Yankee Belle


Meeting Senator Sessions

In September, we had the privledge of meeting Senator Jeff Sessions to thank him for his support on the Artificial Pancreas Project. He spoke on the senate floor and voted in support of pushing the FDA for approval.

Advocacy is so important in fighting this disease.


November is Diabetes Awareness Month

DIABETES isn't pink or sexy. It doesn't involve boobs or cute shirts.

It's about 3 am blood checks every night, needles, low blood sugars, high blood sugars, counting carbohydrates, and the smell of insulin on your hands .

It's about the constant fear of hypoglycemia OR hyperglycemia. The constant need to plan every small activity due to the impacts on blood and sugar control.

It's about a child learning to cope with not being invited to sleepovers or play dates.

It's about mountains of medical appointments, scans, blood tests, and terrifying results. It's about having a complete pharmacy in your handbag for all emergencies.

It's about listening to misinformed people say things like "You are lucky it's only diabetes," or "If he/she eats the right things he will grow out of it."

It's about the heartbreak when your child is diagnosed.

It's about watching them sleep at night and hoping that they wake in the morning.

It's about wishing it was you and not them.

It's about waiting for a cure...


The 1st Tooth Is The Deepest

Big B finally lost her 1st tooth tonight. It had been loose for weeks, but the past few days it was literally hanging on by a thread. (lil CJ has heard so much about this loose tooth, that he too walks around telling people he has a loose tooth and asks if they would like to see it.)

After some persuasion, Big B allowed me to push on it. The tooth literally popped out of her mouth. She was beyond ecstatic. Big B has been dreaming of this moment for the better part of a year.

Today was finally her day.

We took a million pictures of her posing with said tooth along with the tooth fairy pillow I used when I was little.

I asked her how much she thought the tooth fairy would bring for the 1st tooth. She quickly replied: "It is worth $100!!!" I let her know that other moms had told me $5.00 was the going rate. Although, deep down that 1st tooth is worth so much more to me. *sigh

Life is on warp speed...


Trick or Poo Poo

This Halloween, poor hubby was in class until 10 pm. I made the best of it, and we had a blast to say the least. We trick or treated in our neighborhood and then headed over to Grandaddy & Nana's for more fun. Grandaddy's costume was a riot! It took a few minutes, but lil CJ finally warmed up.

Of course there is a highlight to our night. When we first started out, shy lil CJ wanted nothing to do with knocking on people's doors. However, once he saw how much candy Big B was coming back with, he was running to house number 3.

I was so proud of my 2 1/2yo saying 'Twick or Tweat' (w stands for his lisp) and "Tank you!" That however, was a fleeting moment.

As he turned turned to walk down the front steps, lil CJ yelled:

"Happy Halloween! CACA POO POO!"

There is no question the homeowners heard it. And if they had any doubt, my facial expression confirmed their disbelief.

#Serenity Now


The Post Where I Brag.

Big B's parent - teacher conference for 5k was nothing short of perfect. Big B is exceeding in all areas and will be involved in an enrichment program. The only thing the teacher was worried about was losing Big B's attention. Mrs. P also added icing to my cake when she said "Big B is the type of student teacher's hope for every year." It melted this mama's heart. It is not only an achievement for Big B, but also a pat on the back to hubby and myself. I am basking in this commendation because who knows what the future holds. I am raising my babies to be independent thinkers; to make the choices they believe are the right ones. With this freedom comes failure. But so far, my baby girl is choosing wisely. *melting heart*

Of course, me having somewhat of a pessimistic side, I expected the meeting to be more like "she doesn't play well with others' or "she is struggling in such and such area." I even asked if there was a problem I should be aware of. The only thing Mrs. P could tell me about was Big B's 'stink eye'. Mrs. P thinks it is a hoot a 6yo already knows how to express her dislike of something. I informed her that the stink eye has been around since birth.

Family has always said how smart and bright Big B is. Of course, I totally believe the hype.

Now, on to kid number 2.



In Continuance

Kimtasticmomma blogged about this recentlyand it is so true. They shower our home too. =)



Pure Heartbreak

While explaining to lil CJ that his new pump would mean he would no longer need his 5 plus daily needle injections, lil CJ looked at me & said with his adorable lisp:

"Me be all better??"

I have never had words break my heart instantly. My chest literally hurt. My sweet baby boy at the tender age of 2 1/2, already knows something is wrong with him.

I honestly do not remember what I said in reply. All I could do was keep from crying.

Duck Fiabetes.


Mr. Wang Speak Truth

Lil CJ and I accompanied Grandsie, Granny, and Daddy to lunch at Mr. Wangs. lil CJ was acting like a typical 2yo. He didn't want to sit at the table, so instead he sat pouting on the steps leading to the lunch buffet.

Mr. Wang approached lil CJ and tried to talk to him. He offered lil CJ a lollipop (I cringed, but thankfully lil CJ declined it.) After not making any progress, Mr. Wang looked up and yelled at us in his Chinese accent:

"How old he??? 2?? 3???"

I replied back: "2! And a mess!"

Mr Wang: "Yes! I have one also! I can tell he same age."

I yelled back jokingly: "Do you want another?!"

Mr. Wang without a second of hesitation, in the middle of his restaurant's lunch rush, in a very loud voice hollered back:


I love Mr. Wang and will forever be a loyal patron of his establishment.


Paw Paw Said What?

Grandsie was telling us how their 2 cats & Bailey dog sleep in their bed, and how Paw Paw is not happy with these sleeping arrangements. Grandsie looked at lil CJ and asked him what he thought Paw Paw says about the pets sleeping in his bed.

lil CJ without hesitation said: 'Damn it!'

Serenity now.



Almost 5 1/2 months into his diagnosis, lil CJ looks like a pin cushion. His arms and legs are all 'marked'. His sweet lil finger tips are starting to harden and callous. One finger prick is slightly infected. ANd he still has the rest of his life ahead of him.

lil CJ will tell you, "Me have diabetes."

Mommy tells him, "You are perfect...markings and all."

My goal is to make sure he doesn't just believe it, he knows it.


Sass in a Picture.

"The Rockets look Great! We came to dominate!"

~ lil CJ & I are hooked on this cheer.


Powder Potions

When I was little, my cousin Nancy Altaz and I would make potions on her rug. They usually consisted of baby powder & water. Sometimes we would add perfume. I am really not sure why my Aunt Rose let us live.

To carry on the family tradition, Big B and her bff from down the block Anna, decided to make a snow fall (similar to a potion) with an entire bottle of baby powder. This picture is just of the dresser. I am still trying to air out the room...

Serenity now.


Mommy Big B

lil CJ has gotten more of the spotlight from family and friends since 'D-day'. The smart cookie that Big B is, has quickly picked up on this. I've already heard on more than one occasion from her: "I wish I had diabetes." And I get it. I know why she thinks & says that.

To help her feel more involved, I give her opportunities to help with lil CJ's diabetes management. As always,she does not disappoint. She can check lil CJ's blood sugar without any supervision.

If I could only trust the 2 of them not to flood the floor while taking a bath.



I had a conversation with a fellow D-mom (diabetes mom) the other day. We discussed how our lives have changed since diabetes. How we look back at pictures and can't help but think 'This pic was pre-diabetes; this pic was post.' I wonder if with time, the mentally imprinted date will fade.

But with so many pictures of lil CJ before his diagnosis like this...

It is a constant reminder that my baby was dying right in front of my eyes, and I did nothing.

I remind myself reguarly that we are blessed. My eyes did finally open. I pray that pictures like this will one day fill my head instead.


Open Letter to the FDA

This letter was actually sent to be presented to the FDA in support of the artificial pancreas. I encourage all type 1 diabetics to write as well. However, some names and information have been changed for privacy on my blog.

Dear FDA,

My son, lil CJ, was diagnosed on April 26, 2011, two days after his 2nd birthday with type 1 diabetes. His blood sugar was 540, a far cry from the normal 100.

Type 1 diabetes does not run in either my husband’s or my family. My son was fortunate that I sensed something was wrong. Many children go undiagnosed and die an untimely and unnecessary death.

Since April, my 2 year old toddler endures as many as 10 daily finger blood pricks. This is slightly above the norm because lil CJ is still too young to communicate his symptoms. Some finger checks reveal a normal blood sugar suggesting his actions are typical behavior for a toddler in the “terrible two’s” phase. Other times, his blood sugar reveals a very serious condition that requires immediate attention.

Low blood sugars are the most dangerous for lil CJ at his age. As a parent, I am unable to visually differentiate a low blood sugar. What might come across as a sleepy toddler in need of a nap, could actually be a low blood sugar masking itself with lethargy and fussiness. Before diabetes, I would simply lay my son down for a nap and close the door where he would sleep in excess of 2 hours. Now, not only does he require a finger prick, but also a quick prayer that his blood sugar does not drop low while he sleeps. My son grew out of the SIDS infancy fear only to be affected by a life debilitating disease that can cause ‘Dead-In-Bed’ syndrome. Our most terrifying low to date registered at 39 on his blood glucose meter.

High blood sugar is also a danger. When lil CJ is high, which could be due to any number of reasons; a growth spurt, inaccurate carbohydrate counting at a meal, insufficient insulin administered post meal, etcetera, his sleep becomes erratic. Developmentally required sleep is disrupted and causes him to toss and turn restlessly. In addition to his nightly 2 am blood sugar check, there are occasions when my husband or I must administer a correction of insulin to bring him down within normal range. Once this is done, we do a post 2 hour finger blood check to ensure the dosage was correct and that he does not drop too low while sleeping. It truly becomes a vicious cycle, as if our child is an experiment.

Like all 2 year olds, lil CJ does not always want to cooperate. Convincing him to eat his precisely measured 15 carbohydrate snack to avoid a low blood sugar sometimes becomes a battle of wits. The only problem with his lack of cooperation is that his resistance could result in death.

I once carried a diaper bag that could be left in the car and retrieved when necessary. I now carry my son’s life survival bag. lil CJ does not leave home without his medical ID bracelet, 2 different insulins, syringes, a 15 carbohydrate snack, a glucagon syringe, and fast acting sugar items to treat a low blood sugar.

Sadly, these are only some of the issues my son and family face daily with diabetes. We have not yet encountered any infections, severe colds or viruses, flu season, school, playing sports, and puberty. Baby sitters are scarce because of the intricacies and intensiveness of diabetes. We are left to pray and hope for a cure.

What my son and other type 1 diabetics need is the artificial pancreas; their daily struggles demand the need for tighter management over glucose levels. Life is such a precious gift and to know that there are innovative tools and technologies available just not in our great nation is frustrating to say the least.

Please push forward with the artificial pancreas and its approval. We need this now. lil CJ's life depends on it

Yours in faith,

Yankee Belle

*******Insulin is NOT a cure.************


Big Girl B & lil CJ's Wish

1st day of Kindergarten and oh so proud.

1st day of cheerleading. Go Rockets!

And lil CJ just dying to play on the field. 'Me play football, Mama! Me play!"

Way too many firsts this year. Mommy needs a pause button.


lil CJ Meets Congresswoman Terri Sewell

"On Thursday, June 29, 2011, Alabama JDRF advocates, Board Members, Junior Board Members, and Executive Director met with Congresswoman Terri Sewell in her Birmingham office. The Congresswoman warmly greeted former Children's Congress Delegate Noah Fields and newly diagnosed two year Caden James Mitchell. Kathy During began the meeting by thanking Congresswoman Sewell for her support of the Guidance Letter to the FDA on the Artificial Pancreas. Kathy discussed the benefits someone living with diabetes could expect using the closed loop system to control extreme highs and lows. The startling statistic Alabama's diabetes epidemic and the staggering cost of diabetes to the state were shared with Congresswoman Sewell. The Congresswoman expressed her concerns and shared her own personal stories of family members who live with diabetes. Congresswoman Sewell acknowledged that "...we didn't have to sell her on the cause. She was going to be a big supporter of diabetes" Representative Sewell acknowledged the importance of technology in better diabetes management, which in turn would curtail complications and extended health care costs. Meeting attendees shared how diabetes have impacted their lives. The Congresswoman was able to see the spectrum of type 1 diabetes and how it shows no boundaries across ages. Congresswoman Sewell said she would look in to joining the Diabetes Caucus and we could count on her for support. Those in attendance were: Aubrey Miller Executive Director JDRF, Philip McDonald, Patrick Bodden Past President Junior Board, Tim Ritchie, Stacy and Caden James Mitchell, Noah Fields (past Childrens Congress), Georgiana and Karla Fields, Rob and Susan Dickinson, Holman Head , and Kathy During. Alabama ATC."
~Kathy During



lil CJ Meets Congressman Bachus

"On Thursday, August 18th, Alabama’s District 6 advocates were warmly received by Congressman Spencer Bachus in his Birmingham office. Our group began the meeting thanking Congressman Bachus for his ongoing support of funding and research to a cure for diabetes. We shared our gratitude for his signing the letter of guidance to the FDA in support of the Artificial Pancreas. Congressman Bachus commented on the evolution of the APP’s components and is proud of his support of JDRF research and funding that has elevated the APP to outpatient availability. Congressman Bachus agreed to prepare comments encouraging outpatient trials for APP. Each of the participants shared their personal story of living with type 1 diabetes and the challenges of facing the disease. Christopher Bailey talked about how being diagnosed as a teenager, he was able to research his disease and has become a spokesman for diabetes. Congressman Bachus applauded Christopher's, and his mother, Suzanne’s, efforts. Stacy Mitchell, mother to two year old Caden James, shared the struggles of caring for a child that young. The ten times a day finger sticks, the carb counting and constant monitoring of his diet, and the diaper bag that has now morphed into a medical bag. Congressman Bachus was visibly touched by Caden James’ story. Caden James was joined at the meeting by his sister, Brooke. The Mitchell's presented the Congressman with a precious trivet the had made with Caden James' picture and the JDRF logo. Cameron Crouse, a veteran of Promise meetings with the congressman, talked about staring middle school and playing tackle football. When Congressman Bachus expressed his concern about football, Cameron reminded the Congressman he could do anything. Cameron was joined by his brother, Charlie, his sister, Gretchen, and his mom, Michelle. Another veteran advocate, Serene Johnson, shared a very scary story about a diabetic low her adult daughter had recently had. She expressed the hopes she has in how the Artificial Pancreas could help prevent these episodes for her daughter and all diabetics by better regulating her blood sugars and insulin delivery. Our group was joined by the Alabama JDRF Chapter’s Development Manager, Sara Hood, and Executive Director, Aubrey Miller, who is also the father of an adult daughter living with type 1. In closing, we thanked the Congressman for his support of our funding, research, and treatments to a cure and expressed our gratitude for his ongoing support of the JDRF and our families."

~Michelle Warner Crouse



Testing Testing

After congratulating myself on keeping my blog up,I quickly slacked off on posting. (Oh the ironies of life.)

I have so much to blog, our 1st Children With Diabetes - Friends For Life Conference this past July, Big B starting kindergarten, lil CJ and his diabetes "Me have diabetes!" and all the crazy decisions we have to now make, Big B's 1st loose tooth, our meetings with Congresswoman Sewell & Congressman Bachus, our upcoming JDRF walk, my involvement with Birmingham's 1st support/networking group via the JDRF, Big B's cheer leading - Go Rockets!, my new addiction to Pinerest and oh so much more.

I need more hours in the day along with more of me to accomplish it all.


Wordless Wednesday

Even the boyfriend knows how to throw up the sign.


New Kid On The Block

Since his diagnosis almost 6 weeks ago, Sugar Free CJ has become a different child. Gone is the clingy toddler with inconsolable tantrums and mood swings. His behavior had gotten to the point where I thought we would become hermits until he out grew it. My heart still breaks thinking that for the better part of 4 months, he was absolutely miserable. (Now that I know more about diabetes, I believe the disease's symptoms began in January.)

What made it difficult to realize he was sick, was the fact he was approaching the age of 2. Anyone with a child knows all about the 'terrible twos' cliche. What I believed to be attitude and defiance, was more SF CJ not feeling well. And because of his age, he did not have the vocabulary to tell me he felt lousy, tired, hyper, had blurry vision, a headache, or anything else the disease creates. Diabetes can not be detected by feeling a forehead for a temperature. (I already miss that simplicity.) Now , a finger prick for blood is required sometimes more than 6 times a day.

Never the less, SF CJ is a happy-go-lucky, adventurous, fun-loving lil boy. His vocabulary is suddenly flourishing too. So much so, he can carry on a conversation if one can understand his slight baby lisp. Which I think is totally ADORABLE. (No bias of course.)

Sugar Free CJ is the boy I believe he should have been 4 months ago. And how do I truly know he is feeling better?

He now tells me:

'Me love mama!' And seals it with a kiss.


Predicting My Mommy Juice Needs.

Sassy B is in Florida with her Grands & Paw Paw for the next 6 weeks. Although I was hesistant to let her go for that long, the timing works out perfect. When I drive to pick her up, we will also be attending our first Friends For Life - Children with Diabetes Convention in Orlando.

One kid is cake. I can focus on Sugar Free CJ and give him my undivided attention. Especially now that hubby & I are figuring out how to live/exist with diabetes.

Diabetes has no damn rhyme or reason. I am not going to sugar coat it. It does some crazy a$$ shit. I function best with exact rules and guidelines. This disease is a total mind game - to put it nicely. Throw in the fact that my sleeping baby could possibly not wake up, and you have a mama that no longer sleeps herself.

I've read some phenomenal blogs written by parents of kids with diabetes. It is so comforting to know they are feeling and experiencing some of the same things hubby and I are. However, it is also too much of a reminder of how serious this damn disease is. All my paranoia is warranted. That sucks.

When Sassy B finally returns home, Im sure she will be a spoiled mess. I cant blame her. I'd love someone to spoil me for 6 weeks. The more I think of it tho, Sugar Free CJ will probably be pretty spoiled too. Last night he 'argued' with me that all he wanted for dinner was McDonalds. So...we had McDOnalds.

This all boils down to one thing. Mama needs to stock up on the wine supply for when all my babies are under my roof again. I am going to need it.


Tornadoes & Diabetes - D Day.

I do not think I will ever be able to fully grasp how much of an emotional wreck I was the day lil CJ was diagnosed with diabetes. It was the most traumatic moment of my life. I pray it is my last.

lil CJ was. what I considered, a normal soon to be 2 year old. There was nothing that stood out and made me think my baby was sick. Until about 2 weeks prior to his 2nd birthday.

lil CJ began drinking a lot. And by a lot, I mean inhaling a full sippy cup of water/milk/juice and asking for more. All this drinking led to him soaking a diaper with in an hour. Sometimes it was so much, he leaked while standing up. He also started wetting his bed. His diapers would be so full, one would have thought he had gone swimming in it. On our trip to NC for my cousin's wedding, lil CJ peed his car seat and several outfits. He managed to pee his Easter bunny outfit while waiting for pictures. He also developed a horrible diaper rash. There was also his insatiable appetite. He could eat 2 McDonald's cheeseburgers or a whole 6" Subway sandwich and still be hungry.

Of course, if one looks at this like we did...it could make rational sense. If he likes to drink, he will pee. All the wet diapers would create a diaper rash. And the excessive eating, well as proud daddy said 'He IS a growing boy!'.

Almost 2 weeks to the day that these extreme symptoms began, lil CJ started to act exhausted. He took a morning nap and an afternoon nap 2 days in a row. My mommy intuition alarm went off. Something was wrong. Something was horribly wrong.

I googled all his symptoms and DIABETES glared back at me. Page after page. I knew, at that very moment...Tuesday morning, April 26, 2011 my son was a diabetic. Just 2 days after his 2nd birthday. It was a weight of emotion I can not put into words, but the feeling is still all too fresh.

I called our pediatrician. He was not in the office, but I spoke to the nurse. She explained that most children with diabetes are very sick and much older. The likelihood was slim that he had diabetes. lil CJ's 2 year check up was scheduled for Friday, May 13. She suggested I watch his symptoms until then and call back should he get worse. Her words, intended as comfort, did not help. We hung up...yet I had this overwhelming nagging feeling that he could not wait. He had to be seen today. I called back and insisted any doctor see him that day. They obliged and scheduled us for 3pm. Comforted with an appointment, I relaxed some. Within 20 mins of scheduling his appointment, his pedi's nurse called back and agreed he should be seen today too. I do not know what changed her mind.

Our morning went on as normal. We went to hubby's office for lunch, where lil CJ again consumed an ungodly amount of food for a lil boy. He also went thru 2 diapers. Unfortunately, all of this fell during nap time. Poor lil CJ was one tired monkey.

Dr. Tapley was the doctor that could fit us in. She was nice enough to conduct his 2year check up in addition to the blood sugar test to save me a copay & return trip. After they pricked his finger for what was to be the first time of millions to come, we were sent to the waiting room to wait on his results.

This was the beginning of our whirlwind. 10 minutes later we were called back to the exam room. The doctor looked at me and said 'Well, his blood sugar was 400." Now, at no time in my life have I ever thought about blood sugars. Diabetes is all new to me. I know absolutely nothing. I answered 'Okay.' She then said the D word. "He has diabetes." My stomach jumped into my throat. My eyes welled up with tears. She continued:

"I have a call in o Children's Hospital. I am waiting to hear from Endocrinology to make sure they have a bed. I want him admitted now." All I could think was "My baby is sick." I didnt say it, but I thought diabetes was some simple thing you got a shot and went go on about your business. Why is he being immediately admitted?... I looked at my sweet boy sitting in his stroller. He had no idea how much his life...our life...was about to change. And poor Big B, all she kept asking was "What is diabetes?! What is wrong with him?!"

The call came within minutess that they were ready for us. Do not pass go. Do not collect any belongings. Go immediately to admitting.

As we left the office and I strolled my baby down the hall, all I wanted to do was cry and sob on the floor. The emotion was too much for me to handle. How the hell is MY baby sick?! How did I let this happen?! And then Big B looked at me...total fear in her eyes and asked:

"Is he going to die?"

I 'sobered up', if you will. I sucked it all up and returned back to under control Mama. My babies both needed me. And I answered her honestly and truthfully:

"No! Your brother will be fine." At that very moment, I promised lil CJ, myself, my daughter, hubby and God, I would do everything in my power to kick diabetes a$$. This New Yorker would not be beat, nor allow someone I love to hurt.

I texted hubby the message no hubby wants to get. "Diabetes. F*CK. We are being sent immediately to Children's. Meet us there NOW."

I do not remember the drive there. I do not remember entering the hospital. My first moment of memory again was in admissions. lil CJ and Big B were playing basketball together. There were 2 other moms waiting with us. Neither had their children with them. They both looked tired...sad. Conversation began. It was revealed one lil girl had cerebral palsy and was in surgery, the other had a rare form of cancer and was undergoing chemo again. My heart hurt, but it was then I realized my son was fine. He was not deathly ill. He was too busy throwing the basketball to his big sister.

Hubby joined us as we finished up the admissions process. Hubby had that look. That look of fear. Terror.

We were then sent to a small room where they took lil CJ's vitals. He had a complete meltdown. Nothing made him happy. The screaming was deafening. I could not even hear the nurses to answer questions. His blood sugar was 530. Normal, I was told, is 100.

After all the chaos in what felt like the smallest exam room ever, we were ushered to what would be our home for 3 days. The metal crib made my stomach turn.

Our BFF's were - as always - our lifesavers. JayDoug picked Big B up on his way home from work so that she could spend the night with the Mabster. God bless my bff Kimtasticmomma. She had a newborn and a sleepover.

That night is somewhat of a blur. Our endocrinologist came in to speak with us. She was talking diabetes terms, and I had no idea what anything meant. We must have had a sheer look of terror on our face. She changed topics and began to talk to us personally. She too, is a diabetic. She is on a pump (which she showed us). She lives a great life, is healthy and even partied in college. Hubby looked so relieved. And I will admit, it did the trick. Diabetes is NOT a death sentence.

Things finally settled down and hubby ordered Chinese delivery. I had no appetite tho. I am not one to miss a meal, but my body was not interested in eating. Sleep evaded me too. I slept maybe an hour total that first night. Nurses were in and out constantly. lil CJ did manage to sleep in that metal crib. Hubby and I did not fare as well. The single pull out sleepers left no room for our arms to stretch out...or that the pillow had the thickness of a sheet of paper.

In the quiet of our room, I could hear the wind howling outside the big glass windows. At 5am, the first of what would be a day filled with tornado sirens was heard. Within minutes, our nurse was in our room asking us to join everyone in the hall.

We were in the hall for maybe an hour. (My concept of time was completely shot the entire day.) There were so many kids there. So many sick babies. My heart still weeps for them. lil CJ, in all honesty, did not look like he belonged there.

From what I now know, that early tornado did damage. I still think it is so crazy that somehow the severity of the storms was unbeknown to me. I was oblivious to everything except my son. My mom, who was suppose to come down and help watch the kids while hubby & I were in training, could not make it due to the severe weather in NAshville. With no other luck for a sitter, hubby stayed behind while I endured our first training day.

Seis came by with the boys to play in the Harbor Room with the kids. Brooke was thrilled to see her 2 favorite twins. They also brought lil CJ an awesome ramp toy. (Which totally saved the day. He LOVES it.)

Meanwhile in training, I was lost. Correction factors...BS-150/200 and then add it to the carbs ate during his meal. Divide by 50. Lantus is administered once in the morning, once at night. Count carbs. Prick his finger. Fill a syringe. Administer shots. How the meter works. Control solution. Under 100 do the glucose 15. Hypo vs. Hyper. Blindness. Kidney damage.

MY HEAD WAS SWIRLING. I had to absorb all of this information and make it work...so that my baby could survive. WHY GOD?! WHY HIM?! WHY?!?!?!?

I had lunch in the cafeteria alone. I was an empty shell. I think I had 2 bites of my cheese pizza. I could barely swallow it. I could barely swallow what was happening to our perfect life.

I can not count how many times I wanted to break down and cry. My eyes welled up too many times to count. On the second day of instruction, our instructor mentioned how concerned she was about me. She thought Id be bald by the end of the 1st day....I had literally been pulling my hair out.

Walking back to our room, I was a drained wreck. I had no idea what was going on in Birmingham. The tornadoes that were wreaking havoc all over our city...I was overwhelmed with the tornado in my own little world - Diabetes.

Being we were still in a sitter bind, our God sent bffs picked Big B up to spend another night with them. She was so excited to have another sleep over with her bff.

We had the weather on in our hospital room, but my brain could not process any more information. The tornado sirens were going off again. We were told to evacuate our rooms and head to the basement. In a daze, I asked the nurses why they were not going. The head nurse stated they were to remain at their stations. Hubby and I agreed, we'd stick it out with them.

In the hall, lil CJ was playing with JaMarcus. JaMarcus was 3. His mom, who looked maybe 30, had 6 kids. He was there to have his shunt replaced. While playing with CJ, he pooped his pants not once, but twice. It splattered on the floor. Not to be graphic, but my gut was in a knot. Not from the obvious grossness, but the idea my diabetic kid was going to leave the hospital with something more... or worse.

Hubby was fielding calls. He knew how bad the tornado was. His mom was calling asking where Big B was. Turns out, we sent her home...right into the path of the mile long tornado. Hubby looked sick. We couldn't reach Kimtasticmomma. Deep down, I knew she was okay. I know the bffs would protect her as if she were their own. If hubby could have made it to pick her up tho, he was totally ready to run and grab her.

When the winds finally settled down, cities and neighborhoods were gone. The tornado came within 5 miles of our home. God spared us. For that I am grateful.

That night is another blur. I don't remember eating dinner. I don't remember much of anything. I was asked to review some of that day's paperwork, but I was so overwhelmed, I could not even look at the book. I did try to explain some of the material to hubby, but I just couldnt process it. I talked to my cousin, and completely broke down. Bawling. It all came out.

I think I slept some. Exhaustion won. My body gave in.

I awoke Thursday feeling positive and ready to conquer diabetes. God renewed my strength while sleeping.

Hubby and I had a good day of sessions. BlueMomma & my mom were able to come to the hospital and help with the kids. They were Godsends. The kids had a great time. And The Girl gave lil CJ the Cars DVD for his birthday. Perfect for a lil boy that loves anything that moves.

Our training session went great. Hubby and I grasped it all. We could do this. Life will continue on for us as planned. DIabetes will not get the best of our lives or family.

We were discharged late Thursday night. With no power to return home to, and a lil boy that required specific foods, we voyaged to Grandaddy's house to spend the night. lil CJ and Big B were so thrilled to have some bit of normalcy back. Hubby and I did too.

That evening and night went well. We did what we were taught to do. Administering the shots was not as hard as I thought. Hubby was a little worried about the worst case scenario situations. He, like a dedicated loving daddy, slept on the floor by our bed with the glucagon gun in hand. (There was no way all 4 of us would fit on the bed. And the couch was downstairs...too far for his comfort.)

The rest is really normal. We grocery shopped, returned home and set up/organized all our supplies. Diabetes had indeed come home with us.

lil CJ's birthday party was scheduled for that Saturday, April 30th at Pump It Up. I canceled it. As much as I refuse to let diabetes change our lives, I just could not get myself together to host a party. Finger pricking, carb counting, 5 injections a day, I was not mentally ready for an outing. So my sweet baby boy, didnt have a party. But he was not forgotten. So many of our dear friends sent a gift anyway. I took pics of him opening every one. It was his birthday celebration...party or not.

Although Im sure I will still refer to my daughter as Big B in my blog, I've also started to call her Sassy B. So in addition to her new name, lil CJ has also been nicknamed Sugar Free CJ.

We are now a family with a cause. We are a family affected by Type 1 diabetes. We need.want.pray.hope for a cure. But until then....

Diabetes will not slow us down. Life is too short, too precious and so worth living.

Plus, mama loves our social life.