Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ants on yer boots

Just remembered an crazy thing that was going on before L was diagnosed. We had this very aggressive mold growing in our toilets. We were cleaning it every day. Both of us thought it had something to do with the pipes. Never in our wildest imagination did we think it was because L had sugar in her urine.

We connected to her diagnosis when a friend told me her grandfather, who was a cowboy, once said "a cowboy could always tell who was diabetic on the range by the ants on his boots."

Monday, September 25, 2006


UCLA Neuroscience Research Leads to a Possible Treatment for Type I Diabetes; Clinical Trial Results Are Encouraging

My sister sent me some facinating research that was published in the UCLA alumni newletter about a new vaccine being tested in human clinical trials for Type 1 Diabetes.

Two neuroscientists isolated the genes for enzymes known as GAD (glutamic acid decarboxylase) which are made in the cells that that make insulin in the pancreas. These cells use the enzyme made by GAD to help control the blood glucose levels. The hope is that by isolating this enzyme they will be able to develop a vaccine, identify the potential for getting diabetes as early as five years before onset occurs, and eventually prevent diabetes once an onset has begun.

This is the link. It is a long article, but worth reading

This is the company that is making the vaccine.
"Diamyd Medical is focused on developing treatments for diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2, via GAD protein therapy. Its lead drug candidate, Diamyd™, is designed to reduce the need of insulin injections and prevent the destruction of beta cells. Furthermore, it may allow for regeneration of beta cells in a non-autoimmune environment, thus setting the stage for a cure of the disease."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sick as a Dog...

When a diabetic gets sick it can be serious. During illness, the body releases extra glucose from the liver, which can make the blood sugar levels high. Also, the substances that signal the liver to release the glucose can block the effects of insulin (1). Needless to say, a diabetic child with a cold is something to worry about.

Friday L was not feeling well. The first cold/flu of the season had gone around her classroom as well as where I have been working. We were both not feeling well - I went home from work and slept for three hours. She toughed it out and her blood sugars were in the high 200s as a result.

That evening we decided to go to a football game that her uncle coached and cousin was playing, and thought the fresh air would do us good. Maybe it did, however it ended with us leaving in a flash and me trying desperately not to throw up all over the bleachers.

None of us got much sleep Friday night. L skipped skating (which she has NEVER done) because she was not feeling up to it, and we hung around the house. We tryed to call her doctor, but were on hold forever, so gave up. All the books I had said the same thing - test for keytones if her numbers are high consistantly, which they were, but luckily none were present.

Sat night we went out to her grandparents house for dinner. When she tested at dinner her blood sugar was in the high 300s. I was not feeling well to begin with, but now I was a wreck. Not to mention it was really affecting her mood (not in a good way)

T and I decided to go to the market to look for cold medicines and a sugar free dessert for her and came up short. Most cold medicines have sugar and/or alcohol in them with distinct warnings for diabetics and those with thyroid conditions. D--n.

Sun AM she work up complaining of an earache. This was not happening. We had slept in an hour past her regular breakfast and now I was really stressed. I didn't care if it was Sunday - I called the doctor. This was supposed to put my mind as ease - but only infurriated me more. His advice was nothing more than what I had read in my books, and his comment when I asked him about cold medicines: "Well, I've never been a big fan of those." WHAT????

We decided to lay low for the morning - even though we had plans I had been looking forward to for a month at a friends house for brunch. We went out in the afternoon, and we were all feeling better - she stopped complaining about her ear. Then a friend came over for dinner (I had cancelled making New Years dinner on Sat night and was making it up to him)

He brought his dog. A small 5 or 6 pound little white thing - who proceeded to throw up 16 times on my carpet, in the kitchen, on the carpet again -- over and over and over. We used an entire roll of paper towels mopping it up.

Hope everyone is feeling better tomorrow.

(1) American Diabetes Association

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bracelets For Sale!

L is selling recycled syringe cap bracelets she make at a neighborhood bead store. They are really cool. She is planning to give all the profits to the JDRF.

Stop by (or call!) and get your now!

Beads at Dusti Creek


4848 SE DivisionPortland, OR 97206(503) 235-4800

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Diet Pop

I've never been a big fan of Pop. We have only given it to L as a treat and don't keep any in the house. When she was diagnosed, we compromised and bought sugar-free Italian soda flavors for her to mix with sparkling mineral water as her "free" sweet drink. It hasn't been that long since I was a kid - hey , I used to think cool-aid was tasty. I get it...

It is hard sometimes at restaraunts when all they have it diet Coke or Diet Pepsi. If that is the only choice, I usually ask for them to bring it in a smaller glass. This was the case today when I "okayed" a small diet Coke for lunch.

We had just finished the Race for the cure - a 5k. We had been treating L for lows throughout the walk, and then had to wait an hour to get a table at lunch. She was tired of me checking, so I let it go with a number of 84.

After lunch, L fell asleep in the car and then took a nap for two hours. This should have been a sign, but she had also just walked a 5k, so I didn't worry. When she woke up she was very irritated and crying, so I had her test - way over 200. It continued to go up - it was well over 350 by dinner time. Going from a low at 11:00 of 65, this was unusual for her.

We went over the day's events, the carbs, the exercize. It had to be the pop. It must not have been sugar free. We didn't let her have the re-fill when they brought it and she pouted. Its a good thing.

8oz of Coca Cola is 47g carbs. L eats 60g of carbs for lunch.
Lesson Learned. Taste the soda when you order it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Family Team Highlight of the Week!

We are going to be featured in the weekly JDRF team letter! Here is what I wrote for them:


On her first day of second grade last week, L was asked the classic back to school question, “what did you do last summer?” I would have expected her to answer with grueling details about insulin shots and blood tests, and perhaps a mention of her stay in the hospital where she got “to watch all the television she wanted”, but her answer was simple: “I went swimming, I went to the park, and I went to the beach.”

Isn’t that what we all want for our children, to have fun, to enjoy their summer, and to be carefree? L has proven to our family that even with a recent diagnosis of demanding chronic condition, this is possible. We are amazed and proud of her, after only three months of living with diabetes; L has taken on the management of her life without regrets, and has given the same positive energy to her fundraising efforts for the JDRF. She organized a “sugar-free” lemonade stand this summer, is preparing to have a garage sale of things she has decided she has outgrown, and is making recycled jewelry from the syringe caps to sell at a neighborhood store, all in the spirit of fundraising.

Our family is no stranger to fundraising. We have banned together on teams to raise money for other causes, and this year is no exception. Our family fundraising letter this year highlighted the JDRF as one of three events we are fundraising for this fall, and because we are so new to this cause, we set a modest goal of recruiting ten walkers and raising $1,000. So far we have 21 members of our team and have surpassed our initial $1,000 goal! We feel fortunate to have so much support from our community of friends and family. We are all looking forward to the walk in October and are passionate about helping to raise money to fund research to cure Diabetes.

Other highlights for Team Hi Lili Hi Lo:

Our blog

Westmart Grocery on Hwy 30 (L’s grandparents)
Sneaker sales!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

First Week of School

The first week of school was never this scary when it was me going back - but when it is my kid - geez...

My week ended with an anxiety attack on Friday afternoon when I irrationally decided my studio was on fire (my studio is near L's school) and paniced. Have fun with that one on me... I think I was a bit stressed out!

L on the other hand is worried about ghosts in the girls bathroom and a certain unruley boy in her class - a typical 2nd grader. She told me her new teacher is "strict" but isn't sure what that word means. And she managed to get in two after school activities (skating and dance).

What a trip this has been. Hope not to have anymore imaginary fires this week (or real ones for that matter!)

On another note, our JDRF team Hi Lili Hi Lo has done an outstanding job of fundraising so far! We have allready surpassed our $1000 goal. Now we need to find someone to help pay for our team t'shirts. Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

1st day of 2nd Grade

Okay. I thought I was prepared for this, but I have decided there is nothing I could have done to be completely prepared for the PANIC I felt as I turned and walked out of L's school this morning. She will be fine...She will be fine...was my mantra ALL DAY today.

I labored over her 504 plan. There were some dumb spelling errors, but in all I was happy with it. We put a supply kit together with juice boxes and snacks (Jiffy was not my 1st choice of peanut butter, but in T's defense, it does not have to be refrigerated). I just kept thinking I was forgetting something.

I was squirmy all day. Got to pick-up a half-hour early and waited on a bench feeling slightly sheepish. People were curious about L and had many kind and comforting words to pass on to me.

So this is the result. L wrote a what I did for my summer vacation report today and she told me all she could remember to write was this: "I saw the play Alice in Wonderland in the park, I had swimming lessons, and I went to the beach."

Well - if that doesn't just say it all!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Misconception #1

I had many misconceptions about what Juvenile Diabetes was when L was diagnosed. Mainly I thought she would have to give up eating sugar.

I try to be compassionate when someone says something to me that I know is not true, however lately I have heard some outrageous things.

This is the one that has been getting under my skin lately.

Myth: Some kids have a worse version of Juvenile Onset than others.

Fact: It is simple. The pancreas stops working. It is the same for all the Type 1s. It is my oppinion that it is "worse" because of the the way the individual's condition is managed.

Okay -- one more:

Myth: Someone with Type 1 can live a normal life. All they have to do is take two shots a day.

Fact: ...and five blood tests, and count every carbohydrate you eat against the dose of insulin you took, and time their exercise to carb ratio to make sure you are covered for the activity you are participating in, and carry around a kit with emergency shots incase their blood sugar levels drop low enough to put them into a coma. Normal?