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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sweet Shamae


Hello! Remember me? A year has passed since I last posted. Time flies! As much as I love and miss blogging, I wouldn’t be posting today if it weren’t for a special friend, Shamae.

This is not an easy post to write, though. In fact, it’s downright painful, and I hope I can do well by Shamae. My words seem so inadequate right now.

Shamae passed away in her sleep sometime early Sunday morning, before the rest of her family woke up. Her death has devastated many of us in the diabetes online community, and today, as a tribute, we are blogging in her memory.

When I first started blogging, I wrote a post about my cousin, Mimi, who had then recently passed away. Shamae read the post and left the following comment.




That was my introduction to Shamae and that seemed to exemplify her personality. Always caring and kind, she would reach out to other D mamas. As news of her passing circulated through Facebook on Sunday, I read status update after status update, saying how Shamae was the first D mama to offer a warm welcome, support, and friendship. She touched so many people.

Most of us never had the chance to meet Shamae in person, because we lived in different states. Nonetheless, we felt connected by the shared experiences of raising a child with diabetes, and today, shocked and heartbroken, we feel an enormous void in the DOC*.

Shamae, who was only 30 years old, left behind a husband, Loren, and three little girls, Sydney, Morgan, and Hadlee. I hope they know that legions of D mamas care about them deeply, loved Shamae, and feel a tremendous loss. I hope they realize that just as Shamae reached out to all of us, we are reaching out to them with our blogging tributes today.

Loren, if there’s anything I can ever do to help you and the girls, just say the word. In the meantime, you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.




*DOC = diabetes online community

Monday, October 1, 2012

No D Day - Real Housewives




Today is No D-Day, thanks to George at Ninjabetic

I participated in 2010 and 2011, and I’m happy to be back for 2012. 

Great idea, George! 



Okay, I’ll admit it. I am a reality show junkie.
This predilection started in the 90s with The Real World. Then, over the years, I  watched The Osbournes, Growing Up Gotti, Trading Spaces, The Hills, and more. I’ve also probably seen at least one episode of just about every show The Food Network airs. More recently, my DVR has been filled with Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Jersey Shore, and Teen Mom. Lately, I’m hooked on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Long Island Medium, Pawn Stars, and Breaking Amish.
So it should come as no surprise that I watch the Real Housewives, too.
But, I really, really, really wish the Real Housewives series were titled differently. I mean, let’s face it: most of those women are not housewives. 
I am a housewife. I hold a graduate degree, and I had a career, but I gave it up to be a stay-at-home mom. Though, I prefer to call myself a work-at-home mom. As much as I enjoy television, I don’t sit around watching it all day long. Actually, despite my little obsession, I watch very little TV. But I digress…
I am a housewife. The real deal. I do laundry. I scrub toilets. I make dinner, and after we eat, I do the dishes. I clip coupons and shop for groceries. I trade recipes. I pick up toys. I pick up dog poop. I volunteer at my kids’ school. I help with homework. I host play dates. I shuttle kids to sports, after-school activities, and doctor appointments. I carpool. I wear sweat pants. I drive a minivan.
I am a homemaker.
Those women on the Real Housewives franchise? Half of them hold full-time jobs, and they’re never at home! And, those who don’t work? They spend their days shopping, planning elaborate parties, pampering themselves at the salon, visiting their plastic surgeons, attending charity events, and meeting friends for lunch and mid-day drinks.
A mid-day drink for me is a crisp swig of Diet Coke. I live large when occasionally, while on a Target run, I treat myself to a decaf latte at Starbucks. And Target? That’s the extent of my shopping most days.
I personify the “real housewife.” My life, however, is not nearly snazzy enough for television. TV producers would call it boring. I think it’s a wonderful life, but I know that if my story were televised, it would neither top the Nielsen rating charts nor be picked up for a second season.
That’s because this mama lacks drama. Well, maybe there’s some, but it usually involves boys tossing their basketball over the neighbor’s fence or a certain ten-year-old girl who can’t find a single thing to wear. 
Besides that, there’s no nanny, no house keeper, no chef, no limos, no plastic surgeon, no personal trainer, no personal shopper, and no personal assistant.
But there is a DVR, and on that DVR are the Real Housewives, all of them, in all their glory, and I enjoy watching every minute of their real or not-so-real housewifey days.
Still, I think they should be called The Real Divas of Orange County...or New Jersey...or Beverly Hills...because they are not real housewives like me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Diabetes Art Day 2012


I love diabetes art day. It’s my favorite DOC event. 

This year, I had the “brilliant” idea of letting the kids paint with insulin syringes. 


Unless Jack is giving himself a shot (which rarely happens now that he's pumping insulin), syringes are off-limits for the kids. So, Madeline and Jack jumped at the opportunity to suck up and inject paint. 


Unfortunately, the idea didn’t pan out as expected. We couldn’t suck up any paint! Ooh, were we all disappointed!

Still wanting to paint, Madeline and Jack quickly came up with plan B. They yanked out the syringe plungers and used them as paint brushes.


Madeline took a traditional route. 


Jack paid homage to Jackson Pollock and had a blast with the “drip and splash” method.


While the kids were doing that, I got into the art day spirit, sculpting a meter out of left-over salt dough. (This morning, Jack made a salt dough map of our state for a school project.)


I snagged a little of the kids’ paint and decorated my meter, too.


I said it before, but I’ll say it again: I love diabetes art day!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Proud


Lately, it seems sadness, stress, and heartache have surrounded us in the DOC*. I'm not talking about the usual: highs, lows, ketones, insurance battles, back-to-school stuff, and so on. I'm talking about new diagnoses, losing loved ones, and serious health scares. Too many horrible, life-changing, upsetting-beyond-words events have struck the DOC in recent weeks.              

Yet, the outpouring of support has been incredible. I feel so proud of the DOC, and I'm thankful to be a part of it. The DOC knows how to rally around its peeps.

In blogs and on Facebook and Twitter, I'm seeing prayers offered for comfort, peace, strength, and healing. I'm seeing donations made and gifts sent. I'm seeing positive energy, good vibes, and good thoughts put forth into the universe. I’m seeing encouragement coming from all angles. I’m seeing strangers helping others. I'm seeing kindness, caring, and advocacy. I'm seeing true friendship. I'm seeing love.

Way to go, DOC!


*DOC = diabetes online community

Saturday, September 8, 2012

For Meri, With Love



This isn’t the post I’d planned for my re-entry into the blogosphere. But, this seems fitting given that my last post focused on my friend Meri and her husband Ryan. 

Many of my friends outside of the DOC have asked about Ryan.

It breaks my heart to share that Ryan lost his battle against cancer last Sunday, September 2nd.

I can’t begin to tell you the sadness I feel. 

I’ve been struggling all week to write something in memory of Ryan and in support of Meri and their four boys either here or on Facebook. No words seem adequate. 

So I will keep it short. Meri, M, J, B and L, you’re in my heart, in my thoughts, and in my prayers. I’m sending love, lots of love, and as you lay your wonderful husband and father to rest today, I’ll be there with you in spirit. I truly wish I could be there with you in person.



When Ryan’s battle first began, a fundraiser was created to help with the Schuhmachers’ expenses. Meri and the boys still need that help. Please consider giving. No amount is too small, and all donations will be deeply appreciated. If you can help in any way, please visit the Give Forward site below. Thank you! 


Medical Fundaising Made Simple

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Prayers Needed


Hey there!

Remember me?

I've missed you, your comments, and your blogs, and I can’t believe so much time has passed since I was last here. It wasn’t an intentional blogging break. Life simply consumed me.

Honestly, if it weren’t for someone special, I probably wouldn’t be blogging today. It’d probably be a little bit longer before I began posting again. But a dear friend needs my help. She needs your help, too. So here I am.

The Schuhmacher Family


My friend is Meri Schuhmacher. You may know her. She writes Our Diabetic Life. She has four sons, three of whom have type 1 diabetes. I like to call her Marvelous Meri, not just because I’m a word nerd, who likes alliteration, but because she’s truly marvelous.

A few years ago, Meri’s husband Ryan battled melanoma. With surgery and chemotherapy, they thought he’d conquered the cancer. Last week, they learned the cancer has returned. Ryan has six tumors in his brain and multiple tumors in his lungs and abdomen.

Meri and Ryan have set aside tomorrow, Sunday, as a day of fasting and prayer, and they have asked others to join them.

So, here I am, on their behalf, asking you to please pray. I realize prayer comes in many forms. I also realize we may not share the same faith or religion. It’s all good. Do what is most comfortable for you. Say an actual prayer (or two or three or four), recite a blessing, or send healing energy, positive vibes, best wishes, love and light, or whatever works for you. Please, just please, do it today and every day, but especially on Sunday.

As Meri wrote on her blog, “Our hope is that people all across the world, every denomination and belief, will pray for a miracle for Ryan. …God will provide. Let us bombard heaven with our pleas.”

For the past week, I have had this song running nonstop in my head. It’s the Mi Shebeirach, the Jewish prayer for healing. 
On Sunday, I will recite the Mi Shebeirach and pray for Ryan’s healing and complete recovery. I will pray for the entire family’s comfort and strength. I will pray for his doctors’ wisdom and skill and for successful medical treatments. Most importantly, I will follow Meri and Ryan’s wishes, and I will pray specifically for a miracle.

There's a Yiddish proverb that states, "prayers go up and blessings come down."

Won’t you please pray for a miracle, too?



To follow Ryan's progress and lend support to the family, please visit their "Schuhmacher Family's Miracle" Facebook page here.

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Besides the Facebook page, a fund has been established to help with the family’s inevitable expenses. Please consider giving. No amount is too small, and all donations will be deeply appreciated. If you can help in any way, please visit the GiveForward site below. Thank you!


Medical Fundaising Made Simple

Even after tomorrow, please keep praying for a miracle for Ryan!




Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Know-It-All Waitress


Yesterday, I wanted to wear blue in honor of World Diabetes Day. So I donned my navy Jack’s Pack t-shirt with a light blue, long-sleeved t-shirt underneath. 
Gregg and I went out to lunch, and our waitress asked, “What does your shirt say?”

“Jack’s Pack — that’s our team name for the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. I’m wearing this shirt, because today is World Diabetes Day.”

“It is? My nephew has diabetes,” she said.

“Type 1?” I asked.

“Is that the bad kind?” she replied.

“I remember now. Yes, that’s the bad kind. That’s what my nephew has,” she said, answering her own question.

The bad kind! The classic comments keep coming! First Wilford, then the lizard spit lady and now the know-it-all waitress.

Is there is a good kind of diabetes?!

“Our eight-year-old son has type 1 diabetes,” I said.

“Is he on the pump? My nephew, he’s eight, too, and he’s on the pump,” she said.

“Not yet,” Gregg replied.

“Oh, you should get him on the pump,” she advised, as if she knew what she was talking about.

“It’s an insurance thing,” I said.

“Same thing for my brother and sister-in-law,” she said. “They both work for FedEx, and they had to have their insurance person ask and ask and ask, and finally they got the pump. That’s what you have to do. You have to keep asking, and then you can get it.”

Yep, she was an insurance expert, too.

Gregg and I couldn’t help but chuckle and talk about her as soon as we left the restaurant. She meant well, she was nice, and we both appreciated that she took an interest in my shirt. But, it’s funny how people think they know what they’re talking about and freely give advice, when, really, they’re just talking out of their elbows.