Mama of Two: My greatest accomplishment and joy in life are my beautiful twin 7 year old girls Maisy and Ellie. They have made me a stronger, wiser and more determined person and every time I kiss them good night I just look at them in awe knowing that when they say “Mama” they are talking to me. Nothing in life will ever compare to the smiles I see every time I come home or pick them up from school and I am so very thankful for a husband who’s hard work allowed me to stay with them until they went to school.
This world is full of tiny adventures, and I am so thankful to have my little sidekicks with me on even the tiniest of expeditions. They love to cook, dance, build, sing, and pretend. No toy is ever used for the purpose it is intended, my china cabinet is filled with play doh creations, my recycling bin is regularly raided for inventions, and while I say I hate mud, it makes my heart sing knowing my kids will stay out til dark getting lost in a world of sticks and mud.
They keep me living in the moment, despite the days when I’m a cranky diabetic mommy whose blood sugars are out to get her. Life is made of little moments and if you don’t stop to see the new freckle on your daughter’s nose or the perfect curl of hair on your daughter’s neck, you’re going to miss all the good stuff.
My Co-pilot: My husband Tim who is incapable of letting me take myself or this disease too seriously. From day one he helped me keep a positive attitude and twelve years later he is still reminding me on bad diabetes days that I will adjust and things will get back to a good place.
Husbands of diabetics are their own breed. They know when to ask if you’re OK and when to just let you be. They learn to fall back asleep after pump alarms have been silenced, and they smack you when you sleep through the alarm. They come running with paper towel when a pump site is bleeding, and they carry your snacks and glucose tablets when you don’t have pockets. They listen to your endless complaints about your disease and have long since learned not to ask too many questions or offer suggestions, knowing the only reason you are talking to them is to vent. They make you laugh when you see gummy bears as big as your head in the store and they offer to buy you one. They become your safe place. Just knowing they are there makes the lows feel less scary even when your sweating through a midnight blood sugar of 30 and you can’t see straight.
He will never know how much I rely on him and how much of my worries are lifted as soon as he walks in the door. And he is also my official diet root beer taste tester as I can never tell the difference.
My Furbabies: My sweet pup named Fiona is my walking buddy and sidekick. She and I chat during the day and no day is complete without her finishing my scrambled eggs. She is the little sister to our first fur baby Venus who recently passed. The two of them have brought this house more joy and therapy than these pages can tell. Walking my dogs is as much a part of my day as brushing my teeth. It is a place to clear my head without even realizing it’s happening and it is where a lot of this blog started. When I was diagnosed we only had Venus and I would wander through so many newly diagnosed thoughts as she and I walked. Our pups are our children with fur. Fiona has her own pillow in our bed, she is a connoisseur lunchmeat, and patiently waits by the door to take her little sisters to school every morning.
Gym Rat: I workout because I love it not because I have to. I ran track in college and became a long distance runner of sorts after having the girls until my back decided to tell me otherwise. So now I run short bits, swim at least once and week, take spin classes and lift weights. My day typically starts at our local YMCA at 5:00am and while I hate to hear that alarm, it is the best feeling when I leave and have the rest of my day ahead of me. Sports is a huge part of our marriage and our family with my husband playing baseball and hockey and lifting weights almost every day and my kids playing hockey, basketball, rock climbing, and twirling baton (more of a sport than I ever knew before I had kids).
I Love Love Love Food: Curse you diabetes for putting a slight damper on this passion but it has not ruined my undying love to eat. Yes, I am that person who thinks about what I will make for dinner as I am finishing breakfast. I know the restaurants that make a diabetic happy and I know the places that will send me into a sugar fight for hours. I love to cook and rarely follow recipes nor do I write down my creations (should make for an interesting family cookbook when I pass them onto my kids). I do not bake unless I have to.
Lost in the Woods: When people say go to your happy place I go to the woods. There is a spot on one of my favorite trails where you go into a valley and you are surrounded on either side by the valley and the trees. You are enveloped by the majesty of it all and reminded that you are a small little piece in a beautifully designed larger picture. It is peaceful and breathtaking all at once.
Diagnosis and Therapy: I am 37 years old and diagnosed at 25 years old. I did injection therapy for two years and pump therapy for the last ten. I just completed my first year on the Medtronic 670g pump with the closed loop system utilizing the Guardian Glucose Sensor and looking back I can honestly say that looking back, it absolutely takes one full year of trial and error on this system to begin to feel confident. There is so much to learn and unlearn from years on other pump systems. If you are just starting on the closed loop system, please, I beg you to be patient with yourself and the system.