Tag Archives: Parenting

Duped.

got dupedSo…I got duped. We all got duped. The T1D community fell prey to information that was not true. Turns out that the blog and information that was recently shared by many of us was not true.

I imagine were not the only community to be duped. The write/writers of the blog professed to be teachers, having a child with down syndrome, one with T1D and if I remember correctly a set of triplets. That’s a lot of heart strings getting tugged.

Sadly it happens. We live in a fast-paced, media savvy culture, news travels fast, good or bad.

Mad? No. Frustrated? Maybe. Just wondering how we can protect ourselves in the future, so as a parent, a blogger and also as a community we don’t perpetuate the untrue and the drama. That we always honor the lives lost with truth and dignity, that we support families as they grieve and at the same time we continue to celebrate our strength, our successes and our commitment to a cure.

The truth is, duped or not, we still need a cure, I still have nights that I am worrisome about Logan’s numbers and I still get up and check him.

I won’t lie, the blog post in question got to me, I was feeling raw, tired and mad at T1D. I read that a child had died in their sleep from a low and I thought “Enough already!“.

At first I hesitated to post blue candles, or to even mention death but I did. I should have listened to my gut but my heart took over and that’s what they were counting on.

Early on I had decided not to share those stories, or the blue candles, not that they didn’t matter, of course they matter, but I struggled with it for different reasons. Even though I chose not to share the blue candles, when I saw them they were always a reminder of how strong this community is, how loving and supportive they are and how we grieve together and stay strong. Together.

The good news, yes, there is always good news, is that it has us talking. The T1D community is coming together, bringing their ideas and their thoughts to the table so something like this doesn’t happen again.

We are talking about how to find a way so that those who want to post blue candles can and do. We are talking about how we feel, where we need to make some changes and how we may need some type of protocol or etiquette as Moira McCarthy Stanford mentions in her most recent post.

So, duped? Yes. But you know what? We still need a cure. There will always be people out there that will thrive in the drama and who will try to get in the cracks of our armor, it happens but it doesn’t define us or our intentions. It doesn’t stop us. 

I don’t like that it happens. It takes our breath away, we struggle, we squirm, we think “How could they? How could we?”, but we are all human, we trust, we love, we care, we believe…and we don’t want to lose another child to the complications of T1D.

Don’t be mad or sad, be empowered, be vigilant, be determined. Take pause, be cautious, but don’t stop. This is not a reflection of your judgement but of your heart, you trusted, you cared and now you move on.

And you know what else? I am relieved, relieved that the post in question was not true. That a T1D child did not die in their sleep. That above all else, is what matters.

So duped? Yes. But it doesn’t change the truth, my truth or Logan’s truth, that T1D is serious and that we need a cure.

trueseeker

This happens.

blue_candlesI have written and deleted this post more than four times today.

Too many thoughts, too many words, too much emotion.

I wrote about being vulnerable, drama, fear, pity, judgement, and frustration.

I wrote about good friends, family, safe spaces, sage women, trusting your gut, taking that risk and helping others.

I had a point.

I had a message.

I had a goal but in the end I realized that it was just ‘stuff’.

All I really wanted to say is that my heart aches for this family. That this could happen to anyone, we could have been these parents, that child could have been Logan.

We weren’t.

He wasn’t.

This child is ‘our’ child, the T1D community has a family that is grieving, we grieve with them and for them. Tonight like so many other parents will be doing with their own children, I will check on Logan more than normal. I will curse T1D.

Do I think about this happening? Yes, but not as often as I used to.

Not that long ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with a sick feeling in my stomach that something was wrong. I immediately went and checked on Zoe and Logan.

For the first time since his diagnosis I checked to see if he was breathing.

Breathing.

I checked to see if he was breathing.

My first thought was to check his breathing, not his blood sugar.

It scared me.

A lot.

That night I scooted him over and slept next to him. Not because I was nervous, but because I was grateful.

Insulin is not a cure.

I usually don’t share articles about deaths due to T1D complications. I’m not sure why. I am completely and utterly aware of this reality. Maybe it’s because I want to be that person that believes and trusts that there is a way, that there is a cure coming…before it happens again.

This is why we fund raise, why we advocate and why we keep going and why we are so grateful for all that you do to help us find a cure.

Believe me, there will be times when we yell ‘TAG! Your it!’ because we will be tired, we will need your help and we will be so happy that you are there on the front lines with us.

So hug your kids tight, unplug, share your gifts with this world, be nice to each other, hold your judgments, forgive, be gentle with yourself, and fight the fight, whatever it may be.

You matter. You make a difference. Use your power for good. Life is too precious to hold back.

And remember…this happens.

Bless this family, their friends, and their children, may they feel loved and supported during this time.

http://laurenandandyplus5.blogspot.com/2013/10/to-jillian-ivy.html

 

 

 

Turn back the clock. Please. No. Don’t.

M tony holding onto wet logan

Phew. I have found myself in a new place with new stuff. Startled by it? Yes. Uncomfortable? Always.

But what’s a girl to do? Well, it’s obvious isn’t it? She jumps right in there and figures it out.

I know exactly where I was when it happened and I know what started it. I saw a group of women with their cherub faced toddlers, they were laughing and playing, appearing to be fearless and care-free, and it came out of nowhere.

In an instant, and for the first time that I can remember, I wanted to go back to that time in Logan’s life before he had Type 1, before he had a speech disorder, before he would experience a roller coaster of being on the spectrum, before he would say, “Mom, please take the diabetes out of my body” and years later , “Mom, I’m afraid that people will pick on me because of my personality.”

Phew, there it is again, even as I write this, out of nowhere, it gently finds the hairline cracks in my armor and splits it wide open and makes me vulnerable. Parenting is not for the faint at heart that’s for sure.

But it’s all good. Really.

No really. Trust me. I have a plan. I have a checklist.

The last month has brought more than mud to the surface. Emotions have been raw, doubts were looming, challenges were, well, just that…challenging. I had to dig a little deeper. I had to let go. I had to remind myself that being too far in the past or too far in the future holds no power for being here right now. And I needed a nap.

When I get uncomfortable, when things surprise me, I’m reminded of who I am, who I’m not, what I’m made of and what gets me in trouble and what gets me out of trouble.

I’m stubborn, just ask my family. I’m determined. I am forever hopeful. I’m dependable.

I’m a hugger.

I’m a lover not a fighter, and not to mislead you because there are things and people that I will fight for until the end of time.

I will fight for a cure. Without a doubt.

I don’t like conflict but I know that finding a solution can get messy and it’s not always easy.

I want everyone to be heard, everyone to be honored.

I’m that person that always thinks of something to say in my car on the way home. I see both sides. Well, I try to see both sides. No one’s perfect.

I can be indecisive though I’ve been known to take off running and never look back.

I believe in people and in kindness. I believe that it is the little things that are really the big things.

Mean people get me down.

Rude people make me want to scream. In fact, I’ve been known to swear at them from the safety of my car, my laundry room and while hiking on a trail. Not a shocker given my feelings about conflict.

Being fierce both scares and inspires me.

I want everyone to have at least one person in their life that has their back, always remembering that there is strength in numbers.

I want a cure.

For everyone.

Is it possible? I have to believe.

Am I naive? Maybe.

I know that when Logan was born it never crossed my mind that we would be advocating for anything, much less a cure for Type 1 and raising awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

You know what else I didn’t know, was how amazing it would all be.

Granted, at times life can be exhausting, frustrating, and all of those things that make me want to crawl into a cave and never come out. But what fun would that be? Well, lets be honest, we all need a break now and then, so there are days where that cave looks like a week on the beach with nothing but sunshine and rainbows.

So, this is my check list of sorts, bringing me full circle when life catches me by surprise.

I get uncomfortable, retreat, look at where I’ve been…no secret solution, just time and the willingness to sit with it for a bit and let the dust settle.

I admit it’s hard to go back there sometimes, but being uncomfortable is good in so many ways, it reminds me of what I have to work on and it gives me a glimpse of all that I cherish. 

Would I do anything differently given the chance to turn back the clock? I don’t know.

Well, that’s a lie because I would love to kiss those chubby cheeks, snuggle into their necks until they squeal, and scoop them up as their little legs try to carry them away in sheer delight. 

The truth is there is nothing that I could have done to spare Logan his diagnosis. What I can do is to keep advocating, raising awareness and to love everything about this challenging chaotic life.

I’m getting better at giving myself permission to feel uncomfortable. I’m quicker to get in the thick of it, trusting that I will come out stronger and more content. 

IMG_2342For me, the real beauty and power lies in the emerging, the rising up, the looking forward and celebrating all that brought me to this moment. Squeezing through those tight places and feeling so good when I reach the other side.

And this moment, it’s just another reminder to keep advocating, fund raising, connecting and serving… not only for my family and for myself, but for others, because though I speak for myself here, I know that I am not alone and we are in this together.

Staying grounded, holding on, letting go. It’s all good.

IMG_2428Our humble attempt at a self portrait the day we brought Logan home after he was first diagnosed. Happy to have him home after three days and two long nights in the hospital.

What has always caught my eye about this photo, aside from Zoe’s puzzled look and the pure joy that we were feeling on that day, is how tightly I am holding on to Logan, never to let him go.

We were all squished together trying to get the shot, wanting to stay in that moment forever. Happy, safe and for a second forgetting how our life had just been turned inside out, upside down. How Logan’s life had changed…forever.

Thinking of that day and where we are now makes me catch my breath, but then I sit tight, remind myself to trust, and try not to hold on so tight.  Letting go is good, but geez it can be hard sometimes.

Even as I write this I am sidetracked by thoughts of them growing too quickly, picturing their tiny little hands slowly slipping out of mine as they grow and explore. Excited and scared at the same time. They are going to be awesome people, I’m so excited to see what they do, where they go…but wait, don’t grow so fast.

I am already picturing them in college, and I’m that mom, screaming after them, “Wait, I still haven’t finished your scrapbook from kindergarten!!” How the heck does it happen so fast?

My heart aches a little bit. Expanding I’m sure. Bursting with a love that I can’t seem to get out fast enough before they set off into the world. I just don’t want to miss one minute of it. Not one.

I take a deep breath, chanting to myself trust, trust, trust. It’s all good. It really is.

This D-life that we have come to know has brought us to so many amazing crossroads, and so many wonderful people. Today was a reminder of all that as I connected with new D-Mom’s, gave thanks to supporters in our community and frantically, and without coffee I might add, tried to nail down my final registration info. for the ride. I couldn’t help but think of how far we’ve come.

If you didn’t know this already, I’m starting to get both excited and nervous about it all. The ride that is. I’m vacillating between What was I thinking? and What was I thinking?

I was in a total panic this morning when I found out that my bike needs to be shipped one week prior to my event and I felt like I was sending them one of my children, who knew I would get so attached to my bike! The whole letting go and holding on seems to be a recurring theme today.

So in the mean time to help me stay focused I decided to use this time to share some facts about T1D. All of the information I will be sharing with you is provided by the JDRF and can be found at http://www.jdrf.org. (I have paraphrased some of it to keep it simple, but it can be found in it’s entirety on their website).

T1D- the basics:

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas STOPS producing insulin. Insulin is a hormone that enables people to get energy from food.

The body’s immune system ATTACKS and DESTROYS the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called BETA-CELLS.

The causes of T1D are not entirely understood, though scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved.

THE ONSET OF T1D HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DIET OR LIFESTYLE, THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT T1D AND AT THE MOMENT, NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO GET RID OF IT.

That’s all for today, please stay tuned for more fast facts about T1D as I do my best to stay grounded and count down the days until I ride.

Thanks for stopping by, for sharing and for cheering us on! I can hear the cowbell already!

(And your homework for today is not to remember all the T1D facts but to grab the person or pet next to you, squish together, hold on tight, take a self portrait and treasure it…always).

http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR/Ride/JDRFNationalRides?px=2160337&pg=personal&fr_id=2244

It’s all good, but some days it just feels good to say “it sucks” out loud.

It has been way too long since I’ve posted here. I’ve written one too many posts in my head that never made it here. Racing thoughts, good ideas, great learning moments…just not enough hours in the day.

So I’m a little surprised that I’ve carved out this time today but I was prompted to write after reading a post by Moira McCarthy Stanford. It just stirred something in me, in a way that was unexpected.

As Logan approaches his birthday and we move into double digits all I can think about is how his body will change, how hormones will come into play and how I’m doing my best not to think about the challenges we will face with his T1D care. I’m also thinking, “We’ve got this, but some days it just sucks”.

I struggle sometimes to even consider venting about our life with T1D as I have too many friends that grieve the loss of their children because of cancer. As I type this I’m thinking of a friend who is praying that her daughter doesn’t have any seizures today while having her wisdom teeth removed. A life with epilepsy.

I am also thinking of a friend that prays every second of the day that they will get the ‘call’ and that her daughter will get a new heart. A life filled with hope and prayer, that someone’s loss will give life, a life filled with gratitude and grace.

Many of us walk this path together, sharing fears, praying for cures, finding balance. So if I encourage my friends to express how they feel, to move through it, even when it’s uncomfortable, to say it out loud and know that it doesn’t define them, then I need to allow myself that same space and opportunity.

Of course I feel blessed that we are given tools and medications that can help us manage Logan’s T1D, but it is not to be forgotten that it is not a cure and a cure is what we really need.

I can only hope that everyone has someone in their life that they connect with, someone that they can just let it all out and say “You know what, this really sucks, I hate it” and not feel judged or looked upon as if they are losing ground or focus. Sometimes you just need to say it out loud, and I hope you do. It feels pretty good when the timing is right.

We all have our days, whatever our challenges but today I realized, in a different way, that I am connected to a world that too many of us know. The world of Type 1 Diabetes. I read Moira’s post, http://despitediabetes.com/the-truth-the-one-were-i-say-suckity-suck-suck-more-than-once/#comment-18456,  a D-Mom warrior in the highest regards, and it made me laugh, cry and cry a little bit more. Albeit I’m pms-ing, hopped up on Easter candy, considering a third cup of coffee and home bound with a very bummed out daughter that was sick for her entire Spring break and is home again today.

Even without the perfect storm this post would have made me cry. It hit home. It knocked at my back door when I was expecting a knock at the front door.
DSCN2333We do our best to teach Logan to move on, not to get stuck in ‘it’, that he can handle this, we can handle it, he can do anything he wants to, and he can, he will and we will. I have no doubt about it.

I know that we are somewhat on the right path as he recently described his life with T1D as “happy”. I kid you not, “happy”. I of course had a few choice words, but when he was asked to participate in a JDRF event, they asked him to give them one word that describes his life with T1D and he said “happy”.

I love him. I love that he feels this way, that even on the hard days he feels “happy”. But I must admit, sometimes it feels like we are putting on a play, getting applause for a job well done and then going behind the curtain, celebrating, exhausted but thrilled that we pulled it off and quietly wishing that the audience could see everything that took place in order to orchestrate this “play” we call a day in the life with diabetes.

I agree with Moira, T1D does suck, it can be managed, but it’s nothing like a cure…and I have to agree with her friend, I think on any given day the color of your underwear will have some affect on your numbers. Heck, when Logan’s hair stands straight up I think “Oh great, his numbers will be off today”, that’s how unpredictable and fickle it can be.

So thank you Moira, and thank you readers, for sitting with me in this moment and giving me some space to say “it sucks”, without judgement, without pity…just some breathing room to say it out loud.

Now, back to business, one sick kiddo at home, and a call from the health room letting me know that my D-child is not feeling well. So we move on, we are strong, we are positive, we are confident and we are almost out of Easter candy.

We care and that’s why we are vulnerable. Sometimes we just need to vent so we can remember why we are so determined and committed to this path to find a cure, not only for T1D, but for all, because we all have days like this, we all cry, scream and yell ‘It suck’s’ and regardless of our challenges, we are in this together.

 

We are all connected…Heart Garland

DSCN1135I wasn’t sure what we would tell Logan and Zoe, much less the details of the tragic events. So, when Zoe asked me if someone was shot at a school, well, I was a bit rattled. My parenting skills skipped town, my heart ached and my mind raced searching for answers.

She had overheard some parents talking after school while she was practicing cartwheels with her friends. I love Zoe for her attentiveness, but in this moment I had only wished that she had been more distracted by the giggling of her friends than the tears of a mother.

In the end we talked with Logan and Zoe about what happened at Sandy Hook. It was not easy, trying to find the words to explain to them about the depth of it all without scaring them or adding worry to their thoughts.

We left the conversation feeling that we had covered what needed to be covered, though more than we had anticipated. As the weekend rolled along there were other moments when it resurfaced, innocently giving Zoe a glimpse of what had happened. The front page of a newspaper laying on a table at Panera’s. An overwhelmed mother talking with her friend near the kids Christmas movies at Target. In that particular moment I couldn’t react fast enough to get Zoe away from the conversation, leading to me giving the other Mom the ‘stink-eye’ with a “What are you doing?!!” glare.

It was in the car that the conversation transpired, Zoe wondering how someone could be so ‘mean’, How could they hurt those kids? Why did he go to the school? Why? Why? Why? Logan sat quietly in the seat next to her, I watched their faces, my heart ached for those families and I could see my children struggling with it all, internally, externally, searching.

As we talked about it, I wanted them to remember that there is always something that can be done. We all want to turn back time and save those children and families from heartache and loss. But we can’t, so what do we do? As a society, that’s up to us, the adults, that’s not what this moment was about. It was about helping my children feel safe and showing them to keep putting good back in the world, to remind them how much good is out there and that together we can help each other heal. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, what’s most important is that it is a heartfelt, loving one.

It all felt so ‘big’, what to do, how to help. My own mind raced with thoughts about the families, the children, the community. There were no words to express the range of emotions that we were all feeling, trying to grab onto whatever it is that keeps us centered.

While searching for ways to translate it all to my seven and nine year old, I tried to explain to them that sometimes when there is a big crack in the pavement you have to fill in the all of the little cracks first. That all of the little things help fix the big things. I could see their bodies relax, their faces soften as they eased back into their seats.

I asked them what would make them feel better if this would have happened to our family. They both said hugs first and then as we talked about our family blog and how we have been sending out hearts to raise awareness for T1D they shouted out, we could send hearts!! Perfect I thought, something that they could do and it would help them feel like they had control of what was happening.

I wasn’t at all surprised when they started asking if they could ask their friends and family to send hearts too. Hmmmmm…I explained that it might be a little tricky because for many reasons, and good ones, not everyone will have the same information about what happened, so we might want to just ask a few people to join us. They were persistent and truly believed that others would want to join us, so I sent out a few e-mails, shared with a few friends and you know, they were right.

As the names started to pour in, I thought to myself, “Kids have it right, they blurt things out, they cut to the chase and they speak from the heart, no filters”, though sometimes I wish they had a little bit of filter, like when we are in the check-out line and they suggest that the lady should use the white stuff that I use for her mustache.

At first we thought to just send a box of hearts, then there were so many names we thought to make a garland of hearts. A collection of love, thoughts and prayers sent together, strung together by one ribbon, feels right. We are all connected, a garland would be perfect.

In a short amount of time we have received over 200 names and they keep coming. They have come from all over the United States, Canada, India, Australia, Japan and Guatemala.

So, join us! We invite you to send your name, city, and state to be added to one of our hearts. (It doesn’t have to be your full name, whatever you feel comfortable with, though we would like to add a location to show support from all over, not just from where we are from).

Feel free to share this post with friends and family, we’ll be taking names until Dec. 25 at Midnight (MST). All you need to do is leave your info. here or you can e-mail it to me at ddricke@gmail.com. We’ll make sure that your love and good vibes are added to our garland, and we’ll be sure to post a photo of the garland when it is completed.

Thank you for considering it and for sharing it. I am grateful to all of those that have contributed in helping this parenting moment slowly shift from a very difficult conversation to a movement of love and kindness. We look forward to adding you to our family of hearts! and since we can’t hug everyone as Logan and Zoe so eagerly suggested, we send you hugs from here, may we all continue to move forward in kindness and grace.

Hearts- 365

DSCN0120

Phew, could these days go any faster? I hope not. This morning Logan and Zoe were chanting “15 more days until Christmas“…yikes! I’m not so freaked out about Christmas, it’s just that it gets me closer to my first 1/2 marathon, now that freaks me out.

As you may know, we are all about hearts and kindness, so it only seemed natural that our first advocacy project would be about hearts and kindness. Makes sense, right? We thought you’d agree.

Right now we are working on some projects for 2013 and we want to invite you to be a part of them. Our first one is “365 Hearts“, we are collecting heart photographs for our new friend Anna King. Some of you may know her, and if you don’t, well, let me just say that you are missing out on one great kid. I’m telling you, this kid is going places.

I had the wonderful opportunity to honor her and her mother in a post for my running blog, (you can follow the link below and take a peek if you’d like). You can also find her story at their family’s website, it’s one that you will want to bookmark, follow and no doubt share with your friends and family.

http://miles4moms.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/anna/

http://humorhealstheheart.org/

While you get to know Anna and her wonderful family we’ll be working on our “365 Hearts” project in their honor. We are always looking for a way to give Anna a heart until that wonderful day that she is blessed with a new one, and I’m hoping that you’ll join us.

DSCN0127So get going, enlist your kids, your friends, your family and send us your heart photo’s. We posted a few here to give you an idea of what we’re talking about and what you can be on the look out for. Just think, any time you see a heart, you’ll be thinking about Anna, and sending her good vibes and we all know that those are the best kind.

We are excited to share your photo’s and look forward to hearing form you. You can send them to the e-mail listed below, and while your at, it please feel free to let us know a little bit about your ‘heart’ sighting and we’ll do our best to include a few words with your photo. (We will not share any information without your permission, at best, we would like to at least include the location if possible.)

2013 is going to be a great year, I can just feel it. So much fun stuff happening and get ready because we are looking forward to taking it up a notch in our efforts to raise awareness for T1D. Along the way we know that we can never do this alone, so we are getting ready to help raise awareness for others too, first stop…the Anna King Project.

One thing our family has learned on this journey is that the long days are shorter when we are supporting each other, and that means you too. We know that everyone is out there raising awareness for the things that mean the most to them, and we’re with you all the way. As we continue to work hard to find a cure for T1D we’ll be raising awareness for others. Thank you for supporting us, encouraging us and for sharing your hearts with us…and Anna.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart”    Confucius

So what are you waiting for? Get out there, find those hearts and share them with us. We’ll be sure to post them, share them…one never knows where the heart will lead us. Have fun!

E-mail your hearts to: ddricke@gmail.com

Please add a few words letting us know that you give us permission to use your photo. We’d hate to hold up any hearts from being shared on our blog here, thanks!