Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New and Different Things

Last weekend, Taya spent three days at a youth leadership event for church.  She was signed up to go to the event not so much by choice but because she had missed the big retreat required for Confirmation because she was visiting her aunt in California.  This was an opportunity to make up for that time.  She was not super excited, especially given that she knew none of the other people going along.  A few days before, it occurred to me that she would be spending two nights in a motel without any family or certified diabetes educators in sight.  This made me a bit uncomfortable since it was 100 miles away!  I sent an email to the Youth Pastor with cautions and concerns followed by a text message to my friend, who happens to have a T1 child, to let her know that Taya would be in town and might need to call.  I got reassuring responses from both so the following afternoon, we took our little girl to church.  She did not complain one time, but that sad look on her face was tough to see.  That day we got some texts from her, some phone calls and a Facetime call that night.  She was not having fun.  Luckily, I was already asleep when she Facetimed or I am pretty sure I would have jumped in my car and picked her up.  The next day, I sent her a text in the morning wishing her a better day.  I did not hear from her until 2 pm.  This was a text saying she had been cleaning up the zoo and today was going better.  Then, we heard nothing until 2 pm the next day, letting me know when to pick her up and asking if she could go hang out with her new friend later that night.  Wow, what a turn around!  She ended up having a really good time and even mentioned next year's event.  She was most impressed with all the work done in Minot, having toured it a few months ago.  While nowhere near restored, progress is being made.  I am very proud of her.  I know that when I was her age nothing in the world would have gotten me into that car to travel that far not knowing what was ahead.  Now, she has to present in church.  I think for her that is even more traumatic!

Another good thing that happened recently is I found a recipe for making Gluten Free Cheese Crackers!  And, better yet, TJ likes them!  As does Tylie.  She ate all the crispy outside edges before they had even cooled.  The best part is- they are easy!

4 oz Cheddar Cheese
4 TBSP butter
3/4 C Corn Starch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Xanthum gum
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp Milk

Melt the butter and then add the cheese until both are smooth.  Then add dry ingredients until a crumbly mixture and well mixed.  Add the milk.  Spread out in 1/8 inch thickness on a greased cookie sheet.  I cut into squares and then poke a hole in the center of each square.  Lightly salt the tops and bake at 400 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.  

Tessa and I got to spend some quality time together as well.  First we got our hair cut and then we made cookies.  That part didn't go super smooth, but the end result was very nice.  You will see in the picture that TJ is also eating a cookie.  His is a decorated chocolate chip cookie since we didn't make the others gluten free.  They are for Tessa's demonstration speech at school.

Troy- with some help from the kids and a lot of help from his dad- got the boards up for our backyard rink!  For the first time in awhile, people in our house are looking forward to some cold nights so they can start flooding.  However, after writing in our winter schedule, I hope we have time to use it!

           And, to end with something funny, just in case anyone reading this thinks I have it all together all the time!  Today, at home it was a morning like any other- scurrying around, packing lunches, checking for warm enough coats, meters packed,etc. Nothing unusual at all.   I arrived at school and went down the hall to check on something and realized my shoes didn't seem quite right.  I looked down to discover that I was wearing two different ones!  Seriously, how does that happen?  They weren't even the same color!  So, quick phone call to Tylie, who saved the day by grabbing me a matching pair and dropping them off on her way to school.

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Normal

I wish that I had more time to write.  My real job seems to be interfering.  Then when I have time to sit down and start, I have trouble narrowing my topic because my mind swirls. So, this will be a bit of a "week in review."

Monday I went to parent teacher conferences for Tylie.  Imagine my surprise when she had a D in her father's class!  I called her and made her come up and take the test before she could go to the soccer game. I would like to claim this as my idea but it was really my friend D's suggestion!  I was waiting for a huge argument and was really pleasantly surprised when she not only came to take the test but visited the remainder of her teachers  with me.  Overall, reports were good so I guess we will keep her.  I was surprised, however, that with the exception of the teachers who had had her before, they were not aware of her diabetes.  This is the first year that I have not sent out a note- after all, she is a junior and can speak for herself.  Plus, the information is on Powerschool so I trust that the teachers see the little red medic alert sign by her picture.  Apparently not the case.  So, for my own peace of mind, I sent out a note.  My reason is as a teacher, I would want to be aware.

TJ was student of the week this week.  That means we got to write all about him, send pictures to school and I got to go and visit his class.  I usually take this time to do the big "D" talk.  This would be the 3rd time I have done it for him.  A few of the kids have heard it since preschool.  They could probably have given the talk!  I love going into classrooms of little kids.  They are so accepting and if you are open with them, they are honest right back.  The questions they asked were very thought provoking.  And, of course, they were appropriately excited about the coloring sheets I brought along.  We made Rice Chex bars.  This is our gluten free version of Rice Krispy bars.  They are perfect because they are also peanut free so everyone in class can eat them.

So, after that 'feel good' presentation, the next day I got a call because his pump wouldn't stop alarming.  We did all the problem solving we could over the phone but I ended up taking a trip to school.  Luckily, he just needed to have his set changed and we got his blood sugar back under control.  However, the teacher got her first glimpse of what a high blood sugar looks like when she had to practically scrape him off the ceiling.  He tends to get VERY energetic initially followed by 'the crash.'  At least now they will know what to look for and when an additional finger poke might be necessary.  Ironically, this call came after the nurse and I had spent the previous day going through a variety of scenarios and what steps staff would need to take in each situation.

Friday, we went to a wedding.    It was cold and windy and it was outside.  However, that isn't what I worried about.  I worried that there wouldn't be any food that Trav could eat.  As it turns out, I didn't really need to spend time on it.  First of all, his little back pack is usually so full of stuff, he could live for a week.  Second of all, he is so darn responsible, he doesn't put anything in his mouth without checking with me or another family member first.  And third, his little friends he hangs out with are like police!  So, he managed the wedding without cake and in fact, didn't even ask for cake.  He was quite happy with the candy corn/peanut snack mix combination.  I also worried that the girls would eat a ton and not put the carbs into their pumps.  This is a legit worry- teenagers are tough!

The result of all these little incidents this week makes me think of the quote, "You plan and God laughs."  Now, don't get me wrong, I will still plan.  Sometimes I will even over plan! And I nag!   I can't help it.  However, I have gotten somewhat better at going with the flow and not panicking when things stray from my plan.  This is not always easy, but I think I am getting better.  For example, Sunday, Troy and the two oldest girls left for a Leadership conference for school.  Originally, Taya was not planning to go.  However, an hour before departure, Troy realized that he had an extra space for a girl and she was a freshman so she was invited to come along.  Initially, she didn't think she would be ready to go, but I said I would grab her D stuff if she got her clothes together.  So, she packed with the help of her older sister and I did inventory of the ziploc bags going along- set changes (2 kinds),  inserter, insulin, extra strips, extra batteries, etc.  And, by the time they needed to leave, she was ready.  I was amazed.  First of all, I would never have been so so spontaneous at her age and second of all, that I so easily supported her going.  There was a time when just the thought of reorganizing supplies and making sure there was food for emergencies and going through all the "what if" scenarios in my mind would have been too overwhelming for me.  But, luckily, I was over that and she got to go and experience something new.  Ironically, the dad did forget his medicine!  (Now next time he will find me nagging about that! Apparently, I can't let everything go!)  Tessa got and unexpected invite to a party later that evening so TJ and I were alone for supper.  So, I took him out to eat!  Another thing, that if you asked me one year ago I couldn't have imagined doing, at least not without hours of internet research and a phone call to the place and a million questions for the server. I still asked the server questions, but we have been here before so I didn't have to research and call!   I guess the fact that we are able to do these spontaneous things without too much extra stress means we have found our new normal- or it found us!  I'll take it for now- at least until the next curveball!