Type 1 Diabetes: Symptoms to Look For

We are just two short weeks away from Piet’s 1st Diaversary. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, when he was just 21 months old, on July 31, 2017. In two weeks, get your tissue boxes ready. I’m going to post about his diagnosis story, and it’s a real tear jerker, because we very nearly lost our sweet boy.

Because there is so much misinformation about type 1 diabetes, and symptoms can easily be mistaken for the flu or a growth spurt, I am on a mommy mission to get as much awareness out there as possible!

So here are the symptoms to look for:

1. Extreme thirst: This was the first symptom I noticed. Of course, it was summer and very hot, so at first I chalked it up to the weather. He could drink 2-3 sippy cups full of water every hour. Including overnight.

2. Excessive urination: What comes with drinking a lot? Peeing a lot. But how much is too much? A couple times each night, we had to change his clothing, because he was soaked from head to toe. I could change 3 to 4 FULL diapers every hour.

3. Extreme hunger: One morning in particular, I remember Piet eating five packets of oatmeal. FIVE! He was not even 2 and ate like a grown man.

4. Vomiting: Piet only threw up a few times when we first started noticing symptoms.

5. Weight loss: A toddler losing 2 pounds is concerning. Piet was noticeably skinny and lost over 6 pounds! Everyone we saw commented on his appearance.

6. Clear change in personality: Where Piet was thriving as a toddler, he stopped talking all together. He constantly needed held, and cried about every little thing.

There is one quick, and relatively easy way to check for T1D, and that’s by a simple finger stick. I wish I would have trusted my instincts, and been more forceful with requesting one, but you’ll learn more about that in two weeks.

There are a few ways to get your hands on a blood glucose meter.

1. Go to your nearest doctor or urgent care, and ask for a blood glucose test.

2. Go to Walmart and buy a cheap meter and test strips. It won’t be exactly accurate, but pretty darn close!

3. Come to my house, and I will test for you. I’m sure any other type 1 family would gladly help you out as well.

It is so important to spread awareness for type 1 diabetes symptoms. Every day people die in DKA, from undiagnosed T1D. So, go. Tell. Teach! And remember I am always here for any, and all questions.

How to Take Kids to a Carnival

1. While packing to go to the carnival, expect the unexpected. Your diaper bag should look like a compilation of necessities for all seasons, weather conditions, and accidents imaginable. If you forget a sweatshirt, it will drop to below freezing, even if your town has been in a heatwave all week.

2. While pulling into the carnival parking lot, make sure to forget your double stroller, forcing you to turn around, go the whole way back home, forcefully shove the huge stroller into the trunk of your car, and drive the whole way back to the carnival.

3. When you pull into the parking lot, you will start unbuckling the kids from their carseats, and attempt to transition them into the stroller. They will throw a colossal temper tantrum about wanting to walk instead of ride. Now you’re walking up a huge hill to the carnival entrance, holding two toddlers’ hands, and pushing an empty stroller. The kids finally give up, and ask you to put them in the stroller at the steepest of inclines.

4. Once you’ve entered the carnival, you decide to eat first. That way the kids’ stomachs will be full for the spinning rides later. You choose chicken fingers and french fries, because all kids like them, right? Wrong. Your oldest will not eat them, because they are brown.

5. While eating, with zero warning, your fully potty trained child will squat in a rocky patch, underwear and shorts still on, and pee like a racehorse, for everyone’s viewing pleasure. You did not take your own advice from step 1, and you are not prepared. Snowstorm? Covered. Potty accident? Screwed.

6. Luckily for you, your friend with a child two years younger, and two sizes smaller than your child, came prepared with a spare set of pants. After cleaning up in a disgusting public bathroom, you squeeze her into new pants. Then, she has the balls to say, “Mommy, I could go potty in this bathroom.”

7. Time to move onto the rides portion of the evening. The kids excitedly scurry up the metal stairs, to the first carny ride. It’s horse drawn carriages. No hills or spinning, just one continuous loop. As your husband straps your children in, he notices there is a bolt falling out of where the harness connects to the ride. The operator does not seem concerned, and even encourages your husband to “fix it if you’d like.” So he does.

8. Now that the ride is incredibly safe, the man flips the switch, and the kids zoom around the circle at a jarring pace. Your second kid, who hasn’t peed himself yet, definitely has now. His little fingers are clutching the sides of the carriage. His face is ghostly white, and his eyes scream, “Get me off of this right now!” You frantically wave to them with each passing swirl, but they are moving too fast to notice. As they exit, you ask, “How was it?” First child, “Let’s do another one!” Second child, *no response*.

9. Steps 8 and 9 repeat themselves two more times.

10. “Let’s win some prizes!” You excited yell, because you’d rather have to keep a goldfish alive for 5 years, than endure another terrifying “children’s” ride. Your son picks a shooting game, and your husband lovingly shells out some cash, and helps him win. He chooses a water gun, you just KNOW has a date with the dumpster as soon as you get home. Now it’s the other’s turn, and she wins a pink squishy ball, that acts not only as a choking hazard for your baby, but is also probably filled with toxic slime. “I WANT WHAT SHE HAS!” Too bad, my friend, you picked the plastic pistol.

11. It’s finally time to head home, but not before your baby… that’s right, you have a baby, too… decides she needs to run around on pavement, or she will scream bloody murder. You let her down, and she immediately falls flat on her face, scratching the skin off her forehead. Sweet.

12. You go home, and sanitize everything. Including you. With a giant glass of wine. Because you deserve it after that “fun.”

Baby Names

You know when you’re growing up, and pick out baby names for your future children? Yeah, I was no different. My first baby girl was going to be Layla, after the Eric Clapton song, and my little boy was going to be Joshua, or Josh.

Those names never came to be, but I will tell you where our kids’ names did come from!

Cecilia. We were pretty dead set on Layla. We both loved it, and the song, but the ever annoying “top baby name list” came out, and there it was. In the top 100. So, we had to switch gears. A few weeks before we found out the gender, Jacob and I were watching New Girl. He turned to me, and said, “What about Cecilia? And we’ll call her Ceci.”

BACK TRACK- I LOVE NICKNAMES! You see, I grew up as Erin. Sure, later in life, friends started calling me “E,” and that fulfilled my lifelong dream of having a nickname, but I was always Erin. I wanted a cute nickname!

Back to Cecilia. Jake continued, “Plus! It’s a Simon and Garfunkel song, and I know you really like that kind of stuff.” I was sold, right then and there, on the spot. Cecilia. Our first, and feisty, born.

Piet. One month after dating Jacob, we were sitting in church, and he slipped me a note that said, “Do you want to know what I’d like to name our first son?” (Yeah, we’re gross. Love at first sight… blah, blah, blah… read “When We Met”). Of course, I said yes, and then he turned to the Thessalonians chapter of the Bible, and covered the “alonians” part. Thess. He wanted to name our kid Thess. I would have agreed to Poop at that time, because I was so into him. But by baby number two, I had come to my senses, and vehemently rejected Thess.

At that time, we were living with Jake’s parents, and we found this plaque made for Jacob’s grandfather, Peter, except it was from the Netherlands, where his family had just journeyed from, to start a new life, and it showed his name as “Piet.” I loved the name, and the family connection. We pronounce it “Pate,” but will accept all forms of Peter.

Oh! And Joshua was out of the question, because our oldest nephew is Josh. Still love the name, and I’m so happy someone I love has it!

Kamden. We were ready to give Layla another try. I said things like, “I don’t care how popular it is! I love that name!” I was a liar. There it sat, in the top 20. So one night, Jake and I were laying in bed and he said, “What about something like Cameron?” And I was like, “YES! That’s it!” If the baby was a boy, we settled on Heath, because of my favorite book, “Wuthering Heights.”

The ultrasound came, we found out it was a girl, and I was so excited about my sweet Cammie! Then it happened AGAIN! Every person we knew who was having a baby, was naming them Cameron, boy or girl. Back to the drawing board. But this baby was already Cammie to me.

We started tossing around totally different names, and strongly considered Lennox, but I was so set on Cammie. Then, I found Kamden, and immediately fell in love with it. She was still my little Kammie girl.

And there it is! The run down of all of our kids’ names, and how they came to be!

Type 1 Tunes: Volume 1

1. Dexy One-hundred

(Baby, One More Time)

Oh, Dexy, Dexcom,

How was I supposed to know

That arrow wasn’t straight down?

Oh, Dexy, Dexcom,

I shouldn’t have ate that Rolo

And now you’re going up, yeah

Show me a number that I want

To see, Dexy,

‘Cause I need to know now, oh, because…

These 5 minutes

Are killing me and I,

I must confess

I need to see, need to see.

When it’s “no data” there is no bed,

Give me a sign

Show me, Dexy, one-hundred!

2. Type 1 Quitter

(Hollaback Girl)

This prick is perfection

U, N-I-C-O-R-N

This prick is perfection

U, N-I-C-O-R-N

This prick is perfection

U, N-I-C-O-R-N

This prick is perfection

U, N-I-C-O-R-N

Few nights, I been around that goal

But I’m just gunna keep fightin’ it though.

Cause I ain’t no type 1 quitter,

I ain’t no type 1 quitter.

3. I Gotta Guess This

(I Gotta Feeling)

I gotta guess this, the Chinese buffet carb count to-night

The Chinese buffet carb count to-night

The Chinese buffet carb count to, to-night

A feeling that tonight’s SWAG won’t be too good.

That tonight’s SWAG won’t be too good

That tonight’s SWAG won’t be too, too good.

A feeling, woohoo, tonight’s gonna need corrections

Tonight’s gonna need corrections

That tonight’s gonna need more cor-rec-tions.

4. I didn’t really have to do much here…

Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots

Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots

Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots

Shots! On my body!

The Evolution of a Momance Stage 3: Friends for Life

You’re six months into your new friendship, and it’s the best! You see each other at least once every week, and it’s a definite highlight.

When you’re together, you just unload on each other. You’re so desperate to talk to another adult, who fully understands the struggle of keeping these small humans alive, even though they test your every move. You laugh, talk, vent, and drink… literally alternating coffee and wine.

Where you once made sure your house was immaculate, you now allow your clutter to show. Toys scattered, dishes in the sink, and food particles on the floor, are the signs of a judgement free zone.

Sometimes you both have so much to say that conversations are left unfinished, interrupted by parenting in the moment. Or they spinoff into seven other topics. This is your favorite. It means talking comes easily and you’ll never run out of things to say.

When life gets in the way and you have to miss a few meet ups, it is rough. Unloading on someone who is whole heartedly in your corner is incredibly therapeutic.

Here’s to all the moms out there who have found their counterpart, or are still looking for someone to fill a void. Being a mom is no walk in the park, but if you are walking in the park, don’t forget to glance around for a potential momance. They might just be the one!

Dr. Faustman’s Findings Weigh In

Last week, some pretty huge news hit the T1D community. Dr. Denise Faustman, from Massachusetts General Hospital, conducted a study using the BCG(tuberculosis) vaccine, and found that A1C levels in type 1 diabetics decreased significantly, and they were able to decrease insulin intake. To read more, check out this article 👉🏻 https://www.statnews.com/2018/06/21/type-1-diabetes-vaccine-denise-faustman/

Ok, now it’s my turn to weigh in. So you’re telling me there’s a low risk, cheap way to lower my kid’s A1C, meaning lessening the chances of serious complications down the road? Sign me up. Also, less insulin means fewer hypoglycemic events(low blood sugar)? Yes. Tell me where. Behind a Taco Bell in a dark alleyway? Ok, see ya in 10.

Of course this is not a cure… YET! But I have faith in this crazy, awesome lady who doesn’t give AF about how much money you’re going to make off a cure. She flat out says, companies won’t fund her because the BCG vaccine is inexpensive.

And to all you other T1D companies who “care so deeply about finding a cure for our community”… What do you think about this? Why aren’t you weighing in and celebrating with us? Aren’t you all about turning “type one into type none?” If this is genuine, let’s all unite and cheer for some great advancements.

I’ve never let myself think about life without T1D, until Thursday. FINALLY, something to get excited about. And who knows… maybe this will light a fire under others to race to cure this crappy disease that there is zero escape from.

But for now, I get to be hopeful, and that feels very important.

Thanks for Loving My Nerd

I’m a nerd. It’s ok. I like that I am. I have a favorite president, Thomas Jefferson. He liked books and architecture and pea plants. I built a replica, papier-mâché Monticello in 10th grade, and, in 8th grade, I gave a school report about his slave-lover, Sally Hemings, in full 18th century, authentic clothing. Talk about questionable content.

I really, really love Colonial Williamsburg. I wonder what Jacob thought the first time I told him it was my favorite place. Probably that I haven’t been many places, which is true. But I have such fond memories of this historical town, and every time we step back into time, I cannot contain my excitement.

Instead of Jacob picking on my dorky obsession, he just goes with it. In fact, I think he might actually like it! He smiles when I make him take all the pictures, and happily eats all the time period food, and quietly listens to the tour guides in each building.

So, thanks, Babe for keeping the magic of my favorite place alive, and loving it with me!

Three Kids and a Colonial Coffeehouse

From the time I was a little girl, my family did not go on vacations. We went on field trips. Other families were hitting the beach, while we were touring museums, exploring national parks, and partaking in cultural festivals. My grandfather and mother are both educators, so we love learning. Learning’s our favorite.

But, our very favorite place to visit was, and still is, Williamsburg, Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg to be exact. We would wear our mob caps and tricorn hats proudly, as we traipsed from the Governor’s Palace to the Shield’s Tavern, and everywhere in between.

To enter the historical town, we board shuttles at the visitor center. These shuttles act as time machines, transporting us back in time, to the late 18th century. Once in the magical town, we interact with all the characters of the past, and watch them carry on with their authentic 1773 lifestyle.

This all sounds really great, right? Well, picture this. A colonial coffee shop, including all the hot liquid and china dishes imaginable, and three children, ages 3, 2, and 1. If that phrase didn’t bring you immediate anxiety, then you should be a fighter pilot.

This was our first trip back to Williamsburg since the two younger kids were born. We must talk about the relatively new coffeehouse frequently, because Ceci and Piet both announced, several times, “I want a spot of coffee!” So, against our better judgement, we ventured on.

As we entered the building, we were greeted by Robert Carter, and he began our tour by telling us about himself and his life, but I’m honestly not really sure, because Kammie was determined to make the sitting room her own personal play ground.

She giggle-yelled as she ran from fireplace hearth, to sharp furniture corner. I quickly scooped her up, and whisper-sang her “The Wheels on the Bus,” until she quieted down. But this all happened just in time to move to the next room, where Carter’s servant had more education for us.

In this room, Ceci became increasingly irritated that this is not where the coffee was served. “WHERE IS THE SPOT OF COFFEE?” I quickly glanced around the room, as an apologetic plea. The room was full of retired couples, soaking in the educational experience, and there we were, ruining it.

As we finally moved into the coffee room, the kids were overwhelmed with excitement. As the servant walked around and poured the period-authentic coffee, which was basically just grainy, chocolate, coffee-pudding, Kammie zig-zagged through chairs, and feet, while Jacob chased after her.

Piet and Ceci sat, patiently waiting for their “spot of coffee.” Once poured, Piet dove right in. With each spoonful he ate, he wrinkled his nose, and shook his head in disgust. This didn’t stop him from continually shoveling in spoonfuls. Others quickly noticed his reactions, and giggled at his silliness. One even passed us some cream to help with the bitter taste.

After I added cream, he tasted it, and immediately gave me a thumbs up. Laughs broke out around the table. “MORE!” he shouted. “Whisper,” I responded. “more!” he whisper-shouted. *face-palm*

Then, he dove right in, dropped his spoon on the floor, and slurped down big gulps of the thick goo. When he placed the cup down, a ring of chocolate smudged his face. Another thumbs up. Another *face-palm*.

As the tour came to an end, we thanked/apologized to everyone. The kids were so excited about their “spot of coffee,” and pled to go back right away. But, mommy might need a couple years to recover.

8 Ways to Totally Piss Off a T1D Parent

1. “Are you sure he should be eating that donut?”

Why?! Is there poison in it? Because that would be the only reason he couldn’t have a donut. As long as he doses with insulin, he can eat anything.

2. “He’s too skinny to have diabetes!”

I didn’t realize you needed to be overweight for your immune system to attack the beta cells in your pancreas… *eyeroll*

3. “Should he be eating that candy? Isn’t that how he got diabetes in the first place?”

You know what?! Yes! I was just pumping my 21 month old full of sugar, constantly… and then BAM! Diabetes. Just kidding. His body attacked itself, and it had nothing to do with diet. Oh, and he’s eating this candy because his blood sugar is low, and it is literally saving his life, as we speak.

4. “I’m getting diabetes just from looking at these cupcakes!”

That’s literally the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD stop spreading false information.

5. “Does he have the good kind or bad kind?”

Um. What kind of scaling system are we using here? Bad, like you have to stab yourself with needles multiple times daily to survive, or good, like I get to learn all these fun facts, such as how many carbs are in a single Teddy Graham? (The answer is 1g/Teddy… btw)

6. “Hopefully he gets well soon!”

Well, it’s a chronic illness, so… it’s for life.

7. “Have you tried any of the natural remedies? I heard ground cinnamon, sprinkled in tigers blood, and poured into a challis carved by Jesus Himself will cure his diabetes!”

A little louder for the people in the back, THERE IS NO CURE FOR TYPE 1 DIABETES!

8. “I could never give my child a shot.”

Well, I’m really glad none of your children have type 1… because they would die.

Quick recap. Type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with eating too much sugar. They can eat whatever they want, as long as they dose insulin for it. And there is no cure.

The more awareness we spread, the more misconceptions we bust, the more people understand, the less alienated our kids feel, the better the world will be.

To My Husband on Father’s Day

When you became a father, it was obvious that you found your calling. Here are some things you do that make you extra dad-tastic!

Right before bed is your favorite time to play a fun, little game, I call “tickle fight, until it’s an actual fight, and then everyone is crying.” This is the perfect way to transition into a serene, sleep encouraging atmosphere.

I’ve never seen someone so passionate about keeping up with the refuge schedule. The way you break down boxes and separate out the recyclables is top notch dad stuff.

Your dad jokes are some of the best that I’ve heard. Especially when you end them with “Eh!?…Eh!” We got the joke. All of us. Even the baby.

If “Ultimate Dad Style Weekly” was a magazine, you would be featured. You’ve collected an innumerable amount of t-shirts, and you will never, EVER part with them. Pair that forth grade baseball tee with one of your several pairs of cargo shorts and BAM! You’ve got yourself an outfit that would make any dad proud.

But, most importantly, it is so very evident that you are our kids’ hero, and they adore spending every minute with you. When you work long hours to support us, and they don’t see you for a couple days, their eyes light up the second they notice “Daddy’s home!” From playing catch, to giving baths, and movie snuggles, you’re the best dad out there!

We love you, Daddy! Happy Father’s Day!