Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wisdom From Matthew

After our trip to the science museum, Matthew shares this with me:

"Mom, here's a tip for you. If you're out, you a restaurant or museum or whatever and you have to go to the bathroom--get a lot of toilet paper. They always use the cheap kind. Just go ahead and get a lot right away. That's a tip for you."

Friday, May 28, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

We've had a great week with my parents here! It was such a nice break from the routine. Here are a few specifics:


  • One of his best friends is in Taiwan and the boys have been using Skype. They are having a blast!
  • Matthew got roller skates!
  • Basically, he's just been spoiled all week!


  • I've had my quiet time a few times this week.
  • Never stepped on the treadmill. But....I'm signing up for the 5K on Tuesday.
  • I started a new book. The latest one by Francine Rivers, Her Mother's Hope. It's fantastic!

Matthew's blood sugar: Before my parents came to visit, I thought a lot about how to handle their trip. Should we stick with eating at home? Or eat out more and use it as a time of experiment.

I decided to experiment and I'm glad I did. We ate at our usual Subway....but we also tried a couple new places:

  • Red Robin. Went great!

  • Purpleberri. Great yogurt shop that Matthew loves., but we hadn't been there since his diagnosis. All non-fat yogurt and his numbers were beautiful!

  • Pizza Hut. Excellent as well. I did a split bolus, but never even had to give the second dose because we were at the zoo and walking all over! : )

  • Steak N Shake. Horrible!! Matthew really wanted to go there and have a shake, so I smiled and said "Sure, Honey" all the while thinking "AHHHHH!!" He spiked to 256, then dropped to 74. By dinner, he was back to a beautiful 98. Ate a normal dinner. Then shot to 257 right before bedtime! Arg! Delayed fat in the shake? I don't know, but it was terrible. I decided not to correct, but did make him run around a little. He was great by morning. If he never has another shake, it will be too soon for me.

Overall though, I'm glad we went out and experimented. It's scary, but hey.....we've got to conquer these places sometimes.

Hope you all had a great week, too!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Celebrity Apprentice

Well, I had to do a quick post about Celebrity Apprentice.

Watching the finale was really difficult for me. Of course, I was rooting for Bret since Matthew has diabetes. But I also have a dear friend who has an autistic son, so I wanted Holly to win. I was torn throughout the entire episode.

And then......THANK YOU SNAPPLE for donating an equal amount of money to the "loser's" charity. Thanks to Snapple, there is no loser!!

That totally rocks!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Toughest Part of Diabetes....for me

There are so many difficult aspects of diabetes, but the hardest part for me is the guessing game. Trying to predict what Matthew is going to do and then giving him the correct insulin.

Whenever he's happy/excited, his BS always goes up. So.....I give him a little more insulin to counteract that. BUT.......what if he doesn't do what I expect? Sometimes I'm right and his numbers are great. Other times I'm wrong and he goes low. The guessing game is tough.

Today was Matthew's piano recital. Now, if I was a normal mom, I would have worried about his song. But no.....all I was thinking was....hmmmmm....will he be stressed and go high? He'll be sitting without activity and that could also make him go high.

But....if I give him extra insulin and he doesn't get too excited, he's going to go low right in the middle of the recital. Hmmmm....what to do.....

In the end, I gave him more insulin, made sure he had a Starburst in his pocket, and then spent the next 2 hours semi-hoping he'd be a little nervous and stressed. HOW SAD IS THAT?! LOL

Turns out I won this guessing game and his BS stayed in range. Best of all.....Matthew did a great job playing March Militaire AND said he had fun!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

It's been a quiet week for us. Here are some highlights:


  • Finished up the school year and is now a 4th grader.
  • Good BS this week. Looking back over Matthew's log, he's still stuck in a low pattern. I'm continuing to adjust ratios.


  • My parents are here visiting and the house is clean. Two things to be excited about! Woo Hoo!
  • Had my daily quiet time.
  • Confession: I didn't get on the treadmill once this week. My plan is to sign up for another 5K that takes place in December. And guess what?! Matthew wants to run with me!! We're going to have a blast doing it together!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm glad my parents are coming tomorrow. I'm ready to have more laughter in this house.

Sometimes this journey feels very lonely. Moment by moment you pray you're making the right decision, but you never really get an answer.

As soon as you get past one blood check, there's another right around the corner and you have to think ahead to that one. Meal after meal, day after day.

One big blessing has been meeting other moms in the D community. It helps to know there are others in the same situation, always willing to offer encouragement.

But it still feels lonely sometimes.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The good news is that my parents are coming to visit on Friday! Yea!

The bad news is MY HOUSE IS DIRTY! Well, not anymore. I cleaned like crazy today!

And Matthew was such a good help. He vacuumed the stairs, cleaned the gameroom, emptied all the bathroom trashcans. I even had him wash a load of clothes! That kid can seriously help when he wants to! (AND it's his first day of Spring Break! Is he nice or what?)

I know you're wondering what I was doing if Matthew was doing all that. Trust me, I was cleaning other stuff. My house has been neglected BIG TIME!

Not that my parents care about a clean house. (They only want to see Matthew!) But I like a clean house. I'm so much happier when things are straight and I was really good about it.....until diabetes walked into our life.

I don't think I've cleaned a thing in 3 months. And I'm not kidding. It's been information overload, trying to learn how to manage Matthew's diabetes.

But now, thankfully, the house is mostly clean and I'm hoping I can keep it that way. My plan is to get back into my flylady routines. When I did flylady, my house was always pretty clean with very little effort. : )

Slowly but surely, I'm getting my life back together. Althought I haven't been on the treadmill this week! Hmmmmm.....does cleaning like mad count as exercise?!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Steroid Follow-Up

This past Sunday marked two weeks since Matthew finished the steroid. The poison ivy is gone (a huge blessing!) and as of yesterday, he is back to his pre-steroid ratios.

Basically that means that he's using much less insulin. And, truthfully, it really doesn't matter how much insulin he uses, but it's really nice to get back into a steady pattern.

Until the next growth spurt, that is! : ) is Matthew's last day of school. Woo Hoo! We are both excited. Today is also field day. I plan to take lots of carbs in case he goes low.

I'll take video, too!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Soccer Fun

Matthew, Ewin, Adam and Garrett are all playing soccer this year and God is so good......they all got on the same team. The boys think it's great and of course, the moms think it's fantastic since we get extra talk-time!

This week the game ended in a tie, but it was the most exciting game yet, with a score of 5-5. Here's a short video highlighting some of Matthew's best moments. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Checking in the Middle of the Night

Some people wonder why Kevin and I check Matthew's sugar in the middle of the night. The month after Matthew was diagnosed, there were 2 diabetic teenagers who died in their sleep.

It's our worst nightmare. Diabetes doesn't stop just because Matthew is sleeping and that's why we choose to check overnight, every night, even though it means interrupted sleep. Matthew is the priority, not sleep.

Click here to read a short article that explains more about "Dead in Bed Syndrome."

(Just for reference....Matthew's lowest sugar has been 45.)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

I'm going to start doing a "Weekly Wrap-Up" because I think it'll be fun to quickly look back and see what was going on in our lives. It also gives me a place to track my personal goals....and I need that accountability.


  • Recognized at school for achieving high honor roll this year
  • Selected as Model Student of the Year for Science
  • Went roller skating at the 3rd grade party and had a blast (sure dropped his sugar, though...)
  • Looking back over his log, Matthew had good BS (blood sugar) all week. He did have 4 lows and most were related to exercise. Guess I need to work on that trend.....


  • I had my daily quiet time.
  • I got on the treadmill 3 times this week.
  • I did take a couple of naps. : )
  • I finished a long insurance/pharmacy battle over getting more test strips. Dealing with diabetes is bad enough, but having the headache of all the extra insurance stuff is pretty rough, too. Sadly, I'm afraid both are never-ending......

But overall we had a great week!

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Confession

Okay, I have a confession to make.

When Matthew was first diagnosed with diabetes, and I learned the reality of shots and all those finger pricks, one of my first concerns was: "Will he still be able to play the piano?"

Yes, it's the piano teacher in me, but I'm being truthful. I mean, wouldn't you expect his fingers to get sore from being pricked 10 times a day?

I was definitely concerned. Matthew has only recently found joy in playing the piano and I didn't want diabetes to ruin that for him.

Well, it didn't. We're a couple months in and he has never voiced one complaint about his fingers being sore. Though I will say, his fingers are already getting callused over, and that makes me a little sad, but hey, he can still play the piano!

Here's his recital piece for this year. He's still working out a couple parts, but I hope you'll enjoy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Goal Number 3: Exercise

I'm going to let Matthew inspire me on this one.
  • Matthew has to have a shot before he eats because it's good for him.
  • I'm going to get on the treadmill 3 days a week because it's good for me.

The end.

Quick sidenote....Matthew had crazy blood sugars last night. He's supposed to be at least 100 to go to sleep, but we had such a terrible time getting him up to that number.

Of course, Matthew loved staying up until 9:00. After that, all the following treatments were given while he was asleep. Who knew Matthew could eat graham crackers while sleeping? Really, he never lifted his head from the pillow. Never opened his eyes. Just opened that little mouth and chewed. What a good kid.

8pm: 68 Treated with 8 carbs (He caught this low. I was proud of him.)

9pm: 84 Hmmm....treated with 6 more carbs

10pm: 93 What's the deal? Gave half a juice box.

11:30 pm: 90 Are you kidding me? He should be well over 100 by now, but he's going down? More juice.

Midnight: 94 WHAT? Gave more carbs. About 8....I think. It was late.

1am: 173 Well, great....I didn't want him to go up that much. Oh well, still in range. I did not correct.

3am: 145 At least he's coming down.

7am: 75 I don't like him this low for breakfast. AND I discovered ants in the bathroom from leaving open juice boxes.

The rollercoaster ride of diabetes is frustrating, confusing and exhausting.....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Goal Number Two: Daily Quiet Time

I know, I know......this probably should have been goal number 1, but with my lack of sleep I often found myself dozing during my quiet time. So....had to hit the sleep issue first.

But I think Goal #2 will be pretty easy for me because I'm not changing a lot. I'm simply going to pick up reading the bible where I left off. The downside is that I really hoped to get through the entire bible this year, but since I've waited 40 years to try, I don't think God will mind a few extra months. : )

One thing I will change is the timing. I had gotten to the point where I loved having my quiet time first thing in the morning, but that doesn't really work with our lifestyle anymore. Unless I want to get up even earlier, which I don't. So....I'm going to change my time to right after breakfast. School is out next week, so that schedule should work great.

Pretty easy-breezy, huh? I'll hit goal #3 tomorrow. (It's the exercise one. Sigh....)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Goal Number One: More Sleep

First, a big thank you to my new online friends who left me encouragement yesterday! You are the best. Your blogs are wonderful. Each and every post makes me feel like our new life is very normal. Isn't is nice to know I'm encouraged by your lack of sleep? : )

And thanks to my mom as well. She said it's already been a "Year of Rejoicing" because Matthew's diabetes can be managed. How true! I am certainly rejoicing over insulin. : )

Now...on to the goal setting. First and foremost, I've got to get more sleep.

From reading other blogs, it's clear that a night of uninterrupted sleep is a thing of the past. And that's okay. I really don't mind it, but I need to figure out some ways to get extra sleep.

One of my problems is that I always feel guilty because I should be cleaning the house, or washing clothes, or reading a diabetes book. But if I will take the time to get a little extra sleep, I know I'll have energy for those other necessary things.

(Sidenote here. Kevin and I do take turns getting up in the middle of the night, but I always wake up. Always. I literally have not slept through the night since Matthew's diagnosis. Kevin is trying to help me change that, but I just wake up. Grrr.....)

Moving are my ideas:

1. Library Day = Nap Day For Me. Anyone who knows Matthew knows that he is a reader first and foremost. We hit the library weekly and check out a minimum of 40 books. (Folks, I am not kidding.) When we get home, he spends several hours with his head buried in books. So.....from now on, that will be nap time for me. Hmm.....can I fit the library in tomorrow?.....

2. I'm bringing back television. Several years ago, I made the decision to stop letting Matthew watch television. It just wasn't a habit that I wanted him to build. Instead, we decided to have a movie night once a week. He loved the idea and has never complained. Yes, I would let him watch an occasional show, but I can honestly say that he watches TV, maybe once a month. If that.....but no more. I've decided when I need a rest, he can watch a show. A decent, wholesome show. And not 3 hours. Just enough for me to get a good nap. :)

3. Go to bed earlier. Kevin's schedule has him home later than most dads and I always stay up because.....quite frankly, by evening I get a second wind and want to stay up. I need to change this and just go to bed!

4. Learn to like coffee. Actually, I don't think I'm that desperate. Yet....

So, that's my plan. I'd love any feedback or suggestions. I'll try to get goal number 2 up tomorrow.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Making Some Changes

I had the best Mother's Day ever, thanks to my sweet husband. (By the way, we met 16 years ago today!)

After the 3 of us enjoyed a yummy breakfast, I went back to bed and slept until lunch. Kevin made a great spaghetti lunch and then I went back to bed for a few more hours. Not all sleep. A little reading. A little snoozing. A lot of thinking. It was nice of Kevin to give me the time. (And yes, I did skip out on church that morning, but I went last night, filling in for the pianist.)

The extra sleep has really helped me to stop and think about the way life is going right now. Everything feels out of control and I need to make some changes.

I'm not one to set New Year's Resolutions, but this year I did set some goals for myself. I pulled out the list yesterday and had to laugh. My focus certainly has changed.

Here are some things I wanted to do this year:
  1. Have a daily quiet time first thing in the morning.
  2. Read the bible through this year.
  3. Play the piano more often
  4. I wanted to run my first 5K
  5. Lose 20 pounds.

I did great for the first 2 months. Absolutely great! Every morning (for the most part) I was up for my quiet time and right on schedule with my bible reading. When I had a spare minute, I would sit down and play the piano. I was faithfully training for the 5K and had lost 10 pounds. I felt great.

But then March 5 hit like a hurricane and I can't seem to catch up on anything. My quiet time stinks. When I have it. I'm not reading the bible. I did run that 5K, but have hardly been on the treadmill since and I'm pretty sure I've gained back the 10 pounds. If not more.

You know what else? On my list, right at the top of the page, I wrote that I wanted 2010 to be "A Year of Rejoicing" for me. Ummmm....that's not happening.

So....I'm making some changes. For me and the sanity of my family.

Today I'm going to spend more time praying and brainstorming. Tomorrow I'll post my new goals. Or my old goals revisited.

One thing is for sure. I don't want to live this way. I want my life to bring glory to God, but in order for that to happen, I'm going to have to make some changes.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I Need A Big Favor

Many of you know about the big TCBY contest, but for those of you who don't, we really need your help!

My husband, Kevin, is a finalist in a competition to win his own TCBY store! He made a great video with Matthew outlining the reasons they should get their own store. It's now been narrowed down to the top 10 and they will narrow it down to the top 5 based on voting.

That means we need your help, sweet friends!

If you would please log on, watch the video (we're the video in Texas!) and vote it would mean so much to us. do need to register and then log in before you can actually vote. A couple steps, I know, but we sure would appreciate it! Here is the link. Voting ends on Monday.

One last thing, if you know anyone who might be willing to vote for us, please pass this on! At this point, it's just a popularity contest and we're such nerds....we need all the help we can get!

Thank you so much!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ups and Downs

Yesterday I woke up with 2 thoughts on my mind: I hate diabetes and I stink at being a pancreas. It was a rough day for me.

We had been battling highs for 10 days straight. (Grrr....steroids....) In Matthew's logbook, we're supposed to circle all highs in red. There are red circles everywhere. So depressing.....

But I increased his insulin....again....and yesterday? He was in range all day. Wow! That was nice.

I'm not sure what's going on with him. Is the steroid lingering? I don't know. Is it a growth spurt? Maybe. Is he going out of honeymoon? Could be...

All I know is that yesterday was good and I feel better.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What I've far.....

I've been Matthew's pancreas for just over 2 months and here are the top 2 things I've learned.

1. There is a God.

It amazes me how God made the parts of our body work together so beautifully. I'm trying to be Matthew's pancreas and it is completely overwhelming. God made our heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, and yes, all work automatically and independently.

We don't have to think about how to breathe. Or how to make our heart beat. Our bodies are amazing and they are proof that there is a God.

And don't forget, that same God has provided insulin to give Matthew, so we get to keep him! Amazing! (When we were in the hospital, the doctor said without insulin, Matthew would die this year.)

If you are struggling with your faith, I challenge you to come be Matthew's pancreas for one week. I dare you! It will be life changing.

2. Sleep is a beautiful thing. I miss it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Day in the Life of Matthew

Two months ago today, Matthew was diagnosed with diabetes. He's made an amazing adjustment. He feels better. He looks better. And best of all, he still has his happy spirit. Kevin and I are trying to follow in his footsteps. Here is a peek into our "new normal."

7am Wake up and check Matthew's sugar. If it's not a school day and Matthew is really tired, I'll just check his sugar and let him sleep in. Usually he's bouncing out of bed ASAP.

7:30am We count his carbs for breakfast. We weigh and/or measure everything so the carb count is correct. We give insulin and add a correction of insulin if necessary. Don't think we've ever had to correct at breakfast.

8:00am Get ready for school

8:30am/9:00am Take Matthew to school or he'll do his assigned work at home.

11:30am/12:00pm Matthew checks his sugar. We count carbs and give insulin. Add a correction of insulin if necessary. If Matthew is at school, I go there and give him his shot.

Afternoon Pick Matthew up from school. Usually you'll find his head is buried in a book, he might be building some robotic creation or he's playing with friends. If he's playing outside, he'll check his sugar.

3:30pm/4:00pm Occasionally Matthew wants an afternoon snack. If there are carbs, we count them and give him another shot of insulin.

5:30pm/6:00pm Dinnertime. Check sugar. Count carbs and all that jazz. Give shot. You get the drill....

8:00pm Bedtime shot. He'll also check his sugar at bedtime. Matthew must be at least 100 to go to bed. If not, he needs to eat about 15g of carbs.

10:30pm/11:00pm Kevin and I check Matthew's sugar right before we go to bed. He rarely wakes up.

3:00am We check Matthew's sugar again to make sure he's not dropping. Some nights, we'll check him a couple of times. If he is going low, we give him some juice. Believe it or not, sometimes he sleeps right through it. Other times he will fight us and not want to drink. I won't lie to you. This is tough on both me and Kevin. But diabetes doesn't end just because Matthew is sleeping. We still have to check.

Throughout the day, I'm frequently checking over his logbook. I log every single carb that Matthew eats, along with the amount of insulin given. I journal it all and look for patterns. Should I have given more insulin? Was it too much? Should I have given it sooner? Did a particular food make him go high? Or low? The questions are never-ending.

This is a typical day, but of course, some days are different. If Matthew has soccer, we test at least 2 extra times. On other days, there are different activites, like BSF and the schedule changes.

One things that never changes....he gets at least 4-5 shots every day and he checks his sugar about 9-12 times each day.

Here's a little video of how many needles we've used in just 2 short months. Believe it or not, at this point Matthew has had over 250 shots. He asked me yesterday how many shots I've had in my life. I guessed many....25....30....I don't know. I'd give anything to trade places with him.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

True and Faithful Friends.

We had a great day with Matthew's numbers yesterday. I think the steroid is out of him already. Poison ivy? Not so much. But.....better.

Now, on to something more fun. Matthew's amazing friends. I'm going to showcase a few, listed in alphabetical order!

Adam is a big prayer warrior for Matthew, always praying that God will protect Matthew from the enemy. Adam is always watching out for Matthew, too. At a soccer game a couple weeks ago, Adam told me "Don't worry Miss Tracy. If Matthew passes out, I'll carry him to you." He was completely serious. I loved it!

Caleb One of Matthew's concerns after being diagnosed with diabetes was that he wouldn't get to lunch quick enough to get a place with his friends. (He meets me in the library first to get his shot.) Faithful Caleb to the rescue! Every single day, Caleb races into the library, grabs Matthew's lunch, and dashes out to save him a seat. Every single day. I wish he understood how much this meant to me.

Ewin is interested. Whenever Matthew is checking his sugar, Ewin is peeking over his shoulder. Matthew told me today that sometimes he hasn't even poked his finger and Ewin is asking, "What's the number?! What's the number?!" I love that he cares so much.

And finally, there is Garrett, who faithfully prays for Matthew and wants to learn more about diabetes. He's asked me questions that most adults don't ask. "What number do you divide by to figure out how much insulin to give him?" Garrett has also caught a low. He realized Matthew wasn't asking like himself and told me. Sure enough, Matthew was dropping fast. I love that Garrett is watching over Matthew.

We are so blessed that Matthew has such good friends who love him and are watching out for him! I will forever be thankful for these boys.

Their sweet moms aren't so bad either. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

First Night Correction

Matthew bounced back up to 292 last night, so we had to do our first nighttime correction. Giving Matthew extra insulin at night is a very scary thing, but we checked him often and he came down to a nice number 4 hours later. Believe it or not, Matthew never even woke up during the shot.

Hopefully today will be better.

On another note, I have a secret to tell you. There's a new love in my life.

It's this little jar right here that keeps Matthew alive.

Yes, I think I'm in love......

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Last Day of Steroid Treatment....Woo Hoo!

Matthew made it through the night with good numbers. I did have to give him a little juice when I checked him at bedtime, but the rest of the time, he was fine. Yea!

Today? Back up to 260 this afternoon. Isn't that insane? Every single afternoon on this steroid, he shoots up! At least it wasn't 300 again....

Tomorrow....I have no idea what will happen. Since everyone is different, the doctor doesn't know how long it will take the steroids to get out of Matthew's system. And quite frankly, I have no idea how much insulin to give him. It will literally be a guess.

Yes, I will pray first and test, test, test!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My Love/Hate Relationship with Steroids

The steroids are making Matthew's poison ivy better. For the most part. I love that!

But as you know, the steroids are making his sugar go through the roof! Remember, Matthew's range is 70-180. This afternoon, he hit 326. Wow. We haven't seen a number that high since he was in the hospital.

We gave him a correction right away and got him down to 132 a couple hours later, so that was nice.

We'll see what the night brings......