Diagnosis: “Did you know you had diabetes?”

Nine years. I remember my diagnosis well.

It was April 17th, the day after a routine physical. I knew deep down in my gut something was terribly wrong with me. I was exhausted, could barely keep up with Lilly then a 19 month old toddler and I had lost about 15 pounds.

I just wanted to sleep…I felt like perhaps a little vacation and rest would be the answer. At least that was the answer I wanted to hear…but a phone call from my doctor confirmed my fears.

“Did you know you have diabetes?”

“No. But I did have gestational diabetes during pregnancy and it was normal after delivery” Again. This was how I wanted things to be.

He went on to inform me that my fasting blood glucose was 273 and he would need to run more labs to determine the form of diabetes.

And that’s when I knew it. I knew deep down it was serious. The weight loss, thirst, tiredness. I knew that life would be different from that point forward.
Thankfully my diabetes was dx before I could get into serious trouble and although they did determine I was in DKA ( a serious situation in which blood becomes acidic and organs can shut down), it was easily treated with IV hydration and insulin and my highest blood glucose ran in the upper 300s.

That was the longest 2 day hospital stay ever and the first time I had ever been away from my daughter. I remember at one point a nurse came in to take my vital signs and she showed me her insulin pump. She had been dx with diabetes at age 6. And while it should have been reassuring to me that I wasn’t alone, and there are so many others living with the disease all I could think was this can’t be ME. This just can’t be happening to ME. I’m young and healthy.

And as the insulin started moving glucose into my cells, my brain started to take it all in and my body was slowly starting to feel like my own, not like I was carrying heavy lead weights. I wanted to go home. To hug my little girl. I was going to get better. Diabetes would be my bitch and I would have the best control and be in the best of health.

But then…as the insulin did it’s job… lower the glucose that was sky high…I started the lifelong learning process of dosing a drug that can have potentially life threatening side effects. I thought I would have it figured out in a week or two…you know count carbs, dose the insulin accordingly and exercise would fix everything! I would have it totally under control. But very shortly, I learned it wasn’t that simple. Everything from eating an extra tsp of fat from a salad dressing, hormonal fluctuations and stress would effect my glucose.

I went to the doctor again and again… there MUST be something else. Celiac disease? Hypothyroid? Was there an underlying condition as well making it even harder to “control” . No. It was thankfully it was just Type One.

And the fear and guilt started to set in with every. single. HIGH. What would 10 years of glucose levels ranging from 50-300 do? What would happen if I couldn’t have perfect control of it? Would I be blind? Would I have all those dreadful complications? The truth…even with the best of control you can have complications…

So why try so damn hard? And so the journey begins…to manage diabetes without allowing it to take over your life. Am I high often? …yes. Do I get low? yes. But you just keep moving forward and give yourself grace.

And the doctor told me, without giving me false sense of hope, there WILL be a cure one day.

One Day. I do believe it. I have to believe this will be true with so many advancements just in the last 9 years taking place. It’s what I tell my children when they ask if they will get it. You may. There are no guarantees.

There is only HOPE. And isn’t that what has kept us all going in the past year??? Yes. A little science is necessary, and a lot of HOPE.

Just Keep Going

I’ve been burning my body out lately.  Not necessarily in a terrible way, but in a ” I can feel every muscle” way and it’s sore. I have found that just as important as it is to get exercise in a safe manner, it is important to rest and listen to what your body is telling you. I believe this holds true not only for people living with diabetes but those with healthy functioning pancreases.

So many people start the new year with resolutions to get back to the gym, start a new workout regimen, work on healthier meals for their family.  People go from 0-60.  From not doing a single bit of cardio to pushing themselves into a place that is neither healthy or sustainable.  I used to be one of those people.  In fact I’d feel the need to punish my body into hard workout routines and force myself to push through some of the toughest workouts (like P90X… ummmm HUGE mistake).  I’ve made a lot of mistakes…and I’ve learned a few things from them. These mistakes did not help my diabetes management at all and in fact only caused a nightmare of hormonal fluctuations.  It resulted in complete burnout.

Am I perfect today???? Hell no. I still make errors in judgment and there are days I still don’t get diabetes right even when I do the EXACT same routine that worked the week before.  There is no such thing as perfection with diabetes and if there were wouldn’t I be cured? But I keep going and if I make a mistake I try to figure out what happened and I try again.

One thing that holds true…diabetes will always hold me accountable for my actions. When I’m not getting adequate rest, drinking enough fluids, eating the right foods to fuel my body and getting adequate exercise… diabetes will bite me in the A55.

There are days that it will bite me in the A55 regardless of playing by it’s rules, but it’s seriously like a pestering nag in your day to day life that needs constant attention.  Maybe…just maybe, in this way one can use it to their advantage. I mean utilizing blood glucose data, if you’ve ever tried working out with a glucose under 70, or over 240, you know you cannot perform and medically speaking should NEVER do so if you don’t want to land yourself in a hospital bed.  My personal best performance takes place staying between those CGM parameters 100-180.  Sooo…you do everything to stay there because when you’re there…it’s like you’re free and normal for just a little while.

While exercise will NEVER be a cure for me, it helps put me in a better mental state to deal with the daily grind and mental and emotional toll of it all.  You see ENDORPHINS, besides insulin (because it keeps me alive) is my favorite drug and sweat = power and mental clarity.  I see muscles forming I never in my lifetime have seen before and I have endurance that I once thought would never be possible when my body was in a toxic state of breaking itself down and starving for energy.  I have come a long way from an exhausted new mother of 98 lbs, to 120lbs of what I’m sure has been gains in skeletal muscle.  Approaching 38 years old,  I can honestly say my body has never felt stronger.

When your mind says you CAN and you WILL, your body will respond. When your body says, rest however, you must listen to it.  Things may not change as quickly as you had hoped for. Progress may be slow and we all have setbacks from time to time.  Just. Keep. Going. With this illness there isn’t any other choice.

Maybe there will be another 8 years of wishing and hoping for a cure. But in the mean time, there is a bike, there are free weights and a yoga mat, there is a family that loves me and a diabetes community that I know is fighting for the same things. To live without fear, to access affordable insulin, and to one day be free from the burden of Type One.

30 Years

When I was properly diagnosed with T1D, Lilly was 19 months old.  My doctor threw out the term “Juvenile Diabetes” as he had suspected it from the day I walked in the door lethargic at 98lbs.

What?  Ummmm…excuse me I just celebrated my 30th birthday, I can’t possibly have “juvenile” diabetes.

So yes…the disease is formerly known as Juvenile diabetes because it usually strikes children and adolescents.  Little did I know that it can actually strike at any age and 50% of people living with Type One diabetes are ADULTS. So… the name has since been changed to Type One Diabetes.

Swallowing a lump in my throat while being handed 2 insulin pens and a glucose meter,  I panicked while looking at my child.  I had no idea something like this could strike at any age and ultimately genetics are to blame. I mean I was a healthy woman in her childbearing years. I was thinking about another child in the near future.  And for about a year time stood still as I contemplated bringing another child into this world knowing full well I’d be sharing my genetic material.  I struggled with adapting and accepting a new life. A life of insulin shots, blood glucose test strips strewn everywhere and highs and lows.

Obviously keeping my children healthy and safe is of utmost importance to me. I’m blessed that both my kids rarely get sick. I think I can count ear infections on one hand and have only had to use antibiotics to treat them in a few rare instances.

At Lilly’s 9 year physical my pediatrician looked at us and said  “long time no see!”.  I just smiled back and exclaimed “isn’t that a GREAT thing!”  She takes a peak at her height and weight on the growth chart. Now I am not a tall person and I know height doesn’t exactly run in the family with a mother that is 4’10”.  However, she is under the 1%tile on the growth chart and her height hadn’t increased as the doctor would have expected it to.

Soooo….what’s next??????? I suppose it can be clinically significant, poor exceleration in height velocity.  So I do as most parents would (without listening to my own intuition)  and put her through a battery of tests: growth hormone deficiency, blood Ca levels, x-ray to examine her bone age…and of course Celiac disease screening.

Why would I do this to my kid??? I mean my gut says this is genetic… she’s JUST short. Oh…..wait…GENETIC.  If you read a thing our two (and sadly I ready wayyyy too much) about propensity for autoimmune diseases and genes associated with them, Type One Diabetes overlaps with genetics of Celiac disease (both autoimmune diseases).  Sooooooo…. of course I conceded. Just test her and I will be relieved right???

Tests come back a bit inconclusive with an elevated TTG IGg,  whatever that means. I spent 3 sleepless nights of worry, and we are sent to Yale Children’s Gastroenterology for yet another slew of blood work and genetics screening. I refuse to have an upper endoscopy (the only 100% way to determine celiac) done on my child if she is not symptomatic.

The second set of lab work comes back NEGATIVE for celiac disease… while genetics still cannot 100% rule it out because of course… well genes are not exactly in our favor. That said 30% of the population carries the gene and still only 1% have celiac. In Type One diabetics the risk however for celiac disease is 10x that of the general population.  Now that I know however she could be at risk we can have it tested if ever suspected symptoms arise in the future.

I told myself a Celiac dx would not be the worst thing… and Type One Diabetes, who knows when if at all it develops, hopefully NEVER. I had 30 years of a normal life and don’t think for one minute things would have been different if I knew it was coming.

One can have a lot of HOPE. Hopeful for much better treatments on the horizon (and not just another gadget) Hope for a CURE.

It’s exhausting, it’s ups and downs are never-ending  but it will make you realize how strong you really are.  I mean isn’t that just LIFE? Nothing is ever as easy as you thought it would be and nothing prepares you for it. Just keep on rolling with it and be grateful for each and every sunrise.

 

Blogiversary. Six years!

I started this blog in an effort to connect with a community of mother’s who “get it” roughly 6 years ago.  I was at the time 6 weeks pregnant with Grayson and this was a safe place to unleash my fears, celebrate all the small victories and vent my frustrations with this illness.

To say I was scared would be an understatement. I wanted him to have the same chances and be impacted as little as possible by fluctuating glucose levels, just as babies whose mother’s have a fully functioning pancreas.

I  knew that it wouldn’t be easy achieving “normal” blood sugars and attempting goals that seemed at the time impossible and unsafe. It took diligence, a lot of self discipline and frequent blood glucose monitoring and constant adjustment of insulin doses. My heart starts to palpitate in my chest as I think back to the number of low blood sugars I had on a daily basis.  Did that somehow impact him??? I don’t know. Quite possibly. But is there such thing as perfect with diabetes…an imperfect disease? Why was I so damn hard on myself then… I don’t know. Maybe it’s the mother bear in us all.

I had gotten a lot of information, read books and experiences of women who had been living with diabetes far longer than I had and delivered healthy babies. I also blocked the movie “Steel Magnolias” out of my mind.  This made me feel not so alone and was reassuring to me. So if you are that mom, planning a pregnancy an looking for a happy diabetic pregnancy and delivery story…please by all means stalk away.

But why does diabetes at times feel so incredibly lonely? Why does it have a language all its own.  I throw around terms like basal, bolus, post prandial, cgm, and A1C like people actually know what I’m talking about.  My own family will look at me and wonder from time to time why I am wearing not one but two plastic devices… and there I go again explaining a world that I once too was oblivious about.  I can’t lie. I wish I was still oblivious sometimes.

The truth is…I don’t mind the questions. Maybe if more people asked, then more people would understand that Type One Diabetes is an autoimmune disease.  That I did nothing to cause it.  That it can’t be cured no matter how strict I am with diet and exercise and no matter how well “managed” there are daily risks of high and low blood glucose and both long term and short term complications.

I need insulin to live.  And while it is a life sustaining drug…it is also quite dangerous.

Until more is understood I will have this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when my children ask me why I have it and I can’t really explain it to them. I can’t tell them they won’t have it one day with certainty.  I want so desperately for assurance they won’t, but I can’t lie to them.  So I try to make it no big deal. Because I mean, even if a cure isn’t around the corner…things WILL be easier..right?

But…7 years from DX and the only thing different about day to day management is not having to calibrate a CGM.  I know I should be more thankful. I know 7 years is nothing compared to the number of years some have been waiting and the complications they have sustained meanwhile because of this nasty unforgiving disease.

I will pray. I will hope. I will keep the faith and stay grateful.  Even on the days when I’m tested to my limits. Because there is literally no other choice.

Complicated

 

In the midst of a stressful move I did what I have to do every 3 months.

See my endocrinologist and have routine lab work.

I will say her bedside manner is kind. Never once had I felt shamed from her or felt that I needed to explain my numbers to her. She recognized the imperfect ways that treating this illness goes. She understood how to read a Dexcom graph, share the data and input settings on an insulin pump to make adjustments…(all of which I can do myself) but a second pair of eyes comes in extremely useful.

But what do these visits give me? What do I take from them? Honestly.

Nothing.

She looks for diabetes related complications. Enough said. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that sometimes I feel downright depressed by it all.  It’s not like she is going to offer me a cure today tomorrow or the next. But I’ll continue to hope for one.

Truth: You can look great on a piece of paper and be the unlucky one burdened by Type One complications regardless of how hard you work at this so called “manageable disease”.  Are your outcomes better, sure. Are people living longer in spite of it. Yes. But I know this disease does not play fair. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s a 24/7 365 day a year job I never asked for. 

And god damn it. Eating KETO or drinking a shake daily won’t cure it.

One month went by after my visit and labs were performed. I heard nothing from my endocrinologist as my A1C was more than in acceptable range. ( For those not versed in the language of diabetes A1C is an estimated average blood glucose for a 90 day period). I went about my life. Because that’s what you do when you move an entire household with 2 kids. You unpack boxes for a month straight. Tracking down labwork was not exactly at the top of my “to do list”.

I was told she would send the lab values to my new address if “normal”  and if abnormal she would call me. Never received them. No phone call. Since I’m someone who strongly advocates for myself  in my healthcare (NOBODY ELSE WILL DO IT FOR YOU)  I called and left a message to get answers.

Next day: phone call from the nurse…please note: she is not a diabetes specialist:

“She saw from your lab work that you have elevated levels of micro albumin in your urine and would like you to start on an ACE inhibitor to protect your kidneys”

Note: Normal range for Albumin in urine is 0-30.  My “elevated level” was 35.

My response to the nurse: “I’m not about to start on a new medication with possible side effects right now until I speak with the doctor thank you. Please have her call me directly to speak with me. ”

Her response back: “All of our diabetes patients are on this medication. It’s either take this medication or be on dialysis”.

Well. As if I don’t have enough to worry about daily. Thank you oh so much for that enlightening information.

Ok.  So I asked more questions as this seems to be coming out of nowhere… from not a single phone call for a month, to suddenly : your results were abnormal and we see possible diabetes complications in your future.

I’ve thought this through. I’ve checked my own blood pressure values at home. I’ve done yoga. I’ve meditated. I’ve found a new endocrinologist.

I’ll make the decision for myself about my treatment and best case scenario, I’ll have a cure before complications have any time to set in.

But for now, I’ll take it one day at a time.

 

 

 

To hide or not to hide T1D?

I’ve pondered this question a lot recently.

Type One can easily be hidden from others. It seems all too flawless.  Just manage your blood sugars and you will be fine.

Few people really understand what managing blood glucose entails. Diabetes by far is the most nagging and needy part of my life.  Whether its a pump site change at 3 am, poor insulin absorption from scarring, a meal time bolus or a screaming Dexcom LOW alarm, diabetes is far from invisible in my day to day activities.

I have come to terms with that fact that I am not perfect no matter how hard my mind tries to do the job of a pancreas. Nobody truly understands the mental, physical and emotional impact of what HIGH and LOW glucoses will do unless you have been there.  High as 600, low as 32.  Yes.

My insulin pump is a tiny little piece of plastic and Dexcom is only slightly larger than a quarter so both devices can easily be hidden. But would I forgo my own personal vanity in order to have “normal” blood glucose control?

Of course I would!!!

I’d happily have an IV hooked up to a lap top computer to have steady glucose control ( I didn’t make it into that artificial pancreas study, damn it) !!!!!! Exercise would get in the way but, hey!

If you told me, I would never have to do another blood glucose test again and a device will do the job of your pancreas. It is not easy to hide and you will feel tethered to it.

Do you think I would shun it away because I don’t want my diabetes so visible?????

Hell NO!
Of course I would try it because I have a future and I would prefer my future be free from terrifying diabetes complications. Highs and lows are exhausting mentally and physically. I would be ecstatic if a device could keep me free from these effects both long term and short term.

But from my perspective none of these tools have made life with diabetes any simpler. They are costly. They are cumbersome. They give the pharmaceutical companies more assurance for us to depend on insulin for life support.

They still require a very large amount of input and because my diabetes is in pretty “fair” control I do not see a cost/benefit.

So in the mean time.  While I personally don’t go out of my way to tell others I have T1D, I certainly will never hide it.  By hiding it I’m not being my true authentic self.

Someone who every day struggles with highs and lows, despite doing all the “right” things. Someone who will work their tail off to do whatever it takes like riding a century and supporting cure research and being a subject in that research.  As long as we hide our disease from others and appear to live”normal” lives, we will  never get the funding and research needed for a cure.

I want a cure. I want it for me. I want it for my children. I want it so desperately for the parents of T1Ds who fight endlessly.  I want to never worry ever again that my children will end up with this madness.  I don’t hide this disease from my children and I certainly won’t go out of my way to hide it publicly either.

Managing Burnout and Finding an Escape.

Motherhood just like diabetes quite frankly comes with burnout.  If you aren’t willing to admit this is true, then this post is not for you, but I’m going to keep it real and by real I mean HONEST.  There are just so many times you can repeat the same task over and over again before your mind wants to take off running. Endless dishes, countless loads of laundry, putting a fussy crying baby to breast 8+ times a day, telling your children to put their toys away time and time again while continuing to step on LOL doll parts and pieces.  It’s exhausting. It’s mundane. It’s a mental challenge. Eventually you get to that point where your mind goes numb, you essentially handle the bare minimum and operate on survival instincts.

Managing diabetes is a 24/7/365 day a year job that takes no vacation and gives you no time off.  As much as I’d like to run away from my diabetes and pretend it isn’t there, I cannot. If I did, I’d only self destruct and pay the consequences with my vision, nerves, heart, kidneys or possibly my life with a miscalculated insulin dose.

Everyone needs an escape from time to time (and I don’t mean glass of wine, but now and then in moderation it helps ;).  By “ESCAPE”  I’m referring to those moments and activities that bring you peace and joy, taking your mind for just a brief moment away from your day to day responsibilities.  My children mean the world to me and they are my purpose to keep going. I owe it to them to stay healthy both mentally, physically and spiritually by putting myself first.

During parent teacher evaluations and goal setting meetings I was asked what I want for my children’s future. The answer is simple and came easily to me. I want them to be happy and find joy and purpose in their lives. For me finding joy and purpose may be a walk in nature, a bike ride, meditation, cooking, a Zumba class, listening to music, painting, calling a dear friend, and even continuing to go to work and counsel other mothers.  This is how I deal with burnout and the feelings of helplessness that sometimes get the best of me. This is my escape.

There are rough roller coaster days that can’t always be avoided. Days I feel like I want to curl into the fetal position and stay there from a bad low. Days I’m so high and dehydrated from a failing pump site that I contemplate an ER visit for IV fluids.  These are the days I’m trying my hardest to find that escape. I need that escape and I need to be patient with myself.  I tell myself that these feelings will pass. And they always do. But first I must acknowledge them. Burnout is real for mothers and in particular anyone living with chronic illness.

So I think of the ways that diabetes has strengthened me so I can look past those moments I feel crippled after a bad low or breathless after a chest tightening high glucose. Sometimes I feel enraged and full of life, ready to come back in full force. But I always must remember to take a break and find that escape so that I can recharge and start over again.

There are so many others facing far more difficult challenges in life. No matter what you are going through or what your struggles may be, just remember to take it easy on yourself.

Find your escape.

 

Feels Like a Century Ago.

 

September 15th…well it was really not more than a month ago, but in Mommy time it certainly FEELS like a century ago.  Ten hours of pedaling through many hills across the beautiful Hudson River Valley at the base of the Adirondack mountains in upstate NY.  It was another amazing experience that I still have difficulty recollecting my thoughts over.

It was my honor to be a part of and contribute to life changing research by riding with some pretty amazing folks all dedicated to finding a TID cure. I give so many thanks to all of you that donated and supported me!  Your generosity is quite humbling.  A total of $2,600 was raised for my ride alone and as a whole over 1.5 million dollars for JDRF research was raised.

You see living with a “manageable” disease,  I try to appear “normal” in every way possible. I can do ANYTHING.  Even bike ride 100 miles. And this is true.  Except doing ANYTHING with T1D does involves a fair amount of planning, preparation, proper tools and insulin. Also…doing ANYTHING comes with a fair amount of risk, even going to sleep at night. I may sound like I’m exaggerating… It may sound like no big deal. Treat the hypo, take some insulin and move on. I choose to try and not make it a big deal because there is something called a life to live. But let it be known that T1D is a serious disease with serious short term and long term consequences if not managed appropriately.

Were my blood sugars well behaved on 100 miles…hell no! I did run them a bit higher than I would have liked but did not fall into low territory until 24 hours later. It took a lot of math and basal rate calculations, which I will improve upon next time, but I did not exceed a glucose level of 270 and did not go lower than 100 during the entire ride with my pump basal rate set at 60% and not a single bolus of insulin was taken for anything I ate.  Looking back my basal should have been a tad higher…but there is no perfection with this disease so I must say I was quite pleased with the end result crossing the finish line with a blood glucose of 140.

I am so thankful for the progress that has been made for people living with TID thanks to JDRF funded research.  Surely a century ago it would have been unspeakable, as the first patient to be treated with insulin after it’s discovery was in 1922. Without a CGM, blood glucose meter and insulin pump, riding 100 miles would not have been possible. Volunteers and coaches who supported the ride, cheering us on and providing us with nourishment at the rest stops were also truly amazing.

The friends and connections I made that weekend also will be everlasting and hold a special place in my heart.  They too have been impacted by this disease and have stories. Some had T1D themselves and others were their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts or even school guidance counselors.  I won’t post their pictures or mention names, but to ride behind and along side them and to cross that finish line to receive an ice cold towel and medal from another fellow volunteer with T1D is the most amazing feeling and gives me so much pride.  You know that these are the people who “get it”.  They are fighting tirelessly also for a cure.  I know I’m not alone.  So much thanks! So much HOPE!  I may have crossed the finish line after 100 miles, but my goal is much farther reaching.  A world without Type One Diabetes.  We will not give up.

It’s T1D: To the tune of Adele’s “Hello”.

Hello it’s T1D

After 30 years of healthy I decided we should meet

To cause panic and grief

They say 5 years from now, I’ll be gone but it feels like eternity.

Hello, Can you hear Dex?

I’m hypo at 3 am dreaming about the life that used to be

When I was free of devices

I’ve forgotten how it felt to get an entire night of sleep.

Theres such a battle between us….and a CURE is my HOPE.

So Hello strength from deep inside,

I must have cried 1,000x

Each site change and blood draw make me tougher than tough

When all you hope for is a day or week off.

Hello stares and ignorant jokes.

I must have endured 10,000 pokes

Each time I pray for understanding and grace

I see life’s beauty from the perspective of this place.

Hello,  Fellow Warrior

Its understandable to feel burnout that comes with highs and lows.

I hope that you’re safe.

Did you get that CGM and find support from DOC?

It’s no secret,

That T1D and us, must co-exist for now in peace.

So Hello strength from deep inside,

I must have cried 1,000x

Each site change and blood draw make us tougher than tough

When all you hope for is a day or week off.

Hello stares and ignorant jokes.

I must have endured 10,000 pokes

Each time I pray for understanding and grace

I see life’s beauty from the perspective of this place.

There’s such a warrior in all of us….and a CURE is my HOPE.

-Carrie

To the tune of Adele’s “Hello”.

 

 

Bring on 2018: A New Year Brings More Miles Ahead!

 

 

Looking back to a year ago, my mind begins to spin like the spokes of my bike! So many changes, with so many hills and valleys (pun intended here). When I look back at my goals set for 2017, I would say that I have… for the most part, accomplished what I set out to do this year, despite a few bumps in the road. There is still so much more to work toward. One day at a time.

We have mastered so much as a FAMILY. Both Lilly and Grayson are growing leaps and bounds.

Lilly has always astonished me with her inquisitiveness, sense of humor and sometimes overly sensitive qualities. I realize that for her, these are important survival skills. While I can be quietly struggling to maintain blood glucose equilibrium, I understand that she too can and will feel the repercussions as my mood, my brain and my body become so disconnected. And I will do whatever it is to keep her and her brother safe and somewhat sheltered from it. I know when she is older she will understand more clearly, but for now, she knows as much as she needs to know.  Her growing curiosity about how our bodies work and her love of anything and everything science related lets me know that she has a great wonder and appreciation for the world around her.  I am so proud of the little person she is becoming.

Grayson, what can I say…this year has been nothing but growth. He has recently started a new preschool 5 days per week and I’m already beginning to see a difference in his language and ability to express himself more clearly, having actual back and forth conversations with Lilly.  I’ve noticed an improvement in recognizing others emotions and an ability to express his own in more effective ways (you know other than throwing tantrums).  It has taken a year but on his own terms (which is key) he has mastered the potty, telling me when he needs to go. We will continue to work on morning and bedtime routines, reading and working on getting himself dressed, but WOW, I think now perhaps I’m feeling a bit, well “unneeded”, but believe me…thats OK! I’m always of course needed, just perhaps not as much in the physical sense.

I am so very blessed.

Blessed to be surrounded by friends, family and an amazing husband who have supported me this year through some difficult times including two (small and non-invasive but none-the-less), surgeries, a face plant that led me to seek surgery (as I have written extensively about in a previous post) and day to day life with T1D.

I am also most thankful to have made some amazing friends from all over the country having participated in my very first (and not last) JDRF Ride.  I never thought that 62 miles (100km) would have been possible, until I had the privilege of meeting some amazing people and Coaches, there for all the same reasons and touched in one way or another by Type One.

Not only was the experience one I will never forget, but fundraising was such a feeling of accomplishment. I felt like I was actually doing something to work towards a much needed cure. This year I will make a commitment to do more. I know it’s possible with the support of my family there by my side and a very special new ride partner to train with! It will be AMAZING! I thank all my family, friends, businesses, restaurants and individuals for their generous donations and for all of their support.

Here is to another year of health, happiness, personal growth and achievements!  May we learn from the past, to grow and ensure a better future for our children! I know my children will continue to keep me on task! They always do!