Thursday, December 13, 2012

Time Flies....

Maddie drew this when she was 5 years old, on the day she was diagnosed, while we were getting our first 12 hour crash course in diabetes. It's still hanging in the endocrinologist's office 7 years later.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Love/Hate Relationship

We live very modestly.  Other people that I know have new cars, huge houses, beautiful brand new furniture, shopping sprees every weekend, and lots and lots of stuff. They send messages out on Facebook asking for references for housekeepers. They go on date nights with their spouses, hire $20/hour babysitters, go on extravagant vacations, fly here, fly there, and so on.....

Not us. Nope. We don't buy new cars.  We bought a house further out of town, that I clean BY MYSELF. I don't brag about new furniture--I brag about how long we've had our furniture.  I brag about how little I paid for my groceries, using my coupons. I almost had a panic attack when they closed the Merita Bread Store in town, so now it's back to paying $2 for a loaf of whole wheat (oh- it pains me to even type that). Thanks, Hostess {read with much sarcasm). I try to lump all of my errands together in order to save gas.  I prefer to call it "cheap chic", you know, like "shabby chic"? Except that I try to avoid the shabby part.  But I digress....

Shawn's former employer did not have great benefits, because it was a smaller "business" and medical insurance is very costly. (If you're reading this, and you know us, and you work where he used to work, I'm sorry, but you know you're paying out the nose for blah insurance, although I know it's not the "company's" fault). I considered us to have a love/hate relationship with it.  I loved and appreciated the things that the insurance DID in fact cover, but that wasn't much.  I'm honestly not sure what we were paying for with the $800 per month, other than being able to say, "Yes, I have insurance."  But whatever.....

In the spring of 2008, we got Maddie's first Medtronic Minimed. Our so-called insurance covered 20% of the $6000.00 pump. If you don't have a calculator for a brain, we paid $4800.00 for it. Now, mind you, we have 3 kids, and do not have $4800 just sitting around, so we had to finance it. Completely and thoroughly 1000% worth every penny.  It is Maddie's life-line. It's what keeps her healthy, and for that, I'm very grateful.

This pump's warranty expired April 21st of 2012. Basically, what this means is that if the pump stops working, we are up the creek without a paddle, and back to the 8 shots a day Maddie goes.  If the pump is within warranty, and the teeniest, tiniest thing happens, you'll have a brand new $6000.00 pump brought directly to your door step, or the door step of wherever you happen to be at that moment, the very next morning.  Incidentally, my sister, who also wears the Minimed and lives in NC, was skiing in Colorado a few years back.  Her pump stopped working one afternoon after skiing all day.  One phone call later, and the very next morning, they called her from the front desk of the hotel with a completely brand new pump. That's it.  Period.  Winning~

So we've been going back and forth with the so-called insurance company, with Medronic, and with the finance company to get her new pump for over 7 months.  At one point during the summer, I stopped communicating with them all, and started humbly and reverently praying that her old pump would not stop working. I guess it worked. Lo and behold, it was still working on the day we received the new one, on December 8th, 2012. (Thank you, Lord!)

Recently, Shawn got a new job, with brand new benefits, and "top of the line" medical insurance. It should not be called "medical insurance". It should be called "miracle insurance" because it does indeed perform miracles. 

I stunned my Medtronic rep (and new best friend) when I told him what insurance we had.  He called me back and was in shock. 

"You have the best insurance I've ever seen in all my years at this company."

We received the pump a few days ago.  Our miracle insurance paid for 98% (Yes, I said NINETY EIGHT PERCENT) of the $6000.00 pump, after we send in the old one for a credit. 

After 7 1/2 months of hard core prayer, and a little anxiety mixed in, hoping her pump didn't fail, she is back on track and pumpin' away.  God does perform miracles~

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Arrival

It's here.  Finally.  It's like Christmas came a little early this year.  After 7 months, 20 days, and 6 hours, I heard the doorbell ring.  There were tons of screams and giggles, (ok, was just me) as Shawn opened the door. 

There he was.  Dressed in his polyester blue shorts. He was beautiful. Older, yet distinguished, and wise. I loved him. And I loved what he brought me. 

"Howdy, Ma'am." he said.  There it was, in his wrinkly hands. I had to catch my breath when I saw it for the first time.

"Hey there! Where do I sign?" is all I managed to get out.  I couldn't wait for his response. I snatched it and ran for my set of dull knives, grabbing the sharpest one, leaving Shawn to deal with him. My heart was beating so fast.  My breath was quick and shallow.

I slit every piece of tape across that box.  I ripped that sucker open like I was performing emergency surgery.  As my knife was flying around violently, I noticed what it said in the Return Address area.


Oh, the word is such a beautiful one. As I held back my tears of excitement, I saw the tiny box inside, covered in shrink wrap.


Here it is! Here it is! Here it is!


Together, she and I scratched at the plastic shrink wrap like 2 little mice trying to get through a piece of sheet rock. Suddenly, she was the competition, seeing who could get the box opened first. 

"Mama, let me see!"

"Maddie- get off of it!" Oh my, I had forgotten who I was, out of sheer excitement.

She put her hand over mine to try to get the box away from me.

"Maddie- STOP!" Yes, I am ashamed--I had lost all self control at this point.

As soon as I finished pushing Maddie to the ground, (totally kidding) I got the box opened.  We heard the angels singing on our behalf. I was completely unaware of what was going on around me. At this point, all that was in existence was Maddie, me, and the brand new, beautiful, blue Revel pump.

We both gasped at the same time.

"Oh, it's so pretty!" she sighed.

"Yes. Yes, it is." I muttered as I held back my tears of joy.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Some Updated Pics

My girl on the first day of Middle School~

Shopping for some healthy stuff~

Happy 12th Birthday! (last October)

Snapshot at the Endo's office. Gotta love a girl that can pose anywhere...even the restroom... Incidentally, this was after we found out her A1C had come down a lot, hence the huge grin.

One of the things that Maddie L.O.V.E.S to do!! (This was taken when she was walking Coco back to the barn after a hard lesson).

Friday, December 7, 2012

You Can Lead a Horse to Water....

I pride myself on being on top of Maddie's diabetes, for the most part. The only
times I'm not is when things are chaotic, I'm putting out fires, fixing or
cleaning up from a meal, and she runs off to her room. (Another time I'm not on
top of it is when she goes somewhere without me, Shawn or my mom, all the while
PROMISING to check her blood sugar, and correct for it, and for her food.) But
I'd say that 95% of the time, I'm on top of it.

So now that she's 12, and thinks she's 25, our conversations go something like

"Maddie- correct for your blood sugar, and bolus for 60 carbs."


"Maddie! Correct for your blood sugar and 60 carbs!"


{30 seconds go by....}

"Did you correct?"

"I'm getting ready to."

{30 more seconds go by....}

"Did you do it?"

"Mama, I'm really getting ready to!"

"Do it now."


"Maddie, I'm waiting...."

"Ok. Correct for my blood sugar and 60 carbs" as she runs up the stairs.

"Don't forget!"

"I won't. I'm doing it now!"

Fast forward 2 hours.

"Maddie, did you correct?"


"Check your blood sugar NOW!!"

At this point, she is usually very high, and you know how this story ends....

I wonder why I have to ask her to do it so MANY times, (the pump is attached to her body, so she doesn't have to go far to get it,) yet she forgets to correct. I know the years ahead are going to be hard, but I'm not sure I can handle the teenage years AND diabetes. I am trying to instill in her that SHE controls her diabetes and SHE controls her health, therefore SHE controls how she feels throughout the day.  I want her life to be "normal" and I absolutely hate that she has to deal with this stupid disease every hour of the day. 

Middle School

It's been a while since I've posted anything. I could say that "life has been busy" but isn't that true all the time?

Well, Maddie started middle school this year. The big 6th grade. Isn't that just the worst grade for everyone? Does anyone really ever say, "Wow...6th grade was the year for me. Those were the days...." I don't think so. Usually, those years are known as being the awkward years. The in-between years. Not fun, and usually not pretty.

Before the school year started, I called the school nurse to set up a time to meet with her and the core teachers.  (Just as a quick note--I did the same thing last year, when she was at the elementary school, and I met with the principal, the teacher, and the teacher's assistant.  Period.  That's IT. No nurse or PE teacher.)

I showed up for the meeting about 15 minutes early, and sat down in the huge classroom where we were supposed to meet--just the 5 of us.  In came the first core teacher, then the second core teacher, then the third core teacher, and finally the nurse.  Ok, so I think we're going to start.  Until her PE teacher marches in.  Oh--ok.  Good idea--the PE teacher needs to hear all of this.  Lo and behold--here comes the band teacher, and then the art teacher, then the librarian, (whom I learn is the diabetes "go to gal"). Then the teacher (that Maddie doesn't have) that is type 1 and wears a pump, then the Section 504 lady, then the substitute nurse, and finally, the principal.

Holy diabetes, Batman! I thought it was cool last year when we met in the shoebox size Principal's office at the elementary school with BOTH the teacher, and her assistant.  This was cray-cray!

So, here I am, with super-shy Maddie, sitting in front of 12 people I don't know, getting ready to make a corporate-like presentation. Yikes! But, I got through it.  They asked what seemed like hundreds of questions, and I answered them, along with about a dozen "what if" situations.  They told me what equipment they'd like to keep on hand at the school, and what they would do about her checking her blood inconspicuously.

I walked away that day very confident that she would be well taken care of.  This was about 4 months ago, and so far, so good. Maybe Hopefully This is going to be a great year!

Friday, April 6, 2012


This is my Beautiful Girl.  She is 12 now.  I can't believe I'm lucky enough to call her mine.