Thursday, December 30, 2010

One More Sweet Day!

It's almost here.....D-Day. I'm counting down like I'm being lead to the death chamber in two days. I have today and tomorrow to rid my house of any sweets. I have joined forces with a few others to stop the madness.....what madness is that you may ask? We are going to stop eating sugar and drinking sodas. Right now the goal is to make it until Valentines Day. It takes preparing to succeed at doing this. First is to rid your home of contraband. So out goes the leftover peanut brittle from Christmas, the Great Value generic Oreos and the last few sodas left in the fridge!

The Brownie mixes will be saved for my snack day at our church meetings. I think it is time to bake Halloween cupcakes for my day care children today and that will take care of those. I have a son-in-law that will really enjoy the peanut brittle.
The sodas are no problem. I will have the Big Red gone this morning and the Coke Zeros will be sent home with another son-in-law as I don't drink them.
I am ready to do this....who's with me?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sugar, Friend or Fo?

In March of 1988, four months before my youngest daughter Courtney turned 4 years old, we were told the heartbreaking news that our baby girl had diabetes. Some people have their God moments ....I consider this story to be one of ours.

Any mother of a three year old can tell you how demanding they can be. Courtney was no exception. It was when her whining and fussiness became abnormal that I started getting concerned. The constant thirst, so bad that I would pour her a drink and keep it within her reach in the refrigerator. Then out of the blue she started wetting the bed. What goes in must come out right? This was my reasoning anyway. Next she started complaining her eyes were hurting. I knew all of these were symptoms of something, but being a young mom, I wasn't sure what. And whatever it was, MY child didn't have it, right?

March is diabetes awareness month and the school nurse where my middle daughter Candace attended school, handed out Diabetes Awareness brochures to all of the 3rd graders. Candace was only in 1st grade so her class weren't to receive the brochures.
That same evening before bedtime my husband (now ex-husband) was going through Candace's backpack, something he rarely had done before. Homework was my job. He found one of the Diabetes Awareness brochures and started reading it. One by one we began to recognize the symptoms as to what Courtney was experiencing.
The next day I found an empty pill bottle and took a urine sample into her pediatrician. Arriving back at home, we could hear the phone ringing. It was her Dr. with the news there was sugar in her urine. I couldn't speak. The emotions overwhelmed me! "He's wrong"....."I didn't wash the pill bottle properly"....." It wasn't a sterile urine sample"...all of these things were said out loud to make this not seem real.

We picked her up and took her straight in to have her blood sugar tested. Sure enough it was 345, normal is 70-160. Reality baby was going to have to take shots FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE! How am I going to do this?? I am terrified of needles! All of the horrible things ran through my mind. It took the Dr. getting firm with me to bring me to where I needed to be. He acknowledged I had a reason to be upset, but I wasn't doing my daughter any favors by breaking down in front of her. I learned then to pull it together.

I then picked up the phone and called the school nurse to tell her what her brochure had done for our family. When I told her Candace had brought one home in her backpack she replied, " Isn't Candace in 1st grade? Those were only given out to 3rd graders." I then questioned my first grader on how she got her hands on a brochure. It seems someone had found it on the floor of the school bus and put it in her backpack. A coincidence? I think NOT!........a coincidence is nothing more than God hiding behind a cloud and smiling :)
Word spread fast to the American Diabetes Association about our story. We were asked to film a PSA (public service announcement) . A film crew came to our home and interviewed us. We were even approached by Good Morning America to come on the show. They ended up opting to have a Dr. on instead....darn it...oh well, TV just adds 10 lbs right? ;)

There were articles written in two different magazines as well as our local newspaper telling our story.
We spent a few days in the hospital, not so much because Courtney needed to be there, we caught the diabetes quickly, but to educate us as parents. I use the term "educate" loosely. They handed me an orange and a needle and told me to practice "shooting" the orange and sent us on our way. There wasn't internet then to research like there is now. We had to find a hospital 50 miles away in Temple,TX to find proper diabetes education.

Now, let's fast forward 6 years..... I received a phone call from my brother Steve asking if he could stop by. Seems he had some questions for Courtney and me. He was telling us about a few symptoms he was starting to experience. Steve is an avid fisherman....has been for as long as I have known him *smile*

He was describing to us his symptoms of thirst. Not just any normal thirst, but a thirst where he was dipping into the lake water to quench while he was fishing. He started taking bottles of water and keeping them within reach of his bed at night so he could drink all night. I knew then we had another diabetic in the family. Those sugar free desserts were going to become more prevalent at our family get-togethers.

Now remember my daughter Candace....the little third grader......she is now 29 years old and teaches 1st grade in Navasota, TX. After a family member, Matt, started selling life insurance this year, she and her husband Jim decided to take out a policy. With that policy comes BLOOD WORK......Yuck, how we all hate it, but in reality, it can be lifesaving, no matter what the reason for having it done! A few weeks passed and Matt returned with their policy premiums and test results. Candace's premium was alot higher than Jims. After looking for the reason for this, they discovered Candace's C-Peptide level was off. This sent her straight to see an endocrinologist. His initial thought was Type 2 diabetes...but she is not overweight....weighing only 115 lbs....and her blood sugars are only slighly elevated. He thinks she is Type 1.5 otherwise known as LADA. She is still in the process of being referred to Baylor Medical Center In Dallas, TX to confirm his suspicions.
Courtney today....her diabetes has never limited her from doing anything! While in school she played volleyball, basketball, cheerleading and her favorite sport, high school rodeos. She made it to state every year in her event, which was goat tying. In Oct., 2008, Courtney was married! Four months ago, on Aug. 26th, 2010, she gave birth to her first child,my third grandson, Lane Greyson!

Candace has recently completed a half marathon and triathlon. She is quite the athlete!

As for my brother Steve....he is still quite the fisherman....providing all the fish for family fish fries!

Courtney, Josh and Lane Christmas 2010

Candace and Jim
Diabetes is a nuisance and can be a mean interuption of life, but with faith and trust in God, you can have the strenghth to live a normal life!

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor foresake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

Symptoms of diabetes in children:
1. Extreme thirst and frequent urination
2. Extreme hunger
3. Weight loss
4. Fatigue
5. Irritablity or unusual behavior
6. Blurred vision
7. Yeast infection

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What a Day!

Tired: suggest a condition in which a large part of one's energy and vitality has been consumed. One who is TIRED has used up a considerable part of his of her bodily or mental resourses.One who is EXHAUSTED is completely drained of energy and vitality. Usually because of *arduous or long sustained effort. One who is FATIGUED has consumed energy to a point where rest and sleep are demanded. One who is WEARIED has been under protracted exersion or strain that has gradually worn out his of her strength

That's all I got....too darn tired to think after spending a week in Vegas!

*Arduous: requiring great exertion ; laborious; difficult

Here We Go!

Well, here I go! I started a blog once, over a year ago and never remembered how to even get back to it. I am hoping to be better about it now.

My daughter Candace, who writes her own amazing blog, asked me, "what are you going to blog about mom"? Well, what you will be reading about is a challenge I have put forth to myself. It has been years since Mrs. Rowtons High School English class and since I work with toddlers and preschool children everyday, my adult grammar may not be up to par either, but please bear (or is it bare) with me.

I was recently challenged to think of a project that would Make A Difference (M.A.D) in the world or my community. There were to be only the top 10 projects chosen. This was something I really wanted to participate in, REALLY! My family were the only people I told about this challenge. Even the people that were helping me coordinate my project weren't told of my challenge, except Barbara, the one that was more than willing to turn this project over to me. I think she was just wondering what in the world would motivate me to take over something she was so willing to give up. She along with my family, were my cheerleaders. I was afraid that if I said it out loud and too many people heard me, then I was going to have to move mountains to make it happen...did I really want to do that?? Was I ready for the disappointment of my project possibly not being chosen?? Would I just forget about the whole idea? A quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson says, " Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen."
Well, the time had arrived for me to "pitch" my project. With SOOO many good ones to consider, unfortunately, mine didn't make it into the top 10, not even the top 15.
I was shy the confidence that I needed to make my goal of being chosen a reality.
I am not giving up on my project, I can't....I forge ahead.
The best advice I was given to figure out an idea for my project was to "find a need a fill it."

I happen to see a commercial on a local TV station about a fundraiser that was being held in a neighboring town for Dog Wash to raise money for a Meals on Wheels Pet Project. I did my research on this program and it is basically a project to deliver pet food and supplies to senior citizens that are taking food from there Meals on Wheels plates and sharing it with their furry friends. I can remember my grandmother doing this very thing with her dog Freckles. Not only would she share her meal, she would fry hamburger meat and feed him before she would feed herself.

I called our local Meals on Wheels, where my mom, when she was alive, spent most weekdays helping prepare meals. Lana, the MOW director was happy to set up an appointment for me to come and talk to the seniors. She chose July 21st, "Birthday Celebration Day" at the center for me to come and approach the seniors. "Everyone is here on that day. There's birthday cake!."

This was my presentation to the group:

While the rest of the world is falling apart around us, I decided to find more good news for animal lovers! Today I want to talk about a plan that is being used all across the United States involving the elderly and their pets. Some organizations simply supply food to people having a hard time providing food for their pets. I want to spread the good news in hope that we can implement a similar plan here in West.

Many elderly live alone and a pet is the only companionship they have. Studies have shown that pets improve the quality of life for everyone. I won't go into that because everyone knows that already. I WILL go into what many of the elderly are facing today. Being financially unable to feed their pets, which puts the pet in danger of being placed in a shelter or given away. Either option is heartbreaking to the owner.

Meals on Wheels has started a program in many areas of the country. Now along with food being delivered to those on the program, they also deliver pet food. While each reference I've found has a different method of doing this, they all have a common goal. Keep the pet with the owner and provide food and cat litter free of charge. Both money and food donations are needed to keep this successful program going.

This service has eased the burden of the elderly of how to feed their four legged companions. Before this program was put into place, many had to share their own meals with their pet. Offering pet food ensures the elderly can eat their entire meal knowing that their best friend also has food. A lot of people may say that we should forget the pets and put the people first. They don't realize that a companion animal is a best friend (or child) to many who live alone. The same holds true for families that have fallen on hard times.Removing the animal because times are tough is simply not an option.

I want to make sure the ideas I've listed here get put into place. The elderly, the pets and the animal shelters will all benefit because fewer animals will be brought in and labeled "Can't Keep." And fewer hearts will be broken.

Ok, I sold the group on my idea....I left a sign up sheet and told them I would return for it.
That is when I received a phone call from Barbara. She had already been delivering pet food to some of our local citizens and she wanted to turn it all over to me! When I asked her if there had ever been fund raisers held, her answer was "No." Had any businesses been approached about donations of pet food/supplies her answer was "No." I told her not to worry, I would take care of it all. YIKES!! Now what??? How do I raise funds?

Aha! I will start by donating 5% of my profits from my part time business as a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. We were already doing a fund raiser in our unit donating $1 for every face we make beautiful to the Mary Kay Ash Foundation which helps causes so very close to my heart, cancers effecting women and women that have been effected by domestic violence and abuse. I will just take out another 5% from my profits and use that for my cause. I also have plans to go door to door to local grocery stores and feed stores to recruit donations. My wish is to not just drop off the food and supplies to the seniors, but to build a relationship with them so they know I really am on their side.

I have taken this on alone with my family behind me, only this time, I AM SAYING IT OUT LOUD!!! I have made my decision!

Feel free to cheer me on!!