren't Just for Blood Tests Anymore

Sandra posted about her daughter at play with a piece of chalk and a used test strip. The strip was a little boy looking for his mom, who happened to be a piece of chalk. This got me thinking, what can used test strips be used for other than makeshift dolls?

Here is what I've used them for:

1. I successfully picked the bathroom lock with a test strip when the key went missing.

2. The time on my minivan radio went haywire and reverted back to 12:00. I was able to use the corner of a test strip to press the buttons in order to turn the clock back to the current time.

3. They make a terrific toy rattle when put back into an empty strip container. My youngest spent many hours shaking containers when he was too young to open them.

4. Finally, the back sides of test strips come in handy as markers for miniature plant pots (or you can even mark plants when starting seeds for a garden which is what I will soon be using them for).

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Teaching Lessons to My Son

I often think of what I want to teach my son about diabetes and how I'm going to teach it. I feel the best way is to teach through my actions and my attitude.

If he's low, I matter-of-factly tell him he's low and that he needs to drink a juice. I also tell him he's low and that the way he feels is what it feels like to be low.
I do the same when he's high...minus the juice.

When we're out in public whether it's a park, a store, a party, a friend's home, etc., I carry on with his management as though it were the most normal, natural thing in the world. I don't take him to a private area, or shield what I'm doing with my body. Why hide the fact that he needs a poke in the finger to release a tiny drop of blood that will reveal what his blood sugars are? Why hide that I need to pull out this pager looking thing from under his shirt and press a bunch of buttons so that he can receive life saving hormones? Mystery leads to suspicion which leads to people devising their own perceptions which leads to shunning of a person if those perceptions about them are negative. Take the mystery away and a person is left with nothing but what they are faced with: A boy who's body cannot produce insulin and the only way to know how much to provide is through a glucose test and then to manually inject the insulin.

I've told him the importance of testing at every meal and during everytime he feels "funny". I've told him that if we didn't check him often and if we didn't dose him when we needed to, his numbers would be too high and that it could damage his body. I've told him that if he's too low and he doesn't eat or drink something that will raise his blood sugars, that he could have seizures. I've told him that if we checked him when we were supposed to and dosed him when we were supposed to, and treated lows when we were supposed to, that he could lead a very healthy life.

I give validity to his feelings. If he tells me his stomach hurts, or he has a headache, or he feels hungry, I don't brush it off and tell him he's fine. I first test him to make sure the source of his ailment isn't a high or low. If he tells me that he doesn't want diabetes anymore, I acknowledge that diabetes sucks and leave it at that. He's entitled to his feelings. He's the one who has diabetes. He's the one who is going to feel like shit when his numbers aren't just right. He's the one who is going to have to manage his diabetes on those days as an adult when he would want nothing more than to stay buried under the covers and not have to face the world and deal with diabetes.

I give the attitude that everything is fixable. If he eats something without telling me, I tell him that he can't do that because I won't know the proper amount of insulin to give him to stop him from getting high. But I tell him that I'll check him and do a correction. I don't go ballistic when he eats something he shouldn't because he'll just hide the offending act from me. Hiding a secret is so much more dangerous than the action itself.

I never stop him from doing what he enjoys in order to dose or test him. I don't want him thinking that diabetes gets in the way. I don't want him to resent diabetes. If he's out on his bike, I go outside to him, stop him momentarily and do what I need to do. If he's watching his favorite show, I go to him and do what I need to do. I let him be a kid. He's going to have enough to deal with as an adult.

If he wants to take part in managing his diabetes, I let him have at it. What better way to provide confidence in managing his diabetes than to teach him the skills as early as possible and give him some empowerment? He knows how to check his glucose, dose himself with his pump, weigh his food. He knows that sugary carbs like cookies, cake, and candy should rarely be eaten because they raise his blood sugars too quickly and that it might make him feel not so good. He knows that juice and tabs are the best way to raise his blood sugar when he's too low. He knows that certain favorite foods like Applebee's grilled cheese isn't the best dinner for him because it makes it difficult for us to keep his numbers from going too high and that we prefer that he not eat it.

He knows that when we do put limits on his activity (like when's he's too low and needs a rise), and his food choices, it's because we want to help prevent complications. He knows that exercise, whether it's through play or a disciplined activity like a sport, is healthy and will help keep his numbers in a good range.

I always tell him the purpose of my decisions. I can't predict that Brendon will apply my lessons to whatever he's faced with as an adult, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't at least give a concerted effort in teaching him.

There's so much more to teach him, but for his 6 year old mind, I think he's learned more than any child should.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Conversation With a 4 Year Old

Based on Jamie's post about her husband's conversation with their 4 year old daughter, here's one that I just went through:

Jessica: Mom, what am I allergic to?

Me: Nothing

Jessica: Noooo, what am I allergic to?

Me: NOTHING. You're not allergic to anything.

Jessica: Am I allergic to hair?

Me: What? To hair? What are you talking about? You're not allergic to hair.

Jessica: Mom

Me: What.

Jessica: Mom

Me: Wha-aat!

Jessica: Mom, nevermind.

He Wants To Grow Up

Brendon: Mom, do you think that uh, maybe, umm, I could have my own {glucose} kit so if I'm low or something I could check myself?

Me: Why don't you just use this kit?

Brendon: Well I just want my own kit so I could check myself. I want to keep it in my room or something.

Me: I don't see why you can't just use this one.

Brendon: I want some privacy when I do it.

Jeff: Jessica and Jake might get into it...

Me: So maybe when Jakey's five you can have your own kit to keep in your room. That'll be only a couple more years.

Brendon: So when Jakey's older I can have my own kit?

Me: Yup.

Brendon: OK, cool.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Pump Packs Come in Handy....

Brendon's pump is in a pump pack that is wrapped around his waist. It might as well be a fanny pack because it's currently holding so much more.

In addition to his pump, he has Blistex, a dime he found, sometimes a Q-tip that he uses to pop the lock on our bedroom door, and a yellow checker.

He put the yellow checker in his pack to remind him of the Karate test he's taking on Saturday March 11 which, if he passes it, will move him up to yellow belt.

Twice a week, every week, he's been attending classes. He can't get enough of it. He never fusses or complains about going. The instructor is great with the kids and he knows just how far to push them.

So at 8:30 AM on Saturday March 11, my little boy will be in a room possibly by himself doing kicks and punches with a look of concentration I've never seen before. The kid never does anything half-assed, well except for cleaning his room.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Forget the Groundhog....

Brendon's glucose numbers are the indicator that Spring is here!

Every year since he was diagnosed, at the coming of Spring, his numbers are insanely high for no other reason than the apparent change in season. It's occured when he was on shots and on the pump.

It also happens at the change of the other three seasons, but it's more prolonged and severe at Spring. For the past few weeks (as it does every year at this time), at a couple of different times each day, Brendon has been getting numbers in the 300's. Lately, those numbers have been increasing in frequency and have even risen to the 400's. Those numbers don't always occur at the same time of the day, so making adjustments in his basal rates can be a bit tricky. It also takes quite a bit of extra insulin to bring those numbers down.

We brought this up a couple of times to his endo and nurse educator during the times he had appointments at this time of the year (when they questioned why his numbers were so out of whack) and they looked at us like we were crazy (Brendon's endo is Type 1 and has admitted that she goes through high and low cycles, but doesn't believe the change in seasons is the cause).

Brendon typically wakes up with a great number, but lately it's been in the mid 200's, so this morning, because that is the only time his numbers are consistent from day to day, Jeff made a change in his early morning basal rate.

Lunch and dinner numbers vary in range from day to day, but if one isn't high, then the other will be.

All of these topsy turvy changes last for weeks. Now I'm just waiting for that point where, with all of our increases in basal and/or bolus's, he comes crashing down when his rhythms go back to where they were before the seasonal change.