Friday, October 31, 2008

Jada's First Halloween with Diabetes

Whewwwwww......done at last. I don't know why I was so worried about how I was going to handle Jada's first Halloween with Diabetes. And of course, she went as a princess. Fortunately, we weren't gone long, as little legs can only handle so much! Mary Beth took it upon herself to inform every homeowner that Jada was diabetic! I finally had to tell her to stop, because they were all apologizing for not having anything sugar free! Jada got a fair amount of candy and when we went home, I let her pick out a few pieces of candy, got online and looked up the carb count and gave her a shot. I'm interested to see what her numbers are when I check her later tonight. I put her candy up and tomorrow, I think she may decide to exchange her candy for a toy or movie.

So, I'm glad it's done. I know that I have more holidays to look forward to. Thanksgiving shouldn't be too bad, but Christmas will be interesting. We love to cook and bake and fill the kids stockings up with candy. I guess we'll get that figured out, too. One thing I've learned, you just have to take this disease moment by moment (kind of like going through recovery!), taking care of issues as they come up and try- as hard as it may be- to keep a positive attitude.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jada is getting older and I think, is beginning to comprehend this disease. Yesterday, she told me thank you for "keeping my blood sugar healthy" and that "daddy helps to keep her blood sugar healthy, too." She is 3 1/2 now and is really turning that corner from toddler hood into "big girl" status and along with that comes much understanding. We went grocery shopping at Wal-Mart the other day and they were handing out samples of sugar free gum. Each piece was in a plastic cup and I gave one to Mary Beth and one to Jada. Mary immediately took hers, but I noticed that Jada just held her cup and occasionally, pulled it to her nose to smell it- it was kind of fruity. After about ten minutes, she said, "Mama, can I have this gum?" It had never even ocurred to me that she thought she couldn't have it! Then, I felt bad for not making it clear to her that she could put it in her mouth and instead, tortured her for ten minutes! I was so proud of her, though, for the understanding that she has of this disease and maybe, just maybe, I'm communicating to her in a way that she understands.
My Grandma is still hanging in there. On Thursday and Friday, she seemed to perk up a little bit and now, they think she may have had another stroke last weekend, which was why she was so bad for a few days. However, she is not so improved that she is out of the woods- she could hang in there like this for a while. My dad and aunts have hospice set up for her, and I'm so glad. Hospice is such a great thing and they do amazing things for people in the final days of their life. I'm so glad that Grandma will get better care.
Well, I have things to do before I check Jada and then go to bed. Once again, I have been so blessed and feel so grateful for all God has given me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just Checking In

I'm waiting to check Jada, so I thought I would jot down a few mostly happy thoughts.
Jada's blood sugar numbers have been terrific lately! It seems like we have been battling high numbers for the last month, and they have suddenly just straightened out. I'm not sure why, but over the last five days, she has been running near perfect. She's running fairly steady at night and wakes up to awesome numbers. I'm amazed at how excited I am over this. She has been sleeping much better at night, too. Probably because I don't have to wake her up to feed her.
I ordered 3 months worth of diabetic supplies for Jada tonight. Oi vay. Even with good insurance, it was basically a car payment that went out of our banking account today! I am soooo thankful for our insurance- I met an adult type 1 w/no insurance last week and I'm pretty sure he doesn't qualify for assistance. Can't imagine living without insurance. However, her things are on the way and I will be happy to be completely stocked up again!
I received a phone call tonight from my sister. She had spent an hour with my grandma tonight. Grandma took another turn for the worse and is now breathing very shallow. Her blood pressure also dropped significantly. I don't think she has much longer. I have decided not to go back before she passes away and I am really ok with it. I would appreciate prayers for my Grandpa- he is really in denial that she is dying. My dad and my aunts will all be with her tomorrow. It's going to happen very soon.
In the midst of all of this in my own life, I can say that God is good. I have a joy within me that only comes from Him- it's that peace that passes all understanding. I have so much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How Do You Say Goodbye?

Last night I received a phone call from my mom- my grandma, they think, is very near death. My dad and his sisters are meeting with hospice this weekend to discuss some end of life things concerning her. Mom encouraged me to send an email to Grandma right away (she's in the nursing home and the nursing home staff will read it to her) because even now she's not very alert and is going downhill quickly.
A few minutes ago, I tried to start the email, but all I could do was cry. How do you say goodbye to someone who has played a huge role in your life? I grew up 3 miles from her- I spent a lot of time at her house as a small child and as a teenager. I loved to be with my grandparents. They were never critical of me, always accepting and a whole lot of fun. When we (myself, my brother and sister) were small, they took us on a cross- country trip to Oregon to a family reunion. They took us camping, took us to Arkansas to see my aunt. Her rhubarb pie is incomparable, as is her apple pie. Grandma was also known for her beef and noodles. The noodles completely homemade with a recipe that was passed down to her. Grandma taught in a one room school house before she married Grandpa. She was a farmer's wife- of that greatest generation. My grandpa was in the Marines during WW II and she gave birth to my aunt while he was in combat on Okinawa. She lived through some of the toughest times in our country. Most of all, she was my Grandma. She loved to spend time with her grandkids- loved to cook for us and we loved to eat her food. Grandma and Grandpa could always be counted on for a game of UNO or dominos. Grandma was a sharp card player- even up until a few years ago.
I think that saying goodbye takes courage- and at this moment, I don't have it. I don't want to let her go just yet, even though I know she's miserable. I know, that she is going from this life into even something greater. In heaven, she will have her voice back, which was taken from her after a stroke. I know this isn't the end, because one day, I will be with her there and am confident of that. Please pray for me, that I have the courage to say goodbye to her in a way that is honoring to her and that would help to give her courage to move out of this world, to be with the Lord.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Getting Settled

For the first time in about a year, I really feel at home. We are getting settled in to a nice routine, I feel like I'm getting Tulsa figured out (not hard to do after moving from Houston, TX). I can see that our church, The Church At Battle Creek, is going to be the place that we will really connect with people and we will really be able to get involved and use our gifts.
This last year has been the most difficult transition ever! We moved from Fairbanks, Alaska to Houston (with a few short stays in Iowa) and finally here to Tulsa. Actually, I believe that one year ago today, we were probably somewhere in Canada along the Alcan (Alaska-Canadian Highway) on my way to my parents in Iowa. It's incredible for me to think that a year has gone by and so much in our family has changed. Years down the road, I will look back and see just how tough this year has been on our family. Moving, living in a hotel (although my boys did think that they were just like Zach and Cody from The Suite Life on Disney!),living in a tiny apartment, diabetes, moving again, taking a break from homeschooling and starting the boys in public school and on top of it, Eli breaking his arm so badly that he needed surgery. I don't want to go through this stuff ever again! (Unless, of course, it's a move back to Alaska!)
Tulsa will be a good place for us. I love our neighborhood. God, once again, gave us great neighbors! The weather, so far, has been great- I'm looking forward to winter coming. I can't wait to get heavily involved in church- I just really need to decide where I want to serve. I'm also really enjoying making our house a home. I have really not been able to do that for a while, and now that we have a house- a nice house- I'm beginning to get a little crazy with it! Jeff is gonna have to hold me back a little!
Yes, I still want to move back to Fairbanks- but I am now more content than I have been in a long time and know that when the time is right, God will open doors for us to return. Right now, I'm going to enjoy being here, living here and developing relationships- because, really, that is indeed what it is all about.

It's Like Bringing Home Your First Baby

Ok- so I just finished my last post a few minutes ago and then went to check Jada's blood sugar. She was at 121, which is actually a great number for her. However, it's not high enough to get her through until morning. So, I attempted to wake her up and feed her some cookies from a 100 calorie snack pack. While I never got her eyes open, I managed to feed her the cookies one by one- it took about 15 minutes to do it. While I was feeding her, I started to think about the most frequent question I get asked- which is- What has life been like since your little girl was diagnosed?
My response:
It has been like bringing our first child home from the hospital. I was nervous about everthing. With a newborn, you worry about sickness, whether they are eating enough, going to the bathroom enough, whether or not they are sleeping enough- wondering why their eyes keep crossing and if they will ever be able to focus. Nursing was difficult with my first child- he was a better sleeper than eater. I was exhausted from trying to feed him in the middle of the night when he really needed to eat, and he just wouldn't wake up unless you got him completely naked!. I would find diapers that had been changed in the middle of the night in different places around the house. Can't tell you how many I would find underneath our bed. I didn't want anyone else to care for our new little one- in my mind, I was barely capable, how could I dare let anyone else watch him? And the greatest thing that I discovered- was that I had this huge capacity for love that I had not formerly known. I would hold David and cry, just because he was mine- the greatest gift the Lord has ever given Jeff and I. I wanted to hold him tight and not let him go, because if I did, I knew he would grow up on me.
So- now- I worry about Jada getting what should be a simple stomach bug, because it could be life threatening. I worry about what and how much I give to her. Do I give her more if she wants more or do I tell her no? I worry when she is too thirsty and wets the bed at night- because when she does, she is way too high, probably has some ketones going on. I worry when she sleeps too long, because she may have passed out in her sleep and I'm gonna have to use that darn glucagon kit. I'm now feeding another child in the middle of the night- her life depends on it. Now- I find used test strips around the house. I always think I throw them away, but manage to find them in odd places. It's not a good thing to find a used lancet on the floor, it kind of hurts when you step on it. As for caring for her, my goodness. It's incredibly difficult to even leave her in the preschool room at church when I'm in the same building- let alone leave her with a babysitter. We've done it, once- but we left for our date after she had eaten, had a shot and a bedtime snack. Our family members at this point are too terrified of this disease to even think about watching her- and I'm okay with that, but I do think about what would happen to Jada if something happened to Jeff and I.
Most of all, I cry. I cry alot. I cried tonight as I held her and helped her get those cookies down. I cry over her several nights a week before I go to bed while praying over her. I hold her a little longer when she wants to cuddle with me. I ask God to heal her and take this from her, but then tell him, "She's yours. She really belongs to You. If this disease brings you greater glory and creates a greater dependence on You for myself, and for Jada, then don't take it away, because we will be better for it."
So, for you parents, who have kids that are newly diagnosed, hang in there. Obviously, you've had a newborn and you made it through some of those slightly scary times- you can make it through this, too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another Stellar Moment for Me

I did it again....the second time in two weeks. I grabbed the wrong insulin out of the fridge as I walked out the door to church. And of course, I didn't realize it until she had already eaten about 15 grams of carbs. Fortunately, we were just about ready to leave, so she came home, had her bedtime snack and a nice dose of novolog along with it. Now, I'm wondering what this will do to her numbers. I really try to avoid a shot later in the evening, because it tends to bottom her out. However, she has run in the low 200' s most of the day and I could just see her skyrocketing tonight. It's almost time for me to go and check her- hopefully, I won't have to wake her up to feed her. I'm not sure why she was running high today- she has been a bit sniffly, so maybe she is about ready to get a cold. I'm not sure. We did have a pretty good cold front move through Tulsa- maybe that's part of it.

In other Lincoln family news, I miss having my boys at home! Homeschooling, with all of the transitions we went through- moving, diabetes, moving again- last year left me burnt out. Jeff and I though, are seeing some things that we are not too happy about. The boys aren't getting along as well as they used to. This morning, both of them worked on homework all morning. When I asked them to work together to clean their room and do a few other odds and ends things, they were at each other's throats. Most people would say not to worry about it, but I know my boys. This behavior has become too frequent. David is doing well in school- loves every bit of it and is exceling. He's the kind of kid you can put in any environment and he will succeed. Eli learns very differently than David. He's very tactile and has to be moving all of the time! When he was tested at the beginning of the school year, he tested nearly at a 3rd grade level (he's in 2nd grade), yet he is struggling with some of the most basic things. Traditional school just does not work for him. He is enjoying many things- he has a ton of friends- loves art and music (he still can't do PE b/c of his broken arm). Jeff and I are still struggling as to whether or not we should pull him out. It will be difficult thing for him if we do. I would appreciate any prayers in this area.
We are headed to Kansas City this weekend! We are going to meet Jeff's dad and his wife for a couple of days. I am excited to go back to the church that God used to pull our marriage back together and where Jeff got sober through Celebrate Recovery. It's been two years since we've seen anyone from Rockbrook Church. Fun, fun!
It is time to go and check that little girl. I would really like to go to bed, but hey, that's life with diabetes!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Please and Thank You

Jada recently has taken a somewhat pleasant, unexpected turn in her reaction to taking shots and getting her finger poked. Last night, after dinner, I gave her a shot. No fussing, no running. She turned to look at me and said, "Thank you, Mama". It really took me by surprise. Then, tears. Telling me thank you for a shot? She did it again today, several times after taking her blood sugar and then again after shots. There are times that I see hints of her understanding something of this disease. I talk to her a lot about highs and lows and what causes them- at a level which I think she can understand.
Yesterday, I made cookies. They are the best cookies I have ever eaten. Yummy. Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Jada was able to have one after her nap and I told her that at bedtime, she could have one more. She was a little low at bedtime and so giving her a cookie- one cookie- was okay. Well, I talked to my sister in law in Alaska on the phone and left the cookies within arms reach. Big mistake. I have no idea how many cookies she ate, I just know that she woke up at 11:30 pm, not feeling well and with a blood sugar close to 400! She drank at least 32 oz. of water in about 5 minutes time. Jeff and I debated as to whether or not to give her a correction shot- but that also meant we would have to feed her. The last time I tried giving her novolog without food, she came down so fast that we almost had trouble on the other end of the spectrum. I knew her long acting insulin was working (lantus), so we decided to let her come down on her own. She was right around 200 this morning when she woke up- a little high. I'm really glad I didn't give her a shot, because that may have started a bunch of bouncing around with her numbers and I really did not want to deal with that all day. Someday, she will understand the effects of food on her blood sugar, but by the time we get to that point, we'll probably have a host of other things to worry about! :)
On the homefront, all is well. Had parent-teacher conferences tonight and had great reports from the boys teachers. Jeff and I could not be more proud of them- both of their teachers really enjoy them. Mary Beth and David had a collision tonight walking back to the car- he totally plowed over her- knocked her flat. She told me tonight that she just knew that one of hr bones was gone. When we prayed, she asked God to help her sore leg feel better. When she was done, she looked at me and said, "What if God is too busy to help me?" So sweet. We had a long talk about God and His character- I'm sure she didn't understand all of it, but I do think she is beginning to understand just how much God loves her and is concerned for every detail of her life. So precious.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Week in Review #2

I have been meaning to sit down everynight and blog some of my thoughts. It's been an interesting week. Busy.
Monday, the girls had their well child visits. Both of them had to have immunizations. I would have thought that it would have been a breeze for Jada, but she had to be held down by myself and a nurse while the other one gave her the shots. Mary Beth did great and she had four of them. This is the first year that all of us will be getting the flu shot- it's one of those things that we can no longer risk in our family because of Jada's diabetes. She had the flu when she was diagnosed and it was ugly. I can't imagine going through that again.
Tuesday. Hmmm. Oh- we took the kids to Chuck E Cheese after school for an early supper. Not at all busy and then we went for a drive to some places in Tulsa that we had yet to explore. Got a phone call from our good friends, Fred and Kristan Karella in Alaska. They are coming to see us in March. I don't if the kids are more excited or if I am.
Wednesday. We went to our first Nucleus group at The Church at Battle Creek. Small group- which to me is so much better. I am pumped about getting involved there and this class will definitely help with that.
Thursday. Got another phone call from Fred and Kristan Karella. Their nephew was killed in Iraq- pretty sobering. I haven't had something like this hit so close to home for me- ever. I can't imagine the pain they are going through right now. So sad for them.
Today- I got my Oklahoma driver's license! Woo Hoo! I'm also officially a registered voter- on the last day possible to register! Yes- I am a procrastinator!
So... pretty boring blog. I have been thinking about some things, though and in the near future I'm going to have to sit down and think it all through as I blog. Hopefully, I'll come off sounding smart! :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Chocolate Strawberries

Tonight, when putting Jada to bed, she told me that she was going to make chocolate strawberries in her dreams. And eat as many as she wanted. This -after a day of her continually asking for food- candy, ice cream, extra milk at lunch and also me catching her sneaking into the kitchen several times to sneak a cracker. She just seemed to have the munchies- maybe she's starting on another growth spurt. Or maybe she just had a carb withdrawal kind of day! So- I listened intently as she described the hopes of her chocolate strawberry dreams and then when we prayed, we asked God if He would give her a good dream about chocolate strawberries. I pray that He does- because in her dreams, she can have as many of those chocolate strawberries as she wants and her blood sugar won't go sky high and she won't have to have insulin to offset those carbs. Only in her dreams.