Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What's On Your Mind?

Hey everyone! I know, I know - it has been a while since I have posted anything. I've had people ask me, "Where have you been?"

Well, honestly, that is a loaded question! HA HA!

I've been busy with many personal things lately, but I do want to get back into posting on a more regular basis.

With that said... I am asking for your help!

It seems I have come up against some writers block for ideas on topics to write about on here. So, if you have any thoughts or ideas... I'm more than open to hear them!

Even after I am able to get past this "writers bump"... always feel free to shoot me an email, make a post on the Sugar Free Candyland Facebook Page and let me know what you would like to see published on the SFCL blog!

Whether it's product reviews & giveaways, tips or ideas regarding raising a child with Type 1, or anything else... give me a holler!

Also, if you have any amazing recipes you'd like to share (that include carb, protein, and fat information), please feel free to email them to me so I can share them on the sister blog: Sugar Free Candyland's Cookbook. Don't worry, if you share a recipe with me that gets posted on either of these blogs, you will receive full credit!

So, wonderful readers... what would you like to see posted on the blog? I'm all ears!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Let's Take A Ride -- A Magic Ride in Foozbah-Land

As parents of children with diabetes, sometimes we struggle trying to explain to our kids what diabetes is, why they have diabetes, and why it is so important to check their sugar and take multiple injections (or site changes) all the time.

Introducing the Author: Jean Roemer, MN, MSN, CRNP, CDE, has created fun, educational materials for children to help kids, families, and friends, understand what diabetes is, and answers many of the questions that often "spring up" after diagnosis. You may remember I had interviewed Jean a few months ago. If you missed that post, you can read it here

Her website is full of educational books, DVD's, and CD's for children and adults to learn more about Type 1 Diabetes! 

So, let's get back to why I titled this blog, "Let's Take A Ride -- A Magic Ride in Foozbah-Land!"

Jean was kind enough to send me some materials from her website recently to review and share with all my wonderful readers! 

 About the DVD: In "A Magic Ride in Foozbah-Land" DVD, a classroom of children take a magical ride to learn about diabetes! The teacher of the class explains to the children how food becomes fuel for the body's cells, the functions of the pancreas (insulin production and its uses), why children with diabetes need to take insulin shots, and what diabetes is, and stresses that "it's not their fault"!

The DVD is for children between the ages of 3 and 8, but I must say, even I enjoyed this movie! 

My kids loved it so much, they asked to watch it over, and over (and over!) again! 5 times, as a matter of fact! Lenny told me that the best part about the movie was the part that explains "the cells eating the sugar" as he puts it. It truly must have been his favorite part, because each meal and snack he had after watching that movie, for a week, he kept saying "I'm feeding my cells!"

So if you have a young child who is struggling getting a grasp of why they have to take shots all the time, poke their fingers 10-12 times a day, or just overall struggling to cope... I would highly recommend purchasing this DVD!

You can order your "A Magic Ride in Foozbah-Land" DVD for only $16.95 by visiting Jean's website here.

Here's a few more pictures I took while we were watching "A Magic Ride in Foozbah-Land"!

Check back here often, as we have even more great materials from Jean to share with you!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Babysitters & Diabetes-- Tips for Parents!

As parents of  a child(ren) with diabetes, we know how managing the disease, while keeping our kids as care-free and free spirited can be. We know that sometimes there are just those weird numbers that creep up, for no apparent reason, and how to correct any given situation.

Babysitters, however, do not. We can sometimes forget that, just because we live, eat, and breathe diabetes every day... most other people, especially those with no other hands-on experience managing the disease, don't know the in's and out's of this disease.

A friend of mine had contacted me a couple of months ago, asking for help with this. She had basic knowledge of what Type 1 Diabetes was, because of the uncountable number of hours she and I had talked about Lenny's blood sugars, both day and night. She had taken on the responsibility of babysitting a type 1 diabetic child that lived close to her, full-willed and ready to learn whatever she needed to learn, to care for this child to the best of her abilities. She had no prior experience with this, outside of discussions her and I have had in the past. She was a little bit worried.

She had messaged me one day and gave me an idea for a new post. She said, "What would you tell a newly diagnosed family that needs to go back to work and find a babysitter for their Type 1 Diabetic child??"

I've thought long and hard on this one. It was a little difficult for me to answer, truthfully, because, well, I had never been in this situation. I have been a stay-at-home mom long before my son was diagnosed, and planned to continue to be a stay-at-home mom for a long time (unless my family needed me to go back to work).

Here are the tips I would suggest to any parent of a Type 1 Diabetic child, looking to go back to work, and needing a babysitter.

Educate. Educate. Educate.

  • Basic Education: We educate the school nurses, don't we? Why would we not educate someone else? Even if that person claims to have experience managing other people's diabetes.... they don't have education managing your child's diabetes. I've said it on here before, and I'll say it again... just as every child is different, every diabetic is different. What works for one, may not work for another! Go through the basic diabetes education that we all learned while in the hospital with our precious little ones. Explain how carbohydrates, proteins, and fats affect blood sugar readings. Explain what high or low activity levels can play on a person's blood sugar. Tell them what ketones are; how they develop. You could even print out some basic information for them! Good reading material from a legitimate website can help drive home everything you try to teach them, and may even cause them to ask you more questions! You were educated on all of this before you left the hospital with your child at diagnosis so that the doctors knew that you knew how to safely manage this disease.... why should you send your child to be cared for by someone else (even family) without this basic knowledge as well?
  • More Detailed Education: Once they have learned the basics about diabetes, how it is believed to develop, what ketones are and why they are so serious, what affects food, drink, and activity can have on blood sugars, now it is time to get down to the nitty gritty! Tell them about your child's specific needs. How does your child's blood sugars behave? What does your child participating in outdoor sports/activities do to their blood sugars, verses indoor activities? Does your child have hypoglycemia unawareness? Do they take insulin injections? Pump therapy? Does white bread affect their blood sugars differently than whole wheat bread? Are they on a specific dietary regime (gluten free?), or can they eat anything anyone else does, just need to cover the carbohydrates? If they are on insulin injections, what is their carbohydrate ratio? Correction factor? How much extra insulin do you give your child if they have a high blood sugar with ketones? The list goes on. The point is, give them as much information that you can for caring for your child in your absence as possible. Knowledge is power, but in this case, can be a life-saver!
  • Write It Down! There is so much information we are going to be giving to these babysitters/care-givers, it'll be overwhelming! Writing it down will make it a lot easier for them to understand what to do in a given situation. Don't get me wrong, they may still need to call you at work sometimes to verify things with you, or ask a quick question. That is normal. How many times did we call our Children's Hospital Certified Diabetes Educators or endocrinologists to ask questions when we first started learning all of this? A lot, I'm sure! But, by writing it down, they have a checklist to go over, making it a little easier for them, so they don't have to call you at work every 2 hours to ask a question or get your opinion! 
  • Leave Contact Information. If there is an emergency, they need to be able to get in touch with you quickly. If you don't have a cell phone, this is where I'd recommend getting one. Even if it is just a pre-paid cell phone, these things can be very useful! Even if there are no emergencies, but the babysitter/care-giver needs to get in touch with you on a matter that you may have forgotten to cover and/or write down, she/he still needs a way to contact you. Cell phones are great for this because she can easily text or call you and leave a message if needed, for you to respond back to when you get a chance. Plus, it will help her feel a little more at ease knowing you are just a phone call or text away!
  • Encourage Her To Shadow You. Encouraging your babysitter to "shadow" you for a few hours a day, before releasing your child to her care alone, will help ease her worries and tensions. It will also be a great learning tool for her! She can watch what you are doing in certain situations, and learn from it!
  • Learn By Doing. After she has shadowed you for a day or two, encourage her to get a little hands-on experience under your supervision. We, as parents, did this in the hospital didn't we? I don't think the Certified Diabetes Educators and endocrinologists we went to would have let us take Lenny home unless they had physically seen us give him shots of insulin, check ketones in his urine, and had an understanding of carbohydrate counting! Truthfully, I think if they had, it would have just added to the amount of stress we were already under being new to this lifestyle! The same can be said for leaving our children to the care of a babysitter or care-giver! Just as we were just starting out, they are sure to feel the ball of anxiety growing in their chest when they think of managing this disease, and what can happen. Put their mind to ease (and yours!) by allowing them to do some hands-on training under your supervision. By doing this, you can also show them each step of insulin injections, how to use the pump, how to count carbs, etc. People learn best by doing. Hands-on education like this really drives home everything you have verbally taught them, as well as all the reading material you have provided to them, making them realize, this is serious stuff... but very do-able.
By providing your babysitter with basic diabetes education, detailed education about your child, writing things down in an easy to follow list for her, leaving your contact information on how to reach you should she need you, encouraging her to shadow you, and providing hands-on experience under your supervision, the transition from staying home to care for your child to back to work with a babysitter, will become less stressful for you, and your babysitter!

What tips would you give to a family of a child newly diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and needing a babysitter to return back to work? I'd love to hear them!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

There's A New Blog In Town!

Many of my wonderful readers have requested that I share some healthy, diabetes friendly recipes on here.

Because I have SOOO many recipes in my little binder that I could probably start a whole new "foodie" blog!

Many of these recipes are ones I've come across either on the web, in books, my grandmother, or they are ones that I have tweaked to try to lower the amount of carbs per serving.

Please feel free to check out Sugar Free Candyland's "sister blog".... Sugar Free Candyland's Cookbook! You can also reach this blog by clicking on the tab at the top titled "Sugar Free Candyland's Cookbook.

Be sure to "follow" that blog as well, to stay updated when we post new yummy recipes! And share it with your friends too!

Do you have recipe's you'd like to share? Maybe have some recipes that you just can't figure out the carb counts for? How about some ideas you'd like to see us discuss here on Sugar Free Candyland? Share them! Post a comment below! I love hearing from my readers! Or, if it's a recipe, email them to me at t1dteamlenny@gmail.com and you might see them posted on our sister blog!

Have an awesome, yummy day!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy to Help

This week, I met this wonderful lady on Twitter. Her name is Paulette Motzko, and she is the founder of an online cooking magazine called Cooking Up A Storm In CA.

The website is chock full of a variety of recipes. I mean, there's a ton to choose from!

She had asked me to help her with her diabetic section on her website, and created a new Living with Diabetes Group where I can post various recipes, information, etc, about diabetes.

Of course, I could not turn down this offer! LOL! Any way I can help out a fellow family/person living with diabetes, I'm all for!

Paulette is such a wonderful person. Ever since our first discussions on Twitter, we have texted back and forth almost daily! She has become such an inspiration to me in the kitchen, I am even considering creating a new blog to talk about my adventures in the kitchen! What do you all think? Should I?

I'd like to encourage you all to join me on her site, take a look around, and see what all yummy dishes the site has to offer... and, don't forget to join the Living with Diabetes--Recipe's and More group, and the Diabetic Dishes page!

Visit Cooking Up A Storm All Over The World!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

If This Was A Test, You'd Get 100%!

Yesterday was Little Man's endo appointment. While, I admit, most of the time we were actually sitting in the office (after the urine sample and A1C finger stick, and downloading his pump info), the appointment consisted of just chit chat... we also got some awesome news!

His A1C results back in January were 7.9.

This time they were....

(drum roll please......)


Oh yeah! Take that diabetes!

I got so excited, I had a permanent smile on my face for a good 3 hours (tried desperately to spare the nurse my embarrassing "chair dancing" skills lol!)

Little Man sat on the little bed in the room, looking back at me and the nurse, asking, "What does that mean? Is that good?"

I looked at him and said, "That's very good!" and gave him a high five for all the hard work he's done trying to learn everything and manage things. The nurse told him "Yes, it is very good! Its like, if this was a test in school, you'd get 100%!"

Its funny she put it that way too, because, while we were waiting in the hall to see if she was going to send us out to the waiting room till a room opened up for us, or send us straight back, I was telling the nurse that was doing the finger stick for his A1C that "I always get a little nervous for these appointments, waiting for the A1C results. Its like, its our report card!"

The really exciting thing about his A1C result is... It's the lowest we've ever had it since he was diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago! January's was the highest it's ever been, too.

What's the lowest A1C result you've had?
What's the highest?