Tuesday, December 19, 2017

5 months

It has been 5 months since my mom died. I'm still here, but it's hard to write with so much going on emotionally, physically and mentally.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Death and Anniversaries

I have been thinking recently how long it has been since I've written here, and how when things are going well, I may not need to write here as often, which is a good thing for me-enjoying life and not over-processing it, but I knew I'd come here soon. I wanted to write about Firefly's day in June and write about Oscar's and Bella's birthday later this month. Perhaps I will write about them, but today, my heart has been shattered again.

My mom died unexpectedly. July 19th is the last day I saw, and ever will see, my Mom's body. We didn't talk on the phone a lot, so I don't know the last time I spoke with her, but I had an email from her in my inbox that I hadn't responded to yet. She asked about it earlier in the day, if I had answered. It was about me bringing the kids up for a visit next week.

By the time I got to the hospital, she was already gone. Had I gotten there earlier, she wouldn't have known I was there, as she was unconscious from around 12:40pm until her death between 4pm and 5:50pm while I was driving to the hospital (2.5 hour drive from my house to the hospital where she was), so I'm not too distraught about not being there when she died. I wish I could have answered the email though, so it didn't feel like I left her hanging. My sister said she was excited to see the kids next week, and now she's gone. She will never see Gus and Lucy grow up. She would never see Lucy in any dance clothes or recitals, something my mom would have absolutely adored. She will never be there for anything, ever again.

So much of what is happening now is reminiscent of when Oscar and Bella died. It is hard to balance my own grieving with being a support for others because I have been through unexpected and too soon deaths already. I am grateful that my grief with my kids can help navigate this time for my step-dad, but am so sad that my mom is gone, and that I have to navigate this at all.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Diabetes Update in Bullets

  • I went to Boston this week to see if I was eligible to participate in a clinical trial working to reverse Type 1 diabetes using the BCG vaccine. The lab needed to run a c-peptide test (a measure of insulin production) and are accepting those with values between 5 and 200. (Note: A non-diabetic with a normal functioning pancreas would be between 170 and 900). My results came back at the lowest threshold of 1.5. What this means is that my actual value of c-peptide is AT MOST 1.5. There is a "second chance" to get into the study by having my urine tested, so I'm awaiting the urine test kit to do next week. I knew my chances of getting into the study were slim, but it's still stinky to not qualify.
  • Ever since joining a gym, and exercising every day, I've had to reduce my basal rates by 10%!!!! Apparently exercise increases sensitivity to insulin.
  • I'm uploading my pump and meter weekly to my diabetes educator and we are making changes. The biggest challenge right now is figuring out what to do to prevent lows, both while exercising and after exercising.
  • I had my A1c done on Monday, and it came back at 6.2!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those not diabetic would be between 4 and 6. A 6.2 puts my average blood sugar for the past 3 months at 131.
So, while I'm likely not going to be eligible to participate in finding a cure for diabetes (in this study), overall, my diabetes is doing well, and I'm living to fight another day.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A letter to my former fitness instructor

May 10, 2017


I greatly hesitated writing this letter, but am doing it anyway. So, take it for what you will, be it a letter from the crazy lady in your MSCR 45 Strength or a client testimonial.

I simply want to express my gratitude that you were my instructor for 45 Strength September 2016-March 2017. There I was a stay-at-home-mom of a 6-year-old son, Gus, and almost 2-year-old daughter, Lucy. Our family had recently moved back to Madison after living in a small town in Iowa, where minds were mostly small and opportunities to meet people outside of a church were scarce. I was really looking forward to taking a strength class. I was looking forward to have time alone without the needs of my kids coming first. I was looking forward to doing something for my four children in Heaven, Oscar, Bella, Tittle and Firefly, as attention for them is sometimes hard to come-by with the tasks of everyday family living. I was looking forward to getting stronger and feeling better about my body, knowing we are done having kids.

I was nervous about having a male instructor for an exercise class, as I had never had one before, but you were just what I needed. You fit exactly what I needed: some goofiness, lots of motivation, modifications for each exercise so I could choose which level to try, and so many reminders that my fitness journey was my own, where I was on that day was not where I had been in the past or where I would be in the future. At some point, I’m not sure when. I began to believe you, that I was making progress, that I could choose heavier weights and that I was getting stronger. And then, after that, I wasn’t going to class to show Oscar, Bella, Tittle and Firefly what their mom could do. I was going to class because I liked it. I liked that I felt stronger. I liked that I was doing something for me. I liked that I was taking time for myself and using it to improve my mind and body.

And now here we are today, about two months since my last class with you. In that time, I tried out the new instructor for 45 Strength and it was NOT a good fit. My husband, Jon (who has been lifting weights every day for the past year), and I did some gym shopping and two weeks ago he moved from Gold’s and we started at Princeton Club. I’ve been going every day since then. Me exercising every day is not something I think I’ve done since I was a kid, when playing was exercising. I’m trying to find my way in the big gym, feeling comfortable in most of the group classes, feeling uncomfortable in the free weight area, working up courage to try a water exercise class and trying my best, but not doing very well, to try to remember some of the workouts you had us do in class.

I know I gave you some grief in class, and for that I apologize, but know that it was coming from the heart, mind and body of someone who has always felt her body was broken. Type 1 diabetes since the age of two and infertility and pregnancy loss in my twenties and thirties told me over and over again, day after day, that my body was broken, weak and sometimes worthless. That mindset is changing. My body is still broken: stupid pancreas and reproductive system, but the rest of my body can be fine, can be strong and can be worth a whole lot. So, thank you. Thank you for being what I needed at a time that I was ready to change.



Saturday, May 6, 2017

My Mother's Ring

Jon designed a beautiful ring for me for Mother's Day this year. While I have felt my emotions since I've received my ring, I haven't been able to put words to them quite yet, so I apologize for my scattered writings below.

Friday, March 24, 2017


Starting in September I started taking some fitness classes. It is now March and I'm thinking of joining a gym this summer!

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Shack

What follows below are my completely unedited thoughts after seeing The Shack tonight.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Just saying

After much hesitation, I shared the link to this post on a FB group for moms with T1 diabetes. I was concerned about opening up my private space to so many people, but I hoped for the best and posted the link. Today, I received a comment on this post, which I have deleted. The comment was posted anonymously and cowardly, but the person cared enough to go through the process to post it. I'm not sure what sort of reaction they were hoping for, but if it was to hurt me, check. If it was to make me feel ashamed for my choices, nope. If it was to frighten me away from my space to write what I want to write about, nope.

Diabetes: A Day in the Life-2/25/17

In my attempt to move my diabetes to a higher priority than it currently is, I thin I need to think about it a little more, pay more attention to it, and fully realize what a big part of my life it is. So, a random diabetes day in the life.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Diabetes is...sucky, hard, frustrating, overwhelming...

Since moving back to WI I've been seeing my new endocrinologist every three months, and my next appointment is on Friday. Per routine, I had my blood drawn today for my Hemoglobin A1c test. This test gives a clue as to how one's overall control has been for the previous 3 months. I was scared to have this test done, and now I'm feeling so many different emotions after seeing the result.