Monday, February 28, 2011

I love lantus as much as the next gal

I love lantus as much as anyone else and have been known to tout it proudly as the poor mans pump :)  I sing its praises for the true flat insulin it is, in all its 24 hour glory.

Who wouldnt be happy giving a basal insulin in one shot that lasts 24 hours  (?)  and in the process I can give my little sweetie pie's soft baby buns a break from jabbing.   Not only that, the rollercoaster just wasnt there - the numbers were good. 

I should know with diabetes that everything changes.  

Reubs has decided he doesnt want to day time nap much anymore.   Its hit and miss.   So yesterday was a busy Sunday, playing in the back yard, swimming and other great activities.    The hurricane is far too busy to lay his wee head on a pillow for a few winks.

This equates to a deep sleep at night.   Like a rock.   A rock that snores like a truck, infact.

So for a few nights Ive been trying to feed Reubs condensed milk in his sleep  (because he has too much insulin on board.)   His breastfeeding is intermittent and unreliable.   

I think at this point its safer to hedge our bets and get back on Levemir, a roughly 12 hour basal analogue.   At least we can split his doses and give him more for the waking hours when he wants to eat, and get a chance at dinner to adjust and give less for through the night when he actually wants to sleep!

Hopefully this will decrease the hypos.


Pumping here we come!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Get your foot outta your cheeseburger

My husband (aka Danger Dad) has started training a YOUNG GUY who wanted to hit the weights hard for a three week period while his girlfriend is out of town. At dinner DD recounts this story to me which makes me acknowledge just how tough parenting can be.

Aforementioned YG is like, "Have you been to this new restaurant, xyz xyz. Its really nice."

Yeah right. We havent been out in a while.

DANGER DAD says "Ive got three kids we dont get out much."  The award for understatement of the year goes to DANGER DAD!!   Lets give the man a holiday to Straddie!

 Last two times we went out, we went to Sizzler. Super classy only the best for us.

"We left early because my eldest son put his foot up onto the table - in the middle of his cheese burger."

Correct me if Im wrong but you never think you signed up for this gig where you say SON! Get your foot out of your cheeseburger - NOW!
"We tried one more time, also leaving early because the same son suddenly got sick and vomitted on the table."

Incidentally other diners also left early that night after witnessing his salad, soup, pasta and dessert bars make a spectacular come-back.

I might add my MIL (Mother in law) thought catching the vomit in her hands and piling it onto a plate was a good idea (Help me, Lord). I myself spent half an hour rinsing his fleecy pants in the toilets and trying to dry them in the loo under the hand dryer as a result of her undermining my screams for him just to lean over and vomit on the floor instead.

Any pleasure I mightve gotten from the night was sucked into a vortex of Mummy-related-headache-inducing-responsibilities. 

Yeah that and indigestion.

YOUNG GUY replies "Oh. Dude, you gotta get a sitter."

Yes Sherlock.

And that was before Diabetes.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Heres a conundrum

Parenting a child with type 1 is a strange blend of strategy.

Last night the kids and I were baking a zesty orange cake together.

For my eldest it was all about licking the beater. For my middle child it was counting the eggs as we cracked them into the mixing bowl. Her favourite place is perched beside the kitchen aid watching the ingredients go around and around.

For Reuben? He loves peering into the oven, watching the cake as it cooks. Its also about grabbing at the oven door and trying to dive into the hot oven (Think - Hansel and Gretel) while Im sticking my skewer in to test the cake. I have to say to him "Ouch. HOT." in a stern voice. He looks at me with this queer been there done that kind of face. Its as if to say, Mum... really.

He deals with finger pricks and needles and I tell him its ok and it doesnt hurt, he will be fine. How do I teach him some pain is good for him, and some pain (like burns from seeing a cake entirely too macroscopically!) is definately no good for him.

Its hot Reubs , and ouchy.

Just Sayin'.

Cos Im your Mummy.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Danger Dad says to me

Danger Dads says to me, shortly after Reubens diagnosis ... Lets market a T-shirt line for diabetes that say "Diabetes - its a prick". I assured him that zillions of diabetics before us had this awesome idea. Today I recall that incident and I actually googled it. Heres a few I found, just that perfect gift for that special diabetic in your life. (ooohhh dear).

"Diabetics are naturally sweet."
"Got Insulin?"
"Does this shirt make me look diabetic?"
"Unless your pancreas doesnt work, stop whining!"
"Yes I am Diabetic. Yes I have tested. Yes I know that is candy. Yes I can eat it. Yes I even took a shot. BACK OFF!"
"Not a druggy, just diabetic".
"No Im not drunk, Im diabetic."
"Insulin, breakfast of champions."
"I hate sweet dreams I always wake up high".
"My pancreas doesnt work whats your excuse?"
"Fingertips of steel"
"I gots da sugar betes"
"I shoot up when Im high"
"Everyday Diabetes borrows my sons finger. Hopefully one day he will give Diabetes the finger!"

heres my favourite

Another video you might enjoy -

Something to look forward to ...

Twice in two days Ive read the story about "Welcome to Holland" - by two wonderful families touched by diabetes. I think the Lord is telling me something. I can hear His almightly voice booming and hear heavenly hosts singing and strumming angelic harps. Theres clouds parting and rays of light so brilliant my eyes hurt. (Yeah rays from heaven, and only 4 hours sleep last night. Reubs has a snotty nose ergh).

"Jules, my good and faithful servant." He talks to me like this, we are on first name basis.

"Ive blessed you with Reuben and Reuben Ive blessed with you." (Poor kid). "Suck it up thy mother of Reuben. Thou hadst been sent a child fair of face and ginger of hair, and this child shall have a dicky pancreas." Sorry Lord , its for effect.

"He is type 1. Stop at Angus and Robertson bookstore. Pick up thoudst a copy of 'Dummies guide to type 1 diabetes' and 'Think Like a Pancreas'. Study and apply. Thou has an important job to do. You shall not be going to Italy like everyone else. You shall spend the rest of your life learning about Holland. Kapeesh?"

Well the Diabetes educator said to my husband on the phone that at least we had an insulin pump to look forward to and other new technologies. Yippee.

Yes Ive got alot to learn to as Reuben changes and grows.

This isnt the path I chose, but because I love Reuben I choose to do my very best for him.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

THE VERDICT of the genetic testing. ..

Reubens diabetes is auto immune.

He was 8 months old and diagnosed type 1.

This has been one heck of a journey. Hes 16months and now confirmed as type 1.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Learning to be a pancreas

Theres so many things about being Reubens pancreas that Im still learning.

Afterall Ive never been a eh-herm.. pancreas before.

Infact before his diagnosis I never really considered blood sugars or carbohydrates (except when dieting myself). Wait - I lie - one of my favourite excuses for a grumpy husband was his "low blood sugar". I would always suggest he go and eat something!

I definately never imagined being a pancreas for my son.

Something that I came to realise a few months into this journey is that I was so freaking afraid of running Reuben 'in range'. For a normal healthy adult I beleive this to be between 3.5 and 7.7(?) Dont quote me on this. The range for a child under 6 with diabetes is to target between 5-12mmol/l.

Because Reubs was a baby his blood sugars would swing around wildly sometimes dropping low in a matter of an hour or two. Volatility was a daily occurence. It has been stressful and requires constant monitoring. I realised one day that I was inadvertantly keeping him on the higher end of his range because of one thing.


Please remember this wasnt intentional - parents of diabetic kids are WELL aware of the long term complications that can develop from out of control high blood sugars.

His first real hypo episode happened late one night a few months into my stint as a pancreas.

As was my habit I would stay awake until at least 1am or 2am to do a final test before retiring for the night. I layed down to breastfeed Reubs at the same time I pulled out his optium exceed and pricked his tiny finger and managed to collect a sample of blood. My eyes were half closing and my brain registered a 2.3 but honestly I was already asleep.

A few minutes later Reuben began seizing. I woke with a start and screamed at my husband to get a hypo fix. He is extrememly vocal during a hypo and this is just as frightening as the other symptoms. A hypo-ing baby Reuben was flailing, his eyes unable to focus, limbs shaking. I had to use force to hold him in my arms safe - head steady and with hubbys help hold his mouth to get the honey in there via syringe. The child needs sugar and the last thing he wants to do? Take sugar.

I was terrified and felt immense guilt that I didnt check up whether hubby gave him supper, that I fell asleep from exhaustion etc etc etc....

I felt like a bad mother. An awful substitute for a pancreas. I was terrified I had done my son harm.

Of course the first thing a parent wants to do is feed up their child with enough sugar to stop this happening again.

Then the blood sugar swings high because the hypo is treated by an inexperienced-panicking-parent with too much sugar.

The reality is diabetes is much better treated with a bit by bit approach. Re test 15 mins later. Re treat. Re test. Im learning in a series of what oprah calls 'ah-hah' moments somethings that other parents might cotton onto a bit more quickly!

When Reuben had a hypo with mild symptoms yesterday (during his afternoon nap)  I gave him a teaspoon of honey to bring him up. I held him in cradle the 'breastfeeding position' and he sucked it off my arm! He happily takes honey this way its comforting and he feels safe and takes the trauma out of jamming honey into his mouth. Then I followed up with 125mls of milk with a teaspoon of glucodin powder.

Because the milk is low GI, the honey raises him back into range and the milk holds him steady for another hour or two without the crazy yo-yo pattern.

So now we no longer over-treat hypos. Experiencing a few scary ones has almost taken the fear from the situation. Its a business transaction. Keeping Reubs down in the optimal range means sometimes we are going to get hypos. It isnt the end of the world if we catch and treat it for him (to fall below 5.) Infact studies have been done (according to a visiting endo at our hossy) that show no real harm is done during mild hypos in comparison to the effects on the brain long term from 'high' sugars.

Ive been a shoddy pancreas - but Im getting better every day.

Dna test results

This morning im beside myself. Excited. Worried. Trying to talk myself into accepting i may hear news i dont iike.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blog for my big bumps

Ive been pretty slack with photos and collecting baby memories.  Some things I do have are baby footprints of all three of my kids.   I have the pregnancy tests from the very first moment I 'knew' of them and the things Im going to share here today.   The letters I wrote to them when they were still big-uncomfortable-heartbearn inducing-stretchmark causing-ouchy kicking-bumps in my belly.

 I dont know about other Mums but Im pretty sure its universal; its entirely possible to fall in love with a baby youve never met.    The minute you know theres a little life in your belly you connect with 'them' like no body else can.  

BABY #1.   My first son was born in 2004 - we tried for about 6 months to fall pregnant.  I got a call in December from the GP saying dont celebrate Christmas/New Years with champagne - YOU ARE PREGNANT!!   It was exciting from the start. I counted down in days.   He was born at 41weeks, 9lbs1oz on a Friday at 1.57pm.   His birth included vacuum, episiotomy, epidural and various other drugs and interventions (eek).    I will endeavour to write it out as it was scratched out the old fashioned way (Please ignore the grammar Im sure it was pregnancy induced Mummy brain)!

To My Darling Son Evander Love Mummy  (obviously hand written in later on!)

Im 32 Weeks pregnant with you.  At this stage they say we are having a  little boy and I hope its true as I've prayed to God and asked for a little boy first!  We dont have a name picked out for you yet.  We cant seem to pick anything and agree on it.  We want it to sound nice, we want it to say particular things about our little guy, and has a nice meaning.   Your father and I laugh at some of the names we find in baby books..and cant imagine calling our baby that, let alone a young man, and then an adult that you will eventually become. 

I pray for your health, that you are strong and healthy.   Its hard to tell what sort of boy you will be - in utero you are quiet for long periods.   I cant feel you moving at all and I poke you to make sure you are okay in there.  If you stay like that when you are born, you will most definately take after your daddy as he is mellow as they come!  Late at night, thats when you really come alive!!  You kick your mummy pretty hard while I sleep, you wriggle around and kick me high under the ribs :D  and perhaps this part of you reminds me of me :D

Im nervous about being a Mummy.   I love having you in my tummy, its special and its just you and me for now, I dont have to share you with anyone.   What I eat, you eat; where I go you go with me.   I have no idea really what to expect, scared and excited about the labor, however thinking about the responsibility involved in raising you.  I need to learn how to meet your needs; how to bathe you and change you, feed you and teach you things. 

I imagine the moment after birth when I finally get to meet you, and see you for the first time, count your fingers and toes and look into your little eyes.   I want to be able to hug you now.. especially when you are hiccupping!  And as excited as I am, this is sad in a way, because they will cut the cord that joins you and me forever.  And you will breathe on your own, eat on your own.

I want to show you and communicate how much I love you, and I want us to be good friends.   I want to offer you opportunites to deveop mentally, spiritually, emotionally.   I always want to be there for you.   I want to laugh with you and play with you.   I want to be proud of all the stages of you growing.   I imagine us playing games and learning how to swim or playing tennis or some other sport you show interest in, you being musical, us reading books ... and your Daddy and I being a happy close family. XXOO

BABY #2 -   My second child was a daughter born in 2007,  7lbs1oz at 2.43am on a Monday morning.  Her birth was 3 yrs and 3 months later.   It took all this time to get pregnant with her and I was getting worried !    Her birth was truly amazing I organised a doula as I wanted to avoid all the interventions I had with my first and wow was the labor different.   She was born at 37weeks, 12 minutes after being wheeled into the labor suite. I thought she would be born on the side of the highway in our 4wd. 

To the Baby in my belly !!!

This week I am 33 weeks pregnant.   I wrote a letter for your brother also when he was in my tummy at around this same time but boy will this one be different!  I am a different person to who I was before I became a Mum. 

I cannot imagine what life would be like without Evander.   He has changed me in ways, and fulfilled parts of me I didnt realise existed.  Where I used to try to over acheive and seek approval from and nuture people who shouldnt matter, I channelled alot of my energy into being a good Mum.  In trying to raise a well rounded, confident and most importantly, LOVED child.

Now this time around with you in my tummy, Im not worried about being in labor or the birth or how to change nappies or how to know if you are getting enough breastmilk (all those things involving me and my learning curve)  my concern is when you arrive and the hours upon hours upon hours of love and time I need to invest to make you shine and grow into the person God needs you to be!  

I feel so blessed after trying to conceive you for so long, and praying so often that we have you!  This pregnancy has been emotional but very healthy all the same.   You seem to be very quiet in my tummy at night.  Your brother used to kick and poke and keep me awake.  He also gave me shocking heartburn.  But you are very content in there, quiet for long periods, playing around as you please.  

You are so good you also make me crave salad sandwiches and mandarines.  

I went for my first scan and they couldnt tell me your gender.   The second scan I payed for myself and they still couldnt tell me your gender.   Third scan lucky right? NO!   They still couldnt tell but guessed a girl.  You are also breech.   I have succumbed to the pretty pink things and bought a few outfits just in case.   We have a girls name picked out but we may change our minds just yet.   Its tricky naming a litle person :)   Plus we still feel like what if (?) you are a boy afterall !! Either way we are excited.

I want so many good things for you and your life and I intend to never stop working towards this goal.  Everything I know I want to teach, everything we do I want to share with you.   You will never understand how much love I have for you even before you have even arrived.   I cannot wait to meet you xx.

BABY #3 - Reubs was born in 2009.    We got pregnant very quickly and easily this time and he wasnt exactly planned but was in Gods plan for us !  The gap between my youngest 2 is 22months.   He was 8lbs15oz born at 8.12am Monday morning.  
His birth was peaceful and intervention free, coming 40minutes after arriving at delivery.

Dear Reuben @ 34weeks 4 days

Well its just you and me up right now little man!  Daddy is snoring like a freight train.  He gets up early and works hard to look after us.

Evander is 2 sleeps away from his 5th birthday and little jojo is 21 months and sleeping like a princess in her pink big girl bed :)   You are active, strong and feel so BIG!  My belly is stretched to what feels like capacity.   The thought of 5 more weeks pregnant makes me cry!   You were my wonderful surprise baby.   I bet you will be a wonderful blessing and continue to surprise your mummy!   Im looking forward to meeting you.   To holding you, nursing you and smelling your skin. 

Hope our birth proves we are a great team.  This time as a Mum Im feeling much more confident - excited - and overwhelmed at once.   Im excited for Evander who is just pumped about being a brother and having a brother.  Bunk beds, sharing his room and trains.   And for JoJo who will be home with you when Evander heads off to school.   Bub made me pack a green teddy for you in my hospital bag for you to play with.   So wonderful seeing it through your brother and sisters eyes.  Im so happy to be adding to our family.   A full noisy house.  Loved ones to care for.   Love you so much little man and hope I can be a good Mummy.  Hope to meet you sooner rather than later.   Love Mummy xxx.

Mindfulness & Motherhood

We live in the moment day to day; a very busy collection of moments and rarely do I take much time to think back.   Or more precisely I dont get alot of down time.   (Right now Im thinking about vacuuming, mopping, two loads of laundry, the next BGL in 30 minutes....)

Im a proponent of practising mindfulness.   Breathing.   Being in that moment.  Catching rising emotions at their inception.   Learning what I can and beginning to understand them.   I finish the exercise with acknowledging I cannot change situations, just my reactions to them and  letting them go. 

 Im moving forward.  I have to do this to make room in my mind and heart for Reuben and his diabetes.     It can sometimes swamp you all at once leaving you gasping for air.   
I was talking on the phone with my mum for 2 and a half hours the other afternoon.   The feeling I was dealing with was sadness and a real sense of missing that familial 'connection'.  You know, cuppa and cream buns at your Mums or fish and chips on Friday night.   A good game of boggle or scrabble when I need to get the cobwebs out.   A trip to the store to pick up a few 'things'.  Companion on an errand.  Advice on which dress to buy.   All the important stuff.

My folks live 3.5 hrs away by car and are busy with beef cattle- branding them and spraying for buffalo flies and showing canines in the confirmation ring amongst other things.   All the best intentions mean we catch up infrequently.   

No matter how long its been - talking to Mum is comforting.    Shes a super listener and the most sensible and reliable person Ive ever met.   Even now as an adult somethings in my mind cannot be separated from Mum and my childhood -  like hot cocoa, or Mums knitting needles click clacking or the sounds of her sewing machine, or even the smell of hot beef and vege stew.    Not to mention the kettle boiling !   I want to be reliable like that for my kids.    I want them to know I wont judge them and they can count on me. 

I may not be perfect wellll, almost!!   I want to take stock of how we are going regularly and adjust in all areas.

indulge me

I cannot sugar coat it. ~no pun intended!~ Diabetes management is hard work. It requires thought and planning and also a bunch of committment.

Today was one of those days were i could roll around in some good numbers and indulge myself much like a gooey chocolate lamington being tossed in coconut. Okay maybe that similie doesnt work for you? Im proud as we struggle with the combination of Reubens insulin sensitivity, picky eating and combined with his crazy activity right after eating!

Reubs wakes up 9.7
Morning tea 7.0
Before lunch 7.2
After lunch 11.7
After a big swim and a fruit juice for arvo tea 6.9
Before dinner 9.2
Before bed 8.9

10 lantus - plus lots of toddler energy meant we didnt bolus at meals today. I think reuben needs to trade in his middle name formerley 'jasper' ; now known as the hurricane. He is like a whirlwind. A very busy boy indeed.

Celebrate with me.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Bugger Me

Do you know those annoying foil seals they put on tins?   Well I was opening a new tin of milo (ooh yes, it seems to be one tin a week here at the moment!) and I had to jam a spoon in there, old fashioned can opener-come-jemmy bar style to hack the thing off. In the process I cut the side of my thumb and another finger.  Immediately I see blood droplets rise to the surface and begin streaming down my skin.   I rinse it under the tap and the blood keeps coming.  Okay maybe it wasnt streaming exactly, that was exaggeration. But it hurt - alot.   And there was blood.

Enough blood to make me think I needed first aid.

Im really embarrassed and ashamed to say I went to Danger Dads special cupboard.   He is the keeper of all things medical.    Up high.    I get down a box of bandaids.   Initially I unwrap one and apply it to my thumb.   Blood is showing bright and red through the bandaid and its stinging.    In my mind Im wondering who will finish washing the dishes because my cut stings.   Surely once it hits the water it will just slide off.    Another bandaid wrapped cross wise should do the trick.   Im literally sooking like a baby.   So I have a bandaid around it and one perpendicular to hold it in place.

Normally Im not squeamish and I have a high pain threshhold.  Afterall Ive given birth three times!

Now this is the truly weird part.   I proceed to get a rubber glove, and cut the finger part off to 'hold' the bandaid in place - dont worry about the fact that water will seap into the open end of my makeshift bandage holder and sink the wound as fast as you can say "Titanic".

When it all slides off in a miserable failure, (much like the labor government of the 80s) Im left saying ouch and loading the dishwasher instead.

I smile to myself for being such a doofus.   Then my mind drifts to Reuben.   What a good natured kid.   We make him bleed all day long for the purposes of BGL's.   He doesnt cry or fuss. Infact I do them in his car seat, while hes at kindermusik, during a feed in his high chair, before he gets in the bath and in his sleep.    All times, all places.  

He handles it like a champ.   

Im think he deserves a fresh sharp lancet more often on his poor little fingers and toes.   Im sorry bubba for when mummy has been distracted and forgotten to click off a fresh lancet for you.    Afterall it does hurt to break your skin.    Im so proud of my son for being the strong, resilient and joyful boy he is.

Love you Reuben xx.


Boobies and Bugles

When the alarm goes off in the morning I simply cannot beleive its another day.   

My head is foggy and my body achey.   I mustve averaged five hours with a few wakings in amongst the zzzz's.    Our curtains are drawn yet I see sunshine poking its irritatingly cheerful head through the gaps in the roman blinds. Argh.   Do I really have to get up.  My eyeballs seem to be getting sucked into the recesses of my skull.   Wow tired eyes can hurt!    Sometimes Im so tired when I get up I wonder where I am.  Nothing three strong coffees cant fix.    I wish someone would drip feed me some before staggering to the kitchen.  Liquid gold.

 Reaching up to its handy spot on the head of the bed, I grab my phone and switch off the alarm. I roll to check on Reuben.   We co-sleep like I did with his brother and sister-  and the little guy sleeps curled up under my armpit nose snuggled against my breast.    Im a massive fan of attachment parenting and breastfeeding.   Reubs is a massive fan of his mummy's bee bees (thats baby speak for boobies!). 

Nursing Reubs has been a God send with diabetes.   I have no idea how many carbs are in a feed of breastmilk.    I dont even know how much he gets volume wise in a nursing session.  I know its water, sugar, fats and lots of other goodies that in my humble opinion my kids benefit from having.   I wouldnt have it any other way, diabetes or not.     Seriously I dont mind being a human pacifier.  

It bites to think my son was diagnosed as a mere baby.    In the early days  he would stir when feeling low throught he night, have a boobie-snack and go peacefully back to sleep.    Yep my boobies did the trick!   Pretty weird writing in the log book - went to bed at 9.8BGL, woke for right breast at 2am and leftie at 3am.      

When Reuben is nuzzling away I enjoy the fact that hes showing me hes okay because truthfully when hes sleeping soundly Im staring at him in the dark.  Wondering.   Worrying.  Whens he going to wake next?    Have his numbers dropped too low?   I check to see his chest is rising and falling rhythmically.   I put my nose to his mouth to see if I can smell his sweet baby breath and hear him exhaling ever so gently.     I think back to his last test.   What were his numbers.  What did he eat last; was supper low GI?   What was the bugle trending -  up or down?      

Okay my sleep is non existent now diabetes showed up. But -  Im determined not to let diabetes steal anything else from Reuben and I.    (Afterall hes a baby first, not a diabetic)  We arent giving up our boobie-time.   Nor our big bed snuggles. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

People say the darndest things

Its going to be one of those nights.   Im exhausted, I virtually need toothpicks to hold my eyelids open but I have to stay awake another hour to check on the BGL trend. I test Reubs right before bed.   Tonight hes 4.3.      He needs a high enough blood sugar to get him through the night. Usually we aim for 10.  (At least until 2.30am, we usually try to wake to test then, and again at 5.30am when hubby leaves for work).    Reubs didnt have supper tonight he fell asleep on the breast.   I managed to get half a milo into him-  that bad boy has a number of CHO (carbohydrates) in it and should do the trick.
milo 1 tbsp - 12.9g CHO
milk 1 cup - 11.3g CHO
sugar 2 tsp - 10g CHO
the rest of the bottle is topped with warm water obviously 0 carbs! 

So- roughly - hes had 15g or one serve of carbs to treat the low and hopefully sustain a decent number for a sound sleep!   

Milo in milk also has the advantage of being low GI - takes longer for that sugar to peak.   Also milo is so freaking good for you. I could live on it.  I think its a curious possibility that I could eat it dry off the spoon.    (Seriously ask my husband. Who needs wheat grass or Spirulina?)
This is what they say about it straight off their website so you know Im not making it up just because I loooove to eat it on icecream !   (sssshhhh)


The Nutritious Energy Drink Kids Love

Just one glass of MILO with milk provides children with 50% of their daily iron, calcium, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin C needs.
Drinking MILO gives kids:
  • Calcium for strong bones and teeth
  • Iron to carry oxygen around the body
  • B vitamins (B1 & B2) to release energy
  • Vitamin C for iron absorption
  • Vitamin A, which is essential for healthy eyesight
  • Plus, each glass of MILO is low GI

Better than some empty sugars I say :)

Well I was doing some thinking today about the drivel people have said to me when they find out that Reuben has type 1 diabetes.  Its pretty sad that I have to work hard at restraining myself or I may:

a) laugh in their face (muaha ha ha)

b) roll on the floor laughing like some weird cyber smiley (ROFL! style)

c) do an impression of mike tyson  -no not really Im actually a really gentle soul and wouldnt dream of it!

d) slam a door in their face - wouldnt do this either but have truly fantasized

e) shove some diabetes literature in their periphery so they can get clued up

f) ALL of the above

g) roll my eyes at them, bite my tongue and keep silent and forgive them their ignorance

Heres the top STOOPID-EST things people have really said to me!  

1)  Have him eat cinnamon and celery instead of taking insulin   *what?*

2)  Should he be eating that?   *what, food?*

3)  Dont worry he will grow out of it   *type1 derrr*

4)  He doesnt look sick  *sigh, I work hard at replacing his insulin for him because his pancreas doesnt work*

5)   Some irritating drivel about deep fried, soul food, and sugar.... too long and stupid to recall word for word.

6)  I dont know how you can do that (referring to the giving of needles!) I could never do it.   *Let your child die would you?*

7)  I have a mate that can cure diabetes. He attaches electrodes and puts a wet towel on your chest.... *omg my son is a toddler and your mate should be arrested.....*

8)  Go home and google Chia Seed.   Its a cure for diabetes from the remotest.... *zzzzz. That was my eyes glazing over and my brain involuntarily flat-lining because you bored me to death*

9)  Good thing he got it so young he will never know differently.  *He honestly is going to know things are different for his brother/sister/mother/father/friends.   We dont have finger pricks/needles/visits to endocrinologists/carbohydrate scales/bags of supplies etc etc.* 

10)   *Im leaving this one blank as Im sure it will be filled shortly!*   Oh wait, Ive had the one about the Aunty losing her leg/foot/eye sight numerous times.  Pretty sensitive types :)

Heres a link to a video that is truly hilarious and rings true to most parents of diabetics.   When I first watched it I thought if anyone gave me the Halle Berry cured herself of diabetes talk I might offer them outside!

Off to retest. Lets hope the numbers are good and I can get some shut eye!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Going around the proverbial mulberry bush...

We are totally in two minds about switching Reuben to an insulin pump.   One day Im all for it, the next Im flip flopping -  freaked out - and we are delaying his start.  Does anyone else on MDI (multiple daily injections) go through this dilemma, or am I just a twat?

Theres alot of reasons FOR the pump the greatest of which for me would be better control for Reuben's blood sugar.   You can administer tiny doses which are pretty tough with injections.   We will continue to work on this!

In my mind theres alot of reasons for my inaction in this direction.   Pumping scares the living daylights out of me.  What scares me is probably my own lack of experience with it and my perceived inability to deal with it and the challenges it presents.   Ignorance of sorts, the what ifs.  Also the prospect of coping with something 'new' since diabetes itself is all relatively new to us also.    Will the equipment fail? Will I miscalculate carbs?   If we havent 'mastered' MDI why move onto something else?  

Does any of this make sense.  *sigh*

An insulin pump would administer basal insulin (his background all day insulin in tiny amounts) and bolus insulin (to cover carbohydrate intake at mealtimes) at the touch of a few buttons.

The pump is connected to the body via a tiny canula and tubing.    I read about insulin pumps, I read that the overwhelming majority of diabetics that use them are happy and that even kids can be successfully pumping.

Im not sure I want Reuben to be tethered to a machine.   Wistfully I look at omnipod and small tubeless patch pumps on the net and wish they were available on PHI (private health insurance) here.   This is a psychological barrier.   Its a reminder to me of his dodgy pancreas.  Pretty dumb since the fact that leaving the house requires a hypo kit, a medicine bag, spare meters as well as a nappy bag are pretty big reminders of his dodgy pancreas dontcha think?

Anyway, Ive brokered a deal with myself.   Nothing ventured nothing gained right?

Reubens DNA is being sent away to test for monogenic types of diabetes

see here :

if he comes back definately type 1 - then we will pursue the pump.  If we hate it then it can wait in the cupboard until a more opportune time :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Am I allowed a pi$$ed off day?

Im not sure what to call this post to do it justice.   Today Im having an angry day.   Im just plainly pi$$ed off at diabetes.    I didnt want this for my life - who does?   I didnt want this for my beautiful baby son and his future.

Somewhere I read the argument that type 1 diabetes is organ failure.  

Yes it is.

Pancreatic Organ Failure.   Its incurable.

The governement gives me $50 a week to totally manage and care for a child with organ failure?   (Who can be angry at them with this generous offering!)


Who thinks when they give birth and wrap their baby son in their arms and promise to love and look after him forever that they will have to look after a dead organ as well?    (His pancreas has clearly failed him and without us tending to his insulin everyday he wouldnt survive.)  

 I want to blame myself in some way for the DNA Athony and I contributed that got him this darn disease.   Maybe if I never married my husband we couldve had healthy kids with other people.   I know its all senseless and pointless but at times you whip yourself with these accusations.   Right now I feel anxiety about this same DNA making up my other 2 kids and if at some point they will be diagnosed also.  (I do test them to check. I do worry when they drink alot of water or go to the loo alot.   I worry if they seem to lose weight , or smell sweet).

On the outside we are coping.    We have to get by.   I prepare school lunches, I set up the slow cooker in the morning,  I clean my house,I brush out the bichon frise,  I drag myself to rounds of swimming lessons, kindermusik, tennis lessons.   All this I would do if diabetes had never reared is ugly beastly head.    My kids shouldnt miss out because our lives have been touched by diabetes.

Im angry because it isnt fair.  We dont know half of what the coming years will bring but Ive learned to be assertive.   To stick up for us as a family unit when we are struggling and just cant take anymore.   I have to stand in the gap for Reuben and speak my mind because the boy can only say 20 or so baby words and 'insulin' isnt one of them !

I will not accept abuse from people who are supposed to love and support us - we learned to say NO.  I wont tolerate conterfeit versions of love and care at this time, nor manipulation or guilt because we wont play your stinking games.   Selfishness is super unattractive to parents managing Type 1 Diabetes.  

Nor  ridiculous expectations from systems when you are dealing with chronic illness.   Yes sometimes my older son will be 5minutes late for school because I have to treat a hypo.   So sorry I stayed home to prevent my baby son having convulsions or slipping into a coma. NOT.

Nor beaureaucracy and red tape-

Nor incompetence from so called professionals  (The local kindy where Jo Jo goes told me they were glad I cancelled Reubens enrolment because she didnt feel her staff were up to it.)

Nor inconvenience from multi national conglomerates who are supposed to provide what you pay for.  (Yes Im talking about drive through restaurants who sell chicken and somehow do not have chicken.  **rewind** True story they offered me a chicken patty off a burger instead of hot n spicy chicken as they had RUN OUT of chicken.  WTF?    Somehow drive thru's become -' park and wait 15minutes for your food').

Okay Okay. I hear you! It isnt the pimply faced kid at Mc Fried Chook's  fault that Reuben has diabetes.    I know that.   They earn only a few bucks an hour.   But I complained because I have rights as a customer to expect service when they are the ones claiming speedy service.   It should be fast food like they claim.  We carry food incase of hypoglycaemia but thats not the point.  Reuben shouldnt have to eat crackers instead of nuggets. We were taking the whole family for dinner and timed it around his schedule we didnt calculate the additional 20 mintues waiting for the new batch of food to cook!.

This anger is healthy at this point Ive accepted that its bubbling away like lava.  Sometimes it just has to be vented. I by passed the guilt, it really isnt my fault!  I have dealt with denial (no amount of denial makes type 1 diabetes go away).  Now Im pi$$ed.   I wonder whats next?

I hope I replace it with hope.   I hope I replace anger with optimism.   I hope its optimism for the future.. I hope its beleif in better management tools for diabetics.   I hope its better prospects of a cure and more public awareness and understanding of this hidden disease.   I hope its policy and governmental decision making at budget time with diabetes in mind.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

BETA BUDDIES: The Hidden Truth

The strength of other families never ceases to amaze me. Something else that amazes me is that our hearts seem to cry out in unison. I read through blogs where other parents have typed the words I thought and felt as though we were one and the same and our heartbeats were synchronised. (Even though our children may have been diagnosed ten years apart at different ages.) Its a dreadful disease that never lets up on the emotions.

BETA BUDDIES: The Hidden Truth: "And, Once again we are left with the raw, unsettling reality. Sadness doesn't begin to describe ... A heavy heart doesn't 'cut it'... A..."

Oh the Drama

Why is it when a man is sick he needs tender loving care?  His head has to be propped by a plumped up pillow just so.  He needs a wet washer on his forehead and warm chicken soup.   He needs sips of fluids held up to his parched lips.   He definately needs the airconditioning set to 21 degrees celcius.   Hmmm, he also needs a vomit bowl perched at the correct distance from the bed and a bottle of room temperature water.    When my husband vomits Im sure the neighbours hear him.    Its loud. Its dramatic. Its terribly woeful!   I must admit hes pretty sick this time - theres no foxtel in sight and hes really in bed resting!

When I am sick?  I have to suck it up.  Even with gastro I scrub vomit off the floor and tend to my sick kids.   I get up all night rubbing their backs and moistening their hair, checking temperatures and blood sugars.  I have insulin to administer and honey to rub onto his cheeks to try and prevent hypos through the night.    I have dishes to do, clothing to wash as naturally my vomitting kids yes all three of them have vomitting and diahorrea in addition to my husband  have managed to cover every blankie and doona, pillow and towel - with vomit.    Theres vomit on the legs of my ironing board!   They'd be off to London for the games based on these performances.

Its tough isnt it?   All you mummies know what Im talking about. We are silent heroes in so many ways.   We keep everyone as comfortable as we can to our own personal detriment often times.    (Can you say, self indulgent whinge?!)

What do you do to get away?  

I like a cold glass of white wine.
I like going to the gym and sweating copiously for a few hours or
swimming at the pool; following that black line up and down as I ponder the meaning of life, or that bandaid stuck all the way down the deep end.
I like to 'pretend' Id prefer to mow the lawn just for some peace and quiet
I love flicking through a good cook book, looking at recipes I know I will never make because the family wont eat salmon...

Providing that is,  after a break Im back at the reins!

What it is Im feeling?   Importance.
I like comforting my crying children in a big squishy hug
I like admistering that panadol after a high thermometer reading
I love to sssshhhhh them and stroke their hair
I love tucking them into their beds and saying sweet dreams

and yes

I guess I love babying my husband as well.    I mean, how is he to know that his socks live in the actual sock draw?!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

Wacky Wednesday has always been one of my oldest sons favourite books.  He would squeal in delight and point out the strange incongruous things going on in the pictures like shoes on the ceiling and babies pushing their mums in prams.   Theres garden sprinklers that work despite missing segments of hose.   Weird and wonderful things.   My favourite is a house with no front door.    Totally useless!    Heres yesterdays real life version -

JULES:   Hi Dr. How are you?   Reuben is the patient today, I need to replace his insulin I think its gotten frozen.
DR:  But you have insulin.
JULES: Yes its frozen. It wont be any good will it?   We cant use it.... can you write us new scripts.   I also need one for glucagon, the old hypokit is about to expire it would be good to have a spare script for it.
DR: Ok.   What are his doses?
JULES:  Lantus 9 units  once a day.
DR:  When, morning or night?
JULES: Once a day, AM.
DR:  Oh.   (Looking on data base for an eternity)
JULES:  Its the solostar pen.
DR:  Penfill?  (still scrolling through her database - its obvious she doesnt know what shes looking at).
JULES:   The disposable pens, not the cartridge. (The dr begins huffing and its clear shes annoyed at me).
**Im beginning to panic, I cant bear the thought of an incompetent GP giving my son the wrong medicine.**
JULES:  Do you want to see his book or something?
DR:  OK OK. What was the other thing?
JULES: Novorapid, the 3ml.
DR:  What dose?
JULES: Its variable.
DR:  What d o s a g e is he on?
JULES: I said it depends, on what he eats.
DR:  He has to have a dosage!
JULES:   Its variable - it depends on what he is eating. It might be 0.5 - 1 unit at a meal up to 3-4 times a day. *Somedays he has none*
DR: Yes Yes I KNOW that.
*If you know it why are you asking*
DR: The penfill?  3Ml. *She begins typing away huffing some more. Clearly clearly annoyed. By this point I have NOOOO confidence in her she is typing 0.5-2u x 3*
JULES:   Its only 0.5 through to 1 full unit per meal
DR: I know that.     What is this other thing. I havent .....
JULES: Do you want to see it?   *Im taking no chances and get the glucagon out of the bag to show her....*

Even after all this when I got to the chemist I had the pharmacist show me the items so I could be sure it was the right things she wrote the script for.

Theres a huge problem with healthcare for diabetes.  We see an endocrinologist once every 3 months at the Diabetes centre and in between we are supposed to see a GP -  whom we clearly know more about the disease than because we manage it everyday! 

I also discussed a health care plan where you can consult with diabetes educators and dietitians prior to going on an insulin pump.  To obtain one I need a General Practitioner referal.   She asked me to come back another day.

Im wondering if its because of all the paperwork or because she wants to familiarise herself with the procedure first!

Besides this shes not a bad dr (Ive never been to a better one), 
shes usually quite friendly and
shes does an okay pap smear....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Troubleshooting the mystery highs...

Amongst the weird and wonderful things we all do as Mummies to little people I have to figure out why we seem to get unexplainable high blood sugar readings.   There are a few reasons I know of thus far in our diabetes journey.  
I look at his numbers and some are crazy - and dont seem able to be brought down.

We start at BGL 14.    He needs novorapid to correct that back into range.   He eats 15g of cereal, he needs another unit to cover what he eats (and a little less for what he feeds to the dog or plays with and spreads through his hair and a little more for what he steals from his sister/eats from the fridge when im not looking and how the heck do you carb count the handful of Eukaneuba dog food he scoffs?)  So, its a really good guess.   

Okay we wait, we play blocks and some computer games.   Sendentary games are best when trying to see what effect rapid insulin has as exercise interferes in the equation.   I think Great, its testing time lets see what the novorapid has done. Nada. Nothing, zip.   INFACT Reubs BGL is higher than before.    Hes now in the 20's.    Ketone check. Clear.   Figured so as normally I can smell them.

So I've corrected heavily at breakfast, heavily again at lunchtime.  Hes eaten very little today and done very little exercise.

I examined the tiny bit of snot on Reub's left nostril. Nope, not green dont think hes got an infection.   Sickness is notorious for elevating blood sugars.

I think back to the mornings Lantus injection.   No bent needles, no droplets of insulin left so Im guessing he got the full dose.  

Its been very hot - maybe the insulin has been cooked.

I go to the fridge to check expiry dates - all in order.

Then I see it.    The glass bottles holding the insulin seem f r o s t y in the refrigerator.   I check the insulin and it looks frozen!   I think a trip to the chemist is in order to replace our whole supply !   Drats and double drats.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Holy Smokes Batman! Are you wearing stilettos?

STOP!   (are you singing hammertime in your head and seeing images of mc hammer dancing across your minds eye in those atrocious pants?)

I have something to tell you.  

I want you to know that you are okay just as you are!  

There are right now a bunch of people who wish they were more like you but too afraid to tell you!  We tend to look at other people and wish for what they have and admire things that they are.   During this process we often de-value ourselves and our life experiences.  We are all so different and for a very good reason.   Wouldnt the world be a boring place and would we ever learn anything along the way- if we were all the same?   

I have to accept my oldest son and his competitive and stubborn nature.    Hes a natural talker who is BOUND to be a politician when he grows up.    Hes also very good at sports and super sociable.    My daughter and middle child is an entertainer who inherently knows what is funny.   When under pressure she pulls out the cute and hilarious card and plays it for all its worth.   She is eccentric, loyal and really into animals.   Im thinking she may be a vet.    Im going to do whatever is in my power to help them become all they are meant to be.   I think its great when they are experimental and unashamed and wish I could be more like them.

If I jump ahead a zillion steps with Reuben I really wonder what his life will be like, the battles he may have to fight because hes different to his brother and sister healthwise - and diabetes will inevitably be there (3 monthly visits to the endocrinologist at the paediatric diabetes clinic a constant reminder of his 'targets'.)    I tear up when I hear Evander say he will look after Reuben at school and make sure no body is mean to his little brother. (Who incidentlally will be in grade 5 by time Reubs begins prep the first compulsory schooling year here in Queensland).

Be who you are and come to a place of acceptance that you are great just as you are.   This is what Im going to be teaching Reubs.   Hes perfect to me, diabetes and all.   Yeah we will have challenges. Kindy, school, maybe starting an insulin pump, camps, sleep overs, parties, alcohol, moving out of home,  marriage, kids of his own.   All issues beleive it or not Ive already worried over as his Mummy.  

I have to wrap up this post prematurely as Danger Dad is at it again, i hear one of the kids crying after fanging it around the back yard in a motorised car!

I also hear him complaining 'Im out there in the back yard living it, and you are in the study blogging it!'.....

The saddest part - Sweet Mary-Kathryns story

This morning I ventured into the cyber type 1 community where constantly Im struck by the 'togetherness' you feel with people you have never really met IRL (in real life).    Fact is, nobody really understands what you go through until you are living with the disease.   My six year old son and three year old daughter can get the accucheck mobile blood glucose meter going and test Reubens blood sugar.  

 They are both aware how important Reubens diabetes is even at their ages.   Evander did a talk for his class all about diabetes and looking after Reuben.   From what I heard it was a quite sophisticated for a 6 year old child!   This leads me to my next point.   

I came across this story while posting on a forum for parents with diabetic children.    I wanted to share it with you but please get tissues and sit first.     The fact is, Diabetes is pretty silent with obscure symptoms.   In our own experience I begged the GP on the 13th and final visit to his clinic to 'check Reuben for broken bones he screams all night long'.  We were prescribed thrush drops :(      He didnt have temperatues but did vomit on and off for a week.   This included reduced activity, lethargy, inability to have sound sleep, extreme thirst and heavy nappies, plus a weird sweet acetone smell coming from his skin.      Anyone who has a child vomitting assumes tummy bug, right?   At 6 months unsettled sleep can mean teething.. You can explain away the symptoms until full blown Diabetic ketoacidosis where you are admitted to the hospital emergency department and usually have to be transferred to intensive care.

It gets to this point because GP's dont do regular routine blood glucose tests on children.   Type 1 diabetes can be detected before the child gets this sick.   The link - and Mary-Kathryn's tragic story couldve been prevented with GP education and a quick finger prick.    I cried and could barely breathe as I read it.   Then I signed the petition.   I hope you will do the same. xx

Friday, February 4, 2011

Diabetes 101


Its simple.   We havent been doing this long but I do know this -  people with diabetes need to be organised. The key is to be prepared for the worst case scenario,  be prepared for emergencies, prepared for long trips, short trips, trips where you will be active, trips where you may miss a bus, trips where you might want to eat more carbohydrates than usual.   

Im aware this reads slightly like a Dr Seuss novel.   

Be prepared for trips that may be too hot for your insulin (because it cooks when temperatures are over 30 deg out!) rendering it useless in lowering blood sugars.   You get the drift, be prepared for when you may not be quite prepared enough!!  And finally once you have all your supplies ready to go - throw in a bit more. Just in case. You can never be too prepared :)

Heres some of our supplies thought it may be interesting for diabetes beginners -

This is a stash of insulin we've accumulated in the fridge after 3 changes of regime.   It has to live in cold temperatures to store and room temperature when insuse.   Cold insulin stings to inject apparently. When youve removed it from the fridge it has to be used within 30 days as insulin has a pretty short life span.

The big boxes you can see with the grey pen on top is Reubens current insulin called Lantus.   It is a long profile basal analogue he gets one shot a day (in the buttocks).   To prep that pen you screw on a needle top 4mm in length, dial up the dosage and squeeze the button on the end.    When he eats he gets another quick acting insulin called novorapid.   As the name suggests it peaks rapidly. Infact it begins working within 15 mins of the injections at meal times and fades out its action after 5 hours.    It corrects a high blood sugar and also covers the carbohydrates he is going to eat.

Next is a medical alert bracelet.   We got ours over the internet
after searching jewelery stores without much luck, settled on one from a company called level living.   They seemed to remember that children get diabetes also. 

 Its a soft quick dry fabric for little hands and most importantly has a tight clip and a medic alert plate that reads - INSULIN DEPENDENT - In Emergency call 000.   Imagine something happening to me - and nobody knowing Reuben had a bunch of insulin in his system and was needing his next meal within 30 mins....

It has cute colorful trucks printed on it.  Awwww.

I couldnt deny Reubs a pic since hes such a gorgeous patient kid :)

Next is his hypo kit.   He needs carbohydrate foods to be administered if his blood sugar is low anywhere anytime.   Heres some examples of what we have in it.   I keep this packed in the refrigerator so its ready to grab and go.     If he is under 5mmol/l we give lucozade or honey and follow up with a biscuit.   Just enough to bring his bloods back into range without a yo-yo effect.  Being a toddler hes pretty fussy at times so the key is variety.    One day he loves Ribena juice next he spits it at me!   If Reuben is having a hypo with symptoms (like shaking and confusion) solids cannot be given.   More on this later.

Every diabetic should own a few blood glucose meters and a record book. It helps you recall where you were, look for patterns and to adjust insulin doses.  

Plenty of people plug the meter into a pc and download them on a program.   Maybe someone who does this could comment or do a guest post for me!!  

The long gray pen looking thing is the lancet (has 6 needles inside much like a gun barrel).  A lancing devices pricks your finger at adjustable depths to get a good droplet of blood to put onto a test strip.   The little meter shown here is our 4th.   We have the performa, optium exceed, accuchek mobile and this the freestyle light.   I like them all for different reasons.  This one in particular I would recommend to people with diabetic children as it takes a miniscule amount of blood!  

Supply overload!   Needles for pens, plain old syringes, ketone urine strips, ketone blood strips, spare strips for 4 blood glucose monitors, glucodin glucose powder (useful to mix with juice and milk when young kids dont want to drink large quantities.)  4 lancing devices and 3 spare meters.    4 tubes of glucose gel, each tube is 15 grams of glucose.  Honey, syringe for the honey or lucozade, finger wipes, spare lancet refills.   In his carry about case we have antiseptic hand wash, a needle clipper to take the end off the sharp so they can be disposed of minus the needle, his lantus and novorapid pens, spare needle tops and syringes, glucose tablets and orange glucagon case (for unconscious hypos where food cant be taken by mouth).

That was a big post but before diabetes I had NO idea about needles and such... so perhaps it was of help to someone!

**NB Id love to see pictures of other diabetic's supply stashes.   I bet someone could prove that my stash isnt so big afterall!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Zoom in, Zoom out

On Sunday morning the preacher discussed zooming in and out because your focus on a situation can stop you from going forward.  Sometimes we look so hard at diabetes care and miss the bigger picture, at others try to be too general and miss finer details.    Im convinced we need to do diabetes care as a team.  

Let me explain something about my husband and I.  Weekends we spend plenty of time with the kids, running around in the back yard.    Since the weather is so hot it usually involves the kiddie pool or hose.  Im sure this is an outlet for my husband who at times appears to be a having a second childhood.    We have affectionately nicknamed him "DANGER DAD". Imagine him in blue lycra with red cape and Yellow "D" emblazoned on the front.   (Well maybe not.)     He runs around squirting the kids with water guns and filling up water balloons.   This is what I like to call phase 1.   Theres no danger element so he has to come up with a better idea.   How about we set up the slip and slide?  Phase 2.  Hose connected and plastic spread out the length of the yard.   Hmmmm, not dangerous enough.   Lets spray the kids with CRC or cooking oil so they slide better.   By this point Im begging him to stop...   I see potential risk, he sees potential fun!  Phase 3.   He considers the physics of the operation and to get greater velocity the kids have to fall from a greater height.  Phase 4.   Kids have become human torpedos.    The kiddie slide is hooked up to a pole so they can first slide down this (with the hose and sudsy detergent streaming down it) and onto the slip and slide and fly all the way into my garden bed at the end.  Phase 5.  Someone cries from being hurt and we all pack up and go inside.

Good thing we are different. Its all about focus.   My husband sees things in diabetes care that I dont.   He invented the hypo treatment of honey (which Reuben cannot spit out!)  delivered via a 12ml plastic syringe.  Perfect!   When it comes to planning alarms to wake to test him through the night, Im your woman.   Not so inventive like my husband, but reliable and predictable.  Hahah and maybe more trustworthy.