Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dare I?

Dare I even say that things are going RIGHT in our life for once?

Dare I say that Kacey's meter average for the last 14 days is 145?

Dare I say that life seems to be peaceful at this moment?

Dare I?

Well I am! Things just seem to be going...well....GOOD (for once!). With the exception of a few 50-60 lows, Kacey's numbers seem to have settled down and I know I'll probably jinx myself since our Endo appt. is next week...LOL! But I just wanted to boast a little about my new happiness.

So many D-days are filled with trials, challenges and never ending battles, that when you finally seem to have a calm week, you have a chance to smile and thank the D-monster for allowing you a chance to recharge your batteries.

As I sit here and think about this new found peace in my life, I can't help but wonder if it could have been there all along and I chose not to see it? So many times when we're struggling, we choose to focus on the problems instead of giving it to God, right? Why worry? Why hold these feelings inside? Why battle the internal struggles?

Over the last few months, I've had the opportunity to spiritually connect with my daughter. Yeah, sounds funny, huh? And I'm sure you're asking HOW can you live in the same household, go to church on Sundays, yet never spiritually connect? Well it happens! When you don't stay in the Word and talk with your kids about God then there is no way to ever fully connect on that level. I've been blessed to be a part of something very special in Kayleigh's life. I've been witness to her spiritual growth, WITHOUT me directing her. She finally "gets it"! So many things have helped her get to this point. I think the cookbook project she did had a huge impact. She saw first hand how precious life is and how strong faith could be. She also began surrounding herself with friends that were believing the same thing she is. She made a commitment to herself NOT to date any boys over her Senior year and instead focus on school and her business. She got more involved with our church youth group. She's been praying more and keeping a prayer journal. She carries her Bible to school and when there is extra time, she READS it in class! She's maturing and understanding how important it is to read her Bible and talk to God. So in doing that, I've been held accountable as her mother to make sure that I'm able to answer questions she might have and if I don't know the answer then we find them together. That had led to a connection we've never experienced before. It's not a connection I have with Kacey yet because she is still too young to fully understand it all. Thats not a bad thing but it means that when she is finally ready then I will be too! Each day, Kayleigh opens her Bible and writes a verse on a piece of paper and puts it in her pocket. It might be something that was laying on her heart and it might be something out of the blue and later that day God lets her know why she chose that verse (like the Job 9:10 verse for Meri) and then other times it's just a verse and she might not know who or what it's for but God does. She's connected with our pastor's wife and she told her she was reading her Bible from the beginning (which got very difficult when we reached Noah) but she told Kayleigh to dive into the books ending in -IANS and thats a GREAT place to start! She's now found that Phillipians 4:6-7 is now her favorite verse above Proverbs 4:5.

 How true is this? For EVERYTHING we do in life....marriage, parenting, work, diabetes...all of it! Why are we anxious about anything? If we give it to God and let Him take care of it then there is a new found peace. 

So why was I not ready for this? Why didn't I know this verse? Why wasn't this one I had memorized in my memory bank? Because I really hadn't journeyed into my Bible like I should have. I wasn't giving God the time He deserved. I could have used this sooooooo many times in the last 18 years! Over the last year and a half I've been dabbling in my Bible but over the last few months I've devoted the time to God and a new found peace has been my blessing. It's been kinda weird to feel like this because it's a journey I've never taken before. I'm not even sure why it too so long but it's a nice feeling.

I feel like our household is much more peaceful. LOL! Yeah, I know! You're thinking....yeah right! But it really is. My marriage is getting stronger and we're not fussing at one another like we used to. I mean, we fussed over petty things like dirt on the floor, dishes in the sink, who was getting up for 2am checks, clothes not folded right, you know those stupid little things that we nit pick over. We're taking evening walks and even holding hands. We've been talking about the future. We're thinking about selling our house and buying a house with all the bells and whistles that we wanted when we were first starting out back in 1998. We bought our house because of the location and property and then we added on to it but we've outgrown it and it's time for something new. It's been nice to sit together and make that "dream plan" that we did when we were dating. We lay in bed watching TV and we hold hands. We chase one another around the house and laugh and giggle hysterically while our girls watch us and think we're nuts. We're making time to spend together as a family. We're now in a financial position that we can breathe a little. The girls both have STRAIGH A's in school and they're doing great. Diabetes days don't seem all that bad anymore. We deal with the day we're dealt one day at a time. Life just doesn't seem that bad anymore. I don't feel like Dorothy in the tornado....I feel like Glenda in Munchkin Land!

Has it been an easy road? NOWAY! Do I still have a long way to go? ABSOLUTELY! So WHAT happened? WHAT made things change? One thing changed.....we started putting GOD FIRST and everything else has fallen into place.

Now, I'm not saying that we don't have our battles....I'm not trying to say that at all. I'm saying that we're picking and choosing those battles and we let God stand beside us and fight them with us. We're standing strong in faith these days. It's been an uphill battle but we're seeing the top of the hill in sight instead of standing at the bottom and looking up.

And now, a giggle for the day.....

We started something new around the house this week and it seems to be REALLY working! The girls are both responsible for certain chores around the house. We've always said, "If everyone does their little job, then it makes life easier for us all!"  Over the last few months, I've let them slide with the chores and I end up picking up the slack and it's becoming too much again. So we had a "Family Meeting" and I told the girls and hubby that from now on....

For every chore not done, every dish left in the sink and every time the girls argue with one another (which they seem to have that love/hate sibling relationship...ya know the one!) I'm going to charge a quarter for each one. I've got a money jar that counts the change and if they don't do a's a quarter. If they don't wash their's a quarter. If they fuss with one's a quarter. They thought it was funny and I told them that they wouldn't get any warnings because they're both old enough to be "responsible" and I don't ask much of them but I do expect them to pull their weight around the house during the week so we're not spending the weekend doing it all. The weekend will be spent doing something fun. We laughed about it for a moment and then I told them to get done what they needed to. I started cooking dinner and when I came out of the kitchen....the laundry was folded, the living room was picked up, their beds were made and rooms picked up and they were both sitting on the floor pairing the socks from the sock basket. YIKES!!! I smiled and thanked them for getting it done. We had dinner and later that evening the girls were watching TV and Kayleigh snapped at Kacey for something and Kacey responded, "Do you want me to make you give Mom a quarter? Don't be mean to me!" Frankie and I were in the other room and we giggled quietly because they were working it out without coming to us and "tattling". And now the deal....on the weekend, if there is less than $2.00 in the jar then Mommy & Daddy will add $20 to it and we can do something fun. If there is more than $2.00 in the jar then Mommy & Daddy will get to take it out and put it in another jar for us to spend. If they chose to keep the $20 in the jar instead of spending it that week, then they could and save it for something big. Good deal, huh? As of last night, the jar is still empty ;)

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Good Grief!

As DMoms, we are always looking for support. We long to network with people who "get it", people who understand what we go through daily. Even if we've been doing this for years, it's always refreshing to speak with someone that has those breakdowns, those frustrations, those people we can "do life" with. We're wired to share with others and it certainly helps to have someone that can say, "I've been there, I've done that, and no you're not a freak because you cry all day and you're jealous of those couples that can have a life outside of having a child with a chronic illness." It's hard! And there is no one that struggles with parenting a child with diabetes that will tell you "our life is all rainbows and pots of gold." There are days diabetes life doesn't seem difficult and other days it downright SUCKS!

We're nearing Kacey's 4 year Diabetes Anniversary and it's around this time that I always start thinking back to what we were doing this time before the dreaded day. She was sick, she'd been sick and we didn't know those symptoms. When she was diagnosed, I was alone. I had NO ONE to turn to. Not one single friend completely understood what I was going through. The phrase, "Awww I'm sorry, she'll outgrow it as she gets older" swirled through my head like a raging fire. I actually felt my skin crawl when someone would say that to me. I'd cry, I'd get angry, I'd scream at God for putting my family through this and I'd meltdown like that Wicked Witch of the West on Wizard of Oz. What was my world coming to?

As time passed, I was able to take a step back and I understood completely what I was going through and if I didn't go through the exact process then I'd never "heal" completely. We'd suffered a loss. No matter how you look at it, it's a loss.

A loss of a pancreas. A loss of a life. A loss of a normal day. A loss of a normal marriage. A loss of a healthy child. A loss of money. A loss of self.

I'd never suffered a loss like this. How was I going to deal with it and make my life as normal as it could be under the circumstances?

I had to identify my problem....GRIEF. I was grieving and really not aware that I was. I felt like I'd failed as a mother, as a wife, as a caregiver and I just wanted to crawl in a hole and never come out. The loss was consuming me and I let it beat me around for months. And then....I woke up and started to apply those "stages".

There are 5 stages to GRIEF.

Although I wasn't openly denying Kacey had diabetes, I still kept holding hope those those few little beta cells left alive would somehow regenerate and she'd be miraculously cured and this was all a dream. I'd isolated myself from all my friends. Why? You'd think I'd pull them closer so I could lean on them, right? But doing that would be admitting I was weak. It would be admitting I was failing and needed help. I had to show the strong face and walk tall. MISTAKE! I should have drawn them close and let them help carry me and admit my weakness. I set myself up for falling and it led to MANY "Mommy meltdowns".

Ohhhh boy was I ever angry! Angry at myself. Angry with the doctors. Angry with God. I was mean, irritable and it seemed like every little thing set me off. I was miserable! I seemed to cry all the time and I lashed out out of frustration. "Why was God punishing our family? Why did WE have to go through this? What did she do to deserve this suffering?" I was tired. I wanted to give up and just give in but somehow that little voice inside me...maybe that whisper from God...telling me GET YOUR BUTT UP AND MOVE IT! You ARE strong now SHOW it! I pushed through blogging, many times through tears. No one around me seemed to understand, not even my husband. I still felt so alone. There were several around me that tried to understand but until you live it, you can't fully understand what swirls through a DMoms head in a days time and then they wonder WHY we can't sleep. I mean, geesh, we MUST be exhausted after a day of caring for them, right? Ummm....HELL YEAH we're exhausted BUT who is going to get up at 11pm, 2am and 6am to make sure that their child is still breathing? Who is going to get up and sit up when their child has a severe low just to make sure they're in safe range and stay there? Who is going to get up and sit awake when their child's sugar is dangerously high and correct with insulin every 2 hours until they're back in range? A DMOM DOES! I had every right to be angry. I never got a break....NEVER! Even when my husband said he'd do the middle of the night check, I still set my alarm to make sure he woke up and then I'd lay there to make sure he checked her and I'd ask what her sugar was. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to rest. Sure, I didn't physically get out of the bed but I was still awake which led to tiring days again. Yep, I was angry!

Yes I did that...MANY TIMES! "God, please put this on me and don't make her suffer through it. I will do anything to take it away." "Maybe if we choose no carb meals or low carb meals then she won't need so much insulin and she won't have to have a shot." "I promise to do anything if you just cure her God." I did my fair share of pleading, begging, bargaining, whatever you want to call it. I would do just about anything to take this away from her and get our "normal" life back. And then the part where I blamed myself. "If only I'd seen the symptoms sooner", "If only I'd taken her to the emergency room", "If only I'd saw that she was drinking way too much". The "If only's" flooded my brain and consumed me. Which then led to....

If you'd asked me then if I was depressed, I'd say "Nope!" and smile like it didn't bother me but inside it tore me up and inside out. I was depressed and still very angry. To the point that I probably could have easily been medicated if I'd sought help. With depression comes so many my case....the weight gain was the worst. I sat home, didn't eat and when I did it was a snack of something unhealthy and I was damaging my body inside. The weight creeped up and to the point it was out of control. I tipped the scales at my highest weight ever and it wasn't until I really had a reality smack that I saw what it was doing to me. I'm not going to say that I still don't suffer from some of it but I will say that the depression I had was NOTHING like today. I was miserable, alone, and at my lowest point ever in life. I felt like every single bit of life had been sucked out of me. Ya ever see the commercial from the depression medication where the lady is walking around and the black hole with eyes follows her? Or the one where she is wearing the blue robe with the sad eyes and she's carrying around the weight of everything on her shoulders? Yep! That was me! I felt like I was carrying the burdens of this disease and I had NO life and I'd completely stopped living mine. It was a nasty dark place in my life.

Many times it takes people years to make it to this stage of the grieving process. It's tough to accept and sometimes people don't ever make it to this stage. Thankfully I have. Grieving is such an individual experience and no one can ever fully feel what you do. Nobody can help you go through it more easily or understand all the emotions that you’re going through. But others can be there for you and help comfort you through this whole process. The best thing you can do is to allow yourself to feel the grief as it comes over you. Resisting it only will prolong the natural process of healing. The steps to grieving are always the same but the emotions one feels will not be. I'm not sure when I totally accepted everything but there came a time when those meltdowns were not every day. Our life became a new "normal". I gained the ability to trust that someone other than me could take care of Kacey. I was able to leave and go to the grocery store for a few hours and not worry. I started making friends again and pulling them close. My REAL and TRUE friends tried to understand my daily life, sympathisized with what I was dealing with, understood when I had to cancel plans at the last minute and still loved me anyway. Those friends are still by my side to this day. They didn't leave me, they called to make sure we were ok after a few days of not hearing from us and even though I can't see them every single day, they're there when I need them.

And as I think back through the process, I wonder how I ever made it through? I had amazing family support, a great group of friends and the one who never left my side....GOD! He was there holding my hand when we were given the diagnosis. He stood there and smiled as I screamed at him for putting us through this. He cried with me as I pleaded and begged Him to give this disease to me. Yet, I chose to walk alone. I didn't have to! I only thought I was alone. He was there with me every single step of the way and all I had to do was ask Him to come into my life and help me through this process. Once I did that, my faith is what got me through. I needed Him and He was there. And if I'd opened my ears I'd of heard Him, "My child, I'm not doing this to punish you or Kacey. I'm making you stronger. I'm growing you in faith and knowledge. I'm helping you to see that life could be MUCH worse. I'm making you more compassionate, helpful and loving. If only you could see youself the way I see you. If only you could understand YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I am here, I never left and I never will."

And that my friends, was my turning point.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and say that our life is full of rainbows, pots of gold, unicorns and glitter....IT'S NOT! But I've accepted this life God gave me. I thank him for every day I wake up and put my feet on the floor. I thank him for giving me another day with these babies that are on "loan" to me. At any second, He could take all of that way from me. As Francesca says...."In the middle of my little mess, I forget how big I'm blessed!" We all tend to forget that life is so precious and we tend to dwell on the "poor me". I'm here to tell you my friend, this life is not about YOU! This life is about living it for HIM!

Now back to my point, we all need friends. We all need people we can "do life" with, people that are walking similar paths we are. People that can hold us accountable and hold our hands when we need it, even if it's long distance. When I first started blogging when Kacey was diagnosed, I had NO ONE! Then I found the DOC and all my DMamas and DPeeps. They "got it"! They understood why my hair was a mess, my teeth weren't brushed and I walked around like a Zombie with a cuppa coffee. I had the chance to be upheld by many wonerful people on here. I didn't have a local support group. There just weren't any close by since the hospital is an hour and a half away. There were a few kids in other schools, all boys and no Mamas that really wanted to "do diabetes life" with me. I've always longed to have a group of friends that Kacey could call her "DPeeps" and they could show off pumps and share stories of what they've been through. My hope is that as more children are diagnosed with this dreaded disease, that more Mamas come forward and reach out. My journey with diabetes is not over, we have good days, we have bad days and there are still times I wanna reach out to other DMamas that know those struggles and feel that pain. So to all those local Mamas that read this....let's get together and "do diabetes life". We can support one another along the way and our kids can be support to one another. After all, THEY are the ones that need it most. We go through it with them but unless you're a T1D yourself, you can't ever fully feel what their poor bodies do in a days time.

May God bless each of you as you journey through your "process" and may we all be support and help for those out there who need it!

Lotsa Love,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy 12th Birthday Kacey!


I can't believe 12 years have flown by already! This time, 12 years ago, I became a Mama for the last time. I knew it was our last baby. I knew I wasn't going to have anymore because of the complications we had. I knew it would only be 2 baby girls...this was it!

And now 12 years later, I'm the happiest Mama ever! Kacey Brooke, you make me laugh with your infectious make me smile with your beautiful make me wanna be the best Mama I could ever be! Your free spirit and the way you don't let the drama of the world get to you makes me jealous. I love how you don't let anything bother you, unless you know someone else is hurting, and then your compassion for them is amazing! You have such a kind heart and you're so selfless in your ways. Your daily struggles are beyond comprehension, yet you wake each day and smile your way through it. You've shown those around you how to LIVE with diabetes and you never cease to amaze me with things you come up with. I'm so blessed that God chose me to be your Mama and I'm thankful for every moment I spend being with you. My hope for you is that you keep your heart with God and He will direct your path for you. You're going to make an amazing Diabetes Educator someday!

I love you "Mootsie Tootsie"! Happy Birthday baby girl!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


It's taken me some time to get myself together enough to write this post. Everytime I begin to write, my heart overloads my brain and my face is flooded with tears. Maybe it's because this touches close to home? Yes. Maybe it's because I'm reminded of my own miracles? Yes. Maybe it's because I have a heart that feels the pain for my friends, even those I've never met? Yes. Maybe it's because I know the God I serve is an awesome God and answers prayers for those who trust and believe in Him? Yes.

All of the answers are yes but why does it seem so hard to write? Why do I get this lump form in my throat and have it followed by tears? It's difficult to explain emotion sometimes. All of us feel it but we all feel it in a different way.

Today is a special day.
Today is a day of prayer.
Today is when the entire world is asking God for a miracle.
Today the gates of Heaven have been bombarded with prayers of a miracle.
Today I share why we are making today special.

Two words....Ryan Schuhmacher.

I met Meri Schuhmacher online. We have something in common that brought us together. Type 1 Diabetes. Over the last few years, she's blogged about her daily life with diabetes. She's shared the tears, the joy and the overwhelming dread of being a parent of a diabetic child. Her situation is 3 times as worse as mine though. She has 4 boys and 3 of them are Type 1 diabetics. THREE TIMES everything that I go through just parenting ONE. I found comfort in her blog. She understood and wrote openly about crappy days. She wrote the tough stuff that we as parents try and put on a strong face and not let anyone see. We want those around us to think we have it all together and that we're really not one marble away from losing them all. But she did it, she wrote and poured her heart out to show the raw side of living with diabetes. She showed us that we CAN be strong, we CAN pull through and there IS a light at the end of that very dark tunnel on those bad diabetes days.

Last week, Meri and her husband Ryan received some devistating news. Ryan made a trip to the ER because he wasn't feeling well and there they were told that he had 6 tumors in his brain and it had spread to his lungs and abdomen. I saw the news on Facebook and began my unceasing prayer for them. I hadn't said anything to my family yet about it and I asked Kayleigh what verse she had in her pocket for the day because I was in need of a start. She pulled her paper out of her pocket and said, "My heart was heavy when I woke up and so I turned to Job 9:10 where it said "He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles." Keep in mind, she still had no idea about Ryan. I began to cry and told her about their situation and asked her to join me in prayer for them. I know her faith is strong enough to stand on the Word with me. I shared this verse with Wendy and continued my prayer for them.

Several D-Mommas and D-Peeps banded together to join in prayer and also began setting up a home base for them on Facebook.... The Schuhmacher Family Miracle and that led to the Give Forward page. The giving page has been set up to help their family with all of the upcoming stuff they are facing. Ryan has started his radiation treatments and with that comes trips to the hospital, copays, doctor visits, gas, meals, care for the boys, and all the other tough stuff. This fund will help ease this difficult time for them. If you can give, I encourage you to visit the page and give from your heart.

"But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." ~ Matthew 6:3-4

"Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine." ~ Proverbs 3:9-10

As the day approached, I felt another verse tugging at me. Not only was Job 9:10 swirling continually in my head, but Matthew 21:22 popped back up.

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." ~ Matthew 21:22

as well as my favorite verse in the Bible:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." ~Proverbs 3:5-6

I knew what I had to do. I knew I had to stand strong in prayer for their family. I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES! We've had our fair share happen to our family. So I'm believing with all my heart that God has a plan for Ryan. He is bringing him to this and He will bring him through this. Times are going to be rough. Times will probably get nasty. But I know in the end their family will be blessed with a miracle and Ryan will be giving his cancer free testimony for years to come. I've been blessed to witness the power of the online community in just a few short days. It overwhelms me to see the purple everywhere. It overwhelms me to see the outpour of love for someone many of us have never met but feel like we know as good as our best friend. DOC....YOU ARE AWESOME! I'm blessed to be a part of this! My prayers will not cease today nor will they until God blesses them with a miracle and then we can praise Him for a job well done.

I'd like to close with this... if you've been tossing around the idea IF there is a God, I'd like to leave you with a thought....Many of us have been blessed to receive a miracle of a child. Many of us are living with the miracle of modern medicine (insulin, insulin pumps, CGMS). Many of us had a child that was near death when they were diagnosed and another 24-48 hours that child could have been taken from us. Who are you thanking for these miracles and blessings? Who do you give praises to daily for waking up to see another day? My friend, it's not to late to know Jesus. It's not too late to receive his blessings and miracles. It's not too late to ask him to come into your heart and live your life for him.

The Schuhmachers are choosing FAITH. They are choosing HOPE. They are choosing LIFE. They WILL receive this miracle from the mighty powerful God I serve every single day. Ryan will be that walking testimony to show those who don't yet know Jesus that ....MIRACLES DO HAPPEN! He IS one!

Friends, I urge you to continue to pray for their family. I urge you to give to the fund with your heart. I urge you to show your support for them on the home page set up. They NEED our support! Just remind yourself, if the shoe was on the other foot, how would you feel? Would you know God to stand strong like they are? Would you want the entire DOC to band together and support your family? Show them your support them!

Meri & Ryan....Your miracle is coming! Hang in there and stay strong in faith. We love you!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day of HOPE

TOday is a Day of HOPE

Each year, we are asked to write the word HOPE on our hands to share with the world our support of diabetes. This year, I asked friends and family to write the word HOPE is a creative way and share it with us. The outpour we got was amazing! Below is what blew up my Facebook today:

 (She was home sick with a stomach bug and really didn't feel like creative so I helped her)

(By mid-day, she participated but she wasn't feeling good at all!)

THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone that participated and made this day special for Kacey! She enjoyed all of the creativity and thought you all put into this for her and everyone else that holds out HOPE for a cure for Type 1 diabetes.